The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 92

𝐏𝐮𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐲 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐟𝐬

“Oooooo!!!”

“Aaaaaa!!!”

Fezard and I cross swords.

We clash with power and techniques honed for the sake of our loved ones.

Indeed.

In contrast to other demons who mainly fight with innate power and its applications, Fezard’s swordsmanship bears traces of grueling training.

“Ha!”

Fezard swings down her blade.

What she unleashes is a flying slash, something those with divine protection often use as a matter of course.

Added to that is her own power of wind, creating a wind blade.

It was a clean slash.

No wasted motion, just a strike delivered in the best possible form.

Her physical abilities aren’t that high.

They’re much higher than the average demon, but far inferior to Dragburn, who embodies physical prowess.

If you could quantify abilities, she’d be just slightly better than Vampneel.

Consequently, the power of her attack is also relatively low.

But, fast!

Quick and sharp!

Eliminating all wasted movement to increase her blade speed, she’s delivering incredibly sharp slashes using her polished wind power.

To cut or kill an opponent, excessive power is unnecessary.

If it’s sharp enough to cut, then neither weight nor power is needed.

Most enemies die when bisected.

Even those with strong vitality usually die when chopped into pieces.

Even Vampneel could be killed if a slash hits his heart.

The blade Fezard wields delivers slashes that have been sharpened to the limit, eliminating unnecessary force and allocating that power to speed.

As a result, what comes flying are lightning-fast lethal attacks.

Fezard utilizes her techniques to employ her body efficiently, attaining combat power beyond her numerical abilities.

In terms of physical abilities, she’s inferior to Dragburn.

In terms of uniqueness, she’s inferior to Vampneel.

In terms of attack scale, she’s inferior to Asgard.

However, if she were to actually fight them, Fezard would almost certainly win.

Dragburn would be shredded faster than he could recover, Vampneel would be sliced all over and his heart destroyed, and Asgard would be penetrated by slashes faster than his Mountain Golem could be repaired.

Fezard has the technique for that.

She has a sword that overcomes the gap in abilities, different from mine but equally deadly.

“Huh?!”

And so, Fezard’s blade is particularly problematic for me.

What I struggle with are opponents like Asgard, who have excessive defensive capabilities, and being attacked at speeds that exceed my limits.

I had difficulty with the overpowering force of Dragburn in his Blue Flame Dragon state, and even further back, was riddled with injuries from Old Witch Demon’s 『Fist Hero』 Fisto’s barrage of fists.

Fezard’s lightning-fast slashes are definitely beyond my limits.

Even now, I’m confident I could hold out against Dragburn in his Blue Flame Dragon state until he runs out of life force.

Though I’m avoiding direct hits, I’m still grazed repeatedly by her slashes.

I can’t follow the trajectory of the blade with my eyes.

I can’t even capture her shadow.

The only reason I’m managing to defend at all is due to reading her posture before the slash and my honed ability to sense danger.

But, I am managing to parry, after a fashion.

So, I go forward!

There’s no chance of winning at long range against her lightning-fast attacks, which don’t even give me time to use Calamity Return.

I’ll bring it into close combat and cut her down!

“Huh?!”

The moment I thought of stepping forward, Fezard moved.

She closed the distance I was planning to cover, propelled by the thrust of her wings and a sharp step, and in the instant our paths crossed, launched an attack faster than her flying slashes.

“『Gap Wind』!”

“Huh?!”

Somehow sensing the signs of an incoming attack, I managed to deflect Fezard’s strike, though the timing was incredibly tight.

If my defense had been even a fraction of a second late, or if I’d misjudged the angle even by the tiniest margin, I would have been killed.

Fezard has more than just her god-speed aerial slashes.

She uses her wings for ultra-fast movement and launches strikes that exceed even her divine speed.

I have to get close to win, yet being close makes her stronger.

However, after taking a few hits, I’ve started to get the hang of it!

Now I have just enough time to counter.

As Fezard’s strike comes in, I grip Onryomaru tightly and pull it close to my body, using the momentum to spin around.

I swing Kurotenmaru with my other hand!

“『Flowing Blade・Dark Moon』!”

Empowered by the momentum of the Flowing Blade, a slash of black flame takes flight.

While it may not match Calamity Return, thanks to the reforged Kurotenmaru, it’s a long-range attack with decent power.

Of course, such a single strike won’t work on Fezard. She easily deflects it, but as I swing Kurotenmaru, I use my footwork to convert rotational force into thrust.

First Strike Deformation━━

“『Rapid Current』!”

Two techniques activated simultaneously.

Thanks to that, I closed in on Fezard, who had to divert some attention to the black flame.

Naturally, a blade of wind comes flying at me in a counterattack.

Still, I don’t stop. I block, and block, and block with Distortion Chain.

Even though I’m accumulating wounds, I’ve reached Fezard’s inner circle.

“『Wind Moon』!”

Not a flying slash or a glancing strike but a pure sword technique delivered at a distance where the blade can directly reach.

A basic form swung straight down from above, following the centerline.

Fezard’s move is, as expected, fast.

Her refined form, developed through hundreds of thousands or even millions of practice swings, reveals even more complexities up close.

She’s manipulating the wind on the blade’s path to reduce air resistance.

She’s boosting the blade speed further by ejecting wind magic from the ridge of the blade.

All these enhancements are added to each and every ultra-fast strike she releases.

She pushes her limits with every single stroke, imbued with all the ingenuity she can muster, inspiring intense sympathy.

But I won’t lose either.

I know all too well that I won’t have time to react if I wait for the strike to come down.

That’s why I read ahead.

I’ve always done that.

Watch.

Watch the posture. Watch the flow of power. See through all of the preparatory motions.

Fezard’s moves are more complex than Dragburn’s.

Unlike Dragburn’s straightforward attacks, Fezard mixes in finesse, feints, and precisely times her strikes to make them difficult to counter.

Still, I can see through them. I can break them.

And with that insight, honed by sharp intuition and crisis perception, I can unleash the best move I’ve trained into my body, faster than a reflex!

“First Strike━━『Flowing Blade』!”

Just before Fezard swings down her blade, at the perfect timing when she can’t change her attack trajectory, I position Onryomaru ideally.

With Onryomaru, I take Fezard’s strike and spin my body around it as the fulcrum, just like before.

I counterattack Fezard with Kurotenmaru in my opposite hand.

When I fought Dragburn, it was difficult to deal any significant damage using the two-sword style.

Even using the Flowing Blade technique with one hand, the cuts I could produce were hardly effective.

But now it’s different.

While a single-sword style still offers greater attack power, I’ve grown to the point where I can deal enough damage even with the defensive two-sword style.

“Hmph!”

At the end of such accumulated efforts, my sword strikes were easily blocked by Fezard, who quickly pulled back her sword, which she should have swung completely.

Flowing Blade is a technique that counters almost simultaneously after the opponent’s attack.

It’s not easy to intercept it.

However, Fezard could easily make it in time with her sword speed.

Even so, it’s not over yet.

The moment I realized I was being blocked, I lowered my hips and, while maintaining momentum, slipped through the sword used in defense for my second Flowing Blade attack.

First Strike Deformation『Stream Flow』!

“What a peculiar sword technique. . . . . .!”

You’re one to talk, using strange tricks yourself!

Yet, this too was blocked.

Not yet.

This time, I lightly hopped and, using the clashing swords as a pivot, did a vertical spin in the air.

I leapt over the guard for the third strike of Flowing Blade.

First Strike Deformation『Flowing Wheel』!

“Tch. . . . . .!”

She was slightly thrown off balance, but even this was defended against.

Not yet!

I lower my hips, hop, crawl through, and then slash upward.

As long as the rotational force continues, I keep on attacking.

Fezard’s attacks are too fast, so when I convert them into rotational force, my moves are also fast, and the rotation lasts longer.

If I make even a slight mistake in my exertion, I could tear myself apart due to the rotation.

Even now, as I’ve become familiar with this sword technique, it’s enough to make me dizzy.

Yet I continued to attack.

I kept clashing with Fezard, who wasn’t just defending but also counterattacking naturally.

“Aaaaaaaaa!!!”

“Haaaaaaa!!!”

The result of this battle is. . . . . .a stalemate.

Our attacks just graze each other, chipping away and increasing our wounds.

My cheek was cut, Fezard’s eye patch was slashed, blood spurted from my arm, and Fezard’s leg bled.

“Raaaaaaaa!!!”

“Gaaaaaaaa!!!”

Both of us roared as we clashed, wrestled, and sought to kill each other.

My attack was deflected.

The moment I sensed that, I changed the direction of my attack and mowed down her leg.

The attack struck true.

The moment that happened, I received a counterattack and suffered an equivalent wound.

I have no room to consider preserving energy for the Demon King battle.

I believe that after defeating her, there will be a chance to recover, and I will attack with everything I have.

I continue to attack while spinning, and when the rotational force begins to wane, I deflect Fezard’s attack to regain it, and keep attacking, attacking, attacking!

If the distance widens, I’ll be at a disadvantage.

So I can’t let him escape.

I’ll finish him while we are this close.

Fezard too, understanding that trying to separate would become an opportunity, opts for a head-on fight.

Neither of us backs down.

However, there’s still a limit.

My movements slow down a bit due to fatigue.

“!”

Seizing that moment, Fezard slashed into the opening.

Probably reflexively launched, the attack had even more speed on it.

Just as I aimed!

Sixth Strike━━

“Sky Rebellion!”

“Huh?!”

A technique that channels the impact from colliding with the opponent’s attack into their weakest point to destroy it.

However, Fezard’s attack, while incredibly fast, lacks power.

There’s no doubt that she’s stronger than me, but the impact generated by Sky Rebellion isn’t enough to break a weapon.

Even so, absorbing the impact can make the weapon recoil.

A secondary effect of Sky Rebellion.

Used in the same way as when it deflected Dragburn’s fist or Asgard’s mountain golem’s strike.

And, if your charged attack is deflected, it will leave you wide open.

It’s not like I exposed the opening on purpose.

I wasn’t lying about being fatigued.

I had merely predicted that I would show an opening at that moment and thought of a counterattack.

That created an opening Fezard couldn’t ignore.

“『Flowing Blade』!”

“Ugh?!”

I used Onryomaru for Sky Rebellion.

And the rotational force was still present.

I channeled that remaining energy into Kurotenmaru and swung it down.

A deep diagonal cut was carved into Fezard’s body.

An effective blow.

Even if Fezard had regenerative abilities like the other Four Heavenly Kings, recovering from a wound burned by black flames would take time.

I must finish this before she heals!

That’s what I thought as I prepared for another attack.

“Wha?!”

An overwhelming chill ran through my entire body.

A massive sense of danger.

My instincts are screaming that I’ll die if this continues.

Trusting that sensation, and drawing on my accumulated experience to anticipate what would happen, my body made the best move.

While creating distance, I unleashed Distortion Chain with both swords as I leapt back. . . . . .

“Wha?!”

━━My right arm was severed and sent flying.

Kurotenmaru, still in my grip, spun around, and the sound of its blade plunging into the floor behind me rang out.

There’s no blood.

Because the wound is frozen over.

“To survive that with just the loss of one arm. Impressive.”

Hearing Fezard’s words of praise, I readied Onryomaru with my remaining left hand with a bitter feeling.

“Were you holding back?”

“Yes, exactly. I wanted to maximize the advantage of our first encounter.”

Fezard’s back was wriggling with what replaced wings: six tentacles.

Six long, black tentacles.

At their tips were magic swords imbued with the six attributes of fire, water, earth, ice, lightning, and light.

She had kept them concealed.

I felt that extreme sense of crisis, the next moment.

Fezard’s wings on her back dissolved in an instant and became like that.

And then, six tentacles each launched a slash.

What cut off my right arm was a magic sword of ice.

It was as swift as a sword technique.

Damn it, I was completely fooled.

She’d only been using natural movements as wings this whole time!

How could I know she had mastered the art of mimicry too!

No, but Fezard with her six tentacles unleashed.

I’ve seen something similar before.

The 『Metal Knight』 form Asgard used at the end.

The puppet-like Asgard said it was a replica of something he found most intriguing.

Probably, this guy is the original that Asgard was imitating.

I screwed up.

Maybe I could have predicted it if I’d thought deeper.

But then again, maybe it was impossible to foresee.

“I intended to finish you off with a surprise attack, or at least throw you off balance and deal more damage. . . . . .Even after losing an arm, you don’t show any openings. Truly impressive.”

“Compliments mean nothing to me. If I can’t win, it’s pointless.”

“I wholeheartedly agree.”

So, what to do now.

It’s hard to say if it’s good or bad that the wound is frozen.

There’s no risk of bleeding to death, but I also can’t reattach the arm right away.

Even if I use the best Recovery potion and supplement it with my rudimentary Healing Magic, I can mend the torn part, but it’s hopeless at this point.

Besides, even if it wasn’t frozen, there’s no chance I can take time to heal against Fezard.

. . . . . .Guess I have no choice but to fight with just one arm.

“Even if you’re down an arm, don’t think I’ll go easy on you. I will make sure to finish you off, 『Sword Demon』 Allan.”

“I’d be happy if you let your guard down, but that’s probably not going to happen.”

That said, I have no intention of giving up.

I don’t think it’s a hopeless fight.

This is my first time facing the Seven Sword Style, but I’ve gotten pretty used to Fezard’s speed.

Even with one arm, there’s about a 1% chance of winning.

. . . . . .That’s low.

Still, it’s the only chance of victory I have to pull towards me.

I can’t afford to die here. . . . . .!

“Let’s do this.”

“. . . . . .Come at me.”

Fezard assumes the Seven Sword Style, and the serious attack towards me begins.

Right before that. . . . . .

“『Instant Slash』!”

“Huh?!”

An intruder appears on our battlefield.

Fezard, who was focusing on the attack, couldn’t completely block the intruder’s assault. She manages to guard but is still blown away, crashing into the wall she herself broke when she sent Doug-san flying earlier.

Having temporarily removed the immediate threat, the intruder stands in front of me, blocking one of the Four Heavenly Kings.

“Seems like you’re having a hard time, young man.”

“Ruberto-san!”

The identity of the intruder is an aged, veteran knight.

A 『Sword Saint』 who has experienced the battle with the former Demon King.

The first wall I had to overcome to stand beside Stella.

It was Ruberto-san.

“I may be old, but I can at least serve as a shield for someone as promising as you. ━━『Sword Saint』 Ruberto・Valkyrias, I offer my assistance in this battle!”

“. . . . . .Valkyrias?”

At that moment, Fezard mutters the name Valkyrias in a low voice. The eyepatch covering her right eye falls off, silently hitting the ground.

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