I looked through, and there were absolutely no gender indications . I’m assuming male here .
Oh, and Happy Lupercalia .
From his appearance, he was a Beastman . His hair was pure black, and his cold eyes did not give off a friendly impression .
(A Beastman… is he a Black Panther type…?)
But from his appearance and atmosphere, Hiiro could tell he was no ordinary passerby . He felt that the one before him was a more troublesome opponent than the Clay Viper . That he was someone he wouldn’t want to make an enemy out of .
That Beastman slowly opened its mouth .
“Was the one who killed this one nyu?” (TL: Ends sentences with Nya)
Hiiro almost fell over . Even though all of his instincts screamed that the one before him was a dangerous existence, his voice was as high as a child’s, and there was that speech trait . With that appearance, the 「Nya」 wasn’t cute at all, you know . It was more creepy than anything .
“Let me ask again nya . Are you the one who killed it nya?”
“Do I have any obligation to answer you?”
The Beastman put his hand to his chin and thought for a moment . After which, he balled one hand into a fist… and hit it on the other palm .
“Oh~ you really don’t have such an obligation nya . ”
The person he was facing was a bit out there, but still, Hiiro couldn’t afford to let down his guard . His instincts told him not to be negligent . Behind his back, his hands were already prepared to cast 《Word Magic》 .
“Well, I guess it doesn’t matter who killed it nya . I’ll bring it back all the same nya . ”
“Hmm? Wait a second, you’re bringing this thing back?”
“Yes nya . That’s my mission nya . ”
(Mission? Bringing back something this big? What’s more, it’s already a corpse . )
Various questions surfaced in Hiiro’s mind, but he got the feeling that it was better to not get involved any further . He need not get involved with this cat of mysterious origin .
“Well, do what you want . Before that, let me get some proof that I took it out . ”
“If it’s just that, then go ahead nya . But please make it quick nya . ”
(Hmm? He’s surprisingly honest . It didn’t come out to steal the praise…?)
Hiiro looked at the immobile Beastman, and waited for it to take action . But as nothing was happening, Hiiro approached the Clay Viper Corpse .
(Let’s just get this over with and leave . )
Hiiro reached out his hand to grasp the 《Clay Viper Fang》as proof of his kill, but as soon as his hand approached it, he sensed bloodlust . Hiiro immediately drew his sword and took a stance, but that Kitty bastard was already in front of him, grasping the blade .
“W-what are you doing!?”
In response, the cat smiled and kicked Hiiro away .
Hiiro was sent sliding, but he was able to brace his legs to avoid falling over . Still, the damage from the impact contorted Hiiro’s face .
“As I thought, you’re strong nya . You didn’t kill it by luck nya . ”
The cat’s happy face was annoying .
“Are you pickin’ a fight, you kitty bastard!?”
Hiiro shouted as he prepared to slash, but his opponent immediately appeared in front of him .
(He’s much faster than me!?)
Hiiro immediately moved his katana to guard, but he was blown away again . This time, he rolled along the ground, but rose up immediately and got into position again .
(Damn… How can he overcome my katana barehanded?)
Normally, he shouldn’t be able to grasp the blade or hit it . Especially if he was hitting the sharp edge . His hand should have taken severe damage . Even so, Hiiro’s opponent was completely unharmed .
“Nyaha! You can fight nya . You’re strong nya . If nyu try a little harder, I might hire you as my follower nya . ”
The word ‘follower’ caused a vein to pop up on Hiiro’s head .
“Don’t screw with me, kitty bastard… I’ll show you something you’ll regret . ”
Without breaking eye contact, he concentrated magic to his finger .
(Let’s imagine the Muir from before)
He wrote the word 『Thunder』and sent it at his opponent’s feet .
Though it wasn’t comparable to Muir’s, a powerful electric discharge went through the ground towards his enemy .
The cat opened his eyes in surprise for a moment, but he resumed his smile as he held out both of his arms in front . And, the electricity disappeared as it was sucked towards them .
“Nyaha! Nyu were a Lightning user nya? There was quite some power, but that isn’t enough to beat me nya . ”
Hiiro couldn’t understand what had just happened .
(I understand that the electricity somehow disappeared into his hands… but what did that damn cat do?)
He could use 『Pry』 to gather information, but it takes time to use . There’s no way he would be able to cope with that speed .
Hiiro wrote a character on his own body . And…
He appeared before his opponent .
The cat was even more surprised than before . Hiiro’s speed was just that great .
(By writing 『Speed』 on myself, I can increase my own abilities! Now get pierced already!)
Using his momentum, Hiiro thrust 『Piercer』 . But still, his opponent saw through him, and Hiiro cut nothing but air . The ease at which his attack was dodged made Hiiro believe he was fighting a true wild beast .
(Damn! I was dodged . So he wasn’t serious yet . )
Power, speed, atmosphere . Taking all of these into account, Hiiro guessed that his opponent was an existence high up in the ranks of Beastmen . This damn cat was strong enough to play with Rank S monsters as if they were cute pets .
(I can’t slack off for a single moment)
If he made a single mistake, he might die . Hiiro continuously pondered over just how he would conquer this person . If he wanted to run, it may be possible, but he wouldn’t be satisfied with leaving after being treated as a fool .
(I’m still a child… but I get the feeling that I can’t turn away here . More importantly, that cat… PISSES ME OFF!)
Hiiro glared at his enemy again and wrote 『Speed』 once more .
(I’ll give you more and more surprises!)
With the speed of the wind, Hiiro closed the gap . He increased his speed much more than before, startling his opponent .
But for a split second, his enemy narrowed his eyes, and his legs swelled unnaturally . He nimbly dodged Hiiro’s assault .
(Wha!? It can even react at this speed!?)
Hiiro had used parallel writing to write 『Speed』 on his body multiple times . The effects stacked, giving him overwhelming speed . Even so, his opponent dodged .
Hiiro slashed again and again, but all his swings were in vain . But there, he realized something was off .
(That bastard can grasp a sword bare-handed, so why has he been dodging all of these…?)
Right, from his initial actions, this cat should be able to defend easily . He has no reason not to .
(Since it’s gotten to this, I’ll add something more…)
Hiiro accelerates even more to try and force his opponent to guard . At that moment, he heard laughter .
“Nyaha! Yes, yes, you pass nya!”
Hiiro heard an unexpected line .
“If it’s nyu, you could even become my successor nya . ”
“What are you even talking about?”
“What’s your level?”
“Hah? 33, but… ah . ”
He had been drawn into his enemy’s pace and unintentionally said his level . Hiiro was filled with regret .
“33!? And you’re that strong nya!? Yes, I’m satisfied with you nya!”
Hiiro was repenting in his heart .
“My name is Crouch nya . What’s yours?”
“… No idea . ”
“Could this be that amnesia thing nya!?”
Crouch seemed shocked as his mouth hung open .
“This is serious nya! This is serious nya! Ah, I should have the professor look at you nya!”
“Professor? No, I’m fine! It was a joke!”
“I-is that so nya? That’s good nya . ”
Crouch uses his forearm to wipe away sweat . It appears that he was truly worried .
(What’s with this one? Don’t throw off my pace… This cat may be more annoying than the old man . )
“Then, what’s your name nya?”
“… Tanaka Tarou . ” (TL: Japanese version of John Smith)(ED: The most common name)
“Oh, so that’s your name nya! Then, Tarou, come with me nya!”
“The war will start soon nya . I’ll use you as my retainer nya!”
This was exceedingly bad . Hiiro’s head went blank . He never thought he would be invited to war .
(And as a retainer . That sounds like it comes with a bit of status . If this was based off of my strength, then I can understand it, but still this is bad… really . )
Crouch was completely eager . At this rate, Hiiro was going to be forcefully kidnapped .
(There’s no choice . Though I hate these sort of situations . )
As he thought that, Hiiro thrust with his katana .
“I’ll never serve below someone weaker than me . If you want me, then you’ll have to defeat me!”
Crouch’s eyes widened at Hiiro’s words . He seemed taken aback, but his face loosened and a crescent moon formed .
“How interesting nya…”
Sparks flew between them, and it seemed they would start duking it out at any moment . But suddenly, Crouch furrowed his brow .
“…Eh? Is that so nya? … Got it nya . ”
Crouch hung his head in disappointment .
“Tarou, our battle’s put on hold nya . ”
Saying that, Crouch touched the Clay viper’s body and head . And in the next moment, the items disappeared as if they were being sucked into his hands .
(W-what is this magic? No, he’s a Beastman, so is it 《Binding》?)
In a few seconds, the giant Clay Viper disappeared completely . Crouch gazed at Hiiro .
“This is an urgent job nya . I wanted to bring you along, but there’s no choice nya . There’ll be another chance nya . I mean, you’re going to 【Passion】, right nya?”
“Nyahaha, I’ve taken a liking to your impudent behavior as well . Well then, Tarou, let’s meet again nya . ”
Saying that, the cat disappeared as if he were being absorbed into the ground . Hiiro put up his guard as he walked to where Crouch was standing, but nothing happened .
It seems he’s caught the interest of quite a person .
(I may have to get out of 【Passion】 quickly . )
Hiiro didn’t want to meet that annoying kitty bastard again . He shrugged his shoulders… And then he realized something .
“… The proof of subjugation…”
It was impossible to recover it .