Chapter 19 ~ Boot Camp Complete
Next day. The second day of the Boot Camp for Will is finished, and now it’s my time for training. It was when I was taking my armor out from the Item Box that Will came and approached me.
“What are you doing, Aniki?”
Will still has that cheerful face. Looks like he has some energy left with him, even though he looks like he is dying during this second day. No, more like every day.
“I’m going to train my sword. From now on I’m going to practice with Sergeant-dono.”
Today shouldn’t turn out as a disaster like yesterday. With my remaining points, I’ve increase my Evasion from level 3 to 4, also activated Mind Eye. Although Sergeant-dono might get suspicious on my sudden power up, I can’t do anything about that since my life is at stake here. There’s no way I’m going to pull any punches.
“Can I see it?”
“Aren’t you going to have dinner soon? You won’t be able to replenish your physical energy properly unless you eat.”
“I don’t mind. He can watch as an educational session. Just get yourself prepared, Masaru.”
“Sir! Thank you very much, sir!”
Will immediately salute’s Sergeant-dono. I guess that’s the effect that comes from the slave collar, it’s effective even though it’s just the second day.
“Are you seriously going to fight Sergeant-dono? He looks like he is too old for it.”
Will asked while Sergeant-dono went off towards the dormitory.
“For your information, he is hell a lot strong. When he is still a swordsman in his younger days, apparently he was the second strongest in the world.”
I told him while wearing my equipment.
“He was the Sword Saint’s disciple. He claimed to be weaker now that he has retired from the front line, but he still makes a strong opponent.”
“By Sword Saint you mean that Sword Sage?” (Tr:I don’t know what’s the difference between 聖 and 聖っす)
“How many Sword Saint exists out there?”
“That’s not it. The only Sword Saint is Balnabash Hayda.”
“Well the name of the Sword Saint doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to die first if I don’t hold up well against Sergeant-dono who is in front of me.”
Can I really hold up against the former world second? Thinking about it making my stomach churn.
“Are you really going train?”
“Won’t you die?”
“I’m going to be continuously be dying. It hurts to the point of dying even though I’m not dead.”
My brain is full with the desire to escape, but if I don’t hone my skills now, it’ll be like I’m going to my own death. This is not time to take it easy anymore.
“Do your best, Aniki……”
It’s kinda sad that this is the only cheering that I’ve got. Since only people involve in this training course is allowed to enter, Sati is waiting outside today as well.
“Are you ready?”
While making the final check on my equipment in front of Will, Sergeant-dono came and ask.
“Yes. I’m in your care.”
Sergeant-dono’s attack is at an extreme level. Each of his slashes is full with killing intent. The clashes of our swords resonate within the training ground. Obviously, his attack is fiercer than yesterday.
But here the higher Evasion and Mind Eye skills are proven to be useful. Somehow, I manage to evade Sergeant-dono attacks.
If it continues like this, I think I won’t die today.
“Your movement is much better than yesterday. I’m surprised.”
Once we’re at a distance, Sergeant told me so.
“I’m sorry for not meeting your expectation yesterday.”
“Then, let’s raise our pace for today. This will turn out to be a good training.”
Seems like I’m going to die today too.
“Um, Aniki……are you okay?”
Looking at me who is sprawled over on the ground full with dust and stains, Will asked, worriedly.
“He’ll be fine. Quite a disappointing performance though.”
“You didn’t miss the vital point!?”
“Sergeant-dono won’t hold back on me.”
The moment I nearly get caught with the deadly attack, I need to force out more strength at the moment of contact. If I don’t then I’ll get the full brunt. The difference in our abilities are clear. It’s big enough gap to not be filled by Evasion and Mind Eye alone.
I’m forced to heal myself up many times. Even my plate has become worn out after taking many hits from Sergeant-dono. At this rate, I need to send it for repair again.
“That armor is pretty beat up.”
Sergeant-dono said so while looking at the dent made on the half plate armor.
“Seems like it. I’m afraid I need to order a new set.”
This armor is still repairable, but it’s already torn up here and there and there is some improvement that I would like to add too.
“If that’s the case, tomorrow you’re going to train without wearing an armor. If you depended on armor too much, I’m sure it’ll turn into a bad habit.”
“That, if it’s like that then is there any possibility that for the training to be less painful?”
Although each hit from the iron sword lands on the armor, it’s still hurt. In fact, it hurts a lot. It feels like my consciousness is going to fly anytime. But I never once faint and always get up. Perhaps Sergeant-dono is adjusting whenever is necessary.
“This is the best method. Do you want to have a go again? I still have time to spare.”
There are many ways to train if the given time is about half a year or a whole year. Since there is only a week, the training is forced to be a real combat mode. Still, to continue training without armor is still too much.
“Nothing to worry. If I get a little rough then you can always heal it with Recovery Magic.”
It still hurts, Sergeant-dono. Although the wounds heal, it may leave a permanent scar on my memory.
“If it doesn’t hurt, you won’t remember it.”
Ann also said something like that before. Is that a saying in this world or something?
“That’s the word from Sword Saint, Aniki.”
Seriously……he said he is going to introduce us later, but it seems that its better I don’t go.
“Will. You’re going to start sword training starting tomorrow. Be prepared.”
“Sir, yes sir!”
Let’s do our best, Will……
Third day. Will and the other trainees are busy swinging their swords while shouting. All the healers present wore a tired face.
“It’s still early but do you want me to take over?”
“I’m sorry. Somehow there are many injured today.”
While chatting, another person fell, indicating that Sergeant-dono won.
“Counting on you.”
Since they’re wearing proper gears, the injury is only in the form of scratches. A Heal should be enough.
“Alright, you’re recovered. Stand!”
“Sir! Yes sir!”
The trainee stands and return to the standby location.
“Instructor Vauct is more enthusiastic than usual. There are much more participant’s so he is being serious.”
That is not what I’m bothered about at all. Today there is no armor for me. Won’t we be using wooden sword at least? I guess he won’t allow it. I can’t stop thinking about how much it will hurt for me today.
Afterwards, the spectators are increasing during my special training. Most of the participant for beginner training are here.
“After I talk about yesterday, everyone wants to watch you guys. We have the permission from Sergeant-dono.”
I wonder if they’ve much free time because they’re trapped in dormitory. When it was during my time I can never afford to do something like this.
“I don’t think it’s something fun to watch.”
It will end up me getting knock down by Sergeant-dono again and again. I guess I’m going to get it a lot this time as well.
“It is part of training to see people’s fighting as well.”
“I don’t mind if that’s the case.”
Sergeant-dono enters with a sword on his hand. I can’t get agitated by the audiences today. If I don’t concentrate, I’m going to die. I don’t have my armor now. I’m dead.
“Are you ready?”
But just like always, my heart is not ready.
However, he won’t wait even if I asked for it, so I just steel my resolution and prepare my sword. I still have my helmet for the worst, but without proper armor this is like no armor at all.
“You afraid? But nothing good will come out even if you sit still.”
That’s quite an extreme comment. I’m feeling quite conscious of the trainees watching me. What he said is true, I’m indeed scared. I’m concerned with the beginner adventurers present here.
After steeling myself, I activate the Stealthy Step and quickly attack him from his right. Usually, an ordinary guy won’t even notice when I do this. Of course, this means nothing against Sergeant-dono. I’m just afraid to attack him from the front.
In order to keep myself from stopping, I’m going to continue attacking him continuously while moving. Sergeant-dono has a bad leg. If I use a hit and run strategy, then he’ll have difficulties dealing on it.
But that is quite naïve of me. He managed to close the distance whenever I move. I can’t attack continuously, so it quickly becomes a defensive battle. He told us how he has bad foot and there is no problem if it’s just walking. But now even if I try to escape at full speed, he never has problem to close the gap.
And finally, I receive a blow on my exposed shoulder.
I get on my knees because it’s too painful. I have a bad feeling about my bones. My voice becomes hoarse due to the extreme pain. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts.
“You can use Recovery Magic during our fight. Now, heal yourself.”
Although I’ve received permission from Sergeant-dono, right now I’m incapable of concentrating due to the extreme pain. My magic power just won’t gather. The blood is gushing out and my face is filled with sweats even though it’s still in winter.
“What. Don’t you want to get stronger? Do you think the monster will wait for you? Stand up!”
Easy for you to say. Still, there is no way I can escape if I don’t recover from this pain. I take a deep breath and concentrate my consciousness for gathering the magic powerーーーーthough a bit, there are some magic power gathered.
【Heal（small） 】invoked. All right. One more time. 【Heal（small） 】invoked. 【Heal（small） 】invoked. The pain is starting to subside.
I don’t use Small Heal much after learning normal Heal. Who wonders it’s useful in situation like this.
I feel really bad for thinking that it’s not useful. I continue healing my wound.
I move my shoulder around. The pain has ceased.
I stand up and opposed Sergeant-dono. Still, I don’t have a breakthrough solution yet. It’s frustrating to think that I need to endure it again.
“Sergeant-dono……whatever I do, I just can’t win.”
“You can only continue fighting if you can’t escape. If you don’t give up, then a miracle might occur.”
That might not apply for the current situation.
A difficulty that will require a miracle……I’ll just give up. I’m going to try not dying at this training at least. This looks like its way beyond normal standard, but it’s still a training. Get injured, and I can at least heal myself.
Alright, everything is fine. I can do it. It’s not scary. I’m not scared at all!
It was after I rolled on the ground for the fourth time that Sergeant-dono give a sign to stop. Armor is seriously great. Let’s appreciate whoever created it.
After applying Recovery Magic, I continue sitting on the ground because I’ve no stamina any more to stand up. The first and second day of this Special Training feels lukewarm compared to today.
“A-are you okay, Aniki?”
“I’m mostly fine. I just need a short break.”
I wonder if I’ll just create a Golem and ride it back home. Ah, I don’t have any motivation to use magic now though.
“If it’s too hard then why don’t you asked for an easier one? Or, is today the last one?”
“……no, please keep it like this until the end.”
Although it’s an attractive offer, the current atmosphere won’t let me say that. When I replied to Sergeant-dono seriously, Will and the other trainees makes a meek face. It’s a face as if asking me for help.
No way, I can’t do that. I can’t let Sergeant-dono disappointed.
“Well said. For the next three days, we’re going to continue training like this.”
I muster my willpower up. I clean up my body which is stained by dirt and blood, then I cast Heal again. Sati is probably hungry again today, and everyone should already be waiting for me at home with the dinner ready. The wounds are healed, but the fatigue remains. My heart is still beating so hard, and my feet is all wobbly, but I can never show this side to Will.
“Please take care of me again, Sergeant-dono.”
I lowered my head to Sergeant-dono and leave the training ground.
I pick up Sati who is waiting for me and went back home.
Sati hand to hand combat training seems to do well. The instructors have a philosophy of praising her continuously, unlike mine. I’m thinking of switching over there, but their prepared ‘Hard Menu’ for me is turning me off. I guess this is what people call fate. Anyways, the special training is for more days and after that we’ll continue our adventurer.
All that’s left is to hang on my dear life for these coming 3 days……
“Masaru, why are you less lively?”
After having plenty of fun that night, Tilika asked me while we’re cuddling. I tell her the event that’s happening since day one. Then I told her about me not allowed to wear armor during training anymore. I never told them earlier because I don’t want to make them worried.
“I’ve used up quite some energy during today’s training.”
I’m injured both physically and mentally. Thanks to Recovery Magic I still have some shot in me though.
“No, that is quite……”
There is no use lying to an Evil Eye user like Tilika. When I think about it, Tilika is older than Ann, so she might have richer social experience than myself. I wonder if it’s okay to let her spoil me.
I tell her everything including the state of the training where I felt like dying every time. Hearing Tilika’s comforting word, I regained back my spirit to continue fighting.
This world is too dangerous since the destruction of it was set. A slight amount of carelessness in my planning may threatens the life of my wives as well as my own life. That’s why severe training and pain is fine by me.
No, sorry. That is a lie. Sergeant-dono special training is terribly hard. I’ve thought of running away.
While enjoying Tilika soft body on the bed, I think about how I’m going to pull a bit more effort for these kids.
Special training, fourth day.
I rack my brain hard thinking about how I can defend myself. Sergeant-dono is aged, he must be tired from conducting the beginner training for every day. Speaking about myself, I don’t do anything much except for the special training with Sergeant-dono.
This is a same scenario with the previous Nania-san. Attention to the details. Push the staminaーー
ーーthe amount of people who got knocked down today is more than yesterday. They’re already turned into a rag. I’m worried about Will.
To get worried about other people, must be nice if I can afford it ……
Special training, fifth day.
I just can’t get it right. I can’t defend. I can‘t attack. I can’t risk it.
What should I do? Sergeant-dono keep n saying ‘Stand!’ to me. I heal myself, and then resume the training. The battle continues right after I stand up. I don’t have time to recover my breathing, much less to think.
I decided to take some break while pretending that I can’t stand up, but then he start launching his attacks. There is no mercy at all.
Rise up when I fall, hold the sword again and face against Sergeant-dono. It’s just like the beginner training all over again. Moreover, I need to apply the Recovery Magic on my own. Like this, I think it’s harder than during the beginner training.
It really is.
“Today we end it here.”
My knees collapsed after I heard the word from Sergeant-dono.
“A-aniki, are you okay!?”
“Does it look like I’m okay?”
His head must have some problem if he thinks I’m okay. Though, Will is genuinely worried for me. I’ll let it go this time.
“Nah, I’m sorry. It’s all fine. You’re just a worry-wart. Go back to the dormitory and get some rest.”
“If Aniki said so……”
“My recovery Magic is flawless. Even the scars will get completely healed.”
That’s why it doesn’t hurt anymore. I’m just a bit tired. It’s fine for my flesh or bones to get torn, because I still can heal them. I must never let the pain to cloud my mind. I must not get wrapped in fear. I have to fight.
“Isn’t Aniki a mage-type? It’s not necessary to have this kind of training……”
“Listen, Will. An actual battle won’t be like this.”
It’s a training without any risk of dying even though it’s painful enough for you to wish you died. This is just a training. An actual battle is far more horrible. Though I’ve never met such a horrible opponent like Sergeant-dono yet.
I regained back my energy after talking to Will for a while. I get up, cleanse myself, and apply Heal.
Tomorrow is the last day. I’m finally going to be released from this hellish special training.
Comes the sixth day, the last day of special training.
Today Will is here as well. I got beat up every day so now I could not care less about spectators.
It’s useless to think about it now.
But, regardless of my desire to impress them, I just want to win against Sergeant-dono just once.
I’m going to leave the town the day after tomorrow and stay the rest of the winter at Nania-sans place. At that time, I won’t have any more time to practice.
“Sergeant-dono, am I getting stronger?”
“Ask your sword.”
Here goes nothing. Miracles will happen for those who’re striving without giving up.
However, miracles won’t happen easily.
Whether you’re prepared to die, or you’ve given up, both are useless in front of an overwhelming power.
I need to buy some time, just to survive for another minute. That’s what I thought, but death come’s in any second.
I endure the pain, apply Recovery Magic and get up. Together with my sword, I get knocked down again.
A blow is fine. Just a single blow. That’s enough.
But even that wish is denied. I got knocked down again. Once again, pain.
How do I reach Sergeant-dono?
I wonder how many times did I fall today?
I stand up against the pain, Recovery Magicーーthere’s a gap in the moment. Surely, I need to use the Recovery Magic. But this is the only moment where Sergeant-dono is distracted, the time where he uses to arrange his breathing.
My body moved before I thought.
Body lowered, I rush with full power.
My body can still moveーー
Ignoring the pain, etc. ーー
I need to kill him right nowーー
Of course, Sergeant-dono is not completely caught off guard. He receives my full attack with his sword. Our swords clash. My rush was stopped.
Invoking 【Air Hammer】……no, wait, magic is prohibitedーー
Sergeant-dono’s attacks that I’ve eat full brunt so many times, his sword flashing over my head.
If I don’t push it here, then I’ll definitely receive a painful counterattack and a lethal attack.
Fear of the pain, and also death. Perhaps there is still some desire left for victory.
That alone fueled my momentary decision.
I wait for a moment before activating the magic. It’s an unintended feint.
Although Sergeant-dono block my Air Hammer with his shield, the shock still pushes him behind and his stance is all over the place.
Now! I swing my swords with all my might without any cares to the world.
One hit definitely made it. There is a mortal wound on one of Sergeant-dono shoulder. Here comes my victory. It’s finally arrive. That’s what I thought.
However, his attack also comes about the same time. A counterattack to the sides of my flank from Sergeant-dono effectively rid me of my consciousness.
“It was a good attack just now, Masaru.”
No, the damage that I received is greater by any means. I received it straight on my body.
My breath is short due to pain. I can’t endure the pain, my knees fall to the ground and my sword fell from my hand.
I try to endure while my consciousness gradually turn dim, and barely manage to heal myself. Only after that my pain subsided a little.
I pick up the sword and stand up again. I regulate my breathing.
It’s fine. I still can do it. I’m already near just now. Next time.
“This marks the end of our training.”
Sergeant-dono is standing while using his sword like a cane.
Is that so……it’s ended. No, it’s over.
It’s bad for me to use magic so suddenly……no, it’s still going continue like usual. Tomorrow Sergeant-dono is going to train the trainees like always.
My bad. Sergeant-dono also need treatment. Even though the blow landed on the leather armor, the flesh under should receive considerable damage.
“So, this is the sensation of pain. It’s been long time since I was last bruised.”
Sergeant-dono muttered and rubbed his shoulder while I’m healing him.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t use the offensive magic.”
His body squirmed a bit, maybe due to the inflicted pain.
“I’m meant to do this as closest to real battle as I can. I can’t blame you for using magic. You’re a Magic Swordsman in the first place.”
I’m glad. Seems like he won’t get angry. Besides, Sergeant-dono continues.
“You attack without relenting until the last moment. That was a good spirit.”
“I’m just desperate to win at that time.”
“That’s fine. What you need is the willpower to strive and survive.”
“Even so the Aiuchi doesn’t count.”
“Your sword definitely landed first. But if it’s a real battle, then both side will surely be down.”
If it’s a real battle then I’ll be dead ten times before coming up with stuff like this.
“You manage to land a blow at me and make me go serious albeit momentarily. You’ve really grown much these past days.”
I don’t feel anything different, but if Sergeant-dono claimed so, then my skills surely have gone up. With this I finally master the Swordsmanship level 5 skills.
“You surely have a strange talent. When I first met you, I thought that your swords skills are somewhat stupid and that you’ve got more talent in magic……but after these few months you’ve shown me your spectacular growth in swordsmanship.”
More talented in magic? This maybe comes because Sergeant-dono doesn’t know about my Skill ability.
Thanks to my ability, my Swordsmanship skill has a massive boost. Just like Sergeant-donos observation, I actually have zero talent with sword. His is a valid evaluation.
“For the past six days, you’ve endured the harsh training. Although your technique is clumsy and stupid, your firm will leave you standing. Perhaps that’s what makes you grow. That kind of thought, never forget about it.”
This was the same as that time during the deadly battle with Orc King. That’s why I long for strength to survive. The reason why I don’t give up is because I don’t want to disappoint Sergeant-dono as well as Will. But then, it is my own efforts and thoughts unrelated to the skills that God gave me that let me survive till this point.
What I truly want is not to win against Sergeant-dono. It’s to get recognized by him. Perhaps, now I’m recognized by him even if it’s just a little.
Not the skill, I mean my own might and mettle.
“Don’t forget to practice always, Masaru.”
“Yes, Sergeant-dono. Thank you very much.”
Someday, will I become a proud warrior and get full recognition by Sergeant-dono?
While I’m practicing with Sergeant-dono, Sati has raised her hand to hand combat skills to level 2.
Also, the instructors are shouting something like [Sati is a genius!]. Well, she managed to increase her fighting level to level 2 without any help from me at all. I guess that statement is true.
Ellie finally manage to obtain the cooking skill at last. After my last day training is over, we eat Ellie’s cooking again.
“This time should be okay!”
It felt like she said something like that before.
Now that it’s in front of me, I see that the appearance-wise there is no problem. Even the smell permeated from the dish is normal.
Suddenly, everyone is waiting for me to take the bite first.
“I want Masaru who’s training hard with his sword to have a taste first!”
Everyone knows I’m undergoing harsh training through Tilika. It seems like she wants to reward my labor through her cooking.
Ellie is waiting eagerly for me to start eating.
It’ll be fine. Her previous work is something that I can’t eat. This time she supposedly did it under Ann’s tight supervision. This is a given. That’s what I thought, and when I look at Ann she just shook her head.
Apparently, Ellie cooked this herself. They all have a grim face, and to think that I’m going the first one to taste it……
“There is no need to hold back you know?”
“A-alright. I’m going to eat.”
I put the pasta in my mouth. I chew them slowly. Nothing is wrong. There is no strange flavor.
……rather, this pasta taste like normal? The tomato sauce tastes exquisite. Its well adjust to the flavor of the pasta.
“Awesome, you can eat this! It’s delicious, Ellie!”
If you strive forward without giving up, a miracle might happen!
“It’s eatable……? Fine. What about the Skill?”
Oh, the skill is obtained! Great, this is amazing, Ellie!
The dishes that Ellie cooked might not be special by any means, but it’s such an achievement that all my fatigue from training with Sergeant-dono is blown away. Especially when I think about how hard she is trying for me.
“Now, the time has come for you to teach me how to fried a chicken!”
That’s right. That’s the only reason why she is trying so hard……
On the next day, the Beginner Training Session end without any problems. Their trainee collar is finally removed. Together with me, Sergeant-dono make a speech that left everyone with tears.
I also teared up after remembering about my hard time during the special training.
Will said he’s giving up on becoming my disciple, and that he’s forming a party with friends that he made during training together.
We’re leaving the day after tomorrow and head to the Olba-san and Nania-sans village as per the new quest.