Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
TL Note: New series! This one is kinda like “Tate no Yuusha,” so if you like that, you’ll probably find this a fun read!
I won’t bore you with anything else, so just enjoy~!
“Guuuh?! You b*stard…! Where did you come from?!”
I felt an exhilarating sensation spread from my palm to my fingers. It was a strike that unleashed from the very core without any regard for my own defense. This attack would come from outside the enemy’s consciousness, seeing as I cut off every crumb of my presence. Such was my ultimate technique as an assassin: Zero-Hide Strike.
“Haah…! Haah…! Haah…!”
The sheer power I had to release in a split second paired with the pinpoint accuracy it required left me temporarily weak. I fell to my knees, shuddering against the floor for a moment.
Before me stood the towering mass of muscles known as the Beast Demon King, Zarautiga. Sitting on top of his torso was the head of a lion, and four trunks for arms protruded from his sides disgustingly. However, as soon as my attack made contact with him, his right side along with two of his arms exploded into bloody debris, tipping his massive body and giving way to my victory.
“Haah…! N-now! While he’s losing control over his magic, give it all you’ve got! Bren! Pallad! Maria!” I yelled from my gut.
“No need to tell me what to do! Holy sword, come forth! Wooooooooh!!!”
“Hah! You cowardly assassin! You’ve made us fight this far, and now you’re hiding behind your orders?!”
“Hmph! I am not here to move at your command! Wind, might, and the holy light! I grant thee protection and boons in the name of the Goddess of War! —Breath of the Goddess!“
Zarautiga was in close combat with Bren when she cast her spell. His holy sword, which shone in a radiant rainbow of colors, almost blazed the atmosphere beside it with Maria’s blessings.
Meanwhile, Pallad, who had been completely recovered from the wounds he’s received from Zarautiga, concentrated all the light he could conjure into the tip of his charging spear.
Finally, with the golden crosier raised in prayer, Maria showered them with even more blessings of light, apart from the ones she had just cast.
“Oooooh! Take this, Beast Demon King! —Shining Cross!” Bren bellowed, swinging his sword.
“Raaaaah! Die already, Beast! —Flash Charge!” Pallad thrust his spear.
The shining sword slash that the warrior Bren released crossed with the one crescent from Pallad’s lance and destroyed the beast’s two left arms. Zarautiga creaked under the weight of their joint attack, unable to act due to the spells.
However, despite losing all four of its arms, the beast refused to fall. Stubborn, it erupted with a strong surge of dark magic from its entire body, blowing away Pallad who stood closest to him.
“…So it still has that much power left. But still!”
“Gwooh! How dare you, humans…?! I have never, never been pushed this far… But this, this is not the end…! My body may collapse, and my life fade away… But every last bit I have left in me will burst…! You will all be blown to shreds!” Zarautiga said in between ragged breaths.
After releasing the strike, Bren, who was intently watching the battle between Pallad and the Beast Demon King, readies his shining holy sword once again without lowering his guard. Then, he hoists it as if holding a cross.
“By the power of the Shining Cross, it shall be over! Zarautiga, the Beast who trampled over everything!” He prepared to swing his mighty blade.
“Such arrogance! You dare challenge me, the mighty Beast Demon King?! You worthless creatures! Guhh—!”
As the holy slash was about to reach its target, a sudden change occurred in the body of the Beast Demon King Zarautiga. With a scream befitting a dying lion, his body cracked, and the immense power of the darkness that had been contained within him released and took shape.
Countless dark masses emerged gargling from within the demon king’s core, like pitch tendrils. Bren and his companions were sent flying by this unexpected attack from the beast.
“You pitiful humans, brave yet fools! I am done for…! I have unleashed the power of darkness that formed my very being…! My body crumbles, my life is being crushed, but I will not end it here…!”
The beast staggered in place.
“My magic and my life force…! Let them burn and explode together! I will rip you all into pieces this very instant!”
Cracks appeared all over his body as the Beast Demon King extended tendrils of darkness. With a resounding roar, he proclaimed, “I will not be hindered by that! It is time… for the final showdown!”
“Grrrh! Everyone, let us charge! Ooohhh!” Bren kicked himself up.
“No! You cannot! Gahhhh!”
Though the valiant Bren and his companions rose after being momentarily defeated, they were relentlessly blocked by the persistent tendrils of darkness, unable to advance any further.
“Guh! Damn it, is it not reaching him?! Will it really end like this?! That f*cking scum of Darkness!”
“This, this cannot be happening! We should be the supreme Light that stands above all people!”
“Both of you! If you have time to grieve, then use that energy for action! Move forward! We’re almost there! We are going to become heroes soon!”
I alone listened to the mixture of anxiety and despair in Bren and his companions’ voices from a remote location. Crouched and silent, I waited for Zarautiga’s next attack from right in front of him.
My hidden technique, strengthened by my harsh training as an assassin, has been in effect since the moment I unleashed that skill. Combined with the intense offense and defense of Bren and his companions amidst the chaos, I am completely forgotten by both the Beast Demon King and, most likely, by the consciousness of Bren and his comrades.
Unfortunately for me, this also shows how little Bren and his companions hold my existence in significance… A wry smile crept up on my face as this sad fact dawns on me.
—But this is the moment in which everything will change. Alone, I wait patiently for an opportunity to deal the finishing blow.
The temporary rigidity born from the recoil of my skill has long since dissipated, and my beloved black sword, carefully imbued with magic by the Beast Demon King, is fully charged.
All that’s left is to deliver this blade. Defeating the towering beast before me would finally allow me to prove my worth to everyone else. Then, and finally then, I can become a true comrade to Bren and his party.
At that moment, a beam of light passed right above me as I knelt, piercing straight through the chest of the Beast Demon King.
“Guh! Bastards! Weren’t you all just…?! Incredible…! The brave hero of Light! And, and his companions too…!”
And so, the Beast Demon King Zarautiga, who had released all of its magical power and could no longer sustain its massive body, found itself on the verge of death, crushed by the radiance of Light.
“We… won? Did, did we do it?! Hey!”
“Ah…! I thought it was hopeless! Thank you, goddess!”
And thus, our fierce battle with the beast had ended.
However, though I was still badly wounded and unhealed, everyone else let themselves bask in a huge wave of relief. Then, a strange young girl appeared and walked toward Bren, who stood there in stunned silence.
“Yes! I’m so glad I made it in time! I heard rumors in town about the Hero of Light and his party heading to battle the Beast Demon King. I wanted to help too, so I came chasing after you all! Oh, I’m sorry! I got excited and haven’t even introduced myself yet!” Babbled the stranger.
“No, it was dangerous and you helped us. It’s more appropriate for us to introduce ourselves first. Again, I am Bren, the Hero of Light. We were able to defeat the Beast Demon King undoubtedly thanks to you. Thank you. If you’re willing, please continue to support us with your power from now on.”
“Heh! I agree with Bren! I’m Pallad, the Holy Knight! I truly appreciate your help! Let’s continue working together!”
“I am a Saintess, and my name is Maria. It was the guidance of God that led me to meet you here. Please let us work well together.”
“Guys…! I’m a Star Archer named Stea! I’m glad to be working with you from now on!”
…The scene felt oddly familiar to me.
Stea, who had just saved the hero’s party from their desperate situation, chatted and laughed as if she were an age-long friend to the group. She was seemingly fully accepted by the trio.
Meanwhile, I was kneeling on the ground alone, with no hope left to raise my sword and only staring at the void above.
It was as if I didn’t exist at all.
…As if I had never been there from the beginning.
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