Montavo let out a breath and released the heat in his head.
Then he calmly thought.
— If he continued fighting Phryne like this, he would not get even a single chance to win.
Firstly he recognized that fact.
The opponent’s sword was extraordinarily fast.
She was essentially a different breed of human.
Someone who’s born that way.
Her heart that sought truth had exceeded the level of humans.
Competing with that will only earn him defeat.
“In that case …”
— Let’s show her how a human fights.
*suu…* Montavo extinguished the touki from his body.
He cast his eyes down, his pupils empty.
The corners of his mouth warped in a slovenly expression.
“Bocchan … have you finally given up?” said Phryne, strongly disappointed, “so that’s what you do when you understand you can’t win … very well, I’ll do you a favor and cut you down …”
Phryne closed the distance between them, as if saying, here’s your judgement.
In a perfect step with zero wasted movements.
Montavo was, until earlier, unable to react to it satisfactorily.
— read read read read read read!
Montavo stopped his master’s sword.
He stoped each and every one of the sword strikes she gave out.
Montavo was reading the motions of Phryne’s mind.
She did not show any superfluous moves, but inside that calm body existed a beating heart.
He could simply read that.
By provoking her, Montavo incited Phryne’s emotions.
— He could read human emotions.
Born to the house of Gingait, Montavo lived in the world of business, whirling with worldly emotions.
By accumulating experience negotiating with veteran merchants, he gained the skill to read the human heart.
By straining his nerves while speculating on stocks, he stared at the flow of the world invisible to the human eye.
By amusing himself gambling with people in the underground society, he brought up the grit to not be perturbed at anything.
Watching men, watching women, watching money, watching the night, watching drink — he watched people.
He had experienced life beyond what an ordinary human does.
Not a single day passed for him in leisure.
That experience was useless with regard to the sword — but even if it’s useless, it’s not unusable.
The sword is the reduction of an entire life of experience.
All excess thoughts dwelled in the blade.
Innate talent, accidents of life.
The two combined and now at this moment Montavo had perfected his own sword style.
While receiving his master’s sword, he added in small feints.
Phryne wasn’t an opponent who’d be tricked with something like that.
But by doing that small waves appeared in her thinking.
And he read those waves.
It was underhanded, it was crafty.
But what of it? Humans are such creatures to begin with.
If it’s an enemy he couldn’t reach by skill, they will surpass them by thinking and planning.
That is how humans climb to the top.
Phryne’s blows kept coming in like a summer rain 1.
He received them all.
Sword clashed with sword creating a serene metallic symphony.
The sound and the dance enhanced the senses.
The scene in his eyes went in slow motion, he was able to see various things.
Even things that he couldn’t normally see.
Ever since he was young, Montavo had always been by his master’s side.
But his heart was distant.
The human Montavo couldn’t possibly understand a superhuman’s mentality.
But he could now.
What her master thinks, her life, her solitude, he could grasp it by the palm of his hand.
— ah, such joy.
It was a time of supreme bliss.
He could go on like this forever.
*piki* … — there was a slight noise.
Montavo’s sword had started to crack.
“Motoki Motoki, this is starting to get tiring, let’s go home. I’m hungry, buy me a night snack?”
“Sorry Liu-chan, it’s getting good now so can quiet down please? For your whole life if you can? If possible I’d like you to shut up in the next life as well?”
“It’s fine already isn’t it. They’ll settle the fight whether we’re here or not. Sheesh, some battle this is”
“Just shut up already and cheer for Montavo …”
“Can I boo at him?”
“Out of the question”
Ignoring Liu’s noisy booing, I watched Montavo.
His situation was rebounding.
As if the earlier battle was a mistake, Montavo’s movements became better.
He was somehow liberated by the fact that I approved of his real self.
His way of fighting was infuriating, full of feints and tricks — but that’s how Montavo was.
“I suppose he’s fine like that …”
I had, for a time, tried to make Montavo into an honest human being like Phryne did.
But there might have been no need to force him to be that way.
Even a very human, cowardly scoundrel could be a protagonist depending on how the story goes.
The two danced in the arena.
They looked like long experienced pair dancers.
The sparks from the swords, the flaring of life, they adorned these two’s dance.
I want to keep watching it.
I wanted to watch, but — “the sword …”
There was something strange with Montavo’s sword.
There was an ominous noise.
It looked like his blade was beginning to crack.
“I knew it …”
My fears hit the mark.
Montavo had been growing splendidly well into a protagonist, but there was just one problem.
He did not have a sufficient weapon.
A heroic character would invariably have a named sword.
He still couldn’t handle one.
… What to do? Should I throw in a random sword?
But would Montavo be able to equip it?
Liu had failed to use any of the swords in the experiment the other day …
No, but it might be possible for Montavo now —
Then which sword —
Well, at times like this the right thing to do would be to have him succeed his master’s sword.
I looked to my waist.
There was Kai’s Ghulcyut there.
Even though it’s a replica, the sword that was given to Kai directly by a goddess was strong beyond compare.
Montavo probably wouldn’t be able to use it.
— but it’s not the case that he would certainly not be able to use it.
This was a demon sword that contained magic power, and on Montavo’s neck hung an anti magic treasure, the Sacrament Cage.
With the Sacrament Cage that annulls magic, Ghulcyut’s power will be drastically reduced.
“… but you see”
But even so, Ghulcyut was strong.
Too dangerous, I didn’t even get Liu to touch it.
That was how dangerous a reincarnator’s weapon is.
If the Montavo right now were unable to hold Ghulcyut and fainted — Phryne will naturally kill him.
And that —
“— well, whatever. Let’s deal with it when it happens”
I have already made up my mind.
Let’s stop thinking difficult things.
Let’s believe in my disciple.
“— Montavo! Take this!!”
I took the handle and swung, and the demon sword Ghulcyut stabbed the ground in between Montavo and Phryne.
— BOOOM …!!
The moment the sword hit the ground, a heavy sound rang throughout the place, and clouds of dust danced in the air.
“Take it and conquer it Montavo!!”
Don’t lose to a mere reincarnator’s sword.
If we reincarnators could use it, then you could too.
You who grieved and went through hardships, you who knew evil, and yet chose to continue walking, you, more than any reincarnator, are worthy of the title —
- TN: I’ve always liked the sound of the word samidare for some reason. ↩