21 Student and Teacher
Astrid took a deep breath to calm herself down. "I guess this last match decides everything, huh?"
It was the last day of the first round of preliminaries. After two wins and two losses, the Noctis Noir guild was left with one last chance to score a point and proceed to the next preliminary round.
Luna grinned. "Don't feel so pressured, Astrid. We won't get mad at you if you don't score."
"But we worked so hard to even get here. It'd be a shame if we lost."
"Astrid, I think you might want to see this." The tone of Amelie's voice told her that it was bad news.
"Who am I fighting?" Astrid walked over to Amelie who was holding up her menu tablet. The name right beside hers was a familiar one: Garth.
"Another interesting plot twist, huh?" Luna said as she looked over their shoulders.
Astrid sighed. "Our chances might be slim, but I'll do my best to score us a point."
"You'll be fine," said Amelie in a carefree tone.
Astrid was somewhat thankful for Amelie's attitude towards the event. "Thanks, Amelie."
"It's... Chris..." Amelie walked to a corner and sobbed.
"It's almost your turn soon, Astrid. Better reset your skills now while you have time," Lyria said as she checked the match schedules.
The guildmaster nodded and used the skill reset item. Just when she finished allocating her skills, the valkyrie announced the next set of names: "Garth of Black Rose and Astrid of Noctis Noir."
"Garth," she said his name the moment they both entered the stage.
"Astrid," he did the same. He still appeared as calm as ever. "I didn't think I'd end up fighting you here."
"May the best player win."
"Commence battle!" The valkyrie shouted.
Astrid used invisibility. She wasted no time and began spamming her Shadow Slingshot skill. However, Garth surrounded himself with walls of flame, which disintegrated her shots. She jumped up and tried to hit him from above, but he quickly hurled fireballs to keep out any shots from above.
She frowned. I guess the stun strategy won't be helpful this time. I don't see an opening either. There has to be a way to get close to him.
Once the flames disappeared, he prepared to cast Blizzard. Astrid knew that if he did that, she'd get frozen and the same thing would happen during their last battle. She canceled out invisibility.
Garth stopped casting. "I didn't think you'd show yourself."
He quickly fired bolts at her. She did her best to evade them. A few hit her and did considerable damage on her health. As she ran and evaded the hits, she fired Shadow Slingshot at him. He, too, did his best to dodge them as he continued to fire bolts at her.
Astrid had two plans in mind at that moment. It was either she'd continue hitting him with Shadow Slingshot until he gets stunned or turn invisible and hopefully drain his mana by making him do area of effect spells. She decided to go for the first plan.
However, a bolt hit her leg and made her fall to the ground. As more bolts came towards her, she rolled on the ground to evade them. While on the ground, she fired Shadow Slingshot at his legs. The mage jumped back. This gave her an idea.
Time for some skill spam, she thought.
She went machine gun mode and spammed Shadow Slingshot, aiming for his legs. It wasn't long before he tripped. She took this chance and ran to hit him with Electrify. While he was stunned, she did the Earth Strike and Electrify cycle.
From their seats, Jasmine and Sed watched in worry as their guildmaster fell into the stun lock cycle.
"Garth!" Sed exclaimed.
During the split second when the stun wore out, Garth cast the instant ice spell, Frozen Touch. Astrid was frozen on the spot. He hurled large fire balls at her, inflicting a burn status. She only had 10% of her health left. The moment the ice melted, she went invisible.
"I can still locate you even if you're invisible," he said.
Garth cast Magic Missile, a neutral property spell that locks on its target. Once Astrid saw the missiles coming her way, she ran as fast as she could.
"It's no use, Astrid. You can never evade my magic missiles. It will keep following you until it hits its target."
She knew she was done for, but a sudden idea came to her mind. She wasn't sure if it would work, but it was worth a try.
Astrid swiftly changed her course and ran straight towards Garth. Without enough time to react and move out of the way, he fell back as she tackled him down and used him as a shield for the missiles. The moment the missiles hit them both, their health points dropped to one.
"What?" The Black Rose members stood up.
"Who won?" Amelie asked.
"I think it's a tie," Luna replied.
The valkyrie made the announcement, "The match is a tie!"
The audience went wild. It was the first tie so far during the course of the preliminaries.
"What happens if it's a tie?" Luna asked.
Lyria pulled out her menu tablet and checked the rules. "Both guilds score a point."
Luna and Amelie looked at each other and cheered. "We did it! We made it to the second round!" They hugged each other and later pulled Lyria in too.
Garth rolled off Astrid and lied on his back facing the sky. He used his remaining strength to speak, "Heh. You sure got a lot stronger. I guess I have nothing more to teach you." He turned his head to look at her.
"Thanks, Garth. You're a great teacher." She smiled.
"It was a pleasure teaching you."
"Master Garth!" Pio and Yaya ran to him and cast heal, restoring him to full health.
"Astrid!" Lyria ran to her friend and also cast heal. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah. I'm good." Astrid slowly got up.
"Congratulations on making it to the next round!" Pio said.
"Congratulations to Black Rose too!" Lyria smiled. "Looking forward to facing you in the team battles!"
Astrid extended a hand to Garth. "I guess we'll see each other in the next round?"
He took her hand and was pulled up. "Heh. It will be an interesting match."
They left the stage for the next battle to take place.