# Chapter 494 – The worries of the little heart (1)
I split the nearing mist hand in two with my martial arts. The magic hand, which had enough absorbing power to even evaporate my body, got dissected vertically and passed by me in vain.
As it had been cut with considerable force, the hand couldn’t retain its form and control and ended up turning into a gentle breeze before it disappeared.
However, unlike humans who have only two hands, this terrifying mist doesn’t stop there.
“2, 3… 4, eh? That’s one more than yesterday!”
“Ufufu, I am giving it my all to catch Kuroe.”
As her complexion grew white and her eyes shone purple, Ursula swirled up the mist together to make it dense and manifested three hands with her mist. On top of that, she had also just finished restoring the other hand I had just cut off.
In terms of appearance, considering how the girl of the illusion has horns and floats behind her, it sort of resembles my sword arts. That said, most would turn out this way once they’re able to freely control it.
“Now, give me your all, Kuroe!”
This time, it came rushing at me like a real rocket punch, with mist coming out of the back of the wrist—all four of the mist hands.
Two from the front and one on each side, as if to surround me.
I am already aware of the fact that these hands aren’t just some projectiles she released—in fact, they behave like her own hands. As such, rather than trying to dodge all four of them, it would be much more reliable to cut down at least one. Despite the fact that it would reform almost immediately.
I am not sure if I should be surprised that I still couldn’t acquire a magic wand which can handle black magic or if I should expect it ‘cause it’s only natural for it to be that way. While using black magic barehanded against Ursula’s fully unleashed original magic does make me a bit anxious, I have no other choice.
Even then, ‘Grenade Burst’ still has enough power to blow off these hands—or at least, it should have.
I shot a grenade burst at both the hands coming from the sides and it should’ve exploded upon making contact with the drain magic but for some reason, it misfired.
Such misfire is not possible in the case of my black magic since I control them directly until they explode.
Considering the fact that they still didn’t explode, they must’ve been erased. To express the phenomenon visually, it was as if the hand crushed the ‘grenade burst’ along with the explosion.
The grenades went straight at the middle of the flying fists and just as it was about to unleash its explosive power, it disappeared as the fist clenched. Did it erase the grenade before it could explode or did it drain it along with the explosion? I don’t know.
“I guess this won’t work anymore, huh?”
Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that the effective ‘grenade burst’ has now been nullified by Ursula. It was the moment I saw her actual growth in progress.
“Bipartite Black Calm.”
Being left with no other choice, I tore all the nearing fists up with Bipartite Black Calm.
The sword I drew was the same old one I used to slaughter the Crusaders. Although it’s mass produced, the quality isn’t bad. This one probably is better than most.
The sword was blackened from the tip to the handle. However, while it was only for a moment, the sword’s enchantment came undone and exposed the original steel underneath upon making contact with the draining hands.
That said, the enchantment is also similar to Ursula’s mist hands—it’ll reform with just a little mana.
“I didn’t know you could use martial arts in succession.”
“Well, that’s how much I’m being cornered here.”
“And despite that, you seem quite relaxed.”
Ursula said with an uninterested expression, as if none of this was appealing to her. This expression has quite the intensity when she does it with those demon eyes.
But I’ve gotten used to it to the point I can also think of that as cute these days.
“I’ve also gotten a bit used to your powers, you see.”
Used to this draining power.
No matter how terrifying an ability may be, if you deal with it for long enough, you naturally come up with methods to counter it. After all, if this was the maneuver experiment, I’d have had to beat it upon first sight. And here I just have to stave it off so of course I would be relaxed.
“I want, Kuroe, now.”
“If you want it, come get it. With all your strength.”
While it may have made my heart skip a beat if an older woman said that to me, since I know Ursula gets high when using her original magic, I was able to reply calmly.
I can’t afford to show any weakness. It won’t be any practice if Ursula doesn’t believe that she can’t beat me no matter how hard she tries. After all, these abilities are something you first start getting a hang of once you unleash it all.
“…..Then, I shall, give it my all.”
The atmosphere around Ursula rapidly changed.
The fact that it wasn’t just my imagination was proved as her mana—or rather, the white girl’s mana rose suddenly.
As Ursula spread her hands in front of her and pushed them out, the white girl behind her did the same. Unlike the previous attack, this one felt like it was directly connected to her body and was aimed directly at me. Ursula and the girl behind her did look alike since she was wearing the trainee outfit and the white mist girl was wearing a white robe.
And before long, her rising mana had changed enough to make it visible. The white mist gathered towards the wrist of the white plaster-like figure and whirled in one spot. It made thunderous rumbling and felt like she was creating a typhoon on the palm of her hands as the mist vigorously concentrated on one spot.
Ah, this one feels a bit dangerous. I might have to use Overgear depending on how this goes.
And it happened just when I had resolved myself to go that far.
“…I’ll just have lunch.”
The overwhelmingly concentrated whirling mist with potentially deadly draining power just vanished into thin air all of a sudden.
Ursula returned to her usual blue eyes and back to her absentminded carefree expression like Fiona and quickly walked towards me.
“It’s already that late, huh? Now that you mention it, I feel kinda hungry too.”
The church’s midday bell reached my ears.
While it wasn’t clearly audible, one could still hear the church’s bell from this highway where I brought Ursula to train on the day the goblins attacked.
Before I had realized, one week had passed since then.
“I have never seen Kuroe like that before.”
My grumble was sharp enough to even surprise myself.
I am currently watching over Uru and Kuroe’s sham battle which is taking place some distance away from the village. I sneaked all the way here so that the two didn’t realize.
I’m doing this quietly purely because of curiosity. I mean, there’s no way I wouldn’t be interested, after all.
I, for one, know how much Uru has worried about her “curse” till now and I understand how this is a very serious matter. It’s very different from some stupid brat’s secret of who likes who or anything like that.
At the moment, Kuroe is trying to solve this worry of hers. Now, I can’t imagine at all how one could do that. I mean, how would you go about suppressing such an unknown, terrifyingly strong curse?
At the very least, the all-important trash of the church couldn’t do anything about it. Ah, just thinking about it makes my blood boil. Those bunch of fools… wanting to kill Uru saying she’s a demon and she’s cursed and whatnot. I will shove those splendid-looking rosary they wear up their ass and then surely they’ll meet their oh-so-great God. I could probably do as much as I am now.
More importantly, the problem at hand is if Uru’s curse is actually something that can be dealt with.
I would have declared it impossible just some time back. That isn’t something some stupid adult should poke around with out of curiousity. Someone like that would and should just get eaten by the curse.
And so priest Nicolay chose the wise option of not doing anything about it. There’s no doubt that that was the best choice for both me and Uru.
But, Kuroe… if it’s him, then he could actually do something about Uru’s curse. I believe that, strangely enough.
That is probably ‘cause I know how strong Kuroe can be. Having exchanged blows with him every day, even while I’m growing at a very rapid rate, I can tell that I can’t possibly catch up to him. That overwhelming strength just gives me this unbelievable sense of security.
And so I am not worried. The reason why I am peeking on them like this today is also just ‘cause I was curious about what they were doing.
I came out today—a week after the training had begun ‘cause I couldn’t suppress this curious heart any longer and decided to watch.
The first thing I did was ask Sister Yuri for her cooperation as she’s staying back at the church. To be honest, I thought this would be the biggest obstacle but…
“I understand. Go and watch them, then.”
She gave her approval almost immediately. Why was I even worried anyway?
Not only that, she also told me to watch all I want as she would handle ringing the bell as well. That’s more than satisfactory.
If I am being honest, I can’t really deal with her properly. She wears this incomprehensible expressionless face and has the perfect looks of an angel as described in the Bible and is so hard to approach.
Kuroe acts cool but his emotions are easy to read so he’s very easy to talk to. Besides, he treats us earnestly even though we are kids and makes considerations for us and doesn’t keep lecturing us like those stupid self-important Crusaders… Anyway, he’s a nice person.
And since Sister Yuri is Kuroe’s secret lover and Ursula trusts her quite a lot as well, she surely can’t be a bad person. I probably just made my own assumptions about her and she isn’t as cold as she looks.
She likely inferred my feelings and that’s why she is cooperating with me this much.
In any case, that is how I had made it this far.
Uru and Kuroe have been going out for this training every morning. Since they also have their lunch there, I had been appointed to pack their lunch boxes—which is not much, really—just bread, cheese and side dishes from the previous night’s dinner.
And they always return in the evening. He spends all day training Uru and doesn’t do any of his priest work but it seems he has already talked about that with the chief. That old man Randolph doesn’t really know much about Uru’s curse but he was informed about her to some extent by priest Nicolay. That’s probably why he accepted without much trouble—or so said Uru. I don’t really get adult-talk much but as long as he doesn’t come interfering, it’s all good with me.
And so about the training itself—I was very worried about Kuroe as his complexion looked really bad on the first and second day but he returned to his normal self later on so I had nothing to worry about either. I understood that he was dealing with it properly, as expected.
About what they were actually doing—that is what I saw today, with my own eyes.
“To think Kuroe would be fighting seriously like that….”
It was clearly a battle. While I don’t understand the first thing about magic or curses, what befolded before me was a pure clash of powers—that much I understood immediately.
The severity of their battle makes the vigilante group and my training look like child’s play. Even the battle against the goblin horde couldn’t compare to this. Even without any instruction or explanation, their battle taught me a lot.
First of all, about how strong Uru’s “curse” can be. This is the first time I’m seeing the white horned girl behind her.
If that thing appeared when she first released her powers at the orphanage, there’s no doubt that everyone there, including myself, would have died.
I am getting goosebumps even though I am watching from such a distance. I only realized that my body and mind had been preparing for battle, some time into observing them.
That said, the most surprising fact about this was how Kuroe was taking on Uru’s curse head on.
Even Kuroe wouldn’t be left without a fatal injury if he got caught by her attacks. I can tell that her strength is on par or even more than what she used against the doltos to reduce it to its bones.
Kuroe was dodging, cutting and sometimes deflecting these attacks as if he was looking into the future.
I have never seen him having to dodge so sharply before. That black and crimson slash—is that martial arts? It’s my first time seeing that as well.
And numerous other black magic Kuroe used afterwards. The aura he’s emitting from his body, the snake-like tentacles fending off the mist’s hands, the exploding arrows—he had never used any of these in our mock battles. No, I wasn’t able to make him use it.
During those mock battles, which had become commonplace just until last week, Kuroe had only ever used his sword. He didn’t use any martial arts or magic. And he wasn’t trying to hide his powers or anything. It’s just that we weren’t good enough to bring that out of him.
And so, it’s definitely not like Kuroe is at fault. In fact, I should be thankful and admire his exquisite adjustment in strength to match our mock battles.
That said, my weakness isn’t to be blamed either. It’s only natural for me to be weak. I’m still a kid—and for what it matters, a girl too, at that. I’m sure people would say that I did very well for myself, considering how even adult vigilantes couldn’t do anything to him.
“Kuroe… is Reki, not enough….?
But then—why is it that my heart aches so much that I feel like I’m on the verge of crying?
I am well aware that there’s nothing to be done about this situation. I’m just a kid who got good at handling a sword. And Uru’s a special kid with immense hidden strength which Kuroe has to deal with with his full power.
What can I even complain about here? What am I dissatisfied with?
“Why… Reki fought with Kuroe first too…”
Ah, I see—I feel jealous.
It was fun getting stronger every day. I was happy knowing that I could get stronger. I hadn’t felt this happiness ever before.
My goal was Kuroe. It’s an overwhelmingly high and far off goal but it made me engrossed enough to not think about anything else.
I wanted to reach him as soon as possible. I wanted him to use more of his strength, even if only a little.
I was overjoyed whenever he used a new move against me. The feeling of achievement I felt when he first started to counterattack against me.
I was swinging from joy to sorrow with Kuroe’s each move. Which attack surprised him? Which one did he predict? During battle, I always observed him in detail. I would get engrossed to the point I felt like we were the only ones in this world. Looking at him single-mindedly, I was able to get stronger.
I don’t feel like I would lose, no matter how many goblins came at me. Even against a doltos, I feel like I will do better next time. The feeling of actual progress made me so happy. Just being acknowledged, head-patted and being told I did a good job—these things made me so happy that I felt like I would melt with happiness.
“This just… makes me look like a fool…”
Uru and Kuroe’s battle turned all my hard work and joy upside down.
It takes Uru’s all to just pull up a bucket of water. And so, it was my job to beat up any brat who tried to bully her. She hadn’t gone into a fight once and neither had she even hit anyone.
That’s ‘cause I had been protecting her.
And this girl, who was supposedly protected by me, took one leap and crossed me—she reached the one place I forever wished I could reach—bringing out Kuroe’s real strength.
I can’t accept my own weakness? That’s not it.
I can’t accept how strong Uru is? That’s also not it.
And somehow, right then, the sight of Uru sitting on top of Kuroe’s knees and having the pan I prepared came into my vision—my vision which was starting to get wet.
I wonder what they’re talking about… I can’t possibly hear from this far.
But Uru looked happy from any angle, and Kuroe had a very gentle expression as well.
I couldn’t make myself watch any longer. I couldn’t bear the sight of them having so much fun.
These flowing tears—they’re the proof of defeat.
It just feels so unbelievably frustrating and painful. And I can’t even blame it on anyone.
It took my all just to keep myself silent as I left the area without them noticing.