𝟕 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐥𝐝
In this world, there’s a visible, distinct talent related to combat.
It’s called [Divine Protection].
It’s a special power said to be a blessing granted by the gods at birth, occurring in about one in a thousand people.
The types of Divine Protection vary widely.
There’s the martial Divine Protection like [Sword’s Divine Protection] and [Spear’s Divine Protection], which are the most common.
Then there are magical types like [Fire’s Divine Protection], [Water’s Divine Protection], and [Healing Divine Protection].
But they all have one thing in common: those who possess Divine Protection gain a level of power incomparable to those who don’t.
The gap between those who possess Divine Protection and those who don’t is greater than that between adults and children.
Those with martial Divine Protection have monstrously strong bodies.
Those with magical Divine Protection possess immense magical power, enough to easily cast spells that would require a hundred ordinary wizards.
Moreover, the rate at which they acquire skills in their field of Divine Protection is extraordinary.
For instance, it’s said that someone with Sword’s Divine Protection can reach a level considered expert within a week of first holding a sword.
Those called heroes are all individuals with Divine Protection.
Whether it’s a swordsman who conquered a great labyrinth, a spearman who pierced a dragon’s brow, or a wizard who felled tens of thousands of enemy soldiers in First Strike.
These heroes wielding otherworldly powers all possess Divine Protection from birth.
Those without Divine Protection cannot win against those who have it.
Ordinary people cannot beat heroes.
That’s the common sense of this world.
But that common sense is now…
“Ughhhh! So frustrating! I lost!”
“Yeah! I won! How do you like that, you jerk!”
Standing before me is a girl, who presumably has the [Hero’s Divine Protection], considered the ultimate among all Divine Protections.
She’s stomping her feet in frustration because she lost today’s swordsmanship best-of-ten contest.
I won with six victories to his four.
So, she’s the loser!
“Hee, hee, hee. . . . . .”
“I can’t believe you won when yesterday was an overwhelming victory for me!”
I’m completely exhausted, but I can’t worry about the fact that she’s not even out of breath.
Today’s winner is me, no matter what anyone says.
Stella is the loser!
“But seriously, what was that weird movement?! I couldn’t land a single hit!”
“Haa. . . . . .It’s my ultimate technique, [Ultimate Killing Sword I Saw in a Dream Yesterday].”
I put on a cool face and strike a triumphant pose.
To be honest, in the first match of our best-of-ten, she beat me up just like yesterday.
But then, I tried mimicking the sword technique I saw in a dream after hitting my head yesterday—the Ultimate Killing Sword that future me used to defeat stronger opponents.
I couldn’t move my body as I wanted to, but somehow managed to replicate the movement.
Thanks to Stella being even more inexperienced, I somehow managed to come out on top.
Well, even if this girl really did have Hero’s Divine Protection, it seems that Hero’s Divine Protection has a unique feature called [Awakening] that other divine protections don’t have. Until that awakening happens, it seems like she can’t unleash her true power.
I’ve heard something about only awakening the hero’s power once you’ve grown and become a person worthy of wielding ultimate power. Or something like that.
Still, it appears she has enough talent to rival the divine protection of other Holy Warriors even before awakening. But in the end, I overturned the difference in divine protection and won.
I did it!
“What’s that all about!”
Stella yells, looking frustrated.
It’s like looking at myself in a dream!
In that dream, I never once beat Stella.
It feels like I’ve finally settled a long-standing grudge, and it feels amazing.
Time to rub it in.
“Hey, hey! Loser!”
“Take that back, what you just said!”
Stella, who has low tolerance for taunts, loses her temper and lunges at me in an instant.
St, stop it!
I’m already out of energy!
Even if swordsmanship is one thing, there’s no way I can win in a scuffle against this brute strength!
I’ve been overpowered.
I won’t forget this grudge.
That aside, after we finish training, we both head to my house.
Stella’s family is just her dad, who often goes on patrols as a soldier protecting the village, so Stella is usually left at my house during the day.
Well, we usually spend our time playing outside, but we come to my house when we return.
By the way, my family are farmers.
However, my dad is incredibly muscular, handling the farmwork all by himself, while my somewhat frail mom takes care of the house. So usually, mom welcomes us home.
“Welcome back. . . . . .oh my, both of you are absolutely covered in mud. I’ll prepare a bath, go get in.”
Stella overreacts for some reason.
I start taking off my clothes without concern.
“Don’t just start undressing!”
“Ouch?! What are you doing, you brute!”
Your retorts are dangerous if I don’t pay attention!
Also, why are you blushing?
We used to take baths together just a little while ago, and we’re only 7 years old!
It’s too early for you to be bashful.
“No way! Just not now!”
“Your bath is ready.”
“Thank you! And you, stay out!”
“Hey! Wait! I called the first bath!”
As I try to chase Stella who is dashing to take the first bath, mom stops me for some reason.
Seizing the opportunity, Stella reaches the bathroom with speed befitting a hero and locks the door from inside.
Darn! Missed her!
“Fufu, Stella-chan is becoming more and more ladylike. I look forward to ten years from now. Maybe I’ll get to see my grandchildren.”
“What are you talking about, Mom. . . . . .”
I don’t think she and I will ever have that kind of relationship.
I can’t imagine the future Hero-sama who will be praised from around the world choosing someone with no talent like me.
“. . . . . .Stella-chan, good luck. And Allan, you’re all covered in wounds.”
As she notices the injuries all over my upper body, which became visible after removing my shirt, Mom says:
“Didn’t her dad give you both toy swords to avoid getting hurt?”
“She’s a genius who can cut people down even with a toy sword.”
Yesterday, after I got a bump on my head from messing around with tree branches, her Dad gave us soft and safe toy swords that he used to play with. But I think they’ll break soon if swung around with her idiotic strength.
Sorry, Stella’s dad. . . . . .
“Ah, I see. Well, a small injury like this is just boys being boys. Come here, I’ll heal it for you.”
As instructed, I walk over to Mom.
Mom then extends both hands towards me, concentrating her magical power into her palms.
“By the fragment of divine power of healing, save this injured lamb. ━━[Heal].”
Surrounded by warm magical energy, my injuries disappear.
Magic to heal injuries and illnesses.
It’s the only magic Mom can use.
She healed my bump like this yesterday, too.
“Alright, you’re all healed up now.”
Healing Magic sure is handy.
Mom is barely a third-rate healer, but the healing effect is about the same as the standard Recovery potion that I hoarded in my dreams.
Guess I wouldn’t need a Recovery potion if I could learn it.
. . . . . .Maybe I should try learning it.
“Mom, can you teach me that magic later?”
“Oh? I thought you said magic was too complicated and you didn’t like it.”
“I changed my mind.”
True, learning magic is difficult.
There’s chanting, releasing magical energy in sync with chanting, and the construction of magical formulas; there’s so much to remember it gives me a headache.
If I have time to study that, I’d rather spend it swinging a sword to become stronger.
I can always rely on store-bought Recovery potions for healing.
But I suffered because of that mentality in my dreams.
Although I bought lots of Recovery potions, I can only carry so many, and they might break during battle.
If they break when I’m injured, I’d have to painfully drag myself back to town, wasting valuable training time.
Not to mention, Recovery potions cost money and can be out of stock.
In times like that, I’d have no choice but to pay a high price for a temple healer.
Moreover, my training method doesn’t just result in minor injuries; it’s more like I’m constantly getting hurt.
Relying on Recovery potions for every single injury wouldn’t be enough.
Thinking about the future, it would be wise to learn Healing Magic now, even if it’s a hassle.
If I can shorten my healing time, I can also increase my training time.
Whether I can catch up to the time spent learning. . . . . .well, that depends on how hard I work and how quick I am to learn.
“Alright, while Stella-chan is taking a bath, I’ll give you a quick introduction. Hmm, where did I put the spellbook?”
And so, I began learning Healing Magic, and shortly after Stella came out of the bath, she joined in, saying, “I want in too!”
She succeeded on her first try and left Mom speechless.
She’s a cut above the rest, being the higher version of all divine protections.
Clearly a prodigy.
. . . . . .As for my magical abilities, let’s just say Mom encouraged me by saying, “You’ll get it if you keep at it for about a year.”
Stella gloated, so we had another round of ten matches outdoors, and this time I beat her seven to three, making her cry in frustration.
Serves her right.
Well, since Stella has learned Healing Magic and seems to be taking swordsmanship more seriously than in the dream, let’s consider it good.
If things go as in the dream, there are 3 more years until the demon invasion and Stella’s awakening.
By then, both I and Stella have to get stronger.