Chapter 0021 Dullahan
Probably about a year passed since the time Ryo lost consciousness in the sea.
Till today, he has not had success with 『Blood Freeze』.
That said, it would be impossible to succeed in just a year or so …
Nevertheless, he did not skip any of his daily magic control training.
Incidentally, he could now thaw the frozen meat prepared by Michael (pseudonym) in an instant.
And that Ryo, for the past few months, has been visiting a certain location every night.
It was the shores of a lake in the central part of the large wetlands, beyond the Northern Forest.
When the moon reaches the highest point in the night sky, it would appear.
A headless horse ridden by a headless knight, an existence called a Dullahan.
That Dullahan was not holding onto his head with his right hand.
Why was there a headless knight in the Rondo Forest?
Perhaps there was a prospering nation in the past where Rondo Forest currently stood.
That said, he had not seen any signs of past human life and he had not found any man-made objects.
In Earth’s mythology, Dullahans are Ireland fairies and are not a knight’s apparition ….
With that in mind, Ryo casually changed his assumption from there were humans here in the past to it might be a fairy or something that traveled into Rondo Forest.
To Ryo, the value of that Dullahan’s existence was to be his sword mentor.
Of course, since it was missing its head, it couldn’t speak.
However, when Ryo holds up his sword … he calls it a sword but it is just a carved out wooden sword coated with ice on the surface to improve its durability … the Dullahan would hold up its sword too.
Somewhat along with the feeling of ‘Again? … this troublesome fellow’.
Of course, it didn’t have a head so this was entirely imagined by Ryo.
And so the sword fight began.
In the first place, the Dullahan was not recorded in the 『Monster Encyclopedia Beginner’s Edition』.
In other words, it was either ‘Not a monster’ or ‘Not at beginner level’.
Looking at it from the standpoint of whether he could defeat it, the current Ryo was probably still incapable of that.
It didn’t use magic. So Ryo didn’t use magic either. He only wore 『Ice Armor』 that protected his body.
But it was considerably strong in terms of just sword technique.
Furthermore, he had to look up at it.
“I’ll act as your training partner.”
He felt it convey that intent … naturally, it didn’t have a head so it was all in his imagination.
The Dullahan would turn away once it dealt three successful attacks that would cause fatal damage to Ryo.
“Come again whenever you wish.”
It seemed to convey something along that line.
Conversely, Ryo didn’t know what would happen if he dealt three fatal blows to it.
In the first place, he had never even dealt damage to it even once …
Recently, their battle duration had increased considerably.
In the beginning, it was an instantaneous kill but nowadays, the battle would continue for about an hour.
Of course, he still had a lot of discontents.
In the first place, there was no other way to improve interpersonal battle, whether it is martial arts, wushu, or even in games, than to have repeated interpersonal combat over and over until your body personally gathers the experience, knowledge, and movements.
In that sense, that was an extremely valuable experience for Ryo who always performed practice swings on his own … but his opponent was a Dullahan.
To some extent, 『Breathing』 was crucial in understanding interpersonal combat.
Although it is important to adjust one’s breathing, it is also important to read the opponent’s breathing.
But the Dullahan doesn’t breathe … in fact, it doesn’t have anything above its neck!
As such, Ryo could not accumulate experience in 『Reading your opponent’s breathing』.
In addition, there is also something called footwork, or footsteps.
Footwork is important in any battle.
In interpersonal combat, one could obtain important information with footwork and use it to predict the opponent’s movements.
That is the reason why kendo and kenjitsu practitioners wear hakama.
By wearing a hakama, the opponent will not see your footsteps and will not be able to gain an advantage from it.
The Dullahan doesn’t wear a hakama so Ryo wanted to learn that too … but due to the overwhelming difference in combat ability, the Dullahan hardly moved from its spot …
It looked as though a kendo master parrying children without moving at all.
That’s right, Ryo was still being treated as a child.
“In that case, I have to become stronger and make it move!”
Of course, there were benefits too.
No matter what kind of martial arts or wushu you practice, by practicing on your own, the content will inevitably be biased toward attacks.
But that was not ideal.
Especially in 『Phi』 where he was constantly in a life-threatening situation, neglecting his defense would be foolish.
In that sense, it was quite practical to parry or avoid the Dullahan’s attack before retaliating.
However, Ryo still didn’t understand much.
But tonight, Ryo was different from usual.
His body movements were sharper than usual and he was able to accurately anticipate the Dullahan’s attacks.
Perhaps because of that, he parried the Dullahan’s continuous attacks, was able to evade the final downward diagonal slash with a half step, and followed up with a slash at the Dullahan’s right arm.
Well, if the opponent was a human or an ordinary monster, the arm would have been sliced off but the Dullahan’s arm did not fly off.
At the same time, the Dullahan’s sword that was headed toward the ground from the downward diagonal slash transitioned into an upward diagonal slash and struck Ryo’s torso.
Tonight, Ryo once again fell after the third fatal blow.
There was almost no damage to his body due to the ice armor but he fell because of the mental damage.
Normally the Dullahan would sheath its sword then and disappear after kicking the headless horse but today was different.
It approached Ryo who had fallen and took out a knife with a distorted shape.
The blade was about 10 cm long, the protrusion between the blade and handle called the hilt was also about 10 cm in total length but the handle was long … longer than 20 cm.
The length of the handle was the same as the wooden sword he was holding, about 24 cm long.
Therefore, when viewed from the side, the knife looked like a cross.
Ryo had never heard of such a knife.
The Dullahan placed its left hand on the knife handle and when it placed its right hand on the base of the blade, it moved its right hand beyond the tip of the blade as though there was an invisible blade.
Then, a blade of water formed along with the movement of its hand.
“A water blade …”
And when the Dullahan put in magical power, it froze and became an ice sword.
“So that explains the handle length.”
The Dullahan dispelled the ice blade and handed it to Ryo.
“You’re asking me to use this?”
When Ryo accepted it, the Dullahan kicked its headless horse as usual and disappeared.
“That was such a fantasy setting …”
Even on his way home, Ryo repeatedly formed the ice blade on the sword.
Magic could flow through that sword without any stress to an astonishing level.
As though it was made for Ryo.
It could be said to be a sword made specifically for Water Attribute Magicians.
*Please read this novel in the original translator’s website to support my work*
Oddish. Time skip. Random gift.
What a nice guy.
Thanks for the chapter.
I disagree with the breathing thing. The only time I can think breathing would be a clue would be if you were fatigued, and in my experience a sword match doesn’t last that long. The footwork thing on the other hand, yeah you can use that. Direction the toes point in, and how the weight is distributed will tell you where the opponent can move and what they are prepared to do.
However if your opponent is a trained swordsmen their footwork will inevitably put their weight on the balls of their feat and they will be equally ready to move forward or back. Depending on what they are use to, they might be ready to make side to side movements as well. A lot of sword techniques taught in formal schools only focus on forward and back movements because of the rules used in a match.
More useful than watching feet is watching the opponents sword arm. Reading the shoulder, elbow and wrist at the same time provides a lot of information. Some people say to watch the eyes, but I personally think that is a mistake. Try not to focus on just one thing, try to read your whole opponent.
Once you manage to do that, try to develop situational awareness so you can keep track of everyone around you. You can only really focus on what is in front of you, but you can be aware of the people all around you and follow their fights as well. That becomes useful in battlefield situations where you are part of a line fighting another line of opponents instead of one on one combat. Well, most people don’t get in those sorts of situations, but if you look hard you’ll find people that enjoy sword fighting.
I think the heavy focus on breathing is mostly about instinctual behaviors. Such as taking in a sharp breath before attacking, or slow release/intake when thinking or preparations such as blocking. So “reading your opponents breathing” is more so referring to the use of other senses than sight to help predict the next move.
Everything is helpful. Breathing, the face, etc.
Isn’t one of the maxims in swordsmanship finding the cadences of the enemy in every aspect?
-How he moves the arms shoulders, and torso
-His facial expressions
-The stance he’s using
-His behavior patterns.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
Yeah, swordfights tend to end after one swing but before getting to that point you study your opponent.
I don’t think the MC words are useless. The face is also important, you miss a lot of hints that way.
Sorry if I’m wrong, but do you by any chance practice HEMA?
Where the hell did this random dullahan come from????????? The story made sense up until now.
Author probably wanted to speed up the story, still makes sense to me