Chapter 77. Heroes from Far Away (2)
With chilling metal sounds, the swords crashed with intensity. By using the ghost walk skill, I was able to stand toe to toe in the beginning, although there were clear differences in the skill levels.
“Your walk skill is quite excellent! It feels like I’m fighting a ghost!”
That was only natural. It was the skill of the king of the dead. However, to my astonishment, he was beginning to find a way to get around it. Prolonging the fight would only result in me losing all my suite of skills.
“Certainly, the fame of your swordsmanship that made history in Iberia is truly not in vain!”
“I’m more known for my attacks, rather than defense!”
As he launched at me with a deep piercing attack by bending his leg, I countered it with the back of my sword by executing glutzhauw maneuver.
The glutzhauw was meant to describe slicing with fire sparks, and it was so named because the skill penetrated through the body of the opponent. Sparks flew as my sword made contact with the Giacomo’s sword.
However, Giacomo Albino blocked with the Farring Daeger which he was holding in his left hand.
“On the surface, you’re truly a swordsman, but the truth behind that facade seems different.”
He had an amazing intuition. I admitted without protesting.
“I engaged pompously, but in fact, sword is not my main skill.”
“Certainly! Then do exercise your main skill. I’d like to see if you can penetrate my defense. Let’s fight it out.”
It was a surprisingly pleasant proposal as far as I was concerned. I was feeling rather frustrated as I was fighting a sword genius who has been using his sword, all his life.
“Sounds good. Then see if you can stop this.”
I raised my left hand over my head. Then dark clouds began to form in the sky.
“What, you had such power!”
Giacomo Albino was flummoxed as he went into a stance. He appeared to use Gigantica Ventaclio maneuver to block my attack. It was his unique skill which incapacitates all attacks by swinging his sword in the shape of a fan.
“OK, do try!”
With my yelling, the dark lightning fell down.
However, swinging his arm at invisibly fast, Giocomo Albino wrapped the lightning around his sword, and then immediately threw it back at me.
With an explosion, so many pieces of magical elements scattered, all around me. At the right time, the deployed magic shield had blocked the lightning. As a result, the magic level has dropped considerably.
“You’re truly amazing. Senor Cappitain.”
I have never expected the dark lightning to be returned back at me. I was so impressed by it. Couldn’t figure out how he did it with just a sword. However, he, too, was surprised.
“How is it that I do not feel any life in you? Are you truly a human? I was surprised by your lightning attack, although I was able to return it to you, I was in shock, none the less. However, you seem unscathed as if it was nothing.”
“I’m rather confident in other fields, as long as it is not about swords.”
“You weren’t kidding!”
Taking more caution against me, he was pointing the tip of his sword at me.
“Senor Cappitain. What do you think about engaging again by putting everything in the next maneuver?”
“I was looking for that, in fact. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to withstand your other hidden powers.”
“You’re exaggerating too much.”
I’ve decided to put everything on the line in the next move. It was because I knew the weakness of the Gigantic Ventaclio, due to my past experience.
Once again, I raised my hand high in order to call down dark lightning. Then Giacomo Albino made a comment.
“You can’t beat me with the same skill!”
However, instead of replying, I rushed forward, using the ghost walk, as I brought down the lightning.
And also this time, Giacomo Albino was attempting to use his sword to twirl the lightning and shoot it back to me. However, it was that moment which I was going after. I went straight forward toward him with my piercing maneuver.
With the flashing of the light, the magic which was engulfing me exploded. Not paying any attention to that, at all, I focused even more, and went straight forward.
Then Giacomo Albino looked flummoxed. However, perhaps, sensing that the end of my sword was dull, he dodged it in a leisurely way, by tilting his head. And he immediately launched a counter attack.
Feeling deep pain in my chest, I rolled back a few tens of meters. As I was struck so quickly, I didn’t even know what had hit me. However, thanks to the magic shield, I wasn’t injured. I stood up, shaking dirt off. Looking at me, Giacomo Albino seemed sickened.
“You are truly not a human. That single strike, you were just hit with, it puts even great swordsmen to their sick beds for a few months.”
“I’m quite tough.”
“Rather than that, I see that you’re using magic shield?”
“Correct. You’re very intuitive.”
He put me back many meters with a single strike, yet he didn’t look too good.
“How did you know? The weakness in my skill.”
“You mean, attacking you with my piercing move while you’re hitting away the lightning?”
Although there was not an opening when it went against swords, the only weakness which was innate in that great Gigantica Ventaclio skill was that it wasn’t perfect when countering magic. As a result, the moment of the greatest weakness was when he was twirling the lightning.
“That’s right. My weakness can never be visible in ordinary battles. That’s because when I fire back the opponent’s magic, they are just preoccupied in trying to dodge it. Who would have thought that someone would recognize that that moment is the weakest moment?”
If one ignored the danger and just charge ahead with magic shield, like I did, the weakness of the Gigantica Ventaclio skill would be exposed.
The reason behind him having left Iberia, and lived a quiet life was because that weakness had been exposed for the first time, back then. He was defeated by a hero who used both sword and magic, and had fallen into a deep depression.
I was contemplating as how to respond to that, but then I put an end to that topic by saying that I’ve heard it from somewhere.
“I knew of the battle which you had lost, Senor Cappitain.”
“Of course! Haha. I thought that anyone hardly knew of that fight.”
“However, weren’t there a few participants on that day?”
“I thought everyone was tight lipped.”
Giacomo Albino let out a deep sigh. And I consoled him.
“It’s been a long time. I’m sure that someone might have just mentioned the event of that day, in passing. I heard that story by accident, and derived at the weakness of the Gigantica Ventaclio.”
“You’re truly intelligent. I’m impressed with your talent as you’ve uncovered its weakness just by hearing about the past battle!”
He couldn’t hide his appreciation. However, I really did not have such analytical ability to derive at such things. I just laughed.
To tell the truth, I learned of the skill’s weakness when I was discussing on how to compensate for that weakness with him, in the past life. However, as I could not tell the truth, as was, I just made up a story that I heard it in passing.
“However, the only thing that will be one with the ground will be you. Count.”
Giacomo Albino was trying to insist he will be victorious. However, I shook my head.
“The victory is mine. Senor Capitain.”
I had already established the conditions prior to engaging in the fight.
“Did it not say that if I could cut part of your clothing, I would be the winner?”
Quickly, Giacomo Albino examined his clothes. Only then did he realize that part of his clothing has been ripped off.
“I see that the intended target of that piercing was my clothes, not me! Gosh! Oh, boy!”
Giacomo Albino slapped his forehead. After penetrating through the weakness of the Gigantica Ventaclio skill, I executed an unexpectedly dull piercing attack.
So, he was able to dodge, although he was pushed to a corner, but that was because I only intended to go after his clothing. As I had targeted his clothing, rather than his pressure points, there was no doubt that he felt the sword was quite dull.
Giacomo Albino was lost for words.
“You’ve planned it, all along! You’ve executed a not so impressive attack against me, and by making me feel over confident, you just went after my clothes. I completely forgot about the conditions of the fight as we were going at each other, so intensely.”
“Do you feel agitated?”
“I’ve never lost like this. I feel like I lost my house to a scam.”
I laughed as his comments were funny, and he, too, then, laughed loudly as I did. Giacomo Albino was magnanimous, and had a good sense of humor.
“Krrrrah! You’ve got me so good! Hahahaha!”
The way people assessed him was that he had a sense of humor, kind and generous, and that where ever he showed up, there never followed any serious trouble or fear.
His normal character could be easily assessed. Following the Iberia’s swordsman’s way, Giacomo Albino touched the ground with the tip of his sword, and then raising the hilt to his face three times, he declared.
“Count, there is no dispute in my loss.”
“It was a good learning experience for me. Thank you. Senor Cappitain.”
The battle has already been decided. Giacomo Albino dashed to me and laughed heartily as he grabbed my arm.
“You’re still young, yet you’ve got a great skill. And you’re also great in magic, and I had failed to see the hero in you. Rather than talking here, let’s go to my place and share a drink. Hahaha.”
He certainly liked wine. That mid section of his must truly be made from wine, for sure.
“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’ll drink til I explode in celebration of my victory.”
“I’ve been saving a great wine for a great occasion. I’ll open it today, so you can certainly anticipate its quality.”
We shared a kindred spirit after the fight. A whole bunch of the villagers came up as there was so much noise from the falling lightning, and everything.
“I’ve got a VIP guest, today, I must drink til I die, today. I’ll explain what happened, later.”
“Oh, certainly. Monsieur.”
Everyone was agreeable as Giacomo Albino said so. It was the moment which his normal disposition and character could be felt.
“Alright, there is also plenty of food, so it will be a great time to drink.”
After getting to his house, we drank enjoyably into the late evening until we both finally blacked out. I was able to barely wake up, rubbing my eyes, after the sun rose up high, in the afternoon.
“You have a lot of sleep for a young man.”
“People with many thoughts tend to have a lot of sleep.”
“Hahaha. You are also witted.”
Giacomo Albino seemed to have been enjoying a break time, at the table.
“Is that coffee?”
“Oh? Do you know coffee?”
Coffee was a rare drink which was not very well known, in this world. However, as I was born and raised in Korea…..
“I like it.”
“Hahaha. I’m glad to find someone who appreciates this aroma. I offered it to the villagers, and they were so unappreciative, saying it was too bitter.”
“Adding milk and sugar would make it better.”
“Oh! There was such a way!”
He seemed impressed as if he did not expect that.
“Count, you’re certainly knowledgeable. I’ve got to try that one time, too.”
“However, your mid section will get rounder, Senor Cappitain.”
He laughed so loudly that he could have been easily heard from outside. However, he asked me, turning serious.
“I’m quite impressed by you after having talked to you yesterday. Your meaningful intention to save the distressed people of the Rhine River, I could not help, but be impressed by that.”
Hm…. It seemed that I’ve made a few exaggerations after drinking. As a result, he seemed to have a misunderstanding of me. Of course, I do care for the citizens of the Count Wittenweier’s territory though. Well, it wasn’t because I like those pigs, but because they were my belongings.
“You’re too kind.”
“Hoohoo, too much humility is not a good thing. But then what brought you all the way out here? I can see that you did not make a trip all the out here to have a duel when there is an urgent matter, like that. In fact, you’re not even a pure swordsman, either?”
I, too, faced him with a sincere look.
“Truthfully, I came here to ask you to join me, Senor Cappitain.”
“Haha, I’m just a lowly old man.”
“Senor Cappitain. If you continue to suppress your own heart in this place, you may end up as a lowly old man, as you said. However, if you would join me, you will see the destiny of your skill.”
He asked me as a response after a deep thought.
“How can you be sure?”
“Because, my opponents are the demon kings. They would make a great test subject to try out your Gigantica Ventaclio. Wouldn’t you agree? And….”
I had a trump card which would move his mind.
“And I know the location of that person.”
“Who are you talking about?”
Rejoicing, he immediately stood up when I said that.
“Is that true!”
His response was a natural one. It was because Gerald Tibolt was the demon swordsman who gave him the most painful defeat.
“He is currently under a demon king’s command. If you’d come with me, you will definitely run into him in the future, so Senor Cappitan, I pray that you would lend your hand.”
After listening to me, he stood up as if there was nothing more to hear. And after bowing slightly to me, he said.
“I meant to remain in a distant village and turn my back on the world, but you’re starting a fire in my heart, Count. When you said that you know the whereabouts of my sworn enemy, I realized that everything I thought was all in vain. I’d ask to join you, even before you ask me, so do accept me as a commissioned member.”
He spoke by offering his sword with both his hands.
“I’ll serve you with all my loyalty! My lord.”
I returned his sword and laughed heartily. The greatest swordsman of the empire was now part of my team. I was so happy that I grabbed his hand.
“Alright! Let us hunt the demon kings, together!”
Look, Cappitain. There was a demon king that I want to kill, so let us go and stab the bastard as we please.