Konjiki No Moji Tsukai - Chapter 64
Chapter 64: The fight with the Cactus Man
Transated by XCrossJ
As Silva had indicated earlier, the area was absent of overgrown weeds. Looking at the environment filled with a variety of numerous blooming flowers, it was as if they had entered another world.
Silva: 「Please proceed with caution.」
Hiiro: 「You're trying to say that there are also monsters that mimic flowers here, right?」
Silva: 「Nofofo(1), precisely.」
In response Hiiro's perceptiveness, Silva responded with a beaming smile.
As they plowed through the field while maintaining high vigilance, Silva began to grow restless.
Hiiro: 「Is this about that thing you were looking for?」
Silva: 「Yes. It was supposedly growing around this area, yet...」
As he examined a patch of flowers of various vivid hues, his gaze focused on a single flower.
Silva: 「Oo~(2), here it is!」
Hiiro similarly directed his gaze. What was present was a flower that blossomed with petals the shade of a rare gold. Its shape and appearance somehow resembled a rose.
Silva: 「Uu~(3), I was finally able to obtain it, Ojou-sama~(4)」
Taking a handkerchief from his pocket, Silva began to wipe his tears brought forth by overflowing emotions. Perhaps Silva's heart was moved due to the fact that he achieved his mission in such a treacherous area where one could die at anytime.
Silva: 「Nofofofofo! I have successfully retrieved the 《Golden Rose》(5)!」
At that moment, as if Silva's sentiments were being interjected(6)-
The environment began to sway. The trembling was so substantial it would make one question whether a magnitude 5(8) earthquake was occurring. Following this, a crack ran across the ground that the 《Golden Rose》 was growing on. From the crack, something seemed to be squeezed out.
What had raised such a peculiar cry was a monster that had the 《Golden Rose》 appended to its head as hair. It's body length was about the size of a passenger carriage's height, and it had sharp needles covering its whole body. It was a monster that resembled a cactus with arms and legs.
Silva: 「A-as I thought, this it's been infected by a parasitic cactus!」
Hiiro: 「What kind of monster is it?」
Silva: 「Parasitic Cacti usually sleep in the ground, however, they occasionally feed by latching onto high vitality flowers for their nutrition! The 《Golden Rose》 has oft been referred to as the 'rose that will never wither'. Its not a plant whose vitality would be classified as miniscule. In addition, the flower also possesses special effects. I had anticipated that a Parasitic Cactus would feed on it, however, I sincerely wished that I would not have to encounter one.」
As he returned a faint nod, he instructed Mikazuki to keep her distance.
Hiiro: 「Well then, although it was hard to do anything earlier, it looks like I'll be able to move as I please this time. I'll help you clean this up」
Silva: 「Please wait, Hiiro-sama(10)! If you were to use fire, then-!」
In as state of panic, Silva shot off a string of words.
Hiiro: 「I know. You're saying that I'll end up burning the 《Golden Rose》, right? Calm down, I'm not gonna use fire.」
As he spoke, he drew out his 『Thorn Sword - Piercer』. Seeing this katana(11), Silva was impressed as he widened his eyes.
Silva: 「Nofofo, that is the 『Thorn Sword - Piercer』, is it not!?」
Hiiro: 「Nn?(12) You know of it?」
Silva: 「Indeed. As-」
However, as if restating that this was no time for leisure, the Parasitic Cactus' needles flew at them.
Hiiro: 「Yotto(13)! We'll talk later! First, let's crush this guy!」
As the two evaded the needles, they distanced themselves from the cactus.
Silva: 「H-however, are you certain about this? This opponent is of substantially high skill .」
Hiiro: 「Fun(14), it's perfect for levelling up. Oi(15), Cactus Man! If you're gonna fight then get your ass over here!」
In face of Hiiro's provocation, the Parasitic Cactus approached while raising a fairly loud groan. If they were to collide, Hiiro would undoubtedly be skewered by the myriad of thorns growing all over the Cactus Man's body.
Silva: 「As those needles contain poison, please be cautious.」
Hiiro: 「Got it!」
Strongly kicking off the ground, Hiiro slipped past the Parasitic Cactus' right side, turning towards its back. As Hiiro was going to plunge his katana into the Cactus Man's back, the Cactus began to shoot the needles on its back towards Hiiro's direction.
Hiiro: 「This guy-!?」
In an instant, Hiiro considered cutting down the projectile needles with his katana. However, as the number of needles were overwhelming, he determined that he would soon become prey to a countless number of the Cactus Man's thorns, being the end of him.
Hiiro: (Shit! If it comes to this, I should use the 「Protect 」| 『坊』word and-!)
As Hiiro was about to attempt to use 《Word Magic》 out of necessity, Silva suddenly appeared in front of him, spreading his arms wide as if he were shielding Hiiro.
The needles mercilessly pierced Silva's body.
As if it was exhausted after expelling all of its needles, the Parasitic Cactus' movements halted. Silva slightly moved his mouth.
Silva: 「....n-now...is the....time.....if you...sever the....flower from the head, then.....」
It seemed that the Cactus would be defeated if the flower from the head was cut. Thinking that he had to do something to the Parasitic Cactus, Hiiro placed a large amount of force in his feet as he made a huge leap.
Hiiro used his katana to cut the stem of the 《Golden Rose》. The 《Golden Rose》 was splendidly severed from the Parasitic Cactus' body. The body of the Parasitic Cactus that was of a green tint, changed to an earthly shade before collapsing as if it were made of sand. Only the 《Golden Rose》 remained.
Taking the 《Golden Rose》 on top of the sand that was once the Parasitic Cactus, Hiiro spat out a sigh with a *Fu~*(19). Following this, as if suddenly occurring to him, he looked towards Silva.
Seeing the state that Silva was in, Hiiro widened his eyes without thinking. As to why, this is because...
Silva: 「Fu~, yareyare(20).」
As if he were simply brushing off dust, Silva began to brush off the needles with a *pasapasa*(21). In addition, he was doing it nonchalantly.
Hiiro: 「...Jii-san, the poison?」
No matter how one looked at it, Silva's countenance was not one of somebody suffering from any sort of deadly poison. Hearing Hiiro's doubts, Silva returned his question with a pleasant smile.
Silva: 「There is no issue.」
Silva: 「Because I am a Butler.」
As Hiiro's cheat was also outside the realm of the 'standard', he couldn't help but feel a connection with the elderly man before him who had apparently also exceed the norm.
Hiiro: 「Oi, weren't you speaking really painfully earlier?」
Certainly, during the time when Silva informed Hiiro of the weak point concerning the flower, his face was distorted in considerable pain.
Silva: 「Nofofofofo........let us just say, that I conformed with the atmosphere?」
Hiiro: 「....this Jiji(23).」
*Piki*(24) A blue vein appeared on Hiiro's forehead. It seemed that he had only put on an act in order to fit the situation.
Silver: 「In any case, Hiiro-sama. The 《Golden Rose》 is...?」
Hiiro: 「...ha~(25), here.」
Even if he were to pursue further, Hiiro somehow understood that Silva would just answer 'Because I am a Butler', shrouding the truth in a cloud of mist. As he determined that this meant the butler did not want to disclose any more, Hiiro simply answered him without investigating further.
Silva: 「Oo~, with this, I can finally return to the mansion!」
As he received the 《Golden Rose》 from Hiiro by gently wrapping both his hands around it, he raised it towards the sky, using it as a background as he gazed at it.
Silva: 「I am eternally grateful, Hiiro-sama! It was truly thanks to you that I was able to obtain the item that I was searching for without harm! Nofofofofo!」
Hiiro: 「Good for you.」
As Hiiro said this without any particular feelings charged into it, he sheathed his katana. Seeing this, Silva expressed an 「Oo~」as he tapped his hand with a *pon*(26).
Silva: 「Speaking of which, about our previous conversation...」
Hiiro: 「Ah? ...Aa, you mean about the katana?」
In the middle of the encounter, Silva brought up a story concerning the 『Thorn Sword - Piercer』. His atmosphere indicated that he was familiar with it.
Silva: 「Indeed. I believe that is the 『Thorn Sword - Piercer』, correct?」
Hiiro: 「Aa, what of it? It's not for sale.」
Silva: 「Nofofo! I am not indicating that I desire that katana. It is just that as it has been such a long time since I have seen that katana, I couldn't help but get a little emotional with my words.」
Hiiro: 「A long time? You've seen it?」
Silva: 「Indeed. That katana happens to be one produced by a dear friend of mine. Well, 『Thorn Sword - Piercer』 was a prototype that was developed in a single attempt, but...」
Hiiro: 「A prototype...you say?」
Silva: 「Indeed. Although he is a Gabranth, he is a swordsmith(27) that has an arm that cannot be compared with any other. How nostalgic~. I wonder as to how he is doing right now...」
As he saw Silva's distant eyes immersed in nostalgia, Hiiro opened his mouth with a skeptical expression.
Hiiro: 「This is a prototype?」
If you were to put it succinctly, its sharpness was outstanding and its ease of use was admirable compared to other swords in its group. This katana, Hiiro couldn't count how many times he had been saved by it. He thought that its absence would undoubtedly have made his journey more difficult.
Hearing that such workmanship amounted to a prototype at most, Hiiro could not help but suspect those words.
Silva: 「That is, without a doubt, a prototype. I say this because his genuine works often have his signature applied to the hilt and the blade.」
Upon closely inspecting the katana, Hiiro could not find anything resembling a signature.
Silva: 「In addition, if that were genuine, a monster of that level would be sliced with one swing.」
Hiiro: 「...so his real works are at that level, huh?」
Silva: 「You are correct. Well, even if a prototype, his katanas tend to select their own owners. In my eyes, that katana appears to be very satisfied. Satisfied that it is in the hands of a good owner.」
In the face of this statement, Hiiro began to feel an itchy feeling infested in him. As he determined that should this continue, he would grow sick due to the cozy atmosphere, he began to change the topic.
Hiiro: 「A-any way. Where're you going from here? You've finished you're errand, right Jii-san?」
Silva: 「Eh? Ah, indeed. If we were to advance, we would soon reach the granite area. As it is a downward slope from there, the exit of the mountain will follow soon after.」
Hiiro: 「I see. Then let's hurry up and move.」
Silva: 「As you wish.」
Hiiro: 「Oi, Yodare-Tori(28)! Show yourself!」
As Hiiro called for Mikazuki, she poked her head out from behind a tree with a *hyoko*(29).
Hiiro: 「Yosh, let's quickly get out of this mountain.」