Published at 9th of November 2020 01:20:45 PM
Lysithea witnessed Liam confronting the Sword Saint .
(How can he face the Sword Saint unperturbed?)
In front of the Sword Saint who wielded his sword, even a trained individual like her could not help but feel intimidated .
Sword Saints were beyond first class; they lived for the sake of arriving at the pinnacle of swordsmanship .
To her, it seemed like Liam was at ease against an existence who had set one foot outside the boundaries of humanity .
Liam swirled his katana around before grinning at the Sword Saint .
“Iyaa~~, I had been anticipating our meeting ever since my subordinates mentioned you . Although it’s unbecoming for my age, I’m really excited to fight you, Sword Saint . ”
Was he unaware of the huge difference in their powers?
Such were Lysithea’s honest thoughts, but the Sword Saint’s reaction was unlike before .
The smile on the Sword Saint’s face was more ferocious than Liam’s, and he held the handle of his sword so tightly that Lysithea heard his grip from a distance .
He had completely lost interest in Tia .
The Sword Saint approached Liam .
When they came near each other, it became apparent that their heights were like that of an adult’s to a child’s .
“Add honorifics at the end . I am an upcoming Duke . ”
Liam stared at the Sword Saint and addressed him as if he was talking to a subordinate .
His attitude was so bold and brazen that he had to be one of either an ignorant child who lacked awareness of how wide the world was or a truly important person .
(No matter how strong he is, he won’t be the Sword Saint’s opponent . Sword Saints are known to be capable of overwhelming a group of Swordmasters . Against someone like that, Count Banfield stands no chance . )
It was uncertain how effective the rumored One-Flash would be against a Sword Saint .
However, even the talented Tia had lost .
How long would Liam last while facing an opponent of such high level?
Lysithea couldn’t help but grow concerned .
The Sword Saint held his sword in front of Liam .
“Little boy, you’re from the school of the One-Flash, correct? Who is your master?”
Liam didn’t bother changing his stance in front of the Sword Saint who had a serious expression on his face .
“My master is Yasushi, the strongest man in the world . ”
The Sword Saint squinted his eyes .
“Yasushi? Never heard of him . ”
Liam’s expression finally underwent a change when he heard that .
“There is no need for you to remember the name of a person you would never meet . After all, you will be departing from this world today . ”
A big spark flew between them .
Their movements were so fast that only their afterimage was visible .
Every time their swords collided, a spark bigger than the ones from Tia’s duel was generated .
The aftermath of their swords being swung around at a close distance caused breezes in the room .
Lysithea watched in disbelief as Liam battle the Sword Saint without losing his grounds .
(Unbelievable . His enemy is a Sword Saint who was recognized by the Empire . How is he still standing!?)
Cleo called out to Lysithea who wasn’t in her right mind .
“Elder sister, go treat Tia’s injuries!”
“O-okay . ”
After being told so by her younger brother, Lysithea started to approach Tia who was buried in the walls .
She peeled Tia off from the walls, only to notice that the latter was staring intently at Liam without minding her wounded body .
(What is this girl thinking? Does she not understand our current predicament?)
She had thought that Tia was a serious female knight, but she was disillusioned by how engrossed Tia was in Liam’s appearance in spite of this state of emergency .
Even so, Tia pulled out a vial from her equipment pouch and drank a little from it before spraying the rest on her injuries .
She then opened her mouth to speak .
“Lysithedono, do you see Lord Liam’s dignified appearance?”
“W-what are you even spouting in this situation? Unless we do something soon, we’ll all be killed!”
It was no wonder that Lysithea was angry .
Knights with great abilities had entered the facility after defeating the guards that were stationed there .
Moreover, they brought along a Sword Saint with them .
The chance of their survival was slim .
It was also strange how no help was arriving despite the ruckus .
(It’s not only Elder Brother Linus . It should be safe to assume that someone higher up is also involved in this . To think they want Cleo dead so much!)
She didn’t think Linus alone was enough to convince a Sword Saint into action .
There was a possibility that someone above Linus — perhaps Calvin or even a figure above Calvin — had a hand in this .
Would they make it out of this place alive?
Lysithea had already half given up .
However, Tia, who had healed from her injuries, picked up her weapon and said,
“There’s no need for us to panic . Please continue to watch their fight . I know not of anyone who is more powerful than Lord Liam . ”
There’s one thing I’ve learned from clashing head-to-head with the Sword Saint .
“You proclaim yourself a Sword Saint with just this? In that case, I shall henceforth be known as a Sword Saint!”
Hearing my mockery, the huge man in front of me clenches his teeth .
Although it may appear that we are exchanging swords equally, there are scratches appearing on the Sword Saint’s arms and legs .
Of course, I’m totally uninjured .
“You’re just a brat who hasn’t lived a hundred years yet!”
“And you’ll be defeated by such a brat! You’re only worth that much! Have you realized the power of the One-Flash? Be glad that you can die having witnessed the strongest swordsmanship!”
One-Flash is a wonderful sword technique .
It’s probably the best in the world .
It’s the world’s misfortune that a fine technique like One-Flash has been bestowed to me, a villain .
Even so, how long has it been since I last fought with a sword?
Was it when I played around with Kurt during our training?
It was really difficult to hold back that time .
If One-Flash has a weakness to speak of, it is that the technique does not allow its user to hold back at all .
Drawing the sword is equivalent to killing the opponent .
It would have been problematic if I had accidentally cut off my opponents’ limbs during matches .
Those amateurs wouldn’t have known how to deal with the invisible slashes .
Now, as for why I bothered pulling out my katana at all, it was simply to go easy on him .
If I hadn’t, victory and defeat would have been decided the moment my katana was pulled out of its sheath .
That is how One-Flash works .
I’m going along with the Sword Saint to test his abilities out .
Aside from that, I’m also checking how strong I’ve become .
Suddenly, the Sword Saint jumps back to widen our distance .
The thin-eyed man expresses astonishment at the Sword Saint’s behavior .
“Sword Saint, stop playing around!”
Unexpectedly, the Sword Saint screams back at the thin-eyed man .
“Shut the hell up! — Some blood has rushed to my head, but I never thought there would be someone who could match me to this extent . It has been a while since I had this feeling . This is the best . You are the best!”
This man is the type of person who enjoys fighting .
There are times when knights like these appear .
How strong can I become?
I want to have more thrilling battles .
Are there stronger opponents?
They are pitiful beings that are controlled by these kinds of desires .
Personally, I don’t understand them at all .
Anyway, the Sword Saint takes on the hassō stance, and for a moment, my intuition warns me of its danger .
“I didn’t think there would be another person that would make me unleash this technique . Please don’t die on me straight away!”
The Sword Saint unleashes a slash, but it is awfully crude .
He unleashes a flurry of slashes in an instant, overlapping them and forming a net .
It’s probably an attack that is meant to directly suppress its enemies from the front .
“What a terrible thing . ”
The Sword Saint roars in laughter .
“A slash that carries victory! Nobody can escape from this!”
He shoots several more of such slashes .
—It’s terrible in the truest sense .
I must be an idiot . To think I was wary of this kind of attack .
As a license holder of the One-Flash technique, I’m too ashamed to meet my teacher .
I blow his slashes away, stopping the Sword Saint in his track .
“You sliced this down as well?”
“What a letdown . Are you actually considered strong?”
I’m growing suspicious .
In the first place, would a Sword Saint do this kind of dirty job?
Is he a fake?
I’m beginning to doubt him .
Such a disappointment .
The Sword Saint changes his stance again .
He holds his sword with one hand and stands naturally before proceeding to exhale for a long period of time .
The muscles on the Sword Saint’s body swells up for a moment before shrinking back down .
I thought he’d swell up, but he shrinks until he’s thinner than he originally was .
His clothes do not fit him anymore, so the Sword Saint cuts them into a pan-ichi style .
Although his looks are ridiculous, there is steam coming out of his body like some characters in animes and mangas .
—Is releasing steam necessary? Couldn’t you have done the same thing with magic?
“Your appearance changed . ”
The Sword Saint is laughing, but he looks to be in pain .
He must be burdening his body right now .
“This is the extremes of my swordsmanship . This is where my pursuit of absolute power brought me! A forbidden art which provides me with explosive physical abilities in exchange for my life-force!”
The Sword Saint takes a step forward .
The very next instant, his sword crashes down on where I was a moment ago .
The ground where the Sword Saint is standing has sunken down, and the part of the floor which his sword has struck explodes out in a burst .
Having avoided the attack, I open my eyes wide .
He has just swung his sword downwards, but it’s already approaching me from the sides and is targeting my torso .
I dodge this as well, yet another slash comes my way from another direction .
“How’s this, brat! You still think I’m weak? As I am now, I can bisect a mobile knight! This is strength that surpasses humans!”
When I receive one of his blows with my katana, my feet sink into the ground .
It’s very heavy .
Nevertheless, my heart remains calm and tranquil .
“Extremes, huh… Maybe you were aiming for the wrong thing . ”
My katana becomes tattered after parrying the flurry of blows from the Sword Saint .
If I knew this would happen, I would have brought my prized katana and finished him off with a single blow .
“You can’t even retaliate, much less seize victory! If you’re waiting for me to tire out, I have unfortunate news for you! Even in this state, I can last a whole day!”
Every time the Sword Saint swings his sword, a portion of his skin gets peeled off and a little bit of blood flows out .
He can persist for a day? I gotta say that I’m impressed, but—
“A pity . I thought it could serve as reference, but your swordsmanship is too crude . ”
All of his movements rely on brute force .
There’s no beauty in them .
I was testing the water to check if there’s anything worth noting, but there’s absolutely nothing .
— It’s not worth referencing .
“Brat, you dare scorn my swordsmanship!?”
I lower my sword and cease all resistance .
The Sword Saint’s sword swings down — but fails to hit me .
The sword of the Sword Saint, whose eyes are threatening to pop out from the shock, has been snapped from its ricasso .
The broken blade spins in the air and imbeds itself on the ground as it lands .
The blade is slightly red, suggesting that it has been exposed to a moderate amount of heat .
I pull my legs out of the ground, return my katana back to its sheath, and stretch .
“Thanks for your hard work . From today onward, I’ll be calling myself a Sword Saint in your stead . ”
The Sword Saint is glaring at me .
“Not yet . It’s not — over —yet . ”
His head is decapitated, prompting his huge body to collapse while spewing out blood .
The large amount blood that is spurted out lands squarely on the thin-eyed man .
He’s observing me with murderous eyes .
“What? You aren’t going to beg for your life?”
The thin-eyed man tries to go for his sword as I draw near him, so I slice off both his arms .
The thin-eyed man chuckles .
“When I first heard about the One-Flash technique, I laughed because it sounded like some trick from a street performance — Now that I’m experiencing it for myself, I can’t help but laugh again . ”
Invisible slashes .
The essence of One-Flash lies in the fact that the enemies cannot even tell when it was that they were attacked .
The thin-eyed man stops resisting .
Without turning to look at me, he initiates a conversation .
“Do you want to know who the mastermind is?”
I doubt this man will tell us the truth .
It’ll just be a waste of time .
“Unnecessary . ”
“Even if your enemy is the entire empire?”
The thin-eyed man raises his face and smiles as if nothing has happened to him .
His face right now makes him look like the good guy .
I chop off his head .
“That’s precisely what I want . ”
The empire itself is my enemy? So what?
This world is my playground .
I’ll crush anyone that stands in my way .
Sensing that the battle is over, Lysithea rushes over to me .
“Hey! Why did you kill him? We might have obtained some information if we conducted an interrogation!”
You’re right, but it’s my principle not to do anything meaningless .
“How will knowing our enemies’ identities help? Don’t forget that we’re still surrounded by enemies . ”
“Y-you’re right . ”
“In the first place, do you really think this guy would have told us the truth? He would’ve just spouted lies to throw us into confusion . This kind of person is not easy to handle . ”
The guards never arrived despite Cleo being ambushed .
For many reasons, it’s hard to believe that only His Highness Linus is behind this .
In fact, I doubt he has the authority to mobilize a Sword Saint .
That means that my true enemy is either Calvin or the Emperor — to be honest, I’m relieved that they’re being openly hostile .
Lysithea quiets down .
Next, Tia comes near me and kneels .
“Lord Liam, I’ve shown you something unsightly . ”
Well, she has done her part by dragging things out against the Sword Saint .
With this, I can claim to be a Sword Saint .
Sword Saint — yes, it has a nice ring to it .
“Considering that it’s you we’re talking about, you’ve done your best . I shall praise you . Besides, I feel good today, so I’ll forgive you . After all, I was able to become a Sword Saint . ”
“Oh, Lord Liam! What a benevolent lord you are!”
You’re right .
The fact that I’m hiring you is enough proof of my benevolence .
Tia is looking at me with joint hands and shiny eyes .
It truly feels nice .
High Highness Cleo who was listening to what we were saying shakes his head .
“Sword Saint? Count, are you not aware of it?”
Cleo gazes at the fallen Sword Saint .
“Within the empire, only His Majesty the Emperor can appoint Sword Saints . Of course, we can nominate candidates who’ll undergo His Majesty’s examination, but it’s not a title which can be earned by defeating a Sword Saint . ”
When I hear that, I despair over the lack of benefit that comes with killing a Sword Saint .
A match with nothing to be earned…
“—You’re kidding, right?”
Watching me wallow in disappointment, Tia’s cheeks turn rosy .
“Lord Liam who has missed his mark is also . so . cool . ”
Somehow I don’t feel motivated anymore .
Guess I’ll head back home for today .
“Whatever . We’re leaving . ”
Lysithea stops me from returning back home .
“Are you going to do nothing about the situation!? We must secure Cleo’s safety first!”
You don’t get it, do you?
Why do you think I was horsing around until now?
It’s obviously because everything’s already over .
“The enemies outside have been annihilated, and my men are standing guard . I’ve also reported to the higher-ups . Everything’s already over . ”
At times like these, it’s convenient to have connections with the higher-ups .
I’ve contacted the Prime Minister and asked him to take action .
Before going easy on your enemies, you must make sure that all the hassles have been taken care of .
It only makes sense to go easy when you’re certain of victory .
Going easy before victory or defeat has been decided is equivalent to being careless .
You shouldn’t go easy when you have work left to do .
In my case, all that was left was to fight against the Sword Saint .
That’s why I went through the trouble of going easy on him .
Go easy on your opponents only when your victory is guaranteed! – It sounds like a wise saying .
Let’s have it as my maxim .