Chapter 154.1 : Trampling
「What the? 」
Eyes opened wide in terror, Lucius looked at his left arm that fell on the ground. At the same time, due to his long combat experience, he reflexively swung his sword at Rio who stood behind him.
But that slash just tore through empty air, his swing wasn’t fast enough to catch Rio. With his spine chilling gaze locked on to Lucius, Rio stepped back to open some distance between them.
Impossible! The great me………. Couldn’t react at all?
His eyes locked on to Rio’s figure, narrowing dangerously while suppressing the shock he got from Rio’s pre-emptive attack. He wasn’t careless at all. His provocation was done in order to lower the enemy’s caution and thus make it easier for him to prepare for any kind of incoming attack.
And yet, he was still caught by surprise. It wouldn’t be strange at all if his head were separated from his body if he didn’t use ‘even eyes’ stance at the start.
It made him recall that long gone feeling of brushing against death. However, even while he recalled that, his brain still worked at full speed to figure out the trick behind Rio’s movement.
「!!!!! ? 」
Once again, Rio approached him, but this time he came from the front.Unlike before, his speed was far slower. And while it could still be considered fast, this speed was still within Lucius’s ability to react.
The reason for this drop in speed was to prevent a collision, especially when coming from the front, therefore Rio needed to suppress his acceleration with wind spirit arts. Usually, Lucius would be able to notice it, but he currently had no leeway to consider such things.
After losing his left arm, Lucius was forced to fight Rio whilst being disadvantaged. He had to catch Rio’s sword strike, that was swung with both hands, while he only had his right hand left to use his sword.
The moment they collided, Lucius was forced to take a step back in order to ward off the monstrous force. The differences between their raw power was obvious. Noticing this, Rio persistently pursued Lucius without letting up.
Fast! And what the hell is going on with that monstrous strength! Even when one used physical strengthening skills, it usually won’t reached that degree, right!?
Lucius thought as impatience was getting to him. From his wealth of experience and by seeing the effects of the magic power oozing out from Rio he knew very well that his chances were slim.
Without him being able to react, a spear-like kick connected with his solar plexus. Although he managed to use body strengthening magic at the last moment, the overwhelming force that landed upon his chest forced the air out of his lungs. Lucius’s body was blown away as if it was weightless.
「Fu, FUHAHAHA! Lucius, you, how the hell did you earn this monster’s resentment! ? Is that guy even a human! ? He’s strangely calm even with us all here, ready to support you at any time. 」
Observing their fight from the sideline, Duran laughed loudly as he asked Lucius these.
「…………… Well, what should I do then?」
After imperceptibly muttering, Lucius quickly propped himself up with a defensive stance. His cocky attitude from before had long since vanished and his mind was churning at its maximum speed to deal with the current situation.
However, Rio did not let up. He kept chasing him using his exceptionally fast and terrifyingly accurate sword strikes. Each one of Rio’s moves was heartless, deadly, and filled with a terrifying killing intent.
Lucius barely managed to parry Rio’s rain of slashes. Suddenly, the ground around him morphed into a spear that shot at his body. Lucius reacted decisively by stepping back to the ridge of the main route, but countless light bullets were already formed around Rio. When Rio’s hand, held aloft, pointed at Lucius, the light bullets rushed at once, drawing a complex orbit towards their target.
Clicking his tongue, Lucius made a large swing with his black sword. [Ed: hehehe] Then darkness swelled up from the sword’s blade. It engulfed the surrounding and swallowed the incoming light bullets.
Upon seeing that, Rio’s eyes widened slightly, however, he did not stop his move. He still held his hands aloff in the air, pointing towards its target, and at the next moment, a terrifying cannon shockwave came out from his hand.
That invisible attack was supposed to hit Lucius’s body, but――,
「I SAW THAT COMING! 」
Shouting, Lucius swung down his sword, and intercept the incoming shockwave using the blade of darkness that stretched out from his sword. He was about to land a moment later, but he noticed something and muttered.
「One after another……….」
The ground where he was supposed to land had morphed into spears that were well on their way to pierce his body. Furthermore, Rio had also launched countless light bullets in the air and directed it to rain incessantly towards Lucius without giving him a chance to rest. The waves of attack directed to him came from all directions, cornering him.
This magic bombardment forced Lucius to deal with it in a fast pace efficiently, and the first thing he did was to take care of the attack coming from beneath his landing location. He swung his sword of darkness and gouged out the earthen spear, and then turned his sword to take care of the bombardment coming from the sky, the light bullets, but――,
The amount of light bullets raining down on him were too much though. It continued to rain incessantly and disregard his effort to ward them off. Even though some of the light bullets were neutralized, he still couldn’t get rid of all of them, and some of them managed to get through. Rio did not care. He continued to fire volley after volley of light bullets, causing a cloud of dust to be raised through the waves of attack that continued to pour down on the land.
Then, he fired a powerful whirlwind to blow away the dust cloud, simultaneously using it to push Lucius inside the cloud of dust as if to enclose him in a cage.
However, when the cloud of dust was blown away, Lucius’s figure had already vanished from that spot.
「!!!!! ? 」
Meanwhile the village chief, Will, Donner and the knights, who were observing the fight, were all dumbfounded as they saw Lucius being blown away in the direction of the highway. Only Duran looked thrilled when he saw Rio standing there without Lucius in sight.
Without speaking a word, Rio twisted his body, and swung his sword at an empty spot behind him with no warning. Or at least, that was what everyone thought, until a high-pitched metallic sound echoed through the surroundings. From the empty space behind Rio, darkness spewed out from the black blade of Lucius’s sword, overwhelming the surrounding. That was destined to fail though, since Rio sensed the flow of the magic beforehand, and swung his sword to intercept the sneak attack.
Therefore, in spite of the fact that it was the first time he had seen that killing move, it wasn’t effective against Rio. Such feat was only possible due to Rio’s superhuman ability in sensing the flow of magic power. However, before he could do more than intercept, Lucius had already vanished along with his sword and the surrounding darkness.
Rio did not waste a moment. As soon as Lucius disappeared from sight, he created a breeze mixed with his own magic power and used it to locate Lucius’s current position. Sensing a reaction, he turned a sharp gaze towards a place that was slightly separated from the forest.
Lucius fell on his knees, already out of breath. He stabbed his sword in the ground to support his staggering limbs.
DAMN IT…………WHY? Zen, his father, was also a spirit arts user, but I don’t recall him being as strong as this brat. How could his son be so different with him to the point of having no f*cking opening at all?! They were on completely different level with one another! Not to mention that ridiculous amount of magic power spilling from his body. This brat’s magic strength even surpassed those of the heroes!
To be honest, Rio’s strength was already far beyond his expectation. It didn’t seem like strength that could be gained through sheer effort alone. Right, in his opinion, Rio’s strength had obviously surpassed the common sense of humans.To be exact, it was no longer a power that belonged to mere mortals. [TL : SOrry, can’t help myself to translate it in that way, the proper translation is “It’s already beyond the realm of human”.]
It had even surpassed my own inhuman strength. Lucius thought, mind working sluggishly due to the lack of blood supply.
………….. ARGH, DAMN IT. That short distance teleportation had already consumed a huge f*cking amount of my magic power. Moreover, that magic bombardment had hurt my internal organs, and caused my body to lose even more blood…but first thing first, I need to get my left arm back…
Frowning, Lucius glared back at Rio, and then he put on a strong front while secretly invoking his darkness blade that was stabbed in the ground, supporting his weight――,
However, Rio thwarted his plan. As if he already foresaw his plan, Rio moved and instantly arrived where Lucius’s severed hand was located.
The village chief who was stiff all around raised a frightened voice when the severed left hand tumbled right next to him. Rio picked up the arm and then turned around without even sparing a glance at the frightened village chief. At the next moment, he stood in front of Lucius and glared.
「You’re going to bleed to death if you left your wound untreated. I only needed to leave you alone as it is to achieve my goal. Then again, you have a way to reattach your severed arm, right? That’s why you left your wound untreated up till now.」
Rio spoke, disinterest evident from his voice, looking as if he already knew what plan Lucius had in his sleeve.
「Hah, so you’ll give it back if I ask you to return it?」
Rio blatantly refused, then he lightly tossed Lucius arm in the air. A moment later, a scorching hellfire turned Lucius’s left arm to ashes.
「…………. Damn it, you’ve quite a bad taste.」
Lucius glared at Rio in a provocative manner.
「Can you really say that after killing my mother right in front of my eyes? I have said it a long time ago right? You’ll die under my hand, no others. You don’t have a right to hold a grudge over something like this, it’s still incomparable to what you did to me. I won’t be satisfied until I make you experienced at least a fraction of the pain I went through, when I’m done with you, then I’m going to erase every last trace of you from this world……….. Well, let’s end this.」
After saying that, Rio poured his magic power into his sword. He did not care about the witnesses around him anymore. He willingly use the spirit arts he usually kept hidden from so many people. Then again, this was a special occasion. He uses one spirit arts one after another without holding back.
「…………… LIKE HELL I’M GOING TO END LIKE THIS.」
Lucius blustered, trying to bluff his way out, by making Rio think that there’s a hidden card he still had. However, there’s no way that those words were going to change his current situation. Any lies he might use to change his situation, any half-hearted action to support those lies, all of them were bound to be crushed by Rio’s overwhelming power. He had already exhausted his every possible option, and if he was to be all alone, then that may result in his death.
Rio sensed numerous existences behind him so he side stepped immediately. Duran and his knights, who were watching silently from the sides until now, were now forcing their way into the fight and formed a formation to protect Lucius.
「Hahaha, I knew you were going to save me, your highness.」
Lucius said, pretending he wouldn’t have died then and there had Duran not intervene in the fight.
「Humph, originally I only planned to look at your fight, and let you settle your own mess, but unfortunately, it was not possible. If you died just now, I’ll be the one in trouble. And, most of all………….」
Duran said before he looked at Rio, flashing a daring smile at him.
「That person piqued my interest.」
「I would say thank you, but that’s only if you managed to save me.」
「Hump. I wanted to say “Quit with your tough guy act”, but………..」
Duran let out a bitter smile. He had already looked at Rio’s eyes since a while ago, to see if there’s room for negotiation somehow. However, it looked like there’s nothing to be done. Rio’s eyes plainly told him that they’re a hindrance to his goal.
This warmongering me is afraid? Interesting!
There’s no way out of this peacefully, and Duran, facing this situation, felt his blood boiling in excitement.
「That’s right… We’re going to protect this man behind us, young man.」
「You want to hinder me? I suggest you abandon such thoughts.」
「SPREAD OUT AND SURROUND HIM FROM THE FRONT! 」
Rio’s voice overlapped with Duran’s. The knights moved at once, as ordered, surrounding Rio in a fan-shaped formation. Seeing this, Rio sharpened his perception with spirit arts so that he wouldn’t be caught off guard by long ranged attacks.
Then, undisturbed by the encirclement, Rio fearlessly went straight towards Lucius who was being protected behind Duran.
「Humph, it’s troubling that your aim is to kill this guy. BUT! 」
Flashing an unpleasant smile, Duran rushed at Rio, gathering a huge amount of magic power from his body and let it flow to his gigantic, two metres long sword. With assistance from his strengthened body, he swung his ultra long sword without a care――,
However, the result of that clash was Duran being knocked back, though considering the distance, it might as well be described as ‘being blown away’.
What the hell is with his physical power? My demon sword is an ancient magic artefact that specializes in body strengthening, and yet, I can’t do anything to him even using it? Are you telling me that his physical strength is even beyond that……… But!
Just how powerful is his magic tool? That questioned appeared in his mind, but――,
「I stopped you for a moment! 」
Duran let out that cry as if it’s a worthy feat that he had accomplished. Right after that, half of the knight in his surrounding rushed at Rio at once.
A powerful shockwave was emitted with Rio as its center point. In the blink of an eye, the knights surrounding him were blown away, crashing at the other half of the knights who were waiting their turn, behind them. But, the knights who had managed to avoid Rio’s attack chased after him immediately. It was a two-stage encirclement.
「Unfortunately, I’m used to hunt! 」
Duran flashed a smile, sure of his victory, but――,
「WHAT! ? 」
To his astonishment, in the next moment, a mud wall arised right in front of those knights. Due to the sudden appearance of that mud wall, the knights that rushed at Rio didn’t have enough time to decelerate.
They ended up crashing with full speed at the mudwall, still using their strengthened physical magic, and then fainted in the process.
………. He kneaded the magic power to strengthen his body to become overwhelmingly powerful, used that ridiculous amount of magic power for the shockwave from before, and then created this mud wall, all at the same time? …………. Him not using spells is also strange. Is this all thanks to his magic artefacts! ?
Duran caught his breath in astonishment.
Whilst trying to stop the bleeding from the cross section of his left arm, Lucius manipulated his darkness blade, and tried to stab Rio from behind.
But, Rio jumped from that place and brilliantly dodge the sudden attack, landing on top of the newly erected mud wall――,
Suddenly accelerating with his wind spirit arts, Rio leapt above Duran’s head, and rushed to Lucius’s position, stabbing his archenemy with his sword.
「Gu…………….. -HA, GAHA……………」
Lucius coughed out, blood spilling from the corner of his mouth.
「GUH! ? 」
Before he could gather his bearings, Rio trampled Lucius’s right knee under his left foot’s heel, making him grimaced in pain. Unable to bear with the pain of his bones breaking, Lucius dropped his sword.