BTOG 173 – Dance of Swords

The echo of sword fighting resounded in the air, and everyone could only watch while holding their breath.

Arthur is on the offensive, and Kokuyo is on the defensive. The two sides were just going through a small exchange, but to everyone’s surprise, it was Kokuyo who had no room to spare.

In terms of status, Kokuyo is the clear winner. Even if you consider the temporary debuffs caused by the accessories she wears to even the playing field, her physical skills are probably more than double compared to Arthur’s in every aspect.

(This is… I can’t attack.)

As she continues to be bombarded with slashes, Kukoyo is amazed by Arthur’s swordplay.

It’s hard to believe that it’s a one-handed straight sword because each blow is so sharp, almost like katana.

In addition, each blow carries terrible weight. There is no unnecessary dispersion of power; the slashes are precise and clean and are released in an extremely tranquil state.

The slash is always aimed at the vital point. Yet, it continuously comes from Kokuyo’s most difficult angle, and each counterattack that she is about to unleash always gets interrupted instantly.

No, one should say that Arthur was guiding her only to launch a counterattack at that exact moment.

Unlike Sukuna, who could only guide where Hisui would aim, Arthur could even control the enemy timing in her hand.

It’s up to Arthur whether she wants to let you attack or suppress it. And This situation scared Kokuyo, as she felt like she was being forced to dance.

For Kukoyo, who had lived for several hundred years, this was the first time she had experienced such a difference in status suppressed by skill alone.

 (At such a young age, with such strength, just how much talent does one need to have, and how much training does one have to go through to become such splendid swordsman?)

Unlike Sukuna, who gave the impression of being a literal monster of violence incarnate, the human swordsman in front of Kokuyo is an extremely refined sword.

One of the ideal forms of the concept of a swordsman now stood in front of Kokuyo.

Convinced, Kokuyo then used all her strength toward Arthur’s slash.

All the power of the attack was blocked, but Kokuyo was able to interrupt her barrage. And that’s all she wants; she then took a distance from Arthur.

“First, let me say that I’m impressed. Be it now or in the past. I have never seen a better swordsman than you. Arthur, it seems that you are definitely a person who deserves to wield the [Sword Saint] skill.”

“Fu… you overestimate me, Kokuyo-dono. I could only do this much because you are decided to go along with my play.”

(Yes, that purple gold gladius she wield, It doesn’t look like it was made from mineral, but it was very heavy for certain. And about half of it looks like a blunt instrument.)

Arthur pondered over the thick-bladed, 50-centimeter sword, which could hardly be called a dagger or a straight sword that Kokuyo was holding.

Gladius is the sword of the gladiator. It has a short, but the blade is thick and wide, and although its reach is short, the killing power of its slash is extremely high.

Arthur, too, had tried her hand at it, as her short stature and short-reach went well together. However, the Gladius sword was more like a dagger than a long sword, and it was not a good match for Arthur’s specialty, sword art.

It was more of a weapon for free-form fighters like Sukuna.

(That also means that it would be a good match for the one folk.)

Because of how their status was built, they prefer close-quarter combat.

This is a statement that can be found in the official race settings.

But that doesn’t mean that Arthur knows what weapons the warriors from the oni race prefer to use.

Kohaku, at the very least, preferred bare-handed fighting, while Hisui was using a one-handed straight sword. Then there’s Kokuyo, who wields gladius in front of her. With this being clear, they had nothing in common between their weapons of choice.

However, judging from the blow that Hisui had fired at Sukuna, one could tell that they prefer to use their status brute force when they attack.

Though she may be young, Hisui only treated her sword as a tool. It was fast, but without any skill in it. That was the impression she had left in Arthur’s eyes.

And since Hisui’s teacher was Kokuyo, it was natural to assume that Kokuyo would also prefer that style.

(If that’s the case, then I’ll make the first move.)

In any case, this is not the kind of thing that can be stopped by blocking an attack with a minor technique like the one she just used.

The first step is to close the gap in status. For that reason, Arthur decided to use her art.

“Kenshin Hyoi – First Form.” {Sword God possession – First}

The red lotus fighting spirit overflowed. And tremendous power flowed into Arthur’s avatar.

The extra rare skill of [sword saint] is this kind of skill, and the means to obtain it is clearly known.

The extra quest, [Kensei no O-Tama] {The Soul of Sword Saint} will be triggered when you complete all of the quests at the [Kenshinkai]{Sword God Society}, located in swordsmanship dojo in the imperial capital of Fias.

After that, you will be allowed to enter the [The Tomb of the Sword Saint – Merstive] dungeon. At the bottom level of the dungeon, the Sword Saint skill will be revealed after you defeat the named boss monster [Founding Hero – Sword Saint Merstive] solo and have an audience with the Sword God.

The effect of [Kenshin Hyoi – First Form] is to partially possess the power of the Sword God and greatly improve the player’s HP, MP, and all stats except SP for five minutes.

It’s a simple yet very powerful art that has no restrictions, unlike Sukuna’s [Oni no Mai] and [Hungry Wolves].

“I see… So, that’s that the first skill of the [Sword Saint]? I think it’s different from what I’ve been told in the past.”

“Because I am inexperienced. It’s the skill of the Founding Hero after all; even if I acquired it, I still can’t use it for its full potential.”

[Kenshin Hyoi] is a powerful skill that can jump all stats many times over if performed to its full potential.

With the current Arthur, its enhancement is at best a little less than 1.4x. Even so, the fact that this enhancement can be activated without any disadvantages already makes this skill have tremendous effect and performance in the world of WLO.

(Kishin, Kenshin, and Majin. At this point, three gods have already appeared in front of the players. I wonder how far the power of that one pillar can go against this monster.) {Oni, Sword, and Demon, more in tln!}

“Arthur appears to get serious. Then let me use my original fighting style.”

Kokuyo said that and lightly kicked the earth, and before Arthur knew it, Kokuyo had moved behind her.

“……!!?”

 Arthur evades the gladius by barely crouching as it swings past her.

But it was a bad move. The moment Arthur was forced into a position where she could not evade, Kokuyo’s spinning kick struck her neck as if she was going to cut off Arthur’s head.

“UGH!?”

“That’s a good reaction!”

Arthur, blown away by a mere kick, bounced on the ground twice and landed the third, barely able to ready her sword against Kukuyo, who immediately closed her distance to corner her.

“[Anomaly Blade – Piercing Bee]” {Hensoku Bakken – Ugachibachi}

“KUH…”

Arthur’s pose is unbalanced, and her consciousness is hazy.

But ignoring all of that, what she chose to release was not an art of skill, but a Quick Draw Art that Arthur had trained in the real world.

The weapon and method used were different from the original Quick Draw. But still, the instant thrust pierced and gouged Kokuyo’s neck.

“Splendid!”

It seems that because of her high status, this critical hit to the vital point did not cause much damage.

However, the fact that she had been decapitated may have boosted Kokuyo’s tension, and the expression on her face was not one of astonishment but of joy.

Arthur also doesn’t think that her attack has much of an effect. In the first place, the piercing bee is a technique that is used to ready herself for the next attack.

“[Tsurugi-ryu – Lion Slash]” {Shishiodoshi}

Arthur aimed to clash her sword against the Kokuyo’s gladius.

At the moment of the collision, an exceptionally high-pitched metallic sound rang out. Even considering they were both putting a lot of power into it, the sound it made was still unnaturally loud.

At that moment, a shock far beyond what was expected struck Kokuyo’s hand.

(What the ……!? Don’t tell me this is a technique that transmits the shock to the handle itself!)

Kokuyo almost loses her grip on the gladius, but she forces herself to regain it with all her strength.

But that brief moment creates a fatal gap.

“[Tsurugi Ryu – Thousand Mystical Flower]” { Sen-pen ban ka }

“Kuh!”

A sword is never a weapon to decapitate. Its true potential lies in slicing.

The slash that danced like a blooming flower ran through Kokuyo’s entire body.

(It’s as hard as cutting through a steel wall. …No, It’s more like cutting something dense. I’m not one to speak for others, but with a body of this size yet to have such density, it again reminds me that this is a world where strength is determined by level and status.)

I’m not sure if you can call it status violence, but even with the help of the God of Swords, Arthur can’t help but laugh at the fact that no matter how hard she slashes, she still can’t feel good response.

The overwhelming wall of physical status. Arthur, who hadn’t heard Kokuyo’s level, could only imagine how high her level is, but it wasn’t hard to imagine that the difference was in the hundreds.

Tsurugi-Ryu is a sword art she practiced in her birthplace in the real world. Since it is just a pure sword art that Arthur is recreating in this world and not a skill art, it did not consume her SP, but it has no power multiplier or attribute.

Its execution is perfect; alas, it didn’t do much damage to Kokuyo.

(I’ll have to raise it one more time!)

Because by the time Kokuyo regained her balance, Arthur’s defeat was as good as confirmed.

So Arthur unleashes the next level of her [Sword Saint] skill.

“Kenshin Hyoi – Second Form”.

Along with the activation, Arthur’s red lotus aura explodes.

Further buffs will force Arthur’s status to jump up and unlock the depths of the Tsurugi-Ryu style, which her real-world physical abilities cannot handle.

“[Tsurugi-ryu – Flash]!” { Okugi }

This technique allows you to release the limiter in your brain forcibly. Arthur stomp on the ground with a leg power that the human body can never produce and travel with a speed almost like a flash of light.

This is a self-destructive move that would normally result in torn muscles and broken legs, but you can do something like that with no risk in the game.

However, Flash is only a movement technique. Naturally, its main mission is to fire slashes as it moves.

For the sake of unleashing the strongest power that she could produce, she selected an art not from the [Sword Saint] skill, but the last arts of the [One-Handed Sword] skill, which should be a common skill.

“[Re-Slash].”

“That art is ……!”

As the name of the art was announced, Arthur’s sword clads in pale white light.

This is not an offensive art but a buffing art that gives an additional effect that is limited to the [One-Handed Sword] skill.

It has a long cooldown, but it’s easy to use since it is supposed to be used with other arts.

And the next technique Arthur chooses is the most powerful part of the [One-Handed Sword] skill.

The glow of the starlight of doom clung to Arthur’s sword.

“Meteor Slash!”

“Gahhh!”

The slash that he swung down with both hands was slammed into Kokuyo’s body, which had been knocked off its balance by Thousand Mystical Flower.

The slash marks from its downward slash glowed the moment Arthur completed her arts, causing an explosion of energy to burst from within.

Arts [Meteor Slash] is the most powerful part of the [One-Handed Sword] skill, which performs an ultra-powerful slash and a follow-up attack with non-attribute defense-ignoring damage from the slash marks.

She took it all in, and even though he was hit with a defense-ignoring attack, she still didn’t fall. And immediately after the power of the follow-up attack was gone, another slash mark that looked like a mirror image of the earlier [Meteor Slash] was once again etched on Kokuyo’s body.

This is the effect of [Re-Slash], a support art that give “a follows up with exact same damage” when the [One-Handed Sword] skill is used immediately after it.

In other words, it simply doubles the power of all the arts.

“Hah…hah…” (I’m on the verge of running out of SP from using so many big arts in a row.)

After receiving the first hit, Arthur continued to press her attack.

She was able to hit her with the most powerful arts at the perfect timing.

But still.

Kokuyo won’t fall.

“This is the first time in my life that I’ve been attacked in such a one-sided manner.”

A ring broke from Kokuyo’s hand.

It was the accessory that had been limiting her status.

Kokuyo snapped her neck lightly and swung her arm. And with just that movement, a wind pressure was created that cleared out the dust in the surrounding area.

“That was brilliant. I didn’t expect to suffer so much from such a counterattack while in that precarious position. You almost destroyed the substitute doll.”

“If I can’t destroy it, then it’s no use.”

“fufu, don’t be that stiff.”

There’s no point in being stiff just because you can’t get the desired result. In Arthur’s eyes, this match already ended with her loss. 

Looking at their gap, Arthur knows she’s not being underestimated. And now, Arthur, whose SP is about to run out, could have easily been killed by Kokuyo only using brute force.

While Arthur bites her teeth in frustration, Kokuyo puts her gladius away with a satisfied look on her face.

“Now, I must give my thanks to both Arthur and Sukuna for showing me something so beautiful.”

“Thanks?”

“Yes. That’s why, I will show you the secrets of the oni. I hope you can learn something from it.”

Kokuyo took out a white iron fan from nowhere and began her gentle dance.

The name of the dance was [Oni no Mai].

The first form is, Rasetsu no Mai

The second form is, Moroha no Mai.

The third form is, Mikagami no Mai

The Fourth Form is, Kikoku no Mai.

The Fifth Form is, Douji no Mai.

{from 1-5: Rakshasa, Double-Edged, Water Mirror, Wailing, Douji}

It lasts for a few seconds, and after the dance ends, five buffs dwell inside Kokuyo’s body.

“Oni no Mai – Ougi”. {Secret Move}

–Closing Ceremony , Kokuyo no Mai. {Kokuyo’s Dance}

 With Kokuyo’s gentle declaration, the curtain of night fell.

Tl Note:

Kishin – Oni God

Kenshin – Sword God

Majin – Demon God. This one is not clear, so I leave it like that for now. Looking back how much this author likes to play with kanji, I prefer to play it safe.

Kenshin Hyoi : Sword God possession.

Iai – I translate it as [Quick Draw] but that’s not the actual meaning of it, I just need you all to be aware that I made compromise in this part. Well, but the literal meaning is pretty much correct, it’s a quick draw art in Japanese swordsmanship.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iaido

Changing End Ceremony to Closing Ceremony.

Kokuyo name also can be read as Dark Day, which also her final dance true form.

And damn this author, I stumbled so much in this chapter because I finally realized how the dance supposed to be written. It’s involved some wordplay (kanji) which not too obvious at first glance. Did it create an impact on the whole meaning of translation? to be honest, it’s not, it’s just sound more poetic with Japanese Pronunciation.

What a chapter… I need to make many translations decision, which I personally did not confident about. Such as, replacing Sword God terms with Kenshin. Because it will contradict with Kensei, which I translate as Sword Saint. But in the end, I think its fitting, since I already use Kishin for Oni God.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the chapter~♥

  2. Kensei Seraph says:

    Thanks for the chapter.

  3. Lilisionnach says:

    “It’s hard to believe that it’s a one-handed straight sword because each blow is so sharp, almost like katana” Why is there always this mystical fascination with the katana?

    “A sword is never a weapon to decapitate. Its true potential lies in slicing“ I’d say this is depends more on the type of sword. A rapier’s true potential would be in thrusting. A two handed long sword can both thrust and slash.

    I’ll be honest I skimmed most of this chapter.

    • JKitty says:

      It’s not entirely a mystical fascination. The katana was designed more to be a “slicing” weapon while a straight sword was more balanced. Basically Arthur is using a single edged straight sword like a weapon more prone to slicing. And while the opinion of “a swords potential lies in slicing” could be debated the fact that the sword is *not* used for decapitation is the truth. You decapitate with an axe not a sword.

      In my opinion though regular swords were usually more for slicing rather than thrusting. Thrusting was normally used to pierce and kill the target as anything other than a fatal blow would leave you open to instant retaliation. Not to mention if it was a “many on many” situation the last thing you’d want to have happen is your damn blade stuck in the ribcage of one enemy while 3 others are about to bear down upon you.

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