Chapter 10: A Knight’s Training
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Two years after the Mana Core incident.

In the two years passed, the side effects of Ineer’s magic disappeared. My chest was no longer filled with itching sensations, and I had turned five years old. Mom informed me that instructors would come to the castle to start tutoring me when I turned Six. They would have had instructors sooner, but I was ahead of the curve. However, just like in my last life, I lacked knowledge of history. 

When I turned five, I could start learning magic, but I was terrified after that incident.

I held my father’s hand as we walked through the castle. My mother was busy with something else, so Yumi, Father, and I were walking the castle halls. Father spoke as we turned the corner towards the knight training grounds. “Today, I will start teaching you to use a sword.” 

“Teach me how to use a sword?” I asked in surprise. I hadn’t heard about this beforehand. I wondered why a princess of all people would need such a skill while I looked at the knights. They were grunting and sending heavy strikes back and forth. It seemed like something other than a princessly skill to learn.

“Yes, this is very important, Enala.”

“Why?” I asked. 

He bent down, placing a hand on my shoulder. “Unfortunately, this world isn’t very forgiving, and as a doting father, I will not allow my daughter to go out into the world unprepared.”

I always felt secure within the castle but knew many dangers were outside. Yumi had warned me of that over and over again. 

We walked towards a wolf beastkin in plate armor. Her eyes were light blue, and her ear and tail fur were gray. I had seen her before but couldn’t quite place her name. Plenty of people had introduced themselves to me, but it was hard to remember them all. She saluted as we approached. 

“At ease, Adelisa,” Father said.

Her tail wagged as she looked down towards me. She bowed at me, and I saw our royal insignia on her breastplate. “Good morning, Princess.”

“Tell her, Enala,” Father said. 

“T-tell her wh-” I looked at Adelisa, maintaining her posture, and I remembered what Night had said previously. “A-at e-ease, Ade-lisa!” 

She grinned at me, straightening her posture. “It’s a pleasure finally meeting you so close, Princess.” The ferocity of her tail increased, and I idly wondered if I had some effect on fluffy people. Yumi’s tail also always seemed happy when she saw me.

I looked at Yumi; her tail was stiff and straightened, and she looked uneasy. Was she jealous? I wondered. 

My father broke my thought train. “Adelisa is the head Knight of the Honor Gaurd, and from today onward, she will teach you the sword. Let’s have a proper introduction.”

Father ushered me forward with his hand. I was still shy of strangers, and all the birthday parties hadn’t solved that. I fidgeted before managing to stammer out words. “I-I am P-princess E-enala v-von Arris!”

“Enala will be enough, don’t you think?” Father asked. “I am terribly sorry. She hasn’t been good around strangers. Although once you get to know her, she is energetic and playful.” 

The wolfkin chuckled. “Think nothing of it, your majesty. I have seen her running around the castle enough times to understand.” She bent down in front of me so we were at eye level. “I would love it if you could be my friend, Princess.” She extended her hand towards me.

Slowly, I stretched out my small hand towards her ginormous one. As I gripped it, I noticed it was laced with calluses. Her entire body screamed warrior. She was muscular and had no problem moving in that thick plate armor.

“Y-you can just call me En.” 

She responded by looking towards my father.

“I don’t see why not. There is no need for formalities. You two will get very familiar with each other starting today.” 

“Very well then. I am Adelisa of the Honor Guard. From today onward, you will be in my care regarding sword training. Any questions?” I opted to shake my head as she continued. “Good, now all you need is a training sword.”

Yumi interjected. “Allow me to take care of that!” 

She summoned a small wooden sword, and I looked at her in awe again. Yumi maintained a smug grin as she presented me with it. 

The sword was perfect for my small body, fitting in my tiny hands splendidly. What surprised me was the ease at which I held up the sword. It didn’t feel heavy at all. 

I lost my inhibitions as I happily swung the sword around. It didn’t take long for the sword to halt, though. I looked up to see what happened and saw Night holding the end. “Enala, I know you are excited, but it is dangerous to play with a weapon.” 

My face flushed. What was wrong with me? I was supposed to be an adult before dying, but for some reason, I couldn’t stop myself when I became excited. “I am sorry, Father…” 

He sighed before placing a gentle hand on my head. “As long as you understand. Excitement is a good feeling, but it must be tempered. My worries as a parent will never end if you dive headfirst into everything. You are still young, but it is important to learn patience. I am sure your mother has told you that many times.”

I nodded. Mother told me all the time, especially after the incident. Even after promising her I would listen to warnings, I still almost crossed the line a few times. It was as though my brain had become a child again, along with my body. Several times, I almost ran into a servant carrying glass while sprinting through the castle halls.

“Anyway, first of all, that is not how you grip a sword,” he said, his expression becoming serious. “Secondly, posture is essential. There are many stances, but that is not one.” He showed me how to stand and where I should place my feet. Then, he summoned a wooden sword, swinging it vertically. 

“The first thing we will do is get you used to swinging a sword with proper posture,” Adelisa said. 

I held the sword in my hands, observing Father as he swung the sword slowly. I copied his movements, posture, and, most importantly, stance. 

They had to correct me several times, Adelisa using her arms to guide mine on occasion. It took a bit for me to not need corrections. 

After just twenty minutes of swinging it, I was at my limits, and my arms felt like jelly. Though, to my horror, Adelisa kept urging me on. Her tail wagged away happily as she cheered on me.

“I can’t!” I said. My tiny arms burned and felt like jelly. 

I tried telling her it was impossible, but her relentless cheering continued. “Once your limbs feel like jelly. That means you have only reached the halfway point!” 

What was she talking about!? Didn’t she know I was five years old? And a princess at that. As I looked at my father, he nodded in agreement with the muscle-headed wolf. Was I the crazy one? Even Yumi agreed! Was the jealous fox girl agreeing with the crazy wolf?

I was trapped for twenty more minutes, swinging a sword, not relenting. When my arms became shaky, like they were going to fall off, there was assisted swinging. Adelisa stood behind me, holding up my arms to assist me in swinging the sword. 

Eventually, with a thunk, the sword fell from my hands. 

“It looks like she is at her limit,” Father said. 

Adelisa and Yumi clapped along. 

What was this!? Assisted swinging? Torture? Where were the child labor laws? I wondered.

I thought that would be the end, but we ran for the next hour instead of taking me to my cozy bed. I was sweating bullets by the time it was over. 

When I was finally brought back to my room, I didn’t even have the strength to try painting. I collapsed to my bed. 

“Is this hellish training going to continue?” I asked when I was alone with Yumi.

“Hellish training? This is only a lighter introduction to get you used to the harsher training in the future.” 

“Wait, what? Harsher training?” I asked. “Wait! I will learn magic! Anything but that, please!” I jumped and pleaded at her, grabbing her arms. My own arms were stinging.

She smiled at me, and I thought I had saved myself from future anguish with my teary-eyed puppy face. “Very well, we will add magic training to your schedule. Starting tomorrow, there will be both magic and sword training.”