Putting the loud cheers behind me, I placed the sword back into the sheath and walked towards Jarrod.
In disbelief, Jarrod looked at his shoulder, which had a torn uniform and blood coming out like a thread.
“I poked as lightly as possible, but is it hurting?”
Maybe because he is a bunny? A guy who was supposedly skilled in swordsmanship was a whiny one.
“…. no way.”
I heard Jarrod mumble something. I couldn’t hear the full sentence, but what was he saying?
“There’s no way that this can happen!”
Instantly, I saw that Jarrod flung his daggers towards me.
I quickly stepped back and dodged the dagger.
“What the hell?”
If I had not paid attention, there would be red blood gushing from my white throat.
“Jarrod! Stop! Since you bled, it’s your loss!”
The announcer was also surprised and told Jarrod to stop. Like she had said, the battle was supposed to be over.
“No! It’s still not over!”
There are certain cases of guys like him. The disrespectful savage bastards without any manners who cannot accept the result, and rush to attack you.
“Jarrod, if you don’t stop here, I will not let you off easy.”
I gave my final warning. Since the exam was over, I would now face him as I would in a real battle.
“I said it’s not over!”
Jarrod rushed towards me. I let out a sigh and then turned to the side after taking out my rapier once again.
“Okay, but letting you know that I warned you.”
I took a large step back and then strongly striked forward.
Up, down. Up, up, down.
Jarrod coudln’t get his head straight from my attacks and then moved backwards to defend himself.
As Jarrod tried his best to hold on, I could see a weak point. Even if I were to lose my form, attacking the spot would give me victory. However, Jarrod was skilled enough to block this attack. If he were to, my form would be destroyed, putting me in danger at the next attack. This kind of risk should be dealt with by the opponent, not me. This was one of the fundamentals of my swordsmanship.
“Aris! You still are nothing but a shell! It was a rare occurrence that you beat me!”
I stopped my attack, acting as if I missed my chance. Jarrod thought that he won and then rushed towards my direction once again.
As in fishing, when you force things, the rod breaks. You have to slowly lure in order to catch the fish.
Well, in this case, the bunny.
As Jarrod lost his form to attack as should as I let him see my weak point, he did not have balance. I used this and moved forward, spinning the rapier.
The daggers of Jarrod flung out to the air with every strike of my rapier.
And Jarrod fell backwards just like that.
Even then, Jarrod rolled back to stand back up, but without any weapons to hold, victory was already in my hands.
Zik! Sham! Sheek! Zik!
My merciless rapier poked the arms, legs, shoulders and sides of Jarrod, ripping apart his uniform,
For the finishing move, I aimed towards Jarrod’s neck, and then stopped. Jarrod, looking as if he did not want to die, had his head held up stiff and high, while shaking.
“Now it makes sense, right?”
Jarrod now had no choice but to accept my victory.
“F..fine, Aris. You defeated me twice. I accept. It’s my loss.”
With the end of his reply, the announcer and audience fell quiet and this moment of silence continued.
Meanwhile, someone in the audience clapped. The source of the sound was the podium. Among the many teachers standing, the one who had clapped was Jeffield. Yes, the same Jeffiled who was insulting me earlier.
With the sound of his claps, the blocked cheers sounded once again, and the whole match field seemed to be shaking this time from the impact.
I replaced the rapier, smiling, and then Jarrod looked at me surprisingly while caressing his neck.
“Were you hiding your skills this whole time?”
I could understand where Jarrod was coming from. This was a match that he was supposed to win. He must have strongly believed that he had enough skills to defeat a failing student with nothing but a pretty face. And, in the last battle, which was the most important battle being the one outside of exam settings, his pride must have been hurt badly.
And so he would think that I would have purposely hidden my skills until now.
“Hide? Who? Me?”
I placed my arms on my hips and laughed out loud.
“What? What’s so funny?”
Jarrod seemed to have no idea why I was laughing.
“I never hid my skills, Jarrod. The one who should be hiding now is you.”
I erased my laughter and then pointed at Jarrod.
“What did you say?”
“The match was over, and the opponent no longer had a will to fight, yet you still attacked. I’m warning you, if this had been on the streets, what would be torn is not your uniform, but your limbs and neck.”
From this Jarrod finally seemed to be shamed and his ears pinned down and his body shook. Maybe his face had turned red, too, but I couldn’t tell from the layer of fur.
“As civilized beings, let’s keep our manners, Jarrod.”
I smiled brightly once again, and left him crouching on the floor to walk out of the field.
“Aris! I knew that you would win!”
The bunny who was in charge of the list couldn’t hide his excitement and was jumping up and down.
“Really? Do you remember what Jarrod had said earlier?”
When I purposely threw a joke at him, the bunny stopped bouncing and his eyes got big.
“No, that was….”
“Just kidding. It doesn’t matter now that I’ve won.”
I smiled towards the bunny, and it was a pretty big smile even in my opinion.
Instead of smiling back, the bunny made a serious face and called my name.
“Well, that is…I have been trying to tell you this for a long time, but honestly I….”
What? Why is he like this? No way, at this moment? To me?
It was a high chance that he was going to do ‘that thing,’ and as I tuned in to see how big of a man he was,
“You were great!”
Unfortunately the many bunnies rushed from the end of the hall made the list bunny discontinue his sentence.
“Aris! Now give me your reply to my confession!”
“What are you saying! Aris said that she would go on a date with me after the exam is over!”
“Move out! Aris was smiling at me the whole time in the field!”
…now I kind of understood why Jarrod made such remarks in the beginning of the match. What kind of a woman was I in this novel?
“Can you all move out of the way? I have someplace to be.”
Since I was still not used to everything, and only thought of escaping from all the noise, I asked everyone to move out. The male bunnies made an awkward face and then moved out one by one.
With an elegant stride, I moved out from in between the group of men and said something to the bunny, who couldn’t finish his sentence, and spoke.
“I guess it’s unfortunate?”
When I smiled at him, his ears rose back up and he opened his mouth again.
“Jerk! We told you to check the list, but you checked out something else instead!”
“What were you going to tell Aris?”
The other male bunnies attacked him with questions and I was already out of their sight.
“Where is she?”
Getting the praise from the other bunnies in the hall, I was looking for one particular bunny.
“Aris! You were so cool!”
Brown-haired bunny Annie. She was the girl who dragged me to this place earlier.
“Well, this is nothing.”
I stretched out my arms with a relaxed face.
“Anyways, thank you Annie. If it weren’t for you, I would have automatically failed for not showing up.”
“Oh, Aris! Don’t give me so much credit. You wouldn’t have forgotten such an important exam.”
I wasn’t kidding.
“Now what? Do I have any other schedules?”
Since I had no idea about the upcoming schedule, this girl was like my calendar.
“Oh, now you just rest and go to the graduation ceremony tomorrow.”
This meant that I had freetime.
“Then, let’s go. I’m hungry.”
Annie’s ears stood up big, from surprise.
“Let’s eat together, no?”
She must know where the eatery would be.
“Yeah, okay! Let’s go! Let’s go to a newly opened restaurant! Apparently their dessert is really nice and sweet!”
Annie jumped in excitement, and I followed her to the restaurant with the carrot cake looking thing. No, it was really a pile of carrots shaped into a cake.
…When I graduate, I will have to move to a human city. Anywhere is fine. I cannot deal with carrot cakes.
And just like that I decided on my post-graduation plan at a restaurant.
And the next day,
“Proud Academy graduates. Some of you will work for our city, and some of you will venture out. But always keep that in mind. We are proud Rabbtimen, and our academy will always remember you.”
The celebratory speech of the old bunny marked the end of the graduation ceremony.
“How about Jarrod?”
“I have no idea. He disappeared after losing to Aris yesterday.”
“He must be in great shock.”
“Yeah. He could have at least gotten his diploma.”
“With all that show he put on, I wouldn’t be able to face people either.”
The surrounding crowd looked at Jarrod’s empty seat and murmured. Did he really hide from embarrassment as I said yesterday? Or…
As I stared at the empty seat, Jeffiled called out my name loudly. He was holding something like a diploma in his hands.
When I stepped up to the podium, Jeffield looked at me with his still stern, cold, and serious face.
Jeffiled handed my diploma.
“Do you know what happened to Jarrod?”
As I accepted my diploma, I asked about the whereabouts of Jarrod. I guessed that Jeffiled would know since in the novel he looked after Jarrod.
“Don’t worry. He left to train. To become stronger.”
That sounded like what he would do.
“Speaking of Jarrod, I didn’t know that you would defeat him.”
Jeffield started to talk as if he was going to apologize.
“Also, I am sorry about talking while looking down at you. I think I saw you badly with a tinted shade.”
Those were unbelievable words coming out from a guy like Jeffield.
“Oh, no worries. No harsh feelings.”
I smiled brightly, but Jeffield was still stern, composed and serious.
“Still, you cannot become too proud. There are many who are stronger than you and Jarrod. You cannot go around thinking that you are the best. Always remember this.”
From his words I smirked.
“Oh, I know that well.”
Yes. I do know that one very well.
Although, knowing something and being able to do something that you know are two different things.