Sungjin turned. A round Shield was flying towards his neck. He quickly tilted his head.
A violently spinning bladed shield flew past him. Meanwhile,
‘Gladiator Igor’ came running towards him with his sword drawn.
Igor swung his blade. He was quite fast, but it was nowhere near fast enough for Sungjin. Sungjin drew his katana and easily parried the strike. But from behind him
He could hear the Shield returning. Igor prepared for another attack, a front to back pincer strike. Sungjin opened his eyes wide.
‘Is this is what he was aiming for?’
Sael’s Breath was still under cooldown. Sungjin removed his left hand from the sword and parried Igor’s attack with ‘Moon Specter’ held only by his right hand, and blocked the Shield with ‘Free Ark’ on his left.
Four metallic objects collided at the same time. Sungjin thought that he had deflected the shield away with his wrist, but
When Igor reached out with his arms, the Shield returned to his hands. Since he didn’t shout an incantation, it wasn’t magic. It was most likely a skill built into the Shield as an innate ability.
Sungjin shook his left arm which had numbed and gazed at the shield.
‘A ranged self-returning shield…’
He knew from the very first moment when he laid his eyes on Igor that this man was strong. He could tell with how fast Igor was able to move. Sungjin had no idea how he managed to scrape together so many stat points, but his dexterity was extremely high.
And that strange shield… it couldn’t be anything less than a heroic level item. Which meant, Igor was likely concealing other high-rank items that Sungjin didn’t know about.
Sungjin quickly returned the ‘Moon Specter’ back into the sheath. He was preparing to use ‘Deathly Wail’. Since he had tested the effects against the Rapist, Sungjin knew that the ‘Deathly Wail’ was extremely useful in duels against other people.
Sungjin kept the ‘Moon Spectre’ on standby as he asked Igor a question.
“So… is this the way you have chosen to become stronger? Backstabbing your teammates?”
“It’s simple math, isn’t it? Giving up just 10%, and taking the other 90%. In some ways, isn’t this just like how the world works? Competing over limited resources? This game is structured this way; work together until you clear the raid, and then”
Igor drew his finger over his neck.
“Kill. Take the contribution points by force. This is a far more profitable outcome. I realized this from the very start. And I acted upon it. I have monopolized each and every point from every raid.”
‘Monopolized each and every point…’
Igor’s strength made sense. Even if he hadn’t found a single hidden element of the raids, he still had access to a considerable amount of stats and coins using this method. Sungjin replied.
“Yes… You’re not technically wrong. But you will never know how it is to receive 100% contribution points.”
Sungjin was done speaking. There was nothing more that needed to be said. Putting his hand on the hilt of the ‘Moon Specter’, Sungjin charged towards Igor. Igor threw his shield one more time.
‘Whoosh woosh woosh woosh’
Sungjin did not fear the shield that he could plainly see flying towards him. Sungjin lightly dodged the Shield. It will eventually return, but probably not in time.
Because Sungjin finally drew his blade.
Along with Sungjin’s commands
An unearthly screech reverberated and filled the air. It was such a horrifying sound that even the hair on the back of Sungjin’s neck stood up.
Igor did not retreat or run away, but he did take few steps backwards.
Sungjin thought, swinging his blade as he dashed forward. But
Igor picked up his sword and parried Sungjin’s strike.
Sungjin was surprised.
‘He instantly countered ‘Deathly Wail’!’
Sungjin saw a necklace shine on Igor’s neck. It must have had a similar effect as the ‘Free Ark’. While Sungjin was shocked, Igor made his move.
With his gesture
Sungjin could hear the shield begin to return. He could be attacked from both sides shortly. Sungjin tumbled off to the side and decided to dodge the shield for now.
The Shield returned to Igor’s hands. Sungjin stared at him. He was no easy foe.
Sungjin considered his options. But the only thing he had was ‘2nd circle magic’ and ‘Yanhurat’.
‘If I use Yanhurat here… I’ll eventually become addicted to its effects. I’ll start with magic first.’
But now that he thought of it, he had another option. He immediately acted on it.
“Operator, give me Manta.”
The long staff ‘Manta’ emerged from the Cube and flew at him. Sungjin grabbed the staff and held it in his left arm.
“Swordsman… suddenly equips a staff? And in the off hand? Trying to use magic?”
Igor dashed forward this time.
“You won’t get a chance!”
‘Magic… ok, you’ll see.’
Sungjin watched him come, and he swung his sword and staff together.
He intentionally aimed at two different spots, and timed his strike to hit simultaneously. Igor had to block the ‘Moon Specter’ with his shield and the Manta with his sword. But that was only for a moment.
Sungjin began a rapid combination of attacks utilizing weapons in both hands. Igor was unable to do anything but defend.
He couldn’t understand how this was possible; Using two very different weapons in a dual wield and be able to use them effectively in combat.
Most dual wielders often attacked with their primary hand and defended with their off hand.
Igor had observed many instructors fight with various weapons, from east to west. But not even the Grandmasters of their various weapons could pull off such a feat.
Astonished and pushed back by Sungjin’s vicious attacks, he decided to finally use his ace in the hole.
He threw the Shield towards Sungjin at close range. Sungjin had already easily dodged the shield before, and dodging it from close range was just as simple.
But using this as a chance, Igor turned and hastily retreated.
‘So… he chooses to escape.’
He wouldn’t be able to go far. Sungjin’s Swift Paw was already off cooldown. And, he had Magical Spells available to him.
“Binding Frost! Frostbite!”
Igor’s feet froze in place. Igor could no longer run. Igor even threw his sword in a last-ditch effort to make a stand.
There was no way Sungjin couldn’t be able to dodge the sword.
‘So he abandons his only weapon. Looks like he’s given up.’
Sungjin calmly walked up to him. But, Igor spread his arms wide and shouted
It was now that Sungjin noticed his gloves. At the center, the gloves had what appeared to be a circular opening. It was now that he realized.
‘It wasn’t the Shield!’
He quickly turned around.
The Shield and the Sword were both flying towards him. If he only had Moon Specter, it could have been a dangerous moment. But, he also had Manta in his other hand.
The Sword and Shield made loud noises upon contact and were deflected off, returning to Igor’s hands.
‘…I can’t let him buy any more time.’
Sungjin charged towards Igor. He was still unable to move due to the frost. Sungjin resumed rapidly attacking Igor with both of his weapons. Finally, Sungjin managed to knock the sword out of his hands.
Igor attempted to call the sword back to him, but he got distracted from blocking with his shield for a split second. It was the slightest of crack in his defense, but that was sufficient.
Sungjin thrust his sword to the right of the shield, between Igor’s body and the shield, and cut off Igor’s shield arm. Igor, having lost his arm, took a few steps back. Despite losing his arm, he didn’t cry out in pain.
‘What a monster.’
But no matter what, his arm was permanently lost; it would not return like his sword and shield. Sungjin first swung the Manta and followed up quickly with the Moon Specter.
Igor parried the Manta but had his sword arm cut off in the process. He was completely disarmed.
He finally let out a groan. Rather than responding to bodily pain, it seemed to be a response to having been defeated. Sungjin approached the unarmed Igor.
He was a far stronger opponent than he had first thought. His stats were superb, but even more amazing was his ironclad will which could endure the pain of having limbs chopped off, and the clever ways he fought and laid traps.
Before finishing him off, Sungjin couldn’t help but whisper.
“If only you weren’t a troll… you would have made a great ally.”
Igor heard him and replied.
“Kill me. I accept that you are stronger than me, and I will not beg for my life.”
Sungjin stared at him. Unlike the Rapist, he was no coward. Sungjin lifted the sword above his head. But before he took the final blow, Igor added one more thing.
“Kill me, and continue forward. Survive to the end and save us from our imprisonment. Please, bring salvation to mankind.”
Sungjin couldn’t help but freeze in place. Igor must have figured out how the ‘Raids’ would proceed. And as if he was in his final confessions, he continued.
“I was trained by the Spetsnaz. Even if my methods were violent, I had firmly believed that I must do anything, including monopolizing all the points through murder, to rise to the top. But not even in my dreams could I have imagined I could run into someone as strong as you.”
Finally, his face relaxed, as if he was prepared to face death.
“Back in the Hunter’s Hall, I saw the image of my beloved, my parents, all caged within the Purgatory. You are capable of bringing it all to an end, right? Please, make it stop. With your own hands, please rescue us from this hell. And finally, save us. All of us.”
Igor begged Sungjin. But he was begging Sungjin not to spare him, but to kill him.
Sungjin hesitated for a moment, but he swung his blade and fulfilled his final wishes. Standing respectfully in front of the corpse before him, Sungjin whispered.
“I have accepted your last wishes. Must be nice… to be able to push off your responsibilities to someone else…”
Sungjin wanted to cry. But the dry desert wind blew against his face and dried up whatever tears that would have formed.
Sungjin gazed up. The burning Sun hung in the sky. This dry accursed desert didn’t even allow tears to drop. The Operator made a cheerful announcement without caring about what Sungjin was feeling at the moment.
[All ‘Trolls’ in the party have been eliminated.]
Sungjin used every fiber of his being to swing the ‘Moon Specter’ and attacked the Cube.
It let out a loud noise, but not a scratch formed on the Cube.
The Operator continued to speak, ignoring him.
[Distributing Raid reward]