(With this…!) (Souma)
I hold the Golden Sakura with my hand that has lost its strength.
That hand was shaking, and rather than calling it holding, it is more like I am pinching it with the strength I can bring out.
However, that doesn’t matter.
As long as there’s the fact that I am holding it, that’s enough.
Even if I try to speak, I can’t let out my voice anymore.
But that doesn’t matter.
Even if my words can’t be heard by anyone, it is still enough.
That’s why, with my hand still on the Golden Sakura, I shout the Order loudly in my mind.
([Bloody Stab]!) (Souma)
Right after that, an impossible to describe power pushed my perishing body into action.
My hand I thought couldn’t move anymore made smooth movements, and dealt a fast stab towards midair.
However, there’s no target to stab onto.
That thrust obviously hit nothing, and the skill motion ended without stabbing anything.
…Or so it looked.
But change certainly happened.
In my body, that is.
The wounds were being healed.
Power is welling up in my body.
My stamina was recovering to a state before the battle, or even more than that.
A mere second after doing the skill.
With my legs that couldn’t move before, I stood on the ground again.
However, what I saw when I stood up was Ringo being hit by a side-punch of the Butcher and being sent flying without being able to do anything.
I could tell the blood in my face was draining as I ran towards where she fell.
Ringo is not wearing armor.
If she really did get a direct hit from the Butcher…
I could see the broken Heat Knife in the hand of Ringo who was sent flying.
She barely managed to receive the hit of the Butcher with the knife.
In this game, you can mitigate the damage of attacks even if you receive the hits from equipment other than shields.
I will believe that Ringo is okay.
(Make it in time!!) (Souma)
I chain the Short Cancel of Step, High Step, and Ground Compression, and go to her side at the fastest speed.
I see her still in the air, jump at the end, and…
“[Shadow Snatch]!” (Souma)
Activate the dark element skill, Shadow Snatch, of the Ninja Sword.
Jet black claws wrap around Ringo in midair, and at the same time as it kills the momentum, it heals her wounds.
With the momentum lost, Ringo’s body falls to the ground, but unfortunately, I can’t catch her with both arms like manga heroes.
If I stop the skill combo here, Ringo will fall onto the ground, and I won’t be able to move because of the skill stun.
“Kuh, [Ground Compression]!” (Souma)
I was already at the limit of my stamina, but even when aware of this, I pushed myself a bit here and chain it to Ground Compression.
Rather than catching her with Ground Compression, it is more like I kidnapped her out of the air as I take distance from the Butcher.
We both fall onto the ground.
However, thanks to that, the skill stun was canceled, and while being careful about Ringo, I soon got back on my feet.
“Are you okay?” (Souma)
When I asked this, Ringo showed a violent reaction.
She turned her face this way with such quick movement I have never seen from her before.
The eyes of Ringo were opened wide as if she didn’t believe what she was seeing.
Judging from this, I would say she has no issues with her body.
“Sorry for making you push yourself there. But it is alright now.” (Souma)
It seems like I worried her, so if possible, I would like to give her an explanation, but there’s no time for that.
We may have taken distance here, but this still can’t be considered a safe area.
I take my eyes off Ringo and quickly stand up.
The uneasy voice of Ringo rang at my back, but I answered her without looking back.
“It is okay. Just leave the rest to me.” (Souma)
All the conditions have been gathered.
There’s enough stamina.
My concentration is on the rise, and I have a new weapon.
“I will defeat that guy.” (Souma)
I take a step towards the Butcher as if showing my own will.
I faced the King Butcher from the very front, and I once again grew certain of it.
(…It is wounded.) (Souma)
Within the bosses of Nekomimi Neko, there’s the type that weakens when they are damaged, or the type that awakens power and comes to kill the player; fortunately, the Butcher is the former case.
Its movements are clearly more sluggish compared to when the fight began.
It seems like my do-or-die attack wasn’t wasted.
That said, that’s not exactly what’s linking to my certain advantage here.
Most bosses that weaken when they are in critical condition possess high health regeneration, and the Butcher should be in that category too.
I need to settle this battle while the advantage is still there.
(If it is with the Golden Sakura…) (Souma)
I can pull off a fighting style that I couldn’t with Shiranui, and bring out more power than the Wakizashi.
The Ninja Swords, due to their nature, have a lot of techniques that can’t be used unless you get close to the target, but if it is against the Butcher whose movements are dulled because of the damage, it might not be impossible to hit.
I still have one other trump card.
The Light Element Damage Specialization Ring I.
When I went to the accessory shop in Lamurick with Ina, I bought one element specialization ring of each element and…7 Light Element Damage Specialization Ring I.
The element specialization I rings lower the power of the opposite element by 70%.
Then, what happens if you equip 2 of those rings?
In this game, the element amplification and weakening effects are additive.
In other words, 2 times 70 is 140.
The element modifier is 100% by default, so 100 minus 140 equals -40.
Also, the power of the elemental attack is decided from the multiplier of the attack x element modifier.
When you attack someone with a dark element attack while equipped with 2 of these rings, lo-and-behold, you heal the target!
How did I manage to recover in an instant when I was on the verge of death?
The answer obviously lies there.
The Ninja Sword skills have a lot of assassination and stealth type skills, and because of that dark image, there’s a lot of skills that have the dark element by default.
Giving out a specific example, it would be the Shadow Snatch I used just now.
The second one would be the finishing move that’s even called a bugged skill, Bloody Stab.
You should be able to connect the dots by now.
Bloody Stab is a dark element skill, moreover, it is a bugged skill that deals damage to yourself too when you use it.
When you use this equipped with 2 Light Element Damage Specialization Ring I, 40% of the damage from Bloody Stab will heal your HP.
40% is nothing to scoff at.
There’s many cases when healing magic doesn’t show satisfactory effects on physical characters.
On the other hand, if you use all your ring slots, you can use the Bloody Stab which uses no MP and barely costs anything, moreover, it scales with physical strength.
…That’s when it was in the game.
The circumstances are different in this world.
You could only use 2 rings max because of system limitations, but in this world, you can equip a whopping 10.
And right now I have equipped all 7 Light Element Damage Specialization Rings in my fingers.
My dark element is right now -70 x 7= -490.
Taking out the 100% from its original number, and there’s still -390%.
The self-recovery of Bloody Stab is 4 times your attack power.
It is understandable that my HP would go to full in an instant.
Moreover, it isn’t only those 2 that are dark element attacks.
The King Butcher bends down.
That’s the signal for the 2nd battle between me and him.
At that moment, I used a skill and closed the distance with the Butcher in one go.
I have no intention of taking my time.
The movements of the injured Butcher have clearly dulled compared to when the battle began.
I will go in like this and settle this in one go.
(Here it comes!) (Souma)
The one facing me with hardened resolve is the Butcher with its cleaver.
It gets wary of my approach and raises that giant mass of iron.
“[High Step]!” (Souma)
But I have no intention of going along with him.
I Cancel Step with High Step.
I close in onto that giant body with speed that surpassed the expectations of the Butcher!
But the Butcher managed to deal with that speed.
He immediately swung down his cleaver towards me.
On the path for a direct hit!
(That’s still slow!) (Souma)
I raised the gear one notch more!
“[Ground Compression]!” (Souma)
That’s the fastest movement skill in my arsenal.
If it had been the Butcher in perfect shape, it would have been a different story, but the giant with its dulled movements can’t deal with this speed at all!
I dive into close range distance just like that.
A giant something passed me by from behind, but there’s no point if it doesn’t hit.
At the same time, the left hand of the Butcher that didn’t hold a weapon stretched out to try and grab me.
But right when it happened, I…
Had already canceled the Ground Compression, activated Jump, and had already jumped high above.
The Butcher lost its target and its left hand grabbed air.
I was now in the air, right in front of the Butcher’s face that was bent forward from its own attack.
I am now at close range to the Critical Point of the giant, its face!
(This is…the end!) (Souma)
I activate the last skill while looking at the shocked face of the Butcher!
What I will be using is the 3rd dark element skill of the Ninja Sword.
“[Assassin Rage]!!” (Souma)
The 13th skill of the Ninja Sword.
The 13th Skill was originally supposed to be a high power skill, but because its damage multiplier was set to the negatives, it healed the enemy instead. In other words, it was seen as a landmine skill.
But what happens if you use it while you have a negative dark element modifier?
Negative and negative makes a positive.
Moreover, it is a big negative like -390% which would normally be unthinkable.
The answer is obvious.
This technique that was ridiculed as the Saving Blade** became the ultimate killing sword that can even bring down giants! <A pun of the Saving Fist from Fist of the North Star>
“This is…THE END!!” (Souma)
The black blade that was shot out together with my shout encroached on the white giant.
Black and white; these two opposites clashed for only an instant.
The attack clad in darkness warped the white and terrifying face and…
After defeating the Butcher with the effect of the skill, my body continued to move forward.
It went to the back of the giant, and I rolled on the ground without being able to mitigate the fall.
(Did I…do it?) (Souma)
I should have defeated it this time around, but there’s no fanfare or the last death cry of a giant like the ones you find often in games.
I hurriedly looked back after I landed on the ground, and I saw the body of the giant slowly changing into light particles and melting into the air.
“It is over…right?” (Souma)
I muttered this, unable to believe the sudden end.
Even when I look at the place where the giant body of the Butcher was, the only thing that remained were the drop items.
The signature weapon of the King Butcher that was the source of many player deaths, the Greatsword: Meat Cleaver. Also, the consumable item that increases your strength slightly, Power Seed.
Those are the only things at the place where the Butcher was.
But we have no time to be spacing out here.
“Crap! The time!” (Souma)
I look at the watch.
According to the watch that didn’t break in the fight before, it is 3:59.
“Ringo, that rock!” (Souma)
I throw the Golden Sakura to her while saying this, and she immediately shoots a Lightning Strike at the giant rock where the Butcher came out from.
Ringo must have understood my intention here, she tried to destroy the upper part of the giant rock to have it cave in, but…
“This is bad! The spawn…” (Souma)
The time came heartlessly.
The clock marked the next minute, light gathered into the spawn point inside the rock, and…
However, that light was crushed by the raining rocks from above.
I was nervous for a while there, but there’s no signs of monsters jumping out from inside the rock.
Looks like it really is over with this.
I let out a big sigh of relief and collapsed right then and there.
This time around, it was seriously dangerous.
The dangers until now, I have had some leeway in them or had some sort of comedic element to it, but this one was seriously purely dangerous.
I can only call it luck that we managed to overcome this.
No, it is of course not purely luck.
“You saved me there, Ringo.” (Souma)
I told this to Ringo, who came to me, and thanked her from the bottom of my heart.
It is also because she crushed the last spawn point, but if Ringo hadn’t been here, there were a lot of things I wouldn’t have been able to manage.
I once again give her my thanks.
But Ringo’s fever time must have left as the danger left.
I don’t know if she heard what I said. She simply moved her head up and down in a way that would be impossible to see unless you concentrate on her.
Her expression may look mysterious in a way, but she probably has simply returned to her expressionless look that’s not thinking of anything.
That raises a lot of questions in itself, is what I was thinking as I looked at Ringo’s face, but…
The words of Ringo made me look at my chest.
When I did, a white thing was peeking out from the broken opening of my leather armor.
It was exposed from the attack of the Butcher…my ribs…no, that’s not it…
“A-Aah, I see. So that’s what it was. Ahahahahahaha!!” (Souma)
The moment I noticed what it was, I fell into a fit of laughter.
Ringo tilted her head lightly at me suddenly laughing like crazy here, but I couldn’t stop laughing here.
It must be the backlash from the tension leaving me.
I rolled around laughing for a while with Ringo not saying anything.
(Aah, seriously, this is why a game world is interesting.) (Souma)
Immediately after I did the fire counter, I got a direct hit from the Butcher while I was skill stunned.
And yet, how is it that I managed to survive despite my level and stats being low?
The answer to that is here.
(Even petty stuff like this can’t be underestimated.) (Souma)
The thin white thing that was peeking out from my leather armor and saved my life…is what I left inside my armor the whole time as insurance since the time at the armor store.
A quest item that, despite being an important item, got lost a lot, so it was ranked up into a valuable item that can’t be destroyed.
The Mysterious Scrap of Paper that the Tutogramps gave me.