Chapter 243: The Conditions for a Duel
Rishia holds her blade out as if to challenge him.
What’s this? I can feel Chi gathering en masse with her at the center.
It’s not coming from within her body.
Chi is collecting from the outside and lending her power.
(TL: Peerless Activity. I didn’t change Hengen Musou, so I’m keeping this as is)
I hear a loud snapping sound, but perhaps it’s just my imagination.
However, as soon as I heard it, I suddenly felt Rishia’s strength increasing.
The current Rishia’s Chi rivals Firo’s… no, it exceeds her’s.
Amazing… Is this how Rishia is when she’s serious?
Hengen Musou. The style that was born out of the desire to save the world without having to rely on Heroes.
Rishia has grasped the essence of it and is utilizing it to increase her power level.
Right now, I cannot measure just how high her basic strength is.
I’m not sure if she can breach my defenses, but she’s at least an opponent I would have to be wary of.
The anxiety I had when Female Knight challenged the cursed Ren isn’t present here.
“I see… So you can gather Chi like that. How interesting.” (Atlas)
I’m in agreement with Atlas’s words.
Like that, she can fight using an outside energy source and without expending any of her own Chi.
It looks easy, but I bet actually putting it into practice is ridiculously difficult.
And wait, I think I’ve seen those movements used by someone else before.
That bird who’s tilting her head right now.
Those movements are exactly like Firo’s when she’s recovering her magic.
Rishia takes off at an amazing speed and rushes right at Itsuki.
“Hengen Musou Rapier Skill! 「Spiral Slash」!” (Rishia)
Chi begins gathering around her blade in a spiral pattern.
Perhaps he sensed that he wouldn’t get off lightly from such a blow. Itsuki dodges by a paper-thin margin and releases his arrow.
… For some reason, it draws an arc in the air and heads towards me again!
I promptly activate Meteor Shield and strengthen it to take on Itsuki’s arrow.
The glowing arrow splits and multiplies, and countless blasts rain down on my shield.
I angle the Shield on my arm upwards just in case.
With the sound of breaking glass, my Meteor Shield crumbles, and the leftover arrows come down on me.
By the way, I take no damage.
When he’s fighting Rishia and the others, why must he focus on me!?
“I won’t let you escape!” (Itsuki)
With her first attack dodged, Rishia continues her assault on Itsuki.
It seems the only skill she’s using is that one called Spiral Slash.
It’s amazing that she can fire it off so consecutively.
Unlike Female Knight’s barrage of light blows, I feel that each and every one of Rishia’s attacks are at full power. I can tell just by looking.
“Don’t forget about me! 「Gravity Blade」!” (Ren)
However, perhaps because his weapon had high specs, Rishia’s and Ren’s attacks are unable to inflict any deep wounds on him.
And it seems that the wounds he received are regenerating.
Perhaps that damn Witch went as far as to perform Body Modifications on him.
“Just this much… Isn’t enough to stop me!” (Itsuki)
The Curse Miasma around Itsuki explodes and knocks down his enemies.
“How troublesome… Eclaire beat me when I was using this kind of power!?” (Ren)
“Itsuki-sama, you can’t lose yourself to that power! You’ll definitely regret it!” (Rishia)
“You’re the ones who will regret it! Just awaken to Justice already! 「Arrow Squall」!” (Itsuki)
“Like I’d let you! I’m sorry you two!” (Naofumi)
Before Itsuki can use his skill, I gather my magic and release it.
My prison manifests with Itsuki at the center.
Rishia and Ren wanted to persuade him, but I need to get the situation under control.
Our first priority is to seal the cause, Itsuki.
“Wha- No matter what attack you throw at me, I-” (Itsuki)
Luckily, I manage to lock him up before he could dodge.
“Itsuki-sama! You bastard! What did you do to Itsuki-sama!?” (Armor)
Armor rushes at me unarmed, baring his fists.
Atlas and Firo’s kicks and strikes land on him simultaneously, sending him flying. He crashes into a wall and faints.
I wish you sweet dreams. For the rest of your life.
“Atlas, how is it?” (Naofumi)
“… It’s no good. Even though you sealed the source of the ominous aura, the people infected with it are connected like a spider web. They’re sending power to each other, and the power isn’t dispelling. The person we chased hasn’t changed at all.” (Atlas)
There’s no doubt about it. Even if we defeat Itsuki here, the brainwashing won’t be dispelled.
The prison shakes violently, and cracks begin to spread across it.
His Curse weapon seems to have high abilities.
“Rishia, Ren. The cage is going to break now. Prepare for battle immediately.” (Naofumi)
“Got it!” (Ren)
“I’ll help out a bit. 「Zveit Aura」!” (Naofumi)
I start casting various support magic on the two while I wait for the Prison to shatter.
The cage should have lasted 5 minutes, but it broke apart just after I finished casting.
I can assume that it was destroyed through physical means.
“Is that all you have? Then it’s my turn! 「Frozen Rain」!” (Itsuki)
Arrows made of ice multiply in the air and fly towards me.
Again, why me!?
“Itsuki-sama, stop messing around! Your opponents are over here!” (Rishia)
“Gaelion! 「High Fire Blaze」!” (Taniko)
The ice arrows melt and evaporate in the flames Gaelion release.
But mixed in was an ominous white arrow. The arrow was undeterred by the inferno as it flew straight at me.
“Master, get down!” (Firo)
“I won’t let you!” (Atlas)
Firo and Atlas knock the arrow out of the sky.
“Even if I may be outnumbered, as long as I take you out, it’s my victory.” (Itsuki)
So Itsuki’s actually aware that he’s at a disadvantage?
Sometimes, Television Heroes fight alone against many.
He may be basing his character on someone like that.
But to reach the king, you have to actually get through the castle.
Is Itsuki’s only objective my defeat?
I think I’ll be able to grab the arrows or use my Float Shield even if it does get through.
“Atlas and Firo. Gaelion as well. Please Listen. It seems Itsuki’s only aiming for me, so back off a bit.” (Naofumi)
“But Master…” (Firo)
“Firo-chan, Naofumi-sama is just trying to protect us from injury. Perhaps we are only in his way at the moment. It’s alright. Naofumi-sama will never lose to a lowlife like that. Please believe in him.” (Atlas)
“Uu… I got it.” (Firo)
“Naofumi-sama, I wish you luck!” (Atlas)
Atlas quickly takes some distance, and Firo reluctantly follows her.
And I walk forward to distance myself from Gaelion and Taniko.
“Itsuki-sama, do you realize what you are trying to do?” (Rishia)
Rishia and Ren narrowly avoid the rain attacks, sometimes taking blows. In the end, all of them end up heading towards me.
“Since I’ve met you, I’ve always been thinking about what Justice was supposed to be.” (Rishia)
“I have no tongue to converse with evil!” (Itsuki)
“Evil… What is evil? What is Justice? To Itsuki-sama, is Justice not but whatever makes you satisfied!? Without talking, without understanding, and without thinking about the purpose behind people’s actions, you simply take down your enemies. Is holding everyone down with violence truly your justice!?” (Rishia)
“I’ve heard that power without justice is violence, and justice without power is pointless. Itsuki, didn’t you look up to Heroes of Justice? You never spoke about yourself, and the me of the past never bothered to learn about you. However, I want to know more about you now. What is your goal? What do you seek? Why are you sad? I want to know. I am… We are not your enemy. So please speak to us!” (Ren) (TL: … The ship has sailed…)
Despite running off his mouth, Ren’s still fighting him at full force.
I’d like you to consider me too. His attacks are all centered on me, here.
But there is a bit of sense in Ren’s words.
I have no idea what sort of person Itsuki is supposed to be.
I can see his personality, but I have absolutely no idea who he was or what sort of life he lived.
“Justice is power. It’s the proof of righteousness. It’s to save the weak and crush the strong!” (Itsuki)
Those were the words Armor acted on when he abandoned him.
I think I’m getting something here.
Let’s reverse engineer Itsuki’s actions.
Perhaps this man is acting based on the depressed life he lived in the other world?
Itsuki wishes to be a Hero.
Quite a few commercialized heroes were normal kids or bullied kids. They would transform and take out the bad guys. They would become the main character.
Famous heroes like Su○rman and Spi○man were like that, right?
Was his Shogun-sama play based on that?
When inflicting his Justice, Itsuki acted undercover a lot.
Was that his Hero complex?
I see. Heroes of Justice are strong. They save people.
The stories can be summarized as ‘Good deeds are rewarded, and Evil is always punished.’
Justice wins. Evil loses.
It would be nice if reality was that simple.
“Even if people call me evil, I am a Hero of Justice!” (Itsuki)
He desired praise and worshiped heroes… The conclusion he arrived at was…
“Itsuki, what happened to you was exactly what you did to Rishia. That’s why you don’t want to face her. That’s why you don’t want to fight her.” (Naofumi)
“If you want to fight me, you’ll have to beat Rishia first. Otherwise, there’s no way you’re worthy of being my opponent.” (Naofumi)
If I don’t offer up some conditions, Itsuki will never pull back.
Then, I just have to confront Itsuki as the Evil he wants.
Scenes like this are common in TV shows.
It’s what Motoyasu did to me when I got to this world.
When one side has an absolute advantage, they make some conditions for the battle.
This time, I have no reason to offer these conditions, but… I promised I would leave this to Rishia.
“If you won’t do such a simple thing, then you’re not worthy of challenging me.” (Naofumi)
As I say this with an expression looking down upon him, he clenches his teeth.
So I was right.
This is just my guess, but Itsuki was probably bullied in his past world.
And when Rishia held Itsuki as the center of her life, they drove her out with severe bullying.
Because looking at the timid Rishia reminded him of the past he wanted to bury.
She was an existence that he never thought would rise to stand in his way.
There’s no turning back for a Hero.
“I see. If I have to defeat this girl who’s being controlled by evil, then I guess I have no choice.” (Itsuki)
While keeping his eyes locked on me, Itsuki turns his bow towards Rishia.
And Rishia deeply bows towards me with gratitude.