Both sides agreed, and the Battle of Great Warriors was decided.
Lawrence opened their gates and came out, and Barco came forward with his men as they faced each other. The situation was accomplished within a week of sending the messenger. The judge had come down from the capital, as well. He spoke in a deep voice, with everyone’s attention focused on him, “My name is Count Ertes. The battle between the Barco and Lawrence families will be held from this point onward. Also, the two families will have to bring up their 3 swordsmen to represent the family and submit the lineup in 30 minutes. The Battle of Great Warriors is a sacred event blessed by Valhalla. Regardless of the outcome, both families must obey it, and if a family violates it, they will be judged according to the rules of the Cairo Kingdom.”
Count Ertes—Dressed in a neat robe that didn’t match the surrounding land, he was someone sent by the Central Government to judge this confrontation.
In the Battle of the Great Warriors, the authority of the person in charge is extremely important. Therefore, as soon as the two sides came to an agreement, the Central Government was informed, and Count Ertes took steps forward.
Count Ertes sat down at the table that was prepared beforehand. The servants made shade for him, and he sipped wine with a relaxed face as he waited.
Both of the sides—Barco and Lawrence, were busy moving. It was to write the lineup.
However, watching Barco’s movements, Roman suddenly said, “I think we need to change the lineup.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Viscount Lawrence was shocked. Lawrence had already thought of a lineup when the Battle of Great Warriors was decided a week back—They planned to place Roman in the lead, Lawrence’s knight second, and Chris at the end for the matches. That would finish the battle efficiently.
However, Barco’s movements were unusual. It is said that the distance from the capital to Lawrence is quite far. Still, in an era when magic devices such as the teleport circle were already developed, it took Count Ertes a whole week to arrive at Lawrence.
It was bizarre. It would’ve been natural for Barco to be under pressure due to the high-interest rate as time went on. However, they didn’t appear to be impatient in the slightest.
“It appears that the Barco family deliberately delayed the time. For them, it would have taken time to invite an outside expert. The network of the Central Government has the power to make it possible. Also, the fact that the confrontation is taking place a week later can be interpreted as meaning that they are fully prepared.”
“Then, they must have decided to send the outside expert as the vanguard.”
Roman’s gaze turned to Barco’s camp. Unlike Lawrence’s side, which was bustling, it seemed they had already made their decision.
“Barco has no intention of sending out an outside expert as their vanguard. Had that been the case, they would have taken action to entice us to send out our strongest warrior, as well. That is the best strategy they could’ve used, and if that’s the case, we need to make a lineup that is the best, based on our enemies.”
“So, what is the solution?”
“Chris will be the vanguard and secure one win for us. After that, I will go second, against the card Barco has prepared.”
Everyone was stunned. The secret weapon Barco prepared—Obviously, he wouldn’t be an easy match; however, Roman said he would take the risk. They couldn’t understand his decision.
Why is he doing this?—Lawrence was a bit shocked. Roman risked his life for other people. Unlike Flora, those who didn’t know Roman’s inner feelings couldn’t help but feel moved by Roman’s decision.
Viscount Lawrence said, “I will never forget the grace you have shown to Lawrence. If the Lawrence family wins this Battle of Great Warriors and overcomes the crisis of extinction, we will treat Roman Dmitry as our distinguished guest for the rest of our lives in Lawrence.”
Except for Flora, everyone showed their respect for Roman.
The time has come.
Barco didn’t think for long and immediately revealed the appearance of the swordsman who would take the lead.
“I am Janson, representing Barco.”
Janson—People roared at the name they had heard. Janson was a 3-Star swordsman that Barco was proud of and one of the most talented people in the North-East region of Cairo.
On the contrary, Lawrence’s representative was humble.
“I am Chris, representing Lawrence.”
Chris—He walked in with a sullen face.
People in this place recognized Chris’ face. A disciple of Jonathan, who is said to have better talent than Janson. Also, he was a handsome genius swordsman and the greatest genius in the North-East region.
Nevertheless, the problem was that the current battle wasn’t a place to compete for future possibilities. Chris may have the upper hand in terms of young age and talent, but at the current level, it was still a match between a 2-Star Knight and a 3-Star Knight.
Aura difference—It was an area that couldn’t be narrowed down merely with swordsmanship skills. Those who live in the realm of common sense naturally thought Chris would have a difficult time.
“Why did they let Chris go?”
“The talent will die.”
“This is something Dmitry will surely regret. Dmitry’s talent will die in Lawrence’s fight.”
Chris was hearing everyone’s reactions toward the match. He knew he had a disadvantage here, but he didn’t think much while agreeing to go into battle.
The reason was simple.
‘My liege told me to do this. I will do whatever I can to win this match.’
Roman’s words—For that sole reason, he decided to go into battle without a second thought. Among the rankers, there were some masters who overcame the difference in Aura and ranked higher. However, they were referred to as exceptions as they were actually special.
They were beyond common sense. Roman had said that Chris could defeat a 3-Star swordsman by going beyond common sense, as well. Therefore, Chris accepted the situation in front of him without a second thought.
The day Chris fought with Kevin, he turned from an insignificant child into a wild dog solely through Roman’s teachings. That day, Chris put his blind trust in Roman.
He believed—Roman is absolute.
Even if he died out there, Chris would not regret it.
‘To be strong, one needs to take risks. That is why I left the well and decided to follow my liege.’
He met Janson—Barco’s Master, whom he had heard countless rumors about. He looked strong. So, Chris smiled. If he manages to defeat Janson, then his choice is right.
At that moment, the signal was given.
Who moved first didn’t matter. Both Janson and Chris ran toward each other. Also, the public opinion wasn’t wrong. Obviously, Janson was quick. An Aura exploded from his sword, and he swung his sword, intending to kill Chris at once.
Due to an instantaneous movement, Chris dodged it. Furthermore, he tried to attack Janson’s gaps which he found after he stepped to the side, but Janson didn’t retrieve the sword and moved to attack him again.
His eyes flashed. The Aura on his sword made Chris feel his mouth go dry. He understood he would die the moment he got hit by it. Naturally, Chris quickly stepped back. Rather than giving and receiving attacks properly, he focused on evading his opponent’s attacks.
“You bastard! How long are you planning on running away?” Janson growled. He wanted to induce Chris into fighting head-on, but Chris did not lose his composure until the end.
3-Star Aura versus 2-Star Aura—A direct confrontation would certainly result in death. Thus, Chris had thrown his pride out the door long back. Even if the appearance of running away was ferocious, he avoided the opponent’s attack efficiently.
’When I fought against my liege for the first time, he defeated me without even using Aura. On that day, when I received a humiliating defeat in front of everyone, I learned one thing—No matter how powerful one’s Aura is, for the attack to be meaningful, it must hit the enemy.’
Avoid it. Avoid and dodge it again—As Janson said, Chris was avoiding all his attacks like a rat. Still, he stabbed his sword toward Janson whenever he saw a gap.
With one hit, blood spilled on Janson’s face. Honestly, it was just a scratch, but the fact that his opponent had attacked him successfully first made it hard for Janson to accept the truth.
Aura emerged on his sword. A 3-Star Aura swelled. From that point onward, it was not a problem that could simply be solved by avoiding it.
The sword, which currently boasted a 3-Star Aura, split the space, and as a result, an area wider than the sword was swept away.
Clearly, the class of a 3-Star Aura was different.
Seeing the Aura split the space, Chris took a deep breath.
And then, he coughed up blood. Even though he defended himself and the Aura only grazed him, it felt like his insides were being intertwined. Honestly, this result was natural. People value the distinction highly because even if one fights well 99 times, just being hit once by a higher Aura was enough for one to lose.
Chris staggered a little. And Janson, who saw it, pushed ahead. He was moving rather fast as he wanted to end this already, and if things continued like this, it was only a matter of time before Janson would cut down Chris’ throat.
Chris was different from Roman. Roman had monster-like skills that overwhelmed the opponent, even if he was put in the same situation as himself; however, Chris was someone who hadn’t yet grown to the stage where others would refer to him as special.
His insides were burning. He thought that maybe he was a bird whose legs got torn while following the stork in front of him. Still, he didn’t want to die.
This is so messed up.
Till now, he hadn’t learned anything from Roman. His companions in the Dmitry Knights had laughed at his choice to follow Roman. However, he chose to ignore their words and gazes, and followed Roman. Therefore, he couldn’t die in vain.
Isn’t this too sloppy?
If he died like this, Chris wouldn’t even be able to face his colleagues in the afterlife.
‘Go beyond the common senses of the world.’
Roman once asked him—Why do you use the Aura like that?
His common sense had been broken when he learned how inefficient the current methods were, but for some reason, he was clinging to them. Honestly, he had no choice but to do so. His mentor, Jonathan, and even Emperor Alexander, the first Aura Swordsman, trained in the same way as him.
It takes courage to go beyond common sense.
And now, Chris, facing Janson’s Aura, thought of Roman.
‘The indiscriminate burst of mana cannot be used to reach 100% of the power of Aura. Just as my liege showed tremendous power with a single, concentrated burst of mana in the process of destroying the Flare, I will also concentrate the power of Aura at a single point.’
He gulped at his decision. This was a crossroads for him. In front of him, he could see Janson running, resembling a reaper.
He swung his sword—That action seemed incredible. He had a firm conviction that Chris, knowing his own strength, wouldn’t face him head-on.
Nevertheless, Chris raised his mana. Rather than exploding it out like others, he was using what he learned from Roman—He was condensing his Aura.
Aura emerged on his sword. However, the size of the Aura was small.
Janson smirked, being sure of his victory.
When their swords clashed, Chris’ Aura wasn’t destroyed. While burning intensely, it withstood his opponent’s attack—And that was a variable Janson couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams.
And at that moment,
In response to Chris’s quick attack, his main specialty, the sword moved ahead and blew off Janson’s head.
His blood splattered, and seeing Janson’s head floating in the sky, the eyes of the audience were dyed with astonishment.
The winner of the first fight was Chris.
Eventually, Janson’s head fell down and rolled on the ground. Those who looked at it were still unable to understand the reality they had witnessed.
‘This is insane.’
‘A 3-Star swordsman was defeated by a 2-Star swordsman?’
This was beyond common sense. And it was a shocking result, as well.
Chris wiped the blood off his sword with a pale face as the soldiers of Lawrence cheered.
There was an uproar. It was odd—The match Barco was expected to win had been won by Chris.
Now, they needed just another win. At the thought that they had driven Barco into a corner, the soldiers of Lawrence cheered as if they had already won.
Seeing this situation, Viscount Barco was bewildered.
’…Janson lost. With this, the winning strategy I had thought of has gone down the drain. If Janson had won, the battle would have been finished with the second match; however, now, the third match is also important.’
It was absurd. Still, he wasn’t worried about winning or losing the second match. It was natural. If he couldn’t completely trust the card of victory he held, he wouldn’t have spent a huge amount of money on it.
Just then, one person stepped forward as if he didn’t even care about Janson’s defeat. Appearing in front of people, he put his hand on the sword as he revealed his name with a smile.
“I am Homer, representing Barco.”
Homer—Hearing his name, Lawrence’s soldiers, who had been celebrating their victory until now, were shocked.
“H-Homer—Did he just say he is Homer?”
“Why is Homer here?”
He was a ranking individual.
Valhalla’s ranking is based on reliable data, is updated every year, and is also known to people of the continent.
Homer was a 4-Star swordsman and was also ranked as the 49th strongest in the kingdom.
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