For the past two days, Kang Oh had proved himself a major threat to the Black Dogs. He wasn't just a thorn in their side anymore.
They knew a silver rank mercenary party was no match for him, but at the same time, they couldn't set one of their Eight Warriors against him either; they needed every single one of them to combat the Eight Cats.
Thus, the Black Dog's top brass quickly employed a gold mercenary.
They had only employed silver rank mercenaries thus far, but they really needed a gold mercenary this time.
However, the only gold mercenary they could get their hands on was Bart.
Although Bart was a 'human', which made them want to tear him apart, they had no other option. Thus, the Black Dogs were forced to employ him.
Anyhow, that's what led to Kang Oh and Bart's meeting.
"How did you know that I was Oga?"
"That's a stupid question. Even if I can't see your face, I can tell by your sword and your equipment." Bart grinned. He looked quite cute.
"But it says your name is Kang Oh. Which is your real name, Kang Oh or Oga?" Bart's eyes seemed to say, 'Tell me, tell me'.
"Kang Oh, huh... Anyway, I'm pretty lucky. I just came here to warm up, but it's given me a chance to fight against you. I've been dying to fight you." Bart's eyes changed. His eyes gleamed as if he were a child that had gained a new toy.
'One of the Numbers... A fight against Crazy Highschooler, Bart.' Kang Oh grinned. He felt uneasy, but also excited at the same time.
* * *
Clang, clang, clang!
The repeated sound of weapons clashing against each other.
"You thieving cats!"
The Black Dog and White Cat's warriors engaged in a brutal battle. This was their final battle. It had Harun Mountain, something that was more important to them than their lives, at stake. That's why they were so desperate to see this through.
But at the heart of this battle, Kang Oh and Bart completely focused on each other, tuning out everything else.
Bart made the first move. His body melted into his shadow.
He used an Assassin movement skill.
'Even so, Bart's not an Assassin.'
His Hyper Intuition sent him a warning.
Kang Oh turned around and swung his sword.
Bart smirked at Kang Oh's quick reaction. 'Hoh, as expected', he thought.
Though he wasn't carrying a weapon, a sword suddenly appeared in his hand.
Bart parried Demon Sword Blood using the Swordsman skill.
Then, he followed it up with... magic.
A flaming sphere flew out of his left palm.
Kang Oh bent backwards so much that his head almost touched the floor. Missing its target, the fireball soared into the air and disappeared.
He quickly got back into position and swung his sword once more.
A quick, sharp attack!
This time, Bart used a Cleric skill, Sacred Shield.
Once his attack was blocked, Kang Oh retreated.
'As expected of the best hybrid character.'
No one knew what Bart's class was. No one knew why he could use the skills and spells of other classes either.
People assumed that he had a special class, one which allowed him to use other classes' skills.
However, most people weren't jealous of his class.
'It's only good because Bart's using it.'
Most people responded like that.
How hard would it be to have access to countless skills/spells, and use them at the right place and the right time?
How hard would it be to pick the best skill/spell amongst them and use it?
It wouldn't be easy. In fact, it was almost impossible.
However, Bart did it with ease. Thus, people said that his skills as a gamer were second to none.
"You move well." Bart grinned, forming dimples on his cheeks. "Let's go again!" Bart kicked off the floor like a warthog. This time, he was using the Warrior skill, Fierce Charge.
"Sure." Kang Oh didn't retreat. 'C'mon, Bart!'
* * *
Kang Oh and Bart hid their true abilities while analyzing the other. In the midst of this, Kang Oh was honestly in awe of Bart's abilities.
'He really is amazing.'
Bart didn't use the same skill twice. He kept using a different skill or spell.
However, he would always use the right skill/spell at just the right time!
Kang Oh's Hyper Intuition, evasion, and his experience/senses enabled him to respond to Bart's attacks, but anyone else would've died instantly.
That's just how powerful Bart was.
Of course, he wasn't without his weaknesses, and he certainly wasn't invincible. Kang Oh knew what Bart's weakness was.
'He exposes himself the moment he transitions from one skill to the next.'
His Hyper Intuition had pointed that out.
It had pointed out this weak point of his three times already.
'Alright.' Kang Oh waited for his opportunity.
After using a lightning spell, Bart seemed to be readying some sort of defense skill/spell to respond to Kang Oh's attack.
'Now!' Kang Oh swung his sword, slashing through Bart's chest.
It was a direct hit. Red shards of light burst from Bart's body.
Bart, who'd been struck unexpectedly, quickly cast Heal to replenish his HP.
Then, he tried to distract Kang Oh.
However, Kang Oh aimed for Bart's weak point again. His attack hit... or should've, but Bart was a little faster this time.
He'd used an Archer skill this time, one that Sephiro used occasionally to save his life.
Bart widened the distance between them and smirked strangely. "Oh. To think you'd be able to aim for this weakness of mine. You're amazing. I probably can't go on like this."
The Crazy Highschooler, Bart, began to show his true skill.
* * *
What would happen if you combined an Archer's Homing Arrow with a Mage's fire magic?
You would get a homing, flaming arrow, like the one chasing after Kang Oh.
Bart, who was considered the best hybrid character, used a new ability. It was a completely unbelievable ability at that.
He fused two skills/spells in order to create a completely new one!
It was said that Bart could use more than 100 skills/spells.
Bart was currently combining them to create completely new ones.
Kang Oh couldn't even think to counterattack; the best he could do was either block or dodge.
'I can't keep going like this.' Ultimately, Kang Oh decided to go into first gear.
He swapped Blood with Ubist, and immediately used Devil Trigger.
Darkness engulfed Kang Oh's body.
"Oh, this is...?" Bart stopped attacking.
What was it that Kang Oh was so famous for on TV? His ability to transform! Now, Bart was getting a front row seat to said transformation.
"How cool." Bart's thought favorably of Kang Oh's appearance, now that he'd assumed the form of the Jet-Black Demon.
"Seems like you can't transform," Kang Oh said.
'Hmm, there are some limitations to Bart's class then. There must be some skills/spells that he can't obtain due to those limitations.'
Kang Oh knew a little bit more about Bart now.
'Now then, let's fight for real.' Kang Oh used Abyss Transfer, instantly closing the distance.
Bart combined a wind spell and Slash to create 'Sharp Blade', which he then unleashed upon Kang Oh.
'There's my chance.' Kang Oh didn't avoid it. Instead, he absorbed it with Ubist.
"What!?" For the first time, Bart looked shocked.
An black, three-lined aura swept through Bart.
Bart fused two defensive skills together, which prevented him from taking damage.
However, Abyss Claw was just a diversion.
The true attack was...
"Huaahp!" Kang On quickly approached and swung downwards.
The golden tiger roared and pounced on Bart.
'As expected, he can't block it.' Kang Oh had anticipated this.
Bart could fuse skills/spells to incredible effect, but he still retained his weakness of exposing himself during the transition.
Kang Oh had taken advantage of his weakness, and had attacked with Tempest Tiger right after he'd used his previous skill. There was obviously no way that Bart could avoid it!
'It'd be great if he died from this attack.' That was just a small wish of his.
However, it was wishful thinking on his part. Once the aura disappeared, Bart came out completely unscathed.
"Phew, that was really dangerous." Bart sighed in relief.
"You're completely unscathed. What did you do?"
"It's a trade secret, but I suppose I can tell you since you showed me such a powerful move." He raised the pocket watch that hung around his neck. "This item's special ability kept me safe. I'm well aware of my weakness, so I got it as insurance."
'Is it an item that effectively nullifies fatal damage like the Baramut set or the Phoenix Egg Devouring Cassio Ring?'
"Tch." Kang Oh disappointingly clicked his tongue.
"Now then... Let's play some more!" Bart smiled and discharged a dangerous, purple orb from his hand.
The battle continued.
* * *
The battle between the Black Dogs and White Cats ended earlier than expected.
It was the White Cats that were celebrating this day.
The White Cat's greatest warrior, Dartanang, defeated the Black Dog's greatest warrior, Kamik.
His victory over Kamik raised the morale of the troops, causing the White Cats to push the Black Dogs back. Ultimately, the White Cats obtained victory.
While Kang Oh versus Bart... ended in a draw.
However, Kang Oh believed that he'd have lost if this battle had dragged on.
During their battle, Kang Oh's options slowly whittled away, while Bart still had plenty of tricks up his sleeve... So Kang Oh was the first to run out of tricks.
But when he heard the cheers, which signaled the end of the battle, Bart completely lost interest. He asked him to fight again next time, and then quickly left.
"Damn it." It left a bitter taste in his mouth.
His battle with Bart had proved to him that he still wasn't on the level of the Numbers.
At some point, his bitterness turned into anger; anger that someone was above him.
'I want to become stronger. I want to be the best. I want no one to be better than me!'
Kang Oh had obsessively pursued 'strength' during his Warlord days.
Every day, he'd tell himself that he wanted to become stronger. Thus, he eventually became stronger than any other, and was even called the Human Dragon.
But after the accident, his desire for strength had been overshadowed by his desire to provide for his family and protect them.
As a result, he made a lot of money and could provide for his family without much difficulty. His desire to protect his family had been somewhat sated.
Then, he met and lost pitifully to Valan, a man who epitomized strength. Not only that, but he was demeaned, and was one-sidedly used by him. Thus, his desire for strength had come back stronger than ever.
Bart's fight with him was like pouring oil over the fire.
'I'm going to become stronger than anyone!'
That was the moment that his desire for strength had transformed into the desire to become the strongest.Previous Chapter Next Chapter