Atlas Wolrd, Saint Heaven Kingdom, Shunkai Forest.
Shin is looking down from a mountain peak while drawing something on his virtual map. He already spent a little over two and a half hours exploring the whole forest, and this is the last part of the place that he needed to complete the detailed virtual map.
He didn't expect that he is able to finish it this fast. And it is mostly because of his Reaper's Retainers.
With Hanzo, he can travel short distances with much faster speed. Vladimir, on the other hand, is flying in the air to scan the whole place from above while sharing his vision with Shin. Meanwhile, Grimrace is assigned for clearing up the surroundings, killing all of the scouts of the opposing groups that are scattered around the whole place.
Along the way, Shin and his group encountered some independent Rankers' group roaming around the map. Good thing that none of them are Titled Rankers so Shin and his gang are more than enough to handle those guys.
After the final stroke, Shin finally completed the map. He has gotten in touch with the other guys and knew that there are no problems on their side.
Everything is going according to their plan. But there is this unshakable feeling deep inside his heart telling him that there is something wrong somewhere.
He is having a bad premonition about this. Every time that he is having this discomfort, something bad is going to happen.
Then he suddenly felt that his surroundings turned too silent. Shin squinted his eyes and observe the whole place from the mountain peak. Everything become too calm at Shin's eyes, but he also sees that a gloomy atmosphere is started to devour the whole map.
After some time of them thinking, Shin muttered to himself. "A great storm is coming."
'This is troublesome.' thought Shin to himself. And when he is about order Hanzo to teleport him to where Lawless and the others located, he suddenly felt a sudden chill on his back.
It is not a chill when someone is sneak attacking him from his back, it is a chill he felt whenever someone is scheming something against him. "F*ck! What is it this time? D*mn this sixth sense! It keeps giving me bad news one after another!"
Shin's sixth sense is sensitive to danger or something similar. He first awakened this sense when he was still in the Black Serpent Mafia Training Camp. It is thought to him by some strange guy on the camp.
That guy is one of the guards of the camp but has a somewhat special position. And from what Shin had heard, he is the very same guy that gave a tip to the Military about the whereabouts of the Training Camp, before disappearing completely after that incident.
And when Shin was adopted by the Springfield Family, he got to know that this sixth sense is one of the abilities of his 'Immediate Response' talent, or to be more precise, it is one of the abilities under the 'Ultra Instincts' talent.
And that is why Shin is putting much thought about everything whenever he felt the warning of his sixth sense. The first warning is without a doubt about some strong enemies. But he can't seem to figure out exactly what is the second warning is for.
"Hmm.... Every time I got this feeling, Big Sis Shiella is involved most of the time. Hmm.... Is it possible that she already knows that me and the Nameless Swordsman are the same person?" muttered Shin to himself while being in deep thought.
After some time of thinking, Shin came up with a bold decision. "It is better to be ready than sorry. And I still have some extra time before my promised time with brother Lawless."
Then he activates the 'Spirit Release' of the [Nephilim's Gemini Mask] to summon the Sun and Moon Clones before immediately fusing them together with the 'Spirit Fusion' equipment skill, summoning the Eclipse Clone.
"Hahaha... This might work!" Shin become excited after seeing that. Then he summons the Phantom Clone using the Phantom Apparition skill.
Shin nodded his head while muttering to himself. "Having a fight with himself might become a staged fight. But since I've done this before during my mental trainings, I can turn it into a real fight."
"This also might be a good chance to reflect on my skills and see the flaws in my battle style."
After that, Shin controlled each of his clones to stand in front of each other with a twenty-meter distance between the two of them.
Then Shin released some spying stones that he brought earlier, before entering a stealth mode using the 'Conceal' skill attached to his [Nightwalker's Cloak].
"Alright, let's see who is stronger. Me? Or the other Me." said Shin to himself, before starting the recording by operating the video mode.
Then the Phantom Clone immediately entered sheath after the little standoff. This might be pretty much useless, but it is necessary to fool the others. He needs to stick to the role of the assassin swordsman.
Then the Eclipse Clone suddenly pulled out its sword from the sheath before slashing it rightwards and sending a bluish-white crescent sword Qi towards the empty space on its front.
'Class Fighting Style: Lunar Flash'
And when that crescent sword Qi is about to land at the Phantom Clone, a void gate appeared in front of the clone and engulfing its whole body.
'Elemental Skill (Void): Void Steps'
Then the Phantom Clone appeared in front of the Eclipse Clone in a ducking position with crossed arms in front of its belly while holding a pair of sabers on each of his hands.
And without further ado, the Phantom Clone swung its arms in an opposite outward direction together with the sabers on each of its hands.
The Eclipse Clone didn't get intimidated, it tightens its grip on its katana before throwing a downward slash to counter the incoming cross slash.
A metallic sound resounded after the brief clash of the swords together with some sparks flying in the air.
Then the Eclipse Clone skillfully twists its wrist before throwing a forward stab on its front, targeting the fully exposed chest of the Phantom Clone.
'Extra Skill: Heart Seeker'
The sword of the Eclipse Clone managed to pierce through the chest of the Phantom Clone, but the body of the latter immediately transformed into a black smoke after getting hit.
'Phantom Swordsman Skill: Phantom Assassination'
Then the Eclipse Clone tightens its grip on the sheath of its sword before positioning it on the clone's back trying to defend something.
'Dual-Wielding Style: Sheath Wielding: Defend'
After getting blocked, the Phantom Clone suddenly materialized at the back of the Eclipse Clone. Then the latter immediately jumped upwards while turning its body in the air.
At the same time, the Eclipse Clone throws a downward slash while forcing its body to fall on the ground.
'Extra Skill: Falling Lightblade'
The Phantom Clone seems to be cut by that falling slash, but in truth, it is just an afterimage. Because the real one suddenly appeared behind the Eclipse Clone while throwing a powerful downward slash with the saber on its right hand.
'Phantom Swordsman Skill: Phantom Steps'
'Extra Skill: Destructive Slash'
And when the right-hand sword of the Phantom Clone is few inches away from the back of the Eclipse Clone, the latter's body suddenly transformed into an illusionary figure before dashing backwards and passing through the body of the former.
'Slayer Skill: Moonlight Steps'
After dodging the attack, and repositioning itself at the back of the Phantom Clone, the Eclipse Clone is immediately intending to throw a counterattack.
Unfortunately, the Phantom Clone immediately twisted its waist before forcing its body to spin in the air while throwing a powerful kick at the Eclipse Clone.
Disregarding the idea of attacking, the Eclipse Clone immediately used the sheath of its sword to blocked the incoming kick.
The Eclipse Clone was sent flying by that kick because of the heavy force behind that attack. But it didn't prevent the clone to swing its glowing sword while in the air. And immediately after that swing, a bluish-white crescent sword Qi was sent at the Phantom Clone's direction.
'Slayer Skill: Half-Moon Slash'
And the Phantom Clone counter it with a crescent sword Qi of its own, but this one has a fiery aura with black color.
'Extra Skill (Phantom Clone): Flame Burst'
A smokescreen was created after that explosion, blocking the view of the two clones.
The Phantom Clone disappeared from its spot as it enters a stealth mode. The Eclipse Clone, on the other hand, immediately sheath its sword while thoroughly scanning its surroundings.
A moment later, the Eclipse Clone pulled its sword out for the second time before swinging it rightwards to send fiery fire sword Qi.
'Class Fighting Style: Solar Flare'
This time, the Phantom Clone charges forward instead of dodging. And during the charge, a silhouette of a Minotaur enfold the clone's body as it thrust its right-hand saber forward.
'Equipment Skill (Upper Armor): Stampede'
The Phantom Clone charge through the fiery sword Qi but didn't take any damage. And during its charge, the silhouette of the Minotaur suddenly collapsed and replaced by a shadow-like sword Qi that enfolds its body.
Then the Phantom Clone accelerated forward while maintaining its thrusting sword posture.
'Basic Combat Technique: Second Drive'
'Extra Skill: Sword Rush: Thrusting Dash'
Since the Eclipse Clone's posture is still at the end of the sword-drawing motion, it is not it the position to do a counterattack so it is forced to dodge once again using another 'Moonlight Steps'.
The sword thrust of the Phantom Clone misses its mark as the Eclipse Clone dodge to its right. But the former didn't stop there, it stomped its feet on the ground to stopped the charge before changing its course and followed the latter while swinging its right-hand saber.
'Extra Skill: Sword Rush: Slicing Dash'
The series of movements of the Phantom Clone is quite fast, not giving the Eclipse Clone a time to counterattack. Given that, the latter was forced to dodge for one more time using its third 'Moonlight Steps'.
And instead of moving anywhere, the Eclipse Clone stay still and let the Phantom Clone pass through its body. At the same time, the sword-sheath on the left hand of the former transformed into a semitransparent longsword while the clone is turning its body around.
'Legacy Skill: Mondi's Style: Meteor Form'
Meanwhile, the Phantom Clone used the momentum of its swing to turn its body around and face the Eclipse Clone. And immediately after that, both of them leap forward while swinging both of their swords at each other.
Then a melee battle was initiated as both of them executed their combination of combat techniques.
The Eclipse Clone is only using two kinds of combat techniques, the 'Infinity Edge' and 'Mystic Movements'. From what Shin had learned on watching his teammates before, these combat two combat techniques really suites the battle style of the Nameless Swordsman.
Meanwhile, the Phantom Clone is circling around the Eclipse Clone while swinging its sword. The clone is disappearing and reappearing on the different sides of the latter as it used the upgraded version of 'Vanishing Steps', the 'Ghost Evanescent' which is also an Epic Movement Combat Technique.
This movement technique doesn't have much difference from 'Vanishing Steps', it's just this one is kept leaving an afterimage behind every time the user executes it. What's more, this afterimage is slowly disappearing like a vapor.
Shin got the inspiration to create this Combat Technique when he is watching Faker's movements earlier. And since it doesn't much different from the 'Vanishing Steps', creating this technique is quite easy for Shin.
And from what Shin have learned so far, he concluded that the 'Infinity Edge' is not that compatible to the 'Assassin-like Swordsman' style of his real identity so he settled the attacks of the Phantom Clone with the 'Yin-Yang Twist' while throwing some powerful sword-swing in the process.
The 'Yin-Yang Twist' might be inferior compared to 'Infinity Edge', but when it is partnered it with the 'Ghost Evanescent', it suddenly became a fatal weapon.
The entire battle lasted for twenty minutes before it ended in a draw. Shin didn't do that on purpose. In fact, he has gotten to know much better about each of his styles, especially their weaknesses.
And that is where the problem lies, every time he tried to exploit the weakness of the other, he is going to control the other one to patched its own weakness. And the process was repeated time and time again. It is like playing chess with yourself as you counter each of your own moves with another.
So Shin decided to end the battle here. He already achieved his goal after all. What's more, he also benefited a lot from it.
And he is quite clever at this battle, because he only used the skills that he used in the public. So the others that want to study his styles can't see his trump card skills like the 'Lycanthropy' and 'Wing's of Freedom'.
"Looks like I need to do this more often now." muttered Shin to himself while having his assessment of the battle.
"My Nameless Swordsman identity has a pretty much obvious weakness. As long as it was prevented from sheathing and unsheathing its sword, it can use its signature moves."
"And when that happens, my skill set will be lessened in numbers greatly. What's more, it is also giving my enemies a signal that I'm going to use my Class Fight Style series."
"Hmm.... Since I'm not lacking in physical skills much, maybe I should buy some magical skills related to swordsman. I'm a magic-swordsman after all."
"As for my other style–..... Tsk! This one is really lacking by much. If I make brother Faker as an example, then I'm lacking in crowd-control skills pretty badly. Maybe I need to buy a lot of CC-skills next time I got in the City."
"I already have a lot of stealth and escaping skills already. I also don't need to concern myself in lacking DOT(Damage Over Time) skills because of the passive burning effect of my racial trait. I can deal a burning damage every time I deal any physical attack."
"Hmm... Yeah, that's right, I'm also lacking pf fatal skills too. An Assassin kills its enemies at a great speed, so have a bunch of sure-kill skills is a must too."
"My Tier-2 skills might fall on this area but they are still not enough. What's more, they have pretty much long cooldowns. So buying more fatal skills is also needed to be added on my shopping list."
After assessing himself, Shin finally collected his spying stones before saving all of their videos that they captured. Next, he picked three videos before posting them on an online forum under different anonymous IDs. He didn't dare to post it in the official website cause it will expose his real IGN.
Of course, he put some simple but with a little eye-catching titles on each of them. 'Rising Stars Collides! Who Will Fall?', 'The Nameless Swordsman Against Sickarius', 'Kings of Potential Rankers'.
Shin kept nodding his head when he saw that the views of each of the videos are rising in an instant. "Hmm... This should be enough to divert Big Sis' attention, right? What I need now is to think a strong alibi on why we fought with each other."
"Hmm.... Nah, maybe I should say that we are just having a friendly battle to learn with each other. Yeah, that should be enough I guess."
Then he told Hanzo to open a Spacial Gate that is connected to Lawless and others' location.
And just like what Shin had predicted, the three videos immediately catch the attention of the players in just a little amount of time.
It also didn't take long for the news to reached Shiella's ears. And when she watched the videos, she immediately became confused. "What the hell is going on?"