|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3322 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 7241 words|
Mira landed on the opposite side where Galum stood to encircle their enemy, muttering to herself in annoyance. Their combined attack was impossible to defend against or dodge, and any middle class enemy would’ve been blown to smithereens by that point. But the skeleton stood up again as if nothing happened, no damage visible anywhere on its bones. It was a foe more powerful than she had imagined. But that also brought a slight smile to the corners of her lips.
The skeleton had Galum to the front, Mira behind, and Popotwise above. It looked around to confirm where everyone was, and then darted ahead towards Galum. Galum leapt backwards while swinging his claws in counterattack. The skeleton held the holy sword to the side, forming the light barrier to stop the claws from touching it, but its feet did not slow down and it charged with all its momentum against the wolf.
That strong kick sent Galum and all his raw strength flying into the air. Seeing that, the skeleton held the holy sword with both hands and took one more step ahead. Their roles had reversed from before, and now it was Galum who had his torso exposed as his body moved through the air.
And when the skeleton was about to thrust the sword into him, both its arms stopped dead in their tracks. Arlawne’s vines had grabbed the skeleton’s arms. But it only lasted a short moment, even though the skeleton possessed no muscles, it still had an unworldly strength and quickly tore itself away from the vines. Still, that short moment was all Galum needed to save himself, while also giving Mira and the others an opening.
The skeleton had been kept still for less than a second, just a mere instant. But Popotwise still used it as best she could, unleashing a rain of countless stones onto the skeleton. Though rather than stones, the projectiles traveled at high speeds just like bullets, posing even more of a threat than arrows would. The skeleton seemed to realize that as well, as it pulled the sword to its side again to form the light barrier.
The stones collided with the barrier one after another without rest, creating a sound similar to that of a landfall that masked other silent footsteps. The skeleton only noticed those when a soft and warm breath blew on its back. But that was too late, Mira grinned behind it and held its skull in her hand.
Sage Art – Earth: Lightning Grasp
As soon as the skill was activated, a purple flash blinded their eyes as a thunder roared. It was truly like a bolt of lightning, and while the flash faded quickly, the thunder kept echoing inside the shrine. That skill was meant to cause mass destruction by unleashing an inhuman amount of electrical energy at once, and the intensity and power of it made Anlutine hiding in the ceiling beams get teary eyed.
Carrying more power was not the only difference it had from Crimson Grasp or Furious Grasp, there was one more effect to it. There was no knock off or recoil to it. Which meant Mira’s hand was still on the skull. It was mostly used when one had the next attack planned already, though it also meant that a counterattack from the enemy could easily follow as well.
The skeleton carefully lifted his sword up, ready to swing down just in case, and quickly turned around. The swiftness of its motion showed there was still no damage inflicted to it. Before the sword was swung down, Galum roared loudly as he latched onto the skeleton, fiercely biting and shaking it around, his sharp fangs biting as deep as he could. The wolf’s jaws clamped down on the skeleton like a vise, which it tried to shake off by violently moving around and emptily swinging the holy sword, but Galum’s strength and courage did not give up as he kept a firm grip on it.
As a grating sound came from between the fangs and bone, eventually a small crack appeared. As soon as that happened, the skeleton shrieked loudly and pointed the holy sword straight up. As it did that, countless glowing swords manifested in the air. The glowing swords emitted a strong light, as if the sun was condensed in them, and when the skeleton lowered its hand they all fell at high speeds.
「Hmmm? Now that’s an inherent skill.」
Mira jumped out of the way to evade the falling light swords before observing the scene, muttering to herself full of curiosity. Inherent skills were peculiar skills unique to certain weapons. Most holy and demonic swords, as well as famous weapons, had some sort of inherent skill, and as they were further developed there came a moment when mastery over the inherent skill could be more important than mastering the weapon itself.
The falling swords like a meteor shower appeared to be intent on showing they were entirely controlled by the holy sword, moving according to the movements of the skeleton’s hand holding the sword. The storm of light swords hit Galum, which made him relax his jaws just enough for the skeleton to escape his grasp. Galum looked slightly saddened that his prey had escaped, looking at Mira for forgiveness before turning towards the skeleton again and growling to provoke it.
(It managed to escape Galum’s grip even. It really is a powerful foe.)
When Mira heard a holy sword was involved she expected the opponent to put up a fight, but this was much more than she thought. After checking Galum for any wounds he had, she carefully applied Summoning Skill: Charitable Healing Hand to him so he could recover.
Though to be precise, she was repairing a protective barrier Galum had applied, rather than taking care of wounds. One of the features of summoning a beast was that they could never be injured as long as they were fighting in a summoned state. The summoning circle used for them had that programmed into it, as well as a forced undoing of the summon if the barrier was broken.
That was also the reason why Mira felt confident in letting them fight against powerful enemies.
As soon as he had recovered, Galum dashed towards the skeleton and swung his claws against him. His attack moved at a formidable speed, everything happening the same way as all his past attempts, but when the skeleton saw the incoming attack it reacted differently. Rather than deploying the light barrier, it held the holy sword at a slanted angle and skillfully parried Galum’s claws.
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Having lost their path, the claws only cut through air before they landed on the floor and dug into it, while the skeleton used the holy sword as fulcrum to turn around and dug its knee into the side of Galum’s head. Galum’s defenses cracked and his large black body was sent flying with a strong impulse.
Without losing an instant, a fireball hit the skeleton from his blind spot. That was Popotwise’s magic that always activated at the perfect moment. But the skeleton caught the fireball with its hand, squeezing it into nothing while shrieking. Mira also charged against its unguarded back, but the skeleton quickly jumped and turned around, looking straight at Mira as it raised the sword above its head.
(It learned how to fend us off really quickly. It might be even more powerful than that devil.)
Mira grimaced seeing how the skeleton had learned to predict her attack pattern and negate it, while also comparing its behavior and swiftness to the devil she once fought. She then activated the Truth Eyes of a deep azure color, manifesting a towering white shield between her and the skeleton.
As soon as the skeleton had both feet on the floor, it swung its hand with the sword down, a flash of light running through the blade as it cleanly cut through the white shield, which shattered into countless particles of light. The strong impact sent those particles straight towards the place Mira had been standing in, the rain of light destroying everything it touched.
But Mira’s body was nowhere near that place anymore. Such an attack was not something easy to evade, so the skeleton was certain it had hit Mira, but seeing she had vanished left it confused. But it quickly regained its composure as it looked around, calmly trying to find its objective.
Still, what it saw instead was a fireball coming at it from one side and Galum’s fangs from the other. It had been so focused on finding Mira all its other reflexes were too slow to deploy the barrier for both attacks. As a result, it had no option but to lift the sword, using the barrier to protect against Galum’s jaws which posed the biggest threat, and catching the fire ball in its palm again. Only that this time the fireball was larger than the last one, which sent a violent jolt down its arm. At the same time it could not allow itself to create even a small opening for Galum, so it was essentially pinned in place there.
「I finally got you.」
Two small hands grasped one of the skeleton’s outstretched arms. The owner of those small hands, Mira, whispered that with a wicked smile as her hands glided up the arm holding the holy sword.
Sage Art – Earth: Furious Grasp Times Two
Activating the skill imbued Mira’s hand with more magic power than she had unleashed so far. Her small hands sent out violent shockwaves of destruction that shook the entire shrine. All that concentrated power was focused on a small point, which enhanced its destructive properties even more as the skeleton’s arm shattered into small pieces.
The holy sword, now separated from the skeleton’s body, fell onto a bush created by Arlawne. At the same time, the fireball contained in the skeleton’s other hand was deflected and flew straight up into the ceiling where it dispersed. A bright red light illuminated the shrine, and the skeleton heaved one last shriek as the fireball thundered in the distance.