Something felt off the moment he used Transcendent Blade. He was back to where he was a second ago, as if he'd been rewound by a remote control.
It was quite a bizarre sensation. Despite his actions, he had regressed to be a previous point in time.
'Bart did this!' he thought. However, he didn't have the time to think about what exactly he did, or why this happened.
Anyhow, Bart's dagger was embedded in his chest, and he'd taken a significant amount of damage. Bart's eyes gleamed, unwilling to let go of such a golden opportunity.
"Huahp!" Kang Oh fiercely swung his sword.
A powerful electric blast surged from his blade.
Sensing danger, Bart pulled back. At the same time, he pulled out his dagger, causing large red shards of light to explode from Kang Oh's body.
[You have been hit by a fatal attack.]
[The wounded area will continue to bleed.]
[HP will slowly begin to drop.]
Bart's off-hand created a shield that emanated faint, golden light.
The lightning blast struck the shield.
Lightning Breath smashed right through, and whatever was left of it electrified Bart.
"Hoo." Bart quickly cast a healing spell on himself.
Kang Oh used that opportunity to use Devil Trigger. The Jet-Black Demon had arrived!
Seeing Kang Oh's beast mask and the emanating darkness, Bart smiled.
"C'mon!" he yelled arrogantly.
Kang Oh horizontally swung his sword.
The three-lined aura flew straight at Bart. In response, Bart raised his dagger, its inscription glowing purple.
His dagger unleashed a powerful shockwave!
The aura and shockwave collided, resulting in an explosion. Then, Kang Oh and Bart rushed at each other.
Kang Oh precisely swung his blade. Bart used various skills or spells, and occasionally combined them too.
The scale of their battle became larger and larger, causing an increasing amount of damage to the gym. The walls were cracked everywhere, the floor was split, and there were giant craters too.
Their battle was fierce, though neither side was able to finish the other off. Kang Oh was wary of Bart's new ability, which countered his Transcendent Blade, while Bart wouldn't preemptively use his new move.
However, the battle was almost over.
Kang Oh's HP was low, while Bart's MP was almost gone from using so many skills and spells. If Bart's MP was depleted, then it wouldn't matter how much HP he had left. Kang Oh's attacks were too powerful, so his HP would be gone in a flash.
Ultimately, they were forced to use their trump cards.
Kang Oh pulled out a mass-produced sword from his inventory.
Crunch, crunch! Ubist's darkness munched on the steel sword, and the darkness surrounding Kang Oh's body intensified.
Bart threw away his dagger and opened both of his hands. A sphere of light was gathered in his right hand, and a black sphere, much like a black hole, was in his left.
Light's Judgment + Darkness Wave!
Bart smashed the two conflicting energies together, fusing them into something new. However, light and darkness didn't mix. They were like oil and water. Thus, Chi Torpedo was a necessary addition in order to stabilize the fusion. It would act like the case around a nuclear bomb.
The two conflicting energies fused into a yin-yang sphere.
The sphere was unstable, so even the slightest contact would make it explode.
Bart pushed his hands forward, and the Chaos Sphere slowly floated towards Kang Oh.
Kang Oh had seen this ability before. Bart had used it against Lich Eclipse. Thus, he knew just how powerful it was.
He gritted his teeth and raised Ubist into the air. His only option was to put everything into his next attack.
His blade of black and gold made contact with the Chaos Sphere.
A short while later...
Their attacks had formed a vortex. The conflicting energies tangled together and began to violently spin…
Resulting in a giant 'boom', as well as a massive shockwave that devoured both Kang Oh and Bart.
That's not all...!
"W-What is that?" Eder yelled. He'd been leisurely reading a book in his room when all of a sudden, his house began to shake! "An earthquake?"
He went under his bed. However, the earthquake didn't last long. It only lasted a few seconds at most.
The mansion suddenly stopped shaking, as if it hadn't happened in the first place.
'This isn't an earthquake.' This was just a hunch. Something else had caused his house to shake. And there was a 99% chance that it was...
"Those guys... Seriously!?" Eder furrowed his brow. He thought of the two men he'd led to the underground gymnasium.
'What the hell are they doing in someone else's house!?' Eder suddenly stood up and quickly headed underground.
* * *
Both Kang Oh and Bart's faces were in the ground.
[HP has dropped below 10%. Your opponent's HP has also dropped below 10%.]
[The match ends in a draw.]
It was such a relief that this was just a duel.
The shockwave had reduced their HP below 10%. Then, the shockwave, which had been strong enough to shake the entire mansion, vanished like snow on a spring day.
That's how it was set up. Once the match was over, anything that happened during the match would disappear. Plus, it was because it was a match that neither Bart nor Kang Oh died. If it weren't a match, then both of them would've died.
Of course, Kang Oh would've revived via the Cassio Ring, but the shockwave would've killed him again.
It was also why Eder's mansion was safe. If it hadn't been a match, then his mansion would've been completely demolished.
"A draw!? Then what about the bet?" Bart raised his upper body and yelled.
"Let's go again." Kang Oh stood up too. Gluttony was still active. 'So let's go again! I'll definitely win this time.'
"Alright!" Bart agreed.
"Let's restore our HP first." Kang Oh pulled a health potion from his belt and threw it at Bart. Then, he drank one down himself.
A short while later...
Once they were at tip-top shape, the two got ready to fight again.
[Bart has challenged you to a duel.]
[Would you like to accept?]
"Acce..." Before he could finish saying 'accept', the door opened.
"Stop!" Eder yelled. Then, he began talking like a rapid-fire gun. "What do you think you're doing in my house!? You have absolutely no respect! This isn't your living room! You hear me!? But what did you say? You want to fight again? Get out! Now!"
"It's a duel, so it'll be fine..." Kang Oh was interrupted again.
"It'll be fine!? Bullshit! Get out!"
Kang Oh and Bart were kicked out of his house.
"What do you want to do? Continue this somewhere else?" Kang Oh asked.
"I've lost all interest." Bart shook his head.
Kang Oh checked the time left on Gluttony. He only had about 5 minutes left. By the time he found another place to fight, Gluttony would be over.
"Then about the Doppelganger and the Tower of Trials..."
"It's water under the bridge." Bart shrugged his shoulders.
"Tch." Kang Oh couldn't contain his disappointment. Then, he thought of something to ask him. "By the way, how did you block my secret move?"
Kang Oh was referring to Transcendent Blade. This was the first time Transcendent Blade had been blocked, so he was wondering how Bart had managed to block it.
"Secret move? You mean that scary fast sword?" Bart asked.
"Not telling." Bart's expression seemed to say, 'I'm not crazy enough to tell you.'.
Honestly, Transcendent Blade had been blocked by another secret move. One exclusive to the Creator class at that.
It was an incredible skill that rewound a target by 1 second. If he increased his proficiency, then he'd be able to rewind up to 2 to 3 more seconds. Of course, it cost a ton of MP and had an extremely long cooldown time. Still, there was no better skill to counter Transcendent Blade, which boasted unparalleled speed.
This is the entire reason that he'd accepted a duel with Kang Oh. Anyhow, he had absolutely no reason to explain this to Kang Oh.
"We've fought three times now. 1 win, 1 loss, and 1 draw. Let's decide things soon," Bart said.
"Alright. But please tell me this."
"What is it?"
"Is there anything I should look out for when fighting the Doppelganger?"
Bart briefly thought about it, and then said, "You're climbing the tower by yourself?"
"3 minutes. Stay alive for 3 minutes."
'The hell is he talking about?'
"I'll see you later." Bart quickly left.
"3 minutes, huh..." Kang Oh muttered.
'The Doppelganger... There really is more to it! I have no choice but to find out in person.'
* * *
Kang Oh visited the Black Hammer Dwarves' Hideout. Man Bok had sent word that Hoffman and the other blacksmiths had finally created dragon equipment.
"Welcome." As soon as Kang Oh appeared through the magic circle, Man Bok greeted him.
"Thank you. Where's the equipment?'
"They're inside the smithy. Let's go together."
"How did they turn out?" Kang Oh asked.
"See for yourself," Man Bok smiled and said. Based on his expression and attitude, Hoffman must've made some good equipment on his first try.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Once they entered the smithy, they heard the sound of pounding hammers, and their skin flushed from the heat.
Hoffman and the other blacksmiths' eyes were clear and pure, yet contained a deep sorrow within. They were completely focused on their work, so they didn't even hear Kang Oh and Man Bok come in.
"Let's just take a look at the items in the storehouse and then leave," Man Bok whispered.
Kang Oh nodded his head, and the two moved carefully so that they didn't interrupt the dwarves.
There was a stairway inside that led down to the storehouse. Five display stands stood at the center of the storehouse, and goods of exceptional quality lay atop them.
"Is that them?" Kang Oh approached the display stands and examined the goods. The first item was a yellow breastplate with a magnificent dragon's head engraved in the middle.
A breastplate made out of the unknown, golden alloy, Dracodium. A dragon's bones and scales were used to create this alloy.
It is no masterpiece, as the blacksmith's skill is still lacking. However, his skill in handling alloys is second to none.
The armor is light, tough, and beautiful, so anyone would want it.
+ Dracodium's Mystery: Reduces all damage by 30%. This ability does not stack.
Abilities: Defense 700, Physical +100.
Minimum Requirements: Level 300, Physical 500.
Kang Oh rubbed his eyes and looked over the item again.
"Why's it so good?"
The armor's equip requirement was only level 300, yet it offered a defense bonus of 700.
Kang Oh's current armor had a level requirement of 400, yet its defense was only 550. How could its defense be 700!? It was truly a tremendous piece of armor.
Plus, it reduced all damage by 30%. The fact that it said 'all' meant that it was overpowered. It didn't matter if it was magic, physical attacks, poison damage, etc. It would reduce all of their damage.
"Apparently, Dracodium's Mystery is an effect given to every item made out of Dracodium. Dracodium reduces the equip requirement too," Man Bok said.
"This is crazy."
Dracodium Breastplate! This would definitely sell for a lot.
"This was the first item Mr. Hoffman created. He called it a failure," Man Bok said.
"Yes. Had he made it correctly, it would've had more than one effect, or so he says."
"Really? Then did he create any of them properly?"
"Yes, he made one amazing item. That one over there." Man Bok pointed at the shield on the far left.
Kang Oh immediately looked over the item's information.
"Ah." His eyes widened. He couldn't help but admire the work of art.Previous Chapter Next Chapter