Chapter 50: The Top
Mercilessly, Ryuji dashed at Aurel, who was still on the floor.
“Without pause, zhe Demon Lord is going in for zhe kill—Oh?!”
“Schwarz, who should’ve been stunned by Yamazaki’s lightning clad fists, has swept him off his feet!”
As Nakatoni had announced, Aurel had suddenly twisted his body around and kicked at the side of Ryuji’s legs. Ryuji toppled with a grunt as Aurel’s hands shot out to grab him. Before Aurel’s fingers could reach Ryuji, a burst of wind magic swept the cat boy away. With a light sigh, Aurel stood up, revealing a cracked patch of stone armor on his stomach. On the opposite end of the arena, Ryuji got back onto his feet
“Oho! It seems that our monstrous bartender merely pretended to be unable to block Yamazaki’s attack, and formed a small bit of armor on the area as the hit connected.”
“Sheesh, I didn’t even feel that when I punched you, nya.” Ryuji grumbled as he stared at Aurel.”
“You can punch straight through concrete without even a scratch.” Aurel replied as he nodded at the two holes Ryuji had formed earlier in the match. “It would be stranger if you did feel it.”
“Nyahahaha! True, true! But, didn’t you react a bit too fast with that armor?”
Aurel Schwarz’s [Biological Nightmare – Lamarck] was a Speculo which directly influenced the user’s body rather than taking a physical form.
Based on pre-darwinian ideas of evolution created by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, which stated that individuals rather than populations would evolve, it granted him the ability [Use and Disuse], which came with two functions. First, [Use and Disuse] would activate the moment Schwarz entered a fight, and would cause his body to accumulate strength and speed as he fought.
However, if he went an entire minute without coming in contact with an opponent, all the accumulated speed and power would disperse and leave him crippled for an hour. Ryuji was fully aware of this, and was purposely ensuring that they were both constantly trading blows in order to give the audience a show and to have an exhilarating fight.
And for the second part of his ability…
“You’ve enhanced your reaction speed today.”
Ryuji asserted with a pleased grin, as if he was already sure of his statement. In return, Aurel gave his own polite smile without a word.
[Use and Disuse] also allowed Aurel to temporarily boost a specific part of his body beyond its limits for a full hour, and could only be used once per day. Normally, he would enhance his leg muscles so that he could keep up with Ryuji at the start of the fight, but it seemed that today was different.
“Sheesh, I thought your reactions were sharper than usual today, nya. Is this because you evolved recently?”
“Ja. Now, my limbs will grow fast enough to match you as the match goes on, but it doesn’t matter if my mind can’t react just as quickly.”
“Hoh? Your speed can match me now? Is that so, nya? Then…”
“Hey, hey, Dion, slow it down some more!”
With narrowed eyes, Ryuji lowered his stance while staring at Aurel. As soon as he did that, Nakatoni straightened her back with a grin as she tugged at Richelieu’s sleeve in the announcer’s box. With a quick, knowing nod, Richelieu swung his scythe once more. While he was mid swing, Ryuji let out a giddy murmur.
“How about we test it a bit?”
As Richelieu’s scythe reached the end of it’s swing, the shackles on Ryuji’s arms fell off with a loud thud, before dispersing into glowing, blue particles that dissipated in the air. A robotic voice echoed outwards from the three remaining collars.
<NEMEAN LION: STAGE 2 ENGAGED>
The electricity that clad Ryuji’s skin cackled gleefully as it increased in intensity, arcing in all directions from his body within a two meter radius. Akira felt all the hair on his body stand on end, his skin prickling as if the lightning was reaching him all the way from the center of the ring.
Ryuji’s grin grew wilder as his teeth grew sharper. His pupils grew vertical slits like those of a cat’s, and began to radiate an aura that would cause anyone to freeze. Even when he was looking at those eyes through a screen, Akira found himself unable to breathe.
So this is [Nemean Lion]…
The Speculo of the world’s greatest Maestro, [King of Beasts – Nemean Lion], was one that acted in conjunction with it’s Overflow Trait of the same name: [King of Beasts]. The shackles that Ryuji wore on his body acted as limiters, but provided great power in return if he could fulfill the requirements—which only he knew—to release them from his body. Each time he did so he would enter a different ‘stage’, gaining a boost in power, instincts, and speed while growing more beastly in appearance.
AN: Sorry for the slow release, recently finished SAT II and had a lot of tests to do, so I’m a bit burnt out. It’s currently Chuseok break (Korean Thanksgiving basically) so I’m somewhat recovered now.