4.Taste of Defeat (1)

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The practical test was held in the afternoon.

This test held once a year, or at the end of the school year, is like a fight to the death, where we have to put everything we have learned to the test.

In the schoolyard of the Academy of Magic, all the students from the first to the fifth grade would come out and compete with their skills using swords they had created with their own magic.

It is said that there have been years when there have been deaths.

The schoolyard of the academy was large.

There’s not only a playground, but also a pond, a forest, and even a fairly large river running through it.

For the practical test, all the grades were involved, and regardless of the grade, the students had to fight their way through and beat their opponents.

Winning was a great honor.
It was the pinnacle of the entire grade.

By the way, from the time I entered the school until now, I have never won first place in either the written test or this practical test.
Gideon was always in that position.

He wouldn’t move out of the way.

I’ve always been in second place.

The director of the school stepped forward in front of the students who had lined up in front of the brick school building to take the school-wide practical exam.

The director of the school, whose body shape is reminiscent of a bear shaking from side to side, walked up to the morning assembly table and raised his voice.

“We will now begin the end-of-year practical examinations of the National Academy of Magic! Everyone, do your best, but be careful not to exceed your ‘upper limit’ of magic.
Otherwise, your soul will fly out of your body!

 The Director made a brief address and stepped down from the morning assembly table.
He then hurried to the wall of the school building, keeping as much distance as possible from the students.

He must have been wary of the magic of the exam flying like a stray bullet.

The still, tense atmosphere before the exam began, filled the area.
I could hear someone swallowing a mouthful of saliva.

“Everyone, raise your swords!”

At the call from the professor who is in charge of magic swordsmanship at the school, the students overflowing the schoolyard raise their right hands in unison.

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The roots of all things are water, fire, and wind.

The magician manipulates these three elements.

There is a wide variety in the roots that can be manipulated, and each student uses what they are best at to weave a sword.

“Spirits of the water, gather in my hands and become a sword.”

I called out to the water floating in the air and in the soil.

Immediately, a mist formed and gathered in my palm, coalescing into an icy blue sword.
The hilt was hard and cool, and it fit perfectly into my palm.

“Test, begin!”

 At the teacher’s command, all the students start moving at once.
Some raised their swords to their classmates next to them, some started running to target a specific opponent, and some ran into the woods to hide for a while.

I also grabbed the hilt of my water magic sword with both hands and challenged a senior student nearby.
She was a fourth-year girl, two grades above me.

I didn’t feel like fighting a junior student.

She was also holding up a water magic sword, but after a few times of our swords clashing, her water sword was broken.

She was horrified seeing her sword, which was now half its length, and immediately shouted.

“I yield! I’ll drop my sword!”

Having admitted defeat, the senior student let go of her sword and headed towards the teacher standing in front of the school building.
The losers gathered around the teacher, where they could watch the rest of the match.

About twenty minutes into the match, the number of remaining students had already reduced to less than half.

Most of them were fifth-year students, the most advanced grade, showing the difference in power.

Students who have already been defeated were not just watching the remaining games with the teachers in front of the school building.
They were cheering for those of us who were still fighting.

“Christy, behind you! Watch out!”

“Hang in there for me Johnny!”

Each of them is cheering for a good friend or the top student in their grade.

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The most common cheer was, of course, for Gideon.

The deafening feverish cheers were so annoying.

It’s so distracting.

“Liesel, focus on the match!”

“Make sure you take down Gideon!”

Cynthia and Mac shout at me, as I get distracted by the cheering.

The guys, already defeated, are gesturing desperately for me to look behind me.

Just then, a sandy wind blew against my body.

I hurriedly turned around and saw a student coming at me, holding a magical sword of wind.

He was still small, and judging by his appearance, he’s a first-grader.
He’s still here.

Somehow he had survived, and now he would have to face only the senior students.
Both of his legs were trembling with fear.
A whirlwind of wind is coming from the sword, but it is not supported enough.
The tip of the sword is wobbling.

“Close your eyes!”

After issuing the warning, I swung my water sword significantly.
An explosive spray of water splashed out from the trajectory of my sword, and the first grader was blown away.

The impact caused him to let go of his wind magic sword, and all the first years were now eliminated.

Some of the students were fighting in the woods, so I couldn’t stay in the middle of the school ground the whole time to win.

When there were no more students fighting on the school grounds, I went into the woods.

Then I saw four girls coming down from the trees.
They were all the girls from Gideon’s Guards who had been in the hallway earlier.

“Liesel Crow.
Today, I’ll break your cheeky nose.”

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It was Catherine of the Marquise de Jumeau who pointed her fire sword at me, spouting the same old villain cliché.

In a way, the head of the Gideon’s Guards is like the boss monkey on monkey mountain.
She’s a female student, and although she’s not one of the four major noble families, she’s one of the most prestigious.

In other words, she’s a mass of pride.

Her golden hair is in a gorgeous vertical roll, and she has a bright red ribbon tied on top of her head.

Although I was outnumbered, it was a common occurrence in the second half of the practical exam.

One of the female students was wearing a white robe.

The general students wore gray, but the top students of each grade wore white robes.
Apparently, even the top student of the fifth grade was a member of the monkey mountain.

 As all four of them ran toward me at once, I used my sword to slash the air sending drops of water flying in all directions.
The magic turned the water into ice, and the two who were hit fell down.
The remaining two, who had skillfully avoided the ice, jumped at me, and I was faced with fire and wind swords from the front and back.

I used my magic to quickly create a shield, but it couldn’t prevent the fire, and the chest of my robe was burned.
After the smoke rose, there was a smell of burning in the air.

I took aim at the chief with the wind sword and swung my sword down, she succumbed to the water pressure of my sword and dropped hers.

“Ah, I lost.
I yield.”

As soon as I see the wind sword on the ground, I turn around and face Catherine.

“I won’t be defeated by you.”

As soon as Catherine said that, I was suddenly hugged by someone from behind.
I turned around, startled, to see that it was the student that I had just defeated.

She bullied me.

“Please let me go! It’s against the rules to compete twice!”

This seemed to startle Catherine for a moment, and she faltered and almost lowered her sword.

However, perhaps thinking that she could not miss this opportunity, she raised the fire sword in her hand again.

Since my arms weren’t free, I had no choice but to chant and create a water shield.

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But then another student yanks my hair back hard, and the chanting is cut short.

Catherine’s sword interrupted the shield and grazed my cheek.


“Oh my, I’m so sorry about your beautiful face.”

As Catherine raised her sword again, I chanted briefly, first sending the student behind me into a blast.
The female student was blown backwards.
She plunged face-first into a shrubbery, but honestly, I don’t feel too sorry for her because of the situation.

I immediately chanted briefly and transformed the water sword in my hand into a fire sword.

“No way, you can turn a water sword into fire?”

Catherine was slightly frightened.

Raising the fire sword high in the air, it burst into flames.
It grew longer and longer, and Catherine turned pale.
She swung her sword and took a few steps back.

“Come forth, Dragon of Fire Sword!”

The fire dragon separated itself from the sword and headed straight for Catherine.

Catherine tried to get rid of the dragon with her fire sword, but the dragon evaded it and bit Catherine.
Catherine screamed, threw away her own sword and rolled on the ground, waving her hands in the air to chase away the burning dragon.

The winner is now decided.

I snapped my fingers to extinguish the fire dragon and ran through the trees in search of my next opponent.

As I walked further into the forest, I saw a group of students who had lost their swords coming from the back.
Apparently, they had been defeated one by one.
There must be a strong opponent in the back.

A strong wind, still chilly for spring, blew through the trees and rolled up my gray robe.
The cool breeze drains the heat from my cheeks, leaving me chilled, but burning hot inside my chest.

Keeping my eyes on my surroundings, I walked straight ahead, looking for the remaining students.

The person ahead of me was just as I had expected.

It was Gideon, his white robes billowing in the wind, holding a sword of fire.

He has soft golden hair and clear blue eyes.
He must have been left behind after fighting with many students, but he was there, his breathing, hair, and clothes undisturbed.

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