He brushed off president Yuiga’s fist and delivered a counter in return, but president Yuiga calmly grabbed his hand
The breathing technique of Ikusaba that we had observed till now was for swimming in the shadows. In other words he can only stay in the shadows while his breath lasts. It’s backed up by the fact that he cannot appear immediately after he disappears. It isn’t that he appears with a time lag, it’s that it takes time since he is swimming in the shadow. He has never appeared immediately after he dove in. He was able to make us believe that only once, it was when he was telling us about the ability of the Shadow fin. He told us that it was one of his favourite collection that allows him to move from shadow to shadow without any lag but that was just a bluff.
｢She’s quite sharp to notice my boots’ ability but you are quite sharp too for understanding how it works immediately after hearing her, Yama-kun. But don’t get cocky, I can dive into shadows regardless of your knowledge.｣
Seems like Ikusaba no longer intends to hide anything, he took a deep breath and jumped into the shadow of a pillar nearby.
I became cautious and took a fighting stance.
｢It’s a troublesome ability.｣
It is as he said, it isn’t something that can be dealt with easily even if we knew about the ability. We can’t win against Ikusaba as long as we don’t figure out a countermeasure for his shadow diving.
｢Yama-kun, I have a plan.｣
President Yuiga came close and told me his plan.
｢Are you serious?｣
If what he is saying is true then we can win against Ikusaba but his plan has a weak point. President Yuiga also seems to realize that since his expression is tense.
｢Let’s try it out.｣ said Tensai, who was listening to us talk. Then Tensai proceeded to shout something absurd.
When Ikusaba used his boots for the first time to dive into the shadows, the world he saw in front of him was just black and white. Black was the infinite darkness inside the shadow and white was the numerous shadows in the outer world created by light. It seemed like those shadows outside were the only source of light in this dark world and those were also the exit. Ikusaba was in the shadow world now and was calmly analyzing Yama Juugo. Seems like something was different about Yama Juugo this time. He had the toughness and will power to stand up even after getting beaten up but now his power, speed, and intellect had risen exponentially. I don’t know why but he is definitely at his best now. He resisted the pain in his flank and swam to gain some distance from Jyuugo, he went towards the white exit and looked out to see if everything was clear, he then jumped out. Seems like Jyuugo thought I was going to attack him so he looked at me in a surprised manner. I wouldn’t attack now, I need to get back into shape first. I need to make sure that I can breathe normally, so I can stay in the shadows for longer but it hurts my ribs everytime I try to breathe. My ribs being broken by Jyuugo is taking a toll on me. I can’t stay in the shadows for long because of it.
Jyuugo wasn’t coming, it seemed like he was waiting for me to take a breath.
｢You there, how much do you know about the puzzle?｣
It was Tensai who was asking while holding her forehead. Ikusaba frowned at her sudden query.
｢Do you seriously think that I’ll answer?｣
Ikusaba replied and thought of the intention behind Tensai’s query. It is hard to believe that she has solved the puzzle. She is probably looking for a hint to help her solve the puzzle. But Ikusaba didn’t have any hint to give. He didn’t understand the puzzle at all. He didn’t know how to solve that eight x eight puzzle. Ikusaba reached this room and witnessed the puzzle lock three weeks ago. After that he took pictures, went back and thought of different combinations but each combination was complex and had a similarity. Most of the pieces ended up combining with other pieces one way or another. There were a lot of combinations that were wrong and there is no telling which combination is correct. So, the current situation is that he can’t reach the correct answer at all.
Ikusaba had replied just to gain time, Tensai grinned boldly yet again.
｢Seems like that’s the case, Juugo.｣
｢That’s a great reference. Seems like you haven’t changed at all. You like testing things like that as usual, Tensai.｣
Ikusaba frowned after hearing Juugo.
What are they talking about? Is it a tactic of some sort? Ikusaba thought about it for a moment but dismissed it as a bluff and shut off the thought about it. Finally, Ikusaba was breathing normally again.
｢Sorry to keep you waiting, Yama-kun. Let’s start.｣
｢Hurry up, come at me.｣
Juugo gestured at him, something was off about him. Ikusaba jumped into the shadow again. He submerged and started moving towards Juugo in the dark shadow, he got closer to him and took a peak at the white world. He could see well that Juugo was wary of the shadows around him. This round room has many pillars and pillars are lit up by the lights so there are more shadows in this room formed by the pillars. In short it was an ideal field for Ikusaba’s shadow swimming wet long boots.
Let’s wait a bit longer this time.
Even if he knows that I’m going to come out of the shadows, he doesn’t know when and where I’m going to appear, so he needs to keep his guard up all the time until I appear. The time lag during my shadow travel gives my opponent psychological stress. He was planning what to do and then he felt a sudden pain in his ribs.
It isn’t possible for me to stay here for too long.
But even so, Ikusaba took ten seconds to observe Juugo with precision. And after that he jumped out of his shadow and punched him.
｢Yeah, I was waiting for that.｣
Juugo turned back, facing Ikusaba as soon as he came out of the shadow then landed a punch on Ikusaba’s face.
Ikusaba was confused and tried to think how it was possible. But he didn’t have the luxury to think it through.
I.. I can’t breathe!
Ikusaba who was hit as soon as he got out of the shadow didn’t have the time to breathe, he immediately jumped back in order to breathe.
｢I won’t let you breathe.｣
Juugo leaned towards Ikusaba and charged at him, swinging his fist. A punch that’s directed at Ikusaba with a strategy nothing but pure violence is an ideal prey for Ikusaba. With slight force added to a punch like those, Ikusaba can change the direction of the punch which will cause the opponent to lose his balance and Ikusaba uses that opportunity to throw and slam the opponent. It was the backbone of his grappling abilities but right now he didn’t have time or energy to do that.
I.. it’s suffocating. That suffocation had stripped Ikusaba off his option to grapple. As a result, Juugo got a clean hit again. Ikusaba got hit and fell on the ground but somehow he took a breath in and started coughing while he was on the floor. Juugo didn’t miss his vulnerability. He tried to punch Ikusaba before he could stand up. But this time, Ikusaba wasn’t going down without a fight. Ikusaba took the fighting stance while standing on his knees, he ducked and dodged Juugo’s punch, he pulled Juugo towards him and disrupted his balance. Ikusaba then threw Juugo behind him.
It was a satisfying throw but when Ikusaba looked at Juugo’s face, he was baffled. He was being thrown but was smiling.
Why is he laughing?
He understood why he was laughing right after that.
Juugo punched him violently with his other fist while being in the air.
Thi…this is absurd!
Juugo’s body hit the floor but Ikusaba was surprised at his counter.The damage dealt by Juugo was far greater than the damage Ikusaba got from his counter since Juugo’s didn’t even have a firm ground to throw the punch. So, it wasn’t much of a blow.
｢That didn’t hurt at all.｣
Ikusaba was surprised to see Juugo stand up as if nothing had happened.
Is he a monster?
His throw was perfect. It can’t be possible that there was no damage. But he could see no signs of it. And instead of hurting him it seemed as if he was the one who got hurt from Juugo’s counter. This situation was something that Ikusaba Hiiyo in his normal state could have been able to analyze and counter.
Can’t wait to see more? Want to show your support? CLICK HERE to be a patron and get additional chapters ahead of time!