Chapter 101: The Melancholy of Sword Princess Aurora
I took the girl named Neia who I was not sure about being a self-proclaimed hero and went to the great arena and for the time being followed Anzeros inside. This arena was open to Ace Knights and above for training for free, but otherwise, only military personnel were allowed to enter. At the time of the duel between Anzeros and Erik, the king was observing it, so I couldn’t pass, but this time I could pass if there was a sign that I was accompanied by an Ace Knight.
Anzeros made a suspicious face. Well, she usually reacted like that when I brought a girl so she didn’t know suddenly what to think in the current busy situation?
“My name is Neia Grands.”
Neia introduced herself by taking off her old-fashioned hat. Her ears were not exposed from her slightly swollen hair and I didn’t know if she was a human, elf or beastmen. It was not the first time I met her, so I kept quiet.
“I am 10-man captain Anzeros. From Celesta’s northern army corps….No, Dianne’s special duty corps Ace Knight.”
Anzeros returned with a salute in Celesta-style by putting her right fist on her left chest. They were almost the same height and were smiling a little.
“I came to help you train in swordsmanship as per Smithson-san’s instructions.”
Neia put her old hat on her head and lightly shook the handle of the sword on her waist.
“……Andy, this girl……do her skills stand out?”
“I may or may not stand out.”
While I was on my way, I got to the point of being refreshed.
“She is confident in her sword skills and as we don’t have enough practice partners, it’s worth it.”
“……I’m enough. It’s too much.”
Anzeros didn’t rush excessively and began to stand first and started walking as if she had given up.
“Wasn’t that a little less talking about?”
“Not at all. This is a sacred place for Trot Swordsman. Even if there are no Great Sword Saints or 100-man commander Grants, there are dozens of swordsmen.”
Anzeros raised a voice that didn’t stand for her words. That meant…
“But after all……isn’t it a big hint for Aurora?”
“There are less than 10 days. It may be impossible.”
In the basement of the arena, there were a lot of training fields of decent sizes separated by a fence and a lot of Ace Knights from Trot were practicing there. Those who swung a sword, those who repeatedly attacked a log with a wooden sword, those who somersaulted and sat down and those who repeated the suspension movement. Many swordsmen were running shirtless in large hallways. It was a really sweaty space. Traditionally, female swordsmen were not allowed in Trot, so the whole place smelled like men. In such a situation, it was not unreasonable to attract a lot of attention in the training field wherever Aurora stood. After all, she was an elf, a beautiful girl and elegant and strong as well.
A large-sized swordsman had his practice armor broken by Aurora’s sword and he collapsed. The surroundings were noisy.
A young swordsman who was the referee took a practice sword and stood in front of Aurora.
“Next is me.”
“Haa……Haa……I’m fine. Come……”
Aurora lifted her sword while breathing out. As expected, her opponents were Ace Knights. Aurora was also an excellent swordsman, but she didn’t seem to be able to win easily.
“I wish Aurora would take a little rest.”
“No, that’s bad for Aurora. It’s been less than an hour since she started the assembly, but if she already is breathing so hard… she won’t be able to do it in a real labyrinth exploration or war.”
Anzeros’s evaluation was harsh. In the middle of the conversation, another swordsman bought a referee and the match started.
Aurora barely overthrew the swordsman coming in with haste. However, as expected, her movement was uninterrupted. And Aurora switched the handle of her sword from right to left at the moment when the other party saw through the condition and he ducked to decide the game at a dash.
She attacked again with the sharpness that came back like another person and became victorious by bouncing her opponent’s sword into the air.
Game over. The opponent was replaced again.
“Can she handle the sword on the left as well as on the right?”
I nodded to Neia’s question.
“It can be said she is being acrobatic to make up for her lack of stamina. She says it’s almost the same way it can be used.”
“I think it’s better to have a shield than to do such a thing. The burden on the defensive side should not be compared to a sword. I’m sure she’ll be able to improve her ability to take over a lot.”
……Oh, I see. Neia should be a traveler. And having a currency I’ve never seen, she should at least be from quite far away.
“We don’t use shields much in the Northwest Plains.”
“Yeah. At least Ace Knights might have use of it.”
The shield was a weapon that wasn’t very important here. Although it was used for avoiding arrows, most soldiers in close combat didn’t use it. One thing was the presence of Ogre soldiers. Their best blow could beat and kill humans, no matter how strong the shield was. Therefore, the survival rate was still high if it was pushed against a shield rather than defending poorly. Another thing was the existence of Sword Saints. Their attack power surpassed that of an ogre. Also against them, the same way was better than to defend poorly. The traditional popularity of two-handed swords among Trot Sword Saints also spurred this trend … No, but wait. In fact, it might be necessary for Aurora to win over Sharon. It was also true that the amount of fighting by manipulating a long sword with one hand put a strain on the gripping power. With a shield, it was easier to hold down the same impact.
“I see……If you ask me, that hand will be helpful.”
“Anzeros, call Aurora.”
“Eh? A, Ah, yes……”
When I told Aurora about the idea, she looked uncomfortable.
“It’s rather dangerous.”
“But if you do it properly, it’ll be a lot easier than it is now.”
“That’s right in theory, but I have a little more than a week to get acquainted with a weapon that I’ve never used before……”
“……You will be able to do it.”
The length of the sword that Aurora used was the limit for a one-handed sword. It was more difficult than the beginning to use it honestly and to use it even for defense. Anzeros used short swords from the beginning and was more reasonable.
“But I was surprised. It’s really something that you can fight with both hands.”
Neia sat by the wall and was completely in watching mode as she said that. She was wearing an old fashioned hat and a half-length cloak and looked like a doll that a child had finally made of extra clothes when she sat down.
“Andy-san, who is this?”
“……Ah, she is Neia. She seems to be confident in her sword skill.”
“Because I am a hero.”
Moreover, she puffed up her chest with pride as she claimed her title which I didn’t understand very well. She was tall enough to play with Anzeros but she had quite a bit of chest. I felt that the presence of Anzeros and Aurora staggered a little.
“……If, If you have confidence in your abilities, would you like to prove it? I want as much battle experiences as I can have now.”
Aurora barely said that without being swept away, but Nia shook her head in trouble.
“Emm……can I say it? It’s a bit rude.”
“To be honest, your attack power is too poor. I’ll make you change your eyes even if you close your eyes.”
Neia seemed apologetic, but without any concern, she said that with pity.
“Naa……yo, you mock me, suddenly!”
“I’m not mocking you……then, let’s do it now?”
Neia stood up with her hat lightly fixed and walked to the center of the training field. The other swordsmen who were fighting against Aurora and Anzeros were stunned.
“Come on, go ahead!”
Without taking a practice sword, Neia stretched out one hand from the cloak with a strange length and supported only the hat and smiled, prompting Aurora. Aurora turned the practice sword towards Neia with a resolute expression.
“If it hits you, won’t it be painful?”
“It’s okay. Please feel free to kill me.”
Aurora made a few shots to Neia who said something scary. Neia hit with a step on the left and right without any sign of a direct hit. It was a light step like 100-man special duty commander Becker.
Aurora looked a little and accelerates her attack. After all that, Neia still dodged it easily. And Neia responded to Aurora’s movement that accelerated more and more with a generous expression.
“Naa……th, this is!?”
“That’s why it’s so poor. There’s not a bit of a surprise.”
“That’s not all!”
Aurora emitted a shockwave. At that moment, Neia held down her hat and suddenly made a backflip. The shockwave emitted by Aurora was canceled by the shockwave emitted by the backflip.
“There are a lot of sonic shooters in Trot. Or rather, is this really out of card?”
Aurora’s sword was trembling. It was both the screaming of her muscles and humiliation of the many matches.
“Sonic shooters……don’t ask me.”
“Ah……how much Ace Knights?”
The surrounding swordsmen began to be noisy…. They couldn’t fight like that, but I had seen heroes many times in the distance, so I could understand. Neia was strong. She was probably at the same level or even better than Dianne.
“Your sword is sharp but extremely thin. If you don’t pass one there is no second sword that follows. It’s like……”
After Neia lightly lowered the hat’s brim, she smiled self-evidently that could only be seen from the side.
“It’s just a sword that looks like someone’s favorite, imitating that person’s cool battle.”
“I was always second.”
“In Klaves, I was my brother’s shadow. Here, I’m Anzeros’s shadow. Even in engraving, I’m behind you. Even at night……I am always in the second position similarly.”
“……That’s the way it is. What will happen later?”
I knew that she was feeling down somehow, so I chose my words with as much care as possible and answered her optimistically. However, when Aurora drank a sip of wine as small as a kiss, she suddenly released a gloomy hot breath into the night of the royal city.
“With my mouth, I always said about trying to do my best and in fact, I was trying to do that……but today I learned about the truth.”
“I can’t imagine myself being the best. I’m not prepared. I was standing in an uninhabited field that wasn’t behind anyone and I had no idea that I was the only one to base myself on.”
“……What do you mean?”
“I mean, my swordsmanship was a blind imitation of my brother’s swordsmanship.”
She laughed with a chuckle. Was it the power of the alcohol that made her laugh for words that seemed to sink?
“My brother is a genius. I still think so. He was able to surpass his instructor who was invited from outside the forest, knitted his own style and just passed through. I was a splendid imitation of my brother’s brilliant swordsmanship. I intended to become stronger by imitating his swordsmanship and to become an Ace Knight, I tried to make up for the lack of effort and determination by taking advantage of the tenacity of both hands and tricks.”
“……No, if you’re actually an Ace Knight, aren’t you an Ace Knight?”
Aurora smiled laughing strangely. No, this was the cuteness of this 17-year-old girl.
“Andy-san, I didn’t want to deny my love for you. I wanted to insist that I wasn’t just a child of a sympathetic country in an era where elves and people argued without meaning.”
“I wanted to say that I was an elf in a new era. I was born in a new era, standing in my own dignity in a new world and I wanted to fall in love with you as Aurora, the one and only Ace Knight, who wouldn’t be frightened of anyone. ……But all I have is borrowed from people from the old age and they’ve been taken care of me.”
“……Do, Don’t think so seriously……you’re only 17 years old, right? Every child is taken care of by an adult. It’s still long, so it’s too early to give up on yourself, isn’t it?”