Chapter 25: New Limits

Haah… I finished with one problem. haha~ thank you, Sylvia. I almost lost myself there. → Shen

No problem, I’ll always be by your side so don’t be afraid of losing control, I’ll be sure to hold your heart while you’ll protect us all. → Sylvia

 

Sylvia’s sweet voice resounded in my head.

 

I want us to meet as soon as possible, even though our hearts are connected, I still wish to see you. → Sylvia

Y-yeah, me too. → Shen

 

Feeling a little bit shy, I answered in a haste and tried to change the subject by asking how everything is going on their parts. While talking, Sylvia told me they’ll have to take a longer turn because of some unforeseen obstacles.

 

“A Kraken?! Why is that thing in these seas?” → Shen

 

I was shocked by the news.

 

In an event one year ago, I remember I died more than 20 times. Even though I wasn’t that high in level, everyone who was fighting the Kraken got fixed stats, having to use strategy over brute power. However, the event was way too difficult, ending in no one being able to kill the Kraken. Everyone thought it was an impossible event so they started complaining at the admins and game-masters but they gave no explanations. → Shen

 

Shen thought to himself.

 

Taking a detour is the best possible choice. Don’t even think of confronting it. → Shen

I see, so that’s why you ‘players’ are so knowledgeable about the Kraken. I think the one who created that game knows more than we thought. → Sylvia

 

Sylvia was surprised at the information she just got.

 

Yeah… There might be a possibility. But for now, we have no time to think about my world. Contact me the moment something goes wrong, I’ll try to help with all I have. → Shen

 

After we finished talking I re-entered my empty cave. All the books, materials, items, armors and weapons were given to my disciples to take with them. When they left, Melinda and Theodore started crying, thinking I’ll go somewhere and die alone. Especially Theo, he cried his lungs out for me to not leave him.

 

”You’re a man, Theo. How can you cry every time in front of such pretty girls? Besides, who said I’ll die? I have some stuff to do before biting the dust ahahaha~.” → Shen

 

After remembering the words I spoke, I shook my head and sighed while feeling embarrassed.

 

“I really suck at talking with kids, haah.” → Shen

 

I said with a wry smile.
After having to fight constantly and repel armies of at least 800 people every two days, while Ryu had to take a detour over the Kraken’s nest, a calamity befell both of us on the tenth day.

 

———-

 

“We are the guardians of the Nostrung Empire. We have been reported about a spying Saint from the Vestria Empire and about him creating a ruckus on Jian’s property. The Jian is a subordinate kingdom to our Nostrung, that means you’re fighting against our very Emperor. For fighting against the Emperor, the penalty is DEATH!”

 

Three middle-aged men and 2 old men, at the last stages of grandmaster and Saint, showed before me with killing intent.

 

Damn old fools. Striking even before knowing anything. → Shen

 

“Let’s see you try.” → Shen

 

I had no time for idle talking with these people, I knew all too well they won’t listen to reason anyway.

 

I must hurry. Ryu and Sylvia are in danger! → Shen

 

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Before these 5 guardians appeared before me, I got news from Sylvia saying the Kraken suddenly appeared in North, around the area where they were sailing. I wanted to send them more skills and strengthening spells so they could have more chances of surviving. But who would’ve thought that right after talking with her, my Valley would get completely destroyed by a huge fireball, bigger than the one I made last time.

 

If I didn’t have the coat on me, I would’ve been seriously injured right now. These bastards, I’ll have to use all I have against them! → Shen

 

The remaining 5 golems I had after the fights with the armies were completely obliterated while Isa was able to resist the fire with ice-shield. Even so, I had to give 10 stones so he would be able to fight with full power. He consumed hundreds of times more energy than the normal golems, also a reason why he was so much stronger than them.

 

“Hmm? You think you can take us on with that weird mana-doll of yours? Truly foolish!”

 

A Saint asked with despite when he saw me getting control over more Energy Stones, then feeding some to Isa while imbuing the rest with different elements.

 

Being able to control energy stones…and so many? This fight might be more of a pain than I thought. → Saint

 

I started activating 50 Energy Stones I had control over. I imbued 5 of them with heaven elements, 5 with Earth, 10 with mountain, 10 with fire, 5 with thunder, 5 with darkness and 5 with the wind element. By doing so I wished to create some combined magic while attacking.

 

“Hmph!”

 

One of the grandmasters didn’t wait for me to make any more preparations and used martial arts skills on me. He got close in a blink and punched hard forward. I redirected the punch with the power of heavens and then hit in front with my elbow, a move from the ‘Tian’ set. The elbow was dodged by stepping back but the shockwave still reached him and pushed the grandmaster even more to the back.

 

He is strong, I got lucky that he still doesn’t know how to fight properly or else I might have been dead by now… This brat might be stronger than a normal Saint. → Grandmaster

 

The grandmaster analyzed everything that just happened carefully.

 

These guys are no joke… Damn, if only it weren’t now! → Shen

 

I focused and controlled the thunder and wind energy stones.

 

“I have no time to play with you old farts! Get lost!”

 

I combined the 10 energy stones which then started creating a huge storm filled with thunder. The storm kept on growing and growing, swallowing the entire sky, being visible only the black clouds filled with blue thunder. ‘GO!’ I commanded mentally and the lightning fell on the 5 guardians with a thundering sound. Even my hair stood on ends from the static energies.

 

“MANA BARRIER!”

 

The 5 guardians shouted at the same time. They created a barrier which stopped the huge lightning but on the barrier, a slight crack still appeared.

 

“What a monster…”

 

An old saint said with a frown.

 

[I ask permission for dragon breath.]

 

“I approve for using full power only in this fight.”

 

I was sweating profoundly.

 

I combined 5 damn energy stones for that lightning and you’re telling me they’re uninjured?! S***! I’ll need to use everything I have now.

 

“Go.”

 

A young saint commanded and the 5 guards dashed forward.

 

“Isa. Get the 3 grandmasters, I’ll deal with the 2 saints!”

 

[As master wishes.]

 

Isa’s eyes shone and his claws became sharper like daggers. Isa slashes forward and 4 sharp blue waves appeared, going after the 3 grandmasters with the speed of a bullet.

 

“Fast!”

 

The 3 grandmasters felt quite surprised. They tried to dodge but-Guagh!- One of them still got his back cut. Three horizontal slashes appeared while drops of frozen blood dropped like rubies.

 

“Argh! What kind of toy is that? How come its strength is comparable to a saint?!”

“Leave these thoughts for now. We need to finish it fast and help the others.”

 

[You still have time to think of someone else?]

 

Isa suddenly appeared behind the one who talked last and smashed hard on the back of that one with his icy and heavy tail full of spikes.

 

“Ha!”

 

On his back, a metallic sword materialized, partially blocking the tail. Even so, he was still sent flying 20m backward till he crashed on a huge boulder from the destroyed mountains around. After that, another grandmaster appeared behind Isa.

 

“He’s only a mana-puppet. He might be swift but he’ll break the moment I land a fist on him.”

 

The old grandmaster thought and punched out a [Godly Fist].

 

The impact destroyed the ground and lifted the dust, making for a dust-screen.

 

“What did I say?”

 

Feeling the hit connect, the grandmaster was confident enough that he destroyed the golem.

 

Suddenly, he feels something grabbing and crushing his fist.

 

“GAGH! W-what?!”

 

[I got you now.]

 

Isa released his aura and all the dust dispersed, making the crater in which the two of them stood to enlarge. Now the grandmaster was able to see his hand transformed into meat-paste in Isa’s claw. Because of the adrenaline, the pain was numbed but the mental impact was still strong, making him feel an unreal pain.

 

[One down.]

 

Isa opened his jaw and

-10.000 MP

 

“GUAAAAAAAHHH!”

 

The breath engulfed the grandmaster and smashed into the mountains of the valley, making for quite the deep cave inside them.

 

[You’re lucky. Master said not to kill.]

 

Isa let go of the now frozen grandmaster. From the other side of the battlefield, the grandmaster that got cut on his back dashed forward and kicked hard, sending Isa flying and making him crash on the mountain in front.

 

The crash was strong enough to form a landslide, burring Isa underneath them.

 

“Damnit. He got us good…”

 

This grandmaster was a Martial Arts Master while the one frozen was a Spirit Fighter. He looked at his frozen companion with confusion.

 

Did that puppet just spare him?… How insulting.

 

His eyes shone with anger.

 

The one who got smashed on the stone-wall shot out from the wall and appeared right beside the Martial arts Master.

 

“Where is that damn piece of ice?! I’ll turn it into dust!”

 

This grandmaster was a Sword Warrior. He took out a huge, silvery double-edged sword and held it with only one hand. Other than his ragged clothes, he seemed to be alright.

 

Another explosion was heard, this time where Isa has crashed. He punched out the boulders on top of him and got up slowly.

 

He made the first step from inside the crater, breaking the boulder below him, covering it into spider-web-like cracks. His eyes looked savage while he was liking his frosty teeth with his blue watery tongue. His tail was waiving left and right, breaking the nearby walls.

 

He roared out and from behind him, 2 ice wings appeared.

 

[Now this will be fun.]

 

He made a wild grin then he leaped right at the two grandmasters, he roared again, this time more like a true dragon and less like a spectral entity.

 

While Isa was playing around with the two grandmasters, I on the other hand, was bombarded with ridiculous spells like Thunderstrike, Great Fire Spear or Thunder Lance, with huge Sword Waves and martial arts skills that I was barely able to block or dodge. The last kick of the Sword Master Saint sent me inside the mountain with the cave I used as a home.

 

« 280.000/450.000 HP »

 

Damn! I’m still not used with my skills and I’m no good at fighting against experienced warriors… I need to use the most effective skills for now, until I get more used to them.

 

I felt helpless. It was the same as when I first started doing Martial Arts on Earth, getting defeated even by the ones younger than me.

 

”Alright. This is frustrating.”

 

First I had to fight a Boss-level beast, then a group of uncivilized players, then a Goddamn army of uncivilized players, and now a group of saints and grandmaster who’d rather go for the kill than sit down and talk reason at a cup of tea! Why the hell I have to deal only with beasts and neanderthals when I only wish to research and study my stuff?!

 

I felt my temples throb at the unfairness of life.

 

“[Energy Whip]”

 

I took out another stone and transformed it into a whip.

 

“Roah!”

 

I struck toward both of them at the same time by controlling the whip to crash on two places at the same time.

 

“What is this weird whip?”

 

The two Saints dodged with quite some ease and right when they stepped on the ground, [Earth Spears]. From the ground, 3 spears suddenly appeared and struck them in full.

 

“Yes-…Damn…”

 

The spears indeed struck them but they weren’t Saints for nothing. Stabbing a Saint with some stone spears was wishful thinking. Their own skin was already stronger than normal iron, let alone stone.

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“Petty tricks.”

 

The swordmaster smirked then he dashed forward, stabbing toward my eye.

 

“…”

 

I’m dead.

 

I saw the tip of the sword getting closer and closer, foreseeing my end as the sword stabbed through my head. However, everything started to move extremely slowly.

 

Oh. So that’s how the surviving instincts react at such imminent moments… Too bad I won’t be able to research this…

 

The slow-motion state appears when all the senses are stretched to the maximum, making the brain use more than the normal limits placed on itself. But because I couldn’t feel like I could do anything, I wanted to relax the senses and let the time flow accordingly. Until…

 

« Status: [Automate Defensive Mode: ON] »

 

Am I that weak…?

 

A deep voice resounded inside my head. It was my own voice but with a stronger resonance.

 

Do I really wish to die at the hands of some nobodies? Have I fallen so low!?

 

Anyone who heard the voice would sweat drops of ice. It was extremely stern with a revolting feeling. I closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them again they were like those of a soulless man. I simply slapped the sword, making for a metallic noise to resound.

 

“Hm?!”

 

The Saint looked at his own sword in shock.

 

Did he just slap away my chi-imbued sword…?

 

He was too shocked. His attack was strong enough to slash a mountain tip without the slightest problem.

 

“…”

 

“S***!”

 

I suddenly punched forward with my palm, making the Saint block it with his sword. Because of the focused energy inside my palm, the Saint was sent flying 10 meters backward.

 

“[Thunderstrike!]”

 

The other Saint felt the sudden transformation in my fighting abilities and hastily activated a high-class skill, [Thunderstrike]. The sky darkened and a huge lightning pillar struck toward me.

 

“W-what?!”

 

Both saints were dumbfounded. I stood tall with no new injuries, with a 2m radius crater right in front of me.

 

“Did I miss? No, there is no way I would make such a basic mistake. Last time I missed a spell was when I was a Core Warrior 500 years ago…Then, did he just dodge a thunder strike?!”

 

I looked downward with my eyes wide open and unfocused. I wasn’t answering or even looking at the guardians. Simply waiting for their next move with soulless eyes.

 

“Hmph!”

 

The swordmaster rushed forward again. He suddenly appeared behind me and slashed at my neck.

I simply lowered my head slightly enough just so I won’t get cut, then the sword-wave cut the trees at my right, making for a 50 meters treeless area. I got up and packed a punch filled with chi and mountain element, creating a heavy and destructive strike. It was blocked by the saint who this time was able to hold his ground. He then tried to sweep my leg but I jumped just in time and –BOOM- tried to crush his leg by enchanting my feet with the earth element. The saint retreated in a haste and a huge fire-ball appeared behind me.

 

“…”

 

I raised my hand behind and a strong sucking force appeared from my left hand, absorbing the entire mana inside the fireball then, from the right hand on the tip of the index and middle finger, a huge lightning struck toward the other Saint. I subconsciously absorbed the mana of the fireball and transmuted it into electricity through the other hand, creating another attack from the enemy’s offense.

 

“What?!”

 

The Saint Elementalist couldn’t understand what just happened, feeling how his fireball suddenly disappeared.

 

“Damn!”

 

The swordmaster was surprised by the sudden counterattack and he tried to strengthen his own body with inner chi and mana barrier. The barrier shattered like glass then the current passed right through him. The Saint got electrocuted, but other than some slight burn marks, there was no significant damage.

 

“YOU! Who are you?! You can’t be the same person!”

 

The Old Swordmaster shouted out. He was able to tell the difference through the emanated aura. This one was much more powerful, composed and focused. It felt like an old mountain stood before them.

 

“…”

 

« Status: [Automated Defensive Mode: OFF] »

 

My eyes returned to normal and I started to regain my consciousness. My hands were numb as if a strong current just circulated through them.

 

“Subconscious connection…?”

 

Once when I was 15 years old, I had to fight for myself against a group of thugs. I tried to run away but I got caught because of the heavy backpack. I was able to use my 2 years of martial arts to dodge and deviate the punches and kicks, until at one point when 2 of them took out 2 knives and swung them around as if trying to kill me. At that point, as if a switch turned on inside my head, I was able to feel everything within 3 meters around me and felt like the time moved two times slower than normal, but the weirdest part was that it wasn’t me who dodged and fought.

 

It felt as if my reflexes took over my body and my senses told me what to do with incredible accuracy. I evaded hits as if I had eyes at the back and blocked punches like breathing. In the end, I was able to make a counter attack on all of them, take their weapons then run away, thinking that I might do something stupid with two knives at my disposition. When I tried to remember what happened, everything was pretty fuzzy and my heart was beating like crazy. I was able to remember only a strong sense of pride and superiority hitting me, then a feeling like I was looking from above at every living being around me.

 

That was a subconscious connection, making contact with your other lives and your true character, the very essence of the soul. If I’ll be able to keep that connection whenever I wish, the instincts of fighting and magic control from millions of lives and different kinds of experiences would suddenly resurface, making me invincible!

 

My heart was beating faster. From that time, I tried to recreate the connection whenever I had the possibility. After more dangerous experiences, the connection recreated itself but would get cut off right after the danger passed, letting no hints on how to control it.

 

So this world’s weird system called it ‘Automate Defensive’? What the hell they think I am? A damn robot? I really wish to have a talk with the one who created this stupid game-like system.

 

I felt quite annoyed for having such game-elements in my life when everything is so real. After shaking my head, I looked up and said to the two saints.

 

“It’s me and also not me. What I know for sure is that you won’t be able to destroy this body in combat.”

 

If this connection activates whenever my life is in danger, then I won’t have to worry about fights and be as reckless as I wish to.

 

A terrifying grin appeared on my face.

 

“Such arrogance!”

 

The Swordmaster erupted but didn’t rush forward like before.

 

“We need to be more vigilant. This kid is not normal.”

 

The Elementalist had a cool head on his shoulders, thinking before taking action. Right now I looked horrible. My chest was cut open while both my arms were purple from all the cuts and bruises on them. My coat was ragged while the barrier was barely holding up.

 

“Good.”

 

Even so, my head cooled down. I summoned another set of stones then I made the first move. Above my head, a huge whirlwind appeared, sucking all and everything like a black hole.

 

“I’m in a hurry so this time, let’s end it for real.”

 

I might as well be a little bit rasher, maybe I’ll get the hangs of how the connection works if I do this. Also, let’s see how this new skill will work out.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

The two Saints released their full auras. The Swordmaster imbued chi inside his sword making it become bigger and bigger, shining with a golden light while the Elementalist absorbed more and more mana from around, the clouds gathered in the form of a vortex while lightning was flashing every second.

 

“It’s time for round two.”

 

I said while my eyes shone with a green light.

 

[[POV CHANGES TO RYU]]

 

“What do you mean ‘Shen is attacked and can’t help us’?!” → Ryu

 

I was astonished by the news.

 

Who’s strong enough to make Shen focus his entire mind on the fight? Before, he could’ve talked with us without a problem even while fighting against a 1,000 strong army! Are there some masters now? → Ryu

 

“There are 3 grandmasters and 2 Saints attacking at the same time. Shen seems confident in beating them with the help of his golems but it might take a toll on him.” → Sylvia

 

Sylvia wished to help but that wasn’t a fight in which she could involve herself even if she were present there.

 

“Damn… Then we should get prepared for the worst.” → Ryu

 

I said so while looking far in the distance. There were numerous shipwrecks in front while huge tentacles just squeezed a ship in two.

 

God damn it! Why did it have to move its nest now?!…let’s see what we can do here. → Ryu

 

“…Sylvia.” → Ryu

“Yes?” → Sylvia

“Which is stronger, a Dragon or a Kraken?” → Ryu

“Huh? A Dragon, of course, it might take a while for the dragon to kill the Kraken if it’s under the waters. But once caught, the dragon can kill it with its sharp claws and brute strength… I know what you wish to do and is too dangerous, you might kill yourself.” → Sylvia

 

Sylvia found out my intentions but it was the only way to get out of this mess with no casualties. If I tried to just transform and take us all away, then the Kraken would follow. From the description I learned in-game about this beast, the Kraken is the kind of beast which would never let go of its target once it’s settled on it. That’s why, the first to attract its attention would never be able to change agro, only if he were killed.

 

And Lady Luck just smiled upon us and made the Kraken look our way… Truly lucky, what can I say! → Ryu

 

“…Even in that Dragonic Materialization, I don’t know if you’ll be able to kill it. You can transform only into a semi-dragon form. That way you can at most take out only 40% of a true dragon’s powers.” → Sylvia

“Heh. Then all I need to do is strengthen my meridians to resist the corrosion from the transformation, no?” → Ryu

 

I sat in a position of meditating and started circulating the energy around me inside my body and refine it into Chi. Sylvia didn’t know what I wanted to do but she believed in me.

 

Just like Shen, he’s one of the divine starts. He can’t die in a place like this so he must be able to overcome this crisis. → Ryu

 

While I was meditating, I used all the chi I had to enlarge and strengthen my meridians.

 

If I do this I should be able to put a temporary ‘protective foil’ inside my meridians made from chi, right? Is the same as putting an isolator on the electric wires to protect them from the external interferences but I’m only doing so for inside. Let’s wish it would be useful! → Ryu

 

While I was strengthening my meridians, the others were preparing for the fight with the Kraken.

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