“Swift, what are your plans for the rest of the day?”
“I don’t have any for now.”
“So what do you usually do?”
“I usually experiment with my skills. Sometimes I practice instead. Though I have to admit, I’m not getting anywhere with my Short Blades Skill.”
“How about practising with Silas then? There’s only so much you can do alone,” Seth suggests.
Getting some proper training could help a lot.
“Sure, at least someone is eager to train!” Seth approves.
“All right, all right, I’ll train as well,” Matt reluctantly answers.
After a short rest, we leave the cave to start training. Silas teaches me a lot: grips, maintenance, attack techniques, defence techniques… Then we start sparring. At first, I can barely keep up with defending against his attacks. But eventually, I get the hang of it.
“You’re a quick learner,” Silas says. We’ve been training for a bell or so.
“Thanks, huff, I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress…”
I’m spent. I sit down on the floor to get some rest.
“Well, you got the basics down. But you do lack stamina.”
“Huff, I haven’t noticed. How come you ever haven’t broken a sweat?”
“Just lots and lots of training. Come on, stand up, we continue with hand-to-hand combat.”
“Yes, you need to push yourself, but training with a weapon in that state is too dangerous. Knowing hand-to-hand combat could help you a lot. Besides, it seems like you’re going for a Rogue skill set.”
“Is that bad?”
“No, it’s not. While some people do think it as not glamorous it is more or less a necessity for intermediate and advanced parties. Tracking enemies, finding traps and the like.”
“So you are…”
“Yes, I’m the tracker.”
“It’s just another fancy word. Thief, Rogue, Tracker, many words for the same skill set. Society keeps inventing new words for the same thing. But due to how most view the job, the word becomes negative and they need a new word again.”
“I see. How about ‘intelligence specialist’?”
“That sure sounds great!” Silas laughs, “back to the topic: you need to able to trust your rogue. That’s why good rogues usually don’t hide their personality to potential party members. Though that’s also the reason people don’t see the job as that good. But people need to be able to trust your true self. I think it’s a good fit for you.”
Silas helps me up to continue training. He’s merciless. Not only am I starting to run out of stamina, but my body is also starting to ache all over. Yet he pushes me relentlessly. My reactions dull due to the exhaustion. He doesn’t hit hard, but still, dropping on the floor really hurts.
After I don’t know how long he finally stops.
“This should do for today. No need to push you too much.”
“Huff. Not too much? Huff. Ouch!”
I lie on the floor, limbs spread apart, breathing heavily. My body is aching all over. It’s finally over…
“Sorry for that, it’s just such a fast learner, I kinda got carried away. Don’t worry, you should get used to it soon.”
“We’ll be training tomorrow, too, of course. And the day after tomorrow, too.”
Silas smiles at me. He’s way too into it… I don’t think I can decline… On the plus side, I get more training. On the flip side…
“Oh, huff, give me a break…”
Silas helps drag me back to the cave. Matt and others are already waiting inside.
“You don’t look that great”, Matt notices us coming in.
“Huff, what a coincidence! I don’t feel great.”
“Well, I kinda went overboard,” Silas admits.
“That’s rare!” Seth says.
“I’m sorry, but I’m too tired to talk. I’m going to get a dip in the bath.”
I plug the tub and have the Hot Springs Slimes make space for me to sit in it. The hot water from my hot spring slowly fills it. The Slimes start spouting hot water to fill the tub faster, “thanks, guys, I appreciate it.”
I pet the Slimes. Some of the Slimes are joining me in the bath. Well, I don’t mind… Hmm… This is so good! Slowly the pain fades and I start feeling refreshed.
After the bath, I unplug the tub and I going back to the living room.
“That was just perfect. All the aching is gone, too.”
“That sounds great. Can I borrow your bath?”
“Of course you can. Just plug the tub.”
“Of course, I might be a pampered prince, but I’m not dumb.”
“Oh, that’s not what I meant. You’ll see what I mean.”
Matt enters the bathroom and promptly comes back.
“You have a hot spring in your bathroom?”
“Yes, I stumbled on a method to create an artificial one. I don’t have enough material for another one though. If you’re in a hurry, the Hot Springs Slimes can produce hot water as well.”
“You sure have a lot of uses for your Slimes…”
“They’re so versatile! I’ve just discovered those Slimes can produce hot water myself. Though I don’t think you can use those to start as an artificial hot bath. They like hot water, too.”
“I see. I’m back to taking a bath then. Later.”
Matt leaves for the bathroom again. Oh, I should tell the Slimes not to join him in the bath! Here, done.
“Swift, we’re about to play some cards. Do you want to join?” Silas invites me.
“Sure, but I don’t know how to play.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll teach you the rules.”
I wonder what kind of card game it is…