|Author: Sasaki Ichiro
|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: MadoSpicy TL
The next day after that uproar, a heavy atmosphere enshrouded the king’s private room in the Alra royal palace.
Although you might say that, the one who sunk in silence with a hard face was King Collard and Tengai who stood behind me wearing a tuxedo uniform. An excessively huge lionkin of the beast tribe, the ‘Beast King’, who holds the Rank of SS exclusive to only 5 adventurers on this continent, is sitting with the two of them and calmly drinking his tea while feigning ignorance. Maroudo stood alongside the wall examining the situation, and grinned amusingly under his mask. And because Animaru’s blood was perhaps unappetizing for me, or maybe it was because I drank too much, I was leaning over with my stomach in bad shape.
“…For the time being, it’s fortunate that there were no civilian casualties.”
King Collard, after rubbing his eyelids ― his eyes were red, probably after dealing with the aftermath with an all-nighter ― and fixing his glasses, he looked around at all of us and summarized the discussion like he was persuading himself.
“Like hell it was fortunate! Princess was attacked you know!? The heck are you―”
I raised my right hand to pacify the enraged Tengai.
“Hold it right there. In the first place, I was the one who refused to have bodyguards while traveling incognito, so the responsibility of walking out defenseless belongs to me. Collard isn’t at fault here. First and foremost, even if there were hundreds of guards, it’s meaningless against that kind of opponent. No civilian casualties is indeed a silver lining amidst this disaster.”
Well, some of Ikaruga’s subordinates who were secretly escorting and watching me seemed to be dead, but this relates to my country, so I didn’t bring it up here.
He groaned in dissatisfaction, probably since he and the others failed their duty and didn’t arrive in time. ―Well, the truth is when we reunited, he was in a state where he could have died in a fit of anger due to his sense of responsibility. All of a sudden, he was cutting his own stomach open with his hand to commit suicide… Since my MP would be insufficient even under normal circumstances, and a huge amount of HP was reduced before my eyes, some way or another I healed him while drinking an MP potion that I had on hand, but I almost fell into berserk mode another time― Tengai bit his lips and cast down his face.
“Good grief, imagine if master Beast King didn’t arrive when he did… it’s indeed horrifying.”
Well, at that time I would be kidnapped, violated, being forced to do whatever he pleases… just like that? With that, all the enraged people of my country will destroy everything in this world without reserve until they find me. ―Yeah, it’s horrifying in two meanings.
“―Well, me being there was just a coincidence. Besides, the one who beat him in the end is this little lady.”
The Beast King released the cup from his mouth and shrugged his shoulders.
Since I was called ‘little lady,’ Tengai’s eyebrows twitched, but he endured it because that person saved my life.
“That situation is thanks to Mr. Beast King, isn’t it? Because you reduced… no, dealt a serious amount of damage to Animaru’s HP, it could be settled in such a short amount of time.”
That berserk status lasts practically no time at all. Since Animaru was in perfect shape without any injuries, it probably would have expired mid-fight.
Actually, as a newbie that was a really troublesome thing. Since, as long as there were mobs nearby, even if they were passive ones, rampaging until my remaining HP finally reached zero became a common occurrence.
So, in those moments, in front of a monitor, there was nothing I could do but raise my hands in the air with a feeling of ‘It’s over!’
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“At any rate, at the same time that Lord Lubbock arrived in front of us, for that… Animaru to appear in front of the Princess is―”
“It’s probably not just by chance. To begin with, you could say that Lubbock was stalling you guys, so no matter how I think about it, they had to have joined forces. ―Or rather, you guys were doing a good job not dying, eh?”
As I turned toward Maroudo with a look of ‘well done’, he returned it with light laughter ‘hahaha’.
“He sure is a monster. The best I could do was run around all over the place.”
“―Hou. He is an opponent that made you even go that far?”
The Beast King gave a fleeting look at Maroudo’s mask. It seems there is some familiarity between S and SS ranked adventurers. When I introduced Maroudo, he meaningfully snorted, ‘Pffff, Maroudo eh?’
“Anyway, with only the pressure from his sword swings, the ground was cut open, the trees were mowed down, and the rocks broke into pieces… it was like fighting against a calamity in human form. So if it wasn’t for the armor and weapon that I received from Princess, I would have become two pieces of flesh ripped apart in not even more than a few blows. Nah, a bit longer would have been dangerous. Then he said ―‘It’s time.’ so I was saved.”
“Being able to even fight directly against Lubbock and his strongest sword ‘Zetsu’ is praiseworthy in itself.”
I thought so from the bottom of my heart. Maroudo seems to have been practicing against our round table members. If I were to fight poorly against him, I might actually lose.
“Well the opponent was obviously stalling so he wasn’t taking it seriously, so I thought I would give him a swift attack when he showed an opening but…”
Hmm, in other words, a lack of offensive power huh? Ogrestroke is soon going to be insufficient for him. Slightly stronger equipment wi…eh, unexpectedly the number of people around me who are stronger than me is increasing more and more…
Well, there’s no point worrying too much about it. Right now I had to deal with the threat right in front me.
“―I see. Well, surely it was appropriate to deal with an opponent who was not taking it seriously… Were they using only a single sword?”
“Yeah… was he perhaps originally a dual sword user?”
Towards Maroudo who warped his mouth showing an unpleasant face, I recalled Lubbock’s fighting style from when this was a game, and then I shook my head.
“That’s not quite right, when he’s serious he uses nine swords at the same time. He’s a nine sword user you know.”
Maroudo and King Collard fell forward, losing their strength. The Beast King just said a single “Hou” without any change in expression.
“Nine swords? How the hell did he handle it?!”
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Dumbfounded Maroudo asked a natural question.
“Hmmm, well….there is a magical tool that floated the swords in the air and automatically made them attack. It was improved so they could freely move with the user’s intentions. He fought using seven dispersed swords together with two swords in his hands, it’s kinda like that I think.”
It’s easy to put it into words, but thinking about those who could do such a thing, as far as I knew there was no one besides Lubbock.
Originally, the ability to make a sword fly and attack comes from an item, a back piece. However, on top of the monotonous movements, the AI was not flexible. It didn’t attack the enemy you wanted it to attack, and attacked extra enemies as well, so its user friendliness was poor.
For that reason, a day later a chest piece item control sphere was added that could control the movements manually due to player demand, but it was ignored. There was no way to control it simultaneously while in battle. It took two precious slots, both the chest and back. Due to that it was judged worthless, and many players treated it as a trash item. However, the only one to use it, Lubbock, made the impossible possible.
At that time he got flamed often, with insults like he was using a bot or an illegal mod. As a guild master I could make a declaration: that he does not use cheats. If he’s supposed to be a cheat, that’s just his existence.
The first and probably the last nine sword user, many people thought that it was just some sort of trick. The secret though, is ‘Parallel thought’ ―a talent that lets you perform multiple tasks together at the same time (Although, he was restricted by the number of feet and hands that he had, so he couldn’t use the entirety of his extended keyboard simultaneously. Therefore, some swords except his main, the ‘Zetsu,’ ―the eight swords are: Hana, Tori, Kaze, Tsuki, Yume, Mabaroshi, Abuku, and Kage― had some lag).
Therefore if he’s serious, dealing with Lubbock is the same as dealing with nine max level players, so at least for me I absolutely can’t win against him. It’s better to fight him with a class that has powerful long distance attacks. Magicians match up well against him. (Although his class is Divine Dragon Knight which by nature has high defense, still it’s a ‘better’ match-up).
“…Really unthinkable eh.”
Maroudo shook his head with a feeling beyond admiration.
“Well, he is a genuine genius after all. ―Rather, was it really Lubbock himself?”
To my question that I asked as I turned my head back, Tengai firmly nodded in assent. And then, he looked back at me in wonder.
“There is no mistake. ―Is there any point that was ambiguous?”
“Rather than being ambiguous, it’s that Lubbock followed someone’s commands which is unbelievable. After all he is the ‘One Man Army,’ right? I don’t know if that someone is a god or whatever, but the fact that he was being ordered around, I can’t understand it at all.”
Although I said it like that, it’s not that Lubbock’s personality was bad. He’s just the type of person who is clear on what he likes and dislikes, and he clearly refuses what he hates.
And what he especially hates is supposedly being the type of person who gets ordered around by a superior.
“If I could have talked directly with him then the situation might have been a little different, but I was busy dealing with an opponent that resembled Animaru…”
“Then ‘resembles’ means that he isn’t that person…?”
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“Hmmm, that point is a subtle thing. Indeed, with the collection of the dead body and the collected hand and leg guards, it’s been judged that they are unmistakably ‘Kanshou’ and ‘Byakuya’…”
However, there is something of a subtle, uncomfortable feeling.
“Since we were both occupied, I didn’t have a chance to personally talk to him, but I don’t think he was a person with a screw in his head that was that loose~”
Well I don’t know for sure since he was behind a monitor, but if the real person inside was actually like that… it might be possible too. Still, I feel that something was different.
“…I wonder how I should put it, maybe that he was lacking in human nature.”
“I have also felt that. It was like talking with a child. Either way, I got an odd impression.” The Beast King also agreed with my words.
“However, I surely can’t think of him as anyone other than Animaru. Therefore for the time being perhaps we should sum it up with ‘there is potentially someone that very closely resembled him to that extent’.”
Well, even for me when it’s about drinking an acquaintance’s blood and killing them, as expected I would have an uneasy conscience, so I want to keep thinking about it in that manner.
“…In that case, Lord Lubbock as well?”
“That’s right. For now, could you accept them being ‘someone similar’ as common knowledge?”
“Yes! Acknowledged.” Tengai gave his bow in affirmation. With that, the Beast King put his tea cup that he drank from back onto the table.
“Since that topic is now dried out, would you like to hear my story?”
Those words made the relaxing atmosphere in the room freeze once again.
Receiving the surrounding gazes, the Beast King continued his words with a considerably unimportant tone.
“It’s not something that’s considerably important. It’s just that my motherland, Cres Kingdom is leaving the Cres Cent’luna Federation. And so, could we be accepted into the Imperial Crimson governed by little lady?”
“W―WHAT!?!” King Collard screamed.