436 p1. Noble Faction and New School Year [9]


「I’m surprised. I didn’t think you were a true soul dress user…」

「Hehe, be more happy for me. This is the first time I’m showing anyone this.」

With a fearless smile, Maddy pulled out her pure white sword that was pierced into the stage.

Enormous spiritual power gathered in the sword and began emitting a faint white light.

「The real match starts from now on.」

「A true soul dress user… Couldn’t have asked for a better opponent!」

As soon as Rose took her Sakura Blossom stance, Maddy’s figure disappeared from sight.

「Citrus Style–」

「Tsk! (From behind… but I can make it in time!)」

When Rose’s rear was taken, she immediately turned around and unleashed a sharp upwards slash.

However, Maddy was no longer there.

「Too slow – Riot of Iyo!」

Two consecutive attacks were unleashed at Rose’s defenseless back, but Rose made an instantaneous judgment and leapt forward.



The unleashed consecutive attacks were so sharp that her whole body was carved with numerous lacerations.

「Haa haa… (What speed. I couldn’t see the beginning of her movement at all…)」

Step by step, Rose jumped back, trying to secure enough distance, but…

「Feeew, I’m surprised. I thought I would be able to end the match with that move.」

Maddy never slowed down her attacks. She just kept moving forward and forward, following after Rose and pushing for a super short distance fight.

「Sei! Sei! Sei! There is still a lot more coming your way!」


With her divine reflexes and spiritual power raised by〈Winter Sakura〉, Rose somehow managed to handle Maddy’s movements… but she could do no more than defense and evasion. She was forced into a completely defensive battle.

There was too big a gap between the soul dress〈Winter Sakura〉and the true soul dress〈Citrus〉in their strengthening abilities.

(Do your best… Rose…)

I clenched my fist tightly as I continued to cheer for her in my heart.

「Citrus Style – Yuzu Cut!」

An overhead slash, the same as her opening move.

In response, Rose held her sword horizontally.

Her defense was perfect.

The angle at which she held her sword, her stance to prepare for impact, and the position of her center of gravity were so flawless that you could just put them in the swordsmanship guide book.


「Oi oi, you don’t have enough power!」

Rose’ defense was destroyed by Maddy’s mighty spiritual power.

Maddy’s merciless side kick pierced the spot where Rose’s posture was disturbed.


The air in Rose’s lungs was kicked out as she rolled violently across the stage.

「…Kuh, Sakura Blossom One Sword Style―」

Rose probably thought that if things continued like this, it’s likely that she would lose.

Thus she quickly stood up and launched a counter offensive.


「–Like. I. said. You’re too slow.」

Maddy took half a step, and perfectly timed her counter to completely squash Rose’ technique.


Rose’s eyes widened in disbelief.

In the face of the absolute power of a true soul dress, even her polished swordsmanship can’t cut through.

「This is the end. Citrus Style – Yuzu Sever!」

「Ga, ha…」

This was the third overhead slash.

A deep sword wound ran across Rose’s chest. The Sakura Blossom sword flew off of her hand.


At the same time as I shouted, the last petals left on the Sakura tree dissipated like mist.

Her soul dress〈Winter Sakura〉was released, and she collapsed on the spot.

(…Rose fought really well.)

She gave everything she had against a high-ranking true soul dress user, desperately chasing after a narrow chance of victory.

However, the power of Imperial Academy’s Vice-General Maddy Malm greatly exceeded our expectations.

Everyone here thought the outcome of the match had been decided, and yet Rose slowly rose to her feet.

(It’s enough… you have done enough…)

If she continues any longer, she will really die.

「…Give up, Rose. You were indeed strong. You’re an ideal swordsman who has the complete element of mind, body, and technique. To the point where I would like to make that trashy bastard, Shin, eat the dirt under your fingernails so he would know what a true swordsman is. However, a soul dress user can’t beat a true soul dress user. That’s the principle of this world.」

Rose laughed as she heard Maddy’s ruthless sentence.

「Yes… it is exactly as you say. I used to think so too.」

「……Used to think?」

「I ended up witnessing something. A man who defeated a soul dress user without a soul dress. A man who defeated a true soul dress user while still using a soul dress…」

「Whoa, that’s a pretty incredible guy, isn’t he? Who is he?」

「Fuu, you’ll find out soon.」

As Rose smiled with pride, her whole body erupted with violent vibrations of “life”.

「O-Oi, are you serious…」

「This is the first time I’m showing it. Will you be happy for me?」

The next moment,

「Graft – 100 Million Year Sakura!」

A tree so huge that it covered the sky was in full bloom behind Rose.

The beautiful sakura petals dancing in the wind carried the gentle scent of spring, dyeing the entire area in the color of sakura.

The contestants, the referee, the spectators – everyone here was completely fascinated by the beauty of the 100 Million Year Sakura.

(…There’s no mistake… It’s Bacchus-san’s spirit core, the 100 Million Year Sakura!)

I don’t know the details as to why Rose inherited Bacchus-san’s power… Perhaps the special blood of the Valencia family is related to the ”Vow of Graft”.

「T-This is…. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the national treasure of the Land of Sakura, Cherin! Why on earth is the 100 Million Year Sakura here!? Was contestant Rose hiding it!? Just what in the world is going on hereeeee!?」

While the live commentator remembered his duties and started narrating, Rose, who received a huge amount of spiritual power from the 100 Million Year Sakura, completely recovered, and quietly took the Seigan no Kamae stance while overflowing with vitality.

(…That long sword looks exactly the same.)

The sakura-colored extra-long sword that was gripped in Rose’s hand, though slightly smaller in size, was exactly the same as the one that Bacchus-san wielded.

「Hah, so you were a true soul dress user too, Rose!」

Maddy smiled ferociously and let out a happy voice.

「No, this is still in the stage of soul dress. I’m still too immature to manifest〈Sephirot〉.」

「Then what, you have two soul dress?」

「My clan is a little special, you see.」

Rose ended the conversation with a few words, and deeply dropped her center of gravity.

「Now then, let’s continue. This power won’t last very long.」

「Hmm, it’s a soul dress with a limited duration. Then… let’s not delay. After all, in a serious match, we have to put out the best swordsmanship in our best condition!」

The two of them smiled and closed the distance between each other without a moment’s breath.



The color of Sakura and Citrus engaged in a fierce battle.

「Hah! (Push through!)」

「Impossible…(My true soul dress… lost in a contest of strength!?)」

Overwhelmed in a simple contest of strength, Maddy crashed into the inner wall of the venue with tremendous force.

When Rose stepped in to pursue her, the large Citrus tree shook, scattering a large number of pure white petals.

「Eat this, Dance of White Fan!」

Citrus blossoms imbued with tremendous spiritual power were shot at terrifying speeds.

However, Rose’s legs didn’t stop.

She rushed towards the approaching blades of petals and took deep, large lacerations on her body.


Maddy was astonished in the face of such an unexpected action. In the next second, she understood Rose’s choice of action.

(Oi, what kind of resilience is that!?)

The large number of wounds on Rose’s body completely healed in one breath.

The regenerative ability of the Phantom Spirit〈100 Million Year Sakura〉was literally out of this world.

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Dropout Swordsman that Became Unparalleled

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