"I'll take you on."
Jinga drew his sword once Lecan responded.
A long, heavy, broad and thick sword.
It's easy to guess it's an extremely fine sword.
Jinga thrust his left hand out and recited a spell.
A fine-looking patterned shield immediately emerged on Jinga's left hand.
His light gauntlet has transformed into a shield.
Since there was no vestiges of mana emission anywhere, the shield itself must possess a function to activate itself without mana.
Quite an interesting protector.
Furthermore, one can tell at a glance that it's an outstanding shield.
'I'd like to get my hand on it if I could', thought Lecan.
Lecan drew his sword as well. The <Sword of Rusk>.
He's already stored away the Sacred Solid Silver sword, <Guardian Jewel of Zana>, <Dagger of Harut> and <Lightning Dragon Gauntlet>. Only the silver ring remains on his finger.
Jinga slightly bent his body forward with his sword and shield at the ready.
In that instance, the majority of Jinga's body looked as if it had been hidden behind his shield to Lecan.
These sensations occur fairly often whenever he's up against someone skilled with a shield. The reason why is to hide preliminary motions before those shield users swing their sword, thus denying their opponent to read ahead. In other word, Jinga is masterful enough with a shield to garner such an evaluation from Lecan.
Lecan could perhaps easily defeat Jinga if he used magic, perhaps he could not. However, he was in the mood to play along with this duel.
Lecan suddenly took a large step forward, and swung down a powerful slash from overhead. His attack got blocked by Jinga's shield, then a moment later, Jinga's sword lunged out from behind his shield.
That attack wasn't especially swift or anything. However, Lecan failed to dodge it. The timing of that one blow was simply perfect. Jinga's sword hit Lecan's side hard.
Lecan had jumped to the opposite direction of the sword to kill its momentum, yet that one blow still managed to land a clean hit on Lecan's body. He must have broken one or two bones. That wouldn't have been the end of it had it not for the <Overking Bear> overcoat he wore.
Thinking that this man has grown old is a mistake. No elderly man could fight with such force. At this very moment at least.
Lecan took another step forward and unleashed a flurry of sword slashes without breathing.
Jinga is clearly a veteran who has mastered the way of orthodox knight.
On the other hand, Lecan's style is completely self taught, a rustic swordsman.
However, his power, speed, and ferocity are somethings that have been tempered over countless battlefields.
Hence, Jinga in turn cannot read Lecan's moves. It took him his all just to defend against the flurry of slashes, he couldn't afford to strike back.
Lecan continued his observation even while sealing Jinga's movements with his successive strikes. Foreseeing how Jinga's right sword hand will move.
In reality, Jinga has no mean to attack back. However, that right hand of his is patiently waiting for the moment it could launch a counterattack. Lecan is predicting how that immobile sword will make its move.
An assault that ignores breathing also denies the opponent of a breathing room, usually. And powerful moves aren't something that can be kept up for long. However, Lecan's bottomless stamina affords him a continuous assault that exceeds common sense.
A crack eventually formed on Jinga's iron wall.
At the receiving end of Lecan's storm-like attacks, Jinga lost control of his shield ever so slightly.
Lecan jumped backward all of a sudden.
Jinga doesn't chase after him right away. He's unable to.
And yet, he quickly regained his posture before charging forward. There would be no more chance to strike back if he didn't now, thus he judged.
Which was exactly what Lecan anticipated.
With Jinga fully concentrating into the charge, this is exactly the time when Jinga's shield has lost its flexible motions.
Lecan raised his left leg, kicking the shield upward.
That is an improbable action in a match between knights. However, Lecan is not a knight.
Jinga was caught by surprise, the kick was a clean hit.
As expected of Jinga, he didn't let go of his shield even after that.
However, his body was defenseless in that instance.
Lecan mercilessly swung down his sword.
The sword deeply cut into Jinga's right eye, down to his right shoulder and right chest, tore up his rib and reached his belly.
'Clank', Jinga's sword fell down, his shield fell down, his body collapsed face up.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Jinga. Talk before you die. For what reason have you been staying by Norma's side all this time."
Jinga didn't respond immediately. The combination of pain and paralysis rushing through one's body is not a pleasant one to experience. Losing more blood as time goes by, his body parts are gradually losing their functions. Nevertheless, this old knight demonstrated a tremendous degree of self-control and replied to Lecan with a hoarse voice after a slight while.
"To protect Norma-sama, monitor her, and to immediately report to my lord if <Purification> manifests in her."
"Did the marquis really make an oath to not mess with Norma and her father?"
"He did. And, the present marquis house, intended to abide by the oath, unless an exceptional situation arose."
"What's that exceptional situation."
"I-if, <Purification> manifested, in Norma-sama."
"That never happened."
Seemingly assaulted by an intense pain, Jinga shut his eyes tightly for a while.
"Was that something the present marquis anticipated?"
"Not, exactly. He never, even considered, the possibility."
"Then, whatever powers Eda displayed have nothing to do with you or the marquis house."
"That's, unacceptable. Lecan-dono, has no idea, how much, Marquis House, keenly depends, on that power."
"A power they didn't have initially."
"The wheel of time, cannot be, turned back."
The marquis house had gotten used to having a <Purification> user. So have the present master, their relatives, and their faction's nobles. Hence, the state of having no <Purification> user around must have been unbearable to them. It's not like Lecan couldn't understand why the present master ordered this man to monitor Norma.
However, it has been years since then. The situation might have changed at the marquis house. And yet, this man is bound by his order and loyalty to his master.
"Fine. I got all I wanted to know. In short, you could not go against your lord's orders even though you didn't report them about Eda."
"And you were defeated. By me."
"Indeed, this is, my loss."
"Your mission is over."
"...That's, right. It's over."
"So now choose for yourself how you're going to live your second life."
Lecan wouldn't have let Eda go off on her own had he known this would happen. Eda's <Recovery> would surely save this man.
No, this man wouldn't have come out of hiding to attack Lecan had he known Eda was nearby. Even if he did, he likely would choose death the moment he lost.
Lecan could only listen to his true motive precisely because Eda had gone ahead.
Shira's ointment is useless for this. It won't work on such a heavy injury and it's just too slow working to begin with.
Lecan took a Large Red Potion out of <Storage>, crushed it in his hand and sprinkled it over Jinga.
The potion immediately worked its miracle and restored a few of his shredded entrails.
But that's it.
(Is his weight of life too huge?)
(That still doesn't explain this ineffectiveness.)
(It's a fresh injury, it should've worked.)
There's only one explanation how this curious case occurred.
Jinga had already drunk a Red Potion before the duel.
In order to drive himself into a situation where he would definitely die with his loss.
Lecan cast <Recovery>.
But, it's no use.
With such a heavy wound, Lecan's <Recovery> cannot stop Jinga's impending demise.
He considered calling Eda back, but that won't make it in time.
He cannot let this man die.
Eda owes a debt to this man.
Things would have gone really bad had he reported Eda to the marquis right away.
The marquis house would surely try to secure Eda by any mean necessary. Lecan hasn't done all the preps needed to oppose them yet.
This man would surely spend the remainders of his life in comfort had he gone back with the feat of discovering a <Purification> user.
However, this man decided to challenge Lecan to a duel. Meaning, he must have not reported this matter to the marquis house yet.
Lecan has no idea why he made that choice. Perhaps he felt something from his days of watching over Norma's mother and Norma herself. Perhaps he wished to break the cycle of curses chaining down <Purification> users.
Regardless, this man has given Lecan a chance. A chance to protect Eda. A chance Lecan wrestled off him. That's an undeniable truth.
Perhaps he wanted to die. Perhaps he wanted to close the last page of his life during his peaceful days with Norma.
Lecan put his hand in <Storage> once again and grabbed on a Greater Restorative. It's one of the sole five Restoratives he brought from his previous world. A special medicine even Shira told him to save. Lecan crouched down and shoved it in Jinga's mouth.
Jinga swallowed it.
This Restorative is not as almighty as a <God Cure>. Neither are its effects as immediate as Red Potions. However, the Restorative brought about effects Red Potions incapable of.
Jinga's right eye is restored.
Jinga's shoulder is restored.
Jinga's chest and belly are restored.
This medicine is pretty much a miracle in this world.
Suddenly, Lecan recalled something and used <Appraisal> on a shield lying on the ground.
It's called <Shield of Wolkan>, possessing the effects of anti-magic defense, anti-physical defense and miniaturization.
Wonder if it's a dungeon item. When he used <Appraisal> once again while wondering that, <Drop Location> surprisingly got listed in the results. He found out it's an item dropped in Ninae Dungeon.
By the time all of Jinga's wounds are healed, Lecan has already walked far away.
[Episode 13 Abduction] End/ Next Time [Episode 14 Unsolicited Pupil]