The battle was surprisingly intense at the beginning, but tension was only felt by Grid’s party. The more he grasped the skills of Grid’s party, the better Limit became. Limit’s swordsmanship was like a torrent. It was difficult to cope with because the flow continued and then changed steeply. The moment they closed one eye, they would be swept away.
After dozens of blows, Coke and Resh were hiding behind a shield like turtles hiding in their shells. Grid’s situation wasn’t much different. Unlike Coke and Resh, he wielded his sword against Limit. Still, he was only defending, and it wasn’t even a perfect defense. Grid rarely found a chance to fight back. The swordsmanship he had never seen before was completely disabling him. Grid felt like his arms and legs were tied tightly. He felt like he was in a sandbag.
‘Wielding a sword against three of us at the same time...’
Sword Duke, the higher stage of a great swordsman—it was one level below a Sword Saint but not at the present time. Sword Saint Kraugel was still incomplete while Sword Duke Limit was already complete. At this point, the Sword Duke was at a higher level than the Sword Saint.
The one-sided loss of health was repeated. Red blood once again filled Grid’s field of view as he failed to fight back. Most of the blood was from Grid, but he didn’t despair. He stayed calm as he was peeking at hope. It was hope caused by his insight stat surpassing 2,000 points.
[Discover the target. Predict risks.
* The higher the number, the higher the probability.]
It was a short description that seemed scarce, but Grid knew the power of insight thanks to his past experiences. The longer he observed the target, the more likely it was that the insight stat’s perception effect was maximized. How much time passed by? Perhaps it was only a few minutes.
However, Grid felt like this hellish time was longer than an hour or two. He started to see it. For the first time, Grid responded to Limit’s sword that he wasn’t able to cope with previously. The element of luck didn’t interfere at all. He used his excellent insight and agility to block Limit and fight back.
“...?” Limit found it somewhat strange.
The pattern of the battle changed dramatically. Grid started to detect more of Limit’s strikes and released more counterattacks. Thanks to this, Coke and Resh managed to assist Grid. The battle was no longer one-sided. The three high rankers, who combined experienced and talent, stood up against Limit and cooperated like they were old colleagues.
Limit, who was finally on the defensive, stepped back after using a sword curtain. Blood was flowing from his left arm.
“You’ve already seen through my swordsmanship, which boasts hundreds of turns... You are a genius. No wonder why Rigal and Diworth were hit.”
Throughout the battle, Limit was conscious of the ‘sword dance.’ By desperately blocking Grid’s sword dances, he maximized the advantage of his swordsmanship. Yet it was pointless now. Since Grid had adapted to his swordsmanship, Limit couldn’t afford to suppress Coke and Resh while blocking Grid’s sword dances.
“One.” Limit changed his stance. Unlike his old grip where he held the sword in the middle of the handle with the tip pointed downward, this time he grasped the innermost part of the handle and straightened the tip. “I will be wary of this talent and deal with it using a new swordsmanship.”
“...?” A glare flashed into Grid’s eyes as he doubted his ears.
It was a stab at superspeed.
[The target has received 24,500 damage.]
[You have suffered 7,800 damage.]
[The target has defended against your attack.]
[You have been struck with a serious blow!]
[Half of the damage suffered has been received by party member ‘Resh’ instead. You have suffered 6,950 damage.]
[Party member ‘Coke’ has blocked the attack!]
[You have suffered 6,330 damage!]
“Shit, how rotten!”
He didn’t know how many times he had fallen down and then gotten up again. Limit—who had been using swordsmanship that flowed like water—had changed his style, and Grid was suffering greatly. The new style consisted of short stabs like a boxer’s jab. Limit’s quick stabs were accompanied by the physical phenomenon of ‘knockback’ while a lower stab often triggered the physical phenomenon of ‘knock down.’ It was a swordsmanship that really drove people crazy.
Grid was pushed back, and he fell down. His body struck the ground whenever he allowed a blow to get through, and he was now covered in dirt and blood, making him look like a beggar.
‘I’m getting mad.’
He had finally adapted to the sword style only for it to change. It was almost like a boss entering a new phase. Was there a dog like this? Gulp. Grid, who didn’t want to show any signs of shaking, took a potion with an expressionless face. His current health was 53,097. Thanks to the help of Coke and Resh as well as using Elfin Stone’s Ring and Doran’s Ring, Grid maintained his health at over 50,000.
It meant there wasn’t a risk of dying considering Limit’s attack power and Grid’s defense. Of course, he didn’t know what would happen if Limit used an ultimate technique, but at least, the motion before using the skill would be big. In that gap, he could also use a sword dance. Yes, it was still okay. They hadn’t lost yet.
How long would this balance be maintained? Stamina was the biggest problem.
‘We will be overwhelmingly disadvantaged if we continue like this.’
However, it was impossible to speed up the process. He might have the help of insight, but it would take a long time to adapt to Limit’s new fighting style. The frustrating thing was that if he succeeded in holding on again and defeating Limit’s swordsmanship, he might have to face another new style.
‘It is unlikely that he has shown all his swordsmanship here.’
Grid wanted to seize an opportunity to use a four fusion sword dance. He knew that Limit’s total health was less than 50 million. So if he could hit this person properly with a four fusion sword dance, there was a possibility of reversing the situation.
Grid’s train of thought didn’t last long. It was because he noticed that Limit’s shoulders were moving slightly. Grid stopped thinking and swiftly raised his sword. Limit’s sword stabbed it, causing a shockwave. In terms of speed, Grid was superior to Limit. If he could detect the attack ahead of time like he did just now, the defense probability was very high. The problem was that it was hard to detect.
Grid felt it through his fingertips and frowned. Limit’s attack power was increasing. It would’ve been impossible for Grid to withstand Limit’s attack power if he hadn’t swapped his armor to Triple Layers, which greatly weakened the power of Limit’s stabbing and slashing attacks, and if he hadn’t equipped Lantier’s Cloak. The balance would’ve been broken, even with Coke and Resh’s help.
‘In the end, the answer is items.’
Limit was a swordsman who didn’t only rely on techniques. He hadn’t reached the threshold of transcendence and hadn’t exceeded the limits of the human species. Therefore, he wasn’t faster than Grid, but all his other stats were superior to Grid. Grid was only better than Limit in speed and items. Among them, his speed was being hampered by Limit’s swordsmanship, and the benefits couldn’t be fully realized. All that remained was the items. At this point, Grid regretted giving away Iyarugt.
‘It would’ve been possible if I had Iyarugt.’
Iyarugt was a strong weapon. In addition to the effect of summoning Sword Demon Iyarugt, it reduced the opponent’s healing ability, maximized combo power, and even allowed him to know the best ‘sword path.’ Iyarugt was the best sword in many ways. In particular, Iyarugt’s ability to detect the best sword path would be a great help in this situation.
So what if Sword Duke Limit’s swordsmanship was great? It was surely nothing in front of Iyarugt, who used a sword against great demons. Iyarugt would surely break Limit’s swordsmanship.
Grid’s mind started spinning quickly. He thought of his Item Transformation skill. It was the skill to transform pavranium into a particular item. The premise was that he must have the production method for the target item, but there was no way Grid didn’t know how to make Iyarugt after using it for several years. Grid’s understanding of Iyarugt was already at 100% a long time ago.
‘Turn the Blade Aiming at the Gods into Iyarugt and then join it with the Enlightenment Sword...’
Wouldn’t the damage be guaranteed? Moreover, wouldn’t he also be able to find the best sword path? Grid was currently losing, so worrying about it any longer was meaningless. He had to implement the solution as soon as he thought about it. Grid, who had fallen because of Limit’s low attack, jumped up and shouted, “Item!!”
[What item do you want to turn the pavranium into?]
The moment the notification window appeared.
“What are you trying to do??” Limit sensed something suspicious and pushed Grid even harder. He had been conscious of Coke and Resh throughout the battle, but for the first time, he ignored the two of them and only rushed toward Grid. A bombardment of stabs emerged from heavy rain.
Grid’s vision flashed red. Grid coughed up blood as he tried to avoid Limit’s attacks and manipulate the Pulling Device. The Blade Aiming at the Gods was separated from the handle of the Enlightenment Sword.
“Nyoong! Become Majestic!”
[Become Majestic (SSS)]
[Hell’s best demonic beast, a memphis has pushed the power of the thunder stone to the limit. A shield of lightning that blocks all attacks will be created for two seconds.
Cooldown Time: 30 minutes
* The user will become drained for one minute after using the skill.]
The startled Limit quickly twisted around as Noe deployed a protective shield in front of Grid. As a seasoned person, he immediately recognized the attributes of the shield and started using his ultimate technique. He knew that the shield wouldn’t last long and decided it was time to end the battle after the shield disappeared.
“Don’t ignore us!”
Coke and Resh rushed to interrupt Limit’s casting, but they couldn’t break through Limit’s sword curtain with their offensive power. A large amount of light particles started to gather at the end of Limit’s sword, and Noe’s shield faded away. It was an increasingly urgent situation. Grid pointed the Blade Aiming at the Gods and shouted, “Iyarugt!”
In other words, he was stating what item he wanted to turn the pavranium into. The pavranium glowed and started changing its shape. It took the form of a golden and transparent sword. Grid consumed the remaining number of usage for Divinity and used Item Combination.
[The Lightning Sword Born from Enlightenment and Strong Desires has successfully combined with Iyarugt (Transformed)!]
It was a black-gold transparent blade surrounded by black flames and blue lightning. The power of nature was condensed in it.
“Huup!” Dwarf Ke cried out with astonishment at the sight of Grid’s new sword.
“I’m tired nyang... Hyaang...” Noe fell listlessly to the cold ground. Simultaneously, the lightning shield defending Grid disappeared.
“There is no chance.” Limit, who had been prepared in advance, swung his sword. Hundreds of thousands of light particles spilled out like the Milky Way and struck Grid. Grid hoped that combining Iyarugt with the Enlightenment Sword would give the best sword path...
Iyarugt was silent. He didn’t tell Grid the path of the sword.
‘Ah...!’ A chill went down Grid’s spine. He realized that he had overlooked one principle regarding Iyarugt. The best sword Iyarugt wasn’t the weapon called Iyarugt but the ego of Iyarugt that dwelled in the weapon. Item Transformation alone didn’t embody Iyarugt’s ego.
A huge explosion struck Grid. Grid’s health was greatly reduced during the process of Item Transformation, and it had now run out.
[A legend doesn’t die easily. You can resist all attacks for 5 seconds with a minimum of health.]
Immortality... It was the sign of a crisis. This was the moment when Grid’s last card was exhausted. Was it possible to decide the outcome in five seconds when he hadn’t fully seen through Limit’s swordsmanship yet? It was impossible. He had to give up. Grid bowed his head with despair and frustration.
His brain was spinning quickly. Accustomed to a crisis, he finally showed his true value in the midst of this crisis. It was his potential. Limit kept attacking. Grid powerlessly fell to the ground, and his blood-stained hands headed toward his sword.
“Granting... an Ego...”
It was a hidden piece that he obtained from clearing the Behen Archipelago. An unavoidable force was triggered.
[The soul of Sword Demon Iyarugt has entered your weapon.]
“...?!” Limit became as solid as a stone statue. His heart that had been convinced of victory was pierced by Grid’s sword.