Chapter 326 - Coexistence (2)

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“Ahhh… did I drink too much yesterday?”

A bearded mercenary came out of an inn and mumbled.

Normally, he had no intention of getting this drunk. But the moment the stories about the finals started going around, he couldn’t control it.

Since he was a native of Avilius, he couldn’t get over the words spoken by the people sitting near the table next to him. They kept going on about Airn and how he was really good.

‘He did well, though. He just cannot get past Ignet. Ah, right.’

Relaxing his stiff shoulders, he thought about it. Of course, he knew that Airn was a great swordsman.

Although he made some concessions, he was also victorious against Camrin Ray and showed an amazing performance against Inashio Karahan.

But he wasn’t there yet.

Having reached close to the level of perfection, he still lacked experience and other aspects when compared with the Black Knight Commander, Ignet Crescentia, who actually fought against demons for the continent.

“Anyway, it is only because there are so many people that have no idea about how great Miss Ignet is… uh?”

The bearded mercenary spoke to himself, recalling the conversation the people had earlier, and an unexpected figure entered his eyes.

It was Airn Pareira.

One of today’s main characters, a blonde swordsman, appeared on the road with his friends.

‘What? Why is he walking….’

All the contestants were given a carriage to move to the arena. Such a service was provided because it was unavoidable to not attract attention otherwise. The moment a contestant revealed their face, a large number of the audience would engulf them.

Considering the behavior of Airn Pareira, this wasn’t a good way of handling it. Because if the people came rushing towards him, and he didn’t push them away, the condition would deteriorate quickly.

However, surprisingly, no one approached him.

Those who supported Airn.

Those who supported Ignet… usually they would all be around this place.

Those who were cheering for the contestants from the South and the East, and those who had lost interest in whoever won. They all just looked.

The beard mercenary did the same.

‘Why?’

It reminded him of his childhood. The time when he went into the forest excitedly with the wooden sword his father gave him…the time when he met a monster.

Its teeth protruded out of its wide-open mouth like blades, and the foul smell of saliva dripped down its teeth. At that time, he couldn’t even think of escaping as his body went stiff.

Chak!

‘Are you alright, kid?’

The image of a wandering knight who protected him then was engraved in his heart much deeper than the fear and horror he experienced from the monster.

It was for that reason that this mercenary took on quests saving small children at a small price, and sometimes it was free of charge too.

‘Why am I suddenly thinking of that?’

After he thought that, he looked at the blonde swordsman again.

Airn was completely different from the wandering knight in his memory. He was just a young man of a different age, height, and face. All of Airn’s characteristics were what he had only seen on a magic screen.

… but strangely, a feeling similar to the warmth he had felt in the past flowed through his heart.

“Should I follow him?”

“Will that be fine? Won’t it be a hindrance?”

“Eh, I am not bothering him; I will just watch quietly. That should be fine, right? It doesn’t look like it will affect his condition; that is why he is walking here.”

“Right. But…”

“Yes. The atmosphere makes me want to walk with him.”

“Right. It is a bit strange, but… what you’re saying is true.”

The bearded mercenary turned his head at the words which came from behind him.

They were familiar faces…the people who were cheering for Airn yesterday. They were now following the blonde swordsman.

The man was dazed for a moment as he watched Airn walk by with a warm expression on his face.

“… I, too, have to follow him.”

Likewise, he, too, moved. And he wasn’t the only one.

More people came.

Feeling the warmth that came from Airn, they felt swayed.

And they didn’t stop. The crowd drew the attention of the people around them, and as a result, even more, people looked at Airn.

And after feeling something, they too joined the others and walked with him.

The soldiers guarding the entrance to the arena were startled.

“Wow! T-this is…”

“Did they come all the way here? Is this fine?”

“If anyone fights or acts rudely….”

“There is no such person. Sorry. I seemed to have caused a commotion unintentionally.”

Airn had an apologetic expression. However, he didn’t regret his actions.

He smiled and looked behind him. All the people looked at him.

‘Let’s not forget… what I am trying to do by winning, is to give hope.’

He forgot it for a while. Winning the contest was just a means to an end, and it held no special meaning to him.

He realized that once again, thanks to his previous life, and walked down the street to remind himself that. He wanted to look at all their eyes.

So that he wouldn’t forget it.

The reason he came into this world, the reason he picked up the sword.

Airn mumbled a little as he looked at his lover and his friends.

“Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For coming here with me. For helping me and guiding me and being with me.”

Airn answered Judith’s question. Bratt smiled arrogantly, and Ilya held her lover’s hand.

She said.

“Should I give you a kiss?”

In an instant, the warm air broke. The handsome blonde looked back.

Some of the people who heard Ilya were glaring at Airn with resentment.

He smiled and said,

“If I win, then I’ll take it.”


“It’s starting.”

Inashio Karahan mumbled.

His voice was full of tension and excitement. Seeing Airn slowly ascending onto the stage, he mumbled again.

“He will win. He can win. He is different from the time he fought with me; he is different from the match with Sir Camrin. You are watching, right, seniors? This is really possible.”

“… you, you are aware that you keep talking faster and faster?”

Devan Kennedy of the East pointed it out politely.

At first, it was thought that Inashio was like a sly snake, but it didn’t seem like that. Contrary to the first impression, he was honest and clear with what he liked and disliked.

Ever since he was obsessed with Airn, he constantly supported him.

Even when most of them sided with Ignet, he would refute their words. Even today, on the day of the match, he was being restless and supporting Airn faithfully.

Thinking about it, Devan thought that Inashio’s way of speaking was to control himself.

‘Besides, it isn’t all nonsense.’

Devan Kennedy looked at Airn, who was on the stage. Something definitely seemed different. Today, he seemed more relaxed and gentler than usual.

But he didn’t look weak. Rather it was a feeling that was hard to explain with words…

“… the atmosphere of the audience is different.”

Ralph Penn whispered.

Right. Perhaps they weren’t the only ones feeling this bizarre change in him. Despite it being the moment when it would’ve been the noisiest, the stadium was gentle and calm.

But everyone was silent, including the ones who supported Ignet and the ones who supported Airn.

“Perhaps…”

Ralph Penn mumbled and then shut his lips. There was no need for words…both Inashio and Devan felt the same thing.

Perhaps the final surprise of the tournament will take place in this match. As such, amid the growing tension from both sides, a figure dressed in the Black Knights uniform appeared.

Ignet Crescentia.

A swordsman with black hair climbed the stairs with her usual expressionless face.

And the force that she exuded was different from the past matches.

Pah!

“….”

“…”

“…!”

While making eye contact with her opponent, she showed off her power without any regrets. And the three people, including Inashio, jumped up with bizarre expressions on their faces.

So many emotions flowed through the people who were watching and couldn’t be expressed with words. Because it was that shocking.

It wasn’t just them who experienced this.

“This…”

“…”

“I didn’t fully understand things.”

They were the words of a famous swordsman of Lation city. It wasn’t just her who had this thought. The heads of the 5 swordsman families also thought the same. The individuals who possessed the title of the top 10 swordsmen on the continent also looked at Ignet with wide eyes.

They stared at her with a dark gaze.

As that happened, the atmosphere changed, and the referee of the final match gulped.

“Match… start!”

Wheik!

Shhhh!

Immediately, flames rose on the body of the Black Knight commander.

They were as hot as the scorching sun, and they had a reddish aura that looked like Judith’s, but it was different. Unlike Judith’s flames which were savage, Ignet’s flames were more refined.

One, two, three, four, ten, twenty.1

They were the number of aura beads that were quickly forming on her body.

Flames exploded behind her, and there was no way that even a Master level swordsman could stop such violent beads.

The audience screamed as they watched the bombardment of the aura beads.

Kwakwakwang!

But it couldn’t be heard. The sound of screams was buried because of the enormous power she controlled.

Only the facial expression and eyes of the people who were scared of the flames explained the terror they faced because of the situation.

Wooong!

Ignet had no intention of stopping.

In the midst of pouring out those beads of flame, her power was constantly being concentrated on her sword.

Her own swordsmanship, which she figured out after 31 years of living, along with the teachings of the Holy Kingdom, melted into the sword. A great momentum could be felt.

Swish

She swung the sword without hesitation.

Another aura was shot out from a downward swing of the sword where Airn was standing.

Kwakwakwang!

“….”

“…”

“…”

Dudu

Duduk.

Heeing

The violent aura wave Ignet released was cut off, and silence befell the stadium. The fragments of the stage floating in the sky began to fall down. The result of the fight couldn’t be seen even after the wind blew.

And the aftereffects the exchange had on the stadium were stopped because of the precautions that were taken by the priests and magicians… the audience would have been hurt if they had made even a small mistake. That was how strong of an attack it was.

… and that wasn’t the end.

In the midst of all the explosions and the heat, Airn Pareira used the energy of five spirits.

“Phew, Phew.”

Steel, flame, water, earth, and wood were not in the right order.

It was now in the opposite direction from usual. No, in the right direction.2

The blonde hero, who rode on the flow of coexistence and led the energy, gazed at the sun with shining eyes.

  1. Numbers 👍 ↩️

  2. It is the order in which Airn fulfilled the Five Spirits Divine Technique. ↩️

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