Several days had passed since I set out from that isolated city. By the way, I didn’t get to talk with Baldo and the others again, since I left town as soon as I could.
Well, they also wandered from town to town, helping subjugating monsters here and there, so one day we’ll likely to cross path once again. When that time comes, I’ll gladly have some drinks and exchange stories with them.
We rode north on a swaying carriage. The carriage this time was different than the previous one where I also served as escort. I used the sand golem bounty money and directly chartered the carriage.
Might be a bit too luxurious. But it’s a trip in which I unlikely will return from. At least I have to go with style……..from whom did I borrow that kind of thought? And of course, Myne who sat next to me with a refreshed face didn’t have to pay. She wanted to return to her village with as much money as possible.
Whatever, it’s better than having to travel alone.
I listened to the middle-aged coachman who I had paid 15 gold to drive for us.
「How long till the next city?」
「Ei, about……three days or so」
The further you were from the mainland, the sparser the cities became. In other words, the closer you got to Gallia, the harder it was for people to live. It’s mostly because of the monster waves from Gallia.
The situation only got worse since the holy knights who’re responsible to hold them off were absent. I could tell from how, up until this point, I still had to kill groups of monsters
The monsters overflowed into areas far from Gallia. This certainly had a serious impact on the kingdom.
While I was deep in thought, the carriage made a stop with a loud noise at a small village.
「Achaaー, this is no good. Looks like……the left wheel is broken」
The man told me in a troubled face as he got down off the carriage. He said that it would take at least 3 days to repair it. So we decided to stay in the village while waiting.
Because Myne told me that she wanted to do something, at first I thought she was annoyed by the delay, but it seemed that I was wrong. She said that the delay didn’t matter, and that she wanted to look around the village on her own. She’s indeed an ‘at my own pace’ kind of person.
I decided to go find the village chief to ask permission to stay here for three days.
「By the way, this village is so peaceful」
『Perhaps, a strong person guards this village』
Greed told me through the 《mind reading》 skill. Perhaps it was, since I couldn’t even feel a shred of presence of any monster that I had encountered up until now. This was such a peaceful village that I would confused it as one that was located far away from Gallia instead.
This was abnormal in a sense. I tilted my head as my sight fell upon some children passing.
Even with the supposedly unfriendly environment, the people of this village were calm and relaxed.
While I walked around, I took notice of an old man sitting on a big tree stump. His long gray hair was bundled behind his neck.
Let’s just ask him where I can find the village chief. As I approached, the other party had spoken to me first.
「You are one of the strong presences that entered the village just now. Hmm, I sense no ill intent out of you」
The old man smiled, then offered me a handshake.
「I am Aaron Barbatos. The chief of this village. Welcome, young warrior」
He was the village chief? Then, I have to introduce myself properly.
「My name is Fate Graphite. Can I ask for a permission to stay here, while waiting for our coachman repairs our carriage?」
「Oh, I don’t mind you staying here as long as you want. But there is one condition. Would you fight this old man in a one-on-one duel?」
Aaron took out a golden sword from under the stump. That’s… a holy sword.
In other word, this old man was a Holy Knight. And he’s been waiting here for us while hiding his weapon.
But Aaron himself did say that I had no bad intentions….. Could it be, if it was the other way around, he’d kill me without question?
「No, I’m not strong enough to fight a Holy Knight」
「Hahahah, no need for lies. I have an appraisal skill. For a level 1, you have some abnormal stats there」
For real…. It’s rare to see a knight with appraisal skill. I can hide my skill list using hiding skill, but I cannot fake my stats. He’s the kind of Holy Knight I’m really afraid to come across with.
「Then, what do you say?」
I slowly unsheathed Greed. But Aaron stuck out his left hand in front of me.
「I’ve said it so myself. You bear no ill intent, and do not actually want to fight. All I want is to test your strength, a spar if you may. What do you say？」
The old man, while waiting for my confirmation, unsheathed his holy sword. He seemed pretty motivated.
Then, I’ll just have to do it. I brandished Greed toward Aaron.
「Fumu, that stance looks like a goblin’s, or kobold’s. A wild stance.」
「Is that a compliment?」
It can’t be helped. My swordsmanship was mostly self-taught. I didn’t even know if what I had now was proper posture or not. Either way, I could still defeat monsters. Then Aaron told me.
「Although you can defeat monsters, you’ll have trouble dealing with human opponent」
「Am I right? You’ll understand if you have the appraisal skill. But those stats are……」
「Then, what about this」
Before I knew it, Aaron’s sword tip is already inch away from my nose. Fast!
「All of those stats are over 2 million, that is pretty strong. But, it’ll be a waste if you can’t utilize it completely. It seems to me, you haven’t accustomed yourself to your rapidly rising stats」
「What’s wrong with that」
「That, as a sporting elderly figure, I will train you while you are staying in this village. How is that as the condition to stay here?」
Sporting….. I don’t need to be told on how to fight. Perhaps, there was something else behind that seemingly kind smile. However, he’s right about how I had a hard time controlling my body once I reached 2 million stats.
This may prove to be an opportunity. Having an old Holy Knight teach me how to fight, it’s like dream come true. Otherwise I’d be stuck with the fighting stance taught to me by professor goblin.
「Very well. Just for a while, I’ll be in your care.」
I lowered Greed down, and slightly bowed my head to Aaron.
He in turn resheathed the golden sword, and offered me a handshake once more.
「Fumu. Me as well, Fate。Rather than die of age, I wished that I can teach everything I know to the younger generation. Who would’ve known, the perfect chance actually came knocking on my door.」
「Err……I’m glad to hear that、but I will only be here for 3 days」
「That won’t do. So let’s start the training now!」
Leaving his holy sword behind, the old man attacked me bare-handedly. I managed to catch the fist, but it was so heavy that it knocked me back. This old man was too good.
「Ho, you managed to block that despite being taken by surprise. Then, how about this?」
Aaron attacked me again, this time employing acrobatic moves. That wasn’t a move that a normal aging old man could do!
Afterward, I ended up training with Aaron till sunset. Without my auto recovery skill, my body would’ve ended up black and blue.
「The best way to get used to your stats is by fighting barehanded. Well, that’s it for today. Then, Fate, let me direct you to your lodging」
I wonder what he’ll train me in tomorrow… While I was thinking about that, Myne walked relaxedly from the other side of the road. Aaron seemed to be surprised upon seeing her, although it’s only temporarily.
「Could it be……」
「What’s the matter?」
「No, nevermind. Is that girl your companion?」
「Yes, she is. She is Myne. Be careful not to make her angry. She’s like a wild horse you shouldn’t ride on.」
「That is indeed troublesome, hahahaha」
「That’s not a laughing matter, you know」
While the two of us were gossiping about her, Myne who was coming from the road ahead seemingly sneezed.
Then for some odd reason she glared at me. Eeee, I hope I’ll be fine….