Chapter 158: Master and Disciple
Mash probably used “Full Heister”. Before I noticed it, Mash turned into a Pole Changing Dragon, and swung the Egzation right at Seiya.
「…Oh. Both your speed and power have jumped up considerably since we met last time. But, that’s just a mere observation. If I raise my current level to the Berserker mode, I will be able to deal with you without much difficulty.」
Seiya used his double sword as a cross in order to defend himself from the Egzation’s attack. Despite retreating, Seiya looked calmly at Mash.
「Let me ask you something before we fight. Have you prepared yourself since you last saw me back in Nakashi Village?」
「Prepare? What do you mean?」
「I was asking you if you took proper measures based on my physique and attributes of the skills I’ve showed you.」
「I don’t need to have that sort of preparation. I’m going to kill you with the overwhelming power of Egzation!」
On this very moment, I heard the sound of waving grass coming from all sides. Several fire lizards sneaked up under Mash’s feet in an instant. Mash ignored Seiya for a short moment as he struck the attacking fire lizards with Egzation.
「I told the people of this town to back away from this fight, but that doesn’t mean that I remained your sole enemy. Summing up, you have to be alert of monsters roaming free through the open fields.」
「You annoying bastard! Don’t you dare mess up with me!」
Mash rushed to Seiya again, and swung the Egzation with tremendous power. The sound of cutting the wind echoed around me. However, because of his constant anger, Mash’s attacks lacked in precision. Seiya talked to Mash while continuing to dodge his big-swinging sword.
「When I first met you, I realized that you are too proud of Egzation’s skills. Actually, way too overconfident. And that’s your weakness. I can read your hand movement every time you swing Egzation towards me.」
Seiya lowered his upper body to dodge the attack of Egzation, and knocked Mash’s legs at the same time. Mash fell to the ground with his butt.
「During a close combat, if you suddenly activate the Full Heister, it will be extremely difficult for you to inflict damage on me since I can see how to avoid it. But, don’t worry. That fall just gave you a tiny scratch.」
「You stupid fella! I’m using it because I don’t mind using it! I will show you what I can do!」
After shouting, Mash moved away from the area where Seiya stood, and laughed triumphantly as if he regained his winning composure. An unpleasant feeling crawled through my spine.
…Wha…What the heck? Mash’s confidence was out of this world!
「All I have to do is hunt down my prey and kill it without mercy. But, I’ll show you “this” before you die. Egzation’s…No, Elle’s true power.」
The dragon’s tattoo crest engraved in Mash’s body began to shine brightly! A tremendous amount of aura got released from both Mash’s body and the Egzation!
「The evolution of the Full Heister, which combines the power of Egzation and the Pole Changing Dragon, the “Giga Heister”…Your damn head is going to fly in the air now.」
「Oh. So, you are aiming at my neck, huh. How kind of you.」
…The evolution of Full Heister! So Mash had his trump card!
I got pale when I saw the true power of Egzation and Mash’s enormous fighting spirit. However…Suddenly, I noticed it. A jet-black aura, which was the exact opposite of the light aura emitted by the holy sword Egzation, filled the whole area! Unexpectedly, a large number of dark hands grew from the ground with a rustling noise! The dark hands surrounded Mash and entwined on his legs!
「You…You bastard…! 」
He cut them with the holy sword, but there were too many of them. Despite cutting them without stopping, the dark hands grew out of the ground and grabbed his legs. Celseus screamed when he saw the dark hands covering the entire grassland.
「Too creepy! It looks like the devil’s trick! 」
Cer…Certainly!! Hundreds…No, actually, thousands of dark hands!? This scene was like a picture of hell!!
Seiya, who showed off such an unbelievable technique, stared at Mash who was struggling to remove the dark hands from his feet.
「The evolution of the Full Heister form, the Giga Heister…Of course, I predicted such changes in your skills. However, there’s no point in having those skills if you can’t move your feet.」
Seiya continued to speak as if he had foreseen Mash’s movements.
「By showing me the original Full Heister, it naturally allowed me to study and understand the abilities of its evolution. Therefore, you made a bad move. You should have hid it as much as possible.」
「Don’t underestimate me! Egzation, unseal the enemy’s technique!」
The seven colors of light circulating through the Egzation spread to the ground! Thousands of dark hands turn into dust in a blink of an eye!
…Egzation’s ability to cancel techniques! That’s right, Mash already showed us this ability before!
Mash grinned at Seiya and said 「What now! 」. However…Seiya, who had already pulled his arm in an offensive stance, stood around the corner close to Mash!
Mash blew off when the intense power of Seiya’s punch hit him.
「I have a brief time of about 1 second between the activation of your technique and the performance of your next action. Be glad that I hit you with my fist; otherwise, it would be your head flying in the air right now.」
Seiya…took proper measures to fight against Mash after their last encounter…!
Seiya’s punch successfully hit Mash’s face. I noticed that blood dripped from Mash’ mouth. His face showed the form of an evil spirit because of his uncontrollable anger.
「You bastard! It seems that you boast in confidence…But, the effect of my special unseal technique will persist! I have countered your dark magic!」
「What are you talking about? That was just a mere rehearsal.」
Seiya’s words confused me. Mash also looked around and…The both of us were stunned. The dark hands were completely gone. However, instead, horrendous plants that I had never seen before grew everywhere in a 360-degree area and moved creepily!
「Seiya!! What are those!?」
「They are the weeds in the meadow, which have grown by absorbing the nutrients of the dark hands.」
「In other words…the plants that surrounded us received the Power of Darkness!?」
「Correct. This is not the work of magic or art. They are new life forms. Therefore, Egzation cannot unseal them.」
Long-growing ivies from the plants with creepy faces entangled around Mash’s legs. Mash wielded the holy sword against the ivies, but it regenerated when the plants got cut. They looked like demonic plants.
「Damn it!! Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shittttttttttttt!! 」
The plants created by Seiya entwined around the whole body of Mash as if they were snakes. I took a deep breath when I saw how calm Seiya was during the duration of this fight.
They…They looked like an adult and a child respectively! Even though Seiya and Mash were overwhelmingly different in battle level because of the powerful Egzation and fearsome Pole Changing Dragon, the battle levels were quite different due to Seiya’s maturity!
「I’ll kill you!! I will definitely kill you!! 」
Seiya looked strictly at Mash, who in turn looked at Seiya with a murderous intention.
「You have to analyze everything more carefully. 」
This was a fight to the death. And they were supposed to kill each other. Still, Seiya was acting like a mentor. He taught Mash how to fight.
Mash’s rage reached a different level and he swung the Egzation with great force. However, no matter how many times he cut it, the dark plants continued to regenerate. Eventually, Mash raised his voice with a roar.
「You motherfucker!! I would have killed you straightaway if you didn’t possess this type of skill!!」
「Oh. Is that so? 」
Seiya’s arm got wrapped in flames. I thought he would unleash his fire magic on Mash to defeat him. But the next moment, I doubted my eyes.
「If you’re that confident, then I’d like to see you try. 」
Seiya unleashed the fire from his arms and burnt the dark plants around Mash!
「Se…Se…Seiya!? Isn’t that a bad idea!? 」
Celseus became impatient. Of course, I felt the same way. If Seiya burnt all the dark plants surrounding Mash, Giga Heister would…!
Eventually, all the dark plants that had grown disappeared, and the area became a burned field. There was nothing to stop Mash’s actions now.
「Uh, uh, uh…You’re too naive. I’ll make you eat your words, bastard.」
Mash held the Egzation and leaned forward.
「Die! Giga Heister! 」
Mash disappeared from my sight! My heartbeat increased tremendously!
Seiya was naive!? No way!! Was he going to be okay!?
…Sparks scattered all over the place, and a high metallic sound resonated aloud. Mash and Seiya confronted each other in a deadly combat. Without a break, Seiya and Mash kept disappearing and appearing while they fought. Countless of sparks appeared in the air. They probably exchanged swords blows at a speed that I couldn’t see. However, the next time I saw Mash and Seiya’s figures, I noticed that Mash lowered the Egzation and looked at Seiya with a stunned look.
「Im…Impossible! There isn’t anybody who can keep up with the Giga Heister’s speed!」
Mash looked confused, but I clearly understood Seiya’s mechanism. Although Seiya became a Berserker, he emitted a rainbow-colored aura instead of the usual red-blackish aura.
「Seiya is using Joker’s Mimicry skill! He is mimicking Mash’s Giga Heister!」
「Yeah! He wasn’t naive! Seiya is stepping forward with 100% confidence he would win in a direct fight!」
Celseus showed a smile of relief, but…Uhhh, he was wrong! If it were the usual Seiya, he would have fought with the dark plants! This was definitely…!
Seiya struck against a frustrated Mash. He used his double sword as a counterattack. Mash defended himself with Egzation, but he couldn’t prevent all the attacks. Mash’s body was full of scratches and cuts, and he began to bleed.
「I couldn’t see the swords’ movements…! What is that sword skill…!」
「Eternal Sword. It’s a sword skill of an unpleasant Goddess of War who lives in the heavenly world.」
…Adenela’s brilliant technique, the “Continuous Shooting Sword”!! …Eh, wait a second, did he just described Adenela as unpleasant!?
Mash distanced himself from Seiya in order to escape from the rushing swords that performed like massive rain.
「Egzation is a powerful sword. However, distancing yourself from me means that you are reluctant to attack. And thus, you neglect yourself. You won’t be able to improve your sword skill if you keep hesitating.」
「Shut up!! 」
Although Mash was full of rage, he noticed that Seiya’s double sword were full of cracks, and grinned victoriously.
「It seems that your swords can’t withstand the speed and skill of Egzation.」
「Most probably, yes. In fact, I know that from my previous experience.」
「How do you know that? Who cares! You’ve lost the ability to prevent Egzation’s attacks! It’s over for you bastard!」
Mash swirled Egzation above and attacked Seiya. However, what I heard was not a slashing sound, but a dull sound of raw destruction. Egzation fell from Mash’s hands. Seiya’s fist pierced deeply on Mash’s torso despise wearing an armor.
「…Destruction Operation Method the First…“Shattered Break”.」
In the meantime, a spare sword descended from the heavens and pierced the ground. The sword probably came from the sky because of the Automatic Phoenix, just like what happened during the fight with the Dragon Mother. Mash struggled to gaze at Seiya as he grabbed the holy sword again.
「A trick punch using your bare fist, huh…Aren’t you a swordsman…?」
「If my swords disappear, then the only thing I have left are my fists. Therefore, it’s natural for me to acquire fist-fighting skills.」
After hearing Seiya’s dialogue, the once-death battle with Death Magra revived in my mind. Frightened by the overwhelming strength of Dark Fires, Mash regained his spirit after witnessing Seiya’s willingness to fight with caution. And now…
「Who…Who the hell…are you…bastard…!」
Mash seemed to be in awe after knowing more about Seiya. However, a bloody arm appeared behind Mash.
『What are you doing, Mash? Hurry up and pick up the Egzation. You must kill the hero.』
The ghost spoke while clinging to Mash’s body.
『Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill! 』
「…Be quiet. 」
Mash left the Egzation behind and headed towards Seiya. He tried to shake off Elle’s clinging ghost. Then, the ghost showed an expression of sadness.
「The sword is not enough! I will be using my own power to defeat him!!」
It seemed that Mash could only see Seiya and nothing else. When Mash used an insane speed that resembled a teleportation, he tried to hit Seiya with his right fist.
Celseus was shocked upon seeing Mash’s speed. Seiya avoided the hit by bending his upper body, but, at the same time, my tension grew. There was no doubt that those terrific fists could inflict a fatal blow on Seiya if they were to touch him.
…Mash didn’t receive the protection of Egzation this time! It meant that he had, indeed, a tremendous power and speed!
Seiya managed to dodge a turning fist aimed at his head. Mash continued with his fist attacks, and Seiya showed a slightly surprised face.
「Oh. Can you use your fists too? Let me praise you.」
Seiya stepped back and distanced a little from Mash. Then, he spoke the following words.
「But you are still far for succeeding. 」
「You motherfucker…! 」
Seiya pointed his finger at Mash. I noticed that Mash became extremely agitated by Seiya’s provocation. Seiya repeatedly moved his upper body to avoid Mash’s fists. Suddenly, Seiya moved his body and aimed at Mash’s legs with a lower kick. Seiya, who turned into a Berserker, changed his stance and successfully hit Mash.
Seiya managed to throw a strong-looking fist. Then, Mash hit Seiya on his shoulder; on the other hand, Seiya hit Mash in the nose.
「Ohh, it’s a continuous counterattack from both sides!!」
Celseus got excited and screamed high. Because of Seiya’s lower kick, Mash slumped on his leg, but somehow managed to hold onto his knee.
「My Pole Changing Dragon…became much stronger since the last time I used it to defeat the Demon King…And yet, what is happening…Who the hell are you…」
It seemed to me that Mash had more emotional damage than physical damage.
「I’m the Almighty King who rules Geabrande!! No one can beat me!!」
He screamed extremely high when declaring that! A strong aura dwelled in his hand! My anxiety increased tremendously upon seeing the Pole Changing Dragon’s dense aura, which condensed all life energy!
「Cuelebre* Loa!** 」
At the same time as he professed those words, Mash released his palm towards Seiya. The soil under Mash’s feet exploded with a terrifying power. Seiya and Mash were no longer visible because of the dust.
…Both of them continued to fight. What kind of ending will this battle have? What was Seiya trying to achieve? I swallowed dry and waited for the dust to dissipate.
「It…It can’t be…! 」
I saw Mash’s face when the air cleared up. Seiya also received Mash’s right-handed palm strike with his right arm. Mash panicked upon seeing a similar dragon crest on Seiya’s right arm.
「He used the Mimicry skill to imitate Mash’s aura to counteract its power!」
「He…He’s not done yet!」
I noticed when Celseus pointed it out. Similarly, another dragon crest appeared but on Seiya’s left arm! Then, the aura shined brightly!
「… Cuelebre Loa.」
Seiya’s palm emitted a strong blast, and Mash’s body was caught in it. Then, Mash put his knees on the ground after receiving great damage.
「Seiya counteract it with his right arm, and then, he invoked that power with his left arm! He managed to activate the Mimicry skill repeatedly!」
「Amazing! I didn’t know he could use that skill consecutively!」
I noticed that Mash vomited a mixture of gastric juice and blood to the ground.
「You are strong…even though you belong to an inferior race…Are you really a human…?」
Mash tried to stand up. However, his feet wobbled and he fell to the ground again. It seemed that the battle was over. Nonetheless, on this moment, Elle’s ghost appeared again behind Mash.
『Mash! Hurry up and grab the Egzation! And kill him! Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Hurry! 』
「You are noisy! Just shup up, Elle!」
『You can’t win without the Egzation! C’mon, hurry up!』
「I already told you. The Egzation doesn’t work against him. Stop bothering me.」
Mash tried to attack Seiya one more time despite his injuries. I noticed that Mash’s eye color had regained the nostalgic brilliance.
『Why…Why are you doing this…Mash… 』
On the other hand, Elle’s ghost was lying down on the ground with sadness. However, the moment she raised her head, I saw a disturbing and terrible-looking face.
『It seems that I can’t use you anymore. 』
When she opened her mouth wide, I saw a myriad of needle-like teeth lined up from the corner of her mouth right up at her ears. And then, Elle jumped and bit Mash’s throat.
*Cuélebre (Asturian) or Culebre (Cantabrian) is a giant winged serpent-dragon of the Asturian and Cantabrian mythology.
** Loa (also written lwa) are the spirits of Haitian Voodoo and Louisiana Voodoo. They are also referred to as “mystères” and “the invisibles” and are intermediaries between Bondye (from French Bon Dieu, meaning “good God”) and humanity.
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