The Princess, Freed
A few days since the sukiyaki visit.
Nothing special happened and they safely returned to the [Radiant].
Schleer still couldn’t calm herself down yet.
She snuck out of the meeting that she had been attending since yesterday and headed to the shooting range.
This facility which was set up on board the ship to train their ground force is a little bit on the smaller side compared to the one they have on their homeworld but it is still a well-equipped shooting range.
Right now Schleer is holding a high-caliber standard issue rifle.
Her shooting form is beautiful.
When the humanoid practice targets spring up, she quickly and accurately fires at them.
At the same time the gunshots rang out, the bullets landed on the metal silhouette and knocked them down with a loud bang.
While exhaling, she ejects the empty plastic magazine and reloads the rifle with the spare magazine she has on her vest.
At her feet, there were already a lot of empty magazines.
After reloading, she simply continues her target practice.
There were several crew members around her but no one was brave enough to approach her due to her visibly bad mood.
The only sound echoing inside the room was her gunshots.
“Ahh, this is where you are, Your Highness.
It’s unusual to see you here.”
That silence was broken by Saki who walked into the shooting range.
Leaving her rugged appearance aside, her equipment including the rifle is the same as Schleer’s.
Normally, you would spend your time at the dojo right?”
Lowering her gun, Schleer replied in a quiet voice.
Onboard the [Radiant], there’s also a dojo where you can train in melee combat in addition to the shooting range.
Since Saki’s striker’s main weapon is a sword, you would normally find Saki there.
“Well, I’ve thought about things too you see.”
Saki replied while averting her eyes from Schleer.
She does feel a bit guilty eavesdropping on Schleer’s conversation the other day.
In the end, she never had a chance to show up that night.
She was standing by near the restaurant just in case but the dinner wrapped up without any incident.
She did intend to jump in there if Valentina’s bodyguards tried something though……
That being the case, Saki heard everything from the moment she cried to when she confessed her desire.
Even so, even if she can’t just come out and say [I planted a bug on Kisei that night so I know what you’re going through], Saki still wants to help Schleer.
“I thought that swinging around my katana won’t cut it anymore you see.
That’s why I want to try to broaden my horizon.”
Schleer awkwardly smiles.
With the [[I-con]] system in place, the skill of the pilot also affects the striker’s performance in combat.
For example, a pilot who is good at sharpshooting will be able to perform advanced shooting techniques while piloting a striker.
“I intend to practice my sword arm after this.
Do you mind accompanying me later?”
Practice shooting alone can be quite tiring already but it seems that Schleer still wants to do more after this.
“You seem quite enthusiastic, Your Highness.”
Schleer averted her eyes and replied.
“I’ve set a goal for myself and I know that if I don’t achieve it, I won’t be able to move forward.”
“A goal? Can you tell me what it is?”
“It’s nothing important.”
Saying so, Schleer’s face burst into a smile.
Her smile looks like she was just freed of the weight on her mind.
Seeing that, Saki was relieved.
It seems that she’s not being dragged down by her dark emotions anymore.
“First is to get rid of that devious pervert persistent stalker from Nored.”
“I agree on that one.
I don’t think I can let my guard down until I reduce that woman to dust first.”
She can appear out of nowhere and start sexually nibbling on Kisei after all.
That’s not someone Saki can allow to exist.
Saki’s grip on the rifle started to shake.
It appears that she got irritated just to be reminded of Valentina.
“Even so, our opponent is strong.
What’s even more annoying is her position, If we can not lure her out into single combat, we will have to deal with her escorts as well……! We can not take her down if we go at it half-heartedly.”
Perhaps she shares the same feeling, Saki’s eyes were burning with anger.
A moment later, Saki couldn’t bear it anymore and started laughing while Schleer followed suit.
The two laugh together for a while before the atmosphere finally calms down.
“Fufu, it’s been a while since I laughed so much.”
Schleer said while wiping her tears.
We had been on a losing streak after all.”
Until their victory at Leboir, the Calencian army suffered defeat after defeat.
Coupled with the cruel actions performed by their enemy, the army used to have a much darker atmosphere.
“By the way, since Your Highness said [first]…..this means that you have another goal right?”
Getting rid of Valentina is important but that is not the only thing she wants to do.
“My second goal is to get stronger, even if it’s only little by little.
I know that it’s useless to whine that I can’t protect that person with how I am now.
Even if I have to take small tiny steps, I want to get stronger so that I can support him.
That’s what I want to do.”
If she can do that, then the burden placed on Kisei might lessen.
That was Schleer’s wish.
It is clear that their victory was obtained through his success.
Both on a personal level and as a princess of Calencia, Schleer feels that fighting alongside him is a correct action.
That’s why there’s only one path ahead of her.
She has to keep training.
Whether it be shooting, swinging swords, or basic training, she will do anything to get stronger.
“Right now it might be impossible but I will surely show him how cool I am someday….fufufu……”
“Did you say something, Your Highness?”
Schleer averted her eyes and smiled.
That night, when she told Kisei what she truly desired, he didn’t deny it.
Schleer felt like she was saved because of that.
That’s why she stopped pretending or making up beautiful excuses.
What she has to do is show off how skilled she is in front of Kisei and make him fall for her.
And she will not spare any effort to do that.
“Well, let’s not waste time talking.
Our time is limited after all.”
Since she knows the circumstances, Saki understood Schleer’s feelings.
That’s why she simply let out a bitter smile and walks into the shooting booth.
“Alright, I have to do my best too!”
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