[Vol.2] Chapter 34 – Garden of Swaying Trees and Flowing Water

As I fixed my eyes on the crystals approaching at a high speed I let out a small breath and started to run with gentle movements.

 Now that I’ve removed Cherry Blossoms Prototype I can’t do much. Because I gave priority to the healing magic, I used less magical power than usual for body reinforcement.

 Though I take pride in the fact that among this area’s martial artists no one can catch up to my output even if they put their all into it. However, standing up to that powerful demonic beast, that’s just completely useless.

 Under the present conditions of all my abilities having declined, it’s impossible for me to smash those crystals like a while ago. Therefore, I actually can only use one method.

 It’s simple, really.

 I’ll continue dodging until my fist is healed. Other than that there’s nothing else I can do.

 Every hit would certainly cause a fatal injury so I have to avoid everything this rain of death, in which it wouldn’t be unusual to die in, has to offer without exception.

 That’s the way I chose.

 The flying crystals aimed at me as I was running and hit the ground at a tremendous speed.

 The sharp crystals shook the ground with its great momentum and deeply pierced into the soil.
……It’s not too difficult to imagine that being my body instead.

 If those crimson fangs where to hit — for example my abdomen, my bones would be smashed, my internal organs would be crushed and pierced, the wound in my torso would widen ending in cutting my body in two.

 Then it would just pierce the ground as if nothing happened. With only the bare minimum of magical power used to move my body it would just penetrate me as if I didn’t use any at all. That’s the offensive power that crystal hid.

 Every crystal approaching me held such a future for me.

 Thus, I had to dodge every one of those red crystals.

“(Good grief, how did that Alma break this?)”

 While those crystals aiming for my shadow hit the ground one after the other what incidentally floated through my mind was the face of my disciple.

 Although, I was watching her while I attended school, but the present Alma grew up so much, however, the past me …… can’t even walk shoulder to shoulder with the present me.

 Then how did you defeat Tarisberg? Where you just blessed with good luck — or is it this thing about the individual differences Monica was talking about?

 The word Tarisberg is said to be used to collectively refer to gigantic beasts which negate magic. They say that each one takes on a different appearance, their size and strength also seem to differ.
Then Alma’s opponent should have been somewhat weaker than this one.

 I dodged the accurately aimed crystal by somersaulting to the back and avoided the subsequent projectile reaching the ground by putting some power in my right hand and jumping to the right side.

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 ……Fumu, although it’s not perfectly healed, looks like it recovered enough so that I won’t feel any pain if it’s something of this degree, huh?

 I glanced at the forest of red crystals which was created in the blink of an eye and raised my right hand, swung my dangling wrist.

 While I was thinking, both of my hands have recovered to some extent. However, looks like it will still take some time before I can use all my power, huh?

 After I checked the condition of my fist I looked up at Tarisberg. The reason for that was because I felt suspicious as the crystals that poured down on me like rain just a while ago suddenly stopped.

 I thought that if it finished I could quickly complete my fist’s treatment and be a little bit more at ease but, as I thought, that legendary beast isn’t lenient.

 There, crimson crystals were forming in rows again.

 ──While avoiding the attacks I noticed that the trajectory of the crystals Tarisberg shoots have two patterns.

 One is a bullet which has some aim to it, but it is shot disorderly as if “assuming that it will miss”.
As one can imagine, there’s no way those are going to hit if I stay completely still. Therefore, its aim isn’t the hostile individual, namely me, but an attack aiming for that area.

 It’s a seemingly meaningless attack. Its accuracy is even lower than a casually shot attack, like this it’s a technique that will never hit.

 However, combined with the other type, its effect is tremendous.

 The other trajectory is a simple and therefore powerful “precisely aimed” bullet.

 I’m interested how that giant is able to aim for such a small mark like me, but that’s fine.

 What’s important is that it aims for my approximate position.

 However, its trajectory is linear and other than troublesome magic it isn’t guided, so as long as one is agile enough it can be easily avoided.

 So those randomly shot crystals become troublesome.

 If you don’t move you won’t get hit, in other words, if you move there’s a possibility of getting hit.

 Move the target with precisely aimed shots and kill it with bullets purposely aimed loosely.

 This is very crafty for a new-born monster.

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 It has a big body, can destroy the attributes’ power and it’s also clever.

 Having found one more reason for this monster being a monster, my mouth twisted into a smile.

 Cunning and brutal, splendid, splendid. Rather it seems to be without competition.
I confirmed my fist’s condition again. As before it’s not enough to crush the crystals with force, but precise movements are possible.

 Perfect, isn’t it?.……It’s just the right opportunity to try that out.

“–Original technique, “Swaying Trees””

 While remembering a certain woman I murmured that newly created name.

 It wasn’t really necessary for me to say it out loud as there’s no one who knows about the technique and no one can ask a beast who doesn’t even understand words.

 The stance used is “Flowing Water” which is excellent for receiving attacks. To avoid the intense “movements” of that barrage raining down since a while ago I have to be as “calm” as a clear stream.

 Very small, thin and weak magical power started to circle around me.

 It was basically like using magical power to build a defensive wall. However, it just doesn’t have any defensive properties to it. It won’t pose any hindrance so it’s as good as if nothing was there.

 It’s impossible to defend against those crystals coming this way with this. If I get hit directly it’ll end the way I just imagined.

 Then why did I stop walking?  

 ──It’s extremely simple, it’s no longer necessary to dodge.

The crystals aimed at me approached and broke through the magic I spread around me.

 Obviously. As I said some time ago, it doesn’t have any defensive properties.

 At this moment the crystal was an arm’s length away from me. It’s too late to try and dodge it now. If it was the same as before the crystal would simply drill through my body

 However, that won’t be my future. Even if it didn’t fulfil the role of Armor and it was already broken through.

 Still, this — is the strongest and most absolute defence I can use as of now.

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 I guessed every possible attack and took the Running Water stance, excellent in receiving.

 I stretched out my hand to the crystal as the stance demanded — and swung my hand as if trying to swat away an insect.

 Just when I thought the crystal would shred the arm I launched at it, at that moment, the crystal finally broke with the attack power of “Cherry Blossoms Prototype”, as seen before.

 Like an insect which got hit away it missed its target and was send flying to a place somewhere behind me.

 A bulky, massive crystal gave off a huge sound behind me and pierced the ground.

“Kuku, as expected, looks like you were surprised.”

Looking at Tarisberg’s expression filled with hatred, I could clearly see bewilderment floating over it. Noticing that I laughed wickedly.

 As long as it has some intelligence it would be surprised.

 Regardless of the magical power I put inside my body, the magical power I expanded outside my body to receive the crystal was weak and even compared to the average person it was inferior.

 Even so, those crystal bullets which crushed trees and gouged out the ground were deflected with that minimum amount of magical power.

 Its surprise only lasted for an instant when a rage similar to the flames of hell appeared on Tarisberg’s face as if it’s most praised weapon got laughed at.

 In the next moment, all the crystals lined up in the sky were launched towards me at once.

 As I thought, there were two types of trajectories. So if I stay at this place I have to take on a part of that army.

 The thin magical power was still revolving around me.

 No matter how huge its mass is– those crystals are too small to kill me the way I am now.

 ”Swaying Trees” which spreads a thin film of weak magical power around me.

 Its nature is not “defensive” but “analytical”.

 I expanded my magical power which can be said to be a part of myself and made it surround me.

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 Naturally, attacks aimed at me will first touch that magical flow before me.

 If it were only that, then this magical flow doesn’t have any meaning to it. There’s no way for it to stop the attack or weaken its power.

 However, the flowing magical power can accurately read the direction of the approaching attack.

 But just ejecting it doesn’t have that effect. It can only accurately read the strength and direction of a huge force touching it simply because the flowing magical power is in motion.

 And after I can see the powers flow I can swallow it using the Shijima style and manipulate it.

 ──Well, one would get it without me saying it, but I used Sonia’s “Fragrant Body” as basis for “Swaying Trees”.

 Although it’s not to the extent of Sonia’s Fragrant Body with which she can feel an attack’s origin and trajectory even with her eyes closed by reading the wind’s flow, it can read the all the trajectories of attacks while seeing them with one’s eyes and as long as one can grasp the flow of power this can show a great effect while using little magical power.

 I’m proud of this “Swaying Trees” which is like a big tree getting swayed by a rivers flow, not putting shame to the name “Flowing Water”.

 I deflected the approaching crystal with slight power.
 Something like changing the direction of powers is mere child’s play before the “Flowing Water” stance.

 I only have to slightly change the direction of said power without having to use any of my own power. With that alone I can make those crystals fly in a different direction without them ever getting to injure my body.

 How much time passed, I wonder.

 The crystal rain stopped leaving my surroundings to look like a pincushion.

 Nonetheless, the place where I’m standing, similar like a spotlight illuminating a dark stage, maintained a clean, circular shape.

“……Oh, ran out of ammunition, huh?”

 In the end I’m unhurt.

 The crimson crystals shot out with fiery passion didn’t give my body a single scratch and just made the ground look like Tarisberg’s back.

 If I knew “Swaying Trees” had that much of an effect I would have been great if I used it earlier, but unfortunately I can’t move my body as I please in the sky so it would be difficult to perform such precise movements even if I can read the attacks.

 At first glance it seems like the strongest defensive skill but it is still inadequate when compared with Sonia’s skill.
……Regretfully, it isn’t effective on enemies like Chester who can change the direction of their force in the middle of their attack.

 However, it’s true that it’s effective against long-ranged attacks. I became stronger again. One could put it like that.

 Now, while I was thinking those things──

 I repeatedly opened and closed my hand.……Perfect. I might even be able to fight Chester like this.

 I strongly clenched my fist and looked at Tarisberg.

 I felt like there was some perplexity mixed in that angry expression.

 Then I looked around incidentally.

 The mountains that were covered in trees looked tattered caused by the crystal bullets and Tarisberg’s own movements.

 All of that was aimed at me so this horrible sight the collateral damage, so to speak.

 ……I’d prefer to not cause any more damage to nature.

 Let’s end it this time for good.

I feel slightly reluctant, but this isn’t much different from torment.

 Additionally, right. It’s the individual differences. If an existence weaker than this one existed, then there surely is one exceeding this one getting born somewhere.

“I can’t, stop here”

 The magical power around my body snapped and sparks looking like scattering petals fell down.

 I changed my stance to “Surging Waves”.

 I can’t just stay here if I want to aim for the top and further above.

 I clad my body and reached heaven’s domain.

 The magical power exceeding my limits poured pain instead of blood into my muscles.

 A domain I never imagined reaching was now present in my body. Surely the world will spread out further beyond the clouds.

 If that’s the case then I have to blow those clouds away here and now.

“──Shijima style, secret technique “Inexplicable Change”.”

 With this I shall end it and move on to the next step.

 With clear intentions, I murmured the name of the domain I finally could reach my hand out to.


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