This time, Crystal took the initiative, as she rushed towards me with the shield protecting her entire body.
“[Shield Form – Bash Mode]!”
Her mana shield transformed into a rounded shield with a pointy centre. I intercepted her attack with a side swing, but the shape of the shield deflected away some the force of my attack, and I was knocked back a few feet. However, Crystal herself was pushed back just a little, much to her surprise.
“Damn it…looks like I lost this exchange, huh!” (Gideon)
I rushed forward, this time I unleashed swing after swing with both hands, getting increasingly faster with each swing, forcing her to be on the defensive. However, without the boost from [Burst Stream], she is able to take the hits without much trouble.
I let loose one final swing before jumping back a few feet, then rushing forward again with the boost from [Burst Stream]. Then, another explosive sound was heard, and my Greataxe launches towards her at breakneck speeds, after another boost of [Burst Stream].
“Don’t think that will take me out again and again!” (Crystal)
This time with her shield fully up, she managed to take that blow, but not before being thrown a few feet to the side, from the impact of that one strike of mine.
“Not just once, but even twice…is this really happening right now? Gideon…he’s actually this strong?” (Ellenda)
Now finally Ellenda knows my true strength. Hmph, took her long enough to realize that I’m not just any ordinary youngling.
However, I’ve already used [Burst Stream] twice, and this match has yet to end. Currently, I’m at the disadvantage, having shown most of my capabilities and yet she was still hiding part of her strengths.
I continued to smash on her shield, blow after blow, trying to predict her next movements to gain an upper-hand. However, she seems to be able to block every move that I made, blocking it perfectly with her shield and sometimes even taking back the initiative by trying to bash me with the mana shield with a backhand swipe.
So, at least I know that I can fight on nearly equal terms with a [Hero]! Even if she’s considerably weaker than Alexis, she’s at least a decent match up for the current me.
“Ahhh, even my mana shield is cracking from the impact. If only you had a stronger weapon, maybe I’ll be the one knocked out on the floor a long time ago.” (Crystal)
“Don’t be silly. I know that you deliberately chose to use the shield, just so you can accurately measure the absolute strength that I currently possess, am I wrong to say that?” (Gideon)
“Wow, I can’t really hide anything from you, can I? Alright then, I’ll use the strongest battle style I have then, get ready this time, for real! I promise!” (Crystal)
She landed a swift kick on my abdomen and retreated a few steps. The mana shield of hers transformed shape once again into a cross-shaped tower shield, with the bottom end being extremely pointy. She gets into a fully offensive, low dashing stance and stared right at me, grinning victoriously.
All of a sudden, everything just seemed to slow down to a halt. My every movement, every breath I make, all seemed to feel tens of times slower.
What’s happening? Did she manage to use some kind of magic on me? I tried to struggle but I just can’t seem to move as well as I want.
Then, when I managed to break free from that binding spell, Crystal has already appeared almost right in front of me.
I jumped to the back desperately, boosted by [Burst Stream]. The next moment, I distinctively saw her appearing on the left side of where I was a second ago, piercing the air with the ‘spear’ and into the ground where I stood just a second ago.
Was she trying to end my life with that blow?! I’m confident I wouldn’t die even from that but it’ll probably tear off part of my flesh. That wouldn’t end well.
“Whoa, you dodged that as well? You really are good! Hey, Ellen! Did you see all that? You should just promote him straight to A-rank, ahaha!” (Crystal)
I turned around to look at Ellenda; her mouth is still agape and looking rather stunned. Of course, she’ll have never expected the boy that came to the Adventurers’ Guild just one month ago will be able to fight toe-to-toe to a [Hero].
“Don’t patronize me just yet! This is where the battle is starting!” (Gideon)
“I agree; pure offense versus pure offense, we’ll see who comes out on top!” (Crystal)
We exchanged tens and hundreds of blows, clashing weapon with weapon. Every strike of mine is always landing on her weapon, and no matter what I did, neither of us could really get the upper hand of each other.
Sometimes I managed to get a strike in, but it was blocked perfectly by the tower shield of hers. Once, she got so close to stabbing me with her ‘spear’, but I avoided it promptly with [Burst Stream].
“This is incredible…I haven’t seen such an amazing fight before…” (Ellenda)
Sparks of mana and metal flew each time we exchanged blows, painting a beautiful picture within the scene of destruction and carnage. However, that scene was the signal of my loss.
Eventually, I was the first one to retreat after approximately a few hundred clashes.
Why? Even though combat capabilities were nearly equal, there was one thing was I was at an absolute disadvantage.
It was my Greataxe. I looked at the results of the battle; there are plenty of scratch-marks on it, and the areas where the mana spear clashed on had blunted. Some parts of the axe head is chipped off as well. Eventually, if we continued the fight I’ll definitely lose out.
To think that even Mithril was chipped off…that mana ‘spear’ of hers, created by the armguard artefact, is at least on par with legendary weapons!
“I admit defeat, this was my loss.” (Gideon)
“Not really; it was because of the quality of your weapon. If you had an artefact like mine, I’ve been defeated with the second hit you unleashed on me. This is considered a draw, alright?” (Crystal)
I had always known that Gideon is a very talented kid, but I would have never expected him to be able to match up to a [Hero]. I tried to stop him from doing harder quests? Looks like I was the ignorant one…
He’s a genius. Not only that, he had probably worked very hard, day after day, practising his skills to be after to achieve such perfection in his movements. In fact, on a one-on-one, I believe no B-ranker, not even a A-ranker perhaps, can possibly match up to him.
If I were to make a guess, most of them will probably end up underestimating his young stature, and end up dead in one strike without knowing what happened to them. I can’t believe I’ve underestimated him by such a large margin.
“We were the ones that were supposed to teach him a lesson, but it looks like we are the ones that we were underestimating him all along. I should stop trying to hold him back already.” (Ellenda)
“I know, right? I honestly didn’t expect myself to be thrashed around in such a rural town like this. He really is special.” (Crystal)
“A-are you really alright? You really took a beating just now.” (Ellenda)
“Oh, that? That’s not a problem; I went through worst during my trainings last time!” (Crystal)
“Oh Crystal…thanks for helping me out though.” (Ellenda)
“Oh stop that, Ellen. There’s no need for thanks between friends. After all, I owe you a lot more than this tiny little favour.”
Well, if you put it that way, I can’t say anything else, can I? Very well then, let’s head back to the room shall we?”
“Alright then, Gideon, was that a good enough introduction about a [Hero]?” (Ellenda)
After that spar, we went back into the same room we were before previously. Although none of us suffered any real direct strikes from each other, the repeated impacts from our weapons clashing causes aching all over my body.
At any rate, I’m just happy to slouch down on a nice comfortable padded chair after such an intense fight.
“Not too bad. Now I can finally judge my strength for once properly, and that I know that I am at least close to [Hero]-level.” (Gideon)
“You are that confident of your strength huh? It is to be expected; after all, you managed to stand toe-to-toe fight me for so many exchanges, even I’m feeling a little down from it.” (Crystal)
“If that’s the case, should we attempt an A-rank quest instead?” (Gideon)
“Hey, you know what? That’s not actually such a bad idea after all! With the two of us combining strength, I think that we can sweep an A-ranked quest easily, no problem at all!” (Crystal)
“Crystal?! Wait, but that’s not exactly compliance with standard protocol…” (Ellenda)
“Don’t worry too much, Ellen; Gideon’s strength isn’t really conforming to your definition of a standard protocol for a C-rank adventurer either, right? Just hand-wave him some special reasons to become a B-rank adventurer so all this works out.” (Crystal)
“Bu that’s…hmmm…alright, just this once won’t hurt, I guess. And also, Gideon, since you’re just C-ranked, I’ll just treat this as a special mission for your advancement to B-rank. Sigh…I’m giving you too much preferential treatment aren’t I? I’m going to be made fun of by Randol for sure if he finds out…” (Ellenda)
Wait, hold on a moment. This is wrong, terribly wrong.
I got caught up in the whole prospect of being able to fight a [Hero] and going for an A-ranked quest that I almost forgot what I was here for.
I know that partying with a [Hero] may bring me some short-term benefits, but she’s just too big of a variable to count into my plans. I can’t risk being so open, even in the human continent. I mean, hanging out with one of the three [Heroes] of humanity? That will definitely put me in a position where I’m practically begging to be spied on.
Before I make any obvious moves, I cannot make too big of a risk. Gathering some fame is necessary, but being around a [Hero] like Crystal would mean too much exposure; the losses outweigh the gains.
“I’ve changed my mind; I won’t be partying with you, or anyone else. Excuse me.” (Gideon)
Before anyone could speak up, I stood up, grabbed my Greataxe and started to walk out of the room. Ellenda’s face was replaced with a look of surprise and shock, whereas Crystal just stared at me, with a scarily calm look.
“Ehh…! But, this is…Gideon, wait up!” (Ellenda)
“Don’t worry Ellen; just let him go if he wants. But, if he walks out of this room, I’ll expose his secret.” (Crystal)
My entire body froze up, as I placed my hand on the doorknob. My secret? How can she possibly know that? Could it be that…when I used [Burst Stream], she somehow managed to connect the dots?
“What do you mean his secret? You mean why he is so strong, or…did you eye see something else, Crystal?” (Ellenda)
“You got it! Gideon here has quite the secret hidden within him…it’s quite interesting! At least, I’ve never seen anything like this before!” (Crystal)
“You…what do you know?” (Gideon)
“I can’t possibly tell you so much now, can I? But to prove that I’m not just a liar, I’ll just say this one word: Ogre.” (Crystal)
I tried to hide it, but the look of shock still managed to make its way out onto my face slightly. I can feel my face turning ugly, as my intent to kill began to rise. My grip on the Greataxe grew tighter.
Even if it is to level this entire town to protect my secret, I would do so without batting a single eyelid!
“So then, now that you know my secret, what are you going to do about it? Depending on your answer…” (Gideon)
“Don’t worry about it, and keep that killing intent of yours under check, will you? You’re going to scare Ellenda if you keep that up.” (Crystal)
I looked at Ellenda, and all I can see is that look of fear and tension on her face, ready to react at the first signs of movement from me.
“I won’t needlessly reveal your secrets to anyone, don’t worry about that! In fact, all I ask is that you co-operate with me once, and I’ll keep your secret to the grave! I’ll even throw in my secret, of how I managed to expose your secret. Sounds like a good deal?” (Crystal)
This…isn’t really that bad of a deal. After all, I don’t have anything to lose in this situation and I can’t exactly back out of the deal if I want to guarantee my secret’s non-exposure. Basically I’m checkmated in a situation but it is somewhat beneficial to me. No reason to reject and plenty of reasons not to accept.
I heaved a huge sigh, and released my grip.
“Alright, I give in; I’ll play along with you just this time.” (Gideon)
“Oh thank goodness…! Whew, thankfully nothing happened, else I’ll be in big trouble…” (Ellenda)
Ellenda collapsed to her knees, breathing out a huge sigh of relief. Crystal grinned even wider and walked towards me, grabbing me back to the seats which I reluctantly followed.
“Very well then, since we’re comrades now, I’ll tell you that secret of mine!” (Crystal)
“Woah, wait a second. I may be agreeable in temporarily joining you along for a quest, but I’m not your comrade, or friend, or anything.”
“Awww, don’t be shy! You’ll need to know this anyway if we’re going to be traveling together for a while, even if it’s a short while.”
“…What is it?”
“Well…the truth is, I’m not exactly human.”
…Eh? What did she just say?
“Wait a minute…not human? What do you mean by that?” (Gideon)
No matter how I look at it, she looks totally human-like. Even though there are monsters and demons that look nearly human like, they will all have some kind of distinct features that separates them.
“Well, I have demon’s blood running through my veins. One of my long ago ancestors was a demon I believe, and when I was born it seems that atavism occurred, hence I have quite a thick concentration of demon blood flowing within me.” (Crystal)
Atavism, which caused a high concentration of demon blood within a human? An ordinary case of atavism should be considered rare already, let alone one that causes a high concentration of demon blood since the blood should have been quite diluted after so long…
“What kind of demon is your ancestor?” (Gideon)
“Oh, it’s an Eye-Beast.” (Crystal)
Sup, this is Kiribou.
As my old readers can tell, the main storyline is still about the same, with some extra scenes added and extra details here and there.
I’ll keep the storyline as close to the original as possible, since I already have a plan of how the story will end, but of course, I’ll add extra stuff inside to make it more interesting and less boring!
That’s about it; I’ll answer any question you’ll have for me, so yeah have fun reading people. So for now, I’ll just comment on the…comments, ala Mushoku Tensei
Q: “…since it was mentioned she’s the newest… does that mean the heroes from MC time as an Ogre Lord are from a different batch??”
A: Not really, is just that there were only two active heroes then. Crystal was still in-training technically so the MC never got the chance to have a “Meet & Greet” session.
Q: “Death flags everywhere. Quite literally, any flag is a death flag in this series.”
A: Not true! I think… At least, I try not to…
Author : Kiribou