“It was a good match.”
“Winner, Camrin Ray!”
The first match, which started with everyone’s attention, ended briskly. Camrin Ray’s opponent couldn’t hold out for more than a minute and had a sword to his throat, a fatal move that could have cost him his life.
Although it was a refreshing result, the excitement didn’t rise since this was something the audience expected.
Camrin Ray was still one of the best swordsmen on the continent, even if he was pushed out of the possible winner place by Ignet.
The people’s eyes lit up as they saw the Pride of Avilius who came up to the stage.
“How will this turn out?”
“No idea. Her appearance in the 32nd and 16th Rounds were completely different…”
“Um, if we look at the interview with the masters, Judith seemed the best…”
“But she’s an Expert, so isn’t that overrated? Ah, I don’t know, let’s just see.”
When Ignet cornered Karim Jerkins in the Round of 32, no one doubted her ability. The sight of taking down a Master with one kick shook everyone.
However, their trust in her shook at the Round of 16.
During their interviews, several Masters stated, ‘It isn’t that Ignet didn’t live up to the expectations, but because Judith was simply too strong for an Expert.’ But normal people wouldn’t understand it. It felt absurd that an Expert who cannot use Aura Sword pushed a Master who was supposed to be the winning candidate, just by plain force!
And this was the opinion of the masses. People who understood what had actually occurred, gave up on convincing others.
The stereotypes of the world were too strong for a few people to change it.
“W-Winner… Ignet Crescentia!”
It was right to judge her by looking at her performance.
After just two sword slashes, the audience had a blank expression as they watched her opponent, who was kicked, grabbing his stomach as he flew away.
Even if it was luck, everyone made it this far into the contest.
And it was only when they saw this that they knew that the Commander of the Black Knights was indeed strong. And their thoughts about Judith vanished.
Some people looked at the article written by Hinz, ‘The Sword of an Expert which is greater than the Aura Sword.’
Despite the content being similar to what everyone said, this particular article was deeply engraved in their mind. But that wasn’t for long.
After a 30-minute break, the third match started.
The Southern Tiger Jarrot vs. The Youngest Sword Master, Ilya Lindsay.
The moment the two masters entered the stage proudly, the cheers became louder.
“Jarrot! Jarrot! Jarrot!”
“Show them the power of the South!”
“You are the only one left!”
People were cheering their hearts out… like he was the only hope of the South.
“Ilya Lindsay! Adan’s Pride! No, the Pride of West!”
“The Greatest genius in history!”
“What? Ignet is the greatest genius…”
“Ilya Lindsay Ilya Lindsay! Ilya Lindsay!”
“Ilya Lindsay! Woahhhh!”
People kept cheering for the one they liked. To be honest, there were more people who supported the latter, but this was only because of her young age and beautiful appearance. The majority of the opinions were that the skills of the two were almost the same.
That was why there were more cheers than during the previous two matches. Because this was going to be an unpredictable match, making it much more fun to watch.
Jarrot didn’t like this. Compared to himself, who was known to be a contender for the winning spot, his opponent was a kid who had been a Master for just 4 years.
Of course, they couldn’t be treated like kids anymore, and this girl showed some impressive things too…
‘But it cannot be like this.’
Jarrot stomped his feet and looked at his opponent with raging eyes.
The ferocious energy made the spectators go silent. Everyone just stared at him in shock.
A person who became a Sword Master during his early 30s and faithfully walked down the path of the sword after that.
That was who Jarrot was.
That was what he embodied.
He spat to the side and stomped again, and the referee, who was scared of his actions, went to the bottom of the stage, and yelled.
“S-Start the match!”
The third of the four matches.
Jarrot strode ahead. With every step he took, it felt like the energy was filling the stadium. People wrapped their arms around themselves as if they were protecting themselves.
Some felt goosebumps rise, and some were sweating, but Ilya was calm.
She stayed calm and poised.
The tip of her sword, along with her eyes which were watching her opponent, began to flutter like a butterfly made of steel.
“Winner, Ilya Lindsay!”
“What is this! Jarrot! Do it right!”
“Ahhh! I lost 150 gold!”
“Isn’t this a scam? How can he lose so quickly?”
‘This is bound to happen.’
‘I don’t have eyes for such things, but it…’
‘Wasn’t Jarrot’s fault, Miss Lindsay was too good.’
Unlike the southern people who were watching, the swordsmen of the west looked at Jarrot, who was being carried away since he fell unconscious.
It wasn’t known in the Round of 32, but it became clear in the rounds after that. The skills of Ilya were amazing.
Not to mention, even Inashio Karahan lost to a Master in his 20s, so Jarrot was nothing to her.
The old swordsman who thought that, looked to the other side.
At Gerbera’s Star, Bratt Lloyd’s expression… Another dark horse, who was walking with Airn.
It was difficult to predict the flow of the battle. But the latter will win.
And they were all sitting because they were curious about the process, and not just for the result.
… There were way too many surprises this time.
‘What will be shown this time?’
‘Bratt Lloyd, it isn’t like you are coming up without a plan, right?’
The eyes of the people looked at Bratt Lloyd and the School Master of Krono.
Both the contestants, Airn and Bratt, were Ian’s disciples. But everyone knew that it was the latter with whom Ian had worked with the most.
So, they were curious.
The blue-haired young man who had been educated under the best teacher of the continent and won each Round… What will his current form be like?
Will a miracle happen?
Or will the obvious result come?
With the audience in deep thoughts, the two young men stood facing each other on the stage with the referee who was checking the stage while sweating and looking at them.
‘Why is he sweating so much?’
It wasn’t strange.
Considering the identities of those who have been on the stage today, it was natural for him to be anxious and exhausted.
Considering the fact that the stage was holding the last match for the day now, it was inevitable that he felt weak.
He looked at the blonde swordsman, Airn.
There was no emotion on his face. It was like he was a person walking by on the street. Strangely it was the kind of person one wouldn’t bother looking at.
And on the other hand.
It was flowing.
No, it was pouring out.
The referee had a bewildered face. It wasn’t some loose energy like how Jarrot did.
If the opponent was openly trying to suppress the opponent on stage, then the referee would have stopped it. But nothing of that sort happened.
How can this even be regarded as an attack?
It was too ambiguous to call it an Aura Sword, and it didn’t feel like the energy was directed at the opponent in particular either.
To put it bluntly, it felt like Bratt was painting the stage in his color.
“Wait, my laces are out. Can I tie them?”
Taking advantage of the flustered Referee, Bratt Lloyd tied his laces. The movement of bending down very slowly.
It was as if he was doing that on purpose, and even at that moment, an unknown strange sensation continued.
“… hurry up.”
Contrary to his answer, Bratt was moving slowly. Even when the referee who went down the stage was glancing and telling him to make it faster, Bratt seemed like he was purposely trying to extend the time he was taking to tie his laces.
Bratt was spending more time making the stadium his own.
‘If I go in headfirst, I cannot win. I need to draw out all my power at once.’
What skills are needed to defeat an opponent who is stronger than him?
A one-shot kill.
He lacked the strength in his body to show sophistication in Aura and defeat Airn, so he needed to be able to overwhelm the opponent.
Like Judith did with Ignet.
‘Unfortunately, I don’t possess such power… but I cannot give up.’
The trick he came up with was what he was doing now.
Instead of openly releasing his energy, he had to judge the highest level of the opponent and make the surrounding space vaguely into his own territory to the extent that the opponent wouldn’t be able to counter it.
He had to be more receptive to the water-like energy.
For quick absorption and expulsion. He had to expel the water into tiny droplets in the air, which was hard to feel.
“.. the match starts!”
As soon as the match started, the energy in his body was expelled as quickly as possible.
His Aura instantly colored the stage.
The waves which filled the stadium towered over Airn. As if he was facing the gaze of a giant, he could see the opponent’s eyes in it.
It could never be used in real combat, and it was a cowardly act to attack from behind a wall of waves. However, this was his best bet. He couldn’t think of any other way to beat Airn. At least not for now.
‘This time, I’m going up.’
After finishing his thoughts, Bratt Lloyd lowered his sword, which was as blue as the ocean water.
The waves crashed down.
The Aura of water contained in the stadium, which was in a stage of balance, poured out violently as if a dam had collapsed. Like a tidal wave, it smashed onto Airn. Seeing that, Bratt smiled confidently.
In the past, he tried to control this huge power. And there were times he would cough up blood and other times when his body suffered too.
To be honest, the skills that the Durkali tribe showed Judith were the same as now.
And it was only recently that Bratt realized that he was doing things wrong.
‘I don’t have to control it.’
He just had to use a little bit of force, as if he was tapping the first domino standing up in a sequence.
There was nothing to worry about after that. He just had to jump onto the waves… like riding a tsunami.
Leaving himself to flow in the stream, his own sword danced.
Accordingly, it was the moment when the Aura from all directions attacked the human in front of it.
The blonde swordsman swung his sword.
There was nothing there.
The refined aura sword that made the Golden Great Sword more dazzling, and even the savage, violent explosion that Judith showed… nothing like that could be felt.
However, that ordinary slash ripped the waves apart.
The tsunami was cut.
The water was cut.
It was exactly like the miracle Ian had shown in the past. It was the moment when the miracle of cutting the lake happened with Airn’s sword.
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