It was nearing the time when the date changes. Inside Bolton’s mansion in the upper class district, the climax to this uproar was about to happen.
From the reception room, Cordo and Minas were literally blasted into the garden. Rei and Set confronted them together.
At that point, Rei raised a voice of surprise towards the two he was confronting.
Whether it was Cordo or Minas, after receiving an attack that destroyed the wall, the robes on their bodies were no longer intact, showing what was beneath them.
Maybe it would have been a different story if they were wearing a magic item like Rei’s Dragon Robe. However, Cordo and Minas simply wore robes to hide themselves.
It was obvious why such robes were necessary as soon as what was underneath them was revealed.
For Cordo, his facial skin was like a crustacean, similar to the shell of a crab. On his shell covered face, only his eyes were human and unlike the eyes of a crab. His looks made one feel disgust. Compared to Cordo, Minas looked closer to a human. However, her face was still deformed. There were about four different protrusions from her forehead and her ears were almost 30cm long. Still, unlike Cordo, she still looked similar enough to a human woman.
Of course, even so, if an ordinary person encountered Minas at night, they would still fall into a state of panic. Still, it was better than Cordo, whose entire face was covered in a shell.
「……Monsters? Or are you demi-humans? ……No, I see.」
Rei raised his eyebrows slightly when he saw their appearances, but eventually guessed what the two people before him were.
(Elena said that the Bestir Empire simplified the inheritance ceremony. In other words, these guys?)
Rei observed both Cordo and Minas while thinking to himself.
Compared to Elena, who had formally undergone the ceremony at the Alter of Inheritance, the two people before him seem to have stopped being human.
They seemed to be more like a hybrid between a human and a monster.
「What’s wrong? Are you terrified of our appearances?」
Cordo spoke, asking in flat voice with no emotion.
(While they stopped being human, they can still speak human language fluently.)
While thinking to himself, Rei shifted the Death Scythe with a smile.
「No way. I was just surprised you were surprisingly human under those robes.」
「Humans, are we?」
「Ah. If you ignore the things on your face that is.」
「You, have you seen Demon Soldiers other than us?」
Cordo asked, seemingly puzzled. Rei frowned as he thought to himself.
(Demon Soldiers is the name given to people who underwent the simplified inheritance ceremony. But when I think about what they said, there should be quite a large number of them.)
「Well, I wonder. Even if I have met Demon Soldiers other than you, what would you do after hearing that?」
「……What? What do you mean by that?」
「You’re a bit stupid. Is it because you’re Demon Soldiers? Since you’ll be taken out by me and Set, there’s no point even if I tell you.」
「That’s impossible. We, Demon Soldiers, would be taken out by humans like you? Even if you have a Griffon, an A rank monster, in the end it’s just a simple minded monster. The power of a monster and the wisdom of humans. It is us and not you who have combined the two.」
Minas replied unpleasantly to Rei’s words. Nevertheless, she was still wary of the Griffon, which should be stronger than herself. Every time Set moved slightly, she would immediately look towards him.
「Set, I’ll leave Minas to you. Because I want to get more information from them, I want to hand over real Demon Soldiers to Margrave Rowlocks, so if you can, try to just incapacitate them. ……However, only do that if you can. If your position gets dangerous, I don’t mind if you kill him. Any how, we still have Postguerra as a source of information.」
Set gave a cry at Rei’s words. Cordo glanced at them without any emotion while Minas frowned unpleasantly.
「It seems we’ve underestimated these Demon Soldiers one way or another. Okay then, I will crush Cordo’s baseless confidence.」
As soon as Rei said that, Minas took off the robe she was wearing. Underneath, her entire body was covered in scales, like a Lizardman. Even though her entire body was covered in scales, her face, chest and waist still resembled that of a woman. However, the two purple tentacles growing out of each of her shoulders stimulated a physiological sense of disgust.
「Is a fight inevitable? I guess it can’t be helped.」
Cordo muttered as he took off his robe. Unlike Minas, who still had a human figure, although covered in scales, Cordo looked like a mix between a human and a crab. Both his arms were tough looking claws, similar to that of a crab or crayfish. He had three purple tentacles growing from each flank, left and right, similar to the ones growing from Minas’ shoulders. As for his lower body, it was something like a squid or octopus, with slightly less than 20 tentacles with suction cups, growing from his lower body. Each of squirmed around like a worm.
At that, Rei frowned his eyebrows at his irregular appearance that surpassed his expectations.
Speaking of the inheritance ceremony that Rei saw himself, Elena had used a magic stone from an Ancient Dragon. The figure of Elena after safely completing the ceremony was no different from her figure before starting it.
(Although I was told they used a simplified inheritance ceremony……as far as I can see, it seems to be something completely different.)
Thinking to himself, Rei readied his Death Scythe. Beside him, Set was ready to jump at Minas.
「Unfortunately, I have various errands to run tomorrow. I’ll finish this quickly.」
「Your life ends today. You don’t need to worry about tomorrow.」
Towards Rei’s words of provocation, Cordo returned with a flat, emotionless voice as usual.
「Come over here kitty. Even if you’re an A rank monster, you’re still just a monster. The wisdom of humans and the power of monsters. It’s been 20 years since the two of us became Demon Soldiers.」
At Set’s cry, which was filled with fighting spirit, Minas beckoned at him with her scaly hands.
Starting with a preemptive strike, Rei dashed towards Cordo, swinging the Death Scythe down.
Turning towards Rei, who was nearing him, the moment he saw the Death Scythe being swung down, Cordo moved back using his multiple tentacles growing from his low body. But……
Swinging the blade down, Rei activated the skill Flying Slash and a slash flew out. As expected, Cordo was surprised and stopped for a moment. Judging that he couldn’t avoid the attack, he raised both his claws to block it.
The sound of something metallic and unlike a shell was heard……
「That’s a shame.」
Speaking in a flat voice, Cordo moved his claws aside and hopped backwards after blocking the slash.
「I see, it seems like those claws of yours are pretty sturdy. However, there’s only so much you can block. Rather, aren’t you Demon Soldiers? You guys are just the right opponents to train with.」
「……One’s overconfidence will destroy themselves. No, your life will end here anyway. Use it as you please.」
(At that time with Vel, those purple tentacles blocked any attacks. The feeling from that time, the tentacles are the same……well, the difference is that they’re growing directly from their bodies instead of using a magic item in their hands……they didn’t block the Flying Slash though, or rather, they couldn’t? In that case……)
Rei threw a knife he took out from the Misty Ring and shortened the distance to Cordo again.
「This is meaningless.」
Muttering, Cordo parried the knife heading towards his torso using the tentacles growing from his sides. However, that was what Rei had expected. And since he had been expecting that, his next action had already finished.
Aiming for the moment the knife was blocked, the Death Scythe was swung again. Sending a slash flying out……
The tentacles, which had just blocked the knife, could not block the flying slash that Rei had sent out. The three tentacles growing from Cordo’s left side where sliced off together.
「Hey, eat this!」
With those words, the Death Scythe was swung. Cordo saw Rei’s movements and his face distorted into a tearless frown from the pain of the tentacles being cut off. The shell covering his arms was very sturdy. From his past experience in combat, swords, spears and bows, even if he took an attack from an axe or hammer, he wouldn’t suffer a single wound. More often, the weapons that attacked him would be destroyed.
(There’s no doubt that this Rei has a magic item. I won’t be able to destroy his weapon. However, there is no way my shell will break.)
Cordo came to that conclusion, but from the beginning, Rei’s aim was not Cordo’s upper body, which was covered in a solid shell.
It was already too late by the time Cordo noticed. The Death Scythe, which should have been held in his sight, disappeared. The next moment, nearly half the tentacles growing from his lower body were cut off.
He had lost most of the tentacles growing from his lower body. Cordo instinctively realised that and used his remaining tentacles to push against the ground and retreat backwards.
(Impossible. Cutting off the tentacles on my lower body so easily.)
Even though he had experienced many fights as a Demon Soldier so far, he never remembered having his lower tentacles being cut off even once.
Of course, those who had found out that attacking his shell was useless had aimed at the tentacles growing from his lower body, that looked to be soft at first. However, the tentacles that looked like they could easily be cut off were protected by a liquid mucus, making it impossible for common weapons to exert their cutting power against them. As a result, it was unexpected for Cordo to have half his tentacles cut off like this.
「To be able to cut them without putting any magic power into the the blade of the Death Scythe, it seems the tentacles on your lower body aren’t much stronger defensively than the tentacles on your upper body.」
Waving the Death Scythe, Rei muttered as he flicked off the highly sticky liquid stuck on the blade.
Those words were basically a death sentence to Cordo. Because that meant that Rei’s attack power against him could go even higher than it was right now.
「Now then, I’ve checked the hardness of your shell. I also found out about the tentacles on your torso and lower body. ……Do you still have any means of attacking? If not, I would like to finish this fight soon.」
「……I would be troubled if you underestimated us Demon Soldiers.」
After replying to Rei, instead of Cordo, it was Rei’s turn for his eyes to go wide. From the wounds of the tentacles that should have been cut off, flesh swelled and grew. About 10 seconds later, new tentacles had grown back.
「I see. So you have the ability to regenerate.」
Muttering, Rei raised his eyebrows as he thought to himself.
(A crustacean similar to a crab. Three tentacles on each side. A lower body made of tentacles similar to a squid or octopus. ……What kind of monster’s magic stone did he use for the inheritance ceremony? As far as I know, there are no monsters with those features. In that case, did he simply use the magic stone of a monster he didn’t know of……or.)
Rei observed Cordo while holding the Death Scythe.
(Regarding the purple tentacles growing from his sides, considering Vel used a similar magic item, they were probably added after the ceremony. Then a crab like crustacean and the tentacles of a squid or octopus. Speaking of a common point, they’re both sea creatures. ……Well, that’s fine. It’s not my job to investigate this, I’ll leave the details to Margrave Rowlocks’ subordinates.)
「I was certainly surprised about your regenerative abilities, but it seems to be only the tentacles from your lower body. ……Am I wrong?」
That question was a kind of bluff. However, it wasn’t completely guesswork. In any case, the tentacles on his lower body seemed to be distinctly different. It was a question he had only thought about simply. However, Cordo’s face twitched slightly. That alone was enough of an answer for Rei.
「It seems that was the correct answer. In that case, what if I do this!」
Giving a sharp remark, Rei dashed forward and shortened the distance to Cordo.