The First Target (2)
Five small children, with the youngest being not even ten years old, stared at the monster in terror. Their bodies were frozen in fear, unable to move even when the monster was rushing towards them.
Their eyes were opened wide in horror, and their small bodies were trembling. Some of them even closed their eyes and started to cry.
And in front of these defenseless children, the monster raised his hand.
I looked at that scene with a stern expression. Beside me, Katherine was trying desperately to cast a spell, but I made sure to cancel her spells each time.
Katherine looked at me in anger and confusion. In the current situation, she could not think clearly about my motives. She could only see I was stopping her from saving the children.
But of course, I was not planning to let the children die.
Even if I wanted to use this opportunity to make Rose understand that sometimes killing others is necessary, it will be bad if today’s events create a shadow in Rose’s heart.
Thus, I’m waiting. Waiting for Rose to act. And in case she is unable to overcome her trauma and rescue the children, I’ll move.
Rose stared wide-eyed while the guy-turned-monster raised its hand towards the children. She could see the expression of fear and terror in the small creatures.
Her eyes were shaking, telling her to move, but her body refused to move.
However, she could not let the children die.
With a shout, she unleashed all the mana in her entire body and forced her body to swing her sword.
Following the sword swing, a giant moon-shaped mana wave flew towards the monster!
The monster froze. For an instant, rationality returned to its eyes, and fear of death overwhelmed it.
When Rose saw the fear of death in the monster’s eyes, her expression changed.
Panicking, she forced herself to move her hand slightly to the side.
The sword attack cut through the monster, making the monster’s blood rain in the street.
But instead of killing it, the attack only severed its arm.
It was the result of Rose’s last-instant movement.
And having used all the mana in her body, Rose collapsed, unable to move!
I shook my head inwardly. In the end, she was too naïve.
The monster roared in pain and anger. Its eyes turned red, and its aura turned berserk.
Under such immense pain, the monster glared at the collapsed Rose in anger.
Then, it ignored the scared children and charged towards her, raising its remaining arm to kill the enemy that caused it pain.
I could see Rose’s eyes shaking. Her face was filled with fear and confusion, as though wondering why things were like this.
I closed my eyes. I guess it’s time to make my move.
With a sigh, I stepped across space, appearing between the monster and Rose.
The monster was surprised. It failed to understand how I appeared so suddenly.
However, it was not smart enough to realize the meaning of my speed!
So instead of retreating, it put even more strength in its attack.
But before its arm could descend, I unsheathed my sword.
Something strange happened at that moment. Although I unsheathed my sword slowly, I managed to unsheathe it before the hand of the monster could reach us. It was as though time was moving slower for the monster than for me.
Looking at the monster with an indifferent expression, I swung my sword.
Soundlessly, the monster froze–
And its remaining arm fell on the ground.
Rose looked at me with her eyes opened wide. As a seventh-layer practitioner and the hero, she could feel that my last attack was something way beyond her power.
But before she could think about my sword slash, she heard my ice-cold voice.
“What was that, Rose?”
“Tell me, why did you not kill the monster?”
Rose was startled. One second later, she bit her lips and fell silent.
Seeing her silence, I sighed. I then walked past the frozen monster looking at me with fear and went towards the children.
With a smile, I crouched down in front of them and smiled.
“Everything is alright now. You can go.”
My words carried a calming effect that affected their minds. Almost instantly, the children forgot their fear and smiled.
Right after that, the children thanked me before running away.
By the time they turned around the corner, I smiled, and their memories of what happened just now disappeared.
To them, it was as though the monster just now never existed.
I turned around again and looked at Rose. With an expressionless look, I asked.
“… Is there something you want to say?”
“… I’m sorry… But I… I can’t kill him! He is human!”
“And?” I tilted my head and put on an indifferent look. “Are you telling me you will never kill a human even if leaving him alive will be dangerous to other people?”
Rose clenched her fist and lowered her head. Her face, though, was a mess of confusion and doubt.
I could felt Katherine’s concerned expression directed towards us. She wanted to open her mouth as to say something, but I shook my head at her, making her swallow her words.
With such obvious clues, she understood I was using this opportunity to awaken Rose from her daze.
I continued staring at Rose and furrowed my brows. When I saw she was not planning to answer my question, I sighed.
“… Rose, how many daemons have you killed until now?”
Rose was startled and confused, but she answered my question nevertheless.
“… I don’t know… I didn’t count them.”
“Is it so? But you have killed at least five or six of them, right?”
Rose nodded after several seconds of hesitation.
“Now tell me, what is the difference between daemons and humans?”
“H-Huh? T-That is…”
“Both humans and daemons have souls, and both have families and friends. We are not more civilized than them, and I’m sure there are daemons that are even better than some humans.”
“But even so, you killed them without hesitation. Coldbloodledly. Have you ever wondered about their families?”
“Stay quiet, Katherine. Rose must know about this. She must know how two-faced is her show of not killing evil humans despite killing daemons without hesitation!”
Katherine frowned. She looked at Rose’s pale and distraught face and sighed. “… I think there are better ways to go about this.”
But I shook my head.
“Perhaps. However, Rose’s hypocritical actions this time put the lives of several children at risk. Tell me, Rose, what would have you done if I’m not here? You and the children would have died! Are you alright with that!?”
Rose’s eyes turned red. She looked at the ground ashamed, unable to meet my gaze.
I sighed. Then, I walked towards the monster still frozen in fear.
“Because he is human, huh? Well, if you are unable to kill this monster, I can kill it for you.”
Without waiting for Rose’s answer, I raised my sword.
And swung it down.
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