Invincible Saint ~Salaryman, The Path I Walk To Survive In This Other World~ - Volume 8 - Chapter 127
Chapter 127: Mock Battle
Brought along by Catherine-san, we walked down the maze-like corridor for the first time in a while before arriving at the Valkyrie Paladin Corps training ground.
’’The fact that you've brought us to the Valkyrie Paladin Corps' training ground means that?’’
When I asked Catherine-san, she replied with a grin.
’’Yeah, I'd have you all conduct a mock battle with these girls (Valkyrie Paladin Corps). The other 2 apart from General Sen'oni look considerably strong as well and wouldn't it be better to have these girls who know Luciel-kun's actual ability as opponents to find out how much Luciel-kun has grown?’’
I could comprehend that it has already been decided that I would also be participating in the mock battle and that I could not escape.
However, I will not give up until the end.
’’It's going to be dinner time soon and we must find a place to stay so can't we have it at a later date?’’
’’To think that you would want to have a mock battle at a later date as well, you sure have became indomitable unbeknownst to me. Furthermore, if it's for the slaves that Luciel-kun brought along, we've properly prepared guest rooms for them so be at ease.’’
I can't feel at ease at all and why do I feel an overwhelming sense of Déjàvu?
While weeping in my heart, I gave up on resisting.
The Valkyrie Paladin Corps have already formed up and were waiting for us ... ?
’’Why have they already formed ranks?’’
’’Of course, that's because this is the predetermined route after all.’’
Catherine-san said with a smile.
When I looked over, Lumina-san saluted and spoke.
’’Luciel-sama, it's been a long time. Please treat us well during today's mock battle.’’
I don't know the reason, maybe it's because the ranks have been reversed or that Lionel and the others are around but, I just want to say a single thing.
’’ ... Lumina-san, everyone else too, it's fine to use the same tone as in the past. If that can't be done, at least limit it to when there aren't any other people around. The hairs on my back would stand if everyone uses honorific language towards me.’’
’’As expected, Luciel-kun hasn't changed at all.’’
’’Even though I've went through all the trouble of planning to sincerely beat him up during the mock battle if he acted all self-importantly.’’
Continuing after Lumina, Lucy spoke while smiling before each and everyone began talking such that I could no longer keep up with them.
’’Did you become slightly stronger?’’
’’Lipnea and I would present to you an introduction to our dual-sword technique.’’
’’Eh? I'm doing it too?’’
Elizabeth, who has not trained in her dual-sword technique at all lately, tried to say so to Lipnea to make an excuse but she could not successfully convey her intentions.
Then, the sound of clapping hands could be heard.
’’I understand that everyone is feeling delighted for the reunion but we're pressed for time so let's start the battle immediately.’’
The merry mood that was on until then was completely reversed and switched to a combat mood.
’’To start with, it's alright if it is your personal opinion Luciel-kun but how many versus how many do you think would be good for the mock battle?’’
’’Let's see. If we're allowing magic then 10 from the Valkyrie Paladin Corps and 4 of us? Of course, that's if Catherine-san acts as the referee, but I believe that would be a good match.’’
’’Luciel-kun, it sounds like that remark is saying that we, the Valkyrie Paladin Corps, is weak though?’’
’’Lumina-san, that is not true. If I fight all of you one versus one, I believe I would be completely defeated. However, even though they have slave identities for certain reasons, my retinue are all considerably excellent. Also, the balance of combat styles may also play a part.’’
Once I finished saying that, Catherine-san gave a bold smile and spoke.
’’Luciel-kun, it's really fine for 10 versus 4 right? Lumina, other than cutting the heart and neck, anything else goes so do coach them with all your might. Luciel-kun too, don't get done in easily okay?’’
As might be expected, Catherine-san was angered by my remark but if she knows about Lionel's true strength, then her remark is instead too thoughtless.
My Area Barrier's effect has improved quite considerably as well. I became worried for the girls who did not know about that.
’’What about the weapons?’’
’’As long as it's not directed at the vitals or beheading, it can be treated if it's Luciel-kun right?’’
’’That's not a problem but ... is it a mock battle assuming that it is actual combat?’’
’’Yeah. That would make both sides mutually feel a sense of tension right?’’
When I turned to Lionel and the others, they smiled and nodded.
’’Understood. When does the combat start?’’
’’We'll gather in the middle and this time, we'll start after taking a distance of 30 steps.’’
Thus, for the purpose of conducting the mock battle, we gathered at the middle, waited for Catherine's cue for the start and the combat began.
I invoked 「Area Barrier」 using 「Chant Termination」 as Lionel stood in front of me and Cathy and Kefin flew out for the sake of hit-and-run attacks.
Five members from the Valkyrie Paladin Corps ran towards Cathy and Kefin while the remaining 5 members started running towards me and Lionel.
’’Should I prioritize defence? Or do I press them with force?’’
’’I cannot affirm the opponent's abilities from what we've seen so we'll think about it after receiving their attacks.’’
Lumina-san, Saran-san, Myra-san, Beatrice-san, and Kathy-san rained down attacks onto Lionel from multiple angles. Against that, Lionel took a single step back and swung his large shield and greatsword, the girls hit by that were instantaneously blown away. (TL: There was a Cathy previously in the Valkyrie Paladin Corps but I'll translate it as Kathy from here on to avoid confusion with our Cat Beastwoman Cathy)
During that gap, a sword pierced Lionel.
However, the wound didn't appear deep so I immediately performed a Heal for the sake of stopping the bleeding and sent a barrier toward Lionel with Magic Circle Chant.
At the same time, I also continued to apply barrier and heal to Cathy and Kefin who were performing hit-and-run attacks.
If their injuries are immediately healed as if having All Regeneration, their movement capabilities would not drop.
As if such worries are unnecessary, though she had taken wounds to the extent of scratches, Cathy was dodging attacks while certainly dealing damage to the girls by performing counter attacks.
Kefin was also using all his ninjutsu, luring friendly fire by disappearing like a fog while buying time by detonating his art of body replacement dummy even when they think they've hit him.
That was when the match sped up.
Maybe they thought that as expected it would be bad if this continued, Saran-san who was blown away and Elizabeth-san who was at Kefin's place took a detour and, perhaps targeting me, launched an attack towards us.
’’Even though it's not constructed purely for attack power, there's no choice huh ...’’
I transformed the illusionary cane in my right hand into illusionary sword and channelled magic into it, pulled out a shield from my magic bag and held it with my left hand, and decided to match their 2 swords with my illusionary sword while defending my vitals.
At the same time their 2 swords struck my illusionary sword, I slashed out.
I took advantage of the chance to firstly send the dual-sword user Elizabeth-san flying with a kick and then performed a rotation and bashed Saran-san with my shield.
Because their weapons were destroyed, the surprised 2 stopped their movements.
While thinking that the reason for their defeat was because they struck the illusionary sword without knowing it's capabilities, Elizabeth-san and Saran-san didn't let their guard down and distanced themselves from Lionel and the others to recover.
Even while wounded, due to Elizabeth-san who has multiple number of moves leaving the combat, Kefin went on the offensive with ninjutsu that I saw for the first time.
Without receiving an attack even once, Kefin led Lipnea-san, Maruruka-san, and Lucy-san by the nose as they were dyed with fresh red blood.
’’Lionel, do you need assistance?’’
’’ ... Hmm. Could Luciel-sama defeat them one-by-one?’’
While receiving attacks, Lionel blew Kathy-san towards me.
To face the wounded Kathy-san, I readied my illusionary sword.
’’That sword is foul play. This weapon was expensive so please don't break it.’’
’’Then please declare your surrender and join Elizabeth-san and Saran-san.’’
’’Alright. I concede to that weapon.’’
Despite her minimal number of words, Kathy-san declared her defeat due to the difference in weapon performance.
Even so, I was pleased for winning against the girls for the first time.
In the meantime, Cathy and Kefin proceeded to defeat the members of the Valkyrie Paladin Corps whose movement capabilities dropped due to their wounds.
Pushed into resigning, only Lumina-san remained.
’’Way too impregnable. What nonsense.’’
Lumina-san muttered that, sent out a continuous attack of the strongest attacks she could pull forth but, Lionel defended against all of it with his large shield.
’’Since Luciel-sama's 「Area Barrier」 is not something ordinary.’’
’’ ... I've forgotten.’’
’’Are you sure you want to look away?’’
Lionel swung his large sword and Lumina avoid it but she stopped when swords hit the scruff of her neck.
No, to be accurate, she was made to stop.
Cathy and Kefin had finished moving over unnoticed and their swords formed a cross at her neck over her shoulder from behind.
’’Fu~. You've chosen good retainers Luciel-kun. To think that we would be defeated by smaller numbers.’’
’’Thank you. So, this time it will be our victory so I'll start healing everyone.’’
When we headed to Catherine-san, she nodded with a smile and announced the winner.
’’The winners are Luciel-kun and his retinue.’’
While thinking that she has no naming sense, I healed everyone's injuries by invoking 「Area High Heal」 with 「Magic Circle Chant」 and I thought that today's plans ended with that.
However, reality is uncertain after all.
’’Well then, it looks like Luciel-kun's level has increased as well so why don't you have a mock battle with me to test your strength and see if you have truly became stronger instead of just your skills getting stronger.’’
’’Eh? I don't want to though.’’
’’But we only found out that your weapon is amazing, without knowing your true strength, I won't know when you would require assistance or not right?’’
After that, Catherine-san would not listen to anything I say.
’’It's time for dinner today so if it's tomorrow morning ...’’
By saying those words, I could no longer escape from Catherine-san and the Valkyrie Paladin Corps.
’’ ... Have I reached a stage where I can't reject the request of people who helped me when I was in trouble?’’
Although there wasn't anybody who showed a reaction to my murmurings, Lionel and Catherine-san were conversing and Cathy and Kefin were happily speaking with the girls without being looked down upon as beastmen, so I thought ’’Oh well’’.
At that point in time, I had no way of knowing that the next day, the scale of the mock battle would develop to such an unthinkable scale.