A few moments later, the beam of light dispersed, however, the seven pentagonal shaped magic sequences still remained in the sky above.
When the light dispersed, a beautiful crystal was revealed and inside of that crystal was none other than Izroth.
Just before the beam of light reached him, Izroth used the Crystallization skill attached to his Crystal Sea Head Ornament to protect himself.
Of course, if the beam of light was actually traveling at the speed of light he would have never had any chance to properly react to it, even with his abnormal sense of perception. Nevertheless, it would still be exceedingly difficult for the large majority of players within RML to respond to that spell.
The spell was not just fast, its damage was nothing to scoff at as well. The structural integrity of Izroth's Crystallization skill had gone from 100% to 67% after that single beam of light. But, what left him a bit surprised was that a barrage of light beams did not continue to bombard him as he had expected them to do.
Izroth had seen Valentine use this skill before. It was definitely Valentine's Zarkox First Sequence: Release, however, the cast time should not have been that quick. Not to mention, the number of magic sequences formed were different and many times bigger.
If Izroth had never visited the Amaharpe palace library and learned more about the magic within RML, then he would have thought that it was just a different skill. But, he could clearly view from inside of the crystal that the skill Valentine had just used was like a more advanced version of the Zarkox First Sequence: Release.
"I figured it wouldn't be that easy." Valentine said in a calm tone. However, he was inwardly shocked at Izroth's unbelievable reaction speed and ability to adapt to the situation as it evolved. Seeing it when they journeyed together was one thing, but fighting against it was a different story.
What he had just used was the enhanced version of the Zarkox First Sequence: Release. In many ways, it was countless times more versatile and unpredictable than the skill's original version.
Not to mention, the skill itself had increased from an A-ranked skill to an S-ranked skill!
Skill Name: Enhanced Zarkox First Sequence: Release
Skill Level: MAXED
Skill Rank: S
Requirements: Sequence Mastery I(Passive), Magic Fundamental Mastery(Passive)
Mana Cost: 600
Cast Time: Instant
Active: The user forms seven magic sequences within a compressed pentagonal shaped field of mana above its intended target within 30 meters. The user must then properly overlap the magic sequence into seven layers which will create a strong burst of light-based energy in the form of a beam. The first beam fires immediately when this skill is cast and stuns the target for 0.25 seconds. The user can fire a total of 6 additional beams within 30 seconds after casting with intervals no less than 0.3 seconds apart. These beams deal 175% of the user's magic as damage. The user can directly control the firing direction of the beams.
Cooldown: 3 minutes
Zarkox First Sequence: Release was the very first skill Valentine learned an enhanced version of. It was also the first time he found that it was possible to enhance already existing skills.
Of course, there were limits and one required a deep understanding of the skill before they were able to acquire an enhanced version. When he first discovered this he was mind blown. He wondered if most players even knew such a thing was possible!
That kind of knowledge was enough to shift the way other players looked at their skills forever. Though it was obviously not for everyone. After all, most people simply wanted to level up and obtain rare items. However, the top guilds were different. This was exactly the kind of information that they dreamed of holding.
"Let's see just how long you can stay inside of that crystal." Valentine said as he summoned down yet another beam of light that crashed into the beautiful crystal.
The entire crystal shook violently when the second beam of light made contact as cracks could be seen forming throughout its sturdy exterior.
'I see, he's able to control the timing of the light beams. At this rate, the crystal can only withstand another two attacks at most. In that case...'
Valentine fired down a third beam of light as he simultaneously retreated out of Izroth's immediate attack range.
When the third beam of light struck the crystal, it began to shatter and crumble into countless pieces. It was about to break!
"How many of those things can he fire?" Mirage said in a tone of disbelief. It seemed as if there was no end to the barrage of magic and Izroth's defenses were crumbling.
"What a merciless spell. It doesn't give opponents any time to react at all. However, Izroth never ceases to amaze me. The fact that he cancels his skills without hesitation and abruptly changes his battle tactics is incredible. To be honest, I don't think even the most veteran of pro players can make such swift decisions in the middle of a fight." Midnight commented.
"That magic caster is also pretty impressive. In a short period of time, he forced Izroth into an ideal position and used the chance presented to launch an attack. Instantly casting such high-level spells is something rarely seen. But, it's all pointless if he can't find a way to deal with Izroth's real speed." Qi Jiguang stated.
"Ah, you mean that weird skill when he turns all fuzzy?" Omega asked.
Qi Jiguang nodded and replied, "Yes, precisely that skill. In my opinion, it's Izroth's most lethal skill for a variety of reasons. I believe he said it was called Flickering Steps."
As the fourth beam of light descended from the sky, the crystal was vaporized into nothingness. However, Izroth was nowhere to be found after the light cleared! All that could be seen was a fading afterimage of Izroth's silhouette.
Valentine immediately went on high alert as he saw that fading silhouette. Back in the Chaotic Dogma Realm, Izroth's agility was already terrifying when he used that skill. He was positive that Izroth's agility had improved by leaps and bounds since then. Valentine could feel his heart race and his adrenaline start to increase.
As Izroth's figure flickered around the arena, he was targeted by the mana chains from Valentine's Enhanced Zarkox Second Sequence: Mine Fetter. Although these chains were not fast enough to catch him, they were able to make him change his initial direction constantly to avoid being surrounded and ensnared.
However, it was not just the chains that he had to worry about. Valentine controlled the magic sequences in the sky and attacked Izroth as he was on the move. Of course, he was unable to follow Izroth with his eyes while he had Flickering Steps active even if he consumed the Five Cycles Pill. Therefore, Valentine had to think on his feet.
Although he did not know Izroth's exact location, he knew that Izroth's overall goal was to close the distance he had created between them. Taking that into consideration, as well as, the position of his hidden magic sequences in the ground, whenever Izroth caused one of them to activate, Valentine would instantly call down a beam of light somewhere within five meters of his previous position.
However, he could not employ this strategy for much longer. He had just fired off his fifth beam of light which meant that he only had two attacks remaining!
'What a troublesome combination of skills.'
Izroth decided to activate his Energy Vision Sense as a world of multi-colored flames appeared around him. He looked over in Valentine's direction and noticed a calm purple flame encompassing his body. It was much more controlled than Mirage and the others which were most likely the results of training under Kryxelsia.
But, what really grabbed Izroth's attention was the thinly veiled flames scattered across the arena ground. In total, there were ten of them hidden beneath the arena platform.
'Are those flames the source of the chains? They only seem to activate when I get within a certain distance of them. However...'
Izroth lightly tapped his foot on the arena platform as a series of tremors were sent out in an area of 30 meters!
All of a sudden, ten blue pentagonal shaped magic sequences lit up in different parts of the arena. In the next moment, a series of chains shot up from the location of every magic sequence. However, since they had no target, the chains made of mana simply flailed around for a brief period of time before crumbling away.
Izroth's understanding of magic sequences was not lacking at all when compared to Valentine's, therefore, he knew just moments after viewing the magic sequences that they would forcibly activate if disturbed too harshly. To accomplish this task, his Behemoth's Quake was the perfect skill to use.
Valentine activated his Mana Shield skill as he knew that Izroth's Behemoth's Quake was not strong enough to break through it and so he was not too worried about it.
"What a monster." Valentine could not help but have that thought cross his mind as he saw Izroth find the weak point of his Enhanced Zarkox Second Sequence: Mine Fetter and immediately render it useless. To not only find the weak point but take advantage of it as well after having only seen it one time was inconceivable! However, how could Valentine know about Izroth's Energy Vision Sense?
Now that there were no more traps remaining, Izroth flickered towards Valentine at incredible speeds! If one tried to follow him with their eyes, they would only be able to catch his afterimage.
"Qi Jiguang, how would you have broken through those chains?" Omega asked out of curiosity.
Qi Jiguang thought about it for a moment before he responded, "Magic casters already hold a natural advantage over melee players, especially at our current level range. Therefore, I would have used Burning Spirit and launched a full-scale frontal assault. The fight would be over in a handful of seconds. Either I kill him before Burning Spirit ends, or he kills me right after it's over."
As Izroth swiftly closed the distance, Valentine used the last two beams of light. Unfortunately, both were unable to strike Izroth. He quickly tried to cast another spell, however, it was too late.
Woosh! Woosh! Woosh!
Izroth appeared in front of Valentine as his sword quickly swept across his neck with two shadows trailing behind it.
Valentine's eyes widened as he looked at Izroth's constant flickering silhouette that had arrived before him. The sudden appearance of Izroth caused him to instinctively try to dodge, but instead, he ended up tripping over his own feet and falling back. At the same time, Valentine received an alert from the system that caused him to release a helpless sigh.
〈System Alert: The duel has ended! Winner: Player Izroth〉
Izroth used Phantom Strike and aimed right for Valentine's neck. The attack happened too fast and Valentine could not react in time. Even with his Mana Shield active, it was immediately shattered after the first attack! This was due to Izroth pouring 20 points of Essence into his Phantom Strike. This doubled the amount of damage his Phantom Strike dealt!
Along with the critical hits, Valentine lacked the HP and defensive skills to continue any further. The battle was over.
"It's your loss." Izroth stated as he returned his sword to its sheath.
He then reached out his hand to help Valentine to his feet as he said, "You fought well."
Izroth was not simply being kind with his words. Out of all the players he had fought against so far within RML, Valentine was the one who put up the biggest fight.
Valentine took Izroth's hand and stood to his feet as he gave a weary smile and replied, "You say that, but I couldn't even land a single hit on you. Don't you know how to hold back even when others say not to?" He spoke in a humorous manner.
In the end, Valentine was overwhelmed by Izroth's combination of speed and power. With Izroth not giving him any time to cast and having already gone through his instant cast skills, Valentine was unable to prevail. Though it was not a complete loss. This fight with Izroth had helped him just as he had hoped it would.
"Though I suppose I should be thanking you. You may have just helped me find the answer I've been searching for." Valentine said as a grateful smile formed on his face.Fighter-type skill. Huge damage boost, the user is unkillable, the user ignores all forms of crowd control, the user cannot receive any healing, the user HP rapidly drains while the skill is active. This skill last for a short period of time.