The moment Celia shut her eyes, Rio stopped Alfred’s slash .
Moments later Celia opened her eyes and saw,
「Ri……………… O? 」
Celia muttered so as she looked at Rio’s back .
Rio smiled wryly when he heard her mutter his name . But he immediately put more power into his sword and pushed Alfred back .
Alfred silently retreated and took some distance from Rio .
「Please retreat . I’ll end this right away . 」
Rio said those words to Celia who was standing behind him while keeping his eyes on Alfred . Alfred was also closely observing Rio .
「U-Uhn . Follow me, your highness . 」
Celia suddenly regained herself and urged Christina to follow her according to Rio instruction .
「B-But, his opponent is Alfred . No matter how powerful lord Amakawa is, his opponent is…………」
Maybe due to her sense of responsibility or her judgement regarding Alfred’s strength, Christina showed her disapproval .
「Haruto will be okay . We’re just a burden to him――」
Celia tried her best to persuade Christina .
「……… . . KUKUKUKUKUKU, HAHAHAHA! THIS IS A MASTERPIECE! 」
Charles started laughing loudly as he was unable to hold back his emotions . And then continuing his words while looking at Rio from behind Alfred .
「You, are a fool huh? Don’t you understand the situation? Everyone here is an elite knight . It’s a matter of superiority in numbers . Defeating us in an instant you say? By yourself? Are you an idiot? 」
Maybe because he felt comfortable with his current overwhelming number, Charles said so with composure . The other knights excluding Alfred also relaxed their expression .
Hearing that Celia looked at Charles with a dampened look on her face . Christina who was standing right beside her also had a similar expression as she watched Charles-tachi .
But then, Charles was yet to end his speech .
「But those words might be not wrong either . This’ll definitely end in an instant . WITH YOUR MISERABLE DEFEAT RIGHT! ? 」
Charles said so with an elated tone but, his eyes opened wide immediately .
Rio’s figure had suddenly disappeared as if he had teleported . The next moment, Alfred had already appeared right in front of Charles―,
「!!!!! ? 」
Alfred readied his sword and repelled Rio’s strike .
Thus, both parties were knocked back .
Rio was slightly surprised in seeing Alfred keeping up with his movement which couldn’t even be followed by Arein-tachi . His eyes squinting, noticed the sword held by Alfred .
(That demon sword is loaded with a powerful body strengthening magic huh)
Rio retreated as he calmly analysed his opponent and concluded that―― Alfred might have strengthened his body using that sword .
Many ancient artifacts were loaded with body strengthening magic that was more powerful than 《Hyper Physical Ability》 .
Though there was a small difference between the strengthening effects of different demon swords, seeing that he could cope with Rio’s speed, Alfred’s sword must have been a high ranking artifact .
In addition, Alfred himself was more of a threat than that demon sword .
（The user of the sword himself is powerful . His maai has no openings）[TL : 見切り — also can be translated as “Abandonment” — A state in combat where one is judging the technique, stance and movement of their opponent to fight them with paper thin margin, I think this is actually “Maai”– Please add if there’s better explanation]
『Maai』 is the basic for personal combat, and also it’s true essence . Normally someone needs to put some power into parts of their body to move but maai enables them to predict their opponents move by reading the flow of power .
Nevertheless, maai sight wasn’t something that could be so easily trained as it was mostly dependent on one’s own power .
And there was also a skill to counter maai by using the least possible amount of power or by mixing feints in one’s movements .
In this aspect, Rio’s high speed movement was his own original skill which when combined with wind spirit arts and the skill to put the least amount of power to get into motion gave him an edge . His original skill’s greatest advantage was that it allowed him to accelerate with almost zero pre-motion . And by combining that with the wind spirit arts movement speed enhancement, it made it look like he was teleporting .
But, that did not mean he had zero pre-motion . That’s why Rio had already considered his opponent having a grasp of his ability and being able to counter him . He was convinced that as long as his opponent’s maai was on the level of Uzuma or Gouki, they’ll be able to cope with his speed .
Nevertheless, when Rio remembered that there was no one amongst the people of Strahl region who could cope with his move he focused on the person in front of him .
（Alfred―― No doubt about it . He is definitely the strongest knight of this kingdom . ）
Even Rio had heard of Alfred’s name before . Yes, it was the name of the person who once competed with Lucius for the seat of the 『Sword of King』 .
From his skill alone, Rio concluded that the person standing in front of him was the 『Sword of King』 himself .
Or it should be said that it was as expected, since his skill was definitely amongst the top class, on par with Uzuma and Gouki . It was also the first time for Rio to be fighting to the death against this level of an opponent .
It had no limitations like a match, it’ll become a no-hold barred deathmatch .
Even if Rio felt dread due to the situation, he abandoned his hesitation . Since he knew that their battle would turn into mortal combat .
That’s why, after he analyzed his opponent’s skills in few seconds after their initial clash――
Rio and Alfred facing each other from an easy to cover distance, kicked the ground and dashed at each other . Neither showed any hesitation in their movements .
The two of them were mutually reading each others movement and yet the way they brandished their swords wasn’t that different from before . Their swords collided against each other scattering sparks .
「K-KILL HIM! DON’T YOU DARE HOLD BACK, ALFRED . KILL HIM! NO NEED TO ASK HIM ANY QUESTIONS, KILL HIM AND LET THAT COWARD SEE THE REALITY! 」
Charles who was completely ignored by them started ranting in panic after witnessing Rio’s skill .
But, both Rio and Alfred weren’t in a situation to lend an ear to hear his rant . Their swords clashed at terrifying speed scattering sparks between them .
It was a head on collision right from the front . Their swords were clashing so quickly that the resulting metallic sound was barely discerned by other people save for Rio and Alfred .
「Urgh………………… . . 」
Charles gulped his saliva as he witnessed such a degree of combat .
But that was just natural . The other knights in that place including Celia and Christina were also similarly being overwhelmed by such a fierce exchange .
No one could interfere with their battle―― Nor were they allowed to move .
Even so, there was one man who was still unable to read the situation .
「W-Who? WHO THE HELL IS THAT MAN! ? WHY CAN HE FIGHT ON PAR AGAINST ALFRED! ? YOU’RE THE SRONGEST KNIGHT OF OUR KINGDOM! YOU’RE EQUIPPED WITH 『FLASH JUDGEMENT』, OUR KINGDOM’S NATIONAL TREASURE AREN’T YOU? 」
A while after being overwhelmed by such a situation, Charles started shouting loudly like a broken dam . The other knights in that place suddenly came to their senses in hearing his shout . The same thing happened to Christina and Celia .
「L-Let’s retreat . Let’s take along Kouta-kun and Rei-kun right now . We’re going to be involved in their battle if we don’t take some distance from them . Let’s go towards a safe zone first, your highness . 」
When Celia said so, she moved to secure Rei and Kouta who were lying on the ground . She arrived at Kouta who was closest to her . Though there was a big difference in their height, she could hold him with her shoulder since she had strengthened her physical ability with magic .
「Let me to help you . 」
Christina did not move towards the safe zone by herself, she took the initiative to save Rei . She rushed to Rei in a hurry and carried him on her shoulder .
Though Celia wanted Christina to run towards the safe area even if just a bit faster, their time was too precious for such useless exchanges right now since she didn’t know when they will be involved in the fierce combat in front of them .
Celia quickly took some distance from that place in order to not become a hindrance to Rio .
Rio and Alfred were exchanging fierce slashes just few metres away from them . Their swords intersecting , entangling and then parrying each other . Sparks scattered around as their swords clashed tens of times within a few seconds .
（………… . . Strange . ）