The Flipside of “Nothing Is Going to Happen” Is Something Will Definitely Happen
The place they led me to play the match was the stadium outside the fortress.
“Let’s play the match here.”
“This stadium is pretty simple, it may look like an old dojo from the outside, but on the inside, it’s just the ground and there are no seats.”
What is it with this lazy construction?
“There’s nothing here.”
“Every time you have a match, the interior is destroyed, so this is just right.”
Ouka supplemented what I had already seen. Is it better to think that way?
“Is it going to be that extreme?”
“There may appear a lot of different youkai. We don’t know what could happen.”
So this is what Ouka meant. Contrary to humans, youkai’s differences are not only those of gender. However, I took another look and there definitely wasn’t anything. I can only see a torch to turn on the light.
And an enshrined, white, strange rock’s presence in the back.
“What is that?”
“That is a rock to seal the beasts the Gods used to fight.”
Ouka replied while looking at the rock.
“When they were being persecuted by humans, all of a sudden, divine messengers called themselves Shiki’s Beasts and appeared in front of the youkai. “We are commanded by the gods, these are going to help you, youkai.” These beasts started fighting against the humans and have helped youkai several times.”
“In our case, that would be called heroes.”
The Black Princess added to Ouka’s explanation. Gods’ lives, they’d start thinking about Metron right away but, she was probably referring to the Gods that were from the start on this earth. I read a story in my mail before, that the Gods from that time are still alive.
“I wonder why they had to seal those heroes?”
“That is a mystery.”
That was the part that interested me, but Ouka didn’t seem to know.
“One day, all of a sudden, they said: “we stopped hearing the Gods’ will. If we hear it again, we’ll be awake once more. Until then, don’t bother trying to wake us.” And so, Shiki was sealed as well. Even now, there are three seals apart from this one.”
So they stopped hearing Gods’ will. Probably, that was when these Gods’ died. All of a sudden, communication with the Gods stopped, and they no longer knew what to do, so they decided to sleep and wait for the Gods’ signal again. Even if it’s never coming… This is all speculation without basis, but I think it doesn’t differ much from reality.
“You’re very well informed.”
“It’s known as a fairy tale that everyone has heard nowadays.”
“I get it, not so many people could actually see it.”
After I said that, the Black Princess took a step ahead and faced me.
“Let’s end that story for now. Shall we start immediately? You two, gather at the center.”
Urged by the Black Princess, Kurema and I went to the middle of the ring. As we faced each other, Kurema glared at me again.
“I don’t know how strong he is, but I have great expectations.”
“What, all of a sudden?”
“Chatting and getting along so well with Ouka suits you well!”
Is he an adolescent in high school? Kurema spat out his mind, and he seems to be displeased to see that I’m able to chat normally with Ouka. Because he can’t do it.
“If you want to get along well with Ouka, I’d highly suggest you stop peeping, to begin with, that’d push anyone away.”
“You’re the problem, to begin with!!”
“Then quit the complaints before the match. You look like a kid.”
“Huh?! You sure make me angry!!”
“Listen up, I’m going to start. Enough words.”
The truth is, Kurema seems to be irritated by what I said, but the Black Princess proceeded despite that.
“Do you agree? All the basics are allowed in a match, but killing is not allowed. Surrendering or fainting, whichever. Okay?”
The Black Princess announced the rules, and Kurema and I agreed.
“In that case, I’ll go flying towards Ouka and the others, and when I land, the match will start. Are you ready?”
“Anytime is fine.”
“I’ll certainly win!”
Both were ready, the Black Princess said “Well, do your best” and spreading her wings flew towards Ouka and the others. I used “Pentagram” on my opponent. He has about the same power as Ouka’s. Actually, how much is that? Intrigued by Kurema’s power, I used “Judgment”.
Kurema, Male, Flame Bird Tribe Lv 115
Magical Power 6200/6200
Transformation, Fire Essence, Hint Sense, Intuition, Quick Flame War, Final Flame.
There are some interesting facts, but regarding his power, he seems to be a little higher than Ouka’s. It doesn’t really matter much, this is not a fight to the death, so I don’t have any intention to remove any skill. I was a little interested, but in the meantime, the Black Princess rose up in the air as if drawing an arc and went towards Ouka and the others. I was watching Kurema’s status and then quickly returned my gaze at him, as the Black Princess’ toes touched the ground.
Almost at the same time, Kurema shouted, he prepared his posture, pressing his hands together as if he was praying.
At that moment, my field of vision was stained red. All of sudden, there was an explosion where I was standing, covering the area in black smoke. The ground was scorched in black, and I, who was supposed to be in the center of that explosion, couldn’t be seen anywhere. No, no, I didn’t expect an explosion right from the start. My movement… was a little bit slow right there. Just before the explosion, I moved backward, but I was immediately chased. Even before the black smoke disappeared, a flame pillar aimed at me appeared. I twisted my body and avoided the bright red flames by a hair’s breadth. When I had the flames so near my body I couldn’t help but let out “Hot!”, and the flames disappeared as Kurema came towards me.
What is that? A claw? No, a chicken’s feet? Looking at it, the right arm changed into something that looked like a chicken’s feet, it turned into a sharp claw. Did he use the youkai’s characteristic skill “Transformation”? Kurema used the hand’s claw and swung at me. His movements are good, but he’s very easy to read. I quickly gripped the wrist of his hand coming at me and clenched my fist for a counterattack. My power is overwhelmingly higher than his. The hand I grabbed couldn’t do a single extra move, and I hit him with my other hand. However, my fist was firmly caught by Kurema’s hand at the last moment. Is it because he used “Intuition”? He followed me with his gaze and his hand moved instinctively. We ended up in a posture where both were grasping each other’s hand, and he gripped mine even firmer.
In an instant, I could feel something very hot from Kurema’s hand. His body spouted flames just as he shouted. The red burning flames surrounded Kurema in an instant, and engulfed me as I was at point-blank range. I felt an immense heat all through my body and reflexively released Kurema’s hand, and took distance using “Transition”. I never expected he would create flames from his own body. That’s why I burnt my hand. Kurema glared at me in astonishment as I healed my hand and his flames disappeared.
“You evaded it pretty good. I thought it was the end, but how do you keep disappearing?”
“I’m good at teleportation.”
It’s my best magic spell expertise.
“You seem to be an expert in flames.”
“So what if I am?”
That’s what I saw in his status, and I can see it at a glance. Kurema doesn’t seem to care about what I said, but my hand is now healed. If my opponent can only use fire, it’s pretty simple.
“Oh, I have no hidden intentions. I was just thinking about a single thing…”
Now with my left hand fully healed,
“I was thinking that mastering only a single attribute must be really though”
I created a water sphere. And then, a lot of spheres like the first one I created appeared floating in the air surrounding Kurema and me. If your opponent uses fire, then water is the obvious choice. They were about the size of a volleyball. The spheres were increasing in number and in the blink of an eye, Kurema was completely surrounded by them.
“Adding water to the fire? Very simple.”
“It’s very effective.”
As Kurema watched himself being surrounded by water spheres, he carefreely murmured something. I was surprised at Kurema not showing a single panicked gesture, but this is going to get fatal anyway.
“It would be better if you don’t get touched by those things. It’d be very bad.”
I warned Kurema but it seems it was too late. Kurema touched a water sphere with his hand. Kurema realized he was hit, but contrary to my expectations, nothing seemed to have changed in him, however, little by little he noticed some kind of discomfort.
“W-what is this?”
Kurema knitted his brows in discomfort as he looked at the hand that had touched the water sphere.
Just by touching Kurema’s hand, the water sphere won’t detach itself. While somewhat confused, Kurema tried to remove the water sphere from his hand, but there wasn’t a single hint that it would come off. Perhaps he gradually understood the dread of these water spheres? He tried to persistently peel it off from his hand, but the water wouldn’t detach. Just by making a splish-splash sound the water will return to its original form. While he was doing that, other water spheres adhered to his leg, hips, and abdomen, sticking all-around Kurema’s body.
“It’s useless, once the water touches you, it won’t detach no matter what. Of course, this doesn’t affect me.”
Even if I touch the water spheres in front of me with my index finger, it doesn’t adhere to me and just keeps floating and bouncing in the air. As time passes, the water covers you completely. It’d be easier if you just surrender instead of entering in panic. When Kurema saw that, he showed a bitter expression, but that was only for an instant.
“Okay… Sure, I can use only fire but that doesn’t mean water is my weak point.”
After a short interval, Kurema tightened his arms strongly and dropped his waist, in a posture as if to make an effort.
From Kurema’s body emerged vigorous flames as he screamed with all his strength. As if the flames aligned with Kurema’s attitude a pillar of flames appeared, and it was notoriously different than before. This time it was stronger. His body was covered in flames, and so the water spheres that were attached to his body started turning into steam and evaporated in the blink of an eye. It disappeared so fast, Kurema’s flames must be at a very high temperature. He faced me as he hit the ground and headed towards where I was. Has he forced his way out? As he kept evaporating the floating water spheres being thrust at him, I stayed in the same place and prepared my posture to fight back. I expected at least this. Kurema approached me as the floating water spheres kept chasing him.
However, that alone wouldn’t stop Kurema. Innumerable floating water spheres hit Kurema several times but just kept evaporating. The steam evaporated and looked as smoke as it rose, until the point we couldn’t see each other, but Kurema’s vigor wouldn’t stop. Those sure are extremely hot flames. After some more meters, when he’s about to reach me, the steam’s fog will let me cut through. However, no matter how hot it is, there are limits. Kurema crossed the fog and headed directly towards my position, but he didn’t find me there, he found an extremely huge lump of water.
“To fight fire, water is the obvious choice, right?”
Kurema got confused with the wall of the water in front of him and tried to stop, but that wasn’t easy with the vigor he was rushing there. He entered the water as if he was absorbed with great force. As soon as he entered, I could hear the sound of evaporation, and a good amount of water became steam, but that amount decreased gradually, holding Kurema completely inside the water. And now Kurema is locked up in a huge water prison. He tried to desperately get out but he was only flapping his arms and legs, and the flames from before are extinguishing. I’m telling you, once you touch this water you can’t detach yourself. As long as you’re inside the water, no matter how much you swim or try to escape, the water will adapt to it and keep sticking to you. That water is almost like being in the middle of the sea where you cannot escape. Even after the flames were extinguished, Kurema tried to evaporate the water, but the only thing he could do was create some bubbles.
“You should stop. You can’t evaporate the water even with all your strength, and I can keep producing water. The only thing you’re doing is increasing our differences even more.”
No matter how hot the flames may be, it’s impossible to beat an amount of water that is almost unlimited. His body also gets cold in the water, no wonder he can’t create flames. Kurema pressed his hand against his mouth in a seemingly painful expression. This is checkmate. Perhaps he’s going to surrender now or is he going to hold his breath until he can’t do it anymore? It’s only a matter of time until I win. In these circumstances, no matter who looks at it, it’s clear who’s going to win this match. However, at this point, I should’ve already noticed something. Even if this is a match where we can’t kill each other, they hate us. I wonder why no one is coming to stop me when their partner is in trouble… And even when the match’s winner is already obvious, they are still watching without changing their expressions, huh? They look as though the winner had not been decided yet. At any time now, Kurema won’t be able to hold his breath anymore. And soon, he opened his eyes.
I thought it was already over, but Kurema’s body started shining unexpectedly. Wrapped in light, Kurema’s body started transforming. Eh… Perhaps this is…
“That thing I saw…?”
To be honest, I didn’t expect him to use this… To think he would use “Transformation”. He changed his shape, and expanded twice his original size, until his head and both hands pierced through the water and stopped there. Wow!! The light disappeared, and what came in front of my eyes was a Red Bird. He made a shrill chirp and spread his wings, and in this form, it doesn’t look like Kurema at all, it is elegant and resplendent. His wings emanate fire powder, and the hot air can be felt from here as if his entire body was made of fire. At the moment I could see Kurema’s real form, I noticed. This is not just a bird. A crimson-winged youkai. A superior fantasy creature. And that’s when I recalled the Tribe I saw in his status before. Flame Bird Tribe… Or it can be called Fire-Bird.
“Is it a Phoenix?”
I murmured so but my words reached Kurema’s who was now a crimson bird. Do we need something like that in this world? I was surprised to know that it existed, but no way I would only say just that.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to show my true form to a human opponent but I had to do it.”
His voice and manner of speaking are the same, but the atmosphere is completely different. His intimidating appearance makes me more cautious.
“My flames now won’t even have a comparison with my previous ones.”
Kurema said so and created a vortex of fire around him. The flames surrounding Kurema became so hot around the middle that evaporated the enormous water sphere around his body in an instant. Those are very different from the previous ones. Is it possible to increase your power when transforming? The water became steam in the blink of an eye, Kurema flapped his wings and fluttered in the air.
“Now it’s my turn.”
Yes, say those things now because then you’ll be done. I can feel his high temperature from here and my forehead is sweaty, I’ll take his back with “Transition” as my first move.
“Explosion Fist Knuckle”
The fist covered in flames will surely seize Kurema’s back and pierce it. But at the moment I reached Kurema’s body, my fist was damaged by very high temperature.
His face seemed reflexively distorted, my fist collided with Kurema’s back and caused an explosion, and his body stumbled to the front.
Damn, I missed it. I covered my burnt fist but I couldn’t hide the discomfort in my face. His body is at an extremely high temperature, I feel like I hit a heated stone. It didn’t have any effect at all. The moment I touched him, I withdrew my hand. Once I descended to the ground and distanced myself, I realized my expectations were right.
“Huh?! That’s why I told you!! It won’t work!”
As I expected, Kurema recovered immediately and turned around. Even if this technique wasn’t effective, I can use a lot of them. And then, I prepared my posture, this time I’ll use “Transition” to appear right at Kurema’s side and use fire on my legs.
“If that’s what you think, try to endure it once more.”
I drew back my leg and swung it aiming at Kurema’s face.
“Explosive Kick Shoot”
Immediately after my feet hit Kurema’s face, an explosion occurred.The explosion sound roared, and Kurema was pushed backward without resistance. Unlike fists, it takes time for the heat to pass through shoes. If I was my old self, the one I was at the time I met Lina, this would be a hard fight. However, as I am right now with my power, our difference is too much. As long as I can hit him for at least an instant, I’ll win. So if I keep doing this, it’ll be over when he can’t get up anymore. I wonder how that’ll happen. I thought the flown-off Kurema was about to crash into a wall, but something unexpected happened. At the other side in the direction Kurema was being thrown, there wasn’t a wall or the ground, it was the sealed, enshrined rock.
When I realized, it was already too late. Perhaps everyone who was present there thought the same thing. Kurema crashed into the sealed rock and smashed it, and it completely broke into pieces. I wonder if such coincidences really exist. Kurema seems to have fainted on top of the pieces of the rock, as he isn’t moving at all. With this, is it okay to say I won…? I’d like to hear someone else judgment too, but the Black Princess and the others seem to be dumbfounded and petrified at the broken rock. That rock has sealed the beasts that served the Gods. So that means that if it’s broken… I had a bad feeling so I stared at the rock for a while, but I couldn’t see anything strange. … Nothing seems to happen. I’d like someone else to keep an eye on it, but the place has become completely silent since that rock was smashed. Ouka and the others seem to still be confused by this situation, but the Black Princess was slowly approaching Kurema’s position.
“… Nothing has occurred, huh…”
Is she thinking the same thing I did? She murmured something as she looked at the crushed rock.
“I’d like to see it…”
It has passed some time since it broke already, but I haven’t seen any change or felt anything strange. If that’s the case, then it means that there weren’t such beasts, to begin with? You could conclude that from this situation. Then I’d take the confirmation from the Black Princess.
“By the way, is it okay to say I’ve won?”
“Well, you’re right…”
The Black Princess nodded when she saw Kurema fainted. After hearing those words, I felt relieved and took a breath, and Ouka rushed towards me.
“Mr. Night Rabbit, are you okay? Are you injured?”
“I’m as you can see…”
I’ve already healed my burns in the middle of the fight. I showed my arm to Ouka who was worried about me, and the others approached Kurema.
“I still can’t believe the sealed rock was broken…”
“I didn’t think it would break that easily”
“No one would want to break it…”
While looking at the ruins of the rock below Kurema, Midori, Shirairi, and Tokuso showed up. They approached that place but ignored him. I don’t know if that’s because they believe in him, it’s strange, the three of them didn’t mind about him, but after a while, Midori finally paid attention to Kurema’s state.
“Are you okay, Kurema?”
“He looks like he’s done.”
“He should be fine with just something like that.”
The three of them took a look at Kurema. Tokuso created an ice block out of thin air as if it was nothing and dropped it on top of Kurema’s head.
“Wake up, soon.”
At the moment the block of ice touched his head the evaporation didn’t happen this time, and it was effective, Kurema slowly opened his eyes.
“… My whole body hurts”
“You were hit over and over, that’s why”
The condition of his body and Tokuso approaching him showed the fact that he had lost. Kurema returned to his human form and rested on his back.
“He finished you in a showy way.”
“Shut up. I’m not even that done yet…”
“That’s not what I mean, look at this.”
Tokuso pointed down and Kurema looked down confused, and his face turned pale in an instant.
“Eh… How? What?!”
Noticing the white rock he had crushed below him, Kurema forgot his pain and jumped off that place in shock. Tokuso and the others seem to be amazed at Kurema shouting “Hey, did I do this?!”. Well, he seems to be alright at least. The Black Princess remained silent, staring still at the crushed rock and thinking, so for the time being, I don’t need to keep monitoring it. That end wasn’t pleasant though.
“Well, now we can go home.”
I was already looking from the distance and took a breath of relief, and all of a sudden, I felt some presence looking at my back.
All of a sudden, I felt a gaze on my back, sharp as if it were to pierce me. But I turned around and the only thing I could see where someone could be hiding was a wall.
“Someone is on my back, now—”
“Black Princess!! Black Princess!!”
Soon after opening his mouth, a soldier hurried inside the entry door, in a seemingly panic state.
“A youkai has appeared on the outskirts of the town!!”
The soldier said that, and I realized in an instant…
Ah, it seems I won’t be able to go home yet.