Level up with swords (54)
The campsite at the top of the Storm was built on a plain with wide open spaces. Overhead, the night sky is wide, without a single cloud, and the stars and the half-full moon cast a soft light on the ground instead of the sun.
Leon took a deep breath as he took in the scenery.
If you think about it, it was a common occurrence.
The friction between the two occupations that divided the guild, adventurers and mercenaries, was one of the chronic problems.
‘Well, it’s not like I can’t understand.’
The positions of adventurers who respond to all kinds of situations and mercenaries who only engage in interpersonal warfare are different in many ways.
Unlike adventurers with diverse origins, mercenaries had many military backgrounds and formed a vertical organizational culture. Seniority was also relatively high compared to adventurers, so it was inevitable that the younger Leon would be viewed negatively.
Being accompanied by an A-rank beauty probably also played a part.
‘…actually, that beautiful woman was just sitting at the gambling table.’
Leon looked at one side of the vacant lot with a sad expression.
“5 silver for Hansen!”
“I’ll bet 3 silver on that mercenary too!”
“10 silver for the adventurer kid! “A man deserves one after all!”
“Didn’t you get slapped by your wife then?”
Karen, standing in the center of the merchants who had taken out small amounts of money, wondering when they had started making plans, shouted with a smile on her face.
“10 seconds until betting closes! Who will be the winner in the battle of pride between the B-rank adventurer and the B-rank mercenary! Now, Lord Sangsan, why don’t you take a walk too?”
“You mean me? “Hmm…”
Arnold, encouraged by her, thought for a moment and whispered in a low voice while handing her a gold coin.
It seemed like they were trying to hide the betting target.
Karen grinned when she heard those words.
“As expected, you have a good eye. “You chose well!”
At the same time, seeing him wink once, it seemed like Arnold was betting that Leon would win.
After exactly 10 seconds had passed, Karen cleared the board and called the two in before the actual match. One person was, of course, Leon, and the other was a man named Hansen, who was the representative of the mercenary group “Steel Claws.”
Leon’s eyes moved as he looked at him reflexively.
‘The physique itself is ordinary, but the limbs are thick. You’re naturally strong. Even if it’s a bit less agile, it’ll be incredibly strong.’
It is the strength of the skeleton, not the muscles. The eyes that pierced Han Sen’s body quickly returned to their original position.
There was no need to instill caution in the other person.
If you are looking down on them, you can take advantage of that carelessness.
“I’ve said it several times, but direct strikes with ‘Auror Weapons’ are prohibited. You cannot use weapons that have not been revealed in advance, and you cannot use consumables such as poison or scrolls. And follow my instructions immediately.”
Karen held up a few fingers and explained the rules.
“There is no time limit, but you must not leave the open space. If the audience is harmed, that person will inevitably lose. got it?”
When the two people agreed, she took a quick step back, instantly increasing the distance between them. The width of the vacant lot is about 15 meters in radius. There was no problem even if we clashed with weapons.
As soon as Karen moves away, the atmosphere between them changes.
As Leon, who had already drawn his sword, took a few steps back and took a stance, Han Sen also raised his spear and shield.
And the moment the two men’s eyes meet each other,
At the same time, the noise around the vacant lot stopped.
Leon and Hansen.
It was because of the spirit radiated by the two B-ranks.
‘Spear and shield.’
A round shield with an area that can cover the entire upper body with a spear less than 2m long.
Leon, who was looking at the combination, became a little puzzled.
A shield at B rank, not even C rank?
Of course, I knew the usefulness of shields, but shield users at B rank who could use <Auror Weapons> were rare. Unlike the blade, the surface area of the shield is large, so its consumption becomes inefficient. However, if a small amount of Aura is injected, it is difficult to block an <Aura Weapon> of the same class, so it is placed in an ambiguous position.
“That shield is no ordinary thing.”
But Leon’s eyes quickly saw the reason.
The silver light flowing from the scratches carved all over the shield was not something ordinary iron could produce.
Han Sen nodded and answered those words.
“Yes, it is an alloy shield containing a small amount of mithril. “I saved a dwarf a few years ago and received it in return.”
“…Can I tell you everything like that?”
“Even if you hide it, it will be revealed once you encounter it. “I had no intention of doing such a dirty trick with my child from the beginning.”
In some ways, it could be said to be considerate, but Leon felt insulted by the answer. The mercenary, who was famous for using any means necessary, declined to use any tricks on his part.
In one word, it means that it was properly looked down on.
‘I’ll make you regret it.’
The footsteps that had been drawing a circle turn towards Han Sen. The strategy of trying to find out the opponent through exploratory warfare has already been discarded.
Leon, a B-rank adventurer, can be looked down upon a bit.
However, the warrior Leon should not be underestimated.
Leon, who had silenced the sound with <Bobeop>, accelerated explosively.
A mid-cut, even ignorant, hit the top of the shield.
A shock wave explodes with a loud metal sound. Han Sen’s upper body was thrown away first, and soon his lower body was pushed forward, creating two lines of furrows in the ground.
It was an outrageous destructive force.
Only then did Han Sen’s complexion change and his eyes widened, but Leon calmly made his next move.
‘It’s not an attack method that can be used again and again.’
It is a technique that imitates Karen’s one-point breakthrough, but unlike hers, Leon’s trajectory is too simple. It was obvious that if I used it against an experienced mercenary a few times, it would be countered.
It was a useful technique whether used for surprise attacks or when the power of a single blow was needed, as it is now.
Since that failed, it was now time to use the regular method.
As if counterattacking, he bounces the incoming spear away. It is not thrown with both hands, and its strength and speed are not great.
It wasn’t negligible, but that was it.
‘One-handed spear techniques and mithril alloy shields focusing on checks and counterattacks… It’s a style that focuses entirely on defensive warfare.’
Crouch firmly and wait for the opponent to be consumed. Mithril boasts auric conductivity that is superior to that of ordinary metals, so there was no particular disadvantage in attrition warfare even when used as a shield.
The role of the spear is to undermine the opponent.
It’s good if the counterattack is successful and the enemy is defeated, or it weakens them until they can be defeated.
“Are you a hedgehog?”
Leon grumbled softly.
It’s simple yet annoying.
It’s not as fast as Karen or as strong as Cesare, but it’s annoying. A fighting style developed through years of experience and training. In the end, if you win, everything is fine. This is truly a mercenary-like fighting method.
Kaang! Kang! Kaang!
Strike the shield with your spear over and over again. Every time he was hit by Leon’s sword, his body shook, but there was no sign of falling. The strong bones that were recognized at a glance may have become the basis for defense.
It seems difficult to break through with force when the first attack fails to destroy it.
If I were to use 〈Eclipse〉, I could cut through the entire shield, but…
‘I’m not confident that I can cut through the shield exactly.’
If the sword goes in just a little further, Han Sen will die. So Leon was unable to try that method.
Clashes that become boring are repeated.
The spear is struck and the shield is struck, leaving marks on the iron plate that is already covered with scratches. Even so, it seemed unlikely that the shield would be destroyed because the damage was only to the outside.
In the end, Leon had to admit it.
It’s a difficult situation to solve with one’s own swordsmanship.
‘I can’t help it.’
After taking a deep breath, Leon’s eyes sank. No, it wasn’t just his eyes that were like that, his entire body was tilted down.
The center of gravity itself has changed like that of another person.
The movement of the light axis, which seemed to be able to move in any direction, resembled Karen more than anyone else.
Han Sen, the mercenary who was dealing with him, flinched.
The senses trained countless times on the battlefield were warning. It’s not the same enemy as before.
But before he could adjust, Leon moved.
You kick the shield with your foot, not your sword. Then, taking advantage of the shock, it retreated and then lunged at me like an animal in a low posture.
Not a single trace of orthodox swordsmanship remained.
Han Sen, embarrassed by this, reflexively threw a stab.
A spear wrapped in blue aura pierces the air. It was a well-timed stab, but Leon avoided it.
Moreover, the way it was done was very bizarre.
Bend both knees more than halfway and walk as if you are sticking to the ground.
He was neither a knight nor a mercenary.
‘It’s an assassin’s move.’
When Han Sen, unable to adapt to the sudden change, hurled his spear, he quickly crawled under the shield.
And then he hit Han Sen’s shin with all his force.
The greaves are slightly crushed and Hansen’s body turns over.
This may be the first time I’ve been attacked like this, but I lost my balance. Leon did not let that gap pass by.
Before I knew it, the blade had arrived in front of Han Sen’s neck.
When Han Sen put down his spear and shield and raised his hands, Karen raised her voice as if she had been waiting for that.
He really looks like he is the host of an arena.
“The match is over! “This is a victory for B-rank adventurer Leon!”
Some people cheered and others screamed at that declaration.
Perhaps because there were more people who had bet on Han Sen, the screams were slightly louder than the cheers.
Leon enjoyed it and stretched out his holy sword.
In any situation, victory is very sweet.
‘The skills I learned from Karen are also useful.’
A movement that caught the opponent off guard. I followed her advice and imitated her technique, and even the B-rank mercenary was struck by it.
If El Cid saw him, he would criticize him and ask why he was imitating an assassin, but the more skills he could use when necessary, the better. How many people can do it all with just one method like Rodrik?
“Now then, should we settle the bill?”
Karen, who had probably finished the harp in the meantime, came to the two men with mercenaries.
Did you say it was a mercenary group called ‘Steel Claws’?
A man who looked like a captain walked in front of Leon. With eyes resembling an eagle, a head a head taller than Leon, and muscles writhing behind the chain armor, he was truly menacing.
He bowed once to Karen and then bowed to Leon without a moment of hesitation.
“Your skills are worthy of B rank. “We are idiots who have no vision, don’t deserve our money, and make excuses!”
As Leon was at a loss for words with a dumbfounded expression, the mercenary leader took advantage of the momentum and apologized in a loud voice.
“I’ll answer you honestly, just like I said before. Yes, it was sad to be at the same B rank at this age. Besides, we came in a carriage with four men, but you came alone with a beautiful woman! So my stomach was a bit upset! “I’m sorry for being narrow-minded people!”
‘Foot!’ I heard Karen exhale.
Even Leon had nothing more to say at the apology, which was so honest that his true feelings were clearly revealed, so he nodded.
If you do this and don’t accept it, you’ll have bad feelings that aren’t there.
There were also parts that I could sympathize with as a man.
“Let’s get along well from now on.”
When Leon immediately stretched out his hand with a shy expression,
“Yes!” This Gustav and the entire Claws of Steel owe you a great debt. “Someday I will make up for this disgrace.”
“No, not even a debt…”
“For a man, the debt of his heart is more important than his life. Even if you don’t accept it, I will definitely give it back to you, so just look forward to it!”
Although he still had a reckless attitude, unlike his first impression, Leon did not look all bad.
Gustav also had a very harsh appearance, but I was impressed by his ability to sincerely apologize to him. Could it be that it is a straightforward emotional exchange unique to mercenaries, which is different from that of adventurers?
Gustav shouted, tapping Leon on the back.
“Okay, let’s have a drink starting tonight!”
Then the mercenaries all said ‘Oh!’ and responded. Alcohol and fighting were essential elements in the lives of mercenaries.
Since I had already watched the fight, it was time to drink it as a snack.
There was no time for Leon to do anything other than refuse.
Caught by Gustav’s hand, he was forced to participate in the drinking party and was able to become friends with people he had been talking to just an hour ago by sharing unspeakable words with them.
The way we became friends was a bit problematic.
“Wait a minute… I’m a little upset…”
“You control alcohol with alcohol! “Someone bring me another bottle! I can’t drink it after entering the forest!”
“Teach this boy the taste of life!”
Leon, who didn’t even know how much he could drink, ended up becoming a rice cake.
Although he unintentionally updated a bit of dark history, there was only one person here who knew what his identity was.
At least it was a blessing in disguise.
“Hehe, I guess mine is the only autobiography that records the day the hero vomited after drinking?”