Chapter 157 – Whose swordsmanship
There was no point in using the White Raven Sword Arte here. Mephisto’s thrust would completely blow away the technique. It was difficult to determine whether he even had enough time to try and activate it. Even though Mephisto’s goal was to capture him, any mistake made would likely get him killed. He had gauged Brendel’s skills in just a few seconds, before attacking and leaving enough space for him to defend himself with the sword and do nothing else.
Mephisto was secretly shocked with Brendel’s reactions and the feedback when their swords met.
[This boy is a prodigy. Perhaps a prodigy amongst prodigies.]
It was not arrogance, but he had not seen any youths who managed to defend three strikes from him yet. Instead of knocking away Halran Gaia in the first exchange, Brendel managed to alter the greatsword’s path slightly, and he gave himself time to defend against the next attack with the same deflection. In fact, Mephisto had fought against many famous Gold-ranked swordsmen, and none of them could readily receive his three moves.
[But the more talented you are, the more Veronica would want to protect you. A youth no more than twenty possessing enormous talent in the sword and military tactics. It is a rarity in the Kirrlutz Empire…… No, it’s one in several hundred years!]
Mephisto could not help but feel swayed by the youth’s talent. However, the boy in front of him was a citizen of the Kirrlutz Empire. All prodigies from Kirrlutz were his enemies. His greatsword moved faster by a notch.
“Hurry, little boy, lend your body to My noble self. You can’t fight against him.”
“Will there be a problem?” Brendel spoke quickly, his hands not stopping against Mephisto’s attacks. Even if Orthlyss shared her abilities and allowed him to gain back his former skills, he was not confident of winning against this opponent.
“There’s a bit of a problem, your physical prowess is greatly lacking in comparison to his. But it’s not at a level where there’s no chance of fighting back.”
“What I meant to say is the duration on how long you can share your powers with me. You did mention that the previous time.”
“It has been a month or so. Lending my abilities for ten minutes should not be a problem,” Orthlyss’s tone was proud, “or are you looking down on me?”
“Not at all, Ser Orthlyss,” Brendel replied. He did feel a little strange about the body possession, but he felt assured once he remembered that she saved him during the burning forest in Bucce: “Please go ahead.”
The exchange was done in an instant. Mephisto’s sword landed on Halran Gaia with the same intention to disarm Brendel. But the broadsword blurred into three black shadows. Brendel thought that the movements were like lasers that burned and converged into a single point in a single instant. A crystalline noise rang in everyone’s ears as they watched Halran Gaia strike at Mephisto’s greatsword, forcing it to swing up.
The Sword Saint of Ashes realized that he could not continue his attacks and went into a defensive state, but Orthlyss elegantly retreated out of his range instead of pressing her attacks.
Silence filled the area.
Brendel’s men were completely shocked, and the ambassadors suddenly realized what they just saw. Two Sword Saints who fought each other in a duel that ended in a stalemate. Two unbelievable swordsmanships that surpassed common sense.
Was the youth truly someone from Aouine?
Dolant’s background was prominent, and thus he had enough insight to judge someone’s talents. He could not but gasp deeply, realizing that the youth was the most talented genius ever since the birth of the Aouine kingdom.
[There’s no way I would allow this boy to die to this suspicious stranger!]
The fight happened so quickly that Dolant did not register the infamous name that Brendel spoke of. It was also due to the fact that Mephisto had disappeared out of the public’s eyes for years.
“Please wait, he’s not a Kirr—” He yelled out, hoping to prove that Brendel was not a Kirrlutz’s citizen, but Mephisto placed his greatsword over his shoulder and laughed, interrupting him.
The Sword Saint of Ashes lifted his eyebrow and stared at Brendel with interest:
“Sword Arte, Flash Fire, young man, or should I call you King Gatel’s descendant? The Imperial Family’s Sword Arte is shown right before my eyes. What excuses do you have now?”
The entire batch of Aouine’s ambassadors dropped their jaws. Dolant’s mind went blank as he stared at the youth. The Flash Fire Sword Arte was taught by the Dragons, which was much more famous than the White Raven Sword Arte that was derived from the Wind Elven Guards.
There was still the possibility of learning the White Raven Sword Arte elsewhere other than the Aouine’s royal family, but the Flash Fire Sword Arte was only taught directly to King Gatel’s direct subordinates and their descendants. The swordsmanship from the King of Flames was one of the Eagle Empire’s pride.
This time, it was not only Mephisto who thought Brendel was Kirrlutz’s citizens, even Dolant wondered if he was really one. The more he looked at him, the more he felt that there were features from Kirrlutz’s nobility.
The truth was that Brendel’s mother was a Kadireig, and her ancestors were a branch of Kirrlutz’s high nobility, making it true to a certain extent.
[…… I understand now. So this is why the youth is able to teach the Duke of Flower’s little princess a lesson. No wonder he dares to go against the Azure Sword Saint Veronica. He even slaughtered the Toquinin’s Lionmane Beastmen. This youth is from Kirrlutz, and he’s not just someone ordinary, he’s one of their royal lineages!]
Dolant looked like he understood everything.
The Kirrlutz Empire was not like Aouine which had its dynasty changed once; the Corvado family had taken the throne over from the Seifer family. Because of the Holy Cathedral of Fire’s support, the descendants of King Gatel’s direct subordinates continued to hold over the Kirrlutz Empire’s throne.
The plump man could not help but wipe the cold perspiration of his head. They had sought to go after a member of the Kirrlutz’s royal family and demanded him to capitulate to their demands. He changed his tone and spoke to Brendel in hesitation:
“Lord Brendel, I apologize humbly for the earlier transgression—”
He did not dare to confirm Brendel’s identity as someone from Kirrlutz to avoid angering the strange man, but it seemed like he recognized Brendel’s identity anyway, so it seemed like there was no difference whether or not he divulged it.
[It’s impossible to clear my name this time!]
Brendel was hitting the ground with his fist as hard as he possibly could in the isolated space created by Orthlyss, while the latter looked at him in confusion.
“What’s wrong?” Orthlyss was slightly bewildered. The reactions from Mephisto, Dolant, and Brendel made her realize that she might have done something foolish. “Is there something wrong with King Gatel’s swordsmanship? But he’s one of the Sages and there’s nothing improper about his technique. Or did the successors who inherited his swordsmanship commit some kind of atrocities?”
Though it was unthinkable for the inheritors to commit something like that.
“Aren’t you a Wind Elf, why did you use the Flash Fire Sword Arte?” Brendel was on all fours and appeared to be lifeless: “Normally people would use their swordsmanship they are most familiar, right?”
“That’s true, but you’re forgetting that I’m using your body, boy, and most of my swordsmanships that I learned are for women. Gatel’s swordsmanship is probably the most suited for you to unleash your full potential. I have no choice but to use the extent of my full abilities when that man has the initiative. Furthermore, I sensed that you used the Flash Fire Sword Arte just a few days ago?”
Brendel started hitting the ground again.
[But that’s a ridiculous faked copy, and anyone could see that it’s derived from Aouine’s swordsmanship if they witnessed the fight with their eyes! It’s so different from yours….. Oh for crying out loud, this is one of the worst decision ever, the biggest blunder I ever made.]
He really thought Orthlyss could rescue him from this situation. He knew that her decision was rational and blameless, but this coincidence was just too much.
[WRYYYY is this happening!]
But there was no meaning to continue speaking about this matter. The deed was done. Even the nobles from Aouine suspected of his identity. He was not even sure whether his own men started to have doubts about his identity because of the sudden accusation.
In fact, was there anyone who could change Mephisto’s mind now?
Brendel finally got up and looked through his physical eyes. Scarlett seemed like she wanted to join the fray, but Kodan grabbed her shoulders and forced her to stay put. This action made him relieved.
Mephisto did not use killing blows because Brendel was still useful, but he might not spare anyone else for intervening.
[The only real proof I can use is the princess’s silver brooch. A real successor of the Kirrlutz Empire would never disguise himself as one of Aouine’s royal knights. But I can’t reveal it in front of the nobles.]
“Ser Orthlyss, do you have any techniques that increase speed?”
“Naturally, what about it?”
“Find a way to lure this man away from here to a deserted location.”
“Boy, you’re conjuring up a fantasy. All his physical attributes surpass yours by a mile. The reliance on my techniques can only last for a while, and there’s no escape—”
“It’s more than enough. The weakness to Mephisto is his speed,” Brendel said with confidence, “I’m not seeking to shake him off but to lure him away.”
“Why are you so certain about his weakness?” Orthlyss was puzzled.
He would not have succeeded in holding out against Mephisto back in the game for ten seconds if he did not do that.
“I am confident. Please, Ser Orthlyss, lure him to a clearing in the west.”
Orthlyss hesitated for a moment but she nodded.