The day before the duel.
On Saturday, I did my strength training with Adriana in the morning as usual.
She continued her training, while aiding me with her divine power.
Even after breakfast, Adriana called me back and gave me more training.
I definitely felt that my stamina improved by a lot in that short amount of time. That rapid growth and this feeling across my whole body gave me some joy, even while I was in extreme physical and mental pain.
“Junior, don’t do anything anymore tomorrow morning. Stay in good shape.”
Adriana could restore my strength, but if she did that and I did more, it would have adverse effects on tomorrow’s duel. I knew that much, so I was only going to train up to that point.
I didn’t really know what difference it would make if I maintained my best condition for this duel that I was going to lose anyway.
Adriana trained me in the morning as well as in the afternoon and sat with me on a park bench in front of the dormitory. She handed me a canteen. It was more than usual.
Due to the intense training, I couldn’t help but gulp down a ton of water.
Seeing me exhausted, Adriana looked at me with a strange smile on her lips.
“Junior, you are really weird.”
“I believe you have enough patience and perseverance in you, to the point that you could follow my lead very well so far. Why are you so rude to others?”
She seemed to have noticed that I wasn’t such an impatient, short-tempered guy during this week of training. However, she didn’t understand why I was being so rude to others, in fights and outside of them. To the point that I would disgrace my opponent like that.
“I don’t want to be ignored.”
“Even if I put up with it once, there would be another guy picking a fight. Should I just endure it twice then? I’d just get hit again and again, that’s when you’re already caught in this vicious circle.”
Adriana sighed deeply at my words.
“Isn’t that tiring? Getting angry, fighting someone, bumping into them because you felt a little upset.”
“It’s just like that.”
After I drank all the water from the canteen, I stared blankly at the lush park.
“I think it’s better to get exhausted as a shitty bastard than a pushover.”
“Really…. I can’t understand you at all.”
Adriana shook her head as if she didn’t understand a thing I said.
“By the way, there’s something I wanted to ask you.”
Adriana stared at me as if she was willing to answer if it was within her capability.
“A classmate of mine said that there was only one way for me to win this duel, do you maybe know what she meant, senior?”
Adriana thought for a moment, as if what I said was rather bizarre. The only way I could win. What was it that Ellen thought?
“That…. I honestly don’t know.”
Adriana shook her head as if to show that she really didn’t know.
Ellen wouldn’t tell me even if I grabbed her collar and shook her. Rather, I should just give it my best shot.
If I lose, I lose.
The time of the decisive battle had come.
Thanks to the training I did over this week I was definitely in much better shape than I was before, as I trained while being heavily doped.
Current stats: [Strength 4.8(F+)] [Agility 5.0(D-)] [Dexterity 5.9(D-)] [Magic 10.1(C)][Stamina 8.1(C-)]
My strength increased by 0.8, my agility by 0.3, my dexterity by 0.7, and my stamina by 1.6. I trained with Adriana to increase my strength and stamina, and I presumed that my dexterity went up because of the spars I had with Ellen.
So, why did my magic stat go up again?
There were some changes in the sub-menus as well.
[Demon Domination – D](Unique skill of Arcdemons)(Cannot be used in current state.)
Comprehensive Ability Assessment – Lowest level Demon
Combat Level Assessment – F+
.…What’s with that?
What was pseudo swordsmanship supposed to be? It wasn’t even Rank F. It was just pseudo swordsmanship. What was that? Were they telling me that I couldn’t even do F Rank Swordsmanship yet? Was I even unable to use the lowest level of swordsmanship or something like that?
The fact that my combat level went from F to F+ was also truly breathtaking. They should have just left it as F. F+ makes me seem even lamer.
That pseudo swordsmanship I barely obtained after such hard work was nearly crushing my heart.
In any case, there was a dramatic improvement to my physical fitness. My abilities seemed to have improved evenly, and if I continue to practice, I’d hit my limit someday, anyway. At that time, I would have to use achievement points or something, but first, I had to achieve whatever I could with my own body.
First Year Class A’s dormitory gym.
There were quite a few people now in this place where Ellen and I clashed swords repeatedly.
A lot of people came just to watch me lose.
Bertus was absent. It was the weekend, so it seemed likely that he returned to the Imperial Palace and wasn’t particularly curious about my duel’s results.
Everyone of Class A, except No.1 Bertus and No. 3 Liana de Grantz, were present. It was rather surprising that Ellen came to watch my duel. All the classmates that were present when I messed with this senior were here.
There were also some of Class B present.
“Reinhardt! Cheer up!”
Of course, the kind Ludwig came to support me. He seemed to have brought some friends with him with whom he was particularly close with. B-9 Delphine Izadra and B-10 Lanian Sesor. I never even held a conversation with either of them.
It didn’t seem like I would ever have anything to do with them in the future. Pretty funny that I didn’t have any connection to the kids I wrote about the most.
And she was a bit far from the others, but she also came to watch. Charlotte was watching silently from afar.
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That was weird. I was sure she didn’t come to cheer me on. Rather, it seemed more like an investigation. Maybe she was curious as to how I would act in a duel, or she wanted to ask me about the progress in Valier’s search.
It somehow seemed like she was trying to confirm my usefulness.
There were other people, I didn’t expect to see here, for example, B-3, Scarlett. Her red eyes and hair made her stand out.
I didn’t have any connection to her either, so why did she come to look? I wouldn’t be very interested in something that had nothing to do with me. Strictly speaking, if I were her I wouldn’t want to go near Class A even more.
“Why did that cursed bitch come here? How unlucky.”
Scarlett came to watch my duel, even though she had no reason to. Erich, who seemed desperate to bully her, was also here after all. Although I stood far away from Erich, she definitely stared at me.
What was this?
Since this event never happened in the original, there should have been some motive behind her actions that couldn’t be found in the original.
My classmates were made up of these kinds of people, and most of them would love to see me get horribly trampled. Ludwig excluded, I had no idea what Ellen was thinking. She was just squatting at some corner, looking at me.
“You’re going to be in big trouble today, you beggar. Be prepared.”
Harriet smirked behind her hands.
“Oh, Have fun watching.”
“Wha, what really….”
Harriet looked dazed again when I told her to have fun while watching me get beat up.
Preconceptions seemed to be very important. At first, I snapped at her a bit because I got annoyed, but when I thought it over again I couldn’t see her as anything but a cute little kid, so no matter what she did, it seemed kind of endearing.
In other words, when I saw this girl, who I obviously set up as a villain, act like this I couldn’t help but find it cute and she might have unexpectedly become my favorite character.
Because she didn’t seem to understand what was going on.
On the seniors’ side, it seemed like the entire Second Year Class A came. Seeing as there were more than ten people there, did some from Class B come as well? Did they want to see the face of the guy who dared to defy one of the seniors? Was it something like that?
The faces I could recognize were the duelist I was going to face, Art de Gartis, Adriana and the little brat named Redina who looked between me and Art with a teary expression.
I should really go buy her something later. I couldn’t believe I said something like that to such a nice girl. My neck was going numb from just thinking about that.
She was such a good and kind girl!
Yeah! I deserve to be hit!
And then there was the observer, Mr. Epinhauser.
“I think we’re ready, so let’s go ahead with this.”
Actual duels were actually held with one’s life at stake. However, duels between students shouldn’t be death matches.
Therefore, duels were only conducted under the supervision of a teacher who was able to restrain the students at any time.
Mr. Epinhauser didn’t question why we were fighting. He was just doing what the regulations stipulated him to do, so he allowed us to do this.
If it were Mr. Mustrang, he would have told us not to do this. Their personalities were polar opposites.
“Art de Gartis who had his honor sullied by Reinhardt…. I’ll just read it as it was written in the report.”
Mr. Epinhauser began to read the report done on the circumstances of our duel.
“On Saturday, two weeks ago, First Year 11 Reinhardt grabbed the crotch of Second Year 3 Art de Gartis and squeezed it hard….”
-Oh my god!
Mr. Epinhauser read that part so seriously, that everyone around, no matter on what side they stood, began to laugh. Either way, the teacher just read it all to the end.
I also found this quite funny and Art’s expression became quite weird. But I gotta say, Mr. Epinhauser was one hell of a guy.
“He claimed that he suffered from extreme mental and physical pain as well as incredible humiliation, which consequently damaged his reputation. Therefore he requested a duel, demanding an apology from Reinhardt, No. 11, who accepted this duel. Am I correct?”
Art didn’t laugh, but I barely managed to answer in a slurred voice, because this was just too funny.
“State what you want in return for victory.”
Art replied to Epinhauser’s words.
“I want Reinhardt to kneel before his seniors and apologize for his disrespect and I want him to swear to always respect his seniors from that point on.”
What he wanted for his victory was an apology and respect. What he meant was that whatever they decide in the future I should kneel before them and just nod my head. This time Mr. Epinhauser looked at me.
My reward for gaining victory in this duel I had a slim chance of winning.
“I hope that these absurd acts that the seniors were trying to impose on us so far will not be forced either on me nor my classmates anymore. Of course, they should apologize as well.”
At my words, the children’s expressions became strange.
Even if it was obvious that I was going to lose, they didn’t expect me to say that I wanted them to stop bullying my classmates in return for victory.
What were they looking at me like that for?
It was a reward I wouldn’t even be able to receive anyway.
“Good. Ars, the god of war, shall take the side of the righteous.”
Dueling was, after all, a barbaric act.
It was clear that God would only stand on the side of the righteous, so the one who won was always in the right. Whoever was chosen by Ars, God of War, would win. That just sounded like bullshit.
And then, right when Mr. Epinhauser was about to announce the start of the duel.
Art, unable to hide his displeasure, raised his hand.
“I will nominate a champion as my right as a duelist.”
What the hell was he talking about?
“My champion is Third Year 7, Mayarton.”
Art, with a distorted expression on his face, retreated and someone else took his place in front of me, receiving his training sword. The one who accepted it was laughing as if this situation was just too funny to bear.
Only then did I realize. Even if all the second years, including people from Class B, were here, the number just wouldn’t add up.
That meant the guys from Year Three Class A came here as well.
“So you were the guy who told us to come when the Prince was around, yeah?”
The third years were offended by what I said and took Art’s duel seat. I dared them to try and come at us when the Prince was around, but they couldn’t do it, so their pride was hurt, hence they wanted to take care of me themselves.
Art also seemed to have gotten forced into this rather than this actually being his will, and Adriana looked at this scene wide-eyed. I guessed she didn’t know that this would happen.
The guy in front of me looked down at me with a fishy smile.
“Let’s see if you’re just as skilled as your dog mouth, Junior.”
At that moment I finally realized what the only way I could win was.
Choosing a great warrior as my Champion.
A duelist could choose someone to fight on their behalf with their right.
Then I looked towards Ellen Artorius, who was squatting in the corner, staring at me quietly.
She looked at me and nodded her head.
That was the only way I could win.
At that moment, Ellen signaled to me that she could be my Champion.