The plan of Comrade was far more effective than I imagined.
They had them use the power of the Scarlet Demon Lord pointlessly and forced them to fight while carrying the cost alone.
When I was told not to stop the harpies that were flying in the sky, I didn’t imagine it would lead to this development.
“He was made to use the power given by Yugura and that has been taken advantage of to crumble his army after all. The Scarlet Demon Lord most likely doesn’t have a concrete grasp of the situation even now.” (Ekdoik)
“The more I hear, the nastier it gets. It makes me question your humanity.” (Blue)
<<You had no decent evaluation of me to begin with. We have the Butler Army, but there’s none there. Even if the situation has improved by a lot, the enemy has high ranks that are unique class and intermediates that are high ranks. The intermediates may be in a bad state, but they are still quite the strong enemies for the forces in the Mejis side. It is either Ekdoik and the others properly making an opening to break through or maintaining the advantage. We will send reinforcements when we are done here on our side.>>
Enemies have decreased by a large number and the remaining ones are exhausted.
This is the perfect opportunity to deal an even deeper wound on them when the Scarlet Demon Lord still doesn’t have a clear grasp of the current situation.
If we can defeat the Uniques of each unit, the scales would tip even further in our favor.
“Understood. We will narrow our aim to the Uniques and high ranks, and have the Holy Knights push afterwards.” (Ekdoik)
<<They must have noticed something is off. There’s a high chance they will use their power just in case. Being reckless could come back to bite you. That said, what happened with the matter about your mother?>>
“…It didn’t go that well.” (Ekdoik)
“That’s putting it lightly. It was the worst. Ekdoik spoke everything as it is, and Rakura escaped from the place.” (Blue)
“It can’t be helped! In the first place, if Counselor-sama had given more, you know…precise advice, things would have wrapped up neatly!” (Rakura)
<<It is my fault? The reason Rakura ran away was most likely because she didn’t like having the worth of her life until now being lowered by her apologizing to you or something like that anyways.>>
“Uh… You say it as if you were watching the whole time.” (Rakura)
Him being able to see through the hearts of others in this fashion as if natural is just like him. The predictions of Comrade have never been wrong and hit deep. The ability to grasp human nature to steal away the choice of making him your enemy. It is truly fearsome.
<<Well, I understand how you feel. But running away the whole time will only leave ill feelings for both sides.>>
<<Ah, sorry. That was harsh. Then, as an apology, I will give you advice… No, I will tell you some magic words.>>
I reacted as well when he said magic words. But Comrade shouldn’t be able to use magic…
“Counselor-sama’s talent in magic is not only diminutive, it is despairingly nonexistent.” (Rakura)
<<Ooh, you get really strong when it comes to other people, huh. I will accept this fight you are picking afterwards.>>
“Ah, my mouth just unconsciously…! But is there something that convenient…?” (Rakura)
<<Rakura, it is true that the words of a mother who treasures her children stab deep, and it is possible that you will experience things that might harm the worth in your life until now…but don’t worry about it. I will dye away such stuff as much as you want. I will make you taste a life so good you won’t even be able to deny it. That’s a promise.>>
“…You say it as if it is so simple.” (Rakura)
<<Do you think I can’t?>>
“…I think…you can. You don’t make promises you can’t fulfill after all.” (Rakura)
<<So you get it. And so, go taste a bit of bitterness. I will prepare a compensation for it.>>
Does he know how to do it? Can he do it in the first place? -he doesn’t make us feel those kinds of questions.
There’s no one here who would be able to doubt the confident words of Comrade. That’s how much skill he has shown until now.
I see, those are indeed magic words.
“Got it. But you have to, okay?! I will demand a redo endlessly until I am actually satisfied!” (Rakura)
<<Leave it to me. But that’s for later. Do your best in your work. See ya.>>
The call ended.
Battle has already begun in Gahne. We have to hurry to the battlefield on our side too.
“Let’s go. Girista, freely enter battle once you have told the details to Haakudoku. I may say ‘freely’, but be sure to choose your targets.” (Ekdoik)
“I know~. In the first place, I will be tussling with Unique Monsters, so I will leave the Holy Knights for later~.” (Girista)
“There’s no later or first. If you do something that goes against Comrade, consider your back stabbed by Haakudoku.” (Ekdoik)
“So harsh despite being allies~. I will be going then~.” (Girista)
Girista wandered off, but her steps felt light. There’s finally enemies she can fight in front of her. I can somewhat understand how she feels.
“Let’s go, too. Anyways, that man, I can’t believe he can say such things without any shame.” (Blue)
“Right. It would be nice if I could be as straight as him when speaking to you, Blue. Please forgive me for being so inexperienced.” (Ekdoik)
“Seriously, this man is also…” (Blue)
Muh, did I sour her mood again? Looks like it really is too soon for me to copy Comrade. I just get more and more I have to work on.
Rakura seems to be burning with motivation, probably thanks to her conversation with Comrade. If I dilly-dally here, Rakura might end up stealing away all the heads.
I don’t plan on competing, but…no, I probably want to compete internally. Competitiveness shouldn’t be bad if it works in a positive manner, right?
“K-Kogagyus-sama, what should we do?!”
“Don’t fret! Our duty is to show our strength if enemies come!” (Kogagyus)
Even if I were to tell them to not fret, there’s nothing that can be done about this situation. Developments that I find hard to believe were the intention of the Demon Lord-sama have been happening one after the other since the barrier was placed around us. Lesser devils have been charging at us at small scales and we mow them down; I thought there was no need at all to use the power of the Demon Lord if it is just for that.
But the Demon Lord-sama continued using the power and made us go full power. Even when I tried to tell him that our stamina is in danger, it was a repeat of ‘maintain the status quo’.
And then, just when I thought the enemy had turned serious, the power was turned off. The result is the current sad state of things. We are being pushed back by enemy soldiers that normally wouldn’t even amount to an intermediate rank.
“If the power of the Demon Lord-sama activated once more at least…!” (Kogagyus)
I felt the power of the Demon Lord-sama reach me as if pushing my back. And then, I feel strength returning to the soldiers.
That’s a relief.
With this, we can still fig—
“Y-You must not! The movements of the soldiers are clearly dull, Kogagyus-sama!”
“Cease the yapping! We are not allowed defeat when we have the power of the Demon Lord-sama! Fight with your all!” (Kogagyus)
This guy is a vice-captain that was given power by the Demon Lord-sama to make it so he can talk, and yet, he only complains. But the movements of the soldiers that have received the power for a long period of time are way too dull. Animals get fiercer when cornered, but there’s no doubt they are weaker compared to when they are at full energy.
The enemy is not lowering their guard at all. They are instead even more careful now that the power of the Demon Lord-sama has activated again and are trying to reduce our numbers for sure.
On the other hand, our desperate attacks increase, and we end up creating openings ourselves.
It is not only that. The group with strange outfits that can be seen from afar is clearly strangely powerful. They are most likely devils, but they are all on the same level of a Unique or higher.
The destruction they brought had begun. We might have been able to face them easily if we were at full strength, but fighting them in our state is pretty rough.
Also, that group…has it. That’s right, the power of us Uniques.
We Uniques all received mana directly from the Demon Lord-sama and can unleash that power by our own discretion. The burden isn’t that high thanks to our inherent strong bodies.
We were told to only use it when in dire straits though…
“So you were here. I was searching for you.”
“You are…Boruveragtein!” (Kogagyus)
The Taizu Knight that made a mess of us. The man that could be called the main force of the enemy is standing in our way. In this time when we have to do something about this group of devils… He really isn’t a man to lighten the grip of his claws.
“It seems like we might be able to wrap this up without retreating after all. Let’s square off just like you want.” (Boru)
“…Fine. If I lift your head as one of the main forces of the humans, the morale of the enemies should drop. I will bury you along with my resentments until now!” (Kogagyus)
“No, I am not really… Oh well.” (Boru)
“Now, here I come!” (Kogagyus)
I have seen Boruveragtein a number of times and I have a general idea of his strength.
The inhuman strength behind a single hit of his is hard to believe comes from his old body. I must make sure to avoid a direct hit from that. The secret to that power of his comes from the quality of his magic strengthening.
But he has only casted the bare minimum defense barrier.
It seems like he has it around his body the whole time, but that defense won’t be stopping my attacks.
I swing my sword horizontally to keep distance from him. If he tries to sneak down or move back, I will do a bodyblow and break his posture. If he jumps, I will immediately grab him.
“What’s with that swing that I can’t feel any spunk in? I can see the noise in your thoughts.” (Boru)
He swung his hammer from below and smacked my sword up.
My arms felt a bit numb from this. He accurately hit the center of the sword that was swung horizontally.
Moreover, that hammer didn’t slow its momentum and aimed sharply for my chin. I had my center of gravity at the front for the sake of a bodyblow, so I won’t make it in time to avoid it. Then…
I face the hammer with a headbutt before my chin is hit. If it were an attack that utilized the weight of the hammer, it would still be light. And so, his attack was stopped.
This is an opportunity to pursue an attack!
The moment he raised his voice, the strength in the hammer swelled up in one go, and I felt my head float along with my body.
He felt my intent to retaliate and switched to brute force in order to throw me back. Shocking instantaneous power and physical strength. There’s no doubt this old man is an unparalleled powerhouse within the humans.
I spin my body in the air and land. We are slightly further away from each other now.
We both have no visible injuries, but he managed to seal my initial attack without any wasted movements.
“That’s a sturdy neck you’ve got. My intention was to break it though.” (Boru)
“Fu…fufufufu… As expected! This is what makes strife worth it!” (Kogagyus)
Half-baked attacks are deflected. Then there’s no need to bid my time. I just have to make each swing fatal!
I dash and swing my sword wildly. But he calmly read the trajectory of them and avoided them with no wasteful movements. But I am not someone who can’t follow those movements.
“For how long will you be able to avoid?!” (Kogagyus)
“I won’t avoid anymore. See.” (Boru)
The moment I tried to swing my sword, his hammer went ahead of it and smashed my sword.
My posture crumbled with this, but I immediately fixed it and tried to attack again, but my sword was once again smacked in its trajectory.
Are you telling me he has seen through my sword in just a few evades?! No, this is not something to be surprised about. He has been sniffing out my attacks until now and dealt with them swiftly.
Then, even if he can pull something like this—
“You…even though you are stupid, you think a lot. But thinking too much within a dance of death is not good.” (Boru)
An impact from the side of my head. A strike from the hammer?! No, his hammer was used to smack away my sword… The handle!
To think he would be able to pull off an attack like this by taking advantage of the slight empty space to shift the handle… But this is obviously weaker compared to a hit from the hammer.
It doesn’t matter how many times he hits me with such weak attacks.
“As I said, you are thinking too much.” (Boru)
An even stronger strike hit my abdomen. This one was without doubt from the hammer.
He adjusted the grip of his weapon within range and had accurately struck the area that was open.
My armor broke and my body was sent flying to the back. A follow-up attack might come, so I took a defensive stance as I landed on the ground.
A follow-up attack…didn’t come. No, he hasn’t moved from where he was.
“…Why aren’t you pursuing?” (Kogagyus)
“I won’t pursue anyone outside the circle.” (Boru)
Now that I look closely, there’s a circle drawn around the place we were fighting in. It wasn’t drawn by our weapons. It is most likely through the use of magic.
He had the surplus to do something like that in that exchange… But what’s the point of this circle?
“This is a tradition when sparring in our Ragudo Division, you see. If we were just sending each other flying the whole time, we would get tired from the moving alone and it would also cause trouble if we were to break the buildings. That’s why we decide on a place to clash our blades in this fashion. The rule is for the one that was sent flying to return at once. Come on, hurry up.” (Boru)
“…Don’t joke around!” (Kogagyus)
It means that you have to work around inside the circle, and the one who is sent flying is third rate. He is fighting me with that restriction on him. This is basically him saying he looks down on me.
I dash towards him in one go and attack him, but he deftly avoids it.
He really is reading my moves. He is observing every single part of my body.
“Come on, you are outside again. If you want to fight, come in already.” (Boru)
“…Fine. I shall crush that conceit of yours!” (Kogagyus)
I am above him when it comes to physical strength; there’s no doubt about it. But he is above me in technique. This difference isn’t easy to fill up and it is not clear just how much of a difference it is filling.
In that case, I will have him admit it…and have him understand…that I am someone who has received the blessing of the Demon Lord-sama.
This is the moment to unleash the power of Strife.
It called itself Kogagyus, right?
His state is changing. It is not just a simple increase in bloodlust like the surrounding monsters. His muscles, which are distributed like those of an animal, were swelling up greatly. It should be safe to assume that he has used his trump card.
“…Here I come!”
This time he didn’t jump straight at me and walked into the circle with an air of composure. There aren’t any pointless thoughts and openings like before. Then, let’s do some checking here.
I aimed at his head the moment he entered the range of my hammer. An attack without much motion into it. It should land just like that if you react slowly, but…
He deflected my attack with a single swing of his sword. What a tasteful move, doing the same thing I did to him.
But I have understood a number of things from that just now. His strength and speed have increased greatly. I thought I had the advantage if it were an attack with all my power in it, but with this, I might even be lacking compared to him.
He follows with his sword. I could avoid it if it is just once, but avoiding a combo would be a bit difficult.
I use my hammer to deflect his attacks without getting flustered.
But his speed was steadily increasing and it was getting difficult to even follow it with my eyes. I can predict them by looking at the movements of his body, but at this rate, my hammer won’t be able to keep up.
In that case, I will purposely take the attack across the hammer and use it to create distance.
It is an attack that’s far heavier than I expected, but I have received such attacks countless times. It makes me worry even more about the man that will become the future husband of Ilias.
“What the matter, Boruveragtein?! You outside the circle!” (Kogagyus)
He provokes me with a mocking laugh.
He is getting cocky with his heightened strength. Then, it should be about time to go for the kill.
“So it seems. Then, I have to return at once…right?!” (Boru)
I increase the output of the mana strengthening and jump high. And then, raise my mana strengthening to the highest and gather it into my hammer. He has taken this attack before, so he should remember it if he isn’t a bird brain. I am glad he is a kobold.
“Again, Boruveragtein! I stop your strongest attack!” (Kogagyus)
“Just for your information, you will end up buried in the ground without doubt if you take this on.” (Boru)
“Fuhahaha, it in the end human technique! I teach you that this pointless!” (Kogagyus)
He notices the next attack and takes a defensive stance. You would normally avoid it, but he most likely has the confidence to take it on as he is now.
His survival instincts have been heightened with the power of the Scarlet Demon Lord, so he is not wrong. Well, that will be his grave though.
I smash my hammer from above with all the power I have on top of his defense. The strongest attack I can pull. He certainly did block it.
But he just blocked that one attack. He didn’t notice the activation of the spell I set in the circle until the very end.
I injected my mana into the circle beforehand.
The activated spell turned the ground into soft sand and created a space the size of him.
No matter how sturdy you are, if you take my attack from right below it, it is only natural for your body to sink in one go. His body bore through the ground until only his head was left out.
This is normally just a small move to crumble the footing of your enemy, but this is the first time I have gone this big.
“See? Buried, right?” (Boru)
“You bastard! This circle a trap?!” (Kogagyus)
“We don’t go out of our way to send our opponents flying in our spars at the Ragudo Division. We would injure our waists if we were to use such displays of strength. There’s one girl who doesn’t hold back though.” (Boru)
“This sand…!” (Kogagyus)
Woah there, I won’t let you do that.
The moment I take a step, the earth around his arms hardens. It won’t affect him that much with his super strength, but he won’t be able to move immediately if there’s no gaps.
“Now then, I will witness how far your head flies.” (Boru)
I look down at his head.
I grab the corner of the handle tightly and raise it. Not right above me, but from left to right, and right to up at the horizon.
I bring the hammer further back than my head, to the back of my left side, and keep it there. And then, I rotate with my waist as the axis and swing with all my strength.
I don’t swing it straight down, but in a way that will send his head flying far to yonder.
The hammer struck the head of Kogagyus dead center.
※Please imagine a golf swing.