６．Devil vs Former Hero
Good day, it’s Jilbagias who had left the bloody battlefield for more than two years to live a joyous life as a prince.
Upon seeing Sofia was closing in, my body reacted on its own.
――A punch aimed toward the abdomen.
――Should I dodge it with a jump
――No, I would be a sitting duck once I jumped in the air.
――Then, my only choice was to parry the blow.
I struck the side of Sofia’s arm as I tilted my body to the opposite side.
Thus, my body started to move in accordance with that order.
――It was such an irony.
Even when I used another body, the 『Movement that was ingrained in my mind』 came out as if it was natural.
I planned a counter in one corner of my mind and unleashed a light jab toward Sofia.
Sofia’s spirit was pretty good.
But, it felt like she was toying around since she didn’t come with the intention to kill me.
One hit was all I needed to secure a victory.
And even my short reach was enough for that when she came this close.
But, she suddenly halted midway, and jumped back to dodge my jab.
Dammit, this is why I hate those devils.
Those fu*ckers could move as if they defied gravity like nothing and even applied martial arts movement into it.
During my active years as a hero, it wasn’t just once or twice I experienced this kind of hardship due to their nonsensical, acrobatic moves.
I wish that my limbs were a little bit longer… Geez, I want to grow big.
I gave up on trying to catch Sofia, pushing out my left fist forward, pulling my right-half back and slowly walking to the side while observing every single change in Sofia’s movement.
Sofia was also doing the same.
She landed gently on the ground and tapped the ground with the tips of her toe’s as if to confirm the return of gravity.
「Not bad, Young Master.」
And then, Sofia was tilting her head as she looked at me.
「But, where did you learn those moves」
Upon hearing that question, the blood that was rising to my head due to the battle went down as fast as it rose.
Dammit, I forgot that a mere two years old kid wouldn’t be able to move like this.
At this moment, the movement that had already been ingrained into my memories… were backfiring on me!
「… I saw it back in the training ground.」
My head was working at full speed, trying desperately to find a reason to dodge the bullet.
This was the only reasonable explanation I could come with.
My stroll around the Demon King castle wasn’t useless after all.
「Is that so That kind of movement… didn’t exist in demon race hand to hand combat though.」
Sofia mimicked my movement.
――A chill ran down my spine the moment I saw it.
She almost completely copied the basics of the basics of martial arts’ stance taught to the monk of Holy religion.
And that was just from seeing me doing this… once! Crap, I would be in for big trouble if she copied all of it! My identity might be revealed due to this blunder…!
Drenching in cold sweats, I timidly took a sidelong glance at Platy――
「My bad Sofia but, you cannot reproduce it perfectly.」
She says so while flapping her unfolded fan.
「You’ll find that something is amiss when you try to reproduce it.
Moreover, the one you learnt are demon race’s martial arts, you have yet to learn another races’ martial arts.」
You’re right on that.」
「Jilbagias’ movement closely resembles beastfolks’s martial arts.
Maybe he means that he saw the training of an ordinary soldier’s training ground.」
Platy explained on her own.
「Fufufu, as expected of my son.
To be able to learn those movements just from watching, I’m really looking forward to your future.」
Sure enough―― the martial arts that I used were something that humanity learned from beastfolks, and revised by the order of holy religion to be used by humans.
On second thought, those damned demon races rarely got the chance to see the full extent of hand-to-hand combat of the order of holy religion.
Hand to hand combat(or claws and fangs in the case of beastfolks) was owned by beastfolks, while humans were using swords and shields.
Thus, many human soldiers would lose their life once they lost their sword and shield.
To prevent that, the church drilled hand-to-hand combat for such situations.
Meaning that the only one who would 『Notice』 this fact was my comrade… or oddball who fought so many times against unarmed human race.
「If that’s the case, it might be faster and easier to teach him martial arts.
Even though he’s waay too young for that.」
Platy said so with a slightly dejected look on her face to me who heaved a sigh of relief.
「But you’ve to remember, Jilbagias.
Proud demon race like us won’t stoop so low as to mimic the martial arts of lowly races such as beastfolks.
You’ve to remember this.」
I unintentionally looked around the room but, the only one in this room aside from us was a night elf maid, there was no figure of a beastfolks servant.
… Was she going to say those remarks even if there was a beastfolks servant in this room Their loyalty would be gone if they heard that you know.
「Yes, I’ll be careful next time.」
Anyhow, I chose a safe answer for now.
Luckily I managed to deceive them now but I knew that I wouldn’t be so lucky next time.
Rather, there was a high possibility of them suspecting me if it was seen by a close combat martial artist from the beastfolks.
Let’s seal all my martial arts experiences during my hero era…
The one that you have to learn is our proud and honorable demon race hand-to-hand combat.」
Though she hid her lips with her fan, I knew that she was smiling a sadistic smile.
「Don’t worry, we’ve got a lot of time… Sofia.
「Yes, my Lady.」
Sofia readied herself again.
In contrast to her youthful appearance, her stance was quite an aggressive one.
I see, “Proud and honourable hand to hand combat of demon race”…
「Ma~n, don’t think, feel! That’s the point of this.
I won’t look down on you just because you’re using beastfolks martial arts, rather, it’s a prime example.」
Dammit, I’m really screwed now…!
Sofia closed in as soon as she spoke.
――No need to say what happened after that since Sofia literally wiped the floor with me, whose martial arts were sealed.
Well, even if I said “Wipe the floor” against children, it wasn’t a big deal since I was nothing more than a young and pitiful child…
「A~h! Yaay! Now we can start the study session, right! 」
I sent a sidelong glance to Sofia who spoke with a deeply emotional voice as I sat in the chair.
Since I lost, it was study time.
Well I had no choice.
Let’s do my best to pretend to be learning reading and writing while recharging.
I’ve to learn how to act like a demon as soon as possible… and beat this **ty devil after I’ve grown up a little…!
And then, a parchment was placed in front of me who was thinking about this matter.
「Let’s start with this, Young Master! This is letters!!」
The heck, all I saw was mysterious symbols.
Like hell I can read this shi*t.
「Eh… this is, letters」
Sofia spoke with an indifferent voice.
「It’s demon race letters.」
Ah… come to think of it… our commander did say something like that a long time ago…
Even though they spoke the same language, the demon race had their own letters…
Thus, even if we managed to snatch some documents from them, it took quite a long time to decipher the content…
「Young master! Demon race’s letters are phonetic symbols, that’s why each letter is expressed with a different voice.
Take this for example, this is 『A』, and this one is 『I』.
The voicing might change depending on the combination.
Ah, I am expressing this as a phonetic symbol but, the human race and elven race have their own letters called hieroglyph――」
Sofia was explaining something but it was honestly way too fast for me.
Stop, my brain had already overheated.
I recalled the memory of me writing non-stop till late at night in the church’s orphanage… and reading every single night.
That day, I felt the first despair ever since I reincarnated as a demon prince.
As I thought, the demon race… was truly an evil race.