Our second adventure inside the labyrinth of the Starfish Larvae had just finished. With this we finally managed to identify when and where the next Magic Egg will spawn. Having this information was an absolute advantage for us over all the other adventurers who had zero information about the spawn. After returning from the labyrinth, we had a conversation about how we should spend our time until then. The consensus was to continue raising our level and train until it was time to obtain the egg five days from now. This is all for us to become the strongest party, plus Selene had to become stronger however little for her inheritance ceremony.
Currently it is the fifth day after we confirmed the spawn of the magic egg. The egg will be spawning at midnight tonight in the forest of God Trees. After spending five days in the labyrinth of the Starfish Larvae, my level became 26, Luna and Til was level 25 while Selene was level 27. It was an incredibly fast pace as we were able to continue hunting monsters without worrying about competing with other adventurers. There will not be another dungeon quite like this in the future. The first trip to the labyrinth was a rough one, however the subsequent trips were much easier as the girls were starting to become comfortable hunting in that dungeon. In addition we also had Selene who served as our tank in the hunts. The preparation we had to do for the Magic Egg was incredibly time consuming as well. Yesterday I spent the day investigating the area indicated by the star chart in the labyrinth to prepare ourselves for the spawn. Today too we will not be adventuring in the afternoon but rather after a light training session, we will be looking around the city to recover our physical strength and prepare ourselves for the Magic Egg competition.
[It’s my victory today once again.] (Youya)
[Uwwuu. Today I was unable to do it again. It’s frustrating.] (Luna)
Luna collapsed into a kowtow position as her fox ears fell down onto her face. Our usual sparring session after training ended with my victory once again.
[Youya, why did you decide to wrap your usual wooden sword in a cloth today?] (Luna)
Luna glanced over at the conspicuous change for my wooden sword. Until now I had used a bare wooden sword for our sparring sessions but today I had covered the blade of the sword in a cloth.
[It’s because Luna has improved a lot the past few days. Until now I always had room to hold back, however it’s becoming much harder to hold back now. I am not willing to risk accidentally landing a serious blow onto you without taking any precautions.] (Youya)
Until now, I always had confidence in our mock battles that I wouldn’t be hit nor would I accidentally land a heavy blow onto Luna. However, her growth over the last few days has been remarkably faster than before to the point that I didn’t have the confidence I had before. I would like to avoid taking the battles as seriously as possible however little by little I have no choice but to do so, thus I decided to put the cloth on to prevent hurting Luna.
[Until now Luna has been losing so Luna hadn’t noticed it. Luna is happy~.] (Luna)
Luna stood up with her tail wagging back and forth. Her drooping fox ears were also revitalized as they were standing sharply on her head.
[You are definitely become stronger. At a pace far quicker than any of the disciples I have taught until now. Here. It’s a reward.] (Youya)
I smile widely as I took out a bamboo tube containing a cold drink from my magic bag and pressed it against Luna’s cheeks. Then Luna took the bamboo tube with a bright smile and drank its contents. Seriously, this girl is a genius at what she does but she is still a child on the inside. Then, I looked over to my other disciple.
[Don’t forget to drink a stamina recovery potion.] (Youya)
[Eeekk. Please let me go. At this rate I won’t be able to survive for our adventure tonight.] (Selene)
Selene was completely exhausted and had almost no stamina left. Since she had made a request to drill the entire Renoir’s shield-style into her, I had given her a intense training regimen for the past few days. Everytime she got an injury or a bruise, she would heal it using her own recovery magic. Afterwards, her mana and fatigue were recovered using recovery potions.
To use recovery potions to assist with a person’s training was a luxury, however time wasn’t on Selene’s side as her inheritance ceremony is occuring two and a half months from now. We only have one month for her to fully grasp Renoir’s shield-style and develop her own style from there. Selene took a sip of a recovery potion.
[Once you are done drinking the potion, you can drink this. It’s banana milk. It’s the perfect drink for helping your body recover.] (Youya)
It doesn’t matter how much a person’s status increases, their stamina was still something that had to be trained. It is impossible to become the strongest just by raising your level, and every adventurer knew that.
For Til, although she is constantly cracking jokes, she was properly performing her own training every day. Using a bow requires both stamina and physical strength. Without either, it would be impossible to have the incredible precision she had for hours on our adventures with just talent alone. She was properly doing what she had to do, that was why I could trust her.
[Thank you. It helps alot. It’s delicious.] (Selene)
There was the scene of Selene completely immersed in drinking the white fluids down her throat.
Now then, the training for the two disciples has finally ended. Now was the time for my own training. Even though I was training the two of them, I also had things to gain from their training. However, this didn’t excuse me from performing my own training.
I wholeheartedly focused my senses into swinging the sword to let my body recognise the sensation of swinging the blade. I went through all the basic nine slashes, finishing each slashes with maximum accuracy and as perfectly as possible. With the first swing, I recognize the shift in my body when performing each slash. Second is to perform large adjustments onto the swing. Third to perform finer adjustments onto each swings. Fourth to confirm the result of adjustments and the fifth to engrave the motion into my body. Once I complete the tuning, then the rest of my body will automatically adjust to the changes.
Slight moments of hesitations, small misalignments in the angles and the stagnation of kinetic energy in the muscles. Everything must corrected and aren’t allowed at all. This was my sword that I have used for several decades. Everything must be optimized to match the image in my mind back to the level I had with my original status. After the tuning was completed, it was time to finish the day with a final check.
[Nee, Youya. Youya is strong, and yet after our training Youya is always swinging your sword with vigor everyday. Why?] (Luna)
[I noticed that too. If you were a swordsman of his caliber I don’t see why you’ll have to do that.] (Selene)
I smiled bitterly at their responses.
[You’re mistaken. This is necessary for me. Truthfully, I can feel my techniques collapsing and failing everyday.] (Youya)
The two of them had looks of dismay on their faces. I see, I must have not talked about this before.
[While staying weak, I arrived at the maximum level of 50. In that state, I polished my swordsmanship to compensate for my weakness. As a result, after my level was reset, my status rose much higher than it was before. It is incomparable to what it was before. Even with the status correction from being a Magic Knight rather than a Warrior. My current power and speed is much higher than it was before.] (Youya)
Warriors overall had better status corrections as compared to Magic Knights and obtained better attack power, defensive power and speed. However, even with the differences in status corrections, I had already reached a similar status when I was level 22, and now my stats have overtaken my previous status.
[With my current status and body, I’m relishing in the fact that my sword strikes harder and faster than before. However, it is a fact that the difference in strength and speed is causing the delicate balance I had between my techniques and my status to crumble. It is for that reason that I am trying to repair the balance in my mind everyday and adjust my techniques to my current status. Otherwise I would have to throw away everything I have learnt to compensate for my weakness and that is something I am not willing to do. I do not want to lose the sword that I have spent decades honing.] (Youya)
I began the final check as I closed my eyes and imagined a imaginary enemy. Utilizing the nine different slashes that have been fine tuned earlier, I imagined and performed the nine slashes in a combination that could be considered as the most effective that i could perform. An elegant blade capable of utilizing all nine slashes in quick succession. If there was the slightest error in any of the slashes, the nine successive slashes would crumble in power and speed. As the sword flows from one side to another, prevent the energy from stagnating as per the image created earlier before delivering the final thrust with the strength of the entire body.
Yosh. That was a satisfactory ending. I thought as I exhaled deeply.
With this, the final check was complete and the tuning was complete. Truth be told there is no reason to perform this check on a daily basis. It is enough to just perform this whenever there was a small change in my status. However if it was performed with a huge difference, the difficulty in tuning would increase dramatically. To a swordsman, the most important thing was to do your due diligence everyday.
[Youya’s sword is beautiful as usual.] (Luna)
[I agree. It was exactly as I heard. As expected of the weakest strongest knight.] (Selene)
(I don’t remember what is the exact nickname for Youya. It’ll be checked when posting the chapter on the site)
The Weakest Strongest knight.. Huh. It was a title I received after I won a competition that consisted of many powerful knights and received the championship title. Not only is it an embarrassing name but there was another reason why I did not like the name.
[It’s a shame for Selene, but that nickname isn’t suitable for me anymore.] (Youya)
[Why is that so? It’s a fact that you achieved victory in a tournament to decide the strongest knight. Uncle Youya who was given special permission to participate in the tournament certainly defeated the elite knights who were participating in the tournament and won fair and square. Hence the name was fitting for you who was inferior in every aspect and yet still won the tournament with your overwhelming skill.] (Selene)
I shake my head in response as she was misunderstanding my intentions.
[The reason that I attained victory in that tournament was because of the rules. In that tournament we had to battle using wooden swords and the moment someone lands a clean blow onto their opponent’s vital spot, then it would be the end of the battle. However, in an actual battle those knights could easily receive ten of my attacks and disregard their own defense to focus purely on attacking me. On the other hand, if I were to receive even a single blow it would be over. Now do you know how advantageous that tournament was to me in a battle between swordsman? It was impossible for me to defeat any of the top knights in that tournament.] (Youya)
Having speed and strength in that tournament was advantageous due to the rules, however there was no competition between the individuals’ attack power and defensive powers. It was because of those rules that I was saved and managed to win. It is disgraceful but I had only realised that I obtained the victory then only because I was saved by the rules and not of my own strength. After that, I was ashamed of my own conceit and decided that I would become a first-rate swordsman and would become stronger.
[That may be true but it doesn’t change the fact that you were the one who won the tournament.] (Selene)
[I will admit that, however I won’t accept the title of being the strongest. I feel guilty towards the knights who were clearly far stronger than I was. I’ll only say this once but I do not plan to give up being the strongest. I have the bonuses from the level reset and the strength that I obtained from struggling with the weakest status possible. I will continue moving forward using both of them as my weapons.] (Youya)
Surely, that was my current motivation to seek strength. Now that it came to this, it is a good time to reveal my wish to her.
[Selene. I am asking you as the person who is also Princess Lutra. Should you win the inheritance tournament, please let me attend that tournament once more. This time, I will win with my own strength and truly become the strongest knight. I will definitely win as Princess Lutra’s knight and dedicate this victory to you. It is because of this that I wish to ask you.] (Youya)
This is something I had to do to redeem the pride of the knights from my weak victory and abandon the false title of being the strongest that I obtained. It is my apology to the knights for falsely snatching away the title of the strongest, and also a test for me to move forward.
Selene’s face turned red and looked straight at me in a rigid manner.
[How about it? Selene.] (Youya)
She regained her composure after I called her name.
[Uhm. Ah. It’s nothing much.. I promise that once everything is over we will host another competition to decide the strongest knight.] (Selene)
[Thank you.] (Youya)
Selene seemed to receive a shock as she turned her face.
She was behaving weirdly.
[Now then. Since we’re having a break lets go shopping together. We can’t afford to not go sightseeing when we’re in such a beautiful place. Let’s enjoy ourselves until the day is over.] (Youya)
[That sounds great! Luna wants to eat all the delicious food in the city!] (Luna)
It seems that Selene’s mind hasn’t returned to her body yet. Looking at the surroundings, it seems that Til was done. Let’s head over and meet up with her before our sightseeing trip.
In the shopping district, we began taste testing several kinds of foods at different stores. Selene had finally returned to the usual Selene once we began to eat. However, rather than having a heavy meal at one store, we were buying and sharing several smaller meals from one store at a time before moving on to the next, sampling as much delicious food there was possible. Rather than just walking around the town sightseeing, we could enjoy the trip much more this way.
[Meat mochi is delicious. Luna wants to eat it tomorrow too.] (Luna)
Among all of the dishes that we ate, Luna’s favourite was a meat dish, ribs wrapped within glutinous rice and steamed, having a sweet and salty taste. The combination of the salty meat wrapped with sweet glutinous rice produced a delicious juice that was quite marvelous.
[I think that this is good too. It’s fun to stretch the bun and the sour and sweet cream inside is good too.] (Til)
Til’s favourite was a dish similar to rice cakes. And was one of Greenwood’s specialities, made from the local produce. By grounding up glutinous rice to make rice cakes, they added tropical fruits such as mangoes into the cream which was wrapped within the rice cake. It felt extremely refreshing to be able to enjoy the taste of the different fruits within the cream. Many of the foods here were made using glutinous rice and rice cakes, which makes it seem like gluttonous rice seems to be a specialty for Greenwood.
[Selene, which was your favourite dish?] (Youya)
[Let’s see. My favourite was from the third shop we visited, the freshwater fish skewers. It feels strange to me that it’s taste came from merely seasoning it with salt.] (Selene)
[Ah so it’s that dish. That was certainly delicious. It looks like it was caught from the river nearby, It’s freshness was on a whole different scale.]
Mountainous foods such as animals and mushrooms, fresh crops from fertile fields were delicious but ingredients from a beautiful river were on a similar level. Greenwood is a nice place and the food here is wonderful too. My stomach is so bloated that it was pushing against my armour. We also entered several stores hoping to make use of the rare drop, the Insect Ruby from the dungeon however, the results were disappointing to say the least. None of them were capable of producing a gauntlet enhanced by the item.
[It’s a shame.] (Selene)
[Yeah. Even though we managed to obtain something this rare. But let’s just focus on enjoying ourselves for the rest of the day. Let’s postpone making your gauntlet in another city.] (Youya)
The smiths in this city were not capable of making a gauntlet enhanced with the ruby. In that case, we will focus on utilizing the ruby in the next city. Fortunately, the next city that we will be visiting once we are level 30 is a smithing city, the City of Flames
[Alright, let’s reset our minds and enjoy ourselves in the city. Recover our strength and ensure we are in perfect physical condition for the race to obtain the Magic Egg.] (Youya)
[Luna will do her best! Do her best to eat more food!] (Luna)
[I want to visit another weapons store. I have to purchase several spare threads for my bow.] (Til)
[I want to visit an accessory shop. Recently I’ve been perspiring a lot and the ribbon’s colour has become dull.] (Selene)
Everyone had an idea of how they wanted to spend their time in the town. It makes me happy that the girls are enjoying themselves in the town.
In the end, we enjoyed our time exploring the city in Greenwood until the late evening before finish a light dinner while enduring the urge to drink any alcohol. Then, we finally departed for the forest of God Trees. Let’s continue to ride this momentum and obtain the magic egg.