Ex Strongest, Changing the Mood
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The school lessons received was basically fixed, but it wasn’t totally enforced. The schedule from the morning until after school weren’t completely filled. It was about two to three times of lessons in a week and there was a flexibility in setting own schedule.
During that time, it didn’t matter if one wanted to go to the training ground, prepare and review lessons, or even spending time chatting with friends. The most extreme argument was there was no problem if students didn’t want to do anything or just sleeping. To be brief, the academy completely entrusted the lessons in the hands of the students.
This was the Royal Academy where it was possible to do so because there were many precocious children among elementary students… So, that matter should be fine. At that time of the day, Soma came to a certain place.
He was at one corner of the training ground. However, he didn’t come to do experiments like those who did after school. It was something close to that of taking swordsmanship lesson. In other words, he came to receive the lesson of axmanship.
Nevertheless, it didn’t really matter if students went to other departments’ lessons. Of course, they would be kicked out if they really became hindrances, but they were basically allowed to join the lesson.
By the way, the reason why Soma was taking the axmanship lesson was obviously because Camilla was in charge. Perhaps it should be said that was roughly the reason. It was similar with the swordsmanship department too. Although the students of the department were the candidates, they might not take the swordsmanship as their practical skill, but the exclusion was only for this choice.
By the way, the reason why Soma went out of his way to get into the lesson of other department was to change the mood. There was nothing happened in particular, but he might be tired of doing the same things all the time. Therefore, taking that lesson was to avoid getting tired.
“Now, let’s start the lesson today. Oops, aah, there may be someone who you are not familiar, but don’t worry about him. Just think of him as a dummy.” (Camilla)
“Sensei, don’t you think you are being mean?” (Soma)
“If he joins in the lesson in order to change the mood, it is good enough to think this fool as a dummy. Well then, let’s start as usual!” (Camilla)
Soma’s protest was beautifully brushed off, and just like that the lesson had started, but he was wondering because he didn’t understand when she said ‘as usual’.
However, when he observed the surroundings, he soon realized. Looking at the appearances of students made pairings by deciding own partner, preparing their weapons while taking a distance from each other, the conjecture should be simple. In other words, this would be a mock fight.
It might not be that much, but it should be close enough to a mock fight. Then, Soma nodded at the same time. He was thinking whether he should practice the axmanship.
Speaking of the swordsmanship lesson, it was actually similar, but it was directly taught and trained by Lina. After that, she would have mock battles with her students, but that was to confirm about what they did learn from her. So, it was clearly different from the purpose of Camilla’s lesson.
Either way, this lesson was–…
“Hmm… so you are look at the students objectively, and after that, you will give the instruction, is it? Nevertheless, there are dozens of people to look at the same time. So, I’ve been thinking about this. Sensei is quite qualified as a lecturer.” (Soma)
“I am delighted with your praise, but why are you prying with other students?” (Camilla)
“No, rather than saying it is somebody else’s problem, is it impossible to receive guidance from you?” (Soma)
The problem mentioned earlier was something like Soma who couldn’t use axmanship. As a prerequisite to receive this lesson, it was necessary to have a partner.
However, students other than Soma had decided their own partner earlier. Therefore, no one else was available. In short…
“Hmm, this is the gossip I heard, isn’t it? Yes, it will be an instant death pair. I never thought that I would get caught up in this.” (Soma)
“Where is the gossip going? Where is it!? This is certainly a big issue. Even if I let you make pair properly, I can’t tolerate if my students are easily defeated.” (Camilla)
“Sensei, aren’t you unusually mean since a while ago?” (Soma)
“That is because of your habit. …Well, it can’t be helped if you don’t have a partner.” (Camilla)
That said, Camilla drew his weapon from the back and stood up. Of course, the one before her was Soma, and… he was tilting the head.
“Oi, oi, don’t play a fool when you understand this. Since it can’t be helped, I have to be your partner, no?” (Camilla)
“Will it be alright if you are not observing your students?” (Soma)
“That is also important, but it is bad if I ignore the lonely student, isn’t it? Plus, it is fortunate that I am not the only lecturer.” (Camilla)
It was true. When Soma looked over the place, it was obvious that there were two who weren’t students mixed in among the students. He thought that would be the case, but…
“Are you sure? Perhaps, those people are evaluating you since you just become a lecturer.” (Soma)
“While I interact with you in particular, I still have the surplus to observe the surroundings.” (Camilla)
“…Hou? I’m terribly being looked down.” (Soma)
“If you use a sword, I certainly can’t afford that kind of thing. But, this is a lesson of axmanship. So, you also need to use an axe, but… you surely have told me that you have never used an ax, right?” (Camilla)
While listening to those words, Soma turned his eyes to his hands. He wasn’t familiar with the thing held in hands. To begin with, that thing wasn’t a sword. It was an axe that was handed over just before this lesson started.
In the extreme searching for the way of the sword, Soma had touched and used some other weapons, but it was a fact that he never held an axe. He had told Camilla about it, and apparently, she still remembered.
“Hmm… well, if Sensei says so, I have to respect that. For the moment, it is my defeat.” (Soma)
“You haven’t learned it huh? Goodness… Well, that is your second defeat.” (Camilla)
“Hmm… I will come back in five minutes.” (Soma)
While exchanging such a conversation, Soma noticed something familiar even though it was a feeling out of place. Although Camilla had mentioned about it from that time, she never got in touch with Soma after that.
However, he positively build up a posture from Camilla this time. He noticed the feeling out of place here.
To be precise, this was probably diversity. Soma didn’t know what the reason was, but Camilla had changed more than what she was at that time, and because of that, she was arguing with Soma again.
That feeling out of place was simply something he wasn’t used to, but it wasn’t a bad thing. No, in fact he should say that it was even more desirable.
Whatever it was, Soma still hated to lose. If he could make up the humiliation of that time, there was no reason not to do it, even if he used any kind of weapon.
This was certainly an ax, but it had a blade like a sword. Then, it could be said that this was a sword in a sense, wasn’t it? While thinking so, Soma thought that he could use it without problems.
“…Something is wrong. Why do I have a bad feeling?” (Camilla)
“It’s just in your mind. Well then, shall we do this?” (Soma)
“…Sure. Let’s do it.” (Camilla)
With those words as a signal, they took a slight distant and were getting ready. No further signals were necessary from here on.
Lowering the center of gravity just a little bit–…
— The Rule of the Sword – Divine Protection of Dragon God – Fighting Spirit: Ground Shrink.
Immediately after, Soma kicked the ground with everything, and leaped toward Camilla.
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An intense sound reverberated. This was a familiar excitement.
There were two lecturers who were observing what the newly appointed lecturer was doing. When they listened to the sound, they nodded while looking at the sight.
“A straight give and take is sometimes a good thing.” (??)
“Yes. On top of remembering that we had experience such a time, it made us think how far they can progress.” (??)
The two, who had such conversation, were long-serving lecturers of the axmanship department. They were in charge of middle school students, and they ensure the students completed their studies to a certain extent. After that, it depended on own effort to develop the skill. However, it was almost impossible to create such a sight. Even so, they spontaneously remembered the time they were doing something similar.
One of them noticed what they had thought, and talked about it with a bitter smile.
“Well, at this point, we look like old people.” (??)
“…Indeed. Although we can’t stop being older, I just don’t want to throw the feeling of being young. But then… even though it’s just a feeling, it seems there is nothing much we can do now.” (??)
“Yes. …To be honest, even if I am a student, I don’t feel like going against either of them.” (??)
“What? I also think the same.” (??)
Before anyone noticed, the gaze of the two, who were looking around the place, naturally focused on that spot. It was a spot where the most intense sound reverberated among others in this place.
The battle was between the new lecturer, whom they were observing, and a boy.
“Bastard… you said that you never use ax. I mean, aren’t you using sword techniques!?” (Camilla)
“Well, it’s true, but there is no rule saying that you shouldn’t use sword techniques with ax.” (Soma)
“Of course, there is no such a rule. It is basically impossible to do that! Geez, this out of standard hasn’t changed…!” (Camilla)
According to the story, the lecturer seemed to have Advanced Rank Axemanship. It was enough to convince the senior lecturers since they couldn’t afford to make such movements. After all, they were only at Intermediate Rank, but they were more surprised about that boy. Far from being pushed by the lecturer, he gradually pushing her to the corner.
The surrounding students were also noticed the fight as their movements gradually became slow, and they finally stopped as if they were fascinated. They were motionlessly looked at the conduct of the two fighters as if they didn’t want to pass up the opportunity.
Originally, the senior lecturers should give warnings. However, they didn’t do so because they also didn’t want to miss the movements of the two fighters even though this wasn’t their lesson.
They had retired from the active duties. Thus, their body became weakened and the techniques had started to deteriorate, but they never lost the ambition.
“Hmm… this is a scene that can’t be obtained with money.” (??)
“Indeed. If possible, I would like them to do this during the opening ceremony of the fighting tournament.” (??)
“No. That would make the matches after that become boring, right?” (??)
“But, if this is done during the closing ceremony, wouldn’t that ruin the matches up to that point?” (??)
“…That is regrettable.” (??)
“Yes, very…” (??)
While exchanging such words, the sight was getting more intense.
The battle between ordinary axes was by all means bland. Basically, axmanship had the highest firepower among basic skills. It required the might of the blows, rather than the number of moves.
However, what was displayed before them let out intense sounds many times as if they knew such common sense. It was obvious from the sounds that the blows were heavy, and at the same time, the number of moves was also increasing.
In addition, the axmanship was ridiculed because of slow footwork, but these two were really out of common sense. In other words, they were moving so much as if this wasn’t axmanship anymore. However, the blows unleashed one after another were better axmanship than anyone else.
It was a sight that everyone wanted to see all the time if possible, but at the same time, they knew that it was impossible. Obviously, the situation was leaning little by little.
The boy’s movements began to surpass the lecturer, as if telling that he was warming up until now, or perhaps, he already get used to her movement. And then…
“…Aah, it’s really regrettable.” (??)
Along with a loud sound, one ax danced in the air. Finally, the conclusion had been decided.
For some reason, one of the lecturers muttered so while their gazes focused on the ax. After that, their gazes fell down. There were a figure of a boy who seemed happy, and a figure of a female lecturer, who seemed disappointed.
While looking at the sight, he muttered once more.
‘It is regrettable.’
“…Goodness. That boy is a magician, right?” (??)
“It seems so.” (??)
At the same time, there was almost a similar scene played in their minds. If the boy grew up, they would like to teach him axmanship. It seemed fascinating–…
“It can’t be helped to say something unreasonable. After all, that has double meaning.” (??)
“…You’re right. To be honest, even if he enrolls in axmanship department, I have a feeling that we would be unable to teach him.” (??)
“…Aah, yes.” (??)
The two smiled while thinking that it wasn’t possible for them to teach Soma. Immediately afterward, they lift both hands. It was indeed regrettable, but what they had been shown just now was certainly shook their mind. In that situation, there was only one thing to do.
While slightly having bitter thoughts of admiration and envy, the two lecturers sent general applause to the boy and the female lecturer.
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