The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 4
For the last few sleeps ever since we left the Holy Palatial Gardens, I’ve been doing training sessions with the Marquise of Monfort regarding the martial arts of using various weapons, like the sword or the spear. And the Marquise, as goofy as she was when we’re casually talking, was a complete opposite when we’re doing practices. She’s a perfectionist, and she won’t tolerate any mistake—no matter how minute those mistakes were.
“If you want to live, then even a slight error is not permissible!” she drilled that concept thoroughly in my head, “Don’t just thrust wildly! Put your back to it! Kill that motherfu—”
“Hold on Lady Monfort! If you continue further, then this won’t get an R-16 rating anymore!”
“Then put your goddamn back to your thrusts!”
In due time, my skills with the spear went up, since it’s quite easy to handle than the sword. Though the bayonet installed on my matchlock was a different weapon, by principle, it’s still a polearm, and so it’s got similarities with the spear.
“Okay, you wuss! That’s enough sexual innuendo!”
“Ha? I was just thrusti—oh…”
“Listen Kuro…” the Marquise gave me a glass of water, “In actual combat, what matters most is how quick you defeat your opponent, not how you fight. If you keep on doing half-assed attacks, I think you’ll end up dead sooner than you think.”
“I mean, look, I honestly don’t think you’ll be on par with our skills, even with all the training I’ll give you. As you’ve been saying the entire time; in your land, you grew up in a relatively safe environment, thus, you never had the urgency to learn combat tactics. Unlike you, however, we grew up surrounded by war and conflict. It’s only now that we’re experiencing such long-lasting peace, thanks to Her Holiness’ efforts.”
“So, you’re saying I should just quit this?”
“Nope, I’m not telling you that. But I guess you can cover for your lack of skills with your mind. A lot of new recruits into our Paladin Corps often think that their skills honed during this time of peace is enough to survive the battlefield. I’m saying this now, it’s not.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, distinguishing when is the time to retreat or stand your ground is a skill. After all, even if you possess the greatest fighting style in this land, it’s all over once you’re dead.”
She had a point with that. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure I’ll remember those, Marquise!
“Also, knowing where and when to strike your enemy so you can restrain and demolish them methodically is another skill to learn. Get my point?”
Well, I knew what she’s telling me, so I nodded.
“So yes, I guess, move not only with your heart but also remember to fight with your mind as well.”
Whoa, hearing the Marquise of Monfort say all those things made me rethink my not-so-serious view of her personality. Judging from her words, I could say that this girl had seen the worst in wars…
The Marquise smirked and then waved towards her girls, “Alright, this time, you’ll practice fighting against a real opponent!”
“Ha? Aren’t I tired just yet?”
“What, can you tell that to your murderer on the battlefield?”
“Then stand up there, and fight! The more exhausted you are, the better it is!”
Is the Marquise subtly trying to kill me?
“Hey, the dumb girl! Get your ass here and beat this man!”
From the members of the Paladin Corps watching our pathetic training regimen, out came the silent Dame Atkins. She was carrying a huge war hammer, swinging it casually like a child flailing her doll around.
“O-Oi…Marquise, are you sure I’m fighting her in this condition?”
“Nonsense!” my instructor slapped my back with her armored gloves, “You’ll definitely learn a lot from this experience! Remember, fight with your mind!”
I think I already did. I should’ve never asked you to train me!
“Atkins.” The Dame then reached out her hand towards me as if for a handshake.
Nervously, I reciprocated her gesture, wryly saying, “Well, just make it quick, okay?”
“Okay.” She quickly swung the war hammer down on my skull, which I narrowly missed.
What the hell?
“Following orders.” she defended herself when I cast a bewildered look on her.
Not that, you stupid paladin! I’m asking you figuratively and jokingly! Well, too late for that, here she comes!
“!!!” Dame Atkins swung her war hammer sideways in my direction, aiming for my body. If that thing hits me, I think I’d split in two. I wasted no time backing off.
“You won’t kill your enemy if you keep on retreating, wuss!” I heard the Marquise taunted me. No matter, it’s not like I’m trying to win. I needed to survive first, before thinking of actually defeating the opponent in front of me.
Dame Atkins followed up on her offensive by thrusting her hammer’s handle towards my gut. For the past several ‘long sleeps’, the Marquise of Monfort trained me in the basics of fighting using a spear—including parrying moves with it. I did my best to remember those lessons; even doing some secret practice in my free time. However, the paladin I’m fighting for right now was of a different matter.
This is what they call ‘difference in skills’.
“Use your weapon’s reach!” the Marquise suggested. Excellent advice, really, if only the hammer that the Dame was using wasn’t as long as my mock spear’s handle. Couldn’t the paladin captain see that? Besides, it’s not only the reach that’s bugging me in this fight…
Dame Atkin’s speed is something else. If I had to at least get on par with her in combat, I really needed to negate her fast attacks and movement.
She had been attacking me for a while now, but the paladin’s speed never decreased. What’s more troubling was that her face displayed no emotion. It’s like I’m fighting a mechanical being; I could barely predict where her attacks would come.
Anyway, I’m getting exhausted the longer I delayed. I needed to do something about her movements. And for that to happen…
Her feet! If only I can trip her feet…
But the paladin made no openings. She relentlessly pursued me around the battlefield, trying to do precision attacks designed to defeat me completely. I guess I shouldn’t have said that to her in the first place, about making this fight ‘quick’.
However, putting to heart what the Marquise told me earlier…fight with my mind!
While Dame Atkins ran after me, I turned back to face her. I didn’t know if the paladin was surprised by my sudden move—I never checked. Using the grass to slip around, I forced myself to duck to avoid the incoming hammerhead and quickly did my counter by sliding to trip her legs.
“Fffffffffuuuuuuuuucccccccccckkkkkkk!!!” With a desperate yell, I thrust the mock spear on Dame Atkin’s foot, aiming for the ankle joints.
“!!!” It felt like I hit a concrete wall. She didn’t even flinch.
Once again, the Dame’s experience in battle came into play. Her hammer-head attack immediately changed mid-air and instead went after me, all the while my mock weapon was tangled in-between her legs and I was virtually defenseless on the ground.
I can only close my eyes.
I think it’s pretty obvious who came out as the winner of this duel.
“Yep, I guess I didn’t make it, huh?” a little in denial of what happened, I asked the Marquise, expecting the worst answer.
She nodded in agreement, “Your head would definitely be crushed after making that desperate attack.”
“Well, it’s not like you’ve been a veteran of many wars, Kuro.” the Marquise gave me a head pat, “We’ll do another round of training after you sleep. For now, I think you have to rest. It’s one responsibility of a warrior; he needs to take care of his body, too, which is his investment.”
“I guess you’re right, Lady Monfort.” I gave her a respectful bow, “Well then, thanks for the time!” And then, I went off to another room (I think I’d skip the one where Maddie and Lily are sleeping.).
***Meanwhile, at the courtyard where the Marquise was training Kuro***
“So, Atkins, what do you think?”
“Of course. He barely had any meaningful fighting skills with him just yet; I’ve been teaching the guy the basics for now. But he’s a fast learner, see?”
Ignoring her captain, Dame Atkins then put away her war hammer, which she magically stored in her pouch. She then walked away from the field, when…
The Dame suddenly kneeled, reaching for her right leg’s ankle.
“Oh? What’s up?” the Marquise asked her.
“Right. Leg.” the Dame’s face showed no expression, but her forced voice and her stumbling manner of walking when she tried to walk were enough to cause concern for her captain.
“Huh? Let me see it…oh, damn!”
The Marquise quickly removed the black clothing, obscuring the legs of the paladin. And, lo-and-behold! A bump with a beautiful blue-and-violet bruise greeted her near the ankle joints of Dame Atkin’s right leg.
“Yeah, he certainly got your foot with the mock spear. Maybe it’s an attempt to restrain your movements, which he found problematic.” the Marquise’s expression suddenly changed from worry to that of a nasty smirk, “That black-haired boy…he knows what he should do, huh?”