18 A Crusader“s Redemption
The next day, the girls once again made their way towards the oval stone amphitheater for the next match. Lyria stood in front of the bulletin board and looked for Astrid's name.
"Astrid's next opponent is..." Lyria's eyes widened. "Lyngvi? Oh dear. This will be a difficult one."
Astrid sighed. "A crusader, huh? Tanks are the hardest for assassins to defeat."
"Don't you have stun?"
"Lyngvi would probably arm himself with stun resist equipment after seeing the first battle. I can't use the same strategy twice." Astrid was deep in thought. "I'll have to switch my build."
"So that's what you needed the skill reset items for."
Astrid nodded. "I figured that people would take notes on skill sets so they'd have the advantage. Switching skill sets for every match will confuse them and put us at an advantage instead by using a build for defeating a specific opponent." She paused. "Lyria, didn't you party with Lyngvi before?"
Lyria nodded. "You better watch out for his ultimate attack."
"Redemption, right? I haven't seen it myself, but it sounds like it does a lot of damage."
"It does. You have to do whatever it takes to prevent him from using it."
"Thanks for the warning."
As they sat down and waited for their match to begin, Astrid reset her skills and redid her build again. She wasn't left with a lot of options, but she believed there was still a small chance of defeating Lyngvi.
The valkyrie announced the next set of names: "Lyngvi of Knights Alliance and Astrid of Noctis Noir!"
"Here goes nothing." Astrid took a deep breath and stood up from her seat.
"Go get him, Astrid!" Luna cheered.
"Please don't ruin his beautiful face, but by all means, go defeat him!" Lyria said.
The opponents walked to the middle of the area and stood face to face. Lyngvi was looking as calm as ever, much like his usual demeanor.
"Fighting more than one battle, Astrid?" Lyngvi asked when they entered the stage.
"Better not wear yourself out. I want to fight you in full force."
"Don't worry. I still have tons of energy left," she replied as she fixed her gloves.
Lyngvi smiled. "Wonderful. This will be an interesting match then."
"Commence battle!" The valkyrie's command echoed throughout the arena.
Astrid rushed forward at an incredibly fast pace, which surprised the audience. After all, she wasn't that fast during the last battle. This time, her build was focused on agility and poison attacks. She attempted a hit, but Lyngvi immediately blocked it with his sword.
"Do you think you can out-speed me?" he said as he pushed her away.
Astrid continued attacking. The crusader matched her pace and blocked every attack.
Sphinx watched the match closely from his seat in the audience. What's your new strategy this time, Astrid?
"Hey, was Lyngvi ever that fast?" Jasmine asked her fellow guild members.
Sed shrugged. "Agility isn't a crusader thing. I bet he's using temporary equipment."
Yaya lifted her menu tablet up and activated Equipment Scan, which allowed players to examine others' equipment and stats. It only worked if the player being scanned set his statistics and equipment information to public. In Lyngvi's case, he did.
Yaya nodded. "I see. It's just as Sed said. He is using equipment that boosts agility. The shield he's using also resists stun."
Garth turned to Yaya's direction. "May I borrow your tablet for a moment?"
She handed the tablet to Garth, who examined the equipment. "He sacrificed his attack stats to boost agility for blocking hits. Right now, he's a real tank." He returned the tablet.
"Do you think Astrid has a chance of defeating him?"
Garth gave it some thought. "I don't know. That depends on what her current build is."
Astrid still continued to attack the same way, in the exact same pattern. Lyngvi noticed the repetitive movements and wondered why she attacked in that manner. As he was in the middle of thinking, Astrid broke free from the pattern and went invisible. With his body used to the pattern she kept up, his guard went down for a few seconds. She used this chance to attack using Poison, a skill that poisons the opponent for a few minutes and takes out a percentage of health for every three seconds. At maximum level, the passive skill allowed a larger health reduction whenever the opponent moves to attack.
Lyngvi smiled. "And to think I came prepared for a stun attack. You switched builds, didn't you?"
Astrid turned visible again. "Yeah." She readied her katar. "Did you come prepared for my poison attack too?" She charged towards him and hit him with Moon Slash while he stood still and blocked her hits with his shield. He was careful not to attack.
Astrid did not stop. She continued hitting him, although her hits took out just 1% for every 30 strikes. The poison did its job though, taking out 5% every three seconds. Damage was slow, but it was her only hope of defeating a tank built to resist stun and catch up with her attacks.
Lyngvi stayed calm and collected. "Are you done? It's my turn to be on the offensive now."
Without hesitation, Lyngvi healed himself to full health and activated his ultimate attack, Redemption. A giant cross appeared above Astrid. She quickly went invisible and rushed to the side of the stage.
"You have nowhere to run."
The giant cross plunged down on Astrid and immediately took out a large portion of her health points. By the time she came to, her health was at 1%.
"The winner is Lyngvi of The Knights Alliance!" the valkyrie made the announcement.
"Well, that ended fast," said Luna.
Lyria jumped down into the arena to heal Astrid. "Astrid, are you alright?"
"My body aches, but I'm alright. I'm so glad we decided to let Luna fight tomorrow. I need a day to recover." She was still lying flat on the ground.
Lyria helped her up.
"It was a pleasure fighting with you, Astrid." Lyngvi approached both of them. "That was a great match."
"Congratulations on your win, Vi." Astrid took the handshake.
"I hope your guild makes it to the team battles too. I would love to get a chance to have a match with you and your guild."
"We'll do our best to get in."
They left the arena for the next competitors to take over.