Chapter 13

***

 

Filina took up quarters with Enoch at the closest point to the test site.

 

After neatly changing into active clothes, she took out the bag from the Duke’s house before heading to the test site. She opened the lid of the orange potion bottle and immediately brought it to her mouth.

 

“Ah, it tastes weird.”

 

Unlike the gorgeous color, the taste was very bad. The fishy smell came up to her throat.

 

“Filina, are you ready?”

 

Enoch’s voice came from outside the inn.

 

“Yes, I’m coming.”

 

She put the empty bottle into her bag and hurried to her feet.

 

As she made her way to the testing center, people of all shapes and sizes took their seats. By far the most prominent among them was Filina.

 

Since there was a woman standing proudly in a place where there were only men, the stares that gathered on her were unavoidable.

 

“I have to go in alone from here.”

 

When Filina spoke while looking at Enoch, he quickly glanced through the test site and asked with a worried face.

 

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

 

“Don’t worry. There are instructors in the testing room. Unless they’re crazy, they won’t pick a fight.”

 

At her calm tone, Enoch let out a sigh. The purpose of the majority of people coming to the military academy was to show off their strength.

 

That was why it was so easy to find them ignoring and mocking those who looked weak. There were more than one or two people glaring at her right now behind her and giving her dirty looks.

 

Enoch exhaled slowly in a low voice.

 

“I’ll be waiting right out front. If there’s any danger, call me at once, Miss Filina.”

 

Filina smiled and nodded as he spoke with a pious expression.

 

“I told you not to worry. Go to a comfortable place and rest. It’ll be three hours before the fitness test is over.”

 

With that, Filina turned away. Enoch could only stare irritably at her back as she moved away from him.

 

The instructors began to close the door, as they were about to start the exam. Enoch had no choice but to slowly pull away the leg that wouldn’t move.

 

However, the instructor who was gently pushing the large door from behind called him with a strange look.

 

“Enoch?”

 

Enoch turned at the familiar voice. A man with beautiful blue hair spread neatly to his waist approached him.

 

“I didn’t see it wrong, did I? “What brings you here, Enoch?”

 

The man, whose face was even prettier than the woman’s, smiled happily at him. Enoch, who was staring at him, quietly called out the man’s name.

 

“Lawrence Winston.”

 

Lawrence was Enoch’s closest classmate when he attended the Swordsmanship Academy.

 

He was second to Enoch in ability and was the youngest remaining Deputy Knight Commander of the Swordsmanship Academy.

 

Nobles were the later ones to enter the Swordsmanship Academy since they started their knight training in the Imperial Palace when they were children.

 

On the other hand, those from commoner backgrounds like Enoch and Lawrence entered the swordsmanship academy early or joined and trained under the lords their father served.

 

Enoch graduated early as a scout for the Debussy family while attending the academy, but Lawrence turned down all offers and chose to stay in school.

 

His ultimate goal was to become a Knight of the Imperial family. In order to officially join the Imperial Guard, he needed a letter of recommendation from the Academy, and in order to receive it, he needed a diploma stating that he had completed all of his degrees.

 

“I have a favor to ask.”

 

Enoch told Lawrence as he returned his half-turned body to its original position.

 

Lawrence, who was watching Enoch with a suspicious look on his face, averted his gaze for a moment and peered into the examination room.

 

A restless atmosphere was in sight.

 

People who wished to enter the military academy were gathering and warming up respectively.

 

Lawrence slammed the door, which he couldn’t seem to close, and stepped outside.

 

“It’s unusual for you to ask me something. What’s it?”

 

 

Enoch watched silently as the corners of his eyes curved narrowly, then he turned and stared at the tightly closed door of the exam room.

 

A small sigh escaped from his lips.

 

***

 

“The physical fitness test will now be called by numbers instead of name. Please understand that we’re doing this due to the large number of people.”

 

Filina’s exam number was 131. She sat down at a random seat and waited for her turn.

 

There were many different people around her.

 

Some were just sitting in their seats, quietly meditating, while others were calmly warming up.

 

Most of them stretched, talking to people in the noisy atmosphere.

 

The person who stood out the most from the crowd was an examiner who was stretched out in the corner of the room, sleeping as if he was in his own room. Filina’s expression twisted.

 

“The writing was so easy that even a ruffian like him can pass the exam.”

 

Filina began to stretch, mumbling in a low voice with a mockery look on her face.

 

“What is it? What’s wrong with my eyes now? I can see a girl over there.”

 

Someone made a bad joke as she bent over with her legs stretched out. Filina turned to look. Men, not far from her, were looking at her weirdly.

 

Her emotionless eyes turned to them for a moment. Even in the midst of all this, there wasn’t a single waver in the way she leaned her upper body in a supple motion.

 

“Hey, that girl is staring at you. You should try to talk to her.”

 

“Should I? I think her face looks pretty.”

 

A man with very short hair approached Filina with a playful face.

 

“Hey, young lady.”

 

Her eyes ran over him sharply. The man’s arm was covered with a tattoo of a black dragon.

 

“Did you come to a wrong place to look for flowers?”

 

Filina replied absent-mindedly to the man’s words.

 

“Yes, I suppose so.”

 

“Shall I show you where you should go?”

 

The man’s thick hand grabbed Filina’s wrist.

 

“Come here.”

 

He tried to force her to stand up. Filina quietly averted her gaze. She wanted to see if there was anyone around who could help her.

 

She could see the men in the exam room staring at this way, but they just glancing.They seemed to have decided that they couldn’t handle this man who was stockier than them.

 

“You’re a strange person.”

 

She furrowed her brow at the sound of the man’s voice. His grip on her wrist became increasingly stronger.

 

Filina thought for a moment. ‘Should I follow this guy and have him disqualified from the exam on the pretext of sexual harassment?’

 

It seemed like a very good idea to reduce the number of rivals.

 

However, if he did something bad, there was nothing worse than that.

 

Her eyes glanced to the side. She could see the gazes of the instructors silently staring at her.

 

They seemed to be thinking of taking action after they knew how the man would behave. The fact that they had no intention of stopping him from the start was just plain annoying, but Filina didn’t expect them to do so.

 

She had no choice but to let the man take her.

 

“Excuse me.”

 

Just then, someone tapped the man on the shoulder. A woman with short hair said with a stern look on her face, 

 

“Let go of your hand.”

 

There was a strange charisma in the way she pointed with her chin at the man’s hand. 

 

“What is this b*st*rd…Are you a woman? Or a man?”

 

The man who looked back at her said with a low chuckle. Though there didn’t seem to be much of a blow to the woman. The woman then turned around and asked Filina. 

 

“Do you know him?”

 

“No.”

 

The woman, who nodded at Filina’s answer, grabbed the man’s thick wrist and subdued him with a single strike.

 

“Ugh! You’re not going to let go, are you?”

 

The woman snapped the man’s arm back, then she turned her head and called for the instructor.

 

“Please take action. I think this man is going to take the woman whom he doesn’t know to a secluded area.”

 

Then the instructor, who had been watching from afar, approached and got a brief description of the man.

 

“They shouldn’t let him off. He underestimated you just because you’re a woman.”

 

The woman who handed the man to the instructor said as she looked at Filina.

 

The man who was caught by the instructor was embarrassed by the fact that he was subdued by a woman, and was making excuses with a bright red face.

 

Filina, who was staring at him, turned her head and greeted the woman.

 

“Thank you for your help.”

 

The man was taken somewhere by the instructor.

 

She wished in her heart that the man would be stripped of his qualifications to take the exam.

 

“Examiner number 131. You are taking the physical fitness test. Please step forward.”

 

Filina raised stood up in the order that approached earlier than expected. Then the woman who had not yet left her seat looked at Filina and said, 

 

“Good luck.”

 

It was a short cheer, but it somehow cheered her up.

 

Showing the woman a small smile, Filina let out a deep breath and moved her feet.

 

Lawrence, on the other hand, watched from a distance as she walked to the center, a subtle look on his face.

 

‘Is that the woman Enoch was talking about?’

 

Filina’s high, tied hair swung from side to side as she walked.

 

When Lawrence heard that Enoch was going to the Debussy to be an escort, Lawrence opposed.

 

Enoch, who was recognized as an excellent swordsman from the beginning of his enrollment, was envied by others for the scouting proposals that flooded in.

 

Of all the families that tried to scout him, the most reputable place was the Count Haley’s residence. (*Count Haley is Cecilia’s father)

 

However, Enoch turned down all the proposals that came his way and chose the Debussy’s residence. 

 

“Why did you turned down the Haley’s offer?”

 

“There’s someone I want to protect.”

 

Enoch replied in a plain voice to Laurence’s scolding.

 

Lawrence’s eyes were fixed on Filina, who was warming up her body in order to take the physical fitness test.

 

“I have a favor to ask.”

 

He thought it was strange that Enoch would immediately asked for a favor when they just see each other again after a long time.

 

“There’s a woman with red hair. Please help her out.”

 

To begin with, it was not normal for a noblewoman to go to the Swordsmanship Academy.

 

“The others might bully her…”

 

It was very unfamiliar to see Enoch reciting in a serious voice. The same was true of his gaze at the tightly closed test door. 

 

“Examiner #131. Please stand at your assigned position.”

 

Filina moved to her position at the instructor’s voice.

 

“You will now run the 100 meters.”

 

Filina’s eyes, bent slightly and raised upward, stared sharply at the target point.

 

Bang!

 

With a pound gun shot, Filina’s small body ran forward.

 

Lawrence’s eyes, which had been staring at Filina, grew wide.

 

How could she run so fast?

 

It was truly a sight that could not be described. He had never seen a woman run so fast in his life.

 

“Examiner number 131, 9 seconds …”

 

She heard the instructor’s voice. The people who had gathered around with him exclaimed.

Notes

N/A

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