Rhode immediately dodged the Core Guardian's attack by tipping his toes and jumping backward . The enormous golem's punch brushed past him and smashed into the ground, creating a massive crater . The aftermath wasn't pretty . It was as though the earth sank down a few inches and the flying debris managed to graze Rhode's body and face, causing a slight pain on his skin .
However, Rhode didn't bother about such minor matters . As he retreated, he gripped his sword firmly and slashed downwards in a single motion . When he confirmed that the golem was successfully staggered, he used this chance to roll backward before extending his left hand .
Accompanied by a crisp cry, a flurry of whirlwinds erupted beside Rhode . The Spirit Bird appeared behind him, spread its wings and stared at the enemy . Rhode unhesitatingly rushed forward with his sword with the Spirit Bird following closely behind him .
It was as though the golem ignored the existence of the Spirit Bird, it continued to rumble forward and punch out once more . The Spirit Bird darted forward without the intention to dodge and met the Core Guardian face to face . It was kind of surprising though; one would imagine that such a body with a large surface area would be clumsy and slow . The Core Guardian's movement was almost absurd for its size .
If any logical person saw the Spirit Bird charge head first towards that massive incoming fist, they would shake their heads . But reality was always unpredictable, and the punch simply phased through its body . Following that, a sudden massive electrical explosion occurred at the point of impact .
A deafening, thunderous roar echoed throughout the small room which numbed Rhode and Anne's ears . The Core Guardian tumbled a few steps back; its hard, metal body glinted with the color of lightning and sparks began emitting out from beneath its exterior shell . When the Spirit phased through the Core Guardian's body, it delivered an intense shockwave which paralyzed its foe momentarily .
But of course, the Core Guardian wouldn't fall just like this .
Followed by a sharp, piercing sound, a massive cloud of white steam billowed out from the golem's body . The Core Guardian then raised its left arm, clenched its fist, and spun its torso 180 degrees . In an instant, it's left arm pointed towards its flank and locked onto the Spirit Bird . Just by looking at this, the Core Guardian's intention was obvious .
However, how can the Spirit Bird be an easy target? After delivering its payload, it immediately glided in an arc in an attempt to dodge the incoming 'rocket arm' . The Spirit Bird who barely grazed past the 'rocket arm,' apparently became agitated . It let out a high pitched screech, and a bluish electric charge discharged from its body . The electricity took the form of a whip and lashed out towards the golem, causing streaks of charred metal on the Guardian's outer shell .
The Spirit Bird can't be considered to be in the same league as before . In terms of battle strength, it couldn't be compared to Celia or the other summoned spirits, but a mere Core Guardian posed no major problem for it . The Spirit Bird was already at level 15, and the Core Guardian was only level 14 or 15 . Thus, due to its unique innate wind element attributes, the Core Guardian had a hard time following its movements . On the flip side, the Spirit Bird was also unable to burst the Core Guardian down with heavy attacks . While the electric element could damage the Core Guardian, it still wasn't very effective as it wasn't its weakness . If both of them continued this method of fighting, then a long battle was inevitable .
Rhode wasn't worried . He summoned the Spirit Bird solely because he wanted to lock the Core Guardian's movements while dealing some damage to it . He would step onto the stage next to end the battle .
He was a Spirit Swordsman, not a mage that summons minions . This meant that his spirits would work in his favor forever, and not on their own .
Rhode held his sword in front of his chest on his right hand, then he stretched his left arm out, and in an instant, a pitch black card appeared . Rhode crushed the card without hesitation .
A black mist suddenly enveloped Rhode's body, and a vague image of the Centaur Knight appeared . A translucent barrier then covered Rhode as he merged into the center of the Centaur Knight .
And at this moment, Rhode darted forward .
While the Spirit Bird was distracting the Core Guardian, Rhode utilized this opportunity to launch a surprise attack using his Shadow Flash . His body slowly became one with the shadows, and he closed the distance between him and the Core Guardian within moments . Rhode then raised his sword, and along with this movement, the illusory Centaur Knight also raised its spear at the same time, matching Rhode's timing impeccably .
They struck forward .
The massive impact generated by the clash caused Rhode's heart to tremble . The Core Guardian's fate wasn't pretty either . Its enormous body was sent flying to the back and crashed into a wall, creating a deep hole . Collapsing dust and gravel filled the entire room . However, though it seemed as though Rhode won the clash, he didn't follow up with an attack; instead, he hastily dug his feet into the ground and held his sword upright in front of him .
At the same time, the illusory Centaur Knight matched Rhode's stance perfectly; its long spear and shield came crashing down as it blocked Rhode's front .
The moment Rhode finished setting up his defensive stance, a pitch black object flew out from the hole where the Core Guardian crashed into . The projectile's speed was incredibly quick, and if Rhode didn't switch to a defensive stance, who knew what would have happened .
It was the very same fist that was used against the Spirit Bird previously .
A long steel chain connected its fists to its arm . That was the difference between humans and golems . Golems weren't living objects; this meant that they could use any part of their bodies as a weapon . Many humans fell into the assumption that golems were similar to humans . Perhaps it was because they appeared similar to the human's anatomy? Or due to their inexperience?
But Rhode wasn't on that list . He was very familiar with golems and their tactics, as well as methods of how to defeat them .
It wasn't that the 'rocket arm' attack was weak, but rather, it was because Rhode wasn't fighting alone anymore . After activating his 'Shadow Follower' skill and fusing with the Centaur Knight, Rhode obtained the abilities of the terrifying four-legged demihuman; thus, Rhode could take on the attack head-on .
After discovering that its attack failed, the Core Guardian immediately withdrew its fist and rejoined it to its body . And at that moment, the Spirit Bird whipped up a whirlwind again and clashed with the Core Guardian .
Meanwhile, Anne wasn't having an easy time either . While she received Rhode's recommendation, she knew that she still lacked experience about golems . Since the start, Anne was able to defeat Guardian Golems, but she slowly grew weary . Moreover, Rhode's battle was ever-changing, and she couldn't keep up with their movements . And sometimes, his battle would block her field of vision, which caused her to miss the enemy who was rolling out of the pipeline . But when she finally noticed their presence, the Guardian Golems already began to attack .
Anne screamed and swung her shield downwards at the enemy . The sharp, metal edge of the shield pierced through the Guardian Golem's outer shell . These Guardian Golems didn't have the opportunity to display their skills before being thoroughly smashed to pieces . Suddenly, she felt a blast of wind at her rear .
Anne realized what was happening without looking . Since the beginning, these Guardian Golems had only appeared one at the time, so she had an easy time dealing with them alone . But now, the spawning rate was unpredictable . Sometimes they would appear in twos or even threes, and in some extreme cases, they wouldn't appear at all .
She didn't choose to dodge . Instead, she released the grip on the back of her shield and slipped around it nimbly like a cat, switching from the back to the front . A split second later, the Guardian Golem's sharp blades landed on the golden shield, causing a screeching sound . Anne gripped her shield with both hands, waiting for the Guardian Golems to move into her attacking range . Once she confirmed her targets, she swung her shield upwards, smashing the golems into the air . Before they could regain their stability, the heavy shield once again landed on them from the skies .
Metallic bits scattered everywhere . The once aggressive Guardian Golems were now broken into pieces under the golden shield, posing no threat .
Anne finally caught her breath and lifted her head towards Rhode's direction .
Over there, Rhode's battle with the Core Guardian finally reached its climax .