Book 2: Chapter 40
Leo immediately noticed when Gerard’s aura changed.
He let out a small breath.
Contrary to his appearance, he was exhausted at that moment.
He had conserved his stamina, but he had used up a lot of his mental strength.
It was one of the four forms he’d learned from Lukas. It was a technique that raised his defense to the extreme by surrounding the entire body with ki.
It was a self-defense technique that only first class experts could use.
The self-defense technique would only be complete when the entire body was covered without any gaps. And naturally, this meant that the ki consumption of this technique was severe.
However, if the technique was only used to cover parts of the body, the defensive capabilities would still be amazing while the energy consumption would be reduced significantly.
By utilising this technique, Leo was able to avoid any major injuries while making Gerard greatly consume his stamina.
‘Gerard intends to finish it with a single blow.’
In other words, if Leo could dodge or block this attack, it would be his victory.
Ki raged around Gerard’s entire body.
Then, he charged forward.
Like the last time, he intended to stab.
His charge was neither fast nor slow. In fact, it could have been said that he was moving at an easily avoidable speed.
However, as he faced this blade, Leo’s expression became stiffer and stiffer.
He felt pressured.
It was as though a thousand pounds of iron was resting upon his shoulders.
Leo grit his teeth.
The ki coming from Gerard’s body was binding him.
This was a technique that could only be used by Swordsmen who were on the verge of reaching the Master rank.
Leo knew Gerard was a genius, but he never would have imagined that he was able to use Force Bind.
This was probably Gerard’s last hidden card, and it was likely that not even the members of Gerard’s team knew he was capable of this.
Malice erupted in Leo’s eyes.
The option to avoid it had disappeared. So he would have no choice but to block it.
However, Gerard’s attack contained a terrifying murderous intent.
Gerard really intended to kill him. If he faltered, he would die.
‘He’s aiming for my heart.’
The reason for not aiming at his skull was simple. He could avoid by simply forcefully twisting his head to the side.
Perhaps Gerard thought so as well. His force bind wasn’t perfect. This was proven by the fact that Leo could still move his head and arms.
It was just his torso and feet that were frozen.
‘If I use all of my ki and use Rock Shield…’
That wouldn’t work.
To block this attack, he would have to use all of his ki. And if he were to try to launch his attack in such a condition, he wouldn’t be able to do much damage.
This meant that he only had one option.
Gerard was surprised.
Leo was definitely preparing to block his attack. Then, at the last moment, he suddenly stretched out his fist.
This sudden offensive was not a planned move. It was a reckless and foolish decision.
No matter how tired Gerard was, he had put all of his remaining ki into this sword attack. The Sword Ki around his sword was clearer than ever.
It would be a confrontation between a sword and a fist.
The area around them was suddenly filled with bright light. When the sword and fist clashed, it created a flash that blinded the spectators for a moment.
The clash didn’t last very long. And in the end, Leo was the one who was pushed back.
His face was pale.
The two made eye contact for a moment.
Then, a cracking sound was heard from the sword. At the same time, Gerard dropped his sword to the ground.
When the sword landed on the ground, it shattered and the pieces scattered.
Gerard could no longer hold his sword because of the pain in his wrist. It was either broken or sprained.
Holding back the pain, he glared at Leo.
Leo was swaying as though he would collapse at any moment. It was clear that he’d put all his energy into that last attack.
If he went to punch Leo at that moment, he would definitely have fallen. After all, his right wrist was damaged, but his left hand was still fine.
Leo was clearly past his limit.
But Gerard didn’t move.
A Swordsman’s sword had broken. Nothing more needed to be said.
If the opponent was a Demon, then it would have been a different story, but Leo was a human. And although the fight clauses had been applied, this also counted as a conclusion.
Gerard opened his mouth.
“…I’m stronger than you.”
“My strength, speed, experience, and ki are all superior to yours.”
Leo agreed with him in a cool voice before spitting out a mouthful of blood.
This was natural.
Unlike Gerard, who had absorbed most of the shock with his sword, he had withstood it with his body.
Gerard continued looking at Leo’s whole face, which had become pale.
“But you have more patience than I do. And that martial art… It’s not the martial art you used before. Is it a new martial art?”
“What’s the name?”
“Warrior King Fist.”
Leo answered his question before continuing after feeling that his explanation was a bit lacking.
“I was told that the stronger the opponent is, the more the true value of the martial art is displayed.”
“…that is truly a unique martial art.”
After saying these honest feelings, Gerard lifted his hand.
Then he turned his head to the referee.
[Leo Freeman wins.]
The referee declared the result of the duel with a surprised voice.
A brief small flashed across Leo’s otherwise emotionless face. After hearing those words, his body relaxed and his vision darkened.
Slowly, Leo’s body fell to the ground.
* * *
The atmosphere in the stands was frozen.
“What the hell…?”
Most of them didn’t doubt that Gerard would win with ease. But as the fight progressed, this thought slowly changed.
Nevertheless, they still didn’t think he would lose…
“But Gerard is the one standing at the end.”
“Right, Leo passed out.”
“…but Gerard admitted defeat.”
Most of the hunters were agitated. They all looked down at the duel ground with confusion.
‘Well done, Junior Brother!’
Only Min Ha-rin clenched her fists and cheered for Leo’s victory.
What was so good about remaining standing?
As a former Swordsman, she understood perfectly. The moment Gerard’s sword broke, it meant that he had lost this duel and Leo had won.
Nevertheless, Gerard’s attitude at the end was a bit surprising.
‘I can’t let this continue.’
It seemed that she was the only one who cared about Leo.
Just as Min Ha-rin got up from her seat to go get him, the door opened and a ground of people entered the room.
Confusion filled Min Ha-rin’s eyes.
These were people that she was familiar with, which made it even stranger.
They weren’t supposed to be here.
“What’s going on? There’s a lot of people here too.”
These people all seemed to be hunters, and they were all fully equipped. What was stranger was the fact that they had never seen any of their faces before.
At least not in this branch.
Realising this, one of the hunters spoke.
“Who are you guys?”
“Huh? I guess they haven’t realized yet.”
The man at the front of the group looked around before nodding.
“Aha, this is the duel room. Maybe they didn’t hear the noise outside because of the sound barrier.”
Then they wouldn’t have known what’s going on.
After thinking this, the man laughed.
“We asked you who you were.”
The attitude of the hunters in the room grew cold. One of them stepped forward as he spoke.
The man at the front then smiled playfully.
“The President of the European Branch.”
“Quit your bullshit.”
Saying such words couldn’t even be considered a joke.
Instead, those words ignited the atmosphere in the room. Some of the hunters even rose to their feet.
Taking their angry gazes calmly, the man, Kim Go-hyuk, added.
“The man who killed-”