Magic Apprentice Chapter 97
The man grew silent in response to Kite, though he didnt give way either. He was a stubborn one, and his father clearly understood that well since he turned toward Kebrilio as though to seek his assistance. Given that Kebrilio was personally involved in this matter, however, the archmagister failed to voice an opinion.
Myron was the one to break the group out from the silence. It appears to me that both parties have already an answer. Let they be the one to resolve this query. Perhaps the outcome will be quite extraordinary.
Given the archiereus ability of foresight and his particular social station, no one there could refute his suggestion. The son of the grandmaster seemed to agree with Myron, however, as he nodded his head with purpose. Honorable dignitary of Sovereign, you appear to me as a knight. I invite you to a duel if you are. Claim victory over me and I will relent to your strength and glory as champion.
The paladin grandmaster stepped forward at once to stop his sonthis challenge was going too far. He knew his sons prowess better than anyone else here today; only a handful of knights could boast of being the superior knight to his son, and his opponent resembled more of a squire than a knight. A duel between the two seemed highly imbalanced.
Opportunistic in nature, the man spoke quickly to prevent being silenced by his father. I am Lloyd Grunbach, a knight captain. Know I wish not a unfair duel. Defend ten blows and I shall relent.
Many would have thought this to be a fair compromise and duel, but none expected Kite to refuse it suddenly.
Sir Knight, on my name Kite, I say to you that I am of knightly lineage, but I have sworn not the knights oath. I am a magus. My three companions and I were blessed to have received the guidance of the magus Crazy and the Hero Vantus of the Empire. I walk the path between maguscraft and martial arts, a path that mixes both into one. What I seek is a duel without restraint.
Clamor arose from the crowd at once. Mixing magic and martial arts together? The idea seemed ludicrous!
A warrior and magus held completely opposing natures when it came to combat, though any magus generally held the advantage. An aeromagus was practically beyond the reach of any knight; a particularly powerful knight could turn the matchup into a stalemate by dodging any spell the aeromagus casted, but what point was there in being a knight capable in the ways of maguscraft?
It wasnt as though there arent any magus that enjoyed tempering the body and partaking in martial arts. Archmagister Kebrilio was the ideal example in this case, but even he didnt bother to pursue the same path Kite did.
Given Kites age, his remarks only seemed like an empty boast made from an over-confident youth.
But that being said, there were others that didnt doubt Kite. Kebrilio and Myron aside, Emperor Hecaris III, Duke Hughesin, and Prime Minister Somiret all didnt have reason to distrust Kite. If anything, the three of them were all extremely curious to see what Kite had to offer. Thus, they remained quiet.
It was Kebrilio that decided to facilitate matters. Walking in between the two with his palms outstretched, he spoke: Lets settle down for one moment. As this young man proclaimed earlier, these four youths have received the tutelage of our Hero Vantus suited for their specialization. I cannot vouch for Kites unique specialization, but the strength of his companion has already lent credence to his words.
Kebrilio pointed a finger at Elric, That companion, specifically, is the young Ser Elric. Despite his age, Ser Elric is a peer, a magus who has sought forbidden magic on par with mine own Final Day. The fall of the Barren Barons is proof of that. The destruction of Fort Melkruth is as well. The valorant paladins who escorted him would agree.
A second wave of commotion arose as everyone began to discuss what Kebrilio just said. The confrontation that led to the complete and accidental destruction of Melkruth was known to every aristocrat. Forbidden magic came in many forms, but the Empire was thought to be the only nation with a magus capable of it, thus they were disheartened to hear of another magus. A confrontation between the pride of the Empire, Archmagister Kebrilio, and a young dignitary of the Kingdom, Elric.
It came as an even bigger shock to most that the powerful magus of rumor had actually been the very same greenhorn with a subpar performance.
As hard as it was to believe, there wasnt any aristocrat that believed Kebrilio would lie, however. All eyes were back on the four apprentices; most being focused on Elric.
The knight known as Lloyd was the first to speak a word about the matter. It would be an honor then, to be your opponent, Ser Magiknight. Let our strength be our dialogue.
Lloyd stepped onto the stage, prompting Elric, Jerry, and Belladonna to swiftly make their exit.
Several attendants came forward with multiple weapons in an impressive showing from the emperor. Karth and Sovereign differed greatly on how they viewed martial prowess, Elric noticed. Not only did the nobles remain near the stage, but even the emperor remained within close proximity to watch the duel unfold. Several of the audience even tried to push for a spot right next to the stage for the best possible seat not taken by the emperor and his closest vassals.
There was no barrier erected around the stage nor did the emperor bother to have additional protection for himself. Everyone was far more content waiting for the duel to start, the paladin grandmaster and Hughesin included. Even the normally silent prime minister looked rather expectant for this duel.
When Elric looked to the emperor and how his arms were folded, he felt as though the emperor was ready to deal with any situation should they ever occur during the duel. The man was filled with such solemnity that Elric felt as if the power the emperor normally hid was finally starting to show itself.
The duel, during this time, had already started. Elric expected Kite to start off with his unique way of fighting right off the bat, but that didnt happen. Instead, his friend was, for some reason, fighting the way a knight would whenever Lloyd attacked.
Kite was by no means a weakling in Elrics eyes. The older male grew by leaps and bounds after receiving tutelage from Crazy, and Elric could confidently say that Kite was just as strong as any other experienced knight. His fighting style was an opportunistic one where he favored striking at the enemys weak points, so when Captain Pastim took him under his wing afterward, Kite became far more flexible with his motions. He was able to polish his ability to dodge and weave between attacks to strike at the gaps in the opponents defenses with far greater ease. In the end, Kite was a fighter far greater than any other knight his age.
On the other hand, the stronger he became (and the weaker his opponents became), the less Kite relied on dodging as a way to deal with enemy attacks. Other than what Pastim taught, Kite wasnt very experienced on how to parry a knights blows.
So Kite considered himself lucky on what he learned from Crazy during his time in her laboratory. The woman treated him and Elric worse than laboratory rats most of the time and threw them in all sorts of dangerous situations thatd lead to either of the two, if not both, fearing for their lives. Unless it was a fatal injury of some kind, Crazy simply didnt care what injuries the two sustained for the sake of her research.
Thorn dragons are dangerous creatures not meant for any singular knight to defeat, but fighting them became a nearly common affair for Kite. These life-or-death experiments became an accelerated training ground for Kite to learn how to best dodge attacks, but fighting a beast was incomparably different than fighting a human. A beast relied on instinct and raw strength to attack. Their attack patterns were predictable and linear.
But fighting a person? Humans fought not just with instinct or strength, but with technique as well. The exchange with Pastim didnt properly showcase Kites ability, Elric felt. It wouldve been a better show if he was able to show all that he learned from Crazys laboratory.
Fortunately it seemed like Kite had finally managed to overcome that issue. Kite was like a gust of wind, the flow of a river, and a dynamo of power as he swapped in between offense and defense seamlessly. Kites offensive options seemed far more varied compared to before. Rather than striking from the same angle like before, Kite moved almost rhythmically to alter his attacks in a way almost reminiscent to how Crazy fought Vantus. Elric could see similarities between the two, especially how the two preferred to move swiftly to discourage the opponent from attacking haphazardly.
As spectacular as Kites movements were, however, Elric had his suspicions that Lloyd was still conserving his strength and had yet to show everything he had to offer.