Chapter 23 - Yesterday's Enemy (2)
There was an open space on the other side of the brush. Blood and metal shavings were flying into the surrounding. In a blink of an eye, a person’s life was lost.
There was group trying to protect someone, and the other group was trying to erase someone. All kinds of ambitions were overflowing from them, and the humans were being consumed by it.
“Kill the crown prince! We have to kill that bastard to end all of this!”
“Protect him! We have to protect him!”
Their words made it very easy to identify them! If the world was full of people like them, there would be no need for mind reading magic!
When Artpe and Maetel arrived at the clearing, every participant of the battle noticed their arrival.
One group looked back at them with hope, and the other group looked on with annoyance. However, when they confirmed the identity of the new arrivals, the expressions on both sides crumpled.
“They are children….!”
“Tsk. The number of people we have to take care of increased.”
At this point, Artpe had finished dividing them into enemies and allies. He turned to look at Maetel. His expression was like that of a tutor expecting a child to give the right answer.
Her face was full of questions.
He knew it was going to be like this. Artpe let out a sigh as he gave her an explanation.
“What did I tell you? You kill those who wants to kill you.”
Artpe raised his hand, and he pointed towards one group. This particular group was wearing black clothes over their body. It was as if they had shopped from the same cloth store. The crown prince was probably amongst the group fighting a defensive battle. The ones in black had said, ‘The number of people we have to take care of increased.’
“They said they want to take care of us, right?”
“Ah. I see!”
“Then let me pose you a problem. When they said they wanted to take care of us, what were they referring to?”
“Mmmmm. They are going to send us away after giving us an explanation?”
“Wrong. The answer is they will send us to hell without giving us an explanation.”
“How dare they…..”
The two brats had appeared out of nowhere, and they were having a conversation as if they were doing a gag routine. The two groups had been in the midst of fighting for their lives, so the sight in front of them looked ridiculous. Everyone was looking at Artpe’s party in disbelief.
“Shouldn’t you be feeling fear? Or maybe you should start running away? Kids these days are too dumb.”
“Fay…number 3. You take care of them.”
The black clad group continued attacking the defenders, and only a single one of them ran towards Maetel and Artpe. He used the most popular line within the book called ‘150 Lines Most Used by Villains.’
“Blame your bad luck!”
Artpe took a peek at Maetel. As expected, she was frozen like a statue.
She wasn’t afraid of her enemy's abilities. She was frightened of the truth that she was no longer fighting monsters. She had to face off against a human.
He didn’t blame her for acting foolishly in front of an enemy. She was a child, who possessed a tender heart, so this result was to be expected. This reaction was actually preferable. If Maetel had unhesitatingly charged forward to kill the man, Artpe would have been frightened.
Of course, Artpe assessed the situation, and he decided on what he would do.
“Get out of the way, Maetel.”
He had pushed Maetel to the side as he stepped in front of her.
“You are a little brat, but it seems you think of yourself as a man? You plan on protecting the female!”
Artpe made himself the target by stepping forward unarmed. This move incited the enemy, and it put Maetel on alert. He was killing two birds with one stone.
The generic Villain 1 fell for his provocation. He headed towards Artpe with his sword raised. Maetel had been pushed to the side, and her eyes were wide open as she watched the sight in front of her.
The sharp blade of the enemy was heading towards Artpe, and it was getting bigger in her vision. There was a clear blue tint of Mana surrounding the blade! It was a powerful skill that couldn’t be stopped with Artpe’s unprotected body.
“I’ll give you a clean death! Power Stri….khhhhk!”
Villian 1 had swung his sword towards Artpe. When Maetel saw this, her eyes flipped over as she unsheathed her bastard sword from her waist. She did it with one hand. She wasn't thinking about anything. Her body reacted on instinct.
The Villain 1 was yet to pass level 100, so Maetel split him from the groin to the top of the head.
Two weighty sound was heard when the body fell to the floor. At that moment, all sounds within the clearing ceased.
It didn’t matter if someone was on the offensive end or the defensive end of the fight. All of them focused their gazes on the girl holding the bastard sword.
“Crazy… Right now… What did you….?”
Of course, the nearby people were surprised. However, Artpe didn’t care about the background characters. Artpe only looked at Maetel.
The girl had killed someone for the first time. She hadn’t done it for herself. She had done it for someone else.
“He tried to kill Artpe.”
Maetel had seen what she had done, yet she mumbled to herself as if she couldn’t believe it. She was gripping the the sword so hard that her knuckles were white.
“We just came here… We came here for a look, yet you guys tried to kill Artpe.”
“That girl is dangerous. Everyone…..”
However, she didn’t allow her enemies to talk amongst themselves. Maetel pointed the bastard sword towards the ‘enemies’ as she asked a question.
She didn’t ask it towards her enemies. It was for Artpe.
“Artpe, you said I can do whatever I want to do?”
No more words were necessary.
In a flash, Maetel’s hesitancy had disappeared.
“Dodge it. Block…..”
Maetel pushed off the ground as she ran forward. She swung her bastard sword laterally. Each of her opponents tried emitting Mana into their weapons or body parts. They were attempting to use a defensive or a counter skill. However, they were all dispatched with a single blow.
There were several high rank Class that were over level 100 present within the group. However, all the defensive technique were canceled by Maetel’s basic active attack skill!
“I won’t forgive you! I won’t! You guys are all bad! That is what I decided!”
She wasn’t using Berserk right now. In fact, she hadn’t even activated her gauntlet’s option yet either. It was quite simple. There was an amazing amount of talent gap between Maetel and the men.
“This is a nightmare. How can such a young child do this against elite knights….!”
The elite knights of the humans were in such a poor state. He now understood why the Demon King had moved at a leisurely pace. Artpe smirked when he realized that the strongest amongst them was barely level 120.
“Run away. There is no way…..”
“I won’t let you run away!”
The number of black clad villains went from 20 to 17, 14, 10..... The number became five, and now there were only two of them.
“W...who sent you! Reveal yourselves!”
“We have to retreat. If we aren’t able to notify the second party about the location of the crown prince...koo-ahk!”
Then there was one.
“I don’t know who you guys are, but you will regret doing this someday.”
Then there were zero.
“Right now… What the hell just happened?”
“All our pursuers are dead. I don’t believe it…..”
After killing everyone, Maetel lightly flicked her bastard sword once to get rid of the blood. After she sheathed her sword, she turned to look at Artpe.
She had been beyond brave. She have been frighteningly decisive in her actions, but unlike before, her eyes were full of unshed tears now.
“Yes, yes. You did very well.”
He knew her heart would be in tumult right now. Artpe let out a bitter laugh as he hugged her. She was crying, because she was afraid of her own self more so than anyone. It felt as if he could feel her feelings vividly through the hands holding her.
Once, he had been like her. His personality was unbecoming of a Demon. He had despaired, as he had hated himself more so than anyone over the years.
“Should I really be doing things like this? It feels like I did something very wrong.”
“No, you did well. Even if you were in the wrong, there will never come a day when you will realize that fact. That is why you don’t have to worry too much about it.”
Artpe used a messed up oxymoron to console her as he stroked her head. The people, who had been watching the fight, was taken aback. Their round eyes were full of shock. They looked like they wanted to ask what kind of third rate skit this was.
There was an armored woman holding a steel sword amongst the group. She spoke to Artpe as she expressed a bit of wariness towards him.
“Thank you very much for helping us. However, it would be best if you don’t get involved with us….”
“Yes. All right.”
She hadn’t even started giving him a proper explanation! The woman was taken aback. As expected of the owner of the Read All Creation ability, he was the best in the world at reading a situation. Artpe continued to stroke the head of the sniffling Maetel as he spoke to the woman.
“We saw nothing here. I don’t care about what happened here. We were passing by, and we just killed couple monsters. That should be fine, right?”
The woman was surprised when he gave her the exact answer she had wanted to hear. Artpe snorted when he saw this, then he turned around.
“Let’s go, Maetel.”
“Is it really alright to just leave like this, Artpe? We can just go? ”
“We did as you wished by helping them, and this is the result. They don’t want us to get involved with them. Then our business with them is at an end. We can go do what we want to do.”
“.....sniff. All right.”
Maetel had accepted his answer, so he was about to head back to the warm fire. He was consoling Maetel as he walked away when it occurred.
Someone yelled towards them from the other party.
It was the voice of a young man. Artpe didn’t stop.
“I told you to stop! This is the order of the crown prince!”
“You hid like a mouse during the fight, so I thought you were some poor mute. I see now that you are quite loud.”
The crown prince shut his mouth at Artpe’s sharp retort.
At times, truth was more cruel than anything else. Moreover, he had just seen a girl that was the same age as him fight, and he couldn’t hold a candle against her. This was why his pride was deeply hurt.
“Y...you are being rude! As he had revealed, he is the next in line to ascend to the throne of the Diaz Kingdom…..”
“Didn’t I say I saw nothing? Are you guys idiots?”
He could tolerate foolish behaviors only up to a certain point. He had been trying to part ways with them as he pretended he didn’t know what was going on, yet they revealed themselves anyways. They even tried to use an authority they no longer possessed in an attempt to stop Artpe and Maetel!
Artpe let out a sigh as he started walking once again….
“The kingdom is in turmoil, because of the rebels! I must go back to to the place someday, and I must get my revenge for my father the king. I have to regain my throne. If I want to do so, I need strong people like you!”
The boy was pretty straightforward, and he showed some promise!? Still, this didn’t mean Artpe had stopped walking.
“You should go look for help somewhere else. Let’s go, Maetel.”
“Yes. I hate the palace!”
She firmly believed that the palace had tasteless food. This was why the palace was a place where she would never get close to! Maetel grabbed the sleeve of Artpe’s robe, and she obediently followed behind him.
“W...wait a moment!”
The boy finally made his appearance as he pushed past his protectors! He looked to be of similar age as Artpe and Maetel. He was a strikingly good-looking boy.
He yelled loudly towards Artpe and Maetel. He stared at Maetel, who had displayed overwhelming martial prowess.
“If you guys are the subjects of this land, you should help the one that would become the ruler of this land in the future….! I do not lie. I will give both of you a big reward in the future! I swear it!”
He wanted to escape this pattern of events. Artpe let out a sigh. He turned around as he gave an answer.
“Then give me half of the world.”
“Mmm!? T...that is….”
At Artpe’s out of the blue request, the crown prince’s eyes narrowed. He was only a crown prince of a kingdom, and he was on the run. How could he offer half of the world!
Artpe clicked his tongue..
“At a minimum, the Demon King offers this deal to the hero. You should come back after reading a book called, ‘How to Propose an Offer that Can’t be Turned Down.’”
This was a very sweet opportunity. However, Maetel just assumed Artpe didn’t want to get involved in something annoying. She was somewhat correct, but it wasn’t the whole truth. Artpe didn’t have that bad of a personality.
‘How could I forget about him? That bastard was originally the crown prince of the Diaz Kingdom…..’
In his past life, he had been the enemy of the hero. The hero’s heart was too soft, so she had been unable to kill Artpe. This was why the thief ruthlessly plunged his dagger into Artpe’s heart to deal the killing blow.
“Why are you refusing to even hear me out! If you succeed in this task, I said I would give you a very generous reward! Moreover, the one with the ability is the girl, so why do you keep answering for her!”
The crown prince was shouting at Artpe with all his might. Artpe saw the face of the thief superimpose over the face of this boy.
“Ah, I just don't want to do it. I don’t like you! I’m not doing it!”
[Silpennon Le Diaz]
[Level - 7]
[Silent Steps Lv2]
Yes, this bastard was that bastard.
A crown prince of a country grew up to be a thief.