A faint aura emitted from Thrax\'s body as he let out his rage, activating his battle arts.
Thrax shouted, [Battle Art Ability - Strength Up] [Battle Art Ability - Speed Up]!
As soon as the aura diminished, Thrax\'s battle power increased to 40! Once the orc that had cleaved at him was about to swing down its cleaver for the second time, Thrax performed another battle art.
He thrust his tier three bronze spear and multiple after images appeared on top of each thrust! The first row of orcs stopped in their tracks and at the moment Thrax pulled his spear back, the orcs\' bodies spurted blood as well as numerous holes!
Battle Arts Abilities were skills taught from the Combat Institute.
Unlike spells, these skills didn\'t require the understanding of elements, but, nevertheless, they still required a lot of practice, talent in physical combat fighting as well as spirit energy consumption.
To perform a battle art ability, the user would also have to channel some of their spiritual energy from their core into the parts of their body, where they wanted it to manifest.
To use the [Vicious Barrage] skill, for example, Thrax had to channel the energy, including the knowledge of the technique, to his spear arm exclusively.
As for the other battle art skills Thrax used, they were harder to control and master since he would have to channel them into every fiber of his being to improve his overall fighting capability.
And adding to the fact that he had activated three battle art skills in quick succession, it showed his great talent into becoming a combat magus.
After the first six orcs fell, Thrax raised his arms and shouted, Did you see that!
With just one move, Thrax had defeated the first row of the orcs.
The second row wasn\'t far away and before Thrax was able to do anything, Julian ran and said, Hmpf, show off.
Now\'s my turn!
Julian got on one knee and touched the stone bridge.
A yellowish glow emitted from the ground beneath him and creeped its way underneath the second row of orcs, extending even further.
Julian cast his new tier three earth spell.
Yellow circles appeared below the orcs, as the line of light became asunder with waves of small spikes, until it sprang out the larger spikes piercing a dozen orcs and throwing the others from the edge of the bridge into the abyss!
The spell Julian had used managed to eliminate three times the number Thrax had managed with his vicious barrage skill.
And, since the stone spikes were categorized as a tier three spell, its durability was above the mudwall spell Julian and Emery had cast, giving them a little break, while the fourth row of orcs attempted to break the spikes with their weapons.
Aaargh, fine! I applaud you, roman! said Thrax.
That took a lot of my energy though.
I won\'t be able to cast it again for quite some time, replied Julian, trying to get back his breathing into an even pace.
Amazed by what his two friends had achieved so far, Emery knew he needed to start pulling his weight and contribute more.
He had been saving his items, as well as spirit energy, because he knew this Defend the orb game would be a battle of attrition.
But since his other two front line friends were starting to have a hard time with these orcs, it would be terrible if one of them fell or became injured to the point of no longer being able to continue the battle.
So, Emery took out several containers of a bluish paste and passed them to his friends.
[Strength Paste - Tier 2]
Paste these to your arms and legs quickly! said Emery as the orcs managed to break the second row of the tier three stone spikes.
Not questioning Emery, Julian, Thrax and Chumo did as Emery asked and spread it to their four limbs.
Klea, however, was a bit hesitant, but since Emery had an air of seriousness this time, she complied.
The final row of stone spikes crumbled, but, fortunately, the effect of the new strength paste Emery had concocted took effect immediately.
His four friends had looks of awe as they read through the notification which popped in front of them.
[Battle power has increased by four!]
[Thrax: 40 - 44]
[Julian: 28 - 32]
[Chumo: 26 - 30]
[Klea: 20 - 24]
[Emery: 30 - 34]
This strength paste was an improved version of his first one.
Due to his [Fragmentation] spell, he had the ability to grab the essences of his old tier one strength paste and, during his time on experimenting back in his residence, he had improved it into a tier two product.
The result of his hard work was doubling the value of the strength increase it provided, as well as increase the duration.
As expected, Thrax still had the highest battle power amongst the five of them.
He also had the closest strength against the orcs.
Since this was the case, they would have to compensate for the difference in battle power by using more spells, artifacts and their guile to defeat these creatures.
Thrax, as always with his bull-headedness, charged head-on against the closest raging orc with Emery and Julian following close behind.
The three youths faced the line of orcs, which were four to five per row.
Since Klea and Chumo had noticed that Emery, Thrax and Julian were a bit struggling, they decided to help by using a continuous barrage of [Wind Sphere] and [Dark Missile], trying to clear the rows of orcs as fast as possible.
Due to this, the three frontliners were able to fight with the orcs in a one on one battle.
While fighting with the orcs, Emery became increasingly amazed, not at his friends, rather at the tier three sword named Reunite Sword he had received from Magus Xion.
As it turned out, even though it didn\'t have any magical properties or enchantment like Klea\'s staff or Chumo\'s bow, it seemed to still be able to cut better than the normal tier three weapons.
Even without his [Dark Infusion], Emery was able to cut through the orcs\' skin.
So, he didn\'t feel the need yet to use it, since he could match these orcs with his current fighting capability and technique.
He then remembered the night at Elder\'s Respite, when he had first encountered these orcs.
For some reason, it felt like these orcs in the virtual arena were weaker than the orcs of that night.
Whether it was due to him becoming much stronger than before or something else, he wasn\'t sure.
After a couple of waves they finally started fighting with an opponent that had a similar strength to them.
The three frontliners were starting to receive blows from the orcs.
The energy stored in their tier two protective artifacts was dwindling, especially Thrax who kept fighting like a madman.
However, after another good blow from one of the orcs, Thrax finally became a bit cool-headed and he no longer fought on his own.
It looked like the bullhead had learnt his lesson at last.
Or maybe he just didn\'t wish to be shamed anymore by getting thrown back, especially with Julian who immediately followed up with mocking sentences.
About only ten minutes since the third level started and Emery noticed there were new information showing from the symbol in his hand.
[105 teams remaining]
[104 teams remaining]
As the number of teams went lower than 100, from the corner of Emery\'s eye, he noticed the other stone bridge, where another team of acolytes was fighting off the wave of orcs, was starting to get overrun.
Not long after that realization, the glowing orb in the middle of that bridge became brighter, its light reached Emery and his friends\' bridge.
An explosion immediately followed, the stone bridge crumbled from the middle up to the stone gates, implying their defeat.
Emery quickly looked back at the information through the symbol on his hand, it now showed 98 teams remaining.
Placing his attention back to the next wave of orc nearing them, only now Emery was really starting to understand why Cedric had told him the Magus Games were rigged.
If they hadn\'t received outside support, enabling them to get tier three weaponry and tier two defensive equipment, or if they hadn\'t reached rank 6 acolyte before the games had started, Emery was sure his team\'s fate would surely be like those who had already failed.
They would have probably failed in the second round, he figured.
Just when Emery and his friends\' teamwork was starting to get better, they were managing the waves of orcs a bit faster than before, giving them a bit more room to take a quick breather.
While their focus was fully placed against the orcs in front, a loud sound from their backs suddenly heightened the tension of the five youths defending the orb in the middle.
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