Plan, estimate, establish a stable flow of battle, and get to the desired outcome.
When it came to battles, Vulcan always liked having a plan prepared that would allow him to carry out the battle in a stable and safe manner.
It was just like how a skilled chess player lead the inferior opponent in the direction he wanted.
‘From the beginning to the end, I should do it like this.’
‘If I do it this way, I can neutralize it without taking any risk.’
Vulcan always have started battles with these mindsets, and he enjoyed such methods. He was different from other powerful warriors.
When it came to training and trying to reach new heights, he found it to be unnecessarily dangerous to go through the kind of a duel where he would have to put his life on the line. So, instead, he always stayed within safe and well defended positions.
He always believed doing so was enough.
After all, the loss would be unacceptable if he trained while putting his life at risk and really died in the process.
Like that, nine years have passed, and he was facing a real wall for the first time in his training.
Now, he could no longer achieve rapid growth through by playing it safe in battles, so, for the first time, Vulcan was trying out a more aggressive style while taking on risks.
Skeleton Knight’s blade rose up from below to strike Vulcan. Normally, while also considering other Skeletons charging toward him, Vulcan would have moved far away to avoid them.
However, this time, Vulcan was not widening the distance. Instead, he swung his blade down and deflected Skeleton Knight’s blade, and using the reaction from the collision, he swung his blade up and landed a solid hit on its jaw.
Of course, it was not so weak that it would collapse in a single strike.
It lost its balance and faltered a little from the shock, but that was about it. Before long, the Skeleton Knight got a hold of itself and joined the other Skeleton Warrior for a joint strike formation.
Vulcan pushed himself to the edge of the limit and poured out magic and sword techniques.
For attacks he couldn’t deflect using his blade, he stopped them using magic. In cases he didn’t have the chance to cast magic, he clashed his blade against them and made it past the dangers.
He actively used his S-Rank dodge skill to maneuver past as many attacks as possible.
In middle of all these, Vulcan never took a step back.
Even though he could fight them from a substantially safer position by taking a few steps back, he didn’t.
He could not allow the time being wasted from doing so.
Vulcan got cuts and bled from all over his body.
Still, unlike how he had been going about it passively, he was able to kill the skeletons at a significantly faster rate.
To move on to the next targets, Vulcan quickly cast skills.
Whenever he lost focus and let his guard down a little, deadly attacks close enough to claim his life came to threaten him.
Still, thanks to Jake’s high quality armors and Vulcan's Iron Body technique, Vulcan could avoid getting seriously injured. Of course, the special potions also played their parts.
Like berserker warriors, Vulcan threw himself into the battle without much care for his own safety.
Yet another year passed by.
Now, Vulcan’s level was 465. In one year, he gained 37 levels. To other Players, it was a shockingly rapid growth, but it was not satisfactory to Vulcan.
Moreover, now Vulcan’s level was higher than the monsters in the graveyard.
The boss monster Death Knight Muruolla was level 500, but it was regenerated only once every ten days. On top of that, it was hard to claim that Vulcan’s abilities were far superior to that of a level 500 monster, so killing Muruolla was not easy.
Even when Vulcan defeated Muruolla for the first time after a few dozen close calls with death, Vulcan learned that even the hidden quests could give him junk rewards.
Just in case, Vulcan defeated Muruolla for the second time, hoping for a better reward, but again, it only tossed him a normal item.
Since then, Vulcan didn’t even bother to look toward the boss room. Instead, he focused on slaying other monsters.
Vulcan was now completely accustomed to his offensive combat style.
He attacked, attacked, and avoided only the most dangerous ones and attacked again.
When it came to the monster’s attacks he could withstand, he chose to flinch his eyes once and just take it. In return, he used the opportunity he gained from it. Without wasting the chance, he thrusted in the maximum damage he could deal on the monster.
Vulcan didn’t want to take a step back. Instead, he chose to be as aggressive and quick as possible in his offensive measures. The idea was to bite hard enough to strike fear in the opponent.
‘Well, because these guys are undead, it doesn’t seem to have an effect on them in particular, but…’
It had been a year since Vulcan abandoned his safe style of combat and changed to reckless and instinctive style, and he obtained an achievement in the passive skill.
The Iron Body technique’s rank rose from B to A.
It was an achievement that would not have been possible with his past style of combat, where he usually ran around avoiding the attacks and swung his sword only at the certain opportunities he made with his magic that created an opening in the opponent’s defense.
It was not a huge development, but Vulcan was fairly satisfied with the growth.
Also, there was one other thing that excited Vulcan.
‘My movement using the Thunder God’s Might is… getting faster!’
When Vulcan abandoned out-boxer style combat and switched to focus on up-close combat, at first, it was definitely difficult to exchange blade strikes with the skeletons.
However, he gradually got use to the up-close combat, and as he started to find attacks easier than dodging, a lot of things changed.
The number of instances of Vulcan needing to defend at all had been reduced significantly.
In the past, often times, Vulcan was overwhelmed by their numbers, and he had no choice but to be cornered and take the hit before he could start his offensive measures.
‘But now, I almost never have to do it that way anymore.’
Surprisingly, the Thunder God’s Might was far more effective in offensive movements. It felt like he was borrowing from the impatience of the Thunder God. Whenever he actively sought to push against the opponents to deal damage, the Thunder God allowed him to borrow even greater strength.
Having realized this somehow, Vulcan started to forego defense, and instead he shifted his style to focus on offense. Now, he could actually see the skeletons being overwhelmed by his attacks instead.
The situation was quite literally befitting the old proverb, ‘the best defense is offense.’
Vulcan finished yet another battle against the skeletons.
Instead of jumping into the next battle, he thought about the past. He could almost hear the voice of Bereneru scolding him.
‘You rascal! You are obviously short tempered and hot blooded. You are a perfect match with flame and lightning magic elements that tend to do whatever they want, so why are you always so focused on dodging all over the place and defending?’
‘What are you talking about? Nobody is as polite and understanding as me.’
‘You are still barking out nonsense like a mutt… Your innate personality can’t stand it! It’s obvious from the fact that you can’t use earth or water element based magic!’
“Isn’t that just like assumptions base on bloodtypes? When I was in the Rubel Continent, even the short-tempered people learned water element magic. There were a lot of people like that.’
‘That’s why those bastards had low class abilities… Tsk. Tsk. Looks like you won’t get it no matter what at the moment. Later, when you truly understand what I told you today, just don’t lose that chance!’
“Do whatever they want… offensive… hot blooded…”
Today in particular, Vulcan felt that Beruneru’s words were really hitting the heart of the matter. As he thought about it some more, he realized there was another time like this.
‘Was it when I was doing gruntwork under Mr. Filder to train for masteries?’
He couldn’t remember exactly what happened, but once he let go of something that was constraining him, he was able to move much faster. He remembered a general impression about something like that happening.
Back then, he was not able to get a grip on his head because The Six came by all of sudden. Now that he thought about it carefully, he felt like he could understand.
He now understood that the attitude he had at that moment was an important clue for the direction he should take as a mage for the rest of his life.
“Now that I have realized it, I should practice it.”
Vulcan quickly chugged down the potion and activated the Thunder God’s Might to the full power.
‘For the next one year… Let’s live like Dokgo Hoo!’
Vulcan made up his mind to try out dangerous training. He charged toward the deeper end of the graveyard.
A month passed.
His level was already at 469. If he gained just one more level, he was going to be able to equip the legendary weapon, the Heavenly Lightning Blade.
However, Vulcan was forgetful of this fact at the moment. Completely focused in the battle, he was destroying skeletons at an incredible pace.
Skeleton Knights and Warriors couldn’t even dare to think about attacking Vulcan. Overwhelmed by incredibly fast attacks being poured at them, the skeletons barely managed to defend themselves.
With just five Skeletons, they were seriously lacking in power to corner Vulcan.
Extremely excited, Vulcan repeatedly destroyed skeletons and charged forward. He was unstoppable.
Before long, all skeletons were destroyed, and the only thing left in front of his view was the stone gate with an ominous eye lodged on it.
If it was like any other day, he would have just ignored the gate and returned to the entrance of the Underground Graveyard, but this time, he didn’t want to.
‘You bastard that keeps on giving garbage items!’
Toward the eyeball that was looking around all over the place, Vulcan firmly planted his left fist.
After the eyeball exploded, Vulcan didn’t even give it a glance. Instead, he went right in to the boss room.
Toward Vulcan, Muruolla the Death Knight said,
- The ancient … curse…
“Oh just shut up!”
By Vulcan’s heavy train like attack, Muruolla’s body faltered.
That was not all. Following behind Vulcan’s back, several dozens of lightning and flame magic came to attack Muruolla.
Muruolla, who fell into a pinch in a blink of an eye, said to Vulcan,
- You… runt… you should listen… to the end when… someone’s talking….! You are just a runt who’s blood on the head from birth… isn’t even dry yet…!
Vulcan couldn’t care less about what it had to say. He grabbed on and gave it a good beating.
The Thunder God’s Strike was activated unconsciously and stroke through Muruolla’s entire body armor, and there were magic attacks being poured on to it.
With cracking sound, Muruolla’s armors fell.
Silver colored skeletons that looked sturdier than the fallen armor awaited Vulcan. With the battle finally entering its second stage, the Death Knight summoned a giant sword.
Souls lingered around the sword and wailed. The giant sword was a soul stealer that absorbed the opponent’s health endurance upon each strike.
To make up for the damage it sustained up to this point, Muruolla grabbed hold of the sword with all of its strength.
Vulcan got a grip of himself as he saw the monster in front of him exuding ominous aura. Also, he was thinking it was too bad that his moment was cut short,
‘How regrettable. Just a little longer, and I certainly could have grown another step.’
Thinking about how he was able to attack Muruolla with nothing getting on his way and how he was able to generate magic more powerful and faster than the usual, he could not hide his disappointment.
However, the moment had already passed.
Vulcan put strength on the tip of his feet to avoid the giant sword coming down toward his head.
Vulcan was about to move back and avoid the sword, but he stopped his body. It was a critical and a dangerous moment, but for some reason, to Vulcan, it felt like the time was passing by a hundred times slower.
As he looked at Muruolla’s giant sword slowly approaching, Vulcan thought about the one thing that realized as he had been hunting down skeletons for the past month without anything getting on his way.
It was childish, but the attitude that was most becoming of the lightning and flame magic was,
‘Give beating before getting beat, and kill before being killed!’
It was really a very Dokgo Hoo-like wa
y of thinking, but Vulcan finally admitted it that even inside himself, there were simpleton and volcano-like sides.
He also came to acknowledge that this tendency inside him was leading him to a brand new world.
With that acknowledged, he thought about what would be the right move now that he is facing against a strong opponent like this.
‘Should I move back to avoid the danger for a moment? Or should I give it a beating before it could strike me? Ofcourse… the latter!’
Vulcan decided to give Muruolla a mighty strike.
Of course, it was not easy to ignore the fearsome giant sword falling toward his head. His plan was not going to be easy to even attempt without being at the peak of his offensive power, which was possible a moment ago from being in middle of chaos.
However, Vulcan had a skill that could bring him to the edge of excitement.
At an instant, his physical strength and movement and attack speed increased by large margins. Vulcan violently put forth his claws. He could not hold a blade, but it was irrelevant.
Of all attacks that Vulcan demonstrated up to this point, this was the fastest of them all.
Before Muruolla’s soul stealer sword could reach Vulcan’s head, Vulcan’s attack reached Muruolla’s stomach.
Muruolla was bounced off as it dragged on the floor and made it crack like cookies. However, Vulcan didn’t have a chance to mind how Muruolla died.
[Experience Points Went Up.]
[Zenith-Rate Mage Swordsman Vulcan]
With the experience points increased, and with the restriction on the legendary weapon, which he wished to use for a long time, finally unlocked, the sense of hard-earned accomplishment surrounded Vulcan’s entire body.
On top of this, there were also the destructive instinct and excitement from the Beast Transformation, and adding the Thunder God’s Might to the mix, an incredible feeling of upheaval came to Vulcan.
Vulcan was like that for a moment. When the Beast Transformation expired, he strongly wished it could continue. When he was in the state of excitement, he was approaching the true nature of the lightning and flame elements.
At that moment, like a possessed person, Vulcan opened the inventory and grabbed hold of the legendary weapon that was exuding holy light, the Heavenly Lightning Blade.
With the blade’s option, the 20% increase in the lightning element training efficiency, the remnants of the enlightenment that have not left Vulcan yet from a moment synergized with the Heavenly Lightning Blade’s boost in stats.
Its powerful increase in stats filled the last step that was lacking in Vulcan’s enlightenment, and that lead him to a brand new world.
[Lightning Mastery’s Rank Went Up from S to SS.]
Vulcan took a deep breath.
Now he had become a powerful warrior who could no longer be contained within Act 1.
Blindingly bright golden sparks surrounded his entire body.