The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 30 – Departure (4)
Written by : eleven
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The sound of the wooden saber hitting the air rang out in the training area of the Portaz Estate.
“Not good enough. We need to start building your muscles properly.”
“I know. My muscle composition is still incredibly weak.”
Roy agreed as his master, Lucius, examined Roy’s body.
“You’ve been learning magic all this time as a mage, but you say you want to walk the path of a magic swordsman. Do you know just how difficult that path is?”
Roy fell silent. He thought he did, but it was truly apparent to the Fourth Swordmaster of the Empire, Lucius, his master, just how ridiculous of a goal it was.
Lucius instructed Roy to move his sword once more and attack him.
Using no mana in his body, and nothing but pure swordsmanship, Roy kicked the ground and lunged at Lucius.
Lucius did not use ki or aura either, as he was trying to have Roy learn one of the most foundational things that all Swordmasters had.
Most swordsmen did not have it, and with Roy’s abysmal talent with the sword, the saying ‘finding a needle in a haystack’ was not nearly apt of a description.
It was more like trying to find a needle through a mountain of hay.
“This won’t do.”
Lucius shook his head as he swatted Roy’s saber with a flick of his wrist while kicking Roy’s ankle, bringing him down to his knees.
“I don’t get it. Why don’t you just explain what I’m trying to do here?”
Lucius clicked his tongue wistfully in regret.
‘I thought if it’s a swordmaster who taught him, he might be able to start to see a little bit of the grains quicker, but it seems I’ve been much too ambitious.’
Luckily, there seemed to be someone that was watching them with scornful eyes.
Illidia Portaz, the Baroness, watched the training with Roy and Lucius with eyes filled with contempt.
Lucius knew why this was.
The Baroness was part of the conservative side of nobles who despised commoners, but they weren’t open about such discrimination in front of the Emperor.
The conservative nobles were nobles that were stuck in the old traditions of the Empire. They were the reason slavery had still not been abolished despite so many other countries and races abolishing already.
The current Emperor was one that had more balanced views, not taking side to the liberals or conservatives too much, but it could also be said he was indecisive as he did not please nor take hard stances on things.
In the end, it was a foolish Emperor that was lax on punishment that made things the way they were.
The result…. Was the Baroness’ stare as she stood there with her daughter who wanted no part in whatever schemes her mother had in store.
“Ah hello Sir Lucius! How is your training going today?”
Illidia asked, careful with her words.
“Uneventful, but training rarely bears fruit in such short periods of time.”
“Ah, I see. May I ask why you are… letting such a commoner boy ruin your reputation like this?”
Illidia smiled coquettishly, bowing her head down and revealing her ample cleavage.
She was playing it by ear; slightly degrading the boy, whom was clearly a commoner and she disliked being with the Swordmaster, for she knew her daughter was much more talented than such rubbish, while also revealing a little bit of skin and acting in a flirtatious way so that if Lucius was offended somehow, she would please his eyes a bit.
Hilariously enough, Lucius did not care at all for the Baroness’ cleavage or skin, narrowing his eyes and giving her a look of disdain.
“This commoner boy…. As you say it, is my only disciple. And he is not ruining my reputation, for if you had even an ounce of talent with mana, you would be able to tell that there are no children in the kingdom on par with his mana levels.”
Illidiia didn’t even have time to form a response before being completely embarrassed by Lucius’ words.
She had picked the wrong opponent, as Lucius was also the only Swordmaster of the Empire who had commoner status before attaining his title
Illidia went from embarrassed to frustrated very quickly, as her resentment filled gaze turned towards Roy.
Roy didn’t bother avoiding the gaze and just looked at her wordlessly.
‘Bastard commoner boy!’
“Ah-ha…ha. I see. I deeply apologize for my impudence, Sir Lucius. Since I do not have much capability with mana , perhaps my daughter would be able to help enlighten my poor vision.”
Roy snorted as he saw right through the Baroness’ intentions.
He looked towards his master with expectant eyes.
Lucius looked at Roy with a pensive look.
He was tempted to reject the foolish Baroness’ attempt at regaining her pride by using her daughter, but he took a look at his disciple’s eager eyes and thought.
“Hmph. Perhaps this might actually be a good thing.”
Lucius already knew that if things were left as is, his disciple would just smash Amelia with his incredible battle instincts and spells.
Roy and Illidia both spat out with incredulous voices.
“Oh, only my disciple will not use mana. Of course to keep it fair for your daughter.”
Amelia had already widened her eyes at Lucius’ first statement, but now her pride was severely wounded.
“Are you kidding me?”
Roy asked with a shrewd tone.
“No. You said you wanted to be a magic swordsman? Then prove that you have the capabilities to even reach that with swordsmanship alone.”
Roy knew his swordsmanship was terrible. As it was, he would be probably the worst student taking the swordsmanship classes at the academy, paired with the fact he had the weakest body.
Even though his mana and spells might make him among the top of the first year students, he would not last without his tricks and gifted mana sensitivity alone.
“Still, isn’t this tantamount to suicide? You see she’s almost a 2-star mage right?”
Roy muttered under his breath.
Lucius was tempted to swat his grumbling disciple’s head, but held back as Amelia jumped down to the training ground from the room overlooking it.
Her eyes turned prideful and focused.
‘Hoho. Looks like my disciple will have his first entanglement with a woman in one way or another.’
Lucius chuckled to himself and threw Roy’s wooden saber at him.
Roy caught the wooden saber that was thrown at him with a firm grip as he turned to face his opponent.
Roy examined Amelia carefully.
She had a two handed sword that was crafted well and was decorated beautifully with complex enchantments.
Her posture was definitely overbearing but not arrogant or haughty.
She was going to take the duel seriously, that much was certain.
‘Is she also training to be a magic swordsman?’
By the looks of it, she was. Not many pursued the path of both magic and weapon mastery.
It was something that was very difficult due to the fact one had to have the mental capacity to multitask constantly and stay concentrated on both spellcasting and melee fighting.
“No need to make this all formal for you two. Skip the pleasantries, when my hand lowers, you can start.”
Lucius spoke, seeing that Amelia’s pride truly had been wounded.
Roy was still reluctant, but was inwardly already making several calculations in his head about possible attacks, maneuvers and openings.
The two children circled each other, drawing their swords.
Roy felt that if he were to somehow win, he needed to be ahead of the opponent’s every move.
Without his mana, he felt crippled.
As a mage, he was always having to predict his opponent’s next move and stay 3 or 4 moves ahead in order to predict all kinds of unforeseen possibilities.
With swordsmanship, it felt foreign to Roy. It was a struggle to stay ahead in even the first move. It was like learning how to walk again.
Lucius’ hand fell.
Roy barely had any time to block the blade as Amelia immediately cast enhancement spells on her body and shot her body right at Roy.
Roy quickly ducked as he saw out of the corner his eye, Amelia’s left fist leaving the hilt of her sword and swinging at his face.
As he lowered his body down, the strain on his legs heightened, and he quickly tilted the blade of his wooden saber to redirect her body weight behind the swing and kicked with his right leg.
Amelia however, already finished her next spell.
‘She’s got pretty good casting time.’
Now was not the time for such thoughts as the fireball grew bigger and shot at Roy.
He couldn’t use mana, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t read the mana fluctuations ahead of time with his incredible mana sensitivity.
Roy had already moved back, the fireball exploding onto the ground, completely missing the target.
Amelia had been expecting a direct hit, and was visibly flustered when the dust cleared and Roy was nowhere to be seen.
Roy cheered himself on and kicked the ground.
He efficiently wielded the saber, catching Amelia off guard, wasting little movement. Or so he thought.
Lucius immediately shut down Roy’s movements with his remark, letting his voice be heard.
Roy heard this, and thought as he started to exchange a flurry of blows with Amelia, desperately trying to hold on to the advantage.
‘What am I not getting here?’
Roy felt frustrated as his master didn’t even bother to point out what he was doing wrong.
It was at that moment.
Roy’s blade started to get pushed back slowly.
It wasn’t that he was faring better or worse in the exchange of blows that were being thrown.
It was simply the difference of speed between the two. One was enhancing her body with mana, and one was not.
It already felt like a wonder that Roy didn’t lose in the first 3 seconds of the match in all honesty.
‘Did I overestimate him?’
Amelia was lost in thought as she slowly felt the battle tilting in her favor.
She looked at Roy, who was staring back at her with cold eyes, analyzing her every movement.
‘No… Let’s wait and see.’
Roy made a sudden move.
Amelia thought his grip slipped on his blade as the blade was tossed up.
‘He’s making a bit of progress I guess.’
Lucious thought to himself as he looked at Roy, who purposefully and skillfully threw his sword up and went with hand-to-hand combat.
Confidence in one’s own ability to abandon the sword and fight, was part of swordsmanship.
Roy kicked at Amelia, who was confused at his sudden movement and was caught off guard as he landed his kick right in her stomach.
Roy did not relent and chased immediately after her.
Roy quickly started to land blow after blow at the defenseless Amelia.
Illidia’s scream could be heard throughout the training ground.
Chapter 30 – Fin