Chapter 13 – Battle on the Empire border Part 3 (1/2)
“Ooh, welcome, welcome back.”
After that serious match against Francesca, we returned to the village. Seeing the situation being under control, a bunch of villagers came outside to check the damages and the reinforced walls.
They were surprised for a second there as we touched down in front of the main village gate, but then they gathered around us, thanking us profusely.
The most popular among us was Francesca. Her flashy and expensive looking armor makes her stand out the most here, which made her the most likely candidate for the party leader in their eyes. I don’t think anyone would guess that all she did today was pick a fight with me.
She herself tried to deny it, but they thought she was just being humble. Well, if she were indeed the commander, it wouldn’t be strange for she herself to not do anything personally.
However, there was no need to throw cold water on all those happy people by bringing up the fact that Francesca didn’t in fact contribute even the tiniest bit to the defense of the village.
“Uhm, sorry about that….”
After we entered the village and got through the ring of villagers, Francesca gave an apology. About half of the villagers were focusing on Francesca in the end.
“Don’t mind it. We aren’t doing this to be praised.”
“Even so, Sati was the one that did the best today. Well done, Sati,” Ann praised.
“Yeah, that’s true. If Sati didn’t notice the sound of bells ringing, we might’ve passed by this place without noticing. Good job, Sati.”
Sati was standing next to me during our entrance here, but Syrah-chan with her dark armor did the same, so not many people approached Sati because of it. The armor wasn’t as scary as it would be at night, but even during the day she still gives off the feeling like she would like to murder a few people, so she’s not easy to approach.
I myself was just happy to not have to deal with people, but Sati should be properly recognized for her achievements.
“I’m just happy I was able to be of some help.”
“You have even taken down the Orc King, a spectacular achievement by any measure.”
Even Francesca got on the praise-train.
“It’s just because everyone wasn’t able to go all out today. What I did was not that big of a deal.”
Look. That’s true humbleness right there. Though a bit too humble, since Sati thinks that all her strength comes from my Blessing, even more so than me.
“Is it really that amazing when you all go all out?”
“Sati is really amazing and always very helpful. However, if we get serious, then none of us would lose out in terms of combat power.”
“That’s not true! I’m one of the weaker people in this party.”
I don’t really know who could beat Sati in a one on one match, but in terms of destructive power, Sati is indeed behind the curve.
“Wait wait. If Sati is weak, then what am I….?”
“It’s not easy to rank fighters and mages together, but if talking about fighting monsters, then you would be just above Will and Syrah-chan I guess. That means the third one from the bottom in our party.”
Even that is a favorable placement I think. Francesca might just end up last if we compared merits after a few battles. It’s partly because she’s not well suited for our party that’s specialized in long range attacks, but even if she could go into melee with the monsters, she would be at best third from the bottom.
“You must be joking.”
Isn’t she looking down on mages a bit too much? Perhaps she hasn’t seen any large-scale destruction magic yet?
Or is it that mages are simply too powerful? That may be it. She must be confident that she can take down a mage at the level Ellie was before the Blessing. Even I should be able to do that without using magic. Mages that don’t have High Speed Chanting have really, really long chants to say.
“In one-on-one fights, you are indeed strong, Fran. Sati as well. However, in the case of monsters, the question becomes: how efficiently can you defeat them.”
With small groups, like today’s was for example, each of us could annihilate them entirely, alone. Though that might not be true for Will and Syrah-chan. Francesca might be able to do it as well, but it would take a long time and who knows if her sword could withstand taking down about two hundred opponents.
“I wouldn’t lose even in a one-on-one fight.”
“I guess so. Lilia should be able to win.”
The combo of her Spirit Protection and attack magic is truly terrifying. Even before she leveled up, it managed to stop Sati’s attack and now it’s even stronger of course.
“There is an even chance with me I think.”
In Ellie’s case, it becomes the question of who manages to take the initiative. However, there is Teleport as well, so if there is sufficient distance in the beginning, then Francesca has no chance of winning.
“I can win.”
If she manages to use her Summoning, then Tilika should have a good chance of winning as well, and since she declared that so confidently, she must have other ways of defeating her that she thought of.
“I’m not that confident I could win.”
Ann has some close range Skills and her Defense is pretty high as well, so I think she might be able to win.
“If we tried, then she would most likely lose all matches.”
Sati added on in the end towards the unbelieving Francesca. Hearing Sati say that makes it quite persuasive.
Everyone already witnessed how Francesca fights. If we really did try those matches, then Francesca, who would be fighting most of us for the first time, would be in an overwhelming disadvantage.
“We shouldn’t do it though, okay? You lot are not used to one-on-one fights so don’t know how to hold back properly, right?”
Today I was constantly on edge during our fights, afraid that I would hurt Francesca. The most damage I did was when she got hit by those Air Hammers, but if we kept going, she could’ve got hurt more seriously.
“Indeed. Also, there is no need to keep count among allies like this.”
“Right, exactly. What’s really important is that we managed to save all these innocent people. Everyone did a good job today.”
Even while we were talking, a few villagers called out to us and we saw a few kids waving at us from inside the houses.
“There. That’s where we will be staying tonight. They gave the only inn in this village for us to use, so we can take it easy.”
While we were walking, we reached the place we were staying tonight as Ann, who was walking in the front informed us.
“Hohoh. Having it all to ourselves. That’s truly wonderful.”
“There is also the welcome party…..”
“We don’t need that one.”
“Is that so? Then I will go and refuse.”
“I don’t mind if you all want to go though.”
I would be fine with eating a simple bento with someone in my room.
“I didn’t know how long you would take to finish outside, Masaru, so I only arranged for a place for us to stay.”
“Hmm. Then I think we should take it easy and eat by ourselves.”
Today was really tiring. The construction work in the morning, keeping alert on the way, reinforcing the walls of this village, then finally those fights with Francesca. I even got hit by an Air Hammer courtesy of Ellie. I’m about to hit my limit here.
“I will go and ask them to prepare dinner for us. How about you go and take a bath in the meantime?”
Bath, huh. Bath is good.
“Then I think we will make good use of it, Sati.”
A bath can soothe all my pains, truly a heaven on earth.