Chapter 7 : The Inner Conflict of The Dark Knight
A sharp thrust grazed my flank.
That was close.
Gimme a break here. What in the heck is with that thrust?
My response is delayed due to her attacking in the moment I let down my guard.
I reflexively dodged that by turning my body to the side.
I dodged, but it’s just that.
For I am facing a village girl of the human race.
I heard that she was taught swordsmanship by Celazam-dono.
The uncle Cel who stayed at his majesty’s side during the time they lived amongst humans is definitely Celazam-dono.
Though he seems to have changed his appearance with some kind of drug, there should be no one aside from Celazam-dono who stayed at his majesty’s side during that time.
He boasted power that rivaling his majesty. But then, just how much meaning was there in holding such a title.
One might say that without him, the current Maou might as well have never existed. Even I was taught many things by him on countless occasions.
In short, I also learned my swordsmanship from that very same Celazam-dono.
I attentively learned from him with undivided attention.
So don’t mess with me. What the heck is with this girl.
Just everything about her is a joke.
Is she really just your everyday village girl? Like hell I’m going to accept this.
There’s no reason for me to accept her in the first place!
Like hell I could accept this joke of a girl was actually my senior sister apprentice!
Her attack then changed from that position. Her movement changing from a stab to an upward slash. Moreover, it’s being carried out while putting her entire weight into the attack without destroying her balance.
It wasn’t something that could be mastered in one night. It’s the fruit of many years of training. Her swordsmanship level is by no way inferior to the kingdoms royal guard.
Was she actually spouting a big fat lie when she said that she’s your everyday village girl?
For her swordsmanship to match mine and being combined with superb footwork. The way she’s chaining her attacks is also not bad.
Immediately changing to an upward slash from a thrust will normally destroy the center of gravity and footwork.
I couldn’t dodge the thrust aiming for my chest, hence I hit the blade of the sword, making the sword thrown off its original course. The sword wavered since it was unable to receive my power huh. Maybe because she judged that she won’t be able to take on continuous strikes, she retreated half a step.
Good judgement. She made the right choice, but…………..
What the hell is with you? What the hell is that movement?
Were you deliberately showing such a bold move? Something like that trashy fair and square battle.
For I am a royal guard, there’s an ideal path of the sword that I should tread on my own.
There’s still some gaps between us when comparing our offensive style.
An attack from me wouldn’t be complete with just that much like yours did.
Nevertheless, I will tip my hat to your reflexes and superb sense of balance to be able to hold on.
Even when in fact she had yet to land an attack on me.
But that can most likely be attributed to the fact that she had zero combat experience.
Hers was just pure skill that was faithful to the basics without murky killing intent.
In short, she just wanted to train her swordsmanship.
She’s closely observing even the tiny movements of my body.
Three strikes mixed with a feint. An upward swing from the lower left created an opening to attack me.
Thus I dodge that swing to avoid such a situation. Just when I thought she’d destroy her balance, a thrust comes in that moment. [TL : Lefiya’s first attack is a thrust then an upward slash, and chained at the end with another thrust]
Are you actually some new kind of monkey?
Such a chain attack is coming as if to seal my movements.
I completely avoided those three chained attacks. I never thought that she intentionally sent an upward slash from my lower left to create an opening.
Her attack………… Might have connected if I didn’t parry it just now.
Should I pay her back in a similar way?
She is greedily learning my skills during this match.
I felt a refreshing feeling seeing that growth before me.
She kept countering every single one of my moves.
Her skill isn’t as bad as I thought.
Even I couldn’t predict what move she’s going to use next.
But…………. It didn’t feel bad at all.
Though I’m reluctant to say this, I’m already enjoying this spar before I realized it.
This is swordsmanship training.
It’s not about how fast I can kill or pin down my opponent, it’s all about reaching higher levels of swordsmanship.
It’s not bad at all. I thought.
There’s no need to go for each other’s throat and I had no need to kill anyone.
When I swung my sword, for some reason I don’t want my opponent to be defeated with this attack. My heart kept expecting, wanting to see how she’s going to react to this move or how she’d counter this.
I really am enjoying this moment.
More. Let me see more.
Weren’t you the same as me?
I was surprised I could feel that much of a kinship to someone I met for the first time.
We were exchanging silent words with each strike.
Was this the extent of your skill.
Though I’d devoted myself to sword, the one who taught me about swords is this little girl………
My mind strangely calmed down.
The counter for my last strike is delayed.
Lefiya didn’t let go of that momentary weakness and brought herself close to me faster than I could pull back my arm.
She stole the absolute distance from me.
I’m regretting the fact that this match was going to end soon.
I wouldn’t mind taking this one blow to show my gratitude to her, or so I thought.
Lefiya then collapsed.
She vanished from my field of vision, just when I thought whether her feet got tangled, she already tumbled to the ground.
「That is. ………. Desu. Both of you showed such a splendid display of skills」
I couldn’t grasp the sudden change in situation.
When I noticed even my breath had become ragged and unable to mutter another word in hearing Celazam-dono’s praise.
I’m really surprised by my delayed reaction.
Did I actually use up my stamina just for exchanging blows with this girl.
「……HAHAHAHA. I………. What is………….」
「It seems Lefiya-dono was forcing herself beyond the limits of her own stamina. The two of you have already been fighting for almost two hours」
2…………… Hours? It’s already that long.
After I somehow regained my breath, a sense of fatigue which I had almost forgotten weighed heavily on my body.
「…………. To such an extent huh. I never expected that our spar will go for that long」
「And you really enjoyed it, my dear brother」
「Me? Enjoy it? 」
Reanschild lifted Lefiya with one arm while telling me so with a sulking face. Even though her breath is ragged, she is already unconscious.
The matter of me seeing her letting out a daring snicker might just be my imagination.
She’s a human and yet, she’s an interesting one.
「…….. Yeah. It seems I enjoyed it. No, to be honest my heart is dancing from joy」
I looked at the old man who revealed a reassuring smile.
「I never expected to have such an eccentric senior sister apprentice. You’re such a sinful person, Celazam-dono」
「It’s been five years since we parted ways. It seems she kept polishing her skill during that time. Even I was surprised to see her reach such a height」
Five years huh……….. To reach such a height in just five years.
While I’m looking at Lefiya who was sleeping with a smile floating on her face, Reanschild asked for confirmation from Celazam-dono.
「The 『Uncle Cel』 that our queen told us about was you right, Celazam-dono? 」
「Ooh, how I missed that name. Lefiya-dono was such a nice pupil of mine」
Celazam-dono squinted his eyes with slackened expression on his face.
「So you won’t tell that secret to her right」
「Since your majesty is seemingly still troubled in regard to this matter, I have no intention to reveal my identity. Other than that, what do you think about Lefiya, Adolphus-dono? Is she a worthy rival for you?」
「It’s as you say」
I’m about to ask Celazam-dono.
I think that it might be an insignificant matter to worry about.
Humans are our enemy. Thus as expected, it’s hard for me to accept our enemy as the queen for his majesty. I shouldn’t accept her.
Such thoughts wouldn’t change.
It won’t change, but………….
I think I’ll consider it if it’s this girl.
Was what I thought.
「She’s truly an agile monkey」
「……. Dear brother」
Even though I received a freezing cold stare from Reanschild, it doesn’t stop her normally perfect poker face from slackening a bit.
I thought it’s not so bad while looking at Lefiya who was sleeping without care of the world.