Chapter 89: Hiiro vs Camus

The first one to move was Hiiro. As he was able to predict his opponent’s attacks to some extent, Hiiro acted in order to obtain the first move.

As Hiiro’s right hand was already holding onto his 『Thorn Sword – Piercer』, he had instantly reduced the time required to attack. However, Camus had clearly captured Hiiro’s movements in his field of view. Although he had acted slower than Hiiro, as he held his katana in a similar fashion, Camus gripped it with great force as he had also instantly drawn his weapon.

*Kiiiiiiiiin!*(1)

As the two blades clashed, sparks began to fly. However, the colliding swords were only one on each side. Camus still had a single sword left in his other hand. While maintaining the blade deadlock, Camus moved in an attempt to pierce Hiiro with his other sword.

As Hiiro had predicted this attack, he immediately jumped back as he took distance from his opponent. Following this, Hiiro promptly applied force onto his foot in attempt to strike again. However, his right foot became buried into the sand with a *zubo*.

Hiiro: 「Tch-!」

A battle atop of unfamiliar sand, as opposed to one on firm ground, was far more difficult than Hiiro had anticipated. Should his application of force be improper, his foot would be consumed by the sand.

Camus: 「The sand is…alive.」

As Camus faintly spoke, this time it was he who had instantaneously moved from that spot. However, unlike Hiiro, there was no wasted movement. His speed was so great, it would make one forget that they were not fighting on top of sand.

As Camus was approaching Hiiro’s chest, he instantly held up his sword in order to defend against the attack. However, Camus swung both swords with brute force. Although Hiiro had successfully deflected the attack, whether it was caused by his lack of a good foot hold or his inability to take the full brunt of the attack, Hiiro was sent flying, rolling across the ground.

Hiiro immediately got up and faced forwards, yet, Camus was no longer there. All he could see was a shadow swiftly approaching him.

Hiiro: (What in the hell…above!?)

Sure enough, Camus had jumped up into the sky, falling towards Hiiro while trying to pierce him with his katana. He applied great force into his foot in an attempt to move away from his current location, yet, he once again felt his feet become buried in the sand.

Hiiro: (Damn! It’s difficult to move!)

At this rate, I’ll be skewered, or so Hiiro thought. As he had no choice, Hiiro activated one of the previously installed words, 「Protect」 | 『防』. Immediately, a pale magic wall was born, covering Hiiro.

*Bashin-!*(2)

As Camus’ sword was deflected by the wall, his body was blown away, as if it was repelled. While shocked, Camus rotated his body round and round while in midair before making a superb landing.

Sivan: 「J-just now…!?」

Liliyn: 「Kukuku(3).」

As Sivan was startled by Hiiro’s method of defense, Liliyn emitted a beaming smile. The two’s responses contrasted greatly(4).

Sivan: 「Was that magic just now? No, there were no signs of any magical attribute…in which case…」

Sivan recalled that Jin-u received something that seemed to be magic. As he remembered, he realised that even at that time, there was no presence of any sort of magical attribute.

Sivan: 「In other words, it has no attribute…right?」

Liliyn: 「Kuku, as expected, you noticed it Sivan.」

Sivan: 「I knew that you wouldn’t go on a journey with just any ordinary fellow. Even so, to think you’d be travelling with a Unique Magic user is quite a shock.」

Liliyn: 「The fun part has still yet to come.」

Although he raised his eyebrows in reaction to Liliyn’s suggestive words, as she was unlikely to answer anymore questions due to the current atmosphere, Sivan simply decided to look ahead.

Camus glared at the pale barrier covering Hiiro with a dubious look. As he was confused at his own attack being so outrightly deflected, Camus took some distance.

Hiiro: (Fuu(5), that was dangerous. This fight is more difficult than I had anticipated. To think I’d be made to use the word 「Protect」 | 『防』 so soon.)

Although he was able to prevent incoming attacks for one minute, as he was also unable to participate in close combat, it was a risk. The defensive wall repels any opponents that get close to it. Well, if his purpose was to perform a body blow, then it would be sufficient.

Hiiro: (There doesn’t seem to be too much damage…)

However, there are many things one can do within the time limit of one minute. Hiiro concentrated magic in his fingertip in an attempt to write words. Noticing these actions, Camus’ eyebrows twitched as he grew wary.

Camus: 「What you are trying to do……I won’t let you.」

As he returned his twin katanas into their sheaths, Camus held his hand towards the ground.

Camus: 「Sand Needle.」

In doing so, the sand near his feet began to form multiple needles, all aimed at Hiiro. If one were to take such an attack directly, it would be no different than trying to hug a huge cactus.

Hiiro: (As I thought, he’s an earth, no, a sand user…)

However, Hiiro did not move. The reason for this being-

*Bashin Bashin Bashiiiin!* (6)

As the effect of the 「Protect」 | 『防』 word was still fresh and strong, Hiiro used it to protect his body from the onslaught of sand needles. As the approaching needles returned to their original smoothness, they simply dispersed.

Camus: 「Nn…hard.」

As Camus viewed the scene, he voiced his impressions as if he were muttering.

Camus: 「Then how about…this.」

Camus made an underarm throw, moving his right arm with large movements. It looked as if he were trying to scoop something up. As he did so, the sand in front of him bulged upwards, hanging high in the air as if it were a tsunami attempting to assault Hiiro.

Camus: 「……Sand Wave.」

Hiiro: (Indeed, this is beyond him just having the geographical advantage.)

As the waves of sand came pouring down before his eyes, Hiiro turned towards the tsunami and started running towards it.

Camus watched on behind the wave as he was convinced that it would inflict a large amount of damage. However, at this time, a hole in the shape of a circle burst out of the central portion of the sand wave. Hiiro jumped out of said hole.

Camis: 「Wha-!?」

As Camus had not expected Hiiro to avoid the wave of sand, much less penetrate it, he was stunned.

Hiiro: 「5, 4, 3, 2…one minute.」

As he said thus, the defensive wall that enveloped Hiiro began to disappear. As he had counted to a minute after the activation time, even though it disappeared, Hiiro was unperturbed. Rather, Hiiro used the time limit to repel his opponents attack while approaching him, causing Camus to grow agitated.

While he poised his 『Thorn Sword – Piercer』, Hiiro rushed forward, unleashing a thrust. As the defensive wall had disappeared, Hiiro was now capable of attacking.

Hiiro: 「Gotcha!」

Hiiro launched an attack that seemed as if it would penetrate Camus’ lowered guard. However, at that time-

*Shun-!*(7)

Hiiro’s katana was completely unable to penetrate it’s designated target. What it had pierced through was simply air.

Hiiro: (It failed-!? Where’d he go?)

In that instance, sand began to dance in midair with a *parapara*(8). As it appeared in Hiiro’s line of sight, he looked up, thinking that his opponent had jumped up in the air. However, his eyes saw no-one.

Hiiro: 「…eh?」

As he felt a chill run down his spine, Hiiro detected a presence behind him.

Camus: 「Above…you thought I jumped?」

This time, it was Hiiro who was caught completely off guard.

Hiiro: (Shit!)

Immediately activating the previously installed word, 「Speed」 | 『速』 and escaped from his current location. As he jumped without concern for his posture, Hiiro tumbled to the ground, rolling around with a *gorogoro*(9).

However, as he had avoided Camus’ sword strike from behind, Hiiro deemed it to be a satisfactory result.

Camus: 「……suddenly…got faster?」

As Hiiro’s speed became equivalent to his own, Camus was startled. Not understanding how his speed had suddenly increased, Camus was wary as to not approach Hiiro carelessly.

As Hiiro was Hiiro, thinking that he might have been slashed caused unpleasant perspiration to form on his back.

Hiiro: (Fuu, that was pretty dangerous just now, huh. However, that bastard…)

Hiiro wondered why Camus wasn’t above him when he had thought he had taken to skies. Hiiro reasoned that Camus had probably bent down quickly, thrown sand towards the sky, and jumped towards the side all at the same time.

As Hiiro saw the sand soaring into the sky, he presumed that it was the sand produced from Camus’ soles when he jumped. However, it was a ploy derived by Camus in order to make Hiiro lower his guard.

Hiiro: 「Seems that you’ve got a pretty sharp brain, Nitouryuu(10).」

Camus: 「If I can use sand……I am strong.」

While tensing his chest, Camus boasted. However, it was as he had indicated. As Hiiro had faced many predicaments because of it, he could only tense his body.

Hiiro: (Guess it’s about time for me to start, huh……)

Thinking thus, Hiiro returned his katana to its scabbard, gathering magic into his fingertip as he began to write words. Following this, he fired them straight into his feet.

Hiiro: (That’s number 2 ……next is……)

Once again, Hiiro began to write words. This time, however, Hiiro pointed his finger towards Camus.

Camus: 「…?」

Camus, warned by Hiiro’s actions, became defensive. Following which, Hiiro leaped, moving to an area just above Camus. And then-

Hiiro: 「Take this!」

Hiiro unleashed the word on to Camus.

Camus: (This is……what he used on Jin-u?)

Camus remembered his comrade Jin-u having his movements stopped by Hiiro’s strange attack. Therefore, as he thought that he must absolutely not allow himself to get hit by it, Camus jumped backwards from his spot. The words stuck onto the spot where Camus was at previously.

Seeing this, Hiiro clicked his tongue audibly enough for Camus to hear as he descended onto the ground.

Hiiro: 「You’re not bad. It doesn’t seem like you’ll be hit by that.」

Camus: 「Nn(11)…..a little while ago, Jin-u……had trouble.」

Hiiro: 「Fun(12). Guess that means you’re not an idiot.」

Following this, Camus sheathed his katana as he narrowed his eyes.

Camus: 「Next…interesting thing…I’ll show you.」

Hiiro: 「Nn?」

Camus placed his right hand on the ground.

Camus: 「……Sand Armor – Type – Gauntlet.」

Following this, the sand moved, enveloping Camus’ right hand. Camus was now wearing a gauntlet made of extremely hardened sand. As it was only his right hand that had become armed, it was swollen several times, to the point that it looked uncomfortable. It was as if the hand belonged to a golem or giant.

Camus: 「……Sand Needle」

Hiiro: 「Tch-!!」

Spikes of sand started flying towards Hiiro. Hiiro immediately jumped to the side. However, Camus suddenly headed to towards him in that direction. It seems that Hiiro had moved accordingly to Camus’ speculations.

Hiiro: 「Shi-…!?」

Camus: 「…this is the end!」

*Dogon-!*(13)

Hiiro: 「Gah-!?」

Hiiro was sent splendidly flying by the fist armed with sand. He received an impact that seemed to instantly blow his consciousness away. Bright red blood spewed out of his mouth. As if he were a stone skipping on water, Hiiro bounced up and down before hitting a big sand pile.

*Dogaan-!*

Hiiro: 「Gaha-!」

As he fell to the ground, a large amount of sand came raining down from above. Seeing that, Camus made a slight guts pose. The children started bouncing around in delight as they shared the same sentiment.

Liliyn faced the direction in which Hiiro was launched, wearing a sulky expression as she simply stared. Seeing such an expression, Sivan began to unleash words with a smile.

Sivan: 「Hoh hoh hoh(14). It looks like the match’s been decided.」

Presumably due to the fact that his friend had won, Sivan spoke his feelings with joy.

Shamoe: 「Feeeee~-!(15) Hiiro-samaa(16)!」

As Shamoe’s entire body trembled, she worried about Hiiro’s well-being. Yet, Silva and Liliyn simply stared in the direction that Hiiro had flown off in.

Silva: 「Ojou-sama(17).」

Liliyn: 「Aah, that bastard’s trying to do something.」

Sivan: 「Nn? Did you say something?」

Sivan asked thus.

Liliyn: 「Aah, the fun part’s coming up so look carefully.」

Sivan: 「……ha? The match is already-」

Liliyn: 「You’ve aged, Sivan. His fighting spirit has yet to waver. Rather…」

*Dogon-!*

As the mound of sand vigorously burst apart, Hiiro appeared with ragged breathing, his face distorted in pain.

Liliyn: 「There, see? Although it was unlikely for him to give up against an attack of that degree, it’s good to see that he’s still plenty motivated.」

Sivan: 「Impossible…he received Camus’ blow head on…」

Liliyn: 「He instantly jumped back and escaped the full brunt of the attack. Even so, it looks like he received quite a considerable amount of damage. Kukuku.」

After heaving a large sigh, Liliyn stared at Hiiro, who had re-established his breathing.

Liliyn: (Now, show it to me. Show me what you were trying to do just then.)

Notes:

  1. (1) *Kiiin*: Japanese onomatopoeia meaning *plink*. Think of the sound that swords make when they clash.
  2. (2) *Bashin*: Japanese onomatopoeia meaning *deflect*. It’s the sound of the force field repelling attacks.
  3. (3) Kukuku: Liliyn’s snicker.
  4. (4) TL Note: Japanese here is 対称的な二人. Literally means symmetrical people. However, it’s a phrase used to indicate that two people are asymmetrical. (I think? If anyone knows better, please tell me. I just learnt it from here: http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q13115269338)
  5. (5) Fuu: ‘Phew’
  6. (6) Refer to note 2
  7. (7) *Shun*: Japanese onomatopoeia meaning *shoom*. Think of the sound wind makes as it rushes past you (ie. someone running past you).
  8. (8) *Parapara*: Japanese onomatopoeia meaning *pitter-patter*. Similar to rain, I guess?
  9. (9) *Gorogoro*: Japanese onomatopoeia meaning *tumble*.
  10. (10) Nitouryuu: Hiiro’s nickname for Camus. Literally means ‘Dual Blade User’.
  11. (11) Nn: A Japanese expression denoting affirmation/confusion.
  12. (12) Fun: ‘Hmph.’
  13. (13) *Dogan*: Japanese onomatopoeia meaning *thump* (I think). Basically, the sound of a large impact.
  14. (14) Hoh hoh hoh: Sivan’s laugh.
  15. (15) Fee~: Shamoe’s expression of confusion. (For those that love to point this out, it is different to Rishia’s Fue. Rishia: ふえ | Shamoe: ふぇ.)
  16. (16) -sama: A suffix used to show respect to the one addressed. Very formal and used to address someone of higher position (eg. A maid addressing her Master).
  17. (17) Ojou-sama: A term used to refer to a female of high status. Alt Trans: ‘My Lady’ | ‘Mistress’.