[x] until the very end
yes yes lets keep going and going
isnt this so much fun
this is the sole reason for your existence
for a being like you whose only nature is to destroy
beat smash crush and
bring that arrogant heavenly god down
Your hand reaches down, ripping your sword free of it sheath, exposing the chipped, battered blade to the rays of the sun, glinting off the reflective surface of the weapon. Gripping your cup so tightly that it cracks a little at the edge, you shoot off toward the sky god, who narrows her eyes as she braces herself for your assault.
Pushing forward your arm, your sword slashes at the air, the motion of your own blade being too fast for you to see. Even so, the god is able to react, raising an arm in defense. With just her bare skin, she deflects the attack. Whirling around in a single graceful motion, she elbows you in the stomach. You double over, nearly blacking out from the attack. With a deafening wham, she knocks you aside with her wrist.
Flung far away, you steady yourself, stopping your body from lurching around as you’re buffeted by the wind. That’s nothing. You can still keep going. If you can just land even a single good hit on her, she would probably lose it.
You raise your sword to the sky, and lightning strikes down on it, charging the metal with electricity. You swing it down, and an arc of deadly bolts zaps out from the tip of the blade and rushes toward the god. Smirking, she waves an arm toward the incoming attack, and a barrier made from the currents of air encases her in a spherical shield, the electricity fizzling out instantly upon contact.
“I create the very elements of the sky,” she says boastfully, her fluttering hair slowly ceasing movement as the sphere around her dissipates. “Do you really think that level of magic would be of any use against me?”
Ignoring her words, you raise your sword again, lightning striking the blade once more. With a yell, you swing it down toward her, and this time, multiple arcs of electricity spread out from the surface of the sword, branching out in a spread out pattern as they surround the god, speeding toward her.
“I told you it’s useless.”
She waves her arm forward again, and that same shield from earlier surrounds her as the bolts of lightning close in. Of course, you had anticipated that move. You would have to be a fool not to. That’s why, in the midst of those bolts of lightning, you had begun your next plan of assault.
It is a risky move.
Probably foolish, as well.
But this was all you could think of.
The god’s eyes widen in surprise as you appear before her, your sword-arm drawn far back with the tip of the blade pointed straight at her. Mustering up all your strength, you stab forward at the god. The tip makes contact with the constantly whirling barrier of wind surrounding her, and metal sparks begin to fly as the blades of wind grind against the sword held in your hand.
Unrelenting, you continue to push forward as the look of surprise on the god’s face fades away and turns again into a confident smirk.
“That won’t work. Even if it is youkai forged steel, it is impossible for a mortal-made weapon to break through my wind.”
As if to prove her right, the blade begins to crack against the force of the winds assaulting it. Within seconds, the cracks reach up to the hilt of the already battered and damaged sword.
At its limit, the handle of the sword jerks violently in your grip, and in the next instant, it flies uncontrollably out of your hand, falling in the air.
You’ve lost your sword.
But you’re not going to give up.
Discarding the broken hilt, you punch forward with your hand, reaching at her. The blades of wind completely shred what’s left of that arm’s sleeve, and it feels like your arm is being sliced and diced into bits and pieces, but even the pain won’t keep you back. With a growl, you push forward, until the pain within your arm has completely numbed—
may the wind decay
Your arm tears through the wind barrier.
Before the sky god can recover from the shock of her defense being defeated, you draw your arm back—
——and plant your fist against her cheek.
This isn’t even a danmaku battle anymore.
It is now no different than a desperate struggle.
To avoid being beaten, you must beat her first. Until she can no longer continue to fight, you must beat her again and again, without hesitating, without reasoning, without thinking, just continue to attack.
Following through your punch completely, her head jerks all the way to the side. Completely stunned, her fingers relax, loosening their grip on the bottle in her hand. Flying forward, you pull your arm back as she turns her head toward you. Sending your fist speeding ahead, you smash it into her gut.
This is it.
This is what I live for.
This unbearable thrill—!
This hated, despised, loathed, and accursed mockery of all that I want is only a small sample…
…The ultimate release.
It isn’t so far away anymore.
She’s doubled herself up over your fist, but it’s only for a moment. The sky god glares with eyes burning with anger and indignance at being struck. Forgetting herself in the heat of the moment, she promptly reaches out and grabs you by the shirt, drawing back her other hand.
She smashes her knuckles into your face, sending small, shattered bits of your mask scattering into the air. Part of the top of it has crumbled away from the force of the punch, and it’ll probably be broken apart completely if it takes another hit like that.
Yanking you around with both hands grabbing onto your collar, she swings you around in the air, whirling about to gain momentum before letting you go. Flung far out, you begin flying through the air, unable to stop yourself.
Lady Kanako’s already waiting for you in the direction of your flight, and as you approach, unable to control your flight, she clenches her hands together and smashes one of her elbows into your back, sending you flying in the other direction.
As swiftly as the wind, she traverses to the other side, and draws back her fist for another punch.
“Whoa! Hey, enough!”
Something small and fast darts in between the two of you, and in a flash, it catches the god’s fist while also grabbing you by the back of your neck. You gag a little as your body’s momentum snags you against your own clothes.
“Suwako…?” Lady Kanako mutters, surprised.
“Don’t get so carried away,” the littler god mumbles, letting go of you as well as Lady Kanako’s fist. “It’s over already.”
A little dazed but still conscious, you float there, your breathing heavy and strained. It feels a little confusing to have all the action crash to a stop; a bit dizzying, actually. Nevertheless, it’s not like you can’t keep yourself atop in the air.
Lady Kanako raises an eyebrow. “Over? What do you mean by that?”
“I mean the match is set,” Lady Suwako says simply. Grabbing hold of your wrist, she raises your hand into the air. “He won.”
Stirring violently, Lady Kanako seems incensed. “Say what!? There is no way that you can say that! I haven’t lost, I can still keep fighting.”
Letting go of your wrist, the frog god smirks gloatingly as she glances over at the sky god. “Come ooon, I think you’ve had one too many drinks, little Kanako. Have you already forgotten what kind of match this was supposed to be?”
A look of comprehension dawns on the god as she stares at her own empty hands. “You mean…”
“You dropped these.”
Lady Suwako lifts up her arms, and reaches into her two sleeves, producing a sake bottle and a dish from within them.
“Therefore, by the terms you set yourself, this is your loss.”
“Gah,” Lady Kanako groans, rolling her eyes. Scratching her head, she lets out a sigh. “…Caught on a technicality, I can’t believe it.”
“Kuhuhuhu,” Lady Suwako snickers through her teeth. “You’re really losing it, little Kanako. Soon you won’t even be able to beat fairies.”
Taking a deep breath, you let out a sigh of relief. So it’s finally over, then. That really took a lot out of you. Your body feels sore everywhere and you have a feeling it’s only going to hurt worse next morning.
“Damn, thought that would have been a good chance to show off in front of my followers, but I ended up being beaten instead…” Lady Kanako grumbles, crossing her arms together in dissatisfaction. Closing one eye, she glances at you. “Anyway. Congratulations. It’s your win.”
It takes a moment for it to sink in, once that feeling of relief has faded away, but…
You really won.
Just on a technicality, but you seriously won against that god.
…but there are no cheers to greet you when you descend to the ground.
Instead, you’re met with wary looks from the other tengu.
You gaze at each of them, and when they meet yours they turn away, watching you with an air of caution thick in the atmosphere. Why are they… looking at you like this? Did you do something wrong? Did you offend them in anyway?
Your eyes meet the ground.
The answer is simply that they have witnessed you doing what none of them would have expected from you.
You fought on a level that far exceeded the limits of what they believed you could do.
And now, they are wary of you.
They try not to show it, but it’s easy to sense.
This is what Miss Momizi was talking about.
Not outright rejection, but an unwelcoming discrimination.
The other youkai and humans present here don’t suspect anything, because to them, you are only displaying abilities that are only marvelous for youkai—but not impossible. A youkai is what they believe you to be.
But for the tengu?
They have become suspicious.
The tengu were always suspicious of you, now even more so.
They suspect you.
Stop looking here like that.
Stop it stop it stop it!
i hate it
You lift your chin, looking up. Miss Aya stands there, not meeting your gaze. You can see that even she seems uncomfortable, fidgeting with her hands behind her back.
“You really won, huh?”
“…Yeah, I guess I did,” you say, forcing yourself to grin.
“Unbelievable… Well, um, congrats, Miki. I never thought you had it in you, y’know? Heh…?”
She falls into silence, apparently not having any more to say. Not far away, a group of tengu murmur and whisper among themselves.
I knew it.
There really is no place for me here.
It can’t go on like this for much longer.
Bits of your damaged mask crumble away from the damaged portion, falling to the ground.
But, even so
—even so, I want this to continue—
“Aww, and your clothes got so messed up, too,” Miss Aya says, reaching out and taking hold of your ruined haori, lifting it up to examine the holes and gashes put through it. “This is completely beyond repair.”
You turn around, seeing Miss Momizi handing you your damaged sword that fell to the ground earlier. Even she seems a little affected, unable to keep her eyes on you. You take the battered sword from her, fitting it into its sheath without a word.
"Congratulations," Miss Momizi says, trying to force a grin of her own.
Is… everyone going to treat you like this from now on?
“…What the heck, the mood’s gotten all heavy over here.”
Lady Suwako suddenly says, startling everyone present. Crouched at your feet, she stands up with a spring in her steps. “Come on, the party isn’t even over yet! You should all have a toast for this guy right here. Don’t you all think that would be appropriate for the victor?”
No one responds. There isn’t even a stir of movement among the others there.
“What’s going on over here?”
And now Lady Kanako is here as well.
“Won’t any of you congratulate him on his win?” she asks, her arms crossed together to make her figure imposing once again.
I’m used to this.
[ ] Stop her.
[ ] …