|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3773 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1848 words|
Quite some time passed since the self-proclaimed heroes began appearing in the streets and people had also stopped showing much of a reaction to them by now. One day a group of adventurers visited the guild where I work.
“We heard there’s a training school or something like that near this guild. Where is it?”
Their party was composed of four people. They all looked around my age, in their early twenties, so it was a young party. There were one male and three females. Seeing he had been blessed more than twice that way, the other adventurers around the guild looked at him with envy.
The male had spoken to me, and he appeared to be the leader of the party. He was tall and had a well-built body. His body was covered with a showy armor that had many gold ornaments, it was hard to believe it was made for an actual battle. Dangling on his hip was a sword that was just as showy and ornamented as his armor. The straightforward way he asked that made it sound like he expected me to simply do as told without asking anything, which rubbed me the wrong way.
“The training school? Do you want to enroll there?”
“Like hell I want! Are you insinuating I still have a need for a place like that? I just heard that the people studying here are really good. I want to recruit anyone worthy enough into my party.”
I wanted to tell him that I had no way of knowing how strong he was, but I stopped myself. I just forced myself to smile. After all, being able to smile even to people one detests is the pride of a receptionist.
“Well you see, the training school is not a place that allows someone to go in and randomly hire people. Not only that, but the guild isn’t the only place funding it, half of it comes from Bordaule itself. If you do something sketchy you could easily get arrested.”
“Like I care! I’m a hero from Leble. I’m not like all those charlatans out there, I’m the real deal, no one would dare touch a hero like myself. After all, if you touch me then you’ll make yourself an enemy of the Empire of Leble.”
A hero from Leble… that sounded familiar. In these dangerous times with news about the Demon King being resurrected, it was common knowledge that many self-proclaimed heroes had started showing up. But there were some people who different countries had recognized as actual heroes.
As far as I knew, so far Lumielle had recognized one, Barius and Versis also had one respectively, and Leble had one too. Unfortunately enough, Bordaule still had not recognized anyone as a hero. But if this man was telling the truth, then one of the only four heroes in the continent had decided to visit our guild.
“If you’re from another country then wouldn’t that cause even more problems though? Depending on the nobles’ whims, it could easily escalate into an international conflict.”
“You complain about every little thing b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲. Just shut up and tell me where the training school is.”
“That’s right, you seem ignorant so let me tell you, heroes recognized by a country are given a certain amount of immunity. All countries agreed to this to make their job easier, so a measly guild receptionist like yourself should stop trying to get involved.”
The two girls standing at the man’s sides said that while looking down at me. Meanwhile, the man snickered like his point had just been proven. It pissed me off… I would meet arrogant adventurers every day in this line of work, but they never got on my nerves as much as he did.
The main difference between them and this party was that this party made it obvious what they thought of me. From their appearance and behavior, they definitely were nobility or something on a similar level. High nobility were raised being told that the common folk was their’s to do as they pleased, so acting this way was natural for them.
If Camille and Lapis were here, they probably would have burst laughing seeing my facial muscles twitching so much, I was self-aware enough to tell that was how my fake smile looked. As much as they annoyed me, if the country had given them temporary immunity then there was nothing I could do, I would do my job and tell them where the training school was, as long as they were gone from my sight as soon as possible.
“…I guess there’s no problem then. If you have permission from the country, then I’ll tell you where the training school is.”
“You should’ve done that from the beginning, instead of wasting our time like this.”
Twitch twitch twitch… I felt my mouth cramping. What was up with them?! Couldn’t they just talk in a way that doesn’t irritate others?!
“…My apologies. I’ll go bring the map real quick…”
“Hurry up. What a useless peasant…”
Twitch twitch twitch twitch! AHHHHHH! If I do not get a good massage before going to sleep, tomorrow will be a really interesting day. Spending all the self-control I could muster, I clearly showed them where the training school was and it was done. They left the guild and I plopped back into my chair. The adventurers around the guild looked at me with pitying looks, but I had no more strength left to do anything about those stares. I was too tired.
§ § §
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Ever since we moved into Lapis’ home, my skill with the sword improved so much it was on another level compared to before. It was all thanks to her. Whenever we were home, she would train us every day no matter how tired she was from work. Ciel and I knew well enough how much of a privilege that was, even if we never told anyone else about it.
Apparently, the training school in our city made the students improve unusually faster than any of the other schools. The number of instructors and types of installations might vary between the different places, but as far as numbers alone went, there was no reason for such a big difference. Which meant that Lapis had to be the reason why they could improve so quickly.
From her appearance, one would think she was better suited as a secluded princess holding a teacup elegantly, rather than holding a sword. Yet she is strong enough that she could take all the adventurers there at the same time. She is overwhelmingly strong, probably enough to destroy the entire city if she decided to be serious.
Her teaching is really famous now, and her schedule is packed for at least half a year more. But that was to be expected, after all, anyone who took one of her classes was assured to come out stronger than when they started. She was also known for being really strict, but everyone had already accepted that.
Ciel and I would get to train with her almost every day, for free, so our skills kept rising at a quick pace. She was the only reason why we had been able to hit silver rank just recently.
But surprisingly enough for her, now she is away from home. She mentioned something about a joint workshop of the guild or something like that, and that she was obliged to take part in it. They are going all the way to the capital, so she is going to be away from home for a while. I cannot slack off while she is gone, so I regularly go to the training school and spar with the students there every now and then. Meanwhile, Ciel joined a temporary party, so she is away from home just like Lapis.
“Oh well…Karin is strong as always!”
“I try my best after all! And my teacher is really good too.”
One of the adventurers who I regularly train with, Robert, said that as he wiped the sweat from his brow with a hand towel. He is a veteran adventurer who is about to turn thirty, and from what I heard he reached silver rank around two years ago.
His short close-cropped hair, of an almost white-silver color, is his most stand-out feature, while a large scar going through his face makes him look menacing, but in reality, he is very kind. Most of the people training in the school do not stay there for long, so students like Robert that keep going for around half a year are rare. He is well known for taking the same course time and time again, so he is a bit weird in that sense.
“When is your master, Lapis, coming back?”
“She’ll be staying over there for three days, so taking into account traveling times in around a week, I guess?”
“Ever since she left the number of students has decreased, you see. I hope she can come back soon.”
“She was reluctant to go herself. But I don’t want to disappoint her when she returns, so I have to keep training. Speaking of which, do you want to go for another round?”
“Hahahah, you’re really full of motivation. And I’ll obviously take you up on that offer.”
We smiled as we readied ourselves, sword in hand, keeping our bodies leaned down waiting to see who will strike first. We went for ten matches today, the score going seven wins and three losses for me, but in an actual fight even the best-trained soldier could fall because of a small mistake against a beginner, so I really kept thinking about our scores. If I wanted to get better, I would have to fight each match with all my senses ready.
As I breathed, I kept building a plan inside my head. Before I would just swing my sword mindlessly, but now I always thought about how my opponent would move, how I would counterattack if he moved first, and basically ran simulations on all the possible outcomes.
Once I predicted how Robert would move after my first attack, so I prepared to actually move when a commotion outside interrupted our match. We stood frozen for a moment before we dropped our swords, easing our nerves.
“…What is that?”
“I’m also curious. Some sort of fight maybe? Do you want to go check it out?”
There were many hot-headed people who went to the training school, just like in the guild, so fights breaking out was nothing out of the ordinary. There would be at least one every week. But this time the noise was a bit different. A crowd had formed out of the few students still attending, all of them complaining loudly.
“What are you thinking! Are you crazy hitting people like that?!”
“Who do you think you are! Speaking so self-importantly!”
“Someone call the guards! There are some crazy people going berserk here!”
“Someone do something!”
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