TNG Vol. 19 Chapter 3 Part 5
The damage done by [Violent Splash] was greater than Shin had expected. And the effect of stimulating the affinity of attributes triggered by [Shimmering Dark Night] had both the aspect of strengthening the monster’s strong attributes and making its weak points more pronounced. The risk was that a misstep could result in being overrun by the enhanced monster, but, if one was strong enough to beat it, it could be defeated more quickly by exploiting its weak points.
Shin sheathed ‘Scorching Blade’ and braced ‘Still Water’ with his unoccupied left hand.
After the third move, it became a full-on tussle.
Gods weren’t so kind as to remain on the receiving end.
Taking advantage of his newly enhanced attributes, Iira Suura set his entire body ablaze. The intense heat wave slowly scorched Shin’s heat-resistant cloak.
His mere presence reduced the beings around him to ashes. The current Iira Suura was truly the incarnation of divine fire.
Now it was just a matter of whether Shin would be the first to whittle down Iira Suura’s HP or whether Shin would be the first to be burned to a crisp.
Seeing the ground beginning to melt with a side glance, Shin swung ‘Still Water’.
[Violent Splash] was a skill that remained in effect for a certain amount of time, so once activated, it could be prompted in an attack a number of times. The series of slashes released in succession turned Iira Suura’s huge body into water and chipped away at it as if to hollow it out.
(I feel stiff. I guess this is as far as I go with the skill.)
The mana enshrouding ‘Still Water’ vanished. Perhaps because of the sheer amount of mana channeled into it, the effect lasted longer than usual, but it seemed to have reached its limit.
Even if it wasn’t a body enhancement kind, but one that granted a specific effect to weapons, over-extended use of the skill would put a heavy load on the vessel all the same.
Shin thought that the more powerful the skill, the stronger the recoil, and the time between reuses was proportional to the time span. He just wasn’t sure whether the stiffness duration was the same.
In the past, Girard, Support Character no. 3, used the skill by overcoming the burden with sheer force alone.
Shin also tried it once. Though the strain on the body would be huge, even if it were to be used forcefully, it wouldn’t cause damage or any major hindrance to subsequent movements.
He felt as if his body was being weighed down only when he was using the skill.
Now he knew why. Even after the skill had worn off, there was still lingering mana around the weapon and Shin’s body that was holding it.
If he were to try activating a skill before it dissipated, the magic power that’d be consumed to activate the next skill, be it the same or not, would interfere with it.
(I need to be more efficient in transforming magic power from skill activation to the duration, all the way to the end. Use it up without leaving any mana residue to cause interference.)
Then he forcefully moved his body that was getting heavier. And slammed ‘Still Water’, with [Violent Splash] activated, into Iira Suura’s counterattacking fists.
Two strikes cracked the fists, and the third made it wide enough for Shin to pass through.
He leapt and passed between them. Making sure not to come in contact with the flames.
But Shin’s cloak, which had protected him from the heat, caught fire. It was that hot.
(I can see the mana flow. Eliminate the unnecessary discharge, and control every inch of it.)
Shin, right now, wasn’t even bothered that his cloak was on fire.
He knew it was burning. Along with the fact that it wouldn’t be for long before it burned out.
Even though the effects of the gear would prevent the fire from immediately spreading to Shin himself or the gear, he couldn’t be certain how long it would last.
Shin also realized that when that time came, the scorching flames would burn his body.
Still, Shin didn’t think about replacing the gear or keeping his distance.
Iira Suura’s fists instantly regenerated and were unleashed in rapid succession.
The flames grew hotter and, although not as concrete as rock or water, gave Shin a sense of gravity and pressure as if a meteorite were descending on him.
He didn’t suffer a direct hit. However, the mere fact that the fist passed close by caused the durability of the cloak to decrease sharply. Its maximum durability value had been reduced to less than 20% in just a few minutes.
As if inspired by the fiercely burning Iira Suura, Shin’s arm that was wielding ‘Still Water’ accelerated.
He was no longer feeling any strain due to the interference of magic power. And in the midst of the battle, his ability, which was different from his stats, was growing rapidly.
(It’s so quiet.)
The sounds of battle still permeated his ears. Despite this, Shin had the strange sensation of being in silence.
His consciousness, which had been focused on Iira Suura and himself, gradually expanded. It was as if he had a bird’s eye view of his surroundings.
Shibaid was repelling a blow from the tail of Venna Vaal, whose body had been half blown off, with [Placid Moon].
Schnee was parrying 08’s fists, Filma was striking with [Scarlet Moon], and Sety was letting loose with her magic.
Tiera was holding her bow and watching the whole battle.
Kagerou and Yuzuha were gathering their strength while staying close to Tiera.
Everyone was doing their utmost to do what they had to do.
In the midst of all this, he suddenly felt a gaze.
(There’s no, hostility?)
It’ll no doubt burn if touched. Yet in the face of such overwhelming heat, Iira Suura’s gaze directed at Shin no longer contained the will to destroy that it once had.
What he felt instead was the will to fight.
No anger, no hatred. Just the will to fight, to compete with each other’s strength, as one would do with a good adversary.
It seemed that while fighting Shin, his true personality came out. Even if Iira Suura wasn’t in his calamity manifestation, he would still engage in a bout with players in his so-called trials.
As they were fiercely striking at each other, the flames burning in Iira Suura’s gauntlets moved as if beckoning Shin. Shin smiled, seeing the gesture, as if telling him to bring it on.
(Fine, I’ll bite. It’s time we finish this.)
Shin’s consciousness returned to his body. The fiery Iira Suura was instantly regenerating no matter how much he cut him down, but Shin didn’t need to use [Analyze] to know that he was nearing his limit.
It was the same back in the game. it was difficult to judge whether it was getting weaker or not, except by looking at his HP. The missing parts recovered quickly, and he continued to rampage until the very end, so there was no apparent change except by looking at his movements.
Gods that were embodiments of natural phenomena didn’t have a definite weak point.
Ones that looked like wolves and bears had weak spots in the neck and heart, and even irregularly shaped monsters such as slimes had weak spots in their cores.
However, with a god like Iira Suura, there was no other way to defeat him except by chipping away at his very existence.
Let them exhaust their strength by running amok and finally make them go dormant. That was what “defeating a god” meant in [THE NEW GATE].
The exchange of fists and slashes came to an abrupt stop. A momentary pause before the decider.
At that exquisite moment, Shin’s cloak burned out. And his whole body was engulfed in flames. Not his body or gears. But the atmosphere surrounding Shin was on fire. The gears he was equipping just barely prevented his bare body parts from being burned.
The reason Shin had been able to move unhampered until now was because of the cloak that he had personally worked on. The gear withstood even the flames of the guardian, which was why it had been able to withstand this much heat up until now.
Tiera must have seen him burning. And her scream echoed.
That was the signal.
Shin charged forward, cloaked in flames. Even in the midst of such extreme heat, the blade of ‘Still Water’ maintained the tranquility of a lakeside without waves.
The blade collided with the approaching fist. The blade of ‘Still Water’ sliced through the back of the fist, the side with the gauntlet, and the place where the slash hit turned into water and popped.
Shin activated [Flying Shadow] and leapt to the sky with ‘Still Water’ stuck still.
‘Still Water’ sliced through the fist all the way to Iira Suura’s arm.
He then went from his arm to the shoulder, from the shoulder to the back, and from the back to his belly.
Shin ran around Iira Sura with the blade still in his hand. It must have looked as if a swirling current of water was about to swallow Iira Suura.
The flames burning Shin’s entire body gained momentum as he approached the main body, yet he didn’t distance himself. Deciding the finisher, Shin leapt through the sky one last time, only harder this time.
The blade was pointed upward from a position close to the ground, and his body rushed up into the sky. As the splash of water disappeared, Iira Suura split in half and fell to the ground.
Just as a flame on the verge of extinguishing would burn fiercely for a brief moment, Iira Suura’s entire body also burned extraordinarily strongly. And in the next instant, Iira Suura vanished all too easily.