Chapter 68 – The Night Before The Semi-Finals

After defeating Team Pride in a one versus one battle between commanders, Luon and the other members of Team Ascension returned to the waiting room once more to watch the remaining matches.

Soon the top four positions were determined and tomorrow Luon’s Team Ascension was up against Zythos’ Team Warbeast. If they were to win they would quickly face either Arisa’s team Girl’s Union or their opponents Team IGX which was created from a club, IGX Pit, numbering over 100 different members.

A crucial aspect, besides tactics and combat skills, is gear. Ordinary people wouldn’t be able to afford such luxury unless they could either, create it themselves, or accumulate enough wealth to buy gear. Team IGX’s equipment set up was happily donated by their fellow team members which allowed them to buy one set of NG-Arms, although, second-hand.

For Luon and his team to make it to the finals, they have to solve one big problem, the incredible armor Zythos had used in their previous match.

His sword could only lightly scratch the armor despite his best of efforts when he was against Team C Delta Plus, and now Team Warbeasts soldiers were all equipped with this rigged pieces of armor. Not only that, but they also had NG-Arms on top of it, mostly solving their mobility problems.

Without a doubt, the starting position of the battle is the most crucial, Team Warbeast would more than likely aim to end it right away. Although Tyron and Gizmo can continuously attempt to kite them, there was no way for them to win.

“What do you guys think? How do we handle Zythos team’s armor?” asked Luon.

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As the words came out of Luon’s mouth, not a single person on their team offered a solution instead they merely sat down pondering to the best of their abilities. Bendan was the first to give in, his head felt like it burst as he fell down from his upright seating position like a bird who had lost its wings. Fortunately, they were inside a private lobby in the virtual simulation system so they could do whatever they wanted to without feeling ashamed of a third-party.

At this moment, Thomas suggested, “How about we poison them? Even though the armor covers most of their body, they still need to breathe.”

After hearing his words, Luon conjured up a simulation of the armor that they were having trouble against and made a werewolf wear it. He also received a potion from the simulation and tossed it against the armor.

Minutes passed, and not a single change occurred, tossing more potions that contained chemicals of not only poison, but acid used to break down materials, and flammable oil. No matter what they did, the werewolf under the armor did not feel too much of a difference.

The poison hardly affected it, the acid may have burned his skin a bit, but it was a meager amount compared to the werewolf regeneration rate, and the flame didn’t even make the werewolf fear any change of temperature.

The only way Luon had won last time was because he sealed their movements and cut off their air supply. It was not possible to do it again with Team Warbeasts fast movement.

Luon shook his head as he said, “Although we can try to do so, they more than likely have a solution to that already, also how long will it take for the poison to act? Even if we got the deadliest one, they aren’t like humans, their race has some resistance against poison.”

“How about some armor piercing attacks? The armor might be strong, but we might be able to deal with the person inside of it,” suggested Bendan who managed to revive himself from his brain overload.

Luon pondered for a moment and recalled that when Bendan had fought against one of the armored soldiers in their first match that the impact had slightly injured his opponent. He couldn’t help but ask, “Are the armor piercing attacks you speak of, able to create a force equivalent to a fall of several hundred meters?”

Bendan nodded as he said, “My family has some techniques in regards to this type of field. I am sure I’ll be able to do some damage to him.”

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After he had said, so he started to unleash a storm of attacks against their simulated enemy, it took about 30 solid blows before the armored werewolf was incapacitated.

Gizmo sarcastically yelled, “Great! Now you only have to deal with four more in active combat, and we’ll win the match!”

“There’s only four armored enemies in the first place. Chester would more than likely be the commander for this battle, and he would probably be focused on defense,” said Tyron.

“Hahaha! Four of them? Bring it on, I’ll show them what I got,” said Bendan who arrogantly started to show off his muscles.

Luon facepalmed for a moment before turning to ask Thomas, “Any bright ideas?”

Thomas nodded as he said, “We can seal their movements using the Entangle skill engraved into bullets and let Gizmo disable them. If it were only one vine than they could easily break free, however, a whole net of them would force them to sit still long enough to do a strong blow against them.”

“A strong blow? How strong would the force need to be to penetrate that armor,” Luon said.

At this moment Tyron suggested, “If you can hold them still long enough I can make a heavy charge attack with my bow, it’s a hard move to do, and at most I could only do it twice due to lack of mana.”

“Oh, really now? Let’s see!” cried Bendan. He didn’t believe that someone else could harm their opponents while they were armored.

Conjuring up another target, Luon and the others backed away to see Tyron’s high powered attack. Tyron pointed his bow at the enemy and began to channel his mana into his arrow giving, a darker crimson hue than before after nearly half a minute did he let his attack go.

It soared into the target as the force dragged it along for several meters before piercing through its stomach.

“Wow! That attack was crazy! I almost thought it wouldn’t work since the target was pushed back along with it, but to pierce through the whole thing. I can’t imagine how powerful that attack was,” said Bendan.

Luon nodded and asked Thomas, “How realistically possible is it that we can use that attack on an entangled target?”

Thomas said, “With this kind of set up we can only eliminate up to two people before we either run out of entangling bullets or Tyron loses all his mana.”

Luon nodded, with their solutions they can handle at least 3 of the 4 opponents, he couldn’t think of a way to defeat the last one, and they aren’t just going to stand there and take the attacks for free. He could only suggest before breaking up the meeting, “Alright as for the last one I’ll try to distract him until you guys can help me after we deal with him we’ll attack Chester’s base. Go get some rest now.”

Everyone logged off the lobby room leaving only Luon by himself, he truly had no solution against the armor. Explosives, poison, and other attacks weren’t that effective unless the force was beyond normal standards.

Luon quietly logged off and decided to stroll into the night pondering on how to beat the last opponent. He imagined the last one to be Zythos as they squarely face off each other one on one.

The darkness of the night eased Luon’s thoughts, the silence calmed him down unlike the Vortex Container, it was like someone who had continuously watched the television all day got up and stretched his sore muscles, it was relaxing.

Luon realized his faults, although his speed was fast and his attacks were okay, he didn’t have any armor piercing attacks or a mighty, lethal blow that could take down his opponents in an instance.

The darkness of the night reminded Luon of his second simulation, although their memories amalgamated, a portion of it was sealed as he can only vaguely recall certain scenes. Luon felt that he had killed more titanic foes before, however, as he gained something during those fights Luon felt as if he had lost something as well.

As he continued to ponder in the darkness, he soon found himself not alone. Luon sense a presence nearby and did not panic as he stood still as he said, “Come on out.”

Within the darkness a shapely figure emerged, Arisa who was often fond of the darkness pouted and said to Luon, “You aren’t that surprised of my presence anymore. Before when we have met during the night, you would always be extremely wary of your surroundings. You shouldn’t let your guard down because most of the time it ends up being me. Unless… you’re seeing other girls in the middle of the night?”

“Just tell me what you have in mind,” said Luon.

“What? Can’t I see you for fun? Well since you say so I thought I could give you some pointers on how to deal with Zythos,” said Arisa.

“Oh? And how should I do that?” replied Luon. Her statement had caught his interest.

Arisa stood up and began to talk as if an actor saying his or her monologue upon a stage, she waved her hands about as she said, “Since ancient times knights in heavy armor were felled by great magicians. Magicians who were able to change the tides of war with a simple spell. To encase foes in ice, to bury their foes in the ground or to light them on fire. Magicians are the bane of knights…”

“Enough, tomfoolery, I already knew that. If I had a magician on my team I wouldn’t have to worry about all of these problems,” said Luon as he began to walk away.

“Hmph, since you don’t want to hear me out, I’ll just leave. Here take this,” said Arisa as she tossed an object at Luon.

Catching it upon his hands he found the object to be some kind of elemental converter, he rose his head up to say something to Arisa, only to see the lone darkness once again, he sighed as he thought to himself, ‘Does she honestly think I’ll be able to use other types of magic besides wind magic that easily? Even with an elemental converter it still takes time to learn how to manipulate the elements. However, this at least gave me a window of opportunity.’

Luon smiled after looking at the object he had received and retreated back towards his dorm room, from a distance, Arisa who saw him act this way also smiled as she muttered, “This is just a little payback for your help during the survival camp, from now on I no longer owe you a debt of gratitude.”

Looking away from where they just met, Arisa vanished into the darkness with a carefree expression, she thought compared to Luon’s opponents, hers was just that easy to deal with.

Struggling inside the Vortex Container for awhile Luon managed to pick up dark magic as well as ice magic when he was testing out spells. Compared to the others these two were the easiest to learn in the short amount of time. He had heard of stories about elemental affinities which allowed people to gain certain elements easier but didn’t believe it until now.

However, training and learning new elemental spells besides wind magic was mentally taxing. Luon didn’t want to wreck his mind like he did during the previous match and decided to rest until the remaining time until the battle.

He recalled the fights from the previous days, Janet was a better swordsman than Luon was. In fact, Luon was only able to react by instinct to squeeze out a draw between the two. Her moves were fast, illusionary, and unpredictable, like the turbulent flow of water which is difficult to predict.

The shaman he had fought yesterday sword skills was normal but was supported by a power beyond the sword itself. Instead of relying on the weapon, the shaman’s own body became a weapon.

Power and speed, to a swordsman these were crucial points to master, and improve upon. Without power, a quick attack was useless, without speed a heavy attack was pointless. Luon slowly incorporated the experiences within his mind, he had no real sword style, although he did inherit memories from the second simulation he could only recall the basic sword styles his mother had taught him during that time.

Luon continued to dream about swords, from his actual live combat experience to his second simulation experiences that he could remember about, he roughly tried to idealize his sword style.

In a trance, Luon could vaguely see a man coated with a black coat wielding two swords. As he walked, he lightly twirled his blades causing a bell-like sound to emit every two to three steps. Luon felt his heartbeat began to slow and followed the same pace as the swordsman, his opponent was a giant several times taller than himself, and surrounding the two were numerous of corpses all laid about.

The man face was covered by a mask that occupied the upper portion of his face. Luon felt that the intimidating man felt depressed as he could see the traces of tears rolling down the sides of his face. The human-like corpses were most likely his allies, while the monstrous looking ones his foes.

Several steps away from the giant who had a dazed expression, the man slowly moved his mouth and uttered, “St… Sword… Flash.”

Barely managing to hear his words the scenes upon Luon changed within an instant, the man appeared behind the giant whose body was cleaved in two down the middle. Looking closely at the giant Luon found that its skin was stronger than the armor Luon was up against.

The man who had killed the giant as if it was a chore twirled his blades once more causing the blood to fly off the sword, before sheathing it elegantly. He cocked his head to the side, and Luon felt that he was looking towards him, his eyes were like the endless darkness that he was familiar with and somehow felt relaxed upon seeing them.

The man sent over his killing intent to Luon, and the world turned completely black.

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