Ex Strongest Swordsman 221 (Self Edited) – Determination and Readiness

 

Determination and Readiness

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The moment Helen and Lars saw that appearance of a young man, rather than thinking of being useful, they couldn’t help to think that they would become a hindrance.

That was why they were able to come out with means to immediately escape. It was a sign that they had grown up. If it was before today, they wouldn’t be able to come up with that idea. However, the fact that they were able to escape was probably because the other side was not interested in them. At any rate, Lars and Helen left the matter to Hildegard and Lina. Then, they left the place.

The reason why they headed to the royal capital was because, before that man appeared, Hildegard had noticed something from there. Lars and Helen didn’t know, but there was no reason to doubt it now. Although there was a possibility that they couldn’t support in any way, they still didn’t know what they could do.

Besides,  they had nothing else to do… so, they went to the royal capital…

“Tsk…!” (Lars)

— Intermediate Rank Swordsmanship – Concentration of Mind – Mind’s Eye (Fake): Cleave.

Together with the smacking lips, Lars sliced away a monster that was about to leap, and moved from that spot.

Immediately after that, the claws of the wolf-like monster, that was three meters in length, passed the spot where Lars was at. At that time, he wasn’t longer there. Or rather, he should say that he couldn’t afford to observe. As he quickly looked to the left and right, the next decision came out fast.

“Gather according to my will. Freezing the air and pierce the enemies. –Ice Needle.” (Lars)

— Intermediate Rank Magic – Concentration of Mind: Magic – Ice Needle.

Several sharp chunks of ice appeared from the palms. It was unleashed from the left side and it rained upon the bee-like monsters that were about the size of a person’s head. Naturally, it became impossible for him to deal with the monsters which came from the right side, but that concern was unnecessary.

“– Stonewall.” (Helen)

The moment he heard the murmur, something appeared from the bottom of the bear-like monster which was five meters. It was a stone wall. That magic was originally for defense, but that wasn’t the case this time. The stone wall went higher as it was, and when it was completed, the monster which was directly above it, was pushed by the power of the wall, and it launched the monster with a loud bang sound.

Was it too unexpected? The monster’s movement was completely stopped at the place where the stone wall appeared, but it didn’t end there.

“–Stone Lance.” (Helen)

When the monster had fallen on the ground, a stone spear emerged from it and skewered the monsters. From the mouth of Lars, who saw the scene, a sound of whistling leaked unintentionally.

“Phew… as always, you make it look easy…” (Lars)

“Eh… is… is that so? B-but, it’s effective, isn’t it?” (Helen)

“Well, I’m sure it’s effective… After all, I don’t know anyone else who  uses defense magic like that.” (Lars)

“Aah, y-yes… that’s probably true. When I asked the Headmaster about the way of using magic since mine is quite a plan, she told me it would be effective if I used it the way I did just now.” (Helen)

“Is she the person who taught you? No wonder I have never seen it before. Well, if it’s used in school like this, it won’t be called Shell.” (Lars)

While talking lightly, they looked around without relaxing their vigilance. Rather, there was no way they could be careless. Without even looking for signs, there were figures of monsters everywhere.

They were having such a conversation to keep a moderate tension. People’s concentration wouldn’t last that long and excessive tension would drain the strength in vain. Therefore, by performing a conversation pretending that the situation was as the usual, it was done in order to ease the mind at the right time. After that, if they tightened their mind right away, they would change their mind again and reduce the amount of useless tension.

That was what Hildegard told them. When Lars and Helen heard about it from Hildegard and Lina, they were skeptical. But then, they noticed the extent of its effect. It had been an hour since they started fighting, and they were still going to be able to continue doing it. Even though the two of them volunteered to be useful, let alone being useful, they were taught various things by the other two. Looking at the current situation now, those teachings weren’t in vain.

Anyhow, it would be another question if the teachings itself had meaning to begin with.

The place where Lars and Helen were right now was in the forest near the royal capital. The reason why they came through this direction was because they were taking the shortest distance to reach the capital. Then, they suddenly noticed something.

For some reason, a herd of monsters were heading in a certain direction to the royal capital.

Originally, it wasn’t supposed to be possible. Monsters were like animals, having their own territory. They didn’t move much, and even if they moved, they didn’t move together with other monsters. They had no reason to do that.

At least, from their common sense, it wasn’t possible. Moreover, it was impossible that they were heading to the capital. It was said that the barrier to prevent the monsters didn’t work only on the inside, but it also had a certain influence on the outside. This was true especially toward the more powerful monsters as it exerted greater effect. That was why there were no powerful monsters near the capital.

Therefore, they weren’t sure why the monsters were moving. However, they didn’t get too confused because they immediately remembered what Hildegard said. That was, she thought that something happened in the royal capital had a relation with these monsters.

Even if it was unrelated, it was an incident where they couldn’t be overlooked. Furthermore, the number of monsters was large. Considering the strength of individual monsters, Lars should be able to do something with them. As a result of thinking about what to do, they came to the conclusion where these monsters should be defeated, and that led to the present situation.

However, there was something weird about this situation…

“Now… when I look at their number, it doesn’t seem to be decreasing, isn’t it?” (Lars)

“Y-yeah… it seems to me that way as well.” (Helen)

“Indeed… Seriously, what’s going on? Really…” (Lars)

Yes, that was the weird thing. Lars and Helen had been fighting for nearly an hour. And yet, far from annihilating the monsters, the number didn’t seem to have change at all.

Physically speaking, they could still keep fighting, but if it was from the mental aspect, it would be difficult. It wasn’t their fault as the quality of the monsters seem to have risen gradually from the beginning.

— Intermediate Rank Swordsmanship – Concentration of Mind – Beginner Rank Presence Detection – Mind’s Eye (Fake): Danger Detection

“Ugh, Helen!” (Lars)

“…Eh?” (Helen)

It happened in a moment. Lars noticed it by chance. A chill ran on his back, and he turned his eyes reflexively. Before he noticed it, there was something at the further back of the monsters that had kept their distance.

There was a figure of humanoid. However, at the same time, it was impossible to be a human. In addition to the height of five meters, its both feet were in the appearance of a snake.

It was the first time for Lars to see it, and he knew its name. It was Gigas. It was a monster that required more than a person with Advanced Rank skills to fight it off.

There was only a person with Advanced Rank skills here, but if there was only one Gigas, Lars should be able to do it. The monsters probably noticed that fact too. In the hand of the Gigas, there was a huge rock that was the size of a human body, and it had already been swung.

As soon as Lars noticed it, he shouted, and he intuitively jumped in front of Helen. That was the point where he was conscious of himself. The next time he noticed, there was a large tree on his back, and his whole body was running with severe pain.

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He quickly noticed that he became unconscious for a moment, but it wasn’t a consolation. Helen turned around and screamed at him. The monsters began to flood, and in the rear, the Gigas was about to shake a huge rock again.

Even though Lars noticed it, he could do anything. Nevertheless, he clenched his teeth. He ignored the intense pain and put a lot of effort all over his body. He had decided. He had sworn. That he wouldn’t make any mistake again.

Even if he knew that he wouldn’t make it in time… even if he knew that he couldn’t do anything… even if this effort didn’t mean anything… Even so…

“–Ice Javelin!” (Lars)

— Intermediate Rank Magic – Concentration of Mind: Magic – Ice Javelin.

What was unleashed from Lars’ extended arm was an ice spear. It was sent toward the Gigas as he wanted, but… when it saw the magic, it sneered.

The ice spear that hit it immediately after, broke with a sound of something breaking. On the other side of her eyesight, the figure of the Gigas which was still intact, was reflected. It was obvious. Such a magic that wasn’t chanted well, there was no way it would hurt the Gigas.

It was just a matter of earning time, and how much time he earned was a mere few seconds. In the meantime, Helen ran toward him, but Lars was sure that she must have felt only despair. In this situation, even if she could use some Advanced Rank skills, what could she do?

It would only extend the time to die for another few seconds. He understood the despair that he had lost. Far from changing the future, she probably couldn’t inflict any injuries on it…

“Even so, I…!” (Lars)

“Well, you have done enough.” (S???)

“Wha…” (Lars)

That moment, he noticed a ray of light. What Lars felt came from the other side of the forest, and it went past from behind him.

“…Flash.” (S???)

The moment Lars heard a murmur from behind, all the monsters in sight were erased without a trace. That included the monsters that were close to Helen, monsters that were observing her, and… of course, the Gigas as well. None of them became an exception. They were equally mowed down by the blade of death.

What reflected in his sight when he turned around was the appearance of someone he knew.

“Hmm… long time no see, Lars. Above all, you seem to be well.” (Soma)

Since that appearance was too much for him, a chuckle leaked inadvertently. But what Lars felt the next moment was pain attacking his whole body.

“Uh… what do you mean by that? Rather, why are you thinking that I’m well after looking at me?” (Lars)

“Ooh… certainly, you’re right. Well then, can you move a bit away from that spot? My technique may go wrong if you stay like that. By the way, when I told Aina about this technique, she gave me a good response.” (Soma)

While saying such a thing, Soma stabbed the sword he had in his hand. Lars didn’t react to that because he had already experienced it. Everything was too sudden, and he wasn’t able to respond well. The sword that was stabbed into his body was slowly pulled out. Lars looked at him as if this is someone else matters.

“So, how about this?” (Soma)

“…Aah, certainly, there’s no more problem, but you do your own things as always, isn’t it?” (Lars)

Why did he have to stab him with a sword? Lars didn’t understand why the wound healed and there was no more pain, but Soma just shrugged his shoulders.

“Anyhow, you have returned, is it?Seriously, what a timing…” (Lars)

“L-lars-kun, are you alright…!?” (Helen)

In the meantime, Helen, who seemed to be panicking, came here. As the answer was obvious based on his appearance, Lars shrugged his shoulders.

“Aah, how should I say it? I guess it’s thanks to this guy.” (Lars)

“Aah, y-yeah… that was good. Uh-uhmm… thanks for the earlier. And this is the second time too.” (Helen)

“Don’t worry about it.I’m not really useful in the first place.It’s all thanks to this guy.” (Lars)

“No, there’s not such a thing. If you didn’t do anything, I wasn’t sure if I could be in time. I think you have done more than enough.” (Soma)

“Y-yes, that’s right. Thanks to you too, Soma-kun.And… welcome back…?” (Helen)

“Hmm… aah, yes. There are a lot of things I need to do now, but first off, yes, I’m back.” (Soma)

And that was the time when such a peaceful conversation was exchanged. Suddenly, Soma turned a sharp gaze into the depths of the forest.

Lars was wondering what was going on, and… when he turned his eyes reflectively, he was shocked.

“Wha…!? It can’t be…!?” (Lars)

“Although… Soma-kun defeated them all… the monsters…” (Helen)

Yes, Soma should have killed them all, but once again, a horde of monsters began to appear there. It wasn’t like coming from somewhere. The monsters suddenly appeared there.

“Hmm… it gives me a weird feeling when something familiar is happening again, but as long as I can defeat them again, it won’t be a problem.I also know what is the solution.” (Soma)

As Soma said so while trying to defeat the monsters immediately, Lars held back his mouth. He took a step forward.

“…Lars?” (Soma)

“…Lars-kun?” (Helen)

Even Helen asked in a strange tone, but Lars shrugged his shoulders.

“…I don’t really understand well, but there’s something going on in the royal capital, right? And maybe, this is just a small part of it. This is something that we can do, and you happened to find us while on the way to the royal capital, yes?” (Lars)

“Speaking of coincidence, yes, it is. Plus, Hildegard asked me to find you. But I would probably go here even if she didn’t ask me. Hmm, I guess it’s not a coincidence?” (Soma)

“Hey, you don’t have to worry about that! More importantly, you have other things to do, right!?” (Lars)

“Hmm… yes, that’s right.” (Soma)

In that case, the next move that Soma should take had been decided. Same goes to Lars and Helen.

“Well, go ahead. You don’t have time to waste in this place, yes?” (Lars)

“Well, but…” (Soma)

“You don’t need to say ‘but’ or anything else. Aah, yes. I already get it. You can leave this place to us. You can go, alright.” (Lars)

‘Wasn’t this the time for a training drill?’

That was something he heard from Soma before… Immediately after, there was a sign of a bitter smile leaking from behind.

“…That’s mean. I would like to say that line someday, you know?” (Soma)

“Hah, that’s probably impossible. You’re probably the one that we always have to rely on. Anyhow, just go there.” (Lars)

“Y-yeah… that’s right. Go, Soma-kun.We may not be reliable, but… we will do our best here, somehow… we will show it to you.” (Helen)

“Hmm… I supposed I have no other choices when you both say so. By the way, the solution to this situation is to destroy a magic formation that is located somewhere.It’s a bit different, but it’s basically the same thing.Well then, I leave that matter to you guys.” (Soma)

Then, Lars exhaled a breath as Soma was leaving. At the end of his sight, the number of monsters continued to increase even more now. Even so, there was no change in what he would do.

“Well… on top of being entrusted with this place, we were told about how to break the situation.Whatever it is, we should go for it.” (Lars)

“Y-yes… let’s work hard!” (Helen)

As Helen raised her voice to respond to him, Lars also raised his focus. Then, he stepped into the hordes of a monster at once.

 

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