Chapter 22 Strongest Sage, Defeats an Unfamiliar Person
"You're Castor's son huh. His exam was terrible.... You're not gonna tell me that you're trying to pass the exam with only the practical test are you?"
This Gayle old man seems to know my father, Castor.
"That's exactly it. And so, what would you do?"
"Haahaahaa. Figured as much. Then I'll let you pass the exam regardless of the other results if you can put up a good fight against me. If you can do that much, the school higher-ups shouldn't have any complain.... If you can put up a good fight that is."
Gayle showed a smile like he was really enjoying it while saying that.
That said, it's not the same sarcastic smile that Biffgel occasionally showed.
If I have to say, it's closer to the smile this race of people called battle junkies show when they're up against someone they can have fun fighting against.
Well, the real combat addict would have attacked first before attempting to talk, so it's a little rude of me to call this old man a combat addict.
Still, a good fight huh. Apparently, he's severely underestimating me.
Ah. I forgot another term.
"Sorry. I forgot one thing, I can't just pass the exam regularly. I've got to pass as a scholarship student."
"...Is it money problem? I can see that you're reasonably capable just looking at your body. There're ways to pay for your tuition while you're attending the school y'know?"
"If I want to attend the school at my age, I have to enter as a scholarship student, that's the condition."
When he heard that, Gayle nodded like he understood.
Well, in reality, money was the biggest reason for it though.
"Aa. That sure is something Castor would say. Normally, this school accepts 15 year old children after all. Ordinary 12 year old can't apply, but there's no problem if they're extraordinary. Well, even if you don't get the scholarship, I'll talk to Castor about it depending on this fight.... Now then, are you ready?"
I still don't know the identity of this Gayle old man, but it appears he holds quite the authority with him.
He's been saying 'good fight' all this time, I wonder what'd happen if I beat him up.
....I should try it.
"I've always been ready."
"That seems to be the case. Then, allow me to--start!"
Gayle plunged at me while saying that.
Looks like he's holding back quite a bit since the other party is a 12 year old. I can see that he's considerate enough to not injure me.
If I make use of that, it's easy to decisively and quickly end the match.
However, that'd be meaningless. This isn't an actual fight, but an examination.
I'll win this head-on and make him recognize me. I'm pretty sure the current me has the power to realize that.
"Aren't you underestimating me too much?"
With these words, I used Physical Reinforcement and activated 【Mana Strike】 while blocking Gayle's training sword.
By the way, you're allowed to use magic that strengthen your body and sword in the swordsmanship test.
This rule must be in consideration of magic swords.
Gayle had his sword repelled and his body lost its balance.
However, he immediately regained it and took some distance away.
"Castor was quite dangerous himself, but you're even more of a monster huh.... Alright. I won't hold back either. I'm not gonna tell you to get out of this unscathed, but at least try not to die, you got it?"
The instructor who was in charge of recording shouted in bafflement, but Gayle didn't mind it at all.
The fact that the record keeper doesn't try to stop Gayle at all even though the situation clearly deviates from an exam probably shows that this Gayle person holds quite the authority.
Gayle fiercely plunged at me while I was thinking that.
There is no more shred of holding back in his movement. He's most likely stronger than my father.
I block his his sword head-on.
I can barely surpass Gayle's strength by using both Physical Reinforcement and Mana Strike together.
No. Even though he's doing it unconsciously, he's circulating a portion of his mana on his body, strengthening it, so his power is slightly higher than mine.
However, I can easily overturn this small difference with skills.
I slightly retreat while blocking and ward his sword sideway.
Gayle was trying to push ahead.... I activate 【Mana Layer Lubrication】 while matching his movement.
Just as the name suggests, 【Mana Layer Lubrication】 is magic that creates a layer of lubrication made of mana on the surface that makes a sword slips easier, but only for an instant.
However, the effect is huge in a sword-locking contest where even a small difference of strength could tip the balance.
Gayle's center of gravity got slightly weakened because his sword was suddenly slipping.
I didn't overlook that chance and stepped in at once, thrusting the tip of my sword on Gayle's neck.
Gayle declared his defeat.
I put my sword away when I saw that.
"Ga-Gayle-sama, lost? ....He held back didn't he....?"
"Gayle-sama looked like he was serious halfway through the match.... My eyes could barely catch up with it, I wasn't even sure what happened...."
It seems the record keepers haven't grasped the situation yet--well, Gayle will probably do something about it. Or rather, why's there a lot of magicians working as record keepers in the swordsmanship exam?
My practical swordsmanship test ended with that question in my mind.
The next one is the practical magic test.
...By the way, I still don't know Gayle's position even now. I wonder if he's the vice-principal?
Well, I'll probably find out once I get enrolled.