As Diferis rose both her hands up again, I rushed directly for her with my short sword in hand. I aimed for her stomach, but just like I expected, a sword interfered from the side again. I heard the sound of someone clicking their tongue in impatience, before a metallic clang from our swords colliding drowned out all other sounds.
I suddenly had the idea to stomp on the stone that the spear happened to be resting on close to me, causing it to bounce up into my hand. At seeing this, as if she wanted to escape, Diferis hurriedly backed away from me.
“……Urgh, this shitty brat……!!”
At the moment that Melchior jumped backwards and seemed to be rubbing his sword, Rashiok roared from behind me as he soared into the sky. I grabbed some mud in my left hand, and targeted his eyes.
I listened to my draconis crying painfully from having his eyes blinded in a surprisingly cold, detached manner. I aimed for a spot slightly away from his nose, and smacked him with the blunt side of my sword without hesitation. Some of his sparkling scales fell off in front of me.
However, I wasn’t able to avoid his wing that struck my left shoulder. My arm started swinging loosely, and I definitely heard an unpleasant cracking sound from my shoulder.
I was feeling sharp pain and numbness in tandem, and I also found that I wasn’t able to control my left arm anymore.
……Has my shoulder been dislocated? It’s fine if it’s only a subluxation, but a complete dislocation will be quite bothersome.
“Ahh, Diferis. I think you’ve really gone and done something unnecessary here-”
As Melchior aimed for my leg with his sword, his voice was tinged with frustration. I kicked the ground with my shoes, jumping up as high as I could, and directly targeted his red eyes with my sword tip.
He twisted his body and face as much as he possibly could, causing all the water still clinging to his hair to scatter about, and since his long black hair was swinging freely in front of me, I took the opportunity to grab his hair.
With a ka-shing sound, I almost sliced off part of his head. Melchior’s face was painfully distorted as he cut off his own hair to get away from me, and my short sword also managed to graze him on his ear.
He let out a shriek. I analyzed him coolly, as if I was a hunter who was observing her prey, and came to the conclusion that he wasn’t used to fighting. Also, he didn’t seem to have much killing intent towards me. So, they probably didn’t intend to kill anyone at this location.
How convenient for me. If they’re still going easy on me, then it may be possible after all to kill them.
Diferis entered the fray again with a short sword in her hand. Compared to her more practical weapon, my short sword is ceremonial in nature, a rapier. I ducked the blade clearly meant to cut off my head, scooped up some more mud and aimed straight for the fresh wound on her right thigh.
With the next swing of her blade, she sliced directly at my left arm that was hanging limply. I completely ignored the threat, and flicked my rapier upwards, stabbing directly at her face.
I heard her scream again. It seems that I’ve managed to cut open the left side of her face. As if she just realized for the first time she could possibly lose, she backed away and put as much distance between us as possible.
Without any hesitation, I fell back as well, to take this chance to rest for a small moment after their combined attacks.
Also at this time, I started tearing off the high collar of my coat with my teeth. I leaned my rapier against my left hand’s fingers, and now that my right hand was empty, I grabbed my left shoulder. I felt my joint that was clearly displaced and slowly, forcefully pushed it back into place with all my strength. The pain was even more severe than when it got dislocated, sweat started pouring out all over as if my body was a raincloud. Click, a loud and horrifying sound echoed throughout my body, and the pain when it popped back in made me white out for an instant.
I had an awful feeling like I was about to vomit once again, and what little remained in my stomach came flowing up into my mouth. My throat was burning. I spat out the contents of my mouth quickly, and returned my sword to my right hand, in combat position.
My breathing was so ragged, that I forced myself to take a deep breath. My body is wobbly. I wonder if I’m somewhat overdoing it.
As for Diferis, she was also treating her injuries while keeping watch on me. I could see her hand trembling violently as she covered her left eye with her hand, and she was glaring at me furiously, like some sort of wild beast, panting uncontrollably. There’s zero sign of the mocking laughter from earlier.
From behind Diferis, while holding a hand over his bleeding ear, Melchior kept his cool as he talked to her.
“We’re just about out of time, we need to get going.”
The primal expression on Diferis’s face distorted momentarily. I wonder if they’re going to be late for something really important to them, she kicked the ground in frustration, then swiftly acted again. She shook those mysterious tattoos on her body again, and waved her fingers in my direction.
This time it wasn’t Rashiok that moved, instead it was the mass of fire moths still floating in the sky. Without being deterred by the fact that water was still everywhere after being splashed out from the fountain, the fire moths formed into a huge dark clump and flew straight in my direction. I splashed myself with as much water from the fountain as I could before they got here, then reflexively covered my face with my arms. Soon, I saw and felt nothing but fire moths all around me. I heard their wet wings crashing into me one after the other, then falling onto the ground. As I expected, because I’m still wet from being splashed, they aren’t able to start a fire on me. Although they can’t really do anything to me right now, as they’re mostly harmless when their fire magic is negated, and they die when they come into contact with water, there’s so many of them that it’s difficult for me to move.
While I was being surrounded by the leafy sounds of the fire moths’ buzzing, I heard a girl’s high-pitched screaming.
-It’s Feria. I couldn’t help it and mentally cursed myself. Even though she should have been close by still, right now I can’t even stretch out my hands, and I’m so covered in moths that I don’t even know which direction is which currently.
“See ya, little kid!”
In Diferis’s parting remark, I could detect anger, contempt, and even regret that she wasn’t able to stay.
Finally, the fire moths all died off after coming into contact with the water on my body, and I was able to see Melchior and Diferis’s backs in the distance. I also saw what appeared to be Feria in Diferis’s arms.
I swept away all the dead moths that had accumulated on my body, and used a coat from one of the dead men in black to wrap all the dead moths in. Then, I inspected my rapier. It has a dark aura about it now – but I was interrupted by Rashiok who was glaring at me with bloodshot eyes, and frothing saliva was dripping everywhere from his mouth again.
This time when I called him, he didn’t rub his head against the ground in confusion. As if he had gone rabid, just like a wild beast, he opened his jaws wide and jumped straight for me.