“Are you alright Tianna?”
Tianna fainted, but Karan’s voice finally brought her back.
Her joints hurt, but she told her body it was not the time to worry about that.
“Olivia is strong, and bought us time.”
“I have no idea what’s going on.”
“I don’t really get it either… But look.”
Tianna looked where Karan was pointing, and saw light overflowing from the Sword of Bonds.
When it settled down, a man with a clear face stood there.
His hair was black and his body looked firm, but he was not holding the sword.
The sword hovered around the man, emitting blades of pure light.
Rather than having weapons, a strange white light radiated from the man’s limbs.
The white Thought Armor that covered the man’s vital points looked a little different than regular armor. It was not made to protect his body, but rather to instantly start attacking without obstructing his arms and legs.
It gave off an air of ferocity.
“Oh my, what a beautiful man.”
“Union…!? That’s an old lost spell! It can’t…!”
No one seemed more shocked than White Mask himself, who stayed still while remaining on guard.
It seemed he felt threatened, something that had not happened until this point, and then, Nick/Sem took their first step.
““Is it time to start round three?””
Their mystical sounding voice cleanly resonated throughout the abandoned factory, and then, they snapped their fingers.
The floating Sword of Bonds released a pure white light that illuminated the factory and enveloped their partners.
Karan and Tianna’s remaining wounds were healed, and the dull pain Tianna felt on her back and head vanished, also making her feel much better. This healing power was on an entirely different level than the healing Sem had been performing earlier.
“W-wow… That’s a very nice trick, healing people completely without even touching them. Is this sword the activator…?”
The healing power affected more than just Survivors.
“Guh… Who asked you…”
Scott, who had passed out, and even Nargava were healed.
Scott, who slowly woke up, looked around and asked, “W-what happened…? Who’s that…!?”
“Don’t worry, just go back to sleep. Karan.”
Karan hit Scott with a chop to the neck, and he once again lost consciousness.
“Wait, Nick! Ah, no, Sem? Be careful not to be seen!”
Tianna and Karan hid the unconscious Scott behind an iron bucket.
Both stepped back so as not to get in the way, and started cheering on this strange man, acting as though they did not know who he was.
“Sorry for the mess. Should we start anew?”
“…A sacred sword that can use Union…? Those weren’t actually used in the previous war were they?”
““You don’t need to know that.””
“Do you intend on getting back at me? Then, I’ll just have to make you answer.”
White Mask gathered energy in his left hand, before an even more ominous aura gushed out and the barrier widened.
But Nick/ Sem casually entered it.
“W-wait! You need to prepare if you’re going inside…!”
Nick/Sem remained indifferent to Tianna’s warnings, and the moment their body was completely covered by the barrier, they chanted a spell.
The Sword of Bonds started shining once again, and its light covered the ominous red barrier.
““I don’t understand the principles behind it but… If a barrier keeps causing damage, I just need to counter it with my own.””
Regeneration was a barrier spell first established by several high ranking priests working together and after careful preparation. Inside the barrier, people targeted by its effect will have their wounds healed… Or rather, it was almost as though they could not be harmed by attacks or killed.
“Buah…! Ah… It’s easing up. Can I fix my make-up?”
Olivia placed her cracked glasses in her chest as she wiped the blood from her face.
But it took a lot out of her. The barrier stopped the previous healing from reaching her, and the effects of Regeneration were limited.
With the effects of the Thought Armor and the barrier, Nick/Sem thought they were finally evenly matched, and carefully looked at White Mask.
““Olivia, you should rest… And even if I can heal wounds, the increased gravity still remains. At least until he’s defeated.””
Said Nick/Sem, before moving right in front White Mask.
The ground cracked where they stepped, and the hand with the white shine struck White Mask in the abdomen.
White Mask stumbled.
His armor was dented, and his breathing was pained.
He went down to one knee.
““You finally took some real damage… There’s a mountain of things I want to ask you. Can you talk?”
Nick/Sem said, as they watched at their finger move.
However, a scream so filled with hate, it seemed to come from the depths of hell, echoed.
“…I’m not done yet!”
As he screamed, the dent in his armor fixed itself.
““…And I really put a lot of power into that hit…””
“A sacred garment won’t be broken so easily…!”
White Mask swung his sword with all of his strength, as if getting back for the previous hit.
Nick/Sem crossed their arms and blocked the sword with their gauntlet.
The sword weight was even greater than its sharpness, meaning Nick/Sem could not stop it completely and were pushed back, with the hard floor cracking as they tried to hold.
“The original weapon… The original weapon was most likely a sword even bigger than the Dragon Bone Sword… It could even have been originally a hammer. It has been compressed and shaped to such a level while maintaining its weight…”
““What are you trying to say Bond?””
“Hum… It is heavier than it looks. Imagine you are fighting a really huge hammer.”
The exchange of blows between White Mask and Nick/Sem continued for a while, with each hit resounding throughout the entire construction site.
This roaring sound that would reach even the pit of one’s stomach had its origins in surprisingly precise movements.
There were no wasted movements in the way White Mask swung his sword, and behind them a stoic calmness could be felt. Nick/Sem, who were dealing with his attacks while attacking with their fists, could only describe it as mysterious.
“If you keep getting hit inside my barrier, even the effects of Regeneration won’t be able to keep up. It’s a matter of simple addition and subtraction.”
White Mask confidently whispered.
He was right, and Nick/Sem’s healing was starting to fall behind, leading to them being wounded.
White Mask on the other hand had his armor, which automatically recovered.
The huge impact from White Mask’s refined swing hit the very core of Nick/Sem’s body. Without Regeneration, they would have been cleanly sent flying.
White Mask was not completely unscathed, but his durability and stamina were far superior.
““I’m impressed. If you were put on a stage, people would call you peerless regardless of whether you’re a hero or a villain.””
“I have no interest in prestige in this fleeting world.”
““I see. You’re more stoic than I thought.””
““You’re right, it’s time to get serious.””
The moment White Mask started mumbling his question, Nick/Sem started floating.
It was only a jump, but it was very loose and slow.
“You think you can catch me off guard with… What!?”
Contrary to what was expected, Nick/Sem did not continue rising, and instead the angle of their movements bent acutely and with incredible speed, drawing an unnatural orbit which allowed them to knee White Mask’s flank.
““In the end, Stepping only allows for movements that are physically possible. Even if it allows the user to jump high and draw parabola curves, this kind of trick isn’t easy.””
“W-what did you do…!?”
Nick/Sem responded only with an amused smile.