Kuharap's sword and axe upturned the earth, creating a giant crater in the ground. It was like a landmine had gone off. That's how powerful Weapon Bombardment made his projectiles.
Kang Oh, who'd been hit repeatedly by both the sword and axe, hadn't remained unscathed.
His body flew into the air and then rolled onto the floor. Shards of light burst from his body.
"As expected of Kuharap!"
The spectators in the stands clenched their fists and cheered. What a hit!
"Mm, that was amazing."
Sephiro and Eder applauded. They weren't really on Kang Oh's side. On the contrary, a small part of them wanted Kang Oh to get beaten.
'Kang Oh won't lose.'
'Mr. Kang Oh will do well, regardless of whether we cheer for him or not. His skill is one thing I can't find fault in.'
They fully trusted that Kang Oh would do what needed to be done.
Kang Oh was in better shape than they thought. Well, his ears hurt, but aside from that, he was fine.
It was due to the Avenger set. More specifically, Dragon Armor! This ability reduced all enemy damage by 30%, and could also reflect magic and curses. To top it all off, it could make his opponent's physical attacks miss!
Thus, the damage he'd taken had been significantly reduced. Plus, the double-bladed axe missed.
Anyhow, Kuharap wasn't kind enough to let Kang Oh rest while he was on the ground. While Kang Oh was rolling on the floor, Kuharap's club returned to its original length. Then, he stuck it into the ground and withdrew his sword and axe with both hands.
The weapons came flying at Kang Oh as soon as he stood up.
"Huahp!" Kang Oh swung Sarahoff.
A white line followed his blade, crossing paths with Kuharap's sword.
The collision emitted a heavy 'bam', rather than a sharp, metallic sound. The force of impact made his hand ache.
However, he was given no time to rest or collect himself. He had to block the double-bladed axe right after.
He slanted his snow-white blade.
The fiercely spinning axe slid across Blood's length and planted itself into the floor beside him.
The ground cracked as if afflicted by a long drought.
Kang Oh kicked off the floor and thrust Sarahoff.
Golden energy briefly flickered around his purple blade, and then a giant, imposing tiger dashed forward.
It went straight for Kuharap!
Kuharap pulled his club out of the ground.
Fighting Spirit Veil!
Then, he forcefully swung his club, which was enveloped in reddish energy.
It was as if he was killing a tiger with a club. Tempest Tiger futilely disappeared.
Kang Oh readied his next move without a hint of disappointment on his face.
'I have to get in close!'
It was hard to find a weak point when he was so far away from him. After all, Kuharap would shoot his axe and sword at him via Weapon Bombardment, and extend his club. Even closing the distance would prove difficult.
Kuharap's fighting style was trained and perfected. As expected of the strongest of a tribe of natural-born warriors!
However, this was Kang Oh's chance. Both his axe and sword were embedded in the ground, and he was only holding his club right now.
Kang Oh rushed at him.
Kuharap grinned. Both sides of the club lengthened.
It really was a magic staff!
Once he was satisfied with its length, he let go; it was like he was a batter who'd let go of the bat.
Kang Oh swallowed as he saw the flat hurricane coming towards him.
'If that hits me the wrong way, then it'll blow my head off.'
Kang Oh counted down, and then lied face down.
The incredible wind pressure caused a few strands of hair to go with the spinning club.
Kang Oh didn't stop there. He tightly gripped his swords and crawled forward. Once the club had completely passed him, he stood up and dashed towards Kuharap.
Kuharap raised both of his hands.
His sword and axe softly flew through the air and landed in his hands, as if they were birds that were returning home.
Kang Oh heard a huge noise from behind him. It was probably Kuharap's club smashing into the arena's wall.
"Jeez, take it easy!"
"At this rate, you'll destroy the arena!"
The spectators heckled them.
"Shut up!" Kuharap yelled. His voice held both weight and power, quieting down the fools that'd interrupted his fight.
In the midst of that, Kang Oh got in close.
'I don't see any weak points, but I can make them.'
His Hyper Intuition hadn't spotted any weak points or openings.
Kang Oh swung his twin demon swords. However, Kuharap was like a tough, immovable rock! He wasn't shaken in the slightest.
He held his sword in his right hand, and his axe in his left; he swung them one after another and blocked Kang Oh's attacks.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! Swish! Slash!
Their attacks were both fierce and powerful, but neither side would back down. It was as if they thought that if they did, they would lose.
Despite that, neither of them landed a critical hit, let alone a regular one. It was a strange phenomenon.
They were both completely focused on offense, yet neither of them could land a clean hit! That was just how skilled both of them were.
'He's good at melee combat too.'
They were amazed by each other's skill. However, Kang Oh was a bit more relaxed. He wanted this stalemate to last longer.
He wanted to take advantage of Sarahoff's special ability, Frost Demon's Domain! It would lower one's core temperature, thereby reducing all of their abilities!
Kuharap had already fallen for his trap. An invisible trap at that!
Plus, he could use Sarahoff's Absolute Destruction ability to destroy Kuharap's weapons if he got the chance.
Demon swords, Sarahoff in particular, were overpowered weapons. There was a reason people were so obsessed with being 'overgeared'.
If they continued to fight like this, then Kang Oh would gain the advantage!
The strong were quick to detect danger!
Kuharap didn't know what exactly Sarahoff's abilities were. But he did feel like he was stiffening ever so slightly. It definitely wasn't a good feeling.
'This is weird. I should finish this quickly!'
Great Forebears' Strength!
Red stripes lined his body, and a sun pattern appeared over his heart.
The effect was simple. It would increase all of his abilities significantly!
Due to the skill's high rank and his proficiency in it, Great Forebears' Strength would more than double his abilities.
As said, the strong were quick to recognize danger. This applied to Kang Oh too.
'I can't lose!'
He could sense how much stronger Kuharap had gotten.
Festival of Blood!
Blood was coated in blood red energy, significantly increasing all of his abilities. It increased his abilities by at least a factor of 2!
Festival of Blood could only be maintained for a short time, but it wouldn't matter.
Why, you ask?
He was going to unleash a quick, powerful attack!
Kang Oh's Avenger set glowed with dim light, while his twin demon swords unleashed intense light.
"Die!" Kang Oh fiercely swung his swords, and tremendous energy rose from around him.
"Kyahaht!" Kuharap's face contorted violently like a lion about to rip apart its prey.
Power of the Ancients!
Fighting spirit exploded from his body, spreading out like giant branches of a tree.
It was as though the unleashed energy went from a calm sea, which reflected the glow of the red sunset, to a giant reddish tsunami which swept through everything in front of it.
Kang Oh and Kuharap's attacks were huge. So much so that it made the arena they were in look small.
No, it was definitely too small. After all, it couldn't withstand the force of their attacks.
The arena violently shook as if it'd break apart. However, this was just the beginning.
"Get out of the way!"
The Tuslam Soldiers threw themselves out of the way.
"Take it easy! Waryong!"
Waryong snagged Sephiro and flew into the air.
"Goni!" Eder rode on his Bone Saber-Toothed Tiger and escaped the arena.
Kang Oh and Kuharap's attacks mixed together, transforming into a giant, raging whirlwind.
What happened to the arena?
It was completely destroyed.
If the spectators had left even a second later, then they would've been caught in the crossfire.
"Jeez. Are you serious!?"
Not only had the arena been completely destroyed, but the clash of energies resulted in a giant dust cloud, forcing them to breath in unwanted dust.
A short while later...
Once the dust cloud disappeared, Kang Oh and Kuharap's forms were revealed. The two were staring at each other. They looked completely unscathed.
It was only natural.
They hadn't used everything they had. Kang Oh hadn't used Gluttony, let alone Devil Trigger. Ubist hadn't made an appearance either.
Kuharap was in the same boat. He still had a card to play.
The two praised each other. Then, they readied themselves for battle once more.
"Let's end this."
However, the Tuslam Soldiers wouldn't just sit there and watch as they wreaked havoc on their base.
"Was destroying the arena not enough for you?"
"Champion, at this rate, our home will be destroyed."
The Tuslam Soldiers shouted.
"Mm." Kuharap took a look around and scratched his cheek. He could understand why they were raising such a fuss. Ultimately, he decided to acquiesce to their demands. "Sorry, but it looks like we'll have to end things here."
Kang Oh furrowed his brow. 'I haven't achieved a great feat yet.'
Kuharap was unbelievably powerful. If he defeated him, then it'd definitely count as a great feat.
If he wanted to keep fighting him, then he'd have to face off against the entire tribe. After all, the Tuslam Soldiers' firm gazes made it clear that they wouldn't allow anymore fighting.
'Meh. I guess I'll take the second best thing.'
He'd kill Talastrum's Demon instead!
"About the demon..." Kang Oh said.
"You obviously pass. No, you're overqualified. I'm begging you. Please kill the demon!"
"Alright." Kang Oh smiled.
"Good, good. I have something to give you and things to tell you, so come to my tent again."
Kang Oh nodded his head and followed him.
Sephiro and Eder sneakily followed him.
"I expected nothing less from you, Mr. Kang Oh."
"I had complete faith in you."
They gave him a thumbs up.
Kang Oh narrowed his eyes. "I saw you clapping when I was rolling on the floor. You seemed quite happy."
Sephiro and Eder flinched frighteningly.
'Phew. He saw that while he was fighting the champion?'
'Are you serious!?'
They'd partnered with Kang Oh for a long time, so they knew how to deal with him.
"Hahaha, no way! Did you do that, Mr. Eder?"
"No way. I've had my fists clenched the entire time. Like this. So there's no way I could've been clapping!"
The two played dumb.
* * *
The champion's tent.
"Take it." Kuharap passed him the star-shaped token.
A token given only to a warrior that the Tuslam Champion finds worthy. It is a key that unlocks the temple's seal to Talastrum's Demon.
Kang Oh didn't refuse. He tightly gripped the token and then placed it into his inventory.
"If I kill the demon, you're going to teach me Weapon Bombardment, right?"
Facing Kuharap reminded him just how powerful Weapon Bombardment was.
'I could dual wield demon swords, and then use Weapon Bombardment to launch my third.'
If he learned Weapon Bombardment, then he'd be able to make use of all three of his demon swords at once. Thus, he wanted to learn it no matter what.
"Of course. I can teach you all of our tribe's techniques."
"I don't need anything else," Kang Oh said decisively.
"You should probably learn Fighting Spirit Veil before fighting it though."
"Physical attacks don't work on the demon, so you have to use Fighting Spirit Veil if you want to hurt it."
"What are you talking about?"
"It's exactly as I said. Physical attacks don't work on the demon."
"That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking why physical attacks don't work on it. Is it a special ability, or is it because it's like a ghost and has an immaterial form?"
The distinction was important. If it was the former, then he'd have to learn Fighting Spirit Veil. If it was the latter, then he could just use Ubist to cut through it.
"It's the latter. Talastrum's Demon is made up of liquid; more specifically, it's made out of blood."
Kang Oh recalled Tasha, or Blood, the form she appeared as within the demon sword's trial.
The Great Forest's Demon, Blood!
It was also a being made up of blood.
'Is there some sort of connection between them?' he suddenly thought.
At that moment...
Blood, which was in his hand, began to shake. Had it responded to his thoughts?
If that's the case, then...
There was definitely some sort of connection between Talastrum's Demon and Blood.
Well, he'd find out for certain when he actually fought it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter