|Spoiler Inside: Character Name Cheat Sheet||Show>|
Intermission: The Sword Dancer’s Boisterous Dance (3/3)
Vine had not spared any time to sheathe her sword. Instead, she immediately sent it scything down towards Shunrai’s neck. Shunrai also aimed for her neck. The two of them moved at almost the same moment, but Vine was a little slower. After being injured on the legs, even though Vine moved her sword following the fastest trajectory possible, her attack was still clearly weaker than before.
Shunrai had seen through that weakness in a moment, so he received her attack with his blade and allowed her curved sword to slide off, then he brought the battle up close. Vine hated fighting at such close distances. There has always been a difference in muscle between men and women. As such, Vine’s odds of winning were much lower when their swords were locked. To make things worse, her injury made her steps weaker.
Vine clicked her tongue and retreated. Vine swung her sword to escape from Shunrai’s scimitar, which came swinging crossway as if it were flying, but all her curved sword cut were the drops of rain. When she landed, she immediately assumed stance, but there was no stopping Shunrai’s pursuit. He didn’t give her the slightest chance to fix her posture as he mustered all of his scimitar’s might and slashed in a straight line toward Vine.
With that last attack released from a stance where the sword was positioned on his shoulder, Shunrai was able to use all of his muscles – from his back, to his shoulders, to his arms – allowing him to bring forth an attack akin to that of a lightning hammer. The drops of rain splattered at the descent of the scimitar.
With no time to think up a response, the most Vine could do was jump back. Shunrai’s attack split the ground and crushed the rock underneath, sending fragments toward Vine. The impact was so great that Vine lost her footing. As she tumbled behind her, she looked for her enemy.
But that too was only for a moment before she immediately got back to feet and counterattacked, not minding that her long black hair was touching the ground.. She ran through the rain as she dragged her curved sword along the ground.
Vine roared and ran like an angry beast, but Shunrai calmly responded to her. He originally held the advantage in strength. If not for Vine’s strange method of drawing the sword, Shunrai believed the odds of victory more than favored him. Water splashed and Vine’s curved sword slashed up from a low stance. Shunrai calmly blocked it.
Because of that attack that was all power and no technique, a big opening had been left open. Naturally, Shunrai wasn’t about to miss that. After blocking Vine’s attack, Shunrai pushed his way through her curved sword and swung his scimitar for her head.
Immediately, Vine crouched and the scimitar passed over her head.. Vine’s long black hair was cut as it followed late, then the scimitar moved with a speed faster than the eyes could grasp toward Vine. Somehow, Vine managed to block with her curved sword, but the impact still sent her flying.
While in midair, Vine fixed her posture, but when she tried to land, the scimitar was there to greet her. She didn’t even have the time to curse as she was forced to defend once again with her curved sword. Vine pushed up her sword with only one hand to parry Shunrai’s scimitar.
But Shunrai went even further. He had already predicted that she would try to parry his attack, so he had already let go of it and sent a kick flying toward Vine, who looked at him with shock. Still midair, there was no running left for Vine, and she cleanly received that kick. Vine clearly heard a number of her ribs breaking as she fell and tumbled into the mud.
Vine puked, then she violently wiped her mouth and brushed away her hair. She glared hatefully at Shunrai.
Shunrai wielded his scimitar over his shoulder once more.
After a short pause, they once again closed the distance between them. After having her ribs broken, there was now clearly some white mixed in with Vine’s breath. Compared to her, Shunrai’s breath was perfectly normal. When the distance between them had closed a little, Vine sheathed her sword, assumed a low stance, and ran.
“That technique won’t work on me anymore!”
At first, Shunrai was shocked at the strange way Vine drew her sword, but after clashing swords several times, he has already seen through her technique. Moreover, he has also grasped the exact length of Vine’s curved sword.
He didn’t need even a minute to resolve himself to deflect her sword and strike her with a fatal blow.
Vine’s curved sword clashed with Shunrai’s scimitar. Shunrai’s scimitar had followed the trajectory of Vine’s curved sword, but when they met, he immediately realized his error.
Vine’s slender curved sword had cut into Shunrai’s naked sword.
“This was your plan!?”
After the curved sword had cut halfway into his scimitar, the scimitar broke. But Shunrai was not your average swordsman. Shunrai threw away his broken sword, then he closed the already closed distance between them even further and sent kicks flying her way.
As Vine’s body bent like the character ‘く’, Shunrai dropped an elbow on her spine from above. As Vine fell to her knees, Shunrai sent another powerful kick to her arm, breaking her bones and sending her sword flying. Vine had already used up the last of her strength, and without her curved sword, there was no longer any way for her to run at this distance. Her right arm dangled powerlessly.
Her state was so bad that it was curious how she was even able to stand up. Breathing heavily, Vine jumped to where Shunrai’s broken scimitar was and picked it up.
“I don’t like using someone else’s weapon, but killing you with your own sword is perfectly appropriate for your name, ‘Mad Blade’.”
“…The one who’s dying is you!”
Vine used her anger to numb herself to the pain and fatigue as she once again stepped forward. After switching weapons, the two mad swordsmen closed the distance between them once more. This time they rushed into the clash faster than any of their previous clashes. Before their heightened focus, even the very drops of rain seemed to have stopped. Vine, whose range was shorter, swung her sword a little faster.
Shunrai changed his trajectory when he saw that, as well as the trajectory of the curved sword he looted.
The drops of rain deflected as their two weapons clashed once more. Drawing a circle, the two of them separated from each other. Normally, Vine would have stepped back here, but she instead held ground. Vine held up the remaining half part of the scimitar over her shoulder and forcefully swung it with only one arm despite its weight.
Seeing that, Shunrai was sure that he’d won. Contests between swordsmen were more often a battle of logic than not. Battles decided by a single blow aside, in a battle like this battle between Shunrai and Vine, where they had to exchange blow several times, having to break your posture just to force out an attack was fatal.
If he could just block this one blow, there would be no more after it. He was sure that she would have no more strength to do so. After all, she was basically announcing with her movements that unless she ended this battle here, there would be no next time.
During battles between swordsmen that require extreme levels of focus, from time to time, there are such cases when a swordsman would lose his focus and attempt such a reckless attack.
Shunrai has always made such foes pay that recklessness with their life.
Not to mention that the swordsman before him only had a sword left and was a heavy sword meant to be held with both hands. It should be difficult for Vine’s slender arms just to swing it.
Shunrai would block her attack, then he would decide this battle. He would claim Vine’s life with his next attack.
Shunrai’s decision was correct and was the natural conclusion to arrive to given his background as a swordsman.
Vine swung her scimitar, and Shunrai received her attack with the inner part of his curved blade.
Shunrai’s mouth twisted. The woman before her was a powerful foe indeed. Ever since Brandika died, his heart has been filled with nothing but fighting. In that sense, the woman before him was truly the greatest foe he could have asked for. But she too will end. As he anticipated the pleasure of plucking her life, he looked on as their blades clashed, but in the next moment, a hard sound resounded and the curved sword before him was crushed. All of the sudden, the end had come… For him.
A wound was cut from his shoulder to his chest. As Shunrai looked at the scimitar that cut his body, he collapsed to his knees. There were no coincidences in battle, so before he died, Shunrai traced back the path of that sword.
Why did he lose?
No, more importantly, why did Vine’s curve sword break? Was it at its limit already? But it shouldn’t have suffered any damages to its body. Did he overlook something? No. Shunrai denied it. Even if it was only for a short while, it was still a weapon that he’d entrusted hsi life to.
There should have been no mistake in his appraisal of it. In the first place, if it really was weakened, at most, the scimitar should have just cut into it.
Was it skill?
Was there really that big of a difference between him and this woman in front of him? Vine looked at her as she stood. She looked worse off than Shunrai in fact.
That too was a no. If there was such a huge difference in skill, then she would not have ended up into such a pitiful appearance.
That was a question asked from the bottom of his heart. As a man who lived only for the sword and was mad for it, he wanted to know the answer before he died.
“Consider this a gift for your visit to the Underworld Goddess. I’ll let you in a secret. I’m not a swordsman.”
Too much blood had already run too Shunrai’s head, but he could not understand her words. Vine seemed to find his face really funny, as she made an evil smile. Meanwhile, she picked up the broken curved blade.
That curved sword should have long lost its sharpness, but Vine took a stance with it by her waist, and with a splendid step that one would not expect from someone whose ribs were broken, she swung that curved sword and lopped Shunrai’s head off.
“I’m an enchanter.”
As Shunrai’s head flew off his body and heard her last words, he smiled.
Ah, so you were a sham.
|Job||Great Adventurer; Clan Leader|
|Possessed Skills||Sword Mastery A+; Hand-to-Hand Mastery B+; Bloodthirsty; Flowing Magic Control; Possessed Skills; Dancing Blade; Thousand Demon Slayer; Man-Slayer; Iron Decapitation; Enchant Sword; Witch's Tongue|
|Divine Protection||Sword God|
Poisonous Snake’s Evil Eye
You can discern when an enemy is weakened.
You will not be affected by emotions and your sword will remain steadfast.
You can charm weakened opponents.
Enchantment that only works on swords. Strengthen sharpness and durability. (HIGH)
|Possessed Skills||Sword Mastery A+; Hand-to-Hand Mastery A-; Bloodthirsty; Thousand Demon Slayer; Bladeless Sword Demon; Man-Slayer; Foresight; Sword of Strength; Martial Barrier|
|Divine Protection||Sword God|
Bladeless Sword Demon
When using swordsmanship alongside hand-to-hand combat, both skills will receive a bonus and increase a level.
You can read your enemy’s movements ahead of time. Chance of success (LOW)
Sword of Strength:
Bonus damage to sword attacks. (MEDIUM)
We’ve already met our quota of three regular releases per week, so this counts as an extra release. The first chapter for this week is the Character Introduction. That was two parts, a I and a II. I didn’t make a new post and just edited it into the first one to make copying it for the name cheatsheets easier, so you might have missed that.
I owe you guys a lot of extra chapters. Current queue after this is $615. That’s partly because the queue was doubled at some point, partly because of the slow releases, but it’s a lot either way, and I’ll be working to clear that all. Expect more frequent extra chapters from here on.