Chapter 7 Act 2: Connect

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Author: Starving Wind Original Source: Joara Word Count: 5521 characters
Translator: Anonymouss English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 3150 words
Editor(s): Silva

[Real Mode Activated]

Once again, all the stats and numbers disappeared and my perspective once again aligned with the body of the character. The sword that’s hanging on my hips. I mean, the Excalibur. I wonder why it suddenly feels so heavy…

I stepped along the central hall that looked like a mirror with its perfect symmetry and went towards the porch that was set to one corner. As I opened the glass door, a strong wind blew on my face, stronger than I expected. What an amazing effect.

Although I’ve seen the Sky Castle fly high up in the sky with a dizzying difference in height, it was the first time I was actually riding on one. Feeling curious and amazed, I looked down at the ground but then was hit with a realistic feeling of vertigo even though it was a virtual thing.

Despite this being a virtual reality, it was enough to make anyone say they would die if they were to jump off at this height.

Seeing the clouds pass by, it felt like I had reached the peak of a tall mountain, and the scenery of the giant cities and plains between the clouds looked beautiful.

As the Sky Castle has controls that allow it to move in any direction, I can go wherever that I wish to. The only bad side is that the moving speed is a little slow. After gazing at the same scenery for a while, I started to get sick of it so I took off my gaze and went towards the teleportation magic circle that was set in the corner of the porch.

The actual reason I came to the porch was also to use the magic circle as well.

Standing on the permanent teleportation magic circle that was drawn as a blue circle, I manipulated the 8 magic stones that were embedded onto the floor. I say controlling it, but all that I am doing is focusing my mana towards one of the stones. Usually, for Teleportation Magic Circle like this, it starts to operate when all the magic stones are charged with mana.

There is one thing that you must understand before I go on, the Permanent Teleportation Magic Circle is an extremely pricey magic circle.

It can only be installed by an exclusive NPC mage from the magic tower, and it starts from having only 3 magic stones all the way to the priciest one of having 8 magic tones embedded. Of course, even the cheapest model goes for around several hundred thousand dollars, and for 8 stones it easily goes over at least a million.

Then what is the point of having 8 magic stones? That means that by simple numerical values, I can register 8 different locations that have the magic circle. In other words, I can travel between 8 locations completely for free, and the fact that I can have 8 people together with me using the teleportation at the same time is the biggest advantage. Usually, it takes around 1 hour for magic circles to recharge completely, which is calculated with ‘in-game’ time. Considering that penalty, it means that you can save a huge amount of time and effort by the fact that 8 people can go together at once. On top of that, the final advantage is that the more magic stones there are, the shorter it takes time to recharge the magic.

I’m saying this over and over again, but there was no way to deny the fact that if you have the wealth, you can lord over others whether it’s in real life or in video games.

(Teleport Magic Circle has been activated. Please select the location you wish to move to.)

With a simple mechanical sound, a simple memo describing each of the saved locations opened in front of me.

Among them was a magic circle located at the mansion situated at the central plaza at London City, which is the biggest city in this server, as well as magic circle locations put in many different dungeons that I couldn’t recognize the names of, but the monsters and difficulty levels for all of them were at a similar level. The one that caught the most of my attention was the Stone Henge.

Famous for being England’s most popular tourist spot, it is also known for having groups of death knights appear as well as being a paradise for undead type monsters. Since I have light attribute and they would be weak to my attacks, it is a very easy area for me to hunt at, and there are also some reason as to why I have very good compatibility with Death Knight monsters.

“Move to Stone Henge.”

With my mind made up, I spoke the command and my body was transferred together with a pool of light.

My vision was blocked for a moment, then it slowly started to return to normal as the white light faded away. The sight of the wide grass plains and heaps of stones in the distance was quite distinctive.

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With 114m in diameter and an embankment built inside the ditch, there were 82 Menhirs visible in a shape of a double ring. In the middle was a double ring-shaped formation of stones and some that were shaped like a horse’s hoof. The outer stone circle was 30m in diameter with 30 of them lined up.
In any case, that’s the basic appearance of the Stonehenge. I guess you could call this sightseeing in a way, but this place is a hunting ground first and foremost. Looking around, there aren’t that many users as this place is where many high difficulty monsters often appear in. Well, it may also be the case that they could be on another part of this location as it is a large place and there’s more than one teleportation circle.

I pulled out the Excalibur hung on my waist and stepped out of the safe zone that’s on the teleportation circle. Soon, Death Knights that have hidden their presence will appear.

Actually, the reason why I chose Death Knights as my target for practice in fighting after so long was simple.

‘I’m pretty great at dealing with them after all.’

Though I may sound a bit overconfident, as a ranking player I had no choice but to become used to enemy movements and patterns more than the majority of other players of this game. Of course, you also had to have some innate skill for those kinds of things, and I was pretty blessed in that department, so I can proudly say that I’m better than the majority in that area.

If that’s the case, what does Death Knight have to do with anything? Well, it’s very related. It’s because it has to do with the Death Knight’s attack patterns and…

[I shall… Give you eternal rest… Human…]

And right on time, a Death Knight appeared. As it was in pretty close range, I cracked a smile as I righted my Excalibur. Just as I predicted, the Death Knight’s attack pattern is still the same.

Phantom Steed. The so-called ‘ghost horse’ that the Death Knight rides slowly gained speed as it gallops towards me. This was the charge attack that I’ve been waiting for.

As Death Knights have ‘Master’ level difficulty among the powerful monsters in the ranking, it is known to be very tough to deal with. As it has higher speed and more powerful attack and defense than usual monsters, they are very difficult to handle if you were fighting them using normal attack methods. Plus if your attack and defense weren’t enough, it was even more impossible. I would have also not even considered fighting it if it wasn’t for my weapon being an ‘Ancient’ tier.

Even this simple charge attack is a very dangerous attack in itself. As the Death Knight charged towards the user, its powerful melee attack was doubled in strength due to the momentum of the horse. It was a deadly attack that often lands a one-hit-kill to rear units like the mages and healers regardless of whether the user was a higher leveled or not, and this doesn’t even account for the damage of the enemies charging straight at them at full speed.

The attack would do a massive amount of damage even if the target blocks the attack. But still. If you can predict where the attack will connect and dodge at the right time, that will be the best opportunity to counterattack.

Of course, even though the charge attack is very powerful, it leaves the Death Knight wide open. Right now I can see it tilting its body towards my direction as it draws the sword hanging on its back.

The Death Knight is currently aiming to slash at my upper torso.

Just as I thought, I easily bent my back towards the left as the Death Knight attempts its slashing attack. I then exchange my left and right feet’s location as I turn my body completely around, while simultaneously swinging my Excalibur.

Slash.

I received good feedback from my sword. As I twirl my Excalibur around and look at the Death Knight that had lost its head, it starts to dissipate.

[Critical Hit! Congratulations. You have earned the title ‘First to OHKO a Death Knight’. You acquire bonus stat +2 and 20% extra EXP.]

To think that there was no one that had achieved this before in the whole of England. I clicked my tongue and spent all my bonus stat points on Strength. On top of that, I saw my EXP bar filling up quite well, seemingly due to the bonus EXP that it gave. I smiled as I realized that I still had my touch in Real Mode.

This was only possible due to the enormous amount of effort I put into practice, as well as the minimum of 800 points in strength. Without either of those, I wouldn’t have been able to deal that much damage in a single blow and achieve this title. In any case, the character that I had been using in the past and this Artoria character had a lot in common. Offensive character with a huge amount of strength. On top of that, a rare two-handed sword master as well. Usually, players would opt to have a balance in attack and defense by wielding both a sword and a shield.

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Perhaps it was thanks to that, I was able to get used to it so quickly…

“But wow, it’s a shock to see that there was no one that killed a Death Knight in a single blow in the whole server…”

Since I had achieved that title around 4 months ago, I thought that it would be obvious that someone in England would have also achieved that title, but I surprised to know that it wasn’t the case.

In any case, it was an all-around good thing for me, so I felt a bit smug.

As I turned around, spoils were left behind on the area where the Death Knight had disappeared and the common loot items appeared as usual. However, before I could even take them, I saw a number of Death Knights slowly appearing.

Since hunting just one wasn’t enough for me, I wasn’t planning to end it here, I stabbed the Excalibur into the ground and stretched out my hand towards the Death Knights. I then provoked them to come by flipping my fingers.

[Roooarr!!]

Seems that my provoking skill worked quite well, as the Death Knights roared out in anger.

Then a number of Phantom Steed starts to sprint towards me with their hooves stomping the ground.

As it was not one or two but three mounted knights charging towards me, it was quite dangerous. If it was my own character, once two of them starts to charge at me I would start running away, but I am using Artoria’s avatar, right? On top of that, as my Excalibur was known to be extremely overpowered, I felt like I have a chance.

More than anything, I came to that conclusion since I had plenty of potions ready in my inventory.

The interesting thing is that Artoria has the title ‘Never Died’. Although I did die 3 times throughout my game’s history, it is extremely low compared to others, showing how experienced and skilled I was as a player. Even so, having the title ‘Never Died’ showed how much more powerful and skilled Artoria was.

“But then again, drinking these expensive potions means that you would never… Whoa!”

The Death Knight’s sword that came sooner than expected grazed past me. If I was just a second late in reaction, I would have been stunned by the first attack that the continuing second and third attack would instantly kill me, so after dodging the first, I tried my best to dodge the other two.

“Urgh!”

But in the end, I couldn’t dodge them all and ended up having a huge wound on my left arm area.

Since I hadn’t been playing for so long, my movements are a bit sluggish, it was a big mistake to jump into a fight immediately and I regretted it deeply.

Thanks to 80% ‘Sync Ratio’ of the Real Mode, the pain I felt was immense. Some people call the players using Real Mode as masochists. Some would call them insane, but it’s all because they do not know how thrilling it makes the game.

Of course, if it was actually a sword strike in real life, I would have tumbled onto the floor screaming in pain while clutching my arm. However, I stood my ground and revealed a slightly crazed smile as the waves of pain came into my brain. It was time to punish these monsters that had given me so much pain that I haven’t felt for so long.

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Perhaps due to the fact that I saw my blood being spilled, my willpower and focus became sharp.

I never actually had the leisure to hunt to my heart’s desire with my previous character as the price for the potions are extremely high. The fact that I always craved thrilling battle was also the reason as well. And now, that craving has been reawakened thanks to this Death Knight.

“I guess I should thank you.”

Even if I say that, the AI wouldn’t understand a thing.

During that interval, one more Death Knight joined the fray and I was surrounded by them on all sides. Once four Death Knights come together, there is an 80% chance that they would initiate a synchronized attack called ‘Cross Attack’.

The Death Knights circled around me as if they found a prey. The four of them would attack at the same time, and I would be assaulted by them from all sides.

If someone recorded this, it would have become a hot topic on the internet. There had already been a large number of Korean ranking players who died this way. I still remember laughing at the users who died by this attack when it was trending on ‘Today’1.

To make it all worse, I saw someone slowly approaching from afar with hood put up. Looking at its movements, it was definitely not another user. Then the conclusion was simple. It was a mage with knowledge of undead magic.

It was definitely a Lich, a skeletal mage. This was also on par with Death Knights on the offensive damage it can cause. There was no worse situation I could be put in right now. I needed to make a decision.

I pulled out a potion and started to drink it. It didn’t taste like any dull tap water, but rather a refreshing sports drink that is often sold at marts. I could clearly tell that it was a high-grade potion compared to the usual low-quality ones I drank.

Although it wasn’t a lethal wound, it closed up immediately and fully restored my HP.

“I knew it…”

As I thought, the Death Knights charged in accordance with my assumption. The problem was that as they all attacked at once, their formation had been completely messed up. Originally they would attack one by one with a little gap of time in between, but because I drank a potion, they felt the urgency to attack, meaning they simply changed back to initiating a normal attack rather than a co-ordinated ‘Cross Attack’.2

The confusion amongst them gave me my only chance.

I initiated the skill that I knew I would be using first. Although it had a cliched name called ‘Sword Storm’, it was nothing to laugh at as it was a skill made with combining two P level skills together, making it an amazingly powerful skill.

I lifted Excalibur upwards as it left a beautiful arc in the air. I had limited time to execute each of the actions, time seemed to slow down as I performed the actions like it was in a Hollywood movie. The skill would only activate if I perfectly followed the required actions needed to execute it within the allotted time, and if I fail I would receive 150% of the damage and it would fail to initiate.

Thankfully as I had carefully practiced this sequence of actions regularly, I was able to complete it without any problem.

[Success] [Success]

With each of my actions, a system message saying I was successful quickly popped up one after another. And along with the messages, the Death Knights that surrounded me received an immense amount of damage over and over as I continued to carry out the actions.

Some skills may fail to initiate sometimes due to various factors such as the difference in Monster Level and skill ranking, but this is a very rare occurrence.

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And if the skill failed under those conditions, the user would only receive a portion of the damage rather than 150%.

In any case, my skill activated successfully and while the Death Knights still in chaos, I deftly dodged all of them before I stabbed the glowing Excalibur deep into the ground.

It was the last action I needed to initiate the combo skill [Explo] after the consecutive activation of [Sword Storm].

B-B-B-Boom!

With a huge explosion, shockwaves spread throughout my centerpoint. As of course, since I was the initiator of the skill, I gain an effect called ‘Perfect Defence’ which negates all damages to me, while all the Death Knights surrounding me suffer huge amounts of damage.

And so, the Death Knights slowly dissipated into the wind like black sand.

Feeling satisfied with the result, I made an evil smile.

“Heheh…”

I could see the Lich still coming towards my direction, as well as Death Knights that are starting to increase in numbers. I still had plenty of potions, plus the skills that I haven’t tried yet.3



References

  1. [TN: Today is Korean portal website with forums for hobbies and interests]
  2. Silva: Huh… a loophole in the AI?
    Robinxen: Probably the most game-y thing I’ve read in a VRMMO novel. Exploiting the enemy algorithms.
  3. Robinxen: Can’t tell if it’s just because it’s 4am, I was busy having a discussion about ReZero with someone, or if this chapter was just boring but…man I think I forgot half of what I just read?
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