Chapter 68: A Battle of Heroes
「You did it, Mina-chan. 」
「Well done, Miss. 」
「Congratulations, Mina-san. 」
「Fuh fuh, as expected of Lily’s beloved best friend. I mean, you are also my best friend.」
After the cooking battle was over, everyone, including Mister Kyou, spoke to me like that.
「Yes, thank you very much. I did it because of your help.」
I was being sincere. Without Mister Kyou’s advice at that time, I would have lost sight of the true essence of my cooking.
I wanted to help everyone, including Lily, who was still fighting for everyone on the battlefield. I could now face her with pride.
「Then, we shall disclose the next combination of opponents and the designated dish.」
While thinking about it, the Gourmet Master disclosed the next match and designated dish. The name of the next match’s combination was quite unexpected.
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Countless troops advanced toward the enemy territory in order to invade. The enemy army was the army of the Alburs Empire, which Rostam revered. The undisturbed movement of the army showed the prowess of the world’s leading Imperial soldiers. However, in front of an uncommon beast that ran around the battlefield, the formation that was as an iron wall collapsed.
「Ugh, retreat! Regain your posture at once! 」
The general who commanded the army shouted at the soldiers on the battlefield from his horse, and the army retreated at once. However, the blow of the beast running on the ground sent the horse of the general off course, and the general prepared himself to fall on the ground.
「I’m sorry, but I can’t let you escape. If I crush you here, the command of your army will be delayed for a while.」
The one who stood in front of the general was Lily, one of the Seven Great Heroes who Amines temporarily assigned to command the army from Valkyria, the country where the Alburs Empire was currently invading.
「I’ve heard rumors, but are you the unorthodox hero with the power of a demon?」
The general glared at Lily with a feeling of contempt, while for Lily, such mix of fear and insults were something she had heard so many times.
「…I won’t kill you right now. I will make you faint and take you as a prisoner.」
Lily’s wild intuition sensed danger the moment he raised his hand. She instantly jumped backwards, and at the same time, a flash-like trajectory ran to where she was before.
The general fired a slash at Lily, a slash strong enough to make Lily incapable of fighting if it hit directly. After avoiding that deadly slash, Lily looked surprised upon seeing the face of the general. It was a familiar face.
「You are…Ferid. 」
He was the one whom Lily saved from getting lost in the woods before, and then, he spend some earnest time with her friends.
「It’s been a long time, Beast Hero Lily. You see, I never intended for us to reunite under these circumstances.」
Ferid uttered Lily’s title. He felt no fear unlike the previous general, but rather he felt gratitude for someone whom he respected. However, he also felt the determination to defeat her if she ended up being hostile.
「Me too. I’d like to ask you something. If you’re on that side, does that mean you’re a human from the Alburs Empire?」
「I don’t mind any question. Actually, I’m in a cooperative relationship with them now.」
「I see. 」
Lily immediately changed her posture and got ready for battle after confirming his presence in the battlefield. Lily felt that this opponent hid considerable skills including the previous slash. Perhaps, Ferid was superior in terms of current fighting ability.
However, Lily realized that she was the one with the most fighting ability among the Seven Great Heroes, and she was capable of using her creative skills to release the power of demons. No matter how strong Ferid was, he would never win in an individual-to-individual battle with Lily. With a confidence similar to a conviction, Lily sprinted through the ground, delivering a fist on Ferid’s body.
Ferid defended himself with a sword, at a level that was almost reflexive, but the fist was so powerful that some damage inflicted his body. After all, no matter how strong the opponent was, Lily had an advantage when it came to an individual-to-individual battle. Lily’s confidence increased again as she jumped toward the heavens with a great speed. And then, she attacked Ferid right up from the sun.
Lily’s speed was faster than before, and struck Ferid from the blind spot of the human head, plus aided by blinded eyes because of the sun on its back. Lily thought that she was about to inflict a winning blow. Nonetheless, her fist did not reach Ferid’s body. In fact, Ferid caught her fist with his sword and easily repelled her attack.
Even though the timing of her attack was perfect, Lily felt uncomfortable and an indescribable anxiety for a moment after she realized that Ferid had predicted her attack.
However, withdrawing from this fight would be a denial of self-confidence, and above all, she would miss the chance to stop the invasion of the enemy army. Lily shook off the slight alarming sound of danger, and this time she gave a blow with a sprint.
Her movement left an afterimage by leaving the sound behind. This afterimage created an illusion of several beasts running in the battlefield. However, just before her fist hit Ferid directly, Ferid advanced slowly towards Lily and moved his body slightly to dodge her blow. Then, Ferid caught Lily’s back immediately after twisting his body sideways.
Lily tried to avoid his attack by using her instinct as a beast, but Ferid’s sword ran to the point where she could not avoid it, and smashed Lily’s body that turned into a beast.
A shock ran into her brain. For Lily, it was an impossible situation since she knew that her fighting abilities were undeniably superior against Ferid. Despite this, he had the capability to attack first, intercept her attacks, and even capture her. It was an impossible battle evolution. Ferid had grasped all of his opponent’s movements and attacks with just a few moves.
「You…who are you…? 」
Although she collapsed, Lily did not understand the cause of her defeat. This outcome was something that could not be overturned by simple abilities. If there were an existence in this world that surpassed any specialized form in battle, then it would be “that” hero with a certain title.
「Come to think of it, I did not tell you my title. 」
There was only one title in the world that was comparable to Lily’s prowess…No, a hero with the “potential to surpass” any opponent.
「My name is Ferid, the “Brave Hero”. I am one of the Seven Great Heroes, and I am now an ally of the “Emperor Hero” Rostam.」
Just before Lily closed her eyes in front of the man, who embodied the title of “Brave Hero”, the most outstanding of all the heroes, her consciousness reminded her of that strange cultivator and her good-hearted companions.
「…Mina, Fitis…Dora-chan, Rock…Kyou… 」
After muttering the names of her companions, Lily’s consciousness fell into the darkness.
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The Gourmet Master announced the next cooking match and designated dish. However, it was an unexpected result.
『Fourth Round: “Gourmet Hero” Fitis versus “Snow Witch” Isu. 』
『Designated Food: Dessert dish. 』
The Snow Witch Isu.
She was someone whom we considered as a companion, and it was a dessert showdown between her and our other companion Fitis.
Oh no Lily!!! 🙁 I thought Ferid was one of the good guys, perhaps he is, but we don’t know his intentions yet…