Heathcliff’s words made the whole room go quiet again.
Heathcliff had a weird glint in his eyes, he continued gazing in Wu Yan’s direction with a strict look.
Heathcliff is very good at acting. He looks like a very strong guild master who is helping all SAO players escape this game but that’s all just an act.
In actual fact, he’s Kayaba Akihiko, the GM who imprisoned everyone in this death game.
As the creator of SAO, he had administrative privileges beyond anyone in this world. In this world, he is like a god.
Ignoring his hidden persona, Heathcliff is publicly recognized as the strongest player in SAO. Even Kirito is only slightly weaker than him, that’s just how good he is at this game. He could have been the strongest player if Wu Yan weren’t around, that is.
The Administrator, the man himself, said he’s afraid of this player standing in front of him.
He is the one who created this game out of nothing. He is the one who designed the balance in this world. That’s why he just couldn’t fathom that a player threw his game off the scales with his performance and abilities.
Heathcliff is pretty sure he never left any bugs to be exploited by anyone. This ruled out the suspicion that Wu Yan is using some kind of exploit to get his battle results. Truthfully, he checked his administrator’s log for signs of cheating or bugging but he just can’t find anything on Wu Yan. His achievements are all legit, he beat the bosses on his own.
Heathcliff also used his Administrator’s rights to monitor Wu Yan’s boss fight. Finally, Heathcliff came to a conclusion.
Wu Yan is the real deal, he is that good at fighting and using his skills to bring down enemies.
Equipment, weapons, items, tools, they are only supporting him.
He wasn’t using any bugs, that was all pure skill.
He was terrified of the implications. What kind of life did Wu Yan lead to become so good at fighting? Wu Yan exceeded the limits of a typical gamer.
After entering SAO, this is the first time that Heathcliff thought he would lose to another player.
Luckily for him, Wu Yan is the only exception among all the players. If there were more players like him, Heathcliff would probably start questioning the purpose of creating this death game in the first place.
Wu Yan saw through Heathcliff’s thoughts and he grinned.
He knows about Heathcliff’s real identity.
It wasn’t hard to predict Heathcliff’s thoughts.
Wu Yan didn’t know that Heathcliff is currently thinking hard about Wu Yan’s origin and lifestyle. If he found out, he would probably laugh out loud. He would also hide his own Eternal Arms Mastery so Heathcliff can have more fun thinking about nonsense.
Wu Yan shrugged.
“You don’t look very terrified at all, guild master-sama…”
Heathcliff suppressed the questions within him and he answered.
“You don’t know what I am afraid of…”
Heathcliff leaned back against his chair and he continued.
“Even so, I still want to invite you to join our guild. Regardless of your current opinion and my own feelings, I don’t want to let such a strong talent go without at least trying to retain you. Wu Yan-kun please think one more time…”
Heathcliff’s invitation had another motive behind it. Knights of Blood was set up with the intention of monitoring players, when they arrive at floor 100, Heathcliff is planning on revealing his identity as the 100th-floor boss, wiping out the players he partied with.
He’s planning on using this invitation as a way to keep an eye on Wu Yan. Currently, Wu Yan is the player who poses the greatest threat to him.
Wu Yan showed him a helpless expression as he shrugged.
“I don’t think there’s any benefit in joining KoB, that’s why I won’t be joining you guys…”
Asuna wanted to say something but she ultimately lowered her head without saying anything. Nobody knew what’s on her mind right now.
Heathcliff also knew Wu Yan would say no, he didn’t force the issue. Wu Yan was very blunt, indeed, KoB couldn’t do anything for Wu Yan.
He’s not lacking In Cors, he is also someone who didn’t covet authority and titles. He can make his own equipment and weapons. He is also the strongest player, there’s no need for him to join any guild, what can any guild even do for him at this point?
Heathcliff placed his index fingers beneath his chin.
“Okay, how about this…”
He used a challenging gaze on Wu Yan.
“Duel me, if I win, you join Knights of Blood!”
Asuna gasped and she stepped in to protest.
Heathcliff ignored Asuna and he grinned at Wu Yan.
Wu Yan shot back at him with a sharp look.
“What if I win?”
“You can ask anything you want!”
Heathcliff said with arms behind his back.
“I promise you that if you win, my guild and I will do everything in our power to fulfill one request.”
“Now we’re talking…”
Wu Yan chuckled.
“Alright, let’s do it!”
“Guild master, Wu Yan-kun…”
Asuna can’t believe her ears. These two just challenged each other out of nowhere. She can only glance between the two with a flustered appearance.
Heathcliff nodded. Words aren’t going to work on Wu Yan, now that it has come to this, they can only use fists to talk.
He isn’t worried about losing. Worse comes to worst, he just has to use his Admin privileges to beat him. It would be funny if he cheated and still lost.
Inside the gaming world, there’s nothing he’s afraid of. Even if he’s intimidated by Wu Yan’s real-life experience and origins.
Heathcliff didn’t know Wu Yan knew about his real identity.
Wu Yan agreed even though he knew about Heathcliff’s administrator status. He had the confidence that he’s going to come out on top.
He’s not sure if he can win. But, he’s very sure he can force Heathcliff into a tie or even make him outright admit defeat.
Wu Yan wasn’t really after Heathcliff’s promise. He wanted to see what the administrator of SAO can do. He also wanted to know what Heathcliff has in store for him.
With Impeccable Memory, he can memorize Heathcliff’s fighting style. When they arrive at the 100th Floor, he can adapt his skills and techniques to deal with Heathcliff.
Fighting a player isn’t like fighting a monster. Monsters come with preset skills and fixed movesets, as such they can be countered rather easily once enough is known about them. This is an opportunity for him to get good.