༺ Sun – Claiomh Solais (11) ༻
The Solar Eclipse was here.
The Moon covered the Sun; light was erased and replaced by darkness. With nothing but faint humanoid figures and blades being reflected off of the limited source of light, the Sword Fiend’s swords ripped through the darkness.
One of the Five Heavenly Swords that used to belong to Garrand Arden, Twin Dragon Blades.
The two swords that remained firm despite entering the Domain on repeat gleamed in black like the original luster of the Unbreakable Stone.
Down came the Heavenly Strike.
It was a light swing of the swords but was a life-threatening one for Alicia.
Unable to block everything, she opted to dodge. Acknowledging the overwhelming difference in their ability, Alicia tried to create a gap between them but the Sword Fiend didn’t allow that. Alicia escaped by a sword’s breadth; she ran away, dodged, and even stumbled but was still unable to fully run away from the Sword Fiend.
Once again, one of the swords came flying down. Blocking the attack, Alicia let it flow to the side and followed through with a stab. It was the typical trade of attacks but the Sword Fiend was bored by it.
That old monster’s attacks were much faster and sharper!
The Sword Fiend swung its sword and easily flung off her stab. Without even taking into consideration her technique, Alicia was simply too weak in comparison. With her strength, she couldn’t even fight against the Sword Fiend on equal grounds.
Overcoming the momentum, the Demon-Slaying blade was once again swung at the monster, but the Sword Fiend didn’t even see the need to block the attack with its swords. Each of its arms and legs was as sharp as blades – the beast’s leg pounced at Alicia’s sword like a serpent which landed on the blunt edge of the blade and kicked it into the ground.
The demonic beast was overpowering Alicia in every way possible. In both ability and strength, the Sword Fiend realized that it was on top and didn’t even see the need to use its swords.
But that carelessness got the best of it.
In a split moment,
The monster got a chill down its spine.
Its purple eyes flickered and noticed belatedly that Alicia’s sword was flying at itself.
Pushing the opponent’s weapon down towards the ground was essentially what Lan Na Zha was about. Due to experiencing that first-hand plenty of times, Alicia instinctively reacted with a counterattack of her own.
With a deep breath in, Alicia attacked with a sharp, piercing stab that was going straight for the heart of the demonic beast.
The Sword Fiend took half a step back and locked its swords in a cross shape.
In that split second, the monster calculated the length of the opponent’s sword, took half a step back, and crossed its swords to block Alicia’s Demon-Slaying Sword.
Alicia’s sword was 0.5 centimeters away from reaching the monster’s chest.
But it was then. Surprisingly, the blade went deeper than what the monster thought. It moved half an inch forward and stabbed into the Sword Fiend’s chest.
Infuriated, the Sword Fiend swung its dual blades and flung Alicia away. Her small body couldn’t fend off the powerful attack of the monster and rolled across the ground.
Her body rolled and bounced up and down the ground, which was also as tough as a mace. Blood flowed from her nose but in spite of that, Alicia quickly turned her gaze to the Sword Fiend.
However, she was still too late.
Clusters of aura were shining brightly in a shade of red through the darkness of the Solar Eclipse. That furious surge of aura was so threatening that it pricked at Alicia’s skin despite being quite distant from it.
They were slightly different from the ones that Lunia had made during their duel. Unlike those, the orbs made by the Sword Fiend were rampaging about, threatening to explode any time soon.
But trying to tell those apart was meaningless because either one of them had the power to nuke Alicia down in an instant.
‘Didn’t… grandpa say the Sword Fiend had only trained for 1 year…?’
It was truly a shocking level of talent. An incredible level of growth.
The fiend of swords.
What would happen if those dozens of Sword Orbs were to collapse on her at once? Each of those orbs was so powerful that they could blow away an entire training dojo, so the mere thought of those orbs pouncing at her at once gave Alicia goosebumps.
She started to run.
Fortunately, the trajectories of the Sword Orbs were unchangeable after being set once, so the only way out she could think of was to run and run and run.
As if making fun of her attempt, the demonic beast smirked and swung its sword down, as dozens of Sword Orbs fell at the same time.
Without differentiating humans from demons, the Sword Orbs destroyed everything in its path. Like dancing lightning bolts and storms, they destroyed everything nearby.
It appeared like the end of the world.
The Sword Fiend had been finding it annoying for a while. Those diamond-shaped eyes had always been looking at it inside the dimension that should belong to no one but itself… and those eyes had been piercing sharp, as if trying to see through everything in existence.
The monster was filled and controlled by an unknown sense of hatred, and even started to be obsessed by it. That was why it accepted Dun Scaith and Dumnorix’s offer and volitionally became the burning sacrifice of the Wickerman to arrive at the floating island.
However, those eyes would be no more.
It was an overwhelming barrage of Sword Orbs. The demonic beast thought to itself that it was worth stealing the skills of that old monster.
Dozens of Sword Orbs exploded bits of the ground. Parts of the floating island of Findias were crumbling down. The monster was about to turn away from it but…
A girl dashed out of the smoke. After a miserable roll across the ground, the swordsman stood back up.
Even after this barrage that the old monster used?
The Sword Fiend gazed at its opponent. She was evidently in a terrible state. Her entire body was in tatters and every one of her limbs were trembling. She looked so fragile that it seemed like she would bleed to death even if the Sword Fiend didn’t do anything and yet…
In a twisted manner, she lifted the corners of her lips while drooling.
It was that thing – that smile was what the Sword Fiend had been annoyed by. Even though every opponent must be a prey that screams and shivers from fear, shock, and confusion, Alicia was smiling as if she was enjoying the process of being hunted.
She was nothing but a mere prey standing before a predator and yet…
“Do you think I can’t cut you apart?”
…Her eyes were that of a predator. Besides, there was also that crooked smile on her face.
It was annoying.
That reminded the Sword Fiend of that old monster. In fact, its current opponent was even more incomprehensible than that old monster.
The monster howled but this time, it was calm and contained. The dense killing intent of the demonic beast slowly but surely pervaded through the area.
It signified that the monster had also become serious.
Facing the Sword Fiend, Alicia raised her sword again, oblivious to the warped smile on her face.
The two fiends that were equally crazy for the swords were bewitched. As if possessed by one another–
They danced, clashed and pounced at each other to crush their opponent.
Her sword slashed through the place where the Sword Fiend was once at, as the monster excessively bent backward to dodge the attack. It would be a misunderstanding to say that it had lost its sense of balance.
Using that backward motion as momentum, the monster did a backward somersault. In a flash, the cold and sharp claws of the Sword Fiend slashed past Alicia’s chin.
Twisting her lips further up, Alicia tilted her head. That previous attack of the demonic beast had resulted in a red line that went all the way up from her chest to her neck. However, even that attack was just a prelude to the real deal coming after it.
The real threat was the two swords slashing up. It was an unbelievably acrobatic movement but Alicia’s eyes didn’t miss it.
Twin Dragon Blades, Skies Descent
The two lightning bolts of the monster’s blades were blocked by the Demon-Slaying Sword. The Sword Fiend landed back down on the ground as Alicia pounced deeper in.
Lightning fell down.
It was met by a soaring Reverse Kill.
The two-handed lightning bolt of the Demon-Slaying Sword was blocked by the Reverse Kill of the right sword, which was followed by the Sword Fiend stabbing with its left sword.
The beast’s left sword grazed past her cheek. Without any hesitation, Alicia closed the gap even further by charging forward with her entire body.
Due to being weaker and less skilled than the Sword Fiend, Alicia focused on marching forward and putting everything she had to each of her strikes on repeat.
The demonic beast blocked her attacks all too easily. Her power and momentum were both meaningless in front of the monster.
The Sword Fiend had been facing the strongest swordsman of the entire generation like a blazing flame for the past year, and knew how to alleviate the pressure of the opponent’s attacks by using the feet, right balance, and posture.
In the end, Alicia had to retreat again despite charging in for the attack. As soon as she tried to retreat, a cross-cut of the dual blades threatened to hack her to pieces so she had to desperately block them with her jet-black blade.
The shock was so intense that her feet were pushed away from the ground.
Even with her putting everything on the line, that was all she could achieve. In both strength and technique, she was far worse than itself. Her entire body was in tatters and her shivering legs were so weak that they could fail her at any time, and yet…
Why was she not getting cut?
Why wasn’t she in pieces already?
How was she alive and not dead?
Why was she still smiling?
The Sword Fiend couldn’t understand.
A normal girl who was easily frightened, who was scared of changes. A beast that was lying dormant inside that shell was about to wake up.
Facing an overwhelmingly strong and fiendish monster… she smiled as if it was adorable; as if she wanted to give it a tight hug, and her instincts that had been suppressed until now broke through the cage.
Fastest Slash: Instant Flash.
Faster than before; even more precise than ever before. Taking a step further than the Sword Fiend, who had been controlling the pace and their distance with better perception of distance and strength…
She swung her sword as the shoulder bones of the Sword Fiend fell after being sliced by her sword. Her sword reached it even though it shouldn’t have.
Her attacks were getting closer. She was getting nearer.
She was trying to reach the monster’s level.
“You… feel a bit slower now.”
Alicia dug in deep. She postured herself and struck her sword down.
The Sword Fiend blocked the attack, as well as the following one that normal people wouldn’t even dream of blocking. Their miraculous bout of swords continued on and on somehow.
The demonic beast realized that every single attack of the opponent was heavy. It was turning increasingly heavier over time.
With speed and power, Alicia was pouring out everything she had at the unbreakable and tough fortress. Putting her own life on the line, she threw her body forward and charged towards the pit of destruction herself.
Because she was worse off than the Sword Fiend in ability, technique and power, there was only one thing she was relying on.
『Look forward… and only forward when you’re fighting!』
『Once you’re in a battle… don’t look back… you stupid little sister of mine.』
『Become a fiend, Alicia. Focus and indulge yourself in nothing but the act of slicing. Indulge and indulge yourself. Look for every method possible.』
The Sword Fiend was flustered. Even though it was clear that the opponent was at her limit, she was getting faster and faster over time; and her attacks were getting heavier and heavier.
Dual Swords of Arden.
Falling Heaven of Dual Dragons.
Singular Sword of Arden,
Falling Fist, Falling Strike
Parrying the two swords away, Alicia stabbed in a flash. Her unguarded counterattack let her sword graze past the Sword Fiend’s ribs but in return, Alicia allowed a cut to her shoulder.
Even so, she didn’t stop nor hesitate.
The Sword Fiend then realized that it needed a finisher move to stop its opponent.
Entering the dark ocean once again, the Sword Fiend swung its blades 8 times. It suppressed the Demon-Slaying Sword with three of its attacks as the remaining five headed at the neck, shoulder, chest, ribs, and thighs of the opponent.
The Domain ended, leaving the Sword Fiend to be greatly confused because none of its attacks landed on the opponent. After some time, it noticed what happened.
Alicia had taken a step back simultaneously with the activation of the Domain. Because of that precise understanding of space and control of distance, all of the Sword Fiend’s attacks missed because of half a step… or rather, an inch of a gap. It was as if… she had seen it with foresight.
She slashed down, all the way from the right arm to the thigh. Taking just half a step forward, she slashed down in the fastest and most efficient method possible and managed to create a big wound on the Sword Fiend’s body for the first time.
Alicia didn’t give the Sword Fiend time to look after its body. The monster unknowingly stepped back to create a gap but Alicia chased after it; she took a big stride forward and postured herself for a stab.
The fastest stab she knew was that of the Spear of the Void. Arranging that into her own weapon—
It reached forward.
The stab replicating the spear, that was faster than the speed of sound, was almost certainly going to reach the demonic beast.
Realizing that the sword was about to hit itself, the Sword Fiend pondered to itself. Did it fail to control the distance?
The answer it came to was a ‘No’.
This was outside of its control. The speed of Alicia’s growth was just way too rapid and absurd.
Right when her Rearing Head of the Venomous Dragon was about to land on its body—
Pakang…! The Demon-Slaying Sword bounced up. The demonic beast reacted just in time at a miraculous speed.
At the same time, the two of them looked into each other’s eyes with their swords still aligned. They gave one another a contorted smile.
Finally, the Sword Fiend noticed it.
It realized why this specific enemy had been annoying and getting on its nerves the whole time.
The two of them were one of a kind.
This female human was a fiend just like itself – one who had the fiendish talent of being able to be bewitched by the act of killing. They were killing partners destined to raise one of their calibers with the death of the other.
Something soared onto the floating island. What surged up in the middle of the two of them was a huge dragon. The appearance of that uninvited guest inevitably made the two create a gap between themselves but even so, they didn’t stop looking at each other with a deathly gaze.
The two partially-broken entities acknowledged each other’s presence and considered the other as a stepping stone for greater achievement.
Nothing else entered their sight.
The jiangshi girl striking the nearby giants with her chains; the vampire girl jolting the floating island with a bombardment of ice; the large snake pouring out flames from its mouth as well as the spearman going against it.
Nothing entered their eyes except for each other.
The sky and the ground;
The air, the wind and the clouds;
The castle, the giants, bugs and beasts;
All of them were cut. With the swordsman at the center, sword auras were shot to all sides. The Heavenly Sword of the monster reached everything in creation. It was truly an astronomical move that had the power to crush everything within a radius of 1 kilometer.
Alicia walked through the Domain. One step was generally the limit of what was possible within the Domain but… she ran. She ran deeper and deeper into the Domain.
Common sense had been rendered useless a long time ago. It seemed that the miracle in the past of the girl walking through the Domain to save the boy wasn’t a coincidence.
Her body disappeared even from the Domain itself… and disappeared from the cognitive area of the Sword Fiend before reappearing in front of it.
An incredible realm that should have been otherwise unreachable was achievable only now… after being stimulated by the one and only contender of her lifetime. It was truly a miracle.
And that miracle…
It divided the world into two.
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