Author: Kaburagi Haruka
Translator: ShiroiKaze/Soyokaze Translations
1st Act, Chapter 19: Awakening the Cheats
Author’s Note: This time I’m experimenting with increasing the number of viewpoint changes.
It will go Yuuri → Alec → Bandit → Alec → Yuuri.
I chased after Alec in a hurry… and then went back to the cottage. After all, I need to deliver his weapon to him!
I spring into my room and pull out Sentinel.
And then I leave a note for my Master to keep him from worrying in case he comes back.
Alec said he saw a strange light in the middle of the mountain, and then ran off after it. I’m going to find him —Yuuri
This way Alec should be the only one getting scolded. Perfect!
Next, I put out the fire place so that we don’t have any accidents, and block the windows and entrance with [clay walls] so burglars can’t get in.
Just doing that much work ended up costing me 5 minutes.
It definitely wouldn’t be good to get any later of a start than this. Let’s hurry and chase after him.
(Alec’s point of view)
I carefully advance into the forest. I should arrive at the place where I saw the light soon.
It doesn’t look like Yuuri was motivated to come along, but when I hear something like a little girl was caught by thieves, how could I possibly stay put?
— I can faintly hear someone’s voice where I’m headed. I’m getting close.
I lower my posture, silence my footsteps, and move in closer.
Against a steep cliff in the middle of the mountain, there’s a cave that I think was originally a monster’s den.
In front of it, in a slightly open area, there’s a bunch of guys surrounding a bonfire.
“You, what’re you thinking bringing a brat like that back?”
“Is this guy some kinda pedo?! Guhyahyahya!”
“Shuddup! If we sell ‘er as a slave, we’ll make some profit!”
“Would’a been better if you killed her back there!”
“Ye ain’t wrong! Be no trouble that way.”
The guys are gulping down cups of alcohol, and even boisterously blowing off steam.
This is dangerous. It looks like these guys weren’t as prudent as my Master said. I’m not worried about anything like me being discovered. Anyway, it looks like the girl is still fine.
The number of people… is surprisingly large, with 13 that I can see.
But if they’re gonna attack the village, won’t there be a little more?
“Shiiit, there’s nothin’ to go wit the alcohol… maybe harassin’ the brat’ll make me feel better.”
“hey, hey, won’t that lower her value?”
“Won’ change much, wit a brat like that!”
One of them loosens his belt while heading towards the cave—this is bad!
It doesn’t look like I have time for Yuuri to catch up, or to wait for my Master.
Shit, I’ll surprise attack one or two of them, and after that I’ll have to persevere…
I pulled out my sword, made up my mind, and charged.
(Bandit’s point of view)
“Keh, what’s with this brat… suddenly coming out swinging his sword around!?”
A village brat? Anyway, since he made the first move and came to us, the archers on the cliff will be taking aim.
There was a guard watching, so what was he doin’ slackin’ off?!
Well, he looks more or less trained, but he’s still a child. He ain’t a problem for us.
“Id hurds! Id hurds, dabbit!”
“You idiot! Don’t get done in by a brat!”
… The first dummy that was hit is the exception, the fucker.
“I couldn’t avoid it because I was in the middle of takin’ off my clothes!”
“You shitty brat… don’t think a bastard like you is gonna get away alive!”
“Mga, bastaaard! I’ll cut yer limbs off, PUNK!”
My subordinates mercilessly surround the brat. The brat’s also moving about defensively, but it’s only a matter of time.
“Shit, you guys… uwa?! My Master already found this place… so if you don’t run away soon, don’t think you’ll be let off easy!”
“Aaah? Ooo, scary! So when’s he comin’, this master o’ yers?”
“Dun give us them worthless threats! Think we’d back off with that?!”
He’s desperately evading, but… ah, thinks he can drive us off with words? As if we’d fall for that kind of threat.
At any rate, the brat probably entered the mountain tryin’ to be the hero and found us here by chance.
There’s no way we can send him back alive like this.
“Kill that brat. Don’t even think about keeping him alive to sell.”
“HEHE, we gonna kill you, we gonna kill yooou!”
Soon the encirclement will narrow. If the brat tries to run, he’ll be the perfect distance for the guys behind us.
It’s over—when I thought that, a voice sounded from the forest.
“Alec, grab the sword!”
Along with the voice… a massive sword flew this way.
(Alec’s point of view)
This looks bad. I can’t run away. When I was giving up, at that moment—a massive sword was thrust into the ground at my feet.
“Alec, grab the sword!”
I didn’t have time to think. Anyway, I reflexively take the sword’s grip in hand.
I didn’t even have the spare time to blurt out a doubtful “can I lift this?” toward the overly massive sword. I was convinced that if I wanted to live, then this was my only chance.
—Click, something in my body just felt like it fit.
I instinctively realize that my footwork, stance, grip on my sword, etc. were all wrong up until now.
The sudden appearance of the massive sword took the wind out of the sails of the bandits, and using that opening… I use the huge sword to beat the crap outta them!
With a bwoof sound beating out the rhythm, the upper halves of the thieves were blown away.
This is [weight reduction]’s effect? My astonishment comes forward at the weight being reduced to what I can easily swing around with one hand.
Making it lighter didn’t cause its mass to disappear at all. To keep the power from disappearing after I swing, I continue swinging it around this way.
Since I wasn’t used to the sword, my position broke; in that moment, I guess they took the opening? The bandits come jumping towards me.
“How dare you, asshole!”
“Dun mess with us, bastard!”
Two of them came forward. Using the momentum of Sentinel missing its target, I twist my body and send the sword out to my side to mow them down.
With the overwhelming difference in timing, my blade arrived earlier.
Sentinel mows them down, splitting them both into two equal parts.
This unbelievable scene is way too outlandish…
With the unrealistic scene of a boy, just a little over 10, swinging around a large sword that far exceeds his own height, the bandits faltered.
“Keh, bastard! Why the hell are you spacin’ out?! Don’t go FREAKIN’ OUT about a huge weapon!”
The boss-like guy in the back barks that out. I wonder if he feels… that at this rate his subordinates are gonna run away?
“That huge weapon will leave him wide open; get in close to him! Think of him like he’s using a spear!”
Do they even have experience fighting against spears? Another three step forward.
But a sword and a spear are very different. Especially since Sentinel here’s [weight reduction] makes it light enough for a one-handed swordsman.
Primarily the unbelievable swinging speed and trajectory. They have to slip into the defensive gaps of such a strangely complex flashing blade.
For the brazenly amateur bandits, that’s just too much to handle.
In the blink of an eye, those three were cut down.
… Amazing, I didn’t think there would be this much of a difference just by holding this sword. So this is the power of a gift?
What the? I feel like I can hear vomiting and weeping sounds from the forest behind me, but that’s just my imagination, right?
Running my sight around to check on the remaining six, I saw the boss-like guy swing his hand downward.
What’s he—before I can finish that thought, a rain of arrows comes flying towards me?!
I immediately used Sentinel as a shield, but my right shoulder took an arrow.
The arrow penetrated my right shoulder… it’s in pretty deep.
My hand slips from the handle. I only have the one hand, so this wound is a huge problem!
The arrows descend towards me. Five remaining people are jumping at me from the right and left.
I use my left arm to pull sentinel out, and hide beneath it to dodge the arrows.
But I guess… this is it? At that moment—
(Yuuri’s point of view)
Yeah, I certainly figured he’d probably kill people… but I didn’t think it would be that gruesome.
—This is worse than mincing them, Alec!
If they take a direct hit from sentinel, they just end up as ground meat. The blade has enough power behind it to send limbs flying at the slightest touch.
It’s pretty amazing when gift holders use weapons they’re suited for.
Seeing their numbers cut in half in an instant, I guess I should have been relieved. But I couldn’t stomach it very well.
While I was giving the nearby plants some nutrition, Alec was shot by an arrow!
Alec took the attack with his right shoulder, and now he’s underneath sentinel…
Seeing that, there was a snap, and it felt like something broke in my head.
—You pests! What do you think you’re doing to my little brother?!
Since I don’t know where the shooters are, I use “appraisal” on the entire space in front of me, and check the location of the enemies.
That action gave birth to an unexpected effect.
The enemies’ movements… their lines of sight, the location of rocks and grass, and even the flow of the air; I could grasp everything.
“Ugh, up until now I’ve only targeted items or living things with ‘appraisal’. So this is what happens when I use it on a “space”…?”
With the sudden and massive influx of information, my brain screams—but see if I care!
I endure the squealing of the headache with “adaptability”.
Within the air of my magic’s territory, my perception spreads out as far as I can accurately understand.
I start up two of the [heat rays] I used to blow away the roof a while back, and activate five [heat balls] in parallel.
Normally magicians can invoke multiples of one spell at a time, but they can’t activate two different spells simultaneously.
First is the necessity of creating the image. And then the power to draw the magic circle. Processing those things in parallel can’t be done.
But right now I can do that. With “peerless magic”, I can process spells in parallel.
My perception with “appraisal” rapidly expands, and the phenomenon I want to manifest comes to my mind.
Two types of spells, seven attacks. The image of those coming together into one event.
Two [heat rays] are released with my scream.
Up on the cliff, in the two places with archers, their footholds evaporate.
The sections of cliff that were gouged away melt down, bubbling and flowing like lava.
At the sudden fierce light, the bandits pull away.
—But I’m not forgiving you, you know? I’ll have you atone for hurting my boy!
Facing toward the five remaining bandits other than the boss, I let my simultaneously activated “heat balls” fly.
These [heat balls] are different from the usual ones we use for heating; they’re sweetened with a higher temperature and compressed.
To make sure they miss Alec, they’re also flying fast enough that they won’t have time to react. The [heat balls] burn the bandits’ bodies, and when they reach inside the bandits, they decompress explosively.
With a sound similar to that of putting a drop of water into heated oil, the bandits explode.
Ah, that’s dangerous by the way, so don’t try that at home, alright?
I exterminated them without asking any questions. In the blink of an eye, seven lives were taken away.
With that I put [wind blades] in my hands and slowly approached Alec.
“Are you alright, Alec?”
I move sentinel out of the way, and help him up by his left arm.
The arrow in his right shoulder is piercing through it, so it looks like it’ll be easy to take out, but there will be bleeding, so it would probably be best to leave it in for now.
I didn’t have time to grab healing potions or the like after all.
“I didn’t have time to grab any medicine to treat you, so endure it for now please. Well, you get what you deserve I think.”
“Yeah… that’s, well, fine I guess.”
“Well then, I’ve got someone to talk to over there.”
Judging that Alec isn’t in any immediate danger, I head towards the boss-looking guy.
“I’d like to ask you some things.”
“You think I’d ta—GYAAaaa?!”
When I noticed he was giving me lip, I let a [wind blade] go and severed his left arm.
“Answer while you still have your limbs. On to what I want to ask.”
“AAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAaaaaaahh, my arm, MY AAAAARRRRRmmmAAAaa!”
“Now then, do you have any other companions around? Where’s the girl you abducted? Just so you know… I’m pretty pissed right now, alright?”
“HEEE! My arm… arm…”
He was responding slowly, so I amputated his ankle too.
“My temper is also running short. I think it would be best if you answer quickly.”
“My companions are all… already gone! You evaporated them all! The brat is in the cave over there! Now help me—Gebhu!”
I heard what I wanted to hear, so I used a [wind blade] to remove his neck and shut him up.
This was the first time I “murdered” someone.
A/N: Next is the last chapter of the first arc.
T/N: Drunken bandits are weird to translate.