Chapter 2 – Graduation Exam(2)
“You are really stuck-up.”
Jarrod kept his puzzled face while looking at me and then shook his head.
“How could something like you defeat me?”
And then he didn’t forget to provoke me until the end.
“Oh, so this is how you want it to go?”
I looked towards the audience. In a field like this, there was something that I always did.
When I sent hand kisses, the roar from the audience spread like a wave.
This was my signature gesture even when I was a man, and women used to scream or faint no matter their class, and men used to curse.
But when I did it in my current appearance, men and women alike were a crucible of excitement. Even though I am a rabbit, being a woman had an advantage.
When I looked towards the audience and hook my hands up and down to signal the sound to get louder,
“ARIS! ARIS! ARIS! ARIIS!”
The bunnies screamed out my name and got even louder.
“Ouch my ears…”
Although my eardrums were numb, I was so excited that my heart was beating fast, and my ears were flapping on their own. I couldn’t control them.
“How about that, Jarrod? That’s the difference between you and I.”
When I confidently gestured at Jarrod to listen to the sound, Jarrod made a frown, as if his ears hurt and opened his lips
“You…like…is …this..kind…talk…trash… ?”
But since my ears were numb, I couldn’t hear what he was saying.
“What? Repeat that!”
When I took my hands to the ears and then leaned towards him, Jarrod lost expression on his face as if he got really upset. I wasn’t mocking him, I really couldn’t hear him.
In that moment, the loud shout enough to swallow the roar as a whole instantly made the audience quiet.
“He’s really like a tiger. Do you really think he’s just a rabbit?
On the podium, Jeffield, the bunny who was like an actual tiger, was looking down at me with his arms crossed.
“Now, since the situation has calmed down, the two of you please get into your positions.”
Jarrod and I followed the directions of the announcer and then stood in front of our own lines.
“To briefly introduce the two, with the current grades that Aris has, if she loses this battle, she will have to attend school another year!”
Woah, that’s the worst. I will be stuck at school for a whole year?
“That’s okay, Aris!”
“Yeah, a year is nothing!”
Everyone assumed that I had already lost. Although it sounded like a cheer, words of consolation continued from all around.
“Opposed to this, since Jarrod has perfect scores on all his exams, he must be a little more relaxed than Aris since he will pass either way!”
I mean, in the novel Jarrod showed heroic acts and since he even saved the bunnies’ town once, he should automatically graduate.
“Jarrod, go east on her!”
“Yeah! You can afford to lose!”
“That’s right! Lose!”
However, this time the bunnies started mocking Jarrod that he should lose. I thought it sounded funny, but if you were to hear it a different way, it sounded more like a curse.
“Those trashy bastards.”
And of course Jarrod took it the other way.
“Aris, I have no means to lose to you, and I will make sure to change your conceited and lazy attitude from his battle.”
He sounded exactly like Jeffield, so I couldn’t help but laugh.
“You think I’m funny?”
As if he thought I looked down at him, Jarrod’s ears were vibrating and he even thumped his feet from anger.
“No, it’s not that I think that you are silly.”
I flung out my rapier lightly from years of training.
“This is just how I am.”
As I checked out my rapier while talking with confidence, I found out that the sword was not in the level of mastery that I was used to, but closer to a toy. It was obvious that I should lose to Jarrod using something like this.
But blaming the weapon is what beginners do. Disqualification of a true swordsman. A true swordsman such as I never blame the weapon.
If I win, I will have won with something flimsy like this, and
If I lose, that would have been expected.
I had to think these thoughts while fighting to block all negative thoughts.
I took off the hat that I was wearing, placed it on my chest, and then made a curtsy bow with my right foot towards the back and my head tilted forward.
“Swordsman Arix… No Aris. I will appreciate what you teach me in this battle.”
No matter who the opponent was, no matter their skill level, it was basic mannerism to greet like this before using a sword. Later on in my career, I had stopped doing it since I thought I was at a level where learning anything more was questionable, so I just skimmed through the formalities. But then this arrogance made me get hit with a knife, so I went back to my original intentions and greeted them seriously.
“What are you doing? You never acted this way before.”
Jarrod was flustered.
“This is how you are supposed to do it.”
I smiled and then pressed the hat back onto my head.
…but it didn’t fit.
“No, you are still the same dumb bunny.
Jarrod looked at me pathetically as I struggled to put the hat back on with my giant ears.
“Then, let the exam begin!”
The announcer announced the start as I was still putting the hat on.
I said stop, but Jarrod saw his chance and ran towards me,
When I finally managed to wear the hat properly and used my reflexes to strike, the dagger was about to cut my face.
When you battle, they usually aim for the places that are not critical, but looking at how he aimed right for the face, Jarrod either really wanted to kill me, or destroy my face.
“That won’t happen.”
Even in my original form, I always thought that I could never hurt my face. The same rule applied as a bunny.
“I didn’t know you would be able to block my attack.”
Jarrod leapt backwards, then slightly bent his legs and gripped the daggers in reverse.
“It would have been easier for both of us if you had taken a single hit. Since whatever you do, you will still lose to me.”
Jarrod mocked me, but I was focused on getting my form back.
I took a deep breath, turned to the side, and aimed the rapier in my left hand towards Jarrod. Then, I hid my other hand behind my back. Originally, I should have used something like a faring dagger, but since I didn’t have anything like that, I had to use the sword both for attack and defense.
“Jarrod, you just said that it will be easier if I just take one hit, right?”
“That won’t happen, so you don’t have to worry about something impossible.”
“You really get on my nerves with your words!”
Jarrod came towards me again. Maybe it’s because he was a bunny? He was really fast when he was attacking like a bomb.
To reduce the explosiveness of his attack to the minimum, I striked the dagger as I moved backwards.
“And Aris is pushed to the back! Although this was expected!”
The announcer was feeling sorry,
“Well, this can’t be helped.”
“I mean, Jarrod is strong.”
“I didn’t know that Aris would last this long.”
Sighs and regrets in the audience, and the gossip that it was plausible that I have even endured to this extent, continued to stimulate my ears.
“Aris! Where did that confidence of yours go?”
Jarrod’s explosive power didn’t diminish, and it drove me to the corner.
“And now you don’t even have space to run!”
When I glanced back from his words, I saw that the wall was only a few steps back.
“It’s over now!”
Jarrod, as if he were going to make his critical move, prepared to jump after stopping.
“Aris! I am sorry, but you are going to have to be held back for a year!”
And that moment in the jump was when the explosive energy of Jarrod was a little reduced.
When my rapier struck the dagger then went directly to his throat, Jarrod was surprised and turned his body to block the sword. That was a pretty plausible skill of his.
However, it was plausible, not great.
The rapier that was headed towards his head turned the angle towards his shoulders before striking the dagger, and poked a clean hole in his shoulders.
Jarrod fell to the ground, holding his shoulders and rolled backwards immediately. Jarrod made a face of disbelief.
In an instant the inside of the match field became silent. An audience with no idea would be speechless because it was a case where Jarrod was supposed to win but just lost, and to an audience who had some knowledge, they would think that Jarrod allowed me to strike him in the blink of an eye.
When I looked at the sound of a female voice, the brown-haired bunny who dragged me to the battle was yelling out my name.
One by one, the bunnies in the audience started to call out my name, and
“What a surprise! Aris defeated Jarrod and won!”
After the announcement, the match field was again filled with a roar.
I faced the audience holding my rapier up high.
The roar of the audience. The sweat on my forehead. The humidity of the atmosphere. The heart beating, refreshed and excited.
Although this was an exam match, it was my first win after becoming a bunny. A victory was something I got everyday, something I should have gotten used to, but was still rewarding enough to make me feel happy.
And this is how I changed the destiny of a bunny swordswoman inside the novel.
From nameless to Aris.
From defeat to victory.
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