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[N POV]

Claude suddenly awakened from his slumber. The wound on his chest was healed, and the barrier of flame was still protecting him from Kalman’s onslaught.

In his expression, though, there’s something different. His gait and body language feel different from how he usually acts.

“You’re gyapping like there’s no end. Is it that fun beating weaklings?” Claude suddenly said, taunting Kalman as he used his middle finger as he slowly walked to the closest sword he could reach.

Kalman’s eyes opened widely. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the middle finger, but he gets ticked by that gesture.

“What the hell is this brat suddenly saying? Just because you’re healed, you think you can defeat me?” Kalman stared at Claude while belittling him.

The barrier of flame in his surroundings flickers for a while, and soon. The gravity in his surroundings increased once again.

“I’m shocked at how haughty you are, sigh… Now, let’s dance,” Claude said, as he ran away from the spot.

He distances himself from the fainted subordinates.

“Hah, all that talk and you’re running away!” Kalman was following Claude at the time and was mocking him when he realized something was wrong.

Even after several seconds, he still can’t approach the running Claude.

(How can he run faster than me?) Kalman thought, as they got away from the former location.

In the middle of the forest, Claude suddenly stopped and the flame barrier that was glowing red around his surroundings flickered three times before it vanished.

Claude suddenly yelled, “Old Stick! Do your job properly! ” As he said so, another flame barrier was created in his surroundings.

The barrier is glowing red, wrapping around his body.

“This should be a good place to have a match, right? Immortal boy” Claude said, pointing the sword in his hand to Kalman.

“What can you do with that kind of weak weapon?”

“I can do a lot of things!” Claude threw the sword in his hand. The sword had such a great velocity that even Kalman couldn’t see when it reached his face.

Although he can’t react immediately, he can move instinctually and evade. Even so, the sheer force was enough to blow his shoulder, creating a gaping wound in his left shoulder.

“To imbue Mana and Aura before throwing the blade, is this your real strength?” Kalman said so, expecting Claude to just send his last attack.

Not long later, he heard a resounding sound.

Claude smirked at him as the wound on his shoulder healed in an instant.

“Where are you looking at, immortal bastard?” Claude said, as he made a reeling movement with his hand. pulling the sword that he threw back, and stabbing Kalman again from behind.

As he didn’t expect that the sword Claude just threw was stuck with mana thread, Kalman’s body was pierced by the pulled sword.

“Akh!” Even if he was an immortal, he still felt the pain from the mana and aura imbued sword that Claude gave him.

The sword dived into his abdomen, sticking there without any resistance.

“What do you think of the fire attribute imbued sword? Don’t you feel how the scorching pain in your abdomen feels nice? It’s boiling your blood from the inside, and you can’t deal with something like this with your regeneration, right? ” Claude explained how the sword worked, as Kalman was groaning in pain.

He wanted to draw the sword from his stomach, but he felt so much pain, he couldn’t help but cleave the stabbed area clean with his sword.

Not long after, the armor he was wearing was glowing, and his body regenerated again in an instant.

Claude, feeling that the sword wasn’t attached to Kalman anymore, whistled and pulled the thread. The sword then slowly moved back to his hand, and he grabbed the handle.

“What a decisive choice. Great. Normally you would just use your hand to grab and pull the sword. I wonder why you chose to cleave your body, rather than using your hand to pull the sword. ” Claude sneered as he thought of the reason why Kalman picked that option.

No matter how much pain he feels, there’s no sane person who would choose to make a hole in his body than to pull the embedded sword in his abdomen.

Is this the quirk of the immortal race?

Or, is there anything wrong with the stabbed area?

“Well, it’s not like you will answer me…” Claude said, as he received a glare from Kalman.

Claude then moves slowly towards Kalman as he rotates his hands and moves to warm up his body.

“This kid seems to fail in developing the pink muscle… I can feel some stiffness in the body, which means there’s more red muscle in this damn body… Sigh, a bit troublesome. But, I can work with this” Claude said, and he moved the sword in his hand slowly.

Like flowing water, they move in a rhythm.

“You alright there? Should we start the round now? ” Claude said, looking at the quiet Kalman.

“Who are you?” Kalman said warily, as he eyed the kid who had suddenly become a different person.

“Me? You don’t need to know who I am. Let’s have a fair fight now. Hero? ” Claude said as he suddenly vanished from his place. The ground blasted as he stepped to Kalman’s.

His body and sword were glowing with red from the flame barrier, arriving beside Kalman.

Claude swung his sword, trying to cleave Kalman in two.

However, Kalman already knew where Claude targeted him and dodged.

That simple swing created a shockwave and fire in the pathway. Burning the surrounding air, once again burns Kalman, who minutely dodges the attack to counter Claude. He never expected to get countered before he even countered Claude.

The timing and judgement ability Claude used at that time astonished Kalman greatly, although the flame was affecting him. He didn’t really get injured by this flame, so, rather than taking a step back, Kalman attacks Claude with a stab, but stops when he sees the smile on Claude’s face. He jumped back while using the gravity of his sword.

The armor glowed again, and the power in Kalman’s body increased.

“What a shiny armor you have, glowing thrice just after several minutes… how cute… ” Claude mocked Kalman.

He’d never expected to be driven to this like this by someone he deemed weak, looking at his battered body. He knows that defeating the person in front of him wasn’t something he couldn’t do right now.

The fighting God armor absorbs his life force to continue replenishing him with power and instant regeneration. It’d be bad to continue fighting like this.

“You… you better remember this!” Kalman said, knowing that he couldn’t defeat Claude. He chose to run away, sadly.

“You think I would let you run?” Claude said as he moved even faster than Kalman, each stroke of his sword was so fluid. It was mesmerizing to see…

a different style than how the Water, Sword, and North styles are displayed.

A pure swordsmanship that didn’t depend on the aura. That sword technique was something that Kalman was mesmerized by and was continuously being battered by.

Unable to run, Kalman can only clash with Claude. No matter how much gravity he used on Claude, the flame barrier in his environment seems to protect him from his sword’s ability.

Fighting with the calm swordsman in front of him was taxing.

Each time he moves the sword in his hand, an injury will appear in the body of the North God. He couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the sword dance, as it didn’t rely on Aura, nor did it rely on brute force.

In the end, Kalman lost the battle. Thus, he couldn’t help but threaten Claude.

“Stop, or I’ll kill your subordinates!”

“Oy, oy, oy, what kind of hero chooses to take a hostage…” Claude said, squinting his eyes.

Kalman couldn’t help but smile bitterly.

Both of them know that neither can really damage the other, as Kalman is immortal. Claude can only do all he can to stop him, but, in the end, Kalman should be the winner. But this is a risk…

Kalman can’t help but fear the time when Claude realizes how to kill him or imprison him in some kind of way.

Thus, he can only wish for Claude to let him go.

 

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Mushoku Tensei FF Chapter 90: Sword Genius

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