Intermission Interception Part 2
Run. Run. Single-mindedly runing. Raised since a young age to do away with any and all emotions including fear and despair, the assassin had gone through training close to the level of brainwashing.
That man had traveled to a foreign nation in order to kill the daughters of a certain person. However when it came time to execute the assassination, the surrounding schoolyard disappeared, and he found himself in the middle of an empty plain outside of the remote town. It was perplexing until he noticed the demon woman exuding a huge amount of magic power.
The overwhelming concentration of mana was capable of shaking those long dead emotions that lay inside him, and after being exposed to the cruel, murderous intent lying deep within the demon’s wide smile, even the duty to commit suicide had left his mind. He spun on his heels, and with his two comrades right beside him, they ran as fast as they could.
“Kuhahahahahahaha! Wait, wait~. I’m going to catch you~”
The scene of a girl floating through the air like a ghost and flying through the air would already be a horror. All the more so when she’s releasing enough magic power that the earth beneath her was crumbling away as she flew past.
“Hahahahahahaha!! I caught you!!”
The duration of their escape attempt lasted around ten seconds at most. Their desperate resistance was all in vain as the ground beneath their feet churned and liquefied. It swelled and rose, swallowing the men up to their necks before then immediately hardening. Once their movements were completely blocked off, the scenery once again changed from the blue sky and green plains into an enclosed stone room.
It was probably space magic. The thought flashed through the man’s mind, but soon his attention shifted to the room itself. It was filled with other assassins who had come to the city like him, and every single one of them was tied up in the same way. If there were any differences between him and them, it would be the strange noises they were making with foam bubbling out of their mouths and the white’s of their eyes showing.
“Kukukukuku. You’ll be the fifteenth. The first twelve sadly broke after only a couple minutes, but you three will be able to keep your wits about you long enough for me to hear what I want, won’t you?”
The girl grabbed the man’s head with one hand and in her other, she pinched a small needle smeared with a type of magic potion between her five fingers……for the first time ever, the man felt true fear in his heart as Canary dragged him into the depths of hell.
Escape. Escape. Single-mindedly escape. As an assassin, the man had learned from a very young age what it felt like to push himself until the point he was vomiting blood. He was now using all of that experience to weave through buildings, jump from wall to wall, use magic to camouflage himself, and escape with all of his heart.
“Assumptions were made……..but, this is far beyond expectations……..”
His words were broken and almost incoherent. They had traveled to this city for a new assassination mission, and they had been severely warned to pay attention to the targets’ mother.
Despite being B rank, she is supposed to have a skill that exceeds that of S rank. She is well known by other adventurers, but the men still thought that with their skills, they could slip past.
To them, it was a natural arrogance. An assassin specializes in a very different skillset from an adventurer. Their role is in taking life from the shadows using a variety of different methods beyond a fighter’s understanding. In addition, adventurers primarily deal with monsters. There is no reason why you would think that someone who mostly deals with creatures like those head-on would notice a human assassin.
……..It was a fatal misunderstanding.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have the spare time to play tag with you.”
The moment they met, the fierce killing intent was enough to undo years of training and stir his long buried emotions. Her words were eloquent, and her blue eyes was as cold as ice while her red eye burned like an inferno. The group of three men immediately turned to run as soon as they saw her, but one of them was immediately launched into the air before he could take his first step. A few seconds later, there was a soft slam as the man came crashing back down.
The woman’s scabbard had come flying below, slamming into his chin at a speed faster than sound. Without bothering to confirm the safety of their compatriot, the other two assassins immediately split up and ran in two different directions. A few seconds later however, the man heard another slam a little ways away.
The last man desperately moved his legs to the point of tearing his muscles apart in order to escape the woman――――
“Do you truly think you can escape from me inside a town I’ve lived in for ten years?”
After flying from one blind spot to the next, the man finally allowed himself to believe that he escaped from the woman……..and then Shirley’s scabbard came rounding around the corner. His jaw was shattered, and his brain violently shook in his skull. He was left completely unable to move even as he fell from the sky.
And yet, Shirley still showed no mercy, landing directly on the man’s head as they both fell back to the ground. She then activated communication magic to telepathically contact Canary.
(I’ve secured our 21st person. Ready for transport.)
Shirley pulled out her pocket watch after watching the man disappear in a whirlpool of golden magic power. It was almost time for the next event to begin.
“I suppose I have enough time to hunt another group?”
With a speed comparable to space magic itself, Shirley disappeared from the back alley without leaving any trace behind. A couple dozens of seconds later, another three slams were heard in a different out of the way back alley without any of the city’s citizens noticing. The number of captured assassins has successfully been increased to twenty-four.
“Ah, you’re back.”
Shirley had silently returned to the red team’s stands, completely surprising Leia after she noticed. Glancing over to the white team’s bleachers, Canary had also returned and was relaxing back on her sofa.
“What happened during the previous competition?”
“The white team won and has pulled ahead. Well, red team just needs to win once, and we’ll pull be in the lead again…….it’s been back and forth like this all day.”
The sports meet was slowly coming to a close. Perhaps because of that, in the short time Shirley had been gone, the tension surrounding the field had shot up, and neither team had any intention of giving up.
“Oi, Shirley! It’s your turn next!? Hurry over here!”
“…….okay. I will focus myself and secure this next win.”
The next event is the first joint parent/child competition…….the precious event where she would get to compete alongside her daughters. The entire field was swallowed in the heat from the fiery spirit that was ignited in Shirley’s heart.
“Kyle, I will ask you to use my camera for me. Please engrave Sophie’s brave figure onto this magic tool.”
After safely entrusting the sacred duty of photo taking to the boy sitting next to her, Shirley started towards the field and was met by an enthusiastic Sophie.
“Hehehe. Let’s do our best Mama!”
“You look happy.”
“Because it will be my first time doing an event like this with Mama right?”
That was certainly true. Shirley had experienced all sorts of event with her daughters, but this would be the first time she’s ever competed in something alongside them.
“It feels like I’m getting my dream fulfilled a little early. When I grow up, I’m going to be an adventurer with Mama, and we are going to visit all sorts of places……of course I know that means we’ll be doing more than fight monsters though? We’ll be doing all kinds of quests together.”
“……Is, that so?”
Shirley gently stroked Sophie’s head as the girl gave her a beaming smile.
(If she says that…….then it’s going to feel like I’ve already won.)
At the moment, the parents participating with the white team…….are all fiercely glaring down Shirley with clear bloodlust. They looked as if they had run into some monster on the battlefield that was clearly superior to them. ……..even though this is supposed to be sports meet with an emphasis on fun.
“And so now, allow me to explain the rules for this parent-child cavalry battle!”
It wasn’t until all the contestants had assembled on the field that the announcer finally began their explanation for the next event.
“The rules are simple. To begin, parents will be acting out the roles of the horses, and while carrying their children on their shoulders, the contestants will scramble in order to collect the headbands from the opposing teams and eliminate them. That’s all. Please note that you will be disqualified if your child falls off your shoulders! Finally a warning, as the horses, parents will be in charge of moving around the field……however it is our riders, the children, who will be taking the headbands! Like with the previous competitions, using magic to interfere with the children is strictly prohibited! That goes doubly for adventurers!”
With sounds of laughter echoing out from here and there, things seemed a lot more subdued than previous competitions, but Shirley told herself that it couldn’t be helped.
This was the first parent/child competition for the school’s sports meet. Things had to be drawn back compared to past competitions to make sure none of the children got hurt.
“Yosh, then stand there just like that! I’ll fix you in place with some rope.”
“《Fix・Set》 ……..okay, it looks like my spell is working just fine.”
However there were types of all kinds. Many parents were using magic or different tools to secure their children in place…….and the majority of adventurers were planning on mercilessly using strengthening magic to improve themselves as horses. A few of the non-adventurer parents were starting to get scared by the ones who looked ready for war.
“Yo Shirley. I guess it’s finally time for you to pay the piper.”
An adventurer from the white team who Shirley was mildly acquainted with walked over with a fearless smile after Sophie climbed on top of her shoulders. He was a tall, burly man, and even if Sophie reached out her hand as much as she could, it would still be difficult for her to reach the man’s forehead. And that wasn’t even including the child sitting on the man’s shoulders.
“With this height difference, there’s no way you’ll be able to steal our headband. And as much of a doting parent as you are, there’s no way you’ll be able to use that speed you’re so proud of with your daughter on your shoulders. Your perfect winning streak is going to come to an end.”
Feeling Sophie growl overhead, Shirley patted her leg to calm her down.
“It’s not a problem Sophie. Everything he’s saying is couldn’t be further from the truth…….and we’ll prove it.”
“Yes, really. So you should sit back, relax, and focus on stealing our opponents’ headbands.”
“……Got it! I’ll do my best!”
Once the signal was raised, all of the adventurers from the white team immediately ran straight for Shirley. With their speed and pressure, it was clear they were aiming for a direct bombardment.
“Everyone focus all your efforts on Shirley to start! If we take her down, the red team’s strength will be drastically reduced!”
A simultaneous strike that would lead someone to believe that this had been planned out beforehand. Shirley’s movements would certainly be restricted, but there was a good chance she would still be a formidable opponent. So they collectively decided to take her down early, and it wasn’t as if their judgement was wrong.
“Wha-!? S-She disappeared――――”
As soon as the first child on top of their parent’s shoulders tried stealing Sophie’s headband, it looked as if Shirley and Sophie had disappeared to the parent and child, but their movements were perfectly clear to those around them.
Seen from the side, it didn’t look like she had moved that fast. It certainly wasn’t on the level of her usual speed that broke the sound barrier and was impossible for ordinary people to follow. Be that as it may, the adventurer who had strengthened both his body and eyes with magic was unable to follow Shirley’s movements.
After analyzing all of her opponents, Shirley had identified the one with the largest gap in their defenses and smoothly moved into their blind spot. No matter how good your opponent’s dynamic vision is, if you move into a spot outside of it, it’s the same as moving at a speed that is impossible to follow.
“Hooray! I got it!”
“Bravo……now let’s move on to the next one.”
With gentle and splendid movements that resembled flower petals floating through the wind, Shirley dodged and weaved through her opponents’ blind spots. Through it all, Sophie calmly aimed at their headbands even as they moved at a speed most ordinary people would be unable to follow. It’s not something that should be possible if they were recklessly moving fast.
They slid through adventurers at high speeds, coming in close enough that even a young girl would be able to steal their headbands. They robbed, stole, and continued to plunder competitors of their headbands……and by the time the white team was completely wiped out, Sophie was the one with the most headbands in her hand.
“And our winners are the red team!”
“Hooray! Look at it, Mama! Look, I took all these!”
“Yes, you really did your best.”
Sophie quickly turned the palms of her hands downwards. Confused at what she wanted for a second, Shirley laughed at herself inside her heart as she thought how this really didn’t suit her. She then brought up her own hand, and with a light tap, the mother and daughter shared a congratulatory high-five.