Volume 2: Intermission – Thousand Li to the North, Embrace the Dawn I (1/2)
|Name||Gi Go Amatsuki|
|Class||Duke; Wandering Swordsman|
|Possessed Skills||Sword Mastery A-; Purple Flash; Forsake; Sense; A Master Swordsman's Proof; Silent Nature; Veteran|
|Divine Protection||Sword God|
|Abnormal Status||Sworn to Spare; Sword God's Control|
The yugushiva’s dance-like attack left Gi Go on the defensive. He wanted to attack, but the snow was just too great of an enemy. The snow reached up his knees, and every time he tried to step in, the snow would sap as much force as he pushed in, dulling his movements.
It was difficult to attack.
“Mr. Gi Go!”
As far as Yoshu was concerned, nothing had changed. Even if there was snow and even if the enemy fought remarkably well like dancing, all he had to do was to put out his shield as usual.
“Don’t… interfere!” Gi Go said.
Despite being pushed back, Gi Go did not look anxious, if anything, he looked happy. The yugushiva jumped from the snow as the wind fluttered its white overcoat, stirring up the snow before rushing for Gi Go.
The yugushiva was like a carnivorous bird fluttering in the vast sky as it looked for an opening and bolted for it.
The yugushiva’s curved sword that was as big as it cut through the clouds of snow as it struck out toward Gi Go.
In response, Gi Go swept away the snow by his feet.
Gi Go could not match the enemy in speed, so he decided to wait for the enemy and exchange blows.
The light of the fire god’s body reflected off his curved sword.
“Come!” Gi Go said.
Gi Go lowered his hips and positioned his sword horizontally as he took on a stance that hid his curved sword from the enemy.
A powerful aura emanated from Gi Go. It was so powerful that Yoshu couldn’t help but gulp as he watched.
If this were a normal monster fighting him, it would surely run from his terrifying aura.
But the yugushiva Gi Go was facing did not falter in the slightest. In fact, the yugushiva gave a battle cry as it ran even faster.
When the yugushiva was about 10 steps away, it swung his curved sword again, concealing both its and Gi Go’s figures.
“Tch!?” Yoshu snapped his tongue.
He knew that the snow was the enemy’s ally, so he quickly looked for Gi Go to run where he was.
Yoshu was reminded again of how foolish it was to fight this demon here. The snow was their home ground, and it was precisely because they were unparalleled on it that they came to be known as yugushiva, which literally meant snow demon.
“Naive. Too naive,” Yoshu spat as he cursed his own naivety.
Before Yoshu could find Gi Go, however, the yugushiva jumped out of the snow, then sounds of swords clashing filled the area.
Not long after, the yugushiva jumped back again, and Gi Go’s figure appeared shortly after he brushed away the snow.
Fortunately, he was still safe. Yoshu heaved a sigh of relief.
“Mr. Gi Go! Let’s withdraw! The odds are far too against us!”
They should run while they still could.
“Retreat? Yoshu, the very purpose of this trip is right before our eyes! How could I run!?”
Gi Go wanted to find a worthy adversary and suppress the sword god within, then he would stand before the king once more.
“But!” Yoshu wanted to say that the enemy was too strong, but Gi Go only shook his head, his gaze never leaving the enemy before him.
When Gi Go clashed with this enemy awhile ago, the enemy swung its sword three times. When Gi Go thought back on how he planned to exchange blows, he couldn’t help but deride himself. The enemy’s sword was far faster and far sharper than he could have ever imagined.
Because of that Gi Go could only defend against two of the three strikes, while the third managed to graze his arm, leaving behind a trail of blood.
“Speak no further! I have all that I’ve asked for! A strong enemy, a worthy foe!”
Gi Go did not spare a glance on the blood drizzling down his arm. He only grit his teeth as he exhaled a faint breath, focusing his mind on the sword god sleeping within.
Yoshu was at a loss.
The pressure Gi Go was emanating seemed even greater than before, but that might’ve only been his imagination. He wasn’t sure.
Regardless, he needed to make up his mind. Should he let Gi Go fight? Or should he forcefully stop him?
Gi Go was certainly fighting better today than ever, but despite that… When Yoshu looked to the yugushiva, he couldn’t help but feel anxious.
The yugushiva bolted off again.
It’s too dangerous!
The aura emanating from the yugushiva was abnormal. It felt sharp like a drawn sword. As a battle slave, Yoshu has clashed against countless enemies, from humans to monsters, and yet never before has he met someone who possessed an aura as terrifying as this.
“If I don’t make a decision soon, I won’t able to anymore,” Yoshu said to himself.
In the worst case, he would have to stop Gi Go against his will. Yoshu braced himself to throw the throwing dagger hidden behind his shield.
He can’t let him die here. He couldn’t die here either. Both he and Gi Go had a place they had to return to.
Yoshu apologized to Gi Go in his heart as he eyed the Yugushiva.
The yugushiva was running around Gi Go, but just a little, he glanced at Yoshu. It was just for a moment, but the yugushiva was clearly aware of Yoshu as he ran in zigzag toward Gi Go.
When Yoshu saw that, he clicked his tongue and approached him.
The agile yugushiva moved around as if to avert Yoshu’s aim. It would not be easy to hit him.
Meanwhile, Gi Go seemed to have closed his eyes even as the yugushiva approached.
The atmosphere was tense, so tense that Yoshu forgot to breathe as he watched the enemy near Gi Go.
But then… the moment the yugushiva came into Gi Go’s range, like an oil spring lit, Gi Go erupted, bellowing out a powerful howl.
The yugushiva bellowed back against Gi Go as he swung down his curved sword.
Sparks erupted as two curved swords and two spirits clashed. Gi Go’s curved sword that was hidden behind him pierced through the stirred up snow, parrying the yugushiva’s curved sword up above his head. At the same time, the yugushiva stepped into the snow and brought its deflected sword back down onto Gi Go’s head.
But Gi Go had already taken back his sword, allowing him to block the yugushiva’s slash. The experience Gi Go had accumulated until now was responding to the standards of the sword god.
From defense Gi Go smoothly moved to offense. After having blocked the enemy’s sword, the enemy had gotten much slower, allowing him to ignore it as he held his curved sword in a reverse grip and swung it at the enemy’s neck. There should have been no room to escape to, but the enemy went beyond Gi Go’s expectations.
The enemy quickly took back its sword with a sharpness and speed that excelled that of Gowen’s, allowing it to deflect Gi Go’s attack, then this time, it struck out its sword for Gi Go’s neck.
The battle continued like this with both swordsmen dancing at the edge of death.
Gi Go and the yugushiva clashed swords over 20 times.
Until now Yoshu has never before seen anyone fight this long while standing point blank each other.
Consequently, because they were so close to each other, Yoshu couldn’t find the opportunity to throw his dagger. He wanted to create an opening, but even that didn’t seem possible.
When the dance finally ended, it was because the yugushiva jumped back.
Gi Go and the yugushiva had clashed swords at least 20 times, and though they were unable to land a fatal wound on each other, both parties were covered in small wounds.
Gi Go and the yugushiva gasped for breath, a cloud of white leaving their mouth as it faded behind them.
Yoshu was relieved to see Gi Go safe, and when he noted that the yugushiva was breathing heavily, he thought that the opportunity had finally come.
“Forgive me, Mr. Gi Go!”
As Yoshu uttered an apology, he threw away his shield and threw five daggers at the yugushiva.
“Yoshu!” Gi Go reprimanded Yoshu, but he could not stop him.
When the yugushiva noticed that an attack was coming, it tried to run away, but unfortunately, the snow had grasped its legs, leaving it unable to run.
Sensing that the yugushiva was panicking, Yoshu threw 5 more daggers. The yugushiva was tired, he had to strike now! He thought.
The yugushiva wasn’t so soft as to lose to a long-ranged attack, however. Though the yugushiva had lost its posture, it still managed to recover in time and jump away, sweeping away the incoming daggers with a swing of its sword.
The yugushiva jumped back to get away from Yoshu, but when it landed its body shook. The yugushiva seemed to be in some sort of pain, but that was all the more reason for Yoshu to strike.
The yugushiva used its curved sword as a cane to keep its body up, letting it swing its sword again to deflect the wave of daggers, but one dagger still managed to graze its legs, causing blood to spurt.
Now bleeding, the yugushiva’s strength gradually drained.
After having to dodge five more daggers, the yugushiva’s body shook as it relied on its sword as a cane. Its former strength was no longer there.
“You’re too dangerous! You have to die!” Yoshu yelled as he threw one last set of daggers.
But just when he thought the enemy couldn’t possibly dodge anymore, a sword swung, deflecting his thrown daggers.
The one who swung, however, was not the yugushiva, but Gi Go.
“Mr. Gi Go!? What are you—!?” Yoshu asked.
“Yoshu, that’s enough!” Gi Go rebuked.
Gi Go could not deflect all of Yoshu’s daggers while protecting the yugushiva, so he ended up getting hurt in the process.
“Nu…” Gi Go kept himself from groaning out in pain as he took out the daggers and threw them on the ground.
“That person is too dangerous!” Yoshu argued as he pushed away the snow and ran up to Gi Go.
But Gi Go didn’t say anything and just looked toward the yugushiva.
“…If I let a female die, I wouldn’t have any face left to show the king,” Gi Go said.
“…Huh?” Yoshu asked.
When he looked at the yugushiva lying on the ground, it turned out to be a young woman.