Taking on a student of Aleist’s class, both sides fought mainly with swordplay. Unable to block her swift movements and cuts, the student was made a sport of by Izumi before she thrust her wooden sword at his nape… cheers came in from the audience seats.
Izumi had won. The referee directed his flag at her, and abiding by it, Izumi put her wooden sword away. The scene was looked upon by the knights in the noble visitor seats. A number of high knights, and two dragoons… within all that, a single young girl stuck her feet out in front, throwing them down on top of the table. Her red hair extended to her shoulders, and she played with its curling ends. Her pale skin and red eyes were exceptionally beautiful.
But her attitude was a problem. Her posture was bad, and her feet were on the table, after all… the surrounding knights directed her, directed Cattleya Nianis a glance. The one who apologized in her place was the vice-captain of the dragoons sitting to her side.
She hadn’t become a dragoon by her own design. It was by the talent she was born with, and unlike the ashen dragons kept in Courtois, she was a genius who was able to make a contract with a bonafide Red Dragon.
The green scales of the Wind Dragon. The golden scales of the Gaia Dragon, and the smooth sea-blue scales of the water dragon… they were all colors that wouldn’t come out in domesticated dragons. All dragons born in captivity would come out with ashen scales.
And with ashen dragons, their quality dropped from their wild counterparts.
Cattleya mocked the fact the vice-captain shared a contract with an ashen dragon. So even if he cautioned her, she wouldn’t correct her posture. And Cattleya was trusted by the royal line. That only made her needlessly conceited.
“Nothing but boring matches. Can I go home yet?”
The vice-captain had just about had it with her, but he showed some self-control.
“I’m sure you know, Cattleya, but discerning future candidates for our unit is our job.”
“None of those brats are anything to write home about. Like that black-haired lady from before, she’ll make high knight, at best.”
On those words, the nearby high knights seethed. But they were first-rate knights. Even if words may anger them, they wouldn’t raise a hand. Though from the vice-captain’s point of view, it was akin to a direct attack to his gut.
The next match was finally Rudel’s turn. Aleist across from him showed an expression of leisure, but to contrast, Rudel was the epitome of seriousness.
“Now it’s time to punish an arrogant noble… any complaints?”
“Whether I’m arrogant or not is… no, I am arrogant. I’ve no complaints, but I want you to take me on seriously.”
“That so… but are you worth my all?”
Alongside the referee’s call of the start, both sides stepped forwards.
The gap closed in an instant, and the wood swords that met let off a violent sound no wood should make. Seeing Rudel take on his attack, Aleist panicked a bit, and seeing through that, Rudel went on the offense.
As Aleist took some distance, Rudel cast offensive magic. He let out a consecutive stream of elementary magics, not giving Aleist a chance to chance to attack… but Aleist
“Don’t get carried away!!!”
Tried to fire advanced magic within the arena. From Rudel’s point of view, he was full of openings, and it was a terrible move. He instantly fired a bolt of magic as he closed the distance and tried to bring things to close combat, but at that moment!
“Fool, I can see right through you!!”
Aleist’s sword was imbued with the magic of wind. While Rudel parried his attack, he was still blown violently into the air.
“Amazing… I never imagined we’d see a fight of this level in the fundamental curriculum.”
“Aleist’s as much a monster as they say.”
“But that Arses house kid hanging on against him is quite something himself…”
Such a conversation passed through the noble visitor room. The high knights were in high spirits, and the vice-captain’s heart was already dancing over the exploits of these newbie fighters. But Cattleya alone was different.
(How irritating… the hell’s this match? It’s just one brat with nothing but power up against another idiot who’s trained in all the wrong places!)
She would be able to take them both down in an instant. While Cattleya was convinced, she sent a sharp glare at Rudel. She didn’t like him… that was the impression Cattleya held of Rudel.
“Rudel of the Arses House. I hear he’s trying to become a dragoon… as things are going, perhaps he has a possibility.”
On those words from a high knight, the blood rushed to Cattleya’s head. That one will rise to the same position as me? Don’t joke around! That one’s no good! Definitely not happening!!
At this point, she didn’t even understand what was no good. She seriously watched on the match between Rudel and Aleist.
The magic Aleist channeled into his wood sword… by the magic of wind, Rudel was being pushed back. If he tried to parry any strikes, he would be sent flying, and even if he dodged, the wind would destroy his stance. Firing magic as he ran was the greatest offense he could put up.
“Hah, hah… it’s just as Basyle said. The quality of one’s magic always falls further than anticipated in combat. At this rate, even firing seems pointless.”
Rudel recalled Basyle’s instruction. There, he decided to take a gamble. All his magic at point-blank range… even with elementary magic, at point blank, and if he put enough power into it…
Aleist looked over Rudel, an expression of leisure on his face. He understood what Rudel was going for.
“Hmm, you intend to stake it on a single strike? Sounds good… I’ll take it head on, so come with all you’ve got!”
The force of the wind around Aleist’s wood sword increased. Around its blade, a small tornado… that magic sword that was as if the twister itself had become a blade shocked the stands.
Holding that magic sword aloft, Aleist took his stance… in contrast, Rudel gathered mana on the palm of his right hand.
“W-wait, you two! We can’t have any deaths here…”
Using the referee’s call as the signal, the two sprung to motion. In Rudel’s right hand, a magic of fire… Aleist gave a grin as he lowered his sword. But Rudel had prepared wind in his hidden left hand.
Using two magics at once was something you could call impossible during the academy’s two fundament-centric years. Rudel couldn’t handle it perfectly… but with the wind magic in his left hand, he changed the course of Aleist’s magic sword, slamming his main right hand into Aleist himself. As a blast ran through the arena, the two of them were sent flying at roughly the same time… and the result was clear to everyone’s eyes.
“Match over… that was quite interesting.”
Cattleya had no interest in the vice-captain’s words. She simply sent a glance to Rudel, collapsed in the arena. While Aleist managed to stand, Rudel was no longer able to. But even so, he frantically squirmed to get to his feet.
“In the end, their difference in ability came out… Aleist Hardie really is a monster.”
As she heard that conversation in the background, Cattleya felt fear.
(Why hasn’t anyone noticed? The real monster is that one! That Rudel Arses!!)
By Cattleya’s evaluation, Rudel was the monster. While incomplete, he showed skill in simultaneous magic manipulation, and whether it be swordplay or magic, he had completely outclassed Aleist in every field. The only reason Aleist won was the trumpcard called magic sword, and what seemed like an bottomless well of mana.
(But Rudel is still fifteen… he’s at an age where he’ll keep growing. The strength of his will that’s still trying to force him to his feet… despite being shown such a difference in strength, he’s still trying to stand!)
This kid would crawl his way up… Cattleya found herself in fear of Rudel. He did have a level of talent, but it wasn’t to her level, and when it came to swordplay, his innate skill fell short of that black haired girl from before. But if they fought, Rudel would surely win.
That’s why Cattleya thought… she was going to crush him…