Yesterday, I had a conversation with Selene about how her ancestor, the heroic princess Renoir used to battle with a single shield. However she was unconvinced and as a result we decided to have a mock battle between the two of us. However, I had pulled the rope too tight in our battle. Although I managed to stop the spike in time, Selene had the impression that she was struck by a high-speed spike through her head when in reality, only a small chunk of skin on her forehead was grazed. As a result of the shock, she accidentally wet herself in the courtyard.
The material used to produce the spikes from the shield was a special liquid made of Steel of God. It’s shape and hardness could be altered by passing magical power through it. That is how a thick and long spike larger than the buckler itself can be produced.
Currently, we were in our room at the inn while Selene was changing her clothes in the back room.
She had suffered damage to her pride earlier both as a knight and as a girl by losing not only the simulated match but also peeing in shock at the end. I was pondering on how should I approach the situation while taking care of our swords in the room. Without noticing it, the futon in front of me began to wiggle.
[Youya, Luna is finally energetic again! Never drinking alcohol again.] (Luna)
It was Luna. I learnt that it was easy to understand Luna’s physical condition just by looking at her tail. This morning while she was suffering from the hangover, the fur on her tail had shrunk but now the tail returned to it’s usual fumofumo shape with much larger volume, indicating that she was feeling better once again.
[I’m glad you have recovered. How is Til’s condition?] (Youya)
[I don’t feel fine but it’s better. My head still hurts. I can’t believe Youya and my elder sister are drinking such poisons so often.] (Til)
[That is because you both drank too much. It’s much better if you drank in moderation. It was fun when you are drinking, wasn’t it.] (Youya)
Luna and Til began to recall what happened last night.
[Uhn. Just as Youya said. Luna felt *pokapoka* while she was drinking, it was fun.] (Luna)
[Now then you mention it, you’re right. That could have been my first time feeling such a way. Luna, Next time let’s be sure to stop at 3 cups!] (Til)
[That sounds good but the world began spinning on the fourth cup. It would be fun if we just drank three cups. But having the world go *gulugulu* and *guaa-aaa* was super fun too. If it didn’t hurt this much the next day I would do it again!] (Luna)
The two of them seemed to be enlightened about drinking alcohol, although they may be getting a little too excited. The next time we have a drinking party, it’ll be fun if the two of them could get used to drinking alcohol. However if the two of they overdo it again I can always just bar them from drinking again.
The door opened and Selene returned from the back room. It looks like she finished cleaning her body and changed her clothes. It was a good thing that we had bought a change of clothes before the sparring match. Although she wasn’t wearing anything fancy, her fashion sense was good.
[Uncle Youya, I accidentally showed you an embarrassing act.] (Selene)
Her face started turning red. As expected it seems to be difficult for her to adjust in such a short amount of time.
[Don’t worry about it. Honestly, that kind of stuff happens often when you are going out on adventures.] (Youya)
[Is it supposed to be comforting that we will be embarrassed often.] (Selene)
From incontinence to vomiting and other harsher things like drowning in dungeons, there are many other worse things that can occur in a dungeon. Before meeting Phil and Leonard, I had experienced numerous such incidents to the point that I can say that I have experienced hell. There was an incident where a party of adventurers I was in had dived into an underground-type dungeon for several days, and in the midst of the chaos inside the dungeon, one of the men had attacked another woman in our party. Another man who was in love with the woman fought the other man to protect her, however the girl in her frenzied state mistakenly attacked and murdered the man who fought to protect her, tried to run away before getting caught in a trap and dying in front of the entire party. The man who had initially assaulted the woman was also in love with the woman, and as a result of his grief, he voluntarily charged into a monster and lost his life. As a result, I was left alone in the depths of the dungeon, prepared to die for several days.
The dungeon was at a level where a party of four would be able to barely get by by working together, at the time I didn’t think that I would had make it out alive on my own. However it was at that moment that I came across another party, and pay them in exchange for allowing me to accompany them all the way back to the surface.
Compared to those days, these sort of incidents actually felt pleasant instead. It was also because of this that I do not plan on accepting any other men into the party other than myself.
In a desperate situation it is easy for a person to throw away any sense of rationality. I’ve seen that happen so many times that I actually think it would be better to have a larger number of one gender rather than a gender equal party.
I have also heard about how sexual activities help the party to alleviate their stress in a dungeon but that sort of stuff is still too early for Luna and the girls. Until my eyes turn black I will absolutely never let that happen.
[Well I won’t allow such an incident to happen when we are exploring in the dungeon, however be sure to keep your spirit under control during a sparring match and strengthen your mental strength. Carve what happened in our sparring match into your mind and remember it. After all, we even went out of the way to apply coating onto your shield. I hope that you will eventually be able to use Renoir’s shield effectively.] (Youya)
Even now, Selene is growing one step at a time. She was above an average adventurer as a combat resource due to her status as well as her exclusive class. However i do not plan on forcing her to adopt Renoir’s style of battle but I do hope that somehow she will be able to incorporate Renoir’s spike into her fighting style as it’s a shame to let the spikes go to waste. I’ll be trying my best to help her in the meantime. Even if she were to use the spikes in public, no one would notice that it was a feature from the shield of Renoir since even Selene who was princess Lutra herself didn’t know about it.
[That’s so.. I will be sure to make use of that spike. Youya, it’s a shameful request but even with your explanation, I am unable to understand how to utilize the spike. Is it possible to go over the spike once more afterwards?] (Selene)
[If it’s something like that then I won’t mind. Let’s practice together.] (Youya)
In any case, I am glad that her mind wasn’t broken by the result. The end of the battle could easily be at a level of fear for her own life. It will probably be impossible for her to have another sparring match with me but it should be fine if its on the level of a training. Luna who felt energetic after recovering from her hangover came over and sat on top of my lap.
[Luna, what do you plan to do?] (Youya)
[It’s unfair to only talk to Selene. Luna wants to talk with Youya.] (Luna)
[Sure. What do you want to talk about?] (Youya)
[Uhm. You see.. Yesterday Luna couldn’t do a sparring match. Now that Luna has recovered, Luna wants to do 2 matches!] (Luna)
[I understand. Then Luna can go ahead and change your clothes, Once you’re ready we will begin.] (Youya)
[Uhn. Today Luna will finally win! It’s frustrating not to win once Youya starts attacking.] (Luna)
Luna’s sparring match was a daily routine for us. We will ending the training today with two mock battles. Previously it was a one-sided offense by Luna whose goal was to land an attack on me. However she has improved so much to the point that it became difficult for me to keep up, thus I changed the rule allowing me to counterattack if there was an obvious opening for me. But that just merely increased her motivation to win the sparring matches. Luna was still a genius who was growing at a tremendous rate.
[Luna, when I asked you to change your clothes I meant that you could head to the back room to change.] (Youya)
[Bothersome. Luna wants to hurry up and train.] (Luna)
Luna began changing her clothes on the spot. Nothing I say will change her mind so I gave up trying to convince her. Selene asked Luna.
[Luna, aren’t you afraid of the match? His one blow from our match. It was so powerful and quick.. The only thing I could see was my impending death.] (Selene)
[Youya’s sword is amazing! Just the sword is scary but wooden swords aren’t scary. If Luna gets hit by his wooden sword then Luna may die. But Youya is amazing after all. Luna believes that Youya would never harm her. Is Selene afraid?] (Luna)
Luna looked at Selene with innocent eyes.
[… A little.] (Selene)
[Then you can just tell Youya that you don’t want to train with him anymore. Although it’s weird you don’t want to train with him although you trust him.] (Luna)
Luna’s words were both harsh and strange however that was just how she felt towards Selene. Luna finished changing her clothes and picked up her wooden sword before wagging her tail.
[Youya. Luna is ready!] (Luna)
I crossed my arm and picked up my wooden sword. Right now, I can’t think of anything to say to Selene although I couldn’t bear to see her in this state. I’ll be sure to follow up with her once I come back. I stood up and headed towards the courtyard.
[Wait a moment!] (Selene)
Selene shouted with a loud voice.
[I’m coming as well. I would like to watch Luna’s training as well as your mock battle.] (Selene)
[I don’t mind.] (Youya)
[Luna too.] (Luna)
With this, I headed over to the courtyard for a second time today.
For Luna’s training, we had to select another type of slash for her to practice as she had just recently mastered both the thrust and the Yokonagi. In addition to her repetition training, we had just added another slash, the Kesagiri. It was a slash that began from the person’s upper body, heading downwards. Since it was assisted by gravity, it was a powerful blow that was easy to learn with high power.
On the other hand, it required different muscles from the thrust and the yokonagi, so it should take some time before Luna completely masters the slash.
Even so, she is a natural with the blade. She improves tremendously day by day. She will most likely take three more days to master the kesagiri slash. To help her training progress even by a second, I performed several demonstrations and explanations until she got the hang of it.
Selene watched this scene from the start to the end.
[Youya, the lesson finally ended! Time for the match!] (Luna)
Luna said with a energetic voice as she loved our simulated battles. It is definitely much more fun to train when you are able to feel yourself improving everyday.
[As usual, today you’ll be trying to land one hit.] (Youya)
[Will try my best!] (Luna)
Luna quickly got into her stance. Just by looking at her stance, I could see her growth. There wasn’t any openings however it was easy for her to transition into an attack. It was the stance that she came up with in order to defeat me in an actual battle. I flipped a coin into the air.
It was our bell as the battle starts the moment the coin lands on the ground. Now then, I wonder how will Luna fare today.
With this, the second match has ended. Luna who gave her all for both matches was exhausted and fell to the ground.
[Ug.. Luna didn’t land a single hit today and got hit so many times too.] (Luna)
[You were close to landing a hit today. Out of your twenty chances you nearly got me in ten of them.] (Youya)
Whenever Luna showed an opening, I would immediately counterattack with an attack of my own. It was to prevent Luna from launching reckless attacks and think about defending herself in the midst of her attacks. This would eventually resulting in nullifying her opponent’s’ attacks as she will be able to react even when an opening is shown.
[It’s frustrating that Luna’s attacks can’t reach. Youya has no openings. Luna tries to open an opening by attacking but that opens an opening for Luna.] (Luna)
[That is the correct train of thought, but it’s much harder to execute than it is to come up with it. Learn to come up with the combinations of attacks required mid battle and you will improve.] (Youya)
Recently, Luna has begun to mix in feints with her attacks. However, I made sure to counterattack when she made several naive feints lest they become a habit.
[Tomorrow Luna will do her best!] (Luna)
Luna had the sixth sense of a genius, however her greatest strength came from being a graceful loser. She doesn’t just try to apply what she learnt during her training, but think of the next step on her own and try to improve on her own. There are very little people in the world who would be willing to do this on their own. I have trained many people up to now, and once a swordsman becomes afraid of advancing on their own, they will become passive. As a result, their growth halts to a standstill and repeat the same mistakes without improving or learning from them.
A mind that is critical of failure while active in learning from them. That was the secret to Luna’s growth.
[Selene you’ve been watching Luna’s training the entire time. Did anything come to mind?] (Youya)
Selene had watched Luna’s training with serious eyes, especially glued onto Luna.
[… I feel ashamed of myself. Even though a young girl such as her is trying her best, I’m sitting over here cowering in fear. I was naive and overconfident and I won’t become any stronger like this. Furthermore I’ve understood what her words meant. It is strange for me to trust uncle Youya but not in a sparring match. Even with a wooden sword, uncle Youya’s attacks were sharp and powerful. However, it didn’t matter how many times she got hit. It was as if she was absorbing your techniques and making them her own. Even if she is still a small girl, she is strong.] (Selene)
Looking over at Luna, her face became reddish as she was weak to praises.
[Uncle Youya, once more I hope you will continue to train me. Of course with mock battles included. It’s confirmed after watching this girl’s battle. Uncle Youya will definitely be able to make me become stronger.And I have made another resolution. I will definitely pick up the battle princess Renoir’s style with the shield, and become stronger as a crusader.] (Selene)
[Is that really alright? You’ll be throwing away everything you learnt your entire life.] (Youya)
[I won’t throw them away. The sword will always be a part of my battles. Even if the technique changes, the foundation is still the same. I am sure that I will cower once more, but at that time I will definitely overcome it so please be sure to guide me then.] (Selene)
I let out a slight smile as Luna’s hard work seem to have resonated with Selene. That will be a precious experience for Selene.
[I understand. I’ll properly beat the hidden power of Renoir’s shield into you. Tomorrow we will have another mock battle. Can you do it?] (Youya)
[I can. I’ll be sure to prepare a change of underwear for tomorrow.] (Selene)
I was surprised to see Selene crack a joke and smiled wryly. That was how Selene’s special training began. Today we will focus on her training for tomorrow’s mock battle. As long as there is the courage to stand up, the fear will one day be overcomed.
[Ughh. Luna and Youya’s time will be reduced, but Luna will endure it as a senior.] (Luna)
Luna said some interesting things in a strange manner. Me and Selene started to laugh.
The next day, we entered the dungeon of God Trees. The monsters and treasures have respawned and the number of adventurers were higher than ever.
Yesterday, Selene had devoted her training to using the spikes as well as the foundations of being the front line of the party. She will be showing the results of her training in our adventure today. Our party’s overall strength will definitely increase with a tank as well as a healer if we fully utilize her power.
Let’s try our best to wield the power of our four-men party together.