Book 3 Chapter 178


Though Gerd suffered an injury, he managed to break out of the pincer attack. It allowed him to catch a slight breather. Looking at his wound, he furrowed his brow slightly. His opponents knew they couldn't match the middle-aged man if the fight was allowed to drag on. After taking a few seconds to stabilize their breathing, they charged in again. Seeing the two approach, Gerd became a little mad. With a loud cry, he swung his two metal-covered fists and dove into the fight.

Leguna easily avoided Vincent's slashes. Though he had most of his attention held by Vincent, he had been observing Gerd's fight. It was obvious the two 12-stratum warriors were a little too much for him to handle. Gerd fought bravely, but his injuries were piling up. Leguna knew he would be badly injured if this continued. After some consideration, he decided to secretly give Gerd a hand.

{Suit yourself. Just try to hide it,} Gahrona barked with some frustration.

He had already been trying to convince her for a while. Since his arms and legs belonged to him, Gahrona could not stop him even if she wanted to. The moment Leguna got his teacher's permission, his movements dulled considerably. He clumsily avoided Vincent's attacks while he formed a shadow needle in his hand. He even slumped to the ground and crawled to avoid some of the attacks. As he crouched, he swung his hand seemingly unintentionally and flung the needles. They pierced the knee of one of the warriors. He cried out before his left leg gave in.

Gerd didn't let the opportunity pass by. He landed a square punch on the man's face and knocked him out. However, a perplexed look shot across his eyes when he saw the fine black substance sticking out of the guy's knee. He was also injured, but Gerd was a 14-stratum warrior and his strength drew all the suspense out of the rest of the fight. He easily dealt with the last man.

Gerd breathed heavily as he tried to recover some of his stamina. He turned to look at Leguna and saw he was still haggardly running away from a frustrated Vincent. If he paid closer attention, however he would notice that, even though Leguna's movements appeared clumsy and rushed, he hadn't suffered a single injury yet. The dust and grime that stuck to his body when he crawled and rolled on the ground didn't count.

Seeing Vincent pulling his hair out, Gerd couldn't be bothered to join the fray. He loosened his left hand and took the badges off his three opponents before tending to his injuries. He only joined Leguna after he was happy with his bandaging work.

Vincent was defeated soon after Gerd joined. He glared hatefully at the two.

"This isn't over! You just wait, I'll--"

The two's feet connected with his face before he could finish. After dealing with their enemies, the two had 15 badges in total; eight for Gerd and seven for Leguna. Barring any accidents, they should be able to advance. The pressure they felt lightened considerably. They continued to fight carefully and stayed on the outskirts. The battle was in its final stages and the people still up were mostly elites. Their chances to grab badges were rapidly dwindling.

In the end, Leguna managed to obtain one more badge from a guy avoiding fights the whole time. After collecting eight, he finally felt safe. The pair stopped trying to get more winnings and waited for the match to end. Most of the contestants had done the same. Most of those still fighting were just doing it to show off, or fools drunk on victory.

Gerd took out some of his bandages and signaled for Leguna to help him put them on. While he had applied some first aid earlier, proper bandaging could only be done now that they had the time. It would be far too unfortunate if an infection developed as a result of the wound being exposed. Leguna quietly wrapped the bandage around the man. He felt a little bad. Vincent had come to cause him trouble and Gerd had protected him because he wanted to keep his promise. He even decided to take on three opponents on his behalf. As for him, he just watched from the sidelines. Leguna was now completely unharmed while Gerd had several moderately serious injuries.

Leguna wasn't one to yearn for endless riches, and he didn't feel comfortable doing something that hurt others to no benefit to himself. Gerd, on the other hand, seemed to have noticed a few things. He sat there and let Leguna treat his injuries silently.

"You seem to be hiding your true strength," he murmured as Leguna was finishing up.

Leguna's hand stopped for a moment.


"How much?"

Leguna didn't respond. He was thankful for the man's help, but he didn't want to reveal any real information about himself. He only admitted to hiding any of his strength at all because Gerd had already noticed. Nobody would believe that he only had 9 strata after he came out unscathed against Vincent.

Gerd sighed softly.

"I know your true identity."

Leguna's eyes brightened. He gazed coldly at Gerd, who sat with his back to him. If he struck now, he was about nine-tenths certain he could kill the man. He thought about it for a few moments but eventually decided not to. His identity ought not to be easily revealed, but he didn't think it was grounds to kill the man in front of him. Though Gerd felt the kid's murderous gaze on the back of his head for a moment, it vanished just as quickly as it appeared.

"Then who are you?"

"I am from the Mil--" Gerd's words were muffled out by a gust of wind.

"Oh? I found an interesting one," said the earth binder as he looked at Gerd.

Leguna observed the huge man as he approached. He didn't appear to be someone from Hocke. He looked under 30. He had a beard so thick it looked like the hair from a mop and his eyes were sunk deep into his face. He had dark brown hair. Though it was already fall, the giant bared his upper body and showed his bulging muscles. He wore only a pair of thin crude linen pants and had no equipment or weapons.

"You want to take our badges?" Gerd asked coldly.

The giant's gaze hinted at provocation.

"I'm not interested in you. I was talking to that kid behind you."

"He's under my protection," Gerd said as he stood up, "If you want to get to him, you'll have to go through."

The giant cracked a smile and looked away.

"You're not my match."

"Didn't anyone teach you to look others in the eye when speaking to them?" Gerd raised an eyebrow, pissed at the giant's behavior.

"Well…--" The giant made an awkward expression. "--There's some problem with my eyes. Actually, I was looking at the fellow behind you just now. Right now, I'm looking at you."

Gerd was speechless.

Who would've thought a powerful earth binder actually had problems with his eye? Gerd felt a little troubled.

Leguna pushed Gerd aside and stepped forward.

"Looking for me?"

"I am," the giant nodded. His eyes turned in another direction. It made him look like he wasn't looking at Leguna directly.

"What do you want?"

Though the giant was a gifted and rather strong, Leguna believed the fellow wouldn't be his match if he used all his strength.

"I managed to encounter one of my kind. I want a showdown."

The giant had been fighting alone the whole time. No matter how strong he was, the wounds he amassed must be stacking up. Normal people would've collapsed already if they were as badly hurt, but the giant stood there like it was just an itch and even challenged another person to a fight.

Leguna gave the giant a hesitant look. He had already hid his abilities so long, it would be too much of a waste to reveal them now. Could he really escape if the giant tried to attack him? Just as the giant was starting to get frustrated, the match's end was called. A light red light shone on the arena and caught everyone's attention.

"The match has ended. All fighting is now forbidden. Anyone that disobeys will be prosecuted!" the announcer's voice burst in as if spoken by the air itself.

The giant looked at and not at Leguna.

"We won't be able to fight today. I'm Legg."


"Wow, our names sound so similar," Legg laughed, "Alright, Ley, I will watch out for you. Let's meet again soon."

"Well said."

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