「Well, that’s the Black Lightning Princess for ya!」
Captain Jerome happily greeted Fran with a full faced smile upon her return. He was very pleased to see that his ship had remained undamaged despite the pirate’s assault.
Likewise, the sailors had even started cheering for her. Not a single one of them seemed to be sympathizing with the pirates, nor the miserable fate they’d met. That said, their actions weren’t abnormal. The world we were currently living in was one in which you had to eliminate your enemies and the people that tried to steal from you; it was kill or be killed. To that end, having a powerful ally was something deserving honest gratitude.
Unlike the sailors, most of the adventurers had ended up going quiet and turning meek, but not out of fear. Rather, they seemed to be trying to express their respect. Though adventurer rankings were based on more than just one’s ability to enact violence, overwhelming strength was still a force that called for powerful feelings of admiration.
The only member of the group whose expression was any different was Mordred. He, unlike the others, seemed more taken aback than anything. He ended up smiling in a bit of a wry manner as he called out to Fran.
「Man, you’re strong. You’re the first person I’ve ever seen whose strength and rank differ as greatly as night and day.」
He had a fair point. Fran was way more powerful than any C ranker should be.
「Listen up y’little shits! We’re getting the hell out of this stretch of sea as fast as we possibly can!」
「The battle turned out to be a bit too flashy, y’see.」
Jerome was worried that the loud sounds and huge shockwaves would attract Magic Beasts to our current location, especially seeing as how there were a bunch of pirates floating around in the area. They would likely soon be preyed on.
Hence, it would be best for us to get the hell out of the area as soon as possible.
「Went too far.」
「I wouldn’t say that. The lil’ bit of risk we just incurred is well worth getting out of that situation scot-free.」
「While I do agree with the captain, I’d like to say that it would be better for you to keep try to keep the flashiness in moderation, if possible.」
Jerome was all smiles. He didn’t seem to mind what we’d done at all. Buphett, on the other hand, took a bit more reasonable an approach to the whole situation. I decided to adopt it and be a bit more careful going forward.
「W-We’d like to ask a favour!」
「Please make us your apprentices!」
Fran started heading back towards her room right after she finished speaking with Jerome, but she was interrupted before she so much as left the area. Miguel, Liddick, and Naria rushed in front of her, prostrated, and began asking for her guidance.
「The way you fight is incredible.」
「We want to get strong, much stronger than we are now.」
「So please make us your apprentices!」
All three of them seemed earnest, frantic, and desperate for her aid. I wanted to help them, but I didn’t feel like it was actually plausible for Fran to take them as her apprentices, as they’d get in the way of her travels. More importantly though, she didn’t really seem like the type that’d actually be capable of teaching.
Still, she seemed to have something in mind.
「We beg of you!」
All three pressed their foreheads against the ship’s deck as they awaited a response.
『Wait, are you actually gonna do it?』
（No. But interested.）
『We can’t really have them them accompany us though.』
There were two major issues associated with letting them travel with us. The first was that they’d slow us down, and the second was that they might figure out our secret.
『Just had to make sure. But what exactly are you planning then?』
（Nn. Will make apprentices for duration of boat trip.）
『Right. That does sound like it could work.』
Fran’s suggestion did sound like it would work. The three had their own room, so they probably wouldn’t be able to figure out that I was an intelligent weapon.
『Well, I mean you do you. My only concern is, do you actually think you’ll be able to teach them properly?』
（Nn? Yes. Because interested.）
『Well, alright. Just make sure you let them know that it’s your first time teaching anyone. I’ll be all for it so long as they don’t mind.』
「Nn. Will make apprentices. But just during boat trip.」
「Thank you so much!」
「But never had apprentices before. No experience teaching. Still okay?」
「That’s perfectly fine!」
「We’re happy to have your guidance, Master!」
Fran sent Liddick a sharp glare and freaked him out a bit the moment he declared her his master.
「Don’t call me master.」
「Huh? Why not?」
「Because no. Not me. Master only reserved for the best.」
I was glad Fran respected me and all that, but calling me “the best” was taking it a bit too far. That said, I wasn’t going to stop her or anything. Shit would start getting really confusing if people started referring to Fran as “Master.”
「Can call me anything but Master.」
「Think of different title.」
The three adventurers managed to nod even though Fran was looking at them in a serious, intimidating manner. They looked at each other and quietly discussed a few things before finally simultaneously turning back towards her.
「W-What if we called you Ms. Fran then, like we would if you were our teacher?」
「Y-Yeah. Does that work?」
「Nn. Teacher acknowledged.」
She seemed to have taken a liking to the title, as she nodded while repeating “I’m a teacher,” several times over.
「Starting training immediately.」
The joy of being referred to as a teacher had totally pumped her full of motivation.
I was really curious as to exactly what she was going to tell them to do. Though I was really curious, I wasn’t really planning on butting in regardless of whether or not what she told them to do was anywhere even remotely within the realm of being sane. The three had asked for her to train them, not me. All that mattered to me was that Fran enjoyed the experience.
Fran paused for a moment, which in turn caused her three disciples to curiously repeat her words, as if to urge her to continue.
「Practice swings? Got it! We’ll be right on it!」
Though her tone seemed to carry a few hints of confusion with it, Fran had managed to get them off to a pretty decent start. A part of me had even started to suspect that she just might actually have a talent for teaching.
Miguel and Liddick abided by her orders and immediately began practicing. Miguel swung his greatsword up and down, while Liddick started to thrust his spear forwards and backwards.
Naria, however, seemed not to have any idea what to do. Fran’s instructions had been directed towards her as well, but she was an archer. And as far as she was concerned, there wasn’t really any point in swinging her bow around like a melee weapon.
「Umm… Am I supposed to join them? I don’t really use swords or anything…」
「Only carrying bow?」
「Yeah, that’s it.」
「Only using bow is bad. Will die in close combat.」
「Umm… So does that mean you want me to learn how to use some sort of weapon I can use up close too?」
「Nn. Recommend shortsword. Not for attacking. Defending or throwing only.」
Watching Fran in action allowed me to confirm that she really did have talent for instructing others. I was surprised at how well she was handling everything.
「Will feel unnatural at first, but start today.」
「I definitely will!」
Fran pulled a rusted shortsword out of her dimensional storage and handed it to Naria. I was confused as to where she’d got it from, so I asked her about it. Apparently, it was something that she’d looted off one of the goblins we killed some time ago.
「Is it really okay for me to take it?」
「Nn. Rusted, can’t be used in combat. But good enough for practice.」
「Thank you very much.」
Fran silently watched over Naria as she began to get a feel for the weapon. Her face had on it a clear look of satisfaction.
「Ummm… Am I doing this right? Do I just keep swinging it around?」
Though Fran didn’t actually give Naria any direct advice on how she was supposed to swing it around, I didn’t disagree with her methods. Repetitive training was something that ultimately made one better at wielding a weapon, and the existence of skills only made said training all the more worthwhile. Hence, Fran didn’t actually need to say anything to her newfound apprentice. All she needed to do was watch over her so she could make sure she continued to practice her use of the weapon.
And in fact, that was exactly what she did. She tirelessly continued to watch over all three adventurers without getting bored or distracted. As for me, I was really looking forward to seeing whether or not Fran would be able to drive them to improve by the time the boat trip was over. I was excited to finding out just how far they would go, if anywhere at all.