BBYW Vol. 3 Chapter 59 (WN)
Chapter 59 – Hero against Hero
Our swords collided, sending sparks flying all around.
Drake might have been wounded, but he was still a hero who had saved the world. I had no intention of holding anything back from the beginning of the fight.
I had put all my strength in that first strike, but Drake managed to parry it.
With shouts that sounded more like roars, I swung my sword two, three times in succession.
The clashing metal shook my eardrums violently.
I alternated the nature of my strikes, sometimes pushing forward with brute force, sometimes using feints or trickier angles.
I was on the offensive, but every time I showed an opening Drake’s blade brushed dangerously close to my body.
I could not afford to lose focus for an instant.
I clicked my tongue and took a step backwards.
The monstrous strength that Drake exhibited in our previous battle in the Garnet kingdom was no more.
The wound caused by Siegfried had probably robbed him of much of his power.
In his thousand years of life, however, the former hero had accumulated astounding experience in battle.
It frustrated me to no end to admit it, but in terms of pure skill with the sword, Drake was leagues above me.
“What’s wrong!? You’re facing a wounded man! Is this all you got!?”
“Shut your damn mouth! That arrogance is going to be your grave!”
The bracelet on my right arm glowed more intensely, enveloping my body like a suit of armor.
It was the boost provided by Herakles: I felt a surge of power from within, as if I had become a lion.
“Don’t you tell me it’s against the rules, all right? I’m going to use everything at my disposal.”
“Of course. This is war, after all.”
Drake nodded, but then added a “however”.
“If you think a little light will fill the gap between us, think again!!”
Drake vanished for an instant, then reappeared right in front of me. The grinning face of the monster was close enough to give me the chills.
Drake, who had taken a defensive stance until now, finally went on the attack.
Animated by his godlike technique, his sword slashed my body.
“You are so close!! So painfully close! My beloved reaper! More, entertain me more!! Make me feel death, true death!”
“I said…shut your damn…mouth!!”
Like a coin flipped from heads to tails, the balance switched completely. It was my turn to be on the defensive.
In terms of power and speed, the bracelet’s boost allowed me to have a clear advantage: Drake’s skill, however, was far too advanced.
I defended myself with all the techniques I knew, but Drake’s blade slipped through the cracks and struck, like a snake chasing its prey.
It took less than a minute for my body to be covered in cuts, as my blood spattered on the walls of the cathedral.
Without the regeneration granted by Herakles, I would already be unconscious due to blood loss.
I had to change the flow, somehow.
I waited for Drake’s attacks to relent and charged him, discarding all defense.
My sword managed to slash Drake’s body: in exchange, my stomach was deeply slashed too, but thanks to Herakles it was healed instantly.
“Gh…haha…that wasn’t half bad!”
Drake stepped backwards, blood dripping from his chest.
He was smiling as fearlessly as before: his fighting spirit had not been dampened at all.
“A cornered mouse will bite even a cat, as they say. Don’t you let your guard down!”
“Like hell I would! I can’t recover anymore, see?”
Drake traced the wound with a finger and grinned viciously.
I could heal my wounds thanks to Herakles, but Drake’s body could not do the same with wounds caused by Siegfried.
I thus had the advantage in a battle of attrition.
“Tch…so I have a chance of winning only because of the difference in our weapons? Fucking pathetic…!”
I seethed, frustrated.
If we continued like that, my weapon would probably lead me to victory.
It would not be my victory as a swordsman, however, but thanks to the good luck of having two magic tools at my disposal.
Without such a stroke of luck, I would barely be able to lift a finger against the man before me: faced with such a difference in strength, my expression turned sour.
“Why the long face? Luck is a part of skill too, isn’t it?”
“Damn, now the enemy is trying to cheer me up…”
Drake’s words of consolation made me sigh deeply.
I was slightly dispirited, but he slowly shook his head.
“I’m being serious. To be honest, I’m pretty impressed, you know? If we fought one thousand years ago, when I was your age, I’m pretty sure I would have lost. I’m using all my years of experience to bully the youth here, so I’m not exactly worthy of much respect.”
Drake lightly shook the blood off his sword and shrugged.
“I only became able to wield that sword in my late twenties. At your age, you already mastered the god-slaying sword, boy. Aren’t you something?”
“You’re showering me with praise now? What’s the deal?”
“I finally met my long-awaited reaper, I think I’m allowed to say a compliment or two.”
Drake laughed heartily. For a moment, the cathedral was filled with a warm atmosphere, a poor fit for a duel to the death.
“It’s a pity that you can’t use that bracelet to the fullest, though. Looks like you don’t know what it can really do.”
“Huh? You mean Herakles?”
“Yeah. It used to belong to my comrade, way back then. And he used it a lot better than you.”
Drake’s words of ridicule made me frown, deep in thought.