s the protagonist.
Even for the author, it wouldn’t be easy to apply a ‘protagonist buff’ to this guy.

Also, although this guy showed skills comparable to Leo in the last chapter, he was actually a guide.
In other words, a character whose defeat in a ‘duel’ could be tolerated.

So, there was only this guy.
That I could set myself against.

Even as the match started, Yan just stood there with his eyes gleaming.

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Those tranquil eyes seemed to be examining my ability.

‘Taking a peek, huh?’

I looked at Yan and smiled.
Since he was showing such calmness, I thought I should also at least show a degree of relaxation.

“Do you think you can see through my identity if you just keep staring?”

“… There are no signs of training, but your body is unusually strong and hard.”

“I know you have good eyes, but it’s embarrassing, so please stop peeking.
You just have to beat me.
Then I’ll tell you anything.
Can you do that, though?”

“… Well.”

At that moment,

“The long and short of it… if we’re just face to face!”

Shh –.

Suddenly, his form disappeared.

‘Huh…?’

Following,

Bump –.

“Won’t I know then?”

“… Ah-oh.”

A foot flew in from somewhere and hit me in the ass.

It was tingling rather than painful, and I was feeling more embarrassed than angry.

This guy was faster than I’d thought.
Much, much faster, at that.

“Hey, you know we’re boxing right? Fists only.”

“Oops, my mistake.”

His face had no trace of shame and no change in expression.

“And anyway, I was just saying hello.
If I had struck somewhere else with more force, it might not have been safe.”

“…”

I nodded.

“Okay, I looked down on you.
You got a lucky hit in.”

Actually, these was not just some empty words.

I immediately mimicked his unique ability.

[Dance with Ghost Killer].

Soon after, a transparent ghost that looked just like me popped out of thin air.

“Oh, what’s this place?”

“Hey.
I am your master.
Attack target is that gloomy kid in front of you.
Understood?”

“Hey, you want me to beat a kid?”

“No good?”

“It’s just fine!”

Then he rushed towards Yan.

Even as the ghost’s uppercut brushed past his chin, Yan kept observing.

“… I’m really curious.
Suddenly, even my ability…”

“Well, you must have guessed, didn’t you?”

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Yan’s face darkened slightly.

“Still, I will win.”

Then, Yan too showed his unique ability.

There were two of them in the arena.

“I’ll start strong.
Things might get annoying otherwise.”

Before long, two ghosts that looked just like Yan started beating my ghost.

Real people couldn’t touch these ghost killers unless they had a ‘special method’, but the ghosts seemed to be able to beat each other up just fine.

“Hey, what are you doing? Counterattack!”

“Hey, these little ones… are strong! Add one more!”

Seriously, this oversized layabout.

“See… looks like one is your limit, right? Seems like you can’t draw out 100% of the abilities of others.”

“Who says that?”

I immediately summoned another ghost.

“Go over there and help your friend.”

“What do you mean, I’m on a team with that stupid squat-jawed lump?”

“Yeah, with the guy who looks just like you.
Get a move on!”

Seeing this scene, Yan gulped a bit nervously.

“Seems it’s possible.”

“Are you surprised?”

“A little bit… But, seems the ability isn’t mastered as much as me?”

That was true.

It was 2-2, but just looking at it, the Squatjaws were in a bit of a pushback trend.

Of course, it’s the master’s ability that determines the strength of a ghost.
But what is equally important is the harmony between them.
Because these guys have an ‘ego’ as well as a continuous ‘memory’, making them individuals capable of ‘growth’ through repeated actual battles.

Besides, the problem wasn’t just the ghosts.

“You don’t have the time to keep looking at the ghosts.”

Yan continued his attacks on me.

Shh –.

Yikes.

I hurriedly backed away to avoid Yan’s straight cross homing in on my jaw.

But that was immediately followed by a jab, jab, jab, and finally a hook.

Th-ud.

“… Grunt.”

“Looks like the damage is slowly piling up.
You’ve slowed down.”

That last one was a little heavy.
It felt like the insides of my head were shaking.

‘Ah, was it bad to choose boxing?’

My chin was about three times as large as others, so it was a little bit harded to dodge.
Besides, the opponent’s hits were strong enough to hit the goal even with just a glancing blow, and that guy’s footwork was also too fast to follow.

But even so,

‘Nope.’

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I shook my head.

Fortunately, the gloves, the boxing shoes, and the rules of boxing themselves limited his routes of attack, so that was enough.

There are several hidden characteristics that Yan has learned from the assassins as per his setting, and one of them is ‘ghost walk’.
It’s a kind of body lightening method[1], a cheat ability that lets the user move secretly and quickly without making a single noise.

In the original work, Yan always took his shoes off when using that ability, meaning he was not currently using it.

‘But it’s still like this?’

Strong.

I nodded.
Really, not just anybody could become the main character’s companion.
The guy I’d thought of as my most suitable opponent was still this strong.

So,

“I can’t do it.”

“… Are you giving up?”

“Uh, right.”

I graciously admitted it.

For a moment, a look of embarrassment appeared in Yan’s eyes.
It seems to have been a completely unexpected statement.

And, perhaps, so was it for the readers.
Of course, for the author too.

Did I get some attention?

“You’re amazing.
So I’m going to stop playing around and finish it now.”

“…?”

The third and final reason why I dared to compete with Yan by skill.

“Come, ghosts.”

“… Huh?”

Soon after,

“Um, where is this?”

“What, am I fourth?”

“You are the master! I am the ghost!”

Three ghosts spawned next to me.

I slowly gave Yan a glance and gave instructions to the three.

“Smash both the little kid and the two little ghosts over there.
Is five enough?”

Then,

“… What, what?”

Yan’s face, full of shock with his mouth opened wide, caught my eye.

What was the reason, you ask?

Simple.
Because I was completely confident that I would actually win.

Because I wasn’t mimicking Yan, or rather the ‘Current Yan’.

The one I was mimicking was Yan a few chapters from now.

It was ‘Future Yan’, who was stronger than he was now.

I smiled at Yan.

“I’m confused too… who knows how this happened?”

Editor’s Notes:

[1] 경공 (lit.
light work), Chinese martial art term for method to lighten the body and facilitate movement.

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