118 Those who use and those who are used
＊ ＊ ＊
“Eh? But why?”
Second spoke the same words as he was thinking.
He couldn’t understand the meaning or reason behind Renko wanting to fight against him right here and now.
“I just want to confirm for myself if you are as useful of a guy as you claim to be.”
Renko’s provocation was like a net that caught Second in a spectacular way. Or rather, he couldn’t help but being caught. The world’s number one can’t be looked down upon. That was a challenge that exploited his particular way of thinking.
And yes, Renko strangely felt she had a chance of winning. That confidence to fight and win against an unprecedented triple crown holder.
“I’ll show you what a real fight is like, and not that pretend play you do to get titles.”
She proclaimed as so with a smug expression on her face. The perfect provocation.
However, she had gone a little overboard. She hadn’t noticed the impact those two words had on Second.
“Go and show me then. I’ll even let you have the first move.”
“Well, well, well, isn’t the Triple Crown-sama confident? Alright then, I’ll take you up on your offer……!”
Renko quickly backflipped to distance herself from Second, then smacked both her fists in front of her chest.
Now, that’s a spirited “pose” to start a fight.
――There’s no way, right? That’s what Second thought but his expectations were immediately shattered by the activation of her skill.
The 《Transform》 skill―― Whose conditions to learn were thought to be only known by Second in this world, yet she had acquired it.
Needless to say, it was obvious who was the person who had taught her this skill, an existence similar to Second, and his fellow countryman. The saint, Raspberry Bell.
“……I see now.”
By this, Second was convinced. About the source of her confidence.
Renko’s line of thinking went along the way of ‘no matter how much of a triple crown holder he is, now that I’ve used 《Transform》, there’s nothing he can do against me’.
As a matter of fact, Renko had raised all of her 【Martial Arts】 skills, except for Dragon Horse and Dragon King, to the top ranks; furthermore, even her 【Swordsmanship】 skills were the same, all top ranks except for Dragon Horse and Dragon King. This meant that with her status multiplied by 3.6 after Transform, she was now overall superior to Second in raw stats. Or to put it another way, Renko had an overwhelming advantage.
And adding to that, this was an “anything goes” fight, not a title match, like this, she could beat the triple crown holder…… Or so she could’ve been forgiven for mistakenly believing so.
“Come, let’s do this.”
Renko completed her Wind Attribute Transformation while holding up her fist. The religious clothing she wore had transformed and now resembled that of a sukeban, the delinquent girls that one could find in Japan. Her hood fluttered, revealing her long, black hair, and her face was covered with a mask with the motif of wind hovering over her eyes. Her shapely lips, gleaming with red lipstick, showed a fearless smile filled with unwavering confidence.
Now you’ll see I’m not underestimating you――Her line of thinking was in part similar to Second.
Those who underestimate their opponent are bound to lose. This was a belief ingrained deep in their bones. And both she and Second had an unyielding pride they just couldn’t compromise.
Seeing Renko’s transformation, Second fell silent.
But just as Renko was about to try and provoke Second with “Don’t tell me you are scared now”, she closed her mouth at the last moment. This was because Second’s state was strange.
At a time like this, Second was leisurely taking his time to think.
What should I do? ――This phrase was repeated playfully in his mind.
Like worrying about what to have for dinner, soba noodles or udon noodles, or wondering how to cook a fish he just happened to buy at the market.
He wasn’t even recognizing her as an enemy…… Sensing this, Renko suddenly became enraged.
“Don’t look down on me!”
Renko’s feet slammed into the ground as she closed the gap between them with the speed of a bullet. On her right fist was the powerful attack skill, 《Silver Martial Arts》, ready to unleash.
Her approach was fast and so was the potential for her attack due to the increase in AGI and STR by 3.6 due to Transform. There’s no way he can avoid it, and if he gets hit by it, it will surely be a decisive blow that will end the game.
Shouting inwardly ‘Got you!’, Renko was convinced of such, but the next moment.
She was lying on her back.
And, shortly after――
A bone-shattering shock hit her, and her HP, which had been boosted by 《Transform》, was reduced by about half.
Why!? Why!? Why!?
Between the intense pain and confusion, she desperately thought as she managed to get up.
However, before she could come up with it, the answer came from Second’s mouth.
“Silver Shield Arts’ parry has a counterattack effect. Your STR was unnecessarily high, so the damage was similarly large.”
“…………W-What did you say……?”
Renko felt extremely confused.
Second said that he had parried her attack in that instant. However, Second was not equipped with a shield right now. In other words, the moment Renko activated 《Silver Martial Arts》, Second took out a shield from his inventory, activated 《Silver Shield Arts》, parried just at the perfect timing, and then returned the shield to his inventory.
It no longer made sense. That was something beyond the realm of comprehension.
As Renko was stunned, a liquid was splashed on her head.
Second had doused her in a high-class potion. And Renko’s HP was fully restored in the blink of an eye.
“Hey, hurry up, show it to me already. Didn’t you say you’d show me what a real fight is like?”
Mean words were thrown at her.
……I have to get up. I have to face him.
Renko had nowhere to run. Or rather, from the beginning she had no way out of this mess.
While standing up, she unleashed a surprise strike.
At that moment, she unleashed a 《Knight Swordsmanship》 strike with a sword taken from her inventory, rapidly accelerating as it approached Second’s abdomen to pierce it.
The perfect surprise attack.
The reach of the sword had increased suddenly by the fact it was taken out from the inventory. It was a thrust that Renko herself was convinced nobody would be able to avoid it.
And that was the exact reason why she couldn’t comprehend what had happened.
“Counterbalance. Don’t tell me you don’t know about offsetting. Just as Magic has it, Swordsmanship has it too.”()
Second said as if to mock her.
But at that moment, Renko’s head was a mess.
The attack that she should’ve unleashed had just… vanished. She couldn’t understand.
Counterbalance? Of course, I don’t know!
“I guess you don’t know, huh? The way to perform it is to align the speed and direction of the sword and activate the same skill at about the same time.”
Then, surprisingly, Second mentioned the “how to” for the counterbalance.
It would’ve been a loss to teach this to Renko.
But he spoke with a relaxed expression on his face as if this was knowledge everyone should know.
But the more frightening fact among all these was that, assuming Counterbalance was the technique Second described, he had taken a sword out of his inventory, aligned its speed and direction with her own, then activated 《Knight Swordsmanship》 almost simultaneously, as if anticipating Renko’s surprise attack.
――The difference between the two was just too large.
Such difference was at a magnitude that calling it overwhelming was almost an understatement.
“……This, makes it look like I’m being led by the nose.”
Straining her trembling legs, Renko slowly got up.
He was on a different dimension. And she was made to understand this fact painfully, but she still stood up courageously and confronted him with her willpower.
“Yeah, that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Second merrily responded with a laugh and he placed his sword away in his inventory.
……After that, for the next minutes, Renko was one-sidedly harassed.
And like this, she learned it first-hand. In a real fight, that is, with the “anything goes” rule, it was more advantageous to have a wide variety of skills than to have a large difference in status.
Still, maybe by fortune, she had yet to notice another fact. A fact that would’ve been painfully obvious to notice if she were a title contender.
In an “anything goes” type of fight, the man named Second will demonstrate his abilities even more than in a title match. Because when compared to a title match where contestants are limited to a single skill, in this type of match, where players can combine multiple skills, the array of tactics they can use numbers the hundreds or even thousands, making them more extensive. Therefore, Second’s set of ‘game plans’, called 『Seven System』, extends its roots deeper, with branches and leaves spreading even further.
In the end, Renko couldn’t do anything. Nothing. Not a single thing. Even after using 《Transform》, she couldn’t manage to lay even a finger on Second.
This was beyond being led by the nose. If you didn’t know the “best counter” for Second’s moves, or you couldn’t instantly recognize them, you would be unable to act upon them and would be put in a state of complete defeat, unable to do anything against it. It was simply inevitable.
With little HP left and her SP totally depleted, Renko fell to the ground while gasping for air.
And just as Second approached her to pour a potion on her, she held up her right hand and if to refuse. Right after, her 《Transform》 skill was released……
＊ ＊ ＊
“……I get it. Oh, how I get it. You’re too strong. Awfully so.”
Renko praised me while being out of breath. Feels good if I say so myself.
If I had to describe the result of the match with one word, it would be ‘terrible’. Still, as one would expect from the former young lady of the R6, she had a lot of guts. The way she was trying to fight back again and again with a desperate look on her face, it reminded me of those sumo wrestling practice bouts.
I tried to think of some appropriate words to compliment her, but Renko opened her mouth before I could.
“I guess I can trust you to take care of Raspberry Bell-sama, right……?”
What she mentioned were not her impressions of the earlier fight, not her ramblings about me, nor her personal story, but…… About saint Raspberry Bell.
It suddenly occurred to me.
Can it be? She was taunting me for the sake of Raspberry Bell……?
“……Hey. What would you have done if I were the unforgiving type? You’d be dead more times than you can count of both your hands and feet.”
“If that happened it was bound to happen. But you see, I’m not dead. You were that “senpai” that Raspberry Bell-sama thought you were. That’s all. I now know I can trust the man who I walked the line between life and death with.
Did this girl risk her life just to confirm that?
Just in order to keep Raspberry Bell out of harm’s way, she wanted to know if I was the real senpai or not.
……What a crazy gal. What the heck, how can she carelessly offer her life to others?
“You……understand where you stand at, right?”
“……Well, of course.”
It was undoubtedly Framboise I, or rather saint Raspberry Bell, the one who taught Renko the 《Transform》 skill. In this poor and heavily monitored environment, trying to secretly gain experience and acquire skills would be similar to walking a tightrope. Renko is certainly in a very dangerous position right now. And the person who got her here is none other than Raspberry Bell. In other words, Raspberry Bell is using Renko to escape from the Sacred Country of Kamel.
Then, why does she go this far? Isn’t she aware she’s being used……?
“You see, I would never shy away from repaying a favor.”
“……A favor, huh?”
“When I fled for my life to this country, I was saved by Raspberry Bell-sama. How can I not use this life for the sake of Raspberry Bell-sama?”
Sell a favor to get them to follow you. This can be called an extension of the method I used with Silvia and Eko in the past. It’s a very cliched way of doing things, but……
“I just can’t like the fact that it’s putting you in harm’s way all the time.”
“Hmph……It can’t be helped. You too will come to understand eventually.”
Can’t be helped――Renko said so as if to swallow the unreasonableness of it.
I crossed my arms, thinking, not understanding the true meaning of those words. But then, a moment later, she broke the silence, interrupting my thoughts.
“Now then, it’s time to share our strategy. We only have one demand. How are things going on your side?”
She asked with a defiant smile while wearing the nun’s hood.
She also implied that, no matter what she did, rescuing Raspberry Bell should be the top priority. Admirable!
After heaving a sigh, I told her what I discussed with Windfield.
“We will incite the anti-church forces to cause a revolution. We’re in the process of preparing for it. On the day of the revolution, we will assassinate the Pope and let the revolutionaries take control. In order to carry out the plan smoothly, we need at least a week to prepare. There’s a monster called Wraith. Getting hold of it, it can transform into anyone we want. We can go ahead with the assassination in that way without showing our true identity.”
“……You’re awesome, man.”
“It’s not so much that I’m awesome, it’s more that I have an awesome strategist.”
Renko opened her eyes wide in surprise, it seemed the both of us didn’t expect the conversation to go this far after only one day of contact.
“Well, I understand. I was the first to suggest the plan to assassinate the Pope. I’ve been working towards it for a long time now. I’ve researched his whereabouts and actions to perfection. I’m ready to kill him at any time.”
“Nicely done. Alright, give me the Pope’s information. I’ll assassinate him myself.”
With the certainty to complete the plan in mind, it would be better for me to take a Wraith and then disguise myself as someone close to the Pope to assassinate him, rather than leaving it to someone else. However, at my suggestion, Renko’s eyes glared while she replied.
“……I will kill him.”
“That won’t work.”
Seriously, I wondered what she was going to say, but that? If that’s the case, I’d rather let Anko loose and take care of everything hoping they don’t find out who she really is.
True enough, Renko might be overwhelmingly stronger than ordinary people. But no matter how you look at it, she’s not suited for covert operations. Not only her identity will be exposed, but there’s a high chance the assassination attempt will end in failure.
“Even Raspberry Bell-sama said she would leave the Pope’s assassination to me.”
“Still not enough. Wait for my tame.”
Complete silence. And an utter unconvinced face.
While I was trying to figure out how to convince this girl, Renko turned her back on me and spoke while looking back.
“Time’s up. The next contact will be the day before the event.”
Ah, she ran away.
Shit, this could turn really bad if I don’t tame a Wraith soon……
Thank you for reading.
- HP Hit Points
- MP Magic Points
- SP Stamina Points
- STR Short range attack skill power, strength, physical power.
- DEX Long range attack skill power, dexterity, hit rate.
- AGI Quickness, avoidance rate.
- INT Attack Magic skill power.
- LUK Good luck, critical rate.
- VIT Simple defense.
- MGR Magic defense.
Types of combat skills
Named after shogi pieces (The word in bold is the one being used in this translation). From easier to acquire to harder.
- Pawn/Soldier (Fuhyou)
- Knight (Keima)
- Silver General (Ginshou)
- Gold General (Kinshou)
- Bishop (Kakugyou)
- Rook (Hisha)
- Promoted Bishop/Dragon Horse(Ryuuma)
- Promoted Rook/Dragon King (Ryuuou).
List of Swordsmanship skills
- 《Soldier Swordsmanship》 Normal attack.
- 《Lance Swordsmanship》 Piercing attack.
- 《Knight Swordsmanship》 Precision attack.
- 《Silver Swordsmanship》 Strong single-target attack.
- 《Gold Swordsmanship》 Small-range attack to all directions.
- 《Bishop Swordsmanship》 Quick and powerful piercing attack
- 《Rook Swordsmanship》 Rush piercing attack
- 《Dragon Horse Swordsmanship》 Powerful ranged attack in all directions
- 《Dragon King Swordsmanship》 Most powerful range attack, takes time to prepare
List of Shieldmanship skills
- 《Soldier Shieldmanship》 Normal defense.
- 《Lance Shieldmanship》 Piercing deflection.
- 《Knight Shieldmanship》 Defense + knockback.
- 《Silver Shieldmanship》 Defense +chance to parry
- 《Gold Shieldmanship》 Ranged guided defense + knockback.
- 《Bishop Shieldmanship》 Reinforced defense (Temporarily boosts VIT and MGR)
- 《Rook Shieldmanship》 Rush attack
- 《Dragon Horse Shieldmanship》 ???
- 《Dragon King Shieldmanship》 Powerful shield attack, takes time to prepare
List of Archery skills
- 《Soldier Archery》 Normal range attack.
- 《Lance Archery》 Piercing range attack.
- 《Knight Archery》 Precise sniping range attack.
- 《Silver Archery》 Strong single-target range attack.
- 《Gold Archery》 Weaker range attack with added knockback.
- 《Bishop Archery》 Strong piercing range attack.
- 《Rook Archery》 Very strong single-target range attack with scaling % damage.
- 《Dragon Horse Archery》 Powerful Area of Effect piercing range attack.
- 《Dragon King Archery》 Powerful on-impact range attack, takes time to prepare
Types of Magic skills
They use the “Form” or “step” system of martial arts. From lower to higher.
- First Form Regular attack
- Second Form Extended range attack
- Third Form Strong single target attack
- Fourth Form Strong extended range attack
- Fifth Form Extremely powerful extended range attack
- Their cast time becomes longer in this order First→Third→Second→Fourth→Fifth.
Ranking of the skills
From lower to higher, then it changes to the “Dan” system of martial arts, which means Grade.
- 16th class
- 15th class
- 14th class
- 13th class
- 12h class
- 11th class
- 10th class
- 9th class
- 8th class
- 7th class
- 6th class
- 5th class
- 4th class
- 3rd class
- 2nd class
- 1st class
- Grade 1
- Grade 2
- Grade 3
- Grade 4
- Grade 5
- Grade 6
- Grade 7
- Grade 8
- Grade 9
If you enjoy the translations, you can support me by donations or read ahead via Patreon