Published at 13th of January 2021 11:32:11 AM
Chapter 360: One of the Seven (Unedited)
The Holy Sanctum of Weapons was a special domain-creation skill where its entrance and exit could only be opened by the casters outside . The time where Sila and the goblin kings had appointed for the gate to be reopened was at dusk, so he got some free time to indulge himself in the scenery .
Looking at the vast, limitless green scape where countless weapons rested while bathing under soft sunlight, Sila couldn’t help but feel relaxed . He lay himself down on the grassland . Closing his eyes, he began his qi circulation session .
“You didn’t forget about me, did you?” A voice called out to him above his head . Opening his eyes, Sila spotted a shadowy figure of Nerissa .
“Ah?!” Surprised, Sila sprang up from the grassland . “Did you also come out?”
Nerissa was still in the same prisoner outfit . She sat next to Sila . Her eyes were blocked with a blindfold, but she turned her face toward him as if she could see normally .
“One person from that side comes out, so does a seventh of me . It must always be equal,” Nerissa replied before her body vanished for no reason .
A seventh of her . That must be the reason why her existence seemed blurry to him . Sila turned his left wrist over, and the hilt of Isabel protruded from the armguard . Since using the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword posed no risks to him, he pulled her out from the sheath under the armguard .
Isabel was a white metal longsword with light-blue mana coiling around her . The Weapon Enlightenment skill kicked in, but the amount of her information was huge, making him feel dizzy . As a need for concentration arose, he closed his eyes and started circulating the Cloud Part of Flaming Cloud Qi .
She was a magic-type weapon containing an enormous power . There were various ways to utilize her, especially considering her element affinity was the light element which he had never wielded .
This means Sila would be able to use all eight basic elements of magic as long as he held Isabel in his hand .
He sat cross-legged, placing the longsword on his lap . Circulating Vast Sky Qi while absorbing the magic power from Isabel, the maximum values of his health and special points slowly increased .
As a matter of fact, while Vast Sky Qi can absorb all three types of energy, the one that was most excellent at raising stats was qi . The skill level directly affects the speed of which the user can consume the power . If the user becomes greedy—consuming more power then they can handle—or a nearby enemy mingles the surrounding energy with their power, it will be no different than the user welcoming the attack without putting up any resistance .
If used correctly, the qi was considered very decent . It was to be expected though . Vast Sky Qi was the qi possessed by beings living in the Monster Realm, similar to Omniscient Evil God Qi . In this New World, its ability far surpasses ordinary qi .
A veil of faint white aura enveloped Sila . His body adapted to the light-elemental affinity . Since it was the element that he had never possessed before, his Unison Percentage got an abrupt increase of 10% .
His body was fully healed and his fatigue was all gone . Sila stood up . He tried swinging Isabel lightly and tested her ability . Gradually pulling the mana from her, he could manifest giant blade energy without spending a single point of his special energy reserve .
“I see . It uses the same principle as the Great Flow . Instead of borrowing the power from ambient mana, I can directly draw it out from the sword . The sword really contains tremendous magic power . ”
Opening his system window, he read the ability of the newly acquired item .
(S) Demonic Armament — Dichotomous Crucifix Sword
The collection of magical swords personally made by the Goddess Igsia . It is the abode of the seven Blade Daughters and their dark side .
*After every seven activations, the user’s stats and skills will be thoroughly reset .
*After overcoming each Sword-Crowning Ceremony, the user’s stats and skills will be thoroughly reset .
Attack Power: 100,000 (Multiply by the number of Blade Daughters the user has defeated in the Sword-Crowning Ceremony) .
The Light Side — You may summon one of the seven swords . You cannot use them simultaneously .
“Isabel” — A knightly longsword containing an enormous mana reserve . The sword deals magical damage instead of a physical one . If your opponent’s Unison Percentage is lesser than yours, you may dispel their spells and absorb the spell’s magic power to reinforce the sword .
The Dark Side — You may transform a sword in your possession, though it can’t be any of the Blade Daughters .
“Nerissa” — (1/7) Black mucus that shrouds both the user and the sword . The enveloped sword will temporarily become Nerissa . She is the sword of awareness . The awareness isn’t limited to five senses but includes natural and supernatural ones . (The level of awareness will increase according to the number of Blade Daughters that the user has defeated in the Sword-Crowning Ceremony) .
Sila looked around, expecting to see Isabel, yet he saw no one aside from Nerissa, who suddenly flashed in front of him . A big smile was hanging on her face .
Seeing an opportunity, he asked her . “Can the Blade Daughters not show their human forms in the physical plane?”
“No, they can’t,” Nerissa replied . “Only Anastasia and I are exceptions . ”
Nerissa’s main ability centered around awareness . She could force others to be aware of her existence . As for Anastasia, she had the ability to create a pocket dimension where her existence was visible . It was none other than her ability that had allowed Sila to see all Blade Daughters .
“You have to complete the ceremony, okay? The entirety of me can exit that way,” demanded Nerissa .
“The entirety . . . ?” Sila tried to recall the events happening in the Sword-Crowning Ceremony . “How strange . . . except from Isabel, I can hardly recall others . ”
The events had just passed a moment ago, but he felt like it had happened ages ago . Except for Isabel who he clearly remembered, he could vaguely recall only the existence of Anastasia, Rosetta, and Charlotte . It was as if the ones who didn’t speak weren’t even there .
“Teehee~ It’s you who is strange . ” Nerissa chuckled . “That place is a virtual world created by Anastasia . The rules of that world are defined by her . She usually made people forget the events happening in that world to prevent them from preparing for the next round of ceremony, yet you somehow remember . You’re not half bad . ”
Sila scratched his head . He had Flaming Cloud Qi that boosted his brain’s performance, yet he could only vaguely remember the events . Without it, would he have forgotten all of them? The difficulty level of the Sword-Crowning Ceremony was even higher than he had thought .
“Do you want to know their abilities? I can tell,” Nerissa said smilingly . “For some of them, however, it’s useless even if you know . You can’t possibly win against them anyway . Well, unless you know who counters whom . Knowing that will increase your odds by about twenty percent, I think . ”
Wielding a favorable weapon didn’t guarantee him the win . Sila was well aware . Fighting was deeper and more complex than that . Even considering their swordsmanship alone, he wholeheartedly believed that each Blade Daughter was a prodigy-class swordswoman in the path of their own sword . Their swordsmanship was at least two to three times more formidable than his .
Sila’s current swordsmanship was no longer mediocre, but the gap between him and them was not even close . One couldn’t tell how excited and scared he had been when he saw Isabel’s swordplay .
While it’s true that power is a crucial factor in battles, techniques are as important . Superior martial moves allow the combatant to have more chances to attack . Having a better chance than the opponent can secure half a victory .
“Summon me,” Nerissa whispered in his ear . “But first keep Isabel away . We don’t get along well . ”
Sila nodded . Metaphorically, he thought the Blade Daughters might be like Lady Igsia’s biological daughters while Nerissa was like a stepdaughter who was shunned by the rest . Still, he somehow felt like it was actually Nerissa who despised her sisters while they were simply indifferent to her .
Putting himself into Nerissa’s shoes, Sila thought she must feel like a black sheep among a group of white ones . He, who his childhood self had the same kind of experience—feeling like he was different from other kids of his age—felt he was connected to her more than the rest of the Blade Daughters who acted reserved and aloof .
Actually, Sila was a bit too optimistic . Nerissa belonged to the dark side . She liked to pull a prank . Having the ability to communicate with the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword’s master, she always tried to trick the users to use the sword without the need in order to make the downside kick in sooner .
In just under ten minutes, Sila had summoned the sword twice .
Isabel returned to her sheath under the armguard . Concurrently, the metal sword, which Sila borrowed from the goblin king, was dyed black under similar mucus . As the mucus solidified, the sword became the irregular sword with segmented blades—the same one he had used in the fight against Isabel . This must be the genuine form of Nerissa .
He was swinging her around, mimicking Isabel’s swordsmanship, when he heard Nerissa’s voice in his head .
“That’s not the proper way to use me,” She argued . “I’m a longsword with curve blades, able to strike wide and far—attacking an opponent at the distance and the angle they don’t expect . The fact that the blades can extend their segments helps the attack to reach even further . You don’t have to move your body a lot, though you need to focus your strength on your wrist . ”
The black mucus united to Sila’s right hand, expanding his awareness . He stood firmly on the ground, refusing to move even a single step while flicking his right wrist at high speed . The black sword seemed to disappear, leaving only the whipping sound that generated from the blade hitting the grass at ten meters away—the distance that people normally don’t expect the sword to reach . The segmented blades looked like a great black serpent crawling through the air, striking its target at unfathomably speed .
“Avoids clashing directly but relies on flexibility and long-reach to strike at the opponent’s weakness . It’s an interesting swordplay,” Sila complimented .
Hearing it, Nerissa was glad . She asked, “Do you like swords?”
“I’m studying them . I have my own sword art—Heaven’s Dismissal—but it’s more like the collection of finishing moves rather than swordplay . On the other hand, the sword arts of you people are versatile and usable in any kind of situation . Even when I’m learning fast through Flaming Cloud Qi and your cognitive-enhancement ability, Isabel was still unfazed . Her swordsmanship is simple yet profound, having no limits . She wasn’t afraid I could learn the entirety of her swordplay because it was literally impossible . ”
Pumin’s foundation and understanding toward the way of swords was sublime, so his experience alone was enough for him to expertly use a sword as if it was a part of his body . He would unleash the might of Heaven’s Decree Sword Art when an opportunity arose .
On the other hand, Sila was inexperienced . Between each use of sword art, an opening would inevitably show up .
In contrast, Isabel’s swordsmanship was like the endless accumulation of high-leveled basic movements . There was no need for a big, finishing move . Just a touch or two of her moves connecting could make a big difference, or even decide, the result of the battle .
“The rests are nothing special,” Nerissa said, “Mine is the best . ”
The black mucus slowly covered Sila’s entire body . The events happening in the hall showed up in his mind . He could see every Blade Daughter and their signature sword in the room .
Nerissa pointed at them, one by one .
“From left to right, that’s Rosetta, Catherine, and Charlotte . ” She looked back at Sila . “Among these three, Catherine must be the only one you stand a chance against . Rosetta only loses to Charlotte . Unless you have the latter, don’t you ever select her as your opponent . ”
Nerissa continued, pointing at the remaining three . “Isabel is a middle girl . You already defeated her, so there is nothing left for me to say . The rest are Sinclair, Amelia, and Anastasia . Considering your style, Sinclair must be your worst matchup . Nah, scrap that . You can’t win against any of them . They are equally difficult . ”
As Sila could see them clearly, he observed each sword floating in front of them . From what he had seen, each sword seemed to represent each Blade Daughter . Their swordsmanship centered around the type of sword they used .
He already remembered Rosetta, Charlotte, Isabel, and Anastasia . Thus, he shifted his attention to the remaining three .
Catherine was a curly golden-haired tall young woman wearing a white long-sleeved jacket over a skin-tight light-yellow camisole, shorts, and a pair of black pantyhose . Her figure was seductive, especially her bosoms which were noticeably larger than her sisters . Floating in front of her was a golden-white rapier . Its blade seemed thin and weightless, having no sharp edge but a keen tip . Its guard had the shape of an angel wing .
Sinclair was an expressionless young woman . Her red eyes didn’t look anywhere in particular . Her chocolate-colored hair bun gave off a red glow under the light . She was wearing a short dress that exposed her lustrous back and shoulders . Next to her was a one-handed, single-edged sword—a scimitar—with a thick curved blade that constantly emitted vermillion-colored mana in a manner similar to vapor . There was a small metal pendant hanging on its hilt and several flame-red glowing crystals buried on the blade .
Amelia had short, ash-white hair cropped above her shoulders . Her outfit was a short dress similar to Sinclair, though hers was grey-black and more reserved, covering her neck and her arms . There was a bright red ribbon on her neck . Her manner was composed, and it even showed through her slender sword, floating completely still . Its black blade was perfectly straight while its hilt seemed to be made of monster’s bones . Its sharp edge had a strange shining grey color, implying that it wasn’t made of simple metal . She was the only one Sila couldn’t guess what kind of her swordsmanship was from the appearance of her weapon .
“Wanna try?” Seeing that Sila was absorbed in observing their swords, Nerissa suggested . “I can shapeshift myself to look like them, though I won’t have their abilities . ”
Sila used his smile as a reply . Then, Nerissa began transforming herself according to every Blade Daughter, one by one . The color was still pitch black though . Aside from their outward appearances and weights, which she told him were identical to the originals, the swords she transformed into neither possessed their abilities nor had their level of durability .
Trying each sword, Sila began to enjoy learning different swordsmanship . He just realized that changing the types of the sword can make a huge difference . Each sword had its own distinct trait, leading to different suitable fighting styles even against the same opponent .
Rosetta’s cutlass was great at parrying at close distance and counterattacking . Her attack speed was the fastest .
Catherine’s rapier was the type of sword that Sila had never used . Even the Story of A Hundred Swords had never mentioned a western sword like her . She focused on quick stabbing . The wielder can maintain their distance and perform continuous stabs . Her weight was light and the tip was small, meaning she can effectively slip through the opponent’s defense .
Shape-wise, Charlotte’s katana was noticeably different from Varee’s, though the concept was the same—focusing on quick slash . Getting to try her personally, Sila discovered the strange trait of the sword that the speed of his slash would increase if he did it while stepping forward . She must be very useful in the situation where he wanted to perform an attack while advancing .
Isabel’s longsword was balanced in both offense and defense . In addition to thrusts, she can perform cutting and slicing techniques as well as blocking and parrying .
Sinclair’s scimitar seemed pretty easy to understand . Her weight was relatively light . With her single-edged and curved design, she was great at slashing and bashing opponents at high speed .
Excluding Nerissa’s irregular sword that he had started to understand her, Amelia’s slender sword and Anastasia’s lance-like sword were quite incomprehensible to him .
Amelia’s sword seemed to lack outstanding features . Her thickness and length were in-between compared to her sisters’, so he didn’t know what she was best at . From what Nerissa told him, her title was ‘the Citadel Destroyer’, so he guessed she must be great in battlefield or siege battles . Still, given her slender design, he couldn’t imagine how she was suitable against a large number of enemies .
Anastasia was more like a short lance rather than a sword . Her uniqueness made her swordsmanship unpredictable . He could spin her when he performed thrusting or pulling her back in order to increase the moves’ destructive power .
In order to let Sila familiarize himself with each of them, Nerissa managed to trick him to resummon her again and again for a total of five times . Including the previous two times, this made it seven . However, nothing happened .
“Boring~” Nerissa pouted and sighed in boredom . She slowly faded away, leaving Sila with the same old metal sword .
After she left, Sila talked to himself, “Even a seventh of her can do this much, I wonder if I can comprehend their swordsmanship better when I unlock more of Nerissa . ”
What Sila desired right now wasn’t only the Blade Daughters’ unique abilities . Currently, it was like there were eight prodigy-class swordswomen living near him . He would be a fool if he didn’t seize this chance to learn a thing or two from them .
With the ordinary metal sword in his hand, Sila tried using it by preserving each of the Blade Daughters’ swordsmanship in his movements . By keeping their styles while using a different sword, it allowed him to explore many possibilities in the path of swords .
Disregarding inner force, his mastery over swords seemed to improve a step further during this short period of time . Furthermore, learning various styles of swordplay was a nice addition to him, since his fighting style was always ever-changing and unorthodox .
Sila continued to train swordsmanship until dusk when a spatial gate finally showed up . Exiting the domain, he was surprised to see several goblins being busy and making a mess in order to show him handheld signboards . Looking at the message closely, he couldn’t help but scratch his head .
[Failing is natural . ]
[Rest in Peace, Brother Sila . ]
[We will always remember you . ]
[Brother Sila has once slept in this place . ]
Now that Sila had come out from the gate, unscratched and not gloomy, the goblins looked at each other in confusion . Inquiring the man, they found that he happened to succeed in the Sword-Crowning Ceremony .
Realizing their mistakes, they hurriedly hid the signboards, though one of them was quick enough to show Sila the newly-edited one .
[Condolences "Congratulations" for "not" failing the Sword-Crowning Ceremony . Better luck next time . ]