“Shit, I was warming up just now, so why bother me by calling? Take the bloody sword!”
Ironlil had an angry face.
He had a long sword on his back which was as tall as him. And that was the sword Jamie requested.
Isis patted the short and heavy Ironlil on his shoulder and expressed her gratitude.
“Thank you, Lil~”
“Shit. So who is fighting whom?”
Isis pointed to Jamie and Jin, who were warming up.
“He won’t be Jin’s opponent if they only use their swords.”
“There is much to gain by fighting the strong, and Jamie Welton is a genius.”
“He is a genius by human standards.”
“Is that so?”
Ironlil looked at Isis, who had a sinister smile, and then threw the sword at her.
Catching the sword, Isis asked, “Aren’t you going to see them?”
“I am busy. I was planning to make something really cool.”
“Ohh. Have you decided to show off your skills after a long time?”
“I will make it better than Gram.”
“Trying to surpass the previous generations? So cool, my little kid.”
“W-who is the kid!”
While Ironlil might look dozens of years older, Isis was his senior by a few hundred years. And Isis had been watching Ironlil since he was a child.
The creator of the thunder dragon sword, Gram, was the grandfather of Ironlil.
Perhaps because of this, Isis and his grandfather had a lot of interactions, so she knew about Ironlil’s wealth.
Ironlil, who was suddenly flustered when he remembered the old days, turned around.
“Aren’t you going to greet him?”
“Why bother? I saw him recently.”
Grunting, he went back. To Isis, he looked like a child, so she giggled and smiled.
“Jamie~ take this~”
Isis threw the long sword at Jamie. Jamie, who easily grabbed the sword, nodded after examining it.
“He gave me the sword and left.”
“He could have said hi.”
“Barely any time passed since you last saw each other, no?”
He swung the sword a couple times.
It felt well-made; while lightweight, it was still heavy enough, and swinging it felt right; it was better than Scud.
In the first place, Scud was a sword with an artifact, so it wasn’t that great as a sword.
Even so, for several years, he held it, so it felt familiar to his hand, and now he could understand the skills of Ironlil.
After unwinding, Jin touched the handle of the blade and asked Jamie,
“All warmed up?”
“Right. Looks like both of you are ready.”
Isis, who would serve as referee, walked between the two. And then began to explain the rules.
“In this battle, magic and force will not be used. Mana can be used, but the Sword Master’s aura cannot be used.”
“Not even aura? Well…”
“Why does that feel like you don’t like it?”
Jamie’s eyes widened as he looked at Jin, and Isis calmed him.
“Do not fall for your opponent’s provocation, and don’t try to kill each other. If you try to kill each other, the fight can become overheated. This is a spar for exchanging skills. You will learn by experiencing each other’s skills. Don’t you agree?”
“I agree too.”
Both of them nodded at Isis.
“A side will be declared the winner when the opponent can not continue. I make the judgement that the opponent cannot fight any longer.”
The two of them moved apart.
Jamie had a front-slashing stance based on Welton’s teachings, while Jin looked defenseless holding the blade.
Of course, Jin was the favorite in a fight of raw swordsmanship, but Isis thought Jamie had a chance to win.
‘His opponent was me, but his basics are solid, and if it is Welton’s sword….’
She lowered her hand and exclaimed,
Jin’s eyes shone through the mask.
His body, which activated the mana, reached Jamie with great speed.
The foot technique he enjoyed using before he reached the realization. Mana flowed softly in a straight sword aiming for Jamie’s neck.
As expected of a Sword Master.
Jamie thought, looking at the distance narrowed at once.
‘It is hard to avoid.’
If he tried to avoid it prematurely, he would get hurt. The opponent was a Master.
And even if he couldn’t use aura or powers, the time spent honing his technique and Jin’s understanding of the sword was higher than Jamie’s.
Trying to deal with this without complete knowledge could get him killed.
He would face many defeats. And it would be difficult to win.
However, that didn’t mean he would give up the fight. He wanted to try as hard as possible to see how far the sword could be reached.
Jamie’s eyes turned purple.
He wasn’t using black magic. Isis forbade the usage of magic but allowed the use of mana.
Then shouldn’t he use what suits him best?
‘After all, I learned swordsmanship for that reason.’
A combination of black magic and sword.
Ironlil’s sword shone in purple.
The distance to Jin was 2 meters.
A purple line crossed the air.
Jin’s eyes widened.
He quickly retrieved the sword aimed at Jamie’s neck.
Thanks to that, he had to increase the distance between them. And then he saw a black line cut in front of Jamie.
It felt like a string hanging in the air. If the blade wasn’t called back, it was obvious that the hilt would have been slashed into two.
And now that aura couldn’t be used, evasion was the best thing.
“This is the Welton Family’s swordsmanship ‘Futility Divide’.”
He was familiar with the sword. A sword that cuts through space.
A sword forged with a lot of knowledge that was said to be handed down only to the Welton kids.
The words ‘as expected’ came out when he saw the real thing.
However, it looked different from what he had heard.
Something he heard but had never seen even once, so he didn’t hear about Black Thread. And Jamie looked at Jin.
His eyes were purple.
“Did you think I’d lose this easily?”
Jamie took a stance in preparation to run. At first, he took a light stance to move.
But seeing Jamie, it felt like the kid was quite experienced. Since he constantly saw Jamie use magic, he didn’t know his swordsmanship.
‘You are trying to defeat me.’
Was this a spar?
It occurred to Jin that this could be a way to take Jamie to the next level.
And the starting point was Jin.
“What is it? Is the level of a Sword Master greater than you expected?”
Jamie groaned instead of answering.
5 minutes back, the result of the first spar came out. The fight ended sooner than expected.
It was a good attempt by Jamie to use black mana, but he couldn’t react to the opponent quickly enough, even if the movement could be seen.
The problem was that it was difficult to block it with a sword.
It would have been easier to dodge and counter if it was magic, but Jamie still had a lot to learn.
“Do you understand why you lost?”
“I think I have an idea.”
The difference between Jin and himself.
Speed and response. He knew that the speed difference was extremely high. The crucial difference wasn’t just the speed.
If he lost because of speed, this world would have had fast swordsmen ruling it, not kings.
“Anticipating the opponent’s moves.”
Martial artists do more sensory training than physical training as their level increases.
It was for a simple reason. If their senses reach a higher level, they can predict the opponent’s will.
In fact, Jamie came to the present stage and tried techniques by first understanding the opponent’s psychology.
Once one achieved the Master level, battles became extreme. Before reaching that level, the one with more power would generally win, but once one becomes a Master, the side that reads the opponent’s intent faster is almost always the victor.
Of course, not all Masters are equally skilled, and in the case of people that only relied on strength, there were cases where the gap was narrowed at once.
“Did you see Jin’s movement?”
“Yes. I saw it.”
“This is because the experience passed down from your previous life is different. If you use magic, Jin won’t stand a chance, but a magician’s and a swordsman’s vision are different. So, even if you see it, you cannot react. Honestly, how many times have you almost used magic?”
“It was before I could reali-”
“Right. Even if you train the sword, your essence is as a magician. It is an unavoidable problem. Still, if you want to improve as a swordsman, you have to put up with all of this.”
“Don’t worry. Even if I die, I won’t use magic.”
“Don’t die, though. It will be a huge setback for my future plans if you die.”
“… don’t take it that seriously.”
And the two set out to find their next rivals.
Jamie’s wounds weren’t deep, so he was able to recover with holy power.
He wasn’t using magic right now, so he was just a swordsman.
When he was interrupted while enjoying his breakfast, Han looked at Jamie with a confused expression.
“You are a great magician; why the sword? I do remember you using it 5 years back, but wasn’t that like a secondary weapon?”
“Don’t talk too much and come out~ You are done eating.”
“Isis, are you being serious?”
“Why would we not be serious?”
Han scratched his cheek and got up.
“We will do it without aura and any ability.”
“It is a foul to use both on an opponent who isn’t a Sword Master.”
Han responded casually to Isis’s swords, but Jamie’s expression contorted after being ignored for the second time.
Noticing that, Han waved his hand.
“Ah. I didn’t say that to make you feel bad.”
He knew that Han wasn’t trying to hurt him. Still, he felt disappointed.
Because he wasn’t in a position to receive such treatment. But he accepted this.
As for the sword, it was learning time. Jamie was like a young chick compared to the soldiers here in Frontier.
He would have to ripen with the lessons so he could learn from them.
“I will take it easy.”
“I am going to get angry if you take it easy.”
“Then I won’t.”
Han pulled out his stick. Still, at the end of the stick was the same thread with two bells jingling.
Come to think of it, Han’s fighting style came out in earnest when he used ‘Change in status quo’.
“Will that work?”
When Jamie asked the question in a worried tone, Han asked,
“Will that be enough? You are the type of person who fights by changing from one weapon to another.”
“Are you worried about me? Isis, am I hearing this right?”
When Han looked at Isis with a puzzled face, she barely held back her laughter. It was then that Jamie realized the mistake he had made.
Han only gained the power to ‘Change in status quo’ after reaching Master level.
To ask a person whose main weapon was a bell attached to a stick if he is okay with it.
“Uh, hmm. Well, it isn’t bad to worry. Looking at this alone, it might look weak. However…”
Han’s eyes changed.
“If you experience it yourself, you will be quite annoyed, right?”
The bell sound was made clear.
Phantom Attack was something Han knew about. Jamie clenched his teeth as he watched countless attacks come in.
It wasn’t easy to avoid or prevent it.
Then what should we do?
‘Read the attack.’
It was challenging to do, but there was one thing he could try.
The blade dyed purple.
He had been beaten hard by Jin earlier, but the realization he had gained a couple seconds ago didn’t go away.
Jamie flew towards these attacks, unable to see an inch ahead.
What to look for…
A gap to use!
The Futility Divide.
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