My life was a mess.
“Not like that, Miss! If you hold the handle too tightly, your centre of gravity will be too far forward and too much force will be put on your shoulders when you swing.
Otherwise you might stumble.
Hold it a little lower.”
“Ah I uh-.
Wh- Why is this so damn heavy.”
Hey! You're going to hurt yourself.”
“P- please be quiet.
You’re giving me a headache….UGH!”
I fell down with a thud.
It was too damn heavy.
A thrill of pain ran up my hips and buttocks.
This stupid body! This stupid stutter! This stupid world!
I flopped down and gazed up at the sky.
The day was clear and dazzling, uncaring of my mood.
You are going to try again.
But first we need to improve your stamina.
Now! Give me five laps fast!”
I propped myself against the ground and struggled to lift myself to my feet.
I trudged forwards, moving as fast as I could.
However, what felt fast to me likely looked slow and arduous to others.
But what else could I do? I was doing my best.
That was how much I weighed.
(92kg = approx.
203lb for those curious)
Unbelievably I had transmigrated into my friend's novel and possessed the body of an unassuming 18-year-old noblewoman, the fifth daughter of the soon-to-be-extinct Elias family.
The future execution of my entire family was a critical problem.
However, serious matters aside, I was truly unlucky! In every romance-fantasy novel I read in my old life, the protagonist always transmigrated into the body of someone beautiful enough to conquer the world.
Sweat poured down my body, and my breaths gasped out of my throat, but I kept jogging as fast as I could.
Bernard Smith was a low-ranked member of the Elias Order of Knights.
He was a 23-year-old sword runner who had only been ordained as a knight a little over a year ago.
Bernard was bearlike and honest to a fault.
At first glance, he looked like he was actually around 30 years old.
And he could easily belong as a character in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
(The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a classic Chinese historical novel, and is a highly influential piece of literature in the East Asian cultural sphere.)
A month ago I ordered something from the Elias Family Doctor, Sir Oliver, and then went to see Bernard out of the blue.
“P- Please be my dedicated knight.”
When I was nervous, I stuttered the first part of every sentence.
Before I possessed Tara, she had been lying in bed for two months after falling from a tree.
After waking up, my first words were a scream.
I started talking after I was somewhat stable and I stuttered my first words.
However, everyone who saw me was astonished that my speech had improved.
Turns out that I stuttered even more before I fell from the tree.
I had been a shut-in, who was always locked away in my room.*
It had been a long time since I had read the novel, so it took me a while to remember which character I had possessed.
That was unsurprising.
The Ocerian Chronicles, written by my friend, ended serialization at chapter 60, and the character of Tara Elias, who I had possessed, was an extra who had only appeared twice.
It had taken about a week before I remembered my existence.
I had chosen Tara’s name, and I had been the one who had come up with the character concept for a fat young noble girl who stuttered.
It was crazy.
When I realized that I had possessed 'Tara Elias', the fat extra from the novel, I ran away from home.
I didn't want to live in this body, or as a member of a family bound for destruction.
Foolishly, I hired a carriage and ordered them to drive me as far away from the Capital as I could get.
After three days I was robbed and left penniless.
I almost had to beg on the streets to support my large body.
After that, fortunately or unfortunately, I had walked aimlessly on the streets until I collapsed, completely exhausted.
No one tried to help me.
After a few hours of lying down, I woke up, and the first thing I felt was hunger.
My face was blinded by my own tears.
Eventually, I returned to the Capital like a beggar, and my family members gossiped that I must have hit my head and gone crazy.
In any case, two months later I had accepted my situation.
I came to my senses and then went to see Bernard for the first time.
Either way, I was still alive.
And I had to find a way to stay that way.
In order to achieve that, I decided to start with my body, which made it hard to move around.
“What? Why? What do you mean, miss?”
“I- I mean it quite literally.
Be my exclusive knight.
I want to learn martial arts.”
That was the kind of look he gave me.
Bernard blatantly glanced me up and down, frowning heavily.
But also being a knight, he quickly mastered his expression.
Why? Because he would become a famous general in the future.
And since I had decided to save my life, as well as my entire family, I really needed someone like him.
“You- you're not busy.
So you can train me every day.”
This time, he didn't hide his expression.
He looked like he had just stepped in a pile of crap.
Bernard wiped his face dry.
The knights employed by the Elias family could be viewed as individual professionals.
They were paid on a job to job basis, no matter how many knights were employed by the family.
Because of this, they relied on connections with the senior knights in charge of assigning duties in order to get better work.
But Bernard had no such connections.
So where did that leave his capabilities? He had a strictly honest and upright personality, so he didn't know how to bow down, even when it would help him make a living.
As a knight, that was his one fatal flaw.
So this arrangement could free him from those limitations.
“Well, miss, I don't quite understand what you're saying.
You mean you want to receive the same training that soldiers get?”
I could tell the words, 'with that body?' had been omitted.
“Yes, that training.
Of course I'll pay you.
So it's not a losing proposition.”
“But I don't like it.
It's not as though you were born a man and wanted to go to war……
that isn't the case.”
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