Chapter 2906: Shackled Swordswoman
Ketis was glad that Scipia Pepperin treated her as a serious opponent.
Unlike the farce that took place in her match against the Cloudstriders, Ketis truly felt she was fighting a proper sword duel this time.
Yet her appreciation quickly made way for frustration as the reality of fighting against a strong and challenging opponent settled in.
Unlike the lower-ranked swordsmen that folded after getting hit by a single empowered attack, Scipia was anything but a pushover!
Heh! You\'re not bad! Scipia complimented even as she executed a vicious stab just as her other sword locked Shiva in place.
Same! Ketis responded as she pushed herself back against Scipia\'s blade in order to evade the stab.
Why do you lug around a greatsword
It\'s my first weapon.
Then why not fight it in the first place
I don\'t want to defeat you too quickly.
Then I will make sure to force you to draw out your real weapon!
Scipia Pepperin was an excellent swordswoman.
From the first few exchanges, she already recognized that Ketis was not entirely fluent in wielding a one-handed saber.
Even though the Swordmaiden mastered all of the basic moves, her battle consciousness with the weapon fell a bit behind.
The difference was quite noticeable, and Scipia was a little disappointed with fighting against someone with less skill than she expected.
Although Ketis knew that she wasn\'t fighting at her best when wielding Shiva, she was still confident in her own skill.
It didn\'t matter if she was having a hard time right now.
As long as she held on, her proficiency in wielding a saber visibly grew better!
As a mech designer, Ketis did not wish to dedicate herself to designing swordsman mechs that excelled in wielding greatswords.
While this would definitely become one of her primary interests, she wanted to explore the possibilities of different swords and configurations.
With the rise of the Annihilator Sword School and the entry of thousands of new Swordmaiden mech pilots, Ketis wanted to meet the needs of all of them no matter what kind of weapon they excelled at! Wielding one-handed weapons like Shiva was just the first step in her journey to master every type of sword!
Although Ketis hadn\'t fully formulated her own sword style as of yet, she had already made a decision to move beyond the monolithic Swordmaiden Sword Style.
This mainly had to do with her unique advantages.
Sharpie\'s existence allowed her to quickly pick up new sword styles.
Even if she had to put in the hard effort to master the sword styles that Sharpie was somehow able to replicate, she possessed an undeniable edge on this front!
If she was just a pure swordswoman, then she would have probably chosen to dedicate herself to a single style, whether it was the Swordmaiden Sword Style or an adaptation of it.
Yet because she needed to balance her needs as a swordswoman and a mech designer, she felt it was more beneficial for her if she broadened her scope and tried to attain enlightenment in swordsmanship by learning every style.
Her ultimate goal was to become the best swordsman mech designer in the cosmos! Perhaps some extremely dedicated mech designers might be able to surpass her in designing a single specific model, but Ketis wanted to be able to design excellent swordsman mechs that conformed to every sword style she mastered!
Of course, a part of that long and unending journey was to gain proficiency in duel-wielding styles like the Brevis Sword Style.
Even as Ketis continually struggled to block and evade Scipia\'s attacks, her eyes constantly shone with interest as she observed her opponent\'s actions.
From what she recalled of the Brevis Sword School, it was a two-century old institution that had built up a modest inheritance.
Its situation was much better than that of the Annihilator Sword School.
As a newer and less conservative school, the Brevis Swordmasters were not sticklers for traditions.
Each of them had successively altered and expanded the Brevis Sword Style with offensive, defensive and movement-oriented techniques.
Right now, Scipia only made use of ordinary swordsmanship moves, but Ketis sensed that her opponent was gathering momentum.
The Unrelenting Raider\'s had already launched more than a hundred attacks, but there was no sign that Scipia was flagging anytime soon!
Swordsmen at this level were heavily augmented without exception.
Even if they looked like normal humans on the surface, underneath their skin their muscles were derived from powerful artificial genes.
Here and there, foreign modules in the form of biological or mechanical implants specifically improved someone\'s endurance, force exertion, running speed, reaction time and more attributes.
Prominent sword initiates like Scipia Pepperin always received the most luxurious treatment when it came to augmenting their physical capabilities!
Therefore, Ketis soon found out that she barely won over when comparing physiques.
This was not outside her expectations.
Ivan Reid similarly closed the gap to her on some points.
What was frightening was that the Cloudstrider disciple vastly exceeded her in other areas such as speed!
Fortunately, Scipia apparently did not possess a similar advantage.
Even though the Brevis Sword Style was very active and mobile, it did not emphasize speed and evasion as much as the Cloudstrider Sword Style.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
Ketis continued to circle backwards as she hastily blocked a flurry of slashes.
She had become more proficient at dealing with attacks coming from different directions.
She began to incorporate more lateral movement in her steps.
This allowed her to counterattack if the opportunity presented itself!
Still, it was not that easy for Ketis to land a hit on her opponent.
Hah! I can read you from a star system away! The downside to holding one weapon at a time is that I don\'t have to split my attention too much!
The character of the Brevis Sword Style became more clear to Ketis.
It was not the fastest or most explosive of styles she encountered, but it was very hard to deal with.
The Brevis Sword Style seemed as if it was designed to fight against tough opponents!
Ketis respected that.
The Swordmaiden Sword Style was also geared towards defeating stronger and more powerful enemies.
Still, now that she was on the receiving end of this treatment, she did not feel good at all.
No matter whether she slashed, chopped or lunged, either one of two shortsword would come and spoil her attempt without fail.
Scipia didn\'t even lose any sweat in the process!
A normal approach wasn\'t working.
Shiva lacked the heft and reach of her CFA greatsword.
If she wielded the latter, then she might have been able to apply more force to break Scipia\'s guard.
There was another way to break the pattern.
Ketis briefly hesitated, but eventually decided to make the first move.
Her living sword intent quickly embraced the Annihilator Sword Style.
At the same time, Ketis actively changed her thought patterns so that her mind conformed to her newest sword style.
A slight resonance formed between Shiva, her mind, Sharpie.
A dark corona surrounded Shiva\'s blade.
It was as if some kind of black ink had stained its shiny metallic surface.
The desire to destroy Scipio\'s guard and ruin her annoying shortswords quickly welled up in her mind.
Though Ketis respected her opponent, at this moment she wanted to do nothing more than to break the obstacles in her way!
The crossed shortswords that blocked her empowered saber were also shining at this time!
I was expecting that! It took you long enough to resort to this trick!
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Even though Ketis had gone on the offensive, Scipia skillfully blocked and deflected the incoming attack without enduring any apparent strain.
Her unrelenting will sustained the empowerment of her twin blades and granted them enough strength to resist the power of annihilation!
Ketis grimaced and decided to pull back and open up some distance.
She needed to get her bearings and rethink her approach.
You don\'t have much experience with fighting against sword initiates, do you Scipia taunted as she relaxed her posture a bit.
She did not mind the small reprieve considering she had been intensively for several long minutes.
What was it like to live outside the Heavensword Assocation
Well, we didn\'t have all this. Ketis gestured to the enormous audience who were all thrilled with what they had seen so far.
Swordsmen and swordswomen are seen as weirdos rather than honorable warriors.
People just think there\'s no point in wielding swords when using rifles is much more effective most of the time.
They aren\'t wrong.
It may not look like it, but we do field mechs and soldiers armed with the same kind of rifles and cannons that are used outside our state.
We just don\'t exhibit them all that much.
As powerful as we are, there simply aren\'t enough sword initiates and swordmasters to cover every need.
Even the Heavensword Association had to bend to reality.
If all of its mechs and soldiers only brought swords into the battlefield, then the state would have been overrun a long time ago by its neighbors!
You\'re the first Heavensworder I\'ve spoken to who openly acknowledges that.
You guys aren\'t fans of ranged weapons.
Not everyone has a sword up his backside like Ivan Reid.
While I haven\'t traveled outside the Heavensword Association yet, I have entertained plenty of foreign guests.
If you want, you can pay a visit to our Larkinson Clan.
We welcome lots of outsiders.
We would love to entertain a skilled sword initiate.
I\'ll have to pass.
I have too many responsibilities at my sword school to stay away for too long.
I envy you a bit.
You enjoy much more freedom than the rest of us disciples.
This was the life of someone who dedicated herself to a single sword style.
They were investments that were supposed to deliver value to their sword schools.
It took an incredible amount of money and resources to raise someone like Scipia to this point.
If the Unrelenting Raider failed to advance to swordmaster, then much of the value put into her would go to waste!
For a moment, Ketis pitied Scipia.
The latter clearly felt more constricted by the invisible bonds that kept her locked in place.
This did not mean that Ketis would go soft.
She still had a match to win, and she could not allow her sympathy to muddle her purpose!
Scipia grew serious.
Her shortswords glowed brighter.
I\'m about to show you the real Brevis Sword Style!
She sprinted forward and began to wield her glowing blades in a distinctly different fashion!
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
Their blades continually met as Scipia turned into a whirling storm.
She somehow swung her blades faster than before and the way she spun around in order to leverage her angular momentum made her attacks a lot more difficult for Ketis to block!
Stepping back no longer worked because Scipia had suddenly turned sticky.The two women clung together so much that it was as if they were bound together by a chain!
Ketis had to exert her blocking skills to a much greater degree as a result.
Sometimes, a shortsword just managed to bypass Shiva.
The Swordmaiden had to employ all of her strength in order to sidestep the threat at the last instance!
The Annihilator Sword Style became increasingly more cumbersome to Ketis!
As an rudimentary first-generation sword style that hadn\'t been worked on for many years, it lacked powerful defensive techniques.
Ketis had to rely on her own swordsmanship in order to hold her ground!
She knew she had to change the variables.
If this went on, then her guard would slip sooner or later.
Even if Scipia was exerting herself to a much greater degree, her abundant stamina allowed her to sustain her offensive with ease!
Her will grew more condensed.
Even as Ketis found it increasingly more difficult to fend off the flurry of attacks, her unyielding spirit grew more indignant.
A Swordmaiden should never be passive!
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