Great ogres were originally oni-type monsters with blue skin.
It was an evolved ogre. However, great ogres were smaller than typical ogers, they were about the size of a human blessed with good physique. Nonetheless, they were more frightening to fight against.
Great ogres were stronger, much more agile, and were skilled with the weapons found in Thousand Sword Peak. Their charisma made them a commanding presence, and their specs were high.
They could not use magic or the special skills only ogres could use, but this lack of quirks also meant they could not be used against them. The adventurers facing them would simply have to be stronger or more skilled.
However, the monster that currently stood at the top of the mountain was a named monster. Something that evolved even further than the typical great ogre.
Its name was Ushiwaka.
Ushiwaka stood up straight, with its arms crossed while staring at the adventurers that had just arrived. It wore what seemed like casual clothing, and had a small one-handed sword hanging from its waist. It looked very much like a warrior, but its most noticeable feature was its shapely face.
Behind this stance of awe and beauty, stood five great ogres, that seemed to be its loyal vassals.
Everyone shuddered when they saw this.
This beautiful oni-type monster was powerful.
“That monster’s wearing clothes.”
“It seems to be a thought garment. High ranking monsters can use their magic energy to create clothes. Those are most likely resistant against blades.”
Karan’s question was answered by Bond.
“Oh? You seem very knowledgeable about thought armor.
Bellocchio was impressed.
When Survivors reached the top of the mountain, they saw Wanderers arrive at about the same time.
“R-really? Nevermind that, look, look. Our focus should be on Ushiwaka or Benkei or something.”
Said Bond to try to change the subject.
The powerful presence of Ushiwaka gave everyone present goosebumps.
“Hmph, do you think you can beat me with numbers alone?”
Said Ushiwaka as if spitting it out, before kicking away something near its feet.
The thing making a rattling noise before reaching the adventurers was a bone. Not only that, it was clearly a human bone.
It was a sign that the handsome being in front of them was indeed a monster, and proof that it had eaten someone.
“All people with no backbone… No, of course they had bones…”
Ushiwaka tilted its neck at its own words.
It seemed less like it was joking and more confused by its expression.
“Hmm… It was more like they had weak bones… What about you?”
Ushiwaka looked at the adventurers, as if appraising them.
“What is it Nick?”
“Let’s call a truce. That’s very much not on the same level as a great ogre.”
“I agree. It will trounce us unless we forget about the match.”
“This isn’t what they told us… This thing should be dealt with by high ranking adventurers.”
A tense atmosphere spread.
Suffice to say, the sheer pressure coming from Ushiwaka made them all forget about the match.
The adventurer guild greatly underestimated it.
“Bond, Sem. If it becomes necessary, do ‘that’.”
Bond and Sem nodded, and Ushiwaka looked on, seemingly bored.
“Hey, are you done talking? Come closer and I’ll eat you up nicely.”
“…Do you have anything else?”
“Like clothes and armor. If they belonged to adventurers from the Labyrinth City, they should have their owner’s names sewn on. If they had families, I’d like to take their stuff back to them.”
As it heard Nick’s words, Ushiwaka quietly snickered, before laughing loudly.
“Kahahaha! Do you think you will return alive after coming here? You fool!”
“Well, you see… Life always has such shameful moments don’t you think?”
“You are rude…! But you sure look tasty!”
Ushiwaka let out an angry roar, signaling the start of the battle.
Its movements were beautiful to the point where the adventurers thought they looked like they were dancing.
It smoothly unsheathed a one-handed sword, raised it to the sky, and lightly stepped forward.”
Nick blocked Ushiwaka’s sword.
“Nuu? This feels strange. You’re heavier than you look.”
“Who knows? Am I!?”
As he blocked the sword, Nick kicked the monster.
The unexpected pressure made Ushiwaka step back.
It was less that it was overwhelmed, and more that the strange feeling it had when it attacked Nick made it wary.
“Hmph… Humans use strange techniques. I have to say I’m impressed.”
“Then, why not surrender?”
“I didn’t spare the humans that begged for mercy. I’m sure other monsters are like that too, so do the same if you can!”
At that moment, Ushiwaka suddenly got another sword from somewhere and now wielded two.
The monster attacked Nick with the same speed and intensity as its previous attack. Nick defended himself with a short sword, but it was quickly chipped and was quickly being worn down.
“Hmm. So you can deal with two swords too.”
“What was that…? Where did you get…?”
“Who knows? I’ll tell you my trick if you tell me yours…”
Nick dropped away the short sword… Or at least he pretended to, and kicked it as it fell. This caught Ushiwaka off guard, and it made no attempt to dodge as the sword slashed its cheek.
Blood started running down its cheek. Ushiwaka wiped it and stared at its hand.
“I’ve never been attacked like that.”
“I’ve never kicked a dagger from the front either.”
“Don’t play with me!”
The monster’s beautiful face was painted with anger, and the air around it seemed to spark.
Nick prepared himself for the fierce attack that was sure to come.
Still, he did not feel as much pressure as he did in a recent fight. This was not like the time he faced White Mask, and Nick told himself he could handle it.
“…No, it’s my fault for standing still to see what would happen.”
Contrary to what Nick expected, Ushiwaka let out a sigh of disappointment.
It twisted its neck and shoulders, and relaxed its joints.
“Don’t you… Hate me?”
“Hmm… I feel enmity and a sense of duty as a monster, but I don’t know about hate. It’s our first meeting and I underestimated you. It’s the same for you, right?”
Nick felt there was some humanity to it.
Still, he did not go as far as to think it could be reasoned with. There was no point in trying to negotiate with a monster and try to get it to stop killing people.
Being able to control the emotions welling from its heart and remaining cool was a type of strength, and a sign of how menacing it was.
“I wish we could keep grappling a bit more, but this is not a meeting between two young girls. Let’s show what we have with no regrets.”
Ushiwaka wiped blood off his face and painted its lips with it. Its alluring smile made a chill run down Nick’s spine.
However, it was about to show something even stranger.
As Ushiwaka adjusted its face and hair, a third and fourth arm rose from its back, holding swords.
“So that’s how you did it…”
“It’s not bad for sneak attacks, but if my opponent somehow senses them, it could be used against me.”
The great ogres ran up to Ushiwaka and politely handed it swords.
The imposing sight of Ushiwaka holding four swords was clearly on a different level than what adventurers usually faced. Nick took out a sword he had hidden in his pocket, and braced himself.
A series of violently vigorous attacks began.