Chapter 1 - Master
Someone gave a sharp cry and raced forward.
She was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl in her late teens whose short body was contained in a sleeveless outfit that left her shoulders, upper arms, and thighs exposed. She looked like a broadminded sort of person.
The wooden sword she held in both hands whipped up the wind as it roared out with impressive force.
The blow was blocked by a long black-haired woman in her early twenties. She had a unique atmosphere that caused everyone around her to stand up straight. Instead of a dress, she wore a knight’s outfit.
That meant a knee-length cloak that was skintight on the upper body. The bold slit along the sides allowed her long legs out. Those legs were contained in skintight pants, but the tailoring and fabric were both top notch.
She almost looked like she was crossdressing, but she only wore it because it allowed for easy movement and she had no intention of rejecting her feminine sex.
As proof, she wore a ruby brooch at her chest.
When the two of them clashed, the crash of their wooden swords echoed up into the summer sky. The girl’s charge was deflected, but she recovered with monkey-like agility and started back in again.
They both had considerable skill in the same school of sword fighting, but their technique contrasted as much as their clothing.
The short blonde girl with the revealing outfit of a female warrior moved swiftly and nimbly like an animal. The black-haired woman who accurately caught those rough and ever-changing strikes used elegant footwork and demonstrated clever skill. Never rushing, never halting, and never shaken, she deflected every attack with flowing movements resembling a dance.
They both wielded wooden swords, but in the hands of an expert, those were as dangerous as a real sword. Neither one wore much in the way of armor and a direct hit to the head could easily send them on a one-way trip to the afterlife.
On a verdant field bathing in the sunlight, the golden-haired girl made her next strike with lightning-like speed. The black-haired woman sent her sword dancing to the left and swung it right. They both used their full skill to exchange slashes. They had clearly fought like this more than a 100 times before.
Several respectful gazes were directed toward their battle. Those two were the #1 and #2 fighters in Beatrice, a village of courageous swordswomen.
Beads of sweat flew and their breathing was as heavy as a storm. Their skill levels appeared perfectly matched, but the two of them could tell the difference.
It was a slight thing, like the difference between 10 and 9, but the black-haired swordswoman was definitely winning. That the blonde swordswoman was aware of that was proof of her outstanding skill. The average swordswoman would have been entirely unaware.
Panicked, the blonde girl attempted an unorthodox strategy. She struck sharply, but when that too was deflected, she kicked off the ground to fly high into the air.
She forcefully swung down the wooden sword in her hands. This head-on downwards strike was forceful enough to cleave a boulder in two.
But such a big move created openings. The black-haired swordswoman calmly responded by grabbing at the airborne girl’s ankle to knock her off balance.
Thanks to that, the special move failed. The blonde girl landed back-first on the natural grass. She tried to hop back up and strike back, but the tip of her opponent’s wooden sword was already pressed against her throat.
Unable to move or get up, the girl grimaced with sweat on her brow and finally accepted defeat.
Ralfint was an old kingdom on the east side of the continent.
It had perhaps the oldest history and traditions of the prominent kingdoms, but that also brought many limitations.
It was packed full of influential clans and temples and each region within it had a strong independent streak.
And a little over a century ago, a civil war had broken out between the king’s younger brother and the king’s son over who would inherit that throne. The influential nobles had all taken their sides, but similar succession issues had occurred in those noble families, other complicated factors had further tangled things, and the fighting still raged on to this day.
One factor allowing the war to continue was the terrain of Ralfint. There were so many mountains, valleys, and rivers that transportation was never easy. So even if one battle had a clear victor, that result would not propagate very far through the entire kingdom.
That had allowed the civil war to continue for over a century without ending.
Naturally, the kingdom could no longer govern itself properly and it was gradually falling into a state of anarchy, so the cities and villages had to learn to defend themselves since the government was not going to provide any assistance.
And a lengthy war would lead to the development of highly specialized martial arts. Many martial artists had risen to prominence in different regions of the kingdom and created various schools.
There were the warrior priests and priestesses of the Bias Spear Church or the Tina Boxing Temple, the Sorcerer’s Sword school that called themselves Radiant Swordsmen, the continent’s largest magic school started by Great Sage Tode, and even a ninja group known as the Night Crows.
Their unique techniques were as varied as they were impressive.
The mountains of Ralfint were packed with those abnormally talented people. At times they were hired by Ralfint’s king to fight in the civil war and at times they were hired as mercenaries by other kingdoms across the continent. Those excellent mercenaries could be seen as the kingdom’s greatest export.
One area colored by its unique techniques was the Beatrice region in the mountains southeast of Ralfint’s capital of Bermia. At first glance, it looked like a verdant rural village with mountains, rivers, and farmlands, but it was known as the home of a sword fighting style named the Shooting Star Flower, commonly known just as the Shooting Flower.
It was so elegant and ostentatious it was said to have been developed from a form of dance. It was known as a style for women and its power was undeniable.
One key feature of the Shooting Star Flower was the use of jumping in addition to the sword. The willow-like litheness of a woman’s legs was used to launch them like a whip.
The most well-known name when it came to female mercenaries was the Crystal Temple which had its headquarters in the center of the continent and sent people all over to take in orphaned girls and raise them as warriors, but the Shooting Flower was known for producing elite warriors, just not on the same scale as the Crystal Temple.
And it helped that they had Irene who bore the title of Master Swordswoman.
“Ahh, and I was so close too.”
After the wooden sword was removed from her throat, the blonde girl arched her back and sprung up to her feet. Her name was Millia and she was the #2 swordswoman in Beatrice.
She was young and short, but she had a healthy body with a muscular build. She had proven today just how nimbly and strongly she could move using the tight muscles on her boldly exposed arms and legs.
The face atop that young and well-developed body was somewhat youthful and round.
One look at her grass-and-sweat-covered body was enough to know she was not too interested in maintaining her appearance, but she was fairly good looking to begin with. Her facial features were adorable and “cute” may have been the best word for her.
Her golden hair was reminiscent of a wheat field during the autumn harvest, her eyebrows were thick, her eyes were large, and a lively light shined in those violet eyes.
Her leather outfit left her arms and legs almost fully exposed, those limbs were tanned a healthy reddish-brown, and there was a mischievous look on the face below the thin woven rope around her forehead. She was a cheerful girl with the atmosphere of child prankster.
The way she fought using her excess energy was so much like a lone wolf that the others called her the Golden Wolfling.
“It was close. So maybe in a few more years.”
The black-haired woman smiled with her rose-red lips.
She was unusually beautiful for such a rural area. Her beauty was so perfect that some people were hesitant to approach her, but her smile was like a blooming flower. It was a smile overflowing with elegance.
She was Irene, the leader of the Beatrice region, a Master Swordswoman, and the current master of the Shooting Star Flower who could quickly gather more than 200 skilled swordswomen.
She was no more than the head of a rural noble family, but her skill with the blade was known throughout the kingdom and beyond. People knew her as the Sword Dancer, the Blade Ballerina, and the Moon Slicing Princes.
People with a certain kind of charm could gather attention with their mere presence and she was exactly that sort of person.
She had an egg-shaped face, softly curving eyebrows, and lips like a rosebud. Her smooth straight black hair fell down to her butt.
She was tall for a woman, but she was skinnier than Millia. The word slender was appropriate.
Her black cloak had a bold slit on either side to help her ride a horse or swing a sword.
Her straight posture accentuated the large breasts pushing out her clothing. She carried a sword on the wide red cloth tied around her tight hips. And her tight butt pushed the cloth up in the rear.
Despite her relaxed pose, she left no openings and somehow managed to be both elegant and sharp at the same time.
She was charming and dignified. She had the air of a noble and lovely features.
Her appearance carried a combination of sex appeal and refinement and her behavior carried a combination of an adult woman’s charm and a swordswoman’s strength.
“You’re so strong, Irene.”
Millia groaned with beads of sweat on her forehead.
Irene tried to soothe her, but she refused to just accept it.
She had been close, bit that last gap felt insurmountable. With a real sword, she would have been killed. Irene said she would catch up in a few years, but Irene would not remain at the same level after all that time. She was growing too.
Millia saw Irene as the ideal woman in sword technique, in femininity, and in good looks. She knew she could never outdo her in any way.
“I really worked up a sweat, so let’s call it a day. We can all take a bath and drink some tea.”
Irene was just as sweaty as Millia.
She untied the thin string around her hair and enjoyed the cool breeze. The wind brushed at her hair and surrounded her body.
Each and every one of her actions gave off sex appeal.
The girls who had watched the match gave a cheer.
It had started as a free-for-all sparring match and Irene and Millia had simply been the last two standing, so all the others were sweaty too.
“Kyah, it’s so cold!”
After quickly stripping off all her clothes, a nude Millia jumped into the river, producing an impressive splash.
She was still a child at heart, but her body was another story.
Her tanned skin gave off the youthful glow of a teenage girl and her breasts and butt were quite large. She had the unique sex appeal of someone at the midpoint between girlhood and womanhood.
Then the other swordswomen with equally youthful bodies began stripping off their clothes and jumping into the river to produce large pillars of water.
Finally, Irene carefully removed her clothing, hung it over a tree branch, and stepped into the river.
Her clothing must have worked to hide her curves because her body was even more impressive now. That was the nudity of an undeniably beautiful woman.
Her smooth skin was like living marble and she had broad shoulders with developed deltoids. The voluminous breasts swelling out just below her collarbones could not fight gravity as well as Millia’s and sagged just a bit, but that actually added to their sex appeal.
Her stomach was tight without a hint of fat and she had a large butt on her pelvis. Her long legs had thick thighs, tight calves, and slender ankles.
Her smooth body was blessed with feminine curves.
Millia and the other girls gasped and felt their heart pounding whenever they saw her in the nude.
Irene was known as the Sword Dancer and the Blade Ballerina because of her skill with swords and her beauty of a goddess.
The swordswomen began to enjoy their bath.
The river was too deep to stand after just a few steps in, but they were all confident swimmers.
“Phew, there’s nothing like a nice bath in the summer.”
Millia kicked up at the water’s surface to create a large splash and stuck just the one plump and tanned leg out of the water.
In the midsummer sun, the naked women and girls had to float in the river for a while before their overheated bodies cooled.
Suddenly, Irene called out to her best student while her black hair floated in the water like seaweed.
“Millia, you’ve been pestering me about going on a journey to train and I think you’re ready now.”
As soon as Millia heard that, she righted herself to look at Irene.
“Yes, you are skilled enough and I too was only 16 when I left the village. I think you can handle a journey on your own now.”
A journey was a good opportunity to see aspects of reality one was not accustomed to. It was a good idea for a warrior who did not want to be sheltered.
“Way to go, Millia.”
“I’ll make sure to fight lots of strong people across the continent. And then I’ll come back to beat Irene for once.”
Millia jumped up from the river and clenched her fists.
“Buy us some souvenirs, okay?”
“She might have a boyfriend with her when she gets back.”
“The point of the journey is to train. Besides, I’m not interested in boys.”
Millia’s answer was met with laughter.
She was the best student here when it came to sword technique, but she was shockingly pure when it came to issues of sex.
“You might not be interested, but all the boys out there will be very interested in you when they see these giant tits.”
One of the bathing swordswomen moved up behind Millia and grabbed her boobs.
Plenty of Millia’s teenage growth had gone to her breasts.
Their size was just as impressive as Irene’s. No, since she was shorter, hers had even more of an impact.
And since Irene was 22, hers were unlikely to grow any further, but Millia was still a growing girl. They would be even bigger before all was said and done.
However, Millia had an inferiority complex about her breasts. She thought Irene’s were big, shapely, and perfectly suited for her body type, but she thought hers were awkwardly large.
“These just get in the way.”
She tried to escape the girl’s hands, but the girl would not let her go and began groping those mounds.
“Hee hee. You’re enjoying this, aren’t you? You’re such a horny girl.”
“I am not horny.”
Millia sullenly turned her head to the side.
“If you run across a hot guy on your journey, put his you-know-what between these and massage it with them. He’ll go off in no time.”
“I already told you I’m not interested in that. I wish I was as flat as you, Sophia.”
“Miiilliiiaaa, are you trying to piss me off? Here’s what you get.”
With a frightening pitch to her voice, Sophia pinched Millia’s nipples between her fingers and started tweaking them.
“Ah ha ha ha ha ha! Ah, wait, stop that!”
Millia laughed and writhed around until she managed to throw the girl off her back and into the river.
She gasped for breath now that she was free. Once the other girl got her head above water again, she placed a hand over her mouth and grinned.
“You’re so sensitive, Millia.”
“Hey, look! Millia’s nipples are hard.”
Another girl joined in by pointing that out.
“They are not!”
Millia blushed bright red and started attacking the other girls to hide her embarrassment. The girls fled through the river and they all began splashing each other.
This level of teasing and touching was an everyday occurrence for them. Irene stayed out of it and swam a while longer before crawling up onto a rock to rest.
The naked girls shined bright as they splashed in the water below the midsummer sun. Irene narrowed her eyes as she viewed that peaceful scene that looked like frolicking fairies.
When she wrung out her wet hair while up on the rock, it looked like a scene from a painting. Back down in the river, Millia could not keep her eyes off of the woman.
When Irene moved from the hair over her left shoulder to the hair over her right shoulder, she shifted the position of her thighs and Millia got a look between the woman’s spread legs. The girl immediately looked away.
Millia did not think much of anything about people seeing her naked, but her heart always pounded when she saw Irene in the nude.
“Okay, I’m about ready to go. All of you need to get out soon.”
“Ah, wait! I’ll go with you.”
When Irene got dressed and prepared to leave, Millia hurried out of the river. She did not go to the trouble Irene had. She just shook her head to throw the water from her hair and youthful body. Then she threw back on her clothes.
Even Irene was shocked at how quickly she managed it.
“Okay, let’s go!”
Millia grabbed Irene’s arm and clung to it.
Irene used her towel to finish drying off Millia’s hair as they left together.
Since Millia would be leaving on her journey the following day, the other girls waited back at the river so those two could be alone.
“How are you ever going to survive being out on your own?”
“I’ll be fine. I’m not a kid anymore.”
Millia cutely puffed out her cheeks.
“Hee hee. All of you are children to me. A parent always sees their children as children.”
Millia accepted that in silence. Irene was far too young to be her actual mother, but she acted like a mother for Millia and the other village children. No, she was more than a mother to them.
Irene could be gentle and weak in some ways, but her courage and swordsmanship were undeniable. At the same time, everyone in Beatrice knew the kind person behind the harsh training.
They all trusted that she would save them if anything were to happen to them, so they were prepared to save her if anything happened to her.
That powerful bond of trust was one of the reasons the Shooting Star Flower had left its mark on the continent despite being developed in such a rural village.
“Be careful, okay?”
Irene placed her lips on Millia’s. Millia silently closed her eyes and hesitantly stuck out her tongue. Irene silently accepted the girl’s tongue, sucked at it, tangled her own tongue with it, and sent her saliva into the girl’s mouth. Millia did not hesitate to swallow her beloved master’s saliva.
In this village, a kiss between women was a sign of pure love with no sexual connotation. It was meant to show that they would be together in spirit even while apart.
However, these two took it several steps beyond the norm, hinting that there was something more between them.
The next morning, Irene and the other girls saw Millia off as she cheerfully left her home village of Beatrice for a journey around the kingdom.
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