Boom! Yeon-woo’s remaining mana erupted. The Magic Circuit started to produce enormous power as its core started to overheat. He cast Draconic Eyes, Combat Will, Sense Strengthening all at the same time, forcing his body to reach its full capability even as it began to overload. Yeon-woo was now swimming in his own time, ready to make the possibility of winning reality.
It only took him a moment.
Just as he saw through Precognition, Phante’s punch arrived. Yeon-woo grabbed Phante’s fist and pulled his arm the other way around. Crack! He kneed Phante in the stomach.
"Urk!" Phante rose in the air as he spewed blood from his mouth.
“One second.” He could see Phante frowning and trying to regain his balance in midair. But Yeon-woo didn't give Phante a second look because Vyram’s attacks were aiming for his head, neck, and ankle in that order. He dodged the first strike as he lowered himself to the ground, stomping at the same time. Boom!
“Two seconds.” The ground sank, and a cloud of dust rose, blocking everyone’s vision. But Yeon-woo jumped right into the dust cloud and stretched out his left arm, feeling Vyram’s neck at the tip of his fingers.
Thanks to his buffs, Vyram also sensed Yeon-woo’s hand closing in and tried to retreat. However, Yeon-woo had also seen that possibility. Swish! He threw a dagger he had readied in his other hand. The dagger brushed past Vyram’s cheek as Vyram quickly turned his head, thinking that Yeon-woo must have already used up most of his mana. He was beginning to believe that his victory was at hand, and his eyes filled with a sense of glory for the first time. "It's over!"
"Yes. It's over.” That was exactly what Yeon-woo wanted to happen. “For you.” They pulled apart, and Yeon-woo drew Vigrid, holding it in front of his chest. Whoosh! Once again, the air began to circle him, creating a huge whirlwind as it gathered around the sword and compressed itself along the blade’s edge. It grew darker and darker as demonic energy seeped into the wind.
With the Factor of the Sword, Vigrid began to radiate a strong energy in response to the two strong opponents. Once it was ready, Yeon-woo swung Vigrid from side to side. “Three seconds.” Vigrid made a diagonal slash in the air that appeared simple, but its aftereffects were not. Boom!
A series of violent explosions burst out as the sword released the compressed wind. The demonic energy inside blasted out in all directions, corroding everything it touched—the stage, the players, and even the skills.
The thunder energy gathered around Phante’s fists dispersed into the air as if it had been completely eaten up by the demonic energy. The energy mangled his body horribly and sent him hurtling through the air. Vyram’s swords shattered into fragments, the broken pieces bouncing up. An incredulous look appeared on Vyram’s face as blood seeped out of his mouth.
Ka-boom! Rumble! A thick cloud of dust spread across the stage and the sound of the players’ screams echoed through the entire area.
* * *
“Precognition...” When Yeon-woo had last checked his skills before moving on to Section G, he had spent a long time agonizing over the ways to utilize Precognition, and he could only conclude one thing: 'This is useless.'
Most of his skills were quite easy to use. They were powerful on their own, and some of them were even more effective when used in combination with other skills. However, Precognition was different.
If one judged only according to description, it was the best skill he had since it allowed him to look into the near future. No other skill could be as useful, especially since Yeon-woo had experienced battlefields where a brief moment of inattention could end one’s life. He was aware that knowing what would happen in the future—even if it was only a few seconds ahead—was just like having several spare lives.
'However, it uses up too much mana considering how short the period is.' Those few seconds of Precognition consumed an outrageous amount of mana, and even though he had more than anyone in the Tutorial, thanks to the Snow Ginseng and the Neidan, he thought the price was too high. Another problem was that he didn’t know the best time to cast the skill. ‘If I don’t know when my life will be in danger, how do I know when to use it?’
Casting this skill during combat meant that he would not only have to look at the future possibility while fighting, he’d also have to analyze his opponent’s movements and plan out a way to beat them according to what Precognition showed him. It was easier said than done. However, Yeon-woo began to consider other options. 'What if I mix it with other skills?' After all, he could raise his physical ability to its limit while looking into the future. 'It’ll be a gamble with long odds.'
If it succeeded, he would be able to turn the tables even if he was losing, but if it failed, it would mean death. Nevertheless, Yeon-woo tried it out in real combat. ‘That worked better than I expected.’ The outcome was a huge success.
* * *
The speed of events meant that the players couldn’t see what happened, and they were only dimly aware that something amazing and shocking had occurred. Only one player managed to follow every single development: Edora.
She hugged the sword in her arms tightly and raised her head as a glimmer of light appeared in her golden eyes.
Just as Phante had been given Thunder Fist, Edora was given Insight, another secret skill passed down in the Cheong-lam family. Its acquisition process was so difficult that no one other than Edora could learn the skill.
Insight provided the user with eyes that could see into the nature of things. It was thanks to this skill that Phante and Edora had been able to take the first and the second places in the ranking. Edora used Insight to follow Yeon-woo’s movements, and she watched Yeon-woo jump out of the dust cloud.
‘Four seconds.’ Yeon-woo twisted his body in midair, realizing how well his skills worked together. He had looked into the future with Precognition, fully enhanced his body with Draconic Eyes, Combat Will, and Sense Strengthening, and quickly moved around the stage with Shunpo. And as for the massive side effects from overloading his body, he could bear them thanks to Physical Resistance.
If it weren’t for Diamond Physique, he would have never dared to even think of pulling off what he’d just done. But he made it, and now, he had only one target left—Edora.
When he looked at her, he saw that she was also looking at him with some kind of golden glow in her eyes. It was probably the source of the strange sensation he had felt from her earlier. He only had a little more than a second remaining, and he squeezed mana from his Magic Circuit one last time. 'This will be the end.' Its core spun fiercely once again as it drew out the remaining mana.
Boom! Yeon-woo dashed towards Edora. Swish! Shriing! Edora removed the sword in her arms from its scabbard. Divine Evil was a sword said to hold the powers of both holy and evil beings, and it easily blocked Vigrid. Clang!
However, Yeon-woo wasn’t disappointed at all because he had predicted this, and his next attack was the real one. He twisted and pulled out Carshina's Dagger, which he had hidden in his sleeve and swung it directly towards Edora’s throat.
Yeon-woo was sure of victory. According to the images that Precognition had shown him, his dagger would penetrate Edora’s throat and kill her. However, Edora shifted her sword by a fraction to protect her neck. Clang! Because the blade was so broad, this slight movement was enough to block the dagger. Carshina's Dagger fell powerlessly to the ground.
'She blocked it?’ Yeon-woo looked at Edora, his eyes filled with curiosity. He quickly spun in the other direction, making three consecutive strikes with Vigrid. Clang! Clang! Clang!
But Edora easily fended off all of his attacks and even managed to strike back. Clang!
Just as Yeon-woo was about to launch another attack, Edora swung her sword vertically, striking Yeon-woo’s sword and creating such a huge shockwave that it pushed Yeon-woo back, and he left deep furrows on the ground. Whoosh!
As the dust cloud cleared, Yeon-woo and Edora stared at each other from two opposite ends of the stage.
"You're strong." Edora said with her cherry-red lips.
However, Yeon-woo stood with his brows creased. Edora had blocked all of his attacks so effortlessly. ‘Those eyes. It's because of those eyes.’ Her golden eyes, that thing she had been hiding, had seen through all of his attacks.
Click! Yeon-woo’s pocket watch stopped as time ran out. He felt his body grow limp as his Magic Circuit shut down, sending waves of massive fatigue and dizziness over him. However, he couldn’t show any weakness, and he had to pretend as if nothing was happening. He continued to stand with his eyes fixed to Edora.
"Are you going to continue fighting?" Edora asked in a slightly worried voice as if she was aware of his current condition. At the same time, her hand didn’t let go of Shinmado’s hilt. It was a warning that she would subdue him if he decided to continue to fight.
Yeon-woo shook his head, relaxing his posture a little bit. He put Vigrid back in the scabbard on his back. Clunk! "No. I’m done."
"That’s a good idea. You fought so many players at the same time, including Vyram and my brother. That was really impressive." Edora smiled as she spoke. "I've never seen a player as strong as you. I would give you the first place if I could, but…we also have our reasons for taking it.” Although her tone was apologetic, she made it clear that she wouldn’t give away her karma.
However, Yeon-woo smirked. "That's strange. Do you think I’ve given up first place?"
"What do you…?" Edora was about to ask what he meant, when Yeon-woo suddenly held out his left hand. Five huge golden crystals dangled from a string looped around his fingers.
Edora took a quick look at her waist in surprise. The golden crystals Phante had given her were nowhere to be found. “How…did you…?” Edora looked at Yeon-woo with disbelief, her eyes filled with confusion. Insight could look into the true nature of anyone and anything. In battle, it allowed the user to read the opponent’s thoughts and intentions, and helped the user predict their attacks.
This was why Yeon-woo's Precognition couldn’t do its work around her, and yet somehow, Edora’s Insight failed to warn her about his theft of her crystals. Yeon-woo lightly snorted as he pulled back his hand. "Your eyes can only predict things within your field of vision, right?"
Edora couldn’t help but feel shocked at how easily he’d discovered Insight’s weakness. She finally understood how Yeon-woo took her crystals. It was Carshina’s Dagger. As it had fallen, Yeon-woo had directed her so that the dagger would cut the strings at her waist. She’d been so focused on reading Yeon-woo’s attacks that she didn’t notice something that seemed accidental.
Fortunately, she had lost only half of the crystals she possessed, but it was still a painful loss.
"Well, thank you for your karma points. I'll take good care of them." Yeon-woo hung the golden crystals next to his waist.
[The Tutorial ranking has been updated.]
[1. Unknown (510,590 Points)
2. Edora (60,000 Points)
3. Brock (13,200 Points)]
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