The practical class after the theoretical one.
My worries were useless.
As soon as the practical lesson began, the teacher in charge gathered us all up in the huge practice room and spoke as if they had something interesting planned.
“We have six students from special Classes here. Do the Orbis and Royal Classwa want to have a practice match against each other? Is there anyone among you who wants to try?”
“I’ll do it!”
The first one to jump up after they asked for volunteers was Ludwig, who was more than motivated.
…That was the kind of guy he was, after all.
Everyone’s eyes twinkled hearing that there would be a practice match between the Orbis Class and the Royal Class. Ellen was spacing out as if she didn’t care, and Scarlett seemed slightly nervous, being addressed like that.
“Then, someone from the Orbis Class’s side.”
“I’ll do it.”
A determined-looking girl walked out from the Orbis Class’s side.
Number B-3, the one who was introduced as Nilssonia. Adler Belking of Class A just watched with his arms crossed.
Nilssonia, she had horribly beaten Ludwig in the original, and from that, Ludwig learned that the Orbis Class guys were extraordinarily strong.
“Take care not to get too violent.”
It was clear that the teacher in charge pitted the two special classes, the Orbis Class and Royal Class, against each other on purpose, even though they knew that they were rivals.
Ludwig and Nilssonia faced each other holding their training swords.
“You said your name was Nilssonia, right? I’ll be in your care.”
That girl named Nilssonia didn’t react at all to Ludwig’s greeting. Her expression seemed as if she viewed it as a real match.
The atmosphere around her was kind of scary.
Nilssonia wildly rushed towards Ludwig as if she didn’t care for anything else. I couldn’t properly remember how their duel was supposed to go.
He probably lost because of the overwhelming difference in technique or something like that. That was the reason why Ludwig got motivated to train even more… Something like that.
As soon as the training swords hit each other, Nilssonia let her sword slide across the other sword in an attempt to brush off Ludwig’s sword.
At the moment when she was about to push his sword away, the look in Ludwig’s eyes changed. Up until then, he had worn a rather silly expression.
In spite of her attempt to deflect his sword, Ludwig applied more strength to his sword.
And, Nilssonia, who had been pushed down by that light push, fell down on the floor.
The match was decided in a flash.
“Ah, I-I’m sorry! Are you okay?”
‘What was that?’
‘Why did he win?’
Although it was Nilssonia who lost, it was my brain that was on the verge of freezing.
* * *
There was only one reason for Ludwig’s victory:
An overwhelming difference in strength.
Ludwig’s physical strength was simply so great that it was pretty much impossible to do anything against it using technique. He had just hit his sword against hers and pushed her away before she could do anything.
Even in the original, Ludwig didn’t lose due to strength, but due to his lack of technique, so he would lose all five of the practice matches.. However, the results were different.
“are you okay? I’m, I’m sorry.”
In the next three practice matches, Nilssonia was nothing but pushed around by that guy’s overwhelming strength.
In the end, Ludwig hit her hard enough to see the difference between them.
Nilssonia threw herself on the floor without hesitation, her mouth gaping open.
It was as if she never imagined that she would get so horribly beaten.
Even Ludwig was nervous and worried about her, which seemed to make Nilssonia feel even more miserable.
He sure had a knack for making people feel bad with his stupidly good nature.
“Stop, stop. I think the strength difference is just too great. Stop.”
In the end, even the teacher declared that the results would be more than obvious even if they didn’t finish the practice matches, which were scheduled to be five rounds. Nilssonia limped back to her seat and sat down with a wretched expression, hiding her own shame, on her face.
The face of the Orbis Class Class A guy was also seriously stiff.
Ludwig came back to our side and sat down with his head down. It seemed like he also didn’t expect that things would turn out like that.
The one that was supposed to be defeated ended up winning.
—And by a landslide.
Just what was different?
Then, the grimacing Orbis Class Class A guy, who had been watching, raised his hand.
“Ah, do you want to try?”
The situation couldn’t be ended by Orbis Class’ defeat. How could the Orbis Class lose so badly against the Royal Class?
That class was almost like the army, so if it got out, they might get gathered up and beaten by their seniors.
First, that guy’s face showed anger at their loss, but he also seemed contemplative. He seemed afraid of what would happen if it became known.
“Who’ll be your opponent? Ludwig again?”
The teacher looked towards Ludwig. The guy just grinned stupidly, scratching the back of his neck .
“Ah, i-if it’s someone from Class A… I, as the last place in Royal Class, wouldn’t be a match for him…”
When they heard those two words, I could see the two Orbis Class students, as well as the regular course students who were also attending the class, flinch.
Although he had fought someone from Orbis Class’ Class B, it was still like saying that the No. 3 lost against Royal Class’ last place.
Did that guy finally learn how to piss people off? Was he some kind of master?
Of course, if we were to go by his actual skills, things would obviously be different, but it was true that Ludwig was ranked last in the Royal Class.
But if he said it like that, didn’t that make him seem totally arrogant? Wasn’t he totally scolding the Orbis Class in front of everyone?
Even the last place of the Royal Class is much stronger than you.
That was what it sounded like, you punk! “Hmm yes. Class B should match up with Class B, so let’s have someone from Class A fight someone else from Class A, how about that? Okay. That’s plausible. Then, we need one person from Royal Class’ Class A.”
The teacher completely fell for Ludwig’s weakling act. That guy, Adler or something, was looking at us as if he preferred someone from Class A.
I poked Ellen, who just looked at me and tilted her head.
“Go up there. What are you doing?”
‘Go and beat him up!’ I didn’t want to deal with that guy who looked like a pain in the ass! Ellen just looked at me with a sullen look and shook her head.
Ellen murmured quietly.
“Go beat him up.“
I suddenly remembered that time when we were drinking in the mansion on the Edina Islands. She had told me to participate in the tournament and go up to the quarter-finals.
It seemed like Ellen wanted to see how I’d do against someone of the Orbis Class.
I could see Adler’s face crumple up at the words ‘Go beat him up’. Did he hear something like ‘He’s not even worthy for me to deal with him’?
“If you lose, I’ll hit you.”
Of course, Ellen wasn’t even looking at me.
Was I her Pokemon or something? Did I have to go and fight if she said “Go, Reinhardt!”
“Fucking hell, If I win, I’ll hit you then.”
I felt like I was being treated like a Pokemon, but I went out anyway.
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Translator – KonnoAren
My opponent was Adler Belkin, 8 of the Orbis Class. Nilssonia was a woman, whereas he was a man. He gave off a cold impression, but I could see in his eyes that he felt really tense.
The Royal Class didn’t change their numbering, as they arranged it in order of talent, but the Orbis Class was different in that regard.
Classes and numbers changed continuously based on competitions held every semester. Since it was a Class that valued effort, the rankings would get changed according to one’s effort and performance.
Since we were in our second semester, there would soon be a change in their rankings, unlike in the first semester.
In the Royal Class, those numbers weren’t exactly rankings.
However, in the Orbis Class, those numbers were most definitely the most important.
So, that Nilssonia, who Ludwig had just faced, was probably ranked 13th in the Orbis Class.
Of course, there were also magic and academic major students among them, so that ranking didn’t necessarily reflect their physical strength.
Orbis Class 8 would mean that he was the 8th strongest in Orbis Class’ first year.
To put these things in a slightly wider perspective…
Temple had more than 100,000 students.
If we only look at the first years in the High School section, it would be around 10,000.
Royal Class students were selected by talent, but Orbis Class students were selected by skill.
To put it bluntly, that guy in front of me should be the eighth-best person in terms of skill among all combat majors, including the general students, except for his talent. That was why he was chosen for the Orbis Class.
If one put it like that, he sure seemed amazing.
And that guy was staring at me as if he was about to grab and kill me.
“Now, this will be the first of five matches. Don’t get too riled up.”
‘Teacher? Isn’t my opponent already more than riled up? Why are you pretending to not see that?’
They announced the start of the practice match, and I was waiting to receive his blow. However, he didn’t come closer to me and just kept his distance, looking at me before opening his mouth.
“You said you were Class A Number 11.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“So you’re the last place of Royal Class’ Class A?”
If I wanted to make him feel even worse, I had to answer yes to that question.
But did I really need to?
“Well? The Royal Class doesn’t go by the same system as you. These numbers aren’t really rankings and don’t reflect our skills, after all, right?”
I shrugged as I said so.
“You must have gone crazy now.”
I pointed to my classmates in the Royal Class who were watching me with a slight smile on my lips.
“Although I’m in Class A, I’m actually the weakest in the Royal Class.”
Did I really have to make him feel bad?
Of course I did!
People make mistakes when they start seeing red, after all!
“So, if you lose to me…”
Ellen had said “Go, Reinhardt!” so I was giving it my all.
“You’re really nothing more than dogshit.”
Reinhardt used Taunt!
“…Get ready to lose.”
It was very effective!
* * *
That bastard definitely hit pretty hard.
His physical strength, his agility, and his sword skills were certainly considerable, so I continued to fight him while taking steps back to prevent that guy from getting a chance to slash his sword at me.
No matter how much I had learned my swordsmanship from Ellen, it had been just half a year at most. I also had practical experience, but I never had to deal with a guy like that before.
It was Temple, a place filled with guys professionally trained to wield weapons.
And that guy had entered Orbis Class on his skills alone.
He wasn’t someone who just kind of learned how to swing a sword like the guys I encountered in the Darklands. He was someone who had been sharpening his sword skills for much longer than I had and had put a lot more effort into it than I.
-Kang, kaang! Kang!
“Do you only know how to run away? Is it because you’re the weakest?”
When I kept backing up and didn’t try to get closer or slash at him at all, he sarcastically tried to poke at me.
He was superior to me in strength.
…And it was also more than certain that he had the upper hand in terms of technique.
However, because he was so riled up, his sword strikes were rather rough. I could almost feel how anxious he was to finally get a hit in.
Unlike when Ludwig was fighting Nilssonia, our confrontation was prolonged, as I kept on calmly stepping back and gave him no chance to slash at me or stab me.
I couldn’t keep backing away, so I tried to grab his sword, which he thrust towards my chest using half-swording.
A quick counter-attack after pretending to be pushed back again.
However, as if he had predicted what I was planning on doing, he stopped the sword that was thrusting at me and spun around.
What I did felt like a desperate attempt to turn the scales while being thoroughly beaten.
“Don’t mess with me.”
He pointed his sword at my neck. His expression showed utter contempt as if he was looking at a bug. It was my defeat.
“The first match is Orbis Class’ victory. Get back in position.”
It was a match consisting of five battles. Ludwig and Scarlett seemed quite surprised that I had lost. Ellen was looking at me with a sullen expression on her face.
She looked dissatisfied.
That guy was definitely quite hard-hitting, and in our first match, he won against me, who was supposed to be the weakest, though not easily.
“I heard that the Royal Class was full of people who only believed in their talent. I guess you’re just one of those people as well.”
Adler beat me once and was already openly looking down on me. It looked like he already made an estimate of my strength. I had kept backing up and had even failed my clumsy attempt at a counterattack.
“I don’t think I need to fight you anymore. How about the stronger one steps up now?”
It seemed like he thought he could pass on to the next person now that he already had an estimate of me.
“Hey, while we’re at it, let me tell you something.”
“You’ve been going on about my talent.”
I grinned at him.
“Actually, my talent is a supernatural ability.”
I pointed my training sword at him.
“I didn’t use it, though. I thought you’d find it unfair otherwise.”
I was treated like someone who blindly believed in his talent and someone who never put any effort into anything. However, I just said that I didn’t even use my talent.
“Am I allowed to use my supernatural power from now on?”
I had simply fought with him without using my supernatural power at all.
That was the reason why Ellen looked a bit angry—I didn’t use my supernatural power. It seemed like I was just playing around with that guy, completely giving up on the fight.
“Should I go and really trust in my talent starting now?”
What are you gonna do?
His eyes turned completely cold at my second taunt. That guy bore complete hatred for talent inside of him. He thought I was someone who would blindly believe in his talent, never even thinking to put in any effort, and yet I had faced him with the skill I had acquired purely through my effort.
If that guy wanted to surpass the Royal Class, then he had to overpower me while I was using my supernatural powers.
“Do it. Whatever.”
Those words were enough to provoke Adler.
“Then shall we start?”
I could have used the melee sword fighting preset, but I decided to do it a little differently.
—Strengthening my physical power.
I only strengthened the power of my muscles to the max.
That guy approached me and stabbed his sword towards my body. It was a sword strike aiming to clash against the opponent’s weapon and continue from there.
Before, I would have blocked that strike and backed away, but I wouldn’t do that after activating my ability.
I simply hit the incoming sword with my own.
Fragments of the training sword, which had been smashed to pieces by my single swing, were scattered on the floor of the training room.
That guy was just staring blankly at me and his broken training sword with a puzzled expression on his face—the training sword broke in just one attack.
If the sword hadn’t been broken, he would have been sent flying along with it or lost his grip on it.
Silence fell upon the training room.
“I don’t think I need to fight you anymore, ain’t that right?”
The moment our swords clashed, his training sword would shatter, or if it didn’t, he’d lose his grip on it as soon as I hit it.
So the more we fought, the more obvious the results would become.
Like that, I simply returned the words Adler Belkin had said to me just a few moments before.