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Chapter 13 – The King of the Beast [B]
Meanwhile, the battle between Leonhart and Galtia was on the brink.
“Kuhahahahahahahhhh—! Look, be careful! I’m gonna swing it now!”
“Ooh…! You did well! Then here’s the next one! I’ll swing it—!”
“Cih… this damn sword idiot…!”
—Majin Leonhart held the advantage.
Leonhart’s sword techniques had already inflicted a number of wounds on Galtia. Numerous red lines ran through Galtia’s brown skin from the number of slashes unleashed.
Galtia, on the other hand, wasn’t losing out either. He managed to wound Leonhart due to the mushi’s various abilities. The mushis even managed to cooperate to wound Leonhart and then pour poison on it to make him lose some of his physical strength.
However, as the battle dragged on, the difference became more apparent — the difference between a human and a majin.
Galtia was deprived of his physical strength from fatigue and blood loss, which slowed him down. Leonhart was also wounded, but it didn’t slow him down. Rather, his movements were improving the longer the battle continued.
The physical strength of a majin was seemingly inexhaustible. This was also due to the remarkable growth of Leonhart’s swordsmanship.
Is this guy still getting faster?!
Galtia complained inwardly, but it was a natural thing to happen. Leonhart’s sword talent had just recently bloomed. Therefore, he still didn’t fully grasp the depth of it just yet. Leonhart would still grow in the future.
His growth was fueled by swinging his sword, even more so if it was against a strong opponent.
Ironically, Galtia’s existence was allowing Leonhart to grow. Despite being a human, his capability was close to Leonhart’s. This made both Leonhart’s instincts as majin and his talents answer the situation by improving his skills further — even his physical strength seemingly evolved.
In comparison, Galtia was still a human in the end. His talent as a mushi user was unparalleled — but it was still too heavy of a burden to match the majin before him.
Despite his young age, Leonhart wasn’t a member of the Four Elite Majin for nothing. Galtia didn’t know about that, but Leonhart didn’t seem to be weak among the majin. At the very least, he knew he was incomparably stronger than the majin he defeated last time.
However, Leonhart also thought the same. Galtia was strong; he was the best among humans.
He never thought Galtia would last this long. It was to the point he had to prevent himself from accidentally dealing a lethal blow.
His instincts as majin compelled him to cut down the human before him. However, he wouldn’t allow such instinct to overtake him. There wouldn’t be any meaning in that. Even as he fought with his instincts, his mind was still clear. It was because of that fact that Leonhart felt worthy of himself.
In general, both of them felt they couldn’t let this last much longer.
For Galtia, it was time and also the limit of his physical strength.
For Leonhart, it was the goal of his master.
The swords collided and the recoil forced them away from each other. It was Leonhart who spoke first.
“Ah… I enjoyed this. It was a great time. You are strong, I’ll admit that. However — it’s about time to end this.”
Unlike before, he solemnly proclaimed his intentions with a cold expression. Since he declared it, he would make it so. One could feel the strength of his resolve inside that coldness.
“I have no objections.”
Galtia replied curtly. Still, he swore to end the battle by the next move just like his opponent. He absolutely had to win. He focused all his consciousness to Majin Leonhart, so he wouldn’t miss any of his movement.
“This is the end.”
Galtia only focused on his majin opponent, and that narrow focus was what caused the interruption of the battle’s conclusion.
Leonhart was the first to notice it. He was about to unleash the best attack he could, but he abruptly stopped. The reason for that appeared from behind Galtia.
Galtia opened his eyes in surprise. The one who called out for him was the mushi user boy who lived inside the settlement, and it was the boy who often interacted with Galtia.
The boy, who was only half as tall as him, looked at Galtia’s whole body covered in wounds with a painful expression, and he called out without hesitation.
“Galtia, are you okay? I will ask the mushi with recovery ability to—“
“Gh!!! — You fool!!!”
Galtia slapped the boy’s cheek.
The boy looked up to Galtia in shock as if he didn’t understand why he was slapped. Galtia felt even more annoyed as he saw the color of doubt emerging from the boy’s eyes.
“Do you really think I’d be happy with that—!”
“Aah, damn it… I should’ve said it clearly if I knew it would come to this…!”
From the boy’s eyes — nay, perhaps from any settlement member’s eyes — nobody saw Galtia as angry as he was right now. It was unusual for Galtia — who was always seen as friendly, having a refreshing personality, and someone who didn’t care much for details — behaving this way.
Galtia scratched his head and was seemingly unable to put together what he wanted to say, but he still told the boy.
“…Listen, as the head of the settlement, I command you. You’re under house arrest. Now, go be quiet inside your house for a while.”
“Gh! Wh-why… I only wanted to help, Galtia…”
“That was the most annoying part, I’d say… just go home already.”
“If you still don’t understand, I will say it clearly, kid — there’s nothing you can do to help in the battlefield.”
The boy shook at Galtia’s harsh words, but Galtia still continued his tongue-lashing despite that.
“You’re just a burden even if you come. If you know that—“
“—Ah…aah… I’m sorry, but can I interrupt for a bit?”
Leonhart, who had been silently listening to the exchange, called out to them. Galtia understood that Leonhart had stayed silent all this time out of consideration for them. It seems he had some integrity, despite being a majin.
“Sorry about this. The fault is mine. We’ll finish this as soon as the kid return—“
“No, that’s not the problem — it looks like it’s already over.”
“…What do you mean—“
By that? Or so Galtia meant to say before he noticed what he meant. There were a large number of shadows approaching from behind Leonhart.
As he used his senses to detect his surroundings, there were practically no more allies left in the battlefield. There were even those who were trying to escape to the settlement.
—There was only one thing it could mean.
Eventually, a large army approached Leonhart, with a large silhouette of a demon with a sphere on its belly among them.
He bent his knee toward Leonhart, and conveyed the despair to Galtia.
“Leonhart-sama. The operation is complete. The mushi users’ army is practically decimated.”
“… I see, good work.”
“Hah! There’s only two of them left.”
The report made Galtia realize the magnitude of their losses. Most of the soldiers were probably killed. He didn’t know how many managed to escape, but their bodies and minds should be full of wounds.
The rest of the battle was figuring out how long it would take for them to escape.
Galita calculated that instantly as he checked his surroundings. There were many demons and a majin at the front. Behind him was the boy who shook in fear. He already decided to drag the boy back home with him — it would be possible for him to escape from the demons. However, it would be hard to shake off the majin in front of him.
As he was worried about how to escape, the one who offered him the help he needed was the majin who was supposed to hinder him from escaping.
“Ah, Sorry, but… there’ll be no chase.”
“Hah? But, it’ll be possible to destroy the settlement now…”
“It won’t change much even if we do it later. They already lost the strength to fight anyway. It’s about to be dusk soon, and the soldiers are tired from the continuous fighting. Isn’t it okay to delay it until tomorrow morning?”
“Ha, Haa… but—“
“Rather, do you say that despite looking at me? Ah? That human over there is idiotically strong, so I’m wounded and tired. I’m convinced that person can defeat a majin. He is about in his last leg though. Would you like to fight against him instead?”
Leonhart pointed at Galtia with an annoyed attitude. The demon general looked at the situation around them and felt the aftermath of the battle, so he shook his head as he hated the idea of fighting him at the bottom of his heart.
“No, no no, I’ll refrain from doing so. I would feel bad stealing Leonhart-sama’s prey anyway… Well then, let’s set the sortie for tomorrow morning.”
“Alright, it’s decided then. Let’s withdraw.”
“Hah! Withdraw—!! Return to base!!”
Many demon soldiers complained, but they were silenced by the single word of the demon general, “It is Leonhart-sama’s command!”
Leonhart nodded with satisfaction as he saw that, then he looked back toward Galtia and the kid.
“Since that’s the case, you can go home. Ah, don’t you dare attack us as we withdraw. As is to be expected, I won’t be able or willing to suppress them if that happens.”
“…Then, I’ll just let you do just that. Time to go, kid.”
“Ah, wait a minute, Galtia. I have something to say.”
As Galtia called out to the boy, whose eyes were cast downward, to go home, Leonhart stopped him in a hurry. Galtia frowned in suspicion.
“Ah? What is it? …Kid, back off for a little bit.”
As the boy left Galtia, Leonhart approached Galtia and opened his mouth.
Leonhart whispered something to Galtia which caused him to widen his eyes and mutter something. Then as Leonhart spoke something as he left, Galtia went to the boy with a stiffened expression.
The boy had used the mushi’s ability to hear from afar, which allowed him to somehow hear the last sentence Leonhart said as he left and thought about their meaning in his head. No, he understood what the words meant. But what he didn’t understand was why he said so to Galtia.
”I’ll be waiting.” I wonder what that means?
The boy couldn’t understand what the words meant.
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