Nearly all of the bandits had been dealt with. What was left was one man who’d stayed out of the fight the entire time.
The name of the organization responsible for the assassination attempt on Laptiricia-sama. The group above Enjuu. As I knocked out Leif, I heard that name muttered. The resting area was once again enveloped in a thick dark mist. I couldn’t even see beyond a few meters.
I didn’t know what it was exactly, but I was pretty sure that it was some sort of magic judging by the chant. When I finally heard the name of the spell, I realized it was a spell to see through the darkness or night. In Response, I also switched to my FLIR-mode to confirm the location of my target.
The man was no longer where he was before he casted Dark Mist. I simply couldn’t find him. There was no one when I looked. I didn’t pick up any movement or sound, neither was there a dot on the map. Did he escape? Just when I thought that, I could hear the faint sound of air being sliced from behind.
A cold shiver ran up my spine, and I slid-jump forward. I looked back mid-slide. He was there, silently coming after me.
“You can actually dodge me? It’s been a while since anyone could avoid my backstab while Dark Mist and Shadowrun are in effect.”
The voice sounded young, clear and high pitched. But at the same time, it was cold.
“ ‘Shadowrun’ huh…”
Of course I didn’t know what that was. But it was probably some sort of skill. A stealth movement to be exact. Was that a shortsword in his hand? I saw cold blue streaks extending from his hand. It was hard to judge while in FLIR mode. All I see was the outlines of the and it made CQB hard. The blue streak suddenly changed to red, signifying an increase in temperature. The heat coming from that short sword had somehow become a sort of beam saber.
I twisted my body to avoid the blade. I readied the welrod and took aim after I found my footing—
Again with the ‘Shadowrun’, the man had disappeared again. Before I could find him again…
Right as I heard the voice, a plume of jet black flame burst up behind, engulfing me. I did a slide-jump to escape the flames and discard my burning overcoat in the process. I was able to grab a tomahawk with my left hand. I wasn’t able to retrieve any magazines, however. They were stashed in the inner pockets. The overcoat burned, showing up as bright particles in my vision. And with that, the magazines were gone… I only had eight rounds inside the welrod.
“Even that couldn’t catch you. You are more capable than rumoured, ‘Black Mask’.”
“You know me, but I don’t know you; isn’t that unfair?”
“Would an assassin introduce themselves to their target?”
I couldn’t afford to take my eyes off this man. He was silent and fast. If I allowed him to get behind me, I was done. Right after our short exchange, I threw the tomahawk at him. While at the same time I also positioned the welrod’s crosshair on him.
[～～～、～～、～～, Dark Hole]
At first, I thought he’d use his dagger to deflect or physically decade. However, he instead responded with some sort of defensive magic. A large circle with no heat signature appeared before him, sucking the tomahawk in. A thrown tomahawk was pretty much a long ranged attack, just like a shooting arrow. Judging that, shooting now wouldn’t do any good. So I decided to attempt a melee.
I had the electric baton hanging on my hip, but I deemed that it was better to leave my left hand free. I never tried to dual wield a baton and a tonfa before, so I didn’t know what kind of movement the CQC system would dish out. In this situation, such an unpredictable move could be my last.
As I moved into another slide-jump, I reversed the welrod’s grip. With the momentum, I launched a left-right swing with the longer end of the pistol. The assassin evaded my attack by twisting his upper body backward. At the same time, he left his upper torso for attack. I gave chase by kicking forward, which the assassin attempted to block with his short sword. But apparently, my kick was far stronger than he’d expected. My boot continued until it connected with his stomach. Even so, he seemed to have endured it with only a short muffled grunt. I turned the welrod around so the read faced forward and I aimed for center mass.
Since it was center mass, it wasn’t something easily avoided by just slightly moving. However, midway, I reached out to grab his shoulder with my left hand, the welrod spun around in my other hand. Its muzzle now faced forward as I readied to pull the trigger.
My left hand was deflected, yet there wasn’t a way for him to use defensive magic at this distance! After switching to the proper grip, I matched the crosshairs on the ironsights. Before he could react, I shot twice. Probably realizing that I’d launched a ranged attack, the assassin raised his shortsword on the first shot, successfully deflecting the first round. However, the second round managed to land on his flank.
I intended to capture this one alive, and find out who hired him. I switched my grip on the welrod once again, and aimed to knock him out. Seeing my huge swing, I could feel the assassin’s eyes turn grim.
The moment the word was spoken, a large black hole appeared in between me and the assassin. At the same time, something cut off my right hand.
Since coming to this world, this was the first wound I’d taken. And ironically, it was not inflicted by his sword. It was my own tomahawk that’d disappeared in the previous black hole. My right hand, cut below the elbow, fell into the black hole alongside the welrod. With my line of sight diverted, I wasn’t able to react to the assassin’s next move.
I felt a sudden sharp pain come from below my armpit. It was accompanied by an unpleasant sound… Did my ribs break? Either way, the attack sent me rolling on the ground. Just when my body came to a stop, and I laid on my back, I felt something heavy pressed against my stomach. The assassin had mounted me, sitting on my belly as he began to strangle me with hsi hands.
“Did you think I wouldn’t use magic there? This is it, the trash that’s been an obstacle to our dominance. Along with those vixens, I’ll send you forth to the evil god.”
With a short sword in his hand, he stabbed my chest. Since he used his left hand to do so, it was embedded into my right side.
“No use to struggle—”
“When you meet the evil god, do tell him this – It’s his fault for dropping me in this world!”
In my desperation, I pointed my finger right at his face. An invisible shield deployed instantly. The CBS was like a thin film, deploying some inches from my hand; where his head was. It was cut in half.