Chapter 21

Chapter 21 – Practice of Conflict

The castle garden had become a duel ground.
Torches are lit in the surrounding area, while those enjoying the party look forward to the battle between the heroes.
However, the outcome is already considered a foregone conclusion.
A fight between myself, the Hero of the Shield with no means of attacking, and none other than the Hero of the Spear Motoyasu.
A battle between the Hero of the Shield's party and the Hero of the Spear's party... that's not what this is. It's just me and Motoyasu, one against one.
As one might expect, Motoyasu's personal pride would not allow it and so it became a duel.
Tsl Note: would not allow him to lean on his party
Anyone can more-or-less imagine the result.
The normal voices of people placing bets at such an event cannot even be heard.
There were not only the many nobles who stay in the castle, but also adventurers who fought in the wave.
Normally, there is no way there wouldn't be gambling going on.
In other words, everyone is clear that I am looking at my defeat.
Ren and Itsuki were also on the castle terrace, looking on while laughing.
My defeat, me losing my slave, it seems everyone is looking forward to it.

Shit! Shitshitshitshit!

Every last one of them just wants to rip things away from me without a care.
Even during the wave I was rained on by fire.
In the whole world, all that can be found are enemies who ridicule me.
...fine. It seems that defeat is my only option. But, it won't be for free.
Look out, Motoyasu. My grudge against you can't be suppressed.

King: "Now then, the duel between the Hero of the Spear and the Hero of the Shield will commence! The outcome will be decided when a finishing blow is about to be made or one side concedes."

Moving my wrists around to loosen them and cracking my fingers I ready myself.

Naofumi: "Who will win in a battle between Spear and Shield? The answer to that... isn't so set this time."

Motoyasu shows his scorn by glaring down at me over his nose.
What a joke.

Naofumi: "Well then..."

Motoyasu, I'll teach you how battles aren't just about defeating your opponent.
The surrounding people start arguing, talking about the word contradiction; if a merchant peddles the strongest spear and the strongest shield, which of the two is actually the strongest? It is a word that points out things that don't match up.

However, this word contradiction I think is a contradiction in itself.

After all, what decides the outcome of a match?
It's the same in Shogi and Go.
For example, even if you're holding a losing hand, what will you do?
Tsl Note: not sure about this sentence
Spears are weapons designed to kill the opponent.
Shields are guards designed to protect the bearer.
Expanding on this, if it manages to stop the strongest spear, the shield wins; it did as intended.
Their purposes are fundamentally different, a spear and a shield.

King: "Fight!"
Noufumi: "Uooooooooooooo!"
Motoyasu: "Deriyaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

I run over to Motoyasu looking like I'm winding up for a big punch, while Motoyasu likewise runs with with his spear poised and takes a tentative jab at me.
The distance shrank at once and, as I came within range, Motoyasu grabbed his spear tightly and thrust it at me.
An attack that can come from anywhere is an attack that can't be dealt with.

Motoyasu: "Chaos Strike!"

Motoyasu's spear instantly splits into several replicas.
A skill! It came, thrust forward all of a sudden.
I stopped my charge.
While protecting my head I moved to retreat.
Oof... Pain ran from the shoulder down the one side.
Despite there just being a scratch, after all the attack coming from a hero was a bit too much to bear.
Still, the skill Motoyasu used was a finishing move, so he entered a cool-down period apparently.

Motoyasu: "Take this!"

Motoyasu still sends his spear toward me.
A spear, or in this case a halberd's weakness is it's reach.
Tsl Note: Motoyasu is currently using a halberd-type 'spear'. The character for halberd also means spear so it's usually translated as such.
Once the opponent is past the middle-range combat area where a longer weapon is most effective, using it becomes difficult.
Naturally, it's effective at knocking down the opponent before they manage to approach. But as for me, a single blow isn't enough to take down the Shield.
I avoid Motoyasu's stab by a paper-thin margin, throw all my weight forward, and bend down.
I drive my fist into Motoyasus face.

Ch! It's impossible for me to do damage after all.
However, my attack isn't done with just that.
Motoyasu's posse jeers, looking down at my attack that wouldn't cause pain or even an itch. (TN: Mein)

How long can you maintain that face?

I take out my sure-kill weapon from under my mantle and screw it onto Motoyasu's face.
Tsl Note: Lit. Gabuu!

Motoyasu: "Ow!"

Because of recieving the full brunt of the rain of fire during the wave dammit, something menacing that could be used as a threat was picked up on the way to the castle.

Motoyasu: "Wh? wh!?"

Kukuku... This guy Motoyasu, an incoherent voice full of confusion sprang out.
Tsl Note: Lit. Gabugabugabu!

Motoyasu: "Ow, ow!"

Motoyasu writhes in agony as his precious face is being chewed on.
As it seems, my attacks aren't all empty-handed.
For the man called a balloon expert, they really are convenient weapons.

Noufumi: "Oraoraora!"

With two on his face, Motoyasu is held down with a foot so he can't get up, and a balloon is thrown at his nether region.

Bystander: "Wh, why balloons?"

The bystanders' screams raise up.
But they already know!
I put my whole body weight into it and continue inflicting blows along with the balloon between his legs by kicking there.

Motoyasu: "Guh... you! Doing this kind of thing!
Naofumi: "If it's in order to win, I'll do whatever bad thing it takes! The targets are the face being a gigolo's life, and the proof of being a man, the balls! With a face and balls in a state like hell, you'll be left as a snivelling, nasty otaku!"
Motoyasu: "Wh!? Stop iiiiiiiiitttt!"
Naofumi: "No can dooooo!"

With a heavy thunk I obstinately keep kicking Motoyasu in the balls.
Motoyasu, in order to finally tear off the balloons that are stuck on his face, tightly grips his spear and brings it up while still collapsed on the ground.
Because of that, where the ballons on his face are being split one-by-one I keep throwing replacements on that continue to gnaw away.
Meanwhile, I harass him in any way can.
I'll likely lose anyway, so I'm going to inflict Motoyasu with the maximum amount of trauma.

Naofumi: "Oraoraora!
Motoyasu: "Guh! Doing thiiiiis!"

I use my entire body weight to press and hold down Motoyasu who's trying to get up with all of his might, and my vicious attack continues.
Tsl Note: Mwa-ha-haa!
How refreshing! More cries of suffering!
There, a refreshing smile naturally reveals itself along with the laughter.

Naofumi: "Gua...!"

A sudden, powerful push from the back came and I staggered.
I look in the direction of whatever caused me to stagger.
There over there, that female land mine!
Mein had slipped into the crowd and is holding her hand outstretched towards this part of the stage.
Most likely it was wind magic.
If I'm not mistaken, It's called Wingblew which is wind magic that fires a fist-sized ball of air.
The ball of air is transparent. If you don't pay close attention you won't be able to see it.
That Mein, a deceitful smile floating on her face, mocked me holding an eyelid down with her tongue out.

Naofumi: "Youuuuuuuu!"

My scream on account of being made to stagger is drowned out by Motoyasu's counter-attack who was able to get up when the pressure on him was lifted.
I am collapsed on the ground with Motoyasu by my shoulder breathing heavily, the spear resting behind his neck. All the balloons have already been destroyed.

Motoyasu: "Haa... Haa... It's my, victory!"

With a pained expresion like during the wave of calamity, Motoyasu hoisted his spear and declared his victory.