SYS (Novel) Chapter 412

C412 - Why, Hairan (6)

Kuuuugh!

The claws had struck Jin in the neck.

Although the Shadow Energy Armor had no joints and therefore perfectly protected the neck, it was impossible to completely block the blow of a Black Knight-level enemy without suffering any shock.

Blood spilled into the helmet formed by the Myulta Rune.

The pain was so intense that Jin felt as if his throat had been ripped open, sending chills throughout his body.

Zass! Zass!

The claws struck Jin's neck once again.

Jin managed to move Sigmund even amid the excruciating, hair-raising pain.

"You talked about being the next Patriarch, and yet, you risk your life so easily. What value does that friendship hold? If you didn't have this armor, you would already be dead."

It was because of the armor that I could withstand the blow.

You knew it, and that's why you aimed at my neck.

Although Jin wanted to give that response, his voice didn't come out immediately.

Kugh

All he could hear was the blood gurgling in his throat.

"I've taken a direct hit. It hurts like hell..."

The enemy's intention wasn't to kill Dante but to kidnap him.

Jin had forgotten this due to the enemy's sudden actions.

If Jin had stayed still, the claws would have stopped before piercing Dante's neck.

But Jin wasn't going to just take the hits.

Suddenly, a peculiar Shadow Energy sphere began to form behind the enemy, who was frantically moving his claws.

It was a sphere stemming from Bradamante, stuck in the ground.

The enemy was unaware of this energy.

Shadow Energy was an energy that couldn't be sensed, unlike mana and aura.

Zass!

Sigmund emitted bright lightning, and the enemy had no chance to focus on what was happening behind him.

However, Jin couldn't help but silently marvel at how the enemy remained steadfast, unfazed.

Even when the Lightning Energy surged through his body with each clash between the claws and the sword.

"Uf, I can finally talk. You keep saying that I'm risking my life for Dante... And you?"

Shouldn't you risk it too?

As Jin muttered behind him, he unleashed the Sword of Legends Technique: Cascade.

Countless rays emanating from his sword disrupted the enemy's vision.

The claws managed to deflect the lightning energy, leaving behind residual images, and Jin intentionally slowed his pace as if catching his breath.

Jin eagerly awaited the enemy's relentless approach with the patience of a fisherman who had cast his fishing rod.

Because the enemy was still unaware of what was happening behind him.

"He bit the bait."

The enemy received part of the Cascade lightning with his body and closed the distance to Jin.

His bright eyes behind the mask sent shivers down Jin's spine.

Jin threw Sigmund with all his might.

It was a blow full of tremendous power, and the enemy couldn't block it with a single hand.

Instead, the enemy overlapped his claws to block Sigmund, then turned the sword downward and aimed for Jin's neck again.

No matter how formidable the armor was, if it continued to receive blows in the same spot, it would eventually break.

He's too confident.

Did he think I would yield if he attacked with all his strength?

However, it was at that moment that the Shadow Energy sphere formed behind the enemy began to move.

The enemy's reaction was so sudden and abrupt that it could only be explained by the unique instincts of those who had experienced countless life-or-death battles.

"What's this out of nowhere...!"

A dangerous sensation, as if a blade were touching his neck.

Certainly, he had blocked the Twelfth Flagbearer's attack from the front, so he should have tried a counterattack...

But for some reason...

Jin seemed to be smiling beneath his helmet.

He withdrew the claws that had approached Jin's neck.

At that moment, what the enemy had gained by retreating was only a brief instant, a fraction of a second of an opening where one could barely blink.

To gain that brief moment, the enemy had to give up a blow that could have even knocked Jin unconscious.

Impressive, it's truly worthy of being called a Black Knight.

Jin was genuinely impressed by this sight.

This was because he knew very well that in this situation, giving up an effective strike and preparing for defense wouldn't be an easy decision.

"Well, if the pawn dies, it's a problem in itself."

If Jin hadn't shifted to defense, the enemy would have lost his life. Jin was convinced of it.

"Kuk...!"

Something grazed the enemy's back.

It was the energy of the black sword emitted by the Shadow Energy sphere.

Just before throwing Bradamante, Jin had stored his Shadow Energy in it.

Shadow Energy moved at Jin's will, much like forming a curtain or an artificial flower.

It was an attack that could never be achieved by simply controlling Shadow Energy; it belonged to the realm of 'authority' rather than mere 'power.'

Thanks to the energy of the sword emanating from the Shadow Energy sphere, it was curiously the enemy who had his stance disrupted.

Jin wouldn't miss this opportunity.

Sigmund rushed toward the enemy at that moment, charged with lightning energy.

The enemy judged that stopping Sigmund was more urgent, even if a single ray of black sword energy cut his back.

But even that wasn't a real attack.

"I can't let this hard-won opportunity end with a single move."

Kwak!

Suddenly, a mass of mana with a luminous attribute burst from Jin's palm.

It was the Lightning Cannon, an ancient spell, a legacy from the great magician Chenmi.

It was a rarely useful magic against high-level martial artists, but in the current situation, things were different.

No matter how skilled the Black Knight was, when an unexpected light suddenly shone in his eyes, there was nothing he could do.

Unless there was a significant difference in skill, even closing his eyes wouldn't make much difference.

Blood splattered.

Sigmund had cut the enemy's chest.

This time, it wasn't a superficial wound.

Jin clearly felt the heavy sensation of the blade cutting through flesh and bone.

The enemy quickly used the claws as a shield.

But that wasn't all.

Recovering vision affected by the Lightning Cannon wouldn't be easy, even for a highly trained knight like him.

The initiative was entirely in Jin's hands until the enemy regained vision.

"What do you think? It must be the first time you've fought against a Magic Swordsman, right?"

Bam!

This time, the sword pierced through the shield and struck the enemy's thigh.

Despite reacting quickly to each attack, it seemed that regaining the advantage wouldn't be easy for the enemy, even when he regained his vision.

For the enemy, it felt like an eternity, like hell, but for Jin, it was like a refreshing oasis in the desert.

It had been almost five seconds since the enemy lost his vision.

Gradually, the enemy regained his sight.

Ah, ah~

Unlike the calm he had shown throughout the battle, the enemy's breathing was now ragged as he adjusted his posture.

Jin made eye contact with the enemy with a smile and said, "It seems you haven't understood what I told you before, so let me explain it to you again. Retreat; this mission is a failure. Tell your master that I'll take care of Hairan my way."

The Black Knight had heard rumors about how formidable the Twelfth Flagbearer was.

He hadn't witnessed the scene where the Garden of Swords was turned upside down himself...

But even those who had tried to thwart the Twelfth Flagbearer still praised his immense power, so he wanted to cross swords with him.

He wanted to see for himself what kind of person the Twelfth Flagbearer was.

At first, he felt disappointed.

It seemed like a waste to miss the opportunity to bring down Hairan for something as trivial as friendship.

All those rumors about him being an incredible fighter seemed like lies.

Next, he felt a sense of frustration when Jin used a crude sword.

He wondered if Jin still hadn't realized that with mere tricks and skills, he could never reach the pinnacle of swordsmanship.

However, there he was, letting himself be overwhelmed by that same trick.

Despite having a clear advantage in terms of power.

No...

But even the Twelfth Flagbearer hasn't used his full strength yet.

I can't guarantee victory if we both fight for our lives.

It was strange.

Those thoughts crossed his mind as he faced Jin.

Even though he didn't seem like someone with the dignity of an Emperor.

Jin is a swindler who does whatever it takes to achieve his goal, but his gaze was so deep that it defied easy analysis.

Jin has a unique demeanor that he had never felt from other Flagbearers.

Doubts began to creep in.

Should he continue to ensure Dante's safety no matter what, or should he retreat as he was?

What was the right judgment?

Jin seemed to read his thoughts perfectly.

"No, you can't do that, Black Knight."

The enemy's eyes widened behind the mask.

"The Black Helm is for the good of the Family, not the Flagbearer. What you need is not to fight but to efficiently fulfill your mission. Risking your life for a mission that has already failed is a significant loss for the Family. Go back and prepare for the next one."

Kuk, Krur...!

The shockwaves from the ongoing battle outside continued to reverberate within the castle.

Cracks formed on the walls of the main hall, as if they were about to collapse at any moment, and debris rained down from the ceiling.

The pillars supporting it trembled dangerously and seemed as if they would break if struck.

"It seems like a good time to leave when you have the chance."

As Jin spoke, one of the pillars broke, and the floor began to give way.

The destruction of the main hall caused the entire Sword Emperor's Castle to crumble.

In the end, the enemy turned around.

He carried the bodies of other fallen enemies on his shoulders.

Before leaving, he spoke without looking back.

"I'll pretend I didn't notice you were bluffing. If your choice today poses a threat to Runcandel, the Black Helms themselves will come for your head."

Before Jin could respond, the enemy exited through the broken wall of the main hall.

And as he disappeared from view, Jin knelt down on one knee and panted.

"Although the Shadow Energy armor protected me, I still have some wounds..."

If the enemy had continued the fight, Jin would have suffered considerable damage.

He had the last resort of the Black Light Call, so he wouldn't have lost his life, but it was uncertain if he could protect Dante.

After all, the enemy's decisions when cornered were unknown.

Even Dante's death wouldn't be entirely bad from Runcandel's perspective.

The fatigue of the intense consecutive battles was hitting him hard.

"I should escort Dante and take a look outside."

The roof began to collapse completely.

Jin quickly lifted Dante and left the main hall, heading toward the castle's exterior.

The outer walls near the main hall also seemed to have collapsed.

While Jin climbed over the still intact outer wall, he saw the battlefield where Ron and Berakt were fighting.

There was nothing left in the vicinity of the battlefield.

The central training ground had disappeared without a trace.

And all the nearby buildings had collapsed, leaving only the marks of destruction.

"U-Ughh..."

Dante regained consciousness and let out a deep groan.

Are you awake, Dante?

But Jin didn't ask him that.

That was because Jin's mind went blank after looking at Ron Hairan, who was drenched in blood and struggling to breathe.

He could also see Berakt injured next to Ron.

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