The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 94

『𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝』 𝐨𝐟 𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬

“What, you say?!”

Fezard, with six of her tentacles slashed, displayed an expression of astonishment.

Nevertheless, she moved instantly.

Of the tentacles that were cut, she quickly regenerated the ones holding the magic swords of water and earth, which had not inflicted significant damage. She then collected those floating magic swords along with the severed tentacles.

At the same time, she severed the four tentacles that were burned by fire, light, lightning, and ice using the wind blade in her hand.

She severed the damaged areas and regenerated the remaining four tentacles as well.

However, while she was doing that, I lunged forward, accelerating with the Storm Leg Armor, and finally got within Fezard’s reach.

“Huh?!”

Fezard swung her sword to counter-attack at a speed surpassing godspeed.

Her tentacles, still in the process of regenerating, swung along.

I see it.

No, I understand.

Even before she starts to swing down her blade, I know where and how Fezard is going to strike.

I know how to avoid it too.

“First Strike━━『Flowing Blade』.”

In the optimal position, I aligned Onryomaru with the descending blade, guarding and spinning from the force of the slash.

I perfectly converted that rotational force into attack power and released it through Kurotenmaru.

I burned and slashed Fezard’s three right-side tentacles with a black flame.

One of them was holding an earth magic sword, which got blown away, sealing its regeneration due to the burn.

“Huh?!”

“Haa!!”

Furthermore, using the remaining rotational force at maximum efficiency, I continued to unleash a sequence of Flowing Blades.

Flowing Blade, Flowing Wheel, Stream Flow, I executed a series of all variations of Flowing Blades.

This was a movement I had already performed in our initial engagement.

However, what I see now is a different world.

The sharpness of the technique, the efficiency of the movement, everything is different.

My movements, which had turned almost 100% of Fezard’s power into my own through the Flowing Blade, were on par with a hero.

Simply in terms of attack power and speed, I’m on par with Stella.

Moreover, it’s not like I gained any divine protection or increased physical abilities; it’s just a natural extension of the techniques I’m familiar with.

That’s precisely why I can also fully utilize other finishing moves, which shouldn’t be effective against someone as strong as him.

The power of the Ultimate Killing Sword, which is supposed to kill stronger opponents, perfectly fits with the simulated heroic power and sublimates it.

Just a moment ago, our close-combat fight was evenly matched.

But now, only Fezard is accumulating wounds, and not a single strike reaches me.

The tide of battle has turned.

“You!”

Fezard’s attack.

She swung the remaining three left-side tentacles like animal claws and delayed the sword swing just a fraction.

By intentionally delaying the fastest sword attack, she executed a perfect simultaneous four-point attack.

“Second Strike Deformation━━.”

In my high-speed rotation where almost nothing is visible, I relied on my senses to fully read Fezard’s movements. Using Onryomaru and Kurotenmaru, I twisted the trajectory of one of the tentacles and the blade through Distortion.

One tentacle struck another, and the blade cut off a third tentacle, and the last tentacle holding a water magic sword was severed.

“『Distortion Chain』!”

“Ugh?!”

With this, Fezard has lost all means of attack.

At that moment, a follow-up attack is unleashed by the ongoing Flowing Blade.

“What is this. . . . . .?!”

Fezard uses her sword purely for defense, deflecting the attacks.

Taking advantage of this, her left tentacle—which was not burnt—regenerates.

However, none of the tentacles are now holding a magic sword.

No opportunity is given to pick one up.

As a result, Fezard’s offensive power is significantly weakened.

“Why, all of a sudden. . . . . .?!”

Of course, Fezard isn’t the type to crumble just because she lost her magic sword.

Even by just swinging her tentacles, she’s the sort of opponent who can unleash strikes sharper than those of Blade.

Though the difficulty of deflecting her attacks has decreased without the special strikes of the magic sword, my defense isn’t substantially improved considering my frailty.

However, even if it doesn’t make a big difference to me, the absence of the magic sword is significant to another.

“Ooooooooooo!!!”

“Tch!”

Ruberto-san, who had been immobilized due to the recoil of the previous skirmish, rejoins the battle at this moment.

He attacks Fezard from the right, where the tentacles were burned and severed.

Her sword is already preoccupied with clashing against me from the front.

There was no chance to cut off the wounds on the right-side tentacles.

Therefore, Fezard tries to extend her left tentacle towards the right to deal with Ruberto-san, but,

Ruberto-san isn’t hindered by a tentacle that makes such a forced move and doesn’t even hold a magic sword.

Ruberto-san deflects the attack from the three tentacles and slashes at Fezard himself.

Unable to defend, Fezard’s right arm is sent flying into the air.

“Damn?!”

Perhaps deciding it’s impossible to continue fighting at this range, Fezard switches her left tentacle to wing mode and attempts to create distance through a one-winged flap and a powered leap.

You won’t escape!

I lower my hips, and at the moment when power flows into my legs, I cut off both of Fezard’s legs with Kurotenmaru.

As a result, Fezard loses both her legs following her right arm.

“Guah!”

However, the one-winged flap was just in time.

An additional attack by Onryomaru only manages to slightly graze the tip of the wing.

But having lost both legs, Fezard can’t maintain balance and tumbles irregularly away, destabilized by the one-winged flap.

Creating distance like that is meaningless now.

“It’s over.”

Before she can regain her balance, Ruberto-san and I close the distance to the incapacitated Fezard.

Ruberto-san with the stepping technique of a Sword Saint, and I by transforming the remaining rotational power of Flowing Blade into propulsion through Rapid Current.

Without letting our guard down to the last moment, we go to kill the strongest Four Heavenly Kings.

And our decision to remain alert, even after cornering him this much, was correct.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!”

Fezard shrieks in desperation.

Switching her wings back to tentacle mode. . . . . .

“What?!”

She stabs the three tentacles she lost from her right arm and both legs back into their respective wounds. New tentacles sprout in the shape of arms and legs from those wounds, forming black prosthetic limbs.

What kind of treatment is this?!

No, this must be another of Fezard’s ingenious tactics.

Ever since the first exchange, the injuries on her haven’t healed.

This includes not just the wounds seared by Kurotenmaru, but also those inflicted by Onryomaru.

The only thing she can regenerate are her tentacles.

Maybe she’s not a particularly powerful demon by her race’s standards.

She doesn’t have high physical capabilities, and she also lacks the regenerative abilities that the other Four Heavenly Kings take for granted.

Yet, she’s the one who’s risen to the top of the Four Heavenly Kings.

At this point, nothing she does would be surprising.

That’s why the real shock was yet to come.

Fezard swings her blade.

She grips the sword with her remaining left arm and the artificial hand formed from forcibly regrown tentacles.

Utilizing the momentum from a wing’s flap that caused her to rotate, she swings with all her might.

That attack was the fastest among all of Fezard’s attacks thus far.

“Huh?!”

She’s getting even faster now?!

But calm down.

My foresight is still working.

Now that I’ve regained my peak condition, a surprise of this level won’t affect my movements.

I can handle this now.

The technique to use is the Fifth Strike.

“『Calamity Return』!”

I swing Onryomaru down at the approaching horizontal wind blade.

What I’m targeting is the flaw in the Slashing Sweep technique that I’ve discerned.

I insert my blade there, and unlike a simple Slashing Sweep that merely disperses the attack, I manipulate the distorted flow of power.

As a result, the wind blade warps significantly and then flips, rebounding back toward Fezard.

This is the new Calamity Return.

No, this is the true form of Calamity Return.

I no longer need to involve the blade in rotational maneuvers using Flowing Blade and Distortion techniques to make it rebound.

I can now return far faster and more powerful attacks.

Earlier, returning six slashes at once was also an application of this move.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!”

Yet, Fezard repels even this counter.

She negates my returned slash with an even faster one.

And the next moment, an even faster slash is unleashed.

Her slashes are accelerating in stages.

This third slash is too fast, even for my evolved Calamity Return.

“Second Strike──『Distortion』!”

If I can’t return it, I’ll divert it.

And that worked.

Fezard’s slash is deflected upward.

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!”

But it’s not over.

It won’t stop.

Fezard keeps recklessly swinging her blade, and the speed of her swordplay keeps rising.

It’s far.

The distance to Fezard, which shouldn’t be great, feels far.

If the pace of the slashes keeps increasing like this,

In the distance that should be closed with a few steps, in just a few seconds, over a thousand slashes will come flying.

What’s going on. . . . . .?

Why did she suddenly get faster?

Was she holding back?

No, that’s not it.

Fezard has been going all out the whole time.

Unless she’s got some trump card like a tentacle mode, these are basic slashes that she’s been using since the beginning of the fight.

If she had been holding back in any way, I would have noticed instantly.

So how do I explain this sudden power-up?

. . . . . .No, it’s simple.

It’s a simple matter.

Just think a little, and it’s obvious.

Fezard is growing stronger right at this moment.

Adversity is what fuels the greatest growth in people.

It’s not a privilege unique to me.

Whether human or demon, if you reach out in desperation, you will grow substantially.

And the ones who have the most potential to grow in times like this are those who have put in the effort.

When pushed to a state of utmost focus, those who have grown stronger through hard work intuitively know how to become even stronger.

Fezard is unquestionably a monster of effort.

Despite having abilities no different from any other demon, she reigns at the pinnacle of the Four Heavenly Kings through dedication and ingenuity.

There’s no way such a person wouldn’t grow when cornered to the brink of despair. . . . . . !

“I can’t lose. . . . . . ! I am the last bastion protecting the Demon King. . . . . .! Losing is not an option!”

As if to inspire herself, as if to remind herself, Fezard roared at the top of her lungs, increasing her sword speed.

Whether her body can’t keep up with her movements that have surpassed their limits, blood spurts from Fezard’s left arm with every sword stroke, and her tentacle-like right arm is tearing.

Still, she doesn’t stop.

More intensely, more violently, yet more beautifully than Ruberto-san’s Tenkyokuken, a flurry of wind blades assails us.

“Guh?!”

“Ruberto-san?!”

Ruberto-san is hit.

Ruberto-san’s left arm is severed and flies through the air.

It’s not surprising. . . . . .!

To buy me time to heal, to create a pathway, Ruberto-san has taken extreme risks.

He had more wounds than me even before this combat started.

Just like Ruberto-san did for me, I try to move into a position to shield the wounded Ruberto-san. . . . . .

“Don’t stop!!”

“Huh?!”

A sharp reprimand from Ruberto-san made my body reflexively face forward.

I was forced to look ahead.

His words had that much power.

“It’s alright. An old soldier can serve as fodder for the young. That’s just how it is.”

In what felt like slow motion, Ruberto-san readied his sword with one arm.

A stance ready for mutual destruction, having given up on defense.

For that reason, Ruberto-san, with a speed equal to Fezard’s current one, unleashed his final strike.

“『Tenkyokuken』!!”

At the same speed as Fezard.

And with far greater force, the soaring Tenkyokuken was unleashed.

It clashed with and tore through the wind blades.

But its speed and power were diminished by the impact, and further diminished by subsequent wind blades.

After nullifying dozens of wind blades, Ruberto-san’s final strike vanished.

The cost was high.

Having given up on defense, his remaining right arm was severed by the following wind blades.

Fortunately, they didn’t hit his body, but it seems he has reached his physical limits as Ruberto-san collapses.

“Go!!”

Ruberto-san shouts as he falls.

“Yes!!”

As if being pushed from behind by that voice, I moved forward.

Ruberto-san’s efforts were not in vain.

He nullified dozens of wind blades for me.

So naturally, I can use the time and techniques saved from those nullified attacks to advance.

So, I reached Fezard’s side for the third time.

Third time’s the charm.

Now, let’s settle this, Fezard.

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