Sep 23, 2017

Rakudai Kishi V8 Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Bloody Truth


Part 1
“Right before today’s match begins, I will assault Amane Shinomiya in the waiting room.”

“Eh............”

It was after they went to the department stores with the usual members in addition to Sara Bloodlily.

Taking their leave first, on the way back to the venue......Shizuku Kurogane declared that to Nagi Arisuin who was walking next to her.


“What...are you saying, Shizuku......”

The declaration was so shocking that Arisuin had stopped in his tracks and asked back.

In response to that, Shizuku answered with a determined expression.

“Just like I said, Alice. This is based on my deductions about Bad Luck, Amane Shinomiya’s ability......Nameless Glory’s countermeasure.

Nameless Glory is a causality interference ability that has a strong enforcement as can be seen.

In the case when that ability holder wishes for my defeat, or his victory......it will be difficult for me, who only possesses nature interference ability, to overcome.

First, without a doubt, the causality will revolve around his wish.

Like the time with the White-Robed Knight, and the second round today, some sort of coincidence will definitely happen, leading to my defeat.

It can be considered as inevitable. At this rate, I won’t even be able to stand on the ring in the third round.

My blade...will not reach him.

In that case......I will purposely make use of that inevitability.”

“Make use?”

“That’s right. My defeat......with the pretext of violation of rules, I will defeat that guy. With me taking action that may violate the rules myself, it will not trigger the causal interference ability, allowing me to close in on Amane. If it’s this method, I can bypass Nameless Glory. My blade can reach that guy.”

That answer was guided by Shizuku’s deductions.

Hearing that, Arisuin was also convinced.

Indeed, using that method, it could probably aim at the loophole in Amane’s extraordinary ability.

It would be possible to create a surprise attack using Amane’s weakness, who held absolute confidence in his ability.

It was an excellent move from both the offensive and defensive perspectives.

However──

“But in that case, Shizuku will lose due to violation of rules in the end, right!?”

Right, that was the issue.

That countermeasure could only work if she gave up her victory of the match.

If not, it would not work.

Then it would be meaningless.

However, in regards to that, Shizuku’s words──

“It doesn’t matter.”

Like that, she spoke resolutely.

“What did you say......!”

“A nature interference type Blazer like me cannot do anything about causality interference. If it were to happen during the match, then it’s one thing, but I don’t stand a chance if the causality has already been involved even before the match......However, giving up because it can’t be helped, I don’t intend to behave in such a mature manner. At this rate, if I have to forfeit without doing anything, I want to drag him down with me as well. Alice has also heard it, right? What that guy had said to Onii-sama after Stella-san’s match.”

“............Yeah.”

「And so...that’s why? Get hurt more. Bleed more. Wear out more. I will cheer for that Ikki-kun until my voice grow hoarse. Because I want to see Ikki-kun keep, keep, keeeep on defying fate and break down from now on!」

Those words, along with that warped scary smile, had been burned into her memory.

“I cannot let such a dangerous guy get any closer to Onii-sama......It’s fine if I lose. However, in exchange, I won’t let that guy go to the semi-finals. With this surprise attack, I will deal enough damage that it cannot be recovered in a day, knocking him out of the event.”

That was the level of determination of Shizuku, who loved her brother more than anyone else.

However ── It was not something that Arisuin could agree with.

“Shizuku......certainly, I also think that he is a dangerous guy. I can also understand Shizuku’s concern. However, you see. What you are about to do is a really malignant violation of rules.”

“The same could be said about the other party. In the first place, if he didn’t do such a rule-breaking thing like eliminating his opponent before the match, I would not have chosen such a method.”

“Yeah. I agree with that. However......it’s frustrating, but we don’t have any evidence of Amane breaking the rules. The result of coincidence piling upon coincidence......he can make such an excuse. But Shizuku, you can’t do that. Even if you handled it well, there will definitely be a severe punishment. Getting disqualified would still be fine......but expulsion is also quite possible.”

That’s right. The method Shizuku suggested could certainly avoid Nameless Glory, and possibly pierce Amane with her blade.

However, that was greatly different from an assassination.

Shizuku would not come out unscathed.

The risk she carried was too great.

“Even if you cleared the obstacle after carrying such a big risk by yourself, Ikki would not be happy. No. It’s not just Ikki. Stella-chan as well. Both of them will definitely grieve over it.”

Of course, himself included.

It was not something tolerable.

However, Shizuku, towards Arisuin’s words......showed a vague smile...

“......I know that. I know that very well. Onii-sama, and Stella-san......are kind.

That’s why, Alice. I had fun today. My beloved Onii-sama was there, and Stella-san, who loves my Onii-sama, was there, Alice was there, some extra person was there, but I really had fun. No. It was not just today. It has been like that ever since I enrolled into this school. This is......different from the past. Different from the time at that house, without a doubt, I really think that everyday is wonderful. That’s why I can say this......I’m really glad to have come to Hagun Academy.”

She murmured so as if reminiscing.

“Shizuku......you............”

“......Sorry, Alice. I can’t just accept my defeat without doing anything, despite knowing that calamity is about to befall onto Onii-sama.”

Even if she were to be expulsed.

Even if she could not spend the days like they did currently ever again──


“This time, I will protect Onii-sama.”


She had vowed as such ever since the day her brother was gone.

Shizuku’s expression after concluding her speech no longer showed that vague smile.

What replaced it was a strong will like steel.

What supported her great love for her brother that could not fit in her little body was that unshakable determination.

Then, Shizuku looked up at Arisuin with those pupils filled with that determination...

“But......to make this surprise attack a complete success, my power alone is not enough.”

She appealed to him.

“Alice......Can you lend me your power?”

She hoped that he would lend her his power after knowing the risk involved with the violation of the rules.

She hoped that he would accompany her on her path.

──It was not something that could be said without complete trust.

In response to that trust...

“......I understand. I will lend you a hand.”

Arisuin was not a person that would refuse it.

(Sorry, Ikki. It seems that I’m not such a good friend.)

As he listened to Shizuku’s “Thank you”, Arisuin smiled bitterly.

If he had been a good friend, he would have probably stop her at all cost.

That surprise attack would make Shizuku suffer a huge penalty, whether it succeeded or not.

For example, it if was Stella......she probably would not forgive such an act.

However......Arisuin understood her well.

Just how deeply and strongly that girl loved her brother.

It was already to the extent that even his words would not stop her.

No, it was not just his. Most probably, even Ikki himself could not stop her.

It was obvious.

There was an existence closing in on the person she loved, intending to harm him.

She could not pretend not to have seen it. She could also not just let it pass.

If he refused there, Shizuku would probably carry out the surprise attack by herself.

He painfully understood that feeling.

In that case......

(──I won’t let her be alone.)



If he couldn’t dissuade her or stop her, then he would at least stay next to her.

It was on the day he separated from the Rebellion.

He had decided to continue staying next to her as long as she wished for it......!


──And with that, the two of them moved to carry out their surprise attack.


Time returned to the moment before the start of the third match in the third round.

The method was simple. They would use Arisuin’s Noble Art, Shadow Walk, to bypass the security network by walking through the shadow, reaching the waiting room Amane was at from an alternate space. As soon as she flew out, she would shoot countless ice spears ── and pierce through the defenseless Amane who believed that he would win without doing anything.

She carried the plan out perfectly, swiftly, and without any obstacle.

“────”

With a heavy *boom* sound, countless ice spears pierced into Amane’s body, their intensity knocked his body onto the wall, then his body collapsed soundlessly onto the floor.

At the same time, a pool of blood spread out on the cold floor.

It was spilled out from his penetrated four limbs and his skull.

“I won’t apologize.”

Shizuku threw those words at Amane, who was like a ragged cloth with his head lowered.

In the first place, Shizuku was reluctant to do something of such an extent towards a defenseless person.

Regardless of who her opponent was, if they faced off on the battlefield, she would choose to defeat her opponent in a contest of actual strength.

However, it was none other than Amane himself who rejected that, and considering that he used despicable means to shift the location of the ring that was supposed to determine the victor, there was no reason for her to show any mercy anymore.

“Curse your own foolishness for playing a prank on the wrong opponent.”

It was not life-threatening, but Amane suffered a serious injury no matter how one looked at it.

Especially the damage to the brain, it would take time to recover even with the help of a capsule.

Even though he won without fighting just as he wished, the recovery would not make it in time for the semi-final.

“With this......”

It’s finished. ──It was supposed to be.

Shizuku had removed the calamity approaching her most beloved person, or so it should have been.

──If her enemy did not possess the Bad Luck that could move the stars.


“A-hahaha......Ahahaha! I see, you did it this way!”


““──!?””

Amane lifted up his body from the pool of blood.

Despite his four limbs, or rather, his skull being pierced by ice spears, his mouth showed a smile.

It was the same one he showed when meeting Ikki, a distorted smile that could only be described as a murderous smile.

“What a surprise! Oh wow, I’m really surprised! If you take action and break the rules yourself, it’s true that my Nameless Glory will not activate. You will be able to approach me. That said......as expected, I didn’t think that you will take such extreme action without any hesitation! What an incredible determination! I can’t believe that you are Ikki-kun’s blood-related sister from taking such measures!”

“No way......”

“Why are you able to stand up with such wounds as if nothing happened......”

As expected, Shizuku and Arisuin could not hide their shock.

In response, Amane pulled out the ice spear that pierced through his brain unhesitantly with his hand...

“Who knows? I wonder why. I also don’t know why myself. Well, there are people in the world that can drive a car by themselves to the hospital with a knife stabbed into their head; there are also stories of people surviving with a bullet in their brain. Then isn’t this something that is not impossible? See ── I have much better luck than normal people.”

“............!”

In that instant, Arisuin moved.

He activated his Noble Art, Shadow Bind, which sealed his opponent’s movement by nailing his shadow.

Sealing Amane’s movement...

“Shizuku!”

──Grasped the hand of Shizuku, who was astonished by the reality before her eyes, and escaped.

As a former assassin, having gone through many practical scenes, he was able to understand.

The surprise attack just then was perfect.

They had definitely broke through Amane’s weakness, and dealt enough damage to cause a person to lose consciousness.

Despite so, the 「result」 betrayed the 「process」.

In that case, they had no other means.

If such a perfect surprise attack could not twist it, then there was nothing they could do from then on.

Arisuin understood that.

The conjecture of Arisuin the assassin was correct.

What he was wrong in was──


They already lost the option of escaping.


“────!”

It happened in a fraction of an instant.

In an instant, the lighting in the waiting room flickered while making a noise.

It might have been the aging of the light bulb, or a delay in the wiring, or some interference of power that made the coincidence inevitable.

For just an instance, the room lost all light, darkness covered everything.

At the same time the shadow disappeared, it also meant that the effect of Shadow Bind that bound the shadow was lost...

(Not good!)

It was already too late by the time he felt the danger.

“Gu...ah............!”

Countless thin swords like crosses flew out from the lightless darkness and accurately pierced Arisuin’s entire body.

That damage knocked out his consciousness and his body sank into the pool of blood formed by his own blood.

“Alice!”

“Don’t return in such a hurry now. You took the trouble of coming here after all.”

After Amane took out Arisuin, once again he manifested countless swords in between his fingers ── his Device, Azure, and spoke to the remaining Shizuku.

“I don’t really have any intention of blaming you guys for what you have done. No. Rather, I’m shivering from how moved I am right now. From Shizuku-chan’s intense love towards Ikki-kun. Incredible. A person can be loved to such an extent. I also love Ikki-kun a lot, but I feel like I lost......That’s why, I will give such a Shizuku-chan a special chance.”

“Chance?”

“For one minute from now, I will 「wish for this disturbance not to be noticed by anyone」. ──Can you understand? If you can finish me off in one minute, your wish will be granted!”

“Don’t be...so arrogant......!”

Since she had already started it, she did not intend to run away.

Without the need of a bait to be dangled before her, Shizuku attacked Amane again.

Currently, she used Scarlet Water Blade ── wrapping her Device, Yoishigure, with a blade made of pressurized water, she chose close combat.

With close combat, she intended to use her own hands to severe Amane’s consciousness for sure.

However ── the instant she raised her heel for that intention, it happened.

“Eh!?”

Her vision suddenly shook.

The reason was underneath Shizuku’s feet. Stepping onto Arisuin’s blood, she slipped.

“Kuh!”

However, Shizuku quickly pushed her hand on the floor to reject falling down.

Regaining her posture, with the murderous blade in her hand, she rushed at Amane again.

──No, she wanted to.

“Aww!”

However, her right toe tip kicked onto her left calf, causing her to fall forward.

(This is......don’t tell me............!)

“Fufufu, ahahaha. Tripping over your own foot at this kind of timing, you sure are unlucky. No, perhaps......it’s me who’s lucky?”

While mocking her, Amane got closer slowly as if teasing her.

Shizuku immediately jumped back up, and back stepped to take distance as she gave up getting closer.

And then──

“Water Prison Orb!”

She denied the worst possibility showing up in her mind, and used magic attack from long distance.

The magic that was released was Shizuku’s signature move.

Once it hit, Water Prison Orb would block the opponent’s windpipe until the opponent suffocated .

She shot three rounds at the opponent she wanted to defeat.

However, the three shots of Water Prison Orb, without exception, slipped past the slowly closing in and defenseless Amane, then crashed onto the wall and splattered.

“~~~~~~!”

“To miss at this distance, it’s a rare mistake for a knight at Shizuku-chan’s level!”

Amane laughed at her with muddy and creepy pupils.

──With that, it was three times. No, it would be four times including the surprise attack which could not deal a fatal injury.

Shizuku could already confirm it without a doubt.

“Nameless Glory can even induce us to make an error huh.”

“......Who knows? But since I only wished 「Win this game」, I don’t really understand it. However......there is such a saying - people make mistakes. As long as you are a human, any action definitely contains the possibility of failure. Taking one step with your feet. Even though it’s such a simple action, there are people who twist their ankles, or get tripped by a small stone, resulting in failure. Let alone magic, which requires complicated configuration operation and trajectory calculation......it can’t be helped if you failed, right?”

“......”

The more she understood it, the more she felt that it was a balance-breaking ability.

If it could induce an error, Blue Reincarnation would be too dangerous to use.

(What can I do──)

“An opening!”

“!? Ah, guh......!”

In the instant that Shizuku was trapped in the fear of going against Amane’s ability, Amane had closed in and swung his Azure.

Shizuku was late to respond and could not prevent it, receiving a deep cut on her forehead.

A curtain of blood dyed her eyesight.

With such an eyesight, she could not properly defend against the pursuing attacks.

Shizuku judged that it was bad and immediately took some distance.

However, her back slammed onto something right behind.

It was a concrete wall.

She was cornered.

That fact made the alarm in her heart go off uncontrollably.

Anxiety and pain caused sweat to ooze out from her entire body.

How should she fight, she could not see a glimpse of hint.

She had no idea.

That anxiety, despair, helplessness had weighed on Shizuku’s heart.

Even so──

“────!”

That’s right, that ‘even so’ supported Shizuku’s heart that succumbed to despair, and she glared at Amane.

It’s true that she did not know how she should fight.

However, she knew that she had to do something.

──Amane Shinomiya.

(This bastard’s eyes............)

Those pupils were tainted by all kinds of negative emotions.

They were unmistakingly directed at her most beloved one.

She could not let this guy get any closer to her brother.

Also──

Shizuku did not have the passion that her brother or Stella had towards the battles between knights, but even so, in the past few months, she had desperately fought to reach where she was.

And she saw the passion of those people who reached the Festival during the process.

The action of Amane openly breaking rules and kicking away his opponent was sacrilege against them.

It was unforgivable.

Hence, Shizuku opened her eyes while ignoring the pain from her blood soaking her pupils and ── shouted.


“You don’t have the right to be in the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival!

This is the dream stage for the knights that are proud of their knighthood!

You, who do not have any pride or dreams, are not qualified to advance any further......!

I will definitely subdue you right here......!!”


Even if she were to be penalized, she must make him pay for the sacrilege against that dream stage.

Right behind her, at the wall at Shizuku’s back, countless waves spread out.

They increased in an instant, making a big splash...

“Calamity Rain of Bloody Storm!!!!”

Like the curse of Lorelei, foam sprayed around.

The foam blown out from the back of Shizuku was like the turbulent lake surface on a stormy day, turned into highly pressurized bullets and flew towards Amane ── no, towards the whole space before Shizuku, shot out altogether like a gatling gun.

If she would make an error with aiming, she just had to stop aiming.

She would crush him with a suppressive fire that did not need to be aimed.

The water pressure bullets that were released with such intensity shook the whole room like a waterfall.

Mist condensed like steam.

The room was filled with dense mist that one could not even see past one meter around.

──Right after that.


“How unfortunate. Time’s up.”


“────Ah.”

Silver flash pierced through the dense mist and flew before her eyes.

Azure was thrown.

They accurately pierced through Shizuku’s limbs in that dense mist, with force that was enough to lift her light body, sewing her onto the wall behind.

“Ka...ah............!?”

The discomfort and pressure from the pain in her entire body and her throat pierced by a blade caused Shizuku to moan in pain.

However, that pain was blown out of her consciousness when she saw the scene in the room after the mist cleared up.

“No............way......”

Even though she just executed a suppressing fire that could bury everything in sight, Amane did not have a single injury.

Despite the entire wall turning into a beehive, only the portion of the wall behind Amane was unscathed.

That’s right. In Shizuku’s omnidirectional suppressing fire, only the water bullets that came into contact with Amane lost their hardness due to the magic control error made by Shizuku herself, becoming just harmless water foam.

“I see. If aiming will fail, then just don’t aim in the first place, huh. You have thought of various things. Does everyone think of all those things when fighting? Incredible. My uniform is soaked thanks to that. But well, it feels nice to be a little cooling, so I guess I’m lucky......Fufu. Ahaha. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

Amane mockingly laughed in a nightmare-like scene.

Shizuku feared that kind of guy from the bottom of her heart.

(He can even make it possible to such an extent......)

No matter how well-practised the move she used was, as long as there existed a trace of possibility for failure ── her speculation was that it would 100% fail.

The world was twisted, the causality was bent.

And everything was concluded in a direction advantageous to Amane.

It was exactly......an unfairness that could only be said as overly dotting.

At that moment, Shizuku’s rationale finally caught up to Arisuin, who tried to escape immediately after the surprise attack failed.

So that was why. It was only obvious to do that.

(Against such a power, the chance of winning is............zero......)

And then, despair finally captured Shizuku’s heart, devouring her.

At the same time──


「Contender Shinomiya! Contender Shizuku! What exactly are you two doing!?」


From the speaker, the announcer’s voice that was close to a scream, shrieked.

The disturbance had finally been noticed by the outside.

And Amane responded to the voice that asked for an explanation of the situation.

While he was standing by in the waiting room, Shizuku suddenly assaulted him.

He had only fought back in self-defense at most.

The truth could probably be proven from the surveillance camera.

(I’m so......miserable.)

In her flickering consciousness from blood loss and lack of oxygen, Shizuku regretted as she heard Amane’s voice from afar.

In the end, she had only shamed herself without being able to do anything.

──However...

“Ah, come to think of it, I believe that Ikki-kun is also listening to this broadcast. It may be strange coming from a victim such as myself, but I hope that you will not reprimand Shizuku-chan! Since Shizuku-chan has violated the rules for Ikki-kun’s sake!”

“────!?!?”

Things like regret were blown away by Amane’s words.

Shizuku wanted to raise a voice of protest about what exactly was he saying.

However, her damaged throat could not generate any voice, only able to make whimpers like a mosquito buzz.

And in the meantime, Amane selfishly conveyed Shizuku’s feelings.

“I, who had fought with her, have understood. Ikki-kun. Shizuku-chan has been in love with you. Of course it’s not familial love. She loves you as a member of the opposite sex. That’s why when Ikki-kun and Stella-chan became a couple, I believe that she had always been having a hard time. I think that she had always, during all that time, wanted Ikki-kun to look at her, to care for her, to continue thinking about her.”

“Sto............p......”

Shizuku squealed with an inaudible voice.

To stop him from saying unnecessary things.

To not selfishly announce her own feelings.

“......And she took the wrong path while holding such feelings......To eliminate an enemy that may become an obstacle to your dream, with becoming the Seven Stars Sword King as a goal; To contribute to your dream, and be loved by you in return. She held such a twisted desire.”

“............S......to......p......”

However, Shizuku’s squeal could not be heard, and Amane continued to talk about his own interpretation to Ikki.

That was an unbearable pain to Shizuku.

──Because she wanted him to look back at her. Because she wanted to be loved.

She didn’t fight for those. Even so, even so......

“It’s true that what Shizuku-chan did was wrong, but I think that wanting to be loved back by the person she loves is only natural. That’s why I hope that you will somehow consider her feelings. And then, how about it? If Ikki-kun can accept her feelings, and love Shizuku-chan as a woman──”

She was already at her limit.


“Uue............egu............” (TL note: This is the sound of her crying, not broken words.)


It was the most important feeling in her heart.

As a sibling, as a woman, it was the feeling of love greater than anyone in the entire world.

It was told in detail to her most beloved brother by a really detestable guy, described and interpreted as if she was like a female cat in heat.

That behavior could already be described as rape.

No, to Shizuku, she would probably prefer him tainting her body directly rather than saying those things.

That shame and humiliation completely messed up the dignity in Shizuku’s heart.

“Stop......it already............”

Shizuku pleaded as her tears dripped down.

There was already no dignity or pride anymore──


Immediately after, the wall of the waiting room was blown away like an intense explosion.


“Uwa!?”

Amane screamed as he guarded his face from the burst of storm that suddenly occurred.

Shizuku’s body was also assailed by the hot wind and the flash caused her to shut her eyes.

And after the blowing wind had died down, when she opened her eyes to see what exactly had happened──

She saw two people.

A red-haired knight stood at the big hole that had opened up on the wall in the waiting room.

It was the figure of the Crimson Princess, Stella Vermillion.

“Good. Looks like you are still breathing. Shizuku.”

After calling out to Shizuku, Stella leapt inside from the hole and landed in the waiting room.

Towards Stella’s overly violent entrance, Amane...

“T-That surprised me! When I thought what happened, so it is Stella-chan. U-Uhh, I know that it’s a topic that cannot be ignored Ikki-kun’s lover, but breaking the wall to enter is really too lacking in common sense after all──”



Complained so...

“Quiet.”

“............!?”

That complaint was......stopped by Stella’s voice, which was soft, but allowed no room for rejection.

Stella spoke indifferently like that without turning towards Amane.

“Just try to defile Shizuku’s feelings right before my eyes again. I don’t care about the match or the event. I will turn you into charcoal right here so that you won’t spout nonsense ever again.”

No, it was not that she did not turn around, she could not turn around.

If Amane’s face entered her field of vision at that place──

......Her anger that was being suppressed as she bit her lips to the point of almost bleeding would not be contained anymore.

(Stella......san......)

In her hazy vision, Shizuku thought that as she saw that expression of the approaching Stella.

If she could just follow her own desire, loving the person she loved, envying and hating the woman that snatched away her beloved like Amane said......how much easier it would have been.

If, if only she was just a little bit more of a detestable woman......

It would end without her coming to love that girl as it was currently.

The feeling of wanting to love her brother as a woman and the feeling of wanting her brother and that girl to obtain happiness as a family. The two feelings that were in contrast, but definitely not fake, they seemed to tear her apart yet did not.

“......Th...ank......you............”

Shizuku was released from Amane’s restraints by Stella.

In the instant her collapsed body was embraced, Shizuku mustered up the last of her strength and expressed her gratitude.

Was her gratitude conveyed?

Shizuku already could not find out.

Her consciousness fell into the darkness before she realized.



Part 2
After that, the Committee checked the surveillance camera and understood the whole disturbance in the waiting room.

......Unbelievably, although the sound data was corrupted and their voices could not be heard, the image showed the instant that Shizuku Kurogane ambushed Amane Shinomiya in the waiting room, hence proving Amane’s explanation to be correct.

With that, Shizuku was disqualified for the extremely malignant violation of rules.

It was decided that Amane Shinomiya would advance to the semi-finals.

However, the penalty for the accomplice of Shizuku, Arisuin, was fortunately stopped at 「Three months ban from participating in official matches and submission of a reflection essay」, it did not reach the point of expulsion.

It was probably because the Committee members, teachers, and even the staffs of the League held strong suspicion about Amane’s aberrant consecutive wins without fighting.

However, despite being suspicious, nobody could prove that causality relationship.

......Anyway, the disturbance in the waiting room ended like that.

The turbulent third round had lowered its curtain, and the best four that would appear in the semi-finals of the event had been decided.



Part 3
And in the night of that day.

After visiting Shizuku Kurogane and Nagi Arisuin who were still unconscious, Ikki Kurogane went to the park next to the hotel for training.

The content was very ordinary.

It was just cutting apart a block that stood on the ground.

Ikki arranged his breathing and swung his weapon.

A sharp slash sound that severed the atmosphere of the night.

Each time, the block was cut apart like a test for Iaido[1].

When the block that was around his height had been shortened to about the height of his waist, Ikki stopped.

“Fuu......haa.”

At the same time, sweat flowed down from Ikki’s forehead like waterfall.

That was how much concentration he poured into those numerous slashes.

However, that was only natural.

The weapon Ikki was holding in his hands was......not his Device.

It was just...a piece of paper.

It was a piece of copier paper that was sold everywhere.

That’s right, he straightened the soft paper and sharply swung it like a blade without bending its edge, and cut the wooden material that was much harder than the paper.

Not to mention, his training would not end with just that.

After Ikki wiped away his sweat and fixed his breathing, the next thing that stood on the ground was not a block, but a metal pipe, and he repeated the same action.

With paper, he cut metal.

The world was forced to acknowledge that beyond-the-common-sense scene with his body technique reaching the superhuman realm.

However, it was still too difficult for Ikki, who could manipulate his body to that extent...

“Ah.”

In the next instant, by a little, really just by a little bit, the night breeze got stronger. In the middle of cutting the metal pipe, a small tearing sound came from the paper.

The paper blade reacted to the caress of the night breeze and went crooked.

Ikki sighed at that failure and combed up his sweat-drenched hair.

“No good. I was too concentrated on my body control. I need to notice the changes in the external factors as well.”

And, at that moment.

“That’s quite an unusual training.”

A familiar voice called out.

As he turned around, underneath the lighting from the street light, his most beloved walked towards him.

“Stella......”

“That, what kind of training is it?”

“It’s a training to control my body accurately. Thanks to imitating Edelweiss-san’s sword technique, my battle strength has raised quite a bit......but I have not mastered that sword technique yet.”

Originally, Edelweiss’s sword technique was a sword technique that did not produce any sound.

It converted all the energy generated from every action purely into movement and attack power without any loss or deviation, a godly technique that would not cause even the tiniest bit of vibration in the atmosphere.

However, Ikki’s Blade Steal had not reached that realm yet.

His movements still had a lot of energy loss and deviation.

“This training is to let my body make precise movements for the sake of not causing any loss or deviation. If I am able to use Edelweiss’s sword technique, using paper to cut metal will be a piece of cake. Just......that alone is not enough. No matter how accurately I move my body, if I don’t read the changes in the external factors and correspond to them, a loss will still happen as a result. That’s why......”

As he cut off his explanation, Ikki picked up a piece of copier paper from the bundle next to his feet, pinched it between his fingers and threw it like a shuriken.

The thrown copier paper flew through the air horizontally, dug into the metal pipe that stood on the ground for a few centimeters, before bending from its softness.

“In the end, if the objects that left my hand can avoid any energy loss, able to cut it into two......sound should be erased from my sword.”

“That’s an amazing godly technique......”

“Yes. She’s incredible, Edelweiss-san that is......It seems that I am still far from catching up with her.”

Stella had no words to reply to Ikki’s remark, as she believed that it was already quite a godly technique as it was.

Towards the silent Stella, Ikki...

“Thank you for just now.”

Stopped his training, and expressed his gratitude.

Stella tilted her head.

“What about just now?”

“About saving Shizuku. If I had arrived first, I think I might have attacked him after all.”

“Aah, I see. You don’t really have to thank me......It’s not something that I can forgive either.”

Stella did not think so much about the details like whether there might have been bigger trouble had Ikki arrived first back then.

It was simply to silence that guy even a second faster.

That......mouth of the insensitive guy who spouted thoughtless remarks selfishly.

Stella was......definitely not intimate with Shizuku.

There were many conflicts in their daily lives.

Since they loved the same man, it couldn’t be helped in a sense.

However, because of that, she was able to understand.

That was just how deep she had been thinking about Ikki.

That’s why──

“......Umm, Ikki. About Shizuku, what that guy had said was......”

Stella intended to follow up about the thoughtless remarks of Amane.

However, Ikki stopped her.

“It’s alright. I understand.”

“Eh......”

“......Since she’s being that straightforward, even I can tell. About Shizuku harbouring affection towards me not as a brother, but for someone of the opposite sex. However......at the same time, I also know that it’s not just that. Shizuku has harboured much more than that towards me.”

That was not just the affection towards someone of the opposite sex like Amane had said.

It was a lot of affection that was much more, much greater, to the point of him feeling guilty.

As a little sister, as a friend, as a mother, as a father, as a woman──

As just a single person, she had poured Ikki with all the affection that he had not been able to receive.

“Really, she’s a wonderful child that I do not deserve.”

She was his prided and most beloved little sister.

If it was for her sake, he would probably do anything.

He was certain of it.

“Amane-kun has hurt that Shizuku.”

That was not something forgivable.

He had no intention of forgiving him.

“I will absolutely make him pay......With my own hands, absolutely......!”

Azure flame-like anger seethed quietly in his pupils, Ikki threw the new piece of copier paper in his hand.

It pierced deeper into the metal pipe than before.

“Is that so......Then it’s fine. If Ikki has properly understood it then.”

Hearing Ikki’s words, knowing that he did not misunderstand, Stella sighed in relief.

Ikki smiled at Stella behaving that way.

“You’re gentle, Stella.”

Hearing that, Stella’s cheeks blushed and she looked away.

“C-Caring about my future little sister is only natural as a sister-in-law!”

As they were usually at odds, it was probably awkward to make her honestly admit her goodwill towards Shizuku.

That dishonest gentleness again made Ikki smile out of her loveliness.

“G-Geez. Then I’m going back. It will be bad to interrupt your training any further, and I also have a match tomorrow.”

“Got it. Tomorrow is finally the semi-finals after all.”

“Yeah. We have finally reached here.”

That’s right, finally.

Soon, they would be fulfilling the promise from that day.

“Tomorrow is a critical moment for both of us. Both of our opponents are formidable.”

“Fuun. Just what I wanted. I will be paying him back with interest for what he did that day.”

“......My brother, Ouma-san is strong. Probably, the strongest opponent Stella has fought so far.”

“I suppose. However──”

Stopping halfway, Stella grabbed a few pieces of copier paper next to Ikki and crushed them into a ball with her hands. And then──


“I have become even stronger than that.”


As she said it to him ── magic power boiled from her entire body.

Incandescent and hot wind blew out.

Amongst that sweltering heat storm, Ikki saw Stella’s back.

──The phantom of a huge dragon.

(This...is......!)

Immediately after,Stella threw the balled up paper towards the standing metal pipe.

The instant the paper ball hit, the metal pipe was split into two as if being torn apart, and the paper ball dug into the concrete wall of the park behind it without losing momentum.

Even Ikki was speechless.

“............That was unexpected.”

An object with the mass of a paper ball.

Just how much strength would be needed to throw it to cause that phenomenon.

Ikki could not begin to imagine.

Towards that surprised Ikki, Stella...

“......My match is first tomorrow. I will be waiting for you at the final round first, Ikki.”

After she glanced at him with her crimson pupils burning with fighting spirit, she left the park.

Her back showed definite confidence.

From the special training by Nene Saikyou, Stella had obtained great power without a doubt.

──However, at the same time, when Ikki had faced off against Ouma before, he had come into contact with his strength.

The strength of that power which supported him was also way beyond common sense.

A winning candidate of the current event.

The monstrous showdown between two rare A-Rank knights would probably be very intense.

In that case, the root to the strength of Stella’s body might be revealed.

──He looked forward to it. Truly.

However...

“Umm, Stella. It’s a little hard to say when you tried to leave after displaying your coolness......here......since it’s a public park......I think that it’s a bad idea to selfishly break things.”

“......I-I will confess to the Municipal Office on phone tomorrow......”

She probably thought that she went overboard herself as well.

Stella did not turn back, but her ears were dyed red in shame.

Well, it was just because of excessive force, not because she aimed at the wall purposely. Various facilities around the hotel, including the park, allowed contenders participating in the event to use them as training locations with limited use of magic, so she probably wouldn’t be punished.

“Now then......I should resume my training. Since today......I probably won’t be returning to the hotel.”

After Stella left, Ikki fixed his mood and put another block up.

And, at that moment.


“My oh my, how incredible. I have lived a long life, but it’s the first time I see a person able to dig a paper ball into concrete. Not to mention it’s a stray ball, how scary.”


A voice that gave off a gentle impression, but could definitely feel a solid core within it somewhere.

(Eh............)

Ikki knew that voice.

He had not heard it directly before, but......he had heard it many times.

That’s only natural. That voice was──


The voice of that country’s Prime Minister.



Part 4
“P-Prime Minister Tsukikage......!”

Bakuga Tsukikage showed up on the opposite side from the direction Stella had taken.

Being the Prime Minister of Japan, he was their fateful opponent, as well as the Chief Executive of Akatsuki Academy.

With an opponent that he had never thought possible to meet showing up, Ikki was visibly shaken.

In contrast, Tsukikage was...

“You have really grown up, Ikki-kun.”

He walked closer to Ikki and loosened his cheeks.

“......Have we met somewhere before?”

“It can’t be helped that you don’t remember. When Ryouma-san was still alive, I had once gone to Itsuki-kun to discuss about the Council Election, it was then that I had passed by you.”

Ikki was convinced by those words.

He had heard from brother Ouma that his father, Itsuki, was also involved in the founding of the National Akatsuki Academy.

Then, it would not be strange for Tsukikage to visit the Kurogane Household.

“That’s how it is......Then I apologize for my rudeness.”

While it couldn’t be helped that it was something he didn’t remember, Ikki gradually retreated backwards and kept Tsukikage in sight with caution.

In response to that, Tsukikage smiled bitterly.

“Haha......Even if you aren’t so cautious, an old non-combat type Blazer like me also can’t do anything to you.”

Certainly, based on his observation alone, he could not feel any battle power from Tsukikage.

His magic power was pretty high, but it was not to the degree of threatening.

However, even if that’s the case...

“Not being cautious is impossible. You are the leader of the enemies to us......And I cannot think of it as a coincidence  to meet at this timing and place. There’s also the part where you waited for Stella to be gone before showing up.”

Tsukikage nodded deeply to Ikki’s words.

“Well, true, it’s not a coincidence......Actually, there’s one thing I want to talk about with you.”

“With me......?”

“Aah. Can you spare a little of your time? It’s not a long talk.”

“I refuse.”

“An immediate answer, huh. So cold.”

“You should also know, right? The power of Amane-kun who is my opponent for tomorrow......I don’t know what kind of effect his Nameless Glory may have on me right at this moment. I can’t accept an invitation from the enemy’s leader under such circumstances.”

If it was only to the extent of Tsukikage attacking alone, he could probably handle it easily.

However, ever since it was decided that Ikki would be fighting against Amane in the semi-finals, he had been cautious of his Nameless Glory.

It was only natural. The reason was because, in order to fight against Amane, he had to first endure through the causality interference from Nameless Glory and reach the ring that would decide the victor of the semi-final.

He had to maintain caution in order to handle any unforeseen incident.

That’s why Ikki decided to wait till the next morning without sleeping that night.

He went to the park not only because of training. In a place with a wide range of sight, it would be easier to handle unforeseen incidents, as well as not to be buried alive in case of an earthquake.

Since he had already been so thorough, there was no reason to invite risk at that late hour.

Tsukikage groaned admirably after hearing Ikki’s reply.

“I see. That’s a good answer. You have trained, fought, and thought well......Shinguuji-kun must also be glad to have a student like you.”

He praised such a cautious Ikki. However, he continued to speak.

“But you don’t have to worry about that......That’s because it will be impossible for you to fight against Shinomiya-kun as it is now.”

“────Eh?”

Unable to comprehend Tsukikage’s words immediately, Ikki asked back.

“Is that...about me losing without a fight?”

Tsukikage shook his head.

“No. It’s not like that. He won’t make you lose without fighting. He won’t be satisfied with just that. Because Shinomiya-kun’s hatred is much deeper than you think. And then......my talk is none other than about that. It’s about Shinomiya-kun. How about it? Do you...have a little interest now? Hmm?”

“............────”

At that instant, Ikki understood.

He already had no other choice.

Negotiation was not something that could only be carried out after reaching the table.

It was something that was already finished before reaching the table.

An experienced politician like Bakuga Tsukikage understood that.

Ikki had no choice but to listen to him.

“......I understand. I will listen to what you have to say.”

“Thank you.”
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1 Iaido - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iaido

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for the chapter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice, thanks for the translation! It feels like Shizuku is doing a lot of jobbing for her brother argh. First she loses to Rakiri, and now Amano. I suppose it was inevitable, but it would be great to see her shine more.

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  3. What an amazing chapter! Shizuku's character is sooo amazing, but it's just too bad we can't see (read) her in fighting her full prime (since the fight at Hagun)

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  4. 。   ∧∧ ∩
        (`・ω・)/
       ⊂  ノ Thank!
        (つノ Nepu!!!
         (ノ
     ___/(___
    /  (___/
     ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄

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  5. Really thanks for more Rakudai ..

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Thank you for keep doing this work. All of us are really thankful with you and your work

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  8. Thank you so much for the chapter!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really like the work you are doing, good sir/madam. Is there any way for me to throw money at your face for this? I'd be happy to support your translation work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the "buy me a pizza" button (located above on the sidebar on desktop version and at the bottom on mobile version) is there for anyone who wishes to throw us a dollar or two :)

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    2. Awesome! Prepare your body, for I'm about to throw my spare change at you.

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  10. Hey are you planning to translate volume 9 after this or will you be skipping it cause I heard that it has already been translated somewhere?

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Thanks for the chapter!

    And for those who have the Same doubt as 'Anonymous' ,i heard that novel updates Will be using the translation of volume 9 that Jason did on his blog but Jason did not translate the whole volume bem just translated around 50% of it.(i AM not 100% that novel updates Will do this,its just what i heard)

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    Replies
    1. *they just translated around*
      *Iam not 100% sure that*

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    2. Jason said he would talk to them about it so let's leave the rest to Frozen :)

      I'm so happy with all the hard work that you guys are doing. Appreciation lvl 100

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