The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 108: An Unexpected Confrontation
“You...who’re you?” His eyebrows jumped as he laid eyes on my expressionless mask. However, for a man with good mental fortitude like the Third Chief’s, such a fright was easily recovered from; of course, it could just be that idiots have more fun.
The Third Chief puffed up his chest and threw me a look filled with disdain as if I was not worthy of his time “Shoo, don’t you know that your mask is hideous?”
“Let’s have a discussion about the problem at hand instead.” Ignoring that, I steered the conversation back to the wolves with the intention of buying him off with money. Given their numbers and the hamlet’s situation, a direct confrontation wouldn’t benefit our side at all.
“You…” His eyes narrowed, staring intently at my mask as if he intended to see through it. Behind him, the bandits were just as unabashed while staring at my mask as he was, with some even salivating.
“How about taking off that mask and letting us have a looksee?”
As those words left his mouth, he reached out for my mask and tried to peel it off. Thankfully, my lithe body allowed me to dodge to the side in the nick of time.
“Watch your hands.” I snapped, disgust rife within my voice. His lasciviousness behavior disgusted me, yet I couldn’t just walk away from him as that would spell certain doom for Plateau Village. I swallowed my anger and disgust, forcing myself to maintain an even tone as I brought the conversation back to the matter of the wolves once more: “What will it take for you to leave this village alone?”
“I have money...what I want is to see your face!” He declared grandiosely, his lip stretched into a lustful grin and his eyes narrowed to a pair of crescent moons.
“Just listening to your silky voice is enough for me to know that you’re a real femme fatale. How about it? If you take off your mask and let Uncle have a look. If you’re pretty enough, Uncle might just forget that this whole incident had ever happened. Isn’t Uncle so dependable?”
Dependable my ass! How is that even dependable!
Even though my anger was about to boil over, even though I wanted to rip him a new one, I couldn’t. For Nicole, for the hamlet, I swallowed my anger once more and explained in a deadpan tone: “I’m a guy.”
The news hit the scene like a tidal wave as the unintended trap sprung on not only the bandits but the villagers as well, shattering their fantasies in an instant. Everyone’s expressions darkened except for two particular ladies, Regine and Ancarin. With that mask on her face, Regine’s expressions were naturally hidden away from us. As for Ancarin...her face was placid except for her biting her lips as her eyes bulged out slightly.
After a few seconds of absolute silence, the Third Chief burst out laughing, his finger shaking as it pointed at me while his entire body doubled over. “Hahahahaha, the lass is scared! Don’t worry, Uncle isn’t a bad man, you just have to let Uncle see your face, that’s all.”
“...I’m a guy.” I emphasized once more, ignoring the swelling anger and humiliation I felt. “In the past, a magical experiment failed and…”
“Stop lying, that’s just an excuse not to reveal your face!”
As those words left the Third Chief’s mouth, the bandits behind him began shouting as well.
“It’s not like she’ll lose anything by taking off that mask, don’t tell me she’s an ugly woman!”
“That’s right that’s right, hurry up and take off that mask, if you’re pretty, our Third Chief might just take you back to our base. You’ll have all the best food and jewelleries, all you’ll have to do is spread your legs. Such an easy job with so many benefits!”
“If you don’t take it off now, we’ll take it off for you!”
Damnit! How am I an ugly woman...wait, I’m not even a woman! Endure it...endure it...if my identity gets revealed...the consequences will be dire...endure it...endure it...
As I started chanting to myself, a boy’s voice filled with righteousness rang out from behind me: “Stop making things difficult for her, she already said her face was disfigured, what else do you want her to do!”
It was a teenage boy with a fiery head of hair similar to George’s. Judging from his youthful square of a head, he was roughly 16 to 17 years old and sported a crew cut hairstyle. Similar to George, he had on a slightly worn out set of hunter’s leather armor with a half meter long blade by in his hand.
The boy stood there with disgust in his eyes as he stared down the Third Chief, his right hand raised foolishly in a provocative stance that showed his readiness to attack.
“Whose brat is this? How about growing some hair down there before pretending to be hero? If you don’t watch yourself, I might just kill you!” The Third Chief waved his hands dismissively as he gave him a fierce glare, clearly not taking his threats seriously. “Scram, stop wasting my time brat.”
After dismissing the brat, he turned his gaze back to me, ignoring even Ancarin as he did so: “Babe, just remove that mask of yours and let Uncle see your pretty little face. If you’re beautiful enough, Uncle will be sure treat you well…”
“Go kill yourself!” The red haired teen screamed with what seemed like shame-induced rage, shame from being ignored or perhaps some other reason. His short blade flew out before anyone could even register his words, its aim to kill the scumbag.
Who would’ve expected a kid like him to pull a sneak attack? Certainly not the Third Chief who was still fixated on me. His eyes barely caught the glint of steel before he was hit with a wave of murderous intent, causing him to dodge instinctively. However, this came too late as the blade bit into his shoulder drawing blood with its decisive swing.
“Dioh stop...damn it!” yelled George the moment he noticed that something was wrong. However, it was too late to stop the fiery teen from attacking. By the time, the words left his mouth, the Third Chief had already been stabbed.
As he felt a wave of burning pain coming from his shoulder, he instinctively rotated his body preventing the blade from further injuring his shoulder. With a quick hop mid-spin, the Third Chief retaliated with a jumping back kick which sent the teen flying. Without waiting for him to get up, the Third Chief bellowed, his eyes fuming and his face red with anger: “Brat, you actually dare to injure me? I’m going to murder your entire village! Lads, get’em!”
“Kill them all! Men, women and children, all of them!”
On the Third Chief’s command, the bandits unsheathed their blades simultaneously briefly illuminating the night sky with their cold gleams.
“Don’t let them in the village! If you consider yourself a man, halt their advance!”
Since the hatred had been sowed, there was no avoiding a fight. With a quick shout, George rallied his fellow hunters and led the ten odd hunters who had just returned in a charge. It was at this moment, that the remaining sixty to seventy hunters streamed in from the back.
However given the proximity of the two parties, they didn’t dare to fire their bows recklessly and instead chose to abandon them, charging into the fray with their blades drawn. With that, almost all of the able-bodied youths in this tiny hamlet of four to five hundred people had gathered here.
With his strength as a three-star warrior, George did not need to use his short blade. Instead he opted for a primal approach as he pounced at the bandit minions with his fingers fanned out like grasping claws, mimicking a ferocious and unstoppable tiger.
With his fighter’s aura wrapped around his body, it not only gave his muscles a surge of strength but functioned as a protective layer, dulling the attacks of the bandits. The most these ordinary blades could do was break the outermost layer of his skin while his ensuing counterattack, on the other hand, left their heads and bodies separated.
As the majority of them were merely one-star with their squad leaders being at most two-star, the bandit henchmen could do nothing but watch as their comrades get torn apart by the vicious hunter.
Without the might the of three-star Third Chief aiding them, George was like a wolf thrown into a herd of sheep, ferociously ripping through their numbers amidst their cries for help and their mommas. Combined with the remaining hunters behind him, the villagers easily suppressed the bandits right from the get go.
As for why George dared to charge so recklessly at the bandit minions, it was because I had made my move as well.
In order to prevent any unnecessary conflict, I endured and then endured some more. But who knew that before I could even make a move, a blockhead teen took the initiative to air my grievances for me...the world truly worked in mysterious ways.
As he strode towards the fallen teen, the Third Chief drew his long blade that hung by his waist and without a moment’s notice, hacked at the teen. The stunned teen sat there with his mouth hanging open as he watched the murderous blade descend upon him without even trying to dodge.
Did the kid get scared witless? I immediately rushed forward with the enchanted blade drawn. However, it was too late to block the descending blade. Thinking quickly, I immediately diverted my blade towards the chief’s exposed neck. As I did so, I focused my will on the enchanted blade channelling my mana rapidly into it causing it to ignite with roaring flames.
At this distance and angle, there was no way I could miss. If the Third Chief continued attacking the boy, all that awaited him was death by my blade.
Knowing that even his fighter’s aura wasn’t enough to block my blade, the chief promptly withdrew his blade to defend. While he was a reckless daredevil, that didn’t mean he was going to throw his life away needlessly.
His body spun around swinging the long blade towards the fiery weapon, stopping it just inches away from burning him. Having blocked it in the nick of time, the chief willed his aura forth in an explosion of Fighter’s Aura that pushed me back.
As I righted my posture, I snuck a glance at Dioh and found that the boy was at least smart to make use of this opportunity to run to safety beside George.
“So you do have some skills on you, lass.” the bandit sneered before gazing at the shallow wound on his shoulder. From that brief exchange, he managed to discern that my strength was roughly at the level of a two-star. With nothing to fear from me, he flashed me a fearless smile as he said: “You’d best follow me back to our mountain hideout, if we fight for real, there’s no guarantee I won’t injure you.”
Why does this potato keep insisting that I’m a girl?! No matter how you look at it, I’m a guy, A GUY! My pee pee is just on a holiday that’s all!
I took a deep breath before exhaling for an equally long time. However, with the mask covering my mouth and the majority of my face, the exhaled air ended up being trapped behind the mask giving it an uncomfortable humidity. Originally, all that talk of “lass this, babe that” had already irked me significantly, with that adding fuel to the fire, my anger finally boiled over: “Lass your f*cking ass, go kill yourself!”
I roared and broke into a charge with the intention of using the Inversion Cut to take him by surprise. However, this seemingly ultimate skill in my eyes failed to come through once more. Ever since I used it on the Drump brothers in the villa’s basement, I hadn’t been able to perform it again no matter how hard I tried.
This time was no exception either. No matter how much I swung the blade, the Inversion Cut refused to show itself causing all my furious swings to be nothing but ordinary swings.
Without the Inversion Cut, my melee abilities were dwarfed by the Third Chief’s own abilities. The difference in power could be compared to the difference in height between a dwarf and a human, no matter how much I tried, I was unable to harm him. In fact, my rage-fuelled slashes were perfectly parried by him even without the aid of his Fighter’s Aura.
Thankfully, the battle as a whole was tilting in our favor. While the hunters had less people than the bandits, their combat strength made up for that discrepancy. After all, their occupation was one that battled with animals and magical beasts on a daily basis. Even their weakest member had some strength to him.
Not to mention the minions were basically fighting without a leader while the villagers had the mighty George, a three-star, leading their charge. Against a bunch of one and two-stars...there was nothing that could stop him!
However, that didn’t mean that they suffered no losses either. This was due to the inherent weakness of their short blades versus the bandit’s longer blades. As the saying goes, an inch longer is an inch stronger.
By now, the bandits had suffered massive casualties from George’s ferocious attacks. As for the villagers, there were some unavoidable losses but on a whole, the scales were still tipped in our favor.
Special thanks to Steve Granger!!