Harem Academy

Another challenge

For the first time in the entire fight, Aclysia took a hand off her spear and quickly aimed it at Esthers feet. Unleashing a blast of cold, she froze the raven-haired swordsman to the floor. Just like the earlier attempt at immobilization, Esther reacted to this by suddenly relocating to where she had been seconds ago. At the pace of this fight, that brought over a dozen metres between them.

Aclysia immediately transitioned into a throwing stance, keeping her already extended arm steady and pulling her right back. With a quick step forward, she unleashed her spear at her enemy. All the liquefied stone in the area was pulled along by the spears trajectory and created a wave of material following in the wake of the silver and black weapon.

Putting both hands on her weapon, the grip running parallel to her head, Esther crouched slightly and let the attack come at her. The tip of her tricorne, her blade, they both pointed directly at what her eyes focused. The spear was about to hit her in the chest when she started to move. With nigh untraceable speed, she darted to the side, only to then weave through the chaotic formation of rocks. Unscathed, she emerged on the other side. Even worse for Aclysia, Esther showed no signs of slowing, not as long as there were still runes glowing on the back of her shortsword. Within the moment, her blade was coming down in a diagonal slash.

Aclysia seemed to have planned a contingency spell, having put her hands closely together and concentrating her magic. A spell that she had to dismiss, the raven-haired woman utterly outpacing even her best efforts. Instead, she had to take one of the costliest actions open to her. Her spear suddenly appeared in her hands again. Re-summoning ones Artefact was a great sacrifice of Astrality.

Nevertheless, it allowed her to guard herself against the quick slash of the sabre. Vibrating from the impact, Esthers blade sang. It was immediately followed by a sound similar to a church bell that struck the first hour of the day. The handle of the previously joined blades parted. Just as the last runes extinguished along the flat side of the blade, Esther quickly twirled around and then thrust forwards. The tip of the sleek weapon penetrated the air, passed between Aclysias arms, still fighting against the impact of the sabre, then stopped under the soft chin of the white-haired woman, the tip a papers width away from cutting skin.

They stood still like this for a moment, Esthers amber eyes always staying in focus. It was over, all that remained to be seen was whether the end would be a clean or a messy one. ”…It is my loss, ” Aclysia caved and collapsed the moment the weapons were retracted. From exhaustion or shame, I couldn say.

”Discarding your Artefact, even for a powerful blow, against an adversary of unknown strength is an unwise decision, ” Esther commented, her smooth words between well-meant advice and scolding. The weapons in her hand turned into hundreds of small, glowing fibres that ultimately came together in the shape of the white feather. Putting that feather back onto her tricorne, she looked down at the white-haired woman for a moment. ”I do commend your efforts, careless Aclysia. ”

Aclysia seemed to take that negatively, but the camera cut away from her before I could pass a proper judgement on that. Walking back into the ring, Derilea made a very slow and strictly unhappy sounding announcement, ”…my daughter… has been defeated… Esther gets access to her own mansion for the next year. ”

Ultimately, she didn lose that much, I thought. It would have been a bit cruel to immediately banish the person that scored highest on the entrance exams down to the shacks in the outskirts, especially for a fight they didn have a choice but to accept. Still, it must have been a massive hit to both her and her mothers pride.

”Man, now she can pick her room with whomever she wants! ” Arlethia grumbled. ”I would do a lot just to be able to say I want to stay with my boyfriend! ”

Willt shrugged with a bit of a chuckle. ”Look, I am not disagreeing with you, ” he let his succubus lover know, ”but the thing you had to do was win that fight. Think you could have done that? ”

”Not really, no… ” Arlethia conceded immediately. Given that she, like her boyfriend, was unlikely to even hold her Artefact manifested for the entire fight, that was no wonder.

”Mhm… you can pick whomever you want, yes? ” I said as a daring idea crossed my mind. I could kill two birds with one stone. Arlethia and Willt both turned to look at me with disbelieving eyes. They both knew what my whimsical tone indicated. ”Not everyone is handed such an obvious path to their luck and I certainly will not ignore the call of fate. Opportunity cost is not a principle I will let hold me back at a time like this. ” With a grin, I added, ”You guys will owe me something. ”

I was already making my way through the crowd by the time either of them could try to stop me. Not that I would have let them anyway. It was a slow but somewhat pleasing descent. Since people were still standing rather densely, I had to grind myself through an array of butts and breasts. I didn get to enjoy it quite as much as I would in other situations, since I had something serious in mind for a change.

”…I am sorry, mother, I have failed your trust in my abilities, ” my ears picked up just as I was past the crowd. Aclysias voice didn echo throughout the entire room anymore, she and her mother were on the non-enchanted rim of the arena. Two security people stepped in front of me and made a halting gesture. Respectfully, I waited.

”You lost, but you didn fail me. I checked the records and your loss is entirely understandable, ” Derileas parental voice reassured her daughter. ”Don take it too hard. ” She took her eyes off Aclysia and spotted me immediately.

”Hello there, ” I said, raising my hands in a nonchalant greeting.

Neither of them seemed particularly amused that I interrupted their family moment. I didn blame them for that, but I couldn wait either. ”What do you want, student? ”

”I want to fight, ” I declared. ”The right for my own mansion, I desire to earn it myself. ”

”You want to challenge my daughter now that shes weakened? ” Derilea narrowed her eyes. ”Such a cowardly tactic will not be- ”

”Oh, no! ” I quickly interrupted; this wasn a misunderstanding that needed to linger. ”Between us three white-haireds, thatd be pretty boring and unfair. Her Astrality is basically depleted. ” I based that assumption on a series of damages to her uniform that hadn yet closed and revealed her snow white skin underneath. ”I want to fight her, ” I pointed at Esther.

Due to procedures or for whatever other reason, the raven-haired woman was leaning against the wall that elevated the innermost seats above the walkway that surrounded the platform. Upon hearing that announcement, she looked over to me, her stoic gaze consistent. The way she quietly stared reminded me of an ambush predator. If she was surprised to see me there, she didn show it.

Wrinkles appeared on Derileas forehead and she sighed, ”Its unusual, but we had this kind of challenge before… it would require the approval of the headmaster and the challenged party. ” First, she looked towards Taurus, who nodded stoically, then her gaze travelled over to Esther. ”Would you be fine with this? You are under no obligation to accept. If you do, you stand no risk of losing what you already earned. ”

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