3-Recruitment test

 I've come to the barracks for the recruitment exam.

"All right. Let's begin the recruitment examinations.

 Commander Bolton said languidly, stroking his neck.

"What's the test about? I ask.
"You think we're going to do a written test or an interview?

 Bolton chuckled.

"The city guard doesn't need education or manners. It's power. All you need is the ability to protect the city and its treasures.
"I see. That's good to know.

 I wondered what I'd do if they wanted me to be educated or polite.
 As an orphan-turned-adventurer, I lacked that sort of thing. It's easier to live in a society where ability is everything.

"Let's start with a brawl. --Against three soldiers. And Zeke. No attacks from you.
So we're on the defensive?
Yeah. Guards need defense more than they need offense. If you don't have the ability to withstand, you can't do it.

 I was confident about that.
 Much more than being asked to be offensive.
 Three soldiers stepped forward. Swords, spears, and axes in their hands.

"This is a live combat situation. If you hit the wrong guy, you die. If you don't like it, do your best to avoid or prevent it.

 I pulled out the wooden sword at my waist. I hold my shield in my left hand.

Hey, hey, hey. Did you hear what I just said? You're not supposed to attack. Then you don't have to hold the sword.
It's a real battle, right? Then you shouldn't have a sword. No one would be stupid enough to jump into the middle of a battlefield with just a shield.
Huh. That's true. --I hope that leeway doesn't come back to bite you. The weight of the sword restricts your movement.

 The Bolton Commander said, and lowered his raised hand.

Then let's get started.

 The soldiers came running out at the same time.
 They were scattered to the right, center, and left.
 First, the soldier on the right thrust his spear out.
 Boom! The tip of the spear ran with great force.
 I stepped back and ducked.
 The first soldier on my right thrusts out a spear. He holds out his shield. The sword is blocked by the iron shield.


 Finally, the soldier in the middle swung his axe down.
 It's a heavy blow, and the shield can't catch it.
 Then just pop it.
 I hit the swinging axe with my shield at the right moment.


 The soldier holding the axe was completely knocked off his center of gravity. The soldier with the axe was completely knocked off his center of gravity and staggered backwards, leaving a gaping hole. I thrust my wooden sword at its throat.

"In a real war, this would have been the end of your head.

 The soldier's eyes flashed with fear.

The soldier's eyes flashed with fear. "Your calmness in the face of multiple enemies--that's impressive. That's what you get for calling yourself a B-rank adventurer.

 Commander Bolton smiles fearlessly.

"Then this is the next one. Zeke. I'm going to put a balloon behind you now. I'm going to put a balloon behind you.
You mean defensive warfare?
That's what I'm talking about. Think of these balloons as the people of the city and protect them. If they break it, it means the people of the city will be killed.

 The soldiers looked at each other.

"Commander Bolton. That's absurd. ......
I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had it. Aren't they only strict with that Zeke guy?
Commander Bolton doesn't like strangers or adventurers.
Hey. Shut up! You guys.
Excuse me!
I'm warning you, don't go easy on him. You think that balloon's a demon. If you can't break it, someone you care about will be harmed.

 The soldiers' eyes changed. They looked serious.
 They all rush in at once.
 I stepped in front of the balloons and took a defensive stance.

 We can't attack them. But if we take them all on at once, we'll be overtaken.
 Then we must defend and neutralize them.


 I parried a spear blow from a soldier with my shield.
 The force of the blow was deflected and the spear flew out of the soldier's hand in reaction. He also parried the sword and axe attacks that came in quick succession.
 The sword and axe were flicked out of the soldiers' hands.

What the hell is this ......?
How could he have done it so perfectly so many times? How can you do it so perfectly over and over again?

 It was the result of my daily training.
 I trained myself to death when I first became an adventurer.
 I can parry an ordinary attack with my eyes closed.

"Good. Now! You guys go!

 The Bolton commander shouted somewhere.
 Then, the soldiers standing beside him started running towards the balloons. These were people who had been mere observers until now.

"Ha! In a real battle, you never know where the enemy will appear. If these guys break your balloons, you lose.
You're dirty!
That's bullshit!
You won't be able to catch up to the soldiers at this distance. Zeke. Looks like you're losing this game.
No. Not yet. --Iron target.

 I activated my skills on the spot.
 Then all the attacks from the intruding soldiers against the balloons were distorted and came at me.
 I catch it.

"What the ......?
Stupid ......!

 The soldiers didn't seem to be able to accept what was happening.
 From their point of view, it was as if they had fired at the balloons, but the balloons didn't break.
 The only two people who knew what was going on were me and Commander Bolton. He exhaled in admiration.

"Wow. A skill that focuses all attacks on you? I've seen a lot of people in my life, but I've never seen a skill like that.

 Commander Bolton brushed away the smile on his face.

Apparently, you are a more interesting man than I thought.

 He then drew the sword at his waist.
 He thrusts it at me.

"...... Hey. Zeke. Next time, you're going to have to go one-on-one with me. --I'll find out what you're really capable of.