Chapter 23: Leone Grates
He is one of the five heroes and the legitimate son of the prestigious Grates family.
Born into a family with a proven track record of producing many excellent mages, he also awakened his talent as a mage.
His talent is considered the greatest in the family’s history, and he was expected to do great things.
Therefore, he is a confident person.
His arrogant personality of looking down on others and considering himself superior is somewhat reminiscent of the Demon King.
He has the highest pride amongst the five heroes.
That’s why he’s easy to handle.
“Slayer Raeburn! I’ll settle the score from yesterday!”
“. . .As expected, you came.”
The next morning.
When I headed to school, Leone was waiting for me.
I could tell what he wanted just by looking at his face.
He looked so scary that other students avoided him as they passed by.
“Yesterday, we were interrupted so we couldn’t finish. Today, I’ll show you my true strength.”
“Fine by me. Shall we meet at the same place during lunch?”
“Sure, I don’t mind.”
“Fufu, make sure to get permission this time.”
The duel was accepted.
I passed by him calmly.
Feeling his glare, I pretended not to care.
“I’ve been challenged to a duel.”
“It’s just as Slayer-san said.”
“That’s why I told you, he’s easy to understand.”
I spoke with Flare during a break between classes.
So far, I have been able to avoid contact with the heroes I was worried about.
Since I have a duel with Leone, there’s no need to worry about them approaching me awkwardly.
Meigen is usually with Leone.
Alma avoids me, and Billy is probably in the library skipping class.
Only Seika is beyond my grasp.
I’ll leave dealing with him to Belfist.
“Can I eat lunch with you?”
“Yes, but remember we have something to do afterwards.”
I asked her.
I have already told her about the problem that Leone is facing.
And I have also told her how to solve the problem.
And that her presence is essential.
It’s not just her words, her actual presence matters too.
“You will definitely get hurt.”
“It’s okay! I’m used to being ridiculed.”
“. . .I see.”
Being able to say that is your strength.
I use her.
For my own sake.
The thought of that almost made me waver in my decision.
Time flies by, and it’s finally lunch break.
A long-awaited moment, not just for me, but for him as well.
The stage has been set for him to exact revenge.
“So you came without running away. Let me praise you first.”
“That’s my line.”
I looked around him.
It seems like he’s the only one here.
“Isn’t Meigen with you?”
“Hmph, I left him behind because he’s always nagging.”
Even though I said that, deep down, I’m hoping to avoid getting caught up in another battle like yesterday…
I know that Leone values Meigen as a friend.
And considering the developments that will happen later, it’s more convenient to have him alone.
I came to terms with it myself and asked Leone.
“Can we stick with the same rules as yesterday?”
“Yeah, but you have to leave the area.”
Leone warns Flare.
Surprisingly, he’s kind to her too.
But that’s just like him.
“It’s okay. I can protect myself.”
She says that and activates her own light barrier.
“…I see. Then I won’t say anything more. Shall we begin?”
Leone’s hostility is directed towards me.
He’s calmer and sharper than yesterday.
He clearly recognizes me as his enemy.
“Let’s go! Flame Lance!”
A spear made by compressing flames behind him floats.
There were twelve of them.
Sharp attacks were launched towards me.
I neutralized them with the same power as yesterday.
But then, another spear of flames flies towards me from behind the explosion.
I dodged it instinctively.
“Oh, I see…”
The initial attack was a decoy, and the real one was the attack after the explosion, obstructing my vision.
He’s putting effort into finding ways to defeat me.
It’s clearly different from yesterday.
But that doesn’t matter.
“You seem to be trying your best, but it’s futile.”
Sorry, but today I’ll overwhelm you.
I’ll show you.
A fist of compressed flames.
The fist moved in sync with my movements.
When I swing my fist, the fiery fist also strikes the target.
Leone defends with a wall of flames.
But it easily breaks through.
Even though it’s the same fire magic, my skill and density are superior.
He gets blown away by the attack.
Without giving him a moment to recover, I continued my attack
This time, I unleashed a barrage of water projectiles.
Leone rolls and evades them.
Realizing that defense is impossible, he looked for an opportunity to counterattack from his evasive position.
However, of course, I didn’t give him such an opportunity.
A discharge runs through the wet flowing from Leone’s feet.
His numb body trembles and falls.
“Hmph, not yet…”
As he tried to stand up, I followed up by deforming the ground and thrusting it upward.
He jumped up dramatically and then tumbled down.
I showed no mercy.
I approached him as he was coughing and struggling on the ground, looking down at him..
“You can’t beat me.”
I made the difference in power between me and him clear.