To Be a Power in the Shadows! - Chapter 79

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:21:56]
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Chapter 79: I’ve Won! (Assured)



The instant the match begins, Annerose charges into Jimina’s maai.


She has already seen through Jimina’s strength. Indeed, the secret to his strength is overwhelming speed.


He holds down his opponents with incredible speed that even she, as a former member of the Seven Swords of Begalta, cannot fully follow. That is both Jimina’s strength as well as his method of fighting.


However, in contrast to his speed, his skill with the sword must be low.


Up to now, he has won all of his fights with only a bare minimum amount of sword exchange.


Why is that?


His opponents could not follow his speed. That’s certainly a reason.


However, Jimina’s posture is that of an amateur. Is it not true that it’s actually Jimina himself who is avoiding sword exchanges?


What if he’s actually afraid of exposing his shoddy skill with the sword?


In other words, in order to hide his skill level, he’s been aiming for victory that does not involve crossing swords.


In that case, then the key to victory against him lies in not being bewildered by his speed. That is the conclusion that Annerose has arrived at.


But there is one thing that remains on her mind…… that is, the weights that Jimina had taken off.


If, after removing his shackles, Jimina displays speed that exceeds what she herself can react to…… that would doubtlessly spell out her defeat.


That single worry is what Annerose has set out to squash the moment the match begins.


If the opponent is one who wins through speed, then she merely has to stop his feet.


If she does that, then she would not lose.


“HAAAAHHHHHHHH!!”


After rushing into Jimina’s maai in a split second, Annerose shouts with fighting spirit while unleashing a slash towards him.


It is an attack that has completely caught him off guard.


However, he still manages to block Annerose’s sword.


As expected, he’s fast.


A sword attack brandished with a timing that normally cannot be blocked, was indeed blocked by him.


However, due to blocking her sword, his feet are not moving.


This is Annerose’s true aim.


Shiii!!”


Annerose once again attacks the stationary Jimina.


Once again Jimina blocks her successfully, but Annerose’s furious onslaught allows him no opportunity to make use of his speed.


Three more attacks, four more, five more, Annerose’s sword is met by Jimina’s again and again. Until finally Jimina’s posture becomes unstable.


I’ve won!


So Annerose is assured while stabbing Jimina’s chest.


Her stab is indeed going through, but……


“Eh……?”


There’s no feedback on her sword.


Rather than that, Jimina’s figure has actually completely disappeared from her line of sight.


“…… It’s an after image.”


His voice emanates from behind her.


Annerose’s shoulders quiver.


Calm down.


She purposely turns around slowly.


She is indeed shaken. But she must not let him know that. So she tells herself.


“You’re faster than I thought……”


Her voice is absolutely normal. At the very least, that’s what she thinks.


Then she focuses her eyes on Jimina and thinks.


What can she do?


His speed is indeed far beyond what she can react to.


What method is there to overturn this difference in speed?


Think.


Think……!


THINK………….!!


“Eh……?!”


Abruptly she realizes that Jimina’s figure has disappeared once more.


Even before thinking, Annerose moves.


That moment, being able to react to that briefest of vibrations in the air is not skill nor experience, but pure luck.


Gakiii!!


The incredible clash sends Annerose flying.


She desperately clutches onto both her fading consciousness and the sword that she is almost dropping.


Kuh……!”


A groan of pain falls from her lips.


Jimina is standing a distance away but right in front of her, with his sword languidly lowered.


He doesn’t take up a stance, nor does he rush over to finish her off.


But Annerose does not think of that as hubris.


He has the strength befitting of that attitude.


“I acknowledge it. You are strong.”


Annerose calms her heavy breathing, and hardens her resolve.


Jimina is simply, but absolutely overwhelmingly, fast.


Annerose does not think of it as unreasonable. For everyone is strong in their own way, speed being one of them.


But neither does Annerose think that she cannot win.


Her chance at victory is low. However, it is not zero.


If her opponent is only fast, then…… she merely has to adjust her strategy to match.


Counter.


The moment Jimina attacks is the last chance of victory left to her.


The problem is whether she can react in time to Jimina’s speed.


The block that she made just now was nothing more than sheer luck.


She does not expect to be able to do the same thing again.


In that case, then rather than luck, she must rely on her own strength.


If she can’t react, then she’ll rely on her experience.


If her experience is insufficient, then intuition.


It doesn’t matter what it is that she relies on.


The crucial key is timing. After that she’ll merely have to cut him down with all the skill that she has amassed.


Annerose silently sharpens her focus to the absolute limit, and waits.


Then.


Without any warning.


Jimina’s figure vanishes, then in the next instant…… no, even before that, Annerose swings her sword.


There is no one where her sword is slashing towards.


But the next moment.


I’ve won!


Jimina reappears.


Annerose is assured of her victory.


Her sword is perfectly in line with Jimina’s path of movement.


At this speed, there is no way he can evade in time. So she thinks.


“Eh……”


Annerose simply gazes at him with a dumbfounded face.


Because he has stopped.


As if this had been decided from the very start, he has stopped exactly beyond Annerose’s maai.


Annerose’s sword barely misses his nose, cutting nothing.


This is no coincidence.


This is maai management to the absolute limit.


He possesses an unbelievable eye for spatial awareness.


Annerose had thought that she had adjusted her strategy to him. But in actual fact, it is he who had adjusted his strategy to her.


“Ah, I see……”


That instant, she finally understands.


With that split second of exchange, everything has been clarified.


He, Jimina Sehnen…… possesses skill that is also on a completely different dimension.


Then Jimina’s sword approaches the demoralized Annerose.


That strike is the slowest one today.


However, that sword…… is so sublime as to bring ‘skill’ to the level of ‘art.’


“Ahh……”


How beautiful indeed.


With that being the last thing she sees, Annerose’s consciousness fades to black.


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