༺ The First Letter (41) ༻
With a thud, my feet slammed off the ground. It was a fleeting moment that no one could respond to.
It seemed as if the time itself was frozen. My hand gripped the hilt of the sword around my waist.
Needless to say, my target was Senior Elsie, who had her back turned against me, but beside her there was a man with quite the stature.
“Wh-What’s this bastard……!”
He glanced back upon sensing a sudden presence behind him, then yelled and blocked my way immediately. It was a quick response, unlike the other 4th year seniors.
But he made a blunder. He didn’t unsheathe his sword.
A silverish trajectory was drawn with a ‘Zing!’ as blood spewed out along the trajectory. In an instant, the gaze of the man obstructing me was painted with ‘astonishment’.
My blade, which was swathed in the silver aura, sliced through his forearm before he could draw his sword. It wasn’t a deep wound, nor a shallow one either.
However, it was just enough damage to neutralize one swordmaster. A scream erupted from the man’s mouth.
Everyone’s eyes turned directly towards me at the sudden commotion. I dashed again after shoving the man in front of me.
It was then that my gaze met Senior Elsie’s eyes. Her dazed gaze turned to me. Like a beast who allowed an unexpected attack.
But my sword couldn’t reach her. It was because two men blocked my way again.
The man on the right was stout, and the man on the left was quite skinny. However, they both had one thing in common: they had their swords drawn.
The two coordinated with each other as they swung their swords. The timing of the attack, angle, and vantage point was undoubtedly perfect. Trained swordsmen were such a terrifying existence.
Since even in such a fleeting moment, their response was bordering the realm of intuition. Therefore, I needed to deal a surprise attack.
I stopped at a point where their sword trajectories were barely out of reach, and threw my own sword swathed in aura.
The sword flew in a straight and sharp trajectory as bewilderment flickered across their eyes.
“W-What the…… !”
The target the sword was aiming at was of course Senior Elsie.
The two men upon reading the route of the sword, quickly averted their sword. Regardless of who struck first, they both slashed to dislodge the sword blade that was aiming for her.
And finally, I pulled out my secondary armament.
The thighs of the two men were slashed with ‘Schluk’ as blood gushed out like a fountain. And soon two swordsmen collapsed with a shriek.
The time it took for three of the 4th year seniors to collapse was only a fraction of a second. The body that further increased its acceleration seemed to be moving in a different time zone than others. Even the screams of the victims resounded a beat later.
But I wasn’t the only one who could sense that fleeting moment.
As if squeezing through the gap between the two men, the one waiting for me was Senior Elsie, who had finished chanting hastily.
A blue spell swathed her body. It was shield magic. It is one of the fundamental magic that all wizards learn, and crucial magic that can save your life in a moment of crisis.
He wasn’t as talented as Senior Elsie. No matter how urgently she finished the chant the power wouldn’t have weakened. It’s said that it was impossible to pierce the shield with a single strike, even if your attack is swathed in aura.
If that was the case, it would mean that I needed to land several effective hits. However by that time, the rest of the gang who were slow to react would participate in the battle.
Senior Elsie, who was aware of this, had an air of pride lingering in her eyes.
She had a condescending look, as if to say, ‘What can you do?’
A sadistic smile flickered across her lips. It was evident the thought of how to care for this cheeky junior lingered in her mind. Like a child tearing a dragonfly’s wings, her gaze was innocent yet malevolent at the same time.
So I flung my body forward without a word. Not the sword, but my body itself.
Slam! The sound of her shield and my body colliding reverberated. I didn’t stop there. I forcibly adhered my body to the shield and shoved Senior Elsie once again.
The shield only absorbs shock to a certain level. It was obvious that she would not even be able to breathe if the shield resisted all kinds of forces. And I was gradually crossing that narrow threshold.
And by the time Senior Elsie collapsed on the floor, I was already on top of her.
“W-Wh-What are you doin– Kyaa!”
Slam, slam, slam! I vigorously pounded the hatchet swathed in silverish aura on Senior Elsie. Each time I did so, a translucent partition was formed, while shards were splattered in all directions.
Inside, Senior Elsie had no choice but to desperately cry and scream.
“S-Stop him! He-He-Help… Help.. Help me! Anyone… Kyaaaa!”
‘Slam!’. That was the final sound.
Yes, since it was a temporary shield, the resistance didn’t last long.
Cracks began to spread through the translucent partition, centering around the point where the hatchet blade was embedded. It was an irreversible phenomenon. And soon, the shield was entirely shattered with a clanging rupture.
It was a beautiful sight. Shards of light scattered in all directions, creating a hazy atmosphere. However, a deep despair lingered on Senior Elsie’s face, who had witnessed the scene.
Her blue eyes, drenched in terror, turned to me. In her eyes, my figure holding the hatchet was reflected.
Senior Elsie couldn’t stand the fear any longer and let out a shriek.
At that moment, my arm, which was about to swing the hatchet, stopped.
I heaved a deep sigh. My chest swelled up and down repeatedly as I took a deep breath. I didn’t notice this since I was immersed in the battle, but it seemed that I pushed my body too far as my lungs were squeezing in agony.
It wasn’t just me who stopped. Senior Elsie’s gang behind me, who had returned to their senses and were charging at me, appalled Senior Delphine’s gang, who were watching Senior Elsie and hundreds of onlookers, who had their mouths closed tightly.
It was a strange silence. The mirage that the world itself had ceased for a moment.
It was only when a drop of sweat dripped down my hair and drenched the ground; the world returned to life again.
The signal was Senior Elsie’s crying voice.
“I-I-I lost, so..so,pl-please, sto…s-stop it…sob……!”
A long, high-pitched cry. She usually behaved like a ruffian, but at least the sound of her crying was soft and clear enough to match her doll-like appearance.
Tears welled up in her eyes, and soon rolled down her cheeks in a crystalized form. She was bound to be mortified.
Not even by Senior Delphine, rather she was caught from behind and suffered a crushing defeat by the hands of a 3rd year junior, who she didn’t pay any heed to. I couldn’t even imagine how she was feeling right now, as she kept crying and begging for her life.
It was only then that the spectators began buzzing again. Senior Delphine was still mesmerized, while Senior Elsie’s gang was watching me and Senior Elsie beneath me helplessly.
I heaved a deep sigh to catch my breath. I still firmly gripped the hatchet.
In a low voice, I whispered.
“Senior Elsie, what did you just say?”
As if shocked upon hearing my sudden question, Senior Elsie inquired while looking at me with her tearful eyes.
The visage reflected in her lake-like eyes was reminiscent of the fierce figure drenched in sweat and blood I saw back then. I seemed to like it for some reason.
“What if you also liked me like Senior Delphine? Will you be willing to spend the night with me as well?”
Upon hearing that, Senior Elsie shuddered. Violent tremors occurred in her eyes. However, there was no change in my expression at all.
Fierce, golden eyes filled with killing intent. My reflection in Senior Elsie’s eyes was definitely like that.
“Th-That… w-was a misunderstanding! Yes, there was a misunderstanding!”
“Senior Elsie, do you know? A battle for an aristocrat’s honor is always a duel of life-or-death.”
Even with Senior Elsie’s desperate excuses, I didn’t show any signs of lowering the hatchet. Senior Elsie’s eyes were drenched in fear again.
Her body trembled. Because she had a tiny body, it made her look several times more pitiful. The expressions of onlookers who seemed to have heard the conversation between me and Senior Elsie became bewildered.
It was Senior Elsie’s gang who panicked. They tried to come closer to me, but after I glanced at them a few times, they had no choice but to back away.
No matter how fast they were, they couldn’t be faster than my hatchet. Then Senior Elsie became more desperate.
“Th-That…was a mistake, it was a misunderstanding. I-I-I never intended to disgrace your honor…….”
However, Senior Elsie’s pleas didn’t cause any ripples on my face. The fear in her eyes grew stronger. She couldn’t even cry anymore.
Even it was a matter of one’s honor, it rarely led to murder. This was because there could be a feud between the families. So, Senior Elsie was somewhat relieved.
The comfortable thought that she just only needed to surrender. That she only needed to endure this humiliation for a moment.
However, now that she was lying under me. The guy who cut her gang without hesitation with a sword swathed in aura. The guy who smacked her head vigorously soon after piercing the shield with his hatchet. She couldn’t help but think as such.
Is he going to kill me for real?
As I raised the hatchet even higher, Senior Elsie crouched down and screamed out loud.
“I-I’m sorry! Sorry! I will never do that again! Ple-Please let me go!! Anyone help me… Kyaaa!”
The hatchet slashed right next to Senior Elsie’s head.
A look of relief flashed in the eyes of the spectators, who were watching the scene with tense faces. It was the same for Elsie’s brother Lupine, who was holding his posture as if he would pounce on me at any moment.
However, this was the case limited to onlookers.
Senior Elsie, whose life was threatened by me, glanced at the hatchet that had been taken next to her with trembling eyes.
A fear that couldn’t be hidden lingered in her eyes at that cold anticipation. ‘Heup’, she struggled to even breathe properly.
I whispered in her ear for the last time.
“Senior Elsie… … .”
My eyes glared at Lupine. I muttered the same words I said to him last time.
“…… There won’t be a next time.”
Senior Elsie desperately nodded her head with tearful eyes. This should be enough.
I pulled out the hatchet and placed it back around my waist. Then I staggered up after heaving a deep sigh. I felt like my breathing had eased a bit.
I did something crazy again today.
If safety was the number one priority, it would have been better to wait until the conflict between Senior Delphine and Senior Elsie was over.
I couldn’t even understand why I was acting so aggressively these days.
But it felt refreshing for some reason. I said to Celine, who was looking at Senior Elsie and me with bewildered eyes.
“Let’s go, Celine.”
“… … E-Eh? Y-Yes, sure!”
I took Celine who had been standing in a daze, and walked away.
Then, Senior Elsie’s gang, who were blocking my path, and the surrounding onlookers instinctively retreated and made a way.
All I had to do was walk down that path they created in front of me.
But there was still one more person who would hold me as I left.
I stopped upon hearing the brief call.
My exhausted eyes turned to the back. There I saw a pair of crimson eyes whose true intention remained unknown.
“Would you like to have a chat with me for a moment?”
Delphine Yurdina began to show interest in me.
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