Chapter 22: Manly Fight!
At the New Leaf Village, two men were facing each other with a thrilled crowd surrounding them.
Jack stared at Igor, who was oozing confidence. The training instructor was highly experienced and prepared to crush the naive young calf that dared challenge him.
“Let the gods witness this fight for glory….” Igor began.
“Let this display of valiance inspire the men….” Jack naturally added.
The NPC jumped in surprise. This brave knew about the pledge?! He nonetheless quickly regained his composure as he continued.
“Let the world tremble from the valor shown today!” Igor spiritedly roared.
“Let the Glory Trial Begin!” Both of them shouted at once.
At this moment, the spectators were utterly confused. What was this performance all about?! It was as if they had repeated this little dialogue in advance!
They suddenly gasped as an ethereal pale blue light enveloped both contestants. That’s when a line appeared atop their heads. Respectively it was: <Level 0 Brave> & <Level 0 Fist of Justice>
Was this their title?! Seeing this, many couldn’t help but feel that the NPC would win this challenge. Both may be temporarily at the same level, but the instructor was bound to have better technique. This was even more true given that the newbie had no title!
Seraphine was actually surprised that her teacher didn’t possess one yet. Still, this was such a shame. Had players not been so broke, she could have opened a betting booth on the spot! She would have become rich just from dumbasses underestimating him!
Everyone’s attention shifted to the instructor as he took a powerful step forward, raising a cloud of dust. How powerful was his foot to produce such an effect?! No, it wasn’t the body. It was the technique!
The smart ones had their eyes glued toward the instructor. Whatever move he made, they would reproduce later on against the chickens! Hell, a single step with such intensity would probably be able to kill their clucking foes!
Others were enjoying the show as they played commentators:
“Gosh, this is nice. We can witness a royal instructor whooping ass!”
“What about his opponent? Oh my god, look at his posture!”
“Is he even preparing to fight? He looks so relaxed!”
“It’s even worse than that. He’s even smiling happily!”
“Maybe he’s a fighting addict. He could be a born killer….”
“Born killer? Look at his eyes! He wouldn’t hurt a baby!”
“I know martial art, and I can 100% say he’s an amateur.”
“Tch— I was hoping for a good fight. Guess this will be boring.”
Then there were the ones that were just playing around:
“Anyone wants to bet on the outcome of this fight? I’ll wager a chicken feather. Disclaimer, it’s utterly worthless!”
“Look at the instructor! He’s so energetic. I wouldn’t mind fighting him all night if you know what I mean!” ( ?° ?? ?°)
“Please, do you think such a thing is even possible? Oh, wait…isn’t there an R18 rating for this game?! So ….maybe? Hot damn!”
“Shhh— No time for such depravity, do you girls know no shame?! This is sacred: two handsome half-naked men pummeling each other! Then in the heat of the moment, they will come to realize how much they enjoy their opponent’s touch and— Why are you all staring at me?!”
What the hell were they all talking about?! This was such BS! Yet, for some strange reason, Jack couldn’t help but smile at how silly they were. This was a game. Infinite was only a game. How long had it been since he had only seen Infinite as a game? Forever!
How would they all react once he had won? Would they be shocked, or would they be shocked? For now, he focused on his opponent.
If he wanted to have a chance at victory, he would need to emulate the Fisting Monk’s moves. Could he? Maybe he would be able to pull off 1%, but this would be sufficient! He pictured himself fighting his old friend, a smile blossoming on his face.
The instructor dashed forward and threw a right hook with Jack evading. The way he did it was peculiar and appeared accidental. He was evidently not used to fighting at all! His entire upper body seemed to sway as he had trouble remaining stable.
Seeing his opponent’s weakness, the training instructor didn’t let this chance go. A flurry of blows followed at a swift pace. The spectators were afraid to blink in case they missed one. Was he really doing this with level 0 stats?! Yes. Yes, he was.
Jack precisely knew what the man was doing. He was using a misdirection principle. It wasn’t that he was fast, but that he was unpredictable. The way he was hitting was always unexpected, thus making it hard for the eyes to follow.
They both kept “dancing”, the NPC attacking and Jack being pressured to retreat over and over. From time to time, he would counterattack and land a lucky hit. At first, some began rooting for the underdog, but then someone noticed a crucial detail:
“This kind of blow won’t leave a lasting effect. This player is using strikes that will only stop one’s opponent without hurting him. He has the wrong mindset. He’s lacking the ferocity needed to win. He’s too innocent.”
As they peered at Jack’s gentle expression, they couldn’t help but agree. Seraphine couldn’t help but laugh inwardly. This guy, innocent?! Were they all crazy?! He was the goddamn devil! She couldn’t wait for him to turn the tides!
Without none the wiser, Jack was progressing as per his plan. He had subtly dished a few strikes, just enough for his purpose but not too many to alarm his opponent. He was really taking a beating!
His 20 HP quickly lowered. Luckily the longer the combat went on and the more he was “learning” to block. He had gone from taking three damage per hit to only 1. This was a vast improvement!
5 minutes later…
10 minutes later…
15 minutes later…
At this point, he only had 2 HP left, and the instructor was beginning to get impatient. Jack was really dragging things out. He was a man at the end of his rope, but he was still standing no matter what!
Just as the NPC managed to do one more hit, he realized two things. First, he only needed one more strike to end the fight. Two, his opponent was showing an exploitable weakness!
He would have to overextend a bit to finish him, but so what?! The fight was so one-sided that he could afford to take a single hit without any issue. It was time to end it!
Igor mercilessly followed his previous attack with another one confidently. At that moment, the fight ended.
Jack flashed a peaceful smile as he sidestepped the hit, swept the legs, and there was a beautiful instant where time seemed to stop. Igor was in mid-air, falling while sporting the face of a deer in headlight. He now realized how much he had fucked up!
Then happened an eight-hits combo that rendered the powerful training instructor unconscious directly. As the body hit the floor, there was a long moment of silence. Then, a single voice resounded, one that spoke everyone’s mind.
“What. The. Actual. Fuck?!”
A level 0 player had dispatched the trainer?! Was this even legal?! There was genius, and there was monster!
That’s when many turned toward the “enlightened” martial expert from earlier with reproachful gazes. Except, he didn’t bother defending himself. He was too busy replaying the previous scene in his head.
This player fighting a losing battle had been in control of the situation the whole time?! What kind of planning was necessary for this?! He had called the man naive. Fuck, he had been as blind as a bat! This guy was a scheming predator! A strategist incarnate!
Many excitedly went over to crowd over the victor. They couldn’t wait to send him a friend request and invite him to their respective guilds! Did they even have a chance? Who cared! One could dream!
Many were thinking of offering credits to tempt him into helping them in Infinite. Others were subtly adjusting their clothes to show more cleavage— quite a sad sight, given the primitive ragged beginner clothing they were wearing.
But a sneer stopped them all in their tracks.
Honestly, while my victory was assured it could have been more troublesome. I waited for him to become impatient and made sure he underestimated me. This allowed my final combo to work so well. Otherwise, the fight would have likely dragged longer considering the Glory Trial doesn’t end until a victor is decided.
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