During the fifth week, practical lessons were held on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday—a total of three days.

On Monday, a theory class in the morning helped students adjust after the weekend. 

However, on Wednesday and Thursday, practical lessons occupied the entire day, from morning until afternoon.

The morning theory class passed quickly.

At 1 PM, it was time for one-on-one duels—the beginning of the official practical evaluations.

The one-on-one duels took place in a vast open space within the Hero Department, rather than the usual lecture building.

Students who had already paired up commenced their duels. 

I had no predetermined partner.

At that moment,

“Theo, if you don't have an opponent, would you like to have a match?”

Noctar approached me.

“No, I want to try facing a new opponent.”

“Good attitude, Theo.
A truly outstanding warrior should not fear facing various opponents.
I'll find another opponent as well.”

With that, Noctar approached a group of Lizardman students. 

He provoked the one who seemed to be the leader, and they promptly began duelling.

'Hmm, who should I face?'

As Irene mentioned, it's beneficial to have a wide range of duels with different people.

In all honesty, I could defeat even Andrew, who's ranked 9th, with my [Magic Nullification], so I'll avoid the mages for now.

It's best if [Magic Nullification] remains a secret.
Of course, I'll use it if necessary.

I surveyed the area for non-mage students. 

Familiar faces appeared.

Aisha, who continually fired mana arrows at Andrew's barrier, Eshild, who was being defeated by Jang Woohee again, and Ralph, who was engaged in a power struggle with an orc, were all present.


“Why can't you use your strength like this, hahaha! Can't you put in more weight?”

“You green pig! You're just disgustingly strong!”

“Hahaha! A true warrior must be robust and powerful, you two-legged lizard!”

Noctar was already pushing back the Lizardman leader.

Their sweaty, 2-meter-tall bodies clashed in a fierce battle. 

Watching them, I felt a surge of adrenaline.

I also saw Neike.


But Neike wasn't dueling Piel; he was facing Max.

'Usually, Neike and Piel are a set.'

Pababak, pabababak-!

Neike's practice spear repeatedly struck Max's tower shield.

Piel was visible in the distance, seemingly without an opponent as she looked around restlessly.

'Well, who would want to face her?'

Piel shows no mercy, thoroughly crushing her opponents.
In her mind, showing mercy to the weak is deceitful.

As I thought this, my eyes met Piel's.


Then, she walked towards me. 

Approaching me, Piel hesitated and then spoke.

“···Hey, let's have a match.”

Of course, I'm up for it. 

It's a great opportunity.

I no longer have a fragile mentality. 

I've been enlightened for a while now.

And the standard for one-on-one duels is not victory, but showing a more developed version of oneself.


I gripped the practice longsword in my hand.
Piel, who seemed surprised, soon grasped a practice rapier.

I didn't want to be told to go in first, so I took the initiative.

“Can I go in first?”

“Of course.
Feel free to come in.”

Piel grinned confidently.

'I'll wipe that smug look off your face.'

Recalling the swordsmanship I learned from Irene, I charged at Piel.

And within 10 seconds, I was rolling on the ground.


Raei  Translations



Piel looked down at Theo, who was at least a head taller than her, with a satisfied expression. 

In a short time, Theo had fallen seven times but kept getting back up.


He got up quickly once more.

“You really don't give up, huh?”

It wasn't about treating Theo as a punching bag. 

Piel simply liked the fire still burning in his eyes.

“Here I come again.”


Theo charged at Piel again.

But in less than a minute, he was back on the ground.

“Argh, ugh…!”

Theo clutched his abdomen where the rapier had struck him while lying down. 

If it hadn't been a practice weapon, he would have died several times already.

But Theo endured the urge to vomit and got back up again.


Suddenly, the students stopped their duels and looked at Piel and Theo.

Even Professor Mari, who was in charge, watched them with interest.

Piel looked at Theo with satisfaction once again.

'He definitely has extraordinary spirit and perseverance…'

His combat sense was also exceptional.

He kept his guard up against the moves he'd been hit with before and counterattacked.

'Of course, he's still far from perfect.'

Piel smirked, feeling a sense of satisfaction. 

Proposing a match against Theo was an excellent choice.

“…I'm coming again.”

Theo's eyes stared intently at Piel. 

There was boiling anger in his red eyes.

“Of course.”

Piel replied cheerfully, and Theo charged again.

But this time…
Theo moved at an alarmingly fast speed, making it hard to believe that he was the same person who had been struggling earlier.

However, Piel quickly adapted to Theo's speed.

At the young age of 15, she possessed three master-level traits: [Mana Ruler], [Weapon Master], and [Sword Master]. 

She was truly favored by the gods.

This was the first time she had faced a longsword since she returned home during the break.

'That narrow step, the loosely held wrist…'

The swordsmanship felt familiar.

As Piel parried Theo's sword, she thrust her blade towards his chest.


Her thin rapier made four swift, consecutive thrusts. 

However, she felt no resistance.


Somehow, Theo evaded the thrusts and swung his sword with enough force to cleave Piel's body in two.


The sound of air being torn apart filled the training field.


'The strength is good, but it's still slow.'

In human battles, speed was paramount. 

Piel narrowly dodged the sword by a hair's breadth.

Simultaneously, the explosive momentum emanating from Theo vanished.

Piel seized the opportunity.


The thin practice weapon pierced Theo's thigh.

“…I lost.”

Kneeling on the ground, Theo immediately conceded. 

Piel scrutinized him closely.

'He got a really great trait, huh? Why is this he ranked 181st?'

Then, she voiced the question that had come to mind earlier.

Hey, where did you learn that swordsmanship from earlier?”

“I learned it from my fiancée.”

Theo's face appeared somewhat drained. 

Piel's expression remained cold.

“Is that so? Come at me again.”

“…No, that's enough for today.
I'm tired.”

With that, Theo hobbled over to a bench situated in the corner of the training field.

“…Hey, let's go again.”


The students who had been watching Theo and Piel's duel resumed their own training, weapons in hand.

'It seems like Theo's victory over Ralph wasn't just a fluke.'

'If only I could gain one more trait…'

AAs they practiced, the students contemplated their situations. 

There wasn't a single top 30 ranked student who hadn't been defeated by Piel.

Though Theo, ranked 181st, had been knocked down eight times, he persistently challenged her. 

The other students gave up after one or two attempts.

'Am I worse than Theo? That guy?'

'Next time we have a one-on-one training session, I'll challenge Piel.'

Theo's fighting spirit was a huge motivation for them. 

Professor Mari Jane observed the students with a pleased expression.


Wiping off her sweat, Piel looked at Theo, who was squatting on the bench.

'Did I go too far?'

Had she made Theo feel the despair of facing an insurmountable wall? 

Theo had his head down, dejected.

The spirit that drove him to challenge Piel had vanished. 

After all, Theo's sword hadn't even grazed Piel's clothes.

However, he didn't lose his fighting spirit, and the way he kept getting back up to attack was quite impressive.

'I want to fight him again next time.'

Wearing a somewhat satisfied smile, Piel approached Theo.

“Hey, are you alright?”

Piel patted Theo's slumped shoulders, but he didn't react.


It seemed that Theo was genuinely upset.

'He has a rather cute side.'

Piel chuckled and continued.

“Hey, it's okay.
There's no one here as persistent as you.
I acknowledge that.”

But Theo still didn't respond.

'Did I go too far?'

It seemed that she had. 

In front of all his classmates, she had ruthlessly defeated him. 

If he had been a toy, it would have broken long ago.

Feeling a bit guilty, Piel gently rubbed Theo's back with her palm.

“Hey, I'm sorry, okay? Come on.
Don't be so upset about losing a spar—”

“Zzz, zzz.”


Piel leaned in closer to Theo, who still had his head down, and then muttered in disbelief.

“…Crazy bastard.”

Theo was asleep, with an utterly peaceful expression on his face.

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