Edel Albert’s life began with loss.
When he was but 8 years old, a neighboring territory attack theirs and took over the whole area including their capital.
That attack also led to the death of his father who personally led their soldiers against the enemies.
Along with his mother, he managed to escape from their now-former territory. However, from then on, he had no choice but to live a considerably harsher life displaced from his home.
“Mother, why can’t we go back home?”
“Because somebody has taken it away from us.”
“Because we’re weak.”
“If we were strong, they wouldn’t take it away?”
“Yes. They wouldn’t have. If anything, we would be the ones doing the taking.”
“If we’re strong we can be the ones doing the taking…as long as we’re strong…”
These experiences he had at such a young age has made Edel’s resolve strong.
“I’ll become stronger than everybody…! And I’ll be the one doing the taking…! Never again will others take things away from me…!”
And when Edel turned 12, he received through the rite of blessing the [Sword Master Technique] Gift.
Soon enough, this lad was successful in taking back his home.
However, he wasn’t satisfied with just that.
He took over neighboring territories one after the other. Eventually, he was recognized as one of the five superpowers in kingdom.
And upon defeating his greatest rival, Marquis Schneger, he was finally ready to assume control of the kingdom.
In all these years of conquest, he has not suffered defeat, not even once.
No matter how disadvantageous or ill-advised a battle might seem to an observer, Edel still managed to win every single time.
––––that is, until this day.
“This is stupid…how can I…”
Edel was unable to keep up with Raul’s movements now that the latter suddenly gained so much power.
Be it speed or power, Edel just couldn’t compete.
Edel found it ridiculous that he could be beaten in a one-on-one fight. Especially so against his own son who was just a lad of 15 years of age.
They might have the same Gift, but the difference between their skills should be like heaven and earth.
“Haa, you’re nearly done!”
Raul’s quick attacks have gradually slowed Edel down.
So many attacks were slipping past Edel’s defenses and cutting him all over his body. It was almost like Raul was painting the air with Edel’s blood splashes.
It has been some time since an enemy has landed so many attacks on Edel. And as though his old wounds reopened and added to his body’s fatigue, Edel’s movements grew slower once more.
“I…can’t lose here!!”
“Give up already, you shitty father!”
Edel received a heavy blow, causing him to be stagger and fall down.
It was such a serious wound that he couldn’t stand back up. Soon enough, a pool of his own blood began to form underneath him.
Even then though, the fight in Edel’s eyes never left.
“I can’t fall here…this kingdom…needs…my power…”
“Say that again?”
“The neighboring kingdoms are certain to be aiming for this country…of ours that’s always been engulfed in internal fighting! We can’t afford to keep on fighting one another…! As soon as we unite the kingdom, we would launch our offensive…! Take before they take things away from us! If we take over every kingdom, no one’d be left to take things away from us…!”
Edel’s hometown was taken over by somebody when he was young. This time, a similar fate might happen to the entire kingdom.
“So, what you’re saying is, with you at the top, this kingdom can become stronger than any other kingdom?”
“Exactly…! Through me…we can always be the ones doing the taking…!”
“Can you really still say that now?”
“Use your eyes and look at your soldiers!”
Only upon being prompted did Edel notice that all sounds of fighting have ceased in the surroundings.
Nervously, Edel turned to look.
Edel’s elite soldiers have all been defeated.
Some have been wounded badly, some tied up with rope. Regardless, there was no one else who could fight.
“F-forgive me, Edel-sama…”
“They’re stronger than we expected…”
Even the generals have been defeated and restrained.
On the other hand, the few enemy soldiers that were wounded have already received medical treatment, so their numbers remained mostly the same.
“You’ve lost as a commander to Luke. That is the reality of things.”
“Can a loser like you really say that you’re the best choice for making this kingdom strong? Ha, don’t make me laugh!”
“I still…I still haven’t lost…I can’t lose!!!”
After hearing Raul’s harsh words, Edel summoned the last of his strength and charged forward.
Edel and Raul’s swords clashed once more.
“I haven’t lost! As long as I defeat you and the rest…I’m…I’m the winner!
Edel’s sword suddenly broke in half, sending one part to dance in the air until it hit the ground.
Much like Edel himself, the sword has reached its limit after such a fierce fight.
“Accept your defeat!”
Edel had no more power to defend himself. Like that, Raul mercilessly swung his sword.
A rain of blood fell to the surroundings.