SS2 – Their Youth II
“How do you think it really is?”
Fae turned to Tory and asked. They had already parted from Iria and had gone outside of the school.
While swaying in the bus, Tory was confused for a second, but then quickly muttered, ‘Ah, who knows?’
“I don’t think that you should talk about the affairs of others like that.”
“So you think it’s true, Tory?”
“It doesn’t matter if it is or not.”
The count’s beautiful daughter, suddenly rescued by a mysterious fighter. It was the kind of thing that stimulated the imagination. And so it was no wonder the female students would be curious about it.
However, the Viskinel Military Academy was attended by many children of nobles. And sometimes, a romance could lead to marriage.
Though, such things were usually affected by the situation of both families. And so the students of the academy tended to be quite cautious when it came to who they fell for.
—On the other hand, it also made them more hungry.
Noble or not, this was their youth. And there were more than a few tales shared among the students, of past affairs that were dramatic and legendary.
Though, who knew if they were true?
“Shouldn’t you be more concerned with yourself?”
“Ahh! that’s right!”
Fae and Tory had no experience either.
Fae was more interested in food and playing outside. Tory was not much different. Romance was just that thing she read about in books.
‘…Next stop, the Ovinio Theater. Please wait for the bus to stop before getting off…’
They heard the announcement, and the two got off of the bus. Fae stretched her arms and started to walk with a ‘Let’s go then.’
The place was also called the theater street, and was about ten minutes away by bus. It was right between the new residents and traditional districts. Here, the buildings were made of bricks and the place had a beautifully retro vibe.
Restoration work had been conducted a number of times in the past, but they were careful to not ruin the scenery. And so you needed special permission when building a new house, so that the design fit in with the rest of the area.
The Ovinio Theater was a symbol. The home base of the famous Viskinel Symphony Orchestra, and many popular operas were performed there.
But aside from being a renowned tourist spot, it was also close to the Viskinel University of Art, which made it a place of relaxation for the students.
“It’s been a while since I last came here.”
“Yes, you’ve been so busy with your training lately.”
Apart from relaxation, it was also known for being a spot on many date itineraries. Not that these two would know anything about that.
“Well, let’s go to the bookstore.”
And so the two headed to a certain second-hand bookstore.
There were mountains of books scattered around as an elderly woman kept shop. Even from the outside, you could tell it had quite a history.
So very different from the beautiful bookstores in the new district. Here, there was a feeling that you could discover some great ancient tome or two.
Tory searched through the piles eagerly. This was her hobby, and this store was her paradise.
Fae was left behind…
She took out the toy from her bag and waved it in front of the cat that was resting in a ball towards the back of the store.
Kuro was a beautifully white cat with a cool expression.
Its ears perked up and its eyes turned to the toy for a second, but it immediately lost interest and looked away.
“Gah…it didn’t work…”
“Heh. My Kuro is not that easy.”
The old woman chuckled quietly at the counter.
“I really thought that this would be the one.”
She said with slumped shoulders. But she quickly cheered up again and peered into the cat’s face. Fae was bewitched by this cat, and it was the only reason she would take a bus to accompany Tory here.
Of course, there were also the sweets they sold on the theater street…
Suddenly, Fae saw a familiar face—that was not Tory—and she raised her voice in surprise.
It was a male student who was turning the pages of a book with a serious expression.
“Hmm? …Ah, Fae Ysia?”
Sigurd Yugnor. He was not exactly a friend, but they knew each other. They had been in the same class last year, so they were former classmates.
But more than that, he was known for being one of the best fighters with a sword, and had won during yesterday’s preliminaries.
Even if they majored in different categories, they did recognize each other’s talents.
“You don’t come here often, do you? Do you like books, Yugnor?”
“No. Well, I do read, but this is my first time here. I heard about it from a friend.”
Fae’s eyes went down to the old book that he was holding.
“East martial arts records?”
Eastend was a region that had been largely unknown until recently. But it was said to be a mystical place.
However, advances in magic technology allowed for people to travel, and their culture was starting to flow in.
In the empire, the eastern martial arts had been of special interest.
The concept of ‘ki’ had been vague up until then, but the eastern martial arts had systemized and passed it on. This ended up having a great effect on martial arts in the empire.
It was the same with ‘style schools’ as well.
Before that, they had martial arts used at court, and martial arts used on the battlefield. But they had no names.
But now, there was the Casandra style or the Osman style. Though, the Casandra style had separated into so many sub-styles, that the name hardly meant anything these days.
Regardless, there was still an air of mystery when it came to the east, and so many held a great fascination towards it.
Books and movies on the culture had been produced, and would become popular every now and then. Many tourists would go there as well.
“…I became interested in katanas.”
She did not even need to say it. Yukito’s influence.
Fae was very grateful towards him. His martial arts had been very logical, and everything she learned from him was useful in an actual fight. It was through his guidance that she had been able to win.
Perhaps it was the same for Yugnor.
Especially since Yukito was a swordsman more than anything.
“Wouldn’t that be really hard? Changing your weapon?”
A sword and katana were very different weapons. Even Fae knew that.
Besides, Yugnor was the son of a marquis, who was known for the Alnoir style. He would be abandoning that.
“That’s what the teacher said as well. But the Alnoir style already had eastern influences. So I don’t think that incorporating this skill is at odds with it.”
“Besides, I can’t use magic. I have to find other ways to get stronger.”
Fae could sense the strong resolution in his words.
And a longing as well. She could understand that.
Yes, she had won in the preliminaries. And she was confident about the next fight as well.
However, she was also fully aware of how small the world of students was.
Because she had been overwhelmed when seeing Yukito fight.
That was the real thing.
It was no wonder he could appear in magazines and was friends with top Hunters.
She wanted to be like that too. Be stronger. Anyone in their position would feel the same.
“Eastern martial arts are also famous.”
“Yes. Teacher’s is probably from there.”
“I wonder if they have a book about that here as well. Help me look.”
“…Do it yourself. Really…”
“Come on. Maybe you’ll find something for swords too?”
She said, and they began to search for the book.
“Ah, maybe this one.”
“Hey, wait. If you pull it out—aahhh!”
Yugnor was buried in the avalanche of books, and after momentary shock…Fae burst into laughter.
“Hey, don’t laugh…”
“Hehe… Sorry…I can’t…help it. Ahahaha!!”
Her laughter filled the store.
Even when Tory came to see what had happened, Fae was still laughing.
And on the following day…
While they had found the book, Fae wasn’t able to make sense of it at all.
Still, she and Yugnor decided to study together…which resulted in rumors about them spreading.
It was nothing spectacular, just a single page in their youth.
But to them, it would likely become a precious memory.
All the more, because it wasn’t something that would last forever.