"That fool shouldn't have stopped his assault. He actually allowed Vansouden to enter stealth. This fight is as good as over." One of the spectating individuals said as they shook their head.
"But, is it really alright for us to stay here? If Lances decides to come after us after defeating Rinse then..."
"Are you forgetting what Master Zushuatri mentioned about being randomly teleported every 30 minutes? No matter how strong Lances may be, if we all team up, then even if he managed to kill every last one of us he would not get away unscathed. There are still the other top contenders and Master Zushuatri's students to worry about. As for Rinse, hmph, it's his own fault for not knowing who he could and couldn't provoke."
Everyone agreed to a temporary truce until they were teleported. After that, if they crossed paths again then it was every man for themselves. For now, they wanted to see the good show that was about to happen right before their eyes. Being attacked by some nobody left a bad taste in their mouths and only his death would appease them.
Of course, no one truly trusted anyone and kept their guard up. A verbal truce was a shaky agreement at best in the selection as some people would do anything to obtain points.
"Still, I can't believe that guy is Vansouden. I've heard about him and his Nightmare Arts, but..."
While Vansouden was not a contender to claim one of the top ten spots of the selection, due to his Nightmare Arts, everyone believed that he would have no problem getting into the top 100.
The Nightmare Arts were known for driving its opponent to the brink of madness. Vansouden integrated this into his dagger and stealth skills to create a more dangerous form of the Nightmare Arts.
"Look at that guy just standing there. He must be scared out of his mind after realizing just what he's gotten himself into."
"He has his eyes closed and has already accepted his death. To think he spoke in such an arrogant way not too long ago. What a joke! I have no idea how trash like that made it into the selection in the first place."
Izroth stood perfectly still with his Sword of The Storm in his hand. He had a carefree and calm expression on his face with his eyes closed. He tried to use Energy Vision Sense to locate Vansouden after he went stealth, however, there was no indication of his flame to be found anywhere.
'His level of stealth is able to evade the detection of my Energy Vision Sense. He's probably using an A-ranked or even S-ranked stealth skill.'
This was the highest level of stealth Izroth had seen so far within RML. Of course, this was not including the skills unique to the Phantasmal race. Whatever skill Vansouden executed was capable of suppressing and cloaking the flames around him that usually showed when Izroth used Energy Vision Sense.
Vansouden moved at an incredible speed as he circled around Izroth and maintained his stealth. When he saw that Izroth closed his eyes he nearly coughed up blood from anger. That piece of trash dared to close his eyes against him?!
He was an inheritor of the Nightmare Arts! Someone who was guaranteed a spot in the top 100 and yet this nobody dared to mock him in the middle of a battle? How could he not be enraged?!
"Hmph, he can just die ignorant of his own weakness!" Vansouden said to himself as he suddenly stopped circling Izroth and kicked off his back foot and targeted Izroth's blind spot.
Vansouden's daggers soared through the air as they released a powerful aura. At the same time, Izroth was surrounded by creatures that looked as if they were straight out of a nightmare!
"Nightmare Arts: Parade of Terror!" Vansouden's stealth dropped just as his daggers were about to connect with Izroth's neck. There was a fierce and dark energy that lingered around his daggers and it seemed as if Izroth would be engulfed by the darkness. The creatures conjured up by Vansouden's Nightmare Arts: Parade of Terror all rushed towards Izroth ready to devour him!
"What a waste of time. It's already over. I thought because he was able to use Instantaneous Movement that he would at least run around for his life to give us a good show." One of the spectating individuals sighed in disappointment.
"Tch, that Vansouden is so hotheaded. Why is he trying so hard against a weakling?"
"In the end, it's still a competition. He probably wants to secure points as fast as possible and move on so that he has a chance of making it into the top 100."
"Hm? What's going on?" One of the individuals questioned with a frown on their face.
Out of nowhere, Vansouden just stood there in an awkward posture with his daggers. Everyone had a confused look on their face when they saw that he halted his attack mere millimeters away from Izroth's neck. Could he actually be toying with that piece of trash's life to crush his confidence? With this thought in mind, everyone had a mocking or satisfied expression. This is what they wanted to see!
However, as everyone was enjoying Vansouden "toying" with Izroth, Vansouden himself was currently dumbfounded.
"Why can't I move my body?!" Vansouden thought to himself. He was fine just a second ago, but now, his whole body was paralyzed! However, what really left him baffled was something strange that was going on with the trash in front of his eyes.
His body was phasing in and out of existence. It was just like a flickering effect when something was there one moment and gone the next that constantly repeats itself. The strangest thing was that there were currently two of them!
But, before Vansouden could even register what was going on, he felt sharp pains spreading throughout his body that mostly focused around his neck area.
While Vansouden had no idea what was going on, the individuals who were spectating the fight fell silent. The mocking and satisfied expressions on their face had disappeared and it was replaced by one that was cold and distant.
"What is that movement technique?" One of the participants asked in a serious tone.
"Doesn't its description match that of the infamous moving technique from one of the seven heroes?"
"Don't be an idiot. How can some random nobody learn that skill? It's probably just a bit similar to it. Besides, it was said that the hero you're talking about could move kilometers in the blink of an eye. While I'll admit he's fast, I doubt he has that kind of speed, otherwise, even those students of Master Zushuatri would not be able to touch a single strand of hair on his head."
Of course, the version of Flickering Steps Izroth possessed was the watered-down version that the system granted him. After all, if the system gave him the true Flickering Steps that Gear himself used then it would be just as they said. He would have the ability to travel kilometers in a flash!
'As I thought. No matter how high level the stealth technique is, there's always a small opening just before their attack lands. However, I still didn't expect it to be that close.'
Thanks to Soul Sense, as well as creating a fake blind spot for Vansouden to target, Izroth already had a good understanding of what direction Vansouden would attack from.
A few moments ago just before Vansouden's attack was about to connect, Izroth swiftly activated Flickering Steps and avoided the attack leaving behind his flickering silhouette in the process. At the same time, he curved around to the side of Vansouden and used Serpent's Bite to paralyze him.
Once Vansouden was unable to move, Izroth rained down a vicious assault with his Sword of the Storm.
One of the things Izroth figured out from his fight against Anvil was that the NPCs that participated in this selection were different from the ones he normally fought against. He did not know whether it was just a special occasion due to the selection process, or if they were always that way, but it made things a lot more reasonable.
Their HP was comparable to that of what players would be around that level with fully geared equipment. Of course, being level 50 or higher meant that their HP was naturally greater than Izroth's, but it was not some ridiculous number like 500,000 or 1 million. That was the main reason Izroth did not mind facing everyone at the same time.
After all, if they all had 500,000 to 1 million HP then there was no way that he would be able to eliminate all of them before the random teleportation occurred. Ultimately, this meant that the playing field was even! Or, at least, as even as it could possibly be for Izroth.
'As I thought, his HP is still higher than I expected despite his leather-type armor. Well, that's fine.'
A surge of energy began to gather at the tip of Izroth's index finger. Without any hesitation, it pierced right through Vansouden's neck like a hot knife through butter.
Izroth struck Vansouden with his Fissuring Point just as the paralyze effect on his Serpent's Bite wore off.
Vansouden was infuriated and fearful at the same time. He had taken heavy damage just now from Izroth's assault. If he had stayed paralyzed for one or two more seconds he would have been a goner!
Vansouden used a skill called Nightmare Arts: Ghoul Rush to escape from Izroth's immediate attack range. All of a sudden, his body was coated in a thick red aura.
Vansouden did not know why or how Izroth was unaffected by his Nightmare Arts: Parade of Terror, but he would not allow himself to succumb to defeat so easily!
"Nightmare Arts: Paradigm of Tempo and Death!" Vansouden roared as he vanished from the spot he stood in. However, it was not that he entered into stealth, but that his movement speed had increased to an incredible level! While it was still slower than Izroth's, he was no longer at a massive disadvantage when it came to speed.
As their sword and daggers clashed and parried one another's, a carefree smile appeared on Izroth's face. This was the type of fight he was looking for in this selection!
With his Flickering Steps, Izroth had always absolutely dominated opponents when it came to speed. One of the few exceptions to this was Azalea, but besides that, there was no one who was capable of coming anywhere close to his speed.
Although Vansouden was still slower than him, it was not by too much and he could actually respond to Izroth's attacks.
As Izroth fought, he could feel the progress of his Heavenly Golden Body slowly gaining momentum. Before coming to this selection, Izroth's improvement of his Heavenly Golden Body was stagnant. Even though he participated in numerous battles, he found that if the opponent was much weaker than him or provided no kind of true battle experience, then the progress he made would be zero.
Without fights that stimulated the Heavenly Golden Body, as well as his sword forms, they would always remain in a stagnant state.
'At this rate, my Heavenly Golden Body will advance by the end of this selection.'
While Izroth was counting his fortune with a carefree smile on his face, Vansouden looked as if he were ready to explode from sheer anger. For some reason, Izroth's calm and nonchalant expression felt like stabbing wounds. He felt that he was being looked down upon! If anything, he should be the one looking down upon that trash!
"How is he still faster than me? Is he using some rare potion or talisman? How?" That thought kept crossing Vansouden's mind over and over again as he was being slowly overwhelmed and pushed back by Izroth's fierce attacks.
Vansouden was not the only one confused. Those who were observing the battle from the sidelines were also baffled and dumbfounded. That Vansouden, an inheritor of the Nightmare Arts, was being overpowered by some nameless nobody? Was this a dream? It must be a dream!