|Name||Reshia Fel Zeal|
|Job||Zenobia's Follower; Saint|
Lili’s sword grazed Gi Ga’s body. It was only one attack, yet it left behind three scars.
As an opening showed itself at the conclusion of that attack, Gi Ga skillfully handled his spear, and struck it out.
That attack was sent toward the center of her body. By all means, it should have it, but…
As she lightly exhaled, she sped up, and she moved to Gi Ga’s right flank.
As Gi Ga struck out his spear, he filled his artificial leg with strength, and he turned the other way. Using his spear as a shield, he blocked Lili’s attack.
Who came out ahead from that exchange?
Lili frowned as her blade was sent back at her. At the same time, she moved down her head to dodge the fierce attack that came at her. The ferocity of that attack that passed by over her head caused cold sweat to drizzle down her back, but ignoring that, she took a step forward.
If she were to take a step back, and widen the distance, the one who would be at a disadvantage is her. The one in the lead is her, both in terms of skill and the number of moves made, but she just can’t seem to land the finishing blow.
Gi Ga’s defense at point blank was unusually hard and steady.
That eccentric spear handling of his, and that speed of his at recovering his spear being faster than even her own sword itself…
The opponent before her was undoubtedly strong.
Not as a monster, but as a warrior.
The wall that is the scar of defeat which she had to erase was certainly, at this very moment, right before her very eyes.
Not only was Gi Ga unfamiliar with his left hand, it was also his first time fighting with only one hand. Naturally, Lili, who could show all of her strength, would be able to lead him by the nose.
But he still had to land a decisive blow. He understood this fact well.
He had barely been able to make any moves in this fight. And although small, the wounds he had been incurring throughout this duel has been adding up.
Lili had gone through all the trouble of giving him an artificial leg to allow him a fair duel. So he had to show a proper fight. It would be inexcusable to her for him to lose without being able to demonstrate all of his abilities.
The joy of fighting that Gi Ga held changed into a will to fight as he took a step.
Aiming for the moment right after Lili swung down her sword, he swept with his spear. His eyes were gradually getting used to Lili’s movements. But although the attack he had sent just now would normally penetrate the defenses of a normal adventurer, Lili had the skill <<Echo Steps>>, allowing her to create some distance, and fix her stance.
But the moment she did that, Gi Ga jumped back.
As a result, the distance between them widened greatly.
Lili seemed to have had been planning to start her charge again as she couldn’t help but tilt her head when Gi Ga took a step back. But the moment she did, Gi Ga’s spear passed by the side of her face.
Unable to stifle her fright, she took some distance. But as she did, Gi Ga pursued. He had only been thrusting with his spear, but it was without a doubt that the distance between them was currently increasing.
The reason behind that was his long arm.
“So that’s your plan,” muttered Lili as she stared wide-eyed at Gi Ga’s stance.
Gi Ga only had one hand, so he had no choice but to hold the spear by its handle to thrust and sweep. And because of Lili’s great speed, she was able to lead Gi Ga around in a melee.
But Gi Ga’s stance right now had him holding only the end of his spear.
He would twist half of his body with the spearhead lowered to the ground, allowing him to increase the distance between them.
Moreover, coupling that with that long arm of his, the distance made became one that Lili couldn’t compensate for with her <<Echo Steps>>.
That stance was specially made just for thrusting. Lili couldn’t fight back. For the moment she tries to jump in as the spear retreats, it would thrust back again.
She couldn’t jump in recklessly.
That would be the same thing as giving up her defenses.
Because Gi Ga couldn’t deal with Lili’s speed until now, she’s been using a stance suited for close combat. But then again, even with the distance now farther, so long as the distance is shortened, and the battle turns into a melee, then Lili could win.
It wasn’t a big deal.
It was merely a question of whether the spear would hit her of if it would past by her.
As she resolved herself, a fierce smile appeared on her face.
––––Simple’s good, right?
As she silently laughed, she wielded the sword over her shoulder, and she switched her stance to a Chudan-no-kamae.
She brought her concentration to the limits, and she focused on the end of the spear.
As she lightly exhaled, she could even feel the sensation of the dust over the back of her feet.
So long as she could see the moment the spear moved, she would be able to slip through. It was for that reason that she switched to a Chudan stance.
As her molars gritted, she used <<Echo Steps>> and moved out. But at the same time, Gi Ga also took a step forward. She was shocked. Gi Ga swept his spear with a different stance, and Lili somehow blocked it while in Chudan.
But the strength of that attack was too great, and she was blown away.
Her body tumbled.
As her vision spun about, Lili finally understood what had just happened.
Gi Ga had loosened his grip over the end of his spear, and the moment Lili moved, he moved at the same time. The reason his spear was lowered over the ground all this time wasn’t because the end was heavy, it was so he could change his stance more easily.
–––––He read through everything!
Shock took Lili, and at the same time, a violent pain attacked her left arm.
Nausea accompanied by pain took her, and her vision began to turn white.
––––I’m going to lose.
As she thought that, her watery eyes looked up. And there, at the corner of her vision was Gi Ga, who was still wielding his spear, and Reshia who was anxiously watching over them.
She gritted her molars so hard it seemed they would break.
She used the sword that did not break, and she stood up with only her right arm.
As she did, her left arm languidly dangled about. It was now nothing more than dead weight.
Yet despite that…
“I will surpass you,” she declared.
Her voice was shaking, but she spoke those words naturally without any tinge of doubt.
She should have had been much calmer that time when she confronted that king.
Remorse and chagrin filled her whenever she thought back to that time.
She had fought goblins in the past, but she had never fought anyone as strong as that. She also believed back then that it would be fine so long as she followed her senior adventurer, Keifel.
But in the end, Reshia, who she should have been protecting, was taken captive by the goblins.
The peaceful days they have now is because of the events of that day.
But these peaceful days are only here because it’s that Goblin King who they’re dealing with.
If it had been someone else that was much more hostile like the orcs or the ogres, then…
There’s no need to ponder on the question. It’s obvious. Reshia would have been assaulted, and her young life would have been scattered.
And the one who would have had led her to that result would be none other than Lili herself.
She can’t forgive herself. No.
The dread and the regret she had that day when she faced against the king needs to be dealt with now.
She needs to surpass it.
So she wielded the sword with her only remaining arm.
It was cruelly heavy.
Gi Ga seemed to be calm, but taking a closer look, beads of sweat could be seen forming at the top of his brows.
––––So you’re also hurting.
In the words often spoken within those of the Zweil Sword School…
When you’re hurting, your opponent is also hurting.
It’s idealistic, but those were the words spoken by her respected master. And even today, those words echo within her.
As she recalled the figure of her master, a sound resembling that of a distant glass shattering echoed.
With only her right hand, she swung the sword she wielded over her head––––.
Seeing Lili lift her sword over her head with her right arm as her left dangled about languidly, Gi Ga’s eyes opened wide, shocked.
Her will seemed just about to flicker just moments ago, and yet now… That same lack of will couldn’t be seen at all within her gaze.
Her left arm appears to have been broken by that last attack too.
––––Good grief, that little girl’s resolve really makes me want to admire her.
They, the goblins, who were born for the sole purpose of fighting know it all too well. Resolve is everything.
Without it everything will be taken.
The king himself holds a distant ambition. It’s for that that they fight their war so that they may cut open a path to the fulfillment of their king’s ambition.
He was the same. He wished to fight with his king.
For that is everything.
But the girl before his eyes, Lili, was different.
If she wished for it, she could live any other way. She could till the land, she could sew clothes… She had many other paths she could have chosen, and yet she chose to walk the path of war.
That will is deserving of respect!
So it’s only fitting that he brings forth all of his might to crush that will!
As he stepped in with his artificial leg, he swept with his spear. He held the middle of his spear’s handle, and aimed for the center of the body of the foe before him. It was an attack difficult to dodge.
That attack should have cut down the will of the strong foe before him.
But instead, Gi Ga was left with his eyes wide-opened, shocked. The sharp shock of his spearhead was beaten into the ground instead as Lili calmly stared at Gi Ga.
–––Then, I shall try everything.
He bashed, he swept, he thrusted, he slashed.
He attacked Lili with every kind of attack he could muster to bring down her defenses.
But each and every time, his spear was struck down to the ground.
Where was she getting that strength? Her left arm was dangling about powerlessly. Beads of sweat trickled down her brows. No matter how you put it, she was clearly exhausted.
That’s wrong. Didn’t he acknowledge it just a while ago?
This human is strong.
It’s not that he didn’t have any ways of fighting, but that she had the strength to match his.
And the way she was now was the strongest she’s been yet.
Although tired, she’s strong!
His fighting spirit, roused, it screamed at him to fight.
Those emotions blazed like a flame within his eyes, yelling at him to defeat the foe before him!
As he bellowed out his fighting spirit, he let loose his greatest attack.
Without the slightest bit of deviation in his aim, he attacked, but it was effortlessly deflected. This much was expected though. For this was the strongest foe he had battled yet.
As he approached, he swept with his spear, and this too was easily deflected.
The tip of her blade slowly reached for the sky, and in an instant, she assumed her stance once more.
And at that moment, he understood it. This was the finale. The long awaited climax of the duel.
With the spearhead of his spear still lowered into the ground, he took a step forward to meet the descending handle of the sword.
––––I will receive it!
With the distance shortened, the one who would triumph in strength was he.
As Gi Ga took that step, he felt a sensation much like that of a lump of ice slipping off his back.
He felt it the moment his eyes met with Lili’s.
It was only for a moment, but he certainly believed his weapon would be cut.
The weapon Gi Ga was using was an iron spear. The edge, the handle, everything was made out of iron.
Thinking about it logically, there was no way it could possibly be cut.
But Lili’s empty eyes caused alarms of the highest alert to ring out within Gi Ga’s mind.
“Will I make it?” he asked himself.
He put all his strength into his two legs, and he dodged out of the way.
Blood trickled down the place where his artificial leg was connected, but he didn’t have the time to bother with that.
The iron spear that he should have had been holding right in front of him was suddenly cut down in two. Moreover, because he was too slow in dodging out of the way, even his prosthetic leg was cut.
Lili bellowed out her fighting spirit.
As soon as Gi Ga thought that the situation had turned for the worst, he took his spear in his mouth, and he went down on all fours to the ground.
It was a stance much like that of a beast.
Although he had gone down to a crawl, Lili didn’t show any signs of stopping, so he sped up his pace.
His artificial leg had also gotten shorter, so this stance was the easiest.
He moved at a speed that surprised even he himself as he aimed for Lili’s flank.
He moved as if it was the stance he was using all along.
–––This is it!
Crawling on the ground, from that position that was as if he was crouching, he used his body like a spring, and he quickly jumped forward. At the same time, he used his arms, raised up his upper body, and attacked Lili.
Lili opened her eyes wide in surprise as Gi Ga shot past her flank with the speed of a bullet. At the same time, he took the spear he had in his mouth, and he struck it at Lili’s wide open side.
When she opened her eyes, what greeted her was the blue sky and Reshia’s smiling face.
“Ahh, I lost,” wryly smiled Lili as her face convulsed in pain. “My apologies, Lady Reshia.”
“What for?” asked Reshia.
“I couldn’t fulfill your conditions.”
If you’re going to fight, then win. That was the condition that Reshia set, but she couldn’t fulfill it.
“…In the past, I also happened to read of a tale regarding a knight,” said Reshia as she rubbed her hands on Lili’s broken left arm, healing her. “That knight overcame defeat, and became a knight with a noble heart. It’s my dream to be protected by such a knight.”
Reshia’s healing hands covered Lili’s eyes.
“Ms. Lili, you’re a brilliant knight, you know?”
The overflowing tears soaked Reshia’s warm hands.
Because [Abnormal Status] Altesia’s Curse has been lifted, <<Innate Talent>> and <<The Mind’s Eye>> can now be used.
Level has risen.
56 -> 60.
[Skill] <<Innate Talent>>
Growth speed is faster.
[Skill] <<The Mind’s Eye>>
You can predict the movements of opponents a class lower than yours.
[Skill] <<Iron Decapitation>>
When your swordsmanship level is equal to or higher than your opponent, you can cut the iron weapon of your opponent.
Gi Ga Rax
Due to the missing leg being compensated for by the prosthetic: fighting power now only down by 30%.
[Skill] <<Indomitable Soul>> acquired. Spear can be handled as proficiently with one hand as one can with two hands.
[Skill] <<Insight>> When fighting against someone of equal or lesser class, it is possible to see through their weakness.
Level has risen.
87 -> 89
And so the winner is Gi Ga.
But in terms of growth, Lili got the better end of the deal.
I thought I’d show the status of other characters other than the protagonist, so this time, I showed Reshia’s.
I’ll show the descriptions for the skills when there’s an opportunity.
I want <<Innate Talent>> too!
Sorry for the lack of chapters. It’s been really busy with the semester coming to an end. This chapter counts as the chapter from last week, so I still owe you guys one more chapter for this week’s Friday. Unfortunately, I have some papers I need to pass this coming week, so there won’t be any chapter tomorrow. Next chapter should be on Friday next week.
Also, according to my glossary, the adventurer back in the earlier chapters should be Keifen and not Keifel. So either this Keifel is a different character or the author is inconsistent with names… I’m leaning on the latter to be honest considering everything so far.
Also, as you can all see, I’ve changed the theme. What do you think of it? It’s the old dark theme that couldn’t be used anymore due to the multitheme plugin costing too much resources. I’ve also finally fixed the TOC for both series in case any of you wish to bookmark that. The menu is in the upper left corner by the way.