The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 80
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 80 - The assassin makes a bet
- Chapter 80 : The assassin makes a bet
The admiring looks the knights of Auguid had been sporting until now had all but disappeared.
They were now replaced with looks of bafflement and silent anger.
What they were hoping from me, the Holy Knight, were not words of rejection, but『Let’s fight together.』or『I’ll expect a lot from you.』, or something along those lines.
If I didn’t want to cause discord, then that was surely what I should’ve said.
But I didn’t.
Because I didn’t want them to die, especially not Naoise.
[Hahaha! Now that was a terrible joke. Come on, Lugh, you only said that to motivate us, right?] (Naoise)
Naoise talked to me with a smile in order to smooth things over.
[No, I meant it. As someone who has actually fought demons, my conclusion is that meagerly talented knights would only weigh me down. I won’t have the leeway to protect you all while facing the demons.] (Lugh)
I remembered the battle against the beetle demon.
Tarte fought him as the vanguard.
Her physical abilities were enhanced thanks to the power of【My Loyal Knights】, and she even used the S-rank skill【Beastification】. But despite that, it wasn’t enough, and even with the doping drug, she was so overwhelmed all she could do was buy time.
S-rank skills were powers that only one champion in a hundred million people could possess.
But even if you had two of them, it was still not enough to measure up to them. That’s what demons were.
So they wouldn’t even pay attention to knights of such a caliber.
[Then what about Tarte and Dia? According to the report you submitted, their contribution played a big part in your victory. I know how impressive the two of them are. So I’m confident to say that I’m equal to— No, that I surpass them in terms of power, and every member of the Order of Auguid is a fearless fighter that I’ve acknowledged.] (Naoise)
In terms of academic grades, Naoise did better than Tarte and Dia.
However, the two of them never showed their true potential back at the academy, and they became even stronger since the day it was closed.
[Then tell me. First of all, is there anyone among them who can use【Demon Slayer】?] (Lugh)
That was the magic spell Dia and I had developed, and the one that I claimed to have received from the Goddess.
Its existence was already well-known inside and outside the country.
And if we were talking about a chivalric order who wanted to make a name for themselves by defeating demons, such as the Order of Auguid, then they were surely trying to use it.
[…Our chivalric order… doesn’t have anyone capable of that.] (Naoise)
[In that case, how do you hope to defeat the demons? If you’ve read my written report, then you should know. Tarte kept the demon busy, Dia casted【Demon Slayer】, and I finished him off. In other words, if you guys can’t at least use【Demon Slayer】, then your proposition is not even worth considering.] (Lugh)
[No, but… I know! What if we were in charge of holding off the demons? The next time you fight them, we’ll play Tarte’s role instead. It’ll be much more efficient than her taking care of that by herself.] (Naoise)
I shook my head.
[I told you already. We barely managed to win against that demon. So we won’t have the leeway to look after dead weight.] (Lugh)
[You’re calling us dead weight…? You take that back right now! Or are you insinuating that the Order and I are inferior to Tarte alone!?] (Naoise)
[That’s exactly what I’m saying.] (Lugh)
As I thought, that one sentence seemed to have hurt his pride badly.
Naoise threw his glove.
It landed in front of Tarte.
[…If you won’t retract your statement, then I request a duel. I still have my pride as a knight.] (Naoise)
[Eh!? W-Wait… With me?] (Tarte)
[If I win this duel with Tarte, you’ll apologize for your earlier statement, and you’ll agree to work with us to face the demons.] (Naoise)
Tarte looked in my direction, confused.
[We have no reason to accept.] (Lugh)
[If I lose, then you can ask me for whatever you want, and I’ll use House Gephis’ authority to grant it to you.] (Naoise)
The authority of a duke’s family, huh.
While it may be true that I could get away with practically any reckless decision with that, it didn’t feel particularly tempting.
Still, in order to bring this situation to a close, we had to accept.
[Tarte, please accept his challenge. And of course, give it all you’ve got.] (Lugh)
[Y-Yes, my lord, I will do my best. But, is it truly a good idea for me to… fight seriously?] (Tarte)
Tarte didn’t mean anything insulting by that.
However, for Naoise, that sentence was something he couldn’t forgive.
Tarte’s full power involved using【Beastification】, which wouldn’t allow her to go easy.
She could potentially inflict some serious injuries on him.
She asked me that question because she was worried about that eventuality, but Naoise only interpreted that as her looking down on him.
[…Tarte, I see you’re underestimating me quite a lot. I didn’t want you, of all people, to ever think that.] (Naoise)
[U-Um, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it that way.] (Tarte)
[It’s fine. No need to say anything more. I’ll prove myself with this duel and my own strength.] (Naoise)
The moment Naoise said that, he went up to the ring in the garden, where one of the young knights handed him a wooden sword. Tarte panicked for a while and seemed to be on the verge of tears, but when I nodded to her, she started walking up the ring.
And when Naoise watched her, he looked dumbfounded.
[Sorry, I didn’t think this through. You can’t fight in that outfit, right? Go get changed first.] (Naoise)
Naoise was wearing formal attire, but since House Gephis took pride in their military might, even their formal clothes were designed for combat.
On the other hand, what Tarte was wearing was her maid uniform.
[No, it’s alright. The clothes Lugh-sama made for me may not look like it, but they are much sturdier than any armor you could find.] (Tarte)
And that included her maid outfit too.
Tarte often stayed by my side in that outfit, which is why I modified it for fighting purposes.
It was made from monster materials and enhanced with magic to provide both ease of movement and defense.
…But the only problem was her skirt.
It was considered indecent in this country for women to wear pants in public, so I had to choose her skirt while taking combat into consideration.
Since she was wearing stab-proof high socks, there was no need to worry about her lower-body defense, but if she moved too violently, the skirt could get rolled up.
And I don’t want anyone here to see her underwear. I should manipulate the wind to provide cover without being seen.
[I didn’t think those clothes were protective gear. In that case, I’ll put everything into it.] (Naoise)
Naoise breathed a sigh of relief.
To think he can still worry about Tarte even after his pride was hurt so much. No actually, I guess it’s not really shocking or anything.
…As a matter of fact, for some reason, Naoise had been attracted to Tarte from the first time he saw her.
However, what concerned me was that it was a bit different from what one would feel towards the opposite sex.
Right, if I had to say, it felt more like a child seeking his mother.
Perhaps Tarte was similar to Naoise’s mother.
I re-examined what I knew about Naoise.
He was born from the marriage of Duke Gephis and a servant.
…Aah, so her being a servant is one of the reasons she reminds him of his mother.
[Tarte, win this in a single full-powered attack.] (Lugh)
[Yes, my lord.] (Tarte)
[How long are you going to keep mocking me?] (Naoise)
[This fight will show you whether or not I was truly mocking you.] (Lugh)
Tarte got a wooden spear.
Then she took a deep breath and focused on the task at hand.
[Um, Naoise-sama. As soon as the match begins, I will close the gap between us in one step, then I will aim for your torso with a cleave to the midsection from a spot where my spear will only barely reach you. So, please survive it… I mean, I would not want to kill you.] (Tarte)
Naoise’s face was now tainted with rage.
He was already looking fairly upset since a while ago, but now he seemed to have just snapped.
[…Enough, I’m done talking. I will regain my pride with the outcome of this duel.] (Naoise)
After that, he readied his sword.
He assumed an orthodox middle-level posture, with no gaps.
The two were now confronting and facing each other.
One of the knights seemed to be acting as the referee.
He raised his flag.
The match would begin once he lowered it.
Tarte glanced at me, so I replied with a nod.
At that moment… her fox ears and tail appeared.
I could hear someone comment on how cute she looked.
It seemed that fox ears, fox tail, and Tarte were a match made in heaven since she still sparked those reactions even under such circumstances.
When I took a look at Naoise, he appeared to be deeply focused and unperturbed.
Tarte, who always had a timid look on her face, now had the look of a sadistic hunter.
Frenzy and excitement were side effects of【Beastification】.
Tarte was usually too hesitant to go at full strength, but the way she was now, she would undoubtedly use her strongest attack without any mercy.
The flag was lowered down.
At that moment, Tarte vanished, and a delayed noise could be heard.
A high-speed dash.
Nobody could track her without the Tuatha Dé eyes.
That move was not only extremely fast, but also extremely precise. In a single step, she one-sidedly closed the distance just enough so that her spear wouldn’t reach.
Then she followed up with a cleave to the midsection, as she announced.
Naoise barely managed to defend himself with his sword in time.
This was because of Naoise’s high level of skill, and most importantly, because Tarte had warned him beforehand how she would attack him.
The wooden sword and wooden spear collided and began to creak and crack, but Tarte kept pressing without paying it any mind. Before it broke, she sent Naoise and his wooden sword flying with her wooden spear.
Naoise was thrown out of the ring with the shattered pieces, bouncing over and over again until he crashed into the storage room in the garden.
[I win. Lugh-sama! I managed to win in a single attack just like you ordered! Please praise me!] (Tarte)
She declared in a bright and innocent voice while wagging her fluffy fox tail.
What every knight felt when they watched Tarte like that was both astonishment and terror.
The Holy Knight himself was one thing, but now, not even his retainer bothered to pay attention to Naoise, who was the strongest among them.
Naoise limped back to us, holding his sides.
His ribs were probably broken.
[Naoise, this was the current extent of Tarte’s abilities. Yet even then, she was so overwhelmed by that demon that the best she could do was stall him for a few seconds, and she would’ve died if she had fought him any longer. Do you know what that means?] (Lugh)
The look on the knights’ faces was one of despair.
They knew the demons were strong, but they failed to gauge how strong they actually were.
Even Tarte, who easily stomped Naoise, the strongest among them, was no match for one of those demons in a one-on-one fight.
Now that they had a concrete idea of their true power, their hopes were now crushed under the harsh reality.
No one would think of earning fame by defeating demons ever again.
With empty eyes, Naoise returned to the ring and grabbed Tarte’s hand.
[Tell me! How did you… obtain that power…!? I…! I need power…!] (Naoise)
With those last few words, he fainted.
[Quick! He needs a healer!]
[He needs a doctor too!]
[A stretcher! Somebody bring a stretcher!]
All of the knights finally went to call for someone who could cast healing magic.
Tarte was still in her beast form, yet she was frightened.
That was how dreadful the look on Naoise’s face was.
Her fox ears and tail disappeared, then she came back to me.
[Um, Lugh-sama, are you sure this was for the best?] (Tarte)
[Yeah, they should face reality. Simply refusing that they join us wouldn’t have been enough… If we hadn’t done this much, Naoise and his men would’ve died trying to take on the demons on their own for glory.] (Lugh)
It may have been some shock therapy, but it was all I could do.
If I had been the one he lost to, they could’ve dismissed that loss on the pretext that the Holy Knight was a special case. But since he lost to Tarte, they couldn’t make any excuses.
I hope this was enough to make them know their place, but…
[I feel a bit bad about it.] (Tarte)
[You’re a kind soul, Tarte.] (Lugh)
She fawned over me as I stroked and tickled her head.
Let’s go home.
We can’t stay here any longer.
I’ll have to check on Naoise later.
[What the hell are you doing here?] (Lugh)
I had to do what I came here to do.
I walked toward Meena, the snake demon who had lost her admirers after they and every other knight rushed to Naoise’s side, looking bored.
[Hmm… Enjoying my hobbies, I’d say. If I wanted to gain something, fooling around with greasy old men would be much more profitable, but as I thought, young and passionate gentlemen are much more arousing. …Besides, that last look on that boy’s face… Desperate, almost weeping, and yet, he had that endless thirst and ambition for power. He looked so, so appetizing it made me squeal before I knew it.] (Meena)
[That’s my friend you’re talking about. If you do anything to him, you’d better be prepared for the consequences.] (Lugh)
[You have no right to interfere that much with my business. This is outside of our agreement. Besides, I wouldn’t do anything bad.] (Meena)
‘She wouldn’t do anything bad.’
But that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t do anything at all.
[Well, you’re right. You’re not violating our agreement. But I’m also acting as I please without breaking it.] (Lugh)
[Is that so? Fufu, this could be fun.] (Meena)
…Better act not as Lugh Tuatha Dé, but as Illig Balor and use my information network to monitor Naoise for a while.
In order not to give that snake demon any opportunity to take advantage of him.
I just need to arrange for one more safety measure.
I grabbed one of the knights who were rushing to Naoise’s side.
[When Naoise wakes up, give him that message for me. What I want as a prize for that duel is that he and the Order of Auguid do not get involved with Countess Granfelt from now on.] (Lugh)
[Ah! No fair!] (Meena)
[You said it yourself, remember? This is outside of our agreement. You have no right to interfere with my promise with Naoise.] (Lugh)
[Well, I guess. And here I thought I could finally have some fun. I’ll just kindly back down this time.] (Meena)
This should keep Naoise and his men out of Meena’s clutches.
And as a knight, Naoise will keep his word.
If he rejects her, then he won’t commit any mistake with her.
Of course, I’ll still have to monitor him though.
[Tarte, Dia, let’s go home.] (Lugh)
[Yes, Lugh-sama.] (Tarte)
[Let’s go somewhere on the way home. That wasn’t the right mood for dinner back there.] (Dia)
The three of us left Villa Gephis.
I wonder what will happen with Naoise and his chivalric order.
I gave them a warning.
If they still tried something reckless despite that, then there was no hope for them.
That was all I could do.
Hopefully, this wouldn’t lead my friend to lose his way.
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