Chapter 88 - Sword and Magic Confrontation (2)
'Battle Song. Sonata of Speed. Allegretto.'
As the duel progressed, Gluttony's mouth was chanting the spells under the glove which covered Theo's left hand.
Theo had triggered Sonata of Speed as soon as the duel began, allowing him to respond to Rebecca's preemptive strike. Compared to Randolph's swords, she was lacking power, and compared to Superbia, she lacked speed.
Before Rebecca could move again, Theo cast his magic hurriedly, "Chain Lightning!"
A net of lightning instantly covered dozens of meters. Regardless of one's speed, there was no way to escape from the chain of lightning. Just the power of one stream of lightning was enough to fry a person. If Rebecca hadn't raised her aura reflexively, then the match might've been decided here.
However, receiving damage was inevitable. The lightning penetrated the gaps in Rebecca's armour and struck against her aura, causing smoke to rise from her armour. It was pure destructive power, one of the reasons why aura users found it hard to compete with magicians.
Therefore, knights always tried to avoid a magician's attacks or went for preventative measures. They had to stop Chain Lightning and other magic before they were activated. Thanks to this, Rebecca was one step slower.
A brutal attack came from Theo just as she managed to escape from the lightning. Lightning Spear focused on one point, so it could cause deadly damage to a body protected by aura. Theo called five lightning bolts in mere seconds and aimed for Rebecca's abdomen. Simultaneously, the five streams of lightning struck horizontally.
It was possible to respond to one lightning bolt. Three would be difficult even if she was fully prepared. By the time it reached five bolts, even elite knights couldn't avoid a serious injury. This was impossible to defend, and trying to avoid it would also be meaningless.
Therefore, Rebecca boldly grasped her double swords and struck the lightning bolts head on. "Hap!"
Blue aura leaked from the blades, and the two swords broke through the lightning bolts. The remnants of the lightning, which weren't completely eliminated, struck her fingers, but she never let go of her swords. No, her hands actually held on tighter.
There were three more Lightning Spears. Even if she took care of two more, there would still be one remaining.
Rebecca gritted her teeth with a determined expression.
The moment that her two swords struck two lightning bolts, the remaining one hit her abdomen.
It was awful. Rebecca swallowed the blood which had risen into her mouth and put strength into her legs. Her concentrated aura defense had burst, and the impact was transmitted inside her. Fortunately, there was little impact on her combat strength.
As she returned to herself, Rebecca pointed the tips of her swords toward Theodore.
Theodore couldn't help admiring her fierce fighting spirit. 'She is fairly familiar with pain. Additionally, her body is hard enough to block a Lightning Spear. I don't think she can be defeated by an ordinary blow.'
In fact, he had restricted his own abilities to a certain extent in this duel. It was too dangerous to show the power of Umbra, a national treasure, to another country's delegation, let alone the empire's Seven Swords. He had various hidden cards, so he decided not to use any skills related to Umbra.
The case of Magic Bullet was a little special.
'...I can't control the strength.' Theo was worried about the power of his index finger.
After regaining the original strength of Magic Bullet, he had only shot it once against a human. Despite the fact that he had suppressed the output, the power had still been enough to leave a wound on Veronica's cheek. If it hit a vital point, the person would die before a healing spell or potion reached them. He didn't want to kill someone who might be related to Randolph.
Theo's aim was to knock her down thoroughly. The determination in his eyes deepened, and he ran toward Rebecca.
"What, he's approaching?!"
"A magician going into close range..."
"Once again, those guys from the Red Tower have strange heads!"
Buzzing chatter could be heard from the stands.
Theo stared at the double swords pointed at him and accelerated toward Rebecca. For a magician to enter a knight's close range voluntarily... This was an effective method of provocation.
Rage sparked in Rebecca's green eyes.
Her scimitar blades disappeared like they had melted into the air. This acceleration, which used the power of aura, had the ability to disrupt the laws of physics, which in turn caused the swords to move faster than the air resistance. That speed exceeded even Theo's enhanced eyesight.
The duration was short because it consumed aura rapidly, but it was a secret technique which increased her speed by a few times. A storm of steel raged around Rebecca. Even an ogre famous for its sturdy muscles and solid skin would be turned into minced meat if it got close.
The audience started screaming when they saw that Theo was heading into that storm. Rebecca's technique was a terrible weapon.
Theodore felt in awe as he jumped into her storm. 'Truly fast. Is it speed-focused swordsmanship like Randolph's?'
The tips of Rebecca's swords came down and aimed to cut his waist into pieces. Lee Yoonsung's experience was essential as he used Shift Energy to turn away the blades. The robe with defense magic was turned into a rag, but the result was that Theo was only bruised.
The storm of steel didn't touch him, as he moved through it like a light feather. Of course, the reason was also due to the difference in their abilities. Theodore was much stronger than before.
'It is lighter than Randolph.' More than anything else, there was a difference in the weight of the falchions and scimitars, as well as their arm strength. If the strikes had been as heavy as Randolph's and at the same speed, Theo would be cut easily.
Due to the lack of weight on the swords, it was easy to shift the orbit by hitting the sides of the blades.
'She is slower than Superbia.' Superbia had a bizarre form and was able to shift to the traits of powerful creatures. Among them, the caracalos tail was one of the feared threats, and the speed and sharpness of Superbia had been enough to beat Alfred.
However, that comparison wasn't proof that Rebecca's skills were lacking. After the Pupil Tournament, Theo had gained Lee Yoonsung's book and absorbed all of Alfred's abilities, so he had a definite advantage. That said, Rebecca certainly had enough talent to be chosen as a disciple by one of the Seven Swords.
Theodore calmly deflected her swords until the end. No matter how efficiently the swords were swung, the human body didn't have an infinite capacity. Inevitably, it would reach its limit. It might be different for a sword master who transcended the limits of life. However, Rebecca was still at the level of an elite knight, and she was unable to maintain the storm.
"Su...suaa..." She had a shortness of breath and a pale complexion, and her muscles were trembling as she held onto her swords. The perfect storm of swords became weaker and began to collapse. Theo calmly waited for her to reach her limit.
He didn't care about his arm which had become bloody after deflecting the swords and simply stared on with ice-cold eyes. Finally, the moment came.
"Haack!" She reached the limit of her breathing and a tortured gasp burst out from Rebecca's mouth.
The movements of her two swords stopped completely, and Theo stepped into that gap. He used a winning technique; the palm of his hand touched the defenseless body naturally.
'An ordinary blow won't deal much damage...!
'Memorize. All Slots Open. Shock Impact. Penta United.'
The shock wave attack magic, Shock Impact, was contact magic normally used to break down walls. However, Theodore had excellent melee skills, so he could use it this way. The five accumulated shock waves would exert a destructive power which could penetrate aura.
Shortly after that, the huge shock wave hit Rebecca's breastplate.
Rebecca's body was thrown back with a tremendous sound. She bounced a few times along the ground before barely stopping at the edge of the duelling stage. This was a good chance, so Theo didn't hesitate to call some Lightning Spears.
If Rebecca tried to counterattack, then he would intercept immediately. However, before she could stand up, a person jumped down from the stands. Theo stopped the lightning reflexively and stared at the person with a tense face. It was a situation where only one person could intervene.
"Sir Pan Helliones?"
"That's right." The big knight, Pan Helliones, nodded as he hoisted Rebecca onto his shoulder.
Pan Helliones didn't seem angry, so Theodore withdrew the lightning spell. Although Pan Helliones had jumped down here, Veronica was clearly visible behind him. Everybody had a hunch that the duel between the two countries had ended.
"I admit defeat, Meltor's young hero. Your abilities are certainly beyond my disciple's, and I am grateful that you didn't take her life." Despite the shameful verdict, his voice contained a clear respect.
The empire was a place where they believed what they saw with their own eyes, not through words. The man before Theodore truly acknowledged him.
"What does that mean?"
"This duel is the Andras Empire's defeat! I will accept this result in the name of the empire's Seven Swords!"
One of the empire's Seven Swords declared defeat! The audience realized the weight of this result, and the air around the delegates grew heavy. The empire's logic of communicating with strength had always been victorious.
It was only once in several generations that they would be defeated like this in a public duel. This was clearly a big event which would be mentioned in the history books.
Then Kurt III clapped his hands, and the unnatural silence of the audience was shattered.
"...!!!" The magicians and courtiers yelled, causing the voices to echo. The loud cheers were enough to cause shivers. In the center of this, Theodore and Pan Helliones stared at each other. He couldn't read any emotions in Pan's black eyes.
Therefore, Theodore couldn't understand his identity. No, it was more accurate to say he wasn't sure.
The moment Theo had stepped toward Rebecca, just before he'd used the shock wave magic... He wouldn't have felt it without his sixth sense, but there had been a terrifying killing intent. Due to that murderous feeling, the timing of his magic had been delayed by one beat.
That killing intent had been from the imperial sword, Lloyd Pollan.
Looking at the back which had already turned around, Theo went down from the stage with a grim expression.