Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
5. Dropout Swordsman and Swordsmanship Academy  – part 1
Immediately following the end of the match between Allen and Bubble.
The Sword Festival Management Committee had become noisy.
That’s because one of the Five Academy in the capital – Thousand Blade Academy’s President, Leia Lasnode, suddenly visited.
「T-To show up all the way out here at our region’s Sword Festival…! W-We are very grateful for your visit…!」
The elderly man who was in charge of the Sword Festival managed to express his gratitude in spite of his trembling.
On the other hand, Leia scratched her cheek apologetically.
「That is… I don’t really need a VIP seat, even a regular seat is fine…」
In fact this was her real intention.
She came here as a spectator to observe the Sword Festival.
She accidentally caught the attention of the management committee member and was brought to the VIP seat.
「No, no! I can’t do that! I’m very sorry that I could only prepare this place…!」
The man earnestly apologizes.
There was of course a reason why he was so frightened.
The president of one of the Five Academy has great social influence and power.
If Leia’s mood was displeased, the 『Sword Festival』 itself will be easily ended.
It was no wonder that the man, who is in charge of the Sword Festival, was so frightened.
「Don’t be so humble. This time, I came to observe the participants, rather than the Sword Festival.」
Leia then decided to give a little explanation to relieve the tension of the management committee member.
She wanted to refrain from watching the matches in such a tense atmosphere.
「Recently, I’ve been searching for new students for the further development of Thousand Blade Academy. You can think of it as scouting.」
In the past, Thousand Blade Academy was a prosperous school, but in recent years the quality of students has declined, and it’s status as one of the Five Academy was in jeopardy.
The former president took responsibility for it and resigned, and Leia became the new president in the subsequent presidential election.
She visited promising swordsmen from around the country to restore the school, and offered enrollment with exemption from tuition fees for such individuals.
It is difficult to improve the quality of students instantly. Therefore, some super-excellent students were enrolled and partially improved the average quality.
「I see… So this time, you’ve set your sights on the previous prize winner『Bounty Hunter』?」
The person in charge of the Sword Festival, who was slightly less nervous now, asked Leia.
「Yes, of course. 『Bounty Hunter Rose-Valencia』- I wanted to confirm her abilities with my own eyes once」
If she were truly as strong as the rumors say, Leia will immediately propose a recommended admission.
「Indeed… I saw the bounty hunter fight for the first time at the last tournament… The Secret Art of Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style! It was such a spine-chilling fight.」
「That sounds exciting – However, I did not come here to observe Rose alone.」
「…Is that so?」
「By chance, I hope to find an undiscovered gem in this festival.」
Then, Leia turned her sharp inspecting gaze towards the stage.
After defeating Bubble with First Sword – Flying Shadow, I continued to win every match.
10 matches 10 wins – I never dreamed that this would happen.
After that, next is the final match where the winner is decided.
The commentator started to announce when the final match preparations were ready.
「Thank you for waiting! Then we will start the final match! The combination is Rose-Valencia vs. Allen-Rodore! Both participants, please go on to the stage!」
Bounty Hunter Rose-Valencia.
That name sounded familiar. A genius female swordsman of the same age as me.
The overall winning prize money of a tournament was stolen.
She found the culprit responsible for stealing the prize money, and handed him over to the Holy Knights.
It’s not clear what her objective is, but she’s a swordsman who is reputed to be talented.
I and Rose-san, both got onto the stage.
She had a dignified look with red pupils and beautiful silver hair mixed with pink extending to her back. Her clothes were of black theme with an accent of red, and from the stomach to the bottom of her chest was exposed. I was at a loss on where to look. And she wore low-rise shorts.
I had been watching her matches from the side of the stage.
With such a delicate body, she uses her sword skills to throw around big muscular men as thought they were beanbags, which was just stunning.
After the commentator confirmed we were both on stage, they gave a brief explanation as usual.
「Rose-Valencia is the legitimate successor of the secret art Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style! On the other hand, Allen is self-taught!」
The commentator after speaking to that extent, paused and took in a deep breath.
「-However, I can confidently say! There is no longer anyone who would look down on Allen’s self-taught sword!」
As the commentator said, after my fight with Bubble, not a single person scoffed at me.
It was rather the opposite now.
If it wasn’t my misunderstanding, some sort of respect was paid towards me.
In fact, there were a lot of people who wanted to shake hands, and there were also a few who volunteered to become disciples.
I responded to the handshakes, but I refused to take in disciples.
I’m still wet behind the ears.
I’m not in a position to teach the sword.
Then, just before the match started, I bowed as usual.
「Please treat me well.」
As I did,
「Me too, treat me well.」
She answered with a clear voice that resounded like a bell.
After each other’s greeting,
「Are both participants ready? Well then, final match — START!」
The commentator declared the match start.
Simultaneously, Rose-san and I pulled out our sword, and assumed the Seigan no kamae stance.
With the exact same stance, we faced-off with each other for a while.
(Judging from previous battles, her combat style is a counter type.)
A defensive sword that finds the slightest opening to exploit with one-strike certain kill while blocking the opponents attacks.
Attacking recklessly without a plan would be a poor move.
(Should I shoot 『Flying Shadow』and see how she responds to it…?)
The moment when I decided my next move.
Rose-san appeared right before my nose tip.
(She, matched my breathing…!?)
In the small amount of time when I inhaled and blinked, she drew so close.
It’s a tremendously advanced bodywork.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style – Sakura Flash!」
She lowered her center of gravity firmly and unleashed a thrust containing her full body weight.
However, my heart is not weak enough to be thrown into disarray by the sudden approach.
I greeted her with a thrust in the same direction as her aim towards my torso.
As a result, the tips of both our swords collide and clashed together.
Iron and iron collided violently, and a high-pitched metallic sound reverberated.
Due to the unexpected situation, Rose opened her eyes wide in shock, creating a slight opening.
There is no way I’m going to miss this opportunity.
I immediately dropped my center of gravity and drove a thrust towards her chest instantly.
My perfectly timed thrust – just slightly grazed her flank.
In that state where she was late by more than one breath, she forcibly twisted herself to avoid a direct hit.
She must have put in extraordinary efforts together with her natural talent.
「Kuh… I’m not done yet…!」
Rose was worried about her flank for a moment, and then immediately responded with a slash.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style – Evening Sakura!」
After that, we crossed swords countless times.
During that time, the venue was different and quieter than before.
There was not a single cheer nor a boo.
Occasionally they shared their impressions and just quietly watched our battle.
「Oi Oi, that bounty hunter, Rose, is being treated like a child…」
「As expected, should I volunteer to be a disciple one more time…?」
「Baka, don’t cause any bother to him. Allen-san doesn’t have the time to deal with the likes of you.」
After that, each time we crossed swords, fresh wounds accumulated on Rose-san’s body.
「HaaHaa… Bastard, just where… did you learn that sword from!?」
「No, like I said… I’m self-taught…」
Being self-taught is not something to be proud of.
I hope you would stop bringing it up.
「Don’t lie! Your sword has the weight of countless years of trials and devotion accumulated in it!」
She turned a sharp eye on me and asserted clearly.
Certainly, my sword is packed with the weight of more than a billion years of time. The『Weight』she felt is probably that.
「… That is just your imagination.」
I whispered while averting my eyes.
To be honest, I don’t want to talk about the 100 million years button.
I mean, nobody would believe me even if I talked about it.
Perhaps she was displeased with my answer,
「I see… so you’re going to feign ignorance to the bitter end…」
Rose-san became a little sullen.
「Alright then. We’ll see how long you can keep up that facade… As the 17th generation legitimate successor of the secret art, Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style – I will win this match.」