Level up with swords (78)
Almost a year after Leon left, there was a boy swinging a sword in an empty training hall.
No, I think the expression ‘boy’ is a bit insufficient.
His masculine physique was tightly packed, and his face, with all the muscle and meat on his breasts missing, was to the point where he could no longer be viewed as a child. The body, which had already grown to the point where it could be considered a young man, skillfully swung its sword and split the wind flowing through the training hall in two.
A flawlessly sharp vertical cut.
If there had been anyone else there, the helmet would have split off the top of his head.
There is no need to even use aurors.
The human body is stronger than we think and has amazing power. As long as you can thoroughly train the base and handle it perfectly, it is easy to cut a person in two even if you cannot use Aurors.
The young man, Rian, stopped moving with that single sword and lowered his sword.
With one exhalation, the heat accumulated in the body is vomited out.
Perhaps because the weather had become quite chilly, the steam coming from his lips turned into a whitish mist.
I’ve been swinging my sword for over three hours already.
These heated muscles do not cool down even after resting for a few minutes. Standing still and taking deep breaths repeatedly, Lian recovered his stamina and infused the aura into the raised sword once again.
Light rises along the sharp blade.
〈Aura Weapon〉 Since it was deployed with a sword, it was a technique that should be called 〈Aura Sword〉. The aura flowed out without a single trace of disruption and flowed over the blade, immersing it in a transparent light.
That proficiency had already reached the level of a veteran knight.
Because the amount of auras is still insufficient, we cannot reach <Aurafire>, but if we continue like this, we can reach it within half a year.
It was then.
As if he had already arrived at the training ground, old knight Gilbert was looking at him with an impressed face.
The muscles that did not fit the tailcoat wriggled under pressure.
Lian smiled at that sight and retrieved the sword.
“I’ve seen it so many times, but what’s so great about it?”
“There is nothing to be humble about, Your Majesty.”
Gilbert said, holding out the towel he had brought.
“There are probably less than one or two out of ten thousand people who can handle Aurors to that degree at an age where they haven’t even had a coming-of-age ceremony.”
“One or two out of 10,000…?”
“That only applies to those who were born of noble bloodline like Your Highness and fought bravely.”
It was a bit of an exaggeration, but it wasn’t wrong.
Muscles and bones are often inherited as a blood trait, and it is even rarer for people to not worry about making a living from an early age and to be able to learn martial arts from a good teacher.
If we were to take that into account and calculate the number, even if we brought in a million people instead of 10,000, we would not have achieved anything like Rian.
But Ryan didn’t agree with that.
“I don’t think I’m that great.”
Gilbert, who guessed his intentions, spoke encouragingly.
“How many times haven’t I told you this? The victory that day was a fluke. “Didn’t your highness take a herbal medicine to suppress his strength and try to subdue the other person without getting hurt?”
“If I were to compare it, it would be like fighting an animal that attacked me with my hands and feet tied. And since it was an opponent they had never lost to in three years, it was inevitable that they would let down their guard a little. “If we had competed again, Your Majesty would definitely have won.”
It’s not that it wasn’t, it was just as he said.
Rian thought he was careless, but trying to end it quickly with <Shinshinbeop> was itself carelessness.
The difference in physical strength was not that great.
It was at a level that could be overturned with one or two effective hits.
‘Why didn’t I do that?’
But Ryan didn’t choose that path.
Because Leon looked down on Arcane Swordsmanship and Rigid Body Arts because he did not have an auror, he insisted on a head-to-head match. I tried to create a believable scene and strike the final blow at that moment.
That decision was a critical mistake.
―I won, Ryan.
I remember the moment when the sword I had swung with confidence broke in reverse and landed in front of my neck.
It was his first defeat against his peers.
“I lost, Gilbert.”
Lian raised one hand to stop him and continued speaking.
“It was a bet I proposed and a condition I mentioned. So that defeat was the result of my immaturity. “You can’t deny that just because you let your guard down or didn’t do your best.”
At first, he couldn’t accept defeat either.
I let my guard down.
I said I didn’t do my best.
They said they couldn’t use aurors.
I excused my defeat by citing all sorts of reasons and thought that I could get revenge if I competed one more time. So, a few days later, I went to see Leon again and tried to challenge him to one more duel, regardless of the bet.
‘…I never thought he would have left the next day.’
Lian smiled bitterly as she recalled the memories of that day.
When he visited, Leon’s room was empty. I looked around the room with a blank face and ended up bursting into laughter.
You win and run away?
I was finally able to give in to the thought that I had one shot to the end.
His mind and body were shaken by the unexpected defeat.
It was a heart demon.
Not the devil, not the emperor, but a come-from-behind defeat to an opponent who had been winning all three years. From that day on, there was a hole in Ryan’s heart whose depth was unknown.
It was a hole that even a sense of duty could not fill.
We must regain the lost throne. As prophesied, we must suppress the evil of this world.
No matter how many times I thought about it, the emptiness did not go away.
‘I shouldn’t do that, even for the sake of the people who risked their lives on me.’
No matter how much you swing the sword, only your body gets hot, and your heart doesn’t get hot at all.
The shocking first loss shattered his confidence.
Thanks to his outstanding talent, he continues to grow and is approaching the level of expert, but his steps have become increasingly heavy. I was even convinced that it would be difficult to move forward.
Would it have been a little better if he had been there?
After Leon disappeared, Ryan became completely isolated at the Royal Academy. The only person who truly challenged Lian was Leon, and he was the only person she could truly deal with.
At least when I talked to Chloe, I felt a little better, but when I left that place, I went back to normal.
As his expression darkened, Gilbert quickly intervened.
There is no point in saying any more than this. Gilbert, who thought it would only add to the wound, changed the topic.
I already had a story to tell him.
“This is news from those who left behind in the Empire. It appears that the usurper has finally begun a large-scale purge. “I heard that the heads of high-ranking nobles are hanging all over the capital.”
“Even high-ranking nobles…?!”
“Yes, it looks like he is trying to kill all those who did not support his ascension to the throne.”
Lian’s complexion turned pale at the unimaginable words.
The power of the current emperor is absolute.
A person who killed the previous emperor and usurped his throne. With troops brought in from somewhere, he massacred the other heirs to the throne and took over the system by bringing in three dukes as allies.
The amount of blood shed during the process alone amounts to 10,000 units.
No matter how powerful an empire is, it is a burdensome loss. Why are you not satisfied with that and then purge it again?
“It is said that among the Ye people, the common name ‘Emperor Guang’ is already going around.”
I pound my chest, which has become even more frustrating.
There was still a month left until the day of prophecy, and I couldn’t even imagine how much worse the situation would get in the meantime.
Ryan Calem Gladius von Clyde.
A sword that rebuilds a fallen empire.
Today, his hidden name felt even more weighty.
“But it’s not all bad news, Your Highness.”
“What is it?”
“The Holy Order has moved.”
Gilbert said with a smile on his face.
“Did you hear that a new saint was appointed not long ago? “There is news that the 8th Ellahan has escaped from the Holy Church headquarters and is heading south.”
“The saint? “Why?”
Ryan thought for a moment and asked why. The hero has not yet appeared, so why would the saint come out into the world instead of staying at the headquarters?
However, Gilbert answered immediately as if he knew that would happen.
“Of course you’re coming to see His Highness, aren’t you?”
“Yes, the prophecy will be passed down to the Holy Church just like the Clyde Imperial Family. And their intelligence power is not far behind that of Clyde’s intelligence unit.”
“Is that so…”
Gilbert’s answer seemed plausible.
But for some reason, Rian felt that it was not the case. If the saint was planning to visit him, she would know why he was hiding his identity, but would he reveal himself carelessly?
If he joined the saint and immediately revealed his identity, it was clear that Emperor Guang would stop everything and send a chase team first.
Rian, who was about to say that, immediately closed his mouth.
Because I realized how cruel what he was about to say was.
‘What if I’m not a warrior?’
What if the saint is not looking for him and he is a human being who has nothing to do with the hero?
What would happen to Gilbert and his subjects who followed him this far?
The reason he was prepared to fight against a powerful empire and a crazy emperor was only possible because he believed that Lian was a warrior chosen by the goddess.
If that trust is broken, they will not be able to fight any longer.
‘No, no. That can’t be possible.’
Lian desperately adjusted his countenance and swallowed back the words that were stuck in his throat.
One month ahead.
Just wait one more month and his fate will come.
Until then, you just have to endure this anxiety.
“She is the 8th saint.”
Lian spoke with an effortless expression.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of person you are.”
His fingers holding the sword hilt were trembling slightly.
* * *
It is a magical land where the Giant King reigns, and it is said that even dragons cannot fly over it.
The Titan Mountains were densely covered with trees that were several times larger and thicker than most forests, making it impossible to look up at the sky even if you went a little deeper.
A land overflowing with vitality.
Practitioners who recognized its value sometimes set up residences within the mountains, but most of them could not survive even a few days and would often run away.
Monsters and beasts that are much more powerful than those in other regions.
The forest under the sky, covered with lush leaves, is always pitch black. In many ways, living in such a space where you couldn’t let your guard down for even a moment was like torture.
And on the outskirts of the Titan Mountains, Leon had already been living for over three months.
A dark forest with a visibility of less than 5 meters.
Inside, Leon closed his eyes and lowered his sword.
A flash of golden light erupts momentarily, cutting through the darkness.
The strange-looking monster split into two.
These strange monsters that look like a combination of a bat and a wolf are coming out from inside the mountain range.
Losers who have fallen behind in the struggle for survival.
Nevertheless, it is several times more powerful than the monsters outside the mountain range.
“Is this the end?”
When Leon raised his sword to finally kill the bastard, the light on the blade spread in all directions, driving away the darkness.
And the scene that appeared afterwards was a sight to behold.
Monsters piled up like a mountain.
The blood leaking from the corpse accumulates like a puddle, and an enormous amount of vitality flows out and is sucked into the holy sword. The power accumulated just now is enough to fire three or four shots of <Merak>.
At first, I was shocked by the amount, but now, three months later, I’ve gotten used to it.
“…I think it will happen soon?”
Leon, who had absorbed all the power of the monsters, raised his sword.
In just a few months, his Aurors had increased tremendously in both quality and quantity, reaching beyond the B-Rank limit and beyond.
The holy sword that received Leon’s aura burned with golden light.
The beautiful golden “Aurorfire” rose on the blade.