MMORPG : Ancient WORLD - C.521 First Challenge


C.521 First Challenge

It had been three hours since Alex began roaming the labyrinth, and he had dealt with both adventurers and tomb guardians, but none of the encounters were worth mentioning besides the first one.

The three-star tomb general had been a real challenge, as besides his superhuman strength, agility, and senses, and the ability to morph into a bat-like creature with deadly fangs and sharp claws, he wielded sound magic and necromancy.

The biggest challenge in dealing with him was his ability to regenerate at an extreme speed, as he could use his own vitality to regenerate even lost limbs. Even when Alex decapitated him, he stayed alive, only dying once he crushed his head into meat pulp.

Alex was moving through the winding passage toward the center of the labyrinth when he sensed the disturbance in space a few meters behind him, so he halted his steps and turned around, expecting a tomb guard to appear because this was his second time seeing this phenomenon occur.

The space blurred before a towering figure materialized, and it was clear to Alex in an instant that the figure before him was an adventurer and not a tomb guard.

The man stood three meters tall, nearly ten feet tall, and although his massive frame was mostly hidden under dark, loose robes, and even the revealing areas only showed the skin-tight dark armor beneath, they did nothing to conceal his chiseled form.

The creature's face was unlike anything human or any species Alex had seen in his life, as his skull was covered in pitch-dark features that cascaded down his back, appearing like a feathered cloak.

Two horns adorned his forehead, and below, his face resembled that of a lion but with four green eyes with ghostly white irises matching the skin of his face, while his exposed hands were beastly, ending in razor-sharp claws.

'The aura he is exuding is decent, but nothing that poses me a real threat,' Alex thought, but using Ruler's Pride without a moment's delay, knowing the figure before him was strong.

"I am known as Zar'Thul, a proud member of the Praetorian Knights, servant of the Great Malakar, wielder of the Chimera System," Zar'Thul said after moments of silence, his voice deep and guttural.

"You carry a heavy stench of violence, and while I believe I will win, to tell you the truth, I cannot be certain, and this has happened only once against an opponent who has not crossed the threshold,"

"Even against that abomination, I did not lose the battle, so will you be the first to defeat me?" Zar'Thul said, his gaze steady and unyielding, a wide beastly grin stretching across his face.

Alex did question what this hulking giant meant by the Chimera System, but it did not seem he was going to get an answer even if he asked, so he pushed that thought aside and prepared himself for battle.

The labyrinth surrounding them seemed to hold its breath, torches flickering in anticipation as Alex tightened his grip on his weapon and Zar'Thul conjured a staff crowned with a wheel bearing nine menacing blades at its helm.

Zar'Thul stepped forward, his massive frame casting a long shadow before his figure just blurred, leaving behind an afterimage amidst the thundering noise of ground cracking as he appeared before Alex.

The wheel atop his staff pulsed with a thin layer of unknown energy, and as the two of their weapons clashed, the air around them crackled with the intensity of their confrontation while the space itself shuddered from the impact.

Alex moved with precision, his strikes swift and powerful, but Zar'Thul matched him blow for blow, his monstrous strength and speed nearly matching him.

The labyrinth reverberated with the sounds of their clash, each strike sending shockwaves and energy slashes of sword intent tearing into the ground and walls.

'What kind of energy does his weapon generate for it to be capable of disrupting not only my sword intent but even damaging my weapon,' Alex thought, seeing the unknown blue energy doing visible damage to his peak legendary blade.

Alex swiftly activated the Darkness Enclave, cloaking the passage in pitch darkness, before he used the 'Concept of Unification to combine the Sword, Intent of Fluidity, Rapier, Intent of Speed, Axe, Intent of Cleaving, and Darkness, Aspect of Eraser.'

'It must be some form of energy and matter disruption field,' Alex thought, seeing a small area around the wheel atop the staff being devoid of any darkness.

Alex was about to move in when Zar'Thul slammed his staff on the ground, generating a wave of blue energy that radiated in a crackling burst of lightning bolts. The energy field moved out at lightning speed, erasing the darkness like it never existed.

"Any form of external energy will not work against my energy and matter disruption field, at least not one of this level," Zar'Thul said, zooming toward Alex, bringing down his staff crackling with tendrils of blue lightning.

'This is why these tech bastards are nightmares for magicians,' Alex thought, knowing he needed to take away Zar'Thul's staff to make use of magic.

'The good thing is that I don't need to worry about his elemental skills,' Alex thought, not minding entertaining a battle of pure strength, seeing this battle as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Alex had stats just shy of the 400k mark, so he held the advantage even in a physical clash. So, without paying much heed to the handicap, he used the Void Walk to push his agility to its edge, allowing him to land multiple hits in mere moments, tearing Zar'Thul's robe to reveal the dark carapace armor beneath.

Alex used the surrounding walls and air walk to move around at an extreme pace, avoiding attacks and landing his own, targeting the joints of the giant.

Alex did try to target his face, but there were hardly any openings to land a strike, and even the one he did execute was avoided to blocked.

'What the hell is this armor made of?' Alex questioned, seeing how even clear shots barely left scratches on the armor.

Realizing that slashing and piercing attacks had little to no effect on the armor and seeing Zar'Thul wildly swinging his staff at a blinding pace, sending tendrils of energy everywhere, Alex knew it was only a matter of time before he landed a hit on him and in this fast pace engagement a single good hit could decide defeat or victory.

Alex canceled the unified intent without a moment's delay, only to use it again with different intents.

'Concept of Unification: Sword, Intent of Fluidity, Hammer, Intent of Heaviness, Maul, Intent of Crushing, Darkness, Aspect of Reflection.'

The sword still glowed with a dark aura, but it was no longer thin and fierce but denser and calm, and with each swing, there was a reverberating impact, and with each parry, he reflected the damage back.

Zar'Thul barely reacted to the strikes, and with each passing moment, the damage to his joints was piling, and Alex could see clear cracks appearing on the various joint areas of the dark carapace armor.

In his desperation, the giant finally made a mistake, swinging his staff too wide at an awkward angle, allowing Alex to step in to avoid the hit in its entirety before swinging his sword at the left leg right on the knee joint with all his might, shattering the armor into pieces of glass and crushing his knee.

As the giant knees buckled from the impact, Alex swiftly moved up to his right side, firmly gripping his horn, and overcharged his sword with unified intent before he brought it down, ready to plunge it into his eye.

But at this moment, Alex saw Zar'Thul open his beastly maw, revealing a bean-sized sphere of ashy white pulsing inside, and at the same time, he felt the darkness in the surrounding return as the energy and matter disruption field was deactivated.

Alex had caught Zar'Thul in a setup, but it looked like he was not the only one thinking two steps ahead.

Alex did not have time to move away as the beam of expanding energy was milliseconds away from destabilizing the surrounding space, so his only option was to tank it.

Alex released all the build-up energy on the sword as the first shield of defense, as the chaos wings took shape while the surrounding obscurity converged before him as his shield.

The half-assed defenses were torn to shreds by the beam of gray aura, sending Alex reeling back, but he quickly regained his footing, having suffered moderate damage.

"This Scranthian Fiber Carapace is an excellent defensive artifact, but its true purpose is to restrain my aura because when I get too excited, I lose control," Zar'Thul said as his armor vanished into his ring, leaving behind a hulking colossus with two dark feathery wings on his back and an ashy white fur-covered physique.

"Let's commence the genuine battle," Zar'Thul uttered as his already monstrous aura grew to new heights.