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"Player has left the platform for thirty-one seconds. Please return to the platform within a minute."
As the voice of the narrator died away, the paper crane fell silent as well.
Hei Zeji only gave Lin Sanjiu a few tips. He had no idea what kind of opponent, or what kind of situation Lin Sanjiu would be dealing with, so he thought it would be the best just gave her a general idea. Either way, Lin Sanjiu had no other choices left. The crane was the only thing she could rely on.
"All active skills have flaws. There is no such thing as "perfect" abilities or Special Items in this world, " as Lin Sanjiu repeated those words in her mind, she quickly cooled herself down. After she took a few seconds to settle down, she narrowed her eyes and observed King Henry and his [Pica.s.so].
So the flaw of this special ability is "area?"
If [Pica.s.so] could extend indefinitely, then the Posthuman disguised as King Henry would have long become the dominator of the world. Nevertheless, King Henry was extremely cautious. He employed his [Pica.s.so] around him to act as a perfect s.h.i.+eld that completely protected him from any possible attacks. Even if Lin Sanjiu successfully figured out the flaw of [Pica.s.so], how was she supposed to make use of the weakness to shatter King Henry's perfect s.h.i.+eld?
Taking a deep breath, Lin Sanjiu closed her eyes to recall the lesson that Hei Zeji's had taught her.
"When you see a forest, a sea, or a rocky sh.o.r.e, you naturally think that they are parts of the 'environment,' so they are part of nature. The tree, the sea, and the rocks: all of them are creations of this planet. However, don't forget that we humans were also born from this planet, so why do you have to segregate yourself from the environment?"
As Lin Sanjiu entered the hypersensory state, she felt an intense pain coursing through every nerve ending of her body for a brief second before it slowly receded. Then, a more primitive, solid sense emerged from the depth of her body. That was the voice of her body that was constantly sending information it detected to her. However, she could only interpret the information efficiently after she entered the hypersensory state.
Hence, even though Lin Sanjiu kept her eyes closed, the domain of [Pica.s.so] was so much clearer to her than when her eyes were closed.
The optical illusion caused by [Pica.s.so] might fool the eyes, but it could never deceive the skin, the pores, or the hair. They transmitted everything they sensed without fail to the person's mind.
As if touching a poorly crafted sculpture, Lin Sanjiu had a complete grasp of the domain inside the [Pica.s.so.] She knew full well which part had caved in, which area had risen, and which region had been moved away. It was such an absorbing feeling, and she simply could not withdraw herself from it. She was so immersed in the feeling that she almost had forgotten that about the time limitation she had and the enemy in front of her.
As her breathing rhythm slowed, the side palace fell into a strange pool of silence.
Had King Henry not needed to keep his hands in the air to maintain the [Pica.s.so,] he would have lowered them to rub his eyes lest he was placed under some illusion.
Lin Sanjiu was standing right in front of him. That was what his retinas received and conveyed to his brain. In spite of that, his eyes seemed to skip Lin Sanjiu involuntarily. It was as if she wasn't his enemy but a candle, or a carpet, or a pillar that was not worth his attention.
There were several occasions King Henry had to tear himself away from subconsciously ignoring Lin Sanjiu and look for her again. Only to find that she hadn't moved from her place at all.
She was so invisible that she was barely noticeable. A small smile appeared at the corner of Lin Sanjiu's lips.
"When you begin to realize that you're part of the environment and that the environment is part of you, you've already earned yourself the strongest weapon of all time. A weapon that no one can steal from you."
At first, it was kind of hard to understand the message, but as Lin Sanjiu took a tentative step in her hypersensory state, the meaning of what Hei Zeji said burst upon her.
The information the s.p.a.ce transmitted to her within this one step would take up to ten pages to be written. The air flow, the heat from the candlelight, the small heap of dust that fell from the beam just a few seconds before...
At this moment, everything in the world seemed to flow through Lin Sanjiu. She even had the feeling that she had joined this torrent of the world and embarked on a journey with it to billow through the surface of the earth.
About forty meters ahead, the carpet under King Henry was laid slightly askew. The edge of the carpet didn't adhere to the floor but somewhat overlapped on another piece of carpet which made it look marginally higher than other parts of the carpet.
"Have you given up already?" King Henry sneered, his words were full of derision. However, he stammered at the last word of his sentence.
He had a dark foreboding feeling since Lin Sanjiu stopped moving. He couldn't bring himself to trust his gut, nor he could explain what was going on around him either. Be that as it may, if he could taunt Lin Sanjiu to make the first move, he thought he might be able to find an opening.
"Hey, I said—"
Before he could even speak his mind, the woman who had been keeping her eyes closed suddenly moved.
Her speed was neither fast nor slow because he could see her every step while, at the same time, she had artfully completed her series of actions before you blinked your eyes.
Utilizing her heel as the center of rotation, Lin Sanjiu spun her body around and kicked the red carpet into the air. With her eyes closed, she extended her arm and caught the carpet. Then, she yanked her arm and threw the carpet in her hand behind her.
King Henry did not realize that the carpet he was standing had lost the lower layer. As the carpet slowly dropped to the floor, he growled, "What the h.e.l.l are you doing?"
Even with the most precise instrument, n.o.body could know how much a person would fall when the carpet dropped. This kind of subtle change was beyond the comprehension of the other person involved; however, in Lin Sanjiu "eyes" it was the deciding factor for her to come out ahead in this battle.
This was because she had already proved her speculation.
"Among the different parts of the environment, the easiest object for us to reshape is the air," his was the third message and last message Hei Zeji said through the paper crane. He said, "Every movement of a person changes the flow of air regardless of the magnitude of the strength. Do you think that we, as a Growth-type, can only use the advantages of our tremendous muscle growth and strength to crush our opponents? Do you know that if we hit the air at the proper angle and with enough strength, we could bring forth some amazing effect?"
Lin Sanjiu did not answer King Henry as she merged herself with the darkness like a dark wraith. She moved lithely in the air as she leaped from the floor. All of her movements —from how she bent her legs, to the way she crouched down and stood up— were so connected and natural that they were delightful to watch. They seemed to be light, but they did pack a hefty punch. Suddenly, she resettled her right bony wing and shot them into the air in front of her.
"Are you blind—"
Before King Henry could finish his mocking or retaliate, something blurry drifted past his eyes. In the next second, he felt an intense pain spreading from his left foot. He groaned, and his body quivered.
This was all Lin Sanjiu needed. The moment his body quivered in pain, the arms he desperately sustained up in the air all that time betrayed him and swayed down.
Lin Sanjiu felt that she had been waiting all her life for the moment a lapse appeared in [Pica.s.so]. Kicking the floor with her heel, she propelled herself forward. She was extremely fast—so fast that even her thought could not keep up with her supersonic speed.
Before Hei Zeji gave her the lecture, her movements hadn't been so smooth. She would first steady herself and condense energy with her feet, followed by her legs, and then lean her upper torso forward to release the condensed energy. This not only made her slower but also lessened her attack power. That was also why Hei Zeji kept on saying that her body moved with an abysmal level of animatronic stiffness.
After half a minute, King Henry quickly raised his arms and reestablished his [Pica.s.so]. To his dismay, it was too late. The battle had already concluded.
"W-why—" King Henry widened his eyes, staring fixedly at the bone structure that impaled his body. "What is this—"
He arduously moved his blood-red eyes to his left foot. His left foot looked like it had been blown up by a bomb. His shoe and half of his toes were gone. There was nothing left behind aside from a pile of blood and pulp.
"Oh, you mean that," Lin Sanjiu had already opened her eyes. Her amber eyes glittered brightly in the dim side palace as she explained to King Henry, "When I kicked you just now, I reshaped the air into spikes. If you hadn't dropped outside the domain of [Pica.s.so,] my attack might never have landed on you."
Although King Henry understood every word she said, but he showed a vacuous expression that he never had before.
The prominent nose, deep-set eyes, and that curly hair that belonged to a middle-aged European man gradually disappear from the Posthuman, like an ebbing tide, and revealed the pedestrian-like, dark-skinned face underneath.
Lin Sanjiu did not know his name even after he was dead.
"Player has left the platform for fifty-two seconds. Player is advised to return to platform post haste."
Lin Sanjiu let out a sigh and tore her eyes away from the corpse. After she stepped on her platform, the narrator instantly fell silent.
After that, she took out a paper crane and replied to Hei Zeji, "Thank you. You're such a lifesaver. I've just defeated an a.s.sailant too."
After she finished it in a few simple sentences, she released the paper crane. The crane flew and fluttered away behind her.
"d.a.m.n it!" She cursed herself inwardly for relaxing too soon after she emerged victorious from a battle. She had forgotten that there was still another person standing right behind her.
As she twisted her head to a side, her gaze met Queen Margaret's graceful and charming as a swan but expressionless visage.
For a moment, her body tensed up. Then, it relaxed in the next second. Lin Sanjiu took on a perplexed expression and looked at the paper crane, the one she released for Hei Zeji had landed on Queen Margaret's finger.
"I warn you," as a lock of golden hair slipped down Queen Margaret's face, a fierce tone that was very familiar to Lin Sanjiu came from her cherry lips, "If you dare to tell anybody about what happened here, I swear I will kill you."