Chapter 17 – The Martial Exhibition Meet at Dusk
The inn I was staying at『Bermuda』was an inn along with an adjacent bar and dining hall made. One can at anytime eat food. If you show the key for room, then you would get discount.
But, if I go at such a place in this situation -while a rumour of an『Adventurer in Black』is spreading- it would definitely get troublesome.
Well I’m doing this work for living so I need to be ready for these things……but I won’t like it to deal it with it from today only.
I needed to prepare my heart, but there were also other reasons too.
And so, when I thought about something to deal with it, I decided to let Tanya-chan bring some amount of food to my room.
Originally, they don’t do this sort of service, because of patterns like going to the rooms for delivering food and then remaining there.
In my case, it was due to trust.
Along with gratitude, I ordered the food while giving the tip to Tanya-chan. It was at the time I was about to……return to my room after ordering.
I saw Elk leaving the inn and was looking like she had made some sort of strong determination but was also looking like she was sad.
I felt a bad premonition, so I tailed Elk,
along the way, I cleaned up the people who were on the lookout around the inn.
In front of me was Elk with her eyes opened wide which seemed to spill tear at any time and many men who seemed ill-bred standing as if surrounding her.
I was hearing and seeing the talk, though not from the start, so I more or less knew about the situation.
And I was also able to guess that these guys were not so admirable to accept the sacrifice of someone and not lay hand on the other person.
I knew that due to the experience of thief subjugation I practiced with mom.
Even so, the reason I didn’t do anything till now was to confirm Elk’s determination.
How should I put it, while the talk was going on a feeling like ambition or something that said to not interfere was being leaked out of her.
As if it was saying to not go back down no matter what anyone said.
From her seriousness revealing eyes, it was clear that she wasn’t speaking a single lie. The thieves after listening to her decision from the start showed their vulgar side.
I couldn’t bear to watch it anymore, so I trespassed in their territory.
I jumped from the building, kicking the wall of building one last time I increased my distance in air.
Just like I had wanted, I landed right besides Elk.
“……Thank you for hard work, Elk. It was really troublesome, right?”
Seeing me in front of her, Elk was surprised and for some reason, her eyes had a sign of relief hidden.
Was she expectation the talk to go like this……no she wasn’t. Because Elk completely lost her determination just some minutes before.
Then maybe she was thinking『*Sigh* This can do almost anything, eh』while seeing me in front of her eyes. I’m grateful that you can understand it.
But well, her mind was still in chaos.
Even before I could think about what to say to her, the leader like man whom Elk was talking to, spoke.
“Hey, you actually did come here. Really……I was thinking of snatching everything from you along with the rewards from the snake.”
The man said as such in a not amusing tone. I don’t know his name.
“It’s you right, who beat all the kidnappers yesterday after being deceived by Elk and……the adventurer in black who killed a snake-like amazing monster today? Thanks to you we suffered great losses, what are you gonna do about it?”
Elk with a start trembled maybe because of feelings of guilt and uneasiness after she heard the words『After being deceived by Elk』. Anyhow, I patted her shoulder and calmed her down saying that I didn’t mind it.
Well, I didn’t like someone saying shit to me, so I replied back.
“Thank you for telling me what you know. I don’t even want to sympathy you or guess your true intentions, just shut your shitty mouth and get out of here you lower-than-sewer-rat scumbags.”
As if as expected, the moment I said it, irritation and bloodlust swelled up within my surroundings.
It won’t overpower me but still it leaves the unpleasant feeling.
The face of Leader hadn’t changed much, but a vein propped on his forehead.
“Hmph, if she is a hypocritical idiot, then you too are an idiot to follow her. Can’t you see the situation you in?”
“The ugly faces that I don’t want to see are lined up. Is this for making me nauseated?”
“……It wasn’t good for you to say that……Oi, come out you people!”
Here it comes, the cliché historical drama villain lines saying『Come out Come out!』
From inside the shadows came out several number of people. Just how were these many hiding?
One-two-three…… 40 people in total, huh?
Well, I already knew about them.
Elk’s face turned pale because she didn’t knew about it, due to the man speaking at first as if looking down saying ‘Serves you right’ I decided to calm down Elk later.
“I know you are more powerful than normal people, so I have already made preparations. ……In truth, I was going to attack you after you had taken the reward.”
“Wow, you’re unexpectedly prepared? They are all prepared from before.”
“I had them come here because there was a possibility that, that bitch would betray. It she did such a thing, then the business is doomed, you know.”
I see, so he had already anticipated Elk betraying and bringing me here to beat them all. So it looks like he has a brain.
“Don’t even think about foolish things like resisting? People here are not all of them but still there are people of Rank C and D. If you try to resist then it won’t just end up with small injuries.”
“Geez, you have gathered quite a lot in just 1 day.”
We have the『Malras Association』behind us, it’s a easy job to gather outlaws. From what I have heard, it seems like you won luckily against that『Snake』, so you can’t win against these many numbers.
……I don’t know what that Mal something is, but looks like these guys got some really different information from somewhere. I understood it from the phrase he said.
Looks like the rumour is about me defeating the snake using the walls and ceiling and floor of the labyrinth which had gotten soft due to earthquakes.
I have a delicate and frail looking body(am told by everyone), just from where did that complementary rumours start from? Well, it’s convenient for me, saves me the trouble.
Apart from that,
on the face of man was a really creepy and evil smile affixed as if believing he would win with the numbers.
……*Sigh*, just why are all villains like these.
I don’t want to hear his voice and don’t want to see his face too anymore.
At that instant,
I sensed the magical power rising from 7 o’clock behind me -It is the sign of magic starting to activate- and threw Elk away from myself.
The moment, the bewildered Elk landed on her back,
The sound of explosion resounded.
A fireball came flying at me from somewhere and hit me.
“……!? Oi, who was it, who fired something like that all of a sudden!”
“Isn’t a little fine. I just gave my thanks for beating my friends yesterday?”
“Dimwit! I told you we will sell him too! He has a good face too, if he got a burn or something, then the price will fall down, bastard!”
“Ah, Don’t worry about. It won’t work on me”
Everyone present at that place froze after they heard the voice which came from the fire.
A fire erupts from my body which was more powerful than the power of the fireball magic. I show myself with no injuries at all to everyone.
……If they told me that my appearance itself was abnormal, I can’t actually refute to it.
I didn’t knew what sort of magic was the current『Fire Ball（Temporary）』for, but it didn’t vanish even after exploding. So I just used my fire magic to vanish it.
Just like how I did at the time with big serpent from water and light. This time I used the fire magic and covered my body to cancel to the fire surrounding my body.
As expected, many thieves stepped back upon seeing my unhurt body, but Elk who had already seen my outrageousness in the labyrinth wasn’t that much surprised.
“……*Sigh* It was foolish of me to even worry about you……”
……on the contrary she was amazed? No, she was looking at me as if it was natural? Why?
I didn’t thought much about it at that time.
Aside from that, I finally understand now.
The leader only seems rational here. Other will most probably try to capture us as soon as we try to do something. They really are irritated a lot.
They were irritated due to Elk’s attitude from before and my words also added oil to the fire.
But well, if they are agitated, it makes the work more easier for me.
“Elk come on”
“Eh? Ah, Y,Yeah……”
I held out my hand to the fallen Elk. After helping her stand up, I poured magic in my hand without leaving her hand.
While the time Elk was having a『?』floating above her head,
“Elk, I want you to do something, or rather, I want you to pay attention to something, can you understand?”
“? Err, it’s about you, so……maybe running from here?”
“Wrong. I can’t think of Elk escaping successfully from these many people.”
“……You say it quite bluntly. Well, you’re right. Then, maybe, you want me to hide somewhere that I don’t be a hindrance? So that I don’t become a hostage”
“Close enough but wrong. Even if you try to hide, with this many people some will definitely follow you.”
“Then, what should I do……”
Immediately after that,
The magic power poured in my hand was transmitted to Elk, her body was soon clad in phosphorescence like a firefly.
At the same time, Elk’s eyes widened with surprise, most probably because she must have felt her body weight getting really low.
In truth, she not only became light but also had her offensive power and defensive power increased.
After all, I used my hand as an intermediary to transmit『Elemental Blood』in her body.
This『Other Person Enhancement』doesn’t actually administer magic in the blood vessels, but just works like a normal enhancement magic to increase physical strength.
But, it was more powerful than any normal enhancement magic. This much should be enough.
It’s disadvantage was that the other person must always be in contact with me or in 10 seconds the effects will be cancelled, but I was going to fight while protecting her so it wouldn’t pose a problem.
I increased her physical abilities so she could match my speed only.
“……You want me to fight together?”
“No, it will be good enough if you just be by my side and keep on getting protected. It will be easier for me to fight then.”
“Ah, Hmm. So this is for that?”
It saves me the trouble if you can understand it quickly.
Well, it would be good enough if she can match my pace.
“Elk, do you know how to dance?”
“I don’t know something elegant like that”
“I see. I also don’t know”
“Then why did you ask it!?”
“No, just if you knew how to dance then you would have matched my pace on your own. It was in the end a short-lived hope. ……*sigh*”
“Don’t say it like I’m not good!”
“Yes, yes. Well then, you don’t seem nervous anymore. Let’s start?”
“Eh…………You planned it out?”
“Sorry, Sorry. But it did help you calm down, right?”
“Geez……I really get tired mentally whenever I’m with you”
“It’s good that you are lively right now. Here they come!”
And, surely the moment later,
I didn’t knew for what reason did one of the men attacked, but I rotated my body and kicked him far away while embracing Elk tightly.
The curtains to a bloody fight opened up near the wastelands on the outskirts of city at dusk.
From the conclusion, it would have been better to say that the fight was one-sided only.
Let it be 10 or 40 of them, bluntly speaking, it didn’t made much difference to me. Just the time taken to break them would increase.
I even had completed the training for fighting while protecting someone when I went to subjugate thieves under the supervision of mom.
The contents were simple.
I had to fight against several thieves while protecting the powerless girl……acting mom.
If, I had made a mistake and let an attack land on her, then she would’ve kicked and killed that thief hard. I would pass if the number of people taken down by mom were 0……I had thought of doing that, but,
Somewhere along the way, it was discovered that mom was more dangerous than me and then nobody even came near us. ……Well, it happens.
The reason it still ended up as 0 person getting killed by mom was because even if others attack were to hit mom it won’t even itch due to her enhanced body and defence power.
I tried to protect Elk using that experience, but it turned out to be more easy than what I had imagined.
Well the fighting experience of the men was low, but what helped me more was that Elk kept up with my pace by herself.
Whenever I gave a roundhouse and rotated my body for it, she moved to the place with no enemies.
She was slipping through attacks, without losing much power and was able to keep up with me.
Sometimes, she sensed the enemies approaching from my back, she would kick them, cut at them and break their bones. This might be little rude, but it did surprise me.
No, well her body had been enhanced, but still it was really a surprise to see her refined movements.
Her moves were sharp and refined along and it seemed like her situation assessment powers are really good.
Maybe, she has a talent in this sort of fighting style……?
Anyhow, she fought like that……to not narrow her aim, she jumped, rolled on ground, rotated, she showed flashy but precise movements and fought with me.
Though it might be singing our own praises, but I still think that our fighting style was vivid and elegant dancing fighting style? maybe.
More briefly, it was like the SFX effects going along with the moves of a Hero like character.
Still with all this and my reviews on this, there were unnecessary movements compared to when normally fighting.
Thanks to the low experience of the men, it helped the on-the-spot-made fighting style, anyhow, all right in the end.
At that pace, the number of people around us started to go down gradually.
They came at us even after seeing the scene of their other allies being mowed down, but in the end they too joined their friends group.
The wastelands which was filled with the bellows of thieves with bad countenance started to quiet down.
There was no longer anyone with a calm and composed posture, all of their faces turned pale seeing the scene of their friends falling down due to flashy and menacing Taijutsu……
“Nh, looks like it is impossible to run on walls?”
“If you know it, then don’t do it!”
I ran on the wall of the ruined buildings for some reason that I forgot while I dodged the attacks.
But, it really was too much. To cover it up, we slided with our hands joined and thanks to that we were able to fight without twisting our hands. [ET: Even I couldn’t get the meaning of the sentence.]
And while time I was kicking a person in front of me, one person from behind attacked me. I gave him an elbow blow and finished him with a roundhouse kick.
Ah, these guys have fighting experience. No, just surrounding us from both sides.
“……It seems like, strangely, my movements have gotten better……I don’t know exactly why. It’s my first time feeling this”
“? Well, I am making it possible, though”
“No, not that. Well, my physical abilities have increased, but for some reason I can see from where the attacks are coming, more than anything……I can somehow know how you are going to move.”
“……Eh? Elk too?”
Well, it’s the same for me.
For some time, I can somehow know how Elk is going to move even if I don’t look at her.
That’s why I’m leaving the attack and evasion to Elk and I only follow-up when it’s a dangerous time. While keeping in mind that our hands remain joined.
Now that I think about it, Elk……is fighting as equals to the people of same or higher rank. It seems strange somehow.
And even though without seeing her, I was able to assess her movements. Just what is this situation……?
“Maybe, we both are compatible?”
“We are quite a dangerous combination then……whoops!”
One more person went down by Elk’s knife while evading the person’s attack.
Intentionally or not, but we hadn’t hit any vitals. There were no dead till now.
But, in case of Elk, she was using knife, therefore there were some who were in really bad state and will die if not treated.
I was also holding back, so I hadn’t killed anyone, but I had been moving to protect Elk, so I had been using more power than ever I had against human beings.
Most probably, there were some with major fractures……well, not like I cared.
……While I was thinking that, even before I knew it,
“Ah, looks like it will be over soon, what you gonna do? Err, Leader-san?”
All had been beaten up badly and now only the leader man was left. Quite cliché.
He had lost his calm and composed posture, his face had turned pale, it looked like he would fall down by himself.
“……! Impossible……I had dozens of men gathered……”
“A cliché line you said there. Err, Elk what should we do at this point? Will it be good to just take the promissory note, tear it off and throw it?”
“You’re right, but you can’t tear and throw it. It is an official document after all. Along with that truth, we just need to report to guard about their and『Malras Association』’s relation with kidnapper, everything will be over then. ……as for testimony, I will do it.”
The moment Elk said so, the man’s face paled further.
It seemed like, the things Elk said will be dangerous for them.
“I was a fool to think everything will be over by my sacrifice. If were going to do something, then it should be done thoroughly. I thought it would be bad if the association had links in the dark areas……from that complexion, it seems like I’m not wrong.”
“Will it be okay with your testimony only?”
“If it is less, then here are some lying on ground for helping. They’re not the people who are loyal to their employer.”
Near our foots were, the fainted and near-dying mixed group of kidnappers and money lenders etc.
Surely they seemed like fools who were hired with money. They always knew that they would get punishment sometime and so tried to take even 1 more person with them. Their employer surely wouldn’t try to save them intentionally.
“Eh, Elk?! If you tried it then you will to be captured for same crime! If we tell anyone about you supporting the kidnappers, you’ll be expelled from guild and either sent to jail or sold off as a criminal slave……”
“Just like I wanted. I already had the determination to go for a hell tour. And, now that I can take you people too, I will happily give my testimony or anything.”
“W,Wait! Don’t be rash, let’s discuss first……T,That’s right! You want this right!”
The man took out a single paper from his bosom.
Elk’s eyes widened after seeing it. I tried to see what it was that caused Elk to be surprised, it was the……『Promissory Note』?
Moreover, in the Name column was『Elk Caucus』written. Is this of Elk’s debt?
The man took out a seal-like object from the same bag, and pressed it against the promissory note.
Upon looking at it,
“……What is this『Invalid』thing?”(Minato)
“! By any chance, is this the invalid seal used at the time of cancelling a contract!?”(Elk)
“T,That’s right! W,With this Elk, you’re debt is now as if it didn’t exist! It’s good now, right? Please, don’t make it more hard for me!”
Err, can someone explain?
“……It can cancel a commercial contract upon the agreement of both parties, or for some major reason from one party. The invalid seal is one way of many methods to cancel a contract.”
“It sounds like a troublesome and complicated talk, in simple words, that seal cleared Elk’s debts?”
“Well, in simple words”
According to Elk, in the contents of contract, there was a part saying that the creditors (them) can at anytime cancel the contract without the debtor’s (Elk) consent.
Most probably, they had made such point for some evil business, but this time they were using it to clear the debt.
That seal was something that only top echelons of the association carried, and the man always has roamed here and there while carrying it. This time, the seal actually had a meaning unlike the evil-schemed sealing.
In other words, though there were some impurities in the deal, but Elk’s debt at that moment was completely cleared.
Elk confirmed it with a nod.
It seemed like she had done a lot of studying for these things, therefore, it was fine to leave it to her.
The man pleaded to us while groveling miserably to let him go, now that everything was fine.
I sent a glance to Elk asking what to do, came back was a glance only.
……Yeah, got it.
I understood her intentions with just that much.
“……Don’t try to come near me ever, no rather, don’t even be where I would be”
“Is that she says”
“Eh……! Thank ya! You really saved me!”
We both turned back, not giving even a glance even after hearing a crying voice.
Of course, we took the promissory note. If we had that, then Elk was a free woman.
Even if someone said something later, she would be able to deal with it. It seemed like the forgery of both promissory note and seal was impossible.
And, suddenly I felt the man standing behind us silently and sighing with relief.
“You kids are……just easy to fool!!”
“Don’t steal my line”
The man who attacked at us from behind armed with a knife……danced in air, after getting hit by my electrified roundhouse kick.
And he disappeared inside the window of the ruined building, on which I tried to run some time before.
Like hell……I will let him go. If I leave you, then Elk would be fine, but other people would cry in her place in future.
We acted a bit and showed him that we had our guards down while I was getting prepared to strike with fists when he attacked.(It was Kick though)
The probability of him fainting down was……not like I cared and not like I even looked.
At the very least, I kicked him with quite a lot of power and voltage. So he won’t be able to move for a long time with his broken and burned muscles. It might be his most serious injury in his entire lifetime.
With this everything was over.
“And, What are you going to do, Elk?”
“……Just like I said. I will report each and every work they had done. Even if I get accused due to it. ……That will be my decision.”
“You’re……serious about it”
“Yeah. Sorry Minato, I got you involved in my troubles……so till the end, I was being protected by you.”
“I’m not worrying about it at all. I myself, personally like Elk. It was quite fun to roam in the labyrinth and make fuss while rampaging inside there.”
“It was only you who made fuss and went on a rampage!”
Elk said as she looked at the promissory note in her hands.
Right now it was a scrap of paper with no restriction ability. But it still could be used a piece of evidence.
It was a paper that would be an evidence which would condemn her to jail, but Elk still looked at it as a precious item which she got back.
……She wouldn’t change her decision, no matter what I say.
“It’s unfortunate—- I was thinking of making a pair with Elk”
I had heard from mom.
The occupation called adventurers not only fought against monsters and demons but also against fellow humans.
Let it be going in Danger Area or going on a journey, an adventurer would sooner or later definitely need a friend who would accompany him/her.
It was not difficult to find a person to accompany yourself with for one or two times, but it was difficult to find a person who would, to the last end, accompany you.
That was true, after all it was impossible to understand someone else’s mind 100%.
For that reason, I seriously wanted Elk.
Surely there weren’t many people who didn’t run from their sins but bear them and lived while repenting for them.
“……Stop jesting. You will sooner or later meet more better people than me. ……It’s better if you don’t get involved with a girl like me ever again.”
She revealed a transient pretty smile.
Pathetic of me, I couldn’t find any words to return.
“Well, I will be able to take many of the evil people with me in this way. But, it is regrettable that even then I wouldn’t be able to deal a blow to Malras Association.”
“What is that『Malras Association』? It sounds like a big company or something of sort”
“Yeah, you don’t know about it. It’s is the most influential trading association here, even within the country it is one of the leading associations. Well, I don’t know if they are involved in this case or not. The only thing I can do is, try to take as more evil people with me and pray that someone like me is not born again in this city……”
“Ara, in that case you don’t have to worry? It will be over soon enough after all.”(???)
Suddenly a new voice resounded. Eh, What!?
Instinctively, Elk and I looked the place where the voice came from.
There a single girl was standing.
She had cream-colored long hair which run down till her waist.
Her looks are rather childish, it can be said『Cute』instead of『Beautiful』. Her age was more than that of me and Elk. Somewhere around the twenties.
She was wearing a spacious and wavy kimono like cloth and a sandal which closely resembled the japanese sandals. It is like the clothes of someone who half-assedly tried to make western-clothes in japanese styled clothes, somewhere along the lines.
The thing which was more impactful, was……the cream-colored bouncy『Ears』.
Cat Ears? no, they seem more like……fox?
When I look carefully at her, I found a fox tail growing from her waist. Beast person??
I couldn’t feel any bloodlust from that gentle-faced person. I could only see her looking at us while she grinned.
But……I couldn’t be careless.
After all, I was not able to sense her when she came near us. Even with my hearing.
……Clearly, she ain’t any ordinary person.
“Yeah, Yeah. Remain right there. You don’t have to be on guard that much, I’m not thinking about any dangerous thing”
Just why is she speaking in Kansai Dialect? What is wrong with this world?
That person, ginned even while knowing we were sending eyes filled with carefulness and guard.
“Ah, sorry. I came out and didn’t even introduce myself. I’m Noel Co Malras. I’m the manager of that Malras Association you guys were talking about just before. Nice to meet you♪”
She introduced herself, as if natural.