Both sides’ team leaders entered their line-ups, and it wasn’t long before they were displayed on the big screen. As expected, that small but hateful intermission had caused the aces of both teams to square off against one another right from the start—
1v1: Vienna’s Sorrow LV-189 Berserker VS Song of Ice and Fire LV-186 Frozen Berserker
1v1: Beethoven’s Joy LV-186 Knight of Stars VS Ringwraith LV-185 Undead Mage
1v1: Da Vinci Code LV-185 Shadow Archer VS God Bone LV-185 Iron Knight
1v1: Death Wish LV-187 Mage VS Song of Cloud and Water LV-185 Magic Knight
2v2: Vienna’s Sorrow LV-189 Berserker & Beethoven’s Joy LV-186 Knight of Stars VS Song of Ice and Fire LV-186 Frozen Berserker & Ringwraith LV-185 Undead Mage
We were a bit surprised when we saw the match-up. No one thought that Vienna’s Sorrow could produce such a line-up.
Lin Yixin’s eyes burned with the flames of excitement and challenge as she said, "I read up on Hero Alliance before coming to Los Angeles, and it looks like the rumors are true after all. Vienna’s Sorrow is a clan leader with two top-tier Heroic Bannermen under his roof. The first one is Knight of Stars, and the second one is Shadow Archer. They are also the two vice leaders of Hero Alliance. That Death Wish is also a super mage with incredibly high Magic Attack. I can’t wait to challenge this team myself…"
Li Chengfeng said with a frown, "I have a bad feeling about this."
Stranger of Three Lifetimes nodded in agreement. "Me too. Soul Battle Robes may be way stronger than they used to be, but this is the worst match-up they could possibly have especially for Song of Ice and Fire. You all heard what he said earlier, didn’t you? Song of Ice and Fire was Dawning Wind Waning Moon in Spirit of Grief. That youngster is now an uncle, but his skill is almost as good as ever. Hmph!"
Lin Yixin exclaimed in realization, "Oh, so this is how Dawning Wind Waning Moon looks like? I once challenged him around the end game of Spirit of Grief, and he proved to be an incredibly strong player with a fierce and decisive style. Now that I think about it, Song of Ice and Fire’s fighting style was always quite similar. If his reaction speed hasn’t slowed with age, I would’ve had a harder time beating him last time."
He Yi said while staring at the screen, "The match’s about to begin. Let’s see if Dawning Wind Waning Moon or the number one expert of the USA server is stronger…"
I shrugged. "Isn’t that obvious?"
The team manager of Soul Battle Robes, a beautiful woman who was contracted under Samsung Electronics immediately shot me a look. "Don’t jinx it, Lu Chen! You may not believe in Song of Ice and Fire’s strength, but I do!"
I nodded. "Sure. Let’s see what happens after this!"
Song of Ice and Fire and Vienna’s Sorrow appeared in the battle arena in a flash of light. A cold wind flapped their cloaks and sharpened the gleam of their blades as they waited for the countdown to hit zero. Their entrance alone was way cooler than my good brother Du Thirteen.
The battle began, and bits of rocks flew into the air. Vienna’s Sorrow charged toward Song of Ice and Fire while the latter waited patiently with his axe at the ready. When the berserker was 5 yards away from him, Song of Ice and Fire abruptly moved to the right and swung his axe at the same time. He managed to land a solid hit on the berserker’s shoulder.
Vienna’s Sorrow turned on Great Earth Transformation at the same time he shifted his body so that the strike would land on his shoulder armor. Then, he rotated on his feet and launched a kick!
His boots collided with the Fire Dragon Axe’s handle and forced an opening. He immediately capitalized on it by slashing at Song of Ice and Fire with Beast Howl Slash. It was Vienna’s Sorrow’s signature skill; a skill that greatly increased his Attack and ignored his target’s Defense at the same time.
Vienna’s Sorrow acted too swiftly for Song of Ice and Fire to parry or evade. Furious, the frozen berserker decided to trade blow for blow by executing his own Frozen Flurry!
Vienna’s Sorrow was shocked. He wasn’t expecting his opponent to be this relentless. That being said, his reaction wasn’t slow in the slightest, and he immediately retaliated with Berserk Triple Slash. Berserk Triple Slash’s damage was average, but its crit rate was much higher than usual!
Chiang chiang chiang...
Sparks flew everywhere as their weapons clashed repeatedly. The detonations of energy even blew away the large rocks around them. Both combatants fell below 50% HP in just the blink of an eye, and knowing how deadly Frozen Flurry was, Vienna’s Sorrow had no choice but to use War God Rampage to nullify its effect. That was one precious cooldown gone just like that.
Vienna’s Sorrow stepped away from Song of Ice and Fire after the exchange at the same time his sword burst into light. It was his Divine General Skill, Ice Stream Blade. He slashed three times and scored three hits on Song of Ice and Fire’s armor.
Blood dripped down the corner of the frozen berserker’s lips, but he didn’t relent in the slightest. He abruptly closed the distance between himself and Vienna’s Sorrow, grabbed the handle of his weapon, and thrust his axe through Vienna Sorrow’s chest. Then, he used the skill Splitting Heaven and Earth!
The skill deleted almost all of Vienna’s Sorrow’s HP, causing the American player to turn as white as a sheet. He hurriedly zigzagged to Song of Ice and Fire’s flank and slashed at him, shouting, "Die!"
Unfortunately for Song of Ice and Fire, the Barrier Break was also a critical hit. He dropped to his knees and died just like that.
As predicted, Song of Ice and Fire was a tad slower than his opponent. It should’ve been a closer battle considering his class and character skill advantage. Song of Ice and Fire’s Divine General Skill was pretty amazing, and Protection of the Divine Flames had burned away much of Vienna’s Sorrow’s HP. If he was able to hang on just a bit longer, he could’ve killed the berserker via burn damage alone at the end there.
The second round began in no time.
Both combatants entered the battlefield once more, and Vienna’s Sorrow said with a smile, "I read the database earlier. You used to be Dawning Wind Waning Moon, weren’t you? I remember you. You were a legend in Spirit of Grief. Too bad for you, this isn’t your era anymore!"
Song of Ice and Fire replied indifferently, "There’s no such thing as ‘my era’. And even if I have lost my will to reach the top, my will to protect is still right here with me. For Soul Battle Robes, for my promise to my friend, I will do my best even if my body isn’t up to the task!"
"That’s a grand promise!"
Song of Ice and Fire laughed loudly before pointing his sword at his sword at the frozen berserker. "Since you are a worthy opponent, I’m not going to play around any longer. Let’s decide a victor between us right now!"
"As you wish!"
The Fire Dragon Axe and Vienna’s Sorrow sword clashed once more as their owners fought with all they got. Since both combatants were extremely prideful, they used their Divine General Skills only after they had exhausted their normal skills. Unfortunately, Song of Ice and Fire’s skill and equipment were ultimately a tad inferior to his opponent’s. Even with imbalanced character skills like Ice Recovery and Bone Wall, it wasn’t enough to turn the tides. Three minutes later, Vienna’s Sorrow sent Song of Ice and Fire out of the arena at the cost of 85% of his HP!
The score turned 1:0. The super guild, Hero Alliance, had scored first blood against the runner-up of China!
After Song of Ice and Fire teleported back to the waiting area, he faced Song of Cloud and Water and spoke without a shred of guilt in his tone, "I lost, but I gave it my all, Cloud and Water! Vienna’s Sorrow is as strong as his reputation suggests. He truly is the man who dominated Hero City, Seven Star City and Titan City."
Song of Cloud and Water nodded with a smile. "It’s fine, this is just the first match. It’s our turn to give it our all, everyone. All we need to do is to win three matches in a row, and we’ll be able to make it to the quarter-finals!"
Ringwraith nodded and said, "It’s my turn!"
Ringwraith’s opponent was Beethoven’s Joy the Knight of Stars. It was a very jovial-sounding name, but the player himself was as steady as a rock. He rode a black warhorse, and his aura alone was very imposing.
Ringwraith slammed the butt of his scepter against the ground and ghastly flames around himself. His opponent was moving too fast for him to use Bone Cage, so he simply cast his super AoE spell instead. "Night of the Undead Dragon!"
However, the knight waved his spear and summoned a blazing shield around himself. According to the combat log, the blazing shield was called "Scorching Shield of Stars", and it could nullify any three hits its user received!
The undead dragons engulfed Beethoven’s Joy, but all they managed to do was cause a bunch of misses to appear around his body. After that, well, there was no after for Ringwraith. The knight rode through the spell, reached Ringwraith in the blink of an eye and swung his spear four times in a row. It was a quadruple-hit skill, Armor Break Flurry!
After Ringwraith’s Magic Shield shattered under the explosive skill, the knight unleashed Star Slash that tore right through Ringwraith’s body! The amazing undead mage was one-shot just like that!
Ringwraith remained calm despite the 1:0. He said to Song of Cloud and Water, "Don’t worry. This isn’t over yet…"
Song of Cloud and Water nodded back. "I trust you…"
As it turned out, Ringwraith’s confidence wasn’t blind arrogance after all. For two rounds in a row, Ringwraith used Night of the Undead Dragon to bait his enemy into using his invincibility skills. While Beethoven’s Joy was in the middle of a transition, he trapped him with Bone Cage and killed him twice in a row. Everyone in the China server already knew how strong Bone Cage was. It was a skill that even a player like Purple Marquis couldn’t do much against, and Beethoven’s Joy wasn’t necessarily a player stronger than Purple Marquis. Just like that, Ringwraith successfully drew the game for Soul Battle Robes!
The overall score turned 1:1. New hope had appeared to Soul Battle Robes!
Unfortunately, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and this saying also perfectly applied to hopes.
The third match was Da Vinci Code the Shadow Archer versus God Bone the Iron Knight, and it was a complete one-man show for Da Vinci Code. He had powerful skills such as a Shadow Arrow that dealt 200% his base damage and slowed his opponent, and Berserk Arrow that crit 100% of the time. More importantly, he knew how to weave them properly into the standard archer kit of ice-element slowing arrows, damage-dealing fire arrows and multiple-hit Volley, all while kiting the hell out of God Bone. In the end, his kiting technique was too perfect to overcome, and even if that wasn’t the case the shadow archer was far stronger in terms of stats and character skills!
God Bone dropped to his knees. He lost.
The overall score turned 1:2. Soul Battle Robes was behind Hero Alliance again, and it was match point for Hero Alliance.
If the third match was a despairing match for Soul Battle Robes, then the fourth match was the final nail in the coffin. Hero Alliance’s mage, Death Wish, was an intelligent guy who obviously studied Soul Battle Robes’ battle footage before because he displayed clear knowledge of Song of Cloud and Water’s ultimate skill, Soul Binding Art. After beautifully dodging the magic knight’s CC skill twice in a row, he successfully halted Soul Battle Robes’ dreams in the 16th-finals.
The score turned 1:3. No one was expecting Soul Battle Robes, the first runner-up of China, to be eliminated in their very first round of the WEL internationals!Previous Chapter Next Chapter