Rodeo’s mithril sword and the demon’s great sword clashed and produced loud echoes.
Rodeo held his sword with both his hands, but it was still small enough to fit into a sheathe. Whereas the demon’s great sword was almost as long as Rodeo’s whole body.
If Rodeo fought head-on within his enemy’s optimal range, he would be in a disadvantage due to the difference between their own strength and also their weapons’ traits. For that reason, Rodeo has been continuously trying to keep real close. For all the great sword’s power, it was still hard to wield in extremely close range.
Rodeo repeatedly did thrust attacks and other small moves so as to not give the demon the chance to even try to swing their weapon and limit their movements. Like that, Rodeo controlled the pace and made the demon have no other choice but to defend themselves with the body of their sword.
If Rodeo made a thrust, the demon would twist their body to evade. Rodeo would then pull back his sword, only to make an even sharper thrust. The demon would evade again, and Rodeo would make another thrust, so on and so forth…
Rodeo methodically continued to limit the number of options left to the demon in an effort to checkmate them soon.
Trying to get to their weapon’s optimal range, the demon suddenly shifted from defense to attack. Without a care for the injuries they might sustain, the demon tried to make some space by doing a forceful sideways swipe.
Rodeo found himself unable to dodge it by crouching. So, with a click of his tongue, he retreated until there was about 2 meters between him and the demon.
Rodeo then heard something that sounded like meat being seared. There, right in front of him, he saw the wounds he had inflicted on the demon were already starting to close. The demon’s skin which glowed bright red like it was hit by some hot iron then gradually returned to its original tone.
Unlike healing magic, Rodeo felt some unpleasantness from that.
There were monsters which possessed high regenerative abilities. And apparently, the demon in front of Rodeo also inherited that monster trait.
So, I’ve got to settle this in one strike? Any superficial attacks won’t really matter in dealing damage, after all. But between that regeneration which allows it to ignore minor wounds and that large sword which can deal great damage if it hits…yeah, this one’s a pain.
In his youth, Rodeo might have been able to launch a barrage of attacks that overall was just enough damage to overtake the rate at which the demon healed itself. However, as he was now, that feat was impossible. If he was going to defeat this enemy now, he needed to deal fatal damage in one attack.
Considering the risks of missing the heart even by a little, Rodeo concluded that it was best to aim for the neck instead.
Rodeo paused to breathe while sorting his thoughts like that.
As soon as his breathing returned to normal, the demon’s wounds have all been healed.
“You’re pretty good for a human. I’m the demon Disreli, and I’m pleased to fight someone so strong.”
“And I’m Rodeo, the chief military officer of a duke’s household. Demon, you sure you want to take this slow? If those two come help me and make this a 3-on-1, the odds will be stacked against you, you know.”
“Kakaka, right back at you. No way the demon Ignoa will lose to those brats. You’re gonna be the one to get ganged up on and drop dead soon.”
“…what the hell’s funny? No demon is weak enough to be defeated by that orc and that cheeky brat.”
The demon’s expression didn’t change, but they were clearly in a bad mood after being laughed at. Realizing a new thing—that demons also seemed to have emotions—Rodeo laughed once again.
Rodeo didn’t laugh to provoke the demon. Rather it was simply because he found it amusing that the demon lacked insight and, in turn, foresight.
True, Rodeo himself once gave up on Herbert, and Herbert did go astray. However, now that Herbert was behaving properly again, Rodeo knew more than anyone how much Herbert was working hard. That said, given that not much time has passed, Herbert’s appearance was still that of a plump child. It was understandable that the demons didn’t know of Herbert’s potential.
The young master’s destined to be Lindner’s second ever sage.
Rodeo thought so without speaking any of it out loud. Then, he silently assumed a stance with his sword. A bold smile was on his face as he squinted and thought he had to hurry.
He had told Herbert and Marlon to hold on and buy themselves time, but it wasn’t out of worry that they would fail to do so that Rodeo felt compelled to hurry. No, in truth it was because he feared his honor as a sword instructor would decline should the two boys defeat their opponent before Rodeo did his.
With how those two are now, maybe they can…no, they definitely can defeat a demon by themselves.
“It’ll be a problem if they get defeated by demons of this caliber.”
“…what was that?”
“I’m saying, you two insignificant creatures are nothing more than roadblocks for them to overcome.”
This time, Rodeo’s provocation was deliberate. In response, two of the demon’s horns trembled. Rodeo apparently managed to incite his enemy’s fury.
“Haa, I’ll teach you which one of us is insignificant, you lowly human!”
Rodeo and Disreli shouted at one another.
And before long, their exchange of blows resumed.