Tuesday, 24 February 2015

KNW - Chapter 34

Konjiki no Wordmaster Chapter 34: The Kitty Bastard’s invitation




From his appearance, he was a Beastman. His hair was pure black, and his cold eyes did not give off a friendly impression.

(A Beastman… is he a Black Panther type…?)

But from his appearance and atmosphere, Hiiro could tell he was no ordinary passerby. He felt that the one before him was a more troublesome opponent than the Clay Viper. That he was someone he wouldn’t want to make an enemy out of.

That Beastman slowly opened its mouth.

“Was the one who killed this one nyu?”  (TL: Ends sentences with Nya)

Hiiro almost fell over. Even though all of his instincts screamed that the one before him was a dangerous existence, his voice was as high as a child’s, and there was that speech trait. With that appearance, the 「Nya」 wasn’t cute at all, you know. It was more creepy than anything.

“Let me ask again nya. Are you the one who killed it nya?”
“Do I have any obligation to answer you?”

The Beastman put his hand to his chin and thought for a moment. After which, he balled one hand into a fist… and hit it on the other palm.

“Oh~ you really don’t have such an obligation nya.”

The person he was facing was a bit out there, but still, Hiiro couldn’t afford to let down his guard. His instincts told him not to be negligent. Behind his back, his hands were already prepared to cast 《Word Magic》.

“Well, I guess it doesn’t matter who killed it nya. I’ll bring it back all the same nya.”
“Hmm? Wait a second, you’re bringing this thing back?”
“Yes nya. That’s my mission nya.”

(Mission? Bringing back something this big? What’s more, it’s already a corpse.)

Various questions surfaced in Hiiro’s mind, but he got the feeling that it was better to not get involved any further. He need not get involved with this cat of mysterious origin.

“Well, do what you want. Before that, let me get some proof that I took it out.”
“If it’s just that, then go ahead nya. But please make it quick nya.”

(Hmm? He’s surprisingly honest. It didn’t come out to steal the praise…?)

Hiiro looked at the immobile Beastman, and waited for it to take action. But as nothing was happening, Hiiro approached the Clay Viper Corpse.

(Let’s just get this over with and leave.)

Hiiro reached out his hand to grasp the 《Clay Viper Fang》as proof of his kill, but as soon as his hand approached it, he sensed bloodlust. Hiiro immediately drew his sword and took a stance, but that Kitty bastard was already in front of him, grasping the blade.

“W-what are you doing!?”

In response, the cat smiled and kicked Hiiro away.

“Gu-!”

Hiiro was sent sliding, but he was able to brace his legs to avoid falling over. Still, the damage from the impact contorted Hiiro’s face.

“Y-you…!”
“As I thought, you’re strong nya. You didn’t kill it by luck nya.”

The cat’s happy face was annoying.

“Are you pickin’ a fight, you kitty bastard!?”

Hiiro shouted as he prepared to slash, but his opponent immediately appeared in front of him.

(He’s much faster than me!?)

Hiiro immediately moved his katana to guard, but he was blown away again. This time, he rolled along the ground, but rose up immediately and got into position again.

(Damn… How can he overcome my katana barehanded?)

Normally, he shouldn’t be able to grasp the blade or hit it. Especially if he was hitting the sharp edge. His hand should have taken severe damage. Even so, Hiiro’s opponent was completely unharmed.

“Nyaha! You can fight nya. You’re strong nya. If nyu try a little harder, I might hire you as my follower nya.”

The word ‘follower’ caused a vein to pop up on Hiiro’s head.

“Don’t screw with me, kitty bastard… I’ll show you something you’ll regret.”

Without breaking eye contact, he concentrated magic to his finger.

(Let’s imagine the Muir from before)

“Take this!”

He wrote the word 『Thunder』and sent it at his opponent’s feet.

Though it wasn’t comparable to Muir’s, a powerful electric discharge went through the ground towards his enemy.

“Nya!?”

The cat opened his eyes in surprise for a moment, but he resumed his smile as he held out both of his arms in front. And, the electricity disappeared as it was sucked towards them.

“Wha!?”
“Nyaha! Nyu were a Lightning user nya? There was quite some power, but that isn’t enough to beat me nya.”

Hiiro couldn’t understand what had just happened.

(I understand that the electricity somehow disappeared into his hands… but what did that damn cat do?)

He could use 『Pry』 to gather information, but it takes time to use. There’s no way he would be able to cope with that speed.

(Then…)

Hiiro wrote a character on his own body. And…

He appeared before his opponent.

“Nya!?”

The cat was even more surprised than before. Hiiro’s speed was just that great.

(By writing 『Speed』 on myself, I can increase my own abilities! Now get pierced already!)

Using his momentum, Hiiro thrust 『Piercer』. But still, his opponent saw through him, and Hiiro cut nothing but air. The ease at which his attack was dodged made Hiiro believe he was fighting a true wild beast.

(Damn! I was dodged. So he wasn’t serious yet.)

Power, speed, atmosphere. Taking all of these into account, Hiiro guessed that his opponent was an existence high up in the ranks of Beastmen. This damn cat was strong enough to play with Rank S monsters as if they were cute pets.

(I can’t slack off for a single moment)

If he made a single mistake, he might die. Hiiro continuously pondered over just how he would conquer this person. If he wanted to run, it may be possible, but he wouldn’t be satisfied with leaving after being treated as a fool.

(I’m still a child… but I get the feeling that I can’t turn away here. More importantly, that cat… PISSES ME OFF!)

Hiiro glared at his enemy again and wrote 『Speed』 once more.

(I’ll give you more and more surprises!)

With the speed of the wind, Hiiro closed the gap. He increased his speed much more than before, startling his opponent.
But for a split second, his enemy narrowed his eyes, and his legs swelled unnaturally. He nimbly dodged Hiiro’s assault.

(Wha!? It can even react at this speed!?)

Hiiro had used parallel writing to write 『Speed』 on his body multiple times. The effects stacked, giving him overwhelming speed. Even so, his opponent dodged.

Hiiro slashed again and again, but all his swings were in vain. But there, he realized something was off.

(That bastard can grasp a sword bare-handed, so why has he been dodging all of these…?)

Right, from his initial actions, this cat should be able to defend easily. He has no reason not to.

(Since it’s gotten to this, I’ll add something more…)

Hiiro accelerates even more to try and force his opponent to guard. At that moment, he heard laughter.

“Nyaha! Yes, yes, you pass nya!”
“Hah?”

Hiiro heard an unexpected line.

“If it’s nyu, you could even become my successor nya.”
“What are you even talking about?”
“What’s your level?”
“Hah? 33, but… ah.”

He had been drawn into his enemy’s pace and unintentionally said his level. Hiiro was filled with regret.

“33!? And you’re that strong nya!? Yes, I’m satisfied with you nya!”

Hiiro was repenting in his heart.

“My name is Crouch nya. What’s yours?”
“… No idea.”
“Could this be that amnesia thing nya!?”

Crouch seemed shocked as his mouth hung open.

“This is serious nya! This is serious nya! Ah, I should have the professor look at you nya!”
“Professor? No, I’m fine! It was a joke!”
“I-is that so nya? That’s good nya.”

Crouch uses his forearm to wipe away sweat. It appears that he was truly worried.

(What’s with this one? Don’t throw off my pace… This cat may be more annoying than the old man.)

“Then, what’s your name nya?”
“… Tanaka Tarou.” (TL: Japanese version of John Smith)(ED: The most common name)
“Oh, so that’s your name nya! Then, Tarou, come with me nya!”
“Why?”
“The war will start soon nya. I’ll use you as my retainer nya!”

This was exceedingly bad. Hiiro’s head went blank. He never thought he would be invited to war.

(And as a retainer. That sounds like it comes with a bit of status. If this was based off of my strength, then I can understand it, but still this is bad… really.)

Crouch was completely eager. At this rate, Hiiro was going to be forcefully kidnapped.

(There’s no choice. Though I hate these sort of situations.)

As he thought that, Hiiro thrust with his katana.

“I’ll never serve below someone weaker than me. If you want me, then you’ll have to defeat me!”

Crouch’s eyes widened at Hiiro’s words. He seemed taken aback, but his face loosened and a crescent moon formed.

“How interesting nya…”

Sparks flew between them, and it seemed they would start duking it out at any moment. But suddenly, Crouch furrowed his brow.

“…Eh? Is that so nya? … Got it nya.”

Crouch hung his head in disappointment.

“Tarou, our battle’s put on hold nya.”
“…”

Saying that, Crouch touched the Clay viper’s body and head. And in the next moment, the items disappeared as if they were being sucked into his hands.

(W-what is this magic? No, he’s a Beastman, so is it 《Binding》?)

In a few seconds, the giant Clay Viper disappeared completely. Crouch gazed at Hiiro.

“This is an urgent job nya. I wanted to bring you along, but there’s no choice nya. There’ll be another chance nya. I mean, you’re going to 【Passion】, right nya?”
“Who knows?”
“Nyahaha, I’ve taken a liking to your impudent behavior as well. Well then, Tarou, let’s meet again nya.”

Saying that, the cat disappeared as if he were being absorbed into the ground. Hiiro put up his guard as he walked to where Crouch was standing, but nothing happened.

It seems he’s caught the interest of quite a person.

(I may have to get out of 【Passion】 quickly.)

Hiiro didn’t want to meet that annoying kitty bastard again. He shrugged his shoulders… And then he realized something.

“… The proof of subjugation…”

It was impossible to recover it.

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