Training begins in the afternoon.
“Now, come at me. Don’t pull your punches.”
I squared off against <Yatagarasu> leader Gazaine in an approximately soccer-court-sized space inside the Nest.
For some reason, I seem to have caught Gazaine’s eye, and he is personally training me during training times.
I throw floating training daggers at Gazaine using [Physics Magic].
――Or rather, I throw 20 simultaneously.
Gazaine easily evades them all, circles behind me in no time at all and presses a knife to my throat.
Damn……Couldn’t see him at all.
“I, I give up……”
“……Hmph. Your magic is first-rate, but your martial skills are lacking.”
The guys watching over our training in the vicinity quietly disagreed, saying, “he’s calling that first rate……?” and such, but it still reaches me with [Keen Hearing].
I’ve already long since leveled [Keen Hearing] to counter stop, yet I could detect Gazaine moving so little that you might as well say that I wasn’t able to detect it at all.
Even with [Keen Hearing]’s counter stop bonus skill [Detect Presence], I could barely even tell that Gazaine had moved.
“I’m not even one yet. It’s inevitable.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right, isn’t it. I get thrown off rhythm when I fight you.
It’s like fighting against a magic-using powerhouse of around thirty years old.
Well, you’re not on the same level as some core fighters in terms of ability, but your instantaneous judgement ability and thinking habits are around that level.
“But contrary to your appearance, it looks like you have a pretty solid build.
You said something like getting bigger because of leveling up, didn’t you.
I don’t know if that’s why, but your body isn’t one of a normal infant’s.”
Since a pro at using his body is saying that, it must be right.
“But, it’s strange nevertheless.
Even though I seriously direct my bloodlust at you, you never falter, nor do you seem to get tired.
Even when we spar, you’re strangely tenacious.
Apparently there’s a skill called [Toughness] but you… you have some sort of skill like that too, don’t you?”
“…… Is that so. It’s because of my level.”
I managed to deceive him somehow, but that was bad for my heart.
――That’s right. If I had to say, the mental aspect of [No Fatigue] has stood out more until now, but since coming here my physical strength has been displayed more.
Although it’s a bit late to say this…… I don’t get tired.
In the morning I am roped in to help at the dig site, at noon I’m left in charge of the kitchen; I continue training without a single a break, yet I’ve never fallen into a fatigued condition.
Once at the beginning, I overworked my body and was assaulted by fierce muscle pains after a while.
But that also receded in a few hours.
Since then, I only ever feel a slight discomfort on rare occasions after undergoing strenuous exercise, but not muscle pains.
I rush in and throw knives when I’m instructed to, but my body doesn’t feel like it is on the verge of breaking for being too young.
“Hmph. It won’t even count as training if it’s like this.
Okay, I won’t do anything so come attack at will.
If even one hit lands, you win.
In place of your mother’s breasts, I’ll give you a stack of milk coupons.”
Hearing that, I’m suddenly full of motivation.
A ‘stack’ of milk coupons represents a set of 16.
As a growing boy, I can’t let this opportunity pass.
“Really? I’ll definitely get a hit in……!”
I, as always, continuously throw a large number of knives with [Physics Magic] while moving my left hand behind my back to secretly grab the hidden weapon that I had prepared.
Aiming for the moment Gazaine goes to dodge the knives, I quickly thrust my left arm into the air.
“Uwo-!? A steel thread!?”
Gazaine yelled out as he dodges the dull shine that shimmered in the air.
“Tch……I thought it would work too.”
I click my tongue as I swing my gloved left hand.
The spool of thread was clasp inside the hand with the glove, and the superfine wire is discharged using the tips of my index and middle fingers.
According to [Appraisal], it is
《〔Carbon Steel〕Metal Wire.》
so it’s probably something excavated from the ruins.
At the training grounds, there is a great variety of weapons lined up.
Since they are the organisation’s belongings, everyone can use them as they please.
Of course, if you take them without permission you will receive harsh punishment, but if you write your name in the ‘loan’ register and tell one of the officials, you can take the weapon out easily.
Before, I saw that Gazaine had the skill [Steel Thread Techniques] in his status.
I wondered if I could acquire it too and practiced in secret.
……There wasn’t any real reason to practice in “secret”, but isn’t secret training a man’s romance?
“Too bad, Orochi.
When did you come to learn that?
I didn’t teach you it.”
“A girl has her secrets.”
“There’s no way a girl as uncute as you exists!”
My response to Gazaine’s barking was a slash with my steel thread.
I move my fingers agilely, continuing to whip the steel thread around repeatedly, but Gazaine easily sees through the steel thread’s trajectory and dodges.
Gazain says with a smile,
“What, is that all? You seem to be really set on this one tactic today.”
“Don’t give me that. There’s still more to come!”
I throw all the knives I am floating with [Physics Magic] towards Gazaine with varied tempos.
Gazaine easily dodges the knives that even I, who threw them, can’t predict the trajectories of, but while that happens I pick up three longswords from the training area’s weapon storage with [Physics Magic].
I reel out the spool of thread, extending the steel thread, encircling Gazaine in all 360 degrees, and tighten it in an instant.
Gazaine dodges this hard-to-evade attack by jumping high from his position, but that leaves him wide open.
I thrust the floating longswords front on at Gazaine, who is in the air.
With a sharp breath, Gazaine waves both of his hands.
It was too fast so I couldn’t clearly see it, but it seems like he brushed against the flat of the swords, superbly averting their trajectories.
That’s not a move humans can do.
Father Solow spoke ill of my close-combat skills by saying I was “somewhat slow on the uptake,” but if I was compared to this nonhuman, then I certainly would look slow on the uptake.
But, with that, Gazaine should have thought that he has staved off my attack.
Aiming for the moment Gazaine loosens his held breath for even a moment, I change the trajectory of the swords.
Well, to be precise, it wasn’t a change in trajectory.
I aim the swords that were dancing in the air at Gazaine and simultaneously swing them down.
It seems that this was out of even Gazaine’s expectations, as one of the swords grazed his leather vest.
I say to Gazaine who has landed,
“Oi, that was a hit right?”
“Don’t kid with me. It only grazed me. That wasn’t a valid blow.
“That doesn’t count as a blow?”
“A blow is when you deal damage, isn’t it.”
“Oi oi, what are you saying after the fact, Leader-san?”
“It’s your fault for not properly clarifying the conditions.”
“……ehh. Well, whatever.
If you won’t admit it, I’ll continue until you do.”
I once again combine [Flying Sword Techniques] and [Steel Thread Techniques], and attack incessantly as I please.
But, It won’t hit.
It won’t hit, to the point that I just want to start laughing without thinking.
This… I missed my first and last chance, didn’t I.
――For about an hour after that, I attack Gazaine with [Flying Sword Techniques] and [Steel Thread Techniques] but he dodges them even as sweat drips from his forehead.
“Oi oi, why don’t you get over it!
You know you’re not going to hit!”
Gazaine, who is as expected out of breath, says.
“I never heard anything about a time limit.
It’s your fault for not properly clarifying the conditions, right?”
“But on the contrary, I am the leader of this religious organisation.
I decide the rules around here.
Since it’s been this long and you still haven’t hit me, this match is over.
……Ah, I’m tired.”
Gazaine pours water from the kettle next to the training grounds’ weapon storage into a wooden cup and drinks it in one gulp.
“Damn, what kind of endurance do you have.”
“It’s like this because I haven’t been moving.”
“There’s no way that’s the case!
The only people who could get me this tired are you and Elemia.
Elemia is a genuine genius but……. what the hell are you?
Even though your sense of combat isn’t that great, by the time I notice it, you’ve become outrageously strong.
It’s damn uncanny.”
I unintentionally laugh at Gazaine, who is cursing at me.
“You, what the hell are you laughing at.”
“Well, I just thought it was really fun.”
Right now I can’t even get close to beating Gazaine in a spar but, to be honest, it was pretty fun.
Even when playing fighting games in my previous life, I had the most fun when I was fighting against opponents I couldn’t beat at all.
On top of the gap in base ability, there’s the fact that I have no chance at winning normally at all.
That’s why, I schemed a lot of things.
Like fighting according to the book then making an absurd attack that diverged from the template.
I tried suddenly letting loose like a complete amateur.
But, the truly strong guys don’t even budge at something of that level.
Reading my every move, then countering with the most optimal action.
In front of such an overwhelming difference in ability, I don’t feel the least bit vexed.
All I do is tremble in excitement at the height of the wall I have to climb in front of me.
While there is the grudge I have against Gazaine for coming between our family, I forget about it while we’re fighting.
While I still feel bad for Alfred-tousan and Julia-kaasan who should be worrying even now, I have come to enjoy this training.
Gazaine too, leaving aside what he does as leader, he is strangely stoic in regards to fighting and prefers not aiming for weak spots.
According to the person himself,
“――Aiming for weak spots is something that is effective, if done only once.
But if you start to depend on it, then your fundamental ability would cease to grow, wouldn’t it.”
I got a chance to talk to a pro player who had the experience of being the champion of a world tournament when I stopped by a game centre after a business trip, and he said the exact same thing as Gazaine.
“Hmph, You’re about the only one who can take on my grueling training and still be able to say something like that.
Or rather, in this case, it looks more like I’m the one who’s taking on grueling training, doesn’t it?
I can’t keep up with this.”
“There you go again. You’re saying stuff like that but you’re going to be my opponent next time as well, right?”
“I have no choice, do I? There’s no one else who can keep up with you after all.”
‘Tch’, he clicks his tongue and turns his back on me.
While leaving, he stopped moving.
Then he turns his head to me, and says:
“――If you’ve got a problem with my way of doing things, try and kill me.”
“You’ve got potential.
Perhaps you might even be able to kill me.”
“……Do you want to be killed?”
“I’ve got no intention of getting killed, but……if there isn’t at least that level of tension, I get really bored.
That’s why I kill people.
People who treasure someone I killed will come to resent me.
Like that, I build up a mountain of resentment, building up the tension.
I can feel like I’m alive.”
If you don’t want to be the playtoy of a madman like me, all you have to do is kill me.
People who can’t kill me have no right to criticise my way of life.”
“What selfish reasoning.”
“Say whatever you want.
But say that with the resolve to be killed, alright?
After all, if you’re too annoying I’ll end up wanting to kill you.”
After saying what he wanted to say, Gazaine left while waving his hand.