Magic Raiment Battle Law was not only a technique that could strengthen one’s body. It was also a technique that could strengthen the things one was in direct contact with.
Exceptions to this rule would be other living creatures with mana and objects with special traits like Shinichi’s claw.
But bolstering the flexibility of a soft curtain while covering it with a layer of mana and strengthening a janitor’s mop to deflect lasers was a trivial job for the Magic Raiment Battle Law.
Of course, this was mostly due to Shinichi’s high Skill stat.
—This sure turned into something troublesome.
Still, Shinichi was plenty impressed with the real exoskeleton (power suit).
The simple exoskeletons from earlier couldn’t compare to it at all. Its defense and barrier were far beyond what Shinichi had expected.
Moreover, this crimson armor even had a shock absorbing function.
It was true that he was able to penetrate its barrier and land a direct hit with his strengthened fist, but the magic raiment battle law had raised his strength and resistance all the way to C.
With an S rank in Skill that should have been enough to knock the enemy out in one blow.
It was the strongest non-lethal punch he could deliver against an armed human.
But despite that the most he could accomplish was to leave a dent on the crimson armor. And this crimson enemy of his was still able to pick himself back up immediately.
Shinichi had intended to destroy the crimson armor.
After all, this guy was also trying to hide his identity, so if his exoskeleton was destroyed, he would have no choice but to retreat.
Shinichi calculated his strength based on the simple exoskeleton and presumed the real exoskeleton would be five times more durable, but it turned out that it was actually ten times more durable.
A layer of the mana on his fist was shaved off in order to penetrate the barrier, and the crimson spear was also able to reflexively move backwards, which further reduced the strength behind his punch.
Evidently, this crimson spear had a wealth of experience far beyond that of thugs or mercenaries.
It could even properly react to him despite Masquerade’s functioning Recognition Interference.
After he deftly handled the spear that Crimson thrust at him, sweeping with the other spear was indeed the correct decision, so not only was this crimson able to make good decisions, he also made them quickly and decisively. He had so many spears on him, but he was able to make the decision to abandon them and try to complete his objective by relying on weapons with greater power.
Shinichi himself has never before seen laser weapons as a soldier’s equipment outside of Sci-Fi and special effects, so when he reflexively deflected it toward the ceiling and opened a hole big enough for an adult to fit, he couldn’t help but look at the sky.
Shinichi froze up as he remarked to himself how ridiculous the strength behind that laser was, but that wasn’t really something he should be saying given how he deflected that very laser with nothing but a mop.
As expected, even this crimson enemy froze up at his antics.
That saved him, but at this rate, they’ll never finish.
If he weren’t so picky with his methods, he would have been able to solve this ages ago, but unfortunately, he had to be picky.
As such, he intentionally called out to the enemy and kicked off against the ground.
He brought the T-shaped part of the mop up and held it with one hand as he charged towards him.
‘Crimson’, who was still shocked by earlier, responded to Shinichi’s call and turned to him.
Crimson had missed the timing to aim his transformed hands at Shinichi, but he was still able to focus his attention at him fast enough.
Fortunately he did or it would have been troublesome, Shinichi remarked to himself as he smiled and swung down with his mop.
But the suddenly three spears lined up like the character 三 and stood in his way.
Behind these three spears floated up a fourth spear and waited with its edge aimed at Shinichi.
Clearly, Crimson was planning on receiving and countering his attack with this.
Crimson’s intentions were too obvious, but he did well considering he had come up with this on the fly.
Or at least, he could be said to have done well if not for the fact that Shinichi had baited this out of him.
As Shinichi sneered, he swung down with his mop.
With a single stroke of a slash, Shinichi brilliantly cut down the three spears and turned them into six broken poles.
The Crimson cried out in surprise, but Shinichi ignored him and immediately raised up his mop and then cut down the fourth spear.
Form of Strength’s mana did not have a definite shape. It could not deviate too much from the shape of the target, but it was flexible enough that Shinichi could pad the mop with mana and shape it like a blade.
Following the ray of light, the mop was cut in half, and a shocked breath resounded.
But this Crimson was a formidable foe. Though shocked, he managed to pull out a sword.
A single-edged straight sword. Its design was strongly reminiscent of a Japanese touch, but it wasn’t the time to ponder on such things.
Again, Shinichi swung down with his mop and Crimson met his mop with his sword, locking mop and sword against each other.
Sparks scattered as the two blades touched, causing the mana wrapped around the mop to waver.
Apparently, there was also a layer of some kind of energy wrapped around the straight sword.
If two very similar weapons were to meet, victory would depend on the skill of the wielders and the make of the swords, so when Shinichi heard his mop creaking, he clicked his tongue and decided that it wasn’t possible to win by locking his mop against this sword.
Shinichi then changed his grip over the mop’s handle and pulled the straight sword with the T-shaped part of the mop.
Crimson was naturally taken aback when Shinichi abruptly changed from pushing to pulling.
But before he could recover himself, Shinichi sent a karate punch to his head, creating a slight dent on the head-part of his armor.
Tottered from the earlier impact, Shinichi followed up with a high kick to his head.
“Don’t… Look down on me!”
Shinichi was impressed that Crimson still managed to use his sword as a shield despite the state he was in.
Unfortunately, there was no power behind this kick and Shinichi had only sent it out to confirm something.
“Blow him away, Gravity (Ga Gorga)”
Right before his leg made contact with Crimson’s sword, Shinichi muttered that and casted a gravity spell on this simple kick.
He wanted to confirm whether or not this Crimson could tell without seeing if he used magic (something) or not.
He wanted to find out during this battle if magic was an option or not.
It was for that purpose that he made this attack.
That’s why Shinichi was surprised when Crimson wasn’t blown away after he had given the command, and Crimson was similarly surprised when the impact behind Shinichi’s kick was weaker than expected, though very soon that surprise turned into a mix of shock and confusion.
“What!? I’m rapidly descending? Is the system seriously malfunctioning now of all times!? Wait, could it be? Is this your doing too!?”
“So that’s how it is!”
Shinichi clicked his tongue internally. The decision to use magic was a mistake.
He immediately brought down his leg and thrust his T-shaped mop into Crimson’s dented chest.
Pushed by that pure power, Crimson once again left two long marks on the floor.
“…I don’t know if my favorite magic is just incompatible with this thing or it’s not as effective, but…”
Shinichi didn’t really know how the exoskeleton worked, but he could more or less infer from the results.
His gravity spell didn’t work, and the crimson exoskeleton thought it was falling.
If so, then it’s likely that the crimson armor had a device related to gravity inside it that’s responsible for neutralizing the effects of his spell.
This is something that Shinichi would only find out later, but the exoskeleton had flight capabilities that relied on anti-gravity to function. With that came an anti-gravity stabilizer to help control its altitude.
It was also equipped with a system that would kick in to protect the pilot in case of rapid descent.
When the exoskeleton detects that a strong pressure is weighing down on it, it will work to mitigate the source of that pressure.
In fact, that is also the mechanism behind the ‘Shock Absorbing Function’ that Shinichi kept bringing up.
That’s why when Shinichi tried to rely purely on gravity to push the crimson armor, it was able to completely neutralize it.
With this system in place, gravity attacks were simply not an option.