Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
23. Magic Swordsman and Black Organization  – part 2
Dodriel called out my name in an eerily which sent shivers down my spine
「…Why didn’t you erase the scar?」
I pointed to the painful to look at sword scar left on his face and asked.
The medicine in this country is very well developed.
That kind of wound should’ve been able to be treated in just a few hours. It’s also cheap.
「How stupid, no way I can erase it… Because this is the proof of love between you and I !」
Dodriel said, and slowly stroked the scar in a loving manner.
「After that, you see… I, the genius swordsman, didn’t know how I lost to Allen, the dropout swordsman, or what was wrong – no matter how much I thought about it… I felt so mortified and agonized and cried every day…」
While shooting glances at me, he continued his story.
「I chose this ugly face to remember this suffering – a grudge against you. Every morning, every time I looked at this face in the mirror, my hatred for you burned! With that hatred as my fuel, I made an『effort』for the first time in my life! I swung my sword every day from morning till night! Everything was – to kill you!」
Dodriel shook his shoulders as though surrendering into madness – but the very next moment, he had a refreshing smile.
「But you see… As I spent my days ruled over by such grudge and hatred for you, I suddenly realized. Allen – you actually, really loved me.」
I don’t understand a thing… What the hell is this guy saying?
「In those days, I was in love with you, too… No, I wonder if I should say that the hidden thoughts that I’ve been hiding all that time have emerged? Every day, I think of you, I dream of you, and my passion for you and my love for you! – I fell in love with you while I was living like that every day.」
This guy had gone mad.
Everything he’s saying was incoherent.
He was completely broken.
「It doesn’t seem like we can have a decent discussion.」
「Ahaha! That’s right! It’s impossible to be calm! Passionate! Let’s talk passionately!」
Dodriel turned his sword towards me.
In response, I immediately assumed Seigan no Kamae.
Then when we faced each other – I finally recognised it.
「That sword… is a soul dress?」
From his sword, I felt a creepy『something』.
Although it appeared to be a plain sword which is sold everywhere, there was『something』that felt different.
「Ahaa! You saw through it! Even though my soul dress is so plain. As expected, you know eeeverything about me…」
Dodriel wore an ecstatic expression, and hugged himself with both hands.
I ignored his eccentricities.
(To think he acquired soul dress in such a short period of time…)
He’s creepy, but… as expected, Dodriel was a genius.
(I can’t guess what kind of power his soul dress has from its appearance.)
If it spouted out flames like Ria’s〈Fafnir〉 or emitted cold air like Sid-san’s〈Vanargand〉, then I can have a rough idea regarding its ability.
Dodriel’s sword has nothing noticeable in the blade or hilt.
It really was a plain sword that was sold everywhere.
(In such a case, I should move around so that he can’t attack me…!)
For the time being, don’t let him attack.
Ideally, before he activates his ability – before he goes all out, I should defeat him
Even if it was not so, it would be good to make him use the ability of his soul dress 『for defense』.
It was absolutely necessary to avoid the unknown ability from being used『for offense』.
The reason was that my reaction will be delayed by one breath no matter what, and it could lead to a fatal gap.
「Here I come…!」
「Ahaa… come, Allen! Because I’m not going anywhere…!」he said, opening his arms wide, despite being in the middle of battle.
There was no stance or anything – his whole body was full of openings.
(Carelessness and self-pride, nothing has changed… It’s one of the few weaknesses of being a genius swordsman…)
Then I closed the distance between us,
「Eighth Sword – Yatagarasu!」
Eight sharp slashes were unleashed at the same time.
Both hands, both legs, neck, head, torso, chest – the man who was the target of those eight slashes, did not make any slight movement.
There was just a crazy smile on his face.
(…Did he give up?)
Such a foolish thought disappeared in an instant.
All eight of the slashes that I unleashed – went through Dodriel’s body.
「Ahahahaa! How mysterious!」
As I was astonished by the current exchange, he took a big step towards me.
「Rain Style – Summer Rain!」
A sharp thrust of murderous intent was delivered over and over again.
I somehow managed to avoid the vital points and distanced myself from him.
(He got my right shoulder and left flank…!)
But fortunately, the wound is not so deep.
Dull pain limited actions, but there was no problem with continuing the battle.
(Damn…. his swordsmanship is so much sharper than before…)
Dodriel has not only mastered soul dress.
He had also sharpened his swordsmanship.
「Noo, Alleeen? You don’t have to run away so much…」he chuckled, and shrugged his shoulders.
「Just what did you do?」
My Yatagarasu definitely hit Dodriel’s body.
But somehow, all eight slashes passed through his body.
(The current phenomenon is not something that can be explained as a defensive body movement or so…)
Surely he must have used his soul dress’s ability.
(Were Ria and Rose defeated by this strange power…?)
「Aha! Now then, I wonder what I did…!」
As he zig-zagged from side to side, he shortened the distance with me at high speed.
Because his movement was not in a straight line, it was difficult to measure the distance.
「Rain Style Secret Technique – Passing Shower!」
It’s not a series of thrusts like the one before, but a concentrated one-point sharpened thrust.
…But, not to the point of being unavoidable.
In terms of swordsmanship skills, Rose was ahead of him.
I deflected up that thrust from the bottom right with an upward cut.
And when his posture was broken – I unleashed a technique that would be difficult to evade.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style Secret Technique – Mirrored Sakura Slash!」
Like a mirror match, four slashes from left and right each – eight unstoppable slashes bore down on Dodriel.
(I will see through with this…!)
The mysterious ability of his soul dress!
I opened my eyes firmly and analyzed Dodriel’s every move precisely.
At that time,
He acted strangely.
And that too was one step『forward』.
Not avoiding or defending with the sword – just one step forward.
What that means is – that move was the best action that should be prioritized over defense, over evasion.
Immediately after that, the eight slashes I unleashed passed through his body.
「Aha, it didn’t hit! How mysterious! Rain Style – Intense Rain!」
Kesa-giri(Diagonal Slash), Karatake-giri(Bamboo Split), Upward Slash, Downward Slash, Thrusts – Rain-like consecutive attacks were unleashed from point-blank range. [2. TL Note: “Kesa-giri” is “slashing a sword diagonally from the shoulder”.] [3. TL Note: “Karatake-giri” is “like cutting straight down onto a big piece of bamboo. Where the cut ends in Kamae (Seigan). Though you stop without cutting all the way through, the force of your cut should be such that the remaining power splits the bamboo all the way to the bottom. The cut is like a whip, which differs from cutting the head where you are using a continuous power all the way down. The bamboo should fall into two pieces on either side as the cut ends in Kamae.]
I somehow managed to ward it off desperately, but it was difficult to defend everything from point-blank range – I suffered several wounds.
(However… I’ve unraveled the mystery)
What Dodriel had moved to just now was – my『shadow』.
He jumped into my shadow without hesitation in that situation where the slashes were imminent.
In other words, his ability is,
「-I saw it, Dodriel. The ability of your soul dress is to hide in the shadow, isn’t it?」
While stepping on the opponent’s shadow, all attacks from that target have no effect.
「Ahaha! Correct, Correct, Super correct! You’re the first to see through my〈Shadow Ruler〉! We can communicate with each other without words… Un, after all we are tied by the red thread of fate!」
He kept talking while grimacing happily.
「But what can you do now that you know? It’s not like you can lose your shadow in this place, right? Alleeen?」
Dodriel then glanced to the left and right.
A lot of fluorescent lamps installed on the ceiling, and the sunlight peeking through the broken windows – certainly it would be difficult to erase my shadow in this place where there are many light sources.
「…It’s not like I don’t have other options.」
「Hee… funny. Show me… this so-called option…!」
The next moment he ran straight towards me.
I held onto Seigan no Kamae and considered my next action.
(I can affirm – There is nothing in this world that cannot be cut.)
If something『can’t be cut』, it’s just that the swordsman’s skill was not good enough.
I, who cut that different world, know this better than anyone else.
(Right… The perception that I can’t cut him is absolutely wrong.)
Then I calmly recalled the first act.
(My slash passed through Dodriel’s body without a graze… that is, the moment he stepped on my shadow, his body was in a different place from this world- he had moved to the『Shadow World』!)
Then… the answer is simple.
All I have to do is forcibly cut through the space there.
Like that Prison of Time!
「Farewell, Alleeeeen! Rain Style Secret Technique- Passing Shower!」
He stepped firmly onto my shadow and lunged at me with a concentrated one-point thrust aimed at my heart.
I sharpened my nerves, and together with that looming thrust,
「Fifth Sword – World Judgement!」
I tore apart the shadow world he was hiding in.
「Guh-ga… A-Ahaa… A-Amazing, as expected… My, Allen…」
……As expected, the genius swordsman Dodriel.
This guy jumped back one step at the very last moment.
It was probably the intuition of a swordsman.
Thanks to that, he barely avoided fatal wounds.
(However, he has suffered countless deep wounds.)
Where continuing this battle would put him at a disadvantage.
Then, the group of black cloaks who were watching this battle from a distance,
No sooner than the battle concluded, they fled.
「A-Ahaa… L-Let’s meet again somewhere… A-Alleeen?」
Saying that, Dodriel jumped out of the window behind him and disappeared with the group of black cloaks.
「Haa… I got involved with a nasty guy again…」
Having won the battle against Dodriel, I took a deep breath and sheathed my sword into its scabbard.