Ch. 157: Catching Up with the Party
At the Grandes Church in the Capital of Centraleo.
Because there are no Demonic Creatures that spawn around this area, even though it is the nation’s capital, there are far fewer accommodations and people here at the Adventurer’s Guild.
And because the real-estate prices are so high at the Capital, a Church who hosts far fewer Adventurers must tighten their budgets and minimize as much waste as possible ー hence, why they offer far fewer services than any other place……….and that’s the to be expected from a Church that worships the God of Battle. Even though their other services pale in comparison to Churches around the nation, their training grounds were fully serviced and available.
And we were at the training ground that was only composed of 2 practice fields.
Since people rarely used these facilities, I had a practice match with Jend while the rest of the Party watched.
Jend: “OOOOORAAAHHH!!” (*sfx yell)
I continue to struggle and deflect Jend’s non-stop attacks.
We limited the fight to just physical enhancements and weapons, and since the start of the match, I haven’t had a single chance to counter or attack.
Cyril: “Henry! You can do itー!”
Ferris; “Jend! Keep pushing to the end!”
We hear Cyril and Ferris’ voices from the sidelines.
……..and Jend is getting pumped up more with his offense, but I have no intention of letting things end like this.
I began shortening and lengthening the Nyoiten Spear and with the subtle changes in length, I forced him to miscalculate my weapon’s range.
Jend: “Huh?! Ugh!! Waiー what?!”
…….and while we continued to cross our weapons, my weapon in particular began shifting in length unexpectedly. I’ve never had it done to me, but I can imagine how difficult of a time that would be.
Jend couldn’t help but jump back, and ready his weapon once again.
Jend: “.......hey, Henry. Don’t you think that’s pretty cheap to do?” Henry: “We decided on Physical Enhancements and weapons only in this match, right? I’m just using one of my weapon’s abilities. ………but well, I didn’t think you would force me to use this.”
There was some luck and miscalculations on my part, but Jend held the reins of the first part of this match. I could already see how much his sword skills had improved significantly.
He didn’t just learn a few new tricks or moves. His each and individual swing itself had been refined to several levels higher.
A simple swing without any deception or tricks could reach these kinds of heights…….against Demonic Creatures, petty moves and tricks that work on people are not as meaningful, so for Jend, the training he underwent would prove most useful in Ligaleo.
I believe in Rishu, they have an age-old saying, “To tell a different story after not meeting a man for 3 days,” but this really is something else. Though Jend still lacks experience, I can’t just say I’m the stronger one that needs to take care of him anymore. He’s grown that much.
Yup, good. Very good.
If it was just weapons only, I’ve lost to him before, and here, it may have been the teaching moment to lose to him without using my weapon’s ability…….but……
Jend: “Hey, Henry, stop shifting your weapon length.”
I lengthen the Nyoiten Spear considerably.
………hehehe…..I see, Jend. Your swings have gotten better, but what about your side positioning and footwork? I see that there’s still not much improvement in that area. Would you be able to parry and dodge past my spear attacks with such differences in range?
Henry: “......it would suck for me to lose to you in our first practice match after reuniting with you guys.”
Jend: “Don’t you think that’s a little childish?!”
He can say whatever he wants. I also want to look good in front of my girlfriend too.
Cyril: “.........oh gosh…….Henry’s really not holding back at all.”
Teo: “For me, I think it’s only natural to utilize everything in your repertoire.”
Cyril: “Well, I understand that, Teo, but do you think you would go that far to try and beat your own teammate in a practice match?”
………it’s all to impress my girlfriend!
Though I think I’ve missed this goal somehow, I’ll console myself by achieving victory!
Henry: “I’m coming, Jend!”
Jend: “Henry, aren’t you taking this way too far?!”
After the practice matches, I drank juice at the Grandes Church tavern, and let out a sigh of satisfaction.
………after that first match, I had a total of 6 matches, and I ended up with 3 wins and 3 losses. With the very first match, Jend surprised me with how much he improved and……well, I may have used a slightly dirty trick, but from the 2nd match onwards, we fought normally, and it was about even.
Of course, if I used Spells or tools, then I wouldn’t lose to Jend yet, but…….even then, I would still consider Jend as 1st rate as a martial artist.
Cyril: “Teo and Miss Ferris got so much stronger tooー”
Ferris: “Yeah, thanks Cyril. ……..I’m glad the training paid off.”
Teo: “But unlike Jend, we can’t face Mr. Henry alone.”
……….Ferris and Teo are skilled with healing, scouting, and hiding, and they all improved in their own specialized areas.
Although their improvement was not as much as Jend and his sword skill, the two of them could face off with me with a weapons-only limitation.
Cyril: “Hmmmmm, I really wish I could show everyone how much I improved.”
Ferris: “You’ve shown us plenty already. Look at how fast you can initiate Spells now.”
Cyril: “No, no. I don’t mean boring stuff like that. I wanted show you something more BOOM! And KAPOW! You know, something flashy like that!”
Ferris chuckles at Cyril’s words.
……..and yeah, Cyril has improved too. The fact that it takes a shorter amount of time to finish Spell incantations is one. And she’s also been rigorously trained on how a Magician should coordinate with her party.
But Cyril really wanted to show off her biggest Spells.
Of course, being inside the training field of a small Church inside the Capital, there’s no way we could allow her to do that. She wouldn’t just blow up the Church, she could easily take out the entire city district.
Henry: “Alright, alright. You can show off when the opportunity comes.”
Cyril: “Hmph…..fine. ……I’ll save it for the next time we run into a Highest-Tier.”
Henry: “Yeah, right. There won’t be an opportunity like that any time soon. Save it for the frontlines.”
But while I retorted to Cyrilーー
Teo: “........Mr. Henry, we have encountered no less than two, and this year is not over. And this is not the frontlines.”
Henry: “YーYeah, Teo. You’re right. That is true but…..”
Ferris: “They say that what happens twice can happen a third time, so it’s best to be prepared.”
Henry: “FーFerris? I think, we’ll just waste our time ifーー”
But looking at Jend, I can see that his blood began pumping at the thought. No, seriously guys.
Aside from Ligaleo, the Highest-Tiers only appear once in a few decades. The fact that we ran into 2 in that short period of time is just poor luck……..
Henry: “..........hm?” For a moment, I thought about the rumor that in the northern continent, the number of Demonic Creatures have been increasing since the Demon King’s Coronation.
……..there’s no proof, but it made me wonder if this was part of that rumor?
If the Highest-Tiers were appearing more frequently, there should have been a warning sent out by the Church, so right now, they are nothing but rumors. ……….and there’s no telling what would happen in the future.
Henry: “.......well, I guess something like that could happen. I don’t think it’s anything to lose sleep over, but let’s be on our guard.”
Everyone nodded back at me.
I think there’s a higher chance that we’ll be fretting over absolutely nothing…….but just in case.
Henry: “Well, putting that aside, tell me about what happened in Eastflair.”
Putting aside that worry, I tried to brighten the tense mood by seeing how things went in the last 3 months.
Yesterday, we did talk all through the night, but last night was focused on my fight with the Demon General, and I didn’t get to hear about Jend’s group’s stories.
Jend: “Yeah, so at the Blazing Flame Arts Dojo, my training was mostlyーー”
So for Jend, he spent almost everyday just doing practice swings. He got actual combat experience during the nights when they hosted local tournaments nearby.
Teo was training at a Rishu Martial Arts Union? Or something like that and had learned a lot of various skills there.
……..and Ferris was telling us that the Assault Medical Priests training was really, really, really hard. Especially the last month was……is what Ferris was mumbling to herself as she recalled her time in Eastflair.
As I listened to each person, I remembered something.
Henry: “I thought Ms. Lotte went to Eastflair as part of fighting off the Demon General. Did you get to see her?” Ferris: “Oh, no, no. There’s no way I could just go see Little Chaー ahem. Ms. Charlotte, who came to guard the city as one of the Heroes of Legend ー even if we do know her personally.”
Jend: “We did sign up as volunteer guards of the city, but the Demon General never came.”
Ferris held back fan urge, and Jend added his bit.
Henry: “I see. Well, how was living over there? I know for Jend and Teo, it was the first time living apart from your family, right?” And we continue the conversation.
To fill in the gaps while we were apart, we listened to their day-to-day lives, and Cyril and I also shared out time in Sunwest.
Hmm, so we were exchanging letters, but it’s good to hear the information directly.
We got to catch up as a Party, and things began settling down.
Teo: “Oh, that’s right. Mr. Henry, did you make any progress with you and Miss Cyril? That topic came up a while back, and we were curious.”
Out of the blue, Teo flung a question in my face, and spewed the juice in my mouth.
Henry: “Whーwhy all of a sudden?!”
Teo: “Oh, I just thought that it was important to know if there were any changes in relationships, especially between Party Members.”
That is very true, butーー!
I turn towards Jend and Ferris…….and yeah, they are looking with hungry curiosity in their eyes.
Jend: “That’s right. That’s right. That was something I wanted to know too. You’ve been picking on us about Ferris and I, so don’t think you’ll get away from this subject so easily.” Ferris: “Of course, I’m curious as well. I think some retaliation is well overdue, is it not?” Ugh….UGHHHーー
………..wait, just stay cool with a poker face. C’mon, me. I suck at poker, but I have much more experience than these fledglings.
Yes, I’ll just put on an emotionless expression, and just tell them to leave it to their imaginations.
Henry: “Yeah, I know you all are curious, but I’ll just let you imagine theーー”
Jend: “........Henry, Henry.”
Henry: “What?” And Jend quietly points at Cyril who was sitting next to me.
Oh, that’s right. Cyril should have been the first to respond to Teo’s question, but…
She was visibly trembling.
And a bright-red faced Miss Cyril was sitting right there.
Henry: “......ohー um, yeah………so…..”
Oh no. The three of them look like they caught on.
There’s no place to run now……..shoot.
And with a bit of alcohol in our system, Cyril and I had Jend and Ferris get onto our case as if to get back at us for all the time we teased them.
…….and though she was the one who started it all, Teo just sipped some strong liquor and ignored us completely. As expected of her.
CHONKY Notes LiT (Lost in Translation)
A Japanese saying, “To tell another story after not meeting a man for 3 days.”
Meaning: For anyone undergoing training (the phrase is paternalistic and refers to boys in training), if you don’t see them for 3 days, you will be surprised to see how much they’ve grown.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 11: Preparation for the Conquest