Chapter 27 – Mr. Handsome
by lemuel moo
Principal Stella was walking around the arena when she bumped into the president of the Occult Research Group, with her vice-president.
“Ah, Princess Rei. You’re leaving the battle arena this early?”
Rei is one of the top ten beauties in Aelfsige Academy. She has long red hair that was all the way to her waist, and her elegance was one of the reasons why both guys and girls enamored her. Her nice slender figure and sexy curves earned her many admirers.
Yumiko, her vice-president, is also one of the top ten beauties in Aelfsige Academy. She has long black hair, and she usually ties it up with a pony-tail. Her voluptuous breasts earned her the “top female student to fantasize with” award among the guys, and she has good legs with excellent features. She carries a bow with her, and it made her look cool among the girls.
Rei replied Principal Stella.
“Our representative is hurt, so we’re on our way to see him.”
“So you’re going to go for a date with Dylan?” Stella asked.
Rei nodded. “Sure. A promise is a promise.”
Folding her hands, Stella asked. “Why did you ask Vesper to forfeit the match?”
Rei put her finger on her cheek and feigned ignorance. “What’re you talking about, Principal Stella? You saw how Vesper took a hit from Dylan’s [King Of Hades’ Cannon]?”
Principal Stella smiled and looked as if she was walking away.
“I’m not the only one who noticed it, you know.”
Rei realized she couldn’t fool the principal anymore. “Ah, it must be Gale Gainsborough. Our eyes met, Principal Stella.”
At that moment, Shun walked into the group and was heading to the exit as well. Principal Stella then asked a question to Shun.
“You’re leaving early as well? So why did you forfeit the match?”
Shun replied. “Because I’ve seen all I need to see. That’s the only reason why I agreed to the duel.”
Principal Stella didn’t understand what was Shun talking about. “You’ve seen all that you need to see? What does that mean?”
Shun emotionlessly replied. “I agreed to the match to see Dylan’s strength. Now that I’ve seen it, there’s no need for me to continue with the duel.”
Principal Stella probed further. “However, by forfeiting, you forced our Student Council President to go on a date with Dylan. Is that okay?”
Shun looked into eyes of Principal Stella coldly.
“There’s no way our president is going to fall in love with that guy. She told me to forfeit once I figured out Dylan’s strength, and going out on a date is a small price to pay.”
President Stella then laughed to herself. “So that’s why both Vesper and you forfeited. Tell me then, how’s Dylan’s strength?”
Shun thought for a moment. “He’s strong, no doubt. If I were to fight with him now, I might not win. However, that’s only because he has a lot of power. He’s not a threat if we strategize against him.
Moreover, the inter-school competition cannot be won with pure power. If it did, we wouldn’t be seventh.”
Shun walked on and exited the battle arena with Reis and Yumiko.
Principal Stella was impressed that these students had so much foresight. It was exactly as what Shun surmised that pure power isn’t going to win the inter-school combat competition. Dylan’s [King Of Hades Protection] may be invincible during a battle for certain moments, but it doesn’t guarantee the win.
Principal Stella mused to herself as she began to walk around the battle arena.
Cheers erupted for Hideki as the students placed their hope in him to teach Dylan a lesson. Dylan smirked as he relished the thought of embarrassing Hideki.
Hideki’s determination to win was raging within his heart. It was evident that Dylan singled him out for his popularity, and Hideki had pride in his family’s sword techniques. However, Dylan’s display of strength shook him because the former’s energy is about two to three times of himself. The only reason why Hideki may have a chance was that Dylan was injured by Vesper and had used much of his strength.
Dylan knew that as well. “If Shun fought me, you would’ve got an easier time, Hideki.”
“…I don’t need any handicap from you, Dylan.”
“Really? People would think I’m bullying you with this amount of strength.”
At that moment, Hideki emitted his [qi], and Kasumi and Gale noticed that there was something different about him. Hideki’s countenance was calm with good concentration, and power cloaked his katana as he held it.
Kasumi then asked Gale.
“…Did you train my brother?”
Upon Victor’s declaration to start the match, Hideki softly spoke, “[Mizushima Jet Stream]!”
Almost immediately, Hideki disappeared, and Dylan tried to dodge, but blood gushed from Dylan’s side as the blade sliced a bit of abdominal muscle. [Mizushima Jet Stream] is split-second forward-lunging horizontal slash, and speed with accuracy was its strength.
Dylan’s massive amount of energy was enveloping his entire body, and they were like a barrier. However, it could not negate Hideki’s attack, and Kasumi was surprised.
“H-Hideki’s sword is blunt! I’ve checked his sword prior, and it’s amazing how he could reinforce the sharpness of his blade with energy! How did he become this strong so fast?”
Gale replied. “…It doesn’t feel like Hideki got his strength from training.”
“What do you mean?” Kasumi asked.
“…Hideki’s control of his energy is lacking, and so after he lunged forward for that horizontal strike, he landed too far from Dylan to do a proper followup. Hideki is known to be precise with his techniques, so that kind of mistake is unlike him.” Gale explained.
Indeed, Hideki turned and wanted to follow up with consecutive slashes, but he was too far off. Instead, he used his [Mizushima Waterfall Slash] to attack from a distance. Dylan parried with his hands easily and counterattacked Hideki by lunging forward and attacking the latter with his claws.
Hideki didn’t back away from the challenge as his blade clashed against Dylan’s claws. The impact was significant, and the audience felt the aftershock of their blows. However, Dylan was stronger, and he pushed Hideki back before launching consecutive strikes with his fingers.
While Hideki backed away from Dylan’s claws, he unleashed his [Million Rain Drops]. It was a barrage of precision thrusting from the katana, and it shoots out thin streams of sword energy from the tip of the blade. Hideki knew it couldn’t hurt Dylan directly, so he aimed for his joints and acupuncture points on Dylan’s arms and palms. As a result, it weakened Dylan’s attack.
Dylan felt sharp piercing pains on his forearms and palms because Hideki bruised his acupuncture points, and he retreated his claws. The audience cheered as they saw Dylan take a few steps backward.
Dylan remarked. “…Very clever, Hideki. I’m beginning to understand why people raved on your sword techniques and I’m impressed you could target my acupuncture points with pinpoint accuracy. If you’re so good with close combat, let’s see how you deal with my long range attacks.”
Without moving from his spot, Dylan slashed with his right fingers like claws, and a devilish-looking energy claw projected out of his hands as an extension! Hideki was standing about a hundred feet from Dylan, and yet Dylan’s claw was able to reach him!
Instinctively, Hideki used his sheath to block the impending attack, but the impact was too strong, and he was thrown back. Dylan then used his left hand and clawed again, and another energy claw shot out from his left side. Hideki used his [Mizushima Waterfall Slash] to parry the attack.
At that moment, It dawned on Hideki that Dylan had an overwhelming advantage with mid to long range attacks, so Hideki leaped forward to close the distance between them, and then combined both the [Mizushima Waterfall Slash] and the [Thousand Waves Of Fury] to attack Dylan. The combination of techniques resulted in a tsunami of energy projectiles which was fired from the blades towards Dylan.
Dylan laughed hysterically as he sneered at Hideki. “The Mizushima sword techniques are so simple! It’s all brawn without brains!”
As hundreds of energy projectiles rained upon Dylan in close distance, Dylan activated his [King Of Hades Protection]. An aura of temporary invulnerability cloaked Dylan, and the barrage of sword slashes could not scratch Dylan.
Hideki realized that his enhanced power from the MAPR organization was useless against Dylan, and his confidence plummeted. Dylan saw that Hideki’s attacks suddenly became weak, and he deactivated his state of invulnerability to counterattack with his [King Of Hades’ Cannon] technique.
A huge mass of energy began emerging from Dylan’s fingers, and it was directed towards Hideki. Hideki stared into a big mass of energy ball and suddenly blanked out as though he was in a trance because he lost all hope of winning. In an instant, Kasumi knew Hideki was in danger, and she shouted to Victor to get Dylan to stop.
Suddenly, a hand grabbed Dylan’s right wrist and pushed his fingers into the ground. The energy blast exploded under Dylan’s feet, and the explosion created a crater below him. Enraged by the interruption, Dylan looked up and saw a man with a white suit glaring at him. He was handsome with flawless skin, nicely-built, and his palms were emitting steam.
As the man was still holding Dylan’s right wrist, Dylan felt a burning sensation under the man’s grip, and he cloaked his body with energy with a murderous aura in response. However, the man didn’t let go of Dylan’s wrist, and he was unperturbed by Dylan’s display of hostility.
“Who are you? How dare you interrupt my duel?!”
“I’m Valerian Tze, a guest instructor starting today at Aelfsige Academy.”
The audience cheered, and this suave-looking man swooned the ladies. Kasumi couldn’t help muttering a few words. “Wow… he’s really handsome.”
A tinge of jealousy pierced Gale’s heart as he heard Kasumi, and he looked at her face. Kasumi seemed oblivious about Gale’s jealousy and smiled back at Gale.
“I’m happy that my brother is fine.”
The sour feeling on his chest didn’t go away, but Gale put on a brave front and decided to focus on the match.
Dylan tried to force Valerian’s grip out of his right arm by pulling violently, but Valerian didn’t budge, and Dylan yelled in response.
“Hands off! We’re in the middle of a duel now. I didn’t do anything wrong to have an instructor interrupting my match.”
“This is just an unofficial friendly match, but did you have to put that much energy in your attack at point-blank range? You might seriously injure your schoolmate here.” Valerian questioned.
Dylan retorted. “We aren’t in a kindergarten school. The inter-school competitions are more brutal than this, so back off.”
Valerian tightened his grip, and Dylan could feel Valerian’s fingers from his bones. Who the hell is this guy?! I’m using so much energy to pull, but my arms are like jelly to him!
Victor, the referee who was in-charged of this match, walked up to Valerian and tapped him on his shoulder.
“I’m the referee of this match. You need to let go, Valerian.”
With that statement, Valerian let go. Victor announced Dylan as the winner and Kasumi ran up to Hideki immediately.
“Hideki, are you alright?”
Hideki was utterly disappointed with his loss. The words, “It’s all direct attacks, and it’s useless without power!” kept ringing over his head as he picked himself up and walked away.
Valerian saw Kasumi’s concerns over Hideki and asked. “Is he your boyfriend?”
“He’s my little brother.”
“I see. He just needs time to get over his loss. All men are like that. I’ll check on him so don’t worry.”
Kasumi then glanced at Gale to signal that she was going after Hideki, and Gale slightly nodded. Valerian accompanied Kasumi and left the battleground. Miss Mia then walked over to Gale.
“Valerian was truly awesome! We were touring the school, and he wanted to take a closer look at the duel, so I walked him here. He rushed in to save Hideki even though he’s so new to our school!”
Gale thought Hideki didn’t need to be saved at that moment. Hideki wasn’t that weak, and he could well afford to be struck by Dylan’s blast. It would sting Hideki’s pride if he didn’t give up on his own, so Gale didn’t interrupt the match as he did with Zeel. Thus, he wondered if Valerian did the right thing.
At that moment, Victor introduced the contestant of the last match.
“We now have Reynard as our last match. Let’s give it up to Reynard!” It was a muted response as the audience clapped courteously.
Reynard was shivering with nervousness, but Gale placed his hand on his shoulder and said to him, “Don’t worry. I’m with you in this.” At Gale’s soothing words, Reynard calmed down and managed a smile.
Gale then stabbed the ground with his [Five Elemental Wooden Sword], and a stone sword of 265 pounds emerged from the ground. Everyone was stunned at the massive looking sword, and Victor immediately went over to Gale.
“Hey! This weapon looks dangerous, and it isn’t allowed!”
Gale replied. “…It doesn’t even have an edge, and it’s bulky and heavy. If Reynard’s not fighting with this sword, we’re forfeiting.”
Victor asked in disbelief. “Can Reynard even lift this sword in the first place?!”
Reynard used his right hand and picked up the sword just like a regular sword, and the crowd was stunned. Suddenly, one voice shouted, “Reynard the Monster! Beat Dylan!”
Slowly, rumblings of “Reynard the Monster! Beat Dylan!” began to emanate from the audience. It grew to a roar, and the crowd cheered for Reynard wildly!
Reynard was surprised over the audience’s support, and Gale dropped a mischievous grin.
“Just like practice, show Dylan what you’re made of.”
Reynard nodded and obediently walked to the middle of the battleground. After Victor made a few calls to the principal, he decided that they would continue the match with Reynard’s stone sword.
Dylan didn’t like the confident look of Gale and the stone sword that was towering over Reynard’s shoulder. He suspected there was more than meets the eye to Reynard.
“What are you playing at, Gale? Have you been training Reynard?”
Gale snickered. “Why? Feeling small because of a big sword? Just fight and stop whining.”
At the commencement of the match, Dylan unleashed a mid-range [King Of Hades Claws], and a devilish-looking energy claw was swung towards Reynard, but Reynard cloaked his sword with his aura and blocked it with ease. Dylan made another swing, and Reynard parried it perfectly.
“Impossible! Does Reynard have that much strength?!”
Reynard wasn’t purely using his [qi], but his muscles were conditioned enough to wield the stone sword at ease. Gale fed Reynard with both [Qi Strengthening] and [Muscle Strengthening] pills, so Reynard’s strength exponentially increased while training in the midst of flash floods.
Dylan unleashed a barrage of swipes in mid-range, but Reynard blocked every attack without moving from where he was standing. The crowd couldn’t believe what they were seeing, and they cheered Reynard wildly.
Dylan was shell-shocked and stunned. “This…This isn’t possible! My attacks should’ve at least pushed you back!”
The crowd chanted, “Beat Dylan! Beat Dylan! Beat Dylan!”
Frustrated that his attacks were not getting through, Dylan rushed forward and unleashed a barrage of swipes with his claws at close range. Also, Dylan amplified the magnitude of his [qi] on his claws by multiple folds. Reynard looked at Dylan’s attacks and saw that it resembled the torrents of water which he faced during training. Thus, Reynard grabbed the stone sword with his two hands, began swinging his colossal sword wildly in response, and repelled every attack with simple swipes!
Each swing from Reynard was so forceful, Dylan’s arms and hands ached when his claws and the stone sword clashed. Gale had taught Reynard how to cloak his weapon with his energy, and though the sword was blunt, Dylan’s limbs were numbed from pain.
Dylan yelled in frustration. “Why would a weakling like you have that much strength?!”
It didn’t matter if Dylan attacked from the left or the right, or the top or the bottom, Reynard’s swings successfully pushed Dylan back regardless. Dylan was getting more and more frustrated, and at that moment Reynard remembered what Gale told him.
“You’re not going to win by attacking directly. It’s going to be psychological warfare because you are inferior in battle experience, and most probably in agility and energy too. However, if you focus your energy on the sword, with its mass and weight, you’ll be able to deal with most of his attacks.
Hold your ground and be on the defense. Dylan looks down on his opponents, so once he sees how well you’re defending against him, he will try even harder to overwhelm you with his attacks. Make him come to you, then at the right moment when you think you can counterattack, do it with all your might. You only have one chance.”
Dylan roared with frustration and used every ounce of his energy to thrust his claws directly at Reynard’s chest, but Reynard saw how simple the attacks were and spotted an opening. Reynard suddenly stepped sideways to dodge one of the impending claws, and Dylan knew he was in trouble.
Reynard swung his sword upwards with all his might at the chest and landed a clean hit at Dylan’s chest. As Dylan focused most of his energy on his fingers, his chest was thin with protection, and the blade sliced through his skin and the top layer of his muscles. The wound wasn’t lethal because Reynard was inexperienced with his control of energy, but blood splattered everywhere, and Dylan was hurt!
The audience roared in applause and cheers and shouted, “FINISH HIM!”
Enraged by Reynard’s clean hit, Dylan closed the distance between Reynard and himself in a flash and prepared an energy ball to ram it at Reynard’s face. However, another hand gripped Dylan’s wrist, and Dylan could not follow his attack through.
It was Victor Spectre, the referee. He was mightily embarrassed by Valerian when he failed to stop Dylan from attacking Hideki earlier, and he wasn’t going to make the same mistake again. As Victor’s grip was firm on Dylan’s wrist, Dylan saw that his ball of energy became smaller and smaller, until it finally dissipated as it was absorbed into Victor’s hands.
“[Drain Touch]! So, that’s your skill?”
“I have better techniques than this, Dylan. However, stop now. If Reynard is agreeable, I will declare you the winner. Your attack here would have sealed the win.”
Reynard immediately nodded his head at Victor’s suggestion, and Victor lifted Dylan’s arm and declared him the winner of the duel. The crowd began chanting, “Reynard! Reynard!” Reynard blushed and looked down as he was uncomfortable being in the spotlight.
Dylan felt frustrated because the match made Reynard a hero instead of him as the winner. He stormed off the battle arena without another word.
At the same time, Hideki heard chants from the audience in the backroom. He hurriedly turned his focus on a monitor screen and saw that Dylan had a sword wound across his chest. Then he looked at Reynard’s stone sword was dripping with blood at the edges. Hideki couldn’t believe Reynard had managed to wound Dylan when he couldn’t.
Kasumi was awestruck as well. Reynard was relatively timid, and to manage a sword wound on Dylan wasn’t an easy feat. Valerian thought Reynard was talented and commended him, “Wow! That guy is something else!”
However, both Kasumi and Hideki knew who was indeed behind the sword wound. Gale yawned and walked away from the battle arena to look for food.