I was going to receive training from my grandfather starting from today. When I told Mel, Dan, and Sharon about it, Dan and Sharon began to talk about how they also wanted to train together with me.
“Ojii-sama is really strict you know. Don’t you see how much my brother and Shim suffer everyday?” (TL: Shim is Mel’s older brother)
“It’s fine as long as we can be with Zack-sama. Let’s do it together!” (Mel)
“Me too!” (Dan)
The two of them continued to beg me. After a while, I was finally outlasted by their sheer persistence and replied, “I’ll talk with Ojii-sama and see what he says.”
When I informed my grandfather about the matter, he accepted it surprisingly easily.
“It’s good for those of the same age to work together. However, I will drag out anyone who doesn’t follow through with the training until the end. Make sure you properly tell them that.”
When I told Mel and Dan about my grandfather’s reply, they literally danced around in happiness. However, I was concerned about Sharon who was watching them with traces of loneliness in her eyes.
“What is Sharon going to do? If you watch us from a place that doesn’t interfere with the training, then Ojii-sama would probably be fine with it you know?”
The loneliness immediately disappeared from her eyes as she joyfully nodded. She quickly began to chase after Mel and Dan who had already run off to the training grounds.
My grandfather, Govan, and our family’s head retainer, Walt were standing at the training grounds as they waited for us. My grandfather sternly glared at the three of us.
“The three of you will be under my instruction starting from today. Although you may be kids, once you’ve picked up a sword, you become a soldier. Anyone who lacks resolution should immediately leave. Crying is not permitted. Understood?”
We all energetically replied, “Yes!” and then lined up behind our older brothers. My own older brother, Rod, kindly smiled as he encouraged me, “Starting from today, you’ve also become Ojii-sama’s disciple. Good luck!”
Rod was acting quite friendly.
My grandfather handed each of us a wooden rod that was just the right size for our small childish hands, and then ordered the three of us to practice swinging with them. The practice consisted of only downwards swings and rightwards slashes. With our wooden rods gripped tightly in both hands, we began to swing while trying to imitate my grandfather’s movements.
In the beginning, Dan swung his pole with an earnest vigor. However, his swings gradually became more and more half-hearted, possibly due to boredom or exhaustion.
When my grandfather caught sight of Dan with his sharp eyes, he roared, “What’s going on! Weren’t you quite the energetic one earlier!”
Frightened by the intensity of his voice, Dan collapsed onto the ground and began to shed tears. My grandfather seized the sobbing Dan by the collar and carried him out of the training grounds.
Oh shit. That old man wasn’t joking when he said he’ll drag anyone out. He doesn’t seem to give a damn about the fact that Dan’s only a five year old. If I don’t do my best, I’ll probably suffer the same fate . . . nevertheless, this sure is exhausting. I suppose it can’t be helped, since I want to improve my body’s endurance. This type of training must feel like torture for children . . .
Even though I was doing my best to trace the movements of my grandfather’s swings, I had no confidence in whether or not they actually matched. I glanced to the side to look at Mel. She was swinging her rod with a serious expression. I could see no differences in the movements of her wooden rod from those of my grandfather’s.
It’s almost like Mel has become some kind of human mirror. Looks Mel has quite a bit of talent for this. Since my own Swordsmanship talent is at level 3, I should be able to reach the level of a master. Mel might even possess more talent than that . . . (TL: talents were called abilities in the previous chapters)
Roughly 20 minutes had elapsed since the time when Mel and I began the practice swings. Both of our breaths had become haggard and our swings visibly slower. However, whenever our stances crumbled or our speed dropped even the slightest bit, Walt and my grandfather would immediately roar at us. After another 10 minutes passed, Mel collapsed onto her knees from exhaustion.
“Don’t you see that Zack is still standing! What are you doing Mel! Don’t tell me you’re already tired!”
As I looked at them, I thought that for a five year old girl, my grandfather was being too harsh. As if he had heard my thoughts, my grandfather continued,
“It’s not hard to find a female soldier! They picked up their first sword at a younger age than you! Stand up if you don’t want lose to them! Otherwise, I’m tossing you out!”
As you would expect, even though we were only swinging light wooden rods, for a four-year-old child like me, doing that for 30 minutes straight was simply too much.
Such spartan training right from the first day. Looks like I’m going to be here alone starting from tomorrow. However, I’m also at my limit. There’s no strength left in my arms . . .
I was able to persevere because I had a goal in sight. However, if a normal four year old child was told to endure this, it would probably take no time at all for them to cry and give up. Just as I thought that, Mel determinedly stood up, and once again began to swing her wooden rod.
She sure has guts. If her talent’s at least at the same level as me, she might even surpass grandfather, who is at level 70, in the future.
I learned about my grandfather’s level from Walt some time ago. However, I never expected the usually reticent Walt to so readily and happily tell me my about my grandfather’s level.
Although I’m not sure what being at level 70 means, for Walt to be so happy when boasting about it, being at level 70 must be quite amazing.
As I lost myself in my thoughts, my grandfather once again roared at me. When the training finally came to an end, Mel and I immediately tottered to the ground. Mel was breathing wildly and seemed to be on the verge of tears. Worried, I called out to her,
“Are you okay Mel? You did really well though.”
She didn’t seem to have the energy to say anything and instead, only looked hard at me.
“You shouldn’t push yourself too much. We’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow, and then everyday after that. You’re also a girl, so-”
Mel interrupted me, “I’ll do my best. I’ll give it my all.” Her voice contained a renewed sense of determination.
What amazing willpower. Is she really a five-year-old? I thought that she would quickly lose interest in doing such dreary training. Looks like I’ll have to change my opinion of her.