TL Note: Alright, the site seems stable now. Sorry for all the trouble guys, just let me stress test it like this for a while to see whether I can get by with just cutting down on stuff, or whether I really have to move to a different host… chat disabled btw.
Volume 4 Chapter 11: [Redacted]
I took out my equipment from my Dimension Home, and did my preparations inside the changing room.
My current attire consists of a jet black inner shirt and a jet black pair of pants. This set is leather armor made out of the leather of the cannonball rhinos.
My adventurer friends often tell me to sew some embroidery over my shirt or pants with gold threads or silver threads, but this one doesn’t have any ornaments. An armor is good so long as it can protect. It’s true that this armor set might not look that good on the outside, but it’s highly efficient.
For example, this jet black armor is made by using the bamboo charcoal that’s been made at my house, separating it and purifying it into carbon. And then mixing that carbon with the sticky slime’s thread in a ratio of 1:9, creating a fiber that’s similar to carbon fiber. However, I don’t know how this imitation compares to the real thing. After all, I don’t know how close it is to the real thing in the first place, and I don’t know what their differences are either.
Speaking of carbon fiber, at first, when I tried to create a thread out of just carbon, I couldn’t create anything except for a thin, fractured, lump of carbon. When I mixed it with the sticky slime’s thread using my alchemy, I managed to increase its strength to a whole another level. While caution may need to be exercised when facing fire, ice, or electric magic when using this kind of material, it’s extraordinarily strong against physical attacks.
“Which weapon should I use?” [Ryouma]
The weapon I normally use is the adamantite katana that my grandfather left me. Other than that I have my two magic staves. I wonder if I should use a staff as a countermeasure against Elia’s magic? …After a little more thinking, I decided to go with the katana in the end.
“As expected, let’s go with this…” [Ryouma]
I placed the katana I took out by my waist, and then I left the male changing room.
When I went back to the crossroads where I talked at with Elia and the others, the only one that was there was Sebasu-san. But just as I was thinking that, the other five suddenly appeared from the other side, walking.
Walking in the lead was Kanan-san who wore light armor. She had a silver bracelet on each hand, probably as substitute for gauntlets. She wore leather armor, and two swords could be seen hanging by her waist. Twin swords, huh? Or is the other one a spare? Well… I’ll find out when we fight.
Next is Riera-san, but…
“Sorry for making you wait.” [Riera]
“I just got here actually… Still… The impression a person gives sure changes with different clothes, huh?” [Ryouma]
She gave off the image of a cold beauty when wearing normal clothes and with her whole face visible, but with the way she looks right now, dressed in a chainmail, she truly looks like a soldier or a knight.
From afar, I thought she was just wearing tights over her whole body, but it seems she also has a metal plate attached over her chest to bolster her defense. On her waist hung a sword, and on her left hand was a shield… As expected, her equipment gives off a strong impression of having been made for fighting.
“Ryouma-dono, the clothes you are wearing sure is different, huh?” [Riera]
“It’s special equipment.” [Ryouma]
It was here after seeing the five of them that something caught my attention, so I asked them about it.
“Speaking of which, did you all buy your equipment from the same store? They seem to be similarly made.” [Ryouma]
Elia, Miyabi-san, and Michelle-san are all wearing pants easy to move in. Also, they are all wearing leather chest protectors and a set of uniform robes. Even the staves they’re wielding is uniform. And as for Riera-san and Kanan-san, the swords they are using look similar… especially the sheaths and the hilts.
“These are supplied by the academy. It’s included in the tuition fee we pay, so everyone receives a set of equipment for use in our classes.” [Michelle]
“They’re mass produced, but after three years, we’ve already gotten used to them.” [Riera]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
That’s why it looks so similar.
“From the first year until the third year it’s forbidden to use personal equipment.” [Elia]
“That’s why from the fourth year onwards, armor of all sorts, from bad to good, come out.” [Miyabi]
“Training aside… do students start seriously training from the fourth year?” [Ryouma]
Isn’t that dangerous?
“It’s to get used to the weapons. It’s also because we have the magic tools that were created for safety reasons during the founding of the school.” [Elia]
Apparently, those magic tools when worn will forcefully teleport the person wearing it if it seems they’re about to take a damage greater than the damage permitted during training. Because of that there’s little danger to one’s life during training. And even the wounds incurred during training are at most at the level of cuts.
Honestly, I’m more surprised that magic tools from during the academy’s creation is still around…
“That’s quite convenient.” [Ryouma]
“It’s true they can guarantee our safety, but the sense of tension being taken away could also be seen as a minus. The knights also have something similar, but according to my older brother, they rarely use it.” [Riera]
That’s true, I wonder if I should introduce it to the training in the facility here. But now that I think about it, it sure feels strange. I’m interested, but I guess that’s about all there is to it.
“That’s also true… Anyway, we’ve already finished our preparations, so… shall we go?” [Ryouma]
With our conversation already done, I proposed to move to the training area.
As we passed through the door at the end of the crossroads, the area that next appeared before us was an area that was mostly outside already, only having a roof over it. A little further ahead was a wall perpendicular the hallway, serving as a demarcation. There was no roof past the hallway, and on either side of the hallway could be heard the voices of the people training.
“’Fire Ball’!” [Mage Student 1]
“’Wind Hammer’!” [Mage Student 2]
“’Rock Bullet’!” [Mage Student 3]
To the left of the hallway is the training area for magic. Presently, the magician students are practicing their attack magic by firing them against dummy targets. The furthest target is about 40 meters away.
“Squad one, ready! Fire!” [Instructor 1]
“Immediately back down after firing, and switch with the next squad!” [Instructor 2]
“You over there! You’re too slow!” [Instructor 3]
To the right of the hallway are the people practicing their bows and throws. That just now were the archers. It seems they’re doing group practice, and are currently being driven hard by their three instructors.
The girls followed me as they looked at the training area. When we passed through the boundary marked by the wall, their eyes found themselves stuck on the building before them.
In front of us was a 4 meter wall around which many stairs were installed. The area surrounding that was a marsh. Only the hallway continuing to the building and the entrance of the building wasn’t surrounded.
“This is where the match will take place?” [Riera]
“Yes. This is the sports ground of this training facility. Training for non-projectile weapons, matches, and real combat drills take place here. The building is elliptical in shape with a diameter of 80 meters. In square meters, it has an area of about 5,000 square meters.” [Ryouma]
“What are the stairs attached to the walls for?” [Miyabi]
“Knights and guards have to walk up staircases a lot in castle walls and fortresses. These stairs are to prepare the students for that. The idea is to let them build up stamina by having them go up and down. Also, the marsh here is for adventurers to train their ability to search in places with bad footing.” [Ryouma]
Both exercises train the legs and loins, so classes use either exercise. Incidentally, there is a water and earth magic-using slime grazing within the marsh known as mud slime. It’s taking care of the marsh, so there’s no strange smell here like the one that could be smelled by the marsh were the grell frog outbreak occurs.
After that we entered the building. Inside were over 300 people training, and sounds of weapons clashing and warriors yelling could be heard all over.
“Wow, that’s a lot of people.” [Riera]
“Aside from the students, the adventurers of the town also come here. Please wait for a moment, I’ll just go and ask for a good place.” [Ryouma]
I looked around as I said that. As I did, I saw the instructor, Barbet-san, standing by the wall. I immediately ran up to him.
“Why if it isn’t Ryouma-dono. What’s up?” [Barbet]
“I’m about to have a match with five others to test out their mettle. Do you know any spacious place?” [Ryouma]
“I see… Mu… By five… are you referring to the students from the Imperial Capital’s Academy?” [Barbet]
When I looked at the girls’ direction, Barbet-san said that as he looked at them. He understands well.
“You know?” [Ryouma]
“I’ve also aspired to be a knight before. I recognize their equipment from the time when I went to the Imperial Capital’s Academy.” [Barbet]
I see, so that’s how he knows. looks like that style of the equipment they’re using hasn’t changed for quite some time.
“There’s only 15 minutes left till lunch break. At that time, the building should free up quite a bit of space. So you all should just do your warm ups till then.” [Barbet]
“Alright, I got it. Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
As I thanked Barbet-san, I went back to Elia’s group.
“The people training will have their lunch break in 15 minutes, so just do your warm ups until then.” [Ryouma]
When I said that, the five girls immediately went to an area near the wall with no people, and began doing some physical exercises. Seeing that, I sat at a place somewhat distance from theirs, and closed my eyes.
Three years ago I met the former knight-commander, Shiva-san. Since then, for almost two years, I’ve been training myself in my spare time with the pointers that Shiva-san gave me.
As a result, although my martial skills may not have improved a lot, I was able to relearn the coordination between my magic and my martial arts., and I was able to feel true growth. One of the things I gained was a much more precise magic perception. After training day after day, I was able to improve this ability, and I understood just how useful it is.
Calm the mind, and focus yourself to sense the power of magic.
As I focused my senses on magic power, lumps of magic transformed into shapes of people, gradually appeared around me. These human-shaped masses of magic power are none other than the magic power they hold inside them. These masses of magic power is different from the magic power released when invocating magic. They’re a little harder to sense, but if you can sense them, then you can completely pinpoint the location of that person.
I focused even harder…
I can sense magic with greater accuracy. And because of the differences in the masses of magic power, I can tell the difference in their magical strength.
The amount of magic power changes based on the use of magic, so I can’t tell who the person is based on that. I can however calculate the amount of magic power they have. The amount of concentration required isn’t a joke though. I can do it right now, but it’s impossible while in the middle of a battle.
In any case, I better gather some information before I fight Elia’s group… Now, I wonder just how much you’ve grown in this past two years, Elia…
After calculating the magic power of the five girls, I was able to get a precise calculation of their current magic power. In numerical form, arranged from highest to low, their magic power is as follows:
Magic Power (Approximate)
…I knew Elia had a lot of magic power, but the others too?
In this world, normal people have about a hundred.
Warriors who use magic in order to increase their cards have around 500 to 700.
A normal magician has 1,000 to 5,000.
And a royal court magician has 10,000 to 50,000.
Even the one with the least magic power amongst them, Riera-san, has enough to pass for a magician… I mean, her aside, Kanan-san actually has 40,000!? People from the beastmen tribes shouldn’t have a lot of magic power, and yet… This has to be my first time seeing one with 40,000 points of magic power.
I can also feel some magic power from her two bracelets. Those must be some sort of magic tool. I don’t know what kind of magic’s been imbued into those, but I should take care.
“Ryouma-sama, it will almost be time for the match.” [Sebasu]
“Already? …Thank you very much, Sebasu-san.” [Ryouma]
At Sebasu-san’s words, I noticed that the people training has already started their break. Each one of them began to leave the building either to go beneath the shade of a tree to eat their bento or to go buy some food. As I sent a sidelong glance to those people, I shifted my gaze to the five girls. My gaze met with Riera-san’s.
As we neared each other, I called out to her.
“Then… shall we?” [Ryouma]
“Thank you for exchanging pointers with me.” [Riera]
“We won’t let you beat us so easily!” [Kanan]
“We’ll fight with everything we’ve got!” [Elia]
As we went against the flow of people, we walked toward the center of the training area. Elia’s group and I faced each other within a space of about 6 metersr. Sebasu-san stood at the center as our referee.
There are trainees and adventurers watching us from afar, but Elia and the others don’’t seem to mind.
The girls are arranged with Riera-san and Kanan-san standing in front, protecting the magicians, Elia and the two others, at the back. They wielded their staves and swords as if it was second nature.
Following them, I too unsheathed my katana from its sheath. At that moment, the moment when my katana left its sheath, a clear sound resounded.
…Since the day I received this blade, I’ve been using it day after day in my training and in my battles, and yet not once has the blade of this katana rusted nor has its brilliance darkened.
A magnificent swing… as always. Even though I’ve seen it so many times.
Title: Before the Match