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Chapter 257 – Receptacle of Solitude (2)

    Chapter 257 - Receptacle of Solitude (2)

    'It's coming.'

    It had eight tails, so he naturally called it Eight-Tails. Theodore's super sensitivity read its actions ahead of time, but he didn't move and focused on the Eight-Tails' movements.

    Eight-Tails' human form might've already been lost, but the power wriggling around Eight-Tails' tails was close to eight circles. Theodore would suffer a serious injury if he was hit by them. Likewise, the movements of the two spirits became more cautious.

    Five or maybe ten seconds later...

    In a state of maximized concentration where the concept of time was forgotten, the two spirits and one magician witnessed the same sight. The black tails shook. Left to right, right to left... Theodore was shocked as the waving tails created an illusion.

    "What...?"

    Then the eight tails were suddenly right in front of him.

    Puhwaaak!

    It moved at a fast speed. Theodore was able to respond to this speed due to his previous experiences of dealing with opponents who had tremendous speeds. Otherwise, his breathing might've been cut off by this.

    The six shields Theodore reflexively created were shattered, while he took four steps in this gap and quickly moved his hands.

    Fairy Dance's Direct Transmission.

    Four Major Hidden Techniques.

    Moon Breaking through the Clouds.

    Ether coalesced together like clouds, and the hidden technique, Moon Breaking through the Clouds, showed an absolute defense when being hit by an attack from the front.

    Theodore paid attention to the tails and realized why he had been surprised. Eight-Tails wasn't simply moving at a fast speed. It used the gap when they were dazzled by the movements of its tail to narrow the distance using footwork.

    'Kuk, it isn't merely a strong monster...!'

    It might've been only for 10 seconds, but his arms were numb from blocking the attack. Theodore clicked his tongue at the destructive power, while the tails struck 10 times per second.

    Jeeeong! Jjang! Chaaeng!

    Eight-Tails struck from above and then the side. Each blow was heavy and fast like it would break Theodore's bones. Theodore deflected all the attacks and counterattacked in the gaps. However, there were moments when the enemy's destructive power was too strong, and he couldn't strike back. He had to focus on defense. Otherwise, his arms would be crushed in a flash.

    It was an extreme strength that could overwhelm steel. Above all, the eight tails were attacking the two spirits as well as Theodore. The monster born of solitude was able to overwhelm three master-level people.

    However, they wouldn't be pushed so easily.

    'Fire!' Theodore narrowly cast a spell through a gap. Even if his opponent was a monster, it was still a disadvantage for them to be hit at close range. The magician's magic power eventually appeared as attack magic.

    "Inferno!"

    When the maximum output was used, 7th Circle magic could burn an entire village to ashes. A storm of fire flowed from Theodore's left hand and instantly hit three tails of darkness, momentarily pushing the darkness away.

    It was possible to destroy three or four tails. However, Theodore's bright expression disappeared the moment he saw Eight-Tails' suspicious movements.

    Dhanyata... Ohm... Vajra... There was an unknown and meaningless murmur, a monologue that was strange for a monster without any intelligence. Yes, it was like a magician's chanting.

    "This...!"

    Theodore prepared a spell, but he was one step too late.

    Sva...ha!

    As soon as the cry emerged, the darkness in the vicinity sprang at Theodore. This was a shaman's curse.

    There were countless types of curses, ranging from those that rotted the flesh, curses that poisoned the air, and curses that burned the caster's opponent. Unlike magic, there were several curses which couldn't be prevented, so Theodore couldn't be careless.

    'Dammit! It is such crude shamanism!'

    Most shamans separated their magic power into a three-circle system, or maybe a four-circle system. Theodore's hairs rose as he felt a sense of crisis from Eight-Tails' power.

    [Hoh, then should this body help you?] At this moment, Seimei took control of Theodore's right arm. [How long has it been since I met a shaman? I am a bit dissatisfied that the opponent has little rationality, but this is sufficient.]

    "W-Wait a minute!"

    [Don't delay! I have to take care of this quickly!]

    Amidst the heavy rain of curses pouring at him, Seimei started to form unknown characters with his right hand. Theodore was able to recognize some of them, but there were many he didn't know.

    However, the remarkable thing wasn't the variety of characters but the speed at which they were being made. There were at least three to five characters per second, so the change in hand gestures had to be praised. The phenomenon that resulted from it transcended Theodore's common sense.

    'T-The curses were scattered?'

    [Of course. Daring to use curses in front of this Seimei... I will make that ugly body realize how stupid it is!]

    Just like the sea splitting into two, the wave of curses divided around Theodore. This was proof that Seimei's shamanism could counter all the different types of curses used. It was truly not an impossible feat for the greatest onmyōji, Abe no Seimei. If magic was an architectural technique, then shamanism was a string. A magician stacked bricks to construct a big building, while shamans used strings to knot a man's neck.

    [No matter how hard you try, the loose knot won't be tightened. Even if the rope turns into a chain, it isn't difficult to break if you know how. Well, it would take a few months for someone like you!]

    '...Do you have to be so patronizing?' Theodore complained, but he still paid attention to the shaman as he couldn't miss this opportunity.  Theodore was adept at maintaining the line between life and death, so he couldn't miss this chance before him. He had the power to overwhelm three tails at once.

    Theodore took in a deep breath after finishing his thought.

    「Убирайся-к-чёрту (Go aw-ay)!」 He let out a thunderous shout that couldn't be made with a human voice.

    Kwarururung!

    These were Dragon Words! The power to rule this material world pushed at the space itself, and three tails flew far away. It wasn't a force which could be endured. Eight-Tails abruptly bounced back hundreds of meters, while the two spirits approached Theodore to speak while panting roughly.

    Only a few minutes had passed, but their fur was tinged with blood.

    "I'm alive thanks to you, Human Male!"

    "I wasn't alert and almost got hit. Dangerous monster."

    Theodore nodded and replied to them, "We shouldn't hand over the initiative. We might not know the techniques it is using, but its firepower is three times higher than ours. We don't have a chance if we compete in strength. We need to hit it with everything we have."

    "I don't know anything, so I'll just follow you."

    "Your words are correct for once, Tiger King."

    Theodore was busy thinking while talking with Tiger King and White Bear. Their opponent seemed to be a mixed demon fox. Fortunately, there were only eight tails.

    [Well, succeeding in nine tails would be unreasonable. A ninth tail can't be created with such dull power. Look, isn't the eighth tail unstable in shape? If it consumes more power or receives a serious blow, that tail will scatter immediately.]

    -But be careful. Even if it isn't a perfect nine-tailed fox, it has eight tails and can produce the output of eight circles. You won't be able to last for long if you face it head-on.

    [Ah, one more thing. This creature has a regeneration ability that's close to immortality. When it is blown away, don't feel at ease. Keep hitting it until it was destroyed.]

    Seimei and Gluttony could be called the owners of a great deal of knowledge about magic and shamanism. So, Theodore hurried after hearing from the two voices. It was because Eight-Tails was coming back. Eight-Tails was close to being immortal, so how could Theodore beat it without a frontal confrontation?

    Coincidentally, both people had the same answer.

    -Continue to beat it up until it dies.

    [Strike until it dies, and don't get hit.]

    Simultaneously, Eight-Tails jumped toward them from far away.

    ■■■■■■■―――!

    Eight-Tails was angry at the person who had blown it away. It was an irrational annoyance that couldn't be understood. So, it aimed for the three uninvited guests. Going against that terrible oppression, the Tiger King walked forward.

    "You want to beat me up? This time, it is my turn, Fox!"

    For centuries, there had been a nucleus of mana in the mountains which had existed for hundreds of years, and the spirits that could use it freely had their own special abilities. Some spirits could emit flames stronger than lava, while some land spirits developed wings.

    The Tiger King was a bit more special.

    Kuweeeeeoh!

    As if in response to her roar, the number of Tiger Kings increased by five, and it wasn't an illusion. The weight of her bodies crushed the ground, and an overwhelming presence filled the surroundings.

    Theodore figured out her power and gulped. 'Doppelgangers...! Additionally, they are produced without a loss of power...'

    In a flash, five more tigers surrounded Eight-Tails. The perfect physical body of the Tiger King had increased by five. Even a Seimei-level shaman couldn't achieve such a feat, so the inherent ability of the spirits was something far removed from common sense.

    "Be honored to receive death from the five tigers!" The Tiger King cried out excitedly.

    Meanwhile, Eight-Tails chuckled and trembled for some reason. Then its eight tails moved in a fan shape.

    "―Huh?"

    "...Hey, this bastard! This is a foul!"

    The Tiger King-no, six Tiger Kings cried out. Eight-Tails, whose body had increased by seven, laughed at the Tiger King, the White Bear, and Theodore, and showed off its power. It was similar to a child wanting to show their strength, rather than an evil being.

    Theodore didn't panic. Eight-Tails' intention was certainly to ridicule the Tiger King, but in this situation, it was like a handshake. Eight-Tails was intimidating because its power alone overwhelmed the three. However, unlike the Tiger King, its power was distributed between the seven clones.

    "How foolish and young." Unlike the angry Tiger King, the White Bear noticed this fact straight away. The White Bear moved faster than Theodore could instruct and activated his own unique ability.

    It was a simple yet powerful ability-becoming giant. The White Bear was originally 4 meters in height, and he now grew to over 15 meters tall. The Tiger King was busy with the battle of nerves and didn't notice the situation. As soon as the transformation was complete, Theodore shouted to them, "Tiger King, White Bear! Take three each! In the meantime, I will deal with the main body!"

    "Uh, what? U-Understood!"

    "I understand!"

    It was before Eight-Tails could react. The Tiger King answered half a beat late, but the White Bear raised his arms as if he had been waiting.

    His weight had increased by many times, but his movement speed wasn't much different from before. It wouldn't be a unique ability if his movement speed was slowed down. In that case, it would just be a simple penalty.

    Theodore rushed forward while appreciating the White Bear's unique ability. Eight-Tails' main body and clones couldn't be distinguished with the naked eye, but it had made a big mistake.

    'The unstable eighth tail.'

    Eight-Tails couldn't take that tail with it when it split into several clones, so there was one Eight-Tails with one and a half tails. That was the main body. Theodore's seven circles rotated as he rushed toward Eight-Tails.

    Fairy Dance's Direct Transmission.

    Freehand First Strike Technique.

    Right Fist Blast Thunder.

    Then he punched out as hard as he could.
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