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193 I Concede

 'Her speed has increased again. She's faster than me even while my Flickering Steps is active.'

At the moment, Izroth and Azalea were locked in a fast-paced battle. In the beginning, after using his Flickering Steps skill, Izroth had the upper hand when it pure speed. However, it did not take long for Azalea to regain her speed advantage over Izroth after using some kind of movement skill.

What surprised Izroth the most was that his current agility was at monstrous 2,208 points and Azalea was still slightly faster than him! Not only that, but her agility seemed to still be continuously climbing.

This was Izroth's first time being beaten when it came to pure speed within RML while using his Flickering Steps! After all, it was an S-ranked skill and the agility boost it gave was massive. Even other pure agility based classes should not be able to keep up with his speed once he used it, however, Azalea proved otherwise.

Ding! Ding!

Izroth's Sword of The Storm constantly parried Azalea's incoming dagger attacks. She was like a fleeting shadow and her small figure assisted her quick movements as she circled around Izroth while striking, making it more difficult than usual to keep track of her movements.

'Even at this speed, she's still able to aim for my vital points while attacking from my blind spot. Most would feel disadvantaged with such a small build, however, she's finding a way to use that to her advantage.'

Izroth suddenly swept out with his Sword of The Storm, but his attack was parried by Azalea. However, a quick flash struck out at Azalea without any warning. Izroth used the skill First Sword Form: Converging Paths to launch an immediate attack after his first one was parried.

Woosh! Ding!

Izroth's sword passed right through Azalea's body as her body once again turned into a congress of ravens successfully evading the attack. Her true body soon reappeared as she continued her assault on Izroth.

'Her reaction time is not bad.'

A carefree smile appeared on Izroth's face as he constantly parried away the incoming attacks in a nonchalant manner.

Azalea narrowed her eyes as she slightly furrowed her brows. That last blow was extremely close to hitting her! Not only that, but she had yet to land a solid blow on Izroth this entire time and it was obvious that she held the advantage when it came to speed.

What also frustrated her was that Izroth had come close to striking her many times, but he would alter the course of his attack at the last moment and just barely miss landing a solid strike. It also felt as if wherever she aimed her daggers to strike, Izroth's sword magically appeared to greet them.

It was similar to a piece of metal being drawn to a magnet. In this case, her daggers were the magnet. There was another thing she was concerned about, and that was the fact that it had already been around ten seconds and Izroth did not appear to be slowing down in the slightest.

But what bothered Azalea the most was that carefree expression Izroth had on his face. There was no sign of panic and it was as if he were in complete control of the battle. For some reason, she felt that if she continued to fight this way then she would undoubtedly lose. Therefore, she had to do something unexpected to throw him off his game.

Just as Azalea was pondering on her next course of action, she suddenly felt an overwhelming pressure descend upon her. She immediately tapped the ground with her foot, spun backward midair in a flip, and landed safely at around ten meters away from Izroth.

Azalea had a fierce look in her eyes. Even from this distance, she could feel that same pressure trying to consume her. However, she stood strong and did not succumb to it. Even though it only lasted for a brief moment, it felt considerably longer than it actually was. After the feeling disappeared, she dashed towards Izroth and tossed one of the daggers in her hand directly at him.

'It seems to be much weaker than the actual technique. However, that's to be expected. Still, to have no effect at all was unexpected. Her Willpower must be quite high.'

Izroth used the Soul Pressure skill with sixteen points of Essence infused into it. Although it was only 10% of his total Essence, it was still an amount that should not be easily ignored. However, Azalea not only managed to take it head on, but her resistance was strong enough to drain an additional ten points of Izroth's Essence.

Izroth was unwilling to go any further and stopped using Soul Pressure. After all, he simply wanted to test the skill itself and also see how Azalea would respond to it. He did not want to risk experiencing Soul Weakness in the middle of this battle.

Honestly speaking, Izroth was enjoying this fight. To him, it was the most satisfying one he had yet within RML. This included the confrontation's he had inside of the Chaotic Dogma Realm as well. In the end, everyone was simply overwhelmed by his monstrous agility stat and ended up being unable to even react to his attacks.

The closest another player came to keeping up with him at this speed was Aegis. But, in the end, even he was incapable of reacting in time due to his own lack of agility.

That was why after exchanging the first few blows, Izroth decided against using this battle to test out the effects attached to the Sword of The Storm. He felt that using the skills attached to an epic ranked weapon would take the enjoyment out of this fight.

Another reason was that even though this battle had started around less than one minute ago, Izroth felt the shackles on his Heavenly Golden Body physique breaking free. He could break through to the next stage of the Heavenly Golden Body physique at any second! Also, the Well Tempered skill he received from taking the Heart of the Heavenly Dragon pill was growing stronger.

Woosh!

The dagger passed right through an afterimage of Izroth as he shifted his body to the side to evade the incoming dagger. However, at the same time, her dagger passed through Izroth's afterimage, Azalea had disappeared from view.

'Again?'

Izroth moved his Sword of The Storm downward. As soon as he did so, a dagger shot up from out of his shadow with a hand attached to it aimed right at his torso. But, to his surprise, when the dagger made contact with his sword, not only did it disappear, but the hand gripping it did as well.

'It's a fake.'

Woosh!

Izroth felt something lightly brush up against his back and instantly flickered forward and turned around to face the direction he had just been attacked from.

Just a single step away from the spot he stood in just moments ago, Azalea stood there with the same dagger she threw earlier gripped tightly within her hand. For some reason, she felt as though a heavy burden had been lifted from her shoulders. Unknowingly, a smile had formed underneath her face mask.

"I hit you!" Azalea said. It was the first time she managed to get a clean hit on Izroth! However, she spoke out without thinking which caused her to feel a bit ashamed. After all, how could she shamelessly feel such a sense of relief after only hitting him one time?

Izroth found himself pleasantly surprised as a small smile appeared on his face. Azalea used a feint not once, but twice before going through with her true attack. This was the first time someone was able to touch him with a successful attack while he was using Flickering Steps!

Azalea had waited until the perfect moment to use a skill that allowed her to jump to the same location as the dagger she threw earlier. As soon as she threw the dagger, she had already prepared her shadow skill before using Vanish and immediately halted her movement.

Then, as her fake self attacked Izroth from below, she teleported behind him where her dagger was and successfully struck him! All three attacks had happened so fast and Azalea was able to perfectly time her attacks with incredible precision. If she had delayed any action by the slightest bit of time, her entire assault would have failed.

However, that was not the only reason Izroth had a small smile on his face. He felt the shackles around his body break free as a refreshing wave of energy washed over his body. During the moment Azalea managed to hit him, his Heavenly Golden Body physique had finally broken through to the next stage!

'I had nearly forgotten how good it feels to break free from one's shackles.'

Skill Name: Heavenly Golden Body

Skill Creator: Izroth

Skill Level: 3/10

Skill Rank: S

Passive: The more the user of this skill battles the stronger their body becomes, permanently raising all of their stats. Enhances all user senses by 120%.

Current Stat Buff:

HP: 2,000

ATK: 80

DEF: 80

AGI: 80

* -> Energy Capacity Increase I(Passive) - +50 Maximum Energy

* -> Physical Resistance I(Passive) - +5% Physical Resistance

* -> Magical Resistance I(Passive) - +5% Magical Resistance

* -> Poison Resistance I(Passive) - The user of this skill is resistant to some forms of poisons.

* -> Battle Regeneration I(Passive) - Regenerates 25+(1% of the user's maximum HP) of the user's HP every 5 seconds while in battle.

Description: A skill created by Izroth, the more the user battles the stronger they become over time.

Special Effect: This skill cannot be leveled up using skill points, the user must experience many battles to further advance.

Name: Izroth

EXP: 27%(449,554 EXP Until Next Level)

Level: 34(Stat Points: 12)

Title: Protector of Amaharpe

Class: Combat Master

HP(Hit Points): 4,300+(8%)(4,644)

Energy: 150

ATTACK(ATK): 1,710+(8%)(1,847)

DEFENSE(DEF): 215+(8%)(232)

AGILITY(AGI): 455+(8%)(491)

MAGIC(MAG): 5+(8%)(5)

Physical Resistance: 20%

Magical Resistance: 20%

Luck: 1

Lifesteal: 3%

'I have finally reached the first true milestone of the Heavenly Golden Body physique. The difference in power is like that of night and day. However, my other base stats are still a bit lacking.'

Some of the equipment Izroth had on was still below level 20, therefore, his HP and defense stats were incredibly lacking for his current level. The same could also be said about his base agility stat, however, it was still much better than his other two stats.

"I must admit, I remain curious as to why you have chosen to attack me." Izroth said in a carefree manner.

"It's nothing personal. You ranked first place during the event, right? Therefore, I figured you must be highly skilled. So I wanted to test your skills personally. It turns out I was not mistaken to do so." Azalea said in a calm tone of voice as she leaned forward slightly with her daggers crossed and raised in front of her as she took on an offensive stance.

Her voice was no longer as cold and distant as it was when she first attacked Izroth. Now, there was a hint of respect hidden within it. No one she had met was able to keep up with her when she used her skill Dance of Phantoms and yet, it was almost as if Izroth could see and predict her every move. It was the first time she ever felt so frustrated by anything.

"I did not realize I had become so popular." Izroth said jokingly. There were only a few seconds remaining on his Flickering Steps. As Izroth stood there, a gentle breeze blew past him and began to move towards his Sword of The Storm.

Azalea slid her foot back and kicked off as she dashed straight towards Izroth. Even though she was still fast, her Dance of Phantoms had just ended and so her speed was greatly reduced.

"Though, since you seem to be so sincere, I will not be impolite." Izroth said as an overbearing aura formed around his Sword of The Storm. If one observed closely, they would be able to see a faint twister forming around Izroth's sword.

Izroth casually swung his sword. However, the swing appeared to be incredibly slow and moving at a snail's pace. But that was not it, in fact, the attack had been so fast that Izroth's afterimage was lingering around longer than usual. In truth, his swing had already left to seek out its target.

Azalea suddenly felt a gentle breeze pass right by her and the moment it did, she felt her heart drop. When she looked down, she saw that a long clean cut fissure had appeared on her path and right between her legs. It ran from Izroth's current position to at least ten meters away.

A few moments later, she felt a frightening aura followed by a powerful force of wind slam against her body and cause her long hair to blow around wildly behind her. She had already stopped moving as she was in complete shock.

What was that attack? She could not even follow it with her eyes let alone react to it in time. She stood there silently for a moment before releasing a small helpless sigh as she spun her daggers and returned them to their sheaths attached to her lower forearms.

"I... concede." Azalea said as she closed her eyes as if she were lost in her own thoughts. She knew that if Izroth wanted to, he could have easily killed her with that last attack. But for some reason, he chose to spare her. To her, no matter what happened after that point, she had already lost at that moment. It was not worth continuing this fight.

Izroth returned his Sword of The Storm to its sheath and at the same exact time, his figure finally stopped flickering. The fight had ended at the same time his Flickering Steps had run out. It was almost as if he had planned for it to end that way all along.

"Not bad." Izroth said as he walked past Azalea and continued on the same path he was on before he was attacked by her. He could tell that Azalea held no ill intentions towards him.

Although her methods were a little unrestrained, in the end, she was simply looking for a good challenge. Plus, Izroth was able to gain a few benefits from this battle. Therefore, he chose to spare her in the end and continue on his way.

"Wait!" Azalea shouted as she saw Izroth walking away from her.

"Hm?" Izroth turned to see what it was that Azalea wanted. However, he never expected to be greeted by the sight that awaited him.

"I wish to train under you, master!" Azalea said in a serious tone of voice as she kowtowed.