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Grün runs through the darkness.
Although the hidden passage isn’t that broad, there’s no illumination. At the same time, Renya is unable to brighten up the whole passage with just the occasionally tossed sorcery lights clinging to the ceiling. Moreover, since the Fang King’s speed, who had gone ahead, easily escapes the range that’s illuminated by those lights, they bear almost no meaning.
Under the condition of being inside darkness, human eyes can’t see anything.
For Renya to be able to barely chase after the Fang King is owed to his perception and because he’s running while somehow sensing the surroundings by the footsteps caused by the Fang King, himself and Lepard.
If this was a perfect darkness, even the Fang King and Lepard should be unable to see anything just like Renya, but according to Lepard, light at a level that he can barely see seems to be flowing into his beastman eyes.
If you compare the average values of combat abilities, the beastmen doubtlessly surpass the humans by far, but it was apparently the same in regards to the performance of their eyes.
“In that case, it can’t be helped…” (Renya)
Ahead of the running Renya, there are small sparks and metallic sounds.
At first Renya couldn’t collate those, but it appears that Grün, who is ahead of him, has started to attack the Fang King while looking for opportunities.
The Fang King blocking and repelling those attacks is the true identity of those sparks and sounds.
In the beginning Grün used some spells or tools that flared up and exploded, but because the stray shots caused serious damage to parts of the passage and since the soldiers and maids, who seemed to accidentally be on the other side of the wall, screamed, he changed his tactics to close combat.
“Grün, is going at it quite spiritedly~…” (Renya)
“I have heard that elves can see well in the darkness, but they have indeed quite the astounding night vision.” (Lepard)
Lepard, who’s running next to Renya, says in admiration.
Him being able to keep up with is simply because Renya is keeping a slow pace.
Lepard, who puts emphasis on strength in battles, possesses the ears and tail of a leopard, but he wasn’t that much of a fast runner, seemingly due to the heavy muscles covering his whole body.
But then again it’s because he’s running while taking the damage to the building itself into account. It looks like he could have run faster if it was fine to break the floor in the process, but if he did that, he would get scolded by a strict Lobelia as it would increase the repair costs.
If he learned to adjust his strength, he might be able to run a lot faster while keeping the damage to the building low, Renya believes, but the fact that Lepard is unable to consider that option is very much like him.
Compared to that, the agility of Grün could be summed up with the word magnificent.
Not only does he keep running through a darkness, where he shouldn’t be able to see much if anything at all, at an outrageous speed, but he doesn’t make any noise with his footsteps at all, although he should be wearing normal boots while running on top of a stone floor.
While sticking close to the Fang King running in front, he delivers pointed attacks no sooner than slipping into the Fang King’s blind spots, weakening the Fang King’s legs.
It was no exaggeration to say that Renya and Lepard have managed to avoid losing the Fang King thanks to that.
“Your father is quite swift-footed…” (Renya)
“He weighs less than me. His strength might have declined a bit, but he has been training everyday after all…in running away.” (Lepard)
Lepard’s last words were muttered very quietly and feebly.
It seems the remark mentioned by the Fang King that it’s an everyday occurrence is not a lie, but just the plain truth.
However, I wonder what the fact that he has trained his speed as the first priority for the sake of running away from his queen says about him as a king, Renya wonders.
Once again a single, high-pitched sound was audible as sparks scattered.
The blow just now seemed to be somehow different from the ones before. Sensing that something was flying their way, even though he couldn’t see it, Renya tried to take evasive actions.
It seems as though Lepard’s perception caught that presence as well, but instead of trying to evade like Renya, he spreads both arms in order to catch the approaching object from the front.
“It’s Grün.” (Lepard)
The second Lepard says that, Renya can hear the impact of flesh colliding with flesh.
Although stifled, Grün’s cries of pain were mixed into it as well.
“What happened!?” (Renya)
“As expected of the beastmen king…he’s formidable.” (Grün)
Once Grün said that alongside a small tongue clicking, Lepard laughed.
“Looks like your attacks got countered, eh?” (Lepard)
Due to Lepard’s words, Renya is able to mostly guess what had happened.
Apparently having become used to Grün’s attacks, the Fang King counterattacked him. It seems that Grün was blown away after receiving that blow.
Since Renya didn’t expect for the object approaching him to be Grün, he took evasive actions, but Lepard, who realized that it was Grün, caught him.
“It’s fine. I can run myself.” (Grün)
Even though he can hear their voices, Renya practically can’t see either of them.
But he perceives Grün’s presence becoming more distant right away.
“Lepard, can the Fang King use the elven language?” (Renya)
“Hah? We can’t use anything but the human language. As there’s too many races around us, we wouldn’t understand each other, if we started to use native languages.” (Lepard)
Ignoring Lepard, who continues with “In the first place, who’s going to come up and create something like a native beastman language?”, for the moment, Renya yelled towards the distant presence while focusing on the elven language,
“Grün! Listen up, once I give you the signal, stop that idiot’s legs completely for just a moment!” (Renya)
“…Got it.” (Grün)
There was a reply from way ahead, albeit being faint.
While believing, Probably neither the Fang King nor Lepard, who’s running next to me, were able to understand my instruction just now, he next focuses on the human language again and then addresses Lepard,
“Lepard, for the most part I don’t grasp the situation around us.” (Renya)
“I’m surprised that you keep running without crashing into a wall like that.” (Lepard)
“That doesn’t matter now. Tell me if we enter a straight, narrow passage. If possible please make sure that the Fang King is straight ahead of me.” (Renya)
How very soldier-like of him to not start asking what I’m planning, Renya thinks.
Lepard understood from Renya’s tone that he’s likely intending to stop the Fang King, using some kind of method.
“Make sure not to die if possible…bah, that stupid old man!” (Lepard)
“What’s wrong?” (Renya)
Surprised at Lepard was cursing all of a sudden, Renya felt like he stepped on something soft in the next instant.
It was similar to a bundle of cloth, but as it wasn’t that big either, it immediately disappeared behind them.
“The Fang King…took off his jacket while running.” (Lepard)
“Before being stopped by us, that person intends to launch a suicide attack on the bathtub as soon as he arrives on-site.” (Lepard)
While feeling his brain freezing as he tries to understand Lepard’s words, Renya thought, Oh, what I stepped on moments ago was the Fang King’s jacket? as if it’s almost completely someone else’s problem.
In other words, Renya didn’t know at all when he would be arriving at his destination, the bathroom, at this pace, but the Fang King was apparently planning to take off all clothes on the way.
Renya is filled with the urge of wanting to retort, That’s not what you call peeping, but in the Fang King’s eyes – seeing that he already had pursuers on his heels – he will definitely get caught even if he tries to give those pursuers the slip as Lepard knows the way anyway.
Thus he apparently jumped to the hasty conclusion, In that case I would rather storm into the bathroom.
The idea that looking at what is visible before being caught is a nicely resolute, truly manly action is limited to the performer, but when seen from the side that is forced to keep the tea company, it’s intolerable.
“…Is that something a king would do?” (Renya)
That’s definitely not the way a king, or rather even an ordinary person, should act, Renya believes.
For better or worse it’s a bathroom with foreign and moreover noble women inside, he thinks, but even if there was a protest from the Trident Principality with that as a reason, they have very likely no other option but to use the transfer gate for communications, seeing as the beastman country is too far away.
Also, if the beastmen deliberately continue pretending to not be aware of it, just the protest and the verification of the event will cost too much money.
“Renya, I take back what I said before. Beat him to death.” (Lepard)
Renya wonders what’s that about, but he changes his mind toward I suppose there’s no need to hold back since I got authorization from his own son.
“Once we turn around the next corner, it should be a long, straight passage…alright! I see his back! He’s right in front, Renya.” (Lepard)
“Grün! Stop him!” (Renya)
According to Renya’s shouted an instruction in elvish, Grün steps in front of the Fang King for just an instant.
If he’s hit directly from the front, Grün’s body won’t be able to hinder the Fang King’s charge.
The Fang King swoops down on Grün, obviously planning to tackle him as he’s well aware of that fact.
But, Grün didn’t have any intention to foolishly challenge the Fang King to a contest of strength. He takes something out of his pocket, throws it on the ground, lowers his body in the same motion and does a forward somersault. Passing between the feet of the charging Fang King, he landed behind him.
In front of the Fang King, who’s still rushing while having lost his target, the object that was thrown by Grün starts to unfold furiously.
It was fine threads that had been entwined over and over again.
Just like a spiderweb, they blocked the passage clinging all around, not just to the ceiling or a wall.
The single threads weren’t that strong, but once the Fang King’s body plunged into that spiderweb, which was formed by all those thin threads gathering together, his body was snared on the spot even while a part of the spiderweb was torn off.
“Renya! I stopped him!” (Grün)
“Don’t think you were able to stop me with only this much!” (Sigurd)
Even though his charge has been stopped, it’s not as though the Fang King’s power has diminished. He gathers his strength and tears up the spiderweb with ripping sounds.
But, for Renya the time he had been stopped was more than enough.
“Grün! Get out of the way!” (Renya)
If the target is right in front in a straight passage, he will hit his target as long as he only runs straight ahead, even if he can’t see the vicinity.
There was also the concern that Grün would be dragged into it if things went badly, but while expecting that he will likely be able to skillfully dodge it, Renya kicked the ground with all his power.
He reaches an acceleration that cannot be compared to the running speed he had until now.
Not knowing the distance to the Fang King, Renya crossed both his arms in front of his face and rushed forward in that state.
Due to the impact assailing his arms, Renya leaks a faint groan. The Fang King, who directly received that assault with his back, screamed in pain.
The spiderweb that suffered the impact of Renya’s charge and had to bear the weight of two people, is easily torn to pieces and the Fang King’s body is released, but Renya’s arms have been already wedged into his back and their bodies slither along the passage with almost no deceleration.
“L-Let go! Hey! Stop!” (Sigurd)
“You think I’m an idiot that will do that!?” (Renya)
“There’s a wall in front of us!” (Sigurd)
The Fang King, who has memorized the map, knew that they would crash into a wall if they continued like this, going by their current location and the direction of movement.
“So what about it!? The one crashing into the wall will be just you, Fang King!” (Renya)
Even if there’s a wall ahead, Renya, who’s pressing down on the back, won’t directly crash into the wall since the Fang King’s body will act as a buffer.
Rather, the Fang King will be sandwiched between him and the wall. Renya had the intention of bringing the Fang King down by delivering a reliable amount of damage.
“T-The likes of a wall won’t even make my steel body quiver!” (Sigurd)
“Then resign yourself as I will keep beating you, even if you smash into the wall, until you give up!” (Renya)
“A-Are you sure? On the other side of the wall is…” (Sigurd)
The Fang King’s words were interrupted half way.
At the same time a shock travels through Renya’s entire body.
Before he even comprehended that they had hit against the wall, Renya steps powerfully forward and drives both his elbows into the back of the Fang King using the weight of his entire body.
It was unclear whether it was the Fang King’s body or the wall that caused the creaking sounds.
Rather than pondering about something like that, he focuses his mind on the possibility of him being unable to catch the Fang King again if he lets him escape here. Thus he doesn’t cease pushing the Fang King’s body into the wall until all power definitely escapes his body.
“S-…Stooop…on the other side of this wall…” (Sigurd)
“How tenacious!” (Renya)
Renya fears that he might be lacking power, but there’s no way that he will be able to correct his hold after separating once.
The Fang King, who’s still conscious, might run away if he uses the moment when Renya lets go.
But, it’s also a fact that he can’t dish out any effective attacks while they are glued to each other.
In that case Renya has no option but to keep pushing here. Renya braces his legs, puts his strength into them and continues pressing against the Fang King’s back.
Before he realized, the grating and creaking sound changed into a sound as if something hard was gradually breaking apart.
Wondering whether that might be the start of some of the Fang King’s bones breaking or becoming dislocated due to the pressure, Renya puts his strength into both his arms as if going for a finishing blow.
Just as he was about to do that, the pressure he felt on both arms vanished as if slipping away.
Renya unintentionally ends up letting out a silly sound out.
As if in slow motion, Renya watches how the Fang King’s body falls towards the other side while breaking through the wall and how light floods the passage that had been pitch dark until then.
That was the moment when the wall collapsed, unable to bear Renya’s power.
The body of the Fang King, who had lost consciousness at this point, is thrust into something, which was on the other side, with a glugging alongside the broken wall.
And Renya’s body, which lost the resistance from pushing against the Fang King’s body, pitches forward with the force he had loaded into it so far.
He makes 2-3 steps as if stumbling forward.
Treading across the body of the Fang King who had collapsed first, Renya looks directly into the eyes of the person who was ahead of him.
Due to the surprised voice, Renya considers evading, but with the momentum that was already driving his body, he plunges into that person.
Spreading both arms, Renya looked as if he was going to embrace them. That person likewise spread their arms and apparently tried to catch him, but going by the difference in body weight and power of the person they were going to catch in their arms, it seemed to be a reckless challenge. Both of them clashed into the bathtub in the shape of Renya pushing down the other person while raising a spray of hot water.
“Sorry! Are you alright!?” (Renya)
Renya thrust his face into something that had an exceedingly soft springiness, but he lifts his head out of the tub in a hurry without even the spare time to enjoy that softness and lifts up the person, whom he had pushed down, in his arms.
It’s not unlikely for me to make her suffocate if I’m careless, he thought.
It was Shion in a state where her long black hair was showily spreading within the bathtub.
Briefly looking at Shion, who incessantly blinks her eyes not understanding just what has happened, Renya confirms that he hasn’t injured her and then breathes out in relief.
Since he bumped into her with a reasonable force, he worried whether he had hurt her.
And at the same time he realizes that the Fang King had tried to tell him something.
His current location was the bathroom, the final spot the Fang King was aiming for.
The sensation of the hot water soaking into my clothes doesn’t really feel all that nice, Renya frowns.
Shion repeatedly nudged Renya’s chest.
“Renya…umm, you know…I’d be lying if I said that I’m not happy, but…after all, umm, it’s embarrassing.” (Shion)
As he was about to look at Shion, who’s in his arms, once again after being told so, he turned his face away in a hurry.
Although it’s only natural as they are inside the bathtub, Shion wasn’t wearing anything, so-to-speak, she was in her birthday suit.
Given that she didn’t even cover herself with a towel, her figure burned itself deeply into Renya’s brain, but as he would likely make Shion feel even more embarrassed if he blushed here or instead stared at her openly, Renya makes an effort to pretend to be calm and separates his body from Shion.
“Ah, no, umm, sorry…I will leave right away.” (Renya)
“Mmh…since it looks like it was an accident, it’s okay.” (Shion)
Not knowing what would be the best reply to return to Shion who smiles pleasantly while hiding her breasts with both arms, Renya grabbed the body of the unconscious Fang King, who was releasing foam from his mouth while submerged in the bath, and quickly ran away into the hidden passage through the hole he had opened up himself.
By the way, time-wise Rona and Mayria, who had entered the bath before Shion, were just in the middle of washing their bodies at the washing place. They did notice Renya breaking through the wall and plunging into the bathtub, but on the other hand Renya didn’t perceive the two at all because he ended up catching a glimpse of Shion’s naked body. But that’s just a postscript here.
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