The day after the match with the Varow group.
The members of Gawiik’s group spent their time as they liked, resting to recover from their last match or out in the town buying things. As usual, Kou was undergoing an inspection at Professor Andagi’s laboratory.
「Hmm, there doesn’t seem to be any particular problems. As to be expected of something that I created, kuwakakakaka!」(Andagi)
After examining whether the composite was showing any signs of wearing or had any damaged parts, the Professor praised himself and laughed.
「Ah, by the way, Kou, that magical weapon, I’ve thought of an interesting way to use it, so could you take it out?」(Andagi)
At the professor’s request, Kou produced the weapon from his dimensional storage. The weapon that was made using a concept from another world as a reference: the rapid-fire flame projectile launcher with an inbuilt internal combustion magical vessel. He had not used it as a weapon yet, but it was capable of shooting flaming projectiles about as powerful as an apprentice Magician’s flame magic from its internal combustion magical vessel.
Of course, projectiles of this level of power would be able to fend off demon hound-level monsters at best. For a weapon that had fine devices incorporated in it, it would not have been an exaggeration to call it a failed product. But despite its low power, its ability to fire constantly to provide covering fire was this weapon’s special feature.
「I’m going to mess with it for a while, so talk to Miss Sayaka or something while you wait.」(Andagi)
Kou chatted with Sayaka in the waiting room. Their topic of conversation was unsurprisingly the fighting tournament and they discussed yesterday’s match and tomorrow’s finals.
“Those guys yesterdays were strong~”
「It was a hard fight, wasn’t it? But you know, Kou-chan, you’re quite merciless, you know?」(Sayaka)
When Sayaka pointed out how he had defeated the Shadow Artist at the beginning of the match, Kou explained that he had held back properly. But as Sayaka continued to explain how it looked from the audience’s point of view, Kou’s body rocked side to side as he asked,『Eh~ Why~?』
“When people walk past me in the town, they’re actually avoiding me...”
「Ahaha, that’s definitely because they’re scared of you.」(Sayaka)
Despite his giant body, Sayaka thought Kou’s rocking back and forth was childishly cute as she enjoyed their conversation. While they were spending this meaningful time together, the bell that signaled midday rang out, so Sayaka began to prepare lunch.
“Prince Layos isn’t here today, is he?”
「Prince Layos? Now that you mention it, he isn’t.」(Sayaka)
He had been showing his face here every morning recently, but he was absent today.
The assistant Sarta came into the room to tell them that the adjustments to the magic weapon had been completed and overheard their conversation. She suggested that Prince Layos was being considerate so that Kou, who would be fighting in the finals of the tournament tomorrow with Gawiik’s group, would not be forced to interact with him.
“Tomorrow’s our battle with Prince Layos, huh~”
「They’re strong, you know? The prince’s “Golden Sword Dragons”.」(Sarta)
「Their matches ended right after they started, didn’t they?」(Sayaka)
「They have gathered plenty of first-class equipment and personnel, kuwakakakaka!」(Andagi)
The professor laughed and said that they were invincible and defeated their opponents instantly because they were not holding back on using their power, . The professor liked flashy things, so he seemed to have taken a liking to Prince Layos, who showed no compromise and no restraint as his group used their overwhelming powers to their hearts’ content when they fought.
“I wonder if we can win?”
「Wahaha, for just you brats, it would be impossible.」(Andagi)
「Even though Gawiik-san is probably a little more skilled than Prince Layos.」(Sarta)
The central members of the Golden Sword Dragons were a knight of the Grandahl army and a Magician of the royal court; it went without saying that they were extremely skilled and their coordination could not be compared to that of a normal group of adventurers.
They had armor with enchantments such as anti-magic, recovery and weight reduction. Their weapons were imbued with special properties, similar to the enchanted swords that Gawiik and Stua had used. In addition to that, every one of their members wore all kinds of expensive ornaments to increase their movement capabilities and magical power.
「I did watch all of Layos-sama’s matches, and most of it looked like they were cheating, you know?」(Sayaka)
“They’re that amazing, huh –”
Incidentally, Prince Layos was a swordsman himself and his sword of choice was the enchanted sword “Wind Sever”. This was a superior enchanted sword to the “Wind Cutter”; it was surrounded in a vacuum so that it could be swung without any resistance from the air and had the ability to nullify any wind-element magic. In terms of their specialized weapons, this was a bad matchup for Gawiik.
「Well, I just want you to do your part, don’t push yourself too hard and just get the crowd excited.」(Andagi)
After saying that, he began teaching Kou how to use the magic weapon, to which he had added a new feature.
The next day, the day of the finals of the tournament.
In the fighters’ waiting room that they had become accustomed to entering and exiting in the past few days, the participating members of Gawiik’s group were holding a final meeting before the match: Captain Gawiik, Vice-Captain Mandel, the archer Karen, the Magician Lef and the composite Golem Kou.
「Our opponent today is Prince Layos. As we discussed yesterday, we have no plan for this match.」(Mandel)
「To be perfectly honest, it’s because there’s no effective plan that we could come up with against this kind of opponent. Therefore, I’ll be leaving you to make your own individual judgment on how to proceed after the initial attack.」(Gawiik)
Every single group that had faced the Golden Sword Dragons in the tournament had been defeated without landing a single strike on them. The only confirmed attacks used were the multiple, simultaneous fireballs from the Magician and the projectiles of light fired from the enchanted sword of the swordsman. Following up with these long-ranged attacks would be the fighter charging in with a warrior backing him up.
That was enough to win all of their matches. Prince Layos and the heavy warrior at his side did not even need to make any moves. But it was known that the captain who had gathered the Golden Sword Dragons and its vice-captain were their two strongest members.
「They’re opponents that we don’t have to hold back against. Everyone, let’s put all our strength into it, but be careful not to get injured.」(Gawiik)
Deciding to show enough force to make Prince Layos’s group falter, Gawiik’s group left the waiting room and headed for the arena.
「AND NOW -! THE FINALS OF THE ROYALLY SPONSORED TORTOLUSE GRAND FIGHTING TOURNAMENT -! BETWEEN THE GOLDEN SWORD DRAGONS AND GAWIIK’S GROUP -! WILL NOW BEGIN!」
As the two groups appeared with the announcer’s voice, the crowd cheered so loudly that it felt like the arena would break. Kou was a little overwhelmed by the cheers of the crowd, which was even bigger than when they had fought against the Varow group. But he quickly became used to it and focused his attention towards the match.
『Ah, it’s Prince Layos. The air about him is different from usual~』
Even the appearance of the Golden Sword Dragon members was very different from normal adventurer groups or mercenary bands. The warrior’s armor and the Magician’s combat uniform were elegant and refined, like nobles’ clothes, polished from head to toe.
It was very different from the style of scratched, dented armor and leather belts darkened that was typical of adventurers. Gawiik’s group was a group of hardened warriors who were equipped better than most other groups, but this was on another level.
As Prince Layos faced one part of the crowd and raised his sword towards them, the cheering grew even louder. He appeared to be responding to the audience’s encouragement, but the one he was appealing to was a single girl sitting in the nobles’ seating section.
「He’s appealing to Saya-chan now, isn’t he?」(Sarta)
「I’m surprised he can see me from there.」(Sayaka)
「Kaka~ That just shows how much he’s in love!」(Andagi)
A suspicious-looking old magical technician in a white coat, a woman wearing a similar white coat and a young, black-haired girl were all sitting together. Sayaka simply shrugged in response to the professor and Sarta’s words. And so the Golden Sword Dragons turn their gaze towards Gawiik’s group, paying particular attention to the Kou, who was towering a head’s height above everyone.
「I wonder if Kou-chan will be okay.」(Sayaka)
「No need to worry; he’s the sturdiest one among them. Even if some part of him breaks, I’ll fix it straight away!」(Andagi)
Saying that, the professor gave his usual laugh of “kuwakakakaka!”
Somewhere among the cheering of the crowd, the start signal was given and the final match of the fighting tournament began. As soon as the match started, seven fireballs and a projectile of light flew straight at Gawiik, leaving shining, arcing trails in the air.
「Waah, they’re aiming for me first after all!」(Gawiik)
Gawiik ran forward in a diagonal line, drawing more focus to himself to create an opening for his allies to counterattack. The fighter and warrior attacking at the same time were met by Mandel while Lef and Karen provided backup for him.
As soon as the fighter stepped in front of Mandel, he moved to the side and wrapped around, pretending to be pulling a surprise an attack from behind before heading straight for Kou and the others. In time with the fighter’s movements, the warrior charged in and locked swords with Mandel.
「Kou! They’re coming for you!」
Mandel, with his duties ingrained deeply into his mind, continued to give orders and warnings to his allies, even while being pushed back by the warrior.
The fighter had very fast movements considering his large, solid build as he charged in with his fists ready, wearing battle gloves. Kou stood ready to face him.
The fighter darted left and right as he closed in, ducked under Kou’s punch and launched a series of blows at both sides of the composite Golem’s body. Sounds like a hammer repeatedly striking a rock echo out. As his movements became slower, Kou realized that the composite Golem had taken damage.
Even Kou’s punches in retaliation were because the fighter was deliberately delaying his attacks enough to allow them, so that he could easily dodge them and return a counter-punch. It became clear that the fighter’s movements had a lot of freedom.
「Hmm, well, I guess I should expect something like this.」(Fighter)
As Kou threw yet another punch, the fighter performed an upper blow that drove into him and sent him reeling over backwards. He then moved sideways past Kou to target Karen, who was providing backup for Gawiik. By the time Kou had gotten onto his feet again, Karen was already within the fighter’s range.
「Pardon me, ojousan*.」(Fighter)
Karen tried to put some distance between them with a swift back-step, but the fighter closed it again in an instant and landed an attack in her side.
It seemed that the fighter had held back his strength; Karen was sent flying sideways a short distance and crouched on the ground in defeat. The moment after, as Kou was trying to rush over to Karen, several fireballs passed by his huge body, as if deliberately avoiding him.
The seven fireballs from the enemy Magician flew towards Lef and she managed to block three of them using defensive magic strengthened by “The Flowing Hand”, but the other four struck her one by one. Lef’s small body was thrown into the air like a twig caught in a strong wind.
Kou had been played around with by the fighter and was completely unable to fulfil his role as a protective wall. He could only watch in a daze as Lef, with white smoke rising from her body, fell to the ground.
Hearing the crowd cheer, he turned around to see Gawiik, who had been drawing the light projectile attacks of the enemy swordsman, defeated by a combination attack between Prince Layos and the heavy warrior. Mandel, who had been crossing swords with the enemy warrior, was defeated under the pressure of the backup of the light projectiles from the swordsman.
『Eeeh, even Gawiik and Mandel... Everyone’s been defeated!』
The professor and even everyone from Gawiik’s group themselves had said that it would be impossible to win against Prince Layos’s group, so Kou had imagined that they would not be able to win even after experiencing the difficult battle against the Varow group. But he had not expected that they would be cornered so quickly.
His astonishment was brief, as the fighter who had brought down Karen returned to face him, drawing his attention. Thinking that he should show the willpower of Gawiik’s group by defeating at least one member of the Golden Sword Dragons in return, Kou clenched his fists.
「Oh? You still want to fight?」(Fighter)
The fighter whispered this question as Kou, with movements quite unlike that of a Golem, threw a punch at him. Stepping forward while dodging the attack, he drove in an attack with his battle-glove-covered fist. The power of his attack would have been enough to floor an average warrior.
However, the composite Golem was sturdy and Kou did not feel pain, so Kou continued attacking even as his body’s movements became slower.
「Vaauh!」『I can’t hit him at all!』
Each time Kou’s punch missed or was parried he received three heavy blows in return. Each time that happened, the composite body’s movements slowed down momentarily and made it even more difficult to land an attack and easier for him to be hit by the counter-attacks. However, his sturdy body would not fall.
「Now then, I guess I’ll step up!」(Warrior)
The fighter switched out with the warrior who had initially charged in together with him and returned to his original position. It was not that the fighter had grown tired of facing him, but his role was simply to attack the rear members and make them powerless. The warrior’s role was to provide backup for the fighter as he did so, and it had been previously decided that it would be the warrior’s job to defeat Kou.
The warrior, using a fighting style faithful to the fundamental concepts of attack and defense, held up his shield as he closed in Kou. Kou produced the battleaxe and swung it at him.
However, it would not hit. The warrior dodged it at the last moment and stepped forward, raising his arm in an upwards slash aimed near the wrist before landing another blow with his sword on the handle of the battleaxe.
As they simply watched the battle between the Warrior and Kou, the members of the Golden Sword Dragons wondered if there was some kind of trick for such a large weapon to appear suddenly in Kou’s hands, or perhaps it was some kind of magical tool.
In the audience, there was an atmosphere of『this isn’t much of a competition』as they wondered how the Golden Sword Dragons would bring down this strange Golem, or how long the Golem would last.
As Kou’s second weapon, a spear, was knocked out of his hands, he produced a hammer as a third weapon and swung it down at the warrior. The warrior dodged to the side and swung his sword downwards. He struck the end of the hammer with force and continued his swing all the way into the ground, throwing the hammer and Kou’s wrist to the side.
Kou’s weapon was disposed of once more.
Kou tried to throw a punch, but the Warrior deflected its trajectory with his shield and launched a counter-thrust. Having been stabbed in his throat, Kou’s head was thrown back as he staggered back one step, two steps. As he tried to regain his balance yet another blow came to his right side, upwards towards his shoulder.
Kou tried to retaliate immediately with another fist. However, the warrior had already stepped out of its range and taken a stance, preparing for his next attack.
「Vooooh...」『Ugh~ I can’t hit him...』
Kou let out an impatient, irritated groan. At that moment, Karen who was crouching on the ground behind him, clutching her side, whispered to him.
「Kou-chan... Don’t push yourself too hard, okay?」(Karen)
Karen was concerned for Kou even though she looked like she was in pain herself. A small distance away was Lef, lying on her back with her staff still in her hand. Gawiik and Mandel were behind the enemy warrior. Seeing his defeated allies, Kou’s hazy feelings began to erupt.
『It’s just so frustrating.』
Feeling this deep frustration and thinking,『we can’t just lose like this』, Kou tried to think of a way through this situation.
Meanwhile, the Golden Sword Dragons, seeing the sturdy Kou who was still standing despite having received countless powerful attacks, wondered how they should defeat him. It would look bad to keep attacking him until he accumulated enough damage to finally collapse, so they decided to destroy one part of his body to stop his movements.
「As long as we don’t destroy it completely, Professor Andagi will be able to fix it so it should be fine.」
「Well then, shall we break his right leg?」
Leaving Layos and the heavy warrior behind, the swordsman, fighter and Magician joined the fight to defeat Kou. Their formation looked as if they were exterminating a Monster. It seemed that they intended to bring an end to the battle and the spectators watched in anticipation of the match’s conclusion.
Next to the professor, Sayaka had been tensely watching Kou being attacked one-sidedly.
「Will Kou-chan be alright...?」(Sayaka)
「Mmm, even the composite body will take damage if it keeps receiving attacks like that.」(Andagi)
「Even its armored skin is reaching its limits now.」(Sarta)
The professor voiced the need to return it to the laboratory for inspection and repair as soon as the match ended. The composite body theoretically had a self-repair function, but it had not yet demonstrated in practice whether it can repair itself after taking such heavy damage.
In the arena, Kou was surrounded on three sides by the warrior, the swordsman and the fighter while occasionally receiving fireballs from the Magician. He was fighting alone, desperately swinging the battleaxe and hammer around.
In order to not be so easily defeated, Kou was swinging the weapons in his hands together to limit the attacks coming towards him, but they are completely dodged. The enemy’s attacks were focused on his leg. Rather than his whole body, the movement of his leg was slowed down.
He was hardening the part of the composite body that was receiving the attacks, blocking the impacts and slashes, but repeatedly taking damage on the same place would eventually become too much. Feeling problems all over his body, Kou desperately tried to think of a way.
『I can’t let it continue like this.』
Remembering the basic adventurers’ principles that he had learned from Elmerl and the others in Barasse and Gawiik group, he looked at his surroundings and thought calmly. His allies were all defeated, so the only ones left standing were his enemies. It would probably be fine to use the inaccurate weapon that he had received from the professor.
He understood perfectly well that attacking at random would be meaningless. Keeping this in mind, Kou created a plan in his head. First, he would need to use magic to escape the enemies surrounding him. Putting his weapon away and gathering magical power in his hand, he produced the light that he had once used as a flare and threw it.
Seeing Kou use magic, the members surrounding him were suddenly cautious as they stopped moving. Thinking that Kou had pulled out a trump card after being cornered, the Magician put up a defensive magical wall to try to nullify Kou’s ball of light. However, nothing happened.
「What is this?」
「It seems to just be a light source; it is not an offensive spell.」
「So, he’s trying to blind us?」
「So he’s using this kind of method, what an interesting opponent.」
Kou used the moment that his enemies faltered because of the blind to escape their surround, and the Golden Sword Dragons commented on his strategy. They continued to casually discuss Kou’s flexibility and future potential, but they raised their guard as they suddenly heard a series of small explosions and saw several fireballs flying their way.
「What is it this time!」
「This is... basic-level fire magic, isn’t it? It seems that he’s shooting it from that box.」
「An invention of that professor’s?」
「It’s not very powerful, but that’s an impressive amount of attacks.」
It was not powerful enough to break through the Magician’s defensive magic and the anti-magic enhancements on the equipment of the other two were enough to repel the fireballs. But it would be painful if they were to hit the parts of their bodies that were not covered by armor, so they had no choice but to take a defensive stance against this number of fireballs. But that is all that the barrage accomplished.
Though the barrage of attacks forced a defensive stance from his enemies, it did not do any damage. The warrior raised his shield and began moving forwards.
Realizing that the attacks from the magic weapon were ineffective, Kou began to think of the next course of action to take. It did slow down their movements, so it was not completely ineffective. The warrior was slowly approaching, deflecting the fireballs with his shield in a flashy manner, while the other three were on standby behind him.
The barrage of flaming projectiles covered a wide area, but did not have a long effective range. Even though they would not do much damage even if they landed, Kou could sense that they were letting their guard down by the fact that they were not moving around. It seemed that they were relying on the warrior to stop his attacks before they tried to surround him again.
It was understandable that they did not want to be on the receiving end of these one-sided attacks, but now Kou saw a chance. Even if he fought one-on-one he had no chance of winning if he fought normally. In that case, he would just have to use an effective attack and catch him by surprise.
Kou confirmed the position of a newly-added switch on the magic weapon before fiercely charging in. It was difficult to run because of the weapon’s recoil, but even so, he managed a fast pace. Despite the focused attacks it had received, his right leg was still fine.
Seeing Kou charging at him, firing flaming projectiles randomly, he knew that he would not be able to handle a forceful impact with that huge body, so he quickly began to fall back with his shield still raised. As Kou ran past the swordsman, the swordsman raised his sword to get an attack in. At that moment, Kou stopped in his tracks and turned around.
「Voah!」『This is it!』
Flipping the switch from “rapid-fire” to “simultaneous discharge”, Kou fired at point-blank range. This was a feature of an original weapon that the professor had learned of from Sayaka, reproducing the concept of a shotgun.
However, his target was not defeated. Receiving several flaming projectiles of moderate power was only enough to knock him off balance.
『Err, umm, oh yeah! I’ll step on him!』
As the warrior tried to stand up, he was met by Kou’s trampling attack. His armor collapsed with a heavy sound and the warrior lost consciousness from this powerful impact.
A shiver ran through the arena. Rather than cheers, voices of confusion were rising from the crowd.
「Oi, that Golem defeated one of them...」
「To think that the Golden Sword Dragons would suffer a casualty...」
No matter how much they had let their guard down, nobody had imagined that the group that looked so powerful that it appeared as if they were cheating would have one of their members defeated. The arena was filled with the commotion of the crowd. And so, Prince Layos, who had been watching the battle unfold from his position at the back, began to move.
「The proud will have their legs swept away from under them. It is just as Father always said.」(Layos)
「It seems we have fooled around a little too long. We have paid the price. Now we’ll end this!」(Layos)
Unsheathing the enchanted sword “Wind Sever”, Layos gave the command to attack. Now the Golden Sword Dragons’ attack began in full force.
The one who leapt forward first was the fighter. Jumping left and right to dodge the simultaneous-discharge attacks from the magic weapon, he stepped to one side and landed a powerful blow in the side of Kou’s body. Unable to counterattack with the heavy magic weapon in hand, Kou returned it to the dimensional storage and faced the fighter in direct combat for the third time.
The bracelets in the center of the fighter’s battle gloves were special equipment that had the property of reducing fatigue, so even if he attacked incessantly, his arms did not tire. Even as Kou raised his arms to counterattack, he landed blows on those arms to prevent him from doing so.
It could not even be called a fight; Kou was simply on the receiving end of a one-sided series of blows. Feeling that his body was beginning to have problems under this violent rush, Kou spotted on his own head one of the several small insects that he had attached to the composite body’s surface before the match. Slipping his spirit form away and storing the composite body, he possessed the tiny creature.
The fighter was bewildered the Golem’s body collapsed before vanishing, causing his punches to swing through the air. He wondered, 『did I accidentally destroy it?』However, the fact that not even a piece of the Golem was left was too suspicious.
「I’d understand if it was a summoned beast, but...」(Fighter)
「Be careful! There’s a rumor that he can teleport!」(Heavy warrior)
As the vice-captain, the heavy warrior gave a warning not to let his guard down, the Golem appeared behind the fighter.
In the next instant, the fighter’s body was flying through the air. Kou had flown behind him using the small insect and then produced and possessed the composite Golem once more. Despite not standing a chance in a direct fist fight, Kou had seized the opportunity behind the fighter to land one attack that threw him into the air. The crowd stirred again at the sight of the Golem’s power that was enough to send the large fighter flying.
「So that’s how it is, but...!」
The fighter twisted his body in mid-air to regain his balance, but as he looked down, he saw Kou gathering power in his fist close to his hip. He knew from this what Kou was aiming for, and tried to put some strength back into his body. At the same time, the swordsman and the heavy warrior also realized what Kou’s stance meant and stepped forward to block him. However –
The heavy warrior was attacked by Mandel and Gawiik while the swordsman was stopped in his tracks by ice magic and an arrow that had accurately hit his ankles. As the fighter was still in mid-air, he was unable to dodge as Kou landed an attack with all his might.
The warrior and fighter had so far handled Kou’s attacks by avoiding or parrying them, so they had been unharmed even in direct combat with him. But the composite Golem was Professor Andagi’s strongest magical soldier. The destructive power of its attacks, if landed, was truly fearsome.
With his armor breaking into pieces the fighter flew close to six Ruuka, about eight meters. The impact of the punch and landing on the ground after that knocked him out cold.
Gawiik’s group had all recovered and they began to go on the offensive. Using the “Hand of Flow”, Lef was acting as a healer. She had regained consciousness while Kou was standing against the enemy, and healed everyone from distance.
Karen aimed at the Magician and Lef attacked together with her. Using the “Hand of Flow”, Lef was able to imitate her counterpart’s fireballs, managing to produce four of them. As the Magician blocked them with defensive magic, Kou also began firing with his magic weapon.
The barrage of flaming projectiles and imitated fireballs broke through the defensive magic, and Karen’s arrow struck the circlet on the Magician’s head, shattering it. The Magician seemed to have suffered a concussion. However, straight after that, the enemy swordsman sent a light projectile at Lef. Lef, having been on the offense until now, had no defense prepared. She collapsed for a second time. The swordsman raised his sword again, this time facing Karen.
The heavy warrior was unable to keep up with Gawiik’s high-speed swordsmanship. Not wanting to go down without a fight, he performed a reckless attack that ended up with both him and Mandel defeating each other. Meanwhile, Gawiik crossed swords with Prince Layos, who had come to back up the heavy warrior.
「As expected of Gawiik’s group, we can’t look down on you!」(Prince Layos)
「Looks like you’ve paid the price for letting your guard down!」(Gawiik)
With that said, Gawiik was aware that the only reason they were able to recover and come back with a counterattack was because Kou had persisted for so long.
As “Wind Cutter” and “Wind Sever” clashed, the high-speed swordsmanship was prevented by the properties of “Wind Sever”. Gawiik had the upper hand when it came to skill with the sword, but the performance of their weapons was too different. Gawiik was slowly pushed back and eventually defeated by Prince Layos.
While keeping the swordsman who was shooting projectiles of light in check with his magic weapon, Kou tried to move to a position where he could protect Karen. But then, Layos, who had defeated Gawiik, came charging in. Knowing the threat that the “Wind Sever” presented, Kou turned the weapon towards Layos to stop his charge.
But now that the swordsman was free from the barrage of Kou’s attacks, he moved to take out Karen. An archer with normal equipment would have no chance against a swordsman covered in armor with anti-magic and recovery properties who was able to shoot projectiles of light at his enemies.
Karen was able to escape from him for a while, but her body was still injured and fatigued from earlier. She quickly ran out of breath and finally fell prey to a light projectile.
And so, the battle between the Golden Sword Dragons and Gawiik’s group that had started out so one-sided became a full-fledged melee that nobody could guess the outcome of. In the midst of all of this chaos, the Kou’s battle against Layos and the swordsman began to unfold.
Kou was restraining Layos with his magic weapon. He could not deal damage, but he could prevent his movement to a certain extent. As the swordsman closed in from the other side, he continued to hold the magic weapon in his right hand and took a stance that was ready to produce another weapon in his left hand to intercept.
The swordsman closed in as he fired another projectile of light. If Kou turned the magic weapon away from Layos for a moment, he would close the distance in an instant, so Kou kept the weapon focused on him.
The light projectile attack had little effect on Kou, so the swordsman came to attack him directly. Kou swung his arm.
「Watch out, he might produce another weapon!」(Layos)
Layos gave a warning to the swordsman. Kou produced a weapon and swept it across. The swordsman, hearing the warning, barely dodged Kou’s sweeping attack in time. The swordsman then landed an attack on Kou’s arm, causing him to drop his weapon.
It seemed that there was something wrong with the arm after that attack; Kou tried to grab the swordsman but he was not able to move it very well. The next attack hit his side. His armored skin had taken too much damage in the battle against the fighter and the sword’s tip pierced into his body a little. The swordsman then produced a light projectile from that position.
「Mmm, that one did quite a lot of damage.」(Andagi)
「It seems we’ll need a vat to culture composite body cells.」(Sarta)
Sayaka was watching the match to its conclusion and worried about Kou, whose injuries covering his whole body were clearly visible from the outside. Meanwhile, the professor and Sarta were estimating the extent of the damage done to the composite body and thinking ahead to how they would repair it.
The composite body had taken interior damage where the sword had stabbed into it, and its movements grew substantially weaker. The swordsman had taken half a step backwards from the recoil of the light projectile. As he prepared for yet another attack, Kou spun his body left to face him.
Even taking the rapid fire of flaming projectiles from the magic weapon at point blank, the swordsman’s armor was too strong and he took almost no damage as he slipped behind Kou. Now that the barrage was no longer being aimed at him, Layos closed the distance between him and Kou in an instant.
Was this the end? Everyone asked themselves.
Kou quickly aimed the magic weapon at his feet. Layos’s vision was obstructed by a cloud of dust, but he pressed forward, knowing where Kou was. “Wind Sever” found its target behind the curtain of dust. He could feel a response.
When the dust lifted, Layos’s sword was piercing Kou’s back, near his right hip.
Layos wondered,『why is his back facing me?』The answer to that question was in the swordsman, whose legs were hanging in the air. At the moment the cloud of dust had blocked vision in all directions, Kou had seized the swordsman.
Raising the swordsman into the air, Kou threw him at Layos. Layos dodged sideways. The swordsman, who had been thrown with full force, bounced twice against the ground kicking up the dust as he struck the ground before rolling to a stop. He showed no signs of being able to stand up.
The crowd murmured restlessly. Confusion, astonishment and anticipation. The voices of the ground, filled with various emotions, spread and expanded like a wave.
「I didn’t expect you to be this capable.」 (Layos)
It had come to a decisive one-on-one battle. The confrontation between the heavily injured Kou against Layos. Layos raised “Wind Sever”. Kou wondered what he should do. The difference between their abilities was clear. There were no longer any small insects on the composite body’s surface. The crowd erupted in applause at the sight of the giant, whose body was in tatters, and the brave prince facing it with a composed expression.
Kou was no longer able to make fast movements due to the damage to his body. He tried to think of a way to make an effective attack with a relatively small movement, and came up with an idea.
『Alright, it’s sink or swim.』
Kou crossed his arms. Layos put up his guard. Kou tilted his body forward and raised his arms diagonally. The crowd watched him closely, not knowing what stance that was but knowing that he was about to do something.
With this stance, he was full of openings for Layos to take advantage of; it was unclear what he was aiming for. There were no signs of him using magic. The magic weapon was now lying on the ground, and even if he were to produce another weapon, it was impossible to think of a weapon that he would need to swing from this pose.
If Layos were to be cautious, it would be best to circle around and attack from behind, but the battle was at its climax. His opponent truly looked as if he had fought a hard battle, and there was no meaning in not facing him from the front. Layos’s personality was such that he thought that. Layos raised “Wind Sever” above his head, challenging Kou head-on.
Kou extended his spirit from the Golem’s outstretched arms as far as he could without losing control of it, matched the timing with Layos’s charge and produced... that. In front of the composite body’s outstretched arms. In the space where there had been nothing, about a meter above, falling downwards, there was a steel-blue shadow.
Layos took a direct hit from the heavy shield. To be more precise, he charged straight into the shield that had suddenly appeared over his head.
『Now!』thought Kou as he raised his right arm –
With the sound of a large impact echoing out, Kou slammed his fist into the back of the shield on top of Layos.
The impact was largely absorbed, but his stance was just a stance for his surprise attack. The heavy shield rolled loudly across the ground. Layos rolled around with the sand of the stadium covering his back, unable to stand up.
The crowd murmured.
The announcer’s tense voice echoed out to announce the end and the winner of the match.
「W-winner, Gawiik’s group!」
Gawiik’s group had defeated the Golden Sword Dragons, achieving the incredible accomplishment of winning the championship. At this completely unexpected conclusion, the arena that had been almost silent suddenly exploded with applause and cheers.