53 First Time
She almost couldn't take it anymore.
But her remaining energy from earlier seems to help her stay positive.
Let me explain how it came to be.
At first, we went into the backstreet and found Aryl's spot near a corner.
My guess was proven right,
[Pretty much that], [Thug-infested], [Slum-like], [Bad public safety], and [Not visible from the main street].
About sums it up. Awful can't even begin to describe it.
Aryl was taken aback but that didn't put a damper on her spirit.
"I've finally gotten to this point! I'm not... gonna give up!"
She desperately tried to stay on her feet and stood up with zeal.
If it were me, I'd have thought this was some sort of punishment game and go back to the merchant association to complain and ask for a change of place.
'There must be some mistake here.' I'd press on the receptionist.
But it seems she didn't want to cause a scene at the merchant association as she took a simple manual assembly stall from her bag while groaning, 'Gununu...'
"Give me a hand please. Let's do this. We're gonna do this!"
Even her cheerful voice couldn't hide her worry.
(Well pulling or pushing here would end in trouble either way...)
She has two choices here, 'Her business won't grow bigger if she cannot overcome something this trivial', or 'Withdrawing after a careful deliberation shows her crisis management and risk evasion skill.'
This is an important turning point that will decide how she does business in the future.
And thus she decided to [Push Through]. That's fine.
I don't mind lending her a hand.
But there is one concern. An obvious one. Yes indeed.
(This situation is way too template-like... and the circumstances around it...)
This is no mere hunch. It's a surefire one.
And this is the proof.
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"Yo yo, ain'tcha an unfamiliar face, missy."
"Welcome! We only offer excellent articles in our store. They're all reasonably priced. With no drawback whatsoever."
The moment we were done lining up all the items, our [First] customers dropped by.
Aryl had a moment of joy for having her first customers.
But her expression quickly turned dubious.
These customers, a group of three men, look dirty with ragged attires and avaricious-looking faces.
They almost look like the bandits who assaulted Aryl. In fact, they're the exact match.
The words they uttered settled it.
Clearly showing, 'They're not here for business.'
A boorish line lacking any will for negotiation.
They didn't even take a look at the items, or ask for price, under what authority compelled them to ask this?
"I'mma take 'erything here. Hell, I'mma take you too missy hehe~."
The three laughed, wafting their foul breath around.
(Oh good. They're so obviously small time thugs.)
Much easier to handle than that idiot who blocked our way here. Uninvited guests they may be.
I inwardly said sorry to Aryl for feeling relieved at these men's small fry aura.
I don't want to get praised or used to driving these kinds away.
But I'm working as her bodyguard right now. It's my turn here.
I spoke thus with a sigh.
"Our first customer isn't even a customer. I can't believe it..."
Those words shouldn't have come from me, Aryl must be thinking that the most now.
However, her pride as a merchant doesn't seem to allow her to, she's putting up with them with her [Mask] on.
"Oy oy, cheer up now. I'mma make real good use of these things here, yeah?"
A clear sonorous sounding voice denied him.
The owner of that voice still kept her smile up.
Now then, she wouldn't need a bodyguard if these types were willing to step back here.
The three thugs keep pushing, 'Ou Ou Ou!'
(What the heck is this... this chain of events really feels like a [Decided] thing...)
"Sounds like ya need some good hurting! Oy! Get 'em. Let's crush this brat and girl."
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<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
With that as a signal, I entered [Acceleration] state and flicked at the man's jaw who said that as [Gentle] as possible.
Trying my best not to kill him.
But his jaw probably got real messed up from that.
I don't care beyond that though, guy's just reaping what he sowed.
Those who try to hurt other must be ready to get hurt themselves.
What was it, gaze into the abyss and the abyss gazes back?
These types of hooligans are lacking on that department. Hence doing it halfway will only result in grudge.
They'll bring up stuff like pride and honor even though they never had one to begin with.
Because they don't want to admit their weakness.
The majority of them are simply [Idiots]. That's template for you.
I'm gonna use them as practice boards on top of doing my job as a bodyguard.
On adjusting my power.
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Among the three, the man in the middle got blown away. Without a scream.
"!!! W-what just, what!?"
I'm standing on the spot where the blown man stood before anyone realized.
You gotta get close to flick someone.
I undid [Acceleration] afterward.
I could have [Done] them all in one go, but I wanted to see the result first before proceeding with the rest.
Either they run away or keep going, I'm fine with whichever, now that it's come to this might as well enjoy this [Template] till the end.
The man got blown about 3 meter away, with a long air time. Not feels like, it really was.
I checked the [Remains] after he fell down the ground.
(Oh poor him... Crushed jaw... Lord have mercy...)
The man was barely hanging on to dear life, and despite being the one who did it, I felt dreadful and sympathized a bit at the disastrous scene.
One of the the two leftover men screamed out loud.
He tried to draw a sword hanging on his waist, but I wouldn't let him to.
"Would you calm down for now?"
I pin down the arm he's using to grab his sword.
Naturally I did that in [Accelerated] state, thus the man couldn't perceive me even moving.
To other people, me in [Acceleration] state is not merely fast.
The two thugs are sweating bullets at this unthinkable happening.
I dealt the finishing blow.
"Take your friend and get lost forever if you don't want to get hurt."
This is as far as my leniency goes. I'll turn them into my [Practice Board] if they're still coming at me.
That said, I don't want to drown myself in violence, hence I'm not gonna give chase if they choose to run.
The man trying to draw his sword kept cursing out.
Still unable to move an inch with me suppressing him.
"Dammit! What's with this brat! The heck's going on!"
The other man was pale faced and spoke fearfully.
"I got it! W-we'll do as y-you say!"
The difference between these two is whether they checked the state of the man I blew away.
The sword-drawing man never turned his head to look at that blown man as he kept his guard on me.
I loosened up my strength for the man who was willing to listen.
The sword-drawing man sensed that and quickly back stepped away before cursing out in anger.
"You bastard! I'll make you regret this!"
The rest was [The Usual]. The most cliched of all cliche.
He must be confident in his swordsmanship.
He swiftly slashed at me.
I've already focused myself by that point.
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In [Acceleration] state.
I went around and stood behind the frozen man.
I slowly, very slowly and delicately put my hand on his shoulder. Only for a moment.
Not putting in the strength for even a flick.
I gotta learn how to adjust this power little by little.
Maximum power is simple, I just let it all out.
But I gotta pile up the experience if I want to learn the control well.
To begin with, me moving around at a speed that makes everything else looks stopped must mean I'm moving hundreds times faster than them at least.
After being in so many accelerated state, I get it.
(From other perspective, I must look like I vanished in and out. Some fighting game characters also do that thing of disappearing in and out when they move too fast.)
This is absolutely not like the miraculous teleport of [Yoga].
It would have been interesting in its own way if I could do that, but unfortunately I have no supernatural power.
But to the receiving end, there's no difference between that and instantaneous transmission.
I unfocused myself while joking around like that in my mind.
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The attacking man unceremoniously fell on the ground.
Lying face down, knocked out.
'Hiii!', I heard a scream next to me.
It's the pale faced last one.
I tell him.
"Get these two out of here. You can handle it yourself, can't you? Or do you need my help?"
Perhaps it was due to excessive terror?
The man kept nodding at high speed like a broken doll.
He quickly took the two knocked out men with him and left.
Running like they were weightless to him.
As if he didn't want to stay here a second longer.