Lecan went out to the front yard.
And took <Sword of Rusk> out of <Storage>.
Twilight wraps over the surroundings as night is hanging down the whole town.
Arios followed after him slightly later. He's holding a short sword. Must have taken it out of his <Box>.
Eda followed after.
"Eda. Stay at the corner if you want to watch. Don't move a step from there."
It's a cramped yard but the size feels just like inside a dungeon.
Lecan isn't wearing his <Overking Bear> overcoat today.
Standing before a swordsman as skilled as Arios wearing clothes with zero defensive power is making his body tense. Lecan doesn't dislike that kind of sensation.
Arios takes an overhand grip with the short sword.
"Arios. Don't you know how to wield a short sword with a reverse grip?"
"Reverse grip, is it. Does Lecan-dono wish to teach Eda the reactive stance then?"
"A stance that specializes in defending."
"Worry not then. My school of swordsmanship covers both overhand and reverse grips. Stances that are fit for fighting even in a cramped location."
The two stopped talking.
In a fight between a long sword and a short sword, the long sword user should be the one taking the initiative, thought Lecan as he took a step forward.
That was when Aris jumped out.
A quick lunging attack without a preliminary motion. This man's skill is the real deal.
Arios used his left hand to pull his right hand where the short sword was and closed in on Lecan straight on.
Lecan swung his sword down to meet his charge.
If he swung that sword down, Arios would parry it while getting into the range of Lecan's bosom. He was leading into that situation.
Lecan immediately bent both his knees. If Arios keeps on charging in, Lecan will crush him with the difference in their weights.
Arios instead twisted his body and went to Lecan's left.
While keeping his cool, Lecan made use of the recoil from bending his knees to jump out left ahead.
Surprisingly, Arios moved in sync with Lecan's trajectory. Wonderful reflexes and flexible muscles.
Arios's short sword was about to strike Lecan's left side. Lecan turned his body around and flicked away the short sword with his sword.
But the short sword was angled sharper than Lecan's expectation, averting his sword away to the right.
As Lecan gave the praise, the short sword was heading to his defenseless abdomen. But Lecan who had anticipated that used his left hand to grab and stop Arios's right hand. That right hand is holding a short sword.
The two stopped moving.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Arios-kun, do your best."
(You there. You're cheering the wrong person.)
Arios's bent left arm is pushing the back of his short sword's blade. This short sword is single edged. And the support from this left arm is the secret behind Lecan's sword getting pushed back.
Since he wanted to see Arios's fighting style a bit more, Lecan put strength into his left arm and shoved Arios aside.
Arios who got thrust away fell behind, scraping the ground. However, he hasn't lost his balance.
Lecan turned around, showing his back to Arios.
"Now's your chance~. Go get 'im~."
(Whose side are you on again.)
It hasn't been that long since the match started, but it's getting quite dark out. Human eyes tend to easily miss out things in this environment.
Distance is the most important thing in a fight between swords. However, sense of distance goes awry in this situation. Just how will Arios fight in this circumstance.
Arios's presence has vanished.
(Now this is surprising.)
Of course, Lecan's <3D Perception> is showing where Arios is clearly. However, if Lecan didn't have this special ability, he wouldn't have been able to discern Arios's location.
Wonder if it's some kind of skill.
Arios zeroed in on him as he pondered that.
Arios who demonstrated an ever-transforming movement when he was launching a counteroffensive with reactive stance is moving a bit too monotonous when he's on the offensive. And it's way too neat.
Without looking back, Lecan threw the sword in his right hand.
The sword flew straight toward Arios's head. Arios who was devoting himself fully on the offensive was a bit slow to react to that, barely flicking away the incoming flying sword at the last moment.
However, he lost his balance then and was unable to react to Lecan who swiftly turned around.
Lecan once again grabbed Arios's right hand where the short sword is with his left hand. On top of that, Lecan has positioned his right hand ready to attack anytime. Arios's muscles tightened up when Lecan's rock-destroying fist clenched hard.
"Alright. We're done."
As Lecan released his grip, Arios knelt down and hung his head down.
"This is my loss."
"I'm in awe. I cannot believe how you so easily broke through <Veil Gait (Sfada)>."
"Sfada? Is that technique you used to hide your presence earlier?"
"Yes. It's a gait passed down in my school of swordsmanship."
Meaning it's a skill that can be taught to someone else.
This was the exact moment Lecan abandoned his plan to make use of Arios only for four five days.
Learning a technique that makes one harder to detect as they move around, even if not as perfectly as Arios did, would be a huge boon to Eda.
He also had no idea short swords were such a convenient weapon.
In addition, he's now convinced that Arios is the perfect man to teach Eda in the way of short swords.
There's simply no way to avoid getting close to your opponent when you fight using a dagger or a knife. A lot of sword and dagger wielding beginners would attempt to attack from outside those weapons' range then lose their balance when that get parried off, opening them to a fatal hit. However, a weapon cannot unleash its full strength unless it's wielded at its appropriate range. Short swords are a weapon that has to be wielded very close to the opponent. One requires the courage for that.
On that point, Arios wielded his short sword from a very close proximity, never far. If Eda could learn his breathing and body carriage, her defense would go up by leaps and bounds.
There's just one thing he's worried about.
"Arios. Do they sell single-edged short swords around these parts?"
"I don't believe so. I think it'd be faster to custom order one from a blacksmith than going around looking for one. However, the defensive technique I used earlier can also be used with a double-edged sword as well if you have a hand shield equipped on your left arm."
"I see. Alright. Teach Eda in the ways of short swords."
"Yes. Do I get a passing mark then?"
"You pass. That's true for your apprenticeship as well. That said, I got no clue how to teach you to fight. Watch me fight and learn from it."
"Yes. Thank you very much."
"I said four five days earlier, forget that. Adding another day to make it six, I should be done with my business by then. Mind though, it could also be prolonged, what's with the other party and all."
"Yes. I just need to teach Eda-san the basic of short sword defensive stance in the meantime then?"
"That's right. I'm going to Dungeon Ninae with Eda afterward. You ever go inside Dungeon Ninae?"
"No. I have never gone inside any dungeon."
"Really. You're coming too."
"Come with us into the dungeon and snatch my sword skills there."
"Also, can you teach Eda a technique to erase presence?"
"That will solely depend on whether Eda-san has the attributes for it or not."
"Then find out whether she's got those attributes things. Then, go from there."
"You said six days earlier, that means you're going to the orphanage right?"
"Eh? Where are you going again, Lecan-dono?"
"Somewhere inhabited by terrible foes."
"Just what kind of foes to make Lecan-dono go that far?"
"They might very well be the toughest adversaries I've ever encountered in my life. At first I was planning to put it off, but no I'll have to put it to an end."
Eda said that the children there are pretty attached to Lecan, but Lecan himself can never get used to children. He feels like he won't be able to truly enjoy the dungeon if he goes on while leaving the orphanage behind.
He must finish off all the unpleasant things so he can head off to the dungeon with a fresh outlook.
Thus Lecan made his resolve.