Rose could not believe the current situation.
Rose was a very talented girl. Despite her father being a normal city guard and her mother a village woman that her father met in his early years, Rose was born with an incredible talent.
When she was five, she touched a sword for the first time. From that instant, she fell in love with the sword. While other girls played with dolls, she trained with a sword. She liked to defend the other children when they were bullied and had a great sense of justice.
Soon, the other kids began to call her ‘Guardian Angel’.
Rose loved that nickname. As such, she trained even harder to protect her friends.
When her father saw her passion for the sword, he decided to teach her swordsmanship. He did it in a whim, and to be honest, he thought she would stop playing with swords when she got bored of it.
However, she never got bored.
When she was seven, and under the astonished gazes of her parents, she broke to the second layer of mana.
Her parents were surprised. They never taught her any cultivation technique. Instead, Rose relied just on her swordsmanship alone to temper her mana and open her own path.
When she turned eleven, she broke through the third layer of mana.
At twelve, an old mage saw her talent and taught her magic. The mage was nothing special, just a talentless old man that only managed to reach the sixth layer of mana despite dedicating all his life to magic.
Instantly, Rose found her second passion.
If Rose loved the sword, she admired magic. The ability to manipulate the world’s rules and shape the world at her will, for Rose, was highly attractive.
Even the mage did not expect that Rose’s talent for magic would be so great. He taught her only the most basic spells, but in less than one month, she had deduced the magic formulas of more than ten different spells.
At fourteen, she broke through the fourth layer of mana.
At sixteen, she comprehended a little of the world’s laws. She grasped the concept of [Purification], the ability to return any phenomenon to its original state.
And now, at seventeen, she was just a step away from breaking through the fifth layer.
But for the first time in her life, she met a monster even more frightening than her.
For the first time, Rose doubted her talent. The people that praised her as the greatest talent the empire had seen in one thousand years surely had never met this monster.
Not many knew about it, but Rose once faced a sixth-layer magic beast and defeated it easily. However, facing the fourth-layer prince, her strength seemed insignificant.
Every time his sword moved, Rose felt the world tightening around her, suppressing her movements and forcing her into a passive state.
Rose never saw a swordsmanship so perfect, so beautiful. It was so simple, but at the same time so complex. As if each stroke of the sword was enough to alter the world’s rules.
Rose longed for this swordsmanship. She desired this kind of beautiful dance. So deadly, so sharp. It was the perfect art of the sword.
Every time she received an attack, she learned many different things, but no matter how much she improved during the fight, the difference between her strength and the prince’s strength continued being as wide as heaven and earth.[How can a swordsmanship so beautiful exist in this world?] Rose wondered in a daze, but a sword strike coming from her right forced her to stop her thoughts.
Before long, Rose was forced to use magic to endure the barrage of attacks coming from her enemy. Someone once told her that very few people can master both swordsmanship and magic simultaneously and that if you master both, you will be unrivaled against any mage or swordsman at the same level.
Obviously, that person never met this prince.
Despite facing the barrage of spells, the prince simply swayed his body through them and continue his attacks. When he could not evade the magic spells, he would brandish his sword softly and cut through the spells’ weakness as though cutting paper.
Even now, she could not understand how he managed to destroy her spells so easily. She was sure that he was not using any high-level technique, and the mana in his sword was nothing astonishing. However, it seemed as though he could always find the weakest spot of each spell and use it to dismantle them.
Rose was overwhelmed. She was unable to imagine how much you must train your sword to do something like that.
The slightest mistake would make the spells explode on his face, however, the prince seemed completely unafraid, as though he was 100% sure that his slashes were not going to fail.
Even their teacher, Tear Lagrisa, was looking at the scene with widened eyes. She probably was trying to comprehend how such swordsmanship was possible.
In the blink of an eye, more than one minute had passed. Rose realized that the prince was beginning to corner her. No matter how she wielded her sword, or how many spells she used, it seemed as if the prince swordsmanship could see through them.
The intense pressure was something that Rose had never felt. Each second, her swordsmanship was improving to an astonishing rate. Every time the prince destroyed a spell, Rose would fix the spell’s weakness and make it stronger.
But the more she improved, the closer was her defeat.
Suddenly, the pressure reached the limit.
Rose felt the mana on her body changing. It suddenly burst under the pressure of the prince’s swordsmanship and surged through her body.
The fifth layer of mana!
For the first time from the moment when the fight began, the prince showed a surprised expression. Rose did not hesitate to make use of this opportunity to counterattack. In an instant, she compressed all her mana into the tip of her sword, then, she swung her sword down.
“Haaaaaaaaaa!” Rose yelled and put her entire heart in this sword strike. She felt her mind entering in a completely new realm, and her understanding of swordsmanship improved by leaps and bounds.
The prince smiled bitterly after witnessing this scene, but in the next instant, his smile turned ferocious. An overwhelming sense of crisis, stronger than anything she had felt before, invaded Rose.
The next second, the prince’s sword shivered.
Then, a sense of emptiness filled the world.
The two swords clashed, but instead of producing a thunderous sound of epic proportions, the world fell silent.
Then, the two swords turned into dust.
Neither Claus nor Rose spoke for a while.
Finally, Rose slumped her shoulders.
“… You win.”
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