Episode 125. Aerial Combat (2)

Sword and lance would clash in the air, and both sides would display their strength. With that, they would exchange blows until the very end with all their might.

This was probably the duel Roland imagined. However, Seon-Hyeok had no intention of playing along with these stupid knights.

In the first place, there was no need to test out his opponent in this fight.

The first blow will decide the victor.

Seon-Hyeok had always lived by this rule, and he had always emerged victorious. Therefore, he once again brought out his Wind Piercing ability from the very beginning.

Whoosh!

The wind whirling through the sky like a wild horse quickly gathered at the tip of his lance, forming a giant wedge.

Shriek!

Excited, Redvern let out a violent shriek before rushing towards the griffin.

Roar!

Despite the sudden attack, the griffin did not cower, instead roaring in return. The only one taken aback in this vast sky was the griffin’s rider.

Seon-Hyeok had hoped that this one attack would bring down the crazy knight. However, his wish would not come true.

The moment Roland urgently expanded his sword energy and broke Seon-Hyeok’s attack into pieces, the griffin took a quick dive towards the ground.

Having only dealt with lateral evasive movements while fighting earthbound targets, Seon-Hyeok was taken aback by the three-dimensional maneuver.

He frowned as his surprise attack missed.

I guess I underestimated him as well.

It was only then that he realized that his opponent had the same maneuvering advantages that he did. He once again fixed his lance and searched for the griffin.

The griffin had fallen a significant distance in an instant, but quickly rose up with powerful flaps of its wings.

“Hey! You coward!”

It was not like he attacked before the start of the duel or used any underhanded tactics. Seon-Hyeok smirked at Roland’s complaints, unable to understand what about his actions could be considered cowardly.

In any case, I don’t think I’ll lose.

After a brief look at Roland still unable to come to his senses, Seon-Hyeok looked towards the other griffin rider. Lafayette remained in his original position.

What to do.

He felt uncomfortable bringing out all of his cards with Lafayette watching. However, it did not suit him to take the long path when he had an easy opportunity for victory.

“Atiya.”

Seon-Hyeok summoned the wind spirit, an absolute force in the air.

“Get him.”

The devoted Atiya flew in and grabbed the griffin’s wings.

Roar!

But at that moment, the griffin suddenly turned its head and attacked Atiya. It was Seon-Hyeok’s first time seeing a spirit being attacked or even noticed by an enemy.

“Ack!”

Seon-Hyeok stared as Atiya’s waist was torn apart by the griffin’s sharp beak.

“I knew you would have some connection to wind spirits. However, griffins are the true divine masters of the wind, and your powers are useless here.”

As he was trying to come to terms with the unexpected situation, Atiya returned.

“M, master…”

Though the wound quickly disappeared, considering her body was made of wind, Atiya still looked to be in pain.

“T, the damage won’t heal…”

Seon-Hyeok looked at the scared spirit before glaring at Roland.

“You bastard…”

“You think I’d challenge you to a duel without even knowing that much?”

His burning anger subsided as he heard the mocking voice.

He belatedly realized that compared to the griffin riders, figures veiled in mystery, his own powers had already been exposed to the world.

“Ah. I was worrying about nothing.”

He was already well-known, and yet he was foolishly thinking about hiding his abilities. Clearly, he had become as stupid as these knights, intoxicated by repeated victories and wartime accomplishments.

“What bullshit!”

Did this knight think he already won?

Seon-Hyeok responded in a cold fury at Roland’s arrogance.

Griffins are the divine masters of the wind?”

Having nothing to hide, he pulled out his most powerful weapon.

“Then try to master this.”

A violent wind gathered around him, and the tempest became a raging animal.

***

“It’s over.”

Standing far away with his arms folded, Lafayette grew certain of victory the moment the foreigner summoned his wind spirit. That transparent spirit was the source of the power Drachen had used in his numerous victories, and it was the tool with the sharpest teeth to tear enemies into shreds.

Unfortunately for him however, those teeth are useless against griffins.

Griffins were masters of the wind and devoured spirits – even if a high-tier spirit appeared, it would simply become prey for the beast.

It was because of this that the Griffindor royal family had willingly dispatched their treasured Knights of the Azure Sky to become Drachen’s adversary.

“That Roland bastard. He should hold back so he doesn’t harm the wyvern.”

Considering Drachen had lost the wind as his weapon, it was inevitable that victory would go to Roland, a senior knight capable of freely wielding sword energy. After all, Drachen did not have such abilities in the first place.

“It’s more anticlimactic than I expected.”

Is Drachen unable to grasp the situation? Or is he too stubborn to admit his defeat?

Lafayette wondered as Drachen once again gathered the power of the wind.

“Hm?”

The knight frowned, after just having mocked the Drake Knight. The wind gathering around him was unusual.

“Hm. I must be overreacting.”

It could only be that. Large or small, sharp or blunt, wind was nothing more than food for the griffin. Lafayette did not worry about Roland.

However, it did not take long for him to realize that such preconceptions came from arrogance.

“Roland!”

The power of the wind continued to grow endlessly, and Lafayette screamed out towards his fellow knight.

“Don’t face that head on! Roland!”

Unfortunately, his screams were swallowed up by the wind and did not reach the griffin rider.

“Get back!”

This was a level of power the griffin could not handle. If it tried to devour this, the griffin’s stomach would explode.

However, Roland must have thought differently. Lafayette saw the griffin rider rushing towards the giant storm out of the corner of his eye.

Rolaaand!!!”

***

“Huh? Huh?”

The Noctein soldiers had been watching the rare clash between a griffin rider and a wyvern rider, and they belatedly realized that they had been complacent.

“G, get away! We’re getting sucked in!”

“Run!”

A frenzied storm started from high above and fell onto the ground like a lightning bolt.

Boom!

The tightly secured wooden barricades broke, and a massive hole was formed in the ground. The corpses of the soldiers torn apart by the gale were strewn everywhere.

“Ack! S, someone…”

One soldier, fortunate to have survived the impact, cried out while holding onto his severed leg. However, there was nobody to ask for help at the devastated garrison.

“I, it hurts… please…”

The soldier was unable to finish his sentence. A wounded monster fell upon the crying soldier.

Ack!

The griffin floundered on top of the silenced Noctein soldier. It tried to rise several times, but could only flop on its stomach due to its broken front legs.

“Devon! Fly!”

In any normal situation, Roland would have fussed over the griffin’s wound, but he instead pressed Devon on. After crying out, the griffin flew up, flapping wings that were now disfigured and missing feathers.

Thud.

At that moment, the wyvern landed talon-first where Devon had been moments earlier.

“Eek!”

They had barely evaded the wyvern’s attack, but it was too early to be relieved. The beast was still after them, and the injured Devon could not fly fast enough to avoid the wyvern.

“A little more…”

Despite its hideous wounds pouring blood, Devon desperately obeyed its master’s command. Roland gritted his teeth while glaring at Drachen.

What the hell was that incredible power…

A tempest that not even a griffin, the master of the wind, can handle, and the ability to tirelessly keep up the offensive? Drachen did not seem human.

Whoosh!

Drachen once again raised his lance and rushed towards him at an unbelievable speed. Roland tried to summon his sword energy and counterattack, but his weapon lacked his opponent’s reach.

In the end, instead of fighting back, Roland was repeatedly forced to retreat with Devon.

Have I ever experienced such humiliation in my life?

Roland felt wronged as he disgracefully flew away.

That guy isn’t normal.

Battles between knights were opportunities to determine hierarchy through competence with sword energy. This held true even for the griffin riders.

Griffins played a major role in positioning and maintaining proper distance, but ultimately, it was one’s abilities with the sword that determined the victor. Even when it came to Devon, the sleekest and fastest of the griffins, this was an undeniable fact.

However, Drachen defied common sense.

Drachen only attacked in a straight line, and it could even be considered an ignorant and brutish combat style. It better resembled the charges led by cavalry, and not the refined duels between knights.

At first, Roland did not think much of the straightforward attack, and he even mocked the Drake Knight when he immediately retreated and regrouped after being unsuccessful with his charge.

Though Devon had been hurt by the ridiculous winds, he imagined he would have the opportunity to make a comeback.

Unfortunately, Roland soon remembered something.

Despite insisting on charging like a common cavalry rider, Drachen was anything but one. Likewise, his mount was not an ordinary war horse.

As a result, the power of their attacks was also on a different level.

It was too late by the time Roland came to this realization.

Boom!

Drachen rushed in and lunged with his lance, before circling around and attacking once again with added speed and weight. Each time, Roland was forced to endure these gut-shaking impacts.

“Ugh.”

After being frantically and one-sidedly beaten for so long, Roland lost track of his opponent. He lost his sense of direction after being driven back by attacks from all sides.

“Got you.”

Roland looked around for his opponent, only to look up at the spine-chilling voice coming from above.

“Ah…”

Seeing the lance soundlessly rushing towards him, he felt death coming and closed his eyes.

But no matter how long he waited, the pain he anticipated did not come. Roland plucked up the courage to peek from behind his closed eyes.

“Didn’t you say you wouldn’t interfere in the duel?”

Seeing the griffin and its giant knight in front of him, Roland knew the duel was over.

“It looks like we underestimated you.”

Seon-Hyeok pulled back his lance after seeing Lafayette blocking the way.

In the first place, he had seen Lafayette’s intentions before he attacked. He had no reason to be disappointed about being unable to finish the duel.

“Then is it your turn?”

Despite the provocative remark, Lafayette responded politely. It seemed that being unable to keep his word about staying out of the duel bothered him.

“This isn’t a great situation, so I will have to postpone my duel for a later time.”

Seon-Hyeok nodded at the knight’s words.

During their duel, Noctein knights and mages had gathered below and were giving off an ominous feeling, as though they were planning something.

“I will collect the reward for winning the duel and the price for your intervention next time. Don’t feign ignorance when that day comes.”

Lafayette gave a bitter smile as he nodded.

After momentarily looking down at the Knights of the Azure Sky wallowing in their defeat, Seon-Hyeok casually left the scene.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter