Konjiki No Moji Tsukai - Chapter 137
Chapter 137: Threat
Having dodged the attack of the second prince of 【Beast Kingdom Passion】, and having been sent flying out of the country, the two Heroes, Aoyama Taishi and Suzumiya Chika, were lying unconscious in a forest near 【Demon Capital Xaos】.
The first one to open his eyes was Taishi. Countless cuts had been engraved onto his body, but his bones were untouched, and he was able to move without a problem. Of course, pain still accompanied every movement.
He gazed at Chika, who had suffered the same injuries as him.
’’O-oy, Chika! Chika! Wake up!’’
She showed no signs of regaining consciousness, so his face turned pale as he imagined the worst possible situation. But after slapping her face a couple of times...
She let out her voice, so he was able to determine there was no real danger to her life.
’’Right, we were...’’
He remembered why they had ended up in a place like this. Perhaps he had hit his head on the way down, but he had been unable to pull up his memory for a while. He gradually began to recall the circumstances surrounding himself.
And he hung his head.
’’That's right... I lost...’’
He participated in the war and shrunk back at its fierceness. He fought a man who seemed to be a 『Gabranth』, but he couldn't inflict a single injury, and after receiving an attack from who knows what, they were separated from Shuri and the others.
’’... Just what the hell am I doing... dammit.’’
Seeing Chika, who was sleeping through her injuries, he began to feel the regret of not having been able to protect her. And the other thing that made him clench his teeth was the existence of a certain someone.
Unlike himself, a certain Okamura Hiiro had experienced a clear growth in strength. Taishi had witnessed him fight, but to put it bluntly, Hiiro's movements were so fast that he was only able to see a blur.
He was just supposed to be a guy dragged into their hero summoning by accident, and Taishi was honestly happy that he was alive and well, but he had never even imagined that Hiiro would ever have grown stronger than his own party.
What's more, it seemed he paid no attention to them, and didn't want to deal with them at all. He looked down on the four whose legs had given out due to fear, as he laughed to himself at their pitiful display. At the very least, that's what Taishi saw.
As a Hero, Taishi didn't want to believe he had been looked down on by a simple bystander like him.
’’I'm a Hero... and yet, why is he...’’
He clenched his teeth tightly.
’’So you were in a place like this.’’
The voice he suddenly heard from behind made him tense up and instinctively turn around. And before him, was a person wearing a robe that covered their entire body.
(W-who is this...?)
Taishi's instincts screamed out, that this person was dangerous. As if he was being entranced by a giant snake, it was as if his entire body was being paralyzed. He couldn't move.
That individual muttered lightly to themselves. Judging just by the voice, the person seemed to be male.
’’Where are the others?’’
It was as if he had been discarded in a place without oxygen, and it suddenly became difficult to breath. He couldn't move his mouth as he wished, and he couldn't let out any sound. A cold sweat broke out all over his body.
’’... Aren't you supposed to be a Hero? Why are you being affected by miasma of this level?’’
He didn't know what the man was saying, but he was able to understand that amazement was mixed into his voice.
And looking at Taishi, who had yet to say a word since their meeting, the man said as such.
’’Well, I don't really care about your status. Just shut up and follow me.’’
Saying that, he began to approach Chika, who had yet to regain consciousness.
As the man tried to understand what it was Taishi had said, he stopped moving.
’’Don't.... touch her!’’
Taishi's face was pale, but he had a frantic expression on his face as he desperately wrung out his voice.
’’... It seems you care for this girl quite a bit, but you have no right to refuse. And of course, neither does she.’’
The man casually tossed Chika over his shoulder. In that moment, something hot seemed to well up from Taishi's chest, and his immobile body, that felt as if it had been entangled in chains...
’’Let go of Chika!’’
Began moving for Chika's sake. His sword had fallen somewhere while he was flying through the air, so his hand was empty. Without any other choice, he thrust forward with his fists.
’’... It's useless.’’
From where the man was standing, something suddenly shot out and wrapped around his body.
’’Wha!? T-this is... gu!?’’
It was something like the roots of a tree. Several separate roots intertwined around Taishi's body to bind him.
(E-even though they're so thin, why do they have such power...!?)
By their appearance, they would have broken at any instant, but even with all his strength, they showed no signs of breaking.
’’I guess I should say something. If you're going to annoy me any more than this, then the first thing that goes will be this girl's hands.’’
’’Is the right fine? Or perhaps the left?’’
The man grasped Chika's slender arms, as he let out cold words.
’’If you want me to stop, then just shut the hell up and follow.’’
Taishi could feel it from the man's attitude. To him, pulling off Chika's arms and legs was nothing. If it would make Taishi follow, he would probably take any cruel action without hesitation. And sensing that, Taishi relaxed the power in his body.
’’... Got it. I got it, so please don't hurt Chika.’’
’’Then let's go already.’’
The roots slithered back into the ground. He wondered whether that was the man's magic, but as long as Chika was a hostage, he was unable to do anything. No, even if there was no one held prisoner, the gap in strength was just too big.
Taishi clenched his fists in anguish, but without anything for him to slam them against, they eventually grew exhausted and gradually began to relax.
’’H-hey, can you tell me just one thing?’’
’’I believe I told you to shut up, did I not?’’
The intimidating aura once more began weighing down on his body. But the man conceded but a single bit of information.
’’... My master is waiting.’’
Master...? Taishi really just wanted to ask where they were going, and it seems they were headed to wherever the man's master was.
And for a brief moment, he was able to see the expression under the man's hood. But it was only for an instant.
(A cross-shaped scar on his face...?)
There was truly a large cross on the man's face.
’’Get your feet moving.’’
Taishi knew there was nothing he could do now but listen to the man's words. He began to step forward.
(Shuri... Shinobu, please be safe.)