Category Archives: Bu ni Mi

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[Vol.1] Chapter 9: Beyond Shijima (Shijima No Kanata)



「Ho, this is a good location」

「Isn’t it? Though, I didn’t think that I would invite anyone」

Arubaku mountain – the secret area where I always train.

Usually, there’s no one other than me, but today there’s someone else.

Not facing each other, we begin our own preparations while exchanging comments.

At first glance, the atmosphere seems friendly. In reality, it’s like a bloated paper balloon. Even a small movement would pop it, such was the danger of the situation.

After waiting for thirty years, I will finally be trading blows with my nemesis.

I relax my arm muscles while Chester begins shadow-boxing an imaginary enemy.

It symbolizes the difference in our preparation methods: soft and hard.

Unfortunately, both of us are probably thinking the same thing:

I can’t wait to fight.

I wasted twelve years training by myself while trying to hide my power. How frustrating it was… Bearing these sentiments, with full force, I bump fists with my rival (of my previous life).

If my heart was not trembling, then I might as well be a dead tree.

I have not felt this trembling for 50 years. The only thing I can think of is how much I look forward to this fight.

「It’s about time, isn’t it? It’s getting late.」

「You’re right.」

As I thought. Someone who is his equal, does not exist.

In the end, the one who hungers for battle is the same as him. So it should be no surprise that we’re similar.

I take the Shijima stance called “Running Water”. It is a basic stance which emphasizes on defense. This structure took years to ingrain into the brain and creates an armor which permeates the body.

On the other hand, Chester lowers his weakened left hand to his waist, taking into account a possible strike.

After fighting with him for so long, I recognize this as one of the basic stances.

The deciding factor between two seasoned warriors is not compatibility, but experience. Basic movements encompass the whole school of Martial Arts, and is a mysterious and difficult thing to master.

A genuine fight without petty tricks.1

No need for words.

I want to fight soon, even a second quicker would be fine.

「Shijima Style 「Original」 Master, Slava Shijima. Come」

「Primo Style founder, Chester. Let’s start. 」

As I claim the name of my previous life, Chester has an intense smile on his face.

He had most likely been empty ever since he had said the last rites of the deceased for me.

Despite finishing our declaration for the duel, we are not moving.

Both of them did not move an inch. The fight had begun and the both of them understood that. Even though both of them were motionless, there was no longer any atmosphere of fun.

The tension in the air pierces my face, a feeling I have not experienced for a long time.

Silence.

Not a single sound can be heard, not even the wind. Wild beasts probably sensed the killing intent we emitted, leaving not even a trace of life in the surroundings.2

Just one, no, two exceptions. Us.

…Fumu, it might not be bad to scare them a little

The eternal silence is suddenly broken,

Taking a defensive stance, I make the first move.

An instant. In the instant Chester was off guard, I take the opportunity and advance.

5 meters of distance is closed in a step. Chester, who was taken off guard, has a bitter expression. However, that too is only for a moment.

The weakened left hand melts into the air. Reaching from relaxation to maximum speed in a second, it disappears.

However, I did not miss that initial movement. Like a snake that blends into darkness, the concealed Adamant(ine) whip lashes forward.

If I had received a direct hit, my bones would probably break due to the blade inside the whip. Even poison would have been preferable to that.

However, anticipating the snake-like movement, I give up the first move and let the whip coil around my glove.

It’s a metal plate but by using arm movements, I utilize the wrist guard to its maximum potential.

Even then, my wrist guard was scratched and shaved. Even if it’s a good blade, that should be impossible.

A slight pain runs through my body, but since he fell for my trick, then it is a cheap price. Using my left arm, I direct the force towards him.

However, this old man is reluctant to raise his arm. Even after moving from a defensive stance to create an opening… Also if my body was larger I might not have been able to dodge so easily.

Well, even though I took so much effort, it wouldn’t be enough just to launch a bold move.

Originally, the whip lashed to the ground, but I redirected the direction of the fast motion of the whip towards the sky.

With a small force, the fast whip flies towards the sky.

「Geh3

A small voice leaks from Chester, who is sweating.

As expected, his left hand is pulled up. His defenseless stance is still tight. It’ll be bad if I rush.

Leaving my hand with the whip coiled around, I concentrate Mana into my left hand. Let’s see if it’s effective on him.

Shijima Style, Palm Bottom 「Valiant」── A technique which involves concentrating explosive mana into the palm, twisting it and then striking.

Chester, at best, could only stop the strike due to his bad stance.

Chester leaps back, but not before I strike his flank.

As if it is a raging bull flying, the old guy’s body flies horizontal to the ground.

If he was an average martial artist, I might have suspected an instant death. But he was once the man who united all of the underworld martial arts. Putting aside whether he was serious, the previous strike probably only woke him up.

「You don’t seem to have dulled.」

「Bullshit. It’s a piece of cake.」

Even though the edge of his mouth is bleeding, he smiles.

Aah, this is fun. Since when was fighting so fun?

It’s like tasting an exquisite food. I don’t want to stop, no, there’s no way I’ll stop.

Both Chester and I are laughing so hard that our cheeks hurt.

Without any need for words, we start the second bout at the same time.

Being very careful, Chester was frustrating but strong.

That left arm which can bend like a whip is troublesome.

It can instantly accelerate from the relaxed and limp state to maximum speed.

Yet the fact that it can freely move in that crafty trajectory, is very reminiscent of a snake. Its power can probably easily shatter steel.

Blessed with a long reach, the distance he creates is huge. Having been burned before, the distance, especially with my small body, feels tremendous.

However, with such a light body, I gain maneuverability.

Even then I probably won’t be able to change my disadvantage, but I already knew this from the start.

To win against him now, it’s necessary to be prepared to set foot in the netherworld.

That guy too probably knows all of this. Having a good grasp of his strengths, he developed the battle in such a way to take advantage of his reach.

Chester is strong, hence I take some measures.

The moment I got close, this guy would completely overtake me.

…The steel snake lashes out. It’s even faster than I thought!

If I hadn’t been targeting his defense since the beginning, I don’t think I would’ve been able to defend.

In response to the precise aim towards my temple, I try to defend by bringing up by arm. I mustn’t break my stance. If I do, then it’s all over. Getting hit in my vitals is out of the question.

Within an instant, I make the decision to meet the blow.

It’ll come, it’s coming, it came!

「Tsu!!」

The blow comes heavier and faster than expected.

It gave the illusion of a lump of lead tied to a rope smashing into me.

Maintaining my defensive stance, leaving a shoe mark on the floor, I slide forward.

Heavy, it’s too heavy. I can’t receive the blow.

With his arms raised, he presses his lips together.

I’ll say, what the hell am I fighting against?

Somehow maintaining my posture, Chester presses on with his assault.

Certainly, the blows are heavy. It’s definitely stronger than mine.

However, don’t underestimate me. The Shijima stance is a defensive stance you know?

Chester’s steel fist accurately targets my face.

If I’m hit by that, even dying will be lucky, it wouldn’t be weird if I was blown away, thus I ready my arms.

Don’t underestimate the Shijima Style that is devoted to defending.

Instead of talking, I devote my defense to below my arms.

I place my knee in the trajectory.

Similar to movement of the protruding arm, my knee pierces Chester’s face.

I can feel his nose break. However, sinking my knee into his face, he grabs my right arm.

This is bad! The moment I thought that, a fist sinks into my belly. While spitting out blood, I am sent flying. He forcefully increases our distance.

「Gaff, Vue….. Gukukuku, this is fun, Chester!」

「Bonetly, Yor za besht!」4

While discharging the blood remaining in our throat, and blowing blood out of our noses, we laugh.

Chester’s face is so bloody that I can’t recognize him anymore.

Though, I haven’t seen that expression on that old man before, it’s a pure smile.

My face isn’t as beat-up as his, but my internal organs are badly damaged.

Amidst all the damage, that fist just now wasn’t just a half-decent attack.

Both sides are being unreasonable to each other.

I parry Chester’s blow. But before I can retaliate, he continues his assault.

I am taking more damage than him, so I feel like crying.

Even then, this feeling of happiness – geez, I never thought I would become crazy.

However, that is that. The person that seeks to become the strongest is going to be such a person.

Chester fixes his broken nose. I spit out all the clogged blood that had prevented me from taking a proper breath.

Now there are no problems. Let’s continue.

Distance virtually doesn’t exist. Chester closes the distance within a moment, unleashing his honestly polished fist.

I try to take his fist and bend it out of the limit of its range of motion.

If I do that, his arm will break – such was the feeling I had. Chester once again uses his remaining right arm to smash my nose. The old geezer of the past who did not mind such pain. Wincing only a little, it’s almost a foul.

However, this time I won’t retreat. In order to push his left hand at a right angle to his body, I step forward.

A crisp sound resounds, Chester’s palm is facing himself.

It definitely broke! Having crushed my enemy’s greatest weapon, my face is filled with delight – but the next moment, I tremble in agony.

The sight of his knee piercing my stomach enters my sight. Hell-like burning and pain dominates my abdomen. Too much pain for me to tolerate, I collapse on the vomit and blood splattered on the ground.

Although pain dominates my body, my mind is strangely calm, I cannot allow my body to rest.

Seeing his foot that tries to step on my body, my hand grabs his feet as though the pain in my abdomen suddenly disappeared.

Because of my collapsed posture, avoiding the trajectory of his attacks are the best I can manage, but having raised one leg, Chester’s body is supported by only one leg.

Thus, I easily break his balance and force him to collapse.

A moment of unexpected silence resumes. While each of us grimaces in pain, we rebuild our posture and retake some distance.

「Ha~, Ha~ .. you’re getting close to your limit aren’t you?」

「Ze, kaha …. it’s the same for you too isn’t …. bakayaro5, take more care of your elders. Breaking it without holding back」

Stomach and Arms. Both of us, protecting our most severely damaged parts.

If it’s just pain there’s no problem. However, both of us are getting physically exhausted.

A question similar to our desires, we answer with our actions. (TLN: The question is ‘Who will win?’)

The next bout will be the last one. It goes without saying, I understand that.

「I’m coming!!」

「Come!!」6

Offensive and defensive. The contrasting stances last bout, and our shadows meet.

The damage we have taken is almost equal. But I understand that I have the advantage.

Having destroyed his strongest offensive, his left hand, he can only attack using his right arm or execute a kick.

In comparison, though my stomach is destroyed, if it’s only pain then it will not limit my movements. Speaking solely in terms of damage, I have taken more but, the one who stands at the end is the winner, and until I announce myself as the winner I will not give up.

Stretching my consciousness to the limit, that moment seems to stretch on for eternity. Slowly…in the world I see, I see…Primo, the style that puts its absolute trust in its fist, as I thought the last attack is a right punch!

I assume to running water stance in order to intercept it.

His right fist draws an arc –

Then, it did not even graze me.

「(Bakana! (Impossible!) A feint, rotation?!)」

My arms were raised in a guard to intercept. Yet, Chester’s right arm passed only before my guard.

There’s no way this man would’ve measured the distance wrongly …. This must be a feint!?

「(If you kick or turn kick – no way)」

If it’s not the right fist, then what is it!

Surprised, my mind blanks out for a moment.

….By the time I noticed, it was too late. Likened to a blade of a swordsman, Primo style’s left fist.

In such a scenario, there’s no way he would use that…

「(The broken left fist ….)」

…….Damn, such a shame.

In that slowed down time, the moment before my consciousness turned white, I felt his left fist touching my chin. The broken left fist. A backhand blow, hammers my chin.



References


  1. TLN: Wonderful. I’m almost drooling -_- 
  2. TLN: I merged this sentence with another sentence below, cos the order seemed awkward 
  3. TLN: Exclamation of disappointment 
  4. TLN: Honestly, you’re the best! 
  5. TLN: Fool 
  6. TLN: ED: kinky | TL: Taken out of context -_- 

[Vol.1] Chapter 8: Worthy Opponent



Once again, it was time for martial arts class.

While it was necessary to cut corners with other classes, I did not dislike this class. The reason for this was due to the fact that there was a chance to practice the 「Shijima Style」, which meant I could polish my skills.

Of course, I also had to take Alma’s watchful gaze into consideration. That said, martial arts class was probably the class I had to focus the most on.

However, it is a little different today.

「Jou-chan can now teach things, huh? I guess this happens once you live for a long time.」

「My body still isn’t at its maximum potential. Also, I have to keep the 「Shijima Style」alive.

….And recently, I have found someone who I want to be the successor of the style.」

In addition to teaching the students, Alma watches my movements──

And a rival who knew all my moves from my previous life, Chester Prime, was also watching my movements.

….This ****** old man. Why the hell is a person from the underworld coming to the academy with an innocent look.

The 「Martial Arts」society in the underground was different from the one Alma knew. And the boss just came to the peaceful academy for some reason.

This ‘boss’ was Chester, who took every opportunity to brawl with me with the pretense of “Sparring”. Adding this tidbit in, he would be able to see through my skills better than Alma.

──This is going to be difficult. This sort of feeling rose up within me.

If covering up my skills in front of my daughter was hard, then covering them up in front of Chester, who I had always competed with, was something I had no confidence in. I broke out into a cold sweat.

「Hey, what’s the matter, why the pale face? Is Oji-san scared?」

Shido, who was next to me, saw my pale face and made fun of me while laughing.

This was no joke. Though I wasn’t exactly afraid of death──surely, to the current me, Chester’s existence was something to be afraid of.

「Well everyone, please give me your attention. Today, Mr. Chester Prime, who was the rival of my mentor, has come to visit us. I’m sure most of you don’t know who he is, but he is more skilled than I am. In particular, he is much better than me when it comes to ‘striking’ techniques. He will be specially instructing you guys today. Relax and receive his guidance!」

Sounds of buzzing rise up.1

That’s how it is. In fact, there was probably no one among the students that even knew the name ‘Chester Prime’.

….Well, I already knew, but me aside──the lot who, without ever standing on the world above the underground, think about nothing else but how to defeat other people, not knowing about them it’s natural.

Alma introduced the nameless man by saying 「He’s stronger than me」and most people thought of it as a joke, as ‘Alma’ was synonymous with the word ‘strongest’ to the elves.2

All the things said were truth, and not jokes.

Chester places emphasis on attack, and thus, his 「Primo Style」specializes in the power of striking the opponent.

The 「Shijima Style」focused on safety and placed emphasis on countering, something that now torments me in this lifetime.

With Alma not even at my level, it would be hard to be a match──getting a win would be like visiting Cloud Nine.

「So, today, we will review the first basic movements we learned. After reviewing it, we will carry out practice battles.」

The unexpected situation I had speculated had happened, and 「Martial Arts」class begins.

Although it was contrary to what I thought….you could actually ask Chester questions on anything…

Since I had a grudge against Alma, I took up a good stance.

The posture from the day I beat Shido was seen through by Alma, so I had complete confidence that Chester would catch note of it.

One could call this a certain trust. That as long as the old man wasn’t senile, he would find out──such was this selfish trust.

This was a feint, of course, and I immediately broke it right after; this could be seen as blasphemy towards 「Martial Arts」.

It was behavior similar to taking the salt out of food on purpose, so I felt embarrassed doing it.

But, I wouldn’t be able to deceive Chester’s’ eyes without doing this.

As I follow the instructions of Alma, I practice them….but with barely enough skill.

Ahhh, it’s irritating. Old man, please go home already.

I mentally abuse my longtime practice partner with thoughts of making him do suicide. Of course it doesn’t happen, but it serves to prove that I am being influenced by this immature body, because this comes from just a small worry.

──However, it seems that I’m still being too over-optimistic.

「Oi, boya….Slava ~tsuka?」

「Ah….? Yes, that’s me….」

Chester looks around at the students with Alma, and stops in front of me.

His moustache distorts as he gives a filthy smile, how hateful.3

There couldn’t be any ‘me’ in any of the stances I deliberately messed up──

Just as I was slowly becoming impatient without looking calm, Chester brings his face close.

To the me, who was stopped in the middle of a stance, Chester mutters in a low voice that only I can hear:

「…..You don’t cut corners well, boya~」

「──!」

I stiffened my facial expression.

I didn’t know if he had found out my true identity. But, he did see through me cutting corners in the stance practice.

I get rid of the expression, return it into a calm one and turn towards Chester.

「…..What?」

「Iya iya, I’ve already seen through you, though I don’t know what reasons you have for doing this ~ja ne. This is because, as a beginner, your hand movements are too precise, thus when you started messing up, it was easy to notice ~naa」

──Ke, I’ve been completely seen through!

Perfection happens as a result of repeated movement, and as a result, the 「Truth」becomes hard to hide. Even though I was just doing an imitation of a mere model, just how much observation skill do you have….!

My movement, like salt pulled out of a dish, was fully ‘tasted’ by this man.

After I’ve been caught, making excuses will make me seem like an animal struggling inside a net.

I was led to believe that if I lied badly again, I would worsen my situation. I now understood the position I was in.

「You──」

「Don’t worry about me saying this to anyone ~ya. I’ll keep quiet about it to jou-chan. So….when the school day ends, come to the principal’s office.」

While I was contemplating what he wanted, Chester was already getting ready to move to the next student.

This was a command that couldn’t be avoided. He had basically said 「If you don’t come, I will tell Alma」.

….Resisting or worse would result in an unfavorable situation, that foxy old man.

「I understand. Let’s do it like that.」

Eventually, I would have to jump into that boiling pot.

It’s either the frying pan or the stove, right? My teacher really said some profound words.

Whether I came or not, Chester would win anyway.

Chester erased his indecent smile, while showing an aggressive look, and said.

「I’m looking foward to it, Slava….~yo」

….What did you say?

So far, I was only called 「Boya」; my movements stopped when I was suddenly called that name.

No, it’s different. I wouldn’t feel this chill if I was just called.

To be called like this, it’s like──!

「──! *******, since when….」

「We’ll have fun later. Hehehe, I’ll be waiting.」

Laughing merrily, Chester moved on to other students to help them.

I broke out in a cold sweat, unable to keep my calm anymore.

Alma’s voice, when she was talking about the next skill, felt very far away.

After finishing classes, though feeling reluctant, I visited the principal’s office.

In front of the door that was a little more grand compared to the other doors, there I stood.

Students rarely have any business with the principal, so it was rare thing to say that there was a student in front of the door.

Actually, the principal didn’t have any business with me.

The only business here──I had to meet here for Chester Prime….that ****** old man.

….A summon from him, only due my weakness; he had seen through the fact that I had been cutting corners.

I wonder what will be said. That man may have only noticed me unexpectedly.4

Presently, I was feeling a considerable amount of depression. Should I have done it better? No, doing so would have made it unnatural, and Alma may have ended up investigating me.

While thinking about a question that wouldn’t have a question, I knocked on the principal’s door.

「Excuse me, it is Slava Marshall.」5

「Oh, Slava-kun, please come in.」

I hear the gentle tone of the principal after I told my name.

I pushed open the door that I had gotten permission to open.

….Well then, that was quite a heavy door. Though this door should have originally been light, it was pretty heavy.

「Yo, I was tired of waiting for you, Slava….」

This man, what makes him think that I wanted to do this?

I wanted to spill out my resentment, but I would surely be found out if I did so.

Letting out a sigh, I stepped into the principal’s office.

「I’m sorry if I kept you waiting. So then, what is this order about?」

「Ah, don’t be so serious. I just want to catch up on things.」

….Tch. I hope he does suicide.

My real identity is compromised, but I may have already been found out a long time ago.

But I predicted it. The reason was because I thought of the possibility that if it was this guy, he would find out, so there was very little surprise.

I scowled at Chester, who had a filthy smile on his face, without hiding my hostility, as well as not caring that the principal was there.

「Fumu, Chester-dono, is Slava-kun your acquaintance? On the other hand, Slava-kun, can you please stop making those eyes towards your superior?」

「I don’t mind it, after all, we’re close acquaintances, so I don’t mind it. Something at this level doesn’t bother me at all.」

Chester controls the principal’s attitude towards my behavior.

Ah, it’s because you’re in that kind of relation with me. Even as he was calming the principal down, I still abused him mentally with wishes about him biting his tongue and dying.

However──what was that thing mentioned a while ago?

It certainly wasn’t anything good and it will probably become something that needs permission for speaking of once I hear it….

Anyway, it seems like the situation getting more built up. I will stop doing unnecessary things.

I, will wait until they calm down.

「Yeah, yeah. If it’s a request from Chester, then I don’t mind it. But you shouldn’t be too cruel──」

「I can’t guarantee that. But I’ll take proper measures. Oi Slava, how much longer do you want to pretend to be stupid?」

──I see, ne.

Chester’s words, I took in the real meaning of them.

Although I didn’t know when he was convinced that it was me6, I did know that I was already dancing in his palms.

Damn it, Alma also did some unnecessary things.

「Eeh, I don’t mind.」7

「It’s decided. Well Principal-dono, we would like to go. And since you’re older, you will keep silent about this, right?」

「Hohho, I’m not that old yet. Slava-kun, will you not be attending classes tomorrow?」

After I gave up trying to fool them, things started to move along.

I surely did an unnecessary thing. But….it’s still a fact that my blood boils.

After we left the principal’s office, we walked down the hall in silence.

It was hard to walk because my magic power kept overflowing unintentionally. I was too excited.

We had left the school building, and was now talking slowly towards the school gate.

There was no one on the premise of the academy because the dormitories were inside the academy, so it was very quiet.

「Oi, Slava.」

「What is it?」

「Stop using that uncomfortable way of speaking. I noticed it a long time ago.」

「….Che, you’re a sharp old man. I thought old age would get you.」

「Kakkaka! If you’re still alive, how can I be old and muddleheaded?」

Confirming that no one was around, I went back to my old way of speaking.

….It’s disappointing, but after all, it comes out smoothly.

It didn’t match my nature to speaking like an annoying little kid.

「So, where will we go to fight? Do you have a location in mind?」

「When I was introduced to someone similar to you, I didn’t dream that it would actually be you ~na. Isn’t anywhere fine?」

「….Fumu, then the place I’m using right now, let’s use that place.」

The two men who looked like grandfather and grandson quietly walked towards the forest.

Although no one was nearby, if there were people nearby, they would have surely have had a headache listening to the dangerous talk while Chester and Slava were walking towards their destination.8

「Have you dulled?」

「Don’t underestimate me, I’m still active.」

Listening to my enemy talk happily, I sped up.

Running in a speed unlike a child or elderly person, we blurred into the shadows and ran towards the Arubaku mountain.

For a long time, I had been thinking about what would happen──but it no longer matters.

Faced with the prospects of actually fighting after a long while, I laughed happily.



References


  1. TLN: When a lot of people start talking at once… 
  2. TLN: Like when they say ‘Alma’, the elves instinctively think ‘strongest’ 
  3. TLN: You can place ‘spiteful’ or ‘annoying’ instead of hateful, just saying 
  4. TLN: Accidentally is what it means. 
  5. TLN: Polite tone used here 
  6. TLN: His previous existence 
  7. TLN: ‘I don’t mind’ as in ‘No problem’ By the way, Chester is most likely the one talking here but you can interpret it however you want 
  8. TLN: Raws didn’t have names, but if I didn’t put the names, it would sound pretty weird to use ‘they’ again. 

[Vol.1] Chapter 7: Strange Coincidences from my Previous Life Become Even More Entangled



「…..I have been so bored recently」

In a room lit up by the red light of the setting sun, an old man was stroking his beard.

Sitting on a soft chair, the old man’s bad manners could be seen, as his legs were crossed and his feet were dirtying the chair in this process.

Perhaps tired of stroking his beard, the old man, moving his hand away, languidly stretched it towards the top of the desk.

Extending his hands to reach the tea, which had been cooled down, he grasped it and brought it to his mouth slowly.

The tea leaves used in this tea could be said to be of the highest grade. However, as it had cooled down, its flavor had thinned badly.

The old man, who had elf ears, put down the tea with a sigh.

His hand, which had nothing to do again, started stroking his beard. The beard was a little moist due to the tea.

「──Slava’s death, has it already been 30 years?…..It’s been long, far too long.」

The old man reached into rough clothes, which didn’t suit the room, and pulled out a crumpled photograph.

In there. This man, and a man who looked older than him──Slava Shijima── were in the photograph.

「──Foolish idiot. This is why human are so hopeless.」

The old man fixed the picture and placed it into his breast pocket, as it had almost been crushed.

His upper body, which had been raised in the process, looked pretty good for his age. He proceeded to throw his body onto his chair once more and it screamed in protest to his weight, though he was only an old man.

The name of this old man was Chester Prime.

He was the creator of the Primo Style 「Martial Arts」──it was also a 「Martial Art」that carved its name onto history’s books.1

Extreme Elves, Extreme Humans. Those who belong to that section…are those who never get their names written into history books.2

If Alma Shijima was the one who represented the current 「Martial Arts」generation, then Chester could be said to be of the older 「Martial Arts」generation.

──Once, Slava Shijima had an equal. It is this man, Chester.

A battle of money, authority and life that cannot be written down in history books. It’s a story of more than fifty years ago already, but the one at the top of the world not recorded in history──that is, the underworld──was this man.

Though this man was born into a family of Elves, he hurriedly worked out to reach the peak.

After continuously beating people over and over, he was soon at the top. Way too soon.

Inevitably, he met Slava Shijima.

「Damn it. I want to meet and fight that guy again.」

He gripped the handle of the chair tightly. The room where the chair was in was filled with high-quality furniture everywhere you looked──reflected in everything was emptiness.

Though I wanted this and fought for it, there’s nothing in this except emptiness.

A man more than 800 years old loosened his grip on the handle of the chair; he was lost to apathy.

In the end, everything he had worked for, the gorgeous room, high-quality furniture──all of it, it was meaningless. Such was the feeling he felt.

──It was at that time.

「Lord, are you in?」

「Ah, don’t worry. Come on in.」

「Well then, please excuse me for the intrusion──」

From the decorated double doors, a maid comes in.

If I were two hundred years younger, I probably would have asked for her hand──such were my thoughts, then I saw a letter in her hand.

「Here’s your letter, my lord.」

「I can tell by just looking. So? Who is this from?」

Unless it was a letter from someone suitable, remain indifferent and don’t bring the letter.

So Chester had implied while smiling laughingly, and all the while, the maid kept a respectful expression.

「Shijima.」

「──Ahn?」

「It’s from Alma Shijima.」

「Hmm, so it’s from that ojou-chan eh? It’s the first time I’m getting a letter from her….bring it to me.」

To the unexpected name, Chester’s expression changes.

Though things were different from what he had hoped for, the letter he wanted──it would never come.

Nevertheless, it was better than what he had expected. He ordered the maid to approach with the letter and took it from her gently.

Tearing open the seal of the letter, he took out a delicate letter that didn’t seem like it was written by a 「Martial Artist」.

This is just like something a ojou-chan would do──is what Chester thought as he laughed.

The letter was written in a formal style and started with a formal greeting.

Though it was from a rival’s disciple, it was still too formal, and this was the reason Chester laughed.

It was a heartwarming letter from an old friend.

Chester, who had been reading the letter line for line, stopped at a certain sentence.

From his facial expression, all laughter disappeared.

Hoping he didn’t have holes for eyes, he kept reading that line and started shaking in excitement.

Due to Chester’s mood change, the maid standing nearby felt uneasy.

「Lord….?」

The maid, who was worried about Chester, called out to him.

This expression only came out when he was either extremely angry or the opposite──extremely joyous. The maid only knew that something exceptional has happened.

What was it this time? The answer was──

「Kukuku, kekeke kakaka! This is interesting!」

Chester laughed pleasantly from the bottom of his heart.

As the maid was confused, she took the letter from his hands and read it to see if it would give her the answers.

Eventually, she understood the reason why Chester had laughed.

「──I see.」

「Kukuku, this is interesting, I wonder what this is? It seems that the kid has the same name as that fool. In addition, that ojou-chan Alma feels that he’s similar to him.」

Chester continued roaring in laughter, having a good time from the bottom of his heart.

The fact was, Chester wasn’t a man of fun and games.

However, the person mentioned in the letter was similar to the Slava this ojou-chan admired, so what kind of person could this be?

──Meet. I want to meet him.

The thing he had lost was coming back.

Life, it was worth living this long.

The me, who had lost his colors, finally stood up from his chair and gave off a gorgeous smile.

「We’re leaving tomorrow. I don’t need to say where, do I?」

「Tomorrow? Her practice, weren’t you──er, it’s useless. Understood, I will arrange it.」

If he wanted to go, there was no way of convincing him of not going.

A smile where you couldn’t feel the carving of uncountable moths and years, just pure childishness.

The man, once revered as the strongest man in the underground, stood up──

「Eekkisheeii! Mu, did I catch a cold?」

I, who had sneezed in a way which people would think「An old man’s sneeze」, felt a strange chill down my back, muttered that.

Using my holiday, I was visiting the Arubaku mountains (The Sacred Arubaku Peaks from Chapter 5). Although I was at quite a high altitude and it was colder than it was at the ground, I was cloaked in magic, so it wasn’t a big deal.

However, I still felt a strange chill down my back and sneezed. Possible reasons for this could be that I had caught a cold or it was the place itself, but most importantly──not taking care of my own body. If one didn’t take care of oneself’s body, then the cold would not go down at all.

This was something absolute, and would never be something wrong. It never hurts to have precaution.

This was a lesson from my previous life. A disease is truly frightening and can even cause a master to go down onto his knees, despairing.

In any case, the body from my previous life had withstood years of training, whereas this body──which was 12 years old──could easily catch one. It was better not to act reckless today.

──Today, I’ll do 「Waterfall Training」again today, and practice my usage of 「Shadow Dancing」 while I’m at it.

I created multiple split bodies and made them face each other.

From what I gathered through experimentation, it seems that training this way makes my body stronger.

Though there’s almost no difference in body performance, a expected rather than in maneuverability, it seems that the problem lies in the width of our reach. The split bodies that resemble the me from my previous existence have a longer reach than the current me, so as a result I have a slight disadvantage in reach.

Anyway. I can only do actual fighting two times a week.

The knowledge about tactics gained in the boring 5 days──it had to be used when I worked out. After all, my training time was precious, and could not be wasted doing useless things.

「──Let’s go.」

I say few words every time; it seems that it’s already become a ritual for me.

Twice a week, a fight would start out this way.

I did not intend to do anything else today. So, I beat it up, and it was beaten.

As always, intense impacts could be heard from throughout the mountain.

The fighting continued until day turned into night, and I went back to the dorm with some strength to spare.

A wound was still on my body, though hidden, due to the lack of magical power to heal it.

While admonishing himself, he crawled into bed and soon, his even and steady breathing could be heard──

And so, morning comes.

Despite the fact that things don’t change every week, I feel a little depressed when I think that I have to practice boring things until it comes time again for the holidays.

I get dressed in the school uniform and leave for the cafeteria.

The cafeteria is located on the first floor of the dormitories. Because the boy and girl dormitories are separated from each other, the cafeteria I go to is filled with boys.

Today’s breakfast is──fish? It was something that I ate often during the last years of my previous existence, but recognizing anew in this life the deliciousness of its fat, I, without any particular thought, got my meal and carried it to my seat.

I looked around for Shido, but couldn’t find his figure. I guess I was too much of a kid while training during the holidays and overslept.

It couldn’t be helped; I guess I’ll eat by myself. Picking up the cold metal knife and fork, I think some thanks to the meal.3

Fumu, it has a good smell. Why is something like this made for the students….

An appetizing smell comes from the fish. I said this earlier; fish really is the best.

My nose must’ve been a stomach, because hunger was stimulated just by smelling it. While thinking so, I cut the fish into pieces with my knife and fork.

「Oh, it’s this kid. Good morning, Slava.」

….Ahh, why does this child interfere with my meal.

Hearing the voice of a demon, I stop the movement of my knife.

It has already been a month since Alma first gave me an invitation, and she hasn’t stopped sending me invites.

Because things would become noisy if she always sending me invites during meal time, I asked her to refrain from doing it, but she just swallowed those words──

Oi, the time that should be free of distractions should be breakfast.

I turned towards Alma to lodge a complaint──but I couldn’t even say a single word.

──Certainly, Alma was there. However, another face, which I 「Knew by sight」, was unexpectedly laughing there.

「Ho ~ou, so it’s this boy──hello boy. I’m Chester Prime. Something like… this gal’s master’s rival?」

The annoying beard under the nose, and height that was more or less the same in my previous life.

And, those elf ears──as well as that filthy smile, more than all else.

The one thing I should have forgotten, his face──

「What he’s saying is true. Slava, let’s get you acquainted. This was my teacher’s friend, Chester-san. He was saying that he wanted to meet you by all means when I sent him a letter, thus I went to introduce you two when he came.」

Chester Prime.

The owner of a strong fist, a fist that was worthy to be called ‘Fist King of the Underground’, as well as my rival.

And the many times I had gotten a challenge from this idiot, I couldn’t forget them.

Well, I guess it was like this. If Alma was still alive, how could this ****** old man be dead? Rather, it would be strange if he were dead.

Strange coincidences kept reviving one after another.I felt as if an unclear 「Destiny」 was pressing down on my head.



References


  1. TLN: From now on, his Martial Arts shall be dubbed 1st…joking 
  2. TLN: Because Alma is in history books and Slava is just the name who was her master. 
  3. TLN: Like saying ‘Itadakimasu’ in your head 

[Vol.1] Chapter 6: Destiny Creates Strange Coincidences To My Previous Life



Food. It’s one of the essential things for a living being to have in order to stay alive.

It doesn’t matter what gender, age, or race. No organism can survive without food.

A teacher once said that only plants are the exception, being the only thing to live off of light and water, but I laughed when I heard that──people could say outrageous things.

Anyway, this is one of the vital actions that an organism must do, or else it isn’t a organism.

After living off my life as a human and being reborn as an elf, I am still no exception to this action.

Here, at Arufareia Academy, we get meals three times a day; one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.

When I was a human, I only ate two meals a day. Seeing this kind of difference brings a sort of nostalgia──such a cultural difference.

That aside, it was that time of day again.

So. It’s time for lunch.

In the classroom I was currently learning at, there was a slight merry mood, totally unlike a few moments before.

The sounds of happy children resounded in the classroom.

It was as if all the satiety that they had gotten from breakfast was a lie; they all looked happy as though they were at a festival.

I was jealous of the children who could get into such moods. Although my body was young, my mind was that of an old man, and it wasn’t my style to get into such a mood off of food.

My only purpose for living was for one reason; to wear my life down until it disappeared. This was my way of living.

…..So I say, but.

「Slava-kun, want to eat together?」(Seria)

「Oh, it’s Seria! Slava~ I also want to eat together~」(Shido)

Said the young girl and boy, respectively. Eating together with an honest friend or two wasn’t that bad.

Shido and Seria both walked over, lunch trays being held by both hands, and sat down on the same table as I.

….It used to be just Seria and I eating lunch together, but before I knew it, Shido was also eating lunch together with us.

Master always said that if one were to eat, they should eat good food with good friends. Now I understand. As the three people conversed, a small smile appeared on their mouths.

「Oh, then let’s eat together.」

As soon as I said that, the two moved vacant desks and connected it to my desk, and sat down.

The owners of the seats seem to be friends of these two. One of the owners was sitting in Shido’s seat.

Well then, let’s start eating.

♦ ♦ ♦

As we were eating, Seria asked questions about what we had learned today in class.

On the other hand, Shido asked questions pertaining to Martial Arts class, most of them being questions about how to fix his stance and movements.

These questions, to a「Martial Arts」 master like me, were just like child’s play. Thankfully, these questions were fairly simple and wouldn’t arouse one’s suspicion if I answered them.

Shido always asked me these kind of questions, and in turn, I answered them by giving him 「Advice」. Before we knew it, we were already close friends.

Thus, I started thinking that eating together during lunchtime was just an excuse to get some pointers and tips from me.

Eating was very slow process, and I thought to myself, “If I had a grandchild, would it become something like this?”

I had used to think that school only existed to restrain the present me──however, it’s very fun.

I cut my salted pork into pieces with my knife and stabbed the pieces with my fork.

I wasn’t in a hurry, so I slowly chewed the salted pork after putting it into my mouth.

「It’s gotten slightly better?」

That moment.

While we were enjoying our meal, a voice spoke out.

──Damn, we thought. Though it wasn’t the appropriate phrase.

Honestly, I wanted to enjoy my meal, but.

Behind Shido, who has an emerald hair color, was a girl with glossy black hair.

「I would also like to sit down to eat together, may I?」

The object of adoration for all elves.

The legendary martial artist, Alma Shijima, directed a smiling countenance towards me.

「It’s Alma-sama! Ah, of course!」

「You’re very good at teaching; you should teach the technique instead!」

I readily gave consent because Seria and Shido were making sparkling eyes.

It was the embodiment of a 「Martial Artist」asking for a seat, a figure that Shido admired. I didn’t have any complaints.

….For me, it felt like my daughter was asking me to eat together. I can usually refuse none of her requests──

It was my daughter’s eyes, which looked as if they were hunting prey, that had worried me.

Somehow, I have a bad feeling about this. Contrary to my feelings, I shook my head in order to get rid of this feeling.

「Slava, what’s wrong? Are you uncomfortable with me here?」

Alma laughs as if she had detected a sign of restlessness in me. I chewed the pork I had in my mouth and swallowed it.

…..Alma’s gentle laugh. When combined with a smile and her peerless beauty, it could also be said to be bewitching.

However, this was why I was feeling a sense of impending crisis. Though it was a smile that a million people would worship, to me, it was my daughter’s smile that would create some kind of trouble.

Calm down? How could one calm down when they were facing the smile of a hunter hunting prey?

However, I still can’t decline the invitation to teach. With Seria’s hopeful gaze and Shido’s 「Don’t do anything unnecessary」expression, I could not decline the request even if I wanted to. Moreover, it was my own daughter’s request.

「No, there isn’t such a thing. Please sit down.」

「Is that so…~tsu! I’ll gladly sit down~」

In the end, I accepted the request.

Alma laughs happily when she gets my permission. It was the same when she was a small child; she always laughed happily whenever she got my permission.

Alma moves to the vacant desk. To fit four people, Shido moved over a bit and created enough space for Alma to sit.

It should be noted that Alma probably didn’t think she would be rejected. After all, her food was already at the space with vacancy.

「Well then, I’ll start eating too.」

Alma, who was sitting on a small chair, behaved herself and cut the meat into smaller pieces before carrying it to her mouth.

…This is nostalgic. I used to eat meals with her the same way in my past life.

Noticing that I had recalled the scenes of how I used to have meals with her, I suddenly put on an amused expression for a second.

「Nnn? Is there something on my face?」

However, such an expression was seen by my daughter.

I didn’t feel much anger from her tone, as she had on a gentle smile. It was just a teasing tone.

「Ah, no. There isn’t anything.」

「Is that so? Then it’s all okay.」

Oops, I was too busy thinking about my previous life. Thank god Alma didn’t catch anything. Since she’s an elf, she has a long life, so she could’ve realized that I was reincarnated.

Any further, and I really would have been exposed. I really have to stop doing these suspicious actions. I braced myself to do some small talk in order not to arouse suspicion.

While we were making small talk, I found out that the ingredients actually didn’t cost much. This cooks’ arm is pretty good. While talking about this topic, lunchtime goes by.

Shido, Seria, and I. We finished our meals in this order, and what was left was Alma’s small bread.

In the middle of our small talk, Alma stuffed the bit of bread into her mouth, and the meal was finished.

I glanced at the clock──which had a bird fly out every few hours──and glanced at it. There was too much time in lunchtime.

…..That said, it was like this every day; meal times always took up more time than time spent learning. We always devoted the rest of the time to chatting.

However, it’s a little different today.

「Tasty~na, the meal, that is.」

There was some tension remaining, most likely due to Alma’s appearance. Because Seria and Shido were less talkative today (due to Alma’s appearance), I heard the sigh that Alma let out.

♦ ♦ ♦

「Now then ~to. Now that I’ve finished my meal──」

Alma’s eyes piercing gaze turned towards me.

I had guessed as much, but to do it now. Though I had already noticed it before she had sat down, her attitude had completely disappeared during the meal──or so I thought.

Alma wipes her mouth with a piece of cloth, though her mouth wasn’t all that dirty, and put it down.

Then, Alma put her face close to mine──close enough that I thought they would touch.

「Hey, Slava」

「….You’re too close, sensei.」

I try to escape by saying those words.

Alma put her hands on my shoulder, and then pulled her face a little closer; a little too close.

I can’t escape. I give up on giving an appropriate excuse to leave, and stand in place.

Shido and Seria both look confused, as they don’t know what is going on. Eh, you can only rely on yourself in situations like this, after all.

After a short while──that seemed like a long time compressed into a small amount of time──Alma’s eye color changed.

Could it be that she has already figured out my identity? While preparing for something like this, what Alma said was──

「I strive in order to find a suitable candidate for the Shijima style──would you like to become a successor?」

「……Mu?」

「I know this is sudden and all, but you have talent! Could it be that you don’t want to succeed the name of Slava of the Shijima style──the strongest in the world!?」

Would you like to become a disciple? It was that sort of thing.

There was one criteria that a disciple had to fulfill if they wanted to be invited; they had to have talent.

The people around me reacted quite strongly. What is this…maybe this is how I’m supposed to react.

「A-Awesome! Alma-sensei gave you a direct invitation! As expected of Slava!」

「Slava-kun, this is an amazing thing!」

Cried out Shido and Seria in loud voices.

When the people in the classroom heard these cries, all the eyes gathered unto Alma and I.

These eyes, without exception, showed admiration and excitement. It didn’t matter if they were teachers or children.

To get an invitation from the 「Strongest Martial Artist」(Elf), it was expected that the recipient would be talented, and there should be no reason to refuse this invitation.

However, it’s different for me.

The girl before my eyes was certainly a legendary「Martial Artist」, however, there was always someone higher ranked. The ‘someone’ higher ranked than this girl, who had her name engraved in history books, was I.

This was why I couldn’t be her disciple. After all, I am her master──though she doesn’t know it.

The thing about me being a disciple, I hadn’t even registered it. If it were any other type of discipleship/apprenticeship, I may have considered it, but there is no ‘discipleship’ for the Shijima style.[^2]

「Oh, I decline it.」

「Why!? It’s a pity that such a shining gemstone like you will be buried. Honestly speaking, you have way more talent than I do!」

Of course I did. It would even be understandable if I surpassed a teacher in 「Martial Arts」tomorrow if I tried. This was because I had already surpassed Alma a long time ago in terms of 「Martial Arts」.

Since this was a chance for Alma to further her footwork, a slight disturbance in magical power in the air was felt.

Nevertheless, I was aspiring to be the best at all times──so, such a thought as ‘I don’t want to unless it’s a strong opponent’ came to my mind.

F-for the time being, I have to get through this problem.

The method of delaying the problem was a good idea, however, it didn’t work in this situation. Therefore, I must make countermeasures.

「Or does Slava have a dream?

….If that’s the case, I can’t force it──Sorry, I should have listened to your story first.」

Fortunately, Alma, of her own accord, has shown me a way to escape.

The rope that Alma has dropped might be a trap, but for now, I can only use this to get out of the situation.

Think. Think about the best way to get out of this.

「So! Scholar. That is, I want to become a scholar──」

…..Is the answer I managed to squeeze out. However, the thought of「Wrong」came from within me.

Though, I had been reading books, but they were 「Martial Arts」books from another school, and its use was only to know the prices of the skin of monsters that I had been hunting.

I had a feeling that everyone in the classroom had a 「That doesn’t sound right」feeling.

「…..Despite only reading books about 「Martial Arts」only?」

Apparently, my actions had already been seen by Alma──I wonder when I had been observed.

Anyway, now this place is──

「I-I have plans to go to the library during lunch time, see you later!」

Let’s try escaping. Though it might be useless.

I, whose lies had been seen through, tried to escape.

If this was a 「Martial Arts」competition, no matter what, I wouldn’t have shown my back to the opponent. However, it wasn’t, so I happily escaped.

Alma’s voice could be heard behind me. My daughter hadn’t run after me because she had to fulfill her duty as a temporary teacher. Of course, my destination wasn’t the library.

「Waa! I won’t give up on you Slava!」

It was this moment that a battle of my disciple who wanted me to become a disciple, began.



References

[Vol.1] Chapter 5: The Old Man’s Morning



A martial artist always wakes up early.

While the sky was still dark, I cracked open an eyelid slowly.

Looking at the clock, which is equipped to the dorm room, I check the time.

….Four-thirty in the morning. Umu, the time I wake up hasn’t changed.

Waking up this early was a habit from my previous life. After waking up, I would first exercise.

Only today could I practice, due to the fact that today was one of the two free days in the school week.

My classmate who slept on the top bunk ── Eric Paris Star── was a friendly boy with freckles. So as not to wake him up, I got off the bed without making a sound.

On the opposite side of the bunks was a closet for storing clothes. On the top were clothes for everyday use. There were also hooded robes inside, robes that you had to wear in order to practice magic at the Academy.

This childish robe was woven so that you had room to grow into it, but unexpectedly, it also helped in training. Though it was better left unsaid, the hooded robe was also good for disguising your identity.

Even though it had this feature, I was thinking of not using it. However, when I thought about how awkward it would be if I were spotted in the crowd without the robe, I decided that having the robe would be more safe. Also, if I were to wear the robe, I would be seen as an aspiring mage. There would be no way for anyone to think that I was a martial artist.

──Either way, I still needed permission to leave the school, so I didn’t need to wear the hood when leaving the school.

When I removed the hood in front of the mirror, which was equipped on the inside of the closet door, I saw a person who didn’t seem to be a mage in any way.

Fumu, this is my twelve year old body── eh, I’m still not accustomed to this.

Unexpectedly, I retained my coppery hair even in this life.

My eyes were a dark emerald at the current time ⌈1⌋. My facial features were said to have been this way from my childhood──but, I think it seems more similar to those of my father.

Even if you were to live harmoniously side by side, it would be expected that your race wouldn’t have a future if you didn’t have children.

──Nevertheless, when one looked into my eyes, they would find it to be strangely sharp. Though it was probably due the years from my past life, when I had been very aggressive.

Yet──it was said that elves separated themselves from other races because of the fact that they were good-looking and that they themselves knew this. Because I had not really thought about it too much, a certain evaluation of myself sprung out. ⌈2

……Feeling unexpectedly handsome, I felt a little admiration for my own reflection. Reflected in the mirror, besides my eyes, was a pretty boy, as well as my own wry smile while thinking this.

Come to think of it, how long has it been since I’ve looked at myself in the mirror?

In my previous life, there was also a large mirror in the dojo. However, it was unpleasant if you liked that kind of confirmation, and it got in your way. ⌈3

It was also my fault at not checking it out myself due to having little interest in my appearance. Perhaps it was because of this that I still didn’t believe that this was my face.

──Fumu. I guess I better shave/groom myself after my beard grows.

I think some hair is okay, such as hair that could be shaved casually and didn’t get in the way.

Well, it’ll be long before I start doing that. Thinking of this cliche, I remembered what I had vowed to a certain person while leaving the room.

During this time, while the sun still wasn’t up, the hallway of the dormitory was silent.

It was certain that not even one percent of the dormitory had woken up. While breathing in the cool morning air, I left the dormitory. ⌈4

When you went out, there was a pleasant scent of morning dew. It would be exaggerated to say that one would get up early just because of this.

「Oh, Slava Marshall. It’s quite respectable that you’re up early today.」

Called out the voice of a plump guard when I had reached the school gate.

I go out every day whenever it becomes a holiday, so it has become a routine to see me go outside.

As usual, I will have to get issued a permit so that I could go outside, so I put smile on my face.

「I can do whatever I want as long as I don’t break the rules right? Can I get my usual permit?」

「…Yeah, certainly. Though bocchan is trustworthy, I have to say this because it’s part of the regulations. Be sure to be back by curfew to avoid dangerous things, okay?」 ⌈5

Returning my greeting with a kindly laugh, I started preparing for my exercise.

When doing an intense workout, preparations are necessary.

──Seems like this is going to be intense. ⌈6

I noticed that a corner of my mouth had curved up without me knowing.

Moving my body without restraint on a holiday, huh?

While suppressing these feelings that had been delaying my exercise, I silently finished my preparations.

I started running through the road that was surrounded by trees while increasing my speed gradually.

By the time my speed had reached the speed of a horse, I was already far away enough to not be seen by the guard.

Now I have to suffer the act of wearing this hood. A boy who was hurtling at speeds faster than a horse would obviously attract some attention──however, even if I was being chased, it would be no problem, unless my face was seen.

…My endgoal was one of my childish fantasies come true, a secret base.

Finally, I reached the point where I could decrease my speed, and I leaked out a small laugh.

♦ ♦ ♦

It had taken around 30 minutes of running to reach my desired location.

My secret base was inside the Academy’s forest, which was pristine due to the fact that it was far from the school.

The altitude of my base was about 2,000 Mrytle. It was also guarded by the part of the forest that was rarely tread into due to the fact that it was deep inside the forest. ⌈7

──Basically, it’s on a mountain.

It was visible to the Academy, but people rarely came here. The mountains’ name was “The Sacred Arubaku Peaks”. ⌈8

On the top of the mountain, which was surrounded by woods, ferocious monsters that had adapted to the cold dominate the place. Most people who came here usually left before staying too long.

Since there were less people here for a variety of reasons, it was natural that I could practice my Shijima style without restraint. Ah, it was like a free luxury training field.

It was worth my time to come here on holidays, as it was only a 1 hour round trip.

Having reached the top of the mountain, the place I usually train at, I looked at the Academy from the top of the mountain.

In the current season, by the time when I had gotten to the top of the mountain, the sun would be rising.

While I was watching the sun rise, I muttered:

「If only this mountain were a little farther away, but then again, it would also serve to be a dent in my training.」

Although it would have been more complex, sweating for thirty minutes was enough in this time of year.

The reason it would have been more complex was due to the fact that tree roots would suddenly appear and could only be passed with footwork and reaction speed. If you used magic to avoid these roots, you would only end up as a failure when you ran out of mana.

That said, if the location of the training was any more farther than necessary, I would lose more precious time training my fighting style.

Good luck did come unexpectedly though. As I was thinking about the inconveniences of my current body, I put down my luggage.

「Well then, I guess I’ll start with Zen training.」

With an empty stomach, I breathed in a chestful of the cool and clean morning air, which had been nurtured by the untouched forest, and crossed my legs in meditation on slightly damp grass.

……A serene wind shook the leaves of plants, and good air was generated by this unspoiled piece of nature.

This was one of the living conditions that the spirits who lived on mountains preferred. The farther away the mountain from human society, the better. They also preferred a luxurious training environment as well as living near elves. This one couldn’t help but feel jealous from the amount of attention that the elves were getting.

Anyway, it was likely that my Zen training would advance today. While correcting my feelings and the corner of my mouth that had distorted in joy, I concentrated my mind.

──I immersed myself in nature. The spirits in the mountains, which were residing in the woods, gave off a feeling of cool blue. ⌈9

While I was absorbing the high quality of magic from the spirits, I thought about the rare entering of human spirits that were even higher in quality.

The mana of nature was currently accumulating in my body. The high quality mana that I was absorbing was just the tip of the iceberg, and made me want to stay in Zen forever.

「(──Mu? The spirits are noisy.)」

While I was in my state of Zen, the spirits had started acting up as if they were terrified of something.

This fluctuation had ruined my state of Zen so I searched using my senses──

Apparently, there seemed to be customers.

Just as something produced a slight rustling sound in the vicinity, I slowly stood up.

At the same time, the spirits, which had surrounded me during my state of Zen, scattered away. Although it was a little earlier than I had expected, I might as well.

It was an exceptionally fine visitor, contrary to what I had thought.

♦ ♦ ♦

In this mountain, a ferocious monster feared nothing, not even bloodthirst──it would even hunt it’s own kind and be proud of it!

What was unexpected was that they could gauge their opponent’s competence. They had overwhelming confidence in chasing escaped prey as well. Ah, these facts were part of the reason why people didn’t usually come here.

「A Xenobea, huh?」

Slowly, from the rocky shade, a creature with a huge stature covered in fur emerged.

That being said, this was from the view of elves, humans, and humanoid creatures, but even so, it was still impressive to have a stature of 3 Myrtle.

……No, the scale wasn’t a big problem. What was noteworthy about it was its muscle density.

The muscles of this beast were like iron sand and they swelled up until they were bursting.

If the beast were to flex a little, the muscles would probably pop.

The beast, Xenobea, was of the bear kind. Its fighting spirit was strong, and so was its appetite. However, what people feared the most was its skeletal frame.

With the muscles I had described previously, it had the ability to tear a warrior that had magical power enhancements and armor, into two.

In addition to the high density of muscle, its fur was wire-like and could repel a two-handed heavy sword.

A Xenobea could live anywhere and its population was small, so it usually didn’t attack human towns.

However, when it did, it’s like a natural disaster. Even if you yielded most of your crop to the beast, it wouldn’t 「Stop」and proceed to eat people. Due to this, vigilante corps were dispatched in every village and the adventurer guild would send out a quest for extermination. Sometimes, even the kingdom’s soldiers were dispatched to kill the beast.

──No way, what is such a big shot doing in a place like this.

Raising a growl that seemed to resound deep inside the ground, the Xenobea slowly approached me on all fours.

In his ‘steps’ was the pride of being at the top of the mountain ecosystem, thus making me wryly smile.

I released the magic that I had been suppressing everyday and an indescribable feeling washed over me, similar to how you can hear your heart pump blood if you focus.

I got into my fighting stance and in addition, lowered my hips and closed my hand in order to put emphasis on impact.

Well, whatever.

Let’s attribute this to my good luck. After all, it wasn’t every day that you could chance upon a big shot like a Xenobea.

──Emergency. My words, that didn’t get through the dumb beast, got through by the means of my killing intent.

The most primitive way to tell if someone was an enemy or not was through killing intent. The Xenobea, being a beast, of course felt the intense killing intent and was rushing up here as fast as possible while destroying the ground.

It was difficult to associate the high speed, which the Xenobea was going at, with its huge stature.

However, it was true, to be honest.

It didn’t know how to be clever because it was 「Straightforward」. If this tactic was to be used against another wild beast, it would have probably won. However, if you included the various elements when fighting me──

We, who have devoted ourselves to 「Martial Arts」 in order to gain strength, are martial artists. ⌈10

Pure violence was easy to understand, thus it wouldn’t take long to defeat him.

My body had firmly met with the eyes of the Xenobea. Since my body looked like a shell, the Xenobea tried to mow me down while I use a flat hand.

My aim was his eyes. I never go「Soft」whenever I aim for this place.

Simply put, I just wanted to take away his view.

While I was escaping from being mowed down, I aimed my hands towards the Xenobea’s pupils like this ‘一”. ⌈11

Because my martial arts were tempered by my years of training, my hand had the same purpose as a blade. If a master were to use a mighty magical power to reinforce it, it would be as if he/she were using a famous blade. ⌈12

As a result, screaming as though if it was the end of the world, echoed through the mountain.

The eyes were now pieces of dead flesh due to being pierced by his hand. Birds that were nearby immediately flew away and beasts also ran away in terror.

In a matter of just seconds, only the Xenobea and I were left, with the sound of mad roaring due to the pain I inflicted on him by stabbing his eyes.

Once you destroy eyesight, the enemy would thrash around for a while, like an idiot.

Having a little fun is okay, is what I thought in a little sadistic manner as I watched the thrashing Xenobea.

──Then I raised my fist and punched the Xenobea. In my previous life, during the time I was young, I used to pull off more complex moves to defeat someone….but I’ve realized that a simple punch can also defeat an opponent.

This was because in nature, absolute rulers took pride in being able to take a few punches, thus creating their ego. If a beast could read what couldn’t be 「Seen」, it wouldn’t be inferior to any beast, the only exception being the 「Mountain King」due to its superior power. I sighed.

「……Want me to give you some mercy?」

While sighing and thinking that the Xenobea was more 「Wild」compared to the previous monsters, as well as being more satisfying, I stepped towards the Xenobea. ⌈13

While avoiding the floundering of the enraged bear, I slipped into a crack in his defence and hit him palm bottom. ⌈14

I withdrew the palm, added magic into my hand, and struck him at the same place palm bottom.

It was as if the Xenobea was a balloon made out of paper; he flew up and then started bleeding from his orifices. The reason for this was because I had struck him with my magic, disrupting his body functions and then it burst from inside of him.

It’s been a while since I killed a 「Strong」creature──surprisingly, no emotions pop out of my chest.

I jumped back to avoid getting blood from the orifices of the Xenobea onto my clothes, and I sighed.

It was an idle killing. Well, it doesn’t matter what I get to fight, as long as I get more experience with this body.

Moreover, it challenged me with killing intent. Even if it was an animal on the extinction list or on the side of the law, I would still kill it.

「I don’t feel anything from this either, huh…」

I put my hand onto the nape of the Xenobea and dragged its nonspeaking corpse.

Despite being a ferocious animal, I was still the one who killed it in the end. If I did not remove the corpse of opponent away, I would feel guilty because I had been taught to clean up my own messes by my old master.

If it’s something this big, it’ll be time-consuming…perhaps I’ll 「Get out」on the day after tomorrow.

Due to the decreased amount of animals challenging me, I was pleased that a pretty strong create challenged me….

I have become rather troublesome.

While dragging a mass of 1,000 kilos, I make my way towards the waterfall to tan the skin of the Xenobea.

…..I guess this can be counted as ‘work using physical force’. Even something this small can help in the way of bodybuilding, after all.

If this meat is left alone, the animals nearby will eat it.

While lamenting that I couldn’t train anymore today, I used physical strengthening magic to help me dismantle the bear.

…..I had thought it didn’t matter, but being an elf wasn’t that bad. I thought I was pretty good looking…and this was the only time I thought this.

I took out deodorant from the bag which I had prepared in order to train. Although it was used to get rid of the smell of sweat, I knew that it could also be used in order to erase traces of smells of blood.

I did the same thing a few weeks ago, but the smell of it from then…no, the important thing is that I try.

By the way, the cost for the deodorants and my training tools were obviously too expensive for me to buy, so I sell the skin or nail of the ferocious beast whom I defeat.

However, this time I fought a ferocious beast that even soldiers and adventurers have trouble against──and thus my day went by.

Though it was popular for young martial artists to take an animal as a foe, good grief. I only killed animals in order to kill off my boredom and keep myself sharp. ⌈15

When I thought about my previous life, I realized how much time I spent doing meaningless things. I guess I’ll work harder to hone my 「Martial Arts」.

However──even a ferocious beast of this level isn’t even enough to make me fully satisfied. I wonder when I’ll fight a truly strong opponent…



References


  1. Probs referring to the time right now -> 4:30 AM 
  2. TL note: I think he’s saying he’s not good-looking 
  3. TL note: I think he means by the light reflecting off the mirror 
  4. TL note: Finally… 
  5. TL note: You all should know that ‘bocchan’ means boy by this point 
  6. TL note: Didn’t know how to make this make sense from JP to Eng 
  7. TL note: I don’t know what Mrytle is, but let’s think of it as 1 Mrytle = 1 Meter 
  8. TL note: Sorry, I got something like “Mt. Arubaku Mt.” so I switched it up a little 
  9. TL note: Changed the ‘who were residing’ to ‘which were residing’ due to ambiguous identity. 
  10. TL: No sh*t Sherlock -> Fixed with jorgelotr’s comment 
  11. TL note: Hope it means palm down 
  12. TL note: Such as Muramasa’s ‘evil sword’, amirite 
  13. TL note: Original says something like delicious so I assume that the author meant that the Zenobea was a more ‘satisfying’ opponent 
  14. TL note: For those who don’t know what palm bottom is, google ‘Palm Bottom’ and check out the Naruto site that comes up 
  15. TL note: Cuz you don’t want to be dull :^) 

[Vol.1] Chapter 4: Martial Arts Class



「Alrighty then, Slava, Shido, are you two ready?」

「Yes.」

「Yes!」

An early afternoon at the Arufareia academy.

It had been a few days since Alma came here to teach.

In the sturdily built auditorium, my classmate and I were facing each other.

It was for the newly established martial art class. As part of the lesson, we carried out practice match-ups.

Although I did question the choice of selecting the auditorium as the place for practice–but since they chose it, it can only mean that they have confidence in having nothing be broken by our activities.

Fumu. Even though it was for practice, I got to face off against someone whom I haven’t seen in a long time. The young boy’s name was Shido Oldham.

Many times he declared he would leave the Elf country to become an adventurer and make a name for himself. He was someone who harbored huge ambition.

He had short green hair, sharp eyes, and very aggressive looks.

I won’t say that he behaved well everyday, but I did not dislike him.

「Hehe, I’m not going to lose to a loner who only reads books!」

He sure did lack many things. His foul mouth and sleeping during lessons were two of his bad points.

Both of us each had our own goal to strive for and we put all of our effort into realizing it, especially in martial art class. We were both happy and eager to get started.

Not to get ahead of myself by saying that but this practice match was meant to help us strengthen our bodies, and it will definitely help us get closer to our goals.

For better or worse, his desire was what true from the bottom of his heart.

「Okay! Remember what I just taught you, always keep your guard up and fight fairly!

Get into your fighting stances!」

Do not strike with full power.

Aiming for vital organs is prohibited.

Stop attacking immediately if you feel that either of you is in danger.

These were the three rules Alma set in place to avoid accidents.

Though I’m not sure if the twelve-year-old could comprehend what the rules were, but if things were to get out of hand, Alma would instantly interfere.

If she has to, Alma will intervene. But if not, she will observe without disrupting the fight.

「Here I go, Slava!」

「Alright… Just give me your best shot.」

A troublemaker—but unexpectedly entertaining. I just love his personality.

I got into my stance. Although it was not nearly as solid as I wanted it to be, it was still a solid one.

I’ve practiced stances tens of thousands of times. Since Alma was teaching just now, I didn’t think that it would be a big deal, thus I picked the Shijima style’s most basic stance.

This stance was in fact the most well-rounded stance my great master, Iwao Shijima, thought out.

When I was studying under my great master, he taught me the forms of the Shijima martial arts which branched into numerous forms from this one stance. The stance I picked was essentially the most basic stance of all martial arts.

Taking this stance brings back a lot of memories within me. I really wished that I could meet my old friends again, and smiled.

As for Shido, he picked the same stance I did. However, since he could not grasp the full concept of the stance and was just copying my stance, he could not bring out its ‘true form’.

It was the same with each of my disciples copying me. Those were pleasant memories. My playmate was someone who did not understand even a little bit of martial arts, thus this match up would prove to be beneficial to him if he learned something.

Well, Alma only gave the ready signal and never said start…

I waited for the starting signal, but Alma never did say it.

When I turned to her, about to ask questions, I saw her frozen still with her lower jaw dropped.

「Oi Sensei~ What’s the hold up? Can we start already?」

「Eh, ah, ah, excuse me. Both of you can get back into your positions again.」

It wasn’t just me who was wondering, Sid was equally puzzled as he asked. Alma’s posture returned to normal and she replied.

「That stance, it can’t be but…that was no less from being perfect?」

I got back into my stance while Shido…posture, full of mistakes in many ways, and Alma was mumbling about something on the side. Unfortunately I did not hear what she was mumbling about.

「Okay, both of you good to go?

—Begin!」

Worrying about it is useless now.

…Tsk tsk, my first opponent after so many years is a young lad. I sounded secretly to myself.

Don’t misunderstand me. It is only by observing a great martial arts master can the disciple grow. It is my utmost pleasure as a martial arts master to have the opportunity to give this young lad a chance to sprout. ⌈1

「Hiiiyah!」

Shido quickly closed the distance by charging straight at me, which was a naive mistake. What was the point of trying so hard to stay in your stance just so you can drop it all at once? He had no guard whatsoever, but it didn’t matter since he abandoned any kind of orthodox fighting stance.

–It’s fine, it’s fine. It isn’t unusual for kids to be carefree.

Since I couldn’t blame him for being simple-minded, I just let out a smile.

Even if he managed to hit me, he can’t injure me if he’s like this.

At the moment, I could probably take ten thousand of the punches he throws out, but Shido’s physical endurance would give out long before that.

Even if I was just a mere martial artist, there was no doubt that I was the ‘strongest’ in my age group.

I moved my hand, caught Shido by the arm, and redirected the power in his punch away from me.

There was some power to his punch, and an inkling of magic behind it. As my hand gripped his arm, I moved on to break his balance.

It was hardly a surprise attack on his part. He had sufficient power but the way he utilized it was shallow.

I swept his leg to take away his balance and then swung him over my shoulder. Since he roughly had the same build as me, my action caused him to flip over in mid-air.

Alma along with most of other kids were speechless. Someone was cheering and yelling something about a person flying in the air.

The idiotic Shido on the other hand wasn’t afraid one bit. Suddenly being swung in the air probably didn’t give him enough time to think of anything. ⌈2

This was the difference between martial arts and a brawl. After showing off my power, I stop the attack and instead tighten my grip to brake Sid’s descent as gently as I could.

「Eh? What….did I—just lose?」

「Hehe. Shido, didn’t Alma-sama say that martial arts wasn’t just about how much power you have but how you use it?」

While I was supporting his head to avoid head injury, Shido came to understand that he was on the ground, looking up. Looking at me, instead of feeling depressed, he just showed his usual arrogant expression and muttered.

「Unbelievable….as one would expect from an Oji-san!」

Meanwhile, some of the other kids were still cheering happily.

That was just the start of it as everyone was applauding me.

Although I treated them as noisy annoyances in the earlier years, the cheers coming from the little children was surprisingly heartwarming.

Suddenly, I felt that it was entirely correct.

When I called them little children, am I not in the same age as them?

I let out a sigh when I realized my mistake.

Right after that, I froze.

…Uuh?

Hang on a second, what did I just do?

If I’m not mistaken, I swung Shido over my shoulder.

I recalled my actions one by one.

Redirecting Shido’s punch and sweeping his foot—

As soon I finished comprehending what just happened, my face turned pale.

…I’m such an idiot!

My original plan was like this: avoid getting hit and then wait for an opportunity to trip Shido over. ⌈3

But that wasn’t what had happened.

I went ahead and used the technique called 「Tree Leaf Throw」 from the Shijima martial arts.

The idea is that the opponent was similar to the weightlessness of a tree’s leaves. Using what’s called as the centripetal force of the opponent added with your own power, you can slam the opponent’s head onto the ground. This was the basic and essential concept that every Shijima technique applied.

My body felt as if it was frozen solid. After a few awkward moments, I turned my head and looked at Alma.

「Slava….the technique you just used, where…?

No, it doesn’t matter where you learned it.

At your age, how were you able to perform it to such a degree—?」

….I’ve done it now.

What a fool I was. Even though I told myself to be careful, my eager self just came bursting out.

There were thousands of other ways I could have done it, but I just couldn’t help but do what I did—here of all places.

I did what my great master taught me. This technique was meant to be absorbed into the body so that using it was as natural as breathing and vice versa. ⌈4

It had certainly become as natural as breathing for me. Doing something so stupid instinctively, I really wanted to knock myself in the head.

I refrained from doing so, however.

It was no other than Slava Shijima, whom Alma was most familiar with, using the technique.

It was difficult to keep a straight face but I just need to get through somehow.

「Ahh, erm…my…father practice the Shijima style and…erm…

Most of the concept of ‘Tree Leaf Throw’ was taught to me since I was little…

If, if it was something a beginner at martial arts wasn’t supposed to know for this lesson, I’ll reflect on it…」

Darn, did I say too much?

I think it came out smoothly. All I did was making it ‘seems’ like I made a mistake and that I would reflect on it. ⌈5

It was fortunate that no one from my village was present. My childhood friend wasn’t here also because that kid was two years older than me, I’m the sole person from the village in this class.

It was downright a lie telling her my father did Shijima martial arts, but I needed to make it sound like I was a disciple of someone experienced with the Shijima style—-and I figured that since Shijima martial arts had been made common throughout the world, I could just…

…Well, I’ll try my best to talk my way out of Alma’s questions.

「Taught since an early age….you say?

…how old were you when you started?」

「I started when I was five. But except for being taught its concept, the technique itself was never demonstrated to me.」

「So you’re saying that you perfected it on your own…?」

「Ye, yes…」

….Oh dear, I think my acting skill had become quite splendid. I praised myself a little.

What I was trying to get at was that ‘children are able to learn martial arts through some form of discipline.’

「Hah, I’ll instruct you more from now on. As for your previous display of skill….my my, I’m impressed. This is just a normal practice so no harm done.

As for your opponent, considering that you executed your technique brilliantly, there was nothing he could have done. Don’t stop what you’re doing and keep working hard from now on.」

「In that case…」

「Ah yes, performed a flawless ‘Tree Leaf Throw.’ You’re really something.」

Alma was smiling and spoke awkwardly.

…Haaa, I avoided it, somehow.

Let this serve as a lesson to remind me to be more careful from now on.

But really, I have to find a way to adjust and hold myself back. It seems that the path to my goal has yet another obstacle. Nevertheless, I shouldn’t bring up the cover unless absolutely necessary.

I was just relieved that this crisis was over.

As Shido was finally getting a hold of himself, Alma told us to step down from the stage.

He and I gave each other a bow before stepping down. Once we did, Alma signaled the next pair to go up.

Haaa, that was really close. I have to be super careful when using martial art skills in front of that child.

I wiped my sweat thinking about the potential disaster that could happen in martial arts class.

Then, Shido, who was covered in sweat, made his way over and sat down next to me.

「Hey, I was wondering if…」

His eyes were looking down, almost as if talking to me was talking to a senior.

Although I stopped my technique just before he hit the floor, Shijima techniques were very intimidating. Holding fear after tasting one such technique wasn’t so uncommon.

「Slava, you’re incredible. What did you do to become so strong?」

The look on his face was the complete opposite to his normal self, it was so respectful that I did not expect it at all.

Fumu, what did I do to become strong, he asks.

Well I learned from memories, was what I wanted to tell him but—-even if I tell him, he was missing something more important.

「It’s simple, devote myself to train diligently everyday.

It may take a long time but with enough perseverance, you will be able to come to where I’m standing sooner or later, Shido.」

「Diligent…? Yes! I’ll start working hard everyday from now on!

Yosh, I will definitely beat you one day! Hehe. Just you wait!」

After all that happened, he was still burning with confidence. This must be youth.

Of course, being a youth myself, I let out a smile.

–Elven school, Mirafia National and General Academy Arufareia.

In the academy where elven children from all corners of the country gathered, the room where only adults were present—-the faculty office, a peerless beauty was sitting at her desk letting out a groan as she investigates. ⌈6

She was 106 years old, in spite of that, her body was that of a young elf. It was none other than the legendary martial artist whose name was a legend—Alma Shijima.

In order to find suitable candidates, boys or girls, to succeed the Shijima name, she put great amounts of effort into nurturing the young one’s potentials.

Every ten years, she would travel from school to school, and at the beginning of the next ten years interval, she had found a suitable young lad but was feeling anxious.

The list of everyone’s names was on her desk, and she opened the first page of Slava Marshall’s documents. The boy’s first name on it was the same as her master.

「…I don’t know how to take this. His look’s are basically identical to master’s.」

Master’s race was human, yet this boy, who’s an elf, has too much resemblance to my deceased master.

Beside the racial differences, lots of resemblance could be seen from this boy, Slava Marshall’s: eyes, nose, ears, and even physique.

He’s a polite boy was Alma’s first impression of Slava. But now that she had finished her first class with him, her impression of the boy had changed.

「He really resembles master but there’s no way that that’s him…why am I over thinking this?」

Alma already had the answer to her question but for some reason, she was not fully convinced.

The flawless execution of 「Tree Leaf Throw」, a skill that only mastery of the style could pull off. And that Shijima stance, everything was natural for him. He gave out the impression of master Slava.

「So many strange coincidences at once…Master, won’t you show me guidance-desu?」

Alma spoke out toward her master who was in heaven. But, an answer never returned.

However, she was determined on one thing.

There were lots of disciples. The number of talented probably numbered the stars.

However, to pass on the skills and convey her feeling for her most beloved, only one person shall receive it.

At last….I finally found the one.

Her determination blazed in her eyes. In the world where it had lost its colour, the colour now had reappeared.

「Master…I, I’ve finally found someone worthy of entrusting the future of Shijima’s masteries to-desu.」

Toward the heavens, Alma once again spoke.

Except that her master, who was supposed to be in heaven, was in fact the young boy, was without her knowledge.

As for the boy whose regards were sent towards, he sneezed and moved on with his activities at that time.



References


  1. TL: Ha! Shido is a Sproutlet. 
  2. Este’s splendid illustrations. 
  3. TL: Mission accomplished -_- 
  4. TL: breathe = using martial art 
  5. TL: Nope, he lied. 
  6. TL: Oh s—? 

[Vol.1] Chapter 3: Shijima’s Preaching



「Ahh! Alma-sama!! In person!! Are you really real!?」

「Fufu, such an energetic child. Aye, I’m real. Although I’m not certain whether or not there’s an imposter going around.」

An individual who not a single Elf would fail to recognize, the legendary Martial Artist. Since she was before us, Seria was instantly captivated.

Behaving like a girl befitting her age ⌈1⌋, she happily jumped into the embrace of Alma, who caught her without any difficulty.

As a father looking at my own child and seeing her so cheerful made me realize that she was still the little girl from my memories.

Before me, Seria was screaming loudly, her voice filled with excitement.

It continued like that for quite sometime until finally, Alma gracefully set Seria onto the ground.

Although Seria was a little reluctant to let go, she happily accepted being set down on the ground.

…Alma had always spoken in polite speech when we were together in my past life but…before my eyes is ‘Alma Shijima’ someone who’s speaking in a strong and dignified tone.

Did she become like this after I died? Or was she always like this and I simply did not notice?…My brain is starting to hurt thinking about this, maybe I’ve mistaken her with someone else.

「Now then, there are a few things I want to talk about, but first, what’s your name?」

「My name is Seria! Why is Alma-sama here in this place?」

「So, your name is Seria, it’s a good name. Well~ how is school going for you, little one~? Oh? And who’s this fellow?」

While chatting cheerfully with Seria, Alma noticed my existence.

Leaning her body down, Alma brought her face closer to take a good look at mine.

Reflected in my eyes were two familiar round pupils which gave me a nostalgic feeling.

I died while leaving her to feel unpleasantness, plus I’ve also said various ── I don’t know how to put it ── at any rate, I feel a sense of guilt from within…

At the current time, I was at a completely loss inside my head, not knowing what action to take.

It wasn’t necessary for me to reveal my identity to my very own daughter.

I was thinking that to myself, since Slava Shijima was someone whom she idolized. That said, whoever would believe me who was just an Elven child to be that person himself… it was very likely that she’ll brush it aside.

For starter, the fact that Slava Shijima had died was undeniable. The dead can never come back to life.

The memories I harbored in my mind are definitely those of Slava Shijima while being Slava Marshall at the same time.

In a way, I am just a young boy whose name is Slava Marshal who was inspired by Slava Shijima in martial arts.

—It has been thirty years since the death of Slava Shijima. She must have come to accept the undeniable truth.

The choice of revealing who I really am is not a viable option. After all, I myself had thought that it was unbelievable, and so the best option was to avoid causing trouble.

…Although I gave that much thought to it, truth be told, the ties that I had in my past life hold no significance in this life.

Though part of me does want to tell her who I was. Thinking about it, future events further down my path to become the strongest will most likely cause a lot of trouble.

For example if I was to participate in a martial art event and win, the news will spread, people will seek me out for many different reasons which will take away my time from training, just like back then, which I was fed up with.

Then if I tell Alma my identity now–thinking about it a little deeper, this child would most likely think that I’m a fake. Sure she held me in such high regards, maybe it had to do something with the words I left her with.

The final moments spent with her, she must have interpreted my words in some ways and spread the name of the Shijima on the fighting stage…. it must have been very challenging for her with a small body. The thought about it brings pain to my heart.

Perhaps in the future I will make my story known–that will be by the time when I’ll be at the top of the martial realm. Only then will I be able to reveal who I am to Alma.

The feelings for my beloved child standing before my eyes cannot be shown, I intended to keep my identity a secret.

Alma, please forgive this selfish father. I’ve obtained a chance to start over. Thus, in this life, I must achieve the profound strength and be at the very top.

Yes, that’s what I’ve decided to do. Whether it’s right or wrong will depend on how I proceed forward.

There was no way she could figure out that I, her father, would appeared before her in the appearance of a boy so there was no need to be too cautious.

「Erm, well…nice to meet you?」

And so I used ‘nice to meet you’ because I couldn’t think of anything else.

Then without the slightest of doubt, Alma smile at me, just what I had hoped for.

「Oh, nice to meet you, too. Are you a friend of Seria? What’s your name?」

As expected, the question which I wished to avoid being asked was spoken.

My name is the same one as my previous one–actually, it’s one that was ‘borrowed’ from my previous life.

If I tell her my name, it might bring back bitter memories. Or perhaps she will find it pleasant for the name of her master to be passed around even after thirty years have passed since his death.

At any rate, I don’t want to think too deeply about it. If possible I would have given out an alias but it’s regrettable that Seria was also present.

「My name is Slava Marshall.

I heard that the reason my parents chose it was because of your shishou, Alma…sama.」

Consequently, because I was nervous, I spoke what I think I should.

After all, I’ve decided to keep my past identity hidden and since my name was asked for, I answered truthfully.

Still, addressing her like that caused me discomfort, but I’ll bear with it in order to keep my secret safe, even if it pains me.

「…I see, my Shishou’s name…」

My daughter, how will you react? And the answer to my question, my fear, proved to be correct.

Her dignified and smiling face darkened a little looking over me. In her eyes, small amounts of tears started to form.

Even though it has been thirty years since…to think that her sadness still lingers. Although it might sound like a long time, but it is not the same for the elves, understandably.

When I, you master, passed away, just how long did it take for your grief to ease away–for her, Slava Shijima was also her father figure, and so there aren’t many who could sympathise with her grief. Nevertheless, even after all that time, it seems that she still needed more time to completely overcome the sadness within her.

Seeing the tears from one’s own daughter, the urge of revealing the truth surfaced as well–but I have to put faith in the path I’ve chosen.

Without excusing myself, I waited for Alma’s returned words.

「It’s a good name.

That name belonged to the most powerful martial artist in history, the greatest of them all. And so to prove yourself to be worthy of such name, will you grow up to be a good man?」

「Y, yes…」

Alma wiped her tears, and returned to her normal self.

…You’ve become strong, my daughter.

I, too, will not falter. I won’t stop until I reach the top.

But, I will get there much faster this time, I thought to myself.

The sooner the better since it means that I can tell her who I really am.

My desire to become stronger was strengthened because of this.

Although I said it with such resolve.

My goal is to become the strongest, the greatest, but I should never overestimate myself. My parents taught me such and didn’t forget to teach me that others’ evaluations of me is equally important. I’ll experience a lot of things in the near future… can’t help but feel slightly worried.

If I recall correctly, in my previous life, there were times when some created a religion with me as the center. I wasn’t sure how to cope with it back then and had to correct my style.

「By the way, Seria, Slava. Can you help me out a little? Which is the way to the principal’s office?」

Having recovered her posture, Alma crouch forward and looked into my face.

Come to think of it, I think she asked me something which I have yet to answer.

Fumu, the principal’s office huh?

Although I know where it’s located, it’s hard to give specific directions.

「Yes, but erm, well…let me show you the way. The layout of the academy is complicated, and so I don’t have the confidence to give you directions.」

「Is that so? Then please lead the way.」

Since showing the way to the principal’s office is the most efficient way to avoid her getting lost, I put ‘The History of Martial Arts 13048’ inside my bag and stood up.

Alma accepted my offer and the color of joy appeared on her face.

「Yay, we’ll go together with Alma-sama~」

「Whoops, you’re so hyper Seria.」

Alma stood up, and Seria immediately jumped at her happily.

Just as swift as before, Alma caught Seria and carried her with one arm.

Even for a human girl in her 20s or so to catch the little girl ⌈2⌋, despite the fact that she doesn’t weigh very much, would have been challenging for her to do with only one arm. Alma, however, caught her and shrug it off like it was nothing.

Observing her closely, there was a strong and vigorous layer of magic power enveloping Alma’s body.

I see, she doesn’t seem to be lacking on her meditation.

To think that I would unexpectedly peek into my disciple’s growth, I nodded happily.

Although it was the nodding face of a twelve years old boy–it was fortunate that no one had become suspicious.

「Well well, since everyone is here, let us prepare to go to the auditorium.」

After I’ve finished guiding Alma, I made my way to the class slowly. When I arrived, the teacher, Finlay McGovern, told us what to do for today.

Looking around the class, teacher’s expression remained calm. After a quick glance around, I noticed that most of the seats that were usually empty had boys sitting there today.

Fumu. That’s remind me, there’s supposed to be some kind of meeting today in the afternoon.

It wasn’t something that interested me and so I ended up forgetting about it. At any rate, it was some minor thing and I shouldn’t have forgotten about.

Today, children who recently turned twelve were gathered and were to be guided by the teacher.

Somehow, I was selected as the class’s representative and I will be walking right behind teacher Finlay, in front of my classmates.

Anyhow, as the class’s rep, I have to do my job and make sure that the other kids walk in a straight line and do not cause trouble.

「Teacher, everyone’s present.」

「Ah yes, thank you, Slava-kun. Shall we get going now? Alright everyone, come along.」

After I finished checking off for absences today, I reported to the teacher that no one is missing.

After receiving my report, teacher took a final look down the row, and began to walk.

It was like we were a bunch of ducklings. When I began to follow, the rest of the class, twenty kids followed after. ⌈3

Walking in single file, we were eventually merged together with other classes who were in the same age group, and steadily make our way to the academy’s impressive auditorium.

It is very safe here due to divine protection magics. Even if the heaven was to fall, no one inside would be harmed, or so teacher told us, but in reality, no one knows if that’s true.

In addition, there were many Elf sculptures here which were beautifully crafted.

When I was a human, I had the chance to visit this place but this time–I wondered if living as an elf affected my appreciations for the arts. Nothing to make a fuzz over, though I really do wonder.

When we were inside the auditorium, I took a seat in the area that our class was assigned to.

The auditorium had a very vast space that could hold several thousand people at once, in fact nearly half of it was already filled by the time we got here, and yet there were still plenty unoccupied seats.

So, I wonder what the topic of this assembly will be.

The principal was already standing on the stage doing some final checking.

The principal is an old elf that has grey hair and a white beard. There have been rumors that he had lived for a thousand years–for humans, he’s basically a walking fossil.

If possible I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible. Who knows, I might just get to my goal that much faster.

「Ahh, ahem. Can everyone hear me clearly?」

On the stage, the principal’s voice was projected to every corner of the auditorium with the help of magic stones called “Speakers” which were installed on the stage itself.

While I was busy being jealous of his blessed life, it seem that the rest of the student body had finished gathering.

The afternoon assembly was about to begin.

「Ufufu, it seem everybody heard me. All of you behaved yourselves considerably I see. Then, do you prefer this principal’s long story first or would you rather I get to the main topic of this assembly?」

While stroking his long beard, the old elf cheerfully spoke.

Oh dear, there are a lot of random stories the principal has to offer. Roughly, I recalled one hundred years ago, when I visited the academy, the stories from him took forever to finish. Back in those days, I could not find a good reason to refuse talking to him… even now I won’t be able to either. He’s an old elf who sought to study, while I am but a fool pursuing only strength. I probably won’t be able to take away anything from the stories anyway.

The principal’s decision is resolute and always wise no matter what.

For the children of this age, the naughty and impulsive. They won’t be able to take much from his stories either.

「Fumu, well then, please join us.」

Glancing away from the students, he stepped to the left side of the stage.

Since the left and right of the stage were designed for speakers to enter and exit, and so from the right, someone is going to enter the stage.

Now, who will be the honor guest?

Just as I was trying to guess who it might be, that someone made their appearance.

Swaying long, blue hair matching with elegant steps…

Not too long ago I saw the exact thing at a closer distance, now it’s just a little farther away!

….You’ve have got to be joking.

「Everyone, please welcome! Alma Shijima!」

「Thank you for the warm welcome.

….For those who don’t know, I am Alma Shijima. Starting today, I will be instructing martial arts to all of you, here at the academy.

–Through the use of martial arts, I hope to strengthen your mind through your body. It will be ten short years but I’m looking forward to teaching all of you.」

Immediately after, loud cheers started roaring in the auditorium.

‘For those who don’t know’—surely you jest. There’s probably no one here who wouldn’t know who you are.

Even if someone thought she was joking, they wouldn’t voice it.

….Moreover, teaching martial arts, huh.

….Ten years, I wonder if I can hide my identity for that long.

Under normal circumstances, it was already challenging to conceal my identity, now this…I let out a long sigh.



References


  1. She’s 12 years old 
  2. The little girl = Seria 
  3. TL: Yes, time to get to your lovely working place, the Sweat Shop. 

[Vol.1] Chapter 2: The World After The Void



I spent everyday living comfortably in the village and training myself. Before I knew it, I was already twelve years old.

Although there are slight differences between individuals, an elf’s mental age grows much slower during this time, and the elves consider it a big turning point during their lifetime.

♦ ♦ ♦

On the day of my twelfth birthday, we had a little celebration party for me, and that also marked the time when I started going to school full-time.

If I was a human, I would have already been going as early as four or five, at the latest would be at six years of age. But, this is the long-lived elven race. Among themselves, each individual has a very slow flow of time.

Anyway, I had my celebration for my twelfth birthday and arrived at a defining moment.

At this age, I am allowed to do a wide variety of things, but the most important one of them all is the fact that I could attend school.

The reason for that was because I had difficulty reading the alphabet and so I thought it would be fun to go to school, however…this is a school for elves so a part of me was extremely concerned──

「Uuu…after Slava parts with us it will be so lonely….

When you have long holiday breaks, be sure to remember to visit home!」

「You’re exaggerating. But yeah, I will try to come home as often as I can.」

「I beg you, Slava. If Mama stays depressed like this, eventually Papa will fall into depression as well.」

Of all things they could have said, those were their words on my first day of school, but the general curriculum required me to live in a dormitory so it couldn’t be helped.

Although, I am not the only person who is loved──I thought that while I tried to think of some way to express myself. The capabilities I held far exceeded those of someone of my generation.

I had all of the combined fighting experience in my past life while also having been effectively meditating ever since the first year when I was reborn.

For that, I gave myself plenty of self-praise. After all, I achieved such great power at the age of twelve.

Of course, there was no one who knew of this. Besides, this power shouldn’t be carelessly shown to others either. Therefore, in order to keep it a secret, I would need to devise some sort of training inside of the dormitory. At least the benefit gained from shadow dancing had decreased greatly, so it was alright to stop with that training.

….But still, it’ll only be two or three years.

It was pointless to mention time when speaking about the long-lived elves. For the period of three years, as someone who was more used to human standards, I found that to be very long.

Regardless, during this period I would be learning and studying at an academic standard, I could learn how to read. It felt awkward saying that when a dead person was now inside the body of a young boy, but everything was alright.

Two or three years──if I needed to endure only this much, I somehow needed to overcome the inconvenience of training, I thought to myself.

At any rate, during the final three years of my past life, I was unable to move my body very much. Compared to that, I felt like I could breeze through the same span of time with no problem.

Or so I thought, while feeling optimistic…

「Uhhu, but for ten years? Not being able to spend time with Slava for ten years…Papa isn’t going to get lonely?」

「Of course I’ll be lonely. But, if Slava grows up splendidly in these ten years, Papa can endure it.」

Although I suspected that my ears heard that wrong the first time──ten years. It is going to be ten years alright.

During the last three years, I almost went mad just having to restrain myself from fighting and now you tell me that I have to endure this for another decade?

For example, an elf lives approximately ten times longer than a human, so putting it in simple terms, the sense of time for a human living one year is equivalent to an elf living ten years.

But it doesn’t matter how slowly ten years pass by, my body that is of an elf would stay the same, but my human mind would deteriorate.

「I wonder…ten years is indeed very long.」

「My, my, Slava is going to feel lonely like Mama as well?

It’s all right. Compared to your future life, this is going to feel like a blink of an eye.」

Those words from father meant nothing more than that, because it is “just” a decade for an elf.

….Hmm, this is what you would call a “culture gap.”

Although, in my past life, I did not understand its meaning coming from the young people, but…after living among a different race, I was able to feel the distinct difference in culture.

「Well, everything is fine. Go on and have fun, experience and feel the numerous things out there.

Papa is rooting for you~」

The feeling of his support had been received and I didn’t get the feeling of “it’s somebody else’s problem” in his words.

I looked back with a bitter gaze. It would be a mistake if one was to say that no child would feel lonely when leaving their parents’ home. I let out a sigh without hiding it──

♦ ♦ ♦

Behind me, the other children’s chatters could be heard while I was reading a book.

Unlike the village of Altor where I lived, this place was crowded with children.

Due to their long-lived trait, the elves do not have a lot of children, thus I gave it some thought about why there were so many children here.

That should be it. It had taken me a little more than a day on horse carriage from my elven village to this place, Mirafia National Academy Arufareia.

This school must be where the elven children in the country of Mirafia gather and attend, I thought.

Just like what I had originally predicted, I was now within this kind of place. I could not act too hasty here so I chose to study the alphabet by reading books to improve my skill.

I still had difficulty reading up until this point, but for a child to be able to read at this age might be a little eerie.

Plus, up till this point, I had been stealthily reading books, but now I would be studying with my head held high. That much should be fine.

Well, but──during my past life, I loathed studying anything except for martial arts. However, this will only be for a short amount of time so I will not run away──

Since I am now in an environment where I have to study, with the exception of martial arts, this should surely be interesting. When I thought about all the things I’ve done throughout my entire life, I felt that there was nothing else to do but to give it my all.

Incidentally, the book which I was reading was about the recent history of martial arts.

…Well, it’s alright. Studying is very enjoyable, it can’t be help that I have to do something else beside martial arts.

「Slava-kun~, oh, are you reading a book?」

While I was reading a book under the sunlight shining between the leaves, I heard the voice of a girl.

I put away the bookmark in the middle of the pages and turned my head to the direction that the voice came from. There was a girl with hair of bright brown and a smile across her face. This girl approached me from behind.

Her age, in terms of human years, I would say, was no more than ten years.

A bright and friendly smile, it was a very girlish characteristic.

「Seria. …Umm, good day to you.」

In the academy where most students, who were strangers to one another, gathered, it was still possible for one to meet one or two of his friends every now and then.

For me, this girl named Seria was the first person I ever made friends with in this life.

Considering my behaviors and how I talked, it was understandable that it was hard for my classmates, the elves from the same generation as me, to approach me.

When I was in the midst of isolation, a single person proactively came and talked to me. It was this very girl who called out to me, her name was Seria Kufurun.

She is a very kind person, very cheerful and very popular among the kids. At first, I was very worried when such a bright person had came and spoke to me.

But before I realized it, I started to talk to her more often. Also, Seria—for someone at her age, was very bright minded. Well, a person’s way of maturing depended on the individual.

On top of that, due to her friendly nature, the other timid children in the class started to realise that I only know a little more than everybody else and they came to get along with me as well.

It was quite clear that my reply wasn’t going to keep this persistent fellow from coming over. On that day, we spent time talking and telling one another a few funny stories.

While the flow of time continued to pass slowly, our relationship progressed and we became the best of friends.

Whenever she talked about such things, the classmates also joined in without reservation, thus I was able to sail by my times as a student while also enjoying it.

…Each time the number of people surrounding me increased, I honestly didn’t feel bad for not training in martial arts.

「Ehehe~, may I sit next to you?」

「Oh, please sit. I wonder what you want from me today?」

「Nnn~ today’s a nice day. I think I want to spend it slowly with Slava-kun.」

Spending time with Seria is pleasant. As I recalled from the past, there was a time when I sat down like this and waited for time to pass by. How many years had passed since then, I wondered.

While I was thinking about the girl I considered as my own child, I got a feeling that I might already have a grandchild by this point.

I wondered what it would feel like to be playing with my grandchild. I wished that child would become a good natured person, unlike this bad shishou. I let out a bitter smile.

「Hey Slava-kun, what were you reading?」

When I was engulfed in calm thoughts, Seria casually broke the moment as she casted a glance at the book in my hand.

….Fumu. Although I was somewhat trying to hide the book….it is probably fine to show it to her.

As a side note, completely unknown to me, “Oji-chan” was what I came to be called. The senses of the children at this age were strangely sharp. However, it was not something I hated.

「This, it is a book that recorded the history of martial arts.

The people whom I hold in high esteem, I want to know what is written about them.」

With the bookmarked page still opened, I had to close it in order to show Seria the book’s cover. There, in plain text, the title of the book, “The History of Martial Arts 13048,” was written down.

The number, 13048, was from the calendar the elves used, which showed the latest version in years. In other words, this was the number of the current year. The history of the elves was much longer and more extensive compared to the human’s history which dated back a few thousand years. Only after buying this book was I able to understand the sheer amount of time.

「Martial Arts? Say, is it about Alma-sama’s feats and glory?」

Seria tilted her head and asked with a smile. I had a vision of seeing a question mark floating above of her.

….Alma-sama huh?

Alma, the God of Martial Arts, and also Slava, her master, these were the names of two people whom no one in this world didn’t know about.

I was not able to get there and the first place in martial arts was handed down. It was ridiculous to feel uneasy about the fact ── however, I felt anxious about my disciple, the name of Alma. While acting in accordance with my wishes, she took on the Shijima name and due to her devotion to me, she also left behind my name.

Just how many months, how many years did it take you, and what did you do after achieving all these feats──

I had asked father quite a few times over the years but the answer, which I got was in the years the elves used, was rather confusing.

Really, it stirred up my interest and I wanted to know about the details. I started to forget that Seria was there but recalled it after a few seconds.

Up to this point, there was never a chance for me to obtain my desired information from other people, so I tried to get to the point where I could read fairly well. The information I wanted to know are contained within the books. The price for knowledge was expensive.

I came by it a few years back and by saving up my pocket money, I was finally able to get my hand on “The History of Martial Arts 13048”…which is now in my hands.

「Ah, I do not know all that much about Alma-sama.

It is one of the reason why I decided to study this book.」

「For a person to not know of Alma-sama, how very rare.

Your name, Slava-kun, even though you bear the same name as the Shishou-sama of Alma-sama.」

That much I already knew, there was no use talking back so I let out a wry smile.

…After all, that was me. …Not a soul would believe it even if I was to talk about it. Everyone would roll their eyes and regard me as a strange child.

「Well, I want to continue reading this book, is that fine?」

「Mmm? Are you asking if I mind?

It’s alright! I’m happy by just spending time with Slava-kun!」

Just as I wondered when the flower was to bloom, Seria shows a cheerful smile across her face, and I opened the book to the page where I had left the bookmark.

The important names inside the book—they were.

Alma Shijima… I see, that child inherited the name Shijima after all.

Alma Shijima.

Is a martial artist who succeeded the Shijima style martial arts that was revived by Iwao Shijima.

Since she is an orphan in the first place, she was raised as an adopted child by Slava Shijima (Slava Weser). As they passed time together, she becomes attracted to her adoptive parent, Slava Shijima, figure and came to study Shijima Style.

The different approach to increase magical power combined with the superior martial arts enabled the Shijima style to take down many other martial art styles.

In the recent years, it welcomed lots of newcomers while also trying to promote themselves. Iwao Shijima had started opening tournaments in various places and started to promote the style in the name of the founder, the purpose of these were to promote and encourage the small boys and girls into learning the Shijima martial arts.

When I looked at the results of her records in official tournament matches and found not a single defeat, I felt very proud. There are many experts who consider her to be the strongest martial artist in history. (Side note, the author is one of them too.)

However, she openly declared and insisted that the strongest martial artist to have ever lived was her one and only master, Slava Shijima. Because of this reason, the experts also hold deep respect toward Slava Shijima.

Also ───

….Really, how successful was my daughter to be held in high regards even until now.

The little one whom I thought of as my own daughter, her growth completely exceeded my expectation by a great amount.

That child was serious, she followed my wish and must have learned the secret techniques of the Shijima style and kept it hidden.

I also forgot that Seria was watching again. Without hiding my smile, I continued to read the sentences.

Reading through the section where the sentences could only be labeled as overly praising, I could not help but let out grins—suddenly, something caught my eye and made me feel concerned.

「What is it? What’s wrong?」

Why was such an unpleasant thing recorded down? Yet.

Seria, next to me, asked me in worried voice.

I was not exactly displeased with it, however, one thing it brought to my mind were worries.

Regarding that, the answer can be found if I flip back to the previous page.

What concerned me was the overview of something written “in the recent years.”

With this kind of wording, it was as if she was still alive.

…If it’s like that. That means I am living in the same time period as the one person whom I thought I’d never see again, I’m so glad.

A legend is but a myth about things people cannot believe to be possible. For example, achieving something that is earth shatteringly or unheard of. I would feel the same about reincarnation if I hadn’t experienced it first hand──

Then like this, I might be able to get a glance at the face of my disciple who had attained greatness.

Such unexpected fortune. While I was terribly excited, I searched for a certain entry inside the book──

The current year was 13048. After doing the calculation, and if I got it all correct, the time of Alma’s birth was somewhere between 700 to 800 years ago, I could only say that it was expected for her, an elf, to have lived for that long.

After I found the (approx)year of her birth inside the book, I was full of joy.

12942~…following it was a stretched out line, which was not made of any numerical values. This meant that Alma was still alive.

This was a miracle, the heavens had allowed me an opportunity to witness the growth of my disciple with my own two eyes, I could not feel anything other than strong gratitude when I found out.

Based on her birth year, if I count backward it would be──

「Oh? That book──」

Looking at the book from over my head and Seria’s, a crystal clear and dignified voice came down toward us.

Long and beautiful blue hair that would make even the sea feel ashamed of itself. Eyes filled with gentleness but also containing a degree of sharp strictness.

This beauty could no longer be compared to any piece of artwork, it had transcended this world, I remembered who it was.

「Fufu, I feel a little embarrassed.

Seeing the book which was written about me, I have a slightly creepy feeling.」

Her face, it’s totally the same as the photograph which came with the book──

Although the age was overlapping, it was the unforgettable face belonging to my daughter. That, was right in front of me.

Alma Shijima. Records shown the year of birth was in 12956, still alive and well in the year 13048.

In other words, Alma right now is about 100 years old. Yet, she still possessed the appearance of a twenty years old human──

This world which I lived in now, since the time of my death, only about thirty years had passed.

Subjectively speaking, the deep and emotional farewell I had with my daughter felt very recent, but now that I had witnessed my beloved daughter’s unchanging pretty and well appearance, I gathered myself together.

Although I had a preconception about her already being an old woman, this was beyond my expectation. I was reborn into the time not far from where I left it.

…Maybe a little too short, but……what do I do?

Alma grew up to be a dignified woman. However, I can still envision the old her clinging to me and crying not too long ago──

It was as if an actor who had just declared retirement came back to the stage one or two days after ── while feeling it was quite an awkward moment, I opened my mouth widely.



References

  1. N/a

[Vol.1] Chapter 1: Five and Hundred Six Year Old Boy



In the depth of the forest.

Here, I was at the center of the serenity, meditating in the lotus position.

Meditation brings oneself to tranquility and integrates one with nature. Training to sense the surrounding life is the foundation of the Shijima style.

Legs crossed, bottom on the ground, in a meditative state. In this position, I can be one with nature.

Reaching out toward the lush grass, soon, I was able to feel its life energy.

My immature body was flowing with the torrents of life, gently mingling with nature’s magic, making it into a large, calm river.

Summing up the result of meditation since infancy, my magical power had already exceeded my past life. Honestly, the elves’ affinity with magic is frightening.

♦ ♦ ♦

By the time I could move around──at the age of five, I went out to the forest surrounding the village and finally started to train my body.

It was complicated but despite having the form of a mere child, I was already over a hundred years old. It was no use to be worried about that fact, and thus I came to accept living as a child….still, since there were things a child should not be able to do, I chose to mask my activities whenever I was allowed to go outside.

All I did was training in the meditative state every day. Naturally, in the last four years, I had yet to use ki, thus during that time, I grew incredibly impatient.

But that ends today!

From this point on, I would be able to train to my heart’s content!

To fulfill the mistake of Slava Weser, today marks the beginning of Slava Marshall’s life!

I reverted to my old self and gave into the fear of losing precious time for a few brief moments, nearly ten times as much as when I was a human.

But when I thought about reaching the top when I have enough strength and, as a master, I felt delighted. Such joy, even from my past life ── I had yet to feel such delightfulness within myself.

Tsk! While I was having those thoughts, the feeling of nature’s magic left my body abruptly.

Time isn’t a concern, but it was best not to get overly excited.

「…****, my mind was slightly disrupted.」

I looked at the green light as it leaves my body, I muttered.

For the spiritual power to scatter away while in the middle of meditation, tsk since when was I so careless. But this sense of immaturity, strangely enough, makes me feel comfortable.

By slowly circulating nature’s mana inside my body, I can absorb the mana into my existing Od. That was ultimately the goal when meditating. When done correctly, one will absolutely be able to increase their power.

The soul is what carries the mana, but the one energy I prefer over any other is the colorless Od. It is pure and the process of gathering it also brings no harm to the environment. Besides, the true nature of this training was to pursue and achieve Zen with this body, however, this mind of mine is that of a geezer, I can’t believe I got this overly excited. I think that was enough of that for the day, after all, my mind had already calmed down.

…No, even saying that I’m a geezer, I am currently a boy at the age of five.

Anyway, it was what it was. Let the training begin so I can move as I desire.

At any rate, it seems that I will only be able to meditate properly inside the house, now that my wish to be outside of the village was satisfied, I started moving toward my next goal.

If it’s here, as long as I don’t do anything flashy, no one will notice a thing. Thus, I will be able to train with all my energy.

It is best to restrain my mind from getting excited, no…rather, I’ll put even more enthusiasm into it, and thus, I began to concentrate.

Taking the magical power out from my body, nothing but the sky was in front of my eyes, I then imagined the shape of a man.

Then, in front of my eyes appeared a human-shaped figure just like myself.

….Strictly speaking, that figure resembled me in my past life.

It was made using magic and possesses no face, it doesn’t have any clothes nor does it resemble a human perfectly, but it can firmly be touched.

In addition, I was able to move that figure with my mind.

So… Since I had no equal partner to train with at the given time and it didn’t look like anyone possessing some skill was lining up──I was the only one with real martial art knowledge, so I guess I’ll have train against myself.

Needless to say, to sum it all up, training against my former self was the only option. There was no meaning if I didn’t surpass my past self.

However, that form is one that I spent several decades together with, there was some sense of attachment──it’s not all that strange──nevertheless holding back is a not an option.

Within the Shijima style, this was called mirage shadow dance. I dance with the silhouette, that is exactly what I was going to do.

In my past life, I was not able to move freely during the last three years before my death, and combining it with this life, it has been roughly eight years since I could freely move. With an opponent I knew everything about in front of me, I felt my passion for martial arts burst into flames.

「Here I go…」

The separated body of me did not talk back, I showed a slightly aggressive smile which I felt suitable for my age.

I bent my right arm and positioned it slightly in front of my face.

My left arm I stretched out to the front and kept it around waist height.

I have both of my palms open, this stance excel in defending against almost any technique.

I had decades of experience, and this is a basic stance of the Shijima style.

Then, I divided and used magic to create a separate body, the amount of magic I have left inside my body is just about half.

The same style, the same stance, we both have the same capabilities and therefore the same speed, so I decided to close the distance and maintaining the same stance──before long, as if the fuses connecting to the explosives had burnt out, both of us start to play.

The distance between me and my partner shortened in an instant──inside the forest, the sound of a violent blow echoed.

While avoiding the fist packed with enough power to pierce through an iron plate in the form of a punch, I took advantage of the force and redirected it at my shadow. However, I was not the only one to do so; my shadow start moving as well. All of my movements were read, so I rebuilt my stance and threw the shadow into the air.

The shadow regained its balance, and when it was about to land lightly on the ground, I moved in. Accelerating through the wind, this time around I fully grasped it, this was the shadow I had created with the image of what I imagined myself to have been in my prime──to see what the difference in ability would be, I allowed one blow to reach my body.

….Fumu, I see. Since this body is still immature, the strength in my body is lacking.

But, it can make sharp movements and its flexible maneuverability compensates for the lack of power.

I regained my stance after having taken the hard blow and gotten blown off, I then closed in hard against the shadow. Naturally, the figure that I was pulling the strings of approached me. The action of my shadow is most troubling as it aimed a kick at my torso.

But with my short build, I slipped my way just between the kicking leg and the ground. Using footwork and taking advantage of a small body, I simply wanted to try it but the result was better than I had expected.

The shadow’s leg remained in a swinging motion, and it was appropriate to call it an opening. I used the palm of my hand and struck in the opening and one can say that it was a fatal strike.

This strike drives magic power into the palm thus making it『Strong』it is a basic technique in the Shijima style. From the small body of a child, a fierce sound resounded in the forest, and the shadow was sent flying parallel to the ground.

….Ahh, there it is. The sound of fighting, the smell of the brawl.

It’s been so long since my last fight, an intense aura wrapped around me. A break just isn’t sufficient anymore.

The fist which I drove into that body, it felt really good!

My beaten up body, the sensation of aching and being in pain!

Gripping my finger and seeing my opponent in front of me, this is indeed the feeling from eight years ago.

I get the feeling of ecstasy despite being in pain, I suddenly get an illusion of awaking masochism as a fetish.

….No, it’s different. Without a doubt I am a martial artist, it is outrageous to say that I am a *********, if anything I would say that I’m more of a ******.

Anyway, if I was to forget the proper way of training, regaining what I lost would take me a great many years.

Beat and beaten, kicked and kicking, thrown and throwing.

Moreover, our abilities are exactly the same, this fight will take forever to finish.

After all, this is I fighting myself, I would continue to train here for now until I feel the presence of some villagers then I’ll stop──

「I’m home. Tosan, Kasan.」

「Ah! Welcome back Slava──what happened to your clothes?」

I went home, offered my greetings and was greeted back, but father shouted in surprise after seeing my dirty clothes.

Taking a look at my clothes, I saw that my clothes were torn here and there and certainly, I’m covered in mud.

…..They were wrecked. I had only taken care of the wounds on my body and healed them perfectly using magic, but I had completely forgotten about my clothing.

I’m so thoughtless for my age…..No, strictly speaking I am five today. But the sum of my actual age is 106, still it can’t be helped since today I was especially high spirited.

But I’m truly in deep trouble. How should I defend myself.

「Are you hurt!? Did you fall off somewhere!? You are not in pain anywhere!?」

Father, Aram Marshall, with his disheveled golden hair, quickly ran over to me.

In the elves’ society, men having long hair isn’t uncommon. And so it can easily get disheveled.

His youthful and slender body line is elegant, his long hair mysteriously suits him very well──let’s stop, I need to face this current situation.

「Yeah, uh, I fell somewhere.

I’m sorry, the clothes are all dirty…..I got them all dirty.」

I’m still unfamiliar with speaking in a boyish manner. My words were stammering.

….Although I’m slowly getting more accustomed to it, there is nothing more I can do but to bear with it.

After I said that, father’s face looked extremely painful and deep with concern.

Seeing that father had complete trust in my words, my heart sank and it pains me.

「I’m not injured. I’m not hurt anywhere either. But my clothes, they were tattered…. just a little.」

「Ohh, Slava!! Thank goodness…Papa is glad you’re safe. The clothes aren’t anywhere near as important as you are, they can be replaced. You are our one and only treasure, did anything dangerous happen to you?」

Father hugged me tightly and it felt almost as if I was in some sort of play. …This situation, I’m still not used to it. I felt a little shy, a little embarrassed, but it’s very warm.

The ways the elves go about expressing their feelings in their culture, there are times when I feel that they are somewhat exaggerated. I can understand that these are their true feelings since I’ve live in this society for five years, but in spite of that, I still feel a little crept out truthfully.

「…I’m very sorry. I’ll be more careful next time.」

I murmured my repentance, and father stopped hugging me, took his arms off and placed them onto my shoulders.

──Looking at Father, he looked like he’s in his twenties but that is incorrect, his real age might be in the hundreds. In fact, he might even exceed my actual age.

Looking straight forward, Father’s gaze and mine cross each other. My thoughts of regret might have been transmitted, and father let out a small smile.

Comparing a human lifespan to an elfs’, the speed of which one grows is very different. The appearance isn’t the only problem, it is also the mind as well.

For an elf, living a hundred years in human standards is only around twenty years. That is true for the appearance and so I think that their mind should be aging around the same speed as well.

…..Now that I possess this body, how envious humans must be.

The father I know remained unchanged these past few years. Nevertheless, as time passes, I continue to grow older and older inside.

「Alright Slava, as long as you understand everything is fine.

This time Papa will let it slide. But the next time you do something dangerous like this again, Papa will get very angry. Do you understand?」

「…Yes, I understand. I’ll be more careful next time.」

After the talk and we reached a mutual understanding, I disappeared into the back of the living room.

It was a little late but the gentle voice of my strict mother reached my ears.

…Oh no, despite calling out to me gently, this is going to be a little more troublesome than it sounds.

「Slava~? Did Mama not kindly ask you to please not do anything dangerous~?」

Coming out from the back of the living room, is my mother Malta Marshall who looks as worried as she is angry.

The next time when I go out to train, I’ll try not to trouble my parents too much.

While I had to sit and listen to my parent’s sermon after the incident, I secretly vowed to myself.



References

  1. N/a

[Vol.1] Boy and Girl



Warm sunlight poured down from above as the sun ascended higher up the sky. There was still a sense of coldness that lingered in the wind, and in front of me, a single girl stood.

The distance between us wasn’t far. If either one of us decided to step forward, the short distance would disappear in an instant.

However, neither I nor the girl moved. Although we still held the thought of landing a blow of the other’s body.

She was a pretty girl with shining red eyes, and skin as white as snow. We were about the same height, and she was around ten years old. Stealing a glance at her superb facial features, I thought she looked very lovely.

Well, let’s make it clear so there will be no misunderstanding. We were here to have a spar, and I have never met this girl until today.

Therefore, we are not in any intimate relationship. Although it was my intention that we are to become close friend someday—right now, we aren’t.

Then, this kind of relation——

「…Ahaha. Here I go, huff!」

Just as the wind calmed, it blew once again. The girl’s smile twisted into the shape of a crescent moon.

With an awfully joyful voice, and immediately following, the sound of damped ground, she rapidly approached me.

Restlessness overcame her because neither of us made a move. To gain some distance from the troublesome girl, I kicked against the ground and leapt my body away.

Despite having a slender figure, her kick exerted lots of force, as seen by how the soil on the earth, where she once stood, was blown away and what was left behind was a scooped spot.

Virtually all of the force exerted onto the ground had been converted into speed, and in an instant, the distance which was supposed to be around five meters was soon closed.

As the distance continued to shorten until where we could reach one another, I readied myself. The girl came at me with astonishing speed which normal humans could not perceive, all the while having a twisted smile.

At this moment, for the sake of “sparring,” the girl threw a left punch.

The wind roared for just an instant, yet had turned so sharp that it almost scratched my cheek.

The girl who disappeared into the sky reappeared before me with her fist extended and aiming for my face.

In front was the roaring wind followed by the fist creating the wind, I used my fists and put up a firm guard in front of my face, catching her fist at the center of my face.

The punch packed enough force to crush a skull of a bear, let alone an adult.

「Hahaha! Wonderful, you’re wonderful Slava-kun!」

The power in her slender arm could not possibly be one of a little girl.

Swallowing up the gentle wind, the deadly punch created a violent storm.

「Then, how about this!?」

At that time, it was like fighting against a storm.

One strike, two, then it increase to six. Within seconds, over ten consecutive strikes were dished out.

Each punch in the storm of punches possessed clear killing intent, and she consistently threw out punches with more than enough force to kill.

So, since this was supposed to be a spar, there was only one thing to do—fight back.

In terms of appearance, both of us looked around ten years old. In order to have a fight, I had come to face this girl named Cheryl.

To be more precise, in terms of age, I was twelve. Cheryl was fifteen. Both of us were elves blessed with long lives, and in any case, we looked younger than our actual age.

Confronted by such a girl, I was well aware of the consequences, however, I was still a dedicated martial artist. Given the situation, I intended to retaliate.

Observing each punch one by one, sometimes I dodged, while occasionally I had to neutralize and or parry the strike.

「It’s not broken, ahaha! It isn’t breaking! This is the first time, Slava-kun!」

In spite of being very young, the feeling behind Cheryl’s fists reflect that of —— a mentally unstable child.

For god’s sake, just how the hell was this girl raised. The child is innocent, but it is disturbing nevertheless.

The fists continued to fly at me as I thought to myself. For a brief moment, I sent a gaze at Cheryl’s acting foster parent, who was also her grandfather and my irresponsible old friend, and our gaze met.

On his face, I saw a familiar smirk, and couldn’t help but let out a sigh.

Good grief, even though it was never his hobby to meddle with others much less take care of a child, this time he really needs a scolding.

….Putting that aside, let wrap this up first.

Concentrating my thoughts into one, I calm my mind. It was as if a calm stream washed over and cleared my mind. With my mind cleared, I could perceive the world more closely.

Now I could see each of the violent punches slowly and clearly. I kept watching the flow of power and wondered to myself how much time had passed since I last experienced this.

This is going to be easy peasy.

Making up my mind, I pushed out my left hand and aimed for one of the incoming fists. Cheryl’s flow of power is like that of a muddy stream, but the punches kept on coming with the intent to kill regardless.

I didn’t dare to strike with the intent to kill, so as I pulled in her striking fist, I made use of it’s momentum and redirected it back at her.

Cheryl’s fist contained much more power than necessary, and so I pulled her entire body in—then, I used my foot to swipe Cheryl’s leg and gave her a punch. Just like that, Cheryl’s body was sent flying.

Time seemed to flow very slowly for me, but while in the process of demonstrating how strong I was, Cheryl was sent flying because of it.

After she flew back several meters, she finally crashed into the ground.

She was a girl with a small physique but she was sent flying and ultimately crashed at the speed beyond the limit of those with the same aspect. Despite crashing on relatively soft ground, it was still quite bad, and could be life threatening.

「Ahaha! As expected of Slava-kun. The sensation of pain, it’s been awhile.」

Right, she can no longer be labeled as someone “ordinary.” This girl, looks like my concern was wasted.

Cheryl stood up as if it was nothing, turned around and faced me while having a happy smile on her face.

Honestly, that jerk took a really great disciple. The image of Cheryl’s grandfather, someone who was undesirable but inseparable for her, floated through my mind, I then adjusted my stance.

…..Well, you may be wondering why I am fighting her, and I do intend to tell the whole story.

It’s an old story, and it might be a little too lengthy—anyway, this is a story about thirty years ago.



References

  1. N/a

[Vol.1] Prologue



A hundred years after being born. It is a very long time when one thinks about it.

Every time the undershirt was taken off, a body full of wrinkles was revealed, like crocodile skin.

…This body has become decrepit and ugly over the years, it is impossible to push it any further.

I thought, as I looked at my body full of wrinkles, reflected on the large mirror in the dojo.

Looking at it closely, this body seems as weak and thin as a dead tree branch, as many wrinkles mark the skin.

Born over a hundred years ago.

The time I’ve spent devoted to martial arts is almost equivalent to that.

This body has reached its limit after continuously pushing it to the extreme these past one hundred years, so there is nothing to complain about.

… Strongest, ha. It is a short lived and good-for-nothing dream shared by two people.

The days when this body can be pushed further no longer exist. Every day, this body was put to the test, receiving injuries far worse than regular wounds.

Layers of muscles obtained were all shriveled up, and the only thing that remains is this tattered body.

However, by wearing armor, my muscle strength increases. If technology was easier to understand and faster to attain with power than 「Martial Arts」, I would have aimed for it from the beginning.

「Ka, fu…」

I cough violently, from inside my parched body, I spit out blood.

A body over a hundred years old, lung hemorrhage is only fitting. I have already lost all strength to resist, as I was sitting straight ⌈1⌋, my body fell forward.

…I was diagnosed with a disease. It affects the lungs, and causes internal bleeding, it’s a rare disease that can cause death. There is a way to cure it, but it seems that this old body can no longer tolerate medical treatments. It is a disease not even a master can overcome. In a sense, I am a foolish and immature person.

In my final moments of life, I recalled what the doctor mentioned. In a place far far away, at the edge on this world, exists a place called 「Nihon」,which is the doctor’s birthplace, where treatment can be done, it is regrettable.

At that time, perfecting martial arts was more important than following the doctor’s advice regrettably, therefore accepting the result is normal. That’s right. I had fully understood that feeling.

「Fu, kukuku…」

On the contrary, this old man coughed out blood while letting out a laugh.

──While thinking about the past, I realized my life was only filled with regrets. I can’t help but to laugh at my own foolishness.

I devoted myself to「Martial Arts」, and thus, I did not take a wife nor have a child.

Without even taking care of my possessions, I continued to pursue my art.

To watch my disciple, who I view as my own daughter, attain greatness won’t be possible, for I am near death and about to die.

…But, such a thing does not matter.

Though I had been dedicating over a hundred years into martial arts, my greatness had yet to be seen. It is such a disappointment.

That master claimed to have set foot into the third stage. If so, how far have I came, second stage or perhaps first stage ──

Had I instead tried to understand the fundamentals of martial arts, rather than rely on strength, I could have had a little more time to train.

It is often said that regrets build up as one lives their life. Even if humans possessed longevity, my life would still be filled with regrets regardless.

Taking a wife is unnecessary, and so is having a child. Money is not needed, nothing is needed.

Therefore, heaven, I… I and martial arts. Give me more time to perfect my martial art.

I think I acted like a whining infant. But still, I wished for more time.

「──Ah~, Shishou!」

The dojo’s doors was violently forced open, and my beloved disciple rushed in.

Currently, I’ve fallen onto the floor and my tunic is smeared in blood.

She rushed over to me, and gently lifts my body, which is equivalent to a dead log.

Tears well up in her shaking eyes.

「Please don’t give up! Please don’t leave me, please, ah…!」

As if a dam had broken, large drops of tears overflow the little disciple’s eyes and drip down her face.

Each drop, as clear as water, falls onto my face and mixes with my blood.

Then, I was lightly poked by her tender index finger. I open my eyes as if awoken from a slumber.

「Shishou! It is me, it’s Alma-desu! Can you hear me clearly-desu!?」

My disciple─ Alma, her eyes focused on me, smiles as she continued to sobs.

Even if it is suppressed, the sound of weeping can still be made out─ I see, my head is being caressed, and I cannot move my body.

…When I was at the age of forty, I picked up a young girl without any relatives. By no means had I intended to spend so much time with her and develop a close relationship.

She was twelve years old at the time, and I should note that she is over seventy years old, yet she still has the face of a girl roughly around the age of seventeen or eighteen.

If humans were had metaplasia like this, then this shishou was surprised─ the reason was her outer appearance, the attire she was wearing is that of a little girl.

Compared to humans, Alma’s ears were long and pointy─ a distinctive feature of the Elven race which were blessed with long life.

Her appearance was that of a human child at the age of twelve, but despite looking like a twelve year old, her race’s growth is around ten times as slow as a human’s.

To consider the young child as my own daughter ── yareyare ⌈2⌋. An old man over a hundred and a little girl at eighteen, it would be better to consider both as grandfather and granddaughter.

「D-don’t… cry… Alma….

A-as someone who practices the Shijima style… you shed tears so easily.」

I was unable to move my hand, but somehow managed to utter a few words.

Then, a smile floats across her face and she suppresses her tears.

「You’re back-desu… Ah!」

Letting out a sound with happiness tinged in her trembling voice, she then noticed that I didn’t have much strength left.

….It may be better to die with no one weeping.

Some time ago, Alma desperately used magic to help me recover from the brink of death, and my life was prolonged as the result, allowing me to be able to speak normally.

However, my condition right now is like that of a flask full of holes. When her magic was poured into me, I felt as if it were being poured into a bottomless pit. Magic was originally meant to treat the wounded, thus the magic at which one can use to cheat death is non-existent in this world.

…This is something to be expected, my beloved pupil.

But, you will not be able to admit it. Alma, when I heard you calling me father, I was a little troubled. The truth was I felt a little happy, even if it was a little, I was glad you felt that way.

「It’s fine already…stop your magic.

Time has caught up with me.」

I finally mustered enough strength, thus moved my hand and placed it on top of Alma’s hand.

Although she felt relieved, Alma’s face was filled with cold despair.

“No….No-desu! Please, this is not the time, it is not yet time for you to give up! My training has yet to finish, please do not say such a selfish thing!”

Crying like a child, Alma refused to listen to my words.

…Her feelings, I understood it completely. I too broke out in a tantrum, and spoke the same things when my shishou died.

However, my feelings at that time, if I remembered correctly, I did not express them in words.

When my shishou died, I was able to accept the fact and follow his path to accumulate knowledge about 「Martial Arts」─ such feelings drove me to continue to live in this world at that time.

I continued to train, but all of it was useless. Come to think of it, when master was still alive, he/she devoted their entire life into practicing martial art─

…The outcome, it can easily be guessed.

I followed the same path and would die the same way. And if that is the case, then master and I may have experienced similar things.

…Aaa, the previous thought then surfaced, I won’t be able to witness my pupil’s future growth, as I thought, such a shame.

「Listen, Alma…These will be my last words to you. As a father, and as a teacher…will you listen?」

「─No, no, no, no…please don’t go, shishou…」

In the end, she finally broke down and cried.

Be at ease, Alma.

At least, I wanted to teach her my masteries… but it seems that I no longer have the chance to do so.

Coughing lightly, blood continued to spill out, but not as much as before.

My internal organs, they have already reached their limits. It would be unreasonable to push it any longer, this decrepit and ugly body. That much is true.

So little time remains. At the very least, I want to pass on that thing.

I waited for Alma to settle down. Even though I mentioned I wanted to leave something for her, it is not as important as it sounds.

The master passes on his technique to his pupil, to succeed the Shijima style, it is time to let the future generation to inherit the old legacy.

After a while, tears still flowing─ but it seems that Alma had calmed down a little bit.

…This child is strong. As this child’s master and father, I’m very proud.

Taking a small breath, I took out what I had arranged before hand.

The fire of life can perish unexpectedly, the Shijima is all I can give to you so forgive me, Alma.

「First, as your master, Slava Shijima

…Hold out your hand, Alma.」

While sniffing her nose, Alma did exactly as I said, and held out her hand.

While I felt my life continue to slip away from my body, I reach for a pocket in my pant.

One way or another, this day will mark my death. It seems that I was completely oblivious to this fact due to thinking of other, more important things.

「This is a key-desu?」

「Umu…Will you take over the dojo, and become a master, in my absence?」

「Do you mean…? Yes, I understand-desu.」

「This is…it is the key to unlock what is sealed in the back. What’s kept there…is the scroll containing all of Shijima style’s masteries. The things my master spoke of, written down and kept secret. There are only two who knew of its existence, were my master and I…」

I coughed out blood and inhaled air roughly.

There was little time remaining. I must make haste and pass down my words to this child as a father.

I desperately tried to breathe, and continued to speak.

「But, now, you are the third person.

…Alma, you must not carelessly tell anyone about the existence of this scroll.

When you have completely mastered everything in it, you shall be a full fledged master of the Shijima style.

…I entrust the Shijima style to you, Alma.」

「…Hai, I will accept it, shishou.」

「On that day, you shall be Alma Shijima….kuku…kuku…ka fu, ge fu!」

「Shishou!!」

Damn it. I can only hold on for so long, feeling like a tattered rag.

Coughing regularly, red drops of life continued to spill out.

Acute pain occurs every time I cough, I felt as if my lungs have been punctured.

Still, this old man wants to convey his thoughts.

「Then…From now, these will be the words of─ Slava Weser as a father…ahh…」

「Please, that’s enough already! You will really die-desu!」

Her usual cute voice was trembling, and she understood my condition well.

My one and only daughter, so I say. These past sixty years spent living together, the majority of the time I was not acting like a parent.

It was bad of me, only at the end did I act more like a fatherly figure.

I put my hand on top of Alma’s head shaking desperately.

I thought that I had long lost my arm strength─ but unexpectedly, humans sometime make miracles.

Without refusing my hand covered in blood, Alma realized this will be my last moment, she stayed silent and bit her lip.

「I had love. A wife and child I had none, but you were always the one showing me a bright smile, and to me that made you undeniably my daughter.

…You are blessed with long life. So, find a good man and give birth to a child. And, give that child lots of love and happiness.

So, I pray that my daughter can find her happiness─」

I finished speaking what I hoped for, and I felt at ease.

Drops of tears continued to shed from Alma’s eyes, but they seem to have stop for a brief moment.

…To the child who lost her parents, I am her foster parent. It is sad, but I was happy.

I pray my daughter will build a happy family, and will be able to live in peace.

I spoke what I wanted to. All my past regrets seem to have vanished, and I felt unexpectedly relieved and satisfied.

…However, new regret was also born. Speaking of happiness, maybe I should have marry. But then, Alma would not have been my child.

…Well then, this is fine.

「Shishou…? Shishou!!」

Alma’s voice slowly sounds further away. I felt warmth, then my consciousness faded farther and farther away.

Ah─

My regrets remained, but it was a good life.

At the same time, my hand slipped from Alma’s head, and my mind slipped into darkness.

…Hopefully, in the next life I want to live without regret.

♦ ♦ ♦

…That was supposed to be my last thought, but what the heck.

In front of my eyes, I see a figure of a man and woman.

Their facial features… long and pointy ears, these two are Elves.

Elves, they could possibly be the same as Alma─ in the first place, the Elf race lived their lives closed off from the outside world─ from my standpoint, I am not sure whether or not these two are Elves.

「Dear, do you see us now?」

「Ah, look here… I wonder if he understands you at this age?」

The two elves, laughed happily while looking at my face.

…This is strange. This man and woman, they laugh whenever I move.

I wondered if there is a baby next to me. So, I turn my head to get a glance.

However, I can see only bars made of wood. Given the soft sensation on my back, I determined that I was put to sleep on a bed.

…No no, wait just a second. This situation. In the first place, I was supposed to have died.

So, why am I lying down like this? What more, this bed, it is too small.

「Oh! He turns his head. Do you deny our words?」

「Dawa, you don’t like it. If so, mommy is sad.”」

「Haha, that’s right.」

This man and woman, they stare at each other and laugh.

….What, this uneasy feeling… Something is not right.

What the heck happened to me?

I took in various consideration, but my thoughts are all tangled and I couldn’t come up with an answer.

But at the same time, an undeniable answer surfaced in my mind, then a chill went down my spine.

「Hey, can I cuddle him?」

「Yes, that’s fine.」

In a state of utter bliss, two hands wrapped around both of my sides.

…Impossible, for someone who is at my age, I’m way too thin.

No, this is more than thin, rather… I’m too small!

「Yosh! It’s Papa~」

As it is, my body was soon lifted up without any struggle.

After being lifted, my eyes catch sight of the man in front of me clearly, this is papa, and those words were probably directed towards me.

No way, I─

「Ufufu, don’t forget Mama is here too.

Hey, Slava-chan? It’s Mama~」

…Suddenly, that name was uttered, and I stiffen up.

No way, having a body of a baby has to be a dream… but is it really a dream?

But it feel like reality rather than a dream. But for me to be in this small body─

「Hey, Slava, your name is Slava, it is the name of a respected martial artist who became a legend!

It’s the name of the sole person Alma-sama respects! You too will grow to become an honorable man~ Slava!」

──What now? Alma-sama?

Slava and Alma. That combination gives me a headache.

The answer I came up with a while now concerns me. Because my name was mentioned, this situation became absurd.

Perhaps, could I have possibly─ become the child of this couple!?

「N~, the shape of your ears much resemble your Mama. They are slim and beautiful.」

「Ara, his face resembles you though. I think our son, Slava, will surely be a lovely child.」

This scene unfolded before my eyes, there is nothing to deny it now.

I really want to insist about the fact that I died and this is only a dream but─ no matter how I look at it, it’s real and I can feel my consciousness.

Bah, if it’s like this.

I really, truly─ am this married couple’s son.

My life has ended, and I met death.

…But to think that Death had such an unexpected turn about.

The couple alternate between who holds me, while their faces are full of joy─ again and again, as accordance to a baby’s instinct─ I was attacked with drowsiness.

Here, maybe if I were to wake up here, I may wake in heaven.

But if, if this body was bred from this man and woman then─

This life, I will live it without regret.

I will travel across however many treacherous mountain passes that I must, becoming number one, I will climb to the top. I will firmly stand by this vow.



References


  1. Seiza 
  2. Literally: my my