Yoshihisa’s face twisted in displeasure as he yelled.
“…First, that Shinguuji kid, and now, this little girl. Kids these days really don’t know how to watch their mouth, do they? Look, little girl, normal people really shouldn’t be sticking their head into our family’s business… You need to know your place!”
“Haa? The one who doesn’t know how to watch his mouth is you! I don’t know which amazing family you’re supposed to be from, but you shouldn’t talk till you learn etiquette and common sense! Seriously,
Despite that, not only did the older Senba not falter, she even gave him the verbal smackdown.
And because Yoshihisa didn’t expect the girl to be able to talk back to him immediately like that, he actually became dumbfounded.
Upon seeing that, the younger Senba wryly smiled while holding Ryou back.
“That part of her really shows she’s his younger sister.”
In the face of someone unreasonable that just said whatever they want, her personality would become stubborn, poison would lace her words, and even that last thing she said was just like a certain someone.
“Hah, so an adult who gets told off by a student is supposed to be our reinforcement? Give me a break.”
“! An immature, little girl dares give her opinion to me!!?”
It had only been for a moment, but being swallowed by the pressure emanated by the girl was still too shameful.
Immediately, that lifeless face turned red in anger, and Yoshihisa formed a hand seal with his right arm.
When he brought that to his mouth and muttered something, he knelt to the ground and traced the seal on the ground.
But nothing happened.
Despite that, a smile appeared on his face, and Ryou paled.
“Yoshihisa, what the hell are you thinking!?”
That got Youko’s attention, but Ryou yelled again.
“You, fool! Run!!” Ryou said.
“Huh───?” Youko said.
But before the girl could understand what Ryou was saying, her body had already been sent flying into the air just like the leaf of a tree, along with the sound of something hitting something.
“───Ah,” Ryou said.
“Nee-chan!?” Yousuke said.
She’d been sent so high up that the younger brother released Ryou to catch his sister.
Ryou called out to stop him.
“Stop it, if you go in front of me now— GU!!”
But it was in vain, and for some reason, Yousuke stopped midway, and was then promptly blasted high up into the air as well.
He couldn’t even cry out in pain as an incomprehensible impact directly assaulted him.
And then… With one senba falling, and the other rising, the twins crashed mid air.
Entangled and unable to break their fall, they crashed straight into the ground.
“Senba! Damn it, don’t get in my way!”
Ryou swung his great sword at the empty air, and then made his way for the clouds of dust.
There, the twins laid on a small crater. They were still conscious, but they were groaning in pain.
The impact of them crashing into each other and into the land was mitigated by their exoskeletons, so the pain they were feeling now must be from the initial impact.
“Yoshihisa, you bastard!”
Ryou stepped in front of the twins as though to cover for them, and glared hatefully at Yoshihisa.
Other than the man himself, Ryou was the only one who understood what he’d done.
On those eyes burning with anger was reflected an invisible existence other than the man.
‘Something’ that could only be described as such was there.
A terrifying, giant, red mask with two horns extending from the top.
It stood about as tall as an adult, and for some reason, limbs were coming out from it.
The armored arms and legs gave the impression of an armored warrior, but it was hollow inside.
Without sound, the devil ‘faces’ used those legs to run, and those arms to punch.
Yes, the Senba siblings had been sent flying by none other than the punch of this strange creature.
“How could you use a Shikioni on a normal person!!? And why would you people, who are so obsessed with those laws and traditions, break them yourself!?”
In their school, they referred to such things as ‘shikioni’, shikis created with spiritual power to resemble oni.
It was a technique that utilized ‘demons’ to fight, and was not meant to be used against other people.
In the first place, there was an unwritten law that spiritual power should not be used against normal people.
Though it might be permitted in times of emergency, spiritual power could only be fought with spiritual power, so prudence needed to be exercised when using it.
As people who possessed spiritual power greater than others, that was their rule.
Even Ryou who hadn’t been instructed properly in their ways understood that much.
It was for the same reason that he never used it despite being able to control it.
“Hmph, that’s just the official stance. Besides, you will all be dying here anyway. So the only thing that’s changed is how you will die. Also, stop yelling so much, it’s annoying.”
Shamelessly, Yoshihisa just laughed scornfully at the points Ryou brought up.
“Just how rotten are you Ootsu!?”
Ryou wished he could punch that smiling face right now, but he couldn’t move because of the twins behind him.
A silver lining in this dark cloud was that the other threat had turned his attention away from them.
“…Ootsu, right? What was that you did just now?”
“Hmph, why don’t you find out with your highly-developed science? But of course, our secret techniques can’t be understood by something on that level.”
The other enemy asked Yoshihisa with unrest, and Yoshihisa replied to him in a provocative manner with an elated face.
One could just imagine the enemy in the air grinding his teeth, but despite that, he didn’t move.
The threat of an attack that could neither be sensed nor seen needn’t be said.
“Well, you are technically an ally, so why don’t you take a good look? Of me beating up these kids, that is… Oh, but you can’t, can you? My bad. Ha ha ha,” Yoshihisa said as the enemy in the air remained quiet.
It was only in this moment that the enemy in the air and Ryou shared the same feelings, but he didn’t make a move out of fear of getting caught up in this strange mess.
Yoshihisa probably knew that, which is why he was so happy.
“Fu fu, do it,” Yoshihisa said.
“You’re not doing anything!” Ryou said.
As Ryou saw the Devil Faces move, he braced himself.
The shikioni numbered four in total. One of them stood beside Yoshihisa as his guard, while the remaining three attacked.
One attacked the defenseless Youko, while the other attacked Yousuke.
The last one was cut down by Ryou, but the other two were still in good health.
Despite the seemingly heavy armor on the devil faces, they were able to move nimbly.
They leaped, switched places, tumbled, and moved unpredictably as they pleased.
Ryou could see them, but it was precisely because he could see them that the battle was so confusing.
“Stay put, damn it!”
Ryou yelled in frustration as he leaped and swung his great sword.
But the shikioni bent its upper body, causing his great sword to hit nothing but air.
Somehow, it seemed as though that devil face was laughing at him.
Like a spring, the devil face jumped back and rammed its body into Ryou.
Unable to bring back his sword, and too unlearned to immediately summon his spiritual power, Ryou took that body slam directly, and so took a firm step to keep himself from falling.
But in that moment, the second shikioni raised its watermelon-sized fist and slammed it into him, sending him flying away.
He couldn’t even groan anymore as he landed right on top of the twins.
“Releasing spiritual power or covering something in it is the most that you can do. After all, you’re nothing but a brat born from the seed of some lowly man. No matter how brilliant the womb, the result could only be trash.”
“Gah, hah… D-Damn it…”
As students used to the advantages of their exoskeletons, an attack that could completely ignore it was too shocking.
At the very least, that figure numbed and writhing in pain atop the twins couldn’t hear a word of what Yoshihisa said.
“Damn it all— Huh?” Ryou said.
“Get a hold of yourself, Japanese top ranker!” Yousuke said.
“At the very least, don’t let yourself be defeated until we surpass you!” Youko said.
But a voice and power helped him back up.
On his back and his shoulders were the hands of the twins supporting him.
Contrast Ryou’s anguished face, the two similar faces were smiling fearlessly.
“Oh, how touching. What beautiful, powerful friendship────Blow them all away, so worthless.”
Yoshihisa laughed as he commanded his shikioni to attack.
Ryou could see them, but because he couldn’t move, he couldn’t deal with them right now.
The two devil faces approached in an instant, and their giant arms grasped all three of them together.
The students cried out in pain as they were swung back and forth.
“Ah, gu, w-what is this!?”
“The exoskeletons aren’t working at all, uwaah!”
“Ready yourselves to break your fall, we’re going to be thrown ag— guh!!”
Like a pendulum or a swing, the three students were flung away by the shikionis.
As they drew a parabola in the air and crashed into the ground, another crater was hollowed out on the land.
But this time, they were able to pick themselves back up immediately, causing Yoshihisa to become confused. Apparently, he didn’t know that although the shikionis might be able to directly damage them, the damage from simply crashing into the ground would be completely neutralized by their exoskeletons.
“Hmph, secret technique my ass. In the end, that’s just the half-baked product of a lower life form’s shallow thoughts. The people inside those outdated models may be amateurs, but those exoskeletons are still the crystallization of our knowledge. An impact of that level is meaningless… You didn’t know? Hmm? Some reinforcement,” the enemy in the air said out of vengeance for earlier.
This time, it was Yoshihisa’s turn to click his tongue.
“If you want to smash them up, then you need an exoskeleton for an exoskeleton. That’s the basics. You should just stand there and watch. Ah, but of course… That’s only if you can,” the enemy in the air said.
“He’s coming!” Ryou said.
As the enemy in the air spat the same words Yoshihisa spat at him earlier, he vanished.
The three students braced themselves, but they were still just standing.
Before they could take out a new weapon, the man reappeared and attacked them.
He swung a great hammer at Yousuke from the side, then vanished.
While Youko’s attention was taken up by her younger brother, he attacked her from above, and then vanished.
Ryou braced himself after the sudden attack, but a blade rushed up his back.
“Ah, damn it all!”
But only two voices cried out in pain.
The boy had taken the blade on his back and fell down on his face, but the man that attacked him was holding down his left hand, while letting out an anguished voice.
“Uu… I guess it really is hard to hit when you can’t see your opponent.”
As Ryou’s face twisted in pain, he stood up by supporting himself with his long spear.
“You little twerp!”
“Heh, cowards like you attacking from the back is a given, after all.”
The moment he was the only one left, he made a gamble, and recklessly stabbed behind him with the spear he’d barely managed to take out.
He didn’t even know if the enemy was there or not, so grazing him was the most he could do, but Ryou’s strength was still AAA.
They might have a difference in their exoskeletons’ specs, but the power behind that one attack couldn’t be taken lightly.
Tl Note: I said no chapter, but this made it in time, so here it is.