Chapter 311: Dark Horse (3)
There were a series of deafening roars one after another. It wasn’t a natural disaster. It was a sound made by the swords, that too wielded by humans.
Of course, they weren’t ordinary humans. They were monsters called Sword Masters, especially Devan Kennedy who was known to be at the highest level. And Bratt Lloyd, who wasn’t being pushed back by such an existence, deserved to be called a monster too. So, the audience held their breath and focused on the match.
In fact, to be precise, it wasn’t Bratt who was being pushed, he was just struggling and Devan Kennedy was the best in the east.
No, he was stronger than what the public expected. Another strong person who they would soon meet next was Ralph Penn, whose expression hardened.
However, the young Sword Master didn’t give up.
He deflected the elite swordsman’s ruthless upper slash.
Their Aura swords collided in the process, and the stage had been slashed vertically. The audience from the east frowned.
Unlike the west and the central part of the continent which put a lot of emphasis on the movement of the body, the east was solely based on swordsmanship.
Which was why Bratt’s tricks were being criticized as shameless.
“If it is the Lloyd family, he should act nobly and perform dignifiedly but he is so crude.”
“Right. As it is a battle between bloodlines, I expected something more, but this…”
“I hope Sir Devan Kennedy wins.”
“Of course, he will. In terms of dignity and skills, he is far ahead of others.”
Bratt was being criticized for his rude actions from the start. Therefore, those who supported the dark horse and the excitement in the crowd changed to support Devan Kennedy.
However, there were those who didn’t change their opinions.
They weren’t part of the audience but were people who knew swordsmanship.
Those who were of a higher level than the contestants of the festival, were surprised at Bratt Lloyd rather than Devan.
“Right. Truly shocking...”
The strongest in the Holy Kingdom, Julius Hul complimented, and the Red Knight Commander Rigoberto Clark agreed to it.
Even Quincy Myers was shocked.
Unlike the others, he had met Bratt Lloyd and had even taught the child. So, he knew him better than the others. Which was why it felt unusual.
Becoming a swordmaster in his 20s in itself was shocking, but the growth he was showing today was even more surprising.
He mumbled with a faint smile.
“Maybe, something unexpected will happen in the first match,”
It wasn’t just them.
Ian, and the other swordsmen of Krono too were happy looking at Bratt. Still, the fighting style was messy. And he did a lot of things without hesitating, but it was still all right.
Blocking the view of the opponent by throwing the powder from the ground which was smashed, widening the distance to escape the crisis…all of them were actions which made several people boo him.
But Ian, who was also watching, didn’t blame Bratt Lloyd.
How could he criticize his disciple who was doing his very best right now? Especially going against someone 30 years older than him?
‘Besides, it isn’t about dignity.’
Who is Devan Kennedy?
Even though he was from the east, he had a reputation which didn’t fall short of the 5 swordsman families of the west, and he was someone who had practical experiences more than Bratt.
So, he was someone who could tackle Bratt despite the tricks he used.
Still, him backing down meant that Bratt was doing a good job. It also meant that Bratt wasn’t lacking by much.
‘Normally the odds had to be 60-40, but thanks to his wit it is a 50-50 maybe even a 40-60 too.’
With this level, if he tried hard, it wouldn’t be weird for Bratt to reverse the situation.
So, what will the result be?
Is this the end? Or will there be more to see?
Ian’s smile grew wider. And it was the same with Keira Finn and the other swordsmen around Ian as they looked at the stage.
Meanwhile, the match lasted almost 20 minutes.
It was an intense match.
Bratt cleared his breathing and Devan checked his condition.
Everyone watched them, holding their breath. Even the ones who booed Bratt were now silently looking at him.
The audience was no longer swearing despite the flow of the fight and the difference in skills.
Rather, they wanted to applaud the son of the Lloyd family who showed such a great performance despite being in his early 20s.
Of course, not now. The match wasn’t done yet. It was a phase where Devan could take advantage of the situation.
Devan Kennedy knew not to be careless now.
‘Do your best.’
A suppressed groan.
The light was brighter than before.
Just as it shone when they first came up the stage, a strong pressure filled everything around. It was an action which meant that Devan was ready to deliver the final blow.
And Bratt Lloyd’s aura, on the other hand, looked shabby.
The soft, light water-like aura covered the blue sword which didn’t seem to be glowing too much now, and it seemed that even handling the aura was difficult.
It couldn’t be helped; how can a Young Master Swordsman cover the gap of 30 years of experience?
Everyone thought that.
But the fact that this young man in his 20s performed such things for so long meant that he had the skill to outshine even Devan Kennedy.
‘I will do the finale.’
Bratt's eyes lit up as he kicked the floor.
The stones below crashed, and he swung his sword. Devan was already nervous and moved his sword as well.
And a boulder turned into powder in an instant.
Bratt held the sword one last time and the aura spread around like it was blurring the entire stage.
Facing the unexpected situation, Devan mumbled.
“The final attempt…”
He couldn’t understand this.
To take away the view of the opponent like this meant to obscure his own vision.
And did the young man have the skills to recover and attack?
With one swing of the sword, Devan could wash away all this. Nodding his head, he readied his sword to create a strong wind.
It didn’t disappear.
The achromatic wave flowing in front of his eyes was blurry and it was blocking his senses.
And it wasn’t just the sight.
It was all his senses.
A high-level swordsman like him would have a great aura which could enhance his senses and presence but now, nothing seemed to work.
As if he was submerged in water, all his senses were dulled.
It was a moment when something flashed through his mind.
A boulder flew at him in a flash!
Devan managed to block it easily but since his senses were dull it was a bit difficult to pinpoint the exact location it came from.
And he thought.
‘Water! No, a water-like aura…! This bastard has been secretly spreading out his aura like this!’
Bratt, who knew that a head-to-head fight wouldn’t work, was secretly releasing his aura all around little by little not to tip off the opponent. And by the time he realized it, his senses were already blurred like he was inside water.
The reason the stone dust was moving weirdly was because Bratt’s aura was all around the air.
Because of that, Devan was getting exhausted faster. But it didn’t matter.
Because he had a much better advantage than that!
Devan Kennedy swung his sword. His form collapsed little by little as if the attack was right in front of his face and with heavy steps, he staggered back.
Bratt didn’t miss it and kicked the stage again.
He was planning to hit through the large boulder that was approaching it and he was successful until Devan began to realize it.
He was deceived!
Devan acted like he was collapsing and retreated. It was to show a gap for Bratt to jump in and when he saw things were going as expected, he was ready.
Immediately came an aura sword as if it was hoping to cut through the stone and the opponent behind it at once and Bratt didn’t stop.
It was a long rage stab with two hands on the sword, and he was moving his waist and keeping his spine straight, all from behind the stone!
This was a gamble.
However, it was an attack which could cut down the opponent too.
‘This crazy bastard…!’
Devan Kennedy’s eyes widened looking at the face of the opponent. He was sincere. Bratt had no intention of backing down and was ready to win even if it meant death!
The moment he realized that, Devan moved back. And the offense turned to defense, and he suffered losses due to that.
But the important thing was that he was alive.
It was the moment when he was about to yell.
“Huh! You lost.”
“You are off stage.”
Devan checked the floor.
It was true. In the process of avoiding, it he did come down the stage. And he had a bewildered expression.
“Referee, am I right?”
“Uh, uh… ri-right.”
“This match winner is, Bratt… Bratt Lloyd!”
The dust sank down and the words resounded throughout the stadium. Bratt sat on the floor, no, he lay down on the crumbled stage.
He was tired and was completely opposite to Devan who still had a lot of energy left. However, he was on the stage and his opponent was not.
The people of the east couldn’t hide their disappointment.
And Devan laughed.
He walked up and raised Bratt up.
“Phew, Phew… I apologize for the rude behavior. I did quite a lot of things to win.”
“It is a privilege a junior has. I don’t mind, rather…”
He looked at the audience and said.
“Wave your hand. Everyone is equally shocked with your performance.”
Bratt continued to take deep breaths.
It was painful. His body felt like it was failing him. He wanted to lie down right away. Maybe rest for a week too despite receiving the healing from priests.
But that won’t be possible.
He wasn’t done yet. One more victory was needed before he could get what he wanted. He looked at the audience and raised his hand up.
The magic screen was showing it completely. Those who supported him, and those who cursed this young man, everyone cheered for him with one mind and one heart.
“Bratt Lloyd! Bratt Lloyd!”
“Star of Gerbera!”
“Hope of the continent!”
It wasn’t just the audience.
Most of the contestants too, especially Ralph Penn couldn’t hide his nervousness looking at Bratt.
‘It won’t be easy.’
‘Damn, he is still a kid in his 20s…’
‘The other young ones are going to be tough!’
A Dark horse.
It was a title the young ones were called in the start, but eventually, the one who doesn’t manage to cross the wall and loses turns out to be the real dark horse.
The moment when everyone saw this, they readjusted their evaluation of Bratt Lloyd.
It was the same even for Ilya and Judith.
All of them, including Airn was now looking at Bratt from a slightly different perspective.
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