Chapter 49 – Interruption

  • by lemuel moo

After dinner, Gale spent time with Reynard in the tent. He meditated and sent his energy through his palms into Reynard.

Reynard’s power grew by leaps and bounds as a result. Reynard felt sorry for imposing such an arduous task to Gale.

“G-Gale, that should be enough. I can train on my own now.”

“No, sit still,” Gale said as he breathed out warm air. “Ten more minutes left.”

Gale wasn’t merely sending his energy to Reynard. He was also experimenting with his breathing technique for his new skill by recycling [qi] and absorbing natural energy from the surroundings. It was hitting two birds with one stone.

The air in the tent circulated and flowed back to Gale as much as energy flowed out of his body. The other students were curious about Gale’s tent as it was bloated with air.

“Did Gale bring a portable fan? But it’s so cold at night!”

“Maybe it’s a portable air conditioner!”

Clere and Jacinta looked at Gale’s tent curiously as they couldn’t figure out what was happening within.

After ten minutes, Gale and Reynard emerged from the tent and Gale said. “It’s time to sleep. Four in the morning, we’ll begin our regime again. Meanwhile, eat these pills and activate your breathing techniques as you sleep.”

Gale passed several pills to Clere, Jacinta and Reynard. Reynard said, “Camps are supposed to be fun! Shouldn’t we chill out at the brook once?”

Gale looked at Reynard, and the latter retreated back into the tent. Then Gale sighed.

“Not tonight. Perhaps a couple of days later. We can’t break our training momentum so quickly. We’ll make sure we finish your snacks before we leave this campsite.”

Reynard was overjoyed, and he quickly went to sleep to recuperate.

Gale looked at Clere and Jacinta. “Same time tomorrow?”

“Okay.” Clere and Jacinta nodded and retreated back into their tents.

Before Gale walked back into his tent, he noticed Vanessa looking at him and the latter wanted to talk with him.

Vanessa led Gale to the brook, and she sat on a rock under the moonlit sky.

“Isn’t tonight beautiful, Gale?”

“Yup, it certainly is.”

Gale paused for a moment and remarked. “Ms. Ayumi is sure hardworking. Ever since the [Mysterious Allure] incident, she has been making her rounds around the camp to check for suspicious behavior.”

Ayumi emerged from the shadows and stood before Gale. “I’m surprised. You noticed my presence?”

“You were excellent, Ms. Ayumi. It wasn’t until now that I could hear your heartbeat.”

“You’re a dangerous man, Gale,” Ayumi said as she walked away. “Please be a good guy.”

Vanessa’s and Gale’s eyes trailed Ayumi as she disappeared to make her rounds.

Vanessa chuckled. “So you’ve come out of hiding, Gale?”

“Hiding? I’ve always been here.”

“Not when I first saw you,” Vanessa said. “You allowed Satori’s crew to beat you up until they messed with your sister.”

“Ah, you mean that. That’s because I was lazy to fight back.”

“So why don’t you join my team for the annual tournament? You’ll fit right in immediately,” Vanessa asked.

“I’m not interested,” Gale said. “Besides, I have an agreement with Principal Stella, so we’ll see how it goes.”

“Such a pity, Gale,” Vanessa said as she walked towards Gale. She placed her index finger on the temple of his head and slid it down to his chest.

“You could’ve any girl you want, but why stick to the same few?”

Gale scratched his head, “and end up with itchy powder, smelly perfumes, and other pranks? No, thanks!”

“There you go again. I told you the pranks are for creeps,” Vanessa said. “For a man like you, if you stick to only one girl, you’ll break many hearts.”

“But having many mothers-in-law will break my heart,” Gale said. “I think one is enough.”

Vanessa laughed at Gale’s answer.

“You’re never going to end up with one girl, Gale. Rei and Yumiko are destined to marry you,” Vanessa said.

“I’ll cross that bridge when it comes,” Gale said. “Right now, I’ve got to get my bro Reynard out of a bad marriage deal.”

Vanessa was amused. “What?!”

“That’s what he told me. Reynard’s got to win a duel to get out of an arranged marriage. I promised him that I would step in and fight for him if he fails to win,” Gale answered. “Then, I will tell his father that I don’t want to marry and annul the marriage deal.”

Vanessa started to laugh uncontrollably. She held her sides as she couldn’t keep her laughter in. Gale was confused at her behavior.

“What’s so funny?”

Tears formed at the corner of Vanessa’s eyes and she struggled to string a sentence. “S-So do you know who you’re fighting?”

“Some girl who’s apparently quite powerful,” Gale said. “Most royals have personal training instructors under their disposal.”

Vanessa laughed even louder and rolled on the floor.

“T-This is so hilarious! I can’t wait to see it happen!” Vanessa said as she picked herself up. “I’ll be there at the marriage duel as a witness!”

“You will? But I don’t understand, what’s so funny?” Gale asked.

“It’s fine. It’s not long before Reynard has to face the music,” Vanessa said. “If I laugh too much, I might not be able to sleep later. I’m going to bed, and we’ll talk more in the coming days.”

Vanessa chuckled and giggled as she left the premises, and Gale was left alone again with the beautiful stars.

———-

The next day, training began for Gale’s crew at four in the morning. It was the same forty sets and ten-mile run, and it would finish with an hour of breathing techniques. Afterward, they joined the other students for breakfast.

As the students were eating at the dining area, suddenly many black cars drove into the campsite and surrounded the place! Men in black suits came out, and they looked like a menacing army!

The combat instructors and students were alarmed as they saw many intruders into their camp. Victor Spectre immediately stood forward to address the intruders.

“What’s the meaning of this?! Who are you people?!”

A fourteen-year-old girl alighted from a black limousine and stood on a black car. She wore a pretty dress and had golden curls on her head. She immediately pointed to Reynard and shouted.

“There you are! I’ve finally found you!”

Reynard immediately stood up and said, “Princess Charlotte! What are you doing here?!”

“Don’t think I cannot recognize you because of your disguise,” Princess Charlotte said. “I’ve recruited an excellent magician to track you down! You’re coming back with me for your marriage!”

Gale looked at Princess Charlotte and then looked at Reynard. “So she’s the one you need to fight?”

Reynard said, “Ah, uh — “

Princess Charlotte suddenly appeared before Reynard and attempted to grab his hand. She used a magical instantaneous teleportation technique, and it caught everyone off-guard!

But Gale kicked and broke the dining table from below with his leg to stop Princess Charlotte from touching Reynard. Princess Charlotte jumped back to dodge Gale’s kick.

“That was close. This girl is using some magic,” Gale remarked. “Clere, could you defend Reynard for a while? I need to eat my chocolate to fight her.”

Clere glanced at Gale and then back at Princess Charlotte. “Fight her?! Is she even an enemy?!”

“I don’t know, but this girl isn’t going to sit down and reason with us,” Gale said. “If she could teleport so swiftly, we’ll lose Reynard if she touches Reynard instantly.”

Princess Charlotte was incensed by Gale. “Who’re you? How dare you stop me!”

“And who are you?” Gale asked.

“I’m Princess Charlotte, daughter of Emperor Sebastian the Great, from the Navarre empire!”

The combat instructors and students gasped in shock!

“T-That is one of the four great empires in the world!” Victor said. “What is your Highness doing here?!”

Reynard began to run away, but Princess Charlotte yelled, “Zviad!”

A man jumped from a great distance behind Princess Charlotte and blocked Reynard’s path when he landed.

“I’m sorry, your Highness, but my orders are to apprehend you.”

Before Zviad could grab Reynard, Gale dashed and stopped Zviad by gripping his right wrist.

“Not so fast — ”

Before Gale could finish his sentence, Zviad took out his small knife from his pocket with his left hand and attempted to slice Gale’s throat. But Gale used his [Soul-breaking Snow Palms] and thrust his right palm on Zviad’s left forearm. Zviad’s left forearm immediately suffered frostbites!

Zviad channeled his power into his right arm and broke free from Gale’s grip, but Gale immediately kneed Zviad’s chin, and the latter stumbled backward.

“We’re only students of Aelfsige Academy, and you attempt to kill us?!” Gale growled.

Zviad wiped his mouth and realized he was bleeding from his nose and mouth. “You’re not an average student. Name yourself.”

“Gale Gainsborough.”

Zviad said, “I’ve never heard of this name before, but you’re good.”

Clere saw that the situation was getting out of hand, and she activated her [Cursed Ink Palms] to deter Princess Charlotte.

Reynard realized that the entire place was going to be a war zone, so he yelled at the top of his voice. “STOP!”

Everyone froze and looked at Reynard. Reynard then turned to Princess Charlotte.

“We’re in the middle of a school camp. At least let me address the confusion that is happening around here before I go with you. Shouldn’t we do this as royals?”

Princess Charlotte folded her arms and tapped on her foot. “Fine. Make it quick!”

Gale turned to Reynard and then said, “This girl looks cute, but I understand why you want to run away now. While I don’t understand how to fight magic users, I think — ”

Reynard placed his finger on Gale’s lips to stop him from talking.

“Gale, if I were a girl, would you marry me?”

“If you were a girl?! How is this even — ”

Reynard grabbed Gale’s head and plunged his lips on Gale’s lips. Gale wanted to push Reynard away, but Reynard began to glow, and Gale stopped!

Suddenly, Reynard grew a little taller, his hair became blond, his chest became F cups, his arms and legs became slender, and his body became extraordinarily alluring and shapely! Reynard became a girl!

Reynard played with Gale’s tongue for a moment and then peeled herself away from him.

“Now that I’m a girl, would you marry me?”

Gale gaped in shock and couldn’t utter a single word. The combat instructors and the students didn’t realize Reynard had been a girl all along. Only Vanessa knew, and she enjoyed Gale’s stupefied expression.

Gale tried hard to snap out of his bewilderment, but he could only utter, “R-Reynard?”

Princess Charlotte became impatient and explained the phenomenon. “The spell is called [Polymorphism], you retard! It’s a high-level spell that transforms a person into another form. Princess Reyna had a gifted court magician who used this spell to hide her in Aelfsige Academy.”

“Y-You’re a p-princess!” Gale was stuttering in disbelief. “I-I thought you were a prince from the kingdom of Aragon — “

“The King of Aragon has no sons!” Princess Charlotte yelled. “You should’ve noticed the loophole from the start!”

“S-So the marriage duel is — “ Gale stuttered.

“It’s Prince Regulus, Princess Charlotte’s brother. I’m trying to run from him,” Reyna said. “We are childhood friends from young, and I only regarded him as a friend. But he became possessive and demanded me to be given to him for marriage.

My father set a rule that if I could beat him in a marriage duel when I turn fifteen, I can break off the engagement. But I’ve never won against him even once after all these years of training and hard work. Once, I was almost raped during one of our practice battles. He pinned me down and said, ‘You are going to be mine anyway, so why the fuss?’

Because of that incident, I begged my father to let me go. My father told me to find an excellent teacher to teach me how to fight, and I had to transform into a man to escape Prince Regulus’ spies.”

Gale pondered hard while he tried to understand the situation.

“So when you asked me to fight for you, what does it mean?”

“I was about to ask my father to be given to you in marriage instead if you win the duel,” Reyna answered.

Reyna’s words mortified Gale! He turned to Kasumi and looked at her in her eyes. “B-But I h-have — “

“I know, Gale. It’s a wish that cannot be fulfilled,” Reyna said with tears in her eyes. “You have someone else in your heart already, and there’s no reason for you to go out of your way to fight for me.

I wished I could’ve spent more time with you though. The memories we shared were most precious.”

Reyna turned away to leave, but Gale grabbed her hand.

“W-Wait!”

“If you’re not going to fight for me, then I’ll have to fight for myself,” Reyna said with a smile. “Don’t worry, I will keep practicing what you’ve taught me, and I won’t go down easily!”

Reyna reluctantly pulled away from Gale’s grip, and he could only see her leave in tears. Princess Charlotte ushered Reyna into the black limousine, and they quickly drove off. Zviad and his men retreated, and the commotion disappeared as soon as it came.

Gale slumped onto his knees because he didn’t know what to do. He was determined to fight and free Reyna from the marriage duel, but he didn’t expect himself to be entangled in a web of love triangles!

Clere, Jacinta, and Kasumi understood Gale’s struggles, and could only pick him up to help him.

Aunt May was watching the entire episode from a tall tree, and lamented to herself.

“My boy. It’s time to wake up to the fact that you need to have a harem.”

———-

That night, Gale borrowed one of the computers in the log cabin to use the Internet. He searched about Prince Regulus and Princess Reyna to learn about them.

Princess Reyna had many suitors from aristocrats and guys from high standings. It’s part of the high culture to have a competition to compete for the hand of a princess in marriage. Prince Regulus defeated many of Reyna’s suitors in the past.

As the competition drew to a close, Princess Reyna filed a petition to her father that she didn’t want to marry Prince Regulus. Emperor Sebastian and King Agustin heard Reyna’s plea and issued a challenge that if she could defeat Prince Regulus by the time she reached fifteen, she could find another man to marry.

Gale was so engrossed by his research on Reyna and Prince Regulus that he didn’t know Kasumi was sitting beside him while he was reading. As there were no one else in the cabin, Kasumi leaned her head on Gale’s shoulders, and he was surprised.

“K-Kasumi?! You’re here!”

“I’ve been here for a while now. Still researching on Reyna?”

Gale slumped back onto his chair and nodded.

“I was determined to help my bro out of his arranged marriage situation. Little did I know that he became a she, and I was suddenly thrown into this relationship mess!”

Kasumi nodded. “I know. You didn’t realize that Reynard is a girl, and neither did I. You were helping him even if you didn’t stand to benefit from it. That’s what I love about you, Gale.”

“I could save Reyna, but it means I have to marry her! I mean, this is not acceptable!” Gale lamented.

“Why is this not acceptable? Don’t you find Reyna pretty?” Kasumi asked.

Gale hugged Kasumi tightly. “I already have you! I don’t need anyone else!”

Those sweet words lingered in Kasumi’s heart, and she deeply cherished it. However, she knew Gale couldn’t deny himself a harem, especially when Rei and Yumiko had already trapped him with a restrictive covenant. Moreover, Kasumi saw that Gale was unwittingly gathering allies in his harem.

“Gale, I don’t mind sharing you with other girls. As long as you have me as first place,” Kasumi said.

“If you are the first place in my heart, I won’t allow you to share me with other girls,” quipped Gale.

“Don’t argue with me, Gale. You know deep in your heart you want to save Reyna,” Kasumi said.

“I want to! But I — argh!”

Gale could only groan in frustration as Kasumi hugged and kissed his cheeks.

At that moment, Vanessa came in through the door, and Kasumi and Gale immediately stopped.

“Where do I begin?” Vanessa asked. “I have tickets to the marriage duel. Do you want to come?”

Gale was silent as he didn’t know what to do.

Vanessa sighed and placed a ticket on Gale’s hand. “Didn’t I tell you already?! If you’re going to stick to one girl, you’re going to break many hearts. If the girls don’t mind sharing you, then why are you so adamant about it?!”

Gale looked at Vanessa in her eyes. “I wouldn’t share my girl with other guys. Why should I expect to be shared by girls?”

Vanessa realized that Gale had his principles, and to get him to change his mind; she needed him to break his beliefs.

“You have two weeks. Reyna is going to marry Prince Regulus if you do nothing about it.

And make no mistake about it. Reyna is going to be one of Regulus’ wives and concubines. The royals flaunt the size of their harems as a trophy!

If you’re telling me that Reyna means nothing to you, then do nothing about it. She will live with a broken heart for eternity.”

Gale kept his head down. Reyna meant a lot to him. But it was too sudden because he saw her as a brother instead of a lady for a long time. He couldn’t leave Reyna in a lurch, but he wouldn’t betray Kasumi for Reyna.

Vanessa knew that there was nothing she could do, so she left the log cabin for Gale to think for himself. Kasumi accompanied Gale as he pondered his next move.

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