TL Note: it’s been… yeah, almost 7 months, and I’m quite ashamed of it. Sorry for the long wait, but it couldn’t be helped. I’ll try my best to release once every 2 weeks, switching between New Game and Dick Silver.
Reminder that we now have a discord server! Feel free to join by clicking here!
The birdie’s tears – Part 1
In that week, Richtert was bustling with life.
Eluria will hold an official match between Richtert’s magic knights and the company Suzuran—those words were announced in every layer of the capital, and many people were shocked by it.
It was the first time that something like that was going to happen, and many citizens started to pay more attention to the company that rose from the slums and earned its power by kicking down the corrupted one.
Both nobles and commoners had the impression that it could really tip the capital’s balance.
And finally, the day came…
“This was to be expected from the queen. There’s quite a lot of people.”
All the people who came to watch the show were making a racket in the western side of the Eltern plains.
To keep the place safe, magic barriers were erected around the seats reserved to the royalty and the nobles.
Lize wasn’t the only one sitting near Eluria, as there were also the three attendants of the overlords and the Fairstadt siblings.
Proclaiming such a unique event publicly attracted the attention of men and women of all ages from every part of the city, which resulted in a full house of the commoner seats.
Looking at the center of that crowd, Takumi nodded in satisfaction.
“Nice… don’t tell me you’re going to be nervous in front of this many people.”
“Do you think I would be?”
“I can’t even see them!”
Karin replied composedly while Kunon, who was blindfolded and handcuffed, commented cheerfully.
“That’s good. You’re being watched by a lot of people, so don’t slip right now, okay?”
As Takumi spoke, he shifted his gaze over the royal seats.
Eluria was looking down on them calmly along with Lize, a shadow cast on her face.
He then noticed that a man was approaching his group.
“Hah! Not running from this match is already an admirable feat for the likes of you!”
Kiad commented with his arrogant attitude.
There were two men following him, a brown-haired one with short hair, and a gloomy looking one wearing glasses.
“Oh, you didn’t run away either, young Fortesea?”
“There is no need for someone like me to run away from you… I only want Her Majesty and all these people to see an enjoyable match.”
A crooked smile cracked Kiad’s face.
“These are Boris and Castells, two powerful elites among the magic knights, and also loyal retainers that I trust. You should be grateful to face someone like them.”
The noble’s plan was to crush Suzuran’s team in front of everyone with powerful magic knights in order to gain merits from the Queen. Looking at them, Takumi smiled cheerfully.
Karin and Kunon’s foes were definitely strong… so the result of the match would’ve had a huge influence on the audience.
“Squirm to your death, trash of the slums.”
After spitting those words in a low voice, Kiad turned on his heels and got back to his side of the arena.
“Hey girls, he told you to die.”
“Was he not talking to you? You totally teed him off.”
“I agree~! I’m sure Takumi wouldn’t die even if you killed him, though.”
The three of them joked with each other while preparing for the match.
“Don’t play around too much… but try your best to make everyone have a good time, okay?”
With those parting words, Takumi headed outside the barrier.
After he left, the magic knights couldn’t bear their laughter anymore and snickered.
“Castells, you heard? They really think they can win.”
“Hihihi… isn’t it good, Boris? Thinking is still free for everyone, remember?”
The short-haired one laughed scornfully, while the other one let out an eerie laugh.
“Bring it on. Lord Kiad said that he wouldn’t mind if you died accidentally, so you might end up dead the moment you move, you know?”
Boris unsheathed the short sword he had tied on his hip and provoked the demi-humans by swaying it.
Still, Kunon and Karin ignored him and kept their composure. The elf placed the long wooden box she was carrying on her back to the ground.
“Kunon, feel free to choose. I will wipe the floor with the other one.”
“Okaaay~! It’s my turn, then! I feel cramped with this blindfold and the cuffs, so I’ll just end this quickly!”
She started to walk toward her target, then began to hop cherfully as she advanced.
“Here I come, Mister loser!”
“…Tch. The boring girl is up to me? The hell was your master thinking when he decided to send you to battle blindfolded and handcuffed?”
“Oh boy… isn’t that obvious?”
Her smile was so broad that it looked like it was splitting her head in two.
“He wanted to show everyone how unsightly and puny you guys are.”
A whistle signaled the start of the match, and Boris clenched his fist around his sword.
“Let me start with crushing your mouth, then!”
He brought his weapon behind him while howling, then unleashed his charged attack.
“I will compliment you if you live through the Head chopper’s slash!”
The earth split accordingly to the trajectory of his slash. It looked like an invisible blade that cut through anything on its path was fired against Kunon, who dodged it flawlessly by stepping on the side, but Boris wasn’t surprised by it.
“Of course you avoided that… You werebeasts have good hearing. No need to use your eyes to roughly grasp where I am, right?”
“…Oh, how smart of you. And here I thought I was gonna bite your windpipe off in a jiffy.”
“You know how many dozens of demi-humans I killed during the skirmishes of the old empire? Of course I know your weak and strong points.”
He rested his short sword on his shoulder and showed a sadistic smile.
“Aren’t werebeasts said to be the top predators? Wolves, tigers, lions, bears, oxen… no matter who they were, I killed plenty of them. How could I lose against a fox?”
Kunon’s ears twitched at his words.
“How many times must I keep repeating that I’m a wolf?!”
Her roar thundered in the stage and shook the air.
She probably felt better the next moment, because when she smiled…
“Takumi told me not to kill you… so I will just maul you hard.”
A vivid shade of killing intent painted her tone of voice.
Still, Boris thought she was bluffing and didn’t take her seriously.
“Let me see how you run with your tail between your legs!”
Smiling like he was enjoying the thrill of a hunt, Boris unleashed another of his attacks. Unlike the previous one, after traveling on the ground, it “jumped” at its target like a viper.
Kunon focused to catch its sound, and once her ears twitched after perceiving it, she slightly moved away and dodged it.
Although she wasn’t fully aware of what was going on around her due to the blindfold, none of the attacks grazed her.
“Oh, c’mon, what’s up?! If ya don’t dodge with spirit, you’re gonna lose your head!”
Without answering his provocation, the wolf kept dodging every attack.
Then, the man had a terrible feeling.
He thought that a werebeast used to fights could dodge one of his slashes… but only one.
“Maaan, you suck so baaad… Don’t you know how to hunt?”
Her voice was calm and her face relaxed while dodging the storm of attacks, which helped that eerie feeling grow within Boris.
“Lemme show you how to do it.”
She hopped a few more times to prepare for her next move, then stomped on the ground forcefully and dashed toward her opponent.
Her golden afterimage looked like a thunder zapping around. The distance between them was closed in the blink of an eye, and once she was in front of him, she smiled.
“First, you corner your prey.”
The next instant, he saw her leg drawing an arc in the air, and a high-pitched shrill rang when she kicked his face.
His magic tool successfully created a barrier, but she took advantage of his confusion to take some distance again.
“Aaand this is one.”
She then lowered her body and let the chains of her handcuffs rattle as to mock him.
Boris was a little surprised by what just happened.
They were far apart, but she closed the distant in a split second, and that wasn’t all.
“What the… hell did you do?”
“You mean with your pathetic magic?”
He swallowed his saliva.
“You had to put some murderous intent in that first attack… but you were too obvious.”
The man could feel cold sweat running down his spine.
“Your magic… what was it again, Head chopper? Nice name, but your slashes only stop where you want, right? While you hid it by raising dust and making noise, you activated slashing traps you prepared beforehand, didn’t you?”
She giggled happily at her own words.
“Not bad. The attacks you land are invisible, that’s how you could slaughter so many demi-humans… am I right?”
Kunon explained the trick ruthlessly, then waited a few moments.
“Wait, you shutting up because I’m right? Since I took the trouble to explain it, would you please keep talking before this becomes even more boring?”
After hearing her provocation, he didn’t speak another word. An alarm within his head was screaming that he was in danger. If the smallest of sounds escaped from his mouth, the wolf in front of him would’ve gouged his windpipe with her fangs.
Only imagining it made him terrified of that monster.
Meanwhile, Kunon couldn’t stop giggling.
“Man, your heart is sooo noisy! Feel free to shut up, but I’ll still know where you are due to your heartbeat, you know?”
“How… How could you see through my magic?!”
As he forced those words out of him, she let her chains rattle again while placing a finger on her lips.
“Mmmh… I’m blindfolded, so I couldn’t see through anything. I just felt the smell of your magic and guessed what it did.”
“Spare me your bullshit! Magic doesn’t smell—”
“Yes, it does. When the law formula activates and your magic manifests, it smells.”
She bared her canines while grinning fiercely.
“Once I follow it back with my nose… I can reach its source.”
Geiz sent some mages against Takumi and his comrades before, and all she needed to do was stomping where the fire pillars where going to spring.
“Of course it’s impossible for you humans to do it, because even demi-humans need to polish their sense of smell to feel it… but see, it’s really easy when you know you’re fighting a magic user.”
She said it was simple, but he understood that it was a strenuous task.
There wasn’t a single demi-human who could grasp how his magic worked before.
“If I’m blindfolded, my sense of smell and hearing will naturally become sharper.”
Wolves, tigers, lions, bears, oxen… no matter how ferocious a werebeast was, none of them could escape their demise.
None of them could smell his magic.
That’s why he was the predator and not the opposite…
But now, a monster was laughing in front of him, making a lot of noise with the rattling chains that bound her.
“Now… let’s put on a show as Takumi asked.”
In that moment, Boris noticed that his hands were trembling. To stop them, he tightened his grip on his short sword.
“Hah… then try to kill me, dirty werebeast!”
He let out a war cry to boost his own morale, then swung his sword all around him to form a cutting barrier. If anyone was to step into it, they’d have ended up minced meat.
If she understood what I can do, it’s better not to let her come any closer—guessing his thought, Kunon grinned.
“Do you think that cutting your escape route to stay safe will help you? Preys’ moves are very stupid.”
She then breathed in a huge amount of air, and let out an ear-splitting roar that echoed through the sky like a howl, but sounded closer to a song, and even closer to a word. All the glass in the surrounding area resonated along with it, and soon the overlapping sounds raised their numbers and became a melody.
“W-What… are you doing…?”
Boris Understood what she just did, but he asked it anyway.
That monster had smashed his defence.
To manifest his magic, he channeled it with the law formula, but… it was dispelled with that wall of sound.
Not only his first attack was destroyed, but every other trap resonated with each other and vanished.
While the concert was playing, Kunon walked toward him, her chains still rattling.
“A certain famous archbishop told me that in order to meddle with law formulas, I need to know both their location and shape. A werebeast’s hearing is good. If something is tangible, it can reverberate, and if I hear that, I can grasp its shape1.”
Boris noticed too late that she had already yelled like that when he called her a fox.
Hearing how her voice stretched out in the air, she could accurately grasp the shape of his magic’s law formulas.
“Also, if anyone knew how law formulas are created… even a demi-human like me could meddle with them. As you’ve seen, it’s possible to make it self-destruct.”
The man couldn’t even pronounce ‘impossible’, since the monster in front of him just proved to everyone her words.
“Hunting means cornering a prey both physically and mentally.”
Her giggling grew as their distance closed.
“You… fucking werebeast!”
He dispelled the fear that paralyzed him with a thunderous scream and started to swing his short sword around randomly, trying to improve his defense, but Kunon let out a bored sigh.
“Maaan… since there’s no way out for you, at least try a bit harder…”
She lifted her leg and kicked the soil beneath her at full strength, causing it to rupture and send pebbles and stones flying toward him.
Her projectiles were cut in the air without a sound, and when Boris’ defense activated, they left behind a vacuum for a mere instant.
“There should be a limit to how boring something could be.”
When she trained with Elsa while being blindfolded, the magic tools were protected by the barrier surrounding the training field. But when that same barrier was about to activate now, she punched the vacuum with all of her strength—the next moment, the sound of broken glass pierced the arena, and her chains tightened around Boris’s neck.
“Didn’t I tell you? I can smell magic. Even if it’s the law formula of a magic tool. Its place… well, I didn’t even think about it this time, I just punched really hard.”
Rattling, her chains started to dig in the skin of his neck while she whispered to his ear.
“You never had a single chance of winning. Only a loser, a prey, would be driven to the corner this one-sidedly.”
Then, a cruel smile cracked her face.
“Now, you were all prideful while saying that you killed dozens of demi-humans…”
While his throat started to gave in due to the chain’s pressure, she delivered her last words with a lunatic smile warping her expression.
“I have slaughtered countless of bugs like you, human.”
The last thing that Boris could hear before losing consciousness was the sound of his spine snapping in half.
1 Probable like a bat’s sonar. Dunno in how many other ways she could do that.