41. Group fights

Danger perception earring gave a signal.

When the screen disappeared Jill closed distant between us to mere meter in one second. I remind you if you forget. She was fifty meters away! She thrust her umbrella towards me.

Hopefully, she isn’t so fast in close fight. It seems her speed only works for running.

While evading her thrust I tried to make low kick, but she somehow managed to block it with umbrella. Then I took my sword from behind my back to strike from above, but she block it by opening the umbrella.

Oh! She is good.

Danger perception again! I leapt to the side. At that moment big portion of flame was thrown from the tip of the umbrella. I tried to strike again, but she was twenty meters away from me.

At that moment I finally have an opportunity to analyze my opponent.

Jill Run
24 y.o.
S-rank Thief branch *hidden*
“Escape girl” *hidden*

Strength 82
Agility 153
Vitality 81
Charisma 102
Intelligence 122
Wisdom 117
Danger 33

And that umbrella…

Shielding flamethrower umbrella of comprehension
Legendary quality
<When opened became a shield>
<Can throw fire>
<Upon contact with any item gave the information about it to bearer>
Average condition

That knife is also quite interesting.

Returning throwing knife
Unusual quality
<After throwing returns to the bearer>
Excellent condition

All her other gear have a “speed” suffix in it.

Also, umbrella has that “comprehension”. So she already knew about my sword, that’s why she is so anxiously looking at it. So from now on she will fight from the distance.

She threw her knife. Woah! Fast! Damn! I barely managed to block it with the buckler. Knife struck my shield, but in the next second disappeared. I put my sword away and took poisoning knife. Throwing analysis has activated.

She was running around me with crazy speed. She tried to throw few more time, but there wasn’t any meaning to it. All her tries were blocked by buckler or knife.

Time to end this. I already find her flaws.

Speed is very troublesome ability. But body with greater speed has greater inertia.

I threw my dagger. She can’t evade it, so she blocked it with opened umbrella. Then she started to decrease her speed and finally stopped.

She lost. There is no way she can’t understand it. She has “comprehension” skill after all.

“I lost”

She admitted it.

Commentator tried to explain this strange fight. Looks like some strange device near the ceiling is recording or broadcasting this fight. It’s a show after all.

I came closer and took my dagger.

“Why are you admitted defeat. Isn’t better running to the end?”

“No. I don’t want to destroy my equipment in the first fight. Besides I know the strength of this dagger very well. My friend has it with him. He was not a bad guy, but crossed the road of the problematic person. Looks like he found his end.”

She showed a bitter expression.

Oh! Scully! Friend? It isn’t what you told me.

‘I’m sorry, Master! I don’t know that we were that close.’

Well. You were the only person who can run with almost the same speed as her. Maybe some kind of competitive relationship.

“Yeah! But I promised to revenge him. So don’t worry!”

She was slightly surprised, but then frowned.

“Be careful! That guy is very dangerous.”

“I will. Oh! And Scully asked me to send some gift to you.”

“Scully? Gift?”

‘Gift?’

Yes. Unusual speed pants. I don’t need them after all. I have rare ones. Scully, remind me about it later.

‘Yes, Master!’

“I will send it to you after tournament.”

I won my first fight and was brought to the waiting room.

I have six hours before next fight.

Scully, go to see fight between another two participants.

‘Yes, Master!’

My shadow run away once again.

I tried to sleep, but in this room your fatigue, even mental, recovers momentarily. So I was thinking about some strategies against imaginary enemies.

‘Master, fight is finished.’

Scully came back.

‘It was a battle between Rod Burgomir and Taciturn Mike. Taciturn Mike is the winner. Actually it was one sided bullying. Burgomir didn’t even land one hit on Taciturn Mike.’

Yeah! That big guy is slow. And with Gill Run he hasn’t any chance either. I beat him once too. Worst group for him, huh?

What is the specialty of that Taciturn guy?

‘It’s evasion.’

Evasion?

‘Yes, Master. He lacks weapon skills, but his evasion is magnificent.’

He might be a problem. But with my dagger I most probably will win.

I will pass qualifying fights with such opponents.

“Yalle! Your fight will be after an hour. Your opponent will be Rod Burgomir.”

Again one hour of waiting. I should learn some meditation crap or something. I’ll go crazy in this room where I can’t even sleep properly.

They came again to take me to arena.

There was the same room and the same magic screen.

The same introduction. The same rules. Hopefully another joke. Countdown.

Magic screen vanished.

“Long time not see.”

“Indeed. I wanted to meet that Riot guy once, but it looks like I wouldn’t even pass preliminaries. Such a shame for S-rank.”

“You just have bad compatibility with guys in this group.”

“A? Are the one you fought hard for me too?”

“…Sorry.”

“Damn! A-ah! Whatever! Let’s start!”

All was finished in few minutes. Despite his nice gear (all rare and all have “strength” prefix in it) he is very slow and has a bad balance. It was a child play for me.

Scully, remind me to send him strength collar as consolation prize.

‘Yes, Master.’

Waiting room. Wasting time. Warned again. Wanking an hour. Walking to fight.

All the same. Only the person is different.

Screen vanished.

We remained on our places. It’s not because there was some kind of glances duel. I stood still because of another reason.

Oi! Scully, Teddy-bear, that guy might be one of us. I can’t see his status. He might have some unreasonable abilities.

But let’s start a fight.

I came closer. He was standing still. This guy is very confident.

His weapon is a sword, but… How should I say this? His posture is full of openings. His stance is lacking. His weight distribution is awful. Even his sword grip is terrible. It’s like he is complete amateur.

But I must be on alert. He won Rod after all.

I make two demonstrative strikes with sword and when he evaded them make a lunge strike with buckler. There is no way somebody would be able to evade it. But he evaded. And more importantly thrust his sword in my abdomen from below my buckler. It’s a complete blind-spot for me. But I managed to parry it by changing grip of my sword and rolling it in the air.

He retreated. I put sword in the scabbard behind my back. Knife would be better. He gave a smile as if he knew my plans all along. He hid his sword too.

I am serious now! Just you wait!

Strike! Evasion. Thrust. Evasion. Kick. Evasion. Strike. Counter-attack.

I can’t even poison him if he just evades, but not blocks it.

It’s like he know all my moves beforehand. Sometimes I even thought that I got him, but he managed to dodge it in the last second.

Like that hour passed.

“It’s a draw!”

Commentator started his speech. I was just looking at that guy. He was smiling and looking at me.

Annoying bastard.

But whatever! I passed group selection. We will meet again and next time I will win.

Dangerous rival. Even more dangerous, because he doesn’t have any gear better than uncommon. Not. Even. One. Piece.

Annoying bastard.

Looks like I am not the only cheat here.

I was in the waiting room when Scully came back after observation fight between that bastard and Gill. Of course she lost. Mike Taciturn passed too.

In the last group fight Jill won, but that doesn’t really matter.

I should find a way to deal with that guy.

So? What are your suggestions guys.

‘Teddy-Bear told that he sometimes showed some abilities similar to his.’

Something like teleportation? Yeah! I thought that too. His evasion sometimes was out of this world.

‘It’s just like he can stop time. Or maybe to slow it.’

Time manipulation? That might be it.

And? Do you have any tricks against time manipulation?

‘I am sorry, Master.’

I hope he will fight with Riot in the next round. Maybe my luck help me.

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