Rena drew back her bowstring consecutively soon as Dark Elves jumped down the stairs. Arrows ruthlessly pelted Dark Elves’ shoulders and legs.
Many Dark Elves fell screaming but there were still too many of them.
When a Dark Elf approached and swung her dagger, Rena turned around and launched a light roundhouse kick while her bow was still in her hand. Dark Elf sensed the incoming danger but it was such a fast attack that she had been already launched away from Rena’s kick by the time she noticed.
Other Dark Elves looked surprised when their comrade hit the wall and fell but they pressed their attack using their numerical advantage. Rena didn’t get startled even for a bit and moved gracefully as the sharp daggers tried to cut her neck and stab her chest.
As if skating on ice, Rena dodged all of their attacks just by lightly kicking the hallway walls to jump and slightly shifting her center of gravity to move out of the attack’s path. She then countered with a precise middle and low kicks. Dark Elves couldn’t even harm a piece of Rena’s clothing and they either got launched away or fell kneeling in pain.
Just when Rena defeated 10 Dark Elves, an arrow came flying towards her. Rena quickly noticed this from the sound waves and turned her head to dodge. She looked up to see that Chloe standing on the stair landing was personally drawing her bowstring. Not only Chloe but 5 Dark Elves that came to assist were standing near Chloe aiming their bows.
“Surrender. No matter how strong you are…..”
Rena didn’t even listen to Chloe’s words and lowered her stance as she dashed into a group of Dark Elves.
After jumping into the group of Dark Elves, Rena pushed down on the ground with her hand and spun around, she drew a circle with her leg. Dark Elves swinging their daggers all got hit by Rena’s attack and staggered from this surprising acrobatic maneuver aiming for lower part of their legs. After making the Dark Elves lose their balance with a low attack, Rena spun around one more time aiming her attack higher this time.
Rena stood up after performing 2 quick spin attacks. All of the Dark Elves that were just surrounding and threatening her were on the ground groaning in pain.
Chloe wanted to shoot arrows at Rena but could only observe because other Dark Elves might get hit accidentally. She murmured with an astonished voice.
“…….Could it be that you’re going easy on us?”
“Because I don’t think this is what Chloe really wants.”
After taking down a group of Dark Elves without having a piece of her clothing harmed, Rena answered while lightly brushing the dust off her hand. Chloe maintained silence for a bit then ordered.
Psh! Psh!! Dark Elf archers that were standing by fired arrows at Rena all at once. Rena quickly jumped sideways and hid behind the corner of the hallway. Rena was collecting her breath when she groaned from the pain on her cheek.
Blood dripped down from the scar she got when she dodged Chloe’s first arrow. She thought she had dodged perfectly…… The scar she got from being grazed must have opened up due to her performing physically intensive maneuvers and started bleeding.
Scar itself was no big deal but it was a proof that Chloe’s archery skills were outstanding.
“It won’t be easy after all…..”
“……Kill her if you must, get her!”
A crude shout was heard from above as if to respond to Rena’s words to herself. Thankfully, Dark Elves she knocked out wouldn’t be able to get up for a while…….
“Still, thanks for not trying to kill me if possible.”
Rena thanked sincerely as she stood up.
She didn’t particularly feel angry at Chloe’s betrayal. It was easy to mistake Rena as an excessively good-natured person because of her warm and embracing personality….. But she was a warrior.
She was a trained warrior that survived through multitudes of battles using her physical combat techniques and arrows.
That’s why while she felt regretful that Chloe changed her mind, she didn’t feel angry. Even without Add’s warning, she had somewhat anticipated this and had been cautious.
In the end, Chloe was the leader of the Dark Elves…..she probably couldn’t decide things just based on her personal feelings.
“Alright, I’m worried about other kids. So.”
Let’s clean this up fast as possible and go help the other kids. Rena calmly made up her mind…..then launched her body sideways while aiming her bow.
Dark Elves that were carefully coming downstairs got surprised and tried to aim their bows when Rena suddenly jumped out from the cover. But Rena consecutively fired arrows even while her body was in the air.
When Rena rolled on the floor once and stood up……. All of the Dark Elves that were trying to fire their arrows groaned and fell at the same time. Only Chloe was able to respond to Rena’s arrows in time because she was located furthest away at the stair landing. Chloe asked with a ghastly expression.
“…….How did you know our locations when you fired those arrows?”
Rena had certainly been hiding behind cover catching her breath. It didn’t even look like she stole a look outside the cover. But she precisely located all of the Dark Elf archers and cleaned them up with a single flurry of arrows. Chloe was really baffled by this.
Instead of answering, Rena pointed at her ears. Chloe became horrified after realizing that Rena had located all of the archers just by sounds of their footsteps and their clothing brushing against itself. Chloe was proud of her own archery skills but……her skills weren’t even close to Rena’s level.
“You’re the only one left Chloe.”
Soon as Chloe heard this, she felt a sharp pain across her cheek. She rubbed it with her hand to notice that there was blood coming out. She thought she had dodged perfectly….. But it must have gazed by.
Chloe asked with a stiff voice while being surprised internally.
“….So what? Could it be that you’re asking me to surrender? I still have plenty more troops.”
Those that fell just now were the Dark Elf elite units but Chloe bluffed. No one was killed because Rena was holding back…. But only one capable of fighting now was Chloe.
“Alright, I’m sorry…. But I’ll have to take you down. It seems our kids are in danger.”
“Don’t take me so lightly, Elf!”
Elf and Dark Elf both bleeding from their cheek were glaring at each other…… Then they simultaneously fired their arrows.
Elsword quickly blocked the sword coming in from low angle trying to cut off his ankle. But he got pushed back in strength and staggered….. Elesis didn’t miss this opening and poured more sword strikes down on him.
Elsword’s body got pushed back further and further as sounds of clashing metal continued. Elsword clenched his teeth and tried to withstand the attacks but there was no way he could take flurry of Elesis’ sword strikes head on.
Each strike gave an equivalent shock of a boulder striking his body.
“Are you just going to block?”
Elesis seemed to calmly draw her sword backwards then suddenly threw a sharp stab. Elsword felt the danger and quickly dodged by launching his body sideways. He got a feeling that he shouldn’t try to block this one.
Elsword ran his shoulder into the hallway’s wall because he dodged too hastily. But he didn’t even get a moment to feel pain because Elesis closed in and swung her sword. Elsword quickly threw his body sideways again……as the sword Elesis’ swung cleanly cut through the wall Elsword had been leaning on just now. Royal castle’s hallway that stonemason put hard work into building got cut off cleanly as if the sword was cutting a cake.
Elesis immediately spun around after tearing apart the stone wall as if it was made out of paper. She used momentum from the spin to launch another sword strike against Elsword who was still trying to regain his stance.
Elsword quickly held up his sword with both of his hands to block but his body flew backwards upon impact.
Shock that his sword received got transferred directly to his body. You couldn’t carelessly block a sword strike carrying enough power to cut through stone walls. Even if his sword could withstand it, his body was already squarely being damaged.
Elsword’s hands shook. He won’t even be able to defend properly if this kept up.
Seeing that Elsword was only focused on defense, Elesis lowered her sword and sighed. She didn’t look satisfied.
“It’s no good. Just move aside.”
Elsword realized just now that he had been pushed back all the way to the overpass. Elsword shook his head after taking a slight glance backwards.
“It’s not over yet, Big Sister.”
“…..Can’t you see that I’m going easy on you? Your skills aren’t enough to stop me.”
Elsword nodded at Elesis’ concise words. He was a swordsman too. How could he not know? He at least hadn’t got pushed back in strength against Elesis’ 1st form.
But he couldn’t withstand this Elesis even in strength.
“I…..lack in every way compared to you Big Sister.”
“If you know that then why are you still standing your ground? Will you be satisfied once you’re killed by me?”
Elsword shook his head when Elesis protested as if she was scolding him.
“I cannot fight you if not now.”
“I got that kind of feeling. That this fight will be the last, and this will be my last chance to properly fight you Big Sister.”
Elesis kept silent but it proved that Elsword’s intuition was correct.
“I don’t know…..why you sided with the demons. But that’s not important. You won’t listen to me anyways even if I tried to convince you. You probably aren’t helping the demons with that small of a resolve.”
“If you know that, then why are you fighting me by yourself? It won’t even be enough for all of your comrades to come at me at once…..”
“Because I wanted to have the last fight with Big Sister by myself.”
Elesis gave an empty laugh at Elsword’s calm answer.
“I’d like to play along…. But I don’t have much time. I’ll cut you down for real if you don’t move.”
Elesis’ laugh lasted just for a moment as her face turned cold like the sheet of ice. Soon as Elsword shook his head to refuse…… Elesis jumped in with a single stride and swung her sword.
Elsword who was only busy blocking until now swung his sword and responded to Elesis’ strike for the first time. Elesis’ eyes widened in surprise but then she launched a kick right away. Elsword was too focused on their swords that he got surprised from a sudden kick coming his way and staggered back.
Elesis immediately used this chance to swing her sword to cut Elsword.
The impact was lessened thanks to his armor…… But it wasn’t a light wound judging by the amount of blood coming out from his left shoulder. But Elsword didn’t back out despite the wound and bravely swung his sword aiming for Elesis’ head.
Elesis whispered in a low voice. She tried to swing her sword to block Elsword’s attack, push him away with her strength then cut across Elsword’s waist.
It was a combo that was possible because she was superior to Elsword in both strength and speed.
But Elsword’s sword…..strangely got deflected way too lightly. Elesis’ head questioned this but her body was already connecting to the next attack.
Then…..surprisingly, Elesis’ sword aiming for Elsword’s waist got blocked. Elsword had blocked it as if he knew it was coming beforehand.
But Elsword couldn’t have blocked it with his current reaction speed!
As surprised Elesis hesitated for a moment……. Elsword swung his sword this time. Elesis hesitated for a moment to ponder if she should block or not then decided to back out to dodge for now.
Then as if he read her intentions, Elsword heavily threw is body forward to smash down straightly with his sword.
This kind of reckless charge was an act of suicide in normal fights. But for Elesis who was backing out already, she was completely caught off guard.
She hastily turned her body in response to Elsword’s pursuing attack. But her shoulder tore and pain flowed in.
Elesis quickly backed out to a safe distance then stroked her shoulder as if she couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t deep, but she was certainly cut just now.
“……Don’t get too careless Big Sister.”
Even though he just landed a successful hit on Elesis for the first time, Elsword didn’t even show any signs of gladness and just fixed his stance while panting. He just literally threw his body to land a successful attack. If Elesis didn’t think to dodge Elsword’s first counter attack….. Elsword would have been the one who was cut instead.
“…….Just what were you thinking?”
Elesis tried to suppress her unrest but she couldn’t hide her voice from shaking. Even though they were clashing swords and fighting right now, they were precious siblings……and they also grew up while facing each other’s swords.
Elesis even forgot that they were in middle of a fight. She had to reproach him for launching such a foolish attack. She was basically scolding him saying I didn’t raise you like this~.
“I knew you would dodge.”
“……You bet your life on a chance?”
Elsword shook his head while focusing on recovering his stamina. He landed a single successful hit but his enemy was very powerful. His palms hurt so much that it felt like they’ve been torn apart.
But there was no time to cry about it.
“You would have certainly tried to dodge.”
Of course that’s what actually happened but Elesis made an expression as if she couldn’t understand so Elsword added.
“You just tried to get me with a combo attack. But you never put into account that I would be able to block it. It would have been very surprising for you that I read your second attack and blocked it.”
That was true. Elesis’ strength and speed surpassed Elsword. He shouldn’t have been able to respond to this standard counterattack of blocking the head strike then going for the waist.
But he responded. This fact was too surprising.
“Whenever something surprising happens during a fight, Big Sister always tries to back out and examine the situation instead of responding right away.”
“I thought I taught you many times not to charge in recklessly at me.”
But Elsword was a type that charged in by relying on his stamina and strength. And Elesis taught him many times over not to do that.
“So you guessed my battle pattern? But that was still way too reckless.”
“It wasn’t reckless. You would have certainly reacted that way. Big Sister I know would have certainly done so.”
Elsword spoke with a strong conviction. Elesis nodded.
“I see, blocking the first combo…. You were able to respond because you read my moves already. Well, you do develop habits while practicing swordsmanship. And you should somewhat have a grasp on my habits……”
“Not just somewhat……”
Elsword denied by putting strength in his voice.
“I know everything about Big Sister’s sword. I know all about your skills and special moves as well.”
Elesis made a vague smile then nodded. She then took a glance back at the Glitter solders observing from behind her. Glitter soldiers realized the meaning behind her gaze and quickly backed out.
Elesis could fire a demonic energy to restrain her targets then hit the target to recover her wounds. This target could even be her ally demons.
But Elesis gave up on cutting down demons to recover her wound and instead turned around to face straightly at Elsword’s gaze again.
“So you are aware that you lack both in strength and speed. Are you holding your ground just based off a single belief that you know my sword well?”
“This overpass is narrow. No matter how fast Big Sister is, there’s a limit to how fast you can move.”
“……You shouldn’t have told me that.”
Well, that was true. Even if Elsword knew what attack was coming next, the big reason he could respond in time to Elesis’ swift attacks was because Elesis’ mobility was restricted due to this narrow place.
It was slightly advantageous for Elsword to fight in a narrow overpass rather than in the wide hallway.
“I don’t intend to hide anything….. This is my last fight with you after all Big Sister.”
Elesis realized what Elsword wanted and chuckled from being taken aback. Elsword was way too honestly conveying his desire. He had absolutely no intention to face Elesis with chances, plans or tricks.
He wanted to stake everything he had to face Elesis with all he got.
“I know you’re my little brother…… but I really don’t know what to say.”
“I’m sorry Big Sister.”
It was bottomless and endless apology but Elesis didn’t ask anymore. The little brother she grew up with, Elsword who had only followed after her back was now seriously trying to stand in her way.
He was requesting that they compete purely with sword to sword, warrior to knight.
“…..Alright, I’ll accept.”
Elesis smiled vaguely as she held up her sword. She will now throw away her opinion of looking down on Elsword, throw away her soft feelings. She also shut off her wish of wanting to destroy this time without hurting Elsword if possible.
She was happy about her little brother’s growth. Forgetting all the circumstances, Elesis decided to purely marvel at her brother’s resolve and focus on this fight.
“Thank you, Big Sister.”
“You’ll die…..if you don’t fight desperately.”
Elesis withdrew her smile then charged with her full strength at Elsword.