Joshua: Hey, I hear you’re good with a sword…
Marisa: Who are you?
Joshua: I’m Joshua. And you?
Joshua: It’s a pleasure. By the way, you ever hear this?
Marisa: Hear what?
Joshua: Well, I guess it was popular for a while, way back when. But when two swordsmen met on the battlefield–even allied swordsmen– they would duel it out to test one another’s worth with the blade. So what do you say? Don’t you think it’s time to revive this tradition?
Marisa: … You want me to kill you?
Joshua: No, no, no. I’m not saying we have to fight to the death! It’s just a simple test of skill.
Marisa: …Fine. As long as I get a chance to whet my blade’s appetite.
Joshua: Er… Great! Now, what say we make this more interesting? If I win, you owe me, and if you win, then I owe you.
Marisa: Owe me what?
Joshua: …I’m not quite sure yet. How about… Ah, yes. How about you owe me a favor.
Marisa: I’m not following you.
Marisa: But it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to lose to you.
Joshua: Now you’re talking.
Marisa: Then let’s get started.
Joshua: Whoa! Hold your horses! Where’s the hurry? Let’s do this another day. After all, I like to savor the anticipation a little bit.
Marisa: I don’t get it, but fine.
Joshua: Great! We’re all set then. Next time we meet, we cross swords. Deal?
Marisa: … There’s nothing to anticipate. You’re simply going to lose.
Joshua: Well, I don’t know about that. See you later. I’m looking forward to it.
Marisa: Same here.
Joshua: Oh… Tsk!
Joshua: Dang…! There!!
Marisa: Ha! …
Joshua: Whew… After a match like that, I can be happy with a tie!
Joshua: You’re better than I thought.
Marisa: You’re not too bad yourself.
Joshua: Heh… Thanks. But remember, I was at a slight disadvantage, so…
Marisa: I must admit, I did hold you at a slight disadvantage. However, we are closely matched, despite our incompatible styles. I simply couldn’t land a decisive blow. But it was all worthwhile. After all, I’ve learned, and that is worth far more than any wager.
Joshua: I see. You’re a quick one, aren’t you? How did you get that good?
Marisa: Fighting is all I have.
Joshua: You live for the sword, eh? I prefer rolling the dice to swinging the sword, you know?
Marisa: …Why is that?
Joshua: Whew… I thought you’d never ask. You’re asking how I got hooked on gambling, right? Let me see… There’s not much to tell. I guess by the time I realized it, it was already too late. I’d grown bored of everything before I discovered gambling. But then I saw it–gambling was like life, in short little bursts. Life itself is just one big gamble! That’s how I see things.
Marisa: I see. … I don’t know anything about gambling, but it was a good duel. We must try this again soon.
Joshua: What, with no wager? That doesn’t sound very fun.
Marisa: Suit yourself.
Joshua: You mean that? Then we’ll have another bet. I’ll win next time. See you later.
Marisa: See you.
Joshua: …… How’s this?
Joshua: Whew… Looks like I won this time.
Marisa: …… I made a mistake.
Joshua: No, you’re just having a bad day. And it’s not like I had a decisive victory this time. I’d say we’re still just about even.
Marisa: All that matters is that I didn’t win. You won the bet. What do you want me to do?
Joshua: Oh, you remembered our last bet! That makes me happy. All right, here goes…
Joshua: I want you to be my partner for a while… How’s that sound?
Marisa: What? Your partner?
Joshua: Don’t get the wrong idea. I just meant for training. And gambling.
Marisa: So, nothing would change…
Joshua: Well, I suppose, but there’s still a point to it all.
Marisa: What’s that?
Joshua: If I train with you, I’m going to become a better swordsman. And if we train together, maybe we’ll each learn something.
Marisa: I could ask nothing better.
Joshua: And there’s something that I want to do soon when the war is over. It’s something that can’t be done in a single day or overnight. You could probably call this the biggest gamble of my entire life. I’m going to have to hone my skills, and I’ll need someone to help me. What do you say, Marisa? Won’t you lend me a hand?
Marisa: I’m good for fighting, and not much else.
Joshua: You think? I doubt that’s true. Well, think about it.
Marisa: …I’ll do it.
Joshua: I know this is a gamble, but… gambling is my hobby.
Marisa: I see that.
Joshua: Well, don’t let me down.
Marisa: I won’t. But try to keep it interesting, all right?
Joshua: Heh. Then I’ll do my best to keep you entertained. And remember what I said… Life is a gamble. You never know what’ll happen. But don’t worry. I’m sure you won’t be bored. Besides, how often do you meet someone you can spar with? Not to mention someone who can actually beat you!
Marisa: I’ll win next time, though.
Joshua: That’s the spirit, Marisa.