The demon that showed up…had four eyes and a cleft chin. He calmly walked towards us. In the meantime I retrieved Murasame’s hilt from my item box, attaching it to my hip, and then turned my eyes towards the new arrival.
He wore a refined piece of combat armor using lame leather bindings on a breastplate with jet black as its main color. Its surface was stained with blood. Small vermilion belts were added to his armor all over, and what seemed to be rivets containing mana had been driven into the breastplate alongside fine ornaments.
I think it’s an armor resembling that of Rulizeze. That means…the holes at the streamlined gauntlets are for projectile weapons? Of course, all items are of Legendary or even Mythological grade, eh?
Naturally that armor extended to all four of his arms. The sword in his upper left hand had a broad, blue blade. One sword was tied with a cord extending from the hilt to his conspicuously long upper right arm so that it wouldn’t be possible for him to lose it. The patterns on its emerald blade were rather pretty. In contrast, the lower arms towards the bottom of his flanks had a normal length. They held a pair of curved swords similar to kukri with beautiful silver ornaments.
『…Your Excellency, he’s got a small butt on his chin…』
Yep, how typical, that’s the part that drew Helme’s attention. I’m rather curious about the long, right arm… It’d be an advantage as far as using sword techniques in close combat goes. One’s reach is a weapon, after all.
“It’s him. That demon has…”
Muku crumbled to her knees with a small puddle forming between her thighs. Her mother tried to protect Muku by holding her daughter in her arms.
I guess I’ll have a little chat with the demon that stopped his weird movements.
“So Mr. Demon, you intend to kill that child and her mother?”
The demon flashed an nasty smile at my words, “…Don’t ask the obvious. You will die as well, two-eye. Your magic source, your soul, all of you and them will become nourishment for my swords――”
An instantaneous acceleration――!?
When I realized it, he had already closed the combat distance. From his forward-bent posture, he lunged out the sword in his upper left hand at me. A sword <Thrust>?
I bent my head to the side, but the sword still carved its blade into my cheek’s flesh. My forelocks swayed as I felt the wind of his lightning-fast thrust tickling my face. I had dodged the first attack, but at once a flash approached my left flank so quickly that I could only see a green glow.
In a hurry, I lifted up Baldok diagonally in front of me, shifting towards defense. The emerald blade and Baldok clashed with a hard, metallic sound and green sparks. A sweep capitalizing on the reach of his upper right arm…it felt as if I was dealing with a whip.
However, he didn’t follow up with the next attack. Using that opportunity, I clad my whole body in Magic Combat Style, and swiftly swapped Baldok into my left hand.
Pushing up the halberd’s lower part, I aimed for his chin, as if to perform a short uppercut. I intended to crush his rather peculiar, wild jaw with the Magic Dragon Gem, but the demon evaded the gem by bending his head back to pull the chin out of harm’s way.
Having foreseen as much, I tried to land a middle front kick on his belly. However, he repelled my kick with the middle part of his kukri blade in his lower left. As soon as I felt the sword’s blade through the sole of Arzen’s Boot, we both leaped back.
“…What’s with you!? So you can handle my four swords with just two eyes and arms…?”
“I’m a lancer. My name is Shuuya…yours?”
That’s a name I heard before.
“Crazy-Eye Togma, huh? I was surprised by your quick movements. We’re in the evil domain right now, but…honestly, not only the surface, but this world is really vast as well…”
Yep…truly vast. And no matter the opponent’s character, his martial arts deserve respect. I’ll go with the Wind Spear Style I learned from Master Achilles.
I shifted my stance to my legs being in a L-shape by extending my left foot to the front and drawing a small circle on the ground. After switching Baldok into my right hand and twisting it around in front of my chest, I pulled it towards my back. 1
After extending my left palm towards my opponent, I flipped over my hand, beckoning him over with several fingers. “…Come, Crazy-Eye Togma.”
But, Togma didn’t go along with it.
“…A lancer clad in a mana of such quality despite being the likes of a two-eye, eh…? It reminds me of my encounter with the Demonoid Martial Arts King some time ago…”
“Demonoid Martial Arts King? I heard of him before, I think.”
Hearing my question, Togma stared at me threateningly as if he was trying to shoot me to death with his four eyes, “…Two-eye, are you a demon?”
“No, my race is called Lucival. I guess you could say that the blood of humans and demons flows through me. So, what about the Demonoid Martial Arts King?”
Is Crazy-Eye just a nickname…with Togma being unexpectedly calm? He’s changed completely from his initial impression of madness…
As he looked into my eyes…his four pupils with their reddish tinge widened. Then he suddenly shook his head as if to pull himself together, and checked for an unguarded moment in my mana manipulation.
He spoke up, moving his mouth, with its yellow, sharp-looking fangs, that seemed to extend to the sides, “…Demonoid Martial Arts King Ganghis was a four-spear user with many achievements during countless battles in the spirit world. It’s said that he possessed a strength on par with the former Demonic Emperor, but…he suddenly disappeared several thousand years before I was hurled to this world.”
“Disappeared…so he died?”
“Who knows. He might have lost his life in the Great Spirit World War I took part in as well, was killed by some spirit world knight…was eaten by a monster, or he might have been eradicated after challenging a spirit world god.”
The Demonoid Martial Arts King who used the Divine Spear Ganghis in my possession. Going by his name, he must have been strong.
“Challenging the gods, eh? I feel honored to be compared to such a great lancer then.”
“Don’t get carried away with that thrilled expression of yours――” Togma closed the distance between us in an instant.
It wasn’t just owed to his Magic Combat Style and the mana accumulated in his legs. He also used a unique ability. Capitalizing on the different range of his arms, he unleashed sword thrusts aimed at my vital spots. In response, I took a step backward while at the same time activating <Blood Acceleration> on top of my Magic Combat Style, sharply boosting my body’s speed.
Leaving blood traces in midair, I kept dodging the swift whirl of the demon’s sword thrusts. The four sword stream lines reminded me of Rulizeze. The experience of my battle against her definitely lived on within me. Albeit at a paper-thin difference, I managed to dodge the points of the four magic swords, magnificently handled by Togma, without a scratch. I could see the ivory-carving-like designs engraved onto the silver swords’ blades.
“――Lancer, that acceleration technique uses blood? Are the Lucival possibly a vampire species?”
“Indeed.” I confessed honestly.
“So you’re one of Lugnad’s!?”
Maybe because of a grudge towards Lugnad or a personality apt to fly into rage, Togma released a mana from his whole body similar to the miasma cladding ghosts. An amber gleam shone within his four eyes, and his four swords became even faster.
It looks like he’s activated some kind of skill.
Togma explosively charged at me after feinting a low attack by looking at my leg with one of his eyes. He sent a wind-clad sword thrust towards my chest. Twisting half my body with the toes of my right foot as pivot, I avoided the sword thrust closing in on me alongside Togma himself.
However, Togma used a tree behind him as footing, quickly turning about. He unleashed another thrust at me who had dodged him like a bullfighter after increasing my speed. I repelled the attack with Baldok’s lower part, but once again Togma used a tree next to him to leap at me. Making use of multi-layered motions, he kept showering me with sword thrusts.
His movements woke the urge in me to name him Swift Sword Togma, but they lacked pacing. I could easily handle his attack patterns with Magic Combat Style and <Blood Acceleration>. As I had continued dodging him, Togma stopped, just to whirl around as if drawing a circle while pruning the weeds on the ground with his swords in frustration.
“…For my <Shukuchi> to be dodged so easily――”
Was it a feint? He abruptly charged at me at the end of his remark.
“――Well, it’s certainly enough speed to brag about, no?” While casually replying, I saw through the tendencies of Togma’s swift sword play.
It might be a faked invitation, but I’ll use that little opportunity either way.
In an instant I moved sideways, and pushed out Baldok’s red spear, aiming at his abdomen. It was a thrust that kept in mind that it could be dodged. Naturally Togma blocked it, but now he had been forced to focus on defense. After immediately withdrawing my right hand and canceling Magic Combat Style, I unleashed a second <Thrust>, but this time aimed at his chest. It was a spear thrust combo with the goal of throwing his timing off.
Togma dealt with it while twisting his face. He was blocking my combo attack with his four eyes shining.
“――Ugh, a technique to throw off my feeling of distance? Damn you, you’re also using a heavy spearhead…” As he spoke, Togma’s way of talking became increasingly blotted with rage.
Contrary to his angry words, he shifted three of the four swords into a seigan stance. He applied defensive sword motions as if drawing the character 三 in the air with those three swords, precisely parrying my chain of <Thrusts> at different tempos. It was a skilled defensive sword style that could confuse one with its soft sword motions, like those of Rulizeze.
However, without minding that, I kept my preparatory tactic of only using one arm while focusing on the Wind Spear Style. I interwove feints with my eyes into my timings as well.
Next, after doing a step-in to give him the impression that I was about to pull off a regular <Thrust>, I unleashed Baldok with a twist, activating <Darkness Drill>. The spiraling attack of the red spear and ax blade, enveloped by a black mist, plunged onwards as if to drill through my enemy’s chest alongside space, shredding apart his ribcage in the process.
“――Final Enlightenment <Demonic Swiftness – Mad God>.”
The instant Togma voiced out that skill’s name, a mana luster blending amber and red shrouded his body originating from his four eyes. Then, after suspiciously inclining his neck as if watching a video in fast-forward, his body trembled lightly with excitement. He rotated his body on the spot with a sudden acceleration, splendidly twisting his body and thus dodging Baldok’s <Darkness Drill>. It was such a quick rotation that I almost wanted to ask whether some string was attached to him.
Moreover, he jumped and landed with both feet on the tip of my extended halberd, pinning it down.
Whoa, what nimbleness. It’s a speed exceeding that of Rulizeze, and I might not be able to imitate it either.
“Gotcha――” The mouth of Togma warped into the smile of a Hannya noh mask as he screamed in elation.
Immediately following, he thrust out all his swords straight at me. He got as close as being about to stab my head with the four sword blades spiraling in a combination of the three colors: blue, green, and silver. But, it was too early for him to rejoice.
As if baffled, Togma suddenly fell down after having lost his scaffold. Yep, I had erased Baldok, and at the same time, I summoned Ganghis into my left hand after turning it over. Within the milliseconds of his fall, I released a <Darkness Drill> at his belly with Ganghis.
Even with his balance fallen apart, Togma blocked Ganghis by crossing the four swords low so as to protect his belly. But, the force of the <Darkness Drill> with the special crescent-moon shaped spearhead was intense. Togma, who had been in the middle of falling, was blown backwards with his body taking the shape of く.
He crashed into a thicket, unable to adopt any defensive falling techniques. I had felt a faint feedback from that thrust. I kicked off the ground with its flattened weeds, charging at the fallen Togma with a forward-bent posture to finish him off.
But, Togma reacted. That asshole had waited for me to get close to greet me with kicking techniques. In a hurry I used Baldok’s ax blade as a shield, blocking the kicks coming up from below. Using the force of the kicks, Togma somersaulted backwards.
Faintly shining lines of amber and red were repeatedly transmitted from the outer corners of his eyes to his nape along his face, and thus they looked like streaks of light. It was an ability slightly different from Rulizeze’s.
Togma had retreated to the back. He glared at me with sharp glints in his eyes while leaning his body against a tree. He had readjusted his hold on his four swords, but…blood was gushing out of his torn combat armor that had been hiding his abdomen.
I suppose it’s the result of Ganghis’ <Darkness Drill>.
Looking closely, I noticed that the pair of kukri had their blades punctured with a circular hole.
“That spear, don’t tell me…at such a settlement, such bullshit――” He croaked angrily.
While scattering blood from his abdomen, he heaved up two arms towards me. Something like golden blades were about to come out of the holes in the gauntlets.
Those are definitely projectiles――
At once I shot <Chain> out of both wrists while imagining Aegis. The chains created a huge shield in front of me. In the next instant, I perceived multiple impacts with my whole body, making me tremble, as if a barrage of lightning spells was repeatedly striking against the shield.
Given that I’m wearing the Mythological Hal’Konk, I think I’d be alright even after getting hit by the projectiles, though…
Anyway, since the sound stopped, I erased the huge <Chain> shield. Countless amber, broad blades lay in front of where my shield had been.
“Such a defense――”
Time for you to stop yapping.
While focusing on Catiza so that she would turn into a new arm, I closed the combat distance to Togma with a swift movement, beating him at his own game. I powerfully drove my left foot into the ground, and unleashed a <Thrust> with Baldok’s red spear in my right while imagining that it’d create a gaping hole in Togma’s abdomen. Immediately following, I sent forth a straight <Thrust> with Ganghis in my left while stepping firmly down with my right foot at the same time.
“――Giii.” Togma screamed out as if having bitten his own tongue.
Even while showing a pained expression, he managed to block the two-chain combo of <Thrusts> with his four swords.
I caused Ganghis in my left to vanish, and swiftly pulled back my extended arm. Then I focused on my shoulder dragon. Three ice blades shot out of his turquoise-like azure eye reminding one of a clear summer sky.
Togma bent his body back, but an ice blade stabbed into one of his eyes, causing fresh blood to gush out.
“Uughh!” Togma had been taken by surprise.
But, even with a glistening blade growing out of his eye, the remaining three eyes glared at me. I resummoned Ganghis into my left hand, and while staring at Togma, who had adopted a defensive stance with his four swords, I released a <Thrust> by pushing my left arm out while twisting it.
It snapped the damaged silver kukri Togma held with his lower left hand. However, Ganghis spearhead was stopped by the remaining three magic swords.
At that point, I summoned Gudorl into my new arm branching out to the side at the elbow of my right arm.
“What’s going on with that double aaaarm――”
My right arm holding Baldok and my new arm with Gudorl both targeted Togma’s chest and abdomen. I had unleashed my new, harmonized, dual-spear <Thrust>.
Togma was too late in dealing with them. The orange blade of Gudorl, and the red spear of Baldok penetrated his breastplate as if melting through it. I could directly feel his weight from my spears. I made both disappear, and activated <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
The crooked mana hand drew Murasame’s hilt, and I sent mana into it. Then I closed the distance to Togma whose bloodstained body was crumbling to the ground, losing to gravity. I had the mana hand swing Murasame from right beside me, causing it to give off a buzzing that drowned out the sound of my boots. Its bluish-green light blade dug itself into Togma’s neck, cutting it off in one go.
His head flew off into the bushes, and the headless torso fell to its knees, just to collapse to the side thereafter. The body laying on the grass was still convulsing a bit. The magic swords in his hands also dropped down atop a bush.
I guess I’ll collect them for my collection.
My third arm returned to its finger shape.
『Your Excellency, it was truly magnificent! I got totally startled when Crazy-Eye jumped on top of your spear!』
『That sure was a surprise. I used it against him, though』
『One instantaneous flash after the other…it was terrific! I would have panicked, unable to deal with it』
『It’s all because of my opponent. It simply means he was that strong』
“…Wow, you really won.”
“…Superb spear techniques…But, our village…”
A voice full of relief, and another full of sadness reached me from behind.
It might be what you’d call, ‘He who peeps through a hole may see what will vex him.’
Now that I saved them, I turned around with the intention to get involved, to some extent at least.
“Are you alright?” I addressed Muku’s mother who looked heartbroken.
“Yes, thank you. You’re our lifesaver.”
“Yep, I admit! Two-eye! You’re stronger than bro who died on the battlefield.”
Muku smelled of pee, but I didn’t mind it. She looked at me with a sharp glint in her three eyes.
Is it because she’s an evil race child grown up around here?
“…You must have dearly loved your brother. I’ll accept it as the highest praise. Thanks.”
So he died on the battlefield. I prayed in my mind, Onii-san…although I don’t know you, rest in peace.
“…Is it okay for me to take those two swords?”
“Ah, Muku, now you’re getting too cocky.”
Muku had picked up the two magic swords with bluish-white blades.
She’s still a child, but it looks like she got quite some strength. It’d be wrong to look down on evil races.
“…I don’t care. But, they belong to the demon that attacked you, no? I wouldn’t really recommend using them…”
“Yahoo, I’m going to kill demons using these swords.”
Muku didn’t listen to me. Swinging a sword, she slashed down at a thicket.
It seemed like it was still too heavy for her. She lost her balance, the sword’s point buried itself into the ground. In response, she pulled at the hilt, trying to get it out.
“Thank you. It’s okay. Battles against various enemies, including demons, are a part of our daily life.” Muku’s mother explained as if it was only natural for them.
They’re living with fights like the one against Togma being a frequent occurrence…
Come to think of it, during our hunt we also encountered monsters with crocodile heads. I suppose they have a culture of always battling hostile entities like those crocodile-heads…
“…I understand. Shall we go back to your village then? I’ll go with you up until there.”
“Oh, I forgot. I still haven’t heard your name.”
“Shuuya Kagari. As you can see, I’m a spear user.”
“Shuuya-anchan! This way, come!”
During the trip to the village, I kept hunting monsters by myself while contacting my party members through a blood message, telling them 『It’s still going to take a while』.
Like that…I accompanied them all the way to their village…
As a matter of course, their village was in a tragic state. It was a sea of blood with corpses laying all over the place.
At that moment I heard groaning. What luck, it looks like there are still some survivors left.
Hurriedly I saved them by using healing magic and potions.
『Shall I come out and use my water?』
『No, it’s not necessary. I plan to leave this place as soon as possible』
I was able to help Muku’s mother and her neighbors. A three-eyed warrior said he’d give me his silver ax handed down among the Ourubami as a thanks, but I refused. Though, I feel like I’ve seen that ax somewhere…
Once I finished the basic relief work, Muku and her mother approached me.
“Two-eye Shuuya! I’m truly thankful for a strong two-eye like you, who can even use healing magic, to have saved our village.” Muku said happily, beaming a smile at me.
I understand that a pure three-eye like her pins her hopes on me…but, although I feel bad for Muku, it’s about time for me to depart.
“…Sure. That means I’m done here.”
“Eehh? No, please don’t go! You’re not allowed to, Shuuya-anchan…”
“I’m really sorry.”
“Shuuya-san, I know it’s an unreasonable request, but can you please stay? We have free houses, and I need someone to warm my bed as well…” Muku’s pretty mother invited me.
She’s got a great style, and to be honest, a fresh three-eye woman sure makes me waver, but I came here with a clear goal in mind.
“…From the start, I was just in the middle of collecting magic stones. Also, I have my partner and comrades with me…I’m deeply thankful for your kind offer, but I’ll go back now.”
“Even though you’re such a gentle and strong man…”
“Uuaaaahhh.” Muku ended up in tears.
I turned around gallantly, and ran towards the forest with Magic Combat Step, leaving the village behind. In my back I could hear Muku’s voice, “Two-eye Shuuya, you idioooooot. But, thanks a loooot,” echoing all the way into the forest.
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