Great Sage 37 – Checkmate
September 30, 2022Zathael
The cat eared maid leaves and the man in the hood sits down loudly in the seat Yuikuu was sitting in.
The woman he brought with him sits at a nearby counter, laying down tiredly.
I look at the woman with concern when the man removes his hood and ruffles his untidy spiky hair,
“It’s been a while, Saitou”
He glares at me with a face similar to those that bullied me during middle and high school.
“You’ve lost weight, Cain”
The Hero, Cain, has dark circles under his eyes and on his cheek is a cut that hasn’t been healed with recovery magic.
“You’re not surprised”
“No I am surprised.
I thought all three of you would come, what happened to Paladin Ryza”
I answer him as I take a drink of water,
“After dealing with Moulin, that guy became too rebellious so I turned him into rust on my holy sword.
Even though we made so many great memories together, he got attached to that woman in the end”
He gestures towards his wound and smiles.
“I see, that’s too bad”
When I was in the hero party, the two seemed to get along…..
Or perhaps, that was all their friendship amounted to.
“Did you not hear from Moulin on her deathbed He used a forbidden spell in order to steal Moulin from you”
I did hear that story from Moulin after healing her.
After making a secret deal with the demons, Hero Cain used a special magic tool to alter Ange and Moulin’s heart.
By the time we had defeated the Demon Lord, they were no longer sane.
Even then the two of them were able to put up the bare amount of resistance, protecting their chastity with the resolve to end their life if Cain or Ryza tried to take them by force.
Moulin spoke to me in tears.
Remembering the story fills me with anger, but Cain’s self serving lie, convinced that Moulin is dead, is ineffective.
“It’s my fault for not noticing sooner.
Even though I was requested by Her Highness not just to subjugate the Demon Lord but also to educate the four of you”
The mission given to me by Her Highness was to subjugate the Demon Lord and to raise the next generation of leaders for the Empire.
She said it was so that humanity would deal with a new Demon Lord or threat of the same level without having to rely on the power of the Great Sage each time.
Master also thought it was a good idea, thinking about the future, I would work together with them rather than defeating the Demon Lord on my own.
Even if it takes longer…..
“Ah, there you go again, looking down on me as if you can see through everything”
It seems there was a mistake in the personnel chosen.
“I knew that you have the blood of the demon race in you, and that your sword is not a holy sword but a demonic one but…..
I recognised your effort and sense of justice.
I had hopes you would become a bridge that led to peace between humans and demons”
Since I first met him, I knew of Cains lineage.
However he was a hard worker, genuinely throwing himself into what he did.
During our travels, Paladin Ryza’s swordsmanship rose considerably, however this was due to being given the holy sword by Cain.
I thought that was done for the sake of his ally so I turned a blind eye at the time but…..
The slash the knight took during the first raid and the one aimed at me during the attack on the Lithomanmari Trade Association were likely the work of Ryza with the holy sword.
The output was much greater than in the past so I wasn’t sure at first but, after speaking to Moulin, theres no doubt that their abilities were raised through the demon races techniques.
Not to mention after listening to her explanation, it shared many similarities to techniques from this world.
The issue seems to be fairly deep rooted.
“Why are you working with the demons, doing something as foolish as this”
“I have no attachment to the human race, who discriminated and tormented me as a child.
What I’m after is the seat of the next Demon Lord.
For that goal, you’re nothing but a nuisance”
“What I’m saying is how have you not noticed that this is clearly the demon race’s trap”
I finish my water with a sigh as Cain’s clenched fists shake.
“Speak all you want! You may act tough but without the King(Dragon King) or Queen(Queen of Darkness) that you inherited from the first Great Sage, you’re nothing but a mage.
Not to mention you have but one of those strange magic stones which are your specialty on hand.
Don’t tell me you think you’ll win Let me tell you now, if I unleash the full power of the demon race, my strength will grow further”
I gaze into Cain’s eyes.
The sense of justice and purity that I felt was just the thoughts of a child.
His words and action are no different from that of a bully.
Perhaps I was unable to see through it due to my perception of bullying being altered by the curse of the vengeful spirit Ashiya…..
Desperate to justify themselves, vainly trying to appear bigger, unfairly looking down on others.
The hero before me was but a small man.
If only I had noticed sooner…..
No, if I had one more chance…..
As such thoughts swirled in my head, Queen’s and Master’s words come to mind.
“It’s dangerous to show kindness even to malice”
“[Sin] that exists separate from the principles of nature and man”
That’s why having resolved myself, I ask him a question.
“Are you a fool ignorant of sin, a coward fleeing from sin, or a sin I must bear”
Angered by my words, Cain draws his demonic sword from storage magic.
I flick the last of my pawns towards him,
“Something like that won’t even be a shield!”
Cain destroys the pawn and swings his ominous sword towards my face with full force.
His appearance is now that of a demon, with large fangs, pointed eyes, and curved horns like a sheep on his head.
I catch the demonic sword with one hand, stopping his movement completely.
“Wha-What did you do!”
Unable to pull back or push forward, Cain grasps the demonic sword and glares at me.
“I haven’t used magic yet, this is pure physical strength”
I put the glass in my other hand down on the table and release his sword.
Because the sensation I felt from it was uncomfortable,
“Don’t be ridiculous, this demonic sword is a treasured tool capable of cutting the holy sword! Not to mention its been processed using special techniques”
As I thought, the fusion of modern weaponry and magic tools was used in the other world too.
The discomfort I felt earlier was due to the laser diode like vibrations of the mana.
Using search magic I confirm that the in the grip is an optic semiconductor like object.
Once again Cain tries to slash at me but I catch it in the same way with my left hand,
“What are you hiding…..
Certainly I cannot sense any mana but such a thing should be impossible…..”
His body gradually begins to shake.
It seems he doesn’t want to accept the differences in our strength.
“You seem to be mistaken, those chess pieces aren’t something that raises my ability, they suppress it”
Those magic stones as well as King(Dragon King) and Queen(Queen of Darkness), they’re shackles that prevent my mana from going out of control and allows me to manipulate it smoothly.
“Removing them, my physical attributes and mana returns to normal”
Next time I’ll definitely break through that act and take your life”
Still unwilling to accept my explanation, Cain lets go of his demonic sword and pulls a pistol out from his storage magic, aiming it towards his own temple then reaching for the hooded woman at the counter.
“I’ve been waiting for that”
It’s the same trick used by the demon army’s commanders in the previous battle…..
Utilising the ability of the door, it’s a method of returning to the other world that uses ones life in exchange.
Normally you would just die but using the power in Moulin’s eye made it possible to transfer last time, the woman at the counter serves a similar purpose this time it seems.
I find the transportation gate spell connected to the pistol”s trigger.
“This is checkmate”
I pour mana in, causing a door in spacetime to open that slowly pulls Cain in.
“What’s going on”
“Surely you know that faulty transfer magic will create a [Lost Child of Time].
Oh fool ignorant of sin, use this to repent of your actions”
Glaring at me until the end, Cain is sucked into the spacetime distortion.
I extend my hands towards the still unclosed spacetime distortion.
Of the three gates, one is in Master’s possession and one was recovered by me when I returned to this world.
I don’t know how the last one is being used but if I don’t take this chance to collect it, I’m sure the same tragedy will occur again.
“I’m deploying my magic, Haruka!”
At my voice, the cat eared maid…..
Haruka pretending to be an employee opens her hand fans.
“Everyone, let’s go!”
Haruka shouts loudly, releasing her mana while she steps and turns as if dancing.
Following in turn, the former combat priestess of the Shimogami who were dressed as maids as well as Chiyo-san who was hidden in the kitchen, Azan-san, and Unzan-san release their mana.
Similarly hidden in the kitchen, Moulin’s incantation can be heard alongside the sutras being recited by Yuikuu’s twin younger brothers……
Looking out of the window from my seat, I see a man in komusou clothing recite nenbutsu.1
This store is run by the Lithomanmari Trade Association, renovated for this day.
Magical reinforcement is all around, coordinating with my magic.
I confirm that the whole store is encompassed in a special field,
Freed from the shackles, I release my mana through my arms.
The Gate is something that I would never be able to open with my shackles on but is more than possible with them removed.
The problem was that I would be unable to control the mana without my shackles, which is why everyone is here to help.
It’s an idea I had in the other world too but…..
Master was against my return to Japan and refused to lend a hand, it didn’t seem that there was anyone who could handle my full release of mana so I gave up on this method.
――Looking outside, Yuikuu’s left arm begins to shine blue.
Onmyouji, Kitsune, the magician from another world, Moulin.
Yuikuu neatly weaved different systems of magic together, adding his own mana into the mix to create a perfect field.
――His magic formula was beautiful enough to captivate me.
“This should work”
I stick my arm into the distortion that absorbed Cain and forcefully draw out the Gate.
Then increase the output further…..
“Turn into the ideal form for Moulin and Ange to safely return”
The Gate transforms, taking the form of a dimensional tunnel.
The mana just released was equivalent to a volcanic eruption or a small meteorite strike but the store only swayed slightly and the barrier remained intact.
Everyone in the store collapses, having run out of energy, but Yuikuu who had taken the the brunt of it shows no signs of being tired.
Yuikuu tips his hat with his shining blue oni-like arm.
He mouths farewell before leaving, blurring into the darknesss.
Flaming Death Fist Yuikuu.
The name of my first rival.
The scene of Yuikuu leaving causes my body to shake…..
This mana is, Great Sage Saitou-sama isn’t it”
The hooded woman lying on the counter stands and walks my way, her arms flailing around.
Grabbing on to her I notice her condition is worse than Moulin’s was.
It’s amazing she can even walk.
“You’ve had it rough”
I hastily cast a restoration spell but the wound is not healing well.
I raise the output and Ange’s grows shorter but her well being takes priority so I continue…..
After all the wounds have healed, Ange’s dynamite body has turned to that of a girl around middle school.
“Are you alright”
After releasing Ange, the hoodie she’s wearing is baggy and the size of the jeans she’s wearing doesn’t fit either and they fall off with the thud.
Her white lace panties are on full display along with the smooth thighs that had turned younger from the healing.
“Aah, it’s a miracle…..
to be able to see Saitou-sama once more with these eyes.
Now I can go to Heaven in peace”
The energetic Ange clings to me while crying.
Her bra size probably doesn’t fit.
Under her hoodie and beyond the thin shirt, the feeling of her large chest, the level of which you would not expect of a middle school student, pushes directly up against me.
At her appearance and sensation, the chronic heart palpitations assault me again…..
Once again, my body begins to tremble.
1: Nenbutsu is the three-word invocation “Namu Amida Butsu” dedicated to the Amitabha Buddha.