Special thanks for every patron that makes it able for me to keep writing!
[Level 1: Michelle O, Carla Z, Bigos2, NorAsma Hime]
[Level 2: Remandred, Danmaka, Blasefall]
[Level 3: Alexandr Z, Christiine G, Ela V, Crystal D, Lucas J, Scipo0419, ACertainFairyCase, Vaitea L, Skyler S]
[Level 4: Browser, Dtb Blank, Venalitor, Patrick F, William C, Lirianne, blizgerg]
[Level 5: is problematic, Chaeli]
[Level 6: alkin, Sir Hellington, Scott M, Jason D, Ghea, Ryuuji, Konstantin S]
General Knowledge Test and Displaying My Swordsmanship
Whoa, I totally didn’t expect to see her! Shouldn’t she be going home already?
When I looked at my first female friend here, I saw that Iris is breathing roughly—wait, was she chasing after me that she became short of breath like this?
I feel bad for leaving her behind, but…
“Iris, what’s wrong? Aren’t you going home?”
I stopped my movements so Iris could also stop running or walking and catch her breath first, while explaining her situation.
“Lyra, you’re so mean! You didn’t let me finish my sentence!” She pouted as she still tried to stabilize her breathing.
“Eh? Sorry, I had to hurry here… Anyway, you shouldn’t be here or else they will think that you’re also taking…”
“You didn’t even wait for me! Geez, really!” She nagged on me even further, “so much for being friends!!”
“Ah? But, Iris, I’m going to take the special class selection exams soon, and you said you won’t be taking any of the magic and physical combat exam, so…”
“Well yeah, but I’m taking the special skills test! I’m also going to the special class!”
Special skills… what?
I blinked many times over, trying to recall any information about the special skills test Iris talked about, but nothing came to my mind. I just read the details about both the magic and physical combat exams attentively, so that I won’t miss any details and preparation, but I couldn’t recall any of that [special skills test]…
Due to my confusion, I spontaneously tilted my head to think, but my feet still continued to walk at a steady pace, with Iris now on my side.
“…Lyra, don’t tell me you don’t know about it?”
“Eh, no, I…”
Am I that obvious? Am I that easy to read?!
I’ve had several occasions where I felt like I was easy to read—so I began contemplating if my skill in acting has degraded?
“No, it’s okay, it’s written in a separate paper, after all. It’s for those who want to join in special class but have little to no aptitude in both magic and physical combat,” Iris began to explain.
…Ohhh, I think I only took what my mom gave me, and since she knew I wanted to try both of them, she didn’t give me the paper about [special skills test]!
“It won’t count as a bonus for those who take all the tests?”
–whoops, have I become greedy? To think that I would ask about this first thing first!
Iris shook her head.
“No. It’s made specially for those who are not participating in both magic and physical combat exams, to make up the scores for those tests.”
Ah, I see-.
Makes sense. It would be unfair for the school to only accept those who are good at battles for the special class. After all, a person’s value can’t be measured by using one or two standards, as each of us possesses different quality and interest. Obviously, being unable to battle doesn’t mean that one is untalented at all!
There are many prestigious or famous jobs that don’t require battling at all, like being blacksmiths, alchemists, actors, dancers, singers, musicians…
Yes, obviously their talents can’t be measured by battling.
“In that case, what are you going to show in front of them?”
Naturally, I would be curious about that. If one were to ask me to perform something like that for this entrance exams, my mind would be drawing blank—if they really crossed out a magic and swordsmanship performance.
“Craftmanship… I hope it’s good enough. I’m bringing some of my crafts inside my bag, and I will show them a little bit…”
Oh—no wonder her bag is a bit… stuffy.
“Oh, I wanna se—”
But God wanted me not to see, as you see…
“Okay, we have arrived. Please take your seats and we will quickly start the basic knowledge exams!”
…｡･ﾟヾ(✦థ ｪ థ)ﾉ｡ﾟ･｡
The exams started right away and the questions were not that… difficult, as expected.
They even included some bonus questions.
[What’s the name of the first founder of Riviera?]
Easy. [Odis seo Navarrete].
[What’s the name of the most powerful woman ruler in Riviera’s history?]
…another easy question for a bonus question—but maybe that’s only for me. I have studied this before. [Remillia Layna seo Navarrete].
Oh, there’s a note.
[*wrong spelling = no point].
Hmm, I think Luca would find these bonus questions easy, too.
Is this a discrimination? Because both names mentioned here were of the royal family… Can’t deny the fact that their influence was quite high, though!
Other children might have heard tales of them, but I doubt the kids would know their full names, let alone their proper spellings. In the tales usually told to children, we used their nicknames. No wonder these became the bonus questions and weren’t included in the main test.
The Greatest Magician’s name isn’t as hard as those two people’s names, so maybe that’s why her name didn’t come up as a question here. She’s also like—very famous even among children. Her full name was often portrayed in the stories, so yeah.
Okay, it’s understandable.
No need to ponder over whether it’s a discrimination or not.
And I have to admit, I indeed admire those strong women—like Remillia, and the legendary lady of the Grabberton house, Lady Gretta who was so famous because she was the only female Oracle holder who managed to snatch away the heir title from a Grabberton male member who also held the Oracle.
Coincidentally, those two women lived in the same era and were good friends.
What a good era to live in, eh, that time?
…actually, I heard it was quite chaotic at that time. Forgive my naïve thinking, my former self’s ancestor. I just wanted to witness their glory as they are my role models!
I twirled the pen leisurely after I made sure everything I wrote was right.
As usual, I finished the test way earlier than the others, so I decided to get another dose of (quick) sleep~
After it’s done, I was quickly separated from Iris as she went to another direction.
We managed to say our goodbyes first, though.
“See you at school, Lyra! …oof, I mean—I wish we could!”
“Hope we can be classmates, Iris! Good luck!”
In the end, God really didn’t want me to see what kind of things Iris brought to show off.
Huh, you’re so stingy! (; ･`д･´)
Anyway, since I’m taking the two exams: magic and physical combat, I decided to take… physical combat exam first since I’m confident of how the exam will be.
I have taken many physical combat exams that I know the various types that can be used. For the purpose of entrance exams, for Basic Level 1…
My mind began to think of various exams as I finally arrived on the exam field.
The exam was held at an open field with no trees obstructing it, although I could see some trees far ahead the field. Whoever designed the open field, they must be someone with a great regard of nature, since they considered leaving the trees on some distance from here.
Several other students have gathered and we lined up according to our combined number.
During my waiting period, I decided to take a look at how they conducted the exams. Since we can’t cheat with this kind of practical exam, we are allowed to see the others’ performance.
Several weapons are lined up—as expected, they are going to have us use their prepared weapons, so the result would be fair.
There are various types of swords, daggers, bows and arrows, spears, rapiers, knuckles, …and many more. Wow, this school is indeed a school related to the royalty, their properties are so complete!
I saw some of the student candidates in front of me taking their exams. There were some who picked bows and arrows and they were asked to hit the targets that the teachers quickly prepared. Some failed elegantly while some hit the targets remarkably.
The result was quite clear.
Meanwhile, for those who picked melee-typed weapons, there were teachers ready to be their sparring partners, but those teachers were mainly on defensive as they observed the children’s skills closely.
Ah, so that’s how they are going to do the exam.
It’s the standard and the simplest form of exam, but it works well as nothing can beat the judgement of an expert combatant.
Anyway, I was lining up along with the other children wanting to display their swordsmanship, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off from the other weapons’ exams. After getting a glimpse on each of them, I shifted my line of sight back at the swords sparring happening in front of me.
A sturdy man with a high-quality sword stood there, blocking the child’s attacks. His eyes were observing the child’s movement and I could tell that he was assessing the child’s power and potential.
“Okay, that’s enough.”
When the child paused a moment to launch another attack, the sword-wielding teacher moved his stance and concluded that it was enough. I guess he’s already summed up the child’s ability?
“Next up, please-,” the teacher who was keeping the other children in order called out to the next examinee—oh, it’s me!!
I stepped closer to the man as he looked at me with a friendly smile. He was brimming with a youthful aura, although I could tell from his face that at his age, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to have a wife and a small child already… my speculation, though. Remember that I only judged it based on his appearance!
“Oh? We have such a cute young miss here!”
Yup, never expected someone would call me a cute young miss before! This makes me believe that I wasn’t imagining the aura difference between the current me and the past me. I was startled so I forgot to return his greetings. However, before I could even open my mouth—
“I’m Keith, pleased to meet you. I will be the one to examine your swordsmanship prowess, so please go all out,” he gestured me to take the sword prepared for the examinees to take.
I bowed my head lightly and greeted him back, “Pleasure to meet you, I’m—”
“Ah, no need to tell me your name here. I might get biased if you’re the child of my friends or any of the swordsman family! You’re number 21, right?”
“…Yes. Then, I will be in your care.”
Being called with just your number makes me feel like I’m a member of secret organization that has discarded her name or… something like that. But what he said makes sense. If I were a child from a swordsman family, I think he would expect more from me, and it would change the objectivity of the test.
I quickly wielded the sword he pointed to and made a good fighting stance.
“Good pose! I think we’re off to a good start. Well then…,” Keith-sensei also did his defensive stance, “Ready whenever you are!”
At his cue, I dashed forward, leaped and landed a strong hit with my sword on his broadsword.
“!! Your power is good,” he complimented.
Obviously, I relied on my power back then. And this time, I can’t use my magic, so…
This time, I’m finally having a real sword-vs-sword battle.
However, so that it didn’t resemble the Grabberton style so much and to complement my small body and my lack of power, I decided to switch the model of my attack to also rely on my speed.
Luckily, since I played run-and-chase often, it added to my speed.
As I continuously landed my attack, I sensed how Keith-sensei’s balance started to crumble. Yes, I purposely focused my attacks on the points that would make it hard to keep the balance.
Perhaps sensing that it won’t do, Keith-sensei decided to let go of his defensive stance and he actually countered me!
…Judging by his power, he seemed to be holding back, but it was still strong… Luckily, I caught his movement and blocked it with my sword.
“Little 21, you’re good! Very good!” He said as our swords blocked each other.
Humph, my strength is going to lose if you’re adding your body weight like this!!!
This is not fair, this is a simple bullying!!
Just as I was about to fall down due to my inability to hold his sword anymore–
“Okay, that’s enough!”
He withdrew his sword and put it back.
Oh—silly me, I actually forgot that this was an exam, so obviously he would end the match after he’s concluded my power!
“T-thanks for the match!” I put back the sword I was holding and finally, I could breathe in deeply! Phew!
“Little 21, that was amazing. Let me guess, are you related in some way to Grabberton House?”
Wait, wait, wait, how did it come to this?!
Excuse me, what do you mean by it’s to be expected?! But I clearly have altered my style there!
“Eh, really? Your way of swinging the swords slightly reminds me of the Grabberton style, so I thought that perhaps you are related to them in some way…,” he scratched his short beard while tilting his head in confusion.
Is the Grabberton style rooted that deeply in my swordsmanship? This is bad, then…
Wait, I have established a way out (more or less) during my sixth birthday, haven’t I?
“I simply saw the Grabberton style and thought it was amazing, Keith-sensei! Did I do well in my swordsmanship?”
I tried to make my facial expression to show all my childish aspects, in order to distract his suspicion if he still wouldn’t believe my words!
“Oh? So, you’re their admirer? That’s great, you have nice eyes there, little 21!” He rubbed his bulky hand on my head—ayy, this sensation is different from my dad’s head-pat!
“Hehe, thanks, Keith-sensei!” I continued my act~☆!
“Little 21, tell me your name now! I will remember you! Hahaha!!”
Oh, his way of laughing… it’s typical of a fighter’s rowdy laugh… if you get what I mean.
“I’m Alrescha Lyra Hartmann, just call me Lyra!”
At my words, his laugh stopped and his smiley expression turned serious.
“Wait what, you—what?”
…Uhm, sorry, did you already know me? Am I that famous? Or… what?!
He glanced at me with his squinted eyes and his right hand rubbing his beard, his expression told me that he was fiercely thinking about something!
“Oh, you concealed your odd eye color, or are you the odd one in the family?”
Odd one in the family… is he talking about the rare case of a Hartmann member without heterochromia?
“T-the former one!!” I quickly answered.
“Hmm, I see. The Hartmann… huh…”
This time, it’s my turn to tilt my head in confusion. I thought he was puzzled about that fact alone and wouldn’t question anything else—I mean, he should know that the Hartmann family is a magician family, so it’s not that weird that I have a way to alter my eye color…
“The Hartmann family should be a magician family, right?”
…wait, I think I figured out why.
“Though Cyan-san’s taking up physical combat as well… I wouldn’t have guessed that a Hartmann family’s child would be this great in physical combat! I really thought you were a child from the Grabberton instead!”
This is the problem!!
Normally, a child who displayed a good swordsmanship at a tender age like me would be a child from a swordsman family, so… yup.
And here I am, coming from a magician family.
“Could it be that a Grabberton is your distant relative—wait no, I heard the Hartmann and the Grabberton disliked marrying into each other’s clan due to their polar opposite style… one magic, one pure physical strength…”
He continued to mumble and I slightly nodded in agreement. True, the Grabberton typically has low magical compatibility and the Hartmann favors high magical compatibility, so marriage between the two clan is never being talked about…
Keith-sensei suddenly clenched his right hand to form a fist and hit it on his left hand while shouting, “Oh, I know!”
…That startled me!!
What did you know???
No, no, no, there’s no way that you have discovered my closely-guarded secret?!
“You must be admiring the Grabberton so much that you walked on the path of swordsmanship despite your magician family… knowing that you’ll never be able to enter the house of Grabberton, just assuming their swordsmanship style is enough… Well done, well done!!”
…Keith-sensei, are you a person with a vivid imagination, or are you simply a muscle-head?!
But that reasoning is not so bad! I thought my secret was found out—phew.
…Keith-sensei can write stories as his part-time job. The way he talked just made the whole story more dramatic. Ah yeah, he can be a story-teller instead.
“I support you, kid. I can understand the awesomeness of swordsmanship! No wonder that you will fall in love with a certain style in swordsmanship!”
Keith-sensei nodded his head many times over as he closed his eyes, immersing in his imagination.
“Keith-san, if you are done, can we proceed…”
The teacher who did the roll call on the examinees timidly cut Keith-sensei’s daydreaming.
“Eh? Oh, right! We still have more examinees! My bad, my bad, hahaha!!”
He opened his mouth so wide and let out that laugh again, as he scratched his head.
“Well then, little Lyra! I’m looking forward to see you at school!” He firmly grabbed my shoulders as he said that.
Okay, Sensei. Does that mean my enrollment here is guaranteed? No—I mean, my enrollment to the special class?
If it is, then I’m so happy. I am quite confident, but eeh, only god knows how this will turn out.
Somehow, I managed to escape from yet another danger flag in my life!
Next up is magic exam!!
I wonder how will it be held?
It’s gonna be my first time ever to join in a magic exam!
Finally, another new experience in my life~
A high dose of excitement and a low dose of nervousness ran through my whole body.
Don’t call me smug for stating that I have only a low dose of nervousness, please…