Somewhere in the Scorching Lands region of the selection...
Kayn arrived in the Scorching Lands and was currently face to face with a certain individual. There was a grin on his face as he stood there with his arms folded.
"Do you wish to exchange some pointers with me?" Kayn asked.
"This one dares not dream of it. Someone like me is unworthy of exchanging pointers with the third young master." The person in front of Kayn was none other than Sage! Unlike with others, she showed caution and a great level of respect towards Kayn. After all, she was well aware of the difference in their strength.
"Then, I suppose there's no helping it if you think so. Anyway, I didn't come here to really exchange pointers with you. I saw that there's someone you've taken interest in during this selection, so I'm here to lend you a hand. Wouldn't you like to play with that guy who escaped from you in the Boundless Sea?" Kayn stated.
Sage narrowed her eyes as they were filled with unbridled killing intent as she replied, "I would be forever grateful to the third young master if he could arrange this matter for me. However, I am unsure why the third young master would assist me?"
"If I had to give a reason, it's because I happened to take an interest while watching the events unfold back on the platform. But, if I had to give an actual reason... It's because it's also what that person wants. Well, don't think too much about it. I'll make sure your paths cross during the final relocation." Kayn said.
It was difficult to tell what thoughts were running through Kayn's mind as his expression was well maintained even when everything about him seemed relaxed. Just what was he up to? What did he hope to gain from this?
"Just wait, trash. I'll be sure to pay you back for all the humiliation you've caused me." Sage thought to herself after thinking back to the events that happened in the Boundless Sea.
"Now, I suppose I should go pay that one a visit as well." Kayn thought to himself as he jumped off the ground and shot into the sky. He hovered in the air briefly as he scanned his surroundings.
"There." Kayn's gaze stopped at a certain location within the Untamed Land Storms region. He traveled at a high speed towards that location, completely ignoring the Limit Zone and boundaries set in place by the Sky Palace.
When Eoxin charged forward, it acted as the wake-up call for everyone surrounding Izroth. They would not just sit back and watch Eoxin claim the points right before them, therefore, some of the participants rushed to beat Eoxin to the attack on Izroth. After all, that person looked as though they would fall in one attack given how weak they appeared to be.
Though not everyone was so headstrong. There were some who decided to stay back and observe what happened before making a move. In their minds, all they had to do was wait for everyone else to kill one another and then strike whoever was holding the points while they were weakened. It was be reaping the benefits with half the work!
As for the storm brewing in the sky, no one really paid it too much attention due to the region they were in. It was not unnatural for a storm to suddenly form and wind speeds to increase. But, there were two individuals who acted in a more cautious manner than the others. They felt that it was a bad place for them to be and so those two cut their losses and immediately retreated.
The moment Izroth pointed his sword towards the sky, the surrounding winds intensified as powerful bursts of winds rained down from the storm that formed in the sky above. It was the same skill he used back in Tiger's Mouth to exterminate that large group of bandits and Tenedi Demon Wolves, Great Storm. This time, however, it was at least twice as powerful! Not only that, but the blades of wind being generated by the Great Storm were extremely fierce and domineering while traveling at an amazing speed.
Without a doubt, the wind element's power was increased within this region just as Izroth expected. However, what he did not predict was that it would be increased to such a high level. This meant that for someone like Lances who specialized in fire-based attacks, his overall power would practically double or maybe even triple whenever he was relocated to the Scorching Lands region.
Environmental Advantage was the name for when something like this occurred. When using an element in a place where it's in abundance with the environment, then it would naturally increase the strength of that element.
After launching his attack, Eoxin had to instantly retreat due to the alarming sense of danger that overcame him. But, even though he was able to successfully evade the first blade of wind, he was grazed by the second blade of wind which forced him into an unfavorable position. It was not long until Eoxin was struggling to survive under the bombardment. He was not the only one in a difficult situation, even the participants who stayed back to observe were met with trouble.
Izroth had to admit that the participants who survived the selection this long were not as easy to deal with as the others. Even with the pressure put on them by his Great Storm and its increase in power, the participants were able to evade or defend in a timely manner. This was different from the time where the bandits went into a full state of panic and did not even know how they died. However, if they believed that Izroth was done, they could not be further from the truth.
"Where did this storm come from?!" One of the participants yelled out.
"I hate this region! Send me back to the Living Forest!"
Of course, the participants did not even entertain the thought that Izroth was behind the appearance of the Great Storm. Not only was it difficult to see without focusing, but they had to worry about avoiding the blade of winds and watching out for sneak attacks from other participants. Who had time to worry about the weakest person there? In the end, there was no way that he could run away from this place if even they could not!
As the chilling saber intent closed in on Izroth, he simply stood there without even trying to avoid it.
The saber intent crashed into Izroth's body, however, it felt more like a refreshingly cool breeze to him. When Eoxin, who was closer to Izroth than the others, saw that his attack was completely disregarded and even taken head-on by Izroth, he was dumbfounded. He thought that attack would be enough to finish him off and yet he somehow managed to emerge completely unscathed.
Eoxin did not want to waste much energy since he needed it to escape after he claimed the points for himself. After all, the person who acquired the points would immediately become the target of everyone present. Therefore, he used the amount of power he thought would be sufficient enough to deal with Izroth, but it did not go as planned.
'This stage of the Heavenly Golden Body is really different from the others. I can even ignore casual attacks from those in the early to mid-level 50s and receive them head-on.'
Izroth could tell that the attack Eoxin used against him was on the weaker end of the spectrum of skills. Eoxin was not the first saber user Izroth faced in this selection and so he was familiar with the saber intent that was used against him. Furthermore, he already had a good grasp of what attacks his Heavenly Golden Body could and could not take at its current stage.
Izroth took advantage of the chaos caused by his Great Storm skill and went on the offensive. He used Light Feather Footwork to gain a sudden burst of movement speed and entered into the middle of where most of the participants were gathered. While they were focused on staying safe from the blades of winds, Izroth changed his sword stance as he moved his Sword of The Storm against the side of his right leg and lowered his body keeping a low stance.
'Fourth Sword Form: Dipping Valley.'
While Izroth sword was placed next to his leg, there was a strange illusion that formed and it looked as if the sword was resting on Izroth's shoulder as well. The sword rested on Izroth's shoulder began to move and meet up with the sword on the side of his leg, however, if one were to observe the sword it would seem as though it were taking an eternity to reach its destination.
But just as that thought crossed one's mind, before they knew it, the sword would have already arrived at its destination! The instant the two swords met one another, they twisted and fused. At the same time, a fissure formed in the ground in front of Izroth that caused the earth to split open, creating a deep scar on the land. The fissure traveled in a straight line and stopped 10 meters away from Izroth. The fissure resembled that of a valley.
Skill Name: Fourth Sword Form: Dipping Valley
Skill Creator: Izroth
Skill Level: 2/4
Skill Rank: B
Requirements: Sword Equipped
Passive: +6% Armor Piercing
Active: The user creates a fissure that travels 10 meters out from the position of their sword. Any enemies caught within this fissure take 125% of the user's attack as physical damage. Enemies affected by the fissure have their movement speed reduced by 65% for 3 seconds. If any enemies remain within 10 meters of the fissure after 3 seconds, they will take an additional 250% of the user's attack as physical damage that ignores 100% of all defenses.
Special Note: This skill can also be leveled up through repeated usage and proper execution.
Cooldown: 1 minute 45 seconds
Three seconds quickly passed as the fissure collapsed and the enemies remaining within the range of the fissure had a portion of their HP shaved off. When Izroth used the fourth sword form, he was reminded of his fight against Roudin. If he had the fourth sword form at that time, then maybe the fight would have gone somewhat smoother. Unfortunately, he did not have the breathing room to risk attempting something like learning a new sword form against Roudin.
But, after his fight with Roudin, Izroth knew that it would be troublesome for him to deal against another opponent who had high defenses. After all, he could not always use risky attacks that drained his HP, Essence, and other sources of energy. Therefore, he immediately started to learn the fourth sword form which had some defense breaking abilities.
Along with his sword forms and picking off weakened opponents with his First Baneful Sword: Destruction, Izroth was able to quickly eliminate five participants. Since the Great Storm only lasted for 10 seconds, Izroth had to make the most of his time.
Two of the participants attacked Izroth from different directions leaving him with nowhere to escape. However, his figure suddenly disappeared as his sword pierced through one of the attacker's neck from behind with an overbearing aura weighing down upon it. He used Enhanced Instantaneous Movement at the last possible second to avoid the pincer attack and swiftly strike back.
The surrounding participants were shocked. How could this be possible? In the blink of an eye, that weakling managed to kill off six people? No, weakling was not right. Monster! That guy was definitely a monster who had been silently hiding his true power this entire time.
Could it be that he intentionally allowed them to surround him so that he could wipe them all out at once? But, besides those five monsters and Master Zushuatri's students, there should be no one else who was able to accomplish that! Just who was this person? How could they not be known?
They began to feel foolish for thinking that he climbed to 4th place by pure luck. Was it even possible to get into the top five based on one's luck alone? They started to regret their senseless actions. Without realizing it, they had walked into the mouth of the beast and welcomed a disaster upon themselves!
"Escape!" Eoxin roared as he found a small opening within the bombardment of the Great Storm. A relieved expression appeared on his face as he was close to its outer boundaries, however, his movements came to a grinding halt as a strong gust of wind flew past him.
"Eh? I can't-" Before he could finish his words, Eoxin's body fell over lifelessly as his particles began to dissipate. He was so close to escaping and yet he was killed! The sad thing was that he did not even know how he died.
Izroth's Tempest Strikes carried along his Phantom Strike skill followed by his First Baneful Sword: Destruction. There was no way for Eoxin to survive under the pressure of evading the Great Storm and being in a rush to escape.
"As I said before, all of you are my prey. Since you've already decided to come here, no one can think about escaping from this place alive." Izroth said with a carefree smile on his face. However, to the other participants, it was the smile of a demon!
It was at that moment the same thought crossed the minds of every participant present... Just what kind of person did we provoke?