qigong is pronounced ‘chi gong’ or thereabouts. For Mandarin names, the ‘q’ is actually a ‘ch’ sound, so
taijiquan = taichichuan,
Qing dynasty = Ching dynasty,
Qing Long = Ching Long.
I found from my time playing Megaten IMAGINE that lots of people make this mistake, so I’m educating you all now. Incidentally, qigong is read as ‘kikoh’ in Japanese, but because it’s not culturally integrated, I went with the Chinese/English name.
Also by ‘greatsword’ I mean those massive things you see in rpgs like dark souls and stuff, not the historical ‘greatsword’. I don’t even know what the historical greatsword is called in Japanese, so yeah. Gureetosoodo perhaps. At any rate, the one in this chapter is 大剣。
Chapter 6 – My First ××
In a forest, roughly a day’s travel to the east of Soblem, the royal capital of Sobure.
At a clearing by a spring in the dense forest, the normally peaceful atmosphere was enveloped in the tumult of sword clashes and yells.
“HAHH!” “YAAAH!” “HAAH!”
A group clad in orderly metal armour, and a group of people in messy clothing whose armour and even weapons were nonuniform, were currently jumbled together, fighting.
It seems that a group of knights from the kingdom and a group of bandits were battling.
“Surrender! If you do it now, we won’t take your lives!”
The voice of the knight who appeared to be highest rank descended upon them.
“Hmph, don’t make light of us, brat! We’ll kill you all!”
The bandit with the largest build wielding a greatsword replied.
“Then we’ll continue until we annihilate you all!”
The knight from earlier screamed, and then cut down on a nearby bandit.
There were maybe 15 knights, and 25 bandits. As for ability, the knights seemed to have the advantage.
And in truth, you could tell from the greatsword bandit that he was a little impatient about the bandits being pressured.
“Him! Aim for that blonde man!”
The greatsword bandit pointed at the knight who had called for surrender and seemed to be the leader, and then gave orders to his subordinates.
Hearing their leader’s command, a number of bandits immediately swarmed the blonde knight.
“No matter how many of you come, it’s all the same!”
The blonde knight cut down one of the bandits that came, then another.
During the moment that the blonde knight was facing the other way, an arrow flew and struct him in the left arm.
The wound was no big deal, but the knight stopped moving for just a moment.
And during that instant, one of the bandits came attacking, and the blonde knight immediately received it head on with his sword.
The greatsword bandit cut down at the blonde knight from behind.
The surrounding knights raised a cry. At that moment, something dropped down towards that bandit’s head.
Whilst letting out a shriek, the moment I was enveloped by the light, I was shot out somewhere. Or so I was thinking, when my behind collided with something, and I fell straight to the ground.
“Owowow… What’s going on, goodness!”
It feels like my behind is going to break, honestly!
While rubbing my behind, when I looked around my surroundings, I found that for some reason I was the centre of attention.
They appear to be shocked at my sudden appearance, don’t they?
Are those swords? Double-edged straight swords… longswords, perhaps?
Holding those were a number of men in metal armour, and perhaps I should say messy leather armour (?), who stood stock still in poses of attacking each other. What is this, I wonder? Cosplay?
When I surveyed the surroundings to grasp the situation, a man collapsed right beside me called out to me.
“What’s with this brat. The fuck they appear from?”
The man who had collapsed right beside me was in a stance with a greatsword, and glaring my way.
A little peeved at being called a brat, I glared back at the man.
And at the same time, the men in the surroundings who had been still up until now resumed their movements.
KASHING GAKII- DOGAH- ZASHUU-
It seems that the men are split into two groups and are fighting against each other.
For now, can I take the orderly men in metal armour to be knights, and the messily dressed men as bandits?
I caught sight of a number of the messily dressed men, collapsed on the floor.
“Damned brat! If you get in the way I’ll fucken kill ya!”
The man with the greatsword raised his weapon and came this way.
It sure did suddenly become a battlefield, didn’t it? Even though I still haven’t grasped the situation yet.
I’m irritated because that man called me a brat, so let’s silence him for now.
I have no leisure to prepare a weapon, so I’ll reap his consciousness with my bare hands. To think that a time would come when my shishou’s teachings would be useful…
Matching the timing of the attacking man, I step forward.
I’ll stamp down on my right foot, and giving my body to gravity, I’ll strike his solar plexus with my elbow… or so I was thinking, but I couldn’t reach his solar plexus.
Primarily because of height reasons.
Isn’t he too huge? He’s like 2 metres or something, honestly!
Since there’s no choice, I’ll just give up on his solar plexus and drive my elbow into his lower abdomen, beneath his navel.
I gave my body up to gravity, countered, added in my shishou’s mysterious qigong or whatever, and drove in my elbow.
If this hits, it seems like it’ll be quite effective.
The moment the greatsword man unconsciously bent at the hips, I twisted my body and drove in a high kick to the nape of his neck. This had qigong as well. Qigong is useful, isn’t it? Surprisingly.
The man’s body shook, and then lurched.
That should have taken his consciousness.
Shouts came from the bandit-ey group.
When I was thinking that I would survey the surroundings again, just as I turned my eyes to the people around me, something pulled at my body.
When I immediately looked to check, the greatsword man who should have been unconscious was holding onto my summer sweater (what I’m wearing is the school designated short-sleeve blouse beneath a summer sweater, and a knee-length skirt over spats. As a result, despite my high kick earlier, I did not flash my panties).
He seems unconscious, so was this reflexive? I was careless.
As you’d expect, now that we’re stuck together I can’t do a thing about our size difference.
I may be falling down with him, but while I fall I’ll remove his hand.
“How dare you do that to Boss-!”
One of the bandits raised their sword and attacked me.
I still haven’t fixed my posture. The hand of the man they call Boss is very persistent. Damned pervert.
I’m still not in a stance for accepting attacks, but it can’t be helped.
After matching the opponent’s attack as best I can, I take a step forward.
Normally I would just attack and take his consciousness, but my summer sweater is still being grasped so I can’t adjust the distance well enough.
As a result, to minimise the damage, I grabbed the sword in my left hand.
By stopping the sword at the hilt, I invalidated the attack.
And the moment the attack was stopped, I drove in a middle kick.
However, without being able to properly close the distance, it hit nothing but air. This is annoying, isn’t it?
The bandit slashed sideways as though to clear me away.
I tried to jump back with all my strength. My clothes were being grasped though.
Because of the vigour of my retreat, the Boss’ hand let go of my clothing.
I’m free now.
However, my vigorous retreat unknowingly brought misfortune upon me.
Indeed, the location was “at a clearing by a spring in the dense forest”.
In other words, what happened was…
The place that I vigorously retreated to was the depths of the spring, and because I vigorously landed on a place with no footing, I dropped right into the pond. This was not planned for.
My head somehow broke the surface of the water, and I was now crawling towards the edge.
And there was a bandit swinging his sword down on me.
Crap, I’m in a pinch.
Even for me, this situation is difficult to get out of.
However, the three forces on this battlefield were me, the bandits, and the knights.
And because the forces were separated into the knights and I vs the bandits, I have no antagonism with the knights.
That’s why this happened.
The blonde knight man had at some point gotten close to us, and cut down the bandit who tried to kill me.
It seems that the bandit was looking at nobody but me, so he couldn’t cope with the blonde knight’s attack.
In other words, it seems that I’m saved.
After raising my face out of the spring and clinging to the shore, I have a look around and find that things appeared to have been settled.
It seems that there are no bandits left standing. No knights seem to be fallen either. Strong knights.
“Are you alright?”
When I look up, I find the blonde knight looking down at me, holding out his hand.
It seems that he’s willing to give me a hand.
I accept his goodwill, and use his grip as support to get up.
I’m soaked from head to toe.
I sure want to change already. I’m going to catch a cold.
“You saved me when I was in a pinch. Thank you.”
Saying that, the blonde knight smiled at me.
He sure has a nice face. Moreover, he’s huge. Is he 180cm, perhaps? To meet his eyes, I have to face upwards. Peh!
Without letting my real feelings show on my face, I answer innocuously.
“No, it was I that was saved from a pinch.”
My neck sure is getting tired.
By the way, where is this anyway? The story of my life was suddenly thrown into a battle scene, so I haven’t grasped the situation.
Should I try asking the knight before me?
“Speaking of which, where did you come from? It looked like you suddenly appeared in the sky, but… Are you a magus?”
My question was interrupted.
For now, I’ll give another innocuous answer.
At the very least, there are fewer demerits in giving the knight a good impression, rather than a bad one.
“Well, I also have no idea why I’m here, or where this place is to begin with. And, I am not a magus.”
For now, I’ll answer whatever I can.
And while I’m at it, it would be good to at least confirm my situation.
“Um, I suddenly happened to be here, and I don’t really understand my situation. What kind of situation was it?”
“We belong to the knight order of this country, and are in the middle of a bandit subjugation. They’re a bandit gang that’ve been recently causing trouble on the surrounding highyway, so we were ordered to subjugate them and were in the middle of battle when you appeared.”
Saying that, the blonde knight looked around.
When I followed along and looked around too, I found that the dead bandits were gathered together, and the living bandits were bound with rope. Incidentally, the man called Boss that I knocked out was in the middle of the tied-up bandits.
“Umm, sorry. If possible, I would be very thankful if you would just tell me the nearest road and town.”
For now, it seems that I’ve avoided the most immediate danger, but even if I stay here none of my problems are going to be solved.
Right now the most important point is securing myself a bed and safety.
For that sake, I need to get as much information from the knight before me as possible.
“Sure, this is a place in a forest roughly a day on horseback east of the royal capital. The nearest town would be Latis Village, but… That’s right, I can’t leave a small child like you alone, after all, and there’s the thanks for saving my life too. If it’s fine with you, won’t you come to the royal capital with us? We won’t mistreat you.”
“I would be most grateful. Please allow me to take you up on your offer.”
After saying that, I bowed.
I’m getting annoyed at being treated like a child, but I have to endure here, endure.
“First we’ll spend a night at Latis Village, and tomorrow we’ll head for the capital. It would probably be better to treat your wound too.”
Saying that, he looked at my left hand.
I forgot. I had blocked the sword with my hand earlier.
It hurts now that I’ve noticed. Even though I wouldn’t have felt this pain if he didn’t point it out…
“Yes, I will be in your care. Ah, I’m Fujino Sakura. Over here, I suppose it would be Sakura Fujino. My name is Sakura, and my surname is Fujino. Incidentally, I am not a child. I am 15 years old.”
Introducing myself after all this time. And while I’m at it, I throw in a complaint about being treated like a child.
“Eh? 15? To think that you were an adult… But however I look at you, you look only 7 or 8 years…”
I get the feeling that I just heard some disquieting words just now, but…
“Sorry, did you say something?”
“No, it’s nothing. I’m the second prince of this country, and the leader of these knights, Sedrim Al Sobure. You can just call me Sedrim.”
He was a prince? No wonder I thought he looked so sparkly. And he’s huge.
“If possible, while on the highway I’d like to ask about you in more detail. Why you appeared here, or where you came from for example. It’s fine just to answer what you can.”
Saying that, he prompted me to move.
“I understand, Prince Sedrim. There are just too many things I don’t understand, but I will answer where possible.”
After replying as such, I followed the prince.
Oops, I almost forgot. I need to pick up the things that fell together with me.
They’re my only possessions after all.
“Are those your belongings, Sakura?”
“Yes, I was holding them before I came here.”
I replied as such as we walked towards the band of knights.
I wonder what’s going to happen to me now that I’m here.
And Sobure…? Now that’s a familiar sounding word, isn’t it?