Before the match, Viscount Conrad encouraged his subordinate.
“Gabriel. How is your condition?”
“Very good, sir.”
“Right, you should be. I’ve spent so much money on you, so you cannot be in a bad shape.”
Gabriel was a swordsman in his early forties. Having lived all his life in the Conrad family, he was a secret weapon the family had poured their heart and soul into.
He wasn’t a genius like Chris, but he showed steady growth, and the Conrad family didn’t spare anything to support him. As a result, he became a 3-star swordsman just a month ago.
It was a great honor, but Viscount Conrad didn’t reveal it to the public.
‘This competition has limitations on the aura. At first glance, it is a rule that isn’t good for high-ranking swordsmen, but in fact, the higher the level, the greater the difference of power even a 1-star aura has. This is clearly a fight against low-ranking swordsmen. They will not be able to use their power, and a 3-star swordsman like Gabriel can easily overwhelm them.’
Rumor was that Gabriel was still a 2-star swordsman. 3-star wasn’t so common in the northeast, so there was no reason to spread that information and make himself a target.
He checked the other side, as his smirk couldn’t be hidden.
“Gabriel. McBurney is nothing. He is lucky enough to have advanced until now, and he only has one arm, which means his balance is off. Keep that in mind. Out of all the representatives from the Nobles’ Alliance, everyone but you got eliminated. You are our last hope, and you cannot just win and satisfy us—it needs to be an overwhelming win. Do not have sympathy for the opponent just because he has one arm, and make sure to let Roman Dmitry know we will trample on him. Get it?”
“As I thought.”
He smirked as he liked this.
‘Right, it is the end.’
The people of Roman Dmitry undoubtedly had strong skills. Watching the opponents all fall down in the five groups, it felt impossible to win against them, but even such a family had limitations.
They couldn’t mobilize six strong people, so McBurney was brought in.
Of course, there was this ominous feeling. The fact that he was Roman Dmitry’s man was enough to make people wary of it.
‘How can he choose a one-armed bastard?’
He let go of his doubts. Gabriel was a 3-star swordsman. His victory was expected, and this match was just a stepping stone.
“Both players, on to the stage.”
It was the voice of the referee.
From now on, it was payback time.
Two swordsmen came up to the stage. Gabriel reached first and looked at McBurney with a disgusted face.
He shrugged but didn’t laugh. He would have laughed if he didn’t know the opponent, but he knew who this man was.
“McBurney? He used to be active on the Western Front, but he lost his right arm and turned into a complete loser. The odds of him winning are zero. I met him a year ago, and he was having a hard time even carrying any load with his left hand, let alone using it to hold a sword. The fact that he is in the group of Roman Dmitry has to be impossible.”
Said a colleague.
After losing his arm, McBurney had no story to tell.
When he heard that, he thought McBurney was even more ridiculous.
‘There is no man who doesn’t know his place in the world. A commoner also wouldn’t dare go against a knight, even with both arms working. Even if he lost one arm, he is hoping to win the tournament for knights? Well, I will show him how high the walls of reality are for him to cross.’
This was different from the order given to him. He just hated the sight of McBurney for some reason.
He was done preparing.
After checking them both, the referee stepped back and swung the flag.
Gabriel took the lead as he rushed in without a delay, and his massive body went for McBurney like a boar.
The battle was intense. Every time their swords clashed, sparks would fly, and McBurney would have staggering movement as he got pushed back.
This was a clear sign of being pushed back by the difference in power. And thinking that he wasn’t wrong, Gabriel rushed in with a smile.
“Let’s see how long you will hold out!”
Aura wasn’t even used yet. For a one-armed person, he was confident enough to deal with the sword alone.
Viscount Conrad, who was observing this, was also smiling, knowing what his intention was.
The pressure was too great.
Before long, McBurney was pushed to the end of the stage.
In a cornered situation, Gabriel made a fake move.
‘To prevent this, you will dodge.’
He purposely aimed at the opponent’s left arm—the only arm he had.
McBurney had no other option, and Gabriel expected him to take a step to the right.
At that moment…
He got closer, and he launched a linked attack.
He induced defense by pretending to swing the sword horizontally and quickly stepped on the right side to attack the armless side.
It was perfect.
The left arm couldn’t cover the entire range, and this attack would be the loophole. It meant that he had to use his arm. This was like exploiting the only space of movement he had.
But it was then…
McBurney turned as if he were going to fall. It was such a bizarre movement. With his back almost hitting the floor, he balanced on his back and avoided the attack in a matter of seconds.
It hit Gabriel’s forearm. It was fortunate that he was able to avoid it quickly, as this hit would have cut his face if he had been a little late.
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Gabriel clenched his teeth. That one-armed bastard.
He couldn’t handle the reality of being hit by such a person.
It was a different sound since he was using aura.
1-star aura being used by a 3-star swordsman.
Even if blocked by the sword, the impact would have been too great for McBurney, but he had turned the blade to deflect the impact and blocked it.
It was a dangerous movement.
Unbalanced, McBurney continued to get cornered, but he always had the right decisive movement to evade it.
The first time it happened, he thought it was just confidence. However, as it began to get repeated twice and thrice, Gabriel felt like something strange was happening as the fight extended longer.
‘McBurney. This guy didn’t lose his balance. The imbalance caused by the absence of his right arm is deliberately being shown.’
McBurney tried to counter again. He turned his body to secure the distance for his left arm, and it looked like he would fall, but he aimed for Gabriel’s vital points.Unravel the Unknown, Unleash the Unimaginable: N♡vεlB¡n.
At that moment, he felt goosebumps rise. The attack was barely blocked, but Gabriel saw the truth in this.
‘McBurney’s advance was no coincidence or luck.’
This one-armed moron didn’t look ridiculous anymore.
McBurney would never forget the moment he first learned the left-handed sword.
“The basis of the left-handed sword is to utilize the lost balance of the body. As humans grow, the body develops to use two arms and legs smoothly. But when we lose one arm, the balance is completely disrupted. People think that this is a weakness for swordsmen, but the left-handed sword can produce some unique movements from the so-called weak balance.”
If the sword were swung with the left hand, the body would have to lean to one side. It was a fatal weakness. In a situation where the right side was clearly open, it would be difficult to block the opponent’s attack.
But it was different for a left-handed swordsman. Rather than abandoning the balance that collapsed to the left, he would take advantage of the strength of his lower back to take proper footing.
The effect was almost like magic. To be able to dodge the enemy’s attack and attack the gaps of the opponent. The left-handed sword was shocking.
Various methods for using the broken balance are learned through one’s experience as a swordsman.
‘The creator of the left-handed sword only had one arm like me. He must have been so desperate after losing his arm, but how, just how, did he manage to create this technique? Was he special? No. He and I are not different. Unlike me, who gave up on life after having the arm cut off, he was able to create this technique as he constantly looked for new ways.’
A new world appeared. The left-handed sword wasn’t just a new path but also a new way of life for one-armed people from then on.
He bit his teeth in passion. How many times had he swung the sword? He had gotten used to using his left arm, but swinging the sword was another matter.
Falling face first.
It was miserable.
Even when looking at this new reality, he felt pathetic, but not once had he given up.
‘The Lord presented me with a new reality, and I have no other chance but to become a person befitting enough to follow him.’
Arriving in Dmitry, McBurney was shocked. He knew right away that the people of Dmitry had great skills, but he was shocked to find out that they had all trained for just less than a year.
Roman Dmitry was a God. A being who created something out of nothing, and as a result, his subordinates were developing rapidly.
And he found out then that he was nothing. Roman Dmitry could create countless men superior to him.
‘I am nothing but a bastard. The reason why he accepted me wasn’t due to my sword or my skills but because he needed someone loyal like me. It is clear that if I went somewhere with only one arm, I would be eliminated by the monsters the Lord created. I don’t like it. This is the hope I grabbed, and I do not want to miss the chance.’
If he couldn’t prove himself, he couldn’t survive as a subordinate of Roman. At least Roman Dmitry, who gave him new life, had to use him.
He was someone who had been rejected by the kingdom, and he thought that his presence here would be meaningless.
‘Six people to represent the Lord. I will take one spot there and make sure to win the group.’
In a month’s time, he trained insanely. He thought that if he couldn’t prove himself this time, he would have to live the rest of his life unable to overcome his weakness.
And just like Henderson, he was included among the six people. As a result, McBurney cried when confronted with the new reality.
He was out of breath. Moving his left hand was physically consuming, and Gabriel had outstanding abilities.
He was out of breath even when the attack was aimed at his life. He felt like screaming at the fact that he could fight this much with just one arm.
‘I am not done yet.’
From the last position, McBurney got up again. In a situation where everyone was sure of his defeat, he dug into the gap.
The counter was quick.
Taking the sword back, Gabriel aimed for McBurney’s head, and McBurney took a step.
While slightly dodging the opponent’s attack, he attacked Gabriel’s left side and used aura.
He was reminded of the Asura Technique by the amount of aura he was able to draw.
It was a surprise attack, but for Gabriel, it wouldn’t be so.
Gabriel had an angry face as he swung the sword.
For a moment, he was shocked as McBurney gave himself up. The result would be McBurney’s defeat, but something felt off.
The right arm—there was nothing there. Unconscious of the lack of a right arm, McBurney deliberately gave up his right arm.
This swordsman lived in a world of different common sense. And this man must have gotten used to abandoning his right arm.
It was a good counter, but not something Gabriel was used to.
The moment he fell into that trap….
Gabriel looked at the sword, which filled his vision.
Gabriel’s huge body collapsed behind him, and he could see the people who obscured his vision.
The people were shocked. The nobles of the northeast had pale faces. Viscount Conrad was speechless.
McBurney suppressed the rising emotions within him and bowed his head to Roman.
‘Thank you, thank you so much for giving me a new life.’
At that moment…
“That was insane!”
“The one-armed swordsman took down Gabriel!”
The scene was turned upside down.
This was an unexpected variable, and the result of the alliance’s collapse left every noble in despair.