Chapter 76: A Dark Horse
"The next round is the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals and the following rounds will all be one-on-one duels. The tournament host will be the one who randomly matches the contestants and prepares the fighting arena for them. The rules are exactly the same as the previous round," Noppakorn said.
"I can't believe that the preliminary round has taken almost an hour to finish. Usually, the result is out within thirty minutes for any round," Rattana added a comment.
"I think so. Anyway, the preliminary round has significantly decreased the number of rounds needed to be held. I believe that it is very good for saving us time. Well, the next round is about to begin."
Four arenas appeared in the Colosseum. All four of them were separated by an energy barrier that divided the floor into four parts.
After the prelim, the players would get time to rest for at least fifteen minutes. The faster one became the victor, the longer the resting time one had.
In the preliminary round, Sila was the last to become a victor. Thus, he had gotten the least time to prepare himself. However, that wasn't a problem for him at all. Sila had spent very little power into his fight. His health points didn't even decrease. He just needed two minutes to regenerate his power back to full.
Ginny was also able to pass the preliminary round. She was closing her eyes and regenerating her power since Sila had come to the resting room. Sila guessed that she must have spent a lot of her power so he didn't interrupt her concentration.
"To every contestant, you all need to be prepared. You will enter the next round in thirty seconds," the announcement resonated in the resting room.
Ginny opened her eyes. She turned her head to talk to Sila, "Don't hold back if we get to fight each other."
Sila smiled at the corner of his mouth, "I'm not strong enough to be able to hold back."
She nodded. The two no longer continued their conversation.
Soon, every contestant was teleported into the arena. By the way, although Sila said he won't hold back if he has to fight against Ginny, he hoped he wouldn't encounter her.
It wasn't that he would hold back against a woman. His teacher, Mora, always taught him not to think that way during the battle, otherwise, it would be disrespectful toward the opponent. His teacher also told Sila that once they have stepped into a fight, the fighter is just a fighter, nothing more and nothing less.
Nevertheless, Sila had never experienced a direct confrontation against a woman. Although he understood his teacher's words, he wasn't sure whether he would unconsciously hold back.
Once his eyes opened, Sila found that he was standing on the grass-field arena. There was no notable difference between this arena and the usual one except for the grassy sensation under his shoes.
Sila looked at his opponent for this round and felt relief that his opponent wasn't Ginny but a man.
This man wore elegant white wuxia clothes embroidered with golden lines. His face was very handsome. His hair was long and wrapped in a ponytail, similar to the hairstyle of a scholar in a wuxia novel. In his hand, there was a white foldable fan painted with several kinds of flowers.
Sila took a look at himself. He was wearing wuxistyle Beginner Clothes that were made from a cheap brown fabric. There were many patches on the clothes from when Julia had fixed them. Although Julia had seamed them neatly, the trails were visible to the eyes. As for the Beggar's Cloak, Sila had unequipped it as it was in his way when he fought.
Sila's appearance couldn't be considered good-looking though he wasn't an ugly one. His hair was not too short and not too long. The only thing Sila did to his hair on a daily basis was combing through it one or two times so it was currently messy like a bird's nest. Sila was growing up in a dojo so he hadn't paid attention to being stylish or maintained his looks.
Although he and his opponent were both wuxistyle players, the difference between their looks was unbelievable.
Despite how the battle had not started yet, Sila was wondering why his opponent still hadn't taken a stance. At the very least, his opponent should circulate qi or ready his form. On the contrary, his opponent seemed to completely ignore Sila. He was waving his hand at the audience on the grandstand.
"Kyaaaaa!!!" The girls squealing was resonated from the grandstand, startling Sila.
The two commentators shifted their interest from other arenas to the third arena where Sila was.
"Oh, look at that guy, Deity Lomyok. He is in the third arena and matched against Player Sila. By the way, Player Sila's title is..." Noppakorn looked at his system window then sighed, "Oh, he doesn't possess one."T/N: In the raws, the original meaning of his title ("Deity") is "male deity/god/angel". Nevertheless, it is a norm for Asia people (or at least in Thai) to use this word to refer to a man who is really handsome.
"Kyaaaa. Mister Lomyok," Rattana squealed with delight.
Noppakorn turned to look at Rattana, "Please keep your cool, Miss Rattana. Be neutral, be neutral."
"Oops, I'm sorry for losing myself. Well, it can't be helped. It's a very rare chance for me to watch Mister Lomyok live."
Noppakorn made a boring expression, "So, he usually dies when you see him?"
"Wah? What are you saying, Mister Noppakorn? Why do you have to act like this? By the way, aren't you interested in Mister Lomyok at all? You are very strange."
"It would be stranger if I'm interested in him. I'm a man, you know?"
Lomyok lifted his fan to wave at himself. The girls squealing was echoed throughout the grandstand, "Kyaaaa. Mister Lomyok is waving his fan."
Noppakorn was fed up with this. Although Bluebird had begged him to talk badly of Sila during the tournament to avoid the attention of people from Royal Armament guild, it was too much to ask him to compliment someone like Lomyok.
"Kyaaaaa." There was screaming like something big was happening. Noppakorn shifted his gaze to the arena only to find that all Lomyok did was just folding his fan.
Noppakorn opened his system window to boringly read Lomyok's information in a monotonous tone.
"Player Lomyok. He is granted the "Deity" title based on his appearance and the beauty of his moves. He has never gotten a wound on his face. Some players call him "Jade-like Deity". It's said that if there was a female's beauty ranking in Monster Soul, Goddess of Purified Water would be among the top; On the other hand, if there was a male's ranking, the first position couldn't belong to anyone but Deity Lomyok."T/N: Lomyok (pronounce as "Lom-Yhok") is a name consist of two parts: Lom and Yok. 'Lom' means 'wind' in Thai while 'Yok' means 'Jade'. Thus, the alternative to his title 'Jade-like Deity' is a play on the words in his name. (In fact, in the raws, his alternate title is something translated as 'a male deity who has a jade-like face').
Noppakorn closed his system window while pondering how the hell the information of this player was mostly about his looks.
"Hey, hey, why don't you continue explaining?" asked Rattana.
"The rest of the information is not yet to be confirmed. I'm afraid I will damage our guild's reputation."
"Kyaaa. He just smiled at me," Rattana let out a sound (together with a group of women who sat in the same side, and of course, all of them said that Lomyok had directed his smile at her).
"Miss Rattana, I think we should continue doing our duty to analyze the player and the battle. Otherwise, if you squeal every time Player Lomyok clenches his butt, picks his nose, or farts, we won't be able to do our job," Noppakorn said sarcastically.
"What? There is no way Mister Lomyok would do something shameful like that."
"Yeah, yeah, I was just pointing out the examples. There is no way Mister Lomyok would do something like that. Now, could you please turn your attention to the analysis?"
"Wait, usually, it is your duty to explain the player's background. Nevertheless, if you won't do it for Mister Lomyok, I will do it myself."
"Please do. I would be very glad if you did it for me," Noppakorn decided to stop talking about both Sila and Lomyok. Rattana could say whatever she wanted.
Bluebird had begged him to give Sila less attention during his fights. Although this plan wouldn't work for long, it could help Sila to some degree. In the preliminary, Sila didn't show exceptional battle prowess so Noppakorn was able to cover it up.
"Well, I, Rattana, will inform you about Player Lomyok's information. Based on our source, the true identity of Mister Lomyok is a prince of a small country. He is a half-breed and is able to speak more than eight languages. Kyaa!!! How can he be this perfect? Ahem. The clothes that Mister Lomyok is currently wearing is made of the White Wyvern's fur. Our source said that Mister Lomyok had raided it alone."
"Kya. Mister Lomyok is very strong." The girl's squealing could be heard all over the grandstand.
"By the way, let me explain about the White Wyvern rather than Mister Lomyok," Noppakorn interrupted, "The wyvern is a creature that is close to transform into a dragon. We can call it a scaleless dragon. It varies in species and size. Some of them are similar in size to humans while some may be as big as a dragon. For your information, the White Wyvern that we are talking about is five times larger than human. It lives in a group and their average rank is Knight Rank. Its habitat is unknown. If Player Lomyok 'really' did raid it alone, his ability would certainly not be too bad."
Rattana pouted at Noppakorn, "It is surely the truth. By the way, what are you saying? Not too bad? It's a wyvern, you know? How many players do you think are able to hunt it alone?"
"Oho, I think there are plenty of them. Not to mention the Four Emperors, I think the vice-leaders of every top guild could hunt it with ease."
Rattana was quick to deny, "But no one has tried. They are surely afraid of being unsuccessful to hunt it, unlike Mister Lomyok."
"I believe that they just don't want to waste their time. The White Wyvern gives few experience points. The items that it drops, including its fur that can be used as a tailoring material, is useless."
"It makes Mister Lomyok look refined and elegant. How can you call it useless?"
"Okay. I quit. I won't argue with you anymore. Please continue," Noppakorn didn't want to waste more of his time on a useless matter about Mister Lomyok.
"If you want me to talk about Mister Lomyok, even a day's worth of time wouldn't be enough. I better stop here. Next, please tell us about Player Sila."
Noppakorn read the information in his system window, "Player Sila, no title, he has played this game for about two weeks. Oh, his title status is Lover of the Goddess of Purified Water. The end."
"Given his average-looking appearance? I wouldn't doubt it if he was Mister Lomyok."
"I think the appearance doesn't matter. Anyway, please stop trying to relate everything to Mister Lomyok. The fight is about to start."
In fact, the signal indicating the start of the fight had rung a moment ago. However, Sila's opponent only waved his hand, unfolded and folded his fan. Thus, Sila was standing confusing. He wasn't sure of what he should do.
Should he warn his opponent that the battle had started? Sila didn't want to perform a sneak attack during an official match, especially to the one who seemed to be eccentric.
"Um… Mister Lomyok, the fight has already started, you know?" Sila learned his opponent's name from Noppakorn and Rattana's analysis.
"Oh, what is your name again? Sila, isn't it?" Lomyok said while brushing his hair. The girls squealing was echoed.
"Yes, I'm Sila."
"It means 'stone', isn't that right? It is quite suitable for you," Lomyok looked at Sila from his head to his toes, "You're not well matched for the Goddess of Purified Water."
Sila frowned, "How is it related to Varee? Do you like her?"
"No, I'm not. I just think that a beautiful girl is suitable for the handsome me, ah-ha," Lomyok unfolded his fan. The girls squealing was echoed.
"I don't understand why people always like Varee. Be it Cross or others. Although that woman is quite pretty, her temperament is fickle. She also likes to meddle in other people's business."
The sound of a wooden arm of an armchair being cracked could be heard within the VIP room number seven. Sila wouldn't know that all the VIP rooms and announcers' room were able to listen to the conversation within the arenas, unlike a cheap seat on the grandstand.
Burapha looked at the broken arm of the armchair that Varee was sitting on it. He thought, 'Take care of yourself, Big Brother Sila. I can't help you with this.'
Sila in the arena didn't realize that he would encounter a problem in the near future. He was looking at Lomyok.
Lomyok waved his fan at himself, "A beautiful flower doesn't need to be useful. For me, just its beauty is enough. Since you don't see its value, I might as well take it for myself."
Lomyok's qi was spreading out. Sila quickly tried to resist by circulated his qi but soon furrowed his brows. Although Lomyok's qi was quite threatening, its power was only at the level of the Great Millennium Ape's.
"What do mean by taking it for yourself?"
Lomyok unfolded the fan and pointed it at Sila, "If I win, I will take Varee with me."
"But Varee isn't an object. Moreover, I don't like gambling." Based on Sila's experience, any time he made a bet with someone, problems always arose.
"Ah-ha, you're afraid of losing, I presume? Well, I won't exploit you. I will imprint you into my memory if you win. Isn't that an honor?"
A girl squealing could be heard from the announcers' room. "Kyaa. Mister Lomyok. Please imprint me into your memory," Rattana screamed shamelessly. Meanwhile, Noppakorn was bored. Just when would these two start fighting already?
Sila was agape. In this world, there is a person who is this carried away? It was Sila's first time meeting someone like this so he was speechless and wasn't sure how he should react.
Lomyok bent down and took his battle stance. The squealing echoed for a short while before silence filled the grandstand. Player Lomyok was about to make his first move.
Once his opponent had taken a stance, Sila was no longer negligent. He immediately circulated qi. By the way, although Lomyok's stance looked very cool, it was full of openings.
The foldable fan was unfolded. Lomyok ran at Sila. However, Lomyok's movement was too slow. Thus, Sila tried firing a metal ball at Lomyok's face.
The metal ball hit Lomyok's nose, causing a loud noise. Lomyok got a nosebleed.
Surprisingly for Sila, this attack of him had aimed to take Lomyok's life but Lomyok was still alive. That meant Lomyok was very tough, at least.
Lomyok lifted his hand to cover his bleeding nose. Many female players flew into a rage. How dare Sila injure their Deity?
"Ow, such a sneak attack," said Lomyok.
Sila was very confused about Lomyok's statement. He had fired a metal ball straight into Lomyok's face. How could that be called a sneak attack? Well, afterward, Sila let out a big sigh. He decided to no longer pay this person's word any heed.
"You dare cause an injury to this handsome face of mine. You need to be punished by my ultimate mov… Arg, Ouf, Ow… ultimate… Urg, Ow, Ouf."
Sila didn't wait for his opponent to finish his sentence. He continued firing metal balls to Lomyok's face. The handsome face was becoming distorted by pain.
The more Sila fired his metal balls, the more his frown tightened. Every metal ball hit a vital spot but Lomyok still hadn't died yet. His toughness far exceeded Sila's estimation.
Sila dashed at Lomyok. He didn't want to waste too much time on someone like this. He readied his right fist, fusing it with qi before thrusting it at Lomyok's face with his full force.
The impacting sound resonated as Lomyok's body flew away like a kite without a thread. He stumbled at the edge of the arena but still hadn't turned into a light yet. Lomyok pushed himself up with a twisted face.
"Just you wait, Si…" Not being able to finish his sentence, Lomyok turned into light and disappeared, leaving the uncompleted popular sentence of an underling in movies.
Sila looked at his own fist with a confused expression. Although he didn't use Genesis Punch, he had thrown his fist with full force at Lomyok's vital point. Unimaginably, Lomyok didn't die on the spot even with that.
The cheers for Lomyok that had been echoing for a while came to a stop. The Colosseum fell into a complete silence.
"The first victor to move onto the next round is Player Sila!" The loud announcement made Sila realized that the battles in the other arenas hadn't ended yet.
There was a commotion among the audience. The new player who seemed to make it to this round through sheer luck had unexpectedly defeated Lomyok, who was quite famous, with relative ease.
Sila was teleported back into the resting room. However, his feats were a hot topic to discuss among the audience to the point that almost all of them ignored the battles in the other three arenas.
Noppakorn put his hand onto his forehead and muttered something to himself. Meanwhile, Rattana was still shocked at the result of the battle so she couldn't hear anything.
"Blue, oh, Blue. Since your boy has displayed this level of combat prowess, I can't cover it anymore. Your next round is surely going to be troublesome, Sila."