37 – Great Duel (2)
The sound of clashing gauntlets and greatswords erupted, and the snowfield was disturbed.
The attack of the knight’s sword was heavy. He wasn’t an idle talker, but a man with considerable skills.
Among the knights of Rodenov, similar sword strikes were used by those in the upper ranks.
But the knight in front of me was not very fast. However, the power that was loaded at once was extraordinary. To the point where I could immediately judge that it would be dangerous if he hit me directly.
At the same time, it was systematic, so there were not many gaps. It was common for those who wield a greatsword to be swayed by the weight of it, but this knight was not like that.
He skillfully wielded a greatsword that was as tall as he was, and it was difficult to find gaps because he was very comfortable with switching between offense and defense.
Every time the greatsword was swung, the snow on the ground soared, and the ground shook every time the knight took a step. The sword attack continued to drive me, and a heavy impact spread through the gauntlet every time it was swung.
Certainly, the unknown knight I was dealing with was strong. A person who knew his strengths and knew how to minimize his weaknesses.
In other words, he was someone who knew how to look at himself objectively.
But… …Even if he was like that, it was not enough to give me a sense of crisis. I read the path the knight’s sword was heading, and struck his greatsword first before the full force was applied to it.
The knight’s greatsword ricocheted off, and the knight, who took a step back in great panic, eventually gave me a gap.
He must have realized that too, so he swung his greatsword wide sideways to somehow widen the gap, but I lowered my head to avoid his greatsword and quickly stepped forward and burrowed into his arms.
Judging from the wide-open eyes of the knight watching me, it seemed that he did not expect me to be this fast.
The knight tried to get back into his stance, but before that, my powerful mana-covered fist struck him in the stomach.
An explosion erupted and the knight’s upper body leaned forward, and at that moment I struck his bowed head violently with my fist.
With an explosion similar to the one before, the knight fell to the ground.
It was a smooth first win.
* * *
Edith thought as he watched the first duel between Physis and a naive knight with a greatsword.
‘Was his name Physis Ortaire? Why did he want to go to the great duel… … There was a good reason.’
The naive knight was a strong man who held a fairly high standard among his comrades. His steely stance and the series of attacks he unleashed with his greatsword were something people could not easily withstand even with mana, and his ability to judge distance was quite excellent too.
However, he was easily defeated.
‘Sir Lucas Wintes hasn’t even come out yet. maybe… … If it goes on like this, there is a high possibility of defeat. The good thing is that he didn’t even take that naive knight's life.’
Edith thought that because it was not uncommon for knights to lose their life in duels between great warriors, so he assumed that this knight would die the moment he was defeated.
But Physis did not take his life. For Edith, that was questionable. He couldn’t figure out why that knight's life wasn’t taken. Is his nature benevolent, or… … Is there something more that Physis is looking for?
‘Anyway, it’s not easy to see. There was a reason why he won the hunting competition and the jousting match.’
Thinking so, Edith immediately looked around. As expected, he felt that Aiden’s morale had been shattered. Because the knight before couldn’t even hurt Physis and was defeated with an overwhelming power difference.
It was necessary to turn the mood around.
‘But that doesn’t mean I can go out. If I lose my stamina in a duel with Physis Ortaire, I will most likely be defeated overwhelmingly by Sir Lucas… … . There is no way.’
The more Edith thought about it, the more he felt that the only thing left for them was defeat. Even if one’s skills were outstanding, that did not mean that they were superior to the knights of winter.
‘His Excellency asked me to support Aiden… … After all, did he tell us that after looking at the condition of Ortaire and Rodenov? Your Excellency already had this situation in mind. That’s why he told me not to risk my life.’
It was only when he sensed defeat, he understood why Crocus had asked him to help Aiden.
'How strong their power was, how strong their knights were. Keep it in your eyes and tell it to me.' That was what Crocus meant.
If one knows a clear reason, one has no choice but to act on it.
Edith stiffened his face and looked at Physis, who was waiting for his next opponent, and said to his colleagues nearby.
“You all remember what His Excellency said, right?”
“Don’t risk your life, surrender when you’re about to lose.”
“Great. Do not forget that.”
“Why is that suddenly?”
"Perhaps we will lose. There is no victory in sight after Sir Lucas Wintes, even Physis Ortair, who has defeated that naïve knight, will be difficult to defeat. Don't be deluded, and declare defeat immediately if you feel like you’re going to lose.”
“… …Then, His Excellency... why did he send us all the way here?”
“It must mean that Ortaire and Rodenov should be evaluated. That’s why I told you not to risk your life. It’s a fact I just realized too. Aiden is hopeless.”
Edith whispered softly to Eileen, the female knight sitting next to her.
“Be careful, Eileen. Physis Ortaire… … That guy is strange”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. Just now, the movements he showed before punching that naive knight didn’t look right.”
“Tsk, that man is also a monster. I get it. Anyway, I’ll make sure that I'm careful.”
After Eileen said that, she began to arm herself with a nervous expression.
* * *
After a brief break, the duel between the great warriors continued. As soon as the greatsword knight fell, the one who came out was a female knight named Eileen.
She neatly tidied up her red hair and tucked them inside her helm, then she stared at me holding a halberd bigger than her height.
“Nice to meet you, Sir Physis Ortaire.” She said to me
In a typical warrior duel, it was common to taunt or provoke an opponent, so I kept my mouth shut. I didn't know what words would come out of her mouth, but at least it would be an insignificant provocation.
“Your skills are amazing, can you look at me for a bit?”
She laughed and started talking nonsense. Aiden looked at her in a puzzled way and was screaming at her.
“What! Don’t jump!”
“Oh, noisy. Isn’t that funny? If it wasn’t for us, they wouldn’t have been able to conduct a duel like this… … Raising your voice like that. It's just...”
“But I don’t think swearing at the employer is a very good attitude.”
“Ah! They are not our employer? There is someone else who hired us.”
“Who is that?”
“Aha, you do not think I’m an idiot who will tell you that, right? Well, let’s do this. If you lose to me, I’ll tell you who our employer is. How about it?”
“It’s not even worth listening to.”
To Eileen, who was talking as if she was joking, I said expressionlessly.
“Is that so? then… … Shall we start slowly? It bothers me that he keeps talking loudly behind me.”
“… … .”
As soon as she finished speaking, I immediately nodded and spurred the ground, appearing in front of her in an instant and wielding a punch.
Surprisingly, she swung her halberd to parry my punch, sending it back across his body. It seemed that a momentary decision was made that it was not right to give distance even while talking like this.
“It’s a surprise… … You were more polite than you looked. Are you not popular with girls? So, you will only end up being hated by your fiancée, is that okay?”
“… … .”
“Aha, you are already hated a lot. Well, even if you are like this, a man like you is not acceptable.”
For a moment, it seemed that I had heard very intrusive words.
As soon as I heard that, I could immediately determine what Eileen was aiming for.
She was the type of person who makes her opponent lose their reason by gently scratching the opponent's nerves during combat.
Obviously, she must be intending to provoke me so that I move violently and then drain my stamina. If I get caught in it, I'll only get a headache.
The best way to deal with that type of person was to ignore the opponent and hit them until they die and make them shut their mouth.
And that method was also my favorite method.
I raised the mana and wrapped it across my body. Blue light drifted around the body, and vitality sprang up throughout it. I immediately kicked off the ground and ran towards her.
The earth exploded in an instant, and snow scattered in all directions. The scenery around me flashed by in an instant, and before I knew it, Eileen came right in front of me.
However, as if Eileen had figured it out as well, she immediately took a stance, twisted her body as much as possible, and stabbed the halberd right in front of me.
With the sound of the wind ripping, the halberd’s spear point came toward my face.
There was no need to evade her attack, who was weaker than me in every way, so instead of evading, I swung my fist at the tip of the spear.
At the moment of the collision, Eileen’s halberd was shattered as a huge shockwave exploded.
I didn’t stop there, I grabbed Eileen’s neck, whose face had hardened due to the broken halberd, and lifted her up.
“Evilness is the root of all your circumstances. That Aiden had got to fight for his Territory like this and the way you got caught by me like this.”
I wasn’t too upset by her words, but as always, those who make fun of me or my loved ones with their mouths like that, deserve punishment.
“And to those who have spoken the wrong way… … .”
“eww… … Keck, Keck!”
“Need to be punished.”
I grabbed her by the neck and slammed her to the ground.