The Demonic White Sword – Part 2
Men sometimes referred to women in the language of flowers, but only for the woman who walked with such a beautiful posture did the gesture seem apt.
With differing scarlet and sapphire eyes, she looked at the death covered land before her, that fetching white hair gleaming in the sun.
As if the gods had seen fit to make her a canvas for all feminine beauty, her legs were also flexible and supple, and her bosom ample enough to tempt any man.
This woman, who only wore durable cowhide boots and a simply modest one-piece dress, was she a lady from town who had gotten lost?
To appear unarmed in such a dangerous place, Kyle thought that this person certainly couldn’t be an adventurer.
The goblins began to babble excitedly.
Surprisingly few people know just why they endeavour to kidnap young women. At the very least, Kyle himself doesn’t know.
However, the kidnappings always follow a pattern… It’s usually the women with softer features that are taken.
To that end, the woman in front of them was the perfect prey. Unlike those dangerous female adventurers who are skilled with weapons and magic, the goblins looked at this big chested woman who willingly walked into their nest as defenseless.
A voracious appetite obvious in they eyes, the goblins began to lick their lips.
“Ah… It’s dangerous…! Y-you have to run…!”
He desperately tried to call out to the woman with his limp tongue, but it was already too late.
A goblin struck her with his club. A woman’s face distorted in fear, taking a cruel blow from a goblin, and that white hair splayed across the dirty — Such was the expectation of every onlooker.
Instead, it is a brilliant red that fountains upward.
All that could be heard was the scream of a mortally wounded goblin, who was writhing in the dirt with a torso that was nearly split in two.
In the hands of a woman that appeared totally unarmed just moments ago, there was single edged sword that dripped with blood. Stepping over the soon-to-be corpse, she advanced on the scene.
Seeing his companion so easily cut down by that woman, one of the goblins quickly moved to take Kyle as a hostage.
Being at the bottom of the monster food chain in such an unforgiving world, goblins as a species had learned to be cautious above all else in order to survive.
And, as a result of experience, they knew that humans were weak to hostage situations.
But, as soon as the goblin held the tip of its rusted blade into the small of Kyle’s back and demanded a surrender, the woman threw her sword and pierced the goblin’s skull.
At such an ungodly lightning speed, no one’s eyes followed her movement.
As the goblins shrank away from the sight of their compatriot’s death, the woman kicked off from the ground.
Holding swords of the exact same make in both hands, she cleaved the skulls, pierced the hearts and slashed the throats of all goblins before her.
An unparalleled white blur of carnage, extinguishing the life of these child sized demons one by one. She is like a storm, a blade of a war god that cuts down all in her path.
As the last goblin’s head sailed through the air in an arc, the immature dragon begins to move.
Its huge maw was baring its razor sharp fangs that would chew through a human with ease, and as it leapt it meant to crush the woman with its massive forefoot.
“Much too slow.”
The woman brandished her sword first. The earth dragon’s jaw is sliced through cleanly, as if it were no tougher than the necks of the goblins the blade had claimed before.
Kyle could only look on with child-like wonder at the woman who tore through those tough hide like paper, as if they those scales were no different to that of a fish.
It was then he noticed it. The copper token dangling from her neck.
(She’s a B-Rank adventurer…!?)
If an E-Rank can be compared to a green novice, a B-Rank would be an adventurer with both skill and experience.
It seems like if you’re strong enough to be a B-Rank, it’s possible to even defeat a young dragon.
But, something disquieted Kyle. Although he was a novice himself, his trained intuition told him that there was something not quite right about this B-Ranked adventurer who had thrown herself into combat with abandon whilst dressed as a simple town girl.
And strangest of all, those hands that had once gripped blades were now empty. Looking at the goblin that had tried to hold him captive, he saw that the sword that had pierced its skull had disappeared also.
On some level, as a practitioner of both swordplay and magic, Kyle understood that these were magically produced weapons.
However, as someone who was only capable of casting elementary level spells, he didn’t truly understand it.
“Ah… Pl… Please wait!”
The woman who sought to leave quietly glanced at Kyle, who was still struggling to regain control of himself.
“…What is it?”
Her eyebrows knotted in annoyance, the woman looked at Kyle with those differing eyes.
Standing at 160 centimetres, around the same height as Kyle, he withered under that gaze.
“Ah, um, for before… Thank you very much for saving me.
“I didn’t exactly help you out of the goodness of my heart. If I simply let a fellow adventurer die like that, the guild would be upset with me.”
Her beautiful voice didn’t match that bloodstained face, despite what she was saying.
Unable to withstand that gaze from the woman who seemed to be quite some years his senior, Kyle diverted his eyes. But despite his bowed head, he did his best to show his sincerity.
“Even so… it doesn’t change the fact that I’m only alive thanks to you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much.”
The woman looked down on Kyle with a wrinkled brow, but eventually let out a sigh as if someone had just drawn poison out of her.
“From the looks of it, you and a bunch of other novices came to this goblin nest only to get exterminated yourselves.”
The two girls had died miserable deaths, and all that remained of the spearman was a bloodied hand gripping a broken spear.
If this woman hadn’t come, Kyle would have met with a similar fate.
“We just came to get rid of some goblins… But that dragon appeared out nowhere… Why!?”
A deep sense of regret runs through Kyle.
If only he had called for everyone to retreat as soon as the dragon appeared, perhaps things might have ended up differently.
“Well, this kind of thing is common.”
Kyle dumbfoundedly states at the woman, who said such a thing so flippantly.
“When you were young, do you not have memories of following the strongest child around? Or did you not have anyone like that?”
“Of course… As a kid I remember following around those big kids who led gangs of smaller ones around like henchmen… But what does that have to do with-?”
“Although when forced into a fight or flight situation, animals and monsters are virtually the same, monsters with intelligence comparable to a human’s such as dragons or goblins will also have the option to obey or command.” Simply put, it’s like a symbiotic relationship. The place that you thought was a goblin’s nest? In reality, it was the dragon’s roost. That’s all there is to it.”
This goblin extermination request was from a neighbouring village.
The footprints found at the farms damaged in that village belonged to goblins, who could have imagined that a dragon lurked alongside them?
“Of course, I also thought that it was originally just a goblin’s nest, but an adventurer should always be ready for unexpected encounters with monsters. In this case, it was simply your own lack of experience and knowledge that got you into this mess.”
Such a severe way of speaking with little attempt to soften her words, but there was nothing he could answer her with. It was just as the woman said. The party had naively thought it to be a simple challenge, and once something unexpected happened they had completely fallen apart.
“Well then, since my business here is finished, I’m going to go on ahead. What you decide to do from here on out is up to you.”
As soon as the woman turned her back on Kyle, who had been overwhelmed with trying to accept what he had just heard, the entire fort began to shake violently. It wasn’t like an earthquake, it was as if something directly under the fort was moving.
The woman clicked her tongue and grabbed Kyle with her outstretched arm. Even if he wanted to protest against being suddenly grabbed, that feeling evaporated instantly by what he heard next.
An ear splitting roar erupted from below, as earth and rock seemed to explode out of the ground in a shower.
Kyle was almost deafened by the sound that was incomparable to the baby dragon from before, and was oblivious to the rocks that were falling overhead.
Once he became aware, he viewed the falling rock hurtling towards him as if it were falling in slow motion. As he gaped, the white-haired woman grabbed the Kyle by the scruff of his neck and quickly scaled over the wall of the fortress.
“What is this… a joke…?”
The goblins who had hid from the massacre were wiped out by the fortress collapsing atop them, the rubble scattering everywhere.
Kyle, who had been thrown to the ground, looked upon a dragon that was the same size as the fort that had just disappeared beneath it.
This is no child, it is a full-grown dragon. Something that is only heard of in legends and stories, something no B-Rank adventurer could ever hope to defeat.
It is the job of the A-Ranked adventurers who seemed beyond human and the S-Ranked legendary heroes to tackle such a calamity.
“Just as I thought. When it went missing, I could have sworn it was a child that took it, but goblins… Seeing this, I guess it makes sense. …Hey, is it that distressing to lose your child? I think I understand how you’re feeling.”
The woman who had seemed so majestic and full of pomp before now cut a miserable figure as she mumbled too herself.
“O-oh no…! Your arm…!!”
The woman’s right arm was missing from the shoulder.
It had been severed as she had pulled Kyle out of that collapsing fortress.
Bleeding from the wounds that covered her body, her white dress and pale skin was covered in bloody splotches.
(This is my fault…! Because she tried to protect me…!)
How much misery could he go through in a single day?
After having people hurt and killed because of his faults, he finally beheld the end. If there really was something that pulled the strings of destiny, he’d want to beat him with all his might.
The dragon swung at the two of them with its mighty limb. The story would simply end here. They would be crushed by that dragon’s power, and the life of a boy who was hit with a series of unfortunate events during his first adventure would end.
“Please don’t decide to just end this so arbitrarily.”
However, that dragon’s strike never reached the ground.
Just like back in the fort, the wrist of the dragon was cut by a sword that had not been there before.
The dragon screamed as blood fountained from the elegant cut.
As the dragon’s severed wrist fell to the ground causing an almighty thud, the woman closed in on the dragon with a jump that seemed to ignore the weight of the sword she held. Aiming at its soft neck, she split its artery with one fell stroke.
“The only one whose story is over is the dragon’s.”
As the dragon began to fall, she plunged her sword back into its neck and blew its spine out through the scales on the nape of its neck, shattering it utterly.
No monster can survive with its spine severed. The legendary beast that seemed straight out of a storybook was killed so quickly it seemed like a joke, its giant body finally falling to the ground, motionless.
That novice adventurer didn’t truly understand what he had just witnessed. The only thing he could say for sure was that this white-haired woman had fought a dragon alone, and slew it.
“W-What!? Your arm… How…!?”
The arm that should have been pulverized back in the ruins had returned to the woman as if it had never been injured at all.
She hadn’t used healing magic, that much he was certain of. Even if he was inexperienced, if magic of that level was used near him he would have sensed it as a fellow magic user.
So, she healed herself without the use of magic? With this information, Kyle could only settle on one possibility.
“I-impossible… are you part immortal…!? That white hair… Those eyes… No way, are you…!?”
All living things are said to consist of mind, body, and soul.
He had heard of the existence of monstrous individuals with the ability to restore their own body by linking the soul directly to its body, but such thing was an extremely rare abnormality.
Whilst Kyle was an ordinary person, he still only knew of five beings said to have this ability. Because of how rare it was, stories and rumours about those who possessed it traveled the world over.
“The Golden Witch”, Canary.
“The Grand Dragon”, Aion.
“The Saint of Nirvana”, Hermes.
“The Phantom Thief”, Crowley Arsene.
And the rumour that the strongest warrior of all, someone whose blades wreaked havoc wherever they went, belonged to a remote adventurer’s guild.
A warrior with pointed eyes, one red and one blue. White hair that danced upon the battlefield, flashing like the edge of a sword in the eyes of her opponents. An unparalleled warrior, fit to be called a goddess of war.
“The Demonic White Sword”, Shirley. That was this woman’s name.
It’s a very common story.
A novice adventurer who takes a seemingly simple request, and never returns.
A lot of the time, it ends up being due to monsters subjugating other monsters.
A dragon that desires to hoard gold and silver will often command lower ranking demons to collect treasure for them.
Adventurers taking requests and meeting their doom inside these death traps is as regular a tale as you’ll ever hear working in the adventuring trade.
“Thank goodness, there doesn’t seem to be a scar.”
Under the ruined fort lay the nest of the deceased. Shirley didn’t care to look at the treasures littering the place, but something else caught her eye.
She saw two pentagons made from cheap gold and silver coloured paper. Two stars made in that paper folding fashion that had come from the east, seem totally out of place amongst all the glimmering treasure.
“Really, mistaking such things for treasure, having goblins as subordinates must have been really hard, huh?”
It didn’t seem likely that the goblins had made these themselves.
On one of their treasure hunting episodes, the goblins must have snatched these thinking they were some gold and silver trinket.
That being said.
“Well, this is worth more than any treasure to me. Really, stealing the first birthday gift I ever got from those children. It would have been a shame if I had to wipe out the goblin race over something like that.”
The goblins had pilfered these birthday presents from her room when she was out one day, and in order to get them back, she had been eradicating all the goblin nests in the area. There’s no telling how far she would have gone to find them, even if she had to find every last goblin nest in the world.
If you’re here for the cute mother-daughter stuff, it’s next chapter I SWEAR.