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Chapter: 81


The air stilled after Kingsley made his challenge. Everyone looked at William and waited for his answer.

William sneered in his heart because he had already anticipated this outcome. His years of reading novels didn't amount to nothing! Naturally, he also knew how to downplay this challenge, so he went along that route.

"Why should I fight you?" William snorted. "I don't have any reason to accept your challenge."

"So, you admit that you are a coward?" Kingsley asked in disdain. "I guess the only thing you have going for you is your face."

"Are you jealous of my face?" William asked back. "It's not my fault that I am more handsome than you. If you want to complain, complain to your parents for not being good looking enough!"

William's words made everyone's teeth itch. It was a very blatant provocation, but it was super effective.

Kingsley's face contorted in rage, but that only lasted for a brief moment. He then collected himself and ridiculed William. "I didn't expect that a Shepherd like you would, also, be a master of words. Did you learn that from tending to your goats?"

"Thank you for your praise, feel free to praise me more." William raised his chin in arrogance.

'I'm not praising you!' Kingsley wanted to shout out loud, but reigned in his words. "I guess the Ainsworth family only amounts to this much. A family of cowards."

'Hah~ what a low blow,' William thought. 'I knew he was going to bring this up. I guess I'll follow the script for now and accept his challenge.'

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"Since you are so persistent then I guess I have no choice but to accept this challenge," William said with a serious expression.

"Good." Kingsley narrowed his eyes. "I've been longing to see the ability of the man who was paired up with junior sister."

"Prepare to be disappointed." William summoned his wooden staff. "I'm currently not in my peak condition."

"Heh, we haven't even started our duel and you're already making up an excuse?" Kingsley sneered. "Well, I have to admire your strategy. This way, even if you lose, you won't look too bad in front of everyone."

James stood up and clapped his hands. "If the two of you are going to fight, let's change locations." He then turned around and walked towards the training field that was a hundred meters away from the garden.

William and Kingsley followed behind him.

The rest of the peanut gallery also followed suit. They were very curious about what kind of ability William possessed. Est, and his entourage, on the other hand, were feeling a bit anxious. They knew that William wasn't lying when he said that he wasn't in his peak condition.

They had heard of the name Kingsley before. Just like Rebecca, the boy was considered as one of the prodigies of the Kingdom. He was a magic swordsman, and Kingsley was quite proficient with both sword and magic.

William wasn't able to use his magic right now, so he was at a disadvantage.

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The two combatants stood ten meters away from each other. William was holding his wooden staff, while Kingsley held a wooden sword.

This was a friendly duel so Eleanor didn't permit Kingsley to use his magic sword to fight William. She also didn't want to provoke James, because the old man might do something reckless if William got seriously hurt.

Rebecca stood beside Lawrence. She had a calm expression on her face, but her eyes were looking at William with anticipation. Since Kingsley was in the same sect as her, she was well aware of his fighting abilities. She was very curious about how a shepherd boy would be able to match a prodigy of the Misty Sect.

"None of you are allowed to hit each other in the face," James said. "The battle will end if one of you surrenders or is unable to continue to battle. This is a friendly match so fatal blows are not allowed, do I make myself clear?"

"Yes."

"Understood."

James nodded his head and raised his hand. "Fight!"

As soon as the signal was given, Kingsley activated his movement technique "Misty Steps". It was the trademark of the Misty Sect and was hailed as one of the fastest movement arts in the Southern Continent.

The disciples of the Misty Sect cheered when they saw their "senior brother" display their sect's special move.

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Kingsley moved like a blur and appeared two meters in front of William. He then lowered his body and slashed forward.

"First Phase, Phoenix Strike!"

Kingsley was confident that this single strike would be enough to end the duel. Frankly, he felt that it was beneath him to get serious fighting against a Shepherd who tended sheep and goats. If not for his plan to leave a good impression on his junior sister's family, he wouldn't even bother to challenge William to a duel.

The deadly strike was aimed at William's shoulder with the intention of breaking his bones. Although he couldn't deliver a lethal strike to his rival, there was no rule that said that he couldn't cripple his opponent.

A loud clap reverberated in the air as the two wooden weapons clashed against each other. William was unable to follow Kingsley's movement, but his passive skill, Parry, activated automatically.

(Passive)

-- Increase the chances of parrying an attack by 30%.

Requirement: Only works for staff, spear, and pole-type weapons

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Although William couldn't use any offensive skills, his passive skills were still in effect. Right after William parried the blow, he immediately used his staff to counter-attack. Although Kingsley was surprised that his attack was blocked, he was still a prodigy and managed to jump back to avoid William's strike.

The short exchange silenced the crowd, and their gazes became serious. Kingsley also took a proper stance as he prepared for his next attack.

After taking another step forward, Kingsley disappeared from William's sight and appeared behind the red-head boy.

"Second Phase, Phoenix Crossing!"

Kingsley unleashed two consecutive slashes at high speed to form a cross. William's battle instinct, that had been honed in the Goblin Crypt, kicked in as he immediately used his staff to receive the blow.

With a loud shout, William swung his wooden staff behind him. A few seconds later, William skidded backwards as the power of the Phoenix Crossing passed through his staff's defenses.

William was somehow able to block the first strike, but the second strike connected with his right chest. A searing pain wracked his senses, but he forced himself to pretend that it didn't hurt him much.

'Good thing, It didn't break my ribs,' William thought as he stood his ground. 'That really hurt!'

Kingsley's expression became more serious when he saw William's calm expression. He clearly felt that one of his blows connected, but the latter was acting as if nothing had happened.

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Both combatants glared at each other as they prepared for their next clash.

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