The fight between Kuina and Fel in the [Time] Demon Lord’s Arena had begun.
The first to make a move was Kuina by firing off her new shotgun, the EDS-05 Claiomh Solais.
Instead of having a 12 gauge like most regular shotguns, hers was 1.5 times larger. In other words, it was a 4 gauge.
After being fired, a shotshell would burst open and scatter spherical, metallic projectiles called shots. This rain of shots was almost impossible to avoid completely.
Quickly judging that to be the case, Fel stopped time for the space in front of her, creating an impenetrable wall for the shots.
Although it was stopped, the power that Kuina’s new shotgun demonstrated astonished me. It was orders of magnitude of power beyond her previous weapons.
“That power, that initial velocity… it’s at least on par with Aura’s anti-materiel rifle.”
“I’d like to say this is Claiomh Solais’s true strength, but it’s actually Kuina’s.”
Back on the ring, while maintaining distance, Kuina ran around Fel in a clockwise direction and continuously fired her shotgun. It was perhaps in hopes that a shot or two out of the barrage she was pouring would not be caught in the wall of time and hit Fel.
“Rorono, can you tell me what you did to make Kuina;s shotgun this powerful?”
“Mhm. Claíomh Solais has two enchantments. The first is the usual [Explosion]. By activating [Explosion] when a shell has exited the barrel, the shots within the shell will accelerate further. This effectively increases the power without any additional recoil.”
“Alright, it’s the same as before. What’s the other enchantment, then?”
“Just [Hardening] which reinforces the shotgun’s barrel.”
After hearing so, I scratched my head in bewilderment.
I had no idea how that would make the power increase this much.
“I have misunderstood something. As you know, I had added twin-drive golem cores into Kuina’s shotgun and increased the gunpowder in its shells. However, Kuina did not need any of those. What I should have focused on instead was making sure the shotgun doesn’t break even if Kuina was to pour all of her magic power.”
I finally began to understand.
“Claíomh Solais’s shells have no gunpowder. Instead, it uses Kuina’s [Flame] magic power and converts it into explosive power, which then fires the shell out. However, for it to withstand a serious Kuina, I used the best magic metal my skills allowed and also made mechanisms that would not break due to the impact. All that said, my orichalcum alloy still could not withstand Kuina’s power, so I added the [Hardening] enchantment. After that, it finally became a gun that could endure Kuina’s full power.”
“The truly amazing one is Kuina. If anything, this is only an apology to her. Originally, guns are things made to supplement the user’s power. However, the fact that they offered a constant, unchanging addition to one’s attack power has become like shackles to Kuina. Claíomh Solais is different. It’s able to convert all of her power into attack power.”
It seemed like Kuina was enjoying her new gun. She was as happy as a child that received a toy that would not break no matter how rough she played with it.
But then, Kuina’s barrage suddenly stopped. She ran out of shells.
Even though her new weapon—just like the previous ones in the EDS series—automatically reloaded from an attached magazine, changing the emptied magazine for a new one still costed a few moments.
Fel wasn’t so soft as to let that chance pass.
“You finally stopped!”
Still about five meters away from Kuina, Fel already took out the bladeless sword that was hanging on her back. It was clear that it would not reach Kuina.
Or, at least, it wasn’t supposed to. However, a blade of light was suddenly and immediately formed.
To evade, Kuina lowered her body as much as she could. Except for some of her hair, she was unharmed.
Following that attack, Fel twisted her wrist and slashed again.
Since only the hilt of her sword had weight, handling it was very easy.
In addition, given that the weightless blade of light was currently 10 meters long by my visual estimate, a sword’s shortness of range was rendered a non-issue for this battle.
“As ever, Fel is amazing. Just forming the blade of light for that prototype is quite difficult. I think even I would take a second to form it. Also, the prototype’s magic power consumption is quite extreme. But the way that girl’s using it—forming the blade only when necessary and even then only for a moment—tremendously decreases the consumed magic power. As a developer, it makes me happy to see such mastery over a creation of mine.”
The sword Fel was currently using was originally developed as the Avalon-Ritters’ exclusive weapon. However, the magic power consumption was so intense that even with the twin-drive system, they could not maintain the blade of light to be always formed. On the other hand, it took them quite some time to form the blade. Concluding therefore that the way Fel was currently using the sword was an impossibility for the Avalon-Ritters, we had decided to shelve it in a warehouse where it was left to gather dust.
That had been so until I gave it to Fel. In no time, she completely mastered it.
Unfortunately, though, she was using that mastery to corner Kuina.
As for Kuina, while evading that flurry of slashes by using both [Precognition] and [Ultra-rapid Reaction], she somehow finished reloading her shotgun.
Her weapon now fully loaded, she then leapt high into the air and fired from above.
In reaction, Fel once again used her [Time] ability to stop the incoming projectiles.
At that, the [Time] Demon Lord beside me applauded.
“It’s a great match, wouldn’t you agree, Procell? Both have lethal attacks and also very effective defensive and evasive techniques.”
“Yeah, it’s a really close match. It can honestly go either way. It’s going to be more of a war of attrition wherein they’re just waiting for the other to make a mistake. Which shouldn’t be long, seeing as both are nearing their limits.”
Kuina’s [Precognition] required intense amounts of concentration and thus could not be used for a long period of time.
Meanwhile, Fel’s [Time] barrier consumed great amounts of magic power. Also, even though the blade of light remained in form for only a moment, it still consumed intense amounts of magic power.
Given that they were both fighting seriously, I said what I said.
However, as if to say no, the [Time] Demon Lord laughed.
“…No, Fel will win. Look, she’s about to decide the match.”
The moment he said that, Fel vanished.
She then suddenly appeared in Kuina’s blind spot, the blade of light already formed.
There’s no time to evade! Did she hasten herself using [Time]!?
I had once been Fel’s master, so I was aware she was capable of such.
Her [Time] ability allowed her to stop the time of those that were up to one meter around her. Considering that Kuina was still far away, it wouldn’t work.
However, stopping time was just one aspect of Fel’s [Time] ability. If she instead used it to accelerate her own time, speed was not an issue.
“It all ends with this!”
Through the magic on the ring, I heard Fel shout so.
“You’ve already shown that move.”
Kuina’s voice was calm as the blade of light hit her.
Even though Kuina’s stats were absurd, Fel and the sword’s combined offensive capabilities would still mean instant death for her if she gets caught.
However, that was not what happened when the blade hit her.
Instead, Kuina was unharmed. The only visible change was that she was now clad in beautiful, golden flames.
Whenever Kuina intensified her flames to the limit, it would become golden. Somehow though, the flames this time were not the usual golden flames. It had a bit of red to it. But that didn’t mean it was just the imperfect form of the golden flames.
The red mixed in wasn’t a natural red; it was the color of her soul.
So, it was more accurate to call it her golden red flames.
Actually, I had once seen this kind of flame before.
It was the flame she used when I had named her. Back then, she was fighting a frenzied Enlil and used [Transform] to change into her adult form.
At any rate, frustrated, Fel clicked her tongue and backed away.
“How can light even be burned!?”
Just as Fel said, her blade of light was being burned by Kuina’s Flames.
No matter how high the temperature, the burning of light went against all laws of physics.
“Ohh, the primordial flame which is the very concept itself of burning, huh? It’s been centuries since I saw that. Kind of reminds me of that guy. Procell, your monster’s amazing indeed.”
As the [Time] Demon Lord said, Kuina’s flames were the very concept itself of burning. Thus, it burns just about everything, regardless of logic, common sense, and even the laws of physics.
“Fel-chan, Kuina’s already seen your time acceleration, but you haven’t seen Kuina’s special move yet. It’s unfair right? So, Kuina’s going to tell you about it.”
Kuina, still clad in her golden red flames, said so and smiled.
“These flames burn everything, but they’re too exhausting to use. I think I can maintain it for only another minute. Also, once they separate from Kuina, they go back to being regular flames, so wrapping them around Kuina like this is the only way to go on the offensive with them.”
It was powerful, but had its own set of issues.
“It’s impossible for Kuina to catch a fleeing Fel in under a minute, though. So, Rorono-chan made this. Kuina’s betting everything on this bullet that can contain these flames.”
Kuina said so and loaded the bullet engraved with characters into Claíomh Solais.
The said bullet wasn’t a shotshell, but rather a slug shell enchanted with magical effects. In other words, it was a trump card.
“Let’s play, Fel-chan. If you managed to defend against it, it’s your win. But if Kuina brings you down with this, it’s Kuina’s win.”
Kuina said so as she made a ferocious smile.
She was definitely enjoying this battle.
“Fine, bring it!”
Fel replied so with a smile of her own.
Fel had not only her time barrier, but also [Precognition]. One could even say her defenses were perfect.
And yet, Kuina still decided to proceed.
She readied Claiomh Solais, poured all of her golden red flames to the bullet, and then fired.
The bullet was too fast for my eyes to see. I even put as much as possible magic power into eyes, but still, nothing. Such speed was no doubt the result of using a tremendous amount of magic power to launch the bullet.
I did see some sparks fly in front of Fel, though. Soon thereafter, I heard an explosion.
“It’s my win! No matter how strong that bullet of yours is, if I stop the time on the space… Eh!?”
Before Fel could finish her sentence, the bullet went through the time-frozen space and hit her. it had so much power that Fel exploded and burned beyond recognition.
It was instant death.
The match finished, the barrier around the ring activated and time turned back.
Perhaps remembering the moment of her death, Fel’s face was pale as she hugged her body.
“It’s odd. So, so odd. I’m sure I stopped time!”
Not understanding how she lost, Fel glared at Kuina with teary eyes.
“It’s simple: the bullet burned time! Like Kuina said, those flames can burn anything and everything. And that bullet had those flames!”
“Burning time is absurd! But, well, I recognize that it’s my loss this time. But you better be ready because I’m going to win next time!”
“Kuina’s looking forward to it!”
Like that, the fight between Kuina and Fel concluded.
Having been shown a great fight, the audience gave the two a thunderous round of applause. Of course, I too clapped my hands as loudly as I could.
So that’s Kuina’s new special move? It’s better than what I expected.
It was surely a fatal attack if it could burn even time. It was hard to imagine anyone ever being able to defend against it.
Equipped with her new shotgun, Kuina was truly the strongest.
I doubted even a [Berserk] Duke would be able to pull a win.
“It seems I’ve lost our wager. Why don’t you ask me whatever it is you want to ask over dinner? This is the least I can do to thank you for before.”
“Thank you for the dinner, then.”
“I suspect that what you want to ask me concerns the [Black] Demon Lord, correct?”
The [Time] Demon Lord had previously warned me about the [Black] Demon Lord and I wanted to know why.
As we talked, Kuina and Fel looked our way and waved their hands.
In response, I waved back.
The two showed us a really good fight.
This dinner wouldn’t be just for gathering information about the [Black] Demon Lord, but also praising the two. Or rather, the three. For the wonderful new shotgun she made, Rorono deserved just as much praise.
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