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Chapter 92 – The Magic Eye
I could not lose.
I must not lose.
I could not let my friend, who was like a blank canvas, suffer like I did.
I could never forget how I felt at that moment.
The raw feeling of a hand wet with the warm blood spilled by a loved one.
My grandfather’s face, which was losing its vitality.
He was still smiling at me, even in his last moments…
Oswald shot an arrow at Hakuto.
The arrow was clad in jade-colored magic, and was imbued with grief.
Oswald shot the arrow while keeping a fixed distance from him, which was making Hakuto’s life difficult.
The magic circle in Oswald’s eyes was filled with magic.
“What? –Damn it!“
The arrow, which Hakuto had no choice but to avoid, suddenly turned unnaturally as if drawn towards Hakuto, and struck him directly.
The arrow struck him in a moment when he was unprepared.
In a real fight, the arrow would have pierced his shoulder.
Oswald’s magic eye was not flashy.
It attracted a target object to another object. The mana consumed depended on the object, but that was all his magic eye could do.
He pulled Hakuto’s legs to the ground as he tried to get into a melee fight, while keeping his bow at a distance.
He looked at Hakuto and put his mana into the bow, a gifted maneuver exercised with a single movement.
He fired two or three arrows in an erratic trajectory, each one attracted to the target.
Oswald shot down an arrow aimed at himself without hesitation.
“I guess this is the way it is…”
There was a limit to the number of arrows he could shoot.
Ten arrows at most.
However, Hakuto had more than enough mana to avoid them.
Judging that it was futile, he shot the last arrow.
“Holy shit! –What?“
“You’re not the only ones learning this.”
In front of Hakuto, who wielded the wooden sword, Oswald moved at high speed using the mana manipulation technique called ‘Rift’.
He had been learning this gait from Glass for a situation like this that he thought could come someday, before Hakuto and the others visited.
Hakuto choked on his breath as he was thrown backward onto the ground.
Even though Oswald’s attack itself was not that powerful, the impact of being knocked to the ground was doubled by the mana.
Pain that resonated not only in his internal organs, but also in his bones, struck him.
Oswald, who was about to win the battle by holding a wooden dagger to his neck, was reflected in Hakuto’s shaky vision.
Pure white magic gushed out.
Squinting due to the dazzling light, Oswald leapt back from Hakuto due to the sudden shock.
Immediately afterwards, he felt pain spread from his stomach, because of Hakuto’s slash.
The wooden sword was being swung wildly by Hakuto, who was lying on the ground, wildly swung the wooden sword backhanded.
The fighting spirit burned even brighter in Hakuto’s eyes due to his focus.
But Oswald’s fighting spirit still surpassed his.
He used his sense of duty and regret as firewood, and allowed his fighting spirit to smoulder quietly.
Oswald’s kicks and punches steadily accumulated and increased the damage Hakuto gained, while he was being cornered by Oswald.
Hakuto’s wooden sword, which he swung in desperation, was parried by the dagger.
The dagger was light and skillful. Yet, it was also a powerful and solid technique.
In order to survive Hakuto’s powerful sword, the training he asked Glass to give him was now being put to good use.
Hakuto’s legs were pinned to the ground by the ability of Oswald’s magic eye, and Hakuto was unable to retreat.
He was truly like a sandbag that was fixed to the ground.
Just stop already.
He parried the wooden sword with his dagger, and hit Hakuto in the jaw with a palm strike to knock him out of consciousness.
“Ho, ho, ho, ho!”
Hakuto groaned while immediately reaching his hand out to his waist…
The bottom of his palm struck Hakuto in the jaw, and the hilt of Hakuto’s sword struck Oswald in the stomach.
“Ha, ha, ha…”
Oswald clutched his stomach due to the agonizing pain, and Hakuto roughly wiped his mouth to remove the blood that was smeared.
The damage both of them dealt was now even, though neither of them was able to land a finishing blow.
A single blow Oswald had managed to deal was equal to the all the accumulated damage Hakuto had dealt.
This was the reason why the quantity and quality of mana, and consequently its total strength, was so important.
If an attack made by using mana landed, the situation could be reversed completely.
“–ho, ho, ho, ho!“
Even when he was unable to breathe properly, Oswald leapt forward with the sheer force of his determination.
Hakuto’s body began to be pulled forwards by the magic eye.
“ho, ho, ho, ho!”
Oswald’s fist and Hakuto’s wooden sword, which he wielded unsteadliy-
–Arrows were shot in front of Oswald and Hakuto’s feet.
“…I’m sorry. I can not let this go any further….”
Shannon was standing there, with her bow in hand.
“I know you’re both very serious about your contest, but… I had to stop it here because it looked like it was becoming life-threatening.“
Shannon’s apologetic tone of voice helped him to regain his composure.
“Hah, ha… I guess so. This time… Let’s say it is a draw. But—”
Oswald said as he regained his breath, and Hakuto, who knew what he was talking about, sensed the upcoming future.
“I’m going to not do anything that could jeopardize my safety until we settle this.”
“When we finish recovering, we will meet again. We’ll decide what we’re going to do then.”
With firm determination, they exchanged glances and made a promise.
Oswald felt determined even though he knew that this would not be a simple task, and Hakuto was… becoming increasingly impatient with the gap in their abilities that was still not reducing.
Although Oswald was able to get the upper hand because Hakuto was caught off guard, the difference in strength was obvious.
At this rate, Hakuto was aware that he would surely lose even if he fought again.
The two men crossed each other.
In the next duel, they would have to fight to the end.
Until they decided who the winner was.
“…I think I told you…”
Oswald stopped when I talked to him from over his back.
“You’re going to be late tomorrow because the salon where you work at is going to be redecorated, right? I’ll wait for you at the practice location.”
“I hope you understand. I’ll be there as soon as I can. See you later.“
“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“…I’m sure we’ll see each other again tomorrow. I was worried because he was exuding an air of conflict today. I’m glad to see that they seem to be getting along as well as ever, though…”
“…They were fighting.”
“They had a duel.”
Lizlit, Erica and I watched the fervid boys from a distance, from behind the grass.
I intend to use ‘mana’ to refer to ‘magic power’ from now on. Magic power just sounds quite awkward.
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