“You are already fine right, Hibiki?”
“Yeah. I only had an arrow pierced in my shoulder, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Thanks for visiting me.” (Hibiki)
Mio’s words were paused there, and a silence appeared between Hibiki and Mio who were alone in the room.
“Yeah… Was his wound okay?” (Hibiki)
“Something like that, it can be healed at the instant-desu wa. More importantly, Hibiki, it seems like you are doing a lot of moving in the shadows, but after actually acting together with Waka-sama and even having a bout with him last night, you finally understood, right?” (Mio)
“I am not really moving around in the shadows you know, Mio-san. But it is true that I have understood his strength, and that he has strength that even you would follow.” (Hibiki)
Hibiki says these words as if biting them.
Last night, Hibiki had a bout with Makoto.
Of course, it was only a bout for Hibiki, and it was clear that Makoto didn’t have the intention at all.
In the end, it finished with Hibiki being unable to pass a single proper attack and was only able to cause a wound on the level of a scrape, and Makoto hit her in the shoulder with an arrow.
Makoto’s surrender was made a draw by Hibiki, but for Hibiki, it wasn’t a draw nor a win, it was a losing fight.
“That’s no good, Hibiki. Leaving aside the fact that you have understood the power of Waka-sama, you are trying to hide things from me? Even though you were the one that had us stay at the Hopelace territory when we were on our way to the capital.” (Mio)
“No way. A part of the nobles made a strong interference in the invitation we did to your Kuzunoha Company, and the visit to the Hopelace territory is a result of that. In the point that I was unable to stop it, I do hold a part of the responsibility.” (Hibiki)
“…Then, are you saying you don’t know anything about what happened there? That’s what you are trying to say, right?” (Mio)
“…Yes. At least me and the royal family don’t. Did something happen?” (Hibiki)
“What is it, Mio-san?” (Hibiki)
“In our eyes, you, the royal family, the local nobles; all of them are the same Limia Kingdom. That’s not going to work as an escape route.” (Mio)
Hibiki’s throat moved delicately.
It was a small movement of gulping.
“Investigate it. Something of that level is of no problem, but this will be a new debt for you.” (Mio)
“And? From what I heard of Waka-sama, you are intelligent, right? I heard you are a genius that can do anything.” (Mio)
“Wait, what is Makoto-kun putting in Mio-san’s head?” (Hibiki)
Hearing the words of Mio, Hibiki was taken by surprise for a second, and the tension fell from her face. At the same time, she muttered a complaint to Makoto.
“Haven’t you understood Waka-sama and the Kuzunoha Company already? Let me hear your point of view.” (Mio)
“Go on. Lately, I have been scattering a lot of hints, you know? If you don’t understand after all this, I can make it even easier to understand. Maybe there’s the need to do something that no matter how much you want to turn away from it, it will be engraved in those eyes of yours.” (Mio)
“Hibiki… What is Waka-sama? With the information you have gotten, what was the answer you arrived at with that nice head of yours. Tell me.” (Mio)
Mio’s words reverberated coldly in the room as if signaling a last warning.
Hibiki was hesitating about something, but as if resigning, she looked straight at Mio.
“Raidou –Misumi Makoto-kun– is…” (Hibiki)
“The Devil. He is the Devil himself. And also the white guy that saved me in Limia.” (Hibiki)
Hibiki’s low but confident words made Mio break a smile.
In her mouth and eyes.
Mio was laughing satisfied.
“Nicely done. That’s right, Waka-sama is the existence called Devil by you guys. And the master of the Kuzunoha Company.” (Mio)
“I had an idea since before. In the time at Meiris Lake it became even deeper, and at the mock battle, I was confident of it.” (Hibiki)
“It was worth having you accompany Waka-sama. And it was also worth giving that suit to the Rembrandt girl.” (Mio)
“The new equipment that the Kuzunoha Company created, right? The SFX hero suit that the girl called Yuno Rembrandt was using. As I thought, it was a deliberate leak of information huh.” (Hibiki)
“Of course. I wanted you to arrive at the thought that Waka-sama is the Devil, and also the person that had saved you after all.” (Mio)
“I was saved by him twice, huh.” (Hibiki)
“That’s right. The first time, he even received grave injuries in his sacred body; the second time was a deal with the Goddess though. But as a result, in both of them, Waka-sama saved you.” (Mio)
“Yeah, that’s true.” (Hibiki)
“Then show an attitude appropriate of your benefactor. Looking at Waka-sama, you should have understood well, right? He doesn’t wish for war. The reason he saved you two was only because you are people from the same world.” (Mio)
“Listen well, I won’t tell you to cooperate. I am only telling you to stop any sort of action that interferes with the Kuzunoha Company. Also, if something happens within the range you can detect, stop it. Waka-sama is simply trying to bring good to the people after all.” (Mio)
What Mio said at the end made Hibiki’s brows narrow.
“I wonder about that.” (Hibiki)
“What did you say?” (Mio)
“As a company, he is really providing good things at a cheap price. But is that all he is trying to achieve in his actions?” (Hibiki)
That’s also something she thought about after seeing a part of Makoto, and if the Kuzunoha Company really only has those intentions, then there’s parts that contradict this from the way the company acts, that’s how she felt.
“If it’s as Mio-san says, why does he increase his fighting power to that degree? If he wants to go on as a simple merchant, isn’t it plenty enough with just Tomoe-san and Mio-san? I don’t think he was so strong from the very beginning. The Empire hero and I were reasonably strong, but thinking about his ability when he was in the previous world, he should have been about the same as us or less. And yet, he clearly has obtained an abnormal power different from ours.” (Hibiki)
“Waka-sama was thrown into the border of the world. It was a result brought by necessity.” (Mio)
“Are you saying that that necessity won’t lead to war?! It is certainly true that I didn’t feel ambition from him, but he does bring doubts that maybe he has some sort of scheme.” (Hibiki)
“You, even when you have spoken with Waka-sama, you are still thinking such stupid things?” (Mio)
“…I did talk with him. However, my anxiety towards him won’t disappear. That strength and way of thinking is just way too different from that of a person that was supposed to have been raised in modern Japan, in a normal family. I want to ask you this Mio-san, is it really okay for Makoto-kun to change like that?” (Hibiki)
“There’s no need for you to mind about something like that. Waka-sama can change as he sees fit, and if he wants to change, he can just do so. I will simply follow him. If I am asked, my answer will obviously be ‘everything is okay’.” (Mio)
“…I still can’t answer you about how I will interact with the Kuzunoha Company and him.” (Hibiki)
“There’s! There’s still time. There’s also still time to learn more of him.” (Hibiki)
“…I see. Right. I will wait for a bit more. If you want to speak with Waka-sama for a bit more, I will accept it. But it will only be talking.” (Mio)
“I understand.” (Hibiki)
“Fuh~. What a pain. By the way, Hibiki, you already know that I am a spider, right? That priestess has woken up, right?” (Mio)
“That’s—!! Yes, I know. I heard that you are the Black Calamity Spider. So it was true.” (Hibiki)
Mio suddenly reveals her identity to Hibiki.
Hibiki who didn’t expect her to announce it in this timing, was slightly agitated, but she admitted it.
“Fufufu, I am interested in what that priestess saw in Waka-sama, but I will leave that enjoyment for later. Well then, taking that premise into consideration, I will give you one piece of info.” (Mio)
“You said the power of Waka-sama was abnormal, but that personage had encountered me as a spider when he was merely two weeks into this world.” (Mio)
“There will be gaps in power appearing between you and the Empire’s hero. Those gaps may be 10 days worth or maybe one month, but from what I know, Waka-sama came later than you two.” (Mio)
“Then, you are telling me that, with practically no experience, he fought with Mio-san, no, with the Black Calamity Spider?” (Hibiki)
Hibiki thought it was impossible.
After coming to this world, she got used to battle and obtained trusty companions, but even if she fought with the spider that had been in so many battles, the result would be obvious.
“Ah…I see. Tomoe-san was also there, right?” (Hibiki)
Within the agitation, Hibiki remembers the order in which Makoto met his followers.
In the past, Mio had told Hibiki that she met Makoto after Tomoe.
“Waka-sama fought alone against me.” (Mio)
“No way.” (Hibiki)
“He did receive some injuries, but he defeated me. At that time, the Black Calamity Spider ceased to exist in this world.” (Mio)
“Then, he had that crazy power since the beginning? Without any relation to the Goddess?” (Hibiki)
“Who knows. Just that, Hibiki, I have practically no memories of when I was a spider, but when I investigated a bit to see…” (Mio)
It seems like my encounter with Waka-sama happened a few days after fighting you guys. Since that time on, the gap between Waka-sama and you has simply increased more and more. Think very very thoroughly about this truth.” (Mio)
Hibiki was shoved the difference in power between her past self and Makoto.
“Of course, by the time we are in this country, that is.” (Mio)
Just like how she came in, Mio melts into the darkness and disappears.
Hibiki who was left there, still didn’t move.
‘The gap continued increasing’, those words of Mio were echoing in her head.
“…Is something the matter, Boss?” (Lime)
“You know, Lime.” (Makoto)
“Can you attack me for a bit? It is fine to not hold back.” (Makoto)
Opening and closing the hand that Mio healed, I was pondering something.
Since Lime had returned to the room just at the right time, I asked him to do something, but well, he did a predictable reaction.
“No you see, last night I did a friendly match with Hibiki-senpai, or more like, a bout or well…anyways, we did that, right?” (Makoto)
“Honestly, I had already seen what Senpai could do at Meiris Lake, and it was mostly what I had expected, but…” (Makoto)
“But, what?” (Lime)
“How to say it, from time to time, she was unexpectedly strong. In terms of defense, I didn’t do much, so I think Senpai was the one who was probably doing something. Just that, in truth, I don’t have an accurate idea of the current state of my defense.” (Makoto)
“A-Are you saying that you didn’t put much into that defense?” (Lime)
“And well, returning to what I said in the beginning, I was wondering what would happen if it was an attack of Lime. Please, give it one attack.” (Makoto)
“W-We are doing it here?!” (Lime)
Even if we get slightly injured, we can just wait for Mio to come.
If it’s a light wound, I can just have Lime heal it.
There’s no need to go through the trouble of going outside and gathering attention.
Maybe Lime saw my behaviour and noticed that my will won’t be changing, he was worried for a bit, and then took his katana in hand.
“…I really am going to do it without holding back, okay? Even so, I don’t think it will reach the level of Hibiki though.” (Lime)
“You don’t have to mind that. Also, the weapon you have in hand is better, right? Even if something happens, I will have Mio do something about it, so just concentrate in giving your best attack.” (Makoto)
“You will do a follow-up for Mio-neesan, right?” (Lime)
“Of course. After asking you to do it, I won’t go asking her to save me.” (Makoto)
“Then, excuse me.” (Lime)
Lime unsheathes his katana.
Bending his legs, he lowers his posture, and grasps the katana in his right hand, with the blade facing up.
It is the stance for a thrust.
I was the one who asked for it, but I am grateful for Lime who is listening to it and doing it with his all.
It is because, in my memory, his preparation motions are the same as the stance of the attack with the highest power he has.
Just like that time with Senpai, I activate the Magic Armor.
Lime who didn’t move from his place, was accumulating power steadily.
As a charging technique, the longer it accumulates, the stronger it gets, since he doesn’t have to worry about the charging, it is the best kind of attack.
“Whenever you want.” (Makoto)
Lime didn’t answer.
Instead, magic power leaked from his body, and it looked like it shone lightly.
And then, Lime silently kicked the ground and pushes the power from his legs, waist, and shoulders, into his katana.
The amplified power converged into the katana and tried to pierce through the Magic Armor.
Without any high pitched sound of contact, the katana of Lime stopped at a space slightly apart from me.
As I thought, even Lime’s full power was unable to cut through it.
Is what I was thinking, but at that moment, Lime made an action further than that.
He released his right hand from the handle in an instant, and this time, he uses his left hand’s palm to push the end of the handle.
From his left hand, a massive amount of magic power flowed, and at the same time, it was pushing through.
A second stance to a charging attack!
That’s probably incredibly cool.
But the Magic Armor didn’t break.
Mine and Lime’s voice came out at almost the same time.
The reason is probably the same.
The katana of Lime trembled slightly, and…the blade broke into pieces.
So it was unable to withstand being in between the attack power of Lime and my Magic Armor huh.
“S-Sorry, Lime.” (Makoto)
“…Don’t mind it. Well, fortunately, I don’t think there will be any event where I will have to use this in our time in Limia, so don’t let it bother you.” (Lime)
“In how much time does it restore?” (Makoto)
“If it goes well, around half a day. This time there’s no need to hurry, so I think about a day. If there’s something necessary today, I will just use a spare sword-ssu.” (Lime)
Saying that, Lime shows one of the rings that he is wearing in his hand.
Ah, if I remember correctly, he did say that he has a lot of preparations done.
That ring can turn into a sword, right.
There’s a reason why Lime and I are not in such a grim mood.
As long as the handle remains, the regeneration ability is pretty fast.
It seems like even if it’s done slowly, it can take one day to return to normal.
I didn’t know about how much time exactly, but it is pretty fast.
“More importantly, Senpai was able go through my defense pretty easily with a weaker sword. Lime, do you have an idea why?” (Makoto)
“I don’t. The current training Hibiki has is with the sword waves she utilizes for long-ranged attack, but…when it comes to its power, I can only think of it as being common. Compared to when I was accompanying her, she didn’t seem to be doing anything different either.” (Lime)
“I see… In that case, maybe it is the divine protection she received from the Goddess.” (Makoto)
“It seems like that decorative belt was something that was given by the Goddess-ssu. She said the method of utilization is an original of hers though.” (Lime)
“Utilization? Are you talking about that radical exposure method?” (Makoto)
I have gotten slightly used to it, but…that’s…incredible.
Senpai is incredible for being able to utilize it because her battle power increases, and it is also incredible that it is an ability that actually increases her power.
But as expected, the most incredible part is the looks.
“Against that increased speed, I honestly feel it is hard to find a way to deal with it-ssu. ‘If she doesn’t take a single attack, there’s no need for armor’, is what a part of the adventurers discuss stupidly regarding it, but if they are at that level, they can spew all they want but they wouldn’t be able to actually make it true.” (Lime)
“Hm? In that case, the exposed mode Senpai doesn’t have much defensive power?” (Makoto)
“No. Even when Hibiki has obtained that much speed, she hasn’t forgotten the importance of defense. In that appearance, she has more defense than normal, but it seems like its defense loses against the people that are specialized in attack power, so she currently condenses the defensive field that envelops her whole body and enhances it.” (Lime)
“So instead of receiving the strong attacks, she stops them in a specific point huh. It is totally opposite of me who has abandoned stopping it and has chosen to receive them directly.” (Makoto)
I feel like as a skill, the one of Senpai has a higher difficulty.
She increases the defensive power of one point, but it will be a manual defense.
In other points, her defensive ability is on a godlike level though.
“What are you…doing…Lime?” (Mio)
“Ah, Mio. Welcome back.” (Makoto)
“I am sorry for not being by your side because of some business. And Lime, what were you doing?” (Mio)
“This is…” (Lime)
“I don’t mind if you give me an explanation later. I will be calming down first so…come.” (Mio)
“Y-You are going to calm down, right? In that case, I don’t think I am needed.” (Lime)
“What are you saying? In order to calm down, your presence is necessary or I won’t be able to, right?.” (Mio)
You are the one that’s saying weird stuff, Mio.
Lime is giving out an aura of defeat and is in a state of horror.
Can’t be helped.
“It is okay, Lime. I will properly heal you back to normal.” (Mio)
Mio who had gotten close to Lime, grabs him with her slender hand.
It looks as if he would be able to break free from it, but in truth, it has quite the strength behind it.
I did say I would do a proper follow-up, so I have to keep my promise.
Also, I would prefer if Mio were to attack me with those current rampant feelings of hers.
“Mio, stop. Lime listened to a request of mine, so we were just doing a little testing here. That’s why, it is fine.” (Makoto)
“…A test?” (Mio)
Mio stops moving.
But her hand was still grabbing Lime.
Of course, the face of Lime didn’t show any sign that he felt he had escaped from danger.
Actually, he has a face that says he is in incredible danger.
“Yeah. Mio, help out as well. Just for a bit, I would like you to…right, can you attack me with your prided slicing fan?” (Makoto)
With that folding fan, she shoots an attack.
She really came out with another absurd thing, so I retorted by calling it slicing fan, and it seems she liked it, she decided to call that technique of hers in that way.
“Use Slicing Fan on Waka-sama?” (Mio)
“Something bothered me about the fight with Hibiki-senpai you see. Please.” (Makoto)
“With Hibiki… I understand. If it’s that, I will accept-desu wa.” (Mio)
Lime was finally released.
I thought I would need more convincing, but lately, when Hibiki-senpai’s name comes out, she becomes pretty obedient.
“Well then, here I go.” (Mio)
Just like Lime, without caring that we are indoors, Mio points the closed folding fan at me and swings it.
“Thanks Mio.” (Makoto)
I receive the wave of attacks from Mio that had different degrees of power with my Magic Armor, and after continuing until it was broken, I give my thanks to Mio and finish the test.
“Is it okay already?” (Mio)
“Yeah. I have understood that the sword of Hibiki-senpai is around this level of power after all.” (Makoto)
“…Are you referring to the attack that injured Waka-sama’s hand that time?” (Mio)
“It also has to do with that attack, but in general, Senpai’s attack were strangely strong. And in truth, the last attack Mio did was a pretty serious one, right?” (Makoto)
I ask Mio who I thought did an attack with about the same power.
“I didn’t even use 80%-desu wa. I wasn’t serious at all!” (Mio)
An over 70% of Mio is plenty strong, most likely.
Even if I think that way, I won’t say it though.
Because it seems like Mio is also bothered by it.
My Magic Armor was cleanly chopped off, and I ended the test.
Since it would turn out the same as the mock battle, I considered it was plenty enough for the test.
“As I thought, the speed was obviously good, but…there’s something behind the strength of those attacks. I feel like I will have to go a bit stronger when doing a bout with Senpai or I will end up wounded.” (Makoto)
“…When Hibiki was struggling in the wasteland, she didn’t have a unique attack power like that. She was a girl with good instincts and a wide field of vision though. If I remember correctly, Shiki said that in the time that he was with Waka-sama in Limia, she was suddenly able to release a strong attack. How about confirming with Shiki when we return?” (Mio)
“Ah…maybe he is talking about the time when his the barrier he was keeping them in was destroyed? I see…” (Makoto)
Could it be that a new power she received from the Goddess awakened?
That really sounds like a hero-like development.
It didn’t seem like she was using any special spell to buff herself, and there’s also the chance she activated a stealth type skill like my Sakai.
In that case, I can’t underestimate her too much.
“But that girl, did she really obtain that much attack power? Even with that, she asked for a new weapon…” (Mio)
“Mio? What’s wrong?” (Makoto)
“N-No, nothing! It is nothing-desu wa!!” (Mio)
“Now that I think about it, that business you were talking about…if I remember correctly, the only plans we had were to meet with a number of nobles and merchants and that was all, right? Could it be, you were meeting with Senpai?” (Makoto)
Mio with Hibiki-senpai…
Well, thinking about what happened in Rotsgard, I am indeed uneasy, but in Tsige, they were in a master-disciple relationship temporarily, so I shouldn’t worry about it too much.
“I was only doing some small talk about the time when they were in Tsige. Ah right! Hibiki said that soon we will be able to speak with the priestess.” (Mio)
“With the priestess-san. That’s…great. I did think about paying her a visit at least once before leaving.” (Makoto)
“Yeah, I think it will be possible.” (Mio)
Also, that priestess-san saw something in Mio and I.
It would be a lie to say I am not interested in it.
Leaving aside if she will actually tell us, I want to at least try asking.
Well, she is a girl that’s not so far apart in age from Rinon, so I obviously don’t intend to force her.
Now then, it is almost time for an official to come.
It will be the time when I say that I want to leave with the company for now and give a reply at a later date.
I will not be giving a different answer anyways, so it would be good if they just take the hint and give up though.
Hah…I haven’t even checked the town around the castle properly.