When Fii turned towards the voices, she found five unfamiliar boys standing there, overlooking the training grounds.
And out of the five of them, the mushroom-haired boy and the long-haired boy were very clearly making fools of them.
This caused a lot of the apprentice knights to grow noisy.
Looking at the mushroom boy, some of the apprentices exclaimed,
“That’s Rizil! Ever since he joined the Quinzy dojo, everyone’s called him a genius!”
“Last year he was top 4 in the Orstollian Youth Swordsmanship Competition!”
Upon looking at the long-haired boy, a different group of youths exclaimed,
“What, the one next to him was the runner up, Luca!”
“The son of the Coyil Viscounty famous for its knights…!?”
Upon checking the other newcomers, the conversation grew even more heated.
“That’s Kerio, the best student of my dojo!”
“And there’s Jerid… Glen too… All of them were in the top 8 in last year’s competition…”
“What are they even here for…?”
Furthermore, all of these boys had been winners during this year’s entrance exam.
In other words, out of the twelve winners, five of them were standing right there.
Having seen such disquiet amongst her fellow dormmates, Fii moved to Gorms’ side and voiced her thoughts.
“Hey, hey, what kind of competition is the ‘Orstollian Youth Swordsmanship Competition’?”
“A competition that pretty much all the boys of every dojo, as well as all the noble kids following the path of the sword, will take part in. It’s considered the way to definitively decide the best swordsman in the land.”
It sounded pretty amazing. Fii was even more curious now.
“Did you participate too, Gorms?”
“My dojo forbids competition. I wanted to try it, but I couldn’t.”
Although pretty much every dojo participated, apparently not every one did without exception.
Fii supposed that each dojo had its own rules and traits.
“Did you, Doug?”
Doug shook his head.
“My master and all his disciples lived in the mountains.”
It seemed that despite being a noble, Doug grew up on a mountain.
But then, his master was a former noble, and Doug had grown up on his family estate prior to that, so he had already learnt the bearings of a noble.
“Carnegith-senpai was right,” sneered the long-haired Luca. “The Northern Dormitory really is a collection of losers.”
Next to him, Rizil gave an affected shrug before adding fuel to the flame.
“C’mon, don’t be so straight with them. I’m sure even these guys have a bit of pride.”
“You have a point.”
Luca combed his hair back foppishly.
Suddenly, Fii realised she had heard his name before.
It was that boy that the maids had said was both similar to Crow and completely different.
As for Fii’s conclusion―――
(They’re totally different!)
Despite their outrage at the boys’ words, the apprentice knights of the Northern Dormitory made no move, perhaps because of their fame. But Gorms stepped forward, arms crossed, and spoke.
“Sure are running your mouths.”
Perhaps the old Gorms would have been angry, but right now he simply looked at them with one eye closed, completely calm.
“So you’re Gorms from the Sarthik Dojo. They say that you’re strong, but you can only think that because none of you compete. You didn’t make it into our dorm. Isn’t that proof?” mocked the blonde.
“Wanna try us?” challenged the mushroom with a mocking smile.
Still, Gorms wasn’t provoked, and replied with a calm,
Rizil the mushroom scoffed while the long-haired Luca thrust his finger conceitedly at Doug.
“And Doug! I saw you just now! What the fuck was that supposed to be. It’s fine that you moved into the Northern Dorm because there was someone you had to fight, but you look awfully used to this hole of a dorm! You’re like a wolf without its claws and fangs! You’re like a dog!”
Fii grew angry.
“How dare you treat Doug like a dog! Take that back!”
(You’re one to talk…) thought every member of her dorm.
Luca narrowed his eyes.
“Who the hell are you…?”
“I’m Doug’s friend, Heath! I won’t let you make fun of Doug!”
The opinions of her dormmates aside, Fii really was rather mad.
Their relationship hadn’t begun as a pure one, but Fii still considered Doug as one of her more important friends.
And as for Luca, her opinion of him had gone from ‘totally different’, to ‘totally, totally, totally different’.
In response to Fii’s words, Luca smiled and dropped his stance a little.
An instant later and he was standing right in front of her.
(So fast…! Well, still slower than Doug though…!)
Fii’s eyes were wide as Luka held her chin and then drew her face near.
“It’s not a bad thing to have energy, but if you’re too energetic, this cute face of yours might just get hurt.”
Yet another instant later, Doug had broken in between them to shield her.
“Heh. Wanna go? The way you are now I’ll have no problem beating you,” Luca responded.
As the two boys glared at each other, a voice sounded from behind.
“Luca, Rizilm cut it out. We didn’t come here to pick a fight with them,” said a black-haired, bespectacled boy.
Yet again, the boys of the Northern Dormitory were thrown into a frenzy.
“That’s Percil! The three-time consecutive winner of the Youth Swordsmanship Competition!”
“Are you kidding me…!”
Fii glared at him.
“Then what did you come here for?”
Percil was unflinching however, and replied calmly,
“Allow me to apologise for the rudeness of my group. We are apprentice knights from the Eastern Dormitory. The reason we have come is to pass on a message.”
All of the Northern apprentices seemed confused.
Luka scoffed at them and held out a piece of paper.
“We’re here to tell you lot about the Northern-Eastern Swordsmanship Competition!” he declared.
“The Northern-Eastern Swordsmanship Competition…?” echoed Fii.
“Indeed. Three weeks from now there will be mock battles between the members of the Northern and Eastern Dormitories. It will be conducted as a competition and each dorm will elect five members each. Please make sure to prepare.”
“Struggle as much as you like.”
“The knight captains of each division will be coming to watch. Try not to embarrass us.”
With that, the three boys left both the paper and the Northern Dormitory’s training grounds.