This is it for now.
Translated by mranon
Edited by OnionRings
Volume 2, Chapter 23 【A Mysterious Pulse】
For your information, Chapter 22 was revised on 5/3.
Although there is no change in the general flow, please [go through it] if you can.
When he noticed――I was dashing.
Forward, thinking only of how to close in on my opponent.
Grabbing the chance, I stepped my right foot out. Following a backlift stance, I executed a sword strike that could bisect my opponent.
By no means did I think it would be the end. However, it was enough for the opponent to retreat.
Serdio skipped back and shot a look my way.
Although I wanted to treat Logins-san first… it would be impossible unless this guy was incapacitated.
He seemed to have been stripped of his mask during the battle… That guy had sanpaku eyes. With the small ash brown pupils, that were by no means cute, he was glaring at me.
Thanks to that, however, I was able to grasp the opponent’s status.
Name: Serdio Keith
Job: Special Duty Corps Captain
Sword Arts Lv3 (21/150)
Body Arts Lv3 (15/150)
Dark Magic Lv2 (42/50)
…Although I had expected it, his martial skills were at par with me.
The element of his magic skill was dark.
Dark… huh? Although I could use dark magic, too, it was far from the best.
When it came to dark, I could only imagine the dark of the night. Granted it was a poor conception; however, it was easier to imagine in case of other elements.
「――Don’t tell me a brat like you is gonna spoil our plans. Should I rather have killed you, disregarding the intentions of that guy lying over there?」
Aah… like I thought. So, Lim’s and my life was spared by the grace of Logins-san?
「Haha… aren’t you――――quite a lucky fellow yourself?」
Now that his face was naked, his emotions lay bare.
Other than words, the most effective means of conveying emotions was――expression.
Although the emotion of the opponent could be figured out through the air around them or their voice, it would be easier to surmise the emotion of the opponent if their expression were added to the mix.
With the emotion of anger outspread, Serdio cut the distance in a bound.
If there was no difference in the martial skills, the advantage could be gained through stealing a skill or using magic. That the opponent had forged his Body Arts Skill, however, caution had to be exercised in close combat.
Repelling the lateral sword slash executed mercilessly to cut my neck, I delivered a strike from my crouched state to severe the opponent’s arm from the shoulder――
――Far from defending, however, Serdio lunged the base of his palm at my chin from close range.
Although I was somehow able to dodge it by bending my upper body back, the counterattack ended up broken and I had to retreat a step.
「…I hate people like you the most. Only good at lip service… Do you think you’re some ally of justice? Cute brats yearn for it and then get needlessly offended with their half baked strength.」
Ally of justice…? Me?
An ally of justice… who relinquishes the evil and protects the weak?
Nope, wrong. Absolutely wrong.
「You seem to be misunderstanding something, so let me make it clear. I’m not an ally of justice. Running to a faraway stranger just because they want help… Pretending to save everyone… That’s absurd.
About Roy and Minii of the orphanage, it was merely a coincidence.
「Your empire must have circumstances of their own. I won’t conveniently judge anyone as good or bad. But… I want to enjoy my life laughing. Do you think I would enjoy it as someone harmed people close to me? Do you think I would laugh as they were left to cry?」
There might not be such reason.
「At the very least, I wouldn’t. That’s why… Whether my opponent is good or bad, I don’t care. You may be looked up to by your people, for argument’s sake, and this matter may be crucial to your empire… but I don’t care.」
In short, I’m doing it because I want to do it. In this sense――I really am a brat!!
Spitting those words out, I firmed the sole of my foot onto the ground and kicked forth.
I, who had once again closed in, warded the sword strike of the opponent off and slipped in. I defended his right kick to the midsection with my left hand. Utilizing that gap, I thrust the sword out; however, it could only rip his flank.
Fresh blood, lit under the moon, flitted about.
Face and neck… were the only exposed parts of the opponent for his skin to be touched. The rest of his body was clad in a black outfit, making the Thief’s Godly Skill ineligible to be invoked. Quite troublesome.
However, his Sword Arts and Body Arts had already been confirmed visually.
Although my left arm which blocked his kick was in immense pain, it was immediately recovered by Vitality Enhancement since it had not fractured. I lightly shook my arm; however, the pain had already been relieved.
As the wound to his flank wasn’t serious either, Serdio leaked a mumbling voice.
「You really want to do it… don’t you? You have my respect.」
I was not at all happy to receive such a guy’s respect.
「But… to do it, you need enough strength…」
The body of Serdio, who shouted so, lost it’s form as if it had melted into the darkness.
I, who could not understand as to what had happened, had my body momentarily stiffened.
――The moment I realized it was the opponent’s magic, I concentrated my consciousness to invoke Light Magic. However, after hearing a rustling sound from the grass to my right, I assumed a defensive stance.
Upon the voice resounding from the sky, I switched my concentration to my left.
In that instant, a blade which was giving off a dull luster swung down. Under my eye, a cut ripped open vertically on my cheek.
「Kuku… regretting already? Just a little more and you would be in two.」
…had Marita not informed me, it would definitely have been dangerous. Was the noise from right a feint?
For the body to melt into the darkness and conceal one’s presence――an ideal magic for assassins.
Like my optical camouflage, however, it must be quite difficult to imagine.
「I heard from Rey, that you can use magic, too. But… your element won’t be able to outdo the dark.」
Aah… I did remember using Fire Magic in front of the twins at the time of invasion. Moreover, I also used Fire Magic and Water Magic earlier to defend.
Neither Fire nor Water――were capable of countering Dark.
「Next will be the last… cower under the darkest of the dark.」
With those words, Serdio’s body once again vanished into the darkness.
That’s right. What kind of image did the opponent’s magic embody? What type of element could the opponent use? …One would not know until one saw.
――I invoked the magic, which I had prepared, and tossed a ball of light into the air.
Putting strength in my palm, I clenched it into a fist.
The next instant――the space brimming with darkness regained the brightness of noon.
Darkness had been wiped away. As far as the eye could see, light had infringed.
「Gu… a, is this… Light Magic…?!」
In the middle, of the area that was once more engulfed in darkness as the light had subsided, stood bare a man groaning to the point of looking silly.
With his dazzled eyes covered by his hand, he was faltering. I was not so generous as to let such a chance slip.
「――How could you make such a mistake as to think I was not able to use Light Magic?」
I, who had broken into a run after sighting Serdio, closed in on the location that was an arm’s length away. Catching the randomly waved sword, I grabbed his face with my left hand and pinned him down.
「――Let’s dig in.」
I had visually confirmed every skill this guy had. Sword Arts, Body Arts, Dark Magic――every skill.
The rate of success would be 50%.
――I invoked Thief’s Godly Skill.
The sense of invocation was, as planned, three times. And I relished the sense of fulfilment two times.
When I checked the status of the opponent… he only had Dark Magic left.
Although I had stolen the highly anticipated Body Arts and significantly strengthened Sword Arts, I was reluctant to have my skills contaminated by this guy’s.
Well, such a thought was a luxury in itself.
Serdio, who had struggled free of my hand, set his sword up.
At that moment, as if he felt a sense of incongruity, the hand which he was wielding the sword in trembled.
「What… happened? What happened to me?!」
His imploring voice, which had a hint of fright, lacked the ambition it had before.
The sword talent, which there was no trace left of, was that of an amateur’s. He was brandishing the sword with nothing but arm strength.
Without dropping guard, I read the trajectory of the sword swung by the opponent and flicked it off in a circular fashion.
A shrill sound echoed in the space pervaded with silence as the opponent’s sword rolled onto the ground.
「Fuck…!! What’s the meaning of this? Why…」
Catching the fist he had stuck out in desperation, I twisted it. To pull him toward me, I upturned the elbow joint――and launched an upper kick.
The right arm, that had bent in a direction out of the joint’s natural range of motion, had it’s bone fractured completely.
「You inflicted extreme violence on Lim. This is for that…!」
I would not forget how this guy smashed his fist into Lim when she was collapsed onto the ground.
I struck my firmly clenched fist into Serdio’s abdomen with no mercy.
Piercing through the tempered abs, the impact reached the organs… a fast, powerful and precise fist sunk into the innermost of the inside.
「Next… is for Logins-san」
「Gu… you… seem to care about that guy a lot. But there is not much difference between me… and what he was in the past.」
Sitting on his knees, as if squatting, Serdio stood up swaying.
「I’m not talking about what happened ten years ago. Well before that, he――…」
I cut the opponent’s words short.
「I was quite surprised at that story. Honestly, I was shocked. But――does that have any relation to how I can’t tolerate the you now?」
「Like I said… I’m doing it because I want to do it. I won’t do such a pretentiously grand thing as judging someone’s past.」
It was the end of the conversation.
With the sword in one hand, I took a step forth toward the opponent.
Has the opponent not lost their fighting spirit yet? Protecting his fractured arm, he starting running.
I thought he would pick the dropped sword up with the other arm than the dominant one that had been broken. However, I was wrong.
「Kuku… waahahaha!! …never did I imagine I would be using it against such a brat.」
Laughing maniacally, Serdio took something out of his bosom――a jewel I was familiar with.
A white magic crystal――and an extra large one at that.
It was larger than the one treated into Marita’s pendant.
「You can’t tolerate me? In that case, the dialogue hereby breaks down. I had already considered the possibility… of my fighting someone who could use Light Magic that would counter my Dark Magic.」
The White Magic Crystal, which Serdio was clutching tightly in his fist, was clad in a light same as the white inside.
To the best of my conjecture, it must be Light Magic. From the size of the jewel, the strength of the magic seemed to be Lv3… actually Lv4.
Was overwhelming a potentially formidable Light Magic user with an even more formidable firepower his trump card?
I would be hard pressed to counter it with the current Lv of my Light Magic… then counter it with the strongest attack I was capable of? ――dodging it was an option, too.
Although the power of the surefire technique in question was immense, it would take time to prepare.
Fortunately, while the opponent was babbling like a fool, I could proceed quietly with the preparation. Even if it were executed, however, whether it would be able to counter it or not was a concern.
If I rather dodged than forcibly countering it――――
Scared? You can run away. If you did, though… that guy lying behind you would exist no more.
…I see. Behind me was Logins-san collapsed.
What would happen if I dodged? The answer was clear.
「…u… ku, I’m fine. Don’t mind me… dodge it…」
When I momentarily turned to the hoarse voice, I found a not so fine Logins-san behind me struggling to lift his body.
…why am I fated to find myself in such situations?
「You seem to understand. If so, drop your weapon and have the griffon come down. Then――――」
「What… did you say?」
「I said go ahead… release the magic loaded in that White Magic Crystal. What’s the matter? Is the high powered magic too important to be used against a brat?」
「You… piece of shit.」
「Oh god 『Captain』don’t make me laugh――In the end, you had to rely on such a thing…」
「Shut uppppp!! You son of a bitch!!」
As he screamed in indignation, the White Magic Crystal he was holding flashed.
What emerged out of the jewel was a glittering, gigantic spear of light.
As for it’s size, it was fitting for a giant over ten meters tall to wield.
However, I had already completed my preparation.
The Spectral Magic, that manifested through refining an image of synchronous phenomena sublimation, was clad onto the sword.
Holding the sword aloft, I pushed my consciousness to the limit to embody the polished Sword Arts Skill.
―― I brought the sword down with ardour. the spectral sword clashed with the spear of light.
As the white light of the spear scraped the spectral light off, sparks scattered in the air like magic dust.
Although it looked magical, I was being outdone.
As the air trembling vibration was being transmitted to my body, the sword flash was being pushed.
‘Shit’――Even before I thought that, I had concentrated my consciousness to execute the next strike. However, six elements would not be able to be synthesized in time.
Then, should I augment it with light magic? ――Right at that moment, the spectacle of the spectral light having been infringed with a ‘gigigi’ screech reflected on my eyes.
Just before it dispersed.
An alarm bell rang inside my head.
Miraculously, however, a strange voice calling me from the sky penetrated my ears.
With no time to reply, I looked up to find a pendant treated with a jewel shining like a rainbow falling down.
As for the magic it contained, it need not be mentioned.
With no time to say ‘thank you’… I thanked in my heart.
No sooner than I chanted so, it released a sphere of warm light.
Although I had heard from Sheena-san it was a custom to gift it to the one you loved, I just nodded.
…Conjugated with such a silly thought, I prepared my body to execute the next strike.
Once again, I set my sword up――and exhaled.
Before the first attack could disperse, I augmented it with the next one and turned the tables.
As the gigantic spear of light was pushed back, an intense flicker ruled the darkness.
――Right then, a blinding flash spanned and an ear piercing sound of shock reverberated.
「――A… a… h-how did your magic… counter it…?」
Under the twilight that had regained the calm, Serdio said with his head drooped having evidently lost the will to fight.
Y-you… who are you…?」
Even if I answered, I would be troubled to.
Even though I was an adventurer, answering so would be weird in this situation.
An ally of justice? I denied that without any hesitation just moments ago.
…This guy was the one who had abducted Marita. A robber who threatened the kingdom.
Confronting him, I was an individual who came here, driven by my values to take what had been taken from me, back.
I, who had stolen skills, who had stolen a monster from a screaming and shrieking man, who had solicited help from a demon, was now inflicting violence on a powerless man who had lost his skills.
If you looked at just that, this guy would appear innocent.
After immersing in reverie, I came up with an amusing answer.
I was… precisely what my skill suggested I was.
Serdio looked up with a doubtful face. A justified reaction.
「In this world――I steal. What I steal is anything but ordinary.」
「I don’t… get it…」
「You don’t have to get it. Because you――are going to die.」
With a proud feeling, I raise the sword. Without a shred of hesitation.
Regret… not at all…
I myself was calmed down by a wave of a mysterious feeling.
Before I could lop the opponent’s head off――my arm was grabbed by someone.
When I turned around… I found Logins-san clutching his chest.
Although he seemed to barely be able to stand, he pleaded for the sword to be passed.
――After a while of pondering over it, I passed the sword to Logins-san.
「Seiji-san… thank you.」
Saying so, Logins-san called Serdio’s name once and――
――unwaveringly beheaded him.
Although the sword I received was drenched in blood, it regained it’s shine with a swish.
Through the hilt of the sword, a mysterious pulse albeit only for a moment passed on.
Was it because I who had been tensed all this time had relaxed? …With that, a feeling of everything being finally over swept my body.