195-Sword training begins with the preparatory movement

 The arena.
 Two groups of first-year students gathered there, each holding a sword in their hands, in line.

'Well, Shin-sensei. What should we start with? At any rate, will you kill it?

 Eldmead asks with amusement.

'No,' he says. In the way of the sword, there is an order of things to do. First, let's do some light preparatory exercises. Also, I'd like to get to know everyone's taiji muscles and physical abilities, so let's have them do some striking practice.

That's good. You guys can have a meeting in pairs at random. When the time comes, Dr. Shin and I will call on you.

 With a thump, Eldmead taps the cobblestones with his staff and grins.

'You may begin,'

 Each of the two groups of students began to form a training pair, calling out to the same group of demons and their closest partners.

''Since there are seven of us, there's one extra person, right?''

 Sasha said, and Ray smiled briskly.

'Would you like me to deal with both of you at the same time?'

'Ray, you should take care of Anosh. There's no one else who can go toe to toe with that stupid power.

 I took a quick look around the arena.

'No problem. I'll just go and see if I can find a suitable opponent.

'Huh! What are you talking about? I don't think there are any other students who can practise a decent match with you!

He has the body of a six-year-old. You're not as strong as you should be.

 He uttered that and walked off to find his training partner.

''.........Namiki......? Are you sure...?

 Next to Sasha, who muttered, Misha was shaking her head shakily.

'Hey, Anosh. Are you dabbling in it? Let's do it together.

 One of the students in black clothes comes over to me.
 As I recall, this is the student I tore apart the other day.


Good. I'm Ramon. Ramon Ivar.


 I draw a magic circle and put my hand in the center of it.
 I pull it out, a child-sized iron sword.

'Wow. You can use storage magic, right? It's not so bad for such a small thing.

What, not so much.

Hey. Do you want to get away from it all?

Would you like to be here?

It's easier to practice in a big place.

 Maybe it's my imagination, but I can see some disgust in Ramon's smile.
 I wonder what he's thinking about when dealing with a new student?

All right.

 Ramon and I move to the edge of the arena.
 I could see that Sasha and the others were looking at me with concern.

 Of course, they're not worried about my safety, though.

''Speaking of which, I'd like to ask you something before we practice.

 Ramon says as he draws the magic sword he carries at his waist.

''Anosh is dressed in black because he's an imperial family?

 My uniform is in black, unlike the one I once had.

 The only reason for this is that it would be harder to be mistaken for my true identity if it was different from the one in Anos, but for the same reason, my magic power has been magically altered to look like that of the royal family.

 If you're as skilled in the magical eye to detect the source as Rey or Eleonor, you'll notice it, but such a person is rare, even two thousand years ago.

''It's no use talking about the royal family in Dillhade today, but it is, to a point.

 Then Ramon came up to me and asked in a whisper.

"Between you and me," he said. What do you think?

I'm not sure I understand the question.

No, I'm not complaining. It's not like that, but as a member of the royal family, I just wanted to get your genuine opinion on what you think of Dirheid right now.

 I see.
 Well, if you just want to complain to each other in the academy, you can throw it away, but that's not always the case.

 The Imperialists were dismantled by my order.
 But it's only ostensible.

 Even if you don't forgive the Imperial Family Faction as an organization, it doesn't mean you can't change the thoughts of those who were there any time soon.

'Unfortunately, I'm six years old. I don't know much about the world.''

 As he uttered this, Ramon gave him a sneaky grin.

I have a special tip for you, though. The world has gone mad. The world is a crazy place and we, the royal family, have to be more noble than that. And now they make these stupid laws about equality and fairness.

 No matter what you do, there will always be a certain number of people who will be disgruntled.
 But if it's all you think, you're free to do it.

 As long as it does no harm.

Hmm. I hear the royal family has some privileges.

 I said, as if to probe.

'Yeah, I do. Essentially, really. We're going to rule. In this Dillhade, we're the highest ranking person in the land, we have to be the royal family. And between you and me. That tyrannical demon king seems to have been set up by the Unificationists.

 Ramon said such a thing, as if it were true.
 Oh, dear. What do you think you're going to tell a six year old?

 It doesn't sound like it's just a complaint, does it?

'Ramon is saying that the Demon King of Tyranny is an impostor?

I'm an idiot, for crying out loud.

 Despite the fact that we are a long way away, Ramon is looking at Singh and Eldmead as if he is scared.

 When he saw that they weren't paying attention to him, he let out a breath of relief.

'You're just a kid, though, so maybe you didn't get it. Think about it, okay? You don't think that's too convenient, do you? The heroic canon, the Demon King's right-hand man Sin, the Mother Great Spirit Reno, and the false Demon King Avos Dilhevia just happened to gather in time for the Demon King's second coming ceremony. So no matter how you look at it, I can only assume it was a set up.

 Are you serious, or is this just a way to recruit me?
 Either way, I'm not sure I'm going to come to any real conclusions.

'I'm not very good at that sort of thing. Are you saying that the Unificationists are the bad guys?

 I told him that like a child, and Ramon happily bit into it.

''Yeah, that's right. A real tyrannical demon king would never reincarnate. He died two thousand years ago. So, some Unificationists made up a reincarnated Demon King. And that guy is called Anos.

Ho. Interesting story.

 Perhaps he thought I was doing him a favor, or perhaps Ramon spoke eloquently.

''We, the Imperialists, must correct this distorted history of Dirhade, even if it means going against the current Demon King. Even if it means going against the current Demon King. That is the mission of all of us noble bloods. For the sake of the real tyrannical Demon King, who is now gone, we must take back this demon tribe's country.

 You're so careless because I'm just a kid and you can't keep up your end of the bargain.
 Or do you still not have a hint of what's going on behind the scenes?

Very well. So the tyrannical demon king is the bad guy.

 When you speak of short-lived conclusions, Ramon's mouth twists up as if he is right on target.

It's a good idea. I'm sure you'll get along with me, Anosu.

 Ramon holds out his hand.
 I responded with a handshake and asked a more in-depth question.

'I'd like to be introduced to you, if possible.

 Ramon's face changes color.

'....What are you talking about?

'I have heard that there is a resistance called the Imperialists. I don't know all the details, but the resistance is on the side of justice, right?

 Ramon gives him a thoughtful look.

"...Don't be a fool. The royalists have already been dismantled. Well, I'm an ex-royalist, so I just slipped up on my old habits just now.

 I see.
 So that's how you are probing those who oppose the current Demon King.

And Anosh. The righteous do not reveal themselves so easily.

 Ramon says, as if he's not full of it.

'Well, but if you get along with Anosh, I'll introduce you to my friends.

 Ramon laughs thoughtfully.
 I don't know how big it is, but it looks like there's definitely a resistance behind it.

 If you're patient with them, they may introduce you to them, but it's a bit sluggish.

 Will it be worth it?
 If it's the resistance, I'm sure they want a force capable of competing with the Demon King's army to the point where they can get their hands on it.
 Even though they are students of the Demon King's Academy, they are still talking to children, so it's clear that they are short on talent.

''I'm useful.''

Haha, don't get cocky, kid.

 I say, holding my iron sword loosely at the ready.

'I'll show you.'

 Ramon laughed again, just to be treated like a child.

'Good. How good are you with a sword?

Unfortunately, not so much. I'm good at magic.

Haha, I thought so. Well, even if you're a boy genius, you're too small to know how much magic you can put into your muscles.

 Ramon moved away from me to take a pause, held his magic sword in his right eye and said.

'Good. I'll go easy on you. First, I'll drive the sword in from the upper level, so you'll have to block it. Once you've done that, I'll give you some credit.

Hmm. All right. Go ahead.

'Oooh. I don't know where you come up with that kind of language for a child. But words don't make you a righteous man, do they?

 Ramon slowly raised his magic sword.
 He took a step towards me.

''Let's go, then! You'll get hurt if you don't defend yourself well!

 He ran.
 At that moment, I could see Ramon's every move as clearly as if his vision wasn't in slow motion.

 It was not a metaphor. It was slow. Extremely slow.
 Ramon's attack was so slow that I wondered when the sword would reach my body.


 As predicted, he swings his magic sword down from the top step.

"Hm. Defending well is--

 I effortlessly catch that swing with the iron sword in my hand.
 The moment the magic sword and the iron sword collide...


 Ramon, who attacked, couldn't withstand my defense, which was filled with magic, and blew far backwards and plunged deep into the walls of the arena.

''--this is how it feels?''

 His magic disappears.
 It was instant death.

 Immediately, the students in the arena began to buzz.

Did you do that, Anos...?

Why is the one attacking me bouncing off me like a ball...?

''Oh, what kind of swordsmanship is that for a child? If they were just defending themselves, what would happen if they swung their swords...?

'I mean, hey Mr. Ramon, aren't you dead...? I can't feel the magic at all...

 The moment the students let out such an impression, Ramon opened his eyes as if he was startled.
 <He was brought back to life with a revival (Ingal).

''........Eeeeeeeeeeee? I've come back to life!

I think it's called 'Ingal'...? The one that Anos-sama used for his entrance exam...

''...Was that Anosu's use of that? You're not Dr. Eldmead, are you? He's only six years old, right?

".........At the age of six, she used the same magic as Anos-sama....... Is she really a genius........

 Stepping out loosely, I walk up to Ramon.

'Did you think that just because you're a kid, you're not good at defending yourself?'

 Ramon stared at me, stunned, and Ramon gulped.


 I laughed and replied with a huff.

'Anosh Porticolo. He's just a boy genius with a penchant for justice.