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 EP - 045 - Duel

Divine Power, unlike other abilities, is an ability that every individual possesses.

In other words, you could say it's one of the "components" of the body.

That also means, unlike other abilities that become unusable for a while once depleted, when all of the Divine Power is drawn out, the rebound was quite severe.

Whatever happens, well.

The Saintess in front will be showing everything from one through ten.

“Uu… uk…”

Organ damage, muscle ruptures, cells within the body necrotizing and rapidly regenerating, it's a repetitive vicious cycle.

For an ordinary person, this level of rapid consumption of Divine Power would be fatal. She's enduring it because she's the Saintess of the Holy Land. 

Lucien coughed a mouthful of blood, as it dripped into the divine barrier drawn on the floor.


The moment I realized the ‘meaning’ of the barrier, a hollow laughter escaped my lips.

‘…Is she supplying Divine Power to the entire Great Plains by herself?’

She, alone, was providing the Divine Power needed for the barrier surrounding this vast area and the blessings on the necklaces given to all the students.

An ordinary priest might not even be able to handle a few dozen people, let alone the insane burden required for an entire expanse.

“…Please hold on, I’ll save you!”

Any sensible human being can tell that something is very wrong.

If it were someone who considered rescuing people to be their responsibility, it would be strange for them not to step forward.

Elijah drew her sword and focused her breath.

Breaking the entire floor would likely destroy the barrier. That's probably what she's aiming for.

“Oh no, this won't do, student.”

A voice suddenly sounded, while a heavy blow landed on Elijah’s sword.

With a 'ting' sound, the sword flew and got embedded in the ceiling.


Elijah's eyes widenedin surprise as she saw her sword get sent flying, which even tore through her palm.

To orchestrate such a scene, there must be a significant 'gap in skill' between the two parties. 

Even though she couldn't have anticipated the existence of an opponent, she's the hero candidate and is on par with a regular knight. 

In other words.

The person wearing the equipment of a 'Battle Priest' of the Holy Land right now was of a high enough level, where it's hard to find such expertise even on a national scale. 

A high-ranking Battle Priest, a possessor of combat strength that truly befits the title of a 'human weapon.' 


I quickly scanned the name tag on his chest.

Klein Garrison.

‘…I’m not the type to meet here in the first place.’

A minor antagonist who briefly appears in Chapter 2. Given his prominence, he's an unexpectedly strong figure. In the first place, the option to fight and capture him is practically non-existent.

As evidenced by how Elijah was rendered powerless in a single blow, it's clear that he's not someone a student can handle.

Then, his gaze briefly shifts to Yuria before eventually returning to Elijah.

This is as expected.

The truth about Yuria still isn't fully grasped in the Holy Land it seems, the fugitive who stole the national treasure.

This itself serves as a catalyst that leads to the highlight of Chapter 2. It's safe to say that this part remained the same as the original.

“The Saintess voluntarily undertook this act of ‘service.’ Wouldn’t it be rude to intervene in her noble intentions?”

“…Are you telling me she willingly got herself into this state? That doesn't make any sense!”

Elijah remained undeterred, even after being incapacitated with a single blow. She retorted to Klein with a determined spark in her eyes.

It's undoubtedly a valid argument, but in the Holy Land I'm familiar with, such words would be easily shrugged off by these insane people.

Just look at the immediate situation.

“Hmm, an intriguing perspective. Shall we hear it directly from the Saintess, then?”

After saying that, Klein turned his head towards Lucien with a sly smile.

“Tell me, Saintess. Did someone force you?”


Lucien gritted her teeth.

Even now, she was enduring a level of agony akin to being dismembered alive. Demanding such an answer so brazenly from someone undergoing such excruciating pain is simply disgusting and sinister. 

“…Ah, no.”


The response that came out was unmistakably affirmative.

Lucien replied in a terribly cracked voice.

Even now, blood dripped down from the corner of her mouth, but she continued speaking.

“This, I, am. I'm, willing.”


As Elijah was left dumbfounded, her mouth agape, Klein continued speaking with that smile still etched on his face.

“See? She's saying it on her own accord.”

However, his words carried an oppressive weight. 

“Or perhaps, you're saying that you would go against the Saintess' undertaking? That would go against the entire will of the Holy Land. Certainly, the hero candidate would know that, right?”

“…This pile of, garbage…!”

Elijah gritted her teeth. Given the context, one could understand the meaning behind her words.

Indeed, externally, the Saintess represents the will of the entire church.

For such a person to say, "I will do it myself," and then be prevented by someone, even in a situation as obviously contrived as this, would have significant international implications.

‘…They're incomparably trash.’

The Holy Land act no different than thugs despite being one of the three major powers. They both have the strength and slyness to do such diplomatic debauchery. Nobody knows what insane antics they might engage in as a pretext. It wouldn't even be strange if they randomly start a war.

You can see it from how Atallante, who would normally oppose such behavior, eventually allowed this to pass. She probably got pressured from all sides to just let it slide without making a fuss. To not get herself caught up needlessly.

The fact that the Saintess is the most valuable 'expendable' in the Holy Land is an open secret known to all the major rulers. 


Because of such things, even in the original, it's clear that the Saintess was subjected to harsh treatment under the Holy Land's coercion.

However, this is a bit strange.

This horrific act is at a level of madness I’ve never seen in the original work.

“Well, if you intend to have a little talk. I might as well ask a ‘request’ in the Saintess' behalf.”

“…What do you mean?”

While Elijah coldly asked, Klein simply replied with a grin.

“The ‘devil-related incident’ from a while ago. The Pope is very interested in it.”

His gaze flew straight at me.

“I’m believe you know what I’m talking about.”


And as soon as I heard those words, it felt like the pieces just clicked into place.

Devils are a significantly important element of the 'great cause' established by the Pope. Even within the game, he's continuously described to be interested in them.

Which means that he's paying close attention to the Gray Devil incursion incident caused by Elnore during the Purifier boss battle not long ago.

And clearly.

Whether I like it or not, ‘my information’ was leaked. 

‘He's provoking me.’

My nape felt chilly, as I inwardly muttered. 

This was deliberate intimidation. He's basically saying, 'If you don't cooperate, we'll torment the Saintess more. So listen while we're still being nice.'

And thanks to these guys pulling off such a stunt, the progression of the main quest that I remember has been significantly altered.

‘A raging vessel and a battle…’

The main quest says to stop the rampaging Yuria.

That’s just s_icide.

At least in the case of Marquis Riverback there was some basis to go off of. On the other hand, it is absolutely impossible to subdue a vessel that could manifest a devil fragment.


In other words.

There is only one way.

That is, to take lead.

Avoid fighting with the ‘vessel’.

Rather, let's go set this trash ablaze. 


With a wry smile, I started walked towards the Saintess. She's still inside the barrier, vomiting blood and being sucked dry. 

“Ah, if you approach it any further, I will have to show my hand. We can't allow any interference with the Saintess's task-“

As Klein was saying so in a relaxed voice.

“Try it.”

I expressionlessly replied. 

At the same time.


Yuria’s eyes widened as she snaps out of her daze.


“Try whatever nonsense you're saying.”


“I'm going to save her. Try me.”

Klein’s expression hardened for the first time.

“…It will become an international issue. Are you sure you can handle it?”

Ignoring whatever the guy muttered, I approached the Saintess. 

What I was waiting for was about three steps away.

   [ A moment of danger has been detected. ]

   [ Determined the situation to result in serious injury. ]

   [ Skill: Desperation raised to Grade A. ]

As soon as this window popped up, I activated the skill.

   [ ‘Skill: Swordsman's Focus’ has been activated! ]

   [ Reaction speed and precision are increased! ]

The world began to slow down. With the combination of Desperation and Swordsman's Focus, Klein's attack whose power far exceed mine, become clearly visible.

I drew the sword from my waist and met his attack.


Klein’s face was once again plastered with a vile smile.

Even the knights of the Empire who are in the same realm as a high-ranking battle priest would hesitate to directly engage with them.

While they may possess finesse with the sword and physical resilience, battle priests can layer various types of buffs onto their weapons. 

Dealing with them by just exchanging blows is simply impossible.

A student blindly doing so was nothing more than a mockery. 


If the timing is right, I have a skill that can render any damage ‘null’.

As soon as his attack came, I ‘deflected’ at the exact moment. 

   [ Perfect Deflection! ]

   [‘Attribute: Arcane Gale’ has been activated! ]

   [ Returning a portion of the opponent’s attack! ]

All the 'attack blessings' imbued into his sword strike were reversed and unleashed back towards Klein.


His body was propelled at a terrifying speed, creating a cloud of dust as he crashed against a wall. 


Of course, the reflected damage wasn't that major. Considering that Desperation was only raised to A Grade, he clearly didn't unleash a full-powered attack. A high-ranking battle priest wouldn't crumple just from receiving a bit of his own attack.


The expression of pure bafflement on his face was golden, looking like a big mouth who suddenly ate a fly.

A high-ranking battle priest, someone who's regarded as one of the top combatants in the country, was sent back by a mere academy student.

He's probably in immense shock.

“You know, you've been blabbering nonsense for a while now.”

I supported Lucien, who was still coughing, to her feet. Once we stepped outside the barrier, her coughing finally subsided and she stopped vomiting blood.

The white aura around Yuria also began to recede as she approached Lucien with teary eyes.

Alright. This side is safe for now.

Setting Lucien down, I took a piece of parchment and approached the still-dazed Klein, who was stuck in the wall. 

“What was it again, an international problem?”


I grinned at the blank Klein.

Well, his response was reasonable.

This isn't an issue that a mere student can lightly address. It's a matter that could potentially turn the entire continent upside down.


So what? 

I threw the parchment, hitting Klein’s face.

“What is this…!”

His expression contorted, while I responded with a wider smile.

“I don’t have gloves. So let's make do with this.”


His twisted face froze once again.

There’s no way he wouldn’t know why I would throw a glove at his face.

Yes, that’s right.

A duel challenge.

I inwardly offered an apology to Gideon.

You'll have a bit of trouble later, Archduke.

This is going to cause quite a stir.

“By Exemption Writ, my actions henceforth is the responsibility of the Imperial Family and the Tristan Duke Family.”

Since he's always threatening with international power, then I'll summon an authority on par with that. 

Oh yeah, the Holy Land?

I have the Imperial Family and Archduke Tristan, so what? 

With that said. 

It's time to take out the trash. 

“You, let's have a dance.”

Starting with this one.

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