Chapter 21 - Blind Trust (3)

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Kevin was just as embarrassed as Chris was in the current situation.

As it was a duel Kevin did not intend for, he said with a pale face, “Young master, are you saying that I should have a duel with Knight Chris? That’s just nonsense. At best, I’m just a kid who’s been practicing swordsmanship for a week, but isn’t Knight Chris a skilled swordsman and a 2-Star Aura Knight?”

It was a natural reaction.

Chris.

Who was he?

He was the disciple of Jonathan, the Dmitry Knights’ Commander, and a genius swordsman recognized by all of Dmitry.

He was definitely not an opponent that average swordsmen could fight.

Moreover, Kevin wasn’t even an average swordsman; he was just a teenage boy.

No matter how much willpower he had, there are some battles in life where the outcome is obvious, no matter how much one tries.

Roman said, “I know that you are at a disadvantage. Regardless, do you have anything to lose if you lose the duel?”

“…I do not.”

“There is something you need to keep in mind from now on, Kevin. There are countless others stronger than you in this world. Blood Fang, who oppressed your family and went as far as to use violence against them, was the same, and Chris, who is staring at you right now, is no different. Will you take a step backward every time because your opponent is stronger than you? If not, handle this situation differently.”

Kevin was young. In fact, he was just a boy who was in his mid-teens.

He was still at an age that needed mental care, but as he chose to be Roman’s sword, he needed to live differently from before.

“This duel is not a real battle. The only thing you will get from this fight is the frustration of being defeated and physical pain. Since it’s like that, don’t you think it’s a great opportunity? You have a chance to let loose and use everything you’ve got against an enemy who is far stronger than you. I don’t believe Chris can break your will. After all, you’re someone who was willing to cut off their own arm in order to become stronger.”

The life of commoners, the life of an aristocrat, and even the life of a swordsman who is willing to sacrifice his life in order to become strong; no matter whose life it was, it had boundaries.

Nevertheless, Roman looked at Kevin, who was still a teenager, and told him to completely break down the boundaries.

Just like when he had told him to cut off his own hand, he now told him to face the enemy known as Chris.

Even if this was a real battle, Kevin needed to prove his worth as a sword by dealing with the enemy.

“What are you afraid of?”

Gulp.

Kevin swallowed his dry saliva.

His relationship with Roman was a series of choices.

Roman never forced him to take a single path and told him to walk on his own path while following him.

His throat burned.

Chris.

He had to fight an opponent whom he had looked up to whenever watching the procession of the Dmitry Knights.

It was a previously unimaginable reality, but from the moment he had cut off his hand, Kevin became a completely different person.

“…I will fight him.”

He has malice.

Seeing Kevin’s firm grip on the sword, Roman let out a small smile.

Kevin and Chris.

The two men looked at each other.

Kevin’s shabby physique and posture proved it was an unfavorable fight. Seeing that, Chris felt his blood gushing upside down.

‘I don’t even need to compete with such a beginner to figure out who the victor will be.’

It was a miserable feeling.

He looked at his opponent and noticed Kevin’s posture was a mess.

Nevertheless, he had thought there might have been a reason why Roman proposed a duel, but the appearance of Kevin holding a sword while looking at him completely shattered those thoughts.

It was clear that he had no experience as a swordsman at all.

At a glance, he was full of openings. In fact, Chris was skeptical of whether he could even defend properly with his unbalanced lower body.

Kevin had been training only for a week. It was clear as day that there wasn’t enough time to digest all the teachings Roman had given him.

Kevin wasn’t a genius at swordsmanship, as Chris had guessed. Moreover, he wasn’t even qualified to be called a swordsman yet.

That’s why,

‘Pathetic.’

Chris had that thought.

Chris was currently 25 years old. He was taught swordsmanship by Jonathan from an early age. The time he spent shedding blood and sweat as a swordsman was much more than the time he lived as a commoner. It was definitely unlike any other commoner anyone had seen in Dmitry.

His swordsmanship was his pride. In addition to his natural talent, he trained whilst aiming to become much stronger than anyone else; due to that, he achieved the feat of earning the title of 2-Star aura knight just in his mid-20s.

Moreover, if he manages to achieve 3-Star before becoming 30 years old, he, who was considered only a genius, could possibly become the most powerful swordsman in the kingdom of Cairo.

That’s who Chris is.

Just because he’s rotting in Dmitry does not mean his talent can be ignored.

‘I don’t know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong this time, young master. Variables also have limits. If I lose this duel against Kevin, I will completely give up my life as a swordsman.’

It was a desperate promise to himself.

In his mind, he didn’t want to duel with Kevin.

However, the only reason he was standing with his sword until he made up his mind to fight Kevin was because of the look in his eyes.

“Everything about you is annoying.”

His eyes were clearly filled with malice.

It was evident that Kevin was serious.

He was showcasing a sincere attitude as if he could truly defeat Chris.

Due to that, Chris got even angrier.

His opponent had no idea what was going on.

He did not know how meek and lowly he was, and was trying to deal with Chris, a knight who had dedicated himself to the sword for decades, even though he had barely begun understanding basic swordsmanship.

Chris acknowledged Roman’s strength in the past. That was because Roman, whose swordsmanship he had experienced directly, was a man deserving of his acknowledgment. However, only seeing Kevin’s gaze made his blood boil and made him want to punish him.

‘I’ll finish it within a minute.’

Grip.

He clenched his sword firmly.

Just then,

“Start.”

Roman gave the signal.

As soon as Roman signaled for the duel to begin, Chris instantly kicked the ground.

There was no reason for him to waste time on this duel.

Chris instantly dug into one of Kevin’s openings and attacked him, who had not yet come to his senses.

Smack!

A dull sound was heard.

He didn’t know if it was intentional or a coincidence, but Kevin barely blocked Chris’ attack.

However, just then, the difference in their strength caused Kevin’s arms to shrink.

Kevin tried to cover his exposed chest with a bewildered expression, but Chris’ kick hit his stomach first.

Thud!

“Keuk!”

He screamed.

It was such a shock that Chris knocked him over with just one kick. Now, Kevin was lying flat on the floor.

Clearly, the duel had ended with just one attack.

Chris didn’t push his opponent further but glanced at Roman to see how he was judging the situation.

‘Are you sure you want to continue seeing this match?’

Nevertheless, Roman remained calm.

He explained the rules of the match silently, so Chris turned his gaze away and immediately attacked Kevin.

‘Let’s finish it at once.’

His sword was aimed at the opponent’s arm.

Kevin, who had been moaning in pain until now, jumped up from the ground when he saw Chris attacking him. To dodge that, he threw himself to the side.

At that moment, the sound of the floor cracking rang in Kevin’s ears.

He understood that if he had been hit, it wouldn’t have been strange if his arm had been broken. Naturally, his whole body was covered in goosebumps now.

The difference in their skill was clear as day.

Chris was a mountain that Kevin couldn’t climb. However, Kevin still initiated a counterattack right after dodging the attack by swinging his sword.

Swish.

The sound of the sword was different this time. It was slow and light.

Chris simply let him attack and dodged without hesitation. Once again, he kicked Kevin’s abdomen.

Thud!

“Khuk!”

Kevin swallowed a cry.

Kevin, who had previously pushed past the pain of cutting off his hand, staggered with a face that looked like it would explode at any moment.

However, he did not fall even with the strong impact of the kick. He barely took a step and avoided the follow-up attack from Chris, but Kevin was so helpless and weak that continuing this duel was virtually pointless.

It was literally a one-sided confrontation.

Indeed, it was strange. Roman had offered a duel as if Kevin would win on his own, but he failed to demonstrate even the basics of swordsmanship, let alone winning the duel.

‘What the hell were you thinking, allowing him to fight?’

Ten steps away from Chris, Roman was silently watching the duel.

The meaning of the duel was to use Kevin, teach him how to fight in a duel, and make him grow up.

In the end, the duel was going as expected.

The situation would not have changed even if Roman had taught him a secret method, but he was rather angry at the futile duel.

Smack!

Facing continuous attacks from Chris, Kevin’s arms trembled. Clearly, his willpower alone could not withstand Chris’ attacks, and while his posture was disturbed, Chris’s attacks burst all over Kevin’s body.

Ironically, it was Chris’ way of showing mercy.

Even though the duel was fought using a wooden sword, Chris deliberately did not use the sword to attack his vitals, hoping his opponent would not be fatally injured.

Even just that, inevitably, showed the difference in their skills.

Even if Kevin struggled with his incredible willpower, he couldn’t get over the wall known as Chris, who had been training with a sword for decades.

In the end,

Smack!

“…Ugh.”

A fist to his stomach left him choking on his own blood. Kevin staggered while struggling to stay on his knees, and Chris raised an angry voice and said to Kevin, “Give up.”

The fight was clearly over.

Even though he had already had several chances to finish it, Chris only cared about winning by making him submit.

Regardless, Kevin endured. Grasping his trembling leg, he aimed his sword at Chris as if trying to block the next attack that would come his way.

‘Why the hell are you doing this?’

Kevin’s current appearance was the definition of miserable. As he had rolled over the ground several times, his clothes had become ragged, and his torn top revealed a reddish abdomen. Furthermore, he was currently spewing blood out of his mouth.

It was clear that he had suffered a tremendous shock to his internal organs, and as blood leaked out of them, his heart cooled down.

That was his limit.

This could be a really dangerous situation for him.

However, even though victory and defeat were clear as crystal, Kevin’s appearance of him still aiming his sword at Chris was beyond his understanding.

“Don’t assume you’re a talented person just because you’ve been attacked only a few times. From the beginning, and throughout the match, I never did my best. I could have smashed your tofu-like head at any given moment, but I showed mercy since this was a duel. That’s the difference between you and me. I don’t know what you were thinking when you accepted this duel, but for a normal person who doesn’t even know how to use mana, I think you’ve done well considering how much you endured.”

Chris simply told the truth. Back when he had fought Roman, it was, obviously, different. He couldn’t defeat Roman even though he gave it his all; however, for Kevin, he didn’t even need to do his best.

It was truly sad and regretful. That made Kevin feel even more miserable.

Also, this was as patient as Chris could be.

“I will say this one last time. Give up. If you show the will to fight anymore, I will cripple at least one of your limbs.

Truly, it was his last warning.

It was the last mercy he would show to Kevin in this duel.

Kevin is just a puppet. He had no reason to offend Chris. However, when he was told to admit the reality, a smile appeared on Kevin’s face, much to Chris’ surprise.

“Keke.”

He suddenly started laughing.

As if he didn’t mind smiling, Kevin didn’t even bother to hide the laughter that rose from within.

Then, he said while smiling, “Let’s go all the way.”

He gripped the sword tightly.

He knew that what Chris had said was correct.

However, this one-sided duel was completely different in Kevin’s mind.

That was because, from the start until now, Kevin was following Roman’s instructions and had no intention of giving up in this duel without Roman’s orders.

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