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[N POV]

 

A battle between emperors is something that won’t belittle wherever you go.

Usually, once the citizens heard that a battle between Saints would occur, there’d be tons of people coming to observe.

Seeing a battle between high-ranking experts isn’t something a normal citizen can see, not to mention the Emperor, or even a King-ranked expert, won’t go over 1 digit in Asura. Is the Emperor ranked? A hand is enough to count them within the Asura Kingdom.

As we don’t count the emperors and kings in the dojo, it’s something rare for one to see a Saint ranked and above expert, whether it’s in magic or the other.

Which is why Eugene’s challenge is something that people are astonished by.

Accepting the challenge, Claude took a step forward and unsheathed his sword.

Claude: “Get ready, master Eugene.”

Eugene: “Come wherev…”

Without even waiting for Eugene to finish his words, Claude activated Time Square chantlessly.

At that moment, the surrounding area becomes slower, as he moves his eyes to search for an opening. Claude was surprised that the only opening Eugene had was a trap for him to enter…

(It seems that he is already aware of my Time Square, so I can’t use it to make a quick battle then.) While thinking of that, Claude stopped his Time Square and approached Eugene slowly.

“What? So, you won’t use that body enhancement magic? ” Eugene said, eying Claude from a distance while tightening his stance.

“Body enhancement?” Claude was taken aback by Eugene’s words, but he was filled with epiphany at the time.

(That’s right, Time Square feels like a time machine to me.But, for a trained eye like the one Eugene had, he only became faster, which meant that Eugene could see me. This spell is not a true time-related magic, but rather something else…I need to search for it later.

Without Claude noticing it, Eugene stepped forward and used his great sword to slash at him.

A simple, yet heavy slash is dodged by Claude.

“What a nimble one,” Eugene said, following with another stab from behind Claude, as if he was teleporting himself to his back.

Responding to the sudden attack, Claude blocked the attack and took the recoil to widen the gap between the sword and the Emperor.

Slashing his sword into the air, Claude regained the feeling in his numbing hand. For a moment, the tingling pain in his arm slowed him down.

“As expected from the Sword Emperor, Eugene, it’s my first time facing a Sword Emperor. Though I have a Spear Emperor acquaintance, the way you move is totally different” Claude said while side-stepping, trying to distract Eugene.

Pondering, Eugene kept a close eye on what Claude wanted to do. He’s not preparing for any spell, since Claude can do it chantlessly, and Eugene can’t get any distraction in this battle.

Who would’ve believed him if he said that he was being pressured by a 15-year-old kid?

He sure can hear the laughter he will get when he comes back to the palace.

Unfortunately, a bit of distraction in his mind at that time created an opening for Claude.

The light of mana from a spell came before Eugene. Within the blink of an eye, Claude disappeared from the place he was.

“Where did he go!” Eugene said, as he didn’t expect Claude to disappear so suddenly.

Immediately, he jumped from his current location. Feeling a threat, Eugene trusted his instinct, and from the ground, a spear of earth came out, impaling the place he previously stood on.

Stab.

Instantly, he received a blow from behind him.

Claude’s sword pierced his abdomen.

“Wha…” Eugene could feel the pain as he was impaled by a sudden stab.

Right? “I’ve said that I’d have a spear Emperor’s acquaintance. “Sadly, you’re weaker than him,” Claude said mockingly, as he took a step back and cleaned his sword from the Sword Emperor Eugene.

Eugene felt the blood flowing out of his stomach as it growled in pain. It’s not just a simple stab. He already covered his body with Touki, which means a simple stab can’t inflict damage on him. Not to mention, the sword they used is the same, a training sword.

How can he make the sword penetrate his Emperor grade Touki?

Claude just smiled at him, refusing to explain anything to him.

Eugene simply laughed bitterly and raised his hands. his surrender.

The place was filled with gasps of surprise while the smiling Claude got closer to cast a healing spell towards Eugene. giving Eugene his hand and tapping the man on the shoulder. Claude finished his treatment while apologizing for any conduct that may have offended Eugene.

“Hahaha! “There’s no problem; it’s a great thing for Asura to have a young King-ranked expert in their midst, not to mention a Dual like you!” Claude said, smacking his shoulder happily.

A fifteen-year-old Dual Saint-ranked Mage and King-ranked Practitioner.Who would believe him?

What a great experience he had. To fight a rising star in the making, this Arbalest surely hid many gems from the kingdom.

Eugene smiled as he exited the platform in front of the guest. making a calculation in his mind.

“A new force to see, what a great impediment in this race to the throne…” he said as he left the location to report on the emergence of the never-before-seen genius.

There’s no one that dares to stand before Claude anymore after his battle with Eugene, a total victory that’s not making him break even a sweat.

This signified the monstrosity of the head Knight Mike chose.

“Thankfully, there’s a ban on territory takeovers, or else, you might have already tried to run around taking over the other nobles’ territory by the next month! Hahaha ” Sauros joked around with Mike, slapping the shoulder of his new subordinate.

“Don’t play such a prank on me, Lord Sauros…” Mike said while looking at the gulping noble, who had territory surrounding him.

Incidentally, Claude receives a territory from Sauros’s area, one which had their regent missing after the metastasis.

There are uncountable victims in that incident; a tragedy, one might even say.

Many become orphans, widows, or even lose their families.

Even within Arbalest, there were people who joined Division A to search for their missing relatives and found only their corpses in the wilderness.

Based on the corpses alone, there are already 30 thousand casualties, and more than 20 thousand are still missing. This includes Zenith, Rudeus’ mother.

However, based on other information given by Roxy, Rudeus’s former magic teacher, There’s a possibility that Zenith might be found on the Begaritt continent.

A search team has already been sent there, and Roxy’s team, consisting of Paul and Zenith’s former adventurers, will follow and head towards Begaritt.

Paul tried to head there himself and search the continent for his missing wife, but was stopped by C, because his work can’t be stopped in Millis for now. There’s also the fact that the Begaritt continent isn’t a place you can reach in a matter of days.

It can take months or even years to search that barren wasteland filled with labyrinths of unknown grade.

While waiting for another report, C and Claude continue to create a safe place for the people they successfully found and send them to their family.

Meanwhile, at another location,

Rudeus remained in his lodging, unconcerned about anything.

Back to his NEET life after being separated from Eris.

..

.

[Rudeus POV]

The place of our objective is already imminent.

 

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say we’ve already arrived.

 

Even though that’s the case, the expressions in the party aren’t clearing up.

 

The incident that just happened the other day cooled things down a lot, I’m sure.

 

The gap between the bright expressions of the people passing by us on the road is intense.

 

It was a complete defeat after all.

 

We were all too quickly annihilated. I even had my life stolen.

 

I don’t know what kind of whim it was, but he especially went out of his way to revive me.

 

If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be in this world.

 

In my opinion, I can’t really feel the reality of it.

 

It’s something mysterious to even me, but at that time I wasn’t really feeling very much fear.

 

The instant he dealt the final blow, I certainly thought that I didn’t want to die.

 

I thought it wouldn’t be strange for it to end up as a trauma.

 

Even though that’s the case, by the time I had woken up, for some reason, I was completely refreshed.

 

That’s not really the correct way of putting it, but [Ah, a dream huh.] I had that sort of feeling.

 

same sensation as when you wake up from a nightmare.

 

Is it because the sensation when I was on the verge of death is connected with that dream? Though it felt like everything was a dream, it could have been that kind of feeling.

 

After I thought that, I wondered if the Hitogami might have planned for that to happen and woken me up at that exact moment.

 

Honestly, there’s an unbearable feeling like I was instinctively denying it as well, but it seems like he was also thinking about Ruijerd, so it might be that he’s not actually all that bad of a guy.

Ever since I was on the verge of death, the distance between Eris and me has felt somehow really close.

Previously, when we were sitting in the carriage, there was more of a slanted feel to how we would stand.

“It’s balance training. Why don’t you try it as well, Rudeus?”

is how she said it, but recently it’s become sitting.

right by my side.

With a distance where her thighs were glued to mine.

After getting to that distance, there were various things that came into my sight.

For example, this is about a certain day.

I could peek in at the skin from the hem of Eris’s pants and clothes.

And then, after peeking at such a thing, the human heart wants to unintentionally caress such a thing.

Since that’s the case, I just unintentionally caressed with my right hand to see, then I got glared at with a bright red face.

Here I am, as expected, though I was hesitating a bit.

That’s right, she won’t hit me.

Eris won’t hit me.

She would hit me for everything I’ve done until now, but now she won’t hit me anymore.

She just glares at me with her face bright red.

Just staring at me in that way.

Isolte and Reida took their leave after a while journeying with us. We had plenty of fun talking with each other. But I can see her impatience, as she was filled with a yearning to get herself stronger since her defeat against the Dragon God.

Moreover, unchanged as always, Eris continues to sit down as if she’s stuck to me again.

 

Until now, if I had taken such actions, then she would have pulled back a certain distance.

 

However, our current distance has remained close.

 

Being serious though, I’m starting to feel like I want to just stick my hand straight into her pants, so I’d like her to separate for a bit now.

 

I know there are things that you can finish with a laugh and ones you can’t just laugh off.

 

And even though I understand that I want to do the things that can’t just be laughed off,

 

I’m enduring it.

 

Unknown to that kind of conflict within me, Eris’ distance is close.

 

“…”

 

If I were to let my hand do as it pleases, then it ends up stretching out in the direction of Eris.

 

Therefore,

 

Currently, I’ve started an operation where I’m creating magic with my left hand and then using my right hand to disturb that magic power.

 

It’s the magic Orsted used.

 

If I remember correctly, it was called “Ran Ma” [Disturb Magic].

 

Just before the magic power that comes out of my hand takes shape, I use a different magic power to interfere with it and cause it to scatter.

 

It’s simple, and it consumes a very small amount of magic power, but it’s an amazing technique.

 

After thinking about it, the King Class Barrier used a similar method to nullify magic.

 

It’s simple to say it in words, but it’s actually considerably difficult to put it into practice.

 

I wonder if it’s because I’m trying to use the magic with my left hand.

 

More often than not, the magic fails to take shape.

 

It must take a lot of practice to be able to completely cancel it out, like Orsted did.

 

However, even just this much should work as a restraint.

 

No, he really taught me something good.

 

“Hey Rudeus, what have you been doing since just now?”

 

“I’m trying to imitate the magic that Orsted used.”

 

After saying that, Eris fixed her gaze on my hand.

 

In my left hand, a small warped rock part was created and then suddenly fell to the ground.

 

Another failure.

 

It feels kind of like trying to play rock, paper, and scissors with both hands.

 

I always end up allowing my right hand to win.

 

I can’t just do whatever is relevant.

 

Most likely, there’s some sort of rule for the magic power to operate along or else it won’t work.

 

Yeah

 

The fact that whatever works won’t work means there’s some sort of rule at work during the time it’s being disturbed.

 

Then, if I were to take into consideration the rules when I release the magic power, in reverse, would I be able to nullify [Magic Disturber] as well, I wonder?

 

The dream is spreading out.

 

“What kind of magic is it?”

 

“It’s magic that nullifies magic.”

 

“Can you do such a thing?”

 

“That’s what the purpose of this practice is for.”

 

“How do you know about something like that?”

 

“Since there have been a number of cases where my magic has been sealed and I’ve been unable to do anything recently, I’m researching it after all.” Well, in the case that we end up meeting Orsted and have to fight again, don’t you want to at least be able to run away?”

 

Eris was at a loss for words after hearing that. She just kept silent.

 

After a short while, the sound of the rocks falling and rolling around continued.

 

“Hey, why is Rudeus that strong?”

 

Eris was silent for a long time, but suddenly she came out asking that.

 

I wonder if I’m strong.

 

No, there’s no way that can be the case.

 

I’m not bragging, but these past few years, I haven’t felt the reality of my own strength at all.

 

It was an everyday life with nothing but powerlessness.

 

“I think Eris is the strong one though.”

 

“That’s not the case.”

 

“…”

 

“…”

 

The conversation paused there.

 

Eris seemed to want to say something, but she kept silent since it seemed difficult to say.

 

I wonder what it is.

 

I don’t know.

 

No, it isn’t that I don’t know.

 

“Are you still bothered by the fact that we were beaten so easily the other day?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I’m sure that can’t be helped.

 

Just as Hitogami said, that guy is the strongest in the world, Dragon God-sama.

 

Even Ruijerd was lightly dealt with.

 

The opponent was bad.

 

In this world, there exists a domain that can’t be reached through just hard work.

 

In my previous life, I tried a variety of things, and I was able to reach a reasonably high level in some of them, but I never even once was able to reach the highest level.

 

Playing a game, if it was this, then I thought I could be unbeatable, but there are always those who can go above you.

 

It seems that Orsted is impeded by a number of restrictions as well.

 

Even with that, in terms of physical techniques, he exceeded Ruijerd. He dealt with Eris with one hand, and completely rendered me powerless.

 

Furthermore, he fought and defeated us in such a way that the greatest amount of damage to our HP would be accurately hit.

 

It seemed he still had plenty of spare energy remaining as well.

 

I have no idea how strong he would be if he got serious.

 

It seems he can’t become serious because of the curse, but…

Even if he doesn’t get serious, you can’t win against that guy.

 

Most likely, no matter how much effort you put in, you’ll never win.

 

“The opponent was bad. That can’t really be helped.”

 

“But.”

 

I understand Eris’ worried feelings.

 

At any rate, Eris was defeated by a single blow after all.

 

He just caught her sword and just like that, she was blown away.

 

“Eris is still young. Depending on your effort, you can still become stronger.”

 

“I wonder if that’s true.”

 

“Yeah, Ghyslaine and Ruijerd both said it, didn’t they?”

 

Eris suddenly raised her face.

 

She was looking straight at me.

 

“Rudeus was about to die, you know? How can you be that? How can you say it so simply? ”

 

That is, because the feeling doesn’t really remain very much.

 

I’m not thinking about fighting at all.

 

The next time I see that guy’s face, I’m running away like a rocket.

 

Or else, like a mouse, hiding in the shadow of something.

 

If I can’t run away, then this time I might beg for my life.

 

If my wish can be granted, I really hope Eris doesn’t have to see that spectacle.

 

However, putting that pathetic intention into words is embarrassing.

 

“Since I don’t want to die next time.”

 

“…That’s right, you don’t want to die, right.”

 

“Please feel relieved. Even if Eris gets into a dangerous situation, I’ll make sure I can at least escape by holding on to you. ”

 

Eris made a complicated face and placed her head on my shoulder.

 

If I were to caress her head here right now, I thought it might end up happening, but my right hand is currently in the middle of [Disturb Magic].

 

“Well, in any case, it won’t be good if I don’t get a bit stronger.”

 

A bit more.

 

That’s right, a bit more.

 

As expected, I won’t be able to become the strongest in this world.

 

The ceiling of this world is way too high.

 

I couldn’t even become the best in the world in my previous life.

 

Without even a glimpse of that talent, even the means of my effort were incompetent.

 

I don’t know how much talent I have in regards to this world, but it doesn’t seem like I can believe in something so simple about myself and be devoted to it.

 

However, I want to at least be able to run away if I end up running into some kind of weird guy and suddenly get attacked.

 

I buried my face in Eris’ hair. [Sniff] [Sniff], while smelling the scent, I was thinking about that.

After it became night and Eris fell asleep, I started a conversation with Ruijerd.

 

Since that day, the number of things he was saying had decreased even more than usual.

 

He was never all that talkative in the first place, but he became completely sullen and silent.

 

It seems he’s been bothered over that time.

 

He’s a man with a strong sense of responsibility, after all.

 

Even though he promised to escort us home safely, he might have thought he wasn’t able to do that.

 

It’s stupid.

 

Even though it was rough luck, I’m as healthy as I look.

 

“That man known as Orsted was the Dragon God, it seems. The second of the [Seven Great World Powers].”

 

First I entered, using those words as a jab.

 

It can’t be helped since the opponent was strong.

 

while holding onto that sort of nuance.

 

“I see, that does explain it.”

 

“He sure was strong, wasn’t he? After that, I was done in without being able to do a thing as well.”

 

“The last time I realized with a glance that I had no chance of winning hasn’t been since the time of Laplace.”

 

According to Hitogami, it seems that Orsted is stronger than Laplace.

 

It seems that even including the fact that he’s under restrictions that won’t let him become serious…

 

There’s no point in telling Ruijerd about that.

 

He was dealt with using just physical techniques while being taken down easily.

 

That fact might have been a shock to Ruijerd.

 

is what I assumed, but

 

“Even I never thought I would stand a chance against the upper ranks of the [Seven Great World Powers]. Those guys are true monsters that are beyond comprehension. I can’t call it anything but bad luck that we would run into a guy like that just walking along the side of the road. And then I can’t call it anything but good luck that we managed to survive. Rudeus, if you ever meet a guy like that again, never pick a fight with them. There’s no way to match them. If you don’t want it to end up like this time at least. ”

 

“Yeah, Well, next time I’ll probably avoid eye contact and pass through. ”

 

I was scolded by him.

 

Well, if I hadn’t called out to him, then it would have ended with nothing but passing by one another after all.

 

Let’s go with reflecting on that.

 

Although, from the start, he really didn’t look like that much of a dangerous guy to me…

 

No, Ruijerd and Eris were showing that much of a reaction. I should have been more cautious.

 

“Then, what are you worrying about?”

 

After asking, Ruijerd looked over at me.

 

“What is Hitogami?”

 

Oh.That matters.

 

“That guy had intended to overlook us at first. Even while scattering his blood thirst, he wasn’t even taking us into consideration. However, the moment the name Hitogami came out of his mouth, his blood thirst was entirely focused on you. ”

 

I closed my eyes.

 

Should I tell him, or should I not?

 

I think I used to have the answer decided, but…

 

It seems that despite how he looks, Hitogami isn’t all that bad of a guy. Even after such a thing happened, I’m still hiding it.

 

It is also true that I don’t like that fact.

 

Since that’s the case, I decided to tell him.

“Actually, Hitogami is…”

Even though I worried about it that much, after I made a decision, it quickly came out.

And then my mouth smoothly moved.

The fact is that since the time of the teleport incident, an unknown individual calling himself Hitogami has occasionally appeared in my dreams.

The fact that an individual gave me advice to help Ruijerd

The fact is that, more than that, he granted me a variety of other pieces of advice.

The fact that many of my strange actions were due to following that advice.

And then, there’s the fact that Hitogami and the Dragon God have a relationship of hostility.

My conversations with Hitogami are hazy, and I think there were many things I forgot.

However, I think I conveyed all of the general parts.

“Hitogami and Dragon God… The seven gods of ancient times, huh? It’s suddenly turned into an unbelievable story. ”

 

“I’m sure.”

 

“However, there are parts which I can understand.”

 

After saying that, Ruijerd went silent.

 

Only the sound of the firewood crackling away ruled the place.

 

The shadow created by the fire swayed from side to side. A single older warrior’s face came to mind.

 

Thanks to his race, Ruijerd looks young, but that expression has something that shows its long history.

 

Suddenly, I remembered touching on the matter of the curse on Ruijerd in my last dream.

 

“Come to think of it, Ruijerd-san. It’s about the dishonor of the Superd race, but it seems that it was a curse. ”

 

“What?”

 

“Putting it precisely, Laplace transferred his own curse into a spear and then had those spears given out to the entirety of your race… that sort of thing, it seems.”

 

“I see… a curse…”

 

I intended to bring it up as good news, but Ruijerd continued to think about it even more with a gloomy face.

 

“I had never heard about him transferring the curse, but if it’s Laplace, then it’s possible. That guy was a man who could do anything after all.”

 

I’m not really sure on the details, but I’d imagine Ruijerd would be more familiar with things regarding curses.

 

It seems like he thought about a variety of things for a short while, but finally he laughed weakly.

 

“If it’s a curse, then there’s no method to remove it.”

 

“Is that the case?”

 

“Yeah, “Curses are curses because there’s no method to remove them.

 

So there’s no method to remove curses, huh?

 

“I’ve never heard of curses placed on the entirety of a race but… If it’s something that God said, it might be the truth. ”

 

I laughed in self-derision, that I might have said something pointless.

 

I thought it was just the light, but I slightly saw tears welling up in the edges of the eyes.

 

“But.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“The Human God said that the curse in the spear was different than normal. It seems it was about to disappear after the passage of time.”

 

“What?”

 

“He said that the remaining curse is in Ruijerd himself; thanks to cutting your hair, it’s started to rapidly fade.”

 

“Really?”

 

Ruijerd suddenly said that in a loud voice.

 

Eris moved a bit and raised her voice with a “Hnn…”

 

I wonder if it would have been better to let her hear this conversation as well.

 

Well, it’s fine if I tell her when she wakes up.

 

“Yeah, It seems that it’s just the remains of the curse now and the prejudice received from the start of the curse, supposedly. Depending on the effort Ruijerd-san puts into it from here on out, the popularity of the Superd race can slowly recover.

 

“I see… I got it, so that was how it was. ”

 

“However, it’s something Hitogami said. I think we can believe what he says to some extent, but it’s better not to swallow the story whole. It’s better to keep going with caution just like up until now. ”

 

“I understand. However, it’s plenty for me just to hear that. ”

 

Ruijerd went silent.

 

It wasn’t just the light playing tricks on me anymore.

Ruijerd let tears flow.

“Then, it’s about time for me to sleep.”

“Yeah.”

I decided to pretend as if I hadn’t seen those tears.

The Ruijerd-san that we rely on is a strong man who would never let tears flow.

 

 

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Mushoku Tensei FF Chapter 73: VS Sword Emperor

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