Chapter 294: Collect ・ Wall ・ Ball
We continued leveling for the Wave. I got the Old Man to make Raphtalia a new sword and placed an order for Firo’s claws with Imya’s Uncle. With that out of the way, we zealously proceed to level grind.
Because of this, my level has already climbed to 105.
Raphtalia’s and Firo’s were frozen at 100, so they’re prepared enough.
The others in the village are also reaching quite high levels.
Especially the Heroes. They’re all somewhere around level 115. Their strength is also considerable.
It may have something to do with that peculiar weapon, but Rishia was able to break the level cap and advance to level 105.
Then… the problem lies with Atlas and Fohl.
Let me reaffirm the situation with the siblings.
Every day, Atlas tries to sleep by my side. To get through the strict defenses on my house, she attacks from the front and ends up fighting every night.
And every time, Raphtalia, Fohl, the Raph Race, or the Filo Rials try to halt her advance. But please remember something.
Atlas is a genius.
By experiencing something once, she can adapt 10 or 20 times faster than a normal person.
“Just a little bit more!” (Atlas)
“How unfortunate for you.”
“I was told that interrupting Naofumi-san’s sleep was a bad thing, so…”
I deployed a powerful force in front of the buildings. The Heroes, Itsuki, and Ren stand to confront her. They’ve grown to have ample ability to do so.
I discussed it with Ren a couple of days ago…
“Honestly, among the children in the village, the one growing the most is that Atlas girl.” (Ren)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
Since the Houou battle was approaching, I increased the amount of time I spent training with him.
Of course, Raphtalia, Firo, Fohl, and Atlas also spar. And Atlas’s movements have become unbelievably sharp.
She even studied my style of defense, and even helps me study the application of Chi.
That Hengen Musou Granny said that Atlas’s defensive techniques were lacking, so I worked together with the girl to develop new techniques from the ground up.
The name is just temporary, but we made the skills 『Collect』, 『Wall』, and 『Ball』.
First is 『Collect』.
This is for magic-based attacks. Using Chi, you can move and redirect a magic attack aimed at you.
It’s convenient when facing large scale magic head on.
Its radius of effect is three meters.
Of course, if you infuse more chi into it, you can increase that.
Next is 『Wall』.
This technique manifests an invisible wall for a few seconds to obstruct enemies.
It mostly works like my Air Strike Shield.
It can stop physical and magical attacks to some extent.
It’s much more all-purpose than the skill. Its deployable area is also really large.
Its weak points are its low defense, and its short effective time.
Last is 『Ball』. This one is a counter skill.
Using it, you can gather and condense a magic attack and send it right back at the caster. Of course, there are plenty of magics it cannot send back, so it isn’t that effective.
It works on a different principle than hitting attacks back with my shield.
I made it so that Atlas was able to use these skills.
They’re skills based on my natural ability of defense, and Atlas was just mimicking that, though.
“It’s hard to read her movements, and she’s fast. What’s more, whenever I think I’m going to hit, she immediately diverts my attacks. I can’t get any damage through to her.” (Ren) “And on top of that, her attacks naturally ignore defense, so it’s hard to develop countermeasures.” (Itsuki)
“But do you think you will be able to do anything about it?” (Naofumi)
“Probably. But, if I fought her one on one, I would have to go all out, or it would be difficult.” (Ren)
“It would be hard to stop her without giving her serious injury.” (Itsuki)
For a fully strengthened Hero to have to go all out… Just how fast is she growing?
But since the Heroes try to avoid killing any villagers, they have to hold back. I guess it would be a hard fight.
“Fohl-kun can stop her, so I think we’ll manage one way or another, but as expected of the strongest Demi-Human race, the Hakukos.” (Itsuki)
Itsuki speaks with an uninterested tone.
By hearing him, I don’t get the impression that they’re strong at all.
Even so, Fohl is quite something to be able to stop her as well.
“Yeah, keeping up with her is the best I can do. She’s way too agile.” (Ren)
By the way, Fohl is at 110, and Atlas at 103.
Just how strong is my village getting?
Atlas always takes on a large number of opponents, so she gets a lot of battle experience unrelated to her level.
During the day, she trains with other strong geniuses like Firo and Sadina. She’s constantly improving herself.
“Is she seriously that strong?” (Naofumi)
When I train with her, I can take her blows just fine.
Perhaps she holds back against me. I can’t refute the possibility.
Should I ask her to come at me seriously next time?
If she manages to beat the crap out of me, I have no idea what I’ll do.
“Since Naofumi can only be on the defense, it’s hard to find opportunities to attack, I bet. We have to mix in offense as well.” (Ren)
“This is the first time I’m hearing of it. Just taking attacks is hard in itself, you know. I mean, aren’t you better off than someone who has virtually no offensive power?” (Naofumi)
“Well, I can’t argue with that.” (Ren)
Just keeping up defenses is easy… There may be some people who think that, but that’s definitely not the case.
You have to catch and shift the impact of opponents’ blows to stop them, and parry them as well. You can’t just hold up a shield.
What’s more, my self-made defense style also allows me to break opponents’ weapons, thus aiding my party.
This does not work on Legendary Weapons, of course.
I can do Shirahatori, and grab weapons and arrows out of midair. (TL: Shirahadori is that thing where you clap your hands on a sword swinging downwards)
I can interfere with magic as well, and support magic is my duty.
And wait, that’s kinda all I can do. I mean, there’s no helping it. I just don’t have offensive capability.
Back to Atlas.
When sparing with me, she uses her speed to feign and break through my defense.
I’m usually able to deal with it, but I don’t think my speed is that high. Is she really going easy on me?
“But you definitely are good at stopping attacks. Perhaps you learned to keep up with Atlas’s speed.” (Ren)
“It’s a matter of practice.” (Naofumi)
“Well… That’s true. Their race really does seem like it was born for battle. (Ren)
“Is that so? When she trains with Firo and the Raphs, she doesn’t look like anything special.” (Naofumi)
Looking at just speed, Firo is peerless.
Her attacks are extremely quick and heavy.
She can also accelerate herself to greater levels with Magic, so she’s more troublesome of an opponent than Atlas.
The Raphs aren’t as fast as Filo Rials, but they can use illusionary magic like Raphtalia. If you lose sight of reality, then they can easily sneak through your defense.
And also, they have their numbers…
“Firo-chan’s really big, so it’s easier to hit her. But Atlas’s small build and dexterity make it really hard to land any blows on her.” (Ren)
Her size, is it?
Even though her level’s grown to 103, she hasn’t grown at all.
I don’t know the reason, but perhaps it has something to do with her past illness.
Even so, enemy size…
Now that you mention it, Firo is big.
When trying to dodge, her size is a disadvantage.
And Atlas’s size is troublesome in another way.
The threats are of different categories.
“Fuee… Atlas-chan is getting stronger by the day. It’s really troubling.” (Rishia)
“I see… How’s Raphtalia doing, then?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, she’s gradually getting stronger too. Her movements are getting sharper and more intense.” (Itsuki)
“If we have members of that level of strength, won’t the Houou battle be easy?” (Ren)
“No, it seems Atlas won’t be participating in the Houou campaign.” (Naofumi)
Ren asks with a perplexed expression.
“I made a promise to Fohl that I wouldn’t let her participate against Houou. That’s why I’m taking up applicants for that battle, but Atlas won’t be included.” (Naofumi)
I think it’s at the same moment I said those words.
Behind me, I hear the sound of something hitting the ground.
When I turn around, I see a sack on the floor and Atlas staring in our direction.
Her timing is bad.
And wait, isn’t my probability of happening upon these cliché situations unreasonably high?
“What’s wrong, Atlas?” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-sama… You’re not going to deploy me into battle?” (Atlas)
“Yep, most likely. I made a promise with your brother.” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-sama! I declared that I would be your shield, did I not? Then I need to be by your side in battle!” (Atlas)
“Even if you say that, I already made a promise. I decided I would keep such promises even if it killed me. As long as I properly agreed to the deal, at least.” (Naofumi)
Atlas unsteadily walks off. She seems anxious as she increases her pace.
“I’m worried about Fohl-kun, so I’m going to go check on him.”
“Me too.” (Ren)
“I as well.” (Itsuki)
“Fuee… I’m also worried…” (Rishia)
Hmmmmmmm… The trust placed in Atlas seems to be low.
For the first thing everyone assumes to be her assaulting Fohl, just how hasty are these people?
No matter how I look at it, it didn’t seem that way.
“Fohl’s off getting materials to make an accessory for Atlas, isn’t he?” (Naofumi)
Everyone has break time on rotation, and Fohl uses his to go fetch materials.
I won’t speak up over what he does on his vacations.
He seems to have placed an order from Imya’s Uncle, so he left Atlas in Raphtalia’s hands and left.
He’ll probably be back by tomorrow, so he’s safe for today.
“Now that you mention it, that’s right.”
“But tomorrow, I feel that something will happen.”
It’s a road we’ll have to cross eventually.
Now then, will Fohl be able to stop Atlas?
I have to start preparing for the campaign.
So far, preparations have been smooth.
The Heroes have sufficiently recovered from their curses.
Besides his personality problems, Itsuki’s curse isn’t a hindrance anymore. His level even recovered.
From my visits to the Onsen every day, I’ve fully recovered from my wrath. Even the curses from when I went strange have disappeared.
The only remaining effects are that my experience gets sucked away at regular intervals, and whenever I compound, the product is dropped a few levels in quality.
The levels of those in the village that volunteered to fight in the wave are quite high as well, and the monsters are quite motivated.
I feel like praising myself for raising them ‘til now.
By the way, the voice of the slaves, besides Raphtalia, is Kiel.
She doesn’t have any delegated position, but she’s quite powerful in battle.
Though, she’s constantly bound to her Crepe Tree.
When I asked her if she would participate in the wave, she was overflowing with eagerness.