Chapter 01 – Training
Let’s see, where should we start? Well, let’s go in order from the end of the uproar in the Count Abbas household. Count Hussel, who wanted to take over the Abbas house, manipulated Dokum to assassinate Dolce, the Abbas heir, and pin the blame on Canaan.
Count Abbas asked me to find the truth, so I ordered my familiar, Beeze, to investigate. Through him, I found out Count Hussel was pulling the strings behind it all. By revealing the truth in front of Count Abbas, Dokum was captured, and the people involved in Dolce’s assassination were captured one after another, snaring the whole herd with a single rope.
However, it won’t be so simple for Count Hussel; Count Abbas seems to have accused Hussel’s family in addition to the man himself. Along with Dokum, Rotten’s wife was also arrested (Rotten is a loyal retainer of the Abbas house). Rotten’s wife was count Hussel’s niece, and after Dolce’s death, she was planning to make her and Rotten’s child inherit the Abbas family. Rotten is in a branch of the Abbas family, so without Dolce, there was a high probability their child would be adopted and take over the Abbas family.
When I left the Great Borf Forest, I assisted Allie’s carriage on her way to Algria, but that was also an attempt by Count Hussel to call her out, impersonating the letter of a noble lady who was in a good relationship with Allie. He tried to kill her off with a fake bandit attack while she was traveling. After all, she would have been the biggest hindrance to Count Hussel’s plans after Dolce’s death.
I just happened to pass by, and that caused the fates of myself, Allie, and the whole Abbas family to become intertwined, shattering Count Hussel’s ambitions. Canaan, who became my slave in the meantime, was freed from her criminal slavery.
“That’s great, Canaan. You’re no longer a criminal slave.”
Canaan went through combat training in the Great Borf Forest every day, so her level had reached 170. Best of all, she could activate her magic without chanting. Furthermore, she learned a magic called [Flame Prison Magic] which seems absolutely insane. The power of this [Flame Prison Magic] is so incredible it can’t compare to [Fire Magic]. A single attack with this magic was able to leave a crater three kilometers in diameter in the Great Borf Forest.
Canaan was silent after I said that line.
I was sitting in a chair and talking to Canaan over a cup of tea, but her reaction was underwhelming. This Count’s tea is really delicious. Let’s bring some of the tea leaves with us when we leave.
“I have a request.”
“What is it? Tell me.”
Canaan stared at me with a serious expression, seeming depressed for some reason. I’m weak to that kind of look from a beautiful woman.
“Please make me your slave again!” [ED: ah jeez not this shit again]
I was wondering what she was going to say, and she asked me to make her my slave again? What was this girl saying when she’d just been freed?
“Is this some kind of slave play?”
“No, it isn’t! It’s not playing at all!”
Good, I wouldn’t have wanted to go out with you if you said it was.
“I can’t see you anymore, Master!”
“I could see you when I was a slave. But now…”
“You’re blurred out, like a shadow…”
Is my shadow really that obscure…?
(Puhahaha! So that’s what it is, huh? It’s mostly because of you!)
(What are you laughing at? It’s not funny! …Hey, Black Mist, am I that hard to recognize?)
I did have the [Mask Presence] skill, but it was an active skill, so it only took effect if I activated it. Why couldn’t she see me? Was it because of the Hermit Coat?
“I can see you a bit more when you’re wearing the Bear’s Coat, but… without it…”
(It seems that Canaan can’t see you because your presence is so weak. Isn’t that good? You can do a surprise attack on her, you know!)
(Shut up! I don’t need surprise attacks, give me my presence instead!)
…Ah! …That’s it… That [Weird Person] title… When I wear clothes, I’m like a rock on the side of the road… Fuck, that must be the reason!
“There are various reasons for that. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you become my slave or not.”
“No, when I was a slave, I could feel a connection with you, and more than that, I could see you! Not being your slave now gives me anxiety!”
In the end, I begrudgingly agreed to enslave her again. What kind of play is that, being freed and then immediately choosing slavery again? But I was scared of the look in Canaan’s eyes. When she looked at me like that, I had no choice but to agree.
We needed to go to Sidele’s store to re-sign the slave contract, but before we did that, I needed to make an item that would increase my presence.
All I had to do was prepare some gold to exchange. There was gold dust in the Ellyn River which flowed through the middle of the Great Borf forest. It was purely a coincidence that I found the gold dust, but since I did, not collecting Mr. Gold Dust would be rude. I put it on the desk and created a perfect presence-boosting ring with [Equivalent Exchange].
Gold Ring of Existence : If you wear this pure gold ring, you have no choice but to stand out. So be careful of thieves, okay~ ♡
Nice! This will make me stand out, too!
“How about now?”
I put the ring on my finger and asked Canaan about my presence.
“Ah, I can see you, Master! Amazing!”
So, since you can see me, you don’t have to be my slave, right? I asked her that, but she said she “couldn’t feel the connection!” and still needed to return to being a slave. What’s this “connection” anyway?
I asked Count Abbas, Allie and Goliath about my presence when I met them in the hall, they said it was like they couldn’t compel themselves to look directly at me. They all followed up with a synchronized, “You’re firmly visible now,” when I put the ring on.
I was about to sweat from my eyes , so I took Canaan to Sidele’s store. I asked him when I arrived at his store, but he said the same thing as the Abbas folks.
“Are you really okay with that?”
After I delivered the onigiri, and Canaan said she wanted to go back to being my slave, Sidele’s eyes turned round somehow and persuaded Canaan to reconsider it. I also persuaded her, but Canaan’s will was firm and she continued to longing for serving me as a slave.
Sidele gave up with a sigh and made a contract to make Canaan back to become my slave.
“This will make Canaan into Sumeragi-sama’s general slave. Please take good care of her.”
Sidele bowing deeply at me. It seems I was giving him trouble. When I went back to the mansion, Count Abbas called me.
“Mhm, as I thought, he can see me just fine.”
This guy, I knew it! He just pretended he couldn’t see me well before!
Goliath and a magician-like man standing behind him also nodded with agreement.
“…W-what are you talking about?”
His tone was kind of vague. Hey, Black Mist, don’t laugh!
“Oh yes, I have three requests for you, Sumeragi-dono.”
The first was about Count Hussel. Although he said to prepare for war, Dolce said that war wasn’t good, and Count Abbas seemed to have lost his will for war thanks to Dolce’s persistent urging. Therefore, he said that he would seek the King’s judgment to charge Count Hussel for his crime.
Neither the letter addressed to Dokum nor the letter addressed to his niece, Rotten’s wife, were any problem, but he wanted other evidence of Count Hussel’s injustice so he could crush him with all certainty. The King would also make poor decisions and try to avoid a dispute between powerful nobles in the country, so Count Abbas wanted to gather indisputable evidence to prevent Count Hussel from escaping his fate.
“Ah, that guy has never lacked bad rumors going around about him, so I think if we look for it, we’ll definitely find more evidence of his wrongdoings!”
“Does that mean that you want me to collect it?”
“Can you not?”
Dolce’s idea of avoiding war for the people was admirable, and he knew that instead of going to war, he thought about crushing Count Hussel politically as the final stage. While that may have been true, I had no obligation to help him, nor did I owe him anything.
“No, I’m sorry. Forget about this. There are also things you can’t do, right?”
What? This bastard! Don’t just decide it’s impossible one sidedly before I do it!
“Alright, I’ll take that request!”
“But isn’t it difficult?”
I know I was riding on the count’s cajolery. I’ll just get right on that.
“I don’t care. Let’s talk about the rewards.”
“I see, I appreciate that. Rewards, right? Hmm, how about 20 million, no, 30 million gold, how about it?”
It’s a much higher reward than when I helped Allie or find the truth about Dolce’s murder. If there’s a war with count Hussel, I wonder if the cost would be even higher and also include people’s lives?
“Alright, then I’ll entrust you with this!”
Since the reward had been decided between, I took out something from [Material Storage] and put it on the table.
“Evidence of secret trades, illegal slavery, drug production, and smuggling, that Count Hussel is guilty of.”
The count was at a loss for words from this.
Beeze had brought home the letter that served as evidence of Dolce’s murder, but he’d also collected Count Hussel’s other letters and documents to determine if the letter was genuine, and compared the signatures and crest. That’s when I got this document. Beeze was just excellent!
“The first request has been completed, isn’t it?”
“…Ah, mhm, that’s right… but…”
It took a while for Count Abbas, who was muttering and getting into his own world, to be broken from his reverie. He probably didn’t think he’d get the evidence on the spot, so it took him a little while to prepare 30 million gold, but I was definitely well-rewarded.
The second request was about Dolce’s murder.
A lot of knights and magicians were punished for their involvement with Dokum, and Count Abbas was under pressure to rebuild the military. He supplemented the ranks with new recruits, but he wanted to improve the overall quality of the army even more. To that end, he wanted me to become an instructor to train his soldiers.
“Don’t be unreasonable, I have never been involved with the military.”
“Maybe so, but your capabilities are obvious just from looking at Canaan.”
Canaan and I looked at each other like we had no idea what they were talking about.
“It was the legendary [Light Magic] that saved Rotten, right? I know Canaan’s capabilities since she was my former vassal, she couldn’t use [Light Magic] before.”
We both fell silent hearing that. Come to think of it, when did Canaan learn [Light Magic]? Was it after she passed level 100? Since it’s a level that can’t be reached in general, is [Light Magic] just a legend?
“I hear that only heroes and great sages in the past used [Light Magic]. Now, Canaan is on par with those legends. Moreover, she can cure such wounds instantly which might have been fatal with just [Recovery Magic]. Anyone would have noticed that, not just me.”
As expected, the title of count wasn’t just for show.
“I’ll give you a lot of rewards! I beg you!”
I couldn’t refuse Count Abbas when he was bowing his head with his hands on the table even though he was a noble.
“There are conditions.”
“Ten people. I can’t take care of too many. That’s why I will only train ten people you’ve chosen. Those ten people can train other troops afterwards.”
“Understood. However, I’ll make some selections personally, and I’d like you to choose from among them. It won’t be good if an imprudent person gains power.”
I see, he can choose from servants with high loyalty.
“That’s good. But please understand, I won’t be responsible if they die.”
“…They could die?”
Count Abbas looked at me and Canaan, and she nodded curtly. That’s weird, did I force her to train that hard? I think I’ve erased my memories from that time.
“Master’s common sense is insane compared to other people.”
Canaan muttered with a sigh. I’m not convinced… I didn’t hear you complaining!
“So, what’s the third request?”
“Mhm, take this person with you.”
He wants me to take someone with me? Who might that be?
Then, the butler opened the door. Because I stayed in this mansion, I was indebted to him for many things, so his face was familiar. But behind him…
Why is she here?
“You already know without me introducing this person, don’t you? But I’ll introduce her once again. This is Hannah, the maid who tried to poison you. She’s a criminal slave now.”
“Yeah, I remember her face…”
Therefore, what the heck is this? Why is he introducing Hannah to me?
“I want to leave her in your care, Sumeragi-dono.”
What’s he talking about with such a serious face? Does he want to pick a fight with me? I’ll smack him. No, don’t make a fuss, stop it. Why do I have to take care of the maid who tried to kill me?
“I have a lot to say, but please explain yourself. Take care that you don’t jeopardize the good relationship we’ve had so far.”
The count’s forehead beaded up with sweat when I threatened him. I didn’t show my killing intent yet, so it might have just been cold sweat from his own speculation.
“She’s a poor girl. It’s not an exaggeration to say she’s basically one of the victims. However, it’s still true that she tried to poison you. That’s why I’ve made her a criminal slave, but considering that background, I’d like to leave her to the victim — you — and give her a chance to atone for her sin.”
I don’t think there’s a lie in this explanation, and I can understand what he’s saying… Well, I’m not saying there’s no self-interest in it, but atonement? Sure, one can say that she’s pitiable since her younger sister was taken hostage, and she was forced to do it. But what about me as the victim? It was good that the poison didn’t work, but if it had, I might be dead now.
“How about this, you may not be able to accept her entirely, but why don’t you simply give her the opportunity to atone?”
Good grief, this person is such a skilled sweet-talker. I saw Hannah looking down in the corner of this room. Those are dog ears, huh? …No, wolf ears? Wait, I don’t care about that now. In the current situation, it’s bad to care about something like that.
“Sigh, fine. I’ll go along with this farce.”
“Is that so? My apologies!”
I looked at Hannah again with a sigh, then turned my gaze back to the count.
“I’ll be strict, you know.”
“That’s what Hannah should be prepared for.”
That’s the count’s answer? Well, Hannah is a slave here, she has no right to say anything.
“If I decide she has atoned, I can free her, right?”
“I think that kind of condition should be acceptable.”
“Hmm. Very well then, I don’t care. Do as you like.”
It seems that criminal slaves can’t be released so easily. But when I’m satisfied and convinced by her behaviour, I will free her from slavery. I should have that much freedom.
“It’s a promise. It’s just a verbal promise, so don’t go back on it.”
“I won’t do anything so horrible that could violate my promise with you, Sumeragi-dono.”
The two of us laughed and shook hands. Count Abbas got tears in his eyes since I held his hand so tightly. By the way, Hannah’s price as a criminal slave was 50,000 gold. It’s pretty cheap, but it’s hard to find a buyer for someone who attempted assassination with poison. I recalled the time when no one buys me even for 10,000 gold, so I felt a sense of intimacy with her!
As soon as I went back to my room, I asked Hannah, “Are you okay with working for me?” I wanted to talk to her about this before it was too late.
“Yes, ’til the end of my life!”
She knelt down and swore her allegiance to me. She tried to poison me not because she wanted to, but for the sake of her sister who was taken hostage. I wouldn’t trust her so easily, but I still had a responsibility as her master since I accepted her with me.
“Alright, I’m going to save your younger sister now!”
“That’s my master! So merciful! Like a God!” Canaan was a little over the top. I’m neither merciful nor a God, I just don’t like the fact that Hannah’s weakness is still in the hands of a bastard named Hussel. I couldn’t allow anyone to control my slave’s weakness!
It’s Hussel’s fault that Hannah tried to poison me in the first place. Count Abbas was free to begin working with the royal family to go after Hussel for his crimes, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t target Hussel for my own reasons. However, I had to be sure that the difference between what Abbas did and what I did was clear.
That was why I came to the town of Sardais, which was located within Hussel’s territory. By the way, I was running while carrying two people! I think my speed was more than 300 kilometers per hour. Thanks to that, it took me less than an hour to traverse what would have been a two-day journey by horse-drawn carriage!
Hussel’s mansion was luxurious. Count Abbas’ mansion had a formal, elegant style to it, but Hussel’s had the gaudy, over-the-top kind of luxury that one would expect from new money.
“He sure has bad taste, huh?”
“Right? Why is everything so shiny!?”
So Canaan also thinks his decorations are stupid? Good, that means my perception of style is normal.
“The head of the Hussel family has even worse taste in clothes; everything he wears is covered in ornaments…”
Since his mansion was like this, it wasn’t hard to imagine his clothes would also be tacky and showy. I could have walked into his silly-looking mansion fair and square, but that was no fun, so I sneaked in.
Hannah and I both knew how to conceal our presence, but since Canaan still couldn’t do that on her own, she used the Hermit’s Coat. Its effect would make everyone here (except me) unable to sense her presence.
“Eh? Where is Canaan-san…”
Hannah was surprised, but it was also because she had a lower level than Canaan. The Hermit’s Coat had finally made its appearance after such a long time, and one of its effects was that those with lower levels than the user couldn’t detect the user’s presence.
“She used an item that can conceal her presence.”
“You really have some wonderful items, don’t you Master?”
“Don’t tell anyone.”
Guided by Beeze, we went down to the mansion’s basement. There, we found a prison. A skinny and dirty girl lay in the cell Beeze led us to.
“This is Hannah-dono’s little sister.”
“It looks like she’s sleeping right now. I’ll carry her out of the bed so that she won’t make any noise,” I said.
Hannah tried to insist, “It’s okay, I’ll carry her.”
“I have more power than you. Just leave her to me.”
The iron bars bent easily under the force of my [STR], leaving a big enough gap for me to enter the cell.
Sanya was sleeping face down. It could have been a problem if she woke up and made noise when I picked her up, so I put her to sleep with [Dark Magic]. There was no chance of resisting it because our levels were so overwhelmingly different.
“Master, I will use [Clean] on Sanya. Please wait for a bit!”
Right, this is a prison, and there’s no toilet or bathroom here, and she’s a girl after all… yup, this is the first thing to do. Canaan’s [Clean] spell worked its wonders on Sanya, and she even healed her.
I picked up Sanya, now recovered from Canaan’s magic, but I was shocked when I saw her face, frozen in place with her in my hands. Why is she here…? The girl in my arms had a familiar face that I could never forget.
A voice came out as if overflowing from the bottom of my heart. The girl’s face resembled my only little sister, Ayumi. Wolf ears like Hannah’s grew on her head, but her face was unmistakably the same as Ayumi’s.
My heart practically leaped into my throat as it beat like a drum.
Canaan and Hannah both asked with concern.
“…No, it’s nothing.”
Ayumi died in a traffic accident, there’s no way she could be here.
However, is it possible that she died in our world and reincarnated into this one? It can’t be…
I managed to move on somehow, suppressing the urge to make sure, and my desire to talk with Ayumi again.
“…She’s so light.”
I was told Sanya was fifteen years old, but she wasn’t the weight of a healthy teenage human. She was as light as a baby. She must have been getting the bare minimum of food, how pitiful. I kept staring at Ayumi’s face — no, Sanya’s. Hmm, Canaan and Hannah’s eyes… w-was that only my imagination?
Sigh, I breathe out and compose myself.
“Beeze, collect any gold and silver treasure, armor, food, or anything else that’s valuable stored in this mansion.”
I was getting compensation on my own for when Ayumi, as Hannah’s little sister, was used to blackmail Hannah into poisoning me.
“Oh yeah, you said that Hussel has a mansion in the royal capital too, right? Take everything from that mansion as well. Take his entire fortune!”
“As you wish.”
After Beeze disappeared, we withdrew from the mansion.
Since Hussel’s subordinates seemed to be getting noisy in Sardais, we went to the nearby port town called Port. As one would expect, I couldn’t carry three people with me, so Hannah and Canaan ran under their own power.
Canaan was panting hard. “W-water…” She said between gasps.
Meanwhile, Hannah was perfectly calm. Strange, Canaan should be a much higher level, right? Is this something that doesn’t correspond to that?
I poured some [Spring Water] directly into Canaan’s mouth as she asked, and she gulped it down greedily. In spite of my efforts to avoid it, she practically spilled as much of it as she could. She was certainly enjoying the luxury.
“Are you kidding me?”
“I-I’m very sorry!”
Vassals obviously noticed that the gold and silver treasures, reserved foodstocks, and other valuables stockpiled in the mansion had all disappeared, and reported it to Count Hussel. He was furious.
It was impossible to imagine that everything obtained in the past by staining his hands with evil had disappeared. The vassals didn’t even know what the count had done to obtain all this wealth, let alone that it was dangerous.
Ever since the loss of confidential documents, security inside the mansion had been reviewed and even expensive magic items were introduced. The daughter of a wolf-beastman named Sanya had also escaped from the prison by destroying the cell, so her sister Hannah was believed to be involved, but Hannah had been sold as a criminal slave and her whereabouts were unknown.
How did she escape when she was under the strictest security that was even complemented with magic tools? They had no idea.
“I was summoned by His Majesty, what happened to all our groundwork? There’s no money at all? On top of the treasure vault, even the food warehouses are empty? What were you all doing?!”
Hussel’s rage was boiling over, to the point it was the only thing showing on his face.
The confidential documents describing the weaknesses of the nobles were gone, along with all of the books loaned with cash. If this came to light, it would be clear as day that no one would defend him; even his own allies would turn around and blame him.
He massaged his forehead which had a headache caused by this incident.
In response to losing everything, Hussel increased taxes. The entry town tax was raised by five times, the merchants had to pay three times more customs duties than before, and even though farmers had been taxed 70% until now, he levied an additional 20%.
These efforts would of course raise prices in the territory overnight, and travelers and merchants would avoid the region. Farmers were originally charged a high tax, but if they were burdened any more, they would have no food to eat and be unable to survive.
There was no end to people abandoning their properties to escape. The security deteriorated at an accelerating rate, with soldiers cracking down on townspeople and farmers all trying to leave the region.
The brown rice was polished into white rice, then cooked with plenty of water. The ratio of white rice to water was one to twenty. With the water content being so high, the result was a thin porridge. Sanya had been starved in that prison, so it was better to slowly reintroduce her to food.
“Thank you very much, Master.”
Hannah thanking me respectfully.
“Don’t mind that, here, feed her, this is easily digestible food from my hometown. It will be good for Sanya in her current condition.”
“T-thank you so much.”
Sanya also thanked me. The more I looked at her, the more she looked like Ayumi. Ayumi was a dear family member that I couldn’t help wanting to see. Now Sanya showed up right in front of me, with the same face as Ayumi. Is this divine enlightenment? Is God giving me a mission to protect Sanya? (T/N: Said a guy who wanted to beat this world’s gods, lol.)
“Hey, Sanya, do you know of a country called Japan?”
Sanya was blowing her porridge to cool it down.
“Japan… I’ve never heard of it. I’m sorry.”
As I thought, I guess it was just an accidental resemblance.
“No, it’s ok. You don’t need to apologize. I’m sorry to interrupt, please eat while the porridge is still warm.”
It may have just been an accidental resemblance, but I couldn’t just leave someone behind who had the same face as Ayumi. I was told that Sanya had been held captive by Hussel for around five years.
One wouldn’t be wrong to think Sanya’s muscles had weakened considerably since she was first confined to that dark, damp and humid prison. Beastmen, especially wolf-types, are resistant to hunger, and they seem to be able to survive even with only a little food and water.
Furthermore, Sanya was doing muscle training in her spare time when she was imprisoned, so her condition wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
“There don’t seem to be any problems with your stamina or mentality, even though you’ve been cut off from the outside world…”
The wolf beastman is absolutely a resilient existence. Come to think of it, Ayumi also had a positive outlook. In the end, I still saw her as my sister.
By the count’s request, I took Canaan to the training grounds. Hannah and Sanya were at an inn affiliated with Sidele. The sisters had been separated for a very long time, so Canaan and I would just be a hindrance to their reunion.
But I want to see Ayumi, too…
“Master, why do you look so sad…”
Whoops. Seems I’ve made Canaan worry.
“I’m fine. Thanks.”
When I gently patted her head, Canaan’s eyes narrowed. Even she had felt the sadness of losing her parents, so I had to be more reliable.
Many knights were active in this circular training ground that was roughly 150 meters in diameter. Looking over the lively place, Goliath was doing a mock battle against three of his subordinates. I decided to watch him train for a while.
Goliath’s weapon was a huge sword. In the mansion, he used a normal sword, but this big sword was probably his main weapon. It was a double-edged sword about 150 centimeters long, 40 centimeters wide at its widest, and a thickness of about 5 centimeters. [ED: wtf just use a hammer at that point]
Goliath himself is a gorilla-beastman about two meters tall, with so much physical power that he can handle that big sword with just one hand. He must resemble a muscular gorilla himself, or else he wouldn’t handle such an overbuilt weapon so easily.
Name: Goliath Ixal
Job: Strong-Arm Swordsman, Level 52
Skills: [Two-handed Swordsmanship] [Strong Arm] [Destruction] [Body Strengthening (2)]
Attributes: HP [D] | MP [F] | STR [C] | INT [F] | AGI [E] | DEX [E] LUK [E]
His status showed he was as much a muscle brain as you’d guess from his appearance. This “Strong-Arm Swordsman” job had a power-oriented composition, with [Two-handed Swordsmanship], [Strong Arm], [Destruction], and [Body Strengthening (2)]… It’s really a perfectly suited job for Goliath.
Since [Body Strengthening (2)] is a passive skill that’s always active, he really might be able to handle that big sword as lightly as a normal one. When it came to the subordinates that were acting as his opponents, one of them took the hits with his entire body, making use of his large build, while the other two were blown away by the flat of his huge sword.
He blew right through all three of them at once, and they were barely able to stand back up, using their swords like canes to support themselves. Their feet were trembling like a newborn foal; even three people at once couldn’t compete with him at all.
He breathed out, gave instructions to his subordinates, and walked calmly towards me. His big body had a certain presence to it.
“Yo, that was rather exciting.”
“Young people these days are disappointing.”
There don’t seem to be any knights among his subordinates who can fight Goliath properly. There had been Rotten until now, so he didn’t feel troubled to search for a sparring partner.
However, even though Rotten wasn’t involved in Dolce’s assassination, he quit the knighthood and stayed home with his wife, because she was one of the main culprits. The fact that Rotten had settled down like that and wasn’t accused of the crime that involved his wife as the main culprit, was likely because they recognized his loyalty.
I’m sorry about the sad atmosphere, but I didn’t come to the training ground to talk about Rotten.
“I came here to see those chosen for my training.”
“Yeah, I know. Can you listen to my one request before that?”
“Just say it.”
“I’d like to have a bout with you.”
He’s a lively and hot-blooded guy. But I don’t hate that kind of person.
(Isn’t that interesting, Tsukuru? You should try it!)
(What’s that, Black Mist? You want to fight Goliath?)
(It doesn’t mean anything for me to fight him. Fighting Goliath is so you can learn to lead a lower companion.”
(Aren’t you going to train ten people? That means you will have ten disciples… Master Tsukuru.) [T/N: Master here = Shishou.]
(Master, you say… that sounds pretty good…)
“I don’t mind, but I don’t know if you’ll get hurt. I’m not very good at going easy on people.”
Since going easy on someone depends on skills.
“I swear on my pride as a warrior, I won’t object to the results when it’s over.”
Goliath knows I have strength, but he doesn’t know the scale of it. That’s why he wants to check it for himself. I guess he really is a battle maniac. If I don’t demonstrate my strength to his subordinates, they may not accept my training. We faced each other in the center of the training ground. The knights moved to the outer circumference to observe us.
“You can start whenever you want.”
I pulled out Black Mist and held her in my right hand.
Goliath also held his huge sword with both hands and locked his eyes onto mine. His stinging bloodthirst stimulated my senses. That alone could tell me he was serious.
(Anyone who can’t control their bloodthirst is just a half-assed man, after all.)
(How many people in this world have enough expertise for you to acknowledge them, Black Mist?)
(When it comes to the knight commander of a count’s household, you should definitely be at a higher level.)
She says such unreasonable things. However, she was rather joyful when speaking of my first 1v1 battle in a long time.
We glared for about 10 seconds, and then Goliath started to move. A strong sword in a straight line. He must have used a certain amount of power to instantly close the distance with his large body. If it’s just a mere general soldier, this may be too much, but in front of me, it’s meaningless. The Emperor Dragon’s power was incomprehensible, and there were many occasions when I thought I would die. Comparing Goliath’s power and bloodthirst with the Emperor Dragon’s is like comparing a gentle breeze with a hurricane.
The big sword swung down from above, with all his force and weight behind it, right at the left side of my body, but it ultimately sank into the ground.
“I’m not done!”
He pulled out the large sword with all his might, swinging it overhead and up to the side, so I quickly fell back to avoid it again. It probably hadn’t even been two seconds. Goliath and I faced each other again.
“Do you plan to avoid all my attacks with that same look on your face?”
(There’s still a long way to go, but that was a good step.)
(Bloodthirst will tell you his movements, so you could avoid him even if you closed your eyes.)
“Erase your bloodthirst. That’ll make you even better.”
“Erase… my bloodthirst…”
In some cases, Bloodthirst can telegraph your next move to your opponent. Therefore, erasing one’s bloodthirst makes it more difficult for the opponent to perceive your attacks. There are some advanced techniques to put feints into your bloodthirst, but you can’t train in those without first completely controlling your bloodthirst.
“Whether it’s a person or a monster, the superior ones are sensitive to bloodthirst. If you want to be stronger, control your bloodthirst.”
“I see, I’ll do just that.”
He then closed his eyes, still in the middle of the battle against me. Even though it’s training, I’m right in front of you, you know… I moved forward and swung my fist toward Goliath’s face. He grunted from the impact and flew back, rolling across the ground.
“Are you stupid? If you close your eyes in front of me, you know what’ll happen.”
The knights were saying I was horrible, but if it was a serious battle, Goliath would already be dead. He got up, nose dripping with blood, and aimed his sword at me again.
“Don’t let yourself get distracted by thinking it’s only training. Think of yourself as always being on the battlefield!”
After that, I beat Goliath on the spot.
(Goliath is really solid. Fighting him is worth it!)
Black Mist said something, but I ignored her, because I was the only one who actually hit him. He regained consciousness in a few minutes after six knights carried him to the bench.
“I fully realized my weakness now, thanks to Sumeragi-dono.”
He thanked me for beating him up, is this guy an M!?
“That last one was pretty good, you know.”
I nodded as I sat on the bench next to Goliath sleeping and stared at the knights who had returned to training. He kept his eyes closed, but he made a smile in his mouth as if he knew I was nodding.
“So, is there a list of those who will train under me?”
I didn’t want to see this gorilla-faced dude get all shy, so I forced myself to change the subject.
He took a paper from inside his armor. The paper had been in the breast pocket of this sweaty gorilla-faced dude all this time… Do I really have to touch it? I opened it, trying not to think about where it had just been. The list included the names, jobs, and levels of about thirty people. Some of them were not only knights but also magicians.
“Can you call these people over?”
“The knights can be here quickly, but the magicians will take a little longer since they’re at a different training ground.”
“That doesn’t matter. Call them all here.”
Ten trainees were selected from about thirty candidates.
[Spear Fighter] Bulga was a dog-beastman. [Great Shield Knight] Edel was a bear-beastman. [Bow Fighter] Schwarz was a cat-beastman. [Stealth Dagger] Falken was a monkey-beastman. [Healer] Akramakan was a human. [Magic Guider] Jamaran was a fox-beastman. [Dancer] Flynn, was a flower fairy. [Spiritualist] Oburi was an elf.
Only eight selected people, huh? Apparently, the other two were Goliath and Rotten. Goliath aside, when I asked him if Rotten was a good choice, he said, “Lord Abbas has accepted him.”
Mr. Gorilla was apparently a pretty serious guy, and the count was open-minded. But… They’re all men, and there are no flowers among them… No wait, there is a flower fairy, but he’s also a man.
(I wanted an oasis for my heart.)
(Don’t you have Canaan? And now Hannah and Sanya as well. They’re your harem.)
(What are you talking about? Canaan and Hannah are slaves, I’m not the kind of devil who’d lay his hand on them! And Sanya isn’t even my slave in the first place.)
(You know that Hannah’s wishes, as a criminal slave, are irrelevant, and even if Canaan is a general slave, it’s fine if she approves. As for Sanya, I think she’s fond of you, so it should be possible for the three of you to do that.)
(Don’t be stupid, I’m not depraved enough to put my hands on slaves.)
(Is that so? I don’t care either way. Hahaha!)
I looked at Canaan and saw her sweetly smiling at me. It was a rejuvenating sight.
 – A retarded way of saying that you’re crying lol.