Alerted by the flame spreading toward where he stood, Dokgo Hoo moved over to a safer place. With protective energy blades pasted all around him, Dokgo Hoo glared at Vulcan from a distance.
‘You little runt with no respect for elders, no respect!’
Vulcan should have warned the others if he was going to use a technique that would spark flames all over the place.
Dokgo Hoo, with an expression of strong disapproval on his face, watched Vulcan.
Regardless of whether Dokgo Hoo was feeling uncomfortable or not, Vulcan focused upon only bringing about the maximum damage that he could possibly deal.
“Infinite Flame Spheres, Infinite Flame Sphere, Infinite Flame Sphere ……”
From Vulcan’s mouth, names of techniques were flowing out endlessly. Flame Spheres at the size of billiard balls was suspended in mid air like fruits in vast quantities encircling around the tree, and their number continued to grow.
‘Instead of a single high-class magic, Explosion is the answer!’
At first, Vulcan planned to use the Breath of Dragon, a legendary skill.
The Breath of Dragon’s damage increases proportionally to the time spent channeling mana. If Vulcan combined the Breath of Dragon with Abyss Inferno, it would have boosted up the damage to a level far beyond what he could have dreamed of in ordinary settings.
Still, after careful consideration, Vulcan realized there was one more combination that would be far simpler yet also far more powerful.
Explosion’s damage increases exponentially with more flames in the surrounding.
The Abyss Inferno turns the surrounding into a field of flames and also gives 20% boost to fire element magic.
The Infinite Flame Sphere could be cast multiple times. With Infinite Flame Spheres cast in mass quantities, if Vulcan activated Explosion, he couldn’t even calculate the damage that it could bring about.
Really, the sensation from the current surrounding was far beyond what he envisioned. The heat from the flames greatly exceeded what one expect from a level 99.
The edge of Filder’s mouth tilted up slightly as he watched Vulcan.
Unlike Dokgo Hoo, who had to move out of the way because he couldn’t stand the flame, Filder was standing his ground.
‘Far greater damage unlike ordinary players…… The techniques themselves were not just a mix of random ones but were rather purposely chosen for maximum synergy. Looks like you weren’t simply mastering skills at random.’
Filder’s smile became firmer as he realized Vulcan’s mastery of fire element magic.
‘The limitation as a player cannot be helped. Still…… This is promising.’
While Filder was making an assessment of Vulcan’s abilities, Vulcan’s spells continued to cast without interruption.
Before long, several hundred of Infinite Flame Spheres were present in the air, exuding a murderous aura, and the flame on the field generated by the Abyss Inferno was approaching its peak intensity.
Vulcan felt the time limit of the Abyss Inferno approaching, so he prepared one last magic. As he prepared for his mana to be drained rapidly, Vulcan called out the name of the spell that was about to cause a massive explosion equivalent to igniting several hundred dynamites at once.
A loud noise, enough to burst eardrums, shook the forest.
It was a loud explosion as if a volcano had erupted.
Unlike the intensity of the noise produced, the explosion range was not very wide. This was because Vulcan focused the explosion damage on a target object.
Vulcan’s inner state was now in a terrible condition.
It was due to the strain of maintaining control of magic power and also the attempts of various spells.
A single stream of blood flowed down to his chin. His entire body ached as if he was stepped on by several tens of elephants.
Still, a painful sensation of this level couldn’t stop the smile that came from his mouth.
Vulcan watched the grand view in front of him as he drank a vitality potion. Once a proud max level tree with level 130, the tree was now laying on the ground, blown apart.
And that was not all.
The synergy from Abyss Inferno, Infinite Flame Sphere and Explosion was far superior to his expectations.
A few trees near the target were also damaged from the splash damage.
Of them all, one tree was damaged to the point of breaking, and it was at a pathetic state as if it was going to collapse any moment.
Dokgo Hoo was also observing the scene.
Without realizing cold sweat flowing on his back, he could not take his eyes off from the end results that Vulcan produced.
‘All I could do was cut through it half way…….’
There was tree that he couldn’t manage to cut despite palcing all of the knowledge and skills into his strike, and yet Vulcan destroyed a tree that was even sturdier than that. DokGo Hoo felt threatened.
However, he had too much pride to admit that.
Dokgo Hoo cringed and yelled like a rebellious teenage boy.
“This is a draw! I don’t know what it is but magic? Technique? He poured in several tens of them! Can you call this one strike? Mr. Pub-owner Sir?”
That point was something even Vulcan was bothered by slightly.
In reality, although they were not used directly on the tree, both the Infinite Flame Sphere and Abyss Flame were offensive skills.
They were used as ground works for intensifying the Explosion spell’s damage, but there were too many questionable things, so it was hard to argue that this was fair and square.
Still, Vulcan decided to be unyielding and be proud of it.
Above all, he did not like Dokgo Hoo who was trying to discredit him.
“If you are displeased, then you do it too.”
Dokgo Hoo, who was making a ruckus, stopped.
To Dokgo Hoo, who was making an inquiry as if he was trying to say he misheard, Vulcan said once more.
“If you are displeased, then you do it too like I have.”
“You little twerp how dare you! Have you completely lost your sense of fear!”
With a loud noise, Dokgo Hoo took out his buster sword from the sheath and started to raise-up his internal power.
To not succumb to a sudden attack, Vulcan also took a combat stance. With his Pure Lightning Blade firmly on his right hand, Vulcan stared back at Dokgo Hoo.
“I clearly asked if I was allowed to use skills that will bring about synergy effects, and I received an approval. I don’t know what your problem is, but if you don’t like the end results, what I’m saying is that then you do it too, just like I have. Can’t you have hundreds of energy blades in the air and attack at once?”
With a little bit of belittling smile, Vulcan continued.
“Maybe you are not quite at that level yet?”
“What! This son of a bitch!”
Dokgo Hoo attacked like a wild beast, and Vulcan soared up to the sky in his lightning spirit form. Exuding murderous intent from his body, Dokgo Hoo swung his sword multiple times, producing half-moon shaped energy blades shooting toward Vulcan, cutting through the blue sky.
Witch Hunt, which damages the selected target over time, inflicted damage to Dokgo Hoo’s entire body.
Dokgo Hoo was in pain from the flame, but he quickly surrounded himself with defensive energy blades and focused his mind.
‘I am soon a blade, and a blade to be soon myself.’
A mind-and-blade-as-one feat, the kind that you may never get to see even once in your life, was making an appearance once again.
Dokgo Hoo, with a sensation that he had become one with his blade, stared at Vulcan. His muscles were tense, ready to chop an opponent’s head off at any time.
Vulcan also prepared for all foreseeable situations. From his mouth, words for casting spells poured out endlessly. As guards and Infinite Flame Orbs were spread all over, Vulcan prepared Hellfire behind Dokgo Hoo, an immediate attack in case of an opening.
Both Vulcan and Dokgo Hoo were surrounded by incredible tension.
Because of the power emanating from two absolute masters, the situation seemed like the sky and land were holding their breath and just watching.
However, to Filder the pub-owner, this was just a child’s play.
“Please, that is enough.”
It felt cold like the sensation of a dagger placed on one's neck by someone that snuck up behind.
The two, who were in a state of great agitation, were rapidly cooling down.
‘KU…… Uh huc.’
Could this be how it feels like when the Grim Reaper is standing behind and staring?
Being in the presence of such a powerful existence made Vulcan feel suffocated.
Although Filder was only standing still, it alone was enough to make Vulcan feel terrified. Dokgo Hoo felt the same. He too was engulfed in terror.
Without even thinking about resisting, the two withdrew themselves.
The terrifying pressure that dominated their body also disappeared, as if it was never there.
Filder walked to the front of the two who were staring at him steadily. To Vulcan and Dokgo Hoo, who became like weak little lambs in front of a fearsome predator, Filder started to talk gently.
“Mr. Dokgo Hoo, and Mr. Vulcan.”
“I am well aware that both of you are strong, and no matter which world you two were placed, you both would be counted among the best. The mind-and-blade-as-one technique that Mr. Dokgo Hoo just demonstrated was magnificent, and Mr. Vulcan as well has reached new ground that talented mages could not reach, even from a lifetime of devotion.”
There was no back talking from the two.
Filder continued as if he wasn’t expecting any in the first place.
“However, in this place, in Asgard, you two are nothing but newbies who have to give everything you have to cut down just a tree. What I’m trying to say is that there is a need for the two of you to think more objectively about the situations you two are in.”
The two flinched.
“Being at the height of absolute power? There isn’t anyone here that never has achieved such a feat. Being at the level of mind-and-blade-as-one? Again, there isn’t anyone here that can’t do that either. You must remember. The two of you are the weakest of all residents in Beloong city.”
Filder lifted his left hand, straightened his index and middle fingers, and made gestures of cutting through the air. Including the tree that Dokgo Hoo could not cut, over thirty max-level trees collapsed in succession.
“Half of Beloong city can probably do this.”
Filder’s sight turned toward Dokgo Hoo. Dokgo was biting his lips with the kind of expression that made it uncertain if he was infuriated or ashamed. His arm holding the blade was shaking rapidly.
“Drawing the sword to protect the honor of a swordsman, exerting overflowing confidence to an opponent, they are both good. Without that much pride, getting to a level to enter Asgard is impossible. It is a necessary element for stepping towards new heights. However, exuding fighting spirit without being fully aware of one’s own abilities is nothing but simple foolishness. Are two of you here to protect your pride or to train?”
The two couldn’t react to Filder’s insightful scolding.
“In Asgard, there is a group called ‘the defeated’. It is referring to those who stand still, making no progress despite being here for ten or even a hundred years.
Saying that by doing so will make them lose face or wreck their style. They acted high and mighty, they were the people that ignored the advice of others. They were the kind of people that ignored basic training and only put their pride first, the types that only sought after quick and easy routes. As always, they were surpassed by other visitors who came after them. And now they are living a life being ignored by all, just like fallen knights or runaway mercenaries that were common in the worlds you once lived in.”
Vulcan tightened his fists.
He never once considered himself as arrogant.
It was just luck that he obtained the power of a player, and with that, he was able to grow easily and fast.
Because he knew his achievements weren’t entirely by his own, he had no reason to take pride in or be arrogant about them.
‘……Did I truly think that way?’
The answer was, ‘no.’
He simply acted like it, but he was definitely full of arrogance.
Vulcan looked back at himself.
He recollected instances where he looked down upon and belittled strangers. He used a cheat called SYSTEM, yet he criticized and discredited those who got stronger from training hard for several decades.
Even in Asgard, he was still the same. Even for practitioners with level 200 or 300, Vulcan did not have even an ounce of respect for them.
‘Just you watch, I will level up quick like an explosion and get you all.’
That was Vulcan’s true feelings.
To Vulcan, who is like that, Filder was trying to say that Asgard is not such a pushover.
“……As planned, the basic training will continue. As for Mr. Vulcan, although you did succeed in destroying a tree, it was not a normal method, and you probably know it very well. If you have objections, I will be fine with you going back to the city, even right now.”
There wasn’t a single person who took a step away.
“……Your pride and confidence, I will be holding onto them for a while. The training tasks may appear to be useless and lacking in style, but still, please try very hard to follow as if your lives depend on them. I will give you returns with interest within a short amount of time. To ensure that two of you are able to set foot on the new grounds, where you can mow down these trees in hundreds by the time the training is over, I will try my best.”