Chapter 46: Athena 2 (Part 1)



[Athena's POV]


I am Athena.
I am the leader of Stardust. 


Due to the appearance of a demon god, we were unable to enter the intermediate labyrinth where we were based, so we decided to travel to the royal city of Barontark. 


During the journey, Dale gave us three various challenges. 


Mirialia and Frey are to improve their cooking skills.
Dale says that we may not be able to stay with this party forever and that we should be able to do this on our own. 


This is something I have been thinking about as well. 


The current food situation at Stardust is that Dale and I take turns cooking or eating out.
But I don't think that's going to work forever. 


For example, if Dale and I were to get sick or injured, there would be no one left to cook for us.
In that case, I would be very grateful if someone could cook something simple for both of us. 


At first, both of us struggled with it, but after a month of doing it every day, we have made some progress. 


It wasn't flattering, but it was good enough to eat. 


Mirialia is doing something called meditation in her personal training. 


Meditation is mainly to improve concentration, but in the case of Mirialia, it's said to be able to recover magical power on the spot.
This is said to be possible because she is an elves with a high ability to interfere with the magic that abounds in the world. 


To be honest, I envy her the ability to recover her magical power. 


In order to recover magic power, one has to eat a basic meal and sleep, or drink a mana potion, which is an expensive magic power recovery potion. 


But if you can meditate, you can recover magic power even during battle.
This is a great thing. 


In addition to cooking, Frey is told to be able to sustain body enhancement magic. 


This is because by doing so, she can feel more of the magic flowing through her body and improve her manipulation. 


I don't usually do any strengthening, but I keep it activated constantly while exploring the dungeon. 


It was also divided into three stages: when moving, when fighting monsters, and when fighting powerful monsters.
This is because I have a lower amount of magic power than the two of them, so I have to control my consumption. 


In Dale's lecture on strengthening the body, he taught me that I could focus on one area by improving my manipulation skills and even strengthen my sensory systems, such as my eyesight, hearing, and reflex speed. 


Hearing this, I was intrigued, and since that day I have found time to train in sensory strengthening. 


In addition, Dale gave me and Frey one more assignment. 


It is a technique called “Nagashi”. 


Nagashi simply means to take the power of the opponent's attack and channel it to the outside.
By shedding the attack, the time to make the next move is shortened. 


In addition, if you do it well, you can break the opponent's position.
I had Dale practice this technique on me once, and I found that my body moved on it's own and I was knocked out of my stance.
If I can master this technique, I will be one step stronger. 


However, lacking the physical strength, I was evading instead of defending.
I am proud to say that I am better than others in terms of my ability to avoid. 


However, because I have been avoiding so much, it has become difficult for me to defend myself – to shed. 


But sometimes Dale teaches me, and after doing it all the time, I'm slowly getting the hang of it.
Having more defensive options would have made me stronger again. 


Frey still seems to be struggling, though……. 


As I continued my journey in this fashion, I arrived at a small town at the foot of the mountain. 


The royal capital is just beyond the mountain, so there are many adventurers in this town who take a rest for the journey over the mountain.
There were also many non-adventurers who were called “martial artists” who were trying to master the art of martial arts. 


The person Dale wanted to introduce to us also seemed to be a martial artist. 


After a brief argument at a teahouse we stopped at on the way, we climbed the mountain and arrived at an old-fashioned dojo. 


We were wondering why no one was inside, when suddenly someone touched our butts.
I was startled by the suddenness of the situation, but Frey, without a moment's hesitation, fired a backhanded fist at the tramp.
However, the back fist cut through the air, and the tramp flew through the air and entered the dojo. 


The tramp was an acquaintance of Dale's, an old father named Pai.
Master Pai is also a master of Kikagei-ryu. 


When Master Pai chided Frey for his dirty feet, Frey took off his shoes, walked up to the dojo, and attacked.
However, Master Pai showed the room by lightly avoiding the attack and touching Frey's buttocks. 


The old man is a pervert, but he is no ordinary man.
He is a very good fighter. 


In the end, Frey was thrown away.
And I have no idea how he did it. 


Then, while I was listening to the conversation in another room, a girl from the beast tribe suddenly appeared. 


Her name is Meimei, and she seems to be an old friend of Dale.
As she clings to Dale and happily listens to her old stories, my heart starts to growl. 


(Even though I met Dale earlier than her……
well, I didn't ask him, so I can't be sure) 


When I saw Dale fighting the demon god, I realized. 


I realized that Dale was the cool adventurer who saved my village……
from the monsters that attacked us when I was a kid.
But I haven't asked Dale about that yet. 


I'm scared ……
I hope Dale is the one, but at the same time, I hesitate to think about it if he isn't. 


No, I don't really care if Dale is not the adventurer he was back then.
I just don't want to break this illusion yet, and I don't want to know the truth.
I don't really understand it myself, though. 


As the story goes, Frey and Meimei decided to play a game. 


Meimei had a small body, and I was worried that she wouldn't be able to withstand Frey's heavy blows, but when it came time to fight, she was able to parry all of Frey's attacks. 


She is perfectly skilled in using the uke-nage that the amazing……
Dale taught her.
I instantly understood that that was the perfect form of uke-nage.
Frey is also growing, and although she uses it here and there, she is less skilled than Meimei. 


In the end, Meimei won as Frey was thrown off. 


To really beat Frey is a reminder that the……
world is still a big place. 


Afterwards, Meimei told me the reason why the disciples of Kikagei-ryu are no longer with us. 


It seems that Ryu, who had expelled them from the dojo, had transferred to the Hatenryu, and had encouraged all the disciples of the Kikage-ryu to switch to the Hatenryu. 


When I heard this story, I was filled with anger. 


He was unfaithful to the public because he couldn't be taught his techniques, he wasn't only causing trouble for the public but also committing the crime of murder, he had left Kikagei-ryu, the school that had taken care of him, to transfer to Hatenryu, and even to involve his Kikagei-ryu students. 


I am angry at Ryu, but I am also angry at the disciples who transferred from Kikagei-ryu to Hatenryu just because they were taken in by his words.
Don't they owe Master Pai anything? 


As my gut was boiling, Dale suddenly asked me to let Frey become a disciple of Kikagei-ryu. 


I was surprised, but Dale must have an idea.
Because there is no way he would let her do it just on a whim. 


Surely Frey would go over the wall by becoming a disciple. 


I got back into the swing of things, thinking that I couldn't lose to her either.


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