(192) The abrupt end to the charade
Haru and I still could not hide our surprise at finally reuniting after missing each other after so long. Our swords were trembling. Thanks to that, it might have seemed to the surrounding audience that a competition of strength was going on.
(Haru, why are you here?)
(We were planning to make the pirates there let us ride their ship after this match was over.)
I see, I did consider the possibility that Haru would have reached Port Ithaca but Haru was not the type to wait until the fishing season ends. I failed to consider the possibility that she would try to somehow get to Port Kobe.
(Master too, why are you aiding the pirates?)
(They aren’t pirates, just regular fishermen. Normally, the fishing ground would be split equally like every year but this year the Port Kobe pirates voluntarily retired and so I posed as a pirate for this negotiation.)
(So that was why ― it seems like I have been lied to … Although I had already stopped trusting those people who played such petty tricks during a sacred battle like this.)
It looked like Haru didn’t look upon their act of tampering with my sword kindly.
(By the way, where is Malina?)
(Malina is on the pirate ship.)
She’s on the pirate ship huh … that means we can’t tell what the pirates might do if Haru loses. If that’s the case ― I feel a little guilty but,
(Haru, let’s continue this charade for a little longer)
( ― Understood. Although Master calls it a charade, I shall fight to the best of my ability as I have the chance to practice with Master who is stronger than me. After this is over, I will apologize in whatever manner necessary for the disloyalty of pointing my sword at Master.)
No, she’s going to fight seriously?
I wasn’t looking for some battle junkie spirit. Neither was I looking for her apology for her disloyalty.
I don’t want her to do something like splitting her stomach okay? (TL: Harakiri)
I leaped backward and grandly drew my sword up,
And swung my sword down, releasing a vacuum wave like in a swashbuckler film. Haru leaned slightly to her right. Naturally, with Haru’s dynamic visual acuity as well as her agility, regardless of the armor she had on, she effortlessly dodged the slash. Although the slash was aimed at a position that would not hit her anyway.
And that vacuum wave bore into the surface of the earth and plunged into the ranks of the opposing pirates. Three of the pirates were blown away.
“Bastard, where are you aiming at!”
The pirates yelled.
“Your captain evaded it himself, it wasn’t my fault!”
I shouted back. Behind me, Hallock was laughing but jeez, at this rate, the opposing pirates will all be decimated.
Maybe we should just ignore this match and directly beat them up.
Just as I was thinking that, flames covered the blade of Haru’s dagger, the Flame Dragon’s Tooth. Immediately after that, those flames were shot from the dagger.
It was a little shocking even though it was shot at an avoidable position ― just as that thought passed through my mind, Haru rapidly approached me and released a roundhouse kick.
I acted as if I was blown away and leaped to my side on my own. At that spot was naturally the belly of the enemy pirate’s former captain. In other words, I just did a body blow.
“Oo, thanks for the great cushioning!”
While I said that, I added in an elbow strike on the former pirate captain who had fallen on his back. The pirate captain collapsed with foam around his mouth.
“Help me look after him.”
I said as I stood up and readied my sword.
“Now this is getting interesting.”
It was seriously interesting. Despite having been apart for so long, I could grasp what Haru was about to do and what she wants to do.
Similarly, for Haru, she knew what I wanted to do and matched her movements to mine.
Our dance-like movements were as if we were in a swordfight period drama and before we knew it, Hallock and the others were watching us silently. And we made all the enemy pirates faint silently.
“It seems like they’ve all been annihilated without us noticing.”
“Yeah ― then ―”
It happened when Haru was about to lose on purpose.
” ―― !!”
What’s this sensation?
It was chilly all of the sudden. The Presence Detection skill activated on its own and it told me that I was going to be attacked by that monster.
Haru was the same, she trembled as she looked at the southern sky.
I could tell even from a distance. I could tell even without confronting it.
That unmasked killing intent ― it was probably a strong foe at the same level of the Leviathan.
(It can’t be ― the Demon Lord!?)
Haru heard my involuntary muttering and looked at me.
(What about Demon Lord-sama?)
(I was planning to tell Haru later but it seems like the Demon Lord has revived and is near Port Kobe.)
(Demon Lord-sama … has revived?)
Although Haru could not hide her shock, I actually hoped that this presence belonged to the Demon Lord. As long as Haru was there, it would probably not turn into a fight.
But it was still uncertain.
I turned to Hallock and yelled.
“Hallock! You guys should evacuate with the ship! Something dangerous is coming!”
“Dangerous person … Don’t tell me it’s that person who destroyed the pirates ―”
“It might or might not be. I’m not sure but just evacuate for now!”
Hallock replied and ran in the direction of the ship.
Like this, they won’t find out that Haru and the Demon Lord are acquainted.
I thought so but ―
” — !”
The presence changed direction. That direction is —
I looked eastward where Hallock ran off to and cursed my own stupidity.
If the opponent moves to crush pirates, there’s a possibility that they will aim for the escaping Hallock and others and it was what actually happened.
A huge explosion of darkness happened to the east and that aura became a gust of darkness that threatened to blow us off our feet.
I covered my face with both my hands to resist it and thought to rush to Hallock’s aid but it looked like the fight was already over.
The presence slowly came towards our direction.
“Haru, I’ll let you know first, I have pretty much used up all my magical power and I can’t even switch from my magic-class jobs to Swordsman job — I’m at about 50% of my capabilities.”
” — That was your 50% huh — I have personally experienced Master’s amazing strength.”
“Please leave the flattery to after everything is over — if the opponent is the Demon Lord that Haru is acquainted with, name yourself immediately — if not, we’ll look for an opening to escape to where Malina is.”
If we escaped to My World, Malina who was still on the pirate ship would be in danger.
However, if we moved to the pirate ship where Malina was now, the Demon Lord would probably chase us and it would turn into a fight before we could talk.
Now, we could only wait.
Then, I slowly heard the footsteps of the owner of that presence and they appeared.
Strangely, the opponent was also wearing armor just like us.
I had a golden armor, Haru had a silver armor and the opponent had a bronze armor.
However, unlike an Olympic competition, I could tell from their presence that their strength was not directly proportional to the material of the armor.
“Haru — is that?”
“No, Demon Lord-sama is not that small.”
” … I guessed so.”
That figure reminded me of the height of the mysterious girl that I heard of from Hallock and the others. A considerable scent of danger was coming from the opponent of about Carol and Miri’s height wearing bronze armor.
I was certain that was the pirate-crushing girl feared as a Demon Lord by Hallock and the others.
If I remember correctly, her name was —
I wonder what is the identity of the mysterious bronze armor —
It shall be continued in the next chapter.