A Misunderstood Mentor – Chapter 9 – Something in the Battle
As Reia whispered those two words, the wind by her feet stirred. Gales blew, and it seemed almost as if Reia was being protected by a small tornado. Her long black hair fluttered, and as the breeze picked up in speed, the locks of her fine hair started to spread apart. And at the same time, Reia’s black eyes became dyed in scarlet.
“She couldn’t have!”
Noiria’s voice rose up a notch.
Reia kicked off the ground with her foot, leaving a small crater behind. She leapt next to Nerissa in an instant, reaching speeds that far exceeded what was possible by a human.
“Hah, this is more than I expected.”
Nerissa flashed a happy smile. Whenever she fought a strong enemy, she would always narrow her eyes and raise her lips.
Reia, with her right hand, made a side swing at Nerissa.
Nerissa had already replaced her main body with a magically-created illusion, which simply fizzled out upon being attacked.
The trees behind her suffered a much worser fate; they were all split into two.
“Slicing the dimension itself? Maybe even I’d be hurt by that.”
Nerissa appeared above Reia, floating midair.
“An eastern mystical technique, divine possession. It’s the first time I’ve seen those eyes. I’ve heard that the entire body is possessed by a god to fight, but is that true? From what I see, it seems to be just a fake?”
“Do you really think so?”
Reia’s voice seemed to have changed.
It sounded more like a mix of a female’s and a male’s.
And her face looked more like a demon had possessed her rather than a deity,
“Interesting. So the real thing came out.”
Nerissa cast of the cloak she was wearing.
It was a cloak that suppressed her power.
Without anything to suppress her magic, the area around Nerissa became filled with magical power, to the point of it being clearly visible.
Countless amounts of magic circles formed at the flick of her finger. She raised her arms and played the sky as if it was a keyboard, causing me to lose myself in its splendor.
However, it was the overture1 to hell.
A key she would play, and a magic circle in the air would light up and shoot a beam at Reia. It was Nerissa’s ultimate attack.
A storm of laser beams were spat at Reia faster than the translator could finish, which was maybe less than a second. However, Reia did not dodge, for she had no need to.
“Descent of a Thousand Demons.”2
It was a technique’s name.
Reia appeared to have suddenly grown another thousand arms, apparating out of nowhere. The arms cut each and every beam into tiny pieces, scattering them away.
“Amazing. So it’s at this level?”
Noiria raised her voice in excitement.
“I can’t beat those two in my current form. Takumi, do I have permission to switch to my dragon form?”
“No, don’t. You have nothing to do with this. Also, just in case a stray attack comes flying at us, guard please.”
I began regretting my decision to stay and watch this superhuman fight.
One beam comes flying at me, and I’m dead.
“Y-You guys! Your body health is more important than winning! You lose if you kill your opponent! Do you hear meeeee!”
I frantically screamed, but I got no response.
I could only wish that they heard it in their hearts.
“I see, you’re saying that you’d instantly make their opponent faint if it were you.”
“Ah, ahhhhh. That’s exactly right. Good that you get it.”
This was not the time to say stuff like that.
Though it would be nice if I could actually instantly stop them from fighting.
“It does seem to appear that your sword technique is a mishmash of various styles. But none of them are mastered. Are you unable to stay in one place?”
“…Shut up. Shut up and fight.”
In the midst of the battle, I could faintly hear their voices.
“I can tell that a normal person can’t accept your power. To be envied, to be feared, and before long, everyone turns against you.”
“I told you to f*cking shut up!”
She seemed to be disturbed.
And the slightest lapse in concentration was nothing short of a death sentence in a high-level fight. Reia missed cutting down a single beam and just barely deflected it with her katana.
Nerisssa didn’t miss that opening.
“Are you comfortable being with Takumi?”
Nerissa abruptly appeared right in front of Reia. In her hands was a rapidly compressing sphere of light.
The light ball hit Reia directly on her stomach. It exploded with a flash, and Reia was sent flying across the ground, bouncing on its hard surface a few times before landing.
“It’s not over yet.”
Panicking, I started to run over to her, but she had already gotten up.
“Don’t stop me, Takumi! The battle’s not over yet!”
I momentarily couldn’t think of a response, her resolution so intense.
However, I had to stop them.
Reia’s divine possession had already stopped and she was in shambles.
“Can you not feel pain? The results of pursuing strength heedless of death, huh. However, is it not over? I’ve already hit you.”
“Y-You’ve only hit me with magic. I still haven’t lost yet!”
Would they ever listen to my rules?
“You’ve lost. Magic for me is what your katana is for you.”
“I-I…I can still!”
Reia took a light hold of her katana, staring at it. And then, giving up, she crumpled down.
I turned towards the Grand Sage.
“What is it, Takumi? If you want to congratulate me for winning, a kiss will do.”
“I have a request for you.”
It was something that I could not let go of.
But compromising is always an option.
“I can’t be with you forever, but you can come here anytime. I’ll always keep the transportation bell on me just like old times. So, why don’t you go home for today?”
I started at Nerissa without averting my eyes.
“It can’t be helped. I do owe you a favor, after all. Also, I have one more thing to say.”
Nerissa looked at Reia.
She was on her knees, trying desperately not to cry.
“This is the same with Alice. It cannot last long.”
“I know. It’s going to be fine.”
“Hah, you’re as… no, nevermind. I’m not going to say anything else.”
Picking up her fallen cloak, she put it back on and started to walk to Noiria.
“Let’s go, dragon girl. I’ll teleport you with me.”
“Ah, I’m fine. I’m going to be living with Takumi. Ah, wait, don’t touch me there! My horn is sensitive, okay? Stop it!”
Nerissa, for the first time today, did something good. Finally, I was rid of those two.
“Rei, are you okay?”
It was as if those words were a trigger. Reia immediately began to cling to my legs.
Her repressed feelings all let out at once in the form of quiet sobbing. It likely wasn’t only from her fight against Nerissa; she had always been fighting alone.
And then, as I stood there, Reia by my feet, I could hear her sobs gradually louden. She was wailing as hard as a child.
I crouched down and softly brushed her hair.
I might’ve heard a leg bone crack from her strength, but I chose to quietly endure.
After all, even though only Reia thought so, she was nominally my disciple.
- The furigana, a script that dictates reading, has this word read as the English word “prelude,” referring to the musical term as well as the English meaning “the start of something.” Since prelude is quite commonly found outside of music terms in English, I’m using overture, which is less common. TL;DR:The original Japanese has more musical connotations.
- Lit. A Thousand Asuras. Didn’t want to put Asuras in a fantasy novel with no Buddhism…