And some more.
Translated by mranon
Edited by OnionRings
Volume 2, Chapter 22 【Rage】
Revised on 5/3.
I was somehow able to rescue Marita.
To tell you the truth… I was anxious…
For the strategy I formulated had Alba… san the Disaster (※ ‘san’ would be added henceforth since I was indebted to her) infiltrate the enemy’s hideout.
When an existence that could be called the enemy-of-all attacked, the choices of action one could take were limited.
Speaking in terms of my previous life, a ferocious tiger… no, a polar bear- nope, a dinosaur barged into the crime scene where the hostage was being held captive.
‘Hostage? What is it? is it tasty?’ Was the current situation.
The enemy immediately realized that there was no point in using Marita as a shield.
Therefore, the criminal could either fight the dinosaur… or they could take the valuable hostage and escape, which they opted for.
If they chose the former, I planned on entrusting it to Alba-san. If I imprudently made a move, I would only be a hindrance. I of course described Marita’s features and asked for her not to be harmed. There was Logins-san, too; however, having her stop when he was unable to move if he resisted was all the help I was willing to offer him.
And to deal with the case wherein they opted the latter, I borrowed Luna the Griffon (※ authorized by Alba-san) and waited in the air.
Because a number of people had to be dispensed with for an opponent of Alba-san’s calibre, only a few people made a run for it.
From Eleanor-san, I had already heard that they were not large in number; a platoon.
Sending any more to a country, which could not be said to be on friendly terms, covertly would be difficult.
My role was to launch an aerial assault on those fleeing and secure Marita. For now, there was no need to take everyone out.
Once I lifted Marita up into the air, I would succeed.
While I was on standby, I had already confirmed their mounts. They had not a single mount capable of flight. Flying mounts were incredibly expensive. There was a reason why they were owned by the likes of royalty.
However, the moment Marita took an ‘irregular’ action, I was scared out of my wits. Even though I was unable to catch on their conversation, I could tell from the distance that the situation was all but normal.
‘I’m glad she jumped off…’ or not. At some point of time, she had inflicted an injury to herself with a short sword. I didn’t have the leisure to stay still anymore.
Thus, I was able to save her. Everything was OK.
Thereafter, I took Marita and escaped. Fortunately, no one present there could see my face. The scariest scenario would be the Souven guys escaping now and retaliating afterward.
Once I sent the signal to Alba-san, she would cease the annihilation. After we rendezvoused at the designated point, I would return Luna to her――correction: I would swap her for Rook. With this, everything would be over.
Even though Marita’s safety had been guaranteed, I still had some regret.
Of Marita, whose graceful face was currently crumpled into tears, I gently enquired.
「Hey… is it true that he was helpless, as he was being threatened to obey them?」
I wanted to have a detailed account, but I didn’t have the leisure of taking my time. Since I assumed Logins-san to be an accomplice, I was like「Donation? To his arch-enemy? I don’t get it…」 If such was the case, I would have to change my approach.
「Logi… my… moth… er, but… still…」
「Sorry, I didn’t get it. What did you say?」
The words of Marita, who was sobbing convulsively, were incomprehensible to me who could even comprehend monsters’ words.
「I get it. Alright, you just have to nod. Logins-san――――Is still important to you?」
――Even though it was brief, Marita did *kokuri* nod.
「…N, that’s all I wanted to hear. Ah… right, I was asked to return this to you.」
I took a pendant with a spectral shine out of my bag. The one with the white magic crystal.
「Logins-san asked me to give this back to you when you have returned to safety, so I am giving it to you now. From here on, I will be acting on my own. I don’t know how it will turn out, but Marita should rest assured.」
Saying so, I put the pendant on her neck and lightly patted her head. Her tiny body momentarily quivered. Albeit only just, her sobbing seemed to have subsided.
「…What? Don’t! I will fall off this fellow.」
After caressing Luna’s body, I who had dismounted *pon* clapped. Thereupon, it slowly took off into the air with Marita on its back.
As you would expect, it was different from if I were recognized as its master. I was even almost bitten when I met it earlier today.
Someday, I would tame such a monster… it would probably need Lv3… maybe Lv4.
While thinking so, I turned my gaze to the people who were running in.
Logins-san… followed by three men in black.
「Are you… the demon…?」
The voice of the man who enquired so of the hooded me, I remembered clearly. The man who inflicted violence on Lim when the mansion was invaded. Suspected to be their captain――Serdio, if I remember correctly.
I threw the robe off and greeted the man.
「Why thank you. You really are Serdio-san, huh? It’s been a while.」
「You… from back then…?!」
「Uwaa… Back then…」
「…You have fallen silent. So the mistake earlier was not light.」
Judging from their reactions… The other two men in black seemed to be the guys from back then. It would be even more convenient.
「You’re… not a demon. What connection do you have with the demon?」
「Huh? I don’t understand what you’re saying. Demon who? I came here to rescue Marita.」
「Don’t fuck with me! Like hell there could be such a coincidence. You have a connection with the demon… filthy scum.」
「…Oh well. Shout all you want, but it won’t change the fact that you’ve lost. Marita has escaped into the sky. Neither magic nor arrows would reach there. Even if one did by any chance, that fellow would have all the time to dodge it.」
「That griffon! To have such a monster for a mount… Who the heck are you…?」
Not just questions, I wanted some answers, too.
「By the way, Logins-san. I may have misunderstood, but… everyone is safe back at the orphanage. So, you don’t have to obey them anymore.」
「R-Really? But how…」
…I’m glad. Logins san is still the Logins-san I know.
「The subordinates must be there. How can you so easily――」
「Aa, shall I show you the evidence?」
Shortly after I whistled-――Kuroko alighted on my shoulder.
「You must recognize this fellow, right? It seems to have taken a liking to me. Oh god, it was so embarrassing. Its former master almost cried out loud.」
「Are you angry? Eeh, I have been angry, too, for quite some time. More angry than you… more than a thousand times――you asshole!」
As to why I was deliberately waiting here, I had 『some』 regrets.
First was Logins-san, of course.
And the other was――
「――I repay all my debts with interest. I will drag your sorry asses to the lockup.」
I loosened the fist that I had been clenching tightly. After placing it on the hilt of my dear sword Noir, I clenched it back. The slightly curved blade produced a pleasant ‘shari’ sound as it slid out of its sheath. I thrust the blade, that had blent with the darkening surroundings, at the three in front of me.
Now that Marita had been rescued, I had the leisure to do whatever I wanted to. Just because she had been rescued to safety, I would quickly leave…? That was certainly one plan of action. However, there was one more: not letting even one criminal go… Repaying the debt, that is.
「Logins-san, you ARE going to help this time. Sorry, but I wouldn’t like to be had from behind a second time.」
「If it were Albert-san, even he would understand this time.」
While I was wondering at Logins-san’s vague words, Serdio uttered as if mocking.
「Fu… This guy is not as good as you think. The lord will understand this guy? Don’t you think it’s impossible… when this man is the one who killed his beloved wife?」
「…Wha? I didn’t get what you said.」
Does he intend to chip away at my strength when I lose composure? Or does he plan on buying some time to come up with a way of dealing with Luna…? Unfortunately, Luna wouldn’t bat an eye even if I died.
「You can say whatever you want to. I wouldn’t be swayed by such a bluff――」
――――Result: I was swayed, somewhat.
Eh… Is what he said true? D-Doesn’t what I’m imagining have an element of a soap opera?
No, only after I confirmed with Logins-san could I determine whether what Serdio said was true or not…
「That’s true, indeed. I’m most likely the one… who killed Phylia-sama.」
――From Logins san, I heard the complete account of the incident.
What do I do… it’s quite serious.
「In the end, you cannot protect anything. The man who could do nothing when it mattered the most… who had his hands stained is now guised under a clean mask. I highly appreciate your skills, though. After all, the one who trained me; the one who taught me this work… was you.」
「…Do you still have no intention of coming back to us? You are not meant to be a butler. If you cannot condone us using that girl, we can think of another way. But first, we have to take care of this guy――」
Sweet talker. Was he always this good at talking? This guy.
In case Logins-san sided with the enemy, it would be 1 vs. 4. It would be a bit impossible.
I didn’t want to say this… because I was troubled. I merely wanted to speak my mind.
「――Sorry to interrupt, but who are you exactly? ‘Cannot protect anything’… Hasn’t Logins-san been protecting someone who Phylia-san valued for more than ten years? I may sound sweet, but don’t you, too? The culprit behind this incident shouldn’t speak so proudly.」
Although what happened in the past would not be settled with this…
「I’m shocked at learning about Phylia-san, too, but it’s up to her family how they receive it. It’s not your place to butt in. ‘Not meant to be a butler’? Logins-san’s style carves into the eye exactly as a butler’s, you asshole.」
「To Marita――Logins-san is important even now. She herself said that, so you shut your mouth.」
And those words of his were completely second hand. Although I was not entirely quoting her either… words spontaneously leaked out.
「If you intend to protect, Logins-san, you must persevere until you are satisfied with yourself. Taking responsibility, in my opinion, is your duty.」
Although it was somewhat embarrassing, I believed what I said to not be wrong. It might be called immature to an extent, but――after a moment of silence, Logins-san opened his mouth.
「Seiji-san is a bit young… and quite honest. This head of mine, who doesn’t think what you said is entirely correct, must surely be stubborn.」
After saying so, he unsheathed a slender sword――and pointed it to Serdio.
「It has been a while since I last saw you with a sword. Shall I have you show me how much your skills have improved? Also… I should have taught you how to keep your tone from quickening when you lie.」
「…You, who retired――no, ran away… so proudly…」
Grinding his teeth, Serdio uttered swollen with anger, as he set his stance up.
To tell you the truth, the one whom I wanted to pay back the most was this guy――… However, when I turned my line of sight a bit, I caught Logins-san with an 「I will be taking on this man」 expression.
Although I was smacked right after those words last time, it seemed safe this time.
Logins-san and this guy seemed to be related. Logins-san must be livid at this incident, too. So I did not hesitate in leaving it to him.
I couldn’t view Serdio’s status; however, Logins-san’s skills—《Sword Arts Lv3》, 《Body Arts Lv3》 and 《Earth Magic Lv2》—were not inferior to any high ranked Adventurer’s. Although comparing him to Alba-san was excessive, he wouldn’t lose easily.
「…Got it. I will join up there, though, once I’m done here.」
――Then, are the remaining two my opponents?
「Wai… isn’t it bad? This sequence」
「Can’t be helped… If we don’t take care of this guy…」
The weapons taken out by the two, whom I was facing, were a whip and a sword. The man’s one seemed similar to the twin swords from last time. But why is there only one…? Aah, was the sword in marita’s hand this guy’s?
Well then… Let’s begin――shall we?!
I put strength into the foot I had firmed into the ground. Setting the sword up in line with my eyes so my body’s centre of gravity wouldn’t deviate, I darted off.
I had the option of employing magic to attack; however, there was a possibility it would be evaded when there existed distance. In case of a small scale battle, it was more effective to use magic after a little beating. I learnt that from Alba-san with my own body. Although these two were no threat, complacency was a sin.
First, I targeted the man holding the sword. Driven into a fully powered strike, his sword screeched loudly.
When I tried to chase the man who had fallen back to gain distance, the whip lashed from the side. Like last time, it was a coordinated move.
Shifting my body weight to my feet, I back stepped, dodging the consecutive whip strikes.
I, who had my posture destroyed in the process of escaping the whip’s range of attack—――was next bombarded with magic by the two at the same time. Quite troublesome… it was.
(ED Note: Yoda speak -_-)
If I remember correctly, the woman could use Water Magic――in that case, I would have to counter it with Fire Magic. However, the man’s magic was…?
As I willed for 《Shield of Fire》 to invoke, I turned my line of sight to the man. Around his held out palm, particles of flame had started to form. His magic was… Fire?
In the next instant—an Ice Shot and a Flame Shot were fired simultaneously.
Although it would be best if I could dodge, the range of the shots was considerably wide. I would have to counter it with magic.
I stabbed the sword into the ground and invoked magic in both hands.
I negated the Ice Shot with the 《Shield of Fire》 and the Flame Shot with the 《Shield of Water》. As the particles of ice were evaporated by the wall of flame and the particles of flame were thwarted by the wall of water, steam whirled up.
「No way… this guy can use multiple types of magic…? What the actual」
「Somehow… I want to run away」
This time… it was my turn.
There was a prospect of refining composite element magic… However, it would take time. The unification of sword and magic was possible with a single magic, but its potential… Although those two were in a confused state, I had better prioritize speed of invocation over power.
Reducing the volume of the flame to the utmost limit while increasing the density to the utmost limit… shaping it into a blade――I clad the sword in such an imagined flame.
「…Eat this」 ――Beheading Blaze Burst!!
The flame, the image of which had become clearer after having a name attached to it, surged up and charged at the two. The one who stepped forward to defend was the woman. Although I had darted off concurrently with firing the technique having considered the possibility of evasion, she chose to negate it with a counter element.
「S-Such a… thing――Ho-w――――」
Following a *bon* small explosion, the woman who had been blown back tumbled onto the ground.
Anxious, the man shouted. Without wasting the opportunity, I massively slashed the sword through Gyaku Gesa. (TN: He executed Gyaku Kesa Giri which in simpler terms is a cut from hip to opposite shoulder)
With the opponent’s sword snapped and hurled away, I delivered a blow to the side with the back of the overturned sword. As I sensed god knows how many bones fracturing, the man collapsed onto the ground and lost all movement.
For confirmation, I approached the blown off woman.
Since the mask of the woman had come off due to the shock of the explosion, her face was bare. Black eyes under black hair… unlike westerners, her features had an oriental chic.
「As I suspected… from back then…」
「U… ku, what…?」
「Once again, I’m really sorry. For that candy.」
「As an apology, should I send you a candy in the prison?」
「The compensation will be ten times… stuu-pid――…」
With that parting shot, the woman lost consciousness. That last exchange might have subsided the sour feeling from the matter with Lim; however, it had also furthered my pride. I put grasping and stealing their skills off.
I must go to Logins-san’s support right away.
As I turned back, my line of sight caught slightly distant silhouettes of the two engaged in a battle.
――The slender sword in Logins’ hand, bent, repelled his opponent’s sword strike.
Although the shape of the sword was suited to stabbing, the sword blade, which was capable of slashing, grazed Serdio’s body as it cut through the air.
「…It doesn’t seem like your skills have declined.」
「You seem to have improved your skills very much.」
「Obviously. Unlike you, I haven’t been living a carefree life…」
As the sword thrust out by Serdio lightly ripped Logins’ left shoulder, fresh blood spilt out into the air. To drive his faltering left side away, the sharp kick he was delivering to his mid-section switched to his upper-section.
Logins had seen through the change in the kick. He unhesitantly swung the hilt of his sword down to smash the knee――kneecap of the foot which he had caught in the process of defending.
The move that faster than even a stroke of blade――Serdio barely dodged it and stepped back.
「――You really believe what that guy spouted?」
「That was nothing more than a pathetically bad lip service. I don’t know what that girl thinks, but do you think the lord will forgive you?」
「Not at all. I reckon Albert-sama has been told everything. I don’t think he will forgive me. Even if he forgives me, my being by his side will only add to his troubles…」
In reply to Logins’ words, a voice filled with laughter resounded.
「That’s unfortunate. If you chose to contentedly live your carefree life once again, I thought I could request cooperation of you once more. In future――」
The words that were about to be spun were forcibly interrupted. The slender sword silently struck and tore Serdio’s mask apart.
His blonde hair trimmed short and his ash brown pupils goggling through the white, which occupied the most of his eyes, lay bare. Wiping the blood off his cheek with the back of his hand, Serdio glared at the opponent before him.
「For you… there’s no future.」
「Ku…kuku… are you angry?」
「――Whatever you do, do it efficiently… Use anything that can be used… Who was it that taught me so?」
「I, I suppose.」
「To pick up a shit like me, who was on the verge of dying a dog’s death, I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart. Then you taught me various things… From how to wield a sword――――to how to kill people.」
Inside his eyes filled with the thirst for blood, a slightly different glint could be seen.
Logins, who was confronting him, put a curt reply forth without bringing a change about in his expression.
「But that person, moved by affection, has now retired.」
「…What are you trying to say?」
「What that guy said. Responsibility… The one who raised me to be such a human being was you. So… you should take responsibility… no?!!」
He lunged with a stab; however, it was flicked by Logins.
「‘Take responsibility and kill me,’ is that what you want to say?」
Thereafter, with the softness in his voice gone, Logins’ tone only had a trace of indifference and coldness.
「――…Don’t get excited. I will take responsibility. Serdio… I will kill you right here.」
「Fu… haha! To me, you sound just like your old self.」
――The two exchanged attacks with the intention of taking the other’s life… However, no one could deal a fatal blow.
Only the shape of the swords they were wielding differed; body movement――the way they moved their bodies resembled each other closely.
It was because of this resemblance that they were missing a decisive blow.
Because the one who taught Serdio the art of battle――was Logins.
After crossing swords many a times, Logins pushed his opponent’s body with his shoulder and opened up the distance.
Concentrating his consciousness in that interval, he drew magic out. If an outcome could not be reached with either the Sword or the Body Arts, a different ingredient had to be added to the mix.
Before Logins raised his hand――Serdio had sensed the danger and jumped sideways.
Although Serdio, too, was one of those rare humans blessed with the aptitude for magic, magic itself was the manifestation of an individual’s image. Since chanting and such was unnecessary, what magic the opponent would use could normally only be understood after seeing it.
However, Serdio had predicted as to what magic his opponent was intending to use.
It was further confirmed when he witnessed a stone pillar, which appeared as if it could lock an ankle, emerge where he was previously standing.
「Ha! you expect me to be caught by such a thing――」
Logins, who had edged to the side after having calculated that his opponent would evade, stuck his sword out.
However, before the sword could pierce through his throat――Serdio’s body, as if it melted into the darkness, evanesced.
To the muttered words came no reply.
Serdio, who had concealed his presence, could not be expected to give his location away.
Logins, who was breathing slowly, closed his eyes and set his sword up quietly.
――The moment Serdio appeared behind Logins and raised his sword――as if it had been anticipated, the slender sword was thrust at his throat.
「If I must say… somehow. Well… it’s over.」
The two were so close that they could clearly see each other’s face.
In the mind of Logins, the face of the man when he was still a boy resurfaced.
In such a place as Souven Empire, where the rich class and the poor class were clearly demarcated, no one would bat an eye even if the poor died in the middle of the street.
Although he picked him up on a whim, he taught him various things since he was blessed with talent.
――Logins held the memories of the days bygone back from resurfacing and put strength in the fist which he was wielding the sword in.
What Serdio whispered――was the name that Logins had cast away over ten years ago.
And… it was a name which the boy, who was in no way civil, used to call him by from behind.
――――For a brief moment, he stopped thinking.
I glanced at the two who were engaged in a battle, and confirmed the situation.
Apparently, the battle had come to a conclusion; Logins-san was stabbing the sword at the man.
To have such an evil face… that man was undoubtedly Serdio.
If it were to be over so quickly… it would be too easy on him.
When Alba-san finished hers… it would be all over?
Let’s have Marita come down then.
I called Luna down by waving toward the sky.
However, from the back of Luna, who was descending slowly, Marita screamed.
Where Marita was looking and where I had previously been looking――was the body of Logins-san, collapsed onto the ground.
Under the gloomy sky was the sword of Serdio died red.
How did it… turn out… like that?
「…That’s why I said. You have turned too soft.」
Saying so, Serdio stomped on Logins-san’s body. He, who was bleeding from around his chest, leaked a groan.
「――Remove your dirty foot right now. If you don’t, I will cut your useless ears off.」
「Well… If you went through the same, would that princess come down just as anxiously?」
「Unfortunately… you can’t talk your way to me.」
Aah… he is hopeless. I Guess I will―― kill him.