[Nameless Hero - Chapter 9]
“Heh, why do you look so surprised, Gregory?
You did see my sword swing the other day didn’t you? Did you think that was some form of trick perhaps?
No, no, I had brothers, and i’ll say now, I had a lot of them. Guess who was made to be the bad guy? You tend to learn very, very quick when you’re being beaten by several sticks at the same time, each, and every day for years…
After a swords display by my… our leader’s sword handling prowess on the field of battle, I tried to copy it once several years ago. I nearly cut my own arm off trying it at first. Try as I might, I never really did get his sword style, all I could get was that warm up movement from before. It tugs and pulls various muscle groups, while getting used to a sword. Useful before a fight, but unpractical in general use I suppose. I suppose when you have a normal body it would be impossible to perform the same style that allowed a single man to crush a four hundred man militia band, rendering them all unconscious without a single casualty outside of the ringleader. They all were able to get up after a few hours just fine. Can’t say I could copy that surgical blade even with my current body. That man was practically using magic when he fought, so ya.
The right of those who hold power is the right to mercy and benevolence, the weak shalt be swallowed whole and meet oblivion by such virtues.
That’s why that man always seemed so tall, he only gave during the entirety of his life, that’s just how strong he truly was. There was no false kindness or blind virtue, he knew he could be that way as no one could face him. One by one those enemies of his fell, tyrants and sadistic individuals, not much different than yourself by the way, all cleansed from society within years. Nation after nation, people after people, slowly he converted them all. Sorry Gregory, but you’re going to die, you don’t seem to have much of a chance.
You’ll hesitate, you’ll die.
You’re too slow, you’ll die.
You’re too naive, you’ll die.
You’re weak, you’ll die.
You’re mind is broken, you’ll need to die.
Gregory, however, wasn’t really listening. He was still in a light state of shock from the hero’s previous display, so when she began talking, Gregory dismissed it as gloating about her strength and her words went over his head. The threat wasn’t the extent of her skills or who taught her, the threat was in the quality of her movements, the speed of her blade. With both accuracy and speed, those two qualities together form the blade, and she had both in excess.
His mind began to surge with the question, how can he win, how will he engage this girl, his entire being dedicated itself to survival. His opponent almost assuredly outmatched him completely, he needed to survive long enough for her to make a mistake. Those who are very strong and confident will often make a single, critical mistake if they are surprised. In just a mere second, Gregory had come up with several ways to surprise the supposed ‘Hero’ during the fight. He only needed a single blow from his mighty sword to end her life. He was fully sure of his sword arm cutting her in two with one blow.
“Greeeegoryyyyyy, are you done lusting over me yet?
I know I uncovered a bit so I wouldn’t get your blood over my pretty white dress, but I mean seriously, have you not learned your lesson yet?
I did knock you out cold and on your back for touching me when I was still sleeping earlier, didn’t I?”
The hero’s words were intended as a double sword. One struck deep within the pride of the knight when a mere woman had managed to render him helpless with a single blow. The other was against his honor as a Royal Knight, suggesting that he had done vile things against her purity while she was helplessly sleeping. Given that he had been given the task of overseeing her as she rested off her exhaustion, there was some who very well did believe he could have done such things. Those against him being with the First Princess had gained a valuable weapon to use in the future after Gregory won. Even though the ‘Hero’ had shown a strong sword style, they still believed in the undefeatable skill of the Royal Knights, especially one who stood amongst those who called themselves the strongest.
While Gregory certainly wanted to defile her completely, he had to be the man of virtue while within the Royal Capital’s walls, lest his honor be at risk. The only way he could really have touched her would have been if she had made the first move. Since she had struck him critically while he was off guard, he was too focused on hiding his anger to hint off he was after an invitation. As such, he had lost his chance and she had gotten ready to head out, thus nullifying his chances. Did she not actually find him good enough? What good is this whore then?
Then, then it struck him that his honor had just been critically tarnished before a majority of the High noble families of the entire realm. To say he had become livid, well, that would be an obvious understatement.
How dare a mere whore cause him such trouble, surely he would-
Just as he was falling deep into his rage, the hero spoke once more. Her steps growing closer to him, just a mere ten meters away.
“Oh come now Greggy! If you zone out any longer, i’ll have to kill you without any resistance. There’s no fun nor legitimacy if I walk right up to you and cut your head off, fight back at least.
I know you’re scared, but this is too much. No deer in the headlights, sword, draw, now, fight me and die. Come, now, wake up.
Bah, i’m starting now, best to defend yourself!”
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Lord Isaac had lived for many years.
At the age of just twelve years old, he had already taken the reigns of his entire household from his infirm and fading father.
By the age of sixteen, he was kneeling before the previous King, the Old yet wise King Yaeldre, to receive the title of Treasurer of State.
By the age of twenty-six, he was the man who placed the crown upon a young boy, the illegitimate prince of the late king. The late king had passed on due to a plague which had passed through the realm, claiming almost twenty percent of the population. It would be Isaac who would contain the spread of the disease, though at the cost of another five percent of the population due to quarantines and purges.
He oversaw the creation of the three Great cities to distribute the booming population of peasantry while also centralizing the economy.
He forced a limit onto taxation to a mere six percent flat across the nation. From this he had managed to purge a great deal of corruption within the nobility in a single swoop, thus winning him the favor of the peasantry.
His eye for wit and talent had allowed him to forge lasting bonds over his seventy two years on this world.
His achievements numbering several dozen times more than his years. Yet, for the first time in his life, he had met a woman that matched his pace. His years had failed to dull his peerless wit and cunning. Not since his wife passed away near forty years past had he felt a sense of joy. No, not joy, perhaps, it was just a simple feeling of fulfilment.
Throughout his life, Isaac had always longed for someone to inherit his knowledge, to stand with him as they revolutionized the nation. To seek out new lands and expand the realm past the ever looming stagnation.
When he was but six years old, his father passed onto Isaac a story from his own youth. It was a time when foreign traders had once landed upon their shores after their ship was lost in the wake of a storm. His father would often regale the young Isaac with the trader’s many tales and wonders of the world, becoming a sense of wanderlust and wonder for what lied beyond their shores.
Sadly, his father had also told of the traders falling deathly ill and passing away in his care not ten days after his servants had recovered them. Though, not before they had passed on many tales of the vast lands of the world.
The great wars led by the many races and nations.
The ever expanding surf that held a great bounty within.
The awe inspiring sights of the various capitals of great nations, and the ruins of once great empires.
Compared to these stories, their continent, no, their island, their nation itself, was but a speck in the middle of an ocean.
But, a problem arose from these stories. This fell upon the religion of the Kremor Kingdom. The teachings of the church preached that theirs was the final land that escaped the great calamity which sunk the lands beneath the surf. The Lords of Light shone their mercy upon the first king of Kremor, granting their bloodline with a divine spirit that would guide them for eternity.
Thus, the idea that there were lands besides their Kingdom was beyond heretical, it was blasphemous beyond belief.
It was not until Isaac’s father, Rutherd, had begun to spread the idea that these stories were true that troubles began to surface.
When Isaac was just ten years old, his father coughed up blood at dinner, falling very ill in an instant. Perhaps it was sheer fortune that Isaac was feeling ill and had not touched any of the food at the table. This was because not only was his father’s food tainted, but both of their meals. A second stroke of fortune that the only members of the Kaylock family present at that table were Isaac and Rutherd.
Due to his family’s stature, vitality and constitution, Isaac’s father Rutherd did not perish from the poison, living for another two years before his health finally failed him. He spent his time ill and infirm, yet his mind remained clear. In that time, his father had constantly warned the young Isaac to never speak of the other lands. He was to denounce his father’s claims if it were to ever come up. He had to swallow his love for his father because of that very same love. His father went against the Kremor Kingdom’s religion and perished by it. It was for that reason that Rutherd spent his remaining two years convincing his son to neither seek revenge nor speak of other lands. It took two years, but Rutherd finally got his spirited son to swear to keep his father’s final peace.
Rutherd passed on the next day, historians often look back on Rutherd as the shining example of a loving father. Holding onto life for two years through the pain and suffering to shield and guide his young son. Teaching him what he needed to live in the world and to be the head of the house he would inherit. Time would give him the name Rutherd ‘The Diligent’, Rutherd ‘Noble’, and Rutherd ‘The Protector’. Studies on Rutherd’s symptoms eventually led to the discovery of the poison decades later.
It would come to be known that Rutherd had been poisoned with Anthera, a neurotoxin derived from a Landrea fisy that targeted the lungs, liver, muscle tissue and nervous system. The toxin would often lead to the body rotting from the inside out, the longer one survived the greater the pain. Most people would collapse immediately from the pain caused as it coursed through the bloodstream. The effects often led to rapid death, though at times a person could last several days, however, the pain experienced was said to drive those who lived past the first night to lose their minds. When Lord Isaac learned of this at the age of sixty two years old, it was said that a several tears fell from his noble eyes. It was the first time Isaac had appeared human since his wife had passed on.
It was then, at his father’s deathbed, that the frightening figure and wit that would define the man known as Lord Isaac was said to have awakened. His family was still one of the three great houses of Kremor, and he would use his power to gain an unyielding influence to force his father’s dreams into reality.
But, as the years past, Lord Isaac had begun to forget his true purpose. When his wife died, it was said that it was as if all of his ambitions had died with her. That was, until he met a certain woman. Her ideas, knowledge and wit sparked the long dormant flames deep within his heart. The mind of the great Lord Isaac, leader of the three great houses, crowner of kings, builder of cities, founder of nobles, and the champion of the people had, after almost forty years of silence, once more began to burn with a bright light.
Just after parting, Lord Isaac had rushed to finish his work with a new sensation of vitality. A sense of excitement surged in his old bones, his servants expressing how he appeared as if he were twenty years younger again. Their eyes filled with joy seeing their master’s flame burning brightly, as if trying to burn brighter than the heavens.
He wanted to meet that girl again, to speak with her once more. He wanted to share his father’s dreams and his ambitions, to scour the world with her by his side as his adopted heir. It was such a shame he had grown so old, he would never dare to marry someone so young at his age. Though it wasn’t that he had any such feelings to begin with, if one were to describe it, it would be similar to a father meeting a daughter he never knew. Their thoughts and beliefs meshed in perfect sync.
When they met again, no matter if she was a maiden woman’s servant, a concubine of the Royal Family, or even the wife of the First Prince, he would adopt her into his family. In time, if she truly showed the talent that he saw in her, Lord Isaac thought that he could truly leave everything to her when he passed on. He had already lived longer than any recorded man or women in recorded history, who knows how much longer he had in this world. Currently, as he himself had never remarried and had no heir, his brother’s line was set to inherit the family titles.
But, since it was he, Lord Isaac, there would be no objection even if he were to suddenly proclaim a random whore on the side of the street his heir. He had that much influence and was that respected.
His influence could even eclipse the King himself. He would have that woman in his house. Her genius would not be allowed to be wasted on anyone.
Just as Lord Isaac began to take measures to locate and legitimize the girl, he received a personal summons from the King to attend a holy trial. Since it was religion that in the end led to his father’s death, Isaac personally views it as a great annoyance. His many decades had long since sharpened his mind and tempered his youthful rage. The current Isaac sees the true culprits as the men or women who poisoned the food, not the religion itself. Hence, he only views religion as a bother and the final obstacle to his goal.
Regardless of what he felt on the religion, Lord Isaac went as the King had been the one who called on him personally.
The King treated Lord Isaac as an almost father-like figure. Certainly so, even as young as he was at the time, Lord Isaac had every chance to take the throne for himself. If he had put the crown on his head rather than the present King’s, few, very, very few would have objected. The current King was an illegitimate prince that had never been designated as the heir. The previous King had died without selecting a successor and left no children other than the prince. Isaac’s placing the crown atop the present King’s head served as the very foundation of the current Royal family’s legitimacy.
While one may find trouble gauging the sheer magnitude of the influence carried by the man known as Lord Isaac, it can be more or less scaled in such a manner:
The Influence of the First Princess is a Count.
The Influence of the King is that of a Duke.
The summation of all other noble houses aside from Lord Isaac’s are that of five Barons.
Lord Isaac’s assets, contacts, control of Infrastructure, peasant support, holdings, and sheer skill in all manners of rulership have increased the influence of Lord Isaac to the point only synonymous to that of an Emperor given those who he’s compared to.
So, while Lord Isaac is only titled as the Head of a Great House and the Kingdom’s Treasurer, if one were to place each person in the realm to this scale, this is one of the most accurate ways to display these figures.
Even with all of his influence, there were few souls that harbored even the slightest amount of ill will against Lord Isaac. If one were to wonder why, it would be due to just two factors.
The first was due to his age and tempered status, since he was so old, there was no worry from those in power that Lord Isaac would attempt to secure full power for himself. He had no children, so the idea that he would secure the throne for his brother’s children was a far off speculation with no grounds for concern.
The main reason, however, would be due to the sheer number of benefits from just letting Lord Isaac do whatever he wished. Wherever Lord Isaac walked, prosperity descended from the heavens like rain.
When he had forced the change in taxes to just six percent, at first he had encountered more than half of the present nobility zealously against such measures. After all, if they were taking an average of 25% of their land’s income for themselves, what would they think if someone cut their income down to just 6%. Surely one would voice an objection to such an idea, their livelihoods would be greatly affected.
The only reason it went through was because the then Duke Isaac had used the FULL extent of his contacts, favors, and influence on the court to pressure it through. Even then, the opposition was to the point where it would take up arms to prevent such a change.
What stopped the first armed conflict in over a century of peace was Duke Isaac’s unbelievable promise. If every noble house was not taking in a larger income with the lowered taxes in just eight years, he would drown himself in the ocean. When he made this claim, the noble houses that were opposed to Duke Isaac’s domination of the court were joyous and supportive instantly. It was an unbelievable opportunity to remove the most dominant political juggernaut. To legally kill off your greatest political rival with just the cost of some tax revenue for a few years while the subject willingly kills himself, it simply was too good to resist.
Though, when the eight year had passed and the nobles had once again gathered in the Noble Council chambers, not a single house demanded Duke Isaac’s death. The reason was due to an economical and population explosion of a maddening level. If the nobles were taxing an average of 10,000 arbitrary units for 25% to get 2,500 units, they were now on average taxing 45,000 units at 6% to get 2,700 units. The tax was less than a fourth of what it originally was, yet, they were indeed earning more money. Some profited more than others, but not a single one of them had lost out after the end of the eight year period.
The secret was due to a single Noble’s ludicrous investments.
Having liquified his entire family’s assets, Duke Isaac’s investments went to every city, every village, and every castle. From businesses, farms, development, roadworks, banks, land management and beyond, Lord Isaac’s very movements had become a blur.
For the entire eight years, it is rumored that during the 3264 days between the proposal and the gathering eight years later, Lord Isaac had only slept for a total of sixty two days.
If one assumes the day is made up of 24 hours, that would mean that he only slept for 0.45 hours a day, a mere 27 minutes. The visage of Lord Isaac on the day of the second gathering was that of a pale, skin and bones individual that continued to burn with a blazing fire. In the end, it was Duke Isaac that had succeeded against all odds and revolutionized the economy. Yet, no one stood to gain more than he.
If we were to go back to the arbitrary tax on the average 45,000 units, the nobles would be gaining 6%. Duke Isaac, however, would be getting 12%, except he would be drawing this percentage from almost every noble holding, completely legally.
This comes from the various agreements that Duke Isaac had made with each investment. In exchange for his direction and investment, after a period of ten years from the establishment of the contract, they would pay twelve percent of their total earnings to Duke Isaac for a period of ten years. This would only be required if, even while paying both the tax and his fee, that the business in question would still be making a higher income than before his investment. In the end, almost every investment paid through.
Thus, if we were to use the same arbitrary average of 45,000 units as a base, Duke Isaac would be getting twice that of a noble house, a full 5,400 units. This, however, was not the end of it. One must remember that his investments reached ‘every’ inch of the realm. So, if one were to arbitrarily divide the realm into 90 individual segments to draw from, Duke Isaac would be drawing from 89 of those pieces, excluding the Royal Demesne as those within that territory were excluded from the tax law to begin with.
To put that to numbers, he would be drawing a full 12% from 45,000 eighty-nine times. A multiplication of 5,400 by eighty-nine would result in Duke Isaac drawing in 480,600 units per taxation period. Eighteen times that which the Royal Family would take in during an entire year, Lord Isaac would draw in every eight weeks.
From the economical boon, food had finally begun to be harvested in plenty, fields fully planted and markets bursting at the seams with product. Each year the population grew even faster than the year before. It was only during the eleventh year that problems with overpopulation and the chaos due to both the markets and agriculture being uncentralized began to lead to squalor.
Sanctioned by the Royal Family, the now Lord Isaac set the foundations for three cities, forming a triangle connection between them. A highway system was forged between each city across the continent.
Drawn in by various incentives, these three cities became boom towns within months of their declaration. Lord Isaac drowned the cities with his wealth to constantly develop them from the ground up at every level. The continuous development of the infrastructure began to center the entire realm around these three cities. In the end, these three cities became the center of trade and production within the realm.
By the thirteenth year, Lord Isaac had established over a dozen Worker Guilds, a Steward’s Academy, a Merchant association, and various groups spread out between the three cities. He also outlawed the sale and purchase of slaves within the cities. One was free to own them within the city bounds, but the sale within the city was punishable by death. The purpose behind this was to avoid a total slave dependency and discrimination tendencies settling in within the three cities which would have resulted in a sharp decrease in productivity.
With the guidance of these labor organizations and educational academies, the boom in population and wealth had been effectively channeled and focused around the three cities. The control of these various organizations led to Lord Isaac’s de-jure full control over the flow of the entire economy. Even if he wasn’t the de-facto leader of each of the organizations, his word still held more power within these cities than all of the guilds put together. Not that these guilds would harbor thoughts against their very founder.
The end income that had been channeled around Lord Isaac by the end of the fifteenth year of the tax policy had grown to be on par with both the Royal Family and every Noble house’s income combined. Yet, the nobles made more than twice what they used to because of Lord Isaac’s work and diligence. To meddle against such an influence that was constantly gaining them such profit without any work whatsoever would be idiotic.
It was then that tragedy struck the great Lord Isaac’s household. His wife passed away due to complications of her pregnancy at the young age of twenty-three years old. Lord Isaac was only thirty-eight years old, and he had lost the flame within his heart.
For his remaining years, Lord Isaac had used his near limitless wealth to the benefit of the realm, aiding the royal family and forging new noble houses around men of merit and skill. The major family of Amalren, who was given control of the city of Ren, the gem of the three great cities, was one of the houses that Lord Isaac built from the ground up.
Lord Isaac had educated each of the Royal Family, from the King to each of his children. Managing the treasury and overseeing the full flow of the economy.
During his life, ninety-two Aristocratic houses, over twenty High Noble houses and a Major family had risen with Lord Isaac as their sole benefactor. Dozens of government positions began to be filled by those coming from Isaac’s academies and all of the major factions within the Royal Court were suppressed heavily. A peace was established across the land by the utter domination of a single man, who had decades past, lost his only burning flame within his heart.
His youthful days behind him, Lord Isaac often doesn’t leave his office within the Royal Capital. His presence in even the most important of ceremonies was beyond rare. The only reason he had decided to watch over a holy trial of all things was because the King had come personally for him, an odd occurrence, but he would comply. This was, of course owed to a certain woman for sparking his flame once more. He finally felt like leaving that accursed room that he had locked himself away in. He no longer sought to live out his days within a small room simply maintaining the realm’s stability.
When taking his seat, Lord Isaac had inquired as to why such a ceremony had been called. As it would so happen, some woman had earned the ire of the First Princess after interrupting her coming of age ceremony. In her rage, the First Princess was aiming to punish the woman with one of the most cruel methods possible.
Lord Isaac knew the current condition of the First Princess well.
As a young girl, she had fallen for a rather ambitious knight who then began to use and abuse the First Princess’s favor to further his desires. When Lord Isaac was raising her, she had been such a diligent young girl until Gregory appeared. After a short period of time after his appearance, the First Princess dropped Lord Isaac as an educator and had been moving to inhibit his influence over the Royal Family. While he certainly doesn’t mind the First Princess acting out, he had already decided to finally remove Gregory from the picture several weeks prior. If he were to actually marry the First Princess now that she was of age, he would cause mayhem on a national scale solely because of his greed. Such a rotten character had not escaped Lord Isaac’s gaze.
After the trial was over with this supposed woman’s death, he’d find… that… girl… who had the hostility from the Princess…
As soon this recollection had crossed his mind, the First Princess entered the room, followed by three Royal Knights … and… that girl from the day before. Lord Isaac had to restrain himself from rising from his seat that very moment. He had to be stern and wait this situation out.
Over the course of the trial, the girl had blatantly denounced the sour nature of the First Princess and had been sentenced guilty. At that point, Lord Isaac was preparing to call the trial off, that was until the First Princess offered both lands and her hand in marriage to Gregory if he won. She certainly had no right to give those lands away nor did she have the right to give her hand away to whomever she wished, but if he were to speak on it now, he’d be undermining the already very damaged authority of the King.
Since the girl was actually exhibiting such confidence, he had resigned himself to watching for the time being. He had listened to what she said and greatly wanted to hear more about it after the incident was resolved.
He was a bit surprised when she removed her dress and exposed her body, but judging the dress that she had been wearing from the day before, it was rather form fitting and tight. An obvious move to allow her extra movement and fluidity when fighting a skilled opponent. Given that she still had clothing, though minimal as it was, it was an acceptable decision in the end.
Sir Isaac’s analysis capabilities had begun to explode as his sensory organs went into high alert. The moment that the girl who woke him up from his dream fell into danger, he would end the trial immediately. Now had become one of his only chances to remove the taint that had invaded the Royal Family. Gregory would perish and the First Princess’s life would fall to the girl’s hands. Being the accuser, the First Princess would likely also die, turning the succession to the First Prince. The First Prince was an astute and diligent gentlemen who holds his justice highly as a virtue.
A knight’s blade in hand, the girl began to do something akin to a… dance?
No, perhaps it would be better to call it a dance of her sword, her blade slicing almost faster than even his old eyes could follow. Hmph, perhaps she really could win the bout…
The girl tossed out various statements against Gregory and began to advance towards him.
It was unorthodox for those deemed guilty to choose to battle the Royal Champion the moment after being judged guilty, but fully within their right. Though, if she had delayed the engagement by even an hour, Sir Isaac would have interceded and thus brought the trial to an end. Historians would later discuss this critical event in history and the hero's fate had she been brought under Lord Isaac's protection at that time. While there are various theories on the matter, most agree that the fate of the Kremor Kingdom, as well as countless lives would have been far different. The hero's decision to fight Gregory, later known as the 'Instant of Determination', had sealed the course of history.
As she closed the ten meter distance, she made just two swings of her sword, one right after the other. The first swing was a horizontal slash that created a breeze that Gregory lightly felt from almost nine meters away. The reason was due to her using the flat of the blade like a fan in her one hand. It seemed as if she was merely judging the blade in her hand.
The second became akin to the eye of a hurricane. At the start, she simply stopped walking forward and took a stance with the blade behind her head, lifting the opposite leg to her sword hand and began to contort her body. The next instance was like a blur, aside from Lord Isaac’s keen eyes, perhaps just two others within the room would have seen what really happened.
With a single motion, she swung her sword towards the ground while kicking the column behind her and as if propelled by an invisible force just a hair’s breath before the sword hits the ground. Her body shot forward towards Gregory as if she were an arrow. The moment that her blade hit the ground, her body began to spin rapidly, the image of her sword blurring into a ring around her blurred body. It all happened in an instant. Her sword smashed down onto Gregory’s shoulder plate, the sound of metal meeting metal resounded throughout the room.
Right after the solid blow that obviously broke his collarbone, the girl smashed into Gregory with an extremely solid thud, sending the well built man stumbling backwards several steps. He managed to recover quickly, but the girl was already on him, seemingly unaffected from her body smashing into a metal suit of armor. Her blade descended upon his neck and made contact.
Instead of a sharp sound with spouts of blood, a soft thud came from the blow. Confused, the girl took a step back and looked at her blade.
It was at this moment that Lord Isaac realized something, Gregory was wearing iron armor!
The standard for Royal weaponry was to make both armor and blades out of silver and gold. to think that he would dare to wear such a cheap knock off rather than true knight’s armor!
To Lord Isaac, it was a mere passing thought, in fact, anyone else would have made such a realization and prepared for such a thing. It’s common knowledge that Royal arms and armor are made from silver, but to the hero, she had lost track of herself looking at the flattened and bent edge of her blade.
It was only a second’s pause, but that second proved disastrous.
From an underhanded stance, using the ground as a medium to increase the force of his swing, Gregory charged the hero, attacking with every ounce of his strength behind the blow in an upwards slash.
The hero quickly took on her guard, but…
The hero had managed to put her blade infront of Gregory’s attack to block, but his blade sliced right through the damaged blade using the great force it carried. The blade passing through her defence, slicing across her torso. The cut spanned from her left second lowest rib to her right breast. The hero had backed up slightly through sheer instinct the moment her blade was cut through, but she was unable to avoid a majority of the swing. Her wrappings now began to be dyed red as blood began to pour from her wound. Before even the first drop of blood had come from her injury, Gregory was already on her. Just after his slash, a metal arm guard smashed into the hero’s left temple, sending her to the floor.
Gregory’s sword raised in the air above his head, and as it did, Lord Isaac’s heart froze. Lord Isaac rose from his seat with the full intent to end the match…. all but too late… Lord Isaac’s mind ran blank as he watched the blade move down, as if in slow motion.
To him, the fraction of a second became an eternity, but, eventually, the blade fell down and blood splattered the floor.
Lord Isaac fell back into his seat.
[NH Chapter 9 - End]