The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 30

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When facing off against a crowd of horned rabbits, a halberd wasn’t the right choice. Though I would have astoundingly greater reach than them, they could easily jump inside my reach without me being able to strike them. Thus, my club was better. It had a larger striking surface which would increase my accuracy.

I wasn’t sure if rabbits really had a language, but the two-horned rabbit cried out and his subordinates responded. They spread out to circle around me, but they were out of my reach so I couldn’t stop them. While I could have moved to engage one or two of them, I had to concentrate on the two-horned rabbit. It was much larger, and also more of a threat. It was clearly focused on me, so I couldn’t divide my attention too much.

Then it leaped, along with the others in my vision and presumably those behind. I had to dodge, but at the same time I counterattacked with my club. However, unlike the smaller horned rabbits, the two-horned rabbit brought its front paws down on my club with near perfect timing, deflecting most of the energy and almost jumping off of it. Neither of us had injured the other, but there were still the eight smaller horned rabbits. While I managed to mostly dodge them, I found myself with a number of grazes which slightly damaged me even through my armor.

The pattern repeated itself as the rabbits lunged at me. I tried several methods of swinging at the two-horned rabbit, but it always found a way to avoid taking damage, pushing with its paws or twisting in the air. Each time, I took a few small wounds. They were nothing on their own, but they would slow me down and I would get tired from swinging my weapon around. I had no doubt that the rabbits would get tired too, but not faster than me.

The next time the rabbits leaped, I took a swing at one of the smaller ones. If I could get rid of them, I would be able to focus on the boss and probably defeat it easily. There was a crunch as I took out one of the horned rabbits, but at the same time I heard a cracking sound and felt a pain on the side of my neck. I could see the signs of a barrier spell having been created just in time to prevent me from taking something much worse than a scratch. Somehow, the two-horned rabbit had tilted its head midair to slash me with the tips of its horns, once it noticed I wasn’t attacking it, taking advantage of my assumption that I had successfully dodged. “Thanks, Kantrilla!”

I couldn’t keep track of everything that was happening, and the only reason I was still holding my own was that the regular horned rabbits only aimed at where I had been when they leaped. That was the only weakness of their coordination, because if the ones behind me had waited for me to dodge, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. Could I continue to take out the weaker ones as I had just done? Knowing what the two-horned rabbit might do, I could possibly defend myself, but if it did something new I could end up in trouble. Kantrilla couldn’t cast a barrier spell very many times, and relying on that wasn’t the best way to fight anyway.

What could I do? My only hope was to do a better job of avoiding the attacks and take out the weaker rabbits one at a time. I could watch out for the tricky attacks of the two horned rabbit… but keeping track of the others at the same time was hard. I had to give it my all. I had to focus… then, they leaped.

It is hard to describe the sensation I felt at that time. It felt like time slowed down, but I slowed down with it. My thoughts weren’t any faster, and yet… I took note of the location of every horned rabbit in front of me, and even a guess at those behind. I dodged, and swung my club, and even avoided the twisting attack of the two-horned rabbit. I got out with no significant damage to myself, and another horned rabbit defeated.

At first I thought it was a trick of the mind, but then it happened again. I was highly aware of where everything was… and also how little I could actually see with my eyes. I could see a handful of rabbits, but except for my target everything was a blur. Still, I could pick out each of them… but I didn’t have time to think about what I was doing. All I could do was to continue with my plan of dodging, but slightly better for the information.

*Crunch* *crunch*. Another horned rabbit fell under my club… and one was defeated by Kantrilla. That made her a more likely target, but now there were only four horned rabbits and the two-horned rabbit. My job was significantly easier, but I thought I would still need to focus exclusively on the two-horned rabbit to be able to defeat it.

I wondered… could I defeat multiple rabbits in a single swing? It wouldn’t be a problem of power, but merely accuracy and timing. It wouldn’t hurt to try… well, it might, but as long as I used the momentum of the swing to keep myself moving, I thought I should be able to avoid taking any attacks that I couldn’t handle.

The only thing I could do was try. I readied myself to swing and concentrated. Once again, time slowed down as they leaped, and yet everything still happened just as fast as normal. My swing went around, striking the rabbit forward and to my right… then the one forward and to my left. My body turned, continuing on, but my club failed to connect to my third target just out of my vision, and I got nowhere near the fourth. Even so, I managed to take out two more horned rabbits. That left two and the two-horned rabbit. I wondered if I could keep up the pace, as I was starting to feel fatigue… but the situation was shifting in my favor.

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