“All right, I’ll be back soon.”
“Please don’t do anything rash.”
As soon as I have instructed both Toki-san and Sora-san, I spring out of the passageway where I have been hiding and make my way slowly towards the master of the “Maze” until the dead end where the other candidates are being cornered.
To be prepared for anything that may come my way, I spontaneously focus my strength on my right eye and load my sling with bullets.
[Here it comes!]
The metal tube that was firing earlier abruptly turns towards me as soon as I enter the cylindrical space where the master of the “Maze” is located.
Everything moves slowly because the power of Ys has enhanced my dynamic vision.
It looks like a beam is being shot at me from the master’s metal cylinder.
It is evident that the master is unleashing something that has a significant degree of velocity.
For that reason, even this eye, which could have caught the frog’s harpoon clearly, can only see it as a beam.
It escapes my knowledge as to what this flying thing is, but it’s too swift.
Catching it or repelling it is impossible.
“Just in time!”
As I leap diagonally forward, bending down to avoid the one aiming for my head and continuing to use the momentum of my legs to avoid the one coming for the rest of my body, I nonetheless get somewhat grazed by it.
In the same manner, I gradually approach the master as I go around it.
The roaring noise that emanates from the metal tube when something is fired out of it is deafening, but as long as I don’t slow down, I won’t be struck by the onslaught.
After getting close enough, I release the power of my right eye and freeze the surface section when the master turns its back on the passageway where Toki-san, Sora-san, and the other candidates are staying.
The master subsequently spins around a few times as several metal tubes explode, fleetingly losing levitation and tumbling to the ground, but rapidly regaining it and floating back to the air.
Even though I don’t really grasp what occurred, I am grateful that my right eye, which I thought would only be effective in creating a momentary opening, proved to be more practical than I had anticipated.
“Are you mad at me? Come over here.
Return the favor then.”
The master’s black eyes are on the sphere, which is presumably its central body, and are fixed on me, emanating a sense of wrath.
I retaliate by stirring things up even more, diverting the master’s attention solely in my direction.
While this is going on, Toki-san and Sora-san successfully slip into the passageway where the candidates are trapped after making a rush for it from the passageway where they were previously located.
This would speed up the treatment of the wounded, and with fewer wounded, the volume and accuracy of the covering fire would increase.
More importantly, I have learned that a marksmanship attack with the metal tubes is only necessary if the surface of the tubes is frozen.
It is possible to take the initiative and destroy it.
Nevertheless, the adversary is aware of this as well…
The power in the hand carrying the plectrum rises as the master lifts one of its arms, and when it has accumulated enough power, it approaches me near enough without making a sound and swings down forcefully.
Despite my efforts to avoid it, the floor where the plectrum is swung down causes a wide crack, and the place where the plectrum directly hit is shattered into pieces.
Regardless of whether it is a vital point, if it hits me, my bones will be shattered for certain.
“This is bad…!?”
The master then raises both arms and this time draws power to both of its plectrums, perhaps calculating that a single strike wouldn’t actually hit me.
When I catch sight of this, I try to go around to the master’s side while using the power of my right eye to try to freeze its arm, but after enough power has been built up, the master starts swinging a plectrum at me as if the ice obstructing the way doesn’t matter.
I jump to the left and right, side to side, desperately endeavoring to dodge it.
[Keep dodging at all costs, Akira!]
“I know what to do!”
I am gradually but definitely becoming physically and mentally exhausted by the constant attacks, which might be fatal if even one strike reaches me, despite the fact that the power of Ys has heightened my dynamic vision.
Furthermore, although I frequently utilize the power of my right eye against the master, I am only able to transform the neighboring air into ice and attach it to the surface since the surface has stronger resistance to such power than typical monsters.
On top of that, with this rate of assault, I won’t have time to use my sling or claws to specifically target the red crystals.
Damn, this is really tough.
And the attack comes at a time when I can’t avoid it no matter how I try, and just as I’m bracing my arms to at least prevent a critical wound…
A barrage of fireballs and such surge at the master’s back, stopping it in its tracks.
Taking this opportunity, I leap backward and begin spinning the sling around.
There is no need to speculate as to what the fireballs were just now.
The fireballs were probably caused by the other candidates, including Hono-san, who regained her energy after Toki-san and Sora-san joined her.
“There is an opening!”
The master who was attacked by Toki-san and the others turns to face that way, but I release the sling and release bullets before it does so.
These bullets shoot towards the red crystals that are the life of the monsters, shattering the red crystals that are directly impacted by them.
After the first core is destroyed, the master begins to fall down on the spot.
It seems that even for monsters, breaking the core directly does not come without agony.
Just as I set the next bullet in my sling and the attacker candidate is about to come out from the back of the passage to deliver a follow-up attack, the master thrusts both arms high into the air.
[This is not good!]
As Ys utters a word of warning and my dynamic vision is elevated, I sense something unpleasant in the master’s movements and begin to distance myself by jumping backward, restraining the things that are coming towards me with my hands.
And then, while the candidates who have caught on to my restraint bring themselves to a halt, and those who have not noticed proceed onward.
The master swings down both plectrums and strikes the plectrum against the wooden plank whose position has been moved ahead of us before we know it.
My entire body is suddenly blasted away in that second, along with the others in the passageway, by a shock wave that likewise throws them to the back.
[It was probably a sound attack.
You are fine because you have been fortified by my power, but it’s a horrible mess over there…]
“It seems so…”
According to Ys, the earlier attack was caused by sound.
That suggests that this attack is not very favorable for me because not even the power of my right eye can shield me from sound.
I get up despite my unsteadiness and concentrate on the master and the passage in front of me.
In the passageway, there seem to be two kinds of people: those who are limp and still not moving, and those who are still able to move despite their wobbly condition.
Even in the same passageway, there is apparently a difference in the amount of damage received depending on their position.
The master glares at me and slowly brings itself closer to me while storing power in the plectrums in both hands.
Its priority is apparently to deliver the finishing touch to me.
Now, as far as I have confirmed, there is one more red crystal on the master’s body.
Now it is… firmly guarded by a wooden plank?
I just want to confirm one thing, the power of the right eye is more effective when the distance is closer, right?”
[Yeah, the greater the distance, the more the power is diffused, and the weaker the power to turn it into ice itself.]
The master swings a plectrum down at me, but I deflect it aside, and, relying on the power in my right eye, I proceed to evade the master’s close-range attacks and seek an opening.
While I am avoiding the attack, the support attacks are scattered towards the master, and its body is being chipped away, though only fractionally.
[Oh no! Here it comes again!]
The master eventually becomes irritated and lifts its arms once again in an effort to unleash the sonic attack from earlier.
Even my body, which has been augmented by Ys’ power, would not be able to withstand that sound if it were to strike me directly at this distance.
If that were the case…
I discharge the power of my right eye and convert the wooden plank into ice from which the plectrum will be swung.
It seems that even if the wooden plank’s resistance is on par with the master’s level, if it’s in a position where it might be considered to be directly in front of me and the part is distant from my body, it may still be transformed into ice.
The master then swings down the plectrum right in front of me.
However, the plectrum is flung down with extreme force and naturally collides with the wooden plank that has been frozen into ice; instead of producing a profound sound, it shatters, resulting in no sound being produced.
If it is impossible to prevent it after it is released, why not stop it before it is released? While this is what I heard later on, that is the essence of the role as a jammer in the “Maze”.
I then approach the master, who has stopped moving, perhaps bewildered by the lack of sound, and change the wooden plank protecting the red crystal to ice with my right eye.
At the same time, I extend the claws of my right hand with the force of Ys.
The master notices my action and reacts to block my attack, but it’s too late.
With a thrust, I extend my arm, and with the power of my claws, I easily pierce the icy wooden plank and simultaneously puncture and crush the red crystal underneath it.
Perhaps because all the cores have been destroyed, the master floats up as soon as I withdraw my arm, its entire body transformed into clay.
It then burst apart with a screech, scattering clay around it.
When the master of the “Maze,” explodes, the surrounding landscape begins to distort, accompanied by which I lose consciousness.
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