|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2471 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1076 words|
Luvias was strong, from her movements to the way she handled the situation, I could tell she trained really hard. Considering her age, I could only assume she had a rare talent, after all she was supposedly raised like the princess she was, which meant even fewer chances to gain true experience. She had definitely gained my respect. I was still a step ahead of her, but in a year or two, I could imagine she would make a fine opponent to spar with. Barbaros on the other hand…in a few words, he was plain boring. At first, he did try swinging his sword a little, but then he just ran around. At least he was able to dodge Luvias’ attacks unharmed, but from his fighting style to his fake laughter, everything about him rubbed me the wrong way, he was the kind of person I could never get along with. If running away could make him the victor, then the world would be a much less painful place. I was sure it was only a matter of time before Luvias won, but then Barbaros used a strange ability.
His body was changing, almost transforming into a different living being as his muscles swelled up. It truly was a disgusting ability that made my skin crawl just by watching him. Was that really the type of ability someone with the title of hero should use?
“That’s… giving me a really bad feeling. No sane person should use that sort of ability.”
Lumielle was watching beside me when she said that, her voice making it clear how disgusted she was. I found it unexpected to see someone as polite and friendly as her showing a feeling like that, but I had other things to worry about. I forced my nausea and discomfort away before asking Freya.
“What do you mean a bad feeling?”
“I’m not sure. But my deity Lumiere is telling me to watch out, so he must be using some very evil means for that.”
Freya glanced at me for a moment before looking forward again while explaining that. Evil means…at the very least I could tell it was something abnormal. All the muscles on his body had swelled, and even the color of his eyes and hair had changed. His body was probably being consumed in some way, though still…
“The problem is how much stronger… Huh?!”
I thought Barbaros had vanished, but that was just how fast he was moving, appearing right beside Luvias the next instant. That speed was on a whole different level than before. Yet Luvias managed to react properly and dodge, even though I would struggle to keep up with him myself. I had not expected that ability to be so effective, I would probably die from a single hit, so I was glad I could witness it from the sidelines first.
“But well… I guess this is it then.”
I felt bad for Luvias, but there was not even a slim chance she could win. Both his physical strength and magic power had been boosted, making it impossible to fight against as he toyed with her. Meanwhile, the onlookers, mostly the nobles, were laughing loudly as if watching a comedy skit. I seriously felt like throwing up, if I disliked this country before, now I outright hated it. I wanted to get away from here as soon as possible, though I was still worried about how much longer Luvias could last. She had to realize the match was over, if she kept going she really could get killed.
I focused ahead again hearing Freya’s scream. Luvias was barely supporting herself on one knee with ragged breath, while Barbaros gleefully held his sword high ready to strike down. Was he crazy?! If he killed a hero from another country who they had invited on friendly terms it could start a full-on war!
Me and Freya knew we would be too late, but we had to jump ahead anyway. But there was someone else who flew faster than us, stopping Barbaros’ sword before it reached its goal. That person effortlessly used her halbert to stop his attack that seemed strong enough to cut through a rock.
Freya muttered astonished. Was that really Lapis? One of Luvias’ party members? If she could get all the way there and stop Barbaros so quickly, it meant she was even faster than him. But as far as I heard she was a priestess, so was it possible that someone from the rear guard was faster than Luvias the vanguard? And even block an attack she was unable to? I was just like Freya, looking at Lapis in disbelief.
“Heheheheh…you finally show up. I knew you wouldn’t stand quiet seeing your friend get tossed around.”
So the b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲ was actually doing all of that on purpose. He had given up on keeping his act, smiling maliciously while speaking crudely. Lapis coldly stared at him.
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“…If you’re trying to fight me, then come at me directly instead of doing all this for nothing. I’ll leave you half-dead as many times as you want then.”
Barbaros just grinned while twisting his entire face.
“Hahahah! But then it’s no fun! I know you hate seeing your friends get hurt more than getting hurt yourself, so that makes my choice obvious! This is nothing compared to what you did to me before!”
Barbaros did not seem sane anymore, glaring at Lapis with bloodshot eyes while he kept insulting her. Meanwhile, Lapis still looked calm-
Me, Freya, and even Annero grunted at the same time, half standing up instinctively. We all felt a very ominous aura from Lapis which gave me goosebumps in a different way from Barbaros. He simply made me feel sick, but I was terrified of Lapis. It was like a clear warning to not fight her, there was not a single being in the world who could stand up to her. But Barbaros had lost his sanity so much he did not seem to even notice that as he laughed maniacally.
“Yes! Ahahah! Everything is clicking together! I gained this power only to put you and your stupid straight down!”
“You’re talking too much. If you want to fight, then do it. I’ll show you how weak you really are for relying on a borrowed power like that.”