A Former Child Soldier 13 – In order to deal with this incident, I decided to don a monkey mask.

After parting with Seto, Satis went to talk to the citizens to gather information and ascertain the current state of affairs.

During that time, many guys tried to flirt with her, but she kept ignoring them as she always did, and looked for a place where she could catch her breath.

Then she learned that a monster was being hauled into the city today.

[…Today? I’ve certainly heard of harvesting taking place here before, but isn’t it too early in the season?] (Satis)

[Well, it seems that the beast in question is an unusual one, a rare monster I think…? The soldiers of the subjugation squad managed to successfully bring it down, apparently.
And the king ordered for them to speed things up a bit.] (Citizen A)

[I… see.] (Satis)

Every part of the monster would be cut open.

As she was now, simply imagining it was a frightening sight for her.

She felt as if this could have been her fate, so she decided to avoid the area where the plaza was located.

She moved through the crowd and was just in front of the fountain when the incident occurred.

[O-Oi! The monster is coming this way!] (Citizen B)

The monster that was supposed to have been slain woke up, let out a roar that sounded like creaking metal, and began to rampage.

In the middle of the crowd trying to flee from the light of the monster coming their way, Satis was paralyzed once again.

Her breathing was erratic, and she was shivering all over.

In all honesty, if Satis was inclined to, she could easily defeat a monster of this level in a single blow.

If she kneaded her mana to launch an attack, it would probably be enough to bring it down.

However, her trauma surfaced once again, making her unable to move.

It’s happening again…! I can’t move…! Even though I managed to get this far… Even though I managed to stay alive… Am I just… fated to die, after all?

Many images of Seto and his innocent expression flashed into her mind.

To her, those times were precious memories.

When she saw the monster approaching faster than the humans running for their lives, Satis prepared herself for the worst.

She closed her eyes, and both thanked and apologized to Seto in silence.

The screams of the people and the sound of the monster’s footsteps grew louder, and just as the tremor was getting closer, it suddenly came to a stop.

The monster groaned loudly, and was in pain.

Satis opened her eyes and checked the situation.

The surrounding people who failed to escape were stunned by what they saw.

Right in front of the monster, who flinched after being hit by a quick slashing attack, stood a lone boyish figure.

Seeing him from behind, he was wearing a peculiar costume that looked like black cloth wrapped around his entire body and above his clothes.

Amidst the lingering fear, everyone was giving him dubious looks, but only Satis realized the true identity of the man in black.

[Se… to?] (Satis)

[Who’s that? I don’t know anyone by that name.
I’m…] (Seto)

Seto turned around and feigned ignorance.

He also had black cloth wrapped around his entire head, and a mask over his face.

[———just a monkey passing by!] (Seto)

Wearing the mask of a monkey with a silly face, he shouted and held up two swords that he had most likely taken from dead soldiers.

The monster regained his posture, shook his head lightly, and glared at the boy.

The sudden appearance of the young swordsman who called himself a monkey left the citizens astonished, their fear forgotten for an instant.

However, the way he fought was beyond their imagination.

He took advantage of the monster’s massive stature to avoid its onslaught with acrobatics, and whenever he found a tender spot on the structure of the monster’s body, he would strike at it with a slash.

He dove, jumped, climbed up, then he stabbed and slashed it with his swords.

Rather than a swordsman’s, his fighting style was more akin to an assassin’s technique.

On the other hand, the monster, perhaps at the peak of its endurance and rage, gradually slowed down the pace of its attacks.

In the midst of his rapid, one-sided barrage of slashes, the boy’s movements grew even more precise.

However, none of them could serve as a final blow.

And his swords were beginning to show signs of wear and tear.

Oblivious to that fact, the people around him cheered as he overpowered the creature.

[Attaboy, Monkey!] (Citizen A)

[Go get’im!] (Citizen B)

The one they were cheering for was a boy soldier who had been abandoned by all.

And right now, he was playing the role of a hero.

Nevertheless, he would not let anyone know his true identity.

He… Seto used the perfect opportunity to be appreciated and admired by everyone to keep his promise to Satis.

If he fought without a disguise, he would stand out in a strange way.

And if he used his magic sword, word would spread about that singularity of his, and he would likely be dragged into even more warfare.

If that happened, Seto would find himself on the battlefield again, and Satis would also suffer from these turbulent times.

That’s why… he wrapped a cloth around his body and put a mask over his face… so no one can recognize him.

It was not an order, it was a verbal promise.

She still wanted him to protect her, but she was deeply moved by Seto’s dedication to the battle, taking it as if it were a mission, even in such an emergency situation.

She was not sure if she could really let Seto protect her even though he was fighting with his life on the line.

This thought lit a fire in her, and she sharpened her eyes.

She would come to his aid, in the same way he did for her.

Monkey, I shall back you up!] (Satis)

Satis gathered her mana.

Not with the same enormous amount of power typical of demonfolks, but with the same output as humans.

[Take this!] (Satis)

The flame bullets she produced with her mana hit the monster in the face at high speed.

The explosions generated a large amount of smoke, from which Seto’s eyes met with Satis’ through the former’s mask.

———Use your magic sword!

Now that the bystanders had their field of vision blocked, he was free to deliver the coup de grâce.

Satis had created this opportunity by overcoming her trauma.

Seto smiled under his mask as he found such an abrupt feat to be simply incredible.

He tossed away his two swords, which had lost their edge, and got ready to use a sword technique similar to the sword-based martial art Battoujutsu (*), from a Far East island country.
(* : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batt%C5%8Djutsu)

The monster flinched as it opened its eyes slightly.

In front of him was that annoying monkey swordsman.

In the middle of all that smoke, as it was about to rush and bite down on him, the boy used his magic sword to reap its head in a flash.

It happened just like his fight with the monsters from the other day.

When he defeated that boar monster, he did so by summoning his magic sword out of thin air.

What he did now was the same.

His magic sword shot out of the side of his waist from the hilt at super high speed.

He grabbed it at the right moment and swung it in an arc.

———It was a light-speed slash.

The tip of the sword, which contained the most energy while maintaining super-high speed, dealt a fatal blow to the monster.

The magic sword, which was at the end of its swing, was instantly stored back into its dimensional pocket.

From the bystanders’ point of view, it was like an instant slash.

The monster, who was caught completely off-guard, died without letting out even one final cry as a torrent of blood gushed out from its gash.

By the time the smoke was cleared by the wind from the sword, it was all over.

The citizens who witnessed all this cheered excitedly, and praised the two protagonists for their bravery.

They also praised Satis for her immediate backup, and showered Seto, who was hiding his true identity with a monkey mask, with words of gratitude.

The boy, however, paid no mind to their excitement and dashed off.

Satis also used her magic to teleport away to an unpopulated location.

When Satis walked away from there and back to their room, she was greeted by Seto, looking nonchalant and humming to himself.

Then, as if to play dumb, he spoke up.

About time you came back.
I heard things got hectic at the southern plaza.
You okay?] (Seto)

[Yes, all thanks to you coming to my rescue.] (Satis)

[What do you mean? I just returned to our room a little ahead of time.
…I think you’re confusing me with some monkey from who knows where.] (Seto)

[Fufufu, perhaps I am.
And thanks to him, I managed to make one step forward.] (Satis)

[…I see.] (Seto)

Seto walked to the window and looked out over the city.

While their excitement was still high, the people started a huge commotion about celebrating the extermination of the monster.

[Seto, I think it’s time for us to leave this city.
…What do you say?] (Satis)

[Yeah, good idea.] (Seto)

Their peaceful voices filled the wooden room.

After a short rest, they decided to leave inconspicuously.

They had already decided on their next destination.

A village located further north from this town.

Until then, they enjoyed their time alone together in this room.

They sat on the bed, huddled together, holding hands.

That was enough for them for now.

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