【Last Episode: Curtain Call and the end Part C, 6】
I feel like this is the time for the final battle. After crossing many dangerous bridges and overcoming obstacle after obstacle, Shiinamachi-senpai is now within my grasp. But I absolutely cannot let my guard down. Right now, I am facing the 「One True Lord」, an existence that brought Gifts to this world and guided someone like my mother to even greater heights, turning her into the strongest Knight the Nightkin world has ever known.
I take one last deep breath as Kaguya points her flame-holding hand towards me.
And the ball of fire shoots forward, turning the glove on my right hand and the portion of the sleeve were turned to charcoal in a fraction of a second.
『Divine Gift Kaguzuchi.』
Since she’s using something like that, this must mean that she’s finally decided to be serious. In Japanese mythology, Kaguzuchi was the name of a type of a cross between swordsmanship and Onmyou magic where the user coated the blade of his weapon in divine flames that were supposed to reduce all of creation to smoldering ashes in an instant. But from the looks of it, it can be used without physical weapon, acting like projectile-type magic missile.
「How about this, Jiro? Dance for me!」
Kaguya creates a fiery fan in her hand and shakes it, sending waves of fire towards me. I jumped backwards to avoid it, but…
One of the flames licked the tip of my shoe, obliterating it without a trace. So even the slightest graze will be the death of me, got it. So she possesses a tool for insta-killing and it also looks like she can use it to limit my options for attack and defend herself at the same time by creating walls and pillars of fire around herself. All of that at the mere wave of her hand.
I knew she won’t have much to say in the physical prowess department, but if she can freely use all of the Gifts she took back from the Lords, then she doesn’t even need that.
According to my knowledge, normally Lords can have up to five Gifts at once, but since she is the most powerful one of them all, a supreme existence standing above the rest, those rules might as well not apply to her at all. It is even more probable now when she supposedly regained her former strength and collected all the gifts in one place.
At the current moment, my best course of action would probably be to try to get her into the CQC range and prevent her from commanding the fire with her hands.
But what if this is exactly what she wants, and she’s provoking me to do just that? I guess I’ll just have to figure it out on the spot!
As if it was drawn to her like a magnet, my body moves closer to Kaguya. She raises her hand again, preparing for another sweeping motion, but now that I have seen her use those flames, I know their speed and the exact time needed for their manifestation, so even if she manages to summon another fiery wave, I will be able to dodge it.
Right now I am so close to her that all I have to do is to reach out with my hand, and that is exactly what I am doing. I aim to grab her flame-generating right hand…
At that time.
The right hand that was within my grasp has suddenly disappeared, as if she knew that I was going to do that from the very beginning. And the speed at which she did that… she couldn’t have done that if she didn’t knew what kind of move I wanted to make even before I thought about doing it.
「『Angelic Gift Omoikane』 , a Gift that allows me to predict the movements of my enemies. You would have asked about it in a few seconds, so now you don’t have to do it, Jiro.」
I knew it. So it was predicting the future after all. She must’ve seen that I will try to stop her from using her right hand and that’s why she was able to outmaneuver me at the last possible second.
She called that a prediction, but at this point, it might as well be called an intuition.
What a convenient set of abilities. Flames that can burn even the gods who would try to oppose her and prediction of the future to ensure that absolutely no harm will ever come to her. It’s almost as if she was turning into a God herself.
And now a gust of high-temperature air from said flames hit my face, destroying my glasses.
But thanks to that, I’ll have a chance to go for Kaguya’s feet. That way I’ll have many more options of restraining her. Now what would be the most effective…
When I thought so, I found myself rolling on the ground Kaguya’s next attack.
A large, copper-colored sword twice as tall as Kaguya was stuck in the ground in the place where I was just seconds ago, sending violent tremors which shook the entire stage throughout the ground.
And now the ground around the stage also began to crack and split open!
While I was bust keeping myself from getting knocked down, something has cut my shoulder, sending a stream of fresh blood into the air.
「『Heroic Gift Susanoo』 sealed in this sword, Amenohabakiri. If anyone or anything chooses to 「go against」 its wielder, any such blasphemer can be cut without the need for the sword to touch them physically.」
So it is a weapon that essentially reverses causality, just like the mythical Gae Bolg from Celtic mythology. As long as the right conditions were met, the effect of 「physically cutting」 could be skipped, leaving only the end result of 「target being cut」.
So there was even such a Gift out there, huh? Is it just me or are the Gifts she’s choosing for this battle a little too extraordinary even among other Gifts? A fire that burns everything, future prediction and now a sword that can cut you without touching you?! Not to mention the immortality that she took back from me.
Such powerful abilities were bound to have some kind of limitations placed upon them, but in my current situation figuring them out and using them to my advantage might while also keeping myself alive might prove impossible to pull off.
The flames can cover a wide area, limiting my movements, sneak attacks are useless, because she will just predict them and react accordingly and any kind of hostile movement will result in getting cut by that huge sword.
Long distance attacks might have worked against her, but to even think about it I would either need a gun or some other projectile weapon or something akin to Shiki’s threads and the sensory perception of her 『demonic Gift Satori』 to avoid the flames and the sword while maintaining the offensive. But unlike during the battle with Fujisato, it looks like I cannot count on that either. Does that mean Yugao failed her mission, or was there some other reason why Shiki was still not here?
Anyway, if things keep going the way they are now, then I think my situation can best be summarized with one simple sentence:
I can’t win. Or better: I am fucked.
I know that it’s all thanks to her Gifts and that without them Kaguya would be no different from your average human girl, but the combination of Gifts she chose for this battle makes her truly invincible.
With that said, I have come too far to let something like that stop me now!
If only there was a way for me to bypass 『Omoikane’s』 future prediction. If I manage to do something about it, then the path to victory should be as good as secured!
「*Sigh* Looks like you still refuse to give up, even after witnessing the obvious gap in our powers firsthand. I honestly don’t know if I should praise you for your bravery or chastise you for your stupidity.」
Kaguya points her right hand towards me again.
At the last moment Kaguya changed the flame’s trajectory after noticing something in the corner of her eye.
With a crackling noise, countless threads that were heading towards her were burned to cinders.
Heh, talk about being fashionably late to the party.