|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1895 words|
When I returned to Cloud’s side, he was being sermoned by Michelle.
Kufar didn’t seem to have returned so I guess everything was safe for now? He was part of a fishy organization, so he wouldn’t do anything that would get him suspected.
“Ah, welcome back, Lady Nicole. That was fast.”
“Yeah, where’s that guy?”
“Huh, didn’t you drive them away?”
“I mean, I was wondering if he returned.”
“Oh, please give me a moment.”
Finia pulled out a small sparrow-shaped Familiar from her pocket and released it. It floated over the roads and flew towards the direction Kufar disappeared into.
“Found him. He is walking that way. Perhaps towards the southern district.”
She pointed to the opposite side of the main street. As expected, Kufar was avoiding populated streets too. Still, I had no intention of letting him do as he pleased.
“Thanks. I’ll head out for a bit. Finia, you return to the inn with Cloud and Michelle.”
“Recall your familiar too. Just do it!”
She got flustered from my unusually angry yell and quickly recalled her familiar. If she kept monitoring him, I wouldn’t be able to go all out. I’ll locate him and take him down. That shouldn’t take too long.
Slimes were strong against physical attacks, but they had a sphere that acted as their core inside their body, and it was easy to defeat them if you attacked it. He was a rare species according to Maxwell, but that weakness should be the same as other Slimes.
Finia tried to call out to stop me, but I ignored it and turned the corner into a small path. Seeing me unusually angry, the three did not try to follow me.
Still, even as I turned the corner, I couldn’t sense Kufar. From the start, he had the characteristics of Slimes and Blobs that specialized in hiding. Once you let one go out of your sight, it was hard to discover it again.
I clicked my tongue and gave up, then turned around to return back to the group. But then, Kufar’s voice reached me.
“Do you have some business with me?”
I instantly faced the direction of the voice and put a hand on my katana while lowering my posture. Seeing me like that, Kufar asked dubiously.
“Oh my. I have no intention of harming you now. Why are you so vigilant if I may ask? Isn’t this our first time meeting?”
“…So barefaced. Didn’t you say ‘we’ve met’ just earlier?”
“Ah, that certainly is the case. I did say that. That certainly makes me suspicious. I see.”
Kufar had met me as Nicole while disguised as Reid. And I had confirmed Kufar’s identity when I was acting as Reid. From his standpoint, I was being strangely vigilant towards him for someone who wasn’t supposed to know his identity.
For that reason, I decided to take advantage of his slip-up from before. Since I was going to put him down here, it wouldn’t matter even if he saw through my identity, but he would just get more vigilant that way. It was easier this way to take him out by surprise.
Kufar seemed to have been convinced by my answer, nodding over and over. There were no people around us. Finia and others didn’t follow me either, so it was just the two of us here.
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“By the way, would you mind telling me what you were talking about? So that we can clear out any misunderstandings.”
I could just chop him up and crush his core right away, but I wanted to know what he was trying to tell Cloud. He said something about a meeting. If it was some kind of a scheme, I couldn’t leave it be.
If the situation wouldn’t be solved just by killing him, I had to come up with some countermeasures. For example, maybe he was trying to spread his ideologies around.
“Oh, well, I can’t speak too loudly about it, but he’s also a fellow half-demon. I wanted to introduce him to my comrades.”
“So you have comrades?”
Of course, I already knew that he was part of an organization. But I didn’t know how large it was or where they were. If I managed to learn that, the north could regain its public order.
“Well yes. But I can’t exactly tell you about them, Hero Lyell’s daughter, Nicole.”
“So you know… I mean, I guess I should’ve expected you to investigate us.”
Back then I saw Kufar as Nicole while he was disguised as Reid. Back then, he approached me because he was aiming for Cortina, but he should have looked into my background too.
It seemed that he was destined to target people around me. Which meant I couldn’t ignore him anymore.
“A peerless beauty with bluish-silver hair and red-blue eyes. There’s no one but you with such features. You have grown into a fine beauty true to the rumors.”
“I’m honored to hear that.”
I kept closing the distance between us as I spoke.
I was using a special martial art of movement using my toe. It was a method to get the opponent inside your attack range without removing your eyes from them or moving your legs and advancing as if sliding.
I heard it was created in the same region these katana weapons were from.
Kufar didn’t seem to be as interested in techniques as me, so he didn’t seem to have noticed what I was doing. However, his atmosphere suddenly changed the next moment.
“But, let’s see… Lyell has been getting in my way lately. I’m quite willing to get revenge on him using you.”
His expression got warped into a smile that crossed the limits of what a human face allowed. I sensed clear killing intent there and immediately unsheathed my katana.
It was a drawing attack that I used previously. It accurately landed on his neck, but there was no reaction as expected. But I wasn’t surprised this time. I already knew that he was a rare species of Slime.
“Heh…It’s impossible, you still haven’t realized it?”
“I’m not so sure!”
While there was no damage, the pressure of the slash was still there. Kufar stopped his attempt to attack me and stood still. I would naturally not overlook an opening like that.
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I kept adding up attacks like successive arrow shots… with a katana though. Each time, I cut off his clothes, scattering them on the road. And so were scattered his body fluids.
The fluids were dissolving the stone paving with acidic noises. They were part of his slime body. Lumps of deadly poison that would ruin one’s health with just a touch.
“Damn, you sure are merciless this time…!”
Seeing no chances to counterattack, Kufar decided to fall back and attempted to jump behind. In response, I used the side of my katana’s blade to strike his arm.
Normally, slashing was the aspect this weapon excelled in the most. But since he was a lump of music, that barely had an effect. That’s why, I decided to use the wide part of the blade to smash him instead.
As I intended, his arm that received not a slash but a slam was crushed and the part below his elbow fell to the ground.
“Aagh, this is getting irritating!”
I was the opponent he easily dealt with the last time. But that same opponent was attacking him one-sidedly now, so he ended up yelling in impatience. Next, I crushed his left foot, making him crawl on the ground.
“How could you grow so strong in mere three years… No, this ability and this weapon… It can’t be…!”
When I encountered him the last time as Reid, I was using a katana. And now, no, even the last time I met him as Nicole, I was also using a katana.
Driven into a corner, Kufar thought of the reason for this disgraceful situation, and seemed to have caught on to that similarity.
“You, don’t tell me…you’re Reid!?”
“Doesn’t matter. You’re going to die here today.”
Kufar exclaimed with a voice full of contempt. I dismissed his question and sliced his back vertically. That would normally be a fatal wound, but it had no effect on Slimes. Still, I found a purplish red something inside his cut body.
I instantly realized it was his core.
“This is the end!”
The two of our voices reverberated side by side in the back alley.
He was lying face down on the ground. I, on the other hand, held the katana with a backhand grip and just needed to thrust it down. My victory was practically guaranteed. But I hadn’t gotten careless. It was common sense to never let down your guard until the prey was down for certain.
I wasn’t careless, and yet, that suddenly entered my vision.
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I reflectively swung my sword to brush it aside, but the blade passed through it. The fact that I still managed to shift my body to dodge it was all thanks to my reaction speed.
That something brushed past my face and crumbled down as it hit the wall. I saw what it was the moment it attacked me. It was the arm I cut down earlier. Even though it was separated from the core, how did he—my question was cut short in the middle.
Because an intense heat assaulted both of my eyes.
My body was able to better endure the pain compared to my younger days. But the pain that assaulted my eyes… my eyeballs were experiencing sharp pain to the point I was unable to endure a scream.
It wasn’t the pain of your body getting ripped apart. It wasn’t a pain of your body changing either. It was a sharp pain that was like the very heat itself, as if my nerves were burned and ripped out directly.
Even so, I closed my eyes and swung down my katana to finish Kufar off, but there was no reaction.
“Heheheh… It was dangerous, but looks like I was one step ahead this time, huh? Well, I have been growing stronger too so don’t feel too bad.”
I heard damp footsteps nearby. Perhaps he had regenerated his limbs and approached me. I couldn’t confirm that in my dark vision.
The next moment, a heavy impact ran through my abdomen. I thought he cut me for a moment, but it seemed to be just a kick. Fortunately, my clothes protected me from a direct touch so my body wasn’t burned either.
“I even managed to burn your face in the process. Don’t worry, I’ll finish you off right awa—hmm?”
Kufar’s elated voice was suddenly cut. But I had no time to worry about that. The pain in my eyes wasn’t something I could endure any longer, so I just stayed rolled up on the ground and desperately held on to my consciousness.
I couldn’t suppress the spasms of my body, and my fingers dug into the flesh of my face. Then I heard Kufar’s whispering voice.
“Did they hear that? Oh well, your wounds won’t heal, and you will probably die eventually. Keep writhing in incessant pain and die.”
In my dark vision, only Kufar’s voice reached me. And my consciousness could endure it no more.