Published at 8th of November 2020 02:00:36 PM
The strength of my body is incomparable to what it was before . It lets me get to the northern most area of the royal capital where Gild-san lives in moments, and I’m not even out of breath when I get there .
Gild-san is seated out behind his house carving a stone . Apparently, carving stones for buildings and garden ornaments is his everyday job .
Today too, when I arrive, he is working on a carving as usual . However, my arrival being so early in the morning seems to surprise him .
“Shouldn’t there have been school in the morning?”
“Yes, there really is school today, but I have a better use for that time . ”
“You don’t say?” Gild-san, picking up on my enthusiasm, brings out the pair of swords from his house . He then hands me the straight sword and draws the beautiful saber .
“There is something different about Ernea today . You are filled with power . ”
As expected of Gild-san . He immediately noticed something about me had changed .
“Yes, various things happened earlier this morning . Starting from today, I am different from the me from up until now . ”
I hold the straight sword with my right hand and raise up the wooden spirit tree sword with my left .
[You can do it . You can do it . ]
The spirit-san cheers me on from within .
An extraordinary amount of dragon ki wells up . I can feel the spirit tree pulsating power from my left hand .
The current me can do it .
I’m not sure about that . Before Gild-san who is neither lowering his guard nor leaving any openings my self-confidence is fading .
Still, I’ll absolutely take him down .
As I tell myself that, I kick off the ground .
“Mu . ”
Gild-san groans out at my unprecedented acceleration .
Then, with the smallest movement of his saber, he tries to restrain me . Strangely, my eyes can currently perceive Gild-san’s movements in slow motion . I dive underneath the saber’s fluid cut and close the distance between us in one go . However, Gild-san isn’t flustered . He merely takes a step back and raises his saber . That simple movement causes the sword I should have avoided to rain down on me again . I swing the wooden spirit tree sword in my left hand . With that subtle movement, I lightly deflect Gild-san’s heavy strike .
“Mu mu . ”
Gild-san is surprised .
Up until yesterday, that one blow would destroy my posture . That would then influence the battle into culminating in my defeat . However, the present me is different . I have united with the spirit-san and now an immeasurable amount of dragon ki is strengthening my body . No matter how heavy Gild-san’s blows are, I have the power to withstand them .
Following the flow, I flick aside Gild-san’s saber and commence my dragon swords dance . My movements flow into one another and I raise the straight sword in my right hand .
Gild-san avoids it . Yet, even if it’s avoided, I move in a circular pattern and get closer to him . Now, I ease my left hand forward and thrust .
My wooden spirit tree sword is repelled . This time, however, I continue with the momentum and give a powerful leap forward with a knee strike towards Gild-san’s abdomen .
Gild-san might have sensed a discomfort for he leaps back a vast distance and avoids it .
“I’m surprised . Ernea is completely different from yesterday . ”
Gild-san speaks with wonder, but I won’t reveal my secret .
I vigorously close the distance between Gild-san and myself . From there develops a violent exchange of blows where Gild-san parries my strong swings and I receive his heavy strikes with my wooden spirit tree sword .
The tip of Gild-san’s sword wavers . He’s trying to mislead my eyes, but the present me remains calm . I won’t fall for Gild-san’s trap . I ignore the invitation .
In return, I merely dance my dragon swords dance with fluid movements . My attack leaves no openings and Gild-san is forced to defend many times . Still, Gild-san isn’t being overwhelmed either . Regardless of what I do, he receives it and wards it off .
“Ernea is too honest . ”
It’s a comment Gild-san once made about how I fight . For the sake of victory, I need to be dirty and use deception . In regards to fighting dirty, it could be argued that by combining with the spirit-san, the present me is two people . Therefore, what I’m lacking is the ability to deceive my opponents . Or technique, I suppose .
Ten blows, twenty blows, my exchange with Gild-san continues . On his face is a seriousness I have never seen before .
As I continue to switch between my straight sword and wooden spirit tree sword, Gild-san’s responses collapse .
Now, I step forward with that thought and invigorate my assault .
However, that was Gild-san’s invitation . He meets my enthusiastic step forward with his own step forward . With the distance I was aiming to have between us destroyed, I become flustered . I try to reorganize myself, but the instant I step back my posture is destroyed .
As I’m making sense of the situation, Gild-san has already taken another step forward and is swinging his saber .
“The match, it’s mine!”
That is what Gild-san’s eyes seem to say when mine cross with his .
Except, not really .
My posture breaking and me lowering was only what I showed him . I fill my legs with power and take a massive leap back . Then, while sending dragon ki into the wooden spirit tree sword in my left hand, I invoke the technique taught to me by the spirit-san .
As I am leaping back, I swing the wooden spirit tree sword in my left hand . Naturally, with the space between us, it doesn’t hit Gild-san, but his eyes fill with doubt . It’s then that countless green leaves explode forward to envelop his sight .
Gild-san’s field of view is stolen by hundreds to thousands of green leaves . He is bewildered by the unexpected . With a swing of his saber, he shakes away the leaves before his eyes . The leaves cut turn into grains of light which then burst and vanish . However, when he swung his saber, many leaves ended up sliding across his arm . From those areas, fresh blood blooms .
Gild-san’s eyes widen from shock .
I, with a glance at the dancing leaves, go into Gild-san’s blind spot . Gild-san’s reactions are delayed and that is enough for me . I swing my wooden spirit tree sword with all my strength and strike Gild-san’s back .
“Uguh . ”
Gild-san tumbles over in pain .
I continue after him with my attack . I send dragon ki into my wooden spirit tree sword and the thin ivy coiled around as the hilt grows . It fills the space between us in the blink of an eye and wraps around Gild-san .
“What is this!?”
Gild-san, forgetting his pain, stares at me and my wooden spirit tree sword in astonishment .
During my run here, the spirit-san taught me how to fight with the spirit tree . The spirit tree’s true form is that of a tree sapling, one Old Sleigstar transformed it into a wooden sword with a secret art . Still, it was originally a miraculous tree . As such, it seems that many miracles can be created by filling it with dragon ki . The countless dancing sharp leaves and the growing ivy for bundling my opponents are two examples .
There still seem to be various other techniques I can use, but these are the only ones the present me can utilize at an instant .
“I can’t believe it . You had techniques like these hidden away . ”
Gild-san is impressed as he looks at me .
As these are techniques I hadn’t used before, they may have been too unexpected for Gild-san . But, well, they are techniques I learned on my way here . That I hadn’t used them before really can’t be helped .
I’m positive they won’t work a second time . Although, them working this one time is enough . I only needed to beat Gild-san once . Therefore, I tricked him .
Combining with the spirit-san and fighting as a pair can be called using a cowardly hand . With my physical abilities elevated to a whole other level, I matched tens of Gild-san’s swings and tricked him believing that was everything I had .
That was all for this .
For this one victory, I used all the plays I could .
Gild-san, wrapped up in ivy, looks at me .
“Fumu, I have good eyes, but you seem to have been deceiving me up until yesterday . ”
Gild-san skillfully manipulates his bound body into getting up and sits down before me .
“I’ve been defeated, Ernea . ”
For some reason, when Gild-san declares his defeat, his entire face is happy .
I won .
Against the Gild-san I absolutely thought was invincible, I miraculously won .
I’m so moved, tears roll from my eyes one by one .
“Your ability was higher than I anticipated . You’ve worked hard . ”
Gild-san is praising me, but my tears won’t stop .
“I really beat Gild-san . ”
“Yeah, you beat me . Just look, I am literally without hands and feet . ”
As Gild-san squirms around like a bagworm, I cry and laugh at the same time .
“Well, Ernea’s victory is settled . That’s why, hurry up and take away this ivy . ”
At those words, I return the ivy to its original shape in a fluster . The ivy swiftly separates from Gild-san and returns by cutely wraps itself back around the wooden spirit tree sword’s hilt .
“Fumu, what a mysterious wooden sword . ”
Gild-san studies the wooden sword with his gaze . As he does so, he seems to be a bit concerned about his back .
Ah, right . I struck him in the back with all my strength . I also injured his arm with the leaves .
“Awa awa, is your body alright?”
I get flustered and grow worried about Gild-san .
“What? Something like this isn’t that big of a deal . ”
Still, even if he says that, it bothers me . As such, I take out a jar filled with Old Sleigstar’s boasted almighty nasal fluid and apply it to his wounds .
Gild-san makes a wry smile as he watches his wounds disappear .
“Sleigstar-sama’s nasal fluid?”
“Eeeh, you know of it?”
I was aware that Gild-san was familiar with Old Sleigstar back when I first met him, but I never would have guessed that he knew of the all-purpose nasal fluid .
“I, too, used it often when I was young . While it was only for a period of time, I also visited Sleigstar-sama’s place . ”
“So that’s how it was . ”
Looks like Gild-san has some sort of history with Old Sleigstar, too . Considering his level of swordsmanship, there’s no way he’s an ordinary person .
Speaking of which, the spirit-san has been saying some strange things…
“Well then, our match is over . How about dealing with my valuable treasure after a break?”
With those words, Gild-san heads into his house with me tagging along .
The Gild-san walking before me no longer has the passion from when he was wielding his sword . Instead, all I can see is an ojii-san living a simple life .