Kreutz -> Kreuz
Diefried -> Dietfried – His nickname would originally be Die though that sounds odd and it’s not a nickname the German language would use for this name, thus I decided to go with an English version aka “Dee”
A lot of books and questionable raw materials are lined up in the room. Several hand-made magic tools are placed on top of the desk.
It’s the club room of the Magic Research Society which is located in the academy. The one sitting at the noticeably large desk set up in that room is the club president, Marie. She is resting her chin on her hands atop the desk and is fixing her eyes on the long-slit, jet black eyes of the male student who is standing in front of her.
“Did you finish the investigation?” (Marie)
With a hoarse tone that doesn’t seem to be that of the daughter of the Imperial Mage Leader, Marie asks the male student.
“Yes. Though I must say that it’s not complete.”
“Go ahead.” (Marie)
“The mother of Kamui Kreuz is Sofia Hohenfried. His father is unknown.”
“Sofia Hohenfried… I have heard that name somewhere.” (Marie)
Marie probed her memories after hearing a name she had heard before, but the male student began his explanation before she could finish that.
“That’s because she was a celebrity. It seems she was called the most beautiful woman of the Empire. She became famous to the degree of being a fiancée candidate of the Crown Prince at that time. With her home being the Hohenfrieds, the matter came to a close before the talks advanced in a concrete direction, though it’s unclear whether the Crown Prince himself strongly desired the betrothal or not.”
“… Such a matter would be in my memory?” (Marie)
Most of the male student’s story belongs into the category of gossip. Marie doesn’t have any interest in such stories.
“No, because she became famous with another popular name, I believe that you will remember her with that.”
“If that was the case, say so to begin with. I don’t have any interest in gossip material.” (Marie)
“Sorry. The Return of the Light Saint. She was celebrated for being the best in the empire as a user of Holy magic.”
“Ah, that’s right. If I remember correctly, she entered the party of the hero who had a high opinion of her ability, right?” (Marie)
Even Marie, who has almost no interest in anything besides magic, knows about the mother of Kamui. She is an existence that has been also recognized by Marie in regards to the aspect of being an excellent user of Holy magic.
“Yes. But, she went missing alongside the hero and after that she returned to her home in secret. It appears that she was already pregnant with Kamui Kreuz at that time.”
“Because of that his father is unknown.” (Marie)
“Apparently there were rumors wondering whether it was the hero at that time.”
“Oy, oy. If that was the truth, wouldn’t he have an outrageous bloodline?” (Marie)
A child out of love between the hero and Sofia. Marie isn’t aware how much Kamui had suffered because of this expectation.
“I can’t completely exclude the possibility of the hero being his father. But with the matter of Kamui himself being unable to use magic, it looks like it can be denied somehow. Even if I want to make sure of it, the Hohenfried family is…”
“All of them passed away. The cause of death was suicide by poison, wasn’t it?” (Marie)
“Yes, However there seems to be a slightly odd aspect.”
“Mmh? Which is?” (Marie)
“It appears they drunk wine with poison in it.”
“That’s a common story in regards to the suicide of a noble.” (Marie)
There are many cases where Nobles, who committed a crime, are given poisoned wine in the name of the Emperor instead of receiving a death penalty. Do it with your own hands before experiencing the disgrace of a death penalty is the meaning it carries.
“However, it was the aperitif.”
“… What’s this about?” (Marie)
“It seems they fully arranged the meal on the table. Although they were going to kill themselves, the meal had been prepared. Don’t you believe that to be strange?”
“Haven’t the government officials investigated that matter?” (Marie)
“They treated the matter as forced suicide instructed by the family head. The deciding factor is that even the children in the same generation as us drank the wine. If it’s a noble household, there are cases of some of the children having a taste for wine, but one can’t say that unconditionally. It’s common to consider this as order of the family head.”
“Right… well, that’s fine. That’s gossip as well. What was the state of the person himself afterwards?” (Marie)
For an instant an imagination similar to a dark shadow floated in her mind, but before it could take shape, Marie stopped that thought due to intuitive feelings of fear.
“There’s absolutely no indication of him using magic.”
“How about his lessons?” (Marie)
“He studies the magic lesson by observation. Even during sword lesson, he does it without magic.”
“Sword lesson without magic. In that case he is amazing though.” (Marie)
“The state of his ability is something counterbalancing that. He is evaluated as lowest in the class.”
“… What about the possibility of an error in detection?” (Marie)
“I can’t say anything about that. The one who built the magic tool of mana detection is your father, Marie-sama. At least it’s certain that mana was detected at that time. Also, it was Holy magic. After confirming it with several people, there’s no mistake on that point.”
This is the excuse for Marie who had an interest in Kamui. Marie was much more surprised by the fact that the magic tool, which she received from her father, detected the invocation of Holy magic than the incident of the attempted assassination.
She caught the sign of an unexpectedly big haul in the net she laid out for the sake of winning over people, who possess great talent in magic, for her club.
“What’s the likelihood that it didn’t come from Kamui Kreuz?” (Marie)
“The ones who were nearby at that time were Lutz, Selene and Alto who are in the same class as Kamui Kreuz. Since Selene used water magic, she can be excluded from the previously mentioned. It’s a different story if she is able to chant several attributes at the same time though.”
“‘Such a person doesn’t exist is the meaning implied in what I said”, the male student added to his explanation.
“If there’s a human capable of that, I will resign my seat as president. The woman called Selene excluded, what about the rest?” (Marie)
“The student called Lutz was at a spot slightly away. If he used it from such a distance, the reaction would have been stronger. And before that, you would be able to confirm it with the eyes usually.”
“If Lutz is out as well, there’s only one left.” (Marie)
“Correct. I can’t exclude the student called Alto. However, he is an orphan. This seems to be the same with Lutz, too. But, different from Lutz, it’s obvious that Alto’s parents are commoners.”
A commoner orphan shouldn’t be able to use magic. The male student is fixed on this prejudice. Many of the magicians have an awareness of regarding themselves as special, and it appears that the student is one of them.
“It’s not like it never happens that a person who can use magic appears among commoners.” (Marie)
As one might expect, Marie isn’t stuck on that biased opinion.
“I know that. Even if that’s the case, where did he learn Holy magic then? If he had the chance to study Holy magic, it had to be from Kamui Kreuz, who has Sofia Hohenfried as mother.”
“If Alto can use it, Kamui should be able to use it as well. Is that your train of thought?” (Marie)
“Just as you say.”
“Uh huh. It has a logic behind it. I guess it’s fine. Then investigate Kamui Kreuz next. If you discover that Kamui Kreuz is able to use magic, drag him here by any means necessary. Even if it isn’t Holy magic, he will have value as long as he can use magic.” (Marie)
“As research material, right?”
“Correct. A person, who shouldn’t have any mana, possessed mana. We can expect magic to develop further. It doesn’t matter if you are a bit unreasonable. No matter what it takes, smell it out.” (Marie)
Marie is a magic supremacy advocate, a view which she inherited from her father. She considers the advancement of magic to be equal to the advancement of this world.
She will permit a bit recklessness for that sake. It’s not at the level of her father, but Marie has also such a stance.
Marie doesn’t know. Kamui can also be called a person who doesn’t choose his methods if it’s to protect his friends.
Setting up the sword in an overhead position and aiming at the paper which hung in front, she swings down at it in one swoop. The pieces of the cut paper fell to the ground while fluttering and swaying.
“Absolutely no good!” (Kamui)
Kamui’s strict voice flew at Selene who smiles in satisfaction.
“At what point!? I cut it properly, didn’t I!?” (Selene)
Selene is discontent with Kamui finding fault with her.
“There’s too much wasted movement. Your balance is poor as well.” (Kamui)
“Please explain it in a bit more understandable manner?” (Selene)
Kamui has regularly many places where his words aren’t sufficient. He is unsuited to teach something to someone. Unless they are people who own a certain level of ability, is the condition which applies roughly.
“Oh, is that the attitude of a person who begs someone to teach them? The current me is your master, Sele.” (Kamui)
“Could you instruct me then, master?” (Selene)
“It’s fine, I guess.” (Kamui)
“How arrogant…” (Selene)
“You yourself made me join”, Selene complains. Selene is also responsible for the conversation with Kamui to always turn into a quarrel.
“Did you say something?” (Kamui)
“Not really.” (Selene)
“Your behavior is bad. For now, look at this.” (Kamui)
Picking up the paper which fell to the ground, Kamui holds it out to Selene.
“What do you mean with this?” (Selene)
Even when she looked at the paper, Selene didn’t understand his intention.
“It has been cut up to the middle. Rather than being cut to the end, it simply tore.” (Kamui)
Just as Kamui says, the section becomes jagged after the middle.
“… Yes.” (Selene)
Having been shown plain evidence, Selene isn’t able to deny her own lack of skill either.
“The blade was slightly off. And it didn’t have enough speed either.” (Kamui)
“Are you able to do it, Kamui?” (Selene)
“If it’s at the level of cutting.” (Kamui)
“Then show me how you do it. If you only tell me with your mouth, I won’t get it.” (Selene)
“Good grief. That attitude, you would have gotten a vicious beating by now if if the other party were my masters, Sele. Well, then take a good look.” (Kamui)
Even while complaining Kamui started to move in order to show Selene an example. Kamui casually stood in front of the paper. Without getting worked up in any particular way, he prepared the sword and swung it down quickly.
His movements didn’t seem fast overall. However, Selene didn’t see the sword’s trajectory at all.
“Yes. Just like that.” (Kamui)
Kamui picked up the fallen paper while Selene was in a state of astonishment. The end of the cut paper he presented to Selene is straight without any jagging.
“… How did you do that just now?” (Selene)
“How, you ask. I simply swung the sword.” (Kamui)
“Though I didn’t see it…” (Selene)
Unfortunately Kamui’s example didn’t become an example for Selene.
“That’s because I omitted any useless movements as much as possible. Do you know of preliminary movements?” (Kamui)
“What’s that?” (Selene)
“Since you won’t comprehend even if I tell you, let’s have you actually experience it. Try jumping upwards. However, you are not allowed to bend your knees. Without inclining your upper body forwards either.” (Kamui)
“Without bending my knees and without forward inclination. Got it.” (Selene)
Abiding to what she was told by Kamui, Selene tries to jump. She didn’t move from the spot at all.
“Yes. Jump.” (Kamui)
Even when urged on by Kamui, Selene’s stance doesn’t change.
“I can’t do that so easily!” (Selene)
Being able to jump without using one’s upper body and with the knees straight is impossible.
“That’s what I mean. Before jumping it’s necessary to lower the body conversely. And, something similar is necessary before swinging the sword as well. Do you get it up to this point?” (Kamui)
“Yes, I understand.” (Selen)
“Reversing this, you will be able to know how your opponent will move next once you see all of their preliminary movements.” (Kamui)
“Is that even possible?” (Selene)
“To some extent you do it naturally. A person, who looks at all the motions of their opponent’s body, will be able to sense how that opponent will move next.” (Kamui)
“Is that so?” (Selene)
“Yes, it is. If you are able to keep those movements to a small degree, it will result in your opponent not knowing how you will move next. That’s what I did just now. And that’s why you didn’t grasp the moment when I swung down my sword, and I finished swinging once you realized.” (Kamui)
“Being able to do something like that. After all, Kamui, didn’t you hide your ability?” (Selene)
Kamui explains it as if it’s easy, but even Selene at least understands that it’s necessary to train for quite a bit if you want to actually do that.
“Don’t say that this late in the game. You have been aware of it for quite a while now, right? That’s also why I took over to teach you swordsmanship like this.” (Kamui)
If he teaches swordsmanship, it will lead to Kamui’s true strength being discovered. Because Selene already knew about it, Kamui deemed it acceptable to teach her.
“Well, that’s true. But, how do I reach the point of being able to do that?” (Selene)
“I told you at the beginning, didn’t I? First you have to eliminate the wasted movements. That doesn’t mean that a person does only movements which aren’t necessary. There are also movements similar to habits. If you reduce and loose those pointless movements as much as you can, your swinging speed will naturally become faster without the sword being slightly off either.” (Kamui)
“The preliminary movements are?” (Selene)
“That’s for after you are able to do that. It’s not possible to get completely rid of the preliminary movements. To the bitter end it’s only about limiting them to the least amount. You will feel your efficiency going up. Besides, it won’t do if you don’t avoid the transmission of pointless movements. That’s balance. Jumping while slanting or jumping straight upwards, you won’t know which of them lets you jump higher until you do it, right?” (Kamui)
“I know.” (Selene)
“With that being said, you will train your balance and the removal of useless movements from now on, Sele.” (Kamui)
“There are preparations for proper training. Well, usually that guy is using it though. Those stakes, standing on top of them and doing practice-swings will be your current training.” (Kamui)
As Kamui has said, there are several stakes nailed into the ground at a spot slightly away.
“Eh? On top of them?” (Selene)
For all that, those stakes were thin stakes where it appeared that simply standing on them would be difficult.
“At the beginning you will go at it slowly. Since that slowness is important, keep at it patiently.” (Kamui)
Without minding the bewildered Selene, Kamui continues his explanation.
“… Understood. What do you mean by slowly?” (Selene)
“If you move slowly to the degree of being able to stop your body at any time, your body will remember the motions well. Without being under weird strains. Like that, you will remove them one by one.” (Kamui)
“Umm, for how long do I have to continue that?” (Selene)
Even after hearing Kamui’s explanation, Selene can’t conjure an image of her becoming strong at all.
“For the whole time, if you want to become strong. I’m keeping it up always as well.” (Kamui)
“… Show me.” (Selene)
“Haa? Again?” (Kamui)
“Isn’t it fine? For you to show me.” (Selene)
“Really, Sele, you are quite wilful. If you say such selfish things, you will be hated by Dee.” (Kamui)
“Why do you mention… Dee here?” (Selene)
Dee. She grasps that it’s about Dietfried, but Selene heard Kamui calling him like that for the first time.
“That’s how I call him. As I call Hildegard-san as Hilda, I was told by him that it’s unfair for me to call him Dietfried-san.” (Kamui)
“I’m sure. Anyway, that Hildegard is Hilda.” (Selene)
Selene hasn’t forgotten her shock at the time when Kamui called Hildegard as Hilda.
“Well, it helps that it’s short.” (Kamui)
“That’s the issue here?” (Selene)
“Well then, So, will you do it after watching? I don’t think that it will serve as a good reference though.” (Kamui)
Telling her that, Kamui walked in the direction of the stakes.
Once he jumps on one of them from slightly away, he begins the practice-swinging right away. It’s not something you can call practise-swinging though. It completely looks like a sword dance. He swings the sword while jumping from one thin stake to the next. His movements are like a flow of up, down and diagonally. The sound of the fast-moving sword sounds almost like music.
Selene ended up completely mesmerized by Kamui’s motions.
“Ooh, he’s at it, he’s at it. Somehow it’s been a while since I saw it last.” (Lutz)
Lutz, who turned up late, happily addresses Alto after seeing that.
“Well, yea. It’s been a while since we last trained together. However, it’s still as beautiful as ever. If it’s someone like me, frankly, I don’t think I will be able to reach that level.” (Alto)
“Though I want to catch up, he is still far ahead.” (Lutz)
Coming to her senses due to the two’s voices, Selene called out to them.
The one who answered her call is Lutz.
“The masters you are always talking about, what kind of people are they?” (Selene)
“Why are you asking about that?” (Lutz)
“I wondered what kind of teaching method they used for him to be able to get this far.” (Selene)
Selene believes that Kamui’s ability comes from his masters who instructed Kamui’s group. It’s not like she’s completely wrong about that.
“… Selene-san, you are misunderstanding.” (Lutz)
“It’s correct that our masters are amazing people, but that is something Kamui came up with by himself without being taught by our masters.” (Lutz)
“By himself?” (Selene)
“Yes. Unable to use magic, how can you reach the point of being able to fight at an equal level? If you are unable to raise your speed with magic, it will be fine to train your basic speed. The same for strength. If raw strength is impossible, can’t one catch up to it with techniques? Worrying, worrying and worrying, and yet without giving up, Kamui did his best.” (Lutz)
“… I see.” (Selene)
The past of Kamui doesn’t fit with the image of his usually foolish appearance. Really, with what kind of memories did he continue that, I wonder? Selene felt a little pain in her chest.
“It’s not like I followed Kamui just because he is strong at swordsmanship. I’m drawn to the strength of Kamui who never gives up no matter what. For me, who gave up on my future after being raised as orphan, that kind of strength of Kamui is my aspiration.” (Lutz)
“The strength to not give up. I see.” (Selene)
Once she turns her look back at him while murmuring that, Kamui had apparently forgotten the purpose of showing it to Selene already and is single-mindedly wielding his sword.
His body moves smoothly. If one doesn’t look at his feet, it won’t be obvious that he is doing that on top of awfully thin stakes. The sunlight shining through the gaps in the trees glitters on Kamui’s silver hair and the brandished sword.
“It really looks like a dance, doesn’t it?” (Selene)
“I guess so. But his real performance is even more terrific.” (Lutz)
“Real performance?” (Selene)
“Whenever Kamui swings his sword, a blood spray dances in mid-air. The appearance of Kamui who is bustling about amidst bright red blood sprays is…” (Lutz)
“Oy. Ain’t that far too stimulating for Selene-san?” (Alto)
Alto restrained Lutz who talked about Kamui’s appearance on the battlefield. Real combat isn’t as peaceful and beautiful as dancing.
“… That’s true as well. It isn’t only the blood which is dancing.” (Lutz)
“Not only the blood?” (Selene)
Selen ends up asking unconsciously due to the nature of Lutz’ words.
“Eh? You are asking about that? It’s head or limbs, but…” (Lutz)
“… So it’s that.” (Selene)
Selene wiped away the scenes which popped up in her mind by shaking her head. Even when the cruel spectacle vanished, one question remained in Selene’s mind.
“Say. That means that you have experienced real combat, right?” (Selene)
“Well, yeah.” (Lutz)
“As part of your training?” (Selene)
“Yes. The motto of our masters is that training where you don’t risk your life is no training at all.” (Lutz)
“Isn’t that somehow amazing?” (Selene)
“It’s nothing amazing. I thought I would really die at my first actual combat. Right away after I reached the point of being able to use the sword a bit? At the moment when the fangs of a war wolf came at me directly from the front, though I’m only able to say that now, I pissed myself a bit.” (Lutz)
“Ah, me too. I praised myself for having resisted the big type*.” (Alto) (T/N: Guess he means shitting himself here)
Alto also joined in on Lutz’ story.
“Jeez, both of you are vulgar. You always joke around like that.” (Selene)
“It’s no joke. My fear was really at that level. And not only that. The sensation of cutting through flesh, it was truly revolting at the beginning. Ah right, didn’t we throw up when we finished for the first time with the three of us?” (Lutz)
“Yeah, well, it wasn’t just at the first time either though.” (Alto)
Alto agrees while frowning. From his attitude Selene understood that the two of them weren’t jesting.
“It was this disgusting?” (Selene)
“It can’t be explained verbally if you haven’t actually experienced it.” (Lutz)
“I see. Are you alright by now?” (Selene)
“In the middle of fighting. After finishing it’s just as before.” (Lutz)
“It’s not easy to get used to?” (Selene)
“I’d say it’s wrong to get used to it.” (Lutz)
“This has been said by our masters time and time again. It’s wrong if you don’t kill your opponent once it turns into a fight. However, never get used to it. They have told us to keep holding onto the emotions of fear towards stealing life and compassion towards the killed opponent. No matter what kind of opponent it is.” (Lutz)
“I see. They are kind masters, aren’t they?” (Selene)
To possess a compassionate heart towards the life of people. This is something Selene can understand quite well too. However, the masters of Kamui’s group aren’t just such easy-going people either.
“I think it’s a little bit different.” (Lutz)
“Holding such sentiments is to the bitter end affixed to the conclusion, or rather it’s after you killed your opponent. Don’t show any mercy towards enemies. It’s wrong to not knock down the opponent until they lose the ability to possess feelings of hostility towards you forever, until they have no hope of recovery, even in the case that they cannot be allowed to live. We were told this as well. The standard of our masters is Kill your enemies.” (Lutz)
“… Certainly, they aren’t kind.” (Selene)
“Well then, once Kamui becomes like this, he won’t stop for a while. Will you train together with us?” (Lutz)
“Is that okay?” (Selene)
“Kamui forgets the time once he concentrates. He will continue for a long time if we leave him alone.” (Lutz)
“I see. Kamui is a hard-working person.” (Selene)
“No, he is a genius.” (Lutz)
Lutz immediately denies Selene’s comment about Kamui.
“A genius at hard work, you mean?” (Selene)
“There’s that, too. But, I believe that Kamui holds a natural gift.” (Lutz)
“However, originally he wasn’t able to use magic.” (Selene)
That’s the reason why Selene evaluates Kamui as hard-working person. She believes that he is overcoming the handicap of being unable to use magic with hard work.
“After all it’s a talent at the level that it won’t turn into a handicap. However, Kamui doesn’t intend to accept that. He has an awareness that this given talent is ultimately only something borrowed. Therefore he is trying to accept himself by working harder than anyone else.” (Lutz)
“Somehow Kamui appears to be an outrageous person.” (Selene)
“… That’s right. That guy is.” (Lutz)
“Hey, don’t stand around chatting. Let’s start training.” (Alto)
Lutz tried to continue talking about Kamui with eyes that seemed to be looking somewhere far away. In order to interrupt that, Alto demanded on the beginning of training. Due to that behaviour of Alto, Selene felt something pulling at her a bit, but that’s often the case if she’s together with Kamui’s group.
I wonder if the time will come when Kamui and them will show me their true forms? The closer Selene gets to Kamui’s group the more she thinks about it.