Also, he proved that my idea of having them introduce themselves and what-not wouldn’t work. For one, it’s boring, and the heroes lost focus pretty quickly. None did it more quickly than Selina, though. She spent most of the time flicking small bits of paper into Merlin’s hair and beard, showing her displeasure with how things had been going.
So, for the second class, I decided to continue with a more…practical lesson plan.
Oh, and Flavius had made me the heroes’ official teacher, instead of that Cait guy. So now I actually had the authority to teach them. Or help them grow. I don’t think I can teach some of them, due to the sheer amount of knowledge they’ve already accumulated.
So I think it’ll be more of an exchange of ideas, then me just teaching them.
Naturally, I brought them out to the training field this time, and asked them to spar each other.
I wanted to see what sort of strength each of them held. I had to set some ground rules though.
No harming your opponent.
No forbidden magic.
The weapons will be blunted.
No summoning hordes of undead.
Yeah, two of those were for Selina. It would be problematic if she were able to just let others fight for her, or use an unknown magic to win.
As for the others, as long as nobody is hurt in a malicious way, anything goes. I provided the training weapons. They were just simple steel weapons, and I had made sure to bring a good variety of them, even adding in some made by me, instead of the generic steel rods made by smithy apprentices.
The first match up was one made in retaliation for what had happened yesterday.
No, I didn’t make the match-up.
Sarah was the one who challenged Arthur first.
Unfortunately for Arthur, who claimed himself to be the son of creation itself or something, and the only one capable of bringing change to a withering world, Sarah was diabolically strong.
I mean, physically, I’d guess she’s middle of the pack as far as the heroes are concerned. That didn’t stop her from picking up the biggest sword she could lay her hands on, and facing off against Arthur.
I knew what her picking a gods-damned oversized claymore meant though, even if nobody else did.
It was her handicap.
As it was, she managed to corner Arthur slowly and inexorably, even with the slow speed of the sword, and it’s inability to block quickly. She left him sweating bullets in the middle of the field, the claymore laying against his throat, while she hadn’t seemed to even broken a single drop of sweat.
I know that most of the other heroes just passed it off as her being really good at using massive swords.
That was disproven when she challenged that man, Harving.
He grabbed a set of blunted daggers, and sunk into a low crouch before the spar began. Sarah had chosen a light and nimble rapier this time, stumping many of those who had thought she was only good at larger swords.
This time though, instead of the extended back and forth that had happened between her and Arthur, she went straight for the jugular.
Three strikes, and both of his daggers had gone flying, and his chest was left wide open from the strikes. She struck for his heart, pausing just before hitting him.
Arthur looked like he was turning purple off to the side.
Strictly speaking, she had dishonored him twice. Once by not using the weapon she was best with, and again by striking at his throat. This indicated that no mercy would be given, and that you were willing to disfigure a visible place.
Truth be told, even the rapier isn’t her preferred weapon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t set hers up though—Simply because she causes the most effective damage helming an army. There’s a reason she was left alone to deal with a massive demon army, while I went to kill the king.
Not looking satisfied with her easy win, she turned to me.
I shook my head. No, Sarah. You can’t challenge me.
She cocked her head to the side, as if saying ‘why not?’.
To demonstrate this, I simply picked up a standard training longsword, and pointed it straight down at the ground.
Then, without a hint of exertion, I slammed it into the dirt surface of the training area, where it sank up to it’s hilt. I knew that if I pulled it out, the tip would be badly deformed from the strength required to preform this feat.
Sarah huffed, obviously knowing what I was conveying with this, but not happy about it. Arthur looked at the sword in the ground, and walked over to it.
Ah, he couldn’t pull it out.
Such a shame.
After that, Sarah fought against Gaby, who had been my sister on Earth.
It was unexpectedly even, as both of them used their heads to tease out strategies capable of defeating the opponent in front of them. It was like watching a high-speed chess match, where Sarah might have been holding back quite a bit.
Gaby had taken several years of fencing lessons though, so Sarah might not have been holding back as much as she may have intended at first.
I could also see the light in her eyes. She was glad to fight against Gaby, and to see her potential.
By the way, I’d asked them if they had every spared with each other before, and all of them kind of scratched their heads, and said that the idea never occurred to them.
They don’t seem to be very…cohesive as a group.
I guess that’s the price of bringing strong willed individuals from different worlds and time streams together. They have almost too much individuality.
On another note, the mages had also duked it out, with the likes of Merlin, Selina and Rust, who was a sort of magic archer, competing against each other.
Needless to say, Selina came out on top. By far, she knew the most magic, and was used to applying them in creative and interesting ways.
Merlin held his own for a while though. He’s an illusion mage, with the potential to be one of the best I’ve ever seen. Exactly what his class name would suggest, he can create illusions, limited only be his creativity and his mana pool. At higher levels, you can begin to make certain parts of illusions into reality, or completely sink opponents into an illusory world. It’s a rare and somewhat frightening class, and definably one of the trickiest to deal with. As for Merlin himself, well, the class suited such a crafty old man perfectly.
Unfortunately for him, Selina was still several tiers higher than him. For one, she was a Grand Necromancer. That’s not a class you can just get—It’s one you must work up to after uncountable years of toil and experimentation.
Plus, anytime she took damage, it just auto-regenerated. A bit unfair, considering that none of the others could do this, but I’d already restricted her strength as much as I’m willing to.
Of course, she also tried to fight me after that, but I gave another demonstration that discouraged something like that. I’m still unsure if my strength is completely contained, and wouldn’t want to hurt anyone.
I can just wait a year or so, and with the rate at which the heroes seem to be growing, they might be able to take me on. That is, if everyone but Selina attacks me at once.
Were Selina to actually attack me, she would only need to pull out a pet I know she keeps in her spacial pocket to win against me.
She’s totally a cheat character for her level. And, she’s only going to get stronger in the future, as her original powers return.
As for the others, they are certainly going to become strong in the future. Sarah’s already proven to me multiple times that she grows at a reliable rate, and is extremely trustworthy, while Gaby might be the same, as far as how she grows.
Merlin could be terrifying given time, and Rust has good potential as well, since his magically enhanced arrows are already able to break thick plate armor—Something he had demonstrated earlier at my behest. Even more than that, he’s still young and has plenty of room to grow in the next few years.
Harving seems to be a paragon assassin, capable of completely erasing his presence and landing devastating blows, though he doesn’t fair too well in a fair fight.
The only one I’m worried about would be Arthur, the egotistic idiot.
While he is strong, and might actually be a good leader, his personality would drive any potential allies away. That is, if he doesn’t die before then. He also seems to suffer from the ever cruel and deadly ‘Protagonist’s Disease’.
But enough on that.
This days’ training had ended, and I pondered my next moves.
Ah, it just occurred to me that some might question the sanity of me teaching the heroes in the first place, since I am ‘on the path towards becoming a Demon Lord’.
Well, aren’t there some things that are better solved by facing them head on, rather than running?
If I ran from the heroes now, it wouldn’t do me any good. In fact, it would probably do me a great deal of harm. However, if I stayed by them, guiding them towards strength, who’s to say that my fate is set in stone? I could change how they view demons as a whole, and teach those needing it the idea of equality.
Besides, even if this whole thing goes south, I’m still stronger than them at the moment, and I can learn their weak points during my teachings.
There’s practically no downsides. Plus, I can watch Sarah and Gaby grow even more, and interact with Selina. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears being said again. I like having friends I can trust. It’s a weight off my shoulders.
And besides all that, I know what I’m going to have them do whenever I teach them.
They might as well learn how to work well together, and the only way I can think of getting them to do that—well, ways, would be to either fight them myself, or toss them into the academy dungeon.
I think the dungeon should be safer now that the lich didn’t have to build it’s strength and guard it, so the heroes should be fine.
I’ll go with them the first time, and observe their individual fighting style more closely.
Well, I have a little project in mind for later.