21 Login 21: Ascending and Moving Forward

<<Rosaria, Field of Trials >>

10:21 AM, Philippine time | Asia Server

When Jae's laptop screen lit up again, a breathtaking view greeted him. The wheat field where GentleBreeze stood extended as far as the eyes can see. The wheat glimmered under the golden sun, while gently swaying as the light breeze blew. Jae felt very peaceful by just looking at the magnificent view, but the seemingly very peaceful atmosphere that field brought suddenly turned very chaotic.

The beautiful blue skies were slowly enveloped by ominous dark clouds, shrouding and eating away the light that the sun once brought; replaced by the constant flashing of lightning, as they dance across the now dark sky. The once gentle breeze that gently caresses everything it touches now turned into a powerful howling wind, violently forcing the once swaying golden wheat field to bow down. And finally, slowly, light rain started pouring down, as if the sky was crying.

Jae noticed that GentleBreeze's shadow slowly stretch so far out in front of him. The shadow then started materializing into a solid form, making the edge of Jae's lips slightly lift.

"Here we go" Jae thought as excitement coursed through his system.

When the shadow finally reached it's full form, it looked exactly like GentleBreeze, except the doppelganger wore the traditional armor of Dragoons, instead of GentleBreeze's avatar.

Jae was really excited and can't wait for the battle to start, at the same time he was really creeped out by how the doppelganger was starring straight at him from the screen with it's dead eyes. It sent a shiver down his spine, feeling like those dead eyes are going to eat him whole without leaving a trace of him. That's exactly why horror movies are not Jae's cup of tea.

The rhythm of the roars of thunder was like a war drum, appropriately setting the mood in the atmosphere to accompany the battle that was about to commence.

When GentleBreeze took his fighting stance, the doppelganger did the same, mirroring his every move. When a bright lightning flashed across the sky, both GentleBreeze and the doppelganger charged straight towards each other. The sounds of weapons clashing accompanied by the roars of thunder and the howls of the wind, was like a symphony which only fueled Jae's excitement.

Jae felt so exhilarated, even thought he has already done the ascension quest once. The same excitement that he felt the first time that he has done the ascension quest was a like a tidal wave, bringing back memories that were once forgotten.

GentleBreeze, used 'Wyvern Tail Sweep', sweeping his spear around him. The doppelganger raised its spear to block the attack, although the damage taken by it has lowered, it was still knocked back nonetheless and that's what Jae wanted after all.

GentleBreeze then charge at the doppelganger fearlessly, as the blade of his spear lit up with dragonic flames, just like how Jae's eyes lit up with excitement. Jae's hands danced across the keyboard, as GentleBreeze unleashed combo after combo.

'Wyvern Tail Sweep'

*Stab* *Stab* *Stab*

'Dragon Soar'

*Slash* *Slash* *Stab*

'Wyvern Tail Slam'

'Dragon Claw'

'Dragon Stomp'

The battle was really intense as the doppelganger valiantly fought and defend against GentleBreeze's non-stop assault.

Once the doppelganger reached 10% of its maximum health, it suddenly let out a loud and powerful roar; Entering its berserk state. It roared so powerful that it released an intense shock wave that traveled across the wide and vast wheat field. Dark and ominous fiery aura now enveloped the doppelganger as it stood in front of GentleBreeze, gazing intensely at him with its bright menacing glowing eyes. All of a sudden, the howling winds grew stronger, the thunders roared louder, and the atmosphere felt heavier. But despite the ominous feeling coming from the game, Jae was not in the least affected by it. Instead, a bright and youthful smile shone on Jae's face, like how he used to play back when he first started playing Rampage.

After another couple of minuets has passed, the battle ended. The doppelganger shuddered, then it slowly disintegrated into nothingness; as little by little, rays of the sun pierced through the dark and ominous clouds.

When there was no longer a trace of the doppelganger that's left, ribbons of lights started dancing around GentleBreeze, fully enveloping his body, transporting him back to the Hall of Conquers.

<<Hall of Conquers>>

10:38 AM, Philippine time | Asia Server

After being transported back to the Hall of Conquers, GentleBreeze talked to the NPC that gives out the Ascension quest, once again.

[Hohoho! Young one, let me be the first to congratulate you!~ You have truly proven yourself and showed your determination.

Now, take your first step towards your new journey!]

After the NPC finished talking, a System message appeared.

<<Congratulations GentleBreeze for successfully completing the Ascension quest>>

Upon reading the words on his laptop screen, a smile couldn't help but break out on Jae's face.

Being a former professional player, it goes without saying that the Ascension quest was a cakewalk for Jae; But Jae was still very happy, nonetheless.

After Jae closed the System message, he immediately checked his skill tree. From once a tiny plant, his skill tree now grew into an enormous tree. Scanning through each skill, Jae couldn't almost contain the excitement he's feeling. He was like a little kid, receiving a gift on Christmas day.

But before he lets his excitement get the best of him and risking the chance of poor decision making, due to high emotional levels, happening; Jae immediately took his hand away from the keyboard and mouse.

Casual player might not understand, but for a former professional player like Jae, choosing the right skills and stats are very crucial. A single skill or stat point could very much decide between life and death. Although skill and stat reset is available, it can be quite expensive, with the use of real world money and Jae is not about to spend money on something that can be avoided.

<<Crystal Mist Apartment Complex>>

Time 11:48 AM

Checking the time on his phone, Jae noticed that it's almost time for lunch. Just the thought of having food, woke Jae's stomach and immediately started demanding for attention like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

"I know, I know." Jae gently patted his belly, like he was comforting a child.

When Jae stood up and noticed that he's the only one left in the apartment, he headed to the kitchen, where he went straight to the fridge to scavenge for food. Seeing the fridge stacked with food, a triumphant smile appeared on Jae's face.

"I was so immersed in doing my ascension quest, that I didn't even notice Nico and Allyson leaving." Jae thought to himself as he was re-heating his food.

After re-heating practically everything in the fridge, Jae then started digging in. While he's happily munching on his food, Jae started doing some research on his phone.

"Rhea.. Search for 'Rampage Dragoon class'"

As Jae said the words, his phone automatically began searching for websites relating to "Rampage Dragoon class".

Jae took his time eating while "studying", making sure that the information that he's in-taking won't give him an ingestion.

Jae was so hungry that he didn't even notice the amount of food that he ate. Eating three full bowls of rice, a dozen spring rolls, two bowls of miso soup and Kimchi (Yes, Nico bought Kimchi just for Jae); Jae's stomach finally felt satisfied. Entering food coma, Jae didn't move for a couple minutes to take a breather, before getting up to clean the table and wash the dishes.

Rinsing the last of the dishes, Jae wiped his hands on the kitchen towel, before heading to his mini wardrobe. Changing into a loose tank top and workout shorts. Jae planned on going to the gym right a away after eating, but working out on a full stomach, might not be great a idea. So he decided to wait it out for few minutes, and let his stomach do it's work.

Plopping down on the couch, Jae unlocked his phone and continued watching some Dragoon pro-plays; to be specific, Vane Dragonborne's Dragoon pro-plays. Vane from Round Table Knights is considered to be the best Dragoon player of the generation, according to multiple e-sports analysts, and with absolutely valid reason too. Vane never fails expectations and always rises to the occasion, whenever it's called for. Also, Jae knows first hand what Vane can do with a Dragoon, since he himself experienced the guy's expertise first hand, when Hysteria went head to head with Round Table Knights at Worlds.

"Whoa!" Jae was so impressed that he could just sigh at Vane's amazing skills. His engages, supports, calls, and unbelievable mechanics made Vane the formidable player that he is, making Jae even question how in the world was Hysteria even able to defeat Round Table Knights.

Watching Vane's plays, made Jae so excited that it actually helped him to digest much faster. Excited to let off some steam and sweat it out, Jae eagerly walks out of the apartment and heads to the gym.

Contents of the video Jae was watching:

["Alrighty! Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now entering the final round of this exhibition match between the Round Table Knight and the Italian team Il Volo!" The casters announced with full of excitement, as both teams' characters loaded into to the game.

"So Olivee, our challengers hails from the great country of Italy; and from what I've heard they have dominated the scene in their mother land. The question is, will they be able to dominate the continent as well or will they be stopped by last year's Rampage Worlds 3rd placer, Round Table Knights?"

"Well Sunflower, that is a very excellent question! From what we've seen from the last couple of rounds, Il Volo has definitely not made it easy for RTK to win those matches, and although RTK has the lead in points, Il Volo still has the chance to turn the tides around with this last round, to possibly enter a deadlock."

"I definitely agree with you on that one. Entering this exhibition match with an off-meta composition and very creative play-styles, Il Volo has certainly gave RTK a run for their money. That being said, it's still to early to decide, so let's see what will be the out come as the match is about to begin."

"That is right Sunflower. As both teams finishes loading, they will enter Howling Veil as chosen in random map by the system.

"Ohohooooooo!" Sunflower smirked with excitement "Ladies and Gents, we officially welcome you to one of Rampage's newest maps, the 'Howling Veil'. This map is not for the faint of heart as the whole map is covered in snow and is constantly enveloped by strong and deadly blizzards."

"Howling Veil has not been officially released in game yet, but this battle will serve as a preview of what you can expect of the newest PVP map." Ovilee said with great enthusiasm.

"But enough of the introduction as the game has already begun!"

"As we can see, RTK is still trying to figure out the new map... But wait! Il Volo is already on the move!" Olivee said in shock.

"You're right! This match is truly a sight to behold!"

-----

"So they weren't kidding when they said we were going to be guinea pigs for a new PVP map" Lancelot said with a sigh.

"I mean.... when have they ever joked about something like this" Siegfried said with a light chuckle

"Either way, we are still going to win this." Romeo said cockily

"We are, but don't get way in over your head." Vane said in calm reminder

"*Snort* We are F(Beeping) Sh(Beeping) on them so hard. C'mon man, F(Beeping) chill out would you" Romeo said defensively.

"And that is exactly the kind of attitude that will lose us the game! Focus Rome!" Vane said in strong reprimand

"Dude what the F(Beep) is your problem?!" Romeo said in frustrated annoyance

"Alright you two, break it up" Percival calmly said with strong authoritative voice "And Vane is right, focus on the game. This is a completely new and uncharted territory, so there is a chance that we could lose this fight."

"Why am I always in the wrong!" Romeo complained, then proceeded to rant out of his mind "F(Beeping) bull s(beep) man! Just because he's your brother... You know what! Forget it! Bloody F(Beeping) forget it man! Holy F(beeping) Sh(beep)! Is it so bad to be chillin?! F(Beep)!..."

And Romeo's rant just kept going on and on and on, which the four brothers just let him be. They were already used to Romeo being extremely emotional beyond belief. They knew that Romeo would eventually calm down.

"So what's the F(Beeping) play man?"

"There is really no good play here, as we really aren't that familiar with the map yet. The best we can do is, go slow and steady. We learn as we go." Vane said with a calmness of a professional

"Agreed" Lancelot agreed almost immediately, followed but Percival and Siegfried

"Works for me" Romeo also agreed. Romeo might have extremely unpredictable mood swings, but he is not part of the main roster of the RTK for nothing.

As the match went on; it actually took both teams about five minutes, before finding and clashing with each other.

When the two teams have finally met, Il Volo surprisingly went ahead and charged straight at Round Table Knights head on, without taking a second thought.

"F(Beep) they are running it down!" Romeo said in disgusted surprise

"There's nothing more scarier that a team who has nothing to lose" Percival said, who on the other hand looked like he already expected it.

Il Volo's Royal Guard headed the charge fearlessly, using 'Royal Decree', sending out a wave of oppressing aura in front, making everyone on the opposing team to have no choice but focus their attack on him.

Percival on the other hand, used 'Nagato Perfecta' almost immediately, as he was already expecting it to happened.

Although the taunt effect was cleansed out, all of a sudden the ground where RTK's members were standing, glowed deep red.

"This F(beepers)! They actually have F(beeping) balls!" Romeo smirked, as he was getting more and more excited.

Romeo was so bored the last two round, since Il Volo played super safe, but now it was like a fire has been lit inside of him, as their opponent became more aggressive than ever before.

"Gather round everybody" Siegfried called out to his team, to which they immediately did.

Having gathered his teammates to him, Siegfried used 'King's Fortress', protecting his teammates, as a beam of light descends down from the sky.

"Oohhhhhh! Siegfried, just in time for Mikael's 'Code: Eraser'!" Sunflower shouted in excitement.

"Truly a very exciting match, don't you think?" Olivee said, the same excited tone in her voice.

"Truer words has never been said, partner!" Sunflower nodded in agreement.

Having a composition of a General, Grand Magus, Elemental Majesty, Rebellion and Royal Guard, Il Volo's fire power and damage output is, statistically speaking, very astronomically massive, but with a team comp that's mostly consist of glass cannons, while not even having single a healer, has a lot of disadvantages, rather than their advantages. That was the sole reason why they played very safe on the first two rounds and heavily relied on their ranged attacks and attacked from a distance.

Unfortunately for them, once Vane and Lancelot got close enough to anyone of them, the game is basically over. Vane being a Dragoon has the ability to negate an incoming percentage of damage that he receives. Other than that, RTK has two supports in the form of Percival being a Paragon and Romeo being a Saint, ironically enough. So, with the much needed healing and support provided Vane can easily enter the fray, making him the bane of Il Volo's off-meta comp, that brought them all the way to the "European Rampage Continental Championship".

In the end, Round Table Knight has shown why they deserved to be called one of the best teams in the world, when they defeated Il Volo in the championship's round 3, in under only 19 minutes.

Lancelot was able to get a good flank on Il Volo while the rest of his teammates have occupied all of their opponent's attentions.

At the awarding ceremony, Vane has once again been declared as MVP for all his outstanding plays.

Notes:

<<Rosaria, Field of Trials >> -*Is a Field in Rampage where every player does their ascension quest. It is inspired by the Alberta wheat fields in Canada.*

Rhea -*Rhea is a fictional AI digital assistant (Similar to Alexa, Siri and Google assistant).*

Il Volo -*A team which name means "The Flight" or simply "Flight" in Italian. Il Volo is an Italian team that specializes in high burst damage and finishing fights early. Il Volo is the champion of the Italian Rampage Championship, making them eligible to participate at the European Rampage Continental Championship, where they went head to head with Round Table Knights at the finals. Although placing second, they are still eligible to participate at Rampage Worlds.*

*Mikael Bianchi -*"Mikael" means "who is like God?", while "Bianchi" means "white-haired" or "pale". Mikael is the creator and team captain of Il Volo. Although, still very young, he along with his team were able to reach such incredible feats that other newly made teams wouldn't normally achieve, otherwise.*

Olivee and Sunflower - *Are very well known professional Rampage league casters. They are inspired by Olivee May: a broadcast host and interviewer for Riot Games, mainly for the LCS. And Clayton Raines A.K.A CaptainFlowers: a Play-by-Play Shoutcaster for the #LCS with Riot Games.

META -*Means "Most Effective Tactics Available". In the world of gaming, meta is used in two ways. Meta can be used as an acronym for "most effective tactics available," and calling something "meta" means that it's an effective way to achieve the goal of the game, whether it's to beat other players or beat the game itself. Meta can also be short for metagame, which is using information about the game, derived from the world beyond the game or its rules, to influence the outcome of the game or gain a competitive edge.*

Comp - *Composition*

Off-Meta - *Off-meta consists of things that are rarely seen. Meta is often easier to play and the best builds are well known, but off-meta things can also work well as long as one knows how to do it and when it fits one's playstyle. An advantage is that many people don't know how to play against uncommon picks. A playstyle that stray from the current meta.*

<<Howling Veil>> -*A newly made PVP map inspired by summit of Gangkhar Puensum from Gophu La pass, Bhutan*

'Nagato Perfecta' - *Is a Paragon skill that has the ability to cleanse any negative status effect (E.g. - Taunt, Poison, Chill, and the like) on all party members.*

'King's Fortress' - *Is a Royal Guard skill that has the ability to make any party members around the caster to be invulnerable to any damage, as long as they are within the AOE's radius.*

'Code: Eraser' - *A wide AOE ultimate skill of General, that deals 1000% of the caster's intelligence as magic damage.*

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