Chapter 0010 Assassin Hawk II
The day after he succeeded in firing the Icicle Lance, Ryo went hunting in the Eastern forest as usual.
He could now send the Icicle Lance flying.
To be honest, he could win even against a Greater Boar.
That’s what he thought.
He was filled with confidence.
He felt more motivated than ever before.
However, it was not a Greater Boar that attacked Ryo.
Invisible Wind Attribute magic attacks, Air Slash, were flying at him from the front and back.
“Even though one was already troublesome! <Omnidirectional Ice Wall>”
An ice wall one meter wide and two meters tall covered Ryo’s front, back, left, and right to defend against the Air Slashes.
Ryo held the front part of his knife-tipped bamboo spear that had broken off from the middle with his right hand.
The part from the middle to the end, the butt end so to speak, had already been dropped somewhere.
The ice wall was transparent. As such, he could see the other side of the wall.
An Assassin Hawk was flying in front of his ice wall.
An Assassin Hawk with a closed right eye due to injury.
That was the Assassin Hawk that Ryo almost died to.
Moreover, another Assassin Hawk was flying behind Ryo.
Both hawks maintained their distance from Ryo and only attacked with Air Slashes.
Furthermore, the nasty fact was that one of them always remained in and attacked from Ryo’s blind spot.
And most of the time the one-eyed Assassin Hawk would face him head-on while the newcomer Assassin Hawk would attack from his blind spot.
The Ice Wall in front cracked after receiving the third Air Slash.
At that moment, Ryo raised his left hand at the one-eyed hawk, and countless lines of water shot out.
(<Water Jet 32>)
But with some uncanny aerodynamic characteristics, as though it performed instantaneous lateral movement, it dodged by moving out of the effective range.
And then … the Ice Wall protecting Ryo’s back also broke after receiving the third Air Slash from behind.
To be honest, Ryo had not had the chance to catch his breath.
After all, he had been running around to avoid the Air Slashes from front and back while trying to retaliate.
However, putting aside avoiding his opponent’s attacks, Ryo’s attacks were all dodged like the example given above.
His bamboo spear was sacrificed to defend against an Air Slash that he couldn’t avoid and he withdrew like a turtle into his Ice Wall shell to regain his breath but the Ice Wall broke with three Air Slashes.
Every time his Ice Wall broke, he would counterattack only once before regenerating the Ice Wall.
“I want to flee but … I’m sandwiched front and back and have no path to escape.”
The newcomer was perfectly behind Ryo, that is, it was going around Ryo’s blind spot and attacking while denying his retreat path.
Ryo honestly did not know how much magical power he had left.
At the current pace, he could probably persevere by repeatedly casting Ice Wall and Water Jet but … he was getting tired.
『Tiredness will lead to mistakes.』
It was a battle against the inevitable fatigue.
And he would die if he made a mistake.
That in turn caused even more fatigue to accumulate.
“What should I do?”
He regenerated the Ice Wall and organized the situation.
Until now, Ryo had only shown his Ice wall and Water Jet.
And he knew that it could avoid a simultaneous salvo of 32 Water Jets.
The victory condition this time was not to defeat the enemy but to escape into the barrier.
To achieve that, it may be better to deal damage to it such that it would withdraw like the last time, even if the damage wasn’t fatal.
“Should I lure it?”
The moment Ryo muttered that, the front and back Ice Walls broke at the same time.
Ryo fired <Water Jet 16> at the one-eyed hawk without delay.
And then he ran.
Of course, the one-eyed Assassin Hawk dodged the Water Jets.
And then, Ryo thrust out this left arm while running and attempted to release magic.
But at that instant, he stumbled.
The newcomer Assassin Hawk dove toward Ryo as he stumbled.
It must have been impatient because of the Ice Walls and Air Slashes.
It charged in as if it was shouting ‘I got you!’.
But that was Ryo’s aim all along.
After stumbling, he rolled to the left and dodged the assault of the newcomer from behind.
Then, Ryo thrust his half-length knife-tipped bamboo spear at the newcomer that was directly next to him.
No, he was about to thrust but he stopped his spear and rolled further left.
By a hair’s breadth.
The one-eyed Assassin Hawk struck the spot where Ryo was.
As though it saw through Ryo’s trap.
Furthermore, it didn’t stop after its assault and immediately flew backward.
It seemed that it had learned from its previous experience.
Meanwhile, the newcomer Assassin Hawk also returned to the air.
The one-eye seemed to be lecturing the newcomer.
Perhaps it was telling it not to let its guard down.
And once again, the one-eye faced Ryo directly and the newcomer positioned itself in Ryo’s blind spot behind him.
They were both 20 meters away from Ryo.
Ryo slowly stood up without breaking line of sight with the one-eyed Assassin Hawk.
“<Omnidirectional Ice Wall with additional ceiling>”
Seeing it, it felt like the newcomer Assassin Hawk was sneering.
It was dangerous a while ago but it was disappointed that he reverted to this method.
(Newcomer-kun, you are already dead. I want to say that aloud but the one-eyed guy has a good intuition so I’ll refrain. … You will move to that spot without fail by centering on me.)
The instant Ryo had that thought.
Icicle Lances rained over the newcomer’s head.
There were 256 lances.
It was a rain of shining ice that fell with a radius of 30 meters centered on the newcomer Assassin Hawk.
The newcomer tried to move and dodge but the range was too wide.
Multiple lances injured its wings and it was knocked to the ground.
All of the Icicle Lances were formed in midair and fell by free fall.
Even if he could fire Icicle Lances now, he could only consciously control one at a time.
That one lance had already been formed outside the Ice Wall.
Without straying, it pierced the head of the newcomer Assassin Hawk that had been knocked down.
The one-eyed Assassin Hawk screamed out.
Its eyes glaring at Ryo showed the same hatred, no, even more hatred than the previous time.
Their eyes met for just a few moments.
The one-eyed Assassin Hawk turned around and left.
“Phew … I somehow survived. But this Icicle Lance from the air, free-falling spears of light looked quite cool. All right, this shall be one of my decisive techniques.”
Although it was a tough battle that he was prepared for death, he was completely fine when it was over.
Ryo managed to survive the battle with the fated Assassin Hawk but the challenges were apparent. It was the need to strengthen his physical aspect, or rather, his physical body.
In the early stages of the battle, he ran around and caused his breathing to become rapid and it took a considerable amount of time to regulate his breathing.
This time the one-eye focused on maintaining a distance as it attacked so he was able to buy time with Ice Wall but that would not always be the case.
“Stamina is important.”
Ryo said with a clear voice.
The next day onward, the flow of a day in Ryo’s life changed a little.
First, after waking up would be some calisthenics. He would do it for 30 minutes.
Flexible muscles would prevent injuries.
Ryo had, by no means, a flexible body but he knew that flexibility would be achieved by anyone if they did it every day.
After that, lunch.
Lunch was essential. The foundation of a day. He ate a proper meal.
After eating, he would read or practice magic until his digestion was complete.
After about 30 minutes, he would run around the outer edge of the barrier. Walk. Earnestly … walk.
While using magic to create ice and water in his hands, he would run … and when he got tired, walk.
In the afternoon, once every two days, he would leave the barrier and hunt in the Eastern or Northern Forest.
Since then, he had not encountered the one-eyed Assassin Hawk.
But Ryo knew that the battle would eventually have to be settled.
It was not a theory.
That was just how it was.
After hunting and procuring food, he would return and practice magic.
On the days he does not go out to hunt, he practiced magic.
And before entering the bath, he would perform 1000 swings.
Not with a baseball bat.
He would use a bamboo sword cut out of bamboo, adjust the weight with ice, and swing it.
Ryo attended the Kendo dojo from the first grade of elementary school to the winter of the third grade of junior high school.
He joined with an attitude to play.
He had never participated in any competitions either.
During junior high school, while his friends were participating in school club activities, Ryo would be part of the go-home club and visit the Kendo dojo in the district martial arts center on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The martial arts center coach was a junior high school student.
When Ryo became a high school student, he was advised to practice at the prefectural police headquarters but he refused.
He didn’t hate Kendo but he did not want to do it that seriously either.
His reflexes were decent. He liked baseball, soccer, and basketball. Whether it was watching or playing.
But he couldn’t get into anything.
Ryo was never completely absorbed in doing anything for his life.
It wasn’t as though he hated working hard. He knew its value.
So he tried doing whatever came to mind.
He wrestled with hard work.
And then he was able to do it.
After that, even though he didn’t exactly lose interest, he never tried to push to the limits.
Ryo was by no means a genius.
Still, he could get most things done to a satisfactory degree if he put in some serious effort.
However, after coming to this world, that changed a little.
The experience that transformed Ryo was 『Magic』.
He may not have a teacher but that might have been for the better.
It might have been better that he didn’t have anything such as a spellbook.
For the first time in his life, Ryo was absorbed in using magic.
He couldn’t get good at it easily.
There was a mountain of things he didn’t understand.
But that was fine.
And there were many other things needed to make the most out of that magic.
He almost died because he didn’t have stamina.
His bamboo spear breaking in half made him realize his lack of skill.
Stamina could be acquired by running. Anybody could acquire it just by running.
The methodology had already been established on Earth.
But there was something to be aware of.
That would be stress fracture.
The bones below the knee could break … calcium intake was required but … he didn’t have milk which boasts the best absorption rate.
In that case, small fish with the bones included … would have to eventually be the main means of acquiring it.
Was there any other way to prevent stress fractures other than food?
That was calisthenics … stretching.
Flexibility is versatility!
So today, he ran as well … he walked when he was tired. But he didn’t stop. He kept walking.
He kept moving to strengthen his cardiopulmonary function.
Stretch, run and walk.
Just by continuously doing that, anybody could gain stamina.
The issue apart from stamina … was his skill with the bamboo spear.
But he’ll give up on that.
In the first place, he decided on the knife-tipped bamboo spear because he wanted to deal the final hit from a longer distance.
He had never even seen a video about how to handle a spear.
Then what should he do?
Instead, he had done Kendo before.
He had not held a bamboo sword in the last five years … but he did in the past for nine years.
His body still remembered it.
Swordsmanship and Kendo were different things.
That was probably true.
However, Kendo did not begin from nothing.
Its origin was obviously from Swordsmanship.
In that case, the thing Ryo had to do was not difficult.
All he had to do was reverse the flow that changed Swordsmanship to Kendo.
It was not an easy matter but it was possible.
Well, it didn’t matter even if he couldn’t.
Fundamentally it was a sword meant to be used as a means for magic.
His main forte was Water-Attribute Magic and Ryo was a Water-Attribute Mage after all.
*Please read this novel in the original translator’s website to support my work*