“Hmph… Then let’s see what you’ve learned from this short back and forth.”
Nargava calmly approached Nick again.
Karan was about to jump forward, before Nick signaled with his eyes for her to step down.
“Leave it to me.”
And then, they traded fists once again.
In just a brief second, a clear difference became visible.
Nick was thrown back several meters, as his partners looked on, perplexed.
Sem was about to run towards him, but just as Nick was about to hit the floor, he briskly turned his body and landed on his feet.
Much to Sem’s surprise, Nick casually slapped the dust off his knees. He did not seem to have received much damage.
“…Did you really learn it in this short amount of time?”
“Who knows? Maybe?”
Nargava punched once again with overwhelming pressure, and Nick was sent flying like a children’s toy.
Nargava then followed him to deliver another raging attack. His first step seemed to almost crack the floor, and in just a blink, he was once again in front of Nick. He dropped his heel with the same lack of hesitation as if he was crushing a berry, but Nick dodged it by rolling to the side.
Nick used Light Body to skillfully and freely move around, but Nargava’s attack soon followed.
They were once again face to face, and once again, Nick was sent flying by Nargava’s fists.
And once again, Nick stuck the landing like a cat.”
“This is making me dizzy. It’s not something I can just use over and over again, is it?”
“You learned vector control in the middle of our fight?”
Nargava was visibly shocked.
“…It’s also called Kakei. It’s a way to defend against attacks by controlling your weight in tune with the flow of your opponent’s attacks. By using magic to weaken and lighten your muscles, and go with the flow, it’s possible to receive attacks as if you were a feather or a dried leaf, and minimize damage.”
“I’m still not perfect at it though.”
“It’s still the perfect way to defend against 《Heavy Body》 blows.”
“That’s what I figured.”
In contrast to Nargava, Nick seemed satisfied.
“It’s not just Light Body, you’re using Heavy Body when you step forward to attack. And contrary to what I’m doing, you use Heavy Body to defend against my attacks.
…Ah, I just realized something. Are you using Heavy Body when you move using wires too?”
Nargava had a stern expression on his face, but sighed quietly.
Surprisingly, he answered Nick’s question calmly.
“…By switching between Light Body and Heavy Body, I can create an irregular trajectory, or chant them at the same time and shift my center of gravity.
I use vector control and move with the flow, or use it to create my own flow. When I mastered these two things, the path to Stepping was opened for me.”
“Stepping…? I’ve never heard of that.”
“Did she decide you haven’t reached the level to tell you yet, or that you should reach it by yourself… In any case, how did you notice?”
Nick responded to Nargava as if they were having a casual conversation.
“I’ve learned a lot of fighting techniques, and I can more or less tell someone’s weight when fighting them. The feeling I was getting and what I was seeing didn’t match, so I started thinking about why.”
“So… You told me you’d teach me, so how about another lesson?”
“No, I’ve talked too much already. I consider it a gift for someone that is about to depart to the other world, but anymore would be cruel. Also… It’s not like you can oppose me just because you know what I do.”
“Yeah, I don’t think I can win just because I studied a little bit… If we didn’t have to fight on equal terms that is.”
Nick adjusted his breathing.
“A skilled sorcerer, more agile than a monkey, and a heavyweight fighter combined… But still a human. That’s all there is to it. There’s no problem.”
Nick started twisting his fingers and wrists to check the softness of his joints.
It was his declaration that the real fight was about to start.
“Do it if you can.”
“I’ve learned very well how scary you are. Now’s my turn to teach you something.”
“Nonsense. Try whatever you want, it’s useless.”
Nargava bumped his fists, and so did Nick.
They were too close for everyone else to come to Nick’s aid, and Nargava made his move.
Nargava pulled his fist back to make it seem like he was going to throw a punch, but instead jumped back and cast offensive magic.
He wanted to fire sharp obsidian rocks at Nick, who instead jumped in further than Nargava’s retreat to close in on him.
Nick turned Nargava’s palm just as he was about to activate his spell, leading to the rocks being fired in a different direction.
“If I can read your eyes, hands, mouth, and magic energy, I can read your magic. You’re not an adventurer or a brawler, and you received proper training as a knight. That kind of misdirection is too standard.”
Nargava was surprised, but attacked with the heel of his left palm.
However, Nick’s movements were even craftier.
Punch, kick, palm strike, magic.
Every single one of Nargava’s attacks was being dealt with. Nick was not receiving any of his punches or kicks head-on, instead dodging his heavy attacks at weird angles.
“Magic Response is really useful. I can tell when you’re about to use magic just by touching you. I’m really starting to realize how great it is in battle.”
Nargava used Heavy Body and attacked with all his might.
“I couldn’t really get a grip before because you switched between heavy and light, but now that I know how it works, it’s nothing special.”
The punch was so sharp it sent part of Nick’s leather armor flying, but failed to even graze his skin.
Nargava’s stretched arm was also a good target for Nick.
Nick’s arm wrapped around Nargava’s like a snake. Nargava tried to shake him off using Heavy Body, but Nick skillfully read his movements and wrapped himself even further.
As he hugged Nargava’s arm, Nick raised his lower body, and attacked Nargava’s neck with his legs, like a scythe.
“Strangleholds and locking techniques don’t work too well on monsters, but they sure help when fighting people…!”
Nick was putting all of his body weight on this technique, but Nargava was not going down, and tried with all he had to tear Nick off him.
The sound of heavy breathing and skin chafing echoed throughout the abandoned factory. White breath fluttered, and sweat dripped on the floor.
Whispered Karan as she watched closely, and shortly after, Nargava’s body collapsed.