TL: Next chapter coming in a day or so. There is the 4/11 chapters for this month (Regular + sponsored via patreon).
Chapter 62 – King of the underground (13)
Brendel momentarily lost himself in panic, before he realized that Kodan was also a veteran soldier who experienced the November War. It would not be strange that the latter knew his grandfather.
However, Kodan was from a family of knights, and his grandfather was a commoner, so how did he know about his grandfather?
(TL: Brendel’s grandfather is most likely someone of importance. Unreliable narrator Brendel, in case anyone is wondering.)
But he temporarily suppressed his suspicion as the battle in the stage had begun. The Cerberus seemed to be highly dissatisfied with the loss of its prey. It howled angrily and struggled against its chains when Kodan stepped onto the stage.
When the chains the size of an arm broke apart, loud snapping sounds echoed throughout the place. The Cerberus excitedly rushed toward Kodan.
[This damned dog!]
He immediately drew out his sword and hurled his sheath at the gigantic beast. One of its head snapped at the projectile and tossed it away, while its body dragged the broken chains across the ground with grating noises.
The old man’s eyelids flickered slightly, and his eyes reflected the figure of the three-headed demon dog as it pounced towards him from the air. He took a single step back and went into a stance, holding his sword’s hilt with both hands.
“Scram!” He roared angrily.
A visible shockwave suddenly exploded into all directions from his figure, and the hound from hell was suddenly flung away from the tempest unleashed by the old man.
The creature that was hurled back could be compared to the Wind Bullet’s speed. Its body sailed through the air a hundred meters away.
An immense impact could be felt and heard as the Cerberus collided against the wall. Countless bricks fell onto the ground and a dust cloud formed.
[What the hell! How the bloody hell did the Sword Eruption technique get boosted so much by his core Swordsmanship skill?]
Brendel could not help but scream in his head. It was a common technique where a user in the sword could attain, but he was utterly shocked to see Kodan managing to send the creature back a hundred meters.
In the game, every technique was boosted by different qualities. The White Raven Sword Arte and Frontal Assault that Brendel possessed were enhanced by his core Military swordsmanship, while his Power Break and Charge technique were magnified by his stats, namely Power, Physique, and Agility.
The higher one’s swordsmanship’s rank was and the stronger one’s stats were, the more powerful their skills became. But Brendel had never seen or heard of the Sword Eruption skill sending a large enemy like the Cerberus hundreds of meters away at a Gold-ranked level.
It was not as if he could not do it, but he was nearly at a level close to ninety when he did so.
But the Cerberus proved to be resilient and was not injured badly. It stood up and the three large heads shook away the pile of broken fragments. Sand and dust poured down like rain, making it look disheveled and shaken.
Brendel felt it was a pity. If the Cerberus had attacked Kodan from the ground and not from the air, the damage will be far greater.
But Kodan did not miss this opportunity. He quickly darted across the field, each step crossing over dozens of meters. Even though he did not have the Charge skill, his figure still appeared like it was a blur. Just as the monster started baring its fangs at Kodan, his blade was already above its head.
There was no time for the creature to dodge or even be afraid.
A tremendous blast filled the coliseum. Kodan’s blade completely sank into the creature’s middle head with a perfect arc. Black blood spilled around its neck, and he gracefully retreated before even a single drop of blood reached him.
The Cerberus’s legs skidded as the impact forcefully slammed it back onto the ground. But the aggressive beast did not give up and the remaining heads each spewed a column of fiery flames at Kodan.
The old man was already on his guard against the flames and had retreated back to where the stage was, but he did not expect the pillars of flames to have enough range to reach him. Scorching heat blasted across the ground, and he rolled on his back without stopping.
Despite his quick reactions, his clothes, eyebrows, hair, and beard were all partially burned.
Kodan stood up and bellowed with fury as his proudly grown beard for years had disappeared. He lowered his legs till they were nearly touching to the ground before he launched himself towards the creature like a projectile.
From the spectator’s point of view, Kodan’s fist was so small that it could hardly be seen, but the impact that struck one of the Cerberus’s chin instantly reached their ears.
Loud cracking bones immediately disconcerted the youths in the cages and made them flinch.
It was almost comical, but the creature was actually lifted up in the air, while a shockwave of distorted air erupted from Kodan’s punch. Its body veered uncontrollably towards the left, yet before it reached the ground, the old man had leaped into the air and landed on the final remaining uninjured head. His blade dipped into its snout and he began sprinting across its body, and the weapon seemed to cut shallowly over its skin.
However, once he pranced off the creature’s rear, its body split into two and a squall of blood drenched the ground before the two halves crashed onto the ground.
For a moment, the coliseum was silent—
“Incredible……” Jana took in a cold breath as she spoke, and her green eyes dilated with shock.
She was not the only person. The youths in the other cages were completely stupefied with their mouths open, but they were unable to utter any sound. The strength of a Gold-ranked fighter was just as flashy as it was fearsome.
“He wouldn’t have gotten caught in that creature’s attack earlier if he wasn’t injured,” Scarlett gripped the steel bars and observed quietly.
Jana nodded to acknowledge Scarlett’s insight as the latter was a Gold-ranker. She knew that she could hardly understand anything that Kodan had done at her level.
At the same time, Jocah was whispering to the sickly-looking youth: “Cohen, do you think they will save us?”
“It’s hard to say,” Cohen shook his head.
“I doubt it,” Maher’s expression was filled with complicated emotions, “why would he save us when we have no relation to him? Besides, this isn’t a game and lives are on the line.”
“What’s going to happen to us?” Jocah asked.
“I don’t know.” Cohen shook his head again.
“Are we going to be imprisoned here forever?” A few youths started crying.
“Can’t you think of something?” Jocah started to feel impatient. He did not want to stay in this ghastly place any longer.
“I’ll try,” Cohen’s eyes never left the stage.
“Who are you going to ask for help?”
“Of course we should ask the guard commander to help us. I’ve heard people talking in the inn about how he’s undefeated in Trentheim!” One of the youths said.
Their eyes gradually turned towards Cohen, but he stopped replying.
Brendel was not surprised at Kodan’s victory and was actually astonished at how injured the latter was.
[Why did the old man need to spend so much effort to deal with a three-headed pooch?]
“How did you injure him?” He turned his head slightly to Medissa.
“Seismic Blast.” Came the light reply.
The youth rubbed the cold sweat off his palm and wondered what kind of freakish constitution Kodan had to survive that particular technique.
But Medissa quickly added: “But it was not a perfect hit. He managed to dodge the majority and was swept away by the air currents. He was then knocked down by a huge boulder. When I started chasing him after he got up, he quickly surrendered…….”
“It seems like he doesn’t want to fight,” Brendel suddenly thought about the moment where Kodan suddenly yelled and requested to stop fighting.
[How did he recognize me? Even though the basis of my Military Swordsmanship probably came from…… my grandfather, but the swordsmanship I displayed earlier is from the gamers.]
While he was still pondering over it, the Cerberus’s body turned into white particles of light and disappeared. Kodan had requested to duel yet again without waiting for Brendel’s instructions, and the gate opposite to them was once again raised. This time it was a dwarf who was fully clad in armor.
As the lumbering footsteps reached everyone’s ears, Medissa suddenly spoke: “My lord, I know this man.”
Brendel inspected the dwarf’s appearance. The latter wore a barbarian helmet which had four horns, and he carried a warhammer the size of his body. A symbol of a flaming fist could be seen on his weapon.
“I recognize him too. Lord Varian. He’s a famous Grey Dwarf who became a slave of the Rune Dwarves in his early years. But the person you’re seeing right now is a faker and not the real deal. I believe that living puppet has the strength of someone who had just become a Gold-ranked fighter. Kodan is in considerable trouble if he’s hurt this badly.”
Medissa looked curiously at Brendel. Even though she knew he was a Planeswalker, that did not explain why he knew so many things that he should not know.
The Rune Dwarves had died out centuries ago and their history was hardly known. Only Galbu’s oldest wizards who poured their time deeply into research till they wore spectacles and had ashen white beards, would know about the Silver Elves and Rune Dwarves’ secrets.
The weapon clashes between Kodan and Varian caused her to cease her thoughts and she paid attention to the fight.
Varian was not as agile as Kodan, but his heavy armor was like a fortress and made it difficult for the latter to present any immediate threat to him. The warhammer he used was a famous weapon called ‘Flames of Fury’, and each time it was swung, it caused a fire to shoot out some twenty meters around himself. Kodan had retreated and advanced several times, and in the end, his beard and eyebrows had shrunk till they were nearly caught on fire.
The battle continued to intensify, and the youths in the cages felt like their hearts were in their throats. They believed that the grandmaster swordsman was their only hope, yet it looked like it was a bitter duel and their confidence was shaken.
This was only the second battle.
Each duelist had their own wealth of experience. Varian dueled in the Rune Dwarves’ coliseum in his prime, and had an excellent weapon and a suit of well-forged armor. Kodan was a veteran knight who had survived the November War and emerged from a sea of blood.
But in the end, it was Kodan who managed to force Varian to the walls with his superior swordsmanship. The dwarf’s vital points were struck again and again, and although his attacks were stopped by the armor, the dull impacts were gradually transmitted to the dwarf’s organs.
Varian roared in fury and spun his warhammer, completely abandoning his defenses in order to reach his opponent. A fiery blaze trailed behind his weapon and it descended towards Kodan like a meteor.