[Translator – Niel]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
Silence descended upon the room.
It lasted for a second or two, then it was ten.
I open my mouth to reply to Zenoah’s earlier statement.
“...Is the request you told me the result of looking through my thoughts?”
I chose my words carefully.
If she could see through even Fiole, this wouldn’t take long.
Therefore, I asked.
I wondered if she was aware of my thought process, which had led me to Minaura for such a self-centered reason.
“Yes… And the reason why is plain simple. The ‘Magician Hunter’ you wish to learn more about possesses a magical ability called『Collector.』”
“Yes. From the moment you were under his『Disorientation』magic, you’d already seen it. Its ability allows him to seize the magic of any magician he kills.”
“…And the flaw of his magic is…”
“You can’t collect and use more than one magic at the same time. It’s the only flaw that I know of.”
In short, it’s not possible to cast a new magic while performing the『Disorientation』magic, for example.
If he wanted to do so, he would have to lift the『Disorientation』and all of its effects before he could proceed to collect and do another.
That was basically the gist of it.
“That is why I would like you to back off. Please don’t give him more ways to attack us.”
“…Are you saying that I’ll be killed?”
“If you challenge him, you will surely perish. Besides, the flaw of the『Disorientation』magic is something a swordsman like you will never be able to exploit.”
A swordsman like me.
I was a little taken aback by her choice of words.
“For people like you who rely on your ‘instincts’ to fight, you can’t afford to lose your senses, no matter what.”
As Zenoah was saying so, she extended her right hand to her right ear.
“The flaw within the『Disorientation』magic is that it relies on tinkering with one’s auditory sense. In other words, if a magician were to dismiss his sense of hearing in any way, it would have no effect at all. However, the ‘Magician Hunter’ collects all sorts of magic other than『Disorientation』magic. So even if you find a way around it, it wouldn’t matter to him.”
Even if you managed to get out of his『Disorientation』magic, he would still have a lot more magic left his arsenal.
Hence why the ‘Magician Hunter’ and I were a completely terrible match.
The woman in front of me, Zenoah, pointed out that even if I did my best fighting him, he would surely kill me and collect my very own magic to use as his own.
“…So what do you want me to do, then?”
“Like I said earlier, I want you to back off.”
I paused for a moment and thought.
I didn't know the whole story yet, but from what I'd heard about his magical abilities, that man must still have a variety of means at his disposal just hidden away.
We were in a situation where we were already struggling against his『Disorientation』magic.
Sure, it can be very difficult to beat.
Even I would laugh at myself trying to analyze the impossibility of the current state of affairs.
Turning away because I was against something dangerous…
Changing my ways because I knew I couldn’t ever win…
I couldn’t do that…
If it had been for any other reason, there still might have been room to compromise.
But this incident alone, no matter what, I... I'm the only one who mustn't admit it.
Having resolved to my dream of being a ‘Star Slayer,’ I shouldn’t turn my back away for such a trivial reason.
It’s important to think things over in a calm manner.
It's important to fully analyze one’s capabilities at play.
But… those factors are only in the category of being “important,” and not something I must render decisive to my own decision-making.
And so, I—
“I fully understand what you’re trying to say, but I’m afraid that’s an unreasonable request.”
“…May I ask you why?”
“It’s simple. I don’t even trust the ‘Magician Hunter’ myself in the first place, and after what he told me, he still might even kill Lilea. I think those are enough reasons for me to still want to kill him, am I wrong?”
Lilea is one of the only people I’m truly grateful for.
I owe her a lot for taking good care of me, and above all, I don’t want her to die.
Those are more than enough reasons for me to fight.
“Besides, if you’ve looked into my head, you already knew that. The thought of me fighting a battle I can't win is great, to say the least. Dying is only natural, and if I deserved it, that’s fine by me, too. It’s only when I overcome the walls in front of me that lie beyond such recklessness that it becomes meaningful. That’s how I think. Well… I must say that I’m a rather lucky person to be able to do so.”
I was met with a gaze very similar to the one Fiole had once given me in Minaura.
It was the familiar look in her eyes that carried a feeling of incomprehension and skepticism about my sanity.
But even if the red-haired swordsman I know, Siva, was in my place, I’m certain that he would’ve said the same thing.
And had he known what I was up to, I’m also certain that he’d be so jealous of this situation.
“Well, this is something that everyone around me never understood, let alone my close friend Sofia, nor even my own father… so I’m more than aware that no matter how you look at it, this is very strange.”
The grimace in Zenoah’s face shot right through me, one of her eyebrows jumped ever so slightly before I could even finish my remark.
Her silence urged me to make all the appeals I could make.
“Once you have longed for something, you can’t help but reach for it, no matter what obstacles you may encounter. I would gladly run towards my goal on all fours. That’s how much of an irredeemably stupid person I am.”
I even set the man in my memories, the ‘Star Slayer,’ as my lifelong goal.
It was a given that a person who admired a fool who had devoted his whole life to a single promise was also an irredeemable fool.
“…Yes. Now that you mention it, I do think that you are an irredeemable fool.”
Zenoah thought I didn’t stand a chance.
So, to her, my actions are not of bravery, but only of barbarism.
After taking a few seconds to savor the words directed at me, I chuckled.
I broke into a carefree smile, affirming that that's exactly what I meant.
“…Would the possibility of us protecting you change your answer?”
“Yes, definitely. I’d surely dump away all the reasons I’ve been meaning to justify. And if that’s indeed the case, I will even venture out my way to gladly fight for you to compensate for the security that Sofia and the others will receive.”
(TL Note: The italicized words are part of his thoughts that Zenoah can read.)
At the end of the day, no words can be used to stop a person once a proper reason has been established.
“This life is my only one. And this is the only encounter I’d get with this person. If so, how could I be so foolish as to let this opportunity pass by? It’s all the more reason for me to do otherwise.”
Not reaching out to that longing when you have a legitimate reason to do so is just plain stupid.
I can’t win, they say.
That’s true, even I thought so.
And that’s mainly why the ‘Magician Hunter’ is a wall that stands before me.
I was merely being told the fact that I had no chance of winning at this point in time.
Overcome that very wall, then.
It's so simple, even a child can understand it.
This is just a matter of going beyond my limits and prevailing.
I had no reason to back down.
Not even for a moment did I have a vision of the ‘Star-Slaying Swordsman’ in my memory losing to anyone.
“As long as there’s this burning passion in my heart, I’ll keep reaching out. I’m not that adept of a person to accept a life where I blatantly lie to the feelings of longing in my heart.”
The memories of the ‘Star Slayer,’ which still shone brightly in my mind, wouldn’t be forgotten, erased, or turned away from.
Nor could they be spared from being fulfilled.
There was no other way but to accept it as it was.
“I’m grateful for the information you gave. With this, I think I’ll be able to fight the ‘Magician Hunter’ more properly than I did when we first met.”
Recalling the events that occurred just a few hours ago, specifically when I wasn’t even able to stand my ground on the battlefield, I stood up.
“—I think I now see why Fiole gave up on you…”
Zenoah muttered to herself as I rose up, but I pretended not to hear and proceeded to bow my head before leaving the room.
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