The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 58 – Royal Ties (1)
Written by : Eleven
* * *
Although the ratio of females to males in the classes of swordsmanship was leaning heavily towards males, it was even harder to find instructors that were female.
This was due to the Empire having to go through multiple decades of strife and belittling women until they realized women were just as capable if not more, in the fields of swordsmanship.
Roy found himself between a rather eye-catching female instructor and another beauty.
‘Wait- what am I thinking?’
Roy had looked over towards the girl named Sistine; one of the few females in the class, and avoided eye contact as soon as he made it.
What was he thinking when he looked at this girl?
Sistine Ismenian was barely sweating around her forehead, her hair tied up neatly into a bun, and her cool blue eyes matched with her firm yet delicate posture, giving a sense of beauty to Roy.
‘No.. I’m probably just mistaking beauty and her dignified appearance.’
Despite the white lie that Roy was telling himself, he couldn’t help but steal another glance in the direction of Sistine.
Lady Valentina, who was watching this, chuckled quietly before gathering their attention.
“New kid, what’s your name?”
“It’s Roy. Roy Stone.”
Roy bowed his head slightly and gave a straight posture, giving Valentina utmost respect.
Roy could tell that this woman was clearly experienced in the field of swordsmanship as he noticed a tiny amount of flaws around her.
It wasn’t as few as his master had, but it was small enough in number to think that she might seriously be close to the level of a Swordmaster.
“Good, I heard that I would be getting another first-year student in this class, but I can tell you are certainly at a high level amongst your own peers.”
Valentina looked Roy up and down, sizing him up and smiling in approval.
“Sistine, put down your sword and take a break to meet the other new first-year.”
Sistine who was still fiddling with the handle of her sword, put it back in it’s scabbard and made eye contact with Roy.
Once again, Roy for some reason felt like averting his eyes, but forced himself to stay composed.
Maintaining an absolute poker face despite the urge to look away in embarrassment, Roy nodded slightly towards the girl.
‘Wow, she is definitely strong.’
Sistine wasn’t as strong as he was or Nate from what he could tell at an up-front glance, but she was certainly at the level of Elizabeth Franz, the future ‘Blood Witch’.
That being said, this girl was extremely talented.
Roy felt like he had heard the same Sistine somewhere, but his thoughts were quickly wiped away as she extended her hand forward in a business-like manner.
“Nice to meet you.”
Sistine didn’t bother to give her last name; something that most nobility did, but it wasn’t like it was forced to.
Her manner of speaking felt rather blunt and to the point, but Roy did not mind it.
Reaching his hand out to clasp hers, they shook hands as Roy merely nodded back, refraining from speaking out of fear he might act in a manner that would embarrass himself.
Sistine tilted her head as she saw Roy stay silent and not even bother to return the name, but Valentina, who knew Sistine’s identity like everybody else in the class, asked Roy a question that made him want to freeze in place.
“I know you’re a commoner, but you realize you just shook the Imperial Princess’ hand, right?”
Roy immediately felt his blood run cold.
From refraining as much as speech and action as possible, he thought he was saving himself from doing something embarrassing, but it turns out it had the completely opposite effect!
Roy uttered with a blank stare.
Sistine just looked at him expressionlessly and turned away.
Roy cursed in his head. What a terrible first impression he had made.
But, Roy decided to quickly look at it objectively.
She hadn’t taken offense to his greeting, but since when was Roy one to even care about such trivial things?
‘I’ve grown soft.’
Roy finished up his thoughts as the rest of the third-years finished their laps and came back to the center of the training area for further instruction.
“Alright, today we’ll be having thirty minutes of going over theoretical technique, and then we will finish up with some light sparring. I’ll also allow freedom of choice for whomever you choose for your sparring partners, so make sure you pick someone that will challenge your level appropriately!”
Lady Valentina spoke aloud as she announced the schedule for their class.
Roy followed the other students over to the side of the training area where Lady Valentina passed out several papers.
“Our study today will be on the Imperial Swordsmanship techniques. Specifically, we will be going over the higher numbering series in the Imperial Swordsmanship : the fifth series and up. As you all know…”
Roy didn’t hold much interest for the Imperial Swordsmanship as he already knew the ins-and-outs of the entire technique due to his master teaching him the Imperial Swordsmanship before all techniques.
As the class went on, Roy did not miss the several glares that were occasionally sent his way.
* * *
For the entire theoretical lesson that went over the Imperial Swordsmanship, Sistine Ismenian felt repulsed at Lady Valentina for ruining her moment of when she met Roy Stone.
She had quite liked it when Roy had introduced himself in a blunt manner.
Very few people treated her as a true woman for her own capabilities.
Sistine knew she was still technically a girl, and not a woman. However, she had always been treated as an accessory her entire life as everyone she had come across in her small world of the Empire, had been trying to curry her favor.
Especially since coming to the Academy, she had been constantly getting glances from the other boys in her several classes that were either lustful, calculative or just downright looking down on her from afar.
Although no individual downright expressed that they were looking down on her, it was blatant they just saw her as a piece of meat that had the title of the Imperial Princess.
‘Why did she have to ruin that?’
Sistine didn’t know why, but she felt disappointed in Roy’s reaction when he had heard that she was the Imperial Princess from Lady Valentina.
Sistine had kept her completely stoic facial expression the entire time, giving off her cold and indifferent expression that was befitting of the Imperial Family.
Her foolish brothers rarely knew how to keep their emotions in check. If anything, she felt that Howard and Michael, the more cunning of the three brothers she had, were like disgusting slugs.
Her eldest brother, Desmond was a good man, but he was clearly foolishly idealistic and did not see the entire picture of the Empire. There were many things happening outside of the Empire, and Sistine was already growing worried of the several powers that were moving in the dark.
Lady Valentina clapped her hands to gather the students attention once more as the theoretical lesson finished.
It was time to start with the sparring session and Sistine stood up as she decided she was going to act according to her plans.
She still needed to see whether Roy was someone that was worth using in her ascension to the throne and determine whether he was someone that could even be swayed over to a single side.
But right as she made way towards the boy she planned on asking to spar, another disgusting boy had moved first out of his petty pride.
Sistine remained silent but was starting to grow angry.
‘Why is everything so irritating today?’
She thought to herself as she stayed silent.
* * *
“Hey commoner boy, you haven’t gotten a sparring partner yet, right? Let’s spar together!”
A rather prideful and petty-looking boy approached Roy as he stood up, preparing himself to go to the dueling part of the class.
“…. My name is Roy, not ‘commoner boy’.”
Roy immediately felt somewhat taken aback, as he had kept his cool in most situations since arriving at the academy, but he felt rather attacked when this arrogant looking-boy had approached him for sparring.
‘What’s with my emotions today?’
Roy pondered to himself as he let his thoughts process.
“It doesn’t matter, po-tato- po-tat-o.”
The boy shrugged his shoulders as if it wasn’t important.
Roy glared at him as he unsheathed Deletus from its scabbard.
Chapter 58 – Fin