He expected... more of the Bronze-Rank Holy Swordsman.
Decanus Justus had leapt forward like a crazed fool-- probably an unfortunate result of Tycon's earlier annoyed remark. He even used mana in his attack, though poorly channeled. It reminded him of a stage illusionist, utilizing Unranked magic to entertain children.
And then the fool had the gall to look surprised when the obvious attack was deflected by his opponent's sword.
If the radiant mana didn't strike the undead's body, then it was just a stronger-than-usual sword strike. It was still more than tolerable, especially against the sturdy Tyrion steel blade Tycon had lent the undead warrior.
Tycon grimaced. He was considering just taking Gianna and Rena back and reporting that Justus fell into a pit or was eaten whole by a mimic.
Bah. He'd probably have to lead the tent group in his stead. That would be a hassle.
Justus finally managed to get a strike on his opponent-- a stab without a wisp of mana powering it. It bounced off harmlessly against the undead's shoddy, rusted armor.
Tycon was tired of looking at failure. He looked back to Holy Bolter Rena....where he found pitiful pleading eyes of sincere worry.
He took a deep breath and sighed again. He had conveniently forgotten that the trio were all friends.
Looking over to Shield Maiden Gianna, he called out, "Gianna, defeat one."
...He was attempting to keep the sarcasm out of his voice.
"I hear you, Duplicarius!" She replied. She brandished her sword, glowing silver from Rena's enchantment.
Tycon was confident that she would have no issues with her opponents. She was an excellent combatant and had an advantageous weapon.
Rena was able to change her thinking from 'I can only enchant bolts' to 'a bolt is one of many weapons I can enchant.' The mana usage was slightly less efficient, but he had judged from her expenditure prior to the Iredar attack, that she had an abnormally large reserve of mana.
Holy Bolter Rena, Shield Maiden Gianna, and Holy Swordsman Justus... the trio all had excellent classes.
"Decanus Justus," Tycon grimaced. "I advise you to use your skills in combination with your attacks. It's a waste of mana to use them so haphazardly."
"Y-yes, Duplicarius!" Justus groaned.
The boy was cowering behind his shield, blocking the endless onslaught of the Nemayan soldier's attacks.
Peeking over his shield, he tried to direct his sword against the next big strike-- an obvious feint.
Oh, he was going to die. That's too bad. Sorry, Rena.
The skeleton side-stepped and slashed at Justus' neck. However, Justus displayed his exceptional reflexes, shrugging up his right shoulder. The sword smashed against his shoulder guard, leaving a dent.
That would leave a bruise.
Tycon rolled his eyes again and looked around him. He found a branch. That would do. He picked it up and snapped bits of it off, leaving him with a sturdy stick about the size of a long dagger.
"Step back, Justus."
"But Decanus, I--"
"I mean-- Dupli-- I mean... Yes, sir!" Justus leapt backward, creating some distance for Tycon to intervene.
Holding his stick in a threatening manner, Tycon approached the skeleton soldier. It turned the green embers of its gaze towards its new opponent, then quickly lunged towards him with a stab. Tycon deflected it, smacking his improvised weapon against its blackened skull.
"If the opponent does not make mistakes, force them to," Tycon smashed the hell of his sandaled foot against the skeleton's chest, cracking its dark-bone sternum and pushing it back.
The Nemayan soldier regained its stance and flourished its sword, swinging it to its left and right.
"If you're being pressured, create space. Kicks and shoves are superior to retreating,"
Tycon pursed his lips, analyzing his opponent. Approaching more carefully, the skeleton slashed at him again-- a telegraphed swing from the side.
Tycon blocked the skeleton's attack by striking the skeleton's wrist. With a backstroke, he slammed the stick against the opposite side of the skeleton's skull, "Anticipate attacks by analyzing the enemy's body for movement."
The skeleton stumbled back, holding its head. It slowly raised its black skull, the stark green flames in its eye sockets burning furiously.
Oh, that's amusing. Was the undead creature emulating emotion?
It lunged forward, feinting high, before swinging low towards Tycon's midsection.
"In a one-on-one combat..." Tycon side-stepped to the skeleton's left, dodging the swing entirely. He hooked his arm around the skeleton's neck and powered a knee into its unarmored thigh, shattering the bones and dropping the skeleton to the dirt, "--utilize circular direction to gain an advantage. And remember that your entire body is a weapon."
He looked back to Justus. The boy's mouth was gaping open, his pupils dilated in disbelief.
Tycon threw his stick at Justus' face out of annoyance.
"BUOHH!!" The stick smacked the gawping imbecile's forehead. The boy rubbed his nose, tears forming at the corner of his eyes.
Tycon looked at his hand. He was fairly certain he had thrown the stick neither hard nor quickly. He narrowed his eyes. Why had the boy's keen reflexes abruptly disappeared?
He lifted his leg and crushed the skeleton's brittle skull under his heel before picking up the sword he'd lent it.
He turned his still-narrowed eyes back to Justus, "Did you learn anything?"
"I... I think so," Justus frowned.
Tycon continued to stare, displeased.
Justus raised his voice-- and involuntarily also raised his pitch, "I uh... I did, sir!"
Tycon was hoping for an apology for wasting his time, but he supposed that was fine, too.
"Come with me. I'll provide one more demonstration."
Shield Maiden Gianna thrust her sword into her opponent skeleton's fiery eye socket. The silvery glow from Rena's enchantment grew brighter, shattering the undead's skull in a burst of light.
She flourished her blade, flinging the bits of black bone dust off of it. Examining the blade again, she noticed it had lost its mana enchantment.
That was probably why Holy Bolters only enchanted their crossbow bolts. It didn't seem efficient to utilize their mana that only worked for one or two strikes.
"Well done, Miss Gianna," Zehr approached, with a defeated-looking Justus sticking close behind.
"Aww... what happened?" Gianna pursed her lips.
"Justus has learned not to underestimate the Nemayan fighting style," Zehr explained.
Still cognizant of the one remaining skeleton, Gianna slammed her shield forward, stunning it. She then hopped forward, swinging her shield with the momentum, knocking it onto its back.
Zehr smirked, "--which is something you seem to be having no issues with."