「…..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.
「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.
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.
「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.
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.」
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 shitty 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.