"Did you just.... kill all them with one move?"
Bill shakily stepped back.
"Master, there is a group of enemies approaching who have heard the noise."
"Is there a leader among them?"
"Yes, he is level 130, and apparently possesses a holy weapon."
"Hmm, so the bandit leader has the strength of a hero."
In Lastoria there are several sacred weapon's temples.
The bandit leader must have taken one of them out.
The sacred sword is only a weapon, it does not judge right or wrong by itself.
I have heard that there are several conditions for owning a sacred sword.
"Well, you seem to have some special skills! Or a very rare job! I admit, I'm surprised, but don't get in my way!"
Bill picks up his sword as he says so.
However, his face was pale.
He was lying to himself to protect his pride.
He is supposed to be intelligent, unlike me, so it is impossible for him not to understand what just happened.
"You have won the game, but I will take care of the leader. This is an order."
"So… can you win?"
"Don't play the fool! Even if the opponent has the sacred sword, I'll win easily! That's my duty and the pride of the person born in the Eiban family!"
More bandits rush in from the rear.
There are about four hundred of them.
These people are nothing more than minnows next to the leader.
I'll tell Kaede to take care of all of them so Bill can take care of the opponent that really matters.
"Yes. Blizzard Blossom!"
Suddenly, countless bandits were frozen solid.
Some did not freeze completely, and began to scream.
...Hm, I've seen that face before.
"Oh no, not again! How did I get into this mess?"
"Oh, so you're one of those guys who attacked me on the road."
"It's you again! Please spare us! I'll do anything! Please spare my life!"
Those begging for their lives were the (former) Little Hound party.
He remains a bandit even though I had spared his life earlier.
These people have no salvation.
"You will be severely punished."
"No! I don't want the death penalty!"
*Tap tap tap tap*
Someone slowly approached the site.
He is a tall, thin man.
His physiognomy was that of a villain, and he held a gleaming one-handed sword that did not resemble his underling's weapons.
"I see you're bullying my younger siblings a lot. Makes sense, they're pretty useless."
The man cuts the frozen bandit in half with his sword.
I looked at Bill and told him to take care of his prey.
"I see you are the leader of the bandits. If you don't want to die, put down your weapon and surrender."
"You are wrong, noble boy. Even if I surrender I will be condemned to death. It is better to kill you and run away from here."
The fight started abruptly.
Bill had been pushed to the head of the bandits.
"It took me so long to gather these pathetic men and create a fortress, and now it's all ruined. It'll cost me a lot to start over again - what a waste!"
"I can't believe this! You could have served this country with so much power! You are someone recognized by the Sacred Sword, you would have earned the title of hero!"
"I hate always being watched and having to watch my every step. I'm someone who wants to be alone, and do as he pleases. What's the difference between a hero and me? A hero is not allowed to kill without a cause."
The man broke Bill's lock and stepped heavily on his foot.
"Don't look away."
Next, the man hit Bill's abdomen, after which he flew backwards dozens of meters while breaking several ice statues with his back.
Bill stood up, using his sword as a cane.
"I'm not done yet, I have to do this for my father's approval."
"I don't have time to deal with a weakling like you. If I don't escape soon, the army will intervene and I'll have no escape. “
In an instant, the man closes the distance between Bill and him and raises his sword.
Kicking the ground hard, I stepped between Bill and the man, blocking his attack with my sword.
A metallic sound resounds in the air as sparks fly.
The man raises an eyebrow and stares at me.
"Something about you stinks."
"I don't think so, I've been bathing a lot lately."
"Have you lost your mind? Are you kidding me?"
"Of course I'm kidding."
He pushes back his sword.
What are you doing Bill? Get up and finish this guy off.
You are supposed to want to take the credit, and earn your father's approval.
I don't have a father I want to receive praise from, but you do.
"Get out of my way, Toru, I'll finish him off."
"You have a lot of spirit for such a young man. Too bad it's time to go."
The man jumped back, and was grabbed by the leg by a wyvern.
"Shit, he's running away!"
"Calm down, Bill."
The wyvern is still circling directly above us.
At this distance, my attack can reach him.
I raised my sword, and launched an attack to the side.
Then the wyvern's wings were clipped.
"Eeeh?! My Wyvern!"
The man fell in free fall.
I then launched a second attack and ripped the sacred sword from his hand.
Bill leapt up as he swung his sword, and cut the man down with it.
The man fell to the ground, cut in half.
"Well done, Bill."
"...Don't praise me. I don't plan to thank you either... You are still my rival."
He said as he turned away.
Keios slapped Bill's face.
Kaede, Frau and I were shocked.
Bill clenched his fists and kept silent.
"How do you think I would've felt if you had lost your life!? You're the heir to the Eiban family, you should know that by now!"
"I'm sorry, Father."
Keios hugged him tightly.
"You are important to me. If anything happens to you, I don't know what I would do. And you have served the military well. I'm proud of you. But make no mistake. I've been proud of you since you were born."
Bill returned his father's embrace in silence.
Hadn't he told his father about the bandit extermination?
I thought he had some kind of permission.
Come to think of it, he was in a hurry to prove something.
He must have decided to join the mission on the spur of the moment, following his mother's instructions to get his father's approval.
But in the end, everything went well.
Bill got what he wanted, and will be decorated later.
I think it's good that he was able to confirm his father's love for him.
However, I envy him a little.
I cannot hug my father or my mother.
Bill holds out his hand to me.
Oh, so we'll get along after all?
When I tried to grab his hand, he touched it with his hand with a simple swipe.
"I will not be defeated by you. Don't forget that."
He smiled slightly and left the room.
So, the rivalry isn't going to go away after all?
Or is it another one of those games?
...I don't know what to think anymore.
"My son caused a lot of problems. I'm sure you've had to deal with a lot."
"It wasn't a problem."
"He wasn't like that before, he started hating you and your parents after my wife told him what happened a while ago, but it was my fault that I didn't do something about it. I didn't show him my feelings the way I should have, so this whole thing got out of control."
Keios bowed his head deeply to me.
"Can you tell me what my mother and father were like?"
"Well, I guess you must want to know. How fascinating and wonderful your mother was."
We sat on the couch, face to face.
Silence lingers for a moment, and Keios quietly opens his mouth.
"It was on the shores of this city that I met Misty..."