Vermillion - Chapter 11.1

Published at 5th of September 2016 07:55:23 PM
Chapter 11.1

11 .  Equivalent Exchange



Staggering and trembling with pain, Kei held his shoulder with his left hand as he stood up .


The wound on his shoulder was incredibly painful .


He didn’t feel any numbness or abnormalities otherwise, so he probably wasn’t poisoned .


Thankfully, there wasn’t much blood, so his life didn’t seem to be in jeopardy .


However, his right arm was heavy and wouldn’t move .


“…An ambush, huh,” Kei forced out in between ragged, painful breaths .


—He was done in spectacularly .


With his face warped in pain, Kei looked at the skinny man (Morissette) and the plump man (Rat), and groaned .



Tactically, it was rather simple .


While Morissette and the others attacked Kei, Rat went around the other side of the boulder to get behind Kei and use a surprise attack .


Originally, Morissette never thought Rat would be of much use, but Rat had just saved him .


The ‘Missing’ Ratrand .


Despite his appearance, he was agile, he could move silently, and he could use Stealth Sense to erase his presence . Rat, a so-called ‘Fast Fatty’, specialized in ambushes by using these three abilities .


He had a reputation for his talent in stealth, especially, where even wild animals couldn’t sense his surprise attacks . If he had been able to use ranged weapons like a throwing knife or a bow and arrow effectively, then he’d probably be in line with Morissette as an assassin .



“You’re slow Rat, the hell were you doing!?” berated Morissette .


He yelled at Rat, the man who just saved him from his predicament .


Rat glanced over at Morissette with a look of sympathy and pity . “…You guys are just too fast,” Rat replied without getting agitated or disheartened . He furrowed his brow slightly at the heaps of fallen corpses around the area . “It hasn’t even been a full minute, ya know?”


Morissette scowled at his remark and held his tongue . Thinking back on it, Rat was right .


The fight with Kei was so intense that he could no longer tell just how much time had passed . In reality only an incredibly small amount of time had gone by .


“…You’re right . ”


Morissette muttered a quiet ‘Sorry’ and took a deep breath as he closed his eyes and saw the faces of his dead subordinates .


Just one person .


They paid such a huge price for just one opponent .


“…This guy… He’s too strong,” Morissette whispered, annoyed .


This strange young boy that looked like a person of the grassy plains .


His bowmanship, his swordsmanship, and his strength were all on a different level . Morissette could only think of him as a monster .


—However, his shoulder was injured and he couldn’t wield his weapon properly .


For the harsh losses they took, at least this much damage should be expected, Morissette thought .


Up to this point, in their line of work, Morissette and Rat victimized countless merchants’ caravan guards with their surprise attack .


However, Rat preferred to not use poisons due to a strong fear of poisoning himself .


As far as Morissette could remember, it had been a number of years since Rat’s first strike was dodged . He probably hadn’t used any poison this time either . But, even if he hadn’t killed Kei, his dominant arm was useless . That alone was enough of an advantage .


The sad part was that even if they killed Kei and took his belongings, it wouldn’t amount to much for the hefty price they’d paid .


—Simply killing Kei wouldn’t be enough to satisfy him anymore .


For his subordinates’ revenge and to satisfy his own anger, he decided to kill Kei as painfully as possible .


After finishing his silent prayer for his subordinates, he turned to sneer at his unsightly enemy . Now for the first step .


At that moment, he noticed a sound like meat frying on metal .




Japanese . Screaming .


It was a scream with all of one’s strength, strong and loud enough to shake the very air . In front of Morissette, Kei screamed as something like white vapor vigorously rose from his right shoulder .


Naturally, both Morissette’s and Rat’s jaws dropped and eyes widened at the sudden situation .


Kei was oblivious to them as he spasmed and trembled, screaming in extreme pain . But such words couldn’t even begin to describe how it felt .


It was as if salt was rubbed into his wound and each cell was popped by a needle one by one .


It felt like his flesh was being bored out by a file, ground up, and then his nerves were being pulled out by red hot tongs .


His anger, his hatred, and his impatience were all blown far, far away . He roared . It was painful enough to make his vision go white .


In Kei’s left hand was an empty glass bottle .


It was a High Potion .


It was the remaining portion of when Aileen cut her own hand to test the effects since arriving here and setting up camp .


While Morissette and Rat had been conversing, Kei reached into his pouch, pulled out the bottle and dumped it all on his shoulder .


Using potions to recover during odd moments was common among some of the top players . However, the already scarce potions in the game were even scarcer in this world . The fact that Morissette and Rat’s attitudes became so confident after his shoulder was wounded proved it .




The refreshing sound of fizzing played like background music as Kei stood wailing dauntingly without even wiping at the tears welling in his eyes .


Morissette and Rat had no clue just what the vapor that rose from Kei’s shoulder was . Perhaps if they had better night vision they could have seen the wound on Kei’s shoulder cover itself with brand new white skin .


Kei’s breathing was ragged .


“…You fucking assholes . ” His shoulders moved greatly with his heavy breathing as he glared at the bandits in front of him . Their forms reflected in the pupils of his bloodshot, tear-soaked eyes . Turning all his pain into anger, he shouted, “—I’ll fucking kill you both!”


He kicked off the ground .


The fight had abruptly begun once again .


Kei’s target was Rat, the short sword wielder . Rat had a better grasp of using stealth than Morissette and leaving him to move freely after his recent attack would make him a difficult enemy . Therefore, Kei decided to crush him straightforwardly .


The silhouette of Kei’s cloak hovered as the clear, shrill sound of the transparent glass bottle flying straight for Rat’s face whistled through the air . He hadn’t even thrown the bottle; he’d merely flicked it with a finger . The speed, the bloodlust, and power were all half-hearted, but it was that half-heartedness that attracted their attention to the bottle .




In the faint light of the dying campfire, Rat reflexively defended with his short sword, hitting the bottle in the air .


It exploded into fragments, several of which hit Rat in the face . They didn’t get in his eyes, but they were sharp enough to cut his face . Rat flinched and let out a, “Ooh?”




Kei was closing the distance between himself and Rat, so Morissette raised his sword at Kei to try and cover for Rat .


Kei grabbed a handful of arrows from his quiver with his right hand and whipped them at Morissette with an underhand throw .


“Hah!?” Morissette shouted in shock .


The attack had no aim whatsoever, it merely relied on his strength . It was so direct, dodging them all would be difficult to do . With the wood, iron, and fletching as the raw materials that composed the arrows, they were more than heavy enough . In addition, with the good quality of his arrows, simply pushing the arrowheads against flesh would be enough to pierce it . And, they were thrown with Kei’s strength .


Morissette barely managed to cut one arrow down, but there were way too many, so he twisted out of the way to avoid the rest . However, the pain from the cut in his ankle caused him to lose balance for a moment and he almost fell .


That one moment was lethal .


In that gap, Kei twisted as he rushed through the distance and reached Rat . “Guuoooraaaa!”


He roared so aggressively that it couldn’t be for intimidation, and he made a show of raising his right fist over his head .


Rat trembled because Kei was closer to a wild animal than a battle-enthusiast . Despite that, he raised his short sword out of habit, and moved into a stance ready to counter Kei’s straight punch . While Rat’s attention was focused solely on his right fist, Kei slowly moved his left fist and struck Rat in the chest .


Taken by surprise from the impact, Rat’s right hand lightly jumped up . This caused the sword in his right hand to interfere with the one in his left . With both of Rat’s swords out of the way, his torso was unmistakably defenseless .


Whoosh, the wind coiled along Kei’s leg as he drove an utterly merciless kick into Rat’s crotch .


A sickening sound that would make all of a person’s hair stand on end, rang out . Kei’s foot lifted Rat clear off the ground for a moment . It was a critical hit . Rat let out a pig-like squeal and his eyes almost popped out of his head .


Then Rat groaned, the straight punch was coming .


His cheek muscle enveloped Kei’s fist, the bones warped, the joints jarred; Rat’s jaw and teeth were shattered . Furthermore, to finish Rat off, Kei put all of his weight into a heavy elbow right into Rat’s face . Kei had no intention of holding back his pain, anger, and adrenaline; he went full throttle . It was Kei’s full strength in every sense . Rat’s flesh was ripped to pieces and his face was destroyed in an instant . It genuinely looked like the impact of a monster, and Rat, who took the hit, was blown away like a rubber ball . Even after the ground tore him up on impact, he continued to roll . When he finally came to a stop, he didn’t so much as twitch .