Chapter 9 – I tried fighting Holy Sword
“Chrom, will you face me in a match?”
Says Mister Sirius after my mock battle with Labrys.
“Show me your true strength, not as your master, but as a fellow swordsman.”
I hesitate for a bit, but at this point there’s no way I can gloss over this in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural.
I’m also interested in seeing how well this body can fight.
And above all else…
(…I want Mister Sirius to see how much I’ve evolved.)
The first time around, all I could show him was someone who was not worthy of being his pupil.
I know people bad-mouthed him behind his back because he made me his pupil too, and in the end, I never had the opportunity to show him how much better I became.
I’ll fight with my all.”
Mister Sirius says with a smile, before quietly holding up his sword…
Before I know it, there’s a sword approaching me right before my eyes.
Even though he was pretty far away.
(《Haste》 Ⅲ (triple speed).)
I instinctively sense danger and activate a speed multiplying technique, before reflexively swinging my sword and changing the trajectory of the incoming slash.
My arm feels numb, because I didn’t block the sword properly.
“Incredible… You can even block that now.”
Mister Sirius shrugs.
“And… As I suspected, your magic is definitely not of the physical strengthening kind.
You move faster, but the weight of your sword is the same.
That means that rather than increasing your strength, it’s more likely that you are creating the illusion of moving around faster.”
“…You really do have good eyes.”
Speed multiplying techniques are most certainly not the same as physical strengthening.
My speed is faster, but I’m not faster.
It’s just that my actions take less time.
Like I’m fast-forwarding them.
My attack and defense aren’t any better.
If I punch when I’m two times faster, it doesn’t double the power behind the punch, and if I fall from a tall place, the impact stays the same even if it’s at half speed.
“All right, it’s time for the main event.
(physical strengthening seven)”
The moment he says that…
A tremendous amount of fighting spirit is released from his body.
“…Now I’m serious.
Come at me seriously as well, Chrom.”
He says, like he’s saying I haven’t seen all he has to offer.
He holds his sword silently again… And vanishes again.
He suddenly disappears from my sight again.
It’s the Moonhart style of tricking the opponents’ sense of distance and approaching with a half-moon slash.
(《Haste》 Ⅳ (fourth speed).)
I go up a gear, and magic energy starts sparking from my body like electricity.
My whole body feels like it’s screaming.
It’s not used to the burden of using magic.
(…He can still keep up?)
Mister Sirius isn’t just accelerated like me, he’s actually fast.
His reactions, decision making, and shifting between techniques too.
The trajectory of his sword keeps changing as it approaches me.
Every step masks his distance.
He’s reading my movements before every dodge, so although I’m blocking every attack, my posture is gradually breaking.
The speed of the swings is staying the same, but I can’t handle it.
(…He really is strong.)
Holy Sword, Sirius Moonhart.
It’s no wonder he was known as the strongest of the knights of the imperial court.
This is the height reached by someone who was already loved by the sword, but also spent years polishing his skills.
(I can’t match him with sword skills alone…)
He used to feel to me like an unattainable height.
And now that I’ve become strong, I can understand how strong he is even better.
Mister Sirius slashes with the intensity of a raging fire.
Sparks start flying, and my sword is tossed away.
This impact completely breaks my posture, and Mister Sirius’ next attack is already drawing near.
I don’t have the space to dodge, and I can’t block it without a sword.
(…So this is it.)
The slash comes at me in slow motion.
I close my eyes, and then…
(《Haste》 Ⅻ (last speed).
And with that, it’s over.
“…! He’s gone…!?”
Mister Sirius’ sword only hits air, and he stops completely.
I’m sure he already noticed I’m behind him, pointing my sword at him.
“This is my all.”
He stands still without turning around for a while, until…
“…I give up.”
His sword falls to the ground.
“Yes… You’ve become strong, Chrom.”
“…All because you taught me.”
Kindness, strength, warmth… All because he taught me.
If I wasn’t raised by Mister Sirius, I would have never become somebody no matter how many years passed.
I kept on swinging my sword, all because I wanted to be like him.
All this time, I wished I could tell him it’s because of him that I became strong.
I hear my name, and get startled.
I raise my head, and see Mister Sirius looking at me.
“It’s not because of me that you’ve become strong.”
“I don’t understand how you suddenly gained a hundred years worth of power.
If you don’t want to tell me, you don’t have to, but… I have seen many people swinging swords.
By looking at how they swing them, I can tell how they have been doing it, and why they have been doing it.”
He says with a kind smile.
“Your swings are those of someone who hasn’t been loved by the sword.
No matter how weak, no matter how scared, no matter how painful… You have shed many tears, vomited a lot of blood, and attempted to save many people… Your sword is a kind one.”
…I think Mister Sirius has figured it out.
In this body, there is someone who isn’t ‘this age’s Chrom’.
And yet, he doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
He places his big hand on my head.
“You’ve turned out very well, Chrom.”
His hand feels warm and kind.
“You worked very hard.”
“No matter what people say… I’m very proud to have a pupil like you.”
…It’s the first time.
No one has ever reacted like this after seeing my power.
These words feel to me like they make it all worth it.
(…I really can’t beat this man.)
I didn’t really tell him anything, and yet, he said what I wanted to hear all this time like he saw right through me.
“I don’t have a lot to teach you when it comes to using a sword.
From now on, use this time to do what you must do.”
He says while smiling gently.
If you ever need my help, feel free to ask any time.
I want to be of help to my family.”
When the time comes, I’ll make sure to…”
My head naturally lowers.
“Thank you very much.”
All I did was receive things from these people.
And yet, the first time around, I didn’t give anything back.
Will I be able to repay them one day…
(No… I’ll definitely repay them little by little, here in this time.)
That’s the whole reason why I came back.
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