Chapter 44 – Master Swordswoman Warmaiden
[Eh…and? Isn’t it about time you told me why I’m being dragged away?]
I asked, while being dragged along by Claudia-san and Lorna-san downtown.
The image of me being dragged around town with a beauty holding each arm was rather surreal. There were tears of jealousy in the eyes of those around us. In addition, my head’s been going *DONA DONA* for a while now though! (TLC note: The “dona dona” is a reference to a Yiddish song, about a calf being led to slaughter.)
[Ah, that’s right. I haven’t told you yet, have I.]
Claudia-san, who heard my question, replied as if she just recalled that fact.
[Seiichi-kun. You’re the one who won the Royal Cup right?]
[Eh, well yes.]
[That’s the reason why.]
I asked, not understanding what she meant, so Claudia-san continued.
[Don’t you remember? The victor gets the rights to spend a day with us, the Valkyries (Master Swordswoman War-maidens)] (TLC Note: Valkyries being the pronunciation, the longer title is the way it’s written in kanji.)
[Looks like you finally remembered. You didn’t attend the award ceremony either, so I was thinking “by some chance, does he not care about the winner’s prize?” but… Seeing you like this, you really don’t seem to care about it, huh.]
This is bad, I completely forgot about that.
I, who is supposed to have the skill “Perfect Memory”, totally forgot about it. What’s the meaning of this fraudulent skill? Skill fraud? No, it’s kefir. (TLC Note: This is an expression that got popular after a Japanese kefir commercial with the phrase “…yoghurt. No, it’s kefir.”)
Well, I can perfectly remember things like magic skills, and all the necessary things too, so maybe the skill decides what information is necessary and what isn’t and removes the unnecessary things. …Is that how it works?
Enough about that, I didn’t think the reward would be put into effect the very day the cup ended. Although it ended before noon, it’s still too sudden.
As if she guessed what I thought, Claudia-san let out a strained laugh.
[Hahaha. Well, it’s because we don’t have much free time. I’m sorry about that.]
[Ah! Look at that Clau-chan! That stall over there is selling delicious looking grilled skewers! We should come by tomorrow and have some! Also, there’s an accessory shop here too! There’s clothes and all sorts of new works too, my, so busy!]
[…We’re really not slacking. Please trust me.]
At Lorna-san’s words, Claudia-san face-palmed, looking up towards the sky. You really have it hard huh.
As the exchanges went on, before I knew it we had somehow ended up in front of the Royal Palace.
[Well then… This is the Winberg Country’s castle — the【Arcshell Castle】]
Claudia-san declared proudly.
But, I was in a state where it was as though I didn’t hear what she said, and was merely staring at the castle in front of my eyes.
It may be rude to ignore what Claudia-san is saying, but that just goes to show how huge and overwhelming the castle was.
It was the first time since we came to Terveil, that I’ve felt as excited about something as watching the city with Saria from afar.
Castles were a thing that I never had a chance to see while I was still on Earth. No, I’ve seen the castles in Japan before, and also the castle in the land of dreams that a certain mouse lives in, but this was the first time I’d seen a proper western styled castle with a King living in it.
That’s why I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Arcshell Castle.
As I stared at the castle in utter amazement, Claudia-san smiled, seemingly satisfied with my reaction.
[Mm, I’m glad that you like it. Then, shall we enter immediately?]
Following Claudia-san, I head towards the castle gate.
As we got closer to the gate, on the side facing the town, there was a guard wearing armour like that of Claude-san’s, who saluted Claudia-san and Lorna-san. Amazing. …I’m like a grade-schooler with my simple impressions, huh.
Past the gate, there was a large, luxurious garden filled with flowers of various colours, all at full bloom. Despite the numerous types of flowers, there was no conflicting scents, and each could be softly smelt. Amazing.
In the centre of the garden there was a fountain, which was probably some sort of magical tool. Amazing. …With myself unable to say anything but “amazing”, I was starting to want to cry.
Secretly hurting inside, as I was accompanying Claudia-san, we stopped at a certain place.
[Here is the training ground of the soldiers of the Winberg country.]
[By the way, there’s a magical barrier here that can withstand the full onslaught of the Magic Division of the army without a scratch! Though, if you use such dangerous magic, Ruiesu-sama gets mad!]
[…Well, in Ruiesu-sama’s case, even if she’s angry she always has that serious attitude so you can’t really tell. Even before we went to pick Seiichi-kun up, while Lorna was being punished by Ruiesu-sama about the incident during the Royal Cup, her expression was completely unchanged, as if there was nothing out of the ordinary…]
[D-don’t remind me of that! George-kun from the intelligence section, who together with me secretly took a picture of Ruiesu-sama, was unable to take her punishment, and before fleeing towards an inn,『…Haha, a wooden sword … a wooden sword that can cut through steel is … is coming towards me…! Don’t come hereeeeeeeeeee!』is what the broken man was screaming!]
[…Did you properly take him to the doctor’s office?]
[He was too troublesome to look after, so I left him alone. Ku-… George-kun, I will never forget your valiant figure!]
[…George-kun is alive…right?]
[George-kun? Who’s that.]
[You’re a demon…!]
[Can i leave yet?]
I couldn’t take being ignored anymore, so I interrupted the conversation between the two.
I mean, isn’t that, right? If I were to just keep silently listening, I would likely never hear anything decent…!
I didn’t really want to stay in such a dangerous place for too long after all. No, who would want that?! Furthermore, George-kun is way too pitiful! Even though it was mostly his fault!
But before I could get away, Claudia-san grabbed onto my shoulder.
[I’m sorry to say, but you’ll just have to give up. This is the what this country is like…]
[The guild is also like that but, it’s like this even within the royal palace?!]
This country, it only has perverts and weirdos doesn’t it! But that pervert-style is somehow heading in a good direction, how unsettling…!
But here, it’s possible that because they’re made up of only weirdos, that everyone can be happy. …Is it alright? With that.
[Nn? Oh, perfect timing. Seiichi-kun, look at that.]
Suddenly, prompted by Claudia-san, I looked in the direction she was pointing.
I could see a number of girls with the same type of armor as Claudia-san and Lorna-san, using wooden swords in a corner of the training grounds.
[Is that … practice?]
[That is so. It is the training for us Valkyries.]
[And over there, is our group’s leader —- Ruiesu-sama-!]
Taking a closer look at the group of girls armed with wooden swords, I saw one particular person was at the centre of the group, surrounded by the others. I could make out her shape, but I couldn’t really see her face.
[Come on, let’s get closer to get a better look!]
[Good idea. That should be pretty exciting for Seiichi-kun.]
While being urged by the two, I approached the group of girls.
Then, I could finally get a good look at the face of the girl in the centre of the circle.
Her light blue straight hair flowed down to her waist. Her face was well-featured to a surprising degree.
Her blue armour had a polished and sleek (Author uses “smart”) shape, and didn’t give off the impression that it was roughly made at all.
Although she was encircled by women wielding wooden swords, her wooden sword hung at her waist, her eyes were closed, and with the pure white mantle fluttering around her form, it was as if she was the embodiment of a dignified and noble knight. Rurune-san, please watch and learn from this person!
[Can you see her? The one in the centre over there, that’s Ruiesu-sama.]
[Please look very carefully! Because it’ll be over in an instant!]
Lorna-san excitedly said that, so getting interested, I decided to observe their training.
Then, the girls wielding wooden swords simultaneously launched an attack at the girl called Ruiesu.
The Zeford-style defensive sword technique I had was just a skill I had obtained from defeating Zeanos, unlike techniques obtained from training for a long time, so in terms of swordplay, I was actually an amateur.
But, even for the inexperienced me, I could easily tell that their technique was very polished, and their swing was that of an expert.
Their swords’ speed was, even to me with my mind’s eye skill, shockingly fast.
The girls’ synchronized attack came down towards the concentrating Ruiesu-san’s head.
Surely, all those swords directly hit Ruiesu-san—right at the moment we thought so…
Ruiesu-san calmly opened her eyes.
The instant the swords were approaching, with her sky blue eyes as calm as the surface of a lake without a single ripple, she caught every single sword, is what I understood with my eyes.
Ruiesu-san, even among all the women around her, drew her wooden sword out at an overwhelming speed.
A speed so fast, that having the mind’s eye skill was almost pointless.
What Ruiesu-san cut…were the swords of every one of the women around her. And what’s more, they were cut so cleanly that it would be hard to think that someone did that with the same kind of wooden sword.
The girls were staring at their cut swords, dumbstruck, while Ruiesu-san simply shook her sword lightly before sliding it back to her waist.
[――――The speed of your slashes is getting faster. However, your slashes are too straightforward. Make sure to devote yourselves.]
『-! Hai! Thank you very much for your guidance!』
Suiting the somewhat strange, otherworldly atmosphere, she instructed the girls with her beautiful voice, and the girls replied cheerfully.
…Oi oi oi, that one person’s ability towers above the rest. What was that? Those superhuman movements. Makes me think she’s a monster even stronger than me, you know.
While I was stunned by the ridiculous show of strength, Claudia-san and the others smiled wryly.
[Hahaha… As usual, I can’t see her sword slashes at all. Even though those girls are level 250 or higher, and I’m even level 380. Lorna, did you manage to see?]
[If even Clau-chan can’t see it, then there’s no way the level 360 me could see it right?]
[Hmm… But in Ruiesu-sama’s case, even if she were to fight someone of level 500 like herself, I feel like it’d still end up the same.]
[No, as expected that’s a little…huh? I can’t deny it?!]
Apparently these two were unable to see Ruiesu-san’s strikes just now. But still, to think Claudia was level 380 and Lorna was level 360. And exceeding that, they said Ruiesu-san’s level was 500?
While I was thinking of such things, Ruiesu-san noticed us and came towards us.
[Claudia, Lorna. You’ve returned.]
The two who heard those words straightened their posture and saluted her.
[Hai, we’ve brought him along.]
[Everything’s perfect now!]
[Lorna, if only you hadn’t done anything unnecessary then we wouldn’t have had any trouble in the first place.]
Said Ruiesu-san indifferently.
Lorna-san averts her eyes and starts whistling to hide her guilt, while Claudia-san smiles wryly at her.
Then, Ruiesu-san turned her attention to me.
[And so, you’re Seiichi-san?]
[Eh? Ah, yes.]
[I am the leader of the Winberg Kingdom’s Valkyrie (Sword Saints of the Holy Maiden), Ruiesu Barze.]
Even while she was introducing herself, there was absolutely no change in Ruiesu-san’s expression. Anyway, she seems to really be expressionless.
[Well then… In that case, here.]
While I was looking at Ruiesu-san to a degree that wouldn’t be impolite, Ruiesu-san suddenly handed me a wooden sword.
[Let’s have a mock battle.]
[Is it alright for me to leave instead?]
I blurted out without thinking, but I don’t think I’m at fault.
However, Ruiesu-san quietly shakes her head in rejection.
[If my subordinates hadn’t prepared such a strange prize, then this sort of thing wouldn’t have happened. But you won the Royal Cup, and the prize for winning is to spend a day with us, thus I have to fulfill that obligation.]
[I feel that your sense of responsibility is admirable, but why a mock battle?]
[? Even if you ask me why… I thought the “spend a day with us” thing would be to participate in our training, but…is it different?]
This is bad, this person doesn’t have any self-awareness at all.
I think that Lorna-san, who prepared this reward, definitely intended for the winner to have fun together with Ruiesu-san and all the other beauties in Valkyrie.
Unfortunately, Ruiesu-san seems to have been misguided in her thinking that it was to join them in training.
Or rather, how could training even be considered as a prize?
[Well in any case, why not just show me what you can do. If there are any errors in your form I can point it out, and if you can fix them, you’ll be able to get stronger than you are now.]
[Eh? No, wai-…]
I was going to call out to Ruiesu-san, but all the girls had already separated from me, and it was at a state where the battle could start at any time.
And so, Claudia-san and the other Valkyries were far away from us, and were already in Spectator Mode. I can’t get away…!
While I was still dumbstruck, Ruiesu-san called out to me.
[I’m alright to go at any time, you know?]
[Eh? Um, I…]
[Well then, why don’t we start with seeing how well you can defend.]
Stupid me…! Spit it out clearly! The atmosphere is already one where I can’t really say any more at this point, isn’t it?!
While I was harshly scolding myself, Ruiesu-san was calmly drawing her sword.
[Now then ―――― Here I come.]
Ruiesu-san, like in the previous battle, approached at a speed where my Mind’s Eye skill was almost useless, and swung her sword towards my stomach to smash into it.
I, pretty much reflexively, jumped backwards with all my might to avoid the attack.
In doing so, a small crater was made in the ground where I was, but…yup, let’s not mind it.
[…I’m surprised. To think my first strike was avoided so easily…]
[No, it wasn’t easy at all…]
[Well then, I shall come at you with my full strength now.]
[Why are there so many people who don’t listen to what others say?!]
Even though I said it wasn’t easy to avoid her attack, Ruiesu-san still declared that she would come at me with full strength. I’m just about to cry here.
While I was thinking of that, Ruiesu-san once again came towards me to strike me, but this time it was at a speed where my Mind’s Eye skill couldn’t detect her at all.
…Shupan-! (Sound effect)
[Wait a second?! The movement and sound of her attack don’t match up though?!] (NOTE : Means she moving faster than sound)
Just when i thought Ruiesu-san’s slash was silent, I heard a slightly delayed slashing sound. Even I○koku Dou-san would be surprised! (NOTE : Censored name)(TLC Note: Japanese ventriloquist)
And so, in a stance chasing the surprised me down, she slashed at supersonic speed.
[Mou, I don’t want this type of person!]
I avoided the slash by jumping away sideways.
…Shupapapapan-! (More sound effects)
Once again more supersonic slashes were sent my way, 4 of them even!
What’s with those supersonic slashes?! If this hit someone who hadn’t quit being human like me, they would definitely die!
First of all, that isn’t even an attack a wooden sword can perform! I don’t understand how the sword could cleanly cut through the floor after I dodged it!
Supersonic slashes come after me one after the other, and I continued to dodge them with all types of postures. UO-! That almost hit my face, you know!!
[…Ruiesu-sama is plenty inhuman, but Seiichi-kun who is dodging her attacks unharmed seems like he’s quit being human too, huh.]
[As expected of someone who won the Royal cup riding on a donkey. What’s his level?]
[No, even before that, Seiichi-kun who can avoid Ruiesu-sama at full power unharmed is abnormal. Even supposing he’s level 500, the highest a human can be, there’s no way he should be able to dodge the same-leveled Ruiesu-sama’s attacks without a scratch. Is he really just an adventurer?]
[Hmm… Just in case, I had George-kun investigate him, but apparently, he really just came to this town recently, signed up at the adventurer’s guild, and is a newbie adventurer.]
[George-kun has really played an active role in all this, huh.]
While I was here desperately trying to dodge the chain of attacks, I faintly heard Claudia-san and Lorna-san bantering. Damn it!
[…I’m honestly surprised. To think it was possible for my full power to not work…]
When I was dodging Ruiesu-san’s attacks with undivided attention, she muttered, seemingly having received a bit of a shock.
[…Then, how about this?]
Just when I thought the storm of supersonic slashes had stopped, this time she approached me with a speed surpassing what she had showed at the beginning.
And so, Ruiesu-san came at me from overhead.
I can’t dodge that speed or sharpness. No, this is really bad for me, you know?!
Though it’s true, I could probably dodge it if it’s okay to get a bit serious, like I did with the first attack.
But she’s swinging the sword down faster than that time, exceeding my reflexes’ speed.
To begin with, there’s no need for me to fight seriously either, so I thought about getting hit on purpose and letting her point out a flaw, to end this.
But you know what? Isn’t that unreasonable? What kind of attack would let a wooden sword carve a scar into the ground?! If I were to be hit by this attack, that’s similar to the black dragon god’s attack 『Touka(penetration)』, I would be made into mincemeat! I’m scared, there’s no way I can take that attack!
During the first attack, the one that made the crater was me when I slightly seriously tried to avoid the attack, but Ruiesu-san is plenty inhuman too, right?!
At any rate, if they knew I was from the same school as the summoned heroes, then I might get treated as a hero, so I wanted to avoid standing out as much as possible and so have yet to reveal my full strength in front of people.
But Ruiesu-san’s attack was dangerous, to the point where I unintentionally got slightly serious to avoid it.
…If I took this attack on, I wonder if I would survive? Even if I don’t die, it seems like it’d be painful, huh…
While watching the sword gradually approaching me, when I had resigned myself, right then.
『 The effect of skill 【Evolution】has activated. Hereby, your body shall now be adapted for battle. Accordingly, skill 【Mind’s Eye】 and 【Detection】have been synthesized and transformed to skill 【World’s Eye】. Furthermore, Skill 【Reflexive Defense】has been acquired.』
The emotionless voice I haven’t heard in a while resounds in my head.
While I was still surprised by the sudden intrusion of the voice, Ruiesu-san’s sword had gathered power and was just about to strike me.
My body reversed the situation.
In order to avoid the full force of the sword that struck the top of my head, I squatted down faster than even the speed of sword, then I back-flipped to take some distance, and during the upwards swing of my leg, I kicked Ruiesu-san’s sword arm, knocking the sword out of her hands.
Thus, in the moment where Ruiesu-san stood still, shocked with eyes wide open, I landed with the edge of my wooden sword pointed at her neck.