34 Graduation Exam 3
In the middle of the arena, Mile and the Leader of 『Mithril Roar』 were facing off.
「Seriously, what the hell are you guys…」
「Eh, what about us? Were just a couple of Hunter Training School students, you know? Although we have seemed to have strayed a little from the right path…」
「As if 『straying from the right path』 would turn normal students into that!!」
Receiving a normal rebuttal, Mile happily smiled.
There was nothing as sad as playing the fool, only for the other side to let it slide without comment.
「Magic Swordsman, 『Normal Girl Mile』, here I come!」
「What’s up with that!?」
「Ah, well, I thought that if I’d introduce myself like this it might stick. Isn’t being normal great….」
「Not that! Although that is also….
What’s that 『Magic Swordsman』 supposed to be! Magician or swordsman, which one are you!」
「You will find that out if you fight with me.」
「Well, that’s true I suppose… Let’s start then!」
And with this their match began.
After exchanging a couple of strong blows, a blindingly fast exchange of strikes started.
The ringing of their swords connecting had already turned into a constant high pitched screech.
Combat on a level where the audience wasn’t even able to see the blades anymore continued while the visitors, enveloped by surprise and excitement, cheered loudly.
「Somehow this has turned out to be quite fun. Is it okay for me to go a little faster?」
「Y-You little, were you holding back on me! Bring it on!」
Apparently Guren had held back a lot himself too as their even trading of blows continued even after raising the speed. His face had started twisting, but this was not due to pain or unpleasantness.
If one of Guren’s old friends saw him like that, they’d probably say
『Ah, he’s laughing. How unusual. He must be in a really good mood』…
「What the… The Leader is smiling….」
Voices of surprise rose in the resting area of 『Mithril Roar』
「What is this….」
「….the final battle between a demon and an angel?」
The one who answered the minister of finance’s muttered question was the prince.
「Can you see their swords?」
Elbert replied to the king.
Next to them, the hands of Count Christopher, the former S Rank Hunter, were trembling.
He didn’t have a stroke. They were shaking while grasping a non-existent hilt.
「….can I, Elbert?」
「Obviously not, Count!」
…..it seems like he wanted to fight too.
The general audience that had been cheering all the time had fallen silent.
They didn’t have the leisure to talk or shout.
If they had the time for that, they’d rather spend it on carving this scenery into their brains.
The entirety of this fight would probably become something they’d tell and be told about often in their future.
Unable to endure their clashes, Mile’s sword had finally broken under the strain. They were just cheaply made for mock battles, so it was no wonder.
But neither of them was satisfied yet.
「Do you want to get a new one? I don’t mind even if you take out your own.」
Even though Guren said that, there was no way she could use the Mysterious Sword here.
「No, I’m fine.」
Saying this, Mile places pinched the blade of her sword near her hilt and slid it upwards until she reached the former length of her sword. Where her fingers had passed now was a blade of light.
「Secret technique, 『Beam Sword』!」
「What the hell’s that!」
「So that’s it, a 『Swordsman that uses Magic』, in short a 『Magic Swordsman』!」
「Eh, no, I can use magic normally too.」
「…W-well, doesn’t matter, let’s continue!!」
Guren nullified the magic bullet sent out easily, without an incantation, and only a flick of her hand.
Since the audience couldn’t hear their conversation, they hadn’t noticed that Mile had skipped the chant.
Their fierce battle picked up once again with Mile freely moving around at high speed and back-flipping.
This was still nowhere near her body’s full power, but she had removed enough of her limiter to be at the peak of humanity. For Mile with her lack of talent when it comes to swords, this was about right to match Guren.
It’s fun! It’s exciting!
Losing herself in the pleasure of combat, only came back to her senses when Guren started to approach his limit and started to get slower.
(This is bad! I did it again!)
Although she had planned to show off since the beginning, she hadn’t planned to show this much. There was a limit to how far she should go.
Turning pale, Mile asked Guren in a low voice.
「I am sorry about it, but due to circumstances it would be great if you could make me lose! Ah, painlessly if possible!」
In his many years as a Hunter, Guren had seen and experienced a lot of things. He immediately understood that Mile had some circumstances, but got too excited and screwed up a little. Since he was part of the reason why she got too into it, and since it also had been a lot of fun for him, he could do that much for her.
「Guaa, I am done for~!」
Both were unsalvageable hams.
They were a good combination.
For the audience, this pathetic ending to such a breathtaking match was shocking, but they soon came up with well-meaning interpretations like 『there had to be reasons for it』 or 『she expressed her respect for her senior and yielded the victory to him』, ignoring their blatantly obvious acting.
But in the middle of the arena, Mile’s turn hadn’t ended yet.
「Don’t get cocky just because you have beaten me! We are but small children when compared to that person! Please avenge me, Vail-sama!」
In return to Mile’s sudden declaration Guren, as well as Vail back in the waiting area cried out.
「Circumstances! I have circumstances!」
W-What nonsense are you spouting! As if he could win against this great me!」
Guren reluctantly played along Mile’s desperate appearance.
「Ahhh, Leader has turned insane…」
『Mithril Roar』 was thrown into confusion, some unbelievingly staring at the scene before them while others tried to keep down their laughter with all of their might.
Meanwhile Vail was coming out of the waiting area, his face clearly showing that he didn’t want to enter this kind of atmosphere.
「What was that cheap acting at the end…」
「From the look of it there’s probably a reason for it. Let it slide.
So Elbert, is that it.」
The King asked Elbert after placating the minister of finance.
「That, along with the three before her come as a set.」
「Is that so…」
「Mile! What was that! We were so close to complete victory!」
「No, no, if we did something like that, starting out as C Rank Hunters would be a problem! And wouldn’t it be bad to make the other side lose face?」
「W-Well, you have a point there…」
Remembering what she had done earlier, Rena felt a little bit bad and tone it down. It seemed as though that magician was still curled into a ball in their waiting area and continued muttering something.
In the middle of the arena, under the gaze of the audience, Guren and Vail opposed each other.
After those words, Guren had no choice but to continue fighting. Just as Mile had planned.
「Are you also part of them….」
「N-No! Don’t lump me together with people like them!」
「Sorry, didn’t mean to…」
Guren honestly apologized to Vail who was desperately denying his affiliation.
If it was a normal student, even his current battered and exhausted state was no problem.
「Let’s finish this then. Come at me!」
「Wha…. you tricked me!」
「I didn’t trick you!」
Although he didn’t come close to Mile, his speed was comparable to Maevis, but his skill was leaps and bounds above Mile. This combined with Guren being exhausted and having let go of his tension after the satisfying fight against Mile, made this battle difficult for the Hunter.
In such a moment of distraction, an attack was launched.
Cramming the necessary image into a single word, an easily invoked Wind Magic.
In part due to their difference in height, the compressed ball of air hit him from below due to his dulled reactions, lifting Guren from the ground and breaking his stance.
With his feet in the air, Guren couldn’t muster any strength, and Vail unleashed a stream of attacks, but even if his stance was broken, this much wasn’t enough to put Guren down. But….
With a pling the severed part of Guren’s blade hit the ground while Vail had canceled the magic immediately after cutting the sword and rammed the now normal sword into Guren’s abdomen.
「We have a winner!」
The Leader of 『Mithril Roar』, the A Rank Hunter Guren, had regretfully lost.
Despite losing, Guren was fairly calm. Because he understood the reason for his loss and had confidence that he wouldn’t repeat the same mistake.
The shocked one was Vail, the winner.
「I, I won….? against a B Rank Hunter?」
「Hey, if you think you won this on your own power, you’ll die soon, understood?」
「Ah, y-yes, I know that….But even so, a little….」
「Ah~, I understand. Well, a win is a win. Today you can just be happy about that, but keep your act together after that.
And our party’s Rank might be B, but mine is A, remember that!」
「Y-Yes! Thank you very much!」
Under roaring applause, Vail stiffly made his way out of the arena.
(Great, everything according to plan!)
The plan had been to weaken the impression of Mile’s fight by having Vail showing off after her.
Having Vail beat the leader of the top class B Rank party 『Mithril Roar』, making everyone else to be an also-ran. Even if she overdid it a little, it would get buried by the bigger news of a student beating 『Mithril Roar』’s Guren.
「Hey, Mile! Come here for a sec!」
Smiling to herself about how her plan had went without a hitch, Guren suddenly called her from the middle of the arena.