65-65 Thousand Swords

────, let's go.
Yeah, please. 

 Three months had passed in the blink of an eye.
 Every day since then, Gilbert has been training with me.  


 Gilbert's spear shot instantly arrived in front of me from a distance where I could barely hear his voice.
 I saw the sharp edge of the spear and applied the black sword in my hand.


 Instantly, there was a tremendous friction between the sword and spear, and golden sparks flew all around.
 The golden spear in Gilbert's hand shifted its trajectory slightly as I hit the tip of the sword, and instead of reaching my throat, it grazed the side of my neck.

Please try again.
I'm not going to be as good as I was next time, okay?
Yeah, please.

 All I'm doing is the same thing I've been doing every day, assessing and repelling Gilbert's attacks as he thrusts his spear at me with frightening speed. That's all I do.
 He never misses a single day of such monotonous training, never complains, and just goes along with it.

 Gilbert's attacks are sharp.
 And with each repetition, each attack becomes faster and sharper than the one before.
 It seems that he is adjusting his attacks according to my growth, but each attack is still deadly for me.

 ──── I can't relax at all.
 It's almost like I'm dying, and I'm training under extreme conditions.
 He was giving me such days.


 Gilbert's spear was getting sharper and sharper by the day.
 Gilbert's spear is getting sharper and sharper every day, and I have to adjust my movements to match.
 So, gradually, the way I used my sword to play the spear changed.

 At first, I used to slam the Black Sword with all my might.
 I didn't have time to think about anything else, I just had to play it with all my strength.

 ──── But now it's a little different.
 Instead of slamming the sword into the spear as hard as you can, just hit the tip.
 You don't go against the flow of power coming at you, you just stroke it away.
 Since I have learned this, I think my ability to deal with a straight attack has improved dramatically.
 I owe this to Gilbert, who always accompanies me in my training.

 Gilbert's attacks are fast.
 He closes the distance in less time than it takes to blink and aims for the throat.
 In the past, I would not have been able to even catch sight of his spear and would have surely lost my life.

 But ────


 That's a thing of the past.
 Now, I can somehow repel his terrifyingly fast spear.
 Of course, it's because he's been so patient with me.

 Sometimes I slammed my sword down so hard that it broke his golden spear.
 I thought I had done something wrong, but he laughed and forgave me.
 He told me that his spear has a mysterious power called "enchantment", and even if it breaks, it will be restored after a day.

 This man is not only ──── terribly strong, but also has a generous and kind heart.
 When I had a newfound respect for the man in front of me, Gilbert lowered his spear.

I'm sorry, but that's all for today. I have some business to attend to.
"Well. Thanks for your help today. Thanks.

Hey, ............, do you really think that's true?
 ...... Oh well.
 By the way, I accidentally told a friend about this place the other day. ...... Master wants to come.

What's that? Who is that?
You'll know him when you see him. You know him.
I see. I'm sorry about today. For hanging out with you.
Well, it's a mutual thing, I guess. If you're serious about that.
...... Well, that's nice of you to say.
I still don't feel like I'm having a conversation with you. ...... Well, I'm off.
 ...... Oh, my body hurts all over again today. ...... I need to get it fixed before I go to work.

 Gilbert walked away with a spear on his shoulder.

 Not long after that, I heard someone walking towards me.
 As I waited patiently for the sound to come closer, I saw a familiar face walking towards me.
 It was the swordsman instructor who had taken care of me when I was a child.

"Instructor, what brings you here?
"...... Gilbert told me about this place.

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

It's a mithril sword. There are two of them.
 Before you leave for Mithra, I thought we could try our hand at it.

"...... me as an instructor?
 I wish I could, but I already have a sword, don't I?

Sorry, but that sword is too special. I want to use the same sword, on equal terms.


 I did as the instructor asked, put down the black sword and accepted the sword he offered me.

 At that moment, a slash came from the ──── instructor.
 I immediately drew the sword I had received from its sheath and flicked it with it.
 The silver swords clashed with each other and small sparks flew.

──── It's so light, this sword.
I'll try to swing it a little more. You should try swinging it a little more.

 I took the scabbard of the sword and put it up against the base of a tree in the area. I kicked up a twig at my feet and slashed it with the silver sword that was given to me.
 It was unexpectedly sharp, and the branch shredded without feeling any resistance.

 I did not feel the weight of the ──── sword at all.
 It was as if I was waving a bird's wing.
 You can only feel the discomfort.  
 ...... Maybe I've gotten too used to that heavy sword.

Have you gotten used to it?
No, it's still uncomfortable.

 The sword is too light and uncomfortable.

You'll get used to it.

 Another slash comes from the instructor.
 This time from three directions at once, above my head and to my left and right.
 You'll need to have a good idea of what you're doing.

 ──── It still feels too light and uncomfortable.
 I even feel like my hand is fluffy.
 But when we play together like this, I feel a response and I feel like I'm getting used to it.

Well, I feel like I'm getting a little more familiar with the feeling.
"I see. Let's continue for a while.

 Before I could even set my sword down, dozens of slashes came at me from the left and right, almost simultaneously.
 I focused on them and flicked them off one by one with the smallest of movements.


 Sparks flew again.
 Then, we shoot each other for a while.
 The more I repeat this, the more I get used to this light sword.

I think I'm getting used to it.
"I see. Then let's increase the number of moves.

 Just as the instructor finished, slashes came from above and below, and from the blind spot behind me, almost simultaneously.
 There was no time to think about how to catch them.
 You just have to play it from the edge of your eye.

 ──── It's truly amazing.

 Without even pausing for breath, slashes of unbelievable speed are coming at you from every direction.

 But even with this, the instructor is probably not serious yet.
 It is probably just a preparatory exercise.

 The ...... instructor hasn't even used his [skill] yet.

──── So, let's get started.

 For the first time today, the instructor took up his sword.

 ────The atmosphere was clearly different from before.
 It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.

Noor. I'm going to swing my sword in earnest now. Keep that in mind. 

 The instructor spoke quietly to me, but I couldn't hear much of what he said.
 Just facing him, I stiffen involuntarily with nervousness, and my heart starts to beat faster.

 I wonder if I'm in fear of my life right now.
 I'm just facing the instructor.

It's not a fight for my life, even though it's ....... Let's just say you lose if you move even one step from here.
Yeah, that's fine.
Then ──── we will use our [skills] from here. Are you ready?

 I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but it's a good idea.
 The instructor is saying that he will use it.
 Normally, it would be reckless for me to take on such a thing.

 But I want to see ────.
 I'd like to actually take the sword that I used to just look at.
 I replied in the affirmative out of pure curiosity.

Oh, please.

 I went to ──── and ended up there.

"Let's ────── go.

 Instantly, the ──────── sword disappeared.

"[Thousand Swords]

 The next thing I knew, thousands of shadows of swords were already dancing around me.


 And before I knew it, I was playing it.
 A moment later, without even room for thought, my body reacted to the slash on its own.
 Fortunately, the sword in my hand was light.
 It's a good thing that the sword in my hand is light, because I barely made it in time.

 ──── Thousands of sparks instantly erupted.

 Whenever the swords collide with each other, the blade of the sword is sharpened and becomes a flash of light.
 Every time you make a match, you feel the blade chip slightly.
 In the blink of an eye, hundreds or thousands of collisions occur, and you can see the sword being worn down in an instant.

 ──── too fast.
 Too fast, too fast.
 I'm not sure what to make of that.

 I can't ──── intercept him in time.

It's really ──── amazing.

 The next ──── million sparks flew in front of my eyes.
 This is the ──── [skill] that I've been longing for since I was a kid.
 I'm not sure what to make of it.  
 You can feel the heat from the blade as it shaves and melts each time you shoot it.
 You can see your sword getting thinner and thinner without even looking at it with your eyes.

 ──── I think my sword is going to break.
 I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm sure it's worth it.
 I'm not sure what to do.

 ──── unimaginable overwhelming spirit and tremendous skill.
 I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it.
 The amount and speed of the blows is too much for the eyes to follow.

 But ────


 Trained by Gilbert's spear, I managed to catch the torrential slashes out of the corner of my eye, and carefully dealt with them one by one.
 The sparks scattered even more violently, and the whole area was enveloped in countless flashes of light, making me feel as if I were a ball of fire.
 The blade of the silver sword I hold in my hand is quickly being whittled away.
 It could break at any moment.
 But if I miss even a single strike, my entire body will be cut into pieces.
 That much of a slash.

 The opponent won't even allow you a moment to rest.
 It's hard to say, but you can't even blink.
 Forgetting even to breathe, they just shot each other incessantly.
 This went on forever.

 I thought that my training with Gilbert had made me a little stronger.
 I thought I had gained enough confidence to be able to survive an encounter with the Goblin Emperor.

 But ────, so much is different.

 The strength of the instructor was several degrees different from the strength I had imagined.
 The real thing was much, much stronger than I had imagined.
 The people of this country, like Gilbert and this instructor, are truly immeasurable to the ──── eyes of someone like me.

 ──── I can't help but be reminded of that.


 ────Pakin," he said.
 I'm not sure if you've heard of it or not.
 The two swords snapped each other cleanly in two from the middle, spun ──── around and flew high into the sky, then plunged deep into the ground.

──── So much for that, huh?

 As soon as they saw each other's broken swords sticking into the ground, the instructor released his stance and announced the end of the hand-to-hand combat.

I'm sorry you had to go along with my selfishness.
 But I'm really glad to ──── have seen you grow.

"Yeah, I also really enjoyed seeing the instructor's skills up close.
 ............ almost killed me.

I see.

 We laughed as we held the broken sword.
 The sun was already setting, and the area was tinged red with the setting sun.
 I miss ────.
 I think 15 years ago I was swinging a sword with my instructor like this until the sun went down.

"──── Noor.
 I'm sure you'll be able to find something that works for you.
 If the need arises, I can count on you.

Yes, of course. ...... I'll do everything I can to help.

 Well, they are frighteningly strong, and I don't think there's anything I can do about it. If such a situation should arise, ...... I will do my best to deal with it in my own way. That's why Gilbert has been training with me so far.

──── That's all I need to hear.

 You can find a lot of people who are looking for the best way to get the most out of their life.