Chapter 11.2 – The Entrance Exam (2)
In his past life, the stories of the past were rarely shared, so Ulan had no knowledge of them.
As he gazed upon Ibella with keen observation, a peculiar curiosity stirred within him.
And then, it happened.
Just as Ibella stepped into the arena, the iron gate abruptly slammed shut.
Caught off guard by this sudden turn of events, some of the examinees found themselves bewildered, prompting Ethan to explain with a tone that betrayed a hint of forgetfulness.
“Oh, I forgot to mention, the Great Brawl is fought in groups of 12.”
No, you should have said that first.
The examiness looked at him like that.
However, Ethan shamelessly continued speaking.
“You have 10 seconds.
Don't make foolish expressions and hide your beads.
If you keep flaunting them, you'll be targeted first.”
And as soon as Ethan finished speaking, the examiness scrambled to hide their beads.
Some hid them in their pockets, some in their socks, and some in their underwear.
But it was all in vain.
The blue glow of the beads pierced through their clothes, giving away its presence.
It was better than holding them in my hands, of course.
And just like that, ten seconds had passed.
“Let the battle begin!” Ethan shouted as a signal.
The students gripped their weapons and stared at each other, trying to gauge their opponents' skill and read their numbers.
A figure appeared, breaking the silence of the arena.
It was the future Sword Maiden, Ibella Elearde.
Her sword slashed through the ground.
Taking advantage of everyone's confusion, Ibella swiftly thrust at the boy in the 11 o'clock direction.
It was a precise strike.
And his bead snapped in half.
The bluish light quickly faded.
Then, a harsh voice pierced through the boy's stunned expression.
“Alden Randilf, Eliminated!”
The boy immediately received a F grade.
Perhaps he was eliminated without even being able to swing his weapon.
And with that as the signal, chaos broke out within the arena.
Clang! CLang! Clang!
The resounding clash of weapons reverberated through the air.
A cacophony of shouts and screams engulfed the battlefield, yet amid the chaotic turmoil, Ulan's unwavering gaze remained fixed upon Ibella.
‘The Sword Maiden Ibella’.
As she had demonstrated earlier, Ibella was a master of the sword.
Her swordsmanship was a fearsome display of speed and unrelenting precision, always aiming for the opponent's vital points in the heat of battle.
Hence, whenever those who had crossed swords with Ibella gathered, they all said the same thing – It felt more akin to confronting an assassin rather than a mere swordsman.
'Yet, her movements were as graceful as a butterfly's dance, hence she was hailed as the Sword Maiden.'
Swordsmanship blended with the elegance of a dancer, giving birth to the title of Sword Maiden.
And to substantiate this claim, Ibella unveiled her mesmerizing and nimble swordplay, akin to a captivating dance.
Of course, her skills now paled in comparison to the woman who would earn the prestigious title of Sword Maiden three decades later.
‘But it doesn't matter.’
There wasn't a single person in the world who was talented enough to surpass her.
And just like that, the battle was over.
There were two winners.
Ibella, who was catching her breath, and a boy with light brown hair.
‘Who was that?’
The boy who was called first.
Ulan pondered, trying to recall his name.
Just as he was searching his memory, the boy suddenly spoke to Ibella.
Though his words were not audible, Ulan could guess the meaning by observing the movements of his lips.
‘Origin, background, surrender?’
The information was too fragmented to make out what he meant.
His words made her bite her lip tightly, and then she bowed her head deeply.
Then she spoke in a stifled voice.
A sudden declaration of surrender.
The arena erupted in a momentary uproar.
“Why would you surrender all of a sudden?”
Ulan,too, was at a loss for words.
At that moment, Ethan furrowed his brow.
“Wasn't it a mutual agreement, not surrender?”
“Yes, that's right.”
“In that case, you'll receive a B grade.”
“It doesn't matter.”
Ibella replied with her usual impassive face.
However, in contrast to her expressionless face, her eyes were not calm at all.
She could barely contain her anger.
It seemed there were circumstances at play.
Ulan had a hunch about it.
“Well, if you have reached an agreement, I won't interfere.
Battle concluded! Those who are called next, make your way to the arena.”
Ethan didn't intervene much either and afterward, the naming resumed.
“Dyan Morteshi, to Zone 1!”
“Petron Yulrika, to Zone 2!”
One after another, the examinees converged upon the arena, their footsteps resounding with purpose.
And in due course, it was Ulan's turn to step forward.
“Ulan Bator, to Zone 12!”
As fate would have it, he was assigned to the exact same spot as Ibella, and as soon as he took a step forward, he felt gazes from all directions pouring onto him like a volley of arrows; most eyes held a cautious vigilance.
Such scrutiny was only to be expected.
Ulan possessed a robust physique and a towering stature, setting him apart from his peers.
On the other hand, Ulan remained composed.
In stoic silence, he weathered the weight of those scrutinizing gazes, and moved towards his designated zone.
And then, in a matter of moments…
“Let the battle begin!”
The Great Brawl began.
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