|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3340 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1552 words|
When we introduced Luvias to the students of the training school, they all welcomed her with open arms. Of course, we were aware that some people might plan something against her if they knew she was royalty, so she was not introduced as part of the royal family, but as a relative of Grom.
People would undoubtedly risk their lives to capture a princess and receive a grand ransom, but Grom was merely a count, and Luvias already knew how to fight to an extent, so this way no one would think kidnapping her to be worth it. Not to mention that if someone harmed a relative of the city’s governor, they would get exiled from the guild as well as the training school.
I already had a firm grasp of her skills after our sparring on the way back from the capital. She would be able to easily pass the beginner courses, and the middle ones would be…just doable by her. So the first exercise I subjected her to was training to build her physical strength. Once she was equipped for it, I let her join the other students and then applied the increased gravity to put them in an unending fight against a golem.
If she faltered with only that, then her passion for being a hero would be nothing but that, passion. But some minutes after the training started, minutes I used as a way to test her determination, Luvias showed she was more persistent than I imagined.
“Stand again! It’s coming for us!”
“I can’t…I can’t stand up…”
“You can, I know you can do it! You want to be strong, right? Don’t be a coward and give up so quickly!”
Rather than give up as I expected, she was handling the training surprisingly well, even encouraging the other students that wanted to stop training. She looked lively even after the training started. She was supposed to be under an effect that made even walking difficult, but her eyes were fixated on the golem as she pointed her sword at it.
When the golem’s attack reached her, she obviously was unable to evade and was sent flying, her face marred in blood as she rolled on the ground. Her face was swollen and many of her teeth had split apart, even the bones in her limbs were probably cracked.
Any student would normally pass out from that, and I would then heal them and drop them back into the fight, but she was different. She stood up with trembling feet, still conscious, her face contorting in pain as she picked her sword up and yelled while charging against the golem. She was sent flying again, obviously, and this time she actually passed out.
I was unable to hide my surprise as I healed her unconscious body. Considering she had been living as a princess, this had to be the first time she was wounded so badly. Even if she had been in mock battles in the castle, I doubt there was a knight foolish enough to wound a princess. But even then she endured the pain without complaining and picked her sword again. That was a very commendable trait to have, even while considering the adrenaline rush brought by a fight.
The first day alone she passed out more than twenty times. That was almost twice as much compared to the other students, but that was not due to her lack of skill, but because she insisted on standing in the front line, becoming a shield for the other students. Before then I always thought that her plan to become a hero candidate was simply a whim or a pastime of a princess, but I was simply worrying needlessly. She was serious about it, she really wanted to become a hero. It was still hard to tell if she would become one or not, but her will was definitely strong.
“Thank you very much!”
Bowing deeply to me, she left to return to the palace. As I saw her fade into the distance, I began thinking of how I should train her moving forward.
The next day I worked in the guild so I did not go to the training school. Luvias was unaware of that, so she went there first thing in the morning but was only greeted by my absence. But not letting things like that discourage her was her strongest talent, as she seeked the other instructors and attended their lectures to see if she could learn anything that way. She also participated in a few training matches against other adventurers. I heard all of that from one of my fellow instructors when I went to see how things were in the training school during my break.
“As far as willpower alone goes, she’s the best. Though her actual skills would place her around a silver rank. I’m very curious what kind of life she’ll lead.”
He was quite happy seeing the pupil I had gotten myself. From the looks of it, it would not take long before Luvias could tackle the advanced courses. After that…it would be time to group her with Karin and Ciel so she can get some real-world experience. It was going to take less time than I had thought.
“That’s if she can keep her current pace,”
It was almost impossible to find people who could maintain their initial momentum and determination until the end. As long as they could see themselves improving things go well, but when their development starts to plateau, or in other words when they begin to see their own limits, a person’s true mind would be tested. Whether Luvias would be able to break through the wall of her own talent and reach one step further depended solely on her.
§ § §
One day shortly after Luvias began her training, I was working in the guild when a man wandered into the guild and came to the counter. He wore a long hood, a sword dangled from his hips and he carried some form of bag on his back. There was dry mud sticking to his shoes, making it apparent he had worn them for a long time on his way here. It was impossible to see his eyes under the hood, but I could feel a strong, albeit exhausted, spirit on them.
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“Welcome. What can I help you with?”
A customer was a customer, no matter his appearance. As I spoke with my usual corporate smile, the man replied with a dark voice, filled with resentment.
“…I want someone killed. Can you put in a request?”
They were very rare, but every once in a while someone like him would come to the guild. People who thought that the guild, or rather adventurers could be hired as assassins. It was commonly known that adventurers would do anything for money, but there was obviously a limit to what they could do. The only times when an adventurer could kill someone was in an attempt to defend whoever hired them, in self-defense if someone else attacked them, or to hunt a criminal with a bounty on their head.
Obviously even when defending someone, a thorough investigation would be done on the requester to make sure they were not a criminal, or that they needed guarding to do something illegal. In other words, adventurers were just like regular people and could not kill someone simply because it was requested.
“I’m very sorry, but I can’t receive a request to kill someone. This isn’t an assassin’s guild.”
“…I’ll pay as much as needed.”
“That’s not the problem here. We simply don’t accept this type of requ-”
His sudden shout attracted everyone’s attention. Most of them were surprised and wanted to know what happened, while others had shining eyes having found something amusing, and another group looked worried. The reason why no one came to my aid was not because they were afraid, but they simply knew of my strength.
I could feel even some killing intent on the man’s gaze. That was nowhere near enough to make me waver, of course, but instead, it made me wonder what reason this man had to be so serious about this.
He did not seem to be under the influence of substances and trying to kill an imaginary person. I could not feel the odor particular to drug addicts coming from him, so that theory was out. He also seemed sane enough to not be some wicked criminal who enjoyed torturing people. Which left only one remaining option, he simply held a strong grudge against someone, who was too strong for him to take on. Normally, we would simply tell people like that to leave the guild, but his weird attitude made me too curious about it so I decided to ask his reasoning at least.
“It seems you have some sort of reason for that. I can’t promise we’ll take your request, but I’ll listen to your story at least. What do you say?”
“…Alright. I’ll tell you.”
We moved to another room and he finally appeared to calm down a notch. But the raging fire in his heart was still there, his eyes still sharp with hatred.