How many minutes must have passed by, thirty? Perhaps even forty minutes?
“Gideon, hurry to the left!” (Crystal)
I turned to the left almost immediately, interlocked my hands together and slammed down a hammer-fist onto the incoming arm of the Charred One. Every time, the impact felt like it would dislocate both my arms and this was probably the seventh time I had to counter it in this manner.
Man, this thing is extremely tough! Even after slicing and piercing it countless times, it constantly regenerates. Not only that, it doesn’t recoil or react to any of our attacks, so we can’t connect any of our attacks without getting countered disastrously with a swing of its arms.
I had to block a few hits with my Greataxe and after the third or fourth hit, it got so bent out of shape I couldn’t even use it anymore. It was bent until the point where using my fists would be more efficient to battle.
Thankfully, at least my partner has an artefact level weapon, which definitely dealt a lot more damage I can possibly do. At least, after a good half hour of battling there are obvious signs that the regenerative rate is beginning to slow down.
Thank goodness it did, otherwise we’ll probably have lost hope fighting against something that won’t die and retreated instead. There’s no point losing your life if it’s against an enemy that cannot be killed, just for an artefact weapon.
I don’t fear dying but…I can’t let my actions cause Crystal any kind of potential harm.
I stepped close to the Charred One’s body and let loose a full back-fist swing to the side of its body, where the liver should be if it was a normal human.
The area of impact crumbled from the fierce attack of mine, but almost instantly the area begins to regenerate slowly, as though time is slowly reversing for it.
The regeneration is definitely slower than previously however, but the fact it’s still regenerating means that it still has quite a bit of spare energy remaining.
How troublesome…this is definitely the hardest and most annoying thing I have to fight so far for the past one year over in this human body. Hell, even the Ancient Dragon wasn’t this difficult to deal with.
The Charred One’s attention was drawn to me and raised its other arm to swing the axe down on me. I saw this as a chance and withstood the blow. Not missing this opportunity of an opening, Crystal stabbed it with the mana lance-form repeatedly and followed up with a mana shield bash, causing it to step backwards a few steps.
The “injuries” that the attacks have done aren’t light, but they still gradually started repairing themselves, to our disappointment. It looks like unless we can unleash a strong enough attack that will absolutely decimate it, we will have to slowly shave of its life force slowly like this, bit by bit.
We took the chance to regroup and gain some distance from that nigh-invulnerable monster. Thankfully we managed to get a good bit of distance away; I really needed that moment of breathing space. I immediately took out a rejuvenating potion and emptied the contents, giving me back some of the energy that I needed.
“How’re you feeling?” (Crystal)
“I’m quite bad, actually. I think my arms are going to dislocate anytime soon, even with my enhanced toughness. Any ordinary human being would crumble after the first hit, no questions asked.” (Gideon)
I flexed and stretched my muscles everywhere; checking for any excessive injuries. Other than the obvious soreness of my arms and legs, I’m still rather fine, relatively speaking.
“How do you fare? Did you suffer any injuries anywhere?”(Gideon)
“Not too bad, I can still go on pretty well. Still, I’m not sure if we can every destroy this…this thing. Its regenerative capability is beginning to slow down, but I’m starting to get really annoyed by this. What kind of monster doesn’t die after being struck, bashed and pierced hundreds of times?” (Crystal)
The Charred One has a mean rush, but it only reaches a distance of 5 meters. As long as we keep our distance, the Charred One couldn’t catch us by surprise, with its relatively slow speed. However, in close range, its attacks are fierce, powerful and about as fast as us, not to mention he doesn’t get tired and doesn’t recoil from attacks.
Even two powerhouses like us could barely fend off its attacks without getting too injured, while still doing damage to it. Seriously, try fighting someone who doesn’t recoil from any hits you dish out; if the both of you were equal in strength, you’ll probably be the first to be destroyed.
“Gideon, hold that thing off and keep him away from me for about ten minutes. Try to hold on in place as well, so that one shot is all I need.” (Crystal)
Huh? Did I just hear that correctly?
“Wait, you want me to hold that thing back for ten minutes by myself? That’s still find and all, and holding it there in place is a little…” (Gideon)
“Trust me, I have a plan. I can destroy this thing in one strike, but I need some time to visualize and bring up the correct image for my magic. After all, the last time I used it, I destroyed an entire village. If I can control, tweak and release that power in a small area, I bet I can destroy even that undefeatable freak of nature.” (Crystal)
Ah, she’s talking about her [Al-Gaze] magic? If magic of that level is released fully charged and has a specific target, nothing will be able to defend itself against it, I bet. It’s the most ideal move to destroy something like this, whose moving speed is slow yet with seemingly unlimited “vitality”.
“Alright, I trust you. You just take your time and do all you can!” (Gideon)
“Thank you, Gideon…it is coming! Take care!” (Crystal)
Crystal moved to the back, and started gathering huge amounts of mana and channelling it. I attracted the attention of the Charred One and made it target me instead, moving away from Crystal as I slowly got closer to its dashing range.
I move to the right as quickly as I could, as the Charred One dashed towards me with a mighty roar. It’s always scary to witness that rush, especially when it’s something that huge in size…if I get hit by that head-on, even I might knocked out for a while.
When you’re fighting against this monstrosity, being knocked out even for a while may mean your death.
I dodge every swing, every chop from the Charred One, while doing all I can to attract all its attention. Once in a while, I try to hit it once, just so that it will remain aggressive towards me.
Despite having two differently sized arms, it could swing them at a rather coordinated manner, leaving me almost no time to counterattack. For every ten attacks it made, I’ll be lucky to be able to deliver one good strike to it.
After all, none of my attacks can knock it backwards, or slow it down even the slightest; all it does is keep swinging its arms and slashing and bashing; it’s practically taking most of my effort to parry and dodge every attack.
Though I’m strong enough to do some damage with every hit, it regenerates almost immediately yet again. Even if the regeneration is slowing down, it’s still extremely depressing to see every bit of damage you do getting regenerated in front of you.
I was extremely tempted to use [Burst Stream], but it would be too risky to do so. After all, my arms are practically sore already from taking so many indirect hits and parrying attacks. Besides, without a weapon that’s sharp enough, it would be futile simply to just hit it with a punch that’s boosted with [Burst Stream].
I’ll simply leave an opening too wide and be countered, and that will be the end of it.
Then, I got careless. A swing from my blind spot eventually hits me for the first time, and the spikes-arm struck me with incredible force, piercing through my body and sending me flying a few meters.
As I slam against the floor with a thump, I can feel my sense of touch going slightly numb and my sight darkened a little. That one hit would have probably killed anyone else that has an average physique, blasting into pieces of meat fragments as soon as the swing made impact.
Tsk, despite losing its regenerative capabilities, the Charred One’s strength is still as strong as ever before. Fuelled with hundreds and hundreds of souls, the Charred One sure is tough to fight against. That smash even destroyed the last of the potions that I have with me…damn it.
I shake up a little to loosen up my muscles, before rushed towards it once again with a great roar, infuriated.
How dare this literal carbon copy of the Ogre-me be so hard to deal with?! I’ll destroy it if it is the last thing I do!
Having no weapons, the only thing I can depend on are my arms.
Fine then, I’m so sick of this piece of shit for ruining my day…I’ll show you my full power!
The Charred One swings its spike arm once again, with the same old pattern as before, straight towards me. I reciprocated with a swing of my own arm, boosted with [Burst Stream], arm versus arm.
Screw all this, if I can’t even defeat this, what even gives me the right to challenge those who betrayed me and exact my revenge?!
Subconsciously, I know that I’m not thinking rationally, but I am too hot-headed to think twice.
As both arms made contact, for the first time, The Charred One’s arm flew backwards and almost detaching completely from the shoulder, dangling from scraps of black, charred substances.
On the other hand, mine was definitely, almost broken. I can barely move my fingers but due to the adrenaline I can hardly feel the pain. It is definitely broken beyond my regenerative capabilities.
Luckily, that exchange of ours stopped its chain of repeated arm swings and slashes; otherwise I wouldn’t be able to just stand there, checking the condition of my arm. It is just standing there, trying to fully regenerate its broken arm.
Screw this, so what if I lose an arm; there are definitely priests excellent enough to regenerate a lost limb in the human continent! If Crystal, the [Hero] is there to ask, I’ll get back my arm in no time! The thing now is to stall for time, and keep it in one stop for as long as possible!
“Take this, you undying piece of shit!” (Gideon)
This time, I rushed straight towards it, with seemingly no regards for any form of defence. The Charred One saw this as a chance, and instantly swung down the Axe-arm with incredible speed.
Right before the axe-arm sliced me into perfect halves, I kicked off the ground with [Burst Stream], propelling me forward and barely avoiding death – exactly what I’ve planned!
I aimed directly at its knee and let loose a fierce strike with that nearly broken arm of mine. That arm is more or less a goner anyways, might as well make good use of it one last time!
With the accelerating force of my entire body, combining with my fist that’s been boosted with [Burst Stream] as well, this can be said to be the highest level of destructive force I can muster right now!
Without a doubt, I managed to land the strike on the Charred One’s knee, blowing it to smithereens. Losing its balance, the Charred One fell onto the ground sideways, as the knee starts to regenerate slowly.
However, it will definitely take quite a while to recover this time around. On the other end, my entire arm is…almost gone, left with a small stump extending out of my shoulder.
It looks like I’ll definitely have to get a priest to regenerate my entire arm…
I jumped backwards, away from the Charred One who is struggling to get up, despite the missing limbs. Even though it’s down for the time being, its other axe-arm is still swinging and has quite the range.
I hope this buys enough time for Crystal to prepare….
“Gideon, move away now!” (Crystal)
Right on cue, great job Crystal!
I jumped a few steps to the back, and started gathering mana towards my head. More specifically, gathering towards the eye-shaped mark right on top of my head. I closed my eyes, to ensure that I won’t be distracted no matter what happens.
What I’m going to use now is the skill that I have only unleashed once, [Re-Al Gaze]. The last time I used it, I wasn’t in control and the effects were devastating. This time, I’ll be focusing its full might onto the Charred One.
I have no hatred or anything against it, but to preserve our lives and secure the artefact, I need to finish that monstrosity off in a single hit.
I took my time and visualize on how I wanted it to work within my mind. Essentially, I’m customizing [Re-Al Gaze], picturing it as a single target attack instead of an area-wide attack.
It took me awhile to get it, but the moment of clarity eventually came to me and I opened my eyes, ready to strike it down in one powerful attack.
“Gideon, move away now!” (Crystal)
I took a good look, and realized that the Charred One is down on the ground immobilized, with an arm and leg down.
Gideon actually did it! It was the best possible scenario. Now I can definitely make this count. I took a quick glance at Gideon, and to my horror, I realized one of his arms is missing.
That monster…how dare he inflict such a damage to my Gideon, you’ll pay for this!
“As descendant of lord of eyes, heed the call. Scatters my foe before me and bring it down the path of destruction;”
With my knowledge in magic, I know that chants are merely a channel that one uses to create the spell they are visualizing. After all, most people would be able to cast magic that they are very used to without a chant, such as Klein.
“The Almighty Eyes that steals one’s fate; give it nothing save everlasting death;“
But I have never practised this, so it’s evitable that I had to recite a chant to assist me. Still, the power of this spell will be more than enough to do the job!
“All shall perish within a sight – [Death Gaze]!”
I let loose yell, and unleashed [Re-Al Gaze – Death] upon it.
The mark on top of my head glowed in a deathly pale light, and at the same time, the ground below the Charred One glowed in the same deathly pale light, in the shape of an eye.
The eye on the floor struggled to expand, but with my mana, I suppressed it to the immediate surroundings of the Charred One. The instant the light hit it; it ceased any movement and began to spasm uncontrollably. Soon, it begins to break down, crumbling into pieces.
With my eye, I can see that within the charred body, the souls are fading away slowly as well, dissipating as the body beings to spasm. Yes! It won’t regenerate out of this one.
I couldn’t let loose of my control yet, however. If I relax even the tiniest, the spell will go out of control and expand, diluting the effects and maybe even affecting Gideon. I have to hold on!
The mana consumption is greater than I have ever expected. After just ten seconds, I feel like I’m already half drained, and yet the souls within the Charred One is not disintegrating quickly enough. Sweat poured down my face, as I took deep breaths, feeling extremely exhausted.
At this time, Gideon managed to move towards me, with a look of concern on his face while his stump on an arm was still bleeding badly.
“Just give me a few moments…and I’ll mend your wounds up, alright?” (Crystal)
“Crystal, you just concentrate on the spell, do not worry about me.” (Gideon)
I held on for another ten seconds, but there are still quite a number of souls still unaffected, and I’m nearing my limits! I…can’t hold on much longer…
Then, just before I am about to lose control, the souls all moved towards the artefact, seemingly absorbed by it and disappeared. I immediately cancelled the channelling, and ended the potential threat to us.
I wanted to relax after this tiring battle, but one look at Gideon, bleeding from his arm changed my mind. I immediately got him a bottle of rejuvenation potion and uncorked it, giving it to him. Then, I took a gulp for myself as well, after uncorking a brand new one.
With the last of my mana, I cast a [Light Heal] on his arm stump, closing the wound and stopping the blood flow. After that, I could barely stand upright, having to lean on Gideon’s chest and shoulders.
“Thanks for the healing; that really helped.” (Gideon)
“No…thank you, for distracting that monster for so long; otherwise I wouldn’t like the luxury to take such a long time to cast the spell.” (Crystal)
“Well then, does the hero of the day get a reward for the fair maiden?” (Gideon)
I cheekily replied her, but as she blushed upon hearing my reply, my face started to redden gradually as well. I can tell that she struggled internally for a few seconds before she replied me.
“Alright, but only just this once!” (Crystal)
She locked her lips with mine, and the both of us closed our eyes. It was only after a while that we finally opened your eyes and separate from each other.
“Hee hee, you’re mine forever, Gideon.” (Crystal)
“Sure, I don’t mind being tied down if it’s you.” (Gideon)
I smiled gently and patted her head, while ruffling her head a little. Maybe after all this, I’ll have a place to go back to after all…
If only…I have been more careful and kept my guard up.
“GIDEON, WATCH OUT!” (Crystal)
Her expression warped to one that’s deadly serious, as she suddenly push me away with all her strength.
Before I fell onto the floor, I witness it – the scene of despair.
“[Soul Sacrifice – Eternal Piercing Soul].”
A lightning-fast beam of darkness shot through where I was just moments ago and went straight through Crystal’s abdomen…
Yup, Crystal still gets this treatment, poor thing; she’s one of my favourite character after all. If you are one of my old readers, don’t be too sad because you know this was coming.
Author : Kiribou