Volume 3 Chapter 51 – Banquet (6)
[Translator – Koko can’t wait to read this chapter]
[Proofreader – yuki is excited for the fight]
Sharp and hard crystals of ice were swirling around Syris’s blade.
Although it was the innate power of the Endorma bloodline used to kill their opponents, Jin couldn’t help but find her figure beautiful and breathtaking, shining under the crystal lights.
Every time she thrust her sword, the small crystals broke apart and reflected the moonlight.
The cold energy’s crystals were spread apart densely like a net and shone brilliantly.
And while it gave Jin the urge to touch these beautiful floating shards, they were lethal weapons that would tear him apart.
The two blades collided, and the sound of ice breaking echoed in the arena.
Had Jin not covered his sword with aura instinctively, his weapon would’ve shattered into bits and pieces.
‘So this is the rumoured Myriad Iceblades.’
Most people would’ve been bewildered when suddenly facing the Myriad Iceblades, but Jin didn’t show any change in his expression.
“It’s still too early to be surprised, Jin Runcandel!”
‘Um, I’m not really surprised…’ or so Jin would’ve liked to reply, but his opponent had such an elated and triumphant face that he didn’t want to spoil her mood.
So he didn’t say anything and calmly dodged her attack with nimble footwork.
Although Jin had some time and room to spare, Syris believed he had narrowly avoided her blade.
As Jin adjusted the distance between them and continued retreating, a wide grin grew on Syris’s face.
“You will tell me everything related to that day.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure.
I could’ve cut you down just now if I wished for it.”
Indeed, it would’ve been possible had he used spiritual power, so Jin was technically telling the truth.
“Looks like your bluffs are 5-star like your swordsmanship!”
Syris swung her sword with full power once again.
There are many cases where a 4-star defeats a 5-star in a duel of pure swordsmanship.
Thus, if you added the Myriad Iceblades and Syris’s abundant fighting experience into the equation, it was beyond doubt that she would win this duel.
At least, that’s what Syris was thinking.
Every time her sword was swung, the air around the blade froze.
It was a highly dangerous power.
In fact, the rumours say that an Endorma who masters the Myriad Iceblades can freeze an entire ocean.
“I didn’t think you’d use your secret technique right off the bat, Syris.
As the youngest child who has yet to learn the clan’s secret techniques, it’s quite disheartening to watch.”
“That’s not my problem!”
Jin didn’t counterattack and simply continued concentrating on his defense.
Thus, Syris believed that her victory was guaranteed.
A horizontal slash.
Now a diagonal.
Syris’s swordplay was fierce yet drew flexible trajectories.
Jin threw his body around to dodge and fend off her attacks.
Although it appeared as if he was being pushed back, Jin was waiting for an opening.
Moreover, the fact that he was able to ward off her sword every time proved his swordsmanship’s superiority to Syris’s.
Soon enough, Syris realized that her opponent was more composed than she had expected.
‘I guess a 5-star is still a 5-star.
He was narrowly dodging and parrying my attacks earlier, but as we continue fighting, his true character and skills are showing.’
It took a genius to know another genius.
Syris admitted the fact that she had underestimated Jin.
His swordsmanship was clearly far more advanced than hers.
‘But that’s the extent of it.
The Myriad Iceblades 3rd Form can easily make up for the difference.’
The Myriad Iceblades 3rd Form.
It was a technique that the Endormas called ‘Avalanche’.
Syris could only use this technique a single time.
Its consumption of aura and cold energy was severe, so it was a last resort she could only use at a decisive moment in a duel.
‘His strength and stamina are superior to mine, so there’s no need to drag out this fight.
When he finishes reading my attack pattern and finally counterattacks, I’ll turn the tables on him and finish this once and for all!’
Clang! Clang! Skrrrt!
Their messy and chaotic duel slowly but gradually came to a stalemate.
As time passed, both of them were getting used to each other’s movements.
But there was no reason to let the fight drag out.
And Syris wasn’t the only one thinking that.
Jin was slowly changing to a footwork that put him on the offensive, and he had the same thoughts as his opponent.
‘Syris should have recognized the difference in our skills by now, and she must be preparing to deal a decisive blow to end the fight.
I’m sure she’ll use some secret technique, but the question is: how powerful is it going to be’
Jin couldn’t quite estimate the strength of her secret technique as he had never confronted someone using the Myriad Iceblades.
Therefore, Jin decided to use the most powerful ‘secret technique’ he himself knew.
Back when he was at the Storm Castle, he wasn’t just reading the secret tomes underground in order to kill time.
Needless to say, Syris didn’t know that Jin already knew several secret techniques of various martial clans from history.
Before Jin could decide on his countermeasure, Syris boldly charged at him.
She yelled loudly and swung her sword down, aimed at Jin’s shoulder.
A few strands of her long, silver hair got in the way of her blade and were sliced off.
“It’s over, Jin!”
Suddenly, a violent blizzard materialized in the arena, swirling around in a circle with Syris at the center.
But unlike the blizzards that form naturally, when the icy winds reached Jin, he received small gashes on his forehead.
The sharp winds were slicing away at his clothes, and the cold air was making his neck and joints stiff.
Myriad Iceblades 3rd Form, Avalanche!
Once Syris finished generating this snowstorm, the arena was completely dyed white.
Crystals of ice formed and exploded with dull sounds, and pure-white aura crashed into the obstacles like an avalanche.
The scenery had unexpectedly changed to that of a snowy mountain peak in winter.
The snow/aura blocked Jin’s vision, and the wave of cold energy made it impossible to breathe.
At the center was Syris with an enthusiastic expression showing her confidence in her victory.
But she then saw Jin wearing the same look on his face.
It was the glow and grin of a human who knew they had already defeated their opponent.
The avalanche-esque snowstorm was already rampaging in the arena, so even if he was a 5-star genius swordsman, he wouldn’t be able to overcome the Hidden Palace’s secret technique.
Although she felt uneasy for a short moment, Syris didn’t pay it much heed.
The main force which prevented the world’s two superpowers—the Runcandels and Zipfels—from conquering the Hidden Palace was this power.
Syris stumbled as she had used up all the energy and aura within her.
Since she had avoided hitting Jin in the vital areas, he would most likely survive this ordeal.
But at the very least, the Runcandels’ youngest child would fear her from today onwards.
However, Syris couldn’t savour the taste of victory yet.
Akin to an ice pick, a single handle-less blade pierced through the thick layer of white, snowy energy that blocked their vision.
‘What How did he—!’
Syris hastily fixed her posture… At least, she tried to.
The will wasn’t enough on its own.
Her body’s lack of strength from using the secret technique prevented it from following her brain’s orders.
She could only wait for the next sequence of events to occur in her bad posture.
A single flash of light streaked through the snowstorm.
The blade didn’t contain a god’s power like Syris’s sword—in which she had injected her cold energy.
In fact, the blade wasn’t even covered in aura, the universal and basic power that every knight used.
It merely appeared to be an ordinary steel edge without a handle.
Syris couldn’t accept the fact that such an unremarkable weapon was tearing through her Avalanche.
She couldn’t even finish her sentence, because the annoyingly persistent blade coming at her was about to explode.
Syris clearly witnessed the steel crumbling on itself as dents formed on it, along with a bright and dangerous glow escaping through the cracks on the metal.
Before she could even realize what was happening, a loud and urgent yell pierced her ears.
It was the boy whom she had been fighting until now.
Syris didn’t plan on listening to him.
Even if she was in great peril and could lose her life, accepting her opponent’s mercy in order to avoid the danger was a greater humiliation than being defeated.
Jin’s steel blade that had been compressed to the size of a knuckle exploded.
Tiny steel shards flew forward.
Each little fragment was shining with aura.
Although the weapon that tore through the storm wasn’t covered in aura, its blade was filled to the brim with energy.
It was the decisive and killing move called ‘Blade Storm’ of the ancient and ruined clan of swordsmen—the Attila Clan.
Since they had been destroyed by the Runcandels, there were barely any records left of their swordplay and techniques.
In other words, this move was quite literally Jin’s secret technique.
This was the strongest technique Jin had mastered amongst all the ones he had learned from the secret tomes beneath the Storm Castle.
Even if she was a user of the Myriad Iceblades, Syris wouldn’t be able to handle the Blade Storm’s firepower as a 4-star knight.
Either Jin had overestimated the power of the Myriad Iceblades, or the Attila Clan’s secret technique was far more powerful than he had expected.
Whatever the answer was, Jin was regretting having used the Blade Storm.
If she didn’t dodge it, Syris would definitely die.
If not, she would at least be crippled for life.
Jin’s heart was beating rapidly in worry of her possible death.
Meanwhile, Syris clenched her teeth to suppress her instincts of wanting to save herself by crouching, since she didn’t want to be humiliated.
And so, a second went by.
Once the Blade Storm subsided, the two fighters exclaimed to themselves.
One had a sense of relief, while the other groaned in mortification.
Syris had crouched just as Jin had shouted.
“Are you alright”
Jin threw away the sword handle that was remaining in his hand and grabbed Syris by the shoulders.
She was just staring into the emptiness with wide eyes due to the big shock.
This was her first ever defeat since the first time she grabbed a sword in her life.
‘I… crouched because… I was afraid of dying or getting hurt I, Syris Endorma, was afraid’
When victory was within hand’s reach but the Blade Storm turned the tables, Syris had made up her mind not to avoid the blow.
She believed that she wasn’t a weak human who needed to rely on her enemies’ mercy and pity.
However, no matter how strong her pride was, no matter how important her honour was compared to her life, no matter how iron-willed she was, she was still a 15-year-old girl.
She was too young to willingly and forcibly suppress her survival instincts and desire to live.
“Phew, things could’ve taken a dangerous turn just now.
I deeply apologize for that.”
Once he made sure Syris was unscathed, Jin sighed and put a hand on his chest.
He could tell what the silent Syris was thinking.
No matter what he says to cheer her up, she would still be crushed by this sense of defeat.
‘Geez, I’m so… I should’ve held myself back and narrowly lost to her… She’s just a kid.’
If one counted the total number of years Jin had lived, he was already in his forties.
When he realized that he was almost the cause of death of a young 15-year-old girl, he was crushed by a sense of guilt.
Moreover, she could either become a rival or a friendly associate in the future, yet he was about to kill her.
Jin stared at Syris for a short moment as he sorted out his thoughts on what to tell her.
But he didn’t need a lot of time to ponder.
“If I were in the same situation, I would have avoided the blow as well.
And you also would’ve yelled at me to get down.
So I won’t say any more about this incident.”
He knew that he wouldn’t be able to cheer her up.
And he didn’t plan on forcing himself to try to console her.
So once he said his piece, Jin merely turned around and walked away.
It was best to just leave her alone in times like this.
But before he could leave, Syris called out to him and stared into his eyes.
Light had returned in her gaze.
In fact, her gaze was brighter and deeper than before, as if she had been enlightened and changed on the inside.
“You’re still bleeding from the forehead from when I cut you earlier.”
She took a few steps towards Jin and took out a handkerchief from her inner pocket.
She then silently wiped his wound and even rubbed some of the healing ointment on it.
It was the same ointment as the one she had rubbed on his shin in Mamit.
“With this, I’ve repaid you for saving my life.”
“Aren’t you considering the value of your life a bit too cheaply I don’t think the Hidden Palace’s successor’s life can be repaid with some ointment on a graze.”
“That’s why I rubbed the ointment extremely carefully since you just saved me out of pity.
From now on, I’ll be an invaluable and distinguished person again, so in the future, I hope I can get an opportunity to save you.”
They both moved towards the arena’s exit.
Once they took a step outside, Syris added one final comment.
“Oh, and from now on, today’s the first time we’ve ever met.”
“Indeed, it seems I’ve won the bet.
I’ll see you tomorrow.”