(We should have shown a considerable combat strength back there didn't we?)
Ren whispered to Riona who returned to the form of high school girl.
(And yet, the boss of the pirates called us to come before him with condescending att.i.tude. Does this mean that the other side also 『has confidence in their skill』?)
(Perhaps it's that, or perhaps it's someone so foolish that they can't even recognize the difference in strength between both sides.)
Riona also answered with a whispering voice.
(I hope that it's the latter but, this is the mysterious pirate king who introduced very strange future gadget. We can't be optimistic.)
They were inside the gigantic s.h.i.+p named Kairyuuou.
The gigantic s.h.i.+p that rivaled even the Noah's ark that could be filled with a pair of every kind of animal surprisingly had a structure where small s.h.i.+p could be moored at the extremely long hull's side. There were even stairs set up to climb from the s.h.i.+p's bottom until the deck.
The two of them secretly talked while climbing those stairs and feeling the sea breeze on their body.
The one guiding them was the pirate A in white kerchief who addressed Ren before this.
The first reason why he accepted the invitation that he even asked Riona to dispel her transformation was simply because he was interested with the pirate's boss called Byakuren Ou. The other reason was because 『it was nice to have it easy to be led until the presence of the last boss』.
If the discussion and negotiation broke down, then they could just simply move to battle.
Both Ren and Riona weren't restrained. They also didn't get weapon pointed at them. Byakuren Ou who allowed that might have a lot of confidence in his own strength just as they thought.
(Thinking back this is mythological world huh.)
(The true ident.i.ty of the pirate king is a G.o.d from somewhere……that's a likely development.)
Both he and his partner braced themselves.
They would soon arrive at the top of the stairs. There would be just a bit more until they reached the deck of the giant s.h.i.+p.
*DON DON DON DON. DON DON DON DON DON. DON DON DON DON DON──.*
The volume of the soul-stirring melody that was being played since some time ago was getting louder each time they took a step on the stairs. The melody was continuing to play without pause until Ren and Riona reached this point.
Ren called at their guide who was right in front of them.
「This music, is it a music to welcome us?」
「Fool. All of this music is dedicated for the holy Byakuren Ou. Don't get conceited.」
The guide didn't even look back and replied unkindly.
It seemed that the pirates didn't even give any consideration to the man of super acceleration or the fire bird girl. Ren smiled wryly while Riona's eyes opened wide in surprise.
It seemed someone at their level wasn't a match against the presence of Byakuren Ou!
──Finally they finished climbing up the stairs from the s.h.i.+p's bottom.
They could look over above the astonis.h.i.+ngly s.p.a.cious deck.
The aforementioned band, the thousand of pirates in orderly line, the extremely extravagant tent. They could confirm all those things that they saw from above through a s.h.i.+kigami's eyes with their own naked eyes this time.
「Ah. That, it's the people that Rokuharsan pushed into the sea.」
There were around three hundred pirates who were soaked wet.
They didn't join the lines of their comrades. The "fellows who were done in" by Ren were gathered into one group. They were lined up neatly just as expected, although the faces of them the defeated group were gloomy.
Ren and Riona were led by the guide into that and advanced forward steadily.
They walked until an emptied s.p.a.ce at the middle of the tent, band, and pirates. There the pirate guide suddenly kneeled in a flash with *bam!* sound.
Ahead of where he was bowing his head toward was that extravagant tent──.
「O owner of wisdom without equal and valor that smash even the stars of heaven! The holy Byakuren Ou! Once more I swear my loyalty to your august self that is overflowing with benevolence and splendor!」
The guide prostrated while──banging his head right on the floor.
*Bang!* His forehead hit the deck's wooden material.
「He's bleeding there……」
「That's because he made a nice sound from the headb.u.t.t……」
The two earthlings reflexively drew back.
The white kerchief on the head of Mr. guide who head-b.u.t.ted the floor had redness spreading on it. The other pirates were of course being silent during all this.
The area was ruled by silence. But, a voice finally resounded.
「Guest's guide, your effort is appreciated!」
That was the voice of the girl right beside the tent.
She was a lovely girl but her voice was loud. And above all it was a beautiful voice, like the ringing of a bell. Perhaps the girl was Byakuren Ou?──the moment Ren was suspecting that, the girl with beautiful voice quickly entered the tent.
Two or three minutes pa.s.sed.
The girl with beautiful voice came out once more and then spoke with a really clear voice.
「I shall convey the voice of Byakuren Ou! Before the talk with the guest, the treatment of the defeated will be decided! You people who were unsightly defeated, do you understand that you have stained the authority of Byakuren Ou!?」
「But of course!」
A young man who seemed to be the leader of the soaked wet pirates stepped forward.
He faced the girl of beautiful voice in front of the tent. Looking carefully, this girl alone was clad in white long garment that looked like a gown. The bottom of her garment was fluttering like a skirt.
「It seems her role is to convey the message from Byakuren Ou. Her role is like a priestess or a committee chairman.」
「So the person himself is inside that tent……」
The conversation of the pirates were continuing even while the two were whispering between themselves.
The leader of the landing force who stepped forward was questioned by the girl of beautiful voice.
「Then what will you do!?」
「Like this! This sin shall be atoned with the blood of their leader, me! I pray that this fault won't affect the others as well as their family!」
The leader raised his voice in answer──right after that.
The soaked wet pirate leader drew out a short sword from his waist, placed the copper blade on his own neck, and pulled it to the side decisively──.
*Pshew!* Blood sprayed. He cut his own neck.
The body of the pirate who committed suicide fell with a thud. Ren was taken aback from the bottom of his heart.
「He, he killed himself……」
「A suicide in order to make up for his sin of being defeated by us……. My goodness.」
Riona was also astonished.
The other pirates were watching this scene as though there was nothing wrong about it.
The girl with beautiful voice retreated inside the tent again and then she came out after a while.
「I shall announce the decision of Byakuren Ou! The blood of redemption has certainly been accepted. Everything is forgiven! Rejoice, all of you!」
The moment the girl with beautiful voice announced that, every one of the thousand pirates and band raised their voice, thrust up their arm, and exploded in great joy.
「OOOOOOOH! Deeply merciful Byakuren Ou, banzai!」
「The one who grant hope to great sinner such as us! Byakuren Ou-sama!」
「O king! King among kings! The victorious one who know now defeat!」
Ren and Riona exchanged gaze in front of the frenzied ma.s.s.
To think that they would witness this kind of sight──. They whispered to each other.
「This is fanaticism. I heard that the victim of domestic violence or power hara.s.sment will run to fanatic act in order to forcefully convince themselves to accept the awfulness of the perpetrator……」
「This is a mood that we can't keep up with isn't it……」
「This Byakuren Ou is one outrageous tyrant……」
It was only the two of them who were calm on the deck of this giant s.h.i.+p.
However, the wild enthusiasm immediately settled down. The moment the girl with beautiful voice quietly raised his right hand, the frenzied people shut their mouth tightly.
The girl's voice was raised once more within the silence.
「Next I shall inform the two guests! Byakuren Ou has spoken. The strength of both of you are quite something. Therefore, serve me──」
「Serve? You mean becoming a subordinate?」
Ren grinned and took a step forward.
「I don't wanna. If I'm going to join, then it will be to run this pirate group together with Byakuren Ou-san──I'm not going to accept if not as joint partner. Or if you don't want that, then I'll be the new leader and Byakuren Ou-san can be the vice captain!」
「And then, I'll be the prime minister or the archbishop.」
Riona also made a similar grin.
「That's what they called the right person in the right place. 『Serve me』? In your dream!」
「Besides, there's no way we can become a subordinate to someone who we don't even know the face of!」
The two cheerfully spoke sharply.
They had seen through really easily that the other party wasn't someone who could be talked with. In that case, it would be pointless to probe each other's intention.
Then──the girl with beautiful voice retreated into the tent again.
It seemed she loyally went to listen to Byakuren Ou's reply. And then, she immediately came out.
「In that case dear guests. Display your capability!」
Ren tilted his head hearing the strange message. The girl with beautiful voice continued further.
「You are the equal of this Byakuren Ou──if that's what you claimed, then display your strength instead of just words. We shall talk after that, that is the words of the king!」
*Zun!* Right after that, a wooden doll fell from the sky.
It suddenly appeared from empty air. Just like how when Riona summoned something using onmyoudou. The puppet was also big.
Its height was around two and a half meter.
It stepped on the deck with two legs and stood imposingly.
Yes. It was more or less humanoid. However its shape was simple, a torso like thick log with a head like a bucket, and slightly short arms and legs attached to the torso. Attached on its wrists was just a simple globe. It wasn't even a fist.
Riona commented in a low voice.
「The design is like the first Iron Man suits turned even more shabbier.」
「I saw something like this in kung fu movie a long time ago. The t.i.tle was something like 『Shaolin Temple Wooden Man Fist』.」
Ren also spoke his impression that was formed exactly because he was a modern man with discerning eyes.
However the two immediately got impressed. The wooden doll with half-hearted design suddenly unleashed a practice punch with a sharp movement.
*Shuu, shuu!* The sound of fist cutting through air was powerful.
In addition it performed a magnificent upper spinning kick that brilliantly swept through the air.
This powerful and flowing shadow boxing looked like kenpo's kata. Even Ren who had moderate amount of hand-to-hand fighting rarely watched something like this.
The girl with beautiful voice spoke coldly.
「This wooden man is provided by Byakuren Ou's secret art! First you shall take care of this!」
「Secret art? What does that mean!?」
「It seems Byakuren Ou-san is a magician like me! She performed magic of creation type and produced this wooden golem!」
Almost at the same time with Riona's yell, the wooden puppet kicked on the ground.
It closed the distance to Ren to zero with a speed like a gale. It punched with a right straight!2
Rokuhara Ren possessed the authority of G.o.ddess Nemesis.
No matter how masterful the wooden puppet in hand-to-hand fighting, naturally he was able to deal with it easily. That was how it should be. However, while avoiding the enemy's right straight,
Ren was shocked. He circled to the wooden puppet's right side with a clockwise footwork and smoothly dodged 『the right fist replacement globe』 that wasn't even shaped like had.
But the next moment, the stretching arm and fist of the wooden puppet vanished.
Ren certainly saw it while gazing in astonishment.
The vanished wooden arm appeared once more in just an instant later. The arm that was completely extended because it was just right after it launched a straight punch was approaching toward Ren that was right beside it!
Perhaps it was a variation of backhand blow.
Ren realized. This was a combo technique.
A straight punch was released. Even if it was dodged the puppet rotated its body with its right arm still stretched, in order to hit the nimble opponent using forearm and back of the hand that was swung right to the side──
Ren immediately squatted and dodged the puppet's right arm that should hit his head.
G.o.d, hero, G.o.dslayer. An enemy that wasn't any of the mentioned was making an attack that worried him and he dodged with desperation. It was his first time experiencing that since obtaining Nemesis's authority.
Ren who was still in the middle of super acceleration stared sharply at the wooden puppet while still crouching.
From here on he would ascertain──what was going on!
The puppet launched a follow up kick like it was only natural.
It swung down the h.e.l.l of its left leg like an axe toward the head of Ren who was on the ground.
However, this was strange. Rokuhara Ren was faster than sound when in the middle of his acceleration. Even though it would be only natural to lose sight of him with his G.o.dspeed movement that was faster than mach speed──.
Ren leaped backward using only the spring of his knee. He kept crouching.
It was an extremely unnatural movement. However, his inherent explosive instantaneous force and G.o.ddess Nemesis's escaping legs lightly brought his slim body to a meter behind.
When he landed on the ground, he stretched both his legs and deftly stood up.
It was a splendid movement that was like a ch.o.r.eographed dance. But, of course he was adlibbing it.
「Actually I can escape until the edge of the s.h.i.+p but……」
He intentionally stayed at close range in order to 『look』 properly at the wooden puppet's 『wooden man fist』. Sure enough, the opponent's movement was novel and mysterious.
The left leg that should be swung down to the ground as an axe kick──
Was rapidly approaching Ren's face from the side already when he noticed. The top of the foot that was like wooden clog was approaching fast toward his face. It was an upper spinning kick.
Ren carefully observed.
Originally he should be able to see 『the leg that was used to perform axe kick hitting the floor and then launching a high kick with the same leg』. If the opponent was a prodigy of kicking technique then 『a G.o.dly skill of the moment the axe kick was dodged, the leg that was still in the air pranced up into a high kick』 was also possible.
However, he was completely unable to witness that kind of switching motion in the middle.
It was like a poorly done animation. The progression of the action wasn't properly drawn and only the first and the last pictures were shown, so the movement looked terribly sketchy──.
「Something like this is really the first time for me!」
This time he leaped five meter backward and dodged the wooden puppet's high kick.
The technique was certainly extremely novel. But it wasn't at the level that couldn't be handled with Ren's overwhelming speed and escaping legs.
「That's if the opponent is this puppet though……」
Ren muttered and stopped his legs.
*Zun-. Zun-.* The wooden puppet approached with heavy footsteps. It swung up its right foot and tried to sink its toes into Ren's torso with a sharp front kick──
「I wish for the judgment of justice right here.」
He performed the retributive judgment right after he broke into a run with his full speed.
While he pa.s.sed beside the wooden puppet quickly, his right hand's middle finger and index finger touched the torso that was like a log. The counter activated with that.
All the damage from the punches and kicks that were unleashed until now came down on the puppet itself.
*Bam! Bam! Bam!*
The wooden doll's face, chest, and torso, the three vital spots were dented. Cracks spread to its whole body from there and it was smashed to pieces.
Ren sprinted without care of that. A girl yelled behind him.
「Oo! The wooden man who was bestowed the fist technique from Byakuren Ou is──!?」
It was the surprised voice of that beautifully voiced girl.
When Ren heard that, he was already──inside the tent.
No one was even able to stop his G.o.dspeed dash and he succeeded in sneaking until right before the leader Byakuren Ou.
「As expected from Riona, you're perceptive.」
A small blue swallow also flew into the tent.
It was the transformed Riona. She who was one in body and soul with Ren read his intention and wariness and chased behind him.
「You'll directly face the mysterious big boss Byakuren Ou. There's no way I can stay out of that.」
「Even the gatekeeper cla.s.s monster was that kind of tricky thing after all. I can't even imagine what kind of absurd fellow the person himself is.」
He conversed with the blue swallow that perched on his left shoulder.
And then, Ren was already feeling a chill. Even though he was infiltrating with super speed that was faster than even sound, there was no one inside the tent.
「Even though there should be no time for him to escape and hide」
「After all Rokuharsan destroyed the wooden doll and entered the tent almost at the same time. Did he predict it beforehand──」
「Or he is someone who can move in the same speed like me……」
The inside of the tent was also extravagant like its outside appearance.
Several beautiful and glossy furs were laid down. Every single one was surely high cla.s.s items. There was even one with striped pattern of black and yellow that seemed to be a tiger's skin.
There were also a great amount of treasures and gold bars placed inside wooden boxes.
There were also weapons like sword, spear, lance, bow and arrow, etc. Unlike the low-grade stuff that was wielded by small fries, the weapons' sheath and workmans.h.i.+p were decorated with jewels.
However, they couldn't find any human or G.o.dly existence here──.
「Don't tell me there was no one here from the beginning?」
When Ren tilted his head, he heard a cry.
There was a black cat right before him. However, he didn't know since when it was there. Even though he had been looking around restlessly inside the tent all this time and confirmed that there was n.o.body but him and Riona.
Riona whispered with her blue swallow form.
「Is this cat Byakuren Ou? As expected there is no way that's true……」
「Of course, little girl. However, I was bestowed with the great role of conveying the words of Byakuren Ou.」
The black cat spoke like it was only natural. Ren and Riona was taken aback.
「Why are you shocked? Aren't you two also using several mystical arts?」
「I, I can't say anything back to that……」
Riona who perched on Ren's shoulder as a blue swallow muttered awkwardly.
She leaped down from his shoulder and returned to the form of high school girl in a flash. Ren stood beside his partner and asked frankly.
「Why won't that Byakuren Ou-san meet us?」
「That's only natural. You're disrespectful. Listen well. Even us the disciples of ByakurentouWhite Lotus Faction cannot see and have audience with the king directly. For such great person with that kind of status to directly interact with the common ma.s.ses──even if the heaven and earth are reversed it is just not done.」
「That's a sense of values that is hard to accept for modern earth people isn't it.」
The two j.a.panese expressed their dissatisfaction.
However the black cat didn't care and continued talking its unique argument dispa.s.sionately.
「If someone actually directly see the king with their own eyes, that person ought to gouge out their own eyes by themselves as the proof of redemption. Those who heard the king's voice ought to sc.r.a.pe off their own ears. The exception will only be our faction's senior va.s.sals or the priestesses……」
「Now I want to try meeting him.」
Ren grinned after hearing the black cat's tyrannical words.
「Let us meet with that great king by all means.」
「Yes. Even the testing wooden doll got easily crushed by my goshujin-sama. He should have enough qualification to be allowed to meet that king face to face.」
Riona also spoke out for Ren. The black cat pondered 「Hmmmm……」.
And then──a new voice came from the sky.
(Certainly……you two have overcome the trial I a.s.signed.)
It was a beautiful voice of a woman, that even sounded musical to the ear.
Even though the voice was only speaking words, it could cause them to mistake the voice as the elegant song of heaven.
'Am I perhaps hearing the voice of a celestial maiden right now?' Ren thought of such thing. Riona too was making a surprised face and exchanged glance with him.
It seemed that even the reincarnation of Yatagarasu was harboring the same impression.
When they noticed, the black cat was limply lying down. It fainted with its white of eyes showing, foam coming out from its mouth. It had completely lost consciousness.
It presented its own life due to its sin of hearing the king's raw voice──that was how it looked like.
The resplendent 『voice』 was still coming down.
(As a reward, I shall permit the two of you to listen to my voice. However, you two have no achievement that merit having an audience with me. That wooden man simply moved by itself when I whimsically shaved a G.o.d tree and formed it into doll……)
「Is that so. Then, I'll manage it somehow from here with my own strength.」
Ren looked up at the ceiling of the tent and declared sharply.
It wasn't just a beautiful voice that came down. There was also a tremendous presence. He was convinced that he would be able to meet the voice's owner without fail if he followed it.
「If I'm able to drag you out or capture you, then it'll be a proof that I've enough strength.」
(How foolish that you intend to challenge this me. However, very well. If you have the resolve to lay down your life──then come.)
The girl outside the tent also had beautiful voice.
But she couldn't be compared with the voice that came from the sky right now. The voice reverberated so clearly and comfortably that it was unimaginable that this voice wasn't the singing voice of a celestial maiden.
However, Ren wasn't permitted the luxury of listening to that voice in ecstasy.
He heard the sound of something hard being flicked.
p.r.i.c.kling fear ran through Ren's spine. His instinct felt it. At this rate he would die. The 『acceleration measure』 that only activated when he was under attack also naturally turned on──
Today he tasted another shock for who knew how many times.3
G.o.ddess Nemesis who skillfully ran around even when chief G.o.d Zeus was pursuing her.
Rokuhara Ren stole that 『escaping legs』, but it wasn't just his legs that were fast. While his authority was activated, he could perceive all movement in slow motion.
Exactly because of that, he was able to visually confirm the strangeness of the 『barrage』 approaching him.
Around two or three hundred white pearls were falling from outside the tent in order to turn Ren into beehive like rapid fire of machine gun.
It should shred Ren into pieces as well as opening a lot of hole in his body along with the tent.
「It's projectile weapon this time! What a person of many tricks!」
Ren rushed out of the tent faster than even sound.
The pirate group's name seemed to be Byakurentou. He rushed out to the deck of the giant s.h.i.+p Kairyuuou where a thousand of the pirates were present and stopped.
The tent he was in until just now was being enveloped in crimson flame. It was Riona's work.
In order to protect herself from the bullet rain of white pearls, she enveloped her girl high school's uniform with flame and burned every bullet flying at her to ash. At the same time she also burned the tent.
In his accelerated state Ren returned to Riona's side as though he appeared from thin air.
Everything inside the tent was neatly annihilated in flame without even leaving any remains to smolder.
「I wonder what was the attack that was like submachine gun just now?」
「The attack used round and small pearls as bullet to turn us into beehive. I don't know how they were fired though.」
Riona and Ren both tilted their head in puzzlement.
If it was really firearm than there would be the rapid fire sound *GAGAGAGAGAGAGAN!* sounding for real just now.
But, there wasn't any sound like that at all. But right after the attack, it felt like they heard the beautiful sound of *Pi──n*…….
That beautiful voice was chuckling. Ren twitched in surprise.
This time it came from behind. He wondered where she was hiding.
(I simply flicked the pearls that were nearby with divine feat of finger bullet. Your understanding of martial arts is lacking if you cannot even see through something like that……)
「Finger bullet──what is that?」
「Perhaps, she means that she flicked the pearls with her finger.」
Riona taught Ren who was perplexed by the wording of the opponent.
「It feels like you will need five hundred fingers if you want to do that kind of rapid fire though……. But, it seems there was that kind of weapon technique at j.a.pan and China in the past. Using coin or pebble as improvised projectile weapon by flicking them using thumb or index finger.」
「Wait a second. Byakuren Ou-san isn't a grand magician?」
「It seemed she breathed life into wooden puppet like a chef making salad in a whim……. But perhaps she actually not only specialize in magic but also in fighting personally──. If I have to make example in RPG terminology then she will be something like magic warrior or paladin.」
The wooden puppet that he defeated before this was certainly a user of superior martial arts.
Ren recalled from hearing Riona's mutter.
「If the one who taught that wooden man fist to that puppet is her, then that might be possible huh……」
「Might? How foolish o young G.o.dslayer.」
Ren went 「!?」 in shudder.
She easily guessed the nature of Rokuhara Ren who still hadn't even introduced himself.
(I don't know what kind of method you used to kill a G.o.d but……. I faced against a G.o.d fair and square, used every martial arts and magic that I learned to the limit, and won. Someone who can win against me in martial arts──doesn't exist anywhere in this world.)
「That means, you're also a G.o.dslayer!?」
「The enemy isn't a G.o.d, but someone like the marquis!」
Ren and Riona were both surprised and exchanged glances.
That was certainly surprising. However it was also a convincing story. After all she was someone who could toy with a G.o.dslayer of G.o.dspeed and the reincarnation of Yatagarasu to this degree.
「Riona. It looks like the opponent is someone that we must give our all against!」
「Roger. I will protect myself by my own, so Rokuharsan please rampage as you please in full speed-」
Riona transformed into a blue swallow once more and escaped to the sky.
On the other hand Byakuren Ou chuckled still without showing herself.
(Fufufufu. As your senior figure in martial arts who stand at far off height, sometimes it's also nice to play around with a youngster like you……. Come at me. However, this game is accompanied by death at every step──begin if you don't mind it even then.)
「This kind of invitation won't come that often, I accept!」
Ren replied without hesitation.
He was in the middle of a journey to rescue Ca.s.sandra. But he had no clue at all to search for her.
He wanted to become acquainted with someone who seemed to know even a little bit about the secret of the G.o.ds and the world of this Sanctuary Hyperborea.
(If my face is seen by you, then it'll be my defeat. Is that alright with you?)
「OK! If I win, I want to talk with you as my reward.」
(Very well. Also I'll say this beforehand.)
Byakuren Ou's beautiful voice contained a severe sharpness.
(The peerless skill that will corner you after this is named 《Muei KyakuShadowless Feet》. It's one of the greatest treasures of the world of martial arts──that I continued to refine for many years even without using the authorities I usurped from G.o.ds. Receive it carefully!)
At this time Ren of course didn't let his guard down.
But he saw a blue swallow flying over above him and thought 「Aa, that's the transformed Riona」. In that instant.
「That's not me, Rokuharsan!」
「The path of tactician is also accompanied with deceptive methods. You're still a novice!」
Ren was taken aback hearing Riona warning him from somewhere in the sky. And then the blue swallow transformed into a human and landed diagonally right behind Ren──it was his blind spot.
Byakuren Ou who he thought wouldn't appear by all means came out!
Ren turned around toward her direction even while feeling shocked.
But, a red clothes suddenly blocked his vision.
A person who seemed to be Byakuren Ou was holding something that seemed like flag or ribbon──anyway it was some kind of cloth that she threw to bash Ren!
There was no way he would die even if he was struck by cloth. His logic was telling him that.
However, his instinct yelled that it was bad news. Ren jumped away using Nemesis's super acceleration and dodged the strike from the cloth. *Bakii-!* That sound thundered.
The deck of Kairyuuou that was. .h.i.t by the cloth broke and a large hole was gouged there──.
「How can a piece of cloth be that powerful!?」
「Of course, it's because of mine martial skill that is without equal. That's a foolish question.」
The beautiful voice that answered him came from behind him once more.
The direction of behind at his diagonal right──it was a position that was Rokuhara Ren's blind spot. Ren gasped and quickly turned to that direction as quick as he could this time.
The red cloth just now attacked him again. It spread out and blocked his field of vision.
「Fufufufu. Even thin silk to adorn the body will become a weapon of a.s.sured victory and certain kill in my hand. Taste with your body the height of Byakuren Ou's martial art!」
「This isn't a joke, I don't even want to taste that!」
G.o.ddess Nemesis's escaping legs, activated──.
Ren leaped aside with a speed that equaled lightning and escaped the red cloth. And then he halted himself rapidly. Ren finally saw the whole figure of Byakuren Ou.
She was female as expected. She was wearing cherry blossom garment that looked similar to a gown.
The armholes of her sleeves and the cuffs that reached until her ankle were fluttering a lot.
In addition she was wearing a scarlet veil on her head. Her face other than her almond eyes was also covered with red cloth so that her bare face couldn't be seen. And yet.
Even without seeing her face, he didn't feel any hesitation at all to guarantee that she was a beauty──
Her bearing was really upright and beautiful that it wouldn't be strange for a lot of men to yell their agreement. But, Ren was focusing at something else.
The red stole wrapped around Byakuren Ou's body.
It was a long and thin piece of cloth with length around two meter. It was a decoration cloth made from thin silk.
And then Byakuren Ou swung the red stole like a whip once more!
Ren started accelerating once more. He dodged the blow from the thin silk that was moving in slow motion in a hair's breadth and then tried to look at his attacker. However, Byakuren Ou wasn't there anymore.
He turned around in his G.o.dspeed.
When he looked behind him with a feeling of surety, Byakuren Ou was there as expected.
For the time being he leaped back with super speed and took a distance of nearly ten meter from her.
「This is the first time someone taken my back.」
The sweat trickling on his back was cold. Ren muttered.
「Since the time I first used Nemesis-san's acceleration measure I've never experienced something like this.」
「Not showing even my shadow to the opponent, much less allowing them to step on it. Muei Kyaku is a peerless technique that embodied such concept. Young G.o.dslayer, fight while closely observing it.」
Byakuren Ou slowly walked near.
Her steps were straight and brazen. The sleeve of her outer garment that looked like gown and the cuff of her lower wear that was like a skirt were fluttering. Her figure that was simply standing and walking was incomparably lovely. Her posture and movement was outstandingly refined.
If the distance was closed like this, then he would be attacked by the cloth again──.
「How are you able to move faster than me……」
「Fufufufu. I'm no match at all against you in speed.」
Ren felt fl.u.s.tered. Byakuren Ou chuckled.
「All of you, users of G.o.dspeed are generally relying only on your speed and doesn't polish your movement……. Although your speed is the fastest but your movement isn't the shortest. There're many wasted movement in it. Your eyes movement and the pacing of your steps are also really clumsy. In my case, I place myself in the right position using the proper method in the right time──. Someone who can do that can toy even with a user of G.o.dspeed……」
Byakuren Ou's words were like puzzle.
However, they made Ren felt like──he had just heard some kind of important hint. Well, he had no leeway to deliberate over it right now though.
Byakuren Ou was approaching his way steadily step by step.
(In any case she is taking my blind spot with amazing footwork and feint. But, it'll be difficult to deal with that right away……)
(Please immediately raise a countermeasure at this kind of time just like in shonen manga.)
His partner's thought was transmitted to him.
Ren also responded with his thought toward her who should have transformed into a swallow.
(I wish that Riona will back me up from the sky though.)
(That's……no matter what I'm trying, the movement of Byakuren Ou is too fast. When she attacked Rokuharsan, somehow it looked like she was vanis.h.i.+ng.)
(She claimed that she is 『slower』 than me though, is she just being humble……)
(If I'm going to do it then I'll have to transform into Yatagarasu. In my normal body I don't think anything I do will work.)
(To make Riona say that, this person is really someone outrageous.)
By the way──
The subordinates of Byakurentou were getting fl.u.s.tered on the deck of the gaint s.h.i.+p Kairyuuou.
「Oo! Our king has descended!」
「Byakuren Ou-sama! Byakuren Ou-sama!」
「No-. We mustn't directly see her figure! We also cannot listen to her voice!」
「Close your eyes! Block your ears too! Also don't you dare speak!」
「Prostrate! Anyway just prostrate!」
Like that the thousand people from Byakurentou kneeled without a single exception──
They ended up kowtowing until their forehead rubbed on the floor while blocking their ears with both their hands.
No one made any voice. There wasn't a single sneeze.
On the deck of Kairyuuou that was ruled by silence, the G.o.dslayer Byakuren Ou slowly closed her distance with Rokuhara Ren──. Ren resolved himself.
「It'll be bad if I attack and destroy something but, I won't be able to do anything unless I hit with my all here.」
He joined his right hand's index finger and middle finger.
Soon it would be time to unleash the Retributive Justice from Nemesis's authority.
But, he needed to prepare something before that. Ren began to take a step in order to show his prided footwork too.4
*Ton, ton, ton, ton.*
Ren stepped back and forth and treaded on the wooden deck rhythmically.
It was a movement unique to boxer who specialized in outboxing. It was the preparatory movement in order to dance on the ring with light footwork.
He jumped slightly to the front and then jumped back in small movements repeatedly so that his feet wouldn't be rooted in place.
Ren was waiting while stepping lightly.
In contrast, Byakuren Ou was slowly walking without any change. Her walk was straight and brazen, the focal point of her body didn't waver at the slightest.
It was truly the advance of the king. Her footsteps were overflowing with majesty.
「To be young means to be hot blooded. Even so you're being a bit too fidgety. O young G.o.dslayer, it seems you have talent in martial arts, but it's obvious that you weren't blessed with any chance to encounter a good teacher.」
「No no. I met a lot of people who taught me good things. But」
Ren grinned at Byakuren Ou.
Smile. Relax. If one wanted to move quickly and lightly then being tense was prohibited. Kept flexible in both heart and body. Only then one would be able to display their fastest speed.
Led around the enemy by the nose with speed and feint, rule the game with rhythm.
「In the end, I'd want to do everything with my own style. If it look like I'm doing things clumsily, then that will be my own responsibility. Well, but」
Byakuren Ou was steadily approaching with her red stole in her hand.
There was three more meters until the range of that piece of cloth. Two meters. One meter──
「I get the feeling that what's important is only winning or losing, being skillful or clumsy doesn't matter.」
「You said it. In that case, proof the righteousness of the path you're walking──with victory!」
Byakuren Ou finally came striking.
The red stole──it was a soft rectangle cloth that was ultimately something light. Such thing was swung down sharply and quickly, like a leather whip. It was a martial art that defied the accepted norms.
Ren himself also began accelerating. Everything became slow motion.
However, Ren's field of vision was mostly blocked by the red cloth piece. He was unable to see the figure of Byakuren Ou that should be at the other side.
Now, where should he jump to doge the attack?
Right, left? No, leaping to diagonally behind──three layers of feint were showed.
Ren chose a completely different direction.
「Front and below!」
He threw his body into a forward leap like performing head sliding.
He stretched out his two hands and lowered his head until the limit. Both his knees touched the floor──he took the posture of kowtowing and slid on the floor.
Rokuhara Ren performed a G.o.dspeed sliding kowtow with beautiful smoothness.
He splendidly slipped through the red stole with the historically fastest kowtow.
「How's that, my special technique!」
Byakuren Ou seemed to be taken by surprise at last. This time he was able to splendidly slipped through the left side of Byakuren Ou who was swinging down the thin silk. Well, as expected he was also unable to carry out a counterattack from the kowtow posture.
Although, this time he really had outmaneuvered the expert Byakuren Ou.
Without pause Ren rolled on the floor like a log and took distance from the powerful enemy.
This movement was also carried out in G.o.dspeed. Byakuren Ou didn't come in pursuit. Surprisingly it seemed she was able to see 『Rokuhara Ren rolling around with lightning speed』. Her sharp gaze under her veil was directed to Ren unwaveringly……. However, no pursuing attack came.
If Ren was targeted while he was lying down, as expected even he wouldn't be able to dodge that. Was she unable to pursue him just like he thought──.
The acceleration state ended. Ren slowly stood up.
「Onee-san, when you took my back, it was always after close-quarter combat wasn't it?」
「So you noticed. Are you someone who is really intelligent, or someone with good instinct……. Either way youngster, I feel an innate talent from you.」
Byakuren Ou muttered with that musical voice.
Her expression couldn't be seen with the veil hiding her face. However, she might be smiling right now. Ren somehow thought that from the atmosphere of her whole body.
「But, clever trick like just now won't work anymore. I can see that you don't know any technique to take down an enemy while staying down on the ground.」
「Correct. ……That's why, this time it will be a battle of speed for real.」
Ren started his footwork once more.
He moved with small movements to front, back, left, right repeatedly. *Ton ton. Ton ton.* He adjusted his feet and body so that he could jump to all direction of 360 degree.
「With this next one I'll slip through that cloth with the fastest speed I'm keeping in reserve and attack at Onee-san's opening hard. This time you will lose sight of me for sure……」
No matter how fast Ren accelerated, Byakuren Ou was able to see through his movement completely.
It had been like that all this time until now. But this next one for sure──hearing that proclamation from Ren, Byakuren Ou approached with that kingly stride.
「Very good! I shall examine this so called trump card of yours!」
*Shuu-!* The red piece of cloth was swung down.
And then Ren accelerated──not. He stopped his feet, and braced his legs.
He thrust out his index finger and middle finger that he joined together against the coming down stole.
「I wish for the judgment of justice right here!」
Byakuren Ou's body was sent flying backward.
Using Nemesis's authority, Retributive Justice, he sent all the power of the strikes that had been sent out until now to Byakuren Ou's stole.
He pretended to prepare for a match of speed and instead launched a crosscounter with the resolve of taking each other down simultaneously.
It was a feint in order to grasp the initiative of the battle. And sure enough Byakure Ou came attacking. She was sent flying grandly from having all the impacts of consecutive attacks she unleashed returned back at her.
Well, Ren was also sent flying in exchange though.
His right hand that met that stole that was created from thin silk──
The bones from his fingertip that became the contact point until his shoulder were smashed into pieces. He instinctively felt that. He couldn't feel anything from his right shoulder below.
However Ren ignored the pain and chuckled.
Just one or two arms would immediately heal with his body of G.o.dslayer that was br.i.m.m.i.n.g with life force.
What was important was breaking the guard of Byakuren Ou with this and making an opening.
After that he just needed to leave it to Riona──
「This lowly self wish to reverently state in the presence of Sume-Mikami……by the means of the burning flame and my malediction, purify and exorcise!」
Riona stayed in the form of blue sawllow and gauged the timing from the sky.
She took advantage of the oportunity and transformed into Yatagarasu, then without any delay she chanted the secret words of fire and sun. Bluish white flame enveloped the whole body of Byakuren Ou and she burst into flame *Gou-!* all at once.
「Oo, Byakuren Ou-sama is!?」
「Burning! She is on fire!」
「d.a.m.n you, how dare you do that!」
The pirates of Byakurentou who had been prostrating all this time so that they wouldn't directly see their lord.
As expected they sensed the unusual sign and quite a lot of people finally lifted their face. They witnessed the burning Byakuren Ou. They were agitated and yelled.
Ren was also staring at the blue flame pillar.
Thinking that half-baked Retributive Justic wouldn't work, he devised several layers of feint and connected it to Riona's flame attack.
Byakuren Ou was impressed 「Oo」 while being burned in the bluish white flame.
「You pretended to attack the west but strike the east. You have a firm understanding of the truth and falsehood of battle. Well, you have a frivolous.nature that is hard to evaluate but……」
Inside the flame──the garment of Byakuren Ou was burning hotly.
Even the fluttery sleeves and cuff of her gown, her red thin silk stole, and in addition the veil that she had been wearing all this time to hide her bare face too──
Right now inside the blue flame, pure white naked body was exposed.
It was a youthful woman body. The large b.r.e.a.s.t.s with great shape, and the captivating constricted waist. And yet despite all that she was slender like winter orchid. Rather than sensuality and worldly desires, her body was instead overflowing with sublimity that ought to be called as a piece of art.
And then, the bare face of Byakuren Ou──was obviously beautiful.
It was a lovely face like flower. Starry eyes and beautiful white teeth, beauty that would make flowers abashed and the moon hid. But rather than loveliness, her face was s.h.i.+ning more with awe-inspiring courage, ambition, and above all else the pride of a king.
Surprisingly, the blue flame didn't burn her skin at all!
(Well……our objective isn't to defeat her after all. So I held back.)
Telepathy came from Riona who was in the sky as Yatagarasu.
(But, I never thought that she would be able to stay inside the fire so calm and composed like that……. This person, there is a limit in even being absurd!)
「Isn't that right. This is more than I imagined.」
Ren also commented in blank amazement.
On the other hand, Byakuren Ou quietly swung her hand. With that the flame of Yatagarasu was erased with a puff. In addition new clothes appeared by itself and covered the lovely body.
The clothes that clung on her body fittingly──was a blue China dress.
「So you saw my bare face, youngster.」
Byakure Ou calmly spoke as though she wasn't bothered that her naked body was seen.
「I shall keep my promise. From here on you are a guest of honor of me and my Byakurentou. And then if you wish for it, then I also shall grant you a befitting position.」
「Thank you very much! I am Rokuhara Ren. What's your name Onee-san?」
Ren tried to introduce himself friendlily.
*Glare*. He got glowered at sternly.
「Rokuhara Ren is it. It seems that first you'll need to be taught how to speak properly. Also, shouldn't you have know my name already?」
「But Byakuren Ou sounds obviously like an alias or nickname right?」
It seemed this beautiful woman with overly excessive intensity had quite the harsh personality.
But, exactly because of that it would be bad if he compromised. It would be worse to become a yes man. After all the result of that was this Byakurentou pirates.
Ren tried stepping forward with the resolve of getting punched flying.
「If possible I want to learn Onee-san's real name, is that alright?」
「……Very well. Thinking carefully, you too are a G.o.dslayer. Whether our relations.h.i.+p will be a good one or an unfavorable one, it wouldn't be strange for some kind of fate to be formed between us sooner or later.」
Byakuren Ou sighed slightly and spoke.
「My surname is Luo. My name is Cuilian. My formal name is Hao. Call me Luo Hao or Byakuren Ou as you please.」
「Wait, that means Onee-san is a Chinese person!」
Ren was astounded and yelled.
He finally fatefully encountered 『the second colleague』 next after his excellency the marquis whose origin seemed to be from Europe. It seemed that she also traveled here from the far away earth.
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