TL: Sorry for the late chapter. I finally broke through my overwatch rank points at 2000. It’s really a hard game, haha.
I’ll probably do 1 more chapter of TGTBGAM and TAS within the day.
Chapter 68 – Brendel’s swordsmanship (3)
After the words left through Buga’s lips, the greatsword in his hand swung vertically down towards Brendel’s head. He was ten meters apart from Brendel, but he combined it with a powerful jump that closed the distance, and in just a split second the heavy sword had already reached Brendel’s head.
Brendel did not need to look at the oncoming sword to know how dangerous it was. It was almost like an avalanche happening on top of a snow mountain. Before the sword reached its mark, the sound that emitted from was like thunder.
[Definitely a Gold-tier’s strength!] Brendel gritted his teeth and prepared his stance.
He tilted his neck and lined his left arm to form a triangle on the upper half of his body. It was the best defense he could use at his disposal. The system he had combined the levels of his skills and shaped into a reality where his physical feats were raised; if he was still in the game, the description would be ‘Aouine rank 9 Swordsmanship defensive stance – 27% chance to parry’.
The swords met in a blaze of sparks, and Brendel’s sword screamed as if it was in pain. The sword twisted back as it failed to stop the greatsword. He constantly adjusted the strength in his hand, but the immense power behind the greatsword seemed to press forward every inch like an unstoppable tidal wave, and he realized that he was unable to avoid it.
[There’s no road to escape-] Brendel’s mind calculated coldly and furiously.
But the years as a warrior in the game seemed to let him reach an epiphany, and he shifted his body weight to match the greatsword’s path which caused it to deviate slightly to the side. The greatsword smashed onto the ground, the force fanning out and destroyed the wooden planks at the same time, and at that moment the wooden splinters danced around like butterflies flying together.
The sword was different from Tirste’s lightning thrust. Brendel felt like he was an insignificant object when his strike came and there was no possible way to avoid it. He had seen this attack before in the game when Buga killed one of the Tree Shepherd’s high ranking members, but experiencing the attack personally was an utterly different experience.
[But he didn’t use full strength.] Brendel suddenly realized this fact. [It showed off his trump card that he have unlocked his Element, and it’s a considerably high level ‘Earth’ Element at that, otherwise it wouldn’t show off how skilled he is in the sword.]
Brendel exhaled coldly. The hall was quiet.
Even though the exchange between them was nothing short of remarkable, almost no one saw what happened clearly. The only thing that they felt was how Brendel did not seem like he was at a disadvantage. The mercenaries held their tongues and suppressed their gasps, not knowing how they should react.
[[[Buga’s sword was avoided by a Iron rank swordsman?]]] The mercenaries who had the same rank as Brendel started to put themselves into Brendel’s situation, imagining what they could have done under Buga’s attack.
The only option that seemed available was to wait for death.
“That attack seemed to look like the vice-commander used seventy percent of his strength, right?”
“T-that was…… luck right?”
“Just look at how he deflected it, at that level of skill, it’s not just luck.”
Whispers started to spread amongst the crowd, with varying degrees of expressions, ranging from excitement and shock.
Brendel and Buga did not pay attention to them.
“Hmmm.” Buga uttered a surprised voice and lifted his head. He was not in a hurry to lift up the greatsword from the floor, but he took a longer look at Brendel in surprise.
He thought that Brendel was a youth who had slightly more talent in the sword. He had gotten used to Eke’s talent, and certainly did not think much of others because of that.
[This young man isn’t simple at all.] Buga pondered deeply. [That slide earlier definitely belonged to a high level technique.]
Buga was not wrong. Brendel had copied the Elves’ techniques who fell a long time ago; the swordsmanship which had been lost to the ages in history. This particular technique focused on agility and dexerity.
Brendel’s gamble had paid off, and his mind shifted slightly to the thoughts of acquiring it before dismissing them entirely.
[Right now, Vaunte’s current era is definitely chapter 1 in the game. ‘The empire’s birth’, the title of chapter 1, describes Madara’s rise as a kingdom. Dredging up old manuscripts from the past requires me to wait at least to the time where chapter 3, ‘Ancient Heritage’, happens. These techniques can only wait till then.]
Brendel relaxed slightly when Buga stopped his attack. He shook his sword arm and realized that it was not numb, indicating that Buga had deliberately lowered his strength to match his standards. A thought sprang up in Brendel’s mind. If Buga only saw this as a test, then he might have the chance to win.
As long as Buga lowered his standards and sought to defeat him with the mere understanding of his swordsmanship and techniques, he was definitely sealing his fate.
Even though Brendel was not the amongst the top players in the game, it was not possible for Buga to compare with him. Brendel’s character in the game had trained in seventeen different sword styles, and there were more than half of them that reached over ten levels and above. He even saw and fought against countless opponents who had different techniques.
[Buga’s techniques came from a renown knight that focuses on strong openings and closings, one vertical and horizontal strike, which is where the name of ‘Crosshand’ comes in. With the combination of his Earth Element, that majestic aura around him would intimidate his enemies. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work on me.]
Brendel understood that he should not fall into his opponent’s rhythm, and he sought to have the first strike before Buga had the chance to pull up his sword.
The distance between them was over five meters as Brendel had backed up a few steps earlier. His attack was very simple, it was Aouine’s one handed thrust.
But it startled everyone—
The mercenaries who learned Aouine’s swordsmanship understood that it was an rudimentary technique, and in the game’s term – level 0 Aouine Swordsplay. Many of them had learned the technique and trained in it repeatedly, but they did not understand how his thrust covered over five meters in distance.
Brendel snickered inwardly when he saw Buga’s slight astonishment.
[It seems like the future grandmaster had learned of Aouine’s swordsmanship to a certain level, but he’s not at an advanced level yet. If you do, you would come to understand a master’s understanding in the sword increases the effectiveness of the technique greatly.]
Aouine’s military swordsmanship basic effectiveness covered a meter and half, and a master’s understanding increased it to three meters. Brendel had the advantage of knowing to increase it further through varying means from the game, and had the option of increasing it up to seven meters in distance.
Brendel’s swordsmanship in the game reached level twenty and above as a grandmaster, and he had heard rumors about a huge barrier at level thirty and a new title that superseded the Grandmaster rank, but he had never seen anyone or a player that reached that level.
The sword approached Buga with a flash. His speed was enough to cease the whispers amongst the crowd, while Buga smiled at Brendel when he discovered his intention to seize the initiative. He thought that it was nothing more than a clever trick to catch the enemy off-guard, and he was prepared to teach the youth a lesson.
It was an unfortunate oversight.
Buga suddenly realized that it was not a mere trick. Brendel’s sword seemed to dance even though it started off as a simple thrust. He should have followed up with another step and use the sword’s hilt to strike the opponent in a daze, then attack with a flourish. Brendel’s actions seemed to do that, but he pointed his swords in three different feints at three different targets before lunging the sword into his chest.
Buga was momentarily dazzled by the feints and he had to retreat a step to avoid the lunging attack, but Brendel seemed to have predicted his action and took an even larger stride. Before Buga knew it, the sword was already inches away from him.
This action jolted Buga and he drew back in haste, but Brendel followed closely with the same attacks that he did earlier; three feints at different vital areas after the first thrust, followed by a lunge at the area that was the most exposed.
Buga had never seen Aouine’s swordsmanship used in this manner, but Brendel’s techniques were beautiful in design and effective in reality. Buga swore that he had never even heard of Aouine’s military swordsmanship being used in this manner, but the youth in front of him showed that it was possible to bring this commonplace military swordsmanship to heights that one had never seen before.
This was the crystallization of countless warriors who spent decades in the game.
The gamers started to discuss the core of the various techniques in earnest around the time when it was about thirty years into the game. They came to the realization that the game had enough freedom to implement new techniques into the game without the need to rely on what was available in the game.
It was the era where a revolution in abilities and techniques.
Buga was facing what gamers defined as the basics, or more accurately, the modern Aouine’s system of military swordsmanship. He was also facing Brendel who had became a grandmaster warrior in the game as well, and he had also fallen into Brendel’s pace of attacking.
He felt tremendous pressure as the youth seemed to predict his every move, leaving him confused and lost, and that feeling made him feel like he was a novice swordsman who had encountered a grandmaster swordsman. He even recalled the moments where he had started to train in the sword for the first time in his life, and how his teacher corrected his every move.
This was the absolute level of disparity in skill when it came to techniques.
Buga was forced back by Brendel again and again, until he finally came to the conclusion that there would not be a result where he could win by skill alone. He had no choice but to use his full abilities, and channel his ‘Earth’ Element into his fist to defend against Brendel’s sword.
A huge clanging sound resounded through the hall.
This time it was Brendel who flew back ten over meters and smashed into the crowd.
Nobody cheered for Buga’s punch.
[Aouine’s swordsmanship? Is that really it?]
[How could it be used in that manner?]
[Just exactly how talented is that young man in the sword? Buga actually failed to defend against his attacks even once?]