Editor: Sebastian J.
Day 17th, 9th Month, the Year 2812, Western continent calendar: (The Ways To Learn Magic Arts 1)
“Oraa! All of you, don’t stop swinging!”
“Hey you! Your swing is too weak, put more power into it! Imagine that the enemy is bigger, stronger and better equipped than you are. You need to beat them with only your sword!”
With almost 20 children swinging and practicing their swordplay, the ground around each of them was soaked with their sweat and the tension was huge.
After lunch ended, a whole two hours had already passed.
A little bit farther from the place they were training, even from their location, another group of kids could be seen practicing their sword skills as well.
The strategy was to divide the children into groups and have the members of the Red Lion mercenaries teach and drill them.
A faint roar could be heard across the plain, it was exactly the kind of words needed for the children to find their motivation.
“Young master might be kind, but that does not mean that slacking off is permitted! In the battlefield, one mistake could cost you your life! If you desire power you must work hard! Swing your sword with the intent to kill! Imagine that the person you hate the most is standing right before you! Hold nothing back, you must have no fear in order to surpass your limits!”
A strong but obvious tactic was to use battlecries, they heightened one’s morale while striking fear into the enemy.
Even in training, one also had to control their emotions to control their adrenaline, as it could lead to mistakes and ultimately, death. It could also lead to fatigue, which played a huge part in the number of deaths an army suffered.
Understanding that, the mercenaries who became the children’s trainers, raised their voices the moment fatigue was noticeable on the their faces.
“Mike, how is it?”
“Oh?! Young master! Out on a patrol are ya? Alright everyone, let’s take a break! But, make sure not let your body get cold!”
Mike’s intense expression immediately relaxed after the training was suspended. Although Mike was a nice guy, he knew it was for the better to raise his voice towards the children because he understood that his hard work would one day decide their fate.
He knew, that if he spoiled the children and gave them an easy time, he wouldn’t be suitable for coaching the kids.
For the sake of raising the children’s skills and endurance, he would not mind if he was detested by them.
To respond to the young master’s question, Mike thought about his training regimen.
“Hmm… It seems like there’s no problem. In a month’s time they have already learned so much and starting tomorrow we plan to teach them useful magic arts. Will that be satisfactory with you?”
A month ago Ryouma instructed the children to form 5-man squads and to have four of those squads gather together as a small brigade.
Finally to complete the set-up he chose a member of the Red Lions to lead each brigade.
To ensure a proper teaching, Ryouma gave Lione and Bolts the position of overseers and directed the idle mercenaries that were not leading any brigades to assist with the training.
Ryouma, thinking carefully about the training, made the Red Lion mercenaries the leaders as they were experienced in cooperation and teamwork. He considered that those who abandoned individuality and performed well with others would have a higher survival rate than others.
This could be seen from Elena’s achievements.
By abandoning her individuality, in her time within the knight corps, she became known as ‘Rozeria’s white goddess of war’.
In other words, they would be more efficient and safer while fighting as units compared to fighting individually. This was the difference between a soldier and a warrior.
That being the case then, those who from the start were taught how to cooperate would undoubtedly perform better in that regard.
Of course, they had to learn the basic and personal skills as well, but for the sake of efficiency they focused on one thing at a time.
By dividing 1 brigade into 4 squads of 5 people each, then making them live in the same place, having the same meals, and sleeping together, it would create a sense of solidarity growing among them.
With solidarity growing within their consciousness, it would strengthen their unity and will to mutually protect each other. Along with that, the quality of the soldiers would inevitably also increase.
That is what Ryouma was aiming for. Afterwards, it would be just a matter of how much they could learn of the fundamentals within one month.
“Hmm, let’s see… I’ve also already talked with Bolts and Nee-san, I think it’s coming along well? I’ve also talked with the others, and their results seem to also be quite favorable… As long we don’t take the faces they’re making into consideration, I guess it is tolerable?”
The distrust and anxiety from the children hadn’t been dispelled yet, but it could be felt a lot less now compared to the first time.
They were now regularly eating delicious food and wearing clean clothes. They now had beds where they could sleep inside tents, which while not being really that comfortable, were also a far cry from the treatment they got before they were sold to Ryouma.
And the most important thing was that they were all released from the previously constant fear of being flogged.
They at least understood that they wouldn’t get struck with a whip for no discernible reason.
The evidence for that was in the children’s eyes, which showed no fear towards Mike.
They understood that their leader and instructor looked at them as peers despite raising an angry voice every time he addressed them.
This was a point that Ryouma insisted on before starting the training.
Fortunately, the Red Lion mercenary group consisted of people with a commoner background, which made it easier for them to understand Ryouma’s goal.
If they had been knights or nobles, they would have, without a doubt, laughed when presented with similar instructions.
“I see… It seems like everyone’s doing well… And looking at the way they swing their swords, they seem to be fine…”
“Indeed. We did teach them carefully after all. Without a doubt, we have met our first objective and did so within a month…”
They were all holding swords meant for adults, purchased from the Mistel firm.
After meeting with Earl Salzberg he managed to form a commercial relationship with them.
After one month, and as a result of enjoying adequate meals and adequate sleeping, and undergoing moderate training, the bodies of these children started to develop some muscles.
Of course, it was not something drastic, but even if little by little, they were surely growing up. Their stance would no longer crumble after just a few swings of the heavy sword.
At the time when the slave merchants delivered these children, their bodies were skinny because of their poor diet, but it turned out the merchants did not lie when they said that they had brought him healthy slaves.
“And the effectiveness of giving them candy after training… As expected, their enthusiasm becomes high with rewards dangling in front of their eyes.”
“I see… Well, sweets are not something that commoners can easily get their hands on after all… I guess this is all proceeding according to the plan.” <PFN: bad ryouma, bad! What’s up with that twisted keikaku? enticing young children into becoming murder machines with candy, tsk tsk> <TLN: This is why I love this novel, making me question the moral of each decision along the way.>
“Well, they do not yet need money after all… That’s why I don’t think giving them such rewards is a bad move…”
At the end of the training, a small candy ball would be distributed as a reward by the teachers.
Based on the teachers’ judgment, those who worked harder compared to the others would get two.
This kind of system where everybody got one unless they played truant, seemed to be very effective for children.
It made the children not necessarily compare each other’s results, while also giving something extra to those who worked harder and thus raise their motivation.
In this world, where sugar was expensive, sweets were a luxury good that even commoners rarely could afford.
Yet, Ryouma purchased the candy balls from Epiroz and distributed them to the children. And the effect was truly dramatic.
Back in Ryouma’s world, one couldn’t motivate children with only candy balls, but in this underdeveloped world, it was a splendid bait.
“Is that so? Well, I guess it was a worthy investment. It would have been a big loss if the effect did not come out well… Alright then, Mike, from tomorrow onwards we’re going to teach them magic arts.”
“Yes, sir! Please leave it to me.”
In addition to the expenses needed to cover the basic needs for this number of people, the price paid for the candy balls was also pretty high.
However, it seemed like the effect was well worth the investment.
Ryouma then left the place after receiving Mike’s vigorous reply.
(All of them show a reasonably good result… Afterwards, it will depend on the results of magic arts lessons… I also need to tell Laura about my training that’s starting tomorrow…)
Magic arts was also something unknown for Ryouma. He himself needed to master magic arts before he could go ahead with the rest of his plans.
In order to survive in the Wortenia peninsula, he needed to master as many skills as possible.
The next day, the Marfisto sisters came to Ryouma’s tent right after breakfast.
They seemed to be very happy that Ryouma asked them to teach him magic arts. Their faces’ were already brimming with smiles.
“Ryouma-sama, we will start the magic arts lesson, is that alright?”
“Sure… I’m sorry for all the trouble…”
Ryouma lowered his head towards the sisters.
At least, in regard to magic arts, Ryouma would be their disciple. It was natural for him to maintain proper etiquette since the sisters would be his mentors.
Seeing that, Sara wanted to say something about it but Laura shook her head telling her not to say anything.
She probably felt bewildered that their master was actually bowing before them, who were his subordinates.
However, both sisters also understood why Ryouma was doing something like that.
He was someone who would never let his mind be swallowed by arrogance and always kept a low profile. Such behavior for him was a perfectly natural thing.
“Alright then… Let’s get started. Ryouma-sama, do you still remember our explanation regarding magic arts?”
The sisters let Ryouma sit in the center of the tent.
Normally, on the first day of learning, they would have to explain the things regarding magic arts, but since Ryouma was already told about the basic theory, the sisters wanted to review the things he knew first.
“There are three magic types, one that requires chanting, a battle magic that does not require chanting, and endowment magic that can be used to bestow magic unto things.”
When the three of them wandered around the continent, the sisters taught him about magic arts.
At that time, he did not acquire the magic arts themselves and only learned about the theory behind them because he was more often than not on the road, and they didn’t stay put in any one place for long.
“That is right. All magic arts consume Prana to activate their effects.”
Following Laura’s explanation, Ryouma nodded his head. This also he already knew.
“Spirit Prana is an energy that exists within all life forms. That is why any human supposedly should be able to use them.”
“Right… That’s why we also make the children learn about it too, right?”
A technique that everyone could use. A technique was not affected by gender or age.
“That is correct. Most people with a teacher should be able to master the basics within four months, more than that can be considered as a late bloomer. Well, even when one only learned the basics, that one’s strength already cannot be compared to that of people who have not learnt them.”
“Right, Just like you said, I do not think I will be able to learn all of it perfectly in just 4 months. What I was hoping for is to be able to use even the most basic magic arts. Even being able to use only the basics, one child will be able to work just like 2 or 3 adults together.”
Separately, Ryouma had no intention to use magic arts for bellic purposes only. After all, even children would be able to do the heavy lifting equivalent of several adults if they were to use magic arts.
Carrying tree logs; carrying large stones; building houses; those and many other uses were there for it.
That’s why Ryouma had no intention to let such abilities sit by idly. Even if such a way of thinking could be considered as heretic in this world.
In this world, it was told that magic arts were a technique passed down by one of the Gods.
The Light God, Meneoz.<TLN: The God’s name ‘メネオース’>
He was one of the six pillars amongst the Gods who built this world. These 6 were the existences known as the main Gods.
And magic arts were said to be the technique and power given directly by this God.
For Ryouma, it did not matter whether this was true or not.
In this western continent, there was a group called the Church of the Light God. This organization spread the myth as the truth, and the problem was that they had a huge amount of believers following their teachings.
During the civil war, a few months prior, Ryouma used magic arts to build a camp. For Ryouma, such techniques could only be regarded as convenient , even when used for civil engineering purposes. However, the reaction of the people around him was surprising, they looked at Ryouma as someone weird.
If the reason hadn’t been to build an advanced camp for the goal of quickly defeating their enemies, the knights would have without a doubt refused to do as asked.
Neither the mercenaries nor the commoners would have a problem with it, but for the aristocracy and the royalty who were privileged classes, such a mindset of using magic arts for everything was akin to a can of worms that they did not want to be opened.
According to them, the ‘fact’ that the magic arts were bestowed upon them was the very proof that they had the right to rule over the rest of the people.
And because they also thought that such power should only be used for self-defense, it became limited to combat uses.
When he heard that, Ryouma felt a strong contradiction in the idea of a sacred power given by God being limited to be used only for fighting. But then again, religion was an irrational thing to begin with.
And Ryouma had no intention to waste time nor energy discussing religious views.
For him, the problem was whether or not it had value and utility.
If it was something he couldn’t use for his purposes, then he would simply ignore it.
And for Ryouma, who was an otherworlder in the first place, there was no reason for him to respect this world’s Gods.
For him, God was simply a tool. That was why he would just consider whether that God was something he could use or not. That was what Ryouma had in his mind.
The Marfisto sisters then walked towards Ryouma’s back.
“Well then, we will start the preliminary training then…”
“Yes, please go ahead.”
Ryouma nodded his head, and as he was told beforehand, he sat on the ground in a cross-legged position.
Then the sisters’ palm touched Ryouma’s back.
“”Here we go!””
After the sisters said that, Ryouma could feel something hot being poured on his back. The sensation gradually rose upwards from the sisters’ hands and spread around his body.
Ryouma also felt that something was crawling up within his body, giving him a shivering experience.
“Take a deep breath. Then slowly release it… Calm your mind, and relax your body… Do you feel a hot sensation from the back?”
Ryouma lightly nodded his head in response to Laura’s question. He then relaxed his body and mind letting his consciousness take in the hot sensation, in order to control it as it began to spread around his body with his own will.