Chapter 402 Bear-san, Slashes The Sword Once More.
[How did you get that strength at your age, Miss? If it’s magic power, I know it’s a natural talent. But you’re used to fighting. Normally, people of your age would be afraid of monsters when they see them. But when you fought the worms and the scorpions, you looked like a seasoned adventurer. Could it be that you’re just faking your age?] Toya
[I’m not faking my age, I’m just more experienced at fighting than most people.] Yuna
In my gaming days, I would fight hundreds of thousands of battles a day to gain experience. It can go on for days without break. That is the familiarity and experience of fighting monsters.
I’ve also experienced thousands of matches against other people (PVP). More than Toya.
[So much experience, how long have you really been fighting?] Toya
[That’s a secret.] Yuna
[I’m really anxious to know that secret.] Toya
[It’s not nice to ask a woman about her secrets.] Senia
Senia-san hugged me from behind and protected me from Toya.
[But it’s okay if it’s between women.] Senia
[I won’t tell you either.] Yuna
[I’m sad.] Senia
I can’t talk about the game, where I fought, or anything like that.
[Miss, how about a match against me?] Toya
[Toya, stop it. You’ll just embarrass yourself.] Senia
[I don’t expect to win, but I don’t intend to lose easily either.] Toya
It was decided. Toya and I had a simple match. Of course, we’re using swords made of wood.
A few minutes later, a figure of the depressed Toya can be seen.
[I’m sorry. I’m not very good at holding back. I should have made it more even.] Yuna
Toya is crouching with his back facing me.
Of course, I took it easy on him. Toya is not weak, but not strong either. I tried to take on as few attacks as possible. However, when his attacks were dodged, Toya started to attack unreasonably, creating a lot of openings for me to attack him.
[How are you moving so fast when you’re wearing something that looks uncomfortable? And what kind of power do you have, Miss?] Toya
It may look like a difficult outfit to move in, but on the contrary, I can’t move fast without this outfit.
When Toya saw that his attack was not hitting me, he tried to overpower me instead. But I pushed him back with the power of my bear costume.
[It’s because of experience. I almost died many times (in the game). And from that, I gained a lot of experience.] Yuna
[Almost died, she said.] Toya
[So I’m not going to be defeated easily, because getting at my current level wasn’t easy either.] Yuna
Well, I can, because my muscle strength and other things came from my bear gear. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to swing my sword, step powerfully into the air, or take on Toya’s sword.
But the ability to move, act, and make decisions is a power I have personally acquired.
[I’m sure you’ll easily pass old man Xelo’s test, Miss.] Toya
[Yuna borrowed Jade’s sword and cleared it.] Senia
[How did you know that, Senia-san?] Yuna
Senia-san, you weren’t here.
[Mel told me.] Senia
[You borrowed a sword from Jade? He rarely lends me one either.] Toya
Toya, who had been depressed, sunk even further.
[But, you see, Jade-san’s sword is different from the one Toya used. Jade-san’s sword is simply better, you know?] Yuna
[Yeah, I know.] Toya
Why do I have to console Toya? That’s the job of Senia-san, who’s from the same party, right?
[Then, use the sword that Toya is using.] Senia
Senia-san! Why would you say such a thing? If I succeed, Toya will become even more depressed. It’s not like I’m going to fail on purpose.
[Toya. You can learn by watching Yuna’s movements and the tip of her sword. Of course, her physique and strength are different from Toya’s. But you can learn from her. I’m a knife user, so I can’t teach you. And you don’t want to rely on Jade too much either, don’t you?] Senia
I was about to refuse, but Senia-san explained the benefits to Toya in a serious tone. Toya looked up with a serious expression at Senia-san’s words.
[Watch and learn?...... I guess so. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to do it at this point. Well then, Miss, can you do me a favor?] Toya
Toya stood up and held out his mithril sword to me.
I couldn’t say no, so I accepted it. After stabbing the blunt sword into the ground, I borrowed the Mithril sword from Toya. Toya stood behind me and stared at the sword as if he’s concentrating.
I gripped the sword. It doesn’t feel heavy thanks to my bear gear, but it’s a little large. I take a swing and check my spacing.
[Now then, here I go!] Yuna
I stood in front of the sword and swung at the sword stuck in the ground. The blunt sword was cut around the middle.
Toya stared at the sword I just slashed as if he was frozen. It seems that he is not in a daze though. It might be better to say that he’s examining it.
[Speed, angle, power.] Toya
Toya’s thoughts leaked out of his mouth as he mumbled.
[Miss, can you please do it again.] Toya
Without waiting for my confirmation, Toya took out another blunt sword, tied something to it, and stabbed it in the ground. There were two red strings tied to the sword.
[Miss, can you slash between these strings? I couldn’t figure out the moment when you cut the sword because your sword line is so fast. If I knew where you’re aiming, then I can see it.] Toya
Apparently, the red string is a marking. He wanted to concentrate on one point and check the moment of slicing.
There was only a gap of about 10cm between the strings. But if this is how Toya is going to be able to do it, I’ll give it a try, at least once.
[Alright, just once.] Yuna
[Yeah, just once.] Toya
[Then, I’ll slash diagonally from the top string to the bottom string, so watch closely.] Yuna
Fina and the others watched our exchange in silence. I took a deep breath, the bear puppet tightens its bite on the sword, I raised the sword up, then swung it down so that it will be diagonally cut from the upper string to the lower string.
It is divided into an upper part and a lower part with strings.
I hear a quiet exhale from around me.
When he looked at Toya, he did not blink for a moment but he kept staring at the sword I had cut. I silently held out the sword to Toya, who accepted it without a word.
[I hope that helps.] Yuna
[Oh, that was helpful enough. It’s very helpful.] Toya
Toya tightened his grip on his sword and began to swing it.
We left Toya behind and moved away so as not to disturb him.
And I was surprised when Touya thanked me again at dinner that night.
He seemed to have gotten a feel for something.
Then, two days later. While shopping and strolling in the city, the streets became noisy.
[I wonder what happened?] Yuna
As I listen to the people around me, I hear a voice saying that the trial gate is open.
[Apparently, the gates of trials are open.] Yuna
[Jade-san will participate, right?] Fina
I heard that Jade-san was visiting Xelo-san to participate in the gates of trials. I wanted to participate in it too.
[Let’s all go and support Jade-san.] Yuna
[I’m looking forward to it.] Ruimin
[But we have to climb those stairs again, don’t we?] Fina
Ruimin replied happily, but Fina mentioned the long staircase as a reminder. It’s not easy to climb those stairs.
[Would you like me to give you a piggyback ride then?] Yuna
[U~u, it’s embarrassing, so I’ll do my best to climb.] Fina
Even though we are the same bears, they still prefer to ride on the back of the Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear, rather than on the back of my bear costume.
When we returned to the inn for lunch, we found Jade-san and Mel-san enjoying a leisurely cup of tea. We took a seat nearby and ordered lunch.
[Have you heard about it, Yuna-chan?] Mel
[I heard about the gates of trials being opened. I heard about it when we were walking through the town. Has it already started?] Yuna
[Not yet. They’re going to do some announcements and preparations today, and then start tomorrow morning.] Mel
It doesn’t look like it’s going to start right away.
[When are you going to join, Jade-san? We’re thinking of going to cheer on you.] Yuna
[Thank you. It seems that the first day is traditionally reserved for apprentice weaponsmiths, so I’ll be there the day after that. In the meantime, you should go there early, since you’ll never know when the gates of trials will close.] Jade
[Close? When do the gates of trials close?] Yuna
Toya’s test ends at the same time.
As the person who helped him with the sword, I’m curious. If possible, I’d like to see him pass the test before the gates of trials closes.
[I don’t know the details, but according to Xelo-san, it’s different every year. In the past, it closed in just a day, but recently it’s been around five days.] Jade
That’s why apprentice blacksmiths are given priority on the first day to give the apprentices and new craftsmen experience before the gates of trials close. In this way, they are fostering the motivation of the craftsmen.
[But I heard some of them were quitting as weaponsmiths because of it.] Jade
It’s the same in every profession. There are things you can’t do even if you try. Only a handful of people can become professional athletes. Even weaponsmiths can’t sell swords if they can’t make a decent one. No one wants a sloppy sword.
But for what reason do the gates of trials close?
It’s difficult to write a story about Toya and the Gates of Trials at the same time. I had a lot of trouble adjusting the time axis. At any rate, Toya has made a step forward, and the gates of trials have opened.
※I will be taking a week-long summer break after I post the next episode. Thank you for your understanding.