Dream Life Vol II Chapter 72.2: “From Quartet to Sextet”

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 Gerald sees this, says a small “Huh,” and grabs his wooden sword. He did not hold it up, but held it like a staff and said, “Whenever you’re ready, kids.”


 As a matter of fact, this is Gerald’s style, but first-time opponents often mistake him for a lousy bastard.


 At first, I thought he was insulting me, too, but his response was the same no matter who he was dealing with.



 I thought Mel’s anger was about to explode.



(Mel’s blood boils all at once when it comes to me… No, she’s surprisingly calm…) (Zack)



 I thought so, because I saw Mel sidle up, poised and on guard. Her eyes seemed to be burning with anger, but her movements were calm as a frozen hell, and she was slowly finding her timing. Likewise, Dan was moving slowly to the side, holding his short bow with an arrow at the ready.


 The moment Dan’s position was right next to Gerard’s left, the sound of a bowstring echoed through the training area.



 Everyone but us would have thought that Dan had fired an arrow.


 But no arrow was fired from his bow.


 The adventurers watching around us thought Dan had missed and tried to burst into laughter. But their laughter stuck in the back of their throats and never came out.



 Gerald reflexively turned his attention to Dan when an arrow could be released with the sound of the bowstring.


 Mel saw the slight shift in his gaze and leaped out of the way.


 Here, Gerald was slightly open. However, the difference in skill between Mel and Gerald was so great that he was able to deal with Mel’s attack with some time to spare. Everyone, including him, thought so.



 When Gerald was about to raise his sword toward Mel, Mel stopped his charge and conversely backstepped to get away from him.



 At that moment, a second bowstring echoed through the training hall.


 This time it was not only a sound, but an arrow was shot toward Gerald’s left flank.



 Gerald clicked his tongue and shifted his body slightly to avoid the arrow.


 Taking advantage of the slight gap in his attention because of the arrow, Mel attacked furiously.


 Although there was originally a height difference between them, Mel bent her body and slashed at Gerard’s leg with a low, crawling posture. Gerald easily flicked it with his sword and used the momentum to swing his sword down at Mel’s head in the opposite direction.


 Mel rolled to his left side to avoid it and was on one knee with his left hand on the ground, watching Gerald.


 It looks like the movement of a menacing wildcat, this not from Gerald’s words.



 But that was part of the plan. During the attack and defense, Dan was soundlessly approaching behind Gerrard.


 Dan ran behind Gerald, out of sight and out of mind, and swung his sword, which he had replaced before he knew it, in a sideways swipe.


 Gerald said with a wry smile, “Hey, hey, I’m not letting my guard down.” and swatted Dan’s attack away with a sharp swing.



 After that, Mel and Dan continued to attack in unison, but since the surprise attack did not work, Gerald, who is over level 60, was able to handle their attacks with ease.


 After a few rounds, Dan, who was inferior in skill, was hit in the shoulder and dropped out. Mel was no match for Gerald in a one-on-one fight, and after two strikes, his sword was knocked away, ending the mock battle.



 We were not surprised at the combination of Dan and Mel, whom we had seen several times in the village. But the first time I fought against them I couldn’t hide my surprise. With my skills, I couldn’t handle a two-pronged attack like Gerald, and I was defeated within a minute or two.


 While Mel kept the enemy’s attention on the front, Dan killed his presence and made a surprise attack. Conversely, he would suddenly show his presence to draw attention to the rear and support Mel’s attack. This combination was so leveraged even the experienced Beatrice was praising them, saying, “They are really amazing kids.”



 This way of fighting, however, was Dan’s idea.


 He was wondering what he should do if he was the most unprepared for what they were going to do. So, he consulted his father, Guy.


 Guy did not instruct him directly but showed him a real battle between my grandfather, Walt the squire and spearman, Nicholas the swordsman, Hector the archer, and Guy.



 All five are top-notch warriors, but compared to their grandfathers, Guy, who uses a sword and a bow, pales in pure offensive power. Of course, his swords and bows are above the first class, but the others are too amazing.


 At my grandfather’s party, my grandfather and Nicholas were in the vanguard, Walt in the middle, and Hector in the rear. This has been the basic formation for decades.


 Guy would not be in the formation of the four but would support them by playing a guerilla-like role in a versatile position, drawing the enemy’s attention or attacking them by surprise. Guy demonstrated that his role was to help the four main attackers of the team draw out their strengths in the most efficient way possible.



 The same can be said for our party.


 Assuming that Beatrice is not present, the basic formation would be me and Mel in the vanguard and Liddy and Sharon in the rearguard. And our most important feature is our powerful long-range attack with magic. In order to take advantage of this, Dan thought about attracting the attention of the enemy to buy time for the chanting of the spells.


 When he had thought that far, he revealed his idea to Mel and tried various options with her. He came to the conclusion that the most efficient way was for the two of them to distract the enemy, and he studied it with her day after day.



 The adventurers who watched Mel, Dan, and Gerald’s mock battle around them could not believe that Gerald, a second-rank adventurer of great ability, had been troubled by a child of more than ten years of age between him. They were at a loss for words, not their joking self.


 Some of the young adventurers had had mock battles with Gerald. However, it was because it was common for a young man of about the seventh rank to be overwhelmed even in a two-on-one match.



 In the midst of all this, Gerald called out to them, “As expected of Zack’s childhood friends…”


 Then, with a smile on his face, he said, “I’m Gerald. It was just a little joke earlier,” and he held out his right hand.


 Dan took the hand, but Mel was still not convinced and would not take his hand.


 I said, “Mr. Gerald always has a word or two or three extra just for teasing, but he’s a good person at heart. Mel surely understands that.” and she nodded to me and then took Gerald’s right hand.



 Gerald chuckles, “Not that many,” but from behind him his party member, the magician Rufus, begins his usual lecture/rant.



“No, he’s exactly right. You always say things that are unnecessary and cause trouble. I always tell you. When you’re just joking around, look at the person you’re talking to before doing it…” (Rufus)



 Gerald responded to Rufus’s lectures by saying, “All right, all right.”



 In this mock battle, Mel and Dan were instantly recognized by the adventurers of Doctus.


 And the name of the four of us “Zack Quartet” spread all at once.



 This may have been the catalyst for the six of us, including Liddy and Beatrice, to become known as the “Zack Sextet,” a party that worked so well together.




(But why is it “Zack Sextet”? No matter how you look at it, Beatrice should be the leader… But I’m sure she’s got some kind of weird nickname behind her back…) (Zack)




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