An hour and a half after leaving the capital is the training grounds of the knights which were situated near the boundary of the forest and the grasslands.
A fence was set up around the grasslands and stone facilities were lined up on the bare ground area.
After travelling for a bit more, Rei and Rinna got off the carriage.
Many knights could be seen swinging their swords and practicing with their summons.
「 You finally arrived, the both of you!」
The one who greeted them as soon as they arrived with a loud voice was Hilde, the knight commander.
She then puts her hands on her waist and let’s out a loud laugh.
「 Thank you for taking care of us today, Hilde-san 」
「 Yeah, Rei-dono. I should be the one thanking you 」
The then shook hands smiling.
Hilde then walks inside the training grounds.
「 I’ll guide you the combat area. Please follow me 」
Following Hilde’s lead, Rei and Rinna moving towards the place she mentioned.
While they were moving, Rei was curiously looking around the place and watches the knights that were training.
Eventually, they arrived at an area with a wide open space.
「 We will be having our match here 」
It was wide square dirt field that was surrounded by wooden fences.
The fences surrounding the area were about a meter high, and the fairly wide field, and the ground was firm probably from being stomped by knights that also use the field for training.
Many of the knights also came to watch after hearing about the commander’s match.
Because of the sudden crowd, Rinna unconsciously pulled the hem of Rei’s clothes.
「 Don’t get hurt, okay 」
「 It’s fine, it’s not a match where our lives are on the line. Then I’m going 」
After stroking Rinna’s head to calm her down, Rei jumps over the fence and headed to the center of the training field.
Similarly, Hilde also jumps over the fence after taking a cylindrical weapon that was placed on the edge of the field.
「 Rei-dono, let’s use this. A blade without an edge 」
Hilde throws one of them to Rei.
After doing some light swings, the two continued going to the center of the field.
「 Eh, Hilde-san? You are not going to use summoned beasts?」
「 Yeah, I’m fine with only this 」
What Hilde held was a one-handed double-edged sword with its sharp edge dulled.
She then casts physical strengthening on herself, and Rei was thinking if she could really fight with only that.
Because it was outside her imagination, Rei was slightly confused.
When Rei reached the center, she glances over Rinna. When their eyes met, they smiled at each other and returned her gaze to Hilde.
The gallery of knights seems to be focused on Hilde.
Looking at herself once more, she decided to let out what she feels, and talked to Hilde once more.
「 Hilde-san, though I am like this, I’m still considered a summoned beast. I don’t know if I could hold myself back from injuring you 」
「 Is that so, but you don’t have to worry about it 」
Hilde then laughed fearlessly and took a stance with her sword. Rei also took a stance and immediately rushed to attack Hilde.
Her intention was to end it in a single blow, that’s what she thought when doing a rush and preparing a swing.
Hilde also took a defensive pose, thinking it will be enough to receive the attack.
Rei planned to blow of her defenses with raw power, that’s why she strikes with that intention of blasting her opponent away.
「 You are indeed fast, however……」
The blade that she strikes with brute force was parried, and all the strength was redirected away by Hilde’s blade.
「 Eh 」
Following the parry, Hilde’s sharp slash approached Rei who lost her balance after her attack with all of her power was parried.
Even with the unexpected results, Rei somehow managed to read the attack.
And even though she was in an awkward posture, she barely managed to block the attack.
「 Guh 」
「 Hou, you blocked that……」
After rolling on the ground from the impact, Rei and tried fixing her stance.
After standing up and preparing her weapon, Rei shouted in surprise.
「 What was that just now……」
「 A parrying technique. It’s a technique that doesn’t use much force to execute. No matter how fast or strong an attack is, if it’s in a very straightforward way like that then it would be easy to deal with 」
With this, Rei is finally convinced.
——The person in front of her is ridiculously strong.
Recognizing this, Rei didn’t try to hold back anymore.
She then started a continuous chain of powerful slashes one after another.
One slash, two slashes, three, a storm of slashes continued to assault Hilde.
All of those attacks were powerful and was filled with the intention to kill.
However, even with all those attacks, she wasn’t even able to make Hilde move from her spot.
With minimal amount of movement, all her attacks were parried or dodged.
Rei’s strength was indeed superior in a lot of areas, however she felt as if she was being made fun of.
「 Kuh, why won’t my attacks reach!」
「 You are taking too much time in between your swings. Also, even if your speed and power is superior, it’s pointless if your opponent could predict its trajectory……」
Hilde’s stance only shifts for a moment, but it made Rei’s attacks miss.
「 It’s very easy to dodge 」
Because of her attacks not connecting no matter how many times she tried, the impatience within her created a gap on Rei’s movements.
Without missing such a chance, Hilde attacked.
Rei immediately jumped back and somehow managed to avoid it, but it was very close.
Then Hilde advices Rei some more after she broke the assault and fixing her breath.
「 I see, judging by ability alone, you would be as good as a B-Ranked summon. However, you don’t know how to fight. But if you learn and train your basics, I’m sure you become even stronger.」
「 Haah, haah…… what do you mean by that……」
It was an overwhelming difference in skills.
Even after enhancing her physical strength, Hilde’s physical abilities would still be closer to a human in contrast to Rei.
But despite not having overwhelming power or speed, she was able to overwhelm Rei.
Rei’s ego must have floated because she defeated a dragon.
But right now, she could barely hold her weapon and is out of breath, while Hilde didn’t even look like she was tired at all.
——If I can’t beat her with just power, then……
Rei clashed with Hilde again for the third time.
This time, Hilde prepared her sword once more to parry the attack, but Rei suddenly disappeared from her view.
After appearing behind Hilde, she attempted a side sweep.
If using brute force from above is useless, then she concluded that side sweeping would be much harder to handle……
「 You were barely able to hide your presence 」
It was as if she had eyes on her back.
Hilde reacted by crouching low to dodge the attack.
Rei’s attack hits air and the momentum went straight up in the sky.
She tried to redirect the attack by rotating the blade.
But before she could do so, Rei was assaulted by a low angle attack on her ankles.
Rei felt as if she was floating for a bit, while feeling as if time was slowed down.
Eventually, the impact of the hard ground runs through her but.
And after looking up, Rei found Hilde looking down on her.
The tip of the sword was also pointed on her neck……
「 Game over, I guess 」
After a moment of silence, a loud cheer arises.
The applause and cheers came from the knights who were watching Hilde’s fight.
Then, Hilde puts away her sword and offers Rei a hand.
「 It was a good game. Can you stand?」
「 Ye, yes. I’m alright……」
Rei accepts Hilde’s hand and stood up.
Rei couldn’t help but feel dejected.
Then after climbing over the fence, Rinna rushes to her.
「 Rei, are you hurt!」
「 Rinna-chan……, it was amazing. Hilde-san was really amazing! She’s a really strong person!!」
Rei was in a daze for a moment, but then her eyes gradually shined, then she started jumping like a rabbit out of excitement.
Rinna also relaxes and shows an expression of relief after seeing her like that.
「 Ooh, it seems like you are fine now 」
——It was quite a surprise after all, and was a wonderful experience.
She couldn’t explain it in words.
Rei then suddenly rushed towards Hilde who was preparing to leave after their match.
Then while in front of her, she bowed her head and sincerely asked.
「 Um, Hilde-san! Would allow me to train with you, now?」
「 Hahahaha, you are very welcome to!」
Despite Rei’s sudden request, Hilde gave her a thumbs up and immediately accepted.
Shortly after confirming with Rinna, the two harmoniously climbed the fence once more and headed towards the center of the training grounds.