It was a flash cutting across from the right to the left of the black armor’s chest, Renya believed.
Him thinking that it was just a flash stemmed from that strike not having any feedback. Even after pondering afterwards whether he had actually unleashed his attack or not, it didn’t leave anything but a somewhat ambiguous impression behind. In the first place, when cutting something, the hands would always sense some kind of feedback, indicating that the object had been cut.
Renya didn’t have the slightest intention to blurt out “I can’t get enough of this wonderful feedback,” like someone who was working as an assassin and had stepped into a hell from which they could never return, but even so, without the feedback that he had indeed cut the armor, it didn’t feel real either.
The flash simply dug into the black armor’s armor between the right elbow and shoulder, passed through the handle of the halberd in its hands, and exited from the left side. Even though that was all that happened here, anything and everything was torn apart with just that much. The black armor’s body above the line, where Renya’s katana had passed through, continued to soundlessly slide off the lower part. The halberd had lost its support after being cut in two at the handle, succumbed to gravity, and fell to the ground along with the black armor’s two arms.
Even faster than the falling arms and halberd remains could hit the ground, largish needles, which were behind the black armor, were severed at the same height. Moreover, the wall of the violet barrier, which separated the inside from the outside, on the other side was cleaved apart. Apparently having the sorcery structure itself break caused the severed needles to be unable to maintain their shape and thus vanish like dust. The severed barrier now allowed one to see the landscape on the other side, but it began to slowly repair itself.
Renya didn’t have the spare time to be surprised and wonder just what had happened. After all he was on a collision course with the black armor if he didn’t do anything. And he knew that there was like no time left for that to happen because of his strengthening which exceeded his expectations by far.
In a state of being calm on the surface but somewhat panicking in his mind, Renya transitioned from the stance of having completed his slash to placing his feet on black armor’s abdomen, which was standing stock still. Different from the time with Kurz, he kicked off the armor without holding back.
Producing a sound that was very unlikely to be produced when a human kicked an iron plate, Renya’s body traced back the flight path he had taken before but this time while upside down.
Renya wasn’t interested in what happened to the black armor due to his kick but he hoped that like Kurz, who had served as his foothold before and as a result was pushed back, fell on one knee and had apparently received quite the impact, the black armor would be in even worse shape as Renya hadn’t held back and wouldn’t be able to attack again, at least for a while. Renya judged that Kurz wouldn’t be able to pick him up even if he were to try landing elsewhere after cutting the black armor, and thus tried to return to Kurz by himself.
‘If I were to land on him while still having a lot of momentum left, I might damage Kurz once again.’ With those thoughts Renya killed his momentum by revolving many times in midair, and landed on Kurz’ shoulder.
“You alright, Kurz?” Renya asked while patting Kurz’ helmet after he had landed on Kurz’ shoulder.
With a slightly pained voice Kurz answered, “Margrave-sama…what was that just now? If it had been just me, I wouldn’t have been able to endure it. Even quite a few snakes were torn apart…”
“No, I mean I just strengthened my body normally…” Renya returned.
Wondering whether he had made some mistake, Renya reviewed the knowledge he had received from Emedra, but even after reviewing his information about mana strengthening several times, all he got was that “it’s a technique to reinforce one’s abilities by passing mana through one’s body,” and he couldn’t find anything indicating that what he had done earlier was wrong.
“That’s was normal body strengthening?” At the end of Kurz’ line of sight was the black armor, which had been sent flying by Renya’s kick. After having crashed into the barrier while smashing through the needles growing out of the ground and getting various other things involved that were along its path, a cloud of dust was now raising at the impact site.
The barrier had countless cracks running around the part Renya had cut and the area where the black armor had impacted – apparently having turned Renya’s attack into a double score – broke apart into small pieces before long, and vanished.
“It was reeeeally painful.” Kurz stressed.
“Nuu…I did something inexcusable.” Renya apologized.
As the wall separating the inside from the outside disappeared, Renya and Kurz could now see how the dragonoids’ rear guard, which had been on standby outside until now, started to advance in order to rescue the fallen soldiers.
But, although the wall had vanished, the needles growing out of the ground were still there. They blocked the soldiers’ path and caused them to stumble.
“The needles remaining despite the barrier having broken down means that the spell formula is still active, or that a battle formation is still intact somewhere.” Renya conjectured.
“Isn’t that the spell caster?” Kurz pointed a finger while saying so.
The black armor, which had completely lost the part above its chest, was still trying to stand up over there. Black chains spilled out of the armor’s cross section while clinking together. Although Renya and Kurz had anticipated as much, there was no sign of something like a person or similar having been stuffed in there.
“The chains are its main body?” Renya wondered.
“I think so? The feeling I got when the snakes hit it was the same for the armor, the weapon, and the chains, you know?” Kurz replied.
“I see? That means…” In front of Renya, who was observing while imagining a certain possibility in his mind, the black armor’s arms and helmet, which had fallen to the ground, lost their shape and vanished. They were absorbed into the violet light lines drawn on the ground, moved towards the black armor that had finally gotten up, and were absorbed back into its body through its feet.
“It’s regenerating after all, huh?” Renya concluded.
The armor’s severed section swelled up, and once the overflowing chains were stored away again, the black armor’s body was quickly restored to what it was before being cut. The halberd, which had been cut in two, returned to its previous state, and the black armor readied it once more while producing a metallic gating sound.
“Going by the template, it should have a core somewhere.” Renya stated.
“And where would that be?” Kurz folded his arms and tilted his head to the side in confusion.
Renya didn’t have a response to that question.
“Since it’s bothersome, I will have its whole body disappear in one go…” Renya said in annoyance.
“Ahahahaha, Margrave-sama, even I know that punch line~” Kurz retorted in a carefree tone.
Renya lightly hit Kurz’ helmet in response, which was right next to him, with his fist. That hit made a far nicer sound than what he had expected, and although it was a light tap, Kurz staggered.
“I-I mean, isn’t it the truth, Margrave-sama?” Kurz protested while holding the place that was hit, but Renya made him shut up with just his eyes.
“There are many things you mustn’t say out loud even if you think them, Kurz.” Renya admonished Kurz.
“That’s too unreasonable, Margrave-sama~” Kurz honestly complained while rubbing the place Renya had hit, although it wasn’t as though having his exterior hit would affect the Kurz inside since the armor was something Renya had created properly in Kurz’s case.
Even while wondering why Kurz had become able to express himself to such an extent with a tone that seemed to somewhat plead for pity, Renya hit the helmet once more, forcing Kurz’ attention back towards the black armor.
Having completely finished restoring its body and weapon, the black armor was about to head towards Renya and Kurz with its halberd at the ready, but its movements were obviously slower than before being cut by Renya. Renya, who understood that cutting was apparently not completely pointless, felt relieved as he couldn’t see any damage or indication that it had been cut on the black armor’s exterior.
“I suppose that’s a sign that it can be defeated as long as I continuously chop it up .” Renya judged.
“Yeah~” Kurz affirmed.
“If I could secure a proper footing it wouldn’t be that hard, but well…” It was Renya’s impression that the chains were fairly troublesome weapons, but if one excluded those, the black armor would be no more than a simple, dull, armor monster.
Exactly because he had such an impression, his irritation at the current situation, where it was difficult to land proper attacks because the ground had been covered with needles, became stronger, and he asked in annoyance, “In the first place, just what the hell is that armor anyway? Is it something like the demon king’s offshoot that attacked Klinge?”
“Even if you ask me…however, I can somehow grasp that it’s nothing very pleasant.” Kurz said while intercepting the chain attacks that came flying towards them while making a buzzing sound with the snakes.
Probably because the chains themselves had also decreased in power compared to the initial attacks, they were easily repelled or broken, although they should still possess the same power as the snakes.
“Although they regenerated, they have become slightly weaker, haven’t they? I will try passing mana through my katana in addition to strengthening my body, I think.” Renya played around with the idea.
“I wonder, which will be completely destroyed, the rear guard forces or the dragonoid city~?” Kurz retorted.
Just by swinging his katana while having strengthened his body through sorcery, Renya had performed an attack that not only cut the black armor but also the barrier’s wall which had been a fair distance away. As such Kurz was asking what tragedy would strike next if Renya were to let mana flow through his katana this time as well. Kurz expected that either the rear guard or the city would get caught up in this, but because he voiced out his thoughts honestly, his helmet was once again hit by Renya in silence.
“In that case, with a single target spell like <Roaring Lightning>…” Renya tried to offer an alternative.
“How are you going to stop its feet?” Kurz countered with a question.
<Roaring Lightning> was a spell that made lightning strike down. Even if it had speed, it wasn’t a spell that had much of an effect over an extended range. Originally it required the caster to chant and concentrate mentally for a fairly long time. According to Emedra’s knowledge, it was a spell that wouldn’t hit the target if its activation was sensed ahead of time unless something unexpected happened.
Since it was a spell causing lightning to strike down over a range of several meters the moment it activated, it wasn’t that simple to evade, but if it was someone with a considerable ability, they would just need to rush out of its effective range the moment it activates, or if they had training in sorcery, they would have plenty of time to prepare a countermeasure.
Renya being able to handle these disadvantages was because he could simply release the spell without casting. Renya remained silent for a moment, wondering what he should answer Kurz’ reasonable question.
“Kurz, can you detain it?” Renya asked.
“I think I can, but…” Kurz replied but his voice gave away that he didn’t want to do so if at all possible, directly transmitting Kurz’ inclination to Renya without any need to make any guesses.
Renya wondered whether it had been such an unreasonable request, but Kurz’ next words allowed him to somehow understand the reasoning behind his unwillingness, “Margrave-sama, my snakes would get dragged into your attack too…”
“That is…” Renya lacked a proper reply to that.
“It hurts quite a bit each time a snake is destroyed, you know? I don’t want to experience something like that.” Kurz clearly refused.
“Muu…” Renya couldn’t imagine just how much quite a bit actually was, but even Renya could understand Kurz’s point of not wanting to do it since it would hurt.
Renya wasn’t fond of forcing others to do what they didn’t want to do. As he was pondering how he should detain the black armor, Kurz was still slapping down the chains unleashed by the black armor.
“Is it bad if I defeat it normally?” Kurz inquired.
“Can you actually bring it down?” Renya doubted.
“Now that it has weakened to such an extent, I think I’ll be able to manage one way or another. But, I wonder, just what the heck that katana of yours is, for it to be able to cause damage that the armor couldn’t heal with just one slash~?” Being told so by Kurz, Renya lowered his eyes at the drawn katana.
For Renya it was an item he didn’t spend much time thinking about except for its extremely sharp cutting ability, its extreme sturdiness, and moreover it being mostly maintenance free.
Of course I have no intention of mistreating this katana, which can withstand my usage. To begin with, it appears it’s not something that can’t be readily obtained in this world. From the start, the act of someone, who handles katana, treating their weapons without due care normally deserves certain death, Renya believed. However, as a tool is no more than a tool in the end, there’s no point in being stubborn about it either.
As a matter of fact, after he obtained the katana, he tried to examine it with the help function and his appraisal skill, which he hadn’t used much most recently, but both only returned <Appraisal impossible>. Renya didn’t bother any further with it, believing that such things exist in this world as well, but now that he was seriously questioned by Kurz, it certainly wasn’t as if he hadn’t wondered just what that katana might be.
“That question…let’s shelve it for now, okay? I actually don’t really know the answer to that either.” Renya admitted.
“Then it can’t be helped~. After all, even you don’t know, Margrave-sama.” Kurz readily gave up on it.
If it concerned knowledge, Renya believed that Croire or Grün definitely knew much more than himself, but from Kurz’ perspective Renya’s judgment and knowledge seemed to be the best.
“Well then, Kurz, can I ask you to get rid of that?”
“That’s fine, but you’re going to stay here, Margrave-sama?” Kurz asked.
It might be difficult to fight against the black armor while I’m still on his shoulder. Considering it like that, Renya stared at the empty air, lightly kicked off Kurz’ shoulder, jumped, and sat down in the air.
“Margrave-sama, wow~! How are you doing that?”
“I hardened the atmosphere with <Manipulation>…ah, no, I created an invisible bag with sorcery, turned it into a simple foothold by filling it with air, and sat down on it,” explained Renya.
“You didn’t need my shoulder?” Kurz wondered whether Renya ever needed to borrow his shoulder if he could create a foothold himself.
Renya smiled at that and denied it, “No, if it’s at the level of sitting on this, it can handle it somewhat, but it lacks the strength to serve as a stepping stone for me.”
I wonder whether that spell is different from the one that restrained Rubydra’s body, Kurz thought, but didn’t voice it out. Because he believed that Renya must be right if he said that a foothold created through this method would be inappropriate for battle.
“I see! I’m off to somehow deal with that black armor!”
“Please do. I will see if I can’t do something about this needle spell.” Renya said.
There was some knowledge about canceling spells included within Emedra’s knowledge. Carefreely thinking that he might find at least one spell that would work against this as long as he searched for it, Renya apparently entrusted Kurz with the fighting, deciding to devote himself to his own speculation.
Once he smiled at Kurz from above his air bag and waved a hand, he moved a bit higher so he wouldn’t hinder Kurz, folded his arms, and started to let his eyes wander.
“Then…” Kurz made the mana in his body flow through his entire body, his armor, and the black mist he was manipulating.
While the black armor put itself on guard, apparently because of its wariness of the risen presence of mana, Kurz broke into a smile inside his silver armor without anyone seeing it, and muttered to no one in particular, “Now, I guess it’s time for lunch.”