39.2 The Hero, Me, and Ruiseine
As Ruiseine falls into shock, Ristia appears before her and thrusts his holy sword into her chest.
He’s quick. However, Ruiseine, by a hair’s breadth, evades by twisting her body. Her incredible physical ability leaves me astonished. Except, right now isn’t the time to for being surprised.
I refine my dragon spirit and transfer it into my spirit tree wooden sword. I’m strengthening it because of Ristia has a flaming holy sword. That fire might burn my wooden sword. From the sword comes a strong reaction in response to the dragon spirit I’m channeling into it.
Then, I space jump into Ristia’s blind spot. I jump and without hesitation, thrust my wooden sword into his back right when he’s stabbing at Ruiseine. Regardless, Ristia reacts quickly. He turns his head and receives my blow with his holy sword.
Ristia’s expression stiffens in an instant, “Guh.”
I make three strikes, one after the other. Yet, even though he’s spinning around to face me, he repels all my strikes.
I’m well aware that the current me still has a ways to go before I can match Ristia in swordsmanship. It’s for that reason I can’t allow him to flip the situation around and put me on the defense. I’ll be destroyed the second that happens.
My only option is to attack. To make up for my lack of ability. But, more than anything else, my biggest handicap is undoubtably my current weapon. Worse, Ristia seems to understand my intentions and moves to place distance between us.
That’s when Ruiseine approaches him. She thrusts with her naginata, but Rista avoids it with a jump. She then follows up with a moonlight arrow. Ristia, in midair, looks over his shoulder and uses his holy sword to cut down the attack. His landing, however, isn’t flawless and his posture breaks.
I aim for his body on that opening and get a hit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have much of an effect. I continue with my rotation by sinking down before once more unleashing another strike. My wooden sword rises and swings down on him. The power of my rotation combines with weight of my strike and is somehow stopped by Ristia with his holy sword.
At the moment Ristia stops moving. Ruiseine thrusts her naginata at his foot.
Ristia repels me off with an oni like expression I’ve never seen before and sends me flying. He then grabs the upper part of the approaching naginata and flings Ruiseine away with her weapon.
Ristia’s unusual action surprises me. Being able to do such an instantaneous movement is beyond human ability. Except, now isn’t the time for being surprised.
Ristia is going after Ruiseine who is tumbling about after having been thrown by him. I chase after him and as I draw in on his back, he stops and turns around.
Flames envelop Ristia’s holy sword as he swings it down on me. I press onward without slowing down. Then, the moment I enter the holy sword’s space, I space jump into Ristia’s defenseless back and swing my wooden sword.
However, Ristia again displays an impossible reaction. He spins around at that exact moment and avoids my attack by leaping back.
I was positive that strike was going to be a fatal blow, Now I’m staggering after swinging into empty air.
Ristia attacks me again. He clads his holy sword in flames and swings it down on me. I space jump out of the way only to instead stagger due to having used up my dragon spirit.
Damn, using my weakening technique and space jumping twice has mostly brought my dragon spirit to its limit. I don’t have enough left for another jump.
Theholy sword slowly gets closer. It’s going to cut me.
Just as I had that thought, an arrow of light hits Ristia.
Ristia screams in anguish as he’s sent flying. “Gaaaaaah!”
That was close. Upon being saved by Ruiseine’s hit, I get further away from the confused Ristia.
I express my gratitude, “Thank you, Ruiseine,” and proceed to refine my dragon spirit. This is an advantage I have over magicians. Not only are they finished upon exhausting their magical power, they need a long time to recover that power. I, on the other hand, can draw from the dragon vein and replenish my dragon spirit before exhausting it and becoming debilitated.
I concentrate on adjusting my breathing and draw more energy from the dragon vein.
At the same time, Ruiseine confronts Ristia. She does her best to keep her distance from him, using the long reach of her naginata as much as possible. Ristia tries to close the gap, but Ruiseine prevents him by seemingly gliding through the air.
Is that another form of magic?
While I wonder such, Ruiseine leaps and moves horizontally with ground at a high speed. She readjusts the distance and attacks with magic. Ristia crushes the attack and once more closes in on Ruiseine.
Ruiseine is stronger than I expected. She isn’t very far behind that Ristia. Still, the longer this lasts, the worse the situation becomes.
That’s when I finish replenishing my dragon spirit and rejoin the battle. This time for sure, victory or defeat will be decided.
I pour dragon spirit into my spirit tree wooden sword and approached Ristia. Ruiseine notices my movement and adjusts her positioning. We never discussed anything, but our coordination is flawless.
I swing down with all my strength, yet Ristia stops my attack with his holy sword. Without stopping, I continue with a flurry of attacks.
Ristia’s expression twists with shock at the renewed strength behind my attacks. He shouldn’t have time to spare for being surprised though. With a strong will fueling my strikes, I continue to swing my wooden sword.
Even if he’s a hero, even if he’s my best friend, I won’t overlook anyone ruining the reputation of the dragon tribesmen. No matter what happens here, Ristia will be stopped. We’re going to stop him.
Mistral and the others still haven’t revealed themselves. I don’t know what they are thinking, but I’m grateful that they’re leave this to us. Her watching over us is the same as saying she trusts us. Hence, I won’t betray their expectations.
I perform the dragon sword dance.
With flowing movements, I both ward off Ristia’s attacks and counterattack. Even though he’s deflecting my attacks, I return to my starting position and renew my assault.
Even though at first my dance was interrupted no matter how many times I tried to perform it, Ristia has gradually been getting weaker. We’ve now reached a situation where I can maintain a flowing offense.
I’ve been waiting for this.
I fight Ristia while cladding my wooden sword with my debilitating technique. Each time our blades clash, he receives my debilitating technique. Regardless of how much magical power he possesses or how well a hero can resist being debilitated, it isn’t a technique that can be endured.
I’ve been aiming for this since the beginning. There is no hope for me to defeat Rista in a fair fight. That’s why I opted to weaken him.
The dragon sword dance is originally a relentless flowing flurry of attacks. It’s a technique that overwhelms the opponent. That’s the reason for my confidence in this.
Ristia’s expression strains with bitterness as my attacks increase. After exchanging 10, 20 blows, Ristia’s knees finally buckle.
At last, Ristia is caught by Ruiseine’s expanding spell.