“Four more days…well no, excluding today, it’s only three.”
After the training, Shin whispered to himself while looking at the clear blue sky.
After the Greygunn encounter, the party fought against a pack of Mystic Wolves, then Shin decided to return to town. He would have liked to have the three students build some more experience in monster battles, but, maybe because the timing wasn’t right, they only found monsters that couldn’t even be considered training for Myu and the others.
“We managed to fight against a large group, so I think that as far as training is concerned, we have achieved good enough results.”
“Well, if you put it that way, I guess so.”
Saying they were coaching beginner players would be unfair to Lecus’ party; Shin, however, would have liked to coach them a bit more, even though their individual abilities and teamwork had improved.
Schnee’s words implied that he was getting too attached to them, as Shin understood too.
“It’s a pity, but it can’t be helped. I can’t keep training them while making countermeasures against Greed.”
Hilamee had said that part of planning countermeasures against the Greed devil involved collaborating with the country of Erkunt. In that case, Shin couldn’t continue training the students. Being Chosen Ones, there was the possibility of them ending up being involved.
If the country was in danger, they might be summoned as fighting power. It would be difficult if they were royals or nobles from other countries, but Lecus and the others did not have such social statuses.
“I want to try having them face an enemy that mainly uses magic attacks…some monsters use spells now and then, but wide-area-of-effect spells would be difficult to dodge. Then, mental attacks. It would be good if they could experience what it feels to be hit by one of those.”
Shin realized that wouldn’t be simple at all.
He and Schnee could let the students experience magic attacks, but mental ones were a whole different story. Skills affecting others’ mental state were prohibited by the country; even if Shin and Schnee were pretending to be Chosen Ones, on the surface, they couldn’t show themselves to be able to use such skills easily.
If the information spread, some would try to erase them, others to use them, others again to obtain those skills in secret: their lives would become just like an assassin’s.
“Then, the weapons. With those almost Rare grade ones, they can’t exert their full power.”
Myu and Gian had already damaged their weapons while fighting against monsters. If weapons and equipment were mismatched with the user’s abilities, they couldn’t use their powers to the fullest, as they probably already knew.
They were trying hard to find good quality equipment, but the monsters around Erkunt could not provide much in terms of finances, so their goal was still very far, as the students had confessed at the beginning of training.
Now the monsters’ spawns had changed and, with the appearance of high level monsters such as Graygunns, that problem would gradually be solved.
The students planned to request Vulcan’s workshop to forge their weapons, an idea that Shin supported wholeheartedly. He too planned to give them an “appropriate” accessory as a reward for completing the training. Since they had trained together, he thought it would be fine to do that much.
“Oh, that’s Hilamee.”
Myu and the others were still sprawled on the ground, wheezing, when Shin spotted Hilamee coming towards them. There might have been developments in the matter with Greed.
Myu and the others were on the ground wheezing because, due to a lack of monsters, Shin and Schnee had sparred against them. They had been put through the wringer like never before, to the point that they barely managed to stand.
The other students who witnessed the sparring were relatively shocked, but Shin and Schnee didn’t mind.
“…er, are they alright?”
“Just some scratches. As long as they recover physically and mentally, they’ll be fine.”
“I think I can imagine, but just what exactly did you do?”
“I just faced them head on with 『Kakura』 a bit. ”
“W-w-what did you say!?”
Hilamee howled after hearing Shin’s answer. Even a scratch from him could inflict massive damage: it was difficult to be happy that the party survived with just scratches, when a single scratch could mean a terrible injury.
“They might have lost limbs or worse!! It’s a huge problem!!”
“Calm down, I’m holding back, just enough so they’ll keep their limbs intact.”
“That’s not the problem!! What if you traumatized them!?!”
Being well aware of the difference in strength being Shin and Lecus’ party, Hilamee couldn’t keep quiet.
Shin was actually using 【Limiter】 to lower his stats, so the possibility of causing the students heavy damage “scratches” was low. Because of the weapon Shin wielded, the possibility was not zero, but they wouldn’t end up with mangled limbs.
“I was acting as a monster, after all. Half-baked training would hurt them in the long run, don’t you think?”
“Hnnggh, yes, that’s true, but…”
Monsters wouldn’t hold back against wounded opponents: it was important to experience this. The problem was that Shin’s power was far superior to the monsters around Erkunt, so even with 【Limiter】 active, Lecus’ party might have tasted the fear of death a bit too much.
As Hilamee said, if Shin went overboard he could traumatize them.
“Please be careful. Who knows what could happen, so really, really, be! Careful!!”
“O-okay, I got it…”
Shin backed away against Hilamee’s fierce look.
“By the way, you came all the way here for a reason, no?”
“Oh, yes, right. About your proposal of setting items at the dungeon entrance.”
In an extraordinary meeting, it was decided to authorize the items’ installation while Shin was there. There was no total consensus, however.
“ ‘If Luxuria is the source of all troubles, we could just exile her.’ ‘What will you do if that Shin is one of Avaritia’s followers?’ You have no idea how much I wanted to cast 【Fireball】 on them, then and there…if Shin was really an enemy, Erkunt would be a pile of rubble by now! Seriously!”
Just remembering the meeting was irritating enough to make Hilamee clench her fists.
Apparently, some upper brass elites screamed unfounded opinions, such as that it was Hilamee’s responsibility for hiring a devil, that there was no reason to trust Luxuria etc, so the meeting went on longer than expected.
Shin himself thought that some of those opinions were not completely wrong: if they exiled Luxuria, the enemy’s target -provided that she complied- would shift the enemy’s objective and help them buy time, so it wouldn’t be completely ineffective.
Shin’s innocence too would be difficult to prove to someone who didn’t know him.
Finally, believing a devil’s words was definitely a concern for anyone.
After appeasing such concerns, convincing and overturning the brass’ arguments, Hilamee looked rightfully exhausted.
“That must have been tough. Do you want some of Yuki’s handmade juice?”
Shin took out one of his favorite drinks from the item box, to help Hilamee recover.
The juice was made from fruits that did not exist in real life, with a balance of sweet and sour that was very pleasant to the tongue. Its effects included HP, MP and fatigue recovery, a genuine super drink. Shin always kept a large stock in his item box.
“Aaah, so delicious…”
“If you like it, I can share the recipe?”
“Oh, that would be wonderful!”
Hilamee seemed to enjoy it very much, so she took the recipe from Schnee with joy.
“So, when can I set the items? Can I go today?”
“About that, I’d like to ask you to do it tomorrow morning. I also thought to do it as soon as possible, but the staff in charge of the facility wants to be there too. They’re concerned, of course, because of their position.”
Because of their work, they would be available only the next morning. There was a training session scheduled, but the dungeon was a higher priority.
“Got it, so tomorrow morning we should go to the staff room?”
“No, we will come to pick you up. The time here is rather unclear, so it’s difficult to set up appointments.”
While watches existed, they were quite expensive. Since merchants and government officials were always in a rush, they often used them as well. The problem was that there was no internationally unified time system, like in Shin’s former world.
All watches in this world showed slightly different hours: merchants and other people adjusted them between themselves to show the same time.
On the other hand, a completely unified time was shown by the menu former players and support characters could access. Shin had asked Shibaid and the others to confirm, but there wasn’t the slightest discrepancy, though it was unknown how it worked.
“Mr. Shi….n..please, us too…”
“Oh, you’re back with us?”
A feeble voice made Shin turn around, and he saw Myu wobbling on her feet. Gian too was slowly standing up, while Lecus was still lying on the ground, panting. It was the difference in energy between front and back rows, probably.
“You’ve gotten quicker at recovering too.”
Stamina and recovery changed with level, but training could help boost both. Alongside with training, the students also worked out, which showed its effects. Especially Lecus, who had dropped out of the training halfway, had improved exponentially.
Thanks to Shin’s juice, Myu recovered instantly and jumped up, full of energy. Gian glared at her: he had already drank the juice and stood up without glimpse of exhaustion.
“Whew, I live for a swig of this…”
“That’s not beer, though.”
Lecus sounded like he took his first sip of beer after work, so he was brought back to reality. Myu and Gian were more the physical type, so even if he was getting used to it, Lecus still couldn’t keep up with them.
“Well, if you’ve reached this point, I think we can say that this short-term training was worth doing. You’ve learned skills too, right?”
After fighting a number of monsters, Myu seemed particularly excited and Shin heard her say that.
“Ah, yes, I have—”
“No, no need to say it. Because of the training’s structure, I more or less know all the skills you have, so I can guess, but the sessions will end soon. I don’t need to hear that. We don’t know who’s listening…this place is more blessed than others, but skills are really really precious.”
It was pointless to know at that time; Shin had shown them many skills, but he warned them all the same. He knew what they trained in, so as he told Lecus he had a good idea about what skills they had learned: recovery for Lecus, offensive for Myu and Gian.
Many of Shin’s acquaintances knew skills, so it was easy to forget, but in this world skills were extremely rare. Even knowing just one was impressive. To learn skills just by training was nothing but boasting, from a normal person’s perspective.
Luckily, there weren’t other students or teachers around, so no one had heard their conversation.
“There’s plenty of people with skills in this institute, but I heard that outside the Garden, people with skills are decreasing, so I was surprised when I first arrived…but I got used to it, I guess.”
“The Garden is the elves’ country, or rather, settlement, right?”
“Yes. Many people there have skills, like in Erkunt, but there are few places protected like these castle walls, so the atmosphere is more like a Pixie village. A barrier keeps the monsters out.”
“Is it okay for you to say that to me?”
“Anyone can learn this with some research.”
Shin didn’t know, but it seemed to be common knowledge.
He knew how the elves’ country was structured, but he hadn’t visited or even gotten close to it after coming to this world. He imagined that they built settlements on top of or inside trees.
“I come from a village near Kilmont! I remember that the people from my village can use skills normally too…”
“Hey, I just told you to stop talking about things like that so easily. Skills are really precious, never forget.”
Myu sealed her mouth with her hands. Her words were enough to reveal that her village was not an ordinary one.
There might be hidden villages with Chosen Ones or skill inheritors: it wouldn’t be too strange a concept, so Shin decided not to inquire further about the subject.
“One of my comrades too is a Dragnil with ties to the empire. I haven’t asked him much about the empire, now that I think about it…I guess I’ll do once he arrives.”
“The empire is a really nice place to live in, I really recommend it! The emperor, princes and princesses are all admirable people!”
“Oh, really now.”
Lecus added that since it was located close to a Sacred Place, the empire’s rule could not afford to be poor.
“I’ll ask him more details when he arrives.”
“What kind of person is he?”
“In one word, I’d say he’s a warrior. He has been fighting far longer than me, and he’s better at teaching too.”
Thanks to Schnee’s help, they managed to train the students even if they increased: if it was Shin alone, he would have had his hands full just with Lecus’ party.
“Now that I think about it, we never heard anything about your party, Mr. Shin. What other members are there?”
“A Lord, a Pixie and another Elf, plus our partner monsters.”
“You have Tamer abilities too!? I heard it was difficult to train them with a battle-type job.”
“Well, for me, just being able to make a contract is enough. I don’t have many Tamer skills, actually.”
Shin had often seen Cashmere use skills, so he knew them to an extent: there were quite peculiar and interesting ones, such as skills that increased in power as the monster’s affection increased or skills that let the monster possess the player to increase their stats.
Shin too trained them little by little, whenever he had time. He never focused too much on them, though, so they were growing at a relaxed pace.
“I used to think that me, Gian and Myu were pretty skilled. I want to say that we weren’t overconfident, but looking at you both, those feelings disappeared. If they are in a party with you, the other members must be really exceptional too…”
Lecus and the others had trouble forming parties with normal people, so he realized that Shin’s party members too had to be on the level of Chosen Ones or above.
“Well, yeah, I don’t mean to brag, but I think that they all could be ranked as top fighters, no matter which country they went to.”
Shin spoke while thinking that only Tiera would refuse to be described like that. She always used to say that it was all thanks to Kagerou, but she had grown much stronger in her own right. Her stats, technique, skills and experience too were above the average adventurer. Right now, she could easily defeat Kaede, Shadow and Holly’s daughter in Balmel.
Before, she had lower stats and had to make do somehow with her techniques, but now she had equal, if not superior, stats and could win without trouble, or so thought Shin.
“Once all party members gather, you could even take over a country then…”
“Don’t turn us into insurgents now. We’re not going to fight against countries, unless something extraordinary happens.”
“What if they told you, “give us Yuki or else”?”
“Then they’re turning into ashes, no matter who they are.”
Shin replied instantly. He wouldn’t hesitate, even if the opponent was a noble or a royal.
“Of course you’d say so. You’re head over heels, aren’t you.”
“Why ask that now?”
Hilamee replied that it was a joke, but Shin found it strange. Taking over a country, having Schnee snatched away…it was all too concerning.
“There’s something I’m worried about, actually…I’ll tell you the details later.”
“Got it. I have a really bad feeling about this though…”
Since she had mentioned the word country, Shin figured that something might have happened at Erkunt. Hilamee had just visited it to discuss the Deadly Sin matter, after all.
“Did something happen?”
“Nothing to do with your training, don’t worry. Speaking of which, we don’t have many session left, just three days actually. I plan to do a recap of everything we’ve done, and one-on-one training on the last day.”
Gian mumbled to himself, his eyes gleaming. They had mainly trained on how to connect skills, how to use them, learned their characteristics. The first goal was to raise their individual abilities and expand the range of their strategies. Because of this, they never engaged in all-out battle like the first day.
Especially lately they had focused on fighting as a team, so they had few chances to go all out on their own.
Among the three, Gian was the most skilled in individual techniques. In the party, he fought in a balanced way between attack and defense, so he might have some pent-up frustrations. Differently from Myu, who enjoyed the act of fighting itself, Gian was more concerned about winning.
“Ooh, Gian’s on fire!”
“He hates to lose, after all.”
“Shut up, you two.”
Gian glared at the impressed Myu and Lecus, then took his spear. Shin had sparred against them after the monsters proved lacking, so it was the time they would usually go to lunch. Gian was eagerly swinging his spear, since he didn’t care at all about eating.
His training spear pierced the air. After the fierce training and fighting monsters, it swung sharper and faster than before.
“We’re going now, but what will you two do?”
“I’ll train a little more too!”
“Me too. I can’t lose either.”
“I see. I’m looking forward to the last day, then.”
Influenced by Gian, Myu and Lecus eagerly started training too. Looking at them, Shin felt fulfilled in a way different than when he coached beginner players in the game. He felt that he acted as teacher because he enjoyed this feeling.