The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 75

『𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫』 𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 

“Bring it on!”

As Vampneel tried to escape into the sky, wings unfurled, I closed the distance to engage him before he could fly away.

Of course, he wasn’t about to let me get close for free. A counterattack was launched.

“『Blood Mist』!”

A dark blue mist spewed from Vampneel’s body, forming a protective cloud around him.

I couldn’t step into that mist.

It was undoubtedly vaporized vampire blood.

Inhaling it by accident would allow his blood to infiltrate my system.

While a hero with divine protection or a Holy Warrior could easily resist that level of intrusion, it’s dicey for me.

With this fragile body of mine, I could end up being controlled by him even with just a droplet of his blood.

But if I can’t get close, I’ll just attack from a distance.

I withdrew one hand from my sword and reached into my Magic bag at my waist, pulling out something to throw at him.

“Huh?!”

Vampneel was caught off guard.

Perhaps he thought I had no ranged attacks, having observed my fight with Rest.

Indeed, the only stable long-range attack I have relies on Kurotenmaru’s Dark Moon.

And since Kurotenmaru is under repair, I can’t use that either.

However, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve.

I seldom use them because swinging my sword is generally more effective, and I have to release one hand from the sword to use them.

But thanks to that, it seems I was able to catch Vampneel off guard.

Coupled with the fact that I used my charge as a feint, he wasn’t able to react in time.

And so, the object I threw pierced through the wall of mist and landed right in front of him.

What I had thrown was a useful Magic item I had picked up in a labyrinth during my training days and kept rather than selling.

It was an Explosive Sphere that explodes when thrown at a certain speed.

As it met its activation criteria, the Explosive Sphere created a massive explosion right in front of Vampneel, just as it was assessed at the Adventurer’s Guild.

A deafening BOOOOM echoed, and the blast engulfed Vampneel.

While it might not even scratch someone like Dragburn, it’s enough to take down a seasoned adult in one hit.

It’s my hidden ace that I kept despite it being worth enough to cover my medical bills a hundred times over.

Now, let’s see how effective it was. . . . . .

At that moment, something burst through the smoke and soared high into the sky.

It was flapping its wings and taking position in the air.

It was Vampneel, but horribly disfigured.

His upper garments were burnt off, his skin scorched, his face marred, and bones and muscles exposed.

But that was the extent of it.

The damage was only skin deep; it hadn’t reached his core.

He could easily regenerate it with his vampire powers.

Had he foolishly turned into mist, he could have been vaporized by the blast, but I guess things couldn’t be that easy.

Then, right before my eyes, he began regenerating from the lower half of his body, completely healing in the blink of an eye, even his clothes restoring to their original state.

“You did well. That hurt quite a bit. However. . . . . .”

Looking down on me from the sky, Vampneel sneered.

“You’ve already lost the moment you couldn’t finish me off there. Your attacks can’t reach me up here. I’ve gained the advantage of the sky. How long can you hold out against my one-sided attacks from this advantageous position?!”

And so, Vampneel casually extended his hand toward me from above and released a dark blue flash.

“『Crimson Light』!”

The flash that charged at me from above was more like a water cannon that was shooting out blood at high speed.

Yet it was as fast as a flash of light!

“『Calamity Return』!”

“Futile, futile, utterly futile!”

I tried to repel it just like the blade of blood aimed at Imina-san earlier using Calamity Return, but the repelled attack dissipated as if it had its own will right in front of Vampneel.

“The blood used in this attack is a part of me, you know? Unlike rigid magic, I can freely control it like my own limbs!”

The dark blue blood that dissipated in front of him ominously wriggled, changed its shape, and this time rained down on me as numerous stakes.

“『Distortion』!”

As I ran sideways, I deflected only the stakes coming in my direction.

However, the deflected stakes changed their trajectory and, in addition, Vampneel released another water cannon. A two-way attack assailed me.

“Second Strike Deformation—『Distortion Chain』!”

I deflected Vampneel’s water cannon to change its course and neutralized the pursuing stakes.

That halted their movement for a moment.

However, water doesn’t disappear when colliding with water.

Soon it wriggled again, changed its shape, and kept targeting me relentlessly.

“Hahahahaha! Dance, dance! Struggle to the death! Risk your life!

And then despair at the end! Just like him!”

As I continued to dodge and parry lethal attacks that left no room for error, Vampneel’s words annoyingly lingered in my ears.

“His name was Rest, wasn’t it? He was pitiful!

Both physically and mentally weak, he could do nothing against the pawns I sent onto the battlefield and was utterly useless!”

Probably he meant to provoke me.

Indeed, it’s effective.

My swordsmanship thrives on finesse.

If my movements become rough due to anger, it will break down instantly.

That’s why I’ve trained not to let that happen.

“In the end, he was crying in fear, trembling miserably!

Despite being so pitiful and wretched, I shared my blood with him out of compassion, making him my half-blood brethren. But in the end, he died as worthless beings, unable to serve any purpose for me!

A genuine, irredeemable failure, serving neither humans nor demons.”

Still, it doesn’t mean that I don’t harbor anger.

While my mind is focused on finding a path to victory, my heart is on the verge of exploding with rage.

The image of Rest resurfaces in my mind.

My love rival who struggled against the bastard in front of me and died a human in the end.

A brave hero who prioritized the happiness of his loved one even in his dying moments.

Though our time together was short, I can assert that he was a great guy.

And the person who pushed him into that tragedy is now slandering him for fun.

It must be the ultimate form of harassment.

“Not just that fool, there’s another one who was just as. . . . . .”

“Shut up.”

“Huh?!”

Lost in his chatter, Vampneel carelessly launched an attack using a large mass of coagulated blood. I kicked off the solidified blood platform with the thrust from Rapid Current and, combining it with the force of my wind armor, leaped high into the air toward where Vampneel was.

There were no obstacles in my way to him because he had concentrated the blood into one place.

And so, I smashed a blade strike charged with the remaining momentum of Rapid Current into Vampneel’s torso.

Without vaporization in time, the blade sank into Vampneel’s body.

“Hmph! This is nothing!”

However, that slash stopped when it reached about halfway through the torso, colliding with something hard inside the abdomen.

Naturally, regeneration began immediately from the center of the torso, and Vampneel, with an expression of anger, raised his arm to launch a counterattack.

I determined that I couldn’t cut any further at this point, so I withdrew the sword from his body, twisting my body slightly in mid-air with the remaining momentum.

Avoiding the blood flowing from the wound, I delivered a stomping kick to Vampneel’s face.

“Surprised?!”

Then, using Vampneel’s face as a foothold, I leaped away from the situation where he could counterattack.

To further thwart his pursuit,

“What. . . . . .?!”

I threw another Explosive Sphere.

Honestly, I wanted to throw it in front of his face, but due to my unfamiliarity with throwing from this position, the aim went slightly off target, and the Explosive Sphere was headed towards his torso.

Nevertheless, for some reason, Vampneel had a more panicked expression than ever before.

And then, detonation.

Once the loud boom had reverberated and the smoke cleared, I had returned to the surface, and a hole was torn through his belly.

Apparently, this time’s Explosive Sphere was a focused explosion type.

Since magic items are not man-made, but natural substances created by absorbing the labyrinth’s magical power, their performance is not uniform.

However, that doesn’t mean I can defeat him with that.

The hole in his belly sealed itself instantly from above, and Vampneel returned to an unscathed state.

“Don’t mess with me. . . . . .”

However, only the physical wounds have healed, and it seems there’s been quite a bit of damage to the psyche.

“I, who am the supreme True Progenitor Vampire!

How dare these lower beings called humans, and even the inferior race without divine protection, mock me like this!

Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable!

I am the supreme lineage that has inherited blood and wisdom without interruption since ancient times in the Demon Realm, you know?!

The only noble lineage in the Demon Realm?!”

Vampneel cried out like a child when things didn’t go his way, clenching his teeth so hard it seemed like he might shatter them, and he glared at me with eyes dominated by anger and frustration.

To sustain injuries from something like this, your pride is rather cheap, isn’t it?

You’re quite the pampered young master, aren’t you.

“Enough! I intended to conserve my strength for the battle against the hero, but I can’t stay silent being mocked like this!

I will obliterate you with all my might!

Die helplessly and miserably, like an ant crushed by an elephant!”

Vampneel raises one arm towards the sky.

A large amount of blood ascends into the sky from his palm, eventually filling the sky with a mass of blue-black liquid.

Could it be. . . . . .?

“It’s over! 『Rain of Blood Death』!”

Blue-black rain falls from the sky.

It’s a rain of vampire blood, utterly devastating and unfair for those who don’t have resistance.

“What the heck is this?!”

I can hear Imina-san’s scream from a distance.

I didn’t have time to warn her, but looking in her direction, she’s using the Murder Lion she killed as an umbrella to protect herself from the rain of blood.

She must have gotten wet from screaming, but as a Holy Warrior, a little exposure should be fine for Imina-san.

As for me, I avoided the danger by rushing into the barrier Rin had set up just before the rain of blood began falling.

However, it’s not a particularly good strategy.

“Ahahaha! Can’t do anything, can you? You can’t, can you?!

Realize the gap between a supreme vampire like me and an inferior species like you without divine protection!

Just wait helplessly until the barrier breaks and death arrives!”

Due to removing Vampneel’s marker, he began directly attacking the barrier.

If the barrier breaks, not just me but all the residents of the Dwarf Village will be annihilated by the vampire’s blood.

I have to do something before that happens, but no good ideas are coming to mind!

That rain of blood is the worst.

It’s fatally incompatible with me.

If it was just a large-scale attack, I could fend it off with Slashing Sweep.

If it was just a high-powered attack, I could minimize the damage with Distortion・Garment and some minor tricks, accepting some minor wounds to break through.

However, Slashing Sweep is ineffective against countless droplets; and I can’t risk any exposure against the vampire’s blood that would cause fatal wounds just by grazing me.

The worst.

Absolutely the worst.

At this point, it’s safe to say this guy is a sort of arch-nemesis.

The total opposite of Dragburn, with whom, despite the difference in raw power, I had near-perfect compatibility.

Still, something must be done.

For the sake of Stella and the others holding back Asgard, losing is absolutely not an option!

Think, me!

Find a way to break through! A strategy!

“What’s the matter? You seem to be struggling quite a bit, boy.”

At that moment, a voice came from behind me.

A voice filled with the weight and experience that only someone older could possess.

The voice of the man I rely on.

When I turn around, there is. . . . . .

“Dwerk-san. . . . . .”

“Hey boy. I’ve come to deliver the item you requested. Well, it’s only half of it though.”

Standing there was the world’s greatest craftsman, 『God of War』 Dwerk Dwarflord.

In his hand, he held a black sword.

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