Forty-Fifth Episode~ Confronting Two Experts
I stand up straight and carefully climb the short set of stairs.
I place my hand on the wooden door and push it open as I lean back.
There are servants to the right kneading powder on a marble counter and cutting vegetables on a cutting board.
Preparing for dinner?
They are absorbed in cooking and do not notice me.
Like a certain game, I hide using a cardboard box as I advance.
Ma, there is no such convenient item.
Maintaining my crouched posture I use the blind spots under the furniture.
I am able to advance towards the hallway with no one noticing.
The reaction is coming from the other end of the hallway.
I see a door opened on the right side of the hallway.
I go to the edge of the door quickly.
I press my right shoulder to the wall and look inside, but from my position I can only see a painting displayed on the left wall of the room.
It cannot be helped. I may be seen, but I quickly move the left side of the doorway.
I press my left shoulder on the wall and look inside again.
This is a large room that looks like a conference room. A long black desk spreads out inside. I see a plump man sitting in the head chair at the end of the table.
With an insolently presence, this guy is probably the boss.
Executive looking people are next to the plump boss, there is a tall person with good posture.
This is probably an aide or a staff officer?
A lion beastman and a human with good posture are lowering their heads to boss and delivering a report with severe eyes.
Two rapiers are visible at the waist of the aide.
Are these the members of 【Thorny Tail】?
Even if they are, there is nowhere to hide in the room.
Should I end my infiltration here, and reveal myself?
The moment I think so, I cancel <Hidden Body>
I walk into the room, walking grandly.
With my black spear on my shoulder while touching the black desk with my left hand, I approach the people encircling the boss.
They still have not noticed me.
-N? This is different. One of them noticed me.
There is a man leaning against a pillar situated next to a big window with his arms crossed and glaring at me with sharp eyes.
Only this man seems to have noticed me quickly.
This is probably the guy who is keeping the magic essence reaction thin.
He seems skilled, I should be careful.
“So, the shop was already damaged-”
Is the guy giving the report the one who damaged Kuna’s shop earlier?
“Was it one of the other dark guilds? The one who killed Kuna was that spearman- N?”
The plump man I think is the boss notices me.
After the boss the large lion race notices me.
Everyone turns to look at me all at once.
They are also paying attention to the black spear.
“Oi, who are you!”
The boss-like man points at me and shouts.
The tall man next too him removes his two rapiers and opens his mouth to talk.
“That spear, who are you?”
I nod to his question and begin to talk.
“Who am I? The man attacked by you. You are 【Thorny Tail】?”
“It can’t be, with that spear, are you the spearman from the report?”
“Which spearman do you mean, I don’t follow, ma, I do use the spear?”
I joke a little.
“Whaaat, you’re tall, but you still have a ways to go, brat, aren’t you a youngster! You appear so impressively…according to the report, Kuna did not return likely because of this guy. …Ganu, Donpa, Koyatsu, kill him! Raisa, protect me, Karii, what is your price to work?”
The boss sitting in the chairs doles out orders.
Ganu and Donpa stand up and pull out their respective weapons.
At the same time, the tall aide that seems to be called Raiza pulls a sword from his sheath quickly, and his hand goes to a flute hanging from his chest.
“Cominquez chairman, I am leaving it to you, Piiiii-”
He blows the wistle.
Chi, it looks like he is calling back up.
The sound of the whistle echoes, and I spontaneously run forward.
-Victory goes the one who makes the first move. I will kill them before this gets prolonged.
I quickly decrease the gap between myself and the beastman Ganu and the human Donpa with fighting moji enhanced legs.
I wield the black spear with the added force of my momentum and swing it from the right.
The blade of the black spear bites into the flank of the thin man named Donpa. The man’s body is suddenly cut in two.
The blade of the black spear has never been sharp.
However, I can do this much by relying on my strength and speed.
-The two lumps of flesh wet the black spear with blood as blood sprays out, then collides with the body of the lion beastman, Ganu, standing to the left.
The beastman Ganu’s body is bent into a くcharacter is blow away to the left.
He crashes powerfully through the black table.
The beast person goes through the black table head first and only his legs are visible.
His current condition is like a household’s dog-kami.
Everyone is shocked by this.
With this opening, I extend the black spearpoint towards the defenseless throat of the seated plump boss- however, a metallic sound rings out. Raize has crossed his two rapiers the protect the boss man from my spear attack.
Raize glares at me with squinted eyes, and deflects the black spearpoint with his two rapiers, raising a battle cry-
When Raize raises his voice full of fighting spirit, his left and right hand move slightly- and two silver sword flashes appear together.
-The left thrusts at my neck.
-A diagonal slash at my right arm.
-Sweeping the flank, while rotating left, I cut a lower berth.
The attack is hair-raising, this sword attack.
As expected, it is fast.
Avoiding the slashing attack by a hair’s breadth, I use the black spear and retreat while repelling the sword flash.
Immediately after I retreat, a knife is thrown-
I promptly lean back and avoid it.
Revolving back once, knifes and daggers are thrown continuously and I keep avoiding them.
“-He, you’re very dexterous. Amazing. It’s like a circus. Avoid this one now.”
What, it is a slightly high-pitched voice. The voice makes me feel sick.
“Karii, good, as expected of someone from the former Radford empire’s war brigade.” (TL: This sentence is fucked up. Sorry.”
The fat boss man sitting in his chair praises the series of movements.
Karii shows a cool-headed reaction to his employer for some reason.
Karii’s sudden behavior causes the boss man to become silent as if frightened.
“Oi, Karii, is this betrayal?”
Is this a falling out?
The aide Raize calls out to the man called Karii.
Raize with his tall figure has an undertone of supressed anger.
Of the two rapiers pointed me, he turns one the them to the man called Karii.
“…Iya, iya. I’m not betraying you. The game is getting exciting, so I got a little worked up.”
I am worried by him saying “The game is getting exciting,”
This “Karii” has a somewhat strange atmosphere about him.
Moreover- he has a considerable level of fighting moji. Unlike the mana he was keeping under control earlier, his body is now gushing with released mana.
At any rate…he is storing mana in his eyes.
As for him, that means he can “see” the movement of my mana.
“If that’s the case, you will continue following the contract. Kill the spearman-”
Raize kicks the ground, and approaches me.
Replying with disinterested words, Karii continues from behind, kicking the floor and running.
I said sword line earlier- this Raize is skilled too.
The speed of his scolding is good, but his fighting moji is not up to par.
With Karii behind him, definitely lose-
This is my first time fighting two skilled people.
It seems I have no choice but to do my best.
I repel Raize’s thin swords and return a lunge with the black spear-
The black spear attack is directed away from his abdomen with one of his swords and Raize counterattacks immediately with a riposte. Karii is using two small daggers, and is attacking at critical moments.
For how many seconds- I dodge to two’s attacks, repeatedly repelling thrusts.
However, the balance goes this far.
-I use a blind spot.
I repel Raize harder and flip the black spear to attack with the butt end, inviting Karii to attack an opening.
As I expected. Karii thrusts a dagger from the right.
-Yosh, he took the bait.
To avoid the dagger, I rotate to Raize’s left.
Raize gets in Karii’s way and he cannot get close enough to attack.
Avoiding the attack by rotating to the side, Raize reacts in that fraction of a second.
The sword in his right hand is thrust downward to stab into my chest.
I use that thrust sword against him.
When my field of view become inverted, I attack. I let my black spear make a figure-eight, and the thrust sword gets entangled like the spear is a black snake.
Raize’s expression becomes distorted as both his arm and the rapier are twisted.
That moment-the sword is Raize’s hand is twisted in revolt. Making a metallic *kiin* sound, the sword separates from Raizes hand and is sent flying.
Raize bends his neck and dodges the flying rapier.
He manages to barely dodge it, but part of of his right ear is cut off and blood oozes out.
The rapier sinks into the ceiling and dangles as it trembles.
In that fraction of a section- I finish my cartwheel.
I break the landing with fighting moji powered legs and stand up.
The image of a gazelle. I stand up quickly with my lower body bent and swing my left fist at Raize’s head.
As a bonus, I eject <chain> at the same time.
-There is a dull sound as the chain penetrates through Raize’s face.
The chain goes straight through his head creating a bloody mist as bits and pieces of his head are sprinkled around the room- it penetrates the upper arm of Karii standing nearby, and pierces the broad wall while tearing apart Karii’s clothes.
<Chain> from a left hook at close range.
The chain is like a piano wire as blood drip from its links.
-I move without waiting.
My body is bathed in blood as I dismiss the chain dripping with blood.
At the same time, I fire off a twisting <thrust> towards the Karii that has suffered an injury.
However, a high-pitched metallic sounds reaches my ears with the feeling of hitting metal.
Karii prevented my <thrust> while moving back to the wide wall.
Hyu~ you did it…grimacing, he stops the black spearpoint enhanced by <thrust> by crossing the two daggers in an X despite his injured arm.
Then, from the shock, Karii’s upper body is exposed as his clothes are torn.
N? He has a tattoo on his right shoulder.
-Black Wings. Around his collarbone from the right side of his chest to his right shoulder, it is engraved on a large scale.
Karii’s expression twists, and he jumps to the side- retreating.
He takes a distance from me.
“Oh my…I give up. Kousan.”
Then, Karii lowers his injured arm limply, and throws away the daggers in his hands.
The daggers leap irregularly.
“What do you mean surrender, I paid lots of gold to hire you-”
“-Annoying, die pig.”
A dagger sinks in the middle of the boss man’s forehead and he dies easily.
Did Karii kick the dagger that he dropped?
It is not only that- this is different, something-
“U~~n, you want to kill me, Kai?”
Karii who killed the fat boss speaks to me.
With a blank eyes, a cunning smile floats on his face
This guy, I do not understand his reasoning.
He was injured, but his joking expression is not broken.
I am curious about the tattoo of the black wings across his chest and shoulder…
I am curious about the tattoo on his cheeks to.
There is a unique tattoo of a knife stuck in a heart there.
It is not the Elf’s, but it reminds of Clydosus whom I encountered earlier.
“…Which ever is fine with me.”
“So- I can’t stand being ‘patient’ anymore.”
The moment his laughing face changes into an ominous curse smile-
His spine suddenly makes a *zowa*
However, there is still something-
Thinking so, I catch it with magic observing eye.
At Karii’s feet a yura-sh guidance moji is activated.
One magic line guidance moji separates from Karii and connect the the stiletto lying on the ground.
Ge, I remember the brutal attacks from Shisho using four short swords…
With a smirking face, Karii approaches the fat boss man, dead in his chair, pulls out the dagger from his head with his uninjured left arm, while the dagger floating in the air with springs at me.
He killed the chairman boss a few minutes ago, but…
This guy, what is Kaisen?
While the dagger flies through the air around me it aims for vital spots.
I repel the dagger flying through the air like a bee with my black spear, and with a battle cry Karii slips past the black spear and aims for my neck with the dagger.
I thrust out with the butt end in return.
Karii shifts his body to the left with an unconcerned expression and dodged the spear.
Like that, rotating around, as if destroying his balance intentionally, he stretches out his left hand to me, and stabs out.
Should I step in a little?
As I dodge Karii’s sharp attack, I kick the floor and move to the side.
I attack with the black spear, using to momentum of my movement, aiming for Karii’s body.
However, Karii jumps by kicking the floor and goes to the other side, avoiding my side sweep.
Karii seems to have lost his balance but his strange movements do not stop.
Karii who turns from the left- counterattacks.
He aims at my shoulder with a slashing attack.
Contrary to my expectation- a dagger flies from behind.
While rotating on my right foot, I catch sight of the small dagger flying from behind, rotate the back end of the black spear towards the dagger- and still dodge to the slashing attack to my shoulder at the last moment.
To gyration of the black spear.
I cut into Karii’s stomach from the left.
But, the black spearpoint is carried away from the dagger is Karii’s left hand.
As expected, he will dodge everything.
Anticipating the movement, I am at tripping up-
Karii jumps- avoiding my kick.
His form is like a gymnast with his feet spread out in a split.
Furthermore, the dagger floating in the air with guidance moji, while it aims at my ankle in the middle of my kick, the dagger in his left hand is aimed from my chest.
In a hurry, I stop my kick.
I turn to receive using the length of the black spear.
I deal with Karii’s synchronized attacks.
Turning the black spear, I catch the biting attack from the dagger in his left hand, and elude the dagger attacking my foot with the lower part of the spear.
Even after Karii’s attack is repelled he does not seem disturbed.
Even as he laughs strangely as he lands smoothly he does not show an opening.
With one leg bent in front and the other behind, he flows while stopping his kill movement.
The sword technique Karii is using seems to belong to some school.
The movement of the dagger with guidance magic is high quality.
This fellow must be proud of his daggers.
One after another, the dagger sneaks around to the blind spot-
Karii attacks in cooperation with the floating dagger.
The person is laughing and looks exceedingly happy.
Again, he wields the dagger with a weird smile- but, I avoid Karii’s attacks, dodging, while repelling, I calmly analyze his movements.
Karii’s breathing is getting labored, so I will win as long as I hold out.
However, I will not do something so boring.
So, I stop fighting normally.
For starters, this floating dagger is troublesome.
After thinking for a fraction of a second.
I eject <chain> from the mark on my left list-
I aim the chain at Karii.
However, I do not have it attack him, and instead have the chain go after the dagger, creating an arch.
The chain moves freely with the permanent skill <Thought Guidance Chain>
The chain moves in a spiral, winding around the dagger Karii is using with guidance moji.
The chain manages the ensnared the dagger.
With his dagger stolen, Karii’s expression completely changes.
He takes a distance from me, retreating, trying to escape.
It might be because of the mana expenditure, his complexion has become pale and he is gasping for breath.
Karii moves his mouth with drawn cheeks.
“…Haa, haa, haa, thi, this isn’t fair. My special guidance moji skill doesn’t work. If it’s like this, it will be my defeat.”
As expected, it was <Guidance Moji>.
I am exceedingly interested.
He uses the <Guidance Moji> that Achilles-shisho taught me.
“Where did you learn it?”
Tandart… I think Achille-shisho lived there before.
“Who did you learn it from?”
“Why do you care? A shisho called Miranda. Though they are already dead.”
It does not feel like he is lying.
“I will not chase after you, so will you overlook me? If you will, I’ll go now.”
It seems he wants to get away.
There is none of the blood thirst I felt before.
“Is that fine? You seem to be a battle maniac…”
“Hahaha, battle maniac? I guess that’s right. But, fighting with you outside of a mission, is nothing other than my own selfishness.”
“It’s like that?”
When I ask, Karii puts a finger to his thin lips and shows a slightly smile.
“…My original purpose was to sneak into the dark guild 【Thorny Tail】 and crush it from the inside. But, you killed ‘Kuna of Darkness’ and ‘Raize of Two Swords,’ interfering so well, easily…I was unable to fulfil my ‘duty.’ The truth is I should be thanking you for this. I said it before…I can’t compete with your strength…my crotch is hard, ma, in the end, this was a painful experience for me…”
Uhe, gross, too much.
Winking, he appeals to his crotch with a weird pose.
Moreover, he is fully erect.
From that tone, I feel like I am being exposed to some poison.
“Well then, remarkable spearman, some other time. ♪”
Speaking unpleasantly, Karii jumps to the window at the back, breaks through the glass loudly and runs away outside.
That moment, from the area behind the mansion, “Go after that man with the black wing tattoo,” “Chairperson, Ooo” “Sound the whistle,” I hear desperate voices.
Thinking I should run away too, I borrow a little of the blood from the dead chairman.
The place where Karii escaped is clear so I escape similarly.
No one is there. That Karii guys seems to have escape from the front conspicuously. The people seem concentrated in that direction.
I activate the <Hidden Body> skill and head directly to the backyard.
It seems Rollo is still waiting under the bush, and as soon as she sees me she jumps up and crawls into my hood.
Now, I will run away.
I return to the enclosed gathering hall first.
I go down the slope that leads underground from the hall, and return to the place where the monsters are trapped.
I wonder what will happen to these monsters.
That’s right. You are all next to escape.
This will confuse the pursuers as well.
I release the monsters in the cages one after another.
The numerous goblins are all yelling at me, but after I cut one in half with the black spear they all turn around and run away in the other direction.
Being tempted by that, the other monsters climb up the slope and escape as well.
After watching the escaping monsters, I run through the underground passage and return to Kuna’s house.
The first stage is complete, but my body is still covered in blood and dirt.
I need to wash…
I let my eyes wander and find a water jar in a corner of the room.
I take a drink with the water jar and use the water from life magic to wash away the dirt and blood.
I wring out my leather clothes to dry them them out.
N~, it still smells.
There is still a faint smell of blood, but this should be good enough for now.
I wear the still damp clothes.
Then, just to be safe, I close and lock the door that leads to the basement.
Continuing, I go outside the shop, inserting one of Kuna’s keys into the sturdy door to go outside.
-There is comforting *kacha* sound.
On the other side of the door is Kuna’s shop, but all of the products inside has disappeared.
The shelves are broken and the few remaining products are damaged.
Still feeling a little disheartened, I run through the decimated shop, I escape outside.
I disappear into the crowd.