“Let’s go Arnos.”
Ray aims the tip of Initeio at me and kicks the ground.
Like an arrow, Ray shoots straight towards me and stabs at my throat.
I push my sword against the tip of the incoming Initeio.
Against a sword that can cut magic Hiding Magic <Najira> and Arms Strengthening <Adeshin> my Kongo Iron sword itself will be destroyed.
Or it should have but halfway through his thrust Ray changed the trajectory of his sword and aimed at my left hand.
When the tip of Initeio was about to stab my hand I opened it and Ray stopped his thrust.
“What’s wrong? With your momentum, you could have pierced my palm.”
“If you catch my sword I’ll lose.”
Fumu. As expected.
I was going to let my hand be pierced and grab his sword. In pure sword techniques, Ray is better than me but in terms of strength, you can’t compare us.
I could have completely sealed his sword if he had pierced my palm but it seems that won’t be easy to do.
“It’s my turn now then.”
I casually extend my left hand and grab at Initeio but Ray retracted his sword and avoided it.
As I’m grabbing for his sword I also swing my sword down at his head with all my might.
Ray should have no choice but to block with Initeio, however, my sword will break if he does so he would both win and lose this match at the same time. If Ray doesn’t win by destroying the <Demonic Absorption Bracelet> (1) he’ll be burdening me further. In other words, Ray cannot destroy my sword.
What’s he going to do? If he doesn’t take this blow it will be a fatal injury.
Ray intercepts my sword with Initeio but at the moment they collided I felt a strange response.
Ray absorbed the shock by not going against the power and skilfully diverting the direction of my force.
“Ohh. Show me that again.”
“Sure. I don’t mind.”
Our swords cross and again a surprisingly quiet sound is heard and my sword is brushed off. I changed the angles, power and even fired a barrage of them but Ray parried them perfectly every time. At first glance Ray made it seem easy but it was no exaggeration to say that it bordered on godlike.
How many mazoku could do this even in the age of myths?
“You’re a frightening man you know? Several times now you could have broken my sword.”
“Your sword is a demon sword. If not for the <Demonic Absorption Bracelet> this would be a different story.”
We both have disadvantages.
I’m using a normal Kongo Iron sword and I need to keep using <Najira> so I’m not disqualified but the bracelet keeps absorbing my power.
Ray can’t use his left arm and can’t take my sword on directly either.
Our handicaps are probably about even.
I can’t say either of our hearts are content with this but at least we don’t have to worry about the disadvantages.
“I can’t believe it……..that sword. It can fight evenly with Initeio…..!”
“Initeio slashes magical techniques and it should sever any magic applied to swords as well……! In fact the other demon swords he fought against all broke. What’s going on……….?!” ”
“……Perhaps because its a sword without magic Initeio is ineffective………?”
“Idiot! If it’s just a plain metal sword it would break on the first strike……….!”
“…….Perhaps it’s true then…….”
“…..A sword of the heart forged by a true master craftsman…….”
“…….How’s it different to magic power……..?”
Irrelevant words flew about from the seating area.
The battle between me and Ray is intense. I doubt more than a few people can accurately grasp whats going on.
“Are they going for an endurance match?”
Ray parries my blade again. Because he’s watching out for me trying to grab Initeio he’s on the defensive.
“I won’t take advantage of your handicap. If I stall for time it’s going along with the expectations of the royal faction.”
“I don’t care. No matter how much power is absorbed there’s no problem. Think more about winning than me.”
I forcibly cut down the distance between us as Ray is trying for a quick time out.
At that moment Initeio flashes.
“Of course that’s my intention……!”
Ray’s blade turned into a fierce attack and went straight for my left hand.
I try to catch Initeio again but its path changes to my left arm so I stiffen my muscles and ready my sword.
Fresh blood scatters.
Ray cuts my left arm and I pierced Ray’s shoulder.
Ray spins around and adding rotational power to his thrust Initeio reaches right down to the bone.
“I failed. I thought I’d found a chink in your defence.”
I flicked my sword but due to his posture, Ray couldn’t fully avoid it. My blade grazed his neck causing fresh blood to scatter.
No, I’m wrong. With his usual cool face, he had dodged all he wanted to. He could have fully avoided it but chose not to.
Initeio draws more blood from my left arm and I swung again drawing blood this time from Ray’s waist.
“You can’t beat me in a contest of endurance.”
“I won’t know unless I try.”
We slash at each other’s bodies again. Compared to our previous matches our wounds increase with each blow.
Meat and bones are cut. That is what Ray is trying on me.
We keep slashing at each other while avoiding any fatal wounds.
Every moment our wounds increase and more of our blood flows but we were laughing.
“As expected Ray. From our last fight I knew this was something we’d have to do again.”
“You too Arnos. I thought you might have exceeded your power from that fight but you hadn’t actually shown your full power.”
There’s no grudge between us and neither of us want honour.
It’s just fun.
Swinging our blades, crossing swords and shedding blood. It was all pleasure for us.
Ray seems to feel respect for my bottomless power that he has never seen the end of no matter how much he pushes me and I am pleased with the frightening talent of Ray who surpasses his old self every moment he fights.
I don’t care about the royal faction, the sword tournament or even Avos Dillheavia. I’m only concerned with dancing brilliantly in this majestic sword fight.
Longer and longer the battle carries on. The audience can no longer speak and watch our battle breathlessly.
Half an hour passes and then an hour we still fight on.
Probably one thing that me and Ray are both hoping for is that this fight goes on forever.
With that said, the end is coming and we both know it.
My blow slashes Ray’s right leg causing him to fall to his knees and in exchange, I received a severe wound to my left arm.
“Fumu. I can barely move my arm.”
Ray slowly rises up using his sword as a cane.
“It’s over Ray. I had fun.”
“That’s true. This is the end for me as well.”
Holding our swords we step forward at the same time.
Ray aims at my left arm.
Is he still after that bracelet?
My aim is one thing only.
The moment our swords enter each other’s spaces
A voice rang out.
Her figure appears at the edge of our vision.
Alongside Misa at the entrance to the centre seats is Ray’s mother Sheila.
In Ray’s hand, Initeio glitters.
I forcibly raise my numb arm to avoid it but the demon sword suddenly changes its direction and cuts my left arm off.
The timing was perfect. Perfect swordsmanship aimed at the gap when my breathing and muscles relaxed after an attack.
My arm flew through the air and Ray stares at it. Was that his aim from the beginning?
“Taking my arm is a huge achievement Ray.”
Ray slashes at the bracelet attached to my severed arm faster than when he was attacking me but I thrust out my sword and Ray immediately blocks it with his sword.
“But this is my win.”
The moment the tip of my sword touches Initeio I strengthen <Adeshin> and push with all my strength.
Just then a huge magic circle emerges from the arena and quickly deploys some type of magic.
Initeio breaks in half and my sword pierces Ray’s chest.
“………As expected from Arnos………..This time I thought I’d won……..”
Smiling with satisfaction Ray pulls himself off my sword and falls onto his back.
There’s no cheers.
That magic circle that appeared was Dimensional Prison <Azeishis>. The place we were standing had been isolated from the rest of Deruzogedo and sent to another dimension.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for many years.”
A hoarse voice rings out.
“At last I can finally get rid of you.”
An old man with a white beard appeared.
One of the old seven demon emperors Melheys Boran.
(1) I changed the name from imbibing to absorption.