I decided to call my leaders over to discuss the further progress with them.
“Things have significantly diverted from what I had assumed, but I doubt it’s going to pose a problem.”
“I’ll get my fight, right?”
“If the other side agrees to the duels, yes.”
Takaharu flashes a ferocious smile.
“So…who’s going to fight next after five minutes pass, Shion-sama?” Kotetsu asks me as Takaharu gleefully begins to shadowbox.
“Hey! Hey! What about after that? Would it be fine for me to have a go? Please?” Setanta jumps out from behind Kotetsu who’s bowed while confirming his assignment.
“The next is going to be Rina.”
“Okay. But, leaving that aside, can I ask you something, Shion?”
“Should we just silently watch even if…in the worst case…it looks like you’re going to lose?”
“No, help me then.”
“Pfft, got it.” Rina breaks into a wry smile when she hears me revoking my promise on the fly.
“Hey! Hey! What about after that? The one after Rina-ane! Me? It has to be me!”
『Sorry for having kept you waiting, Demon King Shion. We’ve decided on our reply! We shall accept the duels ― your suggestion!』
Setanta hops up and down like a spoiled brat, but…unfortunately for him, the Kanezawa Liberation Army answers within five minutes, voiding even Kotetsu’s turn.
Chapter 252 – Invasion of Nonoichi City ⑰
“Yahoo! Come on! Who’s goin’ to be my opponent!?”
Once Takaharu rushes out full of joy, a round, empty circle naturally forms around him.
“My name is Kousaka Kazunari. Beast King of Unoke, let’s have a fair duel!”
A masculine-looking man, who appears to be in the latter half of his twenties, squares off against Takaharu with his spear at the ready.
“Takaharu Shion. Made yer last prayers?”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself!” Kousaka snarls as Takaharu provokes him with a calm smile.
“Shion? Can I get started already?”
“He said to have a fair duel, so I’d say yes.”
As soon as Takaharu replies listlessly while cracking his neck…he powerfully kicks off, charging at Kousaka like lightning.
Only a cloud of dust remains where he stood before. Closing the distance to Kousaka in an instant, Takaharu rips through Kousaka’s neck with his sharp, fiendish claws.
While unable to understand what has happened to him, Kousaka collapses with blood spraying out of his neck.
“Hah? Done already?” Takaharu stares with a bored look down at Kousaka who’s lying in his own blood.
I did tell him to get a perfect victory, but it’s become a display of the overwhelming difference in strength, huh?
“Takaharu, give us a shout of victory.”
“Shout of victory?”
The purpose of these duels is to lower the enemy’s morale while boosting our own. Thus I’m looking for a scene where we shout in victory at the end of the duel, but because of Takaharu’s staggering dominance, our enemies and allies have both ended up flabbergasted.
No choice then…
“Winner: Aster Empire ― Takaharu Shion!” I break the silence around us by announcing Takaharu’s victory.
――All hands, shout in victory!
With a delay of three seconds after my announcement, my subordinates roar all at once and hit their gongs.
“How unsatisfyin’…if I knew it’d turn out like dis, I might’ve as well used my Growth Knuckles.”
Takaharu, the winner, returns with a fed-up expression, accompanied by my subordinates celebrating his victory.
“Sure, I kept my promise.” Takaharu comes close to me with a broad grin.
“I guess I’m up next then.”
“Doubt yer goin’ to lose anyway, but do yer best.”
“Leave it to me.”
I exchange a high-five with Takaharu in passing, and step into the circle where Takaharu just won his match.
“Aster Kingdom’s Shion.”
“Kanezawa Liberation Army, Mizoguchi.”
When I introduce myself while standing in the ring, a man shouldering a greatsword shows up from within the humans.
“Mizoguchi, do you feel like surrendering? If it’s now, I can still offer you a wonderful life, you know?”
“Don’t screw around with me! You shitty Demon King! A peaceful life is awaiting me after your death!”
“I take that as a breakdown in negotiations then.” I shrug with a wry smile.
I offered him to surrender since I had nothing to lose anyway, but he’s clearly shown that he has no interest.
“Let’s have a fair match then!” Mizoguchi meets my eyes while readying his greatsword.
“Fair, eh…? You had the sage cast support magic on you, right?”
“What about it!? This is a battle to the death!”
Seeing Mizoguchi’s entire body glow faintly, I point out the presence of buffs, but Mizoguchi charges at me without getting flustered.
“So there’s no room to enjoy a little conversation, huh?”
I fire a lance of darkness at Mizoguchi.
But, Mizoguchi cuts it apart with his sword.
Looks like this wasn’t enough to stop his charge.
I calmly observe the movements of Mizoguchi as he’s coming at me. According to Kotetsu, it’s ― 『In a one-on-one, you have to look at the opponent’s dominant hand and their opposite leg』. The more the opponent relies on the powers granted by the new rules of this world while being a novice otherwise, the easier it becomes to read their moves from their dominant hand and their opposite leg.
He holds his sword with both hands because of its size, but…going by the location of his hands, I think the right hand is the dominant one. With my kinetic vision as a Demon King, it’s possible to see my enemy’s every move.
Three steps left until he enters the range of his greatsword. I concentrate my focus on Mizoguchi’s leg movements.
He’s widely stepping forward with his opposite foot, firmly planting it on the ground.
“Uuooooohhhh! ――《Power Slash》!”
Mizoguchi powerfully swings his sword down at me from an overhead position.
Turning my whole body into mist, I invalidate the greatsword’s slash.
“He got him!”
“He killed Demon King Shion!”
Seen from the gallery’s point of view, it must have looked as though I got bisected by his sword. Jarring shouts of delight reach me from the humans.
I swiftly stab my spear out from behind Mizoguchi.
Brionac gouges out Mizoguchi’s flank. Mizoguchi slashes his sword at me as he turns around while looking pained.
“Uh-oh…you’re a lively one.” I evade the slash by stepping backwards.
I fire another lance of darkness at Mizoguchi, but this time from close distance.
Hit by the lance, Mizoguchi retreats while staggering and looking anguished.
――《Early-Summer Rain Thrust》!
I shower Mizoguchi with a flurry of spear thrusts in pursuit, but…
“Don’t look down on me!”
Mizoguchi endures the rain of thrusts, and forces himself to mow his sword sideways.
I won’t be able to evade in time…! Blocking it with my spear is also not an option!
I block the greatsword with my other hand.
It hurts, but…it’s just a minor injury.
“Surprised? Contrary to their appearance, these clothes are sturdier than your armor, you know?”
I have all kinds of A rank items on me. I flash a smile full of composure at him while bearing with the pain.
“――Wh-!? N-No way…”
Using his moment of surprise, I grab Mizoguchi’s face with an eagle grip.
Mizoguchi’s vitality streams through the hand holding him into me.
“It’s your last chance. Do you feel like surrendering?”
“Too bad, then die.”
――《Crescent Moon Slash》!
I swing down Brionac to the limit of my power. Accompanied by a shock wave, Brionac’s blade bisects Mizoguchi.
“Aster Empire’s Shion has defeated the hero of the Kanezawa Liberation Army ― Mizoguchi!”
I thrust my spear into the sky like a warring states commander, and roar in triumph.