11. Chapter 11
After eliminating the defeated soldiers in the rural areas, Duwei’s squad resumed its march towards Myard’s capital, Aidenberg.
Along the way, the advance corps had eliminated the enemy’s resistance, as the scorched earth tactics like five years ago hadn’t been carried out, the connection line to the rear was firmly maintained, and it seemed possible to join the main corps earlier than planned.
Occasionally, a horse carrying a messenger ran beside Walm. Sure, there were also magic tools for communication, but since it was mostly used for excavations of ruins and labyrinths, a nation with limited tools couldn’t spare it for every problem.
After a short break right next to the river, Walm sat down, loosened his laces, took off his boots, and stretched his feet.
Before, Walm wore sandals that closely resembled straw sandals for daily farm work, but now he wore half-boots with iron plates.
At first, when moving on a long walk, because of friction, Walm often got blisters, and sometimes even bleeding, but the skin became thick and hard due to the subsequent wear. In addition to that, he wore a cloth around his leg before he put on his boots, so now Walm’s leg was painless no matter how many kilometers he ran.
Sure, there were socks. But since, it had a strong fashion aspect, since it was popular among aristocrats and royalty, and so, only high-salaries military personnel and adventurers wore it for practical use.
Walm washed clothes and the cloth used to wrap the feet while cleaning the body with river water, and the other soldiers joined him, cleaning their equipment.
After that, When Walm was resting in the shade of the tree, Willart came to him.
“How rare. What’s wrong?”
In Walm’s memory, even though Willart was always there when the others having a chat, he rarely spoke, and for him to come to another person first would be even rarer. He was also quiet during the march.
“The other day, you said you were interested in magic. I’ll teach you.”
Walm remembered that when he thanked Willart for his magical fire support, he gave such a reply.
Walm couldn’t hide his upset because he thought that Willart would never teach him seriously.
“Ah, Aaahh, I did say that. I’d love to learn from you.”
There was no one who didn’t adore magic. So, Walm was thrilled with the expectation that he might be able to learn one or two.
“Hold my hand”
Walm responded to the unexpected request.
“That’s right. Close your eyes.”
It felt surreal and strange for the two soldiers to face each other and hold hands, but Walm obediently obeyed as he got baited with the word “Magic”.
Jose, who was watching nearby, whistled with a nasty smile, which was probably the purpose of ridiculing Walm.
“I’m just kidding”
Jose felt uncomfortable as Walm looked at him with a face ready to battle and gave up his shoulders.
Unreasonably, Willart rebuked Walm for his resentment. Walm wanted to complain to Jose, but he wouldn’t want to offend Willart.
After taking a breather, Walm concentrated his consciousness on the connected hands. Besides human hands, only cold air was transmitted.
“That’s right. This is the state where mana is used for magic with attribute.”
As Walm, who had finished his life in a world without magic, he had been longing for magic more than people in this world. Even the inhabitants of this world would be delighted if they had an aptitude for attributed magic.
“Don’t recognize it. Be conscious of it.”
After a few minutes. Walm could now feel what he had never felt before. The sensation reacted sensitively.
“I’ll release your hands. Focus on your palms. It can be a river or the sea. Imagine the flow of water.”
What Walm instantly imagined was rain, cold rain that could take away the heat of the body. At the same time, he imaged it moistened the earth, flowed into the river, and reached the sea.
By the time Walm noticed, in his palm, a little amount of water was there. Perhaps in return for that, his body got slightly tired.
“This is magic, right!?”
Walm exploded with a feeling of joy and spoke to Willart with a big smile.
“Tch, not it huh?”
The hairless man distorted his face as if to say it was disappointing.
“Although you can use it… your aptitude is barely enough. It can only be used as a substitute for a water bottle that produces water for everyday life.”
Walm tried to protest, saying that it would be great if humans could replace the water bottle, but he stopped.
Water magic users would have a hard time regardless of how good they were in using it. After all, about 60% of the human body was said to be made of water, depending on age and individual differences.
As far as Walm knew, there were quite a few water-attribute magic users who couldn’t use big magic in combat. Although they were still given preferential treatment in food distribution, they would be asked to keep producing water. Like humans targeted by succubus and incubus, their mana would be squeezed.
Willart was one of the leading wizards who could use magic in a fight and also cover even the need for water. That was why even though he was disappointed in Walm, he was somehow happy since his burden would be lightened.
Walm looked around to see if what he did was exposed to other companions, and he saw, all the members of the squad were watching this ritual.
Walm was convinced when he saw the grinning Squad Commander.
Damn, it’s too late ――
“Well, compared to the explosive power of your skills, using your mana for it will be a loss. Still, it’s good enough to make you a great human water dispenser.”
Walm mourned his blunder but returned to Willat, who opened his mouth.
“I, Did I use mana?”
“Of course, you did. I mean, famous soldiers use mana to activate their skills and strengthen their physical abilities. Didn’t you know?”
Willart frowned as if he was amazed by Walm.
“I’m just someone from a rural area who happened to be doing military service. I’ve never learned anything about this. Do you think I’ll know that?”
Walm complained, but Willart didn’t care.
“Next. I can use the attributes of water and fire. Try it.”
“Fire” was something that Walm was familiar with in his previous life and was an indispensable part of this world.
There was a time when Walm’s hair was burned by the enemy’s fireball, and it became fluffy. So, it was easy for Walm to imagine.
Walm closed his eyes and concentrated. He felt that Willart who was in front of him would jump away. No, he knew it.
When he opened his eyes, a fire extended from his right hand to the height of the trees, and the surroundings were ignited.
“Willart!! W-what should I do!?”
Dismayed Walm shouted Willat’s name for salvation, but the fire was scattered around.
“What is it? Enemy’s attack!?”
“No. Walm is burning the surroundings with fire magic.”
“Damn idiot, stop it quickly!!”
Walm was made fun of by the three idiots.
“My hair, Aaaaah”
Barito’s hair was on fire and was about to become a roasted chicken skewer.
“Please forgive his cockscomb! Walm-senpai!!”
A fellow rookie, Noor, called on Walm while extinguishing Barito’s burning comb.
The surrounding area had become an unseen catastrophe.
“It’s not intentional. W-what should I do!?”
Walm begged for salvation once again, but Willart’s actions were simple:
『Hit a monster with a monster, and so hit the fire with water!』
“Wait, Wai ――”
A water ball was already on Walm’s sight, giving him no time to beg for mercy, it smashed his whole body, and extinguished the surrounding fire.
Unable to kill the momentum, Walm rolled on the ground and finally stopped at the sixth turn.
“Don’t joke with me. Willart!!”
The turmoil subsided and Walm screamed.
Willart reached out to such Walm.
Walm grabbed his hand and stood up, but then, he heard Willart mutter,
“Next. Imagine another one, fast.”
Walm was frightened by the words.
Walm had forgotten that the man in front of him who had a hobby of removing all of his body hair was a weirdo who didn’t know how to compromise when it came to magic.
After that, it was confirmed that Walm had zero aptitudes for earth-attribute magic, as for the wind-attribute magic, his aptitude for it was as high as the fire-attribute magic.
The problem was that the uncontrollable winds created by Walm struck the resting members and continued to run wild, until he was shut down by the Squad Commander’s deadly choke sleeper.
The price for that was high. Walm was ordered to have a three-day sentry in addition to a full-body bruise, and also to be a human water dispenser.
TN : Here, the full image of the character design of BARITO