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“W-Why are there two Bears?!” (Souma)
I looked back and forth between the Bear that is being carried by Ringo, and the Bear that has only one ear in a flower pattern at the door leading to the energy core.
Two of the same.
Thinking about it normally, you would assume one is real and the other is fake, but…
“Could it be that you are…the Bear from the previous world?” (Souma)
When I asked this hesitantly, the one eared Bear grinned happily.
Seeing that priceless smile, I was certain this wasn’t a fake but the actual Bear.
At the time when the Evil God Fragment resurrected in the capital, my friends fell one by one, and the Bear didn’t move after getting hit by the Evil God Fragment.
That’s why I placed the injured Bear missing an ear inside the adventurer bag and used the dream punchline bug to rewind time.
With the rewind, my friends including the Bear were turned back to the state before the Evil God Fragment resurrected, but there was an exception.
The equipment me and Maki have on as players.
That includes the injured Bear that was inside the adventurer bag.
I left my adventurer bag and everything inside to my comrades when the rewind save was made, so aside from Shiranui and the Dark Schneider that were broken in the previous world, you could say almost all of my gear and items have increased.
“To think even the Bear would be duplicated…” (Souma)
I am happy that it is alive, but considering this mysterious being has doubled, I even feel vague fear.
Speaking of which, when the Bear on Ringo’s side came out from the bag, it was holding a sewing needle.
It seemed to be cooping up in the bag lately, so maybe it was mending the other one inside the bag.
…Anything goes with the Bear, huh.
But that’s as far as I could take it easy thinking.
Barnis V, who was standing in place until now, began moving.
Moreover, to the direction where the Bear at the door is!
That’s clearly an action outside the sphere of its action patterns when it was a game.
That’s why it caught me off-guard.
I shouted, but I can’t get in between them at this distance.
But contrary to my agitation.
The Bear showed a leisurely smile despite standing in the face of a colossal enemy.
It quickly took out something from the adventurer bag and smashed it on the ground.
“That’s…a Magic Gem?” (Souma)
I worried for a moment there since it would activate a counter if it were an offensive spell, but that wasn’t it.
“Magic Pocket!” (Souma)
What appeared was a pitch black space rift.
A pocket dimension that has the same effect as the adventurer bag.
I thought it was going to bring out something again, but the Bear jumped into it with the adventurer bag.
Having lost its target, Barnis V stood in place close to where the Bear was.
“…Aah, I see.” (Souma)
If it can enter the adventurer bag, it can enter there as well.
Or more like, it did bring me a message in the previous world through the Magical Pocket.
Ringo’s voice brings me back.
I ended up staring, but this is the chance of a lifetime.
There’s distance between us and Barnis V now.
If it is now, I could use Jump to move through the deck and not be caught easily.
If we are going to run away, now’s the moment.
“You really did a good job!” (Souma)
I look back at the disappearing pocket dimension once and activate the skill.
I followed Ringo who grabbed the back collar of Sazan and rushed into the battleship.
Even when I seal my attack skills against Barnis V, my movement speed really is still higher than Barnis V.
“Ringo, Sazan! …Uwa!” (Souma)
I called from behind, and Sazan, who was walking ahead, jumped at me.
“Y-You idiot! D-Don’t meguh me worry!!” (Sazan)
She said half in tears as she clung to me.
“M-My bad! My bad, okay?!” (Souma)
I am happy that she worried about me, but the opportunity the Bear gave us would be wasted if it catches up to us.
I pick up Sazan, move to the front of Ringo with movement skills, and lead the way to the escape device.
I have properly confirmed the path before encountering Barnis V, so we advance faster thanks to the mobs also stopping.
I do wish the boss and the batteries were to stop as well, but well, it is most likely kept that way to increase the difficulty of the escape.
The Nekomimi Neko developers have an awful personality.
“Ringo and Sazan, use Angel Fall now! Uhm, also the Bear…” (Souma)
Now that I think about it, I didn’t prepare the gem for the Bear.
While I was wondering what to do, the Bear moved deftly on the body of Ringo, and entered her adventurer bag.
…Man, it really is handy, but…
While having mixed feelings about that, I used the Angel Fall Gem on myself.
With this, I won’t receive fall damage from the escape device.
“Souma, that!” (Sazan)
Sazan, who used the gem while being carried by me, pointed ahead.
A familiar yet slightly different transportation device.
No doubt about it.
I sighed in relief while running.
“We have somehow managed to reach sa—” (Souma)
I must have jinxed it with that. I saw Barnis V chasing after us while ignoring the walls and ceilings.
“Moreover, it is the bird form?!” (Souma)
It is even more ruthless than in the game.
But I am also faster than when it was a game.
I casted light magic on the switch, and Ringo and I used a skill combo as the last bit of acceleration to jump into the escape device.
The light spell hitting the switch and us getting into the spherical device happened at the same time.
A soap bubble was formed around us as if enveloping us.
“See ya, handsome -forever.” (Souma)
We were carried to the surface, leaving behind Barnis V, who was standing there dumbfounded.
“Fueeeeh! Souma-san?! Ringo-san! And even Sazan-san!”
Ina raised her voice in surprise after seeing us return to the surface with the escape device.
That somewhat silly voice made me feel ‘I am back’ and was on the verge of losing strength, but I can’t just yet.
I made eye-contact with Mitsuki, who was cautious unlike Ina, telling her with my eyes to stay on guard. After confirming with a cursory glance that Ringo and Sazan are okay, I look at the transportation device that brought us all the way here.
“…They are gone, huh.” (Souma)
The transportation device’s light is gone.
There’s no reaction even when I touch it.
I finally take a breath.
When you use a transportation device -including the escape device- you must wait around 5 minutes in order to use it again. This is most likely in order to not be able to escape the moment you enter a trap floor.
It is a feature that annoyed me when I was exploring, but I am grateful for it in instances like this.
I finally lower Shiranui and faced Mitsuki, Ina, and Maki who had stayed behind.
“That’s horrible, Souma-san! To think you would leave us behind!” (Ina)
“You have been like that since way before, Souma!” (Maki)
I dealt with Ina and Maki, who immediately came at me angry, halfheartedly and looked at Mitsuki.
“Judging from your state, it seems you had a pretty rough battle up there.” (Mitsuki)
“Yeah, it was a really dangerous one. It is an enemy that would unleash an instant death level counter if you use skills.
If not for the hard work of the Bear, it would have been dangerous.” (Souma)
I said this partly as self-reflection, and the Bear poked its head out from Ringo’s bag.
Being reminded of this, I used Magic Pocket and the Bear with one ear of different color jumped out.
“E-Eh?! W-Why are there two Bear-sans?! Shadow clone jutsu?!” (Ina)
I laughed at the expected reaction of Ina and speak to everyone.
“I was actually planning on using that device to go to the Sky City together, but sorry. Change of plans.
For now, let’s move away from this place just in case while that device is not working…” (Souma)
Just when I began moving as I said this in order to take distance from the escape device, that happened.
“—Move back!” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki suddenly shouted this with her ears twitching, and pulled me back from the front of the group.
The next instant…
A bright red silhouette pierced through the ceiling…no, phased through it and landed in front of our very eyes.
“You…gotta be kidding me…” (Souma)
A despairing groan leaked out from my mouth.
The masked mage standing by my side speaks out the name of that despair.
The one standing proudly on the corridor as if telling us it won’t let us escape is without doubt the boss of the Sky City.
The quick wittedness of the Bear, our utmost attempts to draw out wisdom; it is only after wringing out our all that we managed to escape from the steel hero, Barnis V.
Looks like I was still underestimating this guy.
It couldn’t get out from the Sky City in the game and we can only escape from the Sky City through the escape devices, so I just assumed that would be the case for this guy as well.
Even though I knew plenty well this robot is not a normal enemy.
—What should I do?
It was standing at the exit as if wrapping us up in a bag.
There’s only the transportation device even if we move further back, and we can’t use it for a few minutes more.
It is a narrow corridor for the big body of Barnis V, but it doesn’t matter when it can phase through things.
It instead makes it better for this guy since it restricts our movements.
—No good. The situation is worse than before…
Even while we are thinking here, Barnis V is slowly closing the distance.
We can’t rely on the help of the Bear anymore.
Is there something I can…
“—I will do it.”
A cold hand touched mine who was frozen in this terrible situation.
The owner of that hand is Mitsuki who is smiling gently even in this situation.
“Mitsuki?! But that guy is…” (Souma)
“It is okay. I am the most appropriate when it comes to battles without skills.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki said this to comfort me, and stepped to the front of Barnis V with her sword.
It is true that Mitsuki is stronger than me when it comes to battles without skills.
The only one with a chance of winning against this guy is Mitsuki…
…No, we can’t!
It would be one thing if it had been in the deck, but this corridor is narrow.
It is disadvantageous for Mitsuki who specializes in mobility.
On top of that, it has high intelligence.
If it were to choose to not fight Mitsuki and target someone from the back instead, there would be no escape.
There will be deaths.
—In that case!
I grabbed the shoulder of Mitsuki who was stepping forward.
“…I will go.” (Souma)
I stand ahead to switch places.
“But fighting without skills—” (Mitsuki)
“No, I will use skills. I will hit it with skills faster than its counter and defeat it.” (Souma)
I cut off the words of Mitsuki.
…I do have one.
A super fast attack that’s faster than the counter of this guy, and holds the possibility of defeating this guy in one go.
It is one of the 4 main combos I used in my game days.
I haven’t used it since coming to this world because of Stamina issues, and because it is not suitable for long battles, so I haven’t had chances to use it in actual combat, and the difficulty to use it increased even further because of the 3x speed.
But if I manage to pull this combo off, I will most likely…no, definitely defeat this guy.
“I can’t let something like that lead me by the nose when I am going to be defeating the Evil God.” (Souma)
Even when talking all big here, my legs were trembling with each step.
Of course, this is a gamble with bad odds.
If I fail, I will definitely be killed.
I would just be dying pointlessly without even injuring Barnis V.
And the possibility of me failing is extremely high.
Even in the game days when my speed was normal, the timing was like that of passing through a needle hole, and yet, that difficulty has increased drastically.
In my current state where I haven’t even practiced it, I don’t know if I would manage to pull it off once every ten attempts.
—Even so, it is possible.
—There’s certainly that brief frame that can make the impossible possible.
In that case, rather than sacrificing someone, I will take grasp of that instant, and kick this guy’s ass.
It is that simple.
“Please wait!” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki shouted at me to stop from behind.
But I won’t.
I look at the majestic figure in front of my eyes and concentrate.
“Even I know! The attack the monster unleashes won’t stop even when the monster itself has died!
Even if you defeat the monster faster than that slash comes, you yourself will…!” (Mitsuki)
I could feel gulping from behind.
Of course, I know that.
Who was the one who raised that hysterical voice?
But it is already too late.
I was already within the range of that guy by the time that shout rang.
My eyes met the steel hero.
I smile boldly at those inorganic eye cameras.
—It may be absurd.
—It may be reckless.
Even so, I have absolutely no intention of losing.
And so, I shouted in my heart.
The Order that might be the last one in my life.
The name of the skill to bring the end of this steel hero!
Everything looked clearly to me within this window of ultimate concentration.
The body of Barnis V moving at high speed, my own body moving at an inhuman 3 times speed with the effect of the skill; I had a clear grasp of them.
The moment the skill activated, my body began moving on its own.
I obeyed the programmed motions, lowered my waist, pulled back my right arm to my left waist…into a sword draw stance.
A stance filled with explosive power within this silence, as if it were going to release a powerful slash at any moment.
—But I realized.
Barnis V’s giant body was already right before my eyes.
No, that’s not all.
The giant blade was raising a thunderous sound, aiming to sever my life.
—My slash won’t make it in time.
Barnis V’s sword will split me in two before I draw Shiranui.
As if to ascertain this, the thick blade approached me…
(—[Ground Compression]!) (Souma)
I jump to the back with all I can.
—And then, an explosive sound rang.
That scattered my focus and the world regained its speed.
My body jumped back without considering the consequences, but something soft caught me.
The one that caught me when I jumped back further than necessary with Ground Compression was Ringo.
I thanked her and unconsciously moved my hand on my neck.
(…That’s a relief. It is still there.) (Souma)
It was really close.
Just before I activated Ground Compression, I saw how the sword of Barnis V had entered the area where my neck was.
The moment I thought I was cut, my body was pulled back, and the explosive sound that happened made my consciousness fly for a second.
Even when my mind understands that I managed to avoid it, I couldn’t believe it until I actually touched it.
“Ah, speaking of which…” (Souma)
I look at Shiranui on my right hand.
I feel like it has gotten battered, but it seems to be okay too.
“…That’s a relief.” (Souma)
I finally let out a sigh of relief.
The moment I was about to relax…
“It is not a relief, Souma-san!” (Ina)
Ina came at me with a shrill voice in confusion.
And then, when she pointed back…
“—Just what in the world is this?!!” (Ina)
She pointed at…what was once the corridor of the Sky City but is now an open-air space.
The place where Barnis V was standing before had been destroyed into a mess. Both sides of the walls and even the ceiling was blown up, and they are not just a pile of rubble.
Barnis V itself already didn’t maintain its former shape. The torn up parts that were disappearing into light particles are now the only proof of the existence of that robot.
“J-Just when I thought you headed towards that weird robot, an explosion suddenly rang and…” (Ina)
“It wasn’t an explosion.”
The one who poured cold water on the heated Ina was Mitsuki.
But her voice was not clear as usual, it was trembling slightly.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t, but the traces of this destruction point out that this is without doubt the result of a sword.
But…But I not only didn’t see a slash…I didn’t even see the moment he unsheathed his sword!
Just what happened…no, just what did you do at that instant?!” (Mitsuki)
It is exactly because it is about fighting that Mitsuki threw away her usual calm mask and was waving her cat ears around in agitation.
I gently declare to her who was past the point of confusion and already looked like she was on the verge of tears.
“The ultimate technique of the Nekomimi Neko Style: [True Instant Samidare Slash].” (Souma)
Mitsuki tilted her cat ears to the side at this, but it seems like she still doesn’t understand, she shook her head.
“I-Instant Samidare Slash… If I remember correctly, it is the technique you used in my dojo, right?
But it took more time then, and no matter if it is now 3 times the speed, it isn’t to the point where those slashes couldn’t be followed with the eye…” (Mitsuki)
“No, it is natural that you couldn’t follow it with your eyes. Because this technique…” (Souma)
Different from the Instant Samidare Slash where you just use Midare Sakura, you Short Cancel Midare Sakura…making the True Instant Samidare Slash into the fastest activation, largest AoE, and highest number of hits within all the techniques of Nekomimi Neko. The ultimate combo technique…
“—It is the strongest technique that showers the enemy with hundreds of slashes that you haven’t even unleashed after all!” (Souma)
The invisible slashes!!
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