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“Elka, You are strong, but… there is something you are definitely lacking as a soldier”
“What, what do you mean by that!”
I flared up at the lance corporal.
In order to become a Destinea kingdom soldier, I became a soldier-in-training.
Reason being that I have talent with swords while being a girl myself.
In addition to this, I also have talent in magic.
I didn’t want my life as an ordinary village girl end, but I don’t think it was that strange for me to set my eyes on being a soldier.
“Your talent in the sword is second to Glain, who is trying to master only the sword. Your talent in magic is second to Tia, who is similarly trying to master only magic. Being endowed with both of those, you would not lose if you were to do sham battles. You’ve been maintaining first place with overwhelming score. It’s amazing”
The lance corporal who usually doesn’t really praise people, praised me.
It doesn’t mean I’m not happy.
All the more I couldn’t agree to the result.
“Then… Why can’t I become a soldier!? Glain and Tia have become one! So why!”
I wasn’t able to graduate as this year’s soldier-in-training.
The other soldiers-in-training, people who have worse scores than me, could graduate and yet, only I can’t fight as a soldier starting next year.
I don’t particularly like battles itself.
If I can’t fight, then I wouldn’t mind.
It’s just that my pride, which became somewhat inflated after my talent had awakened through several years of training, insisted on feeling cheated on.
“――――If you want to know the answer, come to the training school afterwards. I shall tell you everything there”
“ …I understand”
It doesn’t seem like he is willing to answer it here now.
I reluctantly accepted it and decided to first leave this place behind.
Time went on and then, choosing a suitable time myself, I carried my feet to the training grounds.
The wall-encircled training grounds held plenty of space to do a sword match.
Near the walls were lined up swords for training purposes, and shields and armor were leaning against the walls.
I too have shed tears, blood and sweat here.
At the center of the training grounds stood the lance corporal.
I felt some doubt.
Why was the lance corporal looking at me with eyes filled with thirst for blood?
“――Here I go”
The lance corporal kicked the ground and instantly shortened the distance.
I was taken by surprise and reflexively bent my body.
The lance corporal’s sword passed through the place where my upper body was at until then.
The lance corporal’s sword is what is called a bastard sword, which you have to handle with two hands.
It’s powerful and long.
Seeing off the sword that passed right above me, I leapt behind me with all my strength.
It’s because I saw that he raised the sword overhead, leaving it to brute strength.
While I perceived the sword being swung down at high speed, I barely avoided it.
Few strands of hair danced in the air.
“You’ve dodged it well!”
It’s no good, he’s definitely coming to kill me.
The sword packed in bloodthirst was raising fear in me.
If I don’t kill him, I’ll be killed?
The lance corporal thrust his sword.
I avoided it by moving my body sideways and bending my body like the letter K.
It was a combination where I was often defeated by the lance corporal in sham battles during my training.
However, it’s much sharper than during my training.
Of course, he must have been going easy on us during training.
But if it’s the current me…
I saw through the sword that was swung splendidly and swiftly, and dodged it.
By avoiding it while swaying back, I kept enough distance where I can barely get hit.
(Gh! Found it!)
Feeling the object I had made into my objective beforehand, I flipped it up with all I had.
It was a sword.
With one hand I grasped the sword that was flipped up behind me.
I set it up next to my body as is and parried the oncoming lance corporal’s sword.
When I parried it, of course the lance corporal’s posture crumbled.
That was a chance which I can’t ever let escape.
I drove the sword into the defenseless torso.
I drove… into it.
However, something occured beyond my expectations.
The lance corporal held my sword with one hand.
I had cut him with a real sword, so blood was flowing from the lance corporal’s hand which caught it.
He seems to have released just one hand from the two handed sword, strengthened it with magic power and stopped it.
It’s a drastic move that you would never do under normal circumstances, and your hand could get taken away if you make a mistake.
“So you still don’t understand what you’re lacking!”
The lance corporal brandished his sword towards the shaken me.
It was with one hand.
He was raising the two handed sword overhead with one hand.
I could say nothing but as expected of the lance corporal.
It’s just that this isn’t the time to be respecting him.
I will end up dying if I don’t escape soon.
My sword was grasped tightly, so I wasn’t able to escape as is.
I reluctantly release my hand from the sword and immediately took distance.
Wind pressure attacked me just by having the two handed sword pass by me.
“I won’t let you escape!”
The lance corporal came to throw the sword, which he had caught with his hand, at me as I took distance.
I was unable to dodge it well from being shaken by the wind pressure.
I twisted my body, but it felt like the sword had sunk into my shoulder.
My back hit the wall behind me, sewed on it like that.
My breath escaped me, and I grimaced from the pain.
I felt raging heat on my shoulder.
When I moved my body to escape, blood flowed from my shoulder together with the pain.
“If you don’t want to die, then resist”
The lance corporal stood in front of my eyes.
This time he brandished his sword with two hands.
I’m going to die.
At a place like this, without graduating from soldier-in-training?
(I don’t want that…)
I’m afraid to die.
I don’t want to die.
If that is so then――――
“――――I’ll kill you!”
I put magic power to the sword stuck to my shoulder and froze it to the core.
And then, when I put strength to move my body, the remains of the sword scattered along with the sounds of breaking.
I did a first-aid treatment on my shoulder wound by freezing it as is.
His sword was swung down.
I then, without hesitation, dove towards the lance corporal.
I escaped it by a forward roll towards the lance corporal’s side, and then I began running.
My objective, the swords lined up near the wall.
It would be impossible to fight the lance corporal directly if I don’t have any weapons.
At any rate, first a sword.
The lance corporal came chasing from behind me.
This is fine, I’m somewhat better when it comes to speed.
Finally arriving at the leaning swords, I grasped the sword that was the closest to me.
And then I just threw it at the lance corporal.
The lance corporal repelled it with his own sword.
A metallic sound resounded.
However, it was already checkmate.
I was holding another sword.
And then, hiding in the shadow of the thrown sword, I quickly approached the lance corporal.
He noticed, but it was already too late.
My heart was quiet.
I will be cutting off the life of the lance corporal after this and yet, I felt terrifyingly calm.
As though my heart was seemingly frozen.
“Are you kidding me!”
The thrust sword was stopped by the lance corporal’s sword.
But this is fine.
The instant my sword met his, both swords were frozen over.
Then the next instant, just like the sword from before, they broke along with cracking sound.
Only I was aware they would break.
For that reason, the one who moved immediately was me.
Without hesitation I dove in and created a simple sword by putting ice on my hand.
Of course I covered it with magic power.
If I thrust it like this, then it should be able to pierce the lance corporal.
I executed that without hesitation.
What I aimed at was his heart.
I thrust my arm aiming for that.
――the place where the sword was stuck in currently was his right chest.
I did not come in contact with the heart.
The lance corporal seems to have moved and avoided it.
However, it’s clear that the battle is over.
The lance corporal can’t fight anymore.
“It’s done, isn’t it?”
Glain appeared beside us.
He carried up the lance corporal without saying anything in particular and then began to walk out of the training grounds.
“I have to carry the lance corporal to the medical office”
The lance corporal didn’t say anything.
It looks like he has fainted.
“It was a good match. I’ve been watching from the sidelines you know”
wasn’t I able to able to graduate?
I ended up asking Glain.
In the end, I wasn’t able to understand why I couldn’t graduate in this place.
I guess I will be leaning on this topic until the lance corporal is healed with recovery magic.
“ …You know Elka, you’re too gentle, aren’t you?”
Glain talked without looking this way.
“I wonder if it means you can’t become heartless. Even the fight just now should have reached conclusion when you warded off the lance corporal’s sword. If you hadn’t hesitated there, then the lance corporal should have been unable to do anything like catching your sword. The lance corporal was worried about that part, you know”
I wasn’t able to say anything.
Because it was on the mark.
It wasn’t like I was conscious about it.
No, precisely because I wasn’t conscious about it, it must’ve been shoddy.
“But the battle at the end was different. You had the intent to kill――――No, you didn’t even have the intent to kill him. It was like you took away all your other emotions, similar to a device that executes only its objectives. Why so suddenly?”
“ … I don’t know. Except I had this feeling like my heart was frozen the whole time”
I don’t feel anything now.
But the me until some time ago felt cold anyways.
“I think your gentleness is also a strong point. That’s why we wouldn’t want you to lose that. But I believe that feeling will be your weapon from here on out, Elka”
Saying so, Glain took out a paper of fine quality from his pocket.
He then handed it to me as is.
“ ‘Please hand this over to her if she defeats me’ said the lance corporal. Congratulations on your graduation, he said”
“… Thank you”
I took it.
While thanking the lance corporal, who risked his life to fight me for me.
“Why… Why did the fire disappear!?”
Leviathan raised his voice.
The expression of Elka, who had been suffering until now, was terrifyingly peaceful.
As if it was frozen over.
“ <Coldhearted Mind>――――Right now, I have frozen my heart”
Elka would not harbor any emotions as of now.
One could say she had gone into a state close to the deified Setsu.
Her objective, to kill the sacred sword before her eyes.
“Jealousy, anger, the current me doesn’t feel either”
“You lost your feelings of jealousy… and that’s why the fires have disappeared!?”
Elka, while cladding herself in cold air, silently put her hand on her chest.
“ <Limit Break>――――”
The temperature around her instantly dropped.
The cold wave that was released explosively froze everything, from the ground to the trees.
“<Sacred peak of the Ice Demon>”(氷魔の霊峰; Hyouma no reihou)
She was certainly one reigning above ice.
Perhaps lacking in judgment, Leviathan’s fire grew weaker in intensity.
Leviathan took a step back.
The atmospheric temperature dropped even more in the meantime, and Leviathan felt the chill despite being burning.
“Let’s end this. I won’t enjoy it while I’m like this”
“Don’t, don’t get full of your――――”
Elka thrust her sword to the ground.
In doing so, it trembled at Leviathan’s feet, and gigantic ice pillars appeared around him.
The roof was then created with ice, completely enveloping Leviathan.
“Don’t think you can imprison me in a cage like this!”
Leviathan struck a pillar with his fist clad in flames.
“Eh… Wh- why…”
The instant Leviathan struck his fist, it made a sound as it broke from his elbow.
While looking at the remains of his arm that had dropped in pieces, Leviathan stepped back.
“Do you know there is a limit to low temperature?”
Elka spoke from outside the cage.
“No matter how much you lower the temperature, it will stop at a certain point. It is what is commonly called absolute zero. My <Limit Break> is――――”
――――to remove that limit value called absolute zero.
Leviathan’s body began to shiver.
The flames no longer had a trace of its intensity left.
His legs froze, and then broke.
Leviathan fell face down.
When he did, his body completely clung onto the ground.
“Its weakness is that it would not lower the temperature anywhere but the part that is enveloped like this, but… Well, I guess your ears should hardly be able to hear anything, so the explanation is unnecessary, isn’t it?”
All Leviathan could do was leak out a groan.
Finally, even the flames wrapping his body froze over.
“Die unshapely within the freezing cold air”
The ice prison broke.
Leviathan was crushed by the lumps of ice pouring down.
A sound resounded of ice breaking around him.
His flames of jealousy would never be lit again.
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