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Chapter 44 – A deadly 60 seconds

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Author: Resn Original Source: Kakuyomu
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

Drakes, a species in this world which had inherited the blood of dragons, granting them extra power, stood as a higher type of dragonewt. By swallowing a dragon stone, a crystal containing the power of their ancestors, they could momentarily regain all the power they had lost across generations…

◇◇◇

Crim rushed forward, making the first move. Jumping high into the air, she swung both her katanas down, letting them gain more momentum from her fall, but…

“…Kuh?!”

It felt like she had just struck an immovable rock, all her momentum gone in an instant and replaced with an imminent sense of dread. A moment later, Sorleon’s second sword swung in the space where Crim had just been.

Sorleon quickly regained his footing, the fire on his back flaring up, resembling the spreading of wings. Every instinct in Crim screamed danger, prompting her to brace herself before…

“Ah…”

In a flash, Sorleon appeared before her, propelled by an explosive burst from the fire on his back. Despite his high-speed movement, he maintained precise control over his body. Crim, unable to simply stand in awe, instinctively dodged to the side.

A whooshing sound followed as Sorleon’s firm grip on his sword allowed it to just graze Crim’s breastplate, leaving a slender cut on her right shoulder and slightly reducing her HP.

Clearly, Sorleon wasn’t about to let Crim complete her preparations undisturbed. He seemed uninterested in the secret attack he had previously claimed to be curious about. As annoyance flickered through Crim’s thoughts, another attack descended upon her from above.

Just forty seconds more.

Crim crossed her katanas in a desperate attempt to block the blow, but Sorleon’s immense strength forced her to her knees.

No, the main one will come from below.

Anxiety flooded her mind as she strained to lift her locked blades, creating just enough space to leap back. She barely managed to evade Sorleon’s sideward sweep with his second sword.

“…Edge Launcher,” Sorleon muttered, naming his weapon art. Suddenly, Crim’s small frame was hurled into the air. The arm she used to block was thrust upwards, causing her to lose grip on one katana, which clattered to the ground.

Additionally, her left eye grew hot, accompanied by a warning icon indicating severe damage to the area. Her field of vision, at least on the left side, dramatically narrowed.

Thirty seconds…

With her arm forced aside, Crim’s stomach lay vulnerable. “Gah…hah…” she gasped as the pommel of Sorleon’s sword drove into her abdomen. The impact bent her body at a harsh angle, shattering her stance and expelling all air from her lungs.

“Ew… Hitting girls in the stomach really doesn’t feel nice, not even in games…”
“Damn…you…”

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Crim struggled to get up, coughing and gasping for breath, Sorleon seized her shoulders, lifting her before flinging her against a nearby cliffside.

Only 20 seconds now.

“…Ghah?!” The collision once again forced the air from her lungs. Her vision flickered, consciousness wavering. Unable to muster any strength, her body slid helplessly down the cliff. Overwhelmed, tears streamed down her cheeks. Through blurred vision, she saw Sorleon looming over her, sword raised high. Her instincts screamed danger as she tried to move out of the path of harm.

Just…

SLAM—a terrifying noise erupted beside Crim. Fortuitously, she had moved just enough to avoid a fatal blow from Sorleon’s sword, but…

“…Eugh…ah..!” A sharp pain overwhelmed her mind as a long white object toppled onto her lap… it was her severed left arm. Concurrently, a warning icon for the missing limb lit up, and Crim lost all sensation in her left arm. Sorleon, seemingly shocked, observed Crim, who appeared incapable of proper movement, yet she had still managed to dodge his attack.

Crim’s HP bar had dwindled from yellow to red due to the extensive damage, but the mental toll was even more debilitating, leaving her dazed and struggling to regain her senses. Moments later, she felt a foot push against her shoulder, toppling her onto the ground and pinning her in a supine position.

“…Too bad,” Sorleon uttered emotionlessly, looking down at her. Immobile, Crim lay there as he positioned his sword near her rigid neck, poised for decapitation.

…I’m going to lose? As the blade edged closer, time seemed to decelerate in her mind, that question resonating repeatedly. No…I don’t want…to lose! The blade nearly grazed her throat, igniting a fierce determination within her. I’m not going to lose here!! Though a plan was yet to be formed, her resolve was clear. No matter how implausible, she had to prevail. I’m going to defeat him!!

“…Blaze Blood!!” Crim’s eyes flashed open, facing death squarely. Half on instinct, she jerked her head aside just as Sorleon’s blade descended, nicking her skin but sparing her life.

Her heart pounded fiercely, pumping blood through her body, invigorating her with newfound strength. The surge of blood manifested as red marks across her pristine white skin, and her white hair turned a deep crimson instantaneously. All her blood heated, vaporizing into a red mist that enveloped her. Crim’s body was transforming, mirroring Sorleon’s earlier metamorphosis, her eyes now ablaze with a burning desire for victory.

“I’m not…going to looooseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!”
“…What?!”

In an instant, Crim lunged for a pitch-black battleaxe lying nearby, seizing it and swinging with all her might.

It was a straightforward attack, devoid of any arts, but her accelerated movements imbued the axe with such force that Sorleon had to retract his sword to defend. Even so, the impact hurled him backward.

The burdens that had weighed Crim down vanished as she sprang to her feet, no longer resembling a lifeless body. Once upright, she outstretched her hand.

It’s time!!

“Shadow Heavy-Weapon…!” A black greatsword materialized in her hand. However, unlike the previous weapons she had conjured, this one began to emanate an inner glow. Simultaneously, all the other weapons Crim had scattered around resonated with it.

Everything is finally ready!

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“…EX Drive..!!” She thrust the greatsword into the ground, then raised her remaining right hand skyward as she declared this. Shortly thereafter, the twelve weapons strewn across the battlefield started glowing in unison.

“Raise your men, Army Rending Swordmaster, and come hither… Ephemeral Spectral Sword!!” The illuminated weapons transformed into conduits for something greater, levitating and beginning to orbit around Crim.

During this transformation, they acquired more intricate ornaments, their designs harmonizing yet retaining individual characteristics. The transformation continued, evolving them into twelve knightly swords, each moving with impeccable coordination, akin to royal knights around a roundtable controlling them.

The area around Crim was enveloped in a crimson aura. Her hair billowed like a blazing red flame. Bright red patterns overtook her pearly white skin. The immense magical power radiating from her body caused her crimson cloak to flutter as if caught in a strong wind.

Despite her body being littered with wounds, her left arm and eye gone, she stood unwavering before the mightiest foe she had faced, staring at him with a crazed grin. All the audience watching the broadcast could utter only one name upon witnessing this spectacle.

The Scarlet Demon Lord.

“Huh…those are his..?!” Sorleon’s eyes widened in recognition. But his surprise quickly morphed into a joyous smile. “I see, so that’s what you were hiding. Hahah, I’m going to enjoy this!!”

His laughter was tinged with both joy and a hint of fear. Observing him, Crim reached for one of the twelve swords circling her, grasping it firmly with her right hand and steadying her stance.

“Well…it took a while, but now I, Crim Lua Cheia, shall use my full power to defeat thee..!!”
“Let’s do this then! I, Sorleon Nord Glacier, won’t hold back either!!”

They both declared their names along with their guild affiliations as they prepared for confrontation. Crim unleashed a battle cry, armed with her twelve gleaming crimson swords, ready to bring their duel to a climax.



 

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