Chapter 106: Burapha and the Qi Kingdom - Lose and Win
The atmosphere in the middle of the central square of Zhongsuyuan City was so tense that it was hard to breathe. Among the players, the ones who had less fighting ability had to take several steps back to lessen the burden they received from the atmosphere.
The moonlight shone down, illuminating the city in a pale, gentle manner. It contradicted the scene below where a fight was ready to break out.
Burapha walked to the center of the battle area and spun his Trishula before pointing it at Revin, signaling that he would like to challenge him in an official match.
Even though Revin loved fighting, fights where he was certain of his victory were tasteless to him. Nevertheless, he accepted Burapha's challenge and walked inside the area, positioning himself so that there were more than ten meters between him and Burapha.
The fight was about to start.
"Wait." Ginny walked forward. Everyone looked her way.
She took out both the swords from her system window and handed them to Burapha as she said, "Take back your friend's swords."
Burapha looked at both the S-grade swords in Ginny hand. However, he didn't have a chance to take them as Revin interrupted.
"You can't do that. For swordsmen, their favorite swords are their most important possessions. You can't give them to others."
"But, these swords aren't mine. I borrowed them and I have to return them to the rightful owner. I don't want to exploit anyone."
Revin scratched his head. "Ah, that's too bad. If that's the case, how about we make a trade? Those two swords for the Dragon Killer Sword?"
Little Whale interrupted by shouting, "Trading one sword for two swords? Isn't that too cheap?"
There were other shouts, but Burapha replied before things became more chaotic. "Deal."
Burapha came up with this answer as he had quickly weighed the pros and cons in his mind. Although it seemed disadvantageous for him to trade two swords for a single sword, it was inevitable that Revin would want to have both swords as each of them was useless on their own. As for him, even if he didn't accept the trade, the swords were of no use to him or Sila. If he sold them, the buyer would undoubtedly be the Heaven Dragon Guild.
On the other hand, the Dragon Killer Sword was very useful. Burapha was thinking that, with it in their possession, Sila and his friends would have a way to kill Montra. This was the key factor behind his decision.
However, this exchange of swords was tricky. It was due to the fact that the rightful owner of the Dragon Killer Sword is easily transferred. Burapha didn't know whether Revin had planned this or not but suggesting an exchange right before the start of a fight was quite cunning. In the match that would soon take place, if Burapha died (which was highly likely), Revin wouldn't lose anything but obtain all three swords.
Everyone realized this fact and planned to put a stop to the exchange, but they couldn't as Burapha had accepted the deal.
Meanwhile, a certain group of people who had fought previously in the battle area were discontent due to the fact that Revin used the sword that would be the event reward to make an exchange.
"You can't do that. That sword is the reward for the last winner in this area, isn't it? I have spent five days here. That sword is mine to take."
"No, it's mine."
"No, it's mine instead."
An argument broke out. Revin made a grin while lifting his hand up.
"Flaming Blades of the Underworld."
Several blades shot at all the players who were busy arguing. All of them cried in pain before their bodies scattered into beams of light.
"With this, the sword belongs to me now. Any complaints?" Revin said with a smile but no one smiled back at him.
The black Dragon Killer Sword engraved with gold characters was thrown at the ground in front of Burapha as if it was a worthless item. The tip of the blade dug into the ground. The handle swayed from the impact.
"Hurry up and keep the sword. I want to finish the match soon," Revin urged Burapha.
"Miss Ginny, you should leave the area already," Burapha said to Ginny, intending to address her in a more formal way.
Ginny didn't say anything but kept both the swords into her system window and backed off to stand behind Revin.
Burapha opened his system window. Its pitch black color caused many players to be surprised.
He purposely used the system window to cover the sword he lifted up while using his back to obscure the sight from others.
For the record, the transparency of the system window was adjustable. Normally, players would set it to be completely transparent. With this, they could have a clear view of the surrounding even if they have their system window open. This was a common, useful, little tip.
As for Burapha, he decided to do the opposite. Instead of setting it to be transparent, he set it to be completely opaque. This way, other players wouldn't be able to see what he was doing through it. It was a gimmick that he discovered on his own. He was quite certain that no skill or ability was able to see through the system window. He guessed that it must be due to the fact that it was a part of the system.
Rather than putting the Dragon Killer Sword into the system window, Burapha put it inside a wooden box first, before putting the box back into the system window.
Burapha grinned. He was a merchant. There was no way he would allow himself to suffer from a deal. Many players might think that the item he just brought out was a useless item. However, Burapha believed that there wasn't a single useless item in the world. It was just that people didn't realize how to utilize it.
The wooden box just now was an F-grade mini storage box. It was a small wooden box that could keep one item within. Since the inventory aspect of the system window could do this from the start, this box was deemed useless.
However, Burapha utilized it by keeping the Dragon Killer Sword within it. This meant that the current Burapha didn't possess the Dragon Killer Sword. He only possessed the wooden box that contained one item.
Even if he were to die, Revin wouldn't get the sword back.
The system window was turned off. Except for Burapha himself, the only person that noticed what Burapha had done was White Swan, who was standing near him. She couldn't help but admire Burapha's wit.
Once the black system window disappeared, Revin lifted his hand up and several of the Flaming Blades that were stabbed into the ground floated up and combined into a single flame blade in Revin's hand. The blade was two-meters long and didn't have a handle. However, Revin could easily hold it in his hand like he wasn't affected by the heat at all.
"Won't you use your main weapon?" Burapha asked.
"My Black Dragon Sword will only be used on the people who deserve it. As for you, a weapon materialized from magic power is enough," replied Revin.
Burapha didn't let his emotions waver due to Revin's provocation. He slowly moved his Trishula and clad himself in several layers of psychic power reinforcement. The number of layers started at three and kept increasing.
Revin was an offensive person. He waited no longer and charged at Burapha at high speed.
There was no mercy.
Burapha wasn't able to keep up with the speed. Not at all. All he could do was clad himself with more psychic power and thrust the Trishula forward.
Revin's blade struck down at the center of the Trishula. He splendidly made use of the impact to shift his aim and strike at Burapha, causing Burapha to fly several meters away.
"It's over. I didn't even break a sweat," said Revin while many of the onlookers were rubbing their eyes. Revin's attack was a high-speed slash, and some players couldn't make heads nor tails of what had happened.
The difference in the ability of both contestants was too vast.
However, Burapha's body didn't turn into light and disappear like Revin had anticipated. He pulled himself up from the ground and coughed up blood. The grade Godly Oceanic Armor had broken apart while the Oceanic Trishula was also broken into half at the point where it received Revin's strike. Despite Revin not using the Black Dragon Sword, his devastated state was the result. If Revin were to use it, Burapha's death would be certain.
Burapha viewed the weapon and the armor that he had received from Sila with melancholic eyes. He had taken good care of them since the day he got them.
He knew that Sila wouldn't blame him, still, he couldn't help but feel ashamed.
Burapha took the upper part of the broken Trishula with his hand. The length of this part was only a meter.
Revin was surprised that Burapha was still alive. Even if he didn't bring out his main weapon, he was by no means holding back. The reason that his opponent was still alive would only indicate one thing: this man in front of him wasn't an ordinary merchant.
Burapha readied his battered body. The shorter length of his weapon caused him to be able to reinforce his psychic power quicker. He didn't wait for Revin's second attack but forcefully charged at him using Psychic Impact.
Revin's body was engulfed in flames. He didn't even care about Burapha's incoming attack. The flame blade in his hand shook and was used to slash at Burapha.
Revin's slash was quicker and the impact pressed Burapha to the ground. Meanwhile, Burapha's Trishula was successfully thrust at Revin's body.
His red hair flickered. Revin smiled as Burapha's psychic power wasn't potent enough to harm him.
However, the lying Burapha was still alive. This caused Revin to be at a loss for words. His opponent was supposed to die from the very first slash.
Suddenly, Revin's body was hit by an unseen force. Although he wasn't hit by a powerful blow, the impact was continuous and Revin was hit by eight consecutive blows. He, who had lessened the magic power reinforcement on his body, was thrown off balance and had to take eight steps back to regain his footing.
This was caused by Burapha's family martial art, Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art. Although the strike itself wasn't threatening, the inner force behind the strike was continuous as sea waves. The more skillful the user was, the higher the number of waves. It could be used both offensively and defensively.
The reason Burapha's father was once invited to play Monster Soul during the closed beta was because of this unique lance art.
There was no way a tiger's offspring could be a dog. Although Burapha hadn't put in effort to learn the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art, he had practiced it since childhood.
Since Burapha had entered the game, he had never once fought against a player. His opponents were always monsters. Every time, he would plan ahead to give himself the advantage so he could win against them without difficulty. Thus, this was the first time Burapha showed this lance art to the world.
Everyone looked at Burapha as if he was a freak. He was just an unknown merchant without any affiliation, but he managed to land a hit that caused the Flame Monarch to take eight steps backward.
Revin looked at his footprints which were deep in the ground. The Psychic Impact that Burapha just used on him wasn't a simple Psychic Impact. It was way heavier. Each impact he took supported the previous one. It was fortunate for Revin that he still clad himself with some magic power at that time, otherwise, he would've ended up with internal injuries.
"I misjudged you." Revin pulled the Black Dragon Sword from his system window and leaned it on his shoulder.
Burapha's remaining strength wasn't even enough to support himself to stand back up. Since birth, he had never once desired to fight nor desired to win. For him, fighting was savage. His father had forced him to practice the lance art despite him not wanting to.
For those sparring matches against opponents that his father had prepared for him, Burapha could tell that all of them had held back to let him win. Nevertheless, he didn't mind. For him, winning or losing wasn't important.
Thinking back, life indeed played a prank on him. The first fight that he wanted himself, the first fight that he desired to win for the first time, resulted in his loss.
Revin didn't care whether Burapha could stand back up. In battle, being gentle to an opponent was like being harsh on oneself. He had never shown mercy against any of his enemies, and Burapha wouldn't be the first, especially when Burapha had been bad-mouthing his friend.
The black sword was covered in flame, dyeing it orange. Revin instantly stepped forward, thrusting his sword at the defenseless Burapha.
However, in the blink of an eye, walls made of qi suddenly emerged and blocked Revin's thrust. He backed off to his previous spot while looking at the person who stuck his nose into the battle.
Little Whale took three steps forward. "This Little Brother can no longer fight. It's your win. Do you have to take his life?"
"I have never let an injured opponent survived."
"And I have never let my drinking partner die in front of my eyes." Little Whale materialized a wall made of qi in front of him. Witnessing it, Revin realized that the man in front of him was an expert.
"Why don't you dare to declare your name?"
"Hahaha, I, Beluga, have never been afraid of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. Why wouldn't I dare?"
"Beluga, the leader of the Mountain Thieves League?" Revin had heard this name from Montra. Well, he had been in seclusion, practicing with Kavin, so he wasn't sure.
Elso, who had been standing in the back, stepped forward. The psychic power that engulfed his body made him appear like a cloud of smoke. It was hard to see him, especially at night. A black short sword was held in his hand, ready to be used. He was famous for player killing, like Varee. Elso's strike was hard to see and dangerous. Although his speed was inferior to Zero's, it was enough. When players died by his hand, the last thing they saw was a streak of black light. Thus, people called him by his title: Black Flash.
Elso and Nednapha were quite powerful, as one could attack in close range without being noticed while the other could attack from a far distance where the enemy couldn't fight back. The two of them were the left and right hands of the Mountain Thieves League that people were wary of.
As for Beluga, he was completely different from the two. He possessed firm, strong qi that was quite unique, unlike Fargo's. The wall made of Qi of Little Turtle combined with a masterful application of Cruise Breeze would allow him to be able to hold his ground even against opponents like Lone Wolf or Zero.
The three of them were the main reason why the Mountain Thieves League could still survive to this day.
White Swan approached Burapha and transmitted her qi to treat his injuries. She wasn't as skilled as others combat-wise but her ability regarding treatment was top class.
"How can the Mountain Thieves League's core members gather in this place?" Revin questioned. If Beluga, Elso, and Nednapha (who he guessed might be hiding somewhere) joined forces, he wasn't sure that he could keep up with them.
"The Heavenly Dragon Guild is kind enough to give away the sword to others, so it's normal that we would be here," Beluga said smilingly.
"Since you are bandits, do you plan to steal it?" Revin stared at Beluga.
"That's not right. Although we are unjust bandits, we wouldn't dare lower ourselves to become as righteous as you guys. Look at you, one of the Two Monarchs, trying to rob a sword from a merchant."
It was a sarcastic remark aimed at the Heavenly Dragon Guild.
The body of Elso disappeared as if he was a smoke. Revin was tense. "As expected of the unjust ones, you are the leader of the guild but you're ganging up on me."
Beluga laughed. "Hahaha, no need to praise us. We are the unjust side anyway. Your esteemed Flame Monarch instead deserves some praise. As expected of the righteous one, you even dare to rob a sword from a merchant. You have my respect. Even we wouldn't sink that low to do that. Hahaha."
Revin didn't have the luxury to be distracted by the opposing sarcastic remark. He activated Dragon Domain. The pine tree leaves scattered on the ground began to be engulfed in flames.
However, Beluga flicked his wrists in a circular motion and pushed his palms forward. Soon, the walls made of qi were pushed away and the flame were all extinguished. Nevertheless, the hot temperature still remained.
Suddenly, a system alert went off in Revin's ear. He quickly opened the system window and read the contents of the message. Afterward, he put the sword in his hand away.
"I have to go. I hope we will have a chance to meet again, Beluga, and..." Revin looked at Burapha, who had fallen unconscious.
"His name is Burapha. It won't take long until the day comes when this name will naturally enter your ears even if you don't want it to."
Revin nodded and turned his head to Ginny. "You have registered my name in your contact list. Be sure to contact me later." Afterward, he soared away, leaving the central square.
Ginny felt awkward and hesitated for a moment while looking at Burapha who was lying on the ground. Finally, she decided to soar after Revin.
Elso's body re-emerged next to Beluga as he asked, "What should we do next, Boss?"
"Protecting Burapha takes priority. If we follow Revin, Burapha will be killed by the players here."
The reason Revin left easily wasn't only because of Montra's message, but because he had also successfully accomplished the task Montra had given him. From now on, Burapha's name would become famous and many players would hunt him for the sword.
Burapha wouldn't know that, when he regained consciousness, his life in Monster Soul would not be much different from Sila's.