Chapter 26 “Strangers”
I jump away from the armor in front of me.
…Now what happens?
There's no one in control.
It's not going to move.
The armor I had destroyed completely stopped moving, and then its entire body cracked and collapsed.
It seems to have collapsed because it could not support its own weight.
If I destroy the contents of the armor, I can defeat them.
For armor, the center of the torso.
The dog is at the base of the neck.
”Well done, Mr.
I was surprised to see your magic skills this high.
Or is it that you are receiving some sort of assistance?”
Fatima asks me such a question without losing her composure, but I ignore her and decide to aim elsewhere.
Two armored figures move forward.
One of them swings a spear at the side of my head.
They are powerful, but slow.
I backed off and let it pass me by.
I swung and ducked…and just as I was about to do so, the other spear thrusts at me.
I twist and duck.
Just as I lose my stance, a side slash comes from behind me.
Before I knew it, the armor had moved to a position where it was pinning me.
I didn't regain my stance, but instead reversed it and fell to the ground to avoid it.
I roll to the side and try to get out of the way, but before I know it, another piece of armor is swinging its legs up at the end of my roll.
A strong stomp comes down from above.
I feed the Explosion III to the leg.
It blows off the leg of the armor, but shards of it hit me.
I quickly protect my face from the debris.
It's bad enough that I'm blinded.
Some of the debris pierced through my torso, but I ignored them and stood up.
The armor which its legs were blown off was knocked out of its stance and turned over, so I used makana to destroy the ice armor and crush the contents to finish it off.
”Well, that's great.
Keep up the good work.”
Fatima even sat down on a chair and started cheering me on, where did she get that from?
It's so annoying.
I want to kill her as soon as possible.
Normally, I would have wanted to take out the first shot, but this woman has about five armors around her to protect her.
If I rush in, they will be added to the eight surrounding me.
Now, let's reduce the number of them while she remains comfortable.
While I was thinking about this, one of the nearby figures raised its spear.
It swung down from above.
I jumped to the side and ducked.
This time, the spear was thrust from the front and back.
I jumped on the spear that came flying from the front.
It was a spur-of-the-moment move, but inwardly, I was relieved that I had succeeded.
This was a technique I had recreated from my memory of the hunter boss I had eaten last time, but it was difficult to master.
He had been around a lot of different bodies, but he had basically only worked with slender, light bodies, so my attempts to replicate his work would be very different.
This time, it worked because the spear was ridiculously large, but I am not confident that I will be able to do it again.
The action was so hard that I was surprised even by a Hong Kong movie, but I could not relax.
I ran on top of the spear and dived into the bosom of the armor.
With a swing of my makana, I destroyed part of the torso and stabbed the barrel with the sword in my other hand.
I pull it out quickly and exit through the groin.
I hear the sound of heavy objects crumbling behind me.
The armors are poised to bring their shields forward.
They've put up their defenses.
It would be easier if they attacked me….
These guys are big, so it's easy to get into their pocket when you get close to them.
Perhaps they knew this, too, and changed their fighting style.
Four of them attacked from out of range with thrusts.
I try to get in through the thrusts, but the rest of them break in and hit me as if they are pushing me out with their shields.
I step back and a thrust comes flying at me.
I click my tongue and drop back to out of range of the thrust.
Attack with a spear, dive, and push out with a shield.
This is tough for me.
Do I attack from a long distance with magic?
I was able to half destroy the shield with Explosion III.
If I attack from the front, I can hit them with 2 or 3 shots plus 2 more shots to the torso, right?
That's tough considering the time it takes for the chanting.
Should I change the cut?
Dissolve it with boiling water, or use an earth system to break its footing?
There's no way.
I'll just keep running around and use magic to whittle it down.
I start chanting magic.
A couple of shield-bearers have been knocked off their stances and kneeled down.
I haven't done anything yet, have I?
A small shadow darted out from between the armors.
”I'm sorry I'm late.
I'll help you.”
Heidi is standing next to me, holding a kukri in one hand.
The armor was out of position because she cut it with the kukri?
“What happened? I saw you through the window, so I ran over to you, but…
what the hell is going on here?”
”These people are Fatima's men.
The situation is ……
well, as you can see.”
”No, I'm sorry.
I don't know what I'm looking at.”
I see what you mean.
Zubel and Fatima are teaming up to…
That's a hassle.
”These guys are all enemies.”
“Yeah, well, I don't understand.
But I understand.”
Fatima's expression disappears and she slowly stands up.
Heidi almost called Fatima's name, but I poked her head to shut her up.
I'm sure you've never met her before, right? Don't complicate things.
”What is it? Fatima.”
I could just answer that she's my companion, but…
I'm going to give her a little incentive.
I hug Heidi's waist.
”What!? What are you doing!?”
”Hey, hey, hey.
Can't you see? She saved me from being a piece of shit because of you guys, and we promised each other a future together.
I promised her my heart and soul.”
She doesn't seem to have a lot of pride, but that's not to say she doesn't have some, right?
If I can get her upset a little bit….
Fatima was laughing.
But her eyes weren't laughing.
Is it possible to be so intimidating with just a human expression?
Heidi's expression was clenched.
I can understand how she feels.
In my previous life, I would have gotten down on my knees even if I hadn't done anything.
”You must be joking, Mr.
Oh, you're keeping such a bug to get my attention, aren't you? Even if you didn't do that, I'd still …well…you know…”
Fatima's cheeks turn reddish-black.
She's got a great color.
On the other hand, Heidi's face was pale.
This one is a great color, too.
the presence of that worm is unpleasant.
Let's squash it.”
”Wait, wait! Let's talk…”
Heidi tries to convince her, but there's nothing she can do about it.
“It's no use.
We can't talk anything until I get rid of the cronies.”
“Because of what you said!?”
”You go hide around the corner.
I'll take care of it.”
But rather than getting shaken up, she got angry….
It was completely unexpected.
After all, she is his fiancee, even if he doesn't particularly like her.
It is unpleasant to be cheated on…or perhaps his pride is hurt.
The remaining seven armors, and even the five that had been holding back, came forward.
Half of them are holding shields and spears respectively.
Not changing their fighting style, solid…no, they're getting ready.
The dog behind me was coming toward me, too.
It could be bad.
Mainly for Heidi.
”You take the front.
I'll take care of the back.”
Before I could tell him to run, Heidi ran toward the dog.
”It's all right.
I got it!”
The dog, which had been running in the lead, opened its mouth wide and jumped on Heidi.
Heidi was right on top of the dog.
The dog shattered.
Fatima is unusually upset.
What the hell did she do?
Heidi hit another dog with her empty hand.
That was it.
That's all it took to shatter the dog and leave nothing but a barrel.
…Did she destroy it with her bare hands?
Heidi's hand…or more accurately, the ring on her finger, did the trick.
”The Ring of Magic Destruction.”
It is a magical tool that nullifies invoked magic.
It is a treasured possession of the previous owner.
It is a very high-end magic tool.
The only drawbacks are that it can only nullify one at a time and that it consumes magic power when used.
Certainly, a dog or a suit of armor made of magic would be helpless if you use it.
If they had been made with magic, they would have malfunctioned, but since they depend on magic to maintain their shape, it is only natural that they would shatter if they were disabled.
Fatima squinted and got up from her chair.
This was indeed unexpected.
It seems I'd better deal with this one directly.”
The only person who can stop Heidi now that her subordinates have been neutralized by a single blow would be herself.
So the rest of the team is going to hold me down.
I'll be dealing with 12 armors and 3 dogs.
Is that better than going toe-to-toe with Fatima?
”Heidi, as you can see.
I'll leave Fatima to you.”
“All right, I'll settle this as soon as I can.
Just hold on, I'll come help you as soon as I can.”
As I watched Heidi confront Fatima from the side, I wondered how I should respond to the situation at hand.
To be honest, Heidi's appearance has greatly reduced the options available to me.
The condition is that I have to destroy the enemy in front of me in this form.
The first thing that came to mind was me leaving here with them in tow.
I thought about it and quickly dismissed it.
If I ran, they would all try to finish off Heidi.
Fatima seems to think I'm worth something, so she won't take my life.
But that would not be the case with Heidi.
If I disappear, she will be happy to kill Heidi and come after me.
Even if Heidi has that ring, she will probably succumb to the sheer quantity of it, as long as it only affects one target at a time.
Then it occurred to me.
I think it's okay if I just abandon her.
She's a stranger anyway, right?
A voice whispers in my head.
It's absolutely right.
I affirm it wholeheartedly.
She's a stranger after all.
It's not like I'm losing anything if she dies.
Rather, I gave her a chance to come back to life, albeit imperfectly.
In fact, she should be grateful to me.
This time, she could have lived with Hoffer as Lilynette.
This is what happens when you follow me all the way to a place like this, filled with a strange sense of mission.
I think she deserved to die, right?
Abandoning her won't hurt my heart one bit.
Then, let's abandon them and run away.
If I wanted to, I could get serious and kill Fatima and the others.
But I deny my inner voice.
I'm grateful to him.
At the very least, if I hadn't gotten a body there, I'd be dead for sure.
My body is somehow vulnerable to the open air.
It was obvious from the roots that disappeared within a few dozen seconds.
It's not that I'm desperate for life.
In fact, since I've been in this body, I've had some small emotions, such as a little surprise, but they've been thinning out.
Maybe I move my body like I'm playing a game or something.
So I guess no matter what I do, I don't have any feelings attached to it right now.
But I really enjoyed being in this body, traveling, albeit briefly, and seeing the world.
This world is probably a much harsher environment than modern Japan.
The word “human rights” is sneered at and people are easily killed.
But it was beautiful.
The powerful natural landscapes shook my heart…no, my soul, to no small degree.
And my journey in this world gave me the energy to live.
At least now I don't actively want to die.
So I wanted to do something to this human being, Rothfeldt, who made me feel that way.
I hate people.
They were all a bummer, including me in my previous life.
But I'm grateful.
That's reason enough not to cut Heidi, right?
I don't believe in her.
But I won't abandon her if possible.
I put all my strength into my hands gripping both weapons.
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