Irisdina and the others had managed to stall the out-of-control Nozomu, but they were being cornered.
First of all, Mars' magic and Qi combination technique was gradually losing its brilliance.
As the technique engraved on the back of his hand wore out, he began to lose control of his magic, including his body strengthening magic.
Next, Irisdina's movements began to slow down. This is due to the adverse effect of excessive use of physical enhancements.
The continuous use of magic with excessive effects puts a tremendous burden on the body. Moreover, she kept using the magic sword [Lunar Eclipse] which was her trump card. The mental and physical exhaustion on her body was tremendous.
"" Ooooooo! ""
Irisdina managed to parry Nozomu's attack. At that moment, too, with a snapping sound, the muscles in several places on her body were torn.
There were traces of reddish-black internal bleeding in several places on her skin, which was pure white reminiscent of fresh snow.
Her movements were not very precise, and she had her hands full trying to avoid being cut.
"You, for G.o.d's sake, get back to normal!"
Lisa managed to pull Nozomu away from Irisdina by shooting a fireball at him, and then Mars attacked him from the side.
Mars, in spite of the situation where he was about to lose control of his magic and Qi combination technique, put all his magic and Qi into the greatsword and released it. With the intention of destroying everything in front of him, Mars used the [Dust Break of the Hungry Beast] and forcibly drove Nozomu away from him.
Forcing the use of magic and Qi combination techniques, whose control had weakened, caused a laceration on Mars' arm.
"Are you okay?"
"Guh~. S-, somehow ..."
The sight of Mars enduring the pain with his face contorted made Irisdina and Lisa's hearts filled with impatience.
If they couldn't overcome this situation quickly, they won't even have enough time to execute their last remaining plan.
Nozomu, who had been blown away, still landed almost unharmed. Without lessening his anger in the slightest, he was about to attack Irisdina and the others again.
However, at that moment, Tom's voice echoed from behind them.
"Everyone, we're ready! Move into action!"
The long-awaited signal that their last plan was about to be executed. The moment she heard that voice, Irisdina moved.
With all her remaining magic power, she activated a technique and launched a spell called [Dense Fog of Crescent Moon].
With Irisdina at the center, a pitch-black fog was released, blocking Nozomu's vision.
Nozomu was blinded for a moment, but he didn't care and activated his [Instantaneous Movement] legs. He sprinted to get through the fog that surrounded him.
The fog released by Irisdina couldn't completely block Nozomu's vision, perhaps due to her exhaustion. And if Nozomu could see even the slightest shadow of his opponent, his extraordinary concentration would never let his prey escape.
From the slightest movement of the fog surrounding him, Nozomu could detect the movement of his opponent.
Of the three shadows, two scattered left and right, while one remained in the center. From the size and movement of the shadows, those scattering left and right had long-handled weapons.
Nozomu ignored the shadows scattered to the left and right and rushed toward the shadow in the center.
His target was Lisa, who was supporting Irisdina and Mars.
She had no weapon. If he could get close, there would be no way for her to prevent Nozomu's slash. Nozomu intuitively sensed so.
As he penetrated the fog, Nozomu saw Lisa's eyes widen in surprise. There was still nothing held in her hands.
Nozomu raises his katana and tried to swing it down to get rid of the obstacles.
"" ~!? ""
But the next moment, Lisa took a surprising action. To Nozomu's surprise, Lisa stepped forward toward him.
At the same time, while using physical strengthening magic on herself, Lisa strengthened her own muscles with all her might. Staring at the swinging blade in front of her, she reached her hand behind her waist and pulled something out.
What was pulled out was the dagger that Mimuru was supposed to have. This was given to her by Mimuru during the previous encounter.
Yes, she didn't have a weapon. However, what was really meant was "her specialized weapon". The reason why Mimuru couldn't fight Nozomu was because she didn't carry her weapon.
However, a mere dagger won't be enough to block Nozomu's blade. Lisa understood this from watching Irisdina and the others fighting until now.
That was why Lisa took a further step forward.
With a clashing sound, the two weapons collided.
The next moment, Nozomu's angry eyes widen in astonishment.
Nozomu's blade, which should have been swung down, somehow failed to cut through Mimuru's dagger and stopped halfway.
Lisa was at Nozomu's feet, kneeling down to look up at him while raising her dagger.
She managed to keep sending magic power to the dagger, which had been cut about halfway through. She was in a cold sweat that she was safe.
Naturally, there were several factors that contributed to Lisa's ability to block Nozomu's blade.
One of the factors was that she had received Nozomu's blade at the base of the katana.
Due to the characteristics of the katana, the base of the katana is the least sharp and does not carry momentum when swung. For this reason, she braced herself by stepping forward toward Nozomu herself.
Another factor was her [Niveei's Influence] ability.
With this ability, she temporarily transformed the strengthening magic she had cast on Mimuru's dagger into a magic sword comparable to Irisdina's [Lunar Eclipse].
However, since half of the blade had already been sliced, the dagger couldn't hold on any longer
All Nozomu had to do was pulled then launched another attack with his katana and it would cut through Lisa's entire body at once.
However, for Lisa, such a situation was good. It was enough if she could stop Nozomu for just one second.
Irisdina and Mars rushed to sandwich Nozomu from each side.
Nozomu immediately tried to slash Lisa along with her dagger, but when his attention was momentarily distracted, Lisa quickly let the dagger go and rolled to the side.
Nozomu's katana only slashed Lisa's ponytail, and the blade didn't reach her body and cut through the empty air.
"" ~! Oooooo! ""
As Lisa's hair danced in the air after being cut, Nozomu gave up on chasing Lisa and quickly pulled the sheath at his waist with his left hand. Meanwhile, Lisa leaped backward and broke free.
Nozomu caught the rapier and greatsword coming towards him from both sides with the katana and scabbard in his right and left hands respectively.
He could feel the shock on his arms, but Irisdina and Mars had already reached their limit. Their attacks were lighter than before.
He could bounce off their weapons and quickly finish them off.
With such thoughts in his mind, Nozomu tried to put strength into his arms. However, as soon as he put strength into his arms, a flash of light suddenly exploded, enveloping the entire area.
What followed was a swarm of purple lightning that resembled countless snakes. The lightning snakes that suddenly appeared attacked Nozomu from all directions.
"" Gah !? Aaaaaaaa! ""
"Alright! As planned!"
Intermediate Ranged Magic [Purple Lightning: Swarm of Snakes]
Nozomu was. .h.i.t with intense pain as if his entire body had been pierced by a spear.
In his vision, which was now completely white, Nozomu caught a glimpse of Feo, who was posing with a gutsy grin on his face.
However, his appearance was clearly different from usual.
His body hair had increased to cover his entire body, and his nose protruded like a fox's. His tail, which had grown to a distinctive size, was clad in a burst of purple electricity.
"" B-, beastification?... ""
It was, without a doubt, Feo's beast form.
Although the details differed from race to race, beastification abilities tended to reduce one's rationality and increase one's physical abilities.
However, in the case of the fox race, it was a bit different. On the contrary, they reduced their own physical abilities and temporarily increased their ability to use magic.
They got their hands full just by applying magic techniques to Irisdina, but Feo, who had been transformed into a beast, could temporarily generate some extra power.
With his increased ability to use magic, he shot a ranged magic [Purple Lightning: Swarm of Snakes] centered on Nozomu.
"No matter how monstrous his abilities become, Nozomu can't use barrier magic that covers all directions! It should have worked!"
Although hidden by the drastic increase in his physical abilities, Nozomu's weakness hasn't changed at all.
It is "the inability to use defensive magic to protect oneself from long-range Area of Effect attacks."
A straightforward, head-on attack would never work in the face of Nozomu's physical ability and skill.
However, if they were able to block his agile legs and arms, his weakness would be easily exposed.
"" Guu! ""
"Mimuru, do it now."
"Yes! Leave it to me!"
While taking advantage of the gap in Nozomu's movement, Mimuru leaped out of the bushes and jumped towards Nozomu's right arm, twisted his arm, and s.n.a.t.c.hed the katana from him.
Nozomu quickly tried to strike her down with the sheath in his left hand, but before he could do so, Mars, who had swung down his greatsword, forcibly tore off the sheath.
"" Wha~!? ""
How can he move? Nozomu's head, dulled with anger and pain, became even more confused.
Mars and Nozomu's weapons lock into each other as Feo's attack struck them down. Naturally, Mars should have been involved in Feo's [Purple Lightning: Swarm of Snakes].
"You would never have missed it if you were your normal self..."
While saying so, Mars pointed to his chest. The last talisman that Feo had given him was shining brightly there. It was the talisman that could deploy barrier magic.
And if Mars was safe, then, of course, Irisdina was too.
She gathered all her remaining magic power and deployed a restraining spell. Dark-colored chains appeared in the air and bound Nozomu's body.
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It was like the last glow of the candle. A jet-black magic power erupted from Irisdina's body like a muddy stream and flowed into the magic arrow.
The magic arrow, which was about to disappear, regained its brilliance and began to compete with Tiamat's power once again.
"Don't be a p.u.s.s.y, Lisa!"
"Who are you talking to!?"
Irisdina shouted Lisa's name for the first time.
Inspired by Irisdina's voice, Lisa activated her [Niveei's Influence] ability. The magic arrow bloated at once to twice its size and began to push through at once.
"" ~ !? ""
"" Gooo~ !! ""
And the next moment, the magic arrow that was pushed in hit Nozomu's left chest and exploded with an ear-piercing sound.
The pain and shock were so intense that Nozomu's chest was overcome with pain. Air was forced out from his lungs and his heart beat loudly.
"" Ga-, ha ... ""
The enormous amount of magic power and the rapid pulsation made the synchronization of consciousness between Nozomu and Tiamat cut off.
Nozomu's bright red eyes quickly faded as he felt the strength of his entire body rapidly drain from him.
At the same time, strength left Nozomu's body, and he slowly collapsed, being pulled down by gravity.
It was succeeded. Everyone thought so, and at the moment when they were about to let out a sigh of relief...
Nozomu's body suddenly got up.
Only one of his faded eyes had returned to crimson, and the voice that came out of his mouth was that of a woman that sounded like silk being torn apart.
In front of Irisdina and the others, who were dumbfounded by the sudden occurrence, he raised one of his hands, which was about to collapse, and began to gather the power of chaos.
No, it wasn't Nozomu. He had lost consciousness, and Tiamat had temporarily taken over his body.
A huge amount of elements converging. Tiamat's target was Michael, but Irisdina and the others were naturally in her line of fire. Zonne, sensing the situation, quickly raised his hand and deployed a barrier to protect them.
And just as the converging power of chaos was about to be unleashed with great force...
Tiamat suddenly let out a cry of anguish.
The next moment, countless chains of light appeared in the air, binding Nozomu's body.
Tiamat struggled to tear the chains apart, but no matter how much effort she put in, the chains wouldn't budge.
"Again, it's you again! I'm almost there, he's right in front of me! Let go of me, let go of meee~!
Tiamat's vindictive cry echoed through the air.
However, contrary to her hatred that cursed everything in sight, the elements that Tiamat had gathered quickly dissipated in the blink of an eye.
"d.a.m.n it! d.a.m.n it, d.a.m.n ... it ........."
Along with the gradually diminishing vindictive voice, Tiamat's resistance gradually subsided, and eventually, her movements came to a complete stop.
Then, as soon as the chain of light disappeared, Nozomu's body collapsed like a puppet with broken strings.
Irisdina and Lisa tried to catch Nozomu in a hurry.
However, they too were at their limits, and unable to put strength into their legs. They stood up on their knees to support themselves.
"Nozomu! Are you okay?"
While suffering from extreme fatigue, the two checked Nozomu's body.
Nozomu's entire body was covered in lacerations, and the blood that flowed out endlessly dyed the two of them red.
His lungs were also injured, and he spat out a gob of blood from his mouth.
But he didn't seem to be breathing any more.
His complexion was pale and bloodless, and his body temperature was frighteningly low. He looked like a dead man.
There was no doubt that his respiratory system had been severely damaged.
"This is bad, he's not breathing!"
"Old man, please help Nozomu-kun!"
Lisa called Zonne in a panic.
Zonne, on the other hand, looked at Nozomu and seemed to get the gist of what was going on.
"I see ... So that's how it is..."
"Old man, please hurry up!"
"O-, oh! I understand!"
Lisa raised her impatient voice. Zonne rushed to Nozomu's side and began to cast healing magic.
While watching Nozomu's wounds heal and his complexion return to normal, Irisdina and the others finally breathed a sigh of relief.
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