The ice didn't hinder the Centaur Knight's movements at all; it merely raised its shield and blocked the shards .
Facing the Centaur Knight's unstoppable charge, the heavily-armored Swordsman was also forced back .
But the moment he turned around retreated a few steps back, his fate was already decided .
The heavily-armored Swordsman lifted his sword, intending to counterattack . Suddenly, a towering shadow loomed over him . When he looked over his shoulders, he saw the Centaur Knight's huge body just a few centimeters away from his face!
That was the last thing he could remember saying before his mind was sent into a whirl . The Centaur Knight smashed its shield into his chest and sent him flying, landing on the ground a few moments later . All he could do now was moan in agony while clutching his stomach .
He was out of the battle .
The Ranger who was about to attack apparently didn't expect that his comrade to fall in one hit . As a result, he panicked and released an arrow towards the Centaur Knight before quickly backing off . Their original plan was to let the Swordsman hold the Centaur Knight's attention while the other three would find opportunities to attack . Alas, the plan hadn't lasted ten seconds before it shattered . The Ranger wasn't ready for such a drastic change in the plan at its initial stages, so he could only back off and think of other options .
At that moment, the Thief who had been concealing himself also made his move .
If he knew that Andon would fail so miserably, he would've hesitated and retreated like the Ranger . But it was too late as, by the time he attacked, Andon had already been knocked out . In a blink of an eye, his outcome was decided .
An intense wave of pain swept through the Thief's body . The Centaur Knight kicked backward using its two hind legs, stamping two black hoof prints on his chest . After that, the Thief was no different from the Swordsman and was left groaning on the ground .
If the Centaur Knight hadn't held back its strength, perhaps his ribcage would already have been shattered .
With two down, the Centaur Knight now shifted his attention to Randolf and rushed towards him .
Randolf quickly pulled his bow and yelled . He shot another arrow towards the Centaur Knight's chest, but its armor deflected it easily . The girl who Randolf shouted at recovered from her shock and grabbed another flask before throwing it onto the ground in front of Randolf .
On the surface, nothing seemed to have changed . But when the Centaur Knight galloped near Randolf, its huge body halted abruptly and tilted forward . Because of the inertia, the Centaur Knight ended in an awkward position; its two front hooves were stuck in the ground as though it was made out of mud . It began struggling wildly, but its legs sunk deeper into the ground the more it tried to move .
"That is indeed Elemental Fusion . "
Marlene said as she propped her chin with her fingers . She stared at the girl curiously with a glimmer of delight .
"That's strange . . . since she has already learned about Elemental Fusion, why would she use such elementary spells?"
When Rhode caught Marlene talking to herself, he chose to stay silent . He was also paying close attention to the girl named Lapis . As for the matter Marlene was thinking about, Rhode naturally knew her doubts .
Typically, when someone manages to reach the level of Elemental Fusion, it means that his or her ability is comparable to that of a full-fledged Alchemist . Alchemists were able to produce magic items and cast low-tier spells via concoction, but Lapis hadn't shown any magic instruments nor used any low-tier spells . All she did was imitate apprentice-level spells . Although her spells were passable, other than in training, there was no point for her to store these spells in flasks as they could be learned easily .
The purpose of alchemy was to make complicated things easier, but all Lapis was doing was making it more complicated .
As for the level of this alchemy, not only could Marlene passively ignore it, it could also be blocked by Lize's barrier . Rather than wasting time to concoct the spells into a flask, wasn't it better to use her Ranger skills?
When the two of them were still trying to figure out her intentions, the battle had already been decided .
Although they took the Centaur Knight by surprise, Randolf still didn't manage to win . When the Centaur Knight realized that it couldn't leave the trap, it hurled its spear at Randolf when he least expected it . As Randolf was in the midst of nocking his arrow, he didn't manage to react in time and was the third person to be sent flying .
Lapis, being the last one standing, knew that her brother was in a difficult position . She once again tried to attack the enemy by using alchemy, but her performance made Rhode and Marlene sigh at the same time .
The Centaur Knight caught sight of her movements and tossed its shield towards her . With an ear-piercing screech, the shield shot past her head . Lapis immediately lost her courage and squatted down with her hands on above her head . Apparently, she forgot what she was supposed to do .
A group of newbies .
From the beginning to the end, it took no less than thirty seconds for the Centaur Knight to wipe the floor with them . Rhode shook his head in disappointment . Frankly, this standard was even worse than the newbie players .
Ask them to go on a mission with him with this standard?
Rhode then recalled his summoned spirit .
From Rhode's gloomy expression, the four of them knew that their performance was unsatisfactory .
"To be honest . . . your performance is far below my requirements . "
Rhode didn't coat his words in sugar . This caused their already de-spirited expressions to turn even worse . However, they knew that what Rhode said was a fact .
"But, I will give you another chance . In the following days, I will teach you how to improving using your own strength . If you can successfully improve, you may have the opportunity to become a formal member of my mercenary group . But if you fail, then I'm sorry . . . "
Rhode spread out his palms .
"You can only be servants here . "
The four of them were shocked and lifted their heads to look at Rhode . Randolf opened his mouth, but no words came out from it . They weren't supposed to be treated like this, still, Randolf could tell that their performance was truly substandard .
In the past, they could still get away with their level of skill because Anne was there as the backbone of the team . But now, she had left, and they found themselves unable to function properly as a team when faced with a strong opponent .
Can they still be considered mercenaries?
While Randolf sunk deep into thought, Rhode's voice brought him back to reality .
Randolf quickly stood up and lifted his head .
"We assure you that we will comply with your request . "
"I hope so . "
Randolf's answer didn't assure Rhode at all .
Luckily Shauna had warned them about Rhode's lack of emotions otherwise Randolf would think that he didn't care at all . But Rhode's attitude still left him somewhat frustrated . Perhaps they wouldn't be this uneasy in his presence if he could at least give a smile,
"But I have one more question regarding Lapis . "
Hearing this, Randolf immediately tensed . Lapis was still holding onto her brother's sleeve, carefully watching the young man who was only older than him by a few years . Although Rhode was aware that both of them were nervous, he didn't plan to stop and continued to speak .
"I can see that she's at the level of Elemental Fusion . But why didn't she use magic instruments? It wouldn't be difficult for her to concoct low-tier spells . What's the purpose for spending effort crafting elementary spells?"
"Yes . . . umm"
Randolf's expression eased up a little after understanding Rhode's intentions . It wasn't a strange question as Mark White had asked them the exact same thing during their recruitment .
"Lapis isn't very talented . She likes alchemy and had been always able to comprehend every theory since young, but somehow, she hit a bottleneck and was unable to improve since . Yes, she has the ability to perform Elemental Fusion, but she can't concoct higher-tier potions . . . "
"Wait . "
Rhode face turned strange and stopped Randolf from continuing . By the side, Marlene expression also turned weird .
"You mean that . . . she can comprehend every subject in alchemy? From mysterious creations, potions to construction? All of it?"
"Y . . Yes, Sir . "
This time, Lapis answered personally, albeit timidly .
"I, when I learned alchemy, I thought that every alchemy subject must be studied together, so I . . . "
" . . . "
Rhode and Marlene glanced at each other, speechless . They finally understood why she did that .
Just like a person who studied foreign languages, they would usually study one language at the time . But for Lapis, she chose to it learn all at once . That was why her performance and ability differed so much . Elemental Fusion was indeed the basics of alchemy, but more than often people would only excel in one division of it . If she majored in mysterious creation, her Elemental Fusion would be to create magic instruments . If she majored in potion-making, her Elemental Fusion would be concocting potions . And if she majored in construction, her Elemental Fusion would be used as a core to enhance magical constructs .
Different divisions had different outcomes, but this greedy girl wanted to eat everything all together .
Maybe this is the so-called saying that ignorant people have no fear .
But what struck Rhode and Marlene speechless was her ability to learn all three divisions . Typically, an ordinary person could only dedicate their entire life to one division . Even if they were greedy and wanted to learn one more, they had no time .
Even the superhumanly player couldn't escape from this limitation . When a player chose a division, it would consume 1 Skill Point . If they wanted to unlock another division, they would need to use 5 Skill Points . These Skill Points could directly level a single division to 6 . Therefore, using so many Skill Points to do something like this was just plain wasteful . Moreover, every division had a different set of skills and knowledge requirements . Even the most bored player who wanted to become the king of alchemy couldn't do it without dedicating around five years to it .
At least from what Rhode remembered, from his many years of playing Dragon Soul Continent Online, he had never seen someone who was successful in learning all three divisions in alchemy .
But now there was actually a weird person before him that managed to do so, at least in the theory part .
Is she a genius or not?
At that moment, Rhode felt utterly helpless . He had the urge to pat her shoulder and give her this advice:
Kid . . . that's enough . Just . . . delete your character and replay .