Chapter 22: Duel
「Well then Aria-chan. Are you…….. Really going to do this? 」
「Yes, best regards. Ana-san」
The back of the guild.
Adventurers are quickly gathering after hearing about the duel.
Aria who was asked such a question by Arnold is nodding with calm expression.
「Well then, we’re going to start the duel between D-ranked adventurer Aria and her pet, Tama, against C-ranked adventurer, Kassman, the eldest son of a baron house. In case the latter is victorious, Aria will become his wife and Tama will be executed. In case the former wins, the execution of Tama will be revoked. Both parties, are there any objections? 」
Arnold who become the umpire by Aria’s request is explaining the conditions.
「Not at all」
There’s no objection from Kassman as the one who devised such conditions. He’s grinning from ear to ear while replying so.
Aria also has no choice but to accept this duel.
She nods with an annoyed face.
The conditions for the duel is as written below:
・Either party is killed.
・Either party gives up
・When the other party judged to be unable to fight.
The victor is decided by fulfilling any one of these conditions.
「Well then, both sides get ready……………BEGIN! ! 」
「NYAN《Icicle Lance》! ! 」
As soon as Arnold said so.
Tama who was burning with fury launched the first strike.
His skill of choice is the spear of ice, 《Icicle Lance》.
Aimed at the left chest of Kassman.
(For the crime of making my dear master cry you will……..)
He’s about to kill Kassman to prevent any future trouble.
「Kukuku…… It’s futile」
Kassman is showing a daring smile. For some reason, he’s not trying to dodge the incoming attack at all.
The next moment, rainbow colored mist wraps around Kassman’s body.
Though the 《Icicle Lance》 should pierce him, it vanished as soon as it made contact with that rainbow-colored mist.
「No…………… Way! ? 」
He cancelled Tama’s attack.
Aria’s raising a surprised voice in seeing that.
「“Magic Protection Ring”……….. It’s our family heirloom, my father, a former adventurer gave this ring to me, it is a magic item that will invalidate magic skills」
Aria and Tama are shocked upon hearing that.
Kassman is bragging about the ring that is on the middle finger of his right hand.
（D^mn it………… So that’s the reason! Though I expected him to have an ace up his sleeve when he challenged master along with me, I never expected that it was this!）
On hearing Kassman’s explanation.
Tama is grinding his teeth in frustration. Tama is still being misunderstood as an elemental cat. Therefore, the skill he can use is limited to elemental magic.
From the very beginning, Tama isn’t a threat for Kassman.
That’s why Kassman allowed Tama to fight alongside Aria.
「Well then, miss Aria! Your elemental cat is powerless before me. How about giving up this fight? 」
「Kuh……….. Please stand back, Tama. 《ACCELERATION》！ ! 」
(As if I’m going to giving up!)-(Aria)
Aria is speeding toward Kassman with only one intention, to save Tama.
（Fast! ! But, you’re too naive, miss Aria!）
Against Aria’s fast approach utilizing《Acceleration》
Even a C-ranked adventurer like Kassman will be suprised by such speed. But, that surprise lasted only for a moment. Kassman set his sword. And accurately repelled Aria’s downward slash.
「………..Kuh! ? 」
Aria suddenly stepped back.
Kassman’s kick is grazing her flank creating a slight red mark on her snow white skin.
「Hou, you barely dodged my kick huh. Your inherent skill《Acceleration》……….. Is definitely as rumored. But, that’s it! ! 」
After saying such. Kassman leaped towards Aria. Now it’s his turn to attack.
Reacting to that, Aria’s hand is moving towards her thighs. She then throws the throwing knife inserted in the belt coiling around her thigh.
It cuts through the air heading toward Kassman’s face.
「I’ve already said you’re too naive, miss Aria! ! 」
Kassman is holding onto the cuff of his mantle and then swung it in front of his face. The throwing knife is losing it’s power as it hit the mantle without inflicting any damage to Kassman.
And not just that.
Kassman is advancing forward simultaneously. And then, swung his sword at her.
The incoming slash isn’t registered in her field of vision.
Aria won’t make it in time to dodge the attack.
「Nyan（Over my dead body）! ! 」
But, the moment the blade of the sword is about to touch Aria’s skin――Tama is jumping in between Aria and the sword.
The sound of metal colliding against metal is resounding. Kassman sword is collided against a helmet, Tama’s new gear.
（GUH………! ? So heavy!）
The impact of the collision penetrates into Tama’s body. And then, zusha! He crashed onto the ground.
「………. TAMA! WHY ARE YOU!?………..」
（Because I’m your knight, master. I’ll use my body to protect you!）
Aria raised a sorrowful voice in seeing Tama using his body to protect her. Tama is standing again with trembling feet due to the damage from the impact just now.
「Hou…….. A mere animal used his body to protect miss Aria from my sword huh. Interesting! Let see how far you can stand against my attack! 」
Kassman is swinging his sword. It isn’t a normal attack either. Above, below, left, right, he added feints into his attack. There’s various sword technique’s for personal match.
「Kuh………….. Au……….! ? 」
Moreover, Aria is forced into defense. Since she never fought anything aside from monster. Kassman whose sword skill raised as a noble is the worst kind of enemy for her. Thus, even her defense crumbled in no time.
（D^MN IT……….! !）
Aria is in danger.
Tama is leaping in between them again.
He’ll use his body to protect Aria from a killing blow no matter how many times.
(Noooo!) ………. Even if it’s means ignoring her sorrowful wail.
「Kukuku……. What’s matter beast, is that all? 」
Kassman is laughing.
Finally Tama crumbles.
Even at glance, various parts of Tama’s body which isn’t covered with the protector is covered in shallow cuts. Kassman’s attack is grazing his body so many times.
（I-I won’t allow it…………. I, will, protect my master! !）
Tama is trying to stand on his feet again. But, he failed. He has lost too much blood.
「No……………. Stop it…………….. Tama! 」
In seeing Tama’s tattered state. Aria finally abandons her knifes and hug him as if to protect him.
And then, she keeps saying「Sorry, I’m so sorry……… 」 to Tama.
She does so that while looking at Tama’s face. She hated her weak self who can’t protect him…….
「What’s matter miss Aria, are you going to surrender? If you swear to become my bride and accepting my everything, I don’t mind sparing the life of that elemental cat you know? 」
「……! Really! ? You really are going to spare Tama! ? ? 」
「Yeah. I’m a man who keeps his promise after all」
Aria’s tears stop flowing when she hears Kassman saying so. Kassman is nodding with satisfied face. In the first place, he isn’t interested in Tama’s life as long as he can get Aria. Moreover, after cornering her till the last moment and then sending a helping hand to Aria, she’ll obediently become his……… Everything is according to his plan.
（Kukuku……. Now, how should I enjoy her after I finally got miss A-no- I mean Aria? Though enjoying her in a normal way is good, tormenting her sounds nice too……… Kukukuku! I really can’t get enough just by thinking about it! !）
Everything began from this moment.
While Kassman’s mind is occupied with imaginations about living with Aria.
Due to extreme distortion on his face while he thinks about his life after this, the adventurers watching their duel also drawing away from seeing his expression.
（Like hell! I’m going to leave my master to this kind of trash! ! Since things already came to this……!）
Something similar to madness exploded inside Tama’s head seeing Kassman laugh.
Rather than letting that kind of trash defile his master……..
「Kukuku…. Well then, now say your surrender. Aria………..」
Kassman is approaching the kneeling Aria at brisk pace.
Right on the next step.
Tama’s raising a soft meowing――
「Nyan《Aether Howling》……! ! 」
RumBle――――EE! ! ! !
Suddenly, a gale appeared.
Kassman is thrown back.
DOSHA! [SFX] GUSHA! [SFX] BECHA! [SFX] !
Kassman who was just stepping forward lost his balance. His body is turning around as he was thrown behind, and then slammed onto the ground. His arms and legs are bent in a strange direction…….
「Tama…….. Don’t tell me………….. You’re the one who did that? 」
He ended up using a skill other than magic in front of Aria. It might leak his identity as a monster.
But it’s okay.
Because at least………….. His master won’t be disgraced by that scum.
Tama’s expression is calm.
「Oi, what was just happened? 」
「Just partly, when I heard Aria-chan’s elemental cat meowing, Kassman was suddenly blown back! 」
「Rather than that, Aria-chan! DO IT, NOW! ! 」
The adventurers become noisy. The men who like Aria were the loudest amongst them.
Aria is taken aback. She gently placed Tama on the ground.mShe then went toward Kassman who’s wailing in pain and panic.
She looked down on Kassman with piercing cold eyes, and then raised one of her beautiful legs overhead.
「W-Wait a minute, miss Aria! No way………………. NOOO! PLEASE STOP HER! ! 」
Her foot raised overhead. Kassman has guessed the meaning of her action.
His legs were sprawling wide. It seems his legs joints are dislocated and he couldn’t close his legs. Though he is already in a state in which he is unable to continue the fight, Arnold the judge didn’t seems to notice his situation.
「Fufufu, it’s hopeless right? I think that thing《・・・・・》 of yours is useless anyway」
Aria saying so with smile on her face. She cruelly crushed Kassman hope.
Her heel descended downward along with that words.
And “Splash”―― It hit right one the target.
「Winner, ARIA! ! 」
The winner is declared by Arnold.
All the female adventurers and the female staff members of the guild are raising joyful scream.
On the contrary, the male adventurers were looking at Kassman who fainted while blowing bubbles from his mouth are covering their nether region with a pale face.
「Tama! Here…………. Drink the potion right now! 」
Aria returned to Tama right after sending Kassman to the deepest abyss of despair. She received a bottle of potion from Arnold and poured the content into Tama’s mouth. Feeling his wound recovering from inside. Tama felt asleep as soon as he knew that he protected his master.