After safely sending Bro back, I ate food in a tavern and am in the middle of thinking about what to do from here on.
The opinion of Bro after seeing those two was: ‘I did feel an ominous atmosphere from Ekdoik, but I didn’t feel much of a threat from the other man.
It is true that the weirdness of Ekdoik’s mana was dangerous, but isn’t that most likely what you call a demon?
But I felt like that man was more dangerous.
I couldn’t detect mana with my detection magic, but my instincts were screaming at me.
I don’t know what to answer if asked what it is. I can only say what’s dangerous is dangerous.
…Can I only say dangerous?
But Bro only looked at me and said ‘Do as you please’.
It is not like he acted cold here.
I thought that at first and made a sad face, so he added afterwards: “Haakudoku, your brain may be second rate, but your ability to detect danger is something that I can even brag about to others in there being no equal to you. The only one who can deal with a threat that only you can smell is you. If you think it is necessary, move as you please. You won’t be able to get reckless if moving alone after all.”
Bro would normally tell me to not do unnecessary things.
But that Bro has judged that I am itching to do something about this and has passed the baton to me.
I just have to tread danger within a range I can allow, and gather enough information to convince Bro about how dangerous that man is.
I won’t be reckless. I just have to throw everything to Bro when it comes to solving this.
“…But how should I make contact with them?” (Haaku)
It shouldn’t be too hard to find them…I think.
If we go around asking for the location of Ekdoik at Riodo, I should be able to get to him eventually.
But if I do that, there’s a high chance for him to notice too and await me.
Ekdoik is already plenty dangerous by himself after all. I would like to avoid battle as much as possible.
But how should I make contact with them even if I were to find them?
I have no acting talent. Will I be able to obtain satisfactory information even if I were to make contact with him?
No, that would be impossible… Not only would I be unable to deceive that guy, I definitely won’t be able to achieve my objective with conventional means.
“Uoooh… Think, think! If I don’t show my good side to Bro, I will just be a chicken!” (Haaku)
“Shut up! I am currently thinking!” (Haaku)
That man didn’t look like he excelled in physical battle.
Maybe I should just kidnap him?
Using brawns against brain might show a possibility…
“I am telling you to shut your trap! I’m gonna murder you!” (Haaku)
Damn it, who is getting in my way here?!
I raised my head and looked at the person with a languid voice.
“Oh my, are you offering to have a fight to the death~? That makes things faster~.”
Burning red short hair, a big claw tattoo on her right eye…and a greatsword with sawtooths at her back…
Even I know of her despite my bad memory.
The adventurer that’s moving in the shadows of Riodo, Girista.
The loose screws battle junkie who everyone has tacitly agreed not to get close to her, not talk to her, or provoke her.
That Girista is holding the handle of her greatsword and smiling.
“…What brings you here?” (Haaku)
“Let’s kill each other first~. That would be the faster method~!” (Girista)
“It is just your hand coming out faster than your tongue!” (Haaku)
I jumped to the side to avoid the swung greatsword, and the table and chair were sliced messily in two.
This woman came for the kill without hesitation.
I heard she was that kind of dangerous woman, but there should be a limit!
The surroundings are beginning to get noisy from the attack just now. It would be bad to stay any longer in this tavern.
What’s bad about this is that my resting places would decrease even more if they were to ban me from here.
Talking would be impossible for me. I have no choice but to either run or fight.
“Now, now, there’s more coming~!” (Girista)
“Don’t joke around! What are you gonna do if I can’t go to this place where I can put it in my tab?!” (Haaku)
Girista was swinging around her greatsword no questions asked.
Even though I am in tears here looking at the strewn about food and booze I was having just now! Damn it!
I jumped out of the tavern at once. The most important thing right now is to switch locations.
There’s a good amount of people around. It would be bad to drag civilians into this.
“You people, get away! If you get caught in this, you will di—!” (Haaku)
I once again avoid the slash of Girista who blew open the entrance of the tavern.
It was a wide swing thanks to her weapon being big, but I can’t relax at all, thinking about the possibility of getting hit by this.
But the people around have begun to run away from this place after the super flashy entrance just now.
If I run away carelessly, I might end up dragging them into it. I have no choice but to face her here.
I take out the tonfas on my waist and equip them.
I spin them 2-3 times with the flick of my wrist to confirm the length and weight.
“Oh? Is that your weapon~? That’s more plain than I thought~.” (Girista)
“That’s right. Sorry for being plain.” (Haaku)
I don’t have the sense to utilize long weapons like swords or spears. I can’t maintain my mana strengthening for barehanded combat either, so stuff like this suits me the most.
It was made out of top tier materials, so its sturdiness alone is outstanding after all. It is also great as a shield…though that won’t bring much confidence, huh.
I can tell just how heavy the greatsword of Girista is to a hateful degree thanks to the sound of her footsteps.
I would get sent flying if I were to take her sweeping strike head-on, and I can’t try stopping a downwards swing even by mistake -I would definitely get crushed.
“Well, there’s no knowing how well you can do this without trying, right?!” (Girista)
Girista held her sword aloft and charged at me.
It is not like I can’t step in to get a hit in, but…if she manages to endure it, I could die immediately with her retaliation.
I should first go to the sides and—crap!
The moment I tried to move to the side with bare minimum movements, Instinct-sama screamed that I would die instantly, so I added a jump.
There’s no need to understand. If Instinct-sama is telling me, I just obey!
I avoid to the back more than necessary.
But I managed to understand the danger Instinct-sama told me about.
The greatsword that should have been swung down in a straight line had become two lines.
“Oh my, you knew about this demonic sword~?” (Girista)
“Right, you are a demonic sword user.” (Haaku)
The demonic sword is opening and closing. Moreover, it is wriggling around like the mouth of a beast.
The fact that it opened the moment she swung it down must mean that it can be closed too.
Uwaah, that’s such a pain. That’s so difficult to avoid!
That’s not all. The mana I was leaking out to my surroundings is completely gone.
It eats mana? It is such a bad match against my style.
That said, the battle style of Girista revolves mainly around that greatsword, so it is still salvageable.
I take a deep breath and spin my tonfas vertically and horizontally once.
“I am happy that you are not getting scared here. It increases my anticipation for this deathmatch~.” (Girista)
“Who is killing who? I have no intention to tag along with your madness. I will finish this in one go.” (Haaku)
“So cold. But I like men that act tough.” (Girista)
“I see. What I like are graceful women who don’t swing around a sword but swing about their courtesy instead.” (Haaku)
If it is drawn to a battle of attrition, I would without doubt be the one on a disadvantage.
…This works perfectly to test out that technique. I will have you become my training partner!
Girista was gone the moment I took my eyes off her.
According to him, there’s a high chance she went to test out the man by the side of Gestaf after hearing what he said.
Also added that there’s no doubt it will turn into a battle if they meet in the middle of the city.
And so, we have split up in order to search for Girista.
Me, Wolfe, and Ekdoik who can stop Girista by ourselves were separated into respective groups.
I am walking around the city together with him, but…
“Now then, where could Girista be?”
“Making such a carefree face… How about having a bit more of a sense of danger? If Girista were to rampage, we wouldn’t be able to avoid standing out badly in a lot of ways, right?” (Ilias)
“That may be the case, but…”
“…Could it be that Girista rushing off was within your calculations too?” (Ilias)
“Hahahaha, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Oi, answer me seriously. Is this some sort of strategy?” (Ilias)
Rather than calling him the usual him…he is closer to the one I don’t like.
It doesn’t seem like he has changed completely, but I can still see a change.
He showed a deliberate brooding face and laughed sarcastically.
“It is not on the degree of a strategy. It is a small move like throwing a rock in a lake and checking the state of the water’s surface.”
“…Shouldn’t we be acting carefully right now?” (Ilias)
“We have captured the guides. The other side must have noticed that someone is trying to sniff them out. That’s just the pretext though.”
“Then tell me your true intentions already. I don’t want to enjoy a tedious talk with you as you are right now.” (Ilias)
“Sorry for making you feel uncomfortable. But after judging that I needed to switch, I decided for it to be me. It means that’s how problematic that man is.”
He said that yesterday too, but…is he really on that level?
I didn’t think too much of him when hearing it from Ekdoik though…
He must have seen through that thought of mine after looking at my face. He raised his index finger as he continued speaking.
“The meaning of the problematic we have here is different, Ilias. By problematic, you must be imagining someone as intelligent as Marito, but that’s not it. The type of people I am referring to are not seen as a threat by many and pull an irreversible move on you from outside your vision -an irregular.”
“From outside your vision?” (Ilias)
“That’s right. They will suddenly place an unrelated piece on the board. But the victory or defeat gets overturned because of that piece. A big pain in the butt, right? But that man definitely has the ability to pull that off. Well, you will find those types of guys every now and then.”
“I can understand he is dangerous just by hearing that, but…in that case, do you have a way to deal with it?” (Ilias)
“I do. A really simple method. But if we are negligent in that, we are the ones who will be regressing. Let’s do this thoroughly.”
I should be asking for more details here, but I have lost the opportunity to.
I heard a loud sound from afar.
There’s no doubt the one who is rampaging around making so much noise is Girista.
In that case, it would mean Girista is already fighting.
“…Let’s hurry. It seems like Girista has already begun fighting.” (Ilias)
“Right. Girista might lose, so we have to hurry.”
“Are you saying Girista will be one-upped here?” (Ilias)
“Even if Girista is someone who can win 9 out of 10 times, those types are the ones that pick up that one win in their first time. Girista is the one at a disadvantage here as long as there’s not an absolute difference in strength.”
We have to hurry if that’s the case. I picked him up and rush towards the direction where we heard the sound.
“Isn’t your way of carrying me more haphazard than usual?”
“Even I have times when I would like to vent my displeasures.” (Ilias)
“True. Then, I shall accept this penance.”
“You are going to bite your tongue.” (Ilias)
He won’t try to harm me when he is in this state, and yet, my mood has turned this sour, and I am throwing my displeasures at him like this.
This must be my own selfishness of wanting him to be the way I wish him to be.
But the current him is also him. It is a personality he has.
I blamed him for denying his own worth, so would I be allowed to deny the current him…?
“Who are you asking for permission here?”
“…Don’t talk.” (Ilias)
That made my heart skip a beat. His senses are extremely sharp right now.
It is someone that he has to get this serious about. I have to be aware of this.
There’s a limit to what I can do. In that case, I have to do the best I can.
If he is showing an undesirable change for me in front of an enemy, I just have to eliminate the enemy so that he can stay the way I desire him to be.
“Now then, what should I do about this?”
I think about what to do as I look at Girista who is collapsed on the ground.
Maybe it would be better to finish her off. Even if I were to leave this battle junkie alive, she would just burn with vengeance with logic just flying off the window.
I think calmly about the advantages and disadvantages of leaving her alive.
If Girista were to appear again in the future, there’s a high chance she would get in the way of Bro.
I have to avoid doing things that will be disadvantageous for Bro because of me.
“Yeah, would be better to kill her. In the end, it ended up in a fight to kill each other, so that’s just what you wanted, right?” (Haaku)
I prepare my tonfas and observe the head of Girista.
I can crush the head of a human who has lost consciousness and hasn’t done mana strengthening without issues.
I don’t really like killing an unconscious woman, but…this is my mistake for not being able to decide to kill her while she was conscious. Let’s just accept it as that.
I raise my tonfas and swing them down.
My tonfas went straight towards the head of Girista…but didn’t reach her.
“…Who is it?” (Haaku)
My attack was stopped by the sword of a woman that suddenly appeared.
Judging from her appearance, she is not an adventurer but a knight of some country?
Or more like, there shouldn’t have been anyone around. Just from where did she pop out?
“She is an acquaintance of mine. I can’t allow you to kill her. If you really want to do so, you will have to get through me.”
Detection magic… The information of this female knight… What’s this?!
The polish of her body and mana are beyond common sense.
Ekdoik had a danger that I couldn’t understand, but this woman has a danger I can understand.
She is a human, but not a human; that’s the only impression I can get from her.
I could fight against Girista with resolve, but it would be impossible against this female knight.
But it doesn’t seem like she is an irrational battle junkie. In that case, it comes to words.
“You say you will be facing me, but she was the one who came at me, you know. What’s so wrong about beating her back?” (Haaku)
Oh, this must be that… Don’t get hasty.
“She suddenly came to kill me, yet I can’t kill her? Makes no sense, right? Is warping logic what a knight does? First time I have heard of that, oi.” (Haaku)
She is troubled, she is troubled.
If she is an acquaintance of Girista, she should know she is a battle junkie.
All of the fault lies on her. If I can manage to explain this away…what should I do?
Well, might as well draw out the information of this female knight.
She is a woman that I can tell just how much of a powerhouse she is, so there should be a need to know more about her for the sake of Bro.
“Don’t speak nonsense like facing me if you want to let her go. Give me something back for it. I am not talking about anything obscene here, I’ll have you know. What I mean is that you should give me something of worth.” (Haaku)
“I don’t carry much gold around with me.”
“I am not thinking about solving this with money. Give me some sort of information. Why did Girista attack me, who are you, what kind of relationship do you have with her?” (Haaku)
Ooh, she is showing an easy to tell awkward expression.
It seems like she is a more uptight knight than I thought. Looks like she doesn’t have much ground to stand on with her being Girista’s acquaintance, but I don’t plan on loosening here, you know!
“Allow me to answer that.”
“Haaah? Who are…you…you…hiiih!!” (Haaku)
I was distracted by the knight and didn’t notice the presence of the guy that walked to my side.
No, I was wary of other people coming in, so I had my detection magic activated, but he didn’t get caught on it at all.
The one who appeared here was the man by the side of Ekdoik yesterday.
W-Wa? Instinct-sama is going full on haywire here. It hurts…it hurts, I’m telling you!
He is somehow different from when I met him yesterday. He is far more dangerous than that time -way too dangerous.
There’s a lot of things mixed in him, and there’s something unbelievably dangerous deep inside… Aah, I can’t put it in words.
Hey, Instinct-sama, please calm down. Don’t kick my drumming heart that much… Aah, my consciousness…
“…It has been a while since I have experienced someone fainting just from meeting them.”
“So it has happened…”
I somehow heard voices, but my brain couldn’t process them and I fainted due to Instinct-sama.