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Hmm…perhaps I should change the t.i.tle of this chapter to “My Revenge Match”, since this is the chapter that Mel finally gets a rematch against *******. It's probably pretty obvious based on context, but I'll still avoid spoiling in case someone doesn't remember the guy. In any case, do comment and tell me if you think the chapter t.i.tle should be changed (since “My Revenge” sounds kinda misleading, considering Mel's previous goal in life).
Hope you enjoy the chapter!CSWH Chapter 51: My Revenge
Basic training ended and I let out a breath.
When I looked around at my surroundings, there were members of the Army also wiping away their sweat like me.
However, their usual smiles weren't present on their faces.
A somewhat stinging atmosphere floated about, as this was our first cooperative training with the Knight's Order in a while.
"General Gazelle. Please take care of us today."
"Umu. I should say that myself, do take care of us."
Those from the Knight's Order arrived, and a single representative greeted father.
Contrary to their cheerful greeting, as usual, a sense of tension drifted about between the knights and the soldiers from the Army.
In particular, I could feel sharp gazes coming from the knights waiting behind the representative.
Well……leaving aside the people from the Army who were used to it, for a single girl to be standing here with them was likely both incomprehensible and unpleasant to them.
Soon after their greetings finished, training began.
It first started from practice-swinging.
Everyone silently completed their practice swings.
During that time, Father weaved through the crowd and at times would give advice.
After that, we switched to doing spars as always.
As they were intermingling, the matches were soldiers from the Army versus the knights.
I was included amongst those from the Army and was waiting for my turn.
"Next! Mel and Donadly!"
As I waited silently, my name was called.
The name of my opponent sounded familiar.
When I looked towards the arena, as I thought……an opponent that had once defeated me was standing there.
I felt my blood boiling at the chance to test just how far had my strength advanced.
"Please wait a moment, General!"
However, as if to pour cold water on my eagerness, Donaldy shouted.
"……what is it, Donaldy?"
"Why must I face against this child! With an opponent like her, it will not be any sort of training for me."
"Are you saying that you are dissatisfied with having Mel as your opponent?"
When my father asked thus in a voice an octave lower than usual, Donaldy appeared to be momentarily overpowered as he shut his mouth.
However, he soon regained his vigour.
"Yes. A peasant, and a woman at that……no matter how much she is favoured by the General, even if I were to fight against someone lacking so much in ability, then I will have nothing to gain."
"……is what he is saying. Mel, what do you want to do?"
My heart had become strangely calm at his words.
It can't be helped, I felt.
In the previous spar, I had lost in an unsightly manner.
To him, it was probably quite unsatisfying.
No matter how much I say, that was a truth that I can never change.
No matter what I say, I will not be able to change his opinion.
"……I believe that there is no need for words."
In other words, there was no choice other than to shut him up with my true strength.
At my words, Father laughed.
"Is what she says. Well, Donaldy. If you win in a battle against Mel, then I shall allow you to fight in the next battle."
"……do keep that word."
While appearing rather discontent, he reluctantly gave his approval.
And then, he turned his gaze towards me, who was standing across from him.
For some reason, I felt laughter welling up at his eyes filled with contempt.
The gazes of the knights surrounding me were very much the same as his.
In this s.p.a.ce filled with enemies that made one want to cry and run away, I conversely felt that it was incredibly fun.
I thought this when I was in the Madam's shop and those from the Army were looking at me with eyes filled with fighting spirit, but……it seems that I am starved.
For the sense of tension as if I were walking on thin ice.
Filled also with a fighting spirit similar to the desire for control, making me wonder just how I should make my opponent submit before me.
I smiled as I took my sword in hand.
However, the moment I took it, that hunger went somewhere else.
……or perhaps I should say, everything seemed to become mere trifles as they left my head.
The inside of my head threw away the various feelings and thoughts inside of it, and simply focussed on grasping enemy before me.
My field of vision and mind that had cleared up simply focussed on battle.
The referee spoke the words signalling the start of the match.
Instantly, I took one step……however, I didn't move any farther than that.
I simply swayed my body like a leaf blowing in the wind.
In order to be able to handle my opponent's movements at any time.
And then, as that painfully quiet silence continued, my nerves became even more focussed upon battle. Yet, I felt my existence - the will and emotions that made me, me - sink deeper and deeper down.
The one who moved first was Donaldy.
I repelled his sword.
He swung from all directions, while mixing in feints at times.
I calmly dealt with them while waiting for a chance.
Perhaps because he was making light of me, or because he was originally like that……he was making quite sloppy movements.
He was quick and had some rather powerful movements, but……no, perhaps that was precisely why he was able to persist in fighting this way up until now.
As I a.n.a.lyzed his movements in a corner of my mind, the moment he revealed a gap, I launched onto the offensive.
Once, twice - every time we clashed blades, his stance crumbled.
And then at last, I shook off his sword, and placed my blade at his neck.
"……the winner! Mel!!"
As the members of the Knight's Order gave dumbfounded looks, the referee loudly called out my name.