‘He’s big.’ This was what Dwayne thought when he first saw Karelin up close.
It wasn’t just felt by Dwayne but all the opponents who faced Karelin. With a height of nearly two meters and a muscular build, Karelin was larger than expected. At a glance, Dwayne wasn’t that much smaller than Karelin. Dwayne had a formidable height, and his body had a lot of muscles.
The real difference between the two men was in Karelin’s eyes and the pressure he emitted. Karelin had the eyes of a beast that made it seem like he would eat the other person, and Dwayne was his prey that looked very appetizing. It was the difference in their mindsets.
‘Still, I will win. I have to win.’
The moment Dwayne made up his mind, the expression in his eyes changed. That gentle gaze of a tantalizing prey transformed to that of a fierce warrior with sharp momentum. Dwayne relaxed his shoulders and applied a proper amount of strength to his fists, taking on his most comfortable posture.
At this time, the number floating in the air decreased to zero. Once Dwayne confirmed it, he rushed straight to Karelin. Offense was easier than defense. It was tricky to hit back, but hitting first was easy.
Dwayne lightly kicked off from the ground. His running speed became faster and faster; he was accelerating swiftly. As the distance between him and Karelin narrowed, Dwayne’s feet struck the ground more powerfully. These steps were unusual, and his body shook as he stepped powerfully from left to right.
Karelin’s expression worsened visibly when he saw Dwayne’s charge. He was clearly flustered. This was because the unique charge Dwayne was showing was the exact same one Karelin used. Then Dwayne threw a punch toward the bewildered Karelin, causing an explosion of air in the space the fist passed through.
Dwayne used his skills right from the start. He didn’t want to miss this chance when Karelin felt shaken. At the next moment, Dwayne’s fist struck Karelin’s shoulder explosively. The fist was currently wrapped in a blue light and had the momentum of destroying Karelin’s shoulder. Dwayne didn’t stop there and continued to attack. He stepped forward with his right foot and swung his elbow, striking Karelin’s abdomen precisely three times. After striking Karelin in the abdomen quickly and forcefully, Dwayne stepped back.
“Kuooh...” a deep groan flowed from Karelin’s mouth. There was searing pain in his abdomen and shoulders. The pain was unbearable even though his senses were limited in comparison to reality.
‘How is he using those techniques?’ This question wasn’t erased from Karelin’s mind despite the pain. How was Dwayne using Karelin’s skills? Of course, they weren’t special skills, but they weren’t techniques that just anyone could use. There were many things hidden inside the seemingly simple techniques.
‘This isn’t the time to be thinking about this.’ Karelin raised both of his hands and pressed them against his cheeks. He had to come to his senses. Arena Week was the stage he wanted to win the most. So, he couldn’t show an empty loss here, not even once. Even if defeat came to him, he had to do his best so he would have no regrets.
‘Sure enough, his words were right.’ Dwayne couldn’t hide his excitement. Hyeonu was truly the best. Dwayne found it greatly advantageous to fight as Hyeonu had taught him. ‘It is amazing that I can copy Karelin’s techniques exactly...’
Hyeonu had even set up a strategy to take advantage of this. Naturally, Dwayne had to admire that.
‘From now on, it is up to me.’
Dwayne calmed his excitement. It wouldn’t be too late to admire it after the victory. Now was the time when he should focus on defeating the monster in front of him.
‘He seems to have controlled his panic,’ Dwayne remarked inwardly. The wound awakened the beast’s spirit; a sane beast was dangerous. Dwayne couldn’t get carried away now. Only a calm mind could lead him to victory. Dwayne opened his fist before clenching it again. This wasn’t just the sensation of his fist but the act of awakening his spirit.
Karelin stomped his feet. The stomp broke the ground, and dust rose to his knees. Meanwhile, Karelin’s heavy body charged forth like a tank. Karelin moved using the same steps that Dwayne showed just a little while ago. He took big strides, stepping from side to side.
Unlike Karelin, Dwayne didn’t panic. He moved his body lightly and ran forward while staring at Karelin’s face. Hyeonu had already taught Dwayne about Karelin’s secrets a few weeks ago. From the very beginning of the game, Dwayne had been fighting Karelin according to Hyeonu’s plan, which was why Dwayne could copy Karelin’s skills so skillfully.
Just then, Karelin’s left eyebrow went up.
‘Left!’ Dwayne smiled when he saw it and ran forward like someone who didn’t know anything. Karelin rushed to Dwayne’s left just like Hyeonu had said he would. Then Karelin aimed for Dwayne’s temple and swung his fist wildly. Right at this moment, Dwayne turned slightly and leaned down. He injected magic power into his shoulder and gently pushed it out, landing another strike on Karelin’s abdomen.
Karelin shook greatly and was suspended over 30 centimeters above ground. Dwayne stepped back and swung his fist, causing an explosion when it struck Karelin. Karelin dropped to his knees. He couldn’t stand tall and ended up kneeling on the ground.
This was when Dwayne prepared his final attack on Karelin. Blue light was surrounding Dwayne’s fist, and he aimed the gathered light directly at Karelin.
Karelin’s head fell.
The game ended, but no one could open their mouths, and all of their expressions were stiff. Only Hyeonu was smiling.
‘No matter how good you are... you’re bound to fall once you’ve been analyzed,’ he thought.
Hyeonu was afraid of the prowess of vigilance. He was well aware of how scary an analysis could be. With just one loss, Karelin’s league performance was close to undefeated. He had played numerous PvP games in the European League, but he had only been defeated once by Aike. It hadn’t been a formal defeat because it had been an event game. Thus, he deserved to be confident. Even so, he shouldn’t be complacent. For those who were arrogant, there would always be a day when they had to bow down.
‘If his mind is shaken, the path can be seen...’
Everyone knew that Karelin’s charge had a secret. Maybe it was an open secret. It didn’t make sense that no one had found it considering Hyeonu quickly discovered it after watching the videos a few times. However, no one had managed to find a way to shake Karelin’s mentality.
Hyeonu, on the other hand, dazzled Karelin’s eyes and shook his mind by copying the charging skill itself. After that, it was simple. Hyeonu just had to believe in the strength of Dwayne, who had practiced with Karelin as the goal. Dwayne was not a man without talent, and he had put countless efforts into developing it. He wasn’t lacking anything necessary to kill an arrogant beast.
The host escaped from the whirlpool of shock first and grabbed the microphone to say, “P... Player Dwayne Evans of Crescent Moon has won! Crescent Moon has taken the first point!”
He hadn’t expected Dwayne to win. Dwayne might be his nation’s superstar and the host’s favorite actor, but things were different in Arena. Arena Week was too high a wall for Dwayne, who had a winning rate of no more than 50% in the Korean League. In particular, his opponent was the absolute powerhouse of Russia who dominated PvP in the European League. So the host couldn’t help being surprised that Dwayne got an overwhelming victory over Karelin.
“It is a really amazing result! The Hollywood superstar has beaten Russia’s strongest. It is really unbelievable!” a commentator finally spoke after being silent for a long time. The commentator also hadn’t expected Dwayne to win. He had just hoped Dwayne wouldn’t be defeated helplessly.
Unlike those expectations, Dwayne won, so it was natural for him to be surprised. The moment the commentators spoke, murmurs spread through New York Arena Stadium. The crowd was starting to wake up from their shock, and they began talking about this astonishing scene. They also wrote about it on social media or the communities using their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, conveying truthfully the impact they felt from witnessing the scene.
“The match between Crescent Moon and Zenith will continue after the first game between New York Warriors and Red Bull America.”
Now that the first game between Crescent Moon and Zenith was over, the first game between the New York Warriors and Red Bull America would begin. Dwayne and Karelin emerged from the cubes at the same time. They shook hands and headed to their respective waiting rooms where their teammates were waiting. Dwayne’s back seemed to exude happy feelings while Karelin showed his lonely heart.
“It was the best, Dwayne.”
“Congratulations on your first win!”
“The first victory of Arena Week belongs to Dwayne!”
When Dwayne returned to the waiting room, the Crescent Moon players welcomed him. They placed lit candles on a cake to celebrate his victory.
“Well done, Dwayne. You did really well!” Hyeonu also celebrated Dwayne’s victory. Dwayne had done well and beyond their expectations. He received the full reward in exchange for his efforts so far.
“It is all thanks to Hyeonu. You taught me his techniques. You were also the one who told me his weakness,” Dwayne said.
“Still, you are the one who utilized them properly. However, don’t be too happy. The next game won’t be easy no matter who appears,” Hyeonu pulled out some words that cooled the atmosphere. The atmosphere wasn’t good for Dwayne, so Hyeonu was forced to do so. He continued, “Dwayne, Karelin is the best player, but you put a lot of effort into defeating him. Meanwhile, your preparations for the other players were negligible compared to how much you prepared for Karelin. So, it will obviously be harder for you to deal with them.”
“I know that well. The next game will be much harder.” Dwayne nodded. This was a fact that he knew well. It was only in this waiting room that he could feel happy. The moment he stood on the stage again in the arena, he had to return to his calm appearance.
“I don’t know who will appear next, but I think you can win as long as it isn’t Sergei. So don’t be discouraged. Think of the opponents you’ve practiced with. None of them are weak,” Hyeonu said while grasping onto Dwayne’s shoulders. Dwayne nodded to Hyeonu. Then he turned around and blew out the candles on the cake that the other players were holding.
A short time later, the game between Red Bull America and the New York Warriors finished, and Zenith’s next player was revealed.
-Zenith’s second player...
-It is Player Sergei!
Hyeonu’s expression stiffened when he heard the host’s announcement.Previous Chapter Next Chapter