Chapter 41 – Blade of the Sword Saint
Swords in hand, Marris and I stood in the center of the Guild.
This is supposed to be a light mock battle to test my strength, but I’m well aware that it won’t be just that.
This won’t end with a simple exchange of blows.
This is a duel to prove my innocence….no, to mark my separation from the Edvan Family once and for all.
“You know it already, Mariss, but make sure not to kill him. We can’t have a corpse show up right now.”
Mariss did not react in any way to Izas’s words.
“….that’s a good single edge sword, Mariss.”
I shifted my gaze to Mariss’s sword.
A single edge sword, in other words a katana.
Just like in Magic World, it’s a frequently used weapon here too.
Magic Sword – Mizugarasu…. with a Recommended Level of 40.
It has a unique, beautiful long blade with a bluish tinge.
It has a high Attack bonus, which in concert with a Sword Saint’s high stats and reach is able to produce a slash of tremendous power.
A second attack might put an end to even a Heavy Knight like me.
Frankly speaking, even if she were to just swing that around in a sloppy manner, it would still be fairly dangerous.
“Fufu, apparently father prepared it as a surprise present for you.”
Mariss’s lips curved up into a smirk.
“This will be our first practice fight since we were children. However…. I didn’t think that you despised me this much.”
Mariss’s figure flickered, then in the next moment she appeared right in front of me.
The blade of the magical katana closed in on me.
It was a speed I expected.
However, the pressure exuded by that blade was above my prediction.
Even if I block it with a shield, it will carve out a portion of my life.
I parried Mariss’s attack and stepped forward to deliver my own strike.
And yet, my sword did not reach her.
To be exact, by the time I started my swing, she already moved back far enough that she was well outside my reach.
“I feel relieved, Elma. It seems you will be able to entertain me for a bit at least. Since this will be the last time I will be able to fight with you while you still have all your limbs.”
Even if I fend her off with [Parry], my blade won’t be able to land a hit on her.
I knew that there was a large difference between our speed and reach, but I didn’t think that I wouldn’t even be able to scratch her like this.
Mariss kept swinging her blade.
As I kept blocking with my shield, I took a step back at every hit to lessen the impact.
Her sword’s long reach is dangerous, but thanks to its long blade it’s hard to maneuver, restricting its movements.
If I can predict her next move, then I could keep moving around without taking any damage.
However, that way I won’t be able to properly fight back.
If I try to step in before her attack, then I won’t be able to handle her strike with the speed she has.
If I try to close in after her strike, then I won’t be fast enough to reach her.
“Hey, what’s the matter? Hey hey, heeey!”
Mariss keeps one sidedly attacking me.
I’m able to deal with it, but I simply can’t find any chance to fight back.
Every time I’m not able to dissipate the impact enough, she deals some damage over my shield.
“What foolish stubbornness…. Mariss is just playing with you.”
I hear Izas’s voice.
Yet, right now this is fine.
At this stage what I need to do is remember Mariss’s movements.
However, what I’m looking for is not her weak spot when she is playing around.
It’s her weak spot when she is serious.
I intentionally block Mariss’s attack straight on without deflecting.
A dull impact runs through the shield.
Class: Heavy Knight
….she already managed to shave off 40%.
I quickly lower my shield and swing my sword at Mariss.
“How naive…. with movements like that, you’ll never be able to reach me.”
Mariss jumped back…then immediately lurched to a halt.
She looked down at her feet in surprise.
It was the [Shadow Stomp], a Skill of the Heavy Knight.
When I blocked with my shield, I stepped on her shadow.
If she tried to open some distance between us to gather herself right now, then her shadow would be pulling her back.
With her guard down, I try to close in.
〈Mad Demon Shield〉《Recommended level: 40》
【Market value: 3 000 000 gold】
A terrifying shield with a carving of a demonic face on it.
When the user blocks an opponent’s attack with this shield, the user gets an 【Attack Power:＋8】 bonus against that same opponent.
Due to the Mad Demon Shield’s effect, I have a bonus to my Attack.
From a point-blank range, I delivered a blow with my sword into her core.
I felt a blunt reaction.
The Heavy Knight’s Attack is low.
However, she should’ve felt this particular strike.
This should be enough to curb her complacency.
Mariss sent out a grand slash, utilizing her long reach.
Fearing that I would be coming after her, she must be focusing on putting some distance between us first to gather herself.
I simply used [Parry] to fend it off, then released my [Shadow Stomp] and took a step back.
Keeping a hand on the chest part where I managed to hit her, Mariss was looking at me with wide eyes.
She seems to be surprised that she got hit.
“He did it….! Elma-san managed to land a clean hit!”
“Absurd….that’s not possible. Even in the same level range, the difference in status between a Sword Saint and a Heavy Knight is like heaven and earth…..”
Izas went pale.
This kind of petty trick will only work once.
Even disturbing her posture with [Shadow Stomp] wouldn’t have worked if she didn’t try to jump back further than necessary to make fun of me.
The proof of defeating a Dream Lord with less than 70% of the Recommended Level, while in a party of at most two members.
When fighting against a higher level opponent, you gain +15% to your Attack and Agility.
Without the speed increase from 〈Unexpected Upset〉, that attack most likely wouldn’t have made it either.
What finally let me land a hit on her was Mariss’s complacency and the difference between our experiences in using Skills in a real fight.
“Come at me seriously, Mariss. You don’t intend to back down from this anyway, right?”
Mariss broke into a full smile.
“I’m so happy that you are still the same as always. Aah, that’s how it needs to be, or this would be meaningless. It seems I did something bad, but I was so afraid that our time would come to an end too soon.”
Mariss changed her stance.
“I will show you, the Skills of a Sword Saint.”
I managed to properly provoke her.
Here comes the hard part.
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