Translator: Pink Tea
As we faced each other, standing in the middle of a courtyard spacious enough to allow 4,000 people to gather here, Bran suddenly showed a soft smile. One filled with affection. A smile one would make upon unexpectedly meeting an old friend once again while walking through the town.
Strangely enough, our initial movements were completely synched. Stepping forward with enough force to turn the stone pavement into dust, we dashed faster than the wind, and meeting at the half point of the distance that was separating us, crossed the swords.
The white magic power from Dragon Claw Sword and golden slash from Grief Maria clashed, pushing at each other, creating countless sparks in our surroundings, illuminating us with the lights of two colors.
「Wonderful, no, truly superb, Dran. To take an attack from me in my current state head on. Even giants wouldn’t be able to withstand my physical strength, were they to try to do so they’ll lose all their limbs.」
「Fumu, is that truly so? And here I thought that you went easy out of concern for me, a frail human.」
Looks like my sarcasm was to his liking as Bran began laughing, seemingly very amused by it.
「Fufufu, HAHAHAHAHA! This is too much, to comment in such a way on an attack I made with all my might. I don’t care if you are a demon or an angel pretending to be a human. If you can give me a taste of this, the joy of battle!」
And while afterimages of the sword clash still remained, both Bran and I began moving our arms at a blindingly fast speed.
If there was someone to witness this fight, they probably would’ve seen dozens of afterimages of my and Bran’s hands suddenly appearing.
Turning the swords the other way once again we moved absolutely simultaneously, like mirror images, both jumping back at the same time. We now stood at a distance of roughly 13 steps.
Turning the tip of the slightly shaking Dragon Claw Sword to the ground I reevaluated Bran, realizing that he has to be taken more seriously.
Though he consumed the guards from his mantle, without a body and will so strong that calling them merely strong wouldn’t even begin to describe it, one won’t be able to withstand the pressure from 7,000 souls and soon will succumb to it, perishing in the process.
If only he had a bit more, no, a lot more good consciousness, he would be a formidable enemy whom I could honestly respect, but there is no hope of that here.
Bran ran his finger across a horizontal cut on his cheek. After looking closely at his finger, smeared with his own blood, he then shifted his gaze to me.
It was his first wound since we crossed swords, with his immortal body he should have no problem regenerating even if a body part was completely atomized, yet he didn’t seem shaken by the fact that he couldn’t heal this one.
「The same as with my head that was cut off, the wounds given by you are quite hard to heal. The power to deny immortality to my immortal body is truly marvelous.」
I could understand if he was taken aback and called it dreadful.
But admiring the power capable of destroying his immortal body right after getting a taste of it and even calling it marvelous?
It might sound strange coming from me, but this man’s mind is quite different from that of an ordinary person.
「Looks like now I’m getting the consequences of neglecting defense techniques due to having an immortal body. On top of that, it seems I was too reliant on protection from the guards of the mantle.」
Training aside, Bran didn’t have a lot of chances to use defensive techniques in real combat, and so he grumbled, seemingly realizing that after coming this far.
I’m not even sure if I should be amazed or appalled by his nonchalant attitude.
Seeing how composed Bran was, enough to make such remarks and even have time to rejoice over finding points for improvement, I raised my level of wariness.
「Now, let us continue, Dran. Not all of my guards are warriors. Shamans, witches, sorcerers, warlocks, the names are countless, but all of them wield some kind of unusual magic!」
Instead of closing the distance, Bran chose to use the most effective ranged attack.
The energy of all seven thousand souls consumed by Bran surged at once, and all seven souls poured their magic power to Bran in an endless stream.
「There are 1412 mages among my guards. After merging together and synchronizing the magic power of seven thousand guards with my own it surpassed that of a Royal Vampire. 」
The next moment I saw 1412 women overlapping with Bran. The women that were first turned into his kin after having their blood sucked, and now had even their souls absorbed by Bran, turning into one with him.
Each belonged to a different race and mastered magic of a different school, but all of them looked with hatred at me, the one trying to harm their master, turning their lovely features to those of furious demons.
And the 1412 were thrown at me all at once.
One of the souls summoned a swarm of germs from another world, capable of consuming any matter, others summoned hellish flames that tormented souls of sinners, another one summoned a crimson wind blade, capable of cutting the very souls itself, the magic they must have obtained by making a contract with a high-ranking demon, then, another one summoned a greater earth spirit and commanding it multiplied the gravity affecting me several fold.
It was way too excessive for dealing with a lone human, but since their target was me, the result was plainly obvious.
By releasing raw magic power without giving it a form of a spell I countered countless spells coming at me from all directions.
My magic power of an ancient dragon, released in all four directions, visibly appeared as rainbow-colored light.
In an instant, in a mere instant over a thousand spells that surrounded me disappeared, swallowed up in the rainbow light.
「This, as one might expect, is troubling. The force should have been enough to change the landscape itself all the way up to the horizon, yet you are completely unharmed. 」
「Indeed, it was at least a hundred times more powerful than the golden bomb you threw at Fraupa village. It was, but in the end, that’s all it amounted to. 」
「That thing was a weapon created by the most sophisticated sorcerers and alchemists of our country, and yet you speak of it as if it is nothing. At this point, it’s not even funny anymore. But that is fine as well. After all, I prefer the feeling of cutting through the opponent’s flesh and bones.」
Bran moved. No pre-motion or any action of the sort.
The flash of a golden sword. The trajectory of the sword was beautiful like it was drawn by celestials themselves, and yet it had the dreadful aura to it, that it will not go into the sheathe until it tastes the enemy’s blood.
The sword got near me, making countless changes on its way, going for my shoulder, sides, the head, or even changing from a slash to a thrust, aiming for my heart or perhaps my throat or even my stomach.
「Ah, wonderful. Like this? No, like this, yes.」
The sword that was coming at my neck, made a change in trajectory that should’ve been impossible with Bran’s anatomy, and it was now coming at my left hip. I easily deflected it, but Bran wasn’t discouraged by that.
「Oh, I see, then this?! Then next is this. 」
Laughing like an innocent child he threw one attack after another at me.