Chapter 107 - What do you think? (1)

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For a long time, the western part of the continent was famous for swords.

There were five cities that represented the five western kingdoms, and Lation, which was supposed to be a swordsman’s paradise, was one of them, and there were other cities that could be compared to it.

It was a must-see place.

And there was an emerging city called Partizan.

Although it lacks history and fame compared to the aforementioned city, it was young and filled with energy and freedom.

At least Airn, who was there, thought so.

‘This is different.’

Numerous swordsmen were there. And countless swordsmen were coming and going.

Watching such a scene, Airn felt a strange sense of upliftment.

But it wasn’t an unfamiliar sight.

He’s been traveling for less than half a year, despite that, Airn went through a lot as a swordsman.

However, most swordsmen were ‘mercenaries’ who wielded their swords for the sake of earning money.

It was safe to say that very few people were truly committed to the sword.

However, the place Airn was in was different.

Passion. And pride.

Airn could see the fires burning in the eyes of the people in the city; they were warming his heart.

“Well, the atmosphere is surely different from Lation. This feels freer.”

“Like a mercenary agency.”

“This is better, it’s crowded. There seems to be a lot of people who want to become knights… ah, that cat looks like Lulu. No, is that Lulu?”

“No way.”

Unlike the three of them who went out as soon as they unpacked their luggage, the other two were in their own rooms training; Lulu was training sorcery and Kuvar was training his spirits.

Maybe in Partizan, it was just going to be the three of them walking around.

With that thought in mind, they wandered around the streets without any fixed destination and Judith pointed to somewhere with a shrieking voice.

When they all turned and looked there, they saw a pretty-looking building with a sophisticated feel.

However, the first thing that caught their eyes was the large sword statue next to the gate.

“The bronze statue commemorates the founding of the Hyram Swordsmanship School… well, it holds some meaning. But is doodling on it alright?”

“Ah, you’re right!”

It was Judith who pointed it out. There were too many things written on the statue, it seemed like the city was truly free-spirited.

[The one who will be a Sword Master, Kayton came and went.]

[I’m going to learn a few things. -Paragon-]

[I hope that Hyram Swordsmanship School will grow beyond Partizan and become the best in the west.]

[I won’t lose next time - Anonymous swordsman.]

Seeing how the statue was filled with words, it felt absurd.

The statue was commemorating the founding of a school, is it okay for visitors to treat it like this?

At that moment, Bratt Lloyd, who had been silent until then, nodded and said.

“Hyram Swordsmanship…. Let’s go there.”

“Should we? Do you know about it?”

“No. But I understand that it’s a place with an unconventional and free spirit.”

“But… fine. It’s a place where people can even scribble on its statue, but I don’t think it’s an easy place to beat.”

Actually, on the statue, there were countless swordsmen who complained about how they challenged it and couldn’t win.

Looking at that, they thought that the school would be strong.

The three naturally formed their opinion and walked in front of the gate.

Before Judith knocked on the gate, Airn asked.

“Can I be greedy?”

“Huh?”

“If both of you are fine with it, I want to challenge them first.”

“… oh.”

“…”

Judith exclaimed and Bratt, he seemed slightly startled.

They felt like it was a bit burdensome, but Airn didn’t ask again.

They could feel his excitement since the moment he stepped into Partizan.

This was an unfamiliar side of Airn, but they didn’t hate it.

On the contrary, they never even thought that Airn could say such things.

And it was nice that he didn’t try to hide his feelings.

“Great!”

“Okay! You can go first, if it was Bratt I wouldn’t have agreed, but since it’s Airn’s request, I’ll yield. This older sister will yield.”

“I beg of you.”

“Huh?”

“Please just shut up.”

“Huh, you shut up. Airn, you knock.”

The two of them stepped back. Airn, feeling nervous for nothing, gulped and looked at the gate.

The moment he knocks on the gate, he would be a challenger. It was a little pressuring; his body was heating up.

‘It’s fine. I can do it.’

Sigh, he exhaled and put on a determined expression.

And bang, bang bang. He knocked on the gate.

After a while, a person came out from inside and greeted them.

Rattle.

“This is Hyram Swordsmanship School. And the reason for your visit?”

“… hello. I’m swordsman Airn Pareira. I know that this might come out rude, but we knocked on the gate with hopes to compete with the swordsmen of Hyram Swordsmanship School.”

Thanks to thinking in advance, he was able to explain it clearly.

However, as he spoke, his heart was gradually beating faster and faster.

The act of challenging another swordsman was making him nervous.

‘They don’t think it’s rude, right?’

There was no reason for such nervousness.

It was something that often happened, and the person from the school guided the trio inside.

Chirp!

Sniff!

A chirping sound from somewhere.

A subtle woody scent.

All their senses were on high alert.

Probably because they were sensitive.

Airn was clearly aware that he was nervous.

Fortunately, he had time to calm himself down.

Airn entered the waiting room and closed his eyes to take deep breaths and calm his mind.

Bratt and Judith did the same.

Although the two would bravely stand in front of their Krono seniors, challenging another school was a different thing.

But they weren’t as nervous as Airn.

For them, a pleasant feeling was rising in their bodies. In short, they were fully prepared for what would come.

‘Let’s do my best!’

‘I will do my best!’

‘I’ll kill them all!’

Airn, Bratt, and Judith’s resolute determination. 1

After a while, two swordsmen appeared in front of them.

“Huhu, nice to meet you! Young friends! This is Hyram, who is the owner of Hyram Swordsmanship School.”

“… nice to meet you. I’m Kent, an instructor.”

The face of the person who was an instructor was stiff.

And he spoke with slight discomfort. Feeling that, Judith’s fists tightened.

She wasn’t someone crazy enough to yell at that attitude.

She wasn’t going to act reckless as she was a trainee.

Her gaze shifted to the left.

‘I don’t need to worry about this.’

Unlike the man called Kent, the middle-aged man treated them gently.

To be honest, she was surprised. It was because she didn’t think that the owner of the school would personally come out to meet them.

‘In Lation, the only one who came out to meet us was a young instructor.’

The size of the cities was different, but…

With that thought in mind, she glanced sideways, and saw that both Bratt and Airn were shocked.

But, it was impossible for them to stay shocked like that.

The trio stood up and introduced themselves.

“Thank you for welcoming us. My name is Bratt Llyod.”

“I’m Judith.”

“I’m Airn Pareira.”

“Huhu, is that so! Would you three like to have a cup of tea and talk?”

“Sure.”

The three of them nodded at the same time.

The conversation which followed was the usual.

The one called Hyram had relieved them of the awkwardness by asking questions about places like other schools, and Bratt Lloyd, the most knowledgeable of the three, would receive the questions and answer politely.

However, Kent had a sullen expression which made Judith feel uncomfortable.

But it didn’t matter.

They were there to fight, not have conversations.

‘If possible I want to have a strong opponent.’

Those were her thoughts throughout the talks.

It was the reason why the three were there!

She wanted to yell that out.

To throw away pleasantries and clash with swords.

But it isn’t easy to put that into words.

It was outright ridiculous to say, ‘Since I’m pretty good, I hope someone strong is sent.’

‘But if I reveal that I’m from Krono, there’s a possibility that they won’t fight at all like what happened in Lation. If the opponent is strong, people will avoid competing… this is so tough. What should I say?’

Taking advantage of the gap in the conversation, Bratt shook his head.

At that, Judith and Airn looked at him.

They two could surely wield their swords, but when it came to talking, they were of no help.

It was better to cheer for Bratt than say anything.

But, to their surprise, what they wanted to hear came out of the mouth of the schoolmaster, Hyram.

“Let’s get to the point. You people, would you like to fight strong opponents if possible?”

“Huh? Ah…”

“How about me?”

“S-Schoolmaster?”

Airn and the others were shocked.

They never thought that any schoolmaster would ask to compete with 20-year-olds.

They liked it, but considering how things worked in the swordsmanship world, this was unconventional.

And this was too much even knowing that Partizan is a city known to be free and open.

And they weren’t the only ones surprised.

Kent, who was standing behind the schoolmaster, looked at him with a startled expression.

“It’s embarrassing to say it, but there’s no one stronger than me in the school. Is-Isn’t that so obvious? I’m the schoolmaster, who can be stronger than me? Hahaha.”

“…”

“Anyway, it isn’t bad, right?”

Schoolmaster Hyram smiled brightly. Seeing that, the three couldn’t hide their bewildered expressions.

And they looked at each other.

However, despite being bewildered, there was something to be said.

“We will accept the challenger.”

Airn answered with a firm expression.


‘What a nonsensical thing…’

Watching Hyram equipped with protective gear and a wooden sword to compete with young challengers, the instructor Kent couldn’t hide his discomfort.

Of course, he knew about Partizan culture, but now he was thinking that it was too much.

‘Anyway, to use the sword directly against little kids…’

He was dissatisfied from the first time he looked at the challengers.

Were they twenty years old?

Seeing the kids who didn’t have enough time to train in their lives, let alone experience challengers, Kent could barely hold himself back.

Swordsmen should compete on a level playing field.

However, those who came to the city with light hearts because of the free culture in Partizan weren’t good, and Kent thought the trio in front of him were that.

At that moment, he heard someone.

It was Hyram.

“Instructor Kent.”

“Yes.”

“You seem very dissatisfied. But think carefully. If they were people I could leave to you, do you think I would have followed you here?”

“…”

Hyram smiled.

It wasn’t that he was trying to look down on Kent.

He just had good instincts, so he was stating the facts.

“I will struggle quite a bit with these young people.”

“…!”

“It will be a tough fight. Maybe I’ll lose. After watching this, maybe you should try to change your bad habit of judging people by their appearance.”

Surely their age was young, but…

The schoolmaster, who said that, stepped ahead.

It was unusual to see him holding a wooden sword.

“Is a wooden sword okay? I’ve kept several for challengers, but they’re probably not as comfortable as your swords.”

“Sure. Thanks for the kind words.”

“I want to avoid doing dangerous things with each other. Please excuse me.”

After finishing that, Hyram took a stance.

Strong energy emanated from his body.

Airn, who gulped, took a stance with a large sword.

‘We’re going to fight right away.’

It was flustering.

Burdensome. And unexpected.

But that didn’t mean that he didn’t like it. Airn thought with a determined expression.

‘Let’s pour everything out!’

For Hyram who must have devoted everything to his sword, Airn wanted to give his all and not regret.

Of course, the young instructor Kent had different thoughts.

‘What was the schoolmaster even saying…’

He couldn’t believe that. No matter how much he respected Hyram, he didn’t think that his choice this time was right.

For a 20-year-old to fight Hyram.

Even if the kid trained in his mother’s womb, winning would be impossible.

‘Maybe it was an exaggeration. He looks talented, but this match won’t last long.’

Would it be done in a minute?

With that, the confrontation began.

“I’m coming!”

“Come.”

Kent stared with his eyes wide open at the old and the young swordsmen.

So did Judith and Bratt.

They watched Airn show his best against the schoolmaster.

After a short while, the victor came out.

Just as Kent thought.

Tack!

Puck!

“Kuaaak….”

Thud!

“…!”

“…!”

“…”

Everyone watched in shock as they saw the master of Hyram Swordsmanship School fall to the floor after being hit by a wooden sword.

  1. I typically don’t add notes for my personal thoughts, but the contrast between their confidence and way of thinking is displayed here very nicely. Airn isn’t as confident, so he makes a less definitive decision that being ‘let’s do my best,’ as if that wasn’t already a given. While Bratt, the more confident one, just flat out and confidently decides ‘I’ll do my best.’ And finally, Judith is just Judith, so she thinks ‘I’ll kill them all.’ ↩️

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