Chapter 19 – Starting from Zero (2)
Anyway, the moment her partner died, the Close Range Magician activated her ultimate attack.
After he thought about it, he had killed her without giving her enough time to use the ultimate attack last time, so it was his first time seeing it.
“I hope it isn’t something bothersome.”
Fwoosh! From her entire body, flames began to wriggle.
As her body burned, the tips of her fingers became sharper, and ears made of fire that resembled those of an animal appeared.
Ain’s eyes began to sparkle.
The shadow started to take the form of a beast.
Hyun smiled bitterly at the sight of Ain screaming in excitement.
He had forgotten that the someone next to him used to be a werewolf.
“Look at that. The fur is made of flames…!”
Ain sounded excited.
‘Even if they beat the fifth floor and unlocked a stronger ultimate attack, she’s probably going to pick the one that lets her become a werewolf. Right?’
Although, since she was the main damage dealer, he wished that she’d choose a stronger ultimate attack.
Hyun approached the shadow.
Even if she used the ultimate attack, she wouldn’t be able to defend against the «Vision Sword».
[You’ve dealt 5481 damage!]
[You’ve dealt damage that equates to more than 33% of the opponent’s HP with one hit!]
[You’ve cut her right arm!]
In one hit, the fire werewolf lost her arm.
Fwoosh- Fwoosh- Instead of blood, fire came out from the part where the arm was cut off.
He had targeted her neck with the «Vision Sword». But after becoming a werewolf, the shadow had become faster, so he couldn’t cut her precisely.
But that lasted for a few moments.
Once Ain’s «Execution Island» cooldown became 0, the «Vision Sword» in Hyun’s hands began emitting light again.
[Critical Hit! You’ve dealt 10,578 damage!]
A streak of silver light cut through the wolf’s body.
Before the upper half of the shadow could touch the floor, it burned and disappeared.
[As a reward for clearing the fourth trial, every party member will be awarded temporary stats points!]
[Temporary Stat Points] +250
[Temporary Skill Points] +150
“Is this the end?”
“No… The real trial starts now.”
The happiness of having cleared the quest cleanly lasted for a short while. Hyun began preparing mentally for what was about to come.
While the stage descended, he used the bonus points.
He had already thought about how he should distribute the stat points.
From 250 stat points: 100 to agility and 150 to empathy!
Ain used a similar ratio to distribute her stat points.
[The fifth trial will start soon!]
After they had finished distributing the points, they gulped while waiting.
Before the fight began, Hyun checked his stats once more.
‘I’m in perfect physical condition.’
Was it because he had warmed up while experiencing the fierce battle a few minutes ago? His reaction speed was almost at its limits.
Hyun looked at Ain. She also seemed nervous. After all, it was the first time she was challenging the fifth trial.
“How are you feeling?”
“You don’t need to worry about me. It’s like a duel, right?”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
[You’re about to enter a very deep place of your subconsciousness! Hold onto your consciousness so you don’t lose yourself!]
Finally, the stage stopped descending.
The hands of the clock began rotating faster. Fwoosh- Two giant flames rose and disappeared.
Two shadows were standing in the place where the giant pillar of fire had been.
“Be careful. They’ll come right at us.”
Just as Hyun thought, one of them charged toward them as soon as they appeared.
But as soon as the stage began, Hyun and Ain had also started moving. They wouldn’t lose to the same tactic twice.
Ain used «Execution Island», and Hyun absorbed it with «One Second Absorption», then he used the damage absorbed to summon the «Vision Sword».
Both hands of the Close Range Magician had turned into claws of more than one meter that resembled those of a giant beast.
Ain’s clone looked like an unbalanced monster because of the contrast between her small body and the giant claws on both hands.
Just like Hyun’s «One Second Immortality» had evolved to the «Vision Sword», Ain’s «Flame Claws» had evolved into a new form.
The claws were big and hot.
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The speed increased significantly because the shadow’s movement skills and the attack had combined.
Not only that, but because the claws had become bigger, the attack range had increased too.
The moment the claws were about to tear him apart, Hyun countered it with the «Vision Sword».
The moment both attacks hit each other, an explosion occurred in the air.
A sound loud enough to tear down the eardrums shook the surroundings.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
The pain he could feel in his hands made Hyun groan.
Although Hyun wasn’t hurt, he couldn’t resist the effect of the impact, and his body bounced back.
Even while flying backward, Hyun had a slight smile on his face.
The Close Range Magician had also bounced back, just like him.
‘She also has low Strength.’
From what he remembered, Ain’s clone only had 10 points in strength.
The strength stat decided the side-effect of the shock, so the distance of the bounce back should be the same for both.
[«Impact Amplification» Lv.5]
– Gives extra strength to the attack to push the opponent away.
– The distance of the push is increased by 3x[Empathy]%
Hyun had invested a lot of points in a skill.
Usually, he wouldn’t have spent so many points on a skill like that, but he had just invested 100 points in it.
‘I won’t be able to win in close-range combat.’
Hyun didn’t think he could win against the Close Range Magician in a battle within a short distance, considering the advantage that job had in terms of attack range, agility stats, and movement skills.
‘Then the answer is making sure she can’t get close to me!’
He wouldn’t be able to deal damage just by pushing her away, but it didn’t matter.
From the start, increasing the distance was the main goal.
Ain had also learned a new skill.
[«Wind Barrier» Lv.3]
– You can create a wind barrier in any place within 10 meters.
– The higher the skill level is, the thicker the barrier becomes.
Whir- The air cushion that formed mid-air caught Hyun.
Hyun stepped on the wind and once again charged toward her.
—Attacking the Support while the Close Range Magician was falling!
The synergy between the Support and the Close Range Magician wasn’t as simple as one plus one.
Their synergy was so good that the moment they stuck together, they equaled three, so dealing with both of them became that much harder.
Hyun’s strategy of dealing with them consisted of separating both of them.
He would do that by sending the Close Range Magician flying, then eliminating the Support.
Imaginary Hyun (Grade: 5)
[Strength: 10] [Agility: 80] [Vitality: 750] [Magical Power: 100] [Empathy: 200]
Skills – <+Open List>
Awakening Skill – [«Soul’s Mirror» Lv.0]
Hyun quickly closed the status window of the Support. He didn’t have time to read the skills one by one.
He focused on the Support’s HP.
It was lower than he thought.
Maybe catching him would be easier than he initially thought.
For the rest of the time left, the «Vision Sword» shone.
The two consecutive cuts went so quickly that it was worthy of praise.
[You’ve dealt 13,502 damage!]
[Critical Hit! You’ve dealt 25,917 damage!]
Two consecutive attacks of a damage output of five digits!
Since Ain’s Magical Power and skill level had risen, the attack of the «Vision Sword» had increased too.
Once he finished the attack, the «Vision Sword»’s light disappeared.
Now he had to wait until the next cooldown.
Nod- After nodding, Ain charged toward the Close Range Magician.
Her role was separating the Close Range Magician and Support even further.
Invisible barriers rose.
Ain slowed down the Close Range Magician by placing wind barriers in her running path.
In the end, more than 20 seconds passed before the Close Range Magician reached her partner.
All the important skills’ cooldown times were at zero again.
‘Good. The cycle is just as I expected.’
Hyun smiled at the Close Range Magician that was approaching him.
He swung the «Vision Sword» toward the opponent.
“You just stay far away!”
Boom-! A loud sound was made from the impact of both attacks and made Hyun and Ain’s shadow bounce back.
But Ain was behind Hyun.
A soft impact supported Hyun from behind.
A barrier made of wind.
Hyun immediately used the wind to leap forward.
That time, faster than before!
[You’ve dealt 12,972 damage!]
[Critical Hit! You’ve dealt 26,786 damage!]
[You’ve dealt 13,912 damage!]
He cut the Support three times.
Hyun clenched his fists in delight.
Each time he landed a successful attack on the Support and his HP went down, his heart beat faster.
‘One more time…’
The status window said that the Support had 50,000 HP left.
Only 1/3 was left from that initial intimidating 150,000 HP.
With two or three critical hits, he would probably be able to defeat his clone.
The moment he was starting to get his hopes high—
「Ain, be careful!」
Suddenly a beam of light flew towards her.
Without any warning, a sharp attack flew in Ain’s direction.
Ain heard Hyun’s voice a little bit late because she was dealing with the Close Range Magician, but she still managed to react somehow.
Ain subconsciously twisted her waist.
The white light brushed Ain’s collar and tore it apart.
The Support had used «Supporting Fire» to target Ain.
After making sure she hadn’t taken any damage, he sighed in relief.
「That has a cooldown time of 30 seconds. So you’ll be okay for the next 30 seconds.」
Time kept flowing.
Once the cooldown time for «Execution Island» went to zero, Ain used it on Hyun, and the «Vision Sword» regained strength.
At the same time, Hyun’s heart began beating faster.
According to his calculations, he could perfectly kill the Support within the next few attacks.
Hyun had 250 points in empathy.
He could maintain «Vision Sword» for 2.5 seconds.
‘During that time, I can perfectly cut him five times!’
Even if he didn’t get a critical hit, he could probably finish off the shadow Support.
Was it that the opportunity in front of him had clouded his thoughts?
Hyun had forgotten about the approaching Close Range Magician’s existence and focused all his attention on the Support for a moment.
“… I’ll eliminate one!”
His hands trembled a little bit.
But he clenched his teeth and rapidly cut the shadow.
Five attacks rapidly cut through the Support.
Hyun furrowed his eyebrows.
During the last few cuts, he couldn’t feel anything.
It was as if he had cut through the air.
The shadow Support began to burn.
But there was something different from before.
Unlike before, he didn’t disappear. As time passed, he began getting bigger.
Fwoosh- Finally, the shadow became a giant pillar of fire and shook the ground.
Ain asked, frustrated.
“He didn’t die?!”
Hyun rapidly opened the status window of the Support.
Seeing how he could open the Support’s status window, he hadn’t died yet.
He had a bad feeling.
‘This isn’t good.’
He could see the details of the awakening skill that had remained hidden until a while ago.
[«Soul’s Mirror» Lv.0]
<Can you look at the other person with the same eyes used to look at you? If you’ve nodded, you’re someone who can look at the other person’s soul. Looking at the other person’s soul means that you’re sacrificing yours.>
– As long as the target’s level isn’t higher than yours, you can become a copy of them. (You need to receive the permission of the other party!)
– It lasts for 20 seconds.
<Cooldown Time: 24 hours>
In the place where the Support was standing, a fire was growing as if it was about to tear the earth apart.
The pillar of fire that pierced the skies soon began losing its power.
Behind the flames that had died down, he could see another silhouette that resembled Ain.
The Support had copied the Close Range Magician.