Izroth did not waste the days before the selection simply exploring different areas and crafting pills, he also used the chance to enlist the help of an Inscriptionist from Sleeping Gardenia. The Five Way Imprint Inscription Stone that Izroth obtained from one of the Rare Item Treasure Chest he opened had been collecting dust in his inventory.
Since he had to deal with a large variety of issues, he pushed the Five Way Imprint Inscription Stone to the back of his mind as he was in no particular rush to use it. With the help of the Sleeping Gardenia Inscriptionist, Izroth used the Five Way Imprint Inscription Stone on his Sword of The Storm.
The end results made the Inscriptionist from Sleeping Gardenia nearly faint from shock. She had never seen such a ridiculous Inscription Stone with so many unreasonable requirements! According to what she said, it was probably impossible for any Inscriptionist within RML to fully inscribe the Five Way Imprint at their current skill level.
This was due to the fact that in order for a player to increase their proficiency and grade for the Inscriptionist profession, it required them to inscribe equipment with Inscription Stones. However, finding Inscription Stones were not easy even for the top guilds. In fact, this was their first time laying eyes on a rare quality Inscription Stone!
Therefore, the Inscriptionist was only able to unlock a portion of the Five Way Imprint. As for the rest, Izroth would have to find someone more skilled than her or wait until she reached a higher level on her Inscriptionist profession. On the bright side, Izroth managed to discover the exact requirements to unlock the remaining effects of the Five Way Imprint.
Inscription: Five Way Imprint(Rare)
Bound To: Sword of The Storm
«Imprint: Concealed Heavy Wounds»:
Passive: Every time the user lands a successful attack, the target(s) struck by the attack will have the total mass of their body and equipment increased by 5% (MAX: 200%). This effect lasts for 8 seconds. Any successful attacks while this skill is already active on a target will refresh the duration of this skill on that target to 8 seconds.
Active: Target an enemy within a range of 15 meters. The target will have the total mass of their body and equipment increased by 200% for 5 seconds. This is not classified as a crowd control skill. While this active skill is on cooldown the passive skill is disabled.
Cooldown: 30 minutes
«???» - ??? [Locked][Requires Grade Four Inscriptionist]
«???» - ??? [Locked][Requires Grade Six Inscriptionist]
Anvil swung his greatsword forward in an arc, however, the speed of his attack was laughable at best.
Izroth easily avoided the incoming strike as his Sword of The Storm swept by Anvil's neck followed by two phantom blades. In total, Izroth's Phantom Strikes landed a critical hit for just over 9,000 damage!
In the beginning, Anvil's speed resembled that of an agility stat that was just over 1,000 points. But, as Izroth's Concealed Heavy Wounds continued to stack onto Anvil's body the subtle difference in his movements and agility became as clear as day.
As the fight carried on, Anvil's facial expression transformed from one of arrogance and anger to one of horror. How was this possible? How was he losing to some nobody weakling?! This was supposed to be an easy 100 points and yet he was being constantly pushed back.
He was not capable of properly guarding his vital points anymore. "That weakling had to be cheating!" was the only thought that crossed Anvil's mind. Yes, that was it. Otherwise, how else could one explain his current situation?
Anvil understood that if he kept fighting this battle, he would be killed. What was more important than his life? Nothing!
"I am Earthshaker Anvil from the fifth kingdom Pzenium! My father is a Great Duke! Brother, why don't we stop this foolish battle and team up? Together, not even those students of Master Zushuatri will be our match!" Anvil said as he was cut once again by Izroth's Sword of The Storm.
Anvil felt ice cold on the inside. He was the son of the Great Duke of Pzenium! For him to have to lower his head to some trash was infuriating, however, he managed to bite his tongue and hold back his anger. It would not be too late to have his revenge as long as he was alive. If he came across anyone he knew, then he would immediately use the chance to team up on that piece of trash and kill him!
'At least try to hide your intentions better.'
Izroth could clearly see the hateful look in Anvil's eyes. He knew that the moment he gave Anvil a chance he would be mercilessly stabbed in the back without the slightest bit of hesitation. If Izroth truly was some weakling, would he have let him go even if begged for his life? The answer was obvious. It was only when Anvil knew his defeat was inevitable did he want to bargain for his life.
Son of a Great Duke? Fifth kingdom of Pzenium? So what! Izroth had severed the arm of the Envoy of the Netherworld who was a legendary existence. The moment he received the Curse of The Netherworld, Izroth had already offended the entire Netherworld, as well as the Netherworld Monarch. Therefore, how could be feel threatened by some mere Great Duke?
Izroth responded to Anvil's request with nothing but silence as he did not let up on his assault. Every wave of his sword would shave off a portion of Anvil's HP.
The closer Anvil's HP got to zero percent, the more desperate his attempts to persuade Izroth became. He even tried to use threats to change Izroth's mind, but nothing he did worked.
"I'll give you all the gold I have!"
"You will become a respected noble in my Pzenium kingdom with the help of my father!"
"Do you know who you're offending?! I'm the son of the Great Duke you piece of trash!"
"Wait, please forgive me! I was wrong! I know the error of my ways!"
No matter how much he screamed, threatened, or offered, Izroth remained silent. There was only a cold and distant look in his eyes as the one-sided battle went on.
The look in Izroth's eyes shook Anvil to his core. He suddenly felt as if he stood before a ferocious beast that saw him as nothing more than prey to be devoured on a whim. Anvil summoned a large wall of earth that rose up from the ground to nearly 25 meters high.
"Stay away... Stay away from me!" Anvil yelled at the top of his lungs as he dropped his greatsword and attempted to flee. He no longer had the will to fight against Izroth.
Of course, this was not a natural occurrence. It was due to Izroth using the trait skill Soul Pressure. Since Anvil was already on the verge of defeat, it did not take much effort for the Weakened and Frenzied effects to affect him. This fight was over.
Izroth stepped onto the wall, however, instead of falling down he started to move up.
Izroth executed his Wall Walking skill to make his way over the wall of earth that was summoned by Anvil. He jumped down and when he arrived around 15 meters away from Anvil, his figure disappeared using Enhanced Instantaneous Movement to ignore fall damage without slowing down.
Izroth appeared just past Anvil as his Sword of The Storm flashed by before being sheathed. For the whole duration of the fight, Izroth had not uttered a single word to Anvil. There was a cold yet carefree expression on his face that remained carved into Anvil's mind.
"I-Impossible... I am the son-" Anvil tried to speak, however, he found that he was no longer able to do so. Before he realized it, his body had already started to dissipate into countless particles. His life had ended with him as a mere causality of the selection.
Izroth would not waste his words on someone like Anvil, a person at the bottom of the food chain compared to the other participants.
While the end details of the selection were still somewhat unclear to him, he understood that he had to collect enough points to at least place in the top ten. For now, that would remain his main goal.
'I still have an advantage when it comes to agility against opponents like this, however...'
If a greatsword user like Anvil was already so fast, then Izroth knew that when he met a more agile opponent he would automatically be at a speed disadvantage unless he used a movement skill.
'If I have to fight two powerful opponents back to back who specializes in speed then it'll be troublesome if Flickering Steps is on cooldown. I'll have to find a way to make up for my lack of speed during that time frame.'
The moment he defeated Anvil, Izroth received a few system alerts. The number "100" that was on his hand had changed to "200". It was the points he earned from defeating Anvil who also had 100 points.
〈System Alert: Your total points have been increased by 100. [Total Points: 200].〉
〈System Alert: Your selection rank has changed from 985 to 903.〉
'Seems I still have some ways to go. I've wasted enough time here.'
Izroth started to move through the Living Forest in search of monsters and other participants.
'If I'm lucky enough, I'll run into a participant who has already started to accumulate points. The further into the selection we get, the stronger the remaining individuals that will be left roaming around. Until that point, my main focus will be to accumulate as many points as possible and improve upon my sword forms.'
Meanwhile, back at the Sky Palace platform...
"Hahaha, interesting! I never expected someone like that to know Instantaneous Movement. From the looks of it, it even appears to be an enhanced version! However, if that's all he got then he won't make it very far." Kayn said.
"If he manages to survive this selection it will already be an amazing achievement at his current level. Even if he does not place there would be no shame. However, that student of mine is making trouble as usual. I specifically told her not to go too far." Zushuatri stated as he shook his head.
"Hm?" Kayn shifted his attention to the same square of the magic screen as Zushuatri.
"Oh, you mean that one. Even though it's just started, that makes 15... No, I guess after that one it's 16. You sure have your hands full, old man. Even though that Sage brat looks that, she's pretty merciless on the inside." Kayn commented with a grin on his face.
Zushuatri released a deep sigh as he said, "That girl... I'm still uncertain about what to do with her. Her talent is immense, but her behavior requires some correction. However, she has been burdened with many troubles in her life and there are demons that remain in her heart. As her master, I can only guide her as best as I can. In the end, it is up to her to overcome those demons herself."
One of the participants in the blazing fire area suddenly collapsed onto the ground before they could finish their sentence.
The person that stood a few meters away from them was none other than one of the eight individuals and a student of Zushuatri, Sage.
Sage had her fan covering the lower part of her face, however, there was a look of disgust that could be seen in her eyes as she watched the life of the participant she had just slain come to an end.
"Disgusting... All of them are disgusting. Weak, fragile, and powerless. A selection of weaklings that act as a disgrace to our Mortal Realm." Sage said to herself as she strolled casually through the blazing area.
"Especially that one." Sage bit her lip until a small amount of blood trickled down from it as she was reminded of that weakling she saw back at the platform. That young man even dared make direct eye contact with her! She felt disgusted being looked at by someone so weak. It made her, quite literally, sick to her stomach. That young man was Izroth.
'A fight? Also...'
Izroth stood on a tree branch and hid his presence. This was the first time he ran into other players since his fight with Anvil. More than ten minutes had gone by since then and he managed to defeat some monsters along the way that increased his points from 200 to 345. It seemed that defeating weaker monsters was not as profitable as defeating another participant.
At the moment, he was observing a fight between a plant-like monster and one of the participants. However, Izroth used his Energy Vision Sense to see that there were ten other participants hidden nearby that were waiting for a perfect chance to swoop in and steal the monster from that participant!
It was likely that none of them were aware of the existence of the others. This meant that, without a doubt, chaos was about to abrupt in this place. With eleven participants present, at the very least, one person would walk away from here with 1,100 points! This was the same as hitting a mini jackpot!
A few moments later, Izroth saw that the monster was in a critical state. It was at that point that he witnessed a sudden change in the atmosphere. The temperature had dropped down to freezing levels.