Episode 49: The Great Storm Sword.
With the appearance of the great-sword user from the empire, Barrès, the atmosphere in the place completely changed.
In terms of fighting force, the opponent was the single Barrès.
After surrounding him, the advantage should overwhelmingly be in favor of the crossbow and mounter archery squads.
But, everyone from Urd felt oppressed by the powerful and dangerous beast-like aura released by him.
“Yamato from Urd… I’m glad to see you came.”
Despite being completely surrounded, the empire’s swordsman floated a fearless smile.
“I’m indeed Yamato… But I’m just the leader of the Mountain Dog bandit group.”
“Eh? …Either way is fine. I’m glad to see you again, Yamato.”
“It’s the first time I see you.”
It appeared like his identity was pretty much exposed, but he continued to deny it.
Although Yamato hid his lower half of the face with a cloth, there were ways to identify people by their physique and movements, and that was quite hard to properly conceal.
While conversing, Yamato was careful not to enter the other party’s sword range.
His whole person was concentrated on every little move Barrès made, staying in high alert.
“Nii-chan! I’ll help you! “
It was then.
A young boy from Urd secretly moved behind Barrès and fired the crossbow.
The boy arbitrarily tried to help the unmoving Yamato, who was confronting the big swordsman, by launching a surprise attack. A splendid sneak attack, practiced several times by hunting in the forest.
“Eh? What’s this? “
But, without even sparing a glance, Barrès repelled that arrow.
Like a gale of wind, a whirlwind defended at the same time as the arrow was shot.
Yamato was amazed at the beastly reflexes that shot down an arrow traveling at hundreds of kilometers shot from a crossbow.
“Don’t get in my way! Insolent kid! “
Barrès was angered that someone disrupted his confrontation with Yamato.
With the big sword on his hand, he swung it towards the boy at his back. And once again, a whirlwind wrapped around Barrès.
“Huh? Run away now! “
A shockwave was emitted from Barrès great sword.
An invisible deadly blade tore through the wind and attacked the boy who was a moment too late to react to Yamato’s voice.
“That was close! “
But the boy was saved by a hair’s breadth.
Lacq suddenly jumped seemingly out of nowhere and saved the boy.
With cat-like reflexes and agility he hadn’t displayed before.
“Danna! Please be careful. That is the magic sword ‘Mad Storm’! “
“Magic sword…? “
’Magic Sword’ was a term Yamato was familiar with.
It had come out several times in stories Gaton, the old Mountain Clan blacksmith, had told him back in the village.
They were said to be heirlooms left behind from the era of the ‘ancient super empire’, when civilization was more advanced than it was now.
Swords, spears, shields, armors… they were treasures imbued with mysterious power. They granted power in proportion to the ability of their wielder.
They were treasures that couldn’t be reproduced in the present age, goods that not even royalty could easily obtain. And it was said that those in possession of a magic weapon numbered less than twenty across the vast continent.
And one of those magic weapons was being held right in front of Yamato, by Barrès.
『Mad Storm renders attacks with arrows useless, and it counterattacks them with an invisible blade of wind 』 so Lacq advised.
“The ability of this sword should be secret information. And also, that thing you did before, you’re an interesting guy.”
“I’m just a simple guy who like to fool around.”
Lacq, with his self-proclaimed ‘lack in battle skills’, left Barrès’ field of view while carrying the boy he rescued.
After all, he didn’t know how dangerous could it be just by being in his sight.
Just that overwhelming was the power of Mad Storm.
“Buhihihi… Barrès here is a strong enough man to be considered in the top three of our empire! And what’s more, he’s also a magic sword wielder. “
The merchant noble, Butan vulgarly laughed at the appearance of Barrès.
Barrès was a strong knight, enough to be said he was a match for a thousand men. In his expression, Butan showed he was convinced of his victory, since his reliable escort had finally woken up.
And with said Barrès in front of him, Yamato was unable to move.
“Aniki, trouble’s coming! “
It was then.
Another serious report came from a boy from the Han clan who was ordered to scout the surroundings.
“Some knights are approaching from the east! “
Some knights were marching straight to this place.
A number so large that it couldn’t even compare to the mercenary riders from before. And as those fully armed knights approached, a risen ‘crimson flag’ could be seen.
“You guys are really out of luck! The imperial knights will come soon! Buuuhihihihihih…”
In this part of the continent, only the Hisan Empire had a crimson-colored flag.
With the approach of reinforcements, Butan was further convinced of his victory, loudly laughing in a nasty tone.
However, considering the size of the cloud of dust, Butan wasn’t being conceited.
Even at a simple glance, the imperial knights numbered easily over a hundred riders.
And although Yamato’s group was still practically unharmed, there was too much of a difference in the size of both groups.
In addition, there was still no reaction from the large-sword wielder in front of Yamato, so he couldn’t move carelessly.
“Lien, retreat. Take care of the children.”
Calmly analyzing the situation, those were the instructions Yamato gave to the knight Lienhardt. To leave him alone and withdraw to the city of Orn in the wagon.
“What!? But ‘she’ is still inside that carriage…”
“It’s fine. I’ll rescue her for sure. But in return, take care of the children.”
“Tsk… If she even has a single scar, I’ll never forgive you.”
“Yeah, leave it to me.”
In accordance with his orders, Lienhardt withdrew with the children.
Him being an intelligent knight, clearly understood the situation they were in.
The imperial army of hundreds of horses was approaching and will arrive soon.
And even if the wagon had excellent horses pulling it, they will catch up to them if they don’t hurry. And if it comes to that, they would surely be wiped out.
“Yamato-sama! Be safe…”
“Nii-chan! You need to come back, for sure! “
As the wagon departed, the worried voices of Liscia and the children could he heard.
They knew that if there were to remain there with Yamato, they would be nothing more than a drag.
Even though it was a bitter choice, they withdrew before they risked being surrounded by the imperial army.
They believed that if Yamato was alone, he would be able to save the girl Isis.
“All the nuisances have left now, Yamato.”
“Yeah. Sorry to keep you waiting, Barrès.”
After confirming that the wagon had left, Barrès gripped his sword again.
His tone implied that nobody would bother then in their fight.
Regaining his composure, Yamato checked his current situation.
He was currently facing against Barrès in the middle of the highway.
A little away from him was the merchant noble Butan, floating an unsightly smile. And the consul regent girl, Isis, was unconscious inside the carriage.
And it was just a matter of time before the imperial army, raising a cloud of dust from the east, reached this place.
Before they arrived, Yamato had to defeat the swordsman in front of him, save Isis and retreat to the city of Orn.
Pretty difficult… quite the desperate situation I’m in. Feels like I got my back against a wall…
It was a tough situation with only a slight chance of success.
However, Yamato wondered why it was that he didn’t feel uneasy.
He felt a sense of elation in the back of his mind, one he couldn’t properly explain.
“Well then… let’s begin, Yamato.”
Walking towards each other, they began to shrink the distance.
It a small mutter to get himself pumped up, Yamato dove into the range of that large sword.
It was an extremely fierce battle.
A flurry of attacks from Barrès rained down upon Yamato, one after the other.
Barrès lightly wielded that big sword like if it were a small chunk of iron, not giving Yamato even a chance to counterattack.
“Damn! Another strange skill! “
However, with his strengthened physical ability he forcefully dodged and moved to a blind spot of Barrès, aiming his knife at a vital point.
Because neither of them was clad in metal armor, it was more advantageous to aim at the vital spots.
Yamato fought placing emphasis on speed, and making use of the two medium-sized knives he was accustomed to.
“Tch, with a beast-like reflexes…”
Just as he was about to receive the knife attack from Yamato, Barrès swung the sword towards him, forcing Yamato to back off after kicking off the ground.
After parrying the sword, the twisted his body to avoid it completely. It was a combination of aikido and jiujitsu.
“Ha! Interesting! Keep it like this, Yamato! “
“There’s nothing interesting in this.”
“I see your jokes are also first-class, Yamato! “
The battle between Yamato and Barrès developed rapidly.
Initially, Yamato predicted that Barrès, using a large sword, was a simple power-type swordsman. But in addition to that, he had the brains to make use of the edge given by the magic sword Mad Storm.
While it’s quite reckless… he indeed has an amazing sword skill…
And also, Barrès had the brutality of a wild beast, and had built tremendous technique with the sword.
Yamato thought that it was likely that he had been smeared in blood since a young age.
Besides, he had been gifted with a big frame and a vast amount of physical strength.
This is a real combat-oriented sword skill that doesn’t pale in comparison to Japan’s master swordsmen of old.
Like the people of Urd, the physical ability of Barrès was far beyond that of a normal human. While fighting, Yamato corrected the preconceptions he had.
For the moment, he had been able to hold up.
His physical abilities and reflexes had significantly improved in this different world.
In addition, there were the self-defense techniques drilled into him from an early age by his self-proclaimed adventurer parents.
On the other side, he lacked offensive techniques, like the almost invisible sword technique from Barrès thanks to his beast-like reflexes.
“You… are truly amazing, Yamato.”
A smile floated on Barrès as he held his sword.
He obviously wasn’t making fun of Yamato. It was obvious that he was delighted from the bottom of his heart.
“Even in the empire is hard to find a great swordsman like you, this is great…”
“I’m not a swordsman.”
“And your jokes are first-class too!! “
After raising a beast-like roar, Barrès began swinging the sword even faster.
Yamato felt like even by being grazed by it, it would become a deadly wound, his sense went on full alert.
Barrès… wasn’t using his full strength…
He was once again surprised by the empire’s swordsman Barrès.
While Yamato was in Urd village, he knew very well of his own combat abilities.
And so far, he had only exchanged blows against wild animals and amateur bandits.
This was his first time experiencing a full-fledged one on one combat against a person.
The only fierce battle he had thus far was against the Spiritual Beast at the bottom of the rock salt mine, the one resembling a saber tiger.
The strength of Barrès was comparable to that of said Spiritual Beast… no, it could be said that Barrès was a more dangerous existence since he also used outstanding sword skills.
The crossbow was useless since the arrows were stopped by the mysterious power of the magic sword Mad Storm. It was a troublesome opponent whom he could only face in close combat.
“Hahahaha! That’s right! Keep it like this, Yamato! “
Barrès further raised the speed of his strikes. The more excited he got against an opponent, the more he demonstrated his power.
Little by little, that big sword was cornering Yamato.
Should I use my trump card?… no, It’s still too early.
While fighting against Barrès, Yamato waited. He waited for the right moment to turn the tables.
However, until then, time was still needed.
It was a gamble of whether his knives would last until then.
“Hey! Look here!! “
It was then.
A tainted and vulgar voice, not suited for the fierce battle that was unfolding, echoed in the highway.
It belonged to the merchant noble Butan who was in the carriage.
“You lowly thief! You aim was probably this little girl! “
Yamato instinctively took some distance from Barrès after hearing those words.
“If you value the life of this lass, don’t move! Or else! “
After placing a knife on the throat of the girl, Butan commanded Yamato in order to restrain him. He ordered him to throw away his weapons if he didn’t want Butan to kill the girl.
After stopping his movements, Yamato raised both of his arms and dropped both knives on the ground.
“Yamato-sama… I’m truly sorry…”
That girl cried in a sorrowful voice.
The consul regent girl, Isis was taken hostage right in front of him.
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