Chapter 113: A Certain Training
Once we were done calculating our gains from our most recent expedition, the amount is noticeably less than our Altohern days, but it’s still enough to earn a normal living.
Cyril: “So we’re done for todayー? Oh, Henry. Do you want to grab something sweet on the way home? It can be your treat!”
Cyril was half-joking, but today, I have something else I have to do.
Henry: “Ohーuhー sorry. Today, I have something to do. ……Jend, I had something I wanted to discuss with you. I’ll buy you a drink, so can we talk in the tavern?” Jend: “? I don’t mind, but…..what’s up all of a sudden?” I glance briefly at Cyril and the rest of the group.
Ferris: “What’s wrong, Mr. Henry? I may not be able to help, but I can at least hear you out.”
Teo: “Me too.”
I appreciate Ferris and Teo’s concern, but if at all possible, I’d want Jend to help me.
Cyril: “Hehe……Miss Ferris, Teo. This is…whatcha call-it. ‘A man-to-man’ talk.”
Ferris: “What’s that, Cyril?” Cyril: “Well, I’m not so sure myself, but Lady Asteria told me that I should be more mindful of allowing men to have their own discussions, so I just imitated what she might say.”
So she just said that without really understanding what it means. Does that even count as learning? But as for me, it spares me the trouble of having to explain myself.
Henry: “Yeahー that. It’s kind of like that, so don't worry about it.”
I wave my hand to shoo them away casually.
And Cyril and Ferris get up to leave butーー
Henry: “......Teo, why are you still here?” Teo: “I wanted to have a drink here. Oh, if it’s confidential, I have no intention of listening in, so I’ll sit over there.”
………this girl really likes her liquor.
I don’t mind since I have a drinking buddy, but what do her parents think about this situation? The worry fluttered briefly in my head, but Jend and I took a seat at the end of the tavern and ordered our drinks.
Jend: “So, what did you want to talk about? If it’s something you’re worried about, I don’t know how much help I’ll be though.” Henry: “No, no. You’ll be able to help me. This is a request from one man to another. There’s something I wanted to ask you.”
Jend: “......I think you’re blowing this way out of proportion, but okay. If you’re that desperate, I’ll see what I can do.” Yes! I’m glad he said that. It’s a wonderful thing to have friends!
Henry: “I want you to teach me how to skate.”
Jend: “.........what?” Henry: “No, I understand why you’re confused. I’ll explain. I recently went skating with Cyril, and ……..she was really good at it, but it was my first time, and I embarrassed myself pretty good.”
I fell several times, and Cyril was laughing every time. I grabbed her and got my revenge by rubbing my head against her, but as repayment for that, she made me buy her crepes! …..so overall, I completely lost!
Henry: “So that’s why. I really want to be able to skate by the next time we go. I want to restore my reputation that I can learn to do most things once I try. Since you grew up in Flowtier, you can skate, right? Could you please teach me how, Master Jend?!”
Hm? What’s wrong? Master Jend is looking away now and won’t make eye contact with me.
“Thank you for waitingー 2 ales and a potato salad. Please wait a little longer, and we will get the rest of your order.”
Henry: “Oh, thank you very much. Here, here, Master Jend. Please have a drink. The drinks here are really good.”
I keep my head bowed low as I put on my business smile and offer Jend his ale. Ha, what do you think about my humble, minion-act. Doesn’t this make you want to help me out?
……….I’m kidding of course. But it’s nice to have friends you can joke around with like this.
But that’s beside the point. It’s true that I want Jend’s help, and I look up at Jend with hopeful eyes.
Henry: “? What’s wrong, Jend?” Since Jend remained silent, I decided to speak up first. Jend takes a long gulp of his ale and then goes back into deep thought. A moment later, he squeezes out the wordsーー
Henry: “Hm? What?” He mumbled something really quietly and I couldn’t catch what he said.
Jend let’s out a frustrated “AGGGHHH” and scratches his head furiously.
Jend: “........I…..can’t skate. I’ve never been able to since I was kid.”
And released those words.
Henry: “IーIs that true?” Jend: “Yeah! I know it’s a popular thing to do during the winter, but I haven’t been able to skate since I was kid, and all my friends teased me about it. ERGH! It’s frustrating just to remember those days!”
And as he spat his curses, Jend took a long pull until he finished his ale.
SーSince he was a kid, huh. Crap. Then I totally asked the wrong person. It seems like he has a lot of bitter memories from that time too.
Jend: “I’m also avoiding the subject with Ferris, but there’s a good chance that she’ll want to go skating with me soon. I’ve been worrying about that too. I know it’ll be really unnatural if we don’t go at least once during the winter…….crap, what should I do…..”
Henry: “WーWell…..even if you ask me…..what about practicing?”
Jend: “If there was only someone who could coach us. The instructors in general are all children, so…….”
Yeah, I thought about that first too, but my pride would let me join a class with just kids, so that’s why I’m here asking Jend for his help……
But if Jend can’t help me, then………
Henry: “.......it can’t be helped, huh. Hey, Jend.” Jend: “What?” I call out to Jend, and then point my thumb at several seats behind me where Teo was.
I have some reservations asking Teo too, but now, I really don’t have a choice.
Henry: “......what do you think?”
Jend: “True. If it’s Teo, she probably won’t make fun of us. Okay, let’s go.”
Both Jend and I stand up at the same time, and head to Teo who is having her third ale.
ーーat the end of our negotiation, she accepted after we offered 2 drinks of ale, one wine bottle, a plate of roast beef and an extra helping of salad.
Teo: “Yes, then today, I will be instructing Mr. Henry and Mr. Jend on how to properly skate.”
We are in one of the many skating rinks in Flowtier.
This one is a little far from town, so it has less people around, and Jend and I stood very timidly before Master Teo.
Teo: “Are the rental skate sizes fitting you well?”
Henry: “Yeah, they’re good.” Jend: “Me too.”
Now that I think about it, putting blades under your feet and running them over ice isn’t something a sane person would do……..isn’t the whole idea ridiculous?
Since we both are clinging to the skating rink’s handrails, we’re able to barely stand, but as soon as I let go, I’m fairly confident that I’ll fall down.
Teo: “For now, let’s walk slowly. You can move while holding onto the rails.”
Jend: “UーUnderstood.” Both Jend and I held onto the rails like it was our lifeline and slowly walked.
I misstep, slip, and greatly lose my balance, but I grab the rail tightly to pull myself back…….OH CRAP?!
Teo: “......please don’t bend the metal handrails with your hands.”
Henry: “SーSorry. I couldn’t help it. I instinctively poured Magic into my body and….ohー hey, eーexcuse meー”
I called over someone who was working there who was just passing by. I explain the situation to them and told them that I would pay for it.
………man, that was a huge mistake.
Jend: “Henry, I’m glad to see that even you mess up sometimes.”
Henry: “.......when things happen all of sudden, Sir Ezeal always told me to just put my all into it.”
That old man always told me that large, bold acts are what makes a mountain (the actual saying is small things add up to bigger mountain later).
Teo: “Jend, please be careful as well. In your case, you might emit some fire and melt the whole rink.”
Jend: “IーI’ll be careful.”
And with that, we carefully and slowly crawled like some newly born chicks around the skating rink once.
……..Teo was skating backwards while giving us some tips every now and then. At my current level, skating backwards would be as dumb as a new Adventurer going to slay the Dragon.
Teo: “Okay, since you both are now used to it, let go of the rails.”
And after going around once and taking a short break, the Spartan Teacher, Miss Teo, mercilessly gave the order.
Jend: “WーWait. Isn’t it too soon for that? I think we should take things more slowly and without taking corners. How about another 10 laps?” Henry: “I’m of the same opinion as Jend. If we forgo the basics, we’ll get hurt later. Like with Adventurers, right?” I know both of us are spouting out poor excuses, but I don’t care. If it means that we can hold onto the rail a little longer, I will gladly choose a little dishonor.
Teo: “Let. Go. Of. The. Rails.”
“ “............yes ma’am ” ”
Though her expression remained indifferent, her words were packed with irritation, and we both quickly surrendered.
And we began to fearfully and slowly make our way on the ice whenーー
Jend: “WHOA?!” Henry: “CRAP!!”
Why? Teo is skating so smoothly and easily. What are we doing so differently?
Henry: “We could just smash the ice so we can walk easier….” Teo: “Then it wouldn’t be skating.”
My thoughts slowly evade reality, and Teo’s cold and sharp retorts come in impeccable timing.
…….but since we’ve been falling over for 2 hours now, I feel like I grasped something.
Both Jend and I are vanguards. We both pride ourselves in having great athleticism and reflexes. So you might think it strange that it took us a while to get used to this……..but well… everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, right? Teo: “It looks like you both are getting the hang of it. Keep up the good work.”
Finally, we get one kind compliment from Master Teo after a long unending rant of criticisms.
Being complimented by our strict teacher, Jend and I grew instantly in confidence.
Henry: “Yeah, for me, it was really easy learning how to skate!”
Jend: “Yeah, I know I wasn’t confident about this for years, but now there’s nothing to worry about.”
We both smile at Teo and give her a thumbs up.
……….right then, we lose our focus and both of us fall onto our backs.
Henry: “........ha….haha, wow. Didn’t see that coming.” I try to laugh it off, but I see Teo take a long, deep, stressful breath.
Teo: “If it’s like that, then I’ll train you until the sun goes down. …..I hate leaving things only half-finished.”
Oh crap. I think we ignited something inside Teo. I see fiery determination in her eyes.
Teo: “Since you both have endless stamina, we’ll continue to skate non-stop until nightfall. C’mon, get to it!”
Teo began to chase us down to force us to skate.
ーーand with that…
With Teo’s training, Jend and I finally learned to skate…….pretty decently…….or rather, good enough.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 10: Year End and New Year’s