I rolled several times on the training hall’s floor before stopping on my back after that single blow. The training sword had already fallen out of my hand.
It was already good enough that I’d only let go of my sword.
Just like Lika Aaron had before, I got up while gagging a few times.
Even though I’d reduced the impact of the blow as much as possible with Hardening, I still felt like my stomach had been turned upside down.
It seemed like he wanted to end the fight quickly.
Once again, that guy rushed at me, throwing his fist at my face that time.
However, I couldn’t avoid it completely.
Fortunately, what he hit was my left arm, which I used to guard, but when it got hit, it felt like it was about to break.
However, it didn’t break.
A sharp kick to my thighs made me roll on the floor once again. He had no intention of letting me off the hook.
I was kicked, beaten, and knocked away before I could fix my posture.
More pain was added even before I could feel the strangely intense pain of the previous hit.
Oscar’s attack combo while using Magic Body Strengthening was fierce. In less than a minute, I was completely beaten up and pushed to the edge of the training hall.
I felt like I was about to break.
No, maybe I had already broken.
I thought that I had already gotten used to the pain.
I was in so much pain that my whole body was trembling. If I hadn’t already gotten used to pushing my body to its limits, I probably wouldn’t even be able to keep standing for a while.
The situation was similar to that time I had fought Mayarton.
At that time, most of my classmates really hated me. However, as I was getting beaten over and over until I got pushed to my limits, but kept getting up, they became a little supportive of me.
They’d cheered for me, as they felt sympathetic towards me.
That part was also similar.
The expressions of Orbis Class students, who had stared at me with hostile eyes after I’d easily defeated Lilka Aaron, after seeing their senior attacking and trampling all over me, became more and more bizarre.
Stop. Why are you still going on?
—That was what their expressions seemed to say.
It was the same during the fight with Mayarton.
However, it couldn’t be compared to the time I’d fought with Mayarton, though.
My opponent was far superior to me, even in his normal state, and as long as he continued to use Magic Body Strengthening, I didn’t even have the slightest chance of winning.
“You punk, you didn’t really think that you could win against me, did you?”
“I already knew that I couldn’t, you bastard.”
Oscar was looking at me as if he was dumbfounded at the fact that I could still talk back in my situation.
I couldn’t win. I never even thought I would be able to win anyway. Oscar didn’t seem to understand me.
“Then I can’t understand why you’re continuing to fight a losing battle.”
“I told you…”
I stumbled slightly and stared at him.
“You should be called out for what you are, a fucking asshole, by a junior who is a whole fucking lot weaker than you. You’re such a fucking bastard that a junior from a completely different class has to tell you.”
Even though I knew that it was a fight I could never win, I needed to let that guy know just what a fucking asshole he was, so I’d stepped up.
Because no one else could tell him. Because there wasn’t a single person in the Orbis Class that could tell him something like that.
“If no one ever told you, you’d never know, so I’m doing it for you.”
“Yeah, I fucking knew I’d lose, but you needed to know this. Whatever reason you use as an excuse, you’re just a sadist who enjoys tormenting his juniors. You’re a fucking cowardly bastard who doesn’t even dirty his own hands as well.”
“I’m a coward?”
“Yeah, your way of taking that constantly creates a way out for you? That’s just a bunch of bullcrap.”
An absurd system…
However, that guy was actually a perpetrator who didn’t want to play the role of the perpetrator, even in that system.
“…It’s rather reassuring to be in the same class as the imperial prince and princess, huh?”
These words finally left his mouth. He thought that I believed that the prince and princess would have my back, which was allowing me to act like that.
“Nah, I always act like this. I don’t need backing or some shit. What? You can’t even tell a fucking jerk that they are a fucking jerk if you don’t have someone behind you? So what if I got beaten up here in the Orbis Class. Aren’t you enjoying your status as the perpetrator right now?”
I looked at him as I smiled and shook my fingertips.
“That’s just the kind of bastard you are. Yeah, environment and shit like that isn’t important, it’s what you’re born with. Just like talent determines a person, you were also born with a talent.”
“You were just born to be a fucking bastard. You’re a coward, you’re mean, you’re not willing to get your own hands dirty. Rather than getting rid of problems, you’re just a punk who lives with and thrives through them. And then you blame it on your environment. You feel fucking sorry for yourself because you don’t have a Talent. And then, after you feel bored from tormenting yourself, you get your second-hand satisfaction from bullying others. You enjoy yourself by making others feel miserable. You’re such a fucked up little piece of shit who just wants to see the misery you see in yourself in others as well.”
He had a Talent as well.
A talent for being a fucking bastard.
These were very good words to offend and piss him off.
“You just made me angry now. There’s nothing good about that, is there?”
He came rushing at me with his eyes wide open. Oscar’s movements, even after he started using Magic Body Strengthening, became even faster and more unpredictable than before.
He lost his composure.
After he rushed to me, he used his left leg as an axis to roundhouse kick me.
I turned to my side…
And elbowed his temple.
Magic Body Strengthening also provided some protection.
I felt a certain sense of rigidity through my elbow, but he apparently fell to his side.
I’d uselessly bothered him and made him move more honestly.
So I’d succeeded in landing a blow, making him fall to the side.
I stood still, watching him slowly rise, holding his temples.
Embarrassment and anger appeared in his eyes.
He seemed to wonder how he could have allowed an attack to land even though he was using Magic Body Strengthening.
“Hah. I made a mistake…”
Let’s just surrender.
Let’s just finish this now.
Now that I’d landed one last hit before I surrendered, that guy wouldn’t be able to hit me anymore. It was a fight I couldn’t have won to begin with, so it was fine if I just won mentally.
I’d just smirk at the guy, mockingly say that he did a great job, and go get my injuries treated by the priest on-call.
Because I wouldn’t be able to win…
I’d picked that fight while knowing it was unwinnable, so I should’ve put an end to it then. It wasn’t like my life was at stake anyway. If defeat would mean death, then I would have struggled some more, but that wasn’t the case there.
What I was trying to convey there wasn’t even that great a message, either.
I just had to tell him what a fucking son of a bitch he was, even though I knew that I wasn’t a match for him.
Everyone was scared of the seniors, afraid of the collective of seniors, but none of them dared to say that they hated the way they were treated.
None of them would even say that they were scared of them.
However, there I was, simply continuing to speak even though I was getting beat up in a fight I had no chance of winning.
If something was fucked up, one could just say that it was fucked up. Even if one was weak, one could still say that much.
I was showing them that there was nothing wrong with calling a bastard who tormented younger students without even having the guts to wear the title of perpetrator that he was a fucking bastard, even in that fucked up system. Other than getting beat up a little, nothing would happen.
It was okay to lose.
That was the only message I wanted to convey to them.
However, even while I was being hit by his follow-up hits and rolling on the floor while still trying to avoid his punches that kept flying at me again and again by very narrow margins, I managed to land a knee kick into his face.
I didn’t surrender.
I can stop now.
I thought that I had done enough, but I just couldn’t.
I can’t win.
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
As those kinds of thoughts kept appearing in my mind countless times, I realized something.
When I was in the Darklands, I’d fought with my life on the line.
And after returning to Temple, I’d become somewhat aloof towards practice matches at Temple or quarrels and conflicts with others.
Guess that’s what’s happening. What the hell’s wrong with that guy? How annoying.
That was how I let most things slide. When Heinrich tried to pick a fight with me, I hadn’t even tried to respond at first, although I had ended up throwing some punches.
I also hadn’t responded to the three idiot brothers’ attempts to start a fight with me in the beginning of the semester.
Guess that’s what’s happening. What’s the big deal?
I hadn’t gotten stronger since I’d gone to the Darklands
I had actually grown weaker.
It wasn’t like I had matured, saying things like I should ignore it just because my life wasn’t on the line.
This is a fight I can’t help but lose, so let’s just be satisfied with a mental victory. It’s not like I’m going to die or anything.
How was that different from resignation?
I was able to gain a certain amount of strength after all my training, which made me complacent. I still had a long way to go.
I would get stronger in the future.
I wasn’t that desperate at the moment, though.
I’d worked hard and done some immediate training, but whatever the situation was just wasn’t too desperate yet.
I was fighting a losing battle against some fucked up jerk. However, even if I lost, I’d managed to call him exactly what he was—a fucked up jerk.
It was fine because Ender Wilton and the other Orbis Class first-year students, whose fear of their seniors’ abuse had been engraved in their minds, saw the scene.
I tried to be satisfied with something like that.
I could lose because my life wasn’t at stake.
My mind was just all over the place.
I shouldn’t be like that.
At that moment, I finally realized that I had become a lot weaker ever since I’d come back from the Darklands.
That wasn’t how my power should be. That wasn’t how it should be used.
I completely forgot what the basis of my power was. As I continued to use that supernatural ability, I ended up forgetting the essence of it.
Of course, I wouldn’t be able to win a fight I already thought I was going to lose.
I had to fight while believing that I could win. Even if I couldn’t win, I still had to believe I could.
I had come to a standstill.
I had been stuck ever since I’d come back from the Darklands. It didn’t matter whether I obtained Tiamata or not, my mind itself was stagnant.
I shouldn’t just solely rely on the results of my training and my slight improvements.
Something like that had happened again.
I had to believe that I would win every fight.
“For a guy who doesn’t even know how to stand properly, you have quite the foul mouth.”
“I might be a coward, but you are just pathetic. Your tenacity is commendable, but isn’t this enough to call it obstinacy? You have to be able to give up when it’s time to give up, and don’t you think that time has already come?”
Oscar, who watched me trembling as I stood up, wore a sly smile on his lips.
“Even if you have a supernatural power, I don’t think you’ll be much of anything when you become a fourth year.”
A weakling’s obstinacy…
Oscar laughed at me.
The first years, however, were amazed.
I could feel the wish of just getting knocked out slightly take shape inside of me. Lilka Aaron had just wanted to collapse, so I’d knocked her out.
However, I didn’t actually want to collapse.
—So I didn’t.
I would lose, but I completely forgot to even think about that. I couldn’t stay stuck in place. I couldn’t just run away on the pretext that it wouldn’t cost me my life.
I had to retrieve my most powerful weapon—I needed it to fight properly.
I completely forgot the pain.
The pain was simply gone
My body returned to its best condition.
My hands and feet just stopped shaking.
“…What are you doing?”
Things I hadn’t thought about for a long time.
I looked at Oscar de Gardias.
Words that made me who I am today.
As I recalled those words, I stared at him.
In the end, Ender Wilton wasn’t the villain.
The system, the events ahead, nothing mattered. At that moment, there was just one thing I could feel…
—I wanted to fuck up that son of a bitch.
After all, I was just a mad dog who was swayed by his own feelings rather something fucking vague as selflessness or whatever.
I wanted to win.
…So I would win.
‘Why can’t you do it?’
Ellen’s words came to my mind.
‘I can just do it.’
‘Am I the same as you?’
I’d given up because I couldn’t do it. Of course, that was just what I thought. I’d thought that Ellen was a genius and I was just average.
‘Just trust that you can strengthen yourself with your magical power.’
‘I’m already doing that, though?’
‘Why can’t you do it then?’
‘Am I just no good?’
I didn’t really believe that I could do it. I tried to believe that I could strengthen my body with my magical power, but I didn’t properly believe in myself.
Ellen can do it because she’s just Ellen. I wouldn’t be able to just do it.
I subconsciously had such doubts. I had been following Ellen for too long, getting to know just how absurd she was, so I’d subconsciously believed that I could never achieve what she could.
I had to eliminate that subconscious doubt.
I had to have complete conviction of my absolute victory.
I could feel my magical power.
I could control my magical power.
I succeeded in strengthening myself with magical power.
Adding to that…
—I sped up further using Rapid Movement.
—I reinforced my attack power with One Strike.
—And I reinforced my body itself with Hardening.
I used all of my three skills…
With the power of Magic Body Strengthening on top of that.
I rushed towards Oscar with enough strength put into my legs that I managed to break the training hall’s floor.
—An attack with three skills stacked on top of each other.
I didn’t know what to call that yet..
After strongly stomping the ground, I rushed forward.
And then, using one of my legs as the axis, I launched a side kick packed with all my strength into Oscar de Gardias’ abdomen.
With an incredible roar that was hard to believe could be made by a human body, he flew off to the other side of the training hall.
I saw him fly into the opposite wall of the training hall and then collapse on the floor as he fell down.
Everyone stared with their eyes wide open upon seeing him planted in the wall and then falling to the floor, not moving anymore.
[Achievement – Path of a Superhuman]
[You have earned 500 achievement points.]
Astonished silence fell over the training hall. Even 1 Grayden Amorell was astonished.
B-10 Ender Wilton had his mouth wide open.
However, my body was also a wreck. The pain in the places I’d got hit wasn’t actually the problem.
I could feel my consciousness gradually fading because of that unfamiliar pain, as if my whole body was about to be torn apart.
Did I actually endure all of this?
As my consciousness was fading, I shakily walked forward, desperately holding onto it.
I then spoke to the frozen Orbis Class students.
“Did… you… see?”
I spoke while putting as much force into my gaze as possible.
“Fuck, even if you mess with your seniors… a bit. Besides beating you up. They. Can’t. Do. A damn… Thing.”
My eyes were shaking violently as if I felt embarrassed and nervous to suddenly say things like that since I was a stranger to most of them.
“So… Damn it. What I mean… Just follow what I did.”
Even if you get beaten up that badly, you won’t die. Rather, you might even make a miracle happen and knock out a senior.
—That was what I was trying to say.
“Don’t get scared! If they act like a fucking bastard, you just tell him to their damn face! Don’t just endure it! Just say somethin—…Kuhuk!”
-What’s wrong with him?!
I became unable to speak as I ended up throwing up blood.
No! Listen to what I have to say!
-Priest! Call a priest!
-I-I’ll get one!
I could faintly hear the desperate voices of the Orbis Class students.
That was the last thing I remembered.