[Translator – Niel]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
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Battle instincts gradually sharpen more and more with each passing time.
Swinging your sword in an exaggerated manner will result in potentially wrecking your limbs, while throwing out your weapon absentmindedly would only make your opponent scatter further away from you than it already was.
Thus, the best solution is to follow your instincts and swing your sword.
A mere swing of the sword, without any desire to exploit your enemy, will be the decisive blow and finish it all.
As if to shake the water from an umbrella clean, I swung my sword with a fwoosh, ridding the blood as I splattered it all over the ground.
A strange smell pervaded the area, so much so that one couldn’t help but scrunch up their nose before it.
The smell being none other than the smell of rusted iron and dead flesh.
A crimson color soon stained the earth, its color reminiscent of the red sky that shone above us, while Sofia could only groan from shock as she stood beside me.
“…You just keep getting stronger and stronger, don’t you?”
Lilea said nonchalantly, seeing me, who had taken the initiative on my own and had wiped out all the monsters mentioned in the subjugation request without difficulty.
“Well, I can’t just throw my weapon at them and swing my sword however I like, so I had to properly close the distance for me to actually slay them.”
So it shouldn't really take that much time, I said.
The projectiles that I had long practiced weren’t even able to scratch the monster that Fiole had named “Pii-chan.”
All the while, I wasn’t even able to engage the Jabberwock in close distance properly, and even my best attempt to deliver a ‘Shooting Star’ only sliced the tip of its tail… What’s more, that wound from the blow I sacrificed both my arms to deliver healed just as quickly as I unleashed it.
Considering what I’d been through, getting close enough to these monsters was like child’s play.
Swing my sword and I will be able to slay; if it requires throwing projectiles, so be it.
Although, there weren’t any high-speed blows like the ones that used to slip through a momentary lapse of my consciousness, and knowing that fact disappointed me a little.
“…I knew that you went to Minaura, but what kind of monsters have you actually fought there?”
By nature, people recognize that we are blessed with things that we always take for granted, and it was something that I wasn’t able to do in Minaura.
Perhaps interpreting it that way, Lilea’s face scrunched up in a different way than Sofia’s.
“The monsters that I fought there were outright insane. Had it been just me alone in that place, I would’ve already died the moment I stepped foot in there. I’m only alive this way just because I was lucky enough to meet the people that I met there.”
“…I’d bet so. The monsters of Minaura are infamous for being incredibly strong.”
The cursed town, as people liked to call it.
It's notorious for its infamy, which is well known by many, it seemed.
“It’s just I don’t understand what you’re thinking, especially when you're this good at fighting.”
“Are you referring to my reply to your offer?”
“Is there anything else?”
“Well, no… I just wanted to make sure.”
It was the reply I gave to the offer about defeating a certain monster that Lilea had mentioned.
After she told me about the story of defeating a certain monster that one adventurer, who called himself Amseth, had voiced to her, I had chosen the option of refusing the offer rather than accepting it.
And it seems that Lilea, a fellow sword maniac, couldn't comprehend my reason for doing so.
“…Are you perhaps holding back because of me?”
Wondering if it was the threat of bloodshed before her eyes, Sofia asked shyly, turning her face slightly away from me.
“No, not even a little bit.”
I replied without even a moment’s hesitation.
And immediately afterward, she stepped on the top of my foot as hard as she possibly could.
…What do you want me to do, then?
“But don't you think it's a unique opportunity to get stronger?”
“Yeah, I believe so. But it’s just not the kind of situation I’m looking for…”
Because first of all, when I wield my sword, no matter how big or small, I need a proper reason.
And secondly, I seek the struggle where there’s an opportunity for me to exceed my own limits.
The short way to becoming a ‘Star Slayer’ is to keep overcoming the obstacles that stand in front of me.
“To be honest, I think I’m more interested in the ‘Magician Hunter’ than defeating that monster.”
[Translator – Ramen ]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
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I had my reasons.
Knowing that the ‘Magician Hunter’ was killing high-profile magicians one-sidedly, I couldn’t help but to want to keep my magician childhood friend, Sofia, safe from harm's way.
Thus, the first and second conditions had been met.
And to me, the idea of doing so was much more appealing than a bunch of magicians gathering to defeat a monster together, despite the idea of working together to overcome such an enemy.
I wasn’t willing to go the usual path, given that I carved my own, so what I needed to work on was overcoming my own set of walls and obstacles.
“Besides, catching the ‘Magician Hunter’ grants a big reward, right? Won’t that be more worthwhile?”
“…But, no one even knows what that person looks like, sounds like, or even their sex.”
Lilea couldn't help but be dumbfounded.
No matter how much of a bounty the ‘Magician Hunter’ had, I had no clues to go on.
It remained the biggest problem.
“But there’s only one way to find out what the ‘Magician Hunter’ looks like.”
“…Are you saying that you’re going to use yourself as bait?”
My answer came immediately, and I nodded in agreement.
Are you kidding me?
She looked at me as if she was too dumbfounded to say anything.
“If I remember correctly, the next time he’ll appear is the day after tomorrow. So if I walk down the night city all by myself, there’ll be a good chance that I’ll run into him.”
“You’re aware that you could get yourself killed, right?”
“But it’s the quickest way.”
“…I suppose so.”
The reason why Lilea maintained her reluctance about this topic was probably because she was certain that those renowned military people weren’t easily defeated and could be killed by mere surprise alone.
And the most important thing to keep in mind was that no matter how careful I was in my attempts to intercept the Magician Hunter, there was a high probability that I’ll fail.
“—I think that’s fine.”
Then, Sofia, who had been quietly listening to the conversation, finally raised her voice, and it was, surprisingly, in support of my point of view.
“It’s because no matter what we tell Julius, he won’t listen. And no matter how much we disagree about your plan here, you’re still going to act selfishly and do as you please without even letting us know anything, aren’t you?”
I was at a loss for words.
I couldn't agree more with her, because somewhere in my mind, I had a feeling that what was going to happen would be just as she said.
“If so, it would be better if we knew what you were doing, since it would be easier for us to help.”
We’d known each other for all our lives, and just so happened that she knew me all too well.
A single whack from her would’ve already stopped me from going to Minaura.
“…It's true, that's probably the best way to go about it.”
I was a fool who willingly went to Minaura despite the reputation it has.
Moreover, the reason why I went there was based on the fact that I thought I needed to become stronger as soon as possible in order to slay the stars.
Therefore, it was just impossible to change my opinion by making a good argument.
“…I mean, after just a month and a bit of not seeing you, it had completely slipped my mind. The only thing that was clear to me was that you weren't normal, so I shouldn’t be really surprised.”
I shrugged my shoulders and laughed at her words.
Fundamentally, when human beings take risks, they always try to go ahead with a "rational" reason in mind.
To protect something. To help other people.
To fulfill a mission that has been imposed on them, and so on.
It's what common sense and what the world calls a natural thing to do.
So it’s all the more reason to call someone who declares that he’s willing to venture out and risk losing his own life an insane person.
And for this very reason, I can’t fully expect that my way of thinking would be understood, given that it greatly differs from other people.
“I forgot that you’re an idiot who fought a mutant ogre with a mere piece of stick and genuinely enjoyed every single part of it.”
Although it sounded good to say that I was running towards a goal that lies endlessly ahead, to put it bluntly— I was nothing more than a loser.
“Besides, you’ve already messed around enough when you went to Minaura. If you repeat the same thing and end up dying, I won’t care, so remember that.”
“I feel like someone has told me something similar back in Minaura.”
“…You're still the same old reckless idiot I met two years ago.”
“Compliments won’t get you anywhere, Lilea.”
“…What are you on about now?”
Lilea, who had been staring at my face, then let out a deep sigh upon hearing my remark.
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