103 Part 2

“–Tsk!”

— Should I try to block it!?

Haruki put up his short swords as he crossed his arms in front of his chest.

Just before the branches could hit Haruki…

*Vroooom!!*

A huge lightning bolt fell above the top of the huge tree.

The Dungeon Lord was slightly stunned by the lightning.

During that time, Haruki barely escaped what would have otherwise been a direct hit.

Haruki wiped out the thick sweat that had fallen alongside his temples.

He had to somehow be able to predict its movements first and foremost.

While he was being attacked by roots and branches, Haruki suddenly began to concentrate and stopped breathing.

Concentrate and consolidate your consciousness.

Dive deeper and deeper inside.

A place severed by all worldly thoughts.

Monochrome, and moving frame by frame.

Use such an extreme world to get to the bottom of your opponent’s movements.

Look for signs of slight changes on its bark.

Save it as a video file inside your memory.

Imagine and assume your opponent’s movements using that file.

The Detection skill tells of the number of roots and branches, and their speed.

From all the information, deduce a solution to its behavior.

Breathing once again, Haruki wielded his short swords.

A light caught on the back of his eyes.

A slight shock.

Haruki’s short sword cut through the light caught by Weakness Exploit.

He avoided the branch attacks from overhead to the right.

Then he back-stepped away from the incoming roots from the right.

He avoided some of the attacks and cut through the others.

Then, for a brief moment, the boss stopped attacking.

A complete void as if it had just been hit by some kind of turbulence.

Haruki had broken through the storm of attacks.

A huge opening was created after he had escaped the boss’ aim.

Then…

*Vrooooom!!*

*Ratatatat!!*

Karen and Rhea showered the boss with a barrage of attacks.

Karen’s lighting hit the boss directly.

Its body began to glow and black smoke started to rise from it.

The branches and roots that were hit by Rhea’s attacks were quickly destroyed.

Haruki was quickly accumulating battle experience with this Dungeon Lord.

He had become able to predict movements that cannot be seen by looking at the tree’s bark, using only its preliminary movements.

The tree’s attacks no longer posed a threat to Haruki.

He could easily get closer to it.

Even so…

“Tsk…!”

Haruki still seemed to have a clouded expression on his face.

— This is bad.

— At this rate, the battle will be over before I can take all of my frustration out on this boss!

That frustration he felt while exploring the dungeon…

Even though he was trying to forget about that by enjoying himself with the boss, Haruki was way behind Karen and Rhea in terms of firepower.

— I have to get rid of this frustration before this is all over!!

Focus and anticipate your opponent’s actions.

Guess, assume, imagine.

Haruki instantly got right in front of the tree.

Attempt, act, and retry.

Using both of his short swords, he cut off the tree’s roots and leaves one after another.

The roots, thicker than Haruki’s body, and the branches and leaves fall to the ground making a thunderous noise.

He had finally been able to catch up with Rhea.

However…

*Vrooooom!!*

He couldn’t catch up with the power of Karen’s lightning attacks.

Her attacks burned the tree’s branches and leaves, causing the boss to take damage over time.

No matter how much it was ingrained into the ground, it was still a tree after all.

Just like a wooden house on the top of a hill would catch fire after being struck by lightning, so was the Dungeon Lord releasing smoke from all over its body.

Like the rare species of deer, the movement of the Dungeon Lord seemed to be slowing down. Was that due to it being repeatedly hit by the lightning bolts as well?

After all, it seemed that Karen’s lightning strikes could have a debuff effect that hindered the opponent’s movement.

Moreover, Karen’s positioning was perfect.

She would move away from the tree’s attacking range and cast her spells as soon as her charging was complete.

This allowed her to concentrate on charging without being the risk of being attacked, and to launch an attack at the perfect timing.

Besides, she was not only dealing damage to the boss.

She would look at Haruki’s situation and stun the monster at the right time.

Thanks to this, the threat of the Dungeon Lord’s attack had been greatly reduced, and Haruki’s offensive posture was less likely to be broken.

Karen was very well matched against the Dungeon Lord, and the way she was fighting maximized her advantage.

Her judgment during battle had improved considerably.

He wasn’t just a few laps behind her in the race.

Haruki was unlikely to be able to catch up with her, after she had gained so much momentum.

— It’s not enough.

Haruki’s attacks on the other hand, felt somewhat lackluster.

His short swords were too short to dig deep into the Dungeon Lord.

It wasn’t a matter of sharpness.

He could easily cut through its roots and branches.

But it was simply not enough to cut through its thick trunk.

Even when he did cut through the trunk, it would be nothing but a slight wound for the Dungeon Lord.

He couldn’t cut any deeper than a bear’s markings.

The blades couldn’t reach the core of the trunk.

Its bark was too thick.

The light he could see with Weakness Exploit wasn’t bright enough to allow for a fatal wound.

It shouldn’t be very surprising.

Short swords were a poor choice when the opponent was a large tree.

If Haruki was a greatsword user instead, he could have done a lot of damage by attacking the trunk with that kind of weapon.

“… Huh!?”

Haruki realized something that took his breath away.

Could it be that “an adventurer that can defeat such a large monster with a single blow” would stand out more than “an adventurer who fights with small weapons”!?

— Damn it.

— Why did I choose to use short swords!?

At that moment, Haruki regretted that his main weapon wasn’t the greatsword instead.

This would certainly not be the only super-large monster that appeared in the dungeons.

Haruki could be faced with yet another wall that cannot be overcome with a short sword in the future.

— After this battle is over, I’ll train so I can use greatswords as well.

Haruki wondered if he would get the Greatsword skill under his technology tree as well.

But he couldn’t waste time thinking about skills he didn’t have yet.

Haruki shook the idea away.

— There’s nothing I can do about it now. I have to do what I can at the moment.

With tears in his eyes, Haruki accepted the fact that his weapon was incompatible with the boss, and turned his focus to supporting Karen by distracting it.

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