“I’d intended to destroy your arm entirely, but it appears breaking the bones was the most I could do.”
Johann seemed to have checked his body’s condition with his eyes once again, and he spoke proudly about being able to accomplish that much despite what his words suggested.
“I can’t believe you’ve actually progressed far enough in that research to use it!”
Lilisha said in exclaim as though to find fault with him for having fallen so low.
The alchemist’s movements had changed significantly. He was no longer relying purely on his physical abilities like he did earlier.
Even the princess could tell that that high kick earlier was perfectly executed.
Above all, he was able to send Shinichi flying even after Shinichi defended himself.
“…You took the memories and experience of other people’s brains and made them your own! It’s a dangerous but simple forbidden technique to raise Skill, but more importantly… Where did you steal those five brains! Answer me, Johann!”
“Ka ka ka, I’m surprised you can still scream so well in a situation like this, Princess. Are you trying to buy time for the brat to heal himself? Well, I don’t mind. He waited for me, so I can do that much for him as well.”
Already, the princess did not see this man as her great grandfather or a king, referring to him without the proper honorifics, but the man himself did not seem to care.
He even correctly saw through her intentions, but he leisurely chose to give the boy time.
“As you’ve surmised, these five brains are the best among all the brains I’ve acquired! The Sonic Sword, the Veteran Hunter, the Hero of the Arena, the Genius of Magic Battlefield, the Legendary Thief. By gathering all of their abilities and experiences, I was able to raise my Skill to A-!”
Johann trembled as he revealed the power that he has acquired.
Though this body of his would not last long, such Skill has already encroached into the realm of heroes.
With such power, even ten minutes was too long, and the princess, upon realizing the significance of that, gulped and whipped out the Status Card.
The Skill in Status also served as a rough indicator of the overall ability of a person, for it showed just how much they could tap into each attribute.
At B Rank, one could unleash about 80% of their full potential, while at A Rank, one could fully tap into their abilities.
But S Rank was even more remarkable, for it allowed one to draw out three times or more of the base rank’s abilities.
“Against a lopsided opponent whose only redeeming point is their Skill, you can just raise all of your attributes,” Johann said.
“And the unbalanced fighter will lose out because of the overall difference in stats!” The Princess said.
Even if one could draw out three times the power of Strength D with Skill S, it still won’t be able to compare to the 100% of Strength AA that Skill A- could draw.
The base levels were just too different. Even if one could increase their strength by three times, they still can’t defeat someone with a base level that was a hundred or a thousand times superior.
“Until now, it was just a theory, though. I’m an exception, but normally you would have to resort to extraordinary methods to bring about such a situation.”
After all, such high stats could only be achieved through a challenging and fortuitous journey. Moreover, as a prerequisite, one must have the room to improve and must not make any mistake in the process of training.
Such high stats could only be achieved through the relentless application of one that has been blessed with innate talent from birth, who too was fortunate enough to have been blessed with excellent mentors since childhood.
“But as you can see, by combining magic alchemy with forbidden elixirs, I can create a body that possesses such dreamlike stats, albeit temporarily. On top of that, I could even add the Skill that belongs to other people! Moreover!”
He clenched both of his fists and crouched a little as though in demonstration of something.
For a moment, the girls wondered what he was up to, but then they noticed a layer of mana wrap around his limbs, and they realized what he was trying to tell them.
“The Magic Raiment Battle Law! You copied Shin!?”
An armor of mana that was similar to Shin but one with an overwhelming amount of mana.
But the only response he gave them was a sinister grin before he took a step.
The girls had been focusing on him, so they were able to see him, but he moved so quickly that there was no way for them to respond.
He unleashed a simple but powerful punch and clashed head-on with Shinichi’s right fist that too was clad in the Magic Raiment Battle Law.
In the next moment, mana exploded, and thunderous sounds and powerful impacts spilled all around the two.
In the wake of which, the remaining glass windows were blown away with their frames, and the hole collapsed even more. Lilisha closed her eyes in reflex, but when she opened them again, the back that was within arm’s reach before was now much closer.
Shinichi and Johann were still exchanging blows, but Shinichi was clearly being pushed back. It was curious if Johann had rushed at them precisely because he knew that the shockwaves created by their attacks would affect the girls, but regardless, a look of delight could be seen on him.
“Fu, fu ha ha, my Skill is still below you, so I’m still lacking compared to you, but the amount of mana I possess far surpasses you; hence…”
“You’re stronger than me when you tack on the boost from the Magic Raiment Battle Law?”
Shinichi spoke flatly, though it remained to be seen whether he was truly emotionless or if he was merely concealing his thoughts.
“I don’t know how you acquired that S Rank of yours, but so long as all your other stats are D Rank, you will never be anything more than gold-plated mud!”
Johann put strength into his legs.
The boy had already carved trails into the ground due to having to stop his initial strike, but now even more trails were being carved.
But while the relentless pressure forced the boy to give ground, he uneventfully spoke.
“Thank you for explaining again… But.”
Then a crescent moon smile bloomed.
“It’s too a bit too late to be saying that, don’t you think?”
In the next moment, Johann’s body was flipped over. He had tried to exert more force, but his opponent pulled back, and before he could get a handle on what was happening, he found himself slammed into the ground and on his back, completely clueless as to what had just transpired.
Shinichi’s foot was about to finish the job, but Johann jumped back and successfully avoided it, only to find himself staggering as he supported his head from the pain.
“Ku, what was that just now!? …My arms were suddenly pulled, and before I knew it I was suddenly on my back?”
Johann was confused, but the boy just laughed.
“At A- you should be able to at least tell that much. Especially since it was really nothing more than an impromptu katate no seoi-nage (one-handed shoulder throw).”
“A kata what? The heck is that!?”
Shinichi intentionally used the Japanese name of that technique to annoy him, but there was no denying that it was Johann’s weakness.
“You’re really dumb, aren’t you? Why don’t you use that head of yours that you’re so proud of and realize that any weakness you could think of could be thought of by S Rank too. Did you really think I wouldn’t have an answer to an answer you could come up with?”
“I see! Wait! Why didn’t I realize that until now!?”
“If anything, the fact that you could even realize it was only because of your Skill rank. In the end, you’re a scholar who knows nothing about fighting. A third-rate fighter that fails to realize that your theories are just that, theories.”
It was essential to predict the actions of your opponent and understand your own weakness in combat, but Johann lacked vigilance in that regard. He was just too naive. A seasoned warrior would have suspected a trap in the face of such obvious openings, but he was a king that never stood in the front lines and a twisted scholar that knew the pen more than the sword.
“That may be so, but I’ve learned that move already! I won’t lose a second time!”
Be that as it may, at Skill A-, he could completely understand a technique like that after just experiencing it once.
And if he used that understanding to predict similar techniques and actions, he could come up with the right countermeasures; however…
“…Judo, Karate, Tea ceremony, Aikido, Muay Thai, Kenjutsu, Jujutsu, Professional wrestling, Sumo, Boxing, Systema, Waltz, Samba, Capoeira, Kabuki, Tennis.”
But the next words that Shinichi uttered left Johann speechless.
After all, not one of the brains he’s stolen understood Japanese.
“Hah? What are you saying!? Are you cursing me!? Can’t you speak Falandian!?”
“How many martial arts do you think my hometown has?”
“What!? Don’t tell me! All of those are martial arts!?”
“Oh, by the way, some of those have no relation to martial arts, but I wonder if you could tell which ones are which?”
“────！！ Damn you!!”