Chapter 17 - Midterm evaluation (3)

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The most important evaluation in the Korno Swordsmanship School had finally come to an end.

And the evaluation criterion is an absolute one and not a relative one.

Therefore, everyone knew their results the moment the rest finished.

Pass and fail could be decided without a final notice.

However, the atmosphere at the school was a little strange.

Instead of the 35 trainees who passed, less than 400 have been dropped.

They were focusing on their training.

“Hmph! Hmph!”

“This time… I need to!”

“I can do it! This much I can easily do!”

The reason was the words from instructor Karaka.

Second evaluation. The so-called revival of the losers.

He announced it with a smile on his face, and the children rejoiced at it yet swore at the instructor.

It was because the criteria for the second evaluation was a lot easier than the first.

In fact, the first one was absurd. It was normal to control the number of passers in the mid-term to 100 instead of 30.

However, thanks to the second evaluation, the instructors will know more accurately about the trainee’s strength and potential.

“That Theron, he has more than enough skills to pass the 2nd evaluation. But he gave up in the first round, and gave up early on. Honestly, I am disappointed.”

“On the other hand, Macallan held a decent level in the second one too, and he didn’t give up in the first round either, which was a lot more difficult than that.”

“Right. Thanks to that he broke his best record.”

“If he passes this test, we’ll have to pay attention to him.”

“Ah, in the case of Judith…”

Krono was a place where only talented people were nurtured. Therefore, they didn’t just evaluate the results but also the character and mental strength.

The instructors evaluated each trainee individually with their colleagues.

The children who gleamed at the second chance didn’t know that.

“Then, finally…”

“This one.”

As all the other ones were done, from the highest ranks to the lowest such as Ilya and Bratt.

Only one was left. Instructors, including Ahmed and Karaka and Rune Tarhal, looked at the name on the paper.

[Airn Pareira.]

34th out of 35 successful applicants in the first round. A good result, but not a remarkable one.

However, one shouldn’t be judged on results alone.

Everyone would agree. Those who watched his test would know that too.

The instructors, who remained silent for a moment, looked to one side.

School master, Ian, who hadn’t said a single word, opened his mouth with a smile.

“In this case, isn’t this the right thing to do?”

The old man wrote whirly on the evaluation paper, and the instructors nodded their heads.

The moment when everyone was ready to give their consent.

“Excuse me, school master…”

“Huh? What is it?”

Ian asked at the voice which came from the outside of the door.

Calling for the school master, despite knowing that they were having a meeting. Did something happen?

“No. 101 trainee. Miss Judith is here to see the school master. That discussion… I want Airn Pareira, the No. 331 trainee to retake the exam as I don’t want his record to be disturbed…”

“Huhu, huhuhuhu.”

Ian burst out laughing.

He liked the kind thought, and the action of the child to ask right away felt nice.

Some could find it rude, but it wasn’t.

There was no problem with it.

Because they had already finished discussing it in a good light.

However, he didn’t want to inform her right away.

With a playful smile, Ian opened his mouth.

“Really? What if we are unable to do that? What would you do if that was the…”

“Can I show? What can I do?”

Before Ian could even finish speaking, she spoke out.

Judith.

While the instructors held back their laughter, the red-haired girl swore.

“It’s probably going to be tough! A very bad accident might happen!”

“That child! If you act like that you will get punished!”

“I’ll take the punishment, I’ll do whatever you need to let him take the test again. Let him try again! Quickly!”

“Hahahahaha!”

Judith’s behaviour was rude, but at the same time, it felt cute, like a granddaughter’s tantrum.

Even the instructors doubted the reaction. The inside of the room turned into a flood of laughter.

It was such a cheerful and bright atmosphere at the end of the evaluation.


At that time.

Airn Pareira, the main character of the topic, was spending time as usual.

Train, train, train and train.

It was terrible sincerity.

Bratt Lloyd, who watched him run, shook his head.

‘He’s crazy.’

He had been ignoring Airn until then, but he thought that Airn’s tenacity was great.

But this time, he didn’t like it.

Instead of feeling ‘I can as much as I can’, he just got fed up with Airn.

It was as if he was watching someone different.

‘Well, such miraculous growth would have been possible…’

Bratt recalled yesterday’s midterm evaluation.

The stamina, strength, and all other abilities that Airn was displaying.

He had no choice but to admit it.

The guy’s performance was becoming great; Airn was turning into someone who couldn’t be touched.

“… damn it.”

Grunt.

He ground his teeth.

He knew.

That him coming in 2nd was just because of luck.

If Judith hadn’t been a fool, and if Airn hadn’t done something as stupid as that, results would have differed.

Bratt would have come in 4th place.

“…I won’t lose next time.”

Even Ilya Lindsay.

Those who overtook him were unforgivable.

Quietly muttering. Bratt turned his gaze away from Airn.

He is he, and Bratt is Bratt. It was better to take a break than to follow others and do unplanned workouts.

‘I don’t understand how on earth he achieved that growth…’

But Bratt wanted to grow up in his own way.

Thinking that, Bratt walked away.

“Hmph! Hmph!”

Airn kept training.

It was absurd.

Just a day before, he had exerted his best into the evaluation, and it was common to take a break after that.

It was natural that Bratt chose to rest.

And that is something which happens in the general case.

Airn faces the man in his dreams every night.

He knew what that man was doing every night.

He knew that what he was doing was nothing compared to that.

Airn knew that the man didn’t take a break even after training for half a year.

It was when he was concentrating on the thought and balanced.

“Why did you do that?”

A voice from behind.

A familiar voice.

He knew it very well. There was only one person who spoke to Airn after the admission test.

Ilya Lindsay.

A beautiful, cold-looking, silver-haired girl caught his eyes.

But something was strange.

She had indifferent eyes and a cold expression. Perhaps, an ordinary person would have felt no different.

However, since yesterday, Airn, whose vision had been opened, could feel it.

The fact that she was trying to hide her displeasure.

And that the reason was Airn and not anyone else.

Airn stopped moving.

“Do what?”

“You know what.”

“…”

“Don’t know?”

“Saving Judith, is it regarding that?”

“Yes.”

“…”

“Why, why did you have to do that?”

As usual, a voice without emotion.

Airn knew it again.

The reason her voice sounded the same was because she was suppressing her emotions.

It was because she was very disappointed with Airn’s behavior and was angry.

He understood Ilya Lindsay’s attitude.

‘Because of that, the 5th place prize blew away.’

Krono school’s school master Ian would give a reward.

Something of great value.

How many chances would one be able to get to win an award from the best swordsman on the continent?

Never in a lifetime.

Even Airn, who just started the sword, wanted to be awarded.

But if one asked if he regrets saving Judith.

“I just felt like it had to be done.”

Airn had no choice but to answer that he didn’t regret.

Of course, not everyone was like that.

Her expression shattered hearing those words.

Her eyes raged, and her facial expression changed a little.

In that state, the silver-haired girl spit out cold words.

“That is nonsense, you know that?”

“There were many who would have saved Judith.”

“That reward. It is an reward given by someone who is the best on the continent”

“You get that it is more valuable than gold, right? You could have been taught by the school master.”

“It isn’t just that. You would have been able to shut the mouths of everyone who ridiculed you, and looked down on you.”

“Did you know that?”

Ilya’s words flowed.

Airn listened silently.

It was all correct.

As she said, many could have saved Judith if not him, and the prize was a lot greater.

An opportunity to stand tall in front of the others who ignored him.

However, he forsook all that.

However,

He didn’t regret it.

Airn, who had been silent, opened his mouth.

“You know, I used to be called a deadbeat noble?”

“…”

“I was stuck in a swamp for quite some time. It is no excuse, but considering that… this really…”

Airn recalled his past.

From the age of 5 to 15.

It was indeed an excruciating long seclusion. He couldn’t make any progress in his life, and he kept sinking.

Even with the dreams, he stayed the same.

It was only because the sport changed from sleep to sword, his world changed.

Yes.

Maybe he would still be sinking.

If not for his family, who always loved him.

A blunt-looking but affectionate father, a benevolent mother who isn’t his mother, and an even-loving little sister held Airn’s hand and lifted him from the swamp.

“I came to the surface with the help of so many people, pretending to not see when another person is sinking… I don’t think I can do that.”

“…”

“That was it. That is why I did that yesterday.”

After finishing his story, he looked into the sky; Airn turned back and looked into the eyes of Ilya.

She had an angry expression on her face as if she was holding something hot inside her body.

Ilya, who started quietly for a while, quickly turned around.

And said,

“Did you say that you never used a sword before? Until last year.”

“… yes.”

“Physical training and swordsmanship are different. Both require hard work and talent, but… for swordsmanship, talent is a lot more important.”

“…”

“The fact that you decided to lose the prize from the school master because of yesterday’s judgement, means that you will no longer receive my help, and that because of that, you would one again be a laughing stock for others…”

It meant that she was hurt, and Ilya’s calm voice had changed.

As usual, it felt cold.

And with that, she finished her speech.

“… I hope you don’t regret it.”

Ilya Lindsay leaving that place left a lasting impression.

For a long time, Airn watched until he could no longer see her silver hair.

Despite being in midsummer, he could feel the coldness from her body and words.

‘I told her that I don’t care about other people’s opinion, why…’

Why did she seem to care more than Airn?

He couldn’t figure it out.

He had never conversed with other people, so it was impossible for Airn to understand.

Still, he struggled for a long time trying to understand Ilya Lindsay.

Whatever had happened, she was the only trainee in the school who looked at him without any prejudice.

“I got a lot of help.”

What would he have done without Ilya’s help?

Far from being qualified in the midterm, he would have ended up waiting for the second evaluation to be placed.

This was why Airn wanted to understand the silver-haired girl’s emotions and relieve her anger if possible.

“…”

Of course, he didn’t know how to.

How could he learn to understand the feelings of a girl who is about the same age as his sister?

Airn shook his head and began to run on the course.


Two days later.

The second midterm evaluation was also done, including 78 additional trainees and a total number of successful trainees of 113.

Around 300 prospective trainees had no choice but to leave the swordsmanship hall in tears.

As there were sad ones, there were happy ones too.

The ones who finished in the top 5 spots.

Five children, Ilya Lindsay and Bratt and others stood on the podium with smiles.

In particular, Lance Peterson, one of Bratt’s followers, had a hard time covering the smile on his mouth.

Probably because he never thought that he’d be in the top five.

‘Airn, thanks to that idiot Airn I am here!’

Lance Peterson, who got lucky this time, saw Airn shortly after.

‘Tsk. Pathetic bastard.’

‘What was he doing during the test?’

‘Did he want to pretend to be nice? In that situation!’

‘I am happy though. If he is such a guy with no competitive spirit, it is obvious that he won’t pass the tests.’

Some narrow-minded trainees thought as such.

They were unable to make fun of Airn, he showed great ability in the first round of the evaluation, but after he saved Judith, the other trainees didn’t care about Airn’s growth.

They didn’t want the person they looked down on to do well. They hoped that he would fall.

Which was why they couldn’t understand the words of school master Ian, which followed.

“Prospective trainee 311, Airn Pareira.”

“Yes.”

“Come ahead for the awarding, near the podium child.”

“…?”

Even Ilya Lindsay and Bratt looked shocked.

Judith, who had visited Ian to request Airn’s retest, was the only one who clapped her hands with joy.

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