Weekly chapters (2/2)
Chapter 39 – Essence of Sword
Aaron guided us to his house. Since it was supposedly a Holy Knight’s house, I thought that it would be a grand mansion or something along those lines, but I was sorely mistaken. It was just a plain cottage made of bricks.
[Hahahaha, I dare to bet, that you were expecting a grander house]
[To be honest, yes I did]
[Being honest is fine. But, I wonder if it’s alright for the young lady here?]
At Aaron’s question, Myne simply replied by shaking her head.
[Oya, she seems to be in a bad mood]
[Don’t let that bother you. Myne is always like that]
Aaron opened the door with a slightly downcast look on his face, then invited us to enter.
It’s not like Myne completely doesn’t give a damn about others. When we’re still travelling, I saw her actively spoke to others too. I can partially understand her as I too am the holder of similar kind of skill. Like me, Myne is a solitary warrior who only believe in her own strength. I guess she also has her own battle to fight.
After we entered Aaron’s house, I realized that it was nothing more than a room. Aaron said while laughing.
[This house was built by the villagers. Originally, there was no village at all here. After seeing me slayed monsters again and again, people who had lost their home due to monster attacks, gathered together around me, and build a village. Then, it became my, the village chief, responsibility to protect the village tirelessly]
Although it seemed troublesome, I guess it wasn’t that bad. It’s a good way to spend time, rather than just waiting here to die.
Aaron kept talking while serving us some tea.
[I told the villagers that since I’m old already, I won’t be able to protect them for too long. However, I would still linger here as long as I can since I have nowhere else to go]
[These villagers, are they planning to die alongside Aaron-sama? ]
[No need for the honorifics. Simply Aaron will do. That is what has been troubling me lately. After I die, these people won’t survive for long against monsters’ attacking.]
Aaron couldn’t do anything about it, and he had given up on trying to persuade them..
[Could it be that, you want me to replace you in guarding this village? ]
[Hahaha, fanciful thought. How could I ask you, someone who only came here by chance?]
[Then, why are you training me? ]
I doubt that he’ll train someone unknown like me without any ulterior motives. Especially after hearing that backstory.
Aaron then looked at me with a serious face.
[It is just my selfish wish. I just wanted to leave behind my legacy through you. Can you at least fulfill this old man’s wish?]
As I said that, I looked around the room, and noticed a picture on the shelf next to the bed. It was a picture of a family. The father was probably Aaron when he was younger. And next to him was a beautiful, black haired wife.
There was a boy in between the both of them, sporting a triumphant smile. A holy sword toy replica in his hand.
[That……that picture is? ]
[That was my family. Back then, when I still worked for the kingdom, I often couldn’t go home due to my duties. But unfortunately, they were killed during a monster invasion while I was away at Gallia. Now all I can do is wait for my day to come while looking at their picture on the bedside in remorse. It’s such a laughable story]
[No, it wasn’t……I’m sorry to hear that]
The boy in the picture resembled me somewhat. Perhaps, Aaron was subtituting me for his son? I may have think too far……Was he trying to atone his sins and remorse by doing so?
When I looked at Aaron’s gloomy expression, I guessed that it was very likely.
The next day, Myne was yawning relaxingly under the shade of a tree. That seemed nice. But I couldn’t do the same.
Because there are only two days left, Aaron had been training me since early in the morning.
Guhaa…… I got hit three times in my gut, I’m done for.
[You cannot afford to look away.]
[Hold on, why can’t we take it a little slower? We are going way too fast, I won’t be able to grasp anything unless we go a little slower.]
[Ho, but the way I see it, you are managing]
Ara, did I push the wrong button? Although fighting bare-handed was the best way to control our stats, one wrong move could still cause serious injury.
According to Aaron, simulating a tense situation would improve the training quality. But well, stuffing 3 years worth of training into 3 days seemed to be a little overkill.
That’s why he used the practical method rather than teaching me orally.
But I suppose it really worked in a way. Since my body was forced to react without giving me a chance to think, it autonomously controlled the stats usage accordingly to meet the demands.
The training went on till the sun was above our head..
[Fumu, your form has improved a little. It’s much earlier than I expected. You did good.]
[Did I? I feel like I’m about to die now]
I was able to train so feverishly thanks to auto recovery skill, but the accumulated strain was getting back to me now.
Che, at times like this. Ever since back then, I’ve been continuing with the practice to suppress the urge from being in starving state. But when my focus is slipping away, the urge kicked back in full force.
This familiar feeling, my right eye must’ve been already dyed in red. I have to cover it up…. No, I can’t afford to do that when I’m up against Aaron. One eye alone won’t be enough to keep up with his assault. It can’t be helped….
[Nn? What is this? Strange……your eye turned red. Similar to Myne’s……]
[My eye color changes when I get excited]
[But that means, Myne is perpetually excited……]
Upon hearing that, Myne started to toy around with her black axe. Did I accidentally ‘excite’ her in a wrong way? She’s glaring at me now.
Aaaaa. I just can’t lie properly at all. With a troubled look on my face, I gestured to Aaron to continue.
[Now, please continue.]
[It’s good if you are motivated. Then, here I go]
This… it feels like I’m seeing Aaron’s movement in advance. The semi-starving state seems to make me be even more perceptive than ever. Did it somehow synergize with the effect of the training?
[What is this, your movement has gotten a bit better]
[It’s because of Aaron’s teachings. Alright then, here I come]
The important thing in a fight against human is observing their footwork. I can predict their next move by looking at the movement of lower body. This is something that Aaron had taught me. If the step is deep, then it’s an actual blow. On the contrary, if the step is shallow, then it’s just a feint. My eyes were accustomed to only see the arms that are coming to attack before. But turns out that footwork is also something important to take note.
I saw that, here!
[Ooo……you got me there]
I blocked Aaron’s fist, dashed in, and stopped when my punch is only inch away from his nose.
Well. that was made possible by the semi-starving state. Normally, I couldn’t reach this level yet. But thanks to semi-starving state boosting my physical abilities, I was able to pull off some ridiculous move there……..with this I should be able to fight human opponent.
[When your eye turned red, your movement became sharper as if you’ve changed into someone else. Was that really your strength? But at the same time, I sensed that it place a burden on your heart……is it some form of training? ]
Smiling a bitter smile, I became curious of Aaron’s stats
The other party also used one to investigate me before. So why shouldn’t I?
I activated 《Appraisal》.
Aaron Barbatos Lv 180
My…. All of his stats are over 3 millions. He’s much stronger than I am!
The ability might’ve been rendered invisible due to a certain skill.
Regardless, those are the stats of a top Holy knight.
While I was amazed at Aaron’s stats, he threw another advice at me.
[Never attempt to use appraisal skill directly from the front. That skill causes distinct eye movement, making your opponent aware that you are trying to investigate them]
[Well, it’s natural for you to have no idea about it. Even if you observe me carefully, you wouldn’t be able to tell]
A top level warrior can even detect the usage of appraisal skill? Later on, I’ll try to look at the mirror to see how my eyes move when I use appraisal skill.
Aaron then proceed to teach me another useful tip.
[There is a way to temporarily obstruct appraisal skill]
[I’d really want to know about that]
I’ll be thankful to have such a technique since my stats differ exponentially if compared to normal people. I also don’t want to have my informations be known during battle.
[Try it, use the appraisal skill on me]
As told, I used 《Appraisal》 skill.
Wa!? My eyes was suddenly blinded for a short while. What on earth have he done…?
[When you used the appraisal skill on me, I unleashed my magic power inside my body. With proper timing, it will disable appraisal skill and also blind the observer’s eyes temporarily. Not a lot of people know about this little trick nowadays, But it still has its use. You should remember this]
[Thank you very much]
[Alright, let’s go have a lunch break]
I learned various things. Greed did teach me how to fight, but he never told me anything about foundation and whatnots.
That’s why I truly understood the importance of Aaron’s training. Surely it would someday prove useful in the right situation.