Chapter 40: Master Pai


 

TL: Scaramochi

 

***

 

“Hey, damn elves, you better start walking on your own.” 

 

“I can't……
take another step.” 

 

“It's not Mirialia, but it's a pretty steep hill.
Are you sure you know someone in a place like this?” 

 

“Well, yeah.
I told you a little bit when I was competing with Frey that he taught me martial arts for a little while.
That person is at the dojo just down the road.” 

 

We were now climbing a mountain road a little ways out of town. 

 

The stairs were made of stone and were so steep that Mirialia immediately went down and had to be carried on her back by Frey. 

 

It's too much to ask her to walk these stairs by herself, so she is being carried by Frey, who has the strength and stamina to do so. 

 

The reason why we are climbing up this long mountain path is because I wanted to say hello to someone who took care of me many years ago and introduce these guys to them. 

 

“Whoa, I can see it now.” 

 

“Nah, it's a small dojo.
It's not at all like the one I saw in town.” 

 

“Don't say that, but there are quite a few students there.” 

 

After climbing a long, long flight of stairs, a small dojo comes into view. 

 

I was a student at that dojo for a while.
It's been a few years since I've been here, but the exterior hasn't changed at all. 

 

As Frey said, unlike the dojo that used to stand here and there in the town, it looks shabby and not so splendid, but even so, it used to have a good number of pupils. 

 


The dojo has been in existence for quite a long time, and it is a historical school called Kikage Konokage-ryu.
There are many martial artists who come from faraway places to learn Kikage Ryu. 

 

“Grandpa, are you there?” 

 

“……It looks like he's not here.” 

 

“Hey, he's out, right?” 

 

I approached the front of the dojo and called out to him, but he never responded. 

 

There was no sound coming from inside, and no sign of anyone.
I opened the door and peeked inside, only to find it empty and deserted. 

 

“What the hell, there's no one in there.
The old man whom Dale said he knew must have already passed away.” 

 

“Hey, Frey, you're being inappropriate.” 

 

“No, Frey is right.
He was old enough to have passed away.” 

 

Well, it's no wonder that none of the 

……
students are here, if Grandpa is dead. 

 

I guess people disappeared and only the dojo remained. 

 

No……
but wait, isn't it clean for being abandoned? The floor doesn't even look dusty. 

 

“Oh, both of you have nice butts.
I like the way young girls' butts feel when I squeeze them.” 

 

“What?!” 

 

The squeaky voice heard unexpectedly startled everyone. 

 

Turning around, an old man, smaller than Mirialia, was rubbing Athena and Frey's buttocks with a look of satisfaction on his face. 

 


“Who the hell are you–!” 

 

Frey shouted angrily, and turned around to throw a backhanded fist.
However, the fist flies out of the sky, and the old man, who should have been there, lands quietly in the center of the room, spinning around in the air. 

 

“What the heck, he's still alive at all, old man, I'm sorry for worrying you.
And you're still so good at hiding your presence.
I didn't notice you at all.” 

 

“Oh, you're a lively girl, aren't you? I don't mind that kind of thing.” 

 

“What the hell did this old pervert……
lose my attack……?” 

 

“That's some serious……
body language you got there.” 

 

Athena and Frey stutter at the old man's light movements, and I exchange greetings with him for the first time in a long time. 

 

“You still look good, I'm relieved to see you, old man.” 

 

“Hmm? Are you……
Dale?” 

 

“Yeah, it's been a long time.” 

 

“Oh, look at you, you've changed.
That cocky little boy has turned into a hateful, no-good man.” 

 

What's with that expression? There are other ways to say that.
There are other ways to describe me, like “cool” or “dandy”. 

 

……It makes me sad even though I said it myself. 

 

“Dale, is this the old man you wanted to introduce us to?” 

 

“Oh, he's an old man named Pai, the master of this dojo and master of Kikage-ryu.” 

 

“Is this old, puny man a great martial artist? He doesn't look like a martial artist at all.” 

 

That's a pretty harsh thing to say, Mirialia. 

 


Well, you're right, the old man is bent at the waist and shorter than Mirialia.
He has no hair and is bald, with a white beard that extends down to his chest. 

 

At best, his face is kind and mild-mannered, but at worst, he is an erotic gappa with no substance.
Even if such an old man were called a master teacher, it would not ring a bell. 

 

But in fact, this old man is more than just an old man. 

 

“I don't care what you say, you're going to pay for touching my ass without my permission, you old b*stard.” 

 

“Here, don't go up to the sacred dojo with your feet in the dirt.
You have to take off your shoes before going up there. 

 

“Aah! I have to take off my shoes every time, what a hassle!” 

 

Frey complains, but still dutifully takes off her shoes. 

 

I don't give a damn because it's her! I thought she would just go up there with her feet in the dirt, but it seems that wasn't the case.
She is growing up to be an adult, isn't she? 

 

“I'm glad to see you.” 

 

Following Frey, we took off our shoes and entered the dojo. 

 

I don't know why, but it seems we have to do so.
I don't know if I was warned the first time I visited there. 

 

While I was reminiscing about the old days, Frey was baring her teeth as she lunged toward the old man with great vigor. 

 

“I'm not going to give up on you just because you're an old man!” 

 

“Oops, look out, look out!” 

 

As she said, she unleashes her fists without mercy, but she is just a hair's breadth away from losing. 

 

Frey, not to be outdone, continued to attack in rapid succession, but like the willow leaves that flutter down, not a single blow hit the old man's body. 

 

On the contrary, that old man was rubbing Frey's buttocks while evading……. 


 

“That's a very good fist strike.
I'd prefer it to be a little firmer.” 

 

“Damn, I can't hit anything at all! What the hell are you doing touching my ass in the middle of the fight!” 

 

“It was a good workout, thank you very much.” 

 

What? 

 

Immediately after, Frey's body is slammed back to the floor. 

 

Athena and the other, including that girl herself, didn't seem to understand what the old man had done, but I could see it. 

 

The moment Frey released her fist, he evaded her, picked up the hem of her clothes, and threw her off. 

 

The only thing he does is to receive the power of Frey and manipulate it as he pleases.
It is truly a masterful technique. 

 

Frey, who had been thrown away, sat up and, covering her face with her hands, muttered in stunned disbelief. 

 

“……I have no idea what happened, when I came to, I was on the floor.
It was just like when Dale did it to me.” 

 

“The only thing I can say is that I'm not a big fan of the martial arts.
Well, I'm sure he's a lot more skilled than I am, even though I've only dabbled in it a little.” 

 

After teaching this to the stunned Frey, he stands up quickly and readies himself again. 

 

“Hey, old man, one more time! Let me try one more time.” 

 

“Oh, I can't do it, my back is in trouble.” 

 

“What?” 

 

The old man thumps his hip with a deathly look on his face. 

 

You're getting old, aren't you? Your technique was still going strong, but your body isn't as old as you think it is.

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