Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
Along with that shout, the first trial began.
(Please forgive me, great madam)
Along with the starting signal, the young man apologized inside his heart and took a big leap forward.
Towards the great madam who has been taking care of me since I was just a young boy.
He felt sorry for her old age, but this is a match. He wanted to end this match quickly even if he had to be rough.
But the young man had forgotten. His opponent is 「the Dojo’s strongest」.
And he didn’t know that she used to be the training partner of the owner and the old disciples.
That was from the time when there’s no associated dojo, unlike now.
Since then, everyday, from morning until evening, she became everyone’s training partner for years.
She knows how well people from this school fought and every technique they’re using, she’s truly an existence that could be called the natural enemy of this school.
Without a doubt, she was 「the Dojo’s strongest」.
(She’s too strong!!)
The young man was cornered.
The lightning sword, a technique to do a rotation like the letter「の」in succession to grasp the weak point of his enemies. Even using his prided technique, he was still unable to deal any significant damage.
He managed to break away from her bear hug and keep some distance.
The fighting appearance of great madam was frightening.
It was like a rampaging giant wild boar.
Many of the junior disciples who can’t bear to watch it looked away or simply shut their eyes.
「It’s no use, you know?」
The great madam’s words almost break the young man’s spirit.
But he can’t give up.
Because losing here means that he would lose the love of his life forever.
(……It’s incomplete but, I’ve got no choice but to use that)
That is a technique he’s been developing in secret and keeps polishing since he got his continuous thrust technique.
The burden on the body by using this technique is great, and it has never been used for anything other than practice swinging.
The young man inhaled deeply and leaped towards the lump of meat.
(Five thrust combo!)
He strikes the great madam’s weak point and instantly withdraws.
When he did, the great madam showed a different reaction like never before.
A ray of light pierces through the darkness that surrounded him.
If he kept following this ray of hope, it would be possible to get out of this desperate situation.
However this five thrust combo has also inflicted some damage on the young man.
His back is letting out a creaking sound as dull pain starts to run through his body.
You can even tell that more than this is dangerous for his body.
(…….I’ll show that I can do this!)
The young man prepared himself.
Because he can only challenge the trial once in his lifetime, there won’t be next time.
He had no choice but to win this match if he wanted to marry her.
(Five thrust combo!!)
The young man strikes once again.
A three-dimensional spiral trajectory that looks like the letter「の」in two-dimension flew at her.
In fact, the first three-thrust already dealt considerable damage to the great madam.
She couldn’t stay calm before this technique that could be called the evolution of this school’s techniques.
Even though right now, she’s taking the role of being a wall that the young man had to climb through, she actually praised the young man for letting her feel the joy of being a woman she hadn’t felt in a long time.
But even that patience of hers was pierced through by the five thrust combo.
Every spot, zones, and organs in various places were poked with the right amount of pressure, which made her entire body go crazy and went on a rampage.
(Five thrust combo!!)
He took a leap and thrust at her once again as he dodged her breast and buttocks that were swinging around.
The adrenaline running through his entire body was suppressing his sense of pain but, there were sounds of something breaking in every part of his body.
But despite that, he can’t stop.
The great madam’s face was red and trembling like a furious giant elephant.
(Just a little more…)
He fired another round of five thrust combo.
He already went past the limit of numbness. It could no longer suppress the pain that started to come back to him.
A sharp pain that could deprive him of his consciousness was running through his muscles in his entire body.
(Five thrust combo!!)
He leaped towards her bosom, releasing a thrust and withdrew in an instant.
Great madam’s short but huge arm grabbed the place where he stood just a moment ago.
He won’t be able to escape if he got captured by that huge arm. That could literally be called a Death grip.
(….. Is it over?)
He felt like there’s something wrong with her state.
The arm that was swinging around crazily stopped. Then she widely opened her mouth that drenched with saliva, exposing her gum with a lot of crevices to everyone there.
The air shook when she let out such deep voice that could crumble the wall inside the dojo. Then, she finally fell on her knees and collapsed on the floor.
The roar earlier must be the sign of her defeat.
Her giant figure that collapsed on the floor was like a giant elephant that was taken down by several lions.
「……..match set! We have a winner!」
The dojo owner declared the young man’s victory.
However, the young man that sat on one knee was unable to stand up.
It was when he did his final thrust and withdrew instantly. His back was broken.
Without being able to let out a single voice or make a single movement, the young man was carried away by the junior disciples.
Seeing that, the dojo owner was just staring at him without changing his expression.
That was the diagnosis made on the young man.
It was reported that it’s quite a fatal one and he wouldn’t be able to be back to normal.
「Well, with a high ranked healing magic, it might be possible to make him recover to some extent」
That’s what the local healer said.
And it seems that perfect recovery cannot be expected even with high-ranked healing magic.
Besides, in the countryside where the young man lives, there are no high-ranked magic users. And he doesn’t have the money to pay them even if there’s one.
After about a month of recuperation, the young man who finally managed to walk by himself, disappeared from his hometown.
He set out to complete his second trial.
Become the champion of a world-famous tournament.
Specifically, to be a champion in an A-rank tournament.
(It won’t be that difficult as long as I have my power)
That’s what the young man thought at first.
He even felt that with two years’ time limit he still had a lot of leeway.
However, the young man who knows nothing of the outside world immediately realized the harshness of reality.
(I don’t even have any clue how to participate in the tournament)
In the past, the young man was often invited to participate in C-class tournaments. But now isn’t that time from back then.
For the first time, the young man realized the value of a dojo’s banner.
The dojo was taking credit and benefit from the achievement he made. He thought that that was the case until now but, it was actually because he was under that banner that he could participate in tournaments.
(I had a big misunderstanding huh….)
Now that he can’t register under the name of a dojo, the one standing here right now was just a nameless young man from somewhere.
(And to think that you have to pay a registration fee for just a mere amateur tournament….)
I’m going to use the prize money I got at local tournaments as travel expenses. Such a sweet idea is shattered on the third day after leaving his hometown.
In the end, the young man had no choice but to survive by doing daily labor while raising his name at an amateur tournament.
The young man’s disappointment continues.
(…Above all that, my body won’t return to normal)
The young man, who was finally able to register at a local tournament, suffered from an occasional sharp pain on his back.
As a result, the opponent used the timing when he suffered that pain, thus making him lost in the semifinals.
(If only my body was in a good condition……)
The young man cried on the bed at the corner of a cheap in.
If it keeps going like this, two years will quickly pass.
The young man kept crying while the time bomb on his back keeps ticking.
With that, a year and a half quickly passed.
The young man managed to deal with the pain on his back somehow and kept fighting while deceiving himself like that.
Though there are times that the back pain came back to him and made him unable to move.
And every time that happens, he would lose and restart from the beginning.
Then one day, a piece of news came to him.
(My child…. was born?)
The night before his first trial, he was allowed to spend the night with her and ended up making her pregnant.
She has given birth safely and is now waiting for the young man with his baby.
(I want to meet them….)
A burning spirit grew inside the young man’s heart.
(I have to win. Win, and go meet them)
A fighting spirit bigger than never before rose inside the young man’s heart.
And with that passion, he managed to win at a local tournament.
(There’s the match before the God of business waiting for me if I can keep winning this tournaments)
That was no doubt, an A-class tournament.
And looking at the time he had left, it could be said that this is his last chance.
With a little bit of luck and burning spirit, he finally got the qualification to enter the match before God.
The talk about the past ended here, and we’re back to present time.
Lightning was caught after his attack failed.
His technique is an instant hit and run technique, but he’s unable to run now.
(Let go of me!)
Lightning struggles, but her hands and feet hold him firmly and don’t let him go.
She draws near lightning like a spider or a mantis went to its prey.
And then he was swallowed.
Lightning keeps shaking his Lightning Sword while being captured.
A crisp sound could be heard, but he didn’t feel like he had dealt any damage to her.
Her overwhelming defense and endurance are standing out.
It even gives you a sense of awe and terror as you would when you’re in front of a giant waterfall or giant building.
(…..I must win!)
His wife, and the child he hasn’t seen yet floated on his mind.
And so Lightning bet on everything he got.
(Five combo thrust!)
He released the technique he thought he would never use again.
The number of hip rotations increased and at the same time, a heavy load began to take a toll on his spine.
Lightning distorts his face in agony, but he doesn’t stop his technique.
If I can’t win, I wouldn’t be able to see his family ever again, making my life meaningless. He thought so.
At that moment, an eerie tearing sound echoes from his back. And his field of vision became white due to the severe pain that came late for some moments.
In the middle of that desperate situation, Lightning muttered the name of his wife before losing his consciousness.
I am on the podium now.
I thought I was defeated but the last five combos seemed to work and we both lost our consciousness in the process.
As a result of the draw, I ended up being the champion of the men’s team.
It’s not in the form of a true victory but, that’s not important. A champion is a champion.
So now I can get my wife and my child back.
(But really, what a weird dream that was….)
In my dream, a man wearing a golden mask appeared before me.
A mask that has a somewhat perverted expression on it, with lowered eyes and a long nose.
That man cast healing magic on it as he said that it’ll be okay.
And when I checked, the pain from my torn back had disappeared.
When I noticed it and I was so surprised and happy, I woke up.
(That’s a dream I often saw when I was still sick)
My body is healed, I became excited and woke up.
The second half of the dream is always the same.
Then, after waking up I checked my body only to find that nothing had changed thus made me disappointed.
I was repeatedly having that kind of dream many times over the past two years.
Or so it should’ve been.
(But it was different this time…)
I tried moving for a little bit and found that everything was normal. It’s hard to believe but, I feel like my body feels even better than normal.
Was that a reality and not a dream?
If so, then, just who was he?
Was he a god or a devil? Or was he a human being that transcends humanity?
He can’t reach a conclusion in his questions. So he put in the back of his mind as a different emotion rose inside him.
(Let’s think about that later)
I want to see my wife and my child soon.
Even though the tournament isn’t officially over yet, I can’t help but think about that.
After getting off the podium, I repeatedly took a deep breath and calmed down.
And I waited for the innocent girl to step up to serve me as the winner.
On plains with only grass, a small town can be seen.
The cultivated land is small due to limited water sources. That alone made it clear that it wasn’t a prosperous town.
But that’s exactly what Lightning has been looking for.
He felt like his chest was full of emotions.
After somehow holding back his tears, he managed to reach the town’s entrance.
Some people who saw him let out a loud voice and ran back into the town.
Others gathered around him, offering blessings and congratulations to him.
This is a small town.
All of the residents know the story of Lightning’s Dojo.
And he’s wonderfully completed the trials.
The residents pulled away when a woman came running. A small child was held in her arms.
It was his wife and child, who he has seen many times in my dreams.
The two look at each other for a while.
Even though that’s the only word that came out, both of them have a flood of emotions inside them.
I held my child I saw for the first time on my chest.
Wondering if she knew that he was her father, tears swelled up in the corner of his eyes and finally ran down his cheeks.
The tears falling from the father’s chin hit the infant’s face. As expected she probably felt uncomfortable by it, she started crying grandly.
Everyone who watched that scene started to move again as if the time started to move once again.
They laughed, exchanged words, and calmed down the infant.
After that, Lightning was led to the dojo.
He undressed and sit in seiza after changing into his dougi*.
Soon, his master, the dojo owner, appeared.
(*TL Note: a uniform for training in Japanese martial arts and their derivatives.)
「I heard that you had completed the trial」
The dojo owner’s expression is as strict and cold as when he sent out Lightning about almost two years ago.
Lightning then presents the dojo owner with a diploma showing his victory in the match before God.
The dojo owner who received it took time to confirm it.
「Very well. From now on, you’re the owner of this place. I also permit permit you to marry my granddaughter」
He said in a low voice.
Thank you. Lightning lowered his head deeply.
The dojo owner continues his words while watching that figure.
「…….You must have resented me」
His voice changes to a weak one.
Lightning raised his head, stared into his eyes, and responded.
「No, that wasn’t the case at all」
Through this trial, he had noticed the things he hadn’t noticed before, learned a lot of things, and grown.
Knowing what it takes to carry a dojo, and to be prepared for it.
Lightning conveys his current feelings to the dojo owner.
After listening to that, the dojo owner began to cry with his face crumpled.
「I myself…. know how difficult these trials are」
His sobbing doesn’t stop.
「But, because it has been inherited from a long time ago by our ancestors, I must pass it down to the next generation」
The dojo owner covered his face with his hand.
「Even if this dojo became something that would be blown away when swept by the wind, it will last because of its tradition」
Looking at him, Lightning thinks. Why the successor wasn’t his son or daughter’s husband, but his granddaughter’s husband?
Then he prepared himself.
Because someday he will give up his seat and pass the same trials to them.
Imagining that time, for the first time I felt how the dojo owner’s feelings.
With what kind of feeling did he spend his two years after giving the trials?
「I’m truly sorry for my lateness….」
Hearing those words, the dojo owner lifted his face. Lightning realized that he had come closer to his feelings.
「I’m nothing compared to you and my granddaughter」
There, for the first time, a smile appeared on his face.
「From now on, you’re the owner of this place. Take care of this place and my granddaughter」
Lightning gave a strong nod inside his heart.
「Please leave it to me」
With that, his life as a dojo owner has begun.
(Firstly, let’s take back the two years time I lost)
He had made his wife and child feel lonely. So he wanted to make up for that.
But little did he knew.
Looking at him from behind the scenes, the hot gaze of the great madam and the occasional sweet sigh she made.
The great madam never forgot the taste of Lightning.
Good luck Lightning.
Your real fight is yet to come.
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