Chapter 1702: Changing the Standard Method
"Jiang Botao's Empty Waves suddenly exploded, firing a series of attacks toward Dancing Rain! Du Ming seized this chance, Cruel Silence is currently flying toward Dancing Rain… Ah… Ye Xiu's Lord Grim is moving in this direction, but he probably can't block this. Steamed Bun Invasion ambushed… uh, it counts as an ambush, probably? But it was dodged!"
Charged with surging passion, commentator Pan Lin described these complex battles that were just about to intertwine together. As for the other area of this battlefield, it wasn't that the broadcasters didn't notice it, but compared to this area, the scene that those two players brought wasn't thrilling enough.
Sun Xiang's One Autumn Leaf turned to help Zhou Zekai, but before this, he had already cooperated with Wu Qi to establish the route over there. It was like how when the battle first began, the two of them had pincered Su Mucheng's Dancing Rain. This time, the two of them used basically the same method to deal with Qiao Yifan's One Inch Ash.
But because Zhou Zekai's situation was more dire, this time, the two of them didn't manage to carry out their plan to the fullest. Sun Xiang had One Autumn Leaf turn away sooner, leaving Qiao Yifan to Wu Qi alone. At this time, Wu Qi's Cruel Silence still hadn't completely closed in on One Inch Ash, but he was at least sticking to him very tightly.
By now, One Inch Ash basically had no way to demonstrate his Phantom Ghostblade abilities. Cruel Silence was too close - One Inch Ash had no way of stopping to cast a ghost boundary. Qiao Yifan could only run away, run nonstop. He needed distance. Dark Boundary, Ice Boundary… these ghost boundaries were all already off cooldown, but he had no space to cast them.
But Qiao Yifan didn't panic. He carefully observed everything in front of him now. He knew that in a simple footrace, he definitely wouldn't be able to escape Cruel Silence. He had to use the map somehow.
Fortunately, Phantom Demons did have a few close-range tricks. Qiao Yifan controlled One Inch Ash to fight as he moved, and at the same time he studied his surroundings in all directions, carefully memorizing everything he saw. Gradually, a plan began to form in his mind.
Even though Qiao Yifan wasn't sure if his idea would work, he could only give it a try. Close-range fighting wasn't a Phantom Demon's strong suit. Walking and fighting like this, he had already lost quite some health to Wu Qi's Cruel Silence.
One Inch Ash suddenly attacked. It seemed sudden, but he was a Phantom Demon, which only had a few slashing skills. Thankfully, they were all low level and had short cooldowns, otherwise he'd have run out of moves long ago. Moonlight Slash, this was a skill that One Inch Ash had used who knew how many times already, so no matter how sudden it was, there wasn't any feeling of newness to Wu Qi. Without even thinking, he was already swiftly responding.
Cruel Silence's steps were quite large, because Moonlight Slash would become Full Moonlight Slash. This was a fairly standard method. And Full Moonlight Slash would follow the user's controls, usually deflecting toward the direction in which the opponent dodge. So, when dodging Moonlight Slash, one also had to consider the forthcoming Full Moonlight Slash as well, and leave some extra space when dodging. If one tried to use something like Overlapping Sidesteps here, they would definitely be punished.
No, Wu Qi had seen through Qiao Yifan's method, but he didn't have any way to break it. This was the worth of the standard method. In order for it to be called standard, it had been refined hundreds and thousands of times, it was a highly-used technique. These sorts of techniques had gone through enough testing, such that no matter how good or bad their damage was, they at least put the user in a good position. When up against this kind of technique, no tricks could be pulled. Methods to counter it were simply those that had been determined to be the most effective after many tests. For Assassins, this was the large step that Cruel Silence had taken.
But this time, after the sword carved out this Moonlight Slash, the light immediately faded.
No Full Moonlight Slash!
But this couldn't be considered surprising.
This was a standard method, so of course, all of its variations had been studied as well. Moonlight Slash and Full Moonlight Slash were often used consecutively, but that didn't mean that they had to be. However, because of this "often," Moonlight Slash always had to be dodged as though it were two attacks. There was nothing to discuss about that. Even if the opponent didn't plan to chain the attacks, if you really treated the Moonlight Slash as just one attack, then it would be very easy for the opponent to make a last-second adjustment and add on a Full Moonlight Slash.
So, there was no way around it.
Even if you knew that this method could be changed in this way, you could only act after the change appeared.
Earlier, Qiao Yifan had controlled One Inch Ash to use Moonlight Slash three times, all of which had been followed by a Full Moonlight Slash. Very fast, very steady. The solid foundational strikes meant that Wu Qi didn't dare get overconfident, so his performance was also very steady. So this time, the fourth time, Cruel Silence took a large step again, still dodging the Moonlight Slash as though it were two attacks. But this time, there was only Moonlight, no Full.
What kind of change would this cause?
This was hard to say. After this, there were many options that could be taken. But one point was worth noting. Why was it so common to go from Moonlight Slash to Full Moonlight Slash in the first place? It was because connecting these two skills revealed no openings. It was the best guarantee of safety. But when Moonlight Slash was used on its own, this skill seemed a bit frail. Without a Full Moonlight Slash, if the opponent reacted quickly enough, if he seized the opening to attack, then the Phantom Demon would be in a bad spot.
Wu Qi's reaction was very fast. As soon as he saw the blade stop, he knew that Qiao Yifan was changing things this time. Even though he had experienced the standard method three times just earlier, Wu Qi was not stuck in his ways of thinking.
As though he had been prepared for this long before, Cruel Silence rushed forward.
With such an instantaneous reaction, there was no need to worry about whether Qiao Yifan had purposely controlled One Inch Ash to delay his attack. With such a fast reaction, even if Qiao Yifan had added this delay in his chained slashes on purpose, this delay had already become an opening.
The sound of the collision rang out.
One Inch Ash's tachi Snow Stripe successfully blocked Cruel Silence's Shining Cut that had carried both man and dagger.
Qiao Yifan controlled One Inch Ash to use a sudden Guard, blocking the Shining Cut that swiftly came at him. Clearly, he had been prepared for this.
This feeling suddenly floated up in Wu Qi's mind. The standard method of Moonlight Slash to Full Moonlight Slash, he had been prepared for; changing it so that Moonlight Slash was no longer followed by Full, he instantly changed as well, as fast as he could. But the opponent had been prepared for his immediate offensive. Clearly, Qiao Yifan had predicted this, he knew that Wu Qi would launch a fast attack in response to his change.
Their weapons clashed, but the sound rang for only a moment. In this moment, the two characters had gotten extremely close. On the screen, Wu Qi could see their crossed weapons, and the somewhat gloomy face of his opponent One Inch Ash.
But very soon, that face pulled away from him. The Guard blocked his attack, so Cruel Silence came to a stop, but his One Inch Ash used the Guard to slide backward.
This was the priority that the system dealt, Wu Qi had no way to interfere with that. But this moment was very short. In the next moment, he was already moving to his next attack.
As the Shadow Follows!
Raise speed, forcibly follow the target.
After recovering, Cruel Silence immediately activated this skill. Behind him stretched a chain of shadows, but in front of him, two lines of crossed swordlight flashed out, as though solidified, waiting for Cruel Silence to crash into them.
As the Shadow Follows could not go through an attack. Changing direction and circling around was possible, but this Gore Cross was too close, it had come too quickly, it was too late for him to change direction.
He could only cancel the skill!
In the end, Cruel Silence forcibly came to a halt, stopping himself in front of the Gore Cross. Having to change direction again, start up again, give chase again, who knew how much this had slowed him down. But Qiao Yifan evidently wasn't done. As One Inch Ash seized the chance to slip away, he also sent an Earthquake Sword toward him.
All of this, the televised broadcast hadn't shown. But the live audience had the projection, and countless screens above were showing all part of the battle. If the audience wanted to see something, there was no delay at all. Among Samsara's audience, there would of course be Wu Qi fans, and right now, they watched as Qiao Yifan used all of these techniques to trap Cruel Silence in place. Even they felt aggrieved.
In just these few moments of effort, One Inch Ash had slipped away behind an unidentifiable structure that was half-sunk into the ground.
Now, Wu Qi didn't dare let Cruel Silence chase right after him. One Inch Ash had left his line of sight. The next moves would depend entirely on position. Distance was no longer the one indicator of advantage in this situation.
Circle to the front?
Two choices dangled in front of Wu Qi.