Chapter 92: The Senior Disciple Part 3
It was the morning after I drank all night with the Adventurer’s Party [The Brilliant Swords].
At dawn’s first light, Ashley’s companions held him in between their arms and escorted him back to his family by force. After watching them go, I enjoyed the rest of the morning in leisure rest.
I was invited later by Ashley who had some noticeable bruises, and we both headed to Jend’s house.
Ashley and Jend face each other with large broadswords in hand. Though he must’ve been very busy, Mr. Ricardo made time for his former disciple, and as he watched both students raise their spirits to their peak, he raised his voice.
Jend was the first to step forward and charge. He manipulated his broadsword well, and with a compact swing, he delivered a powerful strike.
Ashley took a step back and parried, and before Jend’s sword returned, he thrust forward with his sword.
Jend dodges that, but his skin gets slightly burned from the flames that surrounded the broadsword.
Pain colors Jend’s expression for a brief moment, but he immediately goes into his counter.
The two attacked and defended without giving their opponent much leeway. But gradually, from a poorly timed Jend’s attack, Ashley began gaining the advantage.
Ashley: “Fuh!” (exhale)
At the end, Ashley rammed his body into Jend to knock him over, and pointed his sword at Jend’s face and the fight was over.
Ricardo: “That is the match!”
Mr. Ricardo signals the end of the fight. Ashley held his sword and gaze onto Jend till the very end, but with that, let out a huge exhale and relaxed his shoulders. He reached out to take a hold of Jend’s hand and smiled a little smugly.
Ashley: “Here, up you go. Now that would make it 5 Wins and 3 Losses……..I didn’t think you would take those other 2 fights, but I guess I was able to uphold my seniority as Master’s disciple.”
Jend: “Ergh, I thought just maybe, I could actually beat you….”
Ashley: “You’ve gotten good, but not that good.”
Ashley punches Jend lightly in the arm, and Jend seems a little happy. It’s been a while since he met his senior that’s like an older brother to him. I’m sure he’s happy to have Ashley come back.
Ferry: “Hey you two, you’re both covered in burns. Here, come over here.”
As their match ends, Ferris who was on standby immediately gets up and walks over towards the two.
The two were careful to make sure to avoid any critical hits, but it was a fight against two first-rate swordsmen of the Single Blade of the Fire God. Both have some resistance to fire, but there’s no avoiding getting some light burns everywhere.
Jend: “Yeah, thanks Ferris.” Ashley: “Ummー, so…..thanks, Ferris.”
Jend is used to it, and responds as he normally does whereas Ashley didn’t seem to quite know how to respond.
It’s his junior disciple’s girlfriend……..yeah, it’ll be hard to know how to talk to her for sure.
Ricardo: “Good fight, you two. Especially Ashley. I haven’t seen your skills in a while, but you have trained really well.”
Ashley: “Yes, thank you very much, Master!”
Ashley immediately straightens his back and stands up straight and gives his gratitude towards his Master. ………..I guess it’s the way of the Single Blade of the Fire God Style. Each Martial Arts group has their own distinct atmosphere and culture.
And Mr. Ricardo smiles warmly as he places a hand on Ashley’s shoulder.
Ricardo: “Even so…….although you have gotten stronger, do you not think your swings are a little too crooked now? You must have ignored practicing the most basic forms.”
Ashley: “YーYes sir……”
Ricardo: “Oh, do not be so intimidated. We will address that issue immediately. …….it’s for my dearest disciple’s sake. Let’s do a few thousand…..no, tens of thousands of basic form practice. I will do my best to instruct you till the end.”
Hearing the number, Ashley instantly turned to stone. ……….I can sense some bit of strength in how Mr. Ricardo is gripping Ashley’s shoulder.
And Mr. Ricardo’s smile suddenly disappears as he looks sternly at Ashley.
Ricardo: “......what happened to your reply, Ashley.”
Ashley: “YーYes! Thank you very much, sir!”
Holy, Mr. Ricardo’s voice was ice cold just now. Ashley must have had the fear ingrained, and his voice rose an octave when he replied just now.
Henry: “Jend, is Mr. Ricardo…...angry perhaps?”
Jend: “..........well, Brother Ashley did leave during the time when he should have progressed his skills the most. And he did it without speaking to Master about it.”
……...yeah, can’t back you up there. Just like what happened with your family, you’ll just have to endure what’s coming here.
Ricardo: “Well then, Ashley. From tomorrow on, come over to my house during the mornings. If it is just basic form training, you can do that in my yard.”
Ashley: “Oh, bーbut Master, since you’re so busy…..”
Ricardo: “Do not concern yourself with that. In fact, my subordinates were worried that I was pushing myself too hard lately, so it is a good time to request a few days of leave. Besides, I’m almost retiring. It will be good to observe how they will handle themselves without me.”
Mr. Ricardo shreds Ashley’s argument within seconds.
As Ashley recoils in fear, Mr. Ricardo suddenly relaxes, and starts ruffling Ashley’s hair as he would a child.
Ricardo: “......welcome back, Ashley. I’m glad to see you alive and well.” Ashley: “.......yes. Thank you, Master.”
Ricardo: “I am interested in meeting your friends. While you are in Flowtier, if the opportunity arises, invite them over. I will welcome them with my wife’s cooking and good liquor.”
And with that, Mr. Ricardo turns around to walk away.
Ricardo: “Ah, Jend. Forgive my intrusion. I’m sure you both have much to catch up on. It’ll be difficult for both of you if I remain here, so I’ll excuse myself today.”
Jend: “Sir, thank you for coming over to observe our match today!”
With a nod, Mr. Ricardo left Jend’s house’s yard. And Ashley held his head bowed down as they both watched their Master depart.
Jend: “Brother Ashely, good luck starting tomorrow.”
Ashley: “Yeah, I’ll try not to embarrass myself too much and do my best.”
Ferris seemed to want to talk with Ashley, but she had a Quest Appointment already scheduled from a while back, and as soon as the match was over, she had to leave.
So in Jend’s room, it’s just me, him, and Ashley ー just a bunch of men around a table.
But it’s still midday so instead of alcohol, we drank tea and were talking about this and that.
With this kind of group, the stories naturally transition to our past expeditions and adventures.
Jend: “Brother Ashley’s base is Southgaia, huh. You were actually pretty close to where Henry was then.” Ashley: “Yeah, apparently, it was just a regular town a long time ago. Since the war started with the Demon King’s Army, it’s pretty chaotic with all the Demonic Creatures that slip past Ligaleo. But I make quite a bit because of that too.”
If you look at this continent, if you REALLY simplify its shape, you can sort of see a Sand Timer shape. The top half is the 3 Kingdoms of man, and the lower half is the mostly desert plains and encompasses all of the Demon King’s territory.
And Ligaleo sits smack dab in the middle ーー it is in an area known as the Isthmus of Bifrost. Because of the geography, it’s a relatively easy location to defend and set up defenses.
………..but there are Demonic Creatures that can cross the seas. If they fly overhead during the night, it is difficult to stop all of them. So naturally, the further south you go on the northern parts of the continent, the more you will encounter tragedies and damages from Demonic Creature attacks.
It’s unrelated, but long ago, the Isthmus of Bifrost used to have many smaller countries scattered throughout it. My home country, the Fezard Kingdom, was in the northern parts of the southern regions of the human territories.
Henry: “If we had better Magecraft barriers, we wouldn’t let so many get past but…..”
Ashley: “Oh no no no. We can’t thank the Adventurers in Ligaleo enough. I went on a few Quests as an escort, but you guys don’t get a break day or night.”
…………..yup, that’s true.
But you’ll get used to it after 2 months. The Church is very active in structuring the roles, so you don’t have to worry about things that are not delegated to you…..or it’s easier if you think of it that way.
Jend: “Wow, so Brother Ashley’s been to Ligaleo too. Apparently, Henry was pretty famous there at Ligaleo, but have you ever heard of any rumors?”
Ashley: “.....now that you mention it, I think I have heard some rumors.”
Ashley places a hand on his chin and thinks deeply as he tries to remember. He seems to be digging through his memory. But there are many people named Henry, so it’s more likely that he’ll mistake me for someone else.
Yup, my fame in the Adventuring circles is about this level. I’m not a Hero of Legend, so compared to other famous Adventures, my stories are not as exciting.
………...but at the same time, the people that were around me were too amazing and in comparison, I just looked plain, which might be some of the reason.
Henry: “Oh, but besides that, Ashley. What kind of tactics do you guys use again Demonic Creatures?” Ashley: “Us? Well, we’re a typical Party that prefers direct fights…….we try to avoid really annoying enemies, so we target beast-type Demonic Creatures the most.”
Depending on your Party Member, your combination and skills, you’ll target different kinds of Demonic creatures.
You will most frequently encounter the kinds of Demonic Creatures that looks like they evolved from existing animals, and in general, they are easier to handle.
On the other hand, the most unpopular Demonic Creatures are the intangible-type Demonic Creatures.
They’ll ignore walls and obstacles, and in general, they float in the air, and if you don’t pour enough Magic Power into your attack, it won’t damage them.
The Snow Queen you encounter on the Altohern Mountain can be a difficult enemy on that note.
Ashley: “Just recently, we took out an Upper-Tier, Upper-Class Chimera.”
Henry: “...........would that count as a Beast-Type?” Ashley: “You can argue that it’s definitely LIKE a beast.”
I’m of the opinion that any Demonic Creatures that are a mash-up of different animals should be considered separately from other Beast-Types. The Griffon is a good example.
And there are scholars who argue about this and split their opinion.
Ashley: “Oh yeah, so what do you and Jend hunt as a Party? Since you have a Heroic Warrior like Henry, is it the Griffon?”
Jend: “Nope, Brother Ashley. We’re actually exploring the Altohern region now.”
Ashley: “What? That mountain?”
Ashley seems to be taken back by the news.
That’s how much anyone who grew up in Flowtier knows to avoid that place. They seemed to be very adamant about teaching the children that only soldiers can go near that mountain.
Jend: “Yeah, you actually need permission from the Governor to do it. There’s Ogres in the mid-region, and in the upper-regions, you’ll see some Giants.”
Ashley: “There’s Upper-Tier, Upper-Class too…..? I’m surprised that this town has been so peaceful all this time.”
Jend: “They say the Giants are smart enough to underestimate people….or something like that.”
……..during the Flower Festival, if Ms. Lotte didn’t come by and take out that Fenrir, there was a good chance that this town would not have remained so peaceful but……
But they plan to keep this news to themselves for a while, so we don’t mention it.
Jend: “And in order for us to be able to challenge the Upper-Region…”
Here, Jend explains our newest hunting tactics to Ashely.
I act as bait and lure a few Giants and Snow Queens, and we surround them and beat them up. That reminds me…..I heard there’s an Ice Dragon in the Upper-Region, so I’d like to fight one soon.
Ashley: “......that’s quite the tactic……..”
Ashley listened to Jend’s explanation, and he was half impressed and half flabbergasted.
He’s probably impressed with our opponents……..but not the way we rely on one person to go in and draw them out.
Jend: “Um……...yeah, sure, we know that we’re putting Henry in a hard position but….”
Ashley: “Yeah, I can imagine. As your senior, I only have gratitude for Henry but……..Henry, you’re not pushing yourself too hard, right?” I nod to Ashley’s question.
Henry: “I’m making sure to keep my safety margins. If it comes down to it, I’ll lose some money, but I have ability enhancing potions to get me out of there.”
Ashley: “So you’re way above the average Adventurer that I should be worried about.”
But I do appreciate the concern regardless.
Jend: “Brother Ashley, I like Henry’s stories too, but tell us more about what you’ve been doing.”
Ashley: “Sure, I don’t mind. So I guess I’ll start from when I first left Flowtier……”
And Ashley begins his tale of how he moved up in the world.
It was an amazing, heroic tale that you could use to write a play or novel, and it was entertaining to listen to.
……….I wonder if he’s embellishing it a bit……
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 8: The Flame Swordsman