Reasons to Fight




  Even after the octet of roars ended, the ear-burning reverberations didn’t really quite go away.


  The chaos in the city of Ishka could be felt behind those reverberations.


  The confused minds of the people will probably return to normal once they calm down after some time passes, but there are a lot of problems after that.


  The appearance of a mythical species, the defense line falling, the stampede being stimulated, and the poison polluting Kale River and corrupting Titis forest.


  It was clear that the city of Ishka is going to face challenges that will be difficult beyond description from here on.


  With that understanding――I pointed the tip of my soul equipment at Gozu.


  I could hear the sound of somebody gasping for air, but I did not turn my head around to look.


  Whether a hydra is coming or not, the fact that the three people from Demon Island are my enemy won’t change.


  If anything, I have to kill them here so that I can focus on the countermeasures against the hydra.
There would be nothing I can do if they were to attack Suzume while I’m fighting the hydra.


  In response to me revealing my hostility, Gozu readied his damaged halberd once more.
However, the voice that came from the ox face did not have the same intent to fight as before.


  「Wait, Sora.
I have fought against dragons in the demon gate.
Those were certainly dragon roars just now.
Us fighting here will only benefit the mythical creature」


  「So what? To me, it just means that the number of enemies increased by one.
It’s a basic tactic to take out your enemies one by one」


  Or are you really trying to tell me we should team up now?


  When I asked him that in a mocking tone, Gozu showed me a firm nod.


The subjugation of mythical species is why the phantom blade style exists.
Their existence is a threat to you as well since you’re living here.
If we share a common interest, let’s do the sensible thing here」


  「What sensible thing.
Don’t be ridiculous 」


  I dismissed Gozu’s suggestion in disgust.


  Certainly, if it’s fighting power alone, Gozu and the other two are hard-to-come-by individuals.
If we all work together, we might be able to kill the hydra and push the stampede back.


  But that’s only assuming that I can trust them.


  I cannot deny the possibility of them betraying me during the fight.


  That isn’t all.
Let’s say that we worked together and subjugated the hydra and put the stampede under control.
What happens then? We will have conflicts again in regard to Suzume.


  Not only will I have to fight them again with their body injuries healed, but their souls that were eaten by Soul Eater will also have recovered by then as well.
And then Klimt will also have become more aware of my powers so I wouldn’t be able to take him by surprise next time.


  I am not conceited enough to think that I will be able to beat those three again in that situation.


  If we’re talking about doing the sensible thing, it would be sensible for me to finish them off here.


  「I bet you want to use this chance to reset the fight, but do you think I’ll let you?」


  「That’s not what I’m doing.
After we take care of the mythical creature, we will return to the island to make our report.
The kijin’s existence does leave me with some worries…but since you’ve obtained your soul equipment, I will leave it to you to deal with her」


  I frowned slightly upon hearing that.
That’s because Gozu sounded serious.


  It’s true that kijins were once a race that fought against humans, but their race has already lost the power to do that long ago.
Suzume is really just a normal girl――Well, her talent for magic surprised even Miroslav, so maybe she might not be that normal in a sense, but she’s not a dangerous being who can’t be subdued without the use of soul equipment.


  Despite that, Gozu truly sees Suzume as a threat.


  I was sure that the reason Gozu and the others view kijins as enemies is that they have to uphold the family principle of slaying demons and sealing their gods――but this situation makes me think that there might be some secrets regarding kijins that I don’t know about.


  I wanted to confirm it if possible, but I’m sure it’ll probably be a waste of effort.


  If they are secrets that he can tell me here, he would have told me long ago.
He would have used that to try to convince me to kill Suzume.


  The reason he didn’t do that is probably because he’s forbidden from telling people about it at his own discretion.
And the one who can silence an important vassal of the Mitsurugi family would be none other than the family head.


  ――After my father’s face surfaced in my mind for a moment, I shook my head quickly and removed that image.


  「You can say whatever you want but――」


  「P-please wait!」


  When I was about to slam Gozu some more with my words, a voice that sounded really out of place interrupted me.


  Once I turned to look in the direction the voice came from, I saw Lidelle looking over here with a pale face as she leaned on Lunamaria’s shoulder.


  「……The guild would like to request this of you as well.
Right now isn’t the time for humans to fight against each other.
Please, put your sword away」


    On the other side of Lidelle who sounded like she was scolding me, Parfait was sitting there on the ground as if her knees gave way in fear.


  Why is the guild here?――That question was answered by Lidelle’s following words.


  I finally learned about the events that led up to Gozu and the others attacking my home.


  And I also found out that Gozu and the other two have been stopping the stampede.


  A plan popped up in my head the moment I heard about that.


  The plan is by no means grand or clever.
To put it plainly, it was just a simple idea.


  However, it would be the best plan I can come up with that will let me quickly overcome the current situation――Or at least that’s what I think.


  I looked at Gozu again and opened my mouth.
I did not acknowledge Lidelle to even look at her.


  「Gozu, I don’t believe your words.
Even if you meant them, you will easily go back on them if the family head tells you to.
You will probably run back here at full speed if you were ordered to kill Suzume」




  「But, it’s true that now isn’t the time for humans to fight against each other.
That’s why if you really want to work together to kill the mythical creature, show me not with your words but your actions」     


  「Hm, what do you want me to do?」


  「Return to the defense line with the other two and stop the stampede right now.
And I mean right now」


  The defense line is closer to the Titis forest than Ishka is.
Because of that, I have no doubt that the dragon roars also had a huge effect there.
If nothing is done, the monsters will break through in no time.


  Normally, reinforcements would be sent out from Ishka’s defense force, but I don’t think they can afford to do that currently.


  That’s where Gozu and them will come into play.
Those three are all one-man armies.
Two of them are wounded, but if they have the will to protect and save, a few injuries won’t be a problem.


  While they stall for time, I will have my companions escape from Ishka.
Even the village of Melte will be in danger once the pollution from the poison of the Kale River spreads.
It’s probably better to go a bit farther and have them take refuge in the southern holy kingdom .


  ――With that, I’ll be able to go after the hydra without worries. 




  With the manifestation of the hydra confirmed, I made up my mind to subjugate this poisonous dragon.


  Both Ishka’s chaos and the collapse of the defense line are not my problems.


  The only thing I can do is to devour.
That’s what I just learned from the fight against Gozu.


  Besides, even if I look at things objectively with all feelings aside, the hydra’s subjugation should probably take first priority right now.


  That’s because even if we put the city back into order and stop the defense line from collapsing, the same thing will just repeat itself if the hydra hits us with more roars.


  There’s no time to prepare slowly.
I have to take out the one responsible as soon as I can.
There’s no other way to solve the situation.


  In addition to that, there are personal desires too.


  I’m level 『12』 right now――I went from 『9』 to 『10』 after I slashed Klimt, then I went from 『10』 to 『12』 after I slashed Gozu.
I had this thought when I killed Jijinbou at the capital too; the souls of the warriors from the flags of green woods are way superior in terms of density and volume compared to king-class monsters.


  Therefore, I suspect that a mythical creature would be even more delicious than they are.
How can I ignore that?


  When I think about how I’ll also be getting the title of dragon slayer while I’m at it, I became all the more motivated.


  Going to the battlefield with the resolve to die for Ishka――I don’t have an ounce of such heroic resolve.

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