Chapter 54 : Ranked Adventurers (1)
As Agni focused her thoughts she realized that her past tutelage with Wayla bore unexpected fruits. She could hear Wayla’s voice spurring on her actions.
“This world may have many laws of reality that resemble a “game-like” world, but I assure you, it is real. As an adventurer you may feel near invincible at times. While an arrow to the eye socket may not necessarily kill you, a punctured heart may only drain 80% of your health in a single blow– rules of combat still apply. If you are struck in a vital point then you WILL experience a world of pain, regardless of your level — at least to a certain extent. If you’re ever in a life or death situation, or even if the odds are stacked against you — always target your foe’s vital points.”
Wayla’s guidance came flooding into her mind the moment Katrin and Agni were surrounded and the Succubus made good on the knowledge. It most likely helped that her first three attackers overestimated her due to her Rank 0 status, after all Agni assumed that there was no way one could judge strength other than rank. This assumption was now coming back to bite her in the neck as three foes before her seemed to be able to accurately gauge her strengths as they stepped forth to do battle.
“You two, take the Succubus and don’t pull any punches. Rough her up nicely, but don’t kill her.” Fargo commanded as the two men at his side were spurred into action on his order.
“I’ll handle the Scribe.” Fargo said, a broad smile spreading across his face as he licked his lips. Katrin grimaced as a thought of the man’s tongue coming anywhere near her body was enough to make her want to vomit. She firmly grasped the scroll in her hand as she held her Mag-gun at chest level, ready to fire at any time.
Agni felt a sense of oppression as she gazed upon the two men walking towards her. It was something that her body recognized from the heat of battle — being confronted by foes who were superior. She clenched her halberd and lowered her stance in preparation of the encroaching threat, her senses sharpening to a razor’s edge so that she could react at any given second.
“Heh. She’s ready to go, isn’t she?” The dark skinned of the two fighters said as he pulled a long, pointed dagger from a conceal sheathe. A broad smile flashed across the Fighter’s face as a fierce, red energy began to emanate from his body. The aura encompassed his body like a gently burning flame as a wave of intensity lashed into Agni. The feeling of intimidation was so intense that she struggled to stand her ground. Because she’d faced off against so many Grimlock in the shards already, her body reacted on it’s own by likening the experience to the atmosphere and presence of enemies within the red shard world.
Agni quickly created a mana cloak in proportion to the perceived threat facing her, something she’d learned to do by intuition. In this case, she chose correctly as after doing so the feeling which made her want to shrink away in fear faded away. The Fighter’s face took on a hint of surprise as he flicked and flipped the dagger in his grasp.
“Ha. She nullified my ‘Intimidation’ skill. I guess Specialist categories really are different.” He responded as the red aura slowly faded away from his body.
“Well, the boss said to take her without killing her. It will be a pain if she spawns out. Let’s go with the usual combo.” The dark skinned man said to the pale skinned fellow to his left. This Fighter had a distinctive face tattoo which covered the entire left side of his face. It reminded Agni of her own magic circuits which appeared any time she used a substantial amount of mana.
The pale skinned man smirked, then made a quick movement to unsheathe a dagger along his waist. In the commotion of that moment Agni’s attention was divided for a split second — and this is when the dark skinned man chose to strike by hurling his dagger directly at her face.
“If you come quietly, I promise things won’t get too physical.” Fargo said with a grin as he reached for a large, wide, blade along his back. He effortlessly pulled forth his weapon which seemed peculiar to an extent. It’s length was roughly one meter in size , while it’s width was twenty cm.
Katrin gripped her pistol and released a couple of shots. In her mind the time for talk had passed and she would not be outdone by Agni. She didn’t expect the shots to strike her opponent, rather they were sent just to test his reaction. Fargo didn’t move, rather he held his blade frontward, the end pointing towards the sky as he gripped the handle with both hands.
Katrin watched with astonishment as her bullets simply disappeared the moment they struck Fargo’s blade. Rather than impact and dissipate, the bullets themselves seemed to be absorbed. Behind the blade of his weapon Fargo grinned, betraying his need to gloat at displaying but a fraction of his ability.
*Guardian Class, huh?* Katrin thought to herself as she accessed her foe.
From what Katrin knew, there were practically hundreds of adventurer classes in Adventia. Of those, the most common seemed to come from two categories — Strikers and Casters. The number of Beastmen came in as a close third. Nearly seventy percent of the population were attack type classes. Among Strikers, Guardians were known as one of the more useful classes for their ability to deal with Casters and other Strikers alike. Now Katrin understood why as she watched Fargo’s blade begin to resonate faint blue particles of mana energy.
Agni couldn’t help but focus on the sound of Katrin’s gunfire, unfortunately it was ill timed as the dagger was quickly careening towards her face. Agni shifted her weight to the side and began her swing to attack the incoming Fighter and this is when she realized that she’d lost track of him entirely.
“Where did he go?” She whispered to herself as she gazed around wildly. The dark skinned man still stood a few meters away, grinning as he lifted his hand. The dagger passed by uneventfully but in another moment it returned to it’s wielder’s grasp. As Agni struggled to register what was happening she felt an overwhelming sensation of heat overcome the back of her neck. It was as if she could feel the “danger” directed towards her.
*Agni! Duck!* Shula shouted.
Hearing this Agni did as told, squatting to touch the ground as quickly as possible. The sound of splitting air whistled by just a few centimeters above her head as the presence of the second Fighter became known. He faded into view, as if a cloak of invisibility was being eaten away by some unseen force. The pale skinned adventurer had a sinister smile on his face as he stood, his arm extended — as if he’d just attempted to swat Agni at the back of her neck.
“She’s good, Glint. Really good.” The pale skinned man said as he gazed down at Agni who had nearly been caught unaware from the stealth attack.