Chapter 65 : Skill ‘Armament’ (1)
A group of fully armed Skeleton Warriors walked along a clean path with lights on their heads. Behind them, Hyrkan carefully followed, tightly holding onto his sword.
‘This design isn’t one where a spirit would spawn.’
The moment Hyrkan opened the door and entered the instance dungeon, he had a feeling.
That the monster he would be facing wasn’t a pure spirit-type monster like the Salamanda.
It wasn’t a random feeling either. If the tunnel he was in before had a farm-like feel, the place he was in currently had a research lab-like feel.
The most important part of that the path was clean. If it was dirty, then it would have been likely for spirit-type monsters to spawn. It would have meant that spirit-type monsters who couldn’t endure the laboratory testing revolted and took over the lab.
But since the place Hyrkan was in was perfectly clean, it didn’t mean monsters took over the place. Then, the guardian protecting the dungeon must be waiting for him somewhere.
Such fine details were what made Warlord so charming as a game.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good news for Hyrkan.
‘Did I buy a fire-resistant set for nothing?’
Hyrkan had bought a fire-resistant set for higher than the market price because he thought he would have to face against spirit-type monsters. Although it wouldn’t be too big of a loss if he sold the set, he would still end up with a loss.
‘What a waste of money.’
Hyrkan walked and calculated the loss in his head. After about 10 minutes, the path he was taking led him to a large room. 1000 square meter area with about 10 meters to the ceiling. It was a large area, and the walls were filled with sword marks.
The moment Hyrkan saw the sword marks, he realized what the guardian of the dungeon was. When he saw the armor in the center of the dungeon, he was sure of his guess. The armor made for a large, 2-meter tall man looked like an armor from the medieval era. It was vastly different than the armor players wore, which focused on making them look better.
Of course, Hyrkan didn’t care how cool the armor looked like.
‘Bad memories pop up just when you think you forgot them.’
The good news was that Hyrkan had fought against this monster several times before. The bad news was that he had been killed by this monster as well.
‘So this is the place was where they created Spirit Knights.’
The moment Hyrkan discovered the armor, the armor had also discovered Hyrkan.
With a robotic sound, a stream of fire began to flow inside the armor.
Soon, the armor became filled with fire as it began to move.
The monster making the metallic sound and overflowing with fire was none other than the Spirit Knight. It was an artificially created monster that used the power of spirits to operate its armor. Its level changed depending on the spirit used as material. Since Hyrkan had killed level 80 Salamandas, the Spirit Knight here was likely to be above level 90.
The important thing to note was the Spirit Knight’s special trait.
‘Just my luck.’
Because it utilized the power of spirits, the Spirit Knight was immune to all debuff magic. That is, it was not affected by curse magic.
At the same time, there was no such thing as a critical hit. Just like how spirits had to be killed through continuous damage over time, the Spirit Knight had to be killed in the same way.
Finally, it was strong. It was one of the strongest monsters amongst the mid-small sized monsters of its level. The secret behind its strength was its high artificial intelligence. If most monsters fought like wild animals, the Spirit Knight fought like, its name suggested, a knight. Some players compared fighting the Spirit Knight as playing chess. Plus, the Spirit Knight used the high-tier skill, Sword Reinforcement. The cooldown time was 50 seconds, and it was an incredibly strong skill.
A battle with the Spirit Knight was sometimes used to estimate a player’s strength. Average players could not win against a Spirit Knight. It wasn’t easy for above average players either. Tankers especially hated facing up against the Spirit Knight. When players raised their shields, most monsters attacked on top of the shield. However, the Spirit Knight avoided the shield and went for any gaps the players had.
Hyrkan had been killed by the Spirit Knight as well. Of course, at that time, the difference between their spec was just too big. Hyrkan was around level 100 when he first ran into a Spirit Knight. The Spirit Knight he was facing was level 160. No matter how strong Hyrkan was, it was impossible to cover a gap of 60 levels. The fact that Hyrkan was able to be its match for a while was impressive.
In any case, the Spirit Knight wasn’t an easy opponent as Hyrkan currently was.
However, Hyrkan had no intention of avoiding the battle. He didn’t have a choice either. There was only one way to leave the instance dungeon. Hyrkan or the Spirit Knight. One of them had to die.
Since Hyrkan had no plans of dying, he could only kill.
‘Let’s do this.’
When Hyrkan snapped his fingers twice, the Skeleton Warrior that had been waiting for his order charged towards the Spirit Knight.
Powered by the Bone Armor and Madness Helm, the Skeleton Warriors fearlessly flew towards the Spirit Knight. The Spirit Knight did not waver either.
It pulled out its sword, and at the appropriate moment, it sidestepped the Skeleton Warrior’s vertical slash, and swung its sword in return.
With the sound of bones breaking, the Skeleton Warrior’s Bone Armor broke apart around its shoulders. It was a frightening blow. However, with the effect of the Madness Helm, the Skeleton Warrior was unaffected, as it immediately attacked the Spirit Knight again.
However, its aggressiveness was a poison rather than a medicine.
The Spirit Knight dodged the Skeleton Warrior’s sword and counterattacked. The Skeleton Warrior wasn’t able to fully dodge the Spirit Knight’s attack, ending up with another fatal injury.
‘This won’t work against that guy.’
The battle style Hyrkan taught his Skeleton Warriors was the dodge-first-attack-second style. Since most monsters attacked aggressively first, this method worked well.
However, the Spirit Knight had the intelligence to dodge and counterattack, just like his Skeleton Warriors.
It only attacked first when it knew it had the advantage.
Moreover, the Skeleton Warrior’s evasive ability depended on Hyrkan’s stats, and as such, it was difficult for the Skeleton Warriors to dodge the Spirit Knight’s attacks like a slippery eel.
Then how about the Golem?
‘would be useless too.’
The Golem would be even more useless. The Golem was even slower than the Skeleton Warrior, and it would only serve as a punching bag for the Spirit Knight.
While Hyrkan was judging the situation, his Skeleton Warrior had become ragged. Even its Bone Armor couldn’t withstand the brutal assault of the Spirit Knight.
Watching this scene, Hyrkan made his decision.
‘It’s about time I do my job.’
It was now up to Hyrkan. Besides him, no one could fight the Spirit Knight on the front lines.
After throwing two Skeleton Fragments on the ground, Hyrkan charged towards the Spirit Knight.
Hyrkan held his sword with both his hands and swung horizontally towards the Spirit Knight’s left side. On the other hand, the Spirit Knight, holding its sword single-handedly, swung its sword down diagonally to block Hyrkan’s sword.
The two swords met…
And let out an ear-splitting sound.
The sound of the two blades grinding against each other was terrifying and hard to listen to.
During their clash, Hyrkan was the one to be on retreat. His sword was being pushed back in its path. Seeing the Spirit Knight win against him in power with just one hand, Hyrkan couldn’t help but feel a headache.
It was a clear proof that his stats weren’t comparable to the Spirit Knight. This wasn’t the only proof either. The numerous cuts on Hyrkan’s body and armor also served as proof. Of course, Hyrkan wasn’t the only one in a sorry state. The Spirit Knight’s armor also had clear signs of a fierce battle.
What was certain was that this was the most fierce, intense battle Hyrkan has had so far.
‘I barely survived. Thank god I learned this skill.’
The only reason Hyrkan was still alive was due to a body modification skill he obtained recently – ‘False Heart.’ It raised his total HP by 20 percent, and together with Skin Sewing and Bone Armor, it greatly raised his survivability. Without them, he surely would have died.
While Hyrkan was drawing the Spirit Knight’s aggro, three Skeleton Warriors jumped towards the Sprit Knight. As soon as the Spirit Knight caught sight of them, it put more strength into its sword and pushed Hyrkan backwards. Then, it turned around to face the Skeleton Warriors.
After staggering for a brief moment, Hyrkan found his balance again. His eyes were fixed at the Spirit Knight’s left shoulder pad, which was already half-broken. Hyrkan didn’t hesitate. The moment the Spirit Knight used Sword Reinforcement and swung its sword at the three Skeleton Warriors, cutting them in half…
Hyrkan cut off the Spirit Knight’s left arm.
Instead of blood, intense flame spewed out from where the arm was cut off.
Hyrkan immediately backed off. Meanwhile, two of the Skeleton Warriors that had been cut in half reformed themselves and stood up. Surrounded, the Spirit Knight stared at Hyrkan and turned to look at the Skeleton Warriors.
‘It’s time for the finale.’
Hyrkan immediately made an estimation.
Sword Reinforcement was still on cooldown for some time.
He had two Skeleton Warriors left, and he could use one of them as bait to deliver one more blow. One attack for one Skeleton Warrior. Although it was a losing trade, it would be worth it if it meant he could finish the fight.
Hyrkan snapped his fingers and gave the signal. Having finished absorbing Hyrkan’s mana to recover, the Skeleton Warriors charged towards the Spirit Knight. The Spirit Knight stared at the Skeleton Warriors closing in on itself.
Watching this scene, Hyrkan estimated the timing.
Not yet, not yet, not yet.
The moment he grasped the timing, Hyrkan charged. The charging power from his high strength stat and ‘Leg Strength Modification’ passive skill was unbelievably high. In an instant, he closed the distance between the Spirit Knight and himself.
Meanwhile, the Skeleton Warriors that had already reached the Spirit Knight raised their arms and swung down. It was impossible for the Spirit Knight to block all of the attacks at the same time.
At the same time, it had no intention to block the two Skeleton Warriors’ attacks.
It ignored their attacks and turned around, swinging its sword along with the centrifugal force from spinning.
Its sword flew towards the charging Hyrkan.
In that instant, underneath the hahoe mask of Hyrkan and underneath the helmet of the Spirit Knight, their gazes met. Although not much had changed, it seemed like Hyrkan’s eyes were dark while the Spirit Knight’s eyes were bright.
In its moment of danger, the Sprit Knight’s excellent artificial intelligence had ordered him to attack the most threatening target. It was something completely unexpected even for Hyrkan.
Of course, Hyrkan didn’t have any way of dealing with the attack. Although he reflexively moved his body, it didn’t have much meaning in such a situation.
The Spirit Knight’s sword destroyed Hyrkan’s Bone Armor and Skeleton Armor, pierced through his Skin Sewing, and sent Hyrkan flying towards the wall.
When he landed, he continued to roll on the ground several times.
The Spirit Knight didn’t stop there. It ignored the attacks from the Skeleton Warriors and flung its body towards Hyrkan. It planned to use this opportunity to kill the most fearsome foe.
Meanwhile, Hyrkan summoned the Golem.
Most players would have been taken out before they even understood what had happened.
However, Hyrkan knew what he had to do even amidst the chaos of battle.
The summoned Golem began to take shape, and became a wall blocking the path of the Spirit Knight. The single-armed Spirit Knight didn’t stop upon seeing the Golem, but instead raised its sword up high. It planned to finish off the Golem before it could fully take shape. The Golem would not be able to last more than a few seconds.
In those few seconds, Hyrkan had to recover as much as he could with his recovery items.
Hyrkan did so almost instinctively. He reached into the pocket on his waist and grabbed a hand-full of recovery clay. After applying it on his injuries, he took out an extremely expensive HP recovery candy from one of his hidden pockets and threw it in his mouth. Without savoring its taste, he chewed on it and gulped it down.
Hyrkan then got up and let out a long sigh. His expression was frozen and rigid. From his mouth which was barely visible underneath the hahoe mask, he mumbled.
“You’re fucking dead.”
The Spirit Knight’s blow had awakened the sleeping Hero Slaughterer inside Hyrkan.
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