The sound of intense fighting coming from where the Black Werewolf King had kicked Clute indicated that at least one duel was still ongoing . As for the duel between Sila and Anubis, there was no response . The fact that no one had come back implied that it was ongoing though . Regardless, Burapha’s mind was deeply concentrating on his own duel . The outcome of the other duels could no longer affect his state of mind .
A minute had passed, but Revin still showed no sign of wanting to separate himself from the red throne . He simply opened his system window and checked its contents as if his opponent didn't deserve his attention . Truthfully, though, he was testing Burapha’s patience, tempting the man to attack so he could end it with a decisive counterattack .
Contrary to Revin’s expectations, however, Burapha became even calmer . His art relied on using stillness to subdue motions . Even when his or his friends’ lives were on a thin border between life and death, keeping his cool was an absolute must . He must be as calm as an ocean, encircling lands with his embrace .
For some matters, slower will be faster . Sila had taught Burapha this concept .
Revin was more experienced, stronger, and had a higher level than him . Thus, Burapha couldn’t afford to put himself into a more unfavorable situation, no matter how trivial it would be, including abandoning his strong point and going up to attack .
“Your name is . . . Burapha, right?” Revin started a conversation . “The first time we met, it was in Zhongsuyuan City . Unexpectedly, it will also be the last . ”
“This encounter may not be our last though . Who knows? We may meet again after the war event . ”
“Nah . All of us, Montra, Kawin, and I, already gave our word to the other guilds affiliated with us that we will disband the guild regardless of the war event’s outcome . Then, we will quit the game . ”
In fact, Burapha had heard the rumors from Beluga and the game forum . With Revin’s confirmation, he now knew that Montra and his gang were serious about it .
The Heavenly Dragon Guild was among the earliest guilds founded in Monster Soul . It always ranked as the number one guild, possessing the greatest manpower and influence . The amount of profit that they had made and would make must be astronomical . As a merchant, he didn’t understand why Montra would abandon such a big source of revenue for nothing .
“I see . . . so this is the last time . ”
Revin nodded . “Yep . You won’t get another opportunity . ”
Burapha inwardly screamed, ‘What a sly move!’ in his mind . On the surface, it might look like Revin was babbling pointlessly . However, it was actually a mind game, pressuring Burapha to believe that this was a deathmatch with everything on the line . Kill or be killed . There was no third option, mentally blocking the option of escape .
True, Burapha didn’t have any desire to escape from the very start . However, having options and having no choice obviously put different kinds of pressure on him .
Revin smirked and suddenly stood up . He gently stroked his heavy sword, showing many openings . Nevertheless, Burapha was aware that those were traps . Even if he rushed at Revin, it wasn’t guaranteed that he could succeed at delivering the first strike . Revin’s speed was quite high .
Every time Burapha encountered Revin, the latter seemed to always change his main weapons . He used his inspection skill to identify the heavy sword in Revin’s hand from afar and found that it was the S-grade Lamentable Dragon Sword, which was a weapon bound to its master . It didn’t have any special options though .
An S-grade weapon with no options? Burapha doubted it . He raised his vigilance . There must be something fishy about that sword .
“Don’t waste any more time . Come . I still have to severely punish those players in Zhongsuyuan City later . Examples must be set, or else they won’t realize how much trouble they have caused . ”
Burapha tightened his grip on the lance . His ring, which Lala was sealed inside, let out a faint glow .
“You must know those players were tricked by us to cause a riot . Don’t you think they are guiltless?”
“Guiltless?” Revin chuckled . “How innocent you are . Everyone in the world is always guilty . Even if they don’t commit crimes, they are still guilty for not stopping the criminals . Even if they do try to stop, they are still guilty of being unable to stop them . If someone argues that they are clueless about crimes so they can’t possibly stop them, they are still guilty for not doing anything . A kind kingdom where everyone lives oh-so-peacefully only exists in cheap melodramatic novels that adults write to trick kids . The real world is not and won’t ever be like that . ”
Burapha didn’t agree . “Some people are trying their hardest to make the world a better place though . That kind of person does exist . The world in your perspective is too dark . ”
“Rather, it’s the world in your perspective that is too shallow . People do good things to fish for compliments . Furthermore, them doing good deeds doesn’t always mean they have good intentions . Even if they do, it still doesn’t mean those on the receiving end will feel good about it . Well, for argument’s sake, even if the result becomes win-win, it’s still an act of seeking self-benefit . Even if they sincerely desire nothing material in return, at the very least, they still subconsciously hope to get the warm and fuzzy feelings from doing it . ”
If put that way, Revin’s world really wouldn’t have even a single ‘good person’ . Burapha was curious . It was a wonder how the same world could be so different when looking from different angles .
Revin held his heavy sword . “That’s why . . . the only things I trust in my world are myself and the sword in my hand . ”
Once his hand touched the hilt, bits of the blade started to fall off, letting out a lamenting cry . Revin’s magic power poured into the sword, then the sword converted it to qi . The sound of the blade slowly chipping away was so sad that it was heartbreaking . Every time a dent appeared on the blade, Burapha would feel so sorrowful that tears dwelled in his eyes .
“The Lamentable Dragon Sword . I got it from a special quest . Only I can wield it . Every time I use it, it will gradually implode . ”
Such a negative option implied that one shouldn’t underestimate the power of the sword . The more serious and permanent the downside of an item was, the more powerful it would be .
Nevertheless, Burapha, too, was confident in his Eastern Sea Evil Lance . His pure psychic power flew into the black lance, causing the golden letters on it to glow . Only when battling against an opponent of the dragon race would the lance display its maximum potential .
Burapha dismissed every unnecessary thought . His mind focused solely on a droplet of water in his sea of consciousness . Although it was a single droplet, its size was as large as an ocean .
“Rhythm of the Single-Drop Ocean . ”
There were no visible changes except for Burapha’s eye, the one which wasn’t covered by his eyepatch . It gradually lost focus and looked dazed .
“Interesting! So you can use Rhythm, huh? Even I can’t do it . ” Revin dragged his heavy sword along the floor . The sword’s wailing sound and the sound of the friction were frantically distracting .
Among the three top leaders of the Heavenly Dragon Guilds—Montra, Revin, and Kawin—the one who was the most reliant on his battle instincts and quick-wit was Revin . He was adventurous and disliked troublesome paperwork . Even though he was a magic-type player who could technically use Solaria’s spells, the number of spells he had memorized was less than ten . Among those spells, not even one was high-tier . He only remembered spells which were easy-to-use, convenient, and could be cast quickly .
When in battle, there were only three things that he fully trusted: the sword in his hands, Flame Phoenix Sword Art, and Flame-Dancing Dragon Steps .
For Revin, the sword in his hands was a reliable comrade—the companion who wouldn’t ever betray him . It was one of his favorite pastimes to fight together with different friends, also known as different swords . That way, he would have to constantly adapt his sword art to suit each sword he was using, broadening his views as a swordsman .
Flame Phoenix Sword Art was the art he personally came up with, with guidance from Sanon . He had been improving it non-stop for years and it was the art he was most confident about .
Lastly, Flame-Dancing Dragon Steps was the art developed from Coiling Dragon Steps, the Sky Dragon Dojo’s basic movement art . While Montra excelled at barehanded art and developed the dojo’s Sky-Rending Dragon Fist into his Heavenly Destiny Fist, Revin took more of a liking to Coiling Dragon Steps .
Revin had sought Sanon’s guidance . Together, they had brainstormed and reformulated Coiling Dragon Steps into a movement art that focused more on movement speed within a limited range . Finally, he got a movement art that flashed around his opponent like a cyclone of flames . It eventually became one of Revin’s personal profound arts, together with Flame Phoenix Sword Art .
Revin’s magic power spread to his feet . His figure blurred as if one was looking at him through waves of heat . Hellfire Dragon’s Scales and Dragon Domain were both activated .
“Let me see how much stronger you have become since the last time we fought . ”
Revin lifted up the heavy sword and put it over his shoulder . His movements were smooth as if the giant sword was weightless . His grip on the sword’s hilt was quite loose . He swung it once, generating hot wind that blew toward Burapha .
Burapha held his lance with both hands . His vision blurred thanks to Revin’s flashing movements which were shrouded in flames . Fire sword energy encircled him, preventing him from reading the trajectory of the swinging sword .
“I don’t mean to find faults, but aren’t you holding your lance the wrong way? You’re wielding it like it is a staff . ” Revin’s voice came from all directions .
Burapha didn’t answer . He simply rotated his lance once, flipping the back of his lance to block the blade coming at his right ankle .
The sound of the impact told Burapha that his defense was effective . Revin used a giant sword, so people would normally think that he would have swung the sword from top to bottom in order to hack his opponent . Revin was sly, however . His first strike unexpectedly aimed at Burapha’s ankle .
“Dang~ Kraizer was also able to block this move of mine . Am I getting weaker lately?”
There was a catch in Revin’s statement though . While Kraizer could block his sword, the man still got some injuries . Burapha, on the other hand, was perfectly fine after receiving the attack . Well, to be fair, part of the reason was Kraizer also counterattacked Revin as he was defending . As for Burapha, the man only defended firmly .
Burapha wasn’t in a hurry to strike Revin, whose position had been exposed . He knocked the end of his lance on the floor, spreading a ripple of psychic power . The ripple was faint and powerless, but it echoed back to him once it had come into contact with Revin, informing him about the man’s actual whereabouts . It turned out that Revin had shifted position . He was no longer behind Burapha but on his right .
After receiving another incoming attack, Burapha pressed his lance on the sword, locking it to the floor . The ring on his hand flashed, and Lala flew out . She thrust her trishula toward Revin .
“Heh~ Did you really think this would work against me?”
Revin swayed the hilt of his sword to parry the trishula and threw a fierce kick as a means to counterattack . Burapha calmly removed his lance from Revin’s sword and blocked the kick . Meanwhile, Lala tossed a large metal barrel at Revin . The two of them made their moves simultaneously without exchanging any words . Performing combination attacks was the strength of psychic-type beings .
At first, Revin thought the barrel contained bombs . However, a split second later, he doubted it . He didn’t think the two would use bombs at such a close distance . No, even if bombs were really inside the barrel, the Hellfire Dragon’s Scales would be able to significantly reduce the damage .
With that thought, Revin flipped the sword, pointing the sharp edge upward . He then grabbed the hilt with one hand before kicking the back of the blade, swinging the Lamentable Dragon Sword up using the force from the kick . The blade neatly cut the barrel in half .
The barrel broke, and a large volume of water poured out . As it turned out, the barrel was a water tank used by armies, loading enough freshwater for an army to last a week .
Racial Skill — Water Spirit .
Lala activated one of her racial skills . The water, which was splashing throughout the room, wrapped around Revin, trapping the man inside .
Burapha’s eyes gleamed with killing intent . He clenched his lance and thrust it into the water dome .
Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art — Undercurrent .
The surface of the water dome shook heavily . Undercurrents were echoing inside the dome, compressing Revin . Blood gushed out from many parts of his body, dyeing the water red . Honestly, he didn’t expect Burapha’s attack to be this powerful .
Burapha’s Rhythm of the Single-Drop Ocean enhanced his overall control over his psychic power . Under the Rhythm’s effect, his mental connection with Lala would become clearer and he would be better at using his power, as if the system was assisting him . The experience he was feeling right now was like how the game’s difficulty level suddenly dropped from insanely hard to beginner . It was a suitable Rhythm for someone like him who was quite lazy and tended to seek shortcuts . The duration of his Rhythm was extremely short though .
The overall situation indicated that victory was already in Burapha’s bag . However, he just noticed that Revin’s hands were empty . The Lamentable Dragon Sword, which should have been in them, was nowhere to be seen .
“Watch out!!” Lala cried as she exerted her greatest strength to push Burapha away from his current standing location . Apparently, Burapha was too fixated on attacking Revin . He was counterattacked in an instantaneous moment of carelessness .
The sound of the slash came after it was done slicing . Lala, who had just saved her Partner’s life, was bisected from her shoulder to her waist . She dispersed as white light and returned to the ring . Meanwhile, Burapha frowned, staring at the Lamentable Dragon Sword, which was floating despite no one holding it .
The mass of water wobbled and collapsed . Burapha had no time to regret what had already happened . All he could do was tighten his grip and refocus, controlling his breathing .
Revin extended his hand to grab the floating sword . He pushed his wet hair up using his other hand . The heat from his Dragon Scales caused the water to evaporate, his body covered under vapor .
“Whoa, I almost died . I really am quite vulnerable against in-game skills with strange abilities . ”
Even without inspecting the man, Burapha could tell that Revin was greatly injured . That series of attacks were his trump card that he had spent weeks developing . He had tested them several times until he was confident that he could enhance his attacks using water . If Revin was hit by those attacks and came out unscratched, Burapha would really consider committing suicide to not waste their time .
The water was leaking out of the room through doors . Without Water Spirit being active, no amount of water would be enough .
As the water level had dropped to their ankles, Burapha tossed out five more barrels . He spun his lance, breaking all of them . He had to keep the water volume to at least at knee-level, reducing the sharpness in Revin’s Flame-Dancing Dragon Steps .
Racial Skill — Water Spirit .
Revin wouldn’t fall for the same trick . This time, however, Burapha didn’t imprison Revin inside the water dome . The target was himself . He spun his lance from the inside of the dome, sending waves at Revin .
“What kind of move is that?” Revin became more vigilant . He stabbed his heavy sword into the ground before stepping on its hilt, using it as a foothold . He jumped to one of the pillars in the room and kicked it, soaring toward Burapha .
The Lamentable Dragon Sword cried once as it flew to its master’s hand .
Refusing to come into contact with the water surface, Revin performed a move in mid-air .
Flame Phoenix Sword Art — Gliding Phoenix .
Relying on the momentum of the sword flying his way, Revin grabbed it and turned a somersault . He swung his sword at Burapha’s back .
In response, Burapha controlled the water dome to spin, deflecting Revin’s sword . He was relying on the six techniques Sila had imparted to him to reduce the fierceness of Revin’s attack .
Revin flicked his other hand, his magic power pouring into his ring, and activated a spell that he used often .
“Flaming Blades of the Underworld . ”
Dozens of blades made of hellfire were summoned . They surrounded Burapha from all directions . The water dome was slowly boiling, scalding him .
The throne room was soon filled with water vapor, greatly reducing visibility . No one could witness the result of the duel .