Chapter 34: Whether it’s “Stealing the Dragon’s Treasure” or “Touching the Dragon’s Scale”, You shouldn’t Provoke Dragons
“Stop – Oh, it’s Jun-chan.”
As I make my way to the shop I’m stopped by a few men warding off the on-lookers. They’re a party of Adventurer regulars, 3 Beastkin men who enjoy merry-making with the shop’s girls. They are also members of LeeAnne’s party.
“Jun-chan, what a relief, you’re alright.”
“Hey, you bastard over there, keep moving, mind your own business! Jun-chan, this way.”
I can’t find words to respond to them.
Because half of the front wall of The Queen Mary’s has been reduced to a burning heap.
As Binno leads me into the wrecked shop, I’m finally able to find my voice but only a hoarse “Wha-?” comes out.
Binno shook his head grimly and said what I didn’t want to hear.
“The Dark Wyverns came back.”
My thoughts are running at full force in my head, but I can’t put any words together.
How could this have happened? It’s as if … no, not as if, they were waiting for a night when I didn’t return to do this. Because I didn’t return in time this happened. This is my fault. No, the Dark Wyverns were lying in wait all this time, so the fact that they attacked the shop isn’t my fault. No, but this time that the shop got attacked, it’s my fault.
It’s my fault. It’s not my fault.
My thoughts spin round and round flip-flopping between guilt and denial.
“It’s not your fault, Jun. We’re actually glad you weren’t here. It was … impossible.”
Binno’s hushed voice breaks through my daze. When I look, I realize that the 3 men were badly beaten. Beastkin are tough as usual. Even with those wounds they are already back, trying to defend the shop.
“They got some big guys backing them. A Rank at the least, if we’re talking Adventurers. And that Balial the Firebrand was there again.”
It doesn’t matter what he says, the fact remains that they chose to attack the shop because I didn’t make it back in time remains the same.
My stomach clenches as I see the interior of the shop. It’s been completely wrecked, beyond the level of a bar fight. There’s also blood in spots here and there.
I don’t like seeing blood. It means someone bled, and a lot.
Binno notices my look.
“Some of the Adventurers in the shop were trying to put a stop to it, but we were all overwhelmed. The injured are in the back with … with … the girls.”
Something about what he says worries me, but I follow the Foxkin into the back of the shop. As we enter the room, Binno says,
“Oh, LeeAnne, you’re back from tailing them?”
The Rabbitkin Adventurer nods grimly. She’s kneeling next to Maryiste.
“Binno-dono. I made it back to their hideout, but I don’t think it’s their main base …”
I don’t hear the rest of their conversation.
When we entered the room, the stench of blood and gore wafts up. Some men are lying there, staining the sheets red. It’s not an exaggeration to say quite a few of them are close to death.
Near them are some of the girls, wrapped in blankets. They’re covered in bruises and their clothes are torn, and they’re clinging to each other and sobbing.
And next to the men Solyana is laid there, unconscious and wrapped up in bandages.
It was a scene that was hard to stomach.
Before I realize it, I’m grinding my teeth so hard there’s a *girigiri* sound and the grip I had on the katana that was just newly forged tightened until it creaked.
My mind goes white.
“Where are they?”
It was LeeAnne who first noticed the change in the atmosphere. An Adventurer who acted as a scout, without this high-sensitivity to danger she would not have survived.
The words Jun spoke were heavy with a venomous aura.
“The Dark Wyverns. You said you were tailing them. Doesn’t that mean you know where they are?”
Jun snapped at her, startling Binno. Though they had only known her for around 2 weeks, it was rare for Jun to raise her voice.
“That … it’s not like it’s their main hideout, you know? The place I found, I mean. And anyways, it won’t do us any good …”
“Where are they?!”
Unable to control her anger, Jun roared at LeeAnne.
The Rabbitkin Adventurer trembled under the force of the voice, managing to squeak out,
“The cellar underneath the Sign of the Grey Martin down Rockturn Alley … ah! Wait! Jun-dono!”
And like that, leaving the voices of the Binno and LeeAnne calling after her behind, Jun darted off into the night.
Jun knew where Rockturn Alley was.
The friendly old woman who sold roasted sweet potatoes had made sure she knew never to go there because there were pickpockets and suspicious people, and though Jun secretly thought that the pickpockets wouldn’t be a problem for her, she had dutifully memorized it every time the old woman forgot that they already had the conversation.
Jun dashed through the streets with a speed fueled by rage. It was a speed where people she passed would stop and wonder what just went by.
She doesn’t even slow down to take the corners. Without even trying to turn, Jun takes the momentum up onto the opposing wall, leaping straight at it and rotating to run along the wall a ways until gravity reasserts itself. It was like she was a ninja, but instead of the ninja tricks she accomplished it with brute force.
The walls took the full force of the momentum. The next day, jittery townspeople crowded around dented bricks, swapping stories of the loud *Pan!* that echoed through the dark alleys that night every few minutes.
In Japan, for the people who knew Jun, everyone said he was a guy with endless amounts of patience and an almost stupidly naive generosity. A gentle person who didn’t hesitate to act on behalf of others.
But there were some people who knew the side of Jun when he was angry. His family knew of it, but if you had to say who actually KNEW that side of Jun, it would have to be Masaki. Because the best friend gets the job of calming down the situations. He had long given up calming Jun down when he got like this.
When girls coquettishly asked him if Jun was always such a good guy since he never got mad, Masaki could only answer with a half-hearted laugh and say,
“Jun doesn’t really have a lot of things that get him angry, but the things that do should run away as fast as possible.”
Jun doesn’t slowly get angry. Irritation and things that make him upset won’t pile up to make anger. Either he’s angry, or he’s not.
As long as he can endure Jun can make his decisions logically, adhering to his code of morals, and making the decisions that suit his objectives best. Because he can still think logically, there isn’t much that can make Jun break that cool-headedness. And so, Jun rarely gets angry.
But right now, Jun is angry. Right now, Jun has no self-control.
Rage is truly the only way to describe Jun’s current state of mind. She’s completely lost her impulse-control, and Jun’s mind is only focused on rampaging. Unable to factor in strategies, consequences, and alternatives, Jun is only out to destroy her enemies. Even allies who stand in her way will be harshly dealt with.
Masaki’s received the brute end of Jun’s fist once, and that was enough for him. After that, Masaki devoted himself to talking the situation down, mostly by convincing the other party to leave. Though the burst of rage was usually short, Jun could do a lot of damage if his target got in range. To tell the truth, in Japan, even on the rare occasion when he lost himself, Jun still managed to cling to a shred of sense that kept him out of the police stations. Inanimate objects were usually the ones that suffered from Jun’s rage. And Jun’s own broken knuckles did as well.
But right now, the civil laws of Japan no longer apply, Masaki isn’t around, and the current Jun is far deadlier. She’s stronger, faster, and has magic that molds itself to her will.
And right now, Jun’s rage has never been greater.
The door to the sub-basement underneath the sign with a purple bird painted on it was no match for Jun. No, that’s not an accurate description.
The door to the sub-basement underneath the sign with a grey bird painted on it was kicked in with a force that burst it into 3 splintered pieces and sent it flying so that it became embedded into the opposite wall. Along the way, several unfortunate men got caught in the explosion of wood and iron.
There were a lot of men crowded in the small sub-basement apartment, but the Jun right now didn’t care about numbers.
“Which one of you put your filthy hands on those girls?”
Jun spits out the question like she’s cursing. It’s a voice that those who knew Jun wouldn’t believe came from her.
“Those girls? … Ah …”
The suddenness of the situation rendered the ruffians of the Dark Wyverns unable to comprehend the question, but they soon understood.
With a sneer, one of the men replied.
“The Mary’s girls? Hahaha, which ones of us didn’t? Those @#$!es were just right for the picking, you know? Especially that …”
“So … All of you, then.”
Jun cut him off roughly. With slow, deliberate movements that radiated a murderous aura, Jun released her newly forged partner from its linen wrap.
Too late, a chill crept up the spines of the men in the room.
In the next moment, before they could do anything else, a typhoon tore through the room.
Perhaps you’d think that these men should have noticed it from how she kicked the door in, but though they saw how the door flew through the air they still couldn’t connect it with the slender girl in front of them. They still tried to fight back.
It was laughable.
Before they could un-sheathe their weapons Jun had cleaved through two men.
They couldn’t even see her sword-strikes.
What Jun doesn’t know is that these men are the Dark Wyverns, a cowardly group of men who like to swagger under borrowed strength and do as they please. In other words, they’re grunts. The A-rank-equivalent men are not part of the Dark Wyverns. They’re part of a much larger organization. It was this organization that was actually tormenting The Queen Mary’s through the Dark Wyverns. At least, at the beginning.
But Maryiste made the mistake of assuming her opponents were the Dark Wyverns, based on the information that LeeAnne had gathered for her, and hired Jun to deter them. Jun even easily thwarted Balial, a former B-Rank Adventurer, who the organization had lent out to the Dark Wyverns to increase the threat. There was no way the organization would let that stand, and that is how this situation came about. Who was at fault for this turn of events? There’s no point in trying to point fingers anymore.
Though the people from that organization were the ones who ruined the shop and destroyed the few Adventurers who tried to stop them, for what its worth, the ones who carry the blame for what angered Jun the most are the Dark Wyverns. When the people from the organization left with a “Do as you wish,” the Dark Wyverns, crude men who were drunk on strength that wasn’t their own, were the ones that put their hands on The Queen Mary’s girls and even threw Solyana into the bar as she tried to stop them.
To tell the truth, for the Jun in her current state, it doesn’t matter whether they were the main perpetrators or whatever. She was set on wiping the entire group out; these guys just happened to be first up.
And they’re a pitiful group.
For Jun, these men who would rank the lowest, at F-Rank, on a good day were no match for her. Rather than fighting, it was a one-sided massacre. Her biggest inconvenience was, surprisingly, her sword.
With no hilt or ornaments, it was difficult to keep hold of the tang. It was simply too slim.
Gritting her teeth with a grimace that terrified the people who looked at her, Jun roughly tore the linen she wrapped the blade in and wound the scrap around the tang. She had to grip it quite tightly in order to keep it from sliding, but the added width helped greatly.
Of course her victims thought to take advantage of the moment when she was distracted, but they were met with fierce kicks and thrown elbows that sent them flying into the opposing walls.
To tell the truth, those were the unluckiest ones. With Jun’s heavy kicks and elbow jabs, being slashed by the sword might have hurt less. At the least, it broke fewer bones.
Without their tough A-Rank support, it didn’t take the Dark Wyverns stationed here to throw their pride out the window and try to flee. In the end, of the roughly 30-some men, 7 managed to flee the carnage. Only 4 of the men who remained inside survived.
No wait, there were 5.
Engulfed in rage as she was, Jun didn’t notice him, but even if she had been level-headed there was a good chance she wouldn’t have noticed him anyway.
There was a man who, as soon as the door was kicked in, immediately sensed danger and hid in the shadows. He stayed hidden for a bit to see how events unfolded, and then he remained hidden because he decided it was the best damn idea in the whirlwind of violence going on.
He wanted to find out what she was doing here but, forget about being able to safely approach her, his hiding spot was going to be engulfed in the bloody brawl soon.
After surveying his options the man came to his decision, laid down, and proceeded to play dead.
When I finally calmed down I found myself in a sea of blood.
I feel a little nauseous. This scene is the perfect example of going to far. There’s little doubt that I’ve killed someone tonight.
Once you cross the line, you become able to kill someone; no, life is not like the fantasy stories.
I have no doubt that I will be unable to kill a person when I’m in my right mind. That’s how I feel right now. If you ask me if it’s because of the morals I learned in Japan, I can’t answer that. I just know that I, personally, don’t want to get used to killing a person. That’s what my gut is telling me as I look at the dead eyes of the man lying in front of me.
But really, killing a human or whatever, what’s affecting me the most is the blood. I … don’t like the sight of large amounts of blood. It turns my stomach and makes my hands clammy.
And this … this is a lot of blood.
With this much, it’s not just the sight. A musty, metallic, and somehow wet smell that clogs your nose and sticks in the back of your throat is there too.
I really don’t like blood.
As I crouch on the spot, hey, didn’t I have Augment Mind? Isn’t it supposed to be for this type of situation?
Swallowing hard I try to use it, but I still can’t get rid of this nauseating queasiness.
This … this could be a problem. I cheerfully thought that I’d be an Adventurer and go around killing monsters and what not, but … Compared to the problem of whether to kill or not kill a person, this problem of being weak to the sight of blood is something I’ll definitely have to overcome. I have no choice but to overcome it.
“So, um … hey.”
When did this person get behind me?!
With a quick turn I slash at the person who had appeared behind me before I had noticed it.
The hooded man smoothly parried my sword strike? This is a speed that most people wouldn’t be able to see, you know?
Immediately after I slashed out, I returned the sword to my side in a position as if I was re-sheathing it and take up an Iai stance. Even though a foreigner who’s never seen a katana before should assume this to be an inconvenient position to attack from, the man immediately leapt back several steps.
I see. The sword he’s using is a curved double-edged blade with a flare-clipped tip. It’s a falchion. Well, kind of. It’s broader, and about 70% shorter than the average falchion I’d seen in the other world.
…Hm? Even when I purposefully look at a puddle of blood on the ground, the queasiness doesn’t return. I can feel myself using magic power as well. It seems I’ve finally succeeded in using Augment Mind.
Oh, I see, it’s easier to use Augment Mind if I focus on something else. Or like, rather than something that can reduce my negative emotions, it’s something that can enhance my concentration.
After leaping back, the man continues to take his distance until he’s fully out of sword-strike range; his steps are light and he almost looks like he’s dancing.
Tch. He has good instincts and good martial techniques. Is he one of the A-Rank-equivalent guys with the Dark Wyverns?
Completely different from my expectations, the man takes his distance and … holds his hands up. He holds his sword loosely in his right with the blade pointing away from him and me. No matter how you look at it, this is not a fighting stance at all.
“Hey hey, hang on. I just wanted to confirm something. Did the Guild send you?”
I narrow my eyes a little.
“No then? I see, it would have been weird for them to double-book on a request like this.”
I don’t let my guard down, but I’m getting the feeling that this guy isn’t one of the Dark Wyverns.
He continues to ask questions.
“Then, are you here for a reconnaissance request … no way that’s true. Let’s see … are you here about the slaves? Or some other kind of commission?”
I sigh. It’s not like I’m completely counting him out as a potential attacker, but with the way things are going my adrenaline rush is wearing off and I’m starting to feel tired again. This candid question-answer session in a middle of a sea of blood … it’s kind of surreal.
“I’m not really sure what you’re talking about with slaves, but I’m here for my own reasons. I’m guessing … you’re not a Dark Wyvern?”
“Hmm … if I said I was, what would you do?”
“Depends. I’ll fight you if that’s what you’re looking for, but I’ve finished rampaging so I’d like to excuse myself for the night.”
It’s a rampage I’m super embarrassed about now that I have time to reflect over my actions. It’s not just shame either; I’m upset with myself for losing control. This would be the 4th time in my life. I’d like to leave the count under double-digits.
There’s a silence before the man lets out a Pfft! and tries to stifle his laughter. He finally coughs, saying,
“*gohon* Ah … I really can’t get a good grasp on what your objective here was at all. You come in and tear the place apart, then meekly try to leave without doing anything else. Ah, by the way, you’re right. I’m not one of these guys.”
As he talks he nudges one of the bodies on the floor with his foot.
“I even took the trouble to sneak in for this, but I guess it’s not needed anymore with these guys lining the floor. Aah, it’s itchy.”
The man standing there flips back his hood before removing his brown wig and scratching the back of his head.
It’s completely obvious why he had to wear a wig. Rare for even this world, at least on a young guy like him, is a messy head of light grey hair. And it’s not just hair, his skin is abnormally pale, devoid of color in a different way than a half-Kobold’s skin, and his eyes are an eerie red.
This better not be some ikemen vampire from a girly romance story.
<A/N: Thank you DV for your donation!
I was planning on starting another original story, but since I unexpectedly acquired another WN to translate, I suppose that will be postponed for a while. >