Legend of Heroes Fanfiction: Hound - 2. Working Part Time Ruins Your Social Life
Three years later
A heavy downpour drenched one of the many alleyways in the industrial city of Roer. Through the unrelenting rain, the vague figure of a man limped through the wet pavement.
“D-damn it. We were in too deep.” The man tightened his grip around a rectangular package. “How was I supposed to know the factory belonged to some big shots. I would’ve never taken the job if I knew!”
“That is what you rabble all tell yourselves after the fact. But it is human nature to seek what doesn’t belong to them. Such is the first sin.”
“W-what?” The man stumbled at the sudden interruption. The voice was metallic, almost inhuman. “W-who are you?”
“That’s no concern of yours. What should concern you is that item you’re holding. What you do with it will decide your fate. Should I wound your other leg too? To help you decide?”
A shadow appeared from the exit of the alley. A figure dressed in black, a fur-collared overcoat and full helmet with a wolf-like mask that obscured their features entirely. But the most unnerving thing about the person before him was the pure black lance they were holding. The man could have sworn the weapon was watching him somehow.
“J-just take it! Take it away!” The man screamed. “Just spare my life! I won’t talk about what I saw in there!”
“That’s not my decision to make. Don’t worry though, I’m sure my superior will make use of your talents… in other ways.”
“Please… wait!” The man screamed again as the figure moved instantly in front of him, knocking him out with a punch and dragging him back into the darkness.
Man, this new life sure has handed me some opportunities that I was never sure I’d get.
I mean in my previous life I would have scoffed at the idea of roleplaying. But look at me now, it’s literally my job!
It’s as embarrassing as I always thought it was though. I mean ‘Such is the first sin.’ the bible doesn’t even exist here. That guy probably didn’t even know what I was talking about.
Oh yeah, about that guy. Don’t worry he’s alive, I didn’t go crazy these past three years and became a serial killer or anything. The manager of the Thirteen Factories branch he stole from literally handed him another job.
To steal from Reinford instead.
Exactly as I said. I just said it really threateningly.
It’s not my fault though. Hound, which is the alias I go by, is supposed to be this dark, broody, and super edgy mercenary guy. Back then when I officially got the name Campanella told me that my personality wasn’t suited for a subordinate of Ouroboros. So I had to act like a total edgelord whenever I’m on a job.
Okay, he didn’t actually say to act like an edgelord but that was how I interpreted it.
Though thinking back on it I’m pretty sure he only said that to mess with me.
I try to make it fun though, try different lines to see if I still scare my victims (of bad acting) even if I’m saying something ridiculous.
Still, since I only doing grunt work as a low ranking member. Stuff like fetch quests or scaring away thugs that stray too close to a secret hideout. I haven’t actually had to you know… kill anyone.
But knowing Campanella, one day he going to randomly order me to dismember some orphans for his amusement or something. So I need to get the position of enforcer fast.
Enforcers have to freedom to refuse any job that goes against their morals after all.
I mean, with a war coming and me being part of the group on the “bad guys” side. I’m not naive enough to think I won’t have to take a life sometime in the future. Well, I’ll kill if I absolutely no other choice but I’m not at Campanella’s level of crazy.
Back to what I’m doing now. After that Roer job yesterday, I’m now on a train to Trista. Why? To attend Thors of course.
Even though I’m not actually an enforcer or have the freedom of one. I still got Campanella to budge a little after three years of service. I promised to do a job here and there and I actually got the okay.
So I signed up, took the entrance exam, and luckily got the red uniform. Though after all the training I got at Ouroboros it would be weird if I just got into the commoner’s course.
Though after all this time I’m a little nervous.
Even so, I going to have to fun! I’ve been waiting three years for this. I made sure I got in the exact year the game takes place in. I found out after I joined Ouroboros that I was transported here in the year 1201. And class VII was formed in the year 1204, so everything’s perfectly on track.
Well. After I do that job first.
Rean Schwarzer gasped at his surroundings after entering the small plaza. Trees with flowers in full bloom filled his vision as the town’s inhabitants went about their everyday lives. Shops lined all sides of the park, adding even more to that quiet small town feeling.
‘Spending the next two years here might not be as bad as I thought.’ Rean took a deep breath and drank in the atmosphere. ‘Not that I ever thought it was going to be a bad experience. But causing someone else to fall right after leaving the station could be seen as a bad sign.’
‘Still, I wonder what kind of life I’ll have here. I heard the student body was split up into two groups of nobles and commoners. I’m… not sure I fit in either.’
‘This red uniform doesn’t resolve any worries either. I’ve only seen one other person wearing it, she seemed nice though. Alisa, was it?’
Rean looked around again as he walked, unconsciously searching for others with a red uniform like him. After a few moments, his efforts were rewarded. By a girl with straight white hair seemingly ducking in and out the alleyways between the shops. Sketching furiously in a notebook.
“Erm, what are you doing?” Rean asked, confused.
“Huh? What does it look like-” The girl started as she turned around her light brown eyes squinted in annoyance before widening in surprise. “Re-! …Nevermind.”
“Do I know you?” Rean had never seen this girl before in his life. So how did she recognize him?
“Red uniform! You have one too! That’s what I meant haha” The girl gestured awkwardly.
“Right…” Rean cleared his throat, “Back to my earlier question then. What’s so interesting in an alley that you have to break out a sketchbook just to draw it?”
‘So she doesn’t know me. Something’s still fishy about her, but I guess it’s none of my business.’
“I’m not drawing the alleyway in particular, I’m drawing the entire town.” The girl answered, putting away her sketchbook. “Let’s just say I have some friends who want to know what Trista looks like. Because they don’t time to come here themselves.”
“Wow,” Rean said, surprised. “They must be some good friends for you to go through so much trouble.”
“Well, they definitely important to me, that’s true.” The girl said as she left. “I’m done here so I’ll get out of your way for now. I’ll see you in class later.”
As Rean watch the girl leave he suddenly realized something.
‘Wait, how does she know that we’ll be in the same class. Does she know something about why our uniforms are different from the others?’
‘Well. I’ll find out sooner or later so there’s no use worrying about.’ Rean thought as he turned his attention away. ‘Is that girl sleeping on a bench?’
Aside from that surprise conversation with Rean, everything else went pretty much the way it was in the game.
So I wasn’t surprised at all when the floor gave out under me after Sara’s little speech.
Well, I still pretended to be surprised and fell with the others so I guess it didn’t really matter that I knew.
After Alisa’s slap, which was even funnier in person the way. I made my way to the case that contained my weapon. A steel baton that could extend itself into a long seven-foot staff.
I’m obviously not bringing the world’s evilest looking lance to school. Though I actually do have it with me. Sort of.
Back then, after recovering from my wounds. Campanella explained what the hell it was that he gave me. Diarmuid is a weapon made from the Divergent Laws, much like McBurn’s sword albeit much weaker. Since it could only it could show its true power for a short amount of time. A feature that my notebook described loosely as its ‘cooldown’.
No wonder Campanella just let me have it.
About the weapon itself, it’s thin design doesn’t resemble a traditional medieval lance at all. It’s long and slender with a serrated edge at one end. It looks more like an oversized whaling lance. The ones used by whalers to pierce through blubber and hit the organs of whales. Which makes sense considering its ability. That or it’s a giant metal toothpick.
Anyway, Diarmuid is in another dimension or something like that. I can summon it if I want to just like McBurn’s demon sword. So I ‘have’ it with me.
Taking my weapon. I took the opportunity to leave while everyone was distracted by Machias and Jusis’ bickering. Passing by Fie, who was leaving at the same time. All she did was look at me for a second and disappeared in the other direction.
Good thing this was the aloof and loner Fie at the beginning of the game or she might have asked questions.
While I would like to stay and see the game play out in the first person, I have a job to do.
Yep, my first job at Thors as an agent of Ouroboros.
I opened my notebook and flipped to the second page and pressed my thumb on the page.
This is a function I discovered really late for how obvious it was. The second page of the notebook shows me a minimap of the location I’m in. However, it only shows the immediate area around me. So to get the entire map I have manually draw what the minimap shows me bit by bit on another piece of paper. Genius right?
Wait, the layout of this place changes after the prologue.
Whatever I need to use it now anyway.
A light beeping sound came from my pocket. I stopped and took out a small capsule with a blinking light from a pouch I was hiding.
This is what I was assigned for my first job when the higher-ups heard I wanted to go to Thors. These little things apparently monitor the magical energies or whatever. They told me a bunch of mumbo jumbo that I just nodded along to.
Basically, they are searching for something. They told me it’s nothing I needed to know. But it’s obviously Valimar The Ashen KnightTM.
Whatever. My job is three simple steps, walk until the little things beep, drop one of them, keep walking, and repeat.
This is the level of work that grunts like me are good for. I’m starting to think working for Ouroboros is a dead end job.
Well, as boring as my ‘secret spy mission’ is. There are monsters here and I could use some practice getting used to my staff. I will be using a basic style that strengthens my core as a polearm user. So some training would be good.
Like I mentioned before, I’m usually hired to guard something or scare away nosy scavengers. Typically jobs where I have to fight people. So I should’ve gained many levels from being a quote end quote “badass mercenary”. Though I’m currently only at a measly level 42. For three years that’s pathetic. But as I got more work as a mercenary I’ve had less and less time to farm monsters all day like I used to. Plus as I leveled higher I started to have higher and higher exp requirements for leveling up.
Ah well, I managed to increase my skills with a lance by quite an amount. To the level of a beginner, almost. From a person who only knew how to stab weakly in a vague direction to someone who can actually use a proper form. I’d say that’s quite an improvement.
Even though the monsters here are really weak, I might as well practice my moves.
“That’s that last of them,” Laura spoke to her new classmates as she sheathed her sword.
“Jeez, what is Thors thinking. Dragging freshmen to fight monsters in a dusty place like this.” Alisa complained.
“Haha, well it is a famous military academy after all.” Emma laughed lightly.
“I’ve been thinking this for a while now. But aren’t there a bit fewer monsters than before?”
“Huh? What do you mean, Laura?”
“Now that you mention it. It has been a bit easier for a while now.” Alisa shrugged. “Isn’t that good though? Maybe we’ll close to the exit.”
“That might be the case. I just thought it was strange- be careful a monster!” Laura, Alisa, and Emma got into their combat stances and faced their enemy, an oversized cricket.
Only to be surprised by a sudden shout.
“You’re mine! Taste my brand new skill! Basic form #4, er how did that one go again?” The owner of voice stuttered as her weapon missed the monster by a mile.
Laura watched in mild shock as the girl stood in front of the monster without any caution after missing her attack.
“Erm, wait let me try again.” The grey-haired girl said, scratching her head.
“Look out!” Laura broke out of her shock just as the monster tensed its hind legs and leaped at the carefree girl.
Only for a swift kick from said girl to send it crashing straight to a wall. Before it could recover, a solid strike from Laura’s greatsword split it in half.
“Hey! That was mine.”
“Just what do you think you were doing!” Alisa ran up to the confused girl. “You could’ve gotten seriously hurt!”
“But getting hurt is part of training right?” The girl said, nodding to herself. “That’s how you know it works.”
“W-ha? Are you stup-“
“True, as that might be,” Laura said as she walked back towards her companions. “But that line of thinking only applies in a dojo. Not out on the field, where one’s life is in real danger.”
“Oh…” The grey-haired girl looked taken back and sheepishly rubbed her head. “Guess it would look pretty dangerous to others, huh.”
“It doesn’t just look dangerous. It IS dangerous.” Alisa jabbed her finger at the girl’s cheek. “Seriously! You know what? Come with us so we can keep an eye on you, we’re almost out anyway.”
“Haha, Alisa. You sure aren’t honest with your feelings.” Emma smiled. “If you want to look out for her, just say so.”
“What? That’s not- Uh, nevermind.” Alisa glared back at the girl, annoyed. “Anyway, let’s introduce ourselves. My name is Alisa… R.”
“Emma Millstein, nice to meet you.”
“Laura S. Arseid. A pleasure.”
“Hehe, like I thought. You’re all so nice in person, too.” The girl grinned. “My name is Krist. Just Krist.”
“Just Krist? No last name?” Emma asked, confused.
“I know. A real tragedy. Was born without one.” Krist joked.
“No one is!” Alisa retorted. “A-anyways, if she wants to keep it a secret, she can. I-I mean stuff like last names doesn’t even matter that much, right?
“I suppose. After all Class VII is supposed to recognize no divide between nobles and commoners.” Laura said thoughtfully.
“It’s not a secret though…” Krist said awkwardly.
“I hear sounds of fighting,” Laura said suddenly, interrupting the back and forth conversation between all of us.
“You think it’s the others?” Emma asked.
“What trouble did those guys get up to this time.” Alisa sighed.
“I don’t know, but let’s find out.” Laura said, sprinting pass us into the room ahead.
As the rest of us followed, we saw four figures panting in front of a huge gargoyle. Laura was the first one in the room but Alisa took the first hit. Shooting her bow to stagger the enemy as the monster tried to attack a worn out Gaius. Laura followed soon after with an attack of her own.
Rean’s cry of relief welcomed us as we fell into formation beside them.
Looks like it’s the tutorial boss time. Got to say, I never expected to see this part from the rescuer’s point of view. Probably lucked out though, Rean and the rest had to fight that thing with only four people. Though if I remembered correctly…
“Huh. Guess I’ll help out.”
“Wait for me!”
Fie and Machias ran up to join us as we all readied ourselves to attack.
Huh, guess Rean alienated Machias back in the dungeon. That’s different from the option I chose in the game. Though I guess I wouldn’t ever be sure what choice Rean makes now that he’s here in the flesh. Never thought about that until now.
My inner musings were interrupted by a glow coming from the others’ bodies. I watched in amazement as nine students attacked one after another. Each one with their own distinctive style, but instead of a disorganized mess like one would think. Every attack created an opening for the next in perfect sync. It was like watching a choreographed performance.
So this is a real combat link, huh.
In the game, it was just a cool mechanic for some extra damage. But seeing it in the flesh. It really lives up to the hype the game gives it.
Still, I probably shouldn’t sit here like an idiot. I really want to show off at least a little, after all.
I carefully watched my classmates’ movements. Following the flow of their attacks and after a few seconds, I finally found my opening.
Gaius’ cross spear stabbed upward, causing a green vortex to blast the boss’ head straight upwards. Away from a thankful Elliot.
I took this chance to leap as high as I could, using my staff as a pole vault. I met the gargoyle’s scaly face in midair.
Bring both my arms and my staff behind my head. I smashed the monster’s outstretched neck with the STR stat worthy of a level 42. Sending the monster’s stupid face crashing into the ancient stone floor.
Looking at the crater the monster’s head is now stuck in. I realized that I might have overdone it.
Laura and Rean apparently did not share the same sentiment as they leaped into action. Their blades almost brushing past each other as they struck the monster’s neck from different directions. Lobbing the gargoyle head right off its body.
Seeing the monster’s body go limp. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed. Only to tense right back up as Sara walked casually onto the scene.
“Well done! As expected of the newly branded Class VII-“
And I kinda zoned off here. My performance back with the boss was more important than rehearing dialogue for the fifth time, even if it’s in person this time around.
Maybe because I was surrounded literal superhumans back at Ouroboros. But I never realized how inhuman I’ve become myself. I mean what normal person can say that they can smash a gargoyle’s head so hard it makes a crater on hardened stone?
Not anyone who isn’t lying their ass off, that’s for sure.
As for my take on the current situation… I don’t have one. I mean I guess reasonably speaking I should be freaked out that my stats are making me into some kind of buffed up high schooler. But after seeing some of the people who live in this world. Maybe being a monster would help me more than hurt me.
“That’s nine out of ten! All that’s left is our little delinquent here.”
“Huh? Delinquent” I blinked in surprise.
“Seriously? Not paying attention again?” Sara sighed. “Not paying attention and always ignoring the teacher. That’s what makes a problem child, right?”
Oh right, Sara must’ve been talking and asking the others if they wanted to join Class VII while I was thinking.
“I was listening. Of course I’ll join.”
“Right…” Sara said, taking her hand out of her pocket and tossing a small case at me.
I caught it and opened the lid. A small brown gem with a strange design on it.
Master quartz? And based on the design, it’s Megalith, I think.
Ah, that’s a weird one. I forgot what it does exactly, I’ll check later.
“Next time try not to forget the whole purpose of having you fighting monsters down here. It’s not much of a field testing if you don’t take the experiment with you.” Sara said with her best attempt at a chiding tone.
“Oh. No wonder the combat link didn’t activate for me.” Guess I was in too much of a rush running out of that room, huh. Not like I had a choice, these kids are the best but they sure can be nosy.
“Ha ha. Oops.”
“Oops your head! You mean you were running around fighting monsters without your arcus activated!” Alisa scolded.
“Hmm…” Laura hummed thoughtfully. Rean gave me a weird look too but I ignored it.
“Well, I mean everyone forgets things on the first day of school right? Be it a pencil case or a prototype weapon it’s all the same.”
“No, it’s not!”
“Haha, our class sure has some interesting characters.” Elliot smiled. Seriously, nothing fazes this kid.
“I can’t believe I just agreed to be in the same class as this buffoon.” Jusis lamented.
Well fuck you too.
2 weeks later
“Abend time is starting today, so try to not fall into your habit of showing up at the last minute this time. You’re the star after all, Misty.”
“Of course, as if I would be late for my own show.” Misty replied, “Though I want to take in the scenery around here first. Don’t you worry, I’ll be back from my walk sooner than you can say ‘wait a minute!'”
“Wait a min-“
The sound of the radio station door slamming shut behind her drowned out her boss’s panicked shouts.
Misty, better known as Vita Clotilde, walked along the paved streets of Trista. Stopping occasionally to greet the residents of the town. Just because she was using a fake name doesn’t mean that she had lost her manners.
She made her way into the local inn and sat down at the table in the corner.
“I hope I didn’t make you wait long, I was a bit tied up with my new job.” Vita spoke in her usual cheerful tone.
“Not at all, Ma’am.” The grey-haired girl replied curtly.
Vita gave a forced smile.
The girl in front of her was a complete mystery. About three years ago, she was brought in as an agent and began working without rest immediately. As a result, not just Vita but the other members of Ouroboros have no idea what her goals were.
Normally, Vita wouldn’t think twice about the help hired by the organization to do dirty work. But this girl, the mercenary Hound, was different. An outsider brought in by Campanella of all people. Who jokingly referred to her as his apprentice. Even though he said it in that carefree tone. The fact the girl was hardly ever seen away from him, told Vita more than Campanella could ever imply.
With any other enforcer, this might not be a problem. But the problem here was that no one was sure whether the girl was loyal to Ouroboros, or just Campanella himself.
Not to mention, she just happened to enroll at Thors when Vita was making plans to come to Trista herself. It was too much to be a simple coincidence.
‘Could she have been tasked to watch my movements?’ Vita thought.
“I was told you had a mission for me?” Krist faced her blankly.
“Hm? Yes, of course.” Vita replied, thinking about conspiracies could come later. She put a small map on the table. “The Railway Military Police has somehow gotten wind of one of our artifact excavation sites. We’re too close to what we want to lay low right now. The RMP has covered a huge amount of ground in just three days. However, as a result, they’ve spread themselves thin. Your job is to eliminate the squads however you see fit, just make sure the RMP gets their nose out of our business.”
“You want me to kill all of them?” Krist asked, appearing surprised.
Does she not want to kill? No, that’s impossible. One of the few things Vita knew about Hound was her bloodlust. Whenever she was free, she would head to random forests or fields and slaughter monsters without pause. There was no purpose, no reason, it was as if she only killed for the purpose of killing. Vita can’t help but be glad that Hound wasn’t very skilled with weapons, She dreaded what would happen if Hound had to suppress her bloodlust with… bigger prey.
‘Ah’ Vita realized why HOUND was so hesitant.
“Don’t worry, the organization will provide you with a Jaeger corp of your choosing or even some Archaisms if you rather not deal with unruly mercs.” She must’ve been worried about her skill, not overestimating themselves is a good trait for an Ouroboros agent.
‘I should slowly gain her trust. So I’ll play along with her desires for now.’ Vita thought. “Just pick one and let loose, kill as many as you want.”
How crap, this woman is crazy! The RMP are just doing their jobs. Why are they suddenly targets for slaughter? Ouroboros never gave me requests like that before. So it’s just her personal desire, right? I-it’s fine, just treat it like an in-game quest. Like Kill RMP soldiers (0/40) Reward: 10 gold, 50 exp, then everything’s okay, right?
LIKE HELL IT IS! Murder’s still murder no matter how much rewards or exp I get. And isn’t 10 gold too little for killing 40 people?
I thought Campanella would be the one who would just straight up tell me to kill people. Who would expect that Vita was the real villain here!
Can I refuse? I can right? She’s not going to kill me on the spot, right?
Okay, calm down calm down. Just think of another plan. Think, think.
“H-how about this?” I said, pointing my finger at the map she had laid out before. The spot furthest away from the excavation site. “I’ll do it alone and attack only one squad.”
“What do you mean?” Vita asked, confused by my rejection of her evil master plan.
“I’ll wait there and ambush the first squad that comes by. You said that they were trying to search the entire forest, right? So a squad will definitely show up. After attacking, I’ll retreat and let the survivors report back. That should draw enough of their attention enough for the excavation to finish in peace.”
“I see, the soldiers will report that they were attacked and RMP would think that they’re getting close to what they’re looking for. They are sure to concentrate their forces on an irrelevant patch of land, far from the real site.” Vita said. “I have to admit, I’m impressed that you choose the better plan over the one that would’ve suited you.”
Uhh, I don’t really know what she means by that but I not going to ask.
“Still, if you are attacking alone. Take care around the officers some of them, like the Ice Maiden, pose a real threat.”
“Don’t worry, I only pick on weaklings.” And with that, I left the cafe quickly.
Not realizing that those words painted me more as a second rate villain than my ramblings as Hound ever did.
So that’s why I’m sitting knee deep in dirt, in the middle of a pitch black forest at 1:00 AM. Decked in my Hound uniform.
I hate my job.
But come to think of it, it’s been two weeks huh. The game skipped the entire thing like nothing ever happened. But nothing actually happened.
Like the game, the girls and boys (with the exception of Machias and Jusis, of course) both formed their own friend groups. And as for me, as Sara predicted, I kinda ended up as the delinquent.
Because of my promise to accept any jobs that Ouroboros requests of me. I really don’t have time to hang out after school or anything like that, I even had to skip some classes. Since I usually have to commute from place to place via the goddamn railway.
I swear if there was a rewards program for that thing, I would be rich.
I haven’t been in that much trouble with the school. I still kept up with the school work, I did have a degree back in my world after all. At the very least, I won’t be tripped up by calculus. Plus I read all the class material on the train between commutes.
I say all that, but the real reason is probably that Sara is my homeroom teacher. I think she’s told to scold me by the other teachers and she kinda just… forgets to.
So yeah, two weeks at a boarding school with zero friends to show for it.
But that’s fine right? Class VII weren’t friends at all at the start of the game anyways. I’m a late bloomer, that’s all!
All of a sudden I heard footsteps from of me. And a group of soldiers came into view.
“All the higher-ups sure there’s something here?”
“The hunters said the animals have been acting weird, the brass thinks there’s something odd about it.”
“Well… look, don’t tell the others, but apparently, there were traces of that organization.”
I took this chance to make a dramatic entrance.
“Who are you?”
Five of them, using standard Railway Military Police issued assault rifles. Capable of rapid fire and quick reload using cartridges.
I leaped into the middle of their formation.
“Shit! An enemy!”
The soldier pointed their guns at me, fingers readying the trigger. Only to hesitate when I ducked down and they found themselves aiming at their comrades. I took this chance and swung my lance around, the serrated edge ripping easily through their cloth uniforms and into their arms.
My speed and dexterity stats have long far surpassed the capabilities of an average human.
“D-damn, he’s so fast. Who are you!”
The soldiers fell back from me clutching their arms, trying to stop their blood from pouring onto the ground.
“You insects have been crawling a little too close. You can think of me as an exterminator. Now scram-“
My overdramatic speech was interrupted by a figure moving towards me in a wild blur. Through it, I could see a glimmer of steel. I tensed my muscles and backflipped away from him. Taking a good look at my assailant while I was in the air.
A well built middle-aged man with a saber and an RMP military uniform.
No matter how cool he looks, I don’t recognize him though. Phew, I thought he was a named big shot for a moment there.
Either way, he is an officer. And it’s been a while since I last reaffirmed my standing in this world. Since I’m the only one with a level, I can’t actually compare strength as easily as it was in the game. Like I told Vita, it’s natural for gamers to refrain from fighting those above their level.
While I was thinking about that, the no-name started speaking.
“I am Arn-“
“I don’t care. You’re just some extra anyway.”
I stabbed my lance towards him and he swung his saber to meet it.
The man was fast, Lieutenant Arnold had to admit. But his skills were lackluster.
His opponent’s every move had an obvious opening. His every attack lacked focus and his every move unrefined. Compared to himself, who has studied swordsmanship under his father for his entire life.
Yet, he could not overpower the masked mercenary.
The reason for that was because of the man’s pure raw power.
Every attack lacked skill, but it was the pure strength behind each blow that forced him back. And while he tried to exploit every opening, his opponent’s agility and speed made even getting the slightest scratch on him a herculean task. Not only that, to make use of his advantages so naturally. This man must’ve had countless experiences fighting.
‘A monster,’ the lieutenant thought. ‘But I am not going to lose here.’
With that thought, he steeled himself and charged forward once again.
We exchanged blows for a while. Although I talked big, the RMP guy was winning. Compared to monsters, a human opponent was much more complicated to face. Not only did I have to react to his movements. I also had to react to his planning.
What move he’s planning to use next? Is he expecting me to strike him there? A stream of constant thoughts flooded my head.
But this is what makes this experience so valuable. Only rarely will I get the chance to face an opponent using all the advantages I have. After all, there’s no way I can break out Diarmuid at Thors.
In this fight, the enemy has the advantage of skill while I have the advantage of superior stats. This back and forth fight exposed my weakness while showing ways I could make it up with my strengths. The officer took advantage of all my openings but I was able to fight back each time with pure strength and speed.
I learned a lot. But don’t want to spend all night here. I’m pretty one of the grunts called for reinforcements a while ago anyway.
My grip tightened as Diarmuid’s vein-like patterns glowed in response. And I sent a stab towards my opponent, exactly like the one I used to start this fight.
The RMP officer scoffed as he raised his saber to meet my attack. Only for his eyes to widen as Diarmuid phased through his weapon and directly into his chest.
With those words, I leaped back into the dark forest as the grunts rushed towards their fallen leader.
He’ll live, probably. I didn’t hit any vitals.
Now, I just need to run back to Trista. I can think about what I learned on the train. I suppose.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, the investigation team was ambushed by Hound. The person the officer described matched the details we were given perfectly.”
“Then we’ve confirmed it then.” Claire Rieveldt looked up from the report she was given. “That Hound is working for the society.”
“Yes, no doubt about it. But we have no idea if he’s an enforcer or just working for them temporarily.”
“From his words, it seems he was guarding something,” Claire said as she looked over the details once more. “Increase patrols on the west side. Tell them to not to engage Hound if they spot him.”
“But ma’am, the officer was able to almost overpower him, his squad even attested to it.”
“Yet he turned it around with one blow. He was obviously just playing around” Claire countered. “Hound’s been only active for about two years, we don’t have that much information on him. Though that could be the result of the society’s influence as well.”
‘Hound, just what are you?’