Kouta knew that he was no match for these 6 people, but at the same time, he couldn’t just leave. When he took his fighting stance, he created a save point on an empty slot.
‘The poison in my words shall paralyze your soul.’ One of the men said while making gestures.
The other ones immediately lowered their guard. Kouta understood and stayed completely still, he knew the spell had no effect on him, but they didn’t.
When one of the weaker ones got closer Kouta, he unleashed a flurry of blows breaking several bones of his opponent, including his neck.
To Kouta, it felt like the opponent was wearing armor. Fortunately, Kouta wasn’t your run-of-the-mill martial artist.
The underlings immediately summoned metal bats. Kouta did his best to read their movement and patterns and kept loading and loading, each time getting farther.
He experienced his bones being broken, his organs being pierced and even lost limbs several times throughout all the times he fought them.
Several spells were used, but it seemed that the ones that would affect him internally, like the paralysis one, had no effect on him. He decided to ignore those and focus on dodging the visible ones. He made sure to memorize the variation of chants they used for each one.
Kouta was mentally drained. Not only he had been fighting for over a day, the amount of pain that he suffered so far would have permanently broken most people.
Kouta was once again in his fighting stance pretending to be paralyzed. When one of the underlings came closer and was about to punch him, Kouta countered with a palm strike to his chin, using his dizziness to break his neck.
The underlings summoned metal bats once again.
At the same time Kouta not letting go of the man’s body, threw it at them. He rushed one of the underlings that got separated due to trying to avoid the flying body. He dodged a bat strike sideways, grabbing the man’s wrist and executing a flawless wrist throw, taking his bat at the same time.
As soon as the man fell on the ground Kouta bashed his head in.
Two down, four to go.
Seeing that, the leader gave the order.
The three underlings came at him while their boss started casting spells.
Their guard was not down anymore; they were faster, stronger and outnumbered him. If he were to win, it would be with technique and intellect.
Kouta had to take down their boss first, if he took one spell directly, he would have to load again. The only reason he attacked the second underling before was to get a bat.
Using his superior technique, Kouta broke through the underlings using their center of gravity against them. He blocked the fatal blows and ignored the rest counter-attacking with throws to move them out of the way so he could reach their boss.
As he managed to get pass them, their boss was finishing his chant and gestures.
‘May my rage arise from the earth and shatter your bones, 20 times over!’
As he finished, 20 glowing rocks the size of a fist appeared and were shot at Kouta.
He pushed forward when he saw the rocks, blocking and deflecting most of them, but receiving some directly on his torso.
The bats were probably magical, seeing how unnaturally durable they were.
As he was receiving the barrage of rocks, the underlings and the boss started casting spells at the same time. He remembered those chants and one of them was perfect.
Kouta was three large steps away from their boss, the distance was perfect. He mimicked Aya’s Void Stance with one step and after the second step he executed a downward strike, which made their boss stop chanting to block.
As the man blocked Kouta’s strike with his bare arms, thinking that his defensive spells and sturdy body were enough, he screamed in pain.
Both of his arms had their bones fractured. The man was a thug with magical powers, that’s all he amounted to. He wasn’t able to understand the danger of Kouta’s move, which Kouta knew after fighting them hundreds of times.
As the man’s arms were cracked Kouta heard one of the underlings finish the chanting.
‘Winds of despair, become my blade and cleave my foe!’
Kouta jumped up, timing it perfectly, kicking the tall man’s center of gravity to make him lose balance.
A horizontal blade of wind passed through below him and cleaved their boss in half.
‘Boss!’ Yelled one of the men.
‘No more offensive spells!’ Yelled one of them seeing that the two ailment spells didn’t affect him.
As soon as Kouta got back to the ground he entered a defensive stance mixing everything he learned no far.
One of the underlings had to be the last one to die, the one maintaining the “room” and the barrier on the girl.
That would be the man to his left, which was good. That made his maneuvering much easier.
At that point, Kouta was already very injured, specially his torso. He had sustained some internal injuries due to the rocks, probably some cracked and broken ribs.
The three men approached him carefully and attacked almost at the same time with vertical strikes.
Kouta dodged the one on the right, while holding the handle of the bat with one hand and the top with the other exerting force like he was trying to rip it apart.
As soon as he dodged the first, he blocked the second strike with the middle of the bat, shifting it to his left side to block the third one as well.
One of the bats brushed against left his index, middle and ring finger, breaking them.
That was still within his plans.
As his fingers broke, he let go of the top of the bat, making all the force he was applying with his right arm double the speed of his strike against the man on his right.
His strike made a sound like it was tearing apart the air.
The man didn’t have time to defend, his skull was split open.
The other two backed up and each went to one side surrounding Kouta.
So far, within Kouta’s plans. Those people were used to fight weaklings, they didn’t develop much in the tactics department. Kouta was used to fight Maeda Himari, all he always did was come up with tactics.
Both men, flanking Kouta attacked at the same time.
The one on the right attacked with a sweeping strike to his legs, while the one on the left attacked with a vertical one aimed to his head.
Kouta jumped kicking the hand of the one on the right, making him drop his bat while simultaneously hitting him on the head with a bat strike.
Kouta managed to deflect the blow from the left with his shoulder, which ended up dislocated.
As his jump ended, seeing that the man on the right was dazed due to the impact of his strike he attacked him again. Now with a proper strike directly to his forehead, while moving away from the other man.
Five down, one to go.
Unfortunately, there was a problem.
Kouta realized that this was his limit, he couldn’t do better than this and his body was too hurt to kill the remaining enemy.
The remaining one was the strongest of the underlings as well the one specialized in defensive spells.
Kouta didn’t have enough left in the tank.
To load to the beginning of the day and bring Himari meant she would definitely find out about his save/load, that could not happen.
Himari was like him. He believed he would have easily deduced the gist of his power, therefore, so would she. He would have to show up to her mentally exhausted and spend the entire day like that, only to somehow manage to invite her for a jog despite looking so spent.
That wasn’t an option.
In a fraction of a second, he went through all scenarios but he couldn’t visualize a win. His mind was exhausted, he’s been fighting for over a day due to his loading. When he thought he was at the brink of despair he heard a scream, coming from deep within his being.
It was his own voice.
He sensed something he didn’t know, yet, it was familiar.
His soul, it was the source of the scream.
He sensed something else, some type of constraint, imprisoning his soul.
He mustered everything he had left to break free.
The constraint shattered.
A powerful shockwave knocked his enemy away.
[[ You have reached Spirit 100.]]
[[ Due do having all the requisites, you have broken your Magical Seal. ]]
[[ Body Mastery was acquired as an innate spell. ]]
[[ The Magic basic stat has been unlocked. Magic: 30 ]]
He didn’t need to read, he felt it, immediately activating Body Mastery and letting go of the bat. He felt lighter, stronger, faster, more resilient and even his senses were sharper.
Using the window of his opponent being mid-air he rushed like a blur and with one punch he smashed his opponent’s head into the ground.
The ground cracked throughout meters.
He immediately felt the world come back to normal, so he checked the woman. She passed out, but her vitals seemed fine.
She was around his age and had dark red silky hair, full lips, large breasts, hips and thighs. All toned and firm. She was not only gorgeous, but the incarnation of the word Ero. But at that moment, he only cared about her safety.
He had several cracked ribs, a couple broken, a dislocated left shoulder, three broken fingers and some internal wounds. He felt dizzy, but shook his head and popped his shoulder back. He picked up the girl and left.
Fortunately, his legs were not injured.
He jumped on top of a wall, then on top of a roof and started running with everything he got, jumping from roof to roof, because he knew he wouldn’t be able to last much longer.
He didn’t bother calling, nor texting, his instincts told him he didn’t need to. As soon as he landed on the street and started walking towards their property the gate door opened.
‘Kouta!’ Himari shouted.
‘Take the girl, make sure she’s okay.’ He said with a shaky voice.
‘Himari, take her, I’ll treat him.’ Said Fumiko with a serious and worried voice.
Himari took the girl and looked at her. ‘Emi…’ She said with watery eyes.
As soon as he let go of the girl his legs gave out, but Fumiko caught him. His internal injuries were severe and only got worse with him carrying someone and jumping around.
Fumiko carried Kouta inside and lifted his body in the air with some form of telekinesis. It was like he was lying down in a comfy bed, but there was no bed.
‘For the one I love, the light who dispelled my darkness, not even death shall take you from me.’ Fumiko said the incantation while making several complex gestures.
A bright green light appeared around her hands and she touched Kouta’s cheeks. ‘Stay with me Kouta, stay with me!’ Fumiko yelled with fear in her voice and tears running down her cheeks.
‘Please Kouta, please, don’t die…’ Himari said shaking with tears running down her cheeks.
‘It’s… okay… I can help…’ Kouta said as he activated Body Mastery focusing everything on recovery speed.
Kouta’s wounds started healing at a rapid pace. Himari’s and Fumiko’s eyes widened. In less than twenty seconds he was fully healed.
‘Six bodies.’ Kouta said after telling Fumiko the address.
As soon as he finished saying it, he passed out.
Kouta woke up in Himari’s bed and saw that was still dark out and the clock was at four. Himari was by the bed sitting on a chair, holding his hand.
‘I’m sorry…’ Kouta said while tearing up.
‘It’s okay, you didn’t do anything wrong.’ Himari said calmly and relieved.
‘I couldn’t leave her there. They were gonna…’ Kouta said putting his left hand on his face and started silently crying.
Himari went under the blanket and hugged him. ‘It’s okay, everything is gonna be okay.’ She said trying to calm him.
After a bit he managed to calm down.
‘I’m not crying because of what happened there. I remember you crying and shaking, Fumiko was also crying, the look on your faces... That was by far the most painful part for me. I promised to make you happy…’ He said with a painful look.
Himari kissed him.
‘Listen to me, you idiot. You did the right thing; you did something that most people wouldn’t do. The fact that you’re someone who would do something like that is one of the reasons I love you so freaking much.’ She said passionately before kissing him again.
After a few minutes, Himari fell asleep. Kouta looked at her sleeping face for about ten minutes or so before Fumiko entered the room.
‘How are you feeling?’ She said with a relived voice.
‘Fine, just very tired. Thank you for saving me, it seems that I owe you my life now.’ He said gratefully with a light chuckle.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to collect.’ She said with a gentle voice.
‘How’s the girl?’ He asked seriously.
‘She’s fine, she’s asleep at her house. I checked her memories; she remembers the men attacking her and then she caught a glimpse of you carrying her. I didn’t alter anything because it was not needed.’ She said relieved.
‘If she’s fine, then it was worth it...’ Said Kouta relieved.
‘Just sleep, I’ll make sure that Aya also oversleeps and you can use an excuse to skip school. Himari texted Miu from your phone saying that you were spending the night here. We’ll have a talk in the evening, while Aya is asleep.’ She said seriously.
She leaned in to kiss him on the forehead but went for the lips instead. ‘Debt collected.’ She said with a mischievous smile before leaving.
Even though Kouta was still exhausted, that kiss and what he remembered her saying to cast her spell, kept him awake for another half hour.
When he woke up, Himari was still hugging him.
‘Good morning Kou-chan.’ She said giving him a light kiss.
‘Good morning Hi-chan.’ He said caressing her face.
‘Come with me, let’s go take a shower. Don’t worry, I’ll soundproof the bathroom.’ She said with a mischievous smile.
They took their time and came out an hour and a half later.
Aya was in the kitchen half asleep, eating. ‘Good morning.’ She said yawning.
‘Good morning.’ Said both of them with a satisfied smile.
‘Today we won’t be going to school; we will go out and buy the essentials for your life.’ Kouta said enthusiastically while getting some food.
‘Water, food and oxygen?’ She asked sarcastically chuckling.
‘No, sex toys!’ Said Himari making an exaggerated pose.
‘Okay…’ She replied smiling with a light blush.
‘We can buy those too, but I was talking about a handheld, mangas, books, whatever you want.’ He said chuckling.
‘I knew that, ha ha…’ Said Aya looking at her juice.
They went out on a shopping spree. Handheld console, games, more clothes, and to finish the first part off, Kouta and Himari brought her to their favorite manga shop.
‘You read all the ones that I and Himari have, now go wild, pick up your own manga.’ Said Kouta like he was setting a bird free. ‘Pick up some figurines if you want.’
Twenty minutes later her basket was full and she had a cute blushing smile.
They ate a late lunch at a good restaurant outside Akihabara.
They stopped by a sex-shop where Aya picked up some items, then went to see a movie. They let Aya pick the movie, she chose a rom-com, which was unusual for her.
Around 8pm they sat at the corner booth of a restaurant. People kept looking at them, the unrealistically handsome boy and two incredible beauties, one on each side.
‘Aya, don’t you get tired of holding my arm? Today was like you were glued to it.’ Asked Kouta chuckling.
‘It feels good. Why, does that bother you?’ She asked in a soft and sincere voice looking at him.
‘No, I quite like it.’ He said smiling with a light blush.
‘We’ve been around each other a lot since we met, so I know something bad happened last night, something you can’t talk about yet. That made me want to be closer, like this.’ She said in a soft voice holding his arm tighter.
‘Come here…’ Said Kouta with a gentle voice, hugging her. ‘I’ll talk to you about it, just not today. You don’t need to worry, you just made it better. Thank you…’ He said before kissing her cheek and letting go.
Aya smiled brightly with a light blush.
‘Aya, thank you.’ Said Himari with a sincere smile.
11:40pm, Himari’s house. The three of them sat down in the kitchen.
‘Kouta, before answering your questions I have some questions of my own.’ Said Fumiko with a serious tone.
‘What happened there?’ She asked with an inquisitive tone.
Kouta told her every detail, except for his system and the times he had to load.
‘Is that everything?’ She asked with a calm voice.
‘No.’ He answered sincerely.
Himari and Fumiko understood and let it go.
‘What is your hypothesis about everything so far?’ She asked with a hint of expectation.
‘Well, I’ve analyzed everything and from all the scenarios here is the more likely one: There is an entire society of spellcasters and maybe people with strange powers throughout the world. With spells and powers, it is not hard to conceal yourselves. I felt something break, something restraining my magic, you’d probably call it a seal. I think everyone has magic but is born with it sealed, unless you met a specific circumstance. My guess is being born from parents that don’t have a seal. As for casting spells, the chanting has to do with expressing your feelings and/or thoughts at the moment, and both it and the gestures help you determine the spell you’re casting. Although they don’t seem to be strictly necessary, they help speed up the process a lot.’
He took a sip of his tea and continued.
‘Societies have laws, one of those would be to not reveal that side of the world to people with a seal, which is why you two never said anything despite knowing I had some sort of power. The punishment is most likely heavy and would result in my memories being wiped or worse. I assume that there is also some sort of ritual that breaks that seal, which is how you recruit new people. If they refuse, you probably wipe their memories, and since I wouldn’t refuse, I’ve never been recruited. Given my capabilities that implies an age restriction, I’d guess 20. I’d also guess that my mom and dad refused to break it because of me, there was no magical cure for what I had and breaking my seal would probably kill me.’
He stopped to take another sip.
‘The way those men were worried about not killing us means that killing a sealed person and getting caught is worse than death. You’re also curious as to how your healing spell worked better after I said I’d help. I have gained Body Mastery as an innate spell and focused it entirely on recovery. You probably didn’t notice it due to a mix of my power and it being innate. Also, by your reactions, me breaking the seal by myself should not have been possible and I also should not have survived against those men due to the vast difference in magical power and experience.’
Fumiko and Himari listened to him silently.
‘One last thing, and this is one of my favorites. I think that every seal has a different strength and is related to talent. People with talent are born with a weaker seal, that weakens while they blossom their talents, which is why you wait until they’re 20, because that makes the ritual easier. And of course, since you don’t know what my power is, means that it can’t be detected and I’m immune to mind-reading. That’s all that I could infer.’ He said everything calmly, like he was reading a shopping list.
‘You are correct in all accounts, although I can’t say anything about your parents or your illness, because I don’t know. You actually know more than half of the people in it.’ Fumiko sighed.
‘Kou-chan, I expected nothing less.’ Himari said with a proud look while hugging him from the side.
Kouta gave her a light kiss.
‘How are you feeling right now?’ Asked Fumiko.
‘Perfectly fine, I assume I need to learn something.’ He replied.
‘Mana control, your mana is not dormant anymore. I didn’t teach you right away because due to the ludicrous power of your soul. Your mana is unnaturally refined for someone that just had the seal broken. The more refined the mana, the easier it is to control and less likely to go haywire.’
‘Let’s do it then.’ He said getting up.