Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 426

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Translator: Nat

–Aegir POV–


The lanky man attacks Sekrit.

As the man approaches with his body low to the ground, it confirms this unit isn't normal and their fighting style is strange, like I thought.

When Sekrit readies her claws, the man switches from holding his knife in his mouth to holding it in his right hand.

The appearance of him running on three legs bypa.s.ses strange and reaches eerie territory.

「d.a.m.n mangy mutt. Can't you at least walk on all fours?」

Sekrit insults the man and thrusts downward with her claws.

It was fast from where I was watching, yet the three-legged man easily dodges with irregular movements.

I see, his three-legged style gives him maneuverability.

Furthermore, since he was crawling low and Sekrit's claws have a short reach, she was limited to a downward attack.

The man evades Sekrit's second and third attack as well.

After the third attack, he transitions to offense.

With his posture lowered as far down as possible, he swings his dagger at Sekrit's ankle……no, it wasn't that large of a movement. It was like he attacked with his own claw, just like Sekrit.

Although his reach is extremely short, there was almost no opening for a counterattack.

「Annoying insect. You fight well for a d.a.m.n aphid.」

Sekrit remains unfazed, being used to life-or-death struggles.

She snorts and backsteps quickly to dodge the man's attack.

All of his successive attacks from the left and right also get avoided by her nimble movements.

Despite Sekrit not getting hit, the man continues to attack.

By his fourth and fifth attacks, Sekrit was pushed towards the mast of the s.h.i.+p and she's running out of room to run.


Noticing Sekrit's back against the mast, the man lets out a high-pitched yell and pounces.

Unable to back up any further, Sekrit raises her claws and prepares to block.

There was a sharp exhale of air.

「Did you think you cornered me?」


Sekrit stabs her claws into the mast behind her instead of at her opponent, then she lifts her body up.

The man's dagger whizzes through the s.p.a.ce where Sekrit's body used to be and sc.r.a.pes some paint off the mast.

Sekrit twists her large body in midair, pulls her claws off the mast, and descends directly on top of the man.

The man hastily crawls out of the way on all fours like a dog and Sekrit's claws barely grazes his body, stabbing into the floor.

It was a rather pathetic way of dodging, but he clearly showed his agility.

「Don't want my claws? Then how about a foot.」

While her claws were still stuck in the floor, Sekrit opens up her legs and launches a powerful kick to the man's back.


The man flies into a stack of barrels.

Unluckily, they were filled with vegetables, which cus.h.i.+oned his impact, although his body was left in a miserable state with leaves all over.

「Now then, will you come again? ――defective dog.」

She seems fine.


At that moment I switched my attention to the front, the chicken-like woman lunged at me with both hands thrust forward.

My eyes were drawn to the claws attached to both of her hands, which were wrapped around her wrists with a band unlike Sekrit's prosthetic arms.

Regardless, it's a bold move to jump at me like that.


I twist my waist and avoid her attack.

I thought that she would fall face first into the ground, but contrary to my expectations, she crosses her claws, bounces up off the floor, and spins in midair skillfully so that she lands feet first on a thin supporting rod.


A creepy smile forms on her face.

I can't ignore a woman who smiles at me so I reciprocate with a smile of my own.


If I were to do the same thing, I would either crash into the floor or trip and fall.

She's thin like that so she could move that way, huh?

「However, you don't have any charm as a woman.」

Not only is the woman's body thin, she's wearing extremely lightweight clothing that shows off her thighs and belly b.u.t.ton.

From those areas, I clearly see the bones through her skin and the ribs poking out of her caved-in abdomen, making me feel sorry for her, rather than turning me on.


She leaps at me again.

When I brandish my Dual Crater, she sidesteps at the last second to circle behind me.

If she takes my back, then I have to run.

I turn around and step backwards, but I don't see the woman.


That took me by surprise so I looked all around me to find where she could be.

Wondering what happened, I suddenly realized a shadow over my head.

「Above me?」

She climbed up the mast before I knew it and, just like Sekrit, dropped down directly on top of me.

I am still amazed by how light her body is, since I couldn't hear any sound when she was climbing.

She uses the power of gravity to aid her strike.

I'm unable to dodge, so I swing my Dual Crater upward, the blade pointed down, and use the b.u.t.t of the hilt to deflect her claws.


Her falling trajectory was reversed as I sent her flying back up.

Because I didn't control my strength well, she flew up higher than the tallest point of the mast, seemingly hovering there for a second, then fell down with her back facing the floor.

At this rate, she would hit the floor and die, so she hurries to turn her body in midair, hooks her claws on a pillar or a rope to kill her speed somehow and manages to land safely on her feet.


Both of us sigh in relief at the same time.

She glares at me for that and doesn't show me the smile from earlier.

「Unnaturally strong beast……」

After muttering in disgust, she attacks again.

She crawls on the floor, bounces off of pillars, jumps on barrels, and uses anything on the deck as a platform to perform quick attacks.

I do my best to evade, block and parry them, all the while observing her.

I didn't notice before due to her abnormally thin frame, but she is not even 150 cm tall.

Based on her fighting style, she probably didn't have a decent upbringing. The thought is further supported by her anomalous starvation.

With her claw attacks ineffective, the woman perches on a high location and makes a threatening movement.

I s.h.i.+ft my body aside to avoid a thrown dagger and deflect what looks to be a poisoned needle with the flat side of my blade.

Knowing the opponent is an a.s.sa.s.sin, such methods are within expectations, so I simply have to watch carefully and dodge.

Now, let me resume my inspection.

Most of the woman's face was covered with a cloth, however I saw her real face many times when she made large movements.

Similar to her body, her face was quite gaunt but even disregarding that fact and the multiple large scars on her face, she couldn't be called beautiful by any standards. Her looks would lean closer to ugly.

「If I pulled you into bed, it might be endearing though.」

My monologue was cut short when the woman dropped in front of me.

「I see you have tremendous strength, but in terms of speed…… I win.」

「Oh, that doesn't sound good.」

She lowers her hips, crosses her claws and plants her feet firmly onto the wooden floor.

It looks like she wants to charge at full speed and compete in a contest of speed.

The green liquid dripping from her claws…… is definitely poison.

I should put on gloves.

「Kukuku…… you're skilled, but this is the end.」

「Fumu, how troubling.」

I look over at Sekrit and see she's in the same kind of situation as me with the male opponent.

She was driven to the stern where there is nothing for her to use.

Reinforcements are…… not needed, huh?

d.a.m.n, that Sekrit is suppressing a smile and faking a distressed look.

I can't spend too much more time on this either.


The voices of the two a.s.sa.s.sins overlap.

The woman pounces at the fastest speed yet.

By the time I raised my sword, the claws had already entered my s.p.a.ce.

That's fast. Yes, fast indeed.

In astonishment, I move left and dodge the two-handed strike.

With a dumbfounded look, I duck the right-handed sweep.

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With an admiring expression, I use my gloved hand to catch her simultaneous slash from the left and right.

A sword runs through his shoulder and he falls to the floor without doing anything.

It was an entirely different development than before.

The man was overwhelmed by her superior speed, power and technique.

He somehow pulls the sword out from his body and gets up, but he was immediately kicked in the groin and slashed in the back.

Before he could turn around, Sekrit shatters his jaw with her heel and cuts off his right arm.

「…… a-agh…… gigh……」

He felt more confused than terrified at the way she fought which made it seem like her behavior up until now was a lie.

「Initiate phase two――」

Three individuals clothed in black garments make their move.

Sekrit blocks the slashes from the left and right with her two swords, leaving her open for a thrust by the third enemy, which Sekrit doesn't react to.

The tip of the sword was about to reach her eyeball until Sekrit eases up on her swords, and takes half a step backward.

That thrust aimed at her loses its momentum, while the two whose swords were stopped previously stumble forward from Sekrit's unexpected retreat.

Sekrit takes advantage of the opening and counters with a thrust of her own, plunging her swords into the eyes of the two stumbling enemies through to the backs of their heads.


The remaining individual stares blankly at Sekrit―― then his head slides forward and rolls on the floor all the way until it drops into the water.

「Now…… then.」

Sekrit walks over to the man who suffered a heavy injury to his back, lost an arm and is still desperately crawling on the floor towards the river, and grabs him by the hair.

「The fight is over. We can finally chat now.」

She leans the man's body on the railing at the s.h.i.+p's stern and detaches her prosthetic arm.

「You're going to die here……but as an a.s.sa.s.sin, it's boring to die alone and quietly, right? Why not go out with a bang? I've always wanted to try this.」

A new arm clicks in place.

That arm is…… so she brought that one with her as well.

Pushed against the chest of the lanky man is the arm……rather, it's more appropriate to call it a tube――and it's something often seen in the gun deck.

The man must have realized what it was since he started to struggle, however, Sekrit holds him down with one arm.

To begin with, Sekrit is much stronger than average men.

It's hard enough for a healthy person to shake her off, let alone an injured one.

「Add the gunpowder, load the sh.e.l.l…… and then I just need to pull this lever……」

She purposely confirms each step slowly, prolonging the man's fate.

I debated whether I should stop her, but the fainted woman just groaned, so I should prioritize tying her up.

Sekrit tilts her head, a s.e.xy smile decorating the look of ecstasy on her face.

Then she speaks in a firm voice which would arouse most men.


When she pulls the lever, the end of her arm explodes.

That boom……it wasn't an especially distinguishable sound in a battlefield filled with cannonfire.

Nevertheless, no man could stand up against a blast from close range.

His upper body was blown to pieces, the parts scattering everywhere, and the blood dying Sekrit's body red.

The remaining lower half was left twitching on the deck.


A groan escapes the lips of the grinning Sekrit, and her hand trembles.

Don't tell me she's hurt.

That was when Aless soldiers came running in droves.

It appears they completely took control of the enemy s.h.i.+p.

「Huh? Some enemies came on board?」

「How admirable for them to climb aboard this manly s.h.i.+p…… they're already dead though.」

Such a comment was made like it was nothing.

They don't show any kind of concern for me or Sekrit.

「What do you mean? You're a man acknowledged by Gildress. Who would worry about a man?」

「Even if it were to happen in front of me, I wouldn't interfere with a man's fight.」

Well, we won, so whatever.

The naval battle will be reaching its climax soon.

Sekrit's command will be needed from here on out.

「I'm counting on you.」

「Hmp. Then tell those idiots to listen to my orders.」

Sekrit comes out of her trance-like state and returns to the bridge.

As she walked away, I saw her pants were soaked, and a sticky liquid was dripping down her thighs.

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