I came back but the world is still a fantasy!? – Garesto Academy – Intermission – ??-??: The Holy Hand Approaches (3/7)

Just meet.

If that were to be true, then the plan indeed didn’t seem that problematic.

And in fact, the black-clothed figure did in fact believe that the saint meant what she was saying.

Although Oreil’s plan was overly optimistic when it came to the part about exacting vengeance, he did manage to find a reliable way to meet Masquerade.

But the black-clothed figure knew that the saint meeting Masquerade would cause a great amount of problems.

“You know very well that that’s nothing but sophistry. I know about your special eyes. But Masquerade isn’t someone that should be judged as good or evil. He is a guardian of the world. There are times when he must dirty his hands. Do you intend to judge even that with your eyes?”

That’s why the black-clothed figure carefully chose his words as he denied her.

“If the current Masquerade is someone suffering from bearing that sin, then I shall judge him and forgive him. If he is a righteous man, then I shall help him expose all the darkness of this world and destroy the wicked with the holy light.”

The saint innocently said as though nothing could be more wonderful.

But with that statement she was also implying that she would destroy Masquerade if he were evil.

“Tsk, that will not do!”

Perhaps because the black-clothed figure understood the implication behind the saint’s words, or perhaps because he’d judged that result to be unacceptable, he suddenly crouched, and then with a kick strong enough to break the bed, he leaped within that narrow room.

With a speed fast enough to leave behind a trail of black, he leaped into every direction, bouncing off the floors, walls, and ceiling.

“Tch, he’s fast!”

“Saint!”

With the dim lighting of the room, following the trail of black was all the two swordsmen could accomplish despite their agitation.

Yet the saint herself was calm even as the two swordsmen positioned themselves around her and assumed stance.

“Calm down, you two. I sense no intention to harm me from this person. His objective is most likely…”

“!”

With her eyes still closed, the saint turned to the wooden box that had fallen to the floor and the cloth that was inside it.

In his impatience, the black-clothed figure kicked off against the wall and beelined for the cloth, but…

“GAH, —what!?”

“Forgive me.”

A muffled voice of anguish and a heartfelt apology echoed through the room almost simultaneously.

The black-clothed figure’s charge was intercepted and deflected by the sudden appearance of something, sending him tumbling inside the narrow room, but he immediately jumped up and fixed his stance.

When the figure saw what had sent him flying, he clicked his tongue.

“You used the force [1] in that instant!?”

What protected the wooden box and repelled the shadow was a pair of beautiful silver wings.

The pair of wings that seemed to grow out of the saint’s back seemed to surround her, hiding the wooden box and piece of cloth from the black-clothed figure.

“Even our investigation teams could only find this one cloth, so no matter how brilliant your soul may be, I can’t hand it over… Please forgive me.”

The saint said as she bowed her head, but the black-clothed figure did not see that.

He wasted no time talking and pulled out a number of double-edged kunais.

It was curious how the figure managed to hide so many on him, but he took out no lesser than 20 kunais, and held them all in between his fingers.

The boy who stood in front of the saint jumped up in alarm at the multitude of blades, but was stunned when he realized where they were going.

“Huh?”

The figure made a huge motion and threw the kunais, but the direction seemed to be wrong, as they were all thrown to the sides. The room was already so narrow, and yet the kunais still managed to be thrown into a direction completely void of people.

But then the boy suddenly saw from the corners of his eyes where they were headed.

“Those are shadow-attributed! They’re going to come back!”

A shadow of a slightly different shade than that of the dimness of the room. That was the target of the kunais.

He suddenly remembered that shadow magic could sometimes be used as a trap to catch people off guard in such dark places.

Sometimes to trap your feet, sometimes to take away your vision, and sometimes to create retractable walls(・・・・・・).

Those that fight for a living learn the effects and the countermeasures of common spells in a controlled environment.

At the place the kunais were headed were small walls made of shadows floating in the space on either side of the saint.

“Block it, Wind(Funto)!”

The shadows of the kunais drew an actue angle as they targeted the saint, but the female swordsman blocked them.

As she erected walls of wind to cover even the silver wings, the kunais were deflected.

The boy, who had already expected that result, had already taken a step toward the black-clothed figure with his sword in one hand.

“I hope you’re prepared for what you’ve done!”

The saint told them not to hurt him, but he’s already attacked, so the boy ran toward the black-clothed figure and swung down his sword with the intention of cutting him down.

The saint may have spoken for him, but now, that at most means that he’ll be handled carefully if he manages to survive this attack.

“Ha!”

But the black-clothed figure just snorted because the boy was too slow.

Before the boy knew it, the black-clothed figure was parrying his sword with a dagger, while aiming for his life with the dagger in his other hand.

The boy never thought that the black-clothed figure would actually be able to parry his attack, so his reaction was delayed.

“!?”

But when the black-clothed figure’s dagger bore itself into the boy, what greeted him was something hard(・・・・).

“An artificial arm!? Tch!”

The black-clothed figure was shocked, but it lasted only for an instant before kicking the boy that had yet to recover from his shock.

As a cry of pain leaked out of the boy’s lips, he was lifted into the air like the leaf of a tree and was sent flying toward the wall of wind.

As far as the black-clothed figure was concerned, it was a win for him regardless of if the girl canceled the wall or not. Should the girl leave the wall summoned, then the boy would be driven into the wall like a stake. Should she cancel it because of her feelings of camaraderie, then the black-clothed figure would be able to immediately jump at the saint and eliminate the object.

The girl’s choice was the former, but not only did she leave the wall summoned, she also jumped out herself to catch the boy. Unfortunately, she couldn’t stop the momentum of the boy, and they both tumbled all the way until they crashed into a wall of the room.

“Resolve!”

The girl’s choice had given the black-clothed figure enough time to get the saint right within the reach of her daggers.

But the black-clothed figure did not think that he could actually kill the saint, not with her special eyes and her skill at manipulating the force.

With such a large difference in potential and ability, he had no way to win against that thing she had manifested.

Landing a blow was all that he could do, so he stepped in with the fastest speed he could muster in hopes of at least distracting her, but then—

“—!”

As though to blow away even that little hope, a chill ran up him, and his instincts forced him to jump back.

At the same time, he crossed his two daggers over his chest right before a powerful blow hit him to prove that decision correct.

“GAHH!?”

In the face of that attack even greater than the Silver Wings she’d manifested, his daggers broke, and yet the power showed no signs of stopping as the black-clothed figure was thrown all the way into the wall close to the windows.

The black-clothed figure had failed to notice it.

-That to have the saint within his range meant putting him in the saint’s range as well.

-That the saint’s body could respond even when she was facing elsewhere.

—A silver stroke.

With sharpness and speed that could be mistaken for the sword of an expert, what attacked the black-clothed figure was in fact nothing more than a ‘kick’.

Legs clad in silver greaves had shot out like a sword’s stroke from within the slit of her robes.

“Oh no, I’m so sorry!”

The black-clothed figure cried out in pain as soon as he touched the ground, but he immediately got back up, only for the saint to suddenly apologize.

“I’ve always been unable to see the ordinary, so I’ve always had an interest in self-defense techniques. So when you attacked me, my body moved on its own… I’m sorry.”

The black-clothed figure bit his lips and clicked his tongue. Not because he thought she was being sarcastic, but because he knew that she meant what she said.

Yet the hardness of her force-imbued greaves that she unleashed with that instantaneous kick was enough to be called a terrifying weapon.

“Ah, guu… You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s gone way past the level of self-defense. I’ve always thought that slit on your robe was weird. So this is why!”

“Yes, having an opening on my robes makes it much easier for me to kick. And exposing this amount of skin doesn’t bother me one bit since I’ve never seen it before.”

The saint smiled at the black-clothed figure with a gentle beauty that made it hard to believe that she was the one being attacked here.

As someone that couldn’t see through her eyes, she was a lot less bothered about showing her skin.

Evidently, the saint didn’t even consider the black-clothed figure an enemy, causing him to grit his teeth.

“Regret!”

But he knew that it would be the end if he dwelled over that, so he threw a smoke ball on the ground.

As a small explosion occurred, white smoke immediately filled the small room.

It would have no effect on the saint, but it was more than enough to immobilize the two guards that have recovered.

“Huh!? A smoke screen!?”

“Your holiness, please cover your mouth with something! It might be poisonous!”

The guards warned the saint with panic, but the sound of something shattering suddenly resounded.

The black-clothed figure had broken through the glass windows and was trying to escape.

[1] – I personally find the use of ‘the force’ anywhere outside of Star Wars to be parodic. If you’d prefer that this be changed to a different term, please let me know in the comments. Also, suggestions are welcome. The only thing I’ve got right now is ‘the power’.

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