Chapter 54 – Banquet (9)
[Translator – Koko is finally back and translating again!]
[Proofreader – and yuki is still collecting dust in a corner]
Vishukel Yvliano was known as a 7-star knight, but in reality, he had already reached 8-star.
In other words, he was an insurmountable opponent to the current Jin.
‘A duel with a 7-star knight.’
This was a great opportunity for Jin.
Whether he won or lost, the battle would greatly affect his reputation in a positive manner.
As long as he appeared to have put up a good fight to the spectators, it would benefit him.
Moreover, experiencing the Yvliano swordsmanship would be a perfect opportunity to study it.
Even Cyron had recognized the previous Yvliano patriarch as a powerful man worthy of respect, so Jin always wanted to face an Yvliano swordsman.
What a laughable lady.’
Jin was fully aware that the woman was enjoying this situation.
The moral duty she had brought up was all just a sham.
Her goal was merely to watch an entertaining battle.
That, or she enjoyed putting her brother in troublesome situations and watching him flail around.
Whatever her real intention was, Jin didn’t find it very pleasing.
“You seem to care deeply about your sister, Lord Vishukel.”
Jin reached out his hand towards the guardian knights on standby outside the stage as he spoke.
One knight respectfully approached and placed a sword in the young master’s hand.
Jin’s blade immediately began shining in aura, as if someone had cast a magic light.
“…Yes, indeed, Young Master Jin.”
“I also care deeply about my elder sister.
So from now on, you should teach your servants not to open their mouths carelessly.”
He referred to the 6-star martial artist Bouvard Gaston as a mere ‘servant’.
The audience realized that the Runcandels and their pride had not changed over the years.
“The man you pummelled to the ground is called Bouvard Gaston, and he is our attendant, not a servant.
Did he commit some sort of blunder”
Vishukel pretended to be unaware and asked Jin to explain himself despite knowing what offense Bouvard had most likely committed.
Meanwhile, Jin was taken aback when he heard the name ‘Bouvard Gaston’.
It wasn’t a common name.
He had beaten up the man without even asking for his name due to his insolence, but to think he was that Bouvard Gaston.
“Did you just say that his name is Bouvard Gaston”
He merely attended this banquet to aid my sister, who is physically disabled.
He is an artisan who doesn’t fit well in the Runcandel banquet in the first place.
Thus, whatever faux pas he may have committed, he meant no evil.
I hope the young master will generously overlook his blunder this time around.”
There was no need to verify the fatass’s identity any longer.
The ‘attendant’ Vishukel had brought with him was none other than the Transformer Jin had been searching for.
The people around the world were still unaware of the existence of the Transformer Bouvard Gaston.
Even the Vermont Empire’s Special Forces, who were investigating the transformation crimes, had yet to find any clues or traces potentially leading to the culprit.
Thus, Vishukel had merely told Bouvard to wear a simple disguise when coming to the Runcandels’, as no one would suspect them.
Moreover, since ‘Bouvard Gaston’ had yet to spread around the world as the Transformer’s name, he had no need to use a fake name when attending the banquet.
Vishukel had thought that no one would show any interest in Bouvard in the first place, so he wondered whether a disguise was truly necessary.
Of course, this didn’t apply to Jin as he was a regressor.
He knew about Bouvard Gaston from his past life.
‘I should’ve let him introduce himself earlier.
Not only is his face different, but we’re also located in the Runcandel Clan’s main house—the Garden of Swords.
I could never have predicted my opponent to be Bouvard.
Had I known his true identity earlier, I wouldn’t have let him off with such a light beating.’
Not only was Bouvard implicated in Jin’s assassination attempt when he had departed the Storm Castle, but the Transformer was also the main cause behind the chaos and confusion that would soon take over the world.
Thus, it would’ve been much better to kill him and use him as compost.
If Jin were certain that Vishukel had no real connection with Bouvard Gaston, he would’ve grabbed this opportunity and killed the unconscious, bloodied Bouvard straight away.
‘Bouvard Gaston and Vishukel Yvliano…’
How were they related Did Vishukel know that Bouvard was the Transformer
Jin’s brain began overclocking, and his thought process accelerated.
When Bouvard was captured by the Vermont Special Forces in his past life, there was not a single piece of news about the Yvliano Clan being involved with the transformation crimes.
It was greatly emphasized that Bouvard was the one and only culprit behind those crimes.
Back then, Jin read the articles in the newspapers without much thought.
But if he assumed that Vishukel was aware of Bouvard’s true identity, this situation was far more dangerous than he had initially thought.
Anyhow, Jin did not have enough time to come up with all the answers.
There were countless eyes watching them right now and Jin was still standing face to face with Vishukel.
Since I also took advantage of the duel to beat him half to death, I shall overlook the blunder this time around.”
“Thank you very much.
Then, shall we begin our duel as well I am in your care, Young Master Jin.”
“I thank you in advance for your guidance.”
A guardian knight handed Vishukel a sword, and the duel began.
Jin promptly erased all the questions popping up in his head.
He couldn’t afford to show a change in his behaviour after hearing Bouvard’s name, nor could he show his suspicion towards Vishukel and Bouvard’s relationship.
‘I’ll need to start investigating the Yvliano Clan alongside the Zipfel Clan, especially everything related to Vishukel Yvliano.’
Jin realized the truth as soon as their blades clashed the first time.
‘Unlike what’s known publicly, he’s not a 7-star knight.’
That was Jin’s intuition.
Needless to say, Vishukel hadn’t used his full power in the exchange just now.
However, his swordplay and the trajectory of his blade wasn’t ordinary.
Jin could even say that Vishukel’s swordsmanship had as much depth as his uncle Zed’s.
He couldn’t explain it properly, but Jin knew as soon as their swords clashed that Vishukel was hiding his true skills.
Many of the spectators also realized this truth while observing the first exchange.
“That fellow seems to have had an enlightenment recently.
His movements have gotten more profound.”
“No wonder he’s called the Yvliano Clan’s hope.”
The expressions of the spectators got serious.
Although the duel was a complete mismatch, this was the perfect opportunity to observe and appreciate the swordsmanship of both the Yvliano Clan’s pillar of support and the Runcandels’ rising star.
Vishukel’s blade moved like a whip and cut Jin’s shoulder.
It wasn’t deep, but blood erupted from the injury and splattered on the arena’s floor.
Jin tried to avoid the following attacks but got wounded at the thigh.
Vishukel’s blade flew in unpredictable trajectories, and the boy could not comprehend his opponent’s swordplay with his current proficiency.
“As I thought, Young Master Jin is getting overwhelmed by Lord Vishukel.
I know best that the Yvliano swordsmanship is no joke.
It’s terribly difficult to counter.”
“The gap in their skills is too big.
Well, it’s not surprising since a 5-star is facing a 7-star.
Hm, in fact, we should be amazed that the young master managed to fend off a few attacks…”
The Yvliano Clan’s swordsmanship was cunning and irregular.
Those who have experienced that devious style before always tried to avoid facing another Yvliano swordsman in their life.
“Hm, you all seem to be unaware, but swordsmen from the Runcandel Clan often shine brighter in situations like this.”
If the Yvliano Clan’s swordsmanship was a cunning snake, then the Runcandels’ was a charging rhinoceros.
Even if its horn were to be broken, it would never stop its headbutt.
The Runcandel swordsmanship was specialized in facing foes stronger than the user.
The problem was that, since the Runcandels were often too strong and rarely faced opponents that surpassed them, they couldn’t make full use of their fighting style efficiently.
Although blood kept gushing out of his shoulder and thigh, Jin’s blade still stood strong and fierce.
In fact, his movements slowly changed from the defensive to the offensive.
His senses got sharper and his blade’s trajectory became bolder and daring.
Vishukel’s sword slashed Jin in the chest, but the boy took another step forward, as if he would put his life on the line to aim at the 7-star()’s neck.
“Impressive, Young Master Jin!”
Vishukel yelled as he dodged Jin’s attack.
Even though he was facing a young boy who was weaker than himself, the Runcandels’ wild and bold swordplay was sending chills down his spine and making his hair stand on end.
The attack Jin had attempted, in return for a 20-ish centimeter-long wound on his chest, went down the drain.
The boy let out a low groan, as the long injury was inhibiting his battle prowess unlike the small gashes on his shoulder and thigh.
Fortunately, his bones and organs hadn’t been touched.
‘This reminds me of that time I fought against the White Wolf warrior.’
He had no way of defeating Vishukel through ordinary means—similar to his battle against the beastman.
Even with the Runcandels’ blessed body and their bold swordsmanship, Jin couldn’t defeat his opponent.
He had no choice but to lose.
Nevertheless, Jin’s heart began beating like crazy for the first time in a long while as a feeling of satisfaction swept through his body.
‘It’s clear that Vishukel is going easy on me.
But it’s also true that I’m facing him quite remarkably.’
And that was more than enough for now.
Not all 8-stars were on the same level, and that also went for 5-stars.
If any other 5-star knight amongst the Runcandel cadets were to face Vishukel right now, they wouldn’t be able to put up a good fight like Jin was doing—no matter how much Vishukel went easy on them.
Moreover, Jin was facing his opponent while having sealed two of his abilities: magic and spiritual power.
‘My vision is starting to get blurrier and dimmer… But for some reason, I still feel like I can read and predict Vishukel’s next move.’
Jin had lost too much blood.
He slowly made up his mind to bring this duel to an end.
As his vision got darker, Jin finally realized the goal of his training with Luna and began to understand the principle behind the Mind’s Eye exercise.
The boy’s stance changed.
Jin closed his eyes and held his sword upright with both hands in front of his chest.
It almost looked like the stance knights would take during a wedding ceremony or something of the sort.
The audience believed that Jin had given up and was waiting for his opponent to deal the final blow to end the duel.
Vishukel was of the same opinion.
Deep down, he wanted to praise the young boy for lasting this long.
To show respect to Young Master Jin, he finally wrapped his sword in aura for the first time during the battle.
His intention was to break Jin’s blade and bring an end to the duel.
He believed that it was an appropriate way to finish things while respecting the boy’s spirit and tenacity.
“This was an excellent duel, Young Master Jin.”
Vishukel went all out on this last attack and charged at Jin.
His blade was covered in the powerful aura of an 8-star knight.
It sliced the air and flew horizontally along with Vishukel’s body.
Jin’s sword—which was standing vertically in his hands—shattered almost simultaneously as Vishukel made his final move.
The Yvliano Clan’s secret technique smashed the sword and reached towards Jin’s neck, but froze right before touching the boy’s skin.
Had Vishukel not stopped his weapon in time, it would’ve definitely decapitated his target.
Jin remained standing for around two seconds, before falling to the ground, unconscious.
“The victor is Lord Vishukel!”
As soon as the host announced the results of the duel, the medical team rushed onto the stage.
The spectators watched the medics’ reactions with nervous looks, until they received a signal indicating Jin’s safety.
Clap clap clap!
The audience applauded in response to the spectacular duel they witnessed.
In fact, the martial artists were highly impressed by Vishukel’s final technique.
However, Vishukel and other prominent martial artists noticed something during the two contenders’ final exchange.
Before Jin fell unconscious, something extremely extraordinary had occurred.
‘What was that… at the end Are you seriously telling me that during our spar, he reached the Mind’s Blade Realm for a split second’
Vishukel had undoubtedly destroyed Jin’s sword.
However, the instant the blade shattered, Vishukel felt the sensation of something sharp flying upwards and piercing his chin.
That would’ve been the conclusion of the duel had Vishukel’s final attack landed 0.1 seconds slower.
The 8-star’s instincts were telling him as such.
If Jin had reacted 0.1 seconds faster, Vishukel would’ve been carried off the stage fatally injured.
The sword standing vertically before Jin’s face would’ve stabbed him from below the chin.
Moreover, since Jin was already half-unconscious during their final exchange, the boy wouldn’t have been able to stop his attack in time to spare Vishukel’s life.
Needless to say, being able to shorten that gap of 0.1 seconds is what makes one a true master and expert.
What a terrifying boy.’
In fact, he could become a great threat to Kinzelo in the future when they start properly executing their grand masterplan.
‘It’s truly a relief that he was born so late.
He’s too young to defeat his siblings and become the next patriarch.’
Vishukel sheathed his sword with a trembling hand.