Arc 03: Betrothal, and a manuscript of olden gods.
Chapter 40: Invoking! Quick Structure (Handling the warning)
This place was the residence parlor, the same place where Iris met with Nagi’s groups this afternoon.
The guards fell in front of Iris’ eyes. The floor was dyed in their blood.
Iris clenched her lips to not let the shriek escaped her mouth. Right now, the regulars were frantically fighting for her. There was no way she could make their determination waver.
“Are you the gentleman who was commanding [Living Armors]?!” — Iris addressed the “enemy” that was fighting the soldiers. Earlier he stormed into the room through the window.
This “enemy” was flying in the air with the help of bat-like wings. His body was covered with a black mantle. The only visible parts were his head and limbs. On his back were the bat wings. Behind the ears were the twisted horns.
Iris didn’t know anything that might have such a figure.
“I am the devil”
With a grinding sound, the “enemy” opened his large splitting mouth and responded.
“You possess power unknown to others that will guide the world to its new form”
The devil thrust his dagger into a soldier’s nape. Having his carotid artery cut, the soldier began gushing out blood.
The dying soldier’s response was strange. Both his reaction and movements were oddly slow. As the devil approached him, the soldier’s movements became slow. It was like he was submerged and moving in the water.
That must’ve been special power of the “enemy”.
“In that case, I will ask you this, the devil. What is your goal?!” — Iris raised her voice.
“What I wish is the blood of the sea dragon’s shrine maiden”
The devil scooped the soldier’s blood with his hand and licked it. Probably not being pleased with its taste, he spat it out.
“It’s said that the sea dragon’s shrine maidens are the direct descendants of [Sea Dragon’s daughter]. Iris Hoffmeier has the blood of old gods flowing through her. That’s a certainty. This same blood holds value to us. Therefore, I will have you give away your body”
The devil shifted his throat and laughed with a dry voice.
“We will use your filthy blood and flesh to create a more powerful magic being”
“… Magic being?”
“[Living Armors] were just an experiment. I am sure to be able to make a mightier entity if I am to draw the blood of a sea dragon into the process”
“What are you planning to use that entity for?!”
“There is no need for you to know that. But, I think your lowly name will be left in history as someone who contributed to world peace”
The devil cocked his head in visible curiosity. He laughed in a parched voice as he lowered his head.
The number of still alive regulars was three.
Matilda was crying: “What are you all doing?! The next assessment will be at the end of this month! Those who show high results until then will have a promotion and holiday waiting for them!”
It was a dangerous moment, but I felt like smiling. What is she even thinking? There are people dying right before your eyes, and yet you think about next month’s holidays.
I see, I will most surely die here. Yeah, what awaits me further head is a fate worse than death.
Iris closed her eyes and murmured unintentionally. “Souma-sama….”
“Have you prepared yourself, daughter of the sea dragon?”
The devil grabbed a soldier by the jaw and hit him against the wall. A crack run across the brickwork wall. As for the soldier’s body, it just fell down.
“Know despair. I am the devil… that’s right, should I call myself the successor to demonkins? I am someone who transcended the realm of humans. I am the one who’s going to create a new life through otherworldly abilities. Soon I will surpass even the demon king and change this world. That’s who demonkins are. That’s right, I am a demonkin! ”
“SHUT UP, YOU FA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-KE!!”
The brick wall blew up.
“Certain Kill Technique! [Building Smash LV1]!”
The one standing on the other side of the now large open hole in the wall was Rita Melphius. She was one of Iris’ benefactors.
“W-wha… fool… you did that with the knowledge that I am demonkin— ”
“Shut up! Eat this gift to me from Nagi! [Building Smash LV1]!”
*boom* *boom* *boom* *boom*
Rita continued striking the wall. Pieces of bricks started flying towards the devil. But despite having lots of force behind them, the bricks lost their speed when they got close to the devil. Thus he was able to easily evade them. Raising the sword, he broke into a run towards Rita.
Flying through the gaps in the wall, a flame arrow intercepted the devil’s path. Stopping on reflex, the devil jumped back to not get hit by the arrow.
Iris started looking for the source of the voice despite herself.
And there she was. A tiny dark elf advanced towards her while barely touching the ground as if to not hit the bricks.
That girl must be the magician that Souma-sama talked about.
The tears didn’t stop flowing. Despite being unwell herself, she forced herself to come and save this Iris…
“‘I felt irritated at the foolishness of your employees, so we broke the wall in retaliation’ — is what Nagi-sama told me to say”
“‘Even though I was relaxing in a good atmosphere with my slaves and friends, your staff… no, your soldiers caused me a lot of emotional damage. In all honesty, perhaps I should mention that I was even about to be killed. It looks like it was you maid who was pulling the strings behind the scene’ — that’s the whole message from Nagi-sama.
I just came here to deliver this ‘claim’ about the incident. Nagi-sama also mentioned that he would better receive a [proper compensation] that is filled with your apology. In order to make sure that a similar thing won’t happen again, this seal will be…”
“Souma-sama was injured?! Matilda, what have you done?!”
Iris looked at the maid nearby. She was lying on the floor.
That reminds me, she was so surprised at the sudden appearance of Rita Melphius that she fainted.
The discussion was over with this. I should do what I can to survive right now.
“Rita-san! Be careful. This devil here has some strange barrier covering him!” — Iris clenched her fists and shouted to Rita.
“Got it! What’s this?! So I will move slower if I come near him, you say—?!”
Rita raised her kick at the [devil].
In comparison to the soldiers, Rita was many times faster. But even so, her movement grew duller when she approached the [devil]. It was as if the [slow] magic was cast in the space around him.
“Let’s raise a song — ”
A beautiful song started flowing from Rita’s mouth. At the same time, her movements became faster. And yet, her attacks didn’t reach the devil.
“You aren’t really a demonkin, are you?! Who are you?!” — said Rita as she just barely avoided the devil’s sword.
“My master told me that such [Chuunibiyo] demonkin doesn’t exist! That you are a human who took on this form out of embarrassment! Is that how it is?!”
“Do I have to answer that, beast?”
The wings on the devil’s back transformed. They stretched out and turned into a pair of sharp blades.
Having just barely avoided the [devil]’s dagger, Rita was then attacked by those grotesque blades.
Rita concentrated [Holy Power] into her crossed arms and received the attack. Impact. Her slender body was sent flying. She rotated her body before she would crash into the wall and landed. However, she had nowhere to run anymore. Rita was cornered.
“Now what? Are you going to breathe fire now? Or will you hurl lightning from your horns?” — yet she Rita was smiling fearlessly.
“Pretending to be a demonkin isn’t your everyday stunt. You are a puppet bound by a [contract] to some big-wig and made to work for them, right? To this [Chuunibiyo]!”
Hearing Rita’s words, the devil pursed his lips in irritation.
“I am the [devil]. I am doing what is necessary. Do not call a chuunibiyo!”
“Fuuuh. By the way, what does [Chuunibiyo] mean? Neither I nor Cecyl-chan knows that word”
“It was our master who had taught us this word. He said that if you react to this word, then it will be proof of you being an otherworlder. Since it’s the word originating from my master’s world, this world won’t have a corresponding one. Which is why we don’t know its meaning.
In other words, you aren’t from this world since you know the meaning of [Chuunibiyo]”
“If I seem —, then — unrelated to me! What do you even know about me?!”
The devil’s words were interrupted and became broken. It was as if he was made to be unable to pronounce certain words through the [Contract].
“Call me — , I was supposed to become a hero! But, I was thrown out for being a flop. I will have — recognize me a second time, I will become a hero once again. If I produce some results of the research, even — should come to accept me! Until that happens, I will borrow the name of demonkins for some time. I won’t let anyone get in my way!!”
“Why don’t you shut up already!!”
Rita spit out her words.
“Iris-chan did not get in your way in any shape or form! As did not Cecyl-chan or my master! You just wield your dull power for your own reason and convenience!!”
“My power exists in order to save this world! Why do you continue to look down on me?! I will get recognition from — once again and become a hero. I will take the sea dragon’s blood for that. It’s all to save the world!”
“No thanks, we are good. You are a hindrance, so just go away!”
“Nice words for someone who’s cornered herself. Just die!” — the devil raised his sword up.
“I am not going to die. Not as long as my master needs me”
Rita laughed. The devil’s sword was intercepted and parried to the side.
“My master, I have guided him per your command. The rest is up to your intentions”
Right in front of the devil’s eyes, the wall collapsed.
“Once [Building Smash LV1] is done — “
Nagi’s voice reverberated through the parlor, and a black sword appeared from the opened hole.
“ — [Delay Arts LV1]!”
The black blade turned gigantic, surprising the devil.
The thrust came through the wall. It was an accumulation of fourteen minutes worth of thrusts done with magic word Laydi.
Rita baited the devil with her words into this position. His current posture was that of swinging his sword. It was impossible for him to evade the gigantified magic sword at this distance.
The jet black blade went through the devil’s right arm and blew it away.
The surprise attack was successful.
Unique Skills: [Synthesis], [Slow Field]
The window of my [High-speed Analysis LV1] skill displayed the enemy’s status. In general, this skill allowed to display status windows of the nearby opponents. Thanks to that, it took one look at the window to precisely grasp positions of both Rita and fake demonkin.
I was glad to be able to find the right timing and release [Delay Arts LV1]. If the opponent was slowing down our movements, I just had to widen the attack range so that he couldn’t avoid it.
“As I expected, this guy is an [otherworlder], huh?”
The [High-speed Analysis] window displayed the status of the self-proclaimed [demonkin].
Apparently, [Syntesis] allowed to use the bodies of dying people or those who already dead and turn them into chimeras.
Insides of [Black Armor] was created with [Synthesis] skill. The bats that we fought probably contained the souls of people who were used as materials. Once made into chimeras, their souls were left drifting and unable to rest in peace.
[Slow Field] created a sphere of several meters around the guy. Those who entered its range had their movements dulled. It was casting [slow] magic on space, so to speak.
Both were certainly cheat skills. Which obviously made him the [otherworlder].
I closed the [High-speed Analysis LV1] window.
The fake demonkin was still moving. He rose up and cut off the arm of a dead soldier lying nearby. He then placed it on his own wound and combined them. It was the regeneration. So this skill could be used on oneself as well, huh?….
Cecyl shot her [Flame Arrow] and still alive soldiers shot theirs, but due to [Slow Field] being applied on the surrounding, their flight speed was lowered. So the guy easily avoided them.
… What a bother. It looks like fighting him head-on would take time.
“S-souma-sama. Th-thank you very much” — Iris bowed to me. I was glad she was safe.
“Iris Hoffmeier, we shall talk later”
“I understand. For the troubles caused to everyone from your party by the regulars, I, Iris Hoffmeier, will present a formal apology”
Iris placed a hand on her chest and bowed very deeply.
“I cannot thank you enough for the help. By the name of the sea dragon, I will strive to repay it to most of my abilities. As for the matter of a [token of gratitude] that you have requested, this Iris Hoffmeier promises to arrange it as per what Nagi-sama wishes”
“I understand. Let’s discuss it at length a bit later”
Once I returned the bow, I looked in Rita’s direction.
“However, first we should take care of that fake. Which is why, Rita, you come here”
I grabbed Rita by the hand and took her from the view.
“Sorry, Rita. Let me do [Reconstruction] right here”
“Ah, Okay. My master is — wait, e-e-e-e-eh?!”
“No time. I will quickly explain the reason, so listen ”
We could not let the devil run away. However, this guy had a cheat skill, [Slow Field]. Even in his current state, he could still slow down our movements to their limits. This made him unable to be hit. It’s not like we were unable to defeat him, but fighting him normally would make us suffer damage as well.
So I would be creating a skill right now that was going to break through his [Slow Field].
“Y-you really can do that?”
“I believe I can. When I did the [Engagement] with Cecyl, I awakened [High-speed reconstruction]. This space manipulation skill of his is a definite threat, so I would like to prepare something that could nullify it. For that, I need your cooperation, Rita ”
Rita nodded resolutely.
“Still, I will be doing something embarrassing, so please bear with it”
“I will, but what is that?”
“I will explain later. Right now, let’s concentrate on completing it fast”
I handed a skill crystal to Rita.
Once she installed it, I touched her chest with my hand. We were moving quite a bit earlier, so my hand was sweaty. The sensation was warm and soft. In my head, it felt like I was melting, but I had to be patient right now.
“Invoking, [Quick Structure]!”
First I brought up Rita’s skills. Now she had a housework skill [Pre-cooking LV1] that I had just given her. It’s the same skill that I received from Iris this afternoon.
A skill to [quickly] [dismantle] the [ingredients].
Next, I summoned the skill that I had awakened in myself.
A skill to [politely] [negotiated] at [opponent’s territory]
“Here I go, Rita”
“Y…. Yeah” — Rita nodded.
A thread of magic power was coiling in my right hand. It’s the same when I did [Engagement] with Cecyl. Apparently, [Quick Structure] made use of it. I probably am to use it as it is.
“….. Mn, mn-ah”
“Endure it just for a bit, Rita”
I entwined the string around the [ingredient] part of [pre-cooking LV1] inside of Rita. Next, I did the same to [opponent’s territory] from [Interview LV5] inside myself.
Alright, it should be okay now.
“Execute! [Quick Structure]!”
“——- Ah, a-a-ah…. Hm?”
Rita started blankly.
“Eh? Is this it? Are you saying this is all?”
“Yeah, looks like it”
The new skills were easily produced, just like that.
[Area Breaker LV1] (Ultra Rare)
A skill to [quickly] [demolish] the [opponent’s territory]. It destroyed the domination over space that was produced through skills as well as magic.
Targets included the spaces of fixed range like barriers, flame walls, gravity areas and many others that could be created with either.
The user could also destroy the very effect enveloping the space itself by attacking it physically. Furthermore, both the user and their master could now see with the one who manipulated the space with naked eyes.
That’s the skill that was born in Rita.
[Food negotiation] (Ultra Rare)
A skill to [cortiously] [negotiate] with [food]. It allowed making exchanges with other people by using food as a substitute for currency.
While this skill is active, it also allows communicating with the other party even if they are demons and animals.
There are no restrictions on the goods that can be exchanged, provided that both sides reach an agreement.
Alright. I got a currency negotiation type of skill.
Say, wait a minute. Doesn’t this mean that I’ve made one step towards my goal of “living without working”?
“….Uuuh, I cannot calm down. It feels so deep. It’s like Nagi is inside of me”
However, Rita was looking up at me reproachfully. She blushed, making her skin the color of cherry blossoms.
“We… we are still connected, after all…”
A thread of magic power was drawn between Rita and I. It connected us through my right arm and the center of her chest through the collar on the neck.
So, our skills weren’t exactly overwritten. The concepts of [opponent’s territory] and “food” were being tied with the string of magic power, and were seemingly exchanged with each other.
“This string, it’s about three meters long”
“Hey, Nagi. Don’t pull… Ha-au. Ya-ah, n-no-o, ha-ah!”
Rita grasped her chest with a red face.
“We, we are one right now, after all. If you pull… umm… it will be like always…”
“I-I… Do I have to fight in this state, right?…”
Rita shyly pressed her hands against her own chest and the area around her stomach.
The “String of magic power” had a length of about three meters. Although it couldn’t be cut, Rita couldn’t move away from me further than that. In other words, this most likely was the side effect of using [Quick Structure].
It wasn’t accustomed for prolonged use… Once the skill became stable, it would disappear, right?
“Then, Rita. I leave it to you”
“Come on… I got it already so just come with me, master!”
Rita and I started to run.
The fake demonkin looked at us.
I could see the range of this guy’s [Slow Field]. It was glowing pale-white.
“So foolish. The same trick isn’t going to work a second time!”
“That goes for us as well, you chuunibiyo fake demonkin!”
The black wings on the fake’s back flickered. Their grotesque blades came attacking.
“I know what’s in your hand. Do it, Rita!”
“Invoking! [Area Breaker LV1]”
Rita threw her fist at the barrier.
The barrier cracked and broke down. The fake’s [Slow Field] was no more.
“Your reaction is slow!”
I warded off the attacks of black wings with [Delay Arts]. I managed to swing my sword only three times, but it was good enough for impromptu defense.
“Go lie do-o-own! You, troublemaking faa-a-a-a-ke!”
Rita kicked the fake demonkin. With her power, she sent him flying into the ceiling.
His body bounced off the ceiling and fell down. Then Rita jumped while rotating her body. She delivered one more strike at the guts of still falling fake demonkin.
“Go repent in hell for your crime of forcing the hand of my dear master”
Being hit once more against the ceiling, the guy fell down head first —
With his limbs bent in strange directions, the fake demonkin simply lost consciousness.
Being wrapped in chains, the fake demonkin ended up being thrown to the town jail.
Iris said that “The jail has a barrier applied to it, so it’s safe”.
After this, the fake demonkin would be cross-examined by the town guards and the regulars. The incident this time, we had to find out whether he acted alone or had someone pulling the strings behind the scenes. Otherwise, we would simply risk the repetition of this. Still, it was late into the night already, and the continuation was left for tomorrow.
I passed my claim — that we were about to be killed by the soldiers — to Iris and had her formally accept as the truth.
As for our skills, We managed to put a lid on it for now. Speaking of which, everyone whom we saved, be it the surviving soldiers or the ms. maid and the stewards were unconscious at the time.
The beardy’s group disappeared from the detached house. Right now they were being looked for by the enraged surviving regulars. Once found, the only thing waiting for them would probably be the discharge of a prison sentence.
It was in the middle of the night when we finally returned to our house.
Damn, I am so tired.
While still being connected to Rita, I finished my meal, wiped my body, changed clothes, and even got into the bed. The thread disappeared just before we closed our eyes.
I have reconfirmed our skills before going to sleep.
[Area Breaker LV1] (Ultra Rare)
A skill to [quickly] [demolish] the [opponent’s territory].
[Food Negotiation] (Ultra Rare)
A skill to [cortiously] [negotiate] with [food].
Alright, the rewriting is completed. It seems like [Quick Structure] quasi-exchanged the skill concepts to be rewritten with [string of magic power]. They would slowly be transferred over the course of time as their data was being exchanged.
… What would I do if we remained connected for the rest of our lives? It’s a relief though, goodnight…
“…..Ha-ah. A-a….Ah. Ha-a-ah. Dear… ma-aster”
… somehow, I felt warm.
“Stop…. No…………… Please…. Stop…. No… Not yet…. No…. Aa-ah!”
I opened my eyes. Rita was licking the palm of my hand.
“………… I am sorry……….. Nagi…. Dear master”
Rita grabbed her large chest and looked at me. Her thin sleepwear was soaking with sweat. The golden ears and tail were perked up. With teary eyes, Rita looked at me and said.
“……… The skill…… inside of me…. It’s moving…. so fiercely. ……….. That’s….. not good……..”
Newly used skills
[Area Breaker LV1]
A skill to [quickly] [demolish] the [opponent’s territory].
Specials fields that are created with magic or skills become physically destructible. It’s a cheat skill, no way around it.
It allows destroying the spaces such as slow fields, magically sealed or gravitational spaces with a punch.
However, Rita needs to be able to see them and move in them. For example, Rita cannot destroy the space in which the time is stopped if she first gets stopped in it before recognizing its existence.
If combined with [Building Smash] to be able to get into most places, getting away from Rita becomes a huge problem.