The next match appeared on the big screen. Before we knew it, it was already the final of the “Who Will Fight Me” tournament!
Indigo Collar LV-62 Warrior
Moon Scar LV-61 Assassin
Soft Nocturne LV-61 Bard
Wheel Shadow LV-62 Archer
Painted Skin LV-62 Mage
Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand LV-64 Undead Swordsman
Beiming Xue LV-63 Dark Archer
Gui Guzi LV-63 Undead Knight
Yamete LV-60 Priest
Amazing Expert LV-60 Warrior
Level-wise both teams were pretty similar, and everyone had finished their third promotions. The key difference lay in the fact that Peach Garden had a high-level bard, and Bloody Mercenaries had three top-rate dark players. Both sides had good reasons to be wary of each other.
Ten players were teleported into the tournament stage about 25 yards away from each other. They were free to make any last minute adjustments until the countdown hit zero. Once the barrier disappeared, both sides would meet one another in a clash of metal and blood.
The young warrior, Indigo Collar was gripping his blade and watching us with a half-smile. Behind him, the assassin Moon Scar was bending slightly so that he could enter stealth at any moment. They were definitely not someone we could underestimate. Their battle stances, class synergy, and teamwork were better than any other opponent we had encountered thus far.
Snowy Cathaya’s defeat hadn’t been entirely undeserved. Even if Lin Yixin had been in top form, their chances of winning still wouldn’t exceed 50%.
As I watched the five enemies in front of me, I couldn’t help but think that the waters of the gaming world run too deep. Who knows how many more experts like the ones before me were training in the mountains and waiting for their moment to shine? The reason I was never able to become as arrogant as Roaming Dragon was because one, I just wasn’t born or raised that way, and two, I had never thought myself to be insurmountable.
Peach Garden hadn’t lost a single match all the way to the finals, and not even Snowy Cathaya, the guild of the Fruit Knife Goddess, was able to halt their footsteps. They were destined to become a powerful force in Floating Ice City, and who knows, maybe Peach Garden was plotting the same thing as us. Maybe we both wanted to use this competition as the stepping stone to further our conquest!
Indigo Collar clutched his sword and smiled at me. “Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, huh? Heheh, I didn’t think we would run into you and your men in the final! Whatever the outcome of this final may be, know that you have my sincere respect. You are the only person in the entire Floating Ice City who has the courage to challenge Gods of Destruction alone. Even I am not that courageous…”
I returned his smile and said, “You flatter me.”
Indigo Collar chuckled. “That being said, I’m not giving up the first place of this competition to anyone. I’m sorry, but the Bloody Mercenaries are going to die just like Snowy Cathaya!”
Behind me, Beiming Xue raised her bow and retorted, “You talk big for someone who got lucky. Do you really think you would stand here had Wind Fantasy been in her best shape?”
Indigo Collar smiled uncaringly. “It doesn’t matter. When it comes to five-man matches, I’m certain that Peach Garden is unsurpassed in Floating Ice City. Like it or not, you are not winning this fight!”
Beiming Xue was panting with rage. So young and innocent. She had a long way to go before she could truly master her own emotions.
Gui Guzi asked in the team channel, “How should we fight this, boss?”
I replied, “They have a third-promotion bard, and that’s very scary. Act as you see fit, but always remember to focus-fire whoever their bard applies her buff to. Lil Beiming, you’re the crowd control of our team. Anyone you shoot, we’ll prioritize killing them before anyone else. Mamate, protect yourself. Move backward if you think the situation demands it. Get it?”
They all nodded and said, “You don’t need to tell us…”
Ah, fuck them. Let the final match begin!
The system began its countdown.
Soft Nocturne, the enemy bard, took action the second the battle began. First, she played the zither twice and applied Divine Valor and Death Match to Indigo Collar. Then, she applied an instant buff on the archer, Wheel Shadow, that increased his critical rate by 25%. What a crazy lass!
I raised my sword and charged straight at Indigo Collar. This warrior had 2 buffs on him, so I had to be the one to stop him. No one else in Bloody Mercenaries could deal with a 20% stat increase!
Indigo Collar gave me an eerie smile at me before charging toward me like a bull. I smiled right back. After I recovered from my illness, my brain lag was actually reduced to the point where I was slightly above the average person. Plus, I had predicted that he would use Charge on me!
I slid 5 yards to the right in one smooth motion. Indigo Collar withdrew his lazy, arrogant smile when his Charge completely missed me!
Here’s my chance!
I launched a Charge of my own seeing the enemy failing. After many days of observation, I discovered a fatal flaw in the skill. There was about half a second of pause when a player reached the end of a Charge. While the player could still attack like normal, they were rooted at the spot for that split moment.
Considering my current reaction speed, half a second was enough for me to whatever I needed!
I swung the Ghost Ice Soul twice at Indigo Collar’s shoulder the moment I stunned him. I had made up my mind to brute-force him down before he could recover.
The bluish glow of Ice Ray and the greenshine of Slayer Slash hit their target at nearly the same time!
Unfortunately, Indigo Collar survived the combo. 20% extra Defense was just too much!
Despite being down to 10% HP, Indigo Collar calmly retaliated with a harsh Blaze to the torso. It was a smart plan, using Blaze to create a path of retreat.
Unfortunately for him, I chose to tank the attack head-on!
Fire scalded my chest as a pale red number popped from the wound. 783! Tsk tsk, what an impressive amount of damage!
Of course, the price of wounding me wasn’t cheap. Appearing next to Indigo Collar with lightning speed, I brought my sword upward and stabbed him right in the armpit. The attack tore through his metal armor and left a nasty wound!
Indigo Collar groaned in frustration. The HP he gained from drinking an HP pot was gone just like that.
Indigo Collar was enraged by the fact that he was the victim of a one-sided slaughter even though he was the one with all the buffs on him. He was about to swing his sword and perform a retaliatory attack, but to his surprise I suddenly dashed to the right and revealed a beautiful archer with a fully-drawn bow behind me!
Beiming Xue loosened her fingers and fired a Devil Piercing Arrow straight at him!
The arrow punched into Indigo Collar’s chest with the power of a meteor. The double-buffed warrior collapsed to the ground and died just like that!
I downed a health potion and looked around me. Noticing danger, I immediately leaped toward the side!
An Ice Dragon Howl hit the ground where I was standing a moment ago. The spell had literally missed me by millimeters!
After the enemy wasted a powerful spell, I sent my Dark Wasp after their ranged attackers. Painted Skin and Wheel Shadow had also summoned their Wasps in retaliation and sent them after me. While I was dodging out of harm’s way, Beiming Xue fired a Volley at the enemy pets before Gui Guzi swung his spear horizontally across the air. The combined attacks killed both Wasps on the spot. These beginner-level pets were just too fragile to be of any real use!
Wheel Shadow gritted his teeth and fired two skills at me streaking through the air. He even managed to fire one final basic attack after the Penetrating Arrow and Devil Piercing Arrow!
What incredible damage! His strength was probably not too far behind Beiming Xue. These players truly deserved to be called the dark horse of this competition!
“Mamate, feed me!”
My shout earned two Holy Lights from Mamate. The moment my HP was back to full, I raised my sword and charged my opponents again!
At this point, the fight was completely advantageous toward Bloody Mercenaries. Despite spending their strongest attacks on me, Wheel Shadow, Painted Skin and Indigo Collar weren’t able to delete me from the battlefield. In that moment, their fate was as good as sealed.
Moon Scar, the assassin, finally emerged in a red flash and executed an attack combo consisting of Cold Blade, Eviscerate, and a basic attack. Knowing his attack power, there was no cloth-armor player he couldn’t one-shot!
Caught off-guard, Yamete groaned before collapsing to the floor.
Du Thirteen let out an angry roar and stabbed Moon Scar in the back, successfully dealing 476 damage to the assassin. Seriously, warriors had all the advantage when dealing with assassins in the open.
Moon Scar didn’t turn around to face him. Instead, he tossed fluorescent powder and forcefully entered stealth once more!
Unfortunately for him, this was the moment Du Thirteen chose to show his worth. First, he unleashed a War Cry and knocked Moon Scar right out of his stealth. Then, he ran up to the assassin and stabbed him with a Blaze.
It was a slaughter. For the first time in “Who Will Fight Me”, Du Thirteen claimed a kill of his own.
Peach Garden was in a bad spot after they were down two carries. Their remaining players didn’t give up, however. The archer, Wheel Shadow, shouted, “Painted Skin, keep Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand at bay with Fireball while I slow him with Ice Arrow! Now!”
Painted Skin started casting his Fireball while Wheel Shadow fired a frosty arrow at me. Ice Arrow was a crowd control skill that couldn’t be learned from a class trainer. That was why the skill book cost a fortune in Floating Ice City. Even to this day, there were barely a handful of archers who managed to pick up the skill.
My movement speed was slowed to a crawl as ice covered my body. There was almost nothing I could do. Painted Skin kept firing Fireball after Fireball at me, dealing over 200 damage with each hit. If the situation was allowed to continue, my death was all but certain!
Gui Guzi rushed toward them while shouting, “Beiming, end this fight now!”
He swung his spear and unleashed Death Combo on Painted Skin, killing him instantly. On the other side, Wheel Shadow got destroyed after he suffered two rapid arrows from Beiming Xue and one final hit from Du Thirteen.
The straggling bard was the only enemy player left on the battlefield. Knowing that she had no chance at winning, Soft Nocturne smiled helplessly and chose to forfeit!
Bloody Mercenaries had brute-forced their way into winning the first round!Previous Chapter Next Chapter