3 days passed in a flash as the games continued. Within every area of the small realm, there were constant battles taking place, with every participant trying their hardest to prove themselves.
By this point, the realm had shrunk to nearly half its original size, but it wasn’t a linear decrease. It seemed that as the final day drew closer, exponential amounts of land were removed from the playing field.
This removal of land was accompanied by a visible fog filled with spatial attribute that teleported anyone it touched out of the realm, effectively disqualifying them.
Out of the 3000 original participants, only 2200 remained, and there were still 4 days left in the week. These 4 days would be even more brutal as the area shrunk and battles became more prominent.
The audience outside mostly hadn’t moved from their spots during this time, watching with rapt attention for any intense battles that would occur. Still, sleep was necessary for people without high ranks, so there were recordings available of the most important battles that people could purchase.
There was also a leaderboard present that showcased the top 50 participants based on the points they gained in real-time.
Katherine’s fight in the desert was one of them. By this point, she had left the vicinity of the desert area and entered the oceanic landscape.
She encountered many foes and accumulated enough points to reach the top of the leaderboard, even defeating another supreme genius from the elven domain.
She was excited to see that these people titled as supreme geniuses could give her good fights, but she knew that the best had yet to come. In this manner, she continued moving forward.
Damien had spent these 3 days in the mountainous region defeating anyone he saw. It was honestly smooth sailing for him so far. He had yet to run into a single supreme genius and most of the normal participants couldn’t even notice him taking their bracelets.
Feeling bored of this continuous routine, he decided to switch things up. He stopped using his rush strategy to accumulate points and instead stopped aiming for points altogether and used the tournament to train.
Every time he came across another participant, he’d play as a weakling and battle it out with them, but he never truly attacked. Instead, he trained his ability to dodge and counter.
As a spatial affinity user, he always relied on teleporting to dodge. And while his instincts were sharp as is, he wanted to train his body reflexes to reach the same level. After all, he could very well run into opponents that could read his teleportation path, making it useless.
Like this, he gained a ton of battle experience, and his reflexes slowly improved. In the beginning, he was hit countless times by various elemental attacks, but none of them could get past his bodily defenses, so he remained uninjured.
As he traversed the forest, Damien finally ran into an opponent he could consider as strong, with his senses telling him he’d receive a good fight. It was a young man from the Lennon empire who stood regally as if everything was beneath him.
When Damien approached, the young man raised his brow before grinning. “Oh, what do we have here?”
Damien rolled his eyes. “Shut up and fight me already. Stop acting like a pretentious brat.”
The youth became incensed, but he soon controlled his emotions as his grin widened. “Well well, as someone who holds the title of supreme genius, isn’t it bullying for you to face me on an even playing field? Let’s spice things up shall we?”
A long katana-like sword appeared in his hand. Even if one only took a brief glance it was clear that the sword was an artifact. This was blatant cheating!
Even the crowd outside started yelling and booing, forcing the announcer to speak. “Ladies and gentlemen, you have to remember the rules! Cheaters can only be disqualified if a participant reports them for it! Unless his opponent says anything, we are bound by the rules!”
It was truly an ingenious strategy. With the pride that most of the supreme geniuses held in their titles, they were bound to get conceited and attempt to face the youth on his own terms.
Even though Damien didn’t hold this same pride, he didn’t say anything about the weapon. If anything, he welcomed such a thing. This would both be great for his training and also more interesting.
Without another word, the two charged at each other. Damien had long deployed his vector field as he burst forth with a vicious left hook. The youth narrowly dodged while slashing down with his sword.
Damien twisted his body while altering the sword’s path with his vector field, causing it to switch directions. This caught the youth off guard. Not wanting to miss his chance, Damien shot a bolt of black lightning towards the youth, who raised his sword to block.
Damien thought it’d be done there, but he was wrong. The lightning was absorbed into the sword as the youth smiled.
“I wonder how long you can last against your own lightning.”
The two clashed once more, but this time, the lightning gathered within the youth’s sword sprung forth attempting to paralyze Damien. While his vector field wouldn’t allow him to be touched, he decided to turn it off for now so he could experience true battle.
He had already considered his choices long before the event even began, and had decided he’d limit himself during this time. It wouldn’t be fun if he caused mass destruction and immediately win. This choice put Damien in a rough spot at the moment, but this kind of pressure was what he wanted.
He continued dodging by the skin of his teeth as the youth’s attacks became fiercer and fiercer. Unless he wanted to go back on his word, he’d have to think of another strategy to win.
Damien quickly teleported out of the young man’s range as he got an idea. Without further ado, he also pulled out a sword. This didn’t make the youth scared though. It actually caused him to smile brightly.
“Judges! This man is cheating by using an artifact!”
This was his plan all along. As long as he forced the other party to use their own artifacts, he could call them out and disqualify them, earning their badges. This strategy was specifically created to deal with supreme geniuses.
Even if they called him out after he made this move, it wouldn’t be counted. The words of a disqualified participant no longer mattered.
The crowd outside was able to hear these words, as addressing the judges was a keyword to turn on the audio system. It was set up like this so calls of cheating wouldn’t be overlooked in the mayhem of countless battles.
The crowd went into a frenzy at the youth’s shameless actions, but they couldn’t do anything about it. They were just here to watch the event, not participate. Even the announcer was shocked for a second, not thinking that the rules on cheating would be used in such a way.
However, the action wasn’t illegal, just extremely shameless.
The announcer regained his bearings as he addressed the issue. “Alright people! We have our first call for cheating in the event so far! Before anything else, would the accused party like to say a few words in defense?”
The arena turned silent as everyone’s attention fell on Damien. Even while all this was happening, he stood there with a carefree smile.
Seeing how he was being addressed, he shrugged and spoke up. “How am I cheating? I don’t see any cheating happening on my side.”
Once again, everyone was stumped. Was this kid an idiot? The sword was still clearly in his hand, so how could he say he was being falsely accused? But Damien didn’t let them wait for too long.
As his smile grew, he continued his sentence. “After all, this is just a normal steel sword. Wasn’t the rule that artifacts aren’t allowed? Well, this isn’t an artifact in the slightest.”
Damien held up the sword for all to witness. The announcer touched his ear, seemingly receiving word from someone with more power before he spoke. “I-It’s true folks! The sword in his hand has been confirmed to be a normal steel sword! What a turn of events! The participant has used a loophole in the rules to turn the odds in his favor!”
The crowd was silent, trying to comprehend the announcer’s words before they erupted into maddening cheers.
What a drama they had just witnessed!
From the intense fight beforehand to the call for cheating to the loophole, their emotions had been taken on a rollercoaster with endless loops.
Back in the small realm, the Lennon youth’s face had gone pale. He never expected such a loophole, nor did he expect Damien to pull out a normal sword. He didn’t even check before calling for cheating, as he didn’t want to get eliminated before his call was acknowledged.
Robotically turning towards his opponent, he saw Damien looking back at him with a devilish grin on his face.
“Now that that’s over, it’s time to have some fun.” Damien raised his sword and decided to teach this youth a lesson.
‘Void Sword Art 3rd Step: Spatial Collapse’
Damiens steel sword smashed into the ground and shattered on impact, but it still achieved its intended effects.
Space bent and twisted as the solid ground beneath their feet took on a more rubbery texture.
The Lennon youth was horrified and attempted to run, but his attempts were futile. When he went forward, he’d end up heading left, and when he went left, he’d end up going right. There was no sense of direction within the collapsing space.
Damien had toned down the power of his attack, so the youth was able to leave the collapsing space relatively unharmed. But he had made a misstep within the space as he recklessly attempted to escape, causing his arm to superimpose an area of the twisted ground and fuse with it.
In a panic, he had completely severed that arm.
Damien smiled at this scene before walking up to the youth and sliding his wristband off of his only remaining arm. “Next time, be careful who you mess with. Not everyone is as nice as me.”
With that, Damien teleported away. It looked like the last 4 days of the survival games would truly be a fun time.