The practicals take place in a circular arena.
The candidates were divided into several groups and arranged. The spectators surrounded us from the gallery, and the examinees’ guardians are seated in a place where we can easily see them.
I scan for the sight of the familiar Lu… there! At the top. He’s eating something in the shadow of Grandmother and Enrique! Grandmother seems to cast a cleansing magic once every three minutes. No matter how much she respects him, it’s impossible to let him eat atop her head.
Hey! Aren’t you supposed to give me your support by cheering for me!? They look like they are on a picnic! When I glared at them with a bloodthirsty aura, they both raised their hands in a hurry and waved at me. Both have cream on their mouths!
By the way, I am dressed in white shirt, blue pants, and black long boots. The Office-Lady look of the west – everyday wear version! I can’t wear the red military uniform as expected! This is not Takarazuka Revue.
(TN: The Takarazuka Revue is a Japanese all-female musical theater troupe based in Takarazuka, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. Women play all roles in lavish, Broadway-style productions of Western-style musicals, and sometimes stories adapted from shōjo manga and Japanese folktales.)
Neither am I Red Comet.
(TN: a character from the gundam franchise?)
My hair has been cut and braided so as not to be dragged around everywhere.
And of course, I’m not in my kunoichi costume. Those are for when I’m practising in serious mode only. And besides, it’s not a good thing to go on exposing my secrets any further. My tabi is also treated as a trade-secret.
Others are in regular men-wear like clothes, while nobles wear martial arts disciplines, and women borrow clothes from their brothers.
My weapon is a one-handed sword, and a knife in the left thigh holder. The dagger is not used because a one-handed sword gives higher scores. So if one can’t use a one-handed sword, they can go for two short-swords.
The rules are simple. Two examinees fight and the match ends if one gives up or the examiner stops them. Time limit is 5 minutes. The match will also stop there.
“53, 125, go forward!”
Called at last… I was about to doze off. I’ve been waiting for so long I have lost all tension.
I got up on the examination ground and bowed to the other examiner in good conduct.
My opponent is a boy one head bigger than me, and his sword’s handle has a glitter on the handle. Definitely a noble. That means that like Older Brother, he had a tutor from a young age and would have prepared for this from the start. I can’t let my mind wander like this!
“This is an exam, and you may be a girl, but I won’t go easy on you. If you are afraid, you should just refrain from it.”
I was suddenly spoken to. He’s concerned about me? Gentlemanly care? Wonderful! I’m convinced I will have to do my best too!
But I’m a hikikomori and I don’t have the ability to return a quip. I also don’t have time for it, so I just smile for the time being.
Oh, is he having a heat stroke? He is suddenly turning red.
N-No way, why does he just come running straight in with his sword raised?
I shifted to the side for the time being. He passed right by me, following his momentum… and he glared at me. What? Is dodging prohibited? Waa, he’s moving in a straight line once again. This time, I put my feet out a little. -zukou-! He fell down. And I am glared at once again.
“How, how cowardly! Fight properly!”
Eh, that was cowardly? Looking at the examiner, I see him smile bitterly. I don’t know what his bitter smile implied. Shall I meet him head on?
The opponent’s sword is raised high, so I jumped lightly and hit to the right with my sword. After that, I sneak into my opponent’s chest and hit his elbow…
The shiny golden sword is flying far away. The boy is running to retrieve it.
It’s no use if you are holding it so lightly it can slip off like that. Aren’t you making light of me too much?
“No. 125, go down. You will be tested again with another.”
The boy has not yet arrived at the shiny golden sword…………
I was moved to another group. What the hell? Somehow, this action is making me very nervous… I mean, are we grouped based on physical strength, intelligence, or pedigree? Oh, I feel a stare. I looked up and met my Grandmother’s eyes. She is hiding her mouth with a fan, but she most definitely is laughing.
“125, 376, go forward!”
I got up and first gave a light bow. This time, I’m against a commoner boy. His sword has a chip here and there, but his eyes are glaring hard. Well, his future depends on the outcome of this exam after all. However, it is the same for me.
Immediately, he swung his sword down at my face. Even though I’m a girl, he shows no leniency.
After parrying his sword, I kicked sideways on his solar plexus. My opponent quickly takes a distance from me and folds his body, while I’m calmly planning my next move. With a -jiri- -jiri- I keep attacking him and my move in a clockwise direction.
When the Arena wall came beside him, he ran up the wall and made a flip above me! Then he swings his sword from above with the sun on his back entering my sight. He is aiming for a back lighting! This is a style seen in street fights… how interesting.
I drew the knife on my thigh with my left hand and reflected the sunlight to him in the same way.
The sun reflected by my knife strikes his eyes directly. I can’t miss this moment when he is dazzled. I jumped one step forward, moving behind him and tapping his neck with the back of my sword. If it were a real fight, then…
The boy is stunned… down on his knees.
“End. Both of you to the waiting booth.”
I would be embarrassed if I failed, so I went to check the result alone, which was pasted on the front entrance about two hours after the practical test.
125, 125, 125… it’s there!!!
“Luuuu――! Grandmother―! Enrique―! It’s there―! I passed―!”
I dashed and jumped while weeping to Lu and Grandmother waiting outside the gate!
“Congratulations, Serafiona! This is the result of your efforts!”
Grandmother, she is also weeping just a little bit.
「Sera! Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!」
Lu returns to my shoulder and licks my cheek.
I’m so happy! This is another step away from my past life, and moving towards my dream! My tears do not stop.
I receive a handkerchief from Enrique who also has his eyes red.
“Thank you, Lu, Grandmother, Enrique! I, this…”
Suddenly, a deep voice resounded and interrupted my words. Turning to the side towards the voice, a mighty bald uncle in military uniform full of medals rushed to us. And as soon as he arrived in front of us, he saluted with a -pashiin-.
“Colonel, it’s been a long time!”
H-he’s looking at Grandmother! Grandmother?
Grandmother, your eyes! Your eyes, you’re unamused with this situation!!!
“You bastard, disturbing the emotional moment between me and Serafiona! You still can’t read the mood even after a long time―!!!”
Grandmother’s iron fan drew a beautiful arc and,
The uncle, he got blown away about 20 meters away, hitting the front door… and faints?
N-nice swing! ! !