73 above

 I was finishing up the unsharpened one and cleaning up the workshop when Helen and Deanna came back. As I expected, Deanna was badly beaten. I'm sure Helen won't take it easy on her. .......

How did it go?
 I asked both Helen and Deanna without asking either of them.
"Oh, you know. You've got some good basic moves, but you need to learn how to do something a little less neat.
 Helen was the one who answered. I mean, Deanna is still breathing on her shoulder and can't seem to answer. Helen, who normally excelled at attacking with two shortswords, must have been overwhelmed even with one. "I guess that's what the Thunder Sword is all about.
 On the other hand, Diana was forced to deal with the sword without knowing where it would come from.
You didn't blind her, did you?
"No, I didn't. I feinted a lot.
 It seems that the game was not really "anything goes". But I think this feinting includes things like pretending to kick. I haven't done that, so it's easy to imagine that Diana, who is supposed to use only swords, couldn't handle it.
 On the other hand, Diana's sword line is so straightforward that Helen must not have been able to feint well. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do that now, but I'm not going to be able to compare myself to a mercenary who has been through many battles and even has two names.
But I'm sure he's a lot stronger than that royal palace guy we played in the preliminaries. You were trained by Eizo, right?
"Hmm? Yeah. She doesn't have any basic swordsmanship, but I've been training her since she came to my house.
I knew it. His feinting habits were similar to Eizo's. The fact that they were so similar made it easier for me to deal with him.
 I'm not sure what to make of this. It's not surprising, because in the battlefield, if you can't deal with your opponent the first time, it could mean the end for you. I think it makes sense to increase the number of situations you can deal with.
I'm sure you'll be able to find something that works for you.
 Deanna asks me as she catches her breath.
I'm not sure. I'm sure it was a two-pronged sword.
I've learned that there's always someone better than me.
 When Deanna says this with her shoulders slumped, Rike nods his head and pats her on the shoulder to comfort her. It seems that there is something in common.

"Okay, let's do it then, Eizo!
 I'm getting into it! Helen says.
"Why not? I'm not doing it.
I'm just a blacksmith. You're no match for a mercenary.
Come on, let's do it.
I'm not. It's getting late. What are you going to do? I don't mind if you stay here.
Oh. It's getting dark out.
It's a long way to town and we don't feel comfortable sending you back through the woods in the dark, so stay the night.
 Deanna's room is ready and we can use the guest room. My three girls are nodding their heads in agreement. Even though she's probably the best in the area, it's not a good idea to send a woman home in this situation.
"Hmm. I'll take your word for it.
We're going into town tomorrow, so we'll give you a lift.
Oh, thank you.
Don't worry about it.
 Dinner today and breakfast tomorrow will cost one more person, but that's nothing to worry about. I think I'll try my hand at it today.

 The other day we had a rather lavish meal, and today we had a similar menu with a lot of meat, which was well received by all. I was impressed by Helen's comment, "It tastes better when you use pepper. ...... You have money, so why don't you buy some? The topic of conversation during dinner was the cities Helen had been to. She has been to many places as a mercenary and knows the more underground places from her position, so we heard many interesting stories. Brothels: ....... No, I'm not interested. Really, right?

 The next morning, Helen joined me in my routine after fetching water. The washing tub is too small for five people. ....... Helen also joined in the laundry. I'm glad to see that she enjoyed it.
 After getting ready to go into town, we headed out. Rike and I will pull the cart, and the other three of us will take care of the perimeter. It's just Helen, but I feel very safe. It seems that mercenaries are often asked to escort traders, so we left the forest while talking about that.

 When we reached the road, the scenery suddenly opened up. The sky looked as if white paint had been dropped on a blue canvas, and there was a carpet of green spreading far into the distance. It's always a tranquil scene, but the good visibility means that it's possible to see us from a distance, which is rather convenient for thieves.
 According to Helen, however, we've already killed the major thieves in this area, so we should be fine. In any case, it is very reliable because it is said by the person who was in the forefront of the extermination. However, there must still be some small people who were not caught in the fight, so we decided to go down the street with a minimum of caution.

 In spite of the fact that there was only one man, four women, and a cart, we made it to the city without any trouble. I suppose it could be said that the women looked strong, but basically I think the efforts of the city guards contributed to a large part of it.

 Today's guard is the one who checked out Diana before. When he sees us, he grins for a moment, then quickly tightens his face.
"I was wondering if you're popular again, is that woman the Thunder Sword?"
"Yes. I know her a little.
Who the hell are you, ......?
I'm just an ordinary blacksmith.
An ordinary blacksmith wouldn't know the Thunder Sword. ....... Well, don't cause any trouble.
Yes, of course.
 I'm not sure what to make of this, but I think it's a good idea.

 Anyway, I bade farewell to the guards and passed through the entrance of the city. This is where I say goodbye to Helen.
I don't have any business with Camilo. I'll ask her to check on me when she comes back, and I'll take care of you then! I'll bring you something!
 With that, Helen left for the Free City. I couldn't help but think that it would be the best souvenir if she came back in one piece and I could see how the sword was doing.