There’s obviously battle experts in this fantasy world.
They would continue polishing their own techniques as adventurers and practitioners. The Holy Fist Gradona is one of the people that have been acknowledged by the world.
His name rang over the world more than 50 years ago.
There’s tendencies to the monsters that appear in the Nether depending on the region, and the adventurers would adapt to them to hunt those monsters as an occupation.
However, there would be occasions when the existence of a powerful monster would be confirmed at a frequency of around once every century.
That being is on a whole different level from the other races, and they are given names in fear by the adventurers.
They are basically what you would call Named or Unique types of rare monsters.
The harm caused by those monsters when they appear in the human realm are truly like that of a natural calamity. Villages would be set for destruction, and nations would even need to mobilize their army in order to stop their advance.
The one that appeared at that time was a Unique Ogre, Galang of Destruction.
It was a variant of an ogre which had a robust body and high battle prowess to begin with. What stood out from this one was its sturdy body.
All weapons didn’t work. Not only that, when Garan attacked, the weapons that received that blow were all destroyed.
That’s when Gradona appeared and defeated Garan alone and barehanded, carving his name in history.
Garan is not the only Unique class monster that Gradona defeated.
He traveled around the world and managed to defeat 17 natural calamities with that body of his alone.
And then, Gradona retired from active duty around 10 years ago and finished his travels.
He is currently taking disciples in a remote place and is waiting quietly for his remaining years to end.
His name is known around the world even now, and there’s no end to the adventurers that aim to become like him. He is a living legend.
“That Gradona is here.” (Ekdoik)
The one that Ekdoik brought out from the residence was an old man that was wrapped up with chains and laying on the ground.
“What are you doing to a legendary person?!” (Ilias)
Ilias and the others were showing a whole ton of surprise.
She must know Gradona well as a warrior, but she must not have expected for him to appear in this fashion.
“He apparently arrived in Gahne a few days ago already though. I found him sleeping near a trash can behind a bar, so I nabbed him.” (Ekdoik)
“Isn’t your treatment towards an old person terrible?” (Gradona)
“This was the natural measure towards a guy that was complaining about not being able to walk because the alcohol was still in his system.” (Ekdoik)
“No wonder you joined hands with Pashuro. What a cruel person. *Sob*.” (Gradona)
Is what Gradona said as he somehow got up without using his arms and legs as if I was watching a rewinded tape.
And then, he tore off the steel chains as if they were made out of paper.
The body that showed up was certainly that of someone who has done martial arts in the past, but there’s signs of decline that come with age.
I don’t know what logic was at work here. It is hard to understand even in this fantasy world, but when we are dealing with a legendary class, it might be pointless to even think about it.
Gradona approached here first.
“So, are you the Wolfe who got rid of my stupid disciple? Even though you are a black wolfkin, your ears and tail are the same as that of a human.” (Gradona)
“You are wrong no matter how you look at it. If you are an expert, you should be able to tell with a glance.”
“Oh, was I wrong? Even though I felt like you were the most peculiar one within this group though.” (Gradona)
“E-Excuse me, this is Wolfe.” (Wolfe)
Gradona walked over to Wolfe who presented herself and he looked at her from head to toe.
“Fumu, then, try attacking once, Wolfe. Full power.” (Gradona)
He raised his right hand and instructed her to attack there.
Wolfe glanced over here and I nodded.
“Then, here I go!” (Wolfe)
She concentrated mana in her right gauntlet that had explosive propulsion with all her strength, and smashed it straight onto the right hand of Gradona.
At the same time as this happened, Wolfe spun in the air despite having placed all of her weight onto the ground.
Wolfe emitted mana onto her legs without a moment’s delay and landed while taking distance.
Forget about the shockwave that happens when powerhouses of this world clash, not even the sound of the fist landing echoed.
“Ilias, did you manage to see that just now?”
“Yeah, it was a splendid technique. He didn’t use one bit of force.” (Ilias)
Is it something similar to aikido? But this surpasses logic.
“Wow, I ended up throwing you by reflex. That said, you’ve got an interesting fighting style there. Who did you learn that from?” (Gradona)
Wolfe said this and looked over here. Hi there, it is Shishou.
“Even though you are her shishou, you are not teaching her how to fight properly?” (Gradona)
“Unfortunately, I am her shishou in life. I am a total desert when it comes to battle, you see.”
“Then it was an idea. The concept in itself is good, but it is really rough around the edges. What an incredible waste. More like, I am impressed you managed to defeat Pashuro with this. Was it through deceit?” (Gradona)
“I simply read his switching habit.”
“I see. So she had an outstanding eye by her side. Makes sense. But you are doing quite the dangerous thing. Having such a young girl like this against Pashuro must have been harsh.” (Gradona)
This has been bothering me for a while now, but isn’t this Holy Fist way too frank?
His appearance is that of an 80 year old man though.
“And so, Wolfe, I don’t mind training you. But you don’t want to part from everyone here, right?” (Gradona)
“In other words, you want this old body of mine to live here and look after you? There will be lodging, alcohol, and food, right? I don’t have even a single copper, I will have you know.” (Gradona)
“…We will of course be looking after your expenses on that front.”
Gradona raised both hands and displayed his joy. This is the Holy Fist, right? The legendary class person that is taking disciples, right?
I feel like he is useless in everything aside from battles. Did I mess up in my personnel selection?
“I am grateful that you will stay in Gahne and look after Wolfe, but is the place you were in before okay?”
“No problemo, no problemo. That fool of Pashuro killed almost all of my other disciples after all. I did say that they could just compete between themselves for the right to be my successor, but who is gonna look after me if everyone is gone?” (Gradona)
“So you didn’t teach them human decency.”
“A battle junky starving for blood shouldn’t be the one teaching the path of a human. Aah, you are a good shishou in that sense. Leaving Pashuro to you could have worked just fine.” (Gradona)
A part of my heart was worried that Wolfe would end up respecting Gradona more than me if she were to train under him, but…you can easily tell from Wolfe’s face that she is saying ‘Shishou is number one’.
Thanks, but being compared to this is a bit sad.
“Right right, I caused you problems with that matter of Pashuro. He had talent, but he was such a whimsical lunatic that his mind and ability were just not a good match. It was in part my fault for raising his ability too much. I heard his last moments from the chain man.” (Gradona)
“It is Ekdoik!” (Ekdoik)
“You were still here? In the first place, what’s with these weird chains?” (Gradona)
Gradona pinched the torn chain and channeled mana on it.
And then, he immediately began to control it freely.
“Ooh, this is fun. I would like this to train my disciples. Gimme.” (Gradona)
“Don’t joke around. These chains are like entrusting a part of mine flesh. It is not something I easily give off to someone else! Especially lending it to a stranger and having them dirty them would be out of the question!” (Ekdoik)
Wolfe is making a really troubled face.
Wolfe has been given the chains by Ekdoik. We have also had the experience of lending it to Ilias and breaking it.
“E-Ekdoik, uhm… Wolfe has…the chains… Sorry.” (Wolfe)
“No, you are fine. Don’t worry. This fits right in for someone with the desire to improve themselves. Right, Rakura Salf?!” (Ekdoik)
“Can you not throw the conversation to me at this timing?!” (Rakura)
Ekdoik is also super soft towards people who he has acknowledged.
Well, he is showing the fitting attitude towards Gradona and Rakura though.
“If training this girl is enough, it is easy to do as atonement. I would even say it is worth doing.” (Ekdoik)
“I do feel uneasy about this, so I will check out the training every now and then too.”
And so, Wolfe has obtained two more shishous in the form of the Holy Fist Gradona and Ekdoik.
Ilias said she can leave Wolfe to Gradona without worries, but if she is saying that after hearing that conversation just now, she is one impressive woman.
By the way, Gradona and Rakura will conspire together to form the useless adult team, but I will mostly avoid talking about that.
I left Wolfe to Gradona and the others. As for me, I am facing the present that Ekdoik brought to me in the prison of Gahne.
There’s Ilias and Mix by my side, and also Rakura and the Gold Demon Lord.
“Counselor-sama, you gathered something like this?” (Rakura)
“Yeah, I would like to borrow your barrier in order to see it up-close.”
What’s lined up in the prison are monsters bound by the chains of Ekdoik.
The monsters that are said to be born from the Nethers connected to Gahne, Mejis, and Taizu.
Orcs, lesser devils, wyverns… Types that can only be seen in those regions.
It goes without saying, those are the monsters that were born from the Nethers created by the Scarlet Demon Lord, Purple Demon Lord, and Green Demon Lord.
On top of that, there’s the neighboring country ahead of Gahne and Mejis called Kuama. The Kuama Nether is the one that the Blue Demon Lord created, and the skeletons from that Nether are being tied up by chains and imprisoned.
That said, there’s mainly only two routes to enter the Taizu Nether which has a high difficulty. The first is to head from the Black Demon Lord Killer Mountain facing Taizu which is currently an impossible route.
The one other would be a detour through the Gahne Nether.
The danger is pretty high as well since it is through a Nether.
If not for Ekdoik who has lived in the Nether, it would have been an impossible request.
The reason why I gathered the monsters here is obviously in order to gain information.
Right now it is impossible to make contact with the other Demon Lords. In that case, I have no choice but to investigate the things that the Demon Lords created in the past.
I did try to ask Mejis if there were other records aside from the one of the Blue Demon Lord, but there’s not much progress on that one.
It is hard to disclose information of those documents that they have protected for generations to a 3rd party. I will most likely have to get a grasp of the movements of the Demon Lords a bit more to use them as negotiation chips.
The monsters are groaning. They have instinctively recognized us as enemies and are trying to attack us.
I had Ekdoik refrain from capturing monsters that have the possibility of communication.
What we have to learn this time around is not about those monsters after all.
“But is there any meaning to doing something like this?” (Gold)
“I will investigate that now. Alright, I will open the cell.”
I opened the cell where the orc is in and entered. The orc inside began rampaging even harder.
I asked Rakura to set a barrier right before the orc, basically creating a situation as if we were separated by a pane of glass as I closed the distance even more.
I am getting this close. The orc tried to move its head alone to try and attack me from beyond the barrier.
Of course, we are talking about the barrier that can even bounce off the sword of Ilias. Even if the orc were at full power, it wouldn’t be able to get through it.
But I could feel the intensity keenly. It is incomparably scarier than the carnivores you see in zoos.
Animals in zoos don’t show that much bare hostility after all.
“Its bite is nice. Well, let’s have you show me.”
I placed my forehead on the barrier and stared intently at the orc. It is not stopping its rampage.
It doesn’t have the intelligence to find my actions strange. That must be how instinctive of a creature it is.
The higher species of orcs can apparently use their own language, but the monsters I had captured this time around were all lesser ones.
“…Alright, alright, good boy. Wait, no, he is not a good boy.”
I peeked at the eyes of the orc, listened to the groans, and felt their conduct with my skin.
The fear I felt at first has been numbed by curiosity.
I can tell that my own spectrum is moving ever so slowly.
I finished the observation of the orc and entered the cell of the lesser devil.
I had a barrier set like before and repeated an observation from up-close.
The next is the wyvern, then skeleton, and after making a full round, I went back to the orc.
Repeat, and repeat; I continue my job of observing the monsters without saying anything unnecessary -just continue indifferently and silently.
“H-Hey, won’t ya take a bit of a break?” (Gold)
The Gold Demon Lord spoke to me. I don’t know if it is because she was baffled by this or was simply bored.
“No, not yet. It is not enough. I need to observe more in order to understand someone who I can’t communicate with.”
“…A-Are ya okay?” (Gold)
The eyes of Ilias and Mix were also showing some unease.
Basically, this means I am making those kinds of eyes.
There have been times when I would be dyed by the spectrum of an evil person, but this is the first experiment, so I am not used to it yet. It will take a bit more time.
I repeated nothing but the same steps until night, and after bringing it to the limit of my concentration and stamina, I finished the observation of the day.
I ended up having drinks with Gradona at night in the manor.
Wolfe must have had quite the rough training right from the first day, she had already gone to sleep.
“How was Wolfe after actually training her?”
“She might become a boring disciple in a sense. She takes in and grows so fast that there’s barely any hardships. What’s that? The reincarnation of Yugura or something?” (Gradona)
“I had a conversation with Ban-san -a certain former adventurer- and he said that she has mana that is comparable to that of a hero, but Yugura’s spotlight was more than 100 years ago though. How can you compare them?”
“What, even though you have perceptive eyes, you don’t know common knowledge? You don’t know about the Index of the Hero that’s in Kuama?” (Gradona)
“No idea. Ilias, please tell me.”
“You are not going to ask me?” (Gradona)
The Index of the Hero: Kuama created a stone monument to extol Yugura when he defeated the Blue Demon Lord.
Yugura set a certain spell on that stone monument. It was to show the people that came to that land the scenes of the past for posterity.
That’s the record of Hero Yugura having fought in the Kuama Nether. In other words, you can experience the sight of the hero that saved the world.
The ones who are striving to get stronger and the ones living in battle will show up at Kuama at least once in order to feel the strength of the Hero with their own skin.
But most of them apparently give up on their dream of becoming the strongest in history after witnessing this though.
“Have you gone to Kuama as well, Ilias?”
“No, I have never left Taizu.” (Ilias)
“I have, Mister Friend. I have also already experienced the Index of the Hero!” (Mix)
“Can you see the appearance of Yugura?”
“Yes. Speaking of which, he was a gentleman with the same black hair as you.” (Mix)
So I can see the figure of Yugura while he was alive, huh. I would like to go to Kuama after finishing this matter.
“By the way, you talked about Ban, right? If I remember correctly, he was a merchant from Taizu.” (Gradona)
“You were acquainted with Ban-san?”
“Acquaintances? He was a member of the same adventurer party, you know?” (Gradona)
“I see. Speaking of which, I think I heard something like that.”
But to think the Ban-san was in the same party as the Holy Fist Gradona. Is Ban-san an unexpectedly famous person?
“Right, right, why was that girl’s talent left be until she reached such an age? A normal person wouldn’t leave it be.” (Gradona)
“The environment of Wolfe was a bit of a special one, you see.”
I tell him about the village of Wolfe.
About the black wolfkins that hid themselves in a remote region to escape the Black Demon Lord, about the albino girl Wolfe who was suddenly born there, how she was raised in persecution, and the events until now.
“What an unbelievably bumpkin thought. Even if you get a bit sensible because of your narrow view of the world, this is still horrible. *Sob*.” (Gradona)
Gradona sobbed while drinking booze. Even a battle junkie relishing in battle must have felt something from the terrible environment of Wolfe.
“But I understand. I don’t plan on being soft with her, but I will train her a bit more responsibly. I know nothing about the mental side, so I leave that to you.” (Gradona)
“Yeah, I don’t have much expectations since you are Pashuro’s master.”
“Even if I am the Holy Fist, don’t think I can do everything. On the contrary, the more specialized in one area someone is, the more useless they are in the others.” (Gradona)
“I know that.”
I am hopeless when it comes to battle after all. I am aware of the importance in the division of roles.
There’s a saying that the heavens don’t give two things to one person. This doesn’t simply mean that talents are limited.
It is about how much of the resource called life you will allocate to raise that talent you hold.
Gradona poured everything into close quarters techniques and became a legend.
The strength of Ilias was also a return from her offering most of her life into the sword.
Rakura also…well, let’s put aside the person that’s slovenly by choice.
“You said your name was Ilias, right, young lady? You seem to be pretty skilled yourself. Did you get taught by someone?” (Gradona)
“Yes, I was taught the sword by Lord Ragudo—Salvet Ragudo.” (Ilias)
“Aah, Salvet, huh. Understandable. No wonder I thought you were stiff.” (Gradona)
“So you know Lord Ragudo too.”
“It goes beyond knowing. We have tried killing each other when we were young. That old man would have gotten as famous as me if he hadn’t stayed cooped up in his country and became a knight.” (Gradona)
I knew the strength of Lord Ragudo, but he is on the same level as the Holy Fist, huh. Tried killing each other? That’s some dangerous talk there, oi.
But I am glad Lord Ragudo is a legendary class of this world. My capacity would scream if there were more of this one around.
“Aren’t you a bit lacking for someone who was instructed by Salvet?” (Gradona)
“I was only under his teaching for around 1 year. I learned by myself after that.” (Ilias)
“That’s impressive. Get some proper training from Salvet in the future. You can become 10 times stronger than you are now, you know?” (Gradona)
10 times what she is right now… I imagined Ilias looking even more of a monster inside my head.
If Ilias were to grapple me when on that level… Hiih.
“But Lord Ragudo is a busy person…” (Ilias)
“Kaah, knights really are so stiff. If you are not greedier for strength, you won’t achieve greatness, you know?” (Gradona)
“I-I see…” (Ilias)
The words of a legend really weight a lot.
Gradona most likely wasn’t the strongest from birth. There’s no doubt the path up must have been treacherous to a degree where it can’t be put in words.
“That said, you are the same person we met at noon, right?” (Gradona)
“What’s with that question? Did you go blind?”
“I can see, and that’s why I am asking. You look like a different person from the one in the daytime.” (Gradona)
I don’t know if this is just his discerning eye or because I have changed to a degree where it is easy to tell.
Rakura and the others not speaking much must be because of this.
“…I have been observing those monsters this whole time after all. Must be because of that.”
“Haah, I see. So that’s your technique. So nauseating!” (Gradona)
“Leave me be. It is necessary.”
“In the first place, where are the monsters? You guys have not left the capital.” (Gradona)
“They are in the Gahne Castle’s prison -with the cooperation of the king.”
“The king of Gahne, huh… That guy is not a human, right?” (Gradona)
“What’s your basis?”
“I smell the scent of the Nether in you guys. It is thicker than in the afternoon.” (Gradona)
—He is not someone we can hide things from. Should we tell him honestly here…? We should.
I explain our circumstances to him -including the fact that I am an otherworlder.
Gradona just moved his brows, but didn’t show much surprise as he swallowed the situation together with his booze.
“Haah, do people normally get hit with such an amusing development once they get old? I would have gone and challenged the Demon Lords at once if I were younger.” (Gradona)
“The Gold Demon Lord is without doubt weaker than you, so please don’t.”
“Anyways, even though you are from the same place as the Hero, you are so weak. That’s the funniest thing out of everything I have heard!” (Gradona)
“But why don’t you ask for my help? I have already proved to you that I am not just your regular old man, right?” (Gradona)
“—I have no intention to solve this with a fight. That’s all.”
“…Serious eyes, huh. You can do something like that?” (Gradona)
“Yeah, I have grasped a variety of things.”
Gradona peeks at my eyes while drinking. He is one of the outstanding people like Marito and Pope Euparo…that’s if he keeps his mouth shut.
Gradona eventually let out a sigh that reeked of alcohol.
“If I had come 30 years earlier, I would have joined your team though… I should just raise the young ones just like the old man I am.” (Gradona)
“Yeah, that alone is a great help already.”
“But I will give you a warning as a withered old man. If you break, most of everything will collapse along with you. Don’t think your body and heart are yours alone, okay?” (Gradona)
“I will keep it in mind.”
A few days after that, I repeated the days of watching the monsters as we finished up the preparations.
I am already almost certain of who the culprit is. Next thing is how to solve this.