Chapter 11 ~ Duel
In the end, they let me take an extra 3 minutes to get ready. Pg. 178
I’m heading towards the ring, same as Nania san.
Right now, Nania san is directing her killing intent to me. Scary. The fact that her sword and shield are equipped is making me more nervous. I’ve got a feeling that she will kill me for real…
“Both sides, here.”
The distance between us is about 10 meters. In this distance, it is possible for her to charge towards me and end it in single strike. Secretly, I activated my magic on the iron plate that I’ve already prepared beforehand under my feet. Alright, it’s a success.
The truth is I already prepared an iron plate under my shoes.
Before our match started, I make sure to enchant the plate beforehand. I enchanted it with lightning attribute. I called it Thunder Ball.
The effect of this magic should last longer than 10 minutes. Nania san boot is made of metal. If I hit it, then I’ll managed to shock her. As for myself, I don’t need to worry about getting electrocuted because my boot sole is thick, therefore it’s insulated well. Furthermore, this training ground is consisted of soils, so there’s no way for her to notice it from my footsteps alone. She might know that I have some magic up my sleeve, but for her to know my exact plan, even I think that is impossible.
I already drawn my sword, and am now in my battle stance. I can see that there are many other adventurers at the side, watching our battle.
First, I’ll cast a small-scale magic, Air Hammer. This magic is invisible, so even though she knows it’s coming, there’s no way she can avoid it easily. I’m throwing out 10 at one time, if even one hit, then it’s fine. Pg.179
Even though Silva san managed to withstand it, there’s no way that Nania san, who is lighter build, can withstand such impact.
【Air Hammer】 Shoot!
Shit, she evaded it. And the onlookers at the behind were blown away instead.
“Oi, that guy is a wizard! We need to get away from here now!”
The spectators behind start spreading around. Some of them took out their shield.
“I applaud your efforts, but it’s in vain. I can dodge it, even if I can’t see it.”
But, what if it’s a simultaneous hit?
While I’m approaching her slowly, I navigate all the Air Hammers that I have to hit her in specific points. My chanting speed has been reduced by 50%, so it should be harder to detect. I did it in one breath. I can see that some people were blown away from time to time, but I didn’t pay attention to that. My mind is too occupied with this fight.
In the end, I managed to hit her by the fifth hit. I don’t know if she didn’t expect the Air Hammer to hit there, or that she simply can’t avoid it.
But the shot was blocked by her shield, and she is not blown away. I see, it really is impossible to make a direct hit, unless I managed to shake off that shield from her.
But now she has stopped moving. Here!
I shoot another batch of Air Hammer, but it seems that I’m taking too much of time. She avoided my hammer, and this time she went and clashed her sword with mine.
If it’s like this, then how about you taste this! The zero distance Air Hammer!
She managed to deflect it with her shield, but I can see that she loses her balance in that instance. Therefore, there is no counterattack made by her. She hastily jumped back ward and create some distance between us.
She is tough.
“Why don’t you stop? Don’t you know that I’m strong?”
Based on this, I can really say that she is strong enough to protect Elizabeth. At this moment, I’m the one being pushed.
“This might sound rude of me, but at this level, there’s no way I can entrust Ellie to you. If you really want Ellie, then it would do best for you to defeat me right now.”
Is she saying that I’m not worthy of Elizabeth!?
“Come, our idle talk is over. Now, die!”
She is consumed with anger now, this person!
She comes attacking right after she said that.
Air…no good! She is too fast!
I frantically block and parried her attacks using my shield and my sword. Like this, I can’t even use Air Hammer, let alone the Thunder God that I have prepared at my legs. This woman, she’s finally serious now!
One, two, three blows total managed to graze my body. Although I’m wearing my armor, I still can feel it right on my flesh.
Based on this, I know that one clean hit from her and I might get knocked out. She just need to land one more hit. This is bad.
If I make even a single mistake in my moves, then she will surely manage to hit me.
She might be fast, but not as fast as Sergeant dono, therefore I’m able to keep up with her. But that doesn’t mean that she is any way inferior!
Using a single attacking magic is not enough. Then I’ll varies it!
The construction bricks that I have stored earlier, I shoot them towards Nania san. I’m sure she will need to retreat from this barrage of bricks…retreat…she’s not! Then I’ll continue to attack her like this.
While I keep on barraging her with the bricks, she unexpectedly dodges all of it and close our gap within a short second.
Nania san sword approached me. There is no way for me to avoid this, isn’t it!?
I was torn down deeply with a sword around my side.
My leg stops because of the extreme pain. She’s continuing her barrage of attacks.
Kuh, I need to avoid it…will I be able to make it on time!?
I managed to dodge it by a hair breadth. It seems like the last brick that I’ve thrown to her hit her head, and now she is wobbling.
While activating Levitation, I kicked the ground simultaneously, to add the upward force, thus I manage to distance ourselves at once. I grit myself to retain the pain, and soar towards the sky.
Damn, it hurts. My concentration was disturbed by the intense pain, and now my magic is wavering. Even my levitation is unstable right now. Nania san, she can’t fly, right? It will be over now if she can somehow chase me like this.
“Bastard! Come down here and face me square off, you damn coward!”
Confirm that she can’t fly. One weakness found.
The armor at my torso is completely torn up now. I can feel a warm liquid at my side. I need to treat this fast, but invoking another magic while still levitating is impossible for me. I took out potion from my pocket and drinks it. Based on my past experience, I always put one potion in a place that I can easily retrieve, for safety measure.
Even after drinking the potion, I can feel that pain is still lingering in my body. Nania san blow just now was not light at all. Thinking that the next potion will only activate after 30 minutes, I’m glad that the injuries is not fatal……
This potion is so inconvenient, though.
I rise further up, until Nania san and the rest of the spectators looks as small as a bean.
Start chanting 【Heal】―― Dispel Levitation――
Continue casting while falling down…
Because my Levitation is gone, I started falling down steadily. Alas, the pain is finally gone and I can breathe normally again.
But what should I do now?
No matter what, I need to make sure that my Thunder God is in contact with her. But from our encounter just now, I can say that it is easier said than done. Perhaps, if I can rob her of her sword somehow…
Trying to find any opportunity with her guard up will not be easy…I kept on thinking while I’m falling.
Eh? Is that a bow that she is holding…? Oh shit, she is firing!
Luckily, the arrow missed me. But she quickly readying to shot another arrow.
This is bad, I tried to recast the Levitation, but at this rate, I might not be able to dodge it. This time it is unavoidable. I dispel the Levitation, and begun to fall again. Just as when the arrow’s going to hit me, I tried to spin my body sideward, and the arrow only graze the edge of my head.
【Fly】activate! I will avoid the arrow by increasing my flying speed. Because of change in my trajectory and my speed, I can see that she has given up on using her bow. I slowly descend on the ground.
“Masaru dono, why don’t you just give up?”
Saying that, she slowly closes the gap between us.
“If you surrender now, then you can avoid from feeling pain, you know?”
Me too. I would like to give in right now if it is possible. In fact, I would gladly do it.
The injuries that you inflicted at the side of my torso still hurts till now. However…
I give a glance at the spectator’s side. There, I can see Angela and Sati is watching me. She is crying now, together with Sati. Looking at that, there’s no way I can afford to show any unsightly behaviour anymore.
Nania san is also looking at the same place.
“It’s not like that choice is an option for me, so what can I do?”
While we’re having a conversation, I activate Regen. She might have noticed it, but seeing that nothing happened, she continues to respond to my conversation smugly. While I’m regenerating, I can get the effect of small heal, but only for small amount of time. Even if I’m attacked at this time, the damage will be recovered.
“That’s right. I’ll settle this right now. I hope after that, there will be no more issue. Fair warning, this will hurt.”
She still didn’t make her move from just now.
I remember my the thing from back then with Lazard san. He has those killer single blow strike.
My physical strength increase considerably now after I increased Strength to level 3. There’s no way that Nania san is as powerful as Silva san, who has a good physique.
I’ll release some more Air Hammer to distract her.
In the meantime, I close our gap and released a powerful blow directly to her.
However, she managed to block my strike with her shield completely, and released a counterattack.
Although my injuries were already healed, the barrage of strikes by her are unavoidable to me, thus the new injuries. Thanks to Regen, the injuries only last for seconds.
…Wrong. Lazard san move were not like this.
Without any magic and shield, I should grasp the sword with both of my hands and strike.
I take her counterattack head on. I’m steadily holding my ground, parrying only the fatal attacks and left the others.
Amidst our full power attack, I notice that our position gradually become equal.
What happened? Why is this happening…I see, her stamina!
In the past few days, Nania san has been actively participating in defense alongside others. No wonders her stamina is exhausted by now!
Even though my attacks never hit, it’s obvious that her movement is getting dull. I did not realize it because as for me, my stamina is still good and my breathing is not ragged yet.
But my Regen should be expired soon. I don’t know how many attacks I can withstand more.
Although there is no serious damage beside the one in my side, it still hurts like hell. I continue attacking while screaming.
It’s painful just to breath now. My arms too, can no longer support my sword. I can’t move as good as previously now. I wonder just how long can I held up…
After much patience, the chance finally arrived.
Nania san, unable to withstand my strikes anymore, was forced to support her shield with both of her hands.
I applied more pressure at the last minute. Then I move forward and step one of my foot on top of hers.
*bashi* *bashi* can be heard from her metal boots.
The electric shock went through! Nania san body started to shake and after much trembling, she finally drops down.
With this, the match…no, not yet. I can see in Nania san eyes that she has not given up yet. Looks like she just went out for a second from the electric shock.
Without wasting anymore time, I quickly chant the next batch of Air Hammer.
Nania san, who noticed that I’ve start casting, retreats slightly and hold her shield in front. However, she is too slow. I can see that she is still staggering. Furthermore, there’s no way she is able to withstand this one with the distance between us is so close, plus the fact that she just got electrocuted.
I concentrate more magical power. Right after I feel that my Air Hammer is strong enough, I activate it.
A mass of air that carries the magical power of movement, a powerful storm attacks Nania san.
The impact from the clash of the shield and the gust of wind makes a shrill sound.
Although she managed to block the blow with her shield, it seems that the blow is too strong, as she was send flying until the spectator’s place. Some people get caught in it and got taken down together.
The spectators move away slightly when I’m passing through. As for her, a bunch of spectators were circling around her.
Nania san, who already fell on the ground, still tried to raise herself with her sword and shield. However, it seems like she already lost her energy due to the damage inflicted by the Air Hammer, and unable to get up.
“That’s it…this is my win.”
I dropped my sword, and said this. Right at this instant, cheers come from the surrounding spectators.
It’s getting harder for me to breath. After I relaxed my body, I can feel all the pain at once. It feels so painful that I might collapsed on the spot.
“Not yet…I still can fight…”
“The winner is Masaru!!”
Sergeant dono as the judge declared it loudly.
“Masaru! Ah, your body is messed up! I’ll cure you right now.”
Sati and Angela come over to my side. Elizabeth went and see Nania san.
My wound closed up after Angela cast Heal. After 3 more heals, I can feel that my body is getting lighter.
My breath finally return to normal.
I’m thankful that this world has magic. Back at Japan, I’m sure that this degree of injuries is enough to make me hospitalized for a while.
Nania san who finally managed to get up, comes to me with Elizabeth.
“What’s the deal with the attack just now, Masaru dono. It feels like I got electrocuted when you stomped your foot on mine.”
I showed her the back of my boots.
“I changed this metal plate attribute to thunder with my Thunder God skill. I’m sorry, the shock might be too strong.”
“So, this is the magic that you have prepared from the start…No, I admit it, this is my complete defeat. Even without this lightning strike, the vorpal gust from before will still defeat me. You already win by that time.”
After saying that, she turned to face Elizabeth who is standing next to me and kneel.
“Elizabeth sama, I’ve lost. I could no longer keep my oath as your knight. Oh, just how should I apologize to you, late father…”?
“It’s really okay, you know. It’s been 4 years since we’ve become adventurers. You have help me plenty till now. I’m sure that Walt will praise all your efforts.”
“That doesn’t matter! I already promised you that I’ll keep protecting you forever!”
“From now on, Masaru will protect me in your place.”
Nania san face looks like she will cry anytime now. She looks at me who is beside Elizabeth, and looks again at Elizabeth.
“Me…is it because I’m weak that you don’t need me anymore?”
“You’re wrong. Masaru is just lucky that he managed to win. Nania is not weak at the slightest. Hey Nania, both of us have been together from when we’re a kids, right?”
“Yes. Ellie when she was still a kid was very cute. I’m very happy that you got attached to me right away.”
“I’m glad when I’ve got a knight dedicated exclusively for myself. Even right now I still want to stay together with you.”
“But what about Olba? Don’t tell me, that you’re going to stay with me forever, until you become an old woman?”
“Even that, I still…”
“You can’t. That alone, I will never allow it. I want you to be happy Nania. Don’t you love Olba?”
“If it’s for Ellie’s sake, then I’ll give up on that love. I’ll gladly give it up.”
“…Hey Olba, now is your turn to speak up.”
“Nania…I love you. Didn’t you said that you love me too?”
“I, I also love you so much, Olba. But still…”
“Olba already retired from being an adventurer. Nania can quite her knight duty too now.”
“This is my last command to you. I hereby declared that your escort mission end with this fight. In the future, please do your best alongside Olba. I wish you the best.”
“It’s not like this is the final time we’re going to see each other. We’re still going to meet at times. I’m going to be happy with Masaru. That’s why I want Nania to be happy too.”
“Th-thank you very much, Elizabeth sama…”
“Here, don’t cry so much. Your beautiful face is ruined.”
“Ellie is crying too, isn’t she?”
“Not really. I’m fine now. Come on stand up.”
Elizabeth hold her hand and help her stand up.
Then she pushes Nania san towards Olba san.
“Olba, I won’t forgive you if you don’t make Nania happy.”
“I’m not a knight, therefore I’ll swear with my axe. I’ll protect Nania for the rest of my life and makes her happy.”
After that he hugged Nania san.
“Therefore, will you follow me, Nania?”
“Yes. If it’s okay with you…”
People surrounding us start clapping, cheers and words of congratulations can be heard nearby.
“Congratulations.” “Congratulations.” “Congratulations.”
That’s right. There are still people nearby and they witness it all.
Olba san thanks all the surrounding people that are congratulating them as a couple. Nania san rested her face on his shoulder and he looks a bit embarrassed.
Really, I’m glad that everything turn out well at the end. It was worth it getting painfully stared by her earlier on.
However, not everyone benefitted from this good ending.
“Wow, the match just now was good.” “*nod* Yeah.” “But this battle is quite…” “Yeah, I did not expect that guy to have that much fight in him.” “Isn’t he the infamous Rabbit Hunter?” “ What do you mean?” “He is an adventurer specialize in hunting Wild Rabbit.” “How can such person be so skilled in a match?”
“I saw him before, treating people at the shrine clinic.” “ I saw him shoots fire magic before.”
“*chatter* I heard that he was directly involve in the restoring of the second wall.” “*chatter* use Earth magic to create boulders, and used it to destroys enemy’s ladders.”
All these testimonies keep jumping out one after another.
Eh~? Why are they shifting the topic towards me all of a sudden?
“Just now he said that he can use an attribute change magic, the Thunder God. He can also use Fly and Air Hammer.”
“That’s mean he can use almost all attributes? Plus, he is also quite good in swordsmanship?”
“Yea, that much is his abilities. But I’ve never heard that kind of name before, something like Masaru.”
“I heard that name before. It seems that he played a crucial role in killing the dragon from before.” Pg. 193
“Is he a high-ranking adventurer that came from the Empire?”
They keep talking about me, and sometimes take a glance at my face.
I hope you guys will stop this soon…
I spontaneously activate covert, but it is meaningless in this distance. Then one of the adventurers throw me a question.
“Excuse me. Can I know what rank is Masaru dono right now?”
“Um, that’s…D rank.”
“D rank? From the way, you fought just now, I won’t be surprised if you said that you are at least B rank.”
“Nania is already a B rank adventurer. That’s why it’s amazing that you can keep up with such a high rank adventurer, Masaru.”
Elizabeth explained the situation to me.
“Of course, your skill is not inferior from those of a B rank adventurer. If the battle just now was taken for evaluation, then it might be possible for you to rank up.”
This time, Sergeant dono said that.
Well that is to be expected. I kind of regretted my action now. Even though I decided to make myself inconspicuous.
But is there other reason for this?
These magics, Heal, Fire, Earth and the one I used in this fight, there’s no way I could pass through the situation if I wasn’t using it. Or perhaps, there are some other ways for me to go unnoticed, even if I’m going all out. I don’t know, maybe.
After awhile, all the adventurers around start to scatter. Hmm, maybe they are convinced with my reasoning just now. Lucky.
“Good job, Masaru.”
“Yeah. I give my best today, for the sake of both Elizabeth and Nania san.”
“You were so cool just now, Masaru sama!”
“Ah I see, I see.”
“No, seriously, you were amazing just now Masaru. Everyone can vouch for that.”
“Especially the last attack that you released in the end. Well, you might want to imitate my move from our previous encounter, but even I think that the move suits you.”
“But I can see that you’re desperately attacking while ignoring your defense. I think it would do you better if you learn how to dodge like Sergeant dono.”
“Well, Masaru is still young. He still has time to explore which style he finds the most fitting.”
“Yes, Sergeant dono.”
Then Olba san and Nania san come over.
“Masaru, I would like to give my upmost thanks to you for doing this.”
Olba san told me so and grabbed my hand.
“Masaru dono, please take care of Elizabeth sama from now on.”
“Roger. Leave it to me.”
“Next, um, just now during our battle, um…”
Ah, you tell me that just now, asking me to die. You even come seriously at me. The cut that you made at my side was really painful, but since it’s a battle, it can’t be helped.
It’s still painful though!
“It’s okay. We’re are in a battle just now, so some overkill can’t be helped. Un, it’s fine though, I don’t mind.”
A bit of blood spills is to be expected in any match. But I do feel sorry though for slamming her directly against the Air Hammer.
“If you said so.”
Her face looks relieved. Then she looks at Elizabeth.
“Ellie, do you think that late father will ever forgive me, for doing this?”
“Are you stupid? Tell me, is there any father that don’t wish for their daughter happiness? After this, do yourself a favor and visit their grave. I’m sure they will be delighted to hear this news.”
“Hey, why are you crying again now. such a crybaby.”
She embraced Nania san.
“Ellie, *sob* Ellie…I really don’t want to part with you. I want us to stay together…”
“Me too. But from now on, you will have Olba. Just think of him as the second me, Nania.”
“Nania…thank you for protecting me until now. Thank you for staying with me. Even after my father has collapsed, and us being adventurer, you are the only one that kept staying with me till the end. There’s no way I can repay your kindness. Really, I feel grateful from the bottom of my heart.”
That said, they hugged each other once more for a while.