Arc 6 – Chapter 26, “Stick Swinger”

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Translated By :

  • Hedge
  • Ringo

Arc Source :

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ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO STARTING A LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH

JAPANESE WEB NOVEL SOURCE

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――There was a woman, all by herself.

The woman’s spirit had been violated. The woman lay deep in the abyss of insanity. The woman was standing upon the farthest land of starvation.

Growling in the solitary castle, gnawing the unoccupied throne, breaking her teeth, ripping up her mouth, starving.

The woman had been a human when she was born, but at that point in time, she no longer remained human.

It all began a few years ago, when the man governing those lands fell victim to an incurable illness.

Weakening by the day, the man, frightened of his approaching death, stretched his hands to all kinds of means in order to prolong his life.

Before long he attained techniques which were taboo, and gathered a large number of lives for an outrageous immorality for the purpose of attaining a long life.

Abundantly, lives were sacrificed, abundantly, lives were rendered idle, and among those sacrifices was the woman.

Who she was, what her name was, what her birthplace was, who her family was, such memories of hers had already been burnt away.

Merely a tool was the woman. A seedbed, for the man merely awaiting his death, having been eaten away by the demon of ill health.

Idle lives only to be wasted, that was how it was supposed to be, yet the woman survived.

A body ruined, power gushing forth, the lamp of a life ostracized by what is called time.

The hopes, dearest wishes of the man trespassed by the demon of ill health, materialised upon the woman’s body.

The man was delighted at the fruits of his labour, postponing the memorial for those sacrificed, overbearingly unfastened the woman’s constraints.

ーーWhen she came to notice, the woman was alone, in the uninhabited solitary castle, anguishing and suffering with starvation.

Thoughts disappearing with cruel hunger, memories devoured into a void by violent thirst.

She had nothing in her memories. She had nothing within her understanding. Merely, her entire body had constraints, so she possessed no freedom either.

Eating away all food within the castle, vomiting out the content of her stomach, chewing and digesting them once again, she continued to repeat.

Ultimately for what remained of her starvation, she bit into the stone walls, crunched the throne, ate the carpets.

At that pace, she would starve to death. Her body, which cannot die, would starve to death.

“Grrgrr, grrrr. Grrgrr, grrrr……”

At the extremity of starvation unable to obtain trance, the woman finally saw an illusion.

Inside the solitary castle, bustling about with wilful freedom was a horde of dogs clad in beastial hair.

Even if it was a hallucination, she did not mind. If she was unable to be satiated physically, she desired to satisfy merely her heart.

With such wholeheartedness the woman crawled, devouring the beasts. Devoured the beasts. Ate them away.

She was being satisfied. The following instant, she vomited. She licked what had been vomited. She chewed. Vomited, ate.

In the illusion, in the mirage, in the hallucination, in her desire, there present was taste. There present was form. She could feel it on her tongue.

When she came to notice, the interior of the castle had become a den of repulsive beasts.

“Aha, ahaha, ahahahahahaha~.”

She was greatly delighted. Buried in days of eating and getting eaten, she was satisfied after she ate, and she vomited after she was satisfied.

Stuck between starvation and refusing food, the woman ate and vomited, slurped and spilled.

Given birth to by the empty skiesーー no, given rebirth to, were the beasts with a repulsive presence.

Before she noticed, the woman’s constraints were exposed to the battle for devouring between the beasts and her, came loose, and she was freed.

Attaining freedom, the woman crawled, exited the castle.

The beasts as well, following the woman, exited the castle. Upon the earth, in all directions, they scattered around.

Hunger, starvation, unable to endure them, the woman devoured, and kept the castle she had grown tired of eating for later.

To visit it, when the day of the satisfaction of her hunger and thirst arrives.

ーーThe 『Witch of Gluttony』 gave birth to the horde of Witch Beasts, and continued to starve from inexhaustible starvation.

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――On the 2nd Floor『Electra』of the Pleiades Watch Tower, in the room white as chalk, the『Trial』began.

The examiner stood in the corner of the room, a man with red hair and the smile of a shark plastered on his face.

Introducing himself as naught but a『Stick Swinger』, the man’s aura overflowed with an unusual sword spirit.

The way he appeared was in itself complicated. Even Shaula herself, who was the supposed caretaker of the Watchtower, had fainted the moment she laid eyes on him. As such, he was obviously no one ordinary.

Thus――、

Julius: “I will, from the first moment, fight at full power――!”

Man: ”――――”

Leaning forward, Julius spoke as he took a step forward.

The blade he softly threw towards the man, was the same Sword of Selection that had been stuck into the floor of『Electra』. The sword spun in the air, flying in an arc, before it stabbed the ground near the man’s feet.

So that the man may simply stretch out his hand to take it.

Man: ”Hell’s you doin, you. Throwin’ me a sword and all, ya got a death wish?”

Julius: “Unfortunately, as a knight, it is most shameful an act to swing a sword at one unarmed!”

Man: “Kah! Makin me laugh. ――Ain’t empty-handed, take a closer look, you.”

The man roared with laughter, teeth bared, at the advancing Julius. And while laughing, he casually raised his foot in the air and gave a wild kick to the sword. The Sword of Selection gave a shrill wail as it flew off.

It screeched inches past Julius, who had lunged towards the man――、

Julius: “――tch! I hope you bear no regret for speaking those words!”

His thoughtfulness coldly cast aside, Julius’ face cheeks stiffened as he swung out his Knight’s sword.

The slender blade he raised in a straight line, as a hammer to strike at those insolent enough to disgrace the grounds of a duel.

It pierced forward, swift as lightning but――、

Man: “Don’t be shoutin’ all cutesy there, buffon. Ya got a nice damn face. Wouldn’t ya be troubled if ya get off on ol’ me cryin?”

Julius: “Wha…… tch”

With a thunderous boom, the tip stopped before reaching the man’s torso.

Of course, Julius had not slackened his hand. He always tried to the best of his abilities, regardless of the situation. Thus, it was not him that stopped the blade, but rather the man bearing the smile of a shark.

Julius: “Impossible!”

Man: “Gotta believe what ya see. It all starts from there, ya know.”

Cackling with joyous laughter, the『Stick Swinger』raised his right hand and scratched his chest. It was the same behavior as before. Just like the time he was piling up on a nonsense conversation.

However, his left hand pinched the tip of Julius’ sword, with frightening accuracy.

That too, with――,

Julius: “――a pair, of twigs?”

Man: “Look here, it’s not even close. What, ya eyes bad or somethin’, you. Chopsticks, its chopsticks. Pretty nice for grabbin’ snacks, them chopsticks. Is why I keep ‘em on me.”

So slender, one had to squint to properly see the pair of wooden sticks――the『Stick Swinger』held them in his left hand and used them with grace and dexterity, similar to how Subaru knew them to be used, who had reflexively groaned upon seeing them. Chopsticks indeed existed in this world, as he had witnessed and experienced during his stay at Priestella, but to witness one use them with such finesse, was a first.

――No, regardless of the finesse one possessed in their use, to stop the swing of a First Class swordsman using a pair of chopsticks was absolutely an inhuman feat.

Man: “Hah? Don’t be makin’ me laugh, you. Swingin’ at the best angle, with the best speed, with the best feelin’, in the best way――Be chopsticks or whatever, there’s nothing it can’t cut.”

Julius: “Gu….tch.”

Rolling his eyes over the awestruck faces, the『Stick Swinger』yawned, then spoke with a stab of sarcasm. But while it was normal for everyone to be silent when shown such a spectacle, Julius, the concerned party, could not.

He put strength into his arm and pulled to pry away the Knight’s Sword  that remained stuck between the pair of chopsticks. However, no matter how much strength he put in, the sword would not budge.

Man: “Lemme tell ya though, this here ain’t made outta somethin’ funny. Bad material’s just bad for the skin, so. Got nothin’ mixed in, just your everyday pair, made from some tree somewhere.”

Julius: “Kh…..”

Man: “Let it out, let it out… Best be laughin’, you. Whoevers laughins more of a looker. Not that it matters, you bein’ a guy.”

Suddenly, the block he felt at the tip of his sword was gone, leaving Julius bewildered. In that instant, the man turned his body and leapt into the air with his two bare feet. With tremendous force, he landed a kick right above Julius’ slender waist, sending him flying.

???: “Julius――!”

Subaru did not know who raised their voice in a scream, but they had no choice but to watch his flight, as everyone had to put in much more thought before making any kind of sudden movement.

And now, following him as he soared across the air, unable to fix his posture,

Man: “Kah!”

The『Stick Swinger』’s figure shot off like a bullet, chasing right after Julius. With unbelievable physical prowess, he stopped right above Julius and took stance with a chopstick in each hand and released a flurry of slashes aimed at Julius ――Whether they could be called slashes was up for debate, but regardless, the man unleashed a violent flurry of strikes with the chopsticks.

With movements so fast, each separate strike seemed to disappear. It appeared the same way to everyone, and Julius was already helpless mid-air, so he had no way of dodging.

With his Knight’s Sword as his only ally, Julius met each chopstick slash with his own. However, the chopsticks slipped past, as if sneering, and stabbed into Julius, again, and again, and again, and again, and again――,

???: “Jiwald――!!”

A ray of heat shot across the air, aimed towards the engaged duo.

White light, in its most simple form, can rip through the world with its dreadful edge. In other words, it can become an invisible blade that tears, cuts and burns through everything in its path.

It went straight, and was as such, easy to dodge―― However, the shimmering rays travelled at the speed of light, crashing straight into its target.

Even so, the『Stick Swinger』cut away the rays of light fired by the third party with ease――,

Man: “――My sword can cut even light, you.”

Faster than his own gruff voice’s echo, the chopsticks struck and sliced through the ray of light.

An impossible spectacle that pulled in the attention of everyone present. Only the man sneered, as if he had done something ordinary, and continued jabbing at Julius with his free hand.

As if making light of him―― No, the truth was, he indeed was making very light of him.

???: “――tch! Jiwaaaaaald――!!”

In response to that, his eyes turned red, overlapping with the chant――.

With both arms spread wide, chanting for the magic that shot rays of heat, her graceful composure painted with panic, was Anastasia. Hands open, all fingers poised―― Ten fingers in total shot out ten Death Rays simultaneously, all danced in the air as they approached the『Stick Swinger』.

――And the『Stick Swinger』himself took just as an amazing measure.

Man: “Kah!”

The『Stick Swinger』faced the dancing beams head on and sliced through them with his chopsticks just like before, then he pounced up by kicking off of thin air and made a nosedive―― Taking Julius, who was right below, along with him, dragging him across the white floor as he ran, Julius was pinned by the chopsticks in his solar plexus.

Man: “Kakakakakah! Aim well, you. Can’t even swat a fly like that. They don’t call me a lady-killer for nothin’, you. Kakakakah!”

Anastasia: “Jiwald! Jiwald! Jiwaaald――!”

Anastasia still chose to continue her attacks against the cackling man. Unfortunately, regardless of its firepower, if the magic does not hit, it has no meaning.

Even with her firing them all over, the man simply cut through, at times ducked, and at times made a sharp spin by putting his weight on Julius.

His overwhelming physical and battle prowess in full display, clashed against Anastasia’s clearly poor aim.

In this case, technically it was not Anastasia whose aim was poor, but Echidna’s, who was currently inhabiting that body. Despite wishing to aid Julius with a surprise magic attack, her actions severely failed her intentions, leaving her unable to even get a scratch in.

Soon――,

Anastasia: “――a, kh.”

Man: “Aahn?”

Her time, it would seem, would run out first.

The『Stick Swinger』who was gleefully dodging the heat rays, stopped and raised his eyebrows when the rays halted their pursuit. At the end of his gaze was Anastasia, who had collapsed to the ground.

Blood flowed from her nostrils, a sign that she had overworked her own body. She had stated it herself earlier. She could not rely on her trump card, as it would shave away her own life――.

Julius: “Anastasia-sama――!”

Man: “Ooh!?”

Vigor instilled by the sight of his falling master, Julius broke free of his defense-only stance, free from being slid around on his back, free from the relentless blows of the chopsticks of the『Stick Swinger』.

He had taken took off the button near his chest and flung away his knight’s mantle, forcing the direction of friction to change, allowing him to get out of the cycle.

From his position on the floor, he aimed a circular kick at the man’s head, cursing his own foolishness. The man moved his chin away slightly, escaping the blow, but Julius repeated his kicks two more times like a breakdance. After a few rounds of kicks and dodging, he stood back up.

Man: “Ya really pulled a good one, you. Felt that good, you.”

Julius: “I don’t have time for your nonsense! Move it――!”

Their absolute difference in ability, was something Julius understood too well, yet still roared at him. His knight’s sword, even after the countless blows he had taken, had not left his hand.

So the sword flew, slithering through the air in a show of swordsmanship of the utmost grace and elegance, even while being worn down with righteous cause and a sense of duty―― It may have been the finest display of a knight’s swordsmanship.

A countless number of days, of months must have been spent, shed tears and blood training to refine his technique.

And yet――,

Man: “Playin’ with me, you? Ya playin’ me? Don’t be goin’ light on me, you.”

Julius: “――tch.”

Man: “What’s this. Don’t make me laugh, you. Don’t be holdin’ back, give me all ya got, you. Are ya serious ‘bout this? If this’ all ya  got, man, what a let-down, you.”

His thrusts were stopped, slashes, blown away, barrages, shot down and his one-shots, parried.

The technique Julius had built up, his own essence as a knight, were all denied by the swaying pair of frighteningly beautiful, violent and powerful chopsticks, wielded by a man who kept yawning, who named himself only as a mere『Stick Swinger』.

Half his life, was being trampled over by a pair of measly twigs――.

Man: “Ya ain’t like this usually, you. Why’s ya fightin’ all lonesome, that ain’t how ya fight, is it? Ya ain’t used to it―― That’s why all this’ borin’ me, you.”

Julius: “I am….”

Man: “If ya wanna tend to ya girl, I’ll let ya. Borrow a pair of ’em thicc thighs and get babied, ya ugly failure of a swordsman.”

That which flashed across his face, was it wrath? Pain? Regret? Despair?

In any case, one can never truly know what lies within others.

Julius: “――――”

Julius’ sword flashed, his thin knight’s sword, as it did likely millions of times before, tracing across the air.

Anyone watching, even from the sidelines with untrained eyes, could tell it was a swing full of faults.

The chopsticks dove into the flash from the side.

In the next moment, sailing through the air, the wood tore through the steel of the knight’s sword―― With a faint cry, Julius’ knight sword snapped in two.

His yellow eyes could only widen and follow the sight of his beloved sword’s tip as it spun across the air. How long had he been using that sword? What history did he share with it? None knew.

Only, what broke hadn’t been limited to his sword.

Man: “Off with ya.”

Accompanying the spat out words were giant fists that were thrown at his face.

It was the most unrefined and primitive kind of violence. A violence that was prevalent from a time long before man had any kind of tools, that utilised one’s own flesh.

Man: “――――”

The merciless strike broke Julius’ elegant profile. The blow took his consciousness and sent his body flying across the room, where it followed the laws of inertia and crashed, rolled, then finally remained still, body splayed across like a broken doll―― Right beside Anastasia.

Like master, like servant, the unconscious duo were lined up. It was the beastly man’s misplaced sense of consideration.

Man: “Well, well, next up’s…”

Snapping his neck like he just finished warming up, the man turned to them.

In truth, it was a warm-up to him. In only a few tens of seconds, Julius had dashed across the battlefield, got beaten in a one-sided fight, Anastasia tried to help but the two ended up only collapsing together―― Within that time, Subaru had not a single chance to cut in, and could only stand and watch.

And just like him, there stood still――、

Emilia: “――Ice Brand Arts, Icicle Line.”

Man: “――――”

――Absolutely none.

As if to prove it, white particles danced around her.

Pale blue specks of light, barely noticeable in that they were actually fragments of ice―― Birthed by Emilia’s absolute magic, Hyousetsu Kekkai1:『Icicle Line』.

Emilia: “I want to ask one thing before we start.”

Mixing her own magic energy with the Mana of her surroundings, she put up a kind of barrier with the man in the centre as he scratched the place above his eyepatch, then called out to him.

Man: “Aanh? Lemme hear, frizzlin’.”

Emilia: “I’m Emilia. Just Emilia.――Wasn’t the condition, to make you take just one step? You ran around a lot just now though.”

After giving her name, she asked a natural question.

Before the fight started, the『Stick Swinger』had indeed stated that while laughing. 『Let’s see ya get me to move even one step』. If that were to be taken as the condition, then it had obviously been broken.

To say they had been flying across and all over the room during Julius’ fight, would be grossly understating everything.

However, the man shrugged and spoke, “Oi, oi.”

Man: “Don’t be takin’ that stuff seriously, you. Just made it up on the spot. It happens, right? Ya wanna be lookin’ cool from time to time, right? It’s that stuff. Geddit? Ya don’t? Well, ya bein’ a woman an’ all. Bein’ a frizzlin’ one an’ all. Be with me tonight, you.”

Emilia: “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you mean. Besides, I don’t think I can win, even if I fight you.”

Subaru: “Eh, Emilia….?”

With magic ready at hand, her posture saying she was completely ready to fight, Emilia boldly proclaimed her powerlessness. The『Stick Swinger』’s eyes widened at that remark, and Subaru, who was standing stiff, blurted out something.

Emilia responded to him with a small, “Really sorry”, then turned back to the man,

Emilia: “You’re reeeally strong. I can see that. But we have to pass this『Trial』. So please, give us a way to win.”

Man: “…………”

Emilia: “If we manage to make you move even one step, it’s our win. Let’s base our match on that…. Can’t we?”

She lowered her brows, then asked the silent man. At the end, she added something with a little bit more confidence, which stunned Subaru.

It was an absolutely ridiculous proposition, one only the greatest of idiots would accept.

The『Stick Swinger』had remained silent for a good moment after hearing that flimsy proposal, but then――,

Man: “Kah!”

He bared his teeth in laughter, then looked at Emilia through his bright, blue eyes. Those eyes washed over her frame, as if licking her from head to toe, and then,

Man: “――Real fine stuff ya made of, can’t say I hate it, you. Showed lotsa guts, sayin’ all that to someone like me. Biggest idiot I’ve seen since Trisha, you. I’ve taken a liking to ya.”

Emilia: “So, I’ve passed the『Trial』?”

Man: “I ain’t gonna treat ya that much, you! But alright. Already showed off in front of a nice lady. Gotta keep it up. Gonna turn even in my grave if I step down here.―― I’ll make it like ya want.”

Emilia: “I’ll pass if…”

Man: “Ya win if ya can make me move even a single step!”

The『Stick Swinger』with a softened expression, called out to the crestfallen Emilia, who immediately looked up and nodded, then turned to Subaru,

Emilia: “I’m leaving Anastasia and Julius to you. Please tend to them.”

Subaru: “T-time! You saw what happened just now, right!? Going in without a plan’s…..”

Emilia: “Its okay. He doesn’t seem like he’s aiming to kill…. And I’ll give my everything, too.”

Brimming with confidence, Emilia cut off Subaru’s attempt to stop her and took a step forward. And then, while still wearing her dignified look, raised both her hands towards the『Stick Swinger』.

With that much distance put between them, she could one-sidedly snipe him with her magic.

Man: “With a face that frizzlin’, ya pretty stubborn, you.”

Emilia: “Do what you can the best you can, is what I’ve learned from my great Knight!”

Even in such a disadvantageous situation, the man simply folded his giant arms and laughed fiercely.

With her sights set on the man’s smile, Emilia put some force into her words―― Right away the air popped and snapped and droplets of pale light fluttered about, then formed into weapons of ice one after another.

Swords, lances, spears, axes, arrows, and many, many more weapons formed.

Ice Brand Arts: Icicle Line―― A technique that used the giant reserves of magical energy inside Emilia to create a limited-area boundary of destruction, a special technique forged through Subaru’s otherworldly inventiveness, had activated.

Emilia: “Ei, ya!!”

She raised her voice in a warcry, but it had no effect on the man.

Accompanying her cry, the weapons that had their tips pointed towards the『Stick Swinger』shot off from all directions at the same time.2

Multiple weapons that struck even from one’s blindspots, it was indeed an unblockable attack.

Faced with this, the man once again took one chopstick in each hand, and released a raging flurry of strikes, starting the tyranny of chopsticks.

Art unfolded in the spectacle of a single man ripping through ice.

Subaru: “――――”

Following Emilia’s instructions, Subaru dashed to where lay Julius and Anastasia, checked their condition and sighed in relief when he realized they were only unconscious.

Anastasia’s case was, as Echidna had worried, likely to be the result of her forcibly using magic by shaving off her life force. While not completely in the clear, her nosebleed had stopped, and she seemed to have simply fainted. As for Julius, even though he had been assaulted by chopstick-fu, which had likely hurt, but retained no more than a few bruises to his body.

If he were to, say, have been struck one hundred times, if it were a sword and not chopsticks, he would have died a hundred times over, but he was likely shown consideration, so the end result was by no means a minus.

Beatrice: “Both of them are doing well, I suppose. But….”

Subaru: “I know.”

Beatrice, who had come beside Subaru to check on their wellbeing as well, was cut off.

They were done checking the duo’s condition. As for the beast that did this in the first place, Emilia was busy clashing with it head on――、

Man: “Kah!”

Ice sprayed and shattered, and the overjoyed man crushed their fragments under his teeth while swinging his chopsticks.

The shattered weapons of ice turned into bubbles of pale light, which fell and scattered around the raging wild man, a fantastical spectacle that repeated itself endlessly.

However, even while doing so――,

Subaru: “――He won’t budge.”

Man: “Started with flashin’ my cool side, so let me keep bein’ my coolest till the very end, how boring can ya get, you.”

Upon hearing Subaru’s groan, the『Stick Swinger』began humming some kind of tune while intercepting the many ice weapons. Even then, while his upper body swung like he was doing some kind of tempestuous dance, his feet remained cemented in the ground, like a pair of immovable mountains.

Against someone like that, even firing off magic like a hailstorm was doing little. That sense of frustration not only festered in Subaru, who had a bird’s eye view of the fight, but also in Emilia, who was directly involved in it.

So, to break this stalemate, Emilia stepped in――.

Emilia: “―― Uuー, ya!!”

Silver hair fluttering in the air behind her slender body, Emilia pounced into battle. Raising both her arms, she grasped the hilt of a great battle-axe.

She turned herself full circle and brought it down straight towards the man’s head.

Man: “Kakah!”

 The man casually thrust up his chopsticks to intercept its trajectory. The chopstick only slightly changed the falling battle-axe’s trajectory, but it grew in size as it fell, the edge finally managing to gaze past his kinagashi’s3  sleeve, and pierced into the ground.

The violent blow raised a blast of wind, and unable to withstand the shock of its own power, the battle-axe of ice shattered into millions of fragments. However, she let go of the handle and immediately took in hand a lance that was being launched from behind her, then turned her body a full circle turn to land her next attack.

Emilia: “Ei! Ya! Torya! Urya! Uryaurya! Uyah!”

The thrust of a lance, the flash of twin swords, the swing of a longsword, the slash of a katana, the smash of a hatchet, all and any forms of attacking, were all meaningless when pit against this man.

Of course, Emilia was not lacking in any skill.

Her physical strength was in no way lacking and the Ice Brand Arts was, as Subaru would usually say even though he came up with it, the one and only one technique that brought out the best of her abilities, utilising both her physical prowess and enormous magical reserve to the greatest effect.

Beatrice: “――Subaru.”

 Beatrice gripped his hand tightly. This grip filled Subaru with much needed composure, but he continued to desperately strained his eyes at the battlefield.

He could not find a single chance to break into the fight. Emilia was fighting up to that extent, where she kept swapping between weapons she was good with, always playing to her strengths, continuing her physical attacks, as well as firing off her storm of magic. The centre was indeed, a point which was being consistently carpet-bombed.

And the man who stood at the dead centre of that, dealing with everything without taking even a step, the monster who’d named himself as nothing more than a mere『Stick Swinger』, was a complete abnormality.

If he carelessly dove in, Subaru may only prove to be a distraction to Emilia. He could not deny that.

He could do nothing to remove his anxiety. Beatrice, who held his hand, too stood in silence, fully understanding that she was the same, in being able to do nothing but watch over the battle with clenched teeth.

Could the situation improve before Emilia’s stamina ran out?

Just then, an unexpected change occurred in this situation. That too, suddenly.

Emilia: “Huff! Ei! Terya!”

Both her hands grasped a pair of swords and swung them from both sides, aimed at his neck to decapitate. The man quickly lowered his head to avoid the blow, while both swords slipped out of Emilia’s hand and flew away. But, Emilia immediately created another pair in her palms and swung her crossed arms outwards―― The man dodged in a much fancier style, leaning so much that his body went parallel to the floor.

Man: “Kah!”

Emilia: “Wha-”

Knees bent, body almost touching the floor, the man held this position with the inhuman strength of his ankles. On the other hand, Emilia lost to her own momentum, letting her arms fly through nothing, leaving herself wide open and with a step in front, leaning back.

This was the first big, even life threatening, mistake Emilia had made in this fight―― The man might have seen even more, but this moment must have been the biggest chance he had seen.

Right then, the man straightened his bent knees, popping back into position. Emilia was left off-guard, and bit her molars.

In that moment, the man bared his teeth the most he had, then leaned forward with his shark-like smile.

Man: “Ya wide open.”

Using the chopsticks at hand, he brushed over Emilia’s twin peaks in a scooping motion.

Emilia: “Wh――”

Emilia was dressed in her usual white outfit, where parts of her white and smooth skin were visible. The chopsticks streaked over her chest, making her abundant swelling jump about obscenely, which made the man’s vile smile deepen.

The man groaned in satisfaction at the results of his obscene act.

Man: “Good, real good stuff. But don’t be gettin’ mad over somethin’ so small…”

Emilia: “Torya!”

Man: “Goah――!?”

Her hands crossed together above-head, encased in gloves fashioned from ice, came down on the man’s head, who was busy ogling her with a vile smile.

The blow landed so hard that the ice shattered, the sound of its hard impact resonating. The man yelled in pain, then dropped to the floor with his head held, and began rolling around.

Man: “Guoooooooh! It hurts daaamnit! Wh-what the hell were ya thinkin’, you!? Usually, a woman’s gonna hesitate if someone does that, but ya didn’t even blink! Hell’s with you!?”

Emilia: “――? But, you just touched my body, right? Plus, you were completely off-guard.”

Man: “Don’t fuck around! The hell’s with your upbringing! The hell were ya parents doin’!”

Rubbing his beaten head, the『Stick Swinger』sat on the ground with his legs crossed, shouting out his complaints. Emilia blinked in surprise at his shout, then touched the part of her chest where the chopsticks had brushed passed,

Emilia: “……Did I, say something strange?”

Man: “Oi! Do something about this frizzlin’ beauty! Get her walking out or somethin’! Small fry! Ya supposed to be attendin’ to her! Make somethin’ of ya-self, do it proper! It hurts, goddamnit……!”

Subaru: “I-I’m in no place to be taking this from you. That aside……”

Man: “Aaahn!?”

Despite being overwhelmed, Subaru somewhat managed to talk back to the raging man. Once he managed to swallow his own anger at how the man stretched out an obscene hand towards Emilia, he pointed to him, and spoke.

Subaru: “To hell with just one step, you moved a whole lot away.”

Man: “――――”

Emilia: “Ah! It’s true! I did it! I won!”

His mouth shut when Subaru pointed it out, and in exchange, Emilia started jumping up and down.

And in accordance to her feelings, flowers of ice began blooming in her immediate surroundings, as if to celebrate her own victory.

The man had declared it himself, the condition was to make him move even a step from where he stood, which had been achieved.

That fact was as clear as day to everyone, and unless the man made things harder, it would be accepted.

Subaru: “Well, how about it?”

He felt bad for Emilia, who was celebrating her own victory over the『Trial』, but Subaru did not fully trust the man. From all the exchanges they had, to expect sportsmanship from him was difficult.

To invalidate his loss, declare the last『Trial』as void, and rush them with everything he had, would not be too unlikely.

A single drop of sweat rolled down Subaru’s brows and across his cheeks.

Man: “Ayeー, no helpin’ it.  My word’s my word. This kinda defeat’d make me a laughin’ stock, lecher soul be damned, but I ain’t got a choice.”

Subaru: “Y-you’ll approve …!?”

Man: “You, the hell ya thinkin’ of me. If I ain’t keepin’ my word ‘ere, all of my posin’ cool’s gonna get shot, you. Gonna flip everythin’ I worked on over, you. Ain’t gonna be able to take a step towards women no more, ya see.”

Subaru: “Yeah no, with the way you lost right now, your worth was already at rock bottom….”

Man: “Shut it, small fry! Heck, ya ain’t even a proper fish, ya just a tadpole. Don’t be throwin’ round weight, tadpole. Anyway, that frizzlin’ beauty over there wins. Ya get a pass. That’s the condition. No helpin’ it.”

Scratching his head violently, the 『Stick Swinger』admitted his defeat.

While it had spiraled into a situation where it was hard to tell whether those actions were sportsmanlike or unbecoming, Subaru had no intention of prying further into those matters, not when the announcement had already been made.

Although both Julius and Anastasia lay fallen as victims of battle against the man, they would likely bounce right back up if left to recover in the Green Room.

Despite being the 2nd『Trial』, it seemed to be too small an obstacle but――,

Man: “――Well, who’s gonna be next? The tadpole? Or is it gonna be one of them brats.”

Subaru: “Eh?”

They could advance upward.

Subaru, who had been caught by that thought, became guarded once more at the man’s words. The man slowly stood back up at that response, left shoulder covered by cloth―― He bared it as well to match his right shoulder and turned to them.

―― The air flooded with a burnt stench.

It surged from the man’s unimaginable sword spirit.―― A dramatic change that made everything from before seem like child’s play, Subaru noticed too late.

Man: “There’s ‘round, seven people in this tower… Your girl’s the only one to get past.”

Subaru:  “――――”

Man: “Well, who’s up to get past me next?―― Tell me, you.”

Trial of the 2nd Floor『Electra』of the Great Library Pleiades:

Time Limit『Condition: Unlimited』

Number of Challenge Attempts『Condition: Unlimited』

Challengers『Condition: Unlimited』

――Has cleared: Emilia.

――Yet to clear: Subaru, Beatrice, Julius, Anastasia, Meili, Ram.

――The『Trial』, continues.

TL Notes:

  1. I tried coming up with a lot of cool names for this, but I ended up leaving in the reading for it in romaji. Coolest as it is.
  2. Gotta applaud Subaru for giving Emilia the Gate of Babylon of all things.
  3. I might have transliterated this in the previous chapter(s?), but I discovered that kinagashi is actually the name of that kind of clothing. So I just left it as the reading in romaji. Here’s more if you wanna know: https://mangadejapan.com/articles/detail/1010

19 thoughts on “Arc 6 – Chapter 26, “Stick Swinger””

  1. Hai hai~
    By the way. Im a reader from indonesia 🙂
    I read it with google translation yuhuu >_<
    Thankyou for your work!!
    And im sorry for my bad english :v
    Cause im still a student :v
    Just that~ and.. salam wibu indonesia :v
    And btw, i have a question…
    what just me, that think. Thats is "aneh" emilia didn't talk something with subaru about betelgeuse? And is siruis is mom of emilia?

    Huooo rezero saikoo!!!

  2. Finally….i guess today is my lucky day ….. my results are also going to be declared today and i was way too nervous but seeing how a chapter i waited for months to get released is finally here and that too today…now i am feeling pumped up….thank you

  3. Also maybe a typo or I’m just bad at english (not from englihs speaking country: ““Ya really pulled a good one, you. Felt that good, you” Shouldn’t that be “that felt good”, you?

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