BTOG 276 – Limit

May 17, 2023


(……? What is this…?)

It had been a minute since the battle began.

Sukuna was struck with a terrible sense of discomfort.

While it was unclear how the real Shuten Douji was back then, the black oni in front of her is fighting unarmed, and contrary to its eerie appearance, it moved with a light step as if dancing, using a typical hit-and-run tactic.

In addition, the oni’s flexibility in using a wide variety of attacks from any position, despite being unarmed, combined with the high number of attacks, meant that there were no openings to exploit, which was terrifying.

However, there was no sense of notable speed or power.
Having just fought Kohaku, Melty, and Moon Wolf Nocturne, it was clear that the oni’s status was appropriate for level 170.

That said, Sukuna’s HP had already been cut by more than half.

(Can it be that even though I can see it clearly, I still can’t dodge it properly…?)

While evading the relentless onslaught of the shadow puppet, Sukuna calmed her bewildered thoughts and considered her options.

The shadow puppet of Shuten Douji was the most formidable foe she had faced so far, of course, that was excluding Melty and Kohaku.
However, despite the gap in status, Sukuna had managed to dodge its attacks thanks to her level 100 basic stats, the bonus from defeating three named bosses, and 1.4x boost from her race-restricted equipment, and the job bonus from being an [Oni no Miko].

That’s why, in terms of stats, Sukuna was at least on par with a level 140 Oni-folk tribe member, even without taking into account the various bonuses.

In contrast, Shuten Douji’s stats were likely set at level 170, assuming it didn’t have any special abilities.
In other words, Sukuna was in a situation where she was fighting a pure Oni-folk tribe member at level 170.
This meant that her stats were appropriate for the fight.

Furthermore, Sukuna had no buffs, and it was unlikely that the shadow puppet had any either, judging from its slightly superior physical abilities the shadow stats were much lower than those of Melty and Kohaku.

Despite seeing the attacks and evading them, Sukuna was still getting hit.
It wasn’t due to wind pressure or unexpected attack range, but rather, something else.

Even though there were no clean hits, Sukuna had been hit by the puppet’s fists at least four times during this short period of time.

(I wonder what the cause of this? was it a timing issue, or had I misjudged the distance? I don’t understand for sure, but at least for now I still could dodge it by using larger step.)

Sukuna had her ‘Sight’ which allowed her to make minimal evasive maneuvers.
However, she had a habit of trying to get by with the least amount of movement possible, relying on her ability to counterattack quickly.
However, this strategy was not working well in this situation.

She discovered the hard way during this minute-long battle that her minimal evasive maneuvers became ineffective with the slightest miscalculation.

The attacks of the Shuten’s shadow are not hitting at random trajectories.
In fact, there hasn’t been a clean hit so far, and the hits have only been slightly off the predicted trajectory.

However, the way it deviates is different every time.
And above all, the way it hit, which was just a graze at first, is steadily approaching a clean hit.
The reason why she is evading by jumping back is for this reason.

(Oh… Even though I had to take risks to fight with Melty, it’s tough to keep going like this.
I can’t even try a strategy that makes the opponent bleed.)

As a disadvantage of drinking the Oni potion during a mock battle with Melty, Sukuna has lost her defensive stat for ten days, which means, other than the pure defense power of the Red Wolf attire, she has nothing to protect herself.

Her current defense power is only one-third of what she was.
If she is hit by the Shadow’s attacks, even if it is only a scratch, she will suffer significant damage.

The opponent is not just a group of high-level people like the Ghosts of the Lake Bottom Ruins.

Despite her disadvantage, her opponent clearly outperforms her.
And if she is told to endure for 15 minutes while not understanding the principle of not being able to avoid opponents’ attacks, she will be crushed.

(Ugh… This is not good.
Honestly, my brain isn’t working anymore.
Sigh, I should take a break tomorrow…)

It has been almost a week since she forced knowledge into her brain during the BATTLER preparation period, and she has been running her brain at full throttle ever since.

No matter how much stamina she possesses, it primarily pertains to the physical aspect, and Sukuna isn’t particularly adept at mental tasks, forcing her brain cells to work tirelessly and handle enormous amounts of information processing was not her forte.

Especially during the continuous shooting using MHKS, the strain was greater than ever before.
The burden was so heavy that she needed rest, even if it meant blocking her five senses.

In particular, using the MHKS for continuous sniping was the toughest she had ever experienced.
The load was so intense that she had to rest, even if it meant blocking her senses.

The day after that, she fought against Melty and forced herself to achieve supersonic mobility, which was also incredibly taxing.

Even last night, she unconsciously relied on Rinne due to exhaustion, and she hadn’t fully recovered from that fatigue.

To an outsider, Sukuna might seem to be in top form, but that’s only because Nana’s 1% surpasses the 100% of others.

Sukuna herself isn’t too concerned about her condition, but even taking that into account, her brain was certainly feeling the strain this morning.

On top of that, there was a major showdown in the underwater ruined city.
It involved monotonous repetitive tasks, but she needed to be alert at all times for surprise attacks, while keeping her senses wide open.

Maintaining extreme concentration for an extended period was Rinne’s forte, while Sukuna struggled with it.
Short bursts of intense focus and mindless manual labor were more her strong suit.

Sukuna knows her own condition well.
That’s why she decided to give up early on, realizing that it would be difficult to tackle the challenge on her own, especially with the handicap on her status.

“Rin-chan! This might be bad!”

“Do you need help?”

“I want it!”

“Alright, alright.
Hang in there for just one more minute.”

“Got it!”

Her head isn’t working properly, and her status is hampered, which is why Sukuna decided to rely on Rinne, realizing that she wouldn’t be able to solve the problem on her own.

There was no need for her to force herself to think about things she didn’t understand, that would also reduce the success of her decision, as she had a best friend who was good at it and would support her.

Sukuna believes, Rinne would surely notice her struggle and might come up with a plan to break through the situation…maybe.

Of course, there was also the possibility that Rinne would give up quickly, saying, “It’s impossible today.” But as long as there was even a small chance, Sukuna had complete trust in Rinne to do something about it.

“Don’t think I’ll just let you keep attacking me!”

While repeatedly dodging with exaggerated movements, a sudden yakuza kick struck the shadowy figure in the abdomen.

There was no difference in their status, so the damage was significant.
However, it was instantly healed, and Sukuna realized that it was probably due to the 5% automatic regeneration per second provided by [Furious Rage].

Even without status buffs or [Authority], the undying automatic recovery effect alone made [Furious Rage] of the Seven Great Disasters so troublesome.

(The people back then must have been desperate about this… Well, even if it doesn’t cause damage, it still has a purpose in attracting hate.
I have to mix in attacks like this to make sure the target doesn’t shift to Rin-chan… Focus, me!)

Sukuna was once again taken aback by the extraordinary presence of Shuten Douji, the creator of this hell, and she did her best to raise her concentration for the remaining time.

Please stop trying to make such a blatant human appeal.

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