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The blazing heat from the sun..
Directly clashes with the atmosphere..
Contrasting the chilling morning breeze..
The silent space inside a forest..
A circular area at its center..
Usually demon beasts parade this area like it was their front yard..
They attack anything and anyone who enters their domain..
The place not for the weak of heart..
But strangely the entire forest is quiet..
It's strangely calming..
LIKE HELL IT IS!!!
To to be frank, I want to leave right now!
As in, run for the hills right at this second or even sooner..
My hands are sweaty..
My back itches..
The hairs on my body are standing in attention..
Ah, I'm running away from reality again..
But isn't it fine?
Hmm? What am I whining about?
Well, first of all..
I'm not whining..
This is a perfectly normal reaction to have in this situation!
No, I don't have time for this..
The reason for it is right in front of me..
An imposing old man is there..
Glaring with a serious face..
Releasing mana like it was endless..
That horrendous torrent is the main reason why the demon beasts stayed as far away as they can..
I wouldn't blame them..
For you see, from a third-person's perspective..
This situation is just a young man getting reprimanded by his grandfather..
But you couldn't be so far from the truth..
After breakfast, which I ate as slow as I can by the way..
Savoring each bite and every flavor..
Since it might have been my last meal..
Because I don't think that if I die a second time, I'll be so lucky to be reborn again..
And you didn't forget about my luck stat right?
Un, Do you get it yet?
He hasn't said a thing since after he declared that absurd word..
What is that scary thing?
Can I eat it?
"Are you prepared now?"
This old man..
But he finally spoke..
Well, I would have too, since we've been staring at each other for 2 hours already..
This might be a good time to ask..
"Um, why do you want to do this old man?"
A timid voice comes out of my sore throat..
"Hou, nervous? No matter, it's just time to let you show me what you've learned after all these years is all.."
"Then, isn't a death match going too far?"
"No, a real person's strength comes out only at two times.."
"Umu, When they are protecting someone other than themselves and when they are in the face of death.."
Iyadaa, Is this a shounen martial arts anime?
I really think this is a pain..
"So now, show me the accumulation of your training!"
I let out a stupid voice..
I barely managed to react to that..
I didn't know that those words were the signal to start..
I turn my head to my back and see..
"It's a..lie right?"
The thick trees that looked like rampart walls towering above us were felled to the ground..
The ground caved in itself and dust and sand clouds gathered to the sides..
The destruction lasted for 10 meters from the sword range..
What the heck, I could've been chopped off like butter then..
This is bad, This old man isn't playing around anymore..
"Oh, you dodged that huh? I would expect nothing less from my disciple!"
"Were you trying to chop my head off?!?"
"Of course not!"
"That's a lie and you know it!"
"No, I was planning to separate your torso in half you know?"
I think I'm gonna be sick..
But this is really not good..
"Well, here I go again!"
He appears in front of me in an instant..
And swings his sword in rapid succession in unpredictable movements..
A normal person would have been sliced into pieces seemingly like going through a cheese grater..
Since "Purgatory Style" of swordsmanship is designed to deliver a swift trip to the afterlife..
Such a fitting name..
But I'm not an ordinary person..
Even though the sword's movements are quick and come from unimaginable angles..
I still dodge every single stroke with minimum movements..
Since I learned every single move of this style, I can dodge at a hair's breadth..
An untrained eye couldn't even follow the speed of these movements..
But I ingrained it deep into my very bones..
The preliminary movements..
The placing of the feet..
The twisting of the wrists and body..
And the demeanor of the swordsman..
All the things that determine the next move..
"Hora, you can't just keep dodging you know?"
"And why shouldn't I?"
"Well, I'm still warming up anyway.. Let's see how far you can take this!"
As he spoke those words, a red glint appeared in his eyes..
"[Sin of Wrath Sword]"
With chant-like words, he activated a skill, after he invoked it, black flames covered his arms..
Engulfing the sword with it..
After the flames dissipated, ruby-red gleaming scales shined against the sunlight..
His already thick arms grew bigger and stronger with deep dark claws coming out from where his fingernails should be..
And the mithril great sword transformed into an imposing red long sword with black metallic luster at its apex, edges and the handle was releasing a tremendous amount of mana..
"If you don't want to die, Fight back, Orion!"
Was I imagining it..
Or did he get even faster than before..
It takes my all to strain my enhanced senses to follow his rhythm and flow which has completely changed from before..
The sword made a direct hit to my unguarded backside..
How in the heck did he get there so quick?
I got blown forward towards the giant trees..
After about the 3rd tree, I stopped..
Ugh, good thing I at least made an [Aura Barrier] before I got blown away..
If not, it would have all ended there..
I stagger slowly to stand up but then..
How did he get here so fast?
It's 20 meters you know?
Are you a certain biological weapon for assassination?
Mach 20 speed, are you kidding me?
I barely sidestep away 2 meters away purely on instinct..
Ah, the trees are getting blown away again..
The demon beasts are going to be homeless you know?
But that's enough of that..
It seems he's really trying to kill me..
I might not like the old man since he treats training as fun and he tortures me with a smile..
But I sure as hell do respect him..
And it wouldn't do for me to take it easy if he's going this far..
It's time for me to fight back!
As a sign of respect!
But I won't admit it here!
I'm not a tsundere!
Oops got sidetracked there..
Anyway, time to activate my skills..
"If you want a fight, then I'll give you a fight old man!"
"That's exactly what I want! (Nozomu Tokorou!)"
I gather my aura and spread it towards my nerves and muscles..
"[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance],[Aura Enhance]"
"Hou, Going for your limits huh?"
"I'm not done yet!"
"I would expect nothing less!"
"[Simultaneous Activation], [Aura Amplification], [Aura Sword Creation], [Aura Boost], [Aura Barrier], [Dragon Slayer's Aura], [Holy Aura], [Yin-yang Aura], [Vice Aura], [Regenerative Aura], [Fatal Wounds Aura], [Beast Aura], [Purgatorial Aura], [Blade Aura], [Scaled Aura], [Daylight Aura], [Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere],[Aura Sphere]"
My body gets filled with power..
It's surging with deep magic power that I have trouble holding it in..
I know this looks like overkill but I at least need this much to compete with him seriously..
In fact, this is the first time I activated this much different skills simultaneously..
I wonder if there is any limit to the skill [Simultaneous Invocation] that I learned a while ago..
Except for the strange thing that I can only activate a skill that can be repeated 15 times..
Last year it was 14 times, and the year before that, it was 13..
Does it have anything to do with age?
Well, no matter..
I really feel strong right now..
Even though I know that less than half of my Magic Power has been consumed..
I feel a powerful omnipotence coming from these skills..
Like I have this feeling that I can gain something with a little more effort..
It's on the tip of my tongue but I can't explain it in words..
It's just there..
I'm sure of it..
"Hou, that power and expression reminds me of my younger days of showing off.."
I'm surprised that I found myself grinning..
Do I really think I can beat the old man?
Well, there's only one way to find out..
I take a long deep breath..
And release it slowly..
I can feel nothing..
And at the same time, I can feel everything..
This is one of the effects of [Yin-yang Aura]..
A torrent of colors burst from my being and dye the [Aura Sword] that I made grayish in color..
I'm terribly calm..
It's funny how I got nervous at first..
It's almost like a far-off memory now..
Here I go..
"Let's do this old man!"
"Haha, I'm all fired up!"
Our bodies blurred and disappeared in the next moment..
But really, me and the old man are sprinting at full speed towards each other..
I see him in the split-second time difference that he is holding it in his famous Demon-cutter sword stance..
While I twirl my sword at my sides to build up momentum..
In the next moment, two swords clash..
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