Volume 5: Chapter 5 – Evenly Matched
What Wang Zheng picked was Wargod No.1!
At the same time, his opponent also chose Wargod No.1.
Such a development left the two commentators shocked, and Fawn and Little Suds exchanged looks, "This…This seems a little… excessive."
Little Suds helplessly shrugged. After witnessing Skeleton's earlier matches, nobody believed that Skeleton could be defeated in piloting Wargod No.1. His understanding of that mech had exceeded even that of a god.
Although Magical Bird was a strong opponent, high ranked players like him mainly relied on their customized mech to obtain results; the second they used another mech, they would turn into a rookie.
It could even be said that a customized mech accounted for seventy percent of a person's victories.
In such a serious matchup, choosing to pilot a Wargod No.1 was extremely foolish.
Seeing that choice of mech, doubts began to arise and questions raised post after post began to fill the comments area. Unsurprisingly, Lear cared little about such things.
Wargod No.1 VS Wargod No.1.
Stuck inside the CT control room, Solon felt helpless. Such a development was out of his control because many players were unable to let go of their arrogance and take advantage of the situation. In doing so they would end up handicapping themselves.
On the screen, the number of viewers did not exceed the number of the previous match. After all, many spectators would wait until they saw Magical Bird's choice of mech before deciding to pay to watch the live streamed match.
When Magical Bird finally chose Wargod No.1…
Two mecha dropped from the sky. Lear was no stranger to CT. He had played before; however, it wasn't much of a challenge for him.
Although he had never used Wargod No.1 and this was his first time piloting it, the type of mech he piloted made no difference to him.
Of course, before the match, he had familiarized himself with the mech's characteristics and performance abilities.
"Wow, Magical Bird has made the first move. Everyone, how long do you think Skeleton will take to finish the match?"
Little Suds was brimming with confidence since she was already a fan and Skeleton Corps member.
Winning was the priority and providing a splendid performance was second.
Fawn on the other hand, was upset, having originally set his expectations high, "That moron! After the match ends, I'll definitely go over to scold him black!"
The Wargod No.1 on screen was currently in the midst of stretching it's arms and legs, then it began to wave about the titanium-alloy knife and fiddle with the laser gun as if the pilot were an amateur.
This raised an uproar among those watching. What kind of bullshit was Magical Bird trying to pull? Looking at the aura coming off of Magical Bird made them want to fall to the ground in shame.
Wang Zheng, however, just watched silently as his opponent stretched, and similarly, his opponent leered back at him vigilantly.
This time, he felt like there would be some value in this fight.
Magical Bird finished his stretching, and with a clanking sound, both Wargod No.1s simultaneously began to move, dashing towards each other, their strides large.
At that moment, no one had realized what the battle held for them.
Titanium-alloy knives violently clashed with each other.
Sparks exploded outward, both Wargod No.1 groaning and creaking. The tremendous recoil of that exchange brought both mecha to an abrupt stop. The harsh sounds echoed about, and with nearly identical control over their respective engines, both mecha managed to hold their ground without falling. There had been a 0.1-second difference, but that hadn't even registered in the spectator's eyes.
Both mecha's titanium-alloy knives moved simultaneously, but the one who managed to strike first, their knife a blur, was… Magical Bird!!
He had unexpectedly taken the offensive!
Skeleton wasn't any slower. Both people forwent defenses, electing instead to advance in an attempt to grab the initiative, much to the surprise of others. In the blink of an eye, dozens of knife blows had clashed and the audience merely saw the unceasing blurs and sparks that resulted.
Skeleton lashed out with his foot, but Magical Bird had unexpectedly stepped forward to intercept the kick. Although he had taken the kick, it affected him little and his fist shot out in response.
At the same time, the titanium-alloy knives clashed.
Both Wargod No.1s simultaneously staggered backward three steps, before managing to stabilize.
The audience was completely stunned silent. Fawn's jaw dropped as he began flipping through the information sheet in his hands, "When did Magical Bird become a close combat expert?"
"Wasn't he a sniping expert?"
Back on the battlefield, both mecha pilots hadn't stopped their skirmish. Skeleton took the initiative and launched an offensive. Once Skeleton began to attack, his opponent would have a fair share of defending.
Arc Slide Step!
Taking advantage of a directional change while executing a high-speed maneuver, Skeleton fiercely sliced his knife horizontally.
Magical Bird, however, surprisingly didn't evade. Instead, his mech twisted itself in a strange way, its knife raised high in a reverse grip.
Skeleton completed the Arc Slide Step with ease, but the strange reverse grip borrowed the force of his attack to knock him off balance and put him into a disadvantageous position.
With his mech's engine thundering, Magical Bird leaned forward, skating across the ground as he rapidly closed the distance and slammed into Skeleton.
His intent there was to destabilize Skeleton, not to kill.
Completely unable to defend, his mech took a blow. Wang Zheng had high standards when it came to maintaining balance, but this was the first time he had experienced an opponent that could execute a move so exquisite it was on an entirely different level.
At this point, a normal opponent would seek to deal the most damage possible, thereby giving Wang Zheng an opportunity to act, yet Magical Bird didn't do so.
While Skeleton was still recovering, Magical Bird's stab rumbled towards the cockpit of the mech.
It was a terrifying chain attack. All of the movements unfolded sequentially without a single breath in between, not to mention the gravitational burden Magical Bird's mech would have to withstand. Yet, Magical Bird had been capable of executing such a powerful attack in a situation like that.
For Lear… it was like breathing.
His steward quietly stood outside, watching. Perfection, this was Lear's only requirement.
No one was permitted to win over him.
It didn't matter if it was in reality, or in CT.
When both body and mind reach perfection, one can achieve the level of god!
A lone knife slashed forward, intent on reaping life.
The netizens were all shocked silly. Fucker, what kind of stone did this god jump out from to be able to dominate others in close quarters?
Unbalanced and unable to dodge, Skeleton could only twist sideways to avoid a fatal blow.
Unexpectedly, a miracle occurred.
Skeleton didn't attack nor defend, but rather violently twisted sideways to make some distance, grabbing the titanium alloy knife with an arm.
Moving backward in unison with his opponent, his left fist suddenly lurched forward.
The fist solidly struck Magical Bird on the head.
Having suffered a blow, Magical Bird fiercely pulled out his knife, kicking Skeleton in the chest as he did.
Both Mecha fell at the same time.
Magical Bird retreated three steps before regaining balance, while Skeleton spun, planting a fist on the ground to disperse the force, then stood.
That exchange had merely swapped their starting positions.
An uproar arose in the spectator's area, this was truly a battle of experts!
Fawn and Little Suds exchanged glances, "This definitely isn't Magical Bird!"
"I've commentated on Magical Bird's matches before, he's a long-distance expert, and only average in close combat."
"I once saw a broadcast he'd participated in, and he didn't have even 10% of his present strength."
"Damn, if you add such close combat skill to his long distance ability, he must be a Throne!"
Such an opening led many players who'd originally adopted a "wait and see" approach to join in, for both sides were on an equal playing field, and neither side was at a disadvantage, making this appear to be a worthwhile match. It had all the makings of the birth of a new god.
It seemed Skeleton's prior performances had finally attracted a true expert.
Lear laughed. This truly was an unusual occasion. He never thought that he would be pushed so far by an opponent in CT.
Solon chewed his lip nervously, "Execute BT!"
All of the staff were ecstatic and immediately began to alter the battle arena.
Easter Island suddenly began to shake, the sky turned into a sea of blazing red, as if it were countless red dots that seemed to cluster, shrouding out the sky.
"Are they setting off fireworks?"
"Isn't this change a bit too drastic?"
Among the maps that players could choose from, some maps were unstable in nature: occasionally containing phenomena like earthquakes. Most of the time these were maps of other planets which the planets themselves were in the midst of geological flux. Unlike the rest, the Sol System worlds were rather stable.
However, the Easter Island map was an exception in that it was unstable, although such phenomena were rare.
In the event of unstable conditions, the difficulty would multiply and normal players would be unable to cope.
Lear's mouth curled into a cold sneer. Such child's play, the developers must love their gimmicks.
Huge fissures tore open the ground, magma boiling and bubbling at their depths, and giant ardent fireballs, meteors, began to descend.
If it were to be hit by any of it, Wargod No.1 would, at the very least, cease to function, if not be entirely annihilated.
Over at CT, the anxiety was palpable. Today was a special day.
Everyone gazed at Solon, and even Solon's palms were sweaty. He wasn't sure of the consequences of his actions, but since the new system would have to be tested eventually,rather than remaining passive, it would be better to take the initiative.
Solon nodded, "Begin!"
What appeared before the audience's eyes was a system prompt: Realistic simulation has been activated.
In other words, injuries sustained from the environment would have the same effects as they did in real life. The pressure of exerting difficult movements would increase by fifty percent as well.
It was the equivalent of raising the difficulty by an entire level.
The audience were stunned into silence. Was there any point to playing anymore?
In normal mecha combat, the influence of the environment of the fight was minimal, especially regarding injuries from the environment, which were set to extremely low levels. The focus was on player's control over their mech, since, after all, it wasn't real combat.
However, recently many experts had complained that the difficulty was too low and that it lacked realism in environmental mechanics. CT had already made changes to some of the maps outside of the Sol System, but this was the first time they had employed it within the Sol System.
The first time this system appeared was in such an important match!
Solon stared tensely at the screen. He believed in Skeleton!
One minute of invincibility was given to both sides to get familiarized with the changes to the map.
Wang Zheng could feel that the rocking of his surroundings had become fiercer. The difficulty in controlling his mech had suddenly increased greatly. It was the same for Lear.
The innumerable meteorites in the surroundings caused the temperature to skyrocket.
But regardless of how unstable the environment became, both Wargod No.1s maintained their balance.
The staff grew nervous. What if, what if… Skeleton was unable to adapt to such a situation?
Solon was excited, extremely excited. His decision had been made in the spur of the moment. Since both players were able to operate Wargod no.1 to such a degree, they definitely wouldn't be nobodies.
No one in the Sol System had tried the system out, and though rumors stated that Mars had already begun preparing for a beta test, he had been the first to take the crab meat.
How would they respond?
Inside of their respective mecha, Wang Zheng was laughing, while on the other side, a smirk had appeared on Lear's face.
Now things were getting serious!
Two mech pilots with indomitable wills were clashing today, and both of them burst forth!