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327 Underestimated

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More than twenty vines shot out from the plant-like monster towards the male participant. It was nearly 8 meters tall with a head that resembled a venus flytrap. There were flower petals that looked similar to a peacock spreading its feathers that were around its head.

Name: (Living Plant)Earthbound Peacock(Elite)

Level: 55

NPC Name: Lances, The Hand of Flames(Rare)

NPC Level: 53

"Annoying plant! Know your place!" Lances said. He charged forward as he simultaneously evaded the vines that lashed out in his direction. After he got within five meters of the Earthbound Peacock, an intense wave of heat spread and was dispersed throughout the surrounding area.

"Hand of Inferno!" Lances roared as a towering pillar of flame in the shape of a hand rushed towards the Earthbound Peacock.

Grrrriiiiiik!

The Earthbound Peacock cried out as it was being scorched alive by the powerful flames.

"One more hit and-" Lances said with a smirk on his face, however, he suddenly felt the intensity of his flames being suppressed by a creeping and freezing temperature.

"Chilling Ice Lance!" A voice sounded from within the forested area.

Not too long after, a numerous number of attacks flew towards the male participant, as well as the Earthbound Peacock who was already at death's door.

"Metal Crash!"

"Half Mark Sword Wave!"

"Tri-Lightning Assault!"

"Sneaky trash!" Lances screamed out in a sudden burst of anger as the intensity level of the flames around him increased and formed a wall of flames that protected his body from harm as he forfeited the Earthbound Peacock.

BOOM!

The collision of the attacks created a powerful shockwave that extinguished Lances protective wall of flames. As for the Earthbound Peacock, it had gone to one of the participants who launched a surprise attack.

Lances negated a large majority of it thanks to the protection provided by his the wall of flames. He did not expect this many people to be around the area! What surprised him was that there were not only one or two, but six other participants that emerged!

'It seems that a few of them are staying back to see how things play out. I could simply wait until the final victor emerges and claim his points. But, this kind of opportunity doesn't present itself very often.'

Izroth felt that his current improvement rate on skills such as the sword forms and Heavenly Golden Body was too slow. It was not that they were not being improved upon, but that the opponents he had been facing off against had been far too weak making his progress near stagnant.

The quickest way to grow was through experience and Izroth understood this well. He knew that if he planned on confronting the shadahi, the Netherworld, and anything else that crossed his path, then it was not possible for him to be satisfied with his current strength.

After all, if not for the buff provided by Tererestiaa, as well as Gear weakening them, then that Netherworld Envoy could have taken care of him with just one of its fingers.

No matter what world one was in, if they did not have enough power to protect themselves then their life would always be at the mercy of those stronger than themselves. To Izroth, this was unacceptable.

Izroth observed the fight as he grabbed onto the hilt of his Sword of The Storm.

'The one with the flames is obviously holding back. Could it be that he intentionally...'

NPC Name: Rinse, The Rising Frost(Elite)

NPC Level: 52

"You look terrible, Lances. Should I lend you a hand in welcoming death?" Rinse said with a grin on his face. It was the same individual who was the first to act and shot the Chilling Ice Lance at Lances.

"Hah! The day you help me welcome death is the day I call you father! You alone aren't fit to carry my shoes and yet you have the guts to provoke me? If that's what you want, then all of you can come at me together!" Lances said in a tone filled with confidence as the chilling atmosphere was immediately overcome and replaced by a scorching heat.

Rinse's eyes turned cold as he listened to Lances words and felt his sudden increase in strength as he replied, "Good, you still have some fight left. Let's see how long you can stay confident. Everyone, none of us can handle him alone! If we team up, we can take him down! After he's out of the picture, then we can either go our separate ways or fight one another, what say you brothers?!"

"Team up? Well, that guy is pretty troublesome to take on alone. I guess I'm in. However, as soon as he dies it's every man for themselves."

"You won't call this unfair, will you Lances? I have no grievances with you, but I wouldn't be able to hunt in peace knowing that you're in this region."

All five individuals who emerged along with Rinse agreed to team up in order to eliminate Lances.

"Hmph, just a bunch of trash who needs to ambush and fight together. Do you think I'm afraid? What difference does it make between one piece of trash and a group of trash? In the end, trash is trash." Lances said. His words infuriated Rinse and the other participants who surrounded him to block off his path of retreat.

"Go to the Netherworld! Frost Cycle!" Rinse shouted in a furious tone as he waved his hand. Numerous icicles formed in the air in a circular formation.

Woosh! Woosh!

The icicles fired off simultaneously at Lances. Rinse wanted to pierce him through at every angle!

"You think these ice toothpicks are enough to fight me?!" Lances said as the intensity of the flames around his body increased countless times over.

The color of the fire became a deeper red, orange, and yellow. The flames began to expand in the shape of a dome as it traveled out from Lances position.

"Inferno Down!" Lances roared as the dome of flames expanded further in every direction forcing Rinse and everyone else to retreat. Even those individuals who stayed hidden could feel the wrath of the blazing inferno.

However, one of the individuals were unable to escape the inferno and was pulled towards the dome of flames at the last moment.

"Ahhhhhh!" As they were engulfed by the flames, they tried to escape but it was as if there was some invisible force that prevented them from acting. In the end, they were roasted alive inside of the intense flames and reduced to ashes.

Everyone present was dumbfounded. A hint of fear could be seen in their eyes after they witnessed that sight of horror. They knew Lances was strong, however, they did not remember him being this powerful!

"Impossible!" Rinse exclaimed in disbelief.

Rinse's facial expression turned extremely ugly after he successfully retreated to a safe distance. He was from the same kingdom as Lances and they were always close to one another in terms of overall strength, however, Lances always held that edge over him. But one thing was for certain, Lances was never this strong!

"You were holding back all this time? You dare mock me?!" Rinse was both terrified on the inside and outraged. It was not supposed to go this way.

Lances should have been somewhat weakened after his battle with the Earthbound Peacock, however, his strength had not diminished in the slightest! In fact, he seemed even stronger than when he was fighting that monster.

"I didn't sign up for this. You guys are on your own." One of the participants said as he made a tactical retreat.

He was not the only one. Excluding Rinse, all the original participants who agreed to team up with him began to make their retreat. Why risk their lives fighting some monster? They knew that claiming top ten was impossible for them, therefore, their goal was to make it into the top 100.

After all, surviving the selection would bring about an endless stream of benefits! They had severely miscalculated Lances strength and it led to the death of one of the participants. That was enough to act as a deterrent.

"Why not stay a while longer?" A voice echoed from within the forest, but no one could tell which direction it came from.

Rummmble!

The ground started to shake violently as tremors traveled through the earth beneath the retreating participant's feet. The other four who hid nearby were also affected by the tremors and was forced out of their hiding spot.

"Who dares?! Show yourself if you're not a coward!" One of the individuals who was forced out of hiding shouted in an enraged manner. He planned on following one of the retreating participants and catching them by surprise once they were far away enough, but now, his plans were ruined and he was even forced out of hiding!

All of a sudden, a piercing aura descended upon that individual and before he knew it a powerful pressure struck his throat and sent him sliding back nearly two meters.

A strong gust of wind appeared out of nowhere and quickly vanished.

NPC Name: Vansouden(Elite)

NPC Level: 53

"You-!" Vansouden coughed as he covered his throat with one hand that was just hit. He did not know the person who appeared before him, however, they were incredibly fast! There was no time at all for him to respond to that attack just now.

Of course, the person who just launched an attack was none other than Izroth! He stood two meters away from Vansouden after he used Fissuring Point and then unsheathed his Sword of The Storm.

At the moment, his Behemoth's Quake was still ongoing, however, most of the participants simply ignored it since the damage itself was negligible to them.

Lances glanced over at Izroth and an amused smile appeared on his face. In his eyes, that guy was either brave or stupid. Judging from the large area of effect attack Izroth just used and its weak damage, Lances leaned towards the latter. But, the execution of that movement skill kept him interested in Izroth. It was rare to see someone capable of using Instantaneous Movement.

Vansouden glared at Izroth as he spread his arms and two daggers appeared in his hands. He could not believe that he just allowed himself to be caught off guard! If it was someone strong then he would accept it as his lack of skill, however, it was just some weakling who did not know their place. He had just been humiliated!

Vansouden was not the only one who looked at Izroth with looks that could kill. The other three participants that were forced out of hiding, as well as the ones who attempted to retreat all wanted Izroth dead.

"That's a good look in your eyes." Izroth said with a carefree expression on his face.

"Alright, all of you can attack at once, otherwise, you'll die." Izroth stated in a cold tone. However, his carefree expression did not match with that of his ice-cold voice.

This guy... Was he an idiot? That was the only thought that crossed everyone's mind after listening to Izroth's words. Who did he think he was? Lances? One of Master Zushuatri's students? He was just some nameless nobody who was probably used to being the strongest in his little village in a random corner of the world. Ridiculous! Why would they need more than one person to take care of that trash?

At the moment, all eyes were locked onto Izroth. As for Rinse, he tried to use the opportunity to fall back, but his route of retreat was blocked by a towering wall of flames.

"Trying to run? Dream on!" Lances said as he charged towards Rinse and the two engaged in battle.

"I don't know who you are brat, but you should have run away from here when you had the chance. If I, Vansouden, fail to claim your dog life today then I don't deserve to live in this world!" Vansouden said as he entered an advanced mode of stealth.

'It appears I'm being underestimated. Then, if they won't attack, I'll just have to give them a bit of motivation.'