Chapter 157: An Obvious Realization
The thick air that covered the battlefield made my eyes tingle. The impatience and tension that burned my skin fluttered deep inside of my chest.
Caria’s silver sword, which was devouring my right shoulder, drew backwards. My crimson blood, which looked dark now, stupendously burst out of my shoulder.
At that moment, the dull pain turned into a severe pain that wrecked my nerves. But I had no time to even frown from this pain. Caria stepped further to strike with her longsword again. The silver color reflected the rays of sunlight and emerged above my head.
My eyelids twitched. I could easily imagine the sight of the silver sword swinging down like a guillotine in order to smash my skull. A horrifying feeling covered my body.
Shall I run away? I could die if stayed here. Facing a real threat, my life began to yearn to escape from this place at all costs. Run away as soon as possible. My body wanted to turn his back on this fight as if my brain had stimulated this instinct. I tried to find the reason and meaning of this battle. This duel was not worth my life. All I had to do was drop my sword. This fight was unreasonable. Was there a need to risk my life and shed blood over such useless thing?
Ahh, I used to follow this inner voice. As a human being and as a living organism. I must have incremented this judgment in my soul. If I ran away, I would never be able to reach this hero again. Even though its existence was so close to me right now. My eyes were shaking.
How could I now prevent Caria’s silver sword? The Silver Grim Reaper long sword tried to reach my skull before I outstretched the treasure sword.
Okay, if there was no way to prevent these attacks, then I had no choice but to destroy my opponent first.
I took one-step further just like Caria did before. I twisted my right shoulder amidst the terrifying pain and swung my arm. Then, I threw my fist into my opponent’s thin white chin. Her throat leaked a barbaric voice that didn’t resemble a human’s voice. The distance between Caria and me became infinitely close. Then…
“Good boy, Lugis.”
A whispering voice with a shocking sound pierced my ears.
My vision flickered for a short moment. I couldn’t pick up the sound as if my ears had gone crazy. What was this? What was happening? I couldn’t understand the current situation.
The lower half of my body, no, the whole body itself was released from my existence for a moment, and I almost lost my equilibrium. Around this time, I finally realized that I felt some sort of shock, which could no longer be perceived as pain.
…Ah, this woman. This damned woman. How dare she? She made me feel bad about myself all the time. I won’t avoid her anymore.
My choppy words were no longer steady thoughts. A command came from my brain that tried to connect my limbs and force my body to move.
The next moment. Caria’s knees became like a weapon and moved up to strike me where I was. My eyes quivered.
I almost let go of my consciousness if I didn’t force myself to keep standing. I almost gave in to Caria’s frightening threat. Oh, yes, like before.
I grabbed the momentum with my remaining strength while leaving bloody footprints on the ground. I rolled my body while dust soared. If I didn’t move, my legs would not be able to stand normally anymore.
In the swaying field of view. The shock given to my skull finally became a single pain and gave me a brief report of the situation. My ears were still unable to pick up the sound. However.
Although the gap had widened slightly, Caria had already repositioned her longsword without losing any of her grace. Oh, she really was someone fierce. I was nothing in comparison.
I held the treasure sword again to respond to this menace. I held it tight while sticking the blade a little forward toward Caria.
Okay. Now what? How should I do it?
I couldn’t stop the sword that was swung at me, but I tried to close the gap between us by responding with a terrible strike. I firmly believed that Caria’s sword would have been pierced through my skull. To be honest, it seemed strange that I still had my head attached to my neck. I felt like praising myself for surviving such deadly attack.
Even so, this duel and Caria’s existence were still ridiculous.
The duel at the tavern was the first time I exchanged blades with Caria. At that time, Caria was able to fight fairly well. Of course, at that time, Caria’s sword technique was not yet fully developed. From my perspective back then, she held her sword brilliantly but moved her legs in an immature way. She was just an apprentice knight who couldn’t hide her emotions. She was just an above-average human being. In other words, a diamond in the rough, as she wielded her sword with only a slight portion of her talented scale.
Nonetheless. What about now? Her power, which I saw through her limbs, was just right. Her chest was full of confidence and arrogance. Even though Caria continued to be an arrogant person, she was no longer someone careless.
I was fully aware she was not a partner with whom I could backstab. In that way, I was forced to understand that, in the current offense and defense fight, she was not an opponent whom I could win with simple methods.
Then, there was only one thing to do.
To pull my right foot into a half-step. The tip of the treasure sword, which was supposed to be directed toward Caria in a horizontal line, raised up as if it were pointed to the sky itself. I repositioned the treasure sword so that I could swung it off in one single action.
「Lugis, you… 」
I heard Caria’s voice. Those words shook both of our lips without breaking each other’s menacing postures. I threw my voice in order to respond. At the same time, I took one-step further.
「What’s wrong, Caria. If you’re going to surrender, please let me know.」
Caria distorted her cheeks and smiled, causing her lips to ripple.
「…Bring it on. 」
That was the end of the conversation.
Maybe Caria was going to give me some kind of cordiality. I thought so. If I dropped my sword now, I could leave this place without continuing to hurt my body. Yes, just like that. Simple.
However, I didn’t need those words anymore. I couldn’t find those crushing feelings anywhere on my skull.
The difference in aptitude was obvious. I couldn’t even compare with a natural talent. In addition, my right shoulder and skull were injured. My vision was still swaying and blurry, and my ears picked up only a small amount of sound. The pain that consumed my body was still nerve-wracking.
…Yeah, no problem. Great. There was nothing better than feeling this way.
Even with a wounded body, I had no choice but to spill blood as I moved forward. That was why this was the only moment to triumph. Yes, I shall give birth to an opening and create a winning opportunity. Moreover, my opponent was Caria Burdnick, the hero of the battlefield. It would be impossible to be intact after trying to take something from her.
I repositioned the treasure sword once again. I was checking the feeling of my right hand.
…Let’s settle this, Caria. It is time to conclude the unfinished duel of the tavern. You frightened me during the old journey. I wanted to give up. But I don’t wish to do that anymore.
The sun shined on the edge of my field of vision. I could see myself “burying” my entire body in the messy cityscape of Belfein.
Go Lugis!!!!! Forsake that cruel past of yours and just embrace your future!!! PS: this battle with Caria is a very important one since it represents a turning point in Lugis’ life (how he perceives himself and how much he is willing to accept his capabilities, his comrades and this current path). So look forward to the next chapters 😉
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