My Pet Is a Holy Maiden 73 – Struggling
It was early morning when a loud bang sounded in the neighborhood.
That sound did not happen just once. It continued rhythmically for a countless period of time.
This rhythm was sometimes disrupted. It’d stop for a while, and just when you thought it finally stopped, the bangs would go even faster as if to spite you.
If the sound had to be better described, it would be the sound of wood clapping together. Except louder.
It was the sound of grueling training with a wood sword, shield, and jo. 1
The user of the sword was, of course, Tatsumi. And, Calcedonia was the one using the jo.
They were training in their frontyard. As it was once the house of a wealthy man, the yard was fairly spacious. There was plenty of space to practice their skills. Moreover, there was a small stable left to the side of the yard. Though there weren’t any mounts being captivated there.
Although Calcedonia was a rearguard, it didn’t mean that she had no skills of a vanguard. At the very least, she was miles ahead of Tatsumi.
Calcedonia swung the jo that was taller than her. It whistled through the air as Tatsumi prepared to defend against it.
Then, the tip of the jo painted a confusing picture using the space between the two as a canvas. Countless feints were made, countless skills were used, all in preparation to attack Tatsumi with his wooden sword and shield.
Tatsumi somehow read Calcedonia’s intention of aiming for his legs to unbalance him. He slipped his shield to protect his legs as the jo came in.
He felt the massive crash of the heavy wood banging together from his shield. He used all the power in his lower body to brace for the impact so he wouldn’t fall over.
But, Calcedonia’s strike was too strong, and she was too fast. Tatsumi had no time to react when Calcedonia readied her jo for the second time. This time she thrusted the jo like a spear, and Tatsumi tried to parry the stick of hardwood speeding at him.
He was a step too late.
The bluntness of the jo point hit his right shoulder like a train.
He unintentionally let out a voice of agony. Yet, he shouldered the pain in his right shoulder and smashed the shield in his left hand with all of his remaining strength.
This desperate last strike was in vain. Calcedonia had readied her jo at lightning speeds and used the jo as a prop to dance in the sky.
She used the same trick that pole-vaulters did. Of course, her approach run was almost nil and her jo wasn’t nearly as long as a pole-vaulter’s, so she couldn’t soar that high into the air. Nevertheless, it was plenty to avoid Tatsumi’s attack.
And then, while in above in the sky, she brought her jo down at the opening presented at Tatsumi’s crown.
Tatsumi, feeling the attack drawing near, frantically tilted his head to dodge.
The falling jo lightly grazed his ear but smashed into his left shoulder.
Tatsumi dropped his sword in pain and fell to the ground. Calcedonia saw him in clear pain
“I-I apologize! I accidentally put in too much strength! I-I’ll heal it immediately!”
After she squatted down beside the fallen Tatsumi, she started casting the aria of her healing magic without any delay. When the magic was complete, the sharp pain he was feeling had entirely vanished.
“Ah, f*ck. I can’t ever beat you, can I?”
Calcedonia consoled apologetically, “No, Husband has advanced quite considerably. It’s because Husband has gotten so strong that it’s hard to tell how much strength to use… Like now…”
Of course, there was no anger between them; it was just early morning training.
Tatsumi still had a zero percent chance of beating Calcedonia, but he became stronger like she said. She wasn’t lying when she said it was becoming harder to tell how much strength to use.
As things stood, Tatsumi would soon surpass Calcedonia in melée combat.
“However, your school of arts… what would you call it, phantasmagoric? Seriously, it’s amazing.”
Back in Japan, there is a school of martial arts called “Shinto Muso-ryu.” The school had a saying that described it, which was “A yari lunges, a naginata slashes, and a tachi cuts. A jo is all of these in one.” 2
There are even more techniques involved in the jo than a sword; it was not at all worse than the sword.
Calcedonia, using healing magic on the other places hurt besides his left shoulder, stood up. When she did, she picked up the dropped sword and held it out to him.
“What shall we do? Continue training?”
“Of course. I’ll show you my victory this time!”
“Yes, that’s the spirit.”
The two of them took their weapons and readied them. And then, a light tap of both of their weapons instead of an “on guarde” preceded the vehement smashing of wood on wood.
A something was starving.
It was already an eternity since it last saw food.
The something would not extinguish from something like hunger, but satisfying its hunger was what it wanted to do above all else.
Dizzily─no, lightly, it drifted among the densely packed trees. The something was looking for food.
Days upon days. While drifting among the trees, the something was looking for an existence that could satisfy its hunger.
And then, the something had finally found it.
A huge body was lying amidst the trees. That other something was also eternally starved.
“Hunger” was a primeval desire, one of the strongest desires grounded on the instinct to survive. And to the other something boiled in that desire, the something slowly approached.
As it got closer, the something softly entered into the other something.
Just then, a violent desire attacked the something. The strong desire called hunger violently jolted it.
The something was taking the desire from the inside of the other something, bit by bit. Its hunger was becoming satisfied.
Relishing the food, food it hadn’t had in a long time, the something greedily slurped the desire.
However, the other something’s desire did not stop flowing, even with the intensity that the something devoured it. The hunger the other something held was that strong.
It that had filled its appetite after one gulp shook from the excess of happiness that it got from the endless desire.
This strong desire would make the something satated forever. And, it would obviously encourage this desire, and collect the food, the desire, that would become more and more delicious.
Thinking that, it touched the seething hunger.
The other something’s huge body shivered. And then, its azure eyes changed to a shade of sinister red.
Moving its strong jaw, it revealed its sharp fangs.
It pushed its legs, legs that were furnished intimidating claws, against the ground, and its large wings unfurled.
It flapped its wings, and a wave of air erupted. It was in the sky. Its thin, long tail slowly revealed itself.
Black armor covered its entire body. The giant eyes that were dyed a deep red of the thing scanned the sky for something that would satisfy its hunger.
Looking at all those beneath it, it found a giant among the dense forest.
It was a “giant” to humans, but to the thing, it was but a moderately large meal.
Grinding its teeth, the thing─the thing called a sky dragon in the world of men─dived down at killed the beast in one breath.
From below, Calcedonia’s jo whistled through the air before knocking Tatsumi’s wood sword up.
Tatsumi already seen this trick of Calcedonia’s a countless number of times. Next, her jo would thrust like a yari at his chest.
He put his strength into his raised arm and swung his sword down to parry Calcedonia’s attack.
Before her jo could hit his chest, the sword blocked it. His plan was a success.
Yet, this move was predicted by Calcedonia, or maybe her reflexes were just that fast. Once she nimbly pulled back the jo, she once again prepared to thrust with the jo.
Block the jo with the shield before it got enough momentum to hurt him. Tatsumi, thinking that, quickly took a step towards Calcedonia before she had enough time to lunge at him
Calcedonia’s jo could not use the full force of a thrust with the distance between them being point-blank. That kind of jo hit Tatsumi’s shield.
And, when the jo brought its power into the shield, Tatsumi skillfully slanted his shield so that the jo went off-track.
One more step forwards. Tatsumi was right in front of Calcedonia.
Her jo’s range was wider than his sword’s. So, he needed to step forwards another time to get in range.
It might have been only a single step, a small step forwards. But to him, it was a huge leap.
However, her jo was out of position. He made the leap, and with the advantage of the sword’s close range, he attacked.
Calcedonia would not just watch in awe as Tatsumi made his attack. No, without trying to reposition the jo, she used the momentum from before to swing the other end of the jo. As Tatsumi used his wood sword to make his move, her jo whistled, ripping through the air, to riposte.
Her jo was aiming for his chin. Tatsumi was entirely clear about that: his constant, grueling training with Calcedonia was not for appearance’s sake.
Tatsumi’s sword in his right hand had blocked the attacking jo with a loud clack. That’s what it looked like, but somehow Tatsumi’s chin received the full force of an incoming jo.
The loud clack was not the sound of the sword colliding with the jo; it was only the sound of the wood crashing into his chin. In other words, Calcedonia’s jo had to have slipped through the defense of Tatsumi’s sword and smashed into his chin.
Thinking that, Tatsumi looked at Calcedonia while bearing the pain.
However, the person in question was just as confused as he was. She was dumbly staring at the jo in her hands.
At the jo that had the top third cleanly cut off.
“W-What on…?” Calcedonia unintentionally let out these words of surprise.
Tatsumi looked at her jo. Right at the place where he was going to block the jo, a clean cut was made. A cut so perfect that it must have been made by a well-maintained sword.
It seemed like the cut-off part of the jo hit Tatsumi’s chin with the force it got from being sliced off. It had fallen by his feet.
“Ummmm…?” Tatsumi was confused too.
“T-This is Husband’s…?”
“N-No, no matter how much I try, cleanly slicing apart wood with a practice sword is really impossible…I think?”
They looked at each other for the answers, but neither of them had any.
It was at that time.
A quiet ripping sound became audible. Just when the two heard it, a run in Calcedonia’s clothing became visible. The run was perfectly straight.
As the two of them were only training, they were wearing clothing that were easy to move around in but didn’t have much protection to them.
Calcedonia’s very ordinary clothing had a run in it. And through that run, a bit of her white skin was peeking through.
With his red face and his involuntary staring, Tatsumi clearly showed his youthfulness. Recently, he had become completely familiar with the sight─but by no means tired of it─yet it still fascinated the newlywed husband.
And then, the clothing finally gave in after the run started to grow. Calcedonia’s pair of mountains boinged out into the open. Her grand tetons were exposed.
The title of the most flustered did not go to the person herself, Calcedonia, but to Tatsumi.
It was their frontyard after all. Anyone could see them. Luckily for them, it was early in the morning and a scarce few would take a walk at this time, so there was nobody around to see Calcedonia’s bringers of heavenly justice.
Nevertheless, Tatsumi didn’t know who could be watching. He was sort of stubborn on the fact that it was only okay for him to see his wife’s bare skin, so he quickly hid her chest.
With both of his palms.
To be exact, he put his hands over the front of her chest and grabbed them tightly. Of course, this wasn’t a conscious action made by him. It was something done in the heat of the moment that he instantly regretted.
When that “ahn” came from his wife’s mouth, Tatsumi understood just what he was doing.
He was groping his wife’s exposed chest.
Clearly put, this was a strange situation that he couldn’t use excuses to get out of.
Tatsumi, once again flustered, princess carried Calcedonia back into the house with a face that asked for no arguing. Needless to say, he bolted indoors at his fastest speed.
Calcedonia’s face was on full blush in Tatsumi’s warm arms.
However, was it really because of the bashfulness from her chest being exposed? Or, was it from the blissfulness of being carried by her husband?
The answer was only known to the person in question.
- A jo is essentially one of those wooden rods you can get at a hardware store except harder and more expensive https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%8D It’s different from a wizard staff and a quarterstaff, so jo will be used. Also, the author mentions jojutsu (the art of using the jo) when talking about the weapon.
- Okay, I googled the phrase but I didn’t find an official English translation anywhere, so you’ll have to deal with mine. You can google the weapons for pictures, but here’s a short description for the lazy. A yari is a type of Japanese spear, a naginata is like a glaive, and a tachi is like a katana. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shint%C5%8D_Mus%C5%8D-ry%C5%AB is the wiki page, and 突けば槍、払えば薙刀、持たば太刀。杖はかくにも外れざりけり is the saying.