Chapter 05 – Part 2
One day, under the supervision of Baran and the rest, I participated in the combat training that the children of the village were receiving.
We are now watching mock battles which serves as a model in the courtyard of a two-story garrison and lodging where the soldiers are staying.
Sitting on the ground with wooden swords and wooden spears for training, right in front of myself, Albert, Airi and other children from the village, two warriors are confronting each other and competing with each other’s skills.
One of them is Baran’s subordinate, and also his right-hand man Adjutant Mareeda.
She has light brown hair that is evenly cut and vibrant reddish brown eyes that clearly displays her strength of will, light pigment on her lips and distinctly outlined facial features.
She is quite the beautiful middle-aged woman, and her being Baran’s right-hand man is not just for show as the way she handles her sword is not ordinary, a fool who mocks her based on her appearance will only become rust on Mareeda’s blade.
Now on top of the thin fabric that is worn under the armor she is wearing a leather breastplate and holding short swords in both hands. The slender short blade is drawn, with a curled tip that is made for mock battles.
For a woman, Mareeda is quite tall, but still because she is a woman and is inferior to a man in pure physical strength and stamina, she learned swordsmanship that aims at the opponent’s vital points with a fast and detailed attack in a quick and agile execution.
In fact, the figure of Mareeda kicking the ground as if playing in the wind, with variations in tempo in the way she swings the two short swords, is so elegant almost as if showing us the illusion of dancing to a light and gentle music.
As far as the kingdom is concerned, a remote village in the remote region is of little value, it is such a shame that a master of such skill is wasted out here.
However, to the fact that Mareeda’s skills are not ordinary, right now the opponent Mareeda is facing is ironically proving to be an even more extraordinary practitioner.
Mareeda is currently confronting a young female swordswoman who for the past few days has been staying at the only inn in the village.
Thinking then that she had taken residence out of the blue, she wandered into the forest, seemingly heading to the river upstream and then she was seen coming back with nothing but the head of a large-fanged crocodile.
No, what a waste, don’t just bring the head bring the body below too, I am sure I am not the only one protesting to that in my mind.
Then again, she visits Leticia’s church, spends the day long offering prayers to Mairahl, she is such a mysterious woman who is inconsistent in her behavior.
There are villagers who feel it is rare to have visitors from outside and are interested in the Swordswoman, including me, but that is just a natural development.
However what attracted people’s interest in the swordswoman is that she seemed to be from the noble class apparently from her wealthy dress and elegant conduct and manner of speech which cannot be concealed, and of course none other than the beauty that could even haunt one in their dream that seems to charm one right from the first glance.
Her silver hair reaching the middle of her back, so beautiful clad in a dazzling twinkle so much that I unintentionally thought isn’t this genuine silver, and the swordswoman bundled it with a blue ribbon decorated with gold thread embroidery around the back of her neck.
Her eyes that are protected by long eyelashes with fine arrangement surprisingly are vivid red.
Her lips are so well-shaped that they are so stiff and tightened in a beeline shape, are in the same color as the eyes.
This swordswoman named Christina, whose beauty can be affirmed that if she behaved willfully, she could even move a country, after lodging in the inn and visiting the village chief, she got permission to stay for several days.
Then, Christina who has gathered the consciousness and interest of the village people, is exchanging blades with Mareena in an easy-to-move leather pants with lace and a silk shirt that is easy to deal with in several places in other words a light outfit.
The children of the village are learning martial arts from the stationed soldiers, and from the perspective of people who come from outside the village it is quite unusual, and in the red eyes of Christina who came watching out of nowhere, there was curiosity and also intent to participate in her eyes.
Christina who showed up as we were thrusting our wooden spears, and striking our wooden swords against the straw dolls in the middle of the square, thinking she has come to have a closer look at the spectacle, and seeming unfazed by our inquisitive gazes she reached out to Mareeda with the following proposal:
「If it is not a nuisance, I would like to participate in this training, is it alright? With the goblins and other beasts around here my skills will likely grow dull」
After Mareeda left the charge of supervision to Cres-san who was also part of the supervision team, she took up an iron sword that was casually stabbed in a wooden box put in the square, and handed it to Christina.
「I do not mind but with skills like yours, it would be painful to have children as your opponent, and on the contrary it will not be beneficial for the children as well.
Instead I will do my best to serve as your opponent. Is that acceptable?」
「By all means, I am the one asking for the unreasonable, I have no reason to decline instead I should be thanking you. Then please let me have a go at you. Just that I do not think that I have displayed my prowess in your presence before」
「A natural stance setup so that one can leap forward, backward, left or right while leaving your weight on the hind leg, an oddly stable center of gravity.
There are several others, but I think there are only a few masters who are as good as you in Galois too. No, they are almost none」
「That’s a compliment far too much for an incompetent like me. However, today I am glad it seems there might be worth in showcasing my skills for the first time in a long while」
There was the fact that we all are silently interested in Christina’s skills, Mareeda, who was today’s training supervisor, gave the permission with a bitter smile.
To put it plainly, Christina’s skills exceeded ours, and Mareeda’s imagination.
If Mareeda is top-class, then Christina is an elite. It was a skill that made me doubt my eyes if certainly such a master of that caliber existed.
It was so in the beginning.
Suddenly, Christina gave a small smile with her mouth restrained to the sideways.
「I was the one that made the request so, I should be the one to make the first move. Here I come」
Countless sparks scattered near Mareeda’s face before our eyes.
A sharp flash of sound cutting through the wind, even with a mock sword, it packs enough power to break a human neck and bone altogether.
Perhaps that is still considered as holding back but, but if you say whether it is a sword technique that should be wielded in a mock battle, it is a little doubtful. Or maybe she thinks that Mareeda should be able to deal with it.
The sound that echoed throughout the square is so heavy that you can clearly tell how much weight is added to both arms from just the sound.
Christina seemed to hold tremendous might that betrayed the impression of her beauty that seemed so ravishing that it is almost mysterious.
I was the only one who noticed it in this place, but Christina’s body certainly belonged to a human being, but from my eyes and senses, there were many things that were different from ordinary people.
Fumu, this is quite unusual. Beauty that exceeds the realm of humans and that high level of physical ability are also a byproduct of being born in 「that body」. It is also indispensable for the training of the sword. That is quite a feat. As expected, not even former braves and heroes can contend with that.
From the view of people from the village, it is a fight that they can declare its outcome, but as Mareena acknowledged somewhere in her heart, It was Christina who got the two letters of victory.
At the end of the battle where even blinking is not permitted, as Mareeda’s body stiffened from a cold sensation that ran through the back of her neck, she exhaled out a large amount of breath that she inhaled as she admitted her defeat, after slowly regaining her posture and sheathing back her short sword, everyone around me who were overwhelmed by the tense atmosphere finally breathed out a sigh.
The tension that makes one forget to even breathe is finally relaxed and everyone begins to move their mouths about the frightfulness of the previous battle.
While handing the mock sword that has been sheathed back to Mareeda, Christina smiles a little and interchanges two to three words. I guess it is about praising each other’s good fight.
「You may think bad of me for saying this but, isn’t Mareeda’s martial arts skills alone one that could make you successful in the army?」
「No, it is not such a big deal. Besides, I am proud of my current work. It also gives me the feeling that I am actually protecting people with my own power」
「Is that so. That is really envious. I seem to be lacking that thing that is worth living for such as that」
Christina’s dark emotions mixed with the content and tone of the conversation that I heard, gives me an unpleasant guarantee that my imagination was perfectly right on the money.
Fumu, I guess it is not a topic I could easily break in, but if I ever have the opportunity to talk to her, maybe I should at least try to have a chat.
I was thinking about why Christina chose to visit this village. Well for now she doesn’t seem to be a bad person.