When I translated a teaser a few years ago my website was quite small and I was in a poor financial situation. I have been getting a few comments about...
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Let’s be an Adventurer! ~Defeating Dungeons with a Skill Board~ 25
Let’s Face the Stampede Boss!
It was said as a question, but Haruki already knew the answer.
Whenever a horde of monsters passed through, the next thing that would come was the general–the boss.
The monster that appeared now looked like a Silver Wolf.
However, it was twice as large.
It was as tall as Haruki.
Not only that, but it was leaning forward and walking on two legs.
It was a rare breed of Silver Wolf—a Werewolf.
Just as this registered with him, Haruki turned around and ran as fast as he could.
There was no way to win!!
This was a monster that mid-level Adventurers fought.
Not a newcomer like him.
And so Haruki ran at full speed.
Something rammed into his back. Haruki lost his balance and flew 10 meters into the air.
He crashed into the ground and rolled, rolled, rolled… and then finally stopped.
His bones…were fine.
Nothing was broken.
However, the aftermath of the impact was bad.
His brain felt shaken, and he was disoriented.
The Werewolf was running towards him again. It clearly intended on sending him flying another 10 meters.
If it wanted to, it could kill him in an instant.
Just like breaking a toothpick.
And yet the Werewolf stopped, and walked up to him. It was eerily quiet.
Now, stand up. Get up.
The Werewolf seemed to say as it looked down at Haruki.
Ahh…it’s no use.
Haruki understood as he looked at the Werewolf.
He understood it because he had become a little bit stronger.
He was still very weak.
He could raise his agility by 1…no, it was no use.
Just raising it by 1 would not allow him to outrun this monster.
And even if he could, what then?
Haruki’s chances of survival would go up if he got out.
However, the Werewolf would get out as well.
So someone else might die instead of him.
Someone might die because he ran away.
Someone would die because he didn’t fight.
He couldn’t accept such a future.
And so Haruki got to his feet.
It took him one second.
That was more than enough time for the Werewolf to kill him.
However, it waited.
It was as if he were some rival.
Either that, or it was just looking forward to seeing how Haruki would fight…
“It’s surprising how less afraid I feel, now that you look at me like that.”
It was like looking in a mirror.
That was what Haruki muttered as he observed the monster.
When he unsheathed his dagger, the Werewolf moved.
It lightly swung its arm.
And yet, Haruki could do nothing but watch.
It was too fast for him to react to.
The claws clanged against his blade.
The impact was heavy.
But he somehow withstood it.
After a second, he could feel the goosebumps all over his body.
It was a jab.
It was just a jab!
He understood that by the movement of its muscles.
What kind of enemy was this!
He could see it with his eyes at least.
But things were getting hazy.
I must concentrate!
He worked his brain and tried to control his consciousness.
His emotions were moving towards panic, and he had to stop it.
Observe, detect, imagine, and guard.
Haruki watched the Werewolf as it moved.
Recognize and perceive.
It was just a little off from the point he had imagined.
Just a little. The fist grazed his cheek.
The shock made him dizzy.
His vision went blank for a moment.
Before he knew it, he was on his knees.
The arms had so much strength in them.
He wouldn’t have remained conscious had it been a direct hit.
A cold sweat ran down the sides of his head.
The Werewolf looked down at him with a provocative stare, as if to ask, ‘Is that it?’
He gritted his teeth and stood up.
Then, one hit. Two hits.
The heavy blows just barely grazed him.
Then a heavy blow hit him and he went flying.
Again and again and again.
He was hit, blown away, rolled, and then stood up again.
His body was in tatters.
Every time he went flying, his heart would scream.
Leave the rest to the Self-Defense Group.
You won’t have to feel so much pain if you leave it to others.
This was pointless. You were just being hurt for nothing.
And so you should run away right now!
However, Haruki shook his head.
He didn’t know how many people would die if he went out.
Adventurers were supposed to save people.
Haruki could not choose a path that would end in someone else being sacrificed.
Every time he was hit, he desperately carved the motions and preparatory movements of his opponent into his brain.
He put his predictions and the results together and repeatedly made alterations.
For his enemy, they were weak attacks.
However, they were powerful for Haruki. And he blocked them again and again with his blade.
He felt like he was already dead.
Every time he was attacked, his hands and feet seemed to get slower.
And yet—it was interesting.
Haruki was starting to enjoy it.
It was a matter of life and death, and yet he was laughing.
Just as the Werewolf was taking stock of him, he was taking stock of the Werewolf.
This was so very entertaining now.
“Yes. This is good!”
Was he mad? Was he broken?
Haruki laughed every time he was attacked.
His enemy was strong.
Much stronger than him.
And Haruki was in tatters.
He was dying.
And yet his body felt hot.
A power that he usually didn’t feel was welling up within him.
The more he knew, the more he could see.
The more he did, the more accurate he became.
The Werewolf’s movements were more precise than any monster that Haruki had ever met.
The preparatory movements. The way it used its muscles. The agility. The weight distribution. The way it rose.
Everything was beautiful and ended without a wasted movement.
It was like math.
It was beautiful and so the results were clear.
While he couldn’t see the attacks with his eyes, he was able to tell what they would be by the movement right before.
How could you not enjoy such a thing?
The Werewolf became faster.
Still, Haruki was able to keep up.
The Werewolf’s attacks weren’t so much a blur now, they seemed to vanish.
However, Haruki still blocked them.
Just one second before an attack, Haruki saw the way that the muscles moved and figured out how the Werewolf would come.
He felt like he could fight like this forever.
He could do anything. That’s what he felt.
But it still wasn’t enough!
Maybe it was the Werewolf’s strongest attack.
Haruki blocked it, and even though he was in his best defense posture, he was thrown into the air.
Haruki did not have the strength to stop the power of the Werewolf’s arms.
They were now 30 meters apart.
The next time he stood up, it would likely be his last.
That’s how he felt.
As if to confirm this, the Werewolf unleashed a strong, murderous aura.
Haruki took out the skill board and used 1 point.
Then he grabbed his dagger and stood up. And he put the mask on.
Upon seeing Haruki get to his feet, the Werewolf smiled.
It was as if he were glad to see a comrade still be able to fight.
And he was also sure that Haruki would now come to kill him.
The next attack would be his last.
The Werewolf disappeared.
In the next instant,
The Werewolf was attacking in rapid succession right in front of Haruki’s eyes.
However, Haruki was in a defensive stance.
And he knew which attack would come and where.
He just had to trace the movements.
And then, the attack that he wanted came.
The Werewolf swung his arm at top speed in an attempt to cut Haruki down.
He altered the timing just a little and allowed the attack to slide off of his blade and to the right.
With the same kind of beautiful movement as the Werewolf, Haruki thrust the dagger in his left hand into the point where he predicted the Werewolf to move.
It was the demon dagger he had bought from Akane the other day.
It had gotten a lot sharper while he used it to fight the black raccoons.
Imitation 0 → 1
Haruki imitated the Werewolf’s movements and thrust his arm out in a smooth attack.
And the demon blade that had become stronger from the black raccoons slid into the Werewolf’s chest.
He made use of the Werewolf’s momentum.
And so the demon dagger went in very deep.
The full impact of the Werewolf slammed into Haruki, and they were both thrown into the air.
The mask came off and the dagger and demon blade left his hands.
He fell to the ground and rolled.
His brain felt so much pain that he thought his limbs had been torn from their roots.
For a while, there was nothing.
Then he scowled at the pain and slowly opened his eyes.
Next to him, on the ground, was the Werewolf, with the blade buried in its chest.
Blood was flowing from the wound.
The Werewolf’s eyes were still moving.
But that was all.
It didn’t try to stand.
After all, he had stabbed it in the heart. He didn’t know what he could do if it was still able to stand.
The Werewolf turned to look at Haruki.
There was no hatred in its eyes.
If anything, there was something about its expression that felt very human.
‘Ahhh. I’ve done it now.’ It seemed to say.
“…That was pretty fun. But I’ve had enough.”
The Werewolf seemed to say as it laughed and closed its eyes.
At the same time, Haruki’s body became very hot.
Hotter than it had ever been before.
And without being able to raise himself, Haruki lost consciousness.