Extra – Training
Black Mist is a katana embodied from my image. With her jet-black blade and beautiful wavy hamon, you might be mesmerized at the sight of her. She’s about 80 centimeters long, with a slight curve. She herself says she’s a divine sword, but she looks more like a cursed sword. If I say that, she’ll grumble noisily for several hours, so I don’t mention it anymore.
Anyway, my fighting style is an instant kill combo which consists of approaching the enemy and using [Dismantle] from darkness. If the enemy is sensitive to my presence or killing intent, I might use [Camouflage] to disguise myself as their own presence and killing intent. In other words, it’s a close combat style, but it doesn’t use a sword or spear. Therefore, I am not really good at fighting with Black Mist, or rather, I have never actually used a sword.
(Your right side is wide open. Close it up!)
“Guh, you don’t need to tell me already!”
(With movements that dull, you won’t master this even if you train your whole life!)
I was fighting against a monster with only Black Mist and no skills. The only blade I’ve ever used before is a kitchen knife, so handling Black Mist doesn’t come easily. I started with swings, and when the swings had improved to a certain extent, I had to learn [Demon Single-Sword Style] which was Black Mist’s own style when she was still human.
This [Demon Single-Sword Style] is quite deadly. The essence of this [Demon Single-Sword Style] is to put all of yourself into one blade to destroy the enemy, a style that will despise you for even thinking about having a second sword. It does seem like a peak style that’s indeed perfect for me since I only have Black Mist, and even if I die, she’ll be influenced by my swordsmanship and become a divine sword.
In front of me now was the Emperor Dragon, the boss of the Great Borf Forest. I could kill it with [Dismantle] in an instant, but I’m practicing my swordsmanship, so I have to fight this dungeon boss with only Black Mist.
To be honest, I feel quite suppressed. I’m familiar enough with this Emperor Dragon’s durability that I don’t have the confidence to defeat it with Black Mist alone, even if she was a divine sword. Level 290 me against a level 300 Emperor Dragon… this monster’s [HP] and [STR] far surpasses mine, and it was still lively even after it was attacked by my sword earlier.
“It would be nice if I could even scratch it.”
(What are you talking about? Your movement lacks any kind of fighting spirit, you can’t hurt it like that!)
The Emperor Dragon moved, reaching me in an instant and trying to skewer me with its heinous fangs. I avoided the bite by a hair’s breadth with a backwards leaping, but it swung its tail at me before I could even catch my breath.
Its tail knocked the wind out of me and blew me away with a loud grunt. After bouncing on the ground several times. I got up quickly, already quite sore, but the Emperor Dragon was right in front of me again. Before thinking foolishly, I jumped with maximum leg power, dodging another terrifying chomp right where I was before. I clearly heard the clash of its teeth crashing together.
I started over, readying Black Mist and aiming for the Emperor Dragon’s eye.
(Tsukuru, give it everything you have and drive it in. Don’t worry about the results.)
“Even after everything you said about me…”
(I mean you don’t need to think about what will happen! Believe you can do anything, even if it kills you!)
I certainly do feel like I’m capable of anything. Considering I was abandoned in this forest and brushed the border of life and death many times, there’s nothing I can’t do.
The Emperor Dragon snorted roughly; I felt its breath on my shoulder.
(You’re still too slow, you know. You can’t be a sword saint like that.)
“No, but I’m not aiming to be a sword saint.”
(Shut up! I’m here, so you’re gonna be a sword saint!)
Jeez, she has such a one-track mind.
Black Mist was a sword saint while she was still alive, and I was quite sick of her always boasting about it. I ignored her, and I measured the timing of my attack to match with the Emperor Dragon’s breath. However, because Black Mist was faster, I felt like the Emperor Dragon’s movements were slightly delayed.
Me and the Emperor Dragon passed by each other.
I couldn’t feel my left arm… mainly because it was ripped off by the dragon’s bite. I screamed from the pain as blood gushed from the stump. I started to feel cold and fatigued as I lost more and more blood. I knew instinctively that defeat was imminent.
The next attack would be my last.
I have to put everything I have into Black Mist, but… what does that even mean? Force? Life? What do I do? Dammit, I don’t know.
“What the hell exactly should I put into it?”
(If you still can’t figure it out, you’re gonna lose, Tsukuru.)
“Well, can’t you even give me a hint? You’re so mean…”
(I could tell you the pattern, but even if I did, it wouldn’t help.)
“What a pain in the ass.”
(That’s why it’s the strongest style.)
Winning or losing is a matter of course, but losing this match would mean death. I had people I needed to take revenge on; I couldn’t die now. I had to leave the Great Borf Forest alive, take revenge on that shitty old man, take revenge on the country that summoned me to this world, and, above all, take revenge on the god of this world!
Still, just taking revenge isn’t the end goal. It’s a long-awaited other world, after all. I’m looking forward to making good use of this [Chef] job to create delicious dishes and enjoy eating good food. I have to survive for that!
As I watched the Emperor Dragon through my hazy vision, it chewed my left arm a few times and swallowed it, then looked like it was smiling. Did my arm taste good? It almost seemed like it was mocking me. So frustrating.
I got so pissed off at that lizard bastard looking down on me with his sense of superiority, I wanted to charge right at his face. That’s it, I’m going to crush this fucking lizard and live to see another day!
I’ll do it! I’ll live! Some stupid lizard can’t take that from me! I’ll live, live, live, live, live, live! Everyone will be shocked to see me still alive! And as for your arms, you bastard — no, I’ll eat every last part of you!
“I’m doing it. Get ready!”
The Emperor Dragon growled.
(You can’t wait this long with that injury.)
“I know. We’ll decide this match on the next attack!”
(Ho~o boy… Looks like you’ve finally cracked it. Alright, Tsukuru, show me your determination!)
I held Black Mist and looked at the Emperor Dragon. I put everything in my life into this sword. The dragon moved, but I didn’t. I had to wait until the very last moment to strike.
Its movement looked slow, yet unstoppable, as if my life would end when it reached me. Then it kicked against the ground and extended one clawed foot forward. Its huge eyes locked in on me, jaws open wide to bite down on me, with strands of saliva still connecting its upper and lower fangs.
Everything narrowed down, a swelling urge driving my mind and body to move. A jet black light pulsed out of Black Mist, swirling around the weapon while absorbing the surrounding light, forming an ominous whirlpool of jet-black light as if meaning to devour everything, as if it craved life and was obsessed with food. It perfectly matched my current mindset.
My body moved on its own, before I even decided to move. Black Mist, decorated with that whirlpool of jet-black light, moved unconsciously as if guided by her own hands and feet. It was like being in a space where all sound is cut off, yet you still feel them.
Yeah, my body recognizes this as the feeling of putting everything on the line to survive. Before I knew it, a severed dragon head landed in front of its body. In an instant, the sword carrying every scrap of my will had decapitated the Emperor Dragon. In the next instant, a flame rose vigorously from the cut surfaces of the head and body.
(Strong Hellfire Slash!) (T/N: I’m not sure about this translation, kanji is 業火剛斬 so if someone has a better translation, let me know.)
“Strong Hellfire Slash…”
(It’s the strongest attack, with all of yourself poured into it! It’s also the name of [Special Move (1)].)
“I see, so this is [Special Move (1)], huh…”
Then, I lost my balance and fell to the ground.
(It looks like you’ve lost too much blood. Quick, eat the meat!)
With my consciousness fading away, I focused all of my remaining strength to throw the grilled meat directly into my mouth from [Material Storage]. The grilled meat was cut in a size that made it possible to swallow without chewing it.
When I swallowed the first slice, the bleeding stopped, and my left arm started regenerating after the second slice, the stump of flesh swelling up. This regeneration actually looked quite grotesque, so I’ll refrain from describing it.
Once four slices were in my stomach, I sat up, cross-legged.
“Phew, I’m back.”
(You definitely would have died if you were just a few seconds later.)
All of this happened because Black Mist insisted I confront the Emperor Dragon with her alone. I suspected she was really a god of death or a magic sword.
(Hunt down other monsters until the next Emperor Dragon appears, so your body can remember that feeling!)
“I almost died just now, so let me rest a bit.”
(What are you talking about!? Now is the best time to familiarize yourself with that feeling! Come on, let’s go!)
In the end, Black Mist is really a magic sword that sucks up people’s lives!
《Special Record/[Training], End》