Italics: Internal monologue.
Tono Hifumi pointed the tip of his katana at a young girl’s throat. Her slender neck trembling in fear, the girl made no sounds while staring tearfully at the katana pointed at her throat.
The Japanese sword is a beautiful weapon. A blade crest which is said to be the “Scent of determination” is not a simple curved surface and has a personality that carries a sharpness that sublimates the real nature of the blade.
It’s a beautiful girl.
Hifumi, glancing at the girl thought.
She had beautiful silvery grey hair, now slightly blue because of the tears falling from her clear greenish-blue pupils devoid of malice. Their eyes met. Her eyes clearly showing fear. Shaking, tears streaked down her pale cheeks.
The girl does not seem like a villain. Hifumi felt doubt. Without breaking eye contact, Hifumi expanded his field of vision to encompass his surroundings. This was very difficult for ordinary people, however it was but a simple matter for Hifumi. Visiting the boundary of life and death many times during his insane training has led to this result.
It was an old fashioned, but luxurious, room of about 20 tatami (EN: For a rough estimation, imagine 20 or so twin sized beds, that’s how big the floor is). The walls were made of stone, and without windows, the only light came from the flickering torches on the walls. On the opposite side of the girl, a great double-door exit was visible. Only a foot away from the place where Hifumi and the girl stood, covered completely in armour, a Knight holding a short spear for indoor use pointed it at Hifumi with an expression of anger and shouted
「Get away from the Princess!」
Hifumi did not react to the angry voice of the Knight.
Calmly analysing his surroundings, Hifumi confirmed six people armed with the same equipment.
He could not see behind him, but the sounds behind him gave away the number of people.
At a glance, he saw that the armour was of a really tough metal. The helmets were also tight against their cheeks, having almost no weak points. He made an educated guess and thrust the point of his katana at a certain spot. Well, I guess you do now.
From their behavior, while feeling that there were no enemies of a comparable skill level, he recalled the circumstances that led to this situation…
That day, Hifumi had finished his daily morning practice and was sitting in meditation in front of the dojo. Slowly inhaling the crisp and cold morning air, and feeling something within him stir. A slight quiver passed through him while suppressing that feeling.
For Hifumi, this abnormal and severe practice of mind and matter was also a time for him to relax more than anything else. Once he reached 18, it seemed to have settled down, or rather, he’s acting more his age and enjoying anime, manga and novels relaxedly.
Other than martial talents, a very ordinary young man.
Next to him lay his favorite Iaido katana. Without excessive decoration, a black sword of simple make. Although inexpensive, he’d inherited it from his master and treated it with great respect, a peerless sword.
Suddenly, he sensed presences behind him.
However, no malice could be felt from them.
「 Ho~ , to be able to sense our presences. 」
A man’s hoarse voice responded to Hifumi’s question.
Turning around, Hifumi saw an old man, resembling the legendary Zeus from Greece’s mythology, and a great warrior from the Warring States era with a bone naginata hanging from his waist.
Hifumi involuntarily frowns.
What a mismatched duo. And…
「They’re not ….. Human? 」
Humans have a ‘feeling of life’, but that feeling of ‘life’ cannot be felt from him.
「Me, I am a real human 」
This time, the great warrior answered.
His behavior was befitting of an expert.
Hifumi was already in a stance allowing him to draw the katana at his side instantly.
「 No need to be so nervous. Although we have some bad news, we mean you no ill-will. 」
「 Bad news?」
「 Wait a minute, before explaining, I will introduce myself. 」
The old main said while stroking his beard.
「 Well, I am a God. You might say different gods belong to different religions, as a rule of thumb, this world’s jurisdiction is under me, who is like a representative of god. And thus, those that control the military arts, the samurai, are gods. 」(TN: This confused me a little.)
The man that introduced himself as the god of martial arts, folded his arms while laughing.
「 I saw something in you. Warriors have become scarce in this era, also very few practice diligently like you. With your genius abilities, with great efforts, you have broken through the limits of humans and greatly pleased the god of martial arts. 」
「 Well, I don’t know why. Even looking at the past, I was brought up in an ordinary household, with a non-interference policy. An episode that provided input to martial arts doesn’t exist. 」
As the god of martial arts said, Hifumi’s fighting power had already reached a cheat-like level. He acquired all the skills that the founder of the school left behind solely from experience, as such, it was possible to easily win against all the pupils of the dojo simultaneously in a straight-up fight, it wasn’t even funny.
Though having obtained the power and desire to fight, the two presences that called themselves “God” were unable to see through it.
「 Although I say god, sensing a person’s thoughts is not possible. 」
「 We are not almighty, and as such, have some limitations. Normally, it is troublesome to manifest in this form. Our work; this world that we may call a stage, cannot be personally interfered with. We are forbidden from doing so. 」
Shaking his head, the self-styled God’s representative sighed.
「 Ah, well… 」 said the god of martial arts.
「 There is no too much time, we should tell him the necessary conditions quickly, yes? 」
「 Anyway, this “Bad news” is that very soon, you will be sent to a different world. So, like the fantasy novels in your room, people from a different world have summoned you into their world. 」
When Hifumi knitted his brows, the god of martial arts corrected him.
「 Aa, that is not the case. Please do not misunderstand. 」
「 Well then, why? 」
Not believing that this person was a god, yet Hifumi sensed it was not a lie.
「 Someone in that world has wished for it, forcibly connecting the two worlds by 『 Distortion 』. Moreover, the mark of summoning suits you well. Unless you cross over, the distortion will not fade, causing various effects on this current world. 」
I see.. thought Hifumi.
Being a bookworm who read all kinds of genres, such a situation seemed comparatively interesting to him. Simply put, these two self-styled gods had come to explain the situation, so as to clear any confusion in Hifumi’s mind.
In all fairness, should they really be called gods?
「 Because of that, questions about the distortion can be freely asked, since you are a man of my world, I wish to do a little something for you. 」
「 That place is a so called world of “swords and magic”. It is a dangerous world, you can temper your martial arts to your heart’s content, without any reserve. 」
「 I see.. 」
Hifumi shut his eyes and indulged in the idea for a while. Previously smouldering feelings in Hifumi were simulated.
「 Well, our discussion had been understood. 」, Hifumi, for the time being, decided to believe the story.
「 Anyway, what do I do in this different world? 」
「 What, just defeat the Demon King on the other side, being called the hero, what else? 」
The old man answered Hifumi smilingly.
「 Rather, we don’t really care how you spend your time in that world. That world is forcibly kidnapping you, so to speak. You do not need to listen, even if you are asked for something there. 」
The god of martial arts said angrily, with his mouth shaped like the kana character ‘へ’.
「 The world that we manage is messed up, it doesn’t feel right. 」
「 Moreover, that world is much different from this world, there are brutal demons and dangerous magic, various species like elves and dwarves exist. To be thrown suddenly into such a world would be very troublesome too. 」
「 We are explaining this to you beforehand so that you are not be perplexed, also you have the power to fight in that world. 」
「 For example, you can use magic… 」
Though Hifumi managed to get an image, nothing happened.
「 No, no, no, magic exists only in that world, as the image of power for a person. So, let me. 」
The old man nonchalantly raised a hand, and the katana Hifumi was holding heated up a little.
「 Apart from a god’s power, almost nothing can break this katana. Sharpness has been boosted, it won’t bend or break, and all traces of rust are removed. This is the only gift this powerless god can give you. 」
「 And from me, the divine protection of the god of martial arts. Though you stand at the top in your dojo, and might take over sometime soon, ah well.. Now, your martial arts can power up more effectively. It seems it will be useful in the other world, where it’s considerably important. 」
「 I see… 」
On receiving the explanation, Hifumi, who had obtained the divine protection suddenly got up and headed towards the straw post used for Iai strikes.
A single flash.
Drawn from the waist, the katana cut through the straw post, not stopping there, also damaged the wall of the dojo.
The wall was split open, a cut visible on the steel frame.
「 …. This is bad 」
I only intended to cut the straw post, but even the part not touched by the blade is broken.
「 Well, you’ll get used to handling it. 」
「 The effects of the summoning will begin soon enough…. 」
At the same time the god of martial arts mutters this, a geometrical formation appeared at Hifumi’s feet.
「 This is…. 」
「 Haa… It’s here… Hifumi, in the future, it may be difficult, but please persevere. If you wish to live, you must grow.」
「 As the god of martial arts, I wish for your martial arts to improve in that world, but do not force yourself. 」
「A moving scene, isn’t it? 」
Unexpectedly, a light voice suppressing laughter was heard.
「 …. A Death god? I do not recall having called you. 」
The god of martial arts said with a sour expression.
「 It is not because of being called 」, said a thin man wearing a tailcoat, appearing behind Hifumi.
Wearing a faint smile, the pale faced, corpse-like thing spoke.
「 I have been watching him for a while. This fragrance of death he gives off is not human. 」 the Death god said and laughed.
「 Many people desire to kill, but this person is the first who’s soul is wreathed in darkness. 」
Hifumi only silently glanced at the Death god, remaining expressionless. Listening to the Death god’s words, neither affirming nor denying.
「 Do you crave for bloodletting? Now that you mention it, what is the source of your zeal for martial arts? 」
Hifumi didn’t answer the god of martial arts’ question.
「 Even the god of that world does not have such a happy thing! In that world of magic and swords, you can show your power to your heart’s content! If anything stands before you, you can cut it down with your sword! 」
Excitedly, the Death god appeared in front of Hifumi.
「 Despite the poor ability, accept this gift from me! 」
The Death god grandly gestured towards Hifumi, a black mist permeated Hifumi’s body.
「 I gave you the darkness attribute that I excel at, and you will be able to use dark magic depending on your image there, and it is at a level that exceeds human knowledge. 」
「 I will use it well. 」
「 You seem to have received it willingly. Naturally, it will not work here, but you should try it out in that world. 」
To Hifumi’s words, the Death god replied smilingly, winking at the other two gods.
「 I thank you. 」
「 Eh? 」
Before the Death god realised, Hifumi’s sword tore him into two pieces.
The upper body fell onto the floor, making a much heavier noise than expected.
The Death god, his eyes filled with astonishment, opened his mouth soundlessly before collapsing and turning into sand.
「 Huh, was the god really cut that easily? I don’t know whether or not this person is a god. However, I don’t like anyone trying to use me. 」
Hifumi stared expressionlessly at the sword which reflected nothing, not even the edge was nicked.
「 Thank you for this sword. I can use this to kill without reserve. 」
As if a switch had flipped, Hifumi muttered with a ferocious smile.