BTOG 115 – Defeat the Apostle Battle: Fist Dance

“Aaa…..”

Witnessing four players had disappeared before my eyes, I felt a creeping chill caress my back.

*THUMB*

It’s an unpleasant sensation, and I could feel my heart beating loudly.

*THUMB*

A scene I couldn’t remember flashed back into my mind. I, who was supposed to be in a scorched land, stood in the middle of a snow-covered city.

At the coldness that shouldn’t be here, I unconsciously hugged my body with both arms.

–It’s cold. It’s cold. It’s so cold.

“No, no……”

My head hurts, it feels like it’s going to burst.

No, you can’t get headaches in VR. Yes, this was supposed to be an illusion, but the pain was so intense it felt like it would break me.

–No. No! No! I can’t lose it again!

Something inside me is screaming.

The forgotten memory of that snowy day that constricted my entire mind.

–****.

At the end of Sukuna’s field of vision, Nanaka, wrapped in snow, muttered something to the sky with tears spilling out from her eyes.

A palm that was unintentionally stretched out in a world so cold that it seemed to freeze everything.

It’s not like she can grab anything with her frozen hand.

Sukuna’s palm, which she thought was frozen, was melted by the warmth that shouldn’t exist.

“Nana.”

It’s a familiar voice. It was a voice that she loved more than anything.

For Sukuna, for Nanaka.

Rinne’s voice was a symbol of peace.

“…Rin…cha…”

“Calm down. I’m here. It will be alright.”

Sukuna calls out to Rinne in a trembling voice, and Rinne pulls the weakened Sukuna into her arms so carefully, as if she were handling a fragile object.

Sukuna is suffering. Her heart was wounded far more than Rinne had ever imagined.

Sukuna doesn’t care if she gets hurt or dies. But just by seeing the deaths of players she barely knows has put her in this tormented state.

Rinne knows the reason for this.

It was an experience that traumatized Sukuna.

This is the first death Sukuna witnessed since she started playing WLO, or perhaps, the first one after her parent’s death.

She had never seen anyone else die, though she had died herself.

Rinne wasn’t sure if Sukuna had ever seen a player died on the field. But something like was probably beyond Sukuna’s control.

Even if they were a temporary one, seeing her comrades die was enough to bring the trauma back to Sukuna.

Just like Touka’s injury has shaken her to the core, Sukuna had rarely seen her allies getting hurt. A little HP loss doesn’t upset her, but even so, Sukuna had never once failed to protect Rinne during their time together.

Just like that time when she pushes Rinne out of Monster House, this time too, Sukuna had noticed something strange and was screaming frantically.

At time like that, she was so blinded by her inner turmoil. If Rinne wasn’t there to forcibly pulled Sukuna into the barrier she had put up, Sukuna probably would have died.

Only a few people were able to react to it, including Drago,  one could say she was able to save some people because of her action, or perhaps, one could also say she could not save four people.

In Sukuna’s mind, at least, she was more inclined to think that she had not been able to save them.

I don’t know if trauma is the right word to describe it.

But at least for Sukuna.

No—

–For Nanaka Niyado.

In her mind, she must have regretted not being able to save her parents from death, even though it happened right in front of her, and it was something she had to choose to forget.

That’s what Rinne thought.

“…are you okay now?”

“Yes…. I’m fine.”

She felt Sukuna’s trembling has subsided, and Sukuna answered her question lifelessly.

“Don’t rush it… and It’s not your fault, please don’t blame yourself. All you have to do is to fight for those who have been killed and win.”

Rinne patted Sukuna on the head and released her from her arms.

“Let’s defeat it, Nana.”

“…… yes!”

Sukuna nodded, and a faint smile could be seen on her face.

It was then, Rinne knows, that Sukuna will be fine.

It’s a first-aid measure, a stopgap at best, but still, Sukuna stood up.

That’s the way it has to be. There’s no room for hesitation in this raid battle.

This time they were saved since the Dragon is stunned in its place, but it would be bad if her heart is broken every time her comrades are fallen.

Because out of all players that present here, Sukuna is the one who had the biggest possibility of defeating the Dragon, even surpassing Drago and Rinne.

“GUOoo….”

ZUN! The giant Dragon regains its strength with a loud squeal.

Thanks to its a minute downtime, all the surviving players have already managed to get back in their feet.

However, that didn’t change the fact that four players had been forced to drop out in the earlier attack.

“From here on out, there’s no need for hate management by the tank. Our formation was completely wrecked. Both Tetsuya and Soramaru should keep close to the ranged attackers, preventing them from getting hit from stray attack.”

“Who’s Soramaru?”

“The tank from Drago’s party. I’ve only known him for a bit, but since Drago trusts him enough to give him the vanguard position, he must be pretty good.”

Sukuna directed her stare to where Rinne’s finger pointed to.

A boy in light armor named Soramaru was gritting his teeth and stares at the giant Dragon. He was quite lightly equipped, which is quite unusual for a tank.

“An evasive tank?”

“Seems so, he will gather hate by attacking and avoiding. Considering that, his build should be more attacker-oriented than Tetsuya. He is very compatible with Drago’s party composition but not so much in normal raid. I wonder if he can also serve as a decoy.”

“I see. So, what is your plan, Rin-chan?”

“How about keep being flexible and responding to situations?”

“It’s a bit confusing. But, okay.”

Rinne said that with a wink, and Sukuna only agrees with her.

It wasn’t like Sukuna is completely recovered, but at least she feels well enough to get along with Rinne’s joke. And that gives Rinne a bit piece of mind.

Sukuna herself was convinced that this strategy was a good idea.

It’s a raiding party that was originally a hot pot of various people, with barely enough class to cover all positions.

In fact, it probably has been better if each of them had moved as they like from the start.

This was not because they were advancing too slowly, but since the hate only locked the tank, it managed to catch them off guard, which eventually led to this situation.

And neither Tetsuya nor Soramaru was the type of tank that can boldly take the Dragon’s attack from the front, so it was impossible to expect them to hold off the Dragon now.

Sukuna wanted to use ‘it’ in a stable situation so that the tank wouldn’t lose hate, like earlier. That’s why Sukuna had not attacked up to this point.

However, the situation has changed; now, Sukuna would rather gather hate for herself.

PANG! She clapped her hands.

The dance is the [Oni no Mai].

The one that will be activated is [Fourth Form – Kikoku no Mai].

What Sukuna is about to do now is a life-risking attack.

She will need full all the effects of the [Kikoku no Mai] damage reduction, body enhancement, and auto-healing.

“I’m off.”

“Alright, have a good day.”

After exchanging a light word with Rinne, Sukuna, who hasn’t gathered any hate, put all her strength into her legs and took a giant leap.

She jumped onto the giant Dragon’s back. Thanks to its position with its four limbs firmly planted on the ground, the back of the Dragon was a stable foothold more than Sukuna had expected.

“Haaaa….”

Sukuna exhaled loudly and concentrated.

Putting strength into her relaxed body, Sukuna slammed both her hands into the giant Dragon’s back.

“Rawrrrr.”

It’s the first art of the [bare-handed fighting] skill, [Souryuu].

From the perspective of the giant Dragon’s huge HP gauge, it was only carving a small amount of damage, which is not even reduced even a pixel of its gauge.

But.

[Souryuu] is just a starting point for everything.

The real assault was just about to begin. Sukuna traces her memory and recalls the super-strike sequence that begins from this.

From [Souryuu] to the final art [Jyuju Sakura], seven techniques need to connect; all those skills were [Mikumo], [Yonba], [Gowa], [Rikudou], [Sichiyo], [Hachirin], and [Kyuusei]. {tln}

After [Souryuu], the number of in the name from [Mikumo] to [Kyuusei] directly indicates the number of hits for each art. {tln}

Normally, she could increase the damage by mixing kicks into the barrage, but in this case, Sukuna will change some of the kicks to blows to fire her punch downwards.

A total of 44 fist blows rained down. Sukuna completed it in just 9 seconds.

The sound of the blows was small at first, and it became louder and heavier as the blows overlapped.

Yes,”as the blows overlapped.”.

The [Bare-handed Fighting] skill can acquire a passive effect called [Continuous Strike Bonus] after the user reaches a certain proficiency level.

As the name implies, this adds an attack to each strike as you successfully land them.

The essence of [bare-handed fighting] lies in these repeated strikes.

As if want to prove this statement, the passive effect continues to scrap the Dragon’s HP, which started ever so slowly, which now decreasing at an alarming rate.

“OOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooHHhhh!!”

Sukuna shouted. No matter how fast the barrage was, it was only a prelude.

At the same time as she shouted, the most powerful art of the bare-knuckle fighting skill, [Jyuju Sakura] {Ten Cherry Blossom}, is activated.

ZUN! The power of Sukuna’s [Jyuju Sakura] first strike was transmitted to the surrounding spectator. As it sank with a heavy sound, it surprised the players who knew the details of this art without exception.

[Jyuju Sakura] is a 10-strike art that uses the power of the first strike as the standard and multiplies its power by 1, 2, 3, and so on, with each strike.

The multiplier for the tenth shot is an astonishing tenfold, and if you managed to fire all of them, you could inflict damage equivalent to the power of 55 times the first blow, even though it’s only ten shots.

It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful arts and is the best damage source for raid battles.

In WLO, when you attack an enemy with an attack power that exceeds your defense status, a part of recoil damage will be returned to the player.

If the attack power is multiplied by a factor of 10, the attack power will be unimaginable. Even the “Meteor Impact” that defeated Gordo had a raw multiplier of over 6x. Considering the user avoided the recoil damage by having the weapon bear all of the damage to the point it exploded, one can only imagine its firepower.

And right now, she launched an attack of similar caliber, people can expect the tremendous recoil damage that Sukuna will suffer.

However, as stated above, the power of the art depends on the power of the first hit.

There is a minimum limit to the power of the first hit, but even so, if you strike as weakly as possible close to its minimum limit, one will not die from the recoil after the tenth hit, as Sukuna did the first time she used this technique.

But what Sukuna did just now was a fist full of power, after 44 consecutive strikes, counting from the [Souryuu] added with [Continuous Strike bonus], it’s a full-powered fist with all her heart and might.

The power in the final strike is unimaginable. One could even vision Sukuna will be torn apart before she can finish it.

“Ahaha”

Sukuna snickers at the confusion and commotion that spread throughout the raid party.

The recoil damage is something that Sukuna herself knows very well. This is why she activated her defensive buff, the [Kikoku no Mai], instead of her offensive buff; it’s all to increase her durability.

[I’m prepared] was why Sukuna dares to use this technique as her opening move.

“[Jyuju Sakura]… I never expect to see it activated with its full power.”

Drago muttered as she watched the Dragon scream.

The sound of the blow was so loud that it seemed as if a cannon was being fired, and with each blow, the giant Dragon’s HP decreased.

It was on the fourth shot that something strange happened. For the first time, Sukuna’s HP was reduced by recoil damage.

The amount of decrease was minimal, but from there out, every attack she did would result in a recoil.

Fifth, sixth, and seventh hits, then Drago noticed something inexplicable as he watched Sukuna’s HP being whittled down along with the giant Dragon’s HP.

(Something’s wrong, Sukuna’s HP was declining too fast… At this rate, she’ll be dead before the tenth shot.)

The word “kamikaze suicide attack” came to Drago’s mind for a moment when she saw Sukuna had lost half of her HP after the seventh shot.

At this rate, her HP will be insufficient. No matter how hard she tries, the recoil damage will kill her.

But yet Sukuna was smiling. Drago felt it was strange.

(…AH! I see! So that’s how it is!)

Drago remembered the existence of a [skill] that she had obtained but had forgotten about. It was true that if she used it, Sukuna might be able to survive.

As if in agreement with Drago’s prediction, Sukuna launched the eighth shot of [Jyuju Sakura] with a thundering roar while Sukuna activated her last card.

“Sing and protect! You are the diva of compassion!”

Sukuna chanted the activation word for an art skill that she had never been able to take care of before.

The name of the skill was [Diva’s Embrace]. It was a rare skill that Sukuna had obtained on the second day of the event as a reward for the solo eradication of the Monster House.

The [Diva’s Embrace] is a passive skill, and its effect is simple: [halve the recoil damage to its bearer.]

Sukuna did not know how many players could benefit from this effect, but most players did not have any skills that would cause them to take recoil damage in the first place.

Even Sukuna doesn’t have any other skills or arts that can cause recoil damage, except for this [Jyuju Sakura].

However, this skill has another special art that can be actively activated, like [Hungry Wolf].

It’s called [Hymn of Protection], which uses the activation word she sang earlier.

Its effect is to [completely nullify recoil damage for the first five seconds after activation.]

Ever since Rinne first saw the effect of this skill, she had noticed the synergy between this skill and the [Bare-handed Fighting] skill.

That was why she had given this skill to Sukuna. Rinne foresaw that there would come a time when Sukuna would need it.

By the way, Drago decided that it didn’t fit her playstyle, and it didn’t fit her party playstyle either, so she still carries it around its skill book without learning it.

Freed from the chain of reactive damage, Sukuna slammed his ninth fist with a sound that shouldn’t have come from a human fist; she pulled out her fist and preparing to launch her final blow.

“Las… THO!”

That was no longer a sound explosion.

The fist that pierced the back of the giant Dragon shattered its shell,  crushed its scales, and scattered red effects.

That was the final strike from the [Jyuju Sakura] Arts; after cutting down more than 80% of the giant Dragon’s second HP bar, Sukuna squeezes her fist once more.

“[Absolute–… Uwa’!?”

As if to force Sukuna down, the giant Dragon made a huge leap.

Sukuna jumped down before the leap to avoid being knocked up high in the sky and landed on the ground, feeling a bit surprised.

“That was close.”

“Thanks for your work. I’ll heal you.”

“Oh, thank you. Thank you… umm… Ryu-chan?”

“I’m Ryuri. a healer in the main team of the [Corporate Slave Special Force].”

The one who called out to Sukuna, whose HP had been reduced to almost none, was the healer girl, Ryuri, who had just been standing beside Rinne while providing support to the other players.

As she watched her HP recover from the magic, Sukuna also sipped a potion, just in case.

“It’s cute; it sounds like a cucumber.”

“Ahaha, I’m often told that.”

This was a very rude comment from Sukuna, but Ryuri laughed and agrees with it.

Because it’s also true that the name Ryuri is a play on the word cucumber.

“GRRRRRRRR!”

“Oh!”

“What?

The giant Dragon landed from the sky to the earth as if to interrupt the two people’s casual chat. This time, it didn’t use its wings to fall gently like the first time.

The giant Dragon is trembling, its eyes blazing with anger were focused at Sukuna.

“Thanks, but you should get away, Ryuri.”

“I will. Good luck.”

Finally, pushing a candy-like potion, Ryuri moved to the edge of the battlefield.

There were only two healers now. They would be busy healing the wounded players on the large field from a safe distance.

They could no longer afford to be protected behind Rinne.

“Well, maybe it’s my turn to work hard now.”

The amount of hate that Sukuna has bought is tremendous, although he has had others take care of the hate for him so far.

While the giant Dragon glared at Sukuna with eyes burning with anger, Sukuna took a certain weapon from his inventory.

“[Yoiyami]{Darkest Night}. It’s time to show you off.”

What was pulled out was a night-colored metal rod that was one size larger than [Kagenui].

It was the second trump card that Sukuna had asked Haruru to create, and it was a new weapon that she was planning to unveil.

====.

Anote:

In fact, Ryuri loves cucumbers.

{Kyuri = cucumber}

The player avatar’s hair is green.

Tln:

first thing first, sorry, this going to be slow-release, and it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s the opposite, I want to work on this carefully since we approaching an important chapter ahead, it is also possible for me to postpone from posting the chapter until this arc is fully translated, though it’s unlikely.

but don’t worry, I will still reach my monthly quota, which is 12 + total of Patreon & ko-fi donations from last month. (currently its $52, meaning 2 extra chapters for public release, 8 more and you all will get one extra chapter)

and it’s all thanks to my dear patreon and ko-fi supporter, I didn’t speak too much, but believe me, I appreciate your support, so so much.

about the site comment section… I will probably change it. there seems to be a problem with login, and it’s become an annoyance to quite a lot of people, I don’t know which one of my plugins caused that. anyway, I will fix it ASAP.

now for the translation…

Yes, a bit screw up on my part there; [Diva’s Embrace], previously translated as [Utahime no mai], I don’t know why I did that… probably too sleepy… anyway move on, it’s been corrected, no need to look up for it.

Alright… dammit so many explanations… and it was impossible to cram it between the lines. It would make the novel looks like a research note.

[Souryuu], [Mikumo], [Yonba], [Gowa], [Rikudou], [Sichiyo], [Hachirin], and [Kyuusei].

Literally translated as:

[(2)Twin Dragon], [(3)Three Cloud], [(4)Four Leaf], [(5)Fifth Harmony], [(6)Six Road], [(7)Seventh Day], [(8)Eight Wheels], [(9)Ninth World]

And the last one [Jyuju Sakura] , tenfold cherry blossom, dang it so hard to pronounce lol.

Earlier I translate it as Juju Sakura because it feels more right to the ears, but Nah, changed it back lol, it would totally change its meaning.

Also, those words have it deeper meaning by themselves… but you all have google for that… I’m not going to explain that one.

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