A monument of music history…
The contact between the knights and the slums’ residents began with conversation.
Several beastmen, who are proud of their strength, are using their own bodies to form a wall obstructing the pathway, which is the entrance to the slums.
“Clear the way, beasts.” (Zebul)
The one speaking in a high-handed manner from atop his horse is Zebul, who was appointed to deal with the beastmen by the king during the audience.
“Even if you hole yourselves in, it won’t extend you bastards’ life span in the least. Surrender. Rather than losing your lives, you will likely be happier surviving as slaves.” (Zebul)
The humans, who took refugee in the slums, panicked more than the beastmen due to his remarks, which showed that he hadn’t any intention at all to talk it over.
Several humans, who noticed the uproar, listened to the speech standing behind the beastmen.
“Please wait! There are humans here as well!”
Coming out from in-between the beastmen, a man frantically waved his arms and advocated their existence.
However, Zebul’s reply was indifference.
“The lives of commoners and their likes doesn’t even deserve consideration in front of our noble cause. It’s fine for you to die while regretting your own foolishness of clinging to filthy beastmen.” (Zebul)
“T-That’s because the soldiers didn’t protect us!”
Zebul returned a scornful laughter at the man, who yelled close to wearing out his throat.
“You aren’t worth to be protected, is what I should have said just now though?” (Zebul)
A single beastman placed their hand on the shoulder of the crestfallen man, who dropped to his knees.
“Be relieved. We will properly protect you.”
“That’s right. We have to show our gratitude to the humans here. In various ways.”
Zebul, who watched the leopard beastman laugh with a giggle, bent his lips in displeasure.
“Beast, don’t use human speech! All hands, draw your swords!” (Zebul)
The soldiers and knights, lining up in rows, draw their swords. Their numbers are probably around 50 in total? Although it might be a magnificent view to watch, you can’t really say that from the standpoint of having to confront them.
Especially the mounted knights holding a longsword, supposed to be swung downwards from atop the horse, have an imposing appearance.
But, the beastmen’s side had quite the composure.
“Ooh! Her they come! Here they come!” (Gengu)
The dogman Gengu is also at this place.
Gengu, who exerted the most focussed effort at the time of Hifumi’s coaching, stares directly at the human knights and isn’t perturbed in any way either.
“Hee. If you compare it to the intimidation of Hifumi-san, those guys aren’t even close to a fart!” (Gengu)
The surrounding beastmen also agreed to Gengu’s harsh words.
Once you observe them, the knights, who are using horses, are sticking out just because they are leaving the soldiers behind, as according to assumptions.
“Alright! Let’s get it done as we were taught!” (Gengu)
What the beastmen, who motivated themselves, did first was to retreat towards the slums.
The humans, who have been dumbfounded, are carried by the strong beastmen and they retreat orderly.
“Haha! The beasts are scared, it seems.”
“Let’s enter the slums and get on with the massacre!”
The knights, who talked big and raised the speed of their horses, disregard something like the soldiers running after them from behind. They charge directly at the beastmen.
“I will get them first! … Aaargh!?” (Zebul)
Zebul spurs on his horse, but, being suddenly thrown off balance, he fell due to pitching forward.
In front of Zebul, who was thrown to the front, stands a gigantic tiger beastman.
“Alright, how did you feel being thrown off the horse?”
“Don’t babble! Lowlifes such as incompetent beasts, who can only swing around their arms… are…?” (Zebul)
At the time Zebul stood up and fixed his grip on the sword, the tiger beastmen brandished a 3-m-long log with amazing muscle strength.
“Yea, it’s certainly true that we are incompetents, who can only swing something around. It’s not only the arms though!”
Zebul was slapped into the wall of the avenue by the log. which was swung with full power. Breaking through the wooden wall, he was forcefully removed from the battlefield.
Also, in the meanwhile, the horses of the knights, who have been pressing onwards vigorously, are falling over one after the other and the armoured knights are thrown onto the ground.
“Indeed, this is easy.” (Gengu)
Gengu, who stayed at distance and observed, isn’t able to withstand laughing at how well their plan is working out.
Although you might call it a trap, it’s something extremely simple. They only made a large amount of small pitfalls with a depth of around 20 cm along the entranceway to the slums.
The pitfalls’ size is at the level that one might ignore it if passing over them on wheels, but if it’s the feet of people and horses, those will get stuck.
Moreover, according to Hifumi’s thankful forethought of 『It’s not likely that they will be immediately able to do such difficult actions like preparing their swords to slash with them』, the beastmen, making use of their physical strength, can wield logs as is. And the powerless beastmen are holding long spears.
Looking at the state of the knights being smashed by logs and pierced by spears from a distance, a longsword can’t reach, the following soldiers stop their feet. The narrow entrance to the slums was clogged up with a number of corpses and knights evacuating while raising groans being barely alive.
“Humans get beaten up by human wit. Even as a pun it’s harsh.” (Gengu)
Gengu laughed forcibly.
The king of Swordland, Buell, who can’t guess the crisis, the knights have fallen into, in the least, drank a light sake after working up a sweat in his dim bedroom illuminated by candlelight.
On top of the soggy, dishevelled bed a stark naked catwoman has collapsed while gasping.
“Hmm, today’s female was quite good. You have my praises.” (Buell)
Savouring the sensation of alcohol pouring down his throat, Buell talks about praising while not even throwing a single glance at the catwoman.
“Hey! Someone bring a stronger sake!” (Buell)
Buell’s very loud voice reverberates.
But, there’s no answer to it.
“What’s wrong!? Isn’t anyone there!?” (Buell)
Once his voice raised in anger, the room’s door finally opened.
However, the one, who entered, is a bearman.
“All humans on this floor were killed. There’s only you left.” (Salgu)
The bearman Salgu, who was smeared in blood, pointed at Buell and bore his fangs.
“Those incompetent guards are… For the king himself to exterminate harmful vermin, it’s necessary to retrain those knights.” (Buell)
Buell drew the large sword, which was leaning horizontally against the bed and pointed it towards Salgu. His only cloth is a single gown, but his impressive figure implicitly shows the level of his military prowess.
“Our family has slain beasts with this sword and established a nation on this desolated soil. It’s fine to boast to the other beastmen, once you dropped to hell, about having been killed by this historical sword.” (Buell)
“The one to die is you. I will free the beastmen, who were imprisoned in the humans’ city.” (Salgu)
“Don’t spout such nonsense, lowlife.” (Buell)
Buell’s charge is fast.
Against the sword, which was swung downward head-on, Salgu evaded by twisting his body and thrust out his right paw.
Hitting the hilt of the sword with his sharp claws, he averts its trajectory.
“You are moving fairly well for one with the social standing of a beast.” (Buell)
The sword, which was aimed at the neck, was restrained by Salgu’s arm and stopped. Buell corresponded with a head-butt against the counter-attacking bite.
The sound of bones and flesh colliding continued. Salgu was getting covered in wounds little by little. Buell was also intensely shedding blood from a number of cuts and had sustained bruises here and there.
“I see. It’s been a while since I had a tough opponent. But, I will finish it with this.” (Buell)
The judgment Buell made was that Salgu’s movements have gradually grown dull and that he was at the peak of fatigue due to having struggled against the defence up to here. So far Buell had repeatedly attacked by brandishing his sword and thus Salgu likely wouldn’t be able to deal with intended thrust coming next.
Once I stab the neck, this battle will end.
However, an unexpected hindrance came in-between.
Suddenly the catwoman clung to Buell’s feet.
“You bitch!” (Buell)
The enraged Buell fiercely kicked the catwoman’s head and the woman, having her neck broken, died while slowly slipping down with her strength being lost.
However, that has become a fatal opening for Buell.
The claws of the roaring Salgu pierce into Buell’s stomach and deeply penetrated to the level of pushing out the skin of Buell’s back.
“Gu… bu…” (Buell)
Throwing up blood, Buell kneels down.
“It’s your… loss…” (Salgu)
Just as Buell had foreseen, Salgu stamina was at its limit. If Buell had avoided that one blow, Salgu would have been the one who lost.
Losing strength in his knees, Salgu sat down on the floor and looked at the catwoman, who created this chance by risking her own life.
Facing the dead body with its head being bent the wrong way and its eyes being vacant, Salgu shed tears.
“Sorry… If I had been stronger…” (Salgu)
“Uh-oh. Am I barely in time. Or am I out?”
In the room, where there shouldn’t be anyone, the voice of a man besides Salgu resounds.
“W-Who is it?” (Salgu)
Hifumi suddenly turned up at the window, which should be at quite the height due to this part being on the 5th floor.
Having hooked the sickle to the edge of the window, he jumps into the room with nimble movement.
Once he took a fleeting glance at the defeated Buell, he took out a magic potion from within his storage while saying 「He is still breathing」 and sprinkled it over Buell’s wounds with a *splash*
“W-What are you doing…?” (Salgu)
“Mm? After you it’s my turn. Here, you too.” (Hifumi)
Having already opened one bottle, he pours the fluid completely over the sitting Salgu.
“Uwaa… the wounds are?” (Salgu)
At the beginning Salgu was surprised about the sensation of his body, which had been injured by Buell’s sword, recovering in the twinkling of an eye, but he realized that it was the same thing Buell went through beforehand.
“No way!” (Salgu)
As Salgu had feared, Buell, who should be at death’s door, got up while raising groans and looked down on his body with its healed wounds.
“This is… just what the hell happened?” (Buell)
“You are slow at waking up. Stand up quickly. Your injuries should have already been healed.” (Hifumi)
“Was that your work, bastard?” (Buell)
Buell, who stood up, is stroking his belly while showing the inside of the torn gown.
“It has been completely closed. I don’t know what kind of magic that is, but it certainly is convenient. I shall praise you.” (Buell)
“Yea, whatever.” (Hifumi)
Buell showed irritation due to Hifumi’s nonchalant attitude, however it was Salgu, who raised his voice before Buell.
“What are you thinking? That catwoman risked her life to create an opening and even though I believed I finally killed him!” (Salgu)
“That’s right. It looks like your guys’ fight finished right there. The middle-aged man lost and the bear somehow won by getting help.” (Hifumi)
The two, who had a finger pointed them in turns, glared at Hifumi in tune albeit it being just after them killing each other.
“So, next is my turn. I don’t have a hobby of tormenting a weakened opponent. Thus I just had you recover.” (Hifumi)
“My chivalrous spirit will probably overflow”, Hifumi sneered, but Buell shouted that it wasn’t a laughing matter.
“You bastard! Even if I’m grateful for the healing, what’s with this attitude in front of the king!?” (Buell)
“Ah yea, about that.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi smiles broadly.
“Being a king, how does that matter? I don’t care about such stuff. I saved your life. Aren’t you thankful for that?” (Hifumi)
“Tsk. You are a lowly man after all. Tell me what you desire.” (Buell)
Due to Buell folding his arms and having an attitude filled with despise, Hifumi looked into his eyes and replied,
“This country.” (Hifumi)
“If you are unable to accept, will it better for you to lose your life today after all?” (Hifumi)
“Do you plan to threaten the king!?” (Buell)
Grasping his sword, Buell tried to strike with his sword aiming at Hifumi’s neck.
However, just by lowering his waist slightly, that sword cuts empty space.
“Oh, yes! You can fight against me, if you dislike it. It’s fine for you both to go at it at the same time. I climbed all the way up to this place because I wanted to do just that.” (Hifumi)
At the moment Hifumi finished his speech, Salgu as well as Buell attacked Hifumi striving to be first to hit him.
Salgu aims his claws at the breast of Hifumi. Buell’s sword heads towards his throat. Both of them lunge at him.
“How nice. That’s great.” (Hifumi)
Aiming at Hifumi, who stepped sideways, Salgu tried to pierce him with his fangs while drawing back his arm.
“You aren’t careful enough when you open your snout.” (Hifumi)
The tip of the suntetsu, grasped in Hifumi’s hand, hit the sharpened fangs from the front.
Jumping over Salgu, who squatted down in pain when a pair of his fangs broke, Buell swung his sword down from a overhead position.
The sword, which has weight, approached with quite the velocity.
Hifumi, who judged that he would be cut, even if put up the chain, seized Buell’s arm by stretching out his left hand and hurled away Buell with the momentum of slashing as is.
Being surprised by his first experience of being thrown, Buell was awkwardly slapped onto the ground.
Turning around, Hifumi saw the figure of Salgu, who has started to attack in the act of standing up from his crouching posture.
The pointed thrust of using his entire body as spring barely tore open Hifumi’s cheek with a shallow cut.
“You did well.” (Hifumi)
Grabbing the extended arm and arresting it, he pins down Salgu to the floor by pressing the shoulder and elbow joints.
Hifumi mercilessly swings down his sickle at Salgu’s nape of the neck.
(It’s the end, huh…? Sorry, Olra…) (Salgu)
At the final moment Salgu, who recalled the shape of his beloved daughter, fell asleep to never wake up for eternity again. Please, I hope that she can survive the wastelands together with those tiger children.
“… Aren’t you on the humans’ side, if you kill a beastman? Why are you trying to kill me as well?” (Buell)
Buell, who hit his back, supports his trembling body with his sword and stands up.
“I’m on neither side.” (Hifumi)
Storing away the kusarigama, which he had wiped clean of blood, Hifumi, who became unarmed, took a stance of having his right hand and his right leg in front.
“I’m just roaming this world in the pursuit of combat.” (Hifumi)
“You lunatic…” (Buell)
Buell, who was finally able to set up his sword by shouldering it, held a feeling of respect and terror towards the enemy standing in front of him with an abnormal presence while being an unarmed opponent.
If this man was my own subordinate, it might also be possible to expand the nation by crushing the wastelands, he even thought.
The one blow of Buell, who raised a war cry, was an honest strike without any tricks.
The fast and heavy hit might have been able to injure Hifumi, if Buell had been in his best condition.
At the moment Hifumi grabbed his arm just as before, Buell lowered his waist in order to prevent being thrown.
However, Hifumi shows how to even deal with that.
Ceasing to grab the arm, he plunged into Buell’s bosom and scooped up both legs of his opponent with both arms.
Buell, who was tossed onto his back unlike before, bangs the back of his head against the floor and tries to stand up in a hurry, but his knees have no strength.
At the point when he stood up with the support of his sword, his cervical vertebrae was twisted by Hifumi’s hand and broke.
In the bedroom, filled with three fallen corpses, Hifumi touched the wound on his cheek, caused by Salgu, and licked his own blood sticking to his finger.
“I have to increase the number of fellows, who are able to do at least this much.” (Hifumi)
Even while grumbling, Hifumi didn’t suppress the laughter rising from the bottom of his abdomen due to the excitement of having received a wound after a long time.