25 An Intense Battle
While Shesmu and Ryan were talking, Leo was standing alone, facing the hobgoblin on one on one deathmatch. The monster would slash downwards from the left, and Leo would slash upwards from the right, blocking the attack.
The same scenario kept playing out with different angles and different positions, but none of the contestants was able to hit the other. The monster was too slow, and Leo too unskilled to take advantage of openings.
After ending his conversation with DepressedRyan, Shesmu looked at Leo fighting. At first, he thought about helping him right away, but after looking at things for a bit, he found out that Leo was doing good for himself.
Well, he should learn to defend himself on his own. Plus, if he is in any danger, I can always help him out. Unless he gets his head cleaved off, or heart destroyed, he won't be one shot.
While Shesmu was watching Leo fight against the hobgoblin, DepressedRyan stood up and sat down next to Shesmu.
"Why aren't you helping Leo?" Ryan asked. He obviously knew that Shesmu had a soft spot for Leo, as he would go to great length so that his friend doesn't suffer any injustice.
"I can't always be there for him. Plus, wouldn't he find it boring if I helped him every single time he is in trouble? It's better for him to learn to fight alone now, then later when there are much more skills to be familiar with."
"I guess that's true," DepressedRyan concluded. The wound on his chest by this point was already healed, no scar was left to be seen.
Noticing that he was already fine, Shesmu asked Ryan, "By the way, how did you survive that stab to the chest? I thought that it pierced your heart when I saw it."
"Ah, that. I'm not sure too. But just before I got hit, I felt a shiver down my spine and my body moved on its own. I guess that it was just a lucky dodge," DepressedRyan explained.
"I see," Shesmu responded.
"But forget about that. What about the hobgoblin? After it teleported behind me and attacked, it teleported behind Leo too. Do its skills not have any cooldown? Plus you warned Leo, so you must know something," Ryan asked, suspicion clear in his voice.
"About that," Shesmu then thought for a second about what to say, before continuing "You remember the thing about the purification ritual?"
"Yeah, it's the thing about changing classes or whatever, right?"
"Yeah, that's the one. Well, when I was talking with my instructor about it, I asked him a little bit about how the other classes work. He talked about the assassin class and how they have this skill called backstab. It's a passive that activates, you guessed it when you stab someone's back. It lets you deal 200% more damage, but it also has an interesting effect: It resets the cooldown for their teleportation skill."
DepressedRyan's face showed sign of understanding when Shesmu finished his speech, but a frown quickly took over before he asked in confusion, "But, how did you even know that the goblin will use that skill?"
"Well, we already established that it was an assassin variant, so there was that. But what made me certain that it will get the reset was that until now, all of the hobgoblins that we faced had the basic skills of their classes. So it made no sense for that hob not to have the ability to reset after a backstab."
"I see, makes sense now," DepressedRyan answered, his doubts finally cleared.
Now that both of their curiosity has been satisfied, the two focused back on the fight between the hobgoblin and Leo. Their teammate kept dodging the hobgoblin's attacks and countering with his own. Due to the low dexterity of the monster, Leo kept slashing at it without receiving any damage in counterpart.
Anytime he could, Leo would fit in a counter attack and chip at the hobgoblin's health. This scenario kept repeating until the hobgoblin's health reached 240. When that threshold had been passed, a red aura of energy engulfed the monster's body.
After another missed hit by the hob, Leo tried to counter-attack as he did throughout the whole fight. But just as his hit was about to slash through the monster's side, it countered with a slash of its own.
So it's a berserker variant. Now, isn't that rare? For a monster such as this to be born in the forest of beginning. If given time, it could easily have become an overlord of not only the goblins but this whole forest. Well, the outer part anyway…
Leo clutched at his shoulder in pain. Even though the sensitivity has been lowered to 12%, it's not every day that you get a sword slashing through you like butter. Leo's looked at his Hp only to find it down to 212. He used Inspect on the monster and was surprised to find that its health went up to 320.
"Is that a lifesteal type monster?" DepressedRyan asked.
"Yeah, and a pretty powerful one at that. I think that rest time is over, this is not an opponent Leo can handle now. He just doesn't have the damage needed."
Saying these words, Shesmu stood up and unsheathed his sword. He took a few steps towards Leo and the hobgoblin before raising his sword and starting a swinging motion.
By this point, DepressedRyan had already seen this move multiple times. His eyes darted directly to where the monster stood, and immediately Shesmu appeared, his sword but inches away from berserker's neck. As usual, his accuracy is topnotch, DepressedRyan thought.
The moment Shesmu appeared was the moment the hobgoblin saw its death. Shesmu didn't give it any time to react and immediately used Empowered Slash Cancel.
Blood gushed out of the hobgoblin's neck before it fell down, lifeless.
At that moment, two notifications reached Shesmu. He opened them and two messages unfolded.
Congratulations, you leveled up!
Weapon Level up!
After looking at the messages, Shesmu had decided to leave checking his weapon's new stats and allocating his points until later. He still hadn't allocated his points since reaching level 5, so he needed to do that soon.
"Huff, huff. What took you guys so long?" Leo asked.
"Well, it seemed that you were having fun battling against the hob. Didn't think it was appropriate to stop you in the middle of it," Shesmu answered.
"It was fun. It just that when he went berserk, I thought I was a goner. Well, enough of that. What did it drop?" Leo asked, expectation clear in his voice. Until now, every hobgoblin dropped the weapon that it was using. Even though he hasn't shown it, he was a little bit jealous of Shesmu and DepressedRyan who both had an iron tier weapon. Now that he defeated a sword wielder hobgoblin, his heart was pumping in excitement.
"Aren't you the happy little child," DepressedRyan teased. "It would be funny if all of the hobs drop their weapon but this one. Now that would be hilarious."
"Stop jinxing it, you idiot!"
Letting the two quarrel with each other, Shesmu looted the berserker hobgoblin first. He then took out the items from his inventory. Other than the usual fabric, potions, and pills, a sword was present. Shesmu then inspected it.
Required Level: 7
Weapon Level: 1
"Well, seems like you were lucky, Leo. The weapon you got is pretty good," Shesmu announced. He stopped as he remembered something, before he continued, "But it's Required Level is 7. Did you reach it from this fight?"
"Ah, about that. Yeah, I barely reached level 7. Hobgoblins are really generous with their exp," Leo answered, feeling lucky that he reached level 7 and can equip his new sword.
"Then that's good. Well, since everything is ready, we can finally challenge whatever is at the end of this damned tunnel."