「Pierce, oh blades of mine.」
A hundred or so swords materialized out of nowhere and shot straight towards Rynford’s body. We were watching the battle from pretty close up, so I could actually tell that every single blade was distinct, each possessed its own unique properties and abilities.
This wasn’t the first time we’d come across the guy who’d launched the attack. I still remembered catching sight of him at the end of our hunting trip.
Name: Forrund Annonnkul
Job: Divine Swordsman
Status Level: 66/99
Swordbreaker Arts: Lv 7
Dismantling: Lv 8
Crisis Detection: Lv 6
Vital Point Detection: Lv 5
Presence Detection: Lv 7
Sword Techniques: MAX
Divine Sword Techniques: Lv 6
Sword Arts: MAX
Divine Sword Arts: Lv 7
Collecting: Lv 4
Kicking Techniques: Lv 5
Kicking Arts: Lv 6
Resistance to Psychological Abnormalities: Lv 4
Petrification Resistance: Lv 3
Elemental Blade: Lv 8
Leap: Lv 7
Throwing: Lv 8
Poison Resistance: Lv 3
Dual Blade Style: Lv 7
Magic Resistance: Lv 6
Paralysis Resistance: Lv 4
Greater Strength Increase
Sword Technique 50% Cost Reduction
Sword God’s Blessing
Adored by the Sword God
Liberator of Haunts
A Ranked Adventurer
Dragon Lord’s Leather Full Body Armour
Sword God’s Headband
World Tree Bark Shoes
Dragon Eating Spider Silk Mantle
Braclet of Mana Recovery
Bracelet of Substitution
Forrund? Oh yeah, I remember Colbert mentioning him and calling him an A ranked adventurer. I think his nickname was Hundred Blade Forrund or something like that? Either way, he really did seem just as strong as Amanda.
His extra skill was pretty impressive too. Its description said it’d let him duplicate any magic sword he managed to get his hands on, with the exception of anything super high tier. That really got me thinking, would he be able to copy me…? What would happen if he did? I was feeling pretty curious about it, but honestly, I’d prefer not to find out. Neither of the two conclusions were what I would call trouble free, so I’ll have to sure I stay as far away from him as possible.
Colbert looked like he was participating in Rynford’s subjugation as well. He seemed a bit stronger than usual, seemingly because of that Demitris Style skill. I don’t remember seeing that last time I appraised him. Had he been keeping it hidden with a piece of equipment or something? If so, then why the sudden change?
Everyone else present was pretty strong too. The Gamud guy really seemed to stand out in particular. His Divine Hammer Arts allowed him to swing his giant warhammer around like it was nothing. His strikes were so powerful that they actually ended up making Rynford stagger despite the difference in the two combatant’s sizes. It turned out that he was actually Barbra’s guildmaster, which more than explained his strength.
The knight named Phillip was also doing pretty well. He swung a large knight’s spear around with ease despite being covered from head to toe in plate armour. The most interesting part about him was that his last name was Krysten, meaning he was probably Rhodas’ eldest son. Bluke must not have understood the extent of his elder brother’s strength. Any assassins he sent after Phillip would probably have ended up dead.
Zerrosreed was fighting alongside them for some odd reason as well. I guess he probably had his own reasons, seeing as how he betrayed Rynford and all that. He didn’t seem intent on attacking Colbert for the time being either, so I didn’t really think we needed to pay his loyalties all that much mind, at least not for now. I was moreso worried about his current species. He wasn’t just your everyday Evil Being, he’d apparently become a subspecies known as a Demonic Being. That Cannibalism skill pretty bad news. It wasn’t the type of skill that either Fran nor I could make much use of, but to him, the city was pretty much like an all you could eat buffet. Wait, did he betray Rynford just so he could consume him? Hmm… I get that he’s technically an ally for now. I don’t plan on attacking him, but it’d probably be pretty bad to just leave him be…
「Are you alright? I hadn’t been expecting you to be the one fighting that gigantic monstrosity!」
「I hurried over the moment I got the letter you sent me.」
The weird snake-like thing currently keeping Rynford restrained turned out to be Amanda’s whip. Wait, didn’t we only just send that letter like three days ago? Holy crap she got here fast.
『You sure it’s okay for you not to be in Alessa?』
「Don’t worry about it, I’m having Jean watch over the town in my place.」
『Wait, isn’t Jean just a B ranker though?』
「He is, but he’s treated like he’s an A ranker in times of war.」
Amanda told us a few things about Jean and convinced me that he was well deserving of his nickname. The ability to command an entire army’s wroth of undead? Yup, sounded threatening enough to me.
A young girl ran up to us as Amanda gave Fran a bit of a hand. She seemed terrified of Rynford, and kept glancing in his direction as she approached. In spite of her fears, however, she still managed to reach Fran and offer her a potion.
「Um… Are you alright?」
「Seen somewhere before?」
『Yeah, we have. She was one of the Lunar Banquet’s dancers.』
「My name is Charlotte. How are your injuries?」
「Nn. Fine. Just slight exhaustion.」
She was more than just a little bit exhausted, both physically and mentally.
「I want to talk to you a bit more, but first, I’m going to have to go get rid of the monster that hurt you, okay?」
「Make sure you be careful out there!」
Charlotte gave Rynford another quick glance as she spoke.
「Don’t worry about it. I’ll be right back.」
Amanda gave both Fran and Charlotte a light wave before leaping towards the Evil Human. Her kind smile had transformed into a ferocious one, she seemed rather angry at the fact that Rynford had hurt Fran.
She immediately began attacking him with what I assumed was some sort of skill. Her whip grew several times longer and attacked him from every direction at once each time she gave her wrist so much as even the slightest twitch. Every single one of her strikes was as powerful as one of our sword techniques.
The other combatants’ attacks were inflicting quite a bit of harm of damage as well. They were all clearly stronger than us.
Just looking at the scene really made it hit home that Rynford had never actually been invincible or anything like that. So, knowing that, why was it that I never thought of anything but running away? Did we really have no way of fighting him at all?
I understood the answer to both questions. I had been afraid of Rynford, and my fear of him had ended up making me feel as if it was simply impossible for us to defeat him. I ended up doing nothing but thinking about how we could go about running away, even after getting two new unique skills. I mean, the outcome we arrived at wasn’t necessarily a bad one. We managed to avoid the worst case scenario of death, but thinking back on it, we’d been far too cowardly. Why did not try pointing one of my offensive skills instead? We might’ve been able to face him head on if I had.
『Yeah… It sure does feel frustrating doesn’t it…?』
Watching Amanda and everyone else present fight filled me with a sense of irritation. I was going to have to fix the fact that I was still weak. I needed to train, and seriously, at that. It was something I needed to start the moment this issue was dealt with and out of the way.
『…No, that’s not right.』
I realized that I was still letting my fears get ahold of me. There was no reason for me to wait until everything was done and over with. The battle had yet to end. We could still join the fray and contribute to Rynford’s defeat.
There was no point to just sitting around and mulling over my sense of frustration. The enemy that’d caused it was right there in front of us. We had no reason to rule out combat as an option as we had before. I understood that I still felt the subconscious urge to run the hell away, but now, we were immediately presented the chance to turn that emotion on its head.
What we needed to do now was not to wait, but to fight.
『Let’s go, Fran.』
（Will pay back for frustration.）
Fran understood my intentions. It seemed I was still no match for her in terms of mental fortitude.
「Are you planning to join the battle?」
Fran was given a worried look as she rose to her feet. I thought for a second that Charlotte had intended to stop us, but, she instead ended up giving us a bit of encouragement alongside a potion.
「Do your best out there.」
「I can’t fight myself, but I will at least be able to offer you my assistance.」
Charlotte brought her hands together as she spoke. A mysterious light enveloped Fran’s body, accompanied by the chiming of a bell filled our ears.
「I have given you a barrier that exorcises and wards off evil energies. But be careful, it’s rather frail.」
「Monster’s barrier. Broken by you?」
「Yes, that’s correct.」
Wow, seriously? I’m sorry I thought your stats were really low.
Stats were important, but they weren’t all that mattered. The abilities to adapt and draw out one’s potential to its fullest were just as important.
Fran went silent for a bit, seemingly lost in thought.
『What’s the matter?』
（Master. I’ll lead.）
『What do you mean?』
（Couldn’t do anything when running from Rynford. Not just this once. Always relied on Master. This time, let me lead.）
I’d actually been thinking that I was trying too hard to do everything by myself. I didn’t ask Fran for her opinion nearly as often as I should have, but, it looked like all that was about to change.
『Alright, got it. What are you planning though?』
（Want to try something new.）
（Finishing move like Master’s Overburst. Thought about it for a long time already. Conclusion, attack that uses everything we have at once.）
Her use of the word “we” meant that she wanted me to be doing something as well. More importantly though, it implied that she was confident she’d be able to draw out every last bit of my power. Awesome! As a sword, I couldn’t feel more blessed. I was sure that I would one day grow to rival even the Godblades if I were to remain in Fran’s hands.
（Want specific skills to be set.）
I think this might be the first time Fran’s ever asked me to set any specific skills in combat.
『Alright, take your pick.』
And so, with Fran’s selected skills in tow, we took off and dove straight in Rynford’s direction.