“Join you people, you say?”

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“Yes.
That’s not a bad idea.
After all, our band of thieves will grow in strength and become a major force in this kingdom.
This is not just a wish, it’s a definite fact.”

“…Hmph! You’re crazy.
You don’t know the difference between fantasy and reality, do you? Of course not!

“So negotiations are broken.
It’s a pity… that I have to kill a promising colleague!”

The three bandit members, who had been pretending to be hostages spread out to the left and right, and pincers attacked Nina.
Yzma in front of her, has lost his presence.
It is the same kind of skill as Nina’s, ‘Attention Blocking’.

Nina searches for Yzma’s figure while flicking off several knives flying from the left and right with her kunai.
The skill ‘Spatial Sensing’, originally used to see through dungeons and other spaces with poor visibility, can also be used to detect the presence of blocking.

“Behind you!”

Clank! It also plays Yzma’s small sword, which had been sneaking up on her.

“Ohh, you saw through it! But hey, this isn’t all! [Light Blade Slash!]”

“Kuh!”

Clang! Clang! Clang!!

Although not much force is put into each blow, a tremendously fast barrage of blows hits Nina.
At the same time, from the left and right, other men threw knives with the skill “Touki “.
It is a multi-layered wave of attacks from the front and from the left and right.

Nina was able to fight off almost all of them with the two kunai in her hands.

“Haha, oi oi oi, are you serious…”

“Ha, ha, ha, ha…! Oh, no!

“You’re the first person I’ve ever seen with this tactic who hasn’t taken that much damage.”

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The only damage to Nina was a single hit from Yzma that grazed her cheek.
Other than that, she’s as unscathed as possible.

“Hmph! You’re not much of a boss for someone who’s been calling himself one.
It’s my turn next!”

“Kukuku, how about that?”

“You can only be so bossy now…?”

With a jerk, Nina’s knees snap.
Suddenly, her body was hit by a heavy malaise and a high fever.

“Oh, it looks like it’s working! Actually, my little sword is coated with poison, so if it grazes you, I can take away your bodily freedom, as you can see.”

“What… damn it! That’s not fair!

“Thank you very much, cunning is a compliment for us thieves.
Now, it would be easy to kill you like this, but for the love of comradeship, I’ll give you another chance.”

Yzma grinned a crooked grin and bent down close to Nina.

“Come under me, female thief.
I’ll make you my sub-leader.
The kingdom is destined for destruction soon.
Wouldn’t you like to live broadly in that world without order?”

“Hmph, not interested.”

“…There’s a saying that there’s life and then there’s species.
Try being one of us for now.
You can understand each other as peers, it’ll be fun, won’t it?”

“I said I’m not interested…! And don’t treat me and you as colleagues…!”

“What?”

Niña’s angry glare pierces Yzma.

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“It’s rumoured that you bandits will even kill people in order to steal…! Those who take people’s lives for selfish reasons are not thieves, they are murderers! Don’t compare me with you people who have strayed from the path of humanity!”

“How stupid you are! Then you’ll die here in misery.”

“No… you’re the ones who’re going to die miserably, you idiots.”

The moment Nina smirked, and smiled wickedly, that’s when it happened.

-BARIBARI BARI BARI BARI! A pillar of electric shocks rose up from the ground and engulfed Yzma and three of his men.

“W-what?”

“Thank you for coming into the area of effect of the skill ‘Numb Trap’, you morons.”

“You, when, in the meantime!”

“While you’re launching a series of attacks.
Did you really think that I was cornered in the middle of a defensive battle? Too bad you’ve got a potty head, you dumb bastards.”

“W-why, I-i can’t move my body…!”

“Oh, absolutely you can’t move for 7 seconds and that’s enough for me.”

Nina bends forward to get up, supporting herself with her legs, which are trembling from the high fever.

“─ ─ Skill ‘Four Shadowed Bullets’.

A skill that multiplies one’s own speed by four and launches four attacks; four black straight lines ran across the room, and at the same time four dull sounds overlapped, and the bodies of the men in the bandit group fell to the floor without even taking a passive stance.
All of them, including Yzma, were blown unconscious after being struck clean through the lower jaw.

“…It’s over, isn’t it?”

With her hands on the wall, Nina let out a deep sigh.
She hadn’t expected to have to go head-to-head with the bandit boss.
She wanted to rest, but anyway, she had to inform Gustav and the others about the hostage release as soon as possible now, and Nina walked out in a daze.

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“Skill [Brighting]”.

The kunai in her hand is filled with a strong light.
Nina launches it high into the sky.
Signal.
Now all that’s left is for Gustav and the Spera-san, who saw this to ride in from the front and destroy the bandits.

…I was about to rest a little and put my back against the wall of a dwelling near the point where Nina raised the signal when…

“─ ─ Hmm? Don’t tell me you’re one of the heroes?”

“?”

Nina suddenly looked up in the direction of the voice.
There was a shadowy man with black wings, quietly flapping his wings as if he was floating.

“Hi, I’m one of the [Three Heavenly Demons] of the Demon King’s Army, Faunus.”

“.Faun..us..?”

“Huh? Didn’t the heroes tell you? I think he’s the one who defeated our Barzeph.”

“—”

Barzeph, Nina had an idea of that name in her mind.
Gustav had mentioned it once in a conversation.
He said that there were three beings in Demon Lord’s army that he had to pay special attention to.
Nina regains her breath and activates a skill that increases her own speed.

“Heh, you’re willing to do it even though you’re so dizzy? But it’s useless, you know?”

The faun seems to have disappeared from sight in an instant.

“??”

“Too late, Shadow Bats.”

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Faunus, who had been circling behind her before she knew it, activates his skill, and countless bats made of black shadows are slammed into Nina’s body.

“Gah!”

Nina, who was hit by a large flurry of bats, rolled heavily on the ground.
She tries to put strength into her legs, but cannot.
Her back was in extreme pain and she could no longer grip her kunai.

“If you were in perfect condition, it might have been a bit more of a good fight.
My level is 36, yours is probably around 30, right? That’s great, you worked hard to raise your level.”

“Shit…”

“But alas, it’s time to say goodbye.
You can pray to the god you believe in, so that you can at least go to heaven.”

A long black sword appeared in the raised faun’s hand.
The skill used by the faun, the ‘Shadow Sword’, swung down towards Nina’s neck.
However, Nina neither prayed nor closed her eyes.
The reason for this is… very simple.

“…you’re late.”

Immediately after Nina murmurs this, Zbabba-ba-ba! and as many as a thousand spears extend vigorously from the ground, bouncing back at the Shadow Sword.

“Ohhh?”

In front of the startled faun, and probably flying from the roof of some dwelling, Baam! and with a loud bang, a man landed in front of Nina.

“─ ─ Sorry, Nina.
I was kicking those small fry bandits around and got a bit late.”

“…Yeah.
I’ll leave the rest to you, Gustav.”

“Yeah, sorry, just get some sleep.
I’ll be done soon.”

Gustav’s back, with his big spear in front of him, reassured Nina much more than if she had prayed to God.

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