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Chapter 55 : Demon’s Ability Is “Horror”!

 

「Master, that man!」(Galle)

「Blunt Weapon Skill :【Heavy Smash】! 」(Hanna)

DOOOONNNー!

「Master, that woman!」(Galle)

「Blunt Weapon Skill :【Stone Bullet】! 」(Hanna)

BOOOMMMー!

「Master, a group of people over there!」(Galle)

「Blunt Weapon Skill :【Thousand Nails】! 」(Hanna)

Stabー Stabー Stabー Stabー Stabー Stabー !

We ran around the city and got rid of the puppets one after another.

「Damn itー!」(puppet)

At the beginning the puppets were pretending to be a human, but then they eventually realized that their cheap act couldn’t deceive me.
They began to try to attack me with swords, knives, or magic.

But, too bad!
Such things are useless in front of the power of my blunt weapon!

「KaaaHaHaHaHaHaー! Tremble before my blunt weapon!」(Hanna)

「Uwooー! Master, you’re so cool!」(Galle)

「Ri~ght!? There’s no way puppets made out of cards can win against my hammer! KaaaHaHaHa!」(Hanna)

「Everybody, move out of the way! Make a way for the Blunt Weapon Princess, Hammer-Hanna!」(Galle)

「Ga, Galle-chan! Don’t use that name…!」(Hanna)

The excitement has dropped at once…
I have to do something about that nickname….

「What the heck’s happening!?」
「Terrorism! It’s terrorism!!!」
「Hiiiiiiyyー! Please, don’t kill me!」

U, Ummm….

Maybe I got too excited?
It seems that people around think of us as dangerous people.

Those who knew the circumstances were cheering for us, but those who didn’t know at all were being scared.

I’m sorry, folks…
I’d like to defeat the puppets more modestly, but it’s impossible since my weapon is a giant hammer…

Perhaps the scene where I crushed the puppet’s head scared people.

But, anyway, I was able to collect 7 cards before noon.
That means I was able to catch up with Cecil in just several hours.
Apparently, Galle-chan’s sense of smell is better than Rozelia’s magical power detection ability.

If I can keep this pace, I can win this contest easily!

However…

I was too naive…

「Uhh… This is bad…」(Hanna)

The card collecting went smoothly this morning, but in the afternoon, it became very difficult even with Galle-chan’s sense of smell.

Maybe because the number of puppets had dropped.
Well, there were three parties hunting for the puppets after all:
Galle-chan and me, Cecil and Rozelia, and Slad-san.
There’s a possibility that Slad-san was taking it easy and drinking all day, though…

Galle-chan and I kept running around the town, looking for the puppets until the sun had completely set.
In the end, we collected just 11 cards.
7 in the morning, and 4 in the afternoon. Our pace had obviously dropped.

「Umm. I think I’ll drop by the guild first. Galle-chan, you can go home without me.」(Hanna)

「Roger!」(Galle)

After replying cheerfully, Galle-chan ran, heading for the Egg Tart.

I hope Cecil is in the guild…

I was curious how many cards she has collected today.

I would be happy if she has less than me…

When I arrived at the Adventurer Guild, Cecil, Rozelia, and Slad-san were all there.
But of course, they were sitting at different tables.
Cecil and Slad-san were not on good terms after all.

「Yo, Hanna-chin. How’s your card-collecting going?」(Slad)

Slad-san’s face was bright red.
It seems that he has been drinking all day…

Is he really collecting cards like us…?
Yesterday he said, “if neither of you can collect half of my number of cards, I won’t take either of you with me” with a cool face, but it seems I can exceed his number of cards easily if all he was doing is drinking.

「Hanna~ Would you like to tell us how many cards you’ve collected? It seems that everyone here is also curious~☆」(Rozelia)

Rozelia grinned while leaning on her chair.

Certainly, all the adventurers in this building were looking at me curiously.

I guess I have no choice.
Besides, if I want to know the number of cards Cecil has, I should also reveal mine.

I took out the cards from my waist bag and spread them in my hands.

「I have 11 cards.」(Hanna)

「…….H-Hmph. I never thought you could collect that many in just a day….. 」(Cecil)

Cecil looked quite surprised.

「I’ve shown mine. Now show me yours.」(Hanna)

「Hmph. I have 15.」(Cecil)

Cecil spread her cards and made a smug face.

Uhh… She has more than I expected.
4 cards difference is painful for me now.

「Hooー If it goes on like this, my companion will be Cecil-chin, huh? What an unexpected twist.」(Slad)

「Huh? Unexpected, you say? My victory was decided from the beginning, you know?」(Cecil)

Said Cecil with plenty of confidence.

This woman…!
She was relying on Rozelia! How could she talk arrogantly like that as if she did it with her own effort!?

Well, I was also relying on Galle-chan, so I have no room to talk, though.

「Hanna-chin, you’re in a bad position now.」(Slad)

「I know…」(Hanna)

「It seems you have no choice but to defeat the caster himself, Doubt the demon.」(Slad)

Said Slad-san while pouring sake into his glass.

「Doubt… So, that demon is also in this city?」(Hanna)

「Yeah, I’m sure of it. He’s manipulating so many puppets, so he must be close… But he’s really good at hiding. Even I haven’t found him yet.」(Slad)

Slad-san…
I wanted to comment, “Maybe it’s because you did nothing but drinking all day here”, but I held my tongue.

「Wait a minute! Can we even get cards if we defeat him?」(Cecil)

「Cecil-chin, just think about it. Doubt created the puppets from cards, so of course he has a lot of them. If I were to borrow your words I’ll say, “obviously”.」(Slad)

I see. Slad-san’s right.
I can turn the tables instantly if I defeat that demon!

The question is…
Where to find him, and how to defeat him…

Demons are beings who command monsters.
They are created by the Evil God, and have a very high combat ability.

Even a weakest demon could give a rank-A adventurer a hard time.

When it comes to the Four Heavenly Kings (the demons who were directly under the Evil God’s command), four or five rank-A-Special adventurers like Laney and Slad-san have to form a party to be able to fight equally with one of them.
So that means one of Four Heavenly Kings’ power is equal to 5 Laneys.

Doubt is a demon who is under the command of Amuze, one of the Four Heavenly Kings.
So that means… he is quite a strong demon…

「Ah, actually, Doubt is not that strong.」(Slad)

Said Slad-san as if he was reading my thoughts.

「Eh? Is that so?」(Hanna)

「Yeah. But he’s very tricky and very hard to defeat. From what we discovered, he has two abilities. First, creating puppets from cards. The puppets themselves are based on humans who never existed. Second, he can turn a real human into a card, and his appearance will automatically change into that human’s appearance. In other words, he can take over a person’s identity.」(Slad)

Eh….. What the heck is that…?

Then, there’s a possibility that one of my friends or acquaintances had already been replaced by him!?

So scary!

It’s more horrifying than the scene of me crushing the puppets’ heads today!

「But no matter how good his transformation is, we can tell if that person is fake or not by talking with them, right?」(Rozelia)

「Fuーn. By talking with them, huh? Roze-chin, how will you detect that they are fake?」(Slad)

「From their facial expression, the way they talk, their gestures, their habits, ect. O~r we can just talk about a topic that only the real person knows, right? If Cecil was a fake, I have confidence that I could detect it. Because~ I’m her best friend~☆」(Rozelia)

Rozelia acted strangely over-familiar toward Slad-san even though she spoke politely to him yesterday.
But Slad-san didn’t seem to mind it . He didn’t look uncomfortable at all.
Maybe because they have the same wavelength?
Their characters are somewhat similar to each other after all.

「Well, normally, you would think like that, but it won’t work unfortunately. Because… Doubt will have the memories of the human he turned into a card.」(Slad)

「Ehh!? What the heck!? Yabaーi~! So that means, I won’t be able to detect him? Even if that person is my best friend?」(Rozelia)

「Yeah, it will be really really difficult. When we went to Amuze’s castle, one of our party members had been replaced by a demon. If Laney hadn’t been able to detect that he was fake, all of us would be dead now.…….. Hanna-chin, why do you look so happy?」(Slad)

Slad-san looked at my sparkling eyes.

「Aah~ As I thought. Laney is amazing!」(Hanna)

「Ah, I see. I forgot that Hanna-chin is Laney’s fan.」(Slad)

I’m her foster daughter, though…
Well, I won’t deny that I’m also her fan.
Let’s not tell him about it now.

If I win this contest and am allowed to accompany Slad-san to clear the difficulty level A quest, I’ll tell him that I’m Laney’s foster daughter.

 

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