Chapter 28 Mock Battle
Lute, age 12.
In the afternoon, after the tea party ended, I changed my butler clothes for something more rough.
Because from the afternoon I would be doing mock battles with Gigi-san.
When I finished changing clothes, I went to the backyard.
Once I was done warming up, I did 5 laps around the estate to build up my physical strength.
After some rest, I went to have a spar with Gigi-san.
There are nearly no schools of fighting in the Demon Continent.
So even though I called it training, it’s mainly just sparring, pretending we’re in real combat.
At the beginning―
“Lute is too timid to injure the opponent more than necessary. Even if it’s training…. no, because it’s training, don’t lose your way and try to knock your opponent down. Normal injuries can be healed with healing magic anyway.”
I received the same warnings each time when I initially started training.
During my previous life in Japan, I lived in a world completely free from violence.
In this parallel world where I was reincarnated, I have killed demons with my revolver and AK47. But, people — those with whom I could communicate with using words, I’ve neither hit nor shot any.
Even though we called it practice, I still had reservations about fighting without using any safety gears such as gloves or headgear.
However, after practicing martial arts for a bit more than than a year, I grew accustomed to it and stopped hesitating.
Right now, while applying body strengthening on myself, I am repeatedly striking Gigi-san with all my might.
“Your attacks are too crude. Anticipate the development of the battle, and chain your blows accordingly. You know… if it’s just hitting each other, then even kids could do it.”
For the second time he turns in my straight right and avoided it easily.
His left fist (jab-like punch) drilled into me causing my feet to stop, and break my stance. A side kick with his right was unleashed towards me.
I guard myself with both hands and take some distance.
Gigi-san is the guard chief of the Blood house and a B+ rank magician.
It would be right to say that it is the limit that an ordinary magician could reach.
Of course, there is always someone better. Our lord, the master, is A rank.
But compared to the me with no magic talent, and my magic quantity, it is like heaven and earth.
Having more magic power means there will be an absolute advantage in all the attributes: offensive, defensive, movement speed, reflexes, etc.
That’s to be expected because the amount of magic that can be used is different.
If I cover my whole body with magic power it would hit rock bottom immediately.
Furthermore, Gigi-san’s basic athletic ability as a person from the beast race is higher than that of a human.
If I lose focus, will be knocked down in 10 seconds.
Hence what I should do first will be…….to focus magic into my eyes, to avoid critical hits.
Reflexes and kinetic vision are simultaneously raised.
Thanks to my enhanced senses, I can avoid Gigi-san’s left hook by ducking.
To return the favor, I bent my knees, pushed my body up and retaliated with an uppercut.
Without even trying to dodge, Gigi-san received it with one hand.
We spared like that for hours.
Next we switched to swordsmanship training.
For swordsmanship training I seriously did practice swings and sparred like with unarmed combat.
“When it comes to unarmed combat, there are some parts where Lute shines, but you have no talent in swords. So for now just strengthen your basics and focus on defense. Blades can kill you in one shot, unlike unarmed combat.”
Gigi-san says even things that were hard to say straight to the person’s face.
Furthermore he does so thoroughly, without leaving room for a follow up.
But this was probably also Gigi-san’s kindness.
Rather than awkwardly praising me, it would be better to resolutely identify my weak points and putting more importance on practicing my counters that would be useful in combat.
While sparring with swords Gigi-san also put me on nothing but defense.
I practiced receiving blows from the wooden sword Gigi-san wielded.
He said again and again that in real combat it was more important to not get hit rather than to hit the enemy with a sword.
If it’s with a sword, then being showered with blows, even from just one, would dull one’s movements.
Even if the wound is shallow, when time passes, the amount of blood loss will increase and performance of the body will drop.
Magicians could treat their wounds with recovery magic, but for normal people it would be the end.
In order to avoid that, I practice swordsmanship with a high emphasis in defensive training.
After our routine practice, we wiped our sweat off with a clean cloth.
During that time, Gigi-san also taught me a way to fight against magicians as opponents.
At the time you fight a magician you must get close and go into close quarters combat. Spells are still a threat, but its more dangerous to be a distance away and be attacked from a long distance. You will be defeated from a distance if your hands and feet can’t reach.
But he adds another thing.
In case your opponent is A rank magician and above, you need to flee in any case. Don’t think about fighting. Fighting is useless. It’s no different from committing suicide.
“Although I have no talent as magician, but isn’t Gigi-san of B+ rank. Does that still apply?”
“Yes. A long time ago I fought against one, but I couldn’t do anything with my hands and feet. A rank is the domain of a handful of geniuses. There is no chance of victory.”
Gigi-san narrows his eyes as he remembers his distant past.
I can feel a hateful light glimmer in his eyes.
I regard that as my imagination and ask a question.
At any rate I can’t imagine the power of A rank.
How strong are they, truly? Even if you say that there is no chance of victory, the enemy is also still a living being. Even against A rank, I feel there should be some way to deal with them.
“…It’s faster to personally experience it than to receive an explanation in words. Luckily there is a rumour that an A rank magician is in the mansion. That’s master.”
Gigi-san comes out with Count Dan Gate Blood as a sparring partner and requests a mock battle.
The master accepted cheerfully.
“Wahahahaha! Let’s see, I shall ascertain just how strong Lute is, myself!”
“Master please don’t forget to go easy on him. Don’t let Lute die or else ojou-sama will not speak to you for a month.”
“Hahahaha! That would be surely troublesome. One month is too long.”
If I die I will be treated like that?
“Lute, get ready. Just in case, if you are alive I can heal you with my recovery magic, but if you die instantly there is nothing I can do.”
“Instant death… please don’t say scary things.”
I responded peevishly to what Gigi-san laid out.
But he’s right. I focus once again.
I encompassed my body with energy
The feeling throughout my body changed.
The master takes off his coat and hands it over to Gigi-san.
As a subordinate he folds master’s clothes carefully and holds them in both hands.
Again my eyes turn towards masters body.
Not less than 2m big and muscles stuffed into it to the limit.
His dark skin feels completely like metal.
Even without the body strengthening technique he has probably enough strength to easily destroy a wall.
But if its comes to that extent, I’m not so weak as to hesitate at that.
“…since it came to that, is it ok to not hold back even if the opponent is the master?”
At those words Gigi-san looks at like a dragon who looks down on a cocky black and white rabbit before him.
No, it must have been my imagination.
Master smiles in a good mood.
“Wahahahahaha! Sure! Boys are no good if they aren’t energetic like this! Saa, come at me with all you have!”
“Yes! Here I come!”
Victory goes to the one who moves first!
While I keep saving energy in mind, my magic is already near its limit because of today’s training.
I promised to not hold back even if my opponent is my employer.
I put all my power into the first blow.
Eyesight and leg strength are strengthened.
I run like a bullet and strike with my right at a short distance.
The equivalent technique in a japanese martial art would be a direct thrust!
The master didn’t even react and he didn’t put up any resistance.
I gathered momentum in to my fist and unleashed it onto the solar plexus which is difficult to strengthen.
My hit surely connected.
But Master didn’t stagger nor take a step back.
His expression didn’t show any pain and his smile didn’t change.
The strike to the master felt as if hitting against a thick iron plate enveloped with layers of solid and flexible rubber tire.
Instead the fist with which I hit was pained and I made an anguished expression.
The master lifts his left arm to the height of his face.
He swings his left arm down as if to sweep a fly away.
A single rough blow.
And yet I feel a cold shiver of fear in my back.
I cross my arms right away.
I turned to defense and put all the remaining magic power into a resistance formation.
When the masters arm hit my guard, my body flew like a rubber ball flipped in a pachinko.
Without rebounding, I crash into the tree about 10m to the back.
The tree breaks with a “merimeri” sound.
To avoid a fatal wound I deploy a magical resistance formation at my back the moment I crash into it
The result was that bones in both of my arms were shattered, while my right shoulder suffered multiple fractures.
I vomited blood as my internal organs were pierced by broken bones.
I couldn’t muster any strength while intense pain ravaged throughout my body.
I could see Gigi-san rushing towards me with an unusual expression, from the edge of my sight, as my vision fades.
Gigi-san’s voice that reached my ears sounds so far away.
My eyelids felt as heavy as lead, and I feel as though I am falling into a bottomless pit.
As I was losing my consciousness, I finally reached an understanding of the meaning behind Gigi-san’s words.
▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼
[I see, that is what has happened.]
The night of the day I had my mock battle with the master.
Head maid Mercè-san and me are serving as stewards at the evening party.
At the evening party, ojou-sama asked to me “Lute, do you have any idea regarding the loud commotion at the backyard?”.
As there is no reason to cover up the mock battle with master, I told her of my defeat in a single strike, with the master not using any skills.
Despite being heavily injured when I crashed into the tree trunk, ojou-sama stroked her chest when I mentioned that I was completely healed by Gigi-san’s magic.
“Even though I had heard that the master is strong, I had not expected it to that extent.”
[But for Lute-san it is incredible to face father, who is an A rank magician, head on.]
“That is because it is just practice.”
Though I do not want to fight the master a second time, not even in practice!
As expected I do not wish for ojou-sama to hear about my uncool account, I could only give an awkward smile.
Mercè-san poured into the empty cup.
The fragrance of scented tea spreads across the room.
Ojou-sama’s smile from a while ago turned into an unhappy expression.
For some unknown reason, she was hesitating and wrote with restraint, on the mini blackboard.
[……Why does Lute-san work so hard to become stronger? You knew about yourself not having the talent to be a magician right?]
She seems to be hesitating about letting another person hear about my potential as a magician.
Ojou-sama was bullied as she was also without talent, resulting in her becoming a hikikomori.
It must have been hard for her to ask about the topic as it resulted in her trauma, and the topic itself is a landmine for her.
As absence of my potential as a magician did not cause any particular frustration which could lead to trauma, I told her my honest opinion without showing an unpleasant face.
Even though I certainly do not have any talent in becoming a magician, within me, I still have the desire to protect those who are important to me. Therefore I’m doing what I could, and that would be conserving my magic power by honing my swordsmanship and unarmed combat techniques.
In the past, there is a river where children played near the village I stayed, and there, a person important to me was about to get hit during a raid by a group of goblins.
Thanks to my training, I was able to save the children and my important person without a single casualty– I omitted mentioning the handgun as it would be troublesome to explain.
Due to that past experience, I continue training even now. I worked hard so that I could protect my loved ones, should a similar situation occur.
Ojou-sama listened to my story with a serious look.
I couldn’t find any negativity from her expression that could be related to ‘you are a fool for aiming to be a magician despite having no potential’. Rather, her eyes seem to be shining in admiration and respect.
Ojou-sama wrote on her mini blackboard.
[That is such a splendid way of thinking. Lute is such an amazing person.]
“……That is not it, I only did what I could do.”
Ojou-sama started writing again.
“If it is not a bother……Tomorrow, may I observe your training from the window?”
Not only me, Mercè-san was also surprised at her proposal.
Taking my attitude as a denial, ojou-sama’s eyebrows drooped, showing a sad expression and wrote on the mini blackboard.
[Am I not allowed?]
“N, No that is absolutely not the case. As such, I will notify Gigi-san that tomorrow’s training will be at the courtyard which could be viewed from this window.”
[If you would, please. I will be looking forward to it very much♪]
Her mood changed for the better as she delightedly placed pudding into her mouth.
Mercè-san quietly wiped her eyes so as not to be noticed by ojou-sama.
For ojou-sama who is afraid to even venture out of the room, to look at the training from the window…… To say that she wants to look outside.
What a great improvement that is.
For Mercè-san, an old-timer who has been by ojou-sama’s side since she was born, she would be very happy at the tiniest improvement.
After the evening party had ended, I implored Gigi-san for the training to absolutely be held at the courtyard. He is also one to adore ojou-sama……the Vlad house.
I think he would gladly raise both hands in agreement.
A smile floated on my face as my mouth loosened from imagining Gigi-san’s happy expression.
Ojou-sama tilted her head when she noticed, but I deceived her appropriately.
Thank you for reading thus far!
Impressions, corrections and opinions are very welcome!
Update is scheduled on 21hrs, tomorrow, 18th December.