Several weeks since the journey of Ryuuya’s group of three had started.
In the room of a post town that they stopped by in the middle of their journey towards the Jiol Forest Kingdom, Luuty and Ria were animatedly chatting.
「……Hーn, so Ria, you were going around the continent this whole time.」
「Yes. I have also gone to the Jiol Forest Kingdom.」
「Is that so. But the person called Reina-san really is famous. Ahーah, I wanted to see her too……」
Seeing Luuty breath a sigh sounding disappointed, Ria replied with “is that so”.
Although she thought “certainly, it is interesting just seeing her” but she wouldn’t say it out loud.
According to Reina, her shishou, her sharp ears seem to be able to hear rumors from beyond the edges of the continent.
It would be best to not say anything unnecessary.
「But, I see. So that is why you’re also amazing, Ria.」
In actuality, Ria was strong.
In the battles that Luuty and Ryuuya had up until now, Ryuuya was the vanguard and Luuty served as the rear guard.
However, on top of being terrible at defense, Ryuuya’s attacks were also self-taught.
Although he had somehow managed with his inherent superhuman physical ability, the truth was that he had reached his limit.
When Ria joined, their situation in battle made a drastic change.
With Ria having her sword and shield at the ready, she displayed her impregnable defensive ability.
She would repel attacks, and furthermore send back an intense attack in her counterattack.
Since Ria wouldn’t allow an enemy to draw near her, Luuty was able to display her abilities as a rear guard in a perfect state.
Furthermore, since he no longer had to fight while protecting Luuty, Ryuuya also became able to focus on attacking.
While she performed her defensive role, Ria would sometimes back Ryuuya up, and would also instead use magic when Luuty was at her limit.
In other words, Ria’s support to respond to the situation was perfect, and the words 「tough fight」 had vanished from the Hero party’s vocabulary.
That wasn’t all.
Ryuuya imitated Ria’s movements, making his own movements more efficient and his reckless sword techniques were refined.
The way to use the sword, the proper use of it against magic, the way to use the body.
Even though Ria didn’t tell him anything, Ryuuya gathered knowledge on what he himself needed and grew.
Recently, it was to the point that Ryuuya was passionately trying to accompany Ria in her independent practice.
Luuty valued Ria highly even on the point of having strongly instilled the thing called the desire to improve himself in Ryuuya who had a bit of an overconfident aspect to him.
Incidentally, the Hero party’s meal situation had also changed greatly.
Ryuuya often tried to make the cuisine of his birthplace and failed, and Luuty wasn’t all that particularly good at cooking other than the traditional Sylphid dishes. Moreover, the traditional Sylphid cuisine that had little taste was subtly unpopular with Ryuuya.
That is why they had stocked up on jerky and dried potato as their packed food, but as expected, they got tired of them on their long journeys.
However, that meal situation had changed through Ria’s joining of the group.
Ria’s cooking ability was outstanding, and the variation was also abundant.
Filled with deep emotion, Luuty got Ria to teach her the recipes.
Speaking in terms of coordination, the Hero party had leveled up several times with Ria’s joining of the group.
With Ria filling up the things they were lacking up until now, the party was stable, and they ended up aiming towards the next level.
「No, someone like me is not that great……」
Luuty understood Ria’s words as her being humble.
It was there that a voice was heard from the corner of the room.
「It isn’t good to be too humble. Even I’m thankful towards you, you know?」
Luuty sent a cold gaze at the owner of that voice.
What was on the floor there was the figure of Ryuuya tied up with a rope.
With only having rope wrapped around him, since had tried to get close to them with movements that made him look like a caterpillar, they thoroughly tied the end of the rope to the coat hanger rack on the wall.
「……The pervert should just shut up.」
「I’m no pervert, I am a gentleman who seeks a man’s romance.」
The thing that Ryuuya had done not too long ago was simple.
When Luuty and Ria had left their room, he invaded their room without permission.
He put their beds together, put sheets on top of it, and reorganized it into a double bed.
Bringing in his own pillow from his room, he constructed a bed where the three of them could sleep together.
And then, he lied in wait for when the two of them came back.
Ryuuya protested “even though I was just trying to deepen the friendship between the three of us, why did I end up like this”……but naturally, the two of them didn’t accept it.
As a result, that was the reason why the current situation was completed.
「To begin with, how many times do I have to tell you before you understand that Humans and Sylphid can’t end up like that.」
While saying that, Luuty went over to put in a kick on Ryuuya who was lying there.
Thinking “since it seems dangerous in various ways, there is no choice but to leave him like this for tonight”, Ria breathed a sigh.
──But, in the next instant, Ria threw a knife at the space behind her.
Turning around to face the surprised Luuty and Ryuuya for only an instant, Ria shouted.
「Luuty, please remove the ropes on Ryuuya-sama! There is something here!」
The knife that Ria threw didn’t pierce into the wall.
A brusque arm that suddenly appeared in midair was tightly gripping it.
No, more accurately, it wasn’t in midair.
The arm had come out from a spot that seemed like a crack was created in midair.
That crack expanded, and spread out.
And then, what appeared from there was a strange-looking figure.
It was silver full body armor that seemed to have blades stuck into it all over its body.
Having a darkness colored something kept within that armor, it had swords ready in both of its hands.
「……Kukuh. I did not think I would be noticed.」
「Who are you?」
In response to Ria’s question, the strange-looking thing answered with a sneer.
「Who, who you say! Very well, I shall tell you! I am one of the subordinates under Demon King Shuklous-sama’s direct control, the Sword Demon!」
Hearing those words, Luuty and Ryuuya were startled.
A Mazoku that was clearly on a different level from Goblins and Beastia──That had suddenly appeared before them.
「One called the Hero. By Demon King-sama’s command, I shall measure your abilities. But still, I have found one who seems more interesting than the Hero. If it is you, it won’t be a problem even if I kill y-……Nu!?」
The Sword Demon repelled a knife that was once again fired at it.
There was no way it would have been injured by a mere knife made of iron, but it was irritating.
The one that threw the knife wasn’t the Hero, but a silver haired young lady.
Even though the young lady should have been unarmed, she had drawn out a sword before anyone knew it.
Furthermore, the silver haired young lady──Ria filled the distance between her and the Sword Demon with a fearsome speed.
*Giin* The sound of swords clashing resounded.
Her sword that should have been repelled continued on and attacked the Sword Demon from a different angle.
Even if it was repelled, she would make another attack.
Even if that next attack was repelled, she would make yet another attack.
The repeating barrage of attacks from just a single sword wouldn’t stop.
The Sword Demon was being made sport of by the young lady’s attacks.
Having been freed from the ropes, Ryuuya shouted.
When he was about to say “I’ll back you up right away”, he noticed that he didn’t have a sword at hand.
「In that case……I’ll do this! Attack Light!」
A brilliance that was created at the end of Ryuuya’s hand drew near the Sword Demon, and burst at its head.
Using the opening made on the Sword Demon by Ryuuya’s attack, Ria invoked a Wind Magic Sword, and threw a tempestuous barrage of attacks on it.
The Sword Demon’s hard armor and body were quickly shaved down, and it was being torn to shreds.
Due to the size of that severe damage, the Sword Demon went down to its knees.
I was careless, I underestimated them too much……Those emotions dominated the Sword Demon.
However, it was too late now.
Luuty had also readied her wand, and finished her preparations for the chant of her magic.
「……I have heard of this. Airspace Transfer that only Mazoku are said to use. This is my first time seeing the real thing though.」
When Ria muttered that, she pointed the tip of her sword to the Sword Demon that was on its knees.
「However, I have heard that due to its degree of difficulty, there are also few that can use it. In other words, if we defeat you here, the risk of Mazoku attacks from now on should decrease.」
「……You are quite well-informed, aren’t you.」
「Yes. It is the thing known as a Maid Knight’s knowledge.」
Without letting her guard down even a little, Ria took a stance to finish off the Sword Demon.
Just by throwing in a single attack, it was possible to make the Sword Demon incapacitated.
A certain kill slash with no name that she had learned through Reina.
In order to unleash that, Ria focused her consciousness.
「Ahh. Seriously. It’s just as the Bow Demon said. I really was too careless.」
One of the blades that sprouted out in the Sword Demon’s armor, was shot out.
It pierced through Ria’s body.
And then, one, two, three swords.
The blades that were shot out one after another pierced Ria, and the pierced onto the wall.
After the Sword Demon kicked down Ria, who had become unable to move while still standing, it slowly stood up.
「……Ahー. I’m done for today. I’ll have to come again someday.」
Saying that, the Sword Demon commenced constructing Transfer Magic.
While thinking “since I received too much damage from something unexpected, I need to hurry back and restore myself”, it invoked the magic.
Immediately after the Sword Demon’s figure vanished, the spot that the Sword Demon was just at also vanished.
It was from a direct hit of magical power that Ryuuya had fired while still in anger.
This attack that would later on be called the Magical Power Cannon was passed down to future generations as the Hero Ryuuya’s signature technique.
Hero Ryuuya and his companions freely went around the Shutia Continent after that.
Completing the Holy Sword, they defeated the Demon King Shuklous.
Getting on the Holy Dragon Ikslet and setting off to the Dark Continent, they also defeated the Great Demon King Gramfia.
Bringing back peace to the world, the Hero Ryuuya and his companions.
But, there were several people that would not be spoken of in that legend.
The heroes that fell in the middle of the journey──Among them, a single young Maid Knight lady was included as well.
The Maid Knight, Ria.
Ria, who was a companion of the Hero Ryuuya, had taught the basics of fighting to Ryuuya, and in their first fight against high-ranking Mazoku, she protected the Hero’s party and died.
And then, the cycle of rebirth was interrupted.
The cause of it, was the whim of a certain someone.
Someone in a black room that had too much boredom for them to handle had held an interest in the young lady.
A reason as simple as that marked the abrupt end to that cycle of rebirth.
「I thought I’d try taking a peek every once in a while. I picked up something interesting.」