Chapter 77 – Glasses boy meets the next instructor
“Alright, that is enough. Let’s end this talk here.” Zant suddenly said.
… Huh? Really? Just like that?
… It feels about as sudden as the time I was kicked out of the assassins’ village.
“Your Gift is more complex than I had originally thought, so I don’t need to know any more. I’ll leave the rest to the instructor specialized in informational Gifts.” Zant told me.
Oh, I see. So Zant is gonna ask someone else to continue instructing me.
“By the way, you understand why, don’t you?” Zant asked me.
Ah, yeah… “It’s because ‘knowing’, ‘hiding what you know’ and ‘not knowing’ give out different feelings to the listener.” I replied.
I was just thinking about it. About how I think it’s better to not know my master’s Gift, as I don’t need to try lying about it.
I wasn’t interested in it back then, but now I think that I did the right choice in not pursuing the matter any further.
“You’re good at detecting lies, aren’t you?” I asked Zant.
Back when I was in the capital and met with Lorobel, she seemed to see through my lies very easily.
With people like her, knowing about things can be a hindrance. It’s much better to be able to truthfully answer with, ‘I don’t know’ in those cases.
You usually have different ways of answering questions about how much one knows, but if the truth is found out in an instant, then that can be quite detrimental for a group of assassins that is working undercover.
Zant seemed to be satisfied at my answer, as he nodded to my words, “If you understand this much, then it’s fine.
“The information-oriented instructor is the one who is going to be in charge of your teaching next, so remember to not say unnecessary things or probe too much… Though well, you’ll probably be fine when considering how indifferent you are to others.”
I certainly hope things will go well, though it’s not like I’m completely indifferent. I just don’t show my curiosity much.
“Lisse! Come here for a second!” Zant called her, and she quickly came over.
Lisse had been swinging her glowing sword while intermittently glancing at us until just now. She seemed to be kinda distracted, but her swings seemed to be serious, as she had already warmed up and I could see sweat on her forehead.
“From now on, try attacking the boy. With killing intent.” Zant told her.
“Huh?” Lisse said.
“Well, avoid hitting the boy directly, so as to not kill him.” Zant told me.
Seeing both me and Lisse look at him as if we were questioning his sanity, Zant shook his head, “What are you two not getting? I’m going out to call an instructor for this boy, so the two of you should train together until then.”
“Do you want me to kill him or to attack in a way that he doesn’t die?” Lisse asked, trying to get clarification on Zant’s confusing instructions.
In response, that dirty old man said, “If you aren’t serious about it, then it won’t count as training. This isn’t a swordsmanship dojo in the city, so you should fight with enough seriousness to make him feel your bloodlust.
“But well, if you don’t wanna do it, then I don’t mind it either way.
“I already know how it’s gonna end, after all.” With a shrug, Zant quickly left the training grounds.
… Well, he surely understands me well.
“Let’s do this.” I told Lisse.
“Huh? Are you sure?” She asked me, completely bewildered.
I firmly nodded to her question, “Yeah. I don’t think I’ll lose to you.”
“… Ooh?” Lisse replied, seemingly biting my taunt.
As Zant said, if we don’t do it seriously, then it won’t count as training.
If we’re gonna do it anyways, then we might as well put our all into it.
“Well, if you’re okay with it, then I don’t mind it either.
“However, I’ll be changing my weapon just in case. Being too serious won’t let this be training either.” Lisse replied.
The sword she had been swinging until just now was her own longsword. It may not be a very good one, but it still has a functional blade. It’s definitely good enough to cut a human’s body.
Therefore, she changed it to a wooden sword for the sake of training.
It’s true that being too serious about training would just lead to us killing one another, so this kind of thing is the bare minimum of a compromise that we must make.
The wooden sword she took was on a shelf in the walls of this training room. This place really has a lot of tools available, doesn’t it?
“Alright, let’s do this.” I said as I grabbed a wooden dagger from the shelf.
“Can you even use this?” Lisse asked me.
“Just for defense.” I replied honestly.
Sometimes, I might not be able to use my bow when facing Demon Beasts.
Due to that, my master taught me how to handle my ground without dying while using a knife to protect me.
The goal in those situations is to either find an opportunity to escape, or to deliver a finishing blow when the enemy shows an opening. It’s a style focused on defense and counterattacks, essentially.
… This practice session was way too hard.
I was hit by Lisse’s wooden sword way more than once or twice, and I definitely suffered some moderate injuries from it.
Though well, I also think I learned plenty from this, so the pain was worth it.
For a while, we both played it carefully as we tried hitting one another, but once Lisse saw that I was defending better than she expected, the speed of her sword swings started increasing.
While I’m not sure if this was useful to her, it has certainly been a pretty good practice session to me.
There’s a visible difference in ability between the two of us, to the point I can only barely hold my ground while defending against her attacks, so this is definitely useful training to me.
I don’t have a shred of leeway and I have been feeling her killing intent for quite a while now too… As expected, Lisse is much better than me at this kind of thing.
Moreover, each blow of her shining sword is very heavy. If I block any attack with a poor stance, then my arms will instantly go numb and I will drop my wooden dagger.
Also, while I was sweating cold, Lisse was still only sweating moderately, even if she was trying to control the power of her Gift, which she is still unused to, throughout the entirety of the practice session.
And like this, time passed, until Lisse said, “… That’s the limit.”
Then, her sword lost its light.
After that, it slipped out of her hand, and she fell on her knees, breathing heavily… This isn’t just the limit, is it? It has long exceeded the limit. To the point you can’t even talk anymore.
I’m not much better though. I’m completely out of breath, and my knees are shaking heavily due to being exposed to bloodlust for such a long amount of time… Yeah, I pushed myself too hard too, but it was a good practice session anyways.
I have to do this kind of thing once in a while, or I won’t be able to move in an emergency.
… I don’t wanna practice like that regularly if I can help it though.
“Weak.” I heard a voice whispered in my ear.
W-whoa! That was surprising. There’s a woman’s face right next to me.
“W-whoa! W-who!? W-when did you come here!?” Lisse shouted. She wasn’t the one who had a whisper on her ear, but she seemed to be more surprised than I was.
Though well, I was pretty surprised too, I just didn’t show it.
“Oh, could you be the instructor on informational Gifts?” I asked.
This was the ghostly woman that I only saw once since I came here.
… Instead of answering my question though, the woman whispered something to me.
And I did as I was told.
And then… This time, I was seriously surprised by what happened.
What the woman whispered was, ‘Can you see spirits?’
With her prompt, I activated my Glasses with the condition of ‘seeing spirits’.
And then, I could see them.
Three spirits were surrounding this woman.
“Sorichika. My name.” She told me.
And that’s how I met my next instructor.