After Joshua broke through all of Martin's defenses the man stuck to his word. He forfeited the match and they were both taken out of the arena leaving behind a cheering crowd. Martin was taken out of the arena because he forfeited the match declaring his loss while Joshua was taken out of the arena because he had met his quota of matches for the day. Joshua was sent back to the room with all of his guild members in it and he quickly sent a message to Martin inviting him to join their group if he wanted to. They weren't going to stay for much longer, but Joshua was sure Adrian and the others would love to get the chance to catch up with them.
It didn't take long for Martin to join them. It seemed like the rest of his guild had already gone back to rest for the day. Even after his loss the guy seemed as jovial as always with a big grin on his face. "You're just as strong as they said you were, if not more so. I thought my defenses would be able to hold up against you a bit better than they did." Martin said happily as he took a seat alongside the rest of the group. At this point everyone was eating snacks and watching the matches set up on the screen just like the audiences in all of the stadiums.
"Your defense strategy was interesting, but as long as I could get you away from your shield then I'd have the advantage." Joshua said with a smile. "Watch out for people taking advantage of the environment around you when you take up position like that. It's your biggest weakness that people might take advantage of where monsters can't. The whole bouncing around off of your projectile shields isn't something you will have to worry too much about. No one else can handle the reflective force in the same way I can that I can think of."
"I might be able to slip through them if I'm fast enough though." Adrian said with a thoughtful look. "Although I wouldn't be able to cause a minor earthquake in the area to throw you off balance like Joshua."
"Well it's good to learn some of the weaknesses of my form. I rely a lot on my stout defensive capabilities when it comes to leading my guild into combat. Finding weaknesses in that regard before any upcoming territory wars is always a plus in my eyes." Martin said with a smile. "Besides after you took down my guilds top gun user Ashton, I felt that I needed to test myself against you."
"It's a shame that none of the top members of the large guilds decided to come out and play while our members were out there. It would have been interesting to see how they would have fared against Joshua and the others." Henry said with a frown. It was clear that the large guilds were avoiding their group so that they wouldn't be embarrassed in front of the large crowd. "Although I can see why they'd want to avoid fighting Lilly. Unless you're a freak of nature like Joshua I don't think it would be a good idea to go up against her and her beast companions."
"Well you guys may have not been able to take on the large guild members, but it's looking like they're starting to show up." Aito said as he pointed to the screen that showed the main arena with the largest crowd. It was starting up again after Joshua and Martin's fight, but this time around there were two new people put on stage. One of them seemed like your everyday explorer. He was decent in strength being at level sixty-four and a member of a mid-sized guild. He was a dagger specialist in a similar fashion to Madalyn which meant his fighting style would rely a lot on speed and precision. He wouldn't have her capabilities with poisons though which was the main part of Madalyn's skill set that made her stand out from others.
Unfortunately for the dagger specialist he just happened to be put up at the same time as the world government guild decided to make a show of their strength. Joshua was certain that the world government guild was waiting until after a lot of the stronger mid-sized guild members had stopped fighting to come out and prove a point. They didn't send out one of their normal members either, instead they put forth one of the strongest members they could.
The man that stood across from the poor dagger specialist was a little over six foot and carried himself with a sense of pride in himself and contempt in his opponent. The man wasn't young which Joshua could clearly tell by some of the details in his face that showed his mental age even with his revitalized body. He had short blond hair that was combed neatly in a suave way and wore a pair of glasses that were slightly tinted making it hard to see his eyes. When Joshua looked at the system to see what information the man had made public about himself before joining the arena for combat purposes, he wasn't surprised when he saw that he was high level.
The world government guild member was actually already level seventy-four which was higher than anyone else's level that participated in the arena outside of Joshua's guild members. This alone told Joshua that this man was high up in the world government guild because he knew for a fact that most of their members were probably in the low sixties level wise at best.
From his gear Joshua could tell that he was a swordsman, but he didn't' seem to fight in a similar way to any of the swordsman that Joshua had met up to this point. He had a one handed sword in one hand and an extremely short sword in the other. The smaller sword was just a little longer than a dagger and had a guard around the hand. From the position that the man took as the countdown started Joshua was certain that the smaller blade was used for defensive purposes.
"Well looks like the world government guild has decided to make the first move. Do you guys think Madalyn, Laura, and the other large guilds will respond to this?" Julia asked before the match could start.
"They're pretty much forced to at this point." Henry replied as he started pulling up several other matches for the group to watch alongside the main screen that they were currently all paying attention to. These were all matches that involved high level members of the world government guild that were starting to fill up the battle arena. "It's clear that the world government guild is planning to use this as an opportunity to build their reputation up even more. After the heavy losses they received in their large town subjugation it's not a surprise that they would try to find another way to encourage new recruits."
"It probably won't last for all that long though." Adrian said gaining everyone's attention. "If the world government guild is beginning to get involved then we can expect our friends and the rest of the large guilds to start to join in soon as well. Probably let the world government guild build themselves up a bit before swooping in and crushing their plans to make themselves look even better."
"Sounds like something Madalyn would do. I'm sure Isabella probably convinced Laura to go along with it as well." Joshua said with a sigh as they all watched the countdown stop and the match begin. Calling it a match however wasn't really needed. It was incredibly one sided and it wasn't just because of the level difference. The swordsman from the world government guild was clearly on a different level technique wise from the dagger specialist. His technique kept his opponent on his back foot the entire time and the difference and physical strength was clear to see. Having a greater range while having similar speeds also suppressed his opponent to a degree where the match was ended within a few minutes. The swordsman knocked away one of his opponent's daggers before slicing his throat and ending the match.
The crowd cheered after seeing the man's skill and were pulled along into the new source of excitement. After that the man was having an easy time of his next couple of opponents, but instead of taking the fights seriously and giving his opponents a chance to display their skills in some regards the swordsman went way over the top. He always tried to finish a fight off with a flashy skill or maneuver. Disarming his opponents to show he had superior technique. Using a skill that created consecutive energy slashes on a mage from a distance instead of getting in close like most swordsman, and cutting down all of the arrows of an archer while slowly closing the gap and putting them down with a flashy series of strikes. All of his matches always ended in a way to make him seem well out of the league of his opponents.
For a while Joshua and the rest of the group just watched the swordsman sweep through all of his opponents. They noticed that other members of the world government guild were doing similar things on other screens, but with the swordsman that was about to come to an end. His opponent for his last match turned out to be someone that they all knew well. Natalie arrived in the arena with a calm attitude that none of the man's other opponents had beforehand. The swordsman frowned when he saw her appearance. Not only was she a member of one of the large guilds, but she was one of their top members. Natalie was already level seventy-seven and was well geared.
"Looks like Laura has picked now as the time to change the tide." Henry said with a smile as the countdown started and Natalie took out her bow. In their group Natalie usually fought as a support for their stronger members, but she was no slouch herself when it came to combat. Her ability as an archer at this point was in a different league from any other archer Joshua had met.
Once the match started the swordsman charged in trying to close the gap between them. He may have toyed with the last archer he had faced, but he wasn't going to take the same approach with Natalie. Unfortunately for him she didn't fight in the same way as other archers. She leaped back while firing off several arrows in her opponent's direction. Each arrow was surrounded by an energy that would give them extra piercing damage. The swordsman tried to swat them aside before rushing forward, but his plans were destroyed the moment he swung at the first arrow.
The arrow didn't follow a straight line, but instead curved around his swing and slammed into his shoulder causing him to grunt in pain and come to a halt. After that the swordsman had a hard time trying to block any of the rest of the arrows forcing him to back away and use energy slashes to attack a wide area in front of him. Although only one arrow landed it was the only one Natalie needed as a smile crossed her face. As the swordsman dodged and blocked more arrows his movements became more and more sluggish before he eventually couldn't keep pace with the onslaught.
There was poison on the tip of the first arrow and all of the swordsman's movements only got the poison to rush through his system at a faster pace. Not more than a minute later the swordsman couldn't hold on anymore as Natalie let lose an arrow that curved around one of his sluggish swings and pierced through his right eye causing him to disappear in a flash of white light. The large guilds had struck back.