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Interlude 4 – Dream’s End (Part 2)

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Jiro English Source: Re:Library

The following day’s training began with a short announcement from the Knight Captain Comantle. He was the embodiment of a knight, and his strictness showed on his face.

He had a solid build, and among my classmates, no one could beat his build.

“I have an announcement for all heroes. It has been decided that your training schedule will be changed starting tomorrow.”

All of my classmates’ interest was piqued by those words. Although we had days off, many wanted a little more freedom as training took up the entire day. I too would be glad if we had more free time as that would give me more opportunities to meet Sion.

Looking around, however, I saw that Tsukihara and some others weren’t happy at all.

“Your training time will increase starting tomorrow. You will begin training at sunrise, and finish at sundown.”
“Why? Wouldn’t you normally decrease it here? Don’t you need our strength… Urgh.”

Just as Takuma was beginning to complain about Captain Comantle’s announcement, one of the knights punched him in the stomach as hard as he could.

The whole area went quiet. Even I couldn’t react to the sudden development. At best the word, “What?” escaped my mouth.

“What… the hell do you think you’re doing!” Takuma glared up at the knight who’d just hit him and activated his Skill.

From what I remembered, Takuma’s Skill was known as Frenzy. It was a skill that made one stronger with the drawback that they couldn’t distinguish between friend or foe.

A crazed look filled Takuma’s eyes. There was no stopping Takuma when he was like this. Even I would likely struggle with it.

I thought that this was going overboard, so I tried to get closer, but Takuma’s fist suddenly stopped just before it could hit the knight. The knight, in turn, used that opening and once again hit Takuma.

Takuma’s skill was undone and I screamed for them to stop, but none of us could move. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, they’d been so kind to us yesterday…

“Please stop. Yamabe, heal him.” I was finally able to speak up, but Takuma was already quite battered and was even coughing up blood.

It was a good thing that Yamabe could heal him, but if this had gone on, Takuma could’ve died. It was true that Takuma was a bit selfish and unruly in ways, but I didn’t believe that was reason enough to kill him.

I spoke up as I glared at Captain Comantle.

“Why are you doing this?!”
“Because he protested the decision.”
“This is outrageous.”

Numerous of my classmates spoke up in protests, but were quickly silenced by the knights’ stares.

(He protested the decision… Is he talking about the training hours? But why? This isn’t the first time someone has complained. Besides, just now they hurt Takuma, they hurt one of my classmates. Isn’t that in violation of the Contract?)

“Sir Comantle. Please let me report this to Shio… Urgh!”

I was hit before I could finish my sentence. An unrelenting fist slammed into my gut. I couldn’t breathe for a moment, and a severe pain rushed through my whole body, but I could still move.

I guess I had to thank my increased status for that. However, just as I was about to speak up once more, I received stares from all of the knights, and was only able to stare back.

“You can report whatever you want. But only after training is over. Starting today, you’ll be training in four groups. The first group will consist of the Hero and his four Followers. The second will consist of Eigo and Haruto. The third will consist of the eight whose Strength is higher than their Mana. The last one will consist of the six whose Mana is higher. You’ll be divided in order with the first group being closest to the castle.”

There were only a few that could move right after Captain Comantle finished speaking. I was one of those that couldn’t.

Suddenly, Captain Comantle’s face grew ugly.

“Those of you with your heads in the clouds! Ten laps around the castle, now! Once you’re done, we’ll resume with training. Get started!”

Now we’d been forced to run. My head was still a complete mess, but I knew that I had to obey. Just as I started running, I hear a girl’s scream coming from behind me.

◇◇◇

I didn’t know just how big the perimeter of the castle was, but 10 laps didn’t prove that challenging. Some of my classmates were completely exhausted, but that was it. However, there was one person who seemed completely different than the rest.

It was Ai Hirayama. She was the leader of the class’ mean girls, and I wasn’t sure if it was because she liked her name so much, but she would address herself in third person.

After finishing the ten laps, she was gritting her teeth and her eyes were bright red. She was the last one to finish running, and I assumed that the scream I’d heard in the beginning was likely hers.

“This time you had to work on your own, but from now on you’ll be liable for the groups I mentioned before.”

No one dared speak up against Captain Comantle anymore. After all, they’d be beaten up if they did.

(It was all fine until yesterday, just why…)

◇◇◇

“You’re slow. Don’t think you’ll always get to fight under the best circumstances.”
“Urgh!”

I was constantly beaten even though I was already coughing blood. I was punched, kicked, and my body was mercilessly slashed. Although I possessed Skill and had rapid growth, my experience and Status were far from matching that of a trained knight.

Despite this, I was made to constantly fight.

Both me and Asahi, who were going to be in the vanguard, had wounds all over our bodies, while Tsukihara and Yamabe, who were going to be in the rear, looked like they were about to pass out at any moment due to exhausting their Mana.

The knights, on the other hand, would switch after beating us for a bit.

“That’s it for today. Seira, you have until tomorrow to treat them. If you don’t you’ll be punished.”

After Captain Comantle said that, he finished today’s training and left with the knights, leaving some of them behind with us.

Yamabe was hardly able to move due to fear, but still managed to crawl over to us and began casting Healing Magic. I couldn’t recall how many times she had done this today, but I did recall that she had been crying during each one.

She was usually seen as one of the two most beautiful girls in the class, yet that was nowhere to be seen right now.

Tsukihara, who was also a competitor for the top spot, appeared to be staring at me before sighing and turning her head. She seemed as if she was regretting something, and her face made my chest tighten.

(Just why did this happen…)

Even though the sun was still up, my injured body hindered me from making the most of the remaining time. I had to get Yamabe to heal me so that I could go and talk with Sion.

The sun had already set when Yamabe finished healing me. Yamabe freaked out and began shaking when I accidentally clicked my tongue—partially because of the day’s harsh training.

I didn’t know what was going on, but it felt extremely awkward, so I quickly ran back to the castle.



 

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