Shaman 55: Kenzaki Asuna

The Shaman can't become a Hero

Act 5: Worst Harem Party

Chapter 55: Kenzaki Asuna

“Hmm, more good facts. That means, if I were to be stronger than you, you’d obey me without question?”

“If you win a one on one duel, I don’t care if it’s you or Momokawa, I’ll pipe up and follow”

“Yup, wonderful. This makes things very easy— A duel, let’s do that”

Never did Kenzaki Asuna think she would propose a duel of all things to a woman.

She had the awareness that she carried sensibilities far too different from the ordinary high school girl. There was even a time she was troubled by the fact, but after entering high school and at present, she had made her resolve.

That, she wasn’t any ordinary woman. That she was a swordsman of the Kenzaki Style.

That is why, Futaba Meiko who, despite being a woman, knew not any fear in combat, was an existence very alien to her.

No, let us say that considering their situation and being given their vocations, their powers for engagement, the girl managed to attain the psyche necessary to voluntarily seek battle. Kenzaki Asuna’s common sense wasn’t something you could write off as mere individuality in peaceful Japan. But she, Meiko, a normal girl, had also reached a similar state of mind having experienced deadly dungeon life. And in fact, even Natsukawa Minami, who was simply a girl from track and field team, had also grown to a level where she could fight equally alongside Asuna.

But having gone so far as to challenge her to a duel, Futaba Meiko was just outlandish compared to them. Was this incongruity a result brought about by her carrying the fearsome vocation of Berserker, or could it truly be a consequence of Momokawa Kotarou’s deviant brainwashing?

Asuna didn’t care either way. They have promised to duel, so she would face the challenge with her pride on the line.

“— Ready yet, Futaba”


The pair had come to an open area found very close after exiting the fairy square. Similar to the place where Kotarou and Meiko fought the Armor Bear, it was an empty lot with practically nothing of interest. There was the concern that monsters could barge in anytime, but both of them wished to withhold from engaging in the middle of the fairy square.

They did make a quick surveillance of the surrounding passages to ensure a level of safety. The fight won’t last very long so it would only serve as insurance.

“Then, let’s go”

Present are only the two, Meiko and Asuna, the ones who would duel. They had declined any referee.

Kotarou, Sakura, Class Rep. They would be hard pressed to call upon any of them to stay neutral. Should they be stopped at a bad time, it would give rise to dissatisfaction. Thereupon, they made sure to be alone so as to have no unnecessary interference.

They stood at a distance equal to that used in a normal kendo match. Owning the name of Dualwielder, Asuna held a wooden sword in each hand. In contrast, Meiko carried just one, of extra-large size and having a flattened bat shape. Both swords used fairy walnut branches as material and were manufactured by Takanashi Kotori after they forced her awake to make them.

Their duel was not one fulfilled by the forfeit of life, but one that challenged their credo. That is why, this too would serve to prevent any sore losers, as both of them were provided adequate arms.

Although for the sleepy-head Kotori, she wasn’t happy at all being made to make wooden swords for god knows why.

Whatever the case, all preparations were set, and at long last, the duel between Kenzaki Asuna and Futaba Meiko kicked off.

“I’m good anytime”

“Alright... Ready, set, MATCH!”

Asuna was by no means making light of Meiko. Her battle prowess had reached levels so forceful and barbaric you could compare her to real war generals from the Sengoku era. In many a kendo tournament, and even informal matches, Asuna had faced these types of rough-and-tough individuals... but Futaba Meiko, a Berserker’s pressure, was a first even for her.

In fact, as long as she carried her vocation, Meiko would be stronger than anyone in their original world. Her athletic prowess would easily surpass even the most excelling rangers from the SDF.

It was a of level of monstrous strength utterly unattainable by any ordinary human being... A level also applicable to Asuna.

Right now, I’m leagues stronger, stronger than fatherotou-sama) , and even stronger grandfatherojii-sama) at his peak.

Her skill with the sword needed no mention, just the strength dwelling in her body could thwart any challenge of technique.

Thus Asuna and Meiko both wielded constitutions surpassing man. That being the case, only their ability would determine the stronger.

Futaba Meiko had precise control of her abilities as Berserker, and could put those abilities to practice in battle. Her courage and spirit too were electrifying. But Asuna had also survived the same dungeon, tasting more than enough experience from combating monsters. Experience-wise, the difference between them would be negligible.

That being so, Asuna was convinced that herself, having learned the sword from a tender age, would have a deciding advantage.


So just as the match started, Meiko threw her sword, perhaps an attempt to surprise her, but she handled it with ease.

There was no cause for alarm after all. The average kendo club-goer would likely get startled, but as a swordsman of the Kenzaki Style, Asuna had experience in matches against members of other Schools of teaching, and per consequent, was used to such surprises. Those called swordsmen may throw a dagger or two, and if they were studied in ninja arts, shurikens and kunai were much common.

She would normally repel such projectiles, but anticipating the sheer power behind a sword thrown by a Berserker, Asuna didn’t divert it like she would a shuriken, and chose to dodge.

As Asuna nimbly side-stepped out of the way, Meiko had already become charging in. They were not particularly distanced in the first place, and considering her mighty leg strength, the span between them would be closed in an instant.

But precisely judging that speed was well within the abilities and experience of Asuna.

Assessing that the sheer momentum to be too much to stop, she spurred another side-step.


Meiko passes her by a hair’s breadth. Upon her successful evasion, Asuna faces Meiko’s wide-open back, and strikes down both her swords.

“—I’ll end this!”

No holds barred. Asuna acknowledged Meiko as worthy opponent she would need to go all out against. She approximated that the damage just now would cause her a swift collapse, being unable to stand for a while. But with Souma Sakura’s healing magic, she should be fixed up fast.

Feeling her hits land true, Asuna was sure of her victory when,


The mad beast bore her fangs.


As if the total damage dealt to her back equaled a lump sum of zero, Meiko swerved herself around, and pounced at Asuna right after she brought down her swords.

Seeing the girl move as if the attack hadn’t even struck, and then faced with an instantaneous counter-attack, even the ever perceptive Asuna had her work cut out for her.

But with a back-step, she just barely made it. He had escaped being caught by Meiko’s arms by a paper-thin margi—


And there, Meiko threw the sand she had in her grasp. When did she pick it up? Or did she have some from the start? Whichever it may be, the critically timed smokescreen forced Asuna to dodge yet further relentlessly.

Fully spinning herself around, she prevented the sand from robbing her vision, but that was all she could manage.


Her arm was caught.

“You can’t kill me with sticks”

Seeing Meiko’s grin, Asuna finally realized. Duel: A ritual that guarantees preservation of life. Wooden swords: weapons that don’t kill. Under these conditions, Meiko’s triumph had been set in stone.

Asuna had presumed that the match would end upon whoever made the decisive hit. However, Meiko acted under the rule that whoever defeated the other would win the fight.

Asuna’s moment of assuming victory as her sword landed on target was, precisely what Meiko aimed for. She never thought she could otherwise catch Asuna, who had a plethora more experience over her.


She hears Meiko’s yell and, her vision inverses. The next moment, a piercing impact runs the length of Asuna’s back. She had been thrown down using the same hand that was grabbed. There was an attempt to break her fall using her free hand, but that proved futile versus the sheer momentum with which she was slammed into the ground.

Kha, Ha...

She felt as if all the air in her lungs burst out. In severe pain all over her body, Asuna simply wanted to gasp in some air,


But just as she was about to, the tip of Meiko’s foot bore into her stomach. As if she was a soccer ball. Without the slightest mercy or hesitation, the kick exploded in Asuna’s slender and toned abdomen.

Her body made bent in a V as she was flung away. Asuna rolled on the ground, groaning from the fierce pain assailing her insides. She was giving it her all, just so the stuff that was already at the base of her throat wouldn’t come flooding out.

But the merciless hammer that is Meiko’s foot, lands there once more.

Bu-, ughee—

Copious amounts of blood-mixed vomit escapes Asuna’s orifice of intake. Her once gallant face was now warped in pain, excreting semi-digested waste. Meiko looked down on that display with cold, disdainful eyes as if she had seen a squashed cockroach.

“Tell me Kenzaki-san, does it hurt?”

Her dim, hazy consciousness somehow heard Meiko’s question crystal clear.

Guh, uu... W-what, do you...”

“I’m asking you if it hurts”

“Th-this much pain... is nothing...”

Her vision goes black. It lasts only a moment, and upon regaining sight, Asuna tastes iron on her tongue. Pain along with stuffiness in her nose.

Her face was kicked. Blood flowed from both nostrils, further defiling Asuna’s beautiful visage.

“How about now?”

“Uu, n-nothing...”

“Not enough it seems”

This time, the face and stomach, both kicked. Asuna was smeared in dirt as she rolled, and then fell collapsed. But Meiko didn’t ask her again. She kept on kicking Asuna as she rolled further along the lot much like a dribbling soccer ball.

Hah, Aa... W-wait, stop... loss, my loss...”

“Why, aren’t you slow, Kenzaki-san. Don’t you think we already know who lost? What I’m asking you, is if it hurts or it doesn’t”

Her foot is slowly raised over Asuna’s head. What would happen once she stomps down on the sole of that shoe in her view? Asuna didn’t even want to imagine the ensuing pain and humiliation.

Hii... Just, please just stop... hurts, it hurts alright...”

The dignified visage of the swordswoman had wholly degenerated into the face of a girl, terrified. And seeing that, as if satisfied, Meiko spoke.[1]

(TN: I saw swordswoman here because they specifically make the distinction in the raws. )

“You’re spot-on, Kenzaki-san. When you punch and kick people, it hurts. It’s very, very painful and scary. That’s why violence is bad”

It was a gentle voice, like a kindergarten teacher reprimanding children involved in a fight.

And having done saying that, Meiko’s raised leg was mercilessly stomped down on Asuna’s face.


“Do you see, Kenzaki-san? This, is violence”

Having completely broken Asuna’s nose, Meiko continues to speak as the girl writhes in pain.

“But see, humans are creatures than get used to violence. We’re really quick to take up violence for ourselves, and in time, we even learn to desire using it”

The reason is simple. It grants you pleasure on an instinctual level. Control. Conquest. The sense of supremacy over others. And sometimes, using violence to enact justice. Unilateral violence truly grants a many forms of catharsis.

Pride of a swordsman? Won’t obey the weak? Don’t make me laugh. That’s nothing more than nonsense you made up because you think you’re strong enough to use violence”

You have pride because you are strong. You can look down on the weak because you are strong.

“Saying you’re a Kenzaki Style swordsman and stuff, poor you, Kenzaki-san. You’ve been training since you were small right? So much that you could even compete with Souma-kun despite being a girl”

Kenzaki Asuna is certainly strong. The duel concerning her engagement to Souma Yuuto was a close match. Asuna’s sword skills were above and beyond him. But Souma Yuuto, fully utilizing his dominance in strength being male, along with his the martial artstaijutsu) of the Souma Style, he barely managed to score victory.

It was a fierce match where Souma Yuuto wouldn’t have won unless he gave it his all.

“There’s where you got your little misunderstanding. You used your pride as a just cause to inflict your own brand of violence. Yet you never knew how scary true violence is—”

This time, it wasn’t her foot, but Meiko’s whole body that descended. A mounting position so to speak.

Though she had since lost weight, the stout build that possesses the title of tallest amongst all of Class 2-7’s female students plopped itself all at once on Asuna’s stomach. She gasped hard from the intense pressure.

“— So, I’ll just have to teach you”

Having a smile so serene you would think she was a holy woman, Meiko took her tightened fist, and bashed it into Asuna’s wretchedly wounded face.

It was violence beyond the irrational.

Kenzaki Asuna, a girl who had continuously and rigorously trained in the sword, for the first time, experienced violence just for the pure sake of it.


“This pain, is Kotarou-kun’s pain”

She was supposed to have become used to pain.

Bruising and body blows were daily. She had suffered fractures from intense training. Once, having a wooden sword stabbed in her eye during a match, she had even experienced nearly losing half her sight.

But all that would only be considered dangerous, never scary.

In practice and in bouts, anyone who got injured received swift treatment. Even her father, as strict as he was, when Asuna got injured, he would go blue in the face and come running.

Yes, Kenzaki Asuna was loved. Loved as a matter of fact by her whole family that ran a swordsmanship dojo, and even loved by the pupils of said dojo. The opponents of other schools she faced, even they would garner respect and awe for the single daughter who would inherit the Kenzaki Style.

There was pain, and there were injuries. But there was never fear.

Ah, Ghah... S-sto...”

“This fear, is Kotarou-kun’s fear”

Unending is the storm of violence. The fists kept landing on her without pause.

You’re a girl, so don’t injure your face. Her father had warned as she would charge her opponent with no concern for injury. It was a memory from, perhaps, when she was 10 years old. That stringent father who would always, only teach his daughter sword techniques was, despite himself, caring for her. As a child, she was surprised by such an act, but yet, slightly happy.

Kenzaki Asuna is a swordsman, and at the same time, she is a woman. As a result, she grew up with a face strewn in dignity that would make anyone glance twice.

But that beautiful face was currently being destroyed by the Berserker’s relentless violence.

“Do you see, Kenzaki-san? You did something this terrible to Kotarou-kun”

Asuna’s vision blurs in crimson.


The raised fist reflecting in her eyes stained scarlet was dreadful beyond belief.

“Apologize to Kotarou-kun”

Pain. Pain. She’s in so much excruciating pain, but why doesn’t it stop?

“Don’t do bad things to Kotarou-kun”

Please stop.

“Don’t hurt Kotarou-kun”

Please save me.

“From now on, just be quiet and listen to what Kotarou-kun says”

In her flickering conscience, Asuna realizes that the drizzle of fists had finally stopped.

Ah, finally. It finally stopped. I survived.

“Since you lost Kenzaki-san, you lost the duel, after all”

It’s fine, losing or whatever. As long as I’m released from this fear, this pain, anything is fine.

“Go on, say it”

“... I, I am, sorry... It is my loss...”

I really apologized, I admitted my defeat, so, please stop. Stop, please. Why, just stop, why, HELP, NOO— Please don’t hit me.

As her inner voice describes, Meiko’s upraised fist descended in a final, solid punch.

The blunt noise echoing into her skull must be the sound of her heart breaking. Her prideful, swordswoman’s heart, tempered like a fine katana, was shattering into tiny pieces.

Asuna’s consciousness then finally sinks into darkness, wholly despair-bound.

Ahaha, I did it, Kotarou-kun. I won the duel with Kenzaki-san. Fufu, I hope you’ll be happy~”

[1] I saw swordswoman here because they specifically make the distinction in the raws.