SETP Vol. 1 Chapter 12
Chapter 12 – Mentor
“Don’t you dare…mess with me..!!”
I reached the limits of my rage and shouted. My eyes were wide open. I couldn’t accept reality. An incredible reality that made the veins on my temples bulge.
It was supposed to be an easy job. I was so confident that my illusions would never lose to anyone. It had always been like that, and it should continue to be. And yet…
I controlled not only sight, but even sound, through my illusions. I created a situation in which the opponent’s eyes and ears couldn’t function properly. A situation where I was at an absolute advantage. Or at least…that’s how it was supposed to be.
“Why am I the one in a pinch here…..!?!?!”
Idies Farizard, the “Hero” called the “Game of Illusions”, howled and glared at me. In terms of wounds, I had more than she did. However, mine were all superficial. My years of experience granted me exceptional evasion abilities.
The illusions were tricking my sight and hearing, but physical sensations couldn’t be faked. The instant Idies attacked and I felt pain, I evaded with incredible speed. My swordsman’s instincts contributed too.
Using these abilities, I bared my fangs at her. After all, not even illusions could be used without risk forever.
Even the dreadlocks man, who could survive in that hellish world, could only use them continuously for two hours at most, as he had said while laughing.
If my opponent planned to continue using illusions, I’d humor her as long as it took. The moment her energy ran out, her head would fly off too.
The woman noticed that I was in no rush to defeat her and probably understood my train of thought. Idies began to realize that she was being cornered little by little.
Because of my passive stance, I had to choose whether to dodge or parry Idies’ sword. After doing so, I swung my sword where I predicted she would be, thus executing my counterattack. Of course, it was just a prediction and wouldn’t be definite, but my precision was not to be underestimated.
“Dieee!! Disappear from my sight already!!”
No matter how many times she tried to kill me, I kept dodging her illusions as if I could see through them, so Idies started feeling fear.
“Hey now, your mask is peeling off, woman”
Rough, wild slashes. Her initial confidence was fading fast. I kept the damage she inflicted to a minimum and laughed.
“Hey, you’re strong, aren’t you? C’mon, laugh!”
The strong never show their weaknesses. My mentor always laughed, even as he died. My other acquaintances were the same. Even if they lost an arm, they still laughed. Even with a hole in their stomach, they laughed, like they couldn’t do anything else.
Because they knew that making the opponent think that they had something unknown, something unfathomable, was the key to victory. Because they knew they could at least make them pay.
“….are you crazy or something…!?”
Humans retrieve 80% of the information they possess through sight. In a state where that information is lost and sound is lost as well…where approaching footsteps can be heard from all around and no useful information could be obtained, I laughed.
I cackled, thoroughly amused. What would you call someone like that, if not crazy? I understood why Idies would say something like that.
A simple task, to kill the fake “Hero” prince. Or so she was told.
What’s fake about this guy…!? He’s stronger than your average Hero…!!
It was her first time meeting a person that, despite being unable to use sight and sound, kept the damage they suffered to a minimum and she couldn’t kill no matter how much she tried.
Idies swung her broadsword again, promising to herself that, if she could go back in one piece, she’d cut in two the arrogant man who gave her the task.
The ability to use illusions was a large advantage, but it naturally also had its demerits. That was the reason why she wielded a broadsword. Since illusions used a large amount of her resources, she couldn’t use magic at all. Thus her only option was to use her sword.
“Crazy, you say?”
I don’t know what meaning it holds for her, but for me it’s nothing but a compliment. That word is what I set as my goal to survive, after all.
My behavior was all a ruse, though. A facade of lies I put up in order to survive. In that world, I was completely normal, until the very end. Yet she described me as crazy.
How naive…was what I honestly thought.
“Shit, shit, shit, shiiiit!!!”
“You’re quite desperate all of a sudden, can I take it as a sign that you won’t be able to make illusions anymore soon?”
I twisted my lips in a grin and cocked my head.
“So that was your plan…”
“Unfortunately for you, I am sort of familiar with illusion users. He used to laugh and say that they don’t last long.”
Not even 30 minutes had passed yet. The dreadlocks man wouldn’t show that his illusions were going to disappear, not even after two hours passed.
“….hey, prince, why don’t we make a deal?”
A voice like a purring cat, eager to curry my favor. Still, it was warped by a gripping fear. Idies looked at the cage of swords I created as soon as I realized that my hearing wouldn’t have helped me in battle.
Since I realized that there was a possibility she could disappear without me noticing, I created a cage of swords around us with my “Spada”, in order to prevent her from going to attack Feli or the other soldiers.
A dome of shadow swords encased us, clearly showing that there was no way of escape.
Idies tried attacking the sword cage, only to suffer a rather deep wound in return, so she knew she couldn’t run.
“…yes, a deal. I’m not going to attack you anymore. I’ll leave that elf alone and I’ll leave Beredhia too. I can even start serving Diestburg! Yes, I would gladly serve a prince like you!! So–”
I could tell where she was going. So I interrupted her in a dry tone.
“So I should spare you?…”
My reply clearly showed my irritation.
“…I don’t know what misunderstanding got into your head, but once you cross swords, you fight until either you or your opponent dies. I had no intention of letting you go from the start, but where’s the proof that you aren’t lying? There is only one way for you to survive. You just need to kill me. Simple, isn’t it?”
“You damn brat…!!”
Idies clenched her teeth in anger, cracking an otherwise healthy tooth.
“…as you wish, then…I’m going to kill you with my trump card….”
The atmosphere changed. Her words sounded like a bluff at first, but the change in her aura testified they weren’t. She probably made her resolve, or was going to attempt something fairly risky. I couldn’t tell which it was, but there was one thing I knew.
“We’re finally even.”
Because of her fighting style used illusions, Idies probably always fought with the minimum risk of dying. But now, she was cornered.
I smiled an empty smile. When I stopped hesitating before swinging my sword and killing, I turned into a beast. I remember how it felt when swinging the sword was what made me feel alive.
“Regret and die!! Weep and die!! Drown to your death!!”
Idies screamed hysterically, as if she lost herself. Even so, her lips were curved in an evil grin, reminiscent of a witch.
She cackled. I did so too. This is what a duel to the death is.
Idies howled. Something approached. If it didn’t pose any risks to her, she would have used it before pleading for her life. Yet, she didn’t. If possible—
“Here it comes.”
The next instant…
I was speechless. My five senses returned to normal. All tricks and deceptions caused by illusions completely disappeared. There was no mistake.
My “Spada” started rattling. Telling me to open my eyes, to look in front of me. I could feel a nostalgic smell, a nostalgic atmosphere, and nostalgic sensations.
I slowly open my eyes. As I do, the thought of Idies Farizard slipped away from my mind. The shock I felt was so great that I forgot about everything that happened until just seconds ago.
I look dazed at impossible scenery. I tried to say something, but no words would come out.
I was completely still.
Various emotions erupted within me, like water through a dam. I was not one to speak with much emotion, but this time my words were filled with affection, quite unlike the usual Fay Hanse Diestburg.
My eyes couldn’t be deceiving me. White hair, so common in that world. Proudly grown until the waist and tied.
<<You managed to survive in one piece today too. Well done.>
The words I heard so often at the end of the day. His words, filled with kindness, reverberated in my head.
I could never forget it. The person I am today was formed thanks to having met him. He was my everything. The person I sought so much was there before me. Right next to me.
Then, the word escaped my lips.
The title of the person I admired so much.