I changed my clothes after getting out of the sea.
I throw my wet clothes into the Shadow Storage and walk unsteadily into the city.
There was a dark muddy something in the depths of my heart.
I swam and swam, but even with that, I couldn’t get it off me, and simply ended up making my heart heavier.
…No, even so, it was better that I managed to tire my body.
“Let’s get a drink…” (Hikaru)
I was calm enough that I could objectively tell myself that I was done for the day.
The days that I am no good, I am done. Giving up in those areas is important.
If I am going to be living in this world forever, I am sure I will be feeling like this countless times in the future.
If I were to feel like killing myself every single time, my body won’t be able to handle it, and I don’t want the viewers to consume that weird and amusing sight of me as content.
Then, I have no choice but to learn how to…properly sidestep my emotions…
I entered the place Rifreya brought me for the first time.
I sat at a table for two and ordered something.
(I am glad you were the one who was chosen…huh.) (Hikaru)
That might be true.
If I was chosen, it wouldn’t have been strange if Celica or Karen were to have been chosen too.
I don’t know why I was the one sent here after all.
I am a man, and I should be able to somehow manage to survive in this world.
If it is Celica…she might be able to survive in this world. It would be impossible for Karen.
I was thinking that while drinking the sweet cocktail that was served to me.
Mother probably said that without any deep meaning behind it… Even so, I didn’t want her to say that in such a manner.
At the very least, I would have wanted my family to curse the actions of God.
The sweet alcohol swirled in my brain, and it turned the contours of the world hazy.
It feels good -to the point that I could forget everything.
The bell set on the door rang, and when I looked over there, one customer had come in.
A young woman clad in a mysterious atmosphere.
Pale unhealthy-looking skin, strawberry blonde hair that seemed like it was cut haphazardly which had the ends of it bouncing.
Wearing full armor that didn’t show any skin, a wide sword at her waist, and a giant shield at her back. Walking around inside the city in full equipment makes her pretty weird.
(An explorer… I feel like I have seen her before… Who was it…? And where…?) (Hikaru)
“Black haired boy… You must be Hikaru, right?”
The woman came straight to me and said this.
The moment I heard that voice, I remembered.
A face I have seen countless times before Nanami was transferred.
1st place in the popularity poll, Jeanne Collet.
I hurriedly stood up, dropping my seat onto the floor, and took distance from Jeanne.
So I say, but it is indoors and cramped, so it is an overwhelmingly disadvantageous situation for me.
Moreover, I am intoxicated right now.
Jeanne was completely unfazed at my agitation, and was simply looking straight at me.
I remembered the messages at the time when I left the forest.
<<I am glad there’s a messaging system. I will be sending the other Chosen your way. I will definitely make sure you get punished. Sleep in fear.>>
That’s what I am sure was written.
That’s why I have been interacting carefully with other Chosen.
In the end, Alex wasn’t an assassin, but the time has finally come, huh.
“Are you…going to kill me?” (Hikaru)
“If that were the case…what would you do? Want to try fighting? Me?” (Jeanne)
Jeanne is releasing a risky atmosphere.
I was on the verge of being swallowed by a bloodthirst that is hard to believe comes from a person of a peaceful world, but I have also overcome hardships in this world. As if I will allow myself to be killed without a fight.
“W-Wait, you people! Please don’t fight here! If you are going to be exchanging blows, do it outside!”
The old lady of the establishment came out and scolded us.
I left a slightly higher pay on the table and exited the place.
I could run away, but this woman has her viewers on her side.
It would be pointless to escape from her when she came all the way here to kill me. It is different from the time with Rifreya.
(Can I win…?) (Hikaru)
I don’t know what skills she has, but judging from her equipment, she must have allotted most of her points in physical strength and endurance. I don’t know if she can use Spirit Abilities, but even if she does, I don’t think she can use that many. She probably can’t use strong abilities either.
Then, maybe I have a chance with my Dark Spirit Abilities?
“You apparently killed your childhood friend.” (Jeanne)
After stopping at a slightly open space, Jeanne said this.
Knew it. So she came all the way here after hearing that.
To kill me.
“I didn’t kill her.” (Hikaru)
I answered while restraining myself as much as possible.
I don’t want to entertain the viewers even in a situation like this.
I am sure they want to see me protest with a raspy voice, but as if I will show you that.
“I see. Then, what about the story of you forgetting about your dead girlfriend and making a girlfriend here?” (Jeanne)
“I haven’t made one.” (Hikaru)
“But you apparently kissed.” (Jeanne)
“…You even know that?” (Hikaru)
The viewers really are unbelievable blabbers.
I myself knew that it wasn’t only the moon watching, but when a third party points it out in this way, it really feels disgusting.
In the first place…why do I have to be interrogated in this manner by an unrelated party?
“In the first place, it has nothing to do with you what I do with who, right?” (Hikaru)
“Yeah, it doesn’t. But I was asked by someone, you see. I need to test you and see what kind of guy you are.” (Jeanne)
“I…haven’t done anything.” (Hikaru)
“I see. Then…prove it with that sword.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne spat out a sentence that sounded as if it came out from a knight, and unsheathed her sword.
A wide boorish thick sword with no ornaments.
It is not an inhuman size like the sword of Rifreya, but it is a size that my shortsword can’t even compare.
This girl most likely isn’t wearing such equipment for show.
My dulled head from the alcohol is regaining its senses.
This woman is a lunatic that has come to kill me after swallowing what the messages have told her.
If I lose, I will be killed.
But…that’s the same with fighting monsters.
I suddenly remembered the interview article from before the transfer.
She answered with: ‘I want to fight, fight, fight, and become stronger’.
I could see the experience sticking to her from the sword that’s chipped here and there even though it has only been 1 month since she has arrived in this world.
Jeanne took out the giant shield from her back in a skilful manner, and took a battle stance.
That figure of hers reminded me of an impenetrable fortress.
But I am not the type to fight from the front to begin with.
“Fufufu… I am happy, Kurose Hikaru. You seem to be stronger than any other guy I have fought before.” (Jeanne)
“I hope so.” (Hikaru)
“Here I come!” (Jeanne)
As if those words served as the signal, Jeanne began charging.
Of course, I have no intention of going along with that.
“[Phantom Warrior].” (Hikaru)
I called a phantom warrior in a low voice that Jeanne can’t hear.
That figure of it hitting its shield and closing in on Jeanne could only be seen as a real warrior.
The spectators that were beginning to gather were raising cheers at the warrior that suddenly appeared.
The moment that the phantom warrior and Jeanne make contact.
At the timing when her attention was completely taken off from me, I unfold the Darkness Fog.
A perfect darkness swallowed Jeanne…
(…What? The Spirits don’t like it…?) (Hikaru)
The surroundings of Jeanne have been closed by darkness, but I can tell by feeling that the effect of the fog is not reaching. It is around a radius of 50cm, I think. The Spirits seem to not want to get close to her.
She might have an item that deters Spirit Abilities. Even if Darkness Fog doesn’t reach her, the effect of blocking light is still there, so it brings the same effect, but if it had been any other ability, it would have been completely nullified.
(It is a dangerous opponent. But…you picked a bad match.) (Hikaru)
If the result is the same, what has to be done doesn’t change. I silently moved to her back.
The spectators are raising their voices and making a ruckus, helping erase the sound of my footsteps.
And then, I placed my shortsword right at her neck…at that instant…
With that whisper, Jeanne threw off her sword and shield, and turned around rapidly.
That forceful move made me cut her shallowly despite me having no intention to cut her at all.
But she wasn’t bothered by that in the least.
She shouldn’t have been able to see anything. Meaning that she must have located me with the cold blade at her neck.
My shirt collar was grabbed with unbelievable strength.
I shook her off and took distance…is what I wished, but I was held down to the ground in an instant.
I was pushed to the ground facing up, was straddled on my stomach, and had both of my hands pinned.
A mount position.
“When killing, do it in one go. That one second of hesitation becomes fatal.” (Jeanne)
The wound on her neck should be around 1 cm. Blood was dripping down, but Jeanne didn’t seem to be bothered.
“D-Damn it…” (Hikaru)
It is true that I hesitated.
I had no intention of killing her. I thought that she would give up if I were to push a blade onto her neck.
If I am told I am soft because of that, then yeah, I am soft.
Just now I consider that I should have used Shadow Bind. The reason I didn’t think all the way to that must have been because I was conceited thinking I could defeat her even without going that far.
Just like Jeanne said, I really am soft.
Even though she is someone that came to kill me.
Jeanne was looking down at me expressionless.
Even when I try to move my body, I can’t move it one bit.
—Am I going to die?
—Killed by a Chosen just like me?
“Damn it! [Dark Coffin]!” (Hikaru)
I activate the only ability that I feel could work here.
Coffin is an ability that can bring out a powerful barrier. Even if she has an item that nullifies Spirit Abilities, I just have to envelop her in a scope that surpasses that.
However, Jeanne was calm.
“The weak point of Spirit Abilities is that you know what ability it is from the name. By coffin, it means that it is an ability that imprisons the target, right?” (Jeanne)
Faster than her finishing saying that, she picked up my body and did a Nelson hold from the back.
She dragged me just like that as she moved back. She is getting away from the effective range of the ability.
The Dark Coffin was pitifully finished without being able to imprison anyone. It is my strongest ability that can even trap a Demon Lord, but it got dealt with on the first time.
It is true that you can’t activate the ability unless you say the Spirit Ability’s name.
Even so, making it so easy…
“Done already?” (Jeanne)
After being told that with a nonchalant face, I understood my defeat.
If I tried, I could also do Summon Night Bug.
If I were to attack the uncovered head, it should be able to show a decent degree of effect.
But I don’t think it will serve as a move that will turn the tables around.
I would die with just one full power punch on the face.
It would be the same if she were to strangle me just like this.
There’s also the chance that my Night Bugs will be nullified.
…I have no choice but to accept it.
Now that the situation has become like this, I have lost.