Before the tutorial begins chapter 9 part 2

As expected, or rather, as I had anticipated, it seems that avoiding a fight is unavoidable.

I shout loudly, as if to release the pent-up frustration in my chest.

“Please go easy on me!”

“Very well. Give it your all!”

With those words as a start, we begin the battle.

For my opening move, I perform a skill combination from a backstep, using “Enhanced Agility” and “Accelerated Thinking,” focusing on agility.

The victory condition for this trial is to land a blow on Akabane-san.

In other words, as long as I hit her, I don’t need unnecessary attack power.

Furthermore, while the spear attacks are threatening, due to Akabane-san being the examiner for this trial, her attack patterns are naturally limited.

That’s why I specialized in speed—avoiding getting hit was crucial. As long as I landed my strikes, victory would be mine. This strategy was my optimal approach to battle.

…Well, typically, that’s how I would tackle a fight, but there was always the chance of something unexpected occurring.

“What’s the matter? Aren’t you coming?”

Akabane-san, holding her spear, stood firmly, emanating the aura of someone who had overcome numerous hardships.

She was strong. If I let my guard down or held back, I would undoubtedly lose.

[Al]

“Yes, I completely agree with Master’s perspective.”

I felt grateful for my partner, who understood my thoughts without uttering a word, as I readied my greatsword with a safety technique.

As my spiritual power drained, I calmly replied to Akabane-san.

“I apologize for the delay in preparation. Well, I’m truly-“

Extending my voice, I swiftly closed the distance with enhanced agility.

“You’re hopeless.”

As she finished her sentence, I swung my greatsword with an accelerated motion. Naturally, my surprise attack was evaded, but that didn’t matter.

My objective was to keep attacking until I landed a hit.

“Ooooh!”

I attacked. Attacked. Attacked.

A relentless barrage of strikes from my greatsword, solely focused on connecting with a hit.

Due to its wide attack range, there were openings after each strike, but I struggled with the weapon’s size and weight.

Exceptional strength was required to wield this type of weapon, unsuitable for the weak. It seemed that my muscles had surpassed the threshold.

At this level, I could maneuver it without employing any techniques.

“You’ve improved significantly, Number 26. Your unwavering dedication is evident in your swordsmanship,” Akabane-san acknowledged while calmly blocking my continuous assaults.

Her resolute expression revealed the demeanor of an examiner.

The difference in skill and experience was apparent. Despite countless sword strikes from all angles, I could barely prevent her counterattacks.

Nevertheless, I continued attacking. I kept attacking.

Attack, attack, attack, attack.

I swung the sword dozens, hundreds of times, exerting all my strength.

“Clashing Great Sword and Red Spear.”

The seemingly endless battle underwent a transformation when a few drops of sweat started trickling down my neck.

“……Huh?”

Akabane-san sensed something amiss, furrowing her brows. She seized the opportunity and executed a diagonal slash as a countermeasure.

But my attack was deflected by Akabane-san’s spear, as if she had planned and synchronized the move.

“Ugh.”

…It missed.

Akabane-san evaded my attack with extraordinary speed.

The red-haired examiner stepped back.

“You won’t escape.”

Naturally, I wouldn’t let that opportunity slip away.

Like a coiled spring, I propelled myself forward, utilizing my strengthened legs to pursue her.

Assault. And clash.

The white greatsword and the red spear clashed spectacularly once again.

The martial arts displayed by Akabane-san and myself harmonized.

However, after a while, she attempted to create distance between us again, executing an exaggerated backstep.

The spiritual power emanating from Akabane-san was stronger than before. She must have excessively employed her body strengthening skills.

Despite that, I caught up to Akabane-san much more easily compared to before.

“——-Tsu!”

Akabane-san, engrossed in our exchange of blows, emitted an inaudible scream.

Yes, it’s peculiar, isn’t it?

When the trial began, Akabane-san maintained composure, but now, she was overwhelmed by my greatsword.

Even though she was recklessly increasing her output.

She desperately tried to respond to my simple sword strikes with every fiber of her being, pouring her nerves and spiritual power into each movement.

Her countenance displayed a seriousness that surpassed anything she had shown before the trial.

Yet, she was slow. Sluggish. Blunted.

The more we traded blows, the more her movements dulled, losing their speed, sharpness, and precision.

Perhaps she, too, was aware of her abnormality. That’s why she attempted to use agility-enhancing skills and clung to me with desperation.

But, Akabane-san, it’s futile.

What I was taking from her wasn’t just “speed,” but rather a swiftness that transcended mere quickness.

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

[Confirmed significant decay in the target’s personal time passage speed and time perception ability. It has reached a level where even the Master’s normal operations cannot be observed.]

Al’s observations revealed everything.

The success of the “Delay Formula” facilitated by our weapon clash.

Originally, this skill was a release-type ability that halted the opponent’s movement and consciousness in a single strike, essentially turning them into an target. However, as someone lacking long-range attack aptitude, it was impossible for me to execute.

Hence, with Al’s assistance, I devised this approach.

Essentially, it involved imbuing my weapon with magic, transferring it to the opponent’s weapon, and ultimately affecting the opponent.

It’s akin to envisioning a domino effect or a Pythagorean switch, that sensation of connecting power from one object to another.

With this technique, power diffusion could be achieved at close range with minimal direction control.

Though it had the drawback of not propagating power instantaneously, being able to employ a strategy resembling a brain-muscle tactic akin to time stop was significant.

Even against opponents like Akabane-san, simply engaging in a basic weapon battle rendered them powerless, underscoring the usefulness of this tactic.

Contrary to her fierce expression, Akabane-san’s movements had dulled to a point where they were inferior to even a soulless individual without a contract.

“I’ve got you.”

I gently pressed the blade of my greatsword against her exposed back.

Simultaneously, I released the “Delay Formula” that had bound Akabane-san.

There should be minimal external damage, but Akabane-san knelt down, utilizing her spear as a support.

“Well done, Number 26. You have emerged victorious.”

“Thank you very much.”

Without feigned modesty, I wholeheartedly accepted her words.

In an actual battle, the outcome would likely have been different.

Akabane-san hadn’t employed any skills apart from physical enhancement, and her tactics leaned heavily towards defense.

Thus, it was highly improbable that she had displayed her full strength. When we face each other again someday, it won’t be such a one-sided affair.

However, for today, in this place, I had achieved a complete victory.

The trial had been accomplished.

After bowing my head to Akabane-san once, I inquired about the whereabouts of Examiner Nikaido.

“Akabane Examiner, I apologize for disturbing you in your weariness, but could you please provide me with the location of the other examiners, as promised?”

“Of course, no problem. But before that, please accept this.”

“Sure,” Akabane replied, retrieving a red medal from his pocket.

“This is proof of overcoming the trials. Congratulations,

“Thank you very much. So, what comes next?” I asked.

“Haha, I understand. First, we should…” Akabane began to speak, but before that

“What?!” I exclaimed.

“Hmm?!” Akabane uttered, taken aback by my outburst.

Something had changed.

The first sensation that hit me was a chilling coldness.

A sinister, black, viscous spiritual energy, reminiscent of an amoeba, crept into our spiritual senses.

It emanated from the north, not too close but still perceptible from a considerable distance. The strength and dreadfulness of the spiritual energy were undeniable.

And then, right on its heels…

“uuUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURYUUUUAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAaaaaaa!!”

An eerie, otherworldly scream reverberated through the Azure Labyrinth.

[Master]

I wiped the sweat from my forehead and cast a fierce glare in the direction of the voice.

There could be no one else but him who possessed such malevolent spiritual energy within the confines of the Eclipse Dungeon.

He was the embodiment of pure evil, responsible for countless traumas and tragedies in Dunmagi.

The prime instigator behind the blood-soaked Eclipses and similar trials that would occur in the not-so-distant future.

And now, the ultimate culprit who had cast a somber shadow over a certain heroine’s narrative—the “Death God of the Dungeon” had finally revealed itself.



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