Chapter 0239 Crimson Sword vs Five Dragons
The clash of swords between San and Abel began abruptly. In the center of the balcony.
There was no probing for the right moment, no reading of each other’s breathing.
San took the initiative and attacked.
He thrust, and thrust, followed by a reverse sweep, which he had switched to in the blink of an eye, and then a thrust from close distance with a dagger in his left hand, which he had unsheathed discreetly….
Abel was tossed about by the movement and flow of the sword, which was far from conventional swordsmanship.
In reality, such small tricks as reverse hand and dual-wielding could easily be crushed by a swordsman of Abel’s caliber.
However, San was not such an easy opponent.
The reason why his small tricks did not fall into the category of small tricks was because of his footwork.
With his fine steps, he easily eroded Abel’s space, and to compliment it, he switched sword-handling patterns at will.
If he were to be hit at the moment of switching handling patterns, he would lose his grip on his sword and it’ll all be over, but he wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Many adventurers learn to use swords in their own way, and Abel had seen all kinds of swordsmanship, but San’s was different from all of them.
Even with his experience, it was the first of its kind Abel had ever seen.
(Dammit, how cumbersome! Is it because of the variation in his patterns and reach? It becomes such a nasty piece of sword arts once he takes the initiative…)
Abel continued to deal with it carefully while thinking.
The Hume Style sword arts, which Abel trained in, is also a school that has a fair amount of footwork to advance and fall back, but not as extreme as those of San’s in front of him.
Surprisingly, just that alone causes the rapid changes in distances between them which made it so difficult for him to grasp their clashes.
As expected of two A-rank adventurers who are both excellent with the sword, the swordfight continued, with no one knowing which way it would turn.
On Abel’s right, at the edge of the balcony, a similar but completely different stalemate ensued between Connor the spear-wielder and Warren the shield-bearer.
Connor attacked with his spear, and Warren blocked with his shield.
Their exchanges were pretty much that exact same pattern.
If he was close enough, Warren could attack using shield bash, where he slams the shield into his opponent, or a fist strike with his thick arms.
However, with a spear-wielder as an opponent, both were impossible, as the battle was fought at a greater distance than with a sword.
At times like these, Warren was in no hurry.
He observes his opponent’s movements and assesses their various moves, timing, and habits.
This time, however, his opponent was Connor the spear-wielder, an A-ranker.
Naturally, he realized that Warren was observing him.
Yet, he continued to attack.
“Got to give it to you, you’re a paragon among shield-bearers. You’re undoubtedly a role model for all shield-bearers in the Kingdom.”
Connor’s tone was bitter, but there was a hint of admiration in it.
To be able to consistently stave off relentless attacks…is more nerve-wracking than you think.
Connor had been through such experiences many times before.
So he’s very familiar with the mental stress that it causes.
That’s why he admired the shield-bearer in front of him, who took it all like a rock and kept on fighting.
The battle between Bruno, the fire-attribute magician, and Rin, the wind-attribute magician, began with an exchange of spells.
And they weren’t flashy moves either….
“O wind, by your will, be the blade that cuts through my enemies, <Air Slash>”
“O fire, thou art the form that destroys all, <Firebolt>”
Offensive magic that focuses on speed and aims for the enemy’s throat.
That is the common form of combat between magicians, in which the throat is crushed to make it impossible to chant.
What was uncommon, however, was the chanting speed and the number of magic moves unleashed without interruption.
Chanting speed that is difficult to discern even for those with good hearing, the highest level of combat skill that magicians in the Central Nations strive for.
And if there is no difference in speed…it naturally comes down to a contest of the number of moves.
(Oh god, he’s fast! His magic activation speed is on par with master’s.)
Rin was speechless by Bruno’s chanting speed and series of moves.
Evidently, the opponent was an A-ranker.
And, without a doubt, she knew that he wasn’t going to be an easy opponent…as one of the top fire-attribute magicians in the kingdom.
She already knew, but…his strength turned out to be one she feared most.
Even in a mid-range magic battle, there are times when both sides need to catch their breath to start afresh.
“Nothing less from one of the best wind-attribute magicians in the Kingdom…Ilarion’s favorite disciple is impressive indeed.”
Bruno muttered as he caught his breath.
Rin remembered the days when she was trained by her master, Ilarion.
Ilarion boasted a chanting speed unmatched in the Kingdom…but the man in front of her was well on par.
(At this rate…whoever runs out of magic power first loses…)
(I better conserve my magic power…)
Bruno thought the same too.
The magic battle between the two also turned into one with no end in sight.
The three groups so far were, in a sense, engaged in a well-matched battle.
But the fourth and final pair, on the opposite end of the balcony from Warren and the others, not so much.
It was a battle between Calvin, the archer and scout, and Rihya, the ‘priest’.
Calvin is a scout and his weapon was a dagger, as he was obviously not at a distance where he could use his bow.
In contrast, the priest Rihya … is a rearguard and a healer.
The light-attribute magic she could use to attack was, at best, light javelin…and although it consumes a lot of magic power, its attack power is low and the damage it can inflict on humans and monsters is not too great.
But since the other three were all rather engaged in a desperate battle, she too was forced to fight at close quarters.
Although her opponent is a scout with low offensive capability, he’s still an A-rank adventurer.
In close-quarters combat, an average C-rank swordsman wouldn’t stand a chance against him.
Against such an opponent, Rihya was fighting with her staff.
“Color me surprised.”
Calvin the scout muttered briefly, with no change in expression at all, and with an expression that did not look at all surprised.
Frankly, he doesn’t like fighting.
Yet, in all his life, he has never skimped on his combat training.
As a result, he is not inferior to swordsman San in terms of speed in melee combat, and when on the defensive, he’s not so easily defeated, even against San.
That was how well-trained Calvin was in close combat, but even from his point of view, the female priest in front of him was well worth appreciating for her staff technique.
The ‘Saint Rihya’ is a well-known figure in the royal capital, and Calvin had heard of her since he was a kid.
Later, he found out that she was active as an adventurer in the south.
However, he never once heard anything about that saint being capable of fighting at close quarters.
That’s why he was so impressed by Rihya’s skillful staff technique.
Of course, Calvin knew that there was a group of vanguards called ‘Monks’ in the temple.
And the staff techniques performed by Rihya were probably derived from the Monks.
He wondered if everyone from the temple was trained in that art, but then…he remembered priest Henning from the ‘Five Dragons’ and shook his head.
Henning was an adventurer who had risen to A-rank, but he had no combat skills whatsoever.
He knew that well since it was Calvin who had kept him safe during such melee combats.
Since that’s the case, it could only mean one thing, that the priest in front of him, Rihya, had acquired such great staff skills through hard work after becoming an adventurer.
The majority of the ‘Five Dragons’, led by their leader, San, are of broken character.
But they respect the strong.
And Calvin, while not broken in character, was a man with great respect for the strong.
That’s why, after roughly gauging Rihya’s ability and discerning the right moment to end the match, he did so without hesitation.
As Rihya thrust her staff at him, he invaded the space between them while rotating his body, and with the same rotating motion, he slammed the hilt of his dagger into her gut.
Rihya fainted and collapsed to the ground.