Hello my dear readers! Here’s Chapter 23 of your bi-weekly Kanna. Sorry for a day late, the chapter was unexpectedly long so I underestimated the time I needed to finish translating it. The slangs he used and typos(in japanese) he made didn’t help much either. I may have made some errors in the meaning of the sentence, so be on the lookout for me and report them if you see anything that sounds wrong or incorrect.
Enjoy the chapter!
Chapter 23 The rule that makes you feel you lost a bit when you become busy as soon as you show motivation
That’s what I said and I tried to be enthusiastic about it, but I’m already made to regret it.
An unpleasant premonition came buzzing about some time after rushing into the ravine.
“Agaht, stop the carriage please.”
In accordance to the sensation I could feel on my skin right at this moment, I tell that to Agaht, the current coachman. Agaht frowns towards my sudden words after being somewhat surprised.
“Huh? What the hell are you saying suddenly, you bastard.”
“Never mind that, just hurry up”
“Why the hell do I have to listen to your commands!?”
So not raising his favorability backfired me here huh. Unable to hide my irritation on the inside, I click my tongue towards his savage response. Agaht’s quick wittedness went up even more, but I’m not planning to curry his favor. If he doesn’t even listen to what I’m saying, then I’ll just ask his superior.
“Old man Rand.”
“…………Do as he says, Agaht.”
“But, Mister Rand.”
“It’s fine, just do it quickly.”
When Rand gave the orders after he understood the seriousness from my expression, Agaht pulled the reins of the horses pulling the carriage while feeling dejected.
“Kanna, have you sensed something?”
Among this lineup is the one who knows me the best; Real. She immediately understood our situation. I gave a positive nod towards her question. I got off the carriage and turned my eyes towards a spot separated from the direction we’re moving towards.
Steep cliffs are standing in the way on the sides of the road we’re passing right now. And on the one I’m staring at are many large rocks protruding. I concentrate my line of sight at one among those.
“Really, what the hell is with you, you bastard!? You’re just doing whatever you please! Mister Rand too, why are you listening to this sort of comrade!?”
Ignoring the words of the chap who’s heating up on his own, I concentrate even more of my senses towards『that place』.
“You know what they say, the early birdーーーーー”
I put the palms of both my hands together with a clap and when I released them a large spear was produced. When I held it in an backhand grip, I stepped into it the same way I managed to pull off against Agaht the other day.
“ーーーーgets the worm!”
A full power throw together with a yell. Borrowing the powers of spirits, the spear hits the large rock I was aiming at and loudly blew away its vicinity.
All the others were surprised by my sudden action, but they were even more surprised by the existence of the “thing” that appeared from the spot that was blown up by my spear.
The wreckage of the stone was blown off, but that’s not the only thing dancing in the air. Around five green looking humanoid something appeared. 『Smoked out』 would be more accurate I guess.
It’s the well-known 『Goblin』 in RPGs. I came across them several times since departing from the foot of the sacred mountains. A variety of magic beast with a build one size smaller than us people and possessing intelligence to be able to handle weapons and armor at the very least. They’re the type of small fry magic beasts that generally attack in quantity over quality.
“Look here, another one!”
I successively throw the second javelin. When it impacted another stone, it similarly scattered away together with new goblins.
“Goblins are・・・・lying in ambush?”
“This is nothing to be surprised about. Goblins are weak on their own. They should have at least that much intelligence to use.”
Agaht shot forth a cry out of surprise. As for Real, she only slightly widened her eyes and then immediately recovered. I expected no less from Real. That’s right, it’s not over yet.
The battle starts from here on out.
“Old man! Agaht! And err………… the other guy!”
I’m unusually impolite there, but I couldn’t remember the name of the last servant
“The rascals will be coming in groups now! Get ready!”
As if my shouting to the escort group became the starting shot, a mass of goblins began crawling out from the shadows of the other rocks in front of us, shuffling like they’re that one black devil that appears in the kitchen. There’s not just ten or twenty of them anymore. The path through the ravine, which is wide enough for two carriages to pass through each other, transformed into overflowing green. It’s disgusting to be brutally honest. At least it helps that the goblins aren’t 『black』 in color I guess.
If we had gone along the road like that without preparing ourselves, then we would’ve plunged into the middle of the goblins’ encirclement. So the waves of magic beasts being restricted to one direction is fortunate.
“Wha- what is with this number…………”
Faima lets out a voice mixed with a startled appearance from the sight of the massive amount of goblins. Even if she had seen a goblin, this may have been the first time she has seen so many of them until now.
Speaking of first times, this is also the first time for me, but I’m surprisingly composed; probably from the experience I got from being chased around in the real world; not by magic beasts, but by a large group of people.
“Please standby within the carriage, milady. Please allow yourself to constantly build up your spells for that critical moment!”
In accordance to Rand’s sharp instructions, Faima withdraws into the carriage. Though just before she gets on the cargo stand, she turns towards me with a concerned expression.
“…………Be careful, okay?”
After I thoughtlessly smiled towards the girl carrying a worried look, I tighten my expression and once again focus on the crowd of goblins in front of us.
The first to move is Real.
“You’re gonna charge into them, right?”
“That is all I can do here. I’ll leave those escaping me to you.”
Real strongly nods with just that conversation and breaks into a run towards the group of enemies, her right hand accompanied with the grip of her sword.
“He-hey. What is she-”
Agaht raised his voice as he watches the back of her breaking into a run without any hesitation.
“There’s that many of them. If we lose the initiative, we’ll be crushed by their numbers even though we have the advantage in individual strength. It’ll get risky if we don’t make the first move and pull the battle flow towards our side.”
“Just for that reason, you’re letting her go all by herself!?”
“She’s doing this because she thought she would be fine, don’t you think?”
It felt like a sound like a “kaboom” could be heard. Real, who made contact with the vanguards of the goblin crowd, draws out her sword on her back and simultaneously mows down the enemies with a strike. Body parts of five, six of the magic beasts flutters about in mid air as they got bisected horizontally. A splendid swordsmanship no matter how many times I see it.
She blows away even the heavy armored soldier who is wearing a full body armor. She didn’t do a swing that would result in taking several of the clearly lighter and weaker enemies and the like in one go.
“…………I was able to imagine it from her everyday behavior, but certainly not to this extent. I suppose she won’t be able display enough strength if we are nearby.
During Rand’s mutterings in admiration, Real swings her sword the second time and just like the first swing, the goblins turn into pieces of meat. Rand’s right; there’s a chance that you’ll get dragged into her attack if you fight poorly near her.
“They’re going for it, Kanna!”
Real’s sword has a blade the size of her height. With just that her range is also large, but it’s not to the point of covering the path of the ravine. Once the goblins dodge Real’s sweeps and slip out towards her back, they would strive to be the first to assault us.
This will be the great debut of the ice shurikens I’ve been practicing with lately. Swinging my arm, I throw the produced sharp ice discs. The ice shurikens ran very deeply into the head or torso of the goblins and they tumbled with a clattering noise.
“Casting magic in this short time-”
You’ve been too surprised for some time, aren’t you Agaht. You should have seen me using my spirit arts at the time when Faima was attacked in the city though. Hm? Come to think of it, didn’t he say he can’t use magic? I think I’ve heard it from Faima that he’s got a swordsman only vanguard position. Maybe he just can’t use it and he can sense magic power itself. Well, spirit arts doesn’t use at all, so whether he can or cannot sense magic this time is all the same.
“Questions will come later. That took the wind out of me after all. You guys take care of those getting near the carriage please.”
For now I’ll throw the ice shurikens while requesting the spirits not to hit Real and rapidly drive back the goblins who passed her. Spirit arts is available for as long as my willpower lasts. If it’s about creating ice shurikens, then I can practically complete them without spending any willpower. I’m grateful I can do rapid fire attacks without minding the remaining bullets.
Their numbers are somewhat too much so I entrust Agaht, Rand and also that one servant whose name I don’t remember with dealing the goblins that escaped even my ice shurikens. The enemies are like a being who would attack separately, without any coordination. If we have the skills of Rand’s group, then I can safely deal with it as long as I don’t get very careless.
But man, there’s really a lot of them. We’ve already buried around fifty goblins, but there’s no sign of the enemy’s forces declining. Where are all these numbers hiding. All I can think of is that maybe the goblins living close around here are gathering at this place.
Most of the presence that is dominating this place are the mass of goblins rushing towards us. While having low intelligence, they harbor a clearly destructive urge towards people and a will to trample can be felt from them. Especially the behavior that ignore even any concern for their own life. This is more or less constant with the magic beasts we’ve encountered so far.
And yet, a kind of grossness that was different from the killing intent of theirs came crawling through my spine. I wonder if it’s kind of like the feeling you get when you catch a cold on a warm midsummer day. It’s a different kind of feeling than the attack of those masked men or the presence I felt of the goblins lying in ambush.
I was feeling the shivers, but I sense a presence even more different from that.
“Woah, this is bad. Agaht, old man, I’m leaving you with this for a bit.”
“Hey you bastard, you have been too selfish for a while nowーーーー”
Smoothly ignoring the pretty boy’s remarks, I create a one meter diameter ice pillar that’s slanted upwards from at my feet towards the back and I then place my feet on it. I stick some ice on the soles of my feet and combine it with the ice pillar while I’m at it so that I don’t slip off and then I let the ice pillar increase in length in one go. As a result, my body flies over the carriage at the back and leaps to the other side. With this I can move faster than taking a path around it. If you ask me why I took such a strange way of movement, well.
“So you ruffians have come, huh!?”
They’re here. Four assassins with a mask covering their face were approaching from the back of the carriage. So while we’re keeping ourselves busy in dealing with the magic beasts at the front, they planned to creep quietly from the rear and assassinate Faima, huh? Not sure whether they were aiming for this situation or they saw this situation as an opportunity. But still, their surprise attack failed the moment I noticed their existence.
I cancel the adhesion between the ice pillar and the soles of my feet around when I went past the carriage and my body breaks free at the height of four meters above the ground. Continuing from that, I produce a large sword instead of a large axe this time, stabbing the point of the sword on the ground at the same time I land.
What I imagine is the battle with the ice golem I competed with at the sacred mountains. I was able to reproduce the sight that I saw at that time at this place now!
Together with vigor, a ice spikes protrude from the place I stabbed the sword in. Biting and tearing the ground, they become a wave and attack the approaching masked men like a wave. Three out of the four got swallowed up by the wave of spikes, piercing their bodies. Only the guy farthest in the back escaped at the last moment.
“So you got away didn’t you…………in that case, another shotーーーーAh…………”
Thinking I’m going to stab the ground with the sword again, I became surprised.
“My feet have gone numb and can’t move…………”
That’s a given of course. Now matter how much of a convenient ability spirit arts are, I myself, the one using it, am a male high school student. Normally it’ll be like this if you jump down from a height of the second or third floor of a building. I never happened to have in hand the physical ability similar to that of the huge breasted elven eared beauty who could blow away a group of enemies with one sword swing like they’re bowling pins.
During the gap where I couldn’t make any moves from my semi self-destruction, the still safe masked man circumvented the ice spikes and once again approached the carriage. After I gave up on the attack with the ice spikes, I switched to attacking with ice shurikens, but the masked man deflected all of the ice blades with the knife in his hand. They didn’t go as fast as a bullet from a gun, but they should have the speed around that of a bow and arrow, you know.
In the meantime, the mask quickly approached the carriage. He prepared his knife he held in an underhand grip and ran, not towards the cargo stand Faima is in, but me who is protecting it. With that I realize my mistake. Instead of throwing ice shurikens, I should have created an axe and prepare to intercept his attack. What I have in my hand was emptiness at the time the masked man was approaching me. Even though I will create a new ice weapon, it would produce a time lag, if even a little. I barely escaped the numbness of my legs and standing up is the best I can do.
A flash of the knife ran in front of my eyes. I reluctantly confront it with the arm guards on both of my arms. The scraping of fellow metals caused sparks to fly. Due to the nature of the specialized weapon called the knife, it has no weight, but it’s fast. I repel the knife’s consecutive attacks which is unleashed without a pause when the edge is barely about to touch my skin. The knife handling filled with killing intent, which isn’t so heavy as Real’s attacks and not going easy on me either, shaved off even the leeway to use my spirit arts.
I endure the desire to counterattack out of emotions. If I let down my guard unskillfully, then the stab would unsparingly go through that opening. I knew it, the choosing to use the large axe regularly is the correct choice. It’s different when I’m steamrolling in a wide distance between each other, but my shortcomings will appear as soon as he brought the fight in abilities at point-blank range.
“Down, Kanna! 『Air Shot』!”
It was a sudden voice, but I meekly obey and lay down with the resignation of breaking my stance. Immediately following that, a 『wind readied with magic』 sweeped over the airspace my body was in, grandly sending the masked man who brandished the knife flying.
I look behind me and see Faima sticking out both her hands from the back of the carriage’s cargo stand. The wind right now was the magic she released. Faima was standing by inside the carriage and backed up when she saw an opening.
“My bad, you saved me there.”
“It’s early to feel relieved. It’s a spell with no power, because it puts emphasis on speed so that the surprise attack won’t be noticed. Perhaps it won’t even make him faint, you know!”
The mask rolled over several times on the ground and immediately reordered his stance. I throw ice shurikens again while pursuing him. The masked man repelled those just as I expected, but was he able to reduce the momentum to fly away?
While I’m some distance apart from my enemy, I stop trying to create the large axe. Instead, I cover my arm guards more and more with ice, enlarging its surface area. It’s difficult to deal with a fast enemy using large weapons. I cultivated my judgment about this in the real world; I can immediately decide it because of my experience in back-alley fights. In this sort of situation, I’m convinced that I should take priority in defense over offense.
Once again, mister mask turned his knife and rushed on, but it became easier to deal with thanks to having my range of defense extended. Having said that, I’m stopping him from going towards behind meーー towards Faima, so I’m having my hands full instead of the whole thing becoming easy.
Faima’s also being her, she can’t support me with magic when the masked guy and I are too close together. Taking that into account, the masked guy stuck with close combat so as to not separating himself from me.
(This is hard!)
At the beginning of an encounter I repelled three of the masked men that came attacking. But, now that I think about it, the existence that is『me』 was too unexpected to the enemies which led to this outcome. It was like half of it was repelled with luck.
To put it in another way, now that the enemies understand our side to some extent, my advantage pretty much disappeared and we got our tables turned. I’m not so strong to be able to win against a professional wielding an edged weapon. That doesn’t change even if I use spirit arts. My lack of overwhelming abilities and nonexistent experience cancels my forte which is spirit arts.
(But, I’ve been associated with my incompetence for a long time you know!)
It’s me who is established to be bad at giving up and being underhanded with damned stubbornness and while I’m at it, I’m petty. I can’t choose the best option immediately like a genius, but I will come up with a single plan that could break the situation out of a deadlock as long as I have enough time.
Let me teach him I don’t have any obligations to fight in my opponent’s ring.
The sharply pushed out knife hits the armguards I set up horizontally. And then, before the enemy could pull away the weapon, I let the image that’s concentrated onto the ice covering my arm guards 『explode』, literally. To put it in real world’s words, it’s something similar to a 『Claymore mine』. The ice covering the arm guards shatters and those pebbles rushes on towards the masked man. With an attack that covers the surface and not just a point at point blank range, the masked man receives the ice pebbles with his whole body without having the time to avoid it.
Being forcibly sent flying, the body of the masked man flutters in midair. Before the body reached the ground, I hit the ground with the other arm that has ice remaining. I loaded the instantly loaded my intention towards the ground spread beyond the point of contact of my fist. The ice on my arm guard breaks and in exchange my image flows from there.
The masked man has received some damage, but because I took priority on the surface rather than a point, he may not have gotten much wounds when he was blown away. He splendidly arranged his postures in mid air like an acrobatic person and landed on the ground on both his feet.
On the contrary, the masked man who should have made a beautiful landing, fell down as if he tripped up. The guy’s surprise and confusion was remarkably transmitted even without being able to see his expression because of his mask. He got on his hands and tried to stand up in a hurry, but even the hand he got on revolved in the sky like he was swept up by something he can’t see like the time with his legs.
“ーーーー!, 『Air Pressure』!”
On my sharp voice, Faima who was refining her magic in the back, released a spell. He was a distance apart from me, but despite that she stopped his movement completely. Faima splendidly aimed and shot the one in a million chance for sure.
Above the masked man whose movement was stopped, a geometry pattern similar to the time the ice golem appeared the other day made its appearance. But it gives off a quality of composition entirely different from that one. The next moment, the ground below and around the masked man caved in along with a thunderous roar. It’s unclear what exactly happened, but it was as if a large invisible hammer was swung down from the geometry pattern. I look at the middle of the cave-in and see a masked appearance of a man twitching and convulsing, but he already lost consciousness.
With this, the only ones moving to this direction is me and Faima.
“The magic right now is?”
“The theory is very straightforward. The air in the sky above him was compressed and it was only released with the restriction to the direction right below it. Though I say it’s only air, the force of a super-compressed air released in one direction is not half-hearted. It’s just that this magic, although the spell is simple and it has power, it compresses air at a fixed coordinate and then it has a time lag until it’s released, so it won’t hit at all if the opponent’s movement isn’t completely stopped, you see.”
“More importantly” Faima says as she turns her eyes towards the masked man who isn’t moving anymore, or more accurately the ground surrounding him.
“Some time ago, that man fell down unnaturally, but did you do something to him?”
“I let the surrounding ground he would land on freeze. I’m sure that no matter how agile that guy is, he would lose his balance if the ground is suddenly frozen.”
If you look very closely, you can see ice pebbles scattered around the caved-in site, reflecting light like glitters.
“…………I’ve never seen anyone using the superior attribute ice magic in such an petty way.”
“What are you saying. Pettiness and tricks are my forte.”
“So that wasn’t introduced or something? A signature move, that kind of meaning.”
“Even though the mechanism is amazing, you say the given result is a trick. It actually had effect, so it’s all the more cruel, isn’t it.”
Really? It’s quite fun taking out big-shots with tricks, you know.
In any case, there’s no doubt that we escaped the current crisis. The hustle and bustle in front of the carriage was also settled down before I realized.
“Kanna, just when I thought you were gone, have you been here?”
“Hey Real, so you’re done on your side…………gyaa!”
I turn around and let out a scream. Why a scream? It’s because a silver haired, long eared beauty has become blood-red and approached our side you know. Faima similarly saw the miss red Real and became petrified.
“Aah, I’m all right. This is all blood spurted on me. I look like I have injuries, but I don’t. There are only scratches.”
“Even so, it’s scary!”
The undried blood splashes reflects light and is unusually grotesque. The person herself is acting like usual, so it produces an all the more bizarre scene.
If you slaughter that large a group of magic beasts, then it would be natural for your whole body to be dyed in blood spurts. Things like warring states in anime or games and the musou series have a stylish image, but in a realistic point of view, it’s an unusually gory world, isn’t it?
“So, are you finished over there?”
“For the time being, yes. It’s just that one of the attendants was injured. What was his name again?”
“I know which one is injured.”
He’s been receiving quite a pitiful treatment throughout this trip, didn’t he? Let’s properly ask for his name afterwards.
“Right now, Sir Rand and Agaht are proceeding with the emergency treatment. He shouldn’t be in any serious condition. And then, your side seems to have been busy here.
She turned her eyes towards the masked man inside the cave-in and the three other men who are pierced by the ice spikes.
“…………Who are you to say about the others? People being affixed and hanging in mid-air, this scene is quite cruel you know.”
“I also thought so.”
I snap my fingers and demolish all the ice I created with spirit arts in this place. The ice that was fixing them also broke and the three people who ended up skewered fell noisily on the ground.
And then at the center of the masked men whose bodies were punctured, a red stain spread out. That stain had the same color Real’s body was dyed in.
I already knew that there’s no life in there.
Although it’s lateーー
Although it’s really late, I confirm the reality of what I myself have done.
I, have killed somebody.