DARK MODE 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 @

Chapter 13, Part 1

 To tell the truth, I was thinking of taking it easy at this time.
 
 It is only natural. From the gorilla-sama's point of view, a group of 30 or so Youkai, especially a group of medium Youkai, is not even her enemy. There is no need to be self-conscious about the battle, and if she fight properly, she would be able to kill them all in no time at all. If Gorilla-sama is going to sell her favors to Tachibana Trading Company, it is sometimes better for her to stand out. No need for me to be involved.
 
 But still... I was caught off guard at this point. Well, with a little thought, it's easy to do. There's no way that the whimsical little sister gorilla with a sadistic taste would take me up on my offer. In other words...
 
 "She's playing with me..."
 
 I muttered to myself as I clung to the spirit animal, which was slowly gliding down to a lower altitude.
 
 It's an overwhelming sight to see a storm forming and blowing away the monster foxes with a soft wave of her fan. But... that's all. If it were real, it would be possible to shred the creatures with just the blade of the wind as she yawned, but all she had to do was literally blow them away. Obviously, she did it properly... no, in fact, with her ability, she could have created even more terrible destruction even if she had done it properly. For her, it is much more difficult to control the force than it is to do it just right.
 
 "It would be easier for me if she'd just get rid of them... Oh, hey, are you serious!?"
 
 I frowned when I caught sight of it. I see an overturned horse-drawn wagon, a well-dressed couple who are probably injured and unable to move, a humanoid-looking monster, and a girl falling on her butt in front of them... Hey, idiot! Why aren't you hiding in the carriage, Kayo-chan!?
 
 (Did the gorilla-sama's lazy intervention slightly change the development of the story?)
 
 This is not good. At least in the original game, the daughter is still alive, but the whole family might be wiped out. If she dies, even if she is not a strategic character, the main character will lose a person who provides advice and services in terms of items. It's not good, and even if the parents are saved, they might resent us for not being able to save their daughter (since the parents are portrayed to love their daughter very much).
 
 "Tsk, where's the princess...!!?"
 
 I turn my eyes to the gorilla princess. Haha, she's still playing around. I can already see what she's up to.
 
 "Sigh... okay, okay! Alright, I'll do it! Let's do it...!!?"
 
 I do as the gorilla wickedly requests and stand up on the sacred beast. For a moment, the sacred beast growls in displeasure, but I ignore it. It's your master's request, so bear with it.
 
 I strengthen each muscle fiber in my legs with my spiritual power, and... the next moment I use the sacred beast as a foothold, kicking it in one swift movement and plunging it into the spot.
 
 I aim between the little girl and the youkai, who changes from a humanoid form into a monstrous fox the size of a wagon, and summon shikigamis just before I hit the ground. Two shikigami in the form of giant eagles grabbed my shoulders and spread their wings. The lift and buoyancy created by this slowed my fall...
 
 (Endure, endure, endure it...! Ughh!!?)
 
 I strengthened the bones and muscles of my legs just before hitting the ground to prepare for the impact... Sure enough, as soon as I landed on the ground from a high altitude, a violent impact hit my legs, organs, and body, and I cried lightly from the inside of my mask. As I roll to shed the shock, I leap in front of the little girl and catch a blow from the monster fox's jaws with my spear just before it hits me.
 
 "Ggh...!? Heavy!!?"
 
 I grit my teeth and hold on desperately against the intense pressure that comes at the same time. But the next moment, my spear, which was supposed to be made of steel, was bent in front of the monster's fang blow with a loud crunching sound.
 
 "D*mn, this guy, my handle's bent in one shot... Is my spear really better than my previous lowly one...?"
 
 Haha, I see. The equipment provided by the leader is supposed to be of better quality than that of a low-ranking officer. Are you kidding me...!!?
 
 The monster fox, whose bite is blocked, backs off and raises its sharp-clawed paws to strike at me. The spear that caught it this time snapped roughly on impact. Gghh... Don't play with me, you b*stard!
 
 I use the impact of the broken spear to rotate my body and throw the broken spear blade. I aim at the head of the monster fox.
 
 'Roar...!!'
 
 The blade comes flying at the monster with the sharpness of a professional baseball player's throw with my strengthened arm, but is knocked away by the four tails it swings at it in the next instant. However, it is a diversion. I throw the back half of the spear, the hilt, from the shadow of its vision created by his opponent's carelessness and the swinging of the tails.
 
 ...If it were a human, maybe it will wound them, but for a monster who is just barely a great youkai, my throw, even a mere hilt, would not be enough to wound him. I knew that. So my aim is not to kill the opponent, but only to incapacitate the monster temporarily. In other words...
 
 '...!!?'
 
 The spear hilt that slammed into its throat didn't penetrate the thick fur and fat, but it was enough to make the fox cough and cower. The fox took a few steps back and coughed painfully, tears in its eyes. It may not be life or death, but it will hurt.
 
 "Save your leader while you still can...!"
 
 I ordered a few exorcists and guards from the trading company who had noticed the battle to come to the rescue of the leader. Normally, I have no authority to give orders and they might rebel against me, but in this emergency situation, even though I'm against three people, my order is easily accepted and they go to rescue their bosses. Yeah, after all, they don't want to fight with such a monster, I totally understand.
 
 "Okay, with this... Ughhh!"
 
 The next instant, I felt a deadly force, and I immediately pulled out a dagger from my waist and held it on the left side of my body. A few tenths of a second later, I saw a shadow, and my body was slammed into the back of a wagon that was parked nearby.
 
 "Hghhh... Gghh...!? Barf!!?"
 
 I was vomiting blood and gastric juices at the same time due to the strong impact and intense pain. As I fell to the ground, the pain and shock caused a shock and concussion, and for a while, I couldn't even grasp what had happened.
 
 'Ggggrrrrr!! How dare you, you little fish! I'll tear you to pieces...!!'
 
 I cough as I get up from the pain in my chest, probably from broken ribs, and look ahead to see a four-legged monster with a sharp gaze fixed on me. The four tails of the four-legged Monster are raised with its hairs standing on end. Oh, she's really pissed off.
 
 "Ggh...! D*mn, I was prepared for this...!"
 
 Just before the blow on the tail, I had a dagger that Gorilla-sama had given me ready, and on my arm, I had an iron gauntlet (籠手) under my sleeve. Of course, my clothes were better than those I wore in my lowly days. Although the dagger was safe, the gauntlet under my sleeve was shattered, and the left half of my body, including my left arm, which was hit by the tail, was in severe pain.
 
 (However, it is better that half of my body has not been obliterated...?)
 
 Compared to the last time when I was set up and forced to run into a great Youkai, this situation was still better than the last time. At least, the real strength of a monster fox is intelligence, concealment, illusion, and youkai-jutsu, rather than pure combat skills. Moreover, because this monster is a split body, it is not even able to show a few percent of its true ability. Otherwise, if I had been hit by a blow like that, my body would have been reduced to half a piece of meat, no matter how well I had defended myself.
 
 And then...
 
 "Now, go...!"
 
 The next moment, two eagles, which I had summoned to slow my fall, swoop down from the altitude I had ordered, clawing at the monster fox.
 
 The eagles aim at the head of the monster fox, or more precisely, at its eyes. The rest of the body is protected by Youkai's power, fur, and fat. With the small Shikigami I could summon, I had no choice but to aim at that part of the head to inflict damage on my opponent.
 
 'You're so clever...!'
 
 With a swing of its tail, the monster fox tore apart the two shikigami that had attacked it from directly above in the next instant. The eagle, which had been turned into a piece of mangled flesh, is reduced to a mere piece of paper in the next moment.
 
 But... right after that, I was silently charging forward without a footstep. I had already calculated Shikigami would turn out like that. My aim was to take advantage of the momentary opening I made when the shikigami was attacked.
 
 'You fools! I'll let you die...!!!'
 
 Four tails slammed into me. But I narrowly avoided it. It was luck. The monster used its tails to kill the shikigami, and because its body has a skeletal structure and its movable parts are limited. So, by using the shikigami first to make the opponent use its tail, the pattern of the next attack would be limited. Therefore, it is not impossible to avoid the attack just in time if I focus my attention on the expected direction of the attack with all my strength. ...Though it's really just barely. But, hey, isn't it funny how my body gets slightly worn down while I'm trying to avoid it?
 
 "To be honest, I don't like using this one...!!"
 
 I swing my gorilla dagger at the oncoming tail, dodging and dodging the storm of destruction it creates. The white tail of the monster fox, which can expand and contract at will, and which probably can't be hurt by any steel spear or sword, can easily penetrate the flesh like tofu when the dagger's thin blade, which even makes me feel uneasy, is thrust against it.
 
 'Gghh...!!?'
 
 The wound itself may be shallow, but it still hurts, and if the youkai considers the opponent to be a small servant, there is no way that it considers the possibility of possessing a weapon that can penetrate its strength, fur, and fat defenses. Therefore, the monster was frightened by the unexpected pain.
 
 At the same time, it was a good thing that this also prevented the tail's next attack. The first and second blows could be avoided by just barely predicting their movements, but when the third and fourth blows were unleashed, there was no time to think. I would have died this time without being able to avoid or brace myself.
 
 (I'm glad that my opponent is in pain, just like in the original story...!)
 
 I succeed in getting into the opponent's pocket with a wicked smile under my mask. Normally, I'd like to aim at the heart, but my dagger's blade can't reach there anyway, and I'll probably die from a counterattack before I can stop it. Therefore...
 
 "Should I just endure a one-hit-and-run...!!"
 
 I made a shallow cut at the monster's right leg as we were crossing paths, and then I broke away as if I was going to pass through it. Behind me, I heard a small scream from Hibiki.
 
 So far, so good. But at the same time, this moment of carelessness proved fatal.
 
 "...!?"
 
 A moment later, the monster fox produced several blue-white fireballs... Fox-fire (Kitsunebi (狐火)). Sh*t...!?
 
 "Tsk...!? D*mn...!!?"
 
 The blue-white fireballs that automatically tracked me were arcing, striking me in a geometric and hard-to-read trajectory. This is... hard to avoid...!!
 
 "I don't have much spiritual power, but... just go!!"
 
 I summoned several shikigami, which I transformed into the shape of a crow, and sent them crashing into the foxfire. When the shikigami crashed into the fox-fire, they fell to the ground, flaming and flailing.
 
 The number of the fox-fires was reduced by the Shikigami's suicide attack, but still nearly a dozen of them were coming at me. And then... the next moment, they all came crashing down on me at once.
 
 "Aaaah...!? It's hot...!!!"
 
 Immediately, I took off my black outfit. The outfit I threw down on the ground was supposed to be flame-resistant, but it was on fire, as if that was not the case. It was clearly no ordinary fire. I made the right choice in taking off my clothes before the flames spread to my body.
 
 "Hahh... Hahh... is it getting harder and harder to cheat now?"
 
 I get out of breath, and I get myself ready with a dagger in my right hand while my upper body is clad in a white costume instead of underwear. On the other hand, the monster fox licked its tongue at my right leg, which was cut shallowly, and glared at me hatefully.
 
 'Tsk, you're still alive? Even though you're a dirty monkey with no skills! A small fry should be like a small fry and know what they're doing...!'
 
 The youkai fox shouted, radiating its terrible youkai energy. It was so strong that even I, who was often exposed to gorilla's spiritual power and Aoko's Youkai energy, frowned and felt nauseous. At the same time, this monster was trying to cast some kind of technique.
 
 'Ah, this is a hassle! I'm going to burn all of you fools in this area to the ground!'
 
 As the monster fox declares these words, a formula so large that even the eyeballs of a living person can see it floats up into the air. From there, countless fox-fires are generated, which change their color from pale to red to white...
 
 "Oh, my, you can't do that. There won't be enough witnesses."
 'Gggh...!?'
 
 In the next instant, a fist-sized stone, probably without the use of any technique, but merely mechanically energized with kinetic energy... in other words, simply kicked up, slammed into Youkai Fox's face at a speed faster than the speed of sound. Youkai, who was thrown back because of the stone, was interrupted from deploying its Youkai jutsu, and the fireballs and the formula that had been floating in the air disappeared like a phantom.
 
 The witnesses were stunned by the suddenness of the event. Only I knew who the culprit was, and I looked in the direction of the voice.
 
 There was a gorilla-sama with a smiling face and a fan. If it were only that, it would be such a fantastic sight with the kimono she wears, her good looks, and the moonlight that illuminates her.
 
 However, it was necessary to ignore the fact that the carcasses of the monster and the others, which had literally turned into a bloody lump of flesh and blood, were scattered under my feet...
 
 
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