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Chapter 145: Battle at the Peak (Part 2)

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3374 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1616 words
Editor(s): Fire

「Ohh, I like that look. It would prove to be a formidable challenger, if only it still lived in its original form.」

The Demon Princess grinned as she looked from her spot in mid-air, before launching a clump of black mist. Linbei quickly jumped above it to dodge, while rolling and shooting an orb of lightning from its hoofs.

「Admirable swiftness, but not yet enough.」

The mist surrounding the Demon Princess swallowed the orb, which flashed together with thunder, releasing a weirdly metallic scent to the air. Linbei’s lightning orb was as powerful as a thunderbolt. But the black mist seemed unharmed by it, still protecting the Demon Princess.

(It didn’t reflect it this time? Or it couldn’t do it?)

Rather than reflecting the magic back like earlier, the black mist remained still, containing the explosion. Kagura decided on trying more attacks, to discern if it was an element that the black mist could not reflect, or if it was because a shikigami had launched it.

「Hm… What a cumbersome bunch.」

Kagura and Linbei weaved their attacks in and out. Kagura swung her staff at any incoming mist, before counterattacking with a spell of her own. Linbei ran in circles around the Demon Princess, evading the mist, while sending more lightning orbs. The Demon Princess muttered gloomily at incessant attacks from all directions, before breaking into a chuckle. Her eyes snapped wide open, her presence changing instantly as she shouted 「Now’s my turn!」

Kagura stood still seeing that change, carefully examining the Demon Princess.

「First, that pesky forgery!」

Saying that, she struck her palms forward, pointed towards Linbei. Nothing seemed to happen at first, but as Linbei continued circling swiftly around her, its feet suddenly seemed to catch on something and it rolled over falling onto the ground.

「What just happened?」

Kagura barely had any time to react as Linbei’s momentum was killed, and the black mist attacked it, instantly turning it back to charms.

(That looked like its feet got tied together. But it didn’t look like an Art either. Maybe it was some sort of Innate Spell? Like something unique to an embodied curse, basically just a curse overall…)

Kagura had felt something through her shared senses with Linbei when it fell down, making her wonder if that had been an Innate Spell of curses.

Innate Spells, a broad term used to classify magic different to the Arts of humans, a type of power used by non-human entities, meaning they were as varied as different species existed. That meant no one knew all of them, and the study and classification of them was a continuous scholarly effort.

「Whatever shall you do now? I’ve practically tied your hands now.」

The Demon Princess announced clearly, a grin twisting her lips as she spread her arms wide apart. Her arms began looking like an unfocused projection, slowly splitting into two, then three, and growing in number.

(Black mist hands? …No, something feels different. That’s…)

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The black mist could penetrate through barriers like they were made of paper, and Kagura’s spells were reflected back at her. Shikigamis were restrained by some mysterious force and devoured by the mist. Like the Demon Princess had said, Kagura’s hands were tied. But Kagura did not seem bothered by that whatsoever, her gaze focused on the black mist surrounding her opponent, and the multiple black arms that had sprouted from it.

「I’ll let you taste my Dharma!」

A spellcaster whose Arts were useless was practically just an average person. But seeing Kagura look unbothered and calm made the Demon Princess irritated, so she shouted as she swung her arms back. At the same time, dozens of black arms stretched towards Kagura.

「Dharma? I see, so that’s what it’s called!」

The mysterious power used by the Demon Princess, her Innate Spell, was called Dharma. Kagura leapt away from that spot, repeating the word she heard from the Demon Princess with a smile. A distance away she turned around and swung her white staff at the incoming black hands.

But contrary to her expectation, there was a violent hit, and her staff was sent flying away from the recoil.

(It feels like a lot of condensed power. I better not get hit by that.)

She kicked off the ground and caught her staff spinning in the air, then launched spells at the black hands following after her, knocking them away, before blocking a couple more with a barrier.

(I knew it. Only the mist itself is able to reflect mana or consume it.)

Slowly she was sleuthing out the Demon Princess’ power. Eventually her barrier broke, and the black hands neared on her again, forcing her to run again. Jumping away, Kagura raised another barrier, but it crumbled the moment the hands moving like a school of fish touched it. Seeing that, Kagura made another discovery.

(I somehow expected this to be the case, but there are hands made of mist mixed in with the rest.)

The black hands had been made by that mysterious Dharma power, but mixed in with them were some black mist hands as well. The Dharma hands could be taken down with Arts, but the mist ones would reflect them. The mist hands could be destroyed with her staff, but if she hit the Dharma ones she would lose her grip from the recoil. It was simple enough on paper, but a tricky situation to actually be in.

Still, Kagura did not despair. She simply increased the distance between her and the pack of wriggling hands, and fastened some charms to the end of her staff.

「If physical attacks won’t do it, I’ll just hit them with magic!」

Saying that with a decided expression, she turned around and ran towards the hands, broadly swinging her staff which had been set ablaze. Her theory was right, and any hand that came in contact with the staff was torn away.

「Perfect result!」

Easily coupling the properties of Anti-Demon Silver with her magic, she was able to fight back against both the Dharma hands and the black mist hands.

「You’re holding up better than I anticipated. I’ll make you regret ever daring to challenge my Dharma!」

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The Demon Princess watched Kagura’s struggle with disgust from high in the room. She was growing impatient and annoyed that she was having so little effect, and she glared at Kagura while spreading her arms wide.

「I’d rather not.」

Kagura realized the Demon Princess was about to use her mysterious power again, so she instantly unleashed a charm towards her opponent. The charm quickly transformed into Piisuke, who flew high into the air. Piisuke quickly created a large fireball which was shot at the Demon Princess, who was still preparing her next attack.

That fireball packed more heat than the initial Three Attack Rules – Red, engulfing the Demon Princess in flames. The air felt hot and the walls of the room seemed to get scorched, but it only lasted a few seconds.

「Is that all? This measly fire won’t ever be enough to burn me.」

As the Demon Princess spoke, multiple black lines seemed to stretch everywhere, quickly extinguishing the flames. Once she was visible again, it was clear the flames had been unable to reach through the black mist surrounding her, and the creepy shadow lingering behind her showed her next Dharma attack was nearly ready.

But Kagura’s eyes were drawn to something else.

It seemed her hypothesis of shikigami attacks not being reflected was true. Convinced of her result, 「Let’s try from here then」 she said, switching places with Piisuke overhead and swinging her blazing white staff down.

That attack was a perfect surprise attack from the Demon Princess’ blindspot. Without a chance to evade, the staff pierced through the shadow and black mist, hitting the Demon Princess straight on the head.

The chimes of the bells affixed to the staff’s end rang loudly, drowning the Demon Princess’ cry. Having landed one clean hit, Kagura skillfully landed and turned to see the state of the Demon Princess.

「Guh… What an impudent brat…」

The Demon Princess, who had been knocked out of the air, had a streak of red blood dripping from her lip, and her eyes were open wide as she stared ominously at Kagura. It seemed the staff had cleansed most of the mist surrounding her, as it looked much thinner now, and the eerie shadow that was being formed with Dharma had also vanished.

(I guess her main body isn’t all that sturdy after all.)

The Demon Princess hurt and with her power whittled away, looked like she was just putting on airs pretending to be stronger. Once Kagura finished her assessment, she jumped back. The Demon Princess noticed that, and shouted 「I won’t let you get away!」 while shooting a clump of mist.

But all that happened was that a great fire engulfed the Demon Princess again. Piisuke was the one launching a surprise attack from her blind spot this time. Kagura dispersed the incoming mist with her staff, and watched the flames attentively.

Once the fire died down, the Demon Princess’ body became exposed. Since the mist was not as thick as earlier, the flames had reached the Demon Princess, and various spots on her clothes were charred.

(I guess it’s easier to get her when the mist is gone.)

While the black mist had protected her from essentially any attack earlier, without it she was easy to hit. Seeing that result, Kagura formulated a new theory.

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「I see. You’re only extremely strong against spirits.」


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