Retrograde Hero – The Unskilled Boy Protects His Childhood Friend, The Female Hero, This Time – Chapter 4

𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧

𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧

A few days ago, I turned 10, celebrating a birthday in the heart of spring.

April 10th.

A bright and sunny day, filled with the warmth of spring.

Coincidentally, it’s also Stella’s birthday, a day I’ll never forget—a day that marked the beginning of a nightmare for me.

. . . . . . No, that’s not quite accurate.

Strictly speaking, it was a dream about a nightmare.

Whether that dream will come true or remain just a figment of my imagination is yet to be determined.

It would be more accurate to call it a fateful day that decides the reality of that dream.

Today in the dream.

Our village was suddenly attacked by demons.

It’s something I can’t forget.

Stella and I celebrate our close birthdays together every year.

The nightmare struck just as we were looking forward to hosting a joint birthday party at noon.

From the east side of the village, a deafening noise erupted, and before we knew it, part of the village had been obliterated.

Monstrous creatures appeared.

Several people were already killed and eaten. Stella’s father and my own, along with others capable of fighting, engaged them desperately, but they were easily overwhelmed.

During that fight, Stella’s father was killed, and my own father lost an arm.

It was then that Stella, upon witnessing her father’s death, cast away her fear through anger and courage, awakening her inner hero to vanquish the demons.

Meanwhile, all I could do was tremble in fear.

But now is different.

I am far stronger than the version of me in that dream.

I’ve trained my body.

I’ve honed my skills.

I’ve acquired weapons.

Even if awakened, I believe I could even defeat Stella, the hero.

I might still be an immature and weak 10-year-old kid, but I think I’ve gained enough strength to at least fight against demon grunts.

With this determination, I stand here now.

I’m outside the fence that encloses our village.

In the forest to the east of the village.

The direction from which the demons attacked in my dream.

I’ve positioned myself at a distance where I can barely make out the village, close enough to keep an eye on it but far enough to avoid involving it in the fight.

I stand here, waiting for the demons to arrive.

I haven’t told anyone that I’m here.

Not my father, not my mother, not my uncle, and certainly not Stella.

Everyone besides Stella would be no match for the demons.

They would only die if they were here.

So, it’s better not to tell anyone to avoid unnecessary casualties.

It’s out of the question to involve Stella.

After all, this fight is about preventing Stella from becoming a hero.

I have no allies.

But, I’ve made all the preparations I could.

I’m wearing the durable cloth clothes that I wore when I went monster hunting.

I couldn’t find any armor that fits, but instead, I’ve equipped a weapon far more effective than any armor.

That weapon is Onryomaru, sheathed at my waist.

In these past few years, it’s become a perfectly sized sword for me.

Additionally, I’ve brought along several Recovery Potions that I secretly took from the soldiers’ storage, packed into a durable waist pouch that I got for my birthday last year.

Even so, these preparations will barely scratch the surface when up against demons.

Ideally, I would have liked another five years to train, to let my body and skills mature.

But time waits for no one.

Even so, I have no intention of losing.

The true essence of my swordsmanship is to overcome stronger opponents.

I’ll overturn the gap in preparation and skill and secure a victory.

I close my eyes, concentrating to sharpen my senses as I feel the wind.

Not long after I start, they arrive.

“Oh? A human brat is lurking in a place like this.”

It was a monster with an alien form.

Its height was about two and a half meters.

Its torso was slender, yet it had broad shoulders and was hunchbacked.

And its arms were like giant scythes.

In a word, it looked like a praying mantis.

This creature that looked like nothing but a monster spoke words and exuded clear intelligence.

That is the characteristic of demons.

Every 100 years, they invade from a different world known as the [Demon Realm]. These are the features of these alien beings.

. . . . . .It looked just like what I had seen in my dreams.

It really came.

So, it wasn’t just a dream after all.

“This guy is a lucky find. Human kids are tasty. To encounter such a snack before even reaching a human settlement. Oops, I’m drooling.”

The Demon Mantis licked its lips and wiped the dripping saliva with its scythe-like arms.

Among demons, there are those who prefer to prey on humans.

Even when targeted by such horrifying hunger, I felt no fear.

The me from before would have certainly been paralyzed with fear.

But not now.

The memory of fighting far stronger foes in my dreams nullifies my fear.

And it’s not just that.

In those nightmares, I only wielded my strength for the sake of revenge.

Now, I wield it to protect someone important to me.

There’s nothing happier than this.

In the face of this overflowing joy, I don’t even have time to feel fear.

With fluid movements, I unsheathed Onryomaru and charged at the Demon Mantis.

“Ha! What lively prey!”

The Demon Mantis raised its scythe and swung it down.

Absolutely overconfident.

A wide, careless movement.

However, its speed is so fast that I can barely keep up.

That’s fine.

It’s when facing such opponents that my sword shows its true worth.

I predict the path of the descending scythe and move my sword and body to the perfect position.

I catch the ultra-fast scythe with my sword but don’t try to stop it. Instead, I rotate my body around one leg.

I deflect the power of the scythe and convert that force into my body’s rotational power.

I then step forward, adjust the direction of the force with my footwork, and transfer the enemy’s attacking force onto my sword to convert it into cutting power.

This is the basic technique of my swordsmanship!

“First Strike━━[Flowing Blade]!”

“What?!”

My sword slashed through the Demon Mantis’s leg.

The severed leg falls to the ground.

Even the demon’s body, which is said to be difficult to injure even for muscular adults, let alone children,

Suffers great damage when their own force is turned against them.

Even though I’m overwhelmingly inferior in both power and speed, this is the only way I can fight on equal footing with these monsters.

And now, it has been proven.

Then, I can win.

“With that leg, you won’t be going to the village anymore.”

Even if it could, its speed would surely drop.

At the very least, it won’t be able to shake me off and head to the village.

Now there are no more worries.

Let’s settle this in a one-on-one duel.

“I will be the one to kill you. For the sake of their bright future. . . . . .Die, demon.”

“Y, You little brat!”

The Demon Mantis roared in fury and charged at me with its remaining leg.

And so, my battle with the demon began.

A battle to change fate commenced.


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