Three of them ran straight for Ardis.
As the two sides closed in, the three spread out in a half encompassing manner. A big sword escort at Ardis’s front, another wearing a gauntlet coming on the right, and a long haired escort on the left.
At the same time, another three went in a larger radius circling to Ardis’s back.
Seeing their action, Duke Nyrestia was able to make out what the escorts were trying to do. Three at the front, and three from the back, they probably thought to surround Ardis.
(And the four are on standby just as expected huh)
Even if it’s a wide and obstacle-less training grounds, there’s still not enough room for ten people to be swinging their weapons without obstructing each other.
Six surrounded Ardis, the four will be substitutes, or follow up on any gaps, the Duke thought. As for Ardis who is against three people at his front, he showed no signs of stopping.
「Thought so. 」
It seems like the Duke understood his actions. After all, with his opponents many times himself, stopping at one place will be disadvantageous.
There’s a common tactic used in a six or seven against ten situation, to slowly wait for a critical mistake from the opponent while holding down their defense. But rather than six or seven, Ardis is by himself against ten.
If so, there’s no point for Ardis to hold his position. It’s much more reasonable to actively go on the offense. Ardis clashed frontally with the three ahead.
The first to take action was Ardis. The training sword provided without a sharp edge drove into the escort ahead sharply.
It seems like the escort tried to parry the sword with his big sword but the much heavier than expected sword completely crushed his stance.
(Hou. He has more strength than his looks huh)
But at the same time, there’s surely a gap when he attacks. Aiming for the gap when Ardis attacked, the two escorts on both sides slashed.
It would be unavoidable normally. But as if falling towards the front, the sword by the gauntleted escort passed by him just as he performed a half spin.
(He dodged it!?)
The sword that was dodged was redirected by Ardis’s sword, and its trajectory changed, heading towards the long hair escort on the opposite site. To avoid friendly fire, the long haired escort pulled back but Ardis would not miss the moment when his foothold is not the best.
The sword that flowed naturally found itself at the long hair escort’s abdomen from the side.
Following that, Ardis released the sword on his left hand, and with his now free left hand, he delivered a firm punch right into the gut of the gauntleted escort.
And just as his back almost fell on the ground, his left hand pushed on the ground, and with that as the axis, he spun around, utilizing his centrifugal force to drive a sword into the escort at the front.
After managing to defend against it, the big sword escort saw the situation wasn’t going well and tried to retreat some distance. But of course, he wasn’t allowed to leave at will.
「My foot!? 」
The escort found his foot stepped on by Ardis’s and couldn’t move. Ardis held down the escort’s arm with one of his hand momentarily, and the opponent whose hand for counterattacking was stopped found the blunt edge of the sword mercilessly dropping on his head.
「And that’s three. 」
Ardis’s mutter between the running footsteps reverberated loudly for some reason. It just meant that the atmosphere there was drawing everyone in.
(Ooh, what magnificent movement! Is he really a magician!?)
Even though the three that circled to the back rushed towards him, they’re far too late. Of course, Ardis would have to strive to gain more advantage before they come.
Within one breath, Ardis had kicked off the ground towards the four on standby. And responding to that, the four escorts split into two teams at two sides.
「Not bad. 」
With few words, the Duke appraised. Since the four in a group would only make one target, splitting into two groups will force Ardis to choose between one of them.
If the side getting attacked can hold against Ardis, then the other side will be able to attack from Ardis’s back, by supporting each other, they should be able to buy enough time for the remaining three to catch up.
(Though it will depend on if the two getting attacked can hold out)
Similar to the Duke’s thoughts, Ardis must’ve known that there’s no time to waste. Ardis chose the two on the left, with a swift attack. The sword along with his momentum lunged towards one of the two escorts.
Ardis grabbed the arm of the escort stunned by the heavy stab, forcefully pulling and throwing him at the two coming from the right.
(A skillful move)
Then for the one remaining on that side, his sword came from overhead in a natural trajectory. Though the escort managed to receive it, the power behind it brought him to knees in just a moment.
Seeing that, Ardis loosened his strength on the sword. The escort’s sword that had lost its counter force moved to the front, his already collapsing stance fell forward. With that, there’s no way he can regain his stance.
(Just one exchange is enough for him to crush their stance huh.)
Not letting the chance slip by, Ardis’s sword tip smacked at the escort’s hand, then in quick succession, Ardis swung his sword upwards, crashing into the escort’s sword’s hand guard in its trajectory.
Not able to grasp on the sword that had lost its grip, the escort had lost his weapon. Then just as Ardis swung his sword downwards, another escort magically jumped into its trajectory.
He must’ve thought that there was a gap, but it was actually a trap that he was baited into. The escort that fell into Ardis’s misdirection found himself a heavy blow from the side.
(And there goes four……)
Realizing his disadvantage, the remaining escort tried to retreat but couldn’t. After all, without even looking, Ardis’s managed to land a hit on the escort leg.
After lightly tapping on the escort head with his sword’s blunt edge, Ardis is now prepared to welcome the three who had finally caught up.
(The outcome is already decided)
The Duke’s prediction was right. After all, after easily dealing with the three vanguards in the beginning, then the four in no time, there’s no way Ardis would be troubled by the remaining three.
And in the end, the three was easily finished off as well, and the judge finally announced the end. Only thirty seconds.
It was truly overwhelming. Even though there were ten times the number of his, he easily overpowered them with just a sword.
「I see. You have the backing to say that, right. 」
The escorts that were facing him were not at all weak. Even among the elites serving in the Duke’s residency, they are ten of the most powerful escorts.
Without even taking a single blow, Ardis had basically insta-killed all ten of them, there’s no one who would argue Ardis’s victory. It makes sense why someone of a caliber like Moore would say he could never win against Ardis.
There’s a need to renew their perception on Ardis as a magician. At the same time, the Duke thought.
Sending the 『Countless Swords Sorcerer』 who is no more than a magician in the public eyes, climbing up the stage hosted by Marquis Holguin without using magic nor arts, and then smacking down the soldier or martial artists under his banner one after another…….
For Marquis Holguin, it would be no less than a nightmare. Even though he had retaliated as much as he could, he’s not a Duke to easily forgive someone for laying their hands on his dear daughter not just once but twice.
If Ardis is able to win in the Lotus Cup against his opponents one after another, it would be the best chance to deal a blow to Marquis Holguin who is an authority over the army.
The Duke asked Moore who was similarly spectating the match beside.
「Is this what you expected too? 」
「Though I didn’t think it would be overwhelming to this point, well, it’s the expected result. 」
Recalling the conversation prior to the match, the Duke asked again.
「Even if you joined them? 」
「I bet it’s just going to last ten seconds longer. 」
Moore who replied so shrugged. It seems like the instructor for his daughter was much more than he expected, as the Duke concluded so, he gave his word to Ardis who was approaching without any signs of rough breathing.
「Fine. I will see to let Ardis-kun participate in the Lotus Cup. I shall expect your victory in it, right? 」
「Yeah, I plan to answer your expectations. Though it depends on Marquis Holguin if it’s going to be interesting or not. 」
The Duke smiled at Ardis’s answer which had no fighting spirit at all.