Arturo’s arms became a blur, and the two crescent blades drew a sharp line through the air while emitting an eerie, metallic sound.
Isla’s eyes glimmered with light, and his black spear moved at an unprecedented speed, leaving behind several afterimages.
Along with a clear, resonant ring, the two cavaliers exchanged several strikes in the blink of an eye before creating some distance between themselves.
Arturo’s eyes were slightly shaken as he observed Isla. His opponent had stopped all four of his attacks, then proceeded to add in two strikes of his own in an instant.
‘He is a strong opponent…’
He was said to have gained quite a reputation as a knight of the Pendragon Duchy, but Isla was much more skilled than Arturo initially expected. Moreover, the man did not even blink as he effortlessly blocked the attacks containing his maximum power. It meant he possessed considerable strength as well.
‘He is at least similar to me in strength, or slightly superior.’
All of the cavaliers here would have drawn the same conclusion after witnessing the first clash.
It was true.
‘This will not do.’
Ortiz licked his lips and stroked his chin as he watched the two men with a sunken look. Arturo had a fiery personality. As such, he always went all out from the very beginning of the match. He was famous for not employing any tricks to test the waters and figure out the enemy’s abilities.
However, he had been pushed back from the initial clash. This meant that the result of the duel was already decided.
‘Was this why…?’
Even though Arturo possessed a rough, fiery personality, he was not a fool. The initial clash with his opponent allowed him to understand why the clan had sent him as the first challenger.
“Haha! Even if that is the case…’
He needed to respect his clan’s decision. However, Valvas men would always give their all, regardless of the situation.
After taking in a large breath, Arturo lowered his posture.
It would not matter if he died or sustained a critical injury in the battle. There was no such thing as fighting half-heartedly in a duel between cavaliers.
Arturo exploded with a unique breathing technique of the Claudio Clan, letting his spirit run wild.
The hem of his clothing flapped at a frightening pace, and his crescent blades drew countless arcs through the air.
Chae Chae Chaeng! Clang!
The metals howled in the thick cloud of spirit. To the naked eyes of the public, only flashing lights and sounds would be visible and heard. However, all the people gathered here were famous cavaliers. Their eyes were able to clearly grasp the two men’s clash.
A slash, stab, block, and a swing to the revealed gap…
Then suddenly, everyone became wide-eyed.
The black spear blurred with speed for an instant, and a sound of something being destroyed resonated. Then, the hazy afterimages of the spear disappeared. With spirit swarming around its shaft and blade, Isla’s spear stood right in front of the opponent’s throat.
Without breaking a cold sweat, Arturo gulped loudly. Even though the spear had not made contact, the area around his throat was burning hot. If it had gone an inch further, he would have had a large hole in his neck.
“…I lost. Claudio’s Arturo admits defeat.”
Arturo spoke in a somber voice before taking a step back and bowing his head. His first defeat was even more painful when he saw the shattered pieces of his crescent blade, which had bathed in the blood of many warriors for more than a decade.
After taking in a long breath, Isla withdrew his spear.
A silence enveloped the hall as the first duel came to an end. Even though the results had been somewhat expected, many people were surprised that the clash had concluded sooner than they expected. In addition, the representatives of the Six Clans, except the Claudio Clan, became lost in thought. They were carefully considering the order in which the remaining challengers would step up.
Then, Count Herreran stepped out calmly.
“The victory of the first duel goes to Cavalier Isla Elkin Medien Valencia.”
As Count Herreran turned his head, Martin Claudio nodded with a regrettable expression.
“Claudio accepts the results.”
“I understand. Then we will resume with our second duel at the same time tomorrow. The challenger should step up now.”
As soon as he spoke, someone from the Ades Clan stepped forward.
“Remy of Ades. I will be the second challenger.”
Cavaliers from the other clans nodded with slightly surprised expressions. Ortiz glanced at the head of the Ades Clan and Martin Claudio with a sharp gaze.
Indeed, the two people looked relaxed.
‘So is it going to be a card game where you share a deck? Hoo-hoo…’
Finally, the expressions of the other clans’ members started to change, coming to the same realization as Ortiz.
‘Claudio and Ades have joined forces?’
With such thoughts, the representatives of the clans and the other cavaliers narrowed their eyes. After seeing the results of the battle, the Ades Clan would not have chosen Remy Ades to be the next challenger unless they were fools. Remy Ades was known to be similar in skill to Arturo.
In the end, it was clear that Claudio and Ades had no intentions of winning the duels.
‘Will you artificially create the Seven Great Days of the King…?’
Some of the Clan Cavaliers took on fierce expressions. Perhaps they were considering the actions of Ades and Claudio to be foregoing the pride of the Valvas Cavaliers.
“It is unfortunate, but I will have to leave it up to the Ades Clan.”
“There is no need to worry. Remy is strong. It will be difficult for that cavalier named Isla to achieve a victory.”
However, the heads of the two clans ignored the gazes, walking along leisurely while sharing a bogus conversation.
Ortiz gave a vain laugh at the sight. Then, he looked towards the back of the two clan heads with a terrifying expression.
The two cavaliers from Valencia looked towards him with care. Ortiz spoke in a low voice brimming with killing intent.
“We need to have them give up on the ridiculous clowning, won’t you agree?”
His colleague flinched while replying, and Ortiz spoke while turning his cold eyes to the arena.
“I will challenge him the day after tomorrow. We will keep Herreran under control for the next ten years, and we will make sure that Claudio and Ades can’t crawl out from Valvas.”
The two cavaliers knew Ortiz very well. His usual composure was an outward appearance he maintained. Inside, Ortiz was a cold, calculating, and cruel man.
As the cavaliers started to leave the hall while predicting the results of tomorrow’s battle, a voice pierced through the silence.
“Let’s do it now.”
It was a quiet, cold voice. However, the words stopped more than fifty cavaliers in their place. Then, everyone turned around at the same time. Isla was looking down at everyone with his spear held at his side.
“What did you say…?”
One person spoke with a dumbfounded expression.
It was Samora Ades, the clan head of the Ades Clan. He only utilized a single rapier, but he was counted as one of the five strongest swords in Valvas over the past decade.
“The duel. I said let’s do it now.”
Samora Ades burst into laughter.
Even though he had decided to join hands with the Claudio Clan to help the Pendragon Duchy and the Southern United Army, the words spoken by Isla were another matter entirely. It was a challenge. His words were tantamount to insulting the Ades Clan.
As if to prove it, some people glanced at himself and the Ades Clan Cavaliers with derisive expressions.
The smile disappeared from his face, and Samora Ades started to speak. Then, Isla’s cold voice interjected.
“Let’s have the battles with all the remaining clans take place today as well.”
The expressions of all the cavaliers gathered in the Herreran Manor started to change, including Samora Ades, and those who were laughing at him. More than fifty cavaliers stared at Isla with blank expressions, as if they had been smacked in the back of their heads with a hammer.
However, it wasn’t just the cavaliers who were surprised.
As Teyo’s face turned pale, Count Herreran called out in a weak voice, his wrinkled face trembling with shock. However, Isla did not turn towards them. Instead, he continued while looking at the cavaliers of the hall, speaking words that would place them into greater shock and anger.
“If you so desire…”
All of the men were strong warriors that experienced countless life-and-death battles. However, their bodies stiffened at the continuing words of Isla.
But the young cavalier, who was a knight of Pendragon and the descendant of the legendary Knight King, observed the crowd with still eyes. His gaze was as cold as a frozen lake of mid winter.
The main gate to the Herreran Manor was opened.
The outside wall of the manor was lined with many tents. It quickly became noisy. The first duel must have begun not long ago, but swordsmen from the Herreran family and dozens of renowned cavaliers were walking out the door.
“This is a little…”
“The atmosphere is weird.”
The people tilted their heads in confusion when they saw that the eyes of the cavaliers were glowing cold.
“Please move aside.”
A warrior from the Herreran family pushed the crowd away, then drove four large stakes into the ground. After placing the stakes in a wide rectangle, the man began to connect the poles with a thick string. Then, he began to lay down heavy stone slabs inside of the rectangle.
“I speak to the men of the great land of Valvas!”
A loud voice entered the ears of the confused crowd. The unusual situation had already become known to the crowd, as the number of people increased exponentially with people joining in from nearby inns and pubs.
The one who had spoken was Cavalier Teyo from the Herreran County. His expression was stiff. The crowd realized that the situation was highly unusual from his expression, then the murmurs quickly died down.
“There was a request from Sir Elkin Medien Valencia Isla, the nephew of His Excellency Herreran and a knight of the Pendragon Duchy! The protectors of our land, the clans and cavaliers, have decided to accept his proposal!”
Teyo paused for a moment, then he continued while holding back a sigh.
“Whatever the outcome of today’s duel is! It is the will of Lord Herreran, the Seven Clans, and Sir Isla that we should disclose it to all of you, who are the eyes and ears of Valvas!”
“What does he mean by that?”
“What don’t you understand!? They’re going to fight where we can see it!”
The crowd went wild.
They would get a chance to observe the duels of the strongest warriors of Valvas. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Then, Teyo’s shouts rang out once more.
“So right now! There will be a duel between Sir Isla, a knight of the Pendragon Duchy, and the representative cavaliers of the Six Clans!”
A heated shout of anticipation and excitement swept over the front of the mansion. After a moment, Teyo recounted the words of Isla, the same words that had caused the expressions of the cavaliers in the hall to horribly distort.
“There will be no order! All the challengers of the willing clans will duel against Sir Isla…”
The following words were overshadowed by the weight of his words.
A one-on-six battle!
The crowd were unable to hide their shock at the ludicrous words.Previous Chapter Next Chapter