Chapter 170 - Claimhb Solais (1)
"Tsk." Hyde then took off his mask and cloak, which had lost their meaning, and stared at Theodore's group in front of him. He'd wanted to handle the witnesses, only to encounter another sword master. Additionally, during their short exchange, he could tell that the opponent's level wasn't lacking.
However, instead of frowning, Hyde smiled. "This is great. It is the first time I've encountered an ability like yours, with the freedom to quickly strike in every direction. But it is a shame that there is an imbalance in the swords you have now."
Randolph was shocked to hear the words, but he couldn't deny it.
This was because Randolph was already aware of the weakness Hyde pointed out. There were various combinations of dual wields such as a long sword and a short sword, a light sword and a heavy sword, and so on. However, the Clovis twin swordsmanship was based on using two swords which were perfectly matching in weight and shape.
But the swords which corresponded to that standard were never common. The swords which Aquilo had in her treasure chest were famous, but there was a slight gap in Randolph's swordsmanship because of their individuality. The shape and weight of his current swords were somewhat similar, but the center of gravity was off.
"And..." Hyde turned his gaze from Randolph to Theodore.
Theodore, whose disguise necklace had been broken by Claimhb Solais, had returned to his original appearance. One year had changed his appearance and physique, but it wasn't enough for him to look like someone else.
After the surprise attack, Hyde's eyes shone as he muttered, "I've finally found you, Theodore Miller."
The wind around the sword master stopped blowing.
"I thought the rat in the back alley was messing with me... If I had known this, I would've made his death easier," Hyde spoke in a loud voice which seemed like an animal's growl.
However, compared to a year ago, Theodore had entered a different realm, and he didn't shrink back at Hyde's daunting atmosphere. 'The rat in the back alley,' reminded Theodore of Gibra's broken body.
So, Theodore went on to say, "A sword master who is proud of his torture methods. But shouldn't rat be a nickname for you, since you only know how to hide?"
Hyde laughed, "Hah, this magician has a sharp tongue. Should I make it so you can't speak?"
"You are the trapped rat who ran away when one of your arms was cut off." Theodore's last words were crucial.
"...Hoh." Hyde's playful voice became cold.
There was no wind blowing, but his grey hair rose up. It was aura pressure. Aura flowed naturally from the pores of Hyde's body. This was different from when people used their auras consciously. The sword master had become intensely emotional and triggered this unconsciously.
'The intimidating feeling has increased almost two-fold... He is still bruised from his defeat in the Great Forest,' Theodore realized.
Despite being overwhelmed by the terrifying presence, Theodore watched Hyde without stepping back. Extreme emotions increased one's power, but it adversely affected one's movement accuracy and ability to think calmly.
However, the thing that Theodore really paid attention to was the changed form of 'Claimhb Solais.' The sword of the god-king, Nuada, changed from a silver sword to Hyde's left arm.
As Hyde was lost in his boiling anger, Theodore quickly asked Gluttony, 'You said before that the sword master is unqualified?'
-That's right. A sword master might be great in this age, but he isn't qualified to be the master of the god-sword, Claimhb Solais.
'If so, does that mean there is a limitation to the god-sword and he can't use all its functions?'
-I understand the intent behind your question.
If Hyde continued using the same abilities he showed before, the two people had no chance of winning. Sweat dripped down Theodore's face as he looked at where the warlocks had been. The ground was melted down like the crater of a volcano.
Fortunately, Gluttony denied the worst possibilities.
-The same firepower won't be available for a while. However, that left arm is almost impervious to magic. Even 7th Circle magic won't be able to penetrate the god-sword's resistance.
'Then is there a chance for the two of us to win against him?'
-If it is two against one, the odds will be over 70%. The biggest problem is another function of Claimhb Solais.
There was another function? However, the moment he was about to ask Gluttony again, the silent Hyde opened his mouth.
Hyde said, "...No matter how I think about it, dealing with both of you will be disadvantageous."
He was a ghost among the Seven Swords of the empire, someone who had trained in blood since childhood. Hyde's senses realized that there were two masters as his opponents. Although he had been arrogant with the warlocks, he wasn't confident that he could beat both Theodore and Randolph.
Hyde knew this and drew the sword hanging at his waist. "Becoming a master in a year... My master's insistence on naming you as a target of extermination was correct."
Theodore shook his head. 'Master? He must be referring to the emperor of the Andras Empire. No, then he would say, 'Your Majesty'...'
However, Theodore's thoughts didn't last much longer. Instead of the god-sword, Hyde drew a different sword and pointed it at the two people. The blaze of a high-density aura turned the surrounding air into a haze, showing off an alarming presence.
Theodore and Randolph adjusted their postures accordingly.
"I'll play with you a little later, nameless swordsman," Hyde stated.
Randolph scoffed at Hyde's words. "What? Do you think to deal with us one by one?"
"I'm afraid so. You are a great swordsman, but I have to put my duties first. I will fight you after taking the head of this magician."
"How funny-" Randolph tried to refute it.
However, Hyde's left hand suddenly shone as a shout emerged from his mouth, "「King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, show the dignity of Nuada Airgetlám in this fight! The unbreakable god-sword, forbid the enemy Theodore Miller from escaping!」"
Simultaneously, the light burst out.
It was the tradition of 'blinding eyes with a brilliant light' from the Age of Mythology. This was the third power given to the sun god-sword, Claimhb Solais. The magic which blocked light, the magic which called darkness, all of it was nullified as those in the area were forced to cover their eyes.
Theodore, Randolph, and even Hyde couldn't be free of that influence.
Randolph cursed, "Damn...! What the hell is this damn light?"
Then as the silver light covered the ground and sky, Randolph was finally able to raise both eyelids. The sight of the sword master was still blurry, but it was only for a short while. Shortly after that, the whites of Randolph's eyes became bloodshot, and he exclaimed, "T-Theodore?!"
Randolph's reaction was natural. He'd closed his eyes from the start of the flash for literally just a moment. However, when Randolph looked again...
His companion of a year, Theodore, had disappeared along with one of the empire's Seven Swords.
* * *
Nuada Airgetlám, the famous 'Silver Arm Nuada' of the Age of Mythology...
According to the records found in some ruins, he'd broken through a myriad of demonic undead corpses alone in order to defeat the demon king, Balor. He'd killed all creatures in his sight and turned the demon army back into corpses.
However, one thing had been needed to achieve that feat. It was 'Claimhb Solais,' the god-sword eternally etched with the spell of the sun god.
Even if Nuada had broken through the demon army and faced Balor, it would have been useless if Balor had fled. In order to block such possibilities, it had been necessary to force the opponent into a 'one-on-one battlefield.'
Hyde pointed to his left arm with a proud face. "This battlefield is a space created with the power of the sun god. We can't escape until one of us dies."
Unlike Hyde, who was leisurely explaining this to him, Theodore jumped back reflexively.
His opponent was a sword master. Theodore was relatively flexible with how far away he needed to be from his opponent, but his opponent was formidable. Using an interval of 50m, Theodore quickly measured the width of the area. Then he shot out a wave of magic power and looked at the results.
The area was narrower than he'd thought. Theodore calculated the result of the detection magic, and his expression hardened. There was a radius of 100m, and the error range was around 3m. It was a large space, but it wasn't enough for a magician. A sword master could go dozens of meters in one step, so the diameter of 200m was too narrow.
Theodore grasped the problem.
While taking a defensive stance, Hyde laughed at him, "Hah, now that cheeky face has lost its composure."
In the end, it was like this. The natural fate of a magician was to fall before a swordsman.
He had lived his whole life with a sword in his hand and covered in blood. Hyde was a murderer raised specifically by Prince Fermut. He was a rare type of monster who placed commands above fame.
Even so, Theodore didn't hesitate to fire back. "What did your master do when your arm was cut off? You are only strong due to the god-sword. I've overestimated the Seven Swords of the empire."
"Your master is also rather funny. Giving you that god-sword... Doesn't he know it is like giving pearls to a swine?"
Theodore didn't know which keyword poked Hyde's anger. However, after Theodore finished speaking, he was able to see something blazing in Hyde's eyes. It was hatred, a terrible emotion.
"...Okay. This is the end of your chattering, Magician," Hyde growled. Then his aura started to swallow up his body. Color, sound, and everything else were erased, until only his voice tickled Theodore's ears, "I will kill you in a special way."
Those words couldn't be misunderstood, especially when Theodore thought about Gibra. If Hyde caught him, Theodore really would have thousands of pieces of his flesh peeled off. Hyde's precise knife control meant Theodore wouldn't die quickly, and terrible pain would be inflicted until the end.
However, Theodore suppressed his fear and shouted, "Inferno!"
If he couldn't determine the enemy's position, then he would just sweep away all the possible locations. The 7th Circle fire magic, previously compressed by Veronica into the form of a sword, swept through the battlefield.
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