Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Claude vs Professor Mikhail (?)
The next day, Mikhail met Claude in the training grounds. Hikaru, Ivan, and Luka were present as well to watch the match. No one else was around.
「Hmm… While the Zahards is a prestigious family in Kirihal, they’re not exactly well-known for their sword skills.」Mikhail said, scratching the back of his neck. Even when facing Claude, he didn’t think the student was strong.
「You’re right, Professor. But I’ve gotten stronger with Hikaru’s guidance.」
Mikhail shot a curious glance at Hikaru.
「I believe there’s no need for introductions. Let’s get this started right away. There are no rules in particular, so fight however you want. But if someone’s life is in danger, me or Ivan might intervene.」
「Oh? Ivan, if you want to stop me in the middle of a fight, you better put your life on the line.」
Ivan stood at attention. It almost seemed like he’d be saluting too.
The professor has a point. Ivan can’t stop him unless he gave it his all. I have this, though.
Hikaru was fiddling with a stone in his hand. If something happened, he just had to throw it. As long as they dropped their weapons, the worst case scenario could be avoided.
But man, why does every single match have to be so dangerous?
Mikhail and Claude stood ten meters apart, facing each other. The professor had a great sword, while Claude wielded a one-handed sword. Of course, both were practice weapons.
「Hmm…a one-handed sword, eh?」
「Thank you for your time, Sir.」
Claude bowed and readied his sword. Mikhail still didn’t seem convinced. Luka was beside Hikaru, grasping her own hands tightly.
「What’s this? Why, if it isn’t Professor Mikhail. What are you doing here?」
Right before they could begin, someone arrived — the short spear instructor, Kilnenko Ludancia, with two professors accompanying him.
「What does it look like? It’s a practice match.」Mikhail answered angrily, annoyed after being interrupted right before the fight started.
「I see. A practice match. I’m afraid I can’t approve this. Please call it off right away.」
「What? Are you serious? Instructors and students are free to hold practice matches.」
「Claude Zahard Kirihal is my student.」
Claude nodded silently.
「I was wondering what you’ve been doing since you haven’t attended my classes recently. So you were studying the one-handed sword, eh? Forget that useless weapon and return to my classes.」
「I’m sorry, Professor. I’m—」
「You want to drop out of my class?」Kilnenko’s eyes narrowed.「How dare you insult me, boy!」
Claude gave a start.
「You should be grateful I even allowed a filthy Kirihal student like you in my class. Did you think you can just drop out like that?」
「I planned to submit a formal notice of withdrawal.」
「Leave the academy at once.」
「If you leave the academy right now, then I won’t say anymore. But if you withdraw from my class and still wish to stay here…」
The other two professors lined up beside him. One was a long spear user while the other one used a bow. Both were probably from Ludancia as well.
「Surely you didn’t think you could get away scot-free after bringing me disgrace.」Kilnenko said.
Claude gritted his teeth in frustration. Kilnenko glanced at Luka who watched nervously.
「Please come over here. A nasty rumor might start spreading if you stay around people from Kirihal and Jarazack.」
Claude and Luka were at a loss about what to do.
「Hahahaha!」But Hikaru just laughed.「Man, you’re one funny dude!」
「You… I believe your name is Hikaru.」Kilnenko said.
「You were eavesdropping on my conversation with Professor Mikhail yesterday, weren’t you? I was wondering what you were going to do, but you actually came here just to quibble! What a riot!」
「And you have a rotten attitude! I guess we’ll just have to fix that!」
「Ah, that sounds like a great idea.」
Hikaru turned to Mikhail.
「Professor. There’s no special authorization needed for a practice match between a student and instructor, correct?」
「Yes. But if the professor in-charge of the student objects, then there will be no fight.」
「How about this, then? Me, Claude, and Ivan will fight Professor Kilnenko and his pals. It’ll be a knockout format, and if we win then we proceed with our original plan of you training Claude. If we lose, we’ll leave the academy.」
「What?!」Claude was shocked.
「Hey, don’t just drag me into this without asking me!」While Ivan complained, he was actually grinning.
「You dogs… You think you’re hot shit?!」Veins popped on Kilnenko’s forehead.「Fine! We accept those terms! I’ll run you pests out of this academy!」
And so instead of a match between Mikhail and Claude, it turned into a mock battle between Hikaru, Claude, and Ivan versus the Professors from Ludancia.
「We can win, right, Hikaru?」Ivan asked before the fight.
「Why’d you have to do that without asking us first?」Claude was mad.
「Relax.」Hikaru said, trying to calm him down.「You were planning to win against Professor Mikhail anyway. You can’t lose against Kilnenko when he’s weaker.」
「B-But anything can happen in a fight.」
「Oh, I get it now.」Ivan nodded to himself. Since hanging out with Ivan, Hikaru noticed that he wasn’t just a musclehead either. He was smart as well.
「What do you mean “you get it now”?! Hikaru wasn’t even thinking clearly when he challenged them!」
「No. Listen, Claude. You only get one shot at the boss. If you lose, it’s over.」
「Hikaru is trying to let you experience such critical moments. Am I right, Hikaru?」
「Yup. There’s another reason of course. It’s best if he learned to fight against other weapons as well, not only great swords.」
Claude glanced at Ivan, and then Hikaru.
「So this is all for me.」
「No, it’s not, you idiot. So don’t take it all upon yourself. It’s for the student alliance. As an alliance, we gotta help each other out.」
They fist-bumped. Things were going well so far.
To be honest, I really just want to legally beat the crap out of Kilnenko, Hikaru thought. But I guess I can’t tell them that.
Claude would go first, then Ivan, and Hikaru last.
「Oh, so you’re the first victim. I thought you would use your friends to wear me down first, then fight last.」
Kilnenko was the first fighter on the opponent’s side. Already the main event first, huh? Hikaru thought.
Claude looks calm.
Even when provoked, the young man was composed. A good mindset. Luka, standing beside the referee Mikhail, was actually the one fidgeting nervously.
「Thank you for everything, Professor.」Claude said.
「So you think you won already, huh? You’re as obnoxious as they get.」
Sparks seemed to fly about as they glared at each other.
「All right. Both parties, get ready. Fight!」
Mikhail’s voice rang out.