As the 10th birthday was just a month away.
“My birthday, huh? Should I fake being sick or something?”
I muttered to myself in disgust at the thought of what would happen on my tenth birthday.
“Nii-sama, your dancing and manners are impeccable, right?”
“What I can do and what I want to do are two different things.”
“I see, that’s a reasonable point.”
While having this conversation with El, Marl chimed in.
“Elphus-sama, please don’t agree. You should do what you can reliably.”
“Ah, I can see Marl’s point too.”
“Aldo, just listen to what they say to some extent.”
Not to be outdone, Ashera also interjected.
“Everyone, we won’t make any progress if we don’t take this training seriously!”
“Forgive us, Sensei.”
“We’re sorry! We’ll reflect on it and run to the training ground!”
Due to my mother’s thunderous scolding, I escaped to the training ground.
By the way, while Marl is technically her disciple, they call each other “Marl” and “Rafina-sama.” I don’t really understand the difference between her and Ashera, but that’s their issue, so I don’t say anything about it.
When I arrived at the training ground, I looked for Berett and Garl. It seemed like the two of them were on a break.
“Garl, Berett, are you free?”
“Ah, it’s Al boy, but I have a bad feeling about this…”
“If you’re free, how about a mock battle?”
“My bad feeling was right on the mark…”
“Stop saying that and just one round, please! Really, just one round!”
“I can only sense malice in the way you’re saying it.”
“Ah, you’re so annoying! Fine!”
“Alright! Berett , you’re good with it too, right?”
“I understand. ……”
Berett nodded with a wry smile.
We each prepared wooden swords and armor and moved to the edge of the training ground.
Garl wielded a large sword, Berett a short sword, and I equipped two short swords, facing each other.
“Okay, as usual, it’s 2 against 1 with body enhancement.”
As I readied my two short swords, Berett positioned himself in front, and Garl took the rear, each with their weapons at the ready.
“All right, here we go!”
With my command, the mock battle began.
I instantly activated my body enhancement and charged straight at Berett.
Berett, in response to my movements, launched a counterattack, aiming for my chest.
I dodged her counterattack while slipping past his on the right. In the process, I deflected his thrust with my left short sword and aimed for his neck with the right.
Gotcha! The moment my attack connected with Berett, Garl, who had been following up, swung his large sword down.
I gave up on attacking Berett and jumped backward, repositioning myself to create distance. That guy Garl used Berett as bait…
“You’re scary, Garl!”
“I’m more scared of you!”
We exchanged words while diving back into the fray, engaging in close combat once again.
This time, it’s aerial! I began moving through the air as if to say, “It’s 3D!”
Kicking through the empty space, I accelerated and swept my short swords.
I concentrated on my short swords and used footwork from blind spots.
In practical combat, footwork is quite effective. Aerial maneuvers allowed me to create platforms in mid-air, which might be why it’s so favored by the people with red auras; it enables attacks from outside the opponent’s awareness.
Height was also one of my significant advantages. At times, I used my low height to my advantage, attacking from below, and at other times, I employed aerial kicks from above. I kept the enemy guessing, never giving them a clear target.
Whenever Garl and Berett tried to widen the distance from my short swords, I used my magic to increase the size of my short sword blades and attacked within the range of the large sword.
Gradually, exhaustion and resignation began to show on Garl and Berett’s faces.
Our breath was getting heavy… It was about time for a conclusion, and as I observed Al-boy, he had a faint smile while looking at both me and Berett.
He seemed to be intentionally creating a deadlock, considering our exhaustion from the “break” we’d been given.
Despite the two-on-one situation, he was holding back. The fact that he was doing so made me feel both anger and fear simultaneously.
But with a sense of frustration, I did my best to keep up with Al-boy’s movements. It was all I could do to manage them.
Al-boy’s movements became even faster…
Both Berett and I received numerous effective blows, and finally, Berett admitted defeat.
Upon those words, Al-boy stopped moving. Then, Al-boy slowly approached Berett.
I looked into Berett’s eyes and for a moment, wore a somewhat sad expression as I began to speak.
“In less than a month, I’ll turn ten. After that, I intend to focus on magic.”
“I see, so our short sword training is coming to an end…”
“I’ve come this far thanks to Berett. I’m truly grateful.”
“Come on, it’s because of your talent, Aldo-sama.”
“Really… I am truly thankful.”
“One thing I want to say. Thank you for everything so far, Sensei!”
At first, Berett seemed surprised, but he soon wore a wry smile.
“Thanks to you too, Garl. Let’s do it again sometime.”
“Nah, I’m done with that.”
For a while, Garl and I laughed together.
Late at night…
(Using dual short swords, wall-running, spatial kicks, and magical weapons are just about passing, I guess…)
I contemplated while gazing at the stars outside the window.
(At last, I’ll be taught magic. It’s been a long time coming. First, what should I learn… Big spells are great, but a barrage of small tricks can be more easily integrated into combat.)
What am I planning to fight against? My thoughts gradually drifted into a darker direction.
(I’ve deliberately avoided thinking about it, but… nuclear explosions are caused by splitting atomic nuclei, right? If I consider radiation, it might be nuclear fusion… Hydrogen to helium, helium to carbon, carbon to iron…)
I’m starting to go down a really dangerous path.
(Well, a nuclear explosion is definitely out of the question. I’d die too. But what if things like absolute zero, gravity manipulation, antimatter, are considered magic? If it were possible…)
When daydreams become reality, what will be born – a god or a demon… Only the spirits truly know.