Chapter 37: Vol1 Ch37: Bizarre Scales (1)
"What are you, begging for your life now?" one of the goons swung the axe in their hands, excitedly looking down at Chris: "So much for the ‘legendary adventurer', in the face of death, you're just as pathetic as the rest"
"Whatever, the Crowmen quota will be mine!" the axe goon charged forward first and swung his axe down at Chris.
"Fuu…" the axe-wielding goon didn't notice the sound of breathing as he attacked. Chris crouched down, shoved both hands accurately between the goon's running legs and rolled to avoid the swinging axe.
As Chris looked up, a wound was clearly seen on his forehead where blood was dripping down. The [Black Crow] germs began to move gradually towards the wound and let Chris open his mouth.
"Sorry about this, Stripping Rhythm!" Chris clutched the mass of [Black Crow] germs on his face and began to use an advanced application of the [Respiratory Art]. All things in the world had their own rhythm, harmonizing with that rhythm allowed one to sense them or even use their power, for example, Metal Rhythm. At the same time, if one's rhythm completely rejected the rhythm of another thing, one would be able to expel it from their body, it was this trick that Chris used to expel the germs he inhaled while staying in Reystromia.
The blood on Chris' face trembled a bit before he peeled all the mass of black substance off himself and threw it onto the axe-wielding goon.
"These germs aren't sentient, they only know to act on their instincts to try and enter a person's body, or to follow fresh blood. You were probably holding a mouthful of blood to make sure that the germs didn't flow down your throat didn't you, woman?"
Chris continued to breathe and used Stripping Rhythm to expel the germs that managed to enter his body, while the axe-wielding goon was now rolling on the ground as the black mass invaded his body through his mouth and nose.
He screamed and writhed in pain as black spots appeared all over his body, in just a few moments, he would probably die from the [Black Crow] disease. You don't become a Crowmen through simply contracting the [Black Crow] germs, otherwise, there would be no need for a restriction with quotas.
"Should I say as expected of the legendary adventurer? Being able to notice the [Black Crow] germ's characteristics despite being in such a situation" Tesa slowly raised her broken rapier again. While she chose to be careful and had other people finish Chris off, she would not flee should the situation turn bad as it currently had. Just as she said, if she was in Nozades' shoes, she would've chosen to do exactly as he did.
Tesa saw the vision of Negary offering her his hand as she determined herself. Every person wanted to feel needed and gain the recognition of others, the entire reason why Tesa worked herself so hard in the first place was so that she would not be considered useless anymore.
"Does none of you cherish your own life?" under Chris' glare, the goons that surrounded him fearfully retreated and ran back into hiding. As he steadily approached Tesa again, there was a look of respect in his eyes.
Regardless if they were an enemy or not, regardless of what kind of faith they hold, you simply could not look down on a person who knew exactly what they wanted, and holds on firmly to their belief to the point of throwing their life away for it. In fact, Chris felt that he should praise their faith.
"Enough, Tesa!" a voice came from afar, calling Tesa to back down. Standing on top of a building with the Crowmen uniform, it was Yadley who spoke with a serious tone: "Reya still needs people. For Lord Negary's sake, leave your useful self alive"
"…I understand" Tesa glared intensely at her opponent Chris, lowered her broken rapier and quickly retreated.
"Another enemy" Chris continued to breathe to adjust himself. After two consecutive battles, he had expended quite a bit of stamina, and this new enemy, from their rhythm alone, seemed to be a lot stronger than the rest.
"How difficult, my body is getting worse and worse by the years" Chris squinted his eyes. [Respiratory Art] was a wonderful thing, by practising it alone, one would be able to adjust their own rhythm, thus improving one's health and lifespan.
But as Chris was constantly going on his adventures, constantly using various [Respiratory Art] techniques to fight, his body was instead becoming worse. For example, Metal Rhythm forcefully adjusted his body to match that of metal, thus throwing his own rhythm into chaos and causing a tiny bit of imbalance within himself.
As this imbalance accumulated, it would grow to become a hidden internal wound that when erupted would immediately take Chris' life.
"Kill me! Somebody, please kill me!" the axe-wielding goon from before was screaming like mad. After contracting the [Black Crow] disease, his entire body was writhing and squeezing itself, causing him extreme unbearable pain, to him, death was a kind of release.
He staggered towards Chris who was standing closest to him, forcing Chris to split part of his focus to pay attention to him.
"You've caused enough disturbance here. Time for you to rest, Chris Modo!" Yadley didn't pay any attention to the axe-wielding goon, his eyes became sharp as he ordered with a strange tone: "Bizarre Scales, kill him!"
A dark golden glow flashed briefly and vanished as the axe-wielding goon's body was instantly ripped apart. The golden glow followed the splashing blood right in front of Chris as a set of razor-sharp claws came down on him, but for some reason, the creature's movements hesitated for a brief moment.
The smell of blood filled the air as Chris dodged to one side. A long wound appeared on his right hip, if it were just a bit deeper, it would've punctured his organs. If that thing earlier had attacked him directly without the axe-wielding goon in its way and without that slight hesitation, his body would've been ripped cleanly in half.
"Thank… you…" the axe-wielding goon's body was ripped in half at his stomach, collapsing to the ground with an expression of release before dying.
"What sort of animal is that?" in Chris' panic, he only managed to see some dark-gold scales: "And what is that extreme imbalanced rhythm? It reminds me of Reya's chief, Comoros. No, that thing's rhythm is even more imbalanced than Comoros!"
"Again!" Yadley's cold and strange tone ordered again, causing Chris to hurriedly jump away. He was most afraid of enemies whose speed or strength far surpassed his own as it would be hard for the various applications of [Respiratory Art] to be used.
Chris quickly jumped into a narrow alleyway. The main road was too wide to provide him any protection from this sort of speedy enemy, only the complicated paths of the alleyway would give him a chance to restrain that creature and win.
Chris' mind was turning desperately.
With another flash of the dark golden glow, Chris managed to grab a ledge above just in time to avoid this attack.
"Continue… Bizarre Scales!"