Bijo to Kenja to Majin no Ken Volume 1 Chapter 9
Grace and I descended the stairs to arrive in the entrance hall, but the door to the outside was firmly shut, and wouldn’t budge.
“It’s a barrier. If we don’t defeat Rodney——” Grace and I locked gazes. Beads of sweat were streaming down both our faces. Traces of blood from that last explosion were visible along the corners of her mouth. My recovery magic wasn’t able to replenish lost blood, so she was on her own there. Reflexively, I reached out my hand and wiped the blood from her mouth. I felt the softness of her lips against my fingers.
The Do or Die battle plan had gone as well as it could have. Rodney lost his left arm, which was surely some heavy damage for him. Still, it didn’t feel like it was a fatal wound, so I’d decided we should retreat for the moment, but——
That same attack had created a rather problematic dilemma. Neel’s Longsword had broken.
“Grace, you don’t have another sword, do you?” Grace shook her head in reply to my question.
“——Regrettably, no…It wasn’t a sword made for channeling magic, but it was still a nice, strong blade.”
“In that case, we don’t have an effective offense anymore. I guess we could fight using magic, but——” Both Grace and I knew that this choice was practically hopeless. What’s more, we couldn’t even leave the barrier to get outside.
Yet again, our gazes met, and held. Through the stillness, only the sound of our rugged breathing could be heard. Neither of us could decide what we should do next, so we simply continued staring silently at each other. The rough cadence of our breathing was the only way to mark the passage of time.
All of a sudden, I felt a massive wave of magical energy from the direction of Rodney’s room. There was no mistaking it. Rodney was on his way here.
“We do have——an option.” As she spoke to me, Grace’s expression was determined, as though she had finally made up her mind about something. I hadn’t been expecting her to come up with any other strategies, so my eyes widened in surprise as I stared at her. Seeing my response, Grace seemed to falter; but she still managed to mumble something softly.
“Only, it’s just——it requires a lot of resolve.”
“What kind of resolve!?” I pressed her to explain, as I couldn’t make heads or tails of what she was trying to say. She looked at my strained expression before averting her gaze.
“——If we use this method, then it’ll drain me of almost all my magical energy. So, I won’t be able to fight afterwards. Also——” This time, Grace spoke clearly, her reddening face lifted as though to see how I would respond. “I have a favor to ask. I don’t want you to feel guilty or ashamed——”
“A, ashamed——?” I was at a loss; all I could do was repeat her words.
At that moment, I heard the sound of heavy footsteps. There was no mistaking it, Rodney was nearly upon us!
“Got it. If there’s a chance, then I’ll take the risk. If I don’t, then we probably won’t be around to regret it, eh?” With that, I looked at Grace with the most serious expression I could manage. She seemed to read my meaning, and closed her eyes softly. ——Then, she began chanting a spell.
I had never heard a spell being chanted since coming to Florence. I couldn’t help but feel that whatever it was Grace was trying to do, it was something quite unique. I’d prepared myself for whatever might come, and I’d like to believe what happened next didn’t surprise me too much, but——as one might expect, I was completely shocked by what she did.
When Grace finished chanting, she ripped open her jacket and shirt with one fierce yank. Several buttons went flying, and two large mounds wrapped in a thin layer of cloth appeared. What’s more, she grabbed both my arms, and pulled so that my hands were pressed against the twin bulges. Reflexively, my hands grabbed hold of what was thrust into them. In response to my unreserved action, Grace closed her eyes and screwed up her face.
“W, what are you——!?”
Flustered by the situation I didn’t have the luxury to enjoy, my hands continued to do their duty before suddenly becoming engulfed in an intense light. The brightness was powerful enough to steal away one’s sight, and within that light my hands began feeling the outline of something hard slide into them. Gripping whatever it was, I slowly pulled it out from within the light.
There was no mistaking it. I was gripping two swords, one in each hand.
Fully drawing the swords out from the light emanating from her bosom, the light faded quickly, and Grace dropped to both knees. I rushed to support her, and keep her from falling over. Her widely exposed bosom was hard to look at.
“This is——?” I asked, looking at the two swords held in my hands. The sword in my right hand was red, as though burning; while the sword in my left hand was dyed a violet color, as though frozen.
“That’s——” Grace reached out to touch my hands, still gripping the swords.
“They’re used for defeating demons, and both are known as “Devil’s Swords”. The Flame Emperor’s Sword, Francesca, and the Ice Emperor’s Sword, Viola.” A door on the second floor opened, and I saw Rodney appear at the top of the stairs.
“Devil’s Swords——” I said, repeating what Grace had just said.
“Kei, I leave them in your care. Rodney—no, the demon…please, destroy him.” Grace gave a weak smile. She seemed to have recovered slightly, as she was able to support her own weight now. I sat her down in a corner, before moving to the center of the entrance hall to face Rodney.
Looking in his direction, I saw he was already descending the stairs. I took the time to examine Francesca, the Flame Emperor’s Sword, and Viola, the Ice Emperor’s Sword.
Ｓ Ｐ：－１０ / 8s
Fire-attribute Magic＋３、Fire-attribute Resistance＋５、Water-attribute Resistance＋１、Magic Amplification
Only the contractee, or someone they recognize, may use.
Water-attribute Magic＋４、Fire-attribute Magic＋１、Water-attribute Resistance＋５、Magic Control＋２、Magic Amplification２
Only the contractee, or someone they recognize, may use.
——Damn. For a moment, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were telling me. Combined, the two swords would consume 20 SP every 8 seconds, but they were a completely different class of weapon than Neel’s Longsword, let alone my own mace. From the look of it, Francesca seemed to be the more powerful of the two, though Viola, held in my left hand, appeared to be ranked higher.
After descending the stairs and noticing the weapons held in my hands, Rodney’s expression turned to one of astonishment.
“——! That’s Urbain’s Equipment, isn’t it? I’d heard it had gone missing a long time ago, but to see it here——”
I treated this information as though it were annoyingly trivial.
“Enough with the small talk. Let’s get started already.” I was concerned that Rodeney’s left arm seemed to be healing. I’m sure that was why he had taken his time in coming after us. Right now, my SP was undergoing a heavy reduction charge; one that was far more inefficient than a taxi ride through the countryside. I wouldn’t be able to keep using it for long. So, it couldn’t hurt to start the fight sooner rather than later.
“——As you wish. After all, that power will become mine anyway.” Rodney let out a maniacal laugh.
Sadly, I have no knowledge of swordsmanship. It was the optimal chance to see how far I could go on the raw power of these weapons alone.
To start things off, I tried swinging Francesca, held in my right hand. Rodney tried to receive the blow with his claws. My plan was to wait for him to intercept the attack, before using Viola to blast a magic ball into him. If I managed it, then his dangerous right hand would be occupied, giving me the opportunity for an attack. Rodney’s left arm wasn’t healed yet, after all. I thought that by keeping his right arm out of the way, I’d have the advantage in this fight.
But, I ended up falling apart…
“Wha——!” Francesca had sliced clean though Rodney’s claws. They clattered noisily to the ground, and Rodney’s right hand grew a fist-size shorter. This caused me to lose my balance, and I ended up spinning in a circle as I swung Viola towards his chest. Rodney again tried to intercept the attack with his shortened claws, but with the ringing of metal on metal, Rodney let out a scream. That was because his entire right arm had been instantly frozen solid.
I wasted no time in focusing my magical energy into Francesca, swinging the blade down in a diagonal slash. As I did so, the magical energy was amplified, and a flame ballshot out from the tip. Rodney put up water wall, but the flame ball tore through it, connecting with his frozen right arm. The sudden influx of heat caused a radical temperature differential, which caused his arm to shatter.
“Wha!!! Urbain’s lost weapons…to think they were this powerful——!” Disbelief was written all over Rodney’s face, and it was no different for me, either.
He turned so we were facing each other, and spat out a massive clump of magical energy from his mouth. Right away I crossed Francesca and Viola before me, attempting to block the attack. The black clump of what was most likely shadow-attribute magic plowed into the wall made by the two blades, and dispersed.
I moved my arms together, straightening out the crossed blades as though closing a pair of scissors, as I flew towards Rodney’s chest. I know nothing of swordsmanship. This was just me pushing aside my emotions, and throwing myself into an all-out frontal assault.
But that simple attack slid into his chest with astonishing ease. There was no metallic sound this time. The two blades seemed to poke fun at the hardness of his body up until now, as they slid deeper and deeper.
“——No——way——” Rodney coughed, and bluish-blackish blood spattered the ground, while from his chest, where the two blades were embedded, a tremendous amount of blood began to spurt out. The two blades I held were actively heating and freezing their surroundings, in extremely close proximity to one another. Unable to bear the temperature differential, Rodney’s body began to break down from the inside out.
I looked at him——and saw his HP was rapidly disappearing.
The moment I saw that value reach zero, Rodney’s legs gave out. His collapsed body turned to jet black ash, before diffusing into the surrounding air and disappearing from sight——
“—That was well done.” Grace’s voice brought me back to my senses.
“Yeah. Rodney’s gone. Only gone, as demons can’t actually die.”
“——It all ended so quickly. It’s like the fight up til now wasn’t real. No, that isn’t right——this sword is just too powerful.” That was my honest opinion.
I’d thought the fight would be much more difficult. But, Rodney had been defeated in no time at all. It had nothing to do with how well I’d fought. ——This sword was most likely uncommonly strong, even for this world.
“Kei, the swords.” Prompted by her words, I handed over the Flame Emperor’s Sword, Francesca, and the Ice Emperor’s Sword, Viola. Grace took them in her hands, and staring at them spoke.
“——I am bound by fate to track down demons.” She then softly chanted a spell, and they vanished. She straightened, lifting her face to mine. “Without your strength, I never would have been able to defeat Rodney. ——You have my thanks, Kei.”
With that, she face lit with a brilliant smile. Damn…she was disheveled from the fighting, but she was still as alluring as ever.
“I only fought for my own reasons. If he hadn’t been defeated, then there wouldn’t have been a tomorrow for me. What’s more, we both came out of this pretty well off, and I got to see something nice in the bargain. Hahaha.”
“————” Grace grasped what I was getting at, and quickly covered her bare breasts. “——Kei, so, what are you going to do now?” I responded with a smile.
“I did make a promise to have you teach me about all kinds of things——but before that, there’s something I have to do.” I purposely refrained from mentioning what that something might be.
“It might not be the best time for me to ask this, but——” The wind caused her bangs to flutter, and Grace brushed them out of her eyes as she spoke.
We were standing on a small hilltop nearby the church. The sun was just beginning to rise, lighting our surroundings. I had decided to find a pleasant place with a view of the church, to bury Aslina. I had dug a hole, and there buried her, before setting down a small gravestone and putting my hands together in reverence. I was sure a prayer to Clancy would have been best, but I didn’t know any.
Actually, I had acclimated to this world, to this situation, far too easily. It was probably because of my personality, which always tried to remain calm and find the best answer——
Had I given up too easily? ——How was my company doing? What about Miss Kuki and Kamoda? My parents and friends, now that I was gone——
How would my having been spirited away be seen in the present day——?
My thoughts were spiraling round and round, so I decided to stop thinking for the moment. It’s not like thinking about it would change anything. In my current situation, there was only one best answer I could end up at. That might turn out to be a way to leave Florence and return to my own world. But then again, it might turn out to be that I would end up living out the rest of my life here——
I looked back at Grace, prompting her to continue where she’d left off. She glanced at the small grave I had dug, before proceeding.
“——Did you have feelings for her?” I let out a short laugh at that.
“——No, I didn’t. But still, she looked after me. Without her, I wouldn’t know how I should live.” Grace sat down beside me, pressing her palms together in imitation of me.
“——May she find peace.” Her beautiful, praying voice penetrated throughout my heart.
“What will you do now, then?”
“You already asked that, you know.” I gave a strained smile. Of course, it’s not like I was against her showing interest in what I planned to do next, but——Maybe she was conscious about having pushed too far, as her cheeks grew red.
“Neither Rodney nor Aslina are at the church anymore. If a suspicious guy was loitering around, there’s no telling what the villagers would think. ——In that case, it would be best if I didn’t stay here. Though, I haven’t made any travel arrangements, nor do I have any money. Still, I’m in good health after all this, so I feel confident that I’ll be able to manage somehow.” After I finished speaking, I laughed, good and long. I didn’t have a definite plan, but I still needed to leave. That’s what I planned to do next.
“To the west of here——” Grace spoke, pointing to the west. “To the west of here, you’ll find Harland’s port town, Ashbelle. It’s a hodgepodge of races, so you wouldn’t be seen as all that suspicious. The adventurer’s guild is pretty esteemed, and you could register to earn money. Let’s head there.”
“I see. It does sound like a good choice. ——!? Wait, Grace, you’re going too?” My question was plain, and Grace spoke loudly in reply.
“What are you asking? I promised I’d teach you what I could after the fight was over, didn’t I——!?” She smiled a wide smile, and before I could respond, began walking to the west.