It had cleared up and the blue sky could be seen.
We're in the middle of the harvest festival.
At the specially made venue at a vacant plot of land in the village, the fight of Minya and Mahal was about to begin.
The opponents are facing each other on the stage. They are surrounded by people who are watching the match.
Minya in her Miko clothes stood dignified and held her head high.
In contrast, Mahal had a leisure posture and had a smile floating on his face. One could feel his composure.
Mahal is one head taller.
"I don't have a hobby of hitting children... I wished you'd just accept your defeat..."
"It's alright. You're the one who'll go down after all."
"The rules don't allow the use of your favorite knives though."
"My bare fists are plenty for you. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to be useful to Keika-oniichan."
"Heh, to say that to me... it seems that you need some education."
Mahal frowned and glared at her.
The atmosphere on the stage is tense.
Minya was unarmed and couldn't use her two-sword-style, but it couldn't be helped.
She has other skills that can be used for attacking.
Race: Catfolk Race
Job: Kagura Sword Dance Miko (High Level)
Class: Dance Warrior Lv25 Thief Lv12 Cook Lv30
Attributes: "Calm Tempest"
Assignment: Hero Keika Party
Two Sword Style: Hold two weapons on both hands at once, attacking in free forms. Multiple attacks.
Instant Leg Power: Momentarily raises leg strength, increasing speed and jumping power. Multiple attacks.
Gale Thunder: Absolute preemptive strike. Chance that the opponent is perplexed by surprise.
God Speed Dance: Swift flying attack with god-like speed. Unavoidable attack.
[Dance Warrior Skills]
Dance: Dancing with elegant movements.
Fascinating Sword Dance: Attack while fascinating the opponent. The enemy's evasion rate sharply decreases.
Mysterious Dance: "Blurred"-effect and mental strength absorption.
Clear and Serene: Negates negative effects on yourself
She'll win as long as she isn't pulled into the opponent's pace.
The beastfolks were split in two groups and rooted for them. Foxfolks versus catfolks. The catfolks' cheers were louder because the first match was won by a foxfolk.
"Give your best!" "Win this time!" "I won't have any rice for seeding next year if you lose!" "You can win against something like a fox nyaa!"
One guy is betting his livelihood after all, huh. I'm glad that the mayor decided on an upper limit for bets.
The announcer shouts while confetti is thrown by the cheering people.
"Which side will win? How are the bets? --Then, the third match, Mahal versus Minya... begin!"
As if to affirm the announcer's words, Mahal moves first.
He creates ten clones at once. They are so perfect that even the dirt on his clothes is copied.
The venue is noisy because of the sudden flashy technique.
I was impressed.
I mean, he was able to steal a march on Minya's preemptive skill "Gale Thunder".
He's not that agile. He made this move exactly because he knows that the catfolks' swift attacks are their forte. It shows the difference in experience.
--Mahal is confident and strong.
The announcer shouts.
"Oooh, Mahal made a sudden bold move! He has created twenty clones!"
I concentrate on my eyes but can only see ten.
Celica nods beside me.
"Yes, there should be twenty."
I looked at Mahal with "Truth Sight".
Race: Mythical foxfolk
Job: Foxfolk Leader
Class: Illusionist Lv 44, Mage Lv 25
Attributes: "Wind" "Water"
Vital Spot Attack
Illusion: Fascinates the opponent and lets him see clones.
Mirage Avatar: Uses heat haze to create clones.
Double Split: Creates body parts with a mass for simultaneous attacks.
Mythical Fox Transformation: Transform into the mythical nine tailed fox and wield its power.
According to Lv 25
Heh. Did he activate Illusion and Mirage Avatar simultaneously?
Illusion doesn't work on me, that's why I only see ten.
This might be a hard fight for Minya.
Minya, who should see twenty clones in front of her, makes a strange move.
She suddenly brings her fist to her mouth and strongly bites her index finger.
Red blood flows.
It seems that the pain cancels the fascination.
Good judgement. Is it thanks to "Clear and Serene" that she's so calm?
The Mahals speak, moving their mouths in succession. Probably to conceal the real body.
"You don't seem to be surprised by the clones" "Let me compliment you" "...but, there are still ten"
Minya answers without delay.
"My victory... has been decided"
"""Heh. Then, let me show you my skills!"""
The Mahals moved all at once.
On the other side, Minya is holding up her fists with her eyes closed.
She's deeply in concentration.
The Mahals are striking all at once.
"""You think you can avoid this with your eyes closed!?"""
He attacks Minya with kicks and punches like a storm.
Minya is hit without her making any movements.
Minya's hand moves so fast that it leaves afterimages behind.
Minya's face is hit by Mahal's downward swing.
She was slapped onto the floor of the stage by the force.
She quickly stands up and takes a distance while the blood is dripping from the corner of her mouth.
Mahal throws his head back.
There's a trace of Minya's fist is on his face.
His slit eyes are wide open from astonishment.
"Does this mean that you've seen through my attack!?"
Minya speaks while she wipes the blood from her mouth
"You're wrong. I knew it because you've moved through the confetti. Since the clones don't have a physical body, I should just hit back when I'm attacked by the real one."
"...Good judgement, at least I'd like to say that, but it's a poor move. You've taken a lot of damage. If I repeat this three times it'll be my victory."
"It's alright. There won't be a next time."
"Heh. Will you still say the same after you've seen this? --'Magical Enchant'"
Mahal invokes magic and all hands including those of the clones are glowing white. The fists are clad in wind.
--Did he invoke "Gale Fist" on all clones and himself?!
The Mahals shout all at once.
"""This is the fina--!"""
*donn!*, Minya kicks the floor.
She moved forward before Mahal was done speaking.
Is this her newly acquired "God Speed Dance"-skill? A swift flying attack with god-like speed. An unavoidable attack.
Her supple movement is like a cat that is aiming at its prey.
Her black hair flutters backward as she dashes forward on the stage.
The Mahals are attacking, but Minya nimbly evades them, changing between fast and slow speeds.
It's like an elegant offering dance.
However, if she attacks a clone, that gap will be used for a counterattack. She has to hit the real one with certainty--.
Then, for some reason, Minya is aiming at only one person.
She acts as if the other 9 Mahals wouldn't be there. She's so fast that the contour of her body is blurred.
-- No, she has invoked "Mysterious Dance", which has the same effect as the "Blurred"-skill.
Mahal's fists and kicks don't reach her.
On the other hand, Minya chases only one person from among the clones.
"--This is the end."
One heavy blow with her left fist struck the real Mahal in the stomach. His hair is swaying from the impact.
Mahal pitches forward but the right fist is already striking his chin.
*ga!*, with a dull sound, Mahal is bending backwards and his posture is lost.
But the ruthless attacks won't stop.
She further attacks with the consecutive skill "Instant Leg Power"!
She danced in the air and the white sleeves and black shirt were turned up.
Her supple legs rotate like whips and the back of Mahal's head is hit.
A dull sound echoes through the venue.
The audience falls silent.
Minya stopped in a high kick pose. Her violently whirling straight black hair returns to its original state.
Then, Mahal collapsed slowly onto the stage.
Minya puts her thin leg down and arranges her disordered Miko clothes.
The announcer is the first one to regain her composure while looking at the scene.
"The outcome is clear! Winner, Minya! Minya from the Hero Keika party defeated the foxfolk Mahal! --Wh-What an exchange of techniques! I've never even seen a fight like this at the Colosseum in the capital! It was an amazing fight! Everyone, give a big applause!"
To the announcer's declaration, the voices of the people in the venue finally erupted.
"*Uoo!*". Astonishment, congratulations and respect are mixed in the cheers.
"Amazing!" "What a technique!" "If that's a party member of the hero... then the hero is..." "My heart is throbbing, Minya-chan, please marry me!" "Thank god, with this I can buy the seed rice for next year!"
It looks like the man who bet his livelihood has been saved.
Also, Minya is my Miko. I won't anyone else let have her.
The beastfolks are also making noise. The eyes of the foxfolks and catfolks are sparkling.
"Amazing!" "To defeat the leader!" ""Minya-san, you're great nya!" "I fell in love with your strength!" "Please let me call you Minya-sama nya!"
She seems to have gained the trust from all the beastfolks.
Then, Mahal regained his consciousness while groaning "*Uu...*".
"...I've lost?...why, was I seen through? --Cat girl, I'd like to ask one thing. Was my technique not perfect...?"
"No. It was perfect. But I marked you."
"A mark!? I can't be! My clones should reflect all injuries and dirt in real time!"
Minya nodded slowly.
"I know. But it can't copy the smell. I know the smell of my own blood. --I'm a catfolk after all."
She put pride into the words of her being a beastfolk when she spoke. She proudly presented her small chest. That attitude was unthinkable for her when I first met her.
"The smell of blood---!? Are you saying, that you already planned to use the smell to judge the real one at the time when you bit your finger!?"
"That's right. That's why I said that my victory has been decided. The only reason why I bit my finger was to break your technique.
Mahal open his eyes and looked up at Minya, but then crestfallen drooped his shoulders and threw himself down on the floor.
"...It's my complete defeat. I can't see me winning no matter how many times I'd try. ...I'm sorry to have made light of you. It was my mistake, I'm sorry. I'll apologize to Keika-sama next."
"Yep, it's fine of you get it-- I, who was made strong by Keika-oniichan, won't lose to anyone."
Then, Minya went to the center of the stage and took a small bag out of her pocket.
It's one of the talismans that I had asked Fal to make.
She looks over the audience while she holds it up to the sky. All attention was focused on her.
"It's thanks to this talisman that I got strong! It received Hero Keika's divine protection. It also has the affect of warding off weak demons. You should buy it if you want to travel safely!"
Since it was said by a companion of the hero after she made a display of her strength, the venue became extraordinarily hyped up. An uproar started with words like "I want one!" or "I'll buy!".
I was pleased and desperately tried to conceal my smile.
Just as planned!
--The people who buy it won't forget my name, whether they like it or not. And when they later receive some blessings I can get more believers!
At that time, Fal came rushing to the venue. Her brown hair is disheveled and her habit flutters.
She put down a portable selling stand that hung from her shoulder on a string.
"Everyone at the venue! Here you can get Hero Keika Talismans! It's usually three large silver coins, but only today you'll get it for 6 small silver coins! It's only one per person~ ...*hya!*"
The spectators are surging forward.
"Give me one!" "Don't limit it to one and sell me three" "*Wa!* There's no doubt if it's told by a Miko that serves the Ocean God!"
Celica looked astonished when she saw that scene.
"No way, you thought about using even the fight to sell your name!?"
"That's right, Celica. I wouldn't let her do something as dangerous as fighting unless it's for my sake."
That's right. The effect would've been weak if a hero had won a fight. It's natural for the hero to win after all.
But giving some actual proof that the companion of the hero became strong through the talisman gives the talisman authenticity.
Moreover, it looked like Minya won by ordinary hitting and kicking while Mahal used magic.
A frail little girl that wins against a magic using adult with simple strikes. That's an unbelievable event.
On an emotional level, it won't be strange if they'd think that it's thanks to the hero's blessings. People will forcibly convince themselves to make it plausible when they see unbelievable things.
Well, if they'd look closely, they'd see that the talisman that Minya holds is brand-new like the items for sale. That's why Minya stands in the center of the stage, a little away from the crowd.
Fal is surrounded by many people and looks distressed.
"Celica, please help her."
Her blond hair swayed when she gallantly ran.
"Hey-, sell me quickly-!" "Give me a talisman!"
"Everyone, there are still many talismans available. They won't run away, so please wait in line!"
A dignified voice suppressed the tumult. The heated atmosphere in the surroundings was swallowed by Celica's princess skill "Intimidation".
The unrest of the group quiets down a little.
After that Fal and Celica are exchanging money.
"We also sell the talismans at Keika-sama's residence, so please come by at any time."
Adding these words was also not forgotten.
Minya went down the stage and came to my side in a corner of the vicinity.
"Keika-oniichan, was that good?"
"Yes, it was a good performance. I'm sorry that I made you fight, Minya."
Minya put her arms around me and hugged me when I stroked her head.
The muscles in her slender body are swelling. Her smooth skin is slightly wet from sweat. The scent of flowers is tickling my nose.
"I'm happy just to be able to become your strength, Keika-oniichan. Everything of me belongs to you."
"Is that so... thank you"
Mahal approached while being supported by a young foxfolk.
"I'd like to withdraw all my previous remarks of contempt. I'm terribly sorry."
"It's alright. Don't worry about it. Let's get along in the future."
"Yes, I'll give my best for you."
I and Mahal shook hands.
He speaks to Minya, who's standing beside me.
"Please forgive me."
"Yup. No problem. Let's get along from now on."
"Yes, likewise, young catfolk Miko."
He exchanged greetings with Minya and left.
"It seems that everything went smoothly. I'll keep relying on you."
She nodded and behaved like a cat when she rubbed her face against my chest.
Her ears and tail were wagging joyfully.
Yuusha no furi
94: Harvest Festival 2 (Minya's fight)