Chapter 17 - Fight!
A thunderous impact resounded soon after as gales of wind rushed about in the clearing. Anderson was surprised at the speed that Noah rushed to him, observing that he had already cast multiple skills on his body, his exterior surrounded by a transparent bubble and body covered in an icy armor He couldn't help but ask "Just how much energy do you have in your body to be casting this many skills as if it's nothing?"
As Anderson was talking, the impact pushed both of them back. The red energy kept on enveloping Anderson's body as his rank C skill [Blast] was used. His fist carried the momentum with it as he flew towards Noah. The fist met the first layer of protection, quickly causing a shock wave that pushed each of them away once more.
Anderson kept his eyes on Noah as he saw the man was not ever remotely hurt. He smiled as he dashed in again and began talking "Do you know why I adopted my principles on strength? I used to be poor. I had nothing, no job, no family, no friends. I used to look up at those that were rich above me with their extravagant amount of money and the clothes and food they bought."
His words carried traces of anger as his body continued clashing with Noah's defensive skills. The thing that puzzled him the most was how Noah chose to use his hands or palm to hit back when the transparent shield he cast on himself protected him fully, and did not even cast the signature pillar of flames he had seen him using throughout the day
He brought his focus back on the fight at hand and stopped overthinking things. "I looked up to these people. Those rich assholes. I wanted to be like them. I kept on saying to myself, If I just had that money, If I just had that power, oh the things I could do!"
Anderson continued smacking into the defensive skill and saw that his attacks with his bare hands weren't working. So he increased the pressure and pulled out his sword. He wanted to see just how long this guy could keep all of these skills active before running out of energy.
Lightning began to crackle around his sword as he dashed towards Noah and continued talking. "Do you know what happened next? Something incredible occurred and I actually did get the power. The whole world went to shit and it was me who received the power. ME!" The longer he talked, the more his anger and power seemed to increase.
His sword was already pulled down, swiping towards the pest in front of him. An ark of red lightning was released towards the man that kept on standing calmly in the face of all these attacks
Once the red lightning struck a figure flew backwards at a high speed and kicked up some dust. And yet, he soon stood up without a single hair damaged on his body.
Anderson watched as his smile grew wider. It was the right choice to knock this guy down a notch now, If I had actually given him time to grow, he might have threatened me in the future. Playing around with his thoughts, he moved forward again as he continued talking "So, I received the power. And do you know the funny thing? Those people I looked up to, those rich assholes that I aspired to be, many of them were dead within a few days and many more were now looking up at me."
Seeing that his strike hadn't worked, he held his blade once more as lightning began to build upon it and continued "I used the new power that I had gained to kill monsters and get stronger. My power allowed me to become the richest man in the city. The best hunter in the city. It gave me strength that you could not imagine!"
Anderson was moving at high speeds as he spoke. His sword that was covered in lightning kept on striking at the bubble of protection that surrounded Noah
"It is this strength that's going to destroy that thin bubble that you have around you. I'm going to keep on striking and watch as you gradually lose that annoying expression on your face and you start begging for your life underneath my feet"
Noah wasn't standing still, moving in and out as his defensive skills completely deflected the strikes of the blade and the lightning that came out of it. He wanted to test the extent of [Arcanist's Sphere of Protection] as its proficiency was literally a point shy of 100, and it seemed to completely protect him from C rank skills, its power also deflecting most of the damage from rank B skills
If any damage actually managed to pass through, the [Arctic Armor] would absorb it. If anything else passed that, he would just quickly use [Regeneration].
Anderson's voice rang out as he charged forward once more "You cannot imagine the things you can do when you have the strength. Those rich big wigs that survived, the ones that spent the remaining amount of their money to buy skills, items, and cores to get stronger themselves? They work under me now. They do me favors, and they send their own f.u.c.k.i.n.g daughters to my bedroom just to get on my good side. That is power, that is strength!"
Noah seemed to be getting ticked off as he was listening to this madman's ramblings so he began replying and cut short his experimentation time. "That is not what strength is, dude. I was just like you a few days ago. I didn't have any of this. When I did become slightly stronger though, all I felt was a sense of liberation."
His words seemed to carry power with him as a huge pillar of flames appeared beside him, making Anderson even more surprised as he was expecting him to run out of energy any time with his extremely bad efficiency in using it.
The pillars of flames acted like a rope, wrapping itself around the entirety of Anderson's body and squeezed down. Anderson let out a pained expression as he began roaring.
Rank B skill, [Giant's Strength] was activated. The red aura coming out of him condensed even more as his power rose by another level, the sword clad in lightning struck out once more. But it did nothing.
His body bulged out as let out a howl and the pillar of flames surrounding him was dispersed and he once more seriously attacked the man in front of him. His attacks continued as Noah deflected or absorbed them and continued talking "Strength does not mean you can look down and others. Strength does not mean you can do whatever you want. You can even look at it as a responsibility. It's the reason I came along to this high-risk dungeon that can explode any day."
The calmness seemed to fade from Noah's face as he finished his words and condensed dark balls of fire around him. More than 20 quickly surrounded him, spinning furiously as they rushed towards Anderson's body and exploded on contact.
Anderson could be heard laughing in the midst of the explosion. "Haha, Responsibility? Sophistry! Utter bullshit!"
An expression of someone that had given up appeared on Noah's face as he shook his head calmly and looked at the imposing Anderson and gave a command
A screeching scream resounded as Anderson was inadvertently blasted back. He had a shocked face as he looked at the left hand on his body. It was missing. It was gone. Anderson looked back in a pained expression towards Noah as he exclaimed "What the hell did you do?!"
He seemed dumbfounded by the sudden attack that he didn't see coming from anywhere. They were standing apart at the time, and yet an unseen attack came that took his entire arm clean off.
A calm voice rang out of the clearing.
Noah was staring at him with a cold expression. He did not want things to go down this road. He did not want it to get this bad, but this guy would not stop. So he repeated himself once more.
The man that was clad in a red haze in front of him stood up with an even more furious expression as he roared out and held his sword and his remaining good arm, rushing forward once more.
Another exclusion rang out the moment Anderson began rushing out, being thrown back once more and his face adopting and even more pained expression. His chest armor had exploded out and blood was gushing from his chest. He breathed heavily as he looked towards Noah. He didn't understand how he was taking damage when the guy wasn't even near him. What was going on? What kind of skill was he using?!
Noah sternly stared at the man before he repeated himself once again. "Stand...down"