Encounter of the Heroes
“Well… you know, I took down a few guys and made my escape, but the girl who confessed to me happened to be a hardcore believer… I got caught while I was taking a nap after banging her.”
“You are as quick as ever.”
That’s what kind of person he was. Kazuhito, who had massive survival instincts and could accompany Takuto in his training, once he escaped, even if he is wanted, no one will find him for several years. Naturally, he and Takuto were in the same friend group.
“So, when did you arrive here?”
“Hmm? I came on February 10th.”
“Oh, I came on February 1st, but it’s been half a year since I got here. The passage of time really is different here. Mai said she came in March, but she’s been here for over a year now. She has gotten older than us.”
It seems returning to the original world is hopeless… especially for Takuto, who has no intention of going back. Takuto doesn’t know, but Kazuhito also has no intention of returning. In Kazuhito’s case, his bad relationship with his family plays a part, but Takuto doesn’t have good memories of his family either. It was also that shitty old man… in other words, his and his childhood friend’s guardian, who was the reason for the two’s separation.
He was in despair at his powerlessness, but he has no intention of taking her back home if they can meet again. Because bringing her back would just be a repeat of what happened before.
“… Well, I don’t care. I’m not going back anyway, and that house should be gone soon, too. Nothing good has happened since Grandpa died, and I’m sick of that shitty old man’s thick-skinned face.”
“Did he say something again?”
“Yeah. He said if I’m going to inherit the Shishido family, I should get engaged. Who does he think is responsible for the death of my fiancée? I’m not going back after giving him a three-year long injury from my anger.”
There is no one left in Takuto’s life who he considers family. Takuto’s parents died in an accident along with the parents of his childhood friend, and his grandfather died in a certain incident. His Uncle was a money-grubbing jerk and a small fry, so he doesn’t belong in the family category. If he came to this world, he would not have kept his life for long. He would definitely be beheaded.
“So he’s still the same as usual, huh. Well then, are we done yet? Let’s finish it up.”
While talking to Takuto, Kazuhito was trembling slightly. It was not only due to the excitement of reuniting with his friend, but also due to his overwhelming regret for being forced to call Takuto here for “help.”
However, Kazuhito has no freedom. Because he has a sense of responsibility, he tried to commit suicide immediately for atonement, but he was stopped by the Church Knights’ order. Moreover, capturing Takuto was also his job. Kazuhito was doing his best to suppress the orders emitted from the collar to delay the end as much as possible. There was no time for conversation.
Takuto was aware of that too. And that his best friend wished for death.
“Yeah. I’ll make sure you don’t feel sick right any longer.”
Takuto and Kazuhito took their stance. Although their weapons were different, their forms are the same.
Takuto moved first. He approached Kazuhito with a speed that blurred his approaching figure and thrust at him. However, Kazuhito stopped Takuto’s thrust with a lightning-fast piercing of his great sword into the ground like a shield. However, the katana pierced several centimeters into the great sword.
“You bastard, did you bring that cursed Spider Slayer sword with you? That was Teacher’s precious treasure.”
“Idiot. Who would use that cursed sword!! Gramps would definitely cross the worlds to scold me. I donated it to the museum two days before coming to this world. There are fools here who would steal it and try to sell it.”
If anyone were to use the sword that his grandfather had treasured so dearly, he would surely come back to life and impose terrifying training. His grandfather was the one who, during summer vacation, handed him a single knife and a parachute, then pushed him out of a Cessna over the Amazon. If he had taken the treasured sword, his grandfather would never forgive him. Takuto had only touched it once.
While making a commotion, Takuto focused. The distance favored Kazuhito, but his weapon was inferior. For Kazuhito, a mass-produced item like that great sword was too brittle. He was probably unhappy with it too. Takuto frowned as Kazuito swung it around, dodging and evading the great sword, gradually breaking it.
Takuto had no intention of killing Kazuhito. He had decided that he needed to be freed. That’s why he was getting rid of the troublesome weapon. However, what came next would be more troublesome.
“Oh great, this big thing finally broke. Why do I have to carry such a cumbersome thing? I was learning Shishido-ryu’s Boxing, you know. With my fists, I can do go anywhere.”
“Is that the Church’s hobby?”
Finally, when the great sword shattered, Kazuhito casually… threw the remnants of the sword far away. But using boxing while wearing Damascus gloves was something else entirely.
And now he closed in again at a speed exceeding what he had shown earlier. Takuto also lost his composure. Kazuhito had started to use his true fighting style that rivaled Takuto’s.
In addition to his desire to die, Kazuhito had one more wish. It was to fight Takuto with no holds barred as fellow martial artists. He had never defeated Takuto before.
And a battle even more intense than the one before began.
Kazuhito fearlessly closed the distance with Takuto, who held a sword, and aimed a palm strike at his abdomen, but Takuto dodged with a backstep. While dodging, he swung his sword horizontally…
Kazuhito deflected Takuto’s sword with the back of his right hand covered in a glove and followed up with a left-handed uppercut.
Takuto couldn’t completely avoid this one. If it were the Kazuhito from earlier, he wouldn’t have deflected the previous attack. He would have dodged and disrupted his stance, but it seemed that Kazuhito had improved his abilities since coming to this world. Takuto had completely misread the situation, and the uppercut grazed his chin. Kazuhito had used just the right amount of force, causing Takuto to suffer a mild concussion and stagger.
“You can’t beat me like that. Didn’t Teacher say that martial arts make you stronger by hurting others? Sorry, but I’ve been ‘killing’ more than you have.”
Martial arts are inherently about harming others. Some claim to use them for protection, but fundamentally, they are about causing harm. The only difference lies in the intent. And martial arts without real combat are just sports. That’s not what martial arts are about. This was what Takuto’s grandfather had spoken, and in a sense, it was a truth. Kazuhito had become roughly one step stronger by coming to this world earlier than Takuto.
Takuto was different. It had only been a month for him. Killing people had taken its toll on his mind, and in terms of numbers alone, he might be on the higher end. However, he hadn’t faced anyone who could truly enhance his skills. All his previous fights had been for survival. The question remained if the Shishido-ryu was practical in actual combat.
So, Takuto’s techniques had not changed significantly from before he arrived here to now. That’s where the difference lay.
“Ugh, I’ve really devolved from actual combat.”
“You’re always brooding too much. Get over it already.”
And here, Kazuhito made a mistake. He touched a nerve with Takuto. Takuto released an intense fighting spirit and a tremendous killing intent from his entire body. The density of it made Kazuhito take a step back.
Using a technique known as “Shunpo,” Takuto closed in on Kazuhito and unleashed a palm strike. It was the same move as Kazuhito had used earlier, but the benefits Takuto had gained since coming to this world surpassed Kazuhito, and his physical abilities were superior. Therefore, at a blinding speed, Takuto’s right hand extended toward Kazuhito’s chest.
Here, Kazuhito made a critical mistake that would determine the outcome of the battle. Kazuhito’s strength lay in his physical power and his extraordinary resilience. Therefore, his fighting style in close combat was to guard against strikes and counterattack rather than avoiding them. Naturally, such a tactic wouldn’t work against Takuto, who wielded a sword. However, due to the unexpected palm strike, Kazuhito instinctively crossed his hands to guard against it.
Takuto had some understanding of something called “fighting spirit,” even on Earth. Essentially, it was an imposing aura. In this world, it was a variant of magic power, but the Shishido-ryu was a constantly evolving martial art that incorporated various superior techniques. Therefore, Takuto had also learned a technique called “Hakkei,” which was a Chinese martial art technique. It allowed Takuto to channel his fighting spirit past Kazuhito’s arms and into his body, causing damage internally. With the force to shatter Kazuhito’s Damascus steel gloves, Takuto had broken Kazuhito’s most significant weapons: his arms.
“Sorry, I couldn’t hold back.”
“… I still couldn’t win… Damn it.”
Takuto sheathed his sword and swiftly drew it again, this time severing Kazuhito’s collar.