Chapter 3 Part 3
The first period was over, and we were in recess.
With his face burning red, Abe came to my seat.
“Y-Y-Y…You…, who are you!?”
I honestly thought to myself, “Well, I saw this coming”.
“Who am I, huh…I can only say that…I’m Ephthal…”
As I said this, Abe, being fed up, grabbed me by the collar.
“When Merlin-sama words it that way, she must be implying something, doesn’t she?”
“Well, as I said…”
That’s when Abe laughed and let me go with a “Hmph” as if he just realized something.
“Aah, so that’s how it is”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Merlin-sama…no, I was told that Merlin volunteers to hold magic classes for beautiful boys”
Come to think of it, there was such a story, too.
Well, I don’t want to say anything bad about Merlin, because it’s her hobby. But still, I was a little taken aback when I found out.
“Yeah, I guess”
“You’re Merlin’s beloved plaything, aren’t you? Dear me, a four hundred years old shotacon…that old hag…!”
Ah…so that’s how he interpreted it.
Well, in that case, then I don’t really care what he thinks.
“…I don’t think ‘old hag’ is a good term, you know”
“Huh? You’re asking me for an opinion?”
“No, not really”
At any rate, he really looks like a real pain in the ass. If possible, I don’t want to be involved with him from now on.
“Oh, I see. You’re…in love with that old hag after she laid her hands on you, huh? The first time around, a girl’s got to be special, if you get what I mean. That old hag seems to have a strong sex drive and is rather obstinate. I’ll say no thanks to that, but is that really what you wanted?”
If possible, or rather, I do not want to have anything to do with him by all means.
I mean, why did I get involved with someone so weird so early after just transferring to this academy?
*Ding-Dong Ding-Dong Ding-Dong*. The bell rang, and the second period began.
“We will now begin the class. Today’s agenda is deciding the members for the class competition”
The Altena Magic Academy is a thorough meritocracy.
Although there is no particular classification at the beginning for the first years, we later are divided into different classes after every four months.
By the way, it’s only been a month since the entrance ceremony, so to be more specific, the classification will be held three months later.
Naturally, the classification depends on your results, so everyone is frantic.
In addition to the results of periodic exams, the monthly class competition results among five selected members of the class are also an important indicator for the classification.
Well, being chosen as one of the five selected members in the first place is in itself a huge advantage.
“First of all, let us start with the magic swordsman slot. Errr…last time it was student Abe, correct?”
“Yes, Merlin-sama. My last result was winning two out of three fights”
Even though you were calling her an old hag earlier…. What a worldly person you seem to be.
The homeroom teacher, Merlin, then smiled and looked at me, “A magic swordsman, huh…”, she said.
Oh, come on, Merlin, I beg you, please don’t invoke your authority here. Seriously, don’t.
However, Merlin looked away from me. Just as I started to feel relieved ──
“Are there any other candidates other than student Abe? I don’t mind if you nominate yourself or someone else, okay?”
Good, looks like I’m no longer in the running for the magic swordsman slot.
When it comes to competitions, the other me tends to get…fired up, so you’ll never know what might happen.
If I unleash Level 7 or Level 10 Magic in the academy, even I can’t talk my way out of it.
── I only wanted a quiet life in the academy. If I can just use the library after the lessons have ended for the day…that would be fine.
Just then, Anastasia, who was sitting next to me, raised her hand.
Oh, come to think of it, Anastasia can use her rapier fairly well, too, doesn’t she?
She has the aptitude to be a magic swordsman, so I think her aiming for the magic swordsman slot is good.
“What’s the matter, cur…no, student Anastasia?”
“Um, er…I-I recommend Master…no, I mean, Ephthal-sama”
After those words were uttered, you can feel time froze in place in the classroom, and Abe snarl at Anastasia like a wild beast.
“Huh? What are you talking about when you don’t know anything on your first day of transferring to this academy?”
“Er, uh…I heard that the most brilliant individual is to be chosen for the class competition”
“That・is・why! I should be in the magic swordsman slot?”
“Er…which is why I’m saying that the most brilliant individual should be chosen…”
“Huh? Do you think that this human is better than me? Is that what you’re saying?”
Hmm? She’s acting a little strange.
Was Anastasia ever this opinionated?
That is when Merlin shrugged cheerfully.
“The academy is traditionally a meritocracy. It would be better to decide this in a mock battle. The two competing for the magic swordsman slot are…student Ephthal and student Abe, right? Are there any other candidates?”
Merlin’s words silenced the classroom, and then Abe glared at me.
“I’ll do it. I’m going to expose his true character after all ── this piece of trash!”
Well now…, I remained frozen on the spot.
── How did it come to this….
And so we are going to have a mock battle.
It’s to choose who is going to fill the magic swordsman slot for the class competition…. Well, I don’t plan to participate, though.
But, I guess it can’t be helped since it has come to this.
I faced Abe in a circle with a radius of 10 meters drawn on the playing field.
“Well then, student Ephthal? Please take it easy on him, okay?”
Merlin is acting as the referee, and my classmates keep staring at me from outside the circle as if they are thinking, “Let’s see what Ephthal can do…”.
Honestly, I don’t give a damn about winning or losing. As long as it doesn’t actually cause me real harm, then that’s fine by me. I don’t really care what other people think of me.
But if I win, I’ll definitely stand out, so that’s not good.
However, an easy loss here would make Merlin lose face.
Abe has been dissing Merlin’s propensity to like beautiful boys, so if I were to lose so easily on top of this treatment of me….
It’s obvious that it’ll be more troublesome than if I were to win.
Now, what should I do….
While holding a mock sword, I pondered for a while.
Then, I came up with a good idea.
── Alright, we’ll be fighting on an even playing field…. Well, maybe I’ll have to be on the losing side a little, and then say something like, “Well, Abe-kun, you’re strong. I’m no match for you”, and then concede right there.
Hehe. That’s the perfect plan if I do say so myself.
Abe seems to be a good fighter, so if I put up a good fight, losing a little bit at a 4:6 ratio would probably get my ability recognized fairly well, too.
Incidentally, I won’t make Merlin lose face, too.
And that’s when Abe called out to me.
“Eh? What is it?”
“Do you know how good I’m with a sword?”
“No, I don’t know…”
“The truth is, I’m not much of a mage myself. Even so, from a human point of view, it must be on a whole nother level”
“Oh…is that so?”
“But, I’m one of the top five most skilled swordsmen in this academy”
I don’t know how good he is, but he seems to be fairly confident with his sword skills.
With that being said, I’m also confident in my swordsmanship.
I had a good instructor, so I’m confident that I’ll be able to hold my own against adult masters, too.
Alright, since I’m telling myself that I’m this great, I’ll get hurt if I’m too careless.
If it’s magic, I’ll never lose, but if it’s swordsmanship…. Well, for now, let’s see how it goes with about 50% of my strength.
And not a moment later ──
“Well then, let the mock battle begin!”
Just as Merlin said that, I rushed at Abe.
Then I held my sword over my head ──
── A feint, followed by a front kick!
Abe flew backward and then dropped to one knee.
Ehh? I, with all my heart, just rushed in and didn’t even put my guard up.
Nonetheless, I have made minimal adjustments, so he’ll probably be up and running in no time.
“I won’t lose…!”
Abe was wobbling as he tried to stand up ──
And just like that, Abe crumpled to the ground and lying on his back.
That’s when Merlin nodded proudly and loudly declared.
“Student Abe is incapacitated! So the winner is ── student Ephthal!”
And as I was looking around, the blonde-pink ombre haired girl who had found fault with me before in the homeroom ── Maria, opened her mouth and said.
“It is said that humans are only skilled in close-quarters combat…and looks like it was true…!”
So is that what it is…?
The demon race is only good at magic…so their physique is weak…and 50% of my strength is….
“That’s amazing…as expected of Merlin-sama’s…!”
“I’ve never seen a move that fast before!”
“That is some outrageous technique there!”
Yup, I’m standing out.
I almost started screaming in frustration right then and there, holding my head in my hands.
How did it come to this!!!!?
── And I just hung my head, feeling dejected.
“But seriously, what is with that guy…? Wasn’t that just amazing!?”
While looking at me with a dumbfounded expression, Maria made a face that said, “Ah!”.
“So that’s how it is…! Because an extraordinary swordsman has enrolled into the magic academy, so Merlin-sama is…giving that guy special treatment”
Then a man at this exhibition of a mock battle spoke to Maria.
“What do you mean by that?”
“Perhaps Merlin-sama is thinking about improving the entire academy’s magic swordsman’s curriculum. That’s why such an extraordinary swordsman from the human race was transferred to this academy”
“I see! So that’s how it is!”
“Yeah. It is said that although the human race is not good at magic at all, their superior swordsman’s close-quarters combat ability is awe-inspiring!”
“Merlin-sama chose our class as a testing ground and wanted to experiment with improving the magic swordsman’s curriculum by becoming the homeroom teacher herself…?”
“That’s right! I can’t imagine it any other way!”
── They seem to be amazingly presumptuous.
At any rate, it’s conspicuous, but…let’s go with Maria’s suggestion. It’ll give me an image of a…muscle head.