Eliza chapter 155 – Mock duel

(TL note: After checking it out, it seems that Jeff Molton’s first name was originally indeed intended to be Zephyr. Therefore, I’ve changed his name, even though he doesn’t appear in this chapter.)

I held the tip of my rapier horizontally, pointed at the throat of the general commander’s grandson Sieghart. Although normally wider swords should be used in battle, as rapier techniques are mostly ceremonial.

My opponent Sieghart set up an elegant pose with his in front of his body, as someone who will surely enter the Royal Guards knight order in the future, he was probably educated in the finest ceremonial rapier techniques there are.

“I’ll begin.”

“Please go ahead.”

Since rapiers are light short swords, it’s a high-speed duel. Even though Sieghart said that he’ll begin attacking, he took his time in testing my defense for openings, without going for direct attacks.

No matter how light it is, you need to have adequate muscle strength in order to maintain the proper sword stances. If we keep dueling defensively, I’ll be at a disadvantage due to my limitations in stamina. Taking that into consideration, I began my offensive.

I purposely crossed swords with him, and managed to avoid being hit by his next slash, using the momentum from our swords clashing to jump back. Clang, while our swords weren’t broken, there was a grating sound in the air while I almost lost hold of my sword from the impact, having to pull on the edge of my coat to find my balance again, as I put distance between us and fixed my combat stance.

……As expected of the foremost military family in this country. There are no flaws in his defense whatsoever. It’s quite evident that he’s extremely skilled in handling his sword.

“Beautiful moves, Rolentsor.”

“It’s all thanks to countless hours of practicing!”

Turning on one foot, I avoided his sword which instantly came at me again, and blocked his attack with my sword. Originally in ceremonial swordplay, once you trade blows you’re supposed to draw back, but – reflexively, I stepped forward into his bosom.

“Wha!?”

Screech, a high-pitched metallic sound was ringing. Even though Sieghart obviously had more muscle strength than me, I was pushing back his rapier with my own. I had the advantage in positioning, and he was forced just slightly off balance.

I increased the speed of my movements even more, and I stomped down diagonally – aiming straight for his feet.

There was a pleasant sound as my foot connected against his, and the general commander’s grandson fell face forward onto the thick mat. Just as I was about to reflexively attack his wide-open back with my sword as he poised both his hands to break his fall, the instructor shouted “that’s enough!” at that moment.

I threw down my sword, then I finally remembered that this was only supposed to be a practice duel, which caused me to really want to clench my head.

-This is bad. I’ve gone completely overboard. Unconsciously, I moved according to the familiar movements of my training, but I shouldn’t have done that here.

“……Eh, huh?”

Sieghart seemed to be terribly confused as he dazedly looked at me. “Are you alright,” I asked him. While he didn’t shake his head, his head was bleeding slightly from what I did to him. Still, I kept asking him if he could stand up, while he just remained sitting there in his daze, and I just repeated my question over and over while hurriedly extending my hand to him, and he finally took my hand and pulled himself up.

“Sorry, I…… are you hurt?”

“No, I’m fine……”

The general commander’s grandson who was just slightly taller than me kept looking at me with a confused expression. I think he was about to say something, just when he opened his mouth, the instructor called out my name, with an “Earl Kaldia!”

“Ahh, Earl Kaldia. What was that, that underhanded swordsmanship?”

Listening to the instructor’s shocked reaction, I reflected on my actions that this was just as I expected. The training ground for the practice duel suddenly became abuzz with commotion when it was completely silent during our duel.

“Swordsmanship is something that’s supposed to be elegant, beautiful, fair, and clean. It’s inconceivable that you, a noble, would use such a tactic suited for commoner soldiers!”

“……My apologies.”

This time was my fault. Normally I hold back when swinging my sword around. ……The general commander’s grandson was too strong, I wasn’t able to help myself because he was the first one I couldn’t win against unless I used my full abilities.

This mock duel between Sieghart and I, was originally intended by the instructor to be a demonstration of ceremonial swordplay, in order to teach the other students that hadn’t learned it before.

If I win using tactics that aren’t a part of ceremonial swordsmanship, then it won’t be an example for the other students. Because my opponent only used ceremonial swordsmanship, I’m the one who broke a rule here. It’s completely considered my fault.

“-Humph. As expected, cowardly methods befit the cold-blooded earl famous for killing unarmed enemies without even flinching. Doing such an ugly thing, winning with no pride or honor at all. Just like a low-class commoner.”

Eric’s voice instantly came ridiculing me from the side, when right after his rant Sieghart roared at him. “ERIC!!” Sieghart is someone who’s talented enough to know that my combat style is necessary on the battlefield, so he’s probably defending me because of it.

“Eric, I can’t let this insult pass. Take your words back right now!”

“Oh, um, Rolentsor, wait a moment. It was my bad just now…… Please calm down.”

He tried convincing Sieghart in a subdued voice. I suppose this situation is bad for him. For someone who will likely be the future general commander by the crown prince’s side to be seen shouting angrily at Eric like this in class, it will cause rumors.

“But, your words just now were an insult to every soldier on the battlefield. It’s unforgiveable.”

“Even so, what he says is true. I used a style that wasn’t appropriate for this place, my earlier sword technique was indeed learned from commoners. It doesn’t change the fact that I used an underhanded technique during the duel. My apologies.”

I whispered that to Seighart so only he could hear it, but it was obvious for anyone that Eric had been ridiculing me. The commotion in class kept increasing in volume, to the point where the noble instructor was shouting “quiet!”

The crown prince and Grays just happened to not be here today due to official business, normally they would be able to help contain the commotion.

……Ahh, this is terrible. For Eric who was trying to “preserve honor in duels” to get shouted at by his friend Sieghart like that, his pride will greatly suffer. And now, nobody’s here who can help calm him down.

“……What are you talking about, Sieg! It’s because of dirty tactics, that you always lose!”

Sure enough, when Eric’s temper flared up and he started shouting angrily back at Sieghart, I involuntarily leaned my head back and stared at the ceiling. I already knew that trying to reason with children was an impossible task, and that it would only lead to loud arguments – this is something I know from experience.

“…………What?”

Now I heard Sieghart’s low voice filled with anger. I kept scolding myself mentally for my major blunder in not holding back being the cause of this gigantic mess.

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69 responses to “Eliza chapter 155 – Mock duel

  1. Eric… open mouth, insert foot.
    Regardless of your position in society… I’d say making bad connection with anyone on purpose and so openly without provocation is just stupid.
    Other noble knows of Eliza’s reputation but none come forward so openly to say it to her face. This says a lot that Eric is below average even among noble kids.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Which make him even stupider and clueless… The prince and Siegfried have good impression of Eliza, even if he disapprove showing blatant disagreement with them will just make him lose their friendship.
        This is noble society after all… he is making himself a hindrance for Crown Prince to form connection with potentially strong allies.
        I just realize Crown Prince befriending Eliza does have a purpose… after all his rival the first prince has Rindarl blood so connection with Eliza, a reaper like existence to Rindarl is a good move to cement his position.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the chapter~ :3
    Hmm… Strength wise, Sieg is stronger. I wonder how strong is Ratoka compared to Eliza. If he ever fought mock battle against Sieg when Eliza is absent… Welp…
    Eric, that guy… sigh…

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  3. But… rapiers are longer than most swords (which helps a lot with thrusting weapons), and because of that, they’re not particularly lighter than other swords either…

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      • The literal japanese text for the weapon they are using is 細剣, which directly translates to something like slender sword. Plus, they are supposed to be doing ceremonial swordsmanship, so I decided to go with rapier. If you have suggestions though, I’m all ears!

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      • I do think foil makes more sense than rapier given the description, and according to Wikipedia, they were also used mostly as practice swords, which would make sense given that we don’t want noble children to accidentally kill each other in mock duels.

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      • FYI. There is no such thing as a rapier foil. So I think you are looking for the term fencing foil.

        However, I do not think fencing foils are what they are using there since the thing is incapable of doing alot of things Eliza and Seighart are described to be doing. Especially since foils are mainly wobbly pieces of stiff wire. So rapier is correct.

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      • Also… Actually I almost posted a 1000 word comment about rapiers and fortunately caught myself.

        Essentually, rapiers are actually not really that long. Still decent in length but not longer than most swords aside from short swords. They only seem longer due to the combat stances rapier wielder can take compared to most other swords where they can stretch out to strike an opponent due to how light and balanced a rapier is.

        A rapier’s main feature is it’s lightweight and balance between it’s blade and hilt where you can literally balance the sword on your finger if placed right between the two parts. The scene in Pirates of the Carribean is a good example. Of course, this means that it limits the amount of metal that can be put into the blade and also how long the blade is without making it too thin.

        Hope this helps… It’s still long though…

        Liked by 3 people

      • @sniperd20
        The sword in Pirates of Carribeans is not a rapier. The one that Will presents to Elizabeth’s fiance is actually an epee du cour aka. smallsword which is basically a shortened & simplified form of rapier.
        A rapier’s blade is roughly the same length as a longword’s. It’s narrower but at the same time thicker than a longsword’s blade. The thickness is necessary to make it stiff & thus better suited for impaling your opponent. It goes without saying that such a blade can’t cut off your opponent’s limb nor send his head flying. But, it is still good enough to cut tendons & blood vessels.

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      • According to Wikipedia, rapiers have an average blade length of 104cm, and weigh 1 kg.

        In comparison, falchions weigh less at 0.9kg, and have a blade length of 80cm.

        Arming swords, another one-handed sword weighs 1.1kg, and only has a blade length of 74cm.

        Compared to TWO-handed swords such as a long sword, which have an average weight of only 1.4kg, and a blade length of up to 92cm, which is actually still LESS than the rapier,

        I’ve pulled these numbers from Wikipedia, not the most trustworthy source, but I don’t know any others. But, from this I don’t get where you are getting that rapiers are not longer than other swords, or that they are lighter. Yes, they are lighter given their length, but they are not overall lighter. Are you referencing some other sword in particular?

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      • Also the ever popular katana apparently has a blade length of 60-73 cm (less than 3/4 of a rapier), and overall weight is between 1.1-1.3 kg.

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      • @Ryuutobi
        Huh, is that so? Could have sworn I saw an edge on the body of the blade. Regardless, the balancing concept is still the same.

        Now that I think about it. Epees are oftem used for dueling and combat school for practice, so the weapons Eliza and Seighart are using could very well be Epees… But if we are to judge timelines… Epees actually a rather… New weapon.

        @ArKain
        A general difference of 6cm can mean alot of difference. However, you must also take into account other parts of a weapon, especially the grip. The rapier usually have a single handed grip, there was also a time where there was even half-grips but it was stupid and did not last long for obvious reasons. But grips do increase the overall reach of the weapon. Longsword have one-and-a-half grip for adaptability between one handed and two handed btw.

        Also, I am basing this off solely on European weapons. If we add Asian weapon, almost all the weapons here are shorter due to the method of usage, field of usage and simple preference. Katanas also have two to Two-and-a-half handed grips if judged by European standards for better pivoting and stronger strikes. If compared side by side. The total length between a katana and a rapier is really not much.

        Honestly, I love discussing these things. But for the sake of others I gotta keep it short. So I’ll just end it here. I got about 13 years of medieval sword fighting experience under me so please feel free to ask ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

      • @sniperd20 I realize that two-handed swords have a longer grip in order to accommodate the second hand, which is why I am only looking at the blade length for a fairer comparison. When looking at the overall length of the swords, the rapier does still seem to have about on average, a whole 25 cm over that of other one-handed swords (shorter than two-handed swords of course).

        The comment about the katana was just adding another sword as a comparison. You can ignore it.

        Regarding your original point of a rapier not being longer than most swords, which sword was that comment referring to? I feel that rapiers should indeed be longer than most swords of the same class, as I can only find one-handed swords that are much shorter than rapiers, and even some two-handed swords I know of (which are expected to be longer than one-handed swords) are about the same blade length as the rapier (again, only looking at two-handed swords as the ‘next step up’ comparison, not actually expecting it to win against most two-handed weapons in length). Also, I’m assuming by short-swords you mean swords like the gladius.

        The two-handed swords included in the comparison were only to show how long the rapier is, I’m not saying that a one-handed weapon is really expected to out-range two-handed weaponry, it’s just that the rapier having a comparable blade length should mean a lot.

        Regarding your original point of a rapier being light, I am also not seeing that in the comparisons between one-handed swords I know of. Yes, it is much lighter than two-handed swords but those are of a different class, so let’s ignore those. It is a slight bit lighter than some swords, but not enough that I’d say lightweight is one of its distinguishing characteristics.

        Also regarding balance, yes, from what I know, the point of balance is what gives it its nimbleness (not its weight), where most swords have its center of mass further down the blade to give it cutting power, the rapier has it above the hilt to allow it to pivot about that point easily.

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      • @ArKain
        In my effort to lower the word count I removed alot of words, as you should have already noticed.

        When I said that it is shorter than most swords, I meant most ‘categories’ of swords. There are numerous but for the overarching categories, let’s go with short swords, broadswords, small swords, longswords and 2-handed swords.

        You have already said it all so I’ll leave it at that. But in the case of numbers, the variety of longsword styles and the sheer number of different type of 2 handed swords out there far out number the types of smallsword there are. That’s all that I meant.

        As your query on it’s weight… I honestly am not sure about your side. Most rapiers I have ever held weighs about a kilograms. Other one handed swords I have held weighs almost 50% more. Some even double but those are hacking type swords like scimitars and sabres where weight is necessary.

        It is necessary for rapiers because of the one attack method which is most effective for it. The Lunge. Most other weapons cannot effectively pull a lunge off and recover from it quickly. To be fair, most rapiers I have seen and used are only about 1m long from blade to grip. I have never actually seen a rapier the blade alone was more than 1m. Aside from the Estoc but estocs are under 2 handed swords.

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      • @sniperd20

        So basically you’re saying that a one-handed rapier is shorter and lighter than something like a zweihander… I feel like that’s like claiming polearms are very short range weapons because bows and crossbows exist, but alright then.

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      • Small swords are probably the likeliest HISTORICAL candidate, but I doubt the novel is going for historical accuracy, since a lot of myths circulate about rapiers being light and fast.

        They’re not. They require a lot of grip strength and are about as weighty as long swords wielded in *two* hands. Two. Not one. Either is fast. And normal humans don’t go for bodybuilder physiques but more the practical strength of a gymnast or plays tennis or something. Strength equals speed. Core strength in particular is important because the adage about lifting with the knees applies roughly the same way with swords. You get the most displacement out of moving your lower half, not your upper half. Power is a function of displacement.

        Small swords are the court swords historically. Not that they weren’t sharp. They’re basically long shivs and less genteel people aren’t shy about using it like one, or getting their hands on you in the process if needs be.

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      • Also bodybuilder culture is largely a product of modernity. It requires eating a lot and training almost specifically for a look or very specialized form of competition deadlifting. Think about the kind of strength most Olympic athletes have and that’s really the kind of functional strength that a swordsman is better served by. You want Bruce Lee, not Arnold Shwarzenagger.

        William Marshall was alleged to have been the best knight that ever lived, but artistic depictions show that his physique isn’t some comical bodybuilder people expect.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Marshal,_1st_Earl_of_Pembroke

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      • Also:
        There’s a risk of being *too* formal about categorizing swords, since a lot of the time the categories tended to blur, vary by geography or by personal preference.

        Think about the sheer variety of handguns there are:
        Revolvers, sliders. In every size, capacity and caliber. You have ultracompact carry-conceal weapons, people who prefer 9mm to .45. People like different ergonomics from different manufacturers and on-and-on. You even have bizzarities like pistols that chamber shotgun shells.

        Swords simply are no different.

        I’m limp-wristed pansy and much rather to fight with sabres to rapiers, since small wrist movements do require quite a lot of forearm strength and you have an ungainly point heavy weapon. A sabre is a nice fulcrum and you can cheat a bit with elbows sometimes.

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  4. Eric…


    I can only say that he’s one of the worst characters I have ever read about in terms of pettiness and also the all bark but no bite category.

    He sucks…big time.

    (That’s probably an understatement but that’s what entered my mind the moment I typed this comment.)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Sieg was so absorbed in understanding the happenings and probably excited to have a rival around his age that he could spar for the next 3 years, when suddenly comes a brat talking nonsense! Brats who only lived behind the walls, always protected, never hearing real stories of the battlefield (at most those for kids), and not knowing a thing about the war that is going on should just be quiet!
    If things continue the way it is he may even be exchanged by Eliza on the prince’s cycle……… maybe that’s why he reacts so much about Eliza, because he is useless and her, a girl of the same age, has so many accomplishments, is already working as an adult and has a path to walk in (heir, Lord of a domain, border defense), while he doesn’t seem to have a talent and consequently his chances of getting higher noble rank are rather low.

    But what a good surprise to see that the prince and the idiot’s brother actually are getting hands on job~

    Thanks for the chapter! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, no, no, no, no, never happening. Eliza deserve someone better, even if she said she will most likely get married for convinience I want her to have a happy end.

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      • Nah. Even if she intends to have a political marriage, just by looking at how ALL the military nobles (and Lord Molton) treat her, do you think any of them are going to allow such a thing to happen?

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  6. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA It’s so cute how Eliza is so much more mature than kids her age and always so fed up of their immaturity and pettiness.

    And thanks for another fast but very good work, imperfectluck.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. “Swordsmanship is something that’s supposed to be elegant, beautiful, fair, and clean.”
    Hmm, so they teach student Swordsmanship like that then send them to battlefield in future. No wonder why many soldiers die for nothing because instead of focusing to the enemy they were babysitting this noobs on the battlefield.
    Well ceremonial swordsmanship is for dueling enemy commander anyway but that’s all there is, after watching those dance steps is where the real battle begins and the idiot to lose that duel will be the one getting more of his soldiers die.

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    • “Humph. As expected, cowardly methods befit the cold-blooded earl famous for killing unarmed enemies without even flinching. Doing such an ugly thing, winning with no pride or honor at all.”

      Has no one else told this moron that those ‘Unarmed enemies’ he’s talking about was those prisoners who were suppose to be executed anyway and Eliza was just doing her job to instill fear to enemies by impaling and roasting those prisoners!

      If this go on i might hire author-san to change the setting and kill off this moron by impaling and roasting him to death!

      Liked by 1 person

    • well they are probably teaching nobles who most likely will never be part of any battlefield, and yep they will die if that happens. they probably have different training regime for the actual soldiers and knights..

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    • It is, if you’re really really really good.
      But in the way that an athlete is really beautiful to watch. It’s not really appreciable to anybody but other geeks in the subject because the whole point is to dispose of the other person quickly without them every become a threat. So there isn’t supposed to be much to see.
      Rapiers aren’t actually faster than other kind of sword, for whatever arbitrary measure of “fast” they’re going for.

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      • Rapiers are actually an effective civilian sidearm, and all swords are sidearms. Perfectly valid weapons of self-defense for sailors and other common tradesmen. Just not practical for the battlefield since you may want to give an edge in confined quarters.

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  8. 13 year olds actually acting like 13 year olds, except Eliza. Poor Eric, her mature attitude probably tickle his toes a little too much. He’ll come around eventually.

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  9. “Swordsmanship is something that’s supposed to be elegant, beautiful, fair, and clean.“
    “Yeah yeah, the elegant, beautiful, fair, and clean is now bleeding while the tactic suited for commoner soldiers win the day! How great it is to waste time with this bullshit! Im out of here!“
    Eliza turns and leave.
    Everybody O.o
    XD

    Thanks for the translation!

    Like

  10. I never understood what make those abusive tsundere so dreamy and popular in shojo’s stories.
    I dropped quite a few mangas where I could only see the female MC as some sort of frustrating brainless masochist or having a hard case of stockholm syndrome for actively pursuing an abusive and sadistic love interest.
    I got a friend IRL who was abused and mistreated by her asshole boyfriend (even physically sometimes), and she still defended him when me and other people where trying to help her, she even refused a few time the help of organisms specialized in helping abused spouses)…
    Maybe that’s why I have a such a hard time to understand and accept why this kind of characters could even be presented and promoted actively in a lot of mangas and stories as a acceptable love interrests.
    (and it goes also for the violent tsundere of shonen stories too, why would you try to romance a girl that had broken your arm, hit you on a regular basis or tryed to kill you with a blunt weapon quite a few time ?)

    Liked by 4 people

    • The reason I’ve heard from psychology is that there are plenty of women and men out there that like to think they can “fix” their counterpart’s behavior through love. I quite disagree with this concept myself, however.

      Like

  11. lol, this chapter.
    Eliza: I agree with Eric.
    Sieghart: Don’t worry Eliza, I’m on your side!
    Eric: But Sieghart, I’m on your side!
    Eliza: ?!

    On the bright side, after this fiasco, it’s likely nobody would do something as stupid as challenging Eliza to a duel. After all, she ‘doesn’t fight fair’. I’m sure Eliza won’t miss those duels anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks 4 the chapter!

    Sieg being from a military family probably appreciated having someone to spar using practical swordplay that would keep him alive in a battle.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I don’t understand why she doesn’t respond she has a higher rank since she has a title. I don’t understand this japanese mentality who think that if you do nothing the bully will stop, that just make youvan easy target. If you resist they will get tired of it

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    • It’s because she’s already the center of negative attention as it is, she doesn’t want to cause more trouble. And, I think that Eliza is hardly an easy bully target.

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    • Eliza isn’t really affected by the bullying like most people would. She isn’t looking for companionship or reputation and already has a bit of a logical mind, so she brushes it off. I’m sure if something serious happened that injured her or harmed her public reputation she would do something.

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  14. She is for eric because she doesn’t defend herself so he thinks what he’s doing is right, he wouldn’t dare being such dick if she did because he would just make a fool out of himself.

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