Nei is a fighter of the party "White Fang" that is led by Sain. Besides that, she is my former childhood friend.
From a young age she has been a free-spirited girl, and I have always treated her the same way I treat everyone regardless of gender.
We were very good friends, but at one point, she distanced herself from me for some reason.
I remember well that when I was depressed, she would laugh and cheer me up in her own way.
She was concerned that I was a burden, so he constantly took the time to train me and teach me how to fight.
Even when I wondered if I should confess my feelings to Lisa, she told me, "Be a man and go for it."
Even after the way we parted and all the things we've been through, I can't erase those good memories.
Nei was the soul of the party, she will always have a special place for me in my memories.
"Darm-Sama, here comes another potential opponent."
"Apparently the fun doesn't end here. I hope these people do better than that pathetic hero. Take care of him."
Approximately ten demon soldiers drew their swords.
Behind them, the man named Darm threw Nei away like garbage.
Probably because his interest in me was greater than killing Nei.
I am boiling with anger.
Where did Sain go?
Why was Nei fighting alone?
Why didn't he help her?
I thought Nei was your girlfriend, Sain.
All the demons surrounded me and thrust their swords at me almost simultaneously.
I made no move.
"Shit, why can't I get through it?"
"This guy is incredibly tough.
"The blade of my sword bounced."
"Darm-Sama, this guy is not like the others."
In the blink of an eye, I swung the blade of my sword and killed half of the demons that were attacking me.
I am not interested in you.
I want the big boy's head back there.
"Well, well, I see you've passed level 100... And judging by your bracelet, you seem to be the person who's been given the title of hero."
"Do you obey the Demon King's orders?"
"Exactly. I am Darm, one of the six generals of the demon army."
In other words, he has the same level as the other demon general I killed.
But why is the general of the demon race in this place?
I have a lot of questions, and they have the answers.
"Do you wonder why someone like me is in this place? It's a simple answer. I want to see blood. I want to tear the flesh of humans, to shake my eardrums with their screams of pain. Don't you think it's unfair that only my men can enjoy such pleasures?"
"Don't expect me to agree with you."
"Oh, yeah, right. I hadn't thought of that."
Darm pulled out a huge axe he had at his waist.
It was reddish purple all over, and in the center of the sword's blade, something resembling a heart was beating repeatedly with a loud sound.
Perhaps it is a demonic weapon that counteracts the powers of the holy sword.
The battle between me and him begins in the blink of an eye.
The demon general flies at breakneck speed while swinging his axe back and forth.
I block his attacks with the holy sword. Each strike causes shock waves generated by our force which cause the nearby buildings to vibrate.
This type of attack definitely exceeds level 100.
Our weapons collide with each other and the sparks scatter with a high-pitched metallic sound.
We continue to strike each other at point blank range.
"You're very impressive, kid. Are you sure you're not the hero?"
"Sorry, but I'm just a warrior."
"You're too strong to be a mere warrior... I'm level 150."
"I don't care about the numbers."
My head is clear, but on the other hand, I feel a great anger simmering inside me.
I will never forgive you for what you did to Nei.
I stepped forward and with one swift movement cut off his left arm.
Blood splattered as his arm spun in the air.
"My arm! At what point did you--!?"
"I don't know if you're a general, but you're too weak."
Darm, with a look of hatred on his face, raised his axe.
With a snap, his right arm froze.
Frau's hammer slammed straight into Darm and hurled him into the rubble of a building.
Kaede landed on the roof of one of the buildings with her iron fans.
Frau called for her hammer and rested on my shoulders while combing her hair.
"Sorry I'm late, Master."
"The evacuation of the civilians is over."
"Thank you both for your work."
Darm emerged from the rubble and spat blood.
He also tried to break the ice that had trapped his right arm.
"So you have partners."
"I'm not going to let you get away with this."
"I don't plan to run away from this. I will summon my magic armor."
Something like a root stuck out from his right arm, seemingly originating from his axe. Slowly, thorns and scabs began to appear over his shoulder and arm.
If that's the power of his axe, it's terrifying.
I felt that his presence had become much stronger.
"I'll tell you something good. The magic axe temporarily increases the user's level by 30%. Isn't that great? Kukuku."
Given that your level was 150, a 30% increase is... 195?
This makes him a real threat.
I instantly closed the gap in our distance and cut his right arm from the shoulder.
I appeared in front of him as if I had teleported. Darm's eyes widened before he experienced pain from having his arm severed.
I used a silent sword strike that can be done with the simultaneous use of "Grand Thief" and "Dragon Knight".
"Oh, I forgot to tell you something.... I am level 300."
Before he finished his sentence, I cut him in half.
Deep down I wanted him to experience the same pain Nei had suffered and then kill him. But I was starting to get impatient, so I decided to get it over with quickly.
As high as my level is, I couldn't take my chances with a guy like that.
Unfortunately, Darm's fighting style was far superior to mine.
Those who are good at fighting are also good at running away.
I thought it would be better to get it over with at once, rather than let him have a chance to run away.
I placed my sword in the sheath and ran to Nei.
"This is no time to talk! Hold on!"
She is stunned by all the damage she received, her condition is very delicate.
If we do not treat her immediately, she might die.
I called Panda and pulled Nei up on top of him.
Panda's soft and squishy body will help Nei not to suffer from sudden movements.
I have to take her somewhere I can cure her.
My recollection since I started carrying Nei is vague.
I found an uninhabited inn, put her to bed and then got her to drink a high grade potion while I had Kaede use her skills to stop the bleeding.
The high grade potion for physical recovery is very good.
Unfortunately, it cannot heal torn limbs, but it can heal broken bones or damaged organs in seconds.
However, it is only to force things back to their original shape. If the damaged parts do not receive immediate attention, the wounds could easily reopen.
The doctor opened the door and left the room.
After bowing slightly, he left the inn.
It seems that the examination of Nei's body has been completed.
"How is she?"
"It looks like the high-grade potion worked and she has no irreparable damage. But she needs to be on bed rest for a while."
I looked at Nei's face, still sleeping.
The pain seems to have subsided, and her sleeping face looks calmer.
I couldn't be more thankful that the potion brought Nei back from that terrible state.
"Hey you two, don't fight!"
Panda and Rosuke had a conflict inside the room.
But Panda loses the encounter and hides behind Frau's back.
If you are afraid, you should not have been looking for a fight.
"Master, come here for a moment."
Kaede leads me to a corner of the room.
I guess she must have something important to tell me. I wonder if it's something Frau can't hear.
"I was evaluating Nei-San's stats, and I realized something...."
"Exactly what's going on?"
"Please remain calm and listen carefully to what I will tell you."
Why so much mystery?
Is it so difficult to explain her discovery?
Kaede inhaled and exhaled slowly.
"Nei-San is in a brainwashed state."
"There is something wrong with her condition. It is possible that her feelings and thoughts are being forcibly manipulated through magic or some kind of drug."
I looked at Nei as she continued to sleep, but I couldn't gather my thoughts.
Has Nei been brainwashed?
Who? Who brainwashed him?
Only one name crosses my mind.
No way, it's impossible.
No matter how rotten he is, I don't think he would dare do something like that.
I find it hard to believe that he would do that to one of our childhood friends that we grew up together with.
But if this turns out to be true...
I will kill Sain.