|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3758 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1865 words|
Many students stood sprawled with blood dripping out of their mouths and swelled faces, being nursed by other students. Four people who looked like adventurers stood in the middle of the crowd. The leader was a man with black hair, then there was a magician, a priest, and a warrior, all three of them women. They seemed completely unbothered by the cries around them, even smiling slightly.
“Eh? Ah, Karin. What happened you ask? We thought these people came to check the place, but when people approached them to ask what they wanted, they just hit them in return. When others came to restrain them, they were also hit.”
I approached a student I knew, and he told me exactly what happened there. Surprisingly enough, the leader of that group was apparently the official hero of Leble. Our training school had become so famous even people in other countries knew about it, so the hero had come to scout the instructor that had made that fame possible. It was easy to figure out they meant Lapis. But she is away in the capital, so the hero had come in vain, which led to him taking out his anger on the students.
Since the students were completely innocent, they obviously began to complain. I could not fault them, if I had been hit for a really stupid reason like that, I would be complaining too. Every time a fight broke out in the training school, it would never escalate past a shouting contest, it was rare to see blood. After all, they knew that all the students were either adventurers, soldiers or knights, who unlike regular people dedicated their lives to fighting, so if they used their strength recklessly they knew it could easily end with taking someone else’s life.
But these people’s first reaction was to hit whoever tried to complain. And the same went with those who tried to stop them. As unjustified as it was though, they obviously had some strength given that they knocked out students who trained every day with a single hit.
Their character aside, their strength was real. The other students realized that, so they resorted to shouting at them from a distance instead of confronting them directly. They knew they would be no match against that group. Fully aware of that, the hero grinned in an annoying way trying to provocate the students.
“We came here because they said this training school pumped out strong men after strong men, but when we get here what do we see? There’s no one strong here, only measly nobodies.”
“Who’s a nobody?!”
“Being all talk and no action is the definition of a nobody, isn’t it? If the students are like that, then that legendary instructor must be nothing important.”
There was a sudden change in the atmosphere. Everyone present was people who had noticed quick improvements after meeting Lapis. She was mostly known for being awfully strict, but they all were grateful from the bottom of their hearts. On top of that, she was our hero who saved the city. Not only had she defeated the leader of the monsters, the Lich, but she had also saved a lot of people with her healing magic. Insulting her was more offensive for them than being insulted themself.
Everyone reached out for their weapons instantly. At the same time, the hero’s party got ready to counterattack. If this continued, a lot of blood would be spilled… With everyone thinking that, I ran forward until I was in front of them.
“What’s up with you?”
The hero only turned a cold gaze at me after appearing so suddenly. I felt like I would get crushed by it, but after a deep breath, I glared back at him.
“I can’t ignore that you called our instructor weak. Apologize now.”
“I don’t want to. I don’t take orders from anyone. If you really want me to apologize, then force me to do it yourself.”
He was clearly the type to look down on others. Everyone there, him included, was convinced that I would refuse his provocation. My past self would have crawled back for sure, but I am different now. Ever since I met Lapis, I have been able to change.
I used to run away from any problems, but now I have grown used to bearing with difficult and unsparing situations, and I have completely quit drinking and gambling. I owed her for changing my cowardly self, and she was my really important friend as well. I will never forgive someone who insults her, even if he is a hero.
“If you want it that way.”
“…are you serious?”
A stir spread through the crowd when I unsheathed my sword. But the most shocked one was the hero himself, who had started all of this. He looked surprised at my sword, then unsheathed his as well.
“You’re quite valiant, but courage alone can’t do anything about a difference in strength.”
“Say that after you’ve beaten me.”
The students increased their distance, probably after feeling I was serious and the killing instinct I was releasing. His companions attempted to stay there, but the hero waved them away like they were dogs so they reluctantly walked away. A perfect circle formed around us, with me and him in the middle. With this distance, they probably will be safe from any accidental damage.
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“I give you permission to strike first, do it whenever you want.”
“Is that so…then I’ll take you up on that!”
He was completely underestimating me, but I began my first strike with all my might. I let some magic power flow through my body, though way less than a magician would be able to muster, and used it to strengthen my muscles as I leaped ahead, closing the distance between us in an instant. It was a practical use of magic Lapis taught me.
I swung my sword down aiming straight between his eyes. The hero was unprepared for that so evaded a moment too late, my blade crashing into his right shoulder and releasing sparks from his white armor. But hitting his shoulder armor was not enough to damage him. He scowled trying to put distance between us, but at the same time as my sword was at its lowest, I poured strength into my left foot against the ground and jumped following him.
“I won’t let you escape!”
I attempted to launch a second strike in mid-air, but he seemed unconcerned with his weird position as he parried it with his sword. His blade continued forward in a counterattack, grazing past my ear and slicing through a few hair strands. I knew I would be exposed to danger if I accepted his challenge. Channeling magic power to the palm of my hand, I struck his chest with it.
That should work. It was the armor breaker hybrid skill I had seen Lapis use. The theory behind it was somewhat complicated, but basically, it was an attack that ignored strong armor capable of deflecting regular blades and hits. I was trying to mimic it from what I saw, and it appeared to work as I got an unexpected hit as he relied solely on his armor’s protection.
The hero was blown away for a couple of meters. Now is the time to focus, I cannot let myself get caught in the moment. Lapis had also reminded me every day that I should never let my guard down until I had confirmed my opponent was dead.
I leaped once again towards the hero for the finishing blow. No one attempted to stop me. If I swing my sword horizontally, the hero will be unable to react in time from the position he is in, and I will be able to wreck his arm. He clicked his tongue seeing me approach head-on, desperately trying to block with his blade, but I was faster. When I thought I had him for sure, a strong blast hit me from behind and blew me away.
I rolled along the ground without knowing what had happened, feeling like I was about to pass out, but the pain in my back kept me conscious. W-what happened…?*
“That’s dirty! It was a one-on-one match!”
“Do you think attacking someone from behind is something a hero would do?!”
“Shame on you, shame on you!”
“Shut up you useless dirt!! I don’t remember saying it would be one-on-one! It’s her fault for leaving herself open!”
After his threats, the students stepped back. A hit on my back? It seemed like I had just received a foul hit on my back and was blown away. I never expected an attack from that direction, so I did not even think about dodging. The pain on my back was sharp. From the way my hair curled up I figured it was some sort of flame magic attack. If my body was not strengthened with magic, I would be riddled with life-threatening wounds by now. What were they thinking doing that even though it was not a match to the death…?!
“Hoh, you can stand. That’s commendable.”
He speaks so self-importantly. Such a coward, he gets help through a surprise attack from his companions and acts so proudly. I would never want to lose against such a coward even if it cost me my life! If I could use all the skills I learned so far, I would definitely win…! If I was in better health I would curse at him until my voice broke, but now breathing was enough to make a sharp pain run through my body. I attempted to use the sword I barely held on to as a cane to prop myself up and glare at him, but my eyes refused to focus.
Seeing me like this, the hero swung his sword down mercilessly. The sound of a blade cutting through air is one I hear every time I train, so my body instinctively moved to dodge and lifted my sword up, but it was easily blown away. The next moment, a disgusting noise came from my clavicle as it was smashed. Without support to hold my sword, my body fell to the ground. The only reason why I had been able to stand for a moment was the hero’s attack.
“Wow, you still won’t cry. But what if I do this!”
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Next my arm, then my leg bones were broken. I was so frustrated! I was unable to do anything! But I refuse to make any noise. I will never let myself be seen in a way he would enjoy! My attitude pissed him off even more, so he kept smashing any intact place on my body with his sword.
“What a stubborn b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲! Why don’t you just give up!”
“F…f̲u̲c̲k̲ yourself…s̲h̲i̲t̲t̲y b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲…”
Completely enraged, he lifted his sword and dealt the strongest blow to my body until then. A floating sensation filled my body before my consciousness fell into darkness.
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