Chapter 158: The Price to Pay
The sun shined through the streets of Belfein and the darkness of the night slowly woken up.
Little by little, the sun began to disappear from the horizon where the mercenaries and the private army of the Lord stood. They were in an area of the road where Caria and I held our own swords against each other’s throats.
There was almost no distance between Caria and me. If we took a step back, one of our swords would open its jaw to slash one of us.
Caria’s silver hair showed the last sparkle before the sunlight went away. Then, slowly, and slowly, the light fully disappeared.
On that very moment, the last glimpse of a silver line ran through the faint darkness. I had to wield my treasure sword with precision and power in order to be a worthy opponent of Caria’s longsword. I almost did not breathe. There was no room for error nor tricks. One mistake could mean my downfall. Yes, all I had to do was place my blade on Caria’s neck, even though it seemed quite impossible to achieve.
I couldn’t receive Caria’s powerful sword attacks for long, which meant that I couldn’t hope for a long-term battle. A short battle meant that she would not use any kind of tricks against me. For this duel, she didn’t have the kind of items she once had at Garoua Maria. Right now, it was only Caria and her silver longsword.
If so, then there was only one possible way. I had no choice but to set things up from here and use my blade against Caria. This fight had to be fast. Yes, faster than anything else.
I didn’t have to cut the sound like that hero. I just had to move my sword faster than her. For that purpose, I decided to throw away all my thoughts, breathing, and even the safety of my body in order to achieve the perfect swing. I made my body lighter, and just aimed at the silver-haired figure swaying in the sky, and swung my sword. I held the power on the fingers of my right hand and squeezed the handle quite firmly.
Of course, things were not so easy to carry.
Was it as quick as a blink of an eye? I found that silver light roaring at the edge of my eyes, as if it responded to the last ray of light mixed with the darkness.
Caria’s fearsome attack that crushed the space itself. A powerful momentum that could blow me away. A slash that clearly aimed at my nape approached from the left side.
…At that point, I had an intuition. My mind finally understood. After all, my ability was far below from Caria’s ability.
I felt a sign that something terrifying sprouted from the back of my head. The swing of Caria’s silver longsword came faster than the movement of my own sword.
It would definitely reach my nape before I reached Caria with my treasure sword. That came to my mind as a realistic prediction. And this prediction could surely become a reality in a blink of an eye.
Oh, crap. Just why? The whole world was so cruel… Differentiating people based on their talents. I was just an ordinary person, and yet, I tried to fight with determination. But this determination had no meaning because I was about to pay the price for my foolish bravery.
Anyhow. That was why I had no choice but to spill blood from this body and pay for what I was trying to obtain.
I released my left hand from the handle of my sword. I had no problem in switching sides along with the orbit motion of the treasure sword. Of course, my body shuddered a little after grabbing the handle with my right hand.
Then, I put my left arm on the side of my neck, as if it were a barrier. Did I see Caria slashing my arm or did I envision that future action? I just didn’t know. However, I felt certain that my behavior was almost reflexive.
My left arm was not safe. Obviously. Caria was more serious and sincere than anyone else in the battlefield. I knew that Caria would not stop the momentum of her sword. My left arm was about to be cut off without any hesitation.
But, that was fine.
Of course. Naturally. This would inevitably give me a moment of grace before the silver blade reached my nape. That was what I wanted more than anything else did. I decided to “buy” that grace from the great hero named Caria. However. How regrettable would it be to live without my left arm?
I didn’t mind forsaking just that piece of my body. It didn’t matter as long as I protected my life. I decided to do my best to make my purple light faster than the silver light at the end of this duel. That way I could reach Caria’s neck. There was nothing better than that outcome.
On this instant, something hot, very hot, touched my left arm.
“So that’s the place he is aiming at.” That was the only word appearing in Caria’s chest. Her silver eyes were staring at Lugis covering his nape with his left arm. Caria almost smiled at his reflex.
The sword, which he swung at Caria on his free will, was far from wonderful. Of course, his skill was far below her skills. The speed of his movement was mediocre. The flash drawn by his sword was beginning to ripen, but still did not have a clear brilliance.
“Not enough.” When Caria looked closely at him, she realized it was really just a trivial blow.
“…Ah, but still. Who can stop the palpitations of my heart?”
Caria understood her abilities. When she slaughtered the demon monkey in Ghazalia with a single strike, she certainly felt as if she had crossed some line with her hands.
In the battle between the Lord’s private army and the mercenaries, her suspicion turned into certainty. Her sword could no longer be mediocre. There was no way that a spear or blade could reach her body. It was impossible for other soldiers to inflict damage on Caria’s body.
Caria’s heart knew such thing just by looking at the gaze of others around her. The silver longsword she wielded scared the enemy, and she could clearly see that frightening feeling in their eyes. As if they were looking at a monster. The line of sight from the allies behind her showed a fervent praise for her actions as someone fierce. A hero or eve a War Goddess. With these occurrences, Caria finally understood. “I am no longer on the same horizon as them.”
Caria began to believe that the enemy’s fear became her weapon too. They would never reach her again. They would not even make a scratch on her skin again. These people would not even dream of putting their hands on her neck.
“But what about Lugis? His skill, just like the soldiers, is far from reaching my level. He won’t be able to inflict damage even on my fingertips. Still, his gaze pierced my neck.”
“Ahh, how wonderful.”
Caria did not originally want to cut Lugis’ body. That idea never crossed her mind. She was just thinking that she would give him a little bit of punishment. Yes, just that.
However, such thoughts had disappeared from Caria’s heart.
Lugis was trying hard to face Caria on this fight, even if it meant throwing his life away. He accepted the duel without hesitation. Caria felt his response quite rude because she did not intend to hurt him. She felt disrespect and frustration.
“I don’t want to hurt him. I’d rather have him to step aside from this mess because his body is already full of wounds.”
However, Caria pondered deeply. Was it okay to trample on Lugis’ current bravado, even though his determination was meaningless? Could she despise, spit, and mock him? Still, it was a battle or an act where both of them fought as equals. Caria could not back away now.
“…Here I go, Lugis. If you’re aiming at my neck, then I will respond to that determination with a retribution.”
The silver line swallowed the space with a roar. Caria’s hands felt flesh tearing apart.
The duel in the battlefield. The conclusion was about to unveil. Everyone watching this duel began to understand it.
All that I can say is that this novel is unpredictable 😛
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