Chapter 7 : Inhumane Business
Translated by Hikaru
Edited by Mel
“My specialty is close-quarter combat using close-range magic and this sword. How about you, Tweight?”
After deciding to team up, Elysia and I quickly moved on for our strategy meeting. I answered her as she lifted her sword lightly.
“Close-quarter combat and long-range shooting types. And I can also use fixed-point setup type too.”
“Sounds like an all-purpose type. Are you good at fighting alone?”
“Well, sort of. But I can’t use any supporting type.”
So, it’s still not an all-purpose.
There are five major types of magic: close-quarter combat type, close-quarter support type, long-range shooting magic type, long-range support type, and fixed-point setup type.
Close-quarter, long-range, and fixed-point each indicate the affected area of the magic. For example, the affected range of the close-quarter type is up to the target that the magician can touch.
And the martial arts and shooting types indicate the use of magic. It is classified, literally, as the name implies, martial arts – magic that is useful for close combat, or shooting – magic that is useful for long-range combat.
Most of the missions I was given by the institution were usually the ones that need to be carried out alone. Back then even if I had a small team, I was often instructed to dump them immediately if anyone was injured. For this reason, I never learned supporting magic to empower a third party. The institute’s soldiers have only honed the means to fight on their own.
“I can use short distance supporting magic. By the way, is there anything that you are not good at?”
I thought for a moment before answering Elysia’s question.
“I’m not very good at fighting head-on. If Elysia’s going to be in front, I’ll be in the back.”
“Though it’s fine… Are you sure you are not good at fighting head-on? You stopped my attack so easily just now.”
“It might be more accurate to say that it’s not my favorite than it is to say that I’m not good at it. My preference, by the way, is for surprise and assassination.”
“You say that you prefer assassination as if you’ve done it before…”
Slipped up a bit, I quickly faked an “I’m just kidding”.
Elysia replied, “Naturally.”
“I have a short reach, so I have to fall behind when it comes to long-range matches. From the looks of it, Farnez-sensei is also a close-range user, so I don’t think I’m worried about that, but I think I’ll rely on your shooting when it comes to it.”
“Copy that. Then I have a suggestion for a formation.”
Perhaps the battle will be in the gymnasium, where Farnez-sensei is on a rampage.
While observing the structure of the gymnasium, I told Elysia about the plan.
After the briefing, Elysia stared at me intently.
“… You’re strangely calm, or perhaps you’re used to it. I’m beginning to wonder what kind of life you’ve been leading.”
“I haven’t lived a great life. If I had to say, I’ve been living at the mercy of others.”
“Hmm. …Parents were strict or something?”
“That’s about it.”
It was the institution that brought me up to this point. The institution is like a parent figure to me.
“Well, let’s go.”
Elysia touched the scabbard. Together we stepped into the gymnasium where Farnez-sensei was.
Seeing Elysia entering the gymnasium, the red-haired swordsman Farnez-sensei let out a short voice. Beside Elysia, there was no one else. She once again turned herself to Farnez-sensei, alone.
“You’re alone. You were talking to the boy from earlier, I thought you had joined forces.”
Elysia smiles a little at Farnez-sensei’s words.
“Because I do not take such a weak hand.”
“…You’re a good swordsman, but you’re a little hard-headed. I’ll deduct points for that decision.”
“Is it a point-scoring system, this trial?”
“That’s right. But it’s not me who decides the score, it’s the judges outside.”
“I see. Then I have one question for you,” Elysia said.
“No matter how many points you lose – you wouldn’t fail the person who beat a teacher, would you?”
At the question, Farnez-sensei rolled her eyes for a moment. Then she answered with a smile.
“Yeah. Let me assure you.”
A moment later, Elysia has stepped through the ground.
The close-quarter martial arts style magic 《Tough Body Rage》enables her to achieve inhuman physical abilities. With a single step, Elysia approached Farnez-sensei’s bosom and swung the white blade out with unnoticeable speed.
Farnez-sensei, too, drew her sword with a speed as fast as Elysia’s. The two swords collided, and sparks flew.
Elysia continued her onslaught so that she wouldn’t fall behind, however, Farnez-sensei accurately held her sword and surpassed it.
Elysia was the first to reach the limit of the sword fights that continued many times.
Her body refused to do more anaerobic exercise. She’s not going to be able to get it right. However–
“There, don’t rest your hand!”
Farnez-sensei saw through Elysia’s condition. As soon as Elysia stepped back, Farnez-sensei went on the offensive this time.
She was not in a good position. Elysia judged if she was attacked now, she would be blown wide open. With her left hand Elysia created a shield.
A loud metallic sound echoed. The shield that suddenly appeared in Elysia’s left hand deflected the flash of Farnez-sensei’s sword.
“You made a shield with a materialization fixation. Good decision.”
Elysia, who instantly adjusted her stance, wielded her sword again.
Unlike before, Elysia now had a shield in one hand. However the attacks, rather than becoming meek, became even more aggressive. Elysia prefers to fight utilizing the sword and shield at the same time. While performing swordplay with one hand, she exchanged auxiliary movements with her shield. She blocked Farnez-sensei’s vision with her shield and used the opportunity to unleash a thrust. But Farnez-sensei read this, and even though it blocked her vision, she tried to evade it. She didn’t give any time to breathe. Elysia instantly cut back the blade and unleashed a reverse kesa slash. Farnez-sensei saw this too, and caught it with her sword.
“That sword is… I see, it’s a magic tool. No wonder it’s powerful.”
Elysia clicked her tongue at Farnez-sensei, who calmly continued her analysis amidst the heated exchange.
“You can afford it–!”
“I’m not a heroic teacher, you know. I’m sure you’ll find that my sword is also a magic tool. It’s a bit sturdier than a normal sword, but it’s not very magical.”
Farnez-sensei said without losing breath.
The creation of magical tools cannot be done through close quarter-style magic《Materialization》, therefore the creation of armor by 《Materialization》was often only a stopgap. Since magic tools have unparalleled performance compared to normal tools, everyone prepares their own magic tools when it comes to equipping them in earnest.
Elysia’s sword is a magical tool.
The shield is a makeshift piece of 《Materialization》, but the sword is irreplaceable.
As Farnez-sensei said, Elysia’s sword has the power to double the power of the slash.
However Elysia had no intention of relying on that sword. She practiced swordsmanship more than anyone else. Aside from Farnez-sensei, the fact that she was stopped by a boy who had no idea what horse’s bones were from… was amazing. Usually it cannot be surpassed so easily.
“Your technique belongs to a knight.”
In the midst of the fierce sword fight, Farnez-sensei said.
“To a knight order somewhere – no, you can’t belong to any order at your age. Then… have you ever studied under a knight?”
“Have you not looked over my documents submitted in advance…? It should be easy to recognize if you look at it.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I haven’t seen the papers yet. I’m trying to make this exam a fair fight, so–!”
Farnez-sensei’s spirits increased.
Even if you try to find a way to make it work, there is still a limit to what you can do on your own. Elysia’s onslaught gradually lost momentum and eventually became a defense.
Farnez-sensei’s slash was blocked by the shield, but it was not able to kill the impact and was blown away lightly.
“The cause of defeat is obvious. No matter how confident you are, you shouldn’t take on a higher-ranked opponent by yourself.”
Farnez-sensei raised her sword while faltering and laying out the words.
“As soon as the exam is over, I’ll tell you if you’ve passed or failed.”
Farnez-sensei’s sword was swung down, but then, Elysia laughed.
“No, –I’ll have you decide the pass or fail right now.”
A second later…
Somewhere, there was a bang and some kind of bursting sound.
Farnez-sensei, who had been taking it easy a moment ago, instantly lost her composure. She retreated quickly with a look of frustration on her face.
Immediately after, a high-speed bullet pierced the place where Farnez-sensei was standing just a moment ago. If the retreat had been delayed even slightly, the bullet would have penetrated Farnez-sensei’s body by now. Farnez-sensei, who dodged the bullet in the nick of time, cried out, dripping cold sweat.
“– 《Sniper Snipe》?”
Hearing Farnez-sensei’s loud cry, I chuckled.
Long-range shooting magic 《Sniper Snipe》. It is magic that allows for long-range and precise shooting.
After parting with Elysia, I quickly went upstairs to the gymnasium without being noticed by Farnez-sensei, and then used 《Toughness》to jump into the attic. The roof of the gymnasium has many holes in it, and I shot at Farnez-sensei through one of them.
Perhaps she noticed this position in the current shooting; Farnez-sensei glared at me and said something.
“You have a good arm, but it’s a shame you missed on your first shot”
That’s not a line from a school teacher. She spoke like an institutional instructor.
I couldn’t hear her voice, but I knew what she was saying from her lip movements. It’s a technique called lip-reading. It’s a compulsory subject at the institution.
When the position was broken, the firing line could be read, so I immediately started moving. I told Elysia in advance where I would move.
My position changes depending on the number of shots and the current position of Farnez-sensei. Next is the second shot, and the current position of Farnez-sensei is near the wall of the gymnasium. Then I’m going to move closer to the entrance of the gymnasium and get as far out of Farnez-sensei’s field of view as possible.
The second shot – A bullet that was a mass of magical power was fired at Farnez-sensei, who was slashing with Elysia.
But it failed. Farnez-sensei hit the bullet with a sword.
It’s an inhuman reaction speed. It turns out that she is quite good at using《Toughness》. Additionally, perhaps that sword is a magical tool. It’s very easy to hit the bullets fired by《Sniper》… it’s pretty sturdy. But now there’s a problem with my sniping.
“Damn, that’s inaccurate!”
After all, this is the extent of…is it this much for the staff?
There is a magical tool in this world referred to as staff. The correct term is『magic staff』as it is called. The sole purpose of the『magic staff』is ‘assisting the activation of magic’. Whether to assist with firepower or magical accuracy varies from concept to concept, but those who are good at magical combat usually carry a staff. Particularly, the staff works well with long-range magic.
Although the long-range shooting spell《Sniper》 can be activated by bare hands, due to the nature of precision shooting, it is difficult to control it directly, so in general it is recommended to use a 『magic staff』to activate it. That’s why I’m using a staff procured locally – it’s hard to use an unfamiliar staff.
Some staffs are called『sniper staff』and are specialized for the use of《Sniper》… Of course, the staff I’m using right now is just a『magic staff』and not a 『sniper staff』.
“But I got the sense.”
I fired two shots.
The first shot was to check the angle of fire. The second shot was to check the range. Having done each of these, I somehow read the nature of this staff.
“It’s difficult to aim for a nonkilling shot with《Sniper》but… it’s not impossible to do so.”
I changed position again and got into a sniper’s stance. Hiding in the shadow of the rubble, I laid down and extended my staff straight out.
Pointing the tip of the staff at Farnez-sensei, I recalled the past a little.
In this case, should I have brought the familiar『sniper staff』?
I remembered the magic tool I used to carry as a work tool, but that was not my property. Originally it was a tool I borrowed from the institution. Now that the institution had been dismantled, my『sniper staff』is under the control of the institution’s higher organization – the state.
The time to use that is when I become a national dog again.
Now is not the time, not yet.
The third shot – The bullet that was released was hit by Farnez-sensei’s sword again.
Next time I did not move. I immediately fired the fourth shot, but this, too, is played by the sword. After moving a little, I prepared the fifth shot.
“Well, I’ll leave the rest to you.”
I said when I looked at the face of Elysia, who was engaged in a heated swordsmanship game. And when I fired the fifth shot–
–Farnez-sensei’s sword shattered.
At that moment, Elysia thought “I can’t believe it!” and “Great opportunity!” Suddenly, she was determined to do it.
“What a fool!?”
Farnez was astonished. Elysia was just as surprised at heart.
“Indeed” that boy – Tweight said.
The ideal is to hit《Sniper》directly and defeat it. If that is too difficult, then try to incapacitate it. However–
–It’s not a human ability.
Elysia was frankly impressed. Farnez-sensei’s swordsmanship was first-class. Perhaps she has lived a long life with a single sword path, therefore the movement was calculated even if the attack by《Sniper》was hit with a sword. Farnez-sensei adjusted the angle of the sword to avoid straining the sword, and instead of blocking the bullets, she deflected them.
However, as if to ridicule Farnez sensei’s technique, what Tweight tried was to have the bullets hit at the exact same place on the sword.
Immediately after the fourth shot, Elysia felt “no way”.
And when the fifth shot was fired and Farnez-sensei’s sword shattered, Elysia’s prediction was proven to be correct.
No matter how much Farnez-sensei deflected the force of the bullets, if it hit directly at the same spot many times, the strain on the blade was inevitable.
The logic is understandable, but my feelings were not convinced.
It is no exaggeration to say that it was a precision shooting divine act. After all, the opponent was a moving target, and it’s extremely difficult to aim at part of the sword blade. It could not be achieved without predicting the movement of Farnez-sensei and complete foreknowledge of how to shoot and how to prevent it.
“Don’t tell me you aimed for this…!? Let me deliberately dodge the bullets…!?”
Farnez-sensei was not believing it, and neither was I. But the results are right in front of our eyes. It’s hard to believe, but this is real.
Elysia closed in on Farnez-sensei, who was so stunned. Farnez-sensei reflexively readied her sword, but the sword was broken. With its reach being halved ― the strike can’t be prevented.
Elysia’s strike stopped at Farnez-sensei’s neck.
“It is a win.”
To Elysia’s words, Farnez-sensei exhaled deeply and replied.
“Oh… I lost.”
The place was completely quiet. The other candidates in the gymnasium also stiffened in surprise at Farnez-sensei’s defeat. Soon after, Tweight came in.
“It worked well.”
For a moment Farnez-sensei looked at Tweight, who was coming over fluidly, as if she were looking at a monster. However, as she remembered her pride as a teacher, she immediately turned to Tweight with a smile of praise.
“You are the《Sniper》. It’s very impressive… that was really good, really good.”
Tweight replied with a disinterested look. Elysia suddenly wondered about the appearance of Tweight.
“Tweight. That staff… You did not have it before you parted with me, did you?”
Tweight was now carrying a black staff on his back. I’m sure it’s a『magic staff』, but where did he get it?
“Oh, I got this nearby. There was a student with a staff in a very convenient spot, so I caught him and asked him to lend me for a while. Well, I could have done without it, but–”
“Wait a minute. You got him… eh? You mean you got one right after you separated with me? In such a short time?”
Looking unconcerned, Tweight nodded. Elysia on the other hand, was dripping cold sweat.
This guy – who is he?
Such questions swirled around in her heart.
“So, I’m going to return this staff.”
With that said, Tweight turned on his heel, but just before he started walking, he turned around and opened his mouth.
“I don’t need the prize either, so you take it.”
Shortly after returning the staff to its owner, the sound of a whistle could be heard throughout the old school building. It signaled that the entrance examination for the hero department was over.
The examinees, both those who survived and who were eliminated, were gathered in the auditorium, and shortly afterward successful candidates were announced. If your name is called, you passed. If your name was not called, you failed.
I wanted to enter the regular course, but why am I here? I waited in a daze for ten minutes, while thinking that.
Finally, the pass/fail of all the examinees was announced.
Hi everyone, this is Hikaru. Together with Mel, we will be the new translator and editor for this series.
I’ve made some changes on the naming to make it more align with the Manga, hope this is fine.
Last but not least, hope you will enjoy reading the story as I am. ^^
Read only at Travis Translations