~ Chapter 57: Duel (Part 2) ~
The eyes of the spectators were focused on my equipment. The exceptional craftsmanship and the sleek look caught their attention, and they understood with one glance that no normal blacksmith could create something like this. If I were to give an exact level of skill required to make them, then a Beginner Godlike craftsman was the minimum recommended for making the individual components of the armor plates, and at least a Trusted Legendary for the enchantments. As for assembling it all, that was another matter.
The amount of time I needed to make them was no joke, that was why I had the confidence that even without activating it at full strength, I could still easily take any blow thrown at me by Draejan.
Meanwhile, my opponent's armor was a typical knight's heavy armor covered in metal plates and using chainmail underneath, but which lacked the luster of a decorative armor. The main colors painted on it were brown, black, and red. They were meant to better hide him among his soldiers but at the same time let them known that he was a general. The paint was matte, avoiding the reflective metallic luster commonly found on decorative gold and silver armors. Letting your opponent know where you were wasn't always the best idea. In my case, however, I could hide it with a spell if needed be or drop a bucket of mud on top of me, but in general, I wanted the enemy to know my location. My plan was to act as a tank or a diversion for the powerful forces while the soldiers down bellow would take care of the rest. In other words, I was a vanguard. Taunting the enemy was a must for me.
When looking at his armor, I noticed that the level required to make it wasn't all that great. I could make thousands of identical copies of it without a problem. There were no intricate parts or detailed accessories on it. It was simple, but by making it this way, the craftsmen didn't augment it to its optimal potential. There were many things an enchanter could do if they had the skill.
As for his weapon, it looked like a simple longsword meant for a human warrior, but this dragon was holding it one hand. To be honest, he looked better wielding that sword than I did Heaven and Hell. I sort of looked like one of those dwarfs with huge weapons from Dragon Hunt.
Well, I also had short blades as well for those tiny and cramped corridors inside a dungeon, but those were another story.
In terms of enchants and magics used on it, I got the itch of using [Identificus Processus Juridicus], but I found it to be unfair. Besides, the duel had not yet begun so no matter what spell I had cast, it would have been seen by the public as foul play.
“Are both of you ready?” asked the King as he glanced at each of us.
I looked in Draejan's eyes and replied “I am.” and then I put on my helmet.
A click was heard as it was locked into place and the enchants activated.
“I am, your Majesty.” Draejan replied with a nod of his head and put on his helmet as well.
When it came to this part of the armor, Draejan's was custom built to protect his horns as well, giving it a rather weird look. On the other hand, since I didn't have any horns, It had the usual aspect as a Sci-Fi full-cover helmet. Once I morphed into my half-beast form, it would change shape to allow the horns to pop out. Their protection was optional in my case, a single enchant activation would send thin plates out of my helmet to cover them up.
“Then, by the order of the King, I command both of you to have a fair match! May none die by the blade of the other! May one come out victorious either through knocking out their opponent or pushing them out of the ring! Thus, I, your King, command! Begin!” Feryumstark ordered in a loud and clear voice filled with the stern authority of one in his position.
Thus, the duel had begun! I thought.
The first to attack belonged to Draejan. Unsheathing his sword, he stepped forward and dashed using a skill that I would have previously mistaken it for [Blink] because it felt like he teleported in that split second. Still, if I wasn't as powerful as I was now, I wouldn't have noticed the fact that he simply pushed himself forward with magic at an extreme speed rather than having teleported. A fast enough individual could have easily avoided any of his incoming attacks, but I didn't.
I let the strike fall on my armor to test out my endurance.
A loud clang was heard when metal touched metal and then the blade recoiled as if tossed by a spring. Draejan quickly changed directions and retreated with a jump back. If he didn't hold tight on the hilt of his sword, it might have flown right out of his grip. The recoil was that powerful.
This armor of mine was one meant for combat against Bosses that toyed around with dragons of Level 1000 or lower. Their strikes were nightmare-inducing blows that could crush stones enchanted with [Toughness] and send sturdy warriors flying in pieces.
This reminded me that when I was barely level 678, I encountered such a beast for the first time. I wasn't even paying attention when I received the first attack, which was a ranged one. It literally blew me back by several tens of meters and shredded a big portion of my chest armor. Only my sturdiness granted by passive skills and stats allowed me to survive, otherwise, I would have met my end there. Lucky was the right way to call my miraculous survival.
Then came the battle with the beast, a long neck Turtle Dragon who spat beams of light from its mouth and had an aura that froze and slowed down anyone around it. This sort of foe made you believe long range was the way to go, but it could create a wind barrier within the range of its ice and slow aura. This would make any adventurer believe that only through a sustained long range barrage could they stand a chance to win against this monster.
Fortunately, I didn't think about using long ranged attacks. If I did, I would have only wasted Magic Energy and the Turtle Dragon would have kept spitting out those beams of light, which were ridiculously accurate and precise. The reason for this was that very barrier of his. It was ridiculously powerful, but what an ordinary adventurer wouldn't have accounted for was the fact that this beast had lower accuracy within the barrier, the beams also didn't do as much damage.
So, what I did was rush towards it with my very first enchanted long sword and hoped to chop down its neck before it took a bite out of me. The slow, cold, and wind was seriously annoying, but the beast had trouble attacking me. It was like moving through a blinding freezing blizzard. Because of its own barrier, it also had trouble finding me. That was why most of its attacks missed, and those that were on target were dodged in the nick of time.
After the first few slashes, it became furious and turned off its barrier, especially since it didn't detect any long ranged attackers to be wary off. It was then when the accuracy of the Turtle Dragon increased, and I had to dodge by jumping around like a speeding bunny. Eventually, I got close enough to unleash a [Thousand Strikes] attack at the base of its neck. I was successful and killed it.
To be fair, I was extremely lucky in that battle. Later, when I encountered the monster's siblings, I attempted to attack one of them with a long ranged barrage. The battle was drawn out for almost two hours until its barrier finally vanished and one shot landed right on its snout. The other monster I engage only in melee and ended the battle in five minutes.
After facing the attacks from the Turtle Dragon and having my armor shattered in one blow several times, I decided to change the type of enchant I placed on it. From a regular shield type, I switched to a disperse and absorption type. What it basically did was disperse the energy resulted from a physical or magic attack around the armor and then reabsorbed the pure Magic Energy and focused it in other enchants.
By the way, it took me a lot of time to figure out how to do this and even more time to remember that physical attacks had something called Kinetic Energy, and without it the blows turned into harmless bumps. Remembering the name was also difficult... I was calling it at first: physicalish energy.
Well, all of my experiences in the Seculiar Forest led me to creating for myself an outrageous battle armor and a pair of swords just as ridiculous. I used them only when battling bosses or facing off entire nests of monsters. It wasn't a problem with their durability but rather the fact that they were overkill against other foes.
Right now, Draejan wasn't even someone I wished to fight with both Heaven and Hell in my hands, but it was necessary... This battle was a rematch, and he had to be aware of my prowess.
“What was that?” the dragon asked confused after he landed safely on the ground.
He looked down at his trembling arm. The recoil was quite something.
I showed him a smirk and told him “To think you can't even properly land a strike on me... Did I perhaps overestimate you?” I asked.
Of course, I didn't. I knew quite well at what level to place him. I understood his power from our first duel. Without something similar to [Dragon Tamer] it was impossible for him to make noticeable progress like all of my friends did. I mean, the previous Iolaus was nothing more than a shadow when compared to the current him.
“Ridiculous!” he claimed.
It was directed not at my words but at what he had experienced after striking my armor.
Truth be told, with this sort of pathetic attack it was impossible to lay a scratch on my armor no matter how many times he tried. Only a force capable of surpassing the recoil could also stand a chance to go beyond the armor's energy dispersing ability and damage it.
Raising his hand, he chanted fast and then called out the name of his spell: [Thunder Spike]. It as an ice spike charged with enough electricity to turn it into plasma, but the magic forced the spike to appear like an icicle. Yet, this was only on the outside.
I lifted Heaven up and then slashed down. The spike was cut in half and out came the electrified water inside that splashed over me. The shock was released and if it would have been any other adversary, they would have been temporarily paralyzed or stunned. However, this was not the case with me. I just pretended to not be able to move.
Seeing this, Draejan rushed forward and tried to impale me with the tip of his sword.
Letting go of Hell, I grabbed onto his blade with my gauntlet protected hand and stopped its advance.
“I-Impossible!” he said.
Lifting my head up, I looked him in the eyes and smirked.
The blade of my foe shattered to pieces.
“Hm? Did I used too much force?” I wondered as I looked at one of the pieces that remained in my hand.
Rather than that, wasn't the metal supposed to bend or mold not shatter like glass?
Maybe it was forged badly? I wondered.
Letting go of the pieces, they fell on the ground.
It was pathetic to look at him like this, so I summoned a sword from my [Purse] ring.
“Take this. It's a loan.” I told him as I tossed him in front of him.
The sword was called [Mass-produced Sword Number 17]. Unlike the swords used by the majority of the soldiers around this place, this one had some more serious enchants. In general, the number also showed what sort of enemies they could handle from the weakest one, which was 1, to the strongest one, which was currently 35. The first being able to handle the usual level 100 mobs in the Seculiar Forest, while the latter was for the more dangerous Bosses that usually popped up here and there.
Now why did I give Draejan the number 17 and not the 35 one? Well, because the sword I destroyed was at most comparable with number 8 of the mass-produced series. In other words, I gave him a far better one.
“I don't need your pity and spare swords! I have a better one!” he retorted and kicked my sword back.
He pulled out of his [Purse] ring another sword, but compared to mine, this one was barely a number 9. It was indeed better than the previous one, but not by much. Actually the number 17 could easily cut his in half.
“Suit yourself.” I shrugged and picked up the sword.
Looking to my left, I tossed it at Brekkar.
“Have some fun with it.” I told him.
The dragon grabbed it in midair, but the moment his eyes laid upon it, his gaze turned serious.
“I will.” he replied.
The dragon was old enough and smart enough to see a good sword when he saw one. Even Seryanna, Kataryna, and the King were looking seriously at it. Iolaus was confused, but he realized it was an impressive item as well, while Kleo and princess Elleyzabelle didn't understand why the big fuss.
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