And? Who are you?
The king as well as Yugu couldn’t do anything else but be dumbfounded at Hifumi’s sudden intrusion.
Veldore, who should be ruling the place if everything had gone as originally planned, had fainted and didn’t even twitch. The enhanced soldier, who had eradicated the designated enemy targets, was waiting for a new order and didn’t even quiver.
“You already started, huh?” (Hifumi)
While being troubled with a “I’m late, eh?”, Hifumi calmly surveys the hall’s interior.
As he takes an unimpressed look at the spectacle of corpses littering the whole area, he only confirms that there are still people alive.
“You are… it can’t be…” (Yugu)
Yugu, knowing of Hifumi’s features, shook his head in disbelief.
“Okay, from the fact that you know about me, it means that you are the mastermind of the plan to lure me in, doesn’t it?” (Hifumi)
With a “So, you are this country’s king?” Hifumi looks at Horant’s king, Suprangel.
It was a simple surveying look without him bearing any malice.
“You are, Orsongrande’s hero… ?” (Suprangel)
As Hifumi drew closer from the entrance without addressing the king’s words, Yugu yelled at the enhanced soldier,
“Just how did you get here while making enemies of all soldiers within the castle… ? Anyway, enhanced soldier! Kill him!” (Yugu)
“At last it starts, eh?” (Hifumi)
The enhanced soldier, charging in from the onset, runs up to him while brandishing the large sword above its head.
While raising such voice due to the unexpected long reach of the large sword and the movement, that became quicker in comparison to before, Hifumi makes a half step and wedges himself into its bosom.
Accompanied by a sound of something crushing, the pommel of Hifumi’s katana smashed the armour, including the magic tool at the chest, and the enhanced soldier crumbled down.
“I guess that will happen if you know about its weak point. On top of that, it won’t change the fact that it doesn’t have the ability to thrust.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who shook his head with a sigh mixed in-between, slipped between the arms of another enemy soldier, who came slashing at him with the sword he held, without even avoiding.
In contrast to Hifumi, who doesn’t even move an inch as he firmly set up his stance, the enemy enforced soldier, who bumped into him vigorously, has his chest hit by Hifumi’s shoulder and was sent flying, tumbling and stopping when he hit the wall at last.
Hifumi, who cuts down two other enhanced soldiers, is watched by Yugu with his face coloured in dread. Horant’s king, who stood next to him, observed the way of slaughtering with great interest.
And, another survivor has come to his senses.
Veldore, unable to move at once thanks to the headache, groaned for a while as he lay on the ground, but he was able to comprehend what was happening in his vicinity during that time.
(That man is that aforementioned…) (Veldore)
Even now the enhanced soldiers are easily getting killed within his field of vision that was dyed red with blood.
While I, the royal grandson, am grovelling on the bloodstained floor, that man is gleefully achieving an extremely easy victory.
There was still one enforced soldier, however having its abdomen severed sideways in a straight line, its entrails were scattered and it fell over.
Using those experimental bodies, I should be getting crowned magnificently in front of the citizens by now, thinking this far, he looked at the throne rebuking his unmoving body and saw the figure of Yugu, who was lying down unable to stand up due to fear, and the king, who showed a calm facial expression for some reason and was still in good health.
“It can’t be…” (Veldore)
Veldore, already dominated by a hatred to destroy all of it, grabbed his sword with his still numb right hand and the magic tool affixed to his waist.
“I will… destroy everything…” (Veldore)
At the time he turns his body over, Yugu who discovered the thing Veldore held in his hands, shouts,
“Veldore-sama! If you use that… !” (Yugu)
Before he finished speaking the magic tool was forced into Veldore’s chest making Yugu’s restraining words vain.
While seeing this with a sidelong glance as he was in the midst of battle, Hifumi let his feeling show with a quiet smile.
Hifumi, who quickly broke into the audience hall, of course stormed into the castle without asking any pointless questions, but the soldiers outside the castle couldn’t avoid dealing with another problem before calling for reinforcements from within the castle.
“They went that way!” (Soldier)
“Don’t let them escape into the city! Get rid of them here!” (Soldier)
The soldiers, moving about in confusion following the orders of the magicians, are chasing the experimental bodies who escaped.
Of course they didn’t really escape by themselves but Origa set 4 of them free close to the castle for the sake of causing a disturbance.
The experimental bodies, which were discovered close to the castle, had already slaughtered several residents, who happened to pass by, as they were possessing weapons for some reason.
The soldier, who discovered this first, immediately called for reinforcements, but even though their numbers increased they haven’t been able to capture or kill them until now. Gradually victims among the people and the soldiers are appearing.
Although they have been requesting support while also knowing about the abnormality of the castle, they have no news about the situation either.
“Tsk! How the hell did they get out of their restraints!?” (Magician)
While cursing in irritation, a single magician arrived at the research institute.
“If I don’t check upon the remaining group…” (Magician)
“There’s no need for that.” (Origa)
The magician, who entered through the open door, was stopped by Origa quickly thrusting her dagger at him.
“You finally came, huh? I got tired of waiting.” (Origa)
During that time, the soldiers of Fokalore have promptly closed the door and adopted an approach of wait-and-see by looking outside through a small opened gap.
“I believe it to be faster to ask directly rather than searching the entire institute.” (Origa)
While showing a lovely smile with a broad grin, she presses the dagger lightly against the magician’s throat.
“As we can’t find the stock of magic tools used on them, I’d like you to help us out by telling us the location.” (Origa)
While saying this, Origa points at an experimental body limply hanging in the chains restraining it.
“Th-That is…” (Magician)
Suddenly the magician felt his left ear getting hot.
Once he hears a slurping sound, his ear has fallen to the ground.
Swinging the dagger even more condemning, she chips off the tip of the nose.
“It’s fine for you to only tell me the necessary things.” (Origa)
As his mind was already solely focussed on getting away as fast as possible, the magician spilled the vault’s location being in a separate building talking rapidly. He ended up crouching while suppressing the blood, which flowed with a dripping sound, with both hands.
“I see. Thank you very much for informing me in detail.” (Origa)
Swinging the dagger straight down the nape of the neck, she wipes the blood with a paper she took out from her pocket as if it’s a trivial matter.
“Well then, you heard the story just now, right?” (Origa)
The Fokalore soldiers, who saw her look, nodded while being scared.
“Because it looks like it won’t do to be at this institute for much longer, let’s finish releasing the remaining experimental bodies towards the castle and city.” (Origa)
And thus all the staff members being at the research institute were killed by Origa’s group and the insane, enhanced soldiers were released towards the castle.
“Well then, let’s move as planned.” (Origa)
Within less than 30 minutes Origa’s group escaped from the capital city, Adolamelk.
As Hifumi sees Veldore fainting in agony with a sidelong glance, he wards off the downward-swung sword of the last enhanced soldier and kills it by slicing the carotid artery with the raised katana.
During that time Veldore, whose appearance with a large head and his muscles having swelled several times across his entire body became strange , stood up slowly.
There’s no sanity left in his eyes anymore. With the blood vessels standing out on the surface of his face, it has even reached the point of fangs having grown on top of his bared teeth.
“The heck is that… ?” (Suprangel)
“It’s the newest magic still under development. Raising the transformation to a level above enhancing the body, the target loses its mind in exchange for explosive power and abnormal physical strength…” (Yugu)
Yugu, in the same condition of having dropped his waist as before, answered the king’s question. Originally he brought it along with the intention use it on someone, if the situation required it, and escape during the resulting chaos.
“Did he fall into despair when the enhanced soldiers were done in? I didn’t expect him to use it on himself.” (Yugu)
“He already even stopped being a human, huh… ? Veldore…” (Suprangel)
In front of the lamenting king Veldore turned into a giant with a height of 4 m while making groaning sounds. He brought down his fist that had grown to the length of an arm.
Of course his aim was Hifumi.
Even while avoiding the fragments of the smashed ground flying about, Hifumi made a huge leap and rolled over.
“Practically it is a large monster. Now that it has come to this, the techniques that are used against people won’t cut it, I suppose.” (Hifumi)
As he throws the kodachi sharply, it pierced the lower leg of Veldore as if being sucked in. But Veldore doesn’t stop moving, let alone give any kind of reaction.
“Looks like he doesn’t even have a sense of pain, eh!?” (Hifumi)
He avoids getting crushed by the following largely swung arm by rolling to the side.
Even during that time, Hifumi keeps his eyes open staring at the state of the increased muscles, his physique and movement.
Furthermore Veldore threw the large swords, scattered about within the hall, one after the other at him.
His strength being absurd, each of them pierces the wall and stone floor down to hilt.
“This is already a weapon.” (Hifumi)
While smiling wryly, he tried to repel one of them with his katana, but as expected of the speed and weight, the most he could do was to have it stray from its course.
“W-h-a-t d-o y-ou… Scar-ed, are… n’t yo-u?” (Veldore)
Although the words are groans, broken syllables are audible.
Even though Veldore threw the corpses of the enhanced soldiers next, Hifumi, who got used to the speed, easily evaded those.
“How enjoyable.” (Hifumi)
Smiling broadly, Hifumi takes the katana, he previously held with only his right hand, into both hands and gets into a firm seigan stance.
“I regret it as I wanted to use it in a match of techniques with a human, but I guess this much is fine. If it’s the strength of a monster, it will be alright.” (Hifumi)
While raising his voice as if it was resounding from within his stomach, Veldore grasped his right hand tightly, to the degree of a grinding sound appearing, in front of Hifumi, who doesn’t waver in his firm stance.
While facing the approaching straight punch of the tightly grasped right fist, Hifumi doesn’t show any inclination to avoid it.
(It’s completely like the iron ball used to dismantle buildings.) (Hifumi)
Even while thinking about pointless things like that, he is enveloped in a moderate feeling of tension in order to trace the path of the “feint skill” his body learned before.
Although it was even more unreal than the technique to knock down a fired arrow he displayed in the slums before, he was successful at testing it out a few times. It’s something like having two swords sliding across each other deflecting their round blade tips upwards at the time of thrusting out the swords. Veldore is able to reproduce a similar motion with his fist.
(If I compare them, it becomes easier because the target is so big.) (Hifumi)
Persuading himself, he decides to aim for the second joint of the approaching fist’s middle finger.
He had grasped through the earlier observation that Veldore’s movement of the joints wasn’t any different from normal humans. Once that was the case, he estimated that he could use a grazing motion with the katana.
The lengthy consideration passed in a moment and he experienced a dry metallic sound in the instant of clashing.
Striking the bone with the katana, the fist passes slightly overhead of Hifumi.
But at the same time it took away the katana which was pierced into the fist.
The averted fist was outside Veldore’s expectation. But at the same time he was overjoyed at the opponent parting with his weapon. With this the enemy won’t be able to put up a resistance.
In the instant of turning back his sight towards the enemy to smash him at last, that enemy was right in front of his eyes.
The second Hifumi averted the fist, he escaped below Veldore’s arms while letting go of his katana and jumped up in front of him planting his knee into his face.
“Don’t take your eye off your enemy.” (Hifumi)
Stabbing the suntetsu grasped in the right hand into Veldore’s chin, he seizes his hair with the left hand.
“Heave… ho” (Hifumi)
As he rotated Veldore’s head once, Veldore collapsed raising an earth tremor, afterwards his large build twitched for an instant and didn’t move anymore.
“It’s not really a swordsmanship match. It’s only natural to let go of something like weapons at any time.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who leapt away to avoid getting dragged down by the falling Veldore, leisurely picked up his katana. Once he confirmed that there was no warping or damage to it, he approached the throne as he held it close to the ground in his right hand.
“… Well done!” (Suprangel)
Hifumi lightly responds to the king’s praise.
Unbeknownst whether Yugu had heard this or not, he looked at Hifumi trembling in shivers.
“So, who are you guys?” (Hifumi)
“I’m the king of Horant, Suprangel Gengh Horant.” (Suprangel)
After he named himself, the king looked at the miserably caved-in Yugu besides him.
At the thought of that small-timer, who could do nothing but tremble in fear without even giving his own name, acting as advisor of his grandson, the king judges him to be pathetic.
“… He is a friend of my grandson, the guy who died just now. They were right at the point of attempting to usurp my position.” (Suprangel)
Even though Yugu looks at the king surprised by his words, the king only sighed without looking at him.
“I wonder, why do you think I would protect a bastard like you this late in the game?” (Suprangel)
Due to the king’s words, Yugu tried to escape from his current place in panic. Falling over as his feet were tripped by Hifumi, he struggled to move his feet and hands squirming like an insect as his back was tread on.
“Your name is?” (Hifumi)
“Hii… hii…” (Yugu)
Seeing that Yugu had no intention to answer, Hifumi looked at Suprangel.
“That guy’s name is Yugu Yutileft. I regret to say it, but he is a noble of this country.” (Suprangel)
“I see.” (Hifumi)
Hearing the king’s words, Hifumi severed Yugu’s head easily holding his katana in a backhand grip.
“… Well then, Orsongrande’s hero. Do you want to obtain this country by killing me? No matter how much you even aspire that…” (Suprangel)
“Don’t need it, something like a country.” (Hifumi)
Muttering that it would be too troublesome, he sheathed the katana.
“… What was that?” (Suprangel)
“I told you, I don’t need it. I only fight for the sake of killing people.” (Hifumi)
“Wh-What a…” (Suprangel)
For the first time now, the king noticed that the man in front of him wasn’t a hero but a lunatic.
“Since I was able to talk with you, I plan to go back at this point today.” (Hifumi)
“D-Do you want to tell me that you don’t even want any kind of military exploits having come this far?” (Suprangel)
“Don’t need ’em.” (Hifumi)
The king immediately saw through that there was no falsehood in Hifumi’s eyes, though he still couldn’t believe it.
“It’s not only this country. It’s the same for Vichy and Orsongrande… which reminds me, doesn’t there seem to be an area of beastmen on the other side of this country? Dragging them into it as well, I want to steadily turn this world into one of fighting and killing each other. And I will have you desperately refine your skills by using schemes to escalate the wars even further.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi talks with sparkling eyes similar to a child with a large dream of the future.
“For that reason, I only came here to agitate your country a bit. However, once you mass produce these dolls, who aren’t able to use their head in battle, I will crush this country.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi snorts as he points at the enhanced soldiers scattered about in the corners thrown away by Veldore.
“Even if I tell you, there’s no way for you to understand unless you have experienced it yourself.” (Hifumi)
“Therefore”, Hifumi continues calmly,
“The magic tools developed by this country to make people ferocious, I decided to use those on suitably strong-looking monsters around the world. Since there will probably be victims here and there in your country before long, you better hurry to think of countermeasures.” (Hifumi)
He shouts as he is about to jump off the throne.
“If you do such thing, it will increase the victims among the populace! Just how much military forces will be necessary to patrol… ?” (Suprangel)
“Therefore, isn’t it better to do your best in finding a method to search for the enemy? It’s also necessary to consider the possibility of sudden attacks. Though the safety of the highway will be lost as well.” (Hifumi)
The king gazes with eyes tinged in panic at Hifumi, who tells him some of the consequences if they don’t figure out a method of protection in the future.
“Well, it’s fine’s if you do your best at thinking of a plan to protect the populace. I’ve got a suggestion there, but…” (Hifumi)
It can’t be called anything but the whispers of the devil by now, but Suprangel has no other option but to listen to Hifumi’s words.
“Won’t it be fine if you send soldiers to my territory for training them?” (Hifumi)
Although Suprangel was speechless for a little while, at the time he received the report of the experimental bodies having escaped and rampaging around from a soldier, who came rushing, he had decided to follow Hifumi’s proposal including his support as well.