A long blade was brandished in one moment, and before I could even blink fully, the sharp tip was heading towards my forehead.
I quickly used <<Instantaneous Movement>> in the nick of time, and dodge to the side.
The arc of the slash tore up the ground, making shock waves, cracking the hard stone wall. I inwardly sigh in relief seeing that I wasn’t in that spot. If I were, my body would get cut clean in half.
I could tell that Dazel was still frozen in place. I don’t blame him. This opponent’s skill level is too far from normal.
“Dazel! Snap out of it! We have to run, quickly!”
With a loud voice I yell towards the dumbstruck red-haired youth. It seemed that the shock from me did the trick. Since he was now aware of his surroundings, and started to look around the area, darting his emerald-green eyes all over.
“Kyouya…you’re right. This guy is far too strong. His aura is somewhat close to master’s..”
After he said those words, he quickly pulled himself together and ran towards my direction. I had no time to be listening to the words that came out of his mouth because the armored guy was still looking towards me, emitting an ominous feeling.
“Hou, Truly excellent. To think you could dodge my slash. Well done.”
He seemed to be praising me but I get the feeling that there was a hint of making fun of me in there somewhere in his tone.
I’m not jumping to conclusions though. If I made the wrong move here, my head would fly off.
For now, let’s find a way out. We already have what we came for. There was no need to stick our noses into this battle-hungry knight who was way over our heads. I take no pleasure in fighting a losing battle, no, scratch that, I don’t like fighting at all.
Why couldn’t people just live in peace for once. Just talking would solve many problems right?
“But. I can’t let you leave with the [Angel’s Feather]. That item is too dangerous to be left in human hands. I’ll have you return it.”
Just as we were about to reach the door, the knight appeared right in front of us, blocking our only exit.
Well, that and the giant dragon was still fixed inside the hole so there was no hope on that front.
I could try and break the wall to the side, but I can’t show my power here in front of Dazel. I didn’t know if I could trust him yet.
I had to formulate a plan, and quick. Or else I’ll be that dragon’s meal tonight.
I mean, there was no countermeasure for a dragon appearing. Who the heck would predict such a development? I sure didn’t.
Still, I had no time to be complaining..
“I’m not giving this artifact to you, we need it for an important reason!”
Because Dazel suddenly shouted at the night in an angry tone. His playful demeanor all but disappeared when he said this. Now, his eyes were brimming with determination. I wonder what reason would make him like this? Well, we can think about that later.
“No. No matter what, humans cannot use that item. Give it back. Heed my words, human. Or you shall all be destroyed.”
Scary. He was too imposing. I had the feeling that he was right. We should give it back and just escape. I didn’t want to be in this situation anyway. Let’s just convince him to give it back peacefully, and let’s be on our way.
When I looked towards Dazel, I held my breath. He had his teeth grinding, fists digging into his flesh, bleeding out a stream of blood, and his eyebrows were as crossed as can be. I knew that he also knows that we could die if we didn’t hand the feather to the knight. He’s frustrated that he isn’t strong enough. A dog’s death was the only result of a reckless endeavor.
He couldn’t bring himself to hand it over. Even at the cost of his very life, he was determined to hold on to the feather. It seemed that this escapade was more than what meets the eye. If you look at it logically, this would be the stupidest choice a person could make. But you could also argue the fact that there was no guarantee that the knight wouldn’t kill us anyway after obtaining the item. There were too many thoughts to consider. If I wanted to think this through, I needed more time.
I also wanted to run. If I thought about it, this didn’t concern me in the least. Dazel and I were just in a give and take relationship. No special meaning to it. None at all. I might find a way to get to the next city all by myself, probably. If I left him here using <<Quicken>> and <<Instantaneous Movement>>, I could escape successfully without a hitch.
It sounded heartless, yes. But it was the logical decision to make.
Just as I steeled my heart and prepared to leave..
“Kyouya. Take this and run. Meet with my comrades and tell them I sent you. In the meantime, I’ll hold ‘him’ off.”
The red-haired youth that I was about to leave behind pleaded towards me, and handed me the case with the feather inside. When he said the last part, he gestured towards the knight who was leisurely waiting for our reply with both hands on the hilt of the long sword. Which in fact, was embedded into the stone floor.
The first thing I thought when he said this was, ‘This was suicide.’
No way could Dazel hold this guy off. I don’t even think he would last half a minute. This guy’s strength was just that unreasonable. In any case, why did he entrust me with the item and didn’t run away by himself? If I thought that this relationship was just built on mutual benefit, it was no surprise he would’ve thought the same.
Still, he abandoned the idea of giving up and escaping, but instead, let me have a chance to escape. Since in his eyes, I was far weaker than him. Well, that’s only in my present state.
Seeing this kind of selfless act, I finally realized.
What an idiot I am. Surely the worst idiot around.
I was just about to leave a total stranger for my own benefit. I didn’t even consider the fact that he would die as a consequence.
A coward. That’s what I thought of myself.
It was not strange considering I was dragged into this strange new world, but that wasn’t really a reason.
I just wanted to have an excuse that would not make me feel guilty about it.
I was no hero.
But I’m not scum either.
When someone was in danger right in front of my eyes, I could not afford to ignore them.
This wasn’t an issue of right or wrong.
Nor was it a logical mindset.
There was no need to think about it.
“No, you need this right? You hold on to it.”
I push back the case towards the dumbfounded Dazel and walk in front of him after.
I just had to do it right?
“Hou, it seems you’re seeking death? Very well, I can spare some time for a bout. Try not to disappoint.”
The dragon knight slowly brandished his long sword once more, and I swear I could see a grin inside his helm.
I just hope this gamble works.
“Ah. Please go easy on this amateur.”
I invoke my favorite facade, the “One who appears strong and runs his mouth off, but is actually weak inside” facade.
Making my decision to trademark that someday, I prepare myself and get into position.
Of course, I had no weapons, armor, or any items that could help me..
What else do you expect out of a college student with only a shirt, boxers, and slippers on him?
All I could count on was myself, and..
“I’ll support you with my ‘Wind’ spells! Let’s do this together, Kyouya!”
“I would appreciate the help. Just let me get one opening. Whatever happens, let’s meet again, Dazel!”
“You seem to have a lot of confidence, for a mere human..”
Almost like saying our goodbyes, triggering a death flag, I prepare to move towards the knight.
That is, until..
“What’s happening here!?”
“Kyouya-sama? Is that you?”
Running with heavy steps because of the knight’s metal armor, making it all the way here, was a knight with tanned skin, and the other with blonde hair. Yes, they were the people I met first when I made it to the city.
Their names were Gerald and Elise. If I remember correctly, they were part of the ‘Order of Royal Knights’. Putting that aside, what were they doing here at this time of night? Maybe, this was all related in some way? Ah, my head hurts from too much thinking. I am so looking forward to relaxation time in the future.
“Ah, it’s you! You escaped? Hmm? Tha-that’s the artifact we were supposed to guard! Hand it over!”
As soon as Gerald realized it was me, he yelled at me in a condescending tone. He got even angrier when he saw that Dazel was carrying the feather case. So troublesome..
Soon enough, a group of men in armor were seen behind the two. They seemed to be their subordinates.
“More humans? I’m sorry to say but if you want the [Angel’s Feather], you shall have to die as well.”
As soon as the dragon knight said that, he made his blood lust even stronger, covering everyone in the room.
Some were sweating profusely when faced with that overbearing presence. Others even fainted to the ground. This just got a whole lot harder. Thanks for nothing.
I just wanted this day to be over already.
“Kyouya-sama, please stand back! This person is dangerous!”
Ah, Elise-san, you are a saint. Even though I had been convicted and accused of being a follower of the dark god, you still prioritize shielding the weak from evil. Impressive fortitude, but I can’t let her die in vain either.
My <<Intuition>> skill was still ringing in my head even until now, even though I was ignoring it. There was no change even if the knights had arrived already. Which meant that this guy was still looking at us like ants.
The privilege of the strong is unfair indeed.
I signal towards Dazel to start casting his spells, and I push Elise-san who was about to get cut in half without even realizing it.
In the place where Elise-san stood, a fissure was traveling towards the south wall. Such unreasonable strength.
“No, you can’t defeat this guy, Elise-san. Nor can any of your subordinates combined. This guy is on a whole other level.”
“Eh? Kyouya-sama! How could you say that when you can’t even defeat a goblin!?”
Although that statement from Elise-san stings, it was still true. So I could not refute it. But no matter how much you ridicule me and my weak status, I could tell that even all of you working together would only result in needless casualties.
This was because one of the skills I learned at the same time as <<Quicken>> was <<Estimate>>. This skill enabled me to get a rough estimate on anything I see or sense, be it strength or the number of grains in a rice bag. It was pretty useful in terms of gauging the opponent’s strength. But let’s just put that aside for now.
We’ve gotten slightly off-track, but let’s begin attacking now. It seems Dazel had finished his long chat in the time I was thinking as well. Right on time. Now, let’s do this..
“……ravage the enemy..<<Multiple Wind Cyclones>>”
From out of thin air, in the place where Dazel outstretched his palm, three spinning gusts of wind were moving towards the dragon knight. Each time the wind grazed the wall, a number of stone debris would fly out. It was really sharp.
I quickly follow right behind the three tornadoes that were as sharp as chainsaws with <<Quicken>>
Right as they were about to reach the knight..
Calmly saying a word towards his side, he did not move an inch.
A shock wave from the opened mouth of the giant dragon, who was lying dormant in place until now, dispersed the wind cyclones into a friendly breeze in an instant. I almost forgot about this guy..
I wasn’t facing one enemy, but in fact, I was facing two.
The large dragon’s roar seemed to have did more than dispel the wind. It also seemed to have made the knight subordinates faint in fear. Even I was afraid. If I didn’t have <<Fear Resistance>> raised to level 3, I wouldn’t even have strength to stand.
Right as I was retreating a step because the initial plan failed, my <<Intuition>> skill suddenly ringed louder than ever before.
This only happens when I was this close to death.
When I looked up, the tip of the blade was already near my face. There was no hope of dodging this, even with both movement skills combined. I didn’t even have time to invoke them as I was surprised at my own carelessness.
In the next moment, blood was dripping onto the stone cold floor..