227 Perfecting a skill
There were quite a lot of people in the world that had an interest in technologies. If one could not make it in the world using their abilities, the only real avenue and sector that had a lot of potential that anyone with enough effort and determination could tap into was the realm of research and technology.
There were myriads of abilities that could help you work better in this field, but nothing could compare to the greatness of the human mind when it came to creative thinking, engineering which led to the creation of these fields.
Unfortunately for Nate, he was not one of these people. But knew quite a lot of people that knew something about the field. Nate had gotten one of these said people to set up a system, where whenever the Blood Evolver was online, he would be pinged on the school's watch.
Recently, he had also added the new user ZombieP to that list as well. He was unable to see the person's game last time but now, he didn't want to miss out on them. While Nate was relaxing with his best friend Sam as usual, he received a ping.
Immediately with no questions asked, Nate started to head off towards the capsule. Right now both he and Sam were watching their favourite contender.
"Hey, I think you're starting to border on being obsessed with this guy?" Sam said in a concerning voice.
"It's just this person's growth never seems to slow down. I've grown myself over time but I'm just wondering where his limits are?" Nate explained.
Quinn had been matched up with another Level Four user but unlike the ones he fought against previously. This user was also wearing beast gear around his chest. Since the first expedition had already happened with each of the military bases, it was expected that players of the game would now more likely have at least some level of beast gear.
The match had begun, and Quinn did his usual routine of rushing forward and fighting head-on. Oftentimes, he would be the aggressor in fights causing the enemy to slightly panic in the middle of the battle and this time was no different.
Seeing a target running towards him, the user's paced both of his hands together and shoot out a hydro pump of water. The stream of water was strong and fast, but still— due to the distance Quinn could easily avoid it, but instead of outright avoiding the attack...
He waited till the last second and preformed the flash step to avoid the attack.
The water user seeing this changed his attack slightly. Instead of a large stream of powerful water, he decided to shoot out smaller fast streams of water that came out like bullets.
Once again though—Quinn used the flash step to avoid the next set of shots. Quinn only had enough stamina to perform three flash steps in one game, so he had already used up over half his strength and his body was tied.
Still, he continued moving and then before the user could use his water bullets again, Quinn preformed his third flash step appearing behind the user. As he turned his head around, Quinn made sure to look at him in the eyes just as the video tutorial had said, he activated his charm the same way when he used the daze skill.
Now all he needed to do was project the thought strongly using his mind of aiming to punch the head, while the real punch would come from below.
Everything was going perfect so far and he could really imagine hitting the person in the head, then his fist made contact, but instead of receiving feedback from hitting the body, the punch had been blocked with the other user's hand, which was guarding his face.
"No, I thought I did it perfectly, why did my attack go for the head?" Quinn thought.
Quinn had thought he had perfected the phantom punch already but using it with no opponent and using it against a real opponent were two different things. With the pressure to perform perfectly and with the enemy standing in front of him, his concentration lagged at some point, so his attack failed.
With one of his other hands, the water user blasted a stream hitting Quinn right in the stomach and sending him onto the floor. Due to his usage of flash step multiple times in the fight, he was tired, and his movements were a little sluggish.
It also seemed like the Beast Equipment had given his opponent some extra strength. A blow form Quinn was more powerful than from a normal person— yet he was able to block it perfectly.
Quickly getting up from the floor. Quinn tried to attack again, but unfortunately it the result was the same and Quinn ended up on the floor once more.
"What is he doing?" Nate said. "Why isn't he using his red aura skills? Or the hammer strike? Why did he waste all his energy using that fancy footwork at the beginning? Even then, why a punch to the head without using any feints or tricks to confuse the enemy?" Nate was thoroughly confused as to why the person he had watched improving each time he played a match and fought against someone had seemingly no progress at all in this fight. In fact, he seemed to be suffering a setback.
Eventually, the match had ended, and Quinn had unsurprisingly lost.
Nate was speechless, he thought he was the only person who had beaten the Blood Evolver before and the one he knew now was a lot stronger than before.
Nate wanted him to remain undefeated until their rematch.
If the Blood Evolver had lost in a grand duel or something he wouldn't be so upset, but he had lost against a simple level four water user.
During the match though, just like when Quinn was practising he felt like he had felt something nearing the end of the battle.
[Match Making is in Progress.]
Once again, Quinn went into the next match. Nate stayed and watched carefully but it seemed to be nearly an exact copy of the last game. After watching four matches— the Blood Evolver had lost four times in a row.
Nate wasn't the only one who had been watching Quinn's matches. There were a few others who had become fans as well, and they were nearly just as disappointed as him with the results they were seeing right now.
"Does this mean that he was really just a hacker?" A spectator said.
"I guess so, they probably patched the game so he can't use his red aura skils anymore. Without them, it's clear that he's just average when it comes to hand to hand combat." Another one commented.
This was the logical conclusion the others had come to. No one would usually lose a match without giving it everything they got, and in the last four games, Quinn didn't use a single skill other than the flash step and the failed Phantom punch.
"Come on Nate, let's go. We need to practice, man. We're just wasting time here." Sam said.
"You go ahead, I'll catch up and head offline when he goes offline."
Sam could see the disappointment on Nate's face. It was as if he had just watched his favourite superhero lose to a villain in a fight. The only thing he could do know was to give him some space.
After losing five matches in a row, the only person that kept on watching Blood Evolver's matches was Nate. He didn't know why, but he felt that there has to be a reason for all the strange actions that Blood Evolver did in the past matches.
The reason for his thinking was the fact that Quinn had lost every game doing the same thing. Only an idiot would do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Even if he was now unable to use the red aura anymore— it didn't make any sense.
As the next match started Quinn now looked more confident than he did before. He knew he was incredibly close. His opponent was a female, the ability, for now, was unknown as the inspect skill didn't work in-game.
Quinn rushed forward as usual, but this time no attacks were aimed at him. When this happened it usually meant the person— he was going up against had a transformation or hardening ability. The perfect opponent for the phantom strike.
Quinn lifted his fist and aimed for the woman's head, as she saw the punch a large spike appeared from her face. If Quinn was to carry on moving forward, then the spike would go right through his hand.
She could see the punch continuing forward and going through the spike, a smile appeared on her face but suddenly, she felt pain on her stomach as she keeled over.
[Phantom Punch skill successfully learned]
The fist hadn't hit her head but struck her stomach instead.
This time, Quinn went for a blow to the stomach, a spike was formed where the punch would make contact, but then sharp pain assaulted the woman on the side of her head.
Quinn continued using the phantom punch in this fashion, successfully landing hit after hit while on the outside Nate who was watching the entire thing was deeply confused.
All he could see was Quinn's opponent, forming spikes and blocking the attacks in the wrong places. It was clear where the punches were coming from so why was she constantly blocking in the wrong place?
The match had finally ended, and Quinn had been declared the winner, but Nate was still none the wiser.
However, after watching the Blood Evolvers next three games, and each one of them coming out in a victory in the same fashion. Goosebumps started to appear all over his body.
The hairs on his forearms were now standing up.
He still didn't understand what was going on, but it was painfully obvious that all of these was done on purpose.
"Who is this monster?"
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