Volume 6 Chapter 5 Part 2
“I see. You predicted I would come. But did you predict the outcome of the battle correctly?”
“I don’t stand a chance in a one-on-one. So I will rely on numbers.”
He looked at the window where a rope was dangling. Then suddenly it tightened, as if someone had pulled on it. I dropped to the ground immediately.
A single arrow zipped through the spot where my head had been a moment ago. It came from my blindspot as my eyes were drawn to the rope.
“Sticky Bomb!” I cast a spell at the same time.
Rian the Viper dodged it with a step to the side, and shouted in amazement, “You actually dodged it!”
“It’s too good a trap that it’s actually obvious!”
The timing of the trap now was quite good. If you assumed a person was hanging from the rope, your eyes would inevitably be drawn to it. It’s the perfect time to fire a trap arrow from a blind spot.
That is also why it’s easy to predict. They waited to ambush me here, which suggests that the enemy knows a lot about formulating strategies. Put it a different way, I can see what someone smart would do, and then act accordingly.
I knew from the beginning that his conversation was intended to entrap me. I went along with him nonetheless, so I could guess his fighting style.
Even a single trap can give you a hint about how your opponent’s mind work. In a battle where you can’t use powerful moves like Steam Explosion, it’s all about reading the opponent. This kind of information should be gathered as much as possible.
I took a step forward this time. Then an arrow passed behind me. It’s not like I saw it either. I simply made a guess. Since the opponent was a melee fighter while I fought from a range, one would not expect me to close the distance myself.
So if there was a second trap, the safest spot to be in would be in front of me. But I must say, I didn’t expect my prediction to be so accurate. This guy’s pretty easy to read.
“It’s like you can see the future!” The man cried in astonishment as he dodged my spell, and rushed straight towards me.
A small hammer is a weapon suitable for PvP. Most armors are created to block blades, long-range weapons, and magic. Blunt objects aren’t really regarded as important. Warping a plate mail can limit joint movement, and blunt weapons are capable of breaking bones even through armors made of leather or chains.
As for noteworthy Skills, they have one called Anti-counter—a Skill that nullifies Critical Counter. Critical hits aren’t exactly known in this world so Anti-counter doesn’t really have much use, but it’s also a basic Skill, so he should have learned it. If he studied me beforehand, it wouldn’t be surprising if he used it on me.
If that’s the case, close combat will be rough. I really would rather fight from a distance.
As soon as I cast my spell, the enemy changed his direction slightly. He dodged the Sticky Bomb by only a few inches without even slowing down that much.
He’s fast. Despite not having any mobility Skills, he traveled a distance of a few meters in the blink of an eye.
So this is why the enemy is deliberately using a small hammer, a weapon that doesn’t pack much power. A smaller sized and light weapon means it’s easier to move around.
A one-handed weapon’s trajectory is also hard to predict. The lack of power hardly matters when you’re up against a human being. Hitting someone on the head hard would cause death, and a blow to the arm could break bones.
Rian evaded my spell as though he already knew its trajectory before I even cast it. No. He can probably predict my move.
I can read the enemy’s movements. The way he avoided just now was exactly what I predicted. I can read him, but I can’t hit any spell. It’s like he knew just how fast I can cast my spells, and how I would move exactly. It felt like watching a BBO player who specialized in killing other players.
He swung his hammer at just the right spot I was expecting it to be. I readied my staff for a Critical Counter, but as I surmised, the Skill didn’t activate. He indeed has Anti-counter.
Sage is a spellcaster class. They’re not meant to fight others in close combat. On the other hand, a Blunt Weapon User is a melee class—everything from their stats to their Skills is fit for close combat clashing of weapons.
It doesn’t matter if he’s using a small hammer. It was still a suitable weapon in this case regardless.
The moment I blocked the hammer, my body rose, and a jolt ran up the hand holding my staff. The enemy swung his weapon upward from below.
With gravity working against him, his swing had less power. Still he did it anyway to lift my body off the ground. His main attack is coming. With my feet off the ground, I can’t dodge. His hammer was going straight for my center of gravity.
I cast my aviation Skill to keep my distance from the enemy. With it, I can move around even if my feet aren’t on the ground. Unfortunately, the route I can take is severely limited in this small space. Perhaps he expected me to use aviation magic here.
“I saw this coming. Magic Veil.”
I saw thin steel threads running across where I would land. They were wet with something. Definitely poison. I mean, he has Viper in his name. He probably fights by using his hammer to limit the enemy’s movement and then finish them off using poisoned traps.
Poison is trouble. I can use Magic Veil to block even physical attacks, but not poison. I used it to protect myself from the hammer, but it’s not something one can rely on too much.
Poison that’s only effective when it enters a wound is fine, but if it’s a magical poison that takes effect just by being in contact with it, defending myself using magic will be difficult. I won’t die immediately, but fighting against someone expert in PvP while in a weak condition will pretty much lead to death anyway.
So I need to avoid the poison at all costs.
“Damn it,” Rian cursed as he watched me cut the thread with my staff.
I guess he hoped to finish me with it. For the first time, his prediction was off.
However, the fact that my spells don’t hit still remains. Not being able to use powerful AoE spells is such a huge blow. I can use something like Flame Circle, but it reduces visibility, so it’s not really magic that I can use carelessly against someone expert in battle.
“That’s my line,” I said. “You’re dodging my spells from close range.”
I knew this was going to happen as soon as I saw the enemy’s weapons. That’s why I scattered Sticky Bombs everywhere instead of just outright using offensive magic.
Sticky Bomb is a spell that disperses sticky liquid to the ground. It lasts for hours, not just right after it erupts. If you step on the liquid, your feet will be glued to the ground and you will not be able to pull them off without considerable force.
The longer the fight goes, the fewer the places he can move around in. Limited movement is to my advantage. It’s hard to avoid magic spells and close the distance without much room to move. My magic, on the other hand, can target him from anywhere in this room.
All I have to do is repeat the previous exchange. I’ll throw out Sticky Bombs, and when he closes the distance, I escape with Magic Wing.
The battlefield will gradually become favorable for me, while the enemy can’t even change the terrain. It’s all over once he descends this tower. It doesn’t matter what kind of plans Rian the Viper will come up with. He will fall victim to my Steam Explosion.
The enemy would know this too, of course. He will desperately try to disrupt my strategy, even if it means going a little too far. All I have to do then is shut him down.
But there’s one move that could end this easily, and I want to try it.
Nothing happened. It’s one of the best PvP spells out there, but I guess he has measures against it. I suppose the only thing I can do is to create an advantageous situation little by little.