At night, I reviewed Clyde and Nicole’s books and was very amazed at myself for knowing most of them. Perhaps I could apply for a placement test and continue my study without missing a year…?
But let’s not be too rash and learn the materials from their books slowly. I would inform Mother after making sure that everything was alright. It would be too shameful for me to take a placement test and then failing…
The next day, I felt more energized than before and decided to have some more exercises. Which brought me to the training ground in our home. I had already notified my father beforehand that I might want to move my body a bit, so there was already a tutor in the training ground, ready to welcome me.
“Reinst-sama, you’ve come. I’m glad to see that you’re alright,” the tutor said with a smile.
“Thank you for your concern,” I curtseyed.
“Let’s start it slowly,” The tutor said in concern.
“Understood,” I said as I walked to grab my usual sword.
Why does it feel heavier than what I expected?
I was taken aback at first, but it might have been due to my not touching my sword for so long already I’d forgotten about its weight.
My mind must have remembered things wrong. That’s simply it.
So, aside from my newly developed power, clairvoyance, my mind was still fuzzy. Could this be the side effect of my developing power?
At the moment, I could only think of it as clairvoyance.
Anyway, my swordsmanship exercise started with easy stretching and practice swinging my sword until I got used to the sensation again.
“Put more power in it!” The tutor instructed.
I was a bit surprised at myself for not putting enough power. Strong swordsmanship was Grabberton’s forte and trademark, so how could I not put enough physical power to my swing?
The tutor also helped correcting my posture so I could put more power in it. He remarked that my posture before was one that gave me more speed in exchange of power, not something that the Grabberton would usually do.
…Why did I come to know of such posture, then? I had been trained in Grabberton’s swordsmanship style all my life…
Must be my body’s fault—after sleeping for almost a year, my reflexes turned dull, it seemed.
It couldn’t be helped that I needed to readjust my muscles.
Thinking so, I focused myself on the tutor’s instructions.
Time passed by just like that, and suddenly…
“Clyde-sama, you’ve come as well,” The tutor suddenly said.
I stopped swinging my sword and turned to look at the entrance.
Clyde was there, wearing a casual training outfit.
Does he want to train right away after coming back from school?
Wiping the sweat on my face, I glanced at Clyde while catching my breath.
“…Want a spar, Reinst?” Clyde suddenly dropped a bomb on me.
An alarm rang in my mind.
Why did he suddenly ask me to spar with him?
Did he want to make fun of me, look down of me, since he knew my swordsmanship quality dropped after my long sleep?
That was the first thought that appeared in my mind, but after a while, another thought popped up.
Maybe he just wanted to help me regain my swordsmanship.
For some reason, I could portray Clyde as someone who was sincere to me.
“Remember, that person is not your brother. He’s your rival. Be careful around him.”
–Those were Mother’s words that had been ingrained in my mind, so where did this feeling of sincerity grow?
Was it because yesterday, he gave me his books to help me…?
“He seemed kind? It must be a pretense to show to others how benevolent he is. Don’t be fooled.”
That was the belief I was supposed to have.
Did Clyde successfully deceive me and made me believe in his fake sincerity?
My heart couldn’t believe that Clyde was faking it. My heart believed that he was sincere, for some reason.
And I…What should I believe in?
“…You don’t want to?” Clyde’s words pulled me back to reality.
“…Give me a while,” I said as I sat down and drank.
“Sure, then,” Clyde said as he sat down next to me.
Now, this is awkward…
“Clyde-sama and Reinst-sama are going to have a spar?!” The other knights in the training grounds were surprised to hear what was going to happen.
I almost choked on my drink.
Please, I barely recovered!
Perhaps noticing what I was thinking, Clyde turned to the tutor and said, “Excuse me, but I’d like our sparring to be done privately. Is it possible?”
“Sure, we can go to the private training ground, then,” The tutor agreed right away. He must be thinking that it wouldn’t be too good for my performance to be seen in my current condition.
“Aww, we wouldn’t get to see them sparing? It’s been so long already!” A knight’s voice could be heard.
“Sheesh, Reinst-sama just recovered, she might need to spar a lot in private and recover her power!”
Ooh? There seemed to be a considerate knight among the others who were thinking that there would be a good show soon.
That was very praiseworthy of you.
With that, we moved towards the private training grounds, making it just me, Clyde, and the tutor inside.
At this point, my conflicting mind had already crossed out the possibility that Clyde was doing it for any ulterior motive. I was more convinced that he wanted to help me in restoring my former swordsmanship.
Anyway, I loved training my swordsmanship and having a spar with someone of Clyde’s level was exciting, so I welcomed it.
“On your mark…ready…,” the tutor turned into our referee.
I changed my stance to an offensive one, ready to launch whenever it was time to go.
“Go!” The tutor said. Almost immediately, I ran towards Clyde, swinging my sword with all the power I had.
I saw Clyde who didn’t seem to be preparing his stance in advance, perhaps he was really willing to give me a leeway in consideration to my condition.
However, that didn’t mean he couldn’t do anything other than becoming the receiving end of my attack.
Clyde skillfully swung his sword so his sword clashed with mine.
I persevered and increased the power that I put in my sword, and so did he.
…In the end, the difference between a male and female’s physical power…and perhaps add my barely recovered body—showed itself as I could no longer hold my sword against Clyde’s.
I decided to retreat myself as I jumped and retreated my sword.
Clyde didn’t fall down because he must have been prepared for my retreat. He fixed his posture while I jumped back.
Thinking that it was the perfect timing to attack, I ran quickly as I swung my sword immediately at Clyde.
“Quite agile…,” The tutor commented at my attack, surprising me.
For I noticed I didn’t use the proper stance to put more power to my sword’s attack and focused more on my speed of swinging, which was bad.
Why didn’t I just use my normal Grabberton stance that would enable me to put more power in my swing?
Why did I feel a little bit intimidated to copy the Grabberton’s swordsmanship style, when I was clearly a Grabberton?
Look at me, I just turned silly…
Sure enough, Clyde attacked back using his sword that had more power, causing my sword to be lifted behind. I strengthened my grip on my sword as I followed the direction where it was going—in order not to lose my grip on my sword.
With that, I retreated again and analyzed my movements quickly.
I didn’t really put my thoughts during my movements, perhaps that was why it turned weird? My reflexes and muscle memories weren’t as good as I thought they were, probably.
So, I should put more thoughts and power to my attacks after this.
“What happened, Reinst? I’ll definitely be up to it if you were to use your signature move,” Clyde asked as he waited for me instead of attacking me right away.
…He really was initiating this spar in order to help me, it seemed?
My signature move…That’s right. I would recklessly go towards my enemy, overwhelming them with powerful sword swings at a fixed interval. Though it couldn’t be said as fast, but the interval was just perfect to overwhelm the enemy when combined with the power I put.
I was a firm believer of ‘attacking is the best defense’, hence I developed that style.
Alright then, shall we try doing it?
“Prepare yourself, then!” I said with a confident smile.
I poured all my power when I dashed and swung my sword towards Clyde. Clyde jumped back and swung his sword to retaliate against mine.
No worries though, as this was well within my calculation.
I immediately moved my sword to swing it at another opening spot. Clyde barely stopped my sword with his.
The same thing kept happening, and it was clear that Clyde was getting overwhelmed by my signature move. However, he was smiling instead.
…I was smiling, too.
Yes, we were smiling because our blood was excited at this swordsmanship sparring! The more in pinch we were, the more excited we got.
Clyde must be similar to me in this way.
Suddenly, Clyde swung his sword low while I was swinging my sword to his upper arm—it seemed that he changed his tactics from defensive to offensive!
Hah, but that worked wonder as I immediately retracted my sword to defense against his attack.
…This reflex caused me to think. I should be a reckless swordsman, continuing my offensive strike at such a situation, but why did I falter and switch instead?
Alright, I probably turned weaker and was afraid of getting injured at my current condition. No worries, let’s go on with the sparring!
This time, I switched to a variation of my signature move that was more balanced between power and speed—with the tendency towards power. This was a strategy I devised when I met someone whose physical power was above me. If I couldn’t compete with them in physical power, perhaps this technique would do well.
Soon enough, I managed to force Clyde to enter his defensive mode. But Clyde’s technique was to endure while waiting for an opening to strike back, so I focused my mind to see Clyde’s next movements.
…To be honest, I was getting tired, so I wanted to end this as quickly as possible.
Then, as I expected, Clyde seemed to notice an opening spot in my movements as he proceeded not to defend against my attack and strike back instead.
At this moment, my brain quickly processed things.
His shadow! I gotta touch his shadow and stop his movement with my magic—
Due to the unexpected thought process, I couldn’t do anything in time. Clyde stopped his sword before it touched my body and he said, “Strike. I win.”
He then put back his sword in place.
“…,” I was still maintaining the earlier posture where one of my feet was stepping on Clyde’s shadow while my sword was still mid-air, about to be swung to Clyde…
Why did I assume I could use my magic? Sure I have [Dark] magic, but I can’t use it, right?
Moreover, why was it that my next thought process was to ‘swing my sword so that icicles would appear from it’?
No matter how you thought about it, I was a Grabberton, I was no magic swordsman!
“…Reinst, you seemed odd just now. What’s the matter?” Clyde asked.
“That’s right, your movement earlier was off—what were you think you were going to do at that time, Reinst-sama?” The tutor asked me.
But there was no way I could say anything to them.
“…It’s nothing. I might be too tired,” I gave a pathetic excuse as I put my sword back.
Trying to make sense of what just happened and connect it with my new ‘clairvoyance’ ability…yes, it didn’t make sense.
Could I be able to use [Dark] and [Ice] magic in the future? But I had never heard of a case that someone who couldn’t use magic at all to suddenly be able to use them.
More importantly, it was like a conditioned reflex, so was it not ‘clairvoyance’ that I developed?
I thought that with more days, I would be able to figure out things.
But on the contrary, the more days I spent here, the more I was unable to figure out things…
I wish I could soon find out the reason behind my oddities…
It wouldn’t be good if the thing that happened during my swords sparring with Clyde were to happen again, right?