Must Become Stronger
"Are you my opponent?" Legg asked, his eyes glancing at the audience seat, "It seems you're slightly stronger than my previous opponents."
Kurdak palmed his forehead. He had heard Leguna talk about the problem the barbarian had with his eyesight, but he didn't think his eyeballs would be that much off the mark.
"Should I be honored?"
"The ancestors taught me to be respectful of every opponent. I just happen to admire you more than I do the others," Legg answered honestly, eyes still locked on the audience.
"So you'll treat me better than the others?" Kurdak said with a relaxed laugh, "Say, go easier on me?"
"No--" Legg shook his head, "--My respect is to fight all out."
"So you mean you'll go even harder on me?"
"You make it sound like your defeat is certain. Warriors with no fighting spirit stand no chance of winning."
"Alright, whatever you say," Kurdak shrugged, "It's true I don't have high hopes, but I won't let you take me down without a fight. We'll both have to go see the priest when this is over."
"I look forward to a priest healing," Legg smiled.
He'd not gone to see the priests yet. He'd dealt with all his wounds on his own. Now, however, his opponent said he'd have to get a proper healing. It was kinda funny. The man was clearly delusional.
"Legg is from another race, but he might be pretty powerful," Geoffrey commented, smiling, "I bet if he encounters you, he'll lose quickly."
"He won't get the chance," Annelotte shook her head.
Though it didn't seem that way, she'd paid close attention to the tournament. Legg would face 'Ley' before he faced her, and this 'Ley' would not let him win.
"Oh? You think this 'Kurdak' can defeat him? I've seen his matches. He seemed to be a warrior rich with experience, but I don't think he can defeat this barbarian. I'm afraid your guess is off."
Annelotte gave Geoffrey a passing glance but didn't explain.
"The match's starting."
"Come on! Let's fight with all we've got!" Kurdak shouted.
His aura changed completely the moment the announcer declared the match's start. If he could be described as an easygoing and casual man before, he was now a majestic and domineering ironblood warrior.
"Good! This is the attitude I was looking forward to!" Legg's eyes glinted with admiration. He stopped underestimating his opponent and prepared to face him properly.
So you're a gifted, huh? Hmph! One gifted after another! But don't think they are everything! I don't have any, but I'm can give you more than a good fight! I'll win this! Kurdak thought as he drew his sword.
He didn't usually show it, but his days with Leguna had soured his opinion of the gifted. He was not a close-minded person, but falling behind Leguna when he'd started so far ahead had cracked his confidence and he hated it. Everything started out with Leguna being a little brat following him like a little pet. He always called him 'boss' and listened to everything he said.
Now, however, the little brat, still just barely any more than a baby, was stronger than him! He was now strong enough to beat Kurdak even without using his gifts! How could this not sour Kurdak? What man would not start doubting himself?
He both admired and despised Leguna's talent. He was happy for his follower, but he also hated that he could not keep up, that he was now the weaker man between the two.
The kid still called him 'Boss', but it didn't feel the same. In the beginning it rang in Kurdak's ears of someone admiring and relying on him, but now it had become a comical mockery of him. He knew none of this was Leguna's doing, but he couldn't help but feel like he was being mocked every time Leguna called him that.
Kurdak disliked gifted people as a result. They were unnatural beings that shouldn't have anything to do with normal people. They were freaks. Annelotte and Leguna were exceptions, but all the others should just disappear!
Take Legg as an example of how unnatural they were. The brute was just one stratum higher than Kurdak, but he could do nothing to the giant. The thing looked down on him, he talked to him like he'd already won the match! Kurdak was not a naturally prideful person, but he had years of experience, and had been admired for many thereof as one of the best. He could not handle being looked down on.
He was not a very smart man, however. He could do only one thing to vent: fight! So that's what he would do, even if he couldn't win. Even if he would only get himself hurt! He would be the biggest thorn in her enemy's side he could be.
Even if I'm weak, I won't let anyone look down on me! I'll show everyone how strong I am!
"Geeeaaaagh!" With a loud grunt, he dragged his greatsword along and charged at his enemy.
The barbarian watched him approach, cracking a smile. He couldn't help but like this human. He'd sounded like he didn't care about the match, but he was going all out.
You want a fight, huh? I'll give you one hell of a fight!
He activated Skin of Terra's first stage and formed a hard layer on his skin. He bent his legs and dug his hands into the ground.
"Guah!" he cried and drew two stone axes from the ground.
They looked nothing like the soil from which they were drawn. They looked like solid pieces of metal.
Kurdak rushed at Legg as fast as his legs would carry him. His feet dug into the ground and he swung his sword, spinning on his feet.
His impetus flared instantly. Wayerliss had mentioned he was a fire-aspect warrior and the high concentration of impetus he used could change the air's temperature.
A wave of heat slammed into Legg moments before the red-impetus-coated greatsword swung at him. He raised his axes and blocked it. The force numbed his hands.
"Great! This is what I'm talking about!" he roared in his mother tongue, Dosrak.
"Aspect-infused impetus! Boss can actually use it!" Leguna shouted. He almost jumped out of his seat.
"That foolish man..." Vera teared up.
She'd tried to convince Kurdak to abandon the fight, but he would not listen. His words rang in her ear again.
"Girl, am I getting old?"
"I've said it before and I'll say it again! You're 24!" she'd snapped.
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