TL: Had to at least finish the fight, so here it is. 😀
One of the clear weak points of the body, the head.
Moreover, he was pierced right in between his brows, and yet, he counterattacked in a matter of seconds.
This is already an enemy that I can’t consider a human as I fight him.
Seeing Aznoval taking out the arrow from his head, I was convinced of this.
“Because this is the first time I have been pierced here by someone who aimed at that location, I can tell that your aim is frightening. It hurts, and it is scary.” (Aznoval)
…Pain and fear.
Is that what someone feels when they get an arrow pierced into their brain?
That’s something a person would normally only experience once before dying right after.
Right now, I am not even minding my burned skin and the pain I was feeling from the pieces of metal that were pierced in me.
I have already healed from those after all.
I could only laugh.
About a lot of things.
Unless he is using some sort of skill, I have the upperhand in speed; and with that speed, I move around him as I rain arrows at him.
And at times, I would jump on footholds I create in midair and make the pattern more difficult to read.
He showed no movement. But I won’t feel relieved.
In the time he is not moving, I think of a way incapacitate him.
Tomoe and Mio are here.
My cards are limited.
I could emergency summon the two of them as a last resort, but it is not necessary yet.
Now then, a way to increase the power even more.
The field of vision has been bad all this time, so I left Sakai in perception to catch the movements of my opponent. On top of that, when I increase the power, the rapid-fire speed decreases without fail.
Even if I create space between us with Bridd, the power increase limit is around 55% only.
It would be fine if that was enough power to create damage on the level of shaving off his flesh. If that’s not the case, I have to go for the next move.
I can’t kill him, he is tough, and his heart won’t break.
He does regenerate, but the damage is still going through.
In other words, I can spread his pieces of flesh all around and have the gallery decide the end of the battle.
He can regenerate in time, but he shouldn’t be able to regenerate instantly.
And that greatsword, even though it exploded, the moment I took my distance, it had already regenerated as well.
So the weapon takes after his master huh.
I really have met the worst weapon and user, seriously.
“Then, let’s do it.” (Makoto)
A mutter of confirmation leaked out from my mouth.
I reduced the amount of arrows I shot, and in exchange, I increased the strength of each shot.
Head, chest, waist, arms, legs; while confirming every difference between the reactions and his way of dealing with it, I readjust the power as I go.
The instances are: moving, defending, receiving it, and evading.
I prioritize the places where he chose to evade -mainly on the vitals- and concentrated on the aim of it, but the moment the arrow comes in contact with his skin, he grabbed it or deftly broke it with his greatsword.
It looks like he hated when his movements are stopped, even if it is only for a few seconds.
Even if it reaches the point of making contact, if he goes blocking them in such a way, I can’t do anything about it.
The time I need to make my arrows do further than that, the opening it would create, that in itself is a luxury I can’t obtain unless I make a direct hit to his vitals.
The wounds I have that are still hurting even now are because of that Overdrive skill; maybe I should mimic that and have my arrows explode?
There’s the demerit that it would take more time to shoot, and the number of arrows will decrease once again.
Waiting-and-seeing without hitting the target is a poor move.
If I manage to hit him, I might be able to get time to aim and shoot his vitals. Once that hits as well, I can connect it with exploding arrows and sniping.
The return is big and the increased risk is low.
It has been decided.
“It looks like you have gotten serious after the ‘Sword Spirit, Rampaging Overdrive’, but you have become incredibly difficult to deal with now. Well then, this is quite troubling.” (Aznoval)
I wonder. It doesn’t sound like you think that way though.
No matter if he was actually honest about that, his tone of voice made one think he was telling the truth there.
Even when his movements have been sealed, there were no words of surrender from him.
The attacks that are not hitting directly deal practically no damage to him, and even with a direct hit of the arrows and Bridds, that damage regenerates after only a few seconds.
That’s not the recovery speed of a normal person.
Maybe it is the benefit of his job called Squire, or it might be the effect of a special equipment.
He evades, defends, and when there’s no choice to, he receives the attacks.
The concentration he has to be able to decide all of those in an instant is also a threat.
All of those points lumped together make up his unbelievable defensive power.
It is so unbelievable that I can even believe the stories about him plunging into magma to stop an eruption.
It is funny how I can easily picture him plunging into fire or lava.
And…this is not the behaviour of someone that has lost all cards he can play.
In other words…he still has something up his sleeve.
A slight risk has been born.
Should I not hurry the fight and wait until he has shown all his cards before making my move?
No…time is currently in Aznoval’s favor.
My wounds don’t heal completely, and his wounds do.
If I could cut off all his attacks with my Magic Armor, I would have been able to push this into a battle of attrition, but this opponent can easily destroy my Magic Armor with that weapon of his.
I have now understood that this kind of opponents exist, so I should train my defensive power more.
Right now, his anti-magic specialized equipment and abilities are making him the worst kind of opponent I can have.
It is a pretty rare case, but I should come up with countermeasures so that it doesn’t turn into something as troublesome as now.
I can eliminate the pain I feel by utilizing the anesthesia I used on Rokuya-san.
Right now I can still endure it, so I haven’t used it though.
The problem is the bleeding.
They were severe enough that I can’t completely stop it, and on top of that, I can’t feel signs of it stopping naturally.
I can’t tell well how the bleeding in my neck is doing. A part of my coat is torn off and the inner part that was apparently knit with the hair of the Gorgons was exposed around the waist; I think somewhere around there is bleeding internally.
It must have been because of the explosion.
It can’t be helped huh.
Let’s go with no changes in my decision.
“…So you are finally making your move huh.” (Aznoval)
I feel I heard such mutter from the knight that was hardening his defenses like a turtle.
“No way, is Azu planning on continuing the fight? After using ‘the Nameless one that must not be spoken of’, he shouldn’t have any other cards left.” (Rokuya)
“…Right. I totally thought he would call off the fight after that.” (Haku)
“Even using the ‘Sword Spirit, Rampaging’ that he rarely uses to continue fighting, it is not like him to do that.” (Ginebia)
“He normally treasures that child quite a lot after all.” (Hitsuna)
Rokuya, Haku, Ginebia, and Hitsuna; all of them saw that moment and had their eyes wide open.
And then, they were bewildered by how the fight resumed with Makoto’s atmosphere changing.
By the way, what Hitsuna-san said about ‘that child’ referred to Aznoval’s sword.
“The last time I saw the ‘Sword Spirit, Rampaging’ was…ah, at the time with Doma.” (Rokuya)
“I wasn’t there at that time, so this would be…my second time seeing it?” (Haku)
“In my case, it was also at the time with Doma.” (Ginebia)
Rokuya, Ginebia, and Hitsuna let out a heavy sigh as they mention their memory about Doma.
A laugh of Tomoe mixed in when Hitsuna ended talking, probably because she took a peek at that memory of theirs.
“He injured Waka-sama….. I see, so these men that are supposedly the ancestors of the adventurers are all… seriously… ufufufu. I see, I see…” (Mio)
“Calm down. In the first place, Waka was aware that he would be getting injured when he accepted. If he by some chance calls us, we will crush them without mercy, but if he hasn’t, keep your mouth zipped. This is a battle that Waka has acknowledged.” (Tomoe)
“…Hmph, I know. Leaving aside the acknowledging and all that stuff, seeing it actually occurring before my eyes still stings my heart, so I can’t help it.” (Mio)
“That’s fine then. I am saying this just in case but, just because Waka is not watching doesn’t mean you can do something to Rokuya, okay?” (Tomoe)
“Whatever might you be talking about?” (Mio)
“…I have been asked this of Waka-ja.” (Tomoe)
“Really-ja. If you really want to do it, you will have to ask Waka-ja na.” (Tomoe)
“Uuuh, then I will endure it. I will properly ask him-desu wa.” (Mio)
“…So you are actually going to ask him. You are not going to give up? Good grief.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe holds her head after those words of Mio, and then looks at Rokuya.
As a pitiful sacrifice that will be receiving the same torture as her colleagues.
Tomoe also doesn’t hold a good impression towards the knight called Aznoval that has injured Makoto, but she was greatly interested in the weapon and techniques he uses.
But right now he is currently at the other side of the monitor, in that case, Tomoe was thinking about having a talk with his comrades instead.
“Now then, Rokuya, it seems like your comrade has quite the reckless fighting style.” (Tomoe)
“In my opinion, I think he should have stopped the fight after the Moonlight Slash though. He is not the type of man who would do such reckless things.” (Rokuya)
“From what I see, he still has an ace up his sleeve-ja na.” (Tomoe)
“The special move of Azu is without doubt the ‘Nameless’ attack he showed just now. And all the attacks that came before that were all the previous versions of his special moves, Tomoe-dono. Seeing Raidou-kun receive all of those makes me want to die.” (Rokuya)
“You can just call me Tomoe. From what I have heard, you are quite the old one despite those looks, right?” (Tomoe)
“Kukuku, it is true that I am old.” (Rokuya)
“But that ‘Nameless one that must not be spoken of’ is quite the nice name. And the Moonlight Slash that came before that was also to my liking. It really stirs me up.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe speaks in good mood.
“…You go to the extent of acting like a samurai after all. You probably like those kind of things. But the ‘Moonlight Slash’ <Ame Tsuki Ichi Moji> may sound like Kiku-Ichimonji, but they are different type of techniques; and the ‘Nameless one that must not be spoken of’ was simply the name of a Sake that Azu liked the most. Those names are not that big of a deal.” (Rokuya)
Rokuya reveals the origins of the techniques’ names.
But, even when he said that those names were not a big deal, he also felt that the strongest technique of Aznoval being named after his favorite Sake is really like him.
“”As I thought, you also do know about Kiku-Ichimonji huh. Umu umu, good good.” (Tomoe)
“Whatever the case, this fight will be over soon. When that happens, we will be able to begin the negotiations.” (Rokuya)
“…So, in you guys eyes, has Waka gotten a passing mark?” (Tomoe)
“…This may be an unfair way of putting it but, it depends on the viewpoint. If he manages to make Azu surrender, he would get a passing mark, but if the original basis is applied, he has already failed.” (Rokuya)
“In the first place, the reason why it turned into a 1 on 1 was because Vivi and her group were unable to vent, and the cruel treatment of their comrade.” (Rokuya)
“With those in consideration, Raidou-kun should have fought Azu decently, gotten injured decently, and then, to be concrete, he should have received that ‘Nameless’ attack and announced his surrender. That would have been the best result.” (Rokuya)
“If we are talking about the merchant Raidou-kun, that is. It is the so called ‘cost for gain’. In this case, the only cost it would take Raidou-kun would be him feeling a sense of defeat, but it is the best result that he shouldn’t hesitate to take. I repeat, this is the decision as a merchant.” (Rokuya)
Rokuya emphasizes the position of merchant as he spoke to Tomoe.
It was not that different from the scenario Tomoe was internally thinking of.
It can be considered a pretty effective method in order to bring the negotiation that will be following into a better position.
No matter if the knight belligerently wants a fight at full-power; no matter if it didn’t result in the conclusion Makoto thought of when bringing out Azusa and piercing him with its arrows.
“Then, what did you mean when you said it would be a passing mark if he wins?” (Tomoe)
“Azu is also mental for not surrendering there, but that probably means he is planning on doing something. If with all this, Raidou-kun still manages to make that muscle-headed idiotic stubborn knight to say that he has lost, that would mean he is an eccentric that surpasses him.” (Rokuya)
“The negotiations will still take place, and the weight of his words will be heavier -in a different meaning. ‘Live for the future’, this goes against my style, but well, it would be like a big reversal from his fail.” (Rokuya)
“…I see.” (Tomoe)
“That said, it has currently developed into violent fight where it looks as if he is trying to turn Azu into pieces of meat. Honestly, it has been a long time I have seen Azu being so one-sidedly cornered. If he is thinking about driving Azu into a state where he can’t even declare his defeat to force us into declaring the end of the fight ourselves, it would reverse his passing mark into a fail once again though.” (Rokuya)
(It is possible-ja na. It is incredibly possible that that’s what Waka is thinking-ja na…) (Tomoe)
Tomoe kept silent at the contents of what Rokuya said while he was watching the fight and narrowing his eyes.
Because she thought that what he guessed of the bad future was actually pretty close to the truth.
“This is not just violent, Rokuya-san. That boy, Makoto-kun -or was it Raidou-kun?- whichever it is, he has definitely learned to use the bow in our former world.” (Ginebia)
“Must be. Having that much magic power and possessing this much skill with the bow, I can only think that he had already been practicing archery from way back.” (Rokuya)
Rokuya answers Ginebia who joined the conversation.
He has that much magic power. There’s no doubt he would have become a mage after arriving to this world.
But Makoto is able to utilize the bow to this extent.
Inferring that this is because he had experience before coming to this world is not that hard.
“…No, this is not archery. This is a more combat-specialized bow technique. I am not that detailed about it either, but those are the movements of someone that has learned a bow art oriented to real combat.” (Ginebia)
“Bow…art? Uhm…is it like a martial art kind of thing?” (Rokuya)
Not understanding it much, Rokuya tilts his head.
“I don’t know if it’s an old art. But he is able to show that much accuracy without relying on skills and only on his own ability. It is unbelievable.” (Ginebia)
“Now that you mention it…you had a stance with the bow that was similar to Waka’s. I see, Ginebia, you have experience in archery huh.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe seems to have been convinced of something and nods several times.
“Shooting with a bow at that speed without using any skills…is that even possible? No, it is indeed possible. We are being shown that right in front of us after all.” (Rokuya)
“In modern Japan, there’s by no means many places where one can learn combat-oriented bow arts. And yet, the one that boy is showing right now looks like a bow art used in the battlefield. Those are definitely not the movements one can do with normal archery. Maintaining that precision, power, and that crazy rapid-fire. Archery wouldn’t ask for those kind of movements, and you wouldn’t be able to learn them there.” (Ginebia)
On top of that, his ability to snipe the vitals to the point that it is nasty.
Ginebia didn’t say it out loud, but they are probably witnessing a bow technique to murder people that had silently survived in her own homeland.
But there was no happiness in seeing the inheritance of an art. Rather, she was feeling the ugliness of humanity and how scary it is; she was enveloped in a hard to get used to sensation, as if she had bitten something bitter.
‘I wonder just how Makoto, who has learned both archery and bow arts, sees the practice of archery as’, this question was born inside of Ginebia.
That’s probably why she felt like joining the conversation of Tomoe and Rokuya.
“Oh, Waka is going to make a move.” (Tomoe)
Just as Tomoe said, the shot Makoto made exploded grandly around the face of Aznoval.
His vision was blocked by the smoke that was created.
“That idiot, he even took off his armor?!” (Rokuya)
Unknown if it was right after or right before, Aznoval appeared behind Makoto.
But his appearance was strange.
Aznoval’s upper half was practically naked. The only things that could be seen were the remains of his ragged clothes, and in his hand, there’s a shield big enough to cover his whole body.
“That shield was his armor?!” (Ginebia)
“Eh, what is he thinking taking off his clothes this late in the game!!” (Rokuya)
Ginebia and Rokuya realized the reality of things and yelled.
It seems like they have seen the shield before.
Aznoval goes for a ram with his big shield as he shouts something.
Makoto immediately shoots several arrows and prepares his Magic Armor.
The arrows pierce into the shield, and stop.
The arrows had enough power that it would have destroyed the shield if he had shot a few more.
Makoto was bashed at full-force in mid-air along with his Magic Armor and was blown away in the direction where Aznoval was previously.
The knight who had bashed with his giant shield showed his figure with his posture still broken, and that figure of his was slightly strange.
Tomoe voices out exactly how she felt.
Aznoval had four tufty tails at his back.
“A-Azu-san’s four-tailed fox.”
“So he had the illusory beast hold the shield!!”
“So that man…should still be there!” (Tomoe)
The guess of Tomoe was correct.
She could feel a great power that made chills run down her spine.
“Eeh, that kitchen knife’s…scabbard?!” (Haku)
Haku raised a voice with a 100% surprise.
What came out in that instant the smoke screen dispersed was… was a half-naked Aznoval with no tails at his back, and in its stead, he was taking a peculiar stance with his kitchen knife Masamune.
But, this also had a strange point.
The kitchen knife Masamune that was usually laid bare –was now sheathed inside a scabbard.
His stance…and the existence of the scabbard.
Tomoe and Rokuya shout at the same time.
They didn’t hide their emotions of disbelief and voiced it out.
Aznoval, who was lying in wait for Makoto’s approach, had his kitchen knife Masamune in his hand disappear practically at the same time the sword left the scabbard.
The greatsword, that anyone who saw it would describe it as imposing and peculiar shaped, looked as if it had literally disappeared in an instant.
After that instant…..the kitchen knife Masamune stopped slightly past Makoto.
And the face of Makoto was dyed bright red.
The Magic Armor that protected his body is not there anymore.
But Makoto also had a stance with his bow that had an unnatural posture.
The arrowhead pointing at Aznoval.
“I give up! It is my lost.”
Aznoval, who had done an Iai, had also stiffened into a strange posture.
The words of surrender had come from him.
With none of the spectators understanding the reason of it, the immortal knight Aznoval admitted defeat.
Thus, the curtains closed to the 1 on 1 that stories will be told for a long time to come in Asora and the people of the 20th underground floor; the fight that they would be calling the Grand Battle between Monsters.