Chapter 65 – Glasses boy runs through the road
“Finished!” Me and Lisse said at the same time.
Both of us were drenched in sweat right now, and we arrived at the end of the road at the same time.
Or well, there is maybe a small difference on who arrived earlier or later, but the result is clear. Both me and her are about as fast as the other.
“That was quite slow.” Zant told us.
And then there is this special case… If we are acorns, then Zant is a tree so tall that we can’t even see the top of.
I exhaled a sigh, then tried relaxing my tense body. I’m not that tired yet, but both my thighs and knees are hurting a bit. It’s proof that I’m straining myself in this training.
“… Aren’t you pretty fast?” Lissie asked me.
It’s the second time I’ve heard her say those words.
But I could say the same to her.
It was now the third day since I started training in Haidiga.
For the past three days, both me and Lisse have been running side by side on the road.
According to Zant, who is serving as our instructor, we can only reach the next stage of our training after we get a passing grade here.
The training in the road is to run through the scaffolding scattered across the long corridor without ever touching the ground.
It requires plenty of strength, balance, and good judgement to choose what foothold to step on next.
Furthermore, we must proceed while taking care to not collide with the person right next to us.
It’s relatively easy for me, as I have been running on forests with poor foothold for a long time now. Moving through tree branches, roots and other similar things provided a practice ground that was very similar to the road.
But the problem is how to speed up.
Which scaffolding to choose in order to advance faster? What stride gives more speed?
The more I do it, the more I discover. It’s quite interesting.
And besides, there is a role model right in front of me.
“I’m still just playing around, you know? Try harder, kids.” Zant told us.
It’s early in the morning, and Zant is watching our training.
In contrast to his ragged appearance, Zant moves incredibly smoothly. It feels more like he is sliding than running.
Even if start running at the same time as he does, in the blink of an eye he ends up being so far ahead, that we can no longer see him.
To be honest, it’s truly impressive. I would never imagine him being this capable when looking at his usual dirty appearance.
Also, in contrast to us, who are sweating and breathing raggedly, Zant shows no fatigue at all.
Well, I guess that’s what we should expect of a professional assassin.
Though Lissi is pretty amazing too.
In this road… Or rather, as an assassin candidate, she is my competitor, and in all of our attempts of beating each other on the road, we have yet to reach a clear conclusion on who is better.
We have run four times today already, but the result is still tied.
Our stature is similar, so I suppose it’s natural that our physical abilities are about the same?
At first, while trying the road out, I slowed down to see what it was like, but after that, I picked up speed, and since then, we couldn’t see a clear difference on our speed.
Sometimes I’d arrive a bit earlier or a bit later, but in the end, that doesn’t really matter.
Because Zant was still many times faster than us.
Both of us seem to be aware that there is no point in winning by a small margin when Zant is so far ahead of us.
Well, I don’t care that much about winning or losing in the first place, but I think I can improve with competition, so I try being conscious of her.
“Then, I’m going home now. Take care of yourselves, kids.” Zant told us.
As usual, he left early.
Today, me and Lisse were unable to meet his standards either… Good grief.
“What have you been doing until now, Eil?” Lisse asked me.
Although Zant has left, we are still training.
We are basically free to do what we want. We can decide when to start and when to finish, but… Well, competition is effective here.
If I start thinking about what she is doing while I’m resting, I end up getting impatient and decide to practice for as long as I can.
And so, while I was recovering my breath and wiping out the sweat off my face, Lisse spoke to me.
“I’m a hunter.” I told her.
“Huh? A hunter? Like, you hunt birds, wild boars and rabbits? This kind of thing?” She asked me.
“Pretty much.” I replied.
“Isn’t that basically what an adventurer does?” She asked me.
“Yeah, I guess so.” I said.
There aren’t many hunters around these days, because our prey and role has been taken away by adventurers.
“Mmm… I don’t quite get it, but I can see you do well on training.” Lisse told me.
Of course. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to work as a hunter.
And then, the both of us went silent.
After a while like that, “… Aren’t you going to ask about me?” Lisse asked me.
“Eh? Not really?” I replied.
“In this flow of conversation, you should ask, ‘what about you?’ or something, you know?” Lissi said.
“No, I’m not really interested.” I replied.
I don’t really know about Lisse’s background, but I don’t really want to know it either. It seems less troublesome to not know it, in fact.
“I really don’t like you.” Lisse glared at me, “For the record, I-”
“Shall we go again?” I interrupted her.
“Listen to me!” She shouted.
“I’m off! See you lateer!” I started running the road.
“Wait! I’ll run too!” She started running after me.
After doing a total of fourteen runs today, we reached the limits of our physical strength.
To run from the starting point near the entrance, put our hands on the wall of the other side that is so far away that we can’t even see the end from the start, then come back… Even the one-way run was a considerable distance.
In the last two runs, both of us started making a lot of mistakes due to fatigue, which led us to lose our balance and fall from our footing. At this point it was no longer a competition, so we decided to stop training for the day.
I left the training grounds, went home, grabbed a change of clothes, then went to the bath.
I was seriously exhausted, to the point I almost fell asleep on the bathtub. I haven’t felt this tired since I became a hunter apprentice.
The last three days have all been like this.
I was about to fall asleep, so I left the bath and ordered the cheapest meal, at the cafeteria where I ordered the gelato before, and I stuffed myself with it.
If I had a bit more stamina, I’d make the food myself, as the house that Lisse and me were living at had a proper kitchen.
I still have some money now though, so it’s fine. That said, if I keep eating out all the time, I will soon run out of it.
… Well, let’s just say that it can’t be helped for the time being.
For the past few days, I have been so exhausted that I almost fell asleep while eating. I really don’t have the energy to do anything else.
So, after finishing eating without even having the time to taste it, I left the cafeteria and went straight home.
I guess my life will keep on being like this for a while…
I wonder… When will Zant give us a passing grade?