Chapter 8. I came to end it all. (3)
I was in a world of pain.
Who the hell made me like this in the first place? I can’t use any energy, no god’s or demon’s blessings or curses work on me, but strangely enough, the pain of the bat could still be felt. So in the end, all men were equal under the bat?!
No, in any case.
“How did you… find out about this place?”
I barely managed to stand up, and say this. The princess maintained her evil smile, and spoke.
“I bought it from the dwarves? They said you didn’t pay enough for them to keep their mouths shut, so I bought it.”
“…Is that so.”
Damn traitors! Did they even know how much money I threw at them till now? Couldn’t they do me a little favor after all this time? I was a VVIP to them, damn it! But then again, it is true that I haven’t paid them to keep their mouths shut, so I’ll just leave that be. In any case.
[Let’s get myself prepared first.]
I could only see the princess in front of me, but there probably were hidden fighters lurking in the shadows. Plus, the princess herself was a skilled fighter. The best of the best, in fact. Fighting with assassins all this time had sharpened her skills like no other. It wasn’t like I couldn’t subdue her, but at this point where my best weapon turned into my most dreaded one, I could only use my own weapon of destruction.
-Hey hey. By the way~ no matter how useful I am, no matter how much mana I can gather on my own, no matter how much like a legendary weapon I am…
[…What are you trying to say here?]
-Didn’t you use me like, a lot? Ever since we came out of the organization?
[…The point is?]
-Pii! No energy left! I can still fight, but no magic! You’re fucked! Big time!
I got the world’s worst response ever. Well, it is true that I used her mana up like no other the past year… So this should be obvious… but… why now?!
“Oh my, I haven’t seem a surprised face of yours in a while? Mm… did you like my surprise that much?”
“You seem to have a lot of free time nowadays.”
“Pft, the only time I’d have free time would be when the empire disappears. I’m pretty tired, you know? Especially with all the infighting in the family?”
The princess was clearly enjoying this.
-Can’t you just capture her as hostage? I can still hit, you know?
[I’m telling you, I’d die before that.]
According to the empire’s creation story, the imperial family had the blessings of a dragon running in their blood. Because of this, every member in the imperial family had enormous strength within their body. Right now, the key members who showed this blessing in full effect were the princess and the third prince.
No, actually, even the third prince pales in comparison to the princess. I can’t beat her like this.
I can even hear Lia’s angered voice behind me. Damn it, damn it. There’s no way to get out…
“You can’t escape! Just give up!”
“Oh, dear Lia. Don’t tease him too much… who knows? Maybe he might have a way.”
My spine shivered when I the smile that just tempted me to try and run, but the one who actually got scared was Lia.
“Y-your majesty… You’re being quite scary, so would you please restrain your smile a bit?”
“Hohoho, don’t be so scared. I’m just happy.”
Lia’s group began to tremble when the princess widened her smile. Ah, that smile. It resembles the smile she had when she jailed one of the nobles who stared at her pervertedly.
“Are you that confident?”
I tried saying something. I just needed to get some time. More time to think is good. And Lia, as a person who just enjoys talking in general, might throw me a clue.
“Of course we are! Even now, you are completely surrounded by her majesty and her shadow knights!”
As expected, Lia immediately began to talk with pride. For now… the princess was 15 meters in front of me. Behind me by twenty meters were… Lia and her group of knights, who numbered about… twenty.
“We cleared out all of your traps in this passage as well. Plus!”
There were probably less people behind me than in front of me. Going back would probably be for the best. But the princess probably expected me to do that. And right now, when the bat couldn’t make use of its power, it’d be difficult for me to escape fast enough.
“I even installed an energy-restricting device you developed, Mr. Aast, so that you wouldn’t be able to use any of your strength…”
The princess and I both responded to that statement simultaneously.
“Thanks!” “The hell?!”
The princess immediately swung her bat my way. But.
-Huahaha! It’s still too early for you to be challenging your elder sister!
The steel bat shouted in pride. No, before that. The wooden bat should be the elder sister in this equation?
Knights began to gather from behind the princess. Lia’s group managed to take out their weapons as well. But.
The princess let go of the bat in her hand for a split second after being hit on her wrist. I didn’t let go of this chance, and pushed in for another strike.
“…Kuh! Lia! I’ll kill you if he escapes!”
I could feel a sword coming in behind me as I saw the princess move back, giving up the wooden bat. But.
I blocked the sword strike with the steel bat, and hit the hips with the wooden bat. The shadow knights guarded their pressure points for the most part, which made them easier to fight.
Three knights were incapacitated in an instant. All these people had resistance to torture due to intense training, but all such efforts were useless in front of the bat. Lia came at me with a confused look, but I simply kept running.
“Lia! Go turn off that energy restricting device now! Why the hell did you install such a thing?!”
“We-we’ll have to go the the kuh? Dungeon entrance for thaaaa?!”
Lia’s leg almost crumpled as she tried to talk with the princess.
“T-this much is?!”
“Then one more it is.”
She resisted the wooden bat somehow, but the blow from the steel bat finally destroyed her. I could hear the princess shout something behind me, but right now, I had to run like hell. The knights behind were slowly advancing in their armor. These people were resistant to the bat. I couldn’t really fight them.
I neutralized all enemies in front of me, and returned to Yugrasia. And once I did so…
“We were waiting.”
…Hot damn. My former disciples were waiting for me.
46 was bowing towards me, and the other two were staring at me with surprised faces.
“Yes, it’s been a while.”
I erased my smile. 17 finally seemed to understand what was going on somewhat, and talked to me with a trembling voice.
“So it was all… an act?”
“I wouldn’t have survived in the capital otherwise. In any case, 46… no, is it Mirua? You became a lot more like a human.”
“If just acting a bit politely makes me more like a human, well… I’ll just say I learned how to be courteous.”
I shook my head.
“No, if you learned under the princess, you will do well to remember that this isn’t just learning normal ‘courteousness’. The woman is quite the thing.”
A look that rivaled that of the elves. Stubbornness of the dwarves. Evil that rivaled the demons. Pride of the dragon. Pureness of an elemental, and an obsession like that of a god. If one tried to learn courteousness from someone like that, the society would kill the person immediately.
“But in any case… to think you’d go to Marcis. What a shame.”
Ria stepped back a little as she stared at the two bats in my hand. Good. They still haven’t forgotten. Well, it’s a bit obvious that they wouldn’t have forgotten.
The bats played too big of a part in their life for anything otherwise.
“Mm… instructor, how about taking those hideous things somewhere else for a moment?”
Mirua said this as he looked at the two bats.
-H-hideous! You call these smooth curves of mine hideous?!
“I feel that my life is at danger here, so I will have to decline.”
“The princess will not kill you.”
“Sometimes, death is better than life.”
“…The princess will reward you accordingly.”
Well, that is true. The reason why the princess has so many geniuses under her is because she pays well.
Because the imperial palace is a place that treats blood as importantly as some damn eyes in a certain ninja village, nobles there tended to treat those under them like the expendables.
But the princess got rid of all that. The number of nobles that got retribution from her for treating a former peasant in her ranks rudely already numbered in the thousands. The nobles that tried to argue with the emperor about it was about to enter the thousands as well, if I remembered correctly. Well, it’s been awhile since I left, so the number probably went well past a thousand at this point.
In any case, it wasn’t that bad to work under the princess… would be what you’d think, but the princess does suck up as much as she gives. Plus, she has extremely high expectations for me, so it’s not known just how much she’ll suck from me. And there’s also the fact that I’ve almost been assassinated several times already.
I’ve already given up on working inside an Evil Organization. No way I’d go to a place filled with infighting! No! I won’t do it! Ever!