When Gorms opened his eyes, he found a cute girl’s face at super close range.
“WHOA!?” he cried as he jumped up.
“Ah-, you’re awake,” said a girl’s voice.
From that voice, Gorms realised that this was Heath.
(Holy shit. If you just look at his face, he really does seem like a girl. I got confused since I just woke up.)
Gorms calmed his heart with deep breaths.
It seems that he had lost consciousness. Right now he found himself in the sickbay belonging to the knights. And apparently while he had been lying on bed, Heath had been looking after him.
At that point, he remembered the events that led up to this.
“Tsk. So I got done in, huh…”
“What bad luck.”
Heath looked sad as she watched Gorms frown.
“Nah, not really. It’s true that I was caught off guard, but I probably couldn’t have avoided that speed even if I knew it was coming. And he seemed like he still had more power in reserve. Even if I avoided it, he probably woulda followed up.”
Heath listened with a blank look.
“You’re surprisingly calm about all this. I thought that you might be depressed about losing.”
Apparently that was why she looked so sad earlier. She made expressions like that for losses that weren’t her own? What a restless fellow she was.
“Dumbass. It’s hardly my first time. I’ve lost a few times too. If I got depressed each time, how the hell would I get things done.”
“Yeah. But you seemed so confident, so I thought that you hadn’t even considered that you’d lose.”
Well, to be honest, perhaps this was his first time losing against somebody his age. Although he had lost against the teacher at his dojo, as well as the stronger knight senpais, he couldn’t recall a time losing to a boy his age.
Gorms also thought that he would have been depressed, but his heart was surprisingly calm about it.
Maybe it was because this kid next to him looked even sadder than he was.
For Heath’s sake, Gorms grinned as usual.
“Because there’s no harm in doing things with confidence. The worst that can happen is a bit of embarrassment when you lose. In exchange, you make the opponent think you’re strong, and push them into thinking that they’ll lose. Well, I am pretty strong though.”
“Your way of thinking is really cool. I really respect you,” Heath chuckled.
Since Heath was back to normal, Gorms returned to a neutral expression as well.
“But I won’t be able to beat a guy like that for a while. I’ll just have to train all over again so that I can keep up with those movements.”
This was his opinion of the fight. Speaking frankly, he couldn’t imagine any way of winning.
Explosive speed and power chained one after another. It was hard enough to avoid them, and gaining the upper hand in the fight would have been close to impossible. Petty tricks would also have been helpless before Doug’s attacks.
There was no choice except honest training so that Gorms could keep up with his speed.
Maybe his old self would have grown stubborn and challenged Doug again and again. But Gorms had grown enough to calmly analyse the reasons for his defeat.
Gorms happened to look at Heath.
(Speaking of which, the reason I can think like this is because of the tough fight with this guy.)
Until Heath, Gorms’ way of fighting was simply attacking in the shortest way possible, again and again.
Up until then, that way of doing things had led him to victory. He had superior power and reach, and just following those steps meant that he had almost never lost.
But then he met with this feeble pipsqueak who led him around by the nose, and he very nearly lost because of it. Gorms also learned from him what it meant to not give up.
To Gorms, who had thus far thought simply of matches, it was a huge change to his mentality.
“It looks like you’ll have to give up the top spot in the Northern Dorm for a while.”
Heath’s expression was sad, like it had happened to herself.
So Gorms gave another confident smile and replied,
“I’ll let him borrow it for a while. One day I’ll take it back.”
“Yeah,” Heath said, “That’s really like you, Gorms.”
Seeing his expression, she couldn’t help but smile too.
“Well then,” she said, “I’m going to head back. They told me to tell you to rest for the rest of the day.”
“Tsk. I wanted to start training now,” sulked Gorms as he rested on his elbows.
“Geez, you’re forbidden from overdoing things.”
“Sorry I couldn’t help you, Heath.”
“Mn? Oh, don’t worry about that.”
For a moment she had tilted her head in wonder, but realising what he meant, she told him that things were fine.
Though, seeing her attitude actually made Gorms worry instead. To begin with, that strong transfer student came here for her…
“Cya, Gorms. Let’s try our best tomorrow.”
But before Gorms could say anything, Heath had already left the room.
The apprentice knights were in an uproar in the dining hall.
“To think Gorms would be taken down…”
“And in a single hit too.”
They had discussed who was stronger before the match, but not one of them had thought that the result would be so overwhelming.
“What’s gunna happen. Heath is up next, yanno.”
“There’s no way he can win.”
Gorms was their strongest member, and he had been beaten in an instant. On the other hand, Heath was so weak that it would be quicker to count people she could beat. Nobody thought that she could win.
“Then does that mean Doug is going to join the 18th?”
“Would they even allow that? It’d just be something we randomly decided ourselves.”
Everyone had just gone along with it, but they didn’t have the right to dabble in HR to begin with. Was it even possible to swap apprentice knights? Nobody knew.
“Nah, look at how serious he is. He’s definitely got a plan.”
“Guess so. I mean, he even went out of his way to transfer.”
At any rate, Doug’s passion for the 18th Division was no joke.
All the boys felt that he definitely had some plan.
“Ah-, Heath is here.”
At once, the dining hall grew rowdy.
Heath had been in the sickbay, looking after Gorms.
The moment Doug heard that name, he moved into action. Doug had been leaning against the wall with his arms folded, intent on waiting for Heath. And even though training was over, there was still a wooden sword hanging by his hips.
As Heath came down the hallway, Doug went to meet him.
Remié was even watching Heath in worry.
The very moment that Heath ran into the dining hall, Doug drew the wooden sword from his hips and pointed it at Heath.
“It’s your turn, Heath. With your position in the 18th Division as the stakes, I challenge you to a match!”
As for Heath’s reaction,
“Eh? Why on earth would I accept? Are you an idiot?”
she rejected him without mercy, and passing him by, she went to line up for food.