Extra chapter thanks to my Patreons~
Chapter 22: Lit, noon duel
Lit moved away from Red and looked around the surroundings after she exited the shop.
There wasn’t anybody around but she could hear screams and angry shouts from the distance. It was most likely coming from the road two streets down across the building. The trail of blood which likely came from the man who dashed into the shop also led to that alley.
Lit followed the trail of blood. Judging by the man’s injuries, he wouldn’t have run a great distance.
When she entered the alley,
A running screaming man appeared in front of Lit.
Lit instantly dropped low and,
She nimbly danced in the air.
She leaped over the man’s head and continued running in a flash.
Despite seeing that amazing acrobatics feat, the man just continued running away.
(Looks like it wasn’t a fight.)
The man’s eyes showed that he was in a panic from a threat to his life. Lit could vividly recall those eyes, the same eyes the people had as they tried to escape from the Demon Lord army’s assault.
Even though she understood that the Asura Demon Shisandan couldn’t possibly be ahead, Lit still tightly clutched the handle of the sword in her hand.
When she dashed out into the street, a monster like the Asura Demon was not there as expected.
However, there was an unexpected person.
Six bleeding men and women were on the ground. There were both people moaning while pressing against their wounds and also people who died instantly with their heads split open. Among the fallen men was one guard with a spear in hand. His iron helmet was crushed and his face in the sea of blood did not show a single twitch or sign of movement.
The three men who could easily be identified as the culprits each had blood-drenched battle axes hanging loosely by their sides and had neurotic twisted smiles on their faces.
Glaring at the man in the center, Lit lowered her voice and said.
” … You are the Thief in Albert’s party.”
Lit was surprised on the inside. Even if he was just a side character beside Albert, that man was still a person from the strongest party in Zoltan.
“Lit, Lit, Litoooooo ….”
Lit intuitively felt that he was not sane. The other two men also did not show daunted expressions even though the hero Lit was standing in front of them.
In fact, the three of them were gnashing their teeth to intimidate her.
“What is wrong with you guys?”
There was no way Lit was close to Albert’s companions. However, as a B-rank adventurer, she had occasionally conversed with them.
That man’s name was Pick Campbell if she remembered correctly. Even though he had his cruel side, he should be a person with true adventurer spirit.
However, the appearance of the B-rank adventurer in front of her was far from that of an intelligent being. His appearance was akin to a monster which lacks reasoning.
Campbell raised his axe and charged forward. Lit stayed rooted in place and readied her shotel as she waited.
(He’s fast, and his movements are sharp. Is this actually an opponent who possesses the Divine Protection of the Thief?)
The rushing Campbell entered the space between him and Lit and swung his axe down. Lit took a single step forward.
Campbell’s axe cut through the air and the two of them crossed paths.
Campbell’s arm fell to his side loosely and the battle axe fell to the ground with a clang.
His clothes slowly dyed red as if his body just remembered that it was cut and then he collapsed.
The two other men were startled and they quickly readied their axes.
At that moment, the sound from the tap of a foot kicking off from the ground was transmitted.
The man felt that it happened in an instant.
Even though there should still have been a distance, Lit’s sword was quickly approaching the man.
There was a sound of violently clashing metal.
But the shotel blade was stopped by the handle of the man’s battle axe.
Lit was slightly surprised but she twisted her shotel with flowing movements.
The curved blade extended beyond the battle axe and the sharp edge sliced into the man’s flank, reaching his internal organs.
After pulling her blade back, the man dropped to one knee as he bled.
Surprisingly the last person showed a horrified expression and fled.
As if the madness he had just moments ago was a lie.
Lit was just about to chase after him.
An arrow streaked out from the alley and pierced through the side of the man’s head, pinning him to the wall of the building.
There was no need to check, he died instantly.
Lit directed a fierce gaze towards the alley.
At the alley was Albert who had a crossbow raised and the doctor Newman.
“Sorry, it seems that my companions have troubled you.”
Albert said with a humbled expression.
“Albert, what is the meaning of this?”
“I don’t know either. I did not imagine him to be a man to commit such violence.”
Albert’s phrasing sounded as if it was other people’s affairs.
Even though his companion had just died.
“More importantly, shouldn’t you be treating the fallen?”
Newman hurriedly approached the injured people while hugging his bag.
“I would like your fiancé to come here too. I don’t mind if you send the medicine charges to me.”
Even though Albert nearly got killed by Lit just yesterday, he didn’t seem like he was bothered by it. He said it with his usual conceited tone.
Lit did not like it. The Divine Protection within Lit was starting to shout at her to 『Kill your enemy』.
“Oh, I’ll be helping the doctor so excuse me.”
Perhaps he felt the rising killing intent from Lit as Albert ran from Lit’s eyes and moved to Newman’s side.
” …… ”
Clang! There was a metallic sound. Albert turned back with shock to look at Lit.
Lit thrust her right hand directly forward and then opened her grip to let the sword fall. Albert looked on with a puzzled expression.
That was a ritual Lit performed to regain herself when she was attacked by the impulse to move according to her Divine Protection. To thrust with the hand holding her weapon and open it to drop her weapon.
Then, Lit picked up her weapon with her left hand and slowly sheathed it.
She finally exhaled.
Two of the victims died instantly. One person from the surviving four died before he could be treated. The other three had serious injuries but they were able to hold on to their lives.
There were seven in total including the victim who ran into my shop. Among which, three of them were Half-Elves. Of them, the Half-Elf Keno lost his life. The rest were humans.
Thankfully, Newman encountered them on his way to my shop and that despite having been cut countless times by the axes, half of them could survive so it could be said to be a blessing among the misfortune.
Also, for standing forward with bravery, the guard Arthur who was killed received commendation from the Zoltan congress. As he had a wife and two daughters, they would receive a yearly pension.
However, even though the stout-hearted wife could claim that she was proud that her husband bravely fought to buy time for the citizens to escape, the daughters beside the resolute mother cried loudly in her stead.
A B-rank adventurer going mad.
It was a headache-inducing scandal for the Adventurers Guild but since Lit retired midway, Albert’s party has been given special treatment.
Albert apologized for the mismanagement of his companion with a sorrowful expression but he still added a new companion to his party and will probably continue his adventurer work.
“So nothing changed in particular.”
I put the block printed news that I was reading beside me.
It has been a week since that tragedy. A cooling wind was finally blowing outside but nothing else has changed apart from that.
“Who did the autopsy?”
Lit, who had her head on my knees, asked. It was the famous lap pillow posture.
Lately, she has taken to that position and she would slide her body over whenever she saw the chance.
To be honest, I actually wanted to be given a lap pillow instead.
“Well, it was not written in the news but do you think they lost their sanity because of the drug?”
“I don’t think so … besides, they were a lot stronger than expected. I can only imagine that they were enhanced by drugs instead.”
“I have seen the movements of Albert’s companion, Campbell, before. I wouldn’t be able to say he was strong even if I wanted to flatter him. But that time, he had an intimidating aura that made me feel that I could not carelessly cut him. Even the other man, a person who can receive my sword even once can’t possibly be unknown in Zoltan.”
“The other two men were apparently C-rank adventurers and Campbell’s ex-party mates. They still got along even after Campbell transferred to Albert’s party but … it is true that taking their experience into consideration, it is unthinkable that they are capable of stopping Lit’s sword.”
Lit shouldn’t be mistaken as she actually fought them.
Did they use an enhancement potion?
“Won’t they be able to tell by testing for any drug reactions when they investigate their blood?”
“If they have the skill and test drug … I’m more concerned about why Campbell, a person with the Divine Protection of the Thief, was using an axe.”
“I take it you have never heard of a person who wields an axe while having the Divine Protection of the Thief.”
“Of course. The Divine Protection of the Thief favors light weapons. A large majority of their unique skills can’t be used with a weapon like an axe.”
That was why his usage of an axe was incomprehensible to me. Of course, it was possible that he used an axe because he didn’t have any other weapons but …
“I can’t imagine he was cornered to the point that he didn’t have any other weapons.”
“Moreover, to contest with me with such a makeshift weapon … is unbelievable.”
The mystery only deepened.
“What shall we do, should I investigate a little?”
Lit asked as she looked up towards me.
” … I wonder.”
A murder happened just outside the shop.
There were many inexplicable aspects and it was possible that there were various things happening behind the scenes.
“What does Lit want to do?”
“I just want to fall asleep like this.”
She said and closed her eyes while lying on my lap.
” … Fumu.”
I wondered what to do as I stroked Lit’s hair.
Ah, that sensation made me recall the cat that lived in the dormitory I stayed in during my knight apprenticeship days.