The tip of the sword which was approaching him was frantically being avoided. A dark grey colored flash of light splits the air every time the sword is swung, the scent of death spreads as the sword skims past his nose.
Natsuno Taiyou was holding his ground, making a fist he stepped forward.
In order to gain victory ―― He went onwards.
He was going towards the “Reverse Heavenly Reversal” sword which was normally concealed in the white girl’s breast pocket. 1
Taking a lower posture to adjust to the height of the small-sized girl, Taiyou launched a body blow with his fist.
*Buuuooon* Just from the sound that tore up the air, it was obvious that the fist he launched reached a terrifying power that was akin to a one-hit kill technique.
If she was to get hit by something like this, it wouldn’t be strange if her body was blown away towards the skies or perhaps it would be enough to create a hole in the center of her body.
That’s if she got hit…
The girl did not get hit.
Taiyou’s punch hits the empty air and his full power swing did not land on its target.
He was astonished at the scene before him, the white girl who was supposed to be right in front of him just several moments ago had completely disappeared, there was only her lingering fragrance remaining.
「That’s…..my…… Residual afterimage」
Taiyou reacted to the voice coming from his rear as cold sweat dripped down his forehead. Pivoting his leg across the ground, he turns around and launches another body blow punch.
He felt an impact —- but he couldn’t swing his fist any further.
His fist had been stopped by the Reverse-Heaven blade. It was like he hit into some kind of thick wall, or perhaps it was better described as the feeling of hitting the hard ground.
No, for someone like Taiyou, walls can easily be pierced, and a crater as big as a sumo wrestling ring could be formed out of the ground.
He had that much power in his punch.
In other words, the girl who was able to stop his punch without any difficulty with her sword must have a power that exceeds his own.
The girl mutters in a subdued voice. Her eyes were saying something.
Faster than he could think, a dreadful feeling ran up his spine.
It was killing intent.
The white girl’s killing intent was literally her resolute will of being prepared for death.
This is the third time he’s ever felt this feeling, and it made him want to just turn his back and run away.
「Star Fire being set ablaze, technique 」
However, he endured it. He endured this overwhelming and absolutely terrifying killing intent.
Gritting his teeth, he firmly placed his feet on the ground.
—Taking one step forward.
The girl’s eyes slightly opened wide, and she was indeed surprised that Taiyou was able to take that step forward.
The technique she just performed was done after she put her sword back in its sheath; it was probably connected to the art of sword drawing, an iaido kind of technique.
She was able to pull her sword out of her sheath so fast that she was able to interrupt the trajectory of his arm.
A small sound echoes and the girl’s arm hit against Taiyou’s body. Using her free arm, she dealt a blow to his body.
Naturally, he didn’t receive much damage. It was a pain similar to being hit by a cardboard and was slapped really hard with it.
Again, he threw another fist at her.
Taiyou didn’t have any special techniques, his only arsenal was using his full power to perform a punch.
Instead, if someone were to be grazed by this destructive strike, the shockwaves alone were enough to send you flying away— it was a one-hit kill technique.
Taiyou’s strategy and tactics for battle revolved around being able to land a single hit of this punch.
All his movements were for that purpose.
However, he could not land a single one.
His fist which was launched in the same manner was avoided in the same manner as it hit the empty air.
A sensation of the blood vessels in his fingertips ripping assailed him.
The girl instantly moves and in the next instant she was already right next to Taiyou’s chest.
Taiyou closes the gap in a rough manner taking big steps forward *Za Za*, whereas the girl took gentle and fluid steps *Su Su*.
Her steps didn’t even cause the air flow to change, but at the same time she moved with extreme speed.
In fact, Taiyou’s eyes could not even recognize that she had already stepped away from him in an instant.
For him, every time he swung his fist it was like he was hitting an illusion or some kind of mirage.
The girl mutters and placing the sword back in its sheath, she swung towards his chest.
「Pure stone piercing, technique」
An impact came from the pointed end of the sheath that directly touched his skin.
The shock from the blow runs through his body and the piercing pain was almost enough to make him lose consciousness instantly, taking two steps back he was staggering on his feet.
The attacks did not end there.
The white girl makes a small victory pose as she spoke in her unique way.
In the next moment, her figure disappeared from in front of his eyes.
He couldn’t see anything nor feel anything. She literally just vanished from his field of vision in an instant.
Taiyou used his judgement which was based on his past experiences fighting her that she would be sneaking behind him.
Without any hesitation, he turned around and put all his energy into the punch.
Once, twice and a third time, he swung his fist as it splits the cool air.
However, there was nobody there.
「Over, here. Behind you….. be-hind」
The girls voice was always behind him every time she spoke.
In the next moment, he was struck on the crown of his head.
「Ouch owow……. As expected, I can’t beat you.」
Taiyou was sitting cross-legged on the ground of the park in the morning as he began to rub the back of his head. A numbing pain and a little bump appeared where he was hit in the head.
A little bit away from him, Shirokiyami was wearing long sleeves even though this was still summer, she was in her usual goth loli fashion clothes and she extended a helping hand towards him.
「But, you’ve……gotten strong-er. way more than, bef-ore」
「You think so?」
「Yes, and….. as expected, you are an irregu-larity. Even though you look like this, your power and speed are…」
「Heyy, what’s wrong with the way I look? Eh? You said my speed improved as well?」
「Yeah, you’ve become fas-ter」
While still rubbing the back of his head, Taiyou was thinking. Right now his speed was stuck at a value of 29, but it seemed to be a speed that was able to receive Shirokiyami’s recognition.
Indeed, it would seem that as he continued to increase his level, he also became stronger.
Although he wasn’t able to win against her, on the contrary, Taiyou actually gained a boost to his confidence.
「By the way, I’m just wondering but how long do you think it will be before I can win against you?」
「Just now, I….. Powered, up」
「Ahh, you did」
「I can do that…. at least three more, times」
「Doesn’t that make it seem impossible, oi?! Or more like, you must be joking about that, right?」
Taiyou’s voice raised unintentionally. If her words were true, the only way he would ever be able to beat her is if some sovereign emperor from outer space came to this world and killed his best friend, and in his anger he manages to power up drastically.
「Yeah…. I’m lying」
「I thought so–」
「In reality I can power up another seven times」
「That’s even worse ain’t it?!」
「Right now…… I’m using around 20 percent of my power」
「……Are you serious?」
Taiyou breathed out a sigh. That’s because at this rate, he didn’t know what he needed to achieve in order to defeat her.
One of the end goals for Taiyou is to beat her in a fight and obtain her. 2
Right now this particular goal just suddenly seemed like it was so far away.
「But, the rate at which you become stronger…. is strange. So much so that I wish, you would tell me the sec-ret」
Taiyou spoke out decisively. That’s because, he felt like it was not yet the right time to tell her about Hera.
Shirokiyami nodded her head calmly. It wasn’t easy to get a read on what she was thinking.
For the time being, he decided that this was enough.
In addition to his strength, she had also recognized his improvement in speed.
It was kind of like when an adult patted a child’s head telling them “You’ve grown really fast”, that was the kind of praise that Shirokiyami was giving him and for now he decided that this was good enough.
What he was afraid of the most was if he “worked extremely hard and yet it was completely unrelated to his results”. No matter if it was the him before or the him right now, he still thought in this manner.
As long as he could gain experience and increase his level and was guaranteed to become stronger, no matter if this process was a grueling or a dull process, he would not mind it at all.
Sooner or later…. As long as he was able to become strong enough to defeat her in the end, this would be good enough for him.
Right now there is no need to become impatient.
(Hopefully, at least my feelings are conveyed.)
The voice coming from his side was something he was becoming accustomed to hearing, but for some reason it sounded a little puzzled this time around.
When he turned around, Aoba’s figure could be seen. Her hair was tied up in her trademark straight ponytail. She was in her casual clothes wearing a striped t-shirt with a matching light blue skirt.
However, her face was clearly filled with bewilderment. Seeing this Taiyou realized that he had not yet introduced them to each other.
「Sorry, sorry, we suddenly entered into combat so I totally forgot. I haven’t introduced you guys yet. She’s the girl I spoke about last night, the one “I like the most”.」
「Pleased to meet you, I’m a bride, candidate」
Shirokiyami made her self-introductions, and Taiyou was surprised at what she just said.
「Eh, are you going to admit that you are one of my candidates?」
「A candidate, is a candidate……. But judging from how things went today…… you certainly will be rejected, for cert-ain」
「I thought so」
Taiyou became slightly teary-eyed, he understood that he was nowhere close to reaching her standards, but hearing her say it like that still made him sad. He endured these feelings and swallowed it down before turning to Aoba once again.
For some reason or another, Aoba had this really complicated look on her face.
- Reverse Heavenly Reversal is Shirokiyami’s treasured sword which she manages to somehow keep hidden on her body, furthermore since her naming sense is ridiculous, the sword takes on a comical name. I think that when she was naming her sword she wanted to view her sword as something that could fight against and reverse the fate from the heavens. ↩
- Shirokiyami is only willing to marry the man that is capable of defeating her ↩