Chapter 683 Simple
Tian Lie snorted and proceeded to kick his arm, which lay on the ground.
It was quite a heavy kick, one that resulted in a dull impact sound. However, the arm remained still. The kick did not send it flying. Instead, the arm quickly transformed into a liquid state, which then flowed into Tian Lie’s leg through his toes.
As for the cut off part of Tian Lie’s arm, the severed part grew back. It looked no different from the original arm.
Tian Lie waved with his hand and crossed his arms as he turned to look at Nicole, who was within the red circle. He suddenly broke into a laugh.
The wooden puppets nearby did not move. Only one of them did; the wooden puppet at the foremost of the two rows turned its head before walking into the red circle.
It stood across from Nicole and bowed in ceremony. Then, its right hand moved to rest upon the hilt of its sword.
Although its whole body was made of wood, there was not a single trace of rigidity in its actions. Rather, it moved as though it was a living human.
The Ion Pulse Sword that Nicole had used to cut Tian Lie’s arm earlier had yet to be retracted. However, Nicole did not assume any stance with it. Instead, she let it rest downward beside her as she coldly gazed at the wooden puppet. She chose not to return its bow.
“Be careful, they have a very high level of swordsmanship.”
Zero, who was outside the red circle, said calmly.
After the wooden puppet was done bowing, it straightened itself. At the same time, the sword in its hand was unsheathed. Even so, it did not take the initiative to attack her. Instead, it simply assumed a stance and stood there.
“A wooden sword?”
Nicole sneered. With a flick of her Ion Pulse Sword, the thrusters at her back burst into action and she blasted toward the wooden puppet.
The instant the wooden puppet unsheathed its sword, she had noticed that the sword was made from wood.
Although the Ion Pulse Sword had the word sword in its name, it was essentially a plasma beam formed using the energy focusing device on her Floater mech armour. In face of her Ion Pulse Sword, what was the difference between a wooden sword and thin air?
Despite the limited area within the red circle, the thrusters on Nicole’s armour were able to reach its max in an instant. The Ion Pulse Sword was raised up high before slashing down on the wooden puppet.
On the contrary, the wooden puppet had not taken a single step in response to Nicole’s move. Its other body parts had not moved at all. All it did was to gently raise the sword in its hand up to take on Nicole’s Ion Pulse Sword.
It appeared as though the Ion Pulse Sword was about to cut both the wooden sword and wooden puppet in half. And yet, the moment the two swords made contact, Nicole came to realize that her right arm could no longer descend, not even by half an inch.
A faint silvery light glowed across the surface of the wooden sword.
Despite the intense heat of the green flames of the Ion Pulse Sword, it was incapable of cutting through the thin layer of silvery light on the wooden sword.
However, the wooden puppet was not merely blocking the attack from the Ion Pulse Sword. Its wooden sword slid across the Ion Pulse Sword, moving like a darting snake as it shot toward Nicole’s upper chest area.
Nicole was shocked. She quickly pulled back her Ion Pulse Sword and used it to guard her front. At the same time, she activated her backtracking thrusters. Three bursts of light flashed out at the same time from both her wrists and her waist, propelling her backward to avoid the sword strike from the wooden puppet.
As for the wooden puppet, it did not pursue her. Instead, it stood in the same place and re-assumed the same stance from earlier.
“For this stage, instead of a battle, it may be more appropriate to call it training. They will only passively parry and counter attack. They will not take the initiative to attack.” Zero’s voice rang out from beside Nicole’s ear. “However… … please try to be fast.”
“You want fast?”
Nicole turned to look at Zero before snapping in response, “Fine!”
The instant she uttered those words, pieces of her Floater mech armour popped up.
Beneath the raised mech armour parts were tens of energy blasters.
“Sorry, but I am not a swordswoman!”
The wooden puppet seemingly sensed the danger it was in and it changed the stance it was taking. Instead of holding its sword with one hand, it used both hands to hold its sword. It also lowered its centre of mass as it cast its lifeless eyes, devoid of pupils, at Nicole.
Tens of energy blasters locked on to the wooden puppet before opening fire. As for the wooden puppet, it brandished its sword.
The wooden sword left an illusionary sword trail before the wooden puppet, covering the puppet. With the sword trail there, the wooden sword was capable of blocking Nicole’s beam attacks. The same thing happened as when the wooden sword had stopped her Ion Pulse Sword earlier. Not only was the wooden sword undamaged by the attacks, it had deflected the attacks.
Nicole fired tens of energy beams toward the wooden puppet. It managed to block off most of the beams, deflecting them away in various directions. Even so, a small number managed to hit its body.
Every one of the beams were as thick as a fist. In the aftermath of Nicole’s attack, the wooden puppet’s left arm was torn apart by one of the beams. As for its body, several holes could be seen on them. The puppet struggled for a bit before falling down to the ground.
The instant the wooden puppet fell down, its body disintegrated. In but seconds, it had transformed into ashes.
“Is this fast enough?” Nicole turned her head once more. Although those words were directed at Zero, her eyes were looking at Tian Lie in a provoking manner.
Clap! Clap! Clap!
Tian Lie clapped his hands while wearing an emotionless face.
“Humph!” Nicole sneered before turning to look at the other puppets. Two wooden puppets stepped forward.
The red circle on the ground had expanded considerably as well. It had expanded from its original radius of 10 plus metres to a radius of 20 plus metres. Even so, when compared to the vast square, the red circle was only occupying a small portion of its space.
“Did the circle grow bigger due to the increase in opponents?” As the two wooden puppets were bowing, Nicole turned to look at Zero. “What will happen if those puppets and I leave this circle?”
“Those wooden puppets are all controlled by a program that was set up beforehand. Thus, they will never take the initiative to leave the circle. However, if you can either force them out or send them flying out of the circle, it will be their loss. However, the moment you leave the circle, you will need to re-start your training.”
“Re-start from the first stage?” asked Nicole with a frown.
“Correct. And I need to reiterate this, we do not have much time. Out enemy is fast approaching my core.” Zero’s voice remained emotionless, without a hint of anxiety. “Thus, I hope you can be fast about it.”
“I understand.” Nicole nodded before turning to face the two wooden puppets. They had taken on their respective stances. As for Nicole, the energy blasters on her armour began lighting up once more.
Tens of beams of light fired out once again. The wooden puppet, like earlier, brandished its wooden sword to protect its body. However, it was only capable of blocking off most of the beams. The rest of the beams successfully struck its body, punching right through it, causing it to fall to the ground.
After having knocked down one of the two wooden puppets, Nicole turned her blasters’ muzzle to aim at the other one.
There was no expression on Tian Lie’s face. However, there was a trace of doubt in his mind.
The wooden swordsmen only knew how to stand on the same spot and assume a stance. They will only make counter attacks against their enemy. In other words, as long as one possessed long-ranged attacks, that person would be able to happily stand around and finish them all off.
Granted, the silvery luminescence emanating from their swords was something that not even the Ion Pulse Sword could cut through and their swordsmanship was truly outstanding, capable of deflecting most of the energy beams that Nicole had fired at them. However, even if their opponent’s firepower was lesser when compared to the Floater mech armour, to passively allow themselves to be beaten up like this would only mean getting fully defeated in the end.
This was a roadblock guarding the path toward Zero City’s core. Tian Lie was unconvinced that this was all there was to passing this training stage.
There must surely… … be more to it.
Nicole quickly made short work of the other wooden puppet with her energy beams. She watched as the damaged wooden puppet’s body fell to the ground, disintegrating into ashes. Then, she turned around once more to look at Tian Lie in the same provoking glance.
The four wooden puppets for the third match moved forward, walking into the red circle.
The size of the red circle expanded once more.
This time, Nicole did not wait for them to bow.
Tens of energy blasters were aimed at the wooden puppet nearest to Nicole. This time, however, the four wooden puppets did not simply stand in the same spot as the earlier ones.
The instant Nicole locked down on one of the wooden puppets, the other three quickly made their move. They stood before the targeted wooden puppet and four swords were brandished, creating an impenetrable defence before them.
Of the tens of energy beams that Nicole had fired, not a single one struck home. All of them were deflected by the wooden swords covered in silvery luminescence.
After the energy blasters were done firing, the four wooden puppets did not wait for it to cool down. Instead, they split up into groups of two each and rushed Nicole from her left and right side.
Nicole was shocked. In that critical moment, her mech armour’s thrusters blasted into action in an instant and she soared into the sky. At the same time, the Ion Pulse Sword on her right arm was ignited as well.
The four wooden puppets swung their swords in unison, drawing four silver arcs out. However, their attacks missed by a hair’s breadth and their swords swung at the empty air that Nicole had been standing on just a moment ago.
Nicole, having dodged the concerted attacks of the four wooden puppets, hovered in mid-air. Every part of her was focused as she waited vigilantly. However, the anticipated attacks never came.
No matter where Nicole flew toward, the four wooden puppets would follow, their hands wielding their swords. Their heads would always be fixed upward at Nicole. And yet, they did not jump up to attack her.
By then, Nicole’s energy blasters were done cooling down. Once again, she aimed at one of the wooden puppets and opened fire. However, the four wooden puppets were always together. The instant they noticed the lights gathering upon the energy blasters on the Floater mech armour, they would begin brandishing their swords. Nicole darted around in the sky without respite, changing her trajectory while she opened fire. After having unleashed three barrages, not a single one of her energy beams managed to strike the wooden puppets.
“Are you planning on simply floating up in the sky and not going down?”
Tian Lie, who was standing there, had both his arms crossed before his chest. He watched as the four wooden puppets ran around in circles after Nicole while brandishing their swords, their heads turned upward. Suddenly, Tian Lie laughed out. “You should be thankful that you are not wearing a skirt today.”
“Shut up!” Nicole sent a fierce glare at Tian Lie.
The Inspector of Thorned Flower Guild, the Angel Killer. The impression that this figure originally held within her mind was that of a powerful, terrifying and insurmountable…
In the battle to the death in the Tokyo instance dungeon, Chen Xiaolian’s guild had used everything they had in order to kill him. Nicole even paid for it with her own life.
However, no matter how many labels she had for him, never had she imagined that she would put on the label of ‘annoying’ on Tian Lie.
Seriously, what an annoyance!
Nicole took a deep breath before accessing her storage equipment.
With a flash of light, a large cannon-like blaster appeared within her grasp.
The body of the blaster was nearly two metres long. However, it gave off the impression of being short. The reason for that was its muzzle. It was simply too big.
Countless complex-looking circuits lines the surface of the blaster. At the bottom part of the blaster, however, there were no handles. Instead, there was only a base.
“RX-87 Anti-matter Annihilation Ordnance?! Where the Hell did you swipe that from?” Seeing the item in Nicole’s hand, even someone like Tian Lie could not help but blurt out.
“The Hell do you care? Just stay right there and watch! And don’t talk so much nonsense!” Nicole snapped back.
“The Anti-matter Annihilation Ordnance packs quite the punch. It is several times stronger compared to the main cannon of the Thunderstorm Tank. However, there is an issue… … that thing is simply not a gear for a solitary unit. Without a trigger, how do you plan on firing?” Tian Lie cast an amused look at Nicole.
“Did you forget who I am?” Even as she was speaking, the Floater mech armour on Nicole’s body began peeling off her.
The Floater mech armour that had peeled itself off her body did not transform back into its Floater form. Instead, it quickly moved towards the Anti-matter Annihilation Ordnance in her hands. They fused with it, leaving only the thrusters on Nicole’s body to keep her hovering in the sky.
“The Floater can fuse with other mechanical and electronical equipment, strengthening it and putting it under my control. This… … surely, you did not forget, did you, Angel Killer?”
Nicole cast another arrogant glance at Tian Lie as the Anti-matter Annihilation Ordnance in her hand released a flash of light.
Particles of light slowly gathered at the muzzle position of the blaster. After 10 seconds, a half-metre thick beam of light blasted downward and a huge dome of light expanded out from the ground beneath her.
The instant the Anti-matter Annihilation Ordnance opened fire, the thrusters on Nicole’s back fired up as well, propelling her far away from the explosion.
By the time the light beneath her had faded away, the four wooden puppets there had vanished. All that was left on the ground was a huge crater, one that occupied pretty much half of the area within the red circle. As for the tiles on the surrounding area, they too, had been thrown into disarray by the impact of the explosion. Everything was a mess.
“Simple.” Nicole did not fly back down. Instead, she raised the Anti-matter Annihilation Ordnance up and made a ‘blowing the smoke off the muzzle’ action. However, as the blaster was too big, there was still quite some distance between Nicole’s mouth and the muzzle of the blaster. Thus, the move, which was supposed to look stylish turned into something awkward.
When she turned to look at Tian Lie, however, she saw that there was no excitement in his eyes.