TL: Alright! I won’t be able to do any more sponsored chapters for this month because I need to prepare for my resume, but if there’s any outstanding amount it will go into next month’s queue. If you enjoyed the final challenge, perhaps you can consider filling the sponsored chapters back to $0/50.
Chapter 75 – King of the Underworld (26)
His grandfather took the lead to attack again, with the other three following close behind. It was the same strategy that they used earlier, and Brendel recognized that his stamina was getting low.
The youth decided on his swordsmanship.
He took out another sword from his back and fell into a familiar stance. It was a swordsmanship that his friend in the previous world was gifted in. He had put in considerable effort into it, but the skill ultimately clashed with his class and gave up on using it.
[Two selves. The first self shall perceive his surroundings and make the decisions, and the second self shall handle the body’s power and control.]
A delicate balance was created from a near-meditative state.
“Duel wielding?! Boy! What are you doing? There’s no one who’s capable of executing a new swordsmanship just like that—”
Torbus was the first to attack.
[A slice to sever the jugular. Parry with the right sword, counter-thrust with the left sword.]
Brendel’s machine-like efficiency nearly reached Torbus’s level of control.
His grandfather retreated against his counter.
Then Tirste approached from the youth’s right, while Ebdon moved in from the opposite direction.
[Tirste’s attack is a feint. Ebdon’s is using Madara’s overhead strike. Step into Ebdon’s space to take initiative.]
The youth lunged at Ebdon, forcing him to change into a defensive posture in a hurry.
[Parry against Buga’s greatsword, then use Power Break and deflect it to Tirste.]
A loud metallic grind happened as he superbly changed the angle of Buga’s two-handed attack, and stopped Tirste from approaching
Kodan’s eyes nearly popped up of their sockets. If they were not properly affixed to his head, they would be rolling about on the ground. He recognized the Wind Elves’ swordsmanship.
The Sword Dance of Wind.
[H-he’s using the swordsmanship like he has been practicing for years— No, there’s no hesitation in his moves at all. It feels like he has combat experience with the swordsmanship! What kind of talent is this!]
“Boy!” A female Elf’s surprised voice echoed in Brendel’s head again.
She had been with Brendel ever since he left Bucce. He had never displayed any signs of knowing Elven swordsmanship, yet his skill in it appeared like he had been using it for years.
“What is it?” Brendel’s mind was clear enough to even squeeze in a reply to her, as though he was watching the duel from the sidelines.
“Your talent in the sword is truly enviable. I think that person is the only one who can match you.” A soft sigh escaped her throat, and it nearly crashed his perfect state of mind when he listened to it with a hundred percent focus.
He did not know who that person was but made a guess that it could have been King Gatel. The latter was considered the best talent during the era of War of the Saints. Even if there were countless prodigies back then, he still stood out amongst them.
Confusion set amongst his opponents with the exception of his grandfather.
The old man rushed into Brendel’s space with a defensive approach meant to wear him down, and the youth felt a cold dread in his head when he saw the other three opponents realized the strategy.
Not only was his grandfather’s skill outrageous, he was fighting with the ability to command.
[Just who exactly was my grandfather? Damn it, the others are coming back again.]
A storm of blades struck at Torbus, while he suppressed his other three opponents. The reversal between Brendel and his opponents had already shocked the spectators. It was especially potent amongst the youths, who believed Brendel to be the equivalent of a God of War.
“As expected of the former owner of the ring. His skill is impressive.” The female Elf said with admiration.
Brendel did not reply as his mind went into overdrive to find a weakness. Unlike the people watching from the outside who saw him suppressing everyone, he knew that his grandfather’s defense was like an impenetrable fortress. Even if he was at his peak condition to use the Sword Dance of Wind, he was not certain that he could win.
In addition to that, the moment he tried going after the other opponents, his grandfather would rescue them out of danger with incredible accuracy.
[There’s no choice. I have to switch back to a single longsword.]
Brendel did not wish to use the second swordsmanship he had reserved as a trump card because it would certainly drain all his stamina. There was no telling what would happen after this match because Medissa had been dismissed, and Scarlett lost her strength. What would happen if Kodan tried to take advantage of the situation?
He stopped his offense and retreated quickly. His opponents did not rush to pursue him.
The swordsmanship that he intended to use was the very same one that his previous avatar had used at level 130. The amount of time he had spent using it in the game exceeded all others.
This particular swordsmanship was passed down in history from the War of the Holy Saints and spread to the north, finding its way to a particular kingdom.
Brendel sheathed his left sword back into his belt and readied his other sword into an aggressive position. His legs nearly touched the ground as his body wound itself tightly.
[The symbol of the Kingdom of Knights, and gamers had further improved it — The Swordsmanship of Charging Tempest!]
At that moment, it seemed like Brendel had cheated and activated the Sun Knight’s Charge skill.
Tirste was surprised to see the youth suddenly appear before him. Torbus was in front leading them, not to mention that Brendel was supposedly a great distance away.
Buga and Ebdon were not able to see how Brendel did it too.
Torbus could only look back in surprise, but when he did so, he discovered that Brendel had already pierced through Tirste’s throat.
“Boy, that doesn’t appear to be my swordsmanship.” The Elven woman looked upon the scene with astonishment.
“I adopted and improved it,” Brendel said shamelessly.
Torbus caught glimpses of a sprint from Brendel that removed all semblance of defense or offense, and his center of gravity was so low that he might as well be running on fours. The latter did not waste any time and darted across the field to reach Ebdon next.
But before the youth could reach him, he found Torbus in his path. An explosive clash of steel happened between them and both took several steps back.
“Don’t!” His grandfather’s expression changed and he spoke for the first time.
This was the first time Brendel heard him speak, and the old man’s surprised face quickly disappeared from his view.
It was because he had leaped into the air to avoid Buga’s greatsword from behind. His grandfather’s warning to the middle-aged swordsman was too late as the youth decapitated him from mid-air.
Ebdon was next to be cut down from the beast-like charge and it disappeared into a pile of black smoke.
Torbus had given up on defending the undead knight and merely stood there to wait for Brendel to get ready.
The youth was panting heavily and perspiration was pouring down his face. His muscles were trembling and straining with pain.
The Swordsmanship of Charging Tempest was different from the Sun Knight’s Charge technique. The former relied on pure physical prowess, while the latter was a technique that had a waiting time before it could be used again.
His grandfather nodded to him, as though to signify they were ready to start their final duel. Brendel lowered his sword towards the ground and readied himself to sprint again.
Six consecutive flashes struck Torbus’s defenses in different directions, with each attack from Brendel getting stronger, and the old soldier who survived the November War realized that the youth’s offense had become great enough to distort his defense.
He would eventually be defeated if he just continued to defend. Waiting for the latter’s stamina to run out was not an option anymore.
The seventh exchange would be the last.
Both of them concluded that thought.
Brendel did not hold anything back and used every bit of his stamina for his final attack. His grandfather’s stance was nearly broken from the previous lunge, and he was certain that it would end in the next attack.
The distance closed rapidly between the two.
A sudden impulse struck Brendel.
Nearly a century worth of experience in the game was warning him that he was going to be killed. In his mind, he could see a sudden change in stance where Torbus would sacrifice his arm or his life to get in a strike.
It was all over for the youth.
The Elven woman had sensed the very same thing and concluded it as such, and she instantly regretted allowing Brendel to continue dueling when he insisted on it.
But there was a reason why the gamers were able to surpass the NPCs. Their ingenuity was able to lead the techniques used in the game to greater heights.
The Charging Tempest Swordsmanship was originally developed for swordswomen in the past to use both power and speed. Multiple refinements were made to make sure that the body was allowed to remain balanced when it was used.
But gamers disregarded the notion of having it balanced all the time and instead overloaded it with speed and power.
The reason why Brendel was able to turn so easily despite that the increase in speed was having a pivot point. He had flicked his sword against the ground to control that balance every time it was required. When he saw his grandfather’s change in stance, he immediately drew up his left sword and thrust it into the ground, allowing him to suddenly brake and instead soar into the air.
Torbus swung his sword in a clean line that should have cleaved Brendel into two.
Brendel’s body spun multiple times in the air before he swung his sword in an overhead strike.
His grandfather had changed into an attacking stance and was thus not able to retain his unique defense where he was ready for every attack. He barely managed to meet Brendel’s blade in time, but found that his sword was pushed aside from the youth’s momentum.
Brendel’s blade emerged from the other end of the old man’s chest.
“How artful……” His eyes met Brendel’s gaze as he spoke. “Well done, young man.”
Torbus vanished in a pile of black smoke after his last words.