264-236 Face-to-face and hand-to-hand (2)

"Gentlemen! This is the Meikagami Hozui, the group in charge of the Iliad's escort. Greetings.
It's a pleasure to meet you!

 Early in the morning of the next day, such a bold voice echoed through the training grounds attached to the Viscount Nenus house.

 The man standing in command was over forty years old, and in front of him were about thirty young men of about twenty years old who looked reasonably well trained, if not macho.

 The soldiers lined up in a row are rather powerful, but ...... "rather".

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 Only Mary and Mitya would be shaken by that.
 Well, the two of them are at the back of the three rows of us, so they won't stand out.

"I'm Sazius, the captain of this squad. I'm Sazius, the captain of this squad, and I won't treat you any differently during training, is that okay with you?

Of course.

Oh, you don't have to be polite. You don't have to be polite, but you do have to understand that I'm going to be rough with you.

All right. As long as it's not unreasonable.

 I'm not going to some sergeant's boot camp, and I'm not going to make Mary and the others take it.

 It might be a necessary training for a soldier to have the guts not to be intimidated by extreme situations, but we're adventurers.

 We don't want to become a waste of time for the sake of the whole, and if we have to save our own lives, we'll just run away.

 We don't want to be part of the army, and we don't want to be forced to be part of the army.

Okay. Okay, let's start with the prep work. Everyone, circle the perimeter of the training grounds for 500 meters! Begin!
"Yes, sir!

 The training grounds aren't that big, but the perimeter is about 400 meters long.
 Fifty laps around it would be about 20 kilometers.

 I don't know how much running the Earth's military does as part of their "preparatory exercise," but with the physical capabilities of people here, 20 kilometers is not that far of a distance.

 After the soldier gave a good answer and started running, we also started running.
 The overall pace was a little slow.

 For those of us who run every day, it's no problem to keep up.
 We continued running for about 10 laps.
 At first, the group was running together, but by that time, it started to diverge.
 The leader of the group was Toya, who was the strongest among us.
 It's no exaggeration to say that he's the fittest idiot among us.
 --No, should I say he's running at the top?

 It doesn't look like he's in the lead because he's already two laps ahead of us. ...... But he's not wrong.

 The next two are Yuki and Natsuki. They are about half a lap ahead of the other soldiers, but their pace is not that fast, so they look comfortable.

 Perhaps they were being dragged along at a faster pace, but the faces of the soldiers at the front of the group, who were half a lap behind, looked like they were in trouble.

 The rest of us were about a third of the way from the front of the group.

 Haruka and I are running between Mary and Mitya.

"Hey, hey! If you lose to a kid, you're not a soldier, you know! The loser gets a fun, fun re-training!


 At the sound of Sagius' voice, the lagging soldiers picked up the pace, and Mary and Mitya gave me a look like, "Should I go easy on them? I'm going to shake my head lightly and maintain my current pace.

 I'm going a little slower than usual, and Mary and the others are going a little faster.

 I don't know if Mary and the others will be able to keep up this pace to the end, but it's shorter than the distance they usually run, so ...... might be manageable.

 I'm sorry for the soldiers, though.

 By the way, Sazius is running behind Natsuki and the others, so he seems to have more strength than the soldiers at least.

 That's how the last ten laps went.
 The results are in.
 All the soldiers have been eliminated.

 Mary and Mitya kept up their initial pace, and only Sazius finished ahead of them.

 I think that Haruka and I were the pacemakers that helped them finish safely, but the main reason why the soldiers dropped out was that they were caught up with Yuki and the others and disrupted their pace.

 According to Sazius, he usually runs this kind of distance, but by the time we were halfway through, his chin was already up.

 Sazius's reprimand echoed through the soldiers.

You guys! Don't let the presence of outsiders disrupt your pace! Do you think the soldiers are going to lose their normality? Ah! I'll give you 50 push-ups on the spot!


 It was you who said something unnecessary in the middle of the game, further disturbing the normalcy of the game, right?

 Right after that line, we had dropped back a little.
 We soon slowed down and were able to overtake.
 Of course, I can't say anything about that if it's considered training.

"All right, after a short break, we'll do some pretending. Get ready.

 After finishing their push-ups, the soldiers dragged their bodies and began to prepare the wooden swords.
 It was very similar to the first wooden sword Toya had purchased.
 --I see, so that was for training. It must be cheap.

"Sazius, can we borrow it?

Yes, of course. We'd be happy to use our own weapons if you'd like. ...... Oh, no, we can't do that, considering the mock battle that's coming up. You're welcome to take it.

Thank you.

 I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but I think it's a good idea.

 Toya took out seven of these swords and handed them out to us.

 I don't usually use swords of this size, but when I lightly swung them, I found that they were quite light for being made of wood, and not too difficult to handle.

 I don't have any [swordsmanship] skills, but I'm sure I can handle it as an extension of a small sword.

 After a few minutes, Sazius took the wooden sword and gathered everyone together.

"Are you ready to breathe? Line up! Let's start swinging! One! Two! Three!

 We join the soldiers in swinging our wooden swords.
 It's kind of like a club activity, and a little fun.
 However, we were the only ones having fun, and the soldiers looked quite desperate.

 Mitya is a little too big to hold the wooden sword, but he still seems to be physically strong enough to do it well.

 Mary is still small, but she uses a sword the same size as Toya's, so she is not in danger.

 Seeing the two of them, Sazius nodded his head in admiration.

"Well. Even though you're small, you're quite strong. You're not shaky and your core is well-trained.

This is something we do every day, you know.

You're training diligently. That's what I'd expect from a high-ranking adventurer.

If you don't do it, you die. That's how it works.

 If there is no emergency, the situation and position of a soldier who spends most of his time training and an adventurer who spends most of his time fighting and only a small part of his time training will be different.

 Now that I have some leeway, I don't train as obsessively as before, but I don't neglect it.

 I continued swinging in this way for about 30 minutes.
 Just when my arms were getting tired, Sazius' voice ended the swing.

Stop! After a short break, it was time for a mock battle! The combination is .......

 Sazius looks around at the soldiers sitting on the ground and us standing there, and thinks.

 You can make nineteen pairs if you include Sazius, but even if it's a mock battle, you're not going to do them all at the same time, are you?

 It's a little scary to have Mary and Mitya fight when we're not looking, so I'd rather refuse.

 Toya tells Sazius of a more fundamental problem.

"Just so you know, Mary and I are the only two of us who use this type of sword.

What? I'm sure you'll agree. I thought the two ...... elves were different.

 I'm not sure if it's because I was waving it around without complaining, but Sazius looks around at us with the wooden sword a little strangely.

'Half of us are magicians, that's our mainstay. We're adventurers, so we can use weapons, too.

"M...... that make it difficult to have a mock battle?

I think it depends on the opponent. If they can handle us - or even if they can handle us? It's hard to adjust to a weapon you're not familiar with.

"Yes. There's a risk of injury if you don't stop short enough.

"I see. Well then, I'll deal with him first. Why don't we start with you, Toya?

Yes! All right.

 Apparently, the mock battle was to be fought one on one, with the others watching.

 The soldiers, who had been slumped down until now, stood up with their swords in their hands and opened up a large space in the middle of the room, where Toya and Sazius, who were happily holding their wooden swords, moved to.

 Toya must be looking forward to it, since she's never had the chance to fight a man before, except for training with us.

 And so are we.

 This training seems to be quite meaningful in that it gives her a chance to improve her skills.

Let's go!

 At the same time as the shout, wooden sword and wooden sword collide.

 After exchanging blows at close range, they quickly move back and hold their swords as if to show each other.

 Then the two men grin at each other.

Not exactly traditional swordsmanship, but strong, right?
"Really? That gives me confidence, huh?

 They jump in again and begin to sword fight.
 But ...... Toya is not serious.

 He is not using magic to strengthen his body, and his fighting style is different from usual.

 It's a mock fight, like a kendo match, without the forcefulness.

 It's a mock fight, so it's probably like this, but he's usually more reserved when he fights with us.

 It's not uncommon for us to end up in the care of Haruka or Natsuki after hitting a bone.

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"...... d*mn. I'm sure you're not the only one.

It's not exactly the same as taking it easy, but it's ...... training, so. If you don't have anything to learn from each other, what's the point?

Haha, no doubt!

 The women looked at the two laughing fighters with a bit of dismay, but the soldiers looked surprised and earnestly watched the fight.

 The fight continued for a minute or so.

 When Sazius' breathing became uneven and his movements lacked finesse, Toya knocked his sword away and thrust it at his neck.

...... I'm f*cked. I'm not sure what to do.
You're going to be hired as an escort. We're going to be hired as guards. That's a relief, right?

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That's true. I don't like it when I lose!

I'm not sure what to say. It's a good experience for me to have fought a legitimate swordsman like you.

d*mn. Hey, you and you are next! Stay strong!

 Sazius picked up his wooden sword and moved on to designate two of his soldiers to fight in a mock battle.

 The first time, Sazius said he would take on all of us, but I guess he doesn't have the stamina to do it all in a row.

 With a few mock battles between soldiers in between, me, Haruka, and Natsuki took turns fighting Sazius in mock battles.

 As a captain, Sazius was strong enough, but as it turned out, only Mary and Mitya were defeated by him.

 Even without the use of magical enhancements, Natsuki was able to win with ease, and the other three were able to win without any problems, although there were a few dangerous parts.

 It was a shock to lose to three women who don't usually use swords, and Sazius slumped his shoulders.

I don't think so. In the event that you're not a fan of the idea, you might want to check out the following: ...... Except for Yuki and Mary, who have strange ways of handling swords, they are strong enough.

 I'm not sure what to make of it. Mary is learning from Toya's swordsmanship.

 That's probably why the two of them are so decent with their swords.

 The four of us used swords in a way that was similar to how we used small swords, but we were still able to handle them reasonably well.

 In a real battle, it would be dangerous to handle a sword that cannot cut and a small sword in the same way, but in the mock battle, it did not affect us much.

 However, in the mock battle, this did not have much of an effect on him. In fact, this difference in movement may have confused Sazius in some respects.

"Now you have another main weapon and even more magic, right? I'm not sure what to make of that.

 I'm not sure what to make of this.

I'm not sure what to say. I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that.

 Sazius smiled at Toya, who had asked him a question that was very difficult to answer.

"Me? Hahahaha. You're going to ask me that? Hey. --Well, you know. Viscount Nenus is a peaceful domain with no powerful demons and little strife. After ......, you know what I mean?

 I'm sure you'll be happy to know that I'm not the only one.
 I'm sorry.
 It's not that strong.

 Well, if you were really strong, you'd probably go to a place where you'd be treated better.

 From my experience of living in this territory for about a year, I think that if you have the skill to kill orcs in a group, you are good enough to be a soldier.

 Even if the salary is a bit low, the lords of Viscount Nenus territory may not be a bad place to work in terms of safety and stability.

 I'm not sure if he saw our understanding of the situation or not, but he looked a little bitter, but then, as if he had regained his composure, he let out a breath.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but I need you to train these guys. I'm sure you guys will be fine.

 Sazius said to us, and now he raised his voice to the soldiers.

"Hey, you guys! I'm not going to let you get away with this. If you're unhappy that you can't be part of the Iliad's escort, kill them! If we don't have enough people, we may need to add more.

 The moment I said that, I felt the eyes of the soldiers glittering.

 This is either a good sign that Ilias-sama is well-liked, or that he doesn't like us.

"Oi-oi, what are you going to do if I get injured and it affects my request for an escort?

You guys are fine, right? I'm not going to take out my frustrations on your girls, that's for sure.

 The girls Sazius was referring to were, of course, Mary and Mitya.

 I'm not sure if it's because they are close in age to the Iliad, but the soldiers are strangely kind to the two of them.

That's fine.

I'm a weak elf, after all.

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it's a good idea. I'm not sure what to do.

 I'm not sure what to make of it.

 I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but it's a good idea.

 Furthermore, from the second day, we prepared sticks of the same size as the spears and small swords we usually used, and began to conduct mock battles with them.

 According to Sazius, it was a good way to learn how to deal with an opponent who uses such weapons.

 From our point of view, it was an opportunity for us to experience training against opponents that we normally wouldn't have, and there was no reason to refuse.

 However, as expected, we had a hard time with the many-to-one mock battles that began on the third day. ...... It was also a good opportunity. This kind of training is only possible when there are enough people.

 In the end, we spent every morning training with the soldiers for the next five days until we left.