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Chapter 55 - End (5)

Second Life Ranker
     Chapter 55. End (5)

    At that moment, the face of all the other players, including Vyram, stiffened.

    Phante ignored their reactions and turned his gaze towards Yeon-woo. Yeon-woo was already close enough to be able to distinguish Phante’s facial features.

    Phante stood with his feet shoulder-width apart, his waist slightly bent forward and his fists tightly clenched. A combat posture that he had never shown to anyone in the tutorial. It was something he only showed to those he acknowledged.

    And then, he closed his eyes.

    A quiet period ensued for a little while. It was like the calm before the storm.

    "Hoo…!"

    As he took a deep breath,

    *Flash*

    Phante opened his eyes.

    A yellow light flickered over his purple eyes.

    Then,

    *Spark*

    As his aura shrouded the surrounding area, strong yellow sparks appeared from his fists and forearms.

    ‘Thunder Fist.’

    A secret skill that’s only passed down in the One-horned tribe’s Cheong-lam family.

    The sparks hovering over his arms intensified as they began to connect with each other. Soon, Phante’s two arms were covered in thunder energy that enveloped them like a gauntlet.

    The air surrounding Phante shimmered from the heat.

    Streams of heated wind blew from Phante, clashing against Yeon-woo’s windstorm.

    And when Phante’s aura encroached the other end of the stage,

    "Why worry if I have sources of Karma everywhere?"

    Phante began to move with a cold smile on his face.

    *Kwang*

    With a single dash, Phante pushed forward like a cannonball.

    *Rumble*

    Over the path he ran, Phante left behind only a trail of burnt smell, yellow flames and deafening thunder.

    The players blocking his way were trampled under his feet.

    However, no screams were heard from the dead players, as they were drowned under the thunderous roars as soon as they came out. Even the corpses disappeared without a trace, as they were ground to bits by the strong thunder energy.

    The players scattered around the stage in total confusion.

    In from of them, there was a player with a windstorm of demonic energy. Behind their backs, there was another player emitting ferocious bolts of lightning.

    The players stuck in the middle of the two energies didn’t know where to go. Only the ones who happened to be near the safe zone were lucky enough to make an escape.

    But even that was dangerous as most of the area was still within the reach of their skills. They had to stay as close as they could to the edge of the stage.

    And then, the two energies collided.

    *Kwaaang*

    An earthquake shook the entire stage.

    The clash of the two energies created explosions here and there, turning over the ground they were standing on.

    Clouds of dust covered up the entire stage making it hard to tell what was going on inside.

    Just when the players thought that Section G was going to collapse by the impact, Vyram made his move.

    He drew out his three swords from their scabbards. They were Marcus’ finest magic swords.

    Then he activated the magic runes engraved on the surfaces of each sword.

    Spectacular visual effects continuously exploded like firecrackers as the floor was covered with several overlapping magic circles.

    The vast variety of buffs he had cast on 50 other players were now focused on a single player, Vyram.

    He felt the mana inside his body being amplified. As his senses became keener, he could feel the sharp edges of the swords like they were part of his body.

    Vyram grabbed two of the swords with his hands and put the other one on top of his feet.

    ‘Three Claws.’

    It was a skill he had acquired during his long service as a mercenary. A skill that utilized his three swords, relying on his strength and senses that were augmented to their full potential with the help of several buffs.

    The only problem was that once used, his mana reserves would become depleted and his body would take several months to recuperate from the aftereffects.

    ‘I guess I’ve got no other choice.'

    Vyram gritted his teeth while glaring at Yeon-woo and Phante.

    At this rate, he wouldn’t be able to protect not just his ‘minions’, but his Karma points as well.

    If so, he had to fight.

    Vyram spun his body like a top and flung himself in between the two of them, leaving several scratches on the ground.

    *Swish*

    The three flashing blades made their way towards the necks of both Yeon-woo and Phante.

    * * *

    "Hup!"

    "Damn it!"

    It was then when Yeon-woo and Phante turned sideways.

    Yeon-woo was aiming to slice Phante’s chest with Vigrid, while Phante tried to punch him with his fist clad in thunder energy.

    Both attacks possessed a deadly threat.

    But in that fleeting moment, the two felt three blades slithering in between their attacks like a snake.

    And their instincts started to sound the alarm, telling them that they should not ignore the three swords. That the swords were about to cut off their necks.

    So the two exchanged glances for a very brief moment just before the clash. And at the same time, they turned aside and quickly spun to the direction they were swinging.

    Yeon-woo to the left, and Phante to the right.

    *Tang*

    On one side, a sword fended off the blades.

    *Kwang*

    On the other side, a lightning bolt hit the blades changing their trajectory.

    "You idiot!"

    Yellow sparks dispersed into the air as the thunder exploded after coming into contact with the swords. Phante’s eyes were blazing with anger as they slowly appeared through the smoke.

    He was getting bored of dealing with all those weak trashes. Only now was he able to entertain himself after meeting his match. But such excitement was broken due to a moron who decided to interrupt his fight.

    But as if Vyram didn't care about what he was thinking, he carried on with his attacks, trying to slice their legs.

    "You want a piece of me? Alright then. I’ll show you what I’ve got!"

    With the thunder energy wrapped around his fists, Phante propelled himself forward with all his strength, charging forward to run over Yeon-woo and Vyram.

    His reckless charge looked like a wild boar rushing down a hill.

    *Kwakwa*

    Finding himself between the pressure of those two other players, Yeon-woo raised his eyebrows slightly and held Vigrid up high in the air.

    And with a full swing, he struck the ground with the sword.

    *Pang*

    The ground once again caved in.

    A massive shockwave was released from the place where his sword struck, sending Phante and Vyram into the air.

    *Kwakwa*

    "Kup!"

    "Urgh!"

    Just before his punch reached Yeon-woo, Phante instinctively felt a sense of crisis and barely managed to protect his head by crossing his arms in front of his face. The thunder circling around his arms was completely washed away by the blast.

    Phante felt like he had run into an invisible wall. His innards were shaking, and his brain was ringing. His two arms that blocked off the shockwave felt as if they were going to fall off at any moment.

    In front of him, there was a deep, long ditch created by himself as he was pushed away.

    "How… the hell..."

    Phante raised his head up with a face full of shock. It was the complete opposite emotion of the confidence he had shown at the very beginning.

    He couldn't believe it at all.

    Born into a royal family, Phante had practiced various martial arts and had grown stronger. In the tutorial, he ingested the Neidan of Akasha’s Snake which granted him an enormous amount of mana.

    There was no way that any player in the tutorial could overpower a player such as him. There must be something wrong with this situation.

    With that thought in mind, Phante tried to kindle once again the thunder onto his fists.

    However,

    "Uuurgh"

    Phante had to vomit out on the floor as he felt his throat choking.

    It was blood.

    His internal organs were already injured from the previous impact.

    And then,

    The same was true for Vyram.

    "God… damn it…."

    Vyram was barely able to stand up by using one of his swords like a cane. The other two were scattered on the floor.

    His clothes were completely torn, revealing wounds all over his body.

    Vyram had lost so much blood he was having bad vertigo. He was done for both mentally and physically. However, he tried to stay conscious. Because if he collapsed now, everything was over.

    Instead, Vyram glared at Yeon-woo with eyes full of animosity.

    Right in front of his eyes, there was a wall even bigger than Phante. A wall that devastated even a monster like Phante. It was a wall seemingly impossible to surpass.

    Vyram was deeply frustrated.

    Phante and Edora were enough to generate a sense of inferiority in him, but now there was something more, something bigger than those two.

    If the players in the tutorial were this strong, how monstrous would the players in The Tower be?

    And to think about the rankers, what kind of players were they to be able to rule over those monsters?

    He was overcome with shame. A sense of inferiority possessed his mind.

    But such emotions also kindled a fire in him.

    He didn’t want to give up like this. No, he refused to give in.

    So Vyram decided to throw away his last remaining bit of pride.

    "Phante!"

    Vyram called Phante with a distorted face.

    Phante jerked his head towards Vyram.

    "What is it?"

    "Let's team up."

    "What?"

    Phante scowled at Vyram as soon as he heard his words.

    But Vyram continued speaking without caring. He was desperate for victory, not pride.

    "We can’t defeat him alone. So I’m asking you to work together for now. We can take care…."

    "No."

    "What...!"

    When Vyram was about to shout at him, Phante snorted at him as he stood back up. He wiped the blood off his mouth with the back of his hand.

    His eyes were shining more ferociously than before.

    "As I said, I’m not a dumb beast like you. The road I walk is the Hegemon Dao(覇道). Do you think I’ll resort to trickery?"

    *Spark*

    Sparks of thunderbolt began to appear along Phante’s arm. He squeezed out mana from his completely wrecked body.

    The smile hung across his face looked almost vicious.

    "On the Hegemon Dao there can be defeat but there shall be no retreat! That is the King’s Dao(王道) I learned from my father and the foundation built upon me which shall bring me to glory!"

    *Kwang*

    *Swish*

    Phante then stormed his way towards Yeon-woo.

    "That fucking son of a bitch!"

    Vyram was enraged with Phante.

    It was pure nonsense to hear about ‘Hegemon Dao’ or ‘King’s Dao’ from someone who wasn’t even capable of looking after himself.

    This was why Vyram hated people who grew up pampered and indulged.

    He had seen those stupid people with a holier-than-thou attitude screw up so many businesses several times.

    But that didn't mean he could stay there sitting on his hands.

    Phante went berserk blinded by anger. Edora was stuck in her place and didn't seem to want to join the fight. He couldn't even tell what she was thinking right now.

    He had to do something to be able to take his share in this game of madness.

    Vyram started to move as he reapplied his buffs.

    If it is not possible from the front, aim for the flank. Though he didn’t like it, he decided to take the supporting role for Phante, only for a while until they got rid of Yeon-woo.

    *Splash*

    *Clang*

    *Kwang*

    Yeon-woo was pushed back for the first time.

    *Whizz*

    Phante and Vyram poured a series of fierce combined attacks down on him.

    Phante constantly poured out all the skills he had, and Vyram kept aiming for his blind spot, confusing Yeon-woo’s senses.

    Yeon-woo’s fast-paced attacks slowly morphed into a hectic defensive struggle.

    *Boom*

    The windstorm surrounding Yeon-woo was finally dissipated by their attacks. The demonic energy was also scattered away.

    The swords and the fists came flying ceaselessly at Yeon-woo. Vyram tried to split him into two pieces, and Phante tried to chop him down with his hands.

    *Clang*

    Yeon-woo was being pushed back endlessly.

    Every now and then, Yeon-woo tried to counterattack. One time, right after parrying Vyram’s attack, Yeon-woo attempted to blow away Phante’s head by blowing up demonic energy right next to it.

    However, every attack he tried ended up in failure.

    Even for Yeon-woo, it was impossible to fight against Vyram and Phante at the same time.

    With one hand, Yeon-woo wielded Vigrid to strike off the three swords coming from different angles, and with the other hand he threw daggers in efforts to block Phante from approaching him.

    However, his hand that was holding Vigird was beginning to slow down.

    At that moment, Vyram cast a buff skill he had been hiding for this moment.

    *Jeeeng*

    ‘Buff of Might.’

    Vyram’s swords emitted a blue glow along their edge

    With a swing of his sword, Vigrid was broken into two pieces.

    Morover, as Yeon-woo had used up all of his daggers, Phante’s fist full of concentrated thunder energy exploded on Yeon-woo’s flank.

    It was Thunderbolt Punto.

    *Crack*

    Yeon-woo’s ribs were shattered. His lungs torn apart. His waist was bent by the impact.

    Without missing the chance, Vyram swung his other hand and smashed Yeon-woo's head.

    And preceded by a terrible pain, Yeon-woo blacked out.

    … And that was what Yeon-woo saw in his head.

    It was the scenery of what ‘could have’ happened to him.

    If things continued the way it was, that should have been Yeon-woo’s fate.

    However, thanks to his skill, it ended up only as a possibility.

    The skill he had had from the very beginning, but also the skill he had never used until now.

    Yeon-woo's innate skill.

    [Foresight] (Special)

    Proficiency: 0.5%

    Description: Can see a certain amount of time into the future. The amount of time increases in proportion to your Magic Power and skill proficiency.

    As a penalty for looking into the future, the user will suffer severe dizziness due to the difference in time once the skill is over.

    The skill that provided images of the future for a certain amount of time, which for now was five seconds.

    He was able to foresee the future for what could be considered both a short and a long period of time.

    A single activation consumed two-thirds of his total mana.

    Considering that he had a huge amount of mana from the Snow Ginseng and the Neidan, it really ate up tons and tons of mana for a skill that only lasted for five seconds.

    This was the reason why Yeon-woo hadn't even conceived the idea of using this skill.

    But now, the skill was fully usable.

    Thanks to this skill, Yeon-woo was able to find a ‘possibility’ of winning.

    *Tic* *Tac*

    Once again, after a long time, the pocket watch started to run.