Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic - Chapter 19
- Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic
- Chapter 19 - Kanaki's Martial Art (2)
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
“Yeah, I suppose that’s about it.”
“W-Wait a minute!”
As Kanaki lowered his fist, Karen tensed but would not yield.
“O-One more match, please!”
“No, I’ve learned a rough sketch of who you are, Ortesia, from our current match. You had evidently learned the art of self-defense in the Kingdom of Ortesia imperial court style. Well, on second thought, that was no surprise.”
“How did you…!?”
Karen, having been hit the bull’s eye, was at a loss for words.
How did he figure it out? Even though it was called a match, the fight must have lasted less than ten seconds. In only that brief period of time, how did Kanaki determine where her style stemmed from?
“Ortesia, you immediately shifted from your spontaneous stance to directly in front of me right as the match kicked off, correct? That’s a characteristic of self-defense, a technique conceptualized for the purpose of being responsive to an attack under any circumstances in everyday life. Given that, all that remains is to figure out your background, Ortesia. However, the only representative art of self-defense in the Kingdom of Ortesia is the imperial court style.”
Little did she realize that the art of self-defense she had been learning all these years was a martial art born out of such a concept. When her eyes fell on Fina, even she was shaking her head, suggesting that she had never heard of it before.
Kanaki then added a few words as if to back up his assertion.
“Neither of you seemed to be well-informed about it, but that’s not unreasonable. Knowledge like this would not directly influence the combat, and for someone like Ortesia, whose identity is widely recognized by everyone, concealment of it is worthless. However, from my personal standpoint, I believe that it would be desirable to be familiar with the underlying principles, in order to develop it independently in the future.”
“To develop it?”
“Yes. The art of self-defense of the imperial court that you have been taught until now is the fruit of the wisdom developed by the sagacious figures of the Kingdom of Ortesia. However, such techniques were originated by ‘human beings’ just like ourselves to this very day. No god created it. If so, wouldn’t you agree that it is conceivable to further evolve this technique with your own hands?”
What Kanaki shared with Karen left her with a profound impact.
“…So you’re saying that in essence, we ought to continue and develop the art of self-defense of the imperial court style from here on out?”
“I am not really advocating to that degree. However, instead of merely assimilating techniques from the footsteps of the distinguished ones, I am suggesting that you can penetrate into uncharted territory where no traces have been laid down before. Sometimes things are only accessible to those who dare to stray off the well-trodden path.”
Karen felt her world broadening apace.
Up until now, Karen had undergone a range of brilliant education in the country of her pursuit, yet none of them had ever shared Kanaki’s mindset. But that was a matter of no wonder. To ask a princess of a country, a person whose future held tremendous promise, to innovate with her own hands would be to expose her to the risk of making a wrong turn and failure, or even to the possibility of being accused of neglecting her commitment in education. Had Karen not been a princess, there may have been people who would have spoken the same words as what Kanaki did today, but being brought up with such care and prudence, even that would not have been permitted.
“…I’ve never heard anyone say that to me before. That was a little enlightening.”
“I am glad to hear that. Well then, Fina, would you like to try kumite?”
In the subsequent kumite session between Fina and Kanaki, victory went to Kanaki to her surprise. Aside from Karen alone, even Fina, a knight par excellence and far superior to Karen in terms of pure physical skills alone, could not prevail… The impact was palpable within Karen ever since the mock battle against Rain Aldar.
Kanaki did not possess particularly outstanding techniques. While his physical abilities were somewhat higher, not any spectacular feat of skill was exhibited. It was simply that his ability to foresee what would be on the horizon was beyond the ordinary.
“You guys or I should say most of the students who attend the school, all fight too much in all honesty. Indeed, polishing your magic and training your body is essential, but you have to read the opponents’ thoughts and figure out what they are going to do next and what they are going to aim for. For instance, in the case of Ortesia, your first surprise attack. At that time, you were full of fighting spirit even before the match began. Besides, your lower body tensed up right before it started, so even I was able to fend off such a blindingly swift preemptive attack.”
“You can even tell to that point…”
Karen was deeply astounded by Kanaki’s observation. Being a member of the royal family, Karen took pride in being adept at masking her emotions above and beyond that of others, but apparently, this did not work with Kanaki.
“Overall, Fina, you fight equally straightforwardly. Perhaps it’s some sort of chivalry, but I feel you are a little too straightforward. Kumite cannot be conducted with only one person. Analyzing not only your own moves but the moves of your opponent as well will enhance your performance.”
“Yeah, but both of you are exceptionally strong among the students. I doubt there are many girls, even in the fourth year, who can perform maneuvers like this. Well, please keep this as a reference only, because I have a feeling that if you ever attend a martial arts class with Instructor Rivalz, he will dismiss what I have just said as a trick. Since there are tons of other people in the world with diverse ways of conceiving worldviews, I hope you will encounter various people, listen to what they have to say, and hone your own identities―your own ‘individuality’.”
In the face of Kanaki’s final words, which evoked a sense of déjà vu, Karen’s cheeks stiffened.
Meeting various people and refining one’s individuality. These were the same words her father had expressed to her in her dream this morning.
“Well, I should be heading off now. See you both at school.”
“Yes. Thank you for today.”
“No, no, when it comes to magic, I can hardly teach you anything. It would be a disgrace to me if you don’t let me do at least this much for you.”
As Kanaki departed the park with these remarks, Karen watched his back with conflicting emotions.
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