Chapter 28 Decisive Battle - Part 2

 Kamishiro moved immediately. Chihiro waited for him, not moving an inch, and looked into his eyes.

 ――He approached straight away and kicked Chihiro diagonally from the right side.

 It's almost as if he's replaying their previous encounter. The big difference is that Chihiro had a weapon.

 Kamishiro must have known that, but he still came at him straightforwardly.

 Then, Chihiro swung his wooden sword. He put all his strength into it, in order to strike the enemy at the moment of contact.



 Just as he is about to attack, Kamishiro increases his step. With a loud boom, Kamishiro's body accelerates, and his kick is delivered just one breath faster than it would have been at his current speed.

 Of course, Chihiro could not see it coming.

 But he had already given the command to his arm. And a large slash intercepted Kamishiro a moment earlier than the impact of the kick.


 About two meters. The impact sent Chihiro (...) backwards.

 Kamishiro frowned slightly and muttered on the spot while he regained his position, holding back the pain in his abdomen.

「So, you can read that, too?」

「...Well, yeah」

 Even if the timing of the execution is just in time, Chihiro could figure it out as soon as Kamishiro thought of it in his mind. After all, this feint, too, had been in Kamishiro's mind for several steps.

 After all, it would be difficult to try not to be conscious of the attack plan.

 It is often the case that the more one tries not to think about it, the more one thinks about it. That is almost the only advantage Chihiro had over Kamishiro.

「...Then I guess I'll have to do this」

 As he says this, Kamishiro's presence changes. It wasn't that he had an aura, but there is something intimidating about him.

 Immediately afterwards, a high-speed step.

 It is clearly faster than the previous blow. His aim is to hit Chihiro in the torso from the front, and there's no way Chihiro can avoid or intercept it in time.


 So, all he could do is prepare himself in advance and try to back away. But, thanks to these efforts, he is able to kill some of the impact, but his vision went blank for a moment.

 Chihiro is pushed backwards, and the distance between them opens up again.

 ...Just now is the performance of Kamishiro's movement when he uses his ability as [Lost Item].

「Seriously? He's really going to go for it against a weak-looking guy like that?」

「That's a bit much, isn't it?」

 Chihiro overhear the crowd murmuring.

 Well, their perception is slightly wrong. After all, given his personality, Kamishiro must have been serious from the start. He just wasn't giving it his all.

 And it was to gauge Chihiro's seriousness, his ability.

 But even though Kamishiro is not at full strength yet, Chihiro wouldn't have been able to take this weakened attack if it weren't for the last two weeks of training.

(Really, how in the world did Maria ever match up to such an opponent?)

 Even after all this time, it still gives Chihiro chills.

「You're not going to give up, are you?」

 Kamishiro asked quietly.

 For some reason, he seems to be enjoying himself a little.

「Of course」

 Chihiro replies, and Kamishiro smiles and kicks the floor.

 Then, from the front, Kamishiro kick his heel to Chihiro's left shoulder. Chihiro hurriedly lifted his wooden sword and used it as a shield. As soon as he did, he heard a creaking sound from the blade.

「...But, can you block this?」

 A small voice.

 Just as Chihiro is about to say something back, a fist dug into his stomach and he suffocates. Then, Kamishiro regained his footing and attacked him again with almost no preliminary movement.

 The force of the attack is not as great as it might have been, but Chihiro retreats a few steps.

「I'm surprised. You're much more used to fighting than before」

「Thank you」

 And then a few more attacks hit Chihiro.

 Kamishiro's attacks are somewhat sporadic, but each blow is heavy and fast. Chihiro tried hard to avoid the clean hits, but he could not fight back, and the damage is gradually accumulating.

 However, the crowd is surprised to hear Chihiro's voice.


「Oh. How can he be so tough?」

 Of course, it's because of his mind-reading ability.

 Without it - for example, by cutting off his gaze with a wink, as Aika did - Chihiro would have been knocked down in an instant.


 Having seen Kamishiro's movements so many times in such a short time, his eyes are starting to get used to them.

「Let's give it a shot」

 With a voice, Kamishiro unleashed an attack identical to the first one.

 The only difference is that it is much faster, and it had a different outcome than the first attack.

 Like before, Kamishiro's kick collided with the wooden sword that Chihiro had launched to intercept him. A deep, harsh sound reverberated throughout the area, yet there were some differences.

 The wooden sword snapped in half and fell to the floor.

 Kamishiro had broken the hard-wooden sword with only his bare hands and feet. Although the blade is covered by a protective cover, it is still possible to break the wooden sword inside... but the cover is torn off with it too.

 Despite this, Kamishiro's expression is not happy.

「...Sorry, Izumi-kun」

 His voice is as calm as usual.

 However, his tightened expression is as serious as ever.

「I can't guarantee how it will turn out, but I'll go full force. I'll take full responsibility and take you to the infirmary when I'm done」

 *murmur* *murmur*

 At this point, the excitement in the crowd reached a climax.

 Rank C, Yuuki Kamishiro, is giving his all against Rank E, Chihiro Izumi. This development is unexpected by almost everyone in the room.

 In a sense, Kamishiro's declaration is like a death sentence, and Chihiro nodded as he threw away half of his wooden sword.



「Thank you」


 The floor of the large training hall trembled.

 More than the first blow. More than any other attack since. Kamishiro is several steps faster, closing in on Chihiro in the blink of an eye.

 And the moment Chihiro realized this.

 He received a fist that swung slightly downward, and is slammed down hard into him toward the floor of the training ground.


 Chihiro screams as his chest is hit by the fist and his back is slammed. His vision flickered, and it took a few seconds for him to regain feeling in his hands.

 However, he managed to stand up, staggering to his feet.

「Will you give up?」

 Kamishiro said with a serious expression.

 Chihiro looked at him and shook his head with a wry smile.

「Sorry, I can't」

「...I see」

 Chihiro tried to grab Kamishiro's arm and used a throwing technique. But when he still got up, he is thrown into the air with an uppercut from below and knocked to the floor.

 His head hurts.

 His arms, stomach, and back hurt. If things don't go well, it may last for several days. But, Chihiro wonder how much his ability can shorten it.

 Still, he stood.

 The crowd had quieted down before he knew it.

 Even Kamishiro looked at him as if he had seen something strange.

「Izumi-kun. Does your ability heal...」

「It doesn't」

「Then why?」

 Then why is he standing up?

 To his question, Chihiro answered in a faint voice.

「I'm sure it's the same as Kamishiro-kun's when you fought Fukami-san」

「... So, it's like that, huh?」

 He exhaled and clenched his fists.

 Kamishiro moves away from Chihiro and takes a lightly stooped posture.

「Izumi-kun. I'll go with a frontal fist. This is the last one」

 The last.

 The declaration that he would definitely decide with this blow sounded grim.



 Then at last, it's time to try the one and only "chance of victory".

 Chihiro tightly made a fist with his left hand and formed a stance. His posture is very similar to Kamishiro's.

 A blow with all his might.

 Only, he would deliver it to the oncoming Kamishiro.

「Here I go」

 The speed is now too fast to even be seen from the front.

 The fist, whose trajectory is unpredictable without warning, is met with his left fist. The two fists collide, and there is a sound as if something is crushing.

 Chihiro is outmatched.

 Unable to kill the impact, the left half of his arm swung far behind him. If he had been attacked in the meantime, he would have been killed, but Kamishiro never pursued him.


「What did you do?」

 However, Kamishiro is holding his left hand with a shocked expression on his face.

 It doesn't seem to be broken. His body, strengthened by his ability, must have managed to withstand the power of two people.

 However, it should be useless for a while.

 Chihiro answered the question with his dangling left arm, which had lost its feeling.

「I just hit you as hard as I could. And I intentionally used more force than my arm could withstand」

「...Hey. How did you do that?」

「I practiced」

 When people move their bodies, they subconsciously save their strength so that their bones and muscles will not be damaged by the movement. However, when a person is angry or acts reflexively, this limiter does not work, and as a result, the person may exert more power than usual.

 Chihiro has practiced and achieved this intentionally.

 He did this in order to make up for the lack of power in his body that does not have much muscle mass. And it's for the sole purpose of striking Kamishiro with a single, effective blow.

「It wasn't as easy as it sounds, but it was not impossible」

 Actually, it's not impossible to do. A person who is a little sensitive to pain or unaware of it may do it without thinking about it.

 It's just that a normal person wouldn't do it.

 Chihiro did it because it was necessary. He practiced it over and over again, learning how to use his strength without fear of pain. Thanks to this, for the past two weeks, he often had trouble using his left hand at night.

 And so, this is the result.

 Chihiro's left arm is torn apart by Kamishiro's power beyond the limit. At best it's cracked, at worst it's broken.

 But, thanks to the cost, he was able to fight Kamishiro head on.

「...you really」

 Hearing Chihiro's explanation, Kamishiro let out a deep breath and shook his head.

「Give it up. You're in no condition to fight anymore.」

 He is right.

 Chihiro's left arm needed to be healed right away. There's no time to keep fighting here.


「I can't give up when I can still stand」

 Chihiro said and clenched his fist. The right one, not the left. He only used his left for practice, but he could do the same thing with his dominant arm. There should be nothing he couldn't do.

「...Izumi-kun, you...」

 Kamishiro looked at Chihiro with a stern face. But then――


 He instantly clenched his right hand, and before Chihiro could react, he slammed his fist into Chihiro's face.

 The pain is so intense.

 The impact is so strong that it seemed as if it might break his nose, and Chihiro fell on his back.

 Chihiro then received a hard kick in the stomach, and fainted.

 It's a complete defeat for which there is no complaint.
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