BTOG 133 – Smile

[Because I’m the strongest].

Meguru had no idea what Sukuna had meant when she said that.

Nevertheless, even if she did not know Sukuna very well, Meguru realized something.

“…I see, this is the real Sukuna.”

Good eyes?

Excellent hearing?

Great reflexes?

Her accuracy, or perhaps her merciless assault?

Ask about one great thing about Sukuna, and you will get ten answers.

As a streamer, Sukuna is known as someone with many feats that attracted many viewers with her divine player skills alone.

However, this Meguru was someone who had been watching Sukuna’s feeds without fail. Still, he was shocked to see the current Sukuna in front of her.

She was smiling. And her smile was not the kind of smile that spills out unintentionally during a battle, nor is it the crazy smile she shows against the giant dragon, but a pure smile that says she can’t help it because everything is fun.

It was a natural smile that you could see on normal activities and not a professional smile that you will expect from a famous person.

Yes, just like an ordinary person.

And when she said [I’m the strongest], the smile on her face was as innocent as a child’s.

There she was, smiling with a smile so charming that it took all breath away.

“I guess that means something happened back then.”

Meguru had also noticed that Sukuna’s mood had softened after watching her stream for the past two days.

Her stream atmosphere did not undergo drastic changes, but now she clearly expressed her happiness, anger, sadness, and sorrow.

Fortunately, she was never angry or sad. At least that did not happen in those two days.

Meguru thought that she was genuinely smiling a lot now. Something must have changed in Sukuna during that outburst.

The trigger was probably Rinne’s death, and the trigger itself was a very unpleasant memory; and Sukuna’s tears during her furious state are so cold and disturbing that even now, it sends chills down Meguru’s spine just by recalling it.

But even before that, Sukuna had rarely smiled during her stream, except when she was fighting. That’s why he realizes that Sukuna now smiled more often.

And now, she was enjoying her golem fight with her all.

“She may become more vicious in one way or another, especially when she fights against the monsters.”

Suppose she keeps easily swatting small fries aside and keep beating the boss with a smile plastered on her face. Then there’s not much difference between Sukuna and the Boss monster, and Meguru could only smile bitterly at that.

Still, he couldn’t see the true meaning of Sukuna’s words, and he didn’t even know what she meant by the word [strongest], and it seemed like she was going through as usual against the boss.

However, there was no doubt that something had changed in her.

And Meguru was convinced that was a good thing.

“Well, I guess seeing that smile directly is my special ‘precious’ after all.”

He regrets that he can’t record the play from his point of view.

But he convinced himself that it was a privilege to see it firsthand.

“Meguru! It’s done!”

“Eh? Isn’t it too early?”

Meguru had lost the opportunity to participate in the battle when he was lost in confusion and deep thought in a somewhat safe place away from the golems like Sukuna had told him to do.

He could only be astonished to see the golem with most of its explosive armor peeled off.

And Sukuna, who was happily called to him, was unharmed, which also shocked Meguru.

The Volcano Golem’s second form is a monster clad in red-hot lava armor that explodes upon the slightest impact.

The magma armor it wore in its first form was a liquid and had the effect of splattering and causing chip damage, but the armor in its second form is hardened lava.

Aside from increasing its defensive power, it also explodes when physically touched, so this second form counterattack could deal serious damage, unlike the previous splattering magma.

This is a very fast and powerful weapon, and if you don’t lightly hit and quickly escape, you will fall prey to it.

To make it worse, you could get attacked by the golem direct punch while trying to deflect the armor shrapnel.

Or, while you’re focusing on avoiding the flying armor, it will rush and pressure you.

The second form of the Volcano Golem is a monster that was designed to torment close combatants to no end.

The only way to disable exploding armor is to “hit it with ice attribute”. Perhaps because the lava had cooled, it somehow prevented it from exploding.

This was the reason why Meguru had prepared a weapon with ice attribute, but…

Her skill was sealed, her art couldn’t be used, and she only had a weapon without an attribute. Even so, she easily stripped the golem’s armor by herself.

And if you take a closer look, you will notice that the golem has 30% of its HP scrapped from the second bar.

Sukuna must have used some method to deal damage while prioritizing stripping the golems’ armor.

“How did you do it?”

“eh? Do what?”

“How did you strip its armor? Not even five minutes has passed, you know?”

“Nothing too complicated. I just used a projectile to detonate it.”

Like this. Sukuna then pulled a throwing knife from her waist– “there!” –and throw the knife towards the golem that has lost most of its armor but is still full of fighting spirit.

The blade flew into one of the armor shards on his body, then bounced off the armor on his arm that was trying to attack Sukuna. The attack missed the target, creating a gust of wind that once again changed the knife’s trajectory and hit the armor on golem’s back.

BAM BAM BAM, the three places where the knife touched triggered the reactive armor explosion. Meguru could only hang his mouth at this scene.

“That was calculated!?”

“Yes. Until now I’m using the iron ball because it’s more bouncy, but I ran out of them since they all fall into the magma…”

“Ooo…kay…..?”

In short, she forced the activation of the reactive exploding armor by ricocheting her projectile.

It’s possible because the armor will react even with the slightest impact, and Meguru once had a similar idea.

No, actually, he did ask his archer friend on the third attempt.

But it’s useless. No matter how much you strip its armor, it’s still a 10-meter-tall golem. And as more armor goes off, it becomes almost impossible to precisely hit the armor, as more and more of it goes off.

In the end, it will be faster for him to attack it with the ice mace directly.

The armored golem movement might be slow, but its attack is sharp. And Sukuna was targeting its armor with calculated ricochet under that fierce attack.

“Can I pinch you?”

“Why!?”

Meguru accidentally spilled his thought, and Sukuna exaggeratedly reacted to it.

“No… I mean, I need to make sure this is not a dream…”

Normally, it was something worth praise, but it was too unreal for him to praise it.

Meguru had seen Sukuna’s stream many times, and each time he was honestly impressed by her throwing skill, but this is…

He wanted to seriously consider the existence of [Oni Girl Sukuna way of fist] theory that has been very hot lately.

“Meguru.”

“What is it?”

“It’s dangerous.”

“Whoa!”

Meguru barely avoids the golem fist that will likely crush his head if it is hit by crouching.

This is a fight against the boss that has beaten him three times, and certainly not a time to be careless.

“Sorry, and thanks.”

“It’s a boss battle; keep your guard up.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

While being forced to reflect on Sukuna’s comments, Meguru felt so pitiful since this feels like [boss battle] to him only.

But then again, Sukuna is one of the members who fight in the raid against the giant dragon. This monster must feel lacking compared to it.

“Aah, I feel like my mind is being poisoned.” {having negative thought}

In the end, Meguru only relied on Sukuna to defeat the boss he failed to kill three times.

It cannot be helped. This oni-girl is so dependable, Meguru feels there’s no chance of losing when he fights alongside her.

She uses no skills or arts. With pure player skill and status alone, she overwhelmed a hidden boss that Meguru struggled to the death with.

“Let’s steal what we can, shall we?”

Meguru knows he can’t compete with Sukuna throwing skill, but still, he is a fellow blunt weapon user, and on top of it, a fellow Douji.

Fighting side by side with her has given Meguru a new perspective of Sukuna, a different perception of Sukuna from the stream.

And he knows it’s okay to be different, but if with this, he could steal at least a fragment of Sukuna’s

way of thinking, he would consider it to be a blessing.

“Huh? It glowed?”

“Oh, it’s the transition to the third form.”

When Sukuna has stripped off the last of its armor, the golem’s entire body glows red.

Normally, this is a gauge transition behavior that will occur after you break the second HP bar. But right now, the second HP bar is still half full.

In conclusion, this early transformation is triggered because it had completely lost all of its armor.

The golem’s entire body is red-hot, and a pulsating light filled the cracks in his torso.

“From here on out, it’s a pure brawl!”

“That’s my specialty!”

“Is there something you bad at?”

“Study!”

While engaging in a strange and incomprehensible banter, Meguru uses his ice mace to catch the golem’s attack, which speed has increased tremendously.

The lack of armor must have made it lighter while also increasing its attack power. Even though Meguru had properly put up his guard, he was unable to kill the momentum of the attack and was pushed back several meters.

This is the third form of the Volcano Golem.

Fast, hard, and heavy, and it’s a powerful form that combines the simple elements of strength.

“This is the most exciting part.”

Sukuna’s eyes were filled with nothing but happiness as she smiled.

Dependable.

Meguru has lost count on how many times he felt that emotion as he gazes upon Sukuna’s back, who deflected the golem’s fist with her kanabou to protect him.

====.

A note:

As for the reason why Sukuna said that he was the strongest, she feels like she’s in the best shape ever.

From the average person’s perspective, it’s hard to tell the difference from the usual Sukuna.

I’m sorry for the thought-provoking afterword.

However, the fact that she can smile without hesitation even in front of people other than Rinne shows her growth.

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