Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 113

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Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 113: The Mirror that Breaks Boundaries (3)

“How… how is this possible?”

The stone giant stuttered.

It was only natural to be flustered.

Stone Splitting Slash was a slashing attack that pulverized enemies in one blow.

Ordinarily, a mere human, insignificant as an ant, should be easily cleaved into pieces.

But how could this be?

Why was this man so composed while deflecting his strike?

There was only one possible conclusion.

“That swordsman wasn’t the strongest of humans. It was you all along.”

It made sense to assume this.

It was almost beyond belief, but the abilities of humans from outside the tower were far greater than the stone giant had anticipated.

“Well, I am a bit stronger than that leech.”

Jinhyuk shrugged.

“…”

Cheon Yuseong couldn’t retort with his sulky expression, as he was deeply indebted after such an embarrassing defeat.

The stone giant shifted his questioning.

“A human as strong as you… Don’t tell me, you’re from ‘Murim’? Or perhaps from ‘The Empire’?”

Murim or the Empire…

Sure, that was a plausible assumption.

Within humanity, no one else but those from Murim or the Empire could challenge the tenth floor alone.

Indeed, there were quite a few strong individuals among factions like orthodox, unorthodox, and the Demonic Cult.

Likewise, the Empire had built a solid force within the tower.

“For someone with a head like a boulder, you’re quite perceptive; however, you’re wrong. Do I seem like the kind of guy who sticks to codes of conduct like those scholars?”

“Y-You dare to call my head a boulder?”

“Huh? I figured since your whole body is made of rock, your brain must be granite or basalt too.”

I naturally assumed that was the case for a stone giant.

Well, if not, never mind.

“How dare you utter such insolence to me!”

The stone giant roared.

Simultaneously, a chessboard-like pattern began forming on the ground.

A floor-type skill that only certain boss monsters could use.

[Sanctuary].

‘Finally, the start of the first phase.’

Jinhyuk loosened his arms and legs.

The boss of the tenth floor was divided into two major phases, and the first was fighting on this patterned floor.

‘The color of the grid changes the attacks. Essentially, being able to counter Sanctuary is key to victory.’

“Watch your step. Once, twice, thrice.”

That was the only advice one could give for this phase.

‘Let’s approach it step by step.’

He had already fished out the most crucial piece of information through ‘Gluttonous Eyes.’

[Copy Condition: The stone giant possesses one of the absolute judgment abilities, ‘Invincibility.’ Unless an equal level of absolute judgment skill is used, you cannot breach its ironclad defense. If you manage to overcome this wall and suppress your opponent, you will be able to copy their unique ability.]

[However, the activation time for the invincibility ability is extremely shortened.]

He couldn’t verify the detailed status due to the level discrepancy, but he made sure to check the copy condition.

This was the easiest condition so far.

The enemy was strong enough. Just defeating it would allow him to obtain a portion of its ‘Invincibility.’

Wooong!

The grid had fully engulfed the area in no time.

A distinct change in the atmosphere.

An exotic magical force was approaching, riding along the damp wind.

Now, everything in sight was within the territory of [Sanctuary].

“Perish.”

The stone giant hissed coldly.

A yellow light flickered in the square where Jinhyuk stood.

Exactly 0.3 seconds later.

Fzzzzt!

A bolt of lightning struck from the sky.

It came down swift and accurate—a thunderstrike that allowed no time to react.

But…

Where Jinhyuk should have been reduced to ashes, not a scratch was on him.

An ice crystal had somehow formed overhead, blocking the lightning.

“You…reacted to that?”

In that brief moment?

Such an absurd notion.

Contrary to the puzzled stone giant, Jinhyuk looked nonchalantly, as if it were a mere trifle.

“There’s one thing you’re misunderstanding…”

Area skills ultimately warn you in advance about incoming attacks.

Whether it’s 10 seconds, 1 second, or even 0.3 seconds, if you know what’s coming…

“Dodging or blocking is as easy as pie.”

It’s easy to entirely demolish a pattern, especially when you know it in advance.

There’s no way to get hit even if you wanted to.

“Why not skip this waste of energy and move directly to the second phase? I took a shower before I came and would prefer not to sweat again.”

He’d bathed with strawberry-scented soap.

It was an entirely different level from cucumber soap.

“Do not be so arrogant just because you managed to dodge once. The grid pattern is not your only concern.”

“If that thought comforts you, go on and try more.”

Jinhyuk sneered.

Of course, the stone giant wasn’t one to sit idly by such a taunt.

[Additional magic power is infused into the Sanctuary Sanctuary!]

The grid, blooming fully from the boss monster’s magic.

Every split section in the grid started blinking.

With flashes of multi-colored light, countless skills erupted from the ground.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Flames erupted, and ice shards rained down like knives.

One detonation set off another, in a chain reaction style.

One explosion became the catalyst to trigger another trap.

There was no pattern in this chaos.

Attacks filled with anomalies and variations were purely aimed at catching the prey off guard.

[Lv6 ‘Sword Demon Emperor’s Step’ is manifested!]

Jinhyuk moved nimbly through the onslaught, like a squirrel amidst a storm.

Finding order within irregularity is the virtue of a veteran.

His body, not needing any orders, sought its path reactively.

He foresaw attacks, lured out false steps, and met them head on, but it didn’t matter.

If the enemy read two moves ahead, he would act three moves ahead.

If they read three, he would observe five ahead.

Thump.

Boom!

The explosions followed only after he moved out of the area.

Whoosh!

Ssshh!

His movements seemed nearly premeditated, as though he was possessed by spirits.

Of course, to onlookers, it was incomprehensible.

This was a defiance of common sense.

Finally, after evading all the traps with ease, Jinhyuk reached up to the stone giant’s proximity.

Not a single wound on him.

Even his breathing remained undisturbed.

“There’s no point in continuing. Isn’t it time you realized you’re at a disadvantage?”

Grid skills, while powerful and extensive, have a disadvantage, consuming a vast amount of magic to sustain.

Using them recklessly could exhaust even a boss monster’s mana reserves.

“…Right. Perhaps such measures won’t suffice to squash a tiresome fly.”

The stone giant waved his hand lightly.

[The Sanctuary Sanctuary ceases operation.]

The lines on the ground lost their glow.

This signaled the end of the first phase.

Unlike before, the stone giant’s previously leisurely disposition had vanished.

There was no denying it.

The opponent was far from trivial.

And…

“How much stronger have you grown in the meantime?”

As Cheon Yuseong watched everything, he gritted his teeth to the point of cracking.

Surely, a day still had 24 hours.

Indeed, everyone was granted the same amount of time.

Yet despite spending the same time…

Despite laboring so desperately within that time…

What could this mean?

The gap that had become too vast to bridge with mere fingertips…

***

[The second phase ‘Brawl’ begins.]

[Only the one who survives the 1:1 duel can escape from here.]

As the second phase commenced, Jinhyuk retrieved another item from his spatial inventory.

A red liquid contained within a barrier marked with intricate runes.

The ‘Blood of Medusa.’

Normally, once a Medusa leaves the sanctum, its power fades.

However, sealing a portion of it in a barrier is an exception.

‘Given that players who are barrier mages are few, and there’s none like me who can interlink multiple barriers… it’s no wonder this method isn’t widely known.’

Even if one possessed the petrification ability with absolute judgment, getting close to that creature wouldn’t be easy.

The stone giant’s attack patterns exceeded three thousand variations, each one changing with every move.

‘The worst part is it shows an opening only once for each pattern.’

In other words, there’s only one chance to exploit a weakness.

Any mistake results in failure.

Ultimately, one must perfectly design the situation.

Applying Medusa’s Blood to the creature and then managing to survive and escape…

“Huff…”

Jinhyuk steadied his breathing.

He checked the rhythm, which he had tirelessly memorized, synchronizing it with his heartbeat.

One step, then another.

It was crucial to move swiftly and lightly to penetrate the giant’s defenses.

The moment his breath steadied…

Step.

Jinhyuk entered the range of the stone giant.

“Ho. You dare to enter my range first. I must acknowledge your spiritedness.”

Their gazes met.

The mere confrontation of eyes felt prickly on the skin.

Had he not neutralized the magic with [Mental Barrier], it would have been unbearable.

Such was the oppressive force emanating from the boss of the tenth floor.

But…

“‘Challenge’ is a word for when you’re facing something tough. This level is just mildly thrilling.”

No signs of tension could be seen on Jinhyuk’s face.

That was to be expected.

No matter how many players had been brought to despair by this boss, it was merely a hurdle on the tenth floor.

For Jinhyuk who had seen the end of the tower, this giant was just one of the numerous challenges to overcome.

“…I’ve decided. I’ll tear that mouth of yours apart with my full strength.”

The stone giant drew a new sword from his back.

The sword blade adorned with three distinct types of gems.

[The stone giant activates Lv18 ‘Rock’s Will’!]

[For 10 minutes, attack power and attack speed each increase by 15%!]

[All skills possessed by the target level up by 1Lv!]

Amidst the flood of status windows…

The true battle began.

Here it comes.

Despite its 5-meter frame, the giant’s movements were swift as a swallow in water.

Closing the gap in an instant.

The great sword in the stone giant’s hand swung horizontally.

Voooom!

An ear-piercing sonic boom followed the strike.

Jinhyuk narrowly dodged the attack.

But…

Boom! Boom! Boom!

A tremendous shockwave pursued, drying up the ground like a turtle’s back.

[The red gem’s curse ‘Heat Sand’ activates!]

Unlike with Cheon Yuseong, the gem had significantly enhanced the sword’s power.

‘Even though I dodged, it’s this potent.’

One glancing blow would be the end.

Dodging within such tight timing left a faint gap in the giant’s relentless assaults. But this was a trap.

Considering it an opportunity was a surefire way to get crushed by the giant’s shield.

Then what to do…

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