Chapter 43 – Half-Dead Savage Dragon
“It seems you have activated some kind of Skill, but don’t think that would let you face…”
I kicked the floor and launched myself at Mariss while swinging my sword.
Mariss blocked it with her katana in a panic.
Our weapons were locked with each other.
“Im-Impossible…That speed… and that power, is nearly at the level of a Sword Saint like myself…! How did this….!”
Sword Saints have especially high Attack and Agility.
And Heavy Knights are especially lacking in those two.
As a result, normally Sword Saints have basically double the stats that matter in close combat.
However, with the effects of [Half-Dead Savage Dragon] and 〈Unexpected Upset〉 in play, my Attack and Agility is increased by 【115％】.
With this I overturned my disadvantage in terms of stats.
“Fu, fufu, you really are interesting, Elma. You really are keeping me entertained to no end. However….trying to use power beyond your means is certain to come with drawbacks, and your strength will regress to its starting point sooner or later. You are nearly at the edge, right? I will make sure to properly take you down now.”
Sword and katana kept clashing with the sounds of metal impacts continuing to echo.
“Do you know the tale of the Wax-winged Angel? I always liked that one myself.”
The Wax-winged Angel is a fable of this world.
The story of an angel born wingless, who was cast down to the earth. He kept dreaming about his birth place, so he made wings out of wax and took flight into the sky, but the wax melted due to the sun’s heat, which caused him to fall down and die.
“I love seeing people put up a struggle beyond their capabilities, and despite all their effort, breaking in the end. If that person is you, who I always admired, then it’s even better. I’m truly happy…. that you gained so much strength. Thank you, Elma. Every time you manage to gain something, I have the pleasure of plucking it away from you. I look forward to seeing just what kind of expression you will show…. when you’ve just lost that power you worked so hard for without the support of the Edvan Family.”
“Sorry, but it won’t come to that.”
I deflected Mariss’s katana with [Parry] and slashed at the weak point I just created.
Mariss managed to bring her katana back just in the nick of time to block my hit.
“Fufufu, how dangerous… However, you know, that Skill that you are so proud of…. is just an inferior version of mine.”
After my next hit, Mariss kept her katana locked with my sword.
It was a Skill that you can only learn from the Sword Saint specific Skill Tree.
Using the edge of the blade to create a continuous flow with mana, it allows the user to automatically deflect the opponent’s sword, as if swept away by a current of water.
It takes MP to keep up, but it’s an undeniably superior version of my [Parry].
I shifted my timing; trying to avoid Mariss’s [Flowing Water] and aimed for her body instead.
Mariss jumped back, just managing to avoid my attack.
“Why….our statuses should be about the same, so why am I constantly on the back foot….!”
“You weren’t able to corner me, even when our statuses had a huge difference between them. With that changed, it’s obvious that it would end up like this.”
Mariss’s expression stiffened.
However, her lips curved up into a smile right after.
“In that case….how about this! [Vajra Barrage]!”
Mariss’s body was covered by golden mana.
With her body stimulated by mana and her speed tremendously increased, she launched herself at me with her katana at the ready.
Indeed her movements while under the effect of [Vajra Barrage] are faster than the current me.
Even last time it took me everything I had to fend it off even while taking some damage.
It’s not guaranteed that I can deal with it properly with how I am right now.
“If I can’t end this by normally exchanging blows, then I will use [Vajra Barrage] ten times…, no, a hundred times if I need to! Sooner or later, you won’t be able to defend against it!”
Even as I stepped backwards, I blocked her first and second hits with the edge of my sword.
The third slash with a large wind up closed in on me.
I dodged it by leaning backwards.
Mariss’s balance went a bit awry after hitting nothing with that last slash, but even from that position, she launched a fourth strike towards me.
“Mariss, there is a serious weakness in your [Vajra Barrage].”
That is due to Mariss forcefully launching a fourth strike of the [Vajra Barrage].
The [Vajra Barrage] is a Skill that increases the strength of the body for a single instant.
How many hits you can launch is dependent on your own stats and technical skill.
With Mariss’s ability, she should’ve stopped at three at the most.
After her third slash, and just before she tries to forcefully send out the fourth one….Mariss becomes defenseless for just a short moment.
Now that I’ve caught up in stats, this becomes a decisive weak point.
It would be too late after she already sent her fourth slash.
With how quickly she shifts to running away, I wouldn’t be able to catch her after she regained her balance.
With everything I had, I struck Mariss’s katana to the side.
The weapon left her hands.
Mariss’s eyes opened wide.
Clenching her teeth, she made a fist and closed in on me.
Even with her weapon lost, she came at me in hopes of grasping the last possibility of winning.
I can only admire her tenacity.
“Sword Saints have a respectable amount of HP, but their Defense is quite low. Its weaknesses can be Classes who focus on rapid hits, monsters, and some Skills that calculate their effect in a certain way.”
I slammed forward my Mad Demon Shield and sent Mariss’s body flying.
[Shield Bash] pits our 【Defense＋Attack／２】 values against each other, and if my value is higher, then it sends the opponent flying with a force proportional to the difference in those values.
Sword Saints have low Defense to begin with, and now my Attack is doubled.
Mariss’s body easily flew from one end of the Guild to the other.
Her back impacted the wall with a tremendous boom.
The impact greatly shook the whole Guild.
Mariss’s body twitched, then her head fell limp, finally losing consciousness.
It’s not like she died.
Since there was a large distance to the wall, the damage shouldn’t have reached fatal levels.
She simply lost consciousness from receiving considerable blunt force HP damage.
I returned my sword back to its sheath.
I relaxed my body now that the battle was over.
The red mana from [Half-Dead Savage Dragon] went away.
At the same time, I deactivated [Life Shield] too.
I didn’t need to use that one in the end.
It serves as a safety net, so it’s best if I don’t end up using it, but since I didn’t, it means I’ve won without using up all my means.
“You’ve won…..Elma-san, you’ve won! You’ve won!”
Seemingly overcome with emotion, Luce hugged me.
“H-hey, what is it, Luce?”
“I’m so glad…really, glad…. Elma-san looked so confident….so I tried to believe that everything would be fine….but that girl looked so scary…..she came at you with the intent to kill….I was so worried….! But, but, I’m really happy that Elma-san managed to win…..!”
Tears have gathered in Luce’s eyes.
“It’s fine. I told you that I already had the most important pieces for fighting her, right?”
Since I was able to direct the fight just as I imagined, this can be said to have been a relatively safe fight.
I was able to see her trump card [Vajra Barrage] and even find a weakness in it before activating [Half-Dead Savage Dragon].
Mariss was indeed coming at me with the intention to kill, but the Embryo battle was the more dangerous one in the end.
“That, it can’t be…. Mariss was, a Sword Saint was…..defeated by a Heavy Knight? It was strange for her to receive a single hit, but to even knock her down in a fair duel….something like this, it just can’t happen….”
All strength leaving him, Izas fell to his knees.
He just kept looking at the unconscious Mariss in a daze.
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