「Are you alright?」
「You don’t have to force yourself, you know.
Though I held back my punch, there was still enough power to destroy the barrier around here, after all.」
The practice match at the mini arena had ended with my complete defeat, and I had been laid out on a bed at the resting area.
As the person herself had said, it was《Back of the sword (Mineuchi)》 , a master-level technique you wouldn’t be able to learn unless you raised your 《Unarmed Combat》skill a lot….that’s how it seemed, anyway.
As a result, I was left with a single hit point, and because of the strong shock from the punch, which felt just like being run over by a car, I had once again eaten the dirt.
It felt like my whole body was being shaken around.
It was really rough.
Although, since there wasn’t any sense of pain, it was only difficult in the sense that I felt like I had really bad car sickness.
I thought that it wouldn’t take much time to recover, though.
「Sukuna, I think that your tactics have a bad affinity with 《Unarmed Combat》.」
Shaking my head to wake up from the dizziness, Kohaku slowly started talking.
As I tilted my head at what Kohaku said, in a flowy tone, she continued speaking.
「The other day, I saw you fight a human girl, and basically, when you fight against a stronger enemy than you, you have the tendency to fight by piling up damage one hit at a time.
It’s totally not a mistake, but against opponents like me who have a regenerating skill or ability, and enemies that are purely tough and slow, the efficacy of that tactic decreases sharply.」
It was just like what had happened earlier.
As she brought that up, I remembered how hard I worked to deal damage while it was regenerated again and again.
Seeing the attacks that had finally gotten through end up being a wasted effort was quite a big hit to your spirit.
And furthermore, if you had given your all and that was still happening to you…
「The opponent might have been a bad one, but this is also true.
The Red Wolf, that girl, a true dragon, and then me.
All of them are opponents that have put too much on a burden on you to win…….
but still you won against the Red Wolf and inherited its power.
Do you yourself know why you won?」
「Hmm….because I didn’t go on the offensive, I guess.」
Being asked why I won against the Red Wolf, I tried bringing up the reason I had thought of.
By the climax of the fight, if you were to exclude that one knife I threw before, I hadn’t even once commenced an attack.
「I’m sure it was.
It’s not like I saw your fight against the Red Wolf, but after fighting with you today, I thought the same thing, you know…..Sukuna, your eyes are way too good.」
「You see, Sukuna.
Thoughtlessly seeing everything, even if there is little chance that you will receive an attack, you end up putting part of your focus on evading.
Especially when you’re fighting 1 v 1, that tendency stands out.」
I hadn’t really thought that deeply about it, but I didn’t have anything to say that would deny what Kohaku said.
In the fight with Rou as well, I was hesitant to attack her.
Even though she had a way higher level than I, there might’ve been a time where I would have been able to break her guard if I hadn’t been so afraid of being damaged.
There had been a difference of levels, a difference of agility, a difference of strength, a difference of skills, and a difference in experience.
But during the fight with Rou, I just thoughtlessly depended on 《Ravenous Wolf (Garou)》to close that gap.
「The essence of《Unarmed Combat》is continuously attacking even if your blood is spilled.
If you are going to do hit-and-runs, then you should have a weapon with you.
After all, weapons have stronger hitting power.」
「Well, in the first place, from what I’ve seen, you are a countering type.
I think that hit-and-run tactics are not suited for you.」
If I thought back to my unexpected win against Aria then I thought it would be fine for me to honestly agree that I was a counter type.
Even with the fight against Rou, if I had put all my focus towards it, I might have been able to win with just counters.
Even in the situation I had just been in, if I hadn’t been so greedy trying to use a counter, I might have been able to see through Kohaku’s plan to aim for my footing and then made a counterplan.
If I had done it without worrying so much, it was true Kohaku might have recovered because of her regen skill, but it wasn’t like I wanted to defeat her.
In the end, it was probably because of my impatience that I had made a misjudgement.
Even though I had been using it for two days, if you said that I had become attached to the 《Unarmed skill》…that wasn’t how it was.
「Your eyes are good, your instincts and reflexes are prodigious, and you also have a body that can move freely with your imagination.
After that, if you build up experience and then prepare means to deal with everything, there should only be a handful of existences that would be able to land an attack on you.」
「A handful, you say? Like what?」
「Like someone who can use super-wide-area destruction magic.」
As I thought, there was something like that.
Shuten said that the Truth Magic (Kotowari Mahou) that Apocalypse used was an outlier, but even if a spell was just one tenth of that area, it would be fatal to us kijin.
I didn’t know how magic damage was calculated, but from now on, there’d probably be more battles with even more magic, and spells like that super-duper fast spear of light.
「Regarding magic, you could also have a counterplan against it like I did, or you could just crush them before they finish casting.
And moreover, you could also use the third formation of the Dance of the Oni (Oni no Mai) against magic too.
Regardless of if you have a counterplan or not, it’s not like you always have to be careful about magic, though.」
「《Dance of the Mirroring Waters (Mikagami no Mai)》….was it? I wonder how much strength I need to learn it?」
「Fufu, I wonder.」
Kohaku just smiled.
Whether it was about when I would be able to learn it or what it’s effects were, she wouldn’t teach me a thing.
Mikagami no Mai, Dance of the Oni’s Cry (Oninaki no Mai), and Dance of the Douji (Douji no Mai).
Although she had taught me the names of the three remaining formations, I had absolutely no idea what they did.
All I knew was that they were self-strengthening skills like Dance of the Man-eater (Rasetsu no Mai) and the Double-Edged Dance (Moroha no Mai).
「The more you fight, the more moves you can do, and the more you pile up your experience, the better judgement you will have.
You might have known it already, but the part during the match where I was able to use my strength to supplement my other statuses too, that was all from my tens of years of experience and training.」
Placing her hand on my head, Kohaku had a loving expression as she looked at me.
It felt kinda embarrassing, but the warmth I felt from Kohaku’s large hand felt good.
「Even if you have your promise with me and your promise with Kishin-sama, don’t get impatient.
Take your time and get stronger.
Even I, too, am still young, and Kishin-sama has been sealed for hundreds of years, so even if you have to make her wait, no one will punish you.」
Mysteriously, that had been the same thing that Shuten said to me.
Shuten said 「Kohaku also understands,」 but these two kijin’s opinions were too similar, to the point that it made me want to accuse them of contacting each other behind my back.
I didn’t know how long it would take me to reach the place they were standing on.
However, the two of them had no plans to make me hurry up, it seemed.
Then, I just had to enjoy the process in my own way.
「And also, there is no meaning to just you getting stronger.
To grant our wishes, we need many comrades.
That’s why I will be going to the kijin village for a bit.
And it seems that some of your kin have already arrived there as well, I think that I will once again ask for their help.」
「Yeah, they are all good people, you know?」
Yesterday, I talked with the players on the race-exclusive kijin thread.
From things I hadn’t researched to things I felt like I wasn’t worthy of knowing, they taught me various stuff.
Well, rather than a BBS, it felt more like a group chat, though…..Since we weren’t anonymous, you know, it couldn’t really be helped.
「Ah…..now that I think about it, what kind of technique is Kohaku’s Final Formation (Tsuishiki)?」
Since we had reached the end of the previous topic, I suddenly remembered what Shuten had told me about Kohaku’s ultimate technique.
「I’m surprised, just where did you-…..no, I guess it’s from Kishin-sama.」
It seemed like Kohaku didn’t expect to hear about Tsuishiki from me.
Her expression had hardened up for a second with surprise, but she looked convinced and softened.
「You see, before I came here, we talked for a little bit.」
「….Geez, It’s like you’re making fun of the dream that I have been chasing for my whole life.」
The sound rebuttal that Kohaku had made was too on-point, so all I could do was laugh to dodge the subject.
「The Tsuishiki of Oni no Mai, you see, is the ultimate technique that will manifest at the same time as the fifth formation.
The name of the Dance, without exception, always has something to do with the Dancer’s name, and you won’t be able to know what it does until you use it.
Though, it has been said that it mirrors the dancer’s whole life.」
「If it’s like that, then in Kohaku’s case, would it be called《Kohaku no Mai》?」
「You have a point.
By the way, to my answer earlier, my Tsuishiki is, to roughly say it, it’s a ultimate sure-kill move, you know.」
「Aah….I guess it was like that after all.」
It was probably the most fitting ultimate technique for Kohaku who had a pure strength build.
It might’ve also been the source of Kohaku’s famous nickname 《Castle Crusher》.
「I’ll show it to you next time.
If I use it right now in my current condition, I don’t know what will happen, after all.」
I think that’s a good idea.」
As someone who took Kohaku’s attack in the flesh, knowing that even her normal punches felt like they could destroy anything, all I could do was shiver when I tried imagining the ultimate technique of such a powerhouse.
It should at least be able to reduce the entire mini arena to rubble, and in the worst case, Tria itself might be in danger.
Just thinking about the number of people that could get caught up in it…..damn, that was terrifying.
「Ah, that’s right.
There was a message from Kishin-sama for you.」
Due to the sudden practice match, it slipped my mind since I had been blown away in various meanings of the word, but I now recalled the message Shuten entrusted to me.
Since I obviously couldn’t just say Shuten’s name in front of Kohaku without the proper respect behind it, I should just call her Kishin-sama.
「『I will be looking forward to meet you,』 she said.」
After having conveyed those words to her, Kohaku’s thoughts completely shut off.
Kohaku, she sure was weirdly weak to unexpected things, wasn’t she?
Kohaku, who had finally rebooted, patted my head, and without saying anything she left the mini arena.
Her face was really red, and her expression was a sloppy mess….most likely, she was so happy that she couldn’t put it into words.
Secretly preserving the moment with a screen shot, while thinking that she must’ve been reacting like a fan did when meeting their idol, I sat on the edge of the bed to recover from my still-swimming head.
The first time I knew about the word one hit certain kill (ichigeki hissatsu) was from pokemon.
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