TWEM Vol. 1 Chapter 17
Chapter 17 – The Other S Ranker
“May the battle…start!!”
The moment the referee gave the signal, Norverne was already right before me.
He then enveloped his right gauntlet in flames and tried to punch me.
I countered by infusing my left fist with magic power and repelling his attack.
Norverne immediately followed by thrusting his left fist, but I repelled that too, then jumped backwards to dodge his kick.
As I should have expected, he barely had any openings.
“Ooh, you even dodged that kick…how about this, then!!”
Norverne closed in on me again and unleashed a flurry of punches.
I deflected or blocked his burning fists with my own magic-powered ones.
As I did I could hear the spectator seats comment on our exchanges.
“Damn, look at him keep up with Norverne’s offense…”
“Yeah, but it’s just a matter of time, I bet.”
“Dunno about that, he still looks like he’s got energy to spare.”
The next thing I heard was Norverne taunting me.
“Sticking to defense, huh? No time to attack!?”
“If you’re asking for it, then I have no choice!”
I decided to take Norverne’s challenge and increased my offensive moves bit by bit.
“Hahaha!! Now we’ll have some real fun!!”
I smiled as I put more distance away from Norverne, then activated Physical Boost.
I then used Ground Shrink to get close to him in an instant and started my own offensive barrage.
My Physical Boost-powered punches could have killed Norverne, so I also used “Hold Back”, naturally.
My attack power was so high Norverne couldn’t help but let out a grunt as he tried to retreat away from me.
I didn’t let the opening go, however, and planted a kick in his stomach.
Norverne received the full brunt of the kick and was sent flying against a wall.
I planned to follow up with another attack immediately, but after Norverne recomposed his stance I stopped.
“That would have hurt if I didn’t have Physical Boost!”
“You sure look like you’re enjoying yourself, though!”
“That’s the kind of guy I am! Now it’s my turn…get a load of this!!”
Norverne then materialized fireballs in front of himself.
He proceeded to punch the fireballs, sending them flying.
They were speeding towards me much faster than I expected.
Are you kidding me!? I’ve never seen anyone punch a fireball!!
Despite my surprise, I flicked away or dodged the fireballs one by one.
Before I realized it, however, Norverne was nowhere to be seen.
I had a nasty feeling about it, which turned to reality immediately: a flaming gauntlet brushed past me, flying over my head.
At the same time, the robotic voice echoed in my head.
<<Skill “Detect Danger” acquired. Skill added to Martial Unification.>>
Hmm? Not Detect Presence? I better check it out.
Warns the user when danger approaches. Activates automatically.
Oh, this is going to be useful. It can help me deal with unexpected events.
While thinking that, I crouched and tried a leg sweep on Norverne.
He probably predicted it, though, as he stepped backward and avoided it.
While maintaining the distance between us, he asked me a question, his tone full of disbelief.
“I was positive I had caught you off guard, how did you dodge that?”
“Just by instinct.”
“Haha, that’s rich. But I’m not going to miss this time!!”
Norverne then charged towards me, but I used Ground Shrink first to move next to him, then kicked.
Once again, my kick sent him flying.
This time too, however, he jumped back to his feet immediately.
He’s really tough…I thought I put a decent amount of power in that kick…
“Tchah, that was even worse than before! But still not enough…I’m going to go wild now, you better be able to stop me!!”
As soon as Norverne finished speaking, his body became enveloped in a red and purple flame.
Could it be the “Berserk Switch” skill Dyne had too?
I heard the spectators get noisier after seeing it.
“Hey, I’ve never seen Norverne do that…”
“Yeah, that’s him going all out, I guess…anyway, is that Haruto really rank A…? But he got an S-ranker to get serious like that…?”
As the adventurers continued commenting, Norverne approached me at high speed.
He was pretty much twice as fast as before…still, not enough to match me.
I dodged his attacks, punching and kicking in the process, but Norverne showed no signs of stopping.
I was sure he was accumulating damage, but his offense wasn’t hindered in the least.
Hmm, if I keep attacking like this he might be in danger…but I’m not sure if the berserk status will turn off once he runs out of stamina, though…
I guess I should stop him with a big attack then.
I activated ice magic at Norverne’s feet to stall him, then used Ground Shrink to get away from him.
I then imbued my fists with an advanced lightning magic spell, then used Ground Shrink again to get closer to Norverne and thrust my fists in his stomach.
I chose to use lightning magic because even if punch damage wasn’t enough to knock him out, the shock caused by lightning magic might, or so I thought.
Norverne suffered the impact of my lightning fists, but the ice magic at his feet kept him from flying off, so he collapsed where he stood.
The arena turned deadly silent.
The referee was speechless too, so I called him.
“You aren’t going to call the match, ref?”
“….eh? Ah, yes!! The winner is Haruto!!”
The referee’s proclamation resounded through the arena.
The spectators couldn’t quite grasp the situation yet, maybe, and simply looked on, dumbfounded.
I didn’t blame them: two S rank adventurers, of which there were only five in the whole world, had just lost to a rank A adventurer, after all.
After a little while, Dyne managed to get a hold of himself and came running.
He then kneeled down next to the unconscious Norverne.
“Norverne, are you alright!? I’ll take you to the infirmary right— ”
“No need to do that. High Heal.”
I interrupted Dyne and cast a recovery spell on Norverne.
“Y-you can use recovery magic too? And…a high grade spell too…?”
“Man, you really have skills up the…no, I should thank you for healing Norverne first.”
The referee confirmed that Norverne had recovered, then hurried back inside the guild. What was up with him?
Oh well, I should try Appraisal on Norverne for now.
UNIQUE SKILL :
Fighting Demon Carnage
Barehanded Arts LV 8
Physical Boost LV 7
Fire Magic LV 7
Fighting Spirit LV 8
Intimidation LV 6
Tenacity LV 6
S Rank Adventurer
Twin Fists of Searing Flames
Oh, he had a unique skill too, then. As expected.
<Fighting Demon Carnage>
During the activation of physical support skills, their effects are boosted to 200%. Effects increase as the user nears death, up to a maximum of 800%.
I suppose I should copy this too.
<<Skill “Fighting Demon” acquired.>>
During the activation of physical support skills, their effects are boosted to 150%.
It’s a bit weaker, but still enough for me.
After I finished copying, Norverne regained his senses.
“Ugh…..eh? Dyne…? Did I lose to Haruto?”
“Yeah, that’s right. But Haruto healed you already. To think that you couldn’t win even with Berserk Switch…”
Norverne looked straight at me and thanked me.
“Really…thank you. You still look like you got more where that came from, Haruto.”
Dyne continued after Norverne.
“Same thing that happened to me…I guess Haruto’s just beyond us in his ability.”
After saying this, they both thrust their respective weapons, the broadsword and the gauntlets, towards me.
“No, I can’t accept them. They’re the partners you fought together for many years, right?”
I tried giving it a noble spin, but I honestly just didn’t need them.
Dyne and Norverne were moved to the point of tears, though.
“Haruto…! No, from now on I’ll call you boss!!”
“Yeah, Dyne, you’re right!! We’ll call you boss!!”
“Stop!! Right now!! Just call me Haruto…isn’t there any other option…?”
Dyne and Norverne looked at each other for a moment, then turned towards me and smiled broadly.
I sighed and shook my head. At the same time, Finne got down from the spectator seats and happily ran up to me.
“Great battle, Sir Haruto. It was really incredible! I have to work hard too!!”
“Ah, thanks. I’ll train you till you can fight like that too, Finne.”
“Thank you so much!!”
Finne flashed a dazzling smile.
Dyne looked at her, then asked me a question.
“Boss, this pretty girl was with you in the guild too, right?”
“Yeah, I didn’t introduce her, did I. She’s Finne, we’re in a party together.”
“I see! So she’s our boss lady!!”
“Definitely the boss lady!!”
After I introduced Finne, Dyne and Norverne started spouting more nonsense.
“P-please!! I’m just rank C!!”
Finne was shaken, obviously, but they didn’t seem to care.
“Really? But if you’re in a party with the boss, you’re the boss lady!”
Dyne’s unabashed confidence rendered Finne speechless.
Just then, a guild staff member approached us.
“You people!! If the sparring match is over, get back inside the guild already!!”
I turned around and saw a well built, bald dude…naked from the waist up.
Who is this guy? And why is he half-naked…?
Dyne and Norverne reacted loudly upon seeing the man.
What? This weird old dude is the guildmaster?
But if the guildmaster showed himself in person, things are going to get annoying…I had a really bad hunch.