Clink! Clank! Bam! Bang!
Sounds of swords clashing and sparks flying kept going incessantly inside this cave.
...What is this. No really, what.
Alma-san is swinging her sword at super high speed, my eyes can barely keep up. Ordinary people would've turned into a minced meat against this. This is supposed to be a friendly spar though. Not a deathmatch. I think you want to go a teeny bit easy there.
And then there's Kajikawa-san who's blocking her slashes like it's the most normal thing. Barehanded at that. How is he unharmed, I mean there's this metal clashing sound whenever he blocks them, is Kajikawa-san a golem or something?
I think neither of them is human though.
"Oy oy! Magic swords right off the bat? Give me a break! You're getting way too much into this!"
"Yet you easily deflected them! I'll pick up the pace seeing as you can still keep up!"
"Hold it, hold it, hold it! I'm hanging on by a thread here!"
...After she said that, Alma-san's body dimly glowed and she got even faster.
Forget catching up, I can't see what's what anymore. I can't even tell when she swings her sword.
...And despite saying that, Kajikawa-san is still managing to cope with this speed, really what is he. He said he can't use Skills, but I find that hard to believe. Or more like, I don't think there's many people out there who can deal with this speed even if they can use Skills.
Can I really become as strong as these two? Honestly, I'm not sure...
I'd like to believe I'm fully aware how out of ordinary Hikaru is.
Flying, blowing up a High Cave Bear's head without the assistance of Skills, or buffing his finger with enough energy to crush rocks.
It all sounds incomprehensible put into words. It's just as incomprehensible when you see them happening before your eyes...
Nevertheless, I was sure I could at least land a hit if I got serious, and yet he blocked a combination of powered up Storm Sword and Ki Clad.
I'm clearly behind Hikaru in close quarter combat. I lose to someone who has only started fighting two months ago despite practicing since childhood.
Hikaru's Attributes are slightly higher than mine, but the gap should not be big enough for my Skills to fail overtaking it. And yet with my Skills active, I'm getting slightly driven back after around five minutes.
That settles it, Hikaru's Attributes shown on his Status must be added to his original base one. He's probably about 100 points higher than me in reality.
I'm more terrified of Hikaru leaving me behind than feeling frustrated at this.
I can't let this go on. I don't want to drag Hikaru down. I have to swing my sword stronger, even stronger.
"Alma, what gets you so desperate?"
Hikaru spoke nonchalantly, seemingly used to my speed now.
"You look like Reina earlier, trying so hard to awkwardly keep up with you. You can get faster and raise your power all you want but it's nothing I can't handle if I buff myself."
He spoke as if he could read my mind.
"Are Magic Swords and Martial Arts your only arsenal, Alma? I'm sure you've got plenty of other tricks up your sleeve, go on and have at 'em... Ah, I'm not saying this just because I'm tired okay? No really.... Man, I wanna lie down..."
...Looking closer again, his breathing seems rougher than usual, or maybe I'm just imagining it.
That aside, Hikaru is right.
High attributes or Skill Levels alone don't make one strong. They're just parts of the whole.
True strength is probably when you make full use of all those parts.
...I won't compare my Status with Hikaru anymore. There must be something only I can do.
To Hikaru who helped me realize that, I will respond with my very own 'Strength' along with my gratitude.
Here I go, Hikaru.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!!
Why's this girl going so hard at this!? I'm gonna die! You're killing me!
I spouted some random BS in hope of making Alma stop swinging his sword my way at crazy speed, and now the barrage's gotten even crazier. How did this happen!
But she'd probably tire herself out first had she kept doing that, that interference was necessary. This girl is seriously way strong.
And the result is her terraforming with Spirit Magic whenever I make a move, obstructing me in the process.
I stepped back and there was a wall. I tried moving sideways and the ground turned muddy, sinking my feet.
When I waited for her to attack with her sword, a rock javelin thrust out of the ground, then a barrage of machine gun fireballs came flying when I dodged it. No mercy at all!
Ah hey, now she's coming at me with her sword while I'm busy dealing with the fireballs using my mana clad arms! This combo is way too brutal! She's gonna get a hit on me... No choice, time to deploy my new technique!
Alma swung her sword diagonally from above, but a sound of metal clashing resounded a moment before it touched me.
Alma's eyes popped wide to see her sword getting repelled. She seemingly couldn't process how I blocked that surefire slash.
The trick is quite simple. Using the same principle as Mana Pile Bunker, I just shove a mass of hardened mana at the attack just before it hit me, like some kinda counter.
I've been using pile bunker, mana blade, mana drill and co. through my hand so far because it's easier to image, but upon a closer inspection, I realized it doesn't have to be done through my palm.
As a result, I can now repel any attack from all directions as long as I know it's coming.
It's kinda like blocking in fighting games. Or more like a defense mechanism of a certain weeping red demon... Guess that's hard to imagine for those who don't get the reference.
Alma's repelled sword got flung and pierced into the wall. Swords sure slip off often these days.
Ah watch out, she's about to fall down onto that rock javelin!
I reached out to her to support her body, but then
"Ah, Kajikawa-san, pai touched!"
...Yes, I did. My mind ghost is filing a case. An open and shut one. Detain him at once.
No wait a minute here, there was no room to think about that, I just moved my body without thinking, there was absolutely no ulterior motives nor did I intentionally try to touch her chest.
Alright, let's beg for forgiveness. And then I'll let her hit me twice or thrice.
"S-sorry! That wasn't on purpose! I just wanted to stop you from falling and!"
"U-un... It's fine, I don't, mind."
She was blushing as she replied to me making excuses, but she sounded kinda stiff. It's absolutely bugging her.
Behind us, Reina was shaking her shoulders like she was holding her laughter... We're having bear meat for dinner today.
Things have gotten super awkward. This is no time for sparring. How did this happen. How!