First Outer World Story Series: The Black Mist that Devours - Chapter 99
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
Houki aimed the bamboo broom at me while accumulating enormous power at the tip of the bamboo broom.
In response, I broke into a run once the power was amassed, activating ≪Sword of the Formless King・Weak≫ when I got within 25 meters of Houki. Sneaking up to Houki’s bosom, I used the long sword I had created in my right hand to slice off the tip of the bamboo broom.
However, the bamboo broom which Houki was holding seemed to look like nothing on the exterior, but the inner part was utterly different and cannot be cut by my sword, but merely bounced up and down.
The force amassed at the bamboo broom’s tip converged at a single point in front of my astonished eyes, and an extraordinarily broad beam of light was shot into the sky, emitting a deafening roar and dispersing shockwaves throughout the vicinity.
“What incredible power…”
The shockwave propelled me into the air, and I adjusted my crumpled posture in mid-flight to land on the earth’s surface with a grinding sound while being dreaded of the future if that strike had been a direct hit.
Houki wielded the bamboo broom in a naginata-like stance. A cloud of white smoke was billowing from between the place where she swept and the place where she held the bamboo broom.
If this means that the artillery can’t be employed for a while, I welcome it, but I can’t afford to be inattentive.
“At any rate, the only way to prevent that bombardment is to engage in close combat.”
I recreated the long sword in my right hand and cast ≪Keen Edge≫ on it, and in my left hand, I created a short sword called Sword Breaker and applied ≪Durable Edge≫ on it.
I then approached at one stretch, interspersing the transition.
In the proximity of Houki and me, a cacophony of metallic noises and sparks erupted.
How many dozens of rounds have been exchanged already? While neither of us had struck a decisive blow yet, the damage was definitely stacking up.
Furthermore, I noticed that the intensity of the bamboo broom carried by Houki was evidently erratic. Because the sword in my right hand was now in its third generation, and even though I tried to cut the bamboo broom down by directly launching strikes by teleporting the sword in various places, it ended up with the sword that I had teleported breaking instead.
The attack of Houki can be summed up in one word: Severe.
To the right and to the left, Houki was mowing down within the reach of her bamboo broom, and to the top and to the bottom, she swung down with the weight of the bamboo broom. This attack should not be regarded as a mere bamboo broom strike. After all, the abnormal intensity of the bamboo broom that easily repelled my sword was also contained in each of the thin bristles that constituted the sweeping portion of the bamboo broom.
In other words, this weapon should not be regarded as just a sturdy bamboo broom with artillery capabilities, but as a powerful artillery naginata with innumerable thin blades attached to it.
“Tch! Not good!”
Taking advantage of the momentary opening, Houki drew away, and while assembling her power at the tip of the bamboo broom, she adopted a mowing down stance.
However, rather than its capability as a direct-attack weapon, it was the artillery capability it exhibited at the beginning that should be paid attention to. Because this artillery strike was…
“Just in time!”
When I spotted it, I approached with full speed and deviated upward as far as possible using the middle of my sword as Houki’s bamboo broom swept off to the side as it unleashed a volley of artillery shots.
A thunderous explosion and shockwave erupted around me once more, sending me flying wide open.
Yes, the most foreboding aspect of that artillery strike was that it was possible to cleave a wide area with its rays of light by shooting while swinging the bamboo broom like this.
But even so, it would be devastating if a long-range, high-power attack was discharged in such a manner.
I re-adjusted my weapon and examined Houki’s condition while trying to regulate my breathing.
Houki’s cloth was torn in many parts, with some wounds that were not shallow. Despite the wounds and blood loss, there was no irregularity in her breathing, and her eyes simply cast a very distressed look at me.
And then, Houki’s figure and presence gradually faded away.
Without being surprised by the sight, I calmly searched for any presence in my surroundings.
Before assuming this form, Houki used to be primarily proficient in covert skills. Even in her present state, the skills she had acquired can be utilized effortlessly, and the effect of ≪Covert Proficiency Ⅰ≫ had made her appearance and her presence as inconspicuous as possible.
Her presence, however, cannot be completely erased…
“There you are!”
Her presence was just slightly exposed right before she launched an assault, allowing me to counterattack!
With my counterattack, the number of wounds that Houki sustained will be increased by one.
Even if I defended with my left-hand gauntlet and dagger, I will be wounded by Houki’s assault since I did not know when the attack will occur until shortly before the strike.
It had already been about a quarter of an hour since the battle commenced. My strength was gradually diminishing. How was Houki doing? I cannot ascertain from her outward look. But given the demons’ nature, as long as there was even a sliver of life remaining, they will exhaust it and strike without regard to what follows.
“I have to admit, it’s tough. But it’s fine, I’ll do as much as I can.”
I spurred my aching body into raising the weapon, and Houki readied hers accordingly.
Speaking of which, Houki-san seems to possess some offensive skills as well…
Damn. Speak of the devil!
Houki swept the bamboo broom briskly from left to right, and a sickening pounding sound reverberated from my arm, which I managed to guard in the nick of time and was hurled aside.
My right arm was hanging limply as I landed. This one was unquestionably broken.
And Houki lunged in to finish me off.
Although I attempted to defend myself with my remaining left arm, just as the bamboo broom hit me, Houki was suddenly blown wide to the side and tumbled to the ground without being able to catch herself.
“Looks like I made it just in time, Ichiko-san.”
When I caught sight of the person who blew away Houki, I involuntarily looked at the place where that figure should have been.
Surrounded by a cage of light were Mugi and the other members of the “Mercenary of the Mist” along with a robe-clad figure possessing a pewter staff over two meters long on his back, and Izumi brandishing an axe at that figure.
The person who was supposed to be there is not there.
The person who blew away Houki. That was…
“I don’t know what Shigan did to Houki. But I can’t let Houki suffer any further. We will fight together.”
That was Lady Ryo.
Fun fact: Houki’s name means broom, so I guess the author makes her currently wielded weapon as a reference
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