As Izroth listened to the rules, he found that they were actually quite simple. To simplify it, when the selection started, every person would be randomly teleported into one of the four outer regions. The number on the back of their hand represented how many points they carried. Every individual started with a total of 100 points.
Defeating an opponent would add the number of their points to your own. In other words, if someone with 100 points defeated a person with 500 points, then they would have a total of 600 points. The goal was to collect as many points as possible within a time limit of four hours. While surviving for four hours seemed easy on the surface, with everyone hunting one another, as well as the monsters and position shifting, it was a near impossibility for most.
The top ten people with the most points would be chosen as official representatives of the Mortal Realm.
Of course, defeating opponents was not the only way to gain points. There were also many strong monsters in each region that would provide a wide range of points depending on their level of strength and difficulty. In this selection, practically anything was allowed short of leaving the outer regions.
Individuals were allowed to team up, steal monster kills, ambush, whatever was necessary for victory.
Every 30 minutes, all surviving participants would be teleported to a random location in one of the four regions, regardless of what task they were performing. This meant that their positions would randomly shift a total of seven times during the selection.
Though the most important and yet frightening thing was the last thing Zushuatri mentioned. The eight individuals behind him would also be joining in on the selection. However, it was not to gain a spot as a representative, but to hunt down those who were participating! There would always be two of them located in each of the four regions.
But, what came as a shock to everyone was that by defeating one of those eight individuals, they would immediately gain 100,000 points! This practically secured their spot as one of the representatives! However, it also spoke of how dangerous those eight individuals were.
'100,00 points, is it? Interesting.'
As Zushuatri finished explaining the rules, he held one of his hands in the air.
"Everyone, have you resolved yourselves?" Zushuatri asked as a bright glow emitted from his hand.
"I wish every single one of you the best of luck. Remember, you are the pride of the Mortal Realm. Never forget that. The start of the selection will now begin." Zushuatri said as he waved his hand. In the next moment, the only person left remaining was Zushuatri himself. Even the eight individuals on the stage with him had disappeared.
"Now, how will you young talents fair this year?" Zushuatri muttered to himself as a massive magic screen appeared before him that revealed every last participate.
〈System Alert: You have entered the region «Living Forest»!〉
Izroth had just been teleported off the platform by Zushuatri along with the other participants.
'Looks like I've been sent to the forest area first. However, it seems that I already have some company.'
"What kind of fortune is this? The divine beings truly know how to bless this great one! Free points and a nice weapon to go along with it. Hey trash, you should feel honored that you'll die by the hands of this great one." A voice came from in front of Izroth. It was the same individual who had his eyes on Izroth's Sword of The Storm back on the platform!
He then continued, "A weapon like that is too good for trash like you. Hand it over and I'll give you a painless death."
'I suppose even in a place like this there are those who invite disaster upon themselves. Well, that's fine. Let me see just how large the gap is between level 49 and level 50.'
At the moment, Izroth was level 45. This meant that he was most likely the weakest participant when it came to comparing levels. However, Izroth was never afraid of a challenge and even welcomed it. But, he understood that this person in front of him was just some small fry compared to the other participants. It would not be inaccurate to say that the selection was a gathering of talents and hidden monsters.
This made Izroth curious of something. If these were the individuals trying to claim a spot on the second team, just what kind of people were on the first team?
NPC Name: Earthshaker Anvil(Elite)
NPC Level: 50
NPC HP: ??? (100%)
A carefree smile appeared on Izroth's face as he unsheathed his Sword of The Storm. A powerful gust of wind blew out from his surroundings before settling down.
However, that carefree smile on Izroth's face, as well as his silence and the action of drawing his weapon only served to infuriate Anvil.
"Hmph! I'll wipe that cocky grin off your face. Hurry up and forfeit your life to this great one!" Anvil roared as he stomped his foot on the ground. At the same time, a greatsword rose from the earth in front of him.
Anvil grabbed onto the hilt of the intimidating greatsword and the power of the earth element could be felt oozing out of it. He charged towards Izroth at a speed that was nearly equal to his own base speed!
Even though Anvil wielded a greatsword, his base agility was almost close to Izroth's! At the moment, Izroth's agility was at 1,374. From the way Anvil moved, Izroth estimated that his agility was just a bit over 1,000 points. For someone wielding a greatsword, that was an incredible speed to obtain!
However, Izroth was just a little surprised and nothing more. After all, if he could not even take down someone like this without having to go all out then he might as well just hide for the rest of the selection!
"Just a dog who only knows how to bark." Izroth said to himself in a nonchalant manner as he kicked off his left foot to meet Anvil head-on!
Izroth's first fight of the selection had begun.
Meanwhile, back at the Sky Palace platform...
"It seems that young man does not have any fortune. To run into another participant right after teleporting is quite unlucky. I still wonder what that person was thinking this time around. Even in my old age, I cannot peer into their mind. However, this fight should be inter-" Zushuatri suddenly halted his words as he narrowed his eyes towards the sky.
There was a large ball of flame that resembled that of a meteorite falling down at extreme speeds. It was headed directly for the platform!
The ball of flame crash-landed just a few meters away from Zushuatri. As the flames engulfed the entire platform, a transparent barrier formed in front of Zushuatri who had a calm expression on his face as it fended off the intense flames. A few seconds later, the flames were finally extinguished as a massive dust cloud was left in its place.
Zushuatri waved the palm of his hand as the dust cloud was pulled into a powerful vortex in the sky before completely dispersing. Surprisingly enough, the platform was undamaged in the slightest from the impact besides the one area where the main contact was made which resulted in a small crater.
"Old man Zushuatri, did you plan on leaving me out?" A voice came from the crater.
Old man?! If anyone that was on the platform before heard someone refer to Zushuatri as "old man", they would have coughed up blood from shock. Who dared talk in such a loose-tongued way with like the master of the Sky Palace?
Zushuatri had a slightly troubled look on his face when he saw the individual who stepped out of the crater. There were not many people in the Mortal Realm who would dare behave so recklessly before someone of Zushuatri's standing, however, the individual before him was a special case.
Although Zushuatri was not afraid of them, he still had to maintain a certain level of caution due to the type of existence they were not to mention the entity behind them.
"The first-team selection process has already concluded. Should you not be making last-minute preparations as the captain of the first team, third young master?" Zushuatri said with a gentle expression on his face.
The individual who emerged from the dust cloud with a domineering aura had piercing red eyes that resembled those of a dragon. His yellow-colored hair was neither short or long with a wild and spiky appearance. He wore a traditional style robe that was red and gold in color with dragons sewn all throughout the clothing.
He stood tall and proud with his arms folded leaving the sleeves to his robe drifting about freely. This domineering young man was none other than the youngest son of the Dragon King and the third young master of the Dragon Clan, the Star Devouring Dragon, Kayn. This meant that Kayn was no normal dragon, but one who possessed the pure bloodline of the true dragons of legends!
Around one week ago, Kayn claimed first place in the selection process for the first team. This is why Zushuatri was surprised to see him at the Sky Palace instead of making use of his time for more important matters. Even if Kayn was a rare talent when compared to other true dragons, he should know better than to underestimate the opponents he would be facing.
"I heard that the second selection is today so I've come to lend a hand. Wasn't there trouble with the second team last time?" Kayn said with a slight grin on his face.
Zushuatri released a small sigh as he replied, "I'm afraid if you lend a hand, we will lack any participants for the second team."
"It's fine. I won't use my arms and as long as they manage to land a single hit on me it can be considered their win. Don't worry, I'm not so heartless as to kill those weaker than me. You have my word." Kayn said in a confident tone. One could see from his demeanor and words that he did not intend on backing down.
Zushuatri narrowed his eyes as he examined Kayn. Not using two arms may seem like a massive advantage, however, even his students would not be Kayn's match with that handicap. But, since Kayn promised not to kill any of the participants, it could serve as a good way of increasing the pressure.
In the end, Zushuatri knew that even though Kayn spoke about lending a hand, in truth, he was just looking to entertain himself. But, Zushuatri would use this to his advantage. The second team could not afford to suffer humiliation a fourth time in a row!
"Very well. Although I doubt anyone is up to the challenge, I shall allow it. However, you won't be allowed to join until the last thirty minutes, otherwise, I fear that if I let you join now there will be no one left when the time limit runs out." Zushuatri stated.
"That's fine with me... Oh- That one's interesting. Even though he's pretty weak, he's overwhelming his opponent. But, to have a infancy stage Source... Heh, truly interesting." Kayn said as he sat down cross-legged with his arms folded and looked at one of the squares on the magic screen. It contained the fight going on between Izroth and Anvil.
'His defenses are tougher than I expected. However, it's not a major problem since his attacks have no chance of reaching me with that level of speed.'
Izroth's Sword of The Storm struck out with insane speed the moment he parried Anvil's greatsword! He used Flash Counter to immediately launch a counterattack. However, Anvil's combat experience seemed to be much higher than those Izroth previously fought against.
With one look someone would think that Anvil was just a clumsy fighter, however, he protected his vital points incredibly well.
'If I used Flickering Steps this fight would have ended some time ago, but I do not have the luxury to waste any high-ranked skills on someone like this.'
"Stop screwing with me! Stay still!" Anvil roared as he swung his greatsword four times in rapid succession.
Izroth kicked off his back foot and stepped out of Anvil's attack range.
Anvil's breathing was heavy and yet he had no idea why. At first, he thought Izroth's movements became faster, but soon found out that he was simply getting slower! How was it possible that his fatigue was dropping so fast?
'His attacks and movements are starting to become more predictable and desperate. It's finally taking effect. The first effect of the Five Way Imprint Inscription.'