For this chapter, please thank Sakkun for editing and Loli-nee for proofreading! It’s thanks to Loli-nee that these chapters got out earlier than I thought, so don’t bully her too much!
Chapter 126: Hiiro vs. Crouch
Crouch was at a loss for words as he froze. Actually, he was wondering if what had just occurred was a dream or not, as he dazedly watched the remnants of the monsters rain down.
However, the beastman soldiers were in a similar state. It was completely unexpected that the monsters which one of their respected 《Three Warriors》, Crouch, had summoned would be killed off so quickly.
And at the same time, everyone motionlessly stared at the person who had done that.
Hiiro, who had noticed their gazes, said-
“All that’s left are the beastmen, huh” (Hiiro)
He said it as though it would be as simple as pie. But of course. Amongst the monsters, there had been both Unique monsters, as well as S-rank monsters. Not only that, but their numbers had been enormous. Yet he had erased them in a single moment.
It couldn’t be helped that anyone would find what Hiiro had done to be ominous and thus instilled fear in everyone that was present. All of the beastmen soldiers then glanced towards Crouch.
“Cr-Crouch-sama!” (Soldier 1)
“Wh-what should we do!” (Soldier 2)
“Please give us some orders!” (Soldier 3)
They truly were voices raised in dependence upon him. As he took a large breath, he glared at Hiiro with a ferocious look.
“Just nyat have you done-nya? The pawns that I had taken great pains to acquire for the war have all basically disappeared-nya” (Crouch)
“That’s too bad. This is also part of my job….hm?” (Hiiro)
Hiiro looked at Crouch in front of him for the first time, and had a sense of déjà vu.
(………oh? I’ve seen this guy somewhere before……..ah, I remember now. It’s that Nyanko-guy that appeared in the cave near 【Passion】!) (Hiiro)
As he thought that, anger began rushing out from within him.
“Oi, Nyanko-guy. How dare you steal away my snake that one time” (Hiiro)
“That one time? Snake? Nyat are you talking about-nya?” (Crouch)
“Don’t play dumb! Didn’t you steal away the Clay Viper I had taken down in the 【Gree Caves】!” (Hiiro)
More accurately, the one who took it down was Arnold, while Hiiro had simply been giving out orders.
“【Gree Caves】? Hm~…………nya!? Nyow that you mention it, something like that did happen-nya!” (Crouch)
Crouch clapped his hands together as he remembered.
“You stole it away before I could extract a proof of its subjugation. It’s your fault that I got shouted at by Ossan!” (Hiiro)
That’s right. Though he hadn’t particularly been trying to hide it, after finding out, Arnold had reprimanded him for not telling them earlier.
“Nyat’s true. I did take a Clay Viper, nya…….but it has nyothing to do with nyou” (Crouch)
“Because-nya. You’re nyot Tarou-nya” (Crouch)
“Tarou? What are you talking………ah” (Hiiro)
Hiiro suddenly remembered. At that time, he had given the troublesome-looking guy a fake name. And if he recalled properly, Crouch had told him to become his subordinate, which is why Hiiro had to give Crouch his name at the time.
Naturally, he gave a fake name, and had told him his name was Tanaka Tarou.
“Just now they called you Hiiro-nya. That’s why, even if you seem like him, you’re different-nya” (Crouch)
Hiiro unintentionally tapped his temple with his finger and leaked out a sigh. Leaving aside his name, he had forgotten that he currently had the appearance of an 『Evila』. But returning to his beastman form seemed stupid, so he decided to just go with the flow of things.
“In any case, I’m gonna send you flying. I’ll be returning the favour from that time too, Nyanko-guy!” (Hiiro)
“Nya nya nya? I’m also angry at you-nya!” (Crouch)
“You don’t say? Be prepared” (Hiiro)
Hiiro flew into the sky as he approached Crouch.
“Oi Maou! You guys do something about the other beastmen! I’ve got business with this one!” (Hiiro)
Hearing Hiiro’s shout,
“G-got it! Aquinas!” (Eveam)
“Umu, all of you, seize them!” (Aquinas)
At Aquinas’s incitation, the soldier’s morale rose to the highest level. Thanks to Hiiro’s actions, the beastmen’s morale had fallen while the morale of the 『Evila』had risen. As a result, the beastmen were at a clear disadvantage.
Not only that, but because of the sound of the explosion, the beastmen with good hearing had received damage and had difficulty moving. With the 『Evila』’s fierce attack, beastmen were defeated and captured in succession.
“Will this suffice, your Majesty?” (Aquinas)
“Yes, we can kill them whenever we want. So if capturing them is possible, then that takes priority” (Eveam)
While Aquinas thought that Eveam was naïve after all, his gaze flew over towards the battle between Hiiro and Crouch that was about to begin.
Hiiro lowered his hips and drew his katana. This was the katana that was once called the《Thorn Sword – Piercer》. Its form resembled that of a Japanese katana, and its blade had a transparent, ice-like clear colour.
However, currently its name had changed to 《Severing Sword – Slasher》. Its blade was clear like 《Thorn Sword – Piercer》, but both sides of the blade had a red streak zig-zagging down the blade from the hilt to its tip.
When attacking an opponent clad in magic power, this 《Severing Sword – Slasher》was capable of attacking the opponent’s magic power itself. This would lead to the opponent becoming intoxicated by magic power, muddling their consciousness. Naturally, this would not have much of an effect on those with a high degree of control over their magic power. However, it was possible to knock those bad at controlling their magic power unconscious in a single moment.
There were already beastmen who had fainted instantly due to the power of this katana after being attacked by Hiiro.
This sword had been created by a certain person. However, at that time, they had remade it by merging it together with the blade from the 《Thorn Sword – Piercer》, so naturally it still contained its specialized ability in piercing. Not only that, but as this katana had been made with emphasis on its slicing ability, it truly could be called an all-purpose sword upon being reborn.
“Nyahaha, I’m shivering with excitement-nya” (Crouch)
Crouch felt Hiiro’s extraordinary atmosphere and involuntarily let a smile escape.
“No matter where I go, beastmen battle junkies are plentiful, huh” (Hiiro)
“Nyat are you saying-nya. Even nyou have trained in order to become stronger, nyright?” (Crouch)
“I won’t deny that.” (Hiiro)
“Nyen, in order to confirm your strength, nyon’t you have to find suitable opponents to compare nyour strength with-nya?” (Crouch)
“……well, you have a point there” (Hiiro)
“Nyen, why don’t we enjoy this fight for a while-nya!” (Crouch)
Crouch was intending on using his tremendous speed to toy with Hiiro. Previously, this speed was capable of drawing out Hiiro’s spirit, but now, things were different.
And Crouch also realized that Hiiro was certainly capable of following his movements with his eyes.
“Then why don’t I raise it up a gear-nya!” (Crouch)
In an instant, Crouch’s speed rose another level. Hiiro had confirmed Crouch’s 《Status》prior to fighting. While Hiiro’s level had clearly been higher, only Crouch’s AGL, or his speed, had surpassed that of Hiiro’s.
(He’s a beastman specializing in speed. I guess that’s to be expected of a black panther) (Hiiro)
As Hiiro’s eyeballs moved busily, they followed Crouch. And then, the surrounding people felt some wind pressure. In the midst of it was Crouch’s right arm and Hiiro’s katana clashing together.
The low-levelled ones were unable to see when the two clashed, but Crouch had approached from Hiiro’s rear, while Hiiro had simply dealt with him accordingly by defending. However, it had all occurred so fast that there were many who had missed it.
“…..your hands are strange as usual” (Hiiro)
“Nyahaha! You responded well-nya!” (Crouch)
Hiiro’s doubts were quite natural. It was the same in the past too, but even though Hiiro was using a katana while Crouch used his bare hands, there wasn’t a single sign of his hands getting cut. On the contrary, it felt like a wooden sword clashing against a clay wall.
As Hiiro kicked his leg upwards towards Crouch’s arm, he continued to rotate his body and cut down Crouch horizontally. However, by that time, Crouch’s figure had already disappeared.
“Che, he’s a quick guy, isn’t he” (Hiiro)
Before Hiiro had realized it, Crouch’s presence had disappeared. He was likely peeking at Hiiro while remaining hidden in the shadows of the nearby buildings, but his appearance was truly like that of a carnivore hunting down its prey.
“Unfortunately, that strategy won’t work against me” (Hiiro)
Although Hiiro muttered so, Crouch did not react. However, Hiiro had not said that while anticipating any reaction. He honestly was just saying that it wouldn’t work because it really wouldn’t work. The reason being that………..
[Find Enemy] / 『索敵』
Instantly, the written word activated. As it did so, the location of Hiiro’s enemy directly entered into his head. He then quickly wrote the word [Extend] / 『伸』onto his sword’s blade, and directed the blade towards his opponent as it extended.
As it pierced through the building, the blade attacked Crouch, who had been hiding behind it. Crouch barely dodged it, but even so, his face was warped in surprise.
Hiiro wrote the word [Origin] / 『元』on the sword’s blade, and smirked as it returned to normal.
“Like I said, right? Your stealth abilities won’t work against me” (Hiiro)
“Uu~ nya~” (Crouch)
Crouch gritted his teeth as though mortified, and stomped his feet against the ground numerous times.
“How did you know-nya?” (Crouch)
“Did you think I’d answer that?” (Hiiro)
“……nyen, this time I’ll be serious-nya” (Crouch)
“Hurry up and come at me seriously, Nyanko-guy” (Hiiro)
Crouch placed both hands on the ground. A black shadow which then appeared there sped towards Hiiro. Hiiro reflexively flew in order to avoid it, but-
“It’s futile-nya!” (Crouch)
From the shadow, a black tentacle-like thing extended and twisted around Hiiro’s body.
Seeing that, the Maou Eveam raised her voice. In an instant, the captured Hiiro was ruthlessly dragged into the shadow just like that.
As Eveam screamed bitterly, Crouch smiled as though his victory was decided.
“With this it’s over-nya. My 《Binding》is darkness, nya. This 《Shadow Prison》is a handy ability capable of storing away anything-nya. However, inside of it, there isn’t anya oxygen-nya” (Crouch)
“Th-that sort of!” (Eveam)
In that sort of situation, Hiiro wouldn’t be able to breathe, and would die.
“However, nya, inside it are the monsters I haven’t released yet-nya. There’s only 5 of them, nyut they’re all Rank-SS monsters, with one Rank-SSS-nya” (Crouch)
If that truly was the case, then Hiiro would have to single-handedly face off against 5 vicious monsters. To make things worse, he had to face them without being able to breathe.
“Aquinas, save Hiiro right now!” (Eveam)
“Why! At this rate, Hiiro will-!” (Eveam)
As Aquinas appeared like he didn’t understand the current predicament one bit, Eveam unintentionally yelled. However, his eyes were currently focused on the shrunken shadow at Crouch’s feet.
“Your Majesty, if it’s him, then he’ll be fine. So long as he can use magic within there……..right” (Aquinas)
At those words, Eveam’s gaze also fell to the shadow with realization.
“Nyahaha! I don’t know nyat you’re expecting, but once you’ve entered it, you can’t exit without my approval, nya……..guh…..!?” (Crouch)
Everyone’s eyes widened at the scene. It was only natural. Because from the shadow that stretched out at Crouch’s feet, an arm had appeared. The katana that the arm was holding was currently piercing through Crouch’s chest.
As the katana was vigorously pulled out, blood spurted from the wound. And as Crouch unsteadily staggered while looking behind him, there-
-completely unharmed, Hiiro had reappeared.