What exactly was a bandit? And what constituted an Assassin?
There was only a fine line between the two professions. Both prided themselves on being agile and having delicate movements. The only difference was their way of earning their keep. While the former used his abilities to rob people of their riches, the latter specialized in killing people for the bounty on their heads.
The Syndicate, in essence, was an amalgamation of both-an organization of bandits that robbed people of their lives! And at the top of these immoral acts, sat Andy.
Andy crept behind a tree roughly 30 feet away from Link, gently caressing the blade of his anti-magic dagger. The Magician behind the tree, Link, was young, but powerful-there was no doubt that he was a genius. The thought of claiming the life of such a talented Magician excited him.
Andy listened intently to Link's breathing patterns. Link was breathing at a fast pace, faster than most combatants. However, what set him apart from a normal human was the stability of his breathing. Even during times like this, the pace of his breathing didn't change.
Isn't this guy shocked that I just blocked his attack? Andy was slightly disappointed, he would much rather fight an opponent who had given up all hope, rather than one who was calm and collected. It brought him joy to see his opponent suffer.
In the face of such calmness, Andy began to hesitate. How can he be so unflinching? Could it be that he has a trump card that I do not know of? Should I unveil all my powers now?
Despite having the backing of a Magician, the trauma from his previous encounter with Link's unimaginably powerful magic had not yet dissipated.
Andy knew that the only that could bring him out from the shadows of his failures was the life of the Magician opposite him right now. But would he be successful?
Time was passing: one second, two seconds, three...
The voice of the black-robed Magician rang in his head, "What are you waiting for! The opponent has already called for backup; the time is tight!"
While Andy was clueless about Princess Annie's background, the black-robed Magician was fully aware. He was also aware that the army of River Cove Town was rushing to this location under the command of a strong Level-4 Knight. He had no confidence in securing victory against his opponent.
If the knight managed to establish contact with Link, they would have no chance of winning.
The voice of the black-robed Magician woke Andy up from his thoughts. He listened intently to Link's breathing and discerned his exact location. A second later, Andy was on the move!
Holding his dagger, he emerged from behind the tree with lightning speed and threw the anti-magic dagger towards the location he marked out.
He did not intend to use this attack to inflict any form of damage, but as a decoy to distract his opponent's spellcasting!
He then threw the second dagger directly at Link. From the trajectory, it would pierce Link through the abdomen. If Link could not retaliate in time, he would be gravely injured, if not, dead!
Andy then sprung out from his hiding place and activated his Battle Skill: Dance of Slaughter!
Dance of Slaughter
Level-3 Battle Skill
Effect: Releases a huge amount of Combat Aura allowing the user to move swiftly and elegantly towards the target, much like a graceful dance. The movements are so fast the target will see multiple images.
(Note: Be careful, this is the prelude to an assassination. Using this skill will allow the user to cover 30 feet in less than half a second!)
This Battle Skill was specifically used to deal with opponents who were sluggish and physically weak. More often than not, it ensured not only the safety of the Assassin but also the death of the target!
At the same time, Link sensed something was amiss. He knew that the deciding factor of this match lied in this final second. He currently had 3.2 Mana points after the short recovery period. These Mana points could be used to fire three glass orbs and to cast The Magician's Hand once.
His greatest threat at this moment was the anti-magic dagger.
Link made his decision in a split second. He released The Magician's Hand!
Even though the dagger had anti-magic properties, it could only dispel spells that were elemental in nature, but not spells that were mystic in nature. Although The Magician's Hand was a weak spell, it was purely mana in nature and would thus be effective.
The Magician's Hand successfully blocked the airborne dagger and greatly reduced its speed.
But in the end, the Magician's Hand was still weak. In the face of the power of a Level-3 Assassin, the dagger would still retain some of its power.
However, the weakening of the dagger was enough. At the moment the dagger saw a decrease in speed, Gildern lunged forward, using his steel arrow as a sword.
Clang! The dagger was knocked off its trajectory and failed to do any damage to Link.
Link's attention, on the other hand, was already long drawn away from the dagger. Even if Gildern had not knocked the dagger off its trajectory, he was prepared to take the hit. Based on the angle of the dagger and its speed after the interference of the Magician's Hand, Link had deemed the injury to be non-lethal. However, if Andy, a professional killer, managed to come into close proximity, he would definitely be dead!
Luckily, the situation was a lot more positive.
Andy had already managed to cover 18 feet by now-time was running out. Link immediately tapped the ground with his Fire Crystal Staff and in 0.04 seconds, a glass orb was released!
This had exceeded his maximum spellcasting speed!
The Fire Crystal Staff possessed the ability to increase spellcasting speed, especially when casting fire elemental magic. This was because the fire crystal at the tip of the staff contained a certain fire element, thereby reducing the time needed to gather energy.
The glass orb shot into the atmosphere, constantly changing its trajectory based on Andy's position.
Andy was swiftly maneuvering in different directions due to the effects of his activated skill. His position changed every single moment and his speed was so fast multiple images were formed. In Gildern's eyes, it was impossible to determine which was the real one.
If he could not determine the exact position of his opponent, how was he going to land an attack?
The opponent was way too strong. Gildern was unable to react fast enough to counter his attack. He could only watch as Andy maliciously advanced towards them with breakneck speed!
However, Link was special. In his eyes, there were no multiple images and all was crystal clear. His reaction time was way faster than a normal human, and no matter how Andy tried to deceive him with multiple images, his line of vision was always fixated on the real one!
The Glass Orb drew an elegant S-shaped trajectory in the air as it completely ignored the dazzling moves put out by Andy. It hit Andy right in the face!
This completely unexpected attack knocked Andy off his feet. He did not expect his plan to be foiled. By the time he regained his focus, it was too late to block the incoming attack with his anti-magic dagger!
This was how the situation unfolded from a third-person perspective.
After Andy rushed out from his hiding spot, he activated his skill and was enveloped in a glow of light. He dashed towards Link but before he could take the fourth step, he was hit in the face by Link's attack!
Boom! The glass marble exploded with a low rumble.
The residual flames from the explosion were put out by Andy's anti-magic leather armor and his own Battle Aura. However, the impact of the explosion penetrated through the anti-magic mask and hit Andy in the face with full force.
While the impact was cushioned by the anti-magic mask, it was significant. The force of the explosion was comparable to that of a bodybuilder throwing out his fist with full force. This was enough to interrupt Andy's Battle Skill and brought him to a halt.
Link heaved a sigh of relief. His opponent was traveling at an insanely fast speed. If he had made any mistakes, the result of this battle would have turned out differently. This was definitely the most harrowing battle ever since he descended into Firuman!
Link gave Andy no chance to recollect himself, firing a second glass marble into his face yet again.
Boom! Andy was still reeling in shock from the previous attack and failed to dodge in time. He took the full force of the second attack.
He was completely in a daze.
Link still had one Mana point remaining, and could only release one more glass orb. It was then Link saw the black-robed magician running in their direction, intending to rescue Andy.
However, the black-robed Magician was still 240 feet away, a distance that was further than his spellcasting range. Link was struck by an idea and decided to release the last glass orb in his direction.
The maximum range of Glass Orb was 180 feet after being enchanted with Supreme Magic Skill. This range was almost the limit of pure elemental spells below the Legendary rank.
There was a limit to the casting range of pure elemental magic. Usually, the limit was at 240 feet, any further, elements would start to disintegrate due to the weakening of focus and turbulence in the atmosphere. This was an ironclad rule, unaffected by the willpower of Magicians.
This was the black-robed Magician's first encounter with Glass Orb. He did not expect the attack to have such a long range. He was not worried when he first witnessed a dull, light blue marble fired in his direction. However, when the marble exceeded the normal spellcasting range of 90 feet and showed no signs of disintegration, he was taken aback and immediately released a defensive spell in response.
His staff was enveloped in a ball of light and a Level-1 spell was instantaneously cast. It was a low-level Guarding Barrier that performed exceptionally well in terms of magic defense.
Little did he know that this delay had far greater implications.
It was at this moment Gildern took action!
A distance of fewer than 30 feet, coupled with a stationary target was child's play for Gildern's archery skills.
A split second was all it took. Andy was dead!
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