Chapter 15 – Learning the Ultimate Attack (1)
The moment they stepped on the start button, the clock’s diameter expanded tens of meters.
A few moments later, a shadow appeared in front of them.
Two dark silhouettes.
One looked similar to Hyun, and the other one looked similar to Ain.
The two shadow figures were robes that covered their faces.
Both Hyun and Ain’s eyes shone.
They couldn’t hide their smiles because they’d immediately discovered the identity of the two shadows.
“Those… Are us, right?”
“Yes, the left one is me.”
One of the two put on fire both hands.
It wasn’t just the looks—they also used the same techniques.
A pair of red flames burning in both hands…
It was a technique he had seen many times.
It was the basic skill of the Close Range Magician, the «Flame Claws».
Hyun understood more or less the situation. Those were them.
It’d been a while since Hyun smiled so happily.
Do they need to fight their shadow clones?
He felt that they were looking down on him.
Even if their skills were the same, there were differences.
The one controlling the shadow figures most likely wasn’t a person; they were probably manipulated by artificial intelligence.
That meant they couldn’t replicate how they used their respective characters perfectly.
That was probably the only difference between them and artificial intelligence.
An artificial intelligence NFM is very proud of?
Artificial intelligence that feels more like a person compared to a person?
Hyun, who had gained a lot of experience through the years, was confident that he would be able to beat it.
While warming up, Hyun said to Ain.
“Let’s fight each other’s shadow.”
Hyun was going to fight Ain, and Ain would fight Hyun.
As soon as Hyun finished talking, Ain’s clone tried to attack him, but he was able to avoid being hit easily.
He felt strange.
‘Is this really Ain?’
Because Hyun had fought Ain many times, he could feel the weak points of the AI.
[ Imaginary Ain (Grade: 1) ]
[Strength: 10] [Agility: 10] [Vitality: 10] [Magical Power: 10]
[«Flame Claws» Lv.0]
Hyun was surprised at the status window that just popped out.
He was wondering about the stats of the opponent when the information about the Ain clone popped out.
Usually, you couldn’t check the status window of another user. You could check the status window of monsters, but you needed to defeat them first.
The reason why he could see clone Ain’s status window was probably because of the awakening quest.
‘The stats are almost the same… But how well it controls the character is too different.’
The corners of his mouth turned up.
Hyun took the shortsword he had been carrying since level 1 from his robe.
Burning flames were approaching him menacingly, but he wasn’t nervous.
‘The movements are too obvious.’
Even though the flames were right before him, Hyun didn’t back out. Instead, he went right into it.
‘It isn’t a real fire. As long as it doesn’t touch me, I won’t take any damage…’
The fire moved upwards.
Unlike real fire, you couldn’t feel the heat from it. The important thing was to avoid touching the fire directly.
Hyun squeezed through the flame and then used his shortsword to cut off Ain’s clone.
[Critical Hit! You’ve dealt 23 damage!]
[Since the damage you’ve dealt counts for more than 33% of the opponent’s total HP, its body stopped working properly!]
The shadow’s head fell off.
The moment its body got separated, it turned into fire. And finally, it was absorbed by the darkness.
Ain had also finished her battle and had come to Hyun’s side.
“Did you finish?”
“Yes, it was too weak compared to you.”
Ain faltered for a while but then finally opened her mouth.
“While I wasn’t looking… You didn’t do anything weird to my shadow, right?”
“Anything weird…? Like what?”
“Like… Not letting it move… Or doing… Fuu…?”
“Huh…? What are you talking about…?”
Hyun thought for a moment that he had misheard something, So he tried to ask what she had said, but sadly, they didn’t have time to chitchat.
The awakening quest still hadn’t finished. And soon, they heard another notification from the system.
[As a reward for clearing the first trial, every party member will be awarded temporary stats points!]
[Temporary Stat Points] +20
[The second trial will start soon! Please distribute the points as fast as you can!]
Hyun nodded after hearing the system notification.
The awakening quest…
He was starting to understand how it would take place.
It was like a dungeon crawler. Each time you went deeper into the dungeon, you received rewards.
Every time you clear a quest, you receive skill and stat points. If you die, the quest ends.
No, since it said you could turn back in time, you probably had another chance.
Anyway, the basic rules were simple: If you went down a floor, you received a reward that made you stronger. Ultimately, the deeper you went, the more stats you received.
‘So this is why it reset our abilities at the beginning.’
Hyun spent five points in agility and 15 in empathy. Ain used five points in agility and 15 in magical power.
They used the points the same way they usually did to return to their normal selves.
Creak- The clock that had been used for the previous stage began descending.
<Current Location: Second Basement Level>
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
In the middle of the darkness, two flames rose, and those two flames turned into a set of shadows.
Imaginary Ain (Grade: 2)
[Strength: 10] [Agility: 20] [Vitality: 15] [Magical Power: 30]
[«Flame Claws» Lv.2]
Except for the stats going up, there didn’t seem to be any noticeable changes, but the feeling he got from the shadow was slightly different.
‘She looks different…’
While taking little steps, she walked around Hyun.
—Just like a wild animal about to attack its prey.
Hyun flinched after seeing that the corners of her mouth had turned up slightly.
‘Did that thing just smile…?’
Seeing a black entity smile gave him goosebumps.
It looked like the shadow was starting to imitate Ain.
Maybe the lower they went, the closer the artificial intelligence would get to a real human being.
If that were the case, the shadows on the lower floors would get quite annoying to deal with.
Hyun was starting to get nervous.
In an instant, Hyun’s right hand that had the dagger flashed.
Three sharp lights were drawn in the direction of the shadow’s neck.
Even if the artificial intelligence evolved, they still couldn’t compete against Hyun and Ain.
[Critical Hit! You’ve dealt 21 damage!]
[Critical Hit! You’ve dealt 19 damage!]
[Critical Hit! You’ve dealt 22 damage!]
[By attacking the same part repeatedly, you’ve damaged more than 33% of the opponent’s HP!]
Once again, the shadow that had lost the neck disappeared after burning.
After finishing the fight, Hyun looked at Ain, who was still in the middle of combat., but it didn’t take too long before it was over.
“Shall we continue?”
Once they beat every enemy, the floor got caught in a fire again.
As the clock hands began rotating, Hyun and Ain continued to descend through the darkness.
[As a reward for clearing the second trial, every party member will be awarded temporary stats and skill points!]
[Tempory Stat Points] +40
[Temporary Skill Points] +20
[The third trial will start soon! Please distribute the points as fast as you can!]
They saved up the skill points and distributed the stat points the same way as they previously did.
In the empty space, new shadow clones appeared.
Hyun flinched after seeing them.
Their stats were clearly different than before.
Imaginary Ain (Grade: 3)
[Strength: 10] [Agility: 35] [Vitality: 30] [Magical Power: 60]
[«Flame Claws» Lv.2]
‘The stats have gone up. But what’s that interrogation mark skill?’
He didn’t have much time to think about it.
The shadow had already launched an attack.
‘Damn… «One Second Immortality»!
At that moment, the shadow twisted her arms a little bit.
Hyun got a flashback.
—A scene from the past overlapped with the present.
‘I remember this…!’
It was a technique Ain often used!
He remembered seeing it very often while training.
It was a technique that consisted of twisting the arm; thanks to that, it expanded the trajectory and forced the opponent to account for the changed timing of the attack.
‘Do you think I’ll fall for this?’
Hyun instinctively took a step forward.
It looked like a fire moth throwing itself at the enemy.
He wasn’t trying to commit suicide, of course. Everything was calculated.
You could negate an opponent’s attack by attacking at the same time.
Was it because he didn’t avoid the attack? Her posture became off, and he took that opportunity to use his short sword.
He aimed for the joint but couldn’t land a critical hit because she twisted her body a little bit.
[You’ve managed to deal 22 damage!]
Since there was no time limit, he didn’t need to hurry.
Hyun, without hurrying, slowly damaged the opponent.
Even if the artificial intelligence had gotten smarter, he was still better.
‘I don’t have to make any mistakes until the end… I’ve almost defeated her.’
After a few minutes, Hyun was able to bring the shadow’s health to less than 10%.
Now all he needed to do was cut the shadow a few more times, and then it would turn into fire and disappear, and he would be able to go down to the next floor.
But something unexpected happened when Hyun blocked the opponent’s attack with «One Second Immortality».
The shield broke, and Hyun’s arms received damage.
[You’ve received 58 damage!]
[You’ve lost more than 33% of your HP, so your body stopped working properly!]
[You’ve lost your left arm!]
“What…?! But I blocked it with «One Second Immortality»! Unless the damage output suddenly becomes higher…?!”
Up until then, he had been able to block this attack with «One Second Immortality». The only possible explanation for what had happened that he could think of was a bug.
Hyun opened the shadow’s status window.
[ Imaginary Ain (Grade: 3) ]
[Strength: 10] [Agility: 35] [Vitality: 30] [Magical Power: 60]
[«Flame Claws» Lv.2]
– When your HP goes below 10%, the amount of damage you deal doubles.
After taking a glimpse of the status window, Hyun immediately knew what had happened.
The shadow had a passive that increased the damage it dealt when it was low in HP.
The reason why she was able to break his «One Second Immortality» was because of that passive.
Hyun blamed his carelessness.
He had underestimated the opponent. Not taking into consideration the passive skill was a fatal mistake.
Hyun had lost his left arm as a price for his mistake.
‘With my current state, can I keep winning?’
Even if he cleared this floor, there was a chance that he wouldn’t recover his lost arm.
If he began the fight with one less arm on the following floors, the difficulty would increase by a lot.
They say that misfortune never comes alone, right?
Hyun heard another message from the system.
[Your party member, Ain, has died!]
[She cannot revive until you turn back the time!]
Hyun’s mind was full of question marks.
He thought he had heard something wrong.
Two shadows appeared in front of him.
Hyun opened his shadow clone’s status window.
Imaginary Hyun (Grade: 3)
[Strength: 10] [Agility: 25] [Vitality: 20] [Magical Power: 20] [Empathy: 40]
[«The Heavenly God’s Protection» Lv.8]
“What is that skill?”
Hyun was surprised because the shadow clone had a skill he didn’t remember seeing.
After thinking for a while, he remembered that there was something he had missed.
‘Oh yeah, «One Second Immortality» isn’t the original name.’
The real name of the skill was something like «The Heavenly God’s Protection».
Ain: Hyun, can you hear me?
Since Ain had died and couldn’t talk, she tried to contact Hyun via the capsule machine.
At that moment, the shadows began attacking him.
Hyun avoided their attacks and was going around in circles through the stage.
“How did you die?”
Ain: It was a mistake.
“That’s why I’m asking what killed you.”
Ain: I got hit by a strange skill.
“Strange skill? I don’t remember seeing anything like that in my clone’s status window. It only had the normal Support’s skills.”
Ain: I’m sure there was something else. I had full HP when it suddenly went to 0!
Hyun’s doubts deepened.
He couldn’t believe that a Support that didn’t have any offensive skills was able to kill Ain with just one hit.
Hyun opened the shadow clone’s status window again.
“Maybe… Is it this?”
«The Heavenly God’s Protection».
An incredible description unfolded before his eyes when he opened the skills description.
– Increase all defenses of any target within 20 meters by 100 points for one second.
– You can create a «Vision Sword» that has an attack equal to the total of the absorbed damage.
(Required Mana: 50)
– The Vision Sword lasts for (Empathy/100) seconds.
<Cooldown Time: 10 seconds>