Defiled Hero Chapter 051
Duel: Izayoi vs Grey
Two days have pa.s.sed since I promised to fight Grey.
「I thought it would be somewhat normal, but this is a little too grandiose.」 (Izayoi)
Right now, I'm in the largest arena in the capital.
I heard that it seats more than 50,000 people. In addition, it's being broadcast throughout the nation with magic. It also seems that it's being streamed to all of the guilds throughout the world. In this world where there are many unfortunate events, this is the first fun event after a long time.
People don't often see the Emperor-rank Grey fighting.
Many people seem to be betting on who will win.
Out of the four Emperor-rank individuals, Grey seems to be the strongest at hand-to-hand combat. Opposed to Grey, is some unknown man.
As expected, the bets are nine to one in favor of Grey. Unfortunately for the ten percent of people that voted for me, I've already decided to lose.
If I lose in this duel, I'll have a reason to separate from Anya and Tsuyuha. I'm not a muscle-head that would miss a chance like this.
「H, hey Izayoi... *sniff*, let's rethink this. This isn't good...」 (Tsuyuha)
Tsuyuha has been trying to persuade me to call of the duel this entire time. She's seriously worried about me.
As she clung to me crying, her cat ears lay flat lacking vigor.
「He said he wouldn't go easy on you, you know? Grey really won't go easy you know? You'll be full of holes you know? It'll be really painful you know?」 (Tsuyuha)
「I'm used to painful things.」 (Izayoi)
「Wh, why? Why do you have to do painful things? That's... *sob*, that's not normal.」 (Tsuyuha)
A round of cheers rose from the audience. Grey walked to the center of the arena from the other side.
I'll have to go soon.
「Tsuyuha, will you let go?」 (Izayoi)
「No! I won't! I'll protect Izayoi, I absolutely won't let anyone hurt you, ever! Ever, I say!」 (Tsuyuha)
「Tsuyuha-chan, you'll protect Izayoi?」 (Anya)
Anya listened quietly nearby. She was against it before, but she didn't say anything after I said I had no plan on calling off the duel.
「Anya, you're going to let Izayoi go get himself beaten up without saying anything, why?」 (Tsuyuha)
「That's not it, Izayoi said he wanted to do it, and I won't stop him.」 (Anya)
We'll get nowhere at this rate. Can I not persuade Tsuyuha except by lying?
「Tsuyuha, listen. I'm a man. I do have a little pride. I can't run even if I know I'm going to lose.」 (Izayoi)
In reality I'm fighting to run away, sorry Tsuyuha.
「That is Izayoi's pride?」 (Tsuyuha)
「Yeah, I'm a swordsman who puts his life on the line.」 (Izayoi)
「B, but... What will you do if you get beat up...」 (Tsuyuha)
「If something happened to interfere with my lifestyle that much, at that time, let's see.」 (Izayoi)
「At that time?」 (Tsuyuha)
With the area around her eyes tinged red, Tsuyuha looked at me with unease.
「—Tsuyuha. Take care of me for the rest of my life.」 (Izayoi)
「The rest of your life? ...Izayoi, are you going to go that far?」 (Tsuyuha)
At that moment, Tsuyuha let go of me, and wiped her tears.
「...If you get beat up, I will protect you forever. But, don't go and lose easily.」 (Tsuyuha)
「Izayoi, do your best.」 (Anya)
Without saying anything, I started walking.
「How did you manage to convince Tsuyuha?」 (Grey)
I act for myself. That's what I've decided. There's no hesitation. Or so it should have been, but what's this. There's some thing stuck in my chest.
I feel guilty.
「Ignoring me? Well, it's fine. As I said, I promise to fight so as to not bring shame to the knights. Even if you are weak, I won't go easy. I'll fight you with all my strength. If you don't give it your all, you may just die.」 (Grey)
Just like this is fine. I lose, and everything ends.
This battle, I will lose.
【Broken, the first guild branch entrance.】
「...Umm moth- master. Why is it this crowded?」 (Lilia)
(TL: Reminder, she can't call her mother 'master' in the guild)
「Oh, Lilia. The thing is, there's going to be a duel in the capital. Grey is going to fight against someone.」 (Guildmaster)
「That Emperor-ranked Grey? So that's why all these adventurers are here in the middle of the day.」 (Lilia)
「*Kuke? Kuke—*」 (Rigolo)
「...Grey? Strong person?」 (Tear)
「That's right Tear. He's really strong with a spear. He was in a party with the hero in the past.」 (Lilia)
「...With, Hero. Grey, strong person.」 (Tear)
「*Kukekei, kukkekekukekei?*」 (Rigolo)
「...Ichayoi, who stronger, said.」 (Tear)
「That guy Grey, is it. I don't want to admit it, but that person is definitely Emperor-rank. I haven't seen him fight recently so I don't know. But as expected of that person, if you were to become involved with the leader of the knights, it wouldn't be anything like a fight.」 (Lilia)
「That's right. Considering Izayoi's achievements, it should be a good match... Ah, that's right. It's almost time to finish betting, are you going to bet as well Lilia? You should use money at times like these.」 (Guildmaster)
「What are you saying to your own daughter? Rather, who is Grey fighting against?」 (Lilia)
「I'm not sure. There's no information.」 (Guildmaster)
「Hey, the other guy finally came out—」 (Adventurer 1)
「Who, who is it?」 (Adventurer 2)
「Th, that is...」 (Adventurer 3)
「I don't know who the other guy is, but it's guaranteed to be Grey's win. Emperor rank is the strongest. There's n.o.body who can beat them. Even so, Grey wanted to have a fight, they must be stupid—— What are you even thinking!」 (Lilia)
「It really is master! It's going to be amazing!」 (Uri)
「...Master is fighting for Reri. After this duel, master is going to propose to Reri.」 (Reri)
「Oh my, this seems to have become interesting. Well then, shall I bet on Izayoi?」 (Guildmaster)
「Really, what is he doing... If he was going to stand out that much, there was no point in making a deal with the guildmaster... Really.」 (Lilia)
「I'm going to bet on Izayoi, but what are you going to do Lilia? I think it's in times like these where you should have faith in the one you love.」 (Guildmaster)
「Wh, what are you saying!? That guy, I'm relieved that he left. That, that irresponsible, stupid, weird person...」 (Lilia)
「It doesn't really matter if you think that way, but look closely. You're in love with Izayoi, my helpless daughter.」 (Guildmaster)
「...Everything, give, to Ichayoi.」 (Tear)
「Everything!? Tear, that is...」 (Lilia)
Magic signaled the start of the match.
At that moment, I was enveloped by the roar of the crowd.
「So, shall we begin?」 (Izayoi)
Grey lowered his spear. Without drawing my sword, I ran towards Grey.
「...You, is that what planned from the beginning?」 (Grey)
Grey, realizing my intent, had an expression of disappointment, and spat out a cold reply.
「Are you satisfied? If so, you——are the worst.」 (Grey)
Changing his stance, Grey positioned to strike with the back of his spear.
I may be the worst, but that doesn't matter. Rather, it's a compliment. Even though I understood that, something was tempting me.
In a heartbeat, my body became hot. I rushed in while gripping my sword.
This impulse will end soon, as will this duel. It's not like I'm fighting for someone else. It's for me. I decide if I win or lose.
Therefore, it doesn't matter who has bet on me.
【Broken, the first guild branch entrance.】
「...Ichayoi, super strong.」 (Tear)
「B, but, everything is...」 (Lilia)
「...Will, definitely, not lose.」 (Tear)
「What will it be Lilia? There's no more time.」 (Guildmaster)
「Alright, I get it! I'll bet, I'll bet okay! I'll bet this entire month's salary! You! I won't forgive you if you lose! ...Please win? It's not unreasonable, it's perfectly doable right? Please?」 (Lilia)
It's only a moment until Grey's spear reaches me.
Whoever bet on me, is surely a fool.
But, those fools——
「Izayoi! Beat him with everything you have!」 (???)
——I don't dislike them.
「——Wha, disappeared?」 (Grey)
Before me is Grey's back.
Grey, looking over his shoulder, had a look of disbelief, eyes wide open. Grey immediately attacked with a swing of his spear.
I caught the tip of his spear between my fingers.
「...You, what are you!?」 (Grey)
Grey backpedaled to gain distance.
「You got behind my back in an instant. That's not the speed of some normal person. There was an unbelievable bloodthirst. If my judgment was even a second late, I could have died.」 (Grey)
As I stared at Grey, my pulse continued to rise.
I moved with the impulse to take action. With a series of continuous high-speed kicks, Grey's spear was blown away.
By the time I realized it, I was about to hit his throat.
The hall is in an uproar. Grey has an expression of disbelief.
Throwing away the spear, I turned around and walked away.
「I, I... lost.」 (Grey)
「It's not over yet.」 (Izayoi)
It's not the end yet.
「Of course you would lose if you didn't have a weapon. It's not fair to fight you without your spear.」 (Izayoi)
「What do you mean?」 (Grey)
「Just that.」 (Izayoi)
I think I am a rather reasonable man.
Apparently, I can't throw away this fight——I am thoroughly enthralled.
Grasping my sword in my right hand, I reached into the sky with my left hand. As I did so, another sword appeared.
It was the black sword I asked the blacksmith to make me.
It's called a sword breaker, with one side uneven.
(Astrea, put all of your magic into this sword. Fiere, give me all of your magic.) (Izayoi)
『This is the Izayoi I know! Go beat that disgusting blond guy to a pulp!』 (Astrea)
『*Hawawa,* It was worth being ready on standby oniichan.』 (Fiere)
With two swords drawn, I spoke to Grey.
「I won't go easy, even if you are weak. With all my strength, I will fight you. If you don't give it your all,」 (Izayoi)
「——I won't die.」 (Grey)