Chapter 138: Among them, part 2


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


I was informed on the spot that I had passed. The interview had no doubt been imposed to filter out the hopeful but unqualified vagabonds that had come knocking. The mustachioed knight then said that recruits are trained on the outskirts of the city, and gave me directions so that I could join them.

Me, a recruit…

I’ve always been the one doing the teaching as of late, so I found it refreshing to be on the receiving end of instruction for the first time in a while. When I arrived at the training ground, a hundred men or so were already assembled there.

「So I’ll be part of this batch, huh.」

Half of them were either out of shape or typical good-for-nothings that I often assessed for the adventurers’ test. Being part of a noble’s personal army had more job security than being an adventurer, and those who choose the former option will almost certainly have a higher standard of living.

I stood at the back of the line and a few more senior-looking soldiers came to split us into groups of twenty.

「I’m Daz, and I’ll be in charge of whippin’ y’all into shape. This ain’t gonna be easy, got it?」, said one of them with half a smile. 「Kay then, let’s see how strong y’all are to begin with. Take me one on one, one by one. There’s a buncha wooden swords and sticks, so y’all can use what yer comfortable with.」

The new recruits looked at each other and started murmuring among themselves. Daz and his men looked confident in their own abilities.

「C’mon, anyone?」, he growled. 「Hmm? Nobody? Already pissin’ yer pants, are you now?」

「I’ll do it.」

A determined-looking man grabbed one of the wooden swords and stood face-to-face with Daz. Making sure their sheaths didn’t slip off, his opponent drew both swords he had hanging around his waist.

Hm. At least Daz wasn’t bluffing — he knew what he was doing.

The moment the instructor made his move, the volunteer’s sword was sent flying.

「!?」

「Is it over already –!?」

Daz struck his helpless opponent to the left of his solar plexus.

「Guh-hack… I surrender…」

「Whazzat? I can’t hear you!」

Daz was making a complete mockery of him at this point. He hit his opponent again and again on his arms, his stomach, and even his face.

「Oi, instructor! Isn’t that enough –!?」, yelled one recruit.

Daz furrowed his brows.

「Wanna stop me? Then come at me yerself!」

「Aight, let’s do this.」

「New buggers like y’all are nothing but dead weight on the battlefield! It’s my job to teach you that!」

History simply repeated itself.

「Gya!?」

The second challenger was struck directly in the solar plexus. He fell to his knees and passed out.

「Oh, for fuck’s sake! What happened to yer gung-ho attitude from earlier?」, shouted Daz to taunt his opponent who had become unable to move.

What little fighting spirit the recruits had was all gone by now. They looked away from the carnage that had unfolded before them.

「So, y’all were saying something?」

Daz flung the sheath off his blade. Knowing that it’ll lodge itself in the poor guy’s head when it lands, I leapt from the back to the front, placing myself in between them.

I snatched the sheath out of the air just before it found its mark.

「Huh? When did you…」

His eyes widened and he took a step back.

「Breaking recruits so they can be properly trained… I concur that there’s nothing wrong with such training.」

「Your turn, eh –?」

「But at the same time, it’s not proper training if the instructor is only doing it to jerk himself off.」

「Oh, yer comin’ at me bare-handed? Fine by me, c’mon –」

Looks like he doesn’t want to — or can’t — hold a proper conversation. He must see recruits as nothing more than glorified punching bags. He swung his sword (which was sheathed) at me, and I parried it only to find the other coming at me from another angle.

Hm. His swords aren’t just props, I see. He really knows how to dual-wield effectively.

Sensing the speed and trajectory of the second blade, I moved to dodge it and stopped it with one finger at the same time.

「Huh? You blocked it –!?」

「And with only one finger, too.」

The recruits started cheering me on.

「Wowie, yer a martial artist, eh? So that’s why you came empty-handed」, said Daz.

「Not at all.」

「…」

「I’m not a martial artist」, I reiterated.

Some recruits took the chance to make fun of him.

「Look at how smug that guy is!」

「How lame.」

Daz stared viciously in the direction from which the comments had come.

「Oi! Who said that? You talkin’ about me!?」

「Is there anyone else?」

More snickering erupted among the crowd.

Daz headed for the recruits like an enraged bull, but I stopped him by grabbing his face.

「Guooh!?」

「My turn.」

I let him go, and he immediately produced a war cry that I couldn’t quite make out. He then tried to attack me with both swords.

Some instructor he is, I thought, picking up a wooden sword that had fallen to the ground.

「Ugaaaaaaaa!!」

Now that I had seen him swing multiple times, I could parry and dodge his attacks without thinking. I used the wooden sword to knock his sword from its path, and he immediately shrunk back. Sticking out my foot, I tripped him easily.

「Dual-wielding may look intimidating, but the power with which you can wield each sword is only half that of using both hands for one sword.」

I stuck my wooden sword into the ground right beside his face.

「There is no point in a non-fatal blow. Don’t you agree, instructor?」

It’s natural to fear your opponent if you’re not entirely sure whether he can kill you with one blow. On the other hand, if you know you can comfortably take one or more blows from your opponent, it greatly reduces the psychological stress on you.

「As you can see, dual-wielding is not recommended. Quality over quantity, after all. Unless you’re nothing more than a stuntman…?」

「Guu…」

Gnashing his teeth, he laid flat in surrender.

The crowd of recruits and other instructors cheered. They must have been watching our little exchange.

「Daz surrendered completely!」

「The dual-wielding Daz… isn’t he the best soldier in town?」

「But someone even stronger has showed up…!」

Is he really that strong?

「For fuck’s sake! Raaaaahh!」, roared Daz as he got to his feet.

His eyes were bloodshot, and he was still gnashing his teeth like a wild animal. He unsheathed his swords, which meant that he still wanted to kill me. But the moment he tried to attack, I smacked his chin with the wooden sword and knew that I had broken his jaw.

I wasn’t done yet, though — I did the same for one of his legs and both wrists, ensuring that he now had more bones than the average person. He crumpled to the ground without even screaming.

「What just happened…?」

「Daz was about to attack, but collapsed…?」

If Daz really was the strongest here, then the others probably couldn’t catch what I had just done. Anyway, he would have trouble eating properly for the next two months. But for an abusive trainer who bullied recruits in the name of training, he definitely got his just desserts.



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