They're in practice room of Adventurer's Association.
Right now, Heles is sitting on a couch putting on her equipment.
The intricately weaved clothing is a type of armor Lecan had caught sight of during their stroll earlier, it's called <Chain Mail>. Covering her head, torso, right arm, left arm, waist, right leg, left leg, her whole body. The head part hides even the sides of her head and neck, but her eyes, mouth and nose are uncovered.
She's putting on another armor on top of all that.
It's not a full plate armor, the metal parts only cover vital points with magic beast leather connecting those parts.
"Hee. Armor made of a composition of Dylan Silver Steel, Great Flame Dragon (Urvanzam) leather, Eightfold Spider (Gienur Hador) string. It has been awhile since I saw such an extravagant armor."
"Arios-dono, you're quite knowledgeable despite your tender age, surely you must be younger than 20."
"Oh not at all. I may look young, but I'm actually past 20."
"Please excuse me."
"And that sword."
"That's Magic Silver (Corad)."
"How did you know without even looking."
"Those who know just know."
Just as Lecan thought, Arios looks young to people of this world as well. Lecan wasn't too sure about it since he had no confidence in discerning this world humans' ages, but Arios really does look too young.
Considering his extensive knowledge and world views, composure and judgment, and above all, his skill with swords, Arios being around 20 is simply odd.
(Can't take this man's appearance for granted.)
Heles put on a metal helmet as a finishing touch. Only the area around her eyes is exposed. However, the mouth part has a hole, so are the ears parts with multiple small holes, she should be able to talk and hear things unhindered.
"Thank you for waiting."
"I'll say this ahead. I'm not looking to see your swordsmanship. But your combative ability."
"Hm? That means the same to me. Lecan-dono."
"Allow me to give it my all."
"Of course. Don't think you can be my match hiding your skill."
Heles drew her sword. It's a beautiful argent sword.
Then she let her mana flow into it. The sword got clad in purple-colored ripples of light.
Lecan has seen something like his before.
The <Comet Cutter> Nike wielded. A sword that turns supremely sharp by way of magic.
(This girl's a user of magic sword too huh.)
Lecan grinned and laughed before drawing his <Sword of Rusk>.
But that grin immediately got wiped off his face.
(The heck, practice hall swordsmanship huh.)
Lecan can vividly predict how Heles would make her move even while she's still in her stance.
She's good. She's got speed and power too.
She can focus well. Her fighting spirit is quite something as well.
But she's too frank.
Compared to adventurers that constantly fight magic beasts, swordsmen who have mastered the art of fighting men excel in tactics, so just what the heck is this straightness of hers.
He's got to end this farce ASAP.
The instance Heles took the stance for charging forward, Lecan let out a magic.
Pushed by a gust of wind that emerged out of nowhere behind her back, Heles lost her balance and fell forward.
Lecan swung down his sword right before her face.
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In that very instance.
Heles's sword was swung at extreme speed, hitting Lecan's sword.
Or so it looked like as Heles's sword passed by Lecan's.
No, Lecan pulled away his sword once to dodge Heles's.
And then, Lecan struck his sword on Heles's forehead.
With a shrill clashing sound, Heles fell down on the spot.
Lecan sheathed his sword back.
His eyes are locked on the unconscious Heles.
"Arios. Did you see that."
"I did. That was a wonderful reflex."
"This girl's got talent."
"She sure does."
"But all that talent is wasted chained by her rigid forms from practice."
"This person's teacher must be someone who has never been through a real combat."
"Hou. I see."
"A teacher who has no idea how forms should be put into use during real combat."
"I feel like tampering with this fellow now."
"I too would like to tamper with this person myself."
"Alright, that settles it. Eda!"
"Cast <Recovery> on this girl. Damage on her head and neck."
"G-got it. <Recovery>!"
A green orb of light manifested at once and gently soaked in Heles's forehead.
Heles opened her eyes and jumped up.
She noticed Lecan and Arios overlooking her, and saw Eda kneeling next to her.
"I lost, didn't I. With nary even an exchange of blades."
"Yeah, I'm not gonna let my sword touch yours."
"So you knew about magic swords."
"She's not here to take care of other matters right now, but another member of our party is a user of a Grace item called <Comet Cutter>."
"<Comet Cutter>! That's a famed sword! I see. Even a swordsman of that caliber is your pupil."
Heles dejectedly hung her head down.
In his mind Lecan spoke back, 'I'm the pupil though', but he can't exactly say that out loud.
"Heles. You have no other party in mind you want to join, do you."
"Very well, come with us."
"However, I will decide on up to which floor we're exploring. I give no crap about your situation. Or time limit. We can only be here until the 25th on the sixth month at the longest."
"Tell us what you know about a floor every time we arrive at a new one. That's our compensation."
"I understand. And the reward for each new floor will be"
"No need for that."
"Rewards would bind me if I take them. Like hell I'd agree to that. Also, the talk about lowest floor things ends here. Our party's got no plan of going there right now."
"I'll remind you again, we're here to teach Eda how to explore a dungeon. We won't brave unnecessary danger. If I decide to stop at a floor, we ain't diving a floor down. I won't hear any complaint."
"I understand. I shall bet on the slight possibility of you guys feeling like getting to the lowest floor."
"I will decide the distribution of loot. Feel free to leave this party if you think we won't make it after watching us. I'm not putting a limit on you."
"Limit not, limited not, is it. Understood. I shall agree to your term."
[Episode 15 Knightess Heles] End/ Next Time [Episode 16 Dungeon Ninae Upper Stratum]