The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 51 Chapter 4 part4
After the first exchange of blows ended in a huge failure on his part, Ultar immediately changed his strategy.
'No point in trying to match the brute force of an Orc. That's not what I'd intended in the first place, either. That first attack was just to estimate his base capacity; now I'll focus on my skills rather than strength.'
When fighting against an opponent with such overwhelming strength, he would have to use speed and sophisticated skills to ensure victory, even though they were engaged in a close combat. He would confuse the enemy and shoot his crossbow when an opportunity presented itself, just like how he had dealt with numerous other users before. The enchanted bolts that inflicted the paralyzed, stunned and poisoned statuses upon the target could dramatically reduce the opponent's combat capacity just by grazing against them.
A secret sword skill… Ultar summoned a blade and sent it flying in the air. Out of all the combat skills, this one boasted the highest utility.
"Sword of Blood Mist!"
This was not a secret skill, but it enabled the user to attack while shrouded in a fog in exchange for a small amount of Life Force.
Ultar's body vanished, engulfed in blood-red mist. Generally, people would be seized by fear and confusion when their enemy suddenly disappears out of sight.
But Weed waited, spinning the Loa Sword in his hand like a toy.
'You may not realize it, but I can never lose as long as I'm wearing the form of Karichwi the Orc.'
Had he been in his normal human shape, he might have been willing to risk just a little bit of disadvantage in this fight, but considering all the ad sales and character-related business involving Karichwi the Orc, any possibility of defeat is absolutely out of the question!
'I must subdue him with overwhelming power.'
Weed merely continued waiting, calm as ever. A few seconds passed in silence. Ultar felt confident that his opponent was tricked by his tactics.
"Take this, this is the Sword Art of Gelk!"
From the blood colored mist emerged swords that looked blurred like afterimage, flying directly at Weed. Gelk's sword technique consumed a lot of Mana, but enabled the sword attacks to reach anywhere within 10 meters of radius.
The Mana Sword also soared right towards Weed like an arrow shot.
Weed deflected The ManaSword first with the Loa Sword he had been flipping in his hand like a plaything.
Having blocked the incoming blow with a single swing, he further dodged Gelk's swords by taking a step sideways while leaning his upper body back in a fluid movement.
At that instant, a bolt was released from Ultar's crossbow, flying almost three times faster than the last one he shot.
'It's going to hit the mark for sure. This is my chance.'
Ultar expected the bolt to strike directly into the terrible bulk that was the body of the Orc. Indeed, the bolt was flying so fast it was hardly visible, and Weed wasn't showing any sign of movement to dodge or block it.
But then Weed took another big step to the side, and vanished into thin air.
Ultar dived sideways, following the instinct of his body. An ominous hunch dawned on him even if he was cloaking behind a 3-meter-radius fog of blood.
The moment he dropped to the ground, the Loa Sword swept the spot where he'd been a split second ago in a great arc. Had he been just a little slower the blade would have hit him squarely, but Ultar had quick reflex thanks to plenty of combat experience.
"Pretty good. Tsschwick!"
Weed continued swinging his sword as he stepped forward this time. He was perfectly aware of Ultar's position despite the fact his enemy was obscured by the blood mist.
The sound of the footsteps and the hint of the presence that left its trail whenever his target dodged his blade.
Even the way he wielded his sword was to force the opponent into one direction, as if he was hunting a rabbit and cornering his quarry.
Ultar tried to stand his ground, dodging and blocking.
< By the enemy's overwhelming force, the Durability of the Deghor Sword has been reduced by 3 points.
Despite blocking the attack, your Life Force has taken 3,492 points of damage. >
Due to the Orc's fearsome attack power, Ultar kept losing his Life Force even as he was deflecting the blows. For a short moment he considered taking out a shield instead of using a crossbow, but something told him that he wouldn't be able to do anything other than blocking until the end of the fight if he did. Still, the Mana Sword, the blade summoned by his secret skill, was presently soaring through the air and aiming at Weed's head.
'In just a moment… It will be your turn to dodge or block.'
Now the Mana Sword was a second away from piercing through the Orc's head.
'Maybe he hasn't even noticed at all? Yes, he's being careless! Then I'll make a counterattack the moment he gets hit.'
However, immediately before the sword stroke him, Weed vanished again and reappeared right behind Ultar.
'What the heck is this?!'
He wasn't even using any skills, but somehow he teleported himself through space without any prior sign. As Ultar did not know about the Gloves of Dimension Door Weed had received from Batalli the God of Fighting, he was naturally feeling quite puzzled.
Putting his trust in the power of instinct again, Ultar rolled forward, but Weed reemerged in front of him as he did so.
Weed swung his Loa Sword upwards like a golf club, and the blade rammed right into Ultar's body, hard.
< A fierce strike!
The impact of the terrible blow runs through your body.
Life Force reduced by 53,481 points!
The Armor of Mother Earth prevented all negative status effects from being inflicted on your body.
Your maximum Stamina has been reduced by 6%.
The self-recovering ability of your body has been diminished. >
He didn't even have enough time to read all the message windows popping up in a flash. Ultar's body was thrown into the air more than 40 meters above the ground, drawing a beautiful parabola.
Weed also kicked the ground hard and made a great jump. The sight of Karichwi's massive body shooting upwards to chase after his prey gave a tremendously intimidating impression to those who beheld it.
As he was flying in the sky, Weed gripped the Loa Sword with both hands like one would grip an axe to chop something.
While spinning around and around dizzily in midair, Ultar saw what was happening in front of his eyes and panicked. Weed making such a pose in the form of Karichwi the Orc was terrifying beyond measure.
The observing crowd also felt their palms sweating. The Hermes Guild users could only gape in horror. The moment lasted less than a second, but surely, what could possibly be scarier than this?
"Mercy, just this once…"
Out of sheer fear, Ultar said before he could stop himself.
He might as well have begged a wall to spare him.
Weed's cold gaze had already scanned through every single piece of equipment and jewelry covering Ultar's entire body.
"Die and leave your items behind."
In the hands of Karichwi the Orc, the Loa Sword smashed Ultar in one mighty blow.
So powerful was the impact of the strike, a gruesome sound reverberated throughout the plain.
Geomchi and Geomchi2 were leading the desert warriors.
"Kuhuhu. Pillage and plunder!"
"Let's rampage through everything here!"
The valiant desert warriors, riding their camels with scimitars in their hands… Quite frankly, they could preserve their forces mainly because they were not one of the main targets of the Hermes Guild.
"Master, we have come."
"Yes, follow us."
With Geomchi6 and the rest of the Geomchi members as well as their trainees having joined them, they began their march, heading to the nearest Imperial Army's location.
"I don't see Geomchi3 and a few others here."
"Apparently they were hit by the meteors while having some barbeque."
"No. Just hurt a little. They say their skin was all sizzling and burning."
"Sounds like a fun experience. Shame I wasn't there. I used to play with fire a lot with some industrial alcohol back when I was yet to grow up and become more sensible."
"Have you ever tried stacking some car tires and burning them? Playing with fire in a junkyard can be really fun."
"Childhood memories are beautiful things."
The news of Weed fighting Ultar, the commander of the 11th Legion, reached Geomchi and his trainers and pupils. They decided to watch the duel with the crystal balls some of the users took out.
"Fighting as such a stalwart-looking Orc… It seems our Little One sure knows how to make a combat enjoyable."
"Yes. I wish we were able to fight in such a gorgeous form, too."
Geomchi, the trainers and pupils were not worried about Weed in the slightest. They had taught him through countless number of fights during his days in the Dojang. All the experience engraved both in his body and mind enabled him to exert his full potential even in Royal Road. Losing because of the insurmountable discrepancy in level or skills is something that can't be helped; however, given the two opponents were at similar level, Weed could overwhelm the other with his acumen and competence as a fighter. Even Geomchi himself acknowledged Weed's ability to use skills, make quick decisions, and attack his enemy through psychological and other various ways. On top of the foundation of his strong basic skills, he was also good at using unconventional means in combat, as well as showing great capacity in head-to-head contest.
"Give everyone some baked potatoes or something. Let's have some nibbles while we watch."
"Yes, Master. I'm not sure he will give us enough time to eat anything, though."
And then Weed and Ultar began the duel. The audience was expecting to watch them with their palms sweating with excitement, but before long Ultar took a mighty hit. Once his attack landed the first blow soon after the start of the combat, Karichwi the Orc was beating up his opponent senseless until people were almost feeling sorry for the guy. A brief moment of opening was all it took; Weed latched onto it and before Ultar even had time to pull himself together after the powerful first strike, he began to clobber him in all sorts of ways. If Weed used big flashy skills in between his blows it would at least give Ultar a little time until the skills take effect, but he just kept on attacking relentlessly without allowing any time to catch a breath.
Geomchi clicked his tongue.
"I expected as much… But our Youngest hasn't much experience in beating up people; he's being quite clumsy."
Geomchi2 nodded in agreement.
"A lot of small blows like that just make him look excessively aggressive. He could use some cleanliness in his style."
"Well, it does make for a great scene. We used to fight like that when we were young, didn't we?"
"Yes, such precious memories."
"What a wonderful life we had."
With their glorious past now only remaining in their hearts as fond reminiscences, they continued watching Weed's fight in silence.
"Weed-nim is winning!"
The crowd cheered loudly at the sight of Weed's overpowering display.
"Kuhehehe. He won, just as I thought."
Steiner the Bandit King.
Having been active in the regions of the Haven Empire, he had come to the Garnav Plain with a lot of his bandit henchmen.
"Wow. That is amazing."
"Some monstrous skills he's got."
The bandits watching the fight through crystal balls all made impressed remarks.
Thief was a class option that was commonly available to users, but Bandit as a profession was first discovered by Steiner. Having mountains as their main active regions, possessing adequate combat skills and getting less penalties for pillaging — it was like a mix of Ranger, Knight and Thief. The fact that you could run and improve your own mountain den like a lord with their domain was what was especially appealing about this profession.
"We should also go and make a good haul now that we're here, don't you think so, chief?"
"Hear, hear, boss!"
The bandits under Steiner's command were seasoned fighters, as they had resolvedly persevered through many subjugation attempts from the Haven Imperial Army. Having absorbed defeated troops and some users from the Central Continent, they prided themselves on quite a formidable legion.
"I think the 13th Legion is located close to us."
"4.3 kilometers in distance. We'll get there in no time on horseback."
"Is that so? Then let's go get them."
Steiner and his bandit followers exchanged passionate gazes.
"We're bandits; let's skip the meaningless talks about order and justice for the Versailles Continent and whatnot. We should just approach this matter with a reasonable concept on our mind: that we're emptying their pockets because they are rich, that's all."
"Agreed. Let's get this done like only bandits can do."
"Let's go and make a score!"
"Who is fighting whom, again?"
"Weed the God of War and Ultar are having a duel. It will be on air very soon, on any channel you might choose."
The members of the Hermes Guild received the sudden and unexpected news of Weed and Ultar's duel. Lafaye and the other core members of the guild had devised detailed plans for this battle, but they had not considered a one-on-one fight scenario.
If there was going to be a duel, all they had to do was fight and win.
"If he can defeat Weed… Doesn't that mean this battle will end much more quickly than we thought?"
"And we've prepared so much… Still, if Ultar wins, the entire continent will be as good as conquered by our Hermes Guild."
The guild members all wished they had been the one to face Weed in single combat; they would have been able to have wealth, fame, everything if they won. When Ultar accepted Weed's challenge confidently, everyone thought that was the correct and obvious decision on his part.
*Slam slam bomp bomp smack!*
…that was, until they saw Ultar being roughed up like a ragdoll.
"That is some beating he's taking."
He was being so brutally flogged all they could do was to watch it in stunned silence.
"Don't you normally use a sword to… stab or slash?"
"Yet he's swinging his to smack him with it."
"Maybe he's just being nasty and humiliating Ultar like that?"
"That's one way to see it, but he's not controlling his power to deliberately make his blows weaker. Ultar should be dead with that amount of beating, yet somehow he's not."
"The armor he's wearing looks pretty unique."
"Yeah, I think he's not dying because of that Armor of Mother Earth."
Ultar was only holding up due to his enhanced physical resilience despite Weed's merciless thumping and pounding. Even so, with the amount of blows he was taking all of his stats had been diminished and he couldn't even dream of attempting any resistance in his current state. It might have been appropriate to call it a duel for the first brief moment, but now it had pretty much turned into a one-sided demonstration of power by Weed. The fact that Ultar's crossbow accounted for half of his combat strength was also an important factor behind such an outcome, as the said weapon was useless when he was being cornered like this.
Lafaye watched the fight for some time with the others and frowned.
"Is Weed stronger than we first anticipated? Or has Ultar's power been overestimated until now? This one fight would not affect the general tide of the battle, but…"
The mind of the public was important. Had Ultar defeated Weed, things would have been much easier for them; on the other hand, this was not a welcome turn of events.
'Nevertheless, he made a mistake by revealing his position to us and wasting time like that.'
Lafaye sent an order to the 20th Legion to attack Weed, and also directed the magical squad to make preparations.
"We're going to cast Summon Flaming Meteors as soon as the spell is ready."
– Caddler: I presume our target will be Weed?
"Of course. Many high-level users on the Arpen Kingdom's side are also closely assembled in the same location, so it would be simple to wipe them all out."
– Caddler: Target position confirmed. Our mages are still recovering, so we'll need about 40 minutes before we can make the next attack.
"That is much too late. Weed might have moved to another place by then, so cut down the preparation time as much as possible; use Black Magic if needed."
– Caddler: That'll put some pressure on our squad, but I'll do as you say.
Bard Ray was also watching Weed's fight.
In fact, he had watched all of Weed's fighting and adventuring videos uploaded on the Hall of Fame or put on air by broadcasting companies.
'This has once more proved that he is not someone to underestimate. However, now that I've learned his style of fighting, it would turn out to be very useful later.'
He implanted Weed's combat style deep in his mind once again as he watched the duel between Weed and Ultar. Bard Ray once fought him in the past and had long been analyzing his videos, and he became increasingly convinced that Weed was truly a formidable enemy.
'If we come to fight each other again, I'd better make use of my advantages and finish it quickly: maintain distance, use my powerful skills. Even when I have to face him in close range, if I make a counterattack with something that can pack a punch, it could make an opening for me.'
The Emperor of the Haven Empire and the King of the Arpen Kingdom!
A chance for them to directly face each other in a duel would be hard to come by, but Bard Ray was eagerly awaiting it. Something felt missing in the idea of uniting the continent using only the military power of the Empire. Bard Ray wanted to beat Weed with his own hands, the person who had long been called his rival and had risen to even greater fame recently.
'If you manage to stay alive until you meet me, I'll make it well worth of all your effort and preparation.'
(Continued on next part…)
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