Things have been going well. How long has it been since I last watched someone train? Roland was as diligent as Lucia when he first started, but over time, he dabbled in more and more skillsets, eventually ignoring swordsmanship completely. That’s not to say he was bad at swordsmanship, but it definitely wasn’t on the stronger end of his skillset. …But that’s not to say his swordsmanship was weak—he was still one of the strongest in the world.
“Did the Godking practice the Breaking Blade too?” Lucia asked. She was drenched in sweat, and her hair clung to her skin as if she had just taken a bath. Her hands were on her knees as she panted for breath with mini-DalDal resting on her back. Of course, I increased my weapon body’s weight again to 2,200 pounds.
“No.” Roland was a much more refined type of fighter, aiming for weak points and openings in his opponents’ stances. Would he learn something as crude as the Breaking Blade? In fact, the Breaking Blade was originally called the Breaking Blow from the basic war hammer techniques. When it comes down to it, I might not be very good at reading maps, cooking, making pills, enchanting things, forging weapons, but I’m one of the most knowledgeable beings out there when it comes to weapon techniques. My fallen comrades passed their skills to me before they died after all. If I couldn’t remember their skills, then I should just die.
“Then … you’re teaching it to me because…?”
“It suits you. Now quit wasting your breath. We still have a long distance to travel, and you still have 86 more strikes to perform.”
“Hurry up, you slowpokes,” Bouncykins said from atop Snow’s head. “We’re closing in on them, but very slowly. At this rate, they’ll reach their base before we catch them. Can’t you save your training for another time?”
“What’s the hurry?” Training can’t be rushed. Fundamentals and basics are the most important. Lucia is passed her foundational stage, but luckily, her past managed to bring her body to an appropriate level. Being a beastkin probably helped too.
“They can distribute my hoard,” Snow said. His tail was expanding and deflating with every one of his breaths. How does he even know how close we are to his magic tools anyway? Maybe there’s a connection formed like the one between a spirit and their owner? “Then it’ll be impossible to track down my items once their connections are wiped. I already lost a few tools to the guards who’re transporting it.”
Why does it feel like magic tools are like item spirits? Well, they were designed by people who were unable to contract spirits themselves. I wonder if they’d have a nice sword. Can spirits even use magic tools? It shouldn’t be a problem, right? Vera could cast magic despite being an amulet spirit. …Sometimes, I really wish Vera were here. Why couldn’t Roland have stored her in the dimension with me? He probably thought we were going to fight each other. Which was true.
“E-eighty-five left.” Was Lucia going to faint? Maybe a hundred was too much to ask for. Exhausting one’s qi wasn’t a pleasant feeling…, or so I’ve heard. I don’t have my own, so I wouldn’t know. Roland used to bitch at me when I used his qi to fight. Maybe that’s why he eventually switched to magic…. Was it my fault?
“Can you keep going?” It looked like she couldn’t, but she’s surprised me before.
“Y-yes! I can…”
Ah. She fainted. I guess I’ll carry her then. “So, Bouncykins, how’d you go about transforming into a partial magic tool?”
“Should you be carrying your master like that?”
If I wasn’t going to carry her, then who was? “Did you want to?”
“No. I mean, she looks like a sack of potatoes on your shoulder…,” Bouncykins said. He shook his head. “Never mind. But why do you want to know? Aren’t you practically half a magic tool yourself? You can freely manipulate your weight.”
“That’s magic?” …Roland gave mini-DalDal that ability one day when I wasn’t looking. When I asked him about it, he replied with, “It’s magic,” in his usually snarky tone. I didn’t think he was serious.
“If it’s not magic, then what would it be?”
Bouncykins sighed. “If only your mind was as sharp as your blade. Too bad.”
“Gah!” Snow shouted as he ducked underneath my spear thrust. “Quit provoking Durandal, Lucifer! I keep telling you it’s me who gets hurt in the end!”
“It’s good practice for your reflexes.” Bouncykins nodded and patted Snow’s head. “Besides, can Durandal really hurt you? It’s only Lucia that’s able to smack you through your evasion.”
“It’s your evasion too.” Snow seems to be getting grumpier and grumpier as time passes on. Maybe he’s on his period? Wait. No. He’s not Cottontail, but he’s acting like her when she was.
“There’s someone called an appraiser, right?” Why are you two looking at me like that?
“…Are you intending on announcing your presence to the world?” Snow asked.
“No? I can always silence the appraiser after I’m done.” Snow’s expression turned into a weird one. Like he was set on fire while eating a lemon. “Is that a problem?”
“You’re a very tyrannical sword spirit, you know that?”
“Durandal was raised by the Godking and your ancestor. It’s obvious he’d end up as a criminal.” Bouncykins snorted. “It’s also why he’s my sworn brother even if he calls me Bouncykins.”
“You two are sworn brothers?” Snow asked. “You don’t act like it.”
“Is there a specific way sworn brothers are supposed to act?”
Yes. It’s true. I decided to become brothers with a rabbit. In fact, I became brothers with all of Roland’s and Cottontail’s spirits, weapons and armor alike. The only one who wouldn’t make the oath with me was Vera.
“N-no,” Snow said. “A-anyways, can I increase my pace? You should keep up better now that Lucia’s not training, right?”
“Go for it.” I look forward to seeing what Cottontail’s descendants have hoarded over the past eighty years.