I closely investigate the mana leaking from Rakura with detection magic. She has lost consciousness completely.
If it were a normal Yugura Church cleric, that would have blown up both the barrier and the body though.
It is surprising that she is still alive despite having been hit directly. So there’s differences even in a single barrier, huh.
“Did you finish her?” (Gestaf)
“No, the barrier was several times stronger than normal, so she has only lost consciousness.” (Haaku)
I spin my tonfas and check the state of my wrists. They sting, but can still go on for further battles.
Now then, considering the future, I should end her here at once, but…
“Bro, let’s help the people on the ground stop their bleeding before finishing her.” (Haaku)
It is not like all of them have lost consciousness. They have stopped their bleeding with mana strengthening, but they haven’t been able to get proper treatment.
We can only abandon them in our current situation, but it is clear that they will die from blood loss once they run out of strength.
After giving rough treatment to the wounds of our comrades, we drag them to the corner. We also cooled down the severed legs so they don’t rot.
I have only learned the bare minimum common spells, so the legs might turn useless if left be for too long, but…let’s give up on them being unlucky once that happens.
“You can’t resist, so let the Kuama soldiers capture you obediently and get treated by them.” (Haaku)
“Sorry…Haakudoku. We were only a hindrance.”
“Don’t worry. We just had a bad opponent. Sleep for a bit.” (Haaku)
I said this and my comrades closed their eyes, returning to their job of enduring the pain.
Considering the personality of the Kuama soldiers that intruded, they won’t do something like abandoning people that are on the verge of dying.
I don’t know when they will come help them, but well, they will eventually do so.
“Haakudoku, can you keep on?” (Gestaf)
“Bro, sorry. Can you go ahead?” (Haaku)
“Yes. At this rate, your legs will stay planted. I will stay behind as your wall.” (Haaku)
“It is an enemy you can defeat, right?” (Gestaf)
“Questionable. But if I am on the verge of dying, I would like to run away, so please go ahead of me, Bro.” (Haaku)
“Treating me like a hindrance, huh. You’ve gotten pretty high-and-mighty there.” (Gestaf)
“T-T-T-That’s not true!” (Haaku)
“It is a joke. Don’t die, Haakudoku. Don’t let an elderly live the remainder of his life without a hand.” (Gestaf)
“Yeah, I will return in the blink of an eye and work the share of two hands!” (Haaku)
“Are you trying to turn me into a monster?” (Gestaf)
Bro Gestaf laughed boldly and ran ahead.
That’s how it should be. With this, Bro will at least not have to worry about the enemy coming next blocking his path.
“It is fine now. Come out, Ekdoik!” (Haaku)
When I raised my voice, a single man jumped down from the area Rakura had destroyed.
It goes without saying that it is Ekdoik. This is the first time I detected him from the very front like this.
There’s not a shred of leniency in his expression.
“…So you really did notice.” (Ekdoik)
“Ha, it was pretty obvious you were peeking at the battle just now in the middle of it.” (Haaku)
Ekdoik appeared not long after my battle with Rakura began. I was wondering what to do when the detection magic reacted to him, but he didn’t look like he was going to help her out.
But the moment Rakura was defeated, he began to do preparations to attack me, Bro, and my comrades at the same time.
I could tell he was going to pull the trigger the moment I tried to finish Rakura, so I instead used that opportunity.
I helped out my comrades while always keeping my eyes on Bro. I managed to safely let Bro go ahead.
Ekdoik continued to just watch as I thought.
“I thought you weren’t finishing Rakura because you were a softy. So it was because you were careful of me.” (Ekdoik)
“She is not dead, but I could tell she won’t be waking up for a while after all. I should be more wary about the one that can move rather than the one that can’t. And so, you not jumping in in the middle was because you underestimated me? Or was it the order of that man?” (Haaku)
“…Comrade told me that ‘In the case Haakudoku and Rakura battle, attack the nearby Gestaf to a degree where he doesn’t die’.” (Ekdoik)
Seriously? That would have been bad… If Bro were to be gravely injured, I don’t think we would be able to escape from here.
Also, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to protect Bro while concentrating on Rakura…
That man really is merciless! No, more importantly…
“Then, this was your own decision?” (Haaku)
“That’s right. I could tell from the situation that Rakura brought this to a one-on-one with you. I felt apprehensive about getting in the way of it. Things ending up like this is my own mistake.” (Ekdoik)
“…You are like a general. But thanks.” (Haaku)
“I shall offset that thanks to the fact that you didn’t try to finish Rakura.” (Ekdoik)
“So, are we going to fight here?” (Haaku)
There’s the immobile Rakura and my comrades nearby.
It is not like I am well-versed in the battle style of Ekdoik, but those chains should be able to attack in wide areas.
It wouldn’t be good to fight in a situation where we both have hostages.
“Right. I would like to move elsewhere if possible.” (Ekdoik)
“Then, follow me deeper in.” (Haaku)
“Got it.” (Ekdoik)
We begin moving a little deeper in. Ekdoik controlled part of his chains in that time and carried Rakura above the hole she opened.
He must have been wary about my comrades doing something to her.
Well, it wouldn’t be strange for them to try to pull something on the woman that sliced off their legs after all.
I would have wanted to finish her. I don’t feel like I will be able to defeat her with the same method.
We stopped walking after moving a satisfactory degree and I face Ekdoik.
“Is this place good enough?” (Haaku)
“Don’t ask me.” (Ekdoik)
“I don’t know your attack range. I would like to go deeper if it can reach my comrades.” (Haaku)
“No need to worry about that. I wouldn’t have dragged them in it even if we had fought at that place.” (Ekdoik)
“Moving was a waste of time!” (Haaku)
“Not really. If there’s points of worry in our vision, we both wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the powerful opponent before us, right?” (Ekdoik)
Powerful opponent, huh. Their initial evaluation of me is awfully high, including Rakura.
I could have taken so much advantage if they were to look down on me like Girista…
I have pretty much finished measuring the specs of Ekdoik. He really has stopped being human.
The mana I can feel is pretty similar to the one I felt in the Kuama Nether. By the way, it is super dense.
He is closer to a monster than a human. No, even more than that.
If we are just talking about proficiency in magic, he would be below Rakura. But all the specs of Rakura aside from that one were pretty low.
This is just a possibility, but she most likely couldn’t use several spells at once. There were a lot of moves I can’t make sense of unless that’s the case.
Compared to that, all skills of Ekdoik are dense and have good balance. Honestly speaking, there’s way too few points I can win against him on. This is bad.
But as long as I am calling myself the right hand of Bro, I have to do this.
“Then, let’s fight…okay?!” (Haaku)
After taking a few steps, I jumped from the ground, the wall, and the ceiling, closing the distance in one go.
He should be able to at least set chains inexhaustibly. In that case, I have to defeat him before that or I will have a hard time.
Ekdoik didn’t move one step and still had his arms hanging down. The chains wrapped around his arm are flowing down to the ground.
I can tell he is pouring mana into the chains. If I approach a certain distance, those chains will be attacking me in one go, right? That’s way too obvious!
I add a feint at the last step only to shift my position. Once I avoid the chains, I will attack just like that!
“Here I go—?!” (Haakudoku)
Instinct-sama warned me to stop. I planned on avoiding it, but is that not good?! Not good, huh!
I turn on the breaks at the last step and make a sudden stop. I jumped back at full force at the same time as I did that.
The magic imbued in the chains of Ekdoik activated right after. Their mass increased in an instant and filled up the tunnel.
That was close! That’s way over the level of avoiding! That guy did an attack that didn’t even leave an opening in the tunnel!
I kick away the approaching chains and land even further back. It is weird coming from me who suddenly tried to go for the finisher, but aren’t you a bit too hurried here?!
He must have sensed that the attack missed, the chains were visibly getting smaller.
I saw Ekdoik from the other side of the mountain of chains, but his expression hasn’t changed much.
“I see, so the timing for the warning of your instincts is around this much, huh. It should be safe to assume cheap tricks won’t work.” (Ekdoik)
“…You bastard…don’t try appraising Instinct-sama!” (Haaku)
That attack just now wasn’t to finish me. That Ekdoik…was trying to measure the capabilities of Instinct-sama.
He really is hard to deal with! Oi!
This is honestly a worse situation than before. I could feel the mana flow of Rakura’s attacks, so I somehow managed to avoid it.
The slashes that came at me at the same time were scary fast, but it was fortunate that they were simple.
But being shown that attack just now makes me not want to get close to him!
I look at the walls of the passage that were filled with chains just now. All sides were cracked, and I doubt they will work properly as footing.
It means I will have to enter that space at least once in order to get a blow in against Ekdoik. That’s impossible! I will definitely trip!
Now then, what should I do?! Instinct-sama doesn’t tell me anything at times like this!
…But Instinct-sama isn’t telling me to run away, so he is someone I can win against.
Aah, geez. Think, think, think!
The defensive power of Ekdoik should be lower than the barriers of Rakura. Then, the chances of me being able to win if my hidden trump card hits are high.
But as long as those chains are present, I can see myself getting counterattacked if I just rush in carelessly.
No, wait. If reaching that place is impossible, then… Alright!
“Oi, Ekdoik! Allow me to test whether you have been able to properly appraise Instinct-sama! I am going to turn it up a notch!” (Haaku)
“…You must be aiming for something else.” (Ekdoik)
Crap, he noticed. I suck way too much at bluffing!
No, that doesn’t matter. He won’t lower his guard. There’s no point in bluffing! That’s why there’s no issue!
I hop a few times in place and take one deep step in one go.
Let’s push myself a bit here and go a bit hard on the mana strengthening. It will burden my body, but it can’t be helped!
Ekdoik is doing the same motions. That technique serves as an offensive and defensive move in this narrow tunnel after all!
One step, two steps, three steps…it is about time for Instinct-sama to warn me… Here!
Instinct-sama told me to stop at a location a bit further away from before.
The magic imbued in the chains of Ekdoik activated at the same time as this happened. They are swelling in the same way as before, but the speed at which they are coming at me is pretty fast this time around. He has tinkered it. Nice!
Instinct-sama doesn’t recommend that I stay in this place. I know that. And so, I brace myself and…jump right above!
Ekdoik was steadily being hidden by the swelling chains, but I saw a peek of him being surprised by my jump.
By the way, Instinct-sama is warning me even stronger than before. Well, if I were to jump in place, I wouldn’t be able to evade after all!
“But that’s fine!” (Haaku)
I spin my tonfas and stick to the ceiling. Instinct-sama noticed what I was trying to do here and stopped ringing. Thanks for the approval!
I ignored the approaching chains and smashed my hidden trump card onto the ceiling.
He was rushing in just like before, but it is faster. In that case, I will restrict the direction of the swelling and smash the chains faster than before.
Thinking this, I tried to counterattack, but he stopped quite a long way before that. It seems like his instincts can react to my adjustments.
But I was unable to hide my surprise at the next action he took.
He didn’t avoid, but instead jumped in place towards the ceiling.
He barely managed to avoid the attack of before by jumping back after suddenly stopping.
He should avoid the attack in the same way this time around or the chains will land. What is he aiming for?
An explosive sound rang just before the chains landed. And then, I felt the chains crashing. But this is…
I hurriedly undid the swelling of the chains and returned them to their original state. When I did, the answer came to me soon after.
“So that’s what it was…” (Ekdoik)
The aim of Haakudoku was the ceiling. He must have smashed the ceiling with the powerful blow that he used to defeat Rakura.
Rakura had moved the earth on the tunnel to a certain degree with earth magic when she went down this place.
But Haakudoku simply broke it open. The earth above the ceiling obviously began to fall with the shockwave of that attack.
The result is that the wall of earth blocked the attack of the chains.
Not only that. A wall being created between me and him means that…there’s no need to fight him anymore.
I deploy my chains and scrape away the wall of earth in front of me. I also use earth magic at the same time and move the piled up earth to the back.
I compress the earth on the ceiling once again and harden it. I harden a part of the chains and use them as support.
There’s no worries of it crumbling again with this. I have to get rid of this wall quick.
Considering the speed of Gestaf, he is soon going to escape to a safe distance.
If he were to regroup with Haakudoku on top of that, the plan this time around will mostly be wasted.
“Damn it…!” (Ekdoik)
A complaint leaked out from my mouth. This came about from my own pathetic shallowness.
Comrade told me that Haakudoku should be able to defeat Rakura with strength to spare. That we should fight him two on one without caring about appearances.
The moment I caught up, Rakura was already fighting Haakudoku. I was going to assist immediately, but I ended up stopping myself.
Is that Rakura really going to lose? -that’s what I ended up thinking.
From what I could tell, Rakura’s battle power far surpassed that of Haakudoku. Even if he had danger detection that surpassed that of a human, his physical strength isn’t that high.
But the reality was that Rakura was defeated. She luckily didn’t die, but she might have lost her life because of the decision I took.
I was shaken by that reality and concentrated too much on protecting Rakura. Haakudoku read that and I ended up letting Gestaf run away.
And now, even Haakudoku…
I destroyed the wall of earth and the tunnel deeper in came into sight.
But Haakudoku is obviously not there anymore.
“I have to hurry and chase after him. I should be able to catch up to him with my spee—?!” (Ekdoik)
The moment I tried to take a step, a part of the earth I brought down exploded.
Inside of it was Haakudoku covered in mud. He is…smiling.
Are you telling me he purposely got swallowed by the falling earth?!
And then, once I dug it out, he would aim for when I got too close…!
He has taken the last step needed -in other words, I am within his range.
Defend—no, he has the attack that blew away the barrier of Rakura.
I would get pierced even if I were to defend with all the chains I have deployed… Then…!
“Got ya, Ekdoik!” (Haaku)
“…As if I will let you!” (Ekdoik)
I activate a single spell through the chains. I didn’t cast multiple spells or made a complicated construction; it was a simple order.
I ordered the chains to ‘self-destruct’. All the chains I had deployed exploded right then and there.
I haven’t prepared any means to completely block the impact of this. I tried to use the bare minimum physical strengthening, but the countless scorching fragments were piercing my body mercilessly.
Also, it was an explosion in a cramped space. That shockwave assailed both of us mercilessly.
My body was blown away, and in the time I was rolling on the ground, I grit my teeth and endure the pain.
Haakudoku defended with both of his arms the moment the chains exploded. In other words, there’s the chance his wounds are shallower than mine.
Meaning that I have to get up quickly…or he will get to move first.
I ignore the pain going through my whole body and try to get up forcefully in a situation where I don’t even know where the ground even is.
But there was no ground in the direction where I guessed, and my hand waved about in empty space. I fumbled just like that until I found the ground and forcefully get up.
I stand ground to straighten my unsteady body and support myself by smacking the wall.
I hurriedly recovered from my hazy vision. Juice up my brain, grasp the situation!
What was reflected in my vision was Haakudoku who was standing up as mangled as me.
But different from me who is supporting myself on the wall, he has already readied his weapon and walking here.
He is saying something, but I can’t hear it. Looks like my eardrums were damaged from the pointblank explosion.
I am using healing magic on my body and hearing, but the recovery is slow. At this rate, he will get close to me without me even being able to defend, and I will be done for.
The method to stop him… I have one.
I still have my chains.
I activate the Eyes of Blindness. I deploy perfect invisible chains between him and me.
I sent them not as a defense but an attack. When I did, he avoided it while looking surprised.
He managed to avoid the barrier of Rakura when she used the True Eyes of Blindness, so he obviously could detect this one too.
“You can use the same technique as Rakura. No, it is the opposite, huh. That power… The strange mana flowing in you must be the cause.” (Haaku)
My sense of hearing must have recovered, I heard his voice. My body will take a bit more time.
In that case, I shall imitate the specialty of Comrade.
“So you really managed to avoid it… That’s some insane detection skills.” (Ekdoik)
“You are the one that’s insane! You crushed my surekill plan by self-destructing. Your decision to self-destruct was way too fast! At least hesitate about avoiding it for a bit. Did you not learn that life has to be treasured?!” (Haaku)
“Unfortunately, I was raised by a devil.” (Ekdoik)
“…Seriously? I was an orphan, but I pity you.” (Haaku)
“But from what I see of the damage that that explosion did, it looks like your instincts are not all-powerful…” (Ekdoik)
“Don’t be stupid. Instinct-sama is all-powerful. But I am the one who has to move after hearing that warning. I would have been able to react better to the self-destruct if I had read it.” (Haaku)
So that’s how it was. His danger detection ability is beyond imagination.
But moving after detecting it depends on the will of Haakudoku. I should be taking advantage of that.
My body…still hurts, but it has recovered to a degree where it can move satisfactorily. I should still be able to fight.
“If you don’t have chains, what comes from here on will be a fight within my favored distance. Can’t do anything about your invisible attack, but that technique puts a lot of burden on your eyes, right?” (Haaku)
“…You have analyzed it well.” (Ekdoik)
He has also read the weak point of the True Eyes of Blindness. Even if it is invisible, as long as it can be detected, it lacks the decisive power. If I overuse it, I will just wear out my vision and that will be the end.
I don’t really want to, but I only have one method left. I fix my breathing and slowly take a battle stance.
I mana strengthen myself with both arms and legs as the main targets, and face Haakudoku.
“Oi oi, are you going to switch to a hand-to-hand battle at this point? It is because you don’t like such battles that you use chains, right?” (Haaku)
“Yeah, I would rather not be fighting within the range of my enemy at all times. But the only thing I can use right now are my limbs.” (Ekdoik)
“…Well, I don’t hate people that don’t give up though!” (Haaku)
Haakudoku jumps in. He must have charged in after noticing that I have no intention of using the True Eyes of Blindness.
The reality is that I wouldn’t make it in time even if I were to use it now. I can only do close range combat.
The tonfas rush towards me. Even if it is not the hidden trump card of this guy, the power behind it is still a matter to worry about.
I resolve myself and sharpen my concentration.
The trajectory reflected in my eyes, the pressure I can feel with my skin, the danger I can feel with my instincts; by unifying them, I decide by reflex on the action that I should take, and execute it.
I take a step forward, matching the blow that was directed at the left side of my head, and drill my left fist into the inner side of my opponent’s elbow.
I could feel the sensation of the bones of my opponent creaking through my left arm. The impact of this punch was bigger than normal because of the momentum of both sides.
The pain stopped the attack of Haakudoku, and he swayed back just like that.
But he immediately stood his ground, lowered his waist deeply, and counterattacked with his left arm.
But his attack stops.
The left punch I nailed on him had mana imbued which activated lightning magic with a delay.
The power is subdued and it is only to the degree where the body stiffens for an instant.
But that’s enough. I grab the stopped left arm of Haakudoku with my right hand, and pull it down.
I then fix in place the head of Haakudoku that was going down with it, and smash it with my knee at full power.
Haakudoku was sent flying…but I didn’t chase after him. I won’t perform any rash actions as long as his eyes are burning.
Haakudoku stomped the ground, but didn’t fall. His fighting spirit is not showing signs of lowering.
“You…don’t suck at martial arts?!” (Haaku)
“I did admit not liking it, but I don’t remember saying I sucked at it.” (Ekdoik)
“You were clearly way too experienced in it with the flow just now! There’s no way you can just pull off adding magic into hand-to-hand combat with your first try!” (Haaku)
“Obviously. I wasn’t given a single day to rest by the Great Devil Beglagud, and was raised to be a murder machine. Do you think a devil would teach me a fighting style that uses weapons?” (Ekdoik)
Devils fight with body and magic that surpass humans.
I was given weapons of all sorts because I am a human, and I was ordered to learn how to use them all, but most of the fighting styles I was taught by Beglagud were hand-to-hand combat.
“So it wasn’t the chains… It doesn’t look like a weapon a human uses.” (Haaku)
“Chains are my preference. Problem?” (Ekdoik)
“Not bad. On the contrary, it is cool.” (Haaku)
“I see. I think your tonfas are also nice. I will try learning them next time.” (Ekdoik)
“Gee, thanks!” (Haaku)
The martial art skills of Haakudoku are high, but it is not to the degree where they are outstanding.
In terms of technique alone, the quality is lower than the disciple of Gradona, Pashuro.
In other words, I would be at an advantage as someone who has defeated Pashuro barehanded at this distance.
He has high danger detection skills. It is most likely something that increases in precision the more danger it poses to his life.
That’s why I will use small techniques and just deal damage steadily without using big moves.
I fend off the attacks of Haakudoku with the least amount of movement, and accumulate the damage with the returning blows.
“Haah… Haah… Damn it! It is close combat, so we should be taking turns hitting each other!” (Haaku)
“My mind is worn out more than usual, so we are even.” (Ekdoik)
“‘Even my butt!” (Haaku)
It seems like this method is indeed effective.
I am wearing out the stamina of Haakudoku with the accumulating counters and misses of his attacks.
I analyze the heaving Haakudoku and learn something.
Haakudoku has no talent. His standard in close combat is high, but I don’t feel innate talent from any of it.
Without his danger detection, he would just be on the level of a decently skilled adventurer.
Most of the time in his life was taken away to train in how to best use the way too precise danger detection of his.
Even if so, I won’t do something like look down on him.
Haakudoku defeated Rakura who I was completely defeated by.
Despite being mediocre, he managed to surpass innate talent with unrelenting hard work.
That’s not solely thanks to his danger detection ability. He skillfully made use of the mentality of Rakura and created an opening.
It is because he was ordinary that he learned the ways to win against the strong.
That way of being is similar to Comrade. Haakudoku is a dangerous individual that can be comparable to Comrade.
Even without strength, he can think up of ways to defeat the ones that do. It is something that he has learned not through talent but experience.
Haakudoku is trying to shake my actions with his irregular moves.
I must not match this. I must not be taken advantage of. I will simply deal with it calmly.
I must not let him do any weird moves. I can’t let him pull anything on me. I must not lose these favorable conditions.
Whenever I feel anything strange being cooked up, I throw in a light blow to keep him in check and immediately take distance. I definitely won’t let him pull a big move on me.
He is definitely weakened. The bleeding from the explosion just now has not stopped. He most likely doesn’t have the skills to use healing magic in the middle of combat.
On the other hand, most of the damage in my whole body has recovered. I am in a state that’s almost no different from before the battle.
What must be admired here is the strength of will of this guy. His fighting spirit has not waned one bit. No, on the contrary, it has increased.
“You must have a reason that pushes you to go this far.” (Ekdoik)
“…Hah? What…did you say?” (Haaku)
“You being able to fight this much is not just because of your own stamina. It is because there’s something rousing you to not lose. I am honestly on the verge of being pushed back by that spirit of yours.” (Ekdoik)
“I see… If you think so…let me get a hit in at least!” (Haaku)
“I refuse.” (Ekdoik)
I smash a light blow to his throat to match the large swing of him.
It is a hit that doesn’t matter whether he avoids or defends; due to this, the strength of it is low.
However, this is enough to shake the breathing of Haakudoku whose mana strengthening is weakening.
I avoid the retaliation by moving back and taking distance.
This is how it should be. If I can maintain this, I can win.
No, don’t think about winning. I just have to wait until Ilias and the others arrive.
If he goes against Ilias and Wolfe, the danger detection of Haakudoku will be useless with that physical strength of his.
Maintain the status quo -just concentrate on that.
I resolved myself to do this and fix my posture. Haakudoku stopped moving when I did this.
He slowly exhaled and put his breathing in order.
He noticed there’s no movement from me and is aiming to recover?
“…You…have no intention of winning, do you?” (Haaku)
“…I do plan on winning in the end.” (Ekdoik)
“I see. So you are waiting for the help of those monster-like people. You are awfully careful against someone like me.” (Haaku)
“Yeah, I have acknowledged you as that dangerous of an individual.” (Ekdoik)
“Even though Rakura was aiming to win to the very end.” (Haaku)
“…What of it?” (Ekdoik)
“You are…siblings, right?” (Haaku)
A bad feeling prickled me. But I can’t just get hasty here and jump in.
“I am impressed that you could tell.” (Ekdoik)
“The wavelengths of your mana were similar after all. It is a trait often found in people that are blood related. While on the topic, you feel a sense of inferiority towards Rakura, don’t you?” (Haaku)
“No need to answer me. You didn’t try to help out when Rakura was fighting me. If you were confident you are stronger than Rakura and evaluated me this highly, you would have definitely helped out after all. But you kept watching. You believed that Rakura would be able to win; you believed that your little sister who is stronger than you can win.” (Haaku)
I can’t deny those words. Those are without doubt my real feelings.
That’s why I am being careful when fighting Haakudoku who defeated Rakura.
“This is something I can say after fighting you both, but you are honestly stronger. However, I can understand why you feel inferior to Rakura. I felt like telling you the reason why.” (Haaku)
“…Let’s hear it.” (Ekdoik)
“Just before Rakura lost consciousness, she was aware that her barrier was destroyed and that she would lose consciousness. But what was within that fading consciousness was the strong will of trying to accomplish something by herself. Ekdoik, that’s what you lack.” (Haaku)
“…That might be true.” (Ekdoik)
“And you are currently wasting the opportunity right in front of you -the chance to overcome your little sister.” (Haaku)
Haakudoku has a point. But I must not be lured by that provocation.
That’s the trap of Haakudoku. He is the same type as Comrade in that he sees through someone’s heart and invites unrest.
I will just accept the words, however, I won’t change the current state of things.
“Well, it can’t be helped if you don’t have the drive to do it. I will just swing until I hit. I am the type that gets one big jackpot after a streak of bad luck. I would say that jackpot is coming soon.” (Haaku)
“Silent treatment, huh. So I hit the mark, but you don’t want to accept my invitation. Suit yourself!” (Haaku)
Haakudoku jumps in. He must be squeezing out the last of his strength, there’s almost no difference in his speed compared to when the fight began.
But even if that’s the case, it doesn’t overturn this gap in technique.
I avoid the large swing and land a blow. Haakudoku has been trying to divert the impact until now to a certain degree, but he has even abandoned such small tricks.
“Gah… You…!” (Haaku)
The sound of grinding teeth I could hear from all the way here, and a large swing with all his strength. Even if that attack were to hit, the situation wouldn’t shift here.
I deflected that attack as usual and the body of Haakudoku shook heavily.
I saw clearly at that moment…the light in the eyes of Haakudoku disappeared.
He swayed and his movements grew duller. He is completely unconscious now. He can’t do anything in this situation. If I land a blow now…he will fall.
What surfaced in my mind at that moment were the words he told me before: ‘Surpass Rakura’… That chance is right in front of my eyes.
But is this not a trap? That’s right, there’s no doubt this is a trap!
If I were to make a big move here, he would definitely react!
If I am going to defeat him, it must be with small counterattacks!
I just need a light attack. Keep calm!
I smash a sharp left jab onto the head of Haakudoku. I will move back after landing that hit and—
This is where I made a wrong read.
I thought his instincts reacted stronger depending on how life threatening the attacks were.
But that wasn’t it. It can react just fine to weak attacks if he has been weakened.
There’s no doubt Haakudoku had lost consciousness. But at the time when he was about to completely collapse from my attack, his instincts woke him up.
He had predicted the attack I would do beforehand. He didn’t obey his instincts and bit my fist.
I feel a sharp pain on my left hand. My skin has been torn and his teeth have reached all the way to the bone.
I can still recover from this. I can give you my left hand. If you won’t let go of your bite, break together with my left fist!
Haakudoku grabs my left arm. I read this and raise my knee, aiming for his chin—
“Heh, you really did get riled up.” (Haaku)
The moment my knee landed, I heard his words. It means that he let go of his bite before my knee hit.
The only sensation I felt from my knee was scraping a bit of skin. He moved back slightly and avoided my knee.
And then, he pushed his forehead against my knee and tried to push down my body.
The moment I tried to stand my ground, my leg slipped in a bad way.
This led to increased momentum in the fall, and my back smashed the ground.
What I saw for a moment on my foot was the blood of Haakudoku.
There’s clearly a lot on it. I see, he purposely got hit when he did that large swing…!
I tried to get up, but Haakudoku swiftly straddled me.
“Didn’t I tell you? Jackpot.” (Haaku)
I am superior in terms of brute strength. I should be able to shake him off if I turn up the mana strengthening!
“As if I will give you the time!” (Haaku)
Haakudoku swings down his tonfas. This was clearly different from the attacks until now.
It is the one he used when he defeated Rakura and destroyed the ceiling…
The attack of the tonfas carrying all of his power was smashed onto my chest.