Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 5 – Graduation Exams And The Light Beams Seen from The Window
Ten days later, on a morning, Ain was taking a walk in the courtyard.
There he saw his grandmother, Laralua, and an old woman ── Beria, who was accompanying her.
They were on one of the terraces, and as soon as they spotted Ain coming over, Laralua beckoned him to sit down directly across from her.
“Is this a walk before you go to the academy?”
The Dark Elf looked as youthful and radiant as the morning sun today.
“Yes. I have some free time to spare, so…”
“Then would you like to join me for tea?”
Ain immediately replied, “I’d be delighted.”
“Old maid, would you make tea for Ain-kun as well?” [T/n: I don’t know how to put it here, Laralua called Beria Baba-ya here (婆や).]
“Leave it to me.”
She told Beria and had her prepare Ain’s tea immediately.
Her skill was superb as always , and although it looked as if she was brewing normally, the aroma that tickled the nostrils never ceased, and it seemed to wash the mind all through the morning.
“Here we go, may it please you, Your Highness.”
“It’s Beria-san’s tea, so I’ll just enjoy it slowly.”
“Well, well! If Your Highness says so, it will be worth my long life.”
Her tone was gentle, and her smile was soft.
After bowing, she slowly retreated and took her place behind Laralua.
“Today was the day of the exam, wasn’t it? By the time Ain-kun leaves, the party will be in its final stages of preparation, and we’ll all be looking forward to your return.”
“I’m looking forward to it too. That is why I will do my best in the exam.”
As he brought a cup of tea to his lips, words of praise spontaneously leaked out.
“It’s as delicious as ever. Martha-san lamented before that she just couldn’t do it as well as Beria-san.”
“Beria is experienced, after all.”
“Yes, when you’re old enough, you can tell what kind of tea Laralua-sama desires each day, the strength of the tea, the type, and even the temperature.”
Beria spoke of her out-of-the-ordinary values with a gentle smile on her face. But this was neither a lie nor an exaggeration, but the truth.
Ain has always thought that the old people in the castle were all capable of showing the young people the difference in capability even in their old age. Besides Beria, Warren was also one of them.
Then Warren, whom Ain was just thinking about, happened to pass nearby.
“Laralua-sama, Ain-sama, good morning.”
He approached them, bent at the waist to greet Ain and the others, and immediately looked at Beria.
“Laralua-sama, Ain-sama, could I borrow Beria for a moment?”
“That’s unusual. What’s the matter?”
“It’s about the party tonight. The head chef would like to ask Beria’s opinion, and I was wondering if she could accompany them afterward.”
“I see. Beria, I hope you don’t mind.”
“Thank you. I will call the other servant.”
“Very well. Ain-kun has to leave soon, so I will also return to my room.”
With that, Laralua stood up from her seat.
“I will see Ain-kun off to the gate.”
With a light wave of her hand, she walked away from Beria and Warren.
Ain, who started walking next to her, said without thinking too deeply.
“It’s rare to see Warren-san talking with Beria-san.”
“You’re right. The two are not on bad terms, but I don’t often see them together in public. It may be because Beria is often by my side.”
A while ago, Martha told Ain that Warren and Beria had been in love in the past. If this were true, he wondered if that past had anything to do with it.
“But it was certainly unusual for Warren to come to Beria’s side to ask about the food.”
“Oh, is that so?”
“I don’t think it’s Warren’s job. It should be left to other civil servants… oh, but since it’s a party thing involving Ain-kun, I guess he thought he’d better make sure everything was properly handled.”
“Heh… I’m sorry to make everyone so busy these days.”
“Don’t worry about it. It is precisely at times like this that we all need to celebrate Ain-kun’s birthday and cheer ourselves up.”
She said it’s important to take a breather.
After passing through the corner of the garden where the morning dew slid off the trees, they stepped into the passageway leading to the castle gate.
(As usual, Dill is quick.)
A few steps ahead was Dill, waiting to escort Ain off. His face, bathed in sunlight, was as handsome as his own swordsmanship.
◇ ◇ ◇
As he had heard the other day that the exam was to be held first thing in the morning, Ain made his way there early.
The sun had not been up for very long, and the Royal Kingsland Academy was sparsely populated. There were few students in particular, and Kaizer was the only one in the training hall.
Just as many years ago, when Ain fought against Kaizer in the entrance exam.
The two of them stood in the same place as then.
“Actually, there’s one more reason why I chose the first thing in the morning.”
“The other reason?”
“I can tell you after the exam. It’s a very backward and sad reason, but I don’t want to hide it from Ain.”
“…You’re saying some strange and curious things. Are you trying to shake me up?”
“No! I’m just mentally lost here, that’s all!”
Then Kaizer suddenly stepped in.
“Without a signal──?”
However, Ain saw through him and easily avoided him.
“Ora ora ora! Show me what you’ve grown up to be!”
“…You’ve already started, haven’t you?”
“You can tell by looking at it! I’m sorry, but I don’t fight like a student! I’m a former adventurer, and I wield a sword! Don’t let your guard down!”
He did as he said and used his power.
He used magic tools, blinders, and even leg kicks.
Although he was not really a student and his physical strength showed a seriousness that he had never shown before, even Ain did not intend to lose.
“I’ll go for it too.”
That’s why Ain wanted to thank Kaizer for being a serious opponent.
It wasn’t long after that that Ain’s face changed as he held his training sword.
◇ ◇ ◇
Even before the White Rose Station entered the rush hour, the Royal Kingsland Academy was bustling with an unusual atmosphere. Today was the day of an important exam, and all the students made their way to the academy without a break. Although the number of students was not large, it was even impressive for those who attended the surrounding academies.
──The examination also proceeded in the training hall of the academy
When the mock battle with the model opponent using magic tools was over.
“Um… Instructor Kaizer, why are your cheeks turning red?”
Batz asked, not knowing the reason.
He asked because Kaizer’s cheeks were red and swollen for some reason, and he was standing there with a strangely regretful expression on his face.
“Many things happened.”
Needless to say, it was because of Ain’s exam. But he didn’t want to talk about it.
He didn’t want to talk about the fact that he had lost, even if his opponent was Ain. In the first place, another reason for calling Ain out first thing in the morning was to avoid being seen by the other students and also because he didn’t want to be seen.
When Batz left, Ain came in to replace him and said.
“Instructor Kaizer, I’ve finished recording it.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“…Your cheeks are getting red. Are you alright?”
“I don’t need sympathy from someone who did this to me.”
“No, it’s not like that…”
“I’m just joking. Don’t worry about it. When I was an adventurer, I even ran away carrying Majolica on my back with a broken body!”
It’s an extraordinary sight to imagine, and Ain would have liked to see it.
But then, this level of injury was fine.
“I was exposed to such a pathetic sight. I was easily knocked down, banged my head on the ground, and passed out as it was.”
There was no addition or subtraction. When the right to life and death rests with the other party, victory or defeat was as good as decided.
The frustration on Kaizer’s face was palpable, but it was refreshing to see it done so well.
He gave it a perfect score with no complaints.
“Alright, let’s move on to the next test!”
Next up was a mock battle between the students.
The students were divided into age groups, and each age group had to compete against each other in a mock battle. The winners and losers were confirmed by the other instructors, and all the results were compiled by Kaizer as one of the scores.
The students were spread out across the large training area, and the mock battles began according to the groupings that were distributed in advance.
After a few of the mock battles had been completed, Kaizer said.
“He really stands out.”
Batz was the one who showed the most outstanding swordsmanship.
In a round-robin competition against other competitors of the same age, he did not suffer a single defeat and won with a comfortable margin of victory.
Without a doubt, he would get full marks.
“If you consider Dill Glacier to be a one-in-thirty-years talent, then in the case of Batz, he’s a one-in-ten-years talent.”
“It’s rare to hear that much praise from you.”
“Oh! I sometimes give praise to develop myself!”
In the meantime, Batz was shouting in high spirits.
Of all the students in grades one through six, Batz was the only one to win it all. His face was radiant with victory, and sweat poured from his body, which was trembling with joy.
The other students applauded him, and the cheers were mingled.
In the center of the excitement, he shone brighter than anyone else.