Chapter 31: Vol1 Ch31: Crowmen (1)
"Such an ominous rhythm!" Chris stopped walking, his expression turned extremely difficult.
He had fought the most ferocious wyverns, faced the cruellest Kent tribesmen and countless other enemies, but this was the first time he had ever felt something this ominous.
"What's going on? I can sense that Negary had become weaker than ever before, but also stronger than ever" Chris' breathing began to become rhythmic but chaotic, harmonized his own rhythm with his surroundings and extended his senses outward, trying to see what happened.
"Does that shattered, chaotic rhythm belong to Negary? If we want to kill him, this is the best opportunity!" Chris' expression turned serious. Even though he didn't know what happened, this was without a doubt the best chance for their goal. He could sense that with every passing second, Negary would regain a bit of strength, perhaps even gradually growing stronger.
Chris changed his direction, wanting to head for the source of the rhythm, but he abruptly leapt back to dodge a rock that flew towards him.
The rock hit the ground and formed a small crater, showing how fast it was flying. If a human was hit by that head-on, they would most likely die.
"Mr Chris, we meet again so soon" the black-robed Nozades showed himself not too far away from where Chris was: "So you're heading for the forbidden zone?"
"And you're here to stop me?" Chris' gaze became focused.
"I've wanted to fight you for a long time, Mr Chris, or should I say, senior" Nozades spoke with a fanatic expression: "It was because of senior's tales that I left my home and faced this complicated world. Now that I have a chance to defeat senior with my own hands, I can hardly keep myself restrained!"
"The Crowmen's rules made it so that I can't attack Reya's visitors without a reason so I was trying to come up with some excuse, but not anymore" Nozades loudly declared: "This person is the criminal who killed Leader Comoros, all unrelated personnel please leave this street"
Very quickly, the entire street was evacuated. In Reystromia, the Crowmen were the peacekeepers and enforcers, they were highly disciplined soldiers that would never attack a person that hadn't disrupted Reya's order. Of course, the Crowmen would also mercilessly slaughter those that tried to challenge Reystromia's order, it was because of this strict order that many merchants and smugglers were attracted to this place.
"What flimsy framing" Chris scowled.
"That doesn't matter. Lord Comoros really is dead, and there were people who saw you enter his manor, that much is enough" Nozades shrugged and took off his black robe, revealing his naked upper body.
Twisted black patterns and stripes were all over Nozades' body, as he moved, the lines and patterns also constantly shifted, creating a warped and uneven perception that could even cause nausea.
"Are those Negary's modifications?" Chris stared at the black patterns while constantly sensing that ominous rhythm from afar, his breathing slowly changed.
"This is my Lord's blessing, and you will be defeated by this power" Nozades' expression slowly became settled. Maintaining calm and stability in battle was the mark of a true warrior, while explosive emotions could indeed heighten one's state temporarily, it couldn't persist for long.
Chris took a deep breath and threw a punch at Nozades, his punch wasn't particularly fast, but it followed a strange rhythm that made it feel like it couldn't be dodged no matter what.
Nozades' black patterns shifted and threw his own punch against Chris. The inhuman power caught Chris off guard, knocking him back a short step.
"Lord Negary's blessing grants me superhuman speed and power, with your power alone, you aren't a match for me" Nozades wasn't in a hurry to retaliate, he slowly declared a simple truth.
Chris didn't answer him. A combatant's mental state was crucial in battle, so quite a few people had the habit of saying things to rile their opponent up and cause them to lose their calm.
Chris' Rhythm Punch was a patterned attack that followed the opponent's unique rhythm. Normally, it would be very hard for an opponent to react to the patterned attack, as it would go against their own natural rhythm.
Chris immediately noticed, those black patterns surely did more than simply increase speed and power, because a mere difference in speed and power wouldn't be able to mess up his attacks.
Among Chris' previous opponents, there were creatures like the wyvern whose physical abilities far surpassed that of humans, this level of superhuman strength and speed wasn't much compared to that of a wyvern.
Chris maintained his calm and tried to match Nozades' strength with his Rhythm Punch again and again.
Each of Chris' punches was aimed at an awkward position for Nozades, but he would perfectly block them every time. Very strangely, Nozades hadn't tried to retaliate at all, even with his advantage of speed and power, he never actively attacked Chris even once.
"I'm quite disappointed, senior, I thought you would be a bit stronger than this" Nozades once again parried Chris' punch and suddenly declared: "[Respiratory Art] can indeed allow you to attack a human's weakness, but with Lord Negary's blessing, I've already transcended the limit of humans!"
Nozades abruptly changed his defensive game plan and proactively threw a punch against Chris. Even more shockingly, Chris noticed that Nozades was using his Rhythm Punch, this patterned punch that struck at a person's weakness couldn't possibly be used without knowing [Respiratory Art]!
Chris barely managed to avoid Nozades' punch and paid attention to Nozades' breathing.
That's not right, his breathing isn't following the rules of [Respiratory Art]
Chris scowled and once again took a deep breath, his own rhythm instantly harmonized with the environment again as he threw an unbelievable punch at Nozades.
If Rhythm Punch was the technique to attack an enemy's weakness, then Chris' current attack was taking advantage of his own harmonization with the environment to perform a Silent Punch.
Because a Silent Punch was performed in perfect harmonization with its surroundings, this attack was met with very little resistance and could hardly be detected, because of this, the Silent Punch was also called the Assassination Technique.
As Chris's fist grazed Nozades' head, the residual power caused his hair to flutter. Even though it was only at the very last moment, Nozades still managed to dodge Chris' attack.
Nozades once again stopped his attack and smirked: "That's how it should be, senior, please show your prowess to the best of your abilities. Only then can I feel a sense of accomplishment of defeating you!!"