Chapter 442 - Volume 3 Chapter 221
Chapter 221 – The sword that resists fate (2)
Freya took a deep breath and walked up to the tournament stage.
The 10×10 meters stage made out of rock was specially crafted for the tournament. It was one and a half meters high, and surrendering or getting knocked out from it meant defeat. Freya had won two rounds earlier, but the opponents she faced later were becoming stronger and she was uncertain if she had the confidence to continue winning.
The young girl felt a little upset at herself. Brendel sent her to this place so that she could become stronger and protect everyone who survived Bucce’s ordeal. But she could hardly claim that she was capable of doing so, and her original confidence was slowly worn down when she compared herself to the monstrous talents in this academy.
She raised her longsword.
Her current opponent was a senior academy student. Maynild was at the sideline watching the tournament as usual, but she frowned when she saw Freya’s condition.
“You cannot achieve victory when your heart isn’t focused.” The senior upperclassman also saw the same thing and could not help but remind Freya.
The girl jolted and immediately concentrated, but when she looked at her opponent, her dream and the reality in front of her overlapped. The red soil in her dreams extended endlessly below her feet, and her opponent was once again that knight covered in wildfire.
She shook her head in a panic, trying to get rid of that illusion, but her opponent had pulled out his longsword and rushed at her. The girl was startled as she remembered that moment where she was stabbed— At that moment, she had completely forgotten about swordsmanship and retreated subconsciously to avoid the enemy’s sword.
A burst of laughter immediately came from the surrounding audience. There were students from the academy joining in the nobles as they had never seen someone fleeing from the tournament stage like a frightened rat.
“Freya, what are you doing!” Maynild could not suppress herself and bellow with furrowed brows.
But a ray of light suddenly burst forth from Freya’s forehead and a pair of wings extended from her back. There was a metallic ring as something knocked away her opponent’s longsword into the air.
Several high-ranking nobles next to the princess stood up. Though they were laughing earlier, their eyes were still glued onto the girl. A buzzing sound could be heard, almost like there was a resonance from far away. A ray of light pierced through the sky from outside the academy.
“That light is in the direction of River Pine!” Someone from the nobles recognized where it was.
But before he finished his words, that ray of light suddenly seemed to bend and moved towards the academy.
“Th…… This is……”
That ray of light crashed into the tournament stage under everyone’s stares, landing right in front of Freya. The glowing light disappeared and revealed a longsword embedded into the ground. At that moment, even the person who caused the phenomenon was confused.
Freya did not understand what was happening, but she felt like the sword was calling out to her. The voice was friendly and kind, which was just like Brendel’s gentle encouragement.
But the girl could only feel her heart pounding and she did not know what to do.
For a moment, the tournament grounds was completely silent—
“F-Freya, y-your forehead has a strange pattern—!” Tisha exclaimed a few seconds later.
Freya subconsciously touched her forehead. There was a sharp pain, and when she brought down her hand to look at it, she discovered there was blood all over it.
[I’m injured? But how?]
Freya was certain that something like a ray of light had knocked away her opponent’s longsword, and there were no weapons that came close to her, so how did she get injured? She brought up the longsword in her hands to use it as a mirror and looked at her forehead, only to discover that there was a beautiful sky-blue pattern on it.
“W-what’s this?” She did not know that this emblem was particularly famous in the game. It was the representation of the Goddess of War.
The proof of glory that Marsha had given to her, and the gamers in Aouine had put their faith into, the light-bearer and flag of Aouine.
But she was only confused at this moment. She raised her head a little fearfully, only to meet a pair of black eyes filled with calm.
“Pick up this sword, Freya, it belongs to you.” Maynild had a hint of an indescribable torrent of emotions in her eyes, but her words were resolute.
Freya did not move.
But Maynild nodded to her and that young girl inhaled deeply.
The latter looked at her surroundings and discovered that everyone was waiting to see what her actions were. She hesitated for a moment before she gathered her courage and walked towards that sword. Her hand grasped the hilt and a chill invaded her hands.
She pulled it up gently.
And a miracle happened—
The sword that was encased in rock poured out countless rays of golden light as it was pulled out from the ground. Rock fragments fell off from the sword piece by piece and revealed a golden longsword. It was over a meter long, with the sword guard appearing like an extended pair of wings. The emblem of the Lionheart was carved onto the hilt, and the sword was as brilliant as crafted gold.
=========== Gryphine’s POV ============
“The Lionheart—!” Grandmaster Fleetwood, the princess’s teacher, a figure where all of Aouine’s nobility had to give respect, yelled out in surprise.
“No, that’s not the true Lionheart. The appearance of this sword is different from the description in history. I think there are Laws that had been changed.” The princess was apparently much calmer, but there was also an inexpressible emotion running through her eyes when she stared at the longsword in Freya’s hands.
“This appears to be a bloodline awakening from that earlier phenomenon?” She asked Oberbeck.
“It appears so.”
“As expected, the Everton’s bloodline isn’t such a simple thing. Let us pay more attention to her.”
“Just the Lionheart alone is enough to make us do so.” Oberbeck replied: “Come to think of it, those northern nobles will be panicking since the Lionheart appeared and recognized its owner.”
“But we should first ensure that lass is standing on our side,” One of the nobles interrupted with a little worry, “if the Lionheart ends up in someone else’s hands……”
“There’s no need to worry. Freya is a simple girl. I believe she will stand on our side.” Princess Gryphine gave that noble an impassive look and replied.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
But Oberbeck peered at the princess, his eyes seemingly filled with wisdom as though he had seen through everything.
[Are you certain that she’s standing with “us”, Your Highness?]
Gryphine’s head slowly cooled and she could only put on a wry smile in her mind. She suddenly recalled the young knight in that particular story. Indeed, she could not see clearly where Aouine’s future fate laid exactly in whose hands—
[The Lionheart ended up in those hands. Is Mother Marsha punishing us for betraying the oath that we made? But how can that youth be free from that punishment?]
============= Freya’s POV =============
The stoic knight turned her head back and looked at Freya who called out to her. She tilted her head as if to ask what the question was.
“T-this sword…..?” Freya felt like she was still dreaming. The sword in her hands was no ordinary weapon, but why did it choose her?
She was still feeling unsettled.
“This is yours,” Maynild answered simply.
“But……. This is clearly……” Freya started thinking about the legends regarding the Lionheart and her heart started thumping loudly. She was a full-blood citizen of Aouine, and she had grown up listening to those legendary tales. The idea of linking those events with her, be it the Ancestral King Erik or the Lionheart, made her feel that it was too surreal.
“Freya, I once knew a girl who was similar to you. She was stubborn, determined, and she had her set of ideals,” Maynild suddenly blurted as she looked at that young girl, “at that time I was still young. I had always admired her, and I remember that she had a sword that’s almost like the one in your hands.”
“What?” Freya was confused.
“Her sword was even sharper than the one in your hands, but it isn’t as resolved. I think this sword suits you far better, and perhaps it could change everything one day.”
“W-what does that mean, I don’t quite understand when you speak like this, Ser Maynild……”
“I say, why not give the sword a name?”
“But isn’t this the Lionheart?”
“That was King Erik’s Lionheart, but it is no longer that sword.”
“Then what should I call it? I, I don’t have the talent to give names.” Freya was a little troubled.
At that moment, Maynild felt the Lionheart was crying in Freya’s hands. She shook her head and spoke after sighing once: “Then call it Amber.”
“Yes, Amber, the Amber Sword. There’s a sword in Kirrlutz’s Poem of Skies. It is a legendary sword that allows the user to battle fate, and its previous owner was the legendary knight who split open the heavens, allowing the stars to descend onto earth and created the second era……”
Freya hugged the longsword and nodded with a little conviction: “I understand, Amber, the name is beautiful.”
The stoic female knight suddenly realized that Freya was telling the truth when she said she did not have any talent in giving out names. But she merely shook her head and started leaving after finishing what she had to say.
“Please wait, Ser Maynild,” Freya called out to her once again, “what happened after that…..?”
“I’m sorry, I meant the girl that you said resembled me, what happened to her?”
“After that?” Maynild glanced back and actually put on a little smile: “There is no ‘after that’—”
“How can that be!” Freya’s eyes opened wide.
But it was true there was no ‘after that’—
=========== Brendel’s POV =========
Brendel was feeling a little anxious as he traveled through the forest. He subconsciously felt the Sage Slate in his bag, discovering that it was vibrating slightly.
“What’s wrong?” The Tree Elf Quinn discovered his odd behavior and asked.
“No, it’s nothing.” The youth shook his head.
[The Lionheart? But why would there be a resonance at this moment? The last reaction was several months ago, but this feeling makes me feel like it has entered into some kind of contract. I can feel something familiar from the other end, almost as if I know it from somewhere.]
The feeling was too strange, but he had never felt such a connection like this before, even if he searched his memories in the game.
However, he could only push down his thoughts, because the centaurs in front of him had cut down the foliage to reveal a stretch of open grassland—
“We’re here.” Brendel took in a deep breath and raised his hand.
All the Tree Elves, as well as the mercenaries, stopped advancing. The land before them was the youth’s territory, and every pair or eyes stopped on him.
The farce in Trentheim was about to end, starting from this moment onwards.