368 "Quick Lightning" and the Blacksmith


 I asked, pointing at myself. Helen nodded broadly.
 From the seriousness of her expression, I'm guessing she wasn't joking.

"I'm just a blacksmith.
"That's harsh.

 Everyone in the family nodded, except for me. No, no, no.
 I'd like to correct this divergence in perception, but I'm not going to bring it up now because I'm afraid I'll lose the majority vote. I don't want to start a war that I know I can't win.

Well, why not: ....... No, I didn't need to say that.

 I looked at Helen, who continued to stare into my eyes, and I sighed.

I had no choice.
"Yes! That's what I'm talking about!

 "Yes! Helen slaps me on the back with a sound that echoes through the forge and runs out.

"Oh, hey, wooden sword .......

 I don't even have time to say anything. I sigh again, and prepare three wooden swords. Two of them are Helen's, of course, but I borrowed one from Deanna.

"Don't break them, they're familiar.
"I can't vouch for her like that. I'll rebuild it if it breaks.
Hmm. Good.

 Deanna patted me on the shoulder and sent me on my way. I didn't feel like it, but I had to do it.

 When I walked out, Helen was rolling her shoulders in circles. If she can move her shoulders like that, she should be able to do the whole thing.
 Krull and Lucy have also come out of the hut, and everyone after me has eventually come outside, so the whole family is in the square in front of the house.
 Everyone else is far away, but Lucy, the littlest one, asks, "What are we doing now? Lucy, the littlest one, is looking up at me with sparkling eyes and wagging her tail.

"Stay away from me.

 When I said this to Lucy, she seemed to have sensed it somehow, probably because she was always watching Deanna and her friends practice. "Woof! And then she ran to Deanna, who was a little further away.

 I couldn't help but relax my face and look at her. And then.

"Alright, let's get started.

 Helen, who had taken the wooden sword from me and had finished her preparations, called out to me. Her eyes were as sharp as a wolf's when it comes to its prey.

Go easy on her.
"That's a joke.

 They made light of each other's words, lightly struck their wooden swords against each other, and took their time. All at once, the air in the place became tense.
 It was as if even a particle of air had stopped. I have a feeling that if I move my toes even a millimeter, this equilibrium will be shattered.
 Time passes as we both stand still. A minute feels like an hour.

 I felt a slight breeze blowing, and just as I thought it, Helen's body was almost there. I hurriedly swung my wooden sword to turn it.
 With a crunch, my wooden sword flicked Helen's wooden sword, which was coming at me from out of sight. I was just in time, but if I had reacted even a moment too late, the blow would have ended it easily.
 Of course, that would not have stopped Helen's offensive. As soon as she saw that I had missed the first blow, she quickly brought out her other sword. I desperately fought off Helen's attacks one after another.

 I think it's because she's holding both swords in her hands, but Helen's body movements are not small. She is moving as if she is dancing. From the side, it's even beautiful.
 But if it was a shortsword, she would have been chopped to pieces even if she tried to handle it with the sword, which would have been horrible.

 I'm sweating all kinds of cold sweat, waiting for an opportunity to attack. It's a blow that would probably have killed any soldier, but Helen sidesteps it without difficulty and takes advantage of the opening created by the attack.


 It's a good idea to keep your eyes on the prize.
 In a matter of seconds, I had closed the gap I had left, and I was once again on the defensive. The sound of the wooden swords clashing against each other was enough to overcome Helen's onslaught.
 She could no longer use the attacks she had used earlier. In the first place, there was no room to launch them. But we're running out of time.

 It feels like a long time has passed ....... I'm not sure if it's been 15 minutes or 30 minutes, but I'm not used to it.
 I'm almost at the end of my strength. Although I'm getting younger, I'm still 30 years old and have reached my peak. It is not as inexhaustible as when I was in my twenties. At least not in my case.

 At any rate, I'll end up collapsing in a heap. It's still better than that.
 I said, "Let's go," and struck a blow with all my might in the gap between Helen's attacks.

 Of course, the blow didn't kill Helen, and I felt the impact on my jaw, and my consciousness went dark.