Black Cat Chapter 69: Claudier

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 After breakfast, I headed to the guild with Laius, Serge, and Shure.


 Gad says he will stay behind and take care of the horse.



 Chariot owns a one-horse carriage, and the horse’s name is Egily.


 The horse is named Egily, and he looks sturdier than the thoroughbreds that were common in my previous life, and although he is not as fast, he seems to be very strong.



 And, of course, I’m being looked down at.


 Not that he was doing anything in particular to me, but Egily was definitely laughing as he looked down on me from above.



 Well, it doesn’t matter, because I don’t hold the reins and I can go much faster than Egily on an off-road bike.


 I-I’m not sad.



 Besides, I was facing a more important problem than being looked down by Egily.


 On the way to the guild, I was being carried by Shure and receiving weird stares from passersby.



 I let my guard down for a moment and was picked up from behind.


 If this is the case, I should have walked and make eye contact with them using [Step]… Well, the result would be the same.



 The reason for coming to the guild is to officially register me and Shure as party members of Chariot.


 By registering with the guild, we would be discussing taking over the estates and liabilities in the event of the death of another member of the party.



 Therefore, prior to registration, each member’s guild-related savings and debts were disclosed.


 Naturally, though, all four of them had far more savings than I did.



 Chariot’s base had already paid off its loan, and both the land and the building were owned by the party.


 It was indeed only a B-rank party.


 I felt a little sorry to be listed as one of the rightful owners.



“Hey, Nyango is going to make me a lot of money, so I’m not worried about anything.” (Serge)



 Both Laius and Shure nodded at Serge’s words.


 In that case, what I should do is perform as expected.



 After completing registration at the guild, the next stop was the marketplace.


 The next stop after registering with the guild was the marketplace to replenish supplies used during the expedition and to prepare for the next expedition.



“Hey, I’d like to buy my futon, too…” (Nyango)


“You don’t have to… Just sleep with me.” (Shure)


“No, no, I don’t feel like I slept, let me sleep alone.” (Nyango)


“That’s if you beat me in a match.” (Shure)


“Hey, don’t be unreasonable.” (Nyango)



 As I learned again, Shure was also a B-rank adventurer.


 Moreover, it seems that the day when she becomes an A-rank is not far away.



 I had just reached the E rank, and I wondered how many years it would take me to climb up to that level.


 At the market, we went around to their favorite stores where Serge and Shure introduced me.



 Well, in Shure’s case, her name and face are well known, so it was mainly my introduction.


 Serge went around happily introducing me, but every shopkeeper tilted their heads at me, the catkin, and every time they did, Shure’s mood worsened.



“Everyone has terrible eyes…” (Shure)


“Well, well, it’s hard to tell what Nyango is capable of from his looks.” (Serge)


“Even his appearance is such a wonderful hug.” (Shure)


“No, no, no, that has nothing to do with how good an adventurer he is. …Besides that, how long is Nyango going to be held in your arms?” (Serge)


“Don’t just say that. I also want to get off soon.” (Nyango)



 While continuing to argue about whether or not to let me down, we almost passed by the futon shop, so I threatened her I will never sleep with Shure again and made her turn back.


 I bought a cotton futon for children.



 A child-size futon would be enough for a catkin, and there was also a feather futon, but I decided against it because it was too light.


 I would spend a blissful time curled up in a futon that had some weight to it.



 I put the futon on the cart and carried it by myself.


 When I get back to the base, I’ll use a void magic dryer to make it soft and fluffy.



 Lunch will be a simple Calfe with cheese and ham on the side.


 During an expedition, if things go poorly, we may skip lunch, so they usually keep it simple.



 In the afternoon, I went to see Mr. Lembolt after refusing Laius.


 I reported on the usability of the magic circle I had been taught the other day, and I intend to ask him to teach me a new magic circle again.



 I peeked in at the reception desk by the school gate and saw Mr. Mateo, the janitor who had shown me around the other day.



“Hello, Mr. Mateo.” (Nyango)


“Hmm? Oh, Mr. Nyango, welcome. Both Professor Lembolt and Professor Mendez have told me you can just go in.” (Mateo)


“Thank you very much. I will get on my way.” (Nyango)


“Oh, you’d better wait in the research building, go to the training hall, or kill some time here, since classes are still in session at this time.” (Mateo)


“Hmm… classes are held at the martial arts training hall, aren’t they? Is it okay if I go in?” (Nyango)


“Professor Mendez told me to allow you to get in.” (Mateo)



 I could see that he was trying to get me involved with the students at the school, but I didn’t like the idea of sitting around waiting for him to come in, so I just decided to take a quick peek at the training hall.


 The school was quiet because classes were in session, but I could hear the teacher giving a lecture and students answering questions.



 The school is not very different from the one in my previous life in Japan, so it was a bit fun to skip class and just wander around.


 In the schoolyard, there was a group of students doing something like a long jump.


 I guess they were training for basic martial arts, and it seemed that the kids taking the class were younger than me.



 On the other hand, as I approached the training hall, I could hear the sound of enthusiasm echoing from inside.


 The entrance door and windows were open, as if to let the heat out.



 When I peeked in through the entrance, I saw students, who appeared to be older than me, training with spears.


 They seemed to be using stances, dividing into striking and receiving sides, as they were all moving in unison.



 My eyes met those of Professor Mendez, who was folding his arms at the edge of the training area, and when I was about to go, he grinned at me and beckoned me over.


 Yes, I guess it was a mistake to show my face here after all.



“Hello, Professor Mendez. Please allow me to observe for a moment.” (Nyango)


“Hello, Nyango. I was hoping you would come again.” (Mendez)


“But are you sure you want outsiders in your class?” (Nyango)


“No problem. It is stimulating to have someone of the same age who is already good.” (Mendez)


“Stimulating… I prefer tranquility.” (Nyango)


“Is that a joke from an adventurer who fought against a Bronze Wolf?” (Mendez)


“I don’t know what to say to that.” (Nyango)



 I watched the class as I talked with Professor Mendez, and those who noticed me were clearly distracted from their concentration.


 It would be natural to be concerned if an outsider cat person was talking to Professor Mendez in a friendly manner.



“Okay, everyone stop!” (Mendez)



 When Professor Mendez gave the order, the students who were practicing with their spears stopped and turned to face him.



“Nyango here is an adventurer. Is there anyone you would like to spar with him?” (Mendez)


“Yes! I will!” (Student)



 Just after Professor Mendez finished speaking, a wolfkin girl raised her hand.


 She was about 1 meter and 50 centimeters tall, with a toned body, as she had taken the initiative in raising her hand, and her eyes, which were a little disgusting, were looking at me as if they were aiming at their prey.



“Professor Mendez, I haven’t heard about a sparring match.” (Nyango)


“Well, don’t say that. Claudier is Jasper’s three years older cousin.” (Mendez)


“Eeeee… isn’t it getting more and more difficult?” (Nyango)



 When I turned my gaze, Claudier said blithely.



“Are you going to run away with that reason?” (Claudier)


“Haa…it can’t be helped, it’s annoying to be told that I ran away.” (Nyango)



 I borrowed protective gear and a staff from Professor Mendez and prepared for the spar.

 When I was with Jasper, I was a little nervous because I couldn’t measure my opponent’s ability, but today I don’t feel like losing at all.



“Nyango, I forgot to mention that Claudier is the best fighter in her grade.” (Mendez)


“Is that so… After that, you’re going to spar with me, right?” (Nyango)


“I don’t mind, it’s just what I want.” (Mendez)



 I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m sure Claudier is annoyed with me for wanting to fight Professor Mendez in a sparring match.


 I was looking at the practice up until a little while ago, but I couldn’t sense the sharpness that caught my eye from Claudier’s movements and steps, but it wasn’t stupid.



 The other students moved to the wall of the training hall. I faced Claudier across the starting line.


 Claudier, too, was carrying a stick, as she had been practicing with a spear.



“Is a staff okay to use as a weapon? I don’t mind if you use something else.” (Nyango)


“Hmph, now is not the time to be relaxed. I don’t know what kind of dirty tricks you used, but I will clean Jasper’s name.” (Claudier)


“Maybe you have a little too much blood in the head, but what you just said is an insult to Professor Mendez, who was the referee.” (Nyango)


“Eh… no, I didn’t mean to…” (Claudier)


“I don’t mind. You should check with your own eyes whether Nyango cheated.” (Mendez)



 Following Professor Mendez gesture, I grasped the staff again and took a relaxed stance.


 I thought I would imitate Mr. Zeol and not take a stance, but I reconsidered that I was letting my guard down too much.



 Claudier gripped the back end of the stick with her right hand and held it with the front side on the ground.


 The training hall fell silent, and the preparations for the hand-to-hand sparring match was ready.



“Start!” (Mendez)


“Yaaaaaaa!” (Claudier)



 With a signal to begin, Claudier rushes in, leaping up with the tip of her staff, but compared to Shure’s front kick, it feels so slow that it makes me feel like yawning.


 She may have meant it as a one-hit kill, but as soon as I turned to Claudier’s right side, she seemed to be cramped in her handling of the staff.



 When handling a staff, I would deal with an opponent coming around to my right either by shifting the staff or by swinging the back end out with my opposite hand, both of which are possible because she is holding the stick near the center.


 The end of the stick may have been gripped to extend the distance between thrusts, but it is too long to be handled with the right hand alone and not long enough to be handled with the opposite hand.



 She may have gripped the end when swinging down in a movement, but it would be a bad move to start from the beginning against the same staff user.


 Claudier tried to deal with it by turning her body, but I was faster with my staff catching her torso as I stepped forward.



“One point! Match end!” (Mendez)



 Professor Mendez’ voice rang out, and the students who had been watching us let out a gasp.


 They probably did not expect Claudier, the best in the class, to be defeated so easily.



“Second match, start!” (Mendez)



 Jasper was upset and became a mess when I got the first match, but Claudier returned to a standard stance and changed to a strategy of seeing how I would respond.


 Claudier’s eyes did not show the same contempt for me as before.



 I don’t intend to continue the confrontation for a long time, so if Claudier doesn’t move, I’ll just take the initiative.


 I let out a breath to relax my body and close the distance with careless steps.



 Just before entering the striking zone, I stepped sharply and at the same time, I made a feint to the left, which easily caught Claudier.


 I slide past Claudier’s left side as she tries to swing his back end out with her opposite hand but I lightly strike her shin, which is wearing protective gear.



“One point! Match end!” (Mendez)



 Perhaps Claudier has been fighting on a regular basis, but she probably lacks the experience to fight an opponent stronger than herself.


 She was unable to handle my feints and fast movements.



 When I returned to the starting line and took my stance, Claudier was smiling.


 She seemed to be enjoying the challenge of meeting someone who was more skilled than she was.


 It seems that she is a different breed from Jasper, although her skill is not quite there yet.



“Third match, start!” (Mendez)



 This time, she stepped in at the same time as the signal to begin and closed the distance at once.


 It was a serious step, but Claudier matched my movement and threw a counter thrust.



“One point, match over!” (Mendez)



 The leather body armor caught my thrust while parrying Claudier’s staff.


 When I try to catch Mr. Zeol, I am almost caught in the opposite direction, but Claudier didn’t have that kind of skill.



“About before. I apologize for my impoliteness earlier.” (Claudier)


“No, please, don’t worry about it. I’m used to being underestimated.” (Nyango)



 Claudier bowed deeply to me after we finished our sparring match.


 I don’t know the details, but she must be the daughter of a nobleman or a rich man, and I was a little taken aback by her sincere apology.



“So, Nyango, still want to do it?” (Mendez)


“Yes, please.” (Nyango)



 I was sparring with Professor Mendez until the end of Professor Lembolt’s class, but was this a good thing?



 I felt that Claudier was looking at me with suspiciously glowing eyes during the match with Professor Mendez.




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