Chapter 53 – No pain, no gain

Author’s note: Detous, it’s just for you man. You’ve told me to become bored and I did. *yawn* So sleepy.
Anyways, hope you enjoy the first round of the tournament…

Fate had it, that I was the first one to walk out to the arena.
My opponent was someone from the elimination round’s contestants.

I can’t help but feel that this name sounds somewhat familiar…

[Quan] [Lvl 115] [Rogue]

Yeah, I’ve definitely heard of it… just where?

Quan: It’s finally my turn. *yawn*

Wait, it’s a female?

Don’t look at me like that guys, she’s as flat as a teenage girl, how was I supposed to know…
Not to mention that rogue gear, making her look like a ninja covered in black.

“Go Icicle! Let me win some cash!”

“Do it for the kids!”

… this is getting rather overbearing.

Commentator: We’ve had the signal from the princess! Let’s begin the first round of the Advanced Level Tournament. There are currently 222 contestants. Time limit is 10 minutes! Round one, FIGHT!

Finally a 1 vs 1 duel!

Quan moved forward, threw a dagger at me, then disappeared… at least to the audience.
I could still see a light blue film around her, thanks to my [Sense presence] that reached Expert level… and stopped advancing…

Well, at least I could see this assassin, so we’re all good.
That’s what I thought, before she disappeared completely.
I could feel her presence behind me, so with a turn I blocked her daggers with Eshel.

Ouch!

I forgot about the dagger and it has lodged itself in my left thigh.

[System message]
You’ve been poisoned by a sophisticated mixture.
Losing 120hp/sec for 5 minutes or until cured.

‘What the actual fuck?!’

Quan: Hahaha, that expression on your face is so priceless. Squirm, I’ll watch how you die in agony! Muahahaha!

Aren’t you enjoying it too much, you little flat sadist?

Wait… I can finally use that skill I got from the class level up!

‘[Cure poison]’

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

Don’t fuck with me game!

“Don’t give up boy!”

“You had better win, there’s a lot of my money bet on you!”

‘[Purified water] [Cure poison]’

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

Shit!

‘[Cure poison]’

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

[System message]
Poison is reaching your heart.
Severety of the health points loss increased.
Losing 200hp/sec for 5 minutes or until cured.

Quan: Hahaha, die like a dog!

“Kill her before she gets you, boy!”

The worst part about this whole ordeal is that it is my fault…
If only I had used [Frost barrier], this random knife wouldn’t reach me.
*sigh*

‘[Cure poison]’

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

[System message]
Poison has reached your heart!
Critical state!
Losing 400hp/sec for 5 minutes or until cured!

400hp/sec… tell me this shit isn’t broken!
2300 hp is all I have, for fucks sake!

Quan: You’re still alive? That’s weird. Well, I’ll just sit and watch while you’re wiggling and squirming like a dying spider.

“Don’t falter, Icicle!”

“You have to win!”

“$@!#!@#!!”

‘[Purified water]’

Okay, that will keep my alive for maximum 10 seconds.
What’s after that?!

My concentration was at its limits.
The pain was starting to become unbearable, as if someone was tearing my flesh from the inside.

Will I really die like a dog in front of this sadist flat midget?

Eshel: *Stop daydreaming boy. Use all the skills you have and overcome this hurdle. Don’t you dare disappoint me.*

Eshel?
Haha, that’s right, I still have some time, might as well use it.

[System message]
[Willpower] activated.

Icicle: [Water domain].

Blue sphere of water enveloped me, blocking all the light and vision from the outside.

[System message]
All water abilities’ proficiency increased while the [Water domain] is active.
Three minutes left.

‘[Healing rain] [Fountain of youth]’

Okay the fountain will keep me alive for quite some time, the problem is this excruciating pain I’m feeling…!

ARGHHH!

‘[Cure poison]’

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

I’m about to flip here.
To all of you leprechauns, unicorns and other lucky creatures, please, help me out and let this curing poison work! Just once, grant me that favor and let me succeed!

‘[Cure poison]’

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Meanwhile, on the stands.

Sylph: Is brother going to be okay? He looks like he’s in so much pain…

Rene: Quan’s definitely having her fun, but isn’t it too much?

Kiyu: We all know she’s crazy, but we let her test your brother nonetheless…

Pou: It’s a shame that I died during the elimination round, I wanted to have some fun too *sniffle*

Kiyu: How about betting on this duel? It’s boring to just watch the outcome.

Brie: What’s the prize?

Kiyu: Whoever loses cooks for the rest of us for a month!

Sylph: Why are you all looking at me?!

Nete: Because you cook the best.

Sylph: So I’m supposed to just lose?!

Kiyu: Now, now, don’t get impatient. Let Clare vote first, then all of us will chip in.

Sylph: I-I’m voting for my brother!

Rene: Are we all unanimous? Good, then all of us vote on Quan.

Sylph: Huh?! That’s not fair!

Pou: Come on, we just enjoy your cooking that much!

Nete: It’s delicious.

Kiyu: I can’t wait to eat Clare’s cooking!

Sylph: Damn you all…

At the same time, Judges’ table

Hylzar: *bang* T-This, impossible…!

Uryuu: Why are you standing up, old man?

Sarya: Yeah, no need to hit the table, gramps.

Hylzar: T-This skill! It’s a god’s [Water domain]! How can this young boy use it…!

Cardinal Noren: God’s domain? That’s not possible. Aren’t you seeing things, Hylzar?

Hylzar: It seems a little different, but that’s definitely it. Maybe it’s not a complete one, but… the power of this skill is overwhelming! Princess, I’m willing to serve you for the rest of my life if you get this boy to enter my Mage Guild!

Sarya: Serve? Such a high ranked person like you, old man? Aren’t you exaggerating? Don’t tell me you’ve become senile…

Cardinal Noren: You’re telling me that even you, mighty Hylzar, wishes to lower his head for some trouble-making boy?

Hylzar: Hohoho, this isn’t your ordinary boy, Noren. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who was able to withstand god’s domain. That’s why it’s not used. People know how to use it, it’s just they can’t stand it. Such a talent can’t be wasted! If it means that I have to humble myself, then so be it! I don’t have much of a future ahead of me, but such a talented disciple would definitely brighten my last days, hohoho.

Princess Saress: As expected of that twerp, Icicle. Like I said before, Hylzar, I’ll talk with him. There’s nothing I can guarantee you, this man is simply too unpredictable. I hope you understand.

Hylzar: But of course, princess. Thank you for indulging this old man, hohoho.

Cardinal Noren: ‘God’s domain?! How can this Icicle guy have the light’s element then?! This is all too fishy. Something’s definitely wrong, but I don’t know what! I’ll let the pope decide what shall be done. It is not my place to step in, princess is already biased against me…’

Fuck this game, I’ll do it the oldschool way.

Taking the dagger out of my thigh, I infused my wound with mana.

‘[Cure poison]’

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

Still not enough?

[System message]
Your mana intake is too high!
Decrease the amount or you may cause rupture of your organs!
WARNING: Several internal bleedings will lead to your untimely death!

Great, there’s even that…
DO YOU THINK I HAVE A CHOICE, GAME?!

Fountain of youth’s mana drain is too much for me to sustain, that goddamn 400hp/sec loss is fricking nuts!

Time’s of an essence.

If the heart’s poisoned, cure the heart!
Pressing both of my hands around my heart area, I used [Cure poison], this time with additional 2000 mana.

[System message]
Curing poison has been unsuccessful.
Your skill level is too low for curing such a strong poison.
Skill proficiency increased.

[System message]
Your skill [Cure poison] has reached Intermediate level!

[System message]
[Cure poison] has evolved!
Additional ability: Direct approach.

[System message]
[Cure poison] has evolved!
Additional ability: Mana infuse.

WHO CARES ABOUT THAT, WORK, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!
Adding last shreds of mana I had, this was all or nothing!

‘[Cure poison]’

[System message]
Poison has been successfully removed from the bloodstream.

[System message]
You’ve gained a title!

[System message]
You’ve gained a title!

My [Water domain] and [Fountain of youth] both dissipated, and as such, I appeared on the arena once again.

“Boy, you’re alive!”

“I was worried!”

“My money, it’s still kicking!”

*cough* *cough*

Red puddle appeared before me.

Quan: I don’t know how you have pulled through, but that coughing implies that you’ve used some crazy method, you little bastard.

It wasn’t the time to hesistate. I’ve had about 50% of my health left, and it was decreasing every second.
Compared to the previous pain I felt, this little hemorrhage was like tickling.
Praise the developers for decreasing the pain to 20%, otherwise I would have definitely fainted…

Taking Eshel out, I used him as a prop to stand up.

Icicle: You know, now I do remember where I have heard your name. Clare told me you’re an oddball, but to think you’re a sadist. *cough*

Quan: Hahaha, still running your tongue, even while you’re in the near-death state? I’m surprised you weren’t disqualified. To think you’re so weak and yet you wanted all of us to follow you. Hahaha! Why would I support such a weakling, huh? Not to mention, you’re a low level. Can’t even beat a few monsters, mister oh I am so strong?

Icicle: *cough* Don’t worry. *cough* I’ll show you why others fear me. [Realm of frost].

Savage, fierce winds appeared, creating a blizzard on the arena.
Only then have I spotted several individuals who were duking it out in the corners of the coliseum.
They just stood still, watching the scene unfold…

Due to exhaustion I wasn’t able to control my passive skill properly…
Come on guys, don’t mind me…
Let’s just hope I won’t be disqualified for interrupting their fight…

“What the hell are you doing, young one?!”

“Mind us poor folks on the stands, would you!?”

“We’re freezing out here!”

“Why’s the protective barrrier not working?!”

Quan: Hahaha, you think a little cold will kill me? That’s cute. Just die already, you’re an eyesore.

Icicle: *cough* [Water prison]. You know *cough* your friends were given a shower, but you’ll get a really special one.

Instead of using hot water, then steam to dry Quan, I’ve used just hot water.
Let your prey enjoy itself, only to mercilessly slaughter it!

To hell with the rules and this tournament, if someone can torment you so much with poison, why can’t I have a little fun?

Icicle: *cough* Enjoying yourself, flat as a board girl? I hope you’re ready, the fun’s about to start. *cough* *cough*

Freezing the hot water, it seems I must have missed due to the blood loss and exertion.

Shit, I’m so dizzy!

Quan: ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH! I surrender, get me out of here!

Commentator: Icicle Whitesnow wins! Congratulations!

“Attaboy!”

“Good job, young man!”

“I’ll cheer you on!”

[Realm of frost] and [Water prison] dissipated, Quan came out covered in hoarfrost.
Ice shards were sticking out of her flesh, causing several spots on her skin to bleed.

Quan: Who’s an oddball here, you sadist freak! Why didn’t you just kill me?!

Icicle: *cough* Well, that’s because that poison of yours had some eff- *cough* side effects. *cough*

[System message]
[Willpower] deactivated.

When will this blood coughing stop?
As soon as I thought that, everything turned black.

*thud*

Judge’s table

Cardinal Noren: Look at that, Hylzar, your invincible boy has passed out!

Hylzar: Such a promising individual. Icicle lacks proper training, that’s a fact, but if he’s guided properly he can reach great heights! There’s just so much hidden potential in him! I’m getting more and more interested with every appearance he makes. Hohoho.

Sarya: This old man has really withered…

Uryuu: Come on, Sar, don’t be like that…

Sarya: Do you have a death wish, Uryuu?

Princess Saress: Silence, both of you. You can sort out your differences after the tournament. Act the part for now.

Sarya&Uryuu: Yes princess, we’re very sorry.

Princess Saress: Guards! Carry Icicle Whitesnow to the waiting room. If he doesn’t wake up for his turn, then he’ll be disqualified!

Guards: Yes princess!

“This tournament is so intense! I feel like I’ve lost and regained my money several times!”

“So nervewracking!”

“If I somehow manage to win, I’ll host a barbecue for all of my neighbours!”

“I’ll pitch in!”

“And me!”

“Icicle! Take my energy!”

“… you’ve watched too much movies, man…”

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