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A note from puddles4263

7/14

Kayle purposefully cut wide in his attack, confident that he could have caught the edge of Randidly’s hair if he had aimed for it. It wouldn’t have inflicted any damage, but it was reassuring to be so near to hitting him.

Really, it was an extremely short distance: four centimeters. Altering the course of the blade was well within his ability, making the swing he had just performed four centimeters shorter than it would have been.

So when Kayle was forced to roll forward to avoid the absolutely vicious spear thrust that Randidly unleashed with very little warning, it only sunk about three centimeters into his right shoulder blade before he had escaped from the attack. That little bit of extra time gave him an edge, but already Kayle could feel the wound throbbing.

Wasn’t enough. Step needs to be faster. Something’s different.

Kayle popped to his feet to see both the two handlers he had brought and the two Paolo had brought surrounding Randidly in an X. As though moving on some unspoken cue, they varied their timing of strikes perfectly. Paolo’s attacked first, but Kayle’s men had faster attacks. All the while, Randidly stood stock still.

A mistake to attack without either Paolo or me, but a warning won’t come in time, Kayle thought with narrowed eyes. That excess in his style… we beat it out of him. Hmm. I did try to warn Stan...

Although he was surrounded, Randidly just casually glanced around. The… monster that hovered behind him cracked its neck. It’s two tails curled around its body, claiming dominance over the surrounding space.

Then Randidly blurred into motion, unleashing seven rapid strikes that crisscrossed his body. It was an area Skill, one that gave him preposterous dexterity to strike in the surrounding area. So much so that four of the top individuals in Donnyton working together were overwhelmed. And it wasn’t close.

Quick thrust, and a quick explosion of thrusts, Kayle began to move into position, because he could already predict what was coming. Based on what we saw earlier… this two Skills won’t be all.

Kayle’s two elected to dodge the strikes and were left with deep gashes across their torso’s. Even they weren’t fast enough, but they quickly pulled out potions. Paolo’s two raised their arms and tried to endure the strikes directly. This was a mistake.

The first man collapsed almost immediately. The woman gasped in shock, looking down at the two fist-sized holes that Randidly’s attack had ripped through her forearms and into her stomach.

Randidly as moving to finish her off as Kayle struck again.

Absolute Separation.

Once more Randidly’s body seemed to fold in on itself and out of the way of Kayle’s strike. Huge blue veins stood out on Randidly’s body as well, giving him a burst of speed that saw him avoiding the strike and wheeling his spear around to point at Kayle.

Blade Dance.

Luckily Kayle had predicted that Randidly would use his quick thrust because he moved before the attack was launched. Otherwise, he would not have dodged successfully or even stayed in fighting shape. As he did so, he threw the two long knives he held at Randidly’s head and drew two more in a smooth motion. Those two new knives he slashed in an x toward Randidly’s human arm.

Hopefully, this part of him still bleeds...

But a grey melancholy seemed to swirl up and seize Kayle’s arms, infecting him with a deep chill. The monster behind Randidly had its gaze fixed upon Kayle. Grimacing, he dropped the knives and hopped backward. Seven blows filled the air he had just left.

Somehow, Randidly also now possessed an aura that slowed anyone who entered into his area. Which was a hard counter for everything that Kayle wanted to do when he got in close to foes.

For a brief moment, Kayle spared a glance for the other side of the arena, where Randidly’s companion was barely hanging on while assaulted by the remnants of their two Squads. Kayle grimaced. They could spare likely one each without losing much power in that group, but the problem was that Helen was noted for improving the more strikes she inflicted on the surrounding people.

The fewer fighters they had holding her back the more quickly she would come to wreck their current fight with Randidly. And honestly… would more people even help to slow Randidly down now?

“DON’T HAVE TOO MUCH FUN WITHOUT ME!” Paolo bellowed, his arms pumping wildly as he dashed back up to the arena and attempted to spear tackle Randidly.

Kayle sighed. Don’t you recall what happened last time? It seems you love abuse too much to even plan to avoid it...

Without moving, Randidly lowered his spear.

Ah, Kayle thought with false cheer as he flexed his hands to dispel the numbness. Paolo didn’t slow his advance at all, charging directly toward the attack. This will be the hard-hitting Skill.

The monster behind Randidly raised its right arm, which began to glow a cherry red like a poker pulled out from a blacksmith's fire. Then the attack ripped forward.

Still fast. Just not impossible to see, Kayle reflected darkly. Two knives spun end over end toward Randidly’s exposed back. But, to his shock, the monster twitched and twisted his skin-wrapped head around to look at Kayle.

Then, the dark shape of the mouth beneath that skin seemed to shift. The two bone tails connected to it flicked out, knocking away the knives.

Paolo’s feet smashed into the ground as he lowered his stance. His hands shot upward and boldly seized the shaft of the approaching spear, ignoring the ominous rumbling the attack made as it shot through the air. But that was part of Paolo’s charm. Making all the stupid decisions so Kayle could make the smart ones.

Grimacing, Paolo jerked his head to the side as his Strength proved insufficient to hold back Randidly’s spear. Rather than ripping through his throat, the attack skittered off of Paolo’s shoulder. The webbing of his thumbs tore from the strain of altering the attack, spraying his already grim visage with additional gore.

As Kayle moved toward Randidly’s back, Randidly’s living spear twisted around, seizing Paolo’s arm and jerking him forward. Before Kayle could even arrive, Randidly smashed Paolo with a brutal cross with his left arm.

But then Kayle was there, his two knives stabbing into the flesh of Randidly’s back-

Crack.

Kayle twisted around, rapidly recalculating as the form he had attacked dissipated into wisps of ash. Randidly stood about twenty meters away, the force of his deceleration having shattered the tiles of the arena.

That speed is a serious problem, Kayle reflect. If I could just- Shit!

Randidly was already in front of him, that monster's right hand spread wide, the glimmering reaper blades filling Kayle’s vision. It seemed that Randidly had kept his rapid acceleration skill through this incredibly dangerous change.

Smiling, Kayle’s hands moved without having to think. But we already knew you had an acceleration Skill. Which meant we could prepare. Twin Rend.

One hand ripped upward, the other chopped downward. In a split second, Kayle and Randidly were once more separated by twenty meters as Randidly’s momentum carried him forward past the spot of their clash.

Blood spurted out of Kayle’s shoulder, but his smile stayed in place as he spun on his heel and dropped his two broken knives.

Randidly regarded Kayle with a frown, two quivering shards of metal sticking out of his chest. Despite the “gentleman’s agreement” nature of their battle, Kayle’s attacks had been clustered around Randidly’s heart. But the cagey fuck had folded his body at the last second, avoiding any blow that would have truly incapacitated him.

“What’s the read?” Paolo asked as he stood back up and spat out a glob of blood.

Kayle shrugged. “Isn’t it best to just have fun?”

They exchanged a glance laden with meaning. “Are you serious…?”

“Unless you are about to evolve into a higher leveled mob… then yes. Let’s just try… to have fun.” Kayle said, dead serious. Blood dripped out of his wound, even as his body began to flood the area with Stamina to stem the flow and hasten recovery.

Their conversation cut off as Randidly arrived between them, that terrible monster lashing out in both directions. The two leaders of Donnyton’s best Squads lowered their weapons and got to work.

*****

Panting, Randidly regarded the two men in front of them. “Stronger than I thought. Stronger than should be possible.”

They were in a piteous state. Kayle’s one arm was completely out of commission, and Paolo’s face had been beaten so brutally that Randidly was honestly surprised he could still see out of his swollen sockets.

Yet both hadn’t fallen, even after almost fifteen minutes of fighting.

“We had a good goal to aspire to,” Kayle whispered.

Paolo didn’t bother to speak. He just nodded grimly and kept his guard up.

Sighing, Randidly shook his head. The boost he received from the Skillset was massive. In terms of both power and functionality, his toolset had transformed from what had been possible previously. If Randidly had used either the Ashen Kata or the Spear Phantom as his image, he probably would have needed to rely on his Mana based Skills to give him an edge against these two’s combination.

But the Descent of the Grim Chimera was able to suppress them with raw power. The synergy between the Skills enabled him to consistently transition between different strategies and overwhelm Paolo and Kayle. Randidly supposed that was the weight that Mythic held. It wasn’t just the next step above Legendary, but it was an entire tier above.

Randidly was very much looking forward to what the higher Rarities would give him.

“I have one last Skill,” Randidly said softly. Both Kayle and Paolo didn’t bother to respond, so Randidly continued to speak. Honestly, they might not have the breath to answer. “I’m not sure what it will do… so guard yourselves well. This will be in another league.”

Both men remained still, allowing their Stamina and Health to accumulate.

Randidly released a breath. All Else Succumbs, Yet Time Whirls the Earth.

BUM. BUM. BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM.

Behind the veil of skin, the dark sockets of the Chimera began to glow red. A grand ticking overwhelmed Randidly, vibrating his very bones. His heartbeat with enough force that every cell in his body shook with it. Time around Randidly compressed, to the point that everything became still.

In that heightened state, Randidly thrust and both men were felled like wheat.

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