A Stronger Opponent

Astrid moved fast, their swords clashing into each other's, her opponent keeping in time with her. After ten hits, she sprang backwards.

The way her opponent fought her was irking her. Not with his calm expression and the lackadaisical way he deflected all her strikes, not even the ease of his movements as he counter-attacked her either.

But because she knew that despite his Level, this stranger was definitely being underestimated by the game of Gladiators. Which was why she stepped back from him. When facing an opponent who seemed to be able to keep up with her moves, she had to be cautious.

Level 40? The game's gotta be joking, right? Astrid frowned.

“The way you hold your sword,” the stranger said slowly, “is too stiff.” He changed the sword into a key. “I mean, I can even easily defeat you without my weapons.”

He raised his hand and energy surged around him, before dark purple electricity fired at her.

Astrid countered with the bladed feathers, and both attacks crashed into each other.

He frowned when she was still standing.

“I think you might be underestimating me, too,” Astrid sighed, amused. “But, still, amazing. And disappointing.” She pointed her sword at him. “You're an enemy thinking to destroy the Synchron Organization? Draw your sword and fight!”

He now smiled. “So I did underestimate you. I was getting bored of weaker opponents. They're always everywhere.”

Astrid smiled back. “Well, you're not the only one. There are a few more who in this place Gladiate but doesn't show what happens when things get overwhelming.”

“And who are they?”

“You don't need to know.”

Astrid attacked again, and now, as he defended, he found himself being forced back this time as she happily went all out on her skills.

Enough to strike his sword with a strong blow and send him stumbling backwards, which surprised him.

"You're one feisty girl," said the stranger, as a purplish aura began to swirl around him. He smirked to himself. "I never met one girl who's ever been hard on Gladiating!"

By the time Zack and Weston arrived, they stopped cold just as Astrid skidded across the ground, disarmed, covered in dust.

And a shadow came right at her, sword raised, and aiming to stab her with the blade.

The End

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