Herbert started by forming a mana field.
By training consistently and in accordance to the advice he got from his future self, he has remarkably improved in his use of spacetime magic.
He had made a spherical field that his body could fit in…and jumped right into it.
His training from since then had also allowed him to naturally wield the basic spacetime magic spell Accelerate and Delay. Both of the said spells were quite versatile.
For the moment though, the one Herbert found more useful wasn’t Delay which was his key spell in his duel with Marlon, but rather Accelerate.
While enveloped by the field, Herbert began moving…at 3 times his usual speed.
At that speed, his arm movements as well as his steps looked strange. Nevertheless, he had closed the his distance with Rodeo in an instant.
“Ugh, it’s still so weird!”
“Don’t say that!”
He was currently using Accelerate as a technique to supplement his poor mobility and speed. Previously, he was only able to target spells he had cast with Accelerate, but thanks to his practice, he became able to make it affect his own body.
Herbert unleashed a downward swing. Attacking at 3 times the speed also meant attacking at 3 times the momentum.
Rodeo met Herbert’s downward strike with an upward one. However, Herbert’s strike just had too much power.
Rodeo stood firm and blocked the attack, but Herbert was already getting in position for a second attack. Rodeo decided to refrain from another clash and took a big step back.
Right now, Herbert was faster than even Rodeo. So much so that he was able to position himself behind Rodeo. And yet, without so much as looking back, Rodeo met Herbert’s thrust.
“Do you have eyes behind your head or something!?”
“Just intuition…and you have so much killing intent, you know.”
Without being discouraged, Herbert launched another thrust. Rodeo, now facing Herbert, tried to block again…and failed.
Herbert began moving slower than just a moment ago. Rodeo managed to realize that it was because Herbert canceled Accelerate and even adjusted his own speed. Seeing that though, Herbert grinned and activated Accelerate again. While moving fast again, he changed the trajectory of his attack and aimed for Rodeo’s stomach.
“Mm, not yet.”
‘I did it; I landed a hit on Rodeo!’, Herbert thought so and celebrated in his head. In the next moment, however, Herbert found himself looking up in the sky.
As soon as he realized what happened—that he received a counterattack and got thrown back—he felt an impact on his back that made him unable to breath.
When he coughed, some dust entered his mouth. And when he started to stand up and spit the dust out, he found Rodeo smiling and extending a hand.
“Great job, young master. Speeding yourself up, going back to normal speed, and then speeding yourself up again, that’ll make me react late alright.”
“…I’ve been practicing that just so I can finally land a hit on you. Not bad, right?”
“Yeah. Definitely not. You’ve really changed…”
Rodeo said so with a distant look.
This past month, Herbert has been rolling in the dirt as a result of their intense training everyday.
“Land an attack on me first.”
Herbert had asked Rodeo to mediate between him and his father the duke. As Rodeo’s way to make Herbert give up right away, he said those words.
It was no secret, even to the duke’s retainers, that Duke Unruh had given up on Herbert. So much so that even Herbert’s name was now tantamount to a taboo word. Everyone had a tacit understanding to refrain from bringing up Herbert.
Rodeo carved his own path as an adventurer when he was young. Now that he had a wife and a cute daughter though, his circumstances have changed. He was at a point in his life where he could no longer freely do whatever he wanted.
Were he to displease the duke, his family’s future could be blocked off by a gloomy, heavy door. That being said…Rodeo couldn’t just abandon Herbert who has been earnestly doing his best for the past month.
“…alright, as promised, I’ll go talk with Maxim-sama on your behalf.”
“Ohh! Really, Rodeo!?”
“But all I’m going to do is talk to him. Beyond that, no matter how it goes, I’m going to pretend I know nothing, alright?”
“Yeah, that’s not a problem!”
Seeing Herbert’s eyes sparkle like that, it was pretty tough for Rodeo to decline. For Rodeo, who wasn’t skilled in diplomacy, a simple move like this was highly effective.
If this is all part of his ploy, then the young master is a frightening schemer…but I’m sure this is just him being honest.
Rodeo thought so.
Rodeo was quite sharp in sensing the animosity and ill-intent that other people had, yet he was unable to feel anything of the sort from Herbert at the moment. If that was really the case, Rodeo thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for Herbert and Maxim to meet.
A meeting should also be to Maxim’s benefit.
Maxim’s son turned out to be able to use spacetime magic, a feat only the sage Merlin was able to do before. If it was discovered that Maxim banished Herbert without knowing what might be the most important fact in the kingdom since its foundation, Maxim’s influence would surely plummet. After all, if he missed even that, what else could he have missed?
Moreover…Rodeo just genuinely wanted for the two of them—this returning prodigy as well as the master he served—to get along again. Despite the discord between them, they were still family.
For Rodeo who respected the two, them patching things up would bring the utmost joy.
Now then, how should I bring the issue up…
Rodeo was not great in mental tasks. As such, in fear of various things, he decided to just be direct with Maxim.
And how did that turn out, one might ask. In a nutshell, they were going to have dinner at 7 in the evening next week. Yes, the father and the son who haven’t talked to each other were set to dine together by themselves.
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Thank you! It’s an interesting story so far.