Chapter 205: Unable to do one’s best
Shisho and Lionel both drew their weapons from their magic bags and faced each other.
They both had combative grins on their faces as they waited for Garba-san’s cue to start.
I imagined that the two of them would instantly move even before the cue to start but, as if they didn’t hear the cue to start, neither of them moved, resulting in a stand-off.
If Shisho’s style revolves around distracting the opponent with quick movements and speed and winning within a couple of moves, Lionel’s style is a calm style that mows down the opponent after he stops all the attacks sent towards him.
But that was if they still had the same condition they had up till now.
Shisho was probably measuring how much Lionel had regained his former strength.
And it was the same for Lionel as he was probably wary of that slash attack Shisho performed after slipping through the Adventurers.
Which could be seen by the sweat glistening on their foreheads.
If I closed my eyes to sense them, I would most likely sense their magical power and presence grow stronger and thinner.
It was when I started to wonder who would break the current stalemate.
Against all expectations, Shisho dropped his stance and slowly approached Lionel with a fearless smile.
Lionel didn’t overlook Shisho’s behavior as he lowered his posture and tensed the arm that was holding onto the large shield.
The instant it looked like there weren’t any further movements, Shisho suddenly swapped the sword and shield he was holding to two throwing daggers and threw them at Lionel’s feet and face.
Regardless of Shisho’s purpose, Lionel actually ignored the thrown daggers as he began to advance with his large shield thrust forward.
I thought that the dagger would strike his forehead as I began preparing to cast magic but Lionel didn’t need such consideration.
The moment I thought the thrown dagger would hit him, the large shield emitted light and enlarged even further, deflecting the dagger away.
Shisho wasn’t surprised at all by that and switched to a dual-blade style with two short swords compared to the sword he held previously and dashed towards Lionel.
Lionel channeled magic into the greatsword he held with his right hand, causing it to become a flaming greatsword as he swung it at Shisho.
Shisho wasn’t able to avoid the greatsword and was struck down.
“Extra Hea ― !?”
I certainly saw that and immediately applied healing magic in shock.
Shisho’s body blurred and disappeared like a mirage and when I realized it, blood sprayed out from both of Lionel’s legs.
Then, Shisho appeared behind Lionel but a portion of the blade of the swords he held in both hands had disappeared and he knelt on the ground.
” … Just now, what happened? Cathy, Kefin, did you see it?”
I wanted to find out so I asked Cathy and Kefin who were beside me but the two of them also showed astonished expressions.
“I can’t understand it nya. Just when I thought that his body blurred, he appeared at the same time nya.”
” … That might possibly be something similar to Ninjutsu.”
Kefin replied with that but he didn’t sound very certain.
I previously enquired about the body-switch technique(Kawarimi) Kefin used in the past and he later answered that it was actually a kind of Genjutsu(Illusion Arts).
While conversing, I was told that since it is something that is activated by aiming at a person’s consciousness, it shouldn’t work on people that the illusion technique was not directed at.
However, Shisho didn’t show any indication of having done that and the surrounding Adventurers were also surprised so it seemed like everyone saw the same scene.
“So there’s no way to tell unless one actually am on the receiving end of that technique huh? How did Lionel see through it?”
I thought to myself as I shifted my gaze back to the two of them.
From then on, the mock battle assumed the form of a mudslinging contest, perhaps his arms hurt from when he lost the blades, Shisho could not swing the blades sharply while Lionel’s legs weren’t in a condition to plant his feet firmly so he couldn’t launch his own attacks.
“This match is a draw.”
Garba-san ended the mock battle.
The two of them exited with expressions showing that they haven’t been able to use all of their strength but they reluctantly obeyed the decision.
I congratulated the two of them and applied healing magic.
The two of them had contrasting expressions.
“Well, my limit now is something like this.”
“Arrogance might have been born inside me without me knowing. I didn’t expect you to master a technique like that …”
Shisho spoke radiantly while Lionel spoke with disappointment.
“Shisho, what was that? When you fought the adventurers, I could somehow understand that you altered the tempo of your movements making it so that your opponents can’t touch you. However, that thing you did in your fight with Lionel was honestly a different dimension altogether.”
“Kukuku. I merely used Foot Techniques and Body Strengthening. Well, there’s a slight trick involved too. It’s a technique that you might be able to achieve if you hone your foundation.”
Shisho said that with a laugh but even if I raised the skill levels for those two skills, I can’t see myself doing something like that.
“That’s impossible!? Shisho’s figure disappeared like a mirage you know? Moreover, Shisho’s current speed is …”
During my confusion, I accidentally made light of Shisho’s physical ability.
“Luciel-sama, what Whirlwind said is true. Whirlwind probably moved to the very limits which made our heads perceive that he didn’t move at all.”
As I was trying to calm down, Lionel threw me a lifeboat but hearing that even Lionel perceived it that way made it even more confusing and I was getting more and more confused.
That wasn’t something so simple.
If not, it would not explain why every one of us saw the same thing.
Once the two of them had recovered, I thought of experiencing that mystery with my own body.
” … The treatment is complete. I can also achieve those movements?”
“Well, that depends on Luciel’s hard work. Now, this time, you shall fight the two of us.”
I felt like I misheard something.
“That is quite reasonable for a fight with the current Luciel-sama now.”
Instead of whether I can master Shisho’s technique or not, Lionel agreed with Shisho’s statement like it was a fact.
I looked at the two people in front of me.
… No matter how much their levels had dropped, even though it would be difficult fighting any one of these two combat maniacs in a one-on-one match, fighting against the two of them together is insane.
They probably overestimated my ability after I showed them my Dragon’s power.
“I’ll put this out there first, those movements you guys saw just now was my trump card. The magical power consumption is staggering so I can’t use it so freely. If a person like me fight the two of you, I would easily die.”
But Shisho and Lionel looked at me with serious faces and shook their heads.
“Luciel, this is for your sake as much as it is for our sakes too.”
“Luciel-sama, please accept this match.”
The two of them asked with earnest expressions.
“For the sake of you two? Not because you wish to beat up the weak me?”
“I won’t think of something like that! Luciel, you may not have natural talent but you have the talent for hard work. By learning the basics and repeating it, you should most likely be stronger than the current us.”
” … Shisho, did you hit your head? Do you think that a former Healer like me can seriously face an opponent who easily struck down a B-rank party combined with another opponent who holds similar strength?”
“I do. To be honest, if you move with that speed, the current us would be killed instantly without being able to counter it. But, even without that, you are already strong enough.”
“That’s right. Even without that strength, Luciel-sama had already become quite strong three months back.”
Shisho and Lionel were probably misunderstanding something.
There’s no helping it.
After all, even if I continue to argue, the final outcome would still be us having a bout.
Let’s just do it then.
“At least let me activate Area Barrier.”
“Of course. You can use defensive magic. But don’t hold back.”
“I don’t mind even if you cut off one of my hands.”
… Looking at their fearless smiles, it strangely felt like I was about to be killed.
” … Alright. But please don’t kill me.”
“Ah, I’ll try my best.”
“But, I will also be fighting seriously.”
Shisho, trying your best is not a definite promise.
However, due to their serious expressions, I could not open my mouth and could only reply with a nod.
I transformed my Illusionary Cane to its sword form and took out the Holy Dragon Spear before taking my distance as I prayed that I somehow survived through this mock battle.
Then, Garba-san’s voice that said ‘Begin’ echoed through the training ground.
Thank you for reading.