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Chapter 22 – Spurned by fate, bitter enemies in the same place (Part 1)

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Tanaka English Source: Re:Library

“Oh goodness… what a nostalgic lineup,” Shima remarked, his gaze alternating between the newly arrived duo—Lubbock and Tamegoro. Simultaneously, he regenerated his vanished arm from the root, reminiscent of a time-lapse video showing a plant’s growth from germination to budding.

He then glanced my way, catching me staring dumbfounded at the unexpected visitors. He nodded to himself, as if all the pieces suddenly fell into place.

“This timing, and Hiyuki’s surprised expression… I guess you both are cut from the same cloth, just like me. This might make us comrades in arms, or perhaps a new generation created by that guy? Does that make us siblings, perhaps? By the way, I prefer being called ‘Dear Brother,’ lil’ Fire. And as your elder brother, I’m quite disappointed by your interference—a sin worthy of punishment. So… drop deaaadddd!”

True to his words, Shima sprouted spikes all over his newly regenerated arm and launched them at Lubbock like a spray of buckshot.


Upon closer inspection, the spikes were actually cross-shaped swords—the standard long-swords of Church Knights. Shima had apparently resorted to using the weapons of church knights.

An overwhelming number of swords blanketed our vision like an avalanche, completely obscuring the scenery between them.

The torrent of swords—better described as a ‘giant lump of steel’—ignored Tamegoro, who quickly pressed herself against the wall, and enveloped Lubbock, who stood alone in the center of the corridor.


Lubbock exhaled as he unsheathed Zetsu, the strongest sword in the Saber class, from his waist. Was he really planning to face this onslaught with just one sword? Given the odds, not even wielding all nine of his swords seemed likely to extricate him from this dire situation.

A mountain of swords rained down on Lubbock in the blink of an eye, creating a thunderous roar and obscuring him from our view. To further pin him down, the swords continued to fall relentlessly, piling up as if there were no tomorrow.

“Hahahahaha! Did you see that? If he’s a master of nine swords, then I’m the master of ten-thousand swords! He might have been victorious in ‘E.H.O,’ but here, this victory is mine! No.1 my a̲s̲s̲. Just one attack was enough to shred him!”

Shima cackled wildly before the pile of steel wreckage, now unrecognizable; there was nothing left to indicate that the mass before him had once been an individual’s sword.

His madness persisted, yet unlike his earlier casual demeanor, he now seemed as if he had finally extracted a painful thorn from his side, basking in a surge of euphoria.

It appeared that Shima had felt threatened by Lubbock. Although I hadn’t participated in PvP battles myself and it was somewhat beyond my grasp, Lubbock was known in the game as the reigning leader—the undefeated king of PvP rankings.

A match against him was less about ‘who would win’ and more about how long one could withstand him, or how far they could push him. As a contender consistently ranked among the top three, alongside Animaru, Shima was more aware of this than anyone—although the title of No.2 he often claimed was more of a self-proclamation, frequently contested between him and Animaru.

In any case, he seemed to have completely lost his composure after seemingly crushing his greatest rival—or whatever he considered Lubbock to be. Yet, his maniacal laughter was soon cut short by a calm voice.

“Sure enough, you’re all show and no substance in execution.”

Accompanying these words with a disappointed sigh, Lubbock emerged from the remnants of what was once a sword structure, slicing it apart with a single stroke of his greatsword, completely unscathed.

Shima’s eyes shrunk to pinpoints in utter shock at the sight, emitting a silent scream.

“You went overboard targeting me with this multitude of swords. You know, only about 200 to 300 of your so-called sword rain actually reached me. And with so many, your control over them weakened. I hardly needed to dodge that sloppy, gap-ridden attack.”

Lubbock spoke as he stepped forward, his left hand gripping the longsword ‘Tsuki.’

“Throwing weapons with such minimal control is no significant feat. They can be easily countered unless their trajectories are meticulously managed. A better strategy would have been to limit their number for more precise shots or intricate maneuvers, or even to disguise spells and explosions within a sword barrage. Yet, you chose to try and end this quickly without a solid strategy, ultimately just allowing your opponent to evade under a useless flurry of swords. Did you think you could counter any surprise attack simply because you’re a mage? Relying on quantity over quality is futile without a solid plan.”

Lubbock calmly approached Shima, critiquing his tactics almost as if reciting a cooking recipe. To an outsider, Lubbock’s comments might make it seem like devising a better strategy was child’s play. However, anyone with a modest understanding of combat, be it a half-hearted swordsman like myself or Spellblade Shima, would know it was far from simple.

The ability to perceive swords hurtling towards oneself from all directions and to deflect them without alerting others is something I couldn’t manage—I would have simply dodged by increasing the distance. I’d wager that even the top-ranked players of «E.H.O» would find it impossible. Such feats surpass human capabilities in awareness and spatial perception. It’s no surprise he’s considered a living cheat; one does not become an undefeatable king by mere chance.

As he analyzed his opponent’s attack pattern, swords of various sizes and shapes—each engraved with the names Hana, Tori, Kaze, Tsuki, Yume, Maboroshi, Abuku, and Kage, each a masterwork in its own right—materialized behind Lubbock, their points directing towards Shima.

Shima, already seeming overwhelmed by the mental duel, staggered back—or more precisely, Jotun did.

Meanwhile, Lubbock, accompanied by Tamegoro who had swiftly rejoined his side, advanced towards us and halted. Their attention shifted from Shima to me.

—So, another confrontation, huh?

I had just raised my guard when Lubbock gave a bitter smile upon seeing this, and Tamegoro—

“Whoa! You’re so pretty, Miss Hiyuki! It’s almost to the point of being unfair!” She clung to me, her expression dramatically exaggerated, hands empty.

Lubbock was one thing, but seeing someone like Tamegoro approach so openly without any pretense likely caused hesitation among Mikoto and the others. They exchanged glances, their expressions uncertain, hands poised on their weapons, ready to react to even the slightest suspicious movement.

Tamegoro, seemingly oblivious to the surroundings, casually wrapped her arm around my shoulder and affectionately nudged her cheek against mine.

“God damn, so soft! What’s with your skin? It’s so soft and velvety! And this smell is just irresistible!”

I had many questions myself, primarily, what on earth was she doing? Her actions resembled those of a lecherous old man, except she was in the guise of a young girl. My confusion only grew as she unabashedly inhaled my scent, her nose visibly twitching. Then, with a deft movement, her hand wandered down to caress my chest as if familiar with such gestures. How had her hand slipped there unnoticed?

“H… Hey! What are y… hnng!”

My attempt to speak was cut short by the rhythmic movements of her fingers. It felt less like a caress and more as if she was strumming a zither or handling something delicate. The sensation was so intense that my knees began to buckle.

“Kukuku, fuhaha, is this the spot, or perhaps this one? Relax, Miss Hiyuki, and allow me to guide you. As someone born a girl, I bring a lifetime of experience…”

Tengai, Mikoto, Utsuho, and Kokuyou were rendered speechless by the unfolding scene.

“Haaa…” Lubbock sighed dramatically and, with a swift movement, tapped Tamegoro’s head with his katana ‘Tsuki’ to halt her antics.

“Gahh! My head is splitting!” Tamegoro cried out, clutching her head and rolling on the ground in apparent agony.

“Explain your actions! Surely this isn’t just some inappropriate act?” I demanded, pointing my ‘Gilles de Rais’ at Lubbock as I adjusted my disheveled attire. In an unexpected gesture, Lubbock set his swords ‘Zetsu’ and ‘Tsuki’ on the ground and raised his hands, showing no intention of hostility.

“We’re not here to fight today. But if you’ll trust me, we’re actually here to help you—” Lubbock paused, noticing my skeptical expression. “It probably seems too good to be true for you, I guess.”

“I know it sounds improbable, but it’s true! We can’t let that individual remain unchecked, so we hope to cooperate and contain him if possible—and no, it’s not on orders from that snake head, Miss Hiyuki.” Tamegoro, having recovered from her earlier display, echoed this sentiment.


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