122 Earl vs Alea

"Training with the guards again today?" Earl asked Alea as she was leaving.

"Yes." She nodded before adding. "Coming with me?" Her face appeared to be expressionless but her golden eyes were twinkling.

He smiled and answered. "Of course."

"That's good."

They took the usual path to the guard training grounds.

"Why don't you fight me today?" Earl suggested on the way there.

Rather than answering immediately, the princess returned with a question. "What's with the sudden desire?"

"Fighting the same guards get boring right?"

She looked at him and answered when she looked away. "Not necessarily."

"It's an excuse to interact with you then."

"How blunt." She looked back at him.

"Are you jumping to conclusions?" Earl asked teasingly.

Alea looked away and said blandly. "I am jumping to the right conclusions."

"What are these right conclusions?"

"You have improper motives."

Earl continued with his lighthearted tone. "Improper motives that you like?"

"Fine, I will fight you."

"Good girl."

"Don't say that ever again."

"Hahaha."

They arrived at the training ground. The guards were already in position as usual. They had gotten used to the routine of their princess visiting to use them as training material.

"You all can do something else today." Alea dismissed them simply.

"Yes, Princess."

And so, the training grounds cleared itself and left the two alone.

"Now, even though I said I wanted to fight you, I'll act as your training partner as well," Earl told her.

Alea nodded. "I expected as much."

"Let's warm-up then."

"Warm-up?"

"We'll be moving our body lots right?"

"You are right."

"I'll help you stretch."

"Is that necessary?"

"It is necessary for our bonding," Earl told her seriously.

"Fine." The reply that came from her was bland as usual.

The next moment, Earl had her sit down on the ground. Her long legs were spread in a V-shape and he was sitting behind her.

"I usually do these standing," Alea commented while doing the hamstring stretch Earl instructed her to do.

"You can get a deeper stretch this way." He pushed down on her back. "Whoa, you are pretty flexible."

While Earl commented so, his mind was on a different matter entirely. Due to the temperament of Alea, the chance to touch her body was far and few. He was able to fully appreciate the sensation of her body with this little exercise they were doing.

Her narrow waist, delicate shoulders, and the nape of her neck up close. Such was the divine experience of Alea. He was unable to see the sight of her fine face but that was of little significance when he was able to enjoy her body.

They rotated through different positions. In the end, both of their faces were red.

Alea's silky blue hair stuck to her skin from the faint amount of sweat that formed. He could faintly see beads of sweat on her forehead as well as the slight redness in her long elven ears.

"I guess it's my turn to help you now?" Alea asked in an unusually sweet voice when Earl was done helping her.

"Go ahead."

"You are unexpectedly flexible," Alea said in an incredibly surprised tone as she pushed his back down. Her flowery sweet scent accompanied her equally flowery voice.

"What's with the tone?"

"Sorry. You are a very sedentary person in my mind." Alea said blandly.

Earl was not offended. When talking to someone like her, there was a cute charm in how unapologetic she was. "But you see me going out every day?"

"That is overshadowed by the fact that your maids spoonfeed you."

"Hmm, so you watch us?"

"I do."

"What?"

At the second time, Alea proudly stated. "I do."

Earl was taken aback as he smiled back. "They're pretty cute huh?"

"That is not the appropriate response." She shook her head.

"What were you expecting?"

"Deep shame and embarrassment."

"Do you know what would make me feel deep shame and embarrassment?" Earl asked mysteriously.

"What is it?"

"It's a secret~"

"That's no fun." Alea pouted. "You can get up now. Let's fight."

"Fine."

They distanced themselves and faced each other.

"Ready?" Earl asked.

"Yeah." As soon as she answered, multiple blue fireballs formed around her and the temperature dropped to freezing.

Earl responded with the same opening. Like a mirror, he replicated the same magic as Alea.

The training area filled with innumerable Frostfire balls and the cold permeated through every corner of the place. The ground took a whitish-blue colour. Snowflakes naturally formed and when they first fell to the ground, a silent battle ensued.

When the battle ended, the training area which was large enough to house hundreds was entirely covered in ice and snow. Multiple craters could be spotted occasionally. It was an outrageous feat considering the ground had been reinforced to endure the training and sparring of hundreds of individuals.

It was more like an icy tornado had ransacked through the place rather than the sparring of two youths.

"Our styles became pretty similar." Earl chuckled.

"I don't dislike it." Alea smiled.

Despite the damage done to the place, both of them were fairly unscathed. The battle had ended in a tie.

"When did we become this similar?" Earl continued.

"It was inevitable." She said while running her hand through her luscious hair. Her ponytail became undone during the battle. What remained was what one would call "messy elegance". Her blue hair fell down her shoulder and reached her back. They were straight and beautiful. Compared to her everyday sporty look, she looked like a pure maiden now.

"That is true."

"That is why..." Alea stepped forward and grabbed Earl's hands. "We can do this, right?"

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