Chapter 13: Quarterfinals Fourth Match
As I entered the arena, my opponent, the battle doll, was already standing there in a towering stance.
The doll was built entirely out of rare metals, with thick, round limbs and a sturdy two-legged stance that exuded an intimidating presence when facing it head-on.
Do I really have to destroy this thing? Ugh, what a hassle.
Though it wasn’t a living being, I could sense an overwhelming spiritual power emanating from it to compensate for the lack of fighting spirit.
The scars from its previous battles were nowhere to be seen, so I assumed it had been repaired without issue.
It was going to be a tough fight for me.
“Welcome to the fourth and final quarterfinal match! It’s the battle between the battle doll and the Underworld Scorpion! The battle doll, the largest of all the beasts that made it to the quarterfinals, versus the smallest beast, the Underworld Scorpion! The difference in size between them is obvious! Professor, what kind of battle do you expect this to be?”
“As you can tell from the odds, the battle doll definitely has the advantage.
Not only because of its size, but also because the Underworld Scorpion’s deadliest weapon, its poisonous stinger, will be rendered useless.
On top of that, the doll is made of a rare mineral called spiritual vein steel from the Shumie Mountain Range…..which boasts a hardness comparable to dragon scales and shells.
In other words…”
“It means that The battle doll has a massive advantage in a head-on battle, doesn’t it?”
The professor who gave the feedback was saying whatever he wanted.
Moreover, all the information that came out was unfavorable towards me.
I didn’t particularly want him to root for me, and even if the situation seemed hopeless, I had no intention of giving up.
That was because I had a mission to survive for a hundred years.
“So does this mean that the victory for the battle doll is almost certain?” asked the manager.
“No, I can’t say that for sure,” replied the professor.
“As we all remember, that underworld scorpion overturned expectations and defeated the sovereign dragon snake.
It’s clear that it is accustomed to fighting.
Large battle dolls consume a lot of spiritual power, and if it becomes a battle of endurance, they’re at a disadvantage.
If the scorpion realizes that, there’s a chance for victory.
Also, there may be a secret strategy to disassemble the battle doll, you know?”
Oh, it seemed that I was surprisingly receiving high praise from the professor.
And he even saw through the fact that Georg had forced me to fight so much.
He doesn’t seem like just a big-headed intellectual.
And perhaps because he didn’t know that I understood human language, he told me the weak points of the battle doll.
In other words, if I keep running away, I should be able to win.
I didn’t know how long it would take for the battle doll to become unable to move, but if I could win just by running away, it should be easy.
“The outcome of this battle is difficult to predict! Will the battle doll crush its opponent as expected, or will the unexpected be demonstrated by the Underworld Scorpion? This is a match to watch! And now… the fourth match of the quarterfinals begins!”
As soon as the signal to start was given, the barrier disappeared and I quickly moved my jointed legs to run towards the battle doll.
I had no intention of engaging in a battle of endurance or waiting for my opponent to tire out.
This doll could be a test stone for the final match.
I didn’t know about the spiritual vein steel, the material used to create the battle doll, but I listened carefully to the professor’s words.
He said it had “hardness comparable to dragon scales and shells.” In other words, if I couldn’t damage it, then I wouldn’t have a way to hurt the rock dragon.
I wanted to test if my strength could work against the dragon.
The battle doll tried to stomp on me as I closed in, but its movements were sluggish, so it was easy to evade.
As it loomed overhead, I slipped underneath its foot and circled around to its back, where I grabbed onto its ankle.
Then I used my fighting spirit to fortify my pincers, slamming them shut like a blunt weapon.
As I struck the incredibly hard surface of the doll, a strong impact was transmitted to my pincers.
However, it seemed that my efforts had paid off.
The area where I struck with my pincers was clearly dented.
Alright, it seems that my strength could even penetrate dragon scales if I used my fighting spirit.
As I was satisfied with the results, the amount of spiritual power released from the battle doll increased explosively.
Following that, complex blue and white patterns emerged on its surface.
This must also be a type of spiritual circuit.
However, I did not possess the knowledge to discern what its effect was.
I must be cautious.
The battle doll raised both arms and slammed its fists towards me.
Its movements were sharper, and its strength was even greater than when it stomped on me earlier.
Each time its fist hit the ground, the earth was gouged out, leaving clear marks of its impact.
This indicated that the spiritual circuit had enhanced the battle doll’s strength and agility.
There may be other enhancements applied, but for now, it was unclear.
I could continue to observe and focus on evading, but to probe the enemy’s capabilities, I should try to counter-attack.
With my compound eyes, I carefully observed the movements of the battle doll and then slipped back into its blind spot.
I kicked the doll’s leg with my pincers again, just as I had before.
But as soon as the impact hit, the surface of the doll shone, and my pincers were bounced off with a snap.
(It’s not just hardened.
It feels like there’s a thin membrane that repels attacks.
This is troublesome…oh, wait)
Dodging the doll’s fist at the last second, I analyzed its abilities based on the sensation of my attack.
As a result, I concluded that it had activated a defensive spiritual art of some sort.
To think that it could even layer a spiritual armor on top of its already sturdy frame.
It’s almost impressive how thoroughly it has fortified its defense.
However, I didn’t miss the fact that it had consumed a huge amount of spiritual power the moment it repelled my pincers.
It seems that the defensive membrane also requires spiritual power to function.
Since the consumption of spiritual power increased every time the spiritual circuit was activated, if it were to keep employing the thin membrane repeatedly, it might soon become unable to move.
(Well, even so, I’ll keep attacking.)
I ran towards the battle doll once again, making a dry rustling sound with each step.
The doll tried to prevent my approach by stamping its feet and slamming its fists, but underestimating my agility would be a mistake.
There was no way I would fall for such a clumsy attack.
After observing the doll’s movements with my compound eyes, I slipped into its blind spot and struck its ankle with my pincers while running past it.
With a snap, the membrane activated again, but this time I felt a metallic sensation as my pincers hit the surface.
Although I couldn’t dent it, I realized that if I put speed on my attacks and hit it with enough force, I could break through the membrane.
Then…..how about this? I disengaged and opened my pincers, then closed in again, slashing with the insides of my pincers.
The sound of metal clashing echoed in the air as the sharp edge of my pincers cut through the membrane and left a wound on the surface of the battle doll.
Alright, this should do it.
I can destroy the battle doll with my pincers.
I utilized my agility and quick reflexes to avoid the attacks of the battle doll while inflicting more and more damage on it.
The audience was pleasantly surprised, and they were cheering loudly as they did not expect such a turn of events.
In contrast, the doll’s handlers were visibly distressed, their faces turning pale as they scrambled to react to my unexpected strategy.
I had no sympathy for them.
I remained focused and continued to systematically dismantle the doll.
As I landed another strike, the doll, which was already battered and bruised, had a sudden change.
The blue and white spiritual circuit that had been exposed on its body began to glow a deep red.
In a burst of energy, the doll’s power surged, and it released an electrical discharge of the same color, leaping into the air with a tremendous force.
The law governing this world states that if you jump, you will fall.
The battle doll seemed to be very heavy, so I decided to keep my distance from it for safety’s sake.
With my compound eyes locked onto the doll, I moved away from its anticipated landing spot.
(It’s withdrawing, but if I fight cautiously…huh?)
The battle doll had ascended to the ceiling of the barrier, but it then placed both of its arms against the barrier to push off and adjust its direction of descent.
It was heading straight towards me.
Having seen it coming, I ran as fast as I could to escape from the projected landing spot.
However, the doll was clearly aiming for me, and I couldn’t avoid it.
I had no choice but to hold up my claw like a shield in defense.
Although I managed to avoid a direct hit, the sole of the doll’s foot caught my pincers.
I was hit by a violent impact and an electrical shock that I had never felt before, before I was sent flying backwards.
I tumbled through the air before hitting the ground and bouncing a few times before finally coming to a stop in an overturned position.
(guuh…both of my claws seem to have cracks on their surface.
I want to use my fighting spirit to heal, but it doesn’t look like my opponent will allow me the time.)
I calmly assessed the damage I had taken while keeping an eye on my opponent as I stood up.
Previously, my opponnt wsa just flailed its arms and legs while standing still, but now it was firmly planted, ready for anything.
There’s no opening to be found… it’s as if I were facing a skilled martial artist.
I also stopped moving proactively and prepared my pincers while waiting for the battle doll’s attack.
Moving carelessly would be a mistake, and no matter how much I strengthen myself with fighting spirit, I doubt my pincers’ exoskeleton could endure for long.
I think I can only keep this up once more.
Therefore, the only way for me to win is to let my opponent come at me, then strike a counter-attack using its momentum to deal a fatal blow.
Fortunately, I don’t know if it was fair to say, but the battle doll had consumed a massive amount of spiritual power.
Hence, its fighting time was limited, so this tension-filled moments wouldn’t last long.
While the battle doll may appear to have the upper hand, in reality, we’ were both in a situation where we had no other options.
The battle doll, creeping closer with its shuffling steps, suddenly stopped at a certain distance and stood still like a statue for a moment.
However, I didn’t miss the sign of an explosive surge in spiritual power that was about to errupt.
(…Here it comes!)
The doll lunged sharply and attempted to sweep me off my feet with a tripping motion.
Calculating the timing, I unleashed the power of my strengthened jointed legs and charged straight towards it.
That fatal kick grazed the tip of my tail, but I successfully dodged it.
Then, using the same momentum, I swiftly sliced through the joint of my opponent’s knee.
In that moment, I felt a sharp pain in my pincers and the crushing of my exoskeleton.
The battle doll, now with its knee destroyed, stumbled and nearly toppled over.
(Victory… or so I thought!)
Just as I believed that victory was mine, the battle doll reached out its arm while falling and swung its fist down at me.
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