437 Highest Percentile
"⌈Iron Dragon Rend.⌋"
Tycondrius swung his blade to the side, cleanly severing the Snake Cult Guardian's wrists. As the skill was originally developed to cleave apart terrain, it worked well on inanimate objects and, interestingly, construct-type creatures.
He still didn't like using it, though. As a Gold-Rank, Tycon had the mana reserves to handle it, but it was... an uncomfortable skill to activate-- for whatever reason.
The Guardian's hands and the heavy sword it held fell to the ground, dissipating into a thick burst of fine... powdery mana dust...
Tycon sneezed. Ugh... It was quite painful. The second sneeze was even more so.
The mana dust began collecting in a circular spinning shape along the ground... It whirled about several times over before, all at once, launching upward into the sky.
Tycon sniffed and rubbed his nose with his wrist... "My thanks, Brother-Zenon."
Zenon floated magically to Tycon's side, "Not a problem, Optio."
Nearby, Athena landed gracefully on a tiptoed foot, "Are you okay, Sir Tycon?"
"I'm fine, thanks."
"[I WILL BE THE ONE TO PROTECT YOU, LEADER,]" Korr offered.
Tycon knew she was trying to be helpful, but her echoing voice made it sound more like a threat than a kindness.
Lone walked up, both eyes swollen and blood flowing freely down his nostrils... Sorina stood behind him, crossing her arms and looking aggrieved.
"We're good, Boss!" The Ranger snorted ungently.
"Oh?" Tycon nodded, pleased with Lone's heroics.
He gestured to the Calculator, "Miss Sorina, how are Mister Lone's numbers?"
The drill-haired girl stuck out her lips in defiance.
"Rank 1 Bronze-Rank Ranger..." She whispered, too quiet for anyone to hear-- save Tycon and Zenon, of course.
"I'm what?" Lone asked.
"You're trash. Don't talk to me, scum," Sorina glared.
A beam of light flew up high into the sky... as a silver-haired gentleman with glowing white wings levitated there.
"THIS!! IS MY ⌈OATH!!!⌋" Tanamar shouted, "DEATH TO THE ENEMIES OF GUILD LETALIS!!!"
"That's the signal," Tycon grinned. "Friends and allies, hear me! Use your strongest skills on the Guardian, if you would!"
"You got it, Optio!" "Yes, Sir Tycon!" "[YES, LEADER!!]" "ON IT, BOSS!!"
Tycon sheathed his curved blade... raised his arm... and snapped his fingers.
⟬ ⌈Commander's Strike⌋ activated. ⟭
Cheers resounded throughout the battlefield as the Guardians fell, dissipating into heaps of mana dust.
In the distance, the heavy temple doors rumbled and shook, sliding open... and the mosaics adjacent to them, crumbled into dust and debris.
Tycon placed his Sword of Venom back into his spatial ring and turned to his companions, "Well, that was nice. Shall we break for lunch?"
"Is uh... that it?" Sorina asked. "That didn't seem so bad. How come you didn't bring me on any Dungeons before?!"
Tycon chuckled, choosing not to respond.
The encounter was not difficult thanks to the effectiveness of the two Gold-Rank front-liners. If he and Weaponmaster Bannok were not able to easily nullify the Guardians' attacks and restrict their movement, the battlefield would have been far more dangerous and chaotic.
It was refreshing to be able to display his strength so openly.
In the Icingdeath Dungeon and when traveling with the Rhodok Guild, Tycon hid his power in order to avoid dangerous responsibilities. He had priorities at the time that had nothing to do with quest completion and his survival was paramount.
Now that he had Guild Letalis, he could act more willfully. In any situation they encountered, no matter how difficult, Tycon estimated that he had a high chance to both survive and lead his companions to victory.
The powerful area-effect abilities utilized by Invictus and Letalis were integral in culling the additional summoned mana constructs... Librarian Zenon's rending winds, Athena's various ice spells, Korr's raging flames. Even Lone and his Dark Iron Wolf, (as lost as they seemed to be,) kept Brazen Guard casualties to a minimum.
Then there was the final burst window, suggested by Tanamar during the strategy meeting. The Holy Lancer's ⌈Oath⌋ skill, the focused barrage of Salt and the other gunners, and Tycon's ⌈Commander's Strike⌋ skill ensured the Guardians would fall before activating any fail-safe measures.
"Brother Zenon, Sister Athena," Tycon gestured to the two of them. "As you two boast the highest mana-sensitivity amongst Guild Letalis, would you assist the Brazen Guard with gathering the residual mana dust? I'll return with the others to prepare lunch."
"Can we have the cheesy fried potatoes?" Athena asked, practically drooling.
"You said you had bread dough in your spatial ring, Optio?" Zenon asked, "And the cheese and the garlic?"
Tycon sighed, turning and walking away. The two certainly deserved their choice of meal, with how much they'd improved over the past several moons.
"Look forward to it."
On the return trip, they'd learn the consequences. All the ingredients to their favorite dishes would have been well used up, by then.
⟬ Two bells afterward. ⟭
Tycondrius of Charm and Sorina Capulet arrived at the Brazen Guard Command Tent for the strategy meeting. However, Tycon was met with the incredulous stares of two elves and one of the two humans.
Tanamar was already aware of Tycon's ability with his curved blade, the Sword of Venom. When Tycon wielded it, the defensive skills taught to him by Samurai Garock were activated as if they were at higher Completion Rates than they were.
The others were quite insistent upon learning what had changed between the Icingdeath Dungeon and the Halls of the Dead Serpent...
As Tycon did not want to subject himself to suspicion, he credited his massive spike in power to his weapon and the weapon spirit that inhabited it. That noble, Gold-Rank Samurai theoretically guided his blade.
The prior training he'd undertaken with Garock was a form of guidance... However, it was not the active, in-combat guidance that Tycon alluded to.
Aria and Felinus were immediately appeased, the latter admitting to having a conjecture that it was so.
'Wizards were at fault' was more than enough explanation for those two.
Bannok, as a human unfamiliar with the general tomfoolery and scumminess of said wizards, was left wanting.