The longer the fight was prolonged, the more annoyed Tycondrius grew.
The Guardian tried to... kick him.
Its execution was embarrassingly sloppy, only threatening because of the construct's size and relative strength. To blunt the force of the attack, Tycon smashed his adamantine scabbard into its shin, the force easily capable of breaking half the bones in a Gold-Rank creature's body.
His stamina reserves were being taxed heavily... but he had the advantage of the soothing winds of Zenon's comfortable support skills and whatever healing skills that Aria's healers were casting on him. He was free of muscle fatigue... his focus remained... and his skill activations were smooth and without the possibility of recoil.
However... his head was beginning to ache... He felt a minute, dull, throbbing sensation just behind his brows. If it wasn't a mana or stamina issue... then he was merely suffering from general frustration.
"Lookin' good, Boss," Sorina Capulet commented.
Tycon spun his helmeted head around so hard, his neck hurt, "Sorina, what the hells are you doing this far in the front?!"
The drill-haired girl raised an eyebrow, "Observing the front line? Like you told me to. Absolute willfulness and subservience to orders, right?"
That was wrong.
The Guardian raised her blade to the sky, charging it with purplish, noxious energy. With a fell swoop, it plummeted down towards the two of them.
Tycon sighed, crouching down. Springing upward, he cut his blade deep into the giant construct's wrists, stopping the attack's momentum. Because the creature was made of mana... more an idea or a concept than an actual being, it didn't cut completely through. Still, it was nice that there were deep indentations left where he had struck.
"Ooh, thanks, Boss!" Sorina squealed as Tycon landed. "We nearly died!"
"YOU, young lady, nearly died," Tycon chided. "Now... please withdraw to a safer place."
"Isn't the safest place where you are?"
Tycon pursed his lips, scrutinizing Sorina Capulet's armored form. The Calculator had initially requested metal armor... but as she had trouble moving in them, she wore Guild Letalis leathers instead. That level of defense was not nearly enough to protect her from the Guardians' attacks.
In theory, it was dangerous to keep the Calculator close... she could be caught in the cross-fire of skills and cleaving sword swipes. However... the fight was winding down. The construct was steadily losing mana and its attacks were growing weaker (instead of stronger-- which does inexplicably happen, sometimes.)
"Very well," With a lazy swipe of Tycon's off-hand scabbard, he deflected another of the massive, Adamantine-Rank Guardian's sword attacks... "Report."
"Who do you want first, Boss?"
"Does it matter?"
"Of course, it matters! I wanna save the best one for last!"
Tycon groaned, dipping his sword low... "⌈Orochi no ken wo kurae.⌋"
After activating another ⌈Taste the Hydra Blade⌋, the Guardian staggered back, trying to swat at the eight mana-created snakes that bit into its form.
It allowed Tycon a moment to think...
"Then... how are my abilities, according to your ⌈Parse⌋ skill?"
"Oh, no! That one's last, Boss!" Sorina grinned, "Gotta keep the SUSPENSE!!"
Tycon narrowed his eyes at the young, drill-haired brunette.
"[TASTE THE POWER OF MY ⌈BRUTAL-ER BLADE⌋!!!]" Korr yelled.
That was wrong, as well. That attack's name should have been... 'More Brutal Blade.'
Korr leapt, rocketing upward from what appeared to be an explosion. Landing on the Guardian's shoulder, she began to batter the side of its head with her exceedingly ⌈Brutal Blade⌋ skills.
Her positioning was incredibly dangerous, as the archers and mages were directed to fire their attacks at the creature's upper torso. Her armor and what appeared to be a fiery ⌈Mana Ward⌋ kept her safe, though...
"How is Korr doing, then?" Tycon inquired.
"Korr's in the top 20% of Gold-Rank Berserker classes!" Sorina declared proudly. "If we rate her just as a Martial class, she's even higher in numerical damage per minute."
Tycon furrowed his brows. How did that skill quantify how much damage was dealt over time? The Calculator class did remain consistent across the Realm and over the ages... but asking about the formulae behind the results was useless. It was something only the gods knew.
"⌈Frozen ORB!!!⌋" "⌈WIND TUNNEL!!!⌋"
The combined attacks of Athena and Zenon tore a line through the battlefield, piercing the bodies of several dozens of Crimson Phantoms. Their synergistic training over the past few weeks had reaped fantastic results.
"Athena's doing average, " The Calculator explained... "Top 45% of Iron-Rank Martial Caster classes... Whew. Her numbers are padded from all the area damage she's doing, so it's hard to quantify exactly."
"And the Centurion?" Tycon asked, casually walking forward.
The scantily clad Guardian had fallen to a knee, its skin seeming to melt like wax. Its helmet had cracked and broken, revealing absolutely nothing inside of it. Whatever formation in place keeping its form together was breaking down.
"Top 10%, Boss! He might even break through to Gold-Rank soon!!"
Tycon chuckled at the young lady's optimism. The leap in power from Iron-Rank to Gold was not small, especially when compared to breaking through the lesser ranks. He judged that it would take a few more years of experience for the young Centurion to grow in both maturity and strength-- barring special circumstances, of course.
His development was steady and solid, though. If he hadn't had his mana circuits broken and repaired, he'd have estimated his breakthrough to take decades, instead.
"Uh... Boss??!" Sorina called out in a panic.
Tycon rolled his eyes, not bothering to look back, "What is it now, Capulet?"
Tycon focused for a moment, keeping his eyes on the frenzied, thrashing Guardian, but using his other senses to detect what was going on behind him. Two Crimson Phantoms were aiming for Sorina's life... "Lone!!"
"I'LL SAVE YOU, SORINA!!" Barza Keith, the Lone Shadowdark yelled at the top of his lungs.
"No, thanks, I'm good," Sorina groaned. "I'll wait for Boss."
"Hi-yah! DIE!! ⌈Whirl Shot!!⌋ ⌈Wolf-Fang Fist!!⌋ GUOH!!! ⌈Face-to-foot Technique!!!⌋"
Tycon sighed... If Sorina was injured, he'd break all of Lone's limbs.