「 Wow, these are delicious 」
Kinoshita-san who came from Kouzuki SS is consuming the meals quickly.
「 I’ll make something extra 」
Katsuko-nee smiled wryly, stood up, and went to the kitchen.
「 Haaa, that type of person definitely has “another stomach for desserts,” even after eating that much 」
Nei makes an amazed face and said.
Kinoshita-san, a user of a flail, a weapon consisting of a long club, a chain, and an iron ball attached to the end, is going to fight against Kuromiya-san.
Is this okay?
「 You don’t have to worry about it Yo-chan. 」 Either way, I’m sure that Minaho-oneechan gave her instructions 」
Nei told me.
「 Just like how Edie beat Grace-san to the pulp at school today. Kuromiya-san also needs an overwhelming loss 」
「 Grace-san wasn’t so shocked to lose to Margo at the martial arts tournament nor Kyouko-san this morning. Only when she lost to Edie, a high-school girl five years younger than her, was the first time she took her defeat seriously 」
Losing to a professional at her generation, Margo-san, and Kyouko-san, a legendary international felon will just make her think that it’s no big deal.
Edie was in the same tournament but she was in the lighter class.
Taking her to school showing off her uniform, and making it clear that she’s a high-school freshman.
Edie took down Grace-san with an overwhelming force.
If you go that far, she’ll definitely yield.
「 But, Kinoshita-san is a bodyguard from Kouzuki SS. She’s much older than Kuromiya-san 」
「 Yeah, that’s true. We know that, but those young ladies don’t, you see? 」
「 Kinoshita-san only entered Kouzuki SS half a year ago, right? Furthermore, she doesn’t appear much on the surface jobs, and so Kuromiya-san doesn’t know Kinoshita-san’s true nature 」
I know that Kinoshita-san was a member of the Banbarubie 3 back then.
However, without that information.
「 Kinoshita-san’s got such a baby-face that she attracts lolicon like Dai Grepher, right? 」
Right, if I don’t know anything, Kinoshita-san would look like a high-school girl.
「 I think that Kuromiya-san’s assuming that Rei-chan just brought a trainee from Kouzuki SS or something. After all, look at what Kinoshita-san’s doing 」
「 I love spaghetti, hamburgers, and all the childish dishes! Of course, I love pizza too! 」
She’s got no care, or should I say that she’s smiling innocently.
Edie does the same, but…
Seeing someone with that kind of open-mindedness actually scares me more.
I wonder if Kuromiya-san knows that.
「 If this were Edie, then she would try to catch them off guard, but Kinoshita-san’s an airhead. She doesn’t think of anything and can do it naturally. And that’s what’s scary 」
「 Pizza! Pizza! Hmmmm! So delicious! Kyahoo! 」
Yeah, she’s not a calculating person. She’s always been like that.
「 Thinking about it again, Ruby-san and Barby-san knows Kinoshita-san’s personality and they were able to control her well 」
I always had the impression that Kinoshita-san was the only one fighting and the other two were slacking off at the back, but…
She’s got such a childish personality, and yet her strength is of a demon.
「 No, Kinoshita-san’s just gotten stronger since joining Kouzuki SS. As expected, she wouldn’t have grown this much if she stayed with the Banbarubie 3 」
「 Sorry to tell Barbie-san, but Kouzuki SS has more people who can give advice to further advance Kinoshita-san’s skills 」
Right. Barbie-san might’ve already reached their limit in training Kinoshita-san.
Ootoku-san and Choumoto-san are genuine monsters when it comes to strength.
Some, like Shou-neechan, learned the comprehensive skills of security.
I get why Kinoshita-san’s entrusted to the Kouzuki SS.
Barbie-san must’ve considered that their situation wasn’t great.
They wanted to advance to the next step, and so they became Kyouko-san’s subordinate.
「 Look, Kuromiya-san’s making a face “Who’s this?” on Kinoshita-san 」
Nei’s right. Kuromiya-san stopped eating and is checking her opponent.
「 They might not be able to figure out what Kinoshita-san truly is 」
I think so.
「 They won’t. It’s Kuromiya-san’s first time fighting someone like Kinoshita-san after all 」
「 Kuromiya-san’s weakness is her lack of real-world experience 」
I understand that.
No matter how much she rehearsed her spear with Mikuriya-san, her bodyguard.
You can’t break out of your shell until you’ve experienced serious combat with a real strong person.
「 Well, we’ll see what happens 」
◇ ◇ ◇
We moved to the room next to the courtyard as soon as we finished our meal.
It’s already cold at night when we went out into the garden but we’re still wearing our transparent clothing. We watch Kuromiya-san and Kinoshita-san fight through the glass from this room.
Kuromiya-san and Mikuriya-san came dressed with a white Hakama, the official attire of Kuromiya style spear fighting.
Kinoshita-san’s wearing a black pantsuit as if she’s an employee of the Kouzuki SS.
In addition to the participants, Rei-chan, Mitama, and Tsukiko are in the courtyard as observers.
「 This is the spear we use for our training in Kouzuki SS 」
Rei-chan’s showing us the spear she brought from the Kouzuki SS training facility, uses for practice, and to fight off thugs.
「 This part is made of carbon and bends well, and the tip is made of rubber. This can’t kill 」
I see. White rubber is attached at the end of the black spear.
「 Reika-san, how far should I go? 」
Kinoshita-san asks Rei-chan.
「 As long as they’re not injured. Actually, be careful not to get them injured 」
Rei-chan said with a smile.
「 Okay, I understand 」
Kinoshita-san’s light tone makes Kuromiya-san feel sullen.
「 This combat is training with the assumption of a real fight and so there are no other rules other than trying not to injure your opponent. Anything else is allowed 」
Rei-chan told Kuromiya-san
「 Then, how do we decide the outcome? 」
「 The fight will continue until either one of the parties admits their loss 」
「 I see. So all I have to do is make these young ladies accept their defeat? That’s easy then. Then let’s go at it! 」
Kinoshita-san speaks cheerfully.
「 So, all I have to do is crush the two of them instantly, right? 」
Huh? Kinoshita-san’s going to fight against both Kuromiya-san and Mikuriya-san at the same time?
「 I’ll be enough to fight you 」
Kuromiya-san glared at Kinoshita-san.
「 No, Motoko-ojousama, allow me to go first 」
Mikuriya-san also wants to fight.
「 Reika-san, to be honest, I think these girls are a bit mad 」
Kinoshita-san looked at Mikuriya-san and said.
「 The two of them are still fledglings but this one just came out of her shell, right? 」
Mikuriya-san’s still 14.
From Kinoshita-san, a professional’s perspective, then she’s too young for a fight.
「 I-I… 」
「 Don’t be rude. Kurumi’s been a student of the Kuromiya style spear fighting for eight years now! 」
Mikuriya-san and Kuromiya-san protested.
「 Huh, just eight years? 」
「 You’re not even done with the foundation then 」
「 Wha-? You?! 」
Kinoshita-san looks down on Kuromiya-san.
「 Oh, Reika-san, I get it. These people don’t know the level they’ve currently reached 」
Kinoshita-san smiles at Rei-chan.
「 That’s why I have to beat them up. I see. I see. I get it 」
Kinoshita-san took the training spear from Rei-chan.
「 My expertise is the flail, and so it’s been a while since I held something that does not so tip heavy 」
She swings the spear up and down.
「 Oh well, I guess this weak spear makes it easy to prevent injuries 」
「 Fujimiya-san, please give me the same spear 」
Kuromiya-san took the same training spear from rei-chan.
「 Kurumi, I’ll fight. Stay there and watch 」
「 Motoko-ojousama? 」
「 If I don’t win against her in a one-on-one fight, then Kuromiya style spear fighting will lose its name 」
Kuromiya-san swings the spear down.
「 Kuromiya style is a fighting style that’s been around since the warring states period! This technique has been passed down from our ancestors, now take it! 」
She takes a stance.
「 Uhm, Kuromiya-sama, with all due respect… 」
Rei-chan speaks from the sides.
「 That spear has a different length, weight, balance, and material from the one you usually use 」
Yeah, the spears from Kuromiya-san’s house are much longer.
Its material isn’t a rubber tip and carbon handle either.
It’s more of a heavy spear as if it was from the Warring States.
「 Check the difference between your spears first 」
「 I know that even if Fujimiya-san doesn’t tell me 」
Kuromiya-san swings the spear on all sides and checks the balance and bends.
The same thing that Kinoshita-san did.
「 Reika-san, isn’t this one different from before? It’s a new spear, it bends better than the one I used before. I mean, this is better 」
Yeah, the carbon handle seems to be wavy.
「 Oh? I added one for training new recruits so I had it made to the same specifications as the one I ordered before 」
「 That’s not true. It’s much more flexible than before. Also, the balance is a little different. The center of gravity is on the back by two centimeters 」
She knows that much.
「 Okay. I’ll contact the one who supplied it 」
「 Thank you. Well, this isn’t useless either, this is training 」
Kinoshita-san holds up her spear with a beautiful form.
「 Then, let’s begin 」
She smiled at Kuromiya-san.
「 Y-Yes, I’m ready. L-Let’s begin 」
Kuromiya-san is also ready.
「 Well then, begin!! 」
Rei-chan declares the start of the fight.
「 Toiyaa!! 」
Kuromiya-san took the initiative and rushed towards Kinoshita-san.
「 Hoihoi, hohoi hoi! 」
Kinoshita-san avoids the sharp thrusts with ease and kicked the tip of the spear with her shoe.
「 W-What? 」
「 Kicking someone’s spear is rude! 」
「 I can’t be bothered by your rules 」
Kinoshita-san didn’t unleash her spear and kicked Kuromiya-san’s spear with her shoe.
Oh, I’m seeing some kind of metal in the toe and bottom of the shoe.
「 It’s common practice in Chinese martial arts to stop the tip of your opponent’s spear with your shoe. Have you never seen a Jackie Chan movie? 」
「 What’s with movies?! This is a real fight! 」
Kuromiya-san glares at Kinoshita-san.
「 I get it! It’s a real fight so everything’s okay, right? This is a training session for a real battle!! There you go! 」
Kinoshita-san stomps down on Kuromiya-san’s spearhead.
At that moment.
「 Chance! 」
Kuromiya-san takes one hand off the spear and tries to touch Kinoshita-san’s body.
Oh, it’s that Qi technique she used at the women’s martial arts tournament venue.
「 Unfortunately, there’s no “chance” for you 」
However, Kinoshita-san ducked before Kuromiya-san’s hand could touch her body.
「 Wow, you’re looking down on pros. pfft 」
「 Your Qi technique requires direct contact with your opponent’s body, right? I know that. Ufufufu~ 」
Kinoshita-san knows about Kuromiya-san’s techniques?
「 We’re professionals you see? I know about you and the techniques you use 」
「 Kudou-san’s quite diligent guy even if he looks like that 」
Rei-chan brought up Kudou-papa’s name.
Right, Kudou-papa was in that venue.
He was watching Kuromiya-san in secret and reported the details of Raishouin Raiden to the Kouzuki SS.
「 Kouzuki SS’ job is to protect the people of the nobility, and so it considers the possibility that Kuromiya-san becomes an enemy of the Kouzui house by some mistake 」
「 We’re always assuming every possible scenario 」
「 That’s why we also make sure to check through your skills 」
Kinoshita-san smiles and fixes her posture.
Then, this time, Kinoshita-san’s the one coming after Kuromiya-san.
「 I know the weakness of the Kuromiya style spear fighting. We know more about your style than you do! Hohohoi hoi!! 」
A sharp thrust drives in.
「 Kuh!! 」
Kuromiya-san takes a defensive stance.
「 O-Our Kuromiya style isn’t so shallow that you can analyze it 」
Kuromiya-san’s trying to fight back from the hopeless situation of Kinoshita-san’s attacks, but…
「 Too naive! 」
As soon as Kuromiya-san stretched out her spear…
Kinoshita-san grabbed the spear head’s handle right below the tip and then…
She twists it.
「 Kyaa!! 」
She may look slender but she’s a woman with monstrous strength who usually wields that heavy smashing flail.
Kinoshita-san took away Kuromiya-san’s spear so easily.
「 See? 」
「 T-Taking away your opponent’s spear on a match is unthinkable! 」
Kinoshita-san tries to protest by reflex, but…
「 But in real fights, anything goes you see? It’s plain weird that you never considered this kind of attack 」
「 Here, do it again with your spear. Pupupu. I’ll give your spear back 」
Kinoshita-san tossed the spear in front of Kuromiya-san.
「 T-This is humiliating 」
Even so, Kuromiya-san picked up the spear and glared at Kinoshita-san.
「 Oh, don’t do that. Don’t get emotional and focus your emotions on one enemy 」
「 After all, there could be another enemy that’s coming from behind you and then attacking you, right? We might not be the only ones here 」
「 K-Kouzuki SS won’t do something that cowardly! 」
Kuromiya-san retorts, but…
「 Huh? But we’re unfair you see. We’re professionals so we don’t care if it’s unfair, all we need is to succeed 」
Kinoshita-san said with a smile.
「 You see, Barbie-san scolded me a lot before. She tells me to make sure to check my surroundings all the time. That’s why you have to be mindful of the entire field, not just focus on the enemy in front of you 」
If you focus only on the enemy in front of you, you’ll lose sight of your surroundings.
「 The more relaxed you are the better you’d be able to see what’s going on around you. That’s why she’s scolding me all the time for not being a bit more frivolous 」
Oh, it’s the same with Edie’s smile and Michi’s expressionless face.
In a match, it’s obvious that there’s only one opponent, but…
In real combat, you don’t know when someone will come from the side.
Therefore, you don’t just focus on the enemy in front, but continue to be cautious with your surroundings.
They look like they’re being careless that way.
「 Your family’s spear technique was born from an actual battlefield experience during the warring states so you should know that 」
Kinoshita-san told Kuromiya-san.
「 But, the 270 years of Edo period is a long time, since it became a traditional family martial art, it has lost many of the important aspects of the actual combat martial arts. I think that’s what happened 」
Kuromiya-san stares at Kinoshita-san.
「 Especially since your style has been passed down from generation to generation by the head of the house, right? In that case, you can’t do any unfair methods or use gorgeous techniques that aren’t suitable for the head of the family, making your martial arts even more useless 」
「 In real combat, “unfair methods” don’t exist. You can avoid all your unfair methods but what’s the meaning of that if you don’t survive 」
「 T-That’s…I know that… 」
「 You don’t get it. Your technique shows it. Your family’s spear techniques had been just boiling for about three hundred years inside your family. So in a sense, it’s beautiful and sophisticated, but it’s lost its power as a martial art for combat. Haiya! 」
Kinoshita-san goes after Kuromiya-san again.
「 Kuh 」
「 Hoiyahoiyahoiya 」
「 Nugugugugu 」
Kuromiya-san’s on the defensive.
「 See, it’s hard to receive my attacks, right? Do you know why? It’s because your house technique is designed to fight enemies wearing a wafuku and nothing else, so you have a lot of blind spots. Like here, or here 」
Kinoshita-san’s spear is cornering Kuromiya-san.
「 Besides, the spears from before were heavy. You don’t think about what kind of action you can do with such a light carbon flexible spear, do you? Your imagination and initiative are lacking. You should’ve practiced learning more with your imagination 」
Kinoshita-san’s holding the lowermost part of the spear, attacking Kuromiya-san where the spear is a snake.
「 You can use it this way too. Well, I’m a professional so we learned techniques of Chinese martial arts, bayonet fighting, and even modern stick fighting techniques and apply them. However, your arts only apply to the other martial arts that existed in Japan during the Edo period. An ancient one 」
Kinoshita-san’s guiding Kuromiya-san while fighting her.
「 That’s why you can’t win against me 」
Kinoshita-san uses the rubber tip to slap Kuromiya-san’s hand.
「 Kyaa! 」
Kuromiya-san dropped her spear.
The carbon training spear rolled on the ground.
「 If you hit that part of the hand, even the strongest people will open their hand. That’s how it is 」
「 So, do you want another go? 」
「 I-I haven’t lost yet! 」
Kuromiya-san hurriedly tried to pick up the spear she dropped but her hands were numb, she can’t pick it up.
「 I think that’s enough 」
Misuzu goes to the courtyard.
「 Kuromiya-san, look at yourself and compare it to Kinoshita-san. 」
「 Misuzu-sama? 」
Kuromiya-san is surprised.
「 You’re sweating all over, your clothes are disordered. 」
Misuzu’s right. Kuromiya-san’s white hakama is already worn out.
Her face is sweating, shining in the moonlight.
「 But look at Kinoshita-san, she’s not sweating at all 」
Kinoshita-san’s showing a nonchalant face.
「 Well yes, that wasn’t enough to make me sweat 」
Kinoshita-san swings her carbon spear and said.
Kuromiya-san compared herself with Kinoshita-san and then…
「 I seem to have lost 」
She accepts her defeat.
「 But, that’s not a loss of the Kuromiya spear arts. In the end, it was me who’s inexperienced 」
Kuromiya-san said, but…
「 No, it’s the same 」
「 You two are the only people in the world who have inherited the Kuromiya style spear fighting, aren’t you? 」
Only Kuromiya Motoko-san and Mikuriya Kurumi-san practices that art.
「 That’s why your loss is Kuromiya arts’ loss. You mustn’t make a mistake in that 」
She never reads the mood.
「 Kuh 」
Kuromiya-san’s overwhelmed by humiliation.