|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1330 words|
It appeared that it was too much for her to handle alone after all, as she had been cornered inside the cave. To be more accurate, she wasn’t exactly cornered yet, but was nonetheless in quite a pinch.
Her primary weapons were people. Making the best use of others’ abilities and bringing the best results was her strong area. But because of that, she wasn’t good at individual fights. Stalling for time while we escaped wasn’t part of her original role.
Even so, feeling the responsibility as my guardian forced her to do the unreasonable. Her chest area was already ripped off, showing off her well-shaped breasts. Seeing that, I felt the blood rush to my head.
Of course, I couldn’t voice it out. I was currently using the ring of illusions to take on the appearance of Reid. It was enough to deceive Cortina’s eyes, but this ring only altered the appearance.
It couldn’t alter the voice itself, and touching me directly would also get me found out. For that reason, I had to quickly exterminate the outlaws and withdraw right away.
“…Reid… Is… Is that really you?” Cortina asked, her voice trembling.
But I could not answer her question. After giving her a small nod in affirmation, I instantly went into battle mode. This place was a straight path. It may seem like a disadvantageous place for someone like me, who lacked both in power and trump cards—but that wasn’t actually the case.
This was a gloomy place, with unreliable terrain. The walls and the ceiling had deformations all over. And this narrow path where movement was limited was just perfect for setting traps. Since I could manipulate threads at will, this place was the perfect nest to make a spiderweb.
I immediately had one of the threads crawl up the wall and hook onto the projection, after which I twined it around the man’s legs.
“What the… Are you with her!?”
“Well whatever, we can’t let you off now that you’ve seen us. Curse your bad luck, boy!”
Saying that, one of the men tried to rush towards me, but he was just dancing on my palm. The entwined thread easily tripped him up and made him fall on his face.
“Use your eyes, dumbass! It’s already narrow as is, don’t just fall here!”
As he said, this was a narrow, straight path. It may have been the worst possible terrain for Cortina who was running from them, but for me, it was a hunting ground where they had no way to avoid my attacks. Much less when he was lying on the ground.
I swung down my steel thread, scraping the ceiling as it went for the slash. The fallen man had no way of dodging it, so it ended up landing right on his face. His mask flew off from the force of the slash as it continued to dig deeply into his right eye.
“Huh? Did he attack from distance!?”
He wasn’t able to discern the nature of my attack in this darkness. These guys, in particular, wore heavy equipment, so while they could defend from it if they saw it coming, not seeing it made it impossible for them to do anything about it.
While the other two were shaken, I covered the distance in one go and slashed with at one my dagger. Naturally, I had an illusion cast on the dagger to change its shape too, so I didn’t think Cortina would realize it was my dagger.
Also, I had one more advantage…
“Hah, as if that’s going to—wait wha-!?”
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My attack slipped through the sword he raised it to block the dagger, piercing deeply into the gaps of his armor. Of course, a dagger couldn’t possibly slip through a sword.
This was due to the difference in the attack trajectory between my illusionary and real physique. My old physique was far too different from my current child one, both in reach and shoulder position. That difference made itself known through the handling of the sword.
“Praise the God of Destruction.”
I passed just under the man’s brandished sword and recited the Keyword in a small voice so Cortina wouldn’t hear it. The reason for that was just in case they decided to investigate the dagger in the future.
But then I realized it. The reason why those kidnappers didn’t use this dagger. It suddenly started to oscillate and cut through the iron armor as if it was paper. However, its oscillations were transmitted to the grip too, causing my entire arm to vibrate.
My wrist and forearm shook violently, and the dagger grew restive in my hand.
I immediately coiled the threads around and fixed it in place, which made sure it wouldn’t fly off my hand, but that also caused my grip to come loose. It vibrated inside my hand like a restive horse going wild. Mastering how to use a troublesome dagger like this was easier said than done.
The man stared in shock, having failed to receive the attack. It was thanks to the illusion that my dagger slipped through his defenses, but that fact was only known to me, the user of the illusion.
Thus, he collapsed, without ever understanding the reason he failed to block that attack. This dagger needed to pierce quite deep for it to be a fatal wound, so he was still drawing breath.
I could finish him off if I went for another blow, but that hardly mattered anymore. And there was one more enemy, after all.
I kicked him in the face and sent his mask flying. This naturally didn’t deal sufficient damage, but that much was enough. I prioritized Cortina’s safety now.
Besides, this terrain was lending me a hand too.
The first man had already fainted. But not because the damage to his right eye was severe, but because he dropped his mask. While the gases inside this cave were pretty scattered, if you got injured and tried to keep fighting, your breathing would naturally get harsher and you would inhale much more air. That, in turn, led to him inhaling more of the poisonous gas and eventually fainted.
Having two of his comrades taken out in a flash, the remaining man started looking around in panic.
While these people held some skill, it wasn’t to the extent where I, the vanguard of the Heroes, would ever lose, regardless of how inferior my current physical ability has become. Much less when they didn’t know about my ability and I was in a favorable terrain.
The unknown onslaught drove fear into him, making him tremble all over and lose his will to fight. I gave him a warning using as low tone as I could so Cortina wouldn’t overhear.
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“If you have no intention to fight, then drop your weapon. Take your comrades and get out of my sight. And forget everything that happened here.”
He nodded over and over at my frank advice and dropped his weapon. Seeing that, Cortina judged that the battle was over and started running towards us.
“Reid, you were alive!?”
She ran up to me, her eyes filled with tears. I wanted to receive her into an emotional embrace, but alas, this body was just an illusion. Everything would come to nothing if she tried touching me now.
I changed my illusion and made it seem as if I dissolved into the wall behind me. Adding my Stealth ability on top of it, there was hardly anyone who could discover me now.
She screamed my name in heartbreak, reached out towards me, but I couldn’t take that hand, no matter how much it pained me. I’ve made quite a few blunders in this life too, so unfortunately, I couldn’t reveal myself.
Thus, with painful reluctance, I left that place behind… As her echoing cries continued to dig into my soul.