Asagi Kamiyashiro Will Not Give Up
I cut off the left ears from the hobgoblins and handed them to Lemon after wiping off some of the blood. But as I watched Lemon wrap them up in leather and put them away in the bag, it all started to seem rather macabre. Putting away ears. It was a bit late to start having thoughts about it, but the hobs were closer in appearance to humans than ordinary goblins.
Regardless, I started a replay of the fight in my mind through Jack of all Trades, Master of None. I needed to study on how to fight in tight spaces. I could still make use of my own strengths, I just had to know how to do it. The four screens were currently playing in my brain. As for things that needed improvement…hmmm. I really wasn’t smart enough for that kind of self-analysis. But as I stared at the looped footage…I remembered something. The reason I had cut downward, while upside-down from the ceiling, was because of the long reach the sword had. In other words, it was another thing that might get in the way while I was in these cramped spaces.
That being said, it was difficult to choose a weapon. The Ashikirimaru was a short sword, but I wasn’t confident in it being the right choice. I wasn’t used to fighting with something of that size. Of course, Jack of all Trades would help me there and show me how to move. But that only took you so far. The thing with this skill was that even if I knew what to do in my head, my body couldn’t always keep up in the way that I’d like. I had raised my skill with the one-handed sword and the great sword so that I could fight even without Jack of all Trades.
“Hmm…what to do…”
“You having trouble with something?”
“I’m bummed about my sword being pretty unfit for this excursion.”
“Well, it is the most standard weapon in a wide field. But things are different here. Still, I use my sword just fine.”
As she said this, a one-handed sword materialized from her shadow. It was thinner than mine. Maybe somewhere between mine and Daniela’s rapier.
“There is a trick to using it. You must thrust instead of swing. Of course, there are limits to that. I’m not sure if Daniela would agree, but you should also be able to slash in a dungeon. Like this.”
When she thrust, she pulled her elbow back and moved forward in a straight line, as was usual. As for slashing, it was with her arm pulled in and covered a minimal area. As I wasn’t used to it and preferred to keep my distance from the monsters, I had extended my arm far out and left a lot of it to momentum. Timing had been the thing I cared most about.
And so I traced her movements with Jack of all Trades and then tried swinging the Black Emperor Sword. Hmm. I might be able to manage it if I stayed in the center of the tunnels.
“Very good. Not many people would learn after seeing something just once.”
“It’s not me, it’s just the skill.”
“The skill is still your power.”
Maybe that was her perspective, but I didn’t agree. As far as I was concerned, resting on your laurels and relying too much on a skill was a good way to get killed. It was important to put in the work and continue to improve on your own.
“Well, it’s probably a good thing that you think that. But you should put a little more trust in your skill, I think.”
“Trust my skill?”
“Yes. This is not a world you can survive in without them. So, perhaps you shouldn’t keep such a distance from it.”
But I did have complete trust in Jack of all Trades. It helped me survive this long. However, the second part of the skill always had me worried. Perhaps part of it was the initial reaction I got from those other Adventurers. Perhaps that had caused me to have reservations without really thinking.
Who knows. Who knows. Who knows. Who can even calmly analyze their own feelings? Still, surely some good would come out of being aware. Let it in. Trust it more… Hell, it’s not like it’s a person. It might not be too hard. It would be something I’d keep in mind as I continued to fight.
“You did say before that you just needed a reason to make something yours. That is great.”
Daniela said from behind me. That felt good. I grew when I was complimented.
“Well, I’m still trying to make up for the last one. Heh…”
I had a reputation to restore. I’d managed to overwrite great embarrassments before. And I would do it again in this labyrinth.
□ □ □ □
After traveling for a while through the passages, Lemon suggested that we take a break.
“I thought it would be a good time to look at the map.”
Lemon said as she spread out the map she had been making. She had done it mostly as if it were a grid, with straight lines and right-angle curves. Basically, pixel art.
“This is where we took our first break and planned our next move. And this is where we killed the hobgoblin.”