|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
The one that suddenly cut into the conversation was a blooming, rather mage-looking young lady with a monocle, a staff, and a robe on top of some loose, flowing clothes. The skinhead awkwardly clicked his tongue as soon as he saw her appear.
「I’ll serve as the examiners as well; are you good with that, Celia?」
「Carol, can you do it?」
「That’s one favor, is what I’d like to say; but I have some reasons this time, so how about no favors for now?」
「As long as you make sure our young 1-day old hunter safely returns.」
「Worrying about that would mean that you’re doubting… uhh, Miss Whosit, you know?」
『For some reason, we’re being left out of the conversation.』
『We’re supposed to be the concerned party here, but we’re not even given a glance. Judging by skinhead’s reaction, the lady that just arrived is most likely high-ranked. It might be best that we don’t needlessly speak up right now. It doesn’t seem like they’ll treat us badly, I think.』
『Well, it doesn’t look like we need to speak up. By the way, the standard that Ain was talking about before was this, right? Why is he picking a fight with me, I wonder?』
『Frankly speaking, it’s likely because you seem weak. From the eyes of an adult, just being a child makes you look weak.』
『You can’t really do anything about the difference in size, after all.』
We unexpectedly got some time to be silent, so I talked to Ciel for a bit but surprisingly, Ciel isn’t angry. Well the same could be said to me but in my case, I’m more impressed by the fact that I encountered a cliché and also dumbfounded that it actually happened, so I just didn’t have any place for anger.
It might be similar with Ciel as well, but rather than being impressed, she’s probably doing some human observation.
Although we’re not really angry, it doesn’t mean that we won’t make him pay for this. So if possible, I’d like to have an overwhelming victory so that we can lower the chances of people messing with us in the future even just by a little bit. Also, it’s a great opportunity to learn about a Hunter’s strength.
Seemingly done with their conversation, Carol was the one who approached us.
「And so, I’ll be overseeing the examination. The rules are simple. Lil’ Whosit and Alejo are going to battle and based on how the match goes, the ownership of the magic stone she brought in and her Hunter Rank will be decided. Alejo is a D-Rank Hunter. The magic stone that she brought is also D-Rank in value. In short, you just need to win. Are the two of you fine with that?」
「I can’t actually say no, yeah? So if I beat this little girl like a rag, you’ll accept that the magic stone is mine, right?」
The skinhead — Alejo flashed a smirk and shot a glance at me. The receptionist Celia has a vaguely pained look, but I don’t have any complaints with that. As I nodded, Carol suggestively smiles saying 「However, killing is prohibited.」
「In case anything happens, I’ll stop the match. If you don’t stop even after that, I can’t guarantee what’ll happen next.」
「Take a real good look, Ms. B-Rank Hunter. I might just accidentally hit a bit too hard.」
「Yes, of course. After all, it’s going to be annoying if someone dies under my watch. And, Lil’ Whosit… It’s a bit awkward to keep calling you like that. Would you mind giving me your name?」
「My name is Cielmer.」
Just as I was still taking in the fact that Carol is a B-Rank Hunter, I was suddenly asked for my name. The conversation is really going too fast right now. Also, I can’t help but feel like she’s telling us not to kill just now. Alejo is a D-Rank, since that spider is also a D-Rank, there’s no way we would lose. In addition, this means that that one-eyed giant that had a bigger magic stone is probably at least a C-Rank monster.
「Are you also fine with that, Cielmer?」
「Yes, I’ll do my best.」
「Then, Celia. I’ll borrow the room.」
「Yeah, sure. Make sure nothing happens, okay?」
「I know, I know. Now, follow me.」
Waving her hand, Carol began leading us inside
While putting up with Alejo’s bloodthirsty gaze, we arrived at an arena-like place. There weren’t any actual audience seats, but that area is enclosed in some sort of dome and seems about as wide as a running track. Other than the window for taking in sunlight, there’s nothing particularly special about it. I assume that they didn’t process the ground since it’s uneven like in the plains. We were lead to the middle of the grounds.
「Alejo, you use a battleaxe, right?」
Saying so, Carol seems to be rummaging for something when she suddenly threw out a battleaxe she got from somewhere. That considerably heavy-looking thing made a loud crashing sound as it fell to the ground.
「The edges are dulled, so work with that.」
「Not a problem.」
「For Cielmer, what would you like?」
「A knife… maybe?」
「Then use this. This is just a common knife that you can buy anywhere, so be careful with where you stab it.」
The same as with Alejo’s axe, she threw a knife she got from somewhere. As expected, I don’t want to catch it directly, so I picked up the knife after it fell to the ground. As she said, it does look like it can cut. Well, I do think that a battleaxe that seems to be a lot heavier than me is a lot more dangerous even without its sharp edges.
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「Now then, feel free to start.」
After giving us our weapons, Carol casually said so and took some distance from us. Since it doesn’t seem like Alejo’s going to move any time now, I decided to do a simple planning with Ciel. It would’ve been better if I did it prior to this, but I didn’t really see any way for us to lose the fight, so I forgot.
I think that as long as I’m not limited on how to fight, even I can probably win. Since in the end, the enemy is just a human after all. But fighting is Ciel’s role, so I’ll never take it away from her.
『I’ll put up a barrier that’s easy to see, so after that, can I leave it all to you?』
『Of course. Still, not killing him, is hard to do. I’ve been pondering for a while on how I should do it, you know?』
『For now, why don’t you try to do as much as you can without relying on your Job and the barrier?』
『After that, as long as it doesn’t seem like we’ll lose, try not to use your full strength. It’s going to be somewhat troublesome if our Jobs are exposed, after all.』
「Oi, lass. Now’s your chance to apologize. If you don’t, then I might~ just accidentally kill you with a single hit, you see?」
「Since you have the energy to say so, then why don’t you try and get me? You’re going to trip on your feet, you know?」
I’ve started to become irritated by Alejo’s attitude, so I casually talk him down. We’re the ones actually worrying about how to not accidentally leave you dead, how carefree of you. Well, the only one actually worrying about it is Ciel, though.
「Haah? It sounds like you’re tired of living, lass. Don’t blame me when you start regretting this, yeah?」
「O magical power, solidify and protect me.」
「Tsk. A Sorcerer, eh. This is gonna get annoying.」
As I chant and put up a random barrier, Alejo clicked his tongue and narrowed his eyebrows. This time, to make it easier for Alejo to see, I made the barrier’s surface look like water. While it is transparent, it bounces off light so it’s easy to figure out where the barrier is. It’s shaped like a sphere and is wide enough to fit Ciel’s whole body inside. Imagine a common barrier.
Now that I’m done making the barrier, my role ends here. I switch with Ciel. Although not much time has passed between me chanting and switching with Ciel, Alejo didn’t just watch it happen in silence. He brandished his battleaxe and swung down at us. Drawing a smooth arc, the battleaxe passed right in front of us and gouged out the ground it hit.
If Ciel didn’t jump backwards, it would’ve likely landed a direct hit. Moreover, it had a considerable force behind it. I thought that missing the large swing would leave him wide open, but surprisingly Alejo sprung up using the battleaxe as a pivot and continued on to do a second strike.
「Grah!」 With an energetic yell, his second strike, likely because he made good use of the first one’s momentum, was stronger than before. Furthermore, even though he fired off in a slightly difficult position, he swung the battleaxe again into a third, horizontal mowing strike. In all honesty, he was more skilled than I expected and that left me really impressed.
So his D-Rank isn’t just for show. If you can move this much then you can probably defeat that spider. He’s moving much faster than how Ciel currently is and I notice that Ciel is forced to keep dodging.
「Oi, Oi. So you’re all just talk, huh. I guess you really did just steal that magic stone. Well, that’s convenient for me, though. That barrier looks strong but it’s probably trash, yeah? Explains why you keep on running away. What’s wrong? You’re quiet, are you scared now? Well, with that weak barrier, all you can do is run scared. Now, how many seconds does that barrier have left? Doesn’t matter how long it has left if I smash it open, though.」
Alejo got more confident and began talking eloquently, I guess because he arbitrarily decided that Ciel is weak. I’m not really borrowing Alejo’s words, but I wonder how long this barrier will last? I was pondering about that but since the glint on Ciel’s eyes have just changed, I stopped thinking about needless nonsense. The only way to describe Ciel’s current status is that, she snapped. Like she could kill with a stare.
Still, from Alejo’s point of view, she might only be as scary as an angry puppy. Just as Alejo laughed 「What? You angry?」 Ciel’s every emotion disappeared, as though some switch inside her flipped. She has an almost doll-like expression, like during the time when she’s dealing with Duke Rispelgia.
「If you say so, then by all means. Please feel free to strike as much as you wish. In the meantime, I shall take my time to prepare my sorcery.」
It’s been awhile since I heard Ciel talking with polite speech, but it’s not like she’s actually showing him respect. I feel that suppressing her emotions is a habit that formed because of the happenings at Duke Rispelgia’s mansion. Hearing Ciel say so devoid of any emotion, it seems like Alejo finally notice something’s wrong with Ciel. Without talking back, he thrust his battleaxe at Ciel. So it looks like an axe with a long handle could be handled like that as well.
Well, we probably won’t use an axe but not knowing about it could risk catching us off guard. However, it was blocked by the spherical barrier and not even a fragment of it reached Ciel.
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From my perspective, it’s a flimsy barrier, but since he can’t even get through this, it’s impossible for him to even scratch Ciel. In the end, he’s only as strong as that spider, I guess. In the meantime, Ciel is using sorcery to draw a magic circle on the ground. She could have finished it in seconds if she wanted to, but on top of doing it slowly, it looks like she’s drawing a considerably complicated one.
Outside the barrier, Alejo repeatedly made large swings with his battleaxe. Despite his efforts, however, he failed to land a blow on Ciel, and not once did his weapon make contact with the ground.
「Once this barrier breaks, it’ll be the end.」
Although Alejo was full of confidence at first, as he began swinging it more than 10, 20 times 「Why won’t it break?」 He began losing his composure. Moreover, perhaps it’s because Ciel isn’t minding him one bit, with a bright red face, he even tried inciting Ciel 「Damn coward, fight fair and square!」
By the time I got tired of counting his hits, Alejo began whining 「Why? Why doesn’t it even budge?」 He’s having difficulty in breathing and his hands are bleeding from grasping his battleaxe. He was drenched in sweat and covered in mud. His vigor from before has disappeared somewhere beyond the horizon.
At first, the plan was to fight without relying on the barrier but since it’s your fault for angering Ciel, please give up on it. In addition, please don’t start whining now. After all, Ciel’s magic circle is almost complete. Lifting her head, Ciel captures Alejo in her line of sight.
After saying so, Alejo seems to have remembered what Ciel was doing up until now. His face is rapidly turning pale. As the magic power circulating in Ciel’s body is absorbed into the magic circle, a thin trail of blood flows from Alejo’s cheeks.
Ciel’s sorcery appeared to be a basic wind blade, which proved effective in slicing through her robe and other materials. When wielded by Ciel, the blade boasted an impressive sharpness. However, when I attempted to use the same sorcery, it transformed into a cooling fan instead. That very wind blade attacked Alejo 2 times, 3 times… relentlessly without pause.
「Light, it’s damn light. You can’t defeat me with this kind of scratch!」
Noticing that Ciel’s attacks aren’t that strong, Alejo loses his fear and, as though he’s trying to hide the fact that he got afraid, yelled in a loud voice. However, his vanity soon disappeared. The incessantly pouring blades of wind created an innumerable amount of shallow wounds. Even if he can bear the pain, he can’t stop the streams of blood. Every attack he makes only serves to encourage his bleeding, and he can’t even break through the barrier. And all the while, his light wounds only increase in number.
「Stop! Stop it! Please stop it!」
In the end, I don’t know if it’s because he lost hope first or because he bled too much; but Alejo dropped his battleaxe, and while cowering in the fetal position, he screamed those words and soon lost consciousness.
Heya! It’s a me, Lyly! As you may have expected, our surprisingly not so dumb villain picked the wrong little princess (x2) to mess with. And even though he was lucky enough that Ciel and Ain actually didn’t take the fight personally, he miraculously found Ciel’s trigger switch.
You don’t insult Ain. Just. Don’t.
Anyways, feel free to comment and I wish you all a good February! Have an enjoyable read!