Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
46. Vesteria Kingdom and Elite Guard 
I broke through Claude-san’s〈Avio Troop〉.
I started running to settle this battle.
「D-Don’t come near meeeeee…!」
She made a large number of bombs in a hurry to prevent me from drawing closer and fired them all at once.
Over 20 swallows and crows.
I cut them all down one after another.
A small, continuous bombardment hit my whole body, but now I feel no pain from the heat waves, blasts, or stone fragments.
Claude-san, who soon realized that the bombs didn’t work, immediately changed her strategy and tried to contend against me with pure swordsmanship.
The combination of High King style, which specializes in powerful single blows, and a long sword that can easily carry body weight, is powerful.
But if it’s simple swordsmanship and physical ability – I win!
The upward slash that I released, broke Claude-san’s guard.
Although she did not let go of the sword, her hands were completely raised – exposing her defenseless torso.
Claude-san’s torso was defenseless in front of me.
「This is the end… huh!?」
When I was about to unleash the deciding blow – I felt an『abnormal』.
I hurriedly jumped back, and dropped my gaze on the hilt.
Looking closer, the base of the blade seems to have been dissolved with acid, and it seemed like it would break at any time.
As I listened carefully, I could hear a weird sound from the inside of the sword.
(What is happening…?!)
While I was puzzled, the sword continued to melt each passing moment, and finally – the blade portion fell to the ground with only the hilt in my hand.
This sword is no longer useful.
(Is this also the ability of Claude-san’s soul dress…?)
……No, it’s not.
As I looked closely, a white powdery『something』was inserted in the blade.
(The only person who would do this is『That person』…)
When I quickly looked up – His Majesty Griess, sitting in the special audience seat, gave a wry smile.
(Guhahaha…! Have you finally noticed, fool! Your sword is equipped with a chemical that reacts to『heat』and emits a strong acid! It goes well with Claude’s bomb! – Fufu, that’s why I told you, didn’t I? It is absolutely impossible for you to win!)
This reaction… As expected, this set-up seems to have been ordered by His Majesty.
(Damn… He would go so far just to win…)
When I looked back, Claude-san had a complicated expression.
(…His Majesty’s doing? All the weapons in the waiting room were probably prepared this way…)
When she noticed my gaze, she opened her mouth weakly.
「… I don’t want to win with such an underhanded method.」
「But I have already dedicated myself to Ria-sama… In order to protect Her Highness, I will make use of whatever underhanded methods…!」
She said clearly, with a determined look.
「Yeah, I think that’s fine.」
Just as I have my own resolve, Claude-san has her own resolve too.
「Kisama Allen, you did really well. You are an excellent swordsman who far exceeded my expectations. But now that you’ve lost your sword… You don’t have a chance to win anymore. Give up and surrender. Even if I’m using underhanded methods, I don’t want to cut down an unarmed opponent…」
She turned the tip of the long sword towards me with an uncomfortable expression.
(Surely my victory is hopeless in this situation where I have lost my sword…)
「Claude-san… Do you think I’ll give up – just because I lost my sword?」
I’ve always been fighting in overwhelmingly disadvantageous situations.
The duel with Dodriel at Gran Swordsmanship Academy.
There was a huge gap between the genius swordsman and the dropout swordsman.
The death match with Sid-san at the Big Five Holy Festival.
He had innate physical abilities, a powerful soul dress, and was a far superior opponent.
One-vs-One fight with the president in the Club Budget War.
There was a big difference in the skills of pure swordsmanship.
(I’ve always been the challenger, in a series of reckless fights…)
This time is also the same, simply an extension of that.
「Allen, that’s enough… You’ve done plenty… It is suicidal to fight Claude without a sword…! I don’t want to see you get hurt anymore…」
Ria, who was watching the fight from the side of the stage, cried with tears in her eyes.
「…Say Ria, can I ask something?」
「What do you truly want, Ria?」
「I… want to be together with you. I want to continue improving our swordsmanship together.」
Having clearly expressed my wish, I quietly waited for Ria’s answer.
「I-I too want to be together with Allen… I want to stay together forever…!」
She said so clearly in a loud voice.
「I see… thanks.」
That’s enough reason for me to fight.
「…Here I come, Claude-san.」
「Kisama, are you for real…?」
「Yes. I will win against you – and live together with Ria. Absolutely, no matter what…!」
No matter how hopeless the situation may be – I will never give up.
After experiencing over a billion years of hell, I know more than anyone the importance of not giving up.
「…Although my opponent is unarmed, I will not hold back.」
「Yeah, that’s what I want.」
My and Claude-san’s gaze crossed – she quietly shook her head sideways.
「…It seems that I have been quick to judge. Let me withdraw my previous remarks – you deserve respect as a swordsman, and above all, as a『man』! 」
As she openly praised me,
「In response to your heart – I will unleash my strongest sword!」
The long sword was held horizontally and the point was directed towards me.
A tense air permeated the Great Arena.
I and Claude started running at the same time.
I unleashed a straight right with all my might.
「High King Style Secret Technique – High King Dragon Blade!」
She made full use of the advantage of the long sword and unleashed a diagonal slash from the shoulder
The blows which carried our emotions, intersected.
As expected… it doesn’t reach.
My right arm and her long sword – the difference in range is obvious.
Her sword will cut me down before my fist reaches her.
I heard Ria’s scream.
(Not yet… It starts from here on…)
Stretch your arm.
Kick the ground.
Squeeze out all the power…!
(Faster, Quicker, Swifter…!)
Even a fraction of a second earlier…!
I will definitely win…!
「!? (That’s absurd, he accelerated in this situation!? Evasion – Impossible. Defend? Impossible …Death? -No, not yet!)」
The moment our blows met.
「Burst -〈Avio Troop〉!」
She exploded her soul dress of her own volition.
A sudden big explosion caused us to be blown away.
I’m already used to the explosion,
So, I quickly performed ukemi and reorganized my posture.
Claude-san, on the other hand, probably couldn’t perform ukemi because of the impact.
She rolled across the cobblestone like a ball.
She managed to stand up with trembling legs, while breathing heavily.
(Why did you blow yourself up there…? Was it a miscalculation..?)
She should know well that explosions are no longer effective against me.
In fact, I’m almost unharmed even after that explosion.
On the other hand, Claude-san, who was exposed to the heat wave and blast, seemed to be gasping for breath.
Her body had quite a number of lacerations, and it was clear that she had suffered considerable damage.
And above all – her long sword had broken in half.
(Anyway, this is a chance…)
The moment I clenched my fists in order to make the most out of this once in a lifetime opportunity,
「…You win, Allen-Rodore.」
Claude-san said, and let go of the broken sword.
Immediately after that,
「This is the end! Claude-Stroganoff has declared surrender! Therefore, the winner of today’s special match is – Allen-Rodore!」
When the commentator declared the results loudly – a small round of applause broke out from the audience.
It grew bigger and bigger, eventually turning into a thunderous applause.
「Unbelievable…! It was an incredible fight…!」
「Aa, there’s no doubt! This was the best duel to date!」
「Way to go, Allen-Rodore!」
There was a huge cheer of applause and finger whistles.
Thus, I succeeded in defeating the three swordsmen of His Majesty Gris.