Chapter 353: Approach the City
Colossia City under the starry sky appeared to be calm, but the hearts of its denizens were beating fast, comparable to the drumbeats coming from the goblin army camped on the opposite side of the wall.
The goblins’ combined psychic power shot up to the sky, visible to the naked eye. The sound of their continuous stomping went along with the drumroll, heightening their morale and increasing their psychic power.
In emergency situations, each squad of the Shadow Army knew their responsibilities. They scattered to their stations in preparation for any orders from above. The only exception was the miscellaneous squad—also known as the 99th squad—that didn’t have any specific duties during a crisis. In fact, their main responsibility was to not bother other squads. They were only expected to help clean up after a battle.
Sila stood on the edge of the city wall. He observed the goblin army slowly marching on the horizon. With his qi-enhanced eyesight, he noticed that the army was unexpectedly well-organized. The goblins lined up, splitting into groups, with each one holding different types of weapons. There was even a group for carrying their battle standards and another group for beating their war drums. It wasn’t like Sila had never encountered a group of monsters before, but this marked the first time he ever saw such a disciplined monster army.
The truth was that goblins are sophisticated, cultural monsters—capable of communicating with humans, similar to elves. They had even established trade relationships with humans several years ago, so they were technically closer to humans than elves who liked to stay in their forest and rarely received human visitors.
Human-like monsters often have mediocre stats. They are considered mid-tier monsters. However, they have the ability to learn and are capable of implementing tactics instead of relying only on racial power.
Several squad leaders responsible for the assault were discussing their strategies on the edge of the city wall. Sila eavesdropped on their conversation and understood the difference between the Royal Armament Guild and the Shadow Army’s military systems. Back then when the Heavenly Dragon Guild invaded Grea City, Cross had the authority to command his members as if they were his own limbs. On the other hand, the Shadow Army was a gathering of mercenaries, so their discussions leaned toward splitting duties according to each squad’s specialty rather than issuing orders.
“My squad will handle this side. What do you think, Undine?” Wolfe, or rather Lone Wolf, pointed at a part of a city map.
“I don’t have any problem with that. However, we still don’t know how many monsters are out there. It’s too dangerous. If they have hidden reinforcements, we’ll be checkmated. I suggest we don’t pour everything we have into being offensive until we are quite sure that these are the only monsters we have to face. I believe it’s a lot safer for us to maintain our positions, fighting them in front of the city wall.”
“Why don’t we lure them inside and defeat them in the same manner we did against the Heavenly Dragon Guild?” Aqua proposed.
Undine was against the idea. “We mustn’t do that. Our previous raid was successful only because we caught the Heavenly Dragon Guild off guard. On the contrary, these goblins are small, agile, and aware of the city’s previous layout. We will have a better chance if we fight them in the open.”
“There should be a boss monster among them, right?”
Undine nodded. “Based on how organized they are, I’m sure there is.”
Aqua insisted, “If we break through their formation, get to their leader, and defeat it, mob monsters will naturally lose their morale to fight. I’m confident that my squad can get the job done.”
“That’s too risky. Haven’t you realized? The boss monster we’re talking about can control this many goblins without any errors. Its rank is surely not just Marquis. It already spells a lot of trouble if it’s Lord Rank. However, what if it’s Emperor Rank? Are you really confident that you can take on an Emperor Rank monster, surrounded by thousands of its minions?”
“My squad has only five members. Our mobility is top-notch. If each of us carries a Crystal of Connecting, we can always teleport back to the city if an emergency arises.”
“That sounds even more dangerous. Our opponents this time are psychic types. Moreover, I heard that goblin’s psychic ability leans toward item utilization. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have some kind of Psychic Backtrack or the evolved version of it.”
Psychic Backtrack is normally an inspection skill, used to uncover the origin or previous owners of the targeted item. However, when combined with other psychic abilities, it might be able to extract more information. Players were well aware that the ‘scope’ of psychic power wasn’t something they should underestimate, especially when the users in question are high-level psychic-type monsters. Through the use of the skill, maybe they could even follow the target’s teleportation and directly enter the city.
This kind of uncertainty is what makes players tend to avoid fighting psychic-type monsters of Marquis Rank or above, especially without studying their abilities beforehand.
Everyone was paying attention to their system window, looking for goblin-related information. Sila did the same, prompting him to understand the worried expressions shown on their faces.
Goblin-related information, found in the public forum or even Blue Pigeon Guild’s exclusive network, was surprisingly lacking. They knew that goblins were psychic-type, yet the monsters had never shown their abilities against players. They also knew that goblins were capable of weapon creations, though their craftsmanship skills were extremely poor. The quality of the weapons they created couldn’t hope to compare to the armor made by the dwarf race or the accessories crafted by the merpeople race.
Based on the experiences of players who used to grind their levels through hunting goblins around the Sky-Breaking Canyon’s foothills, they noted that goblins’ psychic ability was plain and ordinary. In fact, it was as if they only possessed the Basic Psychic skill. This information was supposed to ease the minds of people of the Shadow Army, but it did the opposite.
The reason was simple. The psychic power emitting from the goblins camp was all but ordinary. This meant the information in their hands was unreliable.
Sila swept his eyes down the wall of text, and noticed the phrase ‘Written from a week of experience in the Sky-Breaking Canyon, by the Bluebird of Happiness’. Immediately after, he closed the window and looked for other information from a different author.
As long as Bluebird was the source of the intel, it was almost guaranteed that the news was completely false, mistaken in some vital way, or lacking a key piece of information. It was nigh-impossible to get the accurate valuable intel. Direct experience had taught Sila this many times.
“Colossia City isn’t suitable for defense though. The city walls aren’t even that high. The monsters can jump past it. Being offensive is better.” Another young woman, clad in a magician’s robe, expressed her opinion. Sila had never seen her before. She had ocean-blue hair that fell below her waist. Her stance and manner of speaking implied that she was a confident person.
“It’s exactly like Risa said,” added the 9th squad leader, or rather Saharat, Risa’s biological big brother. “Colossia City is essentially a city for passing through. Its defenses are poor. We’ll have better odds if we strike them first.”
It was the first time Sila got to encounter Risa. The glowing mana around her was pale in comparison to her beauty and grace. As expected from a woman who many referred to as “Lady Risa”. The brightness from her magic power subtly yet constantly vibrated the space around her, prompting Sila to squint his eyes.
‘Ah! I see. Her magic power is of an illusory nature. I have the skill to see through illusions, so I’m seeing this. The scene makes me a bit dizzy though.’
“What are you so afraid of, Undine? We must take some risks. You must enter the tiger’s den to catch its cubs.”
Undine pointed at the surging wall of psychic power. “Breaking through that? It’s beyond ‘some risks’.”
Undine naturally wasn’t a scaredy-cat, but he disliked high-risk factors. He only accepted jobs which he believed had a high chance of success. Accomplishing a job successfully was the pride of a mercenary. Evaluating whether their team was up to the task was a necessary skill for the leader.
“How about we attempt to negotiate with them?” Sila landed on the edge of the wall, joining the meeting.
“Oh, it’s Mister Bandit Gang Leader,” Undine greeted coldly, “Only mercenaries have the right to speak here.”
“I’m also a squad leader.” Sila pointed at the badge on his chest.
“Being a squad leader doesn’t make you a mercenary. Your methods are despicable and you’re a man without honor.”
“I was too fixated on the tournament. It’s my fault. I’m sorry about how I acted previously. However, solving the current crisis comes first. I suggest we negotiate with them. At the very least, we should know why they chose this time to raid us.”
Everyone was quite surprised to see the formerly arrogant Thief Monarch admitting his wrongdoings and sincerely apologizing without making excuses. Still, negotiating with monsters was another story.
“Even if we overlook your past actions, your suggestion is still impossible.”
Undine waved his hand over the goblins in the distance. “Why do you even have to ask? Monsters are the players’ natural enemies. These despicable goblins used to harm players in the past, and it took a lot of effort to drive them away. This time is the same. They must be taking advantage of the situation, where our hold over the city is still unstable after recently acquiring it, to raid us.”
“The Shadow Army also raided the Heavenly Dragon Guild. I don’t think we’re that different from them.”
“We are. They exploited players while we grant people freedom. We’re just and righteous.”
Sila approached Undine. He said slowly and loudly, “As far as I know, there has never been any evidence pointing that goblins had harmed players in the past when they lived in the city. To be fair, even the Heavenly Dragon Guild gave more freedom than us when they conquered the city. At least they allowed guildless players to enter and exit.”
“Are you saying we’re in the wrong?”
Sila shook his head. “What I’m saying is that we all have our own reasons. We shouldn’t resort to using violence if we have yet to know the opposing side’s reasons for their actions.”
“Are you saying you have always talked things through with your opponents before the fight?”
This question was what Sila had been constantly asking himself. The reply he gave to Undine was the answer he always told himself.
“No, I’m not,” Sila admitted. “However, it won’t hurt to try seeing whether the opposing side is willing to converse. If worst comes to worst, the battle still happens. On the other hand, if both sides can come to an agreement, we can avoid casualties.”
Lone Wolf interrupted, “It’s an interesting idea. Still, conversing with monsters is a difficult feat to accomplish unless you’re a member of their race. Even human-like monsters rarely interact with people. As far as I know, there are only two players capable of pulling off such a feat. Sadly, one of them has died. We won’t see him again until he revives after the war event concludes. As for the other, she disappeared a long time ago.”
“I take it that you’re referring to Sila, the Monster Emperor, and Francine, the Monster Queen and former vice-leader of the Royal Armament Guild, right?” asked Risa. She had never met these two players but had heard their names.
“Do you have a plan?” Saharat interrupted, returning attention to Sila.
“Not exactly, but it won’t hurt to try. High-level monsters are often intellectual. If we show our sincerity, maybe we can converse with them.”
“Ultimately, you don’t have anything to back up your plan,” Undine scoffed.
“If you don’t want to take too much risk, I volunteer to be the representative for negotiating with them. I actually have a quest involving the goblin race.”
Sila actually didn’t have a quest like that. All he had was a clue linking the goblin race to the Dichotomous Crucifix Sword, which he planned to further investigate by personally asking the Goblin King. He only claimed he had a quest so that the Shadow Army would be more inclined to allow his suggestion. By having a related quest, the system would subtly assist the quest holder. For example, when having the quest to deliver items to a monster, the monster in question would act friendlier toward the quest holder, opening up a chance to communicate or receive more quests.
Quests are personal info, so no one asked to hear about its contents. Since the Thief Monarch was quite confident, they had no reason to stop the man from going on a suicide mission.
Undine pondered for a moment before replying, “In that case, we will stall until midnight, putting up a line of defense around the city wall. During that time, Mister 99th Squad Leader will try to negotiate with them. Still, our side may change our stance at any moment. We will handle the situation as we see fit.”
“Are you planning to go alone?” asked Lone Wolf.
“The fewer the people, the greater the mobility. Also, bringing a lot of people will alert them, making them think we’re assaulting them.”
Sila then left the meeting and returned to his squad’s headquarters. As soon as he entered the building, his members rushed to question him.
“How about it, Leader? Did we get any jobs?” asked Alpha.
“We get the same jobs as usual: cleaning up the city after the war. Additionally, I was assigned the task of determining whether negotiation with goblins is a viable option.”
“Negotiating with monsters? How? They’re enemies.”
“They’re our enemies today, but tomorrow they might be friends. It won’t hurt to try.”
“But... we—I mean us, not you—can’t stand a chance against goblins, Leader. I mean, we can fight a few, but not an army of them.” Isaac groaned.
Sila thought the same. It was counterproductive to bring more people. Amidst the accumulation of killing intent and powerful psychic oppression, he couldn’t afford to spare his time to look after others. He preferred having a reliable person, who could survive on their own, as his teammate.
“The army won’t call our squad to duty during this time. You all can go to the Skills Training Ground and train there. That place should be safe. Except for Midnight though. I want your help.”
“...” Midnight kept his silence for a couple of seconds before turning to the others and saying, “...See you later. I will follow you after I finish the business with Leader.”
Sila led Midnight away from the rest. The latter obediently followed Sila while starting a conversation by sending a sound transmission to him.
“What do you want from me, Sila?”
“You really recognized me, Zero,” Sila also replied with sound transmission. From an outsider’s perspective, they would only see the two of them walking alongside without exchanging any words.
Sila revealed his objective, “I need your help. Given our speed, we can reach the boss monster and return within an hour. While people are still thinking we’re preparing for the negotiation, the negotiation would have already finished.”
“You alone are enough to pull that off.” Zero was well aware of Sila’s strength. “I don’t want to show up in public anymore.”
“I want this to end quickly. The only person I can rely on is you. Moreover, I want to ask you some questions. What is Montra’s plan? Why did you cooperate with him?”
Like goblins, Montra must have his own reasons. Sila wanted to try understanding his worst enemy from an unrelated person’s point of view.
Chapter 354: Weapon Enlightenment — First Part
One of them was the Shadow Emperor while the other was the Monster Emperor, so it was almost effortless for them to conceal their aura and sneak out of the city without anyone noticing. This emphasized the fact that Colossia City might be able to defend against an army but it couldn’t cope with a powerhouse slipping into the base. Not to mention that Colossia City had been conquered by various sides, so its layout was thoroughly studied, making it easier to infiltrate.
Zero told Sila about Montra’s goal as they traveled to their destination. “Montra intends to create a world where people are united. He wants to destroy the guild system that encourages disharmony. Instead, he will encourage a knowledge-sharing system that unreservedly shares intel, news, hidden quests, and technology. The whole continent will belong to all players, becoming the resting spot for us to form a team before entering the Monster Realm together.”
“Players come from various origins and have different goals. How can Montra make everyone cooperate?”
“It’s unexpectedly easy,” replied Zero, “A formidable foe. A great calamity. A struggle for survival. He plans to redirect everyone’s hatred toward a common enemy, forcing them to cooperate with each other.”
Montra’s plan was to solve enmities by having all players share the same goal. Regarding his original plan before Sila entered the game, once his Heavenly Dragon Guild seized every territory on the Main Continent, Montra would show his tyranny, revealing to the world that he was a wicked ruler, before having Revin and Kawin lead people to stage a revolution, pioneering the new era of Monster Soul by destroying the Heavenly Dragon Guild.
Against a powerful tyrant, players will have no choice but to combine their strength even if they don’t want to.
Zero continued, “I’d prefer that kind of situation. It’s better than the current era, full of endless conflicts brought by countless factions.”
Sila gave it some thought. “So that kind of method exists. However... others will think of Montra as a villain that way.”
“It’s the price he is willing to pay for peace. I looked into Montra’s eyes when he was explaining all this to me. I know he wasn’t lying. He is the kind of guy who can sacrifice himself for the sake of others.”
Sila believed he wasn’t a narrow-minded person, though he also wasn’t that generous. If someone asked him whether he was willing to sacrifice himself for others, he would say yes, but he would only do it for people important to him, not strangers.
“There has to be another way to remedy conflicts,” Sila said to Zero. “If there isn’t, I will create one myself.”
“I probably won’t get to witness it, but I believe that if it’s you, you can do it.”
“Is your condition getting worse?” asked Sila. The last time they fought, Zero had vanished in front of his eyes. He didn’t know how the abnormality in Zero’s brainwaves would affect the man.
“I’m not sure. Doctor Joshua told me that I’m still under observation. He told me some changes have occurred, though he couldn’t tell whether they were positive or negative changes...” Zero stopped briefly. “...I have to go either way. She is too close.”
“Do you mean Risa?” Sila asked without thinking.
“Am I that obvious?”
“No, you aren’t. However, when I heard people mentioning Risa for the first time, your magic power fluctuated a little.”
“...” Zero removed his mask. Behind the mask was a pair of eyes full of sadness. “I’m no different from a dead man. Asking her to wait for my return would be too selfish of me. It’s better if we never meet again.”
“You can’t log out, right? Where will you go next?”
“The Decagate World,” Zero replied. Turning his head and seeing Sila’s frown, Zero realized that Sila was clueless about the name. “...You didn’t ask Fowl, did you?”
Sila shook his head. He did remember that Fowl almost made a slip of tongue and told them something, but he wasn’t interested. Zero, on the other hand, didn’t let that slip past him. The man questioned Fowl about it when he was alone with one of her clones.
“I was busy with something else, so I didn’t pursue the matter. Where is that place located in Monster Soul?”
“Fowl revealed that there are clues scattered everywhere. For example, some spells mention ‘the three worlds’ when cast. What do you think they consist of?”
“They are Heaven, Earth, and Hell, aren’t they? ...Hmm, wait? If the New World is equivalent to Earth while both Heaven and Hell are parts of the Monster Realm, this means one world is missing.”
“Fowl told me that there are three main worlds in Monster Soul. First, the World of Bravery where adventures begin, also known as the New World. Second, the World of Power where brutal monsters live, also known as the Monster Realm. Lastly, the World of Wisdom, a treasure trove for pioneers and knowledge-seekers, also known as the Decagate World or the World of Ten Doors.
“I heard from her that the Decagate World exists between the New World and the Monster Realm. There, we can find other methods to enter the Monster Realm without having to reach Emperor Rank.”
Obviously, Zero was aware that he would still have to fulfill some conditions in order to go to the Monster Realm even from the Decagate World. Still, he believed that those conditions would surely be easier to accomplish than grinding levels to reach Emperor Rank.
The World of Ten Doors was exactly like its name implied. It was a world that acted as a gateway between the New World and the Monster Realm. Many skills originated from that world. In fact, even the Hall of Omniscience is located in the Decagate World.
The world was created out of the game company’s idea, approved by Joshua. The reason for its creation was that the gap in power levels between the New World and the Monster Realm was too large. A training area to help players polish their abilities, readying them for adventuring in the Monster Realm, was necessary.
“If I can get there early, it will most likely be a year before the next player reaches it. By that point, I may have already entered the Monster Realm. For online games, being the first to enter a new territory holds a significant advantage. I heard that no players have yet to discover that world.”
Not to mention a mysterious place like the Decagate World, even the information about the Monster Realm only became public just recently. The system had a setting that suppressed monsters, even ones coming from other worlds, from revealing information related to future game content. It was to give players an enjoyable experience searching and unlocking the secrets of the game.
Even Sebastian, who came from the Monster Realm, had never mentioned the term “Monster Realm” until Lucifer did it publicly.
“When do you plan to leave?” asked Sila.
“Fowl said that the conditions to enter the Decagate World via Colossia City are: being Marquis Rank or above, having killed at least five monsters with king or queen titles, having at least fifteen skills that are at level 100 or transcendent rank, and spending at least fifty hours in the Skills Training Ground. Risa is too close. I will depart immediately as soon as the conditions are fulfilled.”
“Won’t you wait to see how the war event ends?”
“This war is between you two. I prefer not to get involved,” Zero stated his standpoint. “The one acting as me is Bluebird, I take it? Please keep the fact that you have seen me a secret from that guy.”
Sila gave his word, “Sure. No one will hear about you from me. I promise.”
Tonight might be the last time Sila and Zero got to work together for the sake of achieving the same goal. The two of them had been in a position where they couldn’t be themselves. Sila was Nero under the mask while Zero was Midnight. However, now that no other players were nearby, there was finally no need for them to keep their identities a secret. They cut through the air at a speed that made them seemingly swallowed by the darkness of the night.
A few moments later, both of them appeared not too far from the goblin army, masterfully concealing their aura and observing the army from afar.
“Strange,” Zero said. “They looked normal when seeing them from afar. However, now that we’re here, I feel like they are a bit different from normal goblins.”
Sila stared at them. “You’re right. They seem weird, yet familiar.”
Some goblins were drumming while the rest were letting out battlecries. The wall of condensed psychic power approached the two, forcing them to widen the distance.
“Ah! I know! They’re all the result of someone using Psychic Body. These goblins aren’t real. The entire army is just a diversion!”
Two of the goblins, who seemed to be their leaders, shifted their gazes to Sila and Zero. One of them raised a mace in its hand, releasing white psychic power that glowed like an aurora. A hoarse voice came out from its mouth.
“The Grim Sanctum of Weapons.”
Sila and Zero felt their bodies become lighter for a split second. Before they knew it, they found themselves somewhere else—a barren wasteland. Littered around them were countless weapons, old and broken, anchored in the ground. There were also a large amount of skeletal remains which belonged to monsters long dead. Some had weapons in their hands even at death. It was as if a war had taken place in this land several hundred years ago.
Both men didn’t bother to wonder how their presence was detected since their opponents this time were psychic-types.
“An illusion?” Zero circulated qi, ready to cope with an ambush.
“No, this is not an illusion. Either we were teleported or we are affected by a skill that creates a domain.” Thanks to Moon Reflecting Mirror, Sila could tell that the sight in front of him was no illusion.
Two goblin silhouettes suddenly formed out of thin air and eventually appeared. They were the two leader-like goblins that Sila and Zero had spotted previously. One of them held a long mace while the other had a hatchet and a round shield.
“You are right, yet wrong at the same time... human.” The mace-holding goblin opened its mouth. “This place is both an illusionary scape and the reality you were in moments ago. It is a place that contains memories of weapons.”
At least these two goblins were still willing to converse with Sila. They might be high-level psychic-type monsters, but not as capable as Fowl, apparently. Sila speculated that his Hidden Gift somehow affected them.
Sila declared, “We’re not here to fight. We want to negotiate and find peace between us.”
“Aren’t you late by ten years?” replied the hatchet-holding goblin. “Ten years ago, we also wanted to talk things out with you, yet you humans never listened to us. You just happen to desire negotiation now that we have enough strength to reclaim our home, huh? What a joke.”
“The group of people that took Colossia City from you and the group that controls it right now are not the same. We truly want to talk things out with you. We don’t want war,” Sila tried to explain.
“Not the same?” The mace-holding goblin repeated mockingly. “If a goblin hurts humans, will you blame that particular goblin or the goblin race as a whole? Can you differentiate between goblins?”
The hatchet-holding goblin continued, “...In your eyes, we look hardly different, right? Likewise, in our eyes, all humans look the same.”
Sila understood their reasoning. “Since each human is not different, you may think of it as it’s me who has wronged you in the past. I promise I will do anything in my power to fix my mistakes.”
“Do you want to shoulder all the blame by yourself?”
“For now, yes. I’m their representative for the negotiation, so my desire represents the will of us humans. Please tell us what the goblin race wants. We’ll help you accomplish it if we can. Even if we can’t, we’ll still try to find a way for our races to reach a compromise and work together. Only casualties await us both if a war breaks out.”
Sila took a chance to activate Monster Heir with the help of Evil God’s Essence. His speech contained pressure and imposing power. The skill only worked against monsters, so Zero was unaware of it. The man only felt that the goblins’ level of psychic power suddenly and inexplicably weakened by a small degree.
Sila had learned to control the effect of his power. He simply wanted his speech to be persuasive, not threatening. Giving a leeway for the opposing side to choose is also important for negotiations. It was recorded so in the Story of A Hundred Swords, helping Sila to become a more capable person.
The goblins’ body languages still showed signs of refusal, though hesitantly. Reminded of the situation in the Valley of Immortal, Sila suggested an idea.
“No blood needs to be shed more than necessary. There are two of us, and two of you. If a fight really needs to happen, I suggest we do this through a proxy war. The loser will have to listen to the winner’s request. The request is negotiable, of course.”
“You may think you’re strong, but that’s only because we are using Mind Concealment. Do you want to reconsider what you said?”
The two goblins released their Mind Concealment, prompting the system to inform the two players about the encounter.
Ramidas, the Left Goblin King, Level 500 Emperor Rank, has appeared.
Remdier, the Right Goblin King, Level 500 Emperor Rank, has appeared.
“Actually, your suggestion holds no meaning to us. We don’t even have to listen to you. Colossia City will be ours either way. Well, since you dare to propose a challenge, I take it that you’re prepared to be the away team and accept our terms of fighting, right?”
Sila turned to Zero, who nodded at him, implying that he left the decision to Sila.
“Sure, we will do that.”
“Let’s do it goblin-style, then.” Remdier, the mace-holding goblin, transformed himself into a man in a white robe. His height was comparable to Sila’s. He removed his robe and untidily wrapped it around his waist.
As a matter of fact, goblins might seem ugly from a human’s perspective. From their perspective, however, Remdier was considered the most handsome by female goblins. Even his human form looked like a charming noble knight, though it was a knight who became poor and had to make do with simple clothes.
“Kukukuku. Let’s do it. A goblin-style game.” Ramidas chuckled as he transformed into a half-naked man, revealing toned muscles. He had a short beard and a strong physique, giving off the vibe of a savage tribe warrior. His prideful eyes expressed both stubbornness and an adventurous will.
If Remdier’s appearance could charm women with his reserved manner, Ramidas’ would capture women’s hearts with his wild and hardcore nature.
“Armor is not allowed, only weapons.” Remdier explained the first rule of the game.
“Fine,” replied Sila. He ordered Zarnak to change the shape of his armor, retracting the upper part. He also unequipped his Beggar’s Cloak and his mask. As for Zero, he took off his cloak and his magician robe, leaving only pants and a javelin in his hands.
Zero’s javelin decomposed and fell down while Sila couldn’t summon any of his weapons, neither by opening his system window nor using Hidden Weapon Firing. Even invoking a weapon out of a card didn’t work. It seemed this particular area blocked them from using weapons.
“For humans, weapons are probably things that you choose according to taste. However, for us goblins, it’s the weapons that choose their owners. Weapons will also be the ones deciding who wins this fight.”
The rules of the battle were still unclear to them when a faint light began to appear from every weapon littered on the ground. Sila and Zero grabbed a nearby sword and a spear, yet the weapons lost their auras as soon as their hands touched them. They snapped in half and crumbled to the ground.
“I call the phenomenon Weapon Enlightenment, though I doubt you will understand it. You humans always view weapons as mere tools.”
Remdier opened his palm, and a pole flew into his grasp. He closed his eyes, listening to the sound of the weapon.
The instant that the pole touched Remdier’s hand, the rust on it flaked off. The old, worn-out pole transformed into a green pole engraved with black mystical letters. Remdier spun it around, the eight vivid shadows projecting on the ground looking very similar to a spider’s legs.
Ramidas did the same. Flying into his hands was a half-broken sledgehammer. As his fingers gently stroked it, the weapon soon changed its appearance, transforming into a giant maul. The shape of its hammerhead resembled an elephant’s head. Despite its gigantic appearance, Ramidas could wield it as if it was weightless.
“Phantom Elephant Maul.”
Sila turned to Zero and found that the man had closed his eyes and opened his palm, mimicking the two goblins’ actions. Soon, a rusty chakram flew into his hands.
“Sila, just close your eyes and open your palm. Exactly like they said. The weapon will choose its owner.”
It was actually as easy as that. Inside the sanctum, drawing a weapon out will only make it break. On the other hand, by simply extending their hand, if any weapon took a liking to them, it would let them temporarily borrow its strength.
The hard part was that they didn’t know what to do next. Unlike Ramidas and Remdier, Zero didn’t know the name of the chakram in his hands. Moreover, he was a qi-type player, so he naturally didn’t possess any skill that would let him inspect the weapon. In fact, even if he was a psychic-type, the task would still prove to be difficult. These old, broken weapons were no longer recognized as weapons but pieces of scrap. At the very best, the system would only inform him that the chakram in his hands was some kind of iron for smithing purposes.
Precisely like what Remdier had told them. As the away team, the match was quite unfavorable. Not only did they not know how the victor would be determined, they didn’t even know the rules of the game.
Despite the disadvantage, Sila knew he had to try his best to win the game. The match seemed unnecessary at first glance, but it had to be done in order to receive acknowledgement and respect from the two goblin kings.
No one wants to bother negotiating with someone weak, worthless, and inferior compared to them.
Sila closed his eyes and extended his hand. A weapon soon landed in his palm. Opening his eyes, he discovered that it was a rusty dagger.
Seeing that both Zero and Sila could understand the game in a short amount of time, plus the fact that the weapons that had chosen them were quite special, Remdier’s interest toward the two grew.
“We have yet to ask you your names... humans.”
The two goblins introduced themselves. “Mine is Remdier, and my friend here is Ramidas.”
“My name is Sila.”
The dagger in his hands blinked once, unnoticed by Sila and Zero. On the other hand, Remdier and Ramidas saw it. They squinted their eyes and turned to look at each other, making eye contact.
Without exchanging a word, the two had agreed on their next course of action. They leaped forward using Psychic Impact.
Their gazes locked onto the same target—Sila.
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