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132 Part 2
(What on earth…)
Enomoto could only laugh before such a terrifying level of fighting power.
It seemed that the other Self-Defense Force members fighting to assist Mr. Masked Man felt the same as Enomoto.
Everyone was smiling, as if to say, “What’s up with him? Is he a god?”
Feathers sprouted from his neck and he was carrying a plant with his scaly body.
His backpack had a white face on it and the tentacles that stretched from under it seemed to be dancing as he moved about.
Sometimes, his mask sparkled brightly in mid-air.
The mask emitted light, drawing afterglow in this dim room.
Blue, red, yellow, and white.
It blinked in those four colors.
They melted and vanished, leaving a trace behind.
That light was so awe-inspiring that, if they hadn’t been conscious of it, it would have made them stay there idly looking at it.
Not only that, but together with that light, the feathers that sprouted from his neck would catch the air as Mr. Masked Man moved, making it look like he had spreaded wings.
He would spread his wings and move freely in the air.
As if dancing.
As if singing.
That was no longer just Mr. Masked Man. He was now a god that had just descended upon this mortal realm.
Each of the members of the Self-Defense Force started to see him as some kind of new, nameless god, who had come from the heavens in order to save Hakodate.
Suddenly, as if Mr. Masked Man had noticed something, he made his mask shine again and raised his face while spreading his feathers.
An “Oh…” escaped from someone from the Self-Defense Force’s mouth.
It was like a decisive moment in human history, like the moment when the gods in heaven noticed the people below.
Even though he was in battle, Enomoto instinctively stared at that gesture.
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Haruki, who had been entranced by the lumpfish until a while ago, was so excited that he had a nosebleed when he realized that he was in the middle of a situation where he stood out considerably.
Everyone’s looking at me!!
Surrendering himself to his emotions, Haruki landed on the ground and repeatedly sidestepped in order to draw even more attention to himself.
He was so excited that he really had a actual nosebleed.
No. I have to calm down!
But can I calm down after this?
The answer is no!
As his blood kept running out of his nose (his mask was on the way, so he couldn’t wipe it off), Haruki kept on trying to get the Self-Defense Force member’s attention with all his might.
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What the hell just happened!?
Enomoto was completely shocked by Mr. Masked Man’s sudden eccentricities.
Immediately after Mr. Masked Man noticed something, his movements became more intense.
He seemed to have increased both his speed and strength, and he added a mysterious repetitive sidestep.
Why was he sidestepping repeatedly between attacks?
Why wasn’t he getting hit by the lumpfish’s attacks even though he was doing that seemingly useless sidestepping?
It was a terrifyingly sophisticated move that seemed useless to Enomoto.
Was he showing off his appearance at the lumpfish?
Or was this some kind of ritual, a hunter’s sacrificial dance?
It was too exaggerated, too eerie, and too unusual.
Having stared at Mr. Masked Man for so long, Enomoto voiced his surprise after noticing yet another strange thing that was happening to him.
Blood was dripping down form under Mr. Masked Man’s chin as he continued to sidestep repeatedly.
No way… Is he willing to sacrifice himself in order to hold the lumpfish back…!?
“How amazingly selfless of him!!”
But he couldn’t let that go any further.
Enomoto turned around and faced his men.
“If you’re one of Hakodate’s strongest men, then show me that resolve!!”
“Everyone, save your hometown with your own power!!”
We want to protect this city.
They would never lose to Mr. Masked Man when it came to feeling that way.
As their hometown’s Self-Defense Force, they couldn’t afford to lose!
With that feeling spreading like wildfire amongst them, the members of the Self-Defense Force roared like an earth tremor, and slashed at the lumpfish with everything they had.
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Suddenly, an earth-shaking roar echoed in the room, causing Haruki’s shoulders to shiver.
Looking at the Self-Defense Force members, Haruki noticed that their expression had turned from something that looked like a grim resolve into that of hopeful challengers.
What on earth had caused them to change so much?
The first one to start yelling had been Enomoto.
Was he inspiring them with his “Command” skill?
Perhaps that skill had the effect of giving the entire team a morale-boosting buff!?
“That Command skill… It’s scary!”
Haruki was frightened by Enomoto’s voice as he kept on slashing at the lumpfish.
However, Haruki gradually dropped his shoulders as he realized the situation he was currently in.
Because of Enomoto’s voice, all of the eyes that were on Haruki were instantly lost to him.
He had completely lost to Enomoto’s presence.
It was disappointing.
With his shoulders still dropped, Haruki started to chop up the lumpfish.
In the battle between the lumpfish and the Self-Defense Force plus Haruki, the latter would be the winner.
But when it came to the Self-Defense Force versus Haruki, the Self-Defense Force was the clear victor.
Haruki could never get that feeling of having a strong presence back.
“…Ugh! And I thought I was standing out for once!!”
As he shed tears, Haruki glared at the lumpfish.
If only the lumpfish had a little less vitality than it had…
“What an amazing presence!”
“Air’s presence is wonderful!”
“No other adventurer has such a great presence!”
Haruki felt as if he had been shot down while everyone was looking at him.
Thinking that, all he could do was let out a sigh.
Though it made no sense to blame the lumpfish for that.
He could just turn into a delicious meal later. Then it’d be able to make up for being partly responsible of robbing Haruki of his moment of brilliance.
After the battle was over, Haruki realized his current situation and walked up to the Self-Defense Force.
Haruki had been kill-stealing the monster.
Kill-stealing was the act of an unrelated third-party to attack a monster while it is already fighting other adventurers.
It was said that experience points were basically distributed depending on how much each person that participated in the battle reduced a monster’s vitality.
For that reason, kill-stealing was considered a heinous act by adventurers, as it was the same as robbing them of experience points.
Haruki had only done so in order to help the Self-Defense Force members, who had been cornered by the lumpfish.
But if he hadn’t intervened, maybe the Self-Defense Forces would have been able to deal more damage, thus earning more experience points at the end.
The Self-Defense Force would probably understand that it was a desperate situation.
They wouldn’t blame him. But still, it would be polite of him to apologize for kill-stealing.
“Um… sorry for kill-stealing.”
Haruki approached Enomoto, who seemed to be the one in charge of the operation, and bowed his head apologetically.
However, Enomoto did not notice Haruki at all, and was checking the condition of his men.
Enomoto simply walked past Haruki, who had still not raised his head, while giving people instructions.
There were some serious injuries, so tending to the injured was now top priority.
His hands were already full, so there wasn’t much Haruki could do about it.
Yeah, nothing I can do about it.
But it wasn’t just Enomoto.
Everyone else seemed to be busy moving about, so there wasn’t much Haruki could do about–
With tears running down his eyes under his mask, Haruki ran for the exit of the Dungeon Lord’s room as if trying to escape from the situation.