Chapter 27 – Floor Boss 2
…Perhaps it is empty on the inside.
I suddenly remembered Loki’s words.
However, Ornest’s words regarding Loki, and my tendency to test things before believing them got in the way.
Because of this, the first attack was dodged impressively.
“So it really is hollow?!”
A sword came swinging.
In order to stop it, I turned my blade, switching to a backhanded grip, and thrust it into the ground. A moment later, sword clashed against sword.
Sparks flew in the emptiness.
The sounds of the clash pounded my eardrums mercilessly.
Overwhelming weight was against my sword, and it started to be pushed back.
“…In that case, as annoying as it is, I won’t think of this as fighting against a human!”
However, it did not come from my side, but in front.
With unbelievable speed, Ornest had jumped forward and landed behind the enemy.
His feet then moved off of the ground as he rose in the air, and then he used his whole body to attack. A black line cut through the air as his spear shot towards the enemy.
The attack to the back.
Even though Ornest had shouted, surely it would not be possible to dodge the attack without any preparation. And yet, as if it had eyes on its back, it moved out of the way.
“That’s the second time.”
It was the second time it moved in an inhuman way.
And so the enemy’s movements were becoming easier to predict.
And so if I was going to attack, this would be the moment.
I could slide in!
I aimed at the head.
And unleashed a horizontal slash, with my body leaning to the side.
Cut everything open.
That was what I thought as I shouted and swung.
While the enemy in front of me had yet to utter a word, I thought I heard a gasp-like sound.
And then, a moment later, the ear-splitting sound of friction.
After swinging my sword, a brief delay, and then I heard something metal fall a short distance away.
Whose voice was that?
Well, it didn’t really matter at this point.
…My sword had gone through it, and yet there shockingly no impact. On top of that, in spite of losing its helmet, the rest of the armor was moving as if nothing had happened.
At the neck, there was an impenetrable cavern of eeriness hidden within.
“…So, I suppose that monster we killed earlier was this thing’s mount?”
A Dullahan was an undead monster, made up of horse and rider.
“…It looks like it.”
And so I agreed with Ornest.
After the helmet had gone flying, the enemy became still.
But it did not last for long.
I could feel its rage swelling up suddenly, as if it was preparing to return to the fight.
Immediately after, the enemy disappeared, leaving only an after image. It moved even faster than the speed of sound, into some place that was outside of my awareness.
But before my eyes registered it, I allowed my instinct to move my body. And immediately after, a greatsword slammed into the spot where I had been standing. I grimaced at the realization.
It had been holding back up until now!?
I was not even able to finish voicing my thoughts.
But there wouldn’t have been an answer anyway.
The two it had been fighting before us.
And how it had been fighting before losing its helmet. There was a clear difference in physical ability. I couldn’t help but curse.
“That’s a…bad move, isn’t it!?”
I shouted while barely dodging and blocking its attacks.
After all, the other person with me was Ornest. He was a mass of pride. And he would be greatly annoyed that the Dullahan had ignored him, and tried to take care of me first.
“…You have some nerve, turning your back to me.”
Came the chilly voice.
And I agreed with him.
Yes, that’s right.
It did take a lot of nerve to ignore Ornest Reyne when fighting at such close range.
A small breath.
A step so strong that I thought that I could hear it.
An attack filled with anger to the limit.
One could not escape from such an attack.
Its instincts must have warned it, as the Dullahan then used its entire body to defend itself, even if it meant turning its back to me.
Immediately after, Ornest’s black spear swung down against the Dullahan.
The powerful collision caused the Dullahan’s feet to sink slightly into the ground. The impact caused the air itself to shake.
Still, it blocked the attack.
I could not help but admire its reflexes.
“Gah? Huh? Damn. I won’t let you go!”
Ornest’s heavy attack would not let it move from that spot.
In other words, its undefended back was completely open to me.
It probably meant to dodge Ornest’s attack and then deal with mine. But now it was just underestimating us.
“Do it, Alec!”
“Leave it to me!!”
He urged me on.
And then the sounds of crushing. I had been swinging before I heard Ornest’s voice, and now felt the sensation of something giving in under my blade.
In the next instant, black fragments of what used to be armor went flying into the air. I had swung with all of my might, mercilessly cutting through the Dullahan, pushing it away.
Yorha’s support magic had raised my arm strength to a point where it was incomparable to how I usually was.
The Dullahan’s body was lifted into the air and came bounding down.
It rolled and crashed into the dungeon wall.
Dust rose into the air. And there was what sounded like an earthquake.
“What do you think?”
“I’m not sure.”
We muttered without looking at each other. Our attention stayed at the point where it had landed.
“…That thing was ridiculously hard.”
The Artifact that I had borrowed from Loki was called Schwart. And I had been told that it was incredibly sharp. And yet, I did not feel as if the earlier attack had really cut the enemy open.
It felt more like hitting something with a blunt weapon.
“…Well, it is the floor boss of the 64th floor. In that case, it is not strange that an Artifact is not too effective. You’re lucky that it hasn’t broken after hitting it.”
Had it been a ‘magic sword,’ then it would have shattered. I understood that after trading a few blows with it.
And so I nodded at Ornest’s words.
Eventually, amidst the ominous air, a figure began to move eerily.
“Well, it’s standing up again.”
Well, as long it was ‘undead,’ I knew that we wouldn’t be able to kill it with a sword.
So I had no reason to feel disappointed.
Our purpose here was merely to buy some time.
“…I knew it wouldn’t make things so easy for us.”
“It wouldn’t be undead if we could just kill it with swords.”
With the sounds of falling rubble, the figure up ahead rose to its feet.
And then it seemed to freeze for a moment, and then…
“Damn, it’s loud…”
It let out a strange, wordless, ear-splitting scream.
I instinctively covered my ears and scowled.
How was it even able to make such sounds, when it was separated from its helmet? I wondered. But then the voice suddenly stopped.
“Blast it. It’s so fast…!”
There was no time to talk in front of an enemy that moved without warning.
And the Dullahan had targeted me once again.
It was probably because it thought Ornest was easier to defeat. As annoying as it was, it was the correct thing to do. And so I had no intention of complaining.
I raised my guard to the highest, prepared to attack, and before I knew it, the great sword was already lifted above its head.
From here, I was moving on instinct.
Without thinking, my right hand moved to bring my sword up in front of me. And then blade clashed with blade.
I gritted my teeth and grunted as I felt the impact. However, I was still able to block it.
I had survived such a powerful blow.
…It was just after I thought that. A single black trail enveloped in death approached at a speed faster than the eye could see.
As if sucked towards me. The frighteningly sharp attacks were unleashed, one after another.
Before I knew it, fluid was flying from my mouth. A moment later, the sharp pain.
It seemed almost malicious for a knight like that to be able to do this. But its martial arts had caught me right in the stomach.
The sound of impact was clear this time, and it was me who went flying back into the air. Immediately after, I could hear Ornest shouting. But I didn’t know what he was saying.
Next, I was slammed against the wall behind me, and pain spread from my back to my whole body.
…But after a brief pause, and in spite of being hit straight on, I grimaced and managed to get back to my feet.
“…Ah, that was close. I would have been out had it not been for Yorha’s support magic…!”
I coughed out dust and blood. Still, I took out a potion I had in my breast pocket, and drank it in one gulp.
Eventually, the pain in my stomach subsided.
I felt it as I opened my mouth.
“…How much more time?”
“At least five minutes.”
By coincidence, I had been kicked to where Loki was standing.
Attacking such a monster at close range.
And having it look only at us. Even with Ornest, it was very severe without using magic.
Still, the merciless reply was ‘five minutes.’
However, he was no longer acting like a fool. This probably really was the limit for him. And so I swallowed back any protest.
“…Be as quick as you can.”
“Of course. I’m preparing the trap to take it down. So you can buy time to your heart’s content.”
I had six potions left.
But I did not want to be reckless.
I thought of such things as I sighed and answered Loki.
In front of me, sparks flew amongst the clashing of swords.
Ornest wielded the black spear like it was one of his own limbs, but it was now one against one. The Dullahan was enraged and more aggressive than before. And so I rushed back to Ornest.
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