Sidestory: Charles's POV
[ The Difference Between Points Of View Is Something Hard To Discern ]
【 POV: Charles 】
【 Time Axis: Days 27 and a few days before it 】
My name is Charles.
It has been a month since I joined the adventurer clan «Sword of the Weak».
My weapon is a steel longsword. It isn't a magic item, it's from the [Normal] rank, but it's a good sword forged by a famous Blacksmith using high quality steel.
It's worth a considerable amount of money, and I don't have enough money to buy a sword of this quality. Of course, I didn't steal it from a store either. When I left the village where I was born and grew up, my uncle who was an adventurer in the past, gave me this sword.
My uncle is my benefactor, my foster parent and my master who I aim to surpass in the future.
If I include the details of my story it'll get really long, so I'll focus only on the important points.
When I was around eleven years old, my parents were killed by a group of monsters that attacked the village. I was close to death too, however, my uncle who returned to the village at this time by chance fought the monsters with his long sword in his hand while sustaining many wounds, and he succeeded in repelling the monsters, thus he became the hero of the village. But my uncle lost his right leg in the battle, and he couldn't move his left hand satisfactorily anymore. This spelled the end of my uncle's adventurer occupation and he decided to stay in the village. He also took me in and brought me up at that time.
From that day, we started living together in hardship. Although the other villagers supported us, my uncle lost his right leg and couldn't move his left hand satisfactorily, and I was a only a kid. There was a field that my father left behind him after his death, but it's mainly my work to cultivate the field, so the amount of food we ate was meagre. However, my uncle often told me stories he experienced as an adventurer, so I was living happily. I never hated those days.
After living together like this for five years, I turned sixteen, at this point our life became stable, so I earnestly asked my uncle to teach me how to fight. I want to become an adventurer and travel around the world like my uncle, I told him that and he easily accepted my request.
To be honest, that reason is only a part of why I want to become an adventurer, the other reason is that my childhood friend who is two years older than me, Rushana, who was also secretly in love with my uncle, married my uncle recently.
In other words, it's because I lost my love. Even I think it's a pathetic reason, but finding a wife in this small village is really hard, so I think that I'll have to leave this village someday. Moreover, since they are newlyweds, I had to sleep with my ears closed at night. Given all of these reasons, I finally decided to ask my uncle to train me and leave this village.
I've been training after the field labor everyday for about one year now, and finally completed the basic combat training under my uncle, after that I got permission to leave the village and became an adventurer.
Although I started training due to pathetic circumstances, I who has finished my uncle's basic combat training have a certain degree of confidence in my power, and the Level of my [Warrior] job is relatively high.
If it's a fight against fellow fledgling adventurers, then I won't lose. Even if it's 1 vs 5, my chance of victory is high, moreover, that's when I'm holding back.
Because my uncle knew the clan master, I didn't get a bad treatment in the clan. However, I felt a subtle dissatisfaction with my position in the clan.
Then, I met her, Rubellia, I thought that her short red hair suited her well. We trained together, and that was the first I lost in a fight.
I was underestimating her, however, that doesn't change the fact that I lost to Rubellia. In addition, we'r at the same level, so I think I'll be able to win next time. After that day, we trained together several times, and the winner would be the one in a better condition. Like this both of us continued growing stronger together.
While fighting, I started getting interested in her. Rubellia, isn't a charming beauty. But she had a kind of vigorous beauty, when seeing her carefree joyful smile, I feel my heart skipping a beat. Part of the reason may be because her smile somewhat resembled Rushana's. However, it's probably because I had romantic feelings for Rubellia.
After realizing that, I tried talking to Rubellia in our spare time. From that, I learned that I and Rubellia had many things in common. Just like me her parents are dead, her uncle is also an adventurer who trained her. We've a lot of things in common, even though I don't have the right to say this, but aren't we a well-matched couple? No, because I didn't confess, we aren't even a couple. But I didn't get a good opportunity to confess, so I couldn't confess till now. I'm really a pathetic guy.
"Charles, when will you confess to Rubellia?"
While I was thinking of all of this, Lux, the guy who I get along best with and a member of my party asked me that question. Right now, under the request of the merchant association known as «The Star God’s Pavilion» we'r escorting them to the fortress city «Trient». The number of adventurers participating in this request is more than usual, and among them there's the figure of Rubellia. And knowing that he asked me that question, I retorted in panic "what will you do if she heard you?", however, fortunately Rubellia was talking with the women merchants and didn't hear him. I was relieved, then glared at Lux, but I let it go while blushing. Although he toyed with me just now, but I turned my head to my best friend and declared.
"After we finish this request, I'll confess."
I thought that this is the time for me to stop being a pathetic guy. In addition, I vaguely felt that I had to say this. Lux responded "good luck". I know that Lux also have feelings for Rubellia, but even then he supports me. I felt sorry and at the same time thankful, and thought 'I'll do my best to get bonded with Rubellia'.
At the time I was thinking this, we who were advancing in the highway were attacked by surprise. It was a group of goblins that attacked us.
They first killed the seniors by ambush, who had the highest combat power among us. It seems they applied a poison to the arrowheads, as the seniors who shouldn't have received fatal wounds fell on the ground while blowing bubbles from their mouths and died. Normally, this request can't be received by fledgling adventurers like us, this time the clan master arranged it so that we'll be able to receive it to gain experience, however, that's under the condition that we'll be under the supervision of our seniors. The seniors who were supposed to take command in such a situation all died. When a unit comprised of inexperienced combatants lost it's commanders, it's pretty obvious what will happen to them. There are those took their arms and fought the goblins, those who fell into panic and tried to run away, and those who paralyzed from fear.
I fought with my treasured sword in my hand. I partnered with Lux and crossed blades with the goblin who were armed with daggers, axes etc. Generally speaking, goblins are small fries. Although they have good physical abilities, they don't have the required intelligence to make full use of it. They just idiotically charge forward. So they are easy to kill even for amateurs as long as there is something that can be used as a weapon like a hoe or a club. But this group isn't weak. They applied poison to the arrowheads, that indicates that they are bandit goblins. They have some intelligence, so they're much more troublesome than ordinary goblins. Even with their numbers, if they didn't ambush us and just attacked head on, we would have been able to easily kill them, how annoying. And it seems like they judged that I'm stronger than the others, so two goblins attacked me at the same time. As expected, even for me killing both of them is hard. I tried focusing on attacking one goblin, but when I damaged it to a certain degree, it fell back, so I couldn't kill it. I tried to make use of this opportunity and kill the other goblin, but a new goblin took the place of the one that fell back immediately, and the number of goblins I'm fighting didn't change from two. I wish I had enough power to kill a goblin with a single blow.
I crossed blades with the goblins while clenching my teeth from frustration, and injuries gradually accumulated on both my and their bodies. Because my enemies switched places with other goblins multiple times, I'm in a worse shape.
While I was in this situation of not being able kill the goblins, Rubellia's figure entered my sight. She was fighting desperately too. She killed a goblin while sustaining some injuries. But there was a goblin approaching her from behind, so I raised my voice and warned her. She reacted and struck the goblin in the face with the shield while using a Combat Art. She didn't miss the chance made when the goblin lost its balance from the strike, and dealt a fatal blow to it.
However, I didn't have the time to relax, I parried the attack of the goblin in front of me. Then I slashed at its flank after its posture broke. There was a heavy resistance, but I succeeded in cutting the goblin in two. The upper part of its body flew in the air and sprinkled blood in the surroundings, and the lower part of its body fell to the ground. The other goblin seeing it's companion killed raised an angry shout and attacked me from the back, I avoided it by lowering my body to the ground, then I tripped it by extending my foot and revolving my body. The goblin which lost its balance, leant forward and collapsed. I stood up immediately using the revolving momentum, stepped on the goblin's back and stabbed its heart. I felt the sense of taking a life certainly.
It was hard, but I managed to kill them. It may be hard to win the goblins, but we may be able to do it. When I started to feel some hope, it appeared.
It was a Mage. Moreover, it wasn't a goblin, it was a Hobgoblin Mage. From its looks it seems to be a female, and I can see it holding a cane. It seems like it finished the incantation, flames were dancing on the cane's tip. At the same time it was fired in my direction, then I moved unconsciously and avoided the flame ball narrowly. I avoided that one just now only by luck, I'll not get another chance. I felt my body burning from the heat wave, the exposed parts from my skin felt hot and painful. But it wasn't a fatal wound, that's I endured it and tried to close my distance with the mage. Even though I say mage, it's a Hobgoblin Mage. For the current me it's a powerful enemy, but I don't think that it can fire magic rapidly. That's why I didn't hesitate even a little, in addition, after closing the distance, a Hobgoblin Mage is easier to kill than an ordinary Hobgoblin.
Because my judgment was fast, I would be able to reach the Hobgoblin Mage faster than it can fire its magic by a few steps. Impatience started appearing on its expression.
But my goal was foiled by the appearance of another hobgoblin. It was a female hobgoblin holding a sword. It jumped between me and mage from the side.
I attacked it with the [Warrior] job's Combat Arts [Slash] and [Rush] while using my running momentum to increase its power, however, all of my attacks were either stopped, parried or avoided. Although there was an attack that it couldn't avoid, I only managed to graze it once, it's far from being a fatal wound.
The enemy's attacks that aimed for the gaps in my posture after using a Combat Art were fast and heavy. Although I didn't get a fatal injury, my leather armor is in tatters.
This hobgoblin is good at handling swords. When judging by sword skills only, it may even be better than me. By the standards of humans, it would be equivalent to a [Swordsman].
Such a hobgoblin attacked me relentlessly, I could only defend myself without being able to counter attack, accumulating wounds while fighting desperately, then the hobgoblin jumped backward suddenly. I was very tired, and couldn't follow it immediately.
Immediately after that, a flame ball flew towards me from the direction of the Mage. I got checkmated. The hobgoblin with the sword was just earning time.
The heat waves released from the flame ball which is drawing near got stronger every moment it approached me. It can't be avoided. I'll die. I'll get killed. At that time, I felt as if the world stopped moving. My view and the flame ball were moving slowly. Only my thoughts were revolving at high-speeds, but my body doesn't move as fast. At these moments when I couldn't do anything and could only wait my fate, I remembered a story my uncle told me.
According to him, my uncle seems to have cut a magic spell using this long sword in the past. He was quite proud of this, so I remember it well.
When I heard this, I had my doubts and didn't believe him completely. While sweating, I slashed at the flame ball with the long sword . It was the best slash using a Combat Art that I executed in my life. Even I couldn't visually follow it, its speed was unlike any slash that I executed before. If even this slash can't cut the flame ball, then I'll have no other choice but to die. However, I didn't want to die, so I desperately used all of my strength, and succeeded in cutting the flame ball. The two halves of the cut flame ball fell to my left and right, and the ground where they hit burnt down. I didn't care about the heat waves that engulfed my body and exclaimed.
"I did it...... I..I did it?"
Witnessing my achievement, I let my guard down for a moment. As a result of doing this which is something that must never be done in front of an enemy, I got easily killed. To make sure to kill me in case I managed to avoid the magic, the hobgoblin with the sword approached me from my blind spot. After I let my guard down, it beheaded me. From the corner of my sight, I saw my collapsing trunk. I also can see Lux knocked down on the ground and getting stabbed by several goblins repeatedly. The impression the sight of his wide opened eyes were and the expression of agony on his face gave was striking. The other adventurers were also mostly killed. As for the guard targets, the men were killed, and the women were captured.
The form that Rubellia is fighting with was a big hobgoblin. I wouldn't say that the ability difference between us is hopeless, but the difference in numbers between us is overwhelming. Before long, Rubellia will also lose. Will she be violated by goblins from now on? that's probably what will happen. Bearing the goblins children, breaking down, and finally dying in despair. I can't stand the fact that this is what will happen to her, however, I can't do anything about it, my consciousness is already disappearing.
Ah, this is frustrating. I can't maintain, my consciousness anymore. My sight, is turning black. After that point, I couldn't see anything anymore. I couldn't hear anything anymore. I couldn't feel anything anymore. It was pure darkness, darkness wrapped in silence. Is this death? It's dark and cold.
God... at least, lend a helping hand to Rubellia.