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Chapter 66: Skill Acquisition (1)

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I was soon transported back from the colosseum. 

There was essentially no difference from before I’d left. 

The arena was still filled with challengers going wild over placing bets on the battles.

But…

「 Skill – Gust Blade (C+) 」 

「 Proficiency – N/A 」 

「 Basic effect – Activates upon rushing forward with a sword and increases the attack speeds of ‘thrusting’ attacks by 3 times. 」 

「 Additional effect – Upon activation, there’s a 30% chance that a ‘thrusting’ attack is imbued with the wind element and greatly increases movement speed. 」 

But that didn’t mean I had nothing to show for it.

As I sat there reading the explanation for the skill I had just obtained, my face got darker and darker.

I thought it was a sword-related weapons skill at first, but the explanation didn’t match my expectations.

“It wasn’t a weapons skill…?”

I mean, it was for purely ‘thrusting’ attacks.

‘I can’t even grow it because it doesn’t have a proficiency.’

It was the only one actually worth fighting for but…

‘I guess there was a reason she put it up as collateral.’

And Katheryn Benett was a magician who didn’t use a sword.

Hence, it should have been a great skill that she wasn’t very compatible with, but…

It wasn’t quite what I had expected.

But a skill of this rank had to be at least somewhat useful.

‘C+ is higher than what my Instant Acceleration is at now.’

And I could potentially use it as a movement skill.

‘I guess that depends on how much my movement speed increases.’

Well, at the very worst, I could use it to combine with other blade-related skills.

That made me feel a little better about not getting a weapons skill.

“…”
It was then that I remembered what Katheryn had said in the colosseum.

‘She said she was gonna come see me later.’

I didn’t know what that meant but…

‘There wasn’t any malice in her voice so…’

I should just let it be.

‘I can also look her up once I get out too.’

She seemed really adamant, so she must be pretty famous…

Lee Hayeon would probably know too.

I decided to push that off to later and turned my eyes back to the screen.

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「 Han Sungyeun 」 

「 Server – Korea 」 

「 Rank – 3 」 

「 Wins – 1 」 

「 Losses – 0 」

There was a slight update to my profile.

‘1 win…’

The number was a little too low at the moment.

And it wasn’t yet time to leave the arena.

Why would I walk away from such a great opportunity to grow?

I wasn’t that foolish.

Katheryn Benett was definitely a strong enough opponent who was worthy of her ranking but…

I still would have ended up winning the battle even if I hadn’t learned the Lightning Sword Ki mid-fight.

And I was sure that I wouldn’t lose to anyone weaker than her.

So…

‘Time to farm some skills.’

「 The battle has been established. 」 

「 Moving to the colosseum. 」 

***

「 Challenger Han Sungyeun vs Challenger Owaki Yuji 」 

「 Battle starting. 」 

Unlike Katheryn, who was from the American server, this challenger was from Japan.

‘Owaki Yuji…?’

The shoulder armor and the long spear gave away that he was a spear user, but…

‘He doesn’t seem like a very good one.’

Maybe it was because I‘d just learned Demon Slayer, but I could tell that he was full of blindspots.

That meant his weapons skill wasn’t even a C- rank…

‘This is what 11th is like in the Japan servers…?’

It was almost ridiculous.

「 Administrator ‘Iron-blooded Monarch’ predicts a boring match. 」 

「 Administrator ‘White Crane Sword Saint’ critiques his stance with the spear. 」 

「 Administrator ‘Black Devil’ smiles slyly at the thought of a total massacre. 」 

The administrators seemed to share a similar sentiment.

But my opponent didn’t seem to realize and put on a haughty face.

“I was excited to go up against the 3rd ranked Korean challenger but… my expectations might have been too high.”

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When I heard that, I couldn’t help but laugh.

“…Why are you smiling?”

“Because it’s funny.”

“…?”

“I didn’t think we’d have the exact same thought.”

He seemed to take offense to that comment and glared at me.

“You think you can reach my level with that equipm…!?”

Then…

「 Activating the skill ‘Instant Acceleration’. 」 

Kwaaaang…!

I activated my skill instead of letting the conversation continue and…

I kicked off the ground and dashed forward while thrusting my sword toward Yuji.

And at the same time…

「 Activating the skill ‘Gust Blade (C+)’. 」 

「 Skill ‘Gust Blade (C+) imbues wind element into the blade. 」 

Not only did the skill activate, but the 30% chance for the extra wind effect had also activated.

Fwooosh…!

“What the…!?”

When Yuji realized this battle could be over in a single blow, he started to move more rapidly.

“Shield of Origin…!”

He raised his empty left hand and shouted those words.

Fwuaa…!

A thin yellow barrier spread out in a circle and covered the challenger’s body.

That’s probably the skill he staked as his penalty, ‘Shield of Origin (D-)’.

But…

「 Activating the power ‘Sword Ki Master’. 」 

「 Activating the skill ‘Lightning Sword Ki’. 」 

Kwaaaaaaang…!

The lightning combined with the wind, pierced through his barrier easily, and—

“A-aghhh…!”

The best he could do was give up his shoulder.

He stumbled a couple of steps back with a pierced shoulder.

“S-surrender…!”

「 Challenger Owaki Yuji surrendered. 」 

His body disappeared as soon as he surrendered and…

「 Victory. 」 

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「 As a reward, you have received the skill ‘Shield of Origin (D-)’. 」

「 The battle has ended. You are now being transported back to the 10th-floor arena. 」 

I had another victory reward in my hands.

「 Skill – Shield of Origin (D-) 」 

「 Proficiency – N/A 」 

「 Basic effect – Upon declaring the skill name, you can summon a shield formed with mana. 」 

「 Additional effect – The size and strength of the shield depend on how much mana you put in it. 」 

I had already gotten my second win in the arena.

***

I continued to challenge a bunch of people and won battle after battle.

America, Japan, Russia, China, Germany…

I challenged people from all over the world non-stop.

Of course, not everyone accepted my challenge, but I still got a lot out of them.

After winning 3 more times…

「 ‘Battle Meister’ achievement was unlocked. 」 

「 Strength increased by 2. 」 

The 5th win even gave me an achievement.

After getting back to the arena, it was time to check my spoils of war.

「 Skill – Silent Step (E-)  」 

「 Proficiency – N/A 」 

「 Effect – Able to move without making any noise. 」 

This was the skill I got on my third win but…

There wasn’t really a good explanation nor was the ability that special.

And it didn’t even have a proficiency.

‘I guess it’s not that bad of an ability but…’

It wasn’t that helpful to me.

I’ll hold onto it and maybe use it to combine it with something later.

「 Skill – Chaotic Onslaught (D) 」 

「 Proficiency – N/A 」 

「 Effect- Upon declaring the skill name, you can increase your attack speed by 2 times. However, if this effect is stacked with another attack speed buff, it is reduced to 1.35 times. 」 

‘This one seems better than others.’ 

Any sort of attack speed increase worked really well with my fighting style.

Of course, this skill would be weakened when I used it with my other abilities, but…

‘It’s better than nothing.’

「 Skill – Unrelenting Barrier (E-) 」 

「 Proficiency – N/A 」 

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「 Basic effect – Upon declaring the skill name, you can form a shield in the direction you are looking in. 」 

「 Additional effect – Attacks that come into contact with the barrier are weakened by 15%. 」 

The last skill was pretty similar to the ‘Shield of Origin’ skill that I got before.

‘But none of these skills have potential to grow.’

That was probably the biggest letdown.

Well…

‘I guess that’s not too important since they’ll just be combination material.’

The problem was not with the quality of skills but the quantity.

‘I’d like more similar skills so the chances of it ranking up goes up but…’

I haven’t gotten enough skills and they didn’t seem that great to be combined together.

I was planning to collect more, but people kept rejecting my challenges now…

Even while taking the risk of exposing my rank and identity, no one wanted to fight me.

“Hm…”

Maybe it was finally time to leave the arena.

‘Wait, maybe…?’

Either I was the dumbest human alive or I’m a genius.

‘If I have to expose my name and rank anyway, why would I do it one at a time?’

People like Katheryn Bennett and Owaki Yuji were receiving challenges.

I can just put something up as collateral and wait for the challenges to start flooding in…

‘I’ll have to entice them with something.’

I clicked on the screen and…

「 Serenity 」 

「 Grade: C- 」 

「 You are able to make a logical judgment no matter the situation. Status ailments like fear or confusion are reduced during combat and allow for more immersive combat.] 

I put up a ‘power’ unlike anything else on the listing.

My name and rank would be posted but…

「 Victory reward – Power ‘Serenity (C-)’ 」 

People would pay more attention to the reward I put up.

And the effectiveness of this bait was…

「 Challenger ‘Mochiyama Yachiha’ challenges you to a battle. 」 

「 Challenger ‘Carol Vega’ challenges you to a… 」 

「 Challenger ‘Lee Jincheul’ challen… 」 

“Nice.”

Far more effective than I had hoped.

 

——

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