Volume 4 Chapter 12: The Match Part 1
Ryouma pulled out the katana from its sheath, and confirmed that there was no damage. Not even a single sign of wear could be seen on the blade.
The adamantite used in the blade of this katana is extremely tough. Unless he does something absurd, the thin blade of the katana wouldn’t wear down even without cladding it in Ki. He could even cut iron plates. If he were to clad the blade in Ki, then he could cut enemies into pieces like he would an armor.
Adamantite becomes more durable and tougher the purer it is. But at the same time, its resistance to heat and corrosion also increases, making it harder to work with. The methods of forging the katana is the same as with a normal one, but there’s a world of difference in the heat of the forge and the time required.
The adamantite used in Ryouma’s katana is 77% pure. The limits acknowledged by blacksmiths all over the world is said to be only 75%, so Ryouma’s adamantite that surpassed that limit by another 2% is a high-purity adamantite.
But even then, that limit of 75% is what you could call a base point from where you can do anything, so there are plenty of people who create adamantite weapons by mixing adamantite with iron, creating an alloy with a purity of about 60%, to make it easier to work with. But even then, it’s still a luxury, so there are barely any stores that sell them.
When Ryouma pulled out his weapon, Elia and the others immediately noticed it. Riera was able to tell what material the katana was made out of, but although the other four weren’t privy to weapons, even they could tell that Ryouma’s katana wasn’t just a common weapon. A sense of caution rose within them.
Sebasu confirmed the rules.
“There are no restrictions on the magic, weapons, and tools that can be used. The winner will be decided by the referee – in this case, me. When I decide that one of you girls has already lost, then you’ll have to withdraw from the fight. Once all five of you has withdrawn, you lose. In the same way, if Ryouma receives a powerful attack first, then it will be his loss. Is everyone in agreement with these rules?” [Sebasu]
At those words, Ryouma and the girls glanced at each other, and then they all agreed.
“Then………… Start!” [Sebasu]
” ‘Fire Ball’ ” [Elia & Miyabi]
” ‘Rock Bullet’ ” [Michelle]
Immediately after the match began, the three magicians from the girls’ side fired their magic.
Ryouma dodged the ball of flame fired by Elia and Miyabi, and he easily cut down the rock projectile fired off by Michelle’s Rock Bullet.
But before Ryouma could begin his counter attack, Riera came slashing at him.
The duel between Riera and Ryouma began, and the sound of clanging metal resounded within the vicinity.
Riera’s swings were quite fast, and had a decent amount of power behind them. Seeing that, Ryouma’s appraisal for her rose up.
(Her style’s a bit textbookish, but while I’m holding back, she is able to respond well to my attacks… If I were to compare her to the students and adventurers I’ve fought so far, then… I guess she’d be around the level of a D Rank adventurer? She’s still lacking in experience, but that’s something she’ll continue to pile up from here on)
As he thought that, Ryouma parried the descending blade aimed at the crown of his head with his katana. And then using the force of the attack, he entered Riera’s right flank, and he struck the backside of his katana’s blade at Riera. However, Riera was able to block that attack by raising her shield up.
Immediately after, Riera took the sword that Ryouma parried, and swept with it sideways from beneath the shield, difficult to see.
Ryouma retreated, and dodged the sword. He took some distance. But it was at that moment, that magic came flying at him from the side in the blink of an eye. The magic that came shooting at him were three fire arrows. The girls clearly had no intentions of holding back with Ryouma as their opponent.
” ‘Water Wall’ ” [Ryouma]
At Ryouma’s magic, a wall of water immediately rose up midair, blocking the three fire arrows. Ryouma decied to change his target. This time, he tried attacking Elia’s group. As the water wall that blocked the fire arrows collapsed, the moment it fell to the ground, Ryouma rushed up to Elia’s group.
“You’re not going anywhere!!” [Kanan]
Before Ryouma could reach Elia’s group, Kanan blocked his way, and kept him at bay.
(I see, so Riera-san is the vanguard, while Elia’s group is responsible for magic attacks and support, while Kanan-san’s role is to stop those that get past Riera-san)
As Ryouma thought that, Kanan began to release magic power. Having sensed that with his Magic Perception, Ryouma was able to understand that the magic power Kanan released filled her two bracelets.
(Don’t use magic tools)
As she said that, Kanan shot off like a bullet toward Ryouma.
(I have plenty of margin to deal with her, but… she’s a lot faster than expected)
“Ei! Take that! Ha!” [Kanan]
As Ryouma deal with Kanan’s consecutive attacks, he began analyzing the situation.
(……Honestly speaking, she doesn’t have a lot of skill behind her attacks. She seems to have practice the basics a lot, but as expected, she’s fast. Also, on top of being a member of the dog beastmentribe known for their high physical skills, she’s probably also using physical strengthening magic. Kanan shouldn’t be able to use magic, so it’s probably the effect of those two bracelets she has. Moreover…)
“O-Oops, that was dangerous…” [Kanan]
Ryouma aimed for the opening in between Kanan’s consecutive strikes, but just like Ryouma did awhile ago, she jumped back, and dodged. Kanan wasn’t able to predict Ryouma’s move, but she was somehow able to barely dodge and defend agiainst Ryouma’s attack.
(Kanan-san seems to have good eyes and reflexes. It seems she dodged my attack after seeing it. She’s able to follow my attacks with her eyes. And although she’s just barely managing to, she’s able to deal with my feints.)
Here, Ryouma decided to try something out.
He wielded his katana with only one hand, and struck it out, getting Kanan’s attention to one side. As he did that, he took his remaining free hand, and struck lightly from Kanan’s blind spot at her side.
“Tch, not yet!”
Ryouma’s fist didn’t seem to have had much effect as Kanan immediately began her counter attack. But because of the attack from her blind spot easily being able to hit her, Ryouma was able to understand that Kanan’s strength actually resulted from her good eyes and the magic tools that she had equipped. Moreover, although he was holding back, the fist he struck out at Kanan’s side before would normally have plenty of effect. The fact that had little to no effect on her meant that she was in fact in possession of a magic tool imbued with physical strengthening.
And then just as Ryouma expected, Kanan fought by activating the two magic tools on her arms.
(She might have talent, but she still has a long way to go. With the magic tool she’s D… No, taking her ability into consideration, she should be E Rank. Without the magic tools then F Rank. She’s plenty strong enough to deal with goblins. Now let me try putting out a bit more strength from here on…)
Five minutes later.
” ‘Ice–‘ ”
” ‘Flame Lance’ ”
” ‘–Lance’ ! …Again?” [Elia]
“That’s strange… Our magic is completely being crushed.” [Michelle]
Ryouma stopped testing them a little, and started pushing harder against the five girls. The two vanguards fought tooth and nail with Ryouma, keeping him from attacking the three girls at the back. Support continued to come from the girls at the back, but… the magic they fired were all stopped by Ryouma’s own magic. They were at their limits.
“I know Ryouma’s crazy strong, but what the hell is that! Tch, from the right!”
At Miyabi’s words, the three girls who had gathered into one spot, moved to the right, dodging Ryouma’s magic. Since the match had begun, these three girls hadn’t separated from each other. If they were to scatter, and fight separated, then Kanan and Riera wouldn’t be able to protect them.
The one shooting the most magic amongst the three is the one with the most magic power, Elia. As soon as space is made between Ryouma and the two vanguards, Elia would fire off her magic to support the two girls. Miyabi and Michelle also used their magic, but because they didn’t have Elia’s magic power, they couldn’t fire as recklessly as she did.
” ‘Stun Arrow’ ”
Kanan began to show signs of fatigue, while Ryouma still looked to have plenty of stamina left. Kanan reached her limits, but before she could get cut down, Riera’s electric magic came flying at Ryouma, allowing Kanan to step back as Ryouma had to dodge the attack. This time it was Riera’s turn to exdchange blows with Ryouma. Like this the two vanguards substituted with each other to keep Ryouma at bay.
The power Ryouma is demonstrating is already sufficient to supress an average D Rank adventurer party, but Kanan and the others are persistently enduring. Ryouma could defeat them if he wanted, but seeing them try so hard, he decided to keep this up to see how long they would persist.
Around that time, the people watching started cheering for the five girls.
“Do your best––!” [Spectator 1]
“You’re doing great, girls!” [Spectator 2]
“Go at him with the intention to kill!” [Spectator]
At some point in the match, the spectators started cheering for the five girls. However, the only ones who could hear their cheer were the other spectators, Sebasu, and Ryouma who was fighting with strength to spare. The girls who were being cheered were far too caught up in the fight to have the luxury to spare. They couldn’t hear anything from the spectators at all.
(It’s always like this, but still… no one really cheers for me, huh? Well… at least no one’s booing.)
As Ryouma was thinking that, Elia and Miyabi casted their magic, and Michelle called out Riera and Kanan’s name in a loud voice. After that, she made some sort of signal with her hand, and the two girls wordlessly nodded.
The girls were clearly planning something. Ryouma could bring out his full power here, and crush the vanguards before they pulled off whatever they were scheming, but Ryouma decided to wait and see what they would do instead.
After a few seconds of keeping vigil, Riera’s movements suddenly changed.
(Her movement is different from before! Is she planning to finish it here?)
She slashed down, she slashed up, she cut sideways, and she slashed diagonally. Although she was fighting fiercely before, it still seemed steady, but right now it was as if she was desperate. It was a sort of unyielding style that seemed to want to throw everything at Ryouma.
“You would even use shield bash…!?” [Ryouma]
At this moment in time, Riera joined the fray to aid her, and at the same time, Elia released a large amount of magic power. Even the spectators who were seemed to have felt a part of that power. What Ryouma saw left many of the magicians glued to the scene. They couldn’t help but raise a commotion at what was taking place before their eyes. In the next moment––––
Elia’s magic power wrapped itself around Ryouma, and then transformed itself into pressure.
(My body is heavy. My movement is being suppressed)
Ryouma tried to lighten the weight with his Qigong, putting emphasis on defense and evasion, but his body became heavier instead.
(Considering Elia’s continuing to release magic power, a curse? …No. A curse would normally have a peculiar melancholy about it. There’s no such thing here. Moreover, it feels like I’m being held by something heavy… if so, then…)
“Telekinesis, huh?” [Ryouma]
The moment Ryouma worded that, a color of impatience appeared on the faces of Riera and Kanan, who were both in front of him.
Neutral Magic 『Telekinesis』
It’s a kind of magic that exhibits power only on the target through the use of neutral magic power. It’s generally used for transportation. The bigger and heavier the object to transport is, the greater the magic power consumption. Moreover, the consumption of magic power is extremely high as the caster needs to continuously pour out magic power to use it. Except for special situations, there are barely any people who use it.
It’s a different story for Elia who has a colossal amount of magic power. She’s able to hold down Ryouma through the sheer brute force of her magic power.
Ryouma resisted directly.
“I won’t lose…” [Elia]
Ryouma forced back Elia’s restraint with his own magic power! A battle between Ryouma and Elia’s magic power began!
Their respective magic power rivals each other’s, but because Ryouma was better at controlling his magic power, he was gradually able to lift the load off his body. However, Riera who was currently in front of Ryouma wasn’t just going to stand and wait for him to finish removing Elia’s restraint.
Riera rushed up to Ryouma, and she used the sword in her right hand to slash diagonally up from her left. Ryouma tried to bring up the katana he had in his left, but Elia brought her power up to maximum output, stopping Ryouma in his tracks. Moreover, the target of her attack wasn’t Ryouma’s entire body. Rather she focused it at Ryouma’s left hand that was hodling the katana.
(The other parts can move. The only heavy part is my left hand. In fact, it actually hurts a bit… if I hadn’t used my qigong, my bones would have probably broken.)
While Ryouma’s left hand couldn’t move, Riera’s sword approached. Ryouma gave up on his left hand, and he softly brought down his right hand, and moved it as if he were drawing a circle. His hand met with Riera’s right wrist, propping it up, and averting the sword away. As Riera swung downward, Ryouma grabbed her wrist, entered into Riera’s right flank, and keeping up that momentum, he rotated around her to her back.
In order to prevent her back from being taken, Riera turned to her right, turning counter-clockwise as she tried to face Ryouma as she pulled her right arm that was currently being grabbed. But at that moment, Ryouma went against Riera’s movement. He took a step, spun his body to the left as he pushed out his arm, and as his wrist went pass Riera’s shoulder, he was able to take her back.
Meanwhile, because Riera tried to shake off the hand took that had grabbed her arm too much, her center of balance was focused too much on her back, and her posture broke. Like that she was thrown.
When Elia saw Ryouma throw Riera, her concentration was cut, and in her anxiety for Riera’s safety, she screamed out. Because of this, Ryouma’s left arm was freed.
The other vanguard, Kanan, was headed for Ryouma. She ahd struck out with all of her strength, but with a paper-thin difference, her attack was dodged. The next thing that entered her eyes was the backside of the blade of Ryouma’s katana.
In the next instant, a dull sound resounded.
As Riera who was just thrown a while ago began to rose up, she sent a side glance to Kanan upon hearing her pained voice at being hit by the back of Ryouma’s katana. At that moment, Ryouma came rushing at Riera. The other three girls rained magic on Ryouma, but Ryouma wouldn’t stop.
Riera managed to block two of Ryouma’s attacks after fixing her posture, but the third strike came allowed her chin to meet with the pommel of Ryouma’s katana. She fell to the ground.
At that, Sebasu decalred.
“Kanan-san and Riera-san has withdrawn from the fight.”
Saying only those words, Sebasu used his dimension magic, and in the next instant, he took the girls outside of the battle area, and then he returned to his spot as a referee.
The match has yet to end. Only, now… the girls no longer have their vanguards.