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Chapter 65 – The Black Sword and the Holy Sword
When I stepped outside the bar, I found Roxy standing in the middle of a crowd, forming a circle around her.
So as not to disturb us, the soldiers kept the people in order with their horses. It was a quite an elaborate setup.
I could only think that this was her intention from the start. To me, who only had known her from back when were together in the kingdom, this was actually quite surprising.
Fighting in front of the crowd….? Of course this wasn’t a first for me. I could do it without blinking. It’s just that the opponent this time was Roxy. Shouldn’t be any different from all those warriors I’ve fought with before.
This was intolerable.
However, it didn’t seem that I could escape either.
Once again, I sighed.
I made sure that the skull mask was attached firmly so that it wouldn’t fall off during battle, then put some strength into my feet and jumped. I leapt over the crowd and landed in front Roxy.
Face-to-face, I complained,
[Such a big deal]
[Is that so? I just thought that you wouldn’t accept unless I did this much.]
You understand me well….. However, what about your position as the ruler of this fortress city?
[We are in front of many people. What will happen to me if, say, you lose?]
[No need to worry. I don’t really care that much about that happening. Not that I intend to lose, either.]
Roxy drew out her sword while looking straight at me.
Being looked at that way, a sense of despair rose up within me. Shaking that feeling off, I raised Greed up without drawing him out from the sheath.
Roxy frowned at this spectacle.
[Are you going to fight me just using the sheath? That’s a terrible joke.]
[No, I’m serious. I’ll fight as is. My sword’s edge is a little too dangerous for a fight like this.]
I had the black sword still sheathed. The sheath itself was crafted by Jade Stratos who signed the exclusive contract for supplying me with equipment. It was black with golden trims.
Incorporating the golden trims wasn’t actually because it matched with Greed’s sense of fashion. It was something Jade had added on a whim. When we had heard about his idea, Greed and I could only feel impressed by his talent.
Facing against me with her holy sword poised, Roxy seemed hesitatant.
[I don’t know if the sheath breaks]
Normally I would think the same. However, this sheath can handle this much.
In fact, it’s tough enough to endure attacks from a holy sword.
[Well, shall we begin?]
[Very well. I don’t intend to hold back against you. Shall we?]
We quickly approached each other. I wonder, what exactly Roxy’s fighting prowess is. I could easily check her stats and skills through Appraisal. But I don’t want to resort to such cheats.
I can’t do that since she seriously wanted to fight me. I can only respond to Roxy’s will, sword against sword.
Greed snorted, then talked to me via 《mind reading》.
『You aren’t a knight, yet you act so chivalrously? Laughable』
I ignored Greed’s taunting, and crossed swords with Roxy.
The noise of metal clashing filled the air. Surprisingly, my feet were pushed into the ground.
Her attack was heavier than expected! Roxy’s sword attacks resumed, becoming heavier with every strike, that finally the cobblestone cracked, creating a small crater.
[Ku….you don’t pull any punches, do you?]
[Didn’t I tell you? I don’t intend to hold back.]
Having little choice, I pushed away Roxy’s sword. She jumped back in response to that. The strength behind her strikes was no joke. It’s not something coming from a skill.
It was from training. She must’ve constantly been training to be able to make use of her stats to the limit. I never saw her do that while she was on the mansion grounds, so it’s must’ve been when she went to the military district.
Now then, I think I’m better than Roxy in term of stats. But when it comes to controlling it, that’s a different story.
Normally, human will level up and gain status as they continue to defeat monster and hone themselves. Therefore, it’s rare for a warrior to be unable to control their stats. They can always control their stats to a certain extent, and beyond that….is practicing to draw out their maximum limit.
It’s totally different in my case. I’ll continue to gain stats as I keep killing monsters. For such a sudden growth, the experience and skill required to control it were overwhelmingly low.
There are loopholes that will allow me to control it altogether, but….they’re uncomfortable to use at best. By entering a semi-starving state, not only do I gain a boost in my physical abilities, I’ll also be able to use my stats to the utmost limit.
However, there was a danger as a price to use it….I had to kill my opponent. That’s why it’s almost useless during a fight where I don’t want to kill anyone—I’m perfectly aware that it’s dangerous to use it during a sparring session.
Even more so now, since my opponent is Roxy.
And then, when I was thinking about that sweet little nothing, Roxy had recovered and launched another attack.
[What are you doing, we are in the middle of battle]
[Just thinking a little]
[I’m amazed. Now, would you be a little more motivated if I do this?]
That’s foul….no, that’s not what I mean, I want you to stop.
Roxy deliberately targeted my skull mask.
[I will remove that haunting mask]
Adding to that, she’s moving faster than before. Although I didn’t get careless, it did take me aback for a moment. If I don’t fight back, the skull mask will be cut in two.
Twisting my body, Roxy’s sword only managed to hit the air, as I managed to evade her attack.
Fuu~…… I just took a brief moment to catch a breath. But my ears immediately caught unpleasant sound.
There was a crack in the skull mask.
In panic, I used 《appraisal》 to check the durability.
Skull Mask Durability: 10/20 Prevents the person equipped with it from recognition, fabricating the user as another person.
UAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. The durability is halved!
Did the sword manage to nick it!?
It was an antique item in the first place, perhaps that’s why it’s so fragile. No, Roxy’s attack was so sharp. If it received another attack, it would definitely break..
Thinking so, cold sweat began running down my spine.
[What’s the matter? Your movement has become dull. Do you want your identity to be exposed that badly?]
[Tha, that’s not…it..]
[You are very upset. Why…. Isn’t that strange? Come on, I’ve really wanted to see your face.]
Roxy smiled and laughed like a naughty kid. That’s the face that I knew of.
With my inner thoughts racing quickly and whilst protecting the skull mask, I told Roxy.
[Wawait. I’ll take you seriously now….]
[Why of course you have to. Now then, please come at me seriously. Otherwise, just leave that mask here .]
Well, she’s right. I’ve had my head in the clouds for a little too long.
I couldn’t easily get rid of the feeling of familiarity I had for Roxy. Those sweet memories made me careless, and that carelessness actually cost me a crack on the skull mask.
I guess, unlike Myne and Aaron, I’m still unable to let go of these feelings after all?
…..whatever. Regardless of how I feel, I still have to face this girl.
[If that’s your wish, then it can’t be helped]
I infused magic power into my sheathed sword. The sheath then started to release sacred light.
Roxy who saw it was surprised.
[Yes, it’s the Holy Sword skill as you may have guessed…]
This is the technique that I learned from Aaron, keeping the effect of 《Grand Cross》 by cancelling it mid-activation.
The sheath that Jade had crafted has a special function where it allows me to use the holy sword mastery technique, which had been gathering dust since I was unable to utilize it.
Oh well…. I didn’t actually plan to show off in front of a lot of people. But it’s a good opportunity.
If Roxy knows that I can use the Holy Sword skill, she won’t think that I’m Fate Graphite. After all, in her eyes, Fate Graphite was someone she needed to protect.
[A technique that can handle arts so well. Are you a knight… no, are you a former Holy Knight?]
[No, I never was a Holy Knight. From the beginning, I’ve always been just a wandering swordsman.]
With more magic power poured into it, the black sword shone with more radiance as I charged toward Roxy. In this kind of battle, there was no need for mundane things like tactics. Plain and simple: show your confidence in your own power.
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