Chapter 226 - Must be Crazy (3)

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“…”

Lance Peterson, who came out of the center of the ring, looked at his two mates who were now starting their duel. His face seemed fine, but his expression was filled with frustration and regret.

It wasn’t like he thought that he would win.

Who was his opponent?

It was a swordsman who had reached the level of Master in his early 20s. This meant that he wasn’t in a position to even compare himself to the opponent.

However, despite knowing that, Lance still couldn’t calm down. It was because he knew that there was definitely a time when he was stronger than Airn.

‘I thought I could fight him longer…’

He knew that Airn didn’t even do his best. He didn’t pull out his Aura Sword, nor did he use his full strength.

Still, Lance had no choice but to feel helpless as if he had been facing an iron wall. No matter how hard he tried, the wall didn’t break. Conversely, he felt scared that the opponent could take him down with any strike.

Which was why he gave up mid-way.

‘The difference in skill… is too much.’

While he was in those thoughts, Airn and Bratt got ready.

The way they looked at each other was kind. It seemed like the air was different from when he had fought with Airn, which made Lance’s expression harden.

Of course, it didn’t last long. He playfully told Bratt.

“Eh, Bratt! Get angry and go all out!”

“Be quiet! I am in front of a monster, and my heart is pounding so hard!”

The eldest son of the Lloyd family shivered. Seeing that, Airn burst into laughter. And that was the end of the warm atmosphere.

Once the match started, Bratt rushed in.

Kang!

It started off immediately with a stab for the throat. It was a dangerous move in practice matches, but Airn didn’t care. He was holding his sword without backing down.

Bratt’s sword bounced off and moved to the bottom, and Airn blocked that attack too.

There was a constant clanging noise as the two swords collided with each other, with Bratt aggressively attacking and Airn passively defending.

Although Bratt’s sword was pouring out at a terrifying speed, the young Sword Master wasn’t flustered at all.

He was as relaxed as someone who knew the opponent’s attacks. And it was true since he was reading the flow of Bratt’s movements and preparing for the next attacks, making sure he didn’t lose focus and stamina.

It was when he blocked the seventh attack, which came in at full power.

Ching!

“!”

Bratt frowned at how heavy his hands felt. It was always like this when he fought with Airn.

Instead of the opponent’s body slowing down, his own hands would go numb as if he had hit an iron statue.

It was probably a technique Airn came up with the spirits he had influence in along with Aura operation, and since they all learned the usage of spirits at the same time, despite Bratt not being able to use it, he still knew about it.

But he wasn’t feeling bad.

Bratt has always been like that. There would be no end if one started being envious of another.

Looking at the opponent, he thought.

‘What I am good at…’

Let’s just focus on that.

With calm breathing, Bratt’s sword began to move softer than before,

Tung!

Tung!

Clang!

Airn’s sword, which went on the offensive, was terrifying. It was just one sword, but it was so full of strength that no one would dare try and stop it.

Bratt consistently backed off and moved to the side as if he was in a real battle and the territory Airn could use gradually expanded.

However, it was unreasonable to feel that and try to pressure the opponent because of it.

The eyes of the blonde swordsman who slashed the sword again stood out.

Clang!

The angle.

He had to disturb the timing.

And change the hitting point.

And Bratt’s softly drawn movements made it possible. Like a river flowing profusely, Bratt was constantly moving his sword in a circle to handle the mighty power from Airn.

What was even more surprising was that not just the sword but even Bratt’s footsteps changed.

Tung!

A shock that couldn’t be handled previously was now being received through the body and handled by the aura.

And before the impact could accumulate in the body, he would shift places to discharge it into the ground.

After the exchange of swords, it felt like an illusion, and it was as if the entire place was filled with moisture.

No, he was mistaken.

Suddenly, the floor where they were standing on was rattling with the aura Bratt had carefully scattered.

‘Like hitting water.’

To be precise, Airn felt like he was dealing with a person walking on water. Bratt skillfully drained down the attacks he received into the water. Yet, the control and balance Bratt displayed were both impeccable. A truly difficult opponent.

But,

Airn didn’t think that he would be pushed too much because of it.

Bang!

Whoop!

Tung! Tung!

Kwang!

“Kuak!”

Airn’s sword stretched out, and the expression Bratt had while blocking the attack wasn’t good. His hands and feet, which were relaxed till then, were now trembling.

It wasn’t because the opponent’s sword was strong, but because the opponent’s sword was faster than his.

The moment Airn’s sword pierced the point where Bratt was aiming to discharge the impact to, Bratt’s flow was broken.

He was no longer walking on water and had to handle the shock with his own body since he had nowhere to discharge it to.

“Damn it, I lost. Phew.”

“Phew, it was a good fight.”

“You monster-like bastard. Still, I thought I could hold on a little longer.”

Bratt shook his head.

After coming back here, he had attained some kind of half realization.

It wasn’t known when he could fully embody it, but with his level, he thought that he would be able to win a good match against Airn if he didn’t use the Aura Sword.

He was mistaken.

As he got stronger, so did Airn.

No, maybe Airn had gotten even stronger than him.

And that fact felt bitter to Bratt, but he brushed it off quickly.

‘It is fine. I…’

…am now a couple.

And that jerk is as dull as ever. Dull bastard. He’s still single.

Bratt, who preserved his mentality in this way, composed himself and asked Airn.

“What is the problem?”

“Uh?”

“You said it earlier. That there was something you wanted to know through the match. Didn’t you say that because there was something bothering you?”

“Hm…”

Airn was worried.

It was correct.

It wasn’t that something bad had happened, but he wasn’t satisfied with his current self. Expressing it as distracted and unorganized seemed correct.

Of course, those words couldn’t be used to explain it completely either, so he was troubled.

Seeing that, Bratt shook his head. He slumped down on the floor and motioned Airn to come closer.

“Come and sit here.”

“Uh?”

“Let’s do a sword argument like we had in the past. We will both learn something from it by trying it out. There are a lot of things I want to try.”

“… okay.”

Airn approached Bratt with a wide smile, as if his troubles were no more.

And they both started; Lulu yawned, watching them.

“They are at it again.”

“Do they do that often?”

“Yes. Usually, if Airn is making that weird expression, Bratt does this.”

“Is that so? Then…”

“What?”

“No, when I first saw him, I thought of him as a stupid person, but…”

Kirill took a brief pause.

“I think he has a pretty good side.”

It was sincere.

No matter how close you were to someone, if that person overtakes you, it is inevitable to feel envious.

However, as Kirill took a look, there was such a thing in Bratt’s heart. It wasn’t like envy didn’t exist, but his sincere feelings for his friend were greater than it.

“His mind is wide.”

“Bratt is broad-minded.”

“Is it because of that, that Judith fell in love with him? He is an interesting person. He seems better than I imagined.”

“Right! Bratt is a good friend! Don’t hate him too much.”

“I never hated him.”

And Kirill and Lulu were arguing over little things.

Lance, who looked at them, bowed his head, hiding his expression.

He recalled the feelings he had when Bratt was defeated.

‘I was a little happy.’

And the reason for that was clear.

In addition to Airn, who moved far ahead, he hoped that Bratt hadn’t left him behind too much too. He felt really bad.

Was it because of that?

The words of the people talking about his friend who had such a strong attitude despite his defeat made him feel like he was stabbed.

‘Come to think of it; I’ve never beaten Bratt since I was a kid.’

It was when Lance’s thoughts were sinking deeper and deeper.

“Lance, what are you doing?”

“Huh?”

“Well, why are you standing there looking so blank-faced? Huh? At a time like this, you should take a look at your friends who succeeded.”

“What…”

“It is a lecture from a Sword Master, and it is free! Come and listen. This one’s speaking skills are on a different level compared to the old days; it is totally worth listening to.”

“No, you were discussing it together, but then you…”

“Really? Lance, the Sword Master, needs your help.”

Bratt Lloyd urged him to come.

And as if he really needed help, Airn looked at him with serious eyes.

Lance, who had their attention on him, remained silent…

“Fine.”

He quickly joined with a smile.

But he wasn’t the only one who joined.

“Hmm?”

“Kirill? Why are…”

The Krono friends looked at Kirill, who sat next to Lance. She was courageous.

Taking a sip of her non-alcoholic drink, which she had brought from the inn, she said

“I won’t disturb you; I’m just listening.”

“…?”

“Why? You won’t be able to underst…”

“But I can feel. I have the sorcerer’s sense. Listening to the story, I am convinced that there could be something gained.”

“…”

“You know what a sorcerer’s senses are like?”

Kirill looked at Airn and then at Bratt.

Her eyes were so sharp that they nodded their heads.

“Ah, sorry. Come to think of it, I must have rushed it… if you are uncomfortable, I will move.”

“No, it is fine. Miss Kirill.”

“Just Kirill will do.”

Kirill looked at Lance.

It was a softer gaze different from how she looked at Airn and Bratt.

And she asked.

“Can I call you Lance?”

“Sure… of course, you can.”

The answer didn’t come from Lance.

Kirill turned to the man who spoke.

Bratt Lloyd looked at her with a serious expression, and then, with a very noble-like smirk, he said.

“You can call me Bratt too, Kirill.”

“Call me Miss Kirill, Mr. Bratt.”1

“Let’s do that.”

Bratt Lloyd, who agreed, looked at his mates.

“Then, should we start again?”

And the talks resumed.

  1. Hello darkness, my old friend… ↩️

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