Chapter 7: Holy Knight Academy
During the 10-minute break following the second period, Luna was talking with Rho about the ‘Potion Incident’ while heading to the practice area where the third-period class was held.
“─ and that happened, it was terrible.”
“Such a thing happened… By the way, Luna-sama, do you know the name of the student who tried to sabotage you?”
“No, I don’t…why?”
“Well, I thought I would punish them.”
“What do you plan to do to punish them…?”
“Of course— slaughter them.”
Rho drew a line with her thumb across her neck with a composed expression.
Although she doesn’t realize it at all, Rho has a kind of ‘spontaneity’ in her, so she might actually do it─ Thinking that, Luna exclaimed “No, no!’’ and reined her in from acting recklessly.
“More importantly, you managed to get into the Saint Academy, so let’s talk about more enjoyable topics!”
“Well… if that’s what Luna-sama wants.”
Rho reluctantly buried the hatchet.
“Thinking about it, the third-period class…”
Just as Luna was about to turn the corner while moving to the next topic… a man turned the corner at exactly the same time and they bumped into each other.
“Tch… be careful.”
The black-haired man glared at Luna and quickly walked down the hallway, not even trying to hide his displeasure.
Immediately after that, a man with light brown hair came trotting over.
“I-I’m sorry…! That guy Rayos has been pretty on edge lately. He’s not a bad guy at heart, so please forgive him…”
“Ha, ha… I understand.”
“Sorry, that would be helpful. ─Ah, and also here’s a note with the room number of the dormitory where I live, if you feel like it, come visit me!”
“Then, let’s have some tea sometime next time!”
The brown-haired man said and chased after Rayos.
“… Why did he tell me his room number?”
“He’s a frivolous man. Luna-sama, you shouldn’t fall for that kind of thing, okay?”
“Okay, I won’t.”
Luna replied and nodded honestly.
“But, Saint Academy students are all girls, right? Both of the boys from earlier were wearing what looked like uniforms… what does that mean?”
In response to Luna’s question, Rho answered calmly in her usual tone.
“Those two are students of the Holy Knight Academy. They probably came to Saint Academy to participate in the next joint class.”
“Holy Knight Academy…?”
“Yes… is this also part of your ‘memory loss’?”
“Yeah, it seems so. Sorry, but could you please explain?”
Rho cleared her throat and began to explain.
“The Holy Knight is a knight who protects the Saint, and he sharpens his sword for the sake of the Saint who will be reincarnated someday. The school that trains such holy knights, the Holy Knight Academy, is located right next to the Saint Academy. The Saint who fights for the salvation of humanity and the Holy Knight who serves as the shield for the Saint, the two are closely related.”
“Huh, I see. (‘the Holy Knight who serves as the shield for the Saint’, huh… Three hundred years ago, I was basically always alone on the front line…)”
Luna gave an indescribable wry smile.
“According to what I heard, the students at Holy Knight Academy this year are quite well-rounded. That man rude to Luna-sama just now is also quite famous.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. His name is Rayos Reinhardt, eldest son of the Reinhardt family famous for producing Sword Saints every generation. Rayos was gifted with talent from an early age, entered the Holy Knights at the young age of ten, and became a section commander at the age of thirteen. Many expect him to become a future Sword Saint and he is one of the promising candidates of the Holy Knight Academy.”
“Hmm, I see (Speaking of Sword Saints… Oulu-san, I wonder if he has been discharged from the hospital yet?)”
While we were having that conversation, we arrived at the practice field behind the main school building, where many students from the Saint Academy and the Holy Knight Academy had already gathered.
“Wow… all the people at Holy Knight Academy have such big physiques. They don’t look like the same age as us.”
“To enter the Holy Knight Academy, they have to pass a rigorous entrance exam. I’m a woman too, so I don’t know much about it, but… only those with a well-trained body, excel in swordsmanship and magic, and have strict self-discipline will be allowed to enter the Holy Knight Academy.”
“But the brown-haired person we met earlier doesn’t seem to fulfill any of those categories…?”
“There are exceptions in every part of the world.”
While Luna and Rho were having a lively chat, a chime sounded, and Jural Serpent, the first-year class C homeroom teacher, appeared.
Basically, classes in which both the Saint Department and the Support Department participate are assigned to the homeroom teacher of that class.
“Then, we will now hold a joint class with the Saint Academy and the Holy Knights Academy— a mock battle. I’m sure you all are intelligent and understand the great significance of this lesson, but I’d like to explain it to you just in case.”
Jural cleared his throat and attracted the attention of the students.
“According to the laws of the Kingdom of Elgia, both the Saint Academy and the Holy Knight Academy will compete on the first day of enrollment. This battle is a noble one dedicated to the great Saint and the students are expected to do their best to be fair and square without using cowardly tactics.”
After finishing the explanation of the class, he gave the following instructions.
“Then, students from both academies should form pairs to conduct mock battles.”
One minute later.
Luna was the only student at Saint Academy left without a pair.
When she glanced to the side, Rho was paired with the brown-haired man from earlier.
“Wow, I’m so happy! I’m truly a lucky person to be able to fight with such a beautiful black-haired girl!”
“Ahaha, you really speak a lot─”
Shortly after the search for a pair began, Rho was approached by the brown-haired man, and she thought, ‘He seems weak, just like what I wanted’ so she accepted his invitation.
Incidentally, during Rho’s time at the Saint Academy, except when speaking one-on-one with Luna, she tries to avoid using honorific language and speaks cheerfully.
And─ the Saint, who was long awaited by all humanity, was left without a pair, looking around her surroundings.
(I-is there any other student alone besides me…!?)
After a while, she found the leftover of the Holy Knight Academy.
That person was─ Rayos Reinhardt, the man she had bumped into at the corner earlier.
Rayos Reinhardt, 15 years old.
Height: 170 cm. Although he looked thin from afar, his body was equipped with well-trained muscles.
Medium-length black hair. Sharp bluish purple eyes that seemingly glare at whoever he looks at, a very well-cut and handsome face, and dressed in the white-based uniform of the Holy Knight Academy.
He is not the type to invite women out on his own, and because he always looks grumpy, he doesn’t talk to anyone and no one talks to him… as a result, he was left alone and was without a pair.
The leftovers of the Saint Academy and the Holy Knight Academy inevitably formed a pair.
“U-umm… nice to meet you.”
Luna politely greeted him but received no reply.
It was a pleasant disregarding response, as if to say, ‘You don’t exist to me’.
“Hmm, Luna Spedio and Rayos Reinhardt are a pair…”
Jural has a difficult expression on his face and thought for a while.
On the one hand, a student from the Support Department who was judged to have no chance of becoming the Saint, and on the other hand, a student with one of the best abilities in the Holy Knight Academy ─ that combination, as expected, had too much of a ‘difference’.
“Is there anyone among you who would like to team up with Luna Spedio or Rayos Reinhardt…?”
Jural announced and suggested re-pairing… but the students’ reactions were unfavorable.
It was not unreasonable either.
The students who had already made a pair wouldn’t want to go out of their way to go so far as kicking their pair away and teaming up with the infamous Luna or the disgruntled Rayos.
“Hmm… it can’t be helped.”
Jural gave a small sigh and issued a warning to Rayos.
“Rayos Reinhardt, as you can tell by looking at her uniform, Luna Spedio is a student in the Support Department. Naturally, excessive attacks and excessive use of magic will not be welcomed. This battle is a noble one dedicated to the Saint. A lover of equality and fairness, she will not wish for a one-sided lynching… understood?”
“I know that without you having to say it.”
Rayos replied curtly.
Meanwhile, Luna approached Rho and gathered information.
“Hey Rho, there’s something I’d like to ask you…”
“Yes, what is it?”
“How strong is Rayos-san?”
That was a huge problem for Luna.
“How strong? That’s a difficult question. Judging from objective facts, that man is a section commander of the Holy Knights, so even with a generously low estimate, he’s more than 10 times more powerful than an ordinary Holy Knight.”
For Luna, who had only recently been reincarnated in the present day and didn’t know the abilities of ordinary holy knights, that expression was a little difficult to understand.
“I’m sorry, I don’t really understand… How does he compare to a Sword Saint?”
“Of course, a Sword Saint is overwhelmingly superior. Even if the ten Rayos were to join forces, they would probably not be able to defeat a Sword Saint. A Sword Saint is a holy knight among holy knights, an extraordinary existence.”
At that moment, a strong shock ran through Luna.
(Rayos-san is one-tenth of that (Oulu-san)…! ? )
Oulu Rustia was the strange man who, despite deciding to make a ‘strong character move’ during her adventurer registration test, got stuck in the wall from a light punch by Luna.
The holy knight she was about to fight was a much weaker existence than that ‘Sea anemone’(Oulu).
(Th-this is bad, bad, bad…)
Rayos existence within Luna changed from a ‘mean boy student’ to a ‘target for highest-tier protection’.
(The fact that he’s weaker than Oulu-san means that… not only a light punch, a light flick of my finger might cause him to explode and die…)
Jural cleared his throat as she braced herself with her terrifying imagination.
“Time is running out, so let’s start the first match. ─ Luna Spedio and Rayos Reinhardt, please come forward.”
Luna’s name was suddenly called and of course, she couldn’t ignore it, so she timidly stepped forward as instructed.
Then— Rayos made a blatantly disgusted expression and let out a big sigh.
“Haa… why do I have to fight this ‘Saint imitation’…”
“Even though you lot are nothing like the Saint, you still insist on attending the Saint Academy. At this point, let me be clear. There is no reincarnation of the Saint among you lot. My eyes aren’t blind like most people. If I see the ‘True Saint’, I’ll know immediately she is the Saint.”
Luna felt like saying, ‘Your Saint-sama is right in front of you─, you’re blind too!’’ but she managed to swallow it.
“Even so… Rayos-san, you seem to adore the Saint very much.”
“Of course. The Saint is the only absolute and perfect being. When she smiles, flowers bloom; when she is sad, the heavens cry; and when she gets angry, the earth bursts open. In the long history of humankind, there is no woman as sublime and lovely as the Saint.”
“Eh, eheh… Is that so?”
Luna, who was praised unexpectedly, scratched her cheeks embarrassedly.
“… Why are you looking so happy…? What a disgusting woman.”
Rayos, who saw that, drew back pretty seriously.
(Wait, I shouldn’t… Now isn’t the time to be embarrassed.)
Soon, the mock battle with Rayos would begin.
She had to construct a plan in the extremely limited short time until then.
(I’m not very good at adjusting my strength, so if we fight like this, Rayos-san will probably die in a physically gruesome manner. Even if he miraculously survives, he’ll die socially because he lost to a student from the Support Department. Well, if that was the worst-case outcome then it’s not that bad… but when I win against him, the chances of me being exposed as the Saint increases dramatically…)
Don’t kill Rayos and don’t be found out as the Saint―what she needed now was a brilliant idea for that issue.
(Is there a way…)
Luna’s Saint brain desperately spun.
A brilliant idea popped up.
(T-this will work! Both Rayos-san and I will be safe! I might just be a genius…!)
She suppressed her excitement and calmly raised her right hand.
“—Jural-sensei, before we start the mock battle, can I have something?”
“What’s wrong, Luna Spedio?”
“I don’t have a weapon to fight with, so could you lend me that rapier over there?”
Luna pointed to the weapon storage area installed in the training ground, and the rapier displayed in one corner of it.
“Luna Spedio… are you serious?”
Jural’s terrifying look became even stiffer.
“The sword that Rayos Reinhardt wields, Exorcist Sword Rogurea, has been handed down in the Reinhardt family for generations. There’s no way you can compete with a standard rapier like that, you know?”
“No problem. I have a ‘plan’.”
There was a strong light of intention in Luna’s eyes when she said that.
―Fighting the Exorcist Sword Rogurea with a standard rapier.
Normally, he would have ended it with a shout “Don’t be stupid” but…
(Like the potion just now, Luna Spedio is a bit different from normal students… I don’t know what kind of strategy she has… but I’m really curious.)
Jural’s evaluation of Luna was extremely high and he wanted to see for himself what she would show this time.
“─ Fine, I allow the use of the rapier.”
“Thank you very much.”
Luna expressed her gratitude, borrowed a rapier from the armory, and gripped it tightly with her right hand.
Rayos watched her and snorted lightly.
“What, have you even learned swordsmanship?”
“Well, at the same level as most people.”
After the short conversation ended, the atmosphere was tense.
At the same time as Jural gave the signal to start, the two simultaneously raised their swords to the middle stance.
As they exchanged glances with each other at a distance of five meters―Rayos, who was convinced of his victory, noticed that Luna’s body was trembling.
“What’s wrong, you’re trembling? Are you scared of me? Sheesh… you’re pathetic. This happens because inexperienced people who aren’t even prepared to fight attend the Saint Academy with half-hearted feelings.”
An extremely misguided criticism was directed at Luna.
(On the contrary, Rayos-san, why are you so confident!? You would die with just one tiny wrong adjustment on my part, you know!?)
She desperately suppressed her raging feelings.
It was true that she was shaking… but of course, it wasn’t because she was afraid of Rayos. She was worried that she, who was not good at holding back, would fail in the strategy that followed.
“Well, it’s about time I started. No, let’s finish it.”
With a fearless smile on his face, Rayos powerfully kicked the ground.
With just one step, the distance became zero, and Luna was caught in the range of the Exorcist Sword Rogurea.
“─This is the end!”
He released a slash diagonally from the shoulder.
As Rayos’ slash approached slowly as if it was moving frame by frame, Luna carefully determined the timing and attacked head-on with her rapier.
(Th-this girl reacted to my sword speed!?)
The next moment, the two clashed violently, and red sparks danced in the air.
Luna intentionally let out a scream as she was blown backward ─ and then flopped to the ground.
(Fufufufufu, it was a perfect strategy by me! The best performance!)
She clenched her fist in her heart.
The plan Luna devised was extremely simple.
She would use her outstanding acting skills to lose to Rayos so that no one else would realize that she lost on purpose.
As the mock battle was a noble offering to the Saint, it was outrageous that she would choose to lose…
For Luna, the real Saint, it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered to her was how to get through that difficult situation safely.
(Okay, okay, this way no one will get hurt and everything will fall into place…huh?)
At that point, she finally noticed the strange atmosphere around her.
The mock battle should have ended with Rayos’ victory, but there was no signal to end it and not a single cheer.
It was strangely silent.
(…What on earth…?)
Feeling suspicious, Luna deftly snapped one eye open and took a look at her surroundings.
Rayos Reinhardt was there, trembling like a fawn.
His line of sight was on the Exorcist Sword Rogurea, which had been cut in two.
(…Why is it broken…?)
That was a question that came from the bottom of Luna’s heart.
She simply didn’t know.
Whether it’s a standard rapier or a battered wooden sword, or even a well-used broom, once the Saint holds it, it will become a ‘Holy Sword’.
When the Exorcist Sword passed down to the Reinhardt family encountered the Holy Sword (rapier) Luna unconsciously created, it was cut like tofu.
That came as a big shock to the students of the Holy Knight Academy, who were well aware of Rayos Reinhardt’s abilities.
“Hey, look at that, Rayos’ Exorcist Sword was split in two…!?”
“Compared to that, there isn’t a single chip in Luna’s sword… She, she has incredible swordsmanship.”
“Hn, isn’t it strange? Rayos’ sword broke and Luna’s sword is intact, right? Then why was she blown so far away…?”
Their suspicious gazes pierced Luna’s entire body.
“Ra-Rayos-san’s slash was unbelievably powerful… I was involuntarily blown away…”
Luna tried to extinguish the fire with a terribly stiff delivery and a deceitful tone of explanation but… it wasn’t very effective in light of the Exorcist Sword that was sliced in two in front of the crowd.
“Hmph… A lot of that bothers me, but for now – the winner, Rayos Reinhardt.”
After declaring the winner, Jural gave a brief summary.
“This pair is probably the one with the greatest difference in ability. Despite that, Luna Spedio showed great brilliance. Not only was she able to handle Rayos Reinhardt’s sword, but with her transcendent handling of a rapier, she shattered the Exorcist Sword. That ability… is commendable. Even though she lost, it was a great fight.”
He announced and gave a generous compliment.
In that mock battle, the one who stood at the end of the battle was Rayos and the one who fell was Luna.
In other words, the winner was Rayos and the loser was Luna… but it didn’t seem that way to the eyes of those around her, and the students of the Holy Knight Academy flocked to Luna.
“That was really amazing, Luna-chan! What the hell, you’re really strong even though you’re in the Support Department.”
“I was really surprised that you could react to Rayos’ sword speed!”
“Hey, hey, how did you cut that Exorcist Sword? Also, who did you learn swordsmanship from? Oh, maybe it’s your own style? Could you please teach me for reference!?”
From their mouths came a raging wave of questions like May rain.
“Eh, erm, I’m not strong at all, and what happened earlier was really a coincidence, and I didn’t learn swordsmanship in the first place…”
Luna desperately tried to answer everyone’s misunderstandings,
“Damn… I’ll never forget this humiliation… Watch yourself, Luna Spedio…”
Rayos, whose pride was shredded, directed a hateful look at Luna―even though the class was still in session, he left the training grounds.
And even more…
“I can’t forgive her … a failure member of the Support Department who couldn’t get into the Saint Department like her is being fussed over by the gentlemen of the Holy Knight Academy…”
“The reason why the Exorcist Sword Rogurea broke was probably because Rayos-sama was too negligent in maintaining it…!”
“Look at that face, she’s totally feeling conceited …it makes me sick…”
She was sent strong jealous glares by her classmates at the Saint Academy―mainly from the Saint Department.
(Uuu… even though I didn’t do anything wrong, why does it always end like this for me…)
Luna dropped her shoulders in disappointment at the misfortune that befell her in quick succession.