The clattering sounds grew louder as the swords continued to clash against each other. Occasionally the man’s speed could break through Gardenia’s guard but is wasn’t without hope. The holes that she was leaving were guarded by chainmail and the hits were fast but had minimal force.
Still she was losing hp slowly but she was not the only one. While she left opening so did the assassin. His movements were quick but light, Gardenia was able to activate sword arts to barely break through his guard and cause minimal damage to him.
Although any watcher would tell that with each exchange Gardenia was losing. She was definitely taking more hits than he was. It might only be a matter of time before Gardenia would lose. Gardenia however was still smiling.
This seemed to clearly frustrate the man who finally yelled out, “Why are you still smiling? You are going to lose and fail.”
“Is that so? Are you somehow under the impression that you are winning this battle? Let me fix that assumption.” Said Gardenia.
⎡Greater Regeneration⎦ called out Gardenia as she cast her spell. Expert healing magic was no joke and very swiftly all her wounds healed and she was the only one in the ring that had full hit points.
At that point the assassin because to fight harder. He back activating his own weapon arts but those seemed even less useful than normal attacks. After all Gardenia also had her shield arts that she could use to reduce even more damage.
As they fight Gardenia nodded to herself, “I see, you are only early expert. Not bad, but not enough to worry. I guess it is time for me to end this.”
⎡Fire Infusion⎦ she called out and her sword began to flicker with flames. The assassins next attack deflected again off her shield but she knocked it backward, pushing herself forward and through his guard. Her sword flickered in toward him. He tried to block it with his second sword but Gardenia’s fluid motions simply bypassed his sword and crashed into his body.
With a single blow the man was flung backward and through the wall of fire. Gardenia did not let him have any time and ran through the wall herself. It basically did not effect her as she swung down at his knocked-down body.
It was over and Gardenia. The man did not move any more and he body was beginning to break into glowing fragments. She turned to see Norra finishing off two other assassins. It looked like she was right to not have Norra interfere.
As it evened Moira simply stood there in awe before saying, “How are you so powerful? You two beat them like they were nothing!”
“I’m not really that powerful. I just have some high level skills.” Said Gardenia modestly.
“No no no. We are very strong. Practically super heroes!” Said Norra, not willing to let that amount of humbleness slide. “Listen there is a big difference between intermediate skills and expert skills and we were just showing that off. Plus Gardenia claims to be a tank but she is really an impressive all-rounder. Beating her one on one is practically impossible I would say.”
Gardenia shook her head, “No, I have many flaws. The battle could have been a lot closer, after doing the fight I am pretty sure that they are NPCs. His equipment was too shoddy, practically worthless. Had he been using better weapons and armor then I would have had much more difficult time beating him.”
“But you still would have?” Ask Norra with a grin.
“Probably.” She looked over at Moira and said, “One thing to know is that the higher levels of a skills are generally more powerful per level than the lower levels. As all the practical knowledge of the skill begins to come together you get a large boost as the end. My opponent was just barely expert but I am getting close to mastering expert skills.”
“It just seems so far away from me.” Said Moira, “During that battle it felt like there was nothing I could do since any of them would beat me immediately.”
Gardenia placed a hand on Moira’s head and ruffled the hair a little bit. “Don’t worry about it. One word of advice that I received is just do what you think is fun. If you want to fight, fight. If you don’t want to fight, then don’t. This world is a game after all.”
“But… I need to protect Mr. Pots.” She held her bag in her arms again.
“Then protect him. Remember not to give up until you have lost your final hit point.”
Moira nodded and said, “Alright, I will do my best.”
Norra was smiling at the exchange although she was muttering under her breath, “Stealing the best parts away from me. You are more devious than I thought Gardenia.”
Gardenia looked around again before saying, “I think we should have some time now. It will probably be a while before the next assassination attempt. Next time will probably be even more dangerous so we should meetup with Oblivion Shadow quickly. I also have another friend who has agreed to help and should be arriving at about the same time.
They arrived at the teleport platform with a little bit of time to spare before the thirty minute mark. The fight hadn’t actually taken that long. There were plenty of people here so they weren’t too worried about being ambushed. Still, Gardenia kept close to Moira just in case.
Just a few minutes after the minimum time Oblivion Shadow showed up. He was still wearing horribly dark clothing but the pitch black robes looked very well made with even blacker stitching. While his hair still covered most of his facial features.
Gardenia waved and he walked over. Moira was practically hiding behind Gardenia who told her, “Don’t worry about Oblivion Shadow, he looks scary but he really isn’t. Moira nodded reluctantly.
Oblivion Shadow looked around the crowded teleport platform and said, “We should find a quite place to talk.”
“I also invited Elunial to join us so we are also waiting for her. She should be here soon.”
“Elunial? Are you sure it is safe to ask her? After all…” He left the question basically unasked.
“I have already informed her about the basics. She has a strong sense of justice so she is on board for helping dealing with the assassins.”
Oblivion Shadow nodded in acceptance and they waited around until Elunial showed up on the teleport platform. She looked practically identical since they late time they had seen her. She was still wearing the simple clothing that she had brought from the monastery, or at least extremely identical clothing.
She ran up practically silently to the group. “It looks like I arrived after Oblivion. Sorry for the wait.”
Oblivion Shadow said, “Alright, let us find a quite place where I can talk about what I have learned.”
The team left the teleportation platform and traveled a bit before finding a restaurant that they entered. There were some private tables and their team rented one of them. After they all took their seats Oblivion Shadow clasped his hands together in front of himself in an ominous manor.
“As you might all know Darkside Maw is an assassin organization. However one thing that I have learned during my research is that they have begun to accept Wanderers as members.”
“Wanderers?” Asked Moira, “You mean Players right?”
Oblivion Shadow glanced at Elunial before looked back at Moira and saying, “Yes, precisely. Since players have a wide breadth of interests it is fairly natural that some people have accepted this offer.”