Night fell even in the demon country.
After roasting and steaming the huge amount of turtle meat they had unexpectedly obtained for dinner, Renya’s party had gone to sleep in their respective tents, using Dra-kun’s body as a windbreaker. Since a dragon was with them, there was no way for a being inferior to a dragon to willingly approach their camp, and since Renya or Dra-kun would notice anyone approaching the camp anyway, a nightwatch could be described as being rather unnecessary, but since they’d be far too defenseless if all of them slept like logs without anyone keeping watch, they decided that Frau, who basically didn’t need any sleep, and Renya, who looked worn-out for some reason, would take turns.
There was a reason why Renya looked exhausted. It all began when they were deciding who would use which tent. This time it was quickly decided that Az and Liaris would share a tent, but maybe triggered by that, Croire and Shion both claimed that one of them should share a tent with Renya while completely unwilling to compromise.
Since even Renya had noticed that Shion had been approaching him quite aggressively ever since they camped in the Miasma Forest, he had expected that she might do something like this, but he didn’t think that Croire would confront Shion on this matter. Their fight developed from a dispute over their claim to an exchange of insults. While watching the elf and human girl, who had started to grapple for some reason, Renya asked Rona, who had remained a spectator just like him, something that suddenly occurred to him.
“You’re not going to join?”
“Oh my? Did you finally get in the mood?”
“That’s not what I meant though…”
Renya had asked as he couldn’t quite come to terms with the reason why Rona, whom he thought of as someone that would go for the win if there was a good chance, was staying at the sideline.
In response, Rona cracked a smile, and answered, “I’ve decided that my first night would be in a canopy bed while wearing a silken negligee. And this time I didn’t bring any negligees with me,” with a laugh.
While glaring at her with half-opened eyes, Renya wondered how the conversation had taken such a turn while whispering, “Who was it again that invited me on the bed at the inn?”
“Just what might you be talking about? Wouldn’t it be better for you to stop those two rather than bothering yourself with such matters of the past?”
Regardless of whether they kept it to a simple grappling match, those two now possessed enough strength that the damage to the surroundings wouldn’t be limited to a small scale. Feeling like that, Renya suppressed his urge to retort at Rona for obviously remembering the past incident at the inn, and instead called out to Shion and Croire who were wrestling while keeping a perfect power balance for some reason.
“You two, how about giving it a rest and leaving it at that?”
“”The prize should stay out of this!””
Those harmonized replies raised various questions in Renya’s mind such as when he had become their prize, and what kind of prize for what kind of match he was supposed to be. However, judging that the situation wouldn’t improve even if he tried to ask these questions now, Renya silently shrugged his shoulders, took out a rope and bamboo mat from who-knows-where, wrapped up Shion and Croire, who were locked in a contest of strength, in the mat, tied the mat up with the rope, and tossed them into a nearby tent without even giving them the time to file a complaint.
He used a quick technique to bring everything to a close in a few seconds. If something like a rope binding technique existed, you would definitely be able to describe Renya’s skill as master class. Having watched all of this, Frau and Rona looked at Renya with somewhat frozen expressions.
“Master, why are you so proficient at this ~nano?”
“It’s not like I improved because I like doing this. I’d say it’s a countermeasure for the times when some fairy gets too mischievous?”
Frau’s face clearly cramped up thanks to Renya implicitly telling her that she would have suffered the same fate if she had done here what she had tried to do to Az and Liaris in the Miasma Forest. Given that there were no trees nearby from which to hang a bamboo mat bound Frau, Frau estimated that she’d most likely end up hanging upside down from Dra-kun’s snout, and thus strained herself to show Renya an innocent smile.
“F-Frau is a good girl ~nano.”
“I see. As long as you’re a good girl, I don’t think it’ll be necessary to tie you up.” Renya grinned broadly at Frau who was frantically trying to maintain a calm facade while her back was drenched in cold sweat.
After those events, everyone went into their tents while Frau and Renya took up camp on Dra-kun’s back. After a while of lying on his back, Renya called out to Frau, who had been watching the surroundings on top of Dra-kun’s back while gazing up into the sky.
“What is it, master ~nano?”
“Does the sun come out during the night…in this world?”
In order to check what Renya was seeing while wondering what he was talking about, since it was called night exactly because the sun didn’t come out, Frau looked up, and what she saw caused her jaw to drop.
A huge, white, shining circle was floating in the sky. However, Frau’s perception immediately caught on to the fact that it wasn’t something as simple as the sun, and she yelled, “Master! It’s an attack ~nano!”
“Hmm, they sure are going all out here.”
Renya had grasped from the very start that this wasn’t the sun. That, which gleamed palely in the night sky, continued to dye the surroundings white while slowly growing in size.
“It doesn’t seem to be a dragon’s breath either, though.” The instant Renya muttered such a comment absentmindedly, his vicinity was wrapped up in a dazzling, white light.
At that moment, everything went up in flames, melted and fell down. A heat so intense that it turned soil and rocks into crimson, muddy goo uniformly poured down over an extensive area around Renya’s camp. Renya’s party was swallowed up by the light in an instant without any time to escape, and even Frau had resolved herself to die. Support the translation by reading this on the translator’s site. Google for Infinite Novel Translations!
However, in the next second, she understood that her worries had been unfounded.
“Is this a magic art attack?” Renya carefreely lay on Dra-kun’s back while squinting at the blinding light as it continued to pierce through the barrier.
Going by his behavior and tone, anyone watching would clearly doubt that they were currently under attack by a firepower so strong that it could melt the ground.
“I don’t know ~no. I have never heard of such an attack ~no.”
Underneath Frau’s butt, Dra-kun, who should clearly understand the meaning of the word “resignation” by now, stared at the world of death dyeing everything in pure white across the barrier while literally unable to shut his gaping mouth.
“It’s a heat ray attack from a high altitude ~nano. Going by Frau’s estimation, the temperature in a several hundred meter radius has exceeded 2000°C ~no. Defending against such… an absurd attack, master, you are quite nonsensical as well ~nano.”
“You just noticed that?”
Even if an average sorcerer had deployed a barrier in time, they should have burned to cinders along with their barrier, unable to block the attack. A skilled sorcerer might have been able to block the attack, but they’d have likely died after being swallowed up by the continuously rising temperature and the melting ground.
Not only was Renya able to instantly spread out a huge barrier that blocked the outlandish attack while covering the entire campsite, but his massive amount of mana had taken the shape of a globe, completely nullifying the effect of the high heat as bubbles popped up from the ground which had turned into lava. Frau couldn’t do anything but be baffled at Renya’s ridiculous skill of immediately deploying such a barrier while spending such a staggering amount of mana.
Because the heat was forced to radically raise into the atmosphere when the unidentified attack impacted, it should have caused thunderous roaring, but even that noise was completely intercepted by the barrier. The fact that Renya managed to maintain a level of silence that prevented any of the members sleeping within their tents from noticing the unusual phenomenon going on outside was astonishing.
In other words, thought Frau while praising herself for having remained sane, just now a chain of several outlandish situations occurred within mere seconds.
Even if she were to think about each and every single occurrence, she’d find them to be so offbeat that any normal sorcerer would very likely start talking about quitting as soon as possible. Frau thought that it might actually have been better that the sleeping party members hadn’t witnessed all of this.
“The attack has been going on for quite a while now…it’s starting to get on my nerves.” Just as a slight irritation started to dye Renya’s voice, the light, which had covered their surroundings in whiteness, suddenly vanished as if it had all been some kind of illusion.
In exchange something gave off a strong flash of light somewhere quite high up in the sky, causing wind mixed with white snow to rumble down towards the simmering ground, cooling and hardening the crimson soil into a black mass.
Being protected by the barrier, this coldness didn’t reach Renya or the others.
“Master, I feel like asking what happened, just in case ~no.”
“I tried to shoot down the attacker.”
The continuous attack meant that its source was still providing it with power. Infinitely continuing to attack from the same location was like asking to receive a counterattack, according to Renya, but hearing that, Frau put on an expression that was very hard to read. It’s because Frau couldn’t even start to imagine what kind of magic art would be needed to trigger a phenomenon that would somehow be able to reach the attacker’s body even after piercing through the attacker’s ongoing attack. On top of a weak attack never reaching the enemy as it’d simply get negated by the white light, an attack from within the barrier would normally break the barrier the moment it pierced through it.
Once Frau asked how he did it since it wasn’t as though convenient barriers which would only allow the barrier caster’s attacks to pass through actually existed, Renya answered, “I extended one part of the barrier.”
“…The sorcerers all over the world would lose their minds if they heard your words just now ~nano…” Frau felt a dire urge to strongly rebuke, “Who’s supposed to believe such silly nonsense?”
However, the person who had actually pulled it off was right in front of her, and since what seemed to have been the enemy had actually been defeated, Frau judged that Renya was most likely telling the truth.
Certainly, if it’s the barrier which had managed to last throughout the attack, it might have been capable of breaking through the enemy’s attack and reaching their body, Frau assessed. However, if you consider the distance to the enemy, the idea of stretching the barrier all the way there while also limiting the transformation to just one part of the barrier is unbelievable. Frau is very sure that no sorcerer in this world would have thought of such an attack method.
Renya being capable of such a feat was based on the abundant usage of his pointlessly large mana pool, and his disconnect from this world’s sorcerer’s common sense which would have indicated that something like this was impossible.
“It was wrong of Frau to have expected any common sense from master ~no.”
“Somehow the way you’re saying it sounds terrible.”
Having started to lower his barrier as he judged that there probably wouldn’t be a follow up attack seeing as they had just pulled off such a large scale attack, Renya suddenly felt a presence, and turned his eyes in their direction. Without even the spare time to wonder just what it might be, Renya fixed his barrier in a hurry, and investigated the presence’s true identity.
At the same time, a fairly strong impact hit the renewed barrier. Furthermore, the sound of something exploding far away faintly reached Renya’s ear.
“Eh? Another attack ~nano?”
“Looks like it. Moreover, this time…”
Renya wracked his brain as to why he could hear such a familiar yet unknown sound here. That sound, which he knew but couldn’t quite remember, wasn’t all that uncommon in his former world, but it shouldn’t be in this world.
“Just now, that was a gunshot…guns don’t exist in this world, right?”
Renya couldn’t identify the type of gun just from the sound. However, Renya believed that he wasn’t mistaken about this world not having guns, based on his experiences so far. He hadn’t found any traces of guns in the elven or dragonoid countries, not to mention the human and beastmen countries. Only the demons were still a blind spot in this regard, but judging by Renya’s observation of Emil, he believed that the likelihood that Demons had developed guns was extremely low.
As if sneering at all those thoughts, a crushed lead bullet that was clinging to the barrier jumped into Renya’s field of view accompanied by another gunshot.
“Frau, I’m heading out for a bit. I leave the barrier to you.”
“Okay, master ~nano. What should the others do ~no?”
After having received the barrier’s management rights, Frau held Renya back, who was about to rush out, while she started maintaining the barrier with her own mana. With a hand placed on the hilt of his katana, Renya pondered about her question for a moment, and then gave Frau her instructions.
“For now, wake them up and explain the circumstances.”
“You’re telling me to explain, but what exactly am I supposed to tell them ~no?”
Even Frau hadn’t fully grasped the current situation. Renya believed this to only be natural. Assuming he were to explain air to ground attacks or the danger of guns to the residents of this world, it’d still be impossible for them to understand. And Renya judged this to be extremely frightening. After all, if the people of this world didn’t understand these things it meant that they wouldn’t be able to identify them as dangerous, even if someone was holding a gun up to their face.
This was reason enough for Renya to prevent the people of this world from confronting the person who had launched the attacks. In battle where every second counted, being baffled by the opponent’s weapon from the very start would be like always being one step behind them. It’d go beyond being just a simple disadvantage, and even if a considerable difference in strength existed, they would get dragged into an unwinnable battle either way.
“Tell them: We are under attack, and Renya went to intercept. Stay inside the barrier while keeping a close eye on the vicinity. You’re absolutely forbidden from following Renya. That’s all.”
“Isn’t that an unreasonable demand ~no?”
While hiding his mental exhaustion over dealing with this matter, Renya answered Frau while looking as scarily as possible, “If any of them follow me, I’ll make them suffer the same experience as the enemy.”
Frau’s face cramped up as she wondered whether that wasn’t the same as saying that he’d beat them to death.
It couldn’t be helped that Renya repeated this to emphasize its importance since he felt that his friends had become blind towards danger because they had suddenly gotten much stronger, “Frau, I really mean it, okay? If you need to, you can even tell them that I’ll sever all connections with anyone coming after me.”
“Understood, master ~no. I promise I won’t let anyone go after you ~no.”
Somehow Renya felt like there was a slight discrepancy compared to what he said, but it wasn’t as if he had the spare time to debate over minor details at the moment.
Believing that none of the other members would be able to leave the barrier managed by Frau, if she said she wouldn’t let any of them go, Renya yelled to Frau while circulating mana into his legs, “Please take care of it! Okay, I’m off then! Open the barrier up for an instant.”
“Master, may the fortunes of war be with you ~no!”
For a blink of an eye, the barrier vanished, allowing Renya to pass through. As if having aimed for that very moment, a part of the camp’s ground burst open while producing a sound of wind being cut.
Even while realizing that the enemy had targeted this moment of vulnerability, Renya circulated his mana, and kicked off the ground, using his strengthened legs. At the same time as Renya heard a noise similar to an explosion from his feet, the scenery flashed past him.
“The opponent is reasonably skilled, huh…? This is going to be a pain.”
At the very least, the opponent had the abilities necessary to handle weapons originally from Renya’s old world, or could make an educated guess as to how to use them, on top of having known about the barrier’s existence. Renya didn’t know whether the enemy was an inhabitant of his old world.
Leaving guns aside, as far as I know there are no weapons that can turn the ground into lava on such a large scale from a high altitude.
When Renya rushed out of the camp, the attack that had caused a part of the camp’s ground to burst open was actually going straight for Frau. If Renya, who could freely use other magic arts again after having entrusted the barrier’s maintenance to Frau, hadn’t shifted the trajectory of the attack by hitting it with a weak barrier, something, which might have been a projectile from an anti-material rifle according to Renya’s analysis, would have hit Frau directly.
Once he considered the time delay between hearing the gunshot and the impact, he estimated the enemy’s location to be two kilometers away from their campsite. The fact the enemy was a sniper, who could specifically target Frau – on top of timing their shot precisely with the barrier’s disappearance – from such a distance, wasn’t very good when considering their future exploration of the demon continent.
In other words, Renya had to kill the sniper right now. Otherwise, the sniper would pose a serious threat for as long as they traveled through the demon country.
“That’s not a very appealing prospect, definitely!”
Renya hit a bullet aimed at him with his katana. The bullet had its trajectory radically diverted, impacting on the ground. With Renya’s skill and eyesight, it was child’s play to hit a bullet. However, it’d be meaningless if he got hit by the bullet after slashing at it because the two parts of the bullet remained on a trajectory that would hit his body due to their high firepower and speed. Understanding as much, Renya deliberately chose to turn his katana around and knock the bullet down using the blunt side of the blade.
Of course, once he did something like that, some of the bullet’s momentum would be transmitted to the katana and then to his hand, which didn’t happen when slashing. Hence, if he continued to recklessly knock down the bullets in such a way, his hand would likely go numb in no time, which could result in him dropping the katana.
While considering all this, Renya reduced the shock traveling to his hand using his mana boosted physical power and grip strength. Support the translation by reading this novel at infinite novels translations!
When he knocked down another bullet, a small groan escaped from Renya’s mouth through his gritted teeth. The power and precision of the bullets grew the closer he got to the sniper. As Renya drew nearer, the shots had started to target his trunk more precisely, making the task of knocking the bullets down while at the same time evading the diverted bullets increasingly difficult.
However, it also clearly told Renya that he was getting closer to the sniper. Perceiving this as a chance, Renya opted to bait the enemy. He stopped moving, and let the right hand holding the katana dangle, making himself look like an easy target. He used his left hand to beckon the sniper, who was most likely watching him through a scope or something similar.
He intended it to be only a light provocation, but the effect seemed instantaneous. Right away, Renya heard two gunshots from nearby. Both bullets were aimed at Renya’s head. But, as long as he knew they were coming, it was easy for Renya to knock them down. He flicked one bullet away by striking up with the back of his blade, and knocked the other one down by bringing the blade back down.
Immediately following, Renya accelerated, heading for the source of the bullets. At this point, Renya had faced seven bullets. Even if he didn’t know what kind of weapon the sniper used, at some point in the near future they would have to reload. Renya’s running speed, which went beyond the speed he had used until now, couldn’t be described as just ‘fast’ anymore.
Running with the intent to instantly close the distance to the sniper, Renya suddenly perceived a small, red flash at the corner of his eye, and immediately threw his body forward as if pulling off a forward somersault.
A split-second later, an explosion reverberated across the surroundings. The explosion was aimed at the space where Renya’s body had been moments before; it caused countless small, metallic balls to scatter with explosive force. Renya, who had been sprinting at an outlandish speed, ended up tumbling across the ground without slowing down.
“A directional anti-personnel mine!? They even brought something like that!?” Renya was surprised by the cause of the explosion, but his enemy sniped at Renya as he was rolling across the ground without giving him any respite.
As if driving on Renya who was evading all the shots by continuously rolling on the ground, further explosions and small metallic pieces of shrapnel burst open, chasing after him. Renya had no time to get up, nor to wield his katana. As Renya was single-mindedly focused on continuing to evade the projectiles by rolling, another gunshot assailed him.
Having dodged the bullet, which seemed quite capable of causing a fatal injury with just a light graze, Renya suddenly noticed that the attacks had stopped after the last bullet.
“…This gives me a bad feeling.”
A bunch of landmines, which were set up to herd him into a certain direction, and sniping to prevent him from escaping in an unexpected direction. As a result of bringing these two things together, Renya judged that the enemy had guided him into the target zone as he stood up and brushed off the dirt from his clothes.
“In that case, what’s going to come next is…”
The ground beneath his feet felt somewhat soft. Once he lightly dug up the soil with the tip of his boot, clay-like masses wrapped in vinyl appeared beneath. A metallic stick with an ominous blinking red light at its tip was stabbed into each and every single one of these objects, which had been buried over such a wide range in such large quantities that it’d make anyone wonder exactly how much time and effort had been invested in burying so many of these clay masses.
Going by his knowledge, Renya judged the metallic sticks to be detonators, and at the same time he suddenly remembered the name of the clay-like mass. After sighing heavily, he spoke up with a tired voice while looking up at the sky, “C4 explosives…A detonation field, eh…?”
As if to drown out his voice, the place where Renya stood was engulfed by a tremendous explosion. A detonation that would most likely rupture the eardrums of anyone standing nearby, and an eerie vibration that would penetrate all the way to the pit of one’s stomach. The blast, which would likely be misunderstood as an earthquake if felt from a distance, unearthed the ground while flames and smoke were whirled up high into the night sky. Moments later, what used to be a plain had transformed into a huge crater after being devastated by the heat and the blast which had blown large amounts of soil up into the sky.
“There ain’t no way that we’d’ve been summoned…if this is all it takes to kill him.”
At the edge of the crater, which was currently dominated by flames, smoke and a rain of dirt, a figure shouldering something like a long, metallic rod showed up. He had light brown, ruffled, trimmed hair. Going by his voice, he was in the later half of his teens. If Renya were to look at the figure, he’d immediately understand that their attire, unfamiliar to the residents of this world, was a school uniform. His features couldn’t be described as handsome, mediocre might be a more appropriate term, but his expression was sharp and grim.
“You said we, didn’t you…? Well, I suppose that means the demons got their hands on several Losts. Sounds like yet another a pain in the ass.”
A figure stood still in the middle of the crater. Renya, who had sheathed his katana into its scabbard at some point in time, called out to the boy with a voice that clearly betrayed how fed up he was. Even though he got caught in the middle of such a large explosion, not a single injury could be seen on him, and even his clothes remained untouched.
“Man, you’re a monster just like I’ve heard from the rumors. Just how the hell did you manage to stay unhurt under these circumstances?”
“Usually you’d introduce yourself before starting to flood others with questions, right? Do you want to be cut down without even having the chance to introduce yourself?” Renya didn’t even try to hide his displeasure.
The boy answered in a casual way without the slightest scruple, “Don’t you know the fantasy setting where the one asking for a name introduces themselves first?”
“As if I care, moron. Hurry up, and spit out your name. Don’t be such a pain. You know about me anyway, don’t you?”
‘Otherwise he wouldn’t have made so many meticulous preparations just to attack me’, Renya assessed.
The boy’s lips formed a daring smile, and answered Renya’s question while slowly lowering the metallic rod to his waist.
“No choice, I s’pose. This is why guys that don’t understanding what fantasy’s ’bout are…well, whatever. I’m Kazuya Kiyomizu. Kiyomizu as in the clear water of a temple, and Kazuya written with “one” and “to be.” Got it?”
It looks like he came from the same world as I did, Renya thought while sighing. Still going by his outfit, he seems to be a student, but would modern students suddenly become proficient in handling explosives, mines, and sniper rifles after being summoned to another world?
“You’re Kunugi Renya, right? Just the other day there was news about your death, but for you to have been summoned to another world…how unexpected. A truly fantasy-like development that’d make anyone jealous. Did you know? Your grave was looted by someone, it seems.”
“So you know about me, huh?”
I didn’t hail from some ancient royalty, and no valuable objects were buried in my grave either. Renya felt curious as to what kind of weirdo would dig up a grave filled with nothing but bones. However, I have no way of finding out anything about the criminal anymore. Given that the Lost in front of me apparently fell into this world before learning anything more about the grave robber, he probably doesn’t know the details either.
“Of course I do! I mean regardless of what you say, you were a living national treasure! Rather, aren’t you way young!? I guess you’ve become young again through a cheat, eh?”
While being surprised with the information that seemed to be a fragment of the memories he had lost, Renya pretended to be calm, and he scornfully laughed as if he were dealing with an idiot, “So you’ve been watching the news at least. That’s usually more than you can ask from any modern student.”
“So, why the fuck did a living national treasure get involved with demon persecution and shit like that?”
Oh, Renya was puzzled. Certainly he had mostly encountered the demons as enemies, and if you excluded Emil, most of those encounters were bitter experiences. Didn’t Emil put me through quite some troubles as well? Renya immediately retorted, but as long as the demons hadn’t been hostile to him, Renya hadn’t persecuted any of them.
“It looks like some stuff happened in the past, but don’t you think it kinda sucks to invade the demon country, which hid itself behind a barrier, going as far as deliberately destroying said barrier?”
Ah I see, that’s the explanation he was given, Renya comprehended. Certainly if you keep things fuzzy by saying that there were ‘various issues in the past’, you can’t say that Kazuya’s grasp of the current situation is that big of a misinterpretation.
“I have my own reasons as well. So, you’re saying you intend to stick with the demons?”
“I mean, there ain’t no protagonist who’d refuse a princess’ request for help, right?”
Renya tilted his head in confusion upon hearing the term princess. Going with a reasonable guess, the demon king might have a daughter, but Renya felt that making sure that Kazuya wasn’t talking about Emil here had precedence.
“What kind of girl is that demon princess?”
“She’s a cutie. Blond hair, blue eyes, slender, and huge boobs. A princess as if out of a painting.”
Renya immediately judged that this wasn’t Emil. The information Renya had indicated that most demons had violet hair while none of them had blond hair. Although there existed exceptions to every rule, it was unbelievable for such an exceptional princess to appear so conveniently in this situation.
“So you plan to fight me after being moved by the princess’ emotional speech?”
“Well, I’ve got the perfect cheat just for that. Aka, yep.”
Kazuya pointed the rod’s end at Renya. Renya’s knowledge told him that the rod, which had an extremely long gun barrel, was a FR-12.7 Anti-Material Rifle. Renya couldn’t clearly tell whether he had experience fighting one of these guns since it seemed to be a part of the memories he had lost, but he judged that it wasn’t the first time he saw one of them since he could immediately identify it.
“If you withdraw, I’ll turn a blind eye and let you retreat. Be a nice boy, tuck your tail between your legs, and scurry back home to the human territory.”
“I’ve got a reason why I can’t withdraw.” Renya replied, placing his right hand on his katana’s hilt.
While looking at him, Kazuya pulled the rifle’s trigger without warning.
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