“Good job.” [Ryouma]
As expected, in the last nest, other tunnel ants came pouring out after we took out the guards. the guards included, there were 15 of them all in all. I defeated 5 tunnel ants ahead of time, so Berk’s party only had to take care of the remaining 10.
I figured that was a safe number for them, and as expected, they were indeed able to defeat them all. They tumbled a little and were bitten here and there, but none of them were gravely injured.
“Do you need water or healing magic?” [Ryouma]
“No— On second thought. Give me some water so I can wash my wounds. I have water for drinking.” [Berk]
Wise decision. I poured water into a stone bowl using magic.
“Ah, you don’t have to use the same water. I’ll prepare some for everyone.” [Ryouma]
“Huh? B-But it’s still clean… That would be so wasteful…” [Wist]
“If you keep using the same water it’ll get dirty. Even if it’s just a scratch, it would be bad if some bad bacteria entered it.” [Ryouma]
“Bacteria (Saikin)? Recently(Saikin)?” [Wist]
“Oh, right. You can think of it as a kind of disease demon.” [Ryouma]
“…Wist. He said it’s fine, so just accept it.” [Berk]
After washing his wounds, Berk left to pick up the corpses. Wist-kun followed after him after washing his wounds. After the remaining four washed their wounds in turns, I called my Rimel Birds and had them enter my Dimension Home.
Along the way back home…
“Ryouma-kun. Why are you so strong?” [Ruth]
Ruth suddenly asked me that.
“What is it all of the sudden~?” [Ryouma]
“You easily beat the goblins back then, and today you also easily beat the tunnel ants.” [Ruth]
“They weren’t your opponent at all …Desu.” [Finia]
“You would have definitely beaten them faster were you alone.” [Ruth]
It must be because we fought the same monster that they were able to strongly feel the difference between our strength.
That being said, it’s only a given I’m stronger since I trained my whole life. If I were to be just around their level, I would instead be depressed. But since I look their age, they took it the wrong way and ended up depressed themselves.
In that case…
“Well… Maybe it’s because I had a master to guide me.” [Ryouma]
With someone to guide you, you can train without having to worry about your livelihood. I told Ruth and the others that having a master just makes that big of a difference.
“Did that master teach you how to use those twin swords?” [Ruth]
“These aren’t swords, but katanas. Also, the reason I’m using two of them is to train myself to use one with just one hand.” [Ryouma]
“Can you become strong doing that?” [Berk]
Berk showed interest, but there’s not much meaning in just using one hand to swing your weapon.
This training is partly meant to increase my grip and physical strength, but its main purpose is for me to be able to fight even if I can’t use one of my arms anymore.
The threat of injury is ever present in battles. There’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to fight in perfect condition. If my arm is crippled in battle and I can’t use my weapon anymore, then I will die. And even if I manage to use it without training, without the skill behind the sword, I doubt I would be able to do much against an enemy that was able to deeply wound me when I was still in perfect condition. In such a situation, I would be at a huge disadvantage.
Because of that possibility I decided to start training myself to be able to use my katana with only one hand. And that’s exactly what I did just now. I used two different katanas with one hand on each and was freely using my skills regardless of if it was my left hand or my right hand. Because of that it wouldn’t be apt to call it a Nitouryuu (dual-wield katana) style that treats two katanas as one, but merely me using two different katanas at the same time.
Of course, I had to properly train before actually trying it out in live combat. If I actually tried to use a katana with only one hand without any training and then immediately tried to use two katanas, it would have been a disaster. Receiving some kind of training beforehand is definitely ideal.
Come to think of it, doesn’t Berk and the others have a master?
When I asked them, it turns out they learned the basics from a senpai, but those senpais were busy, so they mostly trained by themselves. They could ask for guidance from the guild, but they’re worried about how much they’d have to spend before they’re good enough.
“We have to save money first…” [Berk]
“C-Can I ask a question too?” [Wist]
“Sure. What is it?” [Ryouma]
“R-Ryouma-kun, what do you think of when fighting? Umm… Aren’t you scared?” [Wist]
I see… Wist-kun certainly does seem to like the shy sort and when fighting he’s always reserved and unable to attack proactively.
From what I’ve seen, Berk would use the lightness of his body to suppress the enemy with a combination of his short sword and his martial arts. Martha would provide support with her wood magic, while Ruth and Rumil would suppress the enemy with their sword and spear, and then Finia and Wist-kin would use their hammers to finish the enemy off with their great strength. That was how they fought.
Although they did well by coming up with a way to deal with the tunnel ants, Wist-kun, individually speaking, was never really proactive in attacking.
It’s not just because he’s scared, but also because he’s too gentle that he never really put enough strength in his attacks and had to attack the enemy 2 or 3 times to finish them off. If he attacked with full strength right off the bat, he should’ve been able to finish them off with a single blow.
Since he’s asking me about my state of mind, then he’s probably aware of his own problem.
“Didn’t I tell you to stop being such a coward?
Just hit them will all your strength.” [Berk]
“Yeah… But when they stand in front of me like that, I just…” [Wist]
As expected, it seems this isn’t a recent problem for him. But what should I tell him?
“I’m… Not really thinking of anything, to be honest.” [Ryouma]
“When I fight, I fight. My focus is solely in the enemy’s movements as well as my own.” [Ryouma]