Once again, it was time for martial arts class.
While it was necessary to cut corners with other classes, I did not dislike this class. The reason for this was due to the fact that there was a chance to practice the 「Shijima Style」, which meant I could polish my skills.
Of course, I also had to take Alma’s watchful gaze into consideration. That said, martial arts class was probably the class I had to focus the most on.
However, it is a little different today.
「Jou-chan can now teach things, huh? I guess this happens once you live for a long time.」
「My body still isn’t at its maximum potential. Also, I have to keep the 「Shijima Style」alive.
….And recently, I have found someone who I want to be the successor of the style.」
In addition to teaching the students, Alma watches my movements──
And a rival who knew all my moves from my previous life, Chester Prime, was also watching my movements.
….This shitty old man. Why the hell is a person from the underworld coming to the academy with an innocent look.
The 「Martial Arts」society in the underground was different from the one Alma knew. And the boss just came to the peaceful academy for some reason.
This ‘boss’ was Chester, who took every opportunity to brawl with me with the pretense of “Sparring”. Adding this tidbit in, he would be able to see through my skills better than Alma.
──This is going to be difficult. This sort of feeling rose up within me.
If covering up my skills in front of my daughter was hard, then covering them up in front of Chester, who I had always competed with, was something I had no confidence in. I broke out into a cold sweat.
「Hey, what’s the matter, why the pale face? Is Oji-san scared?」
Shido, who was next to me, saw my pale face and made fun of me while laughing.
This was no joke. Though I wasn’t exactly afraid of death──surely, to the current me, Chester’s existence was something to be afraid of.
「Well everyone, please give me your attention. Today, Mr. Chester Prime, who was the rival of my mentor, has come to visit us. I’m sure most of you don’t know who he is, but he is more skilled than I am. In particular, he is much better than me when it comes to ‘striking’ techniques. He will be specially instructing you guys today. Relax and receive his guidance!」
Sounds of buzzing rise up.1
That’s how it is. In fact, there was probably no one among the students that even knew the name ‘Chester Prime’.
….Well, I already knew, but me aside──the lot who, without ever standing on the world above the underground, think about nothing else but how to defeat other people, not knowing about them it’s natural.
Alma introduced the nameless man by saying 「He’s stronger than me」and most people thought of it as a joke, as ‘Alma’ was synonymous with the word ‘strongest’ to the elves.2
All the things said were truth, and not jokes.
Chester places emphasis on attack, and thus, his 「Primo Style」specializes in the power of striking the opponent.
The 「Shijima Style」focused on safety and placed emphasis on countering, something that now torments me in this lifetime.
With Alma not even at my level, it would be hard to be a match──getting a win would be like visiting Cloud Nine.
「So, today, we will review the first basic movements we learned. After reviewing it, we will carry out practice battles.」
The unexpected situation I had speculated had happened, and 「Martial Arts」class begins.
Although it was contrary to what I thought….you could actually ask Chester questions on anything…
Since I had a grudge against Alma, I took up a good stance.
The posture from the day I beat Shido was seen through by Alma, so I had complete confidence that Chester would catch note of it.
One could call this a certain trust. That as long as the old man wasn’t senile, he would find out──such was this selfish trust.
This was a feint, of course, and I immediately broke it right after; this could be seen as blasphemy towards 「Martial Arts」.
It was behavior similar to taking the salt out of food on purpose, so I felt embarrassed doing it.
But, I wouldn’t be able to deceive Chester’s’ eyes without doing this.
As I follow the instructions of Alma, I practice them….but with barely enough skill.
Ahhh, it’s irritating. Old man, please go home already.
I mentally abuse my longtime practice partner with thoughts of making him do suicide. Of course it doesn’t happen, but it serves to prove that I am being influenced by this immature body, because this comes from just a small worry.
──However, it seems that I’m still being too over-optimistic.
「Oi, boya….Slava ~tsuka?」
「Ah….? Yes, that’s me….」
Chester looks around at the students with Alma, and stops in front of me.
His moustache distorts as he gives a filthy smile, how hateful.3
There couldn’t be any ‘me’ in any of the stances I deliberately messed up──
Just as I was slowly becoming impatient without looking calm, Chester brings his face close.
To the me, who was stopped in the middle of a stance, Chester mutters in a low voice that only I can hear:
「…..You don’t cut corners well, boya~」
I stiffened my facial expression.
I didn’t know if he had found out my true identity. But, he did see through me cutting corners in the stance practice.
I get rid of the expression, return it into a calm one and turn towards Chester.
「Iya iya, I’ve already seen through you, though I don’t know what reasons you have for doing this ~ja ne. This is because, as a beginner, your hand movements are too precise, thus when you started messing up, it was easy to notice ~naa」
──Ke, I’ve been completely seen through!
Perfection happens as a result of repeated movement, and as a result, the 「Truth」becomes hard to hide. Even though I was just doing an imitation of a mere model, just how much observation skill do you have….!
My movement, like salt pulled out of a dish, was fully ‘tasted’ by this man.
After I’ve been caught, making excuses will make me seem like an animal struggling inside a net.
I was led to believe that if I lied badly again, I would worsen my situation. I now understood the position I was in.
「Don’t worry about me saying this to anyone ~ya. I’ll keep quiet about it to jou-chan. So….when the school day ends, come to the principal’s office.」
While I was contemplating what he wanted, Chester was already getting ready to move to the next student.
This was a command that couldn’t be avoided. He had basically said 「If you don’t come, I will tell Alma」.
….Resisting or worse would result in an unfavorable situation, that foxy old man.
「I understand. Let’s do it like that.」
Eventually, I would have to jump into that boiling pot.
It’s either the frying pan or the stove, right? My teacher really said some profound words.
Whether I came or not, Chester would win anyway.
Chester erased his indecent smile, while showing an aggressive look, and said.
「I’m looking foward to it, Slava….~yo」
….What did you say?
So far, I was only called 「Boya」; my movements stopped when I was suddenly called that name.
No, it’s different. I wouldn’t feel this chill if I was just called.
To be called like this, it’s like──!
「──! Bastard, since when….」
「We’ll have fun later. Hehehe, I’ll be waiting.」
Laughing merrily, Chester moved on to other students to help them.
I broke out in a cold sweat, unable to keep my calm anymore.
Alma’s voice, when she was talking about the next skill, felt very far away.
After finishing classes, though feeling reluctant, I visited the principal’s office.
In front of the door that was a little more grand compared to the other doors, there I stood.
Students rarely have any business with the principal, so it was rare thing to say that there was a student in front of the door.
Actually, the principal didn’t have any business with me.
The only business here──I had to meet here for Chester Prime….that shitty old man.
….A summon from him, only due my weakness; he had seen through the fact that I had been cutting corners.
I wonder what will be said. That man may have only noticed me unexpectedly.4
Presently, I was feeling a considerable amount of depression. Should I have done it better? No, doing so would have made it unnatural, and Alma may have ended up investigating me.
While thinking about a question that wouldn’t have a question, I knocked on the principal’s door.
「Excuse me, it is Slava Marshall.」5
「Oh, Slava-kun, please come in.」
I hear the gentle tone of the principal after I told my name.
I pushed open the door that I had gotten permission to open.
….Well then, that was quite a heavy door. Though this door should have originally been light, it was pretty heavy.
「Yo, I was tired of waiting for you, Slava….」
This man, what makes him think that I wanted to do this?
I wanted to spill out my resentment, but I would surely be found out if I did so.
Letting out a sigh, I stepped into the principal’s office.
「I’m sorry if I kept you waiting. So then, what is this order about?」
「Ah, don’t be so serious. I just want to catch up on things.」
….Tch. I hope he does suicide.
My real identity is compromised, but I may have already been found out a long time ago.
But I predicted it. The reason was because I thought of the possibility that if it was this guy, he would find out, so there was very little surprise.
I scowled at Chester, who had a filthy smile on his face, without hiding my hostility, as well as not caring that the principal was there.
「Fumu, Chester-dono, is Slava-kun your acquaintance? On the other hand, Slava-kun, can you please stop making those eyes towards your superior?」
「I don’t mind it, after all, we’re close acquaintances, so I don’t mind it. Something at this level doesn’t bother me at all.」
Chester controls the principal’s attitude towards my behavior.
Ah, it’s because you’re in that kind of relation with me. Even as he was calming the principal down, I still abused him mentally with wishes about him biting his tongue and dying.
However──what was that thing mentioned a while ago?
It certainly wasn’t anything good and it will probably become something that needs permission for speaking of once I hear it….
Anyway, it seems like the situation getting more built up. I will stop doing unnecessary things.
I, will wait until they calm down.
「Yeah, yeah. If it’s a request from Chester, then I don’t mind it. But you shouldn’t be too cruel──」
「I can’t guarantee that. But I’ll take proper measures. Oi Slava, how much longer do you want to pretend to be stupid?」
──I see, ne.
Chester’s words, I took in the real meaning of them.
Although I didn’t know when he was convinced that it was me6, I did know that I was already dancing in his palms.
Damn it, Alma also did some unnecessary things.
「Eeh, I don’t mind.」7
「It’s decided. Well Principal-dono, we would like to go. And since you’re older, you will keep silent about this, right?」
「Hohho, I’m not that old yet. Slava-kun, will you not be attending classes tomorrow?」
After I gave up trying to fool them, things started to move along.
I surely did an unnecessary thing. But….it’s still a fact that my blood boils.
After we left the principal’s office, we walked down the hall in silence.
It was hard to walk because my magic power kept overflowing unintentionally. I was too excited.
We had left the school building, and was now talking slowly towards the school gate.
There was no one on the premise of the academy because the dormitories were inside the academy, so it was very quiet.
「What is it?」
「Stop using that uncomfortable way of speaking. I noticed it a long time ago.」
「….Che, you’re a sharp old man. I thought old age would get you.」
「Kakkaka! If you’re still alive, how can I be old and muddleheaded?」
Confirming that no one was around, I went back to my old way of speaking.
….It’s disappointing, but after all, it comes out smoothly.
It didn’t match my nature to speaking like an annoying little kid.
「So, where will we go to fight? Do you have a location in mind?」
「When I was introduced to someone similar to you, I didn’t dream that it would actually be you ~na. Isn’t anywhere fine?」
「….Fumu, then the place I’m using right now, let’s use that place.」
The two men who looked like grandfather and grandson quietly walked towards the forest.
Although no one was nearby, if there were people nearby, they would have surely have had a headache listening to the dangerous talk while Chester and Slava were walking towards their destination.8
「Have you dulled?」
「Don’t underestimate me, I’m still active.」
Listening to my enemy talk happily, I sped up.
Running in a speed unlike a child or elderly person, we blurred into the shadows and ran towards the Arubaku mountain.
For a long time, I had been thinking about what would happen──but it no longer matters.
Faced with the prospects of actually fighting after a long while, I laughed happily.
- TLN: When a lot of people start talking at once… ↩
- TLN: Like when they say ‘Alma’, the elves instinctively think ‘strongest’ ↩
- TLN: You can place ‘spiteful’ or ‘annoying’ instead of hateful, just saying ↩
- TLN: Accidentally is what it means. ↩
- TLN: Polite tone used here ↩
- TLN: His previous existence ↩
- TLN: ‘I don’t mind’ as in ‘No problem’ By the way, Chester is most likely the one talking here but you can interpret it however you want ↩
- TLN: Raws didn’t have names, but if I didn’t put the names, it would sound pretty weird to use ‘they’ again. ↩