༺ The First Letter (49) ༻
The blade of the ax was coming her way at breakneck speed. Delphine instinctively sensed so as soon as she witnessed the silver trajectory that sliced through the air and drew a horizontal line.
If the ax’s trajectory wasn’t stopped, she’d be defeated. That ax wasn’t swung with the intention of stopping enroute. If so, the speed it was traveling would be slower.
A high-momentum attack without even a moment’s hesitation.
There was no time to remain perplexed. Delphine suddenly came to her senses. The ax blades were already approaching, but it wasn’t too late just yet.
Her sword was still coated with aura. Even though it would be difficult to pierce her layer of fortified mana and reach her bones, stopping the impact would be a simple task.
Her body spun around and the white gown unfolded. The sword and ax collided, the breathtaking scene was akin to that of a dance.
A sound of zing resonated in the room as a gash materialized on her shoulder, blood slowly oozing out. The wound was the least of her worries, it was the decisive moment of a tense battle that could determine the victor.
There was no time to pay attention to the wound. Delphine swung her sword subsequently.
Her sword traveled like a bullet, drawing a solid golden line with immense speed. Delphine’s magic power was superior to mine. Regardless of the difference in mana quality, her sword would never lose in a contest of strength.
The only advantage I have is that she didn’t find her balance due to her abrupt spin…
Her body, which didn’t properly balance her weight, was incapable of displaying her flawless technique. As the momentum of her sword increased, she became increasingly more vulnerable to external interference as she lacked the capability to rise from her lower body.
However, no matter how much it loses its luster, the sword made by the artisan will always be powerful.
Even though Ian immediately attempted to retaliate with a follow-up blow, the momentum at which her sword and his ax blade collided was comparable. In response to the stalemate, Delphine gritted her teeth and applied more strength into her sword’s blade.
As a result, her center of mass tilted and her body leaned towards Ian. It didn’t matter, she’d regain her balance using the recoil.
Delphine managed to deflect Ian’s hatchet. With a clang, Ian was disarmed again. Ian didn’t realize a sword launched from a crumpled position could be so powerful, ultimately knocking the hatchet out of his grasp.
Swirling, the hatchet soared through the air. Though Ian had been disarmed, Delphine was far from safe. Her body which had spun abruptly was incapable of bearing the full brunt of the collision.
The sword ricocheted away. Yet, Delphine was confident in her own victory. Though her body had bent slightly backward from the impact, she still held her sword in her hand in contrast to Ian who no longer had a hold of his hatchet.
Delight flickered in her crimson eyes as her body shuddered momentarily. Her heart fluttered, reminiscent of the first time she held a sword in her childhood.
This man, he’s really something else.
From the swift judgment to launch a surprise attack without hesitation, to the determination in sacrificing one’s own hand, and the temperament to not avoid a seemingly unwinnable battle.
Could there be a better talent in regards to being a hunting dog? For the first time in a long time, Delphine sincerely desired to possess something.
However, being able to possess is the privilege of the strong. The weak are possessed and the strong possess. That was the universal truth of this world. In order for her to possess Ian, she first had to prevail over Ian.
Delphine lost her footing. However, Stamp, she instantly regained her footing while using her foot as a means of support.
There was only one action left to take.
With imperceptible speed, a beam of light shot forth and brought the battle to a conclusion in an instant.
Delphine’s sword came to a halt before Ian’s throat. She could easily terminate his life if she applied greater strength. Yet, she stood there wordlessly.
Delphine stared at Ian’s face with inscrutable eyes. He was laughing. It was because there was also a blade aimed at the nape of Delphine’s neck.
There was an awful smell lingering in the air. It was the stench of flesh, pus, blood, and burning aggregating.
Delphine’s gaze gradually shifted to the nape of her neck. There was a blade there. Her eyes followed that blade, higher and higher, until her gaze landed on the hand that was brandishing the sword.
The hand was dripping with blood. The cause of the injury was clear. It was Delphine Yurdina herself who made that penetrating wound, so she was well aware of it.
The reality of the sequence of events became clear. The moment Delphine disarmed Ian, he drew the sword with his injured hand. That’s why, despite Delphine’s superior speed, Ian was able to aim for her nape simultaneously.
There was only one way. He would have to endure the agony in his hand and draw the sword while enduring the pain caused by the scorched flesh and wounded hand. This was only possible in theory.
It was abnormal to make such a judgment in that instant. The human body was fundamentally designed to avoid pain on instinct. It was also the same in the realm of the unconscious.
Even in the heat of the moment, humans subconsciously avoid choices that result in pain. He must be in excruciating pain, yet he was still applying pressure on his wounded hand?
Just imagining it was terrifying. Delphine formulated a ridiculous theory to explain this phenomena.
Did he paralyze his own sense of pain?
Her eyes blankly scanned Ian’s hand and face. What she saw swiftly disproved her theory.
His hands trembled, the ripples so severe that he could drop the sword he held at any moment. It wasn’t just the hands. The arm which was supporting it, even the corner of his mouth wearing a victorious smile.
His entire body shuddered. It was indicative of the excruciating pain he was experiencing. It seemed that he was enduring it to the point that even the blade of the sword trembled.
Still, he laughed. For one reason only.
“Senior Delphine… My main weapon is a sword, not a hatchet.”
Delphine Yurdina, he could kill her. The young man’s smile clearly conveyed those thoughts.
To make his desires into reality he sacrificed his own hand. He grasped the sword with a pierced hand, even though his subconscious would have rejected it. It was his indomitable will.
No, perhaps he manually overrode his subconscious. Otherwise, such a quick reflex would not have been possible. That intense thirst for victory that even suppressed the instincts of the body.
The result was now apparent for Delphine to see. His blade reached her neck with cold anticipation emanating from the tip.
Delphine, who had been staring at Ian with stupid eyes until then, had no choice but to swallow a laugh and leave a word.
“What about you, Senior Delphine, who dared to touch this lunatic then?”
His voice displayed a facade of relaxation, yet he seemed to struggle as if he could drop the sword at any moment now. It was apparent just by observing his forehead which was drenched in cold sweat.
Noticing that, Delphine felt a strange emotion.
It was a burning feeling, one that she couldn’t even differentiate between goodwill and hostility. But there was one thing that was certain.
It was a desire to possess him no matter what, even if she had to break him. These filthy emotions emerged within the depths of Delphine Yurdina’s heart.
Another emotion emerged as well.
Humiliation. It was an unfamiliar feeling for her, who had lived by the myth of invincibility.
She was unsure of what expression to make. She just forced the corners of her lips to curl up, as if copying Ian.
“Well, do you want me to act like a crazy bitch just like you?”
“Not at all, but rather, please make a judgment first.”
What a resilient guy, he most likely wanted to scream and drop his sword at this very moment. Yet, he didn’t utter a single groan, even despite the incomprehensible pain he was forced to tolerate.
He questioned her through his teeth which were clenched from enduring the desire to groan.
“……Considering the situation, did I win?”
Delphine was silent for a brief moment.
Did he win? Considering the difference in skill and the numerous circumstances, Ian deserved to win by decision. However, Delphine Yurdina could not bear to admit her own defeat.
My first defeat, it can’t be…
It was only the final moments that would decide victory or defeat, when one person takes the life of the other.
Delphine spoke with laughter.
Ian’s brow furrowed slightly. He seemed to disagree with her evaluation. Even so, Delphine was always confident.
She suppressed her humiliation and reassured him with a smile.
“At best, it’s still just a draw……”
As she uttered those words, the gown that was barely draped over her shoulders slowly flowed down her body.
Rustle, Delphine looked at the flowing gown with her longing eyes. Anyway, it was a loosely draped gown. As she battled, spinning and tilting, Delphine’s gown was already on the edge of teetering off.
In such a state, she had allowed an untimely blow. Ian’s hatchet flitted through her shoulder.
That was the decisive attack. The gown, which no longer had the support to conceal Delphine’s body, flowed down as if it had waited, revealing Delphine’s pure, immaculate, naked body to the world.
Soon silence descended upon the room.
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