|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3149 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1408 words|
Ciel and Sorciere went to a room together, and after some time Sorciere came out alone, like nothing had happened.
“Umm… Where is Ciel..?”
“She’s started her training. The rest of you should start training too. Follow me.”
She spoke with assertiveness, not giving room for complaints, so we just looked at each other and walked after her. We only rarely saw this city, so we walked while looking around nervously. Sorciere took us to a clearing in the forest near the city’s entrance. There she turned around to face us, and struck the ground with the staff she held.
“I’m sure you’re already painfully aware of this by now, but you still have a severe lack of power. Your fights with demons will only get worse from now on, and as you are you’ll die eight or nine times out of ten.”
Being made aware of that truth once again, we could only hang our heads in shame. When we fought against the emperor Compounded with a Demon King, Leble the Fifth, I had been scared down to my core. I felt more despair and fear than the first time I fought to the death with an enemy, I really thought I was going to die. But Sorciere did not pay any attention to our reaction, pressing her staff onto the ground more as she continued talking.
“At this rate you’ll all die. So, what’s your solution?”
She pointed at Luvias saying that. Luvias’ eyes opened wide, being singled out like that, but she replied with a firm voice.
“…We’ll get stronger. Stronger than ever before.”
“Correct. That’s your only option if you want to survive.”
Sorciere smiled and nodded multiple times, seemingly very pleased with that answer. But our faces were still bitter. We had to become stronger…we already knew that, even if she did not point it out. We endured such strenuous training in Dragon’s Nest, we thought we had become far stronger than any other warrior or magician out there, but these were our results. We risked our lives training like that, and we still failed, it was almost like we had no talent after all. Was there really anything that could change by training more? As we started mumbling such things, Sorciere’s mood seemed to change almost instantly.
“Stop grumbling and making excuses! This is no time to complain and cry, you need to face your own reality. As Lapis’ former comrade, I can’t stand watching her have to carry all of you wherever you go. If you want to be the hero’s comrades, then don’t stand behind her, but fight alongside her.”
Rather than helping Lapis, we were becoming baggage for her. There was nothing we could say back when confronted so directly. She was right… If we had been stronger, Lapis would have never had to push herself so hard.
“I understand. I’ll do everything in my power to become strong enough so I don’t hold Lapis back!”
“Me too. Master had to carry a heavy burden because of us. I don’t want this to happen again. I can also tell that the demons are already on the move while we just grumble here. We need to become stronger as fast as possible.”
“I also want to become stronger. I want to keep being Lapis’ friend, and I want to protect Zelvis.”
Hearing each of our responses, Sorciere grinned happily.
“Good. If you kept complaining I wouldn’t have let you leave the city again. But it’s easier this way.”
We all went pale hearing that. We knew what kind of person Sorciere was, so she truly meant that. That was a really close one, but luckily we gave a good answer.
“Either way, let’s get training then. Though it’s nothing complicated, all you have to do is fight my golems.”
As she said that, Sorciere channeled mana into the staff she held on the ground. Mounts of dirt seemed to swell up almost instantly, three golems shaped like warriors forming in front of us.
“Golems..? These are golems?”
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Diaria muttered in a daze. Luvias and I remained silent, but we shared that feeling. The three warriors standing in front of us looked so detailed and life-like that it was hard to believe they were made of dirt. Their skin tone was clearly off, but that was only obvious when examining them from close-up. Otherwise they were so detailed they looked like human warriors.
Those golems seemed to wear thick armor, a shield on their left hand, and a double edged battle-axe on the right. Their heads were protected by a helmet that stretched down along their cheeks. Their gaze was sharp and cold, almost emotionless. They were around 180cm tall. I had seen many warriors who were even taller than them in the past, but the pressure I felt from the golems made them seem far bigger. I felt a cold sweat forming on my back looking at them, even though they were just golems made of dirt.
“Umm, exactly what are these golems?”
Luvias’ eyes were focused on the golems, not lowering her guard, as she asked that. Sorciere replied calmly, but her words were unbelievable.
“I’ve based these golems off Baradero. A warrior that traveled together with me and Brave. He was a specialist in close-quarters combat, so it’ll be the perfect training partner for you.”
Baradero…that Baradero?! He was part of Brave’s Hero’s Party that saved the world, their frontliner also known as the strongest warrior. A legend known for standing like a sturdy wall protecting the party from the attacks of monsters. I never thought I would see him, not even in golem form.
“He might seem cold and evil as a golem, but he was actually a really nice guy so please don’t get the wrong idea. The golems are also far weaker than the real person, so don’t worry about that. And oh right…”
Sorciere suddenly whistled, which made a werewolf come from somewhere carrying a large box. There was a sloshing sound as he placed the box on the ground, it was filled with a lot of bottles with some mysterious liquid in them.
“These are special potions I made. They can easily heal severe wounds, so don’t be afraid of getting hurt. I’ve told the golems to pour the potions onto you if you’re incapacitated. Alright then, you may start now.”
She said that completely out of the blue. We instinctively grabbed our weapons to be ready, but the golems were much faster, instantly appearing right in front of us.
“That’s too fas-”
I felt a strong impact, and then realized I was in mid-air. Another attack was coming! I quickly reaffirmed my grip on my sword, which I almost let go, and somehow fixed my posture to land. At the same time, the golem rushed a second attack.
I tried to block the axe with my sword, but I could not keep it still. The golem was far stronger than me, I could not win with strength alone. I decided it was best to jump back and think of a plan to counterattack, but before I could put any strength into my feet, the golem’s shield struck my face.
§ § §
“Oh, that was faster than I expected.”
It took around twenty seconds before they had all passed out. Their bodies were covered in blood and no longer moved, so the golems began pouring the potions onto them. They would probably be back on their feet soon enough. Still, I could not help sighing at that sight.
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Brave…Lapis had been too lenient. She has a really gentle personality, so maybe she did not even realize she was not being strict enough with her friends. But that was not good, if they kept training that way, they would die the moment they fought a powerful demon. They would never get strong enough unless they faced death and surpassed it time and time again, otherwise rather than helping they would become a burden on Lapis. I did not care about becoming a fiend, even if they hated me after this, I had to make sure they became strong enough.
“…Please show me you’re worth this. She chose all of you after all.”
I turned around and left as I realized I was getting slightly jealous of them, being able to travel together with Lapis.