In an upscale apartment in the city of Vulkan, not far from the office of the 'Crimson Witches', a young short-haired girl was pacing back and forth in her room, her face twisted into a hideous and hateful expression.
"I can't believe they disregarded everything I said, just like that!" Dolly cursed. "Horny morons… I really shouldn't have expected them to be able to see past her face."
She'd hated Emilia from the moment she laid eyes on the girl, even more than her pretentious 'friend' Sylvia and that obnoxious and rude Danielle. The girl was simply everything she wanted to be, and had everything that she never dared even dream of.
Dolly had spent so many years sticking close to Sylvia, just to make more people pay attention to her cute and cheerful personality.
The yellow-eyed girl's somewhat exotic and dark beauty was quick to attract people's eyes, and her caustic attitude was similarly great at making them shift their gaze away, leaving it all for Dolly to enjoy. That was why she barely tolerated Sylvia, despite hating her pretentious and proud nature so much.
Of course, compared to a rude and tactless idiot like Danielle, Sylvia was still somewhat 'okay'.
"That moron! I was willing to accompany her for so long, and yet that ungrateful idiot decided to stick with Danielle, that slut!" Dolly couldn't help but grit her teeth in hate. "And that Emilia girl… she's even worse!"
What made her really hate them all to the core was the fact that none of them had, even once, tried to reach out to her to join their team, despite the fact that she'd also been there with Sylvia that day, and her performance was definitely beyond what they could ask for.
In fact, if not for her momentary 'lapse of judgment' earlier, because of which she got caught and kicked out of her team so disgracefully, a team like Danielle's wouldn't even have the qualifications to ask for someone like her.
Dolly didn't regret doing what she did, though, and only regretted that she hadn't been more careful and ruthless while getting it done.
After all, if she hadn't hesitated in pinning all of the blame on Sylvia's head, the two of them wouldn't have been kicked out 'together', and she wouldn't be out on the 'streets', looking for a new 'job' while relying on her big brother's money.
In fact, it wasn't difficult for her to get a job. Her reputation was much better than Sylvia's, after all. There were quite a few eSports teams willing to accept her, but she rejected them all.
If they weren't taking her to play the same game as Sylvia, Dolly didn't want to play.
But it looked like the same sentiment didn't apply to her 'friend', after all.
"I should have known… that slut Sylvia never thought of me as a friend. Look at her now, how happy she is!" Dolly's eyes turned red in hate as she looked at the girl on the screen. "I'll definitely show them!"
The graceful elf girl on the screen only made her feel worse, but Dolly somehow managed to endure it. "Since they won't come to me… I guess I have no other choice but to go to them instead."
By now, Emilia's challenge had already started, and the open arena was instantly flooded with a blinding light, what was left in front of the crimson-haired elf was… another player?
Or to be more precise, it was the image of another challenger.
[Grade 1 Challenger, Level 13, Human Warrior]
[Emilia, Level 13, Elf Warrior]
With a sharp 'ding' of the starting bell, the human warrior shot off his feet in a deadly lunge, as if aiming to take Emilia down with a single blow, but unfortunately for him, things didn't work out as 'he' planned.
Not only did the crimson-haired elf easily side-step his assault, but she was also able to stab her [Poison Fang] right down his throat at the same time.
The poor man died before he could even scream, and Emilia couldn't help but feel a little relieved. 'Fortunately, the enemies don't seem to have much HP, or he wouldn't have gone down so easily.'
Of course, the fact that she couldn't see any of their stats or hitpoints meant that Emilia could only roughly guess their abilities based on the short prompt at the start of a match, but she didn't mind it too much.
After all, her goal this time wasn't really to beat the number one in the world. She knew that would be impossible in her current state. But to be able to gain the reputation she needed, and also to pave her path for the title of the 'Rising Star', she needed to beat at least ten opponents in a row in the [Warrior's Challenge].
[Grade 2 Challenger, Level 16, Goblin Warrior]
[Emilia, Level 13, Elf Warrior]
Emilia knew it wouldn't be easy, especially with her level being so low, but she wasn't willing to wait a full month to give it another try. The threat of the hero made it impossible for her to be so leisurely. ｂ𝚎ｄｎ𝚘ｖ𝚎𝚕．𝚘𝚛𝚐
The green-skinned goblin was much smaller and faster than the human warrior who died before it, and Emilia didn't dare to take it lightly. Even with her swift reflexes and high agility, dodging its dashes was not easy.
The girls watching from outside the arena almost screamed in fright when the goblin's curved dagger brushed past Emilia's thigh, drawing a thin red line, but the crimson-haired girl swiftly followed it up with a kick to the little beast's face.
It flew back and slammed into the invisible barrier with a grunt, and before it could bounce back or regain its bearings, Emilia's sword had already slammed into its throat.
It choked on its own blood for a while before succumbing to the fatal wound, but before the audience could celebrate, Emilia was already dashing towards the rapidly dissipating 'corpse'.
However, before she managed to get to her weapon, a huge wooden club crashed down from above, and Crystal and the others couldn't help but scream.