11-11 Spear St. Gilbert

 There were still a few people in the barracks where they had been brought.
 I wondered if they were soldiers hired by the Lean family.
 They're training until this late at night.
 They're enthusiastic.
 Some of them must have come to exercise after work.

"...... is a good place for a mock battle.

 The spearman called out to a soldier there and borrowed a training spear with a wooden tip.
 I also borrowed a wooden sword at the entrance.
 I have a black sword that was given to me, but for now, it's a mock battle, so I'll just use the wooden sword.

 And so, Gil ...... or Al ...... anyway, Bart managed to hold up a wooden spear for training.

You can find a lot of people who are looking for the best way to get the most out of their life.
Yeah, it's my pleasure.
Let's go.

 Immediately, the training in the form of actual combat began.
 Immediately, the mood of the man with the spear changed.
 His eyes were as sharp as when I first met him.

 His body movements also changed from slow to rapid... a remarkable change.
 You can see that he is no ordinary person.

 What follows is a sharp thrust.
 The refined kata is beautiful.
 The refined kata are beautiful and show the accumulation of extraordinary training.

 I ducked, admiring it.

 But there's something wrong.

 You're too slow...

 No, no.
 He's taking it pretty easy on me.
 He's probably already figured out what I'm capable of, so he's slowing down.

I know you're taking care of me, but... you don't have to take it so hard. I can keep up with you at that level.
What? ...... Well, I'm sorry about that. So... how about this?

 And the man's movements became much faster than before.
 His movements are leaner and more fluid.

 But... still slow.

 You can duck without much concentration.
 He's still taking it easy on me.

No, you're still good. You look slow.
"...... Really?

 The man's mood changed even more.

 His whole body radiates an intensity that could be described as murderous.
 Its eyes seemed to pierce through me.
 The spear danced through the air more than before, undulating like a living thing.
 And it uses feints skillfully to exploit my blind spots.
 It's like that of a master.


 I'm not so sure they appreciate me yet.
 I still feel slow.
 It's a little faster than before, but not unavoidably so.
 On the contrary, at times it seemed as if he was daring me to attack by showing me an opening.

 The moment he thrusts and I duck, I'm defenseless.

 That back of his seemed to be saying, "Go ahead and hit me.
 That's what I thought he was saying.

 He's doing it on purpose, isn't he?

 No, but... is he really?
 What if this is what he's really doing, what he's capable of?

 How is that even possible?
 But maybe, just maybe, if that's the case, I'm actually getting a little stronger.

 At the very moment I thought of this...


 The man's sense of intimidation exploded, and his movements blurred for a moment.
 Just as I thought that, I lost sight of him.

 I'm not sure what to make of it.

 Oh no, ────, I'm going to get hit.
 I thought.
 I let my guard down.
 What appeared to be a slow attack was all a feint, a prelude to this strike.
 A preliminary move to get you accustomed to slower movements. ──── I didn't notice it until too late.
 The spear is coming straight for my throat.

 It's incredibly fast.
 Even a wooden spearhead would be powerful enough to pierce a rock.

 That means I have to avoid it or ────

 ──── die.

 The moment I realized my mistake, I dodged with all my might.
 Fortunately, I was able to move behind the man before the tip reached my throat.

That was a really close call ────.

 Did this man really just come here to kill himself?

 ──── No, no.
 The difference between me and the guy was obvious from the start.
 The man had seen through it.

 I'm sure this guy was very careful to avoid hurting me, and he was just fast enough to avoid me.
 You'll be able to find a lot more information on the web.

 That's all I could think of. ────

 Now, the man seems to be exposing his defenseless form in front of me.
 But even that is probably the same as the feint he just made.

 He's trying to say.

"Don't get carried away just because you beat a cow.

 ──── Pride leads to instant death.
 He's trying to warn me.

"──── All right. I've lost.

 He saw through my pride.
 He even went to the trouble of stopping me. .......
 I didn't know you'd go so far as to tell me about my flaws.

 Inez and this man are both very kind-hearted people.

"There's no point in continuing now. That's enough.
"What? What? What the hell do you know about ......?

 He's still trying to teach me.

 But I've learned enough. I've made up my mind.
 I'm still weak.

"──── I look forward to seeing you again.

 Someday, when we do.
 I hope he'll take me seriously.

 I was out of my mind, wanting to take a bath and go to sleep.

 I guess I've been slack for a while.

 I need to work out even harder. ────

 I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not.

 I'm not sure what to say.

 I'm not sure if I'd be able to do that if I were you.

 I'm not sure what to make of it.
 I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not.

 I was curious to know what kind of a man he was.
 If he was so strong, he might be an interesting guy with ambition.
 As I was thinking that, the man came from the other side.
 He was accompanied by Princess Linneburg, who immediately showed herself.

 The man was surprisingly humble.
 He wanted nothing: no gold, no shelter, no glory, no mountains of treasure.
 He was crude, but his manner was stately, and there was nothing disagreeable about him.

 In terms of age, he is not so different from me.
 In terms of height, he was a bit bigger than me, but
 I didn't feel that he was strong enough to kill the Minotaur by himself.

 I wondered if this man was that strong.
 When I saw him, I wondered.

 Gilbert himself was strong, anyway.
 He was given the title of [Spear Saint], the same as [Sword Saint], and was counted as one of the strongest in the kingdom.
 That's why he was bored.
 There was no one to compete with...
 Such a situation.
 There are not many people in the country who can compete with me.
 The only one who acknowledged that he was still unbeatable was a half-legendary figure, the [Sword Saint] Sig, who was also known as the [Thousand Swords], and other than that, he was no match for him.

 It's boring. They're all too weak.

 Gilbert was bored.
 So he wanted a partner.
 He wanted someone his own age, someone he could compete with, someone he could talk to on equal terms.
 He knew that this was just selfishness, but somewhere in his heart he was always looking for it.

 This man is strong.
 If he defeated the Minotaur, he must be incredibly strong.
 This man might be able to compete with me on equal terms.

 But this guy doesn't look very strong to me.
 Then let's see for ourselves...

 That's why I called it a mock battle and challenged him to a match...
 The game began.
 But no matter how hard we tried, the other side wouldn't attack.

 Gilbert was wondering what was going on.

I know you're taking care of me, but you don't have to go that easy on me. I can keep up with you just fine.

 That's what the man in front of me said.
 The man in front of him seemed to feel that he was being skimped on.

 He had never done anything like this before.
 A lot of things would be taken care of long before Gilbert could show his true colors.
 So perhaps Gilbert himself had unwittingly cut corners.

 ──── Now, I didn't mean to do that.

What? ...... Well, I'm sorry about that. So... how about this?

 Gilbert threw away all hesitation and attacked the opponent with all his might.
 The spear strike he delivered was surprisingly violent even to himself.
 It was the first time he had ever wielded a spear in such a brisk fashion.

 I was able to unleash a barrage of blows so sharp that I could almost say it was my fastest.

 And yet...
 What's going on?
 There is no sign of any action on the opponent's body.
 On the contrary, the opponent does not even try to use the wooden sword in his hand.

 Gilbert, on the other hand, was exerting himself to the limit.
 No, he was already moving beyond his limits.
 But still, he could not reach this man.
 Not even a single blow could be delivered.

 This had never happened before.

 And the man in front of me said.

"No, you're still okay. You look slow.
"......, yeah?

 All right, then...
 Gilbert laughed in his mind.
 Something snapped inside him.

 I'll go as hard as you want.


 The most powerful blow in Gilbert's hand that killed the Thunder Dragon that danced with lightning speed.
 This is the most powerful blow in Gilbert's hand.
 This was the first time he had ever fired it at a person.
 It was supposed to be a technique that should not be unleashed.

 ──── but...

 Gilbert unleashed it immediately.
 It wasn't something he thought about.
 It was a natural choice of the body.
 His battle instincts, trained to the extreme and sharpened to the highest degree, made the decision faster than he could think.

 He knew that his spear would never reach this man except through ──── this.

 When Gilbert realized that the tip of his spear was about to reach the man's throat.
 It was the fastest blow he could make, and he couldn't even catch up with his own consciousness.

 Oh, I almost got my spear to that man.
 That was all Gilbert could think about.

 ──── Thank God, it got there.

 Just as he thought that, the man's body disappeared like an illusion.
 When he came to, the man was standing behind Gilbert.
 It was as if I had no idea what had happened.
 I could only be stunned.

 But before I could be disappointed, I noticed something strange.

 There was a crack in the cobblestone floor in front of me, and it was caving in.
 This was the spot where the man had just been standing.

 Why is there something like this?
 There were no cracks like this before.
 This floor must have been caused by something that man did.
 Looking back, I can see shattered cobblestones everywhere.
 There must have been a lot of impact there.
 And yet, there was no sound.
 What in the world is this...?

──── I'm beat. I'm losing.

 The man standing behind him said, as Gilbert was puzzled.

There's no point in continuing now. That's enough.
"What? What the hell do you know about ......?

 In terms of content, Gilbert had lost.
 For Gilbert, it was the first time he had been completely and utterly defeated in a straight fight.

 But the man said, "I've lost.
 The man had "lost" on purpose.

 His own men were still training on the battlefield.
 Consider their gaze.

 He was defeated and cared for.

 The man walked toward the exit of the barracks, and ────
 As he passed me, he said.

"I look forward to seeing you again.

 The man then left without looking back.

 He took mercy on me and gave up the fight.
 It was the most humiliating thing for a man of war.

 Gilbert, left behind on the battlefield, was shaking with defeat for the first time.

 But more than that, he was ──── jubilant.
 You will find a lot of people who are looking for the best in the world.

 When he found out, Gilbert was smiling ferociously and whispering to him.

"Yeah, I guess so. It's going to be fun from now on.