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Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist, Editor: Krizzeir
Chapter 4: Let's Raise the New Demon Lord, Part 6
「I wanted to be with Aur…」
「There, there, Mari. There's no need to pout.」
Yunis cheered Mari up as they were walking down the dark corridor.
「Mama, please cheer up.」
Sofia patted her mother's head. The three of them, plus Tena, were chosen to go down the road to the left. Since there were two different roads, it was decided that the two Dungeon Masters in their party should each go a separate way. And since Sofia wanted to stay with Mari no matter what, there was no way for the three of them to be in the same group.
Aur decided that it would be best if Yunis, a spirit, and Tena, the future seer would go with Mari and Sofia. He himself took the right road with Spina and Lilu.
That way, the instructions based around Tena's predictions could be pa.s.sed between the two groups indefinitely. Even if Yunis tried to teleport herself and Tena back to Aur, they wouldn't be able to jump back to Mari.
Since they parted ways, Tena was looking at Yunis with curious eyes. It was obvious that she was strong, but when it came to predicting her future, she wasn't able to do it. She saw nothing. It was a first time that something like that happened to her.
「By the way, Yunis. You seem to be awfully strict with me lately.」
「Well of course, I am your master when it comes to training, after all. So you need to show me proper respect.」
And she stroked Mari's head with gentle movements.
「I am aware of it myself, so don't beat yourself up over it.」
「Well, it certainly wouldn't hurt you to be a little nicer.」
「I'll take that under advis.e.m.e.nt. And remember: No matter what, I will always protect you.」
Then her ear twitched and she took her sword out of its sheath with lightning speed and knocked down the arrow that was fired from somewhere in the distance to the ground.
Only when Mari heard a low voice coming from the back of the aisle and blinked a few times did she realized that she was attacked.
「Knocking down arrows as they travel through the air is an impressive feat. It is said that only one in a hundred swordsman is capable of pulling that off. This was my first time seeing something like that, and I must say… it really was magnificent.」
Out of the shadows came a man with the bow in one hand and a sword on his waist. His arms were thick as logs and wide as barrels. He was no higher than Yunis, but he must've been twice her size when it came to the sheer muscles.
「It's not that hard to pull off as it sounds.」
The man threw the bow and quiver to the side and took up the sword from his waist.
「Mari, stand back. I'm going to be his opponent.」
Yunis took a fighting stance as she the single edged sword in the man's hand.
「My name is Hoderi. Let's have a good fight.」
「I am Yunis. You took the words right out of my mouth.」
Hoderi was keeping his sword close to his face with both hands, while Yunis held her double-edged blade with one hand. They were both gauging the opponent in front of them, waiting to make the first move and seize the initiative.
And in the next moment, they rushed at each other with a thunderous roar. Both of them were aiming for the other's vital points, and their blades met halfway, generating sparks and a ringing song of metal grinding against metal. During this clash, Yunis' sword got knocked to the side, and the man aimed at her unprotected neck.
Yunis swiftly threw her head to the side to avoid the thrust, and immediately countered by striking Hoderi's temple with the pommel of her sword. Taking that blow head on, he kicked Yunis in retaliation.
「YOU ARE STRONG!」
As she was jumping around and using the momentum to dodge-roll on the ground, Yunis praised her opponent with a loud voice full of admiration.
He was not a hero or anything of the sort, she understood that during that earlier exchange. His strength was not inherited from his father or older brother. It was the pure strength base on responsiveness and accuracy. It was not a talent or a skill granted by Heaven, just a simple technique, polished to maximum by discipline and practice.
As a swordsmen, he was far superior to Yunis.
Which meant that by fighting him, she could become even stronger herself.
This whole situation made her laugh with joy.
「Laughing death in the face, are we?」
Even though he was sweating, Hoderi was all fired up inside. He always took pride in defeating strong opponents with his pure skill, but something was telling him that he was not going to win this match.
「Truth to be told, I want to fight you a bit more…」
She bowed to him respectfully.
「…but I'm afraid that I must cheat a little now.」
Her sword was somewhat shorter than Hoderi's, and he was sure that even if she was moving at double speed, he would have no problems with coping with her attacks. Yunis also knew it. Nevertheless, he just waited patiently for her next move. Even if she wanted to use some strange or unknown technique, be it something related to fire, or water, or anything else, he was determined to face it head on and blast through it.
「You are already finished.」 (TL Note: Omae wa mou, s.h.i.+ndeiru.)
「What?」 (TL Note: Nani?!)
In the next instant, his body was sent flying
「What the… fu…」
As he fell on the stone floor, he heard the apology not in front, but behind him.
He didn't know how it happened, but it happened.
It was as if she teleported behind him while simultaneously slas.h.i.+ng him a thousand times with her weapon. It was so fast that he couldn't even react.
His whole body was marked with deep cuts, but none of those wounds was life threatening. She could've just slash away at his neck and be done with him with a single move, and yet she chose to spare his life.
「Why… won't you kill me…?」
He asked, putting his remaining strength into it.
To a warrior such as him, there was no greater shame.
「I just don't feel like killing you.」
What Yunis did was the combination of her powers as a spirit: teleportation and metastasis. The result was a slash too fast for the eye to perceive that was repeated a thousand times. Since the actual sword slash does not have any weight of proper shape, this move did not consume all that much magical power. It was a sword skill, but infused with powers that were available only to her, and that's why she was reluctant to use it in battles with her fellow swordsmen.
「You've gotta be sh*tting me….」
But it didn't matter to Hoderi all that much.
They had a fair battle, and he lost it. For someone like him, who was born to hold a sword and lived his whole life with it, losing to someone like Yunis was no reason to feel shame.
「Now, this might sound rude, but you see, we are kinda in a hurry, so if you'll please excuse us we will be taking our leave then. Oh, but if possible I would like to fight you again someday, so please do your best not to get yourself killed until then, okay?」
Yunis put her hands together and bowed apologetically.
「Ku, ha… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!」
Feeling somehow refreshed despite all his wounds, Hoderi laughed with his heart filled with joy.
「Fine, as you wish. It's not like the losers can get to dictate the terms anyway.」
She was the winner, so he had to honor her somehow.
「I'll tell you this. Right about now, my sister Hoseli should be closing in on your other companions.」
「Is that so?」
When she heard those words, Mari's eyes opened widely.
「Yunis, we have to go help them!」
Just from watching the fight from the sidelines, Mari understood that this man was by no means a pushover. If the other one was as strong as him or stronger, then even Aur might…
「Is she stronger than you?」
「She did not lose a single fight up to this moment.」
Hoderi affirmed Yunis' suspicions.
「Your companions have no chance of winning against her.」
「Oh? Now that's something new.」
Hoderi was dumbfounded at Yunis' calm demeanor.
When choosing an opponent to attack, it was imperative to measure one's ability accordingly. There should be no one in that other group who could be able to match Hoseri in a fight.
「Is it really okay?」
「Yeah, sure. Spina's there, so no worries.」
Mari was seriously worried, but Yunis' words surprised her beyond belief.
「Is… is Elder Sister really that strong?」
「Eh? So you don't know? No one has ever told you?」
Told her what? To her understanding, Spina was a talented and gifted mage, but she knew little aside from that.
「Then listen well: Spina is much stronger than me since long time ago.」