Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
52. New semester and First-Year War 
After defeating Raise-san in the first round, I continued to win in the second and third round as well.
Finally, I advanced to the semi-finals.
「Now, the First-Year War has finally entered the final act! Then, everyone, I would like to ask for a big round of applause for the swordsmen who have overcome many battles to reach this stage!」
When the commentator said so, the audience gave a round of applause to us, who were on the stage.
I, Ria, Rose and Tessa, advanced through to the semi-finals.
「Allen, finally …!」
「The real thing starts from here on…」
「Aa, let’s have a great match!」
And when the three of us were talking,
「Oi, Oi, don’t forget me…」
Tessa said while shrugging his shoulders.
Honed Iron Cutting Style and muscular body – I can’t forget him, who is one of the best in Class A.
「Aa, I’m looking forward to fighting with Tessa.」
「Hehe, well thanks.」
And when the conversation has just finished,
「Then, from now on, we will decide the match cards of the semi-finals!」
The commentator girl announced loudly and put her hand into the transparent box containing small balls.
「Well, the first contestant of the semi-final! The Evil Star who advanced almost unscathed so far! Allen Rodore!」
At that moment, the audience seats boiled with excitement.
(…… Evil Star, huh)
From the standpoint of commentary on the live situation, I can understand the necessity of exciting the audiences…
Even so, I want you to come up with a more decent name.
「And on the other hand – the legendary secret sword which is said to be peerless! Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style, the legitimate successor – Rose Valencia!」
When the commentator introduces Rose very accurately,
「Here, please turn over here!」
「Good luck! I’m rooting for you…!」
High pitched cheering burst out.
Looking at it, many of the female students in the audience were waving to Rose.
Apparently she seems to be very popular among the same sex.
(Well, Rose is cool after all…)
Dignified features characterized by red eyes.
Pinkish silver hair extending tied at the back.
She’s an extremely weak morning person, but… It might be an attractive weakness depending on how you see it.
As I was thinking about that, Rose had a warlike smile.
「I’ve been looking forward to this since I lost at the Sword Festival.」
「I’ve always been looking forward to crossing swords with Rose. Let’s do our best today!」
And when I held out my right hand,
「Of course, I’m going to do just that!」
Rose grasped my hand tightly.
「Now, are you both ready? So the first semi-final match – Begin!」
At the same time as the signal to start the match, I and Rose pulled out our swords.
Our stance was exactly the same – the sword held in front of the navel, Seigan no Kamae.
Rose’s gaze intersected with mine, and a tense air permeated the venue.
(It’s been a long time since I faced Rose like this…)
It is already slightly more than half a year ago that we crossed swords at the Sword Festival.
At that time, I never dreamed of us attending the same swordsmanship academy.
「…Here I come, Allen.」
The moment I nodded.
Rose had already drawn close to my nose tip.
Matching her opponents breathing and getting close in that slight blink of an eye – her special movement technique.
(I knew it was coming, but my response was still delayed by one breath …)
As usual, it was tremendously advanced bodywork.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style – Sakura Flash!」
Rose shot a sharp thrust with her whole weight without losing any speed.
I greeted her thrust which was aimed directly at my torso, with a thrust of my own at the exact same angle.
The tip of the swords collided, creating an antagonistic state.
This sequence is exactly the same as previously at the Sword Festival.
(Here is where I attack…!)
When I dropped my center of gravity and slipped towards Rose’s chest.
「The same move won’t work twice…!」
She, who had read my movement, was already moving on to the next attack.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style – Evening Sakura!」
An amazing diagonal slash at an unstoppable speed.
Simultaneously as I closed in – the naked sword was unleashed at the perfect timing.
In the past, I would have been unable to react.
But now, I’ve overcome a number of struggles to the death – It’s not at the level I can’t dodge!
I avoided that blow by a hair’s breadth,
And landed a strong kick on her defenseless body.
Rose’s feet left the stage and she was blown away greatly.
(…As expected of Rose, that’s a good reaction)
She immediately defended her solar plexus with her left arm.
There’s probably almost no damage to the internal organs. So there should be no problem with continuing the battle.
As soon as Rose made one rotation in the air and killed the shock, she assumed Seigan no Kamae.
「Kuh, as expected… so strong…」
「Rose too, that attack just now was a close call… Neither your cuts nor defensive movements can be compared to the time at Sword Festival…」
「Thank you… but, I’m still getting started.」
After that, we exchanged a flurry of intense blows.
The sound of iron colliding with iron resounded, and sparks danced around us.
As a minute and two went by, the flow of the match gradually, but surely leaned towards me.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style – Lightning Sakura!」
The thunderclap-like Iai slash,
I forcibly cut it down with a downswing.
And when her defenses dropped slightly,
「First Sword – Flying Shadow!」
With Flying Shadow which has a short launch time, I dealt a significant damage from a short distance.
I held onto Seigan no Kamae, basically unscathed.
Rose, on the other hand, suffered considerable damage and was breathing heavily.
The fact that I hold an advantage in this match is largely due to the difference in simple physical strength, and because I had already seen through her tendencies.
(Rose tends to unconsciously dislike performing the same technique continuously…)
There were three types of techniques already used in this battle: Sakura Flash, Evening Sakura, and Lightning Sakura.
(The next move is probably …)
Trying to turn this unfavorable situation around – she’s going to bring out that big skill that she hasn’t used yet.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style Secret Technique – Mirrored Sakura Slash!」
As expected, Rose unleashed the secret technique of Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style.
And in reply, I,
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style Secret Technique – Mirrored Sakura Slash!」
I met her attack with the exact same technique.
Four strikes from the left and right each like a mirror match – Eight unstoppable slashes collided violently.
The result was one-sided.
「Kuh … Kyaa !?」
My Mirrored Sakura Slash easily tore into her Mirrored Sakura Slash and dealt some heavy damage to her.
She murmured with a shocked expression.
「The difference between physical strength and direction …」
There is a big difference between me and Rose in the muscle strength that is the base of swordsmanship.
In addition, I had foreseen that Rose’s next move would be Mirrored Sakura Slash, and I unleashed my Mirrored Sakura Slash diagonally against her slash – in a direction to kill the force.
Power and direction.
It was only natural that my Mirrored Sakura Slash, which had the advantage in both of them, would win.
After that, the commentator spoke as we fell into a stalemate.
「Well, who on earth would have expected this would be such a one-sided match!? And if it’s not my mistake, Allen’s technique just now was the secret art, Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style! As expected, the Emperor of Evil! Do you steal the other party’s techniques too?」
E-Emperor of Evil…
(Haa… I… don’t care anymore…)
When I sighed in my heart, Rose spoke softly.
「Allen is strong after all… It’s frustrating, but in a pure swordsmanship match, I lose…」
Contrary to those weak words, her eyes were burning with a strong fighting spirit.
(So it’s finally coming…)
I raised my guard and observed every single movement of hers.
「But, I definitely won’t lose this match!」
At the same time as she declared powerfully, a strong pressure that felt like piercing through my skin was released.
(There is no doubt, Rose has already manifested it…)
And the next moment,
「Dye -〈Winter Sakura〉!」「1. TL Note: “Winter Sakura” is originally called “Higanzakura”, which is a tree – scientific name “Prunus subhirtella ”.」
A huge sakura tree appeared behind her.
A magnificent thick trunk that gives off a powerful vibe.
Blooming in full blossom – scarlet petals with a mysterious charm.
The sakura blossoms were so beautiful that I could even forget the flow of time by watching them.
As Rose whispered, the sakura petals concentrated on her hand – forming a sword.
A blade that reflects the light with a beautiful scarlet color.
Indescribable pressure emitted from the entire sword.
I knew at a glance that it was no ordinary sword.
「-Allen, here I come.」
The First-Year War semi-final – the battle with Rose has entered the final phase.