Chapter 24: Duel (2)
『Mother, there’s a gentleman other than father last night, what were you doing?』
That word didn’t change my life.
『Though you’re shut in the storehouse, why do you know the village?』
『It must be because of that creepy eyes and the blood of a demon』
『Even the child that died in the mountain was pinpointed precisely』
What to do, it became like that soon.
『Why, a child like youー!!』
I’m sorry for being born
I’m sorry for being born with such eyes.
I don’t know. I don’t understand that sort of thing.
But, it’s not mother’s fault. That person didn’t tell a lie.
If there’s truthー
I’m a person that’s been born in a bamboo basket.
Abandoned by the village, I was chosen to live alone in the road.
The eyes that’s been tried to be crushed a lot of times is my only power.
『I’ll become strong. I’ll become strong so Mother can call out for me』
I pulled the bow. If I use this eye, I can hit better than anyone.
I learned magic. Is it a proof that I’m a child of demon as I have the aptitude.
I killed. Demons, scoundrels. Perhaps those people had murdered people to keep living.
When I noticed, I became a Hero.
『Hero, Thunderbolt. Your achievements are praised and you’ll be given a title of 『Certain Hit』』
I was glad. I thought I was recognized.
『Help? I can’t say that when she’s just snatching the achievements from behind』
『She’s a coward that can’t even cross swords fairly』
『A disgrace for the Aliases』
…Wrong, I think.
『Isn’t that amazing!?』
Is that so? I? Really?ー
『Thunderbolt-san is amazing』
I opened my eyes. I stared at my cursed eyes.
『The Marvelous Rookie! A crimson swordsman beauty, 『Scarlet Sky』Asuka Retroliva!』
I envied her.
I envied everything about her.
「What a fool I am」
It’s obvious. The opponent is the most famous swordsman. Her sword cuts everything, and her armor prevents everything.
There’s no way I can win.
「Please watch, Yuuto-kun」
I gripped my bow. I won’t make excuses. I have begun my own duel.
◆ ◆ ◆
The cheer echoed.
Coliseum. The stone arena that’s filled by tens of thousands of spectators had been overflowing with heat.
『Everyone! Thanks for the long wait!
This is Trishulia’s arena special match! The duel of combatant Asuka of the『Scarlet Sky』and combatant Thunderbolt of『Certain Hit』is going to happen!!』
Shouts of joy. Yuuto’s perplexed gaze in the arena ring is buried in the voice.
「To have a duel in this large place…」
「It’s natural. It’s a duel between the high rank heroes. The country has the right to see through this」
Sitting near the top price, Risty answered Yuuto. Yuuto sent an anxious expression to Risty on his side.
「It’s fine isn’t it? Both of them will be safe right?」
「…I wonder. This is an official duel. If you follow the conventional formー」
Risty starts to speak and the commentator told the audience about the real situation.
『Everyone! Today isn’t just your usual fight! It’s a genuine duel that’s recognized by the Trishulia royalty!
Put all of your bets, your pride! It’s a match that would only end if they’re determined impossible to continue or given up, It’s a life-risking match!
Actually, I’m 138th rank in the heroes! Idol Hero Mihorin!』
Hearing the situation, Yuuto put his hands together and prayed. Please keep the two of them safe. Yuuto prayed that to the god he doesn’t know where.
『Give it a round of applause! Asuka Retroliva of the 『Scarlet Sky』is entering the east wing!!』
Along with her shout, an unexpected amount of shout of joy went up.
Yuuto looked around surprised because of the violent sound.
『I ask for a loud cheer! She’s an exceptional swordsman who topped in just a year!
Her achievements are admired by all of the soldiers! Wearing the world’s most famous treasure tool named Scarlet Sky in her body, She’s a super rookie that keep piling up achievements!
Completing a number of A-class quest with a marvelous number of 17 this year! The pride of our country, the 9th in the hero ranking!
Combatant Asuka of the 『Scarlet Sky』, All of the spectators who expect from her please rise from your seats!!』
The commentator shouts.
With the overwhelming atmosphere that’s beyond heat, Yuuto looked at Asuka with wide eyes.
Yuuto stares at Asuka like he’s unable to believe it, Risty spoke.
「You’re too close yet you don’t notice? This is the current Asuka. She’s not a hero. She’s a superstar that’s been sent admiration by the people of Trishulia. That’s her」
Asuka waves at the spectators bashfully, Yuuto was in utter amazement.
Then, Yuuto noticed how foolish he is.
『Why do you train that much? You don’t need to anyway』
Expectation. That word attacked Yuuto’s back.
Tens of thousands of people. It’s ten times in actual. The glance of them, the voice, it attacked Yuuto’s chest.
(S-such a thing Asuka-samaー!?)
He’s attacked by nausea. Feeling the strong pressure that’s not turned over him, Yuuto held his mouth unconsciously.
This is the hero made by my treasure tool?
Unexpected. Yuuto burned had the image of the girl he loves standing in the arena in his memory.
Asuka is dressed in her white everyday clothes, she hadn’t loaded her armament yet.
She’s standing without wearing both of her Scarlet Sword and Scarlet Armor.
Her right hand has the weight sword that she swings during training. It’s a sword for training, it has no sharpness.
(Still, it won’t do well if it hits)
It’s a mass lump of iron. While Yuuto was watching her, Asuka stared at the opponent shed strike with all of her power.
(I don’t think of going easy. I’ll swing this best sword with all of my strength)
The footsteps sound towards the ring.
Erasing the cheers, she showed her figure to the arena by making one step at a time.
There’s a great booing wrapped around the hall.
Asuka looked at the seats of the audience surprised, however she set foot on the ring without changing her expression.
There’s something thrown out. Thoughtless malice came from all directions, it bursts in the air before it reached her.
『E-Everyone! Give it a round of applause! Also, the surroundings of the ring is defended by a barrier magic by a hundred magicians! There won’t be any danger from anyone in the hall so please be at ease!』
The hall was wrapped with boos and grimace from the report. She knows it, the cruel voices of the spectators can be heard heating up.
「How dare you challenge Asuka-sama!!」
「What kind of scheme is this you coward!?!」
「Finish her off, Asuka-samaー!」
There’s no words of praise for her.
The commentator prepared herself from the disastrous scene.
『T-There’s a great booing from the hall! Combatant 『Certain Hit』 Thunderbolt is coming in from the west wing!!』
The booing almost cracked. Angry voice, slander. The mass of malice is poured on the girl in the ring.
『Everyone, please listen! This booing!
Not much in this kingdom knows her! The strongest bow user from the successive generations of Hero aliases! And a demon eyes carrier that we don’t know whether she inherited it from a demon!
A hater of the first hero, but pay close attention to her achievements! She had subjugated a marvelous number of more than 5,800 demons so far!
The strongest bow use this country takes pride in!! The 10th rank in the heroes!! Combatant 『Certain Hit』Thunderbolt! She’s now coming in the ring while taking the criticisms of the spectators』
She stood there.
Thunderbolt looking straight to Asuka is projected into Yuuto’s view.
(W-why are you…)
She should know that this would happen. Yet. whyー
By hearing Yuuto’s voice of the mind, Thunderbolt felt the air in the hall.
Slander, Booing, expectation, everyone is wishing for her to be defeated. She can feel and tell each.
(Thank you, Yuuto-kun)
Among them, Thunderbolt smiled while hearing Yuuto’s worried pulse.
(It’s being transmitted. Your gentleness, your feelings. Butー)
She noticed it at the same time. She understands. Where Yuuto’s feelings head the most.
That opponent, Thunderbolt looked through the inside of her eye mask.
(She won’t use the scarlet sword? …I’m thankful. Asuka-san is serious. Otherwise, it won’t mean anything)
The symbol of Asuka, the Scarlet Sword Brynhildr. She’d die if she was cut by that.
In short, her swordsmanship would become duller. There’s no meaning even if she win against that.
「Asuka-san, thanks. You played along with my selfishness」
She thanked her. Thunderbolt expressed her sincere gratitude to Asuka. A person like herself won’t profit anything from the duel. Thunderbolt said her thanks for having it accepted.
「No, I should be the one thanking you. I was waiting for this day anxiously too」
Asuka’s answer made Thunderbolt stare at her in surprise. Asuka smiled to the wondering Thunderbolt.
「Thunderbolt-san isn’t the hero I though of. Normally, I’m not an existence to accept this kind of cheer」
That’s why. Asuka turned her sword to the hero in front of her. She had a dream to exceed such existence. The brave hero I’ve yearned for when I was young is now standing in front to fight me
Is there such happiness?
Asuka vowed with all of her body and soul.
「Scarlet Sky release, Aperiteeeeeeee!」
She shouted and wore it. She belives in the strongest power.
Thunderbolt held her breath because of the 『Scarlet Sky』that appeared in front of her.
The Scarlet Sky Armor shines colored crimson. Asuka’s prided godly armament that Yuuto created.
The whole hall boils up from the sudden appearance of the scarlet swordsman.
『I-it’s heeeerreee!! Can you see it!? It’s my first time to see it up close as well!! So that’s the famous symbol of combatant Asuka’s Scarlet Sky armament!! Combatant Asuka is going full force from the staaaart!!』
The hall made a stir. It’s natural, there’s no one but her who can do such a flashy appearance.
(I’ll exceed her! I’ll surpass Thunderbolt-san and stand next to him with pride!!)
Asuka shoot out fighting spirit. Thunderbolt knew its strength. Even she had bet something to confront her.
Thunderbolt felt relief. She’s glad that it’s this girl he fell in love with.
Perhaps, him and Ruby included, there’s no human who would think she would win.
She even thought of relaxing her attention. There’s no way to win. What can she do against the opponent like her when she who just shoots using bow and arrow?
But, she still doesn’t have the intention to lose.
(I’ll win! I won’t think of losing! Against Asuka-san who accepted the duel, this is the courtesy that I must do!!)
She thought of him. She thought of him who recognize her.
She grasped her eyemask. She won’t run away anymore. She’ll strike the strongest swordsman in front of her with her whole power.
Seeing the real face hidden under her mask, Yuuto held his breath and opened his eyes wide.
Golden eyes and cross pupils. Her pupils are as if it’s purpose is to establish aim.
『W-w-w-w-w-w-what!!! Combatant Thunderbolt had thrown away her eyemask and released her demon eyes!! I-It’s seen for the first time! B-Both of the combatants are going full force from the start!!』
However, the scar around her eyes are more than that, Yuuto thought of her past.
「D-Do your best!」
His muter reached the depths of her eyes.
It’s enough. That alone was enough. Thunderbolt poured everything on the demon eyes she believe in.
That’s not a power to torment her.
The power created that time made her the happiest in her life.
The wave motion of perception is shot. Hall, Ground, Atmosphere, Molecule, Atom, she opens herself to something that exceeds the science.
She’s truly the strongest bow user in the world. Asuka spilled tears of delight and changed her fighting spirit.
(I’ll exceed her!! I’ll beat this strongest hero and I’ll be the one standing next to him!!)
She’s the same.
(This isn’t a cursed power! He recognized my ability! I’ll exceed the woman he loves!!)
The atmosphere trembled.
Asuka lowered her waist and Thunderbolt sets up her bow.
Then, the duel had began.