The roar of the giant echoed in the Deus Plains.
In the shadow of the rock in the distance, a white giant body shook, and a roar that I was already used to hearing in these few days rang in my ears.
The air trembled at the powerful roar, and pricked my skin from the shockwave.
But I didn’t falter against this and began acting at the exact moment it rang.
There’s a limit to how long I can move at full speed.
That’s why I plan on crushing it before I hit that time limit.
The 3x speed skill that was activated with Order made the scenery around me blur out.
If it had been me 1 week ago, this speed would have definitely flustered me.
But there’s none of that here.
([Side Slash]!) (Souma)
I simply synchronize my thoughts with my accelerating body.
I draw the orders in my mind with 3 times the speed as if trying to match my accelerating body.
My body suddenly stopped from the overwritten order, and just when it was going to switch into a sweeping motion…
I threw in a new Order.
The one called the quickest Cancel; the Short Cancel of the basic attack skill.
To the point that this technique done in 3x speed makes its name Godstep Cancel not an exaggeration.
But I did it.
The giant body of the King Butcher enters my line of sight, and I switch into attack mode in one go.
What I will be using is of course…
([Oboro Zangetsu]!) (Souma)
The first step into my ultimate combo.
The difficulty of a Long Cancel from a normal attack skill is lower than that of a Short Cancel.
But I won’t lower my guard.
([High Step]!) (Souma)
Relaxing even just a little bit in this 3x speed world can be synonymous to failure.
It is not a speed that I can just take my sweet time in measuring the timing of.
I concentrate on recreating the rhythm I mastered as if doing the keystrokes to a set score.
By the time I noticed, the giant body of the Butcher was already right before me.
A radius of 3 meters.
I keep in mind that I have entered that circle.
But that reality was kicked out from my mind the next instant.
Who cares about that if I finish this in one hit?
I am sure I will be able to do this with my current strength…!
([Side Slash]!) (Souma)
The slash unleashed at 3x the speed as if crossing the body of the Butcher, and as if matching their breaths, a vertical slash from Oboro Zangetsu sliced onto the body of the Butcher at the same time.
“[Oboro Cross]!!” (Souma)
A cross slash drawn in the air.
The King Butcher stood there for a while as if it didn’t even know what had happened to himself.
“Thanks for your help until now.” (Souma)
It disappeared into small light particles with its time lagged death.
The attack of the enemy didn’t even scratch me, and I defeated the Butcher with just one attack.
A complete victory that only took a few seconds.
After confirming that the body of the Butcher had perished completely…
I let out a short sigh.
My concentration that was hardened sharply had dispersed, and I finally returned to my usual self.
(For now, you could say I am done.) (Souma)
I confirm the drop items of the Butcher that are on the ground while tightening my fist.
I am still not in the realm where I can use Godstep Cancel while thinking of other things, or being able to use Godstep Cancel to move normally in the city.
Rather, I have to concentrate and contrate, thinking only of chaining skills, barely managing to somehow make it take form.
It should be impossible in gaming system terms, but when I concentrate in the state of agility x3, I somewhat feel like I have extended time.
I don’t know if that’s the effect of the skill or if it is just an optical illusion, but that’s one of the reasons why my 3x speed combo succeeded.
However, concentrating deeply is equally exhausting.
Even if there’s no other limitation, it would be better to keep in mind that I can only use Skill Cancel at full power for 30 seconds.
With the speed increasing, the stamina consumption is also intense. The 3x speed skill canceling from Incarnation of Fury really should be used as a hidden trump card.
If I put it like this, it sounds as if I would be able to easily use the skills masterfully if I concentrate, but the reality is that I had to pass plain but painful days in order to utilize the 3x speed skills.
I was teaching myself with trial and error while teaching Ringo.
All the Cancel timings are different from the time when they are at normal speed. Also, Hide has become really bad to use thanks to the invincibility frame being 1/3rd of its duration, and the Air Hammer spell has also decreased in speed as a whole because it doesn’t get the benefits of agility, so the uses of some techniques have changed completely.
I confirmed them one by one, remembered the Cancel Points from before, and searched for the Cancel timings in my 3x state.
On top of that, even if I know when to Cancel, it was difficult to chain the skills as I wanted in a limited time frame of 1/3rd the length.
Even with that, I accustomed myself little by little with the Long Cancel of Midare Sakura, and finally adapted to the point of being able to use Godstep Cancel.
Despite all that, I probably can only cancel 20% of the skills I would be able to in my prime.
However, the skill combos used in high frequency like: the movement skill combo of Step, High Step, to Ground Compression; the Oboro Cross where you use Oboro Zangetsu and close in for a Side Slash; and the Godstep Cancel where you chain Step and Short Cancel a basic attack skill; I can somehow manage to use them, so I should be satisfied with that.
(The preparations are done with this! My preparations to defeat the Demon Lord!) (Souma)
That was one of the minimum requirements I had in my preparations for the Demon Lord battle.
Overwhelming attack power and speed.
Those two are the minimum requirements in order to defeat the Demon Lord without any sacrifices.
—Speed that cannot be registered, slipping past all attacks, closing in on the Demon Lord, and ending it with firepower that breaks all common sense.
This way too reckless tactic is my basic strategy against the Demon Lord.
Putting it in an extreme way, the other plans are all just minor groundwork in order to increase the chances of this plan succeeding.
What I have been doing in these 9 days hasn’t only been to master the 3x speed Skill Cancel.
I have been camping this plain practically 24/7 for the sake of leveling up and Power Seeds, killing Butchers the whole time.
In order to quicken the respawn time of the Butcher as much as possible, I left the chickens I borrowed from the Hisame Dojo in the plains, and increased the Monster Invasion Progress of this area.
The results of all this were shown in the battle of just now.
Now that I can use movement skill combos within 3x the speed, there’s no issues with my mobility.
Also, thanks to the increase in my strength through levels and the seeds, I managed to prove that my attack power can get through even the physical resistance of the Butcher.
(With this…with this much power, I will defeat the Demon Lord with my own hands…!!) (Souma)
I tightened my fist even stronger…to the point that blood came out.
But that fire that could be considered as running wild…
Was blown away in an instant by Ringo who approached me while calling my name.
*Hyun Hyun Suuh~!*
Using the basic movement skill combo of Step, High Step, and Air Hammer.
This sight of Ringo is the one other fruit of our effort in these 9 days.
Last night, when I returned to the mansion with Ringo, I had Ringo customize her magic, and explained to her how to do Time Activation magic.
Ringo managed to learn how to cancel Step in the training yesterday, but it seems like obtaining Godstep Cancel from there was way too difficult.
I thought it would be better to have her utilize the most out of the Step-High Step combo that she can use freely to a certain degree.
Also, rather than using skill cancel that can prove fatal if you mess it up once, it would be easier to just utilize KB Cancel.
That’s why I only taught Ringo how to use the movement method of Step, High Step, and Air Hammer, and had her concentrate on training that.
Adding Ground Compression to this would increase the movement distance and speed by a lot, but not only has Ringo not learned that skill yet, the stamina cost is intense, and it is hard to utilize, so it would be better to not use it at first.
Also, Ringo’s affinity with this movement method was far better than I imagined.
With just a few hours of training from early morning, Ringo managed to master this movement method almost perfectly.
Her Air Hammer activation is still a bit iffy, but it is on a decent enough level.
The basic movement speed of Ringo is fast, so her speed when using Step is quite the sight.
Despite not being able to use Ground Compression, her movement is fast. She easily showed speed that I wouldn’t be able to match with Godstep Cancel in normal speed.
I don’t really want her to do close combat much, but it seems like Ringo is happy that she obtained a technique that allows her to run quickly into the battlefield.
Or more like, there was actual change in her mental state.
The first few times when she began the training…
“…Souma…don’t look at me too much.” (Ringo)
She didn’t seem too into it, but after a few rounds of training, she managed to do the Air Hammer combo well, and visibly began to relax more.
According to the person herself…
“…Yeah, it has gotten a bit fun… Only a little bit.” (Ringo)
Looks like she isn’t aware of it.
(Ah, this girl…she has gotten addicted to it.) (Souma)
This is clearly a sign of her getting into it.
Being caught into the charm of cancel movement, I was internally grinning at a new comrade of mine with similar tastes, but I didn’t break my serious face and said:
“Don’t rely too much on it.” (Souma)
“…Yeah, thanks.” (Ringo)
I instead gave her a light warning and decided to watch over Ringo.
At times like this, it is better to not get involved unless necessary.
Once you taste the refreshing feeling of movement cancel, you can’t escape from it anymore.
Once she learns this movement method, I am sure she will ask me to teach her a new movement skill.
You could say I have gotten used to the state of Ringo.
At first, when I saw Ringo sliding to the side as if she had been suddenly blown by a gust of wind, I was a bit…no, quite taken aback, but…
(She really seems to be having fun…) (Souma)
After energetically doing the Steps, she was blown away peculiarly, which you could say is humorous and cute in a way.
The first time I saw the movement cancel of Ringo, I thought ‘maybe the movement cancel is creepy’ and got a bit depressed from it, but it seems like it has the power to move the hearts of people regardless of its form.
Seeing her like this, my motivation got fanned as if saying ‘I won’t be losing either’.
By the way, after that, I showed her my movement cancel at 3x speed to compete with her, and the comment of Ringo at that time was: “…C-Cockroach!”
I don’t really get what she meant, but judging from her expression, she must have been really surprised.
I would like Ringo to work extra hard with this as her objective.
While I was thinking that, Ringo ran to my place.
Not only that. Because she isn’t that good at calculating the distance yet, she couldn’t stop properly, and lunged onto me with the shockwave of the Air Hammer.
I catch that small body of hers.
However, Ringo, who had stopped onto my chest, didn’t seem to have registered that reality into her mind at all, and was looking at me with teary eyes.
“…Souma…are you injured?” (Ringo)
“I am okay. You saw me winning in one blow without getting hit, right?” (Souma)
Even when I answered with a smile, Ringo was touching my body as if unconvinced.
This is also a small change born in Ringo.
Since the time I was on the verge of being killed by the Butcher, Ringo became even more of a worrywart.
I feel like she is going a bit too far here, or like, it seems like nothing else enters her vision once she feels danger approaching me, so it is instead a bit dangerous.
“…I was watching, but…ah!” (Ringo)
This time around as well, she seems to have come back to her senses and suddenly moved away from me and covered her face.
She probably remembered that she was fighting me until yesterday.
That side of hers is also endearing, but…
“More importantly, let’s return for today. It is probably about time everyone comes back.” (Souma)
Unfortunately, there’s not much time to take it easy.
“…Hn, I know.” (Ringo)
Hearing this, Ringo’s slightly red face showed a light of seriousness.
—10th day since the curse of the Demon Lord was activated.
I adjusted the schedule so that everyone would be finished by noon.
“It is finally the day, Ringo… I won’t do something reckless like rushing ahead on my own. That’s why, can you please lend me your strength until we defeat the Demon Lord?” (Souma)
However, Ringo shook her head to the sides.
Ringo added while I was surprised.
“Not only until we defeat the Demon Lord… I will always…be by your side, Souma.” (Ringo)
I was at a loss for words for a moment there at the strong words of Ringo, and then…
I answered with strong words of my own in order to transmit my motivation as much as possible.
I felt as if infinite energy was gushing out from deep in my chest, and felt as if I could do anything.
“Alright, let’s return for now! With 3x speed Godstep Cancel!” (Souma)
“Y-You must not! You are going to be apprehended!” (Ringo)
Strong resolve in our chest, yet lively as we usually are.
Having finished our training, we returned to our home.