Chapter 0008—A Challenge

The roars of a monster attracted the teen’s attention. He was currently at the levelling zone outside the city of Yoda which had none but a certain type of monster that ranged from Level 8 to 10—Goblin Warrior to be exact. The teen was only Level 4, but farming levels there was just a piece of cake for him because of his decent swordsmanship.

The roars came from some distance away from him, which meant there was someone else levelling in the zone apart from him.

It piqued his interest. Although it was said that most monsters beyond the starter area would actively attack players, this was one of the first cities where players could go to after leaving the starter area after all. Several types of monsters nearby were neutral in nature, allowing players to aggro and fight them one by one.

This forest, however, was different. There were only goblin warriors that attacked players actively, and their spawn points were rather dense. Not many players chose to farm levels there because they might get surrounded by goblins if they weren’t careful. The risk of losing equipment and gold from dying was simply not worth it. Having levelled here for two days, it was the first time he had encountered someone else.

‘One… Two… Three…’

Surprised, the teen hid behind a tree as he observed the fight between a man who wielded a spear and three goblin warriors. The man had a somewhat peculiar name: Dragonspear.

The three goblins waved their spiked maces and hacked at the man with brute force. Making pitter-patter sounds as he swung his spear to intercept every single attack, the man always managed to sneak in a few stabs whenever the goblins showed gaps in their defences after attacking.

He didn’t use a single skill.

In just half a minute, the three goblin warriors had their health shaved down by half. It was close to the time the teen needed to damage one goblin warrior to half health. By that logic, the man named Dragonspear was killing the monsters at thrice his speed!

‘Ouuuuu!’ The three goblin warriors howled in rage as they simultaneously reached for their waists.

The teen’s eyes brightened up. The goblins’ stone hurling skill was quick. Whenever the goblin warriors threw their stones, the attacks always managed to shave off a bit of his health.

Given how luxurious his equipment was, the tiny bit of damage was not something he paid heed to. Even so, despite his lack of gaming experience, he could tell that Dragonspear was fully equipped in starter equipment apart from his spear.

Drako Yau didn’t even blink at the incoming stones.

Fast? Compared to the seeds that the old geezer used to flick at him, the stones were flying through the air like snails. He was confident that he could intercept all three of them just by listening to the whizzing sounds, not to mention he could clearly see the projectiles right now.

Thrusting his spear as swiftly as the wind, all of his attacks landed on their targets. The three goblins turned into three puffs of smoke, leaving behind gold coins and experience before they disappeared. After picking up the gold coins, Drako Yau headed for his next destination.

‘Wa… Wait.’ A teenager suddenly emerged from behind a tree, giving Drako Yau a jumpscare.

As implied by its name, characters in Real World were exactly the same as the players’ appearances in the actual world. The hopes of many who had wanted to create characters that were as attractive as celebrities were brutally crushed. Also, a handful of players had previously boycotted the game because of this character system.

Standing in front of Drako Yau was a pretty boy who seemed to be of similar age to himself. His elegant facial features, along with his pearlish white complexion, emanated the aura of a noble.

‘Excuse me, would you mind sparing me some time?’

Drako Yau looked at the teen named Sasaki and replied, ‘What’s the matter?’

Showing a warrior’s smile, Sasaki said, ‘Duel with me!’

Drako Yau’s pupils constricted as he gave the teen a strange look. ‘Reason?’

‘Because I want to grow stronger!’

Sasaki stowed the equipment on him into his item bag one by one. Drako Yau silently watched him do so, his senses as a game designer tingling.

The teen’s equipment was of considerable worth, with every piece being a ‘green’, uncommon item. They were equipment that would become trash in a week or two, but they were extremely valuable and rare as of now.

After removing all of his expensive equipment, Sasaki switched into the exact same equipment as Drako Yau—starter gear, all apart from the sword he held, which was a ‘blue’, Rare item named Fine Steel Longsword.

In Real World, quality of items were distinguished by four colours: white, green, blue, and orange. White was the most common quality, while green was Uncommon, blue was Rare, and orange was Epic.

He held a Rare longsword in his hands. Just that sword alone, when sold for cash, could fetch for at least 5,000 dollars.

‘I don’t have another sword, you don’t mind right?’

Looking at the flames of fighting intent in Sasaki’s eyes, Drako Yau was a bit perplexed at how fired up the teen was.

***

‘Old geezer, why do we have to fight all the time? Isn’t it tiring?’

As the teen drew back while wielding a long wooden stick, the old geezer, who was also holding an identical weapon, pressed on with his attacks and yawned.

‘The sake of practising martial arts is to protect. To protect yourself, people whom you wish to protect, and things you wish to protect. The key of all martial arts is to put a stop to all conflicts.’

‘So annoying!’ While listening to the old geezer’s preaching, the teen got careless and was speared in the shoulder. A burning sensation sprouted from the point of impact.

‘If this was a real spear, your shoulder would be done for already.’ The old geezer swung his stick as if it was the extension of his arm, commanding it freely and perfectly like it was part of his body. His other hand, well, was holding an apple as he casually munched on the fruit.

‘In the future, you’ll learn that there are battles which you won’t escape from, and ones that you can’t escape from.’ The old geezer spoke vaguely in a maffle, his mouth filled with pieces of apple. ‘As a true warrior, there are fights which you cannot flee from.’

‘What’s that got to do with me! I’m not a warrior!’ The teen yelled angrily.

If masters in spear arts saw the fight, they would surely by astounded the teen’s proficiency in wielding the spear. It was not something one would expect to see from a thirteen-year-old.

‘Talking back, huh?’

‘Woah… Old geezer! Look where you’re stabbing! It’ll be on you if the Yau family lineage dies out!’

***

Drako Yau returned from his trip down memory lane. Sasaki was opposite of him, holding the longsword while radiating an intense battle aura.

‘So this is the sort of battle the geezer talked about?’ Drako Yau murmured and tightened the grip on his spear.

When faced with challenges, a true warrior could not flee from it. The act of running away was a loss in itself, a loss that would last forever.

‘Come at me.’ Drako Yau drew his right leg back into a stance, pointing the spearhead of Dawnlight at Sasaki.

During their staredown, the goblins had already respawned. Not caring at all about their duel, three goblin warriors, the ones that Drako Yau had just slew, charged at the two players. One ran towards Drako Yau while the other two rushed towards Sasaki.

The two players took a step forward at the same time. Ignoring the incoming goblins, they only charged in to engage in their duel.

Drako Yau had the gaze of an eagle as his spear travelled towards Sasaki like a dragon. It was hard to imagine that the strike was a basic attack. Sasaki stepped his left foot to the side and twisted his body. The spear merely grazed him, though the system still deducted a tad of his health.

Even so, it was no different from avoiding the stab, because the attack had not affected Sasaki in the slightest. Upon evading, he swung a downward hew aimed at his opponent’s head.


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