An Abrupt Change
Editors: Sebas Tian, Joker, Speedphoenix
The monsters were immediately faced with a series of large walls. A few moments of unrest followed, as they looked to each other to determine their next course of action, but they soon picked up the slack and began flooding towards the sole exit we had constructed. I’d been a bit worried that they wouldn’t be able to find it, so I placed a small flame next to the corridor’s entrance to help show them the way.
Of course, we went above and beyond just the application of petty tricks. Awaiting those that entered the corridor was Fran. We had refrained from having her clean herself up in order to make her appear more exhausted than she really was. It had to seem like the incoming troops had a chance at victory.
I wasn’t sure if it was because they saw her in her “wounded” state, but our enemies charged at Fran. The fifteen meter wide hallway we had setup was literally overflowing with them, and every last one was blindly advancing towards its guardian.
The reason the term guardian had remained single was because I was just one of the catkin’s equips, and her companion, Urushi, wasn’t present. He was off on a different mission: hunting down the monsters’ recon unit. Of course, his sudden mission wasn’t without reason. Our foes had somehow managed to confirm that our paper mache fort was just a bluff, all while doing nothing but standing by. Based on their actions, it was only reasonable to assume that they had some sort of unit in charge of reconnaissance. The army would’ve either remained more vigilant of the fort or just attacked it head on had they lacked troops specialized in gathering intel.
It was always possible for said recon unit to determine exactly how far our walls ran while Fran was busy fighting off her attackers. Hence, it was absolutely necessary for Urushi to take out their scouts and thereby disrupt their lines of communication. Of course, there was always the possibility that such a squad didn’t exist. But that wasn’t an issue. It was still better for Urushi to be off on his own, as there was a higher chance that the monsters would attack Fran if he stayed away.
Fran roared her battle cries as she decimated the enemy lines. She was unstoppable. The monsters up against her were far too weak to pose any sort of a threat.
Magic Mastery had powered up Magic Perception, which in turn allowed me to scout out the entire army and judge their strength based on their magical readings. I was certain that there were no remaining monsters that ranked in at C or higher. It had seemed like a D rank or two was possible, but I highly doubted it. I suspected that everything we had to fight was ranked in at E or lower.
Still, the angry mob was so large that it was a threat in its own right. There was also always the chance that there were stealthier monsters lurking about, so we needed to remain vigilant, even though we were up against inferior goods. And on top of all that was a need to restrain ourselves. There was a good chance they would just give up on getting past Fran if she totally dominated the battlefield. We had to hold back or else risk encouraging the monsters to search for another path.
To that end, we kept the magic to a minimum. Fran focused on swordplay, while I made sure that there weren’t any holes in our defense of the corridor. The only spells I cast were ones that were absolutely necessary for finishing off the enemies that slipped past us.
“Khhhh!” Fran grimaced as she let a goblin land a blow on her armour.
“What the heck, Fran!? I know you’re trying to make it look like they can win, but you don’t have to go as far as to let them hit you!”
“Not a problem!” she said. Fran knew what attacks she could and couldn’t take, so she always made sure she never tanked anything fatal. Everything she was hit with landed on her armour and the resulting bruises could be healed right off. Still, I can’t say I think it’s a good idea…
Despite my suggestion, the catkin continued to repeat the action, taking hit after hit just to cajole her foes into rushing her down. She had no intention of stopping so long as her actions continued to provide the black cat tribe with the time they needed to escape.
Fortunately, both the Mana and Life Thief skills were extremely powerful. They allowed me to absorb both health and magical energy from every creature in an area around me. In other words, they were the AOE variants of the Mana and Life Absorption skills. Their only major drawback was that they were indiscriminate. Everything inside their effective area would be subject to their effects regardless of friend or foe, save for Fran. She didn’t count as a potential target because I was technically one of her equips. Fortunately, we were in a position where that wasn’t much of a concern.
Their effects were significantly weaker than their predecessors, but they proved to be effective so long as there were three or more enemies within their radii. In fact, keeping Mana Thief active had allowed me to restore all of the mana I had expended in building the wall. Each enemy would provide 30 MP at most, but the radius was large enough for there to be a whole 30 enemies in its effective range at a time.
We continued mowing through the monsters for about an hour. I’d expected them to split up and search for clues before long, but they never did. They continued charging at us until dawn broke.
Only after sunrise did they finally come to an abrupt halt. There were only about half of them remaining; we’d killed so many that I had accrued almost enough monster core points for another level up.
“What now?” I suspiciously narrowed my metaphorical eyes, but allowed Fran to continue charging forwards regardless. Wait!
A shiver ran down my blade, so I immediately used Short Jump and teleported us a few feet away.
There was a loud roar; several arrows had nailed themselves into the spot Fran had been standing only a few moments prior.
“Don’t mention it,” I replied. “More importantly, we should probably focus on tracking our attackers down.”
The only thing I knew for sure was that the attacks had come from somewhere behind the monsters we were engaging. But it couldn’t have been some sort of support unit. That just didn’t make sense. The arrows had a lot of power behind them. No goblin archer would’ve been able to launch anything with that much force. There was no doubt that they would have broken through our barriers and done some serious damage had we not relocated.
And so, I searched for our assailants’ presences—
—Only to end up gaping in awe.
I had no idea when or how they’d gotten there, but there was a brand new division of monsters behind the remaining forces. Their bodies were radiating with mana. Even the weakest amongst them was an E level threat. More than half ranked in at D or higher.
And there were a whole thousand. All neatly lined up and ready for battle.
It was a veritable army, a well disciplined, well equipped army. Their spotless, silver armour glimmered in the morning sun. Adding to the effect was the way they were standing in perfectly straight lines. A glance at the extent of organisation was enough to tell me that there was trouble. There was no conceivable way they could remain as organised as they were without a commander, and the fact that they were all wearing the exact same equips made it obvious that they belonged to the same unit.
This new army put the old one to shame. Compared to the well organised troops before me, the monsters we’d defeated had been nothing but a ragtag militia. Had its members not been evil beings, casting my eyes on them likely would’ve caused me to sigh in wonder and admiration.
And that was the problem. Every last member of the army was an evil being. There were hobgoblins, high orcs, and minotaurs amongst their ranks, but every single one of them was wearing an identical set of equipment.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me… Come on… This has to happen just when we finally removed enough of our foes for me to think of cutting down the rest as a feasible task.”
“Lots of enemies.”
“Yeah… Wait. Was everything fought so far just a part of the vanguard? Is the actual main force…?”
“Lots of strong foes.”
“You got it. You still ready to do this?”
We’d come so far, only to discover that our progress had been an illusion. A part of me had been worried that Fran’s spirit would break. But more of me had been expecting her to reply in the exact way she had. This is Fran we’re talking about, after all.
We cannot fall. For the Black Cat Tribe’s sake.
Our wills in sync, the two of us once again began to engage our foes.
Translator’s Note: TSKD has been licensed. To that end, this is the last chapter I will ever do. It’s been a good run, and I’m very happy to see Seven Seas pick this up and help show the world what Tanaka Yuu (the writer) can do. I have put a list of answers to frequently asked questions below. This includes the whole “but this is a WN, and the LN was what got licensed” argument and what I’m planning to do next, so make sure to take a peak if you’re curious. And with that, I guess I’m done. I’m finally free to read the rest of TSKD myself since I’ve been holding back to prevent myself from losing motivation. I don’t really have much else to say other than what’s listed in the FAQ. So without further ado: ST, signing off.
Editor’s note: Hey, guys. Joker here. Can’t really be excited right now, since we’re finally dropping TSKD. I’m torn. On the one hand, I’m glad it got licensed. On the other, I won’t see what happens to Fran during this for another 3 years at best. And that’s not even considering the possibility that Seven Seas drops this series since it’s not selling well or something. I don’t know. It’s a day one buy for me, as i’m sure it will be for a lot of you, but I can’t help but worry. It’s been a fun run, guys, even if it ends super early. I guess I can only help out with JM now, plus whatever series the boss picks up. This is a departure from my usual ending, but since I WON’T be seeing y’all in the next chapter, all I can say is this. Thank so much for sticking with us on this journey. I hope you guys are looking forward to our future projects. We probably wouldn’t be doing translating if it weren’t for you all. Thank you from the bottom of my unthieved heart. (Yes, Joker as in Persona 5). See y’all in the next series. Godspeed, Fran. Godspeed. (Also, just putting it out there, if you guys send messages [KIND AND RESPECTFUL PLEASE. I DO NOT CONDONE ANY ANGRY MESSAGES] to Micromagazine begging them to allow us to continue translating as long as we have a link to the official release or something, there is a chance, however small, that they’ll allow it. Just saying. A small chance is all Fran needed to get this far. Who’s to say we’re any different? [This message is not endorsed by Supreme Tentacle in any way, shape, or form. This is all from Joker])
Editor’s note: Hello to all from Sebas Tian. The series has been pretty fun and interesting so far and I’m glad to have spent my time on it. Hope you all have enjoyed the series as well and that as the LN releases more volumes that you continue to enjoy it. I also look forward to whatever other project ST might pick up later, but if he decides to get caught up on JM first I’d be fine with that. Please give ST and the Seven Seas your love and all that jazz to support the series as it moves forward with the adventures of Sword Dad and Black Cat Girl.
Editor’s note: Hey everyone this is Speedphoenix. It’s been really fun reading this until here, a shame it has to end. It was especially refreshing to see the evolution in everyone’s attitude on the discord channel and in ST’s style when translating. Now I just need to learn Japanese… Hopefully Jingai Musume let us enjoy for longer before it gets licensed, we’ll see you over there!
F. A. Q.
Q: The LN was licensed. Why are you dropping the WN?
A: All of the rights belong to Micromagazine, who licensed the LN rights to Seven Seas. Yes, this is correct. However, it’s very easy for the LN localizers to do this thing called give the people with the WN rights a phone call and ask them to throw out a DMCA or C&D. It’s in both their best interests, especially in TSKD’s case in which there is very little change between the WN and LN. And even with all that stuff aside, there’s the whole matter of respect. Translating something that has been licensed is not a good idea. Period.
Q: Will another translator pick this series up?
A: They probably shouldn’t. Like, seriously. Picking up licensed series is a scummy move. The point of translating a web novel is to share something you love with a broader audience. Translating something that is licensed is effectively scumbagging the author out of sales. It doesn’t make sense to harm the person producing the thing you like. So if you see anyone else translating this series, please flame the hell out of them. Unless you hate TSKD.
Q: Will you pick up any other series?
A: Not for the time being. I’m planning to at least fill the JM gap before I consider picking up anything else. And even if I do pick something up, I’d probably prefer something that’s never been TL’d into English before.
Q: How do you personally feel about TSKD getting licensed by Seven Seas?
A: Pretty good. I’m hoping that the established fanbase is part of the reason they’re picking the series up, because that would mean I’ve done my job as a fan translator. I’ve heard that Seven Seas’ localizations are pretty decent, so I’m expecting good things from them. My personal favorite localizer is probably JNC though.
Q: Will the existing chapters be taken down?
A: I’m not sure yet. I intend on it, but I’ll fire Seven Seas an email or something first and ask whether or not they mind.
Q: Can you translate the rest of the arc at least?
A: Sorry, but no.
Q: Should I send emails asking for permission for you guys to keep doing stuff?
A: Please don’t.
Q: Will they actually take 3 years to catch up?
A: Probably not. Should be significantly sooner than that.