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Chapter: 16


First death battle in 7 years

               I’m in the worst condition.

               It hurts, I’m not even moving and it still hurts so much

               I want to spit it out.

               But I swallow it.

               And clench my sword.

               The best option would be to take Phil and run away.

               But, would this female thief allow it?

               … That’s not possible.

               She wants to kill me.

               She wants to eliminate me.

               She is looking at me with genuine belief that killing me will make her happy.

               No doubt—

               I also had such eyes when I killed my sister.

               That’s why we must kill each other.

               In order to continue living.

               This is the first time in 7 years—

               —— A death battle.

               I spit out a mixture of blood and saliva on the ground, and wipe the blood on my mouth with my shirt’s sleeves.

               Come on, think.

               I’m inferior in physique and strength, and maybe I’m behind in skill on spiritual arts, but I’m the only who can fight Vicky.

               The only advantage I have is that my soul reincarnated.

               What the hell did she do?

               How did she parry my slash while I was moving at such high speed?

               Don’t miss any detail.

"………!!!"

               I erase my weight.

               And kick the ground.

               Maneuver while erasing the inertia.

               I enter top speed completely ignoring the laws of physics.

"Haah!!"

               Vicky strikes with her fist.

               And a fist crosses the space through the wormhole opened by "Absolute Rift".

               Until before, she was always behind due to my high speed.

               However.

"Kuuh…!"

               A hit.

               A blow to my flank.

               As expected of the second time. This time I won’t eat it.

               I erase my weight and parry it.

               I was blown away and crashed into a wall, bouncing like a bouncy ball.

               From wall to wall. From wall to wall.

               I jump around to disturb Vicky.

               The moment Vicky moved her face from right to left, she showed the back of her head, so I turn sharply and aim at her back.

"— You are here!!"

               A moment later, Vicky noticed me.

               Tch! Is it intuition from past fights?

               The sword was swung down.

               And she thrust her fist.

               Gyiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!

               I hear a sound and my sword is repelled.

"— Damn it!!"

"Hah!! You have to workout more, you fucking brat!!"

               I distance myself from her and enter my high-speed maneuvering again.

               Vicky tried to attack me as I distanced myself, but this time she failed.

               This high-speed maneuvering can be continued for a long time thanks to the training done by Raquel, but it’s not as if I’m not getting tired.

               Maybe Vicky knows that too.

               That’s why she’s not rushing to attack me and is preserving her stamina.

               I check the sword in my right hand while moving around with my inertia-erasing maneuver.

               … The blade is chipped.

               Probably because Vicky parried it.

               That fist is pretty strong—

               Before I got scared, I noticed something.

               The entire blade is chipped…

               Not a spot, but the entire blade.

               That means that when she parried the blade, the impact was applied on the entire blade.

"— So it’s that…!"

               I came up with a plan to counter Vicky’s attack.

               "Absolute Rift" is a spiritual art that connects two spots with a wormhole.

               The theory is that you can teleport from the entrance to the exit in zero seconds, so if you place the exit somewhere else, you can teleport.

               However, for example.

               What if you could make multiple exits?

               There are multiple exits for each entrance.

               If you punch through that entrance, your fist will split…!

               If you put an additional fist into an object, the power will increase.

               You can repel the sword, or chip away at the sword.

               Furthermore, if you line up a number of "Dots" called fists, it becomes an "Area" of fists.

               In simple terms, it’s the difference between a sniper and a machinegun.

               Even if you can’t hit someone with a sniper round, you can disperse the machinegun’s bullets to increase the chance of hitting.

               That was how she caught me while I was in my high-speed maneuver.

               If so, what should I do?

               Weaknesses— or rather, risks come to mind immediately.

               The division of the fist means that the reaction force will increase as much as the attack power.

               Although it’s as if it was split, it’s actually the same fist, so it makes sense that the damage will pile up.

               Assuming there is a spell that deals 30 damage to all enemies, if there is only one target, it will only deal 30 damage, but if there were three objectives, it would triple to 90, it’s the same.

               The problem isn’t resolved yet, because my attack power isn’t high.

               No matter what you multiply by zero, the result is zero.

               However, if I can increase the damage done by even a little, it will accumulate and overcome Vicky.

               How do I achieve that? What should I do?

               If I can attack directly from above, the power will increase as much as the gravity does, but there is no ceiling here.

               If I want to escape it’s better to have an escape option overhead, but when it comes to fighting, a closed space is more convenient.

               What will I do?

               How do I increase my power?

               While I was thinking on my high-speed maneuver, I heard a sound.

               This sound is—

               I glance at the source of the sound.

◆◆◆―――――――◆◆◆―――――――◆◆◆

               Laugh.

               I feel calm when I laugh.

               I keep watching that fucking brat that is jumping around like a fly, while keeping my head cool.

               It’s over if I go crazy like before.

               If I keep dealing with him calmly, he will collapse eventually.

               Then, it’s just a matter of dealing with him slowly.

               However.

               Will this fucking brat really run out of strength?

               It’s just as I said earlier.

               He thought he could win. He thought he had won.

               That’s what you call pride.

               You can’t be careless just because it’s a kid.

               Carefully, very carefully, calmly, very calmly.

               No matter what he does, just deal with it—

"… Hmm?"

               That fucking brat showed a new movement while doing his high-speed maneuvering.

               He went up.

               What on earth are you planning?

               Above is just the sky.

"Hey fucking brat!! Are you going to abandon your woman and run away!?"

               The girl was left behind on the ground.

               If you intend to run away, you should take her away with you.

               If he was seriously thinking of abandoning her, I wouldn’t mind, I would just take her down.

               The moment I prepared my fist thinking so,

"Don’t worry—"

               That fucking brat that was rising towards the black sky.

               Suddenly stopped.

"— I’m not running away"

               A sudden reversal.

               From rising to falling.

               For me, it was like—

               He kicked the sky… That’s the only way I could see it.

               From directly above.

               He falls straight like a rock that fell from a mountain.

"Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!"

               That damned brat swung down his sword while roaring.

               Calm down. I’m calm.

               No matter what you do, it’s the same.

               Just make an "Area" with the split fist and repel the sword…!!

"Guuh…!?"

"Aaaaah…!!"

               A shock went through my fist to my shoulder.

               Although I succeeded in repelling his sword—

               I also received the counter force from it.

               So that’s it…!

               That’s why you made a vertical descent!

               The power will increase proportional to the gravity…!

               That damned brat placed his foot on the ground while I was leaning back.

               And looks up at me, as my face distorts in pain—

               Fuu, so.

               He loosens his cheeks.

               — I’m calm.

               Don’t let your head get clouded.

               Especially when you don’t know what to do…!

               This fucking brat kicked the ground again and went up to the sky.

               No way— Again!

               That fucking brat kicks the center of the night sky.

               This time I won’t face this kid as he falls with gravity on his side.

               I jump to the side and avoid his fall attack.

               However, the fucking brat doesn’t even show a change in his expression and jumps again as if bouncing.

               Aah, I don’t like this… That’s why I hate kids!

               He’s getting used to it.

               This is probably the first time he has used this tactic too…!

               Every time this fucking brat went up and down, his sword’s sharpness increases.

               It used to feel like a rock falling, but now it’s like heavy rain.

               It’s a rain where a sword falls continuously.

               It’s impossible to avoid the rain.

               I managed to parry it with my fist—

               But each time, I accumulate damage on my arm.

               W-What is this guy…!

               Why can you kick the sky!?

               Is it his spiritual art that allows him to kick the sky?

               No, that’s not it.

               If so, he would have used it sooner.

               Why didn’t he use this tactic from the beginning?

               Because it takes time.

               Because preparation was necessary.

               Preparation?

               Speaking of preparation required to kick the sky, it would be—

               Scaffold.

               I squint at the night sky while parrying the heavy rain of swords.

               No… No, no, no!

               Wrong!

               That’s not the night sky!!

               That is—

               — A flock of crows that fills the sky…!!

               I didn’t notice.

               The black crows were flying in the night sky, I didn’t notice them because they were camouflaged with the darkness!!

               This fucking brat is using the crows as a foothold!!

               It isn’t a coincidence.

               Who is doing this?

               I remembered.

               At the time of "processing", the wild boar suddenly got up and began to rampage.

               I had assumed it was the work of a spiritual art.

               Yes.

               It was because of that girl’s spiritual art.

               The spiritual art that allows one to manipulate animals…!!

               I look to the side and look at her.

               She had evacuated to a place where she wouldn’t be involved in the fight, but she’s sending me an hostile look.

"Aaaah… That giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl!!"

               Immediately after repelling the sword swung from overhead.

               Ignoring the numbness and pain in my right arm, I stare at the crow-manipulating girl.

               My "Absolute Rift" can only make a "Hole" within visible range.

               However, as long as I can see it, my fist can reach it…!

               I punch with my left fist.

               Compared to that fucking brat’s sword, it feels light enough to make me laugh, and that girl screams as she falls sideways.

"Phil!!!"

               I heard his voice from overhead.

               I begin to laugh.

"— What are you doing to Phil, you damned hag!!!!!!!!"

               That fucking brat swung his sword while approaching directly from above.

               However, I’m smiling.

               I’m smiling.

               As long as I’m laughing, I’m calm.

               — But.

               You, it’s tight, right?

◆◆◆―――――――◆◆◆―――――――◆◆◆

               The moment I saw Phil being hit, my head got hot.

               All my thoughts were blown away, and I could only think of breaking Vicky.

               Therefore, it’s a natural result.

               I was taught by Raquel over and over again.

               ― On the battlefield, the one who lacks calm dies.

               I see stars in front of me.

               When I thought it hurts, I was already lying on the ground.

               When I look back, the memories of what happened are played on my memory.

               Her fist was approaching from all directions.

               Her split fish smashed my whole body.

               All I was thinking about was attacking.

               I wasn’t even prepared to parry her attacks…

"… I didn’t think it was going to take this long even after I used my hidden hand"

               Vicky is looking down at me who is laying down on the ground.

"I’ll admit it. You’re strong. Thanks to that, my hand is destroyed"

               Vicky shook her right hand, that looks as if she had hit a rock over and over again.

"… It’s so bad. To have so much fighting power at that age. It’s regrettable to give you over to some perverted rich guy.

How about it? What about entering [Crimson Cat]? The guys that follow me are all stupid, it would be of great help if I had a smart guy like you"

               I scrape whatever strength I have left and laugh in the irony.

"… It’s an honor to receive such an invitation, but you thugs have three decisive shortcomings"

"Hee? So now we are back at school, are we?"

"First, intelligence.

Second, character.

Third, a young girl"

               When I told her that, Vicky burst out laughing as if she couldn’t bear it any longer.

"HAHAHAaa!! For a kid, you sure know how to make a joke!! You are more and more interesting!!"

"… Don’t be stupid. You can’t even hide your murderous intent. You hate me, don’t you"

"Yeah, I have you. A talented brat like you. Bandits are a group of villains. There is no place for someone like you who can have a luxurious life without putting any effort"

               Without putting any effort… Huh.

               I wish that was true.

"It looks like you’re ready. So boring"

"Are you going to [Process] me?"

"Of course. You are a product. There is no merchant that destroys his products"

"A merchant? You are not smart enough for that"

"I want to cut that cheeky tongue.

… But there is a better place for that"

               Vicky takes the sword from my hand.

               And with the tip she pokes my wrist.

"Your hand. I’ll slash both of your hands. Then it will be very difficult to use your spiritual art that you have been diligently training on"

"… That would be troubling"

               While calmly replying, the inside of my head was turning at full speed.

               Is there something?

               Is there something?

               Is there something?

               Is there a way to reverse this situation?

               My body… Can barely move.

               However, there is no way I can defeat Vicky in this state.

               After all, it’s about firepower.

               Firepower.

               Overwhelming power to break her fist from the front…!!

"Now, let’s get this done. I have to hand over the products to [her] tomorrow at dawn"

"[Her]?"

               Hand over…?

               Is there something like a middleman?

"Tch"

"… Did it slip out of my mouth? I seem to have some trouble. Well, whatever"

               Muttering that, she presses my arm with her foot.

               As if putting a saw on the log.

"Don’t go wild, okay? If you make a mistake, it will hurt more than necessary"

               Vicky presses her thick boots on my lower arm.

               With this, I can’t make her float.

               What do I do?

               What do I do?

               What do I do!?

"One, two—!"

               Vicky raises her sword.

"Ji-kun! Above!!"

               I heard Phil’s voice.

               Up?

               I look far above the sword that was swung.

               Vicky also reacted to Phil’s voice and looks up.

               The crow that was serving as my foothold is nowhere to be seen.

               But instead.

               Countless eagles are flying in formation on the night sky.

               There is a rope tied to the leg.

               With a sword hanging from it.

               The sword comes off the rope.

               And following gravity it falls straight down—

               — It’s falling down towards the place Vicky and I are.

"What…!"

               Vicky removes her leg from my arm and moves away in shock.

               As soon as I became free, I too hurriedly rolled on the ground.

               Immediately after, the sword crashes on the ground and,

Zuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn—————!!!!!!!!!!!!!

               The ground exploded.

               Dust rose up as if a bomb had fallen, and I who was right next to that bomb was struck by the impact and rolled on the ground.

               What’s this…!?

               Why did the sword fall, moreover, why was the shock so strong!?

               But it was helpful.

               By the time I managed to get up, the dust had become much thinner.

               A crater was formed on the ground as if a meteorite had crashed.

               In the center, the sword that had fallen pierced the ground deeply.

               It’s a strange sword.

               The blade has a mysterious color that is neither scarlet nor gold.

               It’s like the color that comes off on a sunrise.

               If you look closely, it seems that the same metal was used not only on the blade, but the handle as well.

               What is that…?

               I have never seen such a metal.

"Hey… Hey, hey, hey, hey… Really? What is that…!"

               Vicky answered my question.

"That sunrise color… No doubt. That is the world’s heaviest metal, that’s just a lump of money! A super precious metal that is worth 100 times as much as gold… !! That’s too much money!!"

               Vicky was speaking with such a tension as if she had forgotten that she was a thug on battle.

               A hundred times the price of gold… You said?

               Moreover, she said it’s the heaviest metal in the world.

               That sword looks like a mere longsword, is it so heavy?

               Well, if you think about the impact it did when it fell, then I can only agree.

               But that sword was brought by an eagle, while hanging on a rope.

               Although the weight was distributed through the entire formation of eagles, how can eagles fly while carrying a sword that weights hundreds of kilograms?

               There is only one answer.

               The weight was erased to make it lighter.

               Then she ordered the eagles to carry it over.

               Only one person can do that.

               The spiritual art that can imitate other’s spiritual arts "Divinity Plunder"—

               If it’s like that, only Raquel can use Phil’s technique together with mine.

               Raquel’s words from yesterday replayed in my mind.

               — There is one thing one present from me.

               — To become stronger in the future.

               A gift to become stronger.

               No way.

               This is?

               I went up to the crater and stood in front of the sword that pierced deep into the ground.

               A sunrise colored blade.

               A transparent blade

               It’s appearance is like—

               It’s a holy sword waiting for the king to come.

               I am.

               I reach for the sword’s handle.

"Haa!!"

               The female thug snorts.

"Do you want to pull it out and swing it around? Don’t joke around!

Look! This happened when it just fell down! You don’t understand how heavy it is!!

No matter what spiritual art you have, there is a limit to it! It’s even useless as decoration!

Well, if you drop it from above, it can be used as a weapon.

It’s a pity, it didn’t hit!!"

               I didn’t listen to her.

               I grab the sunrise sword’s handle with both hands.

               And.

"— Ah?"

               Vicky’s mockery was interrupted.

               Because I saw it.

               Behind me, it appeared like a guardian spirit.

               The colorful wings spread in the darkness.

               A giant bird of colorful color that looks like stained glass.

               It looks like a spirit bird.

"… Spirit… Incarnation avatar…?"

               Vicky muttered with a stunned voice.

"… …?

That… That… That…!!

It’s a real [Spirit possession] …! You…!!!"

               I erase the weight using [Veiled wings of freedom] and put strength in the hand holding the sword.

               Naturally, the sword came off easily, fully exposing the sunrise-colored blade.

               I swing the sunrise-colored sword several times.

               There seems to be no particular problem.

               A sword weighing several hundred of kilograms is no different from a broken branch if it’s swung using [Veiled wings of freedom].

"… A genius…"

               I look at Vicky, who muttered that full of grudge.

               My physical condition isn’t very good.

               I probably have only one chance.

"This… Geniuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!"

               At the same time as she roared, Vicky swung her fist.

               A moment before that, I was moving.

               Inertia erasing high-speed maneuver.

               From zero to top speed.

               Avoid the "Area" caused by the split fist by moving faster.

               Run on the ground, kick the wall, and go to the sky.

               Of course, there is the scaffold prepared by Phil.

               Kick the crow and descend in a straight line.

               The sunrise colored blade slashed the darkness like a meteor.

               Vicky has already noticed me.

               She saw me and prepared her fist.

               Doesn’t matter.

               Just tear it down…!!

               The split fist approaches through the space.

               And the sunrise colored blade regains its weight and splits the darkness.

               The contact lasted only a moment.

               As Vicky’s arm was sent flying—

               There was no trace left of it as it flew away.

               And a moment later, Zufuuuuuuuuuun..!! The shock wave spread out in a circle.

               I land down without problem.

               Vicky’s face is still distorted by anger—

"— Ah"

               The female thug’s cheeks move sharply.

"Hey… Smile, me…"

               Bright red blood comes out from her shoulder which has lost its arm.

               And Vicky sways to the side—

               Then collapses onto a blood clot.

               On her face, her eyes are rolled back.

               I can no longer feel her presence.

"It… Hurts…"

               Immediately after, the sword slips out of my hand and sinks into the ground.

               I glance at my hand and noticed that my wrist was purple.

"Ji-kun! Are you okay?"

               Phil rushes over.

               I smile and act strong.

"It’s okay. I just twisted my wrist a little when I returned its weight in the moment of the attack"

"Eh…? It looks like it hurts so much though…"

"It hurts! Wait, don’t touch it!"

               Even if it’s not that, my entire body hurts!

               But while I was talking to Phil like this… I realized.

               I won.

               This isn’t pride, right "Bloody Leopard"?

"Still needs work"

               I heard a voice.

               Then Phil and I look overhead together.

               There is a girl wearing a roble.

"Master…"

"Masta!"

               Raquel came from the sky and gently landed on the ground.

               And she saw me completely battered, especially the swollen wrist, then said.

"You should have adjusted the weight appropriately as you were swinging the sword instead of completely releasing its weight. You are still awkward on using it"

"The first thing you say is that… What about asking for our safety?"

               Raquel closes her lips shut and approaches us—

"Wha!"

"It hurts!"

               She drops a chop on my head and Phil’s.

"Of course I was worried!!!!!"

               She screams in a loud voice unlike any I have heard.

               And then hugs us from the front.

"I’m glad you are both safe… Really… Really glad…"

               Hearing Raquel’s voice, which was quivering a little in my ear… I was happy and sorry, a feeling I don’t understand took over me.

               I’m sure that’s why.

               I don’t know when… But by the time I noticed, I had tears running down my cheeks.

"I told you to be careful… Even if you wanted to help other children…"

"… I’m sorry, master"

"I’m sorry too, masta"

"Really, reflect on it. Reflect on it from the bottom of your heart"

               When she said that, Raquel stood up and steps away from us.

"Now, lets go home, the children you saved are waiting outside"

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