Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
97. Five Kingdoms and Thirteen Knights of the Oracle 
Me and Dodriel, who donned『black』-『Darkness』and『Shadow』- glared at each other.
「-Here I come, Dodriel!」
「Ahaha, come… Allen!」
I gripped the pseudo-black sword clad in darkness, and zeroed the distance in one step.
「Eighth Sword – Yatagarasu!」
Eight slashes aimed precisely at his vitals.
「Naive! Rain Style – Drizzle!」
In response to my attack, he released an antiphase slash.
Yatagarasu and Drizzle cancelled each other and disappeared.
(No way! It’s a slash clad with darkness though!)
His strength, sword speed, and reaction speed all were on a different level.
「Oi Oi… Why are you looking so surprise?!」
Dodriel, who saw through my discomposure, fired a strong side kick without any wasted movement.
I held the sword vertically at a moment’s judgement and defended the kick firmly.
Despite my perfect defense, the impact of as though being hit with a blunt weapon ran through the palms of my hands.
(This guy… In terms of simple physical strength, it’s more than Sid-san…)
Despite being pushed backwards by the momentum of the kick, I held my head straight and kept Dodriel in the center of my sight.
「Hey, there’s still more to come!」
After that, Dodriel attacked and I defended. Such an agonizing state continued.
He kept unleashing a storm of slashes.
I kept my eyes open firmly and concentrated all my nerves on defense.
(Damn… I can somehow avoid fatal wounds, but things will get worse if this keeps up.)
One by one wounds increased on my body each time our swords clashed.
And the moment I clenched my teeth,
Dodriel suddenly spat out blood.
He jumped back and wiped his mouth with the sleeves of his clothes.
「Ah, aha… It’s looks like, I’m going to hit the limit soon…」
Looking closer, his muscles were torn and dark red blood was oozing from there.
His『shadow』moves autonomously and tightens the bloodied surfaces together, but…
Dodriel’s body has already gone beyond its limits.
Recovery rate is unable to catch up with the collapse rate of the body.
This technique, which tightens the body with shadow and allows for superhuman movement, seems to force a tremendous load on the body.
(This decides the battle…)
I still have enough『darkness』left.
If we continue to fight like this, Dodriel will surely bring himself to ruin.
(Let’s first take Ria and Rose to a safe place, and then go support the president and the others…)
When I was thinking about that,
「Well, it’s a little regretful, but let’s start the finale!」Dodriel cried, and raised his hands up.
A huge『mass of shadows』appeared behind him.
The surface was moving around irregularly, looking like a bug cocoon or a mass of black water.
(What the hell is that?!)
As I firmly maintained Seigan no Kamae, focusing on the mysterious mass which appeared suddenly,
「Ahaa, don’t look away!」
Dodriel was before my nose tip, unleashing an overhead swing.
When I somehow managed to defend his overhead swing,
「-Black Shadow!」he cried.
From behind, I felt a piecing bloodlust being emitted.
(This is bad!)
I could see it even without turning around.
The mass of shadow was right behind me.
I erected a『wall of darkness』behind me at a moment’s judgment.
Ten tentacles which were fired from the mass of shadows stopped just a few millimeters before penetrating through to the other side of the wall.
It doesn’t seem to be powerful enough to break through this darkness.
(But… just barely.)
If my judgement had been a moment slower, I would have been riddled with holes.
I jumped wide to the side and distanced myself from Dodriel and the mass of shadow.
「Ahhaha! To defend that attack, as expected of Allen! Those weak female swordsmen were done in instantly by this attack!」Dodriel laughed at Ria and Rose.
(I see. Were they both brought down by this technique?)
Certainly, that pincer attack just now was a perfect『killing blow』.
If it had not been for this darkness, even I would have been in danger.
(What a troublesome ability…)
Apparently, this mass – Black Shadow – can be launched to another location in the same way as『remote slashing』.
「Ahaha… I love your pale face very much! I’m going to tear it up! Mess it up! Ahahahahahahaha!」he started shouting incomprehensible abuse.
「Come dance with me… Alleeeeeeeeen!」
He ran towards me. And in the following exchange, I was pushed even more onto the defensive.
「-Hora hora hora! If you’re just keep running around, you can’t win!」
Dodriel skillfully controlled the ten tentacles at long range as he engaged in close combat with me, delivering effective damage.
(Damn, what a guy…)
Against my one sword, he wields a sword and ten tentacles – which makes for『eleven blades』.
One vs eleven – In terms of numbers, I am at an overwhelming disadvantage.
(Should I do it?)
If I clad my remaining darkness, I can nullify his Black Shadow.
Then the『disadvantage of numbers』disappears, and it will be an even match.
After that, Dodriel’s body will collapse on its own.
(But what about after that?)
Will I be able to protect Ria and Rose, who have lost consciousness due to consuming significant spiritual power?
Can I still assist the president and others who are still at the frontlines?
When I was thinking about that,
「Nee, Allen… Aren’t you misunderstanding something?」
「Yeah… The match between swordsmen is a serious battle. You don’t have to think about anything other than stopping your opponent’s heartbeat, no?!」
Saying that, he unleashed a wave of attacks again.
One of the tentacles grazed my shoulder and fresh blood spurts in the air.
At the same time, however, fresh blood spilled from Dodriel’s skin, which had been torn into by his own shadow.
「Naa… Oi! Concentrate more on me! More! More! More!」
He swung his sword over and over again with a sorrowful expression.
While dealing with his consecutive attacks, I reorganised my thoughts.
(I had been thinking about the『future』.)
Even though I was in the middle of a serious battle with Dodriel, I was thinking about the after.
It’s rude towards a swordsman seeking a serious battle.
(This guy is literally standing here with his life on the line…)
Then, I too, as a swordsman, should fight this battle with everything I’ve got.
「I’m sorry, Dodriel. The swordsman’s match is a serious battle. You’re right.」 I apologized. 「I won’t think about anything else. For this moment… I’m going to use everything I’ve got!」
I unleashed all my darkness. Darkness dyed the surroundings black and created a jet-black stage. It was thicker than when I fought with Idol-san before. And it was deep enough to almost look like an abyss.
「Amazing! You’re amazing, Allen! Ahaha…you always surpass far beyond my expectations! It was the same at that time too! That’s what I love the most about you!」 he shouted, with a look of ecstasy on his face.
We started running at the same time as though predetermined.
「Sakura Blossom One-Sword Style Secret Technique – Mirrored Sakura Slash!」
「Rain Style Secret Technique – Passing Shower!」
The slashes clashed fiercely with sparks flying and disappeared.
At the same time, we both unleashed diagonal slashes. Dull metallic sound of sword and sword colliding resounded.
In a locked sword state, we glared at each other.
「You are strong, after all, Dodriel!」
「Of course! This dropout swordsman is getting carried away!」
By mobilising my full body weight, and physical strength, the locked sword state
Was won by me, clad in darkness.
And I had already inserted it in advance at the place where Dodriel was blown away.
「Second Sword – Hazy Moon!」
The slashes that I inserted during the height of the fight, dug deep into his thigh.
As he crouched on the spot, I drove in another attack.
「Eighth Sword – Yatagarasu!」
「Don’t underestimate me! Black Shadow!」
He unleashed a counterattack at the perfect timing.
I emitted jet-black darkness from my whole body and swallowed Black Shadow.
Eight slashes rained down on his body.
The heavily damaged Dodriel jumped back and used the shadows to seal his wounds.
And our death match continued still.
「Ah, aha, ahaha… As expected, you are strong, Allen…」
Soon, both our spiritual power will run out.
(In terms of crossing swords, I’m winning overwhelmingly…)
But… he doesn’t fall.
No matter how many times I cut, Dodriel does not fall.
I’m sure his mind is outdoing the body.
「Haa haa… It’s time to settle this!」
「Ah, haa… It’s regretful, but it can’t be avoided.」
The darkness that was covering my body was thin and the shadow running through his body was dim.
We’ve both reached our limits.
I’m sure the next attack will be the last.
I resolved myself and returned my sword into the scabbard.
「-Here I come, Dodriel!」
「Aa, come… Allen!」
Immediately after the short exchange of words, I ran straight towards him bare-handed.
(…With this thin darkness, I can’t defend his Black Shadow.)
I can’t win in terms of numbers.
Then all I have to do is unleash the fastest ultimate attack that renders numbers useless!
「DIEEEEEE! Rain Style Secret Technique – Passing Shower! Black Shadow!」
A sharp one-point thrust filled with killing intent and deep-seated grudge, and twenty tentacles fired at tremendous speed.
I ascertained that and drew out my fastest ultimate attack.
「Seventh Sword – Instant Flash!」
My godspeed Iai-slash, surpassed the sound barrier, and cut Dodriel together with Black Shadow.
As I looked back, he slowly fell where he stood.
This match is my victory.
「Fuu… That was quite close…」
And the moment I took a deep breath,
Eardrum crushing sound echoed throughout Thousand Blade Academy.
「W-What was that sound?!」
The direction is the schoolyard – the place where the president and others are fighting.
(I have a bad feeling…)
But right now, I have to move Ria and Rose to a safer place.
Thus, I, who had won the death match with Dodriel, held the two who were unconscious in one hand each, and headed to the staff room.