Black Iron Magician - 34
Chapter 34 Red Tail
Haruna takes a stance in front of three delinquents. It’s a boxing stance that she took when she beat them in class before. As if saying their tedious talks are not worth listening, she beats out a rhythm with a nice tempo while releasing a powerful pressure even with that small build of her.
Unable to bear it, Satou is about to step back. Satou had some confidence in a fight. Taking advantage of the boxing experience he started when he was in junior high school, he alone won even against three delinquents from another school. He got a lot of trust from the people around him, and many wanted to be his underling. But now he’s in the opposite position. After being defeated by Haruna, a girl who was an amateur in boxing, his built up self-confidence has changed into mental anguish.
「H-hey, Satou. She’s really the weakest, right? She’s weaker than us, right!?」
It’s an overwhelming heavy pressure, which is no different than before they have trauma. The warrior Suzuki asked Satou while the tip of his sword is trembling slightly. Even Satou, who had been boasting his unique skill until a while ago, can only shut his mouth. The others became uneasy when they look at his situation.
(T-this is just trembling with excitement, yes, trembling with excitement! Haruna is barehanded while the two of us are using swords. The difference in status is obvious, Suzuki and I are overwhelmingly advantageous in close combat and we have support from Takahashi’s magic! We can win even without using Red Tail!)
Satou builds up the logic of victory in his brain to encourage himself. Then, after readying himself, he opens his mouth.
「When I give the signal, att――」
However, Haruna already made her move. For her, they, who were carelessly doing a strategy meeting in front of her, were full of openings. Since there were too many openings, she was cautious of traps for several seconds, but there was no sign of that. Seeing that it would not be worthwhile to wait and see for the situation, she jumped out in front of Satou and the others without changing her posture. For them, it was as if Haruna suddenly appeared in front of them. This is not the time to be surprised by the optical illusion, but they can’t resist the shock that’s coming to their throats.
Satou and Suzuki, who were the vanguard, leaked their surprised voices. Her boxing form is a basic stance that allows her to unleash an attack at any time. If they just stand still, they will get beaten up again. Satou intuitively realized that.
Just before Haruna’s fist touched Satou’s chin, he shouted his unique skill’s name. Then, he pulled his chin at the last minute and avoided Haruna’s jab.
Satou made a big backstep and kept a distance from Haruna. As for Haruna, she didn’t chase further and stayed at that place. Looking at them again, Haruna recognized a red aura-like effect hanging around them.
Deris is amazed. He thought that Satou would surely go down with that blow. He’s not stupid enough to be beaten even before using the ability that he was talking about so proudly. Deris gives a passing mark to Satou’s movements on that point.
「Hey, Satou! You used it already!? I’m still not ready――」
「Shut up! Just go all out!」
The three of them are somewhat panicked.
「Come on, let’s go! We’re running out of time!」
While spitting cursing words, Satou and Suzuki rushed to Haruna this time. They are holding their swords upward, and are ready to swing down their sword. And above all, their speeds are comparable to Haruna.
(――――As expected, they are getting faster, aren’t they?)
Just as Haruna sensed a moment ago, their physical abilities are higher than before. It may be even more for Satou. This is due to Satou’s unique skill, 『Red Tail』, a strengthening ability that doubles the strength, endurance, and agility of companions within the range. While it may seem incredibly powerful at first glance, it also has a disadvantage. This power only lasts for 10 seconds, and once that time has passed, you will get a backlash from it, halving your status for the next 10 seconds. It is a unique skill that can only be used once a day. Satou wanted to use it to overwhelm Haruna when they have the upper hand.
However, the curtain of battle has already been raised. Since he used it in panic, he even used it on Suzuki and Takahashi as well. Although it was an emergency measure to avoid Haruna’s attack, if they miss this 10 seconds, they will lose. The equation is that if they defeat Haruna within this time, they win, and if Haruna is able to hold on, they lose. Thus, they attack her hot-bloodedly since they don’t have another chance.
The two of them swing their swords down at the same time. Their strengthened bodies and long swords gave them courage, and they attacked her with all of their might. However, Haruna is not paying attention to them.
(This bastard, where is she loo――!!)
Satou realized that Haruna is looking behind him. The one behind him is the magician, Takahashi. He is in the middle of chanting his magic attack, so he won’t be able to fight back if he’s targeted, but Haruna should have no means of attack in this situation. Thinking so, Satou completely forgets that Haruna is a magician.
(She has the nerve to look down on us! Whatever, I will finish her with this one!)
Haruna dodged their attacks easily to the point that it was laughable. Satou and Suzuki dumbfoundedly looked at her as she evaded in mid-air by twisting her body.
What Haruna excels at most is not Boxing, Aiki, nor Kenpo. It is Kendo, which she and Chinatsu worked hard on together. Even though Satou and Suzuki can somewhat handle a sword by the 『Sword Arts』 skill, they are still amateurs, so grasping their moves is an easy matter for Haruna. Rather, Satou would have been able to fight quite well if he uses his high status and boxing experience to fight her with his fists. Since his job is a swordsman, he abandoned his boxing. But, it’s too late now.
After dodging their swords, Haruna was in a horizontal position in the air. Ahead of her line of sight was her target, Takahashi.
A moderately sized stone that was held in Haruna’s fist was thrown in a side-throwing manner. It’s an ordinary stone that can be hidden in her clenched fist, which she put in her pouch beforehand for a throwing purpose. It seems that Haruna was already holding this stone in her hand when she was making a boxing stance.
The stone, which was added with the usual poison and 10kg weight, passed right beside Satou and approached Takahashi quickly. He, in the middle of his chanting, couldn’t avoid this and was hit by the ‘magic ball’ on his left shoulder. The impact was like being hit by a dumbbell. While hearing an unpleasant sound coming from inside his body, Takahashi was blown backward.
(Ah, I missed.)
It seems that Haruna was aiming for the heart. However, being able to hit without rehearsal is ridiculous enough. Well, either way, Takahashi won’t be able to come back in time. The rests are Satou and Suzuki.
One of them, Suzuki, also dropped out. It was started when he swung his sword with too much force and it pierced the floor. He received Haruna’s kick on the face when she landed after her stone-throwing, and his face was distorted terribly. It was even more tragic because the power was not that different from the magic ball that Takahashi received. However, as a warrior, he has high endurance and he was under the effect of 『Red Tail』, so it didn’t lead to the worst situation even though he fainted.
The time limit is almost up. Satou, who had regained his footing before Suzuki, clings to his last chance and uses all of his remaining strength into this attack.
But sadly, he used his sword for his last attack. While taking a glance at the attack, which she can avoid even while shutting her eyes, she takes out a black staff from her pouch and hits Satou’s swords on the side. The sword was broken completely and the effect of the 『Red Tail』 ended at the same time.
When the blackness came in front of him and filled his field of vision, Satou tasted the double intense pain. Just before he let go of his consciousness, he felt like the girl in the corner of his vision had a triumphant look.