11. Chapter 11
After clearing out the defeated soldiers in the rural areas, Duwei’s squad continued its march toward Myard’s capital, Aidenberg.
Along the way, the advance unit eliminated the enemy’s resistance. And since the scorched earth tactics had not been used as five years ago, the line of communication to the rear was held firm. So it seemed possible that Duwei’s squad could join the main army earlier than planned.
Occasionally, a horse with a messenger would run alongside Walm and the rest. Sure, there were magic tools for communication, but since they were mainly used for excavating ruins and labyrinths, nation with limited tools couldn’t spare them for every problem.
After a while, it was time for a short break right by the river, Walm sat down, untied his laces, took off his boots and stretched his feet.
Before, Walm used to wear sandals very similar to straw sandals for daily fieldwork, but now he wore half-boots with iron plates.
At first, Walm often got blisters and sometimes even bleeding during long walks because of the friction, but later wear and tear made the skin thick and hard. He also wore a cloth around his leg before putting on the boots, so Walm’s leg was now pain-free no matter how many kilometers he ran.
Sure, there were socks. But since they had a strong fashion aspect, they were popular with aristocrats and kings, so they were only worn by highly paid military personnel and adventurers for practical use.
Walm washed the clothes and the cloth used to wrap the feet while he cleaned the body with river water, and the other soldiers joined him in cleaning their equipment.
Afterward, as Walm rested in the shade of the tree, Willart joined him.
“How rare. What’s the matter?”
In Walm’s memory, although Willart was always present when the others were talking, he rarely spoke, and that he came to another person first was even rarer. He was also silent during the march.
“The other day, you said you were interested in magic. I’ll teach you.”
Walm remembered answering Willart that way when he had thanked him for his fire magic support.
After that, Walm couldn’t hide his upset, thinking that Willart would never teach him seriously.
“Ah, Aaahh, I did say that. I’d love to learn from you.”
No one wouldn’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 to have the two soldiers facing each other and holding hands, more over both were men. But Walm obeyed as he was baited with the word “Magic.”
Jose, who was watching nearby, whistled with a nasty smile that was probably intended to ridicule Walm.
Jose felt uncomfortable as Walm looked at him with a face ready to fight and slumped his shoulders.
Unreasonably, Willart reprimanded Walm for his displeasure.
Walm wanted to complain to Jose, but he didn’t want to offend Willart.
After a breather, Walm focused his awareness on the joined hands. Except for the human hands, only cold air was transmitted.
“That’s right. This is the state in which mana is used for magic with an attribute.”
Walm, who had ended his life in a world without magic, had naturally longed for magic more than the people in this world. Even the inhabitants of this world would be happy if they had an aptitude for attribute magic.
“Don’t recognize it. Be conscious of it.”
After a few minutes. Walm could now feel what he had never felt before. He reacted sensitively to the sensation.
“I’ll release your hands. Focus on your palms. It can be a river or the sea. Imagine the flow of water.”
What Walm immediately imagined was rain, cold rain that could draw heat from the body. At the same time, he imagined it wetting the earth, flowing into the river, and reaching the sea.
When Walm noticed this, there was a small amount of water in his palm. Perhaps, in turn, his body became a little tired.
“This is magic, right?!!”
Walm exploded with joy and spoke to Willart with a big smile.
“Tch, not it huh?”
The hairless man contorted his face as if he wanted to say that he was disappointed.
“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 at using it. After all, the human body was about 60% water, depending on age and individual differences.
As far as Walm knew, there were quite a number of magic users with water attributes who couldn’t use great magic in battle. They were given preferential treatment in food distribution, but they still had to produce water. Like humans who were attacked by succubus and incubus, their mana would be squeezed out.
Willart was one of the leading magic users who could use magic in a fight and even supply the need for water. Therefore, although he was disappointed with Walm, he was somehow glad because it would lighten his work.
Walm looked around to see if the other companions were aware of what he was doing, and he saw that 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 immediately turned back to Willart and 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 that?”
Willart frowned, as if amazed at Walm.
“I’m just someone from a rural area who happens to be doing military service. I’ve never learned anything about this. Do you think I’d 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 fluffed up. So it was easy for Walm to imagine that.
Walm closed his eyes and concentrated. He sensed that Willart, who was standing in front of him, was going to 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 surrounding area was on fire.
“Willart!! W-what should I do!?”
Desperately, Walm called Willart’s name for salvation, but the fire had already scattered.
“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 about to become a roasted chicken skewer.
“Please forgive his cockscomb! Walm-senpai!!”
Shouted Noor, another rookie, to Walm as she extinguished Barito’s burning comb.
The surrounding area had become an unseen catastrophe.
“It wasn’t on purpose. W-what should I do!?”
Walm once again begged for rescue, but Willart’s action was simple: 『Hit a monster with a monster, and so hit the fire with water!』
“Wait, Wai ――”
A water ball was already in 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 commotion died down and Walm shouted.
Willart reached out to such Walm.
Walm grabbed his hand and stood up, but then, he heard Willart muttering,
“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 his body hair, was a weirdo who couldn’t compromise when it came to magic.
After that, it was confirmed that Walm had zero aptitudes for earth-attribute magic, while his aptitude for wind-attribute magic was as high as for fire-attribute magic.
The problem was that the uncontrollable winds Walm was generating were hitting the dormant members and continuing to rage until he was shut down by the Squad Commander’s deadly choke sleeper.
The price for that was high. Walm was ordered to be the sentry for three days 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
BARITO (Character Design 3)
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