Otherworld Company Chapter 153: Just Because You’ve Met Once Or Twice Doesn’t Mean You Understand Everything

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 The battle sparks.


 It is often an expression used in various genres such as manga, anime, drama, novels, and games.


 At least, it’s an expression that’s not often used in everyday life.



“Haha! I don’t know why you are saying that! You’re starting to enjoy it too, aren’t you!” (Mysterious Man)


“Shut up!” (Jiro)



 But for me, it was already familiar.


 A high-pitched sound echoed in front of my eyes and red sparks flew.


 As if to express those words, I am now in the middle of that sparking battle.


 Sparks fly every time my Mineral Tree collides with the rapier of the man on the other side.



“To think that a thin rapier can stand up against my Mineral Tree! You seem confident that it won’t break!” (Jiro)


“Hahaha! This sword is specially made! I had a giant forge it for me with great care! I don’t want you to compare me to those other swords!!” (Mysterious Man)



 While complaining inwardly about why I really can’t break it, I marvel at the Giant who created the rapier and the skill of the gentleman who is keeping the damage to a minimum.


 Despite my inner feelings, my hands don’t stop moving even though I am talking casually on the surface.


 A high-pitched hum and a heavy buzzing sound, as if something is being crushed, echo through the space, mingled with the sound of metal clashing.


 The other side is continuing on a maneuver-focused attack, moving in all directions and taking full advantage of the space around us, while thrusting and pivoting, while I, on the other hand, realize that it is disadvantageous to get on the other side’s playing field, so I try not to move from a certain area as much as possible to get ahead, and spend myself fighting mainly in interception.


 While having a hard time against stabbing weapons such as rapiers, which I had never fought before, I let my eyes get used to them at first, then adapted my body movements to the stabbing, and compensated for my losses from his skillful use by learning with every slash.


 When we fought the first round, I lost, but the second round was better than the first, even if I lost, and by the time I fought the third round, I was able to bring it to a draw, and from then on, I was able to repeat the exchange of victory and the defeat.


 In the process, I was beginning to enjoy this fight as if it has awakened the blood of ancient Japanese, during the Sengoku Era, was called by foreigners to be war-crazed people.


 As pointed out by the man in front of me, at first, I was angry with him for the rude impromptu battle, but that feeling has been replaced by other emotions the longer I fight.



“But you should be proud! Your magical power that forged such a dull thing as a Mineral Tree into such a wonderful blade, the ability to keep up with my speed even though you are a human, that deserves praise!” (Mysterious Man)


“Thank you very much! It was worth all the hard work I put in!” (Jiro)





 It is an emotion that is rare in battle.


 Still, it was probably inevitable that this feeling arose.


 The company was, at any rate, mostly made up of only two parties: those who were stronger or weaker than me.


 The weak ones were, of course, the testers, including Kaido and the others.


 Rather than fighting, I interact with them more in the aspect of training and guiding.


 The strong ones, on the other hand, were Suela and the other members of the Demon King Army.


 I don’t know if I have been gaining strength recently, but from the beginning of my career, I was beaten to a pulp by the members of the Demon King Army, who had been on the battlefield for many years.


 There were times when I couldn’t do anything, and there were times when I desperately fought back.


 Still, there were many times when I was outmatched.


 Unfortunately for me, I did not have many opportunities to meet opponents whose strength was in balance.


 I don’t regret being strong.


 I am not afraid to fight a strong opponent.


 But I guess that is why somewhere in my heart, I was looking for an opportunity to fight an equal opponent like this.


 It is a feeling that I cannot feel in my daily training or in the instruction I receive from my instructor.


 There is something about fighting with a man who is so dominant in front of you that makes your heart leap.


 It seems like something that can be surpassed, but it can’t.


 Yet, it never seems impossible.


 It is a serious match between such exquisite abilities.


 I was very pleased to see that no matter who wins or who loses, it could have gone either way.


 I knew from my senses that if they were to get any more serious, we would have to kill each other, so of course we would be hiding our trump cards from each other.


 I also used the Intimidating Monkey Screaming, but I did not connect with the Mineral Tree.


 In fact, both my enemy and I are clothed in a murderous aura, but it’s just a superficial sensation that overflows and leaks instinctively, just like the fighting spirit that comes out when you fight.


 If we get serious, the killing spirit will become a pressure like magic power and will attack.


 Based on the sense that I know from my experience with the Demon Yakuza and the Skeleton Gentleman that the killing energy will become physical pressure, the other side is probably still just testing me to see how I feel.


 But still…



“Ha!” (Jiro)


“Shi!” (Mysterious Man)



 I was pouring all my strength into it.


 A line of red appeared on my cheek, and the other side’s clothes were cut.


 The repeated sword flashes are serious enough to injure each other’s body, both me and the mysterious man are carrying out serious attacks.


 If we make a mistake, we might not only be seriously injured but also killed.


 I was fine with that and let myself be carried away by the battle’s mood.


 Except for sealing our trump card, a technique that is sure to kill, we were both fighting with all our might.


 If it had been me in the past, I would have seriously worried about going to a hospital or a mental asylum if I knew that I was enjoying such a situation.



“Fuu.” (Mysterious Man)


“What’s wrong, are you tired?” (Jiro)


“Well, you’ve shown more tenacity than I expected. I’m a little tired.” (Mysterious Man)


“What, if you had your way, I’d be lying in a pool of blood by now?” (Jiro)


“Yeah, from what I’ve heard and what I can do, I’d say I’d last five minutes.” (Mysterious Man)


“Too frank.” (Jiro)


“Yeah, well, you’re not what I expected.” (Mysterious Man)


“Was I better? Or?” (Jiro)


“Well, which one?” (Mysterious Man)



 Before I can ask him if I was better or not, he interrupts me with a smile.


 The space of the battle stopped when the mysterious man takes a step away from me.


 It is somewhat irritating because of the theatricality of every gesture, but the irony is that there is no opening between his actions.


 In addition, I am often distracted from my concentration by the female testers who are always yelling at me while I’m fighting.


 Even now, the cheering goes up even more because the mysterious good-looking man in front of me is smiling and waving to the yellow cheers.


 The male testers, of course, have a twisted expression on their faces as if to say that they are not amused, but they did not react after the fight earlier.


 Instead, they were giving me the heated look that told me to destroy the good-looking stranger and I was confused about our relationship until now.



“So? If we go any further, it’s going to get really messy, so what are you going to do?” (Mysterious Man)


“You are really the one saying that? You’re giving me the impression that you’re going to attack me at any moment.” (Jiro)


“That’s my emotional side. Excuse me. What is talking right now is my rational side. You’ve fought and you know it. If you go any further, one of us is sure to get seriously hurt. I don’t deny that. But we have important work to do. I know it’s a bad idea to take unnecessary risks.” (Mysterious Man)



 If you want to stop fighting, there is no better time than now.


 We can be certain that any further damage will be done to each other.


 If it is a small wound or a wound that can be undone, it is still good.


 But we know because we have fought.


 This is the fork in the road, and the next time a fight starts, it will be a genuine no-holding-back fight.



“Hmm, I want to fight, but if the situation doesn’t allow it, then I’ll have to resort to a sparring session… Yeah, let’s stop here. The dark elf lady and the scary fallen angel lady in the back are about to act. It looks like I’m going to run out of time.” (Mysterious Man)


“You seem to have a good grasp of things. You couldn’t have shown that understanding at the beginning?” (Jiro)


“As I said, emotion and reason are two different things. I was still in a state where I could put my emotions first, so I fought like this. It was a good introduction, wasn’t it?” (Mysterious Man)


“Oh? How? What I found out is that you’re a hedonist who likes to fight.” (Jiro)



 Involuntarily, irritation-fueled sarcasm came out of my mouth, but the gentleman didn’t care, smiled, said that it was enough, and put the rapier back in its sheath.


 He showed that he had nothing in his hands like he was saying that the fight was over.


 As expected, he didn’t want to cross the line, and he understood that further fighting was dangerous, according to his logic, so he suppressed his emotion that complained that he was slightly tired, but I was a little irritated by his gestures. I clicked my tongue before putting the Mineral Tree on my back.



“You saw my sword, didn’t you? I think I made a good thrust.” (Mysterious Man)


“And you like to know what it feels like for the receiver.” (Jiro)


“That seems the same for both of us, you’ve almost broken my wrist too many times, you know?” (Mysterious Man)


“Well said, you still parried it cleanly.” (Jiro)



 After exchanging sarcasm and cooling down the heat of the battle, we were finally able to have a decent conversation.


 The first impression is still the worst because of the incomprehensible things he did to me from the beginning of our encounter, but I still don’t intend to fight someone who doesn’t show a fighting spirit.



“So? Are you going to identify yourself?” (Jiro)



 While urging him to go home, the gentleman clapped his hands like just remembered.



“You’re right, I didn’t say my name.” (Mysterious Man)


“That’s right, it’s because some idiot nearby said he was introducing himself but suddenly slashed at me.” (Jrio)


“Oh, I think you’re pretty fond of me for going along with that, too, don’t you?” (Mysterious Man)



 The man’s words are somewhat reluctant, but I have no intention of them leaving like that.


 Whatever the circumstances, I enjoyed that fight.


 That fact is unshakeable.


 Therefore, by keeping silent, I show my attitude that I neither deny nor affirm that fact.


 Even with my attitude, his expression didn’t change, and with a smile on his face, the stranger put his right hand on his chest and lowered his head slowly before starting to introduce himself.



“My name is Carter Isperio, and I am the Deputy Knight Commander under the Count of Calicetora.” (Mysterious Man => Carter)



 He responded in a manner befitting an aristocrat with a strong air of etiquette.



“I am Jiro Tanaka, a dungeon tester for this company.” (Jiro)



 I would not say hello even if I had to.


 I don’t say hello, but I don’t want to make a bad first impression, and there’s another reason for my bluntness.


 I won’t say it here because it’s my own personal issue, but I’m not inclined to change my attitude.



“So? May I ask what I did for the Deputy Commander make a mistake in attacking a civilian?” (Jiro)



 I am aware that this is not the attitude I would take to someone I just met, but I know that I can’t be too careful, and I think it’s wrong to try to fix things with someone who is showing their true colors, so I’ll just go with it.



“I don’t agree with that, it’s natural to be curious about the skill level of a rival who aspires to the same general’s position, isn’t it?” (Carter)


“What?” (Jiro)


“Fufufu, you should understand the value of your existence a little more. After all, you were recommended by the Ogre King and Undying King, who are in the warrior faction of the Demon King’s Army. And once I knew you were a human, it was hard not to care. It’s cute for you to not think of someone like me who won’t check on you.” (Carter)



 The gentlemanly vampire who named himself Carter said after inspecting his rival’s situation.


 He even advised me on my attitude.



“Be careful. This place is more friendly to humans than you think. But the Demon King Army is not as friendly to the human race as you might imagine.” (Carter)


“……” (Jiro)


“Do you think that those around you will allow you to become a general?” (Carter)


“……” (Jiro)


“So, I’ll take your silence as a confirmation.” (Carter)



 Racial barriers are thick.


 Especially if they have been fighting each other for years. ……


 I’m not going to argue with him, because he has hit me where I was being naive.


 But I am curious as to what he meant by his advice.


 Whatever the reason, from this vampire, Carter’s point of view, it is definitely an act of throwing salt at the enemy.



“…what the hell are you trying to do? What’s in it for you to go out of your way to advise me?” (Jiro)


“If I say it’s just good intentions, will it sound silly?” (Carter)


“Not really.” (Jiro)


“If the words that come out of my mouth turn out to be lies, then I have no intention of giving you any more information. After all, your relationship with me is a rival aiming for the position of general. Before I give you any more advantages. I’m leaving now. I came here incognito.” (Carter)


“Then be more discrete.” (Jiro)



 There were voices of dissatisfaction around the time Carter said he was leaving, but the vampire in front of me who rebuked me with a smile was a big fish.


 He smiled at my sarcasm and bowed his head to Suela.



“Well, I’m sorry to have disturbed you. I look forward to seeing you again.” (Carter)



 With relaxed, leisurely steps, Carter left the training center.



“Jiro, are you injured?” (Suela)


“Master!” (Himiku)



 The storm was mild and peculiar for a storm, but as soon as it passed, Suela and Himiku came running to me.


 I was relieved that they were worried about me and wondered how that vampire, Carter Isperio, would affect me after this.


 Thinking about such things, I turned my focus away from fighting mode.



Note for the Day

It is difficult to see a person’s true feelings even if you spend a long time with them.


It is even more difficult when you meet them for the first time.



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