TWEM Vol. 2 Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – Finne’s Special Training

I returned to the New Moon Inn and explained to Finne about what Garguin told me.

“You will truly be promoted to S rank, congratulations! I…I have to become stronger too…”

“The promotion ceremony will be the day after tomorrow, apparently. We have plenty of time until then, why don’t we do some special training?”

She seemed pretty motivated, so I thought it’d be better to strike the iron while it was hot.

“Is that really fine with you?”

“Of course. I have to make some preparations though, can you come with me?”

Finne nodded and followed me into my room.

“What kind of preparations?”

We sat down inside and Finne asked about my plans.

“I was thinking of making a weapon for you. You’re using a one-handed sword now, right?”

“Yes. I mainly fight with Ice magic, though…”

Finne took out her sword for me to see.

The blade was approximately 70 centimetol long, with the hilt being rather long, at about 30 centimetol. It was made for Finne to be able to grip it with both hands to exert more power, compensating for her lack of arm muscle.

The size was similar to my Black Katana.

“Okay, so a katana wouldn’t be too different in terms of length…Finne, I’m thinking of making you a katana as a new weapon.”

“A…katana?”

“Yeah, like the weapon I use. Differently from the sword you’ve been using until now, the blade is curved and sharp only on one side, it should be lighter and also a lot sharper.”

Finne’s eyes sparkled.

“Oh really!? I’m looking forward to it!!”

“Good. Can you go to your room and wait, then? I’ll call you when it’s done.”

Finne nodded and left the room. I looked at her go, then started working immediately.

I accessed my dimensional storage and took out minerals and materials obtained from monsters that used Ice magic.

I was going to use the same process as when I made my Black Coat: pour magic power in the mineral, let them blend in the dimensional storage with accelerated time flow, take it out, pour more magic power, rinse and repeat…

Ultimately, the mineral became a beautiful blue and white hue.

NAME : 

Myriad White Crystal

RARITY : 

Legend Grade

NOTES : 

Mineral colored white and blue, rich in Ice magic power.

Good, this should be enough.

I nodded to myself, then activated Molding, causing the red thunderbolts of visible magic power to appear, as I shaped the mineral into a katana and its scabbard.

The resulting katana was a rather beautiful piece, with a blade a little shorter than 70 centimetol.

The blade shone in blue and white light, while the hilt was purely white. The handguard was designed after a snowflake. The scabbard was white, with flowing pale blue patterns.

The blade was a little shorter than my Black Katana, but I made the hilt longer.

It came out better than expected, to be honest.

As for its stats…

NAME : 

Gentoh Suigetsu

RARITY : 

Phantasm

NOTES : 

Weapon crafted by Haruto for Finne.

Allows the user to cast ice elemental attacks.

Constantly active effects: unbreakable, Ice magic boost, physical ability boost 200%

I wasn’t going to be surprised by the rarity anymore, but the “ice elemental attacks” bit caught my attention. A plain but serviceable scabbard had been created along with the blade.

Looks like pouring magic power in the blade gave it Ice magic effects, even if you didn’t actually cast any spells. The blade became enveloped in cold air and you could also shoot ice slashes…the type of attacks depended on the user’s proficiency.

Thanks to the unbreakable trait, the blade wasn’t going to become dull either.

I slid the blade into the scabbard, wrapped it in the first piece of cloth I could find, placed it on the table, and called Finne.

“Sorry for the wait, Finne. I just finished.”

“Eh, really!? But it hasn’t even been 30 minutes!”

“Why are you so surprised? You saw me craft my coat, didn’t you? It even took me longer this time.”

“That’s true, but…that time, you were just too fast, so…never mind, it’s nothing.”

Finne sighed in resignation.

“Right, right, never you mind…come on, it’s in my room.”

I invited Finne inside, then handed her the katana, still wrapped in the cloth.

“Take a look.”

“Y-yes.”

Finne timidly unwrapped it, then froze up.

“So beautiful….”

Such a whisper escaped her lips as she stared at the katana, as if entranced.

“This katana’s name is Gentoh Suigetsu. It stands for ‘Mirage Blade – Moon on Water’.”

“What a wonderful name…”

“Right…by the way, Finne, can you use the skill ‘Appraisal’? I’d like you to see the details.”

Finne nodded in response, then whispered “Appraisal”.

When she started talking again, her tone suggested she was almost panicking.

“W-what!? Phantasm rarity!? The abilities are incredible too!! I c-cannot possibly deserve to wield such a weapon!!”

“Well, that’s how it turned out, what else can we do? I made it for you, Finne, please accept it.”

Finne blushed lightly, repeating the words “for you…” under her breath.

Timorously, she gripped the hilt and drew the katana from its scabbard.

Her eyes opened wide when she saw the blade in its entirety.

“I have never seen such a beautiful weapon in my life…”

“Yeah, it looks great in your hands.”

Finne blushed even more, then glared at me.

“W-what are you saying! You must learn to hold back!”

“Sure, sure.”

“I’m being serious!”

Finne’s puffed up cheeks were really cute too.

~

After taking an early lunch, we exited the capital via the southern gate and headed toward a forest.

It wasn’t far enough to justify using the carriage, so we had Maguro take it easy today.

“Sir Haruto, where exactly are we going?”

“There’s a forest to the south of the capital where Ogres dwell, they call it ‘Ogre Woods’ because of that, apparently. I was thinking of spending the night there today.”

“O-ogres…?”

Ogres were B-class monsters, bipedal creatures with a height ranging from 1.5 to 2 Metol, with faces similar to oni. They were low ranked monsters, however, so they were closer to class C than B.

Finne looked rather concerned, but I didn’t think there was much to worry about.

“Your level went up and you have a new weapon too, Finne. You’ll be just fine.”

“I do hope so…”

“Anyway, today we’ll start by checking what our new weapons can do. No worries.”

Finne looked at me, perplexed.

“You have a new weapon too, sir Haruto?”

“Yeah. After yesterday’s monster routing, my katana evolved.”

“Eh!? I never heard of evolving weapons before…”

“My coat evolved too, actually.”

As we talked, we eventually reached the forest.

We advanced until we were just outside the Ogres’ habitat, then started setting up camp. We could spend the night in my subspace, but today we opted to stay outside to train a certain skill.

After putting up a barrier around the camp, just in case, we set out on our expedition.

As expected from the name “Ogre Woods”, my Detect Presence picked a large number of Ogres in the surroundings.

We proceeded with caution and approached an Ogre in a location where it couldn’t call for its brethren.

“Finne, there’s an Ogre over there! Let’s do it!”

“Eh!? O-okay!!”

The Ogre was in a small clearing, alone. It measured about two metols.

It seemed surprised by our sudden appearance but immediately took a fighting stance.

I started by comparing Finne and the Ogre’s statuses.

NAME : 

Ogre

LEVEL : 

40

SKILLS: 

Might LV3

Physical Boost LV2

NAME : 

Finne

LEVEL : 

33

AGE : 

16

SPECIES : 

Human

SKILLS : 

Sword Arts LV3

Water Magic LV2

Ice Magic LV3

Physical Boost LV2

Appraisal

TITLES : 

Two Element User

Finne’s level was lower than the Ogre’s, but thanks to her skills and weapon, she was surely the stronger one.

I glanced at Finne and she drew Gentoh Suigetsu.

“Are you ready to go?”

“Yes!”

Finne nodded with conviction and sprinted forward.

The Ogre, however, wasn’t going to let her come closer so easily.

Its arms, as thick and robust as tree trunks, swung down at Finne.

Finne reacted immediately, by jumping back to avoid the attack.

The Ogre’s fists landed on the ground, forming a small crater.

“Wow, pretty strong…it would be pretty painful to get hit by that…”

As I whispered, impressed, the fight continued.

The monster’s fists were stuck in the ground, and Finne did not let the opportunity go: she activated an Ice magic spell.

“ — Ice Slash!”

Finne’s Ice Slash struck the Ogre’s torso cleanly, but simply grazed it and disappeared.

The monster’s defense was pretty high, apparently.

Finne seemed surprised but immediately approached the Ogre again. She probably activated Physical Boost, as she moved much more quickly than before.

After closing in on the monster Finne leaped in the air, swinging down her katana to sever the Ogre’s left arm.

“Yes! I did it!”

Finne rejoiced, having caused heavy damage to her opponent. The next instant, however—

“Waaahhh!!”

The Ogre swung its right arm wide and knocked her away.

Finne was launched against a tree and slumped down on the ground.

The Ogre, holding what remained of its left arm with the right one, walked towards Finne, a furious expression on its face.

“Finne, are you all right!?”

I couldn’t help but shout. Finne managed to stand back up, using the katana as support.

“I, I, I’m fine!!”

Finne shot a glare back at the Ogre: her eyes brimmed with fighting spirit.

“…got it.”

I was thinking of stepping in if she was too hurt or broken to keep fighting.

That didn’t seem to be the case, though.

Finne once again faced the Ogre, and their battle resumed.

A few minutes later, she managed to circle behind her enemy and stab through its chest from behind, thus claiming her victory.

Finne’s knees gave out and she sat down on the ground, next to the motionless Ogre. I healed her wounds with Recovery magic, then called out to her.

“Good job, Finne. How did it go?”

“…when I cut the Ogre’s left arm off, I let my guard down completely…”

“That’s true. But you fought calmly after that, despite the damage you received.”

I patted Finne’s head, causing her face to turned beet red.

“But you could have used the katana’s abilities, no?”

“Ah, I completely forgot! It was my first time fighting an Ogre, so I was nervous, I think…”

“Well, that can’t be helped. You can try next time.”

My Detect Presence then informed me of the presence of monsters nearby.

“Finne, there are three monsters heading this way…by the way, the Detect Presence skill can definitely be useful, so you should strive to learn it too.”

The skill I planned to train by spending the night outdoors was indeed Detect Presence. Training to pick up presences can be done also while eating or standing guard, after all.

“I-I’ll do my best…”

Finne clenched her fist, showing her resolve. As cute as ever.

Feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, I continued.

“I’ll fight next. I have to see what my new partner can do.”

I took my Black Katana Benizakura in my hands.

At the same time, three Ogres appeared.

Appraisal revealed that their level was in the low 30s and they had the same skills as the Ogre defeated by Finne.

It was going to be an easy fight, I thought, as I prepared to strike.

The Ogres watched me for a while, then one of them charged in my direction, fists in the air.

I deftly sidestepped to the right and another Ogre rushed to the attack. It was probably waiting for that chance.

I dodged that too, however, as well as the following attack from the third and last Ogre.

I circled behind the back of that Ogre and sliced it while activating Absolute Cleave.

The katana cut the monster in two, as effortlessly as if slicing through the air.

Ogres had a relatively high defense, so if I cut normally I should have found some resistance.

The other two Ogres realized their comrade had been killed: they retaliated by picking up stones from the ground, about 30 centimetol in size, and throwing them at me.

I dodged them with my eyes closed and called out to Finne.

“Listen here, Finne. If you use Detect Presence, you can avoid attacks like these even without looking. It wouldn’t work with more powerful or lethal attacks, though.”

The Ogres continued chucking stones at me, but I dodged them all.

When the stone barrage ended, I opened my eyes and looked at Finne.

She was looking at me too, a very serious expression on her face.

“…okay then, let’s try using magic now…Rock Bullet.”

I targeted the Ogres with a basic grade Earth magic spell.

They quickly protected their heads with both arms.

“When you fight multiple opponents, use a wide range spell to create confusion among them, then finish them off one by one. That’s the best method, I think.”

I waited for the right timing, then used the medium grade Earth spell Rock Lance to pierce one of the Ogres’ chest.

Only one remained.

“Lastly, let’s try fighting with skills…but this just means using the skills I learned, so you should think about how you would use your own skills to win, Finne.”

After speaking, I sheathed my katana.

The Ogre probably thought it was a chance to strike and boldly approached me — but a flash of my blade made it clear it was all a misunderstanding.

I used Accelerate and Quickdraw Arts, slicing the monster into ribbons.

One of Black Katana Benizakura’s abilities was to give a “400% boost to user’s martial skills”, but I didn’t expect it to be so strong…

“…well, this is it. I’ll teach you more about magic, don’t worry. It’d be great if you could acquire a Unique Skill sooner or later.”

“M-me, a Unique Skill!? It won’t be easy, but…I’ll try my hardest to!”

Good good, that’s the spirit.

“Okay then, let’s proceed while carefully checking the surroundings, so we can train to learn the Detect Presence skill.”

“Yes sir!”

~

We thus advanced deeper into the forest.

Suddenly, Finne stopped walking.

“What’s wrong?”

“Er, there’s a presence over there…something is coming, I think.”

It was true: monsters awaited in the direction Finne pointed to.

“Yes, you guessed right. Can you tell me how many there are?”

Finne concentrated for a short while, then replied.

“Is it one?”

“Bingo again. If you can guess right so consistently, you should learn the skill at any moment.”

“Really!? I can’t wait!”

“Good, now go ahead and defeat this monster…oh yeah, there’s something I wanted to give you.”

I took out an item from my dimensional storage and gave it to Finne.

“What is this?”

“Use Appraisal and find out.”

The item I gave Finne was a “Growth Bracelet”. It was equipped with the “150% EXP Boost” effect, making it ideal for leveling up. The rarity grade was Legend, by the way.

“C-can I really have something like this? Thank you so much!!”

“Sure, work hard and become stronger, all right?”

The bracelet seemed to awaken something in Finne: from then on, she fought even more earnestly and fought the Ogre nearby, as well as all the other Ogres we encountered after, all by herself.

I asked if I should provide some support during such continuous battles, but she energetically replied she was perfectly fine every time.

After defeating the sixth Ogre in a row, Finne suddenly shouted in surprise.

“ —EH!?”

“What’s wrong, Finne?”

“I…acquired it…”

“Acquired what? Detect Presence?”

“No…I acquired…a Unique Skill!!”

“…eeeeehhh!?”

I couldn’t help but be surprised either.

I used Appraisal on Finne and, sure enough, found a Unique Skill.

.

<Fleeting Illusion>

Creates realistic illusions in a limited range.

Can be activated indefinitely as long as the user maintains concentration.

.

“W-wow…”

“I-I can’t believe it either…I really learned a Unique Skill…!”

The illusions could continue indefinitely as long as the user maintained concentration? That sounded extremely useful. If it was employed correctly, you could defeat most opponents with ease…

As I was thinking of ways to use the skill, an Ogre appeared near us. It was going to notice our presence soon.

“Sir Haruto, there’s an Ogre…”

“You noticed too. So, what should we do?”

“I’ll fight. I want to try the skill.”

“Got it. If you think you’re in danger, tell me immediately.”

“Yes, thank you very much!”

Soon enough, the Ogre showed itself and the battle started.

The Ogre rushed to attack Finne, swinging its right arm.

Finne, her katana at the ready, stepped back to dodge. The Ogre did not relent, however, and struck Finne with its left claws — or so it seemed: Finne vanished instead of taking damage, while the Ogre’s left arm fell to the ground.

The next instant, Finne was standing right next to the monster.

What the Ogre’s claws had torn into was just a mirage, created by Fleeting Illusion.

“GWOOOORRRGH!?”

The Ogre, despite its pain and confusion, swung its right arm again to attack.

Finne dodged again, however, then vanished in thin smoke.

The Ogre looked around, puzzled by her disappearance, then Finne appeared again, behind the monster’s back.

“ — Ice Ball!”

The Ogre turned around as soon as Finne chanted her Ice magic spell, but the ice sphere, about 30 centimetol in size, was already too close to dodge.

The Ogre quickly protected its head from the blow but lost sight of Finne in the process.

Finne took advantage of that to circle behind the monster and stab her katana through its chest.

The Ogre collapsed on the ground, signaling the end of the battle.

“Good work, Finne. That Unique Skill is really useful, isn’t it.”

“Yes! I feel I can become much stronger if I use this well!”

Finne’s bright smile after she spoke made my heart skip a beat.

~

After defeating the Ogres, we returned to our camp and talked about how to use Fleeting Illusion while having dinner.

We eventually reached the conclusion that diverting the enemy’s attention with illusions while alternating long-range magic attacks to close combat sword skills was the best strategy.

Before going to sleep, Finne finally acquired Detect Presence. Through the night, we defeated all Ogres who spotted our camp. Eventually, dawn broke out over the forest.

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