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Chapter 033 – Rapid Growth
Hunty Kalar just kept on attacking her opponent.
She could see Leonhart was trying to use his power to swing his sword, but she immediately activated Instant Movement, moved, and then phased back.
Her opponent stopped moving and pulled his arm back. And, she could take a step forward and push him with more attacks.
The battle was dominated by Hunty at the moment. She already succeeded in striking him several times, and he was steadily accumulating damage.
Hunty thought. This is such a miraculous situation.
Her opponent was a majin, and he was one of the Four Elite Majin at that. Even if she was pushing him back now, she knew he would eventually do something to rectify the situation. He wasn’t a majin who fought simply by depending on his superior physical abilities alone. He certainly possessed a high level of skill.
Therefore, Hunty felt uncomfortable with the current situation.
Even now, her claws and his sword met and struck at each other, causing sparks to scatter. What she felt in response was,
…Did the movements of his sword become duller…?
The impact that was being transmitted by Leonhart’s sword to her arms was certainly lighter. The overwhelming strength of the majin that she’d felt until just then had dropped drastically, so much so that it was comparable to her current strength.
She didn’t want to let such a gap slip by, and proceeded to attack. And as she moved in to stop his initial movements,
Even now, not only was her momentum not suppressed, he even got pushed back by it instead. Indeed, there was no doubt about it.
Hunty perceived that Leonhart’s movement was undoubtedly getting worse.
However, Hunty had no idea why that happened.
It was doubtful that he was weakened due to the damage she had dealt or due to his exhaustion. Leonhart was a majin. His overwhelming strength was incomparable to other creatures.
On top of that, he was undoubtedly a master of swords. His movements only got more refined during the battle, and he possessed a growth potential that caused the skill difference between them to widen further; he was a master who was still developing.
But not only had his growth stopped, his skill seemed to be deteriorating now.
The swing of his sword was already uncertain, and the distribution of power and speed also became strange,creating gaps that she could utilize to attack.
…It feels as if I’m fighting a completely different person.
She couldn’t help but think so, seeing how uncertain Leonhart’s attacks had become. Some of those movements didn’t even have a proper foundation within it. It felt like it came from a different person. It also seemed that he was doing movement practice to learn a completely different sword skill than what he’d been using until now.
Not only that, even his body’s movements were also becoming strange.
It was a mystery, but Hunty chose to stop thinking about it.
It was convenient for her if her opponent became weaker. After all, this meant her probability for victory increased. She could see her victory.
In that case,
Hunty focused her power as dragon Kalar, and further accelerated her movement.
In addition to Instant Movement, she attacked while catching her opponent’s moves. Her series of attacks grew quicker even still, and several of her blows pushed him. And the result of this caused Hunty to see hope.
Leonhart gazed at her as he tried to swing his sword, only to be stopped while silently taking the brunt of the hit. It felt as if his talkative self from earlier was a lie.
As expected, he won’t respond properly. Perhaps I could finish him off now.
Hunty took that as a chance to win and swung her claw toward Leonhart’s neck,
Only to claw at empty air. He managed to avoid the attack, which should have been a direct hit with her timing; this caused her eyes to widen in confusion.
Beyond her gaze, as she tried to capture the next movement of Leonhart,
The majin disappeared.
And immediately afterward, she heard a voice. It was voice she’d heard a lot over the course of this battle,
“—I did it.”
The moment she picked up where the sound came from, Hunty tried to move away with all her might. And as she backed away, she turned her gaze to see Leonhart’s state. The place he stood was,
the spot Hunty was at earlier.
He was right behind it.
At that moment, Leonhart became aware of his own movements.
A smile crept over his lips. That was how overwhelmed he was by the pleasure that filled his mind.
Leonhart remembered that feeling. It was something he’d learned during battle.
It was about swinging the sword — which was not only about the act of swinging.
It was about his arms, legs, elbows, knees, shoulders, hips, abdomen, back, chest, neck, all the way to the tips of all his fingers. He paid attention to every movement of his body and tried to control it. That was all he focused on.
It was a tremendous task, which was very difficult at the same time.
After all, he needed to fundamentally change every single movement he unconsciously made up until then. Fumbling around it upset the distribution of power and muscle, making his sword lighter, and preventing him from bracing his legs firmly on the ground. It was inevitable for him to receive his opponent’s attacks during that time, and he suffered a few wounds during the process.
If he made a mistake, his body would tremble and his power would be redirected in the wrong direction. If he made a mistake, his sword would be repelled and he took a direct hit.
However, he carefully corrected each movement one by one. He paid attention to his own movements and let his body remember it.
And now — he completed it.
Leonhart recognized a fact.
…Perhaps this is the extreme limit of the body’s movement.
There could be no better way to move his body. He was convinced of such.
At the same time, Leonhart appreciated his opponent.
There was no doubt that his growth was because of Hunty Kalar. If he tried to learn this by training normally, there was no knowing how long it would take him to achieve what he just did. The reason he managed to achieve it in a short time was due to his fight against this strong person.
…This is why I just can’t stop fighting against strong opponents.
However, it also made Leonhart think this. Since it’s come to this, she is no longer my match.
Since this growth was the result of him trying to respond against her Instant Movement, that was naturally the case; she’d simply reaped what she’d sown. However, Leonhart still felt lonely due to his growth.
All that was left was for him to finish the battle. Therefore, to the opponent who gave him the opportunity to grow, it was only proper courtesy to show her what he’d just learned.
Leonhart told his opponent.
“…Be careful. I’ll be moving now—“
At his words, Hunty watched his movement. But at that moment,
All the traces of unnecessary movements left Leonhart.
Hunty was carefully observing his movement, or at least she was supposed to observe it.
Before her own eyes, the moment Leonhart started to move,
he was suddenly standing in front of her.
Hunty hurriedly used Instant Movement to back off from him.
Then she moved away from that spot and tried to analyze his movement in a daze. However,
…What, on earth was that…?
Leonhart suddenly stood in front of her. They were separated by quite a distance before, about ten meters in between them.
Yet he instantly closed that gap. Hunty was aware of one method to accomplish that. However,
…There’s no way it’s Instant Movement…
There was no way it could be that. Her opponent has never used any magic until now, and he also did not show any signs that he was concealing such a skill. Even if he could use magic, he didn’t seem to be a magician who would be skillful enough to use Instant Movement magic. She didn’t want to say this, but talent played a large part in using this magic. Even if he did possess a common level of talent as a magician, it was unlikely he could use it.
In that case, did she see wrong? So once Hunty was some distance away, she phased back. Then, as she spotted Leonhart within her sight,
“—You shouldn’t run away.”
Leonhart appeared in front of her once again.
…I don’t know. I don’t know what this is…!
Hunty was sure she was watching him properly. She didn’t even blink.
Even so, she still failed to catch his movement.
The moment Leonhart began to move and when he finished moving. Those instances were all she could perceive.
It was as if she was looking at her own Instant Movement. She could see the start of his movement. Yet the next moment, all the process between movements seemed to be omitted, and it was already the end of the movement. It was as if the whole process of movement had disappeared.
Hunty was chilled by such a fact. Unpleasant sweat started to drip out all over her body. Her instincts were ringing alarms with all its might against the majin in front of her.
Meanwhile, Leonhart, who was in front of her now, spoke.
“…Your face seems to say that you don’t understand what’s what.”
His expression as he looked down at her was of wry amusement. It somehow felt like pity was mixed in too.
“If you can’t understand, then there’s nothing you can do about it. I will just tell you that it’s not Instant Movement.”
Then Leonhart took action once again. And as he spoke,
“—There, observe it properly.”
Suddenly, a heavy shock ran through her body.
Once she could look at it, she realized Leonhart’s kick had struck her belly.
Even as she let out a pained expression, Hunty was convinced his movement was because of Instant Movement.
But at the same time, an even more discouraging fact was forced upon her.
And that was,
…There’s no initial velocity in his movement…!
Leonhart kicked Hunty and watched her as she was blown away.
Hunty, who was kicked by the full force of a majin’s leg, was sent flying some distance away before landing and rolling on the ground. Eventually, her body stopped moving.
As he saw that, Leonhart confirmed that he had completely overcome her Instant Movement.
But on the contrary, it would make an opponent below a certain level of strength to be even less challenging. Leonhart then thought of the mechanism behind his movement.
…To think things changed this much just by moving at full speed from the beginning.
Leonhart completely eliminated all unnecessary movement and successfully grasped total control over his own body.
As a result, it became possible for him to exert full power from the beginning.
He skipped the process where power was built up in the process, and instead unleashed his full power immediately — without any wasteful actions in the process.
It was merely the result of explosive, instantaneous force and acceleration that was undetectable mid-movement. In fact, his speed itself didn’t change much.
The problem was the fact he could immediately produce maximum speed with a majin’s physical ability. How many humans could actually perceive such a thing?
They might eventually get used to the speed, or if it were people who could fight within that range of speed to begin with — for example, fellow majins, then it would be possible. However, he was undeniably getting stronger. Therefore, as he thought about things from now on,
…I guess I’ll have it hard again…
Every time he got stronger, the strength required to be his opponent also increased. It would be quite difficult to find a stronger opponent in the future, and it made him feel depressed about it. He was already suffering from the same problem even before this.
Leonhart suppressed his desire to sigh and looked at Hunty, who was lying on the ground. Then,
Suddenly, Hunty, who had collapsed on the ground, disappeared and reappeared behind him. Even as he moved later,
“That’s no longer effective.”
He grasped Hunty’s neck with his left hand. As he became capable of moving at full speed right from the start, he could still intercept her even as he moved late. There was no more point in watching his initial movement. This majin could use his full power from the beginning. Hunty possessed no power that could repel such a skill.
There was a sense of accomplishment in overcoming such a good tactic. However,
…Even though she is quite strong… even though it was fun…
Leonhart’s heart grew colder and colder, and with his Demonic Sword in his right hand,
he stabbed Hunty’s belly. At that moment,
a wordless scream echoed across the village, and Leonhart closed his eyes.
“This is the end, huh—“
There was a trace of loneliness in his voice.
Leonhart watched Hunty, who was spilling a lot of blood, yet was still suffering. Her wound was a fatal one. It wouldn’t be strange for an ordinary person to die from the shock of such an attack.
“…I’m surprised. To think that you’re still alive.”
Apparently, Hunty Kalar’s vitality was stronger than he’d expected. Or was it the vitality of a dragon Kalar? Or both?
Leonhart was staring at Hunty, who continued to struggle even as she was dying.
It was at that moment.
“…Is this the end?”
He suddenly thought. What a waste.
He didn’t know where this thought came from. However, he now considered it. He did think it was too late since it was already after the duel, but still.
But still, he thought. Is it really okay to let her die here?
Leonhart reflected on their recent battle. Amongst all the people he’d ever fought against, Hunty was one of the best.
She made use of Instant Movement magic, which was practically unique, and managed to wound him this much, and on top of that, it also allowed him to grow. Such an opponent was almost nonexistent up until this point. At the very least, she was the first outside of the majins.
Perhaps the next time an existence like her appears, it would take 100 or 200 years, or perhaps even longer than that.
…Can I really endure it until then…?
He asked this question to himself and immediately shook his head. No way, he thought.
There was no way he could endure it. He also had precious people and an important position. Even without such an opportunity, he wouldn’t die. He could keep on living.
No way. Such a thought was based on his personal feelings and desires. It was one of his wishes to fight against a strong opponent.
But Leonhart also thought. Hunty Kalar wasn’t a human to begin with. Dragon Kalar didn’t have a short lifespan to begin with.
In that case, he could expect her to grow. Unlike humans, who were at their peak of strength for 20 to 30 years at most, she could maintain her peak almost permanently.
The more Leonhart thought about it, the stronger this feeling grew. I have to do something to make sure she survives, he thought.
However, Leonhart looked at the wounds on Hunty’s body and frowned. He couldn’t save her from this degree of damage.
He couldn’t use Divine Magic. He also had no medical knowledge. There were also no people with such knowledge nearby.
As expected, it might be too late. However, it couldn’t be helped. He would get heated up when fighting against a strong opponent and would prioritize his fun. If he had some purpose, then he could calmly—
Then, an idea suddenly came to Leonhart’s mind.
It was a devilish idea.
However, pondered Leonhart. This method would allow him to help Hunty. It didn’t matter how wounded she might be.
But at the same time, he would have to pay a certain price.
…What should I do?
Leonhart thought. He was weighing the price he had to pay against his own desires.
The battle he just had earlier against Hunty was a lot of fun. If he could taste it again—
Leonhart felt the blood within him start to boil. His heart pulsed strongly, as his body’s instinct wished to follow his desire.
This feeling grew stronger the more he looked at Hunty Kalar, who lay on the ground.
Leonhart came to a resolution and approached Hunty, who was practically dead at this point.
All the while, his expression gave off a certain color—
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