Chapter 18 – Our Sunbae-nim Did This? (2)
“I’ll use Berserk, Artpe!”
[You don’t have the luxury to chat right now!]
The bastard immediately came at them. The only thing that remained behind the party was the wall blocking the way back up. Consequently, Maetel didn’t hesitate in activating her Berserk skill. She ran forward to face the enemy.
“Tsk. I don’t like the situation dictating our actions……”
Artpe grumbled as he immediately activated the Mana Link. He connected himself to Maetel. Then he let the shield rotate as a means to protect himself. He was cautious as he descended the stairs. His eyes took in the sight of Maetel and the Death Knight clashing against each other.
[As expected, you are overwhelming more powerful when you use your sword compared to the actual strength you possess. However, you won’t be able to become a hero using a sword steeped in rage!]
“I’m the one swinging this sword, so I don’t care what helps me! I don’t care if it is anger, sadness or happiness. I’ll win against you to protect Artpe! You will never lay a hand on Artpe!”
[If I’m anything like the enemies you faced up until now, you would have been able to accomplish that. However, the experience and power of 500 Death knights were combined to complete me. How dare you speak such arrogant and impudent words towards me!]
The powerful sound of Maetel and the Death Knight exchanging blows with their swords could be heard. Of course, the one taking damage and retreating was Maetel. If she didn’t have the gears protecting her wrists, she would have been severely hurt.
“Tsk. When there were 500 separate monsters, it was a fight with a decent odds. You were cheap in activating the power of Record Link using suicide…..”
[You spout some silly words.]
Maetel already had a cheat-like physical ability compared to her actual level. On top of that, she was able also able to activate the Berserk skill. She could pretty much toy with the level 150 Death Knights at her leisure. However, the enemy she was facing right now was a monster created by combining 500 Death Knights using the Record Link.
Artpe had immediately used his Read All Creation ability to check the monster. The overall difference in ability was devastating. The fact that Maetel was able to instantly regain her stance after weathering through the impact was almost miraculous. She was even charging towards the monster.
[The difference in our power is clear. Oh hero. Will you still get in my way to protect that contemptible boy? Will you do so when the only thing waiting for you is despair and death? Will you sacrifice yourself until the end for a complete stranger?]
Maetel didn’t reply to its words. She just charged the monster.
The magical energy within the bastard sword had been well-developed by her. Her powerful swings were knocking back the long sword.
[What the hell!?]
Surprisingly, she didn’t get pushed back this time! When one took in the difference in battle capability, this was a surprising development. Maetel’s spirit rose higher as she pushed back against the monster. She yelled out in a fierce manner.
“What happened to the spirit that you displayed before? Wasn’t it supposed to be the power of 500 of your kind? It seems you don’t have much to show for it right now!”
[Kooh, ha-ah! This was merely a coincidence!]
The armored knight dismissed it as a coincidence, but Artpe immediately knew what had happened through his Read All Creation ability.
While Maetel was using her Swordsmanship, she was using a trick to strengthen her body using Unarmed Combat. It looked as if she was lightly lashing out with her sword, but she was using her Bash skill. This was how she was able to fight on par with the Death Knight.
‘It sounds easy, but she is using two basic battle skill, while using an active skill. When she exchanged blow with the monster, she realized her deficiency, and she patched up the deficiency using the other skills. I thought I had figured her out, but a 13 year old girl has this much of battle capability……’
Aside from the Mana consumption, the mental and stamina drain should be incredibly high, yet she was doing it all so effortlessly. The sight of her made his blood curdle, and at the same time, it made him admire her.
She was fighting with the armored knight, yet she put on a face as if nothing was wrong. She checked up on Artpe.
“Artpe. Your mana…..”
“I have enough.”
In truth, he didn’t know if he had enough. If she continued to consume magical energy at this pace, even Artpe would run out of Mana.
However, Artpe didn’t want Maetel to look back at him, so he spoke confidently. Of course, he would consume a Mana potion in secret.
Maetel was never suspicious of Artpe. She always trusted him, so a grin appeared on her face when she heard his words. She once again surged forward against her enemy using the Bash skill.
“Then I’ll be able to win. Haahhhhhp!”
Once again, Maetel and the Death Knight exchanged blows. Maetel was able to perfectly execute the Bash skill using her sword, and she struck the same location on the long sword she had hit before. However, the Death Knight quickly wised up to her tactic. The armored knight let out a shout as it twisted its sword. The impact point on the sword was changed.
[You are pretty clever. I thought the only thing within your head was love, lust and anger.]
“That’s right. I only have that…. However, that will be enough for me!”
Even if its power and experience was all gathered into a single being, it still possessed equipment that was only around level 150. It was an excellent battle plan to attack the weapon rather than the monster itself.
No one had taught her this tactic, yet she was carrying it out. It was unknown as to whether she understood what she was doing.
[Your intentions are commendable, but will it really be enough? Even now I can feel your anger deepen. Your rationality is fading, and it is being encroached by your instincts. It blunts your sword. Just this fact allows me to get slowly stronger. I just have to wait for the moment when my sword will be able to pierce through your heart.]
“There is no way I’ll let you do as you please.”
Maetel’s clash with the Death Knight was gradually intensifying. Maetel’s swordsmanship had been trained through live battles, and she only attacked the Death Knight’s weak points. The Death Knight used all its veteran know-how to turn away all her sword strikes.
Both their attacks failed to touch each other’s defensive gear. The weapons were taking the brunt of the damage.
[Koohk, koo-hah……! You don’t stand a chance!]
“That is my line!”
The Death Knight innocently believed that Maetel had reached the pinnacle of her skills. However, only Artpe knew the truth.
The answer was simple. Maetel was improving even now. The effects of the Berserk skill didn’t dull her sword. Instead, her senses had sharpened to the extreme.
[Weak! It’ll be impossible for you if you keep this up!]
“Yes, I am weak.. However, I’ll become stronger……!”
[If someone could get stronger just by saying so, this world wouldn’t have practitioners!]
Sword clashed against sword. The Death Knight’s shield was swung towards Maetel’s head, yet it passed through the air in vain.
Afterwards, Maetel kicked the bastard in its knee, and the Death Knight’s stance was thrown off by a marginal amount. She immediately followed it up with a sword strike. This was a technique she hadn’t shown up until now.
It was as the Death Knight had said before, she never had the chance to swing her weapon against an enemy that was on par with her. However, for the first time, she faced an enemy that seemed to be a knight, and she had no choice but to fight it using high grade weapon skills.
By chance, this opportunity gave her a chance to consolidate all her techniques.
In the past, she had been swinging her sword by following her instinct, but now she had seen how others handled their swords. She now knew how she had to move her body. Her body figured out how maximize the power of her sword. Basically, the Death Knight had become her tutor for a day.
[Level – 124]
[Unarmed Combat Lv16]
In real time, her Unarmed Combat skill and Swordsmanship skill was rising . Her simple and brutal sword strikes were now showing variations and subtlety. There was a different level of power within her when she took a step forward or backwards.
The strikes she hadn’t been able to withstand before was being blocked with impunity. In the beginning, the Death Knight had known where the sword strikes would be coming from, but she struck at its long sword before the Death Knight realized it was coming. At that moment, the Death Knight couldn’t help, but come to a realization.
[You bitch…. How…..!?]
“Do you have nothing else you can show me?…. If so, you can’t win against me.”
[How…. What the hell is this?]
There was a difference between knowing an answer, and the answer being etched into your body. However, the two things were basically interchangeable for Maetel.
It was fucked up. She was such a ridiculous genius that such a messed up thing was possible.
[You are truly a marvel. When you first came into the Dungeon, I couldn’t believe how inexperienced you were. What caused you to be like this? You are with such an underhanded person. How can your pure mind not deteriorate by being associated with him?]
Maetel didn’t give a reply as she used her Bash skill. Of course, her Bash skill had been evolving during the battle. The Death Knight had to exert much more power to block her strikes. However, the Death Knight still had some room to breathe.
[Even if you are able to grow quickly, there must be a wall you cannot jump over! In the end, you will fall to your knees and die. Do you realize the difference in the quantity of Mana we possess? Let’s see how long you can keep swinging your sword with such force.]
“I won’t…… I will protect Artpe!”
[You are putting your life on the line for a worthless human! Is your life worth so little, hero? You shouldn’t be sacrificing yourself for a man like him! You have to sacrifice yourself for humanity!]
“I’ll choose who I’ll protect! I don’t care about the people I have yet to meet! The most precious person to me is Artpe!”
If someone else saw this sight, one would think this was the scene before the climax where each side argued their side was righteous. In truth, this was only a boss battle within a beginner’s Dungeon. Artpe was a bit baffled as he watched the fierce fight from the back.
“That bastard is treating me as if I’m the Demon King….”
When Artpe’s party entered the 35th floor, he remembered that the rage of all the Death Knights had been focused on him.
Currently, the Death Knight was stuck facing Maetel, because Artpe’s defense was absolute. If Artpe gave it a sliver of opportunity, the Death Knight would immediately try to behead Artpe.
If Artpe was killed, the Mana Link between the two of them would be dismissed. In turn, Maetel wouldn’t be able to maintain her Berserk skill. He was using a valid tactic.
‘I’m unable to step forward into the battle. I have to wait knowing my fate is uncertain. This situation is so befitting the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly Kings that I have no words to say in rebuttal.’
If his life wasn’t on the line, he wouldn’t have cared if he was the main character or an extra. However, his head would be severed from his body when the hero gets slightly tired. It was a pathetic situation to be in.
‘Still, I’m no longer the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly King.’
Artpe let out a bitter laugh as he raised his shield.
It seemed the bastard was too shocked by Maetel’s talent that it was under a misconception. Maetel did have incredible talent, which could astound anyone. However, the person responsible for complicating the situation was Artpe. He had a rotten smile on his face.
The Death Knight probably thought Artpe would put down his guard if it focused on Maetel. Of course, that wouldn’t happen. Artpe was acting as if he was spinning his shield, but he had already emitted several hundred to several thousand Mana Threads. In the process, he had already consumed five bottles of Mana potion. He only had a single Mana Potion left.
‘The Record Link is still covering the entirety of the Dungeon.’
To be precise, it covered the Dungeon from the 6th floor to the 35th floor. If Artpe hadn’t tinkered with it, they would have had to fight all the monsters on the 6th floor. They would have died.
Anyways, Artpe had messed with the Record Link placed over the Dungeon, and he had divided the Dungeon back into multiple floors. This meant the newly born monsters past the 6th floor had no idea what was going on. They would only be linked to the monsters on the same floor, ,and they had to wait until the challengers arrived. This would remain so until he canceled what he did to the Record Link.
So what if….
“What would happen if I undid the restriction placed on the Record Link? Have you thought about it?”
Artpe intentionally spoke those words aloud. He did it to create an opening.
His plan was very effective. For a brief moment, it stopped swinging its sword. As if she had been waiting for this moment, Maetel kicked off the ground as she leapt towards the Death Knight. She stabbed towards its sword. A clear sound rang out, and the Death Knight’s sword broke in the middle.
The Death Knight finally regained its senses. It took a half step backwards to regain its stance. It pushed its shield slightly forward, and it unsheathed a secondary weapon. It gripped the long dagger as it glared at Maetel and Artpe.
[What do you think you can accomplish by breaking my sword, hero? I’ve already discerned the fact that you are consuming Mana at an alarming rate. Also, do you think you can shake me with such words, boy with the rotten eyes? There is no way you’ll do something that would only be beneficial to us.]
“No, you aren’t entirely correct.”
Record Link was a skill that brought together the record of everything tied together by the magic. It gathered battle experience, skill, magical energy and stamina in one place.
However, Record Link possessed a really big weakness. There were multiple reason why this magic spell was banned. However, this particular weakness was the most fatal and annoying reason of them all.
“Why do you think I’ve raised this shield up until now? If you think hard on it, you might figure it out….”
Maetel was breathing roughly as she stoked the rage from within as she fought the Death Knight. The Death Knight had no choice, but to retreat. It tried to keep calm as it looked for a chance to counterattack. Artpe grinned as he looked at the Death Knight.
“Ha! Maetel, you should look out for the falling monsters and the upheaval of your surrounding!”
He had extended several thousand Mana Threads to its limits. He had tied off parts of the Record Link to cause change to it. He had done this only a year ago.
Now he unravelled all the changes he had caused!
[Did you really…..!]
The Dungeon shook. The Dungeon, which had been separated into floors, was being combined into a single floor in short order! The Record Link, which had been tied off into small pieces, was whole again. It once again surrounded the entirety of the Dungeon.
The ceilings that separated the 6th floor to the 35th floor melted away in an instant. Skeletons and Ghouls that had reformed in the past year were once again tied to the Record Link. Now they were falling from above. It was a sight that had a strong resemblance to hell!
[Are you perhaps trying to create an opening by creating a mess!? It was in vain. What you did right now is called an idiotic mistake….]
“It was impossible to do this one year ago, because my stamina and magical energy was lacking. It was impossible even half a year ago!”
Artpe threw his shield into the air. His shield throw technique had matured in the past year. He was able to throw it fast and high. He quickly and ruthlessly killed all the falling Zombies and Ghouls.
“However, it is is possible now. I was pretty meticulous in preparing for this!”
The Record Link regained its full power. This meant all the record of the dead monsters would be shared with the Death Knight.
Their power, intellect, stamina, magical energy, record, and…..
[Koohk. You bastard…..!?]
“You’ll gain all the curses I placed on all of them.”
The curse was stacking as he killed all the monsters. In a flash, the Death Knight’s movements slowed. He had a twisted smile on his face as he watched the shocked Death Knight.
It was an evil smile that was well-matched with the Demon King.