It hurts…… As my breathing becomes more and more ragged, I feel an unpleasant pain in my side.
The course was a lap around a large arena, and with so many obstacles to overcome…… I was exhausted by the time I reached the end of the halfway point.
I was able to turn the tables once when there was a Rubiks Cube challenge, but that turnaround only ignited Megiddo-sans fighting spirit and he turned the tables again, and now, Im way behind him.
However, hes still barely…… within range……
From the start until now, Ive been running with my eyes on the end of the course. What obstacles would be there, which route would be the shortest…… With those things in mind, I constructed my magic technique.
To begin with, Megiddo-san and I have different basic stamina. I may be able to run faster than him, but I dont have the stamina to maintain that speed from start to finish.
Thats why, yes…… “I knew that this was going to happen”……
Megiddo-san is ahead of me, and Im following behind him. For me to achieve victory…… theres only one chance.
Autopilot…… Im the only one who can use magic in this match, and this is my most powerful trump card. This is the only card I have that had a chance of beating Megiddo-san.
However, this trump card of mine is a double-edged sword…… Its difficult to say this, but the amount of magic power I have isnt that great. No matter how much I squeeze out, I couldnt keep Autopilot running for even half of the race course.
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Thats why it was crucial to get to the endgame of this race with a gap that Im able to catch up with…… and that would be the turning point of this match.
……Its here. This is the moment! The distance between Megiddo-san and I is just barely enough to catch up with him, but whether my magic power will hold on…… That would be difficult to say.
However, all I need to know is that I have a chance of winning with this.
The moment I said the keywords, my body slipped out of my control and I sped up.
The fatigue I was feeling doesnt go away, and I still feel some of the pain from it. However, Autopilot ignores all of that and forces my body to work.
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I used Hina-chan as a reference for my running form. As for how to break through this obstacle…… I had the best model running ahead of me.
Stepping on the second stepping stone…… My body jumped to the stepping stones without hesitation and I broke through, using my hands as well as my feet.
Herbivore…… No, well, if Megiddo-san is the carnivore, that means that Im the herbivore but……
Then, Megiddo-san, who had been compared to a predator, looked at the running me. As an intense smile appeared on his face, he loudly shouted.
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[Kaitooooooo! Thats great! Thats a great speed you have! Isnt that just great! Come! Let me see you sink your fangs on my neck!!!]
Despite the fact that I was catching up on him, Megiddo-san didnt seem to be flustered at all. In fact, he looked as if hes having fun.
Hes really a battle maniac by nature…… but, well, putting the act of biting his neck aside…… I still intend to overtake him.
My legs are screaming. Im so out of breath that Im feeling suffocated. Still, my body doesnt stop, and keeps on forcing me to bring out my best performance.
Even though my body is adjusting so that it wont break down, the pain Im feeling is still hard to bear…… While my body continues to move, various thoughts come to my mind.
“How could I be working so hard Isnt it enough already Even if I continue like this, I might not be able to catch up with Megiddo-san. In the first place, its strange for me to try to beat Megiddo-san, one of the Six Kings. Its fine for me to lose.” ……Frantically pushing those thoughts out of my mind, I continued to activate Autopilot.
Right from the start, this was not a game that I could not lose. This was all just a game, so I let myself get carried away by the situation and joined their game.
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However, yes…… There are many people who have helped me reach this place. Eden-san, Pandora-san, Iris-san…… and lastly……
[Master! Do your best!!!]
Even in the arena filled with heated cheers, I could still strangely hear her voice. With her cheers, I somehow felt like my legs, which should have been moving automatically, gaining strength.
Animas voice, and a glimpse of her visage, gave me the courage to bring out my true final joker.
Breaking through the tightrope obstacle, despite being greatly outdistanced, I reached the final straight line.
At that moment, I deactivated Autopilot once and at the same time, reactivated it with the new keywords.
[Autopilot…… Limit Release!]
I didnt want to use this if its possible. After all, using this hurts like hell…… But my opponent is Megiddo-san. He isnt someone I can win against without taking any risks.
Limit Release…… It is a key word that removes the Autopilots restriction of “moving while making sure that it will not destroy my body”.
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Its the same power I used when I fought Anima when she was a Black Bear……
It was a magic that allowed my body to exhibit an extraordinary amount of power.
With my limiter removed, my body kicks the ground with tremendous force, and I start running at more than twice the speed I was before.
When he saw me rapidly closing the distance between me and Megiddo-san, even Megiddo-san was astonished as he exclaimed in surprise.
However…… This freaking hurts! Ouchingly hurts! Im also hearing some kind of tearing sound coming from my feet, which definitely doesnt sound good at all!
I mean, Im pretty sure my bones are broken too! Well, even if my bones are broken, magic power would still force my legs to move!
Ahh, but as my body screamed in pain, trying to catch up with Megiddo-san…… I also finally understood why I was working so hard.
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Of course, theres also the fact that I cant lose and waste Anima and the others help towards me…… but perhaps, a reason even more important than that……
Megiddo-san is really amazing. There were many obstacles in this race that were in my favor. The best example for this is that Rubiks Cube obstacle.
It must have been the first time he had seen a Rubiks Cube too. Even so, Megiddo-san was able to clear that puzzle and overtake me.
Ive been watching Megiddo-sans movements as reference for Autopilot…… and I was moved by how refined his body movements are.
Megiddo-san is not only powerful, he is also knowledgeable and skilled…… A real warrior who polishes himself without compromise. I think hes a really great person…… And now, for whatever reason, I am fighting against him.
I wonder if thats the reason why…… The reason why I wanted to win. His blazing fighting spirit seemed to have ignited my heart as well.
Because Megiddo-san is an amazing person, a warrior who I can truly and undeniably respect…… I want to win against Megiddo-san. Its not like when we first met, where I somehow won with Shiro-sans blessing…… I want to win against Megiddo-san with my own power!
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Overtaking Megiddo-san, we are almost to the finish line…… but at that moment, the magic power in my body is about to run out.
As strength slowly loses strength, I feel like Im seeing things in slow motion while my body starts tumbling forward.
No, not now…… Just a few more steps…… From within my body, squeeze every ounce of magic power out! I will win!!! I will win against Megiddo-san!!!
Feeling magic power passing through my crumbling legs again, I regained my footing and ran.
I reached the goal. I beat Megiddo-san! As soon as such feelings come to my mind, Autopilot is completely deactivated.
When that happens, I would be met with a terrible situation where “my legs would suddenly stop while Im running my maximum speed”, and my body would be thrown forward.
I guess this could only end up with my face smacking on the ground huh…… That would definitely hurt…… Well, it was a suicide mission knowing that I have Fruits of the World Tree with me to begin with, so I was prepared for such a situation…… but I definitely wish for an alternative way where it doesnt hurt……
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Closing my eyes, I prepared for the moment when my face hit the ground first. However, what I felt immediately after was not the pain of my face hitting the ground, but the feeling of being softly and gently hugged.
[Haahhh…… Youre being reckless again……]
[Geez, Kaito-kun really wont change, arent you]
Before I knew it, Kuro was holding me in her arms, and with an amazed expression on her face, she brought her hand over my legs.
Thereupon, my legs were enveloped in light, and the pain I had felt earlier completely disappeared.
[……But well, congratulations. You really did great.]
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[……But that doesnt mean you can escape from my scolding later.]
As Kuro held me in her arms, I slowly moved my gaze backward and saw Megiddo-san standing at the goal, clapping his hands with a gentle smile on his face.
[Go on, Kaito-kun. Megiddo and the crowd are waiting for you…… Go ahead. Show your confidence as todays winner.]
Dear Mom, Dad————- Megiddo-san took it very easy on me, and the race course was in my favor. It may not have been a complete victory, but a great feeling still welled up from within me. Im sure that its because, despite all the help Ive gotten———— I think its because I was able to grab this victory with my own power.
Suddenly hearing her cheers while Kaito is in a dilemma, Anima has completely got ahold of the heroine position. Kuro feels more like a Hero though…… Arehh
Today, Im updating a little early and going to bed early…… Im also working early tomorrow.
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T/N: I wont be having any bonus chapter tomorrow. I was originally planning to just post one chapter today since I only finished one YuuShou chapter yesterday, but it would end up in a cliffhanger so…… No bonus chapter tomorrow.