A series of lightning struck one after another.
Maintaining its aerial superiority, the Spirit Bird struck downwards, and together with its elemental attacks, it phased through the Core Guardian's body, dealing constant damage over time. Meanwhile, Rhode utilized his flexible body and agility to maneuver around the Core Guardian while borrowing the strength of the Centaur Knight to launch attacks. The Core Guardian's movements started to slow down under the two-pronged attack from Rhode and the Spirit Bird. Although its attack power was high, golems were still golems. They still lacked the necessary thought process. Back in the game, this BOSS was considered to be one of the best to defeat among the average mercenary groups. The strategy was simple: Two close combat players would keep the Guardian Golems at bay while the healers would tend to their wounds. But then who would fight the boss?
Two mages. Yes, two mages who were supposedly doomed in close combat.
And their strategy was simple. One of them will attack with spells, triggering the Core Guardian to counter-attack. At the same time, another mage will stand to the back and release another spell. Even if the spell didn't deal much damage, the Core Guardian would still turn its head over to attack and abandon its previous target.
Comparing to the usual BOSSES that targeted the player who dealt the most damage or accrued the most aggro, the Core Guardian would only recognize the enemy who attacked the last. It seemed rather brainless, but this was indeed the behavior of a golem. When the BOSS was new, many mercenary groups who weren't aware of this characteristic, died many times. However, after they realized the strategy, the golems became easy targets. After all, these golems were man-made without any intelligence at all.
And right now, Rhode was employing the exact technique. Using his Spirit Bird as a diversion, it was as though there were two mages releasing spells. As he was a swordsman, he needed to cover more distance to in order to deal damage to the Core Guardian. His speed wasn't exactly slow because he had 'Shadow Flash. Occasionally, he would still get hit, but with the Centaur Knight tanking the damage, Rhode didn't sustain much damage.
The Spirit Bird continued to harass the Core Guardian. Lightning bolts from its wings fell onto the Core Guardian's body. Despite not dealing much damage, but as long there was some damage then it would be fine.
In actuality, the design of the Core Guardian wasn't really a mistake. The massive golem had a strong defense, and regular attacks couldn't harm it. Low-level knights couldn't even leave a trace of a mark on its thick metallic armor. Earth, Fire and Water elemental spells were harmless to it; only the Electric element could deal some damage.
Looking from this angle, actually, this design was quite appropriate. After all, not many enemies could threaten the Core Guardian, so as long as it defeated the enemy that could harm it, then the rest of them wouldn't pose any problems to it.
But the flaws in this design was apparent.
And now was the time.
Rhode could feel that his attack was much more relaxed now as compared to previously when his sword slashed on the Core Guardian's armor. The resistance he felt now was much lesser, and not only that, he also realized that the Core Guardian's movements were failing. The Spirit Bird's continuous lightning strikes eventually disrupted the golem's magical transmission within its body. It's no wonder though, as lightning strikes could cause immense damage and for the Core Guardian to withstand the lightning damage from the Spirit Bird for so long only to receive a minor malfunction, was already pretty impressive.
But all of that would end now.
Once he confirmed the malfunction, Rhode immediately released a series of attacks. The sword on his hand transformed into various sword blades striking towards the Core Guardian's body. The dramatic impact pressurized the Core Guardian's body to lean on one side. It retaliated with a punch at Rhode. In reflex, Rhode leaped backward and swiftly dodged the attack. Just as the Core Guardian decided to rush in and follow up with another attack, the Spirit Bird dove downwards and struck with electricity to remind the enemy of its presence.
Once again, the Spirit Bird phased through its body, and the Core Guardian finally stopped moving. The magical light in its eyes suddenly dimmed, but it quickly recovered to its original state. Rhode knew what was happening. The Core Guardian couldn't endure it anymore after the continuous attacks from before. The metallic armor on its exterior had started to reveal fractures caused by the collaboration between Rhode and the Spirit Bird. The solid metallic deck finally caved in and revealed a complicated internal frame. Its movement slowed down gradually and began stuttering.
If Rhode kept up his attacks, he would surely be able to defeat the Core Guardian.
But Rhode didn't want to drag any longer. It wasn't that couldn't see Anne's situation, but he couldn't extend his help. In other words, the fact that Rhode could solely focus on the Core Guardian was all due to Anne's assistance in keeping the other Guardian Golems busy. If the Guardian Golems attacked him instead, then he wouldn't know if he could settle this Core Guardian as easily.
That was why Rhode didn't want to wait any longer. Anne was already having a hard time. Rhode needed more time to increase his chances of defeating the Core Guardian, if the Guardian Golem managed to slip pass Anne, then it would spell trouble.
Rhode made his decision.
The Spirit Bird spread its wings and dove downwards. The Core Guardian once again retaliated with both fists but to no avail. Luckily, the Core Guardian didn't possess intelligence and feelings, if not, perhaps it would have been angered to death.
Once more, the Spirit Bird phased through the Core Guardian's body, bringing the lightning along with it as it sent reverberations in the air as well as the ground. The Core Guardian unexpectedly stopped its every movement. But now, the Spirit Bird didn't return to its original position, but instead, it flew towards Rhode.
And at that very moment, Rhode extended his right arm, swinging it to the side.
The illusionary Centaur Knight on his back disappeared. Rhode raised his sword and pointed towards the Spirit Bird that was flying back to him.
When the Crimson Blade and the Spirit Bird came into contact, there was a blinding light.
A whirlwind rose from the ground alongside Rhode. The Spirit Bird disappeared, and only the Crimson Blade remained on Rhode's hand.Electrified sparks enveloped the entire blade, forming long electrical currents that were as thick as fingers. The way it moved was similar to snakes, as it slithered up and down the sword.
Rhode grabbed the sword by the hilt and focused on the enemy in front.
In the next second, bright lights flashed through the air, shooting towards the exposed interior of the Core Guardian.
As if it detected the enemy's all-out attack, the Core Guardian raised its arms to block for the first time. Not only that, it released a massive amount of steam. Along with the steam, the Core Guardian's metal armor suddenly changed positions, forming a defensive shield to guard against Rhode's attack.
But at this time, the blade had already reached the front of the golem.
The sword on Rhode's hand continued to strike forward. A series of flashes discharged from the blade, producing a blinding light. Finally, it connected with the Core Guardian's body and the raging lightning attacks surged around the metallic body. Accompanied by an explosion, its armor was blown off.
And due to this, the Core Guardian's movement stopped entirely. To Rhode, this was enough.
The sword that was blazing with electricity pierced through the golem's armor and struck into its body.
The Core Guardian went silent.
Afterwards, a massive amount of white steam was released from its body.
Now's the chance!
Rhode was clear what was going to happen next. He retreated quickly and ran towards Anne.
"Anne, get down! Raise your shield!"
Rhode quickly shouted towards Anne and rushed to her side. The white steam suddenly increased in density, and the sound was becoming increasingly deafening. Not much time was left! Rhode grabbed Anne's head and forced her to duck, barely avoiding a nearby Guardian Golem's attack.
"Raise your shield!! Now, quick!"
"Ah, yes!!" Anne was still trying to register what was happening, quickly responded.
She hastily raised her shield and covered both of them. At the same time, a Guardian Golem's attack came from above. At this point, Anne was totally confused but she still obeyed Rhode's orders.
And suddenly, there was a loud bang!