Chapter 82: Copper sword
Danan’s fatigued body shook.
Albert who was waiting outside the lift hurriedly rushed over to support Danan.
“Are you okay?”
Upon receiving the final Extra Cure Potion that Albert held out, Danan immediately down its entire content.
His opened wounds sealed once again but there were still many parts which had turned black from internal bleeding that did not regain its natural color. Danan had suffered such grievous internal injury that even Healing Magic could not treat it.
“I’m just a little tired.”
“A normal person would be dead. Moreover, the Cure Potion will not replenish the blood you had lost.”
“Something like blood can just be replenished by eating meat.”
Danan said as he took some dried meat out from his chest pocket and tried to consume it but Albert frantically stopped him.
“Your internal organs are a mess so you can’t! More importantly, the lifts have come so we should go up too.”
The central lift was destroyed but the lifts on the left and right were still fine.
Which Danan was saving Red and Lit, Albert struggled to operate the control panel and managed to call the other lifts.
“Tch, normally I could just run up a vertical hole like this.”
“Without any magic at all? …”
Albert and Danan rode the lift.
“But I don’t understand that Theodora too. She joined hands with Ares and Shisandan but asked you to help me. Aren’t her actions a mess? At first, I thought she was just putting on an act to help me as I was still breathing but it seems that I was wrong.”
After Theodora confirmed Danan’s safety, she promised to cooperate with Shisandan and Ares in the room with the coffins. Ares was surprised but pleased with Theodora’s unexpected behavior and willingly moved to the hall according to her suggestion.
Meanwhile, Albert who was hiding under Theodora’s concealment magic helped Danan drink the Cure Potion and gave him first aid after all the others left the room.
“Well … I think Theodora-san probably didn’t understand it herself. She couldn’t understand so she took contradictory actions.”
“I don’t get it!”
Danan said indignantly. His face was filled with a strong look of discontent.
“If Theodora opposed Hero-sama, then Theodora is already dead. Seriously, what’s going on …”
“Really? Theodora-san is strong too.”
“That’s right, myself, Theodora and Ares are all strong enough to defeat a scale of thousands of orcs on our own. But Hero-sama is a different matter altogether.”
” … The difference is that significant?”
“Theodora has no chance of winning if it comes to a fight. It would be the same even if we three worked together with Yarandorara, Tise, and Red.”
A look of anxiety surfaced on Albert’s complexion. Danan was in a foul mood because he believed that Theodora was dead.
“I’m sorry, I would have been able to carry you up in an instant if I could move my body a little better.”
Danan muttered softly after seeing Albert’s expression.
A metallic noise rang out.
Ruti dressed in armor slammed into the floor without softening her fall.
” …… ”
As opposed to Ruti who was staring absentmindedly at the hole in the ceiling, Shisandan nimbly landed on the ground.
Two contrasting figures. Shisandan readied his four Sacred Avengers.
“Now, how do you feel, O Hero.”
“Why? I only wanted to live a peaceful life with Onii-chan.”
“Hmph, so you still retain your ego huh?”
Ruti did not look at Shisandan.
If she was a Hero, she would have faced Shisandan who was an Asura Demon.
“Hero Ruti, you are a dangerous entity after all. In the name of the Asura, I will destroy you here.”
Shisandan focused his strength into the arms holding the swords.
The Sacred Avengers’ brilliance intensified and enormous power flowed into Shisandan.
“You are strong. But the Sacred Avenger are holy swords made to destroy existences like you. And if an Asura holds them, there is no reason why you can’t be killed!”
His opponent was a young girl who had lost her weapon. Nevertheless, there was no complacency in Shisandan’s expression.
The four holy swords assaulted Ruti but Ruti slowly stood up and used her broken holy sword to parry all of Shisandan’s attacks.
Shisandan roared. The Sacred Avengers shined even brighter and his sword finally caught Ruti’s left arm.
Ruti was wounded and she staggered backward.
” … Is it that bad for me to live an ordinary life?”
“That is ironic. The Divine Protection is meant to prevent a situation like this but instead, you created a mental spirit to resist the impulses from your Divine Protection. That’s right, you have no choice but to live as the Hero. The world wishes for that.”
“Nevertheless, we Asura also have some responsibility for your circumstances. Don’t think too badly of us. But if we destroy the Demon Lord of Fury and prevent his accession to be the Reigning Demon Emperor, the God and people will probably allow the Hero to live a peaceful life.”
Ruti didn’t really understand what Shisandan was talking about.
There was a dry metallic sound.
It was the sound of Ruti discarding her broken sword.
“I have never once said that I wanted to be the Hero. I don’t want such power.”
“Stop it, pick up your sword.”
The air around Ruti who had her left hand hang limply down her side shook as if in fear.
Shisandan tossed one of his swords in front of Ruti.
“Pick it up. Hero Ruti.”
But Ruti did not lay her eyes on the sword, the Sacred Avenger that the Hero should hold.
“This emotion burning in my chest. Thanks to your words, I finally remember. Anger … this is rage.”
Shisandan resolved himself. He held his three holy swords up and attacked Ruti. He planned to cut her head off once she entered his range.
(This strength, although ‘Devil’s Divine Protection’ acted as the trigger, her strength has developed so far and so clearly. As an Asura, as the responsibility of one who holds this sword, I must cut her down here.)
Ruti had devised a swordsmanship, taking the Bahamut Knight Order swordsmanship she learned from Red as the foundation, that could be called a Hero-style swordsmanship.
However, at that moment, Ruti had completely forgotten all the fundamentals of her martial arts. She only wanted to channel out the violent emotions swirling in her heart.
Ruti slowly drew her right hand back.
Without any thoughts in her mind. Just,
“My, and Onii-chan’s, ordinary life, return it.”
She verbalized the true essence behind her anger.
After coming to terms with it, the only thing left to do was to explode out.
Ruti’s figure disappeared from Shisandan’s sight.
Shisandan immediately took a defensive posture.
(But no matter how fast she is, she only has her bare fists. I will receive her attack with my sword and strike back. Then it shall be my victory!)
Shisandan crossed his swords and held a defensive stance in front of Ruti who was charging straight at him.
That was Hero Ruti’s first ever battle cry.
The figure of the Hero that was always calm and collected was nowhere to be seen. At that moment, Ruti was not fighting as the Hero but as Ruti.
” … Impossible.”
The fight was settled in a single blow.
Shisandan lost the feeling in his arms and his swords fell to the ground.
Three of the holy swords that the first generation Hero received from God were pulverized into dust.
Fresh blood overflowed from Shisandan’s mouth. Shisandan held his mouth with trembling hands.
(I guess this is a fatal wound.)
Normally a person would press down on their wound but … even with six arms, he would not be able to press down on the gaping hole in his torso.
(But the Hero has touched the Sacred Avenger … that should mean I have achieved the bare minimum goal.)
Shisandan collapsed with a satisfied smile on his face. The Asura collapsed and no longer moved a finger.
It was clear to anybody’s eyes that he was dead.
“With this, she’ll be fine.”
After removing the armor fragments inside Theodora’s wounds and making her drink a Cure Potion, her condition became stable.
“Why do you help her?”
Godwin asked with dissatisfaction.
“Because Theodora is a friend.”
“Ha? This woman indirectly just tried to kill you.”
“That might be the case. But she is still my friend.”
“Although I hate those who have are not aware that they are villains themselves, I also hate people like you who put on saint masks.”
I laughed wryly as I looked at the angry Godwin.
“You’re wrong. What Theodora did was a hostile act. But.”
I looked at my own hands. They were still shaking.
“I do not want my younger sister to experience the feeling of killing a companion who had traveled with you, even if they had become an enemy.”
Ares was the enemy. I did not regret killing him.
However, there was still that lingering emotion.
“It’s fine if it is for that reason …”
Godwin made an uncomfortable expression and didn’t say anything else.
“More importantly, I must help Ruti next.”
I had all the members drink Cure Potions and had Lit heal Ugeuge-san who couldn’t drink potions with her Spirit Magic but to be honest, they were all beaten up.
Only Godwin was relatively unharmed but naturally, I could not bring him along to fight Shisandan.
“Red-san, are you going?”
“Then I will go too.”
Tise said as she stood up. Ugeuge-san was resting its body on Lit’s palm but it also raised its arm and tried to tag along when Tise stood up.
“Don’t worry, Ugeuge-san should concentrate on healing.”
“Sorry, it would go faster if I could concentrate better.”
“That is already plenty with the injuries Lit-san have. Thank you.”
Lit’s injuries were probably the most severe. After receiving a full-powered spell from Ares, she still had painful burns and wounds all over her body. Her feet seemed to be hurting as well as she was seating in an unnatural position.
“It will be the end once we defeat Shisandan. We can meet up with Danan and go home after that.”
I told Lit and smiled to her to reassure her.
At that moment, a cry resounded from the hole in the ground. The sound of a tremendous impact followed after it.
That was Ruti’s voice!
But, Ruti shouting during battle!?
I held Thunderwaker with my left hand and was about to leap into the hole.
But a single shadow flew out from the hole and blocked my path.
“Ruti! So you’re all right.”
Ruti did not show any expression as her right hand hung limply by her side while holding the Avenger that Shisandan held previously and she just stood idly there.
“Ruti? Are you all right?”
Ruti’s condition was strange. I worriedly moved closer to Ruti.
Suddenly at that moment, Tise strongly pulled my shoulder.
She interposed her body between Ruti and me.
The smell of blood erupted out.
I heard a splash.
Blood flowed from the Avenger.
Tise’s body crumbled. I supported Tise’s body with my left hand.
The young girl’s clothes dyed red in an instant.
“You .. can’t do that … Ruti-sama, this person is your important person … so you can’t … hurt … him …”
It was Ruti who cut Tise.
Ruti stared at us with a transparent expression.
“I-it’s the slaughtering impulse!”
Godwin shouted. That was the side effect of the Devil’s Divine Protection. The incident that happened in Zoltan was still fresh in my memory.
That manifested in Ruti as well!?
The cry of swords clashing against each other resounded in the hall.
“Lit! Godwin! Please take care of Tise!!”
I lowered Tise to the floor, focused my strength into both my arms and locked swords with Ruti to hold her back.
During that time, Godwin swiftly grabbed Tise’s body and retreated.
The moment my attention shifted to my back for an instant, Ruti sent a kick to my stomach.
My body screamed from receiving the heavy blow.
Ruti followed up with a slash using her sword and I received it with Thunderwaker.
It produced an unpleasant metallic sound.
I leaped a few steps backward to create distance.
And then, I looked at Thunderwaker.
” … Thank you for everything until now.”
Countless cracks ran through Thunderwaker’s body. A single blow from Ruti caused about half of the blade to crack.
Thunderwaker would probably never see another battle.
But if Thunderwaker had snapped, I probably would have been cut in two. This sword was an excellent sword until the very end.
I placed Thunderwaker on the ground and put my hand on the handle of the ‘Copper Sword’ hanging on my waist.
I faced Ruti head-on while in the sword-drawing position.
“Do-don’t be reckless! You don’t plan to fight with such a poor weapon!?”
I heard Godwin shout from behind.
The copper sword was certainly a cheap product that could not compare to Thunderwaker.
Ruti slowly swung her sword down.
I sharpened my spirit. The match would be decided in a split second.
The Copper Sword was brittle and dull. That meant that the Copper Sword was softer compared to a steel sword.
Softer meant that it was not as sturdy as steel. But!
Matching Ruti’s blow, I wrapped my fingers around, not the handle but below the cross-shaped sword guard and drew my sword as if grabbing the blade directly.
Bahamut Knight Order style, cross-guard counter.
That was not a martial art originating from a Divine Protection. It was a sword technique.
By drawing the sword while holding the blade, it was a defensive technique meant to receive the opponent’s sword using the sword guard and handle that form a cross. It was a technique meant for weapons such as the Bahamut Knight Order longsword or the copper sword I held now where the blade, guard, and handle were made from a single piece of metal.
Normally I would use it while wearing gloves but with the dull copper sword, it would not cut my finger off even when gripped bare-handedly.
Ruti’s strike drove into the copper sword.
It was the Avenger that could break even an excellent sword. There was no way a copper sword could stop it.
But due to the difference in hardness, the copper sword did not break but was torn like butter from the guard to the blade.
At that instant, I put strength into the fingers holding the copper sword and twisted.
The holy sword was sandwiched by the torn copper sword. When I twisted the copper sword, it naturally applied a rotational force to the holy sword as well. The holy sword was wrestled from Ruti’s hand.
A clang resounded and the holy sword fell to the ground along with the copper sword.
It was similar to the disarming technique of letting your opponent dig their sword into your wooden shield but that was my first time performing it with a sword.
I’m glad it went as planned!
Nevertheless, I had lost my weapon as well. Whereas Ruti had her magic and there was a difference in ability even in terms of bare-handed fighting so I had zero chances of winning.
” ………. ”
Ruti stopped moving. There were no signs of her sending a deadly punch in my direction.
“I’m glad I asked Godwin his opinion as an Alchemist regarding the Devil’s Divine Protection in advance.”
I muttered to myself.
The slaughtering impulse from the Devil’s Divine Protection came from the Divine Protection of the respective demon.
While for Ruti’s Devil’s Divine Protection, there was no Divine Protection from any demon. The innate Divine Protection was within Ruti since birth.
In that case, she should not have any slaughtering impulse. Since Ruti would never want to kill others. I could vouch for that as Ruti’s brother.
As such, by the process of elimination, there was only one source for the slaughtering impulse that was controlling Ruti.
“There is one other Divine Protection remaining. That would be the 『Hero』 Divine Protection.”
In Ruti’s journey to take control of her own life, her Divine Protection posed as her final obstacle.
It was probably brought about by that sword Shisandan was holding. It wanted to annihilate all of us who were helping her to quit being the Hero.
I heard the sound of droplets falling rapidly to the ground.
I moved closer to Ruti. Then, I put my arms around her shoulders and embraced her.
“Ku, u, uaaaaaaaa !!”
I couldn’t even imagine just how much it hurt Ruti inside. She had struck down Tise, her best friend, and swung her sword with the intention to kill me.
Ruti’s face distorted as she cried loudly with anger, sadness, regret, relief … a myriad of emotions mixed in her voice as she remained in my arms.
The battles in Ruti’s arc is complete with this.
Just a little more and we’ll return to the slow life!