Mio’s attack cuts through the air.
It didn’t hit again.
Suppressing his presence is probably the special ability of Rokuya and some sort of job skill in the assassin category.
(He is good to a bothersome level-desu wa. I have never seen a more perfected hit-and-run that utilizes evasion and blind spots this well.) (Mio)
With another sigh she has been doing for who knows how many times already, Mio is impressed by the technique of Rokuya who she is fighting against.
At times, she would catch his presence or she catch his figure with her eyes, but her attacks end up being avoided like just now.
And yet, opposite to this, Rokuya has been dealing powerful attacks to her from every direction.
At core, Mio does not place importance in defense and evasion.
Or more like, she doesn’t need to do it.
And so, the strategy of hit-and-run of Rokuya fits perfectly in a bad way for her.
(Well, the damage that I am receiving is slower compared to the speed I am recovering at, so there’s no point though. What’s strange is that there’s no way this rude and outspoken man wouldn’t notice.) (Mio)
Mio had shot a serious spell at first, but after that, she has been dealing with Rokuya without being serious anymore.
It is true that he is a problematic opponent to hit attacks at, but once one attack actually connects, the match will be completely decided, is how she thinks.
There’s most likely not even a 1% chance of Mio’s attacks hitting Rokuya.
But Mio doesn’t think of that percentage as small.
She understands that there’s no need to be in a hurry.
As long as it is not going against the instructions of Makoto, it is fine to do as she always does.
And then, after dulling the movements of Rokuya, she will give him a lesson.
Since he is immortal, it shouldn’t be a problem if she were to release her restrain a little bit.
Mio was thinking in this way.
It looks as if she is calm…and angry.
In other words, the same old Mio. She is operating as normal.
“Shadow stroll, [Skywalk]; domain of Gods [Chronos Filing].” (Rokuya)
(That’s most likely the skill that makes it almost impossible to grasp his presence. The other is probably something that increases the reaction speed of his body.) (Mio)
Rokuya showed up in a slightly faraway location, and then, when he utilized his skill again, his figure disappears again and Mio is unable to catch his presence anymore.
From there, he uses enhanced skills and attacks in conjunction. This is a pattern that has been repeated countless times already.
Shortly thereafter, the presence of Rokuya is caught in the perception of Mio. A bit fast.
Mio continues sighing as she shoots a darkness bullet.
“[Counter Death Scythe]!” (Rokuya)
(As I thought. Eh?) (Mio)
“Fang that destroys the soul, [Soul Slaughter]!” (Rokuya)
It didn’t end with only the pattern that has been repeated countless times. When Mio showed an opening from her weariness, Rokuya closed the distance and hit her with the katar that had a dark purple blade.
The strongest attack until now had hit the side of Mio.
At the same time, a miasma that invites death spreads into her body and was eating away the magic power that was clad on Mio as well.
Mio has defeated several assassins already, but this attack is a first for her.
“Without taking your time in the attack that connected, you once again disappear. And it was quite the brutal technique.” (Mio)
Mio perceived something with her instinct and reflexively clampers up.
Right after, from her right shoulder she placed to cover up her right side, the same attack was dealt.
When she looks at that place, she could see Rokuya there.
She could see him, but there was not a single trace of his presence.
Even though she could see him, he wasn’t there.
A strange sensation was transmitted to Mio.
“[Enchant Poison, Ghoul Witch], [Enhance, Ogre]” (Rokuya)
In that instant that felt as if it was a ‘oh crap’ moment, and the instant that felt as if she had been perplexed by a strange sensation, Mio, who had noticed the pattern of her opponent and saw Rokuya preparing his katars by crossing them together…smiled.
“Then…the equality of 4,000 lives turned to dust, [Wind of Destruction]” (Rokuya)
The figure of the assassin disappeared, and in place of that, a black mist passed by Mio.
“Finally brought it out. A combo attack and your trump card huh.” (Mio)
Several thousands of deadly attacks were assaulting the body of Mio.
And yet, Mio had received that attack without breaking that smile from her face and didn’t show any care about her kimono that was being steadily torn off.
“…After receiving that, this is your impression of it? Well well, you are far stronger than I expected.” (Rokuya)
Rokuya had returned to his usual atmosphere he had when he first met Makoto’s group and spoke.
Mio’s knees fell to the ground, but the blade storm didn’t allow her to fall down, and yet, he spoke in such a calm manner. In a sense, this manner of act was scary in itself.
As expected, there was no response from Mio.
“This attack is the one with the strongest power I currently have at hand.If you were to come to our territory and had twice the power I had assumed you had, this should have been plenty enough to deal with you guys, but as expected, it just won’t go as planned huh.” (Rokuya)
‘Good grief’ is what Rokuya says as he holds his head with his hand and shrugs his shoulders.
Utilizing skills continuously, moving continuously, and attacking continuously; there’s no way he wouldn’t get tired.
That’s also one of the reasons why Mio is not growing impatient.
Because she understood that the one who will be running out of stamina first will be the opponent.
And then…the storm stops.
He thought that she would fall, but Mio simply stood up like nothing and patted her body from up to down.
A black kimono instantly covered the body of Mio.
There was not a single trace of a cut, and there were no signs of the skin color change caused by poison.
It was all like when she first got teleported to this place.
The shock of Rokuya couldn’t be helped.
“…Even if you catch me by surprise, even if you shower me with attacks, even if you hit me with a finishing move; your attacks won’t reach me.” (Mio)
“They were reaching…is what I thought though…” (Rokuya)
“Those splendid katars of yours, or more like, your blades in general and the several types of poisons you used won’t leave a single wound in my body.” (Mio)
“…It is just as you say.” (Rokuya)
“The compatibility is good, don’t you think? Is the confidence of that big mouth of yours still remaining?” (Mio)
The words of Mio continue on.
From the very beginning, Mio had the intentions of watching all that Rokuya had to bring out.
She had decided that she would receive them all and laugh at him.
And after that, she would punish him.
With the carefully selected lineup of punishments she has repeated against Shiki and the small number of rude ones at Asora.
Going into details, it would be: scouring, mopping, rotary cutting, and pocky; those ones are settled, and any others are added on her whim.
That’s how Mio’s plan goes.
“…Yeah, that hasn’t changed. From within that group, you were the one I was the most compatible against. Today, with these conditions, I have confidence that I will definitely not lose.” (Rokuya)
“What did you say?” (Mio)
Mio reflexively asked back.
The eyes of Rokuya did show fatigue, but there was no despair.
Even though he had shown his trump card, he didn’t show any signs of giving up.
“After fighting you, my instincts whispered to me that maybe your objective was buying time, you see. And so, I thought that instead of the objective planned at first, it would be better to defeat the Calamity Spider.” (Rokuya)
How displeasing, is what Mio straightly felt from this.
Just like Rokuya said, this battle has way too many advantages on one side. Even so, there’s no doubt the strong ones here are Mio, Tomoe, and Makoto.
And yet, this old adventurer standing in front of her was not trying to oppose her, but defeat her.
This isn’t something that Mio could forgive.
“But, even when I tried to analyze the many battles going around while attacking you, I was unable to grasp any decisive conclusion. The former Superior Dragon, Tomoe-dono, having a tough fight, and on the contrary, the group of that dwarf is proceeding with the battle predominantly; both of those things were out of my expectations, and those are indeed key factors, but it definitely doesn’t show what’s on the other side of the door.” (Rokuya)
“…That’s why, even if you had to take the method that required time, you were thinking of defeating me first and then join in the information gathering yourself.” (Mio)
“Yeah, that’s how it would be. Or more like, it has already been done.” (Rokuya)
“Are you…referring to the poisons that are combining inside of me? If that’s what you mean, that’s quite the overly optimistic preparation you had.” (Mio)
“By no means. The poison was just a decoy. The weakness I am sure you have is not related to poison. Or rather, poison wouldn’t work on you at all. In the first place, for a long time…the Calamity Spider has had no weaknesses.” (Rokuya)
Rokuya lifted both of his hands as if stating his surrender.
If someone is able to obtain a piece of the hard carapace, thread, fangs, claws, or poison of the Calamity Spider, they would be able to buy a house with it.
All of them are high grade ingredients, and at the same time, they are the proof that the Calamity Spider has conquered all the weaknesses a spider mamono has.
The Calamity Spider has no weaknesses.
Until now, there hasn’t been a single one who has been able to defeat it.
It is exactly because Rokuya has been in the know of the bad news that the Calamity Spider has brought about for longer than the normal adventurers that he is able to understand this fact to his very core.
“But, right now, you are Mio. Not a spider.” (Rokuya)
“What are you trying to say? Yo—Eh?!” (Mio)
“Your footing was neglected. Was it because you didn’t think of my attacks as a threat? Or maybe because you thought that combo attack was my trump card? Or it might be because you lowered your guard with the combining poisons? Whatever the case, you noticed way too late.” (Rokuya)
The state of affairs were affirming the words of Rokuya.
The footing of Mio was producing a faint light and several gears restrained the body of Mio.
Unknown if this was real or an illusion, it looked like some of those gears had melded with the body of Mio, and at times, they would make some sort of rough noise.
The gears that didn’t even reach ten, began to slowly rotate, and it seems that that movement was proving painful for her, her expression distorts into anguish.
Legs, arms, waist, shoulders, neck, chest…
Gears were enfolded around every part of Mio’s body.
This is the true trump card Rokuya aimed at Mio.
“This is…a type of restraining barrier huh. Moreover, it even generously adds pain! I don’t think this is the kind of skill an assassin would use, but no matter how powerful it is, to think you would use something like a barrier as a trump card against me.” (Mio)
“Just as you have guessed, this is not a skill from my guild or my job; it is an ability that only I can use in this world. Gears of fantasy, [Grim Tale Gear].” (Rokuya)
“Grim Tale?! I don’t care about the name. If this is your trump card, I will tear it down into pieces–!!” (Mio)
“No, you should listen. This ability can only be used on certain people of power, and as an assassin, it possesses an incredibly powerful effect.” (Rokuya)
“…It is true that this is something that even super specialized magicians wouldn’t be able to reach in their lifetime! Leaving aside if this would effective against me though!” (Mio)
Mio responded to the words of Rokuya, but wasn’t complying to them.
The rotation of the gears was slowly but surely becoming slower.
It is also beginning to create creaking ear-piercing sounds.
This is proof that the barrier was clearly about to be destroyed.
“Therefore, there’s a particular restriction to those restrains.” (Rokuya)
“”If there’s someone who destroys this restrains with their own strength, the fantasy gears will provide a blessing.” (Rokuya)
“Fufufufu! What’s with that?! There’s nothing good for you! Using a power that’s too much for you; rather than calling it a restriction, it is more of a price!” (Mio)
“That’s right. It restrains the target physically and magically, and will slowly lead them to their death. The only way to get out of it would be to destroy all the gears while in a state of having your power restrained in all senses. It is a power that’s wasted on me.” (Rokuya)
“No matter how great it is, it is just a matter of time before it is destroyed! If this is all you have, it is time for your punishment, Rokuya. I won’t let you escape.” (Mio)
“You are truly scary. If you are able to destroy this, you will be released from all your bindings and be free.” (Rokuya)
“I see, that’s great to hear! After all, I will be able to teach you your own posi—- All the…bindings?” (Mio)
The words of Mio suddenly lose their heat.
It seems she noticed something.
Rokuya has already noticed.
No, his aim was that from the very beginning.
The weak point of, not the spider, but Mio… that is…
“All your bindings. Any kind of pact, restrain, restriction; all your bindings will be destroyed along with the fantasy gears.” (Rokuya)
“Of course, it would be the same if you just have them bound again later. But, can you really throw that away with your own hands? The pact that is your bond between you and Makoto. The pact that led to being given the name Mio. The pact that was most likely the first one you have formed in your life.” (Rokuya)
“Fuh…!! Fuuuh…!!” (Mio)
“…It is true that Makoto-kun, who you treasure more than anything, is stronger than you. We wouldn’t be able to take him as hostage, and depending on the situation, he might even be more of a problem than you. We wouldn’t be able to use this kind of method as a weakness. But you… your love for Makoto-kun is excessive. To the point that you wouldn’t throw away a single thing he has given to you even if it cost you your life. That’s how much you love him. That’s a weak point. You can’t do something like throwing away the pact you have with him with your own hands. At the very least, at present, you can’t.” (Rokuya)
She increased the strength, but, showing an expression as if fearing the creaking sounds of the gears, she decreased her strength, and accepts the pain.
“Well then, stay like that for a while please. I will be going.” (Rokuya)
“…Quite…impressive. To think you had set up such a threat, I wouldn’t have expected it at all. But, even if I have given up on fighting back…these gears can’t kill me, you know? It only hurts a little.” (Mio)
“Having you stay there obediently is plenty enough.” (Rokuya)
“And also, Rokuya, I won’t let you go anywhere. The first spell I shot, do you know what it was?” (Mio)
“The first spell you shot? Ah, the one you used to catch me?” (Rokuya)
“No-desu wa. In a radius of around 300 meters, I made it so noooo one can leave. If it’s Waka-sama and Tomoe-san, they would be able to leave in given time but, I wonder if you would be able to accomplish that?” (Mio)
Rokuya opens his eyes wide.
“At any rate, it would be troublesome if you were to escape, so only that one spell, I placed serious power when activating it. The effective time of this ability is not eternal, right? It is a powerful ability after all. If the gears disappear naturally…let’s go for a round 2. I won’t lose next time. The punishment is still on hold, okay? Ufufufufufufu~~~.” (Mio)
“Tch! A draw was one of the worst developments within the possible scenarios! At the very least, I have to silence the group of that dwarf!” (Rokuya)
Glancing at the unmoving Mio for a second, Rokuya’s figure disappears.
Only the small laugh filled with anger of Mio remained in that place, and Rokuya was unable to get out from the space that Mio had setup there.
Mio was unable to move because of the gears’ restrain; Rokuya was sprinting at full speed in search for a seam in Mio’s spell.
In this space where the battle had finished, there’s currently no deaths.
* * *
“Ah, so that’s how it is.”
“…You are interested in the battle between Rokuya-san and Mio-san? Sorry, I can’t show you due to Rokuya-san’s request.” (Hitsuna)
“Ara, did I misinterpret that?” (Hitsuna)
“This is your territory anyways. Well, I understand that there’s a lot going on on your side. What I got just now……was your power, Hitsuna-san.” (Makoto)
“You called it ‘Safety Zone’, right? You said so before but, it is certainly not an invincible space.” (Makoto)
…It is just slight but, I felt the emotions of rage from Mio.
It is a situation I didn’t expect.
Even so, in order to change the situation, I have to do something about this space first.
The analysis of it…is probably finished.
“Cutting off the attacks from the outside, and also deploying a space that prohibits fights inside. I see, it does sound like a power in an MMO. The condition for its activation is not a catalyst, but time.” (Makoto)
“It seems like this is the type that is tough on its effective time and cooldown time.” (Makoto)
“And Makoto-kun has an ability that can analyze our abilities? This might be out of expectations.” (Hitsuna)
“So, it looks like you can’t shorten the effective time from inside, but judging from its composition, I thought that maybe attacks from outside would manage to reduce the effective time.” (Makoto)
The expression of Hitsuna changes.
If that expression was translated into words, it would be: ‘yeah, that’s right’.
Looks like she is the type that can’t hide things.
I feel like we can be friends.
I feel like we can do some relaxing trades.
“Uhm, Makoto-kun? Where did that mass of magic power, that was coming out from you, go?” (Hitsuna)
“Ah, are you talking about the thing I can bring out whenever I want?” (Makoto)
In the time she was completely concentrated in the amazing combination attack of the two adventurers against Tomoe, I utilized a blind spot she wouldn’t have been able to notice unless she stood up.
“Yeah yeah, that.” (Hitsuna)
“I was wondering if I could let it out from the Safety Zone, you see. So I stretched it a bit.” (Makoto)
“What did you say?!” (Hitsuna)
“And…you know…” (Makoto)
But the answer had no mercy.
“I managed to let it out.” (Makoto)
It seems I myself can’t get out, but the Magic Armor was able to leave by squeezing through a part of the Safety Zone that was relatively far from me.
“And so, I will be taking my leave now.” (Makoto)
If possible, after assisting Tomoe and Mio, I would like to help out Beren and the others too.
By that time, we should be able to move the situation heavily.
We will achieve our objective while protecting everyone.
It is about time I make my move as well.