Chapter 571

The name ‘Alley Leader’ was one of the most recognized by the public. The technique he’d shown in Masked Fighting King made it clear that he had achieved peak magic power control that no one could imitate yet. Now, this peak magic control was once again revealed to the world.

Several players who saw the scene looked surprised. From their point of view, Hyeonu’s magic power control was a disaster—a technique that could only be used by one person. It was near impossible to avoid that skill or stop it. The opponent always had to keep in mind that they could die in one blow. The moment their concentration got disturbed, death would come before their eyes.

‘I can’t believe I’m seeing this again...’ Reina stared at the television with a loving gaze. Hyeonu’s skill had once driven her to despair. Someone who had never been such a victim would ever know how it felt to helplessly lose twice to an opponent with a lower level.

Of course, the feeling of despair disappeared over time, and Reina developed a stronger desire for victory. After that, she went to challenge Hyeonu several times and finally gained the elevated skills that she had now. In fact, there were quite a few players aside from Reina who were also like this. The aces of each team watched Hyeonu’s video and gained many things.

‘It is actually more fascinating to see it personally...’ Aike marveled at the sight of Hyeonu’s magic power control that he had only seen in videos. It felt different from watching it in the video. The feeling was accentuated because he had practiced the technique himself.

He felt it was even more amazing because he knew how hard it was. Yet even if all of their feelings of surprise were combined, it still didn’t match the surprise Ryan felt as the person who was directly suffering the effects of Hyeonu’s magic power control. Ryan felt like he was possessed.

‘Wake up. The opponent is Alley Leader.’

His tension had dropped sharply after winning three consecutive games. Now his spirit woke up suddenly, and his spine was cold. Ryan was more focused than ever. He wondered if he had ever been so focused while playing Arena.

‘I can’t give him distance.’

Ryan found his own solution to Hyeonu’s mysterious magic power control, which could freely change the length of his pure energy. Of course, Ryan hadn’t dealt with it in person, so he didn’t know if this method would work. Still, it would at least be better than standing still.

Ryan ran fast with his sword. There was one reason why he was using pure energy unnecessarily. He didn’t have the ability to create pure energy in an instant, so there was no way for him to stop Hyeonu’s attack. Pure energy was necessary in order to stop pure energy. If he blocked it with his sword, Hyeonu’s pure energy would be cut off, but it wouldn’t be stopped.

Ryan did not point his sword at the ground. Instead, he held it firmly with both hands and placed it in front of his body. He looked ridiculous, but there was no other way to stop Hyeonu’s attack.

Ryan’s actions worked well enough; he prevented Hyeonu’s blow. The pure energies collided, causing a firestorm of harsh magic power to break out. Ryan endured the impact to his body and continued to move forward. Now, only one step remained. He just needed one more step, and he would be able to reach Hyeonu with his sword.

Finally, Ryan was able to put Hyeonu within the range of his attack. He then swung his sword without hesitation. The red pure energy fell toward Hyeonu’s head. Hyeonu raised the blue-colored sword to stop Ryan’s attack. It wasn’t just a block though. The moment he collided with Ryan’s sword, Hyeonu lowered the center of his body and dispersed most of Ryan’s power. Following that, he straightened his bent knees powerfully, giving Ryan a big shock.

Ryan couldn’t withstand the pure energy from Hyeonu’s sword and made his last hurrah. At this moment, Ryan understood that the fight was over.

‘I was dazzled by the magic power control and forgot something important.’

Ryan had been so concerned over the magic power control that he briefly forgot how excellent Hyeonu’s weapon technique was. The price of forgetting was defeat. Hyeonu swung his sword at Ryan’s completely unguarded upper body. With no way of stopping the attack, Ryan was knocked down.


***


-The fourth game between Crescent Moon and Manchester, the showdown between Gang Hyeonu and Ryan, has ended with Gang Hyeonu’s victory. Gang Hyeonu has rescued Crescent Moon from a crisis.

The only thing that could be heard in the silent waiting room of Manchester was the host’s voice flowing from the TV. None of the Manchester players spoke. Ryan’s defeat was too shocking. None of them had expected this outcome. They knew Ryan’s skills better than anyone, so the shock they felt was even greater.

After some time, one player barely managed to open his mouth, “Ryan... lost like this.”

He still couldn’t believe that Ryan had lost.

“He is very tricky to deal with. I think it will be difficult to win,” Luke said. 

His fighting spirit was ignited when he watched Hyeonu and Ryan fight. Luke and Ryan had very similar combat styles. Although Luke had a narrow lead, it wasn’t that big of a difference. It was a lead that could be overturned with one mistake.

‘Don’t I have to pay attention to everything?’

The Hyeonu he saw fighting against Ryan was trickier than anyone Luke had ever fought against. Even a boss monster wasn’t this tricky. Therefore, Luke wanted to fight and win even more. There was nothing more exhilarating than beating a strong opponent.

Just then, the door of the waiting room opened, and Ryan appeared. He closed the door of the waiting room and walked straight to Luke.

“It will be hard and difficult. You will think it is impossible to win. Nevertheless, don’t give up.” Ryan gave Luke this serious advice and then curled up on the couch. He lifted his right arm and covered his eyes.

“Brother...” Luke uttered.

For the first time, he was unable to say anything to Ryan. With some struggle, Luke turned his gaze to his laptop and accessed a community site he frequently visited.

‘I have to look at it again.’

The community already had many articles about the game between Ryan and Hyeonu. Some articles mocked Ryan’s defeat, while others comforted him. With a frown, Luke continued to scroll. This lasted until he found what he was looking for.

‘Here it is.’

Luke was looking for the combat video between Hyeonu and Ryan. It had a very slow playing speed. His eyes narrowed as he stared at his laptop.


***


After the fourth match between Red Bull America and Xuanhua, Luke left the waiting room to compete in PvP. It was a dark corridor with no proper lighting. He walked down the path that seemed to have no end in sight. Although he had walked it six times already, he still hadn’t adapted to it. Nevertheless, there was an end even in such darkness. At the end of the passage was a light. It was like a flower of hope blooming in despair.

Then as he drew closer to the light, Luke sensed it was getting weaker. A great darkness covered the light. The identity of the darkness was a person. Someone was blocking the light in the corridor.

‘Who is it?’ Luke cocked his head and continued to walk forward. Once Luke finally reached the end, the man quietly standing there turned around.

‘Alley Leader?’ Luke thought.

The man was Alley Leader—Hyeonu. He had left the waiting room earlier than Luke and was already waiting for his turn to get on the stage. Hyeonu reached out to Luke and greeted him, “I am Gang Hyeonu of Crescent Moon. Please take care of me.” 

They would be fighting in a while, but that time wasn’t now.

“I am Luke of Manchester. Please take care of me.” Luke accepted Hyeonu’s handshake.

He tried to say something else, but Hyeonu turned around right after the handshake. As such, Luke could only blink a few times. Then under the staff’s guidance, Luke climbed onto the stage. The host gave a brief introduction, and they entered the cubes to prepare for the game.


***


Standing in a fixed position, Luke looked at Hyeonu while moving quietly toward him. Luke had briefly analyzed Hyeonu’s battle with Ryan and the fight against Reina on Masked Fighting King in the past. There was only one thing he learned from them. It was that Ryan’s choice hadn’t been wrong. Closing the distance with Hyeonu was the right move.

‘Alley Leader’s weapon isn’t a sword... I have to think about it as magic.’

Luke had to think and move like this so that he wouldn’t be defeated in vain. Hyeonu swung the sword when he noticed Luke moving quietly. Nonetheless, Luke was prepared in advance, so he could respond to Hyeonu’s sudden attack. He poured magic power into his sword without holding back.

Luke knew from watching Ryan’s fight that Hyeonu’s attack was much stronger than it seemed. If he conserved his magic power, he would die before using all of it. Thus, Luke did not conserve it. The moment Hyeonu’s attack began, Luke accelerated forward, running quickly with all his might like someone who would die if they stopped.

‘Is he doing the same as Ryan?’ Reina grasped Luke’s strategy and smiled. In Reina’s eyes, Ryan and Luke looked the same. Both of them didn’t truly know Hyeonu.

‘For Hyeonu, magic power control is just one option...’

The reason why Hyeonu was really scary was that he had no shortcomings. He was superior in every aspect. In Reina’s view, Luke was good enough despite already falling to the ground. Luke did well, but he still had limitations. It was hard for Reina to win against Hyeonu, let alone Luke.

The battle progressed as Reina expected. It didn’t flow as comfortably as Luke thought it would. Luke’s sword slashed through the air. Making a graceful movement, Hyeonu lightly avoided Luke’s sword. Then Hyeonu grabbed the handle of his sword in one hand and extended the sword in his other hand to Luke. Luke backed away in a frightened manner and dodged Hyeonu’s attack. As such, Hyeonu’s sword skimmed past Luke’s body...

No, it just seemed to be the case. Hyeonu’s hand stopped exactly on Luke’s arm. He turned Luke’s arm so that Luke’s sword that was facing forward was now facing downward. Then Hyeonu pushed it right down.

‘No!’ Luke exclaimed inwardly. The moment he saw it, he raised his foot and kicked Hyeonu’s sword. There was a loud blast, and Luke’s body flew back swiftly. He received little impact as he used the repulsion of the collision to move back.

‘Where is he?’ Luke landed neatly and looked up ahead to find Hyeonu’s location. However, there was no need to do so because Hyeonu was already in front of him.

Hyeonu was putting his sword into its sheath. The moment he made eye contact with Luke, Hyeonu quickly stepped forward with his right foot and turned his body slightly to the left. Then he used that force to draw his sword and swing it explosively.

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