"After the class ended, Napoleon wasted no time in making his way to his dormitory within the school. As he stepped inside the dormitory, his eyes scanned the room, taking in the sight of the interior. The space was sparsely furnished, with a single bed in the corner and a small desk next to it. The walls were painted a dull beige color, and the only source of light was a single window that let in a faint stream of sunlight. Despite the lack of adornment, Napoleon felt a sense of relief wash over him as he settled into his comfortable bed.
His first day of class is just as boring as the first day that he had in his previous world. It was an introduction where the professors would recount their credentials and the syllabus for the semester.
However, on that very same day, he met a kid who did not hesitate to assert dominance over him. In all of the subjects, each student was asked to introduce themselves. And there he learned that the brat's name was Louis, son of Count Philippe of Montauban, though that's how he introduced himself.
The brat kid has challenged him to a duel, fencing specifically, and he accepted the challenge.
"Fencing huh?" Napoleon muttered under his breath. He doesn't know how fencing works but he had heard of it before from movies. Basically, it's two people trying to stab each other with a long, thin rapier while wearing protective gear.
Napoleon spent the next few hours trying to learn as much as he could about fencing. He spent hours in the system the Goddess of Fate bestowed on him, pouring over books on the subject. He practiced every spare moment he had, using wooden sticks to mimic styles and footwork he had read about.
Five hours later, Napoleon felt satisfied with his progress; it felt to him that he could win the duel tomorrow as he had learned complicated and sophisticated moves in just that timeframe. Maybe fencing is one of the skills included in the fighting skills the Goddess of Fate granted him, which is probably the reason why he learned fencing easily.
But without a mock battle, he can't be too sure of himself. He needed experience, but there was no time for that. The only time when he will be able to put his practice to the test is the duel tomorrow morning.
"I hope the cheat the Goddess of Fate gave me was not a fluke," Napoleon said to himself.
Finally, the day of the duel arrived. Napoleon and Louis faced each other in the courtyard of the school, surrounded by a group of curious onlookers.
"Fencing is not a sport for peasants," Louis sneered as he watched Napoleon don his fencing gear clumsily.
Napoleon was unfazed by Louis's insult as he adjusted the mask.
After that, stepped onto the designated fencing area and faced Louis.
Louis smirked and stepped forward, rolling his shoulders and sweeping his blade twice through the air – a sign the duel was about to begin.
Napoleon exclaimed softly beneath his mask, so flashy, he wondered if he could do that—and so repeated the rapier movements he had made.
Louis's eyes narrowed in displeasure. "You talk big for someone who's struggling to hold his rapier properly," he scoffed.
"I'm Louis de La Rochefoucauld, first son of Count Philippe of Montauban. How about you?"
There was a hint of mockery in Louis's tone and his friends started laughing. Possibly because they believed Napoleon doesn't have a noble background like Louis.
Napoleon ignored their puerile attempt at riling him up and introduced himself according to the customs.
"I'm Napoleone Buonaparte."
"I'll give you the honor of striking first, come at me Napoleone," Louis taunted.
"You talk big for someone who is nothing but a pretentious brat, Louis. I bet you've never tasted defeat in your entire life. But what if a lowly commoner like me beats you in this duel? Your precious family name and reputation in this school will be nothing but a joke. Do you have the guts to face that kind of shame, or are you just all bark and no bite?"
"Your way of speaking is uncivilized, of course, I would never ever imagine myself losing to the likes of you. You might not know this but I'm the best at fencing."
"All the more reason to be more worried because if I defeat you at your best, then what does that say about you?" Napoleon retorted, a smirk forming beneath his mask.
Louis's eyes narrowed in annoyance. "You talk big for someone who's barely holding his rapier properly," he sneered.
Napoleon shrugged nonchalantly. "We'll see about that," he said as he took up his stance, his eyes focused on Louis.
The two fencers began to circle each other again, the tip of their rapiers clinking as they met. Napoleon watched Louis carefully, waiting for an opening.
Moments later, Louis advanced, thrusting the tip of his rapier towards Napoleon's heart, completely abandoning his earlier gracious offer to let Napoleon make the first strike.
Napoleon noticed something was off; Louis's movements were sluggish, as if in slow motion. He wondered what was happening and looked around, only to see others moving at the same snail's pace. Could it be that his cheat had been activated?
Napoleon took advantage of it and made a quarter turn to the left, letting the blade cut only air. His own rapier swept up, then down in a precise, diagonal arc. But just as it was about to land on Louis's neck, he stopped, letting the situation sink in him.
"If this was a real blade, you would have been killed already. I thought that you were good at fencing, but all I see is a brat who doesn't know how to hold a blade properly," Napoleon said, his voice dripping with disdain.
"The heck did you say?!" Louis swatted Napoleon's blade away and repositioned himself, his face contorted with anger and confusion.
"What the hell did he just do? His movement was fast and precise," Louis muttered to himself.
Napoleon raised his blade. "What's wrong? Given up already?"
Louis gritted his teeth, his grip tightening around his rapier.
"I am not so easily defeated," he said, his voice low and controlled. He lunged forward, his rapier aimed for Napoleon's chest.
But Napoleon was ready. He stepped to the side and parried the blow, his own rapier flicking out to strike Louis's arm. Louis winced in pain and pulled back, his expression darkening.
"You are good," he said through gritted teeth. "But I am better."
Napoleon chuckled. "Is that so?" He circled around Louis, watching him carefully.
Suddenly, Louis launched a flurry of attacks, his rapier darting forward in a series of quick jabs. But Napoleon was quicker, his rapier deflecting each blow with ease.
"Too predictable," Napoleon said, his eyes gleaming with amusement. "Speed can only get you so far, Louis. You need to start using your head if you want to stand a chance against me. I thought you were better than this, but it turns out you're just another wastrel disappointment
Napoleon deftly dodged Louis's next attack, stepping back and parrying the blow with a flick of his wrist. He countered with a swift thrust, aiming for Louis's chest. Louis managed to block it, but Napoleon followed up with a series of rapid strikes, his rapier moving in a blur.
Louis, who just saw such a flawless technique being performed in front of him, froze, and took each hit. He fell to his knees, his rapier slipping from his grasp. He looked up at Napoleon, his eyes filled with disbelief.
The crowds meanwhile were stunned at the events unfolding. Napoleon just beat Louis in fencing? Murmurs and chatters erupted among them.
"I… I don't understand," he stammered. "How can you be so good?"
But instead of getting an answer, Napoleon simply looked down on him.
"How does it feel when a mere commoner like me can outmatch a so-called nobleman like you?" Napoleon's voice dripped with icy satisfaction as he towered over Louis, who was still on his knees. The onlookers were silenced by the sudden change in the atmosphere, and some could even feel a shiver running down their spine.
Louis's face contorted with anger and humiliation, and he balled his fists. He refused to accept the reality of the situation, the fact that he had been beaten so easily by someone of lower social status.
But Napoleon wasn't finished. He leaned down, his face inches away from Louis's, and whispered in a cold, menacing tone. "You thought you were better than me, didn't you? You looked down on me. And now, as I stand here victorious, you will realize the painful reality that you are nothing but a hollow shell of your privilege.
Louis felt a chill go down his spine as he gazed up into Napoleon's eyes, now filled with a cold intensity that made him feel powerless. He realized that he had underestimated Napoleon, both as a fencer and as a person.
The onlookers watched in silence as Napoleon stood up, his eyes still locked onto Louis's. He sheathed his rapier and turned away, leaving Louis to pick himself up from the ground and face the shame of his defeat.
"Wait! We are not finished yet…" Louis interrupted, his voice shaking with anger and humiliation. But Napoleon did not even glance back. This infuriated Louis even more and shouted.
"HOW DARE YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON ME!"
Napoleon stopped in his tracks and slowly turned to face Louis, his piercing gaze locking onto him.
"Stop it," he growled, his voice low and dangerous. "You've already lost. Spare yourself further embarrassment and acknowledge that I am superior to you. No, scratch that. I'm not just superior to you, but to everyone here combined," he declared with a domineering tone. "Don't delude yourself into thinking you're better than me. I'm the only student who's achieved a perfect mark. If you can't accept that, you're only demonstrating your own ignorance."
Louis's face contorted with a mixture of anger and shame, as he struggled to find the words to respond to Napoleon's taunts. He knew that he had been outmatched in every way and that his pride had been shattered in front of the entire school. But he couldn't let Napoleon's arrogance go unchallenged.
"You may have won this duel," Louis spat out, his voice shaking with rage, "but that doesn't make you better than me. You may have a perfect mark, but that's just a number. In the end, you are just a commoner."
Napoleon scoffed, his voice dripping with icy disdain. "You're still holding onto that outdated bigotry, huh?" he sneered. "You're too blinded by your own hubris and privilege to recognize reality when it slaps you in the face. I have wasted too much time talking to you, I'll leave now."
Napoleon went back to his dormitory after the fencing battle. Just as he thought, fencing is included in one of the fighting skills that the Goddess of Fate blessed him. This is useful information, and with that, he knew that he can use other martial arts. Though he still believes in the notion that knowledge without experience is useless, so instead of relying on his cheat, he'll learn on his own, that way, he can feel the satisfaction of truly mastering a skill.
Now that the kid has been humbled, he can now study in his school with those spoiled brats leaving him alone. Defeating Louis in the fencing match is a statement that Napoleon was not to be underestimated. At least for now, they'll fear him, and that's probably the best thing that could happen to him.