With a loud scream, Montavo swung his sword.
He swung his sword down on Phryne, mowing away her weapon.
Searing pain ran through his shoulder.
He seems to have been cut there.
But it was too shallow.
He can still go on.
He thrusted with his whole weight.
But she fleetly evaded it.
She was like a bullfighter — his eyes were drawn to her.
He was cut again.
His arm this time.
I’m still fine.
Montavo’s body was now full of cuts of all sizes.
His muscles were already soaked in lactic acid.
His joints, his bones creaked.
He was wounded all over.
But he couldn’t stop.
He couldn’t stop swinging his sword.
He couldn’t stop stepping forward.
Encouraging himself with his voice, he swung his sword.
With his master right in front of him, he stepped forward with all he had.
He couldn’t not be scared.
It was because he was scared that he faced her.
Montavo stepped forward.
The moment he did, his leg was cut.
But it was too shallow.
I can still fight.
The reason his wounds had been shallow was because Montavo stepped in fearlessly.
Even masters would evade if the enemy approached close. Because they attacked while evading, the attack couldn’t conclude the match.
Montavo saved his own life with his bravery.
A small mistake when fighting with real swords, and your life is forfeit.
Those who couldn’t move forward won’t have a chance of winning.
But even so, Montavo was not at an advantage.
“Haah … haah …”
He faked it with willpower, but his strength was already at its limits.
Montavo had regrets.
If only he practiced everyday, if only he didn’t drink, if only he took enough sleep — if only he didn’t betray Phryne that day.
That guilt reflected in the warping of his sword.
Those thoughts dulled the edge of his blade.
The wavering of his sword’s path became bigger.
“— such a warped sword …” said Phryne, “so shameful … shameful … the sword of a corrupted man …”
Those words had sorrow in them.
She finally said it.
Montavo’s face became hot.
Such embarrassment … — the shame was torturing him.
“I’ve come to grasp how you’ve lived your life, bocchan, like it’s here in the palm of my hand”
Phryne said that then opened her eyes wide.
The light in her eyes became sharper.
She shifted into a higher speed gear.
Phryne who had been a distance away earlier, was now right in front of him.
Montavo was unable to react to his master who had carried the basics to perfection.
Phryne’s sword stabbed into his left shoulder — finally leaving a deep cut.
His vision grew hazy from the fatigue and blood loss.
— But that’s just the appropriate punishment, right …
For his ugly self who betrayed Phryne, betrayed himself, and continued to delude people — of course he’d be punished.
That’s why getting wounded and losing is natural —
“Is that… sand?” I muttered.
Some sparkly material flew off from Phryne while she attacked Montavo 1.
It was probably sand … but why sand?
“Sand? Hoho, for blinding enemies? I always bring some with me on walks. I can’t go without anymore!”
Liu proudly showed an eggshell filled with sand.
“Phryne wouldn’t do something like that would she … hey gimme that sand, I’m throwing it away”
“No way. Sand is the trendy item this summer. It’s the highest popularity code according to Orc Fashion magazine. [This Summer, Blind the Female Knights with Sand and Take Them Away!], they said”
“I told you to quit harrassing the female knights already …”
… leaving the sand idiot aside, let’s check on Montavo.
Montavo was completely on the losing side.
I was watching with anticipation, maybe he could win somehow — but it’s completely out of the question.
The moment he ran out of strength he will be thoroughly killed. That’s how different their statuses are.
“But still … it’s beautiful”
Phryne’s sword was beautiful, more than any dance.
The fully optimized motions captivated the eye.
Every swing of the sword, every step of her feet was the culmination of Phryne’s own life.
It was already at the level of fine art.
“But then again …”
It was very beautiful but if you asked if I would want to keep watching Phryne’s sword dance, I’d say no.
In fact, I wanted to look away.
It made my stomach heavy.
I don’t want to look at Phryne.
What is this feeling —
Then that moment.
[— such a warped sword …] Phryne said disapprovingly to Montavo, [I’ve come to grasp how you’ve lived your life, bocchan, like it’s here in the palm of my hand]
The moment I heard Phryne, I noticed the strange feeling I have felt around Phryne.
“… ah, I see”
I became irritated at Phryne.
The Phryne who condemned the stained Montavo,
The Phryne who sighed seeing her student pass the time idly.
Towards Phryne, who criticized Montavo, you’re so undisciplined, I felt anger from the bottom of my heart.
I felt like I was being rejected.
— What’s wrong with being warped.
You’ve been saying it like you have the right of it.
They’re always like that, people like Phryne always say the same things.
The strong who were born with the hard-to-gain traits of “honesty” and “diligence”, they always criticize the weak like that.
[Why did you get involved in evil?]
[Why couldn’t you practice everyday?]
[Why couldn’t you be nice to people?]
— Shut up you idiots.
You’re only born beautiful, that’s all.
You only ended up having the “honest” and “diligent” mentality by chance.
Phryne was also one of them.
That was why she criticized Montavo.
Shut up, ye strong, don’t speak about people’s hearts.
You who don’t understand the grief of the weak have nothing to teach us.
You who haven’t experienced vice, don’t talk about virtue.
You who don’t know warpedness, don’t meddle in people’s lives.
— Stop preaching so self-importantly you damn granny. If you really love him don’t reject him.
When Montavo was trained by Phryne, he was surely having it hard.
With an upright person by his side, he would conversely find his own ugliness.
In order to become like Phryne, Montavo would continually reject his own weaknessess and stains — but he could not pass the trial
Montavo, just by chance, didn’t have the mental talent.
Even though he didn’t, he forced himself to be.
Which was why the moment Phryne was removed from him, Montavo greatly changed.
In reaction to the restraint, the needle of Montavo’s heart swung over to the dark side.
I took Kai’s form and shouted.
“— forgive your own warpedness!!”
My voice made Montavo’s shoulders shiver.
“You’ve been toughing it, rejecting a part of yourself!! So as your current master, I accept you!! — Your master rightnow is me!! Listen to my voice!!”
I made my voice louder.
“Swing your sword your way proudly!!”
The moment Kai shouted, Montavo’s vision became clear.
What he saw was his own daily visage.
Very human, far from honorable poverty.
He loved drinking, he loved women, he loved looking down on people.
You could say he was a garbage of a human being.
Phryne hated that Montavo.
That’s why Montavo hated himself.
[— I accept you]
I see, my current master accepted the trash of a human being that is myself
Then I will stop rejecting myself this once
He was warped.
He was not beautiful at all.
— But what’s wrong with not being beautiful.
Thus he threw the question back.
When he decided to do so, yet another strength erupted in him.
Energy welled up down from the roots of his existence.
A vulgar scream leaked out of his mouth.
He glared at his master.
When Montavo was young, he loved Phryne, he admired her.
That was why he stayed by her side — however.
He actually — really hated Phryne.
A damn granny who doesn’t understand people’s hearts.
He was the one who asked Phryne to coach him, but he didn’t want to be dictated so thoroughly like this.
Oi, granny, you were all to fired up and tried to make me to fit your own ideals.
Because you said all that, the situation between me and my family had gotten delicate — that was the grudge he had against Phryne.
The more he dug down, the more he found the ugliness in his heart.
But he properly accepted that part of him, he looked at it properly.
After all, humans are such creatures.
Montavo took a deep breath.
— Let’s start again
- TN: So she’s not a ghost but a vampire? ↩