"It's fine, go all-out," Faleau irresponsibly said while taking out a greatsword from a nearby shelf and strenuously giving it to Hauss. "Hauss, fight Swordsman Bill."
"Ye-Yes." Hauss hesitated a bit, but he quickly agreed. The difference in power between an 8th Rank Swordsman and a 5th Rank Mage wasn't large. 'It should be fine if I use a few control spells...'
But something was wrong. 'No... hold on... Why is Alchemist Faleau giving me a greatsword?'
Hauss' face suddenly paled as he recalled the Dragon Strength Potion that he just drank.
'No way... Alchemist Faleau, yo-yo-you... You want me to fight Bill at close range?'
"Al-Alch-Alchemist Faleau?" Hauss looked at Faleau with a complicated gaze. It was filled with doubt, pleading and fear. It seemed like he was on the verge of crying.
'Alchemist Faleau, please tell me this is a joke!' he thought, on the verge of panic. 'That's an 8th Rank Swordsman, look at his greatsword, it's bigger than me! There is no way I can fight him in close combat, is there?'
"What are you afraid of? You just drank the Dragon Strength Potion, what's the problem with handling an 8th Rank Swordsman or two? Even if you lose your hands, feet, or head, the Gilded Rose will forever remember you!"
"..." Hauss almost let go of the greatsword. 'So what if I'll be remembered, it's over for me if I lose my head!'
"Okay, Swordsman Bill, Hauss is ready. Begin!"
"Hey..." Hauss wanted to complain. 'Since when was I ready?'
Unfortunately, Hauss didn't have time to struggle out of this. He was caught off guard by someone pushing him from behind, which made him stumble forward. He staggered toward Bill, his greatsword falling down due to his balance being disturbed.
Bill was a true 8th Rank Swordsman, and as a member of the Reckless Ox Mercenary Group, he had experienced many dangerous battles. His reaction speed couldn't be compared to that of a 5th Rank Mage like Hauss who had never seen blood. Only a "clang" was heard as the blade was parried.
This was followed by a deafening sound as Bill counterattacked, hacking downward a few times, scaring Hauss to the point that he didn't even dare to resist, making him run away toward the crowd instead.
"Hauss, if you don't hurry and counterattack, you'll lose your limbs," Faleau reminded him, not at all caring about Hauss' plight.
"..." Hauss went pale when he heard that, thinking, 'You don't want me to use magic, yet you want me to strike back at an 8th Rank Swordsman. How am I supposed to do that?'
Unfortunately for him, Bill didn't give him time to breathe as the greatsword in his hand continued slashing down. With a few attacks, he forced Hauss into a corner and followed up with a heavy strike.
"Fuck..." Hauss couldn't retreat anymore, so he let out the swear he had been holding back and raised the greatsword to block.
Only the "clang" was heard.
The audience couldn't bear to look.
A 5th Rank Mage trying to block the attack of an 8th Rank Swordsman, and a strong one like Reckless Ox's Bill at that. Everyone felt sure that this 5th Rank Mage wouldn't be able to use his hands in the future.
"Eh?" Hauss let out a surprised yelp. He was shocked to find out that he was actually stronger than he'd imagined. It was a simple block, yet he hadn't felt any resistance from Bill's attack. No, more than that, he actually made Bill retreat a few steps.
Moreover, his hands weren't shaking after that collision, he didn't feel any discomfort at all...
'Is this the effect of Dragon Strength?
Hauss thought of this and tried raising the greatsword. Now that he had calmed down, he realized that the seemingly heavy greatsword was a lot lighter than he would have thought. He was actually lifting it effortlessly, and a simple movement would create a heavy blow.
The power of that blow was so heavy that even Bill had no other choice but to fall back.
The Dragon Strength Potion was truly a potion that gave the strength of a dragon!
After personally feeling the effects of the Dragon Strength Potion, Hauss' fear disappeared. He held the sword in his hands tightly as he started his counterattack. The offensive power of the greatsword was so tremendous that Bill actually had to go all-out to match Hauss.
The two of them kept clashing in the center of the lobby while the audience's mouths were wide open, expressing their shock. The Dragon Strength Potion could let a 5th Rank Mage battle an 8th Rank Swordsman evenly in a melee fight, and the latter had to go all-out to be a match... Wasn't this a bit too inconceivable?
'Hold on, it's not just evenly matched...'
Some audience members quickly recalled that Hauss was just a 5th Rank Mage. He hadn't gone through proper swordsmanship training, yet he was able to contend against Bill. This was all due to the power of Dragon Strength. If Hauss had done some swordsmanship training, Bill might have already collapsed.
After ten minutes, Faleau stopped the fight.
"Many thanks to the two of you."
"No problem, Alchemist Faleau..." Bill was panting. Even a particularly powerful 8th Rank Swordsman who was nicknamed the "ox" in his mercenary group was physically exhausted after this battle.
But it was different for Hauss. He had felt no discomfort at all and was actually asking Faleau with an excited expression, "Alchemist Faleau, is it the Dragon Strength Potion? Is it the Dragon Strength Potion?"
"Yes, yes, it's the Dragon Strength Potion..." Faleau sent Hauss away with that answer and walked to the center of the lobby once again before smiling at the pale Hawkins.
"Great Alchemist Hawkins, I can answer your previous question. I have no plans on using the Dragon Strength Potion to get the formula and recipe of your Berserk Blood Potion. Do you think I would be so naive? Is your potion worth an exchange of skills? You should go look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are worth it."
After saying that, Faleau spat at Hawkins' feet.
The entire Gilded Rose fell silent.