Here ya go. Should be another one soon as its done. Not sure when that’ll be, today or later. ~~
Companion Chapter 2 Adventures of Cloud, the adventurer (2/5)
What’s next is the practical skill examination. That is mock battle with an A rank adventurer in the training grounds within the guild. The weapons used are magic items dedicated to mock battles. Its ease of use isn’t any different from normal weapons, but it’s a weapon that won’t cause any damage when being hit by it. Master and Mio-senpai mentioned the paper fan or pico hammer, but what kind of things are those I wonder….
I’m digressing, but the weapon Knot was talking about is for the field examination that comes after this, not the weapons dedicated to the mock battle. It’s decided from the beginning that we will be using weapons we aren’t accustomed to in this place.
Since it looks like there are various kinds of weapons here, we decided to choose a weapon that comes as close as possible to the ones we always use. In my case, it’s a one-handed sword and a small shield. I tried swinging them a little but it didn’t feel uncomfortable so far. Hum, looks like I can fight without a problem with these weapons.
The eight of us will each be fighting a separate A rank adventurer and we will be heading towards a separate training ground in groups of three. The ones together with me are Roro and Yuria-san.
[Cloud’s opponent will be me.]
[So Kuuga-san is my opponent…. Please treat me well.]
[Yeah, best regards. Though I say that, I know there are no problems ability-wise. I’ll unexpectedly lose if I get careless, so I’ll have you let me go all out, you hear?]
Kuuga-san is an A rank adventurer I’m acquainted with and we’ve been dispatched together before. He is considered the most promising among the young people and a powerful person who plans to become S rank someday.
He is a roughly two meter tall man filled with tough muscles. He’s a person who you will certainly know that he is an adventurer of remarkable abilities just by looking at him.
[No, it is still impossible for me to defeat you, Kuuga-san.]
[……Easily declaring “still” is rather ominous, doesn’t it though.]
[It’s because I don’t intend to say something like not being able to win in my entire life.]
[That’s a how it should be. If a guy who says that comes this way, I would end up giving him a vicious beating. But I still can’t afford to lose in this place.]
Saying that, Kuuga-san readied his greatsword. He had no openings as I had expected. Be that as it may, the only thing I can do now is to attack from the front. If there are no openings, then I can just create one.
[Here I go!]
I kicked the ground and went towards Kuuga-san with a slash. Kuuga-san’s weapon is a greatsword that is at least two meters, so it should be difficult to swing it. I will put in a single attack while swiftly using feints.
Kuuga swung his sword before I got close to him. His sword is too fast to avoid in time. I managed to put my shield in the sword’s trajectory.
I was blown away with my shield. I landed several meters away from where I was blown off. It hurts. It doesn’t hurt even if I’m hit by the weapons themselves, but the impact is still real.
Trying to do a follow-up as if it was natural, Kuuga came running. I also took a big back step to put distance between us and to adjust my stance.
[If you were an average C rank, no, B rank, that strike just now would’ve ended the fight you know. You really are strong.]
[Kuuga-san, you’re also strong. Putting up my shield was the best I could do, let alone avoiding it.]
[That’s obvious. You think I can endure having my “Finishing Strike” seen by a kid who registered as an adventurer for only a month?]
Kuuga’s second name is “Bisector”. As you can see, this second name was added because he settled many matches with a strike at max speed.
[Well, I’m calling it something like a “Finishing Strike”, but I received this second name only when I persistently used it to settle the match swiftly though….]
[I’m aware of it you know. That you’re also amazing beside that strike!]
I went for a slash to him again. It’s the same attack method, but that’s not all I’m doing of course. Kuuga-san also doesn’t seem to think about plunging into the fight without measures, but nevertheless he will counter it with high speed slash. I guess it means I have to try passing through that first.
This time I plan to receive it with my shield without thinking about avoiding it. No, receiving is not the right word. I will deflect it. With the shield on my left hand nearly parallel to the ground, I received the slash that’s swung sideways and passed under it while lifting it up.
It was a slash that would take my all to receive it with my shield, but it became a little better when I tried my plan to block it from the start. I feel a little burden even when I warded off Kuuga’s slash whose physical strength surpasses me by far. Furthermore, there should be an opening immediately following the end of the slash. The moment I was about to advance as I thought like that, a chill ran down my spine. I instantly tumbled to my left. When I checked while tumbling, Kuuga’s slash was dealt to the place I was about to advance.
It seems he immediately turned back from the stance after the swing and released a slash in the opposite direction. I do understand it in theory, but what kind of strength do you need to do it with a greatsword. Oh, this seems easy for Sera-senpai. That person’s superhuman strength is probably more amazing than Kuuga-san after all……
Oops, I don’t have the time to think about unnecessary things. I immediately stood up the moment the force of the tumble dropped. Kuuga-san began talking to me while still in the stance after swinging the sword.
[No, you actually dodge this too? I was able to do this after practicing it recently, but I couldn’t decide on its first debut or something and I couldn’t make it look better……]
[What was that? That slash just now?]
[Yeah, This seems to be a sword skill a retired S rank adventurer used, but I don’t know if it’s right since I tried to reproduced from his stories. It seems to be called the “Something-Something Counter”]
While saying this and that, Kuuga-san had improved his “Finishing Strike”. As expected, when you have two names you’ll put your tactics together with those names in mind.
Kuuga-san still hasn’t done anything except three slashes even including the counterattack. Not even one of his attacks had reached me yet. Nevertheless, I guess I can say that the fact that I avoided three blows from Kuuga-san, whose forte is his “Finishing Strike”, means that I acquired the capabilities to compete against him in the real sense.
[Ah, sorry. My bad for getting motivated here, but we’re done here. I was told by gramps the guild leader that this mock battle ends when you avoid my “Finishing Strike”.]
[Eh, this is the first time I’ve heard that though……]
[Well, I also told him to let me go at it until the end, but gramps said I’m not allowed. Well, I forced myself into today’s mock battle, so I couldn’t say that’s unreasonable.]
[But, normally you do mock battles until you reach the end, don’t you?]
[Yeah, mid level A rank adventurers at most are originally in charge of this mock battle after all. In the case of a high level A rank like me doing this, the requirement would be softened.]
To be honest, there is a great difference between Kuuga-san and the other A rank examiners.
[It seems the reason is that it’s enough for a B rank adventurer if they are able to ward off a high level A rank adventurer’s signature move. Well, the goal of the rank promotion examination is not to test how well you understand your own strength, but to test whether you are worthy of that rank until the end. It means that making you do a mock battle until I’m satisfied is outside its purpose.]
There were some parts I can’t agree with, but if they say that’s what they decided on then it can’t be helped.
[But if that’s the case, then there is something I want to tell you first.]
[I’ll end up focusing on just that if you say it like that, don’t you think? That’s no fun, right? I mean, I also wanted to fight a little more, but the guild leader’s eyes are shining……]
[What do you think you’re saying!? Look, both the first follow-up and the last counterattack are in the gray area! Even though it’s almost time to take S rank examination, it’s bad for your points to be deducted due to something foolish, don’t you think?]
Before we noticed, the guild leader is also near us. We were focused on the battle so we didn’t notice him.
[Give me a break. You say I can finally become S rank and yet this]
[Eh? Kuuga-san, are you going to become S rank?]
[Well, I’ve only obtained the rights for the examination right now though. Well, I guess I can be S rank soon.]
I was thinking that Kuuga-san will become S rank someday given his ability, but it looks like that future is sooner than I expected.
Kuuga-san continues the conversation looking somewhat embarrassed.
[And so you see……, I’m thinking about confessing to Lusia-san once more if I become S rank, but can’t you hook me up with her?]
……Kuuga-san seems to be in love with Lusia-sensei. I was told he fell in love from Lusia-sensei’s figure and combat style at the time they accepted a request together. He confessed on the spot, but got shot down. It seems like he still hasn’t resigned. I can’t say him being nice with us isn’t unrelated to that, don’t you think?
Nevertheless, as far as I can see from Lusia-sensei’s behavior towards master, Kuuga-san’s confession has 0 chance to be accepted I think.
[Sorry. That is a lot of responsibility for me to bear.]
[Again!? Who the hell is he!? Lusia-san’s master that is!?]
When Lusia-san refused his confession she said “I am dedicating my all to my master, so I am not in the position to receive your confession as I please”. He shouldn’t yet know the fact she’s a slave, but if that fact comes to light, he will naturally challenge Master to a duel with her as the bet.
[How long will you keep talking about something unrelated? Kuuga, you’re holding back the next match with Roro-kun, so leave already.]
[Damn you! I will turn that around and show you someday, just you wait!]
Being told by the guild leader, Kuuga-san was dragged away from the training grounds by staff members while leaving behind a sharp parting remark. Wait, what? There are no particular problems if he’s leaving like this, right?
Now, the next battle is Roro against an unfamiliar A rank adventurer mister. Roro uses a greatsword and that mister uses sword and shield like me. It looks like it has unexpectedly the same composition as me and Kuuga-san’s match.
The fight began and the first to move was Roro. She easily swung her greatsword and attacked the mister. He also tried to block it with his shield, but just like what happened to me, he was also blown away. Oh, the mister was also surprised. ……That’s natural right? A girl about ten years old swung a greatsword easily and blew away an adult after all.
The mister who was blown away landed. In that time, Roro started running and released a follow-up towards him. He defends with his shield again. As a matter of course, he was blown away with his shield. Afterwards, that repeated over and over until mister failed to defend.
You won’t be able to stop Roro’s follow-up if you don’t do an evasion immediately after you’re blown away. But the mister doesn’t appear to be that good in evasion. Well, it is in a sense reasonable to settle with the thought that you can receive it with a shield because you possess a shield, but look what happens when you go that easy against an opponent like our Roro.
His hand must have become numb. The mister was at the stage where he dropped his shield and took direct hit from Roro’s slash. With this it’s Roro’s win. I feel a little jealous of Roro. After all, she was able to fight properly to the end and she was able to win on top of that.
[Phew, I’m glad I was able to win as planned.]
Roro said that who is now in the spectating seats like me, because her match has ended.
[It must’ve been nice Roro. Being able to fight until the end……]
[Well, in Roro’s case, Roro is required to win so Roro won’t be ashamed even if Jin-sama hears of it…… Actually, Roro thinks a mock battle with Kuuga-san who is close to S rank is more beneficial.]
[Oh, so there’s also that way of thinking……]
It’s not like the purpose is winning after all. In that case it may be better to be able to do a mock battle with an opponent we can’t fight with.
[Well, it looks like a success for now, so I hope you’re taking this as a good thing.]
[Roro thinks that is fine. But Roro is glad Roro wasn’t selected by Kuuga-san. Roro can’t expect to win against him…… Roro’s ambition to be praised by Master for being at the top of the examination will come to nothing.]
[There’s nothing at the top either though.]
Yuria’s match began when we had that conversation. The A rank adventurer who is her opponent is a spear user and one of my acquaintances.
Yuria-san uses a whip and dagger for the fight, but she’s a magician whose fighting style is <Spirit Art> and <Spirit Magic>. It was unusual for Master to force us slaves the magic to use.
Yuria-san is very good with <Spirit Art> and <Spirit Magic>. It’s as if she remembered what she forgot…… I’m guessing from the way Master was talking, but Yuria must have had a connection with <Spirit Art> and <Spirit Magic> in the past.
But right now she is our companion, our family. Only that won’t change even if something happened in the past. If there’s a situation where Yuria-san is within the grasp of her own past, then the whole adventurer group intends to protect her.
Anyhow, her fighting style is originally close to that of a magician, but she ended up registering as a warrior this time. It’s because Yuria-san dislikes that the B rank magician examination differs in some contents and that it will be held in a different day. Yuria-san acts proper in front of everyone and has dignity, but she seems to be unexpectedly lonely and hates to be alone.
Yuria-san was the one who made the first move. She started running and flung the whip on her left hand towards the spear user.
The spear user stepped back without catching the blow and avoided it. In turn, he went towards Yuria-san and pushed out his spear. Yuria-san parried the spear with the dagger in her right hand.
Although her speciality is magic, it doesn’t mean that she’s unable to handle close combat since she also participated together with us in hand to hand combat training. We often fell down during the time we were slaves so we thought we were poor at moving, but we could move without any problems after being granted strength from Master.
Dodging the whip and thrusting with the spear seems to be his plan and it doesn’t look like he will start until he’s attacked himself. Well, the dagger isn’t a threat to his spear after all. But when fighting with her whip, there’s a increased chance that even if he catches it, it would change its trajectory and hit him or it would coil around the spear and he would drop it, so it means the only option is to be vigilant of the whip.
The one who added in variations earlier during the few repeats in offense and defense was the spear user. He avoided Yuria-san’s whip attack by moving forward in advance and he approached her. Even while he approached he tried to push out his spear from outside the dagger’s each.
The conclusion was that Yuria-san received a direct hit. But this match is Yuria-san’s win. Because just before the spear hit her, the dagger she threw hit the spear user’s forehead. The rule said the match ends when a blow that counts has landed, so it resulted in a win for Yuria-san whose attack landed first.
[I feel a little unhappy since it was almost a draw……]
Yuria comes back to us and says so while puffing her cheeks a little. This is meaningless assumption, but if this was a real combat, then this would be a draw with both of them dead, right?
[I’m even more unhappy since I couldn’t fight until the end……]
[That’s true for me as well. Well, I’m not so much like Roro-san but I wanted to win, so it’s better that I wasn’t selected by Kuuga-san, isn’t it?]
[I wonder if I pulled the short end of the stick ……]
I have a bit of a bad feeling about this. Maybe, it won’t end up with me being the only person who didn’t win the mock battle, right?
[Well, there’s no reason for us to pull a good one though, with us becoming slaves.]
[But being allowed to be picked up by Jin-sama is Roro’s greatest happiness.]
Yuria makes a wry smile and Roro said that with an ecstatic face. Well, it’s a fact that we are very lucky just by living and receiving a promotion examination to B rank adventurers, so let’s not ask for any more luxuries.
With the fact all of our group succeeded in the examination, we decided to move to the meeting point at once.
[I really am the only one who didn’t win……]
[Don’t sweat it. It can’t be helped if you consider the opponent you had to face, you know.]
Knot comforted me, but the truth that only I didn’t win really hit me emotionally and it doesn’t look like I will be recovering anytime soon.
[Adel also had a very close call too though.]
[Coco-chan, don’t say that so much……]
[Eh~, but that one in the end was a lucky shot, wasn’t it?]
[Well, I guess…]
It seems Adel also got in at the very last moment. Even then I envy just the results he left behind.
The guild leader came to meet us while we were talking.
[First of all I want to say congratulations everyone, for your passing.]
[Thank you very much.] x8
[Hum, who would’ve thought that the seven of you would even gain victory against the A rank adventurers]
That was a critical hit to me. Even though I wouldn’t mind not being told even by the guild leader……
[C-Cloud! It’s just a scratch!]
[Oh, forgive me. However, Cloud surviving that long against Kuuga is the most spectacular feat in a sense after all, you see?]
[I understand that, but…… I wanted to win……]
I somehow managed to resist crumbling down and replied.
[Ahem. Well, I will put that aside and give an explanation regarding the next examination. As you were told before, you will receive the field examination of the current B rank examination. The content of the request is to crush the metal turtle.]
[Metal turtle. It’s a turtle whose big body is protected by a steel like shell and is incredibly tough, isn’t it?]
[Yes, that’s correct. You are really knowledgeable aren’t you, Cloud-kun.]
[No, I’m not that knowledgeable……]
It isn’t that big of a deal, since I only read a book on monster ecology.
[That metal turtle was witnessed moving towards the direction to the royal capital from a place that’s one day from the capital with a carriage. You usually subjugate metal turtles with ten B rank adventurers, so I think that this is just right for the test. Luckily, the metal turtle’s movements are slow. We also have the leeway to dispatch a second team if by any chance you can’t subjugate it.]
It is certainly a nice request. We won’t actually be fighting, but according to the book <Fire Magic> and <Lightning Magic> are really effective against it, so we should be able to win without any problems with these members.
[The details are shown in the request ticket so please read them.]
[I understand. The A rank adventurer who will attend to us is……]
[Of course, me.]
The one who said that and came out was Kuuga-san. Didn’t you just leave a little while ago?
[Well, the other A rank adventurers were defeated and are feeling down you see. I never really expected this to turn out to be a crushing defeat after all. Everyone disliked it and it was decided that I have no choice but to go.]
Ah, those A rank adventurers would originally go with us after the mock battle. But we (excluding me) defeated them all, so if we can’t use the normal flow……
[Well, it should be plenty with me here, so finish this quickly and join the group of B ranks, will you?]
[I feel a little anxious, but Kuuga is also a capable person who has S rank within his grasp. I will think that it will work out somehow.]
[Don’t you have confidence in me or something…… Didn’t you just rate me highly……]
[I was thinking that I could endorse you to S rank sooner if only you don’t get carried away.]
[Damn it! I’m going to become S rank quickly and triumph over you!]
Guild leader and Kuuga-san. You are really quite close to each other aren’t you?