Advancing through the path which had only the small, simple undergrowth trimmed, he arrived at the barrier’s location right away.
“This is the barrier, huh?” (Hifumi)
Above the path, there is a hole to the degree of him being able to pass if he cowers a bit.
Hifumi touched the barrier with a finger, but except a feeling similar to going a bit numb, it had a sensation like plastic which got cooled down.
“It looks like it would break if I hit it, but… well, I leave that for later.” (Hifumi)
He passes through the hole speedily and without delay.
Once Hifumi adjusts the place of the katana on his waist, he walks ahead, not slowly but neither hurried.
The forest continues even when he goes through the barrier, however compared to the forest where the elves live, Hifumi felt that the air has obviously become clear. Though it’s natural, but there are no elven corpses on any of the trees.
“Shall I try going straightforward?” (Hifumi)
The path continues towards outside the forest in a distance.
He tried asking Zanga and Puuse before passing through the barrier, but the two didn’t know how the demons live their lives or what’s life like on the other side of the barrier.
Hifumi decided to walk ahead by following the path “for some reason or another.” If there’s a path, there has to be someone using it, was the level of his care-freeness.
And after he walked for around an hour, the trees became too sparse to call it a forest and he became able to see far ahead. The forest’s parts became vague and before him realizing it the visibility improved.
“A city… huh?” (Hifumi)
With the forest ending, grey walls, appearing to be made out of stone, can be seen far ahead after following the path.
Is it because there’s still quite a distance? It’s yet not clear whether there are people or not, but there’s a place where a part of the wall is heightened. Hifumi judged that it might be something like a watchtower for the sake of guarding or a gate.
“For the time being I will go there…” (Hifumi)
Just in the midst of saying that, Hifumi swiftly dodged and rolled on the ground.
Right next to his side, a beast with the same physique as Hifumi cuts through.
“A monster, eh?” (Hifumi)
At the moment he got up, Hifumi is already grasping the unsheathed katana in his hand.
The monster and him face each other.
It was a monster with an appearance similar to a leopard possessing a flexible body. Without any intention to hide its sharp claws, it is tightly and powerfully grasping the ground.
Due to the opponent being a monster which displays its intimidation by snarling, Hifumi stepped forward with his right foot and took a stance as if thrusting the katana at his opponent.
“It seems to be stronger than the monsters around Orsongrande.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi wasn’t able to sense its presence until it came quite close for its surprise attack just now.
If its speed had been a bit higher, he might have received damage from its first attack.
“Leopard, eh? It might be different from beastmen, but I wonder how?” (Hifumi)
Once he swings the point of the katana as if luring it, the monster makes a growl as if it was irritated.
In the middle of their confrontation, when Hifumi suddenly raised the katana in an overhead position, the monster, judging it as opportunity, leapt on him with its blank claws.
It was faster than Hifumi had expected.
While letting the forepaw, which was precisely aimed at his neck, go past by advancing forward diagonally, he hit its jaw with the pommel.
The monster, which whined as it was unable to endure, tries to take a distance by dashing in a circle.
However, Hifumi has predicted that and presses forwards in a straight line.
When he gets right in front of it, it opens its large snout in order to attack him.
“Conversely, that is your weak point.” (Hifumi)
He thrusts the katana towards the throat of the monster while pushing the pommel with his waist.
The thrust, which put the blade sideways, pierced even the medulla oblongata while experiencing only little resistance.
The monster tried to strongly snap at the katana’s blade, but that was the extent of its opposition.
Pressing his foot against its forehead, Hifumi pulls out the katana.
Placing a paper on the blood-smeared katana, he wipes it clean in one go.
The blade had rubbed against the sharp fangs, but it has already regained its original radiance.
“I see. Even if you put the demons aside, the monsters are strong as well, eh?” (Hifumi)
I might be able to enjoy myself with something else besides my original objective, Hifumi breathed out through his nose.
“Does that mean that it’s possible for a demon king to appear?” (Imeraria)
“There are such rumours among the people on the streets.” (Adol)
Prime Minister Adol avoided the affirmation of Imeraria’s question.
“… Isn’t it possible to verify the truth? Or are there some problems?” (Imeraria)
“No, there are no problems.” (Origa)
The other person who is present at this place opened her mouth. Origa was visiting the castle for the sake of helping in the research of the sealing magic.
For the period of several days in this place, she has taken and been staying at an inn in the capital.
All of her just 5 attending soldiers are women. The security measures are strangely weak-levelled for the wife of an Earl. Though there is the incident of her instantly killing the thugs who were hired by young nobles who have grudges against Hifumi and moreover her crushing those young nobles in one night, she made sure to abstain from interacting with other nobles. And the capital’s nobles, who felt her to be eerie, don’t approach Origa either.
On the other hand, since she is the feudal lord’s representative of Fokalore, which was at the forefront in regards to industry and commerce, merchants and craftsmen come visiting her without interruption for the sake of greetings and studying.
Without discrimination, Origa dealt with those commoners and at times she even taught them valuable techniques for free.
“The hero’s wife isn’t an ordinary person after all.”
is her reputation, but although nobles and commoners mean that in different ways, it didn’t take long for it to spread widely.
Of course such talks have reached Imeraria’s ears as well. However she doesn’t touch that topic.
“You saying that there are no problems must mean that there’s some reason. Could you please elaborate?” (Imeraria)
“Your Majesty, that way of talking to me is unnecessary. If my husband is Your Majesty’s retainer, then I, who am his wife, shall serve Your Majesty as well.” (Origa)
Due to Origa making that statement smoothly, Imeraria was disappointed that “she doesn’t really mean it”, but she was at least able to make sure that this wasn’t revealed on her face.
“I’m someone showing proper respect towards Hifumi-sama. I believe it should be the same towards you who is his spouse. So, would you mind answering my question?” (Imeraria)
“My husband is currently investigating the person who is behind those strengthened monsters. In addition, our Earl Tohno feudal army intends to give instructions in combat techniques to each nation and area without sparing any efforts.” (Origa)
“Is the idea of teaching those combat techniques originating from Hifumi-sama?” (Imeraria)
“Even to foreign countries… that will also depend on whether it will become act which serves the interests of the enemy…” (Adol)
Adol shyly expressed his worries towards the details Origa talked about as if they were something wonderful.
Origa’s reply which confronts those worries begins with a smile.
“Foreign countries… Vichy and Horant are learning techniques from us. Even if they turned against us, for argument’s sake, it’s very possible to deal with them.” (Origa)
“H-However, in case they aimed at another place than Fokalore…” (Adol)
Once Adol mentions the matter he fears once more, Origa’s laughing intensifies.
“Do not worry, Your Excellency, the Prime Minister.” (Origa)
Her tone is filled with confidence to the brim.
“Even in such case we will have the privilege of helping out with at least “sufficient resistance.”” (Origa)
She doesn’t talk about winning.
Neither does she say that Fokalore will suppress them.
She just guarantees “to resist” them.
“… Then, let’s deal with it in each territory. Watching the state of affairs, we will dispatch war potential from the country at any time.” (Imeraria)
“At the time of doing that, the Tohno Earldom will also cooperate with you at full power.” (Origa)
Imeraria and Origa smile while looking at each others faces.
“So, let’s continue the magic research.” (Imeraria)
“Yes, let’s do that.” (Origa)
Standing up together, the two headed towards the reference room while the sounds of their heels resounded.
Having been left alone, Adol sighed into the silence.
Hifumi, who slowly approached the place which appeared to be a city, noticed a battle raging in its vicinity.
Getting close to a distance so that he can watch the situation, he takes up position in the shade of a tree.
“Demons, eh?” (Hifumi)
Against the backdrop of the wall, around 30 demons are struggling against the same number of wolf-type monsters.
A remarkably tall demon shouldered a big long sword of approximately the same length as himself and dove into the pack of monsters leading the charge.
While rotating like a spinning top and brandishing his shouldered long sword with the momentum of dashing, he tore the monsters into shreds.
With the other demons adding fire and lightning spells, the monsters, who were just overwhelmed by the pressure, fled in all direction once their numbers decreased to less than half in the blink of an eye.
Without recklessly chasing, the male demons quickly confirm the damage and walk towards the direction of the city while being vigilant of the surroundings.
Once Hifumi looked in the direction of their heading, he discovered a door, which appeared to be the entrance, at one part of the wall.
He ponders while having folded his arms.
“Their fighting strength is high? Shall I call out to them from here? Or shall I do so after taking a look at the city?” (Hifumi)
Even if I entered the city just like that, it will require much effort to search fellows, who are capable in fighting, one by one, Hifumi made a bitter expression.
“Hearing that there are several strong guys here… mm?” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who noticed the threatening air, swiftly took out his kusarigama.
The wolf monsters, which were earlier repelled by the demons, have apparently switched their target to Hifumi next.
A pack of around 10 of them surrounds Hifumi.
“I see. The monsters in this neighbourhood are skilled at erasing their presences.” (Hifumi)
If it means that they can ruthlessly compete with such monsters, the average fighting strength of demons might be high, Hifumi leisurely assessed while swinging the counterweight of his kusarigama.
The monster which had suddenly the tip of its nozzle hit by the iron counterweight, faints in agony while sprouting blood.
Making sure to jump over their comrade which had suffered the attack, several monsters assaulted Hifumi all at once.
The sickle, grasped in his left hand, strikes the face of one of the monsters among them.
Going through its eyeball, the sickle which destroyed the brain gets stuck in the skull.
Wielding it as is, Hifumi struck another monster with the corpse by throwing the sickle. In exchange he reeled in the counterweight and threw it at yet another monster.
Hifumi, who had killed 3 monsters in one swoop, advances unarmed and kills the monster, whose nose had been bashed in the beginning, by stepping on its head.
“… Alright.” (Hifumi)
Feeling the feedback, Hifumi stood against the back of a tree without touching the katana at his waist.
Compared to the leopard monster from a while ago, they are weak.
“Hurry up, it’s not my hobby to kill frail animals, but…” (Hifumi)
Once he looks at the remaining six monsters, it seems that they still have the will to fight. They might have judged that the level of threat fell with him having become unarmed.
“I will entertain you if you want to play.” (Hifumi)
The six monsters simultaneously leap at Hifumi, who put up his right hand in front at half length.
Grabbing the forepaw of one of the monsters which came biting at him with its snout open, he throws it at another monster.
Dodging by swiftly drawing back his foot from one which came to claw at his knee, it came into a conspicuous spot under his feet and he kicked its throat.
Being surrounded by trees in a circle, Hifumi seized the neck of a monster which came jumping at him and slapped it into the trunk of a tree.
With a wet sound of the skull being crushed, it makes a beeline of blood once Hifumi removes his hand while dropping to the ground.
Another monster comes snapping at him, but straightening the middle finger and the index finger, Hifumi hooks its lower jaw with them.
Having its jaw dislocated by the force of its own leap with a *wobble*, it cocks its head in puzzlement and fold just like that.
The last monster aimed its fangs at his neck from behind Hifumi.
Hitting the back of Hifumi who had willingly stepped back, its balance crumbled and it dropped to the ground. At that moment Hifumi struck the area around its heart.
Coughing up blood, the monster ceased moving.
While correcting his dishevelled dougi, Hifumi breathed out.
“… So, what’s your impression after observing the battle?” (Hifumi)
Turning around, Hifumi throws those words at a large tree.
“I was noticed, huh? You have a higher ability than I heard of those called humans…”
A man with long ears, who seems to be a demon, appeared from the shadows of the large tree.
“So, do you want to play with me as well?” (Hifumi)
“You are quite belligerent. However, I will pass on that for now.”
When Hifumi muttered “Is that so? How boring”, the male demon offered a suggestion to Hifumi.
“Human, you don’t have any inclination to work for our country, do you?”
“… Ha?” (Hifumi)