As the skeletons were approaching myself, I thought about the knowledge that was imparted to me.
[Fatal Strike] is a Dagger Art that has two different methods or ways to deal with your opponent. One uses continuous attacks that use up less energy and mana to build up pressure and momentum against your foe for a finishing move, a fatal strike. The other is that any of the strikes or movements can be fatal, but this way consumes more energy and mana.
It is a highly versatile Art that doesn rely on set movements, meaning you can use any movement in any combination. Not only that, most of the movements aren complicated, being simple but deadly. If you are dual wielding, your non-dominant hand is for the most part, used for defense.
Forming a rough plan in my mind, I dashed ahead toward the skeletons. I will admit that this action seems reckless but I could feel it instinctively, the extent of my new abilities and what I could do with them.
It was faint but I could vaguely sense the max range I could move to with [Flash Steps], being about two-and-a-half meters in any direction from myself.
The skeletons, noticing me upon their arrival were charging at me with swords in their hands.
Seeing one of the skeletons step into my range, I made my move.
While concentrating on using my Arts, I unconsciously muttered out:
”First Movement, Flash Steps… Second Movement, Fatal Strike… ”
I took a single step while swinging downward with my right arm, mana flowing through my legs and arm.
My surroundings blurred for a brief moment while I experienced an intense burst of speed.
I found myself in front of a skeleton that had its skull pierced from the top.
Despite being caught off guard by my speed, I continued attacking once I heard the cracking noise.
”First Movement… ”
Taking advantage of the staggered skeleton state, pulling out the dagger quickly, I swiftly swung my right arm in a full circle, switching to a regular grip and hitting the skeleton under its skull, knocking it off its body.
The skeleton fell to the ground, no longer moving.
Immediately after the skeleton fell, I went after two skeletons that were nearby, trying to chain my next attacks to them.
But as I was attempting another strike, the skeletons I was targeting swung their swords at me before I could complete the strike.
Seeing that I would be barely able to block their attacks, I started to raise my weapons to defend but a sudden urge and thought occurred to me, which I acted immediately on. I didn have time to theorize if what I had in mind would work, but I had a gut feeling that it would, and trusted that feeling.
The two attacking skeletons were suddenly knocked away from myself, with both missing a few bones from their rib cage.
Ignoring Alistars cry of shock, I thought about what I just did.
Interesting, so it seems that I can apply Flash Steps to my arms as well…
Thinking about how I used Flash Steps on my legs, I tried applying it to a spinning horizontal slash. My intention was to knock back the skeletons to give myself some breathing room, but I dealt some damage as well. Not only that, Ricks body surprisingly seems to be compatible with Dagger Arts. If it wasn , then I wouldn have been able to do this much.
The thing with Arts, anyone can learn any type of weapon or magic Art but how well they can wield it depends on their innate talents. Luckily for me, I used daggers in my last life when I was on the streets so I didn have that many problems adapting, that and Ricks body seems to be compatible with Dagger Arts so I didn need to start from scratch thankfully.
But there is a slight problem.
Noticing my body shaking slightly, I knew I couldn move at intense bursts of speed often unless I wanted to damage my body. Until I strengthened my body further, I had to limit myself on how many times I used Flash Steps.
I moved closer to one of the fallen skeletons for another attack.
Similar to a roundhouse punch, I swung my right arm forward in a semicircular motion while holding the dagger in a reverse grip, aiming for the gaps in the skeletons rib cage.
The poor skeleton lost even more bones in its torso, making one doubt if it could stand upright still with the remaining bones left.
Channeling more energy into my right arm, I switched back to a regular grip to do a horizontal slash, bisecting the skeleton in half from the damaged rib cage.
[What in the world?]
As Alistar was watching the young man fight the skeletons, he was shocked.
[I did not expect him to do this well immediately against those skeletons. I mean, I sent ten of them at once out of sheer pettiness because of the way he talked to me, but I wouldve still at least given him tips on how to use the Arts once he was backed up against a wall or was struggling.]
Alistar watched as he saw the young man do another combination strike against a skeleton, killing it instantly.
[But to think he already can do this already when he just learned them… His potential may be on the low side, but his true value is his understanding and usage of Arts and maybe even skills!]
With the potential stat in the status, it represented how difficult and fast one could grow, not the limit. Higher potential meant an easier and faster time growing stronger while the opposite was true for lower potential. On the other hand, how fast a person learned how to use a skill or Art and how well they understood it depended on their innate talent, which was not listed in the status.
As the last skeleton fell, I couldn help but pant while being tense, on guard for another wave. But then, I heard someone clapping and looked over at Alistar.
[Well done, I truly mean that sincerely. Though this may be a bit too early, how about you try using the stealth Art i imparted to you after, lets say a five minute break?]
I nodded at Alistar to signal that I understood, before plopping onto the ground.
While relaxing on the floor, I thought about the Stealth Art Alistar imparted to me, [Shadow Cloak] and how I could use it.
Shadow Cloak has two primary methods of concealing yourself. The first was to conceal your body in a dark, shadow-like aura to conceal your identity. This method is extremely effective at night, as the user can blend in the darkness of nighttime. If no one knows or can tell who assassinated the person, that can be considered a successful hidden assassination right?
The other method didn really revolve around covering the user in darkness or shadows, as it essentially focused on making you unnoticeable by hiding your temperature, breathing, and other signs that would give the user away.
The first method requires the user to have an affinity for the Dark Element, while the second just requires mana.
[Break time is over. You have a minute to hide yourself before more skeletons are let into the room.]
Alistars voice broke my train of thought. Getting back up, I thought about how I should use Shadow Cloak.
Undead Skeletons can detect life because of the living things body naturally releasing mana with their eyes, so as long as I can hide my mana, that should help keep me hidden.
Concentrated on moving the mana within my body according to Shadow Cloak, I focused on sucking in my mana and doing my best to stop any from leaking.
After a few seconds of trying, my body felt stuffy from my mana being kept inside which was a sign of partial success, but I could feel that there were still some being leaked out.
The next step should fix that.
Concentrating, I formed a mental image of my bodys pores being blocked by the mana that would have naturally leaked out of my body.
I frowned at the result.
Is it a problem with my mental image? Was it too complicated for a beginner?
Like mages did with magic, a mental image of what you are trying to accomplish when using Arts and magic is vital as it helps push your subconscious to assist with doing the action. The more familiar you are with the image, the easier it will be.
I decided to change the mental image I used.
How about… aha!
Having an idea for a mental image in mind, I tried once more.
Using the brightness adjustment setting but instead of the brightness being adjusted, its my presence.
I also have been going at it the wrong way, even if I did prevent mana from leaking, Im not doing anything to it that would make it less detectable so I would still be detected.
I closed my eyes.
Forming a mental image of the adjustment screen with a standard gray body model, I mentally moved the bar slowly to the left, concentrating on making the model slowly become more and more hidden. While keeping that in mind, I focused on Shadow Cloak, moving my mana according to it inside my body.
As I was doing so, I could feel my body starting shiver, my breathing slowly becoming less audible by the second, and the flow of mana within myself slowing down.
Opening my eyes, I started observing the changes within my body that I could.
The flow of mana has slowed a considerable amount and maintaining this state is thinning it out even more, effectively blending my mana in with the environment right now!
Alistar spoke to alert me of the next wave.
The doors at the end of the room opened once again, another ten skeletons walked into the room.
Seeing them enter the room, I steadily approached them while watching them closely to see if I had been discovered.
*Clank, clank clank.*
Judging by how slow they are moving, its safe to say that they haven discovered my presence yet.
While the skeletons were looking for their target in the room, I carefully made my way to the back of their group and aimed for the back of one of their skulls, a undead skeletons weak spot.
But as I was in mid-swing, I abruptly stopped the attack.
The skeletons were now looking in my direction with a confused expression, at least I thought they did, before continuing on with their search.
Keeping my guard up, I slowly backed away from the group to momentarily think.
If I was a second too late in stopping my attack, the mana fluctuations given off wouldve exposed me.
I can attack as my current proficiency with mana and the Arts is not enough to maintain my stealth. If I attack, the flowing mana would give myself away as I am now.
But I must attack or else my advantage will soon run out.
Noticing my mana slowly depleting, I knew I needed to make a move before it ran out.
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