Chapter 0029 Sword Art
Relieving Ryo of the night watch, Abel sat in front of the bonfire.
Beside him was the corpse of a Lesser Rabbit that Ryo caught.
There were traces of blood flowing out from its ear.
(A single thrust through the ear with a knife? His skill is not bad … wait a minute, a single pierce through the ear against a Lesser Rabbit? And with a knife? Far from having skill, I can’t really understand. Won’t it normally escape before you even get close to it? Or is he adept at hiding his presence? Rather than be a magician, isn’t it better if he just becomes a knife-user? As expected of someone who lives alone in this forest.)
After adding dead tree branches to the bonfire, Abel picked up the ice jug and ice cup to pour water into that Ryo prepared.
(Speaking of things I don’t understand, there’s this. When did he prepare this jug and cup? He said that I could drink it if I am thirsty while he’s asleep but … would his magical power be okay? Before eating, he poured water from over my head like a shower as a substitute for a bath … if I add it to this, I believe he used quite a lot of magical power … but he didn’t look like he was out of magical power … yeah~ I don’t understand.)
He glanced at Ryo who was sleeping in the cave with his robe.
(That robe … I feel it’s special … I think it is probably something that was not created by human hands. That was given to him as a farewell gift … what kind of master did he have? When he said ‘I’ll have to tell them that I will be away for a while’, I wondered if he was saying his farewell to the spirit of someone who lived with him in the past but had passed away … but if he was able to receive something like that, it was not a spirit … but not human either … was it a legendary being like a dragon or something? No, the fact that it can’t be created by human hands means that he received it from a spirit or something like that … no no, but …)
A proper conclusion couldn’t be reached as his questions and answers went around in circles.
Well, that wasn’t an issue since he didn’t have anything special to do during the night watch.
In the meantime, the eastern sky became brighter.
Ryo woke up at about the same time.
In the end, no monsters attacked Abel even once.
After eating the Lesser Rabbit that Ryo had caught, the two began walking north.
Naturally, there were no roads in the forest.
There was something that barely seemed to be a beast trail, but it was not easy to travel on either.
The formation was Abel in front and Ryo in the back.
It was due to Abel’s offer that even if a monster suddenly attacks, Abel, a swordfighter, would be able to respond immediately.
Well, as Ryo followed while building tiny Tokyo Towers on both palms, he didn’t object to it since then he only had to pay attention to the rear.
After all, a person would tire quickly if they had to walk ahead while still paying attention to what was coming from behind.
On that day, they were attacked by quite a few monsters since the morning.
Although the monsters that attacked were not strong monsters such as Lesser Rabbit, Lesser Boar, or Lesser Snake.
“Ryo, leave the defeated monster as it is. When it is nearing noon, we’ll have the most recent one we defeat as lunch.”
It was possible to collect magic stones from around the heart of Lesser Rabbits and Lesser Boars.
They could be used in alchemy, but the weak monster magic stones from monsters named 『Lesser』 were small and poor quality magic stones that had almost no use.
Therefore, adventurers do not collect Lesser monster’s magic stones.
It can’t be sold in the first place so collecting it was a waste of time.
In contrast, if it was 『Greater』 or stronger, transactions could be done at a reasonably high price … but, on Ryo and Abel’s journey, a 『Greater』 monster had not yet appeared.
Abel was responsible for all the battles.
Ryo watched Abel’s movement from behind.
The existence of 『Combat Arts』 that he first learned yesterday.
He was extremely intrigued by it.
Of course, Ryo couldn’t use it but he realized that the Dullahan, who trained him in swordsmanship, did not use it either …
That said, it was possible that Ryo’s eyes didn’t catch it …
When watching Abel activate his combat arts, a part of his body glowed white at the moment of activation.
For 『Combat Art: Side Step』 which was a sideways dodge, both legs would glow; and for 『Combat Art: Perfect Pierce』 that seemed to increase the attack power with a sword, the hand that holds the weapon and the upper body would glow.
However, during the 20 years of sword battle with the Dullahan, the Dullahan’s body had never shone like that.
With that in mind, it meant that the Dullahan did not use it during their fights after all.
Although he felt great that it was possible to reach that level of strength without using combat arts, he was still interested in using the techniques that he was seeing right now.
Besides, to be able to say 『Combat Arts: OO』 and reverse the outcome of the battle in one shot … Isn’t that cool!
Yes, a man has chuunibyou no matter how old he gets.
Abel, on the other hand, was naturally aware that Ryo was watching him fight.
(Is he interested in the way a swordsman fights? Well, some parts can be used in fighting with a knife so …)
That was the degree of recognition he had.
In the first place, Abel was accustomed to being watched by others.
Since he was a child, he grew up being called a sword genius.
He also learned magic, but it didn’t quite fit.
And so, he devoted himself to the sword.
That’s why he spent all his time practicing with the sword from morning till night.
And he also learned some combat arts.
Since he was the second son, there was no need to lead the house.
Fortunately, Abel quickly became an adventurer after reaching adulthood, at the age of eighteen.
Eight years later, he was now a well-known B-class adventurer.
Around the time it was about to reach noon.
Ryo and Abel exited out into a slightly open area of the forest.
Even in a dense forest, there were occasionally such places.
Yes, just like the place where Ryo was surprise attacked by the one-eyed Assassin Hawk for the first time …
Abel pulled out his sword, swung it to the side from in front of him, and felt something deflect off the sword.
Something that couldn’t be seen, something invisible …
Ryo shouted from behind.
When Abel looked up, a large hawk was fluttering in the air and looking at them.
“That previous attack was a Wind-Attribute attack magic.”
Ryo ran up and stood beside Abel.
“Assassin Hawk, this is troublesome. In my party, we would probably escape into the woods. What do we do?”
“Unfortunately that is not possible. There is a Normal Boar behind us, and in the forest in front, there is a monster that I have never encountered before.”
“Seriously? We’re suddenly surrounded? Was this a trap or something?”
Thinking a little, Ryo shook his head.
“No, it’s probably a coincidence. Well, this opening here could be an Assassin Hawk hunting ground.”
The place where Ryo was first attacked by the one-eyed Assassin Hawk was also such an open place.
The Assassin Hawk probably knew that they could take advantage of their strength in these kinds of locations.
“Well, what do we do?”
“Let’s ignore the guy in the forest in front for now. If we fight here, it may not come out.”
“Ou. That means we’ll be fighting the Assassin Hawk and the Normal Boar here.”
Abel sighed a little. Both opponents were troublesome foes.
“I’ll face the Assassin Hawk and Abel can deal with the Normal Boar.”
Abel was surprised by the allocation.
Even Abel would die if he made a mistake against the Assassin Hawk’s Air Slash and Assault.
“No, but that is …”
“The Assassin Hawk is in the air so it is tough for a swordsman, right? I’m a Water-Attribute Magician, so I’m good at defense.”
“Today’s lunch, we can have a ton of bird and boar meat.”
While saying that, Ryo headed for the Assassin Hawk.
“Ku … I understand. I’ll rush over once I defeat the Normal Boar so don’t die.”
After saying that, Abel rushed backward.
“Abel, don’t rush and get hurt.”
Ryo’s voice was heard by Abel.
Normally, when Abel fights a Normal Boar with his party, Warren, who acts as the shield-bearer, would receive the charge of the Normal Boar, and the Wind-Attribute Magician Rin would use attack magic while Abel would attack with his sword to kill it.
But this time, Warren was not around.
Moreover, if he took his time, Ryo might be killed by the Assassin Hawk.
“I’ll have to defeat it with haste.”
The Normal Boar entered Abel’s field of view.
“Ryo was able to detect the presence of such a distant monster. No, that doesn’t matter now. If I don’t concentrate, I will be killed instead.”
Seeing a human approaching it, the Normal Boar created and fired two stone gravels.
“As if that will hit? Sword Art: Absolute Shadow”
The swordsman exclusive 『Sword Arts』 that are a higher rank than 『Combat Arts』 and the 『Sword Art: Absolute Shadow』 which was said to be difficult to learn even among the 『Sword Arts』.
It was a technique to dodge all long-range attacks including magic with minimum movement.
While he was dodging with 『Sword Art: Absolute Shadow』, he did not lower his speed as he rushed toward the Normal Boar.
The Normal Boar lowered its head.
Abel knew. After lowering its head, the boar-type monsters would charge.
Usually, he would wait for the charge and dodge it sideways with 『Combat Art: Side Step』 just before the collision.
But now, to save time, he charged toward the boar too.
It was extremely difficult to time.
“I have no choice but to give up on using Side Step.”
When he muttered so, the Normal Boar disappeared.
It was a charge at a speed that was incomparable to a Lesser Boar.
“Sword Art: Zero Rotation”
That was a technique to dodge the attack of the enemy who is rushing in at zero distance by rotating 45 degrees with the right foot and piercing the enemy’s left side with a sword with that momentum.
Abel’s magic sword, which shined red, pierced the left ear of the Normal Boar without missing its mark.
The death throes of the Normal Boar echoed.
However, at the same time as the Normal Boar collapsed, Abel knelt too.
The continuous activation of 『Sword Art』, even for a swordsman called a genius, caused quite a lot of fatigue.
However, there was no time to slowly wait for recovery there.
After all, Ryo was fighting against an Assassin Hawk in the previous location.
He stood up with effort and took a deep breath.
After adjusting his breathing, Abel started running toward the opening.
As expected, the current Abel was not as fast as when he was heading for the Normal Boar.
Nevertheless, he returned to the opening in a hurry, but there …
Ryo had cut the neck of the Assassin Hawk with a knife and was draining its blood.
“Oh, welcome back Abel.”
“Oh … I’m back …? Did you defeat it?”
“Yeah, I’m draining the blood. The monster in the forest in front seemed to have retreated.”
Upon hearing that, Abel collapsed to his knees.
“Eh? Abel? Did you get hurt?”
That surprised Ryo.
“No, I’m not injured anywhere. I’m just a little tired.”
For the time being, he was glad that they were both safe … so Abel thought to himself.
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