“Golan. You’ve really done it now.”
“Don’t be so mad. Aren’t we old friends?”
I said with a laugh.
Nehyor grinded his teeth and glared.
He thought I was making fun of him.
Which I was. Very intentionally.
And while I was just provoking him, it felt good.
The annoying thing about Nehyor was that he would run away after losing the advantage.
The speed at which he escaped was one of the reasons that no Lesser Demon King or Demon King was able to catch him up until now.
But as long as he directed his hatred towards me like this, he could not run, even if he wanted to.
Yes, keep staring.
…I laughed in an eerie voice.
“What is so amusing?”
Nehyor seemed to become cautious, and he did not try to close the gap between us.
Had he regained his calm? I might have to provoke him further.
“Hey, how do you feel now? You couldn’t even reach your target, and were stopped by someone like me. Is it fun? It is, isn’t it? Tell me how you really feel.”
I bared my teeth and laughed. All expression left Nehyor’s face then.
It was like a mask, though his eyes narrowed.
“Feel? …I feel like tearing you to shreds.”
That was funny.
“I’m going to ask you one last time, Golan. Why are you laughing?”
“You’re the one who was torn in half that other time. Are you completely healed now?”
“Tsk…yes, for a while now.”
He was clearly angry.
Of course, he was. I was bringing up the time I humiliated him, so that he had to run. He must be boiling.
But now the chances of him running away again had decreased.
“Maybe I should cut you in half horizontally this time? Or maybe both ways?”
“Huh… So you think you can do that, Golan?”
“Aye… Indeed I do. After all, you’re weaker, aren’t you?”
There were a few things I learned after fighting against Nehyor.
While he had a lot of mana, it wasn’t an incredible amount.
Maybe just a little higher than Legras.
But you couldn’t really determine the strength of the high-ranking races by looking at mana alone, so that was fine.
What I had felt was that Nehyor was becoming weaker.
Previously, there had been an overwhelming strength that he was trying to hide.
His mere presence was powerful. There was something that made you think, ‘I could never beat him.’
But what about now?
That overflowing power was starting to fade.
I didn’t know why, but there was a visible difference every time that I saw him.
And then there was our compatibility in terms of combat.
In fact, I had the advantage.
Nehyor was more specialized in defense.
To be exact, he was good at healing himself.
There was no mistake, as I had even questioned other Vampires about it.
His healing ability was equal to Demon King Tralzard’s.
Apparently, other vampires couldn’t immediately regrow an arm that had been lost.
Nehyor had a special ability called ‘Flesh Regeneration’ that allowed him to use mana to heal his wounds.
I had mistaken this as something that all Vampires could do, but it was in fact, a rare ability.
That showed how dangerous these undead were.
He was also specialized in speed, which meant weaker attacks.
That was one thing I was grateful for.
“Hmm? You aren’t going to use your Deepsea Dragon Sword?”
“Aye… I bet you haven’t seen this before.”
I held up the hexagonal club.
Nehyor had never seen me fight with a staff. I hadn’t shown him.
I wasn’t going to bash him with it. This was martial arts.
If you wielded it with great speed, it became more powerful.
The difference in reach was also big.
And now I would use it with the enhanced power of Susanoo-no-Mikoto.
I would beat Nehyor with it. Let him taste the metal.
I spread out my feet wider than my shoulders and lowered my posture.
By lowering my center of gravity, I would increase my stability.
I also held the hexagonal club so that my hands were further apart than my shoulders, and positioned near my waist.
Nehyor would only be able to see its tip.
“Now, I’m ready. Come and fight me.”
I continued to provoke him.
In this stance, blocking was everything.
You would parry your opponent’s attacks and then strike back.
“Alright, I will. You will regret this immediately.”
He took the bait.
Nehyor lightly kicked off the ground…or so I thought. But he disappeared.
“Not holding back, I see.”
As I had faced him in this crouching stance, he had decided to target my back.
It was a good idea. However, I had learned the art of fighting with a staff.
And there were ways of dealing with people who came from behind.
So without even moving my body, I turned the club towards Nehyor.
Surprised, Nehyor suddenly stopped.
He would have crashed into it had he kept going. But it was fine.
I had kept him in check.
I lowered my hand and struck Nehyor’s knee.
And as soon as I heard the sound of it hitting flesh, Nehyor jumped back.
“It hit his shin.”
I had wanted to crush his knee, but he was too fast.
His reflexes hadn’t slowed down at all.
“Golan. You’re faster than before?”
He was clearly shocked that I had been able to react in time.
His head was tilted to the side as he asked me the question.
“You haven’t seen anything yet.”
“Really? It’s the same with me.”
Apparently, he could move even faster.
Well, I should have expected it. Even with better reach, he had been able to deal with me easily.
“Then you better be quicker next time. Or I’ll think you’re all talk.”
“Yes. Then about this?”
It was amazing that he could reach his fastest speed in an instant.
You would hardly believe that he was a living creature.
All I could see were after images, like stop-motion.
“Tsk. The sky then.”
I crouched low and swung the club.
I didn’t have many moves for dealing with enemies from above.
And just as I thought I had blocked his claws, my back was slashed.
Far away, one of Nehyor’s nails fell to the ground.
So he had regenerated it in an instant and attacked me. Impressive.
“How was that?”
“Yeah…I think it was a little faster.”
“Hmph. Is that what you think?”
Nehyor seemed to have regained a lot of confidence after his attack landed.
But I had learned something.
His style hadn’t changed at all.
His way of attacking was simple and careless.
He was relying solely on his own speed.
“Hey, you seem awfully pleased for someone who just patted me on the back. Maybe you should set higher goals for yourself?”
“Really? But you are the one who is wounded?”
“It will heal in no time. Just like any wound that your attacks could inflict.”
“Huh… You sure like to talk.”
Nehyor’s face contorted.
This was a verbal battle. And he had not even noticed that I was leading him on.
And so once again, Nehyor tried to attack in the same way.
In the past, I had closed in on Nehyor and swung my sword like this.
And so this was a gamble over whether he remembered it or not. But it seemed that my provoking him had caused him to forget.
I backed away with as much speed as I was capable.
I was no longer in the spot that Nehyor was going to attack.
As for me…
“You’re wide open.”
I had been charging the hexagonal club with mana.
And I unleashed it all at once.
As it slammed into Nehyor, an immense amount of mana exploded from it.
A sphere of sparks like fireworks burst from Nehyor’s back.
There was now a great hole in his stomach.
“…See? I told you, you’re wide open.”
I could see right through him.