|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1188 words|
I crossed blades with the man in the darkness. After each clash, I switched positions and headed for the place with even less human presence.
By doing that, I could put distance between him and Matisse and also lead him to a place where I could fight to my heart’s content.
The man seemed to realize my plan and didn’t try to return back to our initial position.
“Are you sure it was a good idea to leave that girl behind?”
I asked him as I ran. Matisse’s existence was no longer that important to him. After all, there was hardly a chance for any more negotiations with Horton Corp. However, the source of income, in other words, Queen Blossom’s seeds, were still with her. This man should’ve seen how I handed them over to her.
Despite that, he still chose to eliminate me first. Hearing my question, he replied with an unpleasant smile.
“Don’t worry. My main occupation is stealing. Even if the guards recover those seeds, I can always steal them back from the guard station once I’ve dealt with you.”
“The station isn’t the only place where it could be taken, you know? There are far more troublesome places in this town.”
For example, Maxwell’s treasure house. That ******* had too much time on his hands and applied all kinds of protective magic on it. Why did I know that, you might ask? Answer to that was… It was because I played the invader’s role to test its protection.
I honestly thought I was a goner then. If the seeds were taken there, no Stealth Gift would be enough to sneak inside.
“You mean the Six Heroes? In that case, I’d obviously run with the tail between my legs. Queen Blossom’s seeds are certainly valuable, but not enough to face monsters that could blow away a kingdom or two.”
He sure had the profits and losses calculated. I didn’t know about Gale, but he was at least far smarter than the rest of those underlings. But there was nothing strange about that; if he didn’t have a good head on his shoulders, he could’ve never invented such a battle style using a non-combat Gift.
Even as we were conversing, his position stayed slightly out of sync. He was probably using his Stealth again. The Stealth Gift could completely cut away one’s presence, but it still couldn’t erase the user from people’s direct line of sight.
When he cut away his presence, there was a slight lag until your eyes reaffirmed his existence. And he made use of that lag during battles.
Because he was slightly out of place, my threads cut empty air. I almost always used wool to strengthen my right hand and both legs, with one yarn for each part respectively. That only left two steel threads for me to use freely.
On top of that, the Interference Magic had a time limit on it. I planned to make it a brief battle, but I had an overwhelming disadvantage.
“Those threads are quite troublesome. I can’t approach at all.”
“I’m but a frail maiden. I can’t let a pervert like you approach me.”
“Hah, the only ‘maidens’ who could excel at assassination to this point are those doing prostitution as a side job.”
The man skillfully handled his swords and attacked relentlessly. Since I was using threads on both legs and right arm, I could only use two steel threads and katana in my left hand for attacking.
We had about the same amount of moves, or I had a bit more. However, there was an overwhelming difference in the heaviness of our individual attacks, and every single time I blocked his attack my body was flung into the air. This wasn’t because the man was especially strong, but because I was far too light.
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Thus, after a series of attacks, blocks and dodges, I finally arrived at my target destination. It was the lumberyard where I did my night training. Here, I had a full grasp on my surroundings. But I wasted almost two minutes to get here. I had barely a minute left.
“Welcome to my field.”
“Hump, I’ve no interest in kids’ playgrounds!”
He threw those words and drew near. Despite his ill words, he positioned himself so the lumber would be on his right, leaving practically no openings. He planned to use it to defend against sideway attacks of my threads.
It might have appeared to be disadvantageous for me as I used my threads like whips, but that was actually not the case. Because these threads showed their true worth not in attacks but laying traps. And if it was a place full of obstacles like this, they could turn it into a splendid hunting ground.
With a swing of my hand, I aimed the thread at the lumber that he used as a wall. Naturally, it was almost impossible to do any damage this way. However, the thread shaved away a large chunk of wood where it hit, and sawdust danced before his face.
Because of his momentum, the man had no way to defend against it.
“Kh, trying to blind me huh!”
“Unlike sand, wood is light, so it can stay afloat for quite a while.”
Of course, if they were small enough, even sand grains could remain quite long. However, if they were the same size, the wood that was lighter would last longer.
I used another thread to attack him, but he narrowly avoided it. With his vision blocked, the man’s posture was greatly disturbed.
Using this chance, I went for the direct hit and swung my katana. However, this too was blocked by the man as he attacked me back. By intentionally leaping forwards instead of dodging, he managed to shorten my scope of attack.
The attack range of my katana and threads could be said to be quite distant. It rivaled a two-handed sword in length. Since he attacked with a half-tackle, I had no way to attack.
In the first place, I had no strength to support an adult man’s weight. Thus I was knocked down on the floor and he mounted on top of me. In this distance, his short swords were more effective.
While straddling me, he raised his swords and thrust them towards my head. However, since both of his hands held swords, he couldn’t properly hold me down. I used the thread with my left hand and slipped under his crotch, then once again took some distance.
“You brat… I thought you were a brat, but are quite used to battles. Are you actually a gnome?”
“Too bad. I’m a genuine seven years old kid.”
Although I was strengthening my limbs, it couldn’t make up for how weak my body was. The only reason I could fight evenly with him was due to the battle experience from my past life.
But there was still the problem of time limit. I only had a few dozen seconds left. If I didn’t settle this battle soon, It would only get dangerous for me.