The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 48

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 48

Chapter 48: Sparring (2)

As I mentioned before, this sparring match is quite interesting.

It’s a duel between two students whose attendance rates are almost zero since the semester began.

In other words, it is a spar between those who haven’t been influenced by the academy in the slightest—purely unlearned students.

How dare these no-show students organize their own sparring matches?

Honestly, even the instructors and staff can’t complain, even if they found it disagreeable.

But look at the people gathered around.

Students and instructors alike, the audience fills the sparring grounds.

Even in the VIP seats, the headmaster of the academy, Condor Quizzel, is present.

That’s how much the academy is anticipating this duel.

Considering that, I can’t help but let out a slight chuckle.

Am I supposed to meet their expectations?

“I’ve been waiting for this moment, Sian Vert! You must feel the same, right?”

Seth, facing me, spoke with a joyous expression.

I simply nodded noncommittally.

“I initially wanted to request a hand-to-hand combat spar, but, unfortunately, I was told that here only swordsmanship and magic duels are allowed. Do you plan to use magic?”

“If you’re not using it, then there’s no need for me to do so, either.”

Even with my indifferent reply, he laughed heartily.

“Hahaha! That’s what I like to hear, Sian Vert! Okay then, we’ll just fight with our swords, no magic involved!”

-Slring

He drew the curved sword at his waist.

Its blade arced like a crescent moon.

Though it resembled the scimitar used by the Mist members, it was longer and its tip less pointed.

In response, I also drew my sword.

Since I couldn’t use my magic sword in front of everyone, I had to use a regular long sword this time.

As I’ve explained before, the purpose of a sword-duel is to measure each other’s skills and establish superiority.

The criterion for superiority is to target the opponent’s neck with a sword.

For me, it was the first duel in a year.

-Dang Dang Dang

With the sound of the bell indicating the start of the duel, Seth kicked off the ground and rushed forward.

-Thump Thump

Faster than expected.

If his physicality is combined with strength and speed, his sword strikes would be inescapable even if blocked.

“Haat!”

Intent on splitting me in half, he swung his sword without hesitation.

Taking it head-on would likely cost me my weapon and potentially break my bones.

But that was never my plan.

-Slring

I took Seth’s full force head-on.

His curved sword began to slide away from my blade, and soon the edges of our swords crossed and slid apart.

“……!”

An assassin doesn’t need brute strength but precision and refinement.

Such a simple physical difference was a lightweight element for me, something that didn’t require magic or secret techniques to overcome.

“Whoa!”

Seth lost his balance as his weight shifted forward when his attack missed its mark.

Not missing the opportunity, I swung my sword at his exposed back.

-Chang!

It seems the nickname “Prince of Sand” wasn’t for nothing.

Most would have lost their weapon and opened their neck by now.

However, in the brink of disaster, Seth twisted his waist with the flexibility of folding paper, barely parrying my sword.

-Whoosh!

Then, he quickly regained his posture and swung his sword at me once more.

A slight dodge, and Seth hurriedly created distance between us.

It was a situation that could have ended in a single move, and his expression was clearly flustered.

“Ha!”

He gave off a short laugh and started to loosen his body.

-Crack Crack

The sound of his bones echoed ominously throughout the sparring grounds.

Taking a different grip on his sword, he rushed at me again.

-Swat!

This time, though, he didn’t come recklessly.

Using the reach of his curved sword, he maintained a distance, unleashing a series of strikes from a range that didn’t allow for counterattack.

-Chang Chang Chang

The sound of clashing swords was all that could be heard in the hall.

Seth continued a relentless offense, but sadly, none of his strikes were effective.

He seemed to realize this too, as his once confident face began to twist.

-Slring

The slash aimed at me diagonally once again slid off my blade.

“A second time won’t work!”

As if he anticipated it, Seth changed the trajectory of his blade with a quick step.

Initially swinging from bottom to top, the sword suddenly shifted into a thrust toward my neck.

-Swish

I stepped aside with a concise movement, avoiding the blade and then…

-Clang!

I aimed my sword at the perplexed Seth’s neck.

His curved sword had already slipped from his hand and was rolling on the ground.

“Ha ha……”

Seth let out a sound that was somewhere between a laugh and a sigh.

The duel was over.

What remained was for him to fully accept his defeat.

Those with high self-esteem typically also have strong pride, and they can hardly accept the fact that they lost.

This muscular friend here probably assumed winning was as natural as eating.

Whatever was on his mind, he simply twitched his large frame without a word.

I withdrew my sword and stepped back a bit.

“Indeed, you’re remarkable, Sian Vert. I acknowledge my defeat.”

Contrary to my expectations, he accepted the loss with sportsmanship.

“It’s clear that in terms of swordsmanship, you’re on a higher plane than me. For now, it seems I can’t beat you.”

In truth, apart from meeting the wrong opponent, his sword skills were far from ordinary.

Having the insight to effectively use his natural strength, rather than simply overwhelming his opponent with it, was not a simple feat for an eleven-year-old boy.

Was he more open-minded than I thought?

With a stern expression, Seth picked up his blade and said,

“I don’t like to be clingy, but I don’t feel like ending it here. Would you allow me another challenge if it’s alright?”

Is that it? He doesn’t think it’s over with just one attempt?

Well, it’s certainly better than him whining over failure to accept his defeat.

I nodded in agreement, indicating my acceptance.

-Ching clang!

“……?”

Why is he throwing his sword away?

I thought it meant he wanted another challenge with the sword, but apparently not.

Mana surged from his body, and along with it, a storm of sand began to rise.

“What is this about?”

“This much is certain, I must beat you by any means, Sian Vert! I’ll pour all of my power into this, so I expect you to do the same!”

For a moment, I considered myself foolish for thinking he could remain cool.

It turns out he’s an incredibly sore loser.

* * *

The headmaster, Condor Quizzel, who was watching the duel from the VIP seats, thought the two students below were quite audacious.

The academy’s duels aim to assess the students’ skills, mainly through the use of magic.

The physical grades of Sian and Seth were S and A, respectively—undeniably the top amongst the new students.

However, the academy primarily pursues the advancement of magic.

Physical grade? It matters, of course.

But frankly, physical grade essentially supports one in wielding higher-order magic.

If you were to ask which is more important, the physical grade or magic grade, the answer would undoubtedly favor magic, a hundred out of a hundred times.

Seth Shahar Khan’s magic grade was three stars, definitely among the best of the new students.

In contrast, Sian Vert’s magic grade was one star.

Reality dictates that if they were to fight with magic, there wouldn’t be much of a match to begin with.

But look at their demeanor.

There’s no hint they’re going to use magic, just pure swordplay.

‘Have they made some sort of compromise?’

It’s true that Seth, who had applied for the duel, initially wanted a hand-to-hand combat duel, so it seemed they both wanted to base the match on their physical grades from the start.

-Chang Chang Chang

The sweeping sound echoed through the hall like a majestic harmony.

Seth was efficiently applying his strength to the long reach of his curved sword—overwhelming, forceful strikes.

Any ordinary student would likely lose their grip on their weapon at the first strike.

But watch how Sian moves.

He isn’t exerting the strength befitting his S-grade class.

Just the force you’d expect from an eleven-year-old boy.

With that level of strength, he’s been deflecting all of Seth’s heavy blows.

With movements precise and sharp enough to rival those of a senior knight.

The headmaster aside, the expressions of the swordsmanship instructors watching the duel were particularly noteworthy.

-Clang!

It was over.

Deflecting even the most critical move, Sian knocked Seth’s sword away and aimed his own at the opponent’s neck.

Although the outcome was somewhat anticlimactic, the process was not.

Meanwhile, Cirika, who arrived at the dueling grounds somewhat late, quickly took her seat in the stands.

“It’s unusual for you to be late for a duel.”

“I apologize! I had some matters to attend to and was delayed. How did the duel go?”

“It’s over. Although it was a swordfight, that student named Sian practically dominated.”

“I see.”

The headmaster glanced at her face.

Her stoic demeanor showed no sign of agitation or disturbance.

-Whooooosh!

Just then, a strong wind filled the dueling ground as a surge of mana spread out.

“That student! What is he doing…?”

The swirling wind was laden with thick sand grains.

“Sand Hurricane!”

Accompanying the incantation, Seth generated a powerful whirlwind starting from beneath his feet.

The mixing of sand made for a chilling sight, and the whirlwind grew in size.

But the trouble was not the sandstorm itself, but the mana detected within it.

“That Seth student had a three-star magic grade, correct?”

“Yes, that’s right. But this energy I’m feeling now…”

-Thud!

Suddenly, there was a loud noise from the magical barrier.

The magic barrier enveloping the dueling ground was four stars in strength.

It was installed considering the magic grades of the students, but the current state of the barrier was critically unstable.

In other words, Seth was now deploying magical energy exceeding the barrier’s grade.

“Huh, he’s surpassed his own magic grade… While it’s certainly extraordinary to pour all his efforts in, this is indeed a rare caliber.”

With interest, the headmaster stroked his chin and smiled.

“This is not the time to smile, isn’t it? If things go wrong, the barrier might…”

-Crack

Sure enough, the magic barrier soon began to fracture.

Yet Seth, unconcerned, enveloped himself in the sandstorm and charged towards Sian at full speed.

“Reinforce the barrier!”

Startled instructors quickly rushed out to the dueling ground to reconstruct the barrier, but in that instant,

-WHOOOSH!

A mysterious black sphere appeared in Sian’s direction.

“……!”

The black sphere manifested and began to absorb Seth’s sandstorm.

The storm, threatening to engulf everything, gradually lost its strength and dissipated, along with the mana energy.

“The Sphere of Nothingness?”

Condor’s eyes flashed briefly.

He knew exactly what that power was.

Dark attribute magic fundamentally lacks lethality.

It cannot burn like fire, sweep away like water, or shatter like lightning.

This was also the primary reason why dark attribute magic was not well received in the continent.

But lack of lethality doesn’t mean it’s not threatening.

After all, darkness is synonymously referred to as ‘nothingness’ (無)—an attribute with the power to nullify all things that exist.

The Sphere of Nothingness.

A unique spell of dark attribute magic.

There’s no need for a complex explanation; it simply nullifies all magic present before it.

If one’s attribute aligns, even a one-star mage can perform such a simple spell.

However, to be effective, one always needs to be higher in magical prowess than their opponent.

What’s happening in front of us now?

Sian, who’s merely a one-star mage, has just nullified Seth’s magic, which momentarily soared to a four-star level.

“……”

In the dueling ground where the storm raged, only a silent stillness remained.

(To be continued)

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