The SSS rank territory
‘Spirit limit holder’ is the debuffing spell that always limits my power.
It affects my body, my mind and my abilities.
I heard that the human brain has a lot of natural limitations, so it can’t be used at its full potential, but what would happen if someone could daily train its unused part…?
To put it simply, they’d acquire the ability to always make the best decision by analizing any situation in an instant.
The ‘absolute right choice’ doesn’t exist, and the average guy hardly keeps up with their surroundings. They might even get themselves into some insane or surreal situation, which are very hard to analyze… but not me. Especially when I remove my limiter.
The blond guy dressed like a god of death had probably yet to notice how much I had changed.
He only looked confused, but his face soon warped due to the rage steaming into him. He realized an unknown enemy had just put him to shame.
“YOU PIECE OF SHIIIT!”
He swung his scythe by his side and sprung forth—his wind spirits helped him close the distance between us in a blink.
He probably thought that a close combat could’ve helped him getting the upper hand, since I could drive him into a corner from the distance.
It’s essential to study the enemy reactions if one wants to breach through them and win. They also have to estimate if they can handle their foe by taking their response directly or avoiding it and hope they didn’t make a slip-up.
The matter is that no one can figure out what’s standing in front of them before the very first exchange of blows.
The man let out a loud scream during his charge and slashed his scythe horizontally to mow me down. I readied myself to intercept his attack with my longsword, then I saw his lips curl into a grin—I was about to fall in his trap.
His scythe was a magic weapon. After being infused with Spirit Magic, a blade suddenly sprung from its top, transforming his scythe into a sort of kama-yari1.
That weapon was enchanted with ‘Elemental frame’, which granted it a powerful affinity to elements, allowing him to frequently activate skills based on wind spirits.
The torrent of magic he poured into his weapon turned into a jinn2 that spiked his wind slashes output—a cutting storm was approaching me.
If I had to physically block that weapon now, its wind slashes would’ve cut through me.
In a split-second, I smiled back at my arrogant enemy.
I only had to react properly. My counterattack had to be a single blow.
“Spirit blade – Attack rise.”
The man’s smile faded away as he goggled his eyes. The next moment, I feigned to slash him from the side, and successfully distracted him from my kick that, hitting his leg, made him trip on the ground.
I wanted to destroy his ego—he wasn’t strong. His ability and the strength of his wind attacks was absolutely noteworthy, but he had yet to breach through my defense.
“Your wind slashes aren’t half bad… but slashing more won’t make you win.”
He got on his feet right away and started to attack again.
No matter how bold or savage his assault was, all he was doing was rooting me on the spot with an endless stream of attacks.
I could tell he had practiced a lot with spirit magic, since the average adventurer below the S rank could smoothly chant another spell only after overcoming the infamous lingering sense of blankness.
“I’ll raze this guild…! Wind spirits! Break out into a storm! Destroy everything and return this place to nil! Storm tempest!”
“What?! Big Sis, that masked guy is Dick?!”
Sherry’s voice sounded worried as she called my name. It was understandable given that she had only seen a small part of my power so far.
The former heroes were surely very strong, but seeing them in action was a totally different feeling.
This reminded me of the time I told her I would’ve shown her my real strength if I ever had the chance to, and I still remember how uninterested she looked back then.
Well, the time had finally come. I also had to brand my foe’s memory with dread.
I didn’t really have to go all out while facing someone below the SSS rank, but this guy deserved it.
The man’s blonde hair turned upside as he gathered his magic power within him, creating a little storm all around—the wind spirits were resonating and they started to rampage to mow us down along with the entire building.
“As if I’d be scared by the likes of you!”
“By the likes of me? You mean those who can do this?”
I slashed my sword down, imitating the action that Cody did whenever she used ‘Spirit edge’, one of her sword of light techniques. With that, I sent off something only I could see.
Have you ever wondered how magic works? Many people seal a contract with the spirits and draw some magic power from them when needed in order to change the environment around them.
If they were to ask the fire spirits for help, they would spawn flames.
Water spirits would generate water or crystals depending on the average temperature of the place they’re summoned to.
Earth spirits would rise walls from the soil or create golems that can move.
Wind spirits could trigger even storms if they were drove on a rampage.
However, the caster had to provide the spirits a solid pattern for the attack, otherwise it would fail.
To put it simply: they had to decide how the spirits would act, otherwise nothing would really happen.
In this specific case, I used Sabotage Magic to meddle with the spirits’ course of action. It was very effective to fight ‘modern magicians’ like this, as they hardly knew how to simplify the spirits’ pattern according to their pledge. Sometimes it led them to be unable to do what they had in mind or use magic at all.
“What… what the fuck…! How is it possible…?! I can’t fail…!”
Nothing happened when he activated his spell. If only he had taken a moment to carefully look around him, he could’ve seen that I had literally cut through his magic pattern with my magic blade, but he was clueless.
“Shit…! Wind spirits, come forth and smash these guys! Torn them to pieces! Spirit tempest! SPIRIT TEMPEEEST!”
That spell could’ve razed the entire building to the ground.
It’s said that a SS rank adventurer could raid and conquer a fortress defended by an army of one thousand men in one hour.
The same feat would take only about one minute for an adventurer whose score was above 100.000 points.
Mylarka, Cody, Aileen and I have tested it on some fortress prototypes.
We also were part of that territory.
My score couldn’t be measured, but theoretically, if I had a score of 90.000 and engaged Aileen in an hand-to-hand fight under normal circumstances, I might win. Let me clarify: that score would’ve to take only my physical prowess into account, not my magic power too.
A SS rank adventurer is nothing compared to a SSS rank, and no matter how easy they went on an A rank, the latter would never win.
Finally, the scythe-wielding man figured out that he couldn’t use his magic because something was wrong within him.
He slowly pointed his weapon to Sherry and Lotte, looking at them with mad eyes.
“If this guy minded his own damn business, I would’ve manipulated both of you filthy bitches until your end!”
“Big Sis, leave him to me!”
“No, Lotte! He’s too much for us…!”
A party of six S rank adventurers could defeat a lone SS rank. If Sherry and Lotte attacked simultaneously, maybe they would’ve won with a single attack.
This guy was only a S rank adventurer now that he couldn’t use magic, but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted him to be even more miserable.
“Spirit rising. Spirit reduce.”
I lent some of my power, around 50.000 points, to Sherry and Lotte for a short time, and terribly weakened our enemy.
His condition wouldn’t have improved any significantly even by asking his spirits to power him up as much as they could.
He tried to attack Lotte without noticing that his fate was already sealed, and let out a groan as he felt his scythe many times heavier than usual.
When I cast Spirit release and used a debuffing spell, I sank the average adult’s strength so much they almost returned to having the strength of a child.
A SS rank adventurer could fall back to be a B rank. It would be anyone’s nightmare.
Lotte steeled her resolve and shouted while attacking her opponent with her chain-flail3. The man blocked the blow but he couldn’t handle the impact and the weapon fell from his hands.
“Big Sis, now!”
“Y-Yes…! Whip bind!”
Sherry’s whip hissed through the air and passed over a wooden ceiling beam, then it descended and coiled around the man, making him hang loose in the air.
“YOU PIECES OF SHIT! I’M GONNA SLAUGHTER YOU! YOU’RE DEAD!”
Maybe being humiliated like that was too much for him to bear and he snapped way beyond the limit that would’ve made me feel any sympathy for him.
As he wriggled and struggled to get free, something fell from his leather belt. I picked it up and confirmed its nature—it was a magic tool. To be precise, it looked like the broken collar that Aileen had tore from Mizuha’s neck.
The only difference was that this one was still untouched: it could still work.
“You said you would’ve manipulated them, right…? Then this works on humans too now, huh? What do you even need this for?”
“MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS! GRRR! LET ME DOWN! LET ME DOOOOOWN!”
The man kept struggling, but as weak as he was, Sherry’s whip showed no sign to lose against him.
“Is that the magic tool you asked us to try…?”
“It makes you control people, right? You wanted us to try it out so that you could control us…? That isn’t fun to imagine. Thinking what would’ve happened if you succeeded at controlling Red Gemini like that is quite scary.”
Sherry and Lotte looked very much alike. The only differences stood in their proportions and hair: Sherry had long hair hanging on her back and a curvier body, while Lotte kept them shorter, about shoulder-length, and had an admirable figure.
They both wore a circular hairpin4 which made them look somewhat coquettish and fresh, especially thanks to their young age.
Lotte coiled her arms around her body as if she was trying to hide it. She was looking at the man hanging from the ceiling beam like he was some sort of filthy beast.
She was a mysophobe5 and she never let her guard down around people, especially men.
The hanging one was now struggling so much he looked about to spit his own saliva, and after a little while he realized that his resistance was futile, and hung his head dejectedly.
“You filthy bitches… I’m gonna rape you…! I will kill you and rape your corpses…!”
“How brave of you not to break down in this situation, but stop spitting those disgusting words. I’m not a saint, you know.”
Yuma would’ve tried to persuade and teach her God’s teachings to any enemy, even a scumbag like this one… but I wasn’t so magnanimous.
“YOU’LL BE THE FIRST ONE I’LL SLAUGHTER! TAKE THAT STUPID MASK OFF AND SHOW ME WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!”
“Silence! You have no right to speak. You will pay for any other offence to any of us.”
Sherry wore a deadpan expression while looking up to the man who was glaring at her. Still, his gaze gradually lost his strength.
Sherry, the head of Red Gemini, had a unique magic—Aroma. She could control people with that.
She sealed a contract with the spirits of flowers, which allowed her to summon specific plants and make their aroma waft around her. If I was to smell it carelessly, it would’ve been a huge problem even for me.
“It didn’t sound right to me that you want to mimic what I do. Now tell me more about your plan.”
“Yes… Your wish is my command, Milady… Use me as you want…”
Hearing that horrible guy talking so meekly was unsettling. Her power was truly scary…
If she attacked me with it, I could’ve isolated her from her spirits, making her assault ineffective, but she was simply unbeatable for this man. Especially right now.
Wait, thinking about it, a wind spirit user could scatter her aroma, so he might have had the upper hand if they fought alone… but surely not now, so the problem doesn’t arise.
Sherry breathed her aroma on the blonde man’s face, who inhaled it, and something changed drastically in his behavior. When she let him go, he groveled in front of her of his own free will and tried to lick the very same whip that had constrained him until that moment.
“Stop doing this. It’s disgusting and unsightly.”
“Yes… forgive me, Milady…”
“Show me your guild tag and tell me why you came here.”
Sherry took his guild tag from his hand, read it quickly and handed it over me.
He was a SS rank adventurer and member of White Aries.
Everyone in the room had already heard about him.
Why was White Aries doing this? And what did they use their collar for?
Before inquiring him, Sherry and Lotte looked at me without hiding their admiration.
“I couldn’t figure out who you were due to your mask, but… you really helped me back there.”
“I feel the same. You had to be Sir Dick… or rather, you had to be someone special. Your fight was so mind-blowing that I thought I was looking at a play.”
I could feel that there was some lingering tension in the air, but they were fine, so I didn’t have to worry too much.
Then, looking at them, I remembered that I had yet to cast the limiter on myself again.
Spirit limit holder.
I constrained my abilities as usual. If I didn’t, my senses would be way too sharp.
My sight would improved so much I might’ve seen way too far in the distance and analyzed way too many things. I could see the real body of anything through their clothes or masks as well, thing that I absolutely didn’t do with the two girls before limiting my powers again.
Then, I noticed that Sherry was staring at me.
“Oh, nothing at all. Let’s inquire this guy.”
“My… oh my, you are so graceful when you’re this clueless… That’s why people like you would suit my Big Sis so much…!”
“Keep that to yourself, Lotte. None of us want to face a misunderstanding now.”
I could see through her words if I released my limiter again… but sadly, whenever I did it, I kinda stepped out the ‘territory’, or maybe I should call it ‘nature’, of a simple human. I had to pay extra attention to it.
Then, I turned to look at Clave. I was a bit surprised that he was still motionless on his knees.
Despite being ‘only’ a S rank adventurer, Sherry’s powers were quite otherworldly.