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Vermillion – Chapter 28.2 Bahasa Indonesia

Of course, Aileen was against it.

“What the hell, dude!? D-Dueling over m-m-me is just ridiculous…!”

Inside the tent they had borrowed from the villagers, Kei received a barrage of complaints from Aileen. She herself was in a terrible mess, making it hard to tell whether she was actually angry or embarrassed.

“Good lord! Deciding something so important without me! You have to consider my feelings on the matter, you know!? B-Besides… even without doing something like that, at this point…”

Aileen blushed, fiddling with her fingertips as she started to get embarrassed all by herself, but Kei responded while putting on his clattering chain mail with a serious expression.

“Sorry. But I couldn’t hold back after being provoked so much.”

Kei apologized to Aileen while tying the sword to his belt, a tinge of regret in his tone. The caravan’s departure got delayed due to their duel, causing trouble to a lot of people including her.

Now that some time had passed, allowing his head to cool down, he started to believe that ignoring Alexei then and there would have been the adult way of handling things.

But at the same time, he remembered Dagmar’s words that “troubles over not following proper procedures is much more of a pain to deal with.”

What would happen in the unlikely event of Alexei resorting to violence? He was so troublesome to deal with because Kei could not confidently say that it would never happen. Aileen had high-level defensive skills, so it might not be so simple to kidnap her, but it was hard to tell what could happen in the process…

Shit, so it’s all his fault!

Kei affixed his leather armor in irritation, and put his gloves on.

Meanwhile, Aileen lowered her eyes at the quiver and scabbard at his waist, and asked with a look full of worry, “…It’s going to be a serious fight?”

“Yes, that’s how it turned out.”

“So you won’t reconsider, after all?”

“Well, I thought about that too, but…” Kei paused, “I doubt that guy would listen to me.”

“Shit, it’s all his fault!” Donning an expression of conviction, Aileen reached the same conclusion Kei had arrived at before.

“Kei…please…make sure to not get injured…”

“Don’t worry. I’m more concerned about how not to injure him.”

He smiled back cynically while putting on his leather helmet.

—It’ll be really difficult to hold back when using my bow.

While Kei wanted to win the duel, he did not want to kill Alexei in the process. On the other hand, he predicted that half-hearted attacks would not be able to stop him either.

But if he shot a properly charged shot, it would end up being fatal.

And lastly, the most important part — he did not want to waste one of the few remaining potions on the likes of Alexei.

“For real, what a pain.” Kei joked and shrugged his shoulders while tying the string of his face mask near his throat as a finisher.


And yet, Aileen’s anxiety still remained. Kei, who combed her glossy but dishevelled blond hair down, gently declared, so as to give her a peace of mind, “I won’t lose to a swordsman with a bow. Anyway, I don’t want to make people wait for me too long. I’ll head out in a whiff and wrap this up in whiff.”

After inspecting his equipment to find it having no problems, he left the tent with Aileen.

Their destination was the riverside outside of the village. They had chosen the riverside as location for their duel as it satisfied both conditions: a 50-step straight distance, as well as good footing.

When they arrived there, almost everyone from the caravan was there, along with so many villagers that he did not know where they had even come from. Seeing the battle-ready Kei with the chain mail and leather armor, and a strange, vermilion composite bow in his hand, the villagers, who were already drinking together, became even more excited.

“Yooo, lady-killer, a bit late, aren’t ya!?”

Came a familiar husky voice. Looking towards its source, he found Dagmar waving at him with a flushed face. He had spread out his mantle on the ground, and was now sitting on it while enjoying wine with the villagers.

“I made you wait, I suppose.” Even as he smiled wryly, seeing how Dagmar was apparently drinking again, Kei let his eyes wander to the left and right, searching for the blonde youth among the gathered on-lookers.

“…Where is he?”

“Not here yet. Relax, you came first!”

“I see.”

Kei smiled while relaxing his shoulders a bit. At the same time, he realized how he was somewhat tense himself.

“Come now! A duel of the century is going to start anytime soon now!”

At the centre of the crowd, Holland raised his voice with a bowl in each hand.

“On one side, we have a Snowland warrior known for their dauntless courage – the experienced warrior, Alexei! On the other side, a foreign hunter who took down the gigantic, tyrannical “Grande Urs” with only one arrow, Kei! Their manly prides will clash to seize the favor of a peerless beauty! Now, whom will the goddess of victory smile at! Who are you going to bet on!? Who will it be!?”

As it turned out, he had been scheming to run the betting. Stirred by his searing speech, the audience started to throw coins into the bowls and took the wooden tickets at his feet. Holland was not all that happy about this duel, but now that it had been decided on, he went on the offensive.

“As expected of him,” chuckled Aileen, luring Kei into a wry smile of his own.

“Oh, is that the rumored girl…? She’s definitely a beauty.”

“I can see why they’d fight over her.”

“Her long blond hair looks so pretty.”

“So, that guy in leather armor is the one who took down the “Grande Urs”?

“And I heard he did it with just one shot of a bow.”

Probably because he had relaxed a bit, Kei started to hear fragments of the words being said within the chaotic hustle and bustle. ‘A beauty, huh,’ Kei nonchalantly glanced at Aileen at his side. But as Aileen looked at him in the same moment, their eyes met by chance, causing them to reflexively avert their eyes.


An awkward silence was born between them.

“Big brother…”

This time, Edda showed up together with Heidemarie. She was squirming and fidgeting — somehow different from her usual simplicity.

“Hey, Edda.”

Kei greeted her, but did not know what else to say. Next to him, Aileen was in the same situation, and thus limited it to a vague smile.

“…Are you going to duel?”

“…Well, yeah.”

“With big sis on the stake?”

“Ugh… I guess you could put it like that.” Kei answered with a fairly glum face.

Edda only muttered a dejected, “…I see,” in response.

Her black eyes darted back and forth between Kei and Aileen. Her expression was strange, bearing both sadness and confusion.

“…You have to do your best. You can’t lose!”

In the end, she showed an awkward smile, whirled around, and ran off without waiting for Kei’s answer.

“Good grief, that girl…” Heidemarie chuckled while rubbing her bent back. “Now, Kei. You’re still a young lad as well, so try to not get injured too badly. Be careful, you hear?”

Keeping it at only that, Heidemarie slowly walked after Edda.

“…What was that about?”

“…Beats me.”

Kei and Aileen looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.

“Still, even a small child like Edda has come to watch us?”

“Yeah, well, I’m also worried about how it’s going to affect her upbringing.”

“Maybe it’s considered normal in this world…”

“Perhaps. It’s a quite dangerous world, after all.”

They chatted with each other, bit by bit, about pointless topics so as to distract themselves. Pretending to not notice how everyone was focusing their eyes on them, they merely waited for time to pass.

And finally…

“Sorry for the wait.”

At last Alexei showed up from the village’s direction.

He entered the stage with Pierre, just as heavily armed as Kei. A metal-plated leather armor and a metallic helmet polished so much that it sparkled in the sun. His gauntlets and greaves were made out of the same whitish metal as his helmet, and had a wolf-like animal ornament engraved on them. That said, given that both items had seen a lot of use, the engravings had become indistinguishable as they had been mostly destroyed thanks to the countless, fine scratches and cuts on them.

On his upper left arm was a roundish metallic buckler with a diameter of around 30 cm. This seemed to be yet another quite worn-out item — which must have saved its owner many times — with several sword cuts running across its surface.

And, in his right hand, Alexei held his sword. That sword, which he easily shouldered and gathered a lot of attention, could be described with one word — greatsword.

It was a giant, single-edged sword as long as Alexei, who had a great physique that didn’t lose out to Kei’s, was tall. It had a longish hilt to make the swinging easier, and a blade with a gentle arc that curved backwards. Coupled with it being single-edged, Kei could not help but associate it with a Japanese Odachi.

“Where did you hide that thing?”

Faking a carefree smile, Alexei answered Kei’s reflexive question, “Well it’s a pain to carry it out, so I had it stored in Sir Pierre’s carriage.”

He tapped Pierre’s back with his left hand. He might have planned for it to be a light tap, but the blow proved to be heavier than he had expected, making the slender Pierre tumble forward.

“Gugh! Ouch! That hurts, Alexei!”

“Ah, sorry about that.” Alexei dodged Pierre’s reproachful gaze by smiling and scratching his head.

“Now then, Aileen. Watch how I’m going to win your heart with this duel.”

He faced Aileen at Kei’s side with a refreshing smile. In response, Aileen’s face distorted into disgust as she replied, “Shut up! Just go get yourself beaten up like you deserve!”

In front of Kei, Aileen hurled insults at Alexei which weren’t all that ingenious but still lacked any forgiveness. With a clearly disturbing light in his eyes, Alexei twisted his lips into a smile and licked them.

“…Oh, how irresistable.” He carelessly swung the greatsword in his right hand down while revealing a frivolous smile.

There was a few steps of distance between them. The blade caused a gale as it blurred, then came to a sudden stop.

The onlookers, who had been chatting, all became silent.

Perhaps he did that as a demonstration.

The dull sound of the wind being cut was proof of how heavy that deadly weapon was. Swinging it with one hand and stopping the blade precisely gave graphic account to the perfection of its user’s abilities, and that the giant blade was not for mere show.

“Did you understand what I meant?” Alexei sneered full of confidence. “There is a difference when it comes to the quality of specialised weapons. You can’t even exchange blows with a dull-looking thing like that.”

He said while setting the greatsword on his shoulder once again and looking at the longsword at Kei’s waist.

Kei sighed and responded, “I’m not planning to back out this late in the game. There’s no point in trying to provoke me so much.”

As Kei’s eyes turned chilly and calm while he put on his mask, Alexei erased his expression as well, nodded, and merely answered, “I see.”

An unbearable silence dominated the place.

On one side was Kei, his expression hidden behind his mask, and on the other was Alexei, who didn’t even take any notice of Aileen anymore. Having stopped talking, their looks clashed, and repelled each other, as only an eerie stillness oozed out of them.

“Are both of you ready?” Holland, who apparently approached them unnoticed, asked them with a somewhat tired look.

“No problems.”

“All set.”

They replied curtly.

“Alright. Then fight with all your might so you have no regrets.”

Hearing Holland’s words, Alexei glanced at Kei one more time and wordlessly pulled down the visor of his helmet. Hidden inside the visor, his blue eyes pierced straight at Kei through the visor’s gaps. As Alexei turned around, the crow split into two to give way for the fifty step distance. While looking at his back, Kei – keeping his silence as well – slowly removed the cover of his quiver.


Aileen put her hand on Kei’s left arm while biting her lip.

“Don’t worry.” Kei formed a smile as gentle as possible underneath his mask and gently placed his hand on hers. “I don’t plan to lose. Believe in me.”


Aileen, with an uneasy, miserable expression, tightly grasped his hand a last time and withdrew to the front row of the onlookers.


Removing his gaze from Aileen, Kei switched his thoughts.


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