The dark magic power was originated from the area around a single tree deep in the forest.
The area was so dense with evil magic that it felt so dark that I almost thought that it was nighttime, even though it was still noon (the fact is the sun is still so bright).
We hid behind a tree trunk and observed the scene from a distance.
“I don’t like this….”
“Yes. Alice, are you scared?”
“No, not really.”
Hayato laughed a little and pat my head.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I don’t know what will come out of it, so I’ll put up a protective ward just to be safe.”
“Okay, Thank you.”
“Also, here. I’ll give it to you, and you can use it whenever you feel like it.”
Saying that he hands me one of the two swords that were hanging at his waist.
It’s a slightly slender, smaller longsword that seems to fit my physique better than Hayato’s.
“A sword for me?”
“Yeah. I brought it with me because I thought it would be better if you started to learn how to use one.
I was going to have you slay the man-eating apple for practice, but for now, keep it for self-defense.
Because sometimes there are dark-attribute monsters that can block magic.”
At those words, I hurriedly tighten my grip on my sword.
If the magic is blocked, I can’t do anything to it.
Even if I’ve never used it, it’s a good idea to keep one.
“…… Ah, there it is. It’s up in the trees. The one that glows red in the shadow of those leaves. Alice, can you see it?”
I look up and see two red lights twinkling on a thick branch, hidden by the leaves of a tree.
That’s an eye. That’s red-eye.
And the red eyes stared at us.
“Ah, it’s Mothman.”
As soon as Hayato said this, Mothman spread its enormous black wings and flapped it, causing a flurry of tree leaves.
The figure now is clearly visible as the obstruction is gone.
A massive, larger-than-human physique with eyes that glowed red.
Enormous wings that sprouted in place of arms.
And its entire body was covered in black feathers as if showing off its dark attribute—a monster with a notable reputation.
Even if it’s not strong, the dark magic had nasty properties. The effect of dark magic could put opponents to sleep or obscure their vision with a black mist.
“….This might be a bit troublesome.”
“What, even Hayato thinks so?”
“Yeah, it’s his signature, dark magic. It has this one particular eff…”
Just as Hayato tried to explain, we heard Maria’s scream from behind.
“Kyaaaa! Wh-What is that!”
With a severe rare scream, Maria loses her strength and falls on the ground, as if she’s sitting down.
Why are you here! Don’t tell me you’ve been chasing us!?
“Oi, you! Why did you come after us? It’s not safe here!”
“Because in the middle of the story, Alisha-sama would take Hayato away…”
Four others appeared after Maria, who was in a state of panic.
Like I said, why did you all come!
“Alice! What was that?”
His Highness ignored her and looked at Mothman.
It was fully alerted and landed on the ground from the branches with its massive wings outstretched. The impact caused a gust of wind, sending dirt and stone debris flying.
Hayato, who stood in front to protect me, said in his usual, uneventful tone of voice.
“Careful Alice, that one uses shadows.”
What’s that? Is there such a thing as shadow magic?
Then Hayato suddenly picked me up and jumped away. When I looked at the ground where I had been, Mossman’s dark magic had already landed there.
At about the same time, Maria, His Highness, and the others seemed to have been shot at, and as the dark magic was sucked into their shadows, the shadows swelled and took substance and rose with a broken motion.
It seemed to have nothing but hostile intent and immediately attacked the main body.
“… No, What is this! Disgusting!”
Maria, who was in a state of panic as her own shadow attacked her, desperately fought back with the small rod she was equipped with.
His Highness and Co. also began to fight their shadows; they were occupied with their own shadow, and the shadow clones’ ability is pretty much about the same.
Then Mossman’s additional attack comes, and they had no way to avoid this. It’s a black mist that obstructs your vision, and it’s impossible to attack it or get away from it.
“It’s really troublesome.”
“Yeah. I don’t like that magic either, it’s quick and had a wide area of effect; it’s hard to avoid it.”
“….. What should we do?”
“We need to defeat Mothman as soon as possible. … we cannot let him escape. I’m going to use shadow shift to pay him back; it’s shadow-for-shadow.”
Saying that Hayato put his right hand on the large sword that was hanging at his waist.
A shadow for a shadow……? What do you mean?
“Well, I’m off.”
Hayato stroke my head and put his hand on the ground.
The next moment Hayato’s figure disappears with a flicker as if he was sucked into the ground.
Hayato is no longer here; not even his shadow remained. There is just me alone here.
Who~a, where did he disappear to!
When I raised my gaze, Hayato leaped out of Mothman’s shadow. Using the momentum, he jumps up high, wraps his sword in a protective barrier with a sharpness of a blade, twisted his upper body, and slashed at it from above.
It was all done in the blink of an eye.
Hayato walked back towards me; in the background, I could see the Mothman that was bisected in one slash began to disappear into particles of light behind him.
Is that shadow shift you mentioned earlier?
The only person in this world who uses that is probably this person.
Since it was magic that was perfect for assassination, and there was no reason not to teach it in the academy where aristocrats and nobles attended, the lesson would probably also cover how to deal with it.
I’m not sure what to expect anymore.
All I can say is amazing; you are amazing, Hayato.
Even his embarrassed grin is cool and cute.
What a person worthy to fell in love with!
“I want to see another shadow shift! Please do it again!”
“Oh, …about that, I don’t know if I can do it anymore.”
“Why? …… ah.”
Hayato’s dark, discolored hair returned to its original light brown color.
The dark element had rapidly faded.
“It’s pretty hard to pull off, and I still can’t use it unless my hair was dyed in dark color.”
Is that so?
“I feel like I can get the hang of it if I get used to casting it, but … I’ve never been inside dark mana long enough to get used to it, so you need to wait for next time.”
I’m looking forward to it!
“Ah, Hayato! Help me!”
Oops, I forgot.
Everyone in that party over there is still fighting their shadows.
“Hey Hayato, even if you defeat Mothman, why won’t the shadow disappear?”
“Um, I think it’s because the shadow is connected to their magic, so the only way to get rid of it is to fight it until your mana is depleted, or just defeat it normally.”
“It would be dangerous if you run out of mana, right?”
“Yeah. You’re going to pass out.”
“Doesn’t taking down a shadow affect the person it’s mimicking?”
“It’s okay. They will just back to their shadows.”
“I understand. …Hayato, I will defeat her shadow, so will you please defeat the shadows of His highnesses and Co.? they seem to be struggling.”
“I understand. Please be careful.”
With a light step, I watched him head towards the Knight Commander’s son first, and then I approached Maria.
Looking at her movements, I feel that even I can use a physical attack to defeat her shadow.
I stand behind the shadow that is still exchanging blows with the main body and grab the sword Hayato gave to me.
I replay Hayato’s previous movement in my head and put magic power to clad the sword. Now the blade is harder and covered in the holy attribute.
In other words, this is a magic sword. I’ve never heard of a magic sword spell in this world, but that’s probably because it requires a good deal of concentration to use this technique.
Thinking about fighting while maintaining your magic clad sword in melee battle…, just by imagining it, I can tell that both abilities of the user will be cut down in half.
It would be possible if the sword were made into a magic tool, but Stuart doesn’t want to deal with a weapon.
Hayato, who can use this in the real battle, is an anomaly. Even so, I still want to get closer to him.
I lower my left leg, lower my hip, and holds the magic-clad sword.
I twist my waist as hard as I can, from left to right. I am swinging off my upper body as hard as I can — executing a Slash.
It was a surprisingly clean cut. The shadows split up from the chest area, turning into light particles, and slowly disappeared.
When Maria realized that the attack had stopped, she flopped down and sat down on the ground.
Because the black mist is still obscuring her vision, she seemed to assume that it was Hayato who had saved her.
“Oh, I’m so happy! I knew Hayato was the one for me! Hayato, as I told you earlier, why don’t I and Alisha-sama switch parties?
I think I’m more useful than a young lady like Alisha-sama, who always needs protection.
And I think Alisha-sama would feel more at home with His Highnesses than with common people like us.”
Did you already forget that you were boasting that “We’re actually nobles” just the other day!?
I wondered if you changed your class from noble to a commoner after that day because Hayato is getting angry that day.
Really Lady! You work really fast!
You should have a little more pride in yourself because you’re cute!
But maybe thanks to your current personality, that you can charm many people at once.
I wonder what she usually thinks about in her life.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a popular girl.
I’m a beautiful girl, but I’m not particularly popular, so I was pondering how the minds of a heroine works, to be honest, I don’t understand at all, suddenly my shoulder was tapped from behind, and I turned.
There stand Hayato, who seemed to have finished taking care of the four shadows, standing there with His Highness and the other four men lying at his feet.
He put his face close to my ear and spoke to me in a whisper.
“It’s done. Let’s go home while we can.”
“Yeah, you’re right… Um, what’s going on with those people?”
“Well, I accidentally hit their body, so they got injured.”
“Accident……? all four?”
I was about to say that was too much for coincidence, but I felt like I shouldn’t pursue that part too much, so I closed my mouth.
“I made sure their injuries were healed up. I’m sure they will recover soon. But it’s not safe to leave them unattended, so I want to consult with you, what should we……”
We look at Maria in silence.
She was still blinded by the black mist and held out her arms to hug Hayato, calling his name and wanting him to hug her.
Without saying a word, Hayato took His Highness by his neck’s roots and handed him over to Maria’s arms.
Then Maria hugged His Highness tightly and smiled happily.
With a quick release of his hand, Maria and His Highness collapsed to the ground as they folded together.
“Kyah! No. No! Hayato! they’re all still here! Oh, and, and ……ummm?”
“…okay, let’s go home!”
Hayato leaves the scene swiftly with a very “done” look on his face.
Come to think of it; I still don’t know what it’s like to be a popular girl, as I thought to myself while I walked out of the forest. I got a little tired just thinking about it.
Two more chapter is coming, I hope I can finish it tomorrow. Forgive me if I can’t but at least you can expect it sometimes soon.
I’m so glad I decided to read every comment, dammit, not only I found out somebody is setting up auto conversion in my word, casing a massive translation error I also found out that my anti-spam decided to stop working.
ok for you all readers, forgive me, had I not read trough the comment I will not realize this mistake
Hayato height is 176cm.
for some reason it got converted to inch while I was copy-paste-ing after I did some proof read in grammarly. not only that the conversion itself is massive error. so forgive me for that.
and about comment section, it should be good now, I switched the plugin, it should be working properly now (I hope).
thank you again, I’m really appreciate every comment you guys put down below.