Important Announcement: Update on Project Gender Bender
「Tsu however, don’t rest your hands, yo!」
Despite changing stances, Sonya’s offense was relentless.
Reminiscent of a storm, the wind blade approached.
──Very quickly, the sharp wind blade came.
Almost requiring no time, this, which was produced from those wielded arms, was unbelievable.
Even though the color of light was wind attributed, its power was comparable to the power needed to cut down a tree.
Thus, I, who was parrying the wind blade until a while ago, was forced to avoid it.
Of course, the wind blade’s threat didn’t change just because I changed my stance.
Not lowering the power, my defense also didn’t rise. Rather, it fell to a more aggressive stance as I moved.1
With a fist enshrouded in magical power, I collided with the wind blade.
The magical power clashed with the other magical power, issuing a sound like iron being struck.
1st counter, 2nd counter, 3rd counter──like violently attacking swords, the high-pitched sounds stacked.
Unlike a while ago, rather than dodging it──I went head-on.
The intense sounds told of the transformation in the battle.
Sonya made a bitter sound.
Not parrying or avoiding it, but an interception.
The battle situation didn’t advance.
….That is, my defenses showed that it had become stronger.
Attack is often said to be the best defense. For an attack that came from afar, rather than just waiting──
It’s better to advance forward.
With my clenched fist, while accurately destroying the approaching blade, I firmly took a step forward.
Sonya took a tiny step back.
From that small action that one would overlook──the battle situation moved on.
With a starting heavy step, my body burst forward.
While escaping from the blade’s line of fire, I accurately kicked the ground.
Still, I caught by the blade but it wasn’t a direct hit.
Wielding my fist while going to conquer──take flight!
While running with my wielded fist, some accuracy dropped.
For the first time since the beginning of the duel I ran in a straight line as I aimed for her cheeks, finally it reached the distance where it would hit if I lengthened my hand.
Wind blade, that boasts of its high speed attacking characteristics, seems to concede one step as an attack at this proximity.
The wind blade stopped, the storm subsided.
Once I close the distance, the merit of using Sorcery disappears. Moreover──if it’s this close, my fist would land on Sonya’s body before the wind blade reaches me.
「Impressive. Most opponents would lose at this point」
「I have to pay you back as it is. ──However, surely this isn’t the end?」
「You understand it well don’t you. It begins from here, dayo!」
Without showing off to each other, we released magical power at the same time.
Converting the magical power in her body into Sorcery, she easily created a storm made out of magical power, reminding me of torrents in a storm.
As for me, I can’t lose. In contrast to Sonya’s magic, the quiet magical power that I had enhanced for over a hundred years wrapped around my body.
The Sorcery from before was splendid, but for fighting, such a thing isn’t needed.
As such──it should be more of simple fists clashing against each other, na!
With our swelling magical power, it was inevitable that it would meet at one point.
Eventually, my magical power collided with Sonya’s──the second act, began.
Once again, the first one to move was Sonya.
She seems to have confidence in her rapid fire attacks.
However, it wasn’t the conceited kind.
Although the power used wasn’t deadly, the speed was comparable to Chester’s given the attack range.
Of course, in a situation where there was some distance, it wouldn’t even be equal in difficulty to that ****** old man’s fist, but the attack speed would still be remarkable.
Although「Surging Waves」 was an attack stance, after all, Shijima Style was a school reputed for receiving.
In this area, I was forced to concede one step.
Perhaps with wind type Sorcery──without the loud sounds of the wind, Sonya approached me in an instant.
Unlike me and Chester who just kick the ground and move, her movement was understood to be one that wasn’t in a simple straight line.
If that’s the case, then doesn’t avoiding have a bad affinity with it?
Sonya came closer to me. As she was making short zigzags, I checked the appearance of my opponent.
──I felt a wind attributed magical power on my arm.
Judging from the emerald colored magical power and the shape that was similar to the wind blade from before, it seems that she will be wearing the wind blade on her arm.
Wearing magical power on one’s body, as expected, can’t be compared to a moment before. Calming my mind, although this one isn’t a storm-like torrent like the previous one, slight wind fluctuations can still be seen.
That being the case──I can’t use the option of avoiding it. Wearing magical power on my hand, I received that hand.
The lively arm was calmed down, but it was still enamored in a wind blade. In the palm that caught the blade, a scarlet line ran down.
Not receiving any damage, would not do.
But, I took the arm.
I looked at Sonya’s Bird Mask that was on the other side of the caught blade.
In my mind, I felt that the face on the inside was warped in distortion.
The wind user turned pale.
Having become aware of the heaviness of her taken arm, Sonya tried to escape by pulling her arm.
It was an excellent reaction. Escaping from the approaching crisis is a very good judgement.
──Except for when your opponent is from the Shijima Style.
The power that is to escape, a power that has to come from within the body, is something that is shown at the same time.2
And──due to that, it produces a「 Flow」in the force.
Lending a hand to the escaping force, I added a slight amount of power.
Then, like how a water drop could upset the equilibrium of a full cup of water, Sonya briefly lost control of her balance for a moment.
Shijima Style is a Martial Art that stems from the ‘flow of power’. If there is a ‘flow’, then I can make that ‘flow’ invert itself.
….Maa, as expected of the proverb ‘imagery is important, but feeling it is what is truly important’.
However, I succeeded in breaking her stance──I had been troubled for only a little bit.
The reaction speed that Sonya used to escape with far exceeded my estimations.
Even though in this way, I had somehow managed to upset her balance, it seems difficult to make a big move.
….In that case.
Rather than take advantage of the momentary defenselessness, I held the base of Sonya’s arm and drew a circle as I swung her light body in a circular manner.
Drawing a circle──is a little misleading.
What I really ‘drew’ was a semi-circle, with the ground designated as the end.
Sonya’s back was accompanied by a feeling of weightlessness for a moment, then she was smashed onto the ground.
Her lungs were shaken(crushed) by the shock, causing her to feel a considerable amount of pain.
But the duel was not yet determined. It seems that she had worn some magical power on her back as she was in the middle of ‘flying’ in the air.
If luck is on my side, I’ll be able to strike again, so I raised my arm raised──but she twisted her body as it had just reached the apex, forcibly escaping.
However, the damage dealt on Sonya wasn’t small.
When one’s lungs are shaken, there is an absurd amount of pain. One’s breathing will be disrupted and a dull pain
and sharp pain will mix together──
Anyway, rebuilding one’s stance in that kind of pain is very difficult.
──But, this is a good opportunity.
Though I simply state that it would be painful, there are many living beings that don’t care about this ‘law’.
When one is intimidated, keep pressing.
In a somewhat turbid movement, Sonya still managed to block the hard blow.
Nonetheless, as expected of Sonya, being able to block that even though her movement should be sealed, thus forcing my several received fists to be for naught.
However, Sonya doesn’t fall down.
Using my fist to attack, I thought.
‘….As expected, Shijima Style──there should be plenty of room for improvement for my blows, to.’
「****, don’t get, so cocky!」
Sonya, who had been exposed to the storm-like fist, cried and shouted in a shrill voice, after she had finally gotten back her breath.
In that instant, the storm rose up again. It was stronger than the previous magical power──it was a strong hardy wind reminiscent of a tornado.
Partly due to the fact that my body was lighter than the one from my previous life, my body was easily carried away by the wind.
Gusts of wind blew around with Sonya as the heart──before my body hit a rock, I rebuilt my stance.
Hastily turning my line of sight back to Sonya, Sonya had already made preparations to intercept.
….Fumu, although I want to continue being on the offensive, it seems like there’s no way.
I slowly crept towards Sonya.
There isn’t a barrage of Wind Blades, probably because she doesn’t want to wastefully use her magical power.
Such an amount of gusts of wind requires a tremendous amount of magic to create.
If it was me, I would not use it even if I could easily do it. Only if it were necessary would I use it, otherwise I would not.
Sonya, who possesses tremendous magical power, if she wanted was just to use Sorcery, then the remaining amount has to be considered. When fighting against a Sorcery user later on, this will be helpful.
「Haa, ha….good grief, there was no hesitation at all」
「Is this not to your liking?」
Following up from the beating that pressed up from earlier, Sonya offered her frank advice.3
Certainly, the continuous attack from before lacked the hesitation that women and children have but──
At the time when one Martial Art Style was fighting against another Martial Art Style, one is a Martial Artist before one is a woman or a child.
Moreover, I looked awfully happy while saying this.
「….I won’t deny it」
The mask that had cracked from the barrage cracked a bit more and fell as the words fell.
The mouth under that hidden surface──was dyed with a smile. See, like I thought.
But at the same time, I did not overlook that the air that wrapped around Sonya had changed.
「But, it’s already the end.
From this point, touching my body will no longer be allowed.
Sonya corrected her stance and like a small raindrop, she murmured a word.
『Burizu(Breeze)』, you say?
A faintly shining magical power was worn around Sonya’s body──it was tightly fitted.
…Is this really magic?
For me who was poorly informed in magic, if magical power gets into action after words, then it would be able to be easily recognized.
However, it was quite a short chant.
From its appearance, it doesn’t seem to be a magic that’s aimed for attack.
In the first place, being able to use magic with a short word, at best would light a fire on one’s fingertips, or if it’s Wind magic, it would produce a soft breeze──
If, thinking up to here, I felt a chill on my backbone threatening to turn it into a stick of ice.
As for this, this seems to be the fruit of your labor….」
Magic that produces a soft breeze. Perhaps──no, certainly, this magic was of that variation.
Although it seems worthless at a first glance, the magic that carried a little coolness──when she used it, it could change its appearance.
While saying so, I slowly cut down the distance. The distance from Sonya──was about two myrtles and a bit.
Cold sweat dropped down, a gentle breeze brushed it. The low temperature from the top of the mountain should carry a gentle coolness, but I got an illusion like that of a snowstorm that made my heart freeze.
….That being so, then I am already 「In Range」.
「Did you notice?
Really, you understand it because it’s you.
Magic that・・・causes・・・・a・・soft breeze, what do you think is meant」
The corners of Sonya’s exposed mouth of rises up.
The eyes hidden in the mask・・・・・・I wonder if they were in the same manner, stained in a challenging smile.
This is a surprisingly large-scale magic.
Fundamentally, the higher the effect of magic, the longer the chant.
Thus, during a battle where it’s one versus one, I have never seen magic that I am afraid of──
I, for the first time had felt the threat of magic within combat.
How could one stop magic that could be activated by just murmuring one word?
And a fairly large-scale magic at that, yes? Oi.
There was almost no consumption of magical power, and almost impossible to disrupt the invocation.
Despite all that the effect, almost all of the phenomena within its range was grasped, so it’s become something ridiculous.
「I call this ‘Aroma Vibration’. Maa, it is a magic that only causes a soft breeze.
It’s more of a magic concerned on technique.
….Now then, shall we begin round two?」4
Sonya laughed happily as she got ready.
I also got ready but──a slight bitter feeling appeared in my heart.
Yareyare, what to do when I’m attacked….
「Un, this is good weather」
Sonya, who had her Bird Mask on, extended her arms to the sky and said with a good feeling.
Slightly breathing with a blush on my face, I also looked up at the sky.
There was not one cloud in the sky, thus the sun was not blocked by anything, causing the sky to shine down on the stage.
‘Was this because the strong rain had stopped’, is what I wondered as its form became even more shining.
Anyway, that’s how it seemed.
Since the rain stopped, there was only one thing to do.
While Bird Mask was staring at a position some distance away, I slowly closed my eyes.
Inhaling a small breath, I felt a slight chill in the air as I took the small breath.
I slowly opened my closed eyes, suddenly looking to my back.
A small village was reflected under my eyes, looking smaller due to the height of the place, producing a certain aesthetic.
When seeing it up close, it was something to be impressed by──now that Natousha became part of the scenery background, it was also beautiful.
It’s something that one wouldn’t grow tired of even if they were to look at it forever. That type of illusion was created from the superb view that I was looking at, but I separated my eyes from it and fixed my eyes on Sonya again.
We went to the mountain adjacent to Natousha.
As for the altitude, it was moderately high. Maybe just a bit higher than Arubaku Mountains. We are currently here in an area halfway up the mountain.
In order for us to wholeheartedly exchange moves to our heart’s content, the village was not a choice due to the amount of eyes watching.
Was there a place where we could fight without being interrupted or seen──what Sonya showed me towards my request was this place.
Certainly, with this location, there was a lack of people watching, no hindrances.
However, it seems like I’m usually on a mountain to fight another person. Recalling Chester and my first bout in this life, a small smile floated on my face.
「But, is this place truly all right?
Though it isn’t currently excessively minded, it’s just that one can’t move the way one wants at a high altitude」
Probably because of sort of smile I gave off, due to how I didn’t know how to feel, Sonya anxiously called out to me.
At a height from which could be seen from the base of Natousha, as I said a while ago, it was at a position that was a bit chilly.
The cold of the mountain, from what I have heard, is due to the air being thinner. What Sonya felt anxious about was probably as such.
「It isn’t a problem. During the short time I attended the Academy, I practiced daily on a mountain. Exercise at a high altitude is not a problem because I’m used to it.」
Okay, maybe ten years isn’t a short period of time, but I trained myself in the mountains to avoid observation.
As for the height, I can’t say precisely, but it should still be a relatively high position.
Due to the fact that I am used to it, the unexpected worry was needless. When I told so, the aura around Sonya changed.
「….I see. Then I feel relieved.」
Even without looking at her face, it was obvious due to her energetic voice.
Not wanting to discourage someone due to a difference in environment, I am the same.
Listening to Sonya, it seems like her training was also in the mountains.
It seems like our conditions are similar.
So, since it is──to attain either victory or defeat, it all comes down to degree of practice.
「Now that all the worries are gone, let’s get started──」
「──Un, I’m also aching for a fight.」
It was like hanging bait in front of one’s eyes, it should’ve been the same for the other side.
The hunger of yearning and expectation・・to the limit.
Mutually, we took our stances.
I took a「Flowing Water」stance, Sonya took a stance that made one feel moderate weakness, it was a posture without an opening.
From the elbow which was bent around the chest, and the way the wrist hung relaxing in the posture was impressive. There was expected to be connections to various actions, the degree of completion of the stance was high. However──this stance, was perhaps not the firmest in「Martial Arts」. Perhaps it was self-taught, or something close to that.
──Oh, this is why it’s unbearable to have an unknown powerful opponent.
Strike, throw, and──magic.
What was going to be drawn out of that stance, it was all part of the fun.
「Martial Arts, huh」
「Sonya, your stance is pretty unusual.
──Cheryl, please give us the signal.」
Towards Cheryl who I brought along to allow her to observe the fight, I asked for a signal.
Then, Cheryl picked up a small stone from the roadside.
「When it hits the ground, start.」
Crossing. Delicate arms were brought closer to the ground.
It would begin once the stone hit the ground, this method was a very good way to ensure fairness. If it was this, then the mechanics of the beginning was clearly understood.
The stone wrapped around thin fingers was released gently by Cheryl’s hands.
Watching the place where the stone was whirling in the sky, it was easy for a tremendous load to be put on the imagination.
Seeing that the height was of a range within common sense, it seems like Cheryl had learned to hold back.
After diverting my attention from the growth of the girl who is both my friend as well as the dear person left to my care by my friend from my past life, I changed my mindset to that of a Martial Artist.
While feeling the stone fall slowly, the Bird Masked Sonya’s aura seemed to be wrapped in joy.
Though facial expressions couldn’t be seen through the Bird Mask, perhaps under that surface, it would be what I expected.
Similarly, there was also a grin plastered on my face.
──Fall quickly, come on.
Praying silently, even though there was no way that the stone’s speed would quicken.
But such a thought passed by, probably due to me being at the limits of my patience.
What is Sonya thinking about?──right after that thought crossed my mind.
The stone fell to the ground, making a dry sound, and the fight started.
What started the beginning of the fight that I had been impatiently waiting for, was Sonya’s magic.
Her hand was enshrouded in the magical power of the wind and was wielded like that of a carnivorous animal upon its prey, the blade of wind came towards me.
To be precise, it could not be called magic.
Magic is a phenomenon invoked by reciting power words and infusing magic power into them.
Although it referred to a chant when I say reciting words, Sonya had not chanted. Thus, this was not magic. Changing the color of the magical power into that of winds’, it was an attacking technique creating claws. Generally, this technique was called「Sorcery」.
Although sorcery had an inferior effect compared to magic, it’s advantage was that it had a simple construction and could allow one to make the first move. Conversely, the bad point was that the output was inferior to that of magic──
The wind blade approached from under my nose. Compared to the magical power of an unskilled magician, this was much higher.1
To be honest, this was among one of the beginnings that I had predicted, it was a possibility I had thought to be very high.
However, this power was something beyond my expectations.
I thought I could disregard it if it was some magic, but it seems like I’m either forced to receive it or avoid it.
It’s not like it will cripple my battle potential were it to connect, but nevertheless, I can’t disregard it.
Fumu, this is worse than expected.
「Flowing Water」is a stance specializing in receiving. Therefore, it is something that doesn’t collapse easily from an attack.
Since it’s a stance for receiving, no matter how much magic or sorcery like this she uses, I can deal with it. I think its defensive power is worthy of being called impregnable.
However, in the end it’s no more than receiving.
Against long distance attacks──honestly, there is no decisive counterattack method.
In Master’s country, when fellow martial artists fight, they mostly don’t consider long disctance attacks. When there are, however, it’s mainly throwing techniques, like casting rocks or throwing weapons.
Therefore, in Shijima Style──beyond expectations, there were only a few means that were countermeasures to long distance.
This area, I felt was a big challenge for myself.
The arts of Shijima that I succeeded from Master. And since I aim to be the strongest, attacks from a distance are an obstacle I cannot disregard.
While handling the blade of wind which was rushing at me, I was pondering.
‘If I learned sorcery’, I once thought──but that’s the same as using weapons.
The will of the fist that I succeeded from Master. In the end, I don’t want to use magic power beyond strengthening my body.
Thus, that’s how it is.
However, it won’t be that way forever.
In the storm of wind blades, I found a small gap. I stopped while creating a blade of magical power around my hand.
Making use of that gap to escape from the line of fire──I closed the hand that was always open.
「That stance, changed──？」
While launching that blade of wind, Sonya lightly leaked out a questioning voice.
From that slight movement, it seems like she perceived it instantly. Things appear to be more than they seem, looking and observing tie information together.2
Starting with a closed fist, bending more deeply at the knees and elbows. This image, was ironed into the bones. 3
Continuing through the core even though there was weakness, rather than a throw, I changed it into a stance aware of the incoming attack.4
From a stance that was based off of flowing water──to that of rough seas surging, to a hitting stance.
Opposite of Flowing Water’s arm throw, it changed to Surging Wave’s hit. Shijima style 「Surging Waves」stance, take this!
「I have a few things I want to ask you but….
Why don’t you go first, Slava-kun」
While sipping the cocoa that was too sweet for me, Sonya directed her beautiful jade eyes towards me.
I should go first, huh?
Certainly, the questions I have for her are likely to be resolved faster than her’s.
Her questions are likely related to my identity. And talking about that will likely take a lot of time.
In such a case, allowing me to voice my queries first would be an appropriate decision.
….Well, that being said…the things I want to ask are roughly divided into two things.
Since she insists, let’s ask her the thing that’s been on my mind since just now.
「Then I won’t hold back.
Although Sonya-dono seems to be surprised when looking at my ears, there were many opportunities to see my ears since the beginning.
Only realising it after you take off that mask, could that mask be──」
「Yes, it is as you guessed. This mask has surprisingly good ventilation but, there is no hole for vision.」
Sonya raised the removed mask to show me. The mask seemed to have many holes for ventilation but──
…. Well, it’s as she said, there were none for vision.
I would definitely have noticed if I bothered looking, but I would never have thought that the mask would not have holes for seeing.
However──. If that’s the case, then what was Sonya seeing just now…?
When we first met, she must have spotted our figures without her sight, something which was very much possible. Being living beings, both Cheryl and I emit a presence, and we usually did not go around hiding our presence so to grasp our presence from such is understandable.
Also, another way could’ve been through sensing magic. Particularly effective in battle related scenarios, those used to it, could sense without sight even the most intense of movements. For the sake of gaining such perception, many warriors would practice it.
But──to recognise terrain, this is impossible.
Trees and soil emit no presence. Given as such, it’s impossible to sense the terrain through sensing presence.
If it’s magic, it’s true that there exists some amount of magic in everything, however little. Though it does exist, trees, stones and the like, have such a minute amount of magic that….
What I have heard is that only when one can sense magic to a very high degree will one be able to grasp even the terrain. But, magic of this kind is said to be a lost technique.
Firstly, since the amount of magic emitted is so minute that no matter how perceptive the person is, the range is small.
More than anything else, it takes time. To take a long time to concentrate, to grasp a small area. Such a useless technique can’t be called a technique.
……Therefore, this girl called Sonya, To be able to walk with such agility, without her eyes, is somewhat unusual.
For those who are blind, usually a wooden stick to ascertain any obstructions is necessary to walk but Sonya seems to have no need for such a thing.
In that case──it leads me to wonder….on how she’s seeing.
「Fufu, you’re quite right.
Wearing such a mask, my movements must be unusual.
It is as if──that I could see.」
Wanting to take a look──I looked and saw Sonya’s eye give out a bewitching allure and a chill went down my spine.
This too must have something to do with how she recognises the terrain.
Depending on how one saw it, it was a provocative/lascivious gaze (latter is better I think). But, I could feel no malice in those eyes.──It seems even here, there are strange people.
「If it’s fine, could you tell me how you did it?」
「Sure, I don’t mind.」
I directed my question after regaining my cool from her question that seemed to see right through me.
Don’t hide anything──this was Sonya’s implication, in a somewhat fun manner.2
Anyways, it’s to be appreciated if she’s simply going to answer my questions.
While soothing Cheryl, who was slightly panicked from the heat of the cocoa, I wait for Sonya’s reply.
Looking at us, she smiled gently.
When Cheryl finally settled down, Sonya opened her mouth.
「To speak in simple terms, I used everything except my eyes to feel all sorts of things.」
The meaning behind Sonya’s words took some time for me to digest.
My mind didn’t work too quickly even in my previous life. Well let’s first start with what she said.
Sonya just matter-of-factly said 「I used everything except my eyes to feel all sorts of things」.
What’s everything except my eyes? If she’s talking in terms of the five sense, then…nose, ears──such an abstract answer makes me confused.
As though laughing at my confusion, Sonya continued.
「I wonder if that was a little too broad?
Well to be more precise, it’s the smell and the noise. Feeling the flow of the wind, I can sense the magic emanating from everything──putting all together I can grasp the surroundings.
Sounds and the wind help me tell the distance, smell tells me the form. This world is full of information. If one takes in all that information, then seeing is not impossible. At least in normal life, it wouldn’t look unnatural even with your eyes closed.
Thus if I properly sensed, I would have noticed your ears but, when sensing living things, magic is enough to get a rough sense of the shape and figure.
The reason I mistook you for a human was because the colour and wavelength of your magic is very much similar to that of a human.」
Sonya’s answer was beyond my imagination.
Putting together smell and sound, feeling the flow of wind and magic, is it?
The amount of information that is needed, I could not imagine.
Eyes would be enough to just look at a person, just what exactly is this girl──
「Sonya is fine. Somehow, towards you, I feel that you are older than I am.
Having said that, to change your manner of speaking at this stage must be tough, so I guess I’m fine with this either ways?」
Now, I wonder what she saw?
At this age, she’s a young elf, yet she possesses such talent.
To even see through me. Bearing such grainy feelings, I continued acting calmly.
「──Aa, I’ll do that.
Then, if Sonya can see with her eyes, then why would you blind yourself?」
「It’s for Skywatching. In order to grasp the air, relying on sight alone is insufficient.
To grasp the air, the direction and strength of the wind, the smell and others are a big hint.
Thus, I sealed my reliance on my sight on a daily basis, in order to train my other senses.」
Though Sonya says it indifferently, it’s likely that the training is a gruesome task.
The slight shadow in her eye was something I didn’t miss.
….Somehow, there seems to be another reason she doesn’t wish to talk about. I won’t continue questioning but, to cause a beautiful young girl to go to such extents──it certainly is an unusual circumstance.
「Then, this was your question?
Other than that, is there anything else?」
It must be something Sonya doesn’t want to talk about further.
Then I won’t ask anymore regarding this issue.
Then──I still have another important question.
「Well, I have one more.
Until now, I have been a martial artist. I came on this trip to begin training on my road as a martial artist──so I heard from my friend that in Natousha, there exists an excellent fighter.
…From what I’ve seen, Sonya doesn’t seem to be that person──what?」
I could feel slight magic, and a behaviour without negligence.
Then, getting close to me without me noticing, a wind like emptiness.
Everything I had seen till now seemed to suggest she focused on dexterity──
While asking my question, I felt that asking about such things was not necessary,
Measuring strength was an important thing as a martial artist. After reaching a certain degree, even without exchanging blows, a martial artist must at least possess such an ability to an extent.
Having discretion, for me who’s aiming to be the strongest, served as a backbone especially as a martial artist.
There had yet to be an opponent that caused my heart to pound with excitement.
Magic was beginning to ooze out from my body.
I can’t restrain my excited heart. To allow me to feel to such an extent, aside from Chester, I had yet to meet in this life.
Although there seems to be no bottom, it should be on par with Alma──or higher.
As though it had never seen the surface, Sonya’s magic was like pure calm spring water, which conversely caused my heart to throb.
Acting as calmly as possible, I withdrew my leaked out magical power.
Oops, that must’ve been too rude.
Though I was invited to her house, to go around provoking a fight.
Realising the unthinkable impoliteness I showed, I lowered my head in fluster.
At the sight of this, Sonya’s face had a different smile, from before.
「No, you don’t need to feel so bad about it.
I too like matches──rather, I welcome such fights.」
In contrast with me who retracted my magic power urgently, this time Sonya’s magic started swelling.
A pure glassy magic began to take shape, mixed with a plain inquisitive colour.
──Since it’s come to this, I guess there’s no need to apologize.
She’s no different from me, is she.
「Excellent fighter──I have no intention to evaluate myself as such but, I have confidence in my fighting ability.
At the very least, in this Natousha, I might be the best, or at least I think so.」
Her narrow smile was no longer gentle, but filled with a curiosity for battle.
For her to show such an expression at such a young age, is something I find largely disagreeable.
With no chance to test out her own powers in daily life, hence taking this chance to wield it at full strength. She was filled with such a joy.
「Then you understand what I’m trying to say?」
「Of course──rather, it’s something I couldn’t even hope for.
When I first met you, the fighting spirit you gave off. I’ve always been interested in it.」
「Then, show me.
Honestly speaking, I’ve also been quite exited from the start.」
Rising from the chair, I release the magic power that I had concealed.
It was a magic power I had been polishing since my previous life. On top of the practice I’ve had in this life, it was a power that far exceeded that of a child.
Though I had yet to use my full strength, it was at the level where any martial artist looking to gain a reputation should possess──or so I thought.
But, that was at the very best for the outside world.
When I first searched places the light never reached, there was Chester. Then──now this girl, I wonder if she too is an existence that strayed from the path.
I released a torrent of demonic fighting spirit that would make many a martial artist to forfeit at first sight.
Seeing that, Sonya’s slightly shocked face turned quickly into a smile.
「…Incredible. And you’re still not serious yet?
This is really beyond my expectations, I’m beat.」
The cold sweat on her brow reflected her words.
But in that face of despair, there was no resignation.
There, was an expression I was used to.
A face martial artists made when their hearts are shaking from a strong enemy.
If you wish to fight, be quick about it.
As I was about to say that──Sonya stopped me.
Seeing her widespread palms, I swallowed my words.
「I want to immediately──is what I want to say, but it’s about time」
Pointing outside, a troubled smile floated on Sonya’s face.
What── . Oops I realised I’m back to asking questions.
What is this girl? What kind of occupation does she have?
Cheryl said silently as she innocently walked towards the window.
Looking around, the surroundings darkened somehow──small raindrops fell, striking against the windows lighty.
As I thought that──
The sound of shuffling surrounded us, the sound of raindrops singing in unison filled the room through the window.
Each drop held considerable force──the countless raindrops then painted the outside of the window.
The previously brightly shining sun had been covered by the clouds, instead of day, the curtain of rain fell.
Certainly this is──
「Ne, told you. This is something you can only experience when camping.」
Elbows on the table, Sonya’s face perched on her stretched palms, and smiled cheerfully.
Indeed, this is Skywatching──huh.
Sonya said after the the first drop landed on the window.
This is certainly something I did not expect.
「There certainly is some elegance about a deathmatch in the rain, but in any case, I have lost the will to fight.
Though it will likely rain a lot tomorrow, anyhow I’m a free person. If you need someone to talk to, I can help you.」
Her eyes narrowed, like emerald jades forming the crescent moon.
…Truly, an interesting person has appeared.
After I return from the trip, I should give a word of thanks to Chester.
「Now now, have a seat. If you would like, could I get anything to replace the cocoa?」
「Ahaha, you liked it? How about Slava-kun?」
「Iya…I will decline.」
「Alright, I understand. Wait a bit, Cheryl-chan.」
With a mischievous smile due to winning about the prediction about the sky. Sonya disappeared into the kitchen again.
──But, such a heavy rain.
I heard that weather around mountainous regions change easily, but to what extent?
Looking at the pelting rain somewhat happily, she narrowed her eyes slightly.
「Sorry for the wait. Then, now is it my turn to ask questions?
It may be a little long though.」
「Aa, ask away. If I can answer, I shall.」
Sonya who appeared from the kitchen, placed a cocoa in front of where Cheryl had been sitting.
Attracted by the sweet fragrance, Cheryl drifted away from the window.
「Then firstly──Slava-kun. May I ask what kind of existence you are?」
「Though I don’t mind──it’s quite an absurd story. Whether or not you can believe I don’t know.」
「Don’t worry about that. If it’s not a trained liar, I’m quite skilled in seeing through one’s thoughts.」
「The precedent of sound and magic──?」
「Un, that’s right. So don’t lie, ok?」
She said with a cackling smile, clearly enjoying herself.
──Then, where should I begin the story from?
I think I have quite the strange fate, so I’m puzzled on how to start explaining this.
- TLN: Wandering: I couldn’t find another word to replace it so I just put the original one. Sorami refers to beholding (something) without placing any importance on it. (Extra note: It could be possible that the author intended this but, 空見can also be a buddhist term, symbolising a philosophy close to nihilism) | raltzero: I think “空見” is split into “空[Sky]” and “見[Looking/Viewing]” and by the way, the title is “空見の『目』” if you’re curious. ↩
- TLN: 別に隠す事でもない──言外にそう語るソーニャは、どこか楽しそうであった。 ↩
「──It’s finally within our sight.」
While seeing a huge mountain range in our sight, a little village could be seen nestled between the mountains, I muttered.
Truly a mountain village. Just as it’s called, it’s located in quite a steep place.
「A little, tired….」
Cheryl who had been in high spirits, by repeatedly walking up and down the slope, seemed to remember what fatigue was.
Towards the girl who was quieter than usual, I slightly smiled wryly.
In the latter half of the journey, even the amount of Cheryl’s jumping had decreased. As one can say, she seems a little tired.
「What, have a little more patience. But if it’s difficult, shall I give you a piggy back?」
「N~n, good….I want to walk by myself.」
Nevertheless, after coming here with great effort──how to say this. That Cheryl said she could walk on her own.
Since leaving Arufareia, it’s been four days and a bit. A small inn town lies en route──we have reached Natousha’s vicinity.
As expected when leaving Arufareia, there is little opportunity to walk on a good road, so it has taken longer than originally expected.
Nevertheless, when taking into account the age of Cheryl, four days is considered pretty short. With a few breaks here and there, it’s a nice miscalculation.
However, it looks like Cheryl is starting to get tired from the fatigue.
There should be a place for people who want to rest.
「Yoshi, here I go──」
Going where. As I tried to call out to Cheryl, I choked on my words.
In my field of vision, there was another shadow besides Cheryl’s shadow.
….Because there wasn’t any aggressive will, I didn’t notice the person approaching.
Using a little magical power, I saw a person’s figure.
Climbing the slope, the thin shadow──the face couldn’t be seen due to a mask being worn but, judging from the long hair and delicate body, it should be a woman.
On the back, there was a basket filled with grass──probably some type of medicinal herb──piled up, and there was no opening in that stand.
──Hou, perhaps the strong person that Chester was talking about is this person.
The Bird Mask, probably suitably──capable・・・.
The Bird Mask was approaching naturally, making my heart slightly beat.
「You don’t need to be so cautious, I am a person from that village.」
Toward this unexpected event, the corners of my mouth unintentionally lifted, this Bird Mask had a voice like a bell.
It seems like my slight fighting spirit was detected. Even if this is the fist expert that Chester was talking about, whether or not it was──there was no doubt from that skilled stance.
「I am that village’s「Skygazer」.
My occupation is reading the wind and weather.」
A Skygazer, huh. I’ve hear that, as she says, it’s a job where one reads things like the weather and the direction and strength of the wind, but they did still exist?
They say that it’s a craft that’s being lost, stumbling upon it like this.
「From the looks of it, you guys are travellers?
Hear out my good intentions, it will rain in this place soon.
I can guide you to the village if you want, how about it?」
The Bird Mask, pointing at the sky, said so.
「….Rain? Even though the sun is out?」1
Said Cheryl while looking at the sky. The sun was shining brilliantly──surely, this wasn’t the color foreshadowing rain.
Cheryl tilted her head, took a step forward and came out.
The guidance to the village was already not a necessity due to the short distance, but it’s still something offered in good faith, so we gladly accepted it.
Leaving the guiding to a complete stranger, which I don’t usually do but──I am interested in this Bird Mask.
I mean, someone who hasn’t shown hostility and malice──a dark side, it’s the first time so far I see one.
Even if being weak and strong is separates people, personal interests is what things all boil down to.
「Please. I don’t think that the sky would change so drastically, but if you say so, then it probably is so.」
「Un, a sky watcher’s view of the sky is definite.
….Before departure, let me introduce myself.
My name is Sonya・Aruven」
「My name is Slava・Marshall.
Together with this child, we are on a trip to polish ourselves.
──Cheryl, say your greetings.」
「Un….I, Cheryl・Prime. Nice to meet you, onee-san.」2
「Aa, nice to meet you. What a kawaii ojou-san.
Fufu….then, shall we go?」
With names said and from the reaction to Cheryl’s words, Sonya seems to be a reliable woman.
While watching the basket that was slightly swaying while walking, we walked at the rear of Sonya.
It is a shortcut, according to what Sonya says and we proceeded to separate the plants in the front and walked through.
Just saying, I wondered how many times this road had been trod on. There was a place where the grass was collapsed, and had become a small animal trail.
Before long, we walked through a tree branch curtain, and our field of view became brighter.
The sunlight made our eyes squint but──looking up at the sky, despite it being a cloudless sunny day until a while ago, there were already a number of clouds floating.
「Welcome to Natousha.
Although there is nothing but a lot of nature. It’s a good place over here.」
In that way, we arrived at Natousha.
What I saw at first──a beautiful scenery that could be called picturesque.
Seeing it from a distance, I thought it was beautiful but──when seeing it at a closer view, the beauty could be considered complete.
The windmill at the face of the mountain turned slowly, it seemed to be telling of the gentle flowing of elves.
I didn’t notice it from the place we gazed over the village a while ago, but the river that flows from the mountain to the sea through the village, it’s water is very clear.
The sea reflected the sun and the reflection was simply dazzling, it made the scenery even more gorgeous.
There were many stone bridges built over the river connecting to the village, and with this lively view, the scenery was colored gently.
This village isn’t too large. But even so, it felt like that was part of the beauty.
「Aa, how beautiful──」
Accordingly, I want to live a long life, but this was the first time that I saw such a beautiful scenery.
My previous life ended without seeing this scene, so it makes me feel like it was a downright shame.
「It seems like you guys like it, I’m very happy about this.」
From under the mask, the joyful voice of Sonya resounds.
Her expression was covered by the mask and couldn’t be seen, but, most likely, she was smiling.
We admired the landscape in this way for a while──at last, we decided to set foot in Natousha.
「Sou, here is my house. Although it’s not a large place, it relaxes me.」
「Pardon the intrusion.」
「Excuse me for intruding….」
In accordance with Sonya’s voice, Cheryl and I passed through the wooden door.
While hesitating, together with Cheryl, we, for some reason, curled ourselves up.
「Currently, the inn is filled up.
The inn over there has a very nice view──it’s regrettable for you guys.
Aa, sit down there. Let me prepare some drinks.」
Pointing at chairs, Sonya told us to sit down.
Rather than the body I had been putting a burden on for some days, I felt guilt for letting our host do the work.
However, being that it’s Sonya’s home, were I to do something, it may become a bother instead. Do I, right now, have no other choice but sitting obediently?
──Being guided by Sonya, we visited the inn of this village but, the inn, unfortunately, had no vacancies.
Originally the village isn’t too big and the inn was the same, nothing really seems to be too large.
Then what should we do now──a voice called out to I who had been pondering; it was Sonya.
There was the thought of sleeping outside since it couldn’t be helped but, Sonya invited us into her house because it was going to rain.
Even so, though I feel some reserve, when I think about Cheryl, who’s tired from walking, I have no way to refuse and must depend on the other party’s goodwill.
──Anyway, towards Sonya who lent us a place to live in good faith, there is a deep feeling of being in debt to her.
When I first saw her, the impression I got was that she was like the wind, no evilness could be felt──but she was, in fact, a woman with a clear heart.
「Sorry for making you wait, tto」
Sonya came over with three cups on a tray and arranged the cups onto the table.
A sweet fragrance drifted up along with the steam from the cup, and my empty stomach moved from the attractive fragrance.
「Is cocoa all right? If you don’t like sweet things, there’s no need to overdo it.」
「No, I’m not very picky. Thank you for the goodwill.」
「Ahaha, I’m doing it because I like it, so don’t hesitate.」
Saying so, Sonya put her hands on her Bird Mask.
The Bird Mask covers up her entire face. Since it is so, it’s necessary to take it off when eating or drinking but──
Unexpectedly, she took it out quite eagerly. Ignoring the cocoa, we instead had our sights attracted to her.3
A thin finger held the mask, slowly removing it.
Releasing the insides of the mask gently, Sonya’s face──watching it intentionally, it was beautiful.
It was a peerless beauty. Her face still had a little bit of immaturity, nevertheless no other description besides delicate could do it justice, it was lovely.
Those round gentle-looking eyes that looked as if they harbored an emerald moon, and that smooth skin, so smooth that it shames even fine-quality fabrics.
Her features, too, gave off an impression of gentleness beyond just what’s usual in elves. She looked around 17 or 18 in terms of human age. However, in her expression there was the composure of a goddess.
「Fuu….tto, eh? Strange」4
I was, unbecoming of my age, captivated just an instant, but I returned to my senses with Sonya’s troubled words.
Those emerald eyes captivated me firmly. That being the case, that question should have been directed at me.
「What, is there anything on my face?」
「Iya, your ear──I thought you were a human, but it seems like you’re an elf.
Because I didn’t expect to make a mistake, it surprised me a little.」
With these words, I involuntarily choked.
It has only been but hours since Sonya and I met, knowing each other’s name was the extent of our relationship.
Being that the case, “don’t tell me she’s seen through me”──with that sudden surprise attack, my heart spontaneously skipped a beat.
「Un? What do you mean?」
Even for Cheryl, she seemed to be surprised at this.
My true identity is that of a dead human a hundred and some old. I may be right now an elf youngster, but the core was no different from the me from my previous life.
However, my body is obviously special. Even if my body dies, my mind doesn’t die along with it.
Despite this, I have this「Me」in the place of my mind──something originally considered impossible, a result that seems to be a miracle beyond common sense.
From the fact that this cannot be a dream, I reached here without so much a clue.
Thinking up to here, a different question appeared in my head.
It’s not like I was trying to hide my ears. Since I wasn’t wearing nothing like a hood or a hat, these pointed ears can be seen anytime.
This being so, why do I do as such?
「────I have a couple of two・three things to tell you about.」
「Aa, I don’t mind it. As for me, you little guy──iya, I have interest in you Slava-kun.」
The small sound of Sonya drinking cocoa could be heard while her eye narrowed.
──This, is an unexpected meeting.
I as well, put the cocoa that had massive amounts of sugar into my mouth to fill my stomach and stared at Sonya.
- TLN: I switched this line with the one above so that it would make more sense ↩
- TLN: I assume she’s trying to say ‘watashi’ and not friggin ‘cotton’… ↩
- TLN: Did you know, 行ってしまう, the second part of the second sentence, is the inflection of 行く, which can mean ‘to ******’? ↩
- TLN: I really wanted to put ‘are?’ instead of ‘eh?’ but it would probably get confused for people who don’t know what it sounds like ↩
「Then Cheryl. Have you done everything you wanted in this town?」
「Un….not yet. But it’s fine….」
The difficulty level of the request this time is a bit higher.
For me who has finished acquiring the funds for the trip, I stood on the edge of Arufareia.
Before our eyes, the boundary of the town was just a step away.
Although there were various Martial Arts masters in this town, it can be said that they weren’t the cream of the crop. Iya, perhaps Ted could be considered the cream of the crop. When I see that muscular strength, I am reminded of my old self, and if he didn’t appear in the middle of this trip, I may have received him as a disciple.
But this Ted, is no more than the first person whom I have met in this large world. An example of what kind of Martial Artists there are in this world. It can’t be helped that it feels fun when I think about it.1
Fumu──even though it was only a few weeks, this town was a lively town. (TLN: This ‘town’ is the ‘Capital’ after all…)
It feels a bit regrettable to leave now that I think about it.
If I was able to arrive at the pinnacle of Martial Arts, it would have been nice to spend my remaining life in such a lively town.
The warmth of the Elven race, after all, is preferable.
For a brief moment, there was hesitation.
The thought of ‘why would I dare go down this road when I’m just going to be struck repeatedly’.
If I just fought people with my fist like Chester, I could spend my life easily once I grasped the money.
Delicious meals can move one’s heart after all, and with a spacious house, it would be a suitable place to take root.
Still, it’s hard to get off the road of Martial Arts──
「Slava-kun, I had a lot of fun….」
As expected, it seems to have been a lot of fun.
This tough and steep road, advancing even one more step. With that alone, the next step becomes more maddening to overcome.
In the end, a Martial Artist──is a ******, in addition to being a *********.2
「Iya, it’s fun to think ahead. Then, let us say goodbye to Arufareia.
….Nee Slava-kun, can we come here, again?」
「Maybe, if our trip is over, then we’ll come. Do you want to see Ted’s face before we go?」
「Un. I’m looking forward to it….」
To the city where we rested ourselves for a while, we said goodbye to two people.
To the owner of the inn, Ted. As well as Phillips who I bid farewell personally.
Since I was challenged by many inexperienced Martial Artists, there were several people looking forward to next time.
Until my trip reaches a turning point, which is only a decade for elves, but there probably aren’t any people who understand the weight of time.
If my trip is over, let’s visit Arufareia once again after all.
See ya, eh. Making a vow in my heart, I took a step──and left the town of Arufareia.
With the help of the map that I bought in town, we walked on a somewhat fixed path.
Although it was a slow pace for the quicker-than-a-horse me, time seems to go slower this way, and it gave off a quaint feeling.
Cheryl runs fast, but she is still a child unlike Chester and I. There’s a difference in speed, and even though I say little──her real age is 25 years old though──child, I don’t plan on running all day long.
Foremost, there isn’t a need to hurry there. Due to this, we walked leisurely along the journey.
There is still some time before the sun sets. Now then, how many days will it take to arrive at Natousha.
Watching her bouncing and hopping, Cheryl occasionally turns side to side.
Somehow, she doesn’t seem to hate walking.
There would be a feeling of emptiness when I walk down a long road, but watching such a lovely child doesn’t tire me out.
「Is it fun?」
「Very fun!」(TLN: At this point in time, the TL-er is thinking of putting an exclamation point and he DID)
Those languid eyes don’t change, but the voice is lively. It must really be fun.
In such a state, a smile is invoked involuntarily. This is a really good child if you exclude her power.
I fear her bloodthirst and cruelty.
Even a mild-mannered Elf would frown upon seeing a Majin’s child….huh. The relationship is shown in appearance once takes a glance.
That reminds me, I haven’t seen that berserk state recently.
This may be the result of stopping before hitting during sparring.
….Fumu. To the extent of stopping suddenly, it causes some uneasiness.
Stress should have accumulated.
Walking the long route, there was more exposure than usual──Cheryl who was dressed in a boy’s clothes, stopped moving.
The gentle eyes of the girl, captivated me.
「….What is it?」
「Recently you haven’t been flying into rage, is there no irritation?」
The stress, that accumulates from trivial things.
Let alone a girl of Cheryl’s age, I don’t understand what can cause abnormality the heart.
During the trip, I thought that such attention was necessary but──
「Uun, there isn’t.
….There’s Slava-kun, together with me under the sun.
That alone is amazing, because it’s a lot of fun.」3
Looking at the gentle smile that was as bright as the sun, it seemed to be an imaginary fear, so I let out a breath.
Although some immaturity still remains, she has grown up from the first time I saw her.
I wonder what this warm feeling is.
──Really, it is the feeling when I see Alma, it’s that kind of sensation. (TLN: Like watching someone or something grow up)
「Is that so. If Cheryl is enjoying it, that’s good」
I unintentionally laughed.
Children keep one’s mind at ease.
….In this life, perhaps it would be a good idea to get a wife. Maa, when I wonder about if a woman could like a man like me, I highly doubt it.
「Now, let’s take a break.
The precious sandwich will become impossible to eat if it becomes too old.」
In any case, now.
Currently enjoying this slow time, in addition to having fun.
While feeling heartwarming feelings towards Cheryl who had a broad smile, I took a parcel out from the luggage.
Opening the parcel, there were some sandwiches inside.
Although it is only a dish with a bunch of ingredients stuffed inside of the bread, this dish still makes one’s heart race.
Moving away from the sunny area, I sat down under the shade of a tree.
With a cool wind blowing, it was just the right temperature. It provokes sleepiness when the two are put together. (TLN: Tree shade + Cool breeze)
But we were currently more hungry than sleepy.
When I smiled at Cheryl who sat down next to me, Cheryl returned the smile.
I handed a sandwich to Cheryl, matched her timing, and bit into it.
….I see. The contents were smoked salmon and lettuce. (TLN: NO MAYO(CHIKI)!?!?)
The smoked salmon, made on wood chips, suffused a delightful smell that pleased the nose as well as fill the mouth. (TLN: Smoking guy from Soma anyone?)
It wasn’t the taste of a simple fish, the taste had a maturity that came distinctly from smoking it while keeping the fish clean. There was also a salty taste that came from preparing the fish.
The salty flavor that was weakened by the lettuce and bread, though it is still salty as it is now, was able to be felt.
But with this bread with the fluffiness of clouds and extremely fresh lettuce, the sandwich was changed to just the right salty flavor.
In addition, the lettuce is placed wonderfully. The fresh lettuce releases a clear sound when I take a bite, releasing water from its collapsing fibers, washing away the fat and salty taste in my mouth. ‘The salmon isn’t the main role’, it felt as if it were arguing that.
The texture of the smoked salmon disappears the moment you think about it.
It hugs your teeth as if it wanted to stick to it, with a fleshy texture that makes one slightly regret letting loose one’s teeth, and I let it go smoothly.
Sometimes the sticky texture is annoying. However, the fresh lettuce changed it into an enjoyable texture.
With the comfortable taste of the lettuce dissipating, the captivating taste of the fleshy salmon came forward.
Different joys alternating, a duet was played in my mouth.
Thus, it caused a simple word to come out. The word that was naturally said, just came out naturally like a ball of yarn being unraveled.
There were a multitude of words to express this taste. But after all, this is the only way to simply compliment it.
Oh dear, though I say that it is a simple dish, the euphoria is great.
Looking at her, even Cheryl’s cheeks became loose. Although a lavish dish would bring the same amount of deliciousness, this sense of combination is able to produce such joy even without money. I can’t help but say that there’s a road to master in any field.
The contents are fish, so it should be eaten as soon as possible. Passing a sandwich, I remembered the face of the landlord of the inn, and suddenly laughed.5
Losing such taste, I guess I lost.
「Aa, the best」
Above all──in nature’s warmth, eating a meal with a friend. (TLN: それに何より──暖かな自然の中で、友人と食べる食事だ。)
Delicious food and above all, a good atmosphere.
During the time that drifts slowly, we enjoyed this brief respite. (TLN: Because respite > rest)
──The sun begins to release its rays onto the resting Earth, it is the time when the moon starts waning.
There were almost no people due the path not being paved well, there was a person who hid behind the trees and plants.
The person was wearing a black jacket as well as black pants, nevertheless this figure could be identified as a man because his face was exposed.
There was a stubbly beard, not sure if it was because treatment on his face delayed, but even if he had treated it──there were a number of large scars.
And, in his hand was a pretty large knife, a shabby knife that was held as if it were a sword.
Hiding in the darkness, along with glaring eyes, there was a person with a blade.
The identity of this man was unknown, and for what purpose does this man hide behind trees and plants if I could see his figure, it could be understood at first sight.
This man, was a thief.
Rather than go by conventional labor to earn money, the person would rather attack a person weaker than oneself.
But we had confidence in our muscular prowess, the man had already killed a number of travellers, so there was a bounty.
For a bounty, the person who performs evil deeds must be known, so it is never applied for a particular individual.
The bounty is on this man nevertheless, while it shows how careless this man is──at the same time, it also talks about how many evil deeds have been done.
「(….Chi, there are only small customers today)」
The one whose true motives muttered 「Customers」, of course is the traveller who was travelling through the darkness.
Naturally this man was confident in his muscular prowess. However, he was still hiding within the darkness waiting for an opportunity.
The appearance was seen many times, this man let go many travellers without being able to finish killing them. But, still wasn’t caught, this was an outcome of the odd carefulness of this man.
It’s always done at night. Hiding, sure of killing one person.
During such confusion, he kills the rest if there are more than one prey.
Escaping within a heartbeat once there was a counterattack, pursuing to death if they escaped.
These tactics are extremely despicable. But ironically, he’s been able to stay an evil person up until this day.
「(Aa, it finally came.
These two travelling brats. I don’t expect any valuable things.
──But, I should be able to enjoy the woman.)」
Saying an evil deed, it seems like it isn’t long now.
In the eyes of the man who was thinking about vulgar things, there was a boy and girl who had a lamp as they walked down a dim road.
Judging from appearance, the girl was probably of Majin race. Although young, it was very bewitching, very intriguing・・・that appearance.
After fully enjoying, I’ll sell her off to some slave dealer.
Although there is little income today, I found a good thing.
The man who was a thief set his eyes on the girl who was like a white rabbit, and licked his snakey tongue on his ugly lips.
Ascertaining the prey, waiting for time. Okay, it’s time. The way I always do it, the habit of man.
It was just that.
──But, it was just that, it was so funny that he wanted to laugh.
Watching with his night vision eyes, the man was evaluating his own vision. Hence it was called the road of the thief.
However, eyesight doesn’t have any relationship with insight.
This man──before he knew it, the figure of the boy who was next to the girl had disappeared from his sight.
Besides the man, the boy that should have been next to the girl stood there.
Those pupils, were dyed with utter contempt.
The man noticed it, from the boy’s hand on his neck.
Instantaneous spine freezing, in addition, besides the girl should be 「The person to kill」and then noticed that the figure of the boy wasn’t there.
And at the same time──perhaps, without being able to confirm the figure, it was noticed.
「Your bloodthirst is leaking out.
Or is this──that fun?」
Making even the soul freeze, the cold voice of the boy spoke to the man.
Depending on the voice alone it was beautiful, artistic even──fearful domination.
Judging from appearance, he thought it was an easy job.
But, the man noticed. He who thought he was a predator, the reality was that the boy was in front of him, and the fact that it was the mouse who was supposed to be played with was now killing the cat.
Right away, the man was going to beg for his life.
However, his throat couldn’t move as if it were frozen.
Magical power emanated from the boy’s hand. It turned into a sword edge──more fear was felt.
「You should’ve tried hiding a little better.
──Aa, my interest cool down.」
I totally lost interest. To the voice of the boy who spoke these words, the man realized his fate.
Perhaps, for the first time in this man’s life, it was the quickest reaction.
Wait, help me.
The killing intent of the boy swelled. The pressure became violent, foreshadowing what was going to be done. The man who finally issued words for begging for his life──
With a familiar body reflected in his eyes, the figure of the boy stopped thinking.
Instead of a full mirror’s view of the whole body, it was recognized due to how long they had been together, and the neck was gone.
Whether the body crumbled earlier, or──did the neck collapse earlier.
The man who thought he was a predator, had an all too disappointing finish in life.
….Maa, a funeral won’t be given.
Looking at the body of the man falling down, I murmured my intent with eyes filled with contempt.
If the bloodthirst was only for me I wouldn’t kill you without discussion, but it’s a different story if it’s towards Cheryl.
Besides, those sticky vulgar eyes, was already a reason not to exchange any words.
….Thief class, huh.
Looking at the man whose body was wrapped fully in black, I wondered if there were fellows like this in the country of elves──with a sigh.
Every person thinks of things, it’s more natural than speaking, somehow I feel lackluster and regret it.
The face of the man who rolled, was lying down on the ground, he couldn’t ask. Just by looking at those long ears, this man was also an elf.
….Although there are many good people, there are a number of men like this one.
Although I wanted to enjoy the day of departure, it doesn’t seem possible.
There already was no more business, and I lost interest in the man, so I shifted my gaze to Cheryl who I had left.
Maybe because I had disappeared without saying anything, Cheryl seemed a bit upset. Fumu….even while reading the signs, you want me to teach you recovery magic concurrently.
There is no problem for Cheryl if this man was her partner, since the man could only struggle a little bit in my surprise attack.
Without sending a glance to the corpse, I emerged from the darkness.
「What’s this? Slava-kun, there was….」
「Iya it’s over. I was just meeting someone for a bit.
Next time I’ll tell you before disappearing.」
It was a little「Processing」that I finished, I rejoined Cheryl with an innocent look.
Of course there was a means to hold it off, so maybe the excuse was a bit miserable?
──Maa I handled the dirty work, in that sense it’s constant.
Cheryl who didn’t understand such wordplay, slightly blushed with puffed out cheeks.
It’s a good thing to be naive. Really, Cheryl still doesn’t need to know.
When taking a last glance at the dark──I began to walk expressionlessly.
In any case there’s a bad mood. If we camp for the night, we’ll camp in a more remote place.
Leaving Arufareia, the security couldn’t be maintained after all.
Even for elves, there are people like this.
But at the very least──if you have the mindset to kill, you should be ready to be killed, that sense of crisis is the thing you should embrace.
Checking my appearance, once more Cheryl lightened her steps, I had also begun walking.
- TLN: この広い世界にはどんな武術家がいるのやら。それを思うとやはり楽しみで仕方が無い。 ↩
- TLN: Here’s the line if you want to MTL it lmao -> 結局のところ、武術家というのは──とんでもない嗜虐主義者で、また被虐主義者でもあるのだろうな。 ↩
- TLN: I regret not being able to show what a cute legal loli Cheryl is ↩
- TLN: Oh Cheryl, so moe in writing. This basically means “Lunch? ….Yay!” ↩
- TLN: At this point in time, we cannot tell if the landlord of the inn is Ted or someone else due to raltzero’s MTL JP ↩
An early afternoon at Arufareia.
Cheryl and I earned enough money today, so we walked through the town of Arufareia aimlessly.
When we were thinking about how to earn money before, we were surprised to get an unexpected find due to this place being the capital of the Elven Kingdom.
Now we hunt monsters, catch criminals──gather medicinal herbs in dangerous places, or mine Spirit Crystal, which has been said to be a slightly dangerous line of work.
There is an association that manages the work of every field──whatever the contents were, appearance-wise we look like children.
Where I belong to now, is an association that give highly dangerous jobs with a low degree of difficulty. Although no one thought that a pair of children could fit in──since I used an unexpected method to prove my ability, I was able to join this association.
As for the method──it was just…the sword on my back.
The first day when we arrived at Arufareia, after winning an arm wrestling against Ted, the sword was given as the prize.
After returning to the inn, I was impressed by such an excellent blade──somehow, it seems to be quite a fine thing.
I was aware of it, but it was useless since we entered the association in such a state.
Although I tried to talk to the receptionist of the Union, we were admonished and refused due to having the body of children, but then the head of the Union saw the sword by chance. When he pestered me to pull out the sword in an excited state, the Union head was surprised at the force used to pull it out.
It seems like a the sword was forged by a renowned sword artisan when I asked about the story behind the sword, and since I never expected it to be such a fine sword, my eyes turned a little bit wide. Still, I was surprised at Ted’s heart for giving this gift to a ‘child’. Setting that aside.
Apparently Ted was an adventurer famous for his muscular prowess, when I said that I beat him in arm wrestling──with the word of the Union head, I was admitted into this association.
Incidentally, today is fetching the soil of the Spirit Crystals, and I just finished the request.
Soil of Spirit Crystals, that is to say, soil that has vitality, spiritual soil with power in crystallized form.
Since I can mine it with my sharpened senses, this request can be finished relatively easily with Arubaku Mountain being nearby, so it’s good for me.
For the common adventurer, it was a place with numerous dangerous demons, so they hesitated to take a step into the mountain, but for me, it was just a place that I trained in frequently. It’s already like my backyard.1
Well, something like that.
Continuing like this, leaving the town by next week seems possible. It was going smoother than expected.
The next target, Natousha, as Chester had suggested.
The distance shouldn’t be too far away from here. The excellent fighter that Chester mentioned──I want to meet as soon as possible.
When I lifted the corners of my mouth in anticipation towards the yet unseen fighter, the hem of my clothes was pulled with a slight force, with the voice of a girl following soon after.
Glancing, I noticed that the person who tugged me was Cheryl. It was a slight force that held back a lot of power. Something that makes you have shaking hands──maa, does it have to be now.
「Mu? What is it Cheryl」
Looking over and seeing a head slightly below me, Cheryl moved her arms slowly.
This 「Guest」was pointed at.
Following that snow-white finger with my eyes, I understood. Certainly this is my 「Guest」that is standing there.
「You, boy, I suppose you are Slava Marshall.」
「Indeed. Who are you?」
「My name is Philips. I heard that a boy defeated Ted, so I came to visit.
I would like to have a sparring match if it’s okay with you.」
──From that day I defeated Ted in arm wrestling, I have been challenged in this manner.
As I said earlier, Ted is a well-known adventurer in this town that serves as the capital.
To put it briefly and bluntly, he was a talented adventurer.
An adventurer’s job was to discover unexplored land and to find information about new evil beasts. That is to say, one’s fame was directly proportional to one’s strength.
Being like this, although that wasn’t the reason why I used my fist, I still defeated Ted in an arm wrestle──huh.
There were many who challenged me in arm wrestling in the beginning, apparently thinking that they could win against me, but now there seems to be more fighting challenges.
It wasn’t unreasonable, but I hope they would refrain from overdoing it a little. Fighting those stronger than me is fun, but having to fight those weaker than me won’t make it a fun match.
Having my heart beat quickly at the thought of a strong enemy, it seems like I’m still immature.
Seems like I haven’t changed much from my past life, at all.
「Since it’s come to this. Cheryl, stay back.」
Cheryl was used to this, so she moved to a place where she wouldn’t be involved.
From Phillips who was holding a sword, magical power rises.
…Maa, if I call Ted weak, then this young man is weaker than him.
This young man had an appearance similar to that of a 17- or 18-year-old human. Well, if that is the case, then he should be around 60 to 80 years old according to his appearance.
Since I have a long lifespan, I can spend a lot of time on training, but compared to a human expert, the age difference isn’t even funny.
This isn’t too important.
While letting out a long breath, and bending my left arm back, I gestured 「Come」with my right hand.3
「…Should I use the back of the sword?」
「My fist is very strong. Don’t look down on it, you should feel relieved.」
Seriously, it’s not like I despise him.
That’s merely a proper evaluation.
However, Philips, being a swordsman, doesn’t seem to understand.
「I can’t fight a weaponless person. Take your weapon out.」
「Leave if you think so. If you really think that a sword is stronger.」4
Philips face contorted.
Yare yare. Just by saying the truth straight out, this young person’s face distorts.
Phillips, whose eyebrows slanted in anger, held the rapier, and rushed forward.
Regardless if it was a straight movement or an illusive diversion, it evidently seems to be an attack with history behind it.
Feeling the muffled bloodthirst from the blade tip, I gently took a step closer.
There’s no need to use my left hand. If you look down on the fist, I’ll teach you the terror of unarmed combat.
Dodging the extending rapier, I enter his bosom area.
Although breaking the sword was fine, it is cruel. It should be over if I strike him with a palm.
Phillips face contorted in surprise, no longer hiding it anymore, I directed some magical power into my palm.
It’s best to defeat him without leaving any external injury. Since blood can be regenerated through magical power, internal wounds can be cured immediately in contrast to external wounds.5
The palm filled with magical power was rammed down.
As a result of being unable to hold out, Phillips flew parallel along the ground.
Before long, making a huge impact sound・・Phillips lands.
Shimatta. It seems to have been filled with more power than I thought.6
I rushed over to the groaning Phillips in the distance.
…Uumu, it seems like the opponent is exhausted.
「Are you alright? Sorry, it seems like I’ve gone too far.」
While applying recovery magic, I chanted the healing incantation.
He might have died if left alone, with this damage.
Seriously though, didn’t I always remind Cheryl to hold back a little? (EDN: I think he is reminding himself that he should hold back too)
Intentionally playing the pig to eat the tiger is not what I want, thus, it had become a hassle to have to treat them each time. This is annoying.
「Uhm, I’m very sorry…the technique of unarmed fighting is amazing…」
Phillips became respectful. In the world of Martial Arts, it isn’t unusual for the defeated opponent to use a respectful tone, so I wonder if he has lost before.
Fumu, have you lost a little confidence?
….Maa if one polishes Martial Arts, then they shouldn’t be heart-broken from this.
Being able to accept defeat is important, it allows one to move on. If one can overcome this period of mental trauma, good results can be expected in the distant future.
「Judging things from appearance, you have a painful look.
Certainly having a weapon is advantageous, but unarmed is good as well, having good points such as being able to fight at a closer range.」
Finishing the treatment, I tapped his shoulder.7
Then, Phillips nodded with a meek face.
「To look down on you because of your young age, please excuse my behavior.
It was a good lesson.」
Rising, Phillips thanked me.
He’s a good lad. Changing his mindset, success.
「Then, I’ll leave it at this.
Cheryl, it’s alright now.」
Calling Cheryl over, Cheryl rushed over here and waited.
All right, that said, Cheryl should have no problem defeating most opponents.
Now, letting Cheryl face him should make her remember the pressure of training.
Recently, the best training for Cheryl is sparring. Since there aren’t any martial artists that have reached Cheryl’s level, this is why I want to take a look around the world as soon as possible.
「Slava-dono. Thank you very much.
Some time in the future, I would like to have a rematch.」
「Lift your face.
I’ll accept anytime. When you think you can win, come.」
Phillips lowered his head again while I told him to ease himself, and attached a condition of a rematch.
Becoming the goal of this young person might be a bit too much, but it may give birth to a future master──I cannot just carelessly decline.
However, it isn’t like I won’t decline.
Before getting too involved in the town, let’s try to leave the town as soon as possible. Now that the new places to see in this place has decreased, I say we go to the Mountain Town Natousha, which is surrounded by beautiful nature.
If we have a picnic on the mountains, I wonder if Cheryl will be pleased.
She is the granddaughter of an old friend, who doubled as my friend. As I took a quick glance at Cheryl, the person in question looked puzzled.
Fumu, it’s decided, we have to raise a little request tomorrow.
As I was thinking about what actions I should take for the future, Cheryl started pulling the hem of my clothes.
What’s the matter? Using my eyes to question her, she pointed at Phillips in the distance.
「Recovery magic, is it useful?」
Cheryl’s question seems to be about the recovery magic I used on Phillips.
The thing called magical power, anyone can use it regardless of race, but the amount of inherent magical power is different.
Well, it can be used by anyone if he or she learns it diligently.
「Aa, when it’s the time to approve a rank of in the Shijima Style, there’s an examination for Recovery Magic (Maho) and Recovery Sorcery (Majutsu).
Injuries can’t be avoided in a match, even more so now that I’m a juvenile. Therefore, my mentor set it as mandatory while learning the ins and outs of the Shijima Style, and it was established.」
In my mentor’s home country, an excellent Martial Artist used magic to heal the injuries and the like. With such an experience in his homeland, my mentor cultivated the Shijima Style, so I say that Recovery Magic (Maho) is compulsory.
With this kind of school background, it was only natural for Recovery Magic to be one of my strongest point as a master of Shijima Style.
On the other hand, while I excel at Recovery Magic, the amount of pain I had to endure to raise my Recovery Magic to this level was proportional.
My mentor used to say that life and death were two sides of a coin, and looking back, he may have a point.
….Iya, I might be thinking too much.
「Is that so…anything else, is any other magic used?」
「Although I can use some Fire magic, unfortunately, it isn’t suitable for attacking purposes.」
Nonetheless, it’s simply was necessary to learn.
It is convenient for everyday life──although it is simple magic that can be used as long as one continues to practice, I don’t like magic that requires incantation to trigger it, which means I can’t use offensive magic.
Maa, my mentor and Chester shared the same mentality anyway, if I remember correctly, Alma was good at Fire and Ice magic.
「Could it be, Cheryl wants to learn magic?」
「U~un, I only asked….But, I do want to learn Recovery Magic」
Hearing the intention behind the question, there was a tacit declining.
However, using Recovery Magic, huh.
….Fumu. Although I don’t plan on depriving Chester of his favorite disciple, Recovery Magic certainly is certainly convenient.
It’s going to become a long trip anyway, so he probably wouldn’t mind if I teach her.
「I can teach you if it’s just Recovery Magic.
How about it, do you want to learn?」
「….Please. Since my power seems to be a little too strong….when something happens, I want to do something myself.」
It seems that she is aware of her own strength.
Even though I taught her how to control her power, anyhow, that’s just like Cheryl. Certainly, in preparations for an emergency, Recovery Magic would come in handy.
「Yoshi, then do you want to start learning immediately?
Well, if it’s for you, Cheryl, until you’re able to use it, I’ll keep teaching you.」8
「Really? Thank you, Slava-kun….」
While her listless eyes became dyed with happiness, Cheryl hugged me.
….Naturally, with the power of a vise. I feel her grip was a little stronger compared to ten years ago, or so I want to believe.
A little stronger, huh. With this much force, it might be possible for her to become aware of her Herculean strength.
I wonder if I am getting senile, with that feeling, we went to the inn.
- TLN: Backyard because garden just doesn’t sound right ↩
- TLN: Yes, it means ‘Yes’, fellow weebs ↩
- TLN: Come at me br0 ↩
- TLN: 抜かせてみれば良いではないか。本当に剣の方が強いと思うのならばな ↩
- TLN: Wait what. In XianXia, it’s always the internal wounds that take longer… ↩
- TLN: Shimatta is like an “I ****** up” expression in Japanese. ↩
- TLN: Dunno how to word it, it’s like when you do a good job and a father puts his hand on your shoulder and says ‘Good job’ ↩
- TLN: Yes, ‘Yoshi’ is the green shi- I mean, cough, “Yes” in Japanese ↩
From the WanderingTranslator
Cheryl said in a somewhat flat voice as she shook her long hair.
Though her expression had been languid, the moment she stepped foot in the city, she seemed to be in high spirits.
Now that I think about it, I have spent ten years with this girl already. Lately, I’m able to read her mind without resorting to facial expressions. Though, that may be partially due to her being easy to read.
It had been less than a day after we left Chester’s house. Without anything noteworthy happening, we arrived at the largest city of the Elf country Mirafia, Arufareia.
Though I said nothing happened, it had a certain meaning to it. Arufareia is the main city, the capital if you could call it, of the Elves. There is increased focus on the security of the vicinity, and hence we saw no bandits or demons.
Talking about the human’s capital, even it wouldn’t be so peaceful to such an extent. In that regard, I guess you could say it would be the specialty of the elf race.
Well then. What should I do first?
Though some part of me wanted to bring Cheryl for sightseeing, looking for a means to earn money is a necessity.
But──for the time being, we should secure a bed with a roof first.
「Cheryl, shall we look for a place to stay first? Once we find a place, then we can go tour around the city.」
「Really? …. Then let’s go quickly.」
Cheryl who was spinning round and round, stopped at my words, and stared at me.
How cute. Lately, I’ve somehow realized how to handle this child.
「Very well, let’s go Cheryl.」
Unlike Cheryl, who was visiting this town for the first time, previously…or should I say, in my previous life, I have visited this city before.
While the landscape has changed slightly, compared to that of 50 years ago, nothing much has changed; as expected, it could be said to be a characteristic of the elf race.
「If it hasn’t changed, there should be a section where the inns are concentrated. Cheryl, follow me.」
Relying on my memory, we walked briskly through the crowded street.
Cheryl followed behind snugly. …As I thought, she is rather eye-catching.
Cheryl, being a half-elf half-Majin, would attract attention no matter what.
It wasn’t to the extent in which all eyes were on her but, it definitely made it difficult to walk.
It would be nice if someday this child could freely walk outside without constraint but – the Majin race was warlike, as such, it would be unlikely.
At the very least, it would be nice if she had a few friends who she could confide in.
Until her number of friends increase, at the very least I’ll be her friend, I embraced such bitter thoughts as I walked.
Before long, it seems my memory had served me well, I saw the inn in which I had stayed in before. While embracing a slight relief that the inn reflected in my eyes was as clear as my memory of my previous life, I walk towards it──
「Nee nee, Slava-kun… ….that, what’s that?」
「That──seems like a stall for fried snacks. Want to buy one?」
After getting an inn without any issues, we began touring the streets of Arufareia.
We had no motive or objective, rather the stroll was a result of Cheryl’s curiosity.
Being the biggest city in the country, there were many people gathered here, and hence many merchants aiming at business opportunities too.
In my previous life, I’ve visited a variety of country with different races but, only this place continues to remain unchanged no matter what or how long.
But merchants who have gathered for such a reason, not all of them possess a shop.
Hence, Arufareia’s streets are filled with street stalls and booths.
Among the many uncountable stalls, Cheryl seemed to express interest in the stall selling fried snacks that gave off a sweet aroma.
Certainly if she was a young girl, it would be likely for her to be enticed by such a scent.
Therefore, if it was only for this, I wouldn’t mind taking out my wallet –
「No…it’s fine. Because I might spoil my appetite for dinner…」
Apparently, it seemed to only attract interest.
But, what a kid.
To be able to stand firm, it strangely matches the upbringing of Chester.
「I see. But, if you do have something you want, don’t hold back.
It’s the job of the child to enjoy as much as you can.」
「Un, thanks. …But compared to Slava-kun now, I’m the older sister…」
With a somewhat triumphant face, Cheryl threw out her chest, slightly acting like a spoiled child.
For Slava-kun now──what she says was without a doubt correct.
Yes. What I said to her applied to me too.
Anyways, Chester knows, and she’s a girl I shall become friends with for a lifetime.
To continue hiding it──it doesn’t sit well with me.
Maybe if provided with a longer time, I might have decided to reveal my identity to Alma.
So far, although there certainly was a time I was more or less well-known, hiding my identity──what’s more, even to someone I’m so close with──was impossible to start with. That, and that I think that it wouldn’t go well if I tried to.
Anyway, what Cheryl said was true.
Though in total my age was more than a hundred, as of now──as an elf──I’m in my 20s──no different from a young brat.
Probably due to the fact that I’ve been dealing with a childish Cheryl, I probably forgot about the fact but, it is as she mentioned, she is older than me.
「Sorry about that, it’s become a habit I can’t get rid of.」
「I’m not bothered about it. More importantly, what’s that…?」
Maa, perhaps she was just about to say that she just wanted to try to say that?
Cheryl, who said she wasn’t bothered, seemed to have shifted her attention to another place.
That frivolousness was childlike too. While looking at the girl who was slightly older than me, I laughed.
Her physical age is certainly more than mine but, if we are talking about mental age, then I have a hundred years more than her, hence I can’t help but treat her like a child.
…Though in terms of an elf, a hundred years isn’t very long, what a weird feeling.
More importantly, I should take a look at what Cheryl is pointing to.
The first thing I saw in the direction Cheryl was pointing to was a, to call it a stall would be giving it a little too much credit, it was a platform made of shabby wood.
There, an athletic man, who at first glance looked dishonest, sat. Observing carefully, there was nothing on display on the platform, just the man who looked like a shopkeeper smiling confidently with his arm stretched out.
「Hou…even in the country of elves such a plaything exists?」
Without noticing it, my hand had stretched and tried to scratch my beardless chin. Oops, a bad habit from my previous life.
No, I guess I should have realized it from Chester but, Elves like to show off their muscular strength.
As I had yet to make friends with elves other than Alma and Chester, I had yet to ascertain this fact but, my narrow image of elves was somewhat self-centered.
It’s likely that that stall is──
「Arm-wrestling, huh? Pay an amount to challenge that man and if you win, you get some sort of item.
No, I see, I see, such men exist in the elf country too huh?」
To see a stall for arm-wrestling in the country of elves.
Before knocking on the door of the Shijima Style, I used to boast my strength, challenging people to fights in my youth, what a nostalgic thing.
「Arm-wrestling? …What’s that?」
「Placing your elbow on the table with your arm vertical, and your opponent doing the same, it’s a contest of strength where the victor is the one who forces the opponent’s arm to touch the table.
In the past I used to be challenged a lot.」
Looking at my involuntary smile, Cheryl also smiled.
It’s as she said, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia. It’s because I recall of the times when I was young and I thought brute strength made you the strongest. When I recall such a time, I can’t help but think of many other things.
…Fumu, this reminds me that I haven’t had a simple competition in strength in a while.
Occasionally, such an idea may be good.
「Aa, yeah. …Well, shall I try challenging him?」
Well, let’s see what the extent is in which elves like to boast their strength.
Chester’s fist boasts a frightful destructive power but, it was a probable blow from the perspective of technique and magic. Pure strength is everything──such a game, the first time I’ve seen as an elf, peaked my interest.
Rolling up my sleeves, I walk closer to the stall.
Looking closer, he has well trained muscle. Although the element that decides 「Power」 is mostly magic, this extent of muscle would surely cause challengers to hesitate.
「Hey, can I challenge you?」
Cutting through the surrounding audience, I stretch out my hand with the amount of money denoted on the board, showing it to the shopkeeper.
The audience which had gathered in a circle around the stall so as to not get in the way froze at my figure──as though seeing something charming, laughter was stirred among the crowd.
Well, it’s no surprise.
In order to prevent it from getting in the way of flexible movement, I purposely didn’t build muscles, even then compared to someone of the same age, I was slightly more solid.
Due to the nature of elves, it’s difficult to estimate one’s age but, I look like an ordinary kid that’s no older than 100 years old.
「Oioi, I won’t stop if you want to but. If you’re still a kid isn’t it impossible?」
With the eyes of the crowd all on him, the young shopkeeper – whether that is accurate or not I wouldn’t know – spoke gently.
His words didn’t seem to have sarcasm but had good intentions. But precisely because he was worried about me, his tone of voice was somewhat admonishing.
However, no matter the race, shapes hardly differ, these words are deeply rooted in this world.
To judge things by their appearance, will lead to regret──such words.
「Children are confident in their own strength. Even just a little, they want to boast. No need to hold back. Lose or win, I will accept the results.」
To the extent where I felt like asking myself who am I to say that, I replied the shopkeeper with a tone that was unbefitting of a child.
Since I said it this way, I don’t think he can refuse the challenge.
「Maa even if you’re willing to accept the results, if you want to challenge me, you need to pay money, you know?」
「I don’t mind. If I get to play, I don’t mind paying that much.」
Beyond that──even if his main motive was to compete in strength──business is business.
I don’t think he will turn down a potential customer.
As though to say he accepted the challenge, the shopkeeper put placed his elbow on the table.
Kakaka, good. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced this kind of atmosphere.
「Do you need a handicap?」
「Oh, I understand」
With that it was decided, no further words were required.
In return, I walked closer to the table and placed my elbow there.
As expected of the well-built man, the length of my arm could not match his. He took a step back, so the height of our arms matched.
Though I said not to, I intend to go easy on him, at least at the beginning.
Though it was a short exchange, the guy doesn’t seem to be a bad person. Then in order not to hurt a child, I intend to hold back from using all my strength.
「Sorry but, can someone give the call.」
「I’ll do it」
For the sake of fairness, the signal of the start was left to the audience.
In response to the shopkeeper’s voice, a good looking young elf stepped out.
Both the shopkeeper and I moved to a position where we could both see the position of the young elf with his raised right arm.
──It’s about to start. Let me ascertain to what extent you boast of your strength.
With a short cry, the youth’s right hand swung down.
In that instant, magic swelled up in the shopkeeper, applying a strong force on my right arm.
If looking only at the force, it is considerable.
I don’t know his exact age, but if I follow my estimate from appearance, then it’s quite significant.
While training his muscles well, considerable training seems to have been put in for magic too.
If it’s this much then I can still handle it──the shopkeeper’s magic and muscle was slightly stronger than my magic, so my arm inclined towards the table a little.
「Boy, you’re strong.」
「The same goes for you, looks like the strength you boast of in your sign does not differ from reality.」
It is truly as the signboard wrote, Herculean strength, something definitely to be proud of.
It would certainly be a big deal if he still had more strength.
Maa──but that’s still within the realm of common sense.1
For me who lives in the world of martial arts…It’s not rare to see people who have taken one step in and left.
It is a place for people who are abnormal.
「How about going at it for real? If you keep making light of me as a child, you’ll lose you know?」
「What are you say──」
As if to block the words of the shopkeeper, I gradually increase my magic output.
Already it is at a level where children cannot hold but, my body is filled to the brim with power.
With an increasing speed, my rising density of magic power exceeds that of the shopkeeper.
The power that made the Shijima famous, even the shopkeeper seemed to realize it.
Realizing the meaning of my words in that instant, he frantically put in more magic power.
He likely put all his magic power into his arm.
Though it was wild, a significant amount of magic power, like a tide, came forth. It was a strong youthful force.
But, even then──
「Gugigigigigi…The heck, don’t startle me…」
The force I put in my arm was slightly insufficient.
As the shopkeeper said, after that bout of energy, my arm could lean no more──backwards, however.
Looks like I can’t play anymore.
No, I’ve seen something good. Something I won’t see again in another ten years maybe.
As I thought, it sure is fun to see.
I pushed back the shopkeeper’s arm that still had room for growth.
Before long, his arm began to tilt to the other side──just like the sunset.
Having matched against the brute force of Chester, this was nothing in comparison.
As I thought that guy’s brute strength sure is terrifying──I thought so as I pushed his hand down onto the table.
As his arm lost strength, the shopkeeper fell out of his seat.
As a result of using all his strength, his face was stained in fatigue.
The crowd remained silent, no one was talking.
Among the brief silence, like a glass ball breaking, the silence was broken.
Like a popping dry sound. Clapping could be heard from a pair of hands.
Looking in the direction of the sound, it was a petite girl──Cheryl.
Looking at Cheryl clapping for me, the crowd of men gradually started clapping──soon, the sound became applause.
「Amazing! This brat won against Ted!」
「No way, how does he have such strength!?」
Various exclamations erupted from the surrounding crowd.
…Was the shopkeeper that great?
Then the boasting of strength among the elves might be too lenient.
Well it’s only recently that Martial Arts became more popular so I guess it’s not unreasonable but──
Anyway, such thoughts are childish.
Adding up my age from the previous life, the shopkeeper is much younger than me──the degree of experience differs.
「Haa, haa…no doubt about it, I overestimated myself…and to be so overconfident…」
With a faint breath, the shopkeeper called Ted rose.
The audience surrounding me broke the circle and let him through.
「What? It’s just that you’re not stronger than me yet. Aa, but I didn’t expect you to accept my challenge.
But it was a good experience. To know that among the elves there are people like you, is a wonderful thing.」
Elves are the kind of race that pride themselves on their ability to use magic to fight more than strength.
I did not think that among that race there would be people who would boast of their strength but, it looks like I have much to look forward to in the future.
Slowly Martial Arts will spread across the world, and the number of people I can trade blows with will increase.
「No…For someone of your age to have such strength…」
「I intend to train even more, don’t fall behind.」
I laughed. (jorgelotr: The kind of laugh the hero lets out when he arrives at the scene of the crime or is asked a cute question by a child.)
In my previous life, believe it or not, it was me who lived rushing through life.
I won’t let myself lose and let it go so easily.
「I am still lacking. I guess I should change this sign board.」
「No no, Shopkeeper-dono, I think it may be a slight exaggeration but, among elves I can only think of 3 people stronger than you.」
「3 people huh…for reference, may I hear of who they are?」
「Aa, sure. Cheryl, come here.」2
At such an age, but still possesses immense strength, ambition , and is willing to honestly admit the strength of the opponent, what a pleasant man.
In a good humor, I called Cheryl over.
With light steps, she came closer and showed herself to the shopkeeper.
「First, this half Majin child. And then her pure-blooded grandfather. And also Alma of the Shijima. You heard of the name?」
Introduced by me, Cheryl’s chest puffed up in pride.
The shopkeeper pointed with his mouth agape.
「Alma aside──this child. I’m losing my confidence. I would really like to see her grandfather. He must be a real monster.」
「Outrageous monster he is. But, if Shopkeeper-dono fully utilizes your time and polish yourself, I think you could reach their height.」
「Really? I am glad to hear that.」
He cheerfully laughed. Though he said he was losing confidence but, his tone of voice didn’t seem to intend to deny Cheryl.
Like how he looks, he’s a cheerful man. They say that Elves are usually people of good character, but it’s only after seeing this guy that I’ve come to think so.
「Well then, after I train, come challenge me again in 100 years.」
「Aa, I will gladly accept. I look forward to that time…
…Well, we should go now Cheryl. There are still places we should see.」
Pressed by Cheryl to see other places, I turn my back to the shopkeeper after getting the promise of a rematch.
「Wait a minute, boy.」
But the shopkeeper stops me.
Not just with his voice, he put his body in my path, it must be something of great importance.
In his hands there was a stunning sheathed sword. It can’t be that he wants a duel, thinking that, I stop walking.
「That sword is?」
「You forgot. The prize, the prize. Didn’t you challenge me for this?」
It seems the sword is a prize.
…I totally forgot about it. I believe that if it was Chester, instead of arm-wresting for the sword, he would have just used the sword as an excuse for arm-wresting.
Well what should I do? It’s nothing I can’t handle but, if I don’t accept it it would be rude.
Maa, I’ll find a use for it maybe. It wouldn’t hurt to keep it I guess.
「Aa…No. Thank you for the prize.」
「I’m trusting you with this…Then until next time.」
「Aa, let’s meet again.」
Now with our goodbyes said, we began walking again.
With an additional sword to our baggage, we walk past the crowd of people.
The sheath is superb but, I wonder how the blade will be. Let’s take a look later when we return to the inn.
「I also want to try arm wrestling.」
「Is that so, then if we find a place later, let’s do it.」
This child must really like to compare strength.
After that we found an appropriate solid place and arm-wrestled.
Pity but, Cheryl was stronger than the shopkeeper.
…Well it was obvious I guess. Hugging with a herculean strength enough to strangle a bear, she would have no trouble with that power.
Thinking about what would have happened if I didn’t control my power, we returned to our inn.
Peering from behind glass, while watching the azure sky, I suddenly muttered.
Looking at the sky which was seen every day when I woke up, the color of the sky was reflected in my eyes before disappearing.
Thinking about it, the sky is deeply impressive to me, most likely because it projects my thoughts in the form of a color in the sky.
Once I graduate from the Academy, and get permission to collect the necessary equipment from my parents, I’ll collect the necessary equipment──
I finished my preparations while controlling my impatience, today marks the departure.
To be honest, today will be the day when my second life finally begins, is what I thought.
Even if this was my second life, it could not be discarded easily, the craving for uncertain things.
With these hands that became smaller, this will be the first step on the road to being called the strongest. That is, today is the day.
──Today, I will go on a journey.
Taking a look around the world, exchanging fists with hidden Martial Arts masters.
Aiming for the title of the strongest. Sometimes exchanging blows with a blade──and maybe even fighting against a flame made out of magic.
Unlike my previous life of being entangled with a variety of ties, with a body of a nameless child, my heart was unintentionally excited.1
Iya, I’m not a child anymore because I’m presently 22 years old. It is scary to be accustomed to being treated the same way as a child to some extent.
However, there is still worry. Though I understood the importance of time and how quickly is goes by, the intention to go farther than my previous life with this long life was still there.
「Ou, you woke up after all. Old men always wake up in the morning ~e na.」
While I was looking at the sky and absorbed in my thoughts, the dry voice of my lifelong friend sounded.
「We’re the same in this regard. Although, you don’t seem to be a person who gets up early.」
「Katsukatsukatsukakkaka, well, it took me years.」2
In the hands of Chester who said thus, there were two cups being carried.
Probably tea or coffee, since the steam is still coming up. Why did you bring it without coming whether or not I was up.
──Since yesterday, which was the day of my departure, I stayed at Chester’s mansion.
The number of rooms that weren’t in use were a lot. The reason for this was so that Cheryl could move into a new room if her temper came out at any time, and thus many rooms are always being furnished; I remember that the room I stayed in was very plain.
Recently, the number of rooms that Cheryl has destroyed seems to have decreased. In other words, her temper hasn’t been completely cured.
「Here, take it.」
Meeting Chester halfway, I took the steaming cup. What was inside, an amber liquid──it looked like tea.
I don’t know about high-quality foods or beverages, but there was a flowery fragrance, and the fragrance held a grace that couldn’t be helped but liked.
Suru, making a slight sound, the hot amber liquid went through my throat.
A good foundation gives off a rich fragrance as expected. With a consistency that lasted, a graceful fragrance tickled my nose──however, without feeling the heat, it disappeared as ephemeral as snow.
「Well, it’s natural because I served it.
This has been my hobby recently. Though I don’t serve well.
….Ma, these are good tea leaves.」
Apparently, Chester made this tea.
Serving it by oneself as though one was a servant, I want to ask if this really is a hobby.
Feeling a comforting and strange sweetness, I let out a warm breath.
I see. Although I never put my hand into luxury goods, it may be a surprisingly long road.
「It’s probably because I became old, that it’s become fun recently.
──Maa, whatever. You’ll make a lot of trouble when you go look around the world. Fighting other people is what is fun, is what I think of it.」
Chester looks up at the changing sky, with a bitter face.
I scratched my head with my finger. This man talking this way, it’s hard to give a response.
….Fumu. Fighting others as a hobby, huh.
「Aa, with this precious second life, I will fully enjoy it.」
My friend, the advice from this man who was also my strongest nemesis.
At a more mature age, though it’s just fighting──it’s me that should be worrying about Chester rather than him worrying about me.
….More than 30 years ago, when I was alive. Chester did not have such a hobby.
Since my disappearance, I wonder if he thought about me often.
「──Good idea. Stay with it.」
「Ou, I plan on living a life full of victories.」
Changing his bitter face, Chester put on a lively smile.
It made me tempted to laugh. This man, I can’t seem to hate it being in this place.
But hobbies, huh. I usually don’t think about it, but this is a pretty good opportunity.
Speaking of, shishou had a fishing hobby. ….Thinking about it, my life was just for seeking the truth of the fist.
「You should take Cheryl with you. It’ll surely be an experience that will be fun.」
Seriously. Moreover, Cheryl is now supposed to join me on my journey.
For the girl who has taken the dark road, letting her experience the outside world for a bit.
「….But, is it okay?
Your precious granddaughter, are you sure you want to entrust her to me?」
「Other than you, I wouldn’t entrust her to anyone.
I leave her in your care since it’s you. Got a problem? It’s too late to say that you dislike it.」
Originally, the reason as for why I could go on this trip, it was mainly thanks to Chester’s grace.
There are plenty of ways to earn travel expenses if I want to go for a trip once, but for the initial cost of the trip, Chester provided it.
Although the amount wasn’t large, it was still a sum of money that a child who had just graduated from the Academy would have to struggle some trouble to make. It would take about a month according to my estimations──and the one who quickened this period, was none other than this guy.
Of course I plan on returning it, but Chester says that I don’t need to return such a sum. Instead he attached a condition──it was to allow Cheryl to accompany me on the trip.
「Not saying that I hate it, but do you think Cheryl can tolerate a situation with you, stupid ****** old man?3」
If it’s a condition like this, I didn’t mind because I originally intended to offer it anyway──never did I expected to hear it from the other party, it made me bewildered.
Anyway, I safely got Cheryl to accompany me on my trip. These circumstances, such things.
Iya, but I still can’t believe it.
Never did I think that I would get such a proposal from this stupid ****** old man.
「Aho, do you think I can tolerate this. I’ll be wetting my pillow with my tears every day.」
Apparently, this was a tough decision for Chester.
I didn’t think that my old enemy who had matched me in my previous life, would have an expression full of sorrow.
「….Did I really lose to such a man?」
Unintentionally, I spit out the words in the depths my heart.
These past ten years I was registered at the Academy. Whenever I found time, I fought against him──although I had victories, the result was a losing record. Not being able to win against this senile nemesis, iya I shouldn’t be so unreasonable.
──Maa, the gains were worth the number of losses.
The thing cultivated for the past ten years, the general knowledge of elves, as well as relationships between fellow students.
The things I gained from this man, it will be an important guide on the road I walk.
「Emp~ty….now I’m more spirited.」
「Aa. Should I wake up Cheryl soon?」
「Sure. ….Che, I’m going to be lonely.
My dearest granddaughter──and this ******* of a friend, going on a trip at the same time.」4
Listening to Chester’s words, I stopped moving.
──An ******* of a friend, huh. This is a pretty good evaluation.5
He said he got embarrassed, this nemesis blushing, I couldn’t help but smile.
「Kuku, oi Chester」
「Don’t laugh. Don’t question. I’m considerably ashamed, of this.」
With Chester’s eyes turning into the same shape of his mouth, I looked ahead.6
It was a self-destruction move that made him vengeful but, maa I’ll keep this sensation to myself.
「I’m going, my best friend.
Since I’ll bring a souvenir──when I come back, remember to serve me some tea.」
It was rare for me──I laughed with my teeth showing.
With a heart that was trembling from anticipating the outside battles, when was the last time it trembled like this.
Throwing out my fist, I turned a tightened fist towards Chester.
Chester’s face gave off the feeling of being bewildered, then turning into a smile.
「Ou, go. Don’t come back home empty-handed.」
Go get something, huh. This was what Chester’s face was implying, looking happy.
I know without being told. Surely when I return, I will surpass you and go to heights which you haven’t gone to.
「Aa, I’m going.
….Then, let’s first wake up a princess.」
「Do it. ….A, is Cheryl currently passable?」
「You’re the one who suggested it, stop getting stomach-sickness.
Cheryl seems to have been anticipating this trip, do you want to blow up her fun?」
「Underhanded….since I said it, I can’t say anything.」
With my nemesis whining his regrets and somewhat bitter feelings, my face was stained with a smile.
「Good food, good blankets. Good change of clothes──」
Rising when the day’s lights poured in, when the sun begins its duties.
I did a luggage check in front of Chester’s mansion.
There are plenty of jobs if I go to town, but no money before going there.
Although there is money borrowed from Chester, I decided to keep it until I could pay it back.
Before it is, it is just baggage which is prepared until I earn some income──iya, it amounts to a lifeline for us. It’s something that Chester prepared with a lot of effort even if it isn’t so. At any rate, I don’t want to forget it.
However I confirmed it the day before.
I also confirmed it again today just to make sure, and there seems to be no problems.
Originally there wasn’t much luggage──to. When I finished confirming my luggage, I discovered an unfamiliar large bag.
Let’s see, was there such a large among the luggage──checking my memory, the bag slowly began to move.
Although in all probability it could be guessed, I daringly watched the scene.
Then, a head with white hair popped out of the bag.
It was a deceptively fragile girl──the granddaughter of my friend, Cheryl Prime.
With just her face out of the bag, Cheryl let out a loose smile.
Calming down my heart and looking at those relaxed eyes, Cheryl fixes her vision on me as well.
Cheryl got out of the bag with clumsy movements, and moved towards me in a small animal-like manner.
「Forget, no good」
「I didn’t forget. Rather than that, did you finish saying your goodbye with Chester?」
「Not yet. ….I’ll go now, will you wait?」
Bouncing around like a rabbit, Cheryl ran to Chester who had come to see us off.
Although there was still a depressed expression, his facial expression became very spirited as though he had become 10 years younger.
….For my mind which the human side still remained, when looking at the girl who looked like she was only 10 years old and a bit, it was hard to associate her with a 25-year old.
「Goodbyes….I did it?」
As I was absorbed in my thoughts, Cheryl’s voice called me back.
Becoming aware, Cheryl had returned with Chester.
「Did you finish saying goodbye?」
「Honestly I still regret it. But, I can’t take back my words.」
Apparently Chester seems to be lonely even in a place like this.
I think it’s natural──yareyare, a grandchild’s presence is great7.
「Then, let’s meet in ten years.」
「Aa, I entrust Cheryl to you. Have an amazingly fun trip」
「Try to act accordingly」
I glanced at my second party member Cheryl.
Cheryl, confirmed her baggage happily.
Although it was unseen from behind, her happiness was still able to be confirmed, this will be a truly enjoyable trip.
「Ojichan, I’m going?」
「Oo…oh Cheryl, just come back home early naa!」
While wiping tears that he didn’t bother to hide anymore with a handkerchief, Chester waves his arms.
This guy is referred to as ‘Invisible Demon Fang’….a grandchild is a formidable existence.
「Yoshi, then let’s go, Cheryl.」
With a huge smile, Cheryl responded.
Carrying baggage on my back, I put my hand on the gate of Chester’s mansion.
Pushing open the gate slowly, I took one step forward.
The voice of Chester coming from behind, my face broke into a grin.
Lifting up my hand without turning back, I push forward.
Before long, Chester’s mansion becomes the background, and I suddenly looked up at the sky.
Unlike the dawn, the glistening blue spreads, and the brightness of the day makes you want to smile.
….I have started moving. My second life.
While wrapped in an unspeakable feeling, I look back, starting to walk.
「Nee Slava….first, where do you plan to go?」
「Thinking about it….we’ll go to the Castle Town of Arufareia, and earn some travelling expenses.
Once we get the travel expenses, we’ll aim to go to the Mountain Town of Natousha.」
From what Chester said, there seems to be a superior fist person in the town of Natousha that was able to open a path in the mountains.
Earning the travel expenses in Arufareia, we’ll aim for Natousha.
Afterwards, we’ll earn more travel expenses and ask the person with superior fists for where another Martial Arts master is. If there isn’t any information, then we’ll just follow the clouds.
….Iya, my body is still immature. It can’t help but feel excited.
Thinking about a powerful enemy who hasn’t been seen yet──I, clench my fist.
Right here, I have finally taken my first step on the road.
- TLN: He’s not degrading his current body, it’s just that it doesn’t have some famous identity. ↩
- TLN: Translated directly from the source… ↩
- TLN: “ジジバカ” = jijibaka ↩
- TLN: According to Google Translate, 最高のダチが, which I translated to ‘and this *******’, means ‘The best of the nigga’ ↩
- TLN: No it isn’t lmao ↩
- TLN: Basically Chester’s eyes are like ‘へ’ and Slava ignores it ↩
- TLN: Means important in this case ↩
「Fufufu, at long last a chance to talk to you alone Slava.」
Having seized my hand, Alma brought me to the auditorium for a martial arts class. A previously unseen satisfied smile on her face, Alma seemed to be in high spirits.
…Maa, if I were to recruit a good disciple, I too would be elated but-
「Aren’t you being a little too pushy?」
Yeah, she was being a little too pushy.
Personally, upon discovering Alma’s talent, the thought of imparting the Shijima techniques was greatly satisfying to me.
However, if said person had no intention to learn, then regardless of his or her innate talent, it would be useless. If he still refuses after taking time to consider, then I would give up teaching him my techniques, was what I thought.
In the end, Alma inherited the Shijima techniques. Yet, depending on Alma’s answer, her name could very well have not spread throughout history.
More than anything, the disciple’s intention and interests are very important factors. I think that’s the best method in picking a disciple.
「Certainly I might have been a little too pushy. But the amount of talent you possess is worth that much I think.」
I have my own beliefs1, and Alma seems to differ from me in that aspect. I don’t plan on interrupting her at this point but – if it’s become this way, it might perhaps be better to change her thoughts on this issue.
「That being said, I am reflecting on my actions.
…This will anger sensei.
Was I too much in a hurry?」
Nevertheless, it seems like Alma is reflecting on this issue this time.
She doesn’t know that the teacher that she’s speaking of would be right before her eyes but… well that teacher, I’m sure he would probably agree that it’s fine as long as you have the intention to change.
But – now that I have the chance to reflect, in my previous life, I did nothing other than learning martial arts. Thinking back, it would have been better if I had learned other things. ….. I wonder how that would have resulted in how I am now.
「….There’s no need to rush. Maybe not so for a human, but as an elf, there is still much time left.」
To the anxious Alma, I conveyed such a message. Yes, Alma is an elf. Yet having only reached a hundred years old – she was still a very young elf.
As a human, you would already have one leg in the coffin, but as an elf, a hundred years was equivalent to a 20 year-old human.
It’s quite enviable. When I was the same age as Alma, I was already a dying old man.
「Haha, that’s true. To be cheered up, it seems I’m still quite immature…. I’ll be careful next time. But just once, I would like you to experience the Shijima style.
Next time, I’ll try not to be so pushy. I promise.」
It might just be my imagination, but Alma seemed to smile at me with slightly moist eyes.
….She’s in a hurry, huh? I may have placed a heavier burden on this child than I thought.
Generally speaking, most elves are rather laid-back. Even I, who was originally human, am about the same, and Alma is an elf too.
But Alma seems to be – impatient. Such a thing is rare among the elves who usually proceed at a leisurely pace.
And I think this is due to the words I left behind.
– No, that is the cause. To carry out the will of the person who’s her teacher and father, it is no surprise that she would be so hurried.
If that is the case, wouldn’t I have placed a curse on Alma?
If so, I’ve done something really terrible.
「Well then, shall we get moving and have a bite?
I have forced you to come, and I’ll end my persistent solicitations here. So please, just let me teach you just this once….」
To her imploring gaze, I quietly nodded.
Looks like the number of things I have to consider has increased slightly.
Alma does not seem to be able to shoulder the weight of the burden I left for her.
Being the only family she had, I cannot fathom the weight my words had on her.
In order to avoid increasing the number of ties in this life, I intended to hide my real identity from Alma but….
– That’s a conversation for another time, but I must reveal my identity sooner or later, or so I thought.
「Firstly, just once, could you demonstrate the 「Tree Leaf Throw」 for me?
Just the form is enough. Since I first saw it, I’ve been quite interested in it.」
Breathe in slowly, close my eyes.
Focus on the foundation, applying it fully as a point, this is a technique that combines the entirety of the Shijima style.
Follow the flow, break the balance, throw. Without understanding this technique, it would be pointless to study any other technique.
Concentrating all my consciousness, I take the 「Running Water」 stance.
Thinking about it, how many times have I repeated this process?
In my day-to-day training, there has never been a time where I did not follow this routine.
From apprenticeship to mastery, throughout all of my training – it would be taught and practiced without fail, the most basic of techniques.
….Thinking back, this technique probably marked my entry into Martial Arts.
Not just a principle, but an endless road. It really symbolizes the road of the warrior.
When one delves deep into this technique, I wonder if one can find the answer to becoming the strongest.
Projecting an imaginary enemy, I imagine a sudden fist thrown at me.
Immediately, I move to match the illusion of the thrust arm.
Manipulating the direction of the imaginary enemy’s fist, I scatter the center of gravity in four directions.2
With the unstable center of gravity, the root of its balance wilted, resulting in an uncertain connection with the ground –
The figure with both legs no longer in firm contact with the ground, was like a boat that hadn’t dropped its anchor. If I sharply swept his feet, strength would not be required to send my opponent flying.
I did not go easy on Shido, for I didn’t go easy on him in real life and there was also the fact that this wasn’t real.
With the waist as the center, grabbing the head and rotating laterally – I slammed it on the floor.
The opponent’s body was like that of tree leaves, being thrown to the floor as if having forgotten its own weight
– Tree Leaf Throw, such was the technique.3
Performing the whole motion without cutting corners, this was the best performance I could put out as of now.
– If she were to realize my identity due to that, then so be it.
….This is not in desperation.
Although I don’t intend on revealing my identity now, if Alma uncovered the person lurking in this young body then–
Of course there is a part of me that is considering my daughter. But for me, strength is everything.
Or so I thought in the past – but as I grew older, the scales started to balance out.
So even if she were to realize, I wouldn’t mind it, was what I thought.
「(I wonder if she’ll notice)」
After completing the technique, I broke my vigilant stance, and heaved a deep breath.
The speechless, motionless Alma was fixated on me.
「How was it, sensei?」
Like a sculpture frozen in time, her delicate limbs seemed to tremble in shock.
Consciousness returned to her facial expression.
She must have been observing me so seriously that she even forgot to breathe. Catching her breath, Alma denied,
「 – Such, it can’t be….」
Her expression was dyed in shock.
Though my technique was still incomplete and somewhat immature, but for the practitioners of Shijima, other than Iwao Shijima, there was no one who could rival me.
Of course, to demonstrate this depth and familiarity with the 「Tree Leaf Throw」, there exists no one other than my teacher and me.
As such, I wonder what Alma is thinking.
She may not yet believe it, but I must surely have crossed her mind.
The auditorium returned to silence.
Only the sounds of two small breaths muddied the silence.
Staring in anticipation, I await her words.
Before long, instead of speaking, she walked up to me.
How much thought had been put in those words – Me as a Shijima, I felt it.
Looking at the figure of my daughter on the verge of collapsing, trying to cling to me, I considered if it would be fine to continue playing dumb.
Trembling without strength, such was the state of the God of Martial Arts of this generation. That small – slightly larger than mine, her shoulder.
I played dumb and acted in doubt.
Trembling her shoulder slightly, Alma clasped my clothing.
The small strength – It feels very nostalgic, making me recall when she would fly into me.
「 – !….I’m sorry. I…it wouldn’t be strange if you hate me now….」
Such a possibility doesn’t exist.
But, I can’t say it in such a way.
「….No. I don’t hate sensei.」
Rather I am a child, there is no way I could hate her.
Even though I do have sentiments of wanting to confide my identity but – more than anything I want to have time to look around the world.
View the changed world, ascertain the road of the warrior – at that time..
While holding the shoulder of Alma, I face the sky.
「Please give me 20 years. After I graduate from this academy, I want to go around and look at the world. Before I aim to be the strongest, I want to make sure to see the variety of choices.」
Alma did not respond.
Waiting to see if there was a continuation to my words, she seemed to implicitly encourage me to say more.
What I speak of – is a young boy’s dream, a story of my dream.
I want to see the world. I want to meet strong martial artists. And then – exchange fists.
To put it in words, a man exceeding hundred years of age possess a young immature dream.
But even then, me as of now, I have the youthful energy to achieve this.
Thus, I want it to come true. This dream.
「But, I will definitely return to the country of the elves. During that time, I will answer sensei’s questions. How about that?」
Raising Alma’s face, I declared with sincere eyes.
Full of tears, Alma gaped.
….20 years later. Somehow it is a short yet long time.
As a human, it would be long, but as an elf, it is short. Then, for me would it be long or short – for Alma, how would it be?
The daughter left behind 30 years ago, must once more wait 20 years for an answer, how painful.
But I want to advance into this world, and with my very eyes – I want to see martial arts.
Thus, my answer will surely come. Even if it will come later.
Our eyes did not separate even for a moment. Not without words, but with our eyes, we conveyed our feelings.
「Slava….is that so, thank you.」
Wiping her tears, Alma laughed.
Wait for me, my daughter. Someday, I must tell you something.
「Well then – I will happily wait 20 years.」4
Wiping her tears, Alma walks away from me.
For me 20 years is a somewhat long time.
But, when that time comes, I will definitely reveal my identity, such were my thoughts.
Before that – just a little, please forgive this old man’s indulgence.
「Yoshi, in order to make you want to study under the Shijima style in twenty years, I need to be devoted too!」
Directing a big smile, Alma was filled with motivation.
Being tempted, I too broke into a soft smile.
「It’s a secret that I was crying, okay?」
「Okay, I will hide it deep in my heart.」
I leak out a laughter.
This child in the past used to hide her weaknesses.
Now that I think about it, since when could I talk to her slowly?
Now, we meet on a daily basis but, then why do I feel like I already badly miss her.
「Well then, sorry for taking up your time Slava. There’s very little of your lunch break left. Let’s return to the classroom.」
「Is that so. Then – see you later.」
「Un – see you later.」
Turning my back on Alma, I walk out.
Yes, I mustn’t stop now.
I should walk a little further before I sit down. (TLN: I think this is a figurative manner of speech. Up to you to interpret.)
– Thus, Alma’s solicitation was kept a secret.
The long period of time of ten years, whether it was training or sparring with Chester, it somehow felt short – once again, I realized that I had truly become an elf.
And then –
「Today, all of you will graduate from Mirafia National Alfalia General Academy. From now on, each of you will walk your own roads. Firmly ascertain with your own eyes, take strong steps forward, that is what I hope for all of you.」
The time has come, for young boys and girls, to each walk their own path.
I too, have begun to walk the road that I’ve put my trust in.
– To devote myself to martial arts for a hundred years.5
Receiving the life of an elf, and to redo my training as a warrior.
Here, I take my first step.
This isn’t the end, let’s continue for a little more (Master Roshi)
「You woke me up so late, iya, evil, so evil!」
「What late, huh. It’s barely morning.」
In front of the horse-drawn carriage was the Academy, I crossed my arms and let out a sigh.
Although we had left a little before it became night, the sky has already begun to brighten up. It should be another hour before the sun finishes rising.
「Seriously──I am a student now.
Since I have a child’s body, I have a duty to devote myself to studies.
I’ll be in trouble if you don’t use your mind a bit.」
「Iya~a, don’t be saying these bad things.
Wasn’t it you who put Cheryl into such a state?」
「….Maa, you’re right.」
Chester’s mansion, it wasn’t so far away from the Academy.
At best, it would take 5 hours when using a horse-drawn carriage. It was a pretty short distance if one used the carriage as a means of transportation.
It was a distance that I could run in half that time, but──for a child and old man to run faster than a horse, it would have caught the eyes of many people.
It would only take around 5 hours when going one-way, and since the distance was enough so that we could go back and forth in a day, it wasn’t necessary to do it1.
….However, it was hard to say whether it was possible at this time.
Anyway, the weekly holiday was over and now it was the Academy’s weekdays. Since the date changed, it could hardly be called ‘getting back within a day’.2
It was also because the topic was brought up by the granddaughter──Cheryl was the cause.
Finishing a meal, spending the time leisurely, and finally going home──it was finally 7:00 in the afternoon before I got off my ***.3
But, the time changed to the next day already, to after 5:00 in the morning.
The departure was delayed 5 hours. What happened──there was nothing to say.
「Such an unmanageable child.
Has there always been this kind of condition?」
When it came to the topic of me returning, Cheryl’s reaction was terrible.
Although she didn’t cry or scream, there was a look as if it was the end of the world, and she grasped my arms and could not be peeled off by force….and so, I was down when that killing blow came. When I returned to my sanity later, I realized she fell asleep while crying during my apology….unforgettable.
It was as if I were going to be murdered, with the amount of noise that was made.
When sleeping, she was like an ordinary girl──apparently, turning back to an ordinary girl, it would take time.
「Unfortunately, it’s time that I leave.
But~a, it’s been like this. He’s extremely reluctant to separate from you, Cheryl.」
「I see….it seems to be a big deal, for you. I’m more tired than I would have imagined.」
Although Chester has to handle such exchanges daily, I still think that it’s great.
I wonder if that makes children stronger. This is a world not known to me.
「Now then, you should go before the princess wakes up. You must come over and practice with her again.」
「I understand. Since you won’t sleep, be careful.」
「Wha~at, if you look at the face of my cute granddaughter, then all your fatigue flies away~yo.
Ah….whatever, I’ll probably come back to pick you up during the weekend. I don’t know whether Cheryl can endure it until then.」
While waving his hand, Chester returns to his carriage. Although it seems that only I was tired this time….it’s hard on that old man too.
Watching Chester order the carriage driver to go back, I unintentionally let out a yawn.
Before class begins, I’ll take a short nap.
Yareyare, it’s hard to resist sleepiness after I’ve gotten this body. Although I could resist it in my previous existence, I wonder if this is due to a ‘growth period’. ….For the race called ‘Elf’, the growth spurt stops in the middle4, but as for the mind, it doesn’t necessarily grow.
….Is one hour of sleep enough? Thinking such a thing while enduring sleepiness, I dragged my feet towards the dormitory.
Time for lunch.
Due to the loss of sleep time from the vacation, I fought the sleepiness and cut the fried fish with a knife, all the while opening and closing my eyelids.
Seria and Shido were sitting on both sides of me, making fun of the state I was in, laughing.
Although they didn’t mind it so much, it was still disgraceful. For a child, the hours needed for sleep are unexpectedly longer than expected.
I slept just a bit over the time to get up, maa, with this it’s no wonder.
….However, aside from sleepiness, there’s also the problem of training on those days.
Chester’s doted on grandchild, Cheryl, somehow took kindly to me for some reason. He said he would pick me up during the holidays, but I hope he picks me up when it starts, or else it’ll be the same thing as this time, and I’ll be just as tired.
As I thought, this troublesome body is still that of a student.
Even if you can move from here and there freely, you should keep it within proper bounds.
While enjoying a chat with Seria and Shido, I thought of the current situation, and leaked out a sigh.
Although somewhat sleepy, I interacted with them as follows.
Cheryl will be added to this group someday, while I think such──Seria suddenly asked a question, and I stopped moving for a bit.
「Nee nee, Slava-kun and Shido-kun, do you have any dreams for the future?」
「….Dreams for the future?」
「Un. Such as, what you want to become. What you want to do, such thoughts.
For me, I want to become an actor. To act in a fun drama, making everyone smile!」
Towards the me who was repeating the words from such a vague question, Seria said these words with a big smile.
Future dream, huh.
Seria, her dream at 12 years of age is to become a drama actor.
Twelve years old for a human or elf, it doesn’t change. ….I, at 12 years old, what do I want to be. Do I have such dreams.
「I will definitely be an adventurer! Find an unexplored region or ruins that no one has ever gone to, and become a great adventurer!」
Shido, had been saying that he wanted to become an adventurer.
Very childish….but, it’s a great dream.
In his case, some effort──physical training──would be needed, so that by the time that the Academy was over, he should be able to run around the school.
I, now. What do I want to be.
Seria’s casual words, when put into a question like this, I hesitated on how I should answer.
「Like you said to Alma-sama, are you sure you want to be a scholar?
I’m a bit anxious. After reading all those Martial Arts books, doesn’t it make you want to become a Martial Artist?」
「I don’t remember. ──Certainly, I never wanted to be a scholar.」
….That reminds me, was such a thing said. I became slightly embarrassed, and bitterly smiled.
I was a human without any education. Thinking up a dream using my head, it wasn’t suitable for me.
Though when we are talking about aiming to be a Martial Artist, it’s a different feeling.
With willpower, anyone can become a Martial Artist if they practice a style. Being strong is secondary. Becoming strong, the thing a Martial Artist needs the most is a strong heart. This is what Master said, to me. (TLN: Yeah, at this point, it doesn’t matter if it’s ‘Master’ or ‘shishou’ or ‘Teacher’ when we’re talking about his mentor)
At this point in time, I could already be called a Martial Artist. My name is already acknowledged as a Martial Artist in my previous existence, aiming for a Martial Artist now・・・that is, it feels ‘different’.
Once, I did not have a「Future」, so it’s a bit difficult to answer.
Look deep inside of myself. Although it’s a casual saying, in my head, those words swirled around in my head while giving out a profound feel.
Thinking back, I don’t think I’ve dreamed of anything.
I never had the thought of wanting to become an actor or adventurer. There was no thought of wanting to earn money, and no spirit in me who wanted to go down in history.
──But, I wanted to become a Martial Artist.
Why was that?
「The best, I want to become.」
Yes, I already understood such a thing.
For me──being the strongest. To become the strongest man in the world.
This is what I muttered, from the depths of my heart. A simple thing.
The dream that I had in my childhood, I was still experiencing it.
「Slava-kun’s answer is unusual.
I didn’t think that you were interested in being the strongest.」
Shido was laughing at the unexpected.
I guess so. It was pretty unexpected considering my image that the class has of me.
「But, Shido, you have never had this dream?
Say, in any field, to be the best in the world──shining at the top, you’ve never dreamed of it?」
「Well──certainly. Now, I want to become the world’s best adventurer! tte~Think of it!」
──Really. Such a thing, all men dream about it once.
As for me, I haven’t abandoned such a silly dream.
Fumu….I remember how I started out in an unexpected place.
I wasn’t even that old when I incidentally grasped my fist (Arts), it was somewhat of a clumsy encounter.
「It is as such. I’m the same, for the dream I had once, and it still is a dream.
Kuku, it’s pretty simple.」
Why aim for the strongest.
What would one want to do once they reached that goal. These were my thoughts.
But still, it’s like this.
Rather than becoming the strongest for no reason, I want to become the strongest to do something.
A person’s actions may be the opposite of their purpose, it’s like this for me.
「Fu~n….I don’t really understand it.」
Shido and I look at each other and laugh, while Seria looks puzzled.
This is something only boys would understand, Seria understands this.
There are occasionally women who understand this kind of dream──if possible, I would love to meet and hear these stories.
It was satisfactory, the meal in my mouth was delicious.
With the background as Shido talking about his dreams for the future passionately, we finished the meal.
「Fui~, that was really delicious~」
While watching Shido let out a breath and rubbing his stomach, I easily collect my tableware, then I go collect Seria and Shido’s tableware.
There is still room before mealtime is over. (TLN: Lunch if you’ve forgotten….)
Although I don’t need to rush, there’s nothing lost if I do it.
「I’m really interested, why does Slava-kun want to become the best?」
With the sound of putting down tableware, Seria’s voice is mixed in.
「Didn’t you say that you wanted to become the best a while ago?
Shido-kun wants to become the best adventurer. I want to know what Slava-kun wants to be the best in.」
「Aa──you mean that.」
That reminds me, what I wanted to be the best in, I didn’t say it.
How to answer. I’m already considered weird guy, at least this was already established, so it’s unlikely that my reputation would fall.
It seems it will be troublesome if asked by Alma….perhaps if I give a vague answer, it will be fine?
「It’s like uhh….I vaguely know that, since this is a place teaching Martial Arts.
It’s like how Shido said, becoming the best in the world.」
「E? Me? Well yeah.
Don’t all men think of this at least once?」
While seeking agreement in Shido, I show a balled up fist.
「If it’s a man, once the time comes, no matter if it’s a human, a beastman, an elf or a Majin──he’ll definitely close his hand into a fist like this. By wanting to be the strongest, they are depicting the 「Cool Self」they want to be..
….But each and everyone, for a lot of reasons, like finding a different path, will open their clenched fist and try to grasp something new.
However, those who are martial artists cannot open their fists.
Be them fallen, defeated or injured, whatever happens, they cannot open it. Thus, perhaps they may only able to swing it.
──Maa, in the end, we are but children. Unable to throw away our first dream, hating to lose more than anyone else──that’s why it’ll surely be fun.」
The fist I hardened, I open it slowly.
Like an opened fist, if I am able to give up the two characters “strongest”5, I would be able to walk a different road in life this time.
But, thanks to it, there were many things I was able to catch with this closed fist.
Alma and Chester, recently Cheryl as well, and even this present life of mine──
I forgot to tell to Shido and the rest, but there’s one more thing.
One trait of martial artists that, even while I hate regretting things, I couldn’t achieve before dying.
「….Somehow, I don’t understand but it’s profound? I got it.」
It seems that he isn’t able to understand all that I said, Shido has a face with deep emotion.
Although he’s a boy, he is also a man. Although understanding it all is unreasonable, there shouldn’t be a reason for not being able to understand a little.
As such, I gave out a light laugh.
After what was said, Seria tilted her head.
I thought this dream only applied to men, since women don’t seem to be the same.
In the middle of the conversation, I coincidentally look at the clock.
The hand on the clock, it showed that meal time was to be over soon.
「Uah, after meal time, there’s class then recess….and the most troublesome, magic class.」
「But doesn’t an adventurer need magic as well? If this isn’t learned now, then you unexpectedly regret it.」
「I understand~a. Therefore I’ll do my best even though it’s troublesome.」
In truth, Shido is working hard.
Although the mouth isn’t good, head isn’t that good, the effort expended towards an aim is fantastic.
This will lead to a more successful future. Dreaming of acquiring good equipment, Shido’s mouth slightly warped.
「Shido-kun, do your best~.
Slava-kun, do you have anything you want to do your best in?
You want to become the strongest in Martial Arts right?」
While directing a bright smile towards Shido who was depressed, Seria set her eyes on me.
….If I say it honestly, recently 「Motivation」opportunities have been dropping.
「There have been some circumstances and now there are some travel restrictions.
….But, the thought of wanting to become strong, I don’t intend to be overtaken.」
Although there was no malice, I laughed at the painful words that were hard to listen to, and balled up my fist.
The fist that was balled up was strongly held and let out a creaking noise. Really, the thought of wanting to become strong, I won’t lose to anyone.
Now that 30 years have passed after the previous ‘I’ died, I wonder how the Martial Arts world6 has changed.
After graduating from the Academy, it would be a good idea to take a look.
I realized my ultimate goal, looking at my packed fist, with my canines exposed.7
The world is vast. Surely if a fool like Chester can enter, then I can as well. There’s no fun in it if all I do is think of it.
When the travel restrictions disappear──thinking about the bright future, I cannot help but break into a smile.
….But, this smile was easily wiped off my face.
「Ahaha~, is that so.
….Un. I’m sorry, Slava-kun.」
With an embarrassed face for some reason, Seria laughs.
──It was that moment.
「I got to hear Slava’s dream!」
The double door at the entrance of the classroom opens vigorously.
Excitedly pushing the doors open with both hands, it was an elf with long blue hair──it was Alma.
I’m sorry, were the words of Seria.
I understood it instantly.
「Iya~a, sensei forced it Slava. I didn’t think you thoughts about become strong.」
With a huge smile that encompassed her whole face, Alma compromises slowly.
──It was planned….!
Looking innocent, without changing expressions, Seria fully decieved me.
Lurking in the shadows of that question, I didn’t even dream that Alma laid hidden.
Certainly her aim of being an actor was valid. If one was at this age and could give such a performance, then one should go polish this ability.
….After speaking those words once, it’s very hard to retract them.
Getting an understanding over a long time, or using money or power──to take something back, there isn’t just sloppy methods.
Naturally, I was unable to use both methods. There is power, this is just like that──particularly Alma’s show wasn’t the good kind.
Alma who had compromised slowly walks to me, keeping me within her range.
Just like the first time I ‘invited’ her, however, the force was put out firmly in order to hold me in place, Alma holds my shoulder.
「But Slava, there’s no better method than the Shijima Style if you want to aim for the strongest.
Lunch time is coincidentally over. Let’s have a bit of exercise after a meal! Let’s aim to become the strongest together!」
It’s come to the point where I can’t escape even if I struggled.
I was convinced, only letting out a dry smile.
With Shido confused with this sudden situation, Seria puts both hands together while closing one eye.
Without any consent, I was captured by Alma, and dragged out of the classroom.
….I’ll get back at you Seria.
- TLN: Speedrunning ↩
- TLN: Cuz night -> Next morning ↩
- TLN: Says something about waist, most likely means getting up. ↩
- TLN: Middle as ‘adulthood’ for humans ↩
- TLN: Strongest has 2 characters in JP, which you most likely have inferred. ↩
- TLN: Murim, Jiang Hu, whatever you want to call it. ↩
- TLN: Dafuq, Slava is a beastman??!?! ↩
「….Eh, what kind of situation is this?」
Trying to catch up and organize my head, I grumbled so in a deadpan voice,
I defeated Cheryl with 「Evening Snake」and argued with Chester because he was saying that I stole the technique, waking Cheryl up──
Umu, certainly there were some circumstances, but how did it come to this point?
Right now, I──no, we are sitting in the dining room of Chester’s residence. After the match, I was invited for a meal and walked down a long corridor and came here.
With such an elaborate floor plan, and many works of art that were full of the beauty of an elf, I wondered if this old man was really still an elf.
However, this was downright wasted space. In this dining room, there were three people sitting down; Chester, Cheryl, and I. That is to say, it was going to be a pain to count the number of seats in this dining room, as there were too many chairs to count.1
Though I don’t know how many times I thought of this mansion, it is really a waste.
….Iya, I’ll stop it.
The way one spends one’s money is up to oneself. Although it certainly wasn’t my hobby, I don’t dare criticize it anymore, as long as one thought it was worth it.
「Guu….Cheryl, can you let go of that guy and come sit next to ojii-chan?」
「No….I don’t want to leave Slava-kun’s side….」
When I tried to think of measures to overcome this situation, nothing came to mind.
Towards me, who was being embraced by Cheryl, Chester could only look at me murderously and grit his teeth, bitter tears seemingly about to come out at any moment.
….Really, what is this. It’s like I’m in hell.
「Oi Slava~aaaaa….! That’s annoying you?
That’s why, Cheryl, get away from Slava──」
「No. Slava-kun isn’t unpleasant, I don’t want to let go….」
While pinching my cheeks, Cheryl stuck her tongue out towards Chester.
The grip gradually strengthened, and was now enough to strangle a bear to death.
….It’s good to be tempered. The status right now was something along the lines of a bad comedy, but I was a very ordinary boy, so this was bound to end up in tragedy.
Maa, the gaze of Chester, who had his granddaughter stolen away, was already a murderer’s gaze.
If Chester explodes in this kind of situation, it will become troublesome.
I want to go return to the dormitory of the academy, but the right now….
「Fufu, as expected, Slava isn’t broken….good….」
The girl who was clinging onto me like a cat was indeed, as expected, was unbearable.
….Though I felt that this was more of a lion than cat when thinking about the power being used.
It was a power used to strangle someone to death, but there wasn’t any malicious intent coming from Cheryl. If this was done subconsciously, then was it really necessary to be in contact with someone.
「Chester~yo, shouldn’t you pay more attention to your granddaughter?」
「It can’t be helped that I’m always moving around….trying to shamelessly tell me that….!」
….This is useless. The intention behind the question wasn’t transmitted.
Blood rushed to the head.
「Hey, Cheryl. Grandpa is feeling lonely.
How about you come over here?」
「….No. ….But, if Slava-kun thinks that, ‘it’s unpleasant’….
Slava-kun, do you dislike me….?」
I don’t hate it, but it honestly is annoying.
Iya, but if I really do separate myself….Chester is bound to become troublesome without a doubt.
However, I cannot say it. This was because Cheryl finally──at least in appearance──had behavior fitting of her age. There should be some kind of reason as for why she had been influenced by insanity a while ago. I want to fill that in that gap in her heart and bury it.
「No, I do not dislike it….」
「….Then, I’ll stay here.」
And thus, I couldn’t peel her off.
….It’s been said that a man can’t win against females and tears, and even more so when it’s a combination of both.
When I patted Cheryl’s head, she blushed happily, and squinted in joy.
….And as a result, Chester gnashed his teeth when he witnessed it.
I should say what I want to do. Is this the 「In a dilemma, unable to satisfy both sides」situation? Teacher’s words, ‘there are many things that one isn’t accustomed to’, really fit the situation right now.
If it was me from my youth, I wouldn’t have paid attention to Cheryl at all, since my teacher would have just hit my mouth.
While reminiscing the old days, I half resigned myself. Saying it otherwise, can’t I do anything else but reminisce the old days?… Pathetic.
「Please excuse me, your meal is──w, what is this situation」
Rinetto came in, wheeling a cart of food. Her first words when she came in were understandable, after all, the scene before her was hard to understand.
Ahh it doesn’t matter, this was unexpected help. As long as there was a meal, I should be able to get away from Cheryl.
「Well done Rinetto! Hey Cheryl, the meal came.
How about you separate from that guy and go eat? Like, right now」
Chester now had a reason to pull the person with a doubt origin from his granddaughter, and Rinetto looked like the sun.
Okay, I can’t eat a meal when you’re embracing me.
A face devoid of sympathy turned towards my way. There was a wanting to see his grandchild not being swayed by my presence.
──But, Chester….no, both Chester and I knew that it was a weak request.
「Slava-kun feed me, please….」
With blushing cheeks, Cheryl said this calmly.
Chester’s smile froze–just as I was contemplating on how to resolve this conflict, an unexpected attack came from Cheryl.
Regarding my expression as one of refusal, Cheryl’s face clouded.
The slight shyness that was present earlier, was absent in this girl’s transient smile. The thought of Chester threatening …「You made Cheryl sad?!」 was acutely transmitted to me.
…What do you want me to do…
How should I solve this problem?
But, when those eyes stare into me, I can’t seem to refuse.
「No, maa…Damn it all…」
As soon as I answered, Cheryl’s face bloomed like a flower.
…Whatever happened that caused her to become so attached to me?
No, I understand. To have a friend of the same age, I’m likely the first one.
Unlike our peers, my power was not inferior to hers, so the people she could interact with, other than Chester, was me alone.
Between the embarrassment and the gazes–the awfully tiring dinner was very much steadily progressing.
「She fell asleep」
I sighed as I caressed Cheryl’s head, who was lying asleep on my lap.
Craziness2, eating, and then sleeping. The girl was carrying a gloomy air around her–yet looking at her now, she looks just like a simple child.
I grasp at a handful of her spectacular white silk3.
Silver hair is not a rare sight for elves but, Cheryl’s snow white hair was unique.
「She’s become attached huh…Isn’t she cute?」
「…Is that so」
Sitting next to Cheryl was Chester, casting a gentle gaze on her quietly sleeping figure.
It seems this guy has calmed down too. Mattaku(Seriously), the existence known as grandchild is truly a frightening thing.
Just thinking of the friendly smile that was on Chester’s face, made me want to vomit.
I can’t believe that he would succumb to the stereotype of the 「Friendly Grandpa」.
「For Cheryl, to have someone of the same age play with her, is a first. She’s caused a lot of trouble but, I hope you’ll be tolerant towards her?」4
「It’s nothing to be concerned about. She just can’t control her power well. Well, I’m just a little tired, that’s it.」
What was on the quiet sleeping face of the young girl, was a smile.
A smile without madness, unlike a predator hunting – it was an age-appropriate, smile of a young girl.
Too mighty a magic sometimes cause a distortion in a person’s character.
To carry such power also contributes to this.
If she didn’t have that extent of power, she would probably have been a lovely ordinary girl.
「…She’s, a half elf and half Majin, was what I said?」
With a tinge of bitterness in his expression, Chester began speaking in a low voice so as not to wake Cheryl up.
I returned with a nod.
「That idiot son of mine, managing to get a wife who is good but, when she gave birth to this child, she pushed herself too hard and…
He wanted to abort Cheryl, so as to save her but, she said that no matter what she wanted to give birth to Cheryl so, just as the midwife warned us, she ….
But still my son loved this child5. Even though the child provided him with no benefits, he brought her up without a mother. He was a decent guy, that kid.」
「…Is that so? Then–」
「Aa, my son has passed away too. When this child was five years old, he said he would go to the mountains to get some vegetables, and then he fell off a cliff . Cheryl, from a very young age she lost both her parents.」
Moistening his mouth with the teacup in his hand, Chester let out a small sigh.
His expression–in my 60 years of experience, was the first time I witnessed such sadness.
「Such is the story, losing her close ones at a young age, becoming alone at the age of five.
…Then, the maternal side who took in the child–they, labeled her a taboo child.
In the first place, the maternal side was opposed to the marriage. I too, was repulsive. Acting unlike my age, and beating up everyone.
…Well, it’s fine」
Chester gently narrowed his eyes, laying his hand on Cheryl’s.
He was a man that was like a sharp blade, hurting anyone that touched him but, sometimes he can be like this too, huh?
After being affectionate with Cheryl for awhile, Chester cast a strong gaze towards me.
His face too, was something I had never seen before.6
「Promise me. No matter what happens, I’ll leave this world before you do. When that time comes, don’t let this child be alone…」
–When I entrusted Alma with the Shijima style, was I making such a face too I wonder.
A strong desire. For the sake of his precious grandchild, to make a request for after his own death, such was his face.
…Today was filled with surprises. Twice in a day, people whom I thought I had totally understood had revealed new faces to me.
As I thought, having a grandchild really changes a person. I never would have thought that Chester would have shown such a face.
「…Leave it to me. That child is my friend after all.」
My promise was not just because of Chester’s request, but also my desire to watch over and protect the fate of this child.
「It goes without saying. One who boards a boat, does not get off half-way.」
Maa for such a request to come from our unsavory relationship. At any rate, it’s not like I wanted to decline.
Beyond that weakly distorted annoying mustache, I spied a half-smile.
It’s quite unbelievable that even in my second life I can’t cut ties with the Prime family.
This truly is quite the unsavory relationship I have with this guy.
「Fix that compassionless side of yours. If Cheryl saw such a sight, I would lose dignity as a grandfather.」
「… Aa, is that so. I too want with steady steps, to become a cool old man.」
Raising his eyebrows, Chester’s expression distorted into a smile.
It’s more or less a grin but, I wish he would make up his mind.
「Thank you, Slava」
To elves it may be short but, the empty 20 years that passed, plus this life’s 12 years come to around 30 years.
I wondered how much the world would change but, it seems that even for an old friend whom I had never imagined would change, 15 years is sufficient time for change.
A head curved like a diamond, a great (magnificent) girl – looking at the quietly sleeping young girl on my lap, my cheeks slackened.
…A grandchild, huh? If there is a chance, I would like to have one too. (ED: shippp)
But it’s unlikely that I’ll ever become a teacher like him.
Pondering such thoughts without a basis, I enjoyed this quiet and peaceful time.
- TLN: He said 3 people sitting down because he was too lazy to say 3/*** chairs or something. Or so I presume. ↩
- TLN: Actual meaning is ‘high spirits’ ↩
- TLN: Referring to her hair ↩
- TLN: Guess MC took one of her “firsts” | ED: (；^＿^)ッ☆( ゜o゜) ↩
- ED: Heads-up Tomoya | TLN: He means Clannad if you don’t know the reference ↩
- TLN: “too” because he never saw Chester’s gentle or sad side before ↩
I was at Chester’s house, and the place that Cheryl had told me to wait at was the courtyard of Chester’s residence.
Courtyard, when you hear that word, you would think of flowers inside──it seems to be to the tastes of the master of the mansion──but it was empty, designed for flashy movements. Compared to the gorgeous landscape of Chester’s mansion, this one area was terribly bland.
However, the ground was leveled well, with enough space to exercise if one wanted to, and was the most suitable place for a fight.
Under the blue sky, it could be said to be drab.
Without hiding her bloodthirst, the white girl stood in the center of the yard.
What happened to the innocence from a while ago? The bloodthirst being emitted would have made someone else submit if they didn’t have a certain degree of strength.
….Fumu, maybe I should give a longer sermon to Chester.
Chester and this girl were really similar; they get easily agitated when someone is slow. It seems like it runs in the blood.
「Sorry to make you wait. However, you didn’t tell me about the destination?」
But, after all, she was only 15. Even though I was like this right now, I still had strength comparable to her grandfather.
It was like the duel between Chester and I. You couldn’t be daunted by the degree of difficulty.
While I was contemplating without minding her state, Cheryl’s eyes flared up in anger.
….This child really has intense mood swings.
「That is….I mean, uh.
I, who was instantly looked at with bloodthirst, was a little startled.
They say that a woman’s heart changes very easily, but this is just overkill.
Really, Chester didn’t teach her anything. The future seems worrying.
Yareyare, after I dispelled a cold breath, I noticed that Cheryl’s red eyes met with mine.
She tilted her head, her face showing an inquiring expression.
「Is Slava-kun strong….?」
Well then, how to answer.
Although I had enough confidence that my strength was strong to a certain extent, this strength wasn’t enough, if I were asked.
….Above all else, I had just suffered a defeat from Chester.
Strong, I couldn’t be called that.
While I was searching for an answer to give to her curiosity, Chester walked up to me.
What do you intend to do. While looking at Chester with suspicious eyes and this thought, he put his hand on my shoulder.
「Strong. Therefore, put all your energy into this, Cheryl.」
To this unexpected action, my eyes unintentionally opened wide.
That’s too much of a stretch, isn’t it?
Though, I knew I had troubles with my unyielding spirit.
As far as I knew, I had just gotten the official guarantee of the strongest man in history. Even so, I didn’t grow timid.
「Aa, I’m strong. Therefore, don’t hesitate.」
Making this compromise, I walked a bit, leaving some distance between us, and took up a stance.
Cheryl, who looked at both Chester and my face, smiled a bitter smile.
「….Is that so, I’ll be looking forward to it.」2
Cheryl’s cheeks then split open, just like a crescent moon.
As expected from a Majin. Their radar for the smell of blood is something they excel in.
Murderous intent──the same type a child would release when killing an insect. Such a pure and evil intent and aggressive smile were given out by Cheryl that you wouldn’t have believed that this was the same girl from a while ago who looked innocent.
──Weakness of the whole body. To change the body into a whip, while punching with the left fist, as if it weren’t enough, this was Chester’s handed-down version of the「Primo Style」.
This was the first person to take up this stance that wasn’t Chester, in my lifetime. No, my second lifetime.
However──this posture was more than what I had expected from a 15 year-old.
There was a dark aura, magical power surrounding her like a muddy stream and a stance──surpassing perfection──but still not even half-way from Chester’s perfect posture.
Of course, it was because I had fought Chester for such a long time, so I could see that there was some roughness in the stance.
「（Still, that’s some terrifying talent.）」
If the person were a normal Martial Art expert, then he or she may not have been able to overcome this girl.
「Come at me.」
Seriously, I found something really interesting.
If this was my grandchild, I might not stop laughing.
Speaking of 15 years old, I had yet to encounter the arts of the 「Shijima Style」. Having a mentor to study under really made me a bit envious.
If this was me from my previous existence, I would have been jealous of the ability of this ‘next generation’.
But now, I’m also one of the Martial Artists of the ‘next generation’ now.
The goal of reaching the realm of the strongest──mine.
Chesters’ inherited skill came at me, only to accurately graze my cheek.
I probably wouldn’t have received damage, had I used all my magical power. However, there wouldn’t be anything in it for me, had I won due to the difference in magical power.
I must win in terms of ability(skill) when fighting someone with 「Martial Art」capcity. This was what my mentor always used to say.
That’s why I want this to become a match which only tested our ability(skill).
Putting out my fist, I took up a posture as if I were creeping.3
Sky-Cutting Fist. The move that the 「Primo Style」had used to finish off many opponents in one round. Because the fist that usually brought sure victory was dodged, Cheryl’s countenance was stained with slight surprise.4
But, it was only for an instant. Certainly, it was one of the 「Primo Style」’s strong fist attacks, but it wasn’t the only one.
That single strong blow retracted as if it were never used, and the strange illusion of two, three fists came at me; this was the true essence of the 「Primo Style」.
The girls’ fist looked delicate, her fair-skinned slender body bending, as if it were a whip・・・.
The blow had been retracted returned at a tap of a heel as if it were a dream, a trick──nonchalance and laughter, both feelings that could be felt from the girl’s fist.
It isn’t used to me.
It certainly was fast. As a person who pursued 「Martial Arts」, the speed, as well as mind-game were all evidently there.
However, I have already seen where it’s going. It was nothing more than elaborate trickery…to me.
Bending even further from my bent posture, I brought my right elbow low, low enough to touch the ground, and took a low posture.
When a punch is thrown, there’s no way to stop the body from continuing forward following the fist’s inertia.
So, if that’s the case.
In case an obstacle is interposed before the feet, it’s inevitable to trip.
Due to her own inertia, Cheryl’s posture collapsed forwards.
Bound by her body that had lost its freedom, her chalk-white hair swayed.
However, she’s Chester’s pupil. Promptly rearranging her stance with her astounding sense of balance, she threw a punch with her left.
To regain awareness when her field of view swayed at high speed, while totally unprepared, and even turn into counterattack deserves praise.
However, her body was still in the process of regaining its balance.
A punch forcibly thrown from a broken stance can be regarded as easy as stealing candy fro a baby for someone from Shijima Style.5
I, instead of using my right hand to balance myself, used it to stop the left fist coming at me.
This was because if I did this, I wouldn’t be able to stop the bold move fully, but I would be able to change the direction of the power coming at me.
The fist of the girl, no matter what kind of magical power or weight was behind it, it would be something. However, now that it’s been shot off in a collapsing state, the fist doesn’t amount to much.
Without any trickery, it was just a simple fist. Gradually, weight was building, but it was still incomplete, then I pulled the fist lightly.
If this was the fist of Chester, the fist would have definitely have had weight when it was exposed, but it seems that the inexperienced Cheryl couldn’t pull it off.
As a result, the sudden pulling of mine was unexpected and the expected payout of hers turned out to be herself on the floor at my feet.
No matter what kind of altitude control she had, the posture had originally been broken, and as a result, Cheryl went face-first into the lawn.
Of course, Cheryl was surprised.
Not to mention me, who returned the skill, even Chester was able to predict what the result was going to be halfway in without missing the flow of the match.
Therefore, the only one who didn’t understand what happened was Cheryl.
If this was a duel, then I would have crushed the head and it would have been over, but this was a match after all, so I didn’t.
Without counterattacking, Cheryl got up holding her nose.
From the porcelain skin, something drips from the nose.
While trying to subdue the blood coming from her nose with her fingers, blood droplets stained the ground red.
「Aah, Cheryl, right now… Haven’t you lost?」
Somehow or other, it doesn’t look like his usual pampering.
Cheryl wiped her nose in a manner that showed that she didn’t know what had just happened, and turned around towards Chester.
….After all, a Martial Artist is a ****** through and through. It would do no good if one wasn’t harsh, even if it was towards ones’ grandchild.
Oh, I intentionally didn’t stop as well. ──At any rate, Chester said not to stop.
「Lie, I didn’t lose. ….I’m still standing.」
「He has allowed you to stand up, pathetic. This guy, if he felt like it, could have smashed your head with a stomp, you know?
How shameful, how shameful, don’t you understand that?」
Plain anger surfaced in Cheryl’s emotionless face.
… From that smile, some childishness could also be felt.
What surfaced from her, who was somewhat detached from the world, was a very real anger.
──A gust of wind blows.
An unpleasant wind, both warm and full of moisture.
A wind that was too strong, that although it was outdoors, it still hit the tall walls of the courtyard and run up them.
From the body of Cheryl, massive amounts of magical power(energy)6 raged on.
I see. So this was the reason I was given permission to offend.
「You have a bad hobby, old man.」
「Hahahakakakka! Bu~t, isn’t this great? Really super great?」
Be silent, old man. Even while complaining, I didn’t take my eyes off Cheryl.
….It couldn’t be compared to a while ago, this storm of magical energy.
Strangely, the magical power was now furiously raging.
If one were to say that the magical power emitted earlier was a muddy stream, then it was now a waterfall.
In complete disarray from genuine anger──they said that Majin raise their magical power by arousing their spirits, but to such an extent?
「──Do it slowly and gently so that it won’t snap. It’s okay, it’s okay.」
Laughing while angry, it seems like she’s snapped.
Giving out my impression on her state, I was in an innocent state of high spirits, as if I forgotten.
This was the reason why Majins were all hated.
When directed with such pure murderous intent, one would shrink in fear.
That is, if one were a normal person.
Being that I was a Martial Artist, I was fairly happy about it.
Unlike the single blow from before, which was like a taste-test, there was a clear urge to kill and enormous magical power running amok behind the fist.
Speaking of the quantity magical power, it should be comparable to Almas’. An amount of magical power that was second to none.
It was nothing in comparison to Chester, but I would be foolish if I underestimated the power of the blow.
If that power was to used on the jaws, it could knock out the opponent.
Well, this was all hypothetical.
The fists’ power undulated with the power of anger.
The speed and power of it was way faster than a while ago. Power aside, if it was in terms of speed, it ranked somewhere around Chesters’.
But, it was quite obvious where the fist was going.
The 「Primo Style」 that possesses the complexity of a snake.
With this she becomes a machine that will just deliver the best punch.
I dealt with, parried or outright nullified each an every one of the punches of her barrage.
To the me who was neutralizing all Cheryl’s’ blows, not allowing her a single decisive strike, she started to gradually smile.
「Ahahahaha! Great, why haven’t you broken yet? Hey, why!?」
It seems like her heart has pleasant feelings, but there’s that unmistakable underlying murderous intent behind every single blow.
….Fumu. Although there weren’t going to be any outside interventions, isn’t this too much.
This isn’t the type of insanity that a girl in her tender years should be able to emit.
Once this is over, I’m going to have to complain to Chester.
Now then, let’s end this as gently as possible.
Tired, I launched a zero-to-maximum velocity punch with held-back 「Strength(勁)」.
The explosion of magical power hit Cheryl’s’ stomach, blowing her body away.
It’s a punch that squashes the internal organs, though not to the extent of leaving injury.
I should make one feel such an agony so as to make them want to writhe about on the floor, but──even so, Cheryl kicked herself up from the ground without showing any concern.
The distance that was created by my blow shrinked in a moment, and Cheryl’s fist finally moved.
──Just right. Show me what you’ve got.
I pulled out all the power from my right arm, from the shoulders to the fingertips.
As if a thread was cut, the fist fell out of posture.
Due to our childish bodies, our ranges overlapped.
Just when I put myself into range, Cheryl’s left arm melted into thin air.
I have good eyes. Seeing everything inside my range in this situation, that’s 「Vision」.
However, I couldn’t perceive Cheryl’s fist that melted into thin air.
But, the fist of Cheryl’s that melted in the sky, hit empty air.
Echoing──dry sound, as if a balloon popped.
When Cheryl’s fist came down, simultaneously──Cheryl, fell slowly towards the lawn.
I, swinging my fist, came up as the victor.
Why didn’t Cheryl’s fist hit me?
──It’s a simple story.
「Slava, you *******… That punch right now…!」
My fist hit, with its target as Cheryl’s chin, of all things.
Acceleration from nothing to the highest speed. Original instantaneous countering, with a shining fist, I countered it.
「Wasn’t that my 「Vanishing Transparent Fist」…?」
「Primo Style」’s secret art.
The extreme of nothing produced from weakness.
Originally, the 「Vanishing Transparent Fist」was supposed to be used by the whole body, but under my tutelage, I changed it into what could be called the「Slava Style」.
「Since I was only using it on my arm, the power and speed would be inferior to yours.
Also, I can release it with both hands.
──With this difference, should I name it 「Evening Snake」?」
The single blow, like a snake dissolving its body in the darkness of the night.
I imitated it, from 「Shijima Style」’s one step 「Rigid(剛)」fist.
Showing off such a bad imitation, it agonized me.
Once I knew the theory behind it, I could imitate it.
As expected, it was inferior in terms of speed when compared to Chester, but it was enough to take care of a young girl if I imitated it and used it effectively.
Fumu, to give myself a good reputation and scare the old fool who had a score with my 「Shijima Style」, it only took 10 minutes.
I carried Cheryl, who had fallen on my stomach, using both hands.
Although the power when using only the arm fell short of the [State of Passing Through], it was still able to kill if it landed on the head.
「To be able to receive my fist, be unhurt, and automatically counter it…」
I approached Chester with Cheryl, who was unconscious and looked like a girl her age, in my embrace.
Carrying her in the so-called ‘Princess-style hug’, Chester began to tremble all over.
….As expected, did I go too far? But if I hadn’t knocked her out, it would’ve gone on forever.
Now then, how will I excuse myself out of this situation?
I was thinking, while gently embracing Cheryl, when Chester suddenly erupted.
「Baaaaastard! This was a trick I painstakingly made in order to deal with you! Idiot!」
What did this guy just say right now?
Maa, whatever. I wonder if the matter with his granddaughter is okay.
It was surely a situation that wouldn’t have stopped if I hadn’t stopped it. I wonder if there was an understanding in this area.
….But, this should be overlooked.
「Ha! If I see it and experience it, I can learn it, to this extent!
If it was so important, then you should’ve kept it under lock and key!」
「Aaaa!? You incompletely imitated it and knocked her out, you little ****!
It shouldn’t have been used on Cheryl, how about we settle this !?」
An adult who was old enough to know better, raised a huge clamor.
There are no exclusive rights to tricks, so what are you grumbling about, old man.
A situation where we stepped closer and closer to each other.
This decades-old quarrel caused Cheryl to wake up and made Chester turn back to a senile old man.
- TLN: Can mean late too ↩
- TLN: “Sokka”, the first part of this, is said in a rhetorical way, as if mocking herself. ↩
- TLN: Like a tiger when hunting prey ↩
- TLN: ‘Sky-Cutting Fist’, sorry for the chuuni-like name. This was probably the only way to make it sound ‘cool’ and shorten it. ↩
- jogelotr: That last one is a pun. To receive an attack can be said in Japanese “to eat” an attack, so by using “gochisou” from “gochisousama deshita” he’s saying that it does no harm and is even welcomed, something easy to avoid, deflect or counter ↩
- TLN: Will be interchanging them. ↩
My jaw dropped. Before my eyes lies a building so massive, it wouldn’t be an understatement to describe it as stretching and expanding.
It’s been less than a week since the duel. Taking advantage of the 2 resting days of the week, I am visiting Chester’s mansion.
Although I am just visiting…this is quite unexpected.
It’s certainly a mansion, but this mansion possesses a size surpassing common sense. I grumbled,
「……What bad taste」
「Don’t say that, I was young back then, only seeking extravagant things.」
Even as a joke, it may have been impolite to describe someone’s house as “bad taste”, but it was my honest opinion, so there was no choice.
A mansion of that size must house a considerable amount of rooms.
How many of those rooms are even in use? It’s likely that most of these rooms have not been slept in.
I don’t even intend to mention the road made entirely of gold, but this truly is a waste of money.
One of the precepts of a martial artist is to reduce on excess. Although it’s not something that I will say, such a wasteful expenditure is something I’ll never approve of.
「Maa, don’t bother with the details. Didn’t you often say that your time is limited? Enter, enter.」
While nudging my stumped figure, Chester laughs with that foolish face.
…Uumu, yet he’s actually a master, this old idiot…having a grandchild makes even someone like him so mellow, huh?
The image of my previous me cradling a grandchild with a stupid look surfaces in my mind.
…No. At the very least, I probably won’t turn out like that. Rather, I don’t want to become like that.
My spine froze from the disgust I felt of the image of myself.
I walked down the extensive path to the mansion, albeit reluctantly, and caught sight of a woman standing before the entrance.
She was an impressive lady with hair woven with tea and body dressed in the so-called maid attire,
「We have been expecting you, Chester-sama.」
「Oo, my bad. This kid is quite hesitant. …Introducing our head maid, Rinetto.」
「Name’s Rinetto Myuu. Delighted to make your acquaintance, Slava-sama.」
While addressing me, she raises the sides of her skirt and curtsies.
…She knows my name huh? Who else has Chester been divulging this information to…
To this bad friend with the foolish look, I shot a glare at him and interrogated him.
Even then, Chester doesn’t break his smile and his expression remains nonchalant.
「This one is knowledgeable of everything. But worry not, for I have ordered her to never utter a word, even in death.」
「As it is Chester-sama’s order, it is also mine to obey. This time, my master has imposed upon you and has been under your care. Please accept my sincere apologies for all inconvenience caused. On behalf of my master, I would also like to express my gratitude.」
「Not at all, I’ve been taken care of.」
How exactly have I been “caring” for him?
…No, after I was defeated, he even took care of me and prepared food…this is a failure of my lifetime.
But I don’t intend to remain as the defeated one. Someday, I will recompense him.
I admit to my loss here, but I’ll definitely return this debt.
…Oops. Remembering last week’s loss irks me. Let’s return the favour.
「******* old man. …Rinetto-dono probably slaves for his sake, taking care of that guy must be a burden.」
「I’ve gotten used to it, though I appreciate your concern.」
Speaking from appearance, Rinetto would probably be in her mid-20s in human terms.
At the very least, her appearance speaks of an age similar to that of Alma’s. Inferring her age to be older than my true age, I speak with deference to her.
From the Elven perspective, having amassed a hundred years is still considered youth …In human terms, it would be around 20 years at most.
…Really, it reminds me once again of this peculiar trait of the race known as the elves.
In this world, races like the Beast people and Majin1 that have been classified as humanoids are numerous, but the only race that possesses such longevity is the elves.
To squander such a long life, wastefully passing each day would simply be such a waste. Or so I thought, but for someone like Chester to appear…even I am baffled.
I was of the opinion that Elves were full of riddles. Even after becoming an elf myself, I am still full of doubts.
「Now, the young lady is waiting. She’s probably reaching the limits of her patience soon. Chester-sama, please make haste and show your face.」
「Ou ou, say something more pleasant. Where is Cheryl?」
「The young lady is in her room. Rasuba and Nishura are appeasing her, but we shouldn’t keep her waiting too long. Quickly.」
「Those guys work too hard every time. Let’s get going Slava, lest our princess throws a tantrum.」
「No need to push me. I can walk by myself.」
I will probably come to understand it in time.
Since my previous life, I have become a member of a race which I don’t comprehend.
But I have plenty of time to come to understand it. Yes, so much so that my previous life pales in comparison.
Apparently, this grandchild seems attached to the old man.
Unlike Chester, the unknown grandchild has no fault. Let’s try to repay the senile 「Osufu-chan (Grandpa-chan)」.
I shrugged my body while shaking off the annoying hand on my back and walked ahead of Chester.
「Oh? Finally becoming enthusiastic huh?」
It’s just that I’ve made up my mind.
After returning his question with a sigh, he chortled and led me to the room.
…But well, he must have a spent quite a sum of money.
As I walked, I caught sight of the numerous eye-piercing vases and paintings with poor taste.
Uneducated in the field of arts, I am unsure of the details. But I have an inkling that I have seen these paintings before, and they are likely all genuine pieces.
He mentioned that he practiced martial arts in order to earn money, but most of that gold seems to be spent on trivial things… Fumu (Hmm), if I had an abundance of money, I wonder how I would use it…
A larger house would be nice, a minimum of equipment, and enough space for a futon would be ideal.
My hobbies…nothing that requires money. Now that I think about it, other than training, what other hobbies do I have?
Meals are average, I’ve never had lavish meals. In order to achieve a balanced diet as a master, I tended to avoid meat2, and declined extravagant meals.
…Uumu, even after thinking about it, I can’t really think of other ways to spend such an amount of money.
In comparison, I guess I am a lonely old man, huh?
At 12 years old, I have no interests or hobbies other than training. I feel a slight existential crisis.
Other than aiming to be the strongest, I have no desire for other ways to spend my spare time–isn’t this really bad?
Reflecting on how bland I am compared to Chester, I leaked a sigh.
「……. Is it that much trouble? Refrain from doing that in front of my grandchild. Hora (here), we’ve arrived.」
「No it’s not like that, maa, I’ll try my best.」
Chester who caught me sigh guessed at what I was thinking but – somehow noticing my state of defeat, he swallowed his words.
This is different. Yes, there’s only one hobby that can excite me. In order to give an excuse, I stand beside Chester.
In that moment.
An intense killing atmosphere bubbled across my skin.
The sudden appearance of strong magic in the direction of the door strengthened my vigilance.
「Aah, we’re late.」
「Is this your grandchild’s magic?」
「Yeah, it’s only 15 but it’s quite strong it’s quite strong isn’t it?」
A strong magic stained with anger without any intention to hold back.
For a 15 year old child, this is too huge. But for those who have accumulated months and years of magic, it’s too sloppy.
It’s like a torrent of magic power was let loose. My face distorted to form a bitter expression.
I see. Certainly, if she’s only 15, she is brimming with potential.
Truly, this must have excited Chester. It’s a tide of dense negative feelings. The Shijima Style which emphasized flowing silence never had many problems with having successors, but the Primo Style that is contingent on the intent to destroy might have problems with succession as few with such aptitude appear often.
Shooting a glance at Chester laughing, a sudden crushing sound reaches my ear. Turning my face to the sound that caught my attention – I saw a door flying towards us.
…Well well, seems like quite a wild-tempered grandchild.
It’s probably the owner of the room (Chester’s grandchild) who shot the door over here with a light punch.
That’s quite a greeting, or so I was about to complain to the master of the house as I saw in my peripheral, hidden behind the door, a person was flying through the air.
Looking closely, a male and a female flew towards us in a similar fashion.
Assassins was what I suspected, but these people appear to have lost consciousness. It’s probably the owner of the room who caused that. I composed myself and primed myself to catch the flying woman.
Clad in a maid uniform was a woman slightly younger than Rinetto. This must have been 「Nishura」 of the 2 mentioned earlier. Then the man must be Rasuba, huh?
While the woman was falling, I looked towards Chester, but noticed that Chester did not catch Rasuba.
Shifting my gaze, I see a well-built man dressed in a tailcoat stuck in the wall having fainted.
「Shouldn’t you have caught him? He’s your servant right?」
「If it was a woman, I would have been happy to do so, but I have no interest in hugging a guy. More importantly…. Ooi, Cheryl! Your osufu-chan3 has returned!」
How very like Chester…now that I think about it, has Chester always been like that?
Observing their attire, I deployed healing magic on the butler man and maid woman. They probably won’t return to consciousness, but at least it should fix their wounds. Especially the poor man who was abandoned by his master.
Luckily for them, their wounds were minor. Both seemed to have trained their body well, so they were probably used to it already. Poor things.
After offering a silent prayer to the pitiful servants who were stuck with such a callous master, I took a step into the room following behind Chester.
The master of the room who sent them flying and the grandfather who abandoned the servants. I set foot in the room in which those two were waiting.
…The appearance of the room was in a nutshell, odd.
Firstly, the most striking thing would be the colour scene that the girl chose.
Pale pink and white, such colours dominated the wallpaper and furnishings, suiting the tastes of a young girl.
If it was only thus, that would hardly be strange. Given a choice, any girl of this age would certainly design their rooms similarly.
What’s bizarre, is that almost all of the furnishings were destroyed.
A stuff-toy rabbit vivisected in five parts, broken pillars, a bed on a canopy.
With almost everything in a state of disrepair, counting the number of complete furnishings was an easier task.
This…if I didn’t know that she was alone and that she had a violent personality, I would have assumed that a fight took place.
Can I really become friends with her? I exhaled deeply while observing the grandfather-grandchild pair embracing in the midst of this tragedy.
Not to worry, my acquaintance with this grandpa and grandchild is merely a temporary and casual gesture.
…But I’m troubled. The appearance of the young girl hugging Chester, is unexpected.
Brown, black, red, green were colors often seen in the human world. Elven countries had more gold and silver.
People like Alma who had blue hair did exist, but in the Elf’s land, it was mostly silver and golden hair.
The young girl was white in color.
Not silver, but chalk that has yet to lose its shade.
In the human and elven world, it was not uncommon for the elderly to have white hair.
Yet this young girl has white hair at such a young age, and more than anything, it seems to be chalk. Pure, snow white chalk.
Having set foot in the room, the girl who made Chester grin like an idiot, locked her eyes with mine.
Her eyes were bright crimson cherries redder than fresh blood. As I thought, there’s no mistake.
…I see. That explains the ability to release such magic power.
「Osufu-chan…who is this kid…?」
I never dreamt of such a horrible scene.
The young girl that gave off a broken impression inquired about my identity.
「Nnn? This guy…… Osufu-chan’s friend, the one I said you would be meeting, Slava Marshal…… Allow me to introduce you to Slava. This is my granddaughter, Cheryl Prime. My stupid son married a female Majin and conceived her, a half-elf. Naa, Cheryl. Shake hands as proof of friendship.」
Majin. The magic race was hated and despised, painted as a cruel and brutal race. Their specialty was their blood red eyes seemingly stained with their enemies’ blood, and a pure white that rejects the need for any other colors.
In the past, they weren’t known as the Majin, but in order to make them appear less heinous, they were crowned the word 「Magic」4. They were inherently a war race.
Having heard Chester’s words, Cheryl’s face splits into a malevolent grin.
…There’s no mistake. As he mentioned, Majin blood flows in her veins.
A fragile impression and a sadistic smile that seemed to speak 「Where might you be going?」.
Like a sun, a natural albino–the young girl that carried a fake evanescence, departed from Chester and walked towards me.
With an appearance no different than mine, the young girl had a bewitching smile unsuited for a 15 year-old.
I stretched out my hand to shake hers. She grabbed my hand with an unfathomable force.
I’m unable to sense malice, and this only serves to terrify me. There’s no pain, but the overly friendly greeting brings a sense of alarm.
「Slava Marshall. My regards.」
Cheryl’s smile seemed to be mixed with childishness.
Unlike previously, she had a girlish smile.
If you were to grab an untrained kid’s hand with such strength, it would have crippled.
Given her age, I wonder just how much she’ll grow. Chester mentioned that she would eventually exceed him and I was shocked but…it seems like he’s not just a doting grandfather.
To train my grandchild using my formal rival.
I may have been too rash in agreeing.
「Osufu-chan…… I want to play with Slava-chan…… if it’s this kid, he probably won’t break.」5
「Ouou, it’s fine to use your full strength. Slava won’t mind right?」
Chester paid no heed to his grandchild’s dangerous words.
…Now that I think about it, I may have forgotten that this guy used to be the manager of the underground martial arts world.
This is bad, the underground world is…
「Don’t worry about it and come.」
Well, it’s true that I’m eager to clash fists with the genius whom Chester recognizes.
There’s no way I will lose, and seeing a person who possesses talent is not something I dislike.
Also, someone like Chester is around so it should be fine but……
「Fufu, hahahah….! Slava-kun, yoroshiku6…..?」
Wielding polished martial arts but lacking a foe of equal standing, is a lonely thing.
With this amount of latent magic, no one of our age can probably compare.
Unfortunately, I don’t intend to lose on purpose, or produce a “close match” – it won’t achieve my goal.
Similar to the atmosphere felt previously, I sensed her excited agitation. It’s said that children are innocent, rather than killing intent, it’s more of an aggressive feeling.
Standing behind the smiling, sparkling eyes Cheryl, stood a satisfied Chester with folded arms.
Really, old man. You’ve attracted some interesting people.
I revealed a slight smile pondering the future growth of this young sapling.
「Just now, I came so…… hurry up and come7….?」
Without any mention of her destination, Cheryl flew out of the room.
This is my first time in the mansion, so I’ve no idea where to head to. If I ask this old man, he’ll probably have an idea, maii8.
However, before I could speak a word.
「Discipline her properly, Chester…If you pamper her too much, she won’t be able to mature. Also, what’s with the appearance of this room? Shouldn’t you be scolding her for her tantrums?」
I have no inkling about her upbringing but the devastating state of the room is simply abnormal.
There’s no reason to hit the servants because Chester was late.
It unintentionally became a sermon, but what must be done must be done.
「Those words are painfully true…You…occasionally, you’re even more of an old man that I am aren’t you?」
「That’s only because what I’m saying is obvious. In fact, if it doesn’t, I’ll be troubled.」
My sermon was interrupted and continued by Rinetto.
A gentle warmth was embracing my cheeks as I opened my eyes.
It seems that my body had been laid down. I had apparently been asleep.
As I was arousing my consciousness, the sound of a dead dry wood being burst open could be heard.
Finding a peculiar sound, I moved my face in that direction and found an open-air fire a little ways from my spot.
The fire that had the perfect blaze for burning wood, was burning wood.
Needless to say, having a fire like this was out of the ordinary, unless one did it by oneself.
In that case, someone──no need to say who it was──lit the fire.
「….The one who lost, me.」
「Oh, you woke up.」
While supporting my upper body, I muttered in the direction of the culprit who built the fire.
On the other side of the fire Chester was placing in wood while laughing.
….Damn it. It was just a little more and I would have beaten him. Involuntarily, I grit my teeth.
For me, it was a desperate struggle that used up all my energy, but Chester seems to have some spare energy left.
The evidence for this was the position I woke up in, as well as the bonfire.
Moreover, my body only ached, and wasn’t in any serious pain.
Even though I had been injecting the maximum amount of magic into my fist during the fight, I still had enough magic to heal serious injuries.
Besides the two decades that I didn’t experience due to my rebirth, there was also a twelve year blank.
It wasn’t like I was trying to make an excuse but, it seems that during those years, he had raised his strength a lot──I was weak.
「Complete defeat…for sure.」
「Ah. With a body of a brat, you didn’t even skip a day of discipline. You still aren’t accustomed to that body, right? It was just a little, but your techniques were a bit dull.」
For a while, silence ensues.
….Honestly, I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated at feeling frustrated and I couldn’t help but clench my fist until blood came out.
My foundation has to be worked on. I had worked on my magical power more than I had in my previous existence in order to make it perfect.
However, this was the result.
The hands and feet of a child are short. The skills that I had gotten in my previous existence couldn’t be properly used even if I did understand the 「Principle」behind the skill.
Chester had used a feint, one which I could have easily grasp his hand in──however, that was only if this were my previous existence. Then, I definitely would have been able to grab his hand by moving faster than Chester’s reaction speed.
This was just a talk of “if”…the result is unchanged. I had to accept my defeat.
….Though, if this were a deathmatch, I would have definitely been dead today.
I wasn’t going to abhor it, after all, I used all my strength and lost. Other people probably weren’t as lucky and died because stupid things came out of their mouths.
For my nemesis to step into an even higher realm, I couldn’t feel any jealousy towards him. Compared to the me who had died once to understand 「Martial Arts」, this guy had a way longer life.
He was closer to the position of strongest than I was. That’s why, it was enviable, but couldn’t be helped.
「I had polished my 「Martial Arts」with the intention to fight, so what the hell.」
Perhaps, there was no one who could defeat Chester unless he was delivered to them on a silver platter. While the world certainly was wide, it was like trying to find a pin inside of a haystack in order to find a worthy opponent for this guy.
That is to say, what was this man fighting for?
I was suddenly very concerned, and wanted to hear his answer. ──To answer the mystery, even though it was already known.
「….Who knows? I hadn’t thought of such a thing. Ever since you had died, I suddenly lost the motivation. I only polished my「Martial Arts」because it was a daily routine. Because every day happened in such a manner, I hadn’t really thought about it.」
──So, there was no such reason. His goal could be described in two words; uncertain.1
It was the same after all; people didn’t become a「Martial Artist」if they didn’t have the resolve to aim to be the strongest.
「How about you?」
「I’ve also never thought of such a thing.」
「I’ll bet. Guess that’s how it is, isn’t it?」
It was as I had thought. I suddenly felt a little weird and some laughter leaked out of my mouth from my throat.
I guessed that Chester was also fine with my answer because he also started laughing.
Ah damn, it’s really frustrating. Although I had used all my strength and lost, I felt a little frustrated that I felt satisfied.
At least I now had a goal that I should surpass. This was the first time I felt like this ever since my master’s death.
「Next time. I’ll make you kiss the ground.」
「Ha~tsu, come at me anytime. It’ll definitely be fun to win in the upcoming matches.」
My, this guy’s mouth doesn’t know when to shut up.
However, it won’t go as you say. I’ll win tens and tens of times before you die.
….Fumu, it’s been a while since I had these feelings.
Turns out that having bad friends is a good thing.
「N~jaa, it’s almost time for a meal. I’ve already killed a bird.」
「You actually did such a thing? ….Yareyare, you’re like a child, old man.」
Looking at Chester, who was too spirited in spite of his age, I leaked out a sigh.
This man shows no signs of aging. In fact, it seems that he’s had a well and active life.
Looking at Chester, who had plunged the stick I had sharpened into the bird, I was thankful for the strength of my nemesis.
♦ ♦ ♦
「Achoo! …Although it’s pretty late, why is your figure like this?」
「….You’re really slow. Well, wait a bit and we’ll talk it out.」
It was the moment that I was about to bring the roasted bird to my mouth.
Chester, who already had a mouthful of chicken, said something over the fire.
Don’t speak while you’re eating. After saying so, I bit into my roasted bird.
The bird that had been roasted by the fire gave off an alluring fragrance that stimulated appetite.
Although no spices or salt was used, the smell of the roasting meat stimulated ones primitive appetite.
Moreover, the level of roasting was just right. The skin of the bird was sizzling, as though it had been just been deep fried, and had a texture just like a thin pastry when I bit into it.
The fantastic meat juice created from the bird’s fat immediately eased up my cheeks.
The soup that consisted of the fat, meat, and skin was exquisite. From the dry, crunchy skin to the juicy meat with fat, it was overflowing with flavor. Saliva from the gaps of my teeth kept flowing from the smell and taste.
Although I had been hungry, it didn’t last for long. The natural slight saltiness of the roasted bird made it a good dish to eat.
That is to say, I completely forgot about what Chester had said and became obsessed with the roasted bird.
The skin of the roasted bird was easily torn by my teeth and the concentrated roasted meat easily accepted my tearing as well. During the time I was biting into the meat, the best sauce came ou──
And then I realized that I had already eaten a roasted bird. Although the amount of meat on this bird wouldn’t be considered much, the aged me from my previous existence couldn’t even finish eating it.
….U-umu, it’s because I’m in a period of development. A strong appetite I hadn’t felt in a long time was felt. The delicious meal was able to fill my stomach and I felt a sense of satisfaction.
This was the best meal after an exercise. Unexpectedly, today turned out to be a luxurious day.
「Such a gluttonous stomach, were you really that hungry?」
「After getting this body, somehow. Well, shall we start the talk?」
I nibbled at the bird incessantly. Chester seeing me eating in such a manner teased my attempts.
It would have been inconceivable for such an action in my previous life…
Chester who was more than a hundred years older than me ate the bird in a single bite.
That aside, I wonder why I was blessed with such a peculiar turn of fate.
「Frankly, I don’t know. All I can say is that when I revived, I possessed this body.」
「Well, I have live for quite a long time time but I have never heard of such a story. You are probably the only one. How lucky.」
As I guessed, even Chester who has lived for so long admitted that this is the first time he has heard of such a thing.
I scrutinize my hand. No blisters, no wounds.. just a child’s silky smooth hand.
「Still, this is quite an enviable story. Even though you have become rusty, being able to retain your experience from your past life and relive a new life sure is… Anyway, aren’t you the strongest 12 year old?」
「Stop it you. But of course, there’s no way I would lose to a 12 year old kid.」
「That’s indisputable. Even if it’s merely 100 years, after having spent your whole life practicing martial arts, losing to a 12 year old brat would surely be depressing.」
「Merely… From my perspective, the fact that you elves think of 100 years as “merely” 100 years is enviable.」
「You’re an elf now as well.」
As the area grew darker, a slight deafening silence fell upon us while we sat around the bonfire.
In the vicinity, the cry of a beast could be heard. How annoying.
「My disciple.. I brought her here.」
In the midst of the silence, those few words seemed to cut through the darkness of the night.
Those few words surprised me.
Hearing this, I conjectured that he must have a reason.
In the past, Chester was known as 「The Creator of Primo Martial Arts」. Many sought to be his disciple.
Having painstakingly building his inheritance which defined him as the strongest, he would not simply pass it on to any random stranger…was what Chester said. What the heck made him change his mind?
「I thought you didn’t take disciples?」
「Well, that been the intention. After you died, seeing Alma-jouchan frantically disseminating the Shijima techniques, I became slightly jealous.」
Chester confessed as he casually scratched his black and white hair.
「After I die, there would be nothing left… or something like that. You left behind Alma-jouchan, but I have nothing. That somehow bore within me a strange impatience.」
As I gave no response to that, Chester continued.
His face was somehow melancholic.
…What will be left behind, huh? For me there was Alma, so I had no such concerns but… if I failed to attain the title of the strongest and died, what would I have been left with, I wonder? Even I’ve contemplated that before.
Even I who had disciples had such sentiments before. Chester also no longer gives off an air of strong vitality or vigor, I wonder if this is the result of old age.
Sending that he had more on his mind, I silently waited for him.
As expected, Chester continued.
「But the guy who could fulfill my expectations did not appear. Yet, I kept recalling Alma-jouchan. I will never hand the Primo Style to the likes of you, such were my sentiments but… (referring to how weak they were)
Lately, I have found a suitable successor. The times are changing. Once our era is over, theirs will come.」
「… That’s not like you. I thought you were the type to never retire?」
「Of course, I don’t intend to retire now. The matter here is about successors.」
「What do you mean? Wasn’t he the one you picked with your own 2 eyes? What’s the problem?」
「…… He’s too strong」2
Soon, a smirk appeared on his face.
…Too strong? Is he really as strong as Chester says?
「Yeah, this brat is shy of 15, but she possesses lots of potential and talent. Thinking about it makes me feel old.」
Contrary to what he said, Chester seems to be enjoying himself.
When I first witnessed Alma’s talent, I remembered having similar feelings.
It was like sucking in water in the form of a sponge.
Thinking back to the me who was struggling to learn the Shijima Style, I chuckled.
Although older than myself, he is only just realising the joy of having a disciple.
Looking on at Chester boasting about his disciple, my amazed expression broke into a smile.
「Without a doubt, this kid will surpass me. The moment I realized that, I was so intrigued. It’s a problem of age. Say, can you guess who she is?」
…Isn’t that going too far?
Chester had a smile plastered on his face like that of a child.
Who is this man? His face is goofier than usual. Did I really lose to this guy…
Where did the meek atmosphere from earlier go… it’s like become a fool.
He was speaking almost as if he was reminiscing about a loved one. His grandfather story continued ….. I can only sigh.
「There’s no way I would know… Besides, I have only recently learnt the elven language, and I don’t even know anything about the world since 30 years ago. Plus it’s unlikely I would have any knowledge of your disciple what with you laying underground (figuratively) this whole time.」
「Dayona (Is that so), you don’t know huh, then let me tell you! Listen!?」
How troublesome. He wasn’t that this before……. he used to be like a sharpened blade.
Now he’s almost like a dog with its fangs extracted. He’s just like a grandfather reminiscing about his grandchild…
「It’s my grandchild! She picks up every technique I teach her, and having succeeded in learning each technique, hearing 「Grandpa」 is such a wonderful thing. It’s so cute!」
Well, grandchild huh….?
Did this guy just say grandchild?
Seeing my nemesis in such a senile disposition speaking such unexpected words really hurts my head.
It’s like a master, or so I thought ー or a reason it gave me such an impression.
No wait, in the first place… in the first place this guy…
「You were married??」
「Oh? You didn’t know, it has been for quite some time. Well such things happen」
…I never heard of it.
I thought he was a man who thought only of martial arts, but to think he was married and had children…
And not to mention he has a grandchild too…somehow, I’m getting a headache.
「And then, this grandchild…」
「No wait, hang on. Will this take long? If it takes too long, I’m afraid I must excuse myself.」
「I see, though I was just getting to the good part…」
The so called doting grandfather. Having experienced being a teacher once, I hold out my palm to halt him.
This 「Grandfather (Osofu chan)」 story will definitely take a long time. It’s not that I don’t have patience, rather the conversation’s length tests my confidence in my patience.
In a teacher and a disciple setting, a teacher’s words must be silently listened to, but if it’s Chester, that’s a different story. I must prevent such a tragedy from repeating, absolutely.
「Ma~ii (Well fine). Let’s get down to business. I have a request for you.」
I heave a sigh of relief, having somehow stopped him from rambling on.
But… a request, huh. If it’s not too troublesome then it should be fine but…
「…. And if I refuse?」
「I’ll expose you to Alma-jouchan. I expect your life would become much busier, wouldn’t it? You will probably be unable to train as freely, would you?」
Kuso (****), brandishing people’s weaknesses merrily.
I already knew. There would be no choice but to comply anyways. From the start, I could only pray that the request would not be too troublesome.
「Just shoot. Don’t be too unreasonable though.」
「It’s hardly unreasonable. Returning to the previous topic..」
「….Make it brief」
Apparently, the request had something to do with his grandchild.
Now that he mentions it, I wonder if his granddaughter is fine with it. He may be alive, but at such an age, isn’t it queer?
Distracted with thoughts that only give me a headache, I consider my plans for the future.
That troublesome fellow grasped my weakness…from now on I’ll have all kinds of nuisances pushed upon me.
At least I’m still attending school for now so I might be pardoned…but even then I am unclear as to how to deal with this problem.
Well whatever. Anyways for now I need to resolve this problem.
「As I have been saying, this kid is the crème de la crème. Well, even though she isn’t steadily mastering the Primo Style…the problem is that this brat is a little too strong. There’s no one of the same age who can match up to her.」
…Fumu? (Hmmm) I see.
Having said so much, I can pretty much guess at what he is requesting.
It doesn’t seem as troublesome as I envisioned it to be.
That said, I’ll finish listening to his request. Truly, this grandchild is quite troublesome.
「So here’s my request…. just once in a while, I would like you to challenge her. No matter her strength, she’s still nowhere as strong as us yet. The only kid I know who can match against him, is you.」
The request was as expected.
Befriend my grandchild or I’ll burn your hand.
…Yare yare, he’s become quite mellow.
However, babysitting huh? Well, I guess there’s no choice, but even then I feel uneasy.
「…. I’ll accept the request if it’s just this much. And stop it with the 「Osufu-chan」.」
「Say whatever you want. When you have a grandchild, you won’t be any different. I have picked this life with great efforts. A life of solitude is lonely. Somehow, marriage isn’t such a bad thing.」
「Is that so.」
Seeing my amazed expression, Chester laughed heartily.
Having a grandchild, will make you so mellow huh?
My appearance. Chester’s heart.
Both having changed immensely, we engaged in a chatter.
As we sat around the fire, which was the conclusion of the duel, we renew our friendship until dawn breaks.