Let’s do it like this, I won’t be attacking in the first five minutes.」
She was different from the Red Wolf, and she was different from the true dragon that I had faced before.
But we were the same race: kijin.
As she was an existence very similar to my own, I clearly understood it.
The extreme difference between Kohaku’s and my stats.
The difference of the experiences we had piled up.
The pressure I felt was like a huge mountain on top of me.
「First, attack as much as you like.
You’re also free to use your skills or arts.」
Being able to calm down a bit as Kohaku talked carefreely, without using my skills or arts, I just directly rushed at her.
We were both unarmed, and although I had these heavy looking gauntlets on me it wouldn’t change the fact that this would be a hand-to-hand battle.
Since we had different heights, I lost in terms of reach.
So for now, I should get in close to her chest.
What was important was the number of moves I could perform and the speed at which I could do them.
It was obvious that I lost in all the status categories, but since Kohaku was so specialized in strength the gap between our agility stats should be the smallest.
And then, thanks to my named equipment, my SP was basically two times what it would normally be.
Either way, I needed to resolve myself to charge in, even if I ended up running out of breath.
She had probably purposefully let me get in close.
It had been way too easy for me to start the close combat engagement, but Kohaku had a refreshed face as she warded off my continuous blows.
Knowing that there wouldn’t be any counterattacks, unlike when I was fighting against Rou, I rushed in throwing attacks continuously while occasionally mixing in heavy blows.
Though I said that she warded them off, it was not like none of the attacks were landing.
My fast jabs should have been getting through from time to time, but Kohaku’s HP was not being affected even a little.
The reason was simple.
My current attack power, compared to her Toughness, aka physical defense power, was just too weak to get through it.
Kijin being kijin, they were able to develop strong physical abilities.
Even if they were specializing in one specific status, as long as they levelled up they would be able to have a physical status incomparable to that of the other races.
I didn’t know how high Kohaku’s level was, but if I considered what it felt like going against her and converted it into a level then it would be at least three digits.
Based on certain factors, I suspect that her level might even be over level 200.
She wasn’t just doubling my level.
If my calculations were correct, our level difference might have been a factor of six or seven.
And then also, regarding Kohaku’s battle style, my affinity to it was kinda bad.
Unlike me, who fought using a combination of my agility, kinetic vision, reflexes, evasion and countering, and an awareness of my SP, Kohaku didn’t hesitate to receive attacks.
She just properly identified the heavy blows hidden in the flurry of attacks and dealt with those, not caring about the other ones.
Most likely, if she wanted to deal with those then she could do it, but she disliked putting in unnecessary effort and chose to instead receive them with her high status.
It felt like I was punching a mountain due to the inescapable differences in ability.
It was no longer an issue of me measuring her or testing the waters.
The moment I realized that, I began to feel as if that was a waste of time.
I had made that judgement after trying to check her strength by attacking her nonstop for two minutes.
I backstepped once, creating some distance.
As she had already said she wouldn’t attack, Kohaku obviously wouldn’t chase me.
I placed my left foot forward and then clanged both of my fists before my chest.
The arts from the skill Dance of the Oni (Oni no Mai) had no special motions or keywords to activate them, but in exchange, you had to register your own activation method.
The user could freely choose what kind of method it was.
However, in the kijin village, in most cases the student would inherit an activation method from their mentor.
Since I had Kohaku show me her methods, I obediently inherited them all from her.
For Kohaku’s Oni no Mai, all of her activation methods used a 「clapping」motion as the base.
Then, adding on to that, based on the way your feet were positioned and the angles of your hands, one of the five types of mai (dance) would be activated.
It all depended on how you altered your posture.
Yesterday, to remember all five methods, I spent quite a lot of time practicing.
After all, once you had decided the method, if you didn’t strictly follow the set actions, the arts wouldn’t be able to activate.
The real origin of the skill 《Oni No Mai》was from an era where it was a 「dance (mai),」and making it actually practical and easier to use was Shuten’s achievement.
And still, though it more or less had a usage restriction, thinking of how strong the skill’s effect was, it probably couldn’t be helped that there were conditions.
In the first place, if this wasn’t a one-on-one match then the restriction wouldn’t really matter that much.
What I activated was the《Second Formation -Doubled Edge Dance (Moroha no Mai)-》.
It gave me the exhilarating feeling of my strength and agility increasing a lot, but I also felt fragile after losing all my defense at the same time.
The one before me was, without a doubt, an existence with the power to be called the 「strongest.」
With the effects of my Moroha no Mai, it wasn’t just the defense from my Toughness that had been stripped away.
The defensive power of my armor was also gone.
I only had three minutes left before Kohaku could start attacking.
As if to show her that I was done checking things out, I shoved my foot into the ground and blasted towards her, releasing a punch.
Kohaku was planning to receive it with her palm, but before my fist reached her, I opened my hands and grasped onto Kohaku’s fingers.
Using the hand I grabbed as an anchor, I used it to pull our bodies closer and then I once again dug my foot into the ground, driving a palm strike into her.
While feeling that Kohaku reacted with just a「little surprise,」today, for the first time, I was able to get a clean hit in, and with the effects of the buffs on I was finally able to succeed in reducing Kohaku’s HP.
The amount of HP that I removed was just a little bit, but I understood now that as long as I had strength over 300 and I equipped a weapon, I could pierce through Kohaku’s defenses.
And when I thought that I should continue with another attack and was letting go of Kohaku’s hand to do so, Kohaku tightly caught my hand, fixing it in place.
When I tried to pull my hand back with all my strength, she let me go and I let out a weird sound as I struggled to not fall down onto my bottom.
With the small break that had opened in the fight, Kohaku took the time to say something.
「Moroha no Mai is supposed to be something you shouldn’t be able to handle properly the first time, you know, but-……ah, now that I think about it, you also have a skill that is similar to it.」
Against Kohaku, who had a genuinely surprised reaction, I realized I had been seen through, just as I expected.
It wasn’t like I was hiding it, but at the point she had taught me the skill, it may have been exposed that I had another buff skill.
Rather, it seemed like Kohaku had seen my fights with Rou and Apocalypse too.
To be precise, I think that it was exposed that I had some sort of skill then.
While replying, I once more moved forward.
Since otherwise it would be a waste of time, I moved my limbs frantically.
「Though since I already used it yesterday, I can’t use it today though!」
「A skill that is limited to one use per day, that’s unusual.
I didn’t really see it having enough of an effect to warrant that kind of cooldown, though….」
While defending against my attacks seriously unlike she had earlier, Kohaku said that with such a leisurely face.
Yeah, I also thought so.
I thought the same thing the moment I learned Moroha no Mai yesterday.
But the result was that I was able to find out new effects of Ravenous Wolf, so in the end, it wasn’t a waste.
There was a difference in the order you should use buffs if you wanted them to affect each other.
From now on, this would be an important factor.
While talking, my fists never stopped.
I used dirty strategies like surprise attacks shamelessly.
However, unfortunately, because most of my surprise attacks were made from unreasonable positions, their power was weak enough that Kohaku didn’t even bother to evade.
「You really are someone who can suddenly attack from anywhere.」
「It’s my redeeming feature-! After all!」
I hate status’s violence.
Even though my strength was increased by twofold, even if I hit, she wouldn’t falter a bit.
「C’mon c’mon, there are only two minutes left, you know?」
Against Kohaku, who was provoking me by telling me the remaining time, I continued charging in, this time with desperation.
After this, taking a look from the archived stream, set in a field that looked like a small arena, the scene displayed would make you say that our battle looked like a bull fight.
By the way.
While she was dealing with my attacks.
It seemed that she was having fun, Kohaku had a big smile on her face.
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