There were three outdoor pools.
One with a depth of 1.3 meters, one with a depth of 2.5 meters, and one with a depth of 4 meters.
They were divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level pools.
-M-my feet can’t reach the floor!
-Calm down, don’t be nervous.
-I-I’m scared! D-don’t let go! Don’t let go! D-dooooon’t!
After checking if they were able to keep themselves afloat in the intermediate level pool, those that weren’t able to float were sorted into the beginner’s pool, those that could float were sorted into the intermediate pool, and those that could swim around in the intermediate pool were sorted into the 4-meter deep one.
So, the ones that got sorted into the beginner or intermediate pool learned basic swimming skills to survive. Basically, they learned how to keep themselves afloat and how to swim.
Each pool was pretty huge; it was spacious enough for 22 people to learn in them.
Harriet, Liana, and the other non-combat talents didn’t get sorted into the advanced-level pool because most of them didn’t know how to swim.
Of course, Ellen, who was more mermaid than human, got sorted into the advanced pool.
Including her, Bertus, Cliffman, and I, there were a total of four Class A members in there.
There were three Class B students there: Scarlette, Delphin Izadra, and Ludwig.
I learned how to swim quite some time ago, so I could still do it quite well.
“Now, we have confirmed that you guys know how to swim and have mastered basic swimming skills. Everyone is in good physical condition as well.”
Originally, Temple’s P.E. classes were rather tough, but I wrote the swimming class scenes with light novel developments in mind. Therefore, they only taught us for one hour out of the two-hour long swimming class. The other hour we were allowed to spend playing around.
Kids should be allowed to play around during swimming lessons! Don’t you think?
That was how I wrote it.
All we had to do was work for an hour.
In other words, I only described how they played around, not what kind of training they had to do. I only roughly wrote something like, “They finished training and then played around~”
So, I had not the slightest clue what kind of training we would have to go through.
“From this point on, you guys will do a 1500 meters race. I’ll be taking your time.”
* * *
‘Playing’, my ass.
After swimming those 1500 meters, I crawled out of the water and stretched out in the shade. It was impossible to finish swimming that distance without a break. I wasn’t a professional swimmer, either.
I finished it by taking some breaks in between.
“Reinhardt, you look exhausted.”
“… D-don’t talk to me…”
Ludwig still had a pretty good complexion, as if that was nothing.
Yeah, Ludwig was able to finish the lessons and still have the energy to play after. However, that was because he was someone with monstrous stamina completely different from a human! No matter what P.E. class he had to take, Ludwig could handle them with ease.
It might be because he was such a monster, but stamina wasn’t the only problem.
Swimming required a lot of strength if one didn’t know how to do it properly, but it was even more difficult because I had to compete with him.
I mean, I knew how to swim, but I wasn’t a professional.
“Ellen was swimming really well, but she doesn’t look tired at all.”
That was probably why she ranked first with an overwhelming margin. Ludwig was only second. His physical prowess was excellent, but Ellen was a much better swimmer. It didn’t seem like it took her much effort, and yet she was so fast.
Scarlett placed third, Bertus placed fourth, I finished in fifth place, and Delphin in sixth place. Everyone, save Ellen and Ludwig, was just sitting around in a daze afterward.
It was already a miracle that I managed to complete the race. I even used my supernatural power.
“Huff… Huuff… Gasp… Huff…Gasp…”
Delphin approached Ludwig and sat down next to him; her legs were shaking.
“Delphin, was it so hard?”
“D-do… Don’t talk to me… Don’t…”
Delphin said the same thing as me, then she froze up, seeming like a corpse, for a while.
With that, 6th place had been decided, so the last place, the 7th place…
-Puhak! I-I got a cramp! Kuoohk!
“I’ll be there soon!”
Cliffman seemed to get a cramp because he tried to swim too forcefully.
We still had some time left, so the teacher made us swim another 1,500 meters. The results were pretty much the same except that Bertus and Scarlett switched rankings. Of course, our times were much slower as everyone was doing it for the second time.
“You guys should rest now. You can continue to swim if you want or rest beside the pool.”
The P.E. teacher gave us time to rest, telling us that we did everything we had to do for the day.
“Did that guy even have the right to tell us to rest like that after he squeezed us out like a mop…?”
Except for Ellen—who dived into the depth of the 4-meter deep pool—and Ludwig, all of us felt sick and tired of water.
* * *
Originally, I had planned to investigate the Demon Gods’ Church and the Revolutionary Forces with Charlotte after P.E.
“R-Reinhardt… Let’s not do this today…”
“I get you.”
“Maybe tomorrow… No, I think tomorrow would be even worse… Anyway, sorry…”
“Go and take a rest.”
After our classes were over, Charlotte, whose face seemed really exhausted, returned to her dormitory with Scarlett’s help.
Charlotte, who was sorted into the intermediate course because she did know how to swim a bit, lost all her stamina. It looked like it wasn’t just the advanced course that was extremely difficult.
Although we all were given a one-hour break, it was only the beginner course guys, who only practiced floating in the water, that played properly. The rest of us were almost completely exhausted.
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Of course, Ludwig jumped into the beginner pool to play with the others.
All of the day’s plans had been canceled because Charlotte was too exhausted. The outdoor swimming pool could be used by anyone after class hours. Of course, one might come across the seniors as the pool was right in front of the class building where students of the Royal Class had their common classes.
Anyway, rather than there being swimming classes, it was more important that the swimming pool could be used at any time so pool events could occur. Ludwig would go there with his friends a lot.
As I had no other plans, I just went back to my usual schedule.
I’d usually do some physical training outside before dinner, and after dinner, I would do some swordsmanship training with Ellen in the training hall.
“…Should I skip today?”
Perhaps it was because I had to swim like that earlier in the day, but my whole body felt numb. It would get easier once I got used to the training, but that time hadn’t come yet.
Just while I was thinking that, I saw rain splashing against the window. It was already getting dark as well.
That was a pretty good excuse.
Let’s just rest today.
I really planned on doing that, but when I went back to Class A’s dormitory and saw Ellen entering the training hall, I changed my mind.
There was no time to laze around.
Even that overly-gifted girl still worked hard. How could I just play around?
I immediately changed my clothes and headed towards the training hall.
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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That day, things went a little differently.
-Kaang! Kang! Kang!
My spars with Ellen always ended after a few clashes, but that time we exchanged a lot more strikes. I even succeeded in pointing my sword at Ellen’s neck by deflecting her sword that was about to slash at me.
That didn’t happen because my skills improved or my hard work paid off.
“…Are you not feeling well today?”
Ellen seemed to be in a worse condition—she couldn’t concentrate properly. Even if I pushed her like that, I never thought she’d end up losing or conceding the round to me.
“Just… a bit.”
“Are you tired?”
Did she spend too much stamina during our swimming classes? However, Ellen shook her head.
“That’s not it.”
It was raining outside.
Come to think of it, it was raining that night when she somewhat revealed her identity to me as well.
“Do you feel down when it rains?”
On rainy days, Ellen seemed unusually sentimental. I had never given Ellen the attribute that she hated rainy days, but there were a lot of things I didn’t know, after all.
Ellen shook her head at my question.
“No, I like rainy days.”
She wasn’t feeling down because of the rain; rather, she liked it, but why couldn’t she focus?
No, was it because she liked the rain so much that she wasn’t able to focus?
“Want to step out for a bit?”
Ellen nodded at my words.
* * *
Ellen and I left the training room and stepped onto the terrace. It wasn’t the same terrace on which Bertus and I often met; it felt more like an open-air corridor.
Since the rain couldn’t reach us there, Ellen and I just watched the rainy scenery outside; it quickly turned into heavy rainfall.
Students were running around in the rain not holding umbrellas because it started raining so suddenly.
‘Come to think of it, does this place have a rainy season as well? Since the Capital is based on Seoul, would the rainy season be similar to Korea’s?’
If there was a rainy season, it would start around that time.
“I didn’t know you liked the rain.”
Was she unable to focus on training because she wanted to look at the rainy scenery?
“What about you?” Ellen asked me suddenly while still looking at the falling rain.
Ellen surprisingly took the initiative to ask me something.
“Do you like rain?”
It was shocking that she asked me something like that so suddenly.
“Hmm… I don’t really think I like it.”
I didn’t like it because I thought I might lose my hair in the rain, though I didn’t really care about that anymore. Ellen nodded quietly to my answer. She just continued to stare blankly at the scenery drenched in rain.
“Are you close to Charlotte?”
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“… What’s that all of a sudden?”
Why did this girl that usually didn’t show any interest in things suddenly ask me so many questions?
“I’ve just… seen you talking with her a lot. “
Even if we weren’t on super friendly terms, she probably saw me talk to Charlotte quite a bit, although they were just normal conversations. In fact, she must have known that we studied together in Class B’s dormitory during the midterm exam period.
“We’re pretty close… that’s all, I think?”
Our relationship could be said to be closer than others, I guess.
It was kind of weird of her to ask such things all of a sudden when she didn’t usually do that. Did she only pretend to not care? Was it because even though she pretended to be calm, she actually felt kind of lonely?
Ellen had observed the rain up to that point, but then she turned towards me.
“Are you really just close friends?”
Why was she asking me that? She didn’t seem to be questioning or interrogating me, though.
“Is… there anything else between you two?”
Was she asking me what I felt about Charlotte? If so, what kind of reaction did she expect from me? But I didn’t really want to answer that. It wasn’t like there was anything else going on between us.
“Well… It’s just that some things happened that concerned both of us. There really isn’t anything between us.”
Her head drooped a little after she heard my answer. Then she raised it again, turning her gaze towards me.
“You’re like my brother.”
She suddenly told me that I was similar to her brother. How could I be similar to a hero like Artorius?
Ellen was smiling.
However, she looked sadder than ever. She turned her gaze away from me and continued to stare into the rain outside.
“It was a rainy day like this.”
Ellen seemed to be recalling past memories.
“My brother told me that he would be going on a long trip. He just returned from another one of his long trips, but he told me he’d be leaving soon again. He said that he only came around to see me before he left. He told me that he’d be gone for a while but that he would definitely come back and that I shouldn’t worry.”
She was smiling, and yet she didn’t look like she was smiling as she recounted the events of the past she held dearest.
“If he believed he was coming back, then why did he give Lament to me?”
By ’long trip’, Ragan Artorius probably meant his participation in the Demon World War. He probably told her that he would be back soon while knowing that he wouldn’t.
And—while saying he would return—he gave Ellen the divine sword Lament as a keepsake and then left.
She didn’t mean to say that I was similar to the Hero, Artorius.
She only said that I was similar to her brother, Ragan Artorius.
However, I didn’t really know in what way we were similar.
“You know everything about me, but I don’t know anything about you. What are you thinking, and what are you trying to do? What do you value? You didn’t tell me anything about yourself.”
It was then that I realized why Ellen brought up that story.
She wasn’t asking about my relationship with Charlotte. She was asking how Charlotte and I got closer.
“I knew he cared for me and that I was important to him, but he never told me anything.”
Ellen watched the raindrops crashing into the ground.
“I don’t know anything about you.”
Not too previously, Ellen had told me that she wasn’t sure what kind of person I was.
It wasn’t because Ellen was slow, it was because I knew exactly who she was, but she didn’t have a single idea as to who I really was.
Because Ellen was the closest to me, I knew most about her.
And yet, although she was closest to me, Ellen was the only one that knew next to nothing about me.
It wasn’t that Ellen didn’t care about me.
She was the one who thought the hardest about me.
Just who is Reinhardt? He’s a beggar, a supernatural power user, and he’s got a rough personality.
Other than that, I didn’t reveal anything else. Neither my family, my background, nor my past.
Ellen realized after she had to think about it that she actually had no idea who I was. It wasn’t that she just found it hard to define who I was in one word.
That was why she talked about those things.
I also realized that I actually never really talked about myself to her.
I thought it was because of the rain.
But was she actually unable to concentrate because of me?
Did she think that I was suspicious?
“…You never asked.”
At my feeble protest, Ellen just looked at me.
“If I asked, would you have told me?”
“Why did you look so similar to my brother after he told me that he was going to go on a long trip when I saw you with Charlotte? How could a beggar like you know so much and be able to do so many things? Why do you train every day as if you’re being chased by someone? Why are you so anxious? If I asked that, would you answer me?”
I could give her answers, but those would only be lies. I couldn’t tell anyone the real truth.
I’m the beggar Reinhardt, but, in reality, I’m actually the successor of a gang called the Rotary Gang.
That was a lie.
I’m not actually a member of the Rotary Gang, but the son of the Demon King, and I’m attending Temple to prepare for the Gates that will appear later after completely adapting to the Human World.
That was also a lie.
I’m the one who made this world, and I’m here as my punishment for my deeds, so I know the future of this world. I’m the one to blame for all the sad things that happen in this world you had to go through or will go through.
That was the truth.
I was someone wrapped tightly in many layers of lies. There was no way I could tell Ellen the whole truth.
She wouldn’t believe me.
I don’t know anything about you. You never tell me anything. Just like my brother did.
Charlotte didn’t notice, but Ellen knew that I would sometimes look at her weirdly because of the guilt I felt. That was why she was asking me about Charlotte.
Why do you look at Charlotte like that when you’re only close?
Why do you look at Charlotte with such sad eyes? Why do you look as if you were forced to tell some sad lies?
That was what she wanted to ask.
I couldn’t tell her anything.
She would look through all my clumsy lies. She knew me too well.
Ellen was still looking at me.
“That’s why I feel like you two are similar.”
Someone who cared about her but never told her anything. That was how Ellen saw her older brother, Artorius. Not the warrior, Artorius.
“That is what I think.”
Ellen stared at me.
“And, just like my brother, I feel like you’ll also suddenly disappear one day.”
If things didn’t work out well, that would probably happen. If it was discovered that I was a demon, I would have to disappear from the Capital; I might not even be able to say goodbye to her.
When Ellen thought about me, it seemed like she seemed to have come to the conclusion that I was no different from her brother in that way.
“I don’t want to go through something like that again.”
The thought that I might suddenly disappear was just in Ellen’s head.
However, I knew that it might happen one day. Therefore, I couldn’t tell her that it wouldn’t.
At that moment, no matter what I said, I felt like she would be able to look through all my lies. Ellen didn’t ask me what secrets I was hiding—she might think that I wouldn’t give her an answer, even if she asked.
Ellen then smiled.
“Actually, I hate rainy days.”
There was no reason for Ellen to like rain, as it was during the rain that her brother left her.
“I also don’t like people like you.”
I didn’t see Ellen in the training room after that.