Twenty minutes earlier .
Sila maintained his top speed and finally reached the area where Asura and Franz had been facing off against Shuran . Since the three of them had been constantly on the move within the same area, Sila could catch up to them within ten minutes .
Once he had entered the range of Shuran’s Wrath, Sila’s health points started to decline at a slow, yet steady pace . He immediately reached out with his qi, trying to pinpoint the locations of the three who came before him .
Thanks to having already familiarized himself with Franz and Asura’s powers, Sila could find them in no time . Both of them were chasing after a single source of power, representing Shuran, moving at high speed comparable to Sila’s . Moreover, when Franz and Asura were about to corner him, Shuran’s body miraculously vanished and reappeared somewhere else .
Sila closed his eyes and activated Far Sight . The scene of Shuran wearing a light brown cloak, concealing himself with the color of the wasteland, appeared in Sila’s mind .
Shuran in tight wuxia clothing had a metal bow readied in his hand . He was constantly moving, keeping his distance from Franz and Asura .
Sila calmly observed Shuran’s movement . Once Shuran was close to being cornered, his body once again vanished and reappeared at a kilometer away .
With his eyes closely observing Shuran, Sila noticed that he kept dropping something on the ground while he was running . His curiosity piqued, Sila used Far Sight to zoom in .
What Shuran had been dropping was a steel pin . Once he dropped it, he would use his foot to press it down, digging it into the wasteland . The pin looked like an ordinary pebble and didn’t emit any kind of energy . If Sila didn’t personally see Shuran dropping the pins, he would undoubtedly overlook them .
“Those pins look familiar . Where have I seen them?” Sila muttered to himself as he tried to remember .
Shuran vanished and reappeared again . His body emerged on top of one of the pins and the pin shattered . It was at that moment that Sila finally realized what the pins reminded him of .
“Crystal of Connecting? Hmm? But the shape is not the same . ”
What Shuran was utilizing was the Sky Connector Pin, an item that the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s inventors developed exclusively for the guild’s members . It was modified using the Crystal of Connecting as a prototype . Its ability was teleporting a player from one pin to another . While useful, it suffered from the major drawback of having an extremely limited range, unlike the original Crystal .
Shuran brought a lot of them from the guild’s treasury in order to change his location while sniping .
“Its main ability must be allowing Shuran to teleport to where the pins are . ”
Sila tried to locate the other pins but it was useless . The pins blended in with the color of the wasteland . He had no way to find any of them .
“In that case, I will need to join the chase and pressure him . ”
In the beginning, Sila thought that as Shuran was an archer, his prominent points would only be accuracy and long-range attack power . However, he realized now that he was dead wrong . Exactly because Shuran was an archer, a ranged attacker who needed to be aware of distance above all else, he had polised his speed more than his other stats . Only with sufficient speed could he freely keep his distance away from his target .
One of Shuran’s favorite tactics was a hit-and-run strategy . He could run backward at extremely high speed and maintain his top form for twelve hours . Shuran could do the backward running without looking back thanks to his high mastery of God's Cathedral .
In fact, he had noticed for a while that Sila had entered his range . Nevertheless, as Sila didn’t make any moves, he didn’t care . If Sila just stayed in Wrath’s range, his health points would simply continue to decline .
Sila was constantly circulating Yin Yang Energy to recover his decreasing health points, though he noticed that the constant damage done on him was getting higher and higher, based on how close he was to Shuran and how long he had been within range .
Sila intended to finish the fight as quickly as possible, so he decided to stop using his energy to heal and focused on speed . He shot off after Shuran, moving at twice his earlier speed .
Shuran was surprised, though he didn’t panic . All he did was nock three arrows with his left hand, cladding each of them with qi reinforcement before releasing them .
All three arrows suddenly vanished from Sila’s line of sight .
It wasn’t the work of magic nor psychic power concealment . The arrows themselves were simply shot at an extreme speed that the eyes couldn’t follow .
Three life-threatening attacks came at Sila from different angles . It seemed Shuran could use his qi to manipulate the direction of the arrows he fired to some degree .
Sila promptly activated Stellar Wheel . This art wasn’t suitable for using on the move, so his speed sharply fell . The energy within his body circulated clockwise and his right hand waved at the three arrows once before guiding them back to Shuran at the same speed .
Although Sila’s action seemed easy, he had to spend a third of his full power in order to achieve such a feat . This implied that the qi cladding in each of Shuran’s arrows was powerful . If Sila was hit by even one of them, the damage would be severe .
Sila still wasn’t satisfied . As the three arrows flew forward, he fired ten suntetsu, which flew closely behind the arrows . His body stopped once to adjust his breathing before he too went after them .
Shuran frowned and fired one more arrow to counter . Once the arrow he fired was about to go past the first three arrows that Sila reflected, he exploded the qi within it . This offset the other arrows, making it easy for Shuran to dodge .
Sila’s hidden weapons were even more simple to cope with . Superficially, firing a hidden weapon from a distance was a type of long-range attack . However, what truly made a hidden weapon scary was the secrecy; how it stabbed the opponent at close range without them knowing when it was fired . As a result, firing hidden weapons from a distance could easily be dealt with .
Like this, they shouldn’t be called hidden weapons . Rather, they should be called exposed weapons .
Shuran wielded an arrow in his hand and used it to deflect the suntetsu one by one, not making any mistakes . With God's Cathedral, he could see through the subtle differences in their speeds .
The distance between Sila and Shuran was closing . Sila accelerated his speed even more while Shuran calmly nocked another arrow . The moment he let it loose, a qi-strengthened arrow was shooting toward Sila’s face .
Sila didn’t want to reduce his speed as that would widen the distance . Instead of using Stellar Wheel, he chose to use One Above All, dividing his power into two parts; one on his palm and the other on the tip of his foot .
His foot tapped the ground and an explosion occurred . The explosive power accelerated his speed to yet another degree, closing the distance even faster than before . Sila relied on his sharp intuition to dodge the arrow in melee range; he bent his head and the qi-strengthened arrow slit his left brow .
Witnessing Sila’s increase in speed, Shuran started panicking . He slammed the bow in his hand on the ground, kicking up dust, before violently swinging it at Sila .
Sila didn’t plan to dodge . He clad his fist with more power, intending to kill Shuran in a single hit .
However, when the bow was about to hit Sila’s hand, something unexpected occurred . Sila’s ears heard a subtle *click* sound as Shuran shot five short arrows at him using the mechanical bow attached to his wrist .
Of course, Sila knew about the existence of a single-handed mechanical bow . He even had a chance to learn it when he first started playing, though he chose hidden weapons instead . However, he had been playing this game for a decent length of time and had never seen anyone using it, so he had long forgotten about it . Sadly, even if he recalled this, it was too late .
The mechanical bow could only fire arrows at a very limited distance . Its good point was that one didn’t have to train that much to use it well . Just relying on the quality of the arrow and the timing, one would easily get a secret weapon to use in an emergency .
If the arrows were fired at him in a normal situation, Sila wouldn’t be afraid . However, currently, Sila was now unleashing the full power of One Above All . The biggest downside of this style was its lack of defense . As his power was concentrated in his palm, his body was left defenseless . Any counterattacks would be fatal for him in this state .
The five arrows were flying toward Sila . The time was not enough for him to change his move . Sila accepted his inevitable defeat and decided to rely on the Black Grim Reaper Card . Hopefully, he could kill Shuran within the next fifteen minutes .
Nevertheless, Sila forgot something . He had unsealed the Right Arm of the Sealed One during his fight against Lost Ghost and the skill Strengthened Bones was still active .
Sila’s right palm struck the bow . Usually, a fighter wouldn’t ever abandon their signature weapon . However, upon coming into brief contact of Sila’s fist, Shuran sensed the massive force through his bow and had no choice but to release his grip on it and back off .
At the same time that Sila’s fist hit the bow, two short arrows stabbed into his left arm, another two pierced his chest, and the last one hit his forehead, though it couldn’t pierce through his skull and bounced off .
Sila was surprised to know that he was still alive . He quickly removed the arrows from his body and circulated qi to replenish his health . Just now, he was very close to death as he was close to Shuran and Wrath’s ability damaged him more .
Blood dripped from the corner of Shuran’s mouth . He contemplated what had happened while feeling confused . Within God's Cathedral, he clearly noticed that Sila’s defense fell to bottom so he decided to fire poison-dipped arrows, targeting Sila’s vital points . He didn’t understand why Sila was still alive .
Shuran looked at the Sun-Extinguishing Bow, the grade weapon made by Zeref that shared many experiences with him, which was now snapped into two . To think that Sila’s attack could break the bow made from a high-grade mineral in one move . If he had refused to abandon it just now, he would have died .
‘His ability is too shocking . . . I can’t leave him alone . For Montra, I have to end his life now before he becomes even stronger . ’
Having decided what he would do, Shuran took a spare bow out from his system window . Although it wasn’t his favorite, the Grievance Bow was also an grade weapon .
He didn’t have to take risks anymore . Just keeping his distance like usual would win this battle .
Sila realized he had made a grave mistake . Looking at Shuran, he knew Shuran was the same as him, the type who studied their opponent as they fought; the more intense the battle was, the calmer he became . From now on, Shuran wouldn’t let him approach anymore . Even worse, his top speed and the weakness of One Above All had already been exposed .
Sila was in awe as he witnessed how skilled Shuran was at utilizing God's Cathedral . Not only could Shuran read the opponent’s movements, but he was also able to notice the subtle changes in their flow of power, enabling him to aim at their most vulnerable spot .
Thinking about it, the Wrath Card really worked well with God's Cathedral . Many were aware that the downside of God's Cathedral was that it spread out the user’s qi, lowering the user’s defense . Anyone would want to close the distance and attack the user at melee range . However, Wrath’s ability directly countered that thinking by dealing more damage the closer you were to the source .
It was wrong to stay at a distance, but it was risky to approach . That was Wrath’s ability .
Fortunately, Shuran also had a hard time prolonging the fight . He only possessed Qi of Little Tiger so his ability regarding recovery was lacking . He reserved his energy consumption by using the Sky Connector Pin to teleport away, fleeing from Franz and Asura who were approaching Sila .
“Kid, how are you?” Asura in his red skeleton knight form came to talk to Sila .
“I’m fine . I’m thinking of a way to defeat Shuran . ”
“I’m so annoyed . That brat refuses to confront us and has been moving around non-stop . I’ve already lost a quarter of my health points thanks to his cowardly actions,” said Franz . Similar to Asura, she was back in her monster form .
“Oi? Why have you only lost a quarter? I’ve already fallen to half even though I have more health than you,” asked Asura .
“Fool . I simply took a pellet . This one,” Franz said while showing a red pellet in her hand .
Sila was a little surprised to know that even monsters could carry and use pellets .
Although Franz was qi-type, she was a poison user, so her stats weren’t high . It wouldn’t be strange if she had a skill that allowed her to utilize items to compensate for her inferior stats .
“Share some with me,” Asura said . He extended his hand, planning to snatch the pellet from Franz’s hand, though all he could grab was empty air .
“Royal Blood is expensive . Find one yourself if you want it . ”
“Oi! My bones were used for making that pellet too . Can’t you share just one pellet with me?”
“No way!! I only have a few of them . I’m smarter than you so I stole one or two of each pellet with me . Sebastian’s knowledge about refining is poor so he didn’t know the actual number of pellets that could be produced . That’s why they are all mine!”
Listening to Franz, Asura’s skull face showed a grin . “How smart of you to confess your sins . What if I relay what I just heard to Sebastian? Mn . Maybe he will force you to work alone while I get a break . ”
Franz’s face went pale, realizing that she had just dug her own grave .
“Asura, are you planning to sell your friend out?”
“Sure, if that is required for me to stay alive . Choose . A pellet, or a sweatshop?”
Franz gnashed her teeth and tossed a pellet of Royal Blood into Asura’s mouth . Asura swallowed it and his health points greatly increased . His skeleton body turned redder and brighter with liveliness .
Sila snapped his fingers as he came up with an idea . He was in a game, so he could just depend on in-game materials to give himself an advantage, just like how Shuran used that item to teleport .
He needed to win, and no one had ever forbidden him from using in-game materials .
Sila opened his palm, showing six pellets of Royal Blood and six pellets of Queen’s Tear, which was the total number Sebastian had given him .
“Miss Franz . Can you please teach me how to use these pellets? If I use them, what will happen to me?”
Franz stared wide-eyed at the pellets on his palm, feeling surprised that Sebastian had given all the pellets they refined to Sila .
She grinned . “For humans like you, it will mostly depend on your power consumption . You will have to keep spending your energy until its effect wears off . Otherwise, your body will explode from within as it can’t endure the power of the pellet, dying a pitiful death . ”
“In that case, I will handle Shuran myself . Miss Franz and Mister Asura, can you please help me block his escape routes?”
Franz smirked . “Fine . But I don’t have any pellets with me anymore . If the battle goes on, we might die . ”
Sila nodded . He was receiving help from them, so he should be the one who pays for the cost of the operation .
“Let’s share the pellets . Each of us will have two of each type . Is that okay?”
“Deal / Deal!!”
Franz and Asura hurriedly snatched their shares of pellets before immediately leaving the scene to do their jobs, preventing Sila from changing his mind .
Sila waited until both of them finished arriving at the designated locations .
He sighed . “Those two seem pitiful . They even had to steal a few mere pellets . I should report this to Sebastian for him so he takes better care of his friends . It’s just one or two pellets . He shouldn’t be so stinky that he doesn’t share them with his comrades . ”
Sila had good intentions, though he greatly missed something important . The main problem wasn’t Franz and Asura’s actions, but Sebastian’s personality .
Sila stood calmly and swallowed a pellet of each type . Then, he exerted the power of the seventh style of Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art, Lone Soul, which required a tremendous amount of energy to use .
White aura enveloped Sila and the world seemed to slow down in his cognition . His body shot toward Shuran as if he was a phantom . Power was gradually surging within his body, indicating that Lone Soul’s power consumption and the damage the Wrath Card dealt to him were lower than the two pellets’ recovering abilities . If he swallowed them under normal conditions, he would have died . These pellets were truly terrifying .
Sila kept dashing toward Shuran, who was once again alarmed by Sila’s frightening speed . Shuran kept teleporting from one place to another, spending most of his power . He had to swallow some recovering pellets to replenish his resources .
‘It will be better if I have a way to prevent Shuran from moving . It’s troublesome that he can teleport non-stop . . . Oh? What if I do this?’
If the battle went on like this, the excess power would erupt from within, leading to death . Slowly, Sila threw a certain rock at Shuran, who snorted at such a sight .
The rock Sila threw at him seemed ordinary and slow . For this kind of exposed weapon, Shuran could snipe it even with his eyes closed .
The arrow made of qi flew from the bowstring and precisely hit the stone, breaking it into pieces . Shuran expected the rock to explode or show some might, though that didn’t seem to be the case . All he noticed was Sila’s mysterious smirk .
Soon, the flash of light radiated from the remains of the broken stone . The ray of light shot up into the sky and remained there .
You have coincidentally come across Raidola, the Thunderbolt Dragon, Level 450 Marquis Rank . Due to the hidden quest Decolonizing the Slime Kingdom, if a slime race creature is killed by the Thunderbolt Dragon, that slime’s rank will be demoted by 1 .
At the end of the system notification, the yellow Chinese dragon made its appearance . A black cumulonimbus covered the entire vast sky . Its Dragon Domain, Lightning Castle, activated, and hundreds of lightning bolts rained down from the sky .
The damage it did wasn’t that high, but Shuran who got struck by lightning went into a stiffened state and all of his skills were canceled .
Compared to Shuran, Sila was more used at fighting in disadvantageous terrains . Exhibiting the power of Lone Soul, the world seemed to slow down, waiting for him to make his move . The lightning bolts seemed slow and his body was weightless . He could avoid the rain of lightning easily .
Nevertheless, Sila was aware that his advantage was temporary . In his present state, he was unable to use skills or the other styles of Weapon Subduing Art . He had to maintain his current speed to be able to dodge the bolts of lightning . Whenever he deactivated Lone Soul, either he would be struck by lightning to death, or the power inside him would explode, sending him to death .
Though it might sound bizarre, fighting against both Shuran and the dragon simultaneously was easier than fighting Shuran alone .