Ruri and Akiha were on the rooftop of the condominium.
“And that’s…fine with you?”
“Well didn’t you say it’s important to pay attention to one’s feelings, Master?”
“There are technically…more important things.”
“But you haven’t done it, Master.”
“Then let’s begin…the test.”
After having a rather incoherent conversation, Ruri pulled out her katana and slowly drew a circle on the ground.
The circle was a meter in diameter. Ruri stood in the center, sheathing her sword and speaking to Akiha.
“Try to…force me out of here.”
“Heh, does that mean you won’t be using your clones?”
“And that’s really ok? It’s one thing for me to say, but I can seriously tell that I’ve gotten stronger. I won’t just pass the test, I’d probably win against you when you just stand there like that.”
“If you can accomplish that…you will have full mastership.”
“Alriiight, guess it’s time to get this over with. Oh, are there any other rules?”
“Master, you’re so kind!”
After bending and stretching in preparation, she lunged straight for Ruri.
Right before she had entered Ruri’s range, Akiha quickly thrust her hands out and slammed them together.
This particular movement is referred to as “nekodamashi” in sumo—-a surprise attack.
And as Akiha lunged forward, she was met with a slash attack.
Her attempt to hinder Ruri’s vision had failed. Ruri kept her composure.
“That’s my master!”
“That was…a little sneaky of you.”
“That’s just me in a nutshell.”
“Amazing…Darling has done it again.”
“Heck yeah, but we both know that!”
Akiha brought out the various techniques she had learned from Ruri in her attacks.
Every movement was skilled and precise, and anyone watching would never imagine that she was a rookie-in-training.
Akiha aimed calculated blows at the vital spots.
Ruri staved off the attack.
She counterattacked with her katana, driving away Akiha.
This would repeat itself, with Akiha charging back at Ruri only to be repelled again and again.
Ruri wouldn’t leave the circle. In fact, her feet had not budged a single inch.
“Great stuff, Master! You overwhelm me like a yokozuna in sumo!”
“…Gottsuan (special sumo word for thank you).”
“Wanna try getting fat? Taiyou might be into that kind of thing when you do it.”
“I will consider it…at best.”
“Aww, you’re not gonna do it? That sucks.”
“I will consider it…with enthusiasm.”
“Oh, so you WANT to do it!?”
That surprised Akiha. The next moment, she went up a gear.
Compared to earlier, her movement had risen a level to where she was no longer just striking from the front, but approaching from either side with steps to the left and the right of Ruri.
Ruri and Akiha.
Their fight was reminiscent of boxers in a fighting ring, one approaching and the other defending.
There was Ruri, composed in the center and Akiha, restlessly maneuvering around her.
Akiha felt a clean hit in her flank, which prompted her to immediately rush off to the side, decreasing the impact of the hit.
“That was with…the back of the sword, just so you know.”
“Well shucks, thanks for the info!”
Upon landing, she threw herself right back at Ruri.
Almost as if nothing had happened.
But the cold sweat that had emerged on Akiha’s forehead told a different story.
Ruri had held back in the attack, and Akiha had quickly reacted to it, but she still seemed to have taken quite a bit of damage.
“Hey, Master. How many kids you want in the future?”
“I want to have…1.5 of them.”
“Why is there a decimal in there!?”
“How many…do you want?”
“Well I want…11 of them!”
“A baseball team and two coaches!”
Their conversation had mellowed down to chit-chat, which was the complete opposite of their fight that had only increased in intensity.
Akiha had begun to wage more ferocious attacks on Ruri than earlier, and Ruri dispatched each and every one of them.
Akiha’s raw wounds had begun to increase by the minute. If Ruri were really serious right now, Akiha would be split into seventeen pieces.
Akiha was flung back into the wall.
She tried to stand up, but her legs quivered, not permitting it.
Determining that it would be impossible to continue like this, she had thrown in the towel. Ruri, who had yet to budge an inch, left the circle to walk over to Akiha.
“Yep, looks like I win.”
Akiha said all of a sudden. Ruri looked at her blankly.
“Looks like you got out of the circle, Master. So it’s my win.”
“But that was…after you surrendered.”
“Yeah I surrendered, but I never admitted my defeat. I checked the rules real thoroughly. They only detail you losing, but there’s nothing about what to do when I lose, yeah?”
“Hey, a win is a win.”
But of course she was not serious. It was just a joke. And Akiha herself did not think that would actually be allowed.
“I will not give the emblem of eligibility…to those types of people.”
“I wasn’t going to pass anyway, so who cares.”
“Wha? Whatcha mean?”
“I said…you passed.”
“But I wasn’t able to get you out of the circle, was I?”
“I said…try to get me out of it.”
“I didn’t say…that you had to succeed in it.”
This surprised Akiha. Come to think of it, she was right.
“Right, right! Even I thought that was a practically impossible challenge! I bet Taiyou would struggle with something like that too.”
“Darling…can do it.”
“I intended…to follow the rules from the beginning.”
“Is that right…”
Ruri sweetly smiled, taking out something long from her skirt. It strongly resembled what Ruri was carrying around with her. It was a katana with a plain wood scabbard.
Akiha accepted it into her hands.