You lower realm scum. Lodos smirked, extended his index finger and motioned for Emery to come closer.
If you dare, fight me in a real environment.
No more of that virtual bull** like in the games! He shouted.
The commotion caused all the other acolytes still around to look in their direction and gather around them.
Everyone seemed to think this would be the start of a very interesting fight.
Before the second game, Lodos was known as the strongest acolyte among them.
Now, thanks to winning the game, Emery could actually be considered the new champion among the elites.
He was even supposed to be the privilege class after all.
Kekeke, interesting! We\'re getting a first-grade entertainment show on our first day! One acolyte from the crowd sneered.
When Emery was about to open his mouth and announce his decision, Julian squeezed his shoulder and shook his head.
He is trying to rile you up and you are allowed to refuse a non-virtual challenge.
He was certainly not afraid, but what worried him was the fact that losing or winning this sudden challenge would just add more hate than what was already directed towards him, that alone made him reluctant to accept.
In addition, he wasn\'t sure how the instructor would react to this kind of fight.
Seeing Emery\'s hesitation, Lodos started taunting again.
I knew it.
You\'re just a coward who doesn\'t deserve the title of champion.
All of a sudden, a figure appeared out of thin air in between them.
Magus Rommy, the instructor of combat, stood before the two, causing both to take a step back.
The magus looked at the two of them before announcing.
You are not allowed to fight outside the virtual simulation…
The announcement made some of the gathered acolytes sigh in disappointment and some even turned around to leave, knowing the interesting fight would not happen anytime soon.
Unexpectedly the magus has not yet finished his words.
… Unless there is a magus around to oversee your fight. Magus Rommy gave a wicked smile.
Right after he said that, the acolytes who started to leave turned back and cheered.
Magus Rommy stood aside, looked at both Emery and Lodos, and announced.
However, you both have to remember, no killing! A good acolyte must be able to control their powers when they fight and both of you must understand when to stop.
If your opponent dies, you will be expelled from the academy, do you understand!
Emery only nodded without answering, before preparing his defensive stance.
Lodos gave a wicked grin that seemed slightly too wide, causing some of the acolytes to look at him with an unsettled expression.
I definitely won\'t kill you… But by the time I\'m done, you\'ll wish you died right here.
It was their second fight and Emery knew from experience that going after Lodos directly would be detrimental.
He quickly used [Shadow Mist] to let a dense black fog cover the area, before using [Blink] to avoid Lodos\' signature gravity spell, [Pull Down].
As expected, the confused Lodos gritted his teeth and shouted.
Argh, you damned slippery bastard!
Lodos gripped the air hard and the range of his gravity spell increased.
The whole fifty meters area cleared for their fight was affected by the spell, causing Emery\'s whole body to feel like a heavy rock was attached to him.
Moving his limb even a little felt like such a herculean task and he found himself slowed down considerably.
Just like Emery, Lodos\' experience in their first fight taught him to not play around when battling against Emery.
While Emery tried to shake off the pull of his gravity spell, Lodos cast [Shadow Needle].
Dark energy started to gather and coalesce up on the sky, before splitting to form a dozen pitch black needles oozing a dark fog with its every movement.
Lodos lifted his hand up and pointed towards Emery.
Like rain upon stones, the needles all dashed down towards Emery from all directions, his trapped state made him an easy target for the fast-moving needles.
Lodos merely stared at his handiwork, ready to savor his victory against the lower realm acolyte who dared to defeat him before.
Emery\'s friends shouted in concern, knowing that such a powerful attack would be dangerous to him.
Emery was unable to dodge, and all the needles successfully pierced Emery\'s body from all directions.
Even through the dense fog, Klea was still able to see Emery being turned into a human pincushion and she shouted in anguish.
Hahaha! As I thought, you\'re just the champion of trash! You can\'t even take one attack from me without the help of others, huh Lodos boasted and savored the sight of Emery being covered in needles.
The wound from the needles dripped some blood on the ground.
With the black fog limiting his vision, it took Lodos a few seconds to realize that, even though Emery was turned into a human pincushion, there were only droplets of blood on the ground instead of a puddle.
As if to answer his question, a shout resounded from behind the black needles.
Battle art [Immortal Gate: Stage 4]
Cracks started to form on the black needles, before every single one of them broke and dissipated into nothing at the same time.
The broken needles revealed the green layer from the [Jade Skin] spell Emery used at the last second.
Emery had greatly improved since their last fight.
The tier 4 [Jade Skin] he used to defend was a level higher than the [Granite Skin].
Though Lodos\' needles were still able to wound him, this time they were not enough to pierce his defense entirely.
In addition, with his new stage 4 battle arts, Emery had enough strength to break through Lodos\' gravity spells.
Impossible…! Lodos shouted and pushed both of his palms together.
The pull of his gravity spell increased and once again, Emery found himself pinned to the ground, unable to move.
If the previous spells made Emery feel like there was a heavy boulder on his body, this one made him feel like his shoulders were magnetically pinned to the ground and nailed down with bolts.
But, despite the hopeless situation, Emery did not panic.
He started to get up with all his strength, walked a few steps closer and gripped his wrist with his left hand to cast his strongest spell.
Lodos screamed in frantic rage upon watching Emery starting to stand up.
He casted more [Dark Needles], raining down more attacks on Emery, but Emery was unperturbed and continued to walk closer towards him.
No! No **ing way!
Seeing Emery still able to walk, Lodos started to panic.
He casted [Pull Up] and slowly floated away from the ground.
Emery didn\'t want to just let him fly high.
He used his bloodline ability [Fey Transformation Stage 1] to both of his feet, causing gray fur to start appearing all over both of his legs.
The boost in speed and strength was enough for Emery to break out of the gravity spell.
Not wanting to waste the chance, Emery casted [Blink], appeared right above Lodos\' head, and crashed the black energy ball in his hand right towards Lodos.
With just one hit, Lodos\' strong defensive spell was destroyed.
Emery followed through his attack with a strong punch to Lodos\' face.
Lodos was thrown back to the ground, spitting out blood.
Before he was able to move, Emery landed right in front of him with his sword pointed towards Lodos\' neck.
Stop the fight! Magus Rommy clapped his hand and declared.
The winner is Emery!
Emery sighed upon hearing the announcement, sheathed his sword and offered his hand to Lodos to help him get up.
However, Lodos slapped Emery\'s hand hard before jumping back up by himself.
I can\'t accept this result! Magus Rommy, let me have a rematch.
You\'ll just repeat the same result. The magus shook his head.
Lodos, your opponent here is not the same opponent you faced in the second game.
He has trained himself between each fight and has improved progressively, while you… You are too proud to practice, to realize you haven\'t improved at all since your last game.
Lodos was stunned.
Before the game, he was proud of his status as the strongest acolyte.
So he never felt the need to improve as his spells were enough to dominate everyone else.
He was unable to say anything in retaliation and he decided to give a silent nod to the magus before leaving the arena.
Afterwards, Magus Rommy approached Emery, looked at him up and down, and said.
Emery, your spirit core is probably the best among all the rank 7 acolytes here, but your poor aptitude and dark core is detrimental to you.
If you cant keep up with your progress, in the third year Lodos would be able to overpower you easily.
Do you understand, Emery
I understand. Emery nodded.