|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2942 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1433 words|
In Kairos’ mind there was a turmoil of overwhelming power, black murderous intent that tinted all his emotions, and the slight pang of guilt for having taken the life of another person. His face froze, everything changing into a force that began dragging him into the abyss.
「Hmmm, it does carry a lot of raw power, but only that. It would’ve ended badly if it hit me though. But do you understand what you just did?」
The air was heated up by the blaze while Kairos made his emotive display, but a cold and composed voice seemed to froze the air.
He was unable to see Mira through the gaps in his helmet. He heavily stood back up, his body struggling to move under the weight of the unfamiliar armor. Once on his feet, he held his sword and shield close to his body as he turned his head around.
The girl was standing on the left, looking at him with a sharp and reprimanding face. Seeing her, seeing her eyes, seeing her existence itself, the guilt in Kairos began welling up.
For a moment the dark feeling of being a murderer had set in, taken over his mind, but then he felt a slight relief seeing he had not killed her. Those conflicting emotions brought chaos inside him, which then transformed into fear.
Kairos began swinging his sword with all his might, as if trying to drive away an invisible nightmare. With every swing a barrage of flames was released, but they would only hit Mira’s afterimages.
「****, ****, ****!」
Forgetting even his original goal, he mindlessly continued swinging around, but Mira evaded everything with Mirage Step. Once the blasts went through one of Mira’s illusions, she appeared somewhere else. Spells were sealed, but physical abilities still worked.
On top of that, while Kairos continued swinging non-stop, Mira had slowly decreased the distance between them. When he saw her getting gradually closer to him, he began trembling and retreated a few steps, but his arm would not stop swinging.
(That spirit sword…or should I say shadow?)
Amidst the blasts, Mira heard the resentful voice, this time she was sure she had not misheard. Paying more attention to that voice, as much as its tone made her want to forget it, she thought of one possibility.
Spirit arms were divided into two groups irrelevant of their other stats, light and shadow. It depended on the type of spirit infused in the arm, but it also depended on the user’s thoughts, positive thoughts made light spirit arms, and negative ones shadows. Most of the spirit arms commercially available were of the light kind, since in most cases the spirits would give their blessing out of their own will.
But in the case of shadows, the blessing would be given forcefully and full of anger, as a means to inflict harm on others.
The flames given off by Kairos’ sword had a voice full of resentment mixed in with them. That was the reason why Mira figured it was a shadow.
Spellcasters had the trait of seeing and talking with spirits to varying degrees. That was also possible with spirit arms, but this was the first time Mira experienced something like that.
But she did not hesitate or find it strange, she understood what it was right away. The voice made that awfully obvious.
Seeing all the flames filled with a negative presence flying by, Mira slowly decreased the distance between them.
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Kairos continued taking steps back, tripping on the rubble and falling over as his armor rang like a huge bell.
「Why won’t they hit?!」
As he swung his sword, his fear turned into annoyance. Standing up and reaffirming his posture while his armor rang loudly, he screamed shrilly as if tearing his throat.
At the same time as his emotions peaked, the entire armor began pulsing like a heartbeat with the spirit’s energy in reply to his anger.
「Nghn… Are all of these shadows?」
The spirit power that suddenly began overflowing from the armor wafted in the air before converging into the sword. A spell began enveloping the area around him, trying to spread the madness.
All of the spirit arms Kairos had were shadows. Just one would have been suspicious, but since all of them were that way, it could not be coincidence, and Mira had a hunch as to why that was the case.
(I have to question him about the origin of these.)
At first she only wanted to give him a streng earful for what he had done, but as she thought of all the questions she wanted to ask him, she was left watching as he laughed maniacally while being swallowed by the growing spirit power.
A whirlpool of different elements was formed with the sword in the middle. It was still a bit shaky, but as it grew it looked more like a full fledged typhoon.
After a quick look at that dangerous sword with an undetermined amount of destructive power stored in it, Mira sighed and drooped her shoulders before she charged towards Kairos’ chest.
(Dammit! What was that speed?!)
Kairos had his hands full trying to control the raging power that was going berserk, so he could only grind his teeth realizing he was unable to swing down his sword on the head of that hateful girl that had just appeared in front of him. The elements were beginning to condense, but they were still unstable, Kairos being in a similar situation to holding an umbrella in the middle of a storm.
Mira could not let that chance go, so she quickly charged towards him while striking her slender arm forward, punching his torso. The unfortified punch of a spellcaster was unable to do anything against metallic armor. But the attack was enough to catch the attention of the chestplate spirit for an instant, which destabilized the sword even more. At the same time a thin red streak ran down Mira’s hand, the armor spirit had counterattacked.
「Pff ahahahahahah! There’s no way your scrawny arms can do anything to this armor! You can’t win this time!」
Kairos had become impatient after none of his attacks did anything to Mira, but after her punch he was reminded of how overwhelmingly advantageous his position was. Her attacks would be futile, and if even a single of his attacks landed, it was a guaranteed kill. The situation had not changed. He had already won the moment Mira was trapped inside the barrier. Kairos was elated seeing the blood trickling down Mira’s hand.
(My victory is still certain! I don’t know what she’s doing, but once this sword is complete I’ll only have to strike her down and everything will end. It’s only a matter of time, and while I wait this impenetrable defense of iron won’t budge. It’s perfect. I’ll make that summoner regret everything!)
Kairos’ face inside the armor contorted like an incarnation of hatred.
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「You’re aware of whose pupil I am, yes?」
But as he saw the girl’s face through the slits in his helmet, there was not a single trace of fear in her. Her fist was still struck forward, her eyes looking straight at his face with a gelid stare.
Even though there was a wall in the shape of a face guard between them, Kairos relived the despair he felt during the examination event through her eyes.
It was only the next day that he found out she was Mira, the pupil of the wiseman Danbulf. But his hatred for her began later.
「You’re Danbulf’s pupil, aren’t you? The one on top of all summoners, who makes up for his biggest weakness, his body’s frailty, with Sage skills. Of course I know. And from your movement I can guess you can also use Sage skills, but as long as you can’t use spells you can’t even tickle me.」
While trying to control the sword, Kairos had slowly regained his composure and sense of superiority against Mira, even though he still could not deal the decisive blow. But she just laughed off his reply before she spoke again.
「Hmm, so you don’t know. Sixty percent there.」
「Ahh? What did you say?」
「Sixty percent. There’s one more thing. My master was also the creator of Refining skills.」
Mira said while rolling her eyes, almost looking down on him. To Kairos, that looked like she was ridiculing him.