Extra chapter as thanks for my Patreons~
Chapter 0024 Final battle against the Assassin Hawk
While hunting for meat in the east forest as routine, it appeared in front of Ryo.
Ryo sensed an invisible wind-attribute attack magic coming from in front and intercepted it with Ice Shield.
The opponent probably had no intention of killing him with that blow.
With its right eye shut …
“That Assassin Hawk? But its color is now completely black and more importantly, it seems bigger than before …”
Yes, it was the Assassin Hawk that Ryo had life or death struggles with twice.
The first time, he crushed the Assassin Hawk’s right eye.
The second time, he defeated the disciple that the Assassin Hawk brought along.
To Ryo, it was the first opponent that made him conscious of death.
And not only once but twice.
They both felt that they were fated enemies.
But this time, it had a different dominating presence.
Just like its physical transformation, there was a change in its presence or majesty …
It felt as though it had a different aura around it.
“There’s no mistaking that it has become considerably stronger. Did it evolve or something? At any rate, I won’t be able to escape and I don’t intend to escape either! <Ice Armor>”
Something invisible flew from One Eye toward Ryo.
(A strengthened Air Slash? <Ice Wall 5 layers>)
But the Ice Wall 5 layers were shattered in one hit.
Furthermore, Air Slashes continuously assaulted Ryo.
Ryo evaded the invisible attacks.
And even as he evaded, he never took his sight off One Eye.
One Eye persistently attacked repeatedly from a long distance.
And Ryo dodged all of them.
That exchanged lasted for about three minutes.
At the same time it released an Air Slash, One Eye disappeared.
(<Ice Wall 10 layers>)
A powered-up version of the defense-specialized Ice Wall 5 layers.
One Eye charged in together with the Air Slash.
“A breakdown charge! What an enviable technique for Wind Magic users!” (TLN: To recap, the ‘breakdown’ charge is Ryo’s own term. The previous time it was explained as having 3 clones firing ranged attacks and then following up with a direct charge)
Although that is a technique that only monsters can use … and something human Wind Attribute Magicians can’t …
Just as One Eye’s charge was about to be stopped by the Ice Wall,
(<Icicle Lance 16>)
He shot Icicle Lances from the ground toward One Eye.
One Eye dodged it with instant lateral movements that completely ignored aerodynamics.
In that state, it swung its right wing against the Ice Wall 10 layers as though a boxer releasing a right hook.
Ryo crouched down at once.
With a sharp sound, the wings cut through the Ice Wall and continued over Ryo’s crouched head.
“So it can fight in close combat too …”
Cold sweat ran down Ryo’s back from the terrifying sharpness of the wings.
One Eye continued to fire Air Slashes consecutively from a close distance.
And Ryo endured by continuously generating Ice Walls.
Of course, Ryo did not remain pushed back.
Before it noticed, 16 Icicle Lances had formed in the air.
They free-fell vertically from directly above it.
It was the fastest ice spear that added gravity acceleration to the speed of a long-range attack.
However, One Eye showed that it could evade that as well.
It flew backward as if it was lightly backstepping.
As though it was conveying that ‘I had seen that technique before’.
Yes, Ryo did kill One Eye’s disciple with Icicle Lances from the air.
However, the speed of the spears was completely different from back then …
For now, he had to return to square one.
At that moment, the atmosphere around One Eye changed.
At the same time, the Ice Wall and the Ice Armor around him disappeared.
(Guh. <Ice Armor>)
The Ice Armor did not form even after chanting.
“Did it snatch my control!?”
He quickly tried to regain magic control … but something was different.
There was no ‘repulsion’ sensation that would always be there in such cases.
In retrospect, even when the Bait Ball and Kraken took control, he could at least still create the Ice Walls.
The created objects were taken control of.
But this time, the creation itself could not be done.
As if magic did not exist.
Or magic was made ineffective.
“Don’t tell me this is magic nullification …?”
He didn’t know if such a thing existed.
However, it was best to think of it that way.
In that case, it was pretty bad.
(<Water Jet 16>)
As expected, the Water Jets did not form.
“It gained such a troublesome skill after evolving …”
At the very least, in the entry for Assassin Hawk in the 『Monster Encyclopedia Beginner’s Edition』, there was not a single mention of 『Magic Nullification』.
Meanwhile, One Eye seemed to be accumulating something.
(Another new technique … it might be something dangerous from Wind Attribute Magic … Wind Attribute? No, no way …)
Was it a coincidence that he looked up at the sky and immediately let go of the knife-tipped bamboo spear he had in his right hand? Or was it due to his refined combat intuition from his daily interpersonal battle with the Dullahan?
In an instant, the sky flashed and lightning struck.
The lightning fell on the standing bamboo spear instead of Ryo.
However, Ryo, who was right next to it, was blown away by the impact.
But he immediately got up.
If he showed even a small opening, One Eye would charge in.
It probably saw him sway as he got up.
And it might have judged that his magic was sealed and that he no longer had a weapon.
Or perhaps it was thinking that even if the thunder didn’t defeat him, it managed to snatch his weapon away.
One Eye charged in.
Ryo rolled to the left to dodge One Eye’s assault and pulled out Murasame that was on his waist.
The moment he pulled it out, he formed the ice blade and swung it sideways toward One Eye.
That seemed to have surprised One Eye. It moved quite a fair bit backward.
Surprisingly, even though it moved backward, it didn’t retreat any further.
It seemed to wish to settle the fight with close-quarters combat.
That was what Ryo wanted.
As long as his magic was sealed, he had no way of surviving apart from relying on close-quarters combat.
Furthermore, not all magic was sealed as he could still somehow create the ice blade on Murasame.
He found it perplexing but that wasn’t the time to think about it.
One Eye had the hook that could cut through all 10 layers of his Ice Wall.
There was no telling if it was hiding anything else.
He had to sharpen all his senses.
Yes, just like when he was facing the Dullahan.
However, when he thought about that, he was relieved.
That was what he had always been doing.
As usual, look straight ahead.
After a moment of stillness.
While floating in the air, One Eye released a right and left hook.
Ryo carefully received it with Murasame.
He did not dodge, but instead, received it.
He was confident that the ice blade on Murasame could defend against One Eye’s hook that could cut through 10 layers of Ice Wall.
Far from breaking, it didn’t even chip.
Something flew from between its beak toward Ryo’s eyes.
Ryo shook his head and dodged it. It was probably some form of Air Slash.
An Air Slash that could be released with its mouth and not its wings.
But he didn’t dwell on it.
If his thoughts were entrapped, he would not be able to see what he needed to see.
Facing One Eye in close-quarters combat was quite troublesome.
Air Slashes from left-right hooks and the beak and each feather could be shot like a shuriken.
The speed of the shuriken was not fast but facing more means of attack from an opponent in close-quarters combat … that alone was enough to be troublesome.
Ryo would have been defeated a long time ago if he had not been devoted to defense.
However, the diverse attacks including the shuriken were insufficient to break Ryo’s defense.
One Eye’s attack and Ryo’s defense had been ongoing ever since the start of the close-quarters combat.
Perhaps frustrated by his unbreakable defense, One Eye’s right hook was slightly overextended.
Ryo took advantage of that.
He intercepted One Eye’s right hook slightly ahead than usual in a place where it could not channel much power to and parried it away.
Toward One Eye whose posture was broken, he mowed down sideways near its neck.
One Eye flew further backward but Ryo stepped in and followed up with a thrust.
While dodging even further backward, the Air Slash that it threw as a last resort with its beak was parried with Murasame and he thrust three times consecutively.
But One Eye dodged them all.
After One Eye evaded the triple thrust, Ryo’s assault paused momentarily.
At that moment, One Eye aimed a left hook at Ryo’s head.
Ryo couldn’t prevent it.
He pulled his left foot half a step back.
He dodged it with footwork and by moving his center of gravity.
And then, this time, he shifted his center of gravity from his left foot to his right foot, took a large step forward with his right foot, released his right-hand grip from Murasame, and thrust out with his left hand.
A one-handed left-hand thrust.
He felt a solid response from Murasame in his left hand.
His thrust pierced exactly under its beak or, in human terms, around its throat.
A fatal strike.
It fell to the ground and spat out blood from its beak but yet its one eye was trained on Ryo.
There was still indelible hatred in its eye.
“Yes. I am the one who took your life and the life of your disciple. I guess you can’t accept the outcome after fighting with all your might.”
Ryo did not let down his guard even though he was approaching casually.
“At the very least, I was able to grow because I met you. I am grateful to you for being the catalyst for my growth. You even evolved for revenge and your disciple. In honor of your proud appearance, I will give you a merciful end.”
On that day, one fate was extinguished.
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