The young knight couldn’t help but stare at Romaine, stunned. He almost thought he had misheard her response. He had encountered many peasants and travelers from rural farmlands, and even the most courageous merchants among them had cowered in front of nobles like him. Never had he been on the receiving end of such disrespect.
In reality, Romaine was also staring dazedly at the man in front of her with a wide-open mouth. Since the merchant girl reacted to things slower than most people, she was still trying to think about what had happened and how the man had appeared in front of her.
If she didn’t lack all common sense, she would have thought he had dropped from the sky.
It was only after she turned this ridiculous supposition around in her mind that she asked seriously, “Ah, who are you? Are you looking for Brendel?”
“Brendel?” Filas finally recovered his wits. Unfortunately, as a noble he’s only ever heard of the title Count Trentheim and has no idea who “Brendel” is. He thought for a moment and believed the farm girl had probably been scared stupid by his appearance. So he put on a gentle smile and continued, “No, I am here for you, my beautiful lady. I am Filas, the future heir to the house of Barrano.”
Romaine thought hard for a moment, “Do you know me?”
“No,” Filas’ face darkened when he heard his fiancee let out a burst of involuntary laughter behind him. Ever since he left the Empire, he had never failed to win awe and admiration, but it seemed like he’s met his match today. “... This should be our first encounter, beautiful lady.”
“Ah, I get it.” The merchant girl finally seemed to have figured things out. “You want to buy my wine, right? You know your wine. Romaine has the best wheat wine in all of Trentheim. No, in all of Aouine.” She realized for the first time that this big and stocky knight in front of her was a potential customer, and began her long-winded sales pitch.
“No, please stop.” Even though Filas finally learned the young girl’s name, he had to hurriedly interrupt, “I don’t want to buy your wheat wine.”
“You don’t want to buy the wine--?”
Romaine narrowed her eyes slightly and finally understood the man wasn’t trying to negotiate the price. So she thought for a moment and decided to demonstrate a merchant’s ruthlessness. Without saying another word, she directly walked around the man and continued on her way.
Filas heard the onlookers burst into laughter. Not just the hillbillies, but even the Kirrlutzian knights and Laurenna couldn’t resist laughing. Our young knight felt self-conscious, and he subconsciously wanted to grab at the standard in Romaine’s hands.
“Hold, I tell you!”
Unfortunately, before he could touch the pole of the standard, a beam of silver light shot through the crowd. Despite it all, Filas was still an official knight and recovered at the last second. In a flash, he pulled out the longsword hanging by his waist. With a clang, two glinting longwords clashed against each other.
The powerful force made Filas lean slightly backward. He realized then that the opponent who countered his strike was an outstanding female knight. Freya was adorned in a silver suit of White Lion Armor and her Sacred Lionheart Sword was pointed at the sky. She looked coldly at the Kirrlutzian on the horse and barely moved. She had blocked Filas’ attack with just one hand while standing on the ground.
She was at least at level silver.
Filas stared at the female knight in front of him and had to admit he was startled. With just that one strike, he estimated they were evenly matched, but she looked to be much younger than him. Freya looked to be barely older than twenty but he knew very well that he had wielded a sword for longer than twenty years.
There was such a genius in this backwater place. With a slight frown, Filas calculated that her potential was about the same as his fiancee’s. Of course, he didn’t know that Freya’s abilities skyrocketed after the battle of Ampere Seale. Before going to the port city, her abilities probably weren’t even a match for his.
In combination with earlier rumors, this was enough to make him frown. He knew the local leader was a famous genius in Aouine, but he hadn’t thought that person would have such talent under his command. Filas might be flighty, but he was no fool.
“Who are you?”
“Who are you?”
Filas and Freya both demanded at the same time.
“We are the diplomatic delegation from Kirrlutz.” Just then, a voice sounded from behind him. It commanded, “Filas, confiscate her sword.”
Stunned, Filas turned around to find that it was Delphine, daughter to the prime minister, who gave the order. He saw the woman give him a chilly look and demand unemotionally, “Filas, you now represent the Empire. If she dares to resist, kill her!”
“Lady Delphine?” Naturally, Laurenna heard Delphine’s order. She was shocked. She originally thought Delphine would cause trouble for the leader, but she had never thought Lady Delphine would be as ruthless as to have someone killed.
Of course, Laurenna didn’t need to consider whether to kill someone or not. But if it was Filas who did the killing, she knew very well that her fiance would be in big trouble here.
But Delphine had clearly made a decision. She gave the female knight an unconcerned look and said, “Laurenna, you should know the pride of the Empire cannot be defiled. To draw a blade unprovoked at diplomats of the Empire is akin to declaring war.”
“But she didn’t mean it. We can use this as a leverage and demand the leader apologize.” Laurenna panicked. She never dreamt in a million years that Delphine would elevate this to such a huge crime.
“No need!” Before the female knight finished speaking, both Delphine and Freya declared simultaneously. Freya blocked Romaine with one hand and stared coldly at the others. “If it weren’t for you Kirrlutzians, Bessie wouldn’t have died. But you never learned from the tragedies of others. Brendel will never apologize to the likes of you. You may think that you are born better than others, but one day you’ll understand what it means to pay the price for making the choice between right and wrong -- “
The future War Goddess of Aouine rebuked angrily. The mark of the War Goddess on her forehead suddenly shone with brilliant colors and a pair of wings made of light unfurled behind her. Bright white flames burst into existence in the middle of her right palm and turned her Sacred Lionheart Sword into a blade burning with sacred fire.
Laurenna wanted to try and persuade Delphine but she suddenly felt the female knight’s energy increase exponentially. In a moment, it broke through the barrier between Upper Silver and Peak Silver and approached the Golden Realm.
Another twenty-year-old Golden Realm Being.
Her expression changed and she immediately warned, “Filas, be careful!”
But it was too late. Freya, completely angered by the daughter of the Prime Minister, immediately swung out with her sword. The terrifying power was more than Filas could handle and he flew straight off the back of his horse. And then the War Goddess took a single step forward and with a single flap of the light-wings on her back, she lifted off the ground and shot towards Delphine.
“Heavens, Seraphine!” The knights of Kirrlutz couldn’t help but let out yells of surprise.
But clearly their yells didn’t draw the onlookers’ attention. The local residents probably hadn’t thought that both sides would devolve into fighting immediately and scattered to the four winds. Some ran towards the contest grounds and those with more foresight ran straight towards where their leader was.
Laurenna saw her fiance being knocked away and had to stop debating with herself. She immediately pulled out her own longsword and met Freya straight on. As soon as she joined the fight, the various knights from regions surrounding Trenthem, who had rushed over from the nearby contest grounds, felt the expression on their faces change.
If Freya was only approaching the Golden Realm, the terrifying energy around the female knight had all the pressure of a bona fide Golden Peak.
A cold smile bloomed on Delphine’s stunning features as she watched from behind all the knights of Kirrlutz. Filas may not have known about Romaine or Freya, but that didn’t mean she herself knew nothing about Count Trentheim. Now Freya attacked just as she expected, but the question was how long could she survive under the assault of Rusta’s most talented girl?
She probably already had her answer.
Even in Kirrlutz, very few people were aware of a secret. The calm female knight was actually the personally appointed heir to the Grand Captain of the Paladin Knights.
For a very simple reason.
Because Laurenna was the only one to master the entire Flash Strike Sword Art in four hundred years of Kirrlutz history.
Freya quickly realized this. Though she had demanded to teach the Kirrlutz delegation a lesson, it didn’t mean that the future War Goddess had completely lost her mind. Once she sent Filas flying, her first target had actually been Delphine, who was under the protection of the Kirrlutzian knights.
Freya had clearly seen that the woman with out-of-the-world beauty was the one stirring up trouble between the Aouinians and the Kirrlutzians. Even though she didn’t know why the woman was doing this, subduing her was clearly the most straightforward solution.
She had thought of one possibility, but not of how the story would develop.
As soon as she drew her sword, the female knight she had ignored previously seemed to simply shift astride her horse. In the next moment, a blade appeared in front of Freya.
Flash Strike Sword Art!
Because Brendel also used a similar type of sword art, Freya had definitely seen this attack before. She had even experienced it personally. But in her recollections, Brendel’s Flash Strike Sword Art was nowhere as magnificent as this single strike.
That sharpened blade appeared in front of her forehead without any warning, as if she had slammed her forehead against it instead of having it directed at her.
Freya jumped back in surprise and tried to dodge the attack by leaning her head back, but she was just a second too late. The blade of the knife drew a bloody line on her forehead.
The War Goddess gritted her teeth and almost blacked out from the stinging pain on her forehead. Thankfully it was not a fatal wound. She frantically flapped her light-wings in midair and turned around. But before she could let out a breath, scarlet blood welled up from her arms, shoulder, and abdomen.
Freya cried out in pain and couldn’t believe that she had been struck. This felt like Laurenna’s sword simultaneously struck her from countless angles.
So this was the real Flash Strike Sword Art.