Isekai For My Ex Chapter 69: The Forgotten Lunch Date
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Weeks passed after the war, Kydus started to rebuild itself by the leadership of Princess Rara's temporary government and her loyal servants, with the support of the citizens who escaped and those who survived, a large cleanup was initiated because of the dead bodies that was found everywhere, in order not to risk of an epidemic from happening, as their population have dwindled due to the war.
Advising Rara was Gideon who was still in Ethareri to conduct negotiations with Queen Michaela and to help his wife with the recovery of Princess Claire who was still in a coma, Raven and Eagle delivered messages for him back and forth.
At the meantime, diverting from the anxiety and worry of not being able to even see Claire, Andrei drafted some plans for some inventions he could make in the level of the technology of the world, while also learning more common knowledge of the world, through the butlers, maids and whoever he runs into, making sure he asks a different set of questions per person to avoid being suspected.
After learning his lesson from the previous battle, he tried to learn more about magic and studied ways on how to improve the weapons and his inventions by using it. At the same time, he also decided to hone more his close combat skills through a strict daily routine while his battalion trained themselves under the command of their captains in the mountains, although the war is over he made sure that they were in complete shape.
He would wake up early to train himself religiously running for at least an hour a day back and forth from the city to the mountains to build up his stamina at the same time receive the reports from the captains, then he would go to the training grounds with Geraldine to practice his swordsmanship, which was his two-swords technique in practical battle, making sure to be able to use swords effectively whenever necessary.
Their training ended up with Andrei being kicked in the face, letting down his guard as he made a careless attack on Geraldine.
"Ouch, ahhh… it hurts," Andrei lets go of his practice swords which he ordered from Matthias, they were lightweight swords which he can brandish with no problem with each hand, its center of gravity was before its tip, the sword was made to enable Andrei to move swiftly.
He touched his face to make sure it was intact, his whole face was red from being kicked by Geraldine who was skilled in all kinds of weapons and close combat fighting.
"Sorry Andrei, it must have hurt," Geraldine held out her hand to Andrei, on his request she wore her training clothes that was a lightweight iron breastplate, leather pants with boots up to the knees, as he was afraid that he would hurt her with the blunt swords, but upon training Andrei can only defend, as Geraldine was faster and had diverse techniques, to incorporate sword battle with her body, on the other hand, he only wore knee and ankle pads for protection, which was why Geraldine used only her sword to deflect his attacks and uses her fists and kicks when she confirmed a sure hit.
Andrei who learned eskrima didn't know how to fight with his whole body, he ended up losing to acrobatic evasions and counters of Geraldine, she would just either lure him into attacking to let down his guard or outspeed him and knock him down with her fists.
"No, No, it's fine, I asked for it after all," he waved at her to tell her that it didn't hurt, "I told her to not hold back, but she's a monster when it comes to combat, if I faced her at the tournament I would have been wacked completely," he thought as he made a sigh and took her hand and pulled it to stand, but the grass he sat on was silky that the foot that supported him in getting up slipped, this time it was Geraldine's guard that was lowered with Andrei's clumsiness, that she fell on top of him, with her lips almost touching his.
Her face immediately turned red like a balloon that was about to blow up.
"Ummm… sorry," her chestnut-colored long hair luckily covered Andrei's eyes who was also starting to panic.
"Ummm… it's okay, can you get up, you… armor… is heavy" he told her as he struggled.
Hearing this she immediately rolled over the side, stood up and turned around, and awkwardly tried to walk away with her whole body stiff.
"Umm… if you'll excuse me, ehehe," before she could walk more steps Andrei stopped her.
"Where are you going? Aren't you gonna have lunch with me?" He called out to her as he stood up and took off the dust on his clothes.
The two arrived in their training clothes in a pub in the town that served commoners mostly, there were all kinds of men that dined and talked, some of them were soldiers and some were civilians, he chose the place when he saw its liveliness as they passed by.
When they entered, those that knew the two immediately stopped talking, stood from their seats and made a snappy salute.
They were a mix of conscripts, green and brown soldiers, their stiff salute to Andrei and Geraldine proved it, they didn't form groups according to what battalion they belong to, it was a scene Andrei wanted to see on commoners, their potential lies on their camaraderie that wasn't limited to affiliation.
When Andrei saw this he faced them and made the same salute.
"Carry on," he told them and put it his hand down, they proceeded to one table where a nervous pub girl who saw the salute took their order.
With the two commanders inside the pub, the people around them became conscious, that they minimized their voices as they talked, but eventually became lively again, like rain that started with a drizzle.
Andrei was the first one to open a topic.
"Geraldine, how's your battalion going?" Andrei asked as he nonchalantly sliced the meat with the wooden knife and fork.
But the girl he was speaking to couldn't concentrate and just sat there in deep thoughts with her face red as a hot iron, "i-i-it's the first time I have been invited to dine by a man, and much more it's Andrei, the queen's fiance, w-w-w-what should I do, will I get court-martialed for this? Last time when I fell on top of him her highness Claire threw needles at him," she thought anxiously as an image of an angry Michaela and a ruthless Claire appeared on her head.
"Geraldine?" Andrei popped his head, seeing Geraldine not touching her food yet.
"Ahhh sorry about that Andrei, but you invited me to have lunch, won't we get yelled about this?" She asked shyly unlike her attitude when she hugged him without knowing that he was the queen's fiance, when she knew about it she immediately changed her attitude to him.
"Yelled? Why?" He asked back, munching on the meat.
"Well… don't you usually eat with the queen? And here you are, eating with… me"
"Don't worry about it, Michaela is busy anyway" he swung his fork back and forth, "plus it's more comforting to eat here than at the castle," his voice had a hint of sadness in it, he didn't want to eat at the castle because it felt desolate for him, the kitchen reminded him of them eating altogether where Erneis asked him about the recipe for the ice cream.
He may have moved on, but still, he wanted to avoid some of the places that reminded him of memories that stung his heart. He couldn't eat at such a place yet.
Seeing his expression, Geraldine had a hint of what he was thinking while holding on to her cup she tried to change the topic.
"So Andrei, what did you think of the training today?" She asked with a smile from her heart.
"Well, you really beat me up there, I think I should practice more on my footwork and coordination with my techniques, what else do you think I should improve?" His sour mood left him, seeing the refreshing smile of the girl in from of him, and he was curious about his performance.
"I think you are already there Andrei, just a bit more practice! And you'll get better! Since you are emphasizing on speed, maybe you should make your wrists more flexible since it stiffens when you attack too much, that's why you can't follow up with another strike in time"
"My wrists?" Andrei felt his wrists with his fingers, "is it really that stiff?" Andrei curiously squeezed his wrists but he didn't know what's stiff for Geraldine and what's not, "can you hold out your hand?"
"Huh? Okay?" Geraldine didn't know what he meant, innocently held out her hand and was surprised when Andrei held it and felt it, tracing from her fingers to her wrists.
"W-W-W-What are you doing Andrei?!" She immediately turned red, being sensitive to the hand.
"I'm just figuring out the difference between our hands, wait a moment, can you squeeze my fingers like you're holding a sword?"
"L-L-Like this?" Geraldine held his two fingers together, and Andrei felt her wrists again, all she could do was close her eyes being sensitive in the part.
"Hmmm… yes, your evaluations are right, when you hold a sword your hand your wrists are different from mine, but I don't know why... how about-" Before he could continue he noticed that the lively pub had no people left and that Geraldine was staring something behind him while shaking, he looked at it and saw Gideon forcing a smile stiffly standing beside a woman who wore a golden breastplate as she crossed her arms and with her brow lifted, her foot-stomping constantly in speed, as nerves started popping on her head.
"Oh, so you are having an affair in broad daylight huh… just because Claire is asleep… tell me what should I do with him Gideon? What does your wife do to you when you do this kind of stuff?" Her expression darkened.
Michaela was flaming in anger, he then remembered that he promised to have lunch with her outside of town when he woke up, but being absorbed to his routine he forgot about it and invited Geraldine instead.
Geraldine immediately pulled back her hand and looked away, hiding her face with her hair.
"G-G-Gideon don't say something stupid," he called out to the middle-aged guy who was clearly under pressure, he knew that the guy was someone who liked to make fun of him, but when Gideon heard him, he winked at him as if telling Andrei to leave it to him.
"What a good guy!" Andrei thought to himself, as he folded his hands, he imagined him as a sparkling knight in shining armor, "I should thank him later for being such a good friend!"
"Ummm… your highness, in those cases my wife Layla would whip me at the butt three times, I think that would be enough," Gideon answered Michaela as he bowed to her and passed on a beat-up whip with two hands.
"Ah, what an asshole... and why is he bringing that whip along with him?" Andrei's eyes turned dead fish as he immediately retracts all the gratefulness he felt, knowing his demise was near on his fiance's hands.
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