187 Nerves of Steel
Tycon raised an eyebrow in amusement.
The young man did indeed have a terrible naming sense.
However, something had happened that Tycon was hoping for.
Lone used a Skill. It didn't seem like a Skill developed on his own, but one unlocked by virtue of his enchanted weapons. Still, it was an impressive feat.
The concentrated ambient mana pervading the Magic Tower was effective in nurturing magical Classes. For martial Classes like Lone and Tycon, himself, the atmosphere was less effective, but still granted a substantial increase in sensory and mana perception.
« System, inquiry: Status of the Lone Shadowdark »
[Lone Shadowdark, Bronze-Rank Human Warrior]
Hm. The young man hadn't broken through just yet.
But at the very least, his breakthrough was close. His desperate fight against the Bronze-Rank statue was pushing him to his limits.
The battle was important to Lone's growth and development. As annoyed as Tycon was about the debacle, he would not move to help unless asked.
The risk of a Low-Tier Class being killed was worth the battle experience he would gain... And while the probability was low, it was not impossible for Lone to break through during the fight and gain a Mid or High-Tier Class.
"Stars and stones! What are you waiting for, man?" Tycon shouted, "Finish the fight!"
Lone ran forward, Moon-Moon-Moon charging ahead. The wolf jumped up, biting and clawing, its teeth clamping down hard into the stone of the statue's arm.
Right behind his dark-iron wolf, he grabbed onto its twin tails. The creature dissipated in a resounding howl and a burst of metal shards, leaving Lone again wielding his dark-iron hammers.
Lone stepped back into a combat stance, "Wolf Fang Fist-Hammer!!"
Pushing through the excruciating pain in his left wrist, Lone launched attack after attack. He bashed the statue's chest. He cracked its already-chipped head. He smashed both hammers down hard onto the statue's shoulders.
Trying to regain its combat advantage, the statue lifted up its sword. Lone struck the sword, sending it hurtling towards a wall, shattering upon the collision.
Yes! One more strike! One more strike and everything would be over!
Lone headbutted the statue.
Besides giving him a splitting headache, the attack was ineffective against Denman.
Shite. He should have thought that one through.
"Bahahahaha!! Boss! BOSS! Did you see that?" Wolfbanger cackled in the background.
"I did... Indeed, I did," Tycon admitted.
Lone visualized Tyon grimacing and shaking his head.
He had seen it more times than he cared to admit.
The statue grabbed Lone's head and jumped forward, slamming him against the tower wall. Lone felt his consciousness shake, threatening to fade away. He grit his teeth, unwilling to give in.
While pressing the side of his head against a wall, the statue launched a full-powered punch at Lone's elbow, breaking it.
"GGGGghhhh--- GRAHHHHHHHHHGHHH!!" Lone screamed. The statue began to tug at his arm, immediately dislocating his shoulder and threatening to rip his useless appendage from his body.
"Mister LONE!!" Tycon called, "Do you require assistance? I'd rather prefer you *not* be killed."
"NOOOOO!" Lone screamed, "STAY WHERE YOU ARE!!"
"Boss, he's gonna die," Wolfbanger complained.
"Tsss." Tycon scoffed, "Not necessarily. Steel courses through that young man's blood."
This was nothing! He had endured far worse as a member of Invictus.
He was Barza Keith.
He was the Lone Shadowdark.
And he was immortal.
Lone began striking the statue's arm with his weapon, trying desperately to weaken the hold. The statue grabbed his head and once more rattled his skull against the wall. Lone could barely think-- his head ached horribly and he was dazed and nauseous.
Using the statue's grip to keep him steady, he placed both boots against the statue's chest. Pushing with a desperate burst of strength, he finally broke free from the statue's grip, collapsing in a heap against the bloodstained wall.
Blood poured down his face. His right eye was swollen shut. The world around him shook from his dizziness. Pain surged through his body from his broken arm, simultaneously numb and hurting like hells at the same time.
He leaned over and vomited.
There. Felt a little better.
But only a little.
Supporting himself on the wall and careful not to jostle his broken arm, he got to his feet and picked up one of his hammers, Moon-Moon.
Denman stood in a combat stance, ready.
Lone needed to end the fight before anyone intervened!
With a bloodcurdling screech, he charged forward.
Eh. What's a good attack name? ...Ah. Thought of one.
Lone jumped forward through the air in a reckless attack.
"FULL-POWERED LEAPING MOON ATTACK!!"
A shock abruptly stopped Lone's barrage and he spat out blood. Though reluctant, he opened his eyes to look down. The statue had enchanted its right hand with wind magic... and the pointed hand was thrust into his abdomen, tearing through his chest armor.
It was far heavier of a wound than Lone was expecting to take.
The statue could enchant its hand with wind magic.
That was absolutely not something Lone thought it could do.
...It did make a lot of sense, though-- if the Denman statue could enchant a stone sword, it could enchant its stone hand.
Barza Keith, the Lone Shadowdark grinned, dark blood streaming down his mouth.
At least his plan had worked.
"I've always wanted to say this..."
The statue's right hand was caught. Lone outstretched his right, strongly gripping the handle of Moon-Moon, "Fuck you, Denman."
He swung his wolf-hammer at the statue's head. It blocked with its arm.
He swung again. Its arm cracked deeply, falling to the floor and breaking.
He swung a third time. Lone's wolf-hammer collided with the statue's half-broken head, shattering it into white dust and an explosion of stone shards.
The statue collapsed backward, its entire body ruined and in pieces. A white cloud of powder drifted over him, stinging his eyes.
The Lone Shadowdark fell to his knees, placing his forehead onto the debris-ridden floor.
"...And thank you."