Fran As A Teacher
Today was the day after Fran decided to accept the three adventurers she met back at the guild as her temporary apprentices.
It was still quite early in the morning, but she’d already gathered them so they could start another day’s worth of training.
「Stretches? What’s a stretch?」
Liddick mulled over the word that he’d clearly never heard before, as if contemplating its meaning.
「I dunno, but I think it’s probably something related to some sort of super training!」
「Are you sure? It sounds more like a spell to me.」
Miguel and Naria answered him in turn, each with their own respective interpretations of the exercise.
It turned out that stretching wasn’t actually something this world’s people normally did. They did have warm-up exercises, but none of them were meant to increase one’s flexibility. The concept of stretching, as I knew it, was completely foreign to them. In fact, Fran herself had only started stretching after I instructed her to and informed her that it was good for her. And now, she was taking that bit of information and spreading it.
「Warm up before exercise.」
「Er, alright, but is there actually any point to it?」
Liddick began questioning the exercise before Fran could get to demonstrating or explaining.
「Huh, interesting. Could you explain what the point is?」
「Warming up. Many benefits.」
「Many? Could you give a few specific examples?」
「Nn? Many is many.」
Although Fran knew that stretching would improve her condition, she wasn’t able to explain why. She had clearly forgotten all the theory behind it even though I vividly recalled explaining it to her not too long after we first met. As far as she was concerned, stretching was just another routine exercise she drilled into her body for the sake of getting stronger.
All three of her apprentices had initially reacted to her clearly incomplete explanation with a dumbfounded stare. It took them a few moments to shake their heads free of their doubts and begin following her instructions.
「D-Do we really need to do this?」
「Shut up and just do it, idiot! Look, even Teach herself is doing it.」
Liddick continued asking questions, but Miguel silenced him with a shout.
Though the spearman still seemed unconvinced, he felt that his party member’s logic was both solid and believable.
「I’m sure she’s doing it for a reason us lower rankers can’t even begin to wrap our heads around.」
Sensing that, Miguel appended another convincing argument to the end of his explanation.
「Y-Yeah, you know what, you’re probably right. They’re even worth Ms. Fran’s time, so they’re definitely worth ours too!」
Mentioning his lack of knowledge caused Liddick to re-evaluate his stance yet again. Recalling his own faults made him much more willing to accept the unfamiliar exercise despite its purpose still being shrouded in mystery.
「You’re right. I’m sure these movements will lead to some sort of incredible effect!」
Like Miguel, Naria had also decided to abide by Fran’s instructions.
「Yeah, it has to have something to do with why she’s so strong even though she’s really young!」
Miguel took the lack of an explanation as a prompt to begin theorizing why Fran wanted them to stretch.
「That’s true! It might have something to do with making training more efficient.」
The constant reinforcement his party members were feeding him eventually caused Liddick to come up with a more reasoned out answer.
「That has to be it!」
「Damn, do I like the sound of that. It’s getting me hella pumped!」
Naria and Miguel both unhesitatingly latched onto his seemingly logical conclusion.
And surprisingly, despite being overglorified, it wasn’t really that far from being the right answer. Stretching didn’t have the sort of miraculous effect they were expecting, but it did reduce the chance of injury. Hence, it technically did have the potential to allow one to train more efficiently.
「Stretches, taught by Master.」
「Your master, teach?」
「What kind of person was your master?」
「Amazing. Best master in world. Made me strong.」
「Wow! He sounds really impressive!」
「Master is best.」
Liddick paused to let Fran make a comment before continuing.
「And he was the one that taught you how to stretch? T-」
「See, I called it! This stretching thing’s gotta have some sort drastic effect!」
Feeling validated, Miguel cut Liddick’s comment off with his own.
「Let’s give stretching our all!」
Neither of Fran’s other two apprentices disagreed with Naria’s suggestion.
They were all totally gung ho about it, and because of that, started off by trying to force their bodies as far as they could. Fortunately, Fran, who’d realized they misunderstood the exercise’s purpose, stopped them before they hurt themselves. She patiently continued to instruct them until they started going about stretching the slow but thorough way one was supposed to.
Fran was doing her job as their teacher incredibly well. The three were moved by the fact that she, someone way stronger than them, was willing to carefully instruct them. Their respect for her had been bolstered many times over even though all she’d taught them to do was stretch.
「W-Who will we have to go up against?」
Naria, Miguel, and Liddick reacted in that order. The first leaked a sound to represent dumbfounded surprise, the second proclaimed his disbelief, and the third ended up asking a question in hopes of a favourable response.
Even just considering the possibility of sparring with Fran had caused the colour to visibly drain from all three of the trio’s faces. They clearly remembered getting totally creamed by her just the other day.
None of them wanted to fight her. They all hoped that she would have them spar with one another instead.
A hope she mercilessly crushed.
「Nn. Me, one by one.」
Resigning himself to death, Liddick nodded and acknowledged the idea.
「I can let you go first if you want.」
「Nah, you can go right ahead, Miguel.」
「Sorry Naria, but I’m with Miguel. Ladies first, you see.」
「Damn you Liddick, you traitor!」
Fran was getting tired of seeing the trio’s pitiful argument, so she raised one of her arms and pointed in Miguel’s direction.
「G-Got it, Teach.」
「Do your beeest.」
「Don’t die out there bro.」
「O-Oh shut up! You two are going to be following me straight to hell in a few seconds anyways.」
Miguel stepped up, his face dyed in a shade of hopelessness.
「H-Here I go then! Oraaaaaahhhh!」
Miguel came right at Fran with his sword in motion. There wasn’t even the slightest bit of hesitation in his movements; he swung to kill because he knew just how much stronger than him she really was.
The nearby sailors, however, didn’t. All they saw was a hulk of a man viciously lunging at a little girl with his greatsword in hand. Not all of them had watched yesterday’s battle unfold, so most judged based off of appearances and assumed that Miguel was way stronger than Fran.
They’d found the sight of her teaching him, the thing they’d been watching up until now, entertaining and humorous. That was precisely why the sudden change in activity had caused them to start screaming in panic.
But their concerns were needless. The tragic event they’d expected to see simply never happened.
「Wind-up too big.」
「Power important, but no point if can’t hit.」
Fran basically didn’t bother retaliating. She instead spent her time dodging while giving him advice. She would also lightly tap him whenever he exposed an opening in order to show him what he needed to work on.
Watching the two caused the sailors to freeze up; they were completely dumbfounded.
As far as Miguel was concerned, however, things were going roughly as expected. The only thing he didn’t account for was that Fran wasn’t actually going to retaliate. He was glad to see that she continued instructing him as opposed to just totally wrecking him.
He ended up sinking to the floor completely exhausted after maintaining his all out assault for approximately 10 minutes.
「Nn. Last attack, not bad.」
「T-Thank you very much!」
Liddick took Miguel’s place and began a second vigorous assault on Fran. He tried to strategically angle and shift his attacks such that they’d hit, but she totally saw through all of his tactics and maintained a flawless defense.
「Thinking too much before attacking.」
「Too easy to read. More variation.」
「Not bad, but too slow.」
She more or less treated him the same way she treated Miguel. She dodged all his attacks and occasionally pressed her palm against his body to demonstrate that he’d made a mistake that would’ve lead to his death. In the end, Liddick, like Miguel, ended up collapsing out of sheer exhaustion.
Last up was Naria. Firing projectiles from a bow was quite dangerous given that we were on a ship with a bunch of people on it, and Fran wasn’t really able to offer too much bow-related advice in the first place. Hence, she instead focused on teaching Naria how to use her short sword.
Her methods remained the same, but she made sure to attack a bit more frequently since she wanted Naria to get more used to blocking than anything else.
「More attention to blocking. Less to attacking.」
「Dodge if can’t block.」
「Use dagger for control. Feints.」
Naria ended up yielding a bit faster than Miguel and Liddick. I didn’t really blame her. She was using a weapon she wasn’t used to, and the need to block Fran’s strikes had drained her of her energy really quickly.
But either way, Fran was satisfied. She’d proven herself capable of functioning as a teacher.
「Archer, keep practicing with short sword.」
「Swordsman, spearman, focus on offensive footwork.」
The three nodded after Fran gave them some feedback. She’d successfully managed to root out their weaknesses.
「Archer, can also keep practicing with bow.」
But despite that, she continued to call them by their weapons as opposed to their names, and not because that was just how she wanted to refer to them. It was instead something that needed to be attributed to one of her bad habits: forgetting everything she wasn’t really interested in. In other words, although she was interested in having them as her apprentices, she hadn’t actually taken to any of the three individuals themselves. I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not any of them would be able to get her to remember them by name before the Algieba reached its destination.