CHAPTER – 75 – Malice Is Forbidden
A master and his servant travelled on the road.
A slowly flowing river mixed with lush green nature, birds singing, and melted snow.
Crono swayed side to side while thinking, ‘-Ah, I want to alter myself!’
Crono and Kageha traversed down the gentle and clear stream, riding on a log with their hands clasped behind their backs.
While maintaining balance, Kageha alertly watched the child in front of her, trying to imitate his gestures.
However, Crono had too much free time on his hands, and his thoughts that went in circles eventually made him want to alter himself.
‘If I could alter myself, I could work in two salons! I really want to alter myself… I’ve tried it a few times… but it just doesn’t come out how I want it to.’
I tried summoning the prototype version of the alter ego technique I tested before once again.
Black colored magic power leaked out from Crono’s body, creating a humanoid form that looked as if it had been separated from his shadow.
Kageha was understandably taken aback by Crono’s shadow, which suddenly blurred.
His shadow soon disappeared, but the unmistakable black colored magic formed another figure.
‘…What the hell is this? What’s the use of this thing? I can’t even make rice balls with it. I can’t even cut pickles with it. I can’t use it. It’s like a technique which only existed to remind you that you have an afterimage.’
“Oh, that was…”
“What? What was that?”
“You wanna know what that is?”
“If it’s possible, please enlighten me.”
“It is possible, yes. I was just surprised by your eagerness.”
I’m sure Kageha can easily make an afterimage on her own, but there’s no reason to refuse her, so I pull the log ashore and head to land.
“…..Anybody would love being able to learn.”
It’s the first time someone had asked me to do something for them, so I smiled and agreed.
Kageha knelt down and donned her Tengu mask with a speed that surprised even Crono.
“…Thank you for being so excited. Umm, so… Let me give it a try. It might be a little difficult, but I think you can do it. This alter ego prototype is called ‘Zanzo-Da.’” Crono walked over to a nearby tree while saying this, and…
Kageha imitated Crono’s Crouch Start.
Solnada dodged the small sword thrown at him.
“What the…?” He exclaimed. Without a sound, Kageha appeared in front of him.
It was just a matter of time before Solnada would realize that the fog of Judaica could not detect her because she was too fast.
“I have learned how to manipulate magical energy and handle my body from my master. I’ve gotten proficient enough to use techniques to cut off any signs of life emanating from me.”
She did not attack, instead showing the differences in their skills.
“You are right. The difference in our lords is quickly becoming apparent.”
She took the opportunity to deliver a simple uppercut to Solnada, who had readjusted his stance.
“What? How many times have you done that— Gosh!”
Kageha gave him no time to recuperate, trapping him in a pincer. She struck his left side, and before he could respond, immediately struck his right.
“Kah! Kik… What the…?!”
As Solnada staggered back and forth, Kageha continued to attack him relentlessly.
“…This technique is a release type, right? But it uses a lot of skill to leave magic behind… Please don’t be silent while wearing a Tengu mask, it’s scary…”
Magic can’t form anything usually, magic tools and spells being the exceptions. A sphere is the best you could form using magic.
Crono said to release the magic accumulated within the leg that was about to kick, so that the magic remained materialized during kicks.
That way, even if you decide to use another attack in the middle of a kick, the magic from the kick will assist your next attack.
The momentum from the first step led to the second step.
However, it is easier said than done.
In order to materialize the shape of a kicking foot with magical energy, delicate control and manipulation is required.
Crono stayed with her for several days to teach her how to use it in battle. Kageha was forced to wear her mask the entire time.
Because of Crono teaching her this technique, Kageha could shape her magic into a kicking leg. She was using the same gray colored magic leg to forcefully strike down Solnada.
The gray leg sunk into the goat’s stomach. If he did manage to block the magic leg, her real leg struck the goat’s head.
With each blow, bone fragments scattered and countless cracks appeared on the demon’s skull.
Her attacks became more and more fierce as they fought on top of the thick, but narrow, roots of the crooked trees.
“No, no, no, no! You’re a bunch of monsters!”
“You let go of your sword. There’s an opening, now.”
I couldn’t resist Kageha’s wild dance and released a large number of minute bone worms from my sleeve. But… She was already behind me.
“It’s your fault for daring to call my lord weaker.”
Before Solnada could attempt to recall the silver sphere, she unleashed a heel drop.
The head of the goat cracked open and his body collapsed. She kicked his body, which rolled into the swamp and sunk in.
“Hah, hah, hah… ya got him?”
Lilia approached Kageha, struggling through the swamp.
She continued to outlast Kahan’s two spheres, even when her feet were submerged in the swamp, and her fatigue was evident.
“Ah… Even if it’s an undead, it shouldn’t be able to move with its head shattered like that. You’ve done well to hold on.”
Kageha extended her hand to Lilia, who had dragged herself all the way here. But right when she extended her hand… she saw two arms sticking out of the muddy swamp in the corner of her eye.
The arms stuck up in the area around where the demon she just kicked off had fallen.
“Oh, thank you— Cack!”
As soon as she touched Kageha’s hand, she was pushed away hard.
The moment she pushed Lilia away, she sacrificed both her arms to catch the silver ball.
The sound of bones cracking echoed from her arms, and an intense pain rushed through her.
Even though she was blown away, she kicked the trunk and jumped to the branch of the tree, barely regaining balance. She silently endured the pain that continued to echo dully in her brain.
Because of the training she received from a tender age, she was able to calmly assess where Solnada was and analyze Lilia’s condition, without letting her expression show her current state.
It seemed that Lilia was safe.
The other sphere that had pierced into the tree trunk after being deflected by Lilia’s cutlass floated up. Lillia stood up from the mud, frowning at the stench of the muddy water, completely unharmed.
“–Do you think you can outrun that one too?”
The two silver spheres plunged into the swamp and lifted Solnada to the surface, floating under his feet.
Solnada’s body was enveloped in toxic looking green magic, the cracks and injuries on his skull completely healed.
“…You are correct, my lady. Even undead won’t be able to operate properly for quite a bit of time if they’re crushed like that. However… this is my master’s territory.”
The goat-headed steward bowed ostentatiously at the surface of the swamp.
“I’m sorry, my lady. I should have explained myself better. There is another effect that the fog of Judaica wields, a curse that revives servants. It forcibly heals them and makes them rise again and again.”
Fear creeped into Lilia’s eyes for the first time.
She wasn’t sure she could survive that silver sphere anymore, and Kageha was seriously injured. And on top of that, her opponent could come back to life again and again.
“Hoho, but don’t worry. You’ve passed the test. Let me escort you to my master.”
“Yes…” I said in a voice that no longer contained hostility. I began giving him a compliment.
“Yo, that was good…” Lilia deflated and clutched at the trunk next to her.
“…visitor over there.”
I stopped clapping and looked up at Kageha, who was directing a sharp killing intent at Solnada.
Her arms were deformed and useless, but her presence was that of a cold-hearted assassin.
“… There is no need for more combat, my lady.”
“I had no intention of taking your test. I’m not pure enough to fall for your bullshit.”