“—And so, we Garestonians have been armed since childhood. Even non-combatants are trained to some degree so they can defend themselves. Because of that our education puts a lot of emphasis on morals and ethics to prevent people from abusing their strength.”
It was almost 6 already.
It was a bit later than usual, but they still held their question and answer after their spar.
Given their respective positions, it really looked like Frire was holding a class, but given who the student and the teacher were, it still looked strange since one was a regular class skipper while the other was in charge of teaching practical skills.
By the way, Frire immediately put on some clothes after their earlier exchange.
Had Shinichi said ‘that’s a pity’, a water pillar would have surely risen up again.
“Of course, not everyone behaves themselves, but at least only a few abuse their strength for mischief and crime.”
Today’s question and answer revolved around which class of people from Garesto was armed and what kind of weapon they were armed with.
Frire couldn’t give specific details given her position, but she still answered Shinichi’s question.
The topic gradually moved on to ‘the resolve to use a weapon’, but neither minded.
After all, while their exchange might look like a class, it wasn’t really one, so it wasn’t strange for them to change the topic depending on interest.
“That upbringing is particularly harsh with nobles. It can’t be helped since we nobles have to stand in the front lines with our powerful weapons, but the noble style of education I received after general education was really… dreadful.”
The Doneju Family was also one of the Ten Great Nobles just like the Padyuel Family; hence, Teacher Frire has also received that upbringing.
She had that thousand-mile look on her face, but considering how deep of an impression the nobles’ education left on her, it’s not really hard to imagine how fierce it must have been.
“It was so scary it could be likened to the fear of standing witness to a bloody event,” Frire muttered in an exhausted voice.
“Is that alright? I mean you nobles are in charge of protecting people, right?”
“It’s necessary in order to implant into us the resolve to fight when the time calls for it. It’s necessary for us to be able to carry out our duties… Or at least that seems to be justification for it.”
Garestonian nobles were taught to refrain from needless violence in normal life, but when the need arose, they had to be able to fight without hesitation.
The children going to this school still didn’t have that balance, and Frire herself was a special case, so she couldn’t really speak for others with certainty.
“I see, so because you were taught in such a half-ass manner, your urge for violence is needlessly strong.”
“W-Wrong! I just want to fight against someone strong. It’s fun coming up with a way to win, and… Anyway! The point is I don’t want to fight just because of some uncontrollable urge!!”
“…Hmm, is that so?”
Frire vehemently denied having an uncontrollable urge for violence, but Shinichi only looked at her coldly.
Just what did this girl think she was saying? Didn’t she attack him from behind before?
Shinichi didn’t ask that question out loud, but Frire could feel the question boring into her from his eyes, causing her to grow smaller and smaller.
“Uu, w-well it is true that I don’t have any interest or talents other than swinging my sword. The Doneju Family doesn’t have that noble aura about them like the Padyuel Family does since we were formerly a martial arts sect. Our family focuses more on bringing up soldiers who could protect the country rather than making us more ‘noble-like’.”
It was embarrassing seeing her grasp at straws just to make excuses for herself.
Not being able to do anything but fight was probably a kind of complex for her.
People who yearn for that talent probably can’t understand, but this kind of behavior isn’t really that uncommon for those who already have said talent.
After all, the grass is always greener on the other side, and it remains so despite knowing that piece of truth.
Shinichi himself had similar worries, so he didn’t pursue the matter.
“From what I hear, it was because you kept swinging your sword like that that someone high up in the army took notice of youand treated you like a direct disciple and enlisted you. From then on you were like a fish that found water, and you even came to be known as a Sword Saint.”
Shinichi confirmed in a monotonous voice, but Frire only sighed as if she couldn’t be more tired of that history.
“Stop it. I might enjoy fighting, but I don’t really enjoying standing out. But despite that the people around me just kept praising me as a Sword Saint or the next general. Because of that the higher ups threw all the PR work to me. Seriously, it was such a hassle.”
“…I’m sure your reputation wasn’t the only reason, but… You have my condolences.”
Seeing the face she was making, she must’ve really hated it, so Shinichi sympathized with her earnestly.
But with her beautiful white hair that stood out among the colorful hair of the Garestonians, her beautiful face accompanied by a style poisonous to young men, and strength enough to be recognized by the people around her despite her age, it was only natural that she would be chosen as the army’s messenger. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to realize those points.
“I know it’s important work. I also understand the value of the Doneju name, but enough is enough. And yet despite me pleading to be sent back to normal duties…”
“They wouldn’t let you, huh.”
It might’ve been because neither the terrorists nor the raybeasts were an issue at the time, but her superiors just kept dodging her requests, and her frustrations just kept on piling up.
She was a part of the military, so combat was always at hand. Because of that no one really noticed her tendency to be a battle maniac, and no one also noticed that her frustrations were piling up.
“It was then that I heard about my older brother leaving our hometown to become a teacher at Kutoria. I was already being alienated at the best of times anyway, so you know… I was like ‘I don’t care anymore!’ and left.”
In other words, she applied to be discharged from the army on the spur, and even half-threatened them to acknowledge it.
After that she used her fame to apply to the school and became a practical skills teacher.
“So you snapped and flew into a rage, and you’re not even reflecting on it. Still, it’s pretty amazing when you take it this far, huh, brocon sensei?”
Shinichi smiled as he callously stabbed her with that nickname.
To this day ‘the sudden retirement of Sword Saint Frire from the military and her new career as a teacher’ continues to call upon various rumors.
One theory was that she was tasked with defending the city and the school. Another argued that she was watching over someone important. There was even a theory that argued that her presence in Kutoria was meant to keep Earth in check. The theories were endless.
But who could’ve ever expected that the real reason why that Sword Saint left was because of her love for her older brother and her dissatisfaction with her job.
“Y-You! How could you look so innocent while making such harsh remarks!? I… might be like this, but… I’ll have you know that I’m actually worrying about a lot of things too!”
“Sure, sure… Well, it’s a much better reason than mine though, that’s for sure.”
On the one hand, you had a woman who wanted to be with her family, on the other hand, you had a boy who wanted to run away from his family.
The very thought of comparing the two… How impertinent, he chuckled to himself.
“Hmm? Did you say something?”
“Nah, I was just wondering if he’s really a man worth going that far for.”
“…I don’t think he’s done anything to give you a bad impression, though.”
Although she was obviously sulking, she still tried to act like a teacher by talking in such a roundabout way.
It was a bit late to be acting like a teacher, though.
Truth be told, Teacher Frank neither had a good reputation nor a bad reputation among the students.
He had a soft demeanor, but he was a teacher who wouldn’t go beyond what was asked of him.
He wasn’t someone to hate but he also wasn’t someone to like.
“It’s hard to like a guy who’s so openly jealous of his younger sister.”
The way Shinichi saw it, that side of him was a huge demerit.
It was even enough to make him find the man unsightly.
He could more or less guess the situation, but it was not something he could come to terms with as an older brother himself.
“…So he really is jealous of me. I kind of knew about it, but having another person confirm it really hurts…”
As Frire sighed, she grasped at her chest.
Regardless of the reason why, it was evident that she truly yearned after her older brother.
“…I can lend you an ear if you need it. I am an ‘older brother’ myself, after all.”
If it’s him, then he might be able to understand the things she couldn’t.
Fighting her may have been enough to fulfill their contract and receive her support, but it didn’t really feel right, so Shinichi told her that.
A third party could offer a fresh perspective on a problem between siblings.
“Oh, right. You’re an older brother too. Although in your case you’re the younger one. It must be difficult.”
She was understanding of his situation but also felt pity for him because of that.
As she showed a complicated expression, this time it was her turn to talk frivolously.
Shinichi became a little grumpy when she brought up a topic he was sensitive about – a little tit for tat for Frire, and then she started talking.
Although she did find it a little strange to be looking for counsel from a student of hers, she didn’t mind it too much since she couldn’t consider someone she lost too so many times as someone beneath her.
“In the past… He was the kindest person in the family. He was the only one who seriously treated me.”
She opened up little by little as if slowly recalling the details from her past.
She talked about who saved her, and who she hurt and drove away.
“Even my ‘sword’ which could be considered my raison d’etre was given to me by my older brother. No one at the Doneju Family expected anything from me. If my older brother hadn’t invited me to train him, I probably would have never found my sword.”
“…You trained together?”
“In secret. He acted as my instructor and we would practice our swings together and play together.”
Frire smiled as she thought back to those times, but at the same time she looked somewhat sad.
“Looking back on it, that might have actually been the period when we got along the best,” she muttered.
“At the time, he received harsh training and education everyday since he was considered the next head. But my older brother didn’t like that and he always made a painful face. So I thought if I could become stronger myself, then I might be able to lessen his burden… I was a fool.”
“And as luck would have it, that’s when your talent bloomed, huh.”
“Yeah, it was a world of difference,” she nodded.
Just as the older brother was finally starting to get some results after training for several days, the younger sister suddenly leaped 10 miles ahead. What’s more is that she leaped ahead in spite of doing only a little training that could be likened to playing around.