TL: You can expect the next chapter tomorrow.
Chapter 123 – Two against One
Brendel looked at Cullens regretfully.
It was true that he was completely suppressed by Veronica’s aura to the point where he could not move, but as Cullens approached him with each step, the Stats Windows on his retina were shuffling at a high speed.
– Character Stats.
– Planeswalker Card.
– Elemental Pool.
He stopped at a certain card, then smiled at Cullens. The latter looked puzzled as to why the youth still had the guts to smile, but Veronica immediately sensed something was off:
“What, this boy is— Cullens, retreat!”
She tried to warn him but she was a second too late. A white-golden flaming blade appeared out of thin air and floated in front of Brendel. This was the first time Brendel had ever activated this card.
The unfortunate Cullens who had the misfortunate to face the card stared fearfully at the sudden burst of Elemental power. He was unable to react in time because he never expected that Brendel was able to fight back under Veronica’s suppression.
The blade made from pure flames struck Cullens’s body directly, and he was flung back with such force that he spun in mid-air a dozen times before crashing heavily onto the wooden planks.
“Count Cullens!” The girl with twin golden ponytails exclaimed in astonishment.
Veronica’s beautiful eyebrows lifted slightly as she did not expect Brendel’s counterattack. She had initially been greatly displeased by Brendel’s temerity to wound her men and instantly sought to quash him.
When her hand reached out for her blade, the Azure Green, to draw it out, she faltered at the last moment as she realized what she had done.
She carried the title of Illustrious Sword Saint and was a commander of an army who participated in countless battles. On top of that, she was over a hundred years old. Bullying a youth who looked no older than twenty would hurt the dignity of the Kirrlutz Empire.
[But I cannot allow the Empire to be insulted—]
She raised her hand and spoke in an icy tone: “Capture this man!”
Veronica glared at Brendel emotionlessly and swung down her hand. The latter’s pressure lifted instantly as she spoke, while thirty-odd Imperial Knights who had followed her from behind rushed out.
[Even though a few of these Imperial Knights are not exactly worthy of the title, they should be able to defeat him even if he’s a Gold-ranker. The typical Aouine swordsmen are nothing more than rabble. I just need to suppress his Element power and any other tricks that he has if he tries to use them again.]
Brendel thought he was being underestimated when the pressure on him lifted. He took a step back to fall into a stance and pulled out his sword fully for the first time. The heavy ink-light blade glinted against the sunlight.
“T-that….. sword…..”Faena rasped in surprise.
But Rono’s yell drowned Faena’s voice: “Be careful, he has the Crimson Blessing!”
The young boy crawled up slowly and wiped away the blood from his lips. One of his hands was planted firmly on his chest as he felt pain creeping all over his organs. Still, that agony was dulled from his surprise— Brendel’s metallic gauntlets confirmed his earlier suspicion.
They were definitely the Crimson Blessing, or Bahamut’s Grasp, the divine artifact that any Alchemist would crave for in their heart.
Flames had already enveloped Brendel’s hands and they sped upwards to swallow Halran Gaia. The youth blazed across the field as he wielded in a horizontal position. At that moment, he appeared like he was a devil that came out from hell leaving behind a trail of flames.
Veronica’s eyes widened upon seeing that sight.
[That’s not a mere swordsman, even calling him a grandmaster swordsman isn’t sufficient! This boy has reached the level of a sword saint! And that sword and magical gauntlets—]
She realized she made a huge blunder and immediately drew out her own weapon, but Brendel had already rushed into the midst of the Imperial Knights.
Orthlyss had woken up quite a while ago when Brendel invoked his Element Power. Her thoughts were calculated and calm as she delivered them to the latter.
“Attack from the left—”
“Take this opportunity to retreat—”
“Counter and p—”
“…… Boy, how are you doing this?” She suddenly stopped speaking. Brendel seemed like he was predicting the enemies’ movements even better than she did. She had centuries of fighting experience, but what the youth possess?
[Even Gatel wouldn’t be able to read better than this youth!]
Explaining the current situation seemed a little far-fetched with just the word ‘talent’.
However, Brendel was seeing layers and layers of golden lines in his eyes to form a complex drawing.
The intentions of the knights were displayed fully before him. Attacking, defending, attempts to surround him; as long as they changed their thoughts, the lines would switch and point to the areas where they were aiming for.
It was the skill ‘Evaluation’ received from the Silver Elves, and he leveled it up for it with what little points he had.
Brendel realized that the skill was exceptionally compatible with Aouine’s swordsmanship. The kingdom’s clean and efficient style allowed him to proceed naturally from offense and defense like running water. It was truly a shocking display of martial feats as he combined multiple traits from the swordsmanships of Kodan, his grandfather, and the gamers. He even included a few points from Orthlyss’s instructions.
The Imperial Knights’ attacks were stopped even before they could attack. They felt completely stifled and soon realized what was wrong.
The youth seemed to know what they were doing, even when they tried to attack randomly or retreat subconsciously. No matter what they tried, a single move from the youth shut them down.
However, Brendel stopped his fatal attacks at the very last moment. The Imperial Knights were greatly surprised, as they knew he could easily kill them if he had the intention to do so. Still, they felt like they were being toyed with like how a cat would toy with a mouse, and it made them feel like they should just abandon their swords and run away as quickly as possible.
Did he spare them on purpose?
But he did not seem like he had the intention to do so.
In truth, he was analyzing the Kirrlutz Empire’s swordsmanship closely, while half of his attention was placed on Veronica. When she finally started walking forward, Orthlyss reminded him:
“She’s moving in.”
“I’m curious,” Brendel deflected one of the incoming swords and kicked his current opponent to make him off-balanced, “Ser Orthlyss. at the height of your power, are you stronger than that lady?”
“She’s just a little girl,” Orthlyss scoffed and replied with confidence: “I don’t even need to use a weapon.”
“What?” Brendel was shocked.
[Is your level that high?]
“Pay attention, she’s coming!”
Veronica indeed appeared right before his eyes, and her sword aimed for his throat. Electricity ran across his nerves as he frantically rolled backward to avoid her blade.
[How surprising. He actually seems to know where I’m going to attack, and his reactions are quick as well.]
But Brendel was getting scolded by Orthlyss.
“Why are you running away? Go and have a proper fight.” Orthlyss was greatly dissatisfied.
“Ser Orthlyss, I don’t mind fighting it out if we’re restricted to our swordsmanship, but the control of her Element Power is far superior compared to mine!” Brendel retreated repeatedly as consecutive thrusts went his way.
“Silly fool, if she tries to use her Element power, just fight back with everything you have. She will have to destroy the entire market first in order to suppress your full strength!”
Brendel blinked a few times.
[Of course! Even though the market has a barrier, it can only hold back two Gold-rankers’ Element powers. The barrier would be destroyed if it goes beyond that.]
That momentary pause nearly caused him to be struck in the face, but the youth managed to recover his senses at the last moment and tilt his head at the last moment. Veronica’s sword missed his cheek.
But the Azure Green that was clad in her aura caused a wound to open up.
Brendel felt a slight wetness spread and his eyes twitched a little along with a nervous smile. Veronica was half amused and exasperated when she saw his cramped expressions. This youth actually dared to lose his concentration right in front of her. Even accomplished sword saints at her level would not be so bold!
Yet this boy still managed to avoid her attack entirely!
Brendel did not know what his opponent was thinking about, but he decided to face Veronica properly after Orthlyss’s reminder.