Chapter 182: Within Separated Dimensions
Thirty minutes earlier.
Within the second gate, it had been ten minutes since the fight started.
Trick Master was as skilled and tricky as his name suggested. For magic spells, not including creatures of the dragon race who could manipulate magic, the result of every magic spell was fixed. If one had heard the incantation before, they would immediately know what spell the opponent was using.
Beluga, Elso, Fargo, and Shueria had been playing Monster Soul ever since it launched. They had witnessed most of the magic spells accessible by players. However, Trick Master relied on his precise timing and the fairy race’s trait, which enabled him to cast two magic spells simultaneously, as well as the Sloth’s ability to create a clone of himself. As a result, he could cast four spells simultaneously in any variety of combinations, wreaking all sorts of chaos on the battlefield.
Instead of a four-against-one, the battle turned into a four-versus-four. Moreover, both Trick Masters had the greatest teamwork while the Temporary Whale Team’s members just hindered each other.
Once Trick Masters’ opening was exposed, Elso attempted to strike as it was his usual role. However, Shueria also saw the same opening. Consequently, both of their powers clashed in mid-air.
Elso sent a disapproving gaze to Shueria. “You. Don’t get it my way.”
“It’s you who is getting in the way,” argued Shueria. If his Dignified Palm Blade hadn’t been blocked, Trick Master would already be bleeding.
Trick Master intended to prolong the fight. He alone could keep four experts occupied. If nothing went wrong, Lost Ghost, Cheris, and Zazae should have already killed the enemies as he was busy fighting.
Even though he was secluded from the main battle, Trick Master wasn't worried. Based on his speculation, the opposing side’s experts had to split their attention between fighting the infiltrators while holding off the Warlords.
Lost Ghost only needed to inflict some damage, and his stats would grow monstrously thanks to Gluttony’s ability. Cheris was a terrific swordswoman with her indiscernible attack range and her quick-draw sword technique. Her swordsmanship exerted its full power in a chaotic battlefield. As for Zazae, there was absolutely no need to worry about that guy. Zazae was the best among out of all Five Warlords. If not for Montra mostly sending him on covert missions, preventing him for revealing his true strength, Zazae’s name would have already been registered as one of the best players, on par with the Four Emperors.
Zazae’s ability was real. He was even a member of the dragon race who had already completed the Dragon Ritual.
All Trick Master had to do now was stall for time, occupying the opposing side’s four experts so that the others could annihilate the gathering party. Both Trick Masters’ mouths kept reciting magic incantations with no sign of stopping. Four incantations were overlapping each other, preventing his opponents from predicting what spells he and his double were using. Sometimes, once the incantation was completed, he would just delay it and surprise his opponents when they came to get him.
The one who found the battle the hardest was Elso. His specialty was concealment and assassination. However, he couldn’t show such expertise inside this limit-spaced dimension amid the flashes of magic spells.
Beluga and Fargo had it easier as their strengths laid in defense. Beluga achieved perfect mastery over Qi of Little Turtle while Fargo possessed Mystic Armor Qi. Protecting their lives was easy, though they lacked the ability to deal a serious blow to Trick Masters.
Shueria saw his opponent with his psychic power, not his eyes, so the dazzling lights of magic spells didn’t affect him. His Cloudy Tiger Qi was circulating within his body, elevating his attack power. He only used psychic power to enhance his movements and to fend off attacks. The Heart of the Sealed One continued to refill any power he spent, so he didn’t mind prolonging the battle.
The main reason why the Temporary Whale Team struggled was because none of the members were going all out. They didn’t know when their teammates would become enemies, so they hid their trump cards.
On the other hand, Trick Master had no reason to hide his real strength. As a spellcaster who could mix magic spells together, he had numerous cards he could play. His title, the Illusionist Warlord, wasn’t for nothing. It meant no one could really tell where his strengths and weaknesses laid. The terrifying aspect regarding fighting Trick Master was that he could use a different set of spells every battle.
Trick Master wasn’t very aggressive with his attacks, however. He intended to slowly chip away the opponents’ strengths until their energy was depleted. Only when that time came would he get serious and kill them at once.
One supportive spell, one defensive spell, one debuffing spell, and one offensive spell; by using them at the right place and time, the two Trick Masters could represent an entire army. During the previous war event, he was the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s key player. His role was the commander of a large army, and he was the best at that thanks to his ability to switch between being a supporter, sweeper, damage dealer, tanker, or crowd controller.
Beluga was worrying about the situation outside. Honestly speaking, Nednapha was slightly inferior to Shuran. She would have a difficult time against that man. Furthermore, even if they managed to defeat all Five Dragon Warlords, it would be pointless if all the people participating in the gathering party died. It would imply that Lone Wolf and all the leader-level figures opposing Montra were incompetent; losing the ones under them even though the battle occurred at Zhongsuyuan City a.k.a. their base. The objective of this gathering party would fail.
Since the current flow of battle was getting them nowhere, Beluga decided that he would be the first one to fight seriously, even though he risked showing his full strength to people who could become his enemies.
“Elso, quit playing around. I’m worried about Ned and the people outside. This is not a request but an order.”
As he finished speaking, Beluga didn’t wait for Elso’s reply. The qi surrounding him changed its form. Beluga unleashed a freezing cold aura, indicating he had elemental qi in his possession.
Beluga shouted, and the wave of his qi flew in a straight line, ramming into the spell firing at him. Both of his hands extended and grasped at empty air, or so everyone thought. Instead, he was launching invisible qi forward, moulding it into a fist before it struck Trick Master.
What Beluga was doing was delicately using qi as a long-range attack using the Cruise Breeze qi technique.
Trick Master felt like he was just hit by Beluga’s actual fist infused with qi, despite the distance between them. He dodged another attack while counterattacking with an Earth Spear from the floor.
Beluga snorted as if Trick Master’s attack was nothing. Once the spear tip started to fly up from the floor, Beluga only needed to flick his wrist to crush the spear with the invisible hand made of qi.
Fargo looked at what Beluga had done with admiration.
“Haha, most people know that you only have Qi of Little Turtle. It is unexpected to see that what you really have is Deploring Fairy Qi, one of the Ten Supreme Qi. Even more, your mastery over the Cruise Breeze qi technique seems to reach the pinnacle.”
“A trump card exists to be shown off. Though, my ‘Distant Little Whale’ may be nothing compared to the Berserk Warrior’s trump card.”
“Since you already showed your trump card, I won’t keep mine hidden anymore. Well, I got nothing new to show. I only have the usual ones.”
Fargo’s Mystic Armor Qi radiated and covered his body, similar to Sila's Divine Raiment. Then, his body shot toward one of the Trick Masters like a bullet.
Before, Fargo’s weakness was his slow speed. Nevertheless, once he lost to Sila, he kept polishing Universe Momentum and elevated it to an entirely new level. The pulling and pushing powers transcended common sense, allowing him to launch himself off the ground and fly, disregarding gravity. It could be said that he was the first qi-type player known to be capable of staying in the air without the help of an item.
Fargo’s speed contradicted his bulky physique. His body flew at Trick Master without any concern for potential counterattacks, as he left that task to Mystic Armor Qi, the qi which he was proud of.
Trick Master needed to change his approach and used three of his spells to oppose Fargo while using the last one to keep Beluga in check.
Witnessing that the others had revealed their trump cards, Shueria no longer attempted to hide his real ability. He exerted the maximum power of Cloudy Tiger Qi and formed sword energy covering each of his hands. Next, his psychic power enveloped the blades made of qi, unleashing their terrific might.
Power continued to surge from his heart, granting him seemingly inexhaustible energy.
“Cloudy Tiger Qi? More importantly, he can use qi and psychic power simultaneously?! Splendid!” exclaimed Beluga.
Shueria leaped through the air using Psychic Impact, jumping around like a tiger in a forest.
Not only did his raw power increase, but Shueria had also trained under Crow and learned Crow’s personal profound art, Dignified Palm Blade, so his arsenal had been widened.
Using Dignified Palm Blade with both hands, he exerted more power than if he were to use two actual swords.
Trick Masters had a difficult time coping against the barrage of attacks. Beluga’s long-ranged attack was accurate and Fargo’s pulling and pushing techniques were troublesome. He also had to be wary of Shueria’s powerful strikes. Now, both of them had to abandon every strategy for the sake of defending.
Suddenly and quietly, Elso appeared behind one of them and stabbed his black sword through Trick Master’s stomach. As the battle intensified, Elso became calm and collected. His blade penetrated through all the defenses the Trick Masters prepared beforehand.
The wounded Trick Master cast Flame Claw at Elso, which he calmly welcomed and his body dispersed.
“Psychic Dividing Life... the skill that all psychic-type players desire,” muttered Shueria. He himself also wished to have this skill, though he didn’t know how to obtain it.
Psychic Dividing Life was one of the high-tier psychic-type skills. It was a passive skill that divided the user’s health points into several batches instead of a single whole, enabling the user to receive fatal attacks many times as if having several lives. Any excess damage would not pour over into the other batches, instead being wasted.
Many players speculated that it was a skill developed from Psychic Body or Psychic Astral, though no one had yet to acquire it. They only witnessed the effect of this skill through some psychic-type monsters.
Elso reappeared next to Beluga. The flow of the battle now totally belonged to the Temporary Whale Team. However, when the four prepared to kill Trick Master once and for all, the sound of an explosion echoed from somewhere outside and the room began to shake heavily as if an earthquake occurred. The dimension began to vibrate, before slowly crumbling away.
Inside the last dimension, the fight had continued for longer than ten minutes. Lone Wolf and Cross had been on the offensive since the start of the battle, but they still couldn’t take Zazae down.
The Three Stars Warlord was simply too strong for them to understand. Even without the Envy Card, Lone Wolf and Cross still didn’t think they could defeat this man in a one-on-one fight.
“What’s wrong? Won’t you come to get me anymore? If you are too late, your comrades might die.”
Zazae’s voice came out from the hood concealing his face over his purple assassin garment. His hand was spinning a chain whip with a metal ball on the end while his other hand was ready to draw the dagger at his waist. The qi he released was sometimes as hot as the sun and sometimes as cold as ice.
He had been switching between borrowing Lone Wolf’s Sun God Qi and using his own Frost Demon Qi. Both were included in the Ten Supreme Qi. Frost Demon Qi was the elemental qi with the power of Qi of Little Tiger, Qi of Little Bird, and Qi of Little Turtle. Its prominent point was its mysterious cold element, the complete opposite of Lone Wolf’s Sun God Qi.
Nevertheless, what made Zazae strong wasn’t the skills he possessed but his proficiency in using qi that was comparable to Lone Wolf. He could easily exert the power of Sun God Qi, which he just borrowed, as if it belonged to him from the start.
More importantly, he was from the dragon race.
Dragons were magical creatures, falling under magic-type. Most of the players selecting the dragon race were also magic-type. However, Zazae’s energy type was qi. The passive skill, Dragon Scales, allowed him to constantly release black smoke from his skin, shrouding himself in smoke.
Lone Wolf and Cross had never seen this kind of power before.
Revin’s Solaria Dragon Scales and Kawin’s Python Dragon Scales were quite common as both dragons were famous element dragons whose information could be found in the game forum. However, there were still many other dragons out there that had yet to be discovered or revealed to the world.
Lone Wolf showed his true ability that he had honed by training under Poluk. He had invented his own profound martial art, Thirteen Celestial Wolf Strikes, and mastered it with advice from Poluk. With this art, Lone Wolf was confident that he could take on every player in Monster Soul.
However, strangely enough, as the battle went on, he felt it became harder for him to move or use his skill. The same experience also applied to Cross. The feeling was so subtle that, at first, they thought they just misunderstood. Unfortunately, the longer they fought, the harder it was for them to properly use their abilities. Finally, they noticed that something was wrong and realized that the cause of it must be Zazae’s Dragon Domain.
The dragon power residing in Zazae’s body belonged to the Skeleton Dragon King, Bones, which had yet to be discovered by a majority of players. The Skeleton Dragon King had the ability to weaken its opponent. Its Dragon Domain’s ability wasn’t as striking as Solaria or Raidola; it only slightly but gradually caused the opponent to find it hard to exert their full power. If its opponents stayed within its domain long enough, they would feel like it was their first time using any of their skills or unleashing their power. Naturally, their attack power would be reduced. The only drawback of its Dragon Domain was the long period of time before it became effective.
In that aspect, the Skeleton Dragon King’s Dragon Scales were more terrifying. Its scales were made of magic power in the form of smoke. Upon contact, it would accelerate the performance of the Dragon Domain. Furthermore, Zazae could also clad his weapons with the smoke.
Lone Wolf tended to clash against him head-on while Cross relied on the vitality of his undead race instead of dodging. As a result, it didn’t take long before they were completely under the influence of Zazae’s Dragon Domain: Fallen Kings.
“This guy is too dangerous. We should stop taking turns to attack. Let’s fight him together,” Lone Wolf proposed.
Under normal circumstances, Cross would have considered that to be an insult. However, Lone Wolf was right this time. Zazae was too strong; he was strong enough for Cross to abandon his stubbornness.
“Rhythm of the Imperial Graveyard.”
Cross activated his Rhythm and charged at Zazae while Lone Wolf took a detour and struck Zazae from the other side.
Being under assault from two of the Four Emperors, a normal person would have already trembled in fear.
Nevertheless, Zazae was calm. If these two had worked together from the start, he would have felt worried. However, now that both of them were already at their limits, he had nothing to fear.
Zazae spun the chain and threw the metal ball at Lone Wolf. As for Cross, who was approaching him, Zazae extended the radius of the smoke surrounding him as a dome and intensified it, engulfing Cross and further weakening his ability.
Cross’ floating swords dropped to the floor. Zazae stabbed Cross with his dagger before sending him flying back with a kick. Meanwhile, Lone Wolf noticed the opening and accelerated his speed while grabbing the metal chain to pull Zazae to him.
However, that was a bad move. Once he touched the metal chain, Lone Wolf’s energy output suddenly became feeble. Zazae seized the opportunity to dash at Lone Wolf and grabbed his neck. By coming into direct contact, the weakening power greatly affected Lone Wolf and he felt almost all of his power diminish.
Cross gritted his teeth as he stood up and rushed at Zazae with a sword in his hand. At that time, Zazae’s hot qi dispersed and his purple eyes stared at Cross.
“How about dying to your own skill?”
Zazae switched the target of Envy’s ability to Cross. His dagger in Cross’ chest blinked twice before exploding. A hole appeared in Cross’ chest and his body was swept away by the explosion. If he wasn’t undead, he would have already died.
Then, Zazae switched the target back at Lone Wolf and burned him with Sun God Qi. Lone Wolf was burning alive but he refused to cry out.
During the moment of despair, Lone Wolf came to notice that Zazae didn’t use Pride, the skill attached to his Pride Card. It was likely that, without the Pride Card in possession, not even Envy could copy the Pride skill.
The reason Lone Wolf decided not to activate Pride was because he was afraid that the card might cause him to go berserk and unintentionally attack Cross. However, such concerns weren’t important anymore. If he did nothing, both he and Cross would die.
“P-Pride,” muttered Lone Wolf.
The glass-like card that had an illustration of an angel with six pairs of black wings appeared before him and shattered into particles like usual. Nevertheless, unlike those previous times he had activated it, Lone Wolf’s blurry eyes noticed a tiny crack in the air. The crack was extremely small and was the same one that appeared when Sila activated Greed. Though, in Sila’s case, the crack was wide enough for the hand to pass through while the current crack was as small as the tiniest coin.
“Finally, there is a crack...”
An overbearing voice came through the small hole. If Lone Wolf wasn’t imagining things, he believed he saw the crack becoming wider as if the person on the other side was distorting the dimension using raw strength.
The explosion sent all three people flying and collapsed at the same time. Then, a man with a dignified atmosphere came out. He wasn’t interested in the three at all and just silently observed the room around him.
“The dimension of the servant of death... This kind of place can’t confine me.”
The moment he finished speaking, he used his qi to distort the entire dimension, shaking it with his power.
Zazae’s arm was broken, Cross was bleeding profusely from the hole in his chest, and Lone Wolf had burns all over. All three of them looked at the new visitor, and out of them only Lone Wolf knew the man’s identity.
As if the system knew what they were curious about, it rang out and informed them.
Notice to all players within a thirty-kilometer radius, the Evil God Lucifer, Level 1000 Emperor Rank, has appeared. Regardless of your rank and level, we recommend you log out immediately. As this is a special circumstance, the system will allow you to log out from anywhere without any penalties for the time being.
Those who are killed by Lucifer will respawn immediately at the nearest rebirth zone.
Those who are killed by Lucifer will lose all equipment.
Those who are killed by Lucifer will lose all money in their possession.
Those who are killed by Lucifer will permanently lose three skills, chosen randomly.
All three men stopped fighting and stared blankly at the Evil God, stunned by the thought that such a being existed in Monster Soul.
Moreover, bad luck seemed to befall every player outside. In normal cases, the system would have notified all players within the radius around Lucifer. However, since Sebastian’s dimension was a separated location, no one except for these three got to hear the system’s notification.
Chapter 183: An Exposed Weapon
Twenty minutes earlier.
Sila maintained his top speed and finally reached the area where Asura and Franz had been facing off against Shuran. Since the three of them had been constantly on the move within the same area, Sila could catch up to them within ten minutes.
Once he had entered the range of Shuran’s Wrath, Sila’s health points started to decline at a slow, yet steady pace. He immediately reached out with his qi, trying to pinpoint the locations of the three who came before him.
Thanks to having already familiarized himself with Franz and Asura’s powers, Sila could find them in no time. Both of them were chasing after a single source of power, representing Shuran, moving at high speed comparable to Sila’s. Moreover, when Franz and Asura were about to corner him, Shuran’s body miraculously vanished and reappeared somewhere else.
Sila closed his eyes and activated Far Sight. The scene of Shuran wearing a light brown cloak, concealing himself with the color of the wasteland, appeared in Sila’s mind.
Shuran in tight wuxia clothing had a metal bow readied in his hand. He was constantly moving, keeping his distance from Franz and Asura.
Sila calmly observed Shuran’s movement. Once Shuran was close to being cornered, his body once again vanished and reappeared at a kilometer away.
With his eyes closely observing Shuran, Sila noticed that he kept dropping something on the ground while he was running. His curiosity piqued, Sila used Far Sight to zoom in.
What Shuran had been dropping was a steel pin. Once he dropped it, he would use his foot to press it down, digging it into the wasteland. The pin looked like an ordinary pebble and didn’t emit any kind of energy. If Sila didn’t personally see Shuran dropping the pins, he would undoubtedly overlook them.
“Those pins look familiar. Where have I seen them?” Sila muttered to himself as he tried to remember.
Shuran vanished and reappeared again. His body emerged on top of one of the pins and the pin shattered. It was at that moment that Sila finally realized what the pins reminded him of.
“Crystal of Connecting? Hmm? But the shape is not the same.”
What Shuran was utilizing was the Sky Connector Pin, an item that the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s inventors developed exclusively for the guild’s members. It was modified using the Crystal of Connecting as a prototype. Its ability was teleporting a player from one pin to another. While useful, it suffered from the major drawback of having an extremely limited range, unlike the original Crystal.
Shuran brought a lot of them from the guild’s treasury in order to change his location while sniping.
“Its main ability must be allowing Shuran to teleport to where the pins are.”
Sila tried to locate the other pins but it was useless. The pins blended in with the color of the wasteland. He had no way to find any of them.
“In that case, I will need to join the chase and pressure him.”
In the beginning, Sila thought that as Shuran was an archer, his prominent points would only be accuracy and long-range attack power. However, he realized now that he was dead wrong. Exactly because Shuran was an archer, a ranged attacker who needed to be aware of distance above all else, he had polised his speed more than his other stats. Only with sufficient speed could he freely keep his distance away from his target.
One of Shuran’s favorite tactics was a hit-and-run strategy. He could run backward at extremely high speed and maintain his top form for twelve hours. Shuran could do the backward running without looking back thanks to his high mastery of God's Cathedral.
In fact, he had noticed for a while that Sila had entered his range. Nevertheless, as Sila didn’t make any moves, he didn’t care. If Sila just stayed in Wrath’s range, his health points would simply continue to decline.
Sila was constantly circulating Yin Yang Energy to recover his decreasing health points, though he noticed that the constant damage done on him was getting higher and higher, based on how close he was to Shuran and how long he had been within range.
Sila intended to finish the fight as quickly as possible, so he decided to stop using his energy to heal and focused on speed. He shot off after Shuran, moving at twice his earlier speed.
Shuran was surprised, though he didn’t panic. All he did was nock three arrows with his left hand, cladding each of them with qi reinforcement before releasing them.
All three arrows suddenly vanished from Sila’s line of sight.
It wasn’t the work of magic nor psychic power concealment. The arrows themselves were simply shot at an extreme speed that the eyes couldn’t follow.
Three life-threatening attacks came at Sila from different angles. It seemed Shuran could use his qi to manipulate the direction of the arrows he fired to some degree.
Sila promptly activated Stellar Wheel. This art wasn’t suitable for using on the move, so his speed sharply fell. The energy within his body circulated clockwise and his right hand waved at the three arrows once before guiding them back to Shuran at the same speed.
Although Sila’s action seemed easy, he had to spend a third of his full power in order to achieve such a feat. This implied that the qi cladding in each of Shuran’s arrows was powerful. If Sila was hit by even one of them, the damage would be severe.
Sila still wasn’t satisfied. As the three arrows flew forward, he fired ten suntetsu, which flew closely behind the arrows. His body stopped once to adjust his breathing before he too went after them.
Shuran frowned and fired one more arrow to counter. Once the arrow he fired was about to go past the first three arrows that Sila reflected, he exploded the qi within it. This offset the other arrows, making it easy for Shuran to dodge.
Sila’s hidden weapons were even more simple to cope with. Superficially, firing a hidden weapon from a distance was a type of long-range attack. However, what truly made a hidden weapon scary was the secrecy; how it stabbed the opponent at close range without them knowing when it was fired. As a result, firing hidden weapons from a distance could easily be dealt with.
Like this, they shouldn’t be called hidden weapons. Rather, they should be called exposed weapons.
Shuran wielded an arrow in his hand and used it to deflect the suntetsu one by one, not making any mistakes. With God's Cathedral, he could see through the subtle differences in their speeds.
The distance between Sila and Shuran was closing. Sila accelerated his speed even more while Shuran calmly nocked another arrow. The moment he let it loose, a qi-strengthened arrow was shooting toward Sila’s face.
Sila didn’t want to reduce his speed as that would widen the distance. Instead of using Stellar Wheel, he chose to use One Above All, dividing his power into two parts; one on his palm and the other on the tip of his foot.
His foot tapped the ground and an explosion occurred. The explosive power accelerated his speed to yet another degree, closing the distance even faster than before. Sila relied on his sharp intuition to dodge the arrow in melee range; he bent his head and the qi-strengthened arrow slit his left brow.
Witnessing Sila’s increase in speed, Shuran started panicking. He slammed the bow in his hand on the ground, kicking up dust, before violently swinging it at Sila.
Sila didn’t plan to dodge. He clad his fist with more power, intending to kill Shuran in a single hit.
However, when the bow was about to hit Sila’s hand, something unexpected occurred. Sila’s ears heard a subtle *click* sound as Shuran shot five short arrows at him using the mechanical bow attached to his wrist.
Of course, Sila knew about the existence of a single-handed mechanical bow. He even had a chance to learn it when he first started playing, though he chose hidden weapons instead. However, he had been playing this game for a decent length of time and had never seen anyone using it, so he had long forgotten about it. Sadly, even if he recalled this, it was too late.
The mechanical bow could only fire arrows at a very limited distance. Its good point was that one didn’t have to train that much to use it well. Just relying on the quality of the arrow and the timing, one would easily get a secret weapon to use in an emergency.
If the arrows were fired at him in a normal situation, Sila wouldn’t be afraid. However, currently, Sila was now unleashing the full power of One Above All. The biggest downside of this style was its lack of defense. As his power was concentrated in his palm, his body was left defenseless. Any counterattacks would be fatal for him in this state.
The five arrows were flying toward Sila. The time was not enough for him to change his move. Sila accepted his inevitable defeat and decided to rely on the Black Grim Reaper Card. Hopefully, he could kill Shuran within the next fifteen minutes.
Nevertheless, Sila forgot something. He had unsealed the Right Arm of the Sealed One during his fight against Lost Ghost and the skill Strengthened Bones was still active.
Sila’s right palm struck the bow. Usually, a fighter wouldn’t ever abandon their signature weapon. However, upon coming into brief contact of Sila’s fist, Shuran sensed the massive force through his bow and had no choice but to release his grip on it and back off.
At the same time that Sila’s fist hit the bow, two short arrows stabbed into his left arm, another two pierced his chest, and the last one hit his forehead, though it couldn’t pierce through his skull and bounced off.
Sila was surprised to know that he was still alive. He quickly removed the arrows from his body and circulated qi to replenish his health. Just now, he was very close to death as he was close to Shuran and Wrath’s ability damaged him more.
Blood dripped from the corner of Shuran’s mouth. He contemplated what had happened while feeling confused. Within God's Cathedral, he clearly noticed that Sila’s defense fell to bottom so he decided to fire poison-dipped arrows, targeting Sila’s vital points. He didn’t understand why Sila was still alive.
Shuran looked at the Sun-Extinguishing Bow, the A-grade weapon made by Zeref that shared many experiences with him, which was now snapped into two. To think that Sila’s attack could break the bow made from a high-grade mineral in one move. If he had refused to abandon it just now, he would have died.
‘His ability is too shocking... I can’t leave him alone. For Montra, I have to end his life now before he becomes even stronger.’
Having decided what he would do, Shuran took a spare bow out from his system window. Although it wasn’t his favorite, the Grievance Bow was also an A-grade weapon.
He didn’t have to take risks anymore. Just keeping his distance like usual would win this battle.
Sila realized he had made a grave mistake. Looking at Shuran, he knew Shuran was the same as him, the type who studied their opponent as they fought; the more intense the battle was, the calmer he became. From now on, Shuran wouldn’t let him approach anymore. Even worse, his top speed and the weakness of One Above All had already been exposed.
Sila was in awe as he witnessed how skilled Shuran was at utilizing God's Cathedral. Not only could Shuran read the opponent’s movements, but he was also able to notice the subtle changes in their flow of power, enabling him to aim at their most vulnerable spot.
Thinking about it, the Wrath Card really worked well with God's Cathedral. Many were aware that the downside of God's Cathedral was that it spread out the user’s qi, lowering the user’s defense. Anyone would want to close the distance and attack the user at melee range. However, Wrath’s ability directly countered that thinking by dealing more damage the closer you were to the source.
It was wrong to stay at a distance, but it was risky to approach. That was Wrath’s ability.
Fortunately, Shuran also had a hard time prolonging the fight. He only possessed Qi of Little Tiger so his ability regarding recovery was lacking. He reserved his energy consumption by using the Sky Connector Pin to teleport away, fleeing from Franz and Asura who were approaching Sila.
“Kid, how are you?” Asura in his red skeleton knight form came to talk to Sila.
“I’m fine. I’m thinking of a way to defeat Shuran.”
“I’m so annoyed. That brat refuses to confront us and has been moving around non-stop. I’ve already lost a quarter of my health points thanks to his cowardly actions,” said Franz. Similar to Asura, she was back in her monster form.
“Oi? Why have you only lost a quarter? I’ve already fallen to half even though I have more health than you,” asked Asura.
“Fool. I simply took a pellet. This one,” Franz said while showing a red pellet in her hand.
Sila was a little surprised to know that even monsters could carry and use pellets.
Although Franz was qi-type, she was a poison user, so her stats weren’t high. It wouldn’t be strange if she had a skill that allowed her to utilize items to compensate for her inferior stats.
“Share some with me,” Asura said. He extended his hand, planning to snatch the pellet from Franz’s hand, though all he could grab was empty air.
“Royal Blood is expensive. Find one yourself if you want it.”
“Oi! My bones were used for making that pellet too. Can’t you share just one pellet with me?”
“No way!! I only have a few of them. I’m smarter than you so I stole one or two of each pellet with me. Sebastian’s knowledge about refining is poor so he didn’t know the actual number of pellets that could be produced. That’s why they are all mine!”
Listening to Franz, Asura’s skull face showed a grin. “How smart of you to confess your sins. What if I relay what I just heard to Sebastian? Mn. Maybe he will force you to work alone while I get a break.”
Franz’s face went pale, realizing that she had just dug her own grave.
“Asura, are you planning to sell your friend out?”
“Sure, if that is required for me to stay alive. Choose. A pellet, or a sweatshop?”
Franz gnashed her teeth and tossed a pellet of Royal Blood into Asura’s mouth. Asura swallowed it and his health points greatly increased. His skeleton body turned redder and brighter with liveliness.
Sila snapped his fingers as he came up with an idea. He was in a game, so he could just depend on in-game materials to give himself an advantage, just like how Shuran used that item to teleport.
He needed to win, and no one had ever forbidden him from using in-game materials.
Sila opened his palm, showing six pellets of Royal Blood and six pellets of Queen’s Tear, which was the total number Sebastian had given him.
“Miss Franz. Can you please teach me how to use these pellets? If I use them, what will happen to me?”
Franz stared wide-eyed at the pellets on his palm, feeling surprised that Sebastian had given all the pellets they refined to Sila.
She grinned. “For humans like you, it will mostly depend on your power consumption. You will have to keep spending your energy until its effect wears off. Otherwise, your body will explode from within as it can’t endure the power of the pellet, dying a pitiful death.”
“In that case, I will handle Shuran myself. Miss Franz and Mister Asura, can you please help me block his escape routes?”
Franz smirked. “Fine. But I don’t have any pellets with me anymore. If the battle goes on, we might die.”
Sila nodded. He was receiving help from them, so he should be the one who pays for the cost of the operation.
“Let’s share the pellets. Each of us will have two of each type. Is that okay?”
“Deal / Deal!!”
Franz and Asura hurriedly snatched their shares of pellets before immediately leaving the scene to do their jobs, preventing Sila from changing his mind.
Sila waited until both of them finished arriving at the designated locations.
He sighed. “Those two seem pitiful. They even had to steal a few mere pellets. I should report this to Sebastian for him so he takes better care of his friends. It’s just one or two pellets. He shouldn’t be so stinky that he doesn’t share them with his comrades.”
Sila had good intentions, though he greatly missed something important. The main problem wasn’t Franz and Asura’s actions, but Sebastian’s personality.
Sila stood calmly and swallowed a pellet of each type. Then, he exerted the power of the seventh style of Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art, Lone Soul, which required a tremendous amount of energy to use.
White aura enveloped Sila and the world seemed to slow down in his cognition. His body shot toward Shuran as if he was a phantom. Power was gradually surging within his body, indicating that Lone Soul’s power consumption and the damage the Wrath Card dealt to him were lower than the two pellets’ recovering abilities. If he swallowed them under normal conditions, he would have died. These pellets were truly terrifying.
Sila kept dashing toward Shuran, who was once again alarmed by Sila’s frightening speed. Shuran kept teleporting from one place to another, spending most of his power. He had to swallow some recovering pellets to replenish his resources.
‘It will be better if I have a way to prevent Shuran from moving. It’s troublesome that he can teleport non-stop... Oh? What if I do this?’
If the battle went on like this, the excess power would erupt from within, leading to death. Slowly, Sila threw a certain rock at Shuran, who snorted at such a sight.
The rock Sila threw at him seemed ordinary and slow. For this kind of exposed weapon, Shuran could snipe it even with his eyes closed.
The arrow made of qi flew from the bowstring and precisely hit the stone, breaking it into pieces. Shuran expected the rock to explode or show some might, though that didn’t seem to be the case. All he noticed was Sila’s mysterious smirk.
Soon, the flash of light radiated from the remains of the broken stone. The ray of light shot up into the sky and remained there.
You have coincidentally come across Raidola, the Thunderbolt Dragon, Level 450 Marquis Rank. Due to the hidden quest Decolonizing the Slime Kingdom, if a slime race creature is killed by the Thunderbolt Dragon, that slime’s rank will be demoted by 1.
At the end of the system notification, the yellow Chinese dragon made its appearance. A black cumulonimbus covered the entire vast sky. Its Dragon Domain, Lightning Castle, activated, and hundreds of lightning bolts rained down from the sky.
The damage it did wasn’t that high, but Shuran who got struck by lightning went into a stiffened state and all of his skills were canceled.
Compared to Shuran, Sila was more used at fighting in disadvantageous terrains. Exhibiting the power of Lone Soul, the world seemed to slow down, waiting for him to make his move. The lightning bolts seemed slow and his body was weightless. He could avoid the rain of lightning easily.
Nevertheless, Sila was aware that his advantage was temporary. In his present state, he was unable to use skills or the other styles of Weapon Subduing Art. He had to maintain his current speed to be able to dodge the bolts of lightning. Whenever he deactivated Lone Soul, either he would be struck by lightning to death, or the power inside him would explode, sending him to death.
Though it might sound bizarre, fighting against both Shuran and the dragon simultaneously was easier than fighting Shuran alone.
Chapter 184: The Invitation Card from the Enemies
Anyone would think that fighting two opponents simultaneously was harder than one. However, in Sila’s situation, that wasn’t the case.
Shuran and Raidola weren’t comrades. In addition, their area-of-effect abilities overlapped, so they were damaging each other.
Wrath’s ability reduced the health points of every being within its range. The bigger the target, the closer the target was to the user, and the longer the target was inside its ability; these three factors determined the amount of damage that Wrath’s ability dealt.
With its massive size, the Thunderbolt Dragon was taking no small amount of damage due to the size factor.
Meanwhile, Raidola’s Lightning Castle caused a constant bombardment of thunderbolts.
Qi-types were naturally weak to magic. In order to cope with the magic element of the highest speed, the lightning element, one needed to possess even higher speed like Sila, or possess special qi that enabled the user to dodge magic attacks like Zero. Otherwise, qi-type players would end up like Shuran; being electrocuted constantly and constantly stunned as a result.
There was also another factor that no one had noticed yet. However, this very factor was what decided Shuran’s fate.
No one had noticed that the ability of each of the Seven Deadly Sins cards couldn’t be undone, unlike most other skills. Sure, the advantage was that the user didn’t have to worry about being disturbed and having the spell canceled. However, the drawback was that even the card owner couldn’t cancel the skill once they had activated the skill.
Shuran wished for him to be able to cancel the Wrath’s ability. Without Wrath, Raidola would undoubtedly target its nemesis, Sila, first. However, Wrath’s ability had an unknown duration. Even he didn’t know how long the ability would last.
Even in the berserk state, Raidola was contemplating which opponent it should prioritize. One was its nemesis who was just dodging its bolts of lightning with no sign of hostility while the other was a puny human who was constantly attacking it all the time with no sign of stopping.
Soon, Raidola decided to eliminate its most annoying opponent first. With its gigantic size, some parts of its body were revealed while some were hiding inside the black clouds. Its eyes glowed yellow and two of its deer-like horns radiated with gold particles.
Golden pillars appeared on the ground around Shuran. He was shocked and tried to use the pin to teleport away. However, in that instant, a new wave of lightning strikes rained down and stiffened him. His muscles were numb and the pin dropped from his fingers without his consent.
The golden pillars acted as lightning rods, pulling most of the bolts of lightning toward Shuran. Even though each bolt didn’t deal too much damage, they put a complete stop to his movement.
Even though Shuran was a qi-type player who had a large pool of health points, there was still a limit to how much damage he could take. It was only a matter of time before he died.
A dragon wasn’t the kind of enemy one could handle alone, especially Raidola who specialized in stopping the enemy’s movements. Normally, in order to hunt Raidola, a group of more than five hundred experts was required.
Even though he was put into a hopeless situation, Shuran was delighted to know that Sila would die with him. At the very least, the mission he was assigned by Montra would end in success.
However, when he took a side glance at Sila, Shuran found the shocking truth. Not only was Raidola’s Dragon Domain not affecting Sila, but he could approach the dragon by stepping on the air.
Looking at Raidola’s condition, Sila didn’t think it was taking too much damage from Wrath’s ability. He figured it must be due to its Dragon Scales, granting it a high tolerance toward any kind of energy.
Thus, Sila did something that Shuran, his unwilling audience, would describe later as ‘scraping off dragon scales.’
Sila was worried about whether Lone Soul alone would work against the massive Raidola. However, thanks to Shuran’s help(?), all he needed to do was weaken the dragon’s defense.
Sila’s Lone Soul enveloped his body with a pale white aura. As he ran along the dragon’s body, he scraped off scales with every step and turned them into dust. The dragon’s red blood flowed from where the scales were just moments ago.
“Gahh!!” The Thunderbolt Dragon cried out in pain.
Generally, it was a gigantic dragon that lived in the sky and had sturdy Dragon Scales protecting its body. As such, it wasn’t skilled at defending against a melee attack.
Every step Sila took, the scales underneath his feet would be removed. As time went on, Sila would constantly get faster as he got used to one level of speed before amping it up. He tried his best to spend his energy before he died from the power contained within the pellets. His power still continued to surge though. He had recovered about three quarters of his maximum health and two thirds of his special points.
The Thunderbolt Dragon was put into a disadvantageous position. It was a dragon who was skilled at fighting against armies. Most of its skills affected wide areas, so they weren’t suitable for fighting a single opponent.
Regardless, it still believed that it should prioritize killing Shuran who continued to harm it first. Since all the tiny slime did was remove its scales.
Its eyes glowed for a second time and electronic current surged throughout its body, flashing an intense light. Sila reflectively took his feet off its body.
Raidola activated two skills at the same time; one for defending and one for attacking.
The skill Golden Counter reflected at least 1% of all damage done to Raidola back on the attacker. The percentage went up as it received more attacks. It was one of the most dangerous counterattack skills.
As for the skill Thunderbolts Summoning, it was a wide area-of-effect skill that called down ten bolts of lightning that dealt more damage than usual around Raidola. However, Shuran was currently surrounded by Lightning Pillars, so most of the lightning bolts fell on him as if it was a single-target skill.
Shuran’s skin was burnt and the brown wuxia clothing on him was charred. The lightning bolts falling this time were more life-threatening than the usual ones that stiffened him. Half of his total health points declined in one move and his vision was flashing red, indicating he was very close to dying.
Meanwhile, Sila stomped his feet on Raidola’s body and started moving again. The damage reflected at him slowed down the recovery rate of his health points. Feeling thankful, Sila started to accelerate even more, unlike what Raidola had hoped for.
Sila took a glance at Shuran who was on the verge of dying. He frowned as he was worried. If Shuran died now, Sila would lose his “valuable helper” in this raid. Moreover, he was unsure of what other skills Raidola possessed. If he was its sole target, the situation might take a turn for the worse.
Nevertheless, the distance between him and Shuran was too great. Sila couldn’t do anything to help him in time.
‘Hey, wait. I have that skill. Maybe it can even help me lose some special points.’
Sila waved his hand, activating the combined qi technique that Rex taught him, the fusion of Unblemished Aqua and Cruise Breeze. It was a qi technique with a long-distance healing ability.
Unblemished Cool Breeze.
Even though the skill was removed from his skill list, it still resided in his body. An invisible healing power was transmitted to Shuran. Sila had never used this skill before, so his control was poor. Half of the power lost in the process as it traveled to the target.
The level of Qi Transmission skill has risen to level 2 … 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ...
The skill level of Qi Transmission had always stayed at the bottom since he had only used it once when he detoxified the poison in Jundtrathep’s body. Its skill level continued to rise at a quick rate until it reached level 30 before slowing down.
Sila’s health points and special points began to stabilise, not recovering nor decreasing. Raidola’s body was covered in small injuries. Blood was flowing all over.
“Gahhhh!!” Raidola gave off a deafening roar of anger. Its health points had dropped below 20%, allowing it to activate one of its most powerful skills.
Pearl of Thunderbolts.
Raidola spat out nine pearls enveloped by electric currents. The pearls flew at high speed, approaching Sila.
The speed of the Pearls of Thunderbolts far surpassed the rain of lightning bolts from Lightning Castle. As soon as one of the tennis ball-sized pearls reached Sila, it exploded into a 150 meter radius energy field, transfixing Sila in the sky. His health points finally started to decrease.
‘This pearl is similar to the skill Electromagnetic Field that I got from the Right Arm of the Sealed One.’
The remaining eight pearls also exploded near Sila. The energy fields overlapped each other and completely kept him in place.
Sila decided to cancel both Lone Soul and Unblemished Cool Breeze in order to ready himself for coping with Raidola’s next attack and prepare his ultimate move.
The ultimate move that Sila hoped could reverse the situation in one move, changing a losing moment into a complete victory.
As Sila canceled the power he sent to support Shuran, Shuran immediately turned into light and disappeared. He was glad to be released from suffering. The last scene unfolded in front of him was Sila being transfixed by nine energy fields, helping him accept death as he believed Sila would die shortly afterward.
Once one of its opponents finally died and the other was captured, Raidola was relieved. It continued to activate Thunderbolts Summoning non-stop. All the lightning bolts were pulled into the center of the energy fields, greatly damaging Sila at lightning speed.
Sila circulated qi within his body. He calmly and slowly exhaled while tightly clenching his fist. His eyes shone with black light while pouring all of his remaining energy into the next attack.
Fist of Reversal.
Sila’s special points fell to the very bottom and refused to regenerate, indicating that he had spent an enormous amount of power to activate the move that even the supreme regeneration rate of Queen’s Tear couldn’t keep up with it.
Raidola’s body was pressed by an unseen, almighty force. At the same time, the ground violently shook and floated upward. The great pulling power erupted and formed a black hole in the middle of the wasteland, hanging in the sky. Both the earth and the Thunderbolt Dragon were dragged into it. All of Raidola’s skills were forcefully canceled.
Everything except Sila was pulled together and formed into a giant circular lump of soil. Sila clenched his fist and the giant lump was compressed into a smaller one even though Raidola was still in the middle of it. The Thunderbolt Dragon screamed and struggled in great pain before its voice finally went silent.
The giant lump of soil finally ended up as a black ball with a radius of only one meter.
Both the compressed ball and Sila collapsed and fell from the sky. Sila used the last ounce of energy to gently land himself on the ground. It seemed the effects of Royal Blood and Queen’s Tear finally wore off. Sila didn’t dare risk consuming them again so he stood calmly and started circulating qi.
You have defeated Raidola, the Thunderbolt Dragon, Level 450 Marquis Rank. You have received 280,000,000 experience points, 25,000 gold, and (A) Thunderbolt Dragon Card.
Your Level has risen to 440.
You have achieved a special condition of the quest: Decolonize the Slime Kingdom. The Seal of Lightning has been destroyed. There are two Seals remaining.
You have achieved a special condition and unlocked a part of an ability of the slime race. From now on, when a member of the dragon race is killed by a member of the slime race, their level will be decreased by 500.
The quest Decolonize the Slime Kingdom has reached its final stage. You have the right to invite slimes out of the Slime Kingdom, though their ranks can’t be Lord Rank or higher.
Sila was relieved to hear the system sound announcing the death of Raidola.
Not long after, Asura and Franz came back and approached him. Since Sila only entrusted them with the task of blocking Shuran’s escape routes, they didn’t help Sila in the battle at all. Once they saw Raidola, they simply fled. As Sila was Sebastian’s master, they didn’t want to give him a hand, though it didn’t mean they wanted to kill him personally.
In the end, they only snatched the pellets and planned to let Sila die under Raidola’s hand. Contrary to their expectations, Sila didn’t die. More importantly, witnessing Sila’s last move, they weren’t sure whether they could survive that.
Instantly, the sky dimmed and a rainbow suddenly appeared. The air before them cracked, and that crack only grew larger before it opened up and revealed two figures.
One of them was a tall black-haired man with black eyes, wearing armor made of dragon bones, with a weapon that Sila classified as a club strapped to his back, though it wasn’t obvious as it seemed to be several bones connected to each other.
Next to him was a refined-looking lady with long, silver hair that sparkled as it reflected light. She was in a pure white dress with frills, with a semi-transparent coat over it that shimmered, giving off the different colours of the rainbow. In her hand was a wand made of ancient wood. The wand was surrounded by seven differently colored orbs that hovered around it.
Actually, Sila was more interested in the background scenery behind the two. It was an ancient kingdom with a great canyon in the background and surrounded by an ancient forest with giant trees. There were hundreds of dragons flying around.
The pair opened their palms and pushed something toward Sila. The object passed through the dimension crack and stopped in front of him. Sila took it while confusion was still written all over his face.
The quest Decolonize the Slime Kingdom has reached its final stage. You have obtained the Invitation Card to the Dragon Kingdom from Tiamat, the Chaos-Creating Dragon, and Aurora, the Light-Bending Dragon. Both of them are the dragons of light and darkness who together guard the last two Slime Seals.
The system sound faded and the dimension crack disappeared.
Sila looked at the invitation card with mixed feelings. Although he couldn’t sense their powers, he could tell that the last two dragons were insanely strong. Moreover, it seemed he had to challenge them in the Dragon Kingdom filled with hundreds or even thousands of dragons.
Sila released a heavy sigh. “Ah, whatever. Let’s take one step at a time.”
While Sila was about to start talking to Asura and Franz regarding what action they should have taken next, a familiar black portal appeared next to his feet, and a bloody Sebastian soon emerged. Both the butler’s arms were broken and his face showed a panicked expression.
“Oi! Sebastian, we didn’t slack off...” Asura hurriedly made an excuse.
Sila also asked at almost the same time, “What happened at the party?”
Sebastian mustered his remaining strength and said with a hoarse voice as quiet as a mosquito.
“Escape? / Escape to where? / Escape from what?”
The three of them had listened carefully but were still confused. Sila transmitted recovering qi to heal Sebastian.
Before their questions were answered, the three of them sensed an almighty source of power. However, with the transcendent speed of the owner of the power, as soon as they sensed him, he had already appeared in front of them before they could notice.
The majestic evil god emitted the golden aura of qi from his body. His black wings spread out and his domineering golden eyes observed Sila from his head to his toes. Then, he spoke with a prideful, overbearing voice.
“I only have business with you and you alone, Sebastian’s current master.”
Chapter 185: Omniscient Evil God Qi
The newcomer’s golden eyes swept through his surroundings and found two familiar sources of power in a strange world. Moreover, one of the two was directly involved in the event where he was sealed within the card.
“Everyone, don’t act hastily, that’s an Emperor Rank monster.”
Lone Wolf kept his voice down. Nevertheless, as everything was in complete silence, his voice was as clear as a roar. Many almost let out exclamations, though they shut their mouths in time, fearing they would offend the transcendent being and become his victims.
Even though Lucifer had yet to emit any qi, all of the players were already stiffened and trembled in fear. They had a feeling that they could die at any second. Since there was nothing they could do, all they did was curse the game creator who designed this kind of abomination.
Most of them couldn’t tell whether they were lucky or unfortunate. Playing this game for almost two years, they had never encountered a single Lord Rank monster. But once they did face one in uncharted territory, it turned out to be a step above Lord Rank—an Emperor Rank monster.
All of the fighting had completely stopped. No one even dared to exhale too loudly. They tightened the weapons in their hands, hoping that they could help them block the monster’s attack even once.
“This place is not the Monster Realm... There are a lot of humans. The New World, then?”
Lucifer spoke with cynicism in his voice, implying that this world wasn’t a place where a god of his caliber should have to degrade himself enough to visit.
Sebastian noticed that there was room for negotiation. Lucifer looked down on everyone present. For the Evil God, all humans were not worthy of being attacked by him.
“You are correct, my lord.”
“Open the gate to the Monster Realm. I know you can do it,” ordered Lucifer.
Sebastian replied distressingly, “I could, my lord... I could do that, but not anymore. As the great you can see, I’m without my signature Demonic Armament, which was required for me to open the gate... I’m terribly sorry, my lord.”
“Speak. How can I go back there?” asked Lucifer.
“The nearest junction is in the west, the location called the Desert of Death, my lord. It’s worth going there and giving it a try...”
“I don’t want to waste my time. I heard that you will temporarily return to your genuine form when you die, right? In that case, die.”
As he finished speaking, Lucifer quickly shot golden qi at Sebastian. He was an evil god who was extremely self-centered. If he wanted to talk, he would talk. If he wanted to kill, he would immediately take action.
Sebastian gritted his teeth and drew a curve line using his scythe. Hitting the end of the scythe against the ground, he completed the prerequisite motion of summoning a wall made of corpses.
“Bewailing Wall of Corpses.”
The wall made of corpses blocked the attack and gave out a mournful cry, causing many players nearby to fall to their knees. However, the cry didn’t affect Lucifer at all. As he saw the wall, Lucifer only flicked his fingers and shot a small golden orb to smash into it.
Once the orb hit the wall, the wall soon vaporized and Sebastian coughed out another pool of blood.
Though Sebastian liked to feel pain, the pain Lucifer inflicted was far too great for him to endure.
“Hmph. Using a delayed spell against me, how pointless. Let me see what can you do next time.”
Lomyok flew forward and stood between Lucifer and Sebastian, readying the Chinese sword in his hand, showing a stiffened expression.
“Stop, Lucifer. Sebastian summoned me, so until the duration of the spell runs out, if you are hostile to him, I’m obliged to fight you,” Thanatos said. The Chinese sword in his hand pointed at Lucifer.
“Even though you are certain to lose? Even the real you is no match for me, let alone your current self. Don’t think that using a medium is safe against me. No one can oppose my qi.”
Sebastian and Thanatos were distressed. Lucifer’s signature qi wasn’t a secret. Honestly speaking, no matter how much one knew about his qi, Lucifer wouldn’t mind and wouldn’t be put into a disadvantageous position. The very reason that he was hailed as the peerless qi-type being was because of his heaven-defying qi that broke all the rules.
Omniscient Evil God Qi.
If players were asked what the ultimate qi in Monster Soul was, the answers would vary. Some might say any of the Ten Supreme Qi and some might say a qi possessed by a certain monster they had encountered. However, if the same question was asked in the Monster Realm, every being would give the exact same answer: Lucifer’s Omniscient Evil God Qi.
Regarding the competitive nature of the energy types, it generally boils down to this: qi beats psychic power, psychic power beats magic, and magic beats qi.
However, Omniscient Evil God Qi was the ultimate, most powerful, and most frightening qi that transcended such a law of nature. Its ability was versatile and universal; it could be used to enhance stats, strengthen, weaken, perform a long-range attack, detect, conceal, destroy, heal, detoxify, control, become hot or cold, become heavy or light, become fast or slow, and many more numerous traits. Nevertheless, compared to its extremely special and exclusive ability, all those features mentioned above were only trivial.
That ability was “Backtrack.” The ability that even the supreme magic-type beings like God and the Demon Lord were afraid of.
Not only could Omniscient Evil God Qi destroy magic spells, but it could backtrack to the origin of the power and harm the owner of the spell, no matter how far away they were. The example was Lucifer destroying Sebastian’s dimension, causing the butler to suffer even though he wasn’t anywhere near Lucifer.
Furthermore, if Lucifer felt like it or his enemy was far weaker than him, the attack he dealt could even backtrack to the very core and permanently destroy his opponent’s skills, just like how the current Sebastian had already lost two of his magic spells forever.
Even if Thanatos’ real self was in the Monster Realm, if Lucifer felt like it, he could send his attack power through Lomyok, and the real Thanatos would die.
By using Lomyok as a medium, Thanatos was put into a very disadvantageous position. He wielded only a wisp of his true power while Lucifer had an easy time killing him via defeating Lomyok.
With Omniscient Evil God Qi, Lucifer wasn’t afraid of anything, including sealing spells. The only exception was Ramiel’s Power of Rebirth, which could force him into his card state.
In any case, Lucifer wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. If he were to encounter Ramiel again, he would immediately take action to destroy his Power of Rebirth before Ramiel had any chance to use it.
In fact, Lucifer had never been afraid of anyone.
In the entire universe, there was only a single entity who he deemed worthy of being his opponent. That person was Sebastian’s original master, who had won against him fair and square but fell to God and the Demon Lord’s cheap trick.
The strong must stay isolated. Giving yourself weaknesses was a ridiculous idea.
Even though he had always been in a card state, Lucifer knew all about what happened in the past. He just didn't understand why.
Lucifer’s eyes looked at the west. Realizing something, Sebastian panicked and hurriedly touched the butler brooch, severing his relationship with Sila. It was one of the rights possessed by the holder of the brooch.
“That kid who is fighting against a dragon that way is your current master, is he not?”
Lucifer’s statement brought panic to everyone. Sebastian blamed himself for being too careless. Actually, he should have cut his pet relationship with Sila the moment he saw Lucifer.
Although Lucifer was prideful, he wasn’t foolish, especially after he had been defeated by Sebastian’s original master. Rather, he was quite a prudent being.
At that time when he attacked Sebastian with the orb, he had sent a very small part of his power that Sebastian couldn’t detect into the butler’s body. That power retraced Sebastian’s power to the Black Grim Reaper Card that he had given to Sila.
Lucifer was surprised to know that Sebastian’s master was only a young man, not the person he wanted to meet. In any case, he simply observed the battle that occurred fifty kilometers away with his qi-strengthened eyes as if he was sitting next to Sila.
“Not bad. A qi-type human. A raw, unpolished gem in the rough. It is remarkable that, at his level, he can fight Raidola who is a higher level than him. It’s only a matter of time before he wins.”
Lucifer’s statement revealed a shocking truth to the players present. If what the evil god said was true, it would mean Sila possessed the strength to kill a dragon. In that case, the rumors about him having killed many dragons before might not be just rumors.
The atmosphere became more tense. From the looks of it, Lucifer was hostile to Sebastian. Then, what would he do to Sila who was Sebastian’s master?
Both Sila’s friends and foes temporarily forgot how to breathe. They anxiously waited to see what situation would unfold next.
“Leave the kid alone, Lucifer. The great you surely won’t tarnish your name by bullying a mere human,” said Thanatos.
“The gate.” Lucifer clearly stated his objective. All he wanted was the gate to the Monster Realm.
“I really can’t... my lord. I can’t open the gate. I don’t have that ability anymore,” Sebastian said hopelessly.
“Then, you are no longer useful to me, Sebastian.”
As Lucifer finished his sentence, he summoned eight golden orbs and sent them to attack both Sebastian and Thanatos as if the orbs were living creatures.
Thanatos transformed the Chinese Sword back to the fan, which focused more on defense. Meanwhile, Sebastian exerted his full strength, cladding himself with magic power, to block the attacks.
Despite that, both of them failed to protect themselves and their bodies were sent flying several meters.
Blood was dripping from the corners of Lomyok’s mouth. He only had small injuries since Thanatos’ real self was Lucifer’s target. Still, unfortunately for Lomyok, four of his skills were already destroyed.
Sebastian had it worse. He suffered several fatal injuries and his scythe was shattered. Lucifer intended to kill Sebastian for real. As a result, even if he still clung to life, one hundred and twenty-five skills had already been destroyed, including his most important skill, Grand Magic of Death.
The combined forces didn’t dare to make any moves. On the other hand, the Five Dragons army was glad to see their enemy suffering without them having to do anything.
When Sebastian was still unable to stand properly, Lucifer’s body vanished and reappeared behind him. His palm, with skin as soft as a baby’s, tapped Sebastian’s back. Lucifer directly sent his qi to attack Sebastian.
Sebastian tried to weaken the attack by jumping forward, but it was useless. The most terrifying qi had already invaded his body.
Blood gushed out from Sebastian’s entire body. A flash of white light enveloped him once before dispersing.
A moment later, Sebastian stood there, looking at his weakened self. All of his skills were gone.
“You died, yet nothing happened. You didn’t use your Demonic Armament even when all of your skills were destroyed... It seems you were telling the truth.”
With his unique trait, Sebastian revived instantly at the place he died, though he didn’t transform back to his genuine form. The powerful Grim Reaper form that would appear once he died was only a lie he told his acquaintances. If Franz and Asura had discovered this, they would have killed him long ago.
Sebastian had been pretending that he could return to his genuine form whenever he died. However, the fact was, he could only do that when his real power had awakened.
Lucifer wasn’t interested in Sebastian’s pitiful state. He frowned slightly and looked to the west again.
“It seems he is about to end the battle... Hm? That arm is...?”
Suddenly, Lucifer burst into laughter.
“Hahaha. There is a way. Well, I will be needing this.”
His qi materialized in the shape of a golden needle. Lucifer fired it toward the west. Soon, a certain item appeared in Lucifer’s palm.
“Satan... You are imprisoned in the Wrath Card, it seems. Just die and become the gate for me. Hahaha.”
Apparently, Lucifer fired a hidden weapon from a distance of fifty kilometers. The weapon he fired was so fast and was untraceable. Even Sila, Raidola, and Shuran—the unlucky victim of the hidden weapon—were unaware that someone was killed by an outsider during their battle.
It was a given that all the beings in the Monster Realm would fear him. Lucifer was both powerful and clever, though he possessed a problematic personality that always brought trouble to everyone around him.
“I already have the materials to create a junction myself. All I need is something to pinpoint my destination. Your master has that man’s right arm. If I use my qi to trace its origin, it will surely guide me to the rightful owner of the right arm.”
“You can’t... If you do that, Mister Sila will die...” Sebastian begged. There would be no way Sila could resist Lucifer’s power.
“I won’t let him die so fast. He will have to stay alive until the gate is opened. Though I suspect all his skills will be destroyed in the process.”
Lucifer was saying all of this casually while watching Sila’s fight. He didn’t pay attention to the shocked faces around him, as if they didn’t even exist in his eyes.
“Not bad. It is unfortunate that I will have to destroy it. His last move was quite decent, being able to kill Raidola in one hit.”
Only two people had seen what was happening. One was obviously Lucifer while the other one was Nednapha who had been closing her eyes to witness Sila’s battle. Her mouth was wide open by witnessing the present situation. What Sila was doing was something beyond what any players could achieve.
“I will go now.” Lucifer turned his body to the west.
Sebastian quickly reconnected his relationship with Sila and activated the brooch ability to teleport himself to his master.
At the same time, two players took actions.
They were fully aware that they couldn’t possibly stand a chance against Lucifer, but Sangdao and Varee didn’t value their own lives. They unleashed their full powers in order to give Sebastian more time to warn Sila, even if they only bought him a millisecond.
Lucifer only sighed once, and both Varee and Sangdao were blown away, crashing into a table. Their visions continued flashing red, indicating they were about to die.
Sangdao’s Chinese sword broke into pieces while Varee’s Shadow Moon Sword was broken in half. Lucifer left without looking back.
Julia put the broom in her hands on the ground and quickly ran to the two, sharing her life force with them. However, her attempt was like blowing air into punctured balloons. No matter how much life force she injected, it simply flew out.
Thanatos in Lomyok’s body walked over to Varee and Sangdao. He actually wanted to go after Sebastian and help. However, Sebastian’s skills were destroyed. The spell that bound him to this world was about to lose its effect.
“Lucifer didn’t stay because he was confident that these two will undoubtedly die. Only by sacrificing a portion of a god’s life energy can you start to heal them. If left alone, all of their skills will be destroyed by Lucifer’s qi. Sadly, since I’m the only god here, I can only help one of them.”
Hearing what Thanatos said, Beluga pointed at the two Trick Masters who were healing each other.
“This guy can double himself by using the skill of some card. Do you think you could use that?”
Thanatos didn’t waste his time. Naturally, he knew the existence of the Seven Deadly Sins card series. The foldable fan in his hand transformed into the Chinese sword, pointing at Trick Master. Ten waves of sword energy flew toward Trick Master, killing him neatly. Even Zazae, who was closest to Trick Master, couldn’t react in time.
The semi-transparent card appeared on Thanatos’ palm. He muttered to himself.
“This kid is truly unfortunate. At this rate, he will have to suffer twice the aftereffects of the sacrifice.”
He activated Sloth’s ability and Lomyok’s body doubled before both bodies dispersed into two souls, hovering above both Sangdao and Varee. They scattered into particles, sinking into their bodies.
Sangdao and Varee’s bodies finally accepted Julia’s life force and their wounds began to heal.
Venom got out of Sebastian’s broken cage and approached Zazae.
“What should we do next, Sir Warlord?”
Zazae swept his eyes across what remained of the party, scanning both his allies and his enemies. If the battle resumed, he was confident that he could survive, though the same thing couldn’t be said for the rest of their members.
Moreover, the battle wasn’t important anymore.
“We got enough information on the opponent’s team. We will retreat.”
“What about Sila, sir? Sir Montra reiterated that he must die.”
“Didn’t you hear what Lucifer said? That guy is done for. He may even quit the game.”
Against a monster of that caliber, no one would be able to do anything. The Five Dragons army retreated, and Lone Wolf let them go. He was more worried about Sila.
Lone Wolf sketchily assigned duties to suitable people before assembling the rest of the capable people to march west.
However, once they arrived, the situation was already over.
Chapter 186: Evolve
The Evil God Lucifer was floating elegantly in front of Sila and his comrades. The distance of fifty kilometers was traversed in an instant. Lucifer followed Sebastian who teleported before him in just a second.
“Looking closely, it seems you are a mixed type. You have trained to the point where your qi has fused with your body. This will be regretful.”
Sila felt Lucifer’s power. Even though Lucifer’s qi wasn’t mixed with other energy types like his, Lucifer’s pure qi was already so strong. The feeling he got from sensing Lucifer’s qi alone was enough for Sila to tell that Lucifer was stronger than any of the Emperor Rank monsters he had met.
“Who are you?”
Franz and Asura gaped. Honestly speaking, they wanted to run away; the further, the better.
“You fool... how dare you use such an impolite tone when talking to Lord Lucifer. Are you courting death?” Franz warned Sila by sending a sound transmission into his ears.
Sebastian had regained some of his strength. “Mister Sila, the great one in front of you is Lord Lucifer, who stands at the very summit of all qi-type beings, sir. He got out from Mister Lone Wolf’s card.”
Sila was getting worried. Sebastian once told him that Lucifer was the strongest among the demons in the Seven Deadly Sins series and could easily annihilate an entire city with a single move. That time, Sila didn’t think it was realistic. However, after personally meeting Lucifer, he thought that what Sebastian had said to him was, in fact, an understatement.
“Lord Lucifer, may I know what this one can do for you?”
“Drop the unnecessary formality. I don’t care how you address me. You will die soon anyway.”
Since Lucifer personally told him not to mind his words, Sila reverted back to how he normally talked. Well, he wouldn’t stand a chance against Lucifer anyway.
The reason why Lucifer didn’t attack him even though the evil god said he would die was questionable. Maybe Lucifer wanted something from him.
“Can you tell me clearly what it is that you want from me, sir?”
“I want you to pinpoint a certain location for me.”
“Pinpoint a location? What do you mean?”
Sebastian didn’t want Lucifer to feel upset, so he hurriedly explained.
“The thing is, Lord Lucifer would like to return to the Monster Realm, sir. He has sufficient strength and materials for creating the gate. However, for the gate to lead to the Monster Realm, a powerful item from the Monster Realm is required to act as a bridge. In that regard, Mister Sila’s right arm is perfect, sir.”
Sila felt confused. “So, you just want a bridge?”
Lucifer replied, “Yes, that’s all I want.”
“Then... why do I have to die?”
Sebastian explained, “Because when the gate is opened, Lord Lucifer’s qi will be flowing through your body, sir. With Lord Lucifer’s Omniscient Evil God Qi running through your veins, you will die, one hundred percent, sir. No one has ever survived.”
Sebastian also briefly explained about the ability of Omniscient Evil God Qi to Sila.
Coming to know its overpowered ability, Sila was shocked. Dying turned out to be a trivial matter. The more important thing was him losing all the skills he had.
“Let me tell you. Your consent is insignificant. Regardless of whether you agree or not, you will provide a bridge,” Lucifer declared.
Sila thought for a while before nodding. Since there was no other choice, he had to do it. “Fine. But I would like to heal my wounds and regain my strength first.”
Golden qi flew from Lucifer to Sila. In the next instant, both Sila’s health and special points were fully restored and his body was completely healed. The feeling of Lucifer’s qi was warm and comfortable; nothing like what Sebastian had described.
“Done,” Lucifer said nonchalantly.
Sila inspected his body and found that his body wasn’t just fully recovered, but became slightly stronger. It was his first time witnessing such a quick session of qi transmission, and it was even done without directly touching his body.
“Please give me some time to prepare myself.”
“One minute,” curtly replied Lucifer.
Sila turned to everyone. “To prevent an accident, I think all of you should leave this place; Miss Franz, Mister Asura, and Mister Sebastian. It seems you can’t help me even if you are here anyway. Moreover, Mister Sebastian is seriously injured.”
Asura replied, “Of course. But... we can leave... really? Can we? Can you ask Lord Lucifer for his permission first? I don’t dare to speak directly to him like you are doing.”
Asura’s voice was extremely soft, though Lucifer could still hear him.
“The others can go anywhere, but this kid has to stay.”
Sila continued. “You heard him. Please take Sebastian back to the party. When I’m finished here, I will catch up to you.”
Franz couldn’t help but speak her mind, “I believe you will appear at the rebirth zone instead. Won’t it be faster if we wait for you there?”
Sila shook his head. “Anyway, let’s meet again at the party. Oh, but can you take Mister Sebastian to my mansion first? Ask Julia to bring you there. This way, Mister Sebastian will recover faster.”
Sebastian tried to oppose the decision, but Sila pressed his fingers on Sebastian’s acupuncture points first, rendering him unconscious. Under normal circumstances, Sebastian should have been able to resist Sila’s action, but not now. His body and mind were extremely weak.
“It’s easier this way. Go,” Sila said.
Lucifer had been silently observing all of Sila’s actions until the time ran out. He said, “It has already been one minute.”
“Quickly, go.” Sila hastened them.
Without waiting any longer, Franz and Asura transformed back to their human forms and ran at their top speed, holding Sebastian by his armpits.
Once their bodies vanished from his line of sight, Sila turned his head back to Lucifer.
“How do I start, sir?”
“Extend your right arm, and hold this thing in your hand.” Lucifer placed the Wrath Card on Sila’s right palm.
“Is this the Wrath Card? Why is it with you? Shuran was...”
“I killed the brat, so the card is mine. Stop asking pointless questions. Listen. I’m going to use my qi to destroy this card so that it will explode and generate sufficient energy to open the gate. The energy will flow through you, and you will have to endure the pain until the gate opens wide enough for me to pass through.”
“You seem to possess a tremendous amount of power. Why don’t you open the gate directly? Why do you have to destroy the card?”
Lucifer didn’t answer Sila’s question and instead suddenly changed the topic.
“In the Monster Realm, there was a kind of monster called Ouroboros. Do you know of it?”
Sila shook his head.
“Ouroboros was a giant serpent eating its own tail. It is a symbol of alchemy and immortality. The myth has it that Ouroboros will continue to devour itself and later bring itself to life. Do you think that is possible?”
Sila thought about it for a while. “I don’t think it’s possible, sir. Although it can devour itself, there should be an end to its eating process. There will be a point where it can’t eat itself anymore.”
“It was a foolish snake... Similarly, I have enough power to create a gate. But, to create it, I will have to become the gate myself. Since the gate and user are the same entity, how can the gate pass through itself? Even I can’t do everything by myself. We have to admit that there are limits to what we can do first in order to surpass our limits.”
Sila couldn’t tell if he was imagining things or not, but it seemed Lucifer was trying to teach him something important.
“Why did you choose qi type?” All of a sudden, Lucifer asked him a question.
“Come again, sir?” Sila was confused.
“Psychic type is more suitable for you. Why did you choose qi type?” Lucifer repeated the question.
Sila felt less tense in front of Lucifer. Sebastian had told him that Lucifer was an Evil God to be feared. However, for Sila, Lucifer was indeed formidable, though the Evil God didn’t seem fearsome like people had been saying he was. Still, it was true that he was self-centered.
“Someone else also told me my aptitude for psychic power is greater than qi. Well, I can’t explain it myself. If I really have to give you an answer, I will just be frank and say I simply like qi.”
“Prideful, arrogant, and self-centered. Good... Do you know that all the gods residing in Heaven are magic type? Only I prefer qi, and I have already shown them how strong I have become. There are noticeably less qi-type beings than other types. Some say that qi-type is weak. But who are they to judge us? Once I return, I shall teach them and remind them again who is the strongest.”
Sila listened silently. He agreed with Lucifer’s point of view that he wouldn’t like someone else to judge him or decide things for him. Some would say his feeling was pride, but some would say it was haughtiness.
Feeling prideful of oneself was right or wrong? Sila wasn’t sure. Without feeling proud of our individuality, what would we become? Sila really couldn’t tell whether the sin of pride was essential for humanity or not.
“I shall start,” said Lucifer.
Sila held the card tightly and gritted his teeth, preparing himself for the incoming pain. He quickly circulated Yin Yang Energy at full power.
The Wrath Card shone red as it came into contact with Omniscient Evil God Qi. It tried its best to resist Lucifer’s power which was about to destroy it.
“Satan, you don’t have a human to act as a medium. Being imprisoned like that, you can’t exert your power; even I can’t. Just admit your defeat and die to become the gate for me. You should at least be glad that your life will be useful to me, albeit as a small and pitiful gate which will only be open for a few seconds,” Lucifer said to the Wrath Card and injected more power into the card, completely crushing it.
Screams coming from the card echoed throughout the area, and Lucifer forcefully created the dimension crack, distorting the surrounding scenery. Lucifer unleashed more power, and the crack widened, showing a giant hole hanging in the sky. The gate was finally open, but the destination was unknown.
All that was left was for a bridge to guide the way.
“It’s your turn... What is your name?” Lucifer turned to Sila and asked.
“Sila, sir,” Sila replied as he blankly stared at the dimensional gate that Lucifer opened without breaking a sweat.
“Don’t be a fool like the snake... Sila.”
As he finished his sentence, Lucifer sent Omniscient Evil God Qi into Sila’s body, which flooded his body and spread everywhere. Sila felt like all of his muscles and organs were pieced by numerous tiny needles. The golden qi surged and magnified within his body.
The system sounds continuously went off, casually informing Sila each time he lost an equipped item or skill.
Couple’s Ring of Commitment, Dark Age Sealing Ring, Cloudy Tiger Card, Black Grim Reaper Card, Pink Slime Card, Seal skill, Unseal skill, Far Sight skill, Disguise skill, Weapon Crush skill, Strengthened Bones skill... all were destroyed.
Sila noticed that among the skills that were destroyed, neither qi-type skills nor slime-race skills were affected. As he was figuring out why that was the case, the pain intensified. Moreover, as the Dark Age Sealing Ring was destroyed, the egg with Lookhin inside was released from the ring.
‘This is bad. Lookhin can’t protect itself at the moment!’
The remaining two items on Sila that had yet to be destroyed were the Right Arm of the Sealed One and the Mechanical God’s Protection. Both were produced from Orichalcum so they were far sturdier than ordinary items. In addition, the former was a part of the Sealed One while the latter had a Gem of Catastrophe as a power generator.
‘Right... the Gem of Catastrophe!! The Eternal Onyx... Evolve! Do whatever you can for me and Lookhin to survive...! Montra could use the Cloudy Pearl to mass-produce those absurd rings. I should be able to do the same...!’
The Mechanical God’s Protection responded to his request. It brought out his Greed Card that was now covered in cracks. The armor unraveled into a black net made of silk, and wrapped threads around both the egg and the Greed Card. The rest of the threads all came together and wrapped around Sila, forming a cocoon. At the same time, his right arm shockingly started to crack.
“Brat! You are incompetent at utilizing items. At this rate, I will die like Satan. Release me now! I will help us survive. I refuse to die as a mere card!”
The voice of a young man rang inside Sila’s head. Sila didn’t know who the voice’s owner was, though he could sense a strange power.
“Release me!! Use the Greed skill before the qi destroys me...!!” The same voice urged repeatedly with a louder voice.
Sila was finally aware of the voice owner’s identity. He remembered Sebastian had once warned him not to converse with Mammon, the sliest and craftiest demon among the Seven Sins.
However, this wasn’t the time to worry about such a thing anymore. Sila called out the name of the skill with a muffled voice.
The card that was now held within the black silky net broke into particles. However, this wasn’t the glass card that usually broke when the abilities of the Sins cards were activated. This time, it was the real card that broke into pieces, meaning the demon inside would forever be unable to return to a card state.
A purple beam shot from the card through the cocoon to the Mechanical God’s Protection. The symbol of three gears flew out from the armor and floated, before spinning at an extremely high speed.
The amount of silk threads doubled and it absorbed the egg into the cocoon. Sila’s right arm finally broke into pieces, though the silk net covered it tightly and acted as a bandage. The silk gradually became thicker and the armor was finally able to oppose Lucifer’s destructive qi.
The notifications telling Sila about the loss of his items and skills had stopped, though it might be because nothing was left to be destroyed anymore.
Sila’s vision was fading, and the pain had started to subside. Instead, he was left feeling uncomfortable. Lucifer’s qi and Mammon’s psychic power were competing against each other. Lucifer’s Omniscient Evil God Qi was fierce and overwhelming, but Mammon, who was utilizing the full power of the Eternal Onyx, didn’t yield. As a result, Sila’s body took the heaviest burden as it was in the middle of the two clashing powers.
“Don’t be a fool like the snake... Sila.” Out of nowhere, Lucifer’s voice echoed in Sila’s head.
‘The snake... Ouroboros...? I see... I finally understand, Lucifer...’
Sila lessened Yin Yang Energy which he had been using to oppose Lucifer’s qi. Soon, Mammon’s objection rang in his head. “Stupid Brat! What do you think you are doing? You will die if you don’t put up a resistance!”
Sila didn’t mind Mammon. He cancelled his power completely and allowed Omniscient Evil God Qi to flow freely in his body and veins. The evil god’s qi was soft and warm; like when Lucifer used it to heal him.
“That’s the correct answer, Sila. Accept your limit and borrow other’s strength to take the next step. There is a limit to how much you can do alone. The secret of Omniscient Evil God Qi is the hostility. The more you resist it, the stronger it becomes. Though, who would choose to leave themselves defenseless when facing against Lucifer?” Lucifer’s voice entered Sila’s ears.
The silky cocoon released Sila. He opened his eyes, seeing the evil god passing through the gate. The other side of the gate was a beautiful, peaceful meadow. There stood a man and a woman, both showing gentle expressions. They were waiting to welcome the return of the Evil God.
The scenery was familiar. It was the same place Sila had seen during his dream in Colossia City.
The man standing was undoubtedly the Sealed One. The rightful owner of his right arm. In the dreamscape, the man’s appearance was blurry once Sila awoke, so he couldn’t remember what the Sealed One looked like.
However, seeing him again, Sila was surprised to realize the Sealed One’s real identity.
“I didn’t expect you to encounter me so soon, Sila.” Joshua’s voice came from the other side of the dimensional gate.
“Why are you the Sealed One...?” Sila asked, still feeling confused.
Meanwhile, Lucifer had reached Joshua’s side, and the gate was moments from collapsing.
“The strongest in the game is naturally the game creator, don’t you agree? Please pay me a visit later, Sila, and I will tell everything you want to know... Although, please come using your own power next time. See you again.”
Lucifer turned his head back to Sila, and the gate closed. Everything returned to normal and fell into silence as if nothing had ever happened. Sila collapsed on the ground, next to the pile of silk and debris. He had almost no health points left.
He inspected himself to check what was left. Apparently, aside from his right arm, which was gone, the rest of his body was intact. It was then that he noticed a golden orb, which flew into his mouth the moment he spotted it.
“Ouch! What is this?! Salty!”
Sila tried to puke. He attempted to insert his hand into his mouth, though he quickly stopped as he had to use his remaining left arm to support his body.
The system notification rang in his head.
The reward from the quest, Monster’s Soul, was destroyed. You have lost the ability to wield a secondary energy type.
You have achieved a certain condition. You have acquired the special skill: Evil God’s Essence.
You have achieved a certain condition. You have acquired the skill: Omniscient Evil God Qi - Level 0.
You have successfully inherited powers from more than one monster. You have acquired the special skill: Monster Heir.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed the quest: Search for the Sealed One. As a reward, you have now become the rightful owner of the Right Arm of the Sealed One. Since you have met the Sealed One directly, the Right Arm of the Sealed One has evolved to the final stage. Please refer to your system window for more information.
The Mechanical God’s Protection has evolved and become the Mechanical Evil God’s Protection, a cursed item with a possessed spirit.
Please submit the name of the spirit.
Sila wondered how his armor was possessed by a spirit. More importantly, who was this spirit? Was it Mammon?
There were many things that Sila didn't understand. The armor that the system mentioned was now a pile of silk and armor debris, and his ‘final-stage right arm’ was nowhere to be seen.
Sila tried to stand up even though his body was still weak. He was about to name the spirit as Mammon.
However, his legs gave out, causing him to crash against the ground. “Ma-Mamon.”
The system registered the mispronunciation name.
The name Mamon has been confirmed.
You have obtained a reward from Mamon. You have acquired the special skill: King’s Treasury.
Suddenly, the pile of silk and debris illuminated and returned to Sila, bumping heavily against him. Normally, the resulting injury would be inconsequential. However, the current Sila was extremely weak and his health points were low. As a result, the crash silently led him to death.
You have died. Your level has decreased by 10. No items or money were lost. You will be revived in Zhongsuyuan City after two hours.
That was the last system notification Sila heard before his body dispersed as light, disappearing from the wasteland that changed his life forever.
Thanks for the chapter!I really love this WN/LN since each time, Sila gets an upgrade in terms of power in the game, he is reset to zero.He has the most powerful Qi in the game now as well as the right arm of the sealed one and Mechanical Evil God's Protection. This should be interesting. And Joshua is the game creator, the sealed one and his uncle? this is huge in terms of plot.
Chapter 187: Hidden Gifts
Two hours later, Sila revived for the first time in Zhongsuyuan City’s rebirth zone. Next to him stood another person who had just revived before him. That person seemed to be checking his own system window at the moment.
“Hello, Mister Lomyok. Did you die too? I never thought that dying was that annoying; I had to stay in an empty room for two whole hours. It’s good that it didn’t take longer.”
Lomyok gave Sila none of his attention. He blankly stared at his system window. His handsome face was pale.
“W-What happened? Eight of my skills are gone. All of my money is gone. Even my White Wyvern Clothing is nowhere to be seen. Eh? My level fell to Level 1 Squire Rank?! Oh! Is God this jealous of my beauty? Hmm... what is this? Sloth skill? How did I get it? More importantly, why don’t I remember anything? How did I die?”
Sila just noticed that Lomyok was almost naked. All he had on his body were white underpants with a foldable fan hanging from them. Lomyok didn’t seem to mind that though. Instead Sila was the one who panicked and immediately checked his body, fearing that he might be half-naked too.
Once he realised that he wasn’t, he let out a sigh of relief. He then took a moment to inspect what he was wearing; dark grey wuxia clothing with bell sleeves going all the way down his arms. The outfit as a whole had gold lines embroidered all around. If he could see his back, he would see a large circle with four smaller circles within.
Regarding the four inner circles, the one in the middle was surrounded by three others in an upside-down triangular manner. The middle circle showed an illustration of a red and gold crown with a grin below it. The left circle showed a black egg that glowed green. The right showed a metal fist with electric circuits behind it. As for the last circle on the bottom, it was empty.
“That’s a relief. I thought I would be half-naked. Oh? My right arm is back.”
Sila looked at his original human right arm. Thanks to the revival system, the missing arm had regenerated.
While Sila was doing all of this, Lomyok was still causing a fuss and only got louder. “AH! My most important skill is gone! NOOO! What should I do now?”
Sila asked, “What skill is gone, Mister Lomyok? Do you mean one of the Qi of Little Divine Beings?”
Lomyok frowned and replied, “Qi of Little Fish is gone too, but that isn’t as important as this skill.”
Sila was interested. “Even more important than Qi of Little Fish? May I ask what skill it is?”
“It’s a special skill, Scar Remover. Do you know how many hundreds or thousands of Cosmetic Random Boxes I had to purchase in order to acquire that?” Lomyok asked while gritting his teeth. His eyes became watery. It seemed he was really sad about losing the skill.
For the record, a Cosmetic Random Box was an item popular among female players. The price was cheap at just 1,000 silver. Once opened, it would randomly give the player one piece of cosmetic product ranging from the very cheap ones to expensive ones, or a scroll for learning a non-combat skill. Female players tend to purchase it in bulk to test their luck, aiming for a valuable, top-brand cosmetic set. Meanwhile, since they didn’t want to spend their money on buying expensive make-up, male players tend to purchase and give it to their girlfriends as a gift to let them enjoy opening it themselves.
Scar Remover was a skill that most female players sought, even though it wasn’t useful in fights at all. In Monster Soul, if players superficially healed their wounds (through methods like drinking potions), the wound would leave a scar behind. If the wound was fatal and lead to death, there would be no mark left behind after the player has revived though. Some male players might want to have a cool scar on their bodies. However, for female players, a scar was their unforgivable nemesis. By possessing this passive skill, no matter how careless and superficial they were at healing their wounds, a scar wouldn’t ever appear on their skin.
Sila didn’t know how to help, though he tried his best to suggest a solution. “Um... the Victorious Wolves Sect has a lot of kind members. Maybe they can help you.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right, I need to ask them what happened anyway. Maybe they can tell me why I have no recollection of what happened before I died.”
As he finished speaking, Lomyok advanced to where the gathering party was held with only his underpants and the foldable fan. Many players along the way kept pointing at him.
Sila couldn’t help but admire Lomyok’s courage that transcended ordinary people.
“I suppose I should visit the mansion first before going to the party.”
Sila activated the invitation card and teleported himself to the beautiful mansion. No one was there. It seemed they had all returned to the party, seeing as how two hours had passed.
“Well, I better study my new skills. Let’s see...”
Sila opened his system window and checked his newly acquired skills.
(S) Omniscient Evil God Qi - Level 0
Lucifer’s special qi. Its true might largely depends on the target’s hostility toward the user. The more the target puts up a resistance, the more powerful it will become. On the other hand, if the target lets the qi roam free, it will be comfortable and harmless.
+ Possesses the ability to trace the origins of any kind of power.
[Not available until its skill level reaches 1.]
Special Skill: Evil God’s Essence
Unleash the Evil God Lucifer’s essence to elevate a skill’s level.
No resource required for activation. Can only be used once per day. You can only activate it again after midnight.
+ Evil God’s Essence can elevate one of your non-special skills to Transcendent rank for five seconds.
Special Skill: Monster Heir
+ Monsters will show more respect toward you and become friendlier.
+ The efficiency of all of your racial skills is doubled.
Special Skill: King’s Treasury
+ You will earn twice as much money when defeating an opponent.
+ Doubles the drop rate of all items.
+ You have the rights to all items and money that drop within a twenty-meter radius.
“Um... Omniscient Evil God Qi is terrific, but I wonder when I can use it. Cultivating it must be insanely hard even compared to Tiger Dragon Qi. Evil God’s Essence is also great, though five seconds seems a bit too short. Monster Heir is the best; it’s a passive skill without any drawbacks. About King’s Treasury... will it cause problems? Does it mean I will always be a magnet, stealing items even if they belong to others?”
Sila checked the card slot in his system window and found that all the seven slots he had were empty; all his cards were lost. He sighed. He regretted losing the Cloudy Tiger Card the most. Even though its ability wasn’t directly combat-related, it was, by far, the most helpful card; helping him survive and defeat most of his enemies.
“Well, Lucifer can stay in the air even though he is a pure qi-type being. That means, even without items, there is a way for me to do the same. I should find out how since most powerful monsters are either capable of flying or have large bodies. The ability to fight in mid-air is essential. Sadly, it isn’t as easy as other types. No wonder qi type isn’t popular.”
Sila went to check his equipment window and found something shocking. He only had one piece of equipment, which was the Mechanical Evil God’s Protection, though it took all of the other equipment slots, including the weapon and accessory slots.
“Ah, I was delighted for nothing. And here I thought I could finally equip a sword using the main weapon slot. It turns out that this armor is even more brutal, preventing me from equipping any other equipment. Wait, it even took all the card slots? Now that I think about it, where is the Right Arm of the Sealed One? The last time I saw it, it got absorbed by the black silk... Did it... get eaten...?”
Sila inspected his item window and found that he lost all the money he had on him, though all the items remained, with the addition of the Thunderbolt Dragon Card.
He couldn’t find the Right Arm of the Sealed One though, and that caused him to be more worried. Did it really get eaten and become a part of the armor?
Sila began reading the Mechanical Evil God’s Protection information while feeling restless.
(S) Mechanical Evil God's Protection [Orpheus][Mamon]
An armor produced by the Android King using Orichalcum as the main material and the eleventh Gem of Catastrophe, the Eternal Onyx, as a generator.
Later, it was altered by the Devil Prince who is an item specialist. Now, the spirit of the Devil Prince dwells within the armor.
- You can’t equip other equipment or cards.
*The armor opens up three slots for registering and storing items or pets inside. The user of the armor will be granted Hidden Gifts based off what is registered.
Hidden Gifts are undisclosed passive skills that the system window doesn’t normally display. For more information, please ask the Devil Prince who altered the armor.
*From now on, 10% of all experience points will be given to Mamon.
*Produced from Orichalcum, but cannot collect experience points.
+ It will automatically promote your Rank once when you reach the maximum level of the Rank. (The exception is promoting from Lord Rank to Emperor Rank.)
*Cannot be unequipped, sold, transferred, or lost.
[Main Gift Slot: The Innovative Prince]
The slot where Mamon, the Devil Prince from Hell, is residing. This slot is exclusively for Mamon. You can summon Mamon. You have acquired the following Hidden Gifts:
Item Master: You can understand an item’s structure and abilities just by touching it.
Money is Everything: Your abilities become stronger the more money you have on you.
There Must be Something!: When you kill a monster or a player, at least one item is guaranteed to drop.
I Don’t Tolerate Being Cheated!: If your item window is full, any items that you cannot take will not drop but instead be converted to an equivalent amount of money.
Scavenger: The broken items within a fifty-meter radius of you will not disappear.
[First Gift Slot: The Sparrowhawk Egg]
The slot where the Lord-Rank sparrowhawk egg, Lookhin, is currently registered. You can summon the sparrowhawk egg. You have acquired the following Hidden Gift:
Hatcher: Once you touch an egg, the egg will immediately hatch.
[Second Gift Slot: The Legendary Android Right Arm]
The slot where Illuminus, the final stage of the legendary right arm of the sovereign of Monster Soul, is currently registered. It used to belong to Joshua as the ultimate form of protection. You can summon Illuminus. You have acquired the following Hidden Gifts:
The Third Hand: You can control Illuminus as easily as you control your own arms.
Stronger Bones: Your bones become studier. Reduces all physical damage by 20%.
An Item From a Foreign Land: You can sense junctions leading to the Monster Realm.
Short of Breath: You get tired three times faster.
Masochist: Your level of pain is set at 100%.
[Third Gift Slot: None]
The slot where nothing is currently registered. You can store an item or a pet into this slot to gain Hidden Gifts. You have acquired the following Hidden Gift:
The Talentless: It is three times harder for you to use your power.
Sila scratched his head as he read the extremely long item description. The armor’s ability was even harder to understand compared to the four new skills he got.
“What the heck? So long... I’m getting a headache just by reading it. No wonder I can’t equip anything else. Just its ability alone is more excessive than all of my previous equipment combined... Well, in short, I can summon Lookhin. In that case...
Nothing happened. Sila wondered why. He tried again.
“Come out, Lookhin.”
Nothing still happened. Then, Sila kept trying. He said what he thought would work; for example, ‘the sparrowhawk egg’, ‘the egg’, ‘the sparrowhawk’, ‘the sparrow’, ‘the Lord-Rank sparrowhawk’, and so on. However, it all failed.
Later, he attempted to summon the Right Arm of the Sealed One. He tried it by saying ‘the Right Arm of the Sealed One’, ‘Illuminus’, or ‘the arm of protection’, though the result wasn’t any different.
“What is this? Nothing works. What a piece of junk. How about the armor spirit? What is its name again...?”
Sila rechecked the spirit’s name and was surprised to see that the name was Mamon instead of Mammon like he had intended.
“Come out, Mamon.”
This time, something happened. A red light flew out from the armor’s chest area and the kid emerged.
The kid was around five years old. His messy black hair covered most of his face, having a little crown on top of his head. He was wearing a loose grey lab coat, giving off the feeling of a mature scientist.
“Whattt?!!! Why did I become so tiny?!!!”
The kid bawled as soon as he saw his current self. He also seemed like he was checking his abilities.
Seeing the childish sight of a kid bawling, Sila secretly chuckled.
“All my combat skills are gone!! Did Omniscient Evil God Qi affect me?!! That silly Lucifer! That muscle-head bastard!!”
The kid continued to bawl before turning his head and pointed his finger at Sila.
“This is your fault! You had a good card and a good skill. Why didn’t you use them frequently? You even hesitated when I told you to use my skill. If you were slower to act, I would have died already. Ahhh!! My rank also fell to Marquis?!”
“Are you Mamon?” Sila asked, though he firmly believed the kid was Mamon.
“My great name is Mammon!! I’m the greatest prince from Hell! The Demon of Greed! I’m not a kid! How dare you give me that childish name! Die!!”
Mamon clad his body with psychic power. His eyes were gleaming red. Even though he said he didn’t possess combat skills anymore, he was still one of the demons of the Seven Deadly Sins. As such, Sila didn’t dare to underestimate Mamon and decided to protect himself.
Sila circulated Yin Yang Energy without difficulty and utilized Martial Formless to strike Mamon, who charged at him. His fist easily struck Mamon’s head.
Mamon’s face fell to the ground. He pulled himself up while rubbing his head. “Ouch, that hurts.”
Sila felt like he just bullied the kid, so he put his hand down. “Are you okay, Mamon?”
“MAMMON!! The Devil Prince from Hell!! Address me properly,” Mamon argued as he was still rubbing his head.
Normally, Mamon wasn’t the type to directly engage in fights since the beginning. With his combat skills missing and his body shrunk, the Marquis Rank Mamon’s strength was only on par with most Knight Rank monsters. As a result, Sila could defeat him relatively easily.
“Mn, whatever. The name is not important anyway... You are fine, right? I have some questions to ask you. You seem to be related to how my armor changed. I want to know why it can’t function.”
Mamon showed a grin that could easily cause people to feel irritated just by seeing it. “You are a muscle-head like Lucifer, I see. Such simple knowledge, yet you don’t know it. I suspect all the nutrients in the food you ate go to your muscles instead of your brain.”
Sila furrowed his brows with displeasure. This kid clearly called him stupid. However, Sila was more curious about how to use the armor, so he forgave Mamon and asked again, politer this time.
“So, why couldn’t I use the armor...Your Highness?”
“Hmph. That’s simply because the armor is not yet working. Look at the Hidden Gift you acquired from me. The Item Master one. Despite that, even though you are wearing the armor, you are still unaware of how to use it, right? It’s so damn obvious.”
Sila read the armor’s description again. Hidden Gifts seemed to be some kind of skill.
“You are right. What are Hidden Gifts though?”
“Hidden Gifts are secret passive skills that most people don’t know about. No one can inspect them except for the great me. Most living creatures possess one or two Hidden Gifts that are granted at birth. However, the armor that I modified can exert five Hidden Gifts from what you register in the three slots. Furthermore, you can even swap items or pets to change Hidden Gifts. All in all, this is the pinnacle of armor that surpasses all others!”
For the record, Hidden Gifts were something the system randomly assigned to each player when they created their avatars. Some were good and some were bad. As a result, some players thought they were better or worse at something compared to others. The difference is usually subtle, so they often think they’re just imagining it.
Mammon’s main ability allowed him to see any and all Hidden Gifts that someone possessed. He could give and take them, meaning he could snatch the good Hidden Gifts for himself while dumping bad ones on others. Thus, he was hailed as the craftiest monster. When everyone fought against Mammon, they would feel they were extremely unlucky and failed to accomplish anything during the fight. The longer they fought, the more disadvantageous the battle became without them even knowing what was causing it or how to fix it.
For this exact reason, he was regarded as the Demon of Greed. His greed drove him to rob everything others had, including Hidden Gifts. As a result, he was sealed together with the other demons that make up the Seven Deadly Sins despite his fighting ability falling far behind.
“That’s amazing. I didn’t know the concept of Hidden Gift exists.”
“Hmph. Stupid. If everyone knows, how can they be called Hidden Gifts? This knowledge is only the tip of the iceberg, you know? There are also Permanent Gifts, which are...”
Mamon was about to continue showing off his knowledge when Sila interrupted.
“Then, why is the armor not working?”
“Won’t - tell - you!!”
Although Mamon was talkative just now, suddenly, he refused to answer Sila’s question.
“You won’t tell me?”
Mamon showed his favorite disgusting smile and lifted his chin up, looking down on Sila with eyes showing contempt.
“I won’t. Well, if you get on all fours, lick my boots, crawl under my crotch, and beg at my feet, I will consider answering your question.”
“...” Sila stared at Mamon, thinking.
“How about it? You can start by getting on all fours. I just love it when...”
Sila had already wasted too much time. For this kind of thing, he could just ask Julia. He was wondering what had happened at the gathering party.
Red light enveloped Mamon’s body. He tried to resist but it didn’t work. The armor silently absorbed him.
“Oi!! Wait! Don’t imprison me! The armor is not working so the inside is dark and...!”
Sila didn’t know this, but without context it looked like he was bullying a kid, even though the person himself said he wasn’t a kid.
After spending ten minutes or so in the mansion, Sila’s body shone and left. He reappeared in Zhongsuyuan City and soared to the place where the gathering party had been held.
Chapter 188: The Wicked Union
Sila noticed that his top speed had increased slightly. The way he currently felt reminded him of when he made a breakthrough with cultivation. It seemed his overall strength advanced a step further by going all-out against Shuran and Raidola.
Once he arrived at the Victorious Wolves Sect’s headquarters, Sila slowed down his pace and began to walk at a normal speed. It seemed there was a noticeable decrease in present players compared to when the party had started.
People seemed to be flocking around someone. From a distance, Sila noticed that the person in the center was none other than Lomyok.
“Big Brother Sila really came.” Burapha was the first to notice Sila’s arrival. He stood up and came over to greet Sila.
“Who told you I was coming?” Sila followed Burapha to the main table. Most of the tables had been put away, so the once filled backyard was now spacious and clear.
Burapha pointed at Lomyok. “Mister Lomyok said he met you at the rebirth zone, so we decided to wait for your arrival here.”
As Sila didn’t revive immediately at the rebirth zone, which was supposed to happen if he was killed by Lucifer, people wondered what had happened to him.
More than twenty people sat around the main table. Of those, Sila recognised Lone Wolf, Ratri, Hermit, Rin, Shueria, Fargo, Cross, Nednapha, Elso, Beluga, Bluebird, White Swan, Tiger, Julia, Sebastian, Sangdao, and Varee. Other than them, there were a handful of players he didn’t know.
Lone Wolf turned to greet him. “Sila, how are you? You disappeared for two hours. Does that mean you weren’t killed by Lucifer?”
Sila replied, “Mn. I died from something else.”
“So, Sila, you didn’t lose any skills, right? I heard from Sebastian that Lucifer’s qi can permanently destroy skills,” asked Varee.
“Ah, I lost them. Most of my skills and items are gone, including the psychic power I got from Madmen’s Valley.”
Shueria’s voice had a tinge of regret as he said, “That’s unfortunate. That quest can only be received once.”
“It’s fine. Seeing Lucifer, I think that pure qi-types can become strong too.”
Burapha said, “Erm, Big Bro. If every qi-type being could become that almighty, every player would have already selected qi type. I think Lucifer is a very, very special case. His rank is Emperor Rank, even.”
Beluga placed a cup of sake down on the table. “Honestly speaking, I think it’s great that you can overcome the regret of your loss and move on. If Little Brother Sila would like any qi that I have, I will gladly transmit them to you.”
Lone Wolf thought the same. “Me too. Lucifer got out because of me, so I will help.”
Sila hurriedly declined their offers. “No worries. For the time being, I want to restudy my own qi.”
Beluga thumped up. “Fantastic! Who cares about losing items or losing skills? As long as we are still alive, we can continue to seek something better.”
“It’s exactly like you said, Mister Beluga.” Sila nodded.
Varee looked at the broken ring in her hand. She knew that what Sila said was the truth. The reason why her Couple’s Ring of Commitment had broken must have been because Sila’s was destroyed.
Looking at Sila’s current outfit, although it seemed elegant, it wasn’t the same one. That meant his old outfit must have been broken too. Everyone thought that even though he wasn’t saying it, Sila must have felt sad deep down, so they didn’t ask him many questions.
“My matters aside, what about the party? Where is everyone?”
Hermit volunteered to summarize everything that had happened, to which Sila listened attentively and could conclude the events as follows:
After Lucifer left and the Five Dragons army retreated, the remaining players were impressed by Tiger’s charm and the Victorious Wolves Sect’s potential to resist the Heavenly Dragon Guild. As a result, all of them agreed to become a part of the alliance to oppose Montra together. Most of them went back to give the report to their guild, leaving only a handful of players behind.
The alliance was loosely established with many guilds as a part of it. No guild had more influence than others. The alliance’s intention was to share information and resources for the sake of taking down the Heavenly Dragon Guild in the upcoming war event.
Beluga was the one who gave the official name of the alliance. He had proposed the name ‘Wicked Union’, which no one objected.
If a despicable guild like the Heavenly Dragon Guild was considered a righteous guild, they would be gladly become the wicked side.
As for the details regarding what actions they would take next, Hermit and the leader-level figures would put their heads together and announce what they decided the next day. Many things had occurred today and they believed it would be best for everyone to take a rest first.
The Victorious Wolves Sect offered to let everyone stay at their place for free, which most of the guests gladly accepted. Meanwhile, Sebastian and Bluebird pulled Sila out as they had a private matter they wished to discuss.
“Guys~ What are you talking about?” Out of nowhere, Lomyok approached them.
He was currently wearing elegant wuxia clothing that the Victorious Wolves Sect had given to him as a token of thanks. Though, in fact, they were just afraid that their guild’s reputation would plummet if there was a half-naked person walking around in their backyard.
Sila looked at Lomyok before looking once more at the flock of people he saw earlier. “Mister Lomyok? How can you be here? What about the you over there?”
Lomyok played with his hair gleefully. It seemed his confidence had returned to him. Sila guessed that the Victorious Wolves Sect had what Lomyok wanted and Lomyok had already obtained the skill he had lost.
“It’s my new skill. I name it ‘Double Handsomeness.’ I got it from my heroic deed of fighting off an army that consisted of thousands of people. In the end, I sacrificed my own life to save two peerless beauties. Would you like me to tell you the full story in greater detail?”
Sebastian secretly smirked as he was fully aware that Lomyok had no recollection of what he had done. He whispered to Sila.
“It’s the skill from the Seven Deadly Sins card, sir. It’s a skill to create a perfect copy of oneself.”
Listening to Sebastian, Bluebird felt worried since he also possessed a card from the same series.
He asked, “Oi. Is it fine to use it to play around? What if another monster similar to Lucifer appears again? We will be doomed.”
Sebastian waited until Lomyok left, to go talk to the people around the main table, before explaining.
“Belphegor in the card Mister Lomyok possesses is the demon of Sloth, sir. He is so lazy that, even if the chance for him to appear reaches 100%, he will most likely refuse to come out. It’s completely up to his mood whether he comes out or not. Moreover, you don’t have to be that worried, sir. Lord Lucifer is a pure fighter whose ability surpassed all of the demons of sin. He was one of the best even in the Monster Realm.”
Bluebird felt relieved. “In that case, I don’t have to be worried, right? Just trying not to use the card’s skill should be enough, right?”
Sebastian shook his head. “Sorry to disappoint you, Mister Blue, but Asmodeus is the only demon that can directly manipulate the card wielder, sir. Even if she is in the card, she can still exert her power to some degree. She just showed her power so she will be staying dormant for the time being. The more you submit yourself to her, the more influence she will get over you. My recommendation is for Mister Blue to check the influence percentage frequently and train your mind to stay calm. Try to keep the influence percentage below 50%.”
Bluebird gaped. Why didn’t he get Lomyok’s card instead? How come the cards from the same series have a vast difference in the difficulty level of how to use them?
“What will happen if it is over 50%?” Bluebird weakly asked.
“Generally, the Lust skill has no cooldown. Upon using it, you can exert the full potential of your skills. Moreover, unlike other Deadly Sins cards where the demons’ emergence is up to a chance, Asmodeus won’t come out until the influence percentage between you and her reaches 100%. The influence percentage is the figure representing how much she can control you. When it is over 50%, she will be able to use your skills even without Mister Blue’s consent.
“I may be too pessimistic, sir. However, If I were Asmodeus, when the influence percentage is over 50%, I will use Lust repeatedly until it reaches 100% and free myself from the card.”
“Oi!! She can do that?! That’s playing dirty!”
“Not as dirty as Mammon in Mister Sila’s card, I’d say, sir. In the case of Mammon, no one ever wanted to stay close to him. Anyway, it’s just my pessimistic thinking, maybe Asmodeus doesn’t think like me.”
Bluebird inspected the card and found that the influence percentage was at 68%, which was already over the safe range. His face went pale. He didn’t know whether Asmodeus had mercy on him, was forgetful, or wasn’t aware of Sebastian’s idea. No matter what, he had to hurriedly decrease the rate before the situation that Sebastian had predicted happened for real.
Sila whispered to Bluebird, “What about Miss Yardpirun? What happened to her?”
Bluebird closed his system window and whispered back. “Boss sent me a message saying that she was fine. She’s going back to the Heavenly Dragon Guild. It seems Montra wants them to report on the attack.”
“Glad to hear that.” Sila turned back and looked around before asking Sebastian. “Where are Miss Franz and Asura? I haven’t seen them.”
The corners of Sebastian’s mouth lifted up. “Once they discovered that I lost all of my skills, they abandoned me here and left, sir.”
“Eh? Aren’t they your friends?” Sila wondered. Based on what he saw, those two seemed to get along well with Sebastian. They wouldn’t abandon their friend when he was suffering.
“They were already kind enough not to kill me, sir. Our relationship is somewhat complex. You need not worry, sir. Once I get my strength back, I will personally bring them back, with a big gift ready for them.”
Listening to Sebastian, a chill ran down Bluebird’s spine even though Zhongsuyuan City was a city in a tropical area.
When Sila had found out that Lucifer’s qi destroyed skills, he suspected that Sebastian must have lost some when he obtained his wounds. However, Sila never would have guessed that Sebastian lost all of his skills.
“What can I do to help you? Do I need to purchase some sort of magic scroll so you can learn spells?” asked Sila.
“The moment I started learning Death Magic, I was forbidden from learning any other type, sir, and I doubt we can find a magic scroll containing Death Magic easily. However, I’m not completely defenseless. Before Mister Sila came back, I practiced some skills while waiting, so I now have Basic Magic Level 1 and Magic Power Reinforcement Level 1, which should be moderately useful given my pool of magic points.”
Sila felt distressed. “Isn’t there a way to help you at all?”
“Mn. Actually, this is what I want to ask of you, sir. I would like Mister Sila to help me bring back my genuine form. If it’s successful, I will be able to exert my true power, and the six hundred and sixty-six spells that I lost will amount to nothing in comparison.”
“How exactly can I help you achieve that?” Sila asked with enthusiasm.
“Bring me to meet one of the Gods of Death, sir. The God of Death shall assign a mission for me. Once I finish the mission, I will regain my genuine form.”
Bluebird frowned. “A God? Where can we find a God? And it has to be a God of Death at that.”
Sebastian replied, “Before I lost my skills, I sensed that the nearest God of Death is residing in the Deadly Desert, sir. However, if I go there alone, I will surely not survive.”
“Deadly Desert?” Both Sila and Bluebird exclaimed.
“Is the Deadly Desert and the Desert of Death the same place?” Sila asked Bluebird.
“Mn. Bistem Desert, the Desert of Death, the Deadly Desert, the Desert of Wishes, all of these names refer to the same place. It’s located to the west of Zhongsuyuan City, meaning it isn’t far. However, it’s as fearful as its name suggests. No living creatures can be found there. All you see in every direction is sand. Everyone that has entered met their end with no recollection of their time in there, including how they died.”
“Well, I plan to go there anyway. Sebastian, you can simply tag along.”
“Thank you very much, sir. In that case, I will go and make some preparations first. The news about me losing all of my skills seem to be spreading around, and I have a lot of enemies in this city. I will wait for you at the mansion, sir.”
Sila nodded. “Fine, but please take Julia with you. Tell her I will have something to ask once I go back to the mansion.”
Sebastian nodded and approached Julia. They exchanged words before teleporting to the mansion.
Sila and Bluebird returned to the main table in order to say goodbye to everyone.
“We all will be resting here today. If you want something, please don’t hesitate to come to find us, Sila. We will do anything we can,” said Lone Wolf.
“Thank you. So, we will meet up again tomorrow to announce the direction of the Wicked Union, right?”
“Yes, tomorrow at 10 AM.”
After confirming the time, Sila teleported back to the mansion. Although everyone seemed to be eager to discuss and determine the direction of the alliance, Sila didn’t think that kind of discussion suited him. Just listening to the summary later should suffice for him.
Once he finished teleporting, he called Sebastian and Julia over, then told them about his problematic armor. He was concerned that if he didn’t fix it soon, it might start to affect Lookhin negatively.
Julia politely bowed her head. “Julia only possesses information regarding items that were directly generated by the system, Master. I’m terribly sorry that I can’t be of any help.”
“You don’t need to feel apologetic for that, Julia. I can just go ask the Android King.”
Sebastian disagreed. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, sir. It’s better for everyone, including the Android King, to think that your previous armor was broken. The knowledge about Hidden Gifts is new even for me, though I’m still quite confused about them. In situations like this, there is no one more suitable than Mammon to explain what is going on. We better ask him, sir.”
“But... Hidden Gifts seem useful. It may be valuable information for our team.”
“Information is only valuable when it’s classified, sir. I still insist that Mister Sila should consider this information top secret, and that you don’t tell anyone easily. Now, our problem at hand is that we don’t know if leaving Lookhin inside the inactive armor is dangerous or not. The first thing we should do is call Mammon out to inquire, sir.”
Sila agreed and was about to summon Mamon, but Sebastian stopped him and talked to Julia.
“Miss Head Maid, could you configure it so that no one can enter the mansion for the time being? There is a possibility that someone may accidentally come. Better be safe than sorry, sir.”
Julia turned her head to Sila, who nodded in agreement.
“...It’s done. For the next eighteen hours, until 8 AM tomorrow, no one will be able to come to this dimension. The timeframe can only be changed by Mister Sila.”
“Then, come out, Mamon.”
Mamon’s petite body emerged. He brushed the dust on his clothes away and looked around.
“Damn! How dare you imprison me! I thought we could talk things out so I spared you, but this time... Hm? Sebastian? What are you doing here?!!”
Mamon swept his gaze to search for a certain someone.
“Where is your master? That cheating human bastard?!!”
Sebastian laughed. “Hahaha. I thought I was the most unfortunate one, but it turns out there is someone who got it worse than me. Mamon has become a small kid.”
“My name is MAMMON!! The most fearful Devil Prince from Hell!!”
Julia rubbed her hand on Mamon’s head. “You are so cute.”
Mamon snapped and swept her hand away. “Don’t touch me, item girl!! You three dare to look down on me…! Behold! My secret move!”
Mamon’s eyes were gleaming red. The power emitting from him didn’t seem that powerful, so Sila decided to wait.
As for Sebastian, although he knew Mammon possessed some kind of fraudulent ability, he had never personally witnessed it. As he was left with no skills, he couldn’t do much except for clad himself with magic power reinforcement.
All three of them still didn’t know what Mamon was doing, though Sila’s intuition told him that Mamon already took action.
“Let’s start with the Hidden Gift that I stole from Satan.”
As Mamon ended his sentence, the atmosphere changed completely. A feeling of irresistible fear overcame the three. Sila realized immediately that it was the same feeling he felt when he activated the Greed skill. A nauseating and disgusting sensation filled the entire mansion.
“Kiekkiekkiek. Do you feel it now? My true terror!”
Mamon let out his evil laugh. It was a burst of laughter that sounded awfully annoying.
Sila finally took action. He clad his palm with Yin Yang Energy and struck Mamon’s forehead with the intention of stopping his skill.
The slapping sound echoed, and Mamon soon became a ball of light before returning to Sila’s armor.
The system notification rang out.
Mamon, the Devil Prince, has died. Its level has fallen from Level 430 Marquis Rank to Level 420 Marquis Rank. It will take two hours until you can summon Mamon again.
Chpter52:Wtf, Shueria became so OP in just a couple weeks?
Chapter 189: Unison
Even though Mamon’s Rank had dropped, he was still a monster in the same series as Lucifer. Sila was shocked to see that seventy percent of his full power could kill Mamon in a single blow.
“Master, why did you kill Mamon?” Julia asked. She was genuinely curious.
“Erm... It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t think that would be enough to kill him.”
Sebastian speculated. “Um... He has never been the type to fight by himself. It is quite understandable if what Mister Sila said about Mamon losing his combat-related skills is true. It seems he really did become significantly weaker.”
“What should we do? Do we have to wait for two hours? That’s quite a waste of time.”
Julia approached Sila and put her palm on his armor. “Please let Julia try.”
Sila nodded, and Julia’s eyes glowed light-blue. Her pure life force flew from her body into the armor. Soon, Sila got to hear the system notification announcing that Mamon had revived and could be summoned again.
“Now... what will we do?”
“Let’s wait for him to speak first, sir. Let’s hear what he wants to say.”
Sila agreed and summoned Mamon again. The ball of red light flew out from the armor and dropped on the ground, turning into an upside-down Mamon.
“Ouch! This damn armor! Why can’t you eject me properly?!”
“Are you okay?” Sila asked while keeping Mamon within his attack range.
“I’m fine... Oi! You! Why did you suddenly kill me?! Look at what you did! My level fell down again!”
“It’s your fault. You seemed to do something suspicious, though I didn’t expect you to die in one hit.”
“Hmph! I just gave you a handicap. If my abilities return, none of you guys can even think of opposing me.” Mamon puffed up his chest.
“Your abilities? Like what you did previously, Lord Mammon?” Sebastian asked.
“Nah, that just now was Satan’s Hidden Gift, Horrifying Existence, a passive skill that unconditionally brings fear to every nearby being. It doesn’t possess any offensive power though.”
“Satan’s Hidden Gift? Based on what you have told me, Hidden Gifts are what everyone is born with, aren’t they? How could you borrow the power of Satan’s Hidden Gift?” asked Sila.
“I didn’t borrow it from him but stole it. That’s one of my abilities.”
“May I ask what your abilities are, Lord Mammon?” Sebastian asked again.
Mamon took a side glance with contempt at Sebastian. “And why do I have to tell you, huh?!”
Sila was also interested in Mamon’s skills. “Can’t you tell us just a little?”
Mamon coughed to clear his throat once. “Mn... Actually, I can, if it’s just for a bit.”
The three of them—Sila, Sebastian, and Julia—looked at each other, feeling confused at the sudden change.
For the record, the reason Mamon was more inclined to listen to Sila’s request was because of Sila’s newly acquired skill: Monster Heir.
As Mamon’s strength declined along with his level, the skill Monster Heir affected him more, making him become friendlier toward Sila, though there was still disobedience.
Although Mamon said he would explain briefly, because he was a specialist, he took pride in his meticulousness. As a result, his explanation was quite detailed.
Mamon had five unique skills. He also explained that his capability to use the skill largely depends on his Rank. His five skills consisted of Sky Seer (unlocked at Squire Rank), Universe Shaker(unlocked at Knight Rank), Star Swapper (unlocked at Marquis Rank), Sun Stealer (unlocked at Lord Rank), and Moon Alterer (unlocked at Emperor Rank). Thus, although he still had all five skills with him, currently he could only use three of them, up to Star Swapper.
Sky Seer allowed Mamon to see through the Hidden Gifts of all living creatures. It also functioned as the highest-level inspection skill.
Universe Shaker allowed Mamon to activate the Hidden Gifts that he had successfully stolen from others. What he had done to Sila, Julia, and Sebastian just now was utilizing this skill.
Star Swapper was normally used by Mamon to block a Hidden Gift’s ability, regardless of who owned it. It could render every Hidden Gift useless.
Sun Stealer allowed Mamon to temporarily or permanently steal others’ Hidden Gifts, or gave them to a single target, though he had to meet certain conditions for the steal to be successful.
Moon Alterer, Mamon’s last skill, allowed him to share the Hidden Gifts he possessed with an unlimited number of targets. It was truly a fraudulent skill that made him the greatest cheater in the Monster Realm.
Aside from his five unique skills, Mamon also possessed various skills regarding item utilization and item modification. Although his ability to produce items was lacking compared to the Android King, his ability regarding item modification was unparalleled.
Sebastian listened carefully and nodded. “I finally understand why you had to be sealed even though your fighting ability was not extraordinary compared to other Deadly Sins. Your ability gave you too many advantages over your opponents.”
Mamon snorted. “Humph!! A bird uses its wings to fly and a fish uses its gills to breathe underwater. What is wrong with me using my own abilities?”
“True, it’s your right to use your abilities, but your right can’t trample on the rights of others. That’s general morality,” Sila argued.
“Most beings don’t even know they have a Hidden Gift! I take theirs so that the Hidden Gifts can be used to their full potential instead of wasting away. They should even feel grateful for my actions. The world is full of enemies. If I had to bother considering what kind of rights my opponent had every time I fight, I wouldn’t be able to do anything.”
Sebastian agreed with Mamon. “Lord Mammon is right, Mister Sila. Our world is different from yours, sir. In our perspective, the strong are always right and the weak are always wrong. If you don’t devour, you will be the one being devoured. If we don’t use our abilities, we will just die.”
“Hah... I don’t quite understand that kind of extreme world.”
“If you stay in this world for long enough, you will eventually come to understand it, I believe, sir.”
At this point in time, Sila had yet to know that he would come to understand such a world soon. And the one that taught him was none other than his greatest enemy, Montra.
“Let’s put this topic on hold. I’m more worried about Lookhin. I wonder what I have to do in order to activate the armor?”
“Why should I tell you, brat? I don’t get anything by telling you anyway,” said Mamon.
Sebastian tried to appease Mamon. “That isn’t the case, Lord Mammon. If the armor is working, the inside of the armor will be more comfortable, I believe. Moreover, Mister Sila can help you grind experience points and return to Emperor Rank. Am I right to assume that, Mister Sila?”
Sila thought for a second. He would naturally have to grind his level, so he didn’t lose anything. Though, he wondered why Sebastian was being more polite when talking to him than usual. Is it because the butler lost his skills?
In fact, Sila’s Monster Heir also affected Sebastian, especially when Sebastian was afraid of becoming Sila’s hindrance. The journey through the Desert of Death could be a dangerous one, so he put his hopes in Lookhin’s assistance. With Lookhin’s ability that was in the realm of Lord Rank, the pet would be a great asset.
“Exactly as Sebastian said. I will help you regain your strength.”
Mamon thought for a moment and realized that it was a good deal with no loss for him. Thus, he agreed to help and started explaining how to fix the armor.
“When I altered the armor, the clock was ticking, so I pulled out its power, causing it to overload and become dormant. You will need an enormous amount of electric energy in order to reactivate it. Charge it with a powerful source of electric power once initially, then continue charging it until the armor works.”
“What do you mean by electric energy? Where can we get it from?” asked Sila.
“Real electricity, lightning spells, lightning-based psychic power, lightning-elemental cards, lightning spirits, and so on. You can use whatever. Oh, you can’t unequip the armor, so you have to endure the charging too. Let me warn you. If you die, you will have to restart the whole process.”
“So, something like a charger?” Sila turned his head and asked Julia, “Can we find something like that in Lost Grea City?”
Julia took a moment to search. “Actually, there are. However, not one of them is usable when Mister Sila is still wearing the armor.”
“Mn. In that case, I think I will have to use this. And here I planned to keep it for Lookhin to eat... Mamon, please take a look. Can I use this thing?”
Sila handed Mamon the Thunderbolt Dragon Raidola Card, which he flipped once then said, “If I use the power within the card, it will suffice for the initial charge. However, what about the continuous charging in the later stage?”
“Don't worry, I have a method. Can we start now?”
“Up to you. It’s not my item anyway.” Mamon acted like he was about to break the card in two. Meanwhile, Sebastian pulled Julia to withdraw from the scene.
Sila asked, “Eh? Is that how you use it?”
“Hmph! I am an item specialist! I can utilize items in a way that you can’t imagine. This is just a mere card. I can obviously directly pull out its power.”
Mamon shot a side glance at Sila. Suddenly, the atmosphere around Sila changed. Feeling worried that he was being betrayed, Sila grabbed Mamon’s collar and lifted him up.
“What are you doing to me?”
Mamon wriggled his body and used his hand to release himself from Sila’s grasp. “Release me! Release me first, and I will explain.”
Sila placed Mamon on the floor. He prepared himself in case Mamon tried to attack him. “Explain.”
“What a paranoid human you are. What I did to you was using Star Swapper. Your Hidden Gift might cause some issues for us if not make us fail altogether, so I was trying to temporarily block its ability.”
Only Mamon could tell whether what he had said was a truth or a lie. Even if he lied, no one would be able to tell. Nevertheless, Sila judged it was a time where he should show his trust to Mamon.
He relaxed his muscles while accumulating Yin Yang Energy inside his body. He had to control his power and keep it from releasing outside of his body, since the armor had to come in contact with the electric power. At the same time, he had to protect himself so that the electric power wouldn’t kill him.
As he had accumulated his power to a certain point, he activated Orbiting Cosmos with the lightning element.
The armor started to react. It absorbed the lightning-element magic power and shook gently.
“You can start anytime,” Sila said to Mamon.
Mamon snapped the Raidola Card in half and stuck it on Sila’s chest. Soon, the electric power poured out. Although Sila had prepared for the power beforehand, his body still went numb.
Sila gritted his teeth and unleashed more lightning-element magic power. During that short moment, he felt the time significantly slow down; he became the magic and the magic became him. It was the second time he reached the highest level of Orbiting Cosmos utilization.
He became a part of the great flow and united with nature. It was a sign that he was receiving enlightenment regarding the essence of magic, Unison, which was the realm all magic users sought to attain. As quickly as he entered the state, he exited it, lasting no longer than a fraction of a second.
As the electricity flowed through, what felt like ten seconds to Sila was actually an instant. His perception of time returned to normal, and he heard Mamon shouting something.
“Increase the electric power output and maintain it! Don’t stop!”
Sila’s awareness returned to what he was doing. He unleashed even more lightning-element magic power, and the armor rumbled. It swallowed all of the electric power, both from Sila and from the card, at a frightening rate.
Sila realized too late that he should’ve taken Queen’s Tear before attempting this. If it wasn’t for Monster Heir increasing Orbiting Cosmos’s efficiency, the armor would have already sucked his power dry.
Julia was startled by the armor’s absorption rate and how weak Sila had become. She quickly pulled out Trickstar and starting shooting him with bullets made out of magic potions.
She kept firing for five minutes, using more than three hundred magic potions, before the armor finished absorbing the electric energy and calmed down.
Sila collapsed on the floor. He wasn’t injured but felt like his vitality had been sucked away. For him who possessed Way of the Hermit to still feel this tired, anyone else would’ve died from exhaustion.
The system notification rang, together with the armor that shone as if it had gained life. The armor became as soft and elastic as silk.
You have obtained Lord-Rank Monster Egg.
You have obtained (S) Illuminus, the ultimate weapon of protection.
You have been enlightened regarding the Essence of Magic: Unison. You have unlocked a new stat, Unison Percentage.
Magic-type players would cough up blood and die harbouring resentment if they were aware that Sila, who wasn’t even a magic-type player and possessed only a single magic-type skill, had accessed the realm of their dreams.
Though, instead of feeling delightful, Sila was thinking about something else.
‘They said psychic type is the most suitable for me, but what is this? I’ve received enlightenment about qi’s Fusion and magic’s Unison, but there has been no progress with psychic power. Come to think of it... what is the essence of psychic power? And what is Unison Percentage? I got something weird again.’
For qi type, the concept was going back to basics. Once players attained the realm of Fusion, their skills would be infused in their body and the three energy resources—qi points, magic points, and psychic points—would fuse into special points, which performed better than the three individually.
Meanwhile, for magic type, its prominent aspect was the diversity in skills. Therefore, instead of fusing the stats like qi type, it granted another.
Like its name implied, Unison Percentage displayed a value in percentage format. Its ability wasn’t so simple. Normally, players used magic spells by spending magic points within their bodies. At most, they could only depend on a magic crystal, a magic scroll, a magic wand, a magic staff, or a ring to supplement their magic power.
However, with Unison Percentage, players could access the magic power that naturally existed in the world, also known as mana. As a result, the spell’s efficiency increased, their magic power recovery rate became faster, and their spells relied on less magic power from themselves.
The concept was that they could borrow power from nature; they didn’t rely only on themselves anymore.
‘We are magic’ was the heart of learning and utilizing Orbiting Cosmos. Magic meant the power of mother nature. Therefore, Unison Percentage represented how close the user was to becoming one with nature. To become one with nature was the zenith of all magic-type creatures.
Still, compared to other magic-type users, Sila was at a disadvantage. He only had one magic-type skill. For him to utilize mana, he would have to attack an opponent in close range using Orbiting Cosmos.
Sila opened his eyes and released a heavy sigh. He had regained sufficient strength to stand up.
He asked, “The armor is working now, right?”
Mamon was taking care of wrinkles on his coat that had appeared when Sila grabbed it. He replied without looking at Sila. “If you know how to use it, that means it’s already active.”
Sila noticed that he really did know how to use the armor and all of its mechanisms. He knew how to summon the items inside, how to store them, and even how to change what was registered to some of the slots. He felt like he had known everything about the armor from the very beginning, though the fact was he just came to know it.
A green light emitted from the armor and shot to the floor, turning into a black egg that shone green.
“It looks fine, sir. Being inside the armor should be safe.” Sebastian and Julia approached Sila.
“I think so as well. In that case, let’s return it.”
Sila touched the egg, intending to place it back in the armor. However, as soon as his hand touched it, cracks appeared along the egg and the mansion was soon ablaze with an intense flash of green light.
Chapter 190: Entomomageia and Illuminus
A bright flash of green light shone through the cracks appearing on the egg, causing everyone around it to shield their eyes.
The light slowly faded, though Sila’s vision was still blurry.
At the same time, a system announcement went off in his head.
You have obtained the pet, Lookhin, the Great Sparrowhawk, Level 1 Lord Rank.
You have achieved a certain condition: Raising a monster from Level 1 Squire Rank to Level 1 Lord Rank. You have acquired a special skill: Mind Link.
***The details of your pet have been greatly updated. Please refer to your system window for more information.
The first sensation Sila felt was the pressure on his shoulder. It came with a talon sinking into his flesh, causing him pain. The blood that seeped out slowly dyed his new armor a deep brown.
Sila was used to have Lookhin perching on his body, so he quickly activated Formless Soldier while healing his injury with qi. He extended his arm forward, to which Lookhin obediently hopped down onto.
Lookhin’s body had grown larger. It didn’t look like a baby bird anymore but a large-sized bird comparable to an adult owl. Its now black and brown shiny feathers gave it a magnificent appearance. Its green eyes expressed loftiness and noble dignity. Even though its power was mostly kept within, Sila sensed that Lookhin’s current power surpassed even Sebastian before his skills were destroyed. Nevertheless, that might be because Lookhin’s qi-type nature, which meant it possessed superior stats compared to creatures of other types.
Sebastian also sensed Lookhin’s power. He joyfully said, “Oh, Lookhin has gotten ahead of me before I know it. I will have to be diligent from now on.”
Sila reached out in an attempt to stroke Lookhin’s feathers, but the sparrowhawk shifted slightly to avoid his hand. It took several tries before Lookhin finally relented and let Sila touch it, but it still seemed like it didn’t want to be stroked.
Lookhin’s feathers were as soft as silk. Sila felt how the elasticity bounced his hand off and believed that the feathers might be Lookhin’s natural armor.
The only one who had never met Lookhin before was Mamon. He was now angry at the fact that his masterpiece, the Mechanical Evil God's Protection, was stained. Even though it would automatically repair and clean itself, Mamon was upset.
“You damn bird! You are just a lowly pet. How dare you soil my armor!”
Lookhin shot a side glance at Mamon for a short moment before snorting. It quit paying attention to him and instead started playing with its feathers.
Lookhin’s attitude reminded Mamon of the time when he was just a Squire Rank lesser devil, and all of those hateful monsters looked down on him.
Mamon’s eyes shone with red malice and the nauseating atmosphere returned. This time, however, Mamon also materialized a red ball made of his psychic power on his palm.
Lookhin waved its wing once, and twenty green fireflies flew out. Their appearances were similar to frightening cursed lamps floating in the night.
“Beelzebub’s Entomomageia!!” Mamon and Sebastian exclaimed simultaneously.
Mamon tensed up. Naturally, he knew about Entomomageia. In fact, most of the monsters in the Monster Realm knew about it. It was a magic spell that almost ruined all beings in the Monster Realm during the ancient era. God and the Demon Lord had to temporarily join forces in order to defeat Beelzebub. Mamon also joined the god-demon alliance, though his true objective was to infiltrate both armies and steal Hidden Gifts from everyone present.
That event was one of the few times that God and the Demon Lord worked together. Despite that, Beelzebub still relied on Entomomageia to fend off combined forces consisting of ten thousand divine beings and demons for seven days straight without difficulty.
In the end, the nightmare ended when Beelzebub suddenly disappeared even though he hadn’t lost yet.
All of the survivors from the combined army were dumbfounded. After the great war, all beings in the Monster Realm were horrified by Entomomageia enough to the point where they entered a temporary truce. It wasn’t until 150 years later when they were certain Beelzebub wouldn’t come back that both sides began to fight each other again, leaving Entomomageia as one of the myths in the Monster Realm.
Only a handful of people were aware of the truth behind Beelzebub’s sudden disappearance, and Sebastian was one of those few.
At that time, the Monster Realm was still recovering from the suffering that Lucifer had brought down five hundred years ago before he was sealed.
Many monsters from various races and tribes built up their power and strengthened their influence. They joined forces with allies and overwhelmed their foes in order to expand their territories.
Beelzebub was one of those who sought domination. There was a distinct difference between him and the other monsters though, and that was that he acted alone.
He unleashed the only spell in his possession, Entomomageia, which was a new kind of magic that had never appeared in any legends even in the Monster Realm.
As a result, Sebastian’s master had to personally take action. He descended and secretly sealed Beelzebub before the situation got any worse, returning a temporary peace to the Monster Realm.
Even till this day, not one being had discovered Entomomageia’s weakness or how to oppose it. It was a magic spell that defied the law of nature, a heaven-defying magic.
Usually, the stronger a magic user grew, the more they became one with nature. As their unison developed, they could borrow mana from nature and cast stronger spells.
However, Entomomageia was a power that swallowed and destroyed nature. A kind of magic that was sentient. Once materialized, the magic itself would transform into whichever insect Beelzebub desired. Then, the magic insect would swallow everything in order to evolve. As it continued eating, it would give birth to more insects and become stronger at a rapid rate. What started as one weak insect turned into swarms of monstrous bugs that overwhelmed everyone and everything.
If one had to describe Beelzebub’s ability, only the following would suffice: Entomomageia, a living magic.
Mamon felt Lookhin was formidable even though it was a mere bird, an inferior race even among the lowest in the Monster Realm. He slapped the red ball, causing it to pop. Once he opened his palms, several colorful balloons miraculously flew from his hands. One of them enveloped Mamon’s body.
“Enough, Lookhin. Stop. Don’t bully Mamon.”
Sila commanded Lookhin to stop, to which it complied and all of the fireflies vanished. Lookhin then played with its feathers as if nothing had happened.
Mamon felt like he was losing face. “Why stop?! I can fight!”
Sila sighed and fired several qi-strengthened suntetsu at where Mamon was standing. The suntetsu pierced four large centipedes hiding underground. They convulsed and disappeared.
Mamon canceled the balloons and looked at the centipedes. Even Sebastian was surprised. He couldn’t sense when and where they came from.
Sila stroked Lookhin’s head while explaining, “While both of you paid attention to fireflies, Lookhin secretly summoned these centipedes. I felt a slight vibration through the ground, so I extended my senses and found them. When something strange happens, we must immediately inspect it. That’s one of the basics.”
True, what Sila said was one of the basics of being a fighter. However, the fact was Lookhin had properly concealed its power, and one of the good traits of Entomomageia was that it always started with a small unit, in other words a small insect. It started small and quickly consumed the power of nature to evolve. As a result, it was difficult to detect those small units.
Mamon seemed upset, though he admitted that he currently was no match for Lookhin. He fell silent and tried to think of a way to get payback against both Sila and Lookhin.
The problem seemed to be over. Sila opened his system window to read Lookin’s details.
Pet Status: Lookhin
Race: Great Sparrowhawk, Lord Rank
Health Points: 5,000,000/5,000,000
Special Points: 300,000/300,000
Affection Level: 34%
(S) Oceanic Mind - Transcendent Rank
Psychic power that can link the user’s mind with things around the user. The effective range is as far as the ocean. You must study the skill’s potential by yourself.
(S) Great Sparrowhawk Qi - Transcendent Rank
Lookhin’s unique and versatile qi, developed from its own experiences. You must study the skill’s potential by yourself.
(S) Entomomageia - Transcendent Rank
Living magic inherited from Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. It is a sentient spell. You must study the skill’s potential by yourself.
Changes the user’s body into a human form.
As he finished reading, Sila felt both relieved and worried. It seemed to him that a great number of Lookhin’s skills had disappeared, leaving only four behind. Aside from Transformation, Lookhin seemed to be left with one skill of each energy type.
A troublesome factor was that Lookhin’s special points had reduced from millions to just three hundred thousand. It might be because they were compensated by acquiring three transcendent rank skills.
Talking about transcendent rank, it brought Sila another headache. While it was true that transcendent-rank skills were impressive, they often came with vague details, leaving a lot of it up to the user’s interpretation.
Sila was the one who created Yin Yang Energy, so it was conceivable for him to study and develop it. However, Sila was oblivious regarding any of the three skills Lookhin possessed. It was almost impossible for him to help it polish all three skills.
Sila lovingly stroked Lookhin’s head. “Both of us will practice our skills together. Okay, Lookhin? As we go through trials and errors, we will surely become stronger.”
Lookhin nodded at Sila’s words.
Little did Sila know that what he considered a big problem was, in fact, not an issue at all. Firstly, even with its current abilities, Lookhin was already quite strong. Furthermore, Sila overlooked the fact that Lookhin could properly use Entomomageia even though that was its first time showing this power.
Lookhin was a monster, not a human. Its learning process relied more on its instinct rather than practising over time.
Even if Sila did nothing, Lookhin would eventually master the powers it wielded, though it might take longer.
“Lookhin, you seem hungry... um, starving, in fact. Julia, please feed it something.”
As it heard that it was going to be fed, Lookhin quickly flew to Julia.
Sila was worried that Lookhin might hurt Julia accidentally. However, Lookhin gently perched on Julia’s arm without digging its talons into her arm. It seemed the act of being pierced by its talons was a privilege saved only for Sila.
“Hmph! That damn bird. Just you wait. When my power returns to me, I will make you cry.”
Mamon grabbed the hem of Sila’s fabric armor and activated his high-tier item cleaning skill to remove the blood stain. Even though the armor can clean itself over time, Mamon didn’t like his items being dirty, especially the armor where he would be residing.
“The armor is indeed working. Just now, I needed to exert thrice my power. It is due to the Hidden Gift, Talentless, isn’t it?”
Sila opened his system window to check the armor’s description. The explanation regarding Lookhin had changed.
First Gift Slot: The Great Sparrowhawk.
The slot where the Lord-Rank great sparrowhawk, Lookhin, is currently registered. The pet inside the armor will need neither food nor drink. The pet inside the armor will recover two times faster than normal. You can summon Lookhin, the great sparrowhawk. You have acquired the following Hidden Gifts:
Mixed Type: The effectiveness of mixed-type skills increase by 10%.
Unimportant Being: Players meeting you for the first time have to try harder to remember you.
Live to Eat: You can eat three times more food than usual.
Majestic Bird: While your body is in mid-air, all of your resources will recover twice as fast.
Spring Tide: The phase of the moon directly affects your overall ability.
“Wow. The Hidden Gifts really did change, but... many of them still look as nonsensical as before.”
Seizing a chance, Mamon quickly replied, “That’s why you should help me regain my strength as soon as possible. I will be able to help you get rid of Hidden Gifts with bad effects.”
Sila was about to close his system window, when he noticed that Illuminus should be ready for him to use. He wondered what the final stage of the Right Arm of the Sealed One looked like.
At the end of his sentence, a large mechanical arm protruded over his shoulder from his right shoulder blade. It looked both futuristic and mysterious, engraved with illuminating characters that were unknown to Sila, though he could somehow tell that its meaning was: Technology beyond our imagination is no different from magic.
Sila tried moving it and found that it was very easy to control (which Mamon explained was completely due to the effect of the Hidden Gift Third Hand). Although it seemed big and clunky, it wasn’t obstructive to his movement at all.
(S) Illuminus, the Ultimate Weapon of Protection
The Right Arm of the Sealed One, Joshua, that acted as the ultimate shield, armor, and light of all armaments in Monster Soul.
Illuminus cannot inflict any damage.
Illuminus cannot be broken. It can block any kind of threat and negates the damage of any attacks it comes into contact with.
Illuminus doesn’t require an equipment slot to be equipped. You can control Illuminus regardless of your physical condition.
You can use the Item Skill: Shield of Illuminus.
You can use the Item Skill: Armor of Illuminus.
You can use the Item Skill: Light of Illuminus.
Item Skill: Shield of Illuminus
Upon activation, select any number of targets. Monsters, items, players, or places are all valid targets. The largest possible target is the entire world.
Expand Illuminus’ protection range as a dome-like sphere covering the target(s). No attacks can pass through either side of the shield.
Skill Duration: One minute per day (accumulative). The skill duration will be reduced depending on the number and size of the target(s). Any unused time will accumulate with no upper limit.
The damage to Shield of Illuminus cannot be absorbed for Light of Illuminus.
Item Skill: Armor of Illuminus
Expand Illuminus’ protection range as a dome-like sphere covering the target(s). No attacks can penetrate the armor, though the target(s) can attack normally.
Skill Duration: One second per day (accumulative). The skill duration will be reduced depending on the number and size of the target(s). Any unused time will accumulate with no upper limit.
The damage to Armor of Illuminus can be absorbed for Light of Illuminus.
Item Skill: Light of Illuminus
Receives any attacks taken by the target(s) and reduces the damage. The amount of damage it reduces is relative to how much damage Illuminus has absorbed directly or through Armor of Illuminus.
The skill will fail once all absorbed damage is depleted.
“Wow. As expected of a legendary weapon. Not only can it block all attacks but it also grants me three defensive skills.”
Sila thought back to when Montra held Bow as a hostage. If he possessed these skills at that time, things would not have gone down as badly.
Sila didn’t care if he had to take a risk. He was more worried about the people who were kind to him. Illuminus would certainly become a great asset for opposing Montra.
Chapter 191: A Path Chosen By A Crazy Man
After Lookhin finished eating a ton of food and had filled its belly, Sila told everyone to go their separate ways to do whatever they wanted.
Sebastian asked for Sila’s permission to train himself in the dojo, and Mamon requested to pay his treasure room a visit. Sila didn’t mind, though he asked Julia to accompany Mamon.
In the end, only Sila and Lookhin were left in the yard in front of the mansion.
“Funny, huh? I purchased this place but I rarely spend time here. If I had known this beforehand, I wouldn’t have upgraded it to become this spacious,” Sila talked to Lookhin.
“...” Lookhin shot a side glance at Sila once before ignoring him, curling itself up, sleeping.
“Umm... Lookhin seems haughtier than before and its level of affection continues to decline. I really wonder why?”
Honestly speaking, if someone were to witness how Sila raised Lookhin, they would wonder why Lookhin still hadn’t fled from him yet. No animal lover would ever describe Sila’s behaviors as ‘taming’.
In the past, Sila released it to play around from time to time. However, recently, he had always kept it in the ring and only released it when it had to fight. Moreover, once it finished fighting, he would store it in the ring again.
As a pet’s level got higher, the owner would have to take even better care of it. Yet Sila did the opposite. The stronger Lookhin became, the more he neglected it.
The reason Lookhin didn’t attack him despite being a higher rank was only because it considered Sila its benefactor who raised it since it was just a baby bird.
Sila wanted to use this free time to re-evaluate himself. Mora had always taught him to look back on previous battles in order to analyze his actions and study the mistakes he made.
Sila circulated Yin Yang Energy throughout his body. He attempted utilizing some styles of Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art and found that he could still use them properly. He could even use Psychic Crush that was more inclined to be a move of psychic power than qi.
“Umm... Only the psychic-type skills were destroyed? Does that mean I can still use psychic power?”
Sila’s guess was very close to the mark. In fact, with Lucifer’s pride in qi type, once he saw that Sila had potential, he deliberately chose to only destroy Sila’s psychic-type related part without harming Sila’s core energy, forcing Sila to re-study his qi again. Lucifer also imparted his essence as a resource for Sila to learn qi faster.
As for Omniscient Evil God Qi, it wasn’t Lucifer’s intention to transmit it to Sila. Rather, it was Sila’s fortune that he had received qi from a monster before. Tiger Dragon Qi was a part of Yin Yang Energy which Sila used to both resist and take in Omniscient Evil God Qi. It had been infused in Sila’s body and allowed his veins to accept a part of Omniscient Evil God Qi by chance.
“The Unison Percentage is at 21%. Is this considered high or low?”
Sila checked his newly acquired stat. He was still unable to identify the benefits of having it, unlike special points as Sila could clearly tell that the fusion improved the quality of his energy.
Sila went over the previous battles in his mind, evaluating his past actions in order to not repeat the same errors. He was quite positive that his current ability was still not enough for him to stand a chance against Montra, who would have his full strength unsealed in the following week, not to mention the powerful allies, armies, items, and more backing him up.
“I won against Raidola and Shuran not because of my own strength but because I relied on the pellets. What if I didn’t have them? What would I have to do?”
Sila tried to come up with an answer, and the only answer he could think of was that he had to become stronger—so strong that even Montra couldn’t imagine, so strong that his strength alone could overwhelm Montra’s every advantage.
Montra was smarter than Sila. He was also slier and had more allies and subordinates. In fact, Montra was superior to him in almost every aspect.
Sila asked himself what about him was superior to Montra? The only answer in his mind was his potential regarding fighting ability. Although his fighting ability was now slightly below Montra, Sila believed that he could improve it to surpass Montra if he continued to put his mind and effort into it.
Since he couldn’t win against Montra in many aspects, Sila decided to pursue an extreme path—forsaking everything and focused only on a single aspect.
Sila had Lucifer as his role model. If he could become as strong as Lucifer, he wouldn't be afraid of Montra no matter how large Montra’s army was, how strong Montra became, or how many hundreds of high-tier items Montra possessed.
Sila knew he was not a clever person. His sole strategy for winning against Montra was simply to become stronger.
Most players would be satisfied when they had achieved Sila’s current strength, and that was one of the things that slowed down their growth, including the talented Lone Wolf and the genius Montra. However, Sila didn’t have that kind of mindset. He fought. Sometimes he won and sometimes he lost. No matter what the result was, he always thought that he could still become even stronger and never stopped practicing, even if he only took one step forward.
“In the Heaven’s Decree book, there is a part where it says ‘The greatest power is useless if lacking practical use.’ I always thought it was just a saying. It’s only now that I understand what it really means.”
Sila had successfully invented three ultimate moves—Lone Soul, Psychic Crush, and Fist of Reversal. Each of them could be considered an unmatched, supreme art. However, in practical use, if not for him taking the pellets, Sila couldn’t use even a single one of them to their full potential.
“In actual battles, there are many variable factors. What if I can’t end the battle before the pellets’ effect run out? Or, what if my opponent doesn’t allow me to take them during the battle? In any case, I will have to rely more on myself without depending on those pellets.”
As he had no idea where to start, Sila began to inspect his base powers before they combined and became Yin Yang Energy. He submerged himself in his mind and studied the flow of Yin Yang Energy circulating through his veins. He could still notice the subtle differences between Tiger Dragon Qi, Flaming Cloud Qi, and Dark Psychic Corrosion that left their own identity within his Yin Yang Energy.
One more thing that Sila took his time to restudy seriously was Profound Qi Circulation Art. He reread the book again from start to finish. Although the content was the same, Sila’s comprehension ability toward it improved since he had gotten a chance to use it in actual combat.
“Qi circulation is very basic yet the most important. It is my power’s foundation. If I want to improve my abilities, I must start at the roots.”
Sila circulated his energy throughout his body for four laps and didn’t find any problem with that. His inner force could circulate through each of the five elemental organs without any obstruction. In fact, compared to before, manually circulating qi had become so easy to him, as easy as normal breathing.
Suddenly, one particular idea struck Sila.
“Come to think of it, I have never studied my qi circulation when performing actions. Let’s see...”
Qi circulation was similar to breathing. Once accustomed to it, the body would remember how to perform it and did it semi-automatically. It was a process that one could either manually control or let the body do subconsciously, like how humans were always breathing regardless of whether they controlled it or not.
The same concept applied to Sila’s qi circulation. As he took action, his body subconsciously separated the power into five equal parts and continued to circulate through five organs with the same amount of power.
“This is wrong... the fire organ helps most with attacking, the earth organ helps most with defending, the metal organ helps most with swiftness, the water organ helps most with adaptation, and the wood organ helps most with restoration... My power spreads to all off the organs equally so no aspect becomes outstanding.”
Sila tried throwing a punch and found that his action stimulated the power within the fire organ. Then, he exhibited various styles of his personal profound art and found a grave problem.
“Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art is unkempt! Instead of understanding the profound arts I studied and united them into my own art, what I did was creating nine more arts with entirely different concepts. The foundations of the styles don’t share any similar characteristics! Alas... I always thought it was a decent art... but it turned out to be a dud. Why is inventing my own art this difficult?!”
The reason why it was especially difficult for Sila was that he learned both qi arts and martial arts simultaneously.
If he were to focus on studying a martial art, his body would naturally and gradually build up inner force suitable for his movements. On the other hand, if he focused on studying a qi art, the flow of qi itself would guide him to use suitable movements according to the qi circulation.
In one way, Sila was fortunate that he got a chance to study both qi arts and martial arts together. However, that very reason could also be said to be his greatest obstacle. Since those arts were invented by different experts, it was close to impossible for Sila to come up with a profound martial art that went along well with the qi art he learned.
Sila released a heavy sigh. It was a given that inventing a new art was hard. Most supreme experts could only come up with their profound arts during the latter half of their lives. Not many could invent a new profound art at a young age. Especially an art that could shake the martial world; no one young could ever create something like that.
“No one has ever done it, except... the Sword Prodigy!! My dad could do it. He came up with the peerless sword art when he was only in his early thirties. He got help from the brain scanner... but aren’t I using one as well?!”
Sila quickly read the part containing Pumin’s life experiences and found that Pumin had learned swordsmanship ever since he was a kid. He was a disciple of one of the traditional sword dojos that wasn’t too outstanding. Later, he quit the dojo and studied a qi circulation art together with Mora and restudied his sword art along the way.
Sila finally understood his father’s intention. After Pumin mastered Profound Qi Circulation Art, he forsook the previous sword art he had learned and invented a brand-new sword art in accordance with his qi circulation art. It was similar to how Kiryu studied Tiger Dragon Qi first, then came up with the most natural movement that best suited his qi, which led to Tiger’s Palm, Dragon’s Fist, and Tiger-Dragon Fusion.
“...My dad abandoned all of the knowledge regarding swordsmanship that he had learned since childhood in order to invent his personal art, Heaven’s Decree, from scratch...”
This could be a tough decision for many. However, Sila decided almost instantly to pave his own path, similar to how Pumin decided.
Sila intended to forgo his intermingled qi art and his messy martial art for the sake of beginning anew. Now wasn’t the appropriate time though. He planned to do so when he was in the Desert of Death, the place where Teacher Mora said the flow of time would be slower than normal. When the time comes, Sila would challenge himself to invent his new original profound art that could surpass even the genius.
Fixing things must be done at the very root, so Sila thought it was better for him to start from scratch. Sila’s way of thinking was something that Montra would never attempt to follow. There was no way Montra would abandon the power he already had in order to start anew.
Why in the world should he dispose of the great power he currently had in order to hope for something new that would take an unknown time to develop? Furthermore, there was still a possibility that the new power might turn out to be worse than the previous one.
This kind of path was more suited to a crazy man than a genius.
‘Understand the box to think outside the box.’ That was the heart of the Flaming Cloud dojo’s teaching.
Sila spent an entire night drafting his new arts in his head. This time, he didn’t forget to take the harmony between qi arts and martial arts into consideration. Sila firmly believed that he could achieve inventing them, and once they were completed, he would become a totally different person.
Sila started a new day by training his muscles. He let his body go with the natural flow of Tiger Dragon Qi and Flaming Cloud Qi without putting his mind into his actions. Even though some movements were quite strange to the eyes, they all felt natural and his body easily performed them. Sila tried his best to remember the most natural movements according to his qi.
Lookhin opened its beak, yawning. It flew into Sila’s treasure room and brought out a bag of high-quality pet food in its mouth. It then tore the bag open using its sharp talons prior to using psychic power to pull the food into its mouth while staring indifferently at Sila.
Sila continued practicing, completely losing track of the flow of time. It wasn’t until Bluebird and Burapha came to visit him that he was aware of the surroundings again.
“See? I told you he would be fine.”
Bluebird’s statement broke Sila’s concentration. He quit practicing and greeted both visitors.
“Oh, hi, you two. The meeting time has come?”
Sila greeted them while trying to remove his fabric armor soaked in his sweat, but he was not having any luck. All he could do was change the armor’s appearance, removing the upper half. In the end, he had to feel content with just using water from the pool to wash his face and upper half of his body.
His action stimulated the cleaning function in the armor and it soon cleaned itself, together with washing Sila’s entire body, making Sila feel as if he had just finished taking a bath.
“Mn. Quite convenient,” Sila muttered to himself.
“What meeting time, Big Brother? It’s already midday. Everyone is worried since you didn’t show up.”
“Really? Where is everyone?”
“Some of them can’t enter this place, so they asked us to bring you out, Big Brother Sila.”
“Umm... Actually, if we will be discussing the Wicked Union’s future direction, which will be a secret, how about we invite everyone to discuss it here?” proposed Sila.
“That’s not a bad idea, but isn’t this place your Mansion of Secrets? Shouldn’t it be your hiding place?” asked Bluebird.
“I no longer need to hide. It’s just my home now.”
As Varee already knew about the mansion, Sila didn’t have any reason to keep it a secret anymore.
Sila called Julia over and asked her to invite everyone participating in the meeting to the living room in his mansion.
“What about Mamon?” Sila asked Julia.
“I saw him doing this and that with Master’s items in the treasure room and laughing in a high-pitched voice. Do you want me to call him, Master?”
“No, that’s okay. He seems busy.”
Julia exited the mansion with Burapha. Meanwhile, Bluebird asked Sila, “Who is Mamon?”
“Ah, his real name is Mammon, the demon inside my Greed Card. It’s... um... how should I put it? He broke out from the card, I’d say.”
Bluebird showed a panicked expression. “Oi!! Isn’t that a big problem?!”
“Umm... you can say he is my ally. Mamon isn’t dangerous... I guess?” Sila said the last part quietly.
“Not dangerous!! Arghhh! Why can’t mine be the same? Lomyok got the lazy demon and you got the harmless one. Why do I alone have to suffer...?!”
As he was speaking, blue vapor began to emit from his body, to which Bluebird instantly shuddered. He quickly calmed his mind by repeating ‘calm down, calm down, don’t panic, don’t panic’ until the vapor faded away.
“Fuu... That was close. I brought it back down to 42% just in time.”
Julia emerged and said to Sila, “Everyone has arrived, Master. They are waiting for you in the living room. Do you want me to call Mister Head Butler to participate?”
Sila thought for a moment. “Nah, I don’t think we should disturb him. Sebastian must be diligently training himself in the dojo now. Please take care of them for the time being, Julia. I will go there soon.”
Julia bowed and pardoned herself. Sila turned his head to Lookhin and used Mind Link to ask if it would like to come with him or not.
Lookhin swallowed another two mouthfuls of pet food before flying to perch on Sila’s shoulder. This time, Sila had activated Formless Soldier beforehand, so its talons couldn’t harm him.
“Good kid... Please behave yourself in front of others, okay?”
Sila stroked its feathers, to which Lookhin showed slight resistance.
Bluebird took a look at Lookhin. “Oh? This is Lookhin? It grew a lot I almost can’t remember it. Come here, let me rub you a bit.”
Bluebird approached it, but his hand stopped in mid-air once he noticed Lookhin’s green eyes which clearly showed malice. His intuition told him that he would lose his hand if he extended it further.
“Oh... it seems fiercer. Come to think of it, there were times when Lookhin kept pecking me.”
“Mn. I don’t recommend you play with it yet. Let’s wait until Lookhin becomes more obedient. Look. It even tries to sink its talons into me.”
Bluebird looked at Sila’s shoulder and found that Lookhin’s talons really dug into the armor, though Lookhin’s talons couldn’t penetrate Sila’s flesh. Bluebird believed that if he swapped places with Sila, he would already be covered in blood.
“Umm... The monster’s personality may become fiercer upon promoting into Lord Rank, I guess. No one has ever raised a monster to Lord Rank so there is not enough information. Well, if you want to ask someone about pets, you can ask Swan. If memory serves me right, information regarding pets is within her area of expertise.”
The two men and the bird soon moved toward the living room, soon to enter a meeting. The result of the meeting today would become a turning point in determining Monster Soul’s future.
Chapter 192: Union’s Direction
“Oho, what a spacious mansion. No wonder Blue came to play frequently,” exclaimed White Swan.
Everyone blankly stared at Sila’s large mansion with envy. This dimension had everything ranging from a resting place, a dojo, a small park, an item maintenance room, a swimming pool, a spa, and even a billiard room. All that was missing were traces that people lived here. Only a few items showed signs of use. It was as if no one lived in such a spacious mansion.
“The mansion is really big. I wonder where he got the money to buy it. Even a large guild doesn’t purchase this kind of dimension since it would be a waste of money,” noted Hermit.
Burapha replied, “Most of the money came from gambling in Colossia’s—”
Burapha fell silent before he could finish the sentence as he sensed killing intent emitting from Cross. It seemed he had touched someone’s old scar.
Fargo tapped Cross’ shoulder. “Easy, easy. It is all in the past. Let’s just eat Sila’s food to our heart's content as a way of getting revenge, okay? Hahaha.”
Sila and Bluebird entered the room. Julia pulled out a chair for her master. After he noticed the seat Julia prepared for him, Sila frowned as it was the one between Sangdao and Varee. He got a sudden headache and wondered why this spot was always left untaken.
As soon as Sila sat down in the chair, Lookhin jumped onto the table before taking its time chewing pet food hidden under its wing. With the change in its appearance, the others had yet to realize that it was Lookhin.
“Slept in?” asked Varee.
“Ah, no. I was immersed in training and lost track of time. Sorry about that, everyone.”
Lone Wolf was the first to reply, “No problem, Sila. Actually, we covered everything important yesterday. Today’s discussion is only to assign duties and ask if anyone has more suggestions.”
Hermit nodded and handed a document to each person before summarizing yesterday’s meeting.
“We received a lot of suggestions, but I think Mister Bluebird’s are what we should follow moving forward. In short, the problems we currently face are the equipment, hidden forces, wealth, as well as the number of players we have and their quality. We are also lacking in individual powerhouses that can move apart from the rank and file. I will explain each issue in more detail now.”
Receiving gazes of admiration, Bluebird puffed up his chest. Although he used to be a no-name player, with his achievements as the Blue-Colored Catastrophe in the gathering party, everyone showed him respect. Added with his prudent opinions, everyone began to see him as an esteemed man with both brains and brawn.
Everyone except for White Swan, who was fully aware of Bluebird’s true character and knew there was no way he could come up with a brilliant idea. She suspected that the ideas came from Boss, who asked him to pass them along.
Despite how certain she was that Bluebird was a fraud, Boss’ identity was a top secret. As such, White Swan couldn’t reveal Bluebird’s shameless action. In the end, she could only grit her teeth and allow Bluebird to rake in the glory.
“About the number of people, according to the war’s rules, the total number of our forces in the union is more than enough to stand our ground against the Heavenly Dragon Guild, though it still can’t be denied that the number of people on our side is inferior...”
Sila raised his hand. “Excuse me?”
Hermit stopped the explanation and said, “You are welcomed to ask any questions.”
“May I ask what the war’s rules are?”
Cross snorted, expressing his scorn at Sila who didn’t know such a thing, while Tiger also raised his hand.
“Actually, I would like to know too.”
In fact, Tiger already knew the rules. He just didn’t want Sila to lose face alone.
“All information regarding the war event can be found on the game’s website, Big Brother Sila. Didn’t you read it before you chose to play Monster Soul?” Burapha asked. He knew the rules even though he didn't participate in the previous war event.
“Mn. I didn’t do any research before playing this game.” Sila scratched his head.
“No worries, Sila, Little Brother Tiger. Some of us here have played this game for less than a year, so it isn’t weird for you to not know the rules. In short, there are some special rules that are in effect during the war event. If you are unaware of them, you might be put into a disadvantageous position. Can Mister Bluebird explain the rules to everyone?” Lone Wolf asked as he turned to Bluebird.
“Eh? Me? Oh, sure. Mainly, during the war event, when you die, you will be forced to log out and can’t re-enter the game until the war event ends.
“Secondly, the time ratio between Monster Soul and reality will change from 5:1 to 24:1. Basically, a day in Monster Soul will be equivalent to an hour in real life. With this change, the dying players won’t have to wait too long before the war event ends.
“Next, during the war event, all monsters won’t respawn and will give us neither experience points nor items. Most facilities including weapon shops, restaurants, potion shops, or hotels in every city will be closed.
“There is a counter always visible in the system window, showing the remaining participants. The number will also display a percentage value for whichever team you fight alongside. When every group except one has a percentage lower than ten, and that doesn’t change for longer than twenty-four hours, the side with the most players left will become the victor of the war event.”
As Bluebird finished, Sila found it confusing. “Sounds quite confusing, no?”
Lone Wolf replied, “It’s not that hard, Sila. In conclusion, we need to kill our opponents or persuade them to join our side.”
“Oh, it sounds easy when you put it that way.”
Once everyone understood, Hermit continued. “...We have fewer members and that can’t be changed easily, so we have decided to focus on quality instead of quantity. We are now in the process of discussing how we can maximize the growth of people on our side.”
The remaining time before the war event was just a little longer than a month. Training oneself to become stronger required a long period of time. It wasn’t an easy problem to solve at all.
Sila proposed his idea. “How about we transmit the Qi of Little Divine Beings to everyone? Similar to how Mister Lone Wolf transmitted them to me.”
Many were surprised that Sila had received the Qi of Little Divine Beings from Lone Wolf in the past. Regardless, what they were more surprised about was Sila’s proposal, which made it sound like transmitting the Qi of Little Divine Beings was an easy task. If it was as easy as he said, qi-type experts would have already emerged all over Monster Soul.
“That’s a good proposal, but the situation that time was special. The inside of the Mansion of the Seven Deadly Sins had an extremely high recovery rate, so I could do that. But...”
Sila interrupted Lone Wolf. “I have thought about that. The thing is, Sebastian said that the dojo next to my mansion possesses the same attribute of the training room in the Mansion of the Seven Deadly Sins.”
Julia added, “It’s just like Master said, our dojo indeed has a high recovery rate.”
Hermit was delighted. “If that’s the case, it will be very helpful. Montra’s army might have a higher level, but the players of our side can use the Qi of Little Divine Beings. This way, we can win.”
“Hmph. What about magic and psychic-type players? It isn’t like we can win the war with just qi-type players alone. A good army should maintain a nice balance between users of all three energy types,” Cross asked, cutting to the main problem.
“Regarding magic-types, it will be hard for the people of our side to best the enemies. However, on the other hand, because we have few magic-type players, we can train in small groups and grow quickly. As for psychic-type players... it will be difficult. Although psychic power can become stronger without training, the process will be slow if not putting the user at risk in fights.”
Sila thought about the Slime Kingdom’s Cliff of Heroes, though that place was only accessible by slimes.
“Is there no other way?”
“Um... for psychic-type players, the best course of action for growing stronger is putting ourselves in dire situations. Training in a safe environment will hardly be helpful.” Shueria contemplated. It could be said that he was one of the psychic-type experts.
Hermit brought an end to the topic. “We don’t have to come up with a solution right away, everyone. Let’s take our time thinking it through. It’s already great that we have a way for qi-type players to become stronger. For the time being, psychic-type players should train under Mister Cross in Grea City.”
Cross nodded. In the past, Royal Armament Guild was a guild specialized in psychic power, so he possessed some efficient methods for training it.
“Regarding wealth, we will collaborate. We are still unable to find the type of product that meets the three criteria: good price, good quality, and useless for our enemies, which Mister Bluebird suggested. For the time being, our Victorious Wolves Sect will reduce our sales and start hoarding potions and food for the war event. Since our wealth can’t compete with the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s, we will prepare army provisions directly.”
The Victorious Wolves Sect showed sincerity without asking for anything in return. In fact, they could sell the food and potions for a profit. However, they chose to abandon the guild’s profit in order to benefit the union.
“As for weapons, based on what Mister Bluebird told us, he said we can seek help from Mister Sila. May I ask what he meant?”
Many turned their heads to look at Sila. Bluebird had only told them that this problem was something Sila might be able to solve without explicitly telling them the details.
Bluebird whispered to Sila, “I haven’t told them that you are managing Lost Grea City, just in case you didn’t want them to know. Anyway, it’s true that we are in need of a large number of powerful weapons.”
Sila understood and said, “I see. About this matter, actually, Lost Grea City is currently under my control. I can ask the Android King to provide us with weapons.”
Sila casually mentioned it like it was a trivial matter, but it was anything but that. Everyone gaped. Conquering Lost Grea City meant Sila had won against Orpheus, the Emperor Rank Android King, one of the most famous weaponsmiths.
Even Varee was shocked. “...You completed the city conquering quest, really?”
“Ah, right. I have to thank you for the city seal you gave me.”
Most were about to ask Sila how he did it, though Bluebird quickly interrupted and summarized the events of them conquering the city.
“Ahem, I was there with him that time. With only two players, Sila and I, we were up against an army of thousands of androids possessing high-tech weapons. After making our way through, we breached the throne room. Thanks to my contributions, we ultimately and successfully put the seal into the groove in the throne.”
Sila thought the story sounded weird, though it wasn’t different from the truth.
“Really?” Sangdao was surprised. Orpheus was an Independent NPC, an existence at the same level as her father. Even though it was just inserting the seal into the groove, it should still have been an impossible task.
“Umm... actually, Lookhin and Sebastian also helped.”
Bluebird argued. “Hey, don’t count the pets. More importantly, Sebastian and Lookhin’s duties were to become decoys, stalling the android army, allowing us to storm the palace and encounter the king, right?”
The words ‘storming into the palace’ might work in Sila’s case. However, Sila doubted the same could apply to Bluebird since all he did was fly comfortably in the air.
Bluebird concluded. “In the end, only Sila, the Android King, and I were in the room, right?”
“What about Julia?”
“At that time, Julia was just an AI without any combat ability. She didn’t even have a body. Why should we count her?” Bluebird instantly replied, disregarding the fact that their success was mostly due to Julia’s contribution.
Burapha showed a disbelieving expression. “Could it be that... Big Brother Blue is actually strong?”
“Kukuku. Did you just notice? I’m like a crouching eagle who just decided to bare my talons recently. I don’t want to brag, but now, even the Android King doesn’t want to come across me ever again.”
Although the story sounded absurd, the fact that Sila conquered Lost Grea City was real, so everyone believed that many parts of what Bluebird said must have some truth.
“What a pleasant surprise. Sila never ceases to amaze me,” said Lone Wolf.
Hermit continued. “Actually, Mister Sila’s help regarding the weapons already means a lot to us, but we still have to shamelessly ask you for one more favor.”
“Don’t say that. I’m a member of the Wicked Union as well. I’m glad if I can be of any help.”
“Thank you. The last topics are hidden forces and the number of powerhouses, which we have merged into one task. We would like Mister Sila to travel to Belacia City in order to invite skilled individuals to secretly join our union.”
“Belacia City? Is that the same city you were planning to visit, Burapha?”
“Yes, Big Brother. Belacia City, the City of Freedom. It is a city that has never been conquered by any guild. Many skilled guildless players reside there. Mister Zero was also once a citizen.”
“The players in this city strongly dislike players who are a part of a guild. If any of us go and pay them a visit, there is a high chance that they will refuse to even listen. As Mister Sila is a guildless player as well, we would like you to visit this place and persuade the players to become our strength. In this city, individual strength matters, so no one is more suitable for this job than you.”
White Swan took out a Crystal of Connecting and placed it on the table.
“Our guild happens to have a Crystal of Connecting linked to someone in Belacia City. Please take it.”
Upon seeing the crystal, Bluebird’s face went pale. He quickly snatched it up while thinking to himself, ‘Damn! How did the crystal end up in Swan’s hand?!’
“Hey! What are you doing?” White Swan asked.
Bluebird showed a serious expression. “You know nothing, Swan. If Sila uses this crystal, he will be besieged by all of the players in Belacia City.”
“What do you mean? Do you know something?”
Bluebird nodded. “Actually, there was a period of time when Boss ordered me to infiltrate Belacia City and acquire information about this city for three months. That was one of my masterpieces, so I am confident that I know more about Belacia City than the rest of you.”
Everyone was surprised to hear that. Even White Swan didn’t get her hands on such information. It seemed her Boss kept a secret from her again. Well, she couldn’t blame her. Boss had told her that even though the number of information they sold that was gathered by Bluebird was few, the information he obtained was often too risky to reveal. As a result, only Boss was aware of the results he found from his investigations.
“The players in Belacia City aren’t like everyone else. If someone passes through the hardships in the snow region and enters the city through the front gate, they will welcome them with open arms. On the other hand, if you arrive at the city using a different method, you will be looked down upon. If Sila uses this crystal, instead of him being able to persuade anyone to join us, he will be scorned. In the worst case scenario, he will be killed without having a chance to open his mouth.”
“R-Really? I-I didn’t know this at all...” White Swan’s face was pale. In the past, she almost gave the crystal to Burapha. It was fortunate that Burapha refused to take it because he wanted to try reaching the city by himself.
“In that case, I will go there on foot. Let’s wait until I have finished taking care of my business first, and then I will immediately depart,” said Sila.
Burapha volunteered. “Tag me in, Big Brother. I still wish to visit Belacia City.”
Lone Wolf said, “In that case, can Mister Bluebird go along as well? Since you have been in Belacia City, it will be helpful if someone who knows the city goes with them.”
“Heok! This is ba— I mean, is that really a wise move?”
White Swan stared at him, trying to tell whether he was lying or not. “Did you just lie about infiltrating the city?”
“No way! What I said is the truth. You can ask Boss if you don’t believe me.”
“Anyway, give the crystal back. Boss gave that to me.”
“This crystal was something I personally gave Boss in the past. I got it from a certain man in Belacia City. Now, I think I want it back. I still have an unsettled debt with him,” Bluebird said with a stern expression.
Looking at Bluebird’s solemn expression, everyone imagined an epic battle between the two men which left a scar in their hearts, waiting for the day when they would pick up where they left off.
Beluga, Lone Wolf, Fargo, and even Elso looked at Bluebird with eyes filled with respect. On the other hand, Bluebird was hiding his worry deep within his heart.
Seeing Bluebird’s serious expression, White Swan decided to let the matter go.
Cross had listened long enough. “Fine. So, this meeting is over. We will leave now.”
“We will leave too. The Mountain Thieves League will provide assistance regarding logistics and funding as we discussed.”
After saying his goodbyes, Beluga left with his people. So did the rest. It wasn’t strange since the real meeting had already ended yesterday. Today was only for some further discussion.
As Beluga, Elso, Cross, Shueria, and Fargo had left, only Lone Wolf, Hermit, Bluebird, White Swan, Burapha, Sangdao, Varee, and Sila remained in the room.
“What will we do next?” asked Burapha.
“Sebastian and I will go to the Desert of De—”
Sila hadn’t ended his sentence yet when there was the sound of an explosion.
“What was that?” asked Sila.
Bluebird replied, “An explosion, I guess.”
Everyone looked at Bluebird, wearing expressions that implied his answer wasn’t helpful in the slightest. Bluebird countered by wearing a straight face.
Julia said, “The sound came from the treasure room, Master.”
“The treasure room? Mamon?” Sila quickly exited the living room, while the rest tailed behind, except for Lookhin who threw more pet food into its mouth and took its sweet time flying slowly.
Author Note: Honestly, who can imagine Bluebird’s epic battle between two men?
Chapter 193: Heading to the Desert
The treasure room was in a messy state, with all of the items scattered on the floor. In the middle of the room laid Mamon, who was holding a test tube with great care like it was a precious gem.
“Cough, cough. I mixed it too much. It is fortunate that some is left.”
Mamon’s little hands raised the test tube gently and poured the liquid inside his mouth without leaving a single drop behind.
“Now, it’s time to get rid of the evidence and wait for the result.”
Mamon used his psychic power to disintegrate the empty test tube and took a look at his chest under his clothing. Embedded there was an octagonal crystal which looked similar to an android’s energy generator.
Mamon’s eyes fixated on the crystal. Soon, the crystal shone a dim light briefly before fading. Even though it was short, witnessing the light, Mamon grinned.
“Success! It’s successful! I really am a super genius!! Kiekkiekkiek. I didn’t expect that kid, Sila, to possess enough materials or have valuable information regarding the android race. Kukuku. The time will soon come when all beings have to crawl under my feet, the devil prince from hell!!”
Mamon’s crown transformed into a maroon beanie, which he pulled over his head. Inspecting himself, Mamon found that his level had fallen to Level 1 Squire Rank, which was the aftereffect of the rebirth. He had anticipated that while preparing the mixture, so it wasn’t surprising.
“This way, I will not have to rely on that kid to regain my strength anymore.”
Mamon looked at the inner area of the treasure room. It was where Julia kept high-level items, and Mamon didn’t have permission to enter.
“Mn. It will be best if I can visit Lost Grea City. The question is how should I ask—”
The door was swung open. Mamon quickly hid his chest under his shirt and kicked some shards from broken items under a shelf. Then, he leaned against the wall and whistled.
Julia teleported and appeared next to Mamon when Sila entered through the door. He swept his eyes all over the treasure room before approaching Mamon.
“Mamon, what happened? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, I’m fine. Why are you all in such a rush?”
As they said this, the rest of the party entered the room. They were confused about seeing the kid talking to Sila, though they didn’t interrupt the conversation. They wondered what happened inside. Even Sebastian who was training in the dojo soon joined the rest.
“What happened, Mister Sila? I heard an explosion.”
“No idea. I’m still in the middle of finding out. Well, what exactly happened, Mamon?”
“Nothing important happened. I just did some experiment and it failed. Ah~ how unfortunate. I failed at everything I did.”
Sila released a sigh of relief. “It’s good that you are unharmed. Be careful next time. You can ask for Julia’s assistance too.”
Sila was aware that he wouldn’t be helpful in Mamon’s experiment. Rather than him, Julia who was knowledgeable about items should be more useful.
“If I may ask, what kind of experiment were you doing, Mamon?” Julia asked while looking at the debris, trying to find any trace that could answer her question.
“Leave me alone. It wasn’t anything suspicious. By the way, I want to go to Lost Grea City. I heard you can go there directly, right? Can I go?” Mamon directly conveyed his need to Sila. Based on Sila’s personality, Mamon believed he would be allowed to go.
“Lost Grea City? Why do you want to go there?”
“It’s a city of technology, isn’t it? It’s natural that I want to broaden my views and get new ideas.”
Sila nodded as he understood. Come to think of it, Mamon was considered a monster who was interested in item utilization. It was obvious he would take an interest in the android’s technology.
“Yeah, we can go. However, it will have to wait until after we come back from the Desert of Death.”
“Nah, I don’t want to go to a hot desert. It’s better if we go separately.”
“Is that okay? Leaving a kid alone is...”
“I’m not a kid!! I can go alone!” Mamon yelled.
“How about letting Julia accompany him?” Julia volunteered. “Julia will take good care of Mamon. Please don’t worry, Master.”
“That sounds good. However, are you able to be away from the armor, Mamon?”
Mamon swept the dust on his cloth. “I can, but the armor will be inactive while I’m gone.”
“That’s fine... Come to think of it, Mamon, you are a very skillful inventor, right?”
“Of course. I am the best inventor in the Monster Realm. Why do you ask?”
“Mn. I have a request to ask of you. The thing is...”
Sila explained to Mamon about the item that the union wanted to produce. He also provided Mamon with the example of the Cloudy Baby Dragon Ring.
Mamon listened carefully and asked to inspect the Cloudy Baby Dragon Ring. Although Hermit didn’t know who Mamon was, with Lone Wolf’s nod, he handed the ring to the kid.
Mamon inspected the ring, flipped it around twice, and returned it to Hermit with an apathetic expression.
“A subpar item, produced with moderately skilled craftsmanship. The reason that the ring’s ability is quite good is only because of the power generator. If I have the same materials, I will be able to create a much better item, at least by a hundredfold.”
“What if we only have worse materials? Can you do something about it?” Sila asked expectantly.
“That depends on the materials. Shut it. Once I arrive at Lost Grea City, I will find some free time to create something... though it won’t be free.”
“Deal. Please come up with a good item.”
“I’m impatient. Let’s go now, item girl. Lead the way,” Mamon said to Julia.
“I would like to clean the room first.” Julia summoned a broom in her hand and started sweeping. It was her pride and duty to ensure the mansion was spotless.
Mamon started tapping his foot, waiting impatiently. Soon, he exited the room and shouted back. “I’m waiting, you know? Hurry up.”
Silence finally filled the room. Burapha was the first one to ask. “Who was that kid just now?”
Sebastian smirked. “Don’t call him a kid in front of him, I suggest. He is Mammon, the devil prince from hell who used to be sealed within Mister Sila’s Greed Card. He broke out around the same time as Lucifer.”
Tiger exclaimed, “R-Really? But... he didn’t seem overbearing like Lucifer.”
“Each of the sins have their own characteristics, sir. Among them, Lucifer is the most frightening one.”
Sila added, “Mamon is skilled at item modification. Maybe he can help us solve our problem.”
Hermit was glad. “Oh, I see. I was wondering why you asked me to give the ring to the kid. It turns out that you still have some surprises left.”
Julia stored the broom and came to Sila. “My duty is done. Excuse me, Master.”
“Mind if I tag along, Julia? I have something to do in Lost Grea City as well,” said Varee.
Sila wondered, so he asked, “Varee? What are you going to do in Lost Grea City?”
Burapha gave an answer in her place. “I guess Big Sister Varee wants to repair her sword. It broke when she was up against Lucifer.”
Burapha then told Sila about how both Varee and Sangdao braved themselves to face off against Lucifer in order to buy some time for Sebastian to warn Sila. As a result, their weapons broke.
After Sila listened to the story, he said, “Ah, so, it’s my fault. Then, Julia, please request the Android King to urgently repair Varee’s sword and Sangdao’s Chinese sword.”
Sangdao interrupted. “It’s alright, Sila. Dao’s Chinese sword was just an ordinary B-grade one, and it can’t be repaired. Dao can just purchase a new one. Don’t worry. The reason why I’m here today is because I care about you, Sila. I’m concerned for the future.”
“I-Is that so?” Sila’s face turned slightly red. Sangdao often directly yet naturally expressed her feelings, and that caused him to feel embarrassed.
“Yes, I’m also worried because you lost your skills, but there is a more important matter that you are unaware of. It’s something urgent that poses a threat to you, Sila. Even Montra is abandoning everything he has on hand in order to investigate it.”
Her topic immediately brought everyone’s attention. Bluebird quickly asked, “What is it about?”
“The Sword Prodigy’s reemergence.”
“Who is the Sword Prodigy? I have never heard of this title,” asked Hermit.
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you much. All I can say is that he was a supreme expert who disappeared twenty years ago, and that he was the rival of Mister Mora, Sila’s teacher. I have heard rumors that he made an appearance in Zhongsuyuan City, looking for both his own sword and Sila.”
Bluebird suddenly blurted out, “I remember! The day before the gathering party, there was an unknown supreme expert making a scene in front of Zeref’s weapon shop. I tried to question the witnesses but no one was willing to tell me anything... By the way, with his great ability, he should be an Independent NPC, right? How can he bully Sila?”
Most Independent NPCs possessed strength far greater than players. What they were capable of achieving far surpassed ordinary people. As a result, in order to protect players from being bullied, the system strictly enforced some rules or limitations on them.
Sangdao shook her head. “No, he is actually a player and not an Independent NPC, meaning he has every right we have. Regarding his ability, twenty years ago he was one of the strongest in the world.”
“Isn’t that bad? Since he is Sila’s enemy, won’t he join forces with Montra?” asked Hermit.
“No. Dao can’t tell you the reason but Montra’s position is shaken by his emergence as well. I guess that Montra is trying his best to deny the Sword Prodigy’s existence until the war event ends.”
The event was related to the Wulin Masters Association, so Sangdao couldn’t explain to the outsiders. Nevertheless, the fact was that the person who felt the most severe headache was none other than Montra.
Pumin was different from Montra and Sila. He wasn’t just a successor undergoing a mission like the latter two but a man who had already finished his mission before disappearing from the world.
It could be said that his current status was the present Wulin Lord, though unofficially. He was the perfect candidate from the start. If he truly was alive, both Montra and Sila’s missions would be pointless, and the one who would suffer the most would be Montra.
In the eyes of profound practitioners in the Wulin Masters Association, Pumin was like the God of Swords. He was a great man with peerless strength. Some people loved and respected him while others feared him. If he actually returned, both the genius Montra and the new wave Sila would be nothing but infants before him.
As such, Montra refused to admit that Pumin had returned. He denied and covered up every rumor to the best of his ability, at least until the war event ended. If the war event ended with his victory and he officially became the Wulin Lord, all Pumin would be was the Wulin Lord of the past. Montra would become the one with the most influence over the association.
Hearing about it, Varee was worried about Sila. “That sounds pretty bad. What will you do, Sila?”
Sila was in a dilemma. He didn’t know what to say. The Sword Prodigy was the persona he set up in order to seek a sword. He had never expected it to blow out of proportion like this.
“Erm... Don’t worry... T-Teacher Mora! Yes! Teacher Mora told me not to worry because he would personally take care of this matter.”
Sila was a bad liar, especially when he couldn’t prepare beforehand. Therefore, his reply didn't sound plausible, causing both Varee and Sangdao to frown.
“This is not a matter to be treated lightly, Sila. His appearance was two days ago, meaning only a few hours have passed in the real world. When did you talk to Mister Mora?” asked Sangdao. Her eyes told him she sincerely cared for him, which caused Sila to have a hard time swallowing his saliva.
‘Oops... what should I do? Umm... let’s go with what I told Mister Orpheus.’
“About that... I met the Sword Prodigy when I went back to the dojo last time, Varee remembers it, right, that Teacher Mora sent me a message to return to the dojo? At that time, I still didn’t know who he was. I only found out about his identity later when I asked Mister Orpheus about his sword. It turned out that Teacher Mora called me to inform me that there was some problem, but he would personally take care of it. Thus, I shouldn’t be too worried.”
Varee confirmed that Sila really did go to see Mora. Although the story seemed confusing, there seemed to be some sort of truth to it. The human imagination could miraculously fill in the missing parts of information.
Bluebird strongly nodded. “I see. I can finally put the pieces together! I asked the young man who is the disciple of the weapon shop and found that this person was prioritizing seeking a sword. I guess this person and your teacher must have some sort of an agreement. That means, at least until he finds the sword, he won’t be disturbing Sila.”
Bluebird explained how he interviewed Tee Noi, Zeref’s disciple, who was a direct witness of the event. Tee Noi didn’t even know the name of the mysterious man in the black hood and Zeref had forbidden him from spreading any information about what happened that night.
Even though he didn’t get much information from Tee Noi, Bluebird relied on the tailorbirds around the city to acquire enough information for him to make up a story, as if he had personally joined the conversation between the mysterious man and Zeref.
“That should be the case.” Sila went with the flow. This was the first time he wanted to thank Bluebird for his random deductions.
“That’s surely what’s going on! Information from me has never been wrong!” Bluebird stuck his thumb up.
“If that’s really the case, I’m relieved. Anyway, you have to be careful, okay, Sila? Dao is worried,” Sangdao said, while Sila fell into silence as he sensed the god of death staring at him.
“It’s good that it turned out fine! You already have someone worrying about you, so excuse me.” As she finished her sentence, Varee left.
Sila sighed before saying, “Julia, please have the payments for their weapons sent to me. If the materials in my treasure room are required, you are free to take them out… Umm… Actually, try asking the Android King to melt this down and produce a weapon for Sangdao. I don’t think I will be needing it.”
Sila pulled out the sealed Black Dragon Sword from his system window and gave it to Julia. Burapha saw it and felt shocked.
“This is Revin’s sword, isn’t it? How did you get it, Big Brother Sila?”
Tiger was with Sila in the Town of Beginnings, so he explained, “Sila came across Montra and the Two Monarchs in the Town of Beginnings. He acquired this sword from that battle.”
“Mn, but I didn’t kill Revin and obtained it. I wasn’t that strong. They just left it with me when they retreated.”
The fact that Sila caused Montra and the Two Monarchs to retreat sounded unbelievable, even considering he didn’t fight alone.
The Black Dragon Sword’s ownership got transferred before Burapha knew it. It greatly demoralized him. Sila was an extremely strong person in his eyes, yet Sila said that he wasn’t skilled enough to take down Revin. What about him? How could he defeat the Flame Monarch?
Regarding the battle, Sila wasn’t stupid. He read Burapha’s expression and could guess what he was thinking.
“No need to worry, Burapha. We can help each other by practicing together during our journey to Belacia City. Oh, by ‘we’, I mean you too, Bluebird.”
“Oi! Why am I included?”
“Hm? We are going to Belacia City anyway. That city seems dangerous, so it’s better for each of us to become stronger.”
Bluebird couldn’t think of an excuse, so he just shrugged. “We will go there after you come back from the Desert of Death, right? When do you plan to go there?”
“I plan to go today, after asking about Miss White Swan about pets and finishing my preparations,” replied Sila.
“Hm? it’s midday already. At this rate, you’ll arrive at night. Why don’t you depart tomorrow morning instead?”
“Time is short, so the sooner the better,” said Sila.
“Well, that's true. Go, go. I, too, will go to sleep— Ahem, I mean, go to do some secret training.”
Everyone began to leave the Mansion of Secrets. Sila asked White Swan about topics related to pets for a while before exiting the treasure room.
He stumbled across Lookhin, who was perched on the handrail in the front of the room.
“Let’s go shopping, Lookhin. We will go to the desert later.”
Lookhin hopped from the handrail to his arm. Its talons sunk into his armor, but they couldn’t penetrate through his skin enhanced by Formless Soldier.
Sila took a piece of the pet food that Lookhin left on the floor and fed it. Lookhin used its beak to tap the food twice before opening its beak and swallowing it.
“Good kid. We will visit a pet shop, a scroll shop, and an item shop, then go meet Sebastian outside.”
Lookhin nodded, then Sila teleported both of them out of the mansion. He still had many tasks left to do before departing Zhongsuyuan City.
Chapter 194: The Desert of Death
The sun went down as it had worked hard all day, while the moon rose up to replace it. The moonlight shone down beautifully in unison with starlight, helping travelers in the lifeless desert as if it was an illuminating lamp in the night sky.
After Sila, Sebastian, and Lookhin left Zhongsuyuan City, they traveled west. As Sebastian was weaker this time, their traveling speed was slower than usual. Normally they would’ve arrived in the afternoon, but they had taken three more hours than planned and it was now the evening.
“We should stop here, sir. We are close to the desert,” said Sebastian.
“Actually, Sebastian, you could let me and Lookhin go ahead and summon you later when we arrive. You didn’t have to travel along with us at all.” Sila took a break for the second time, waiting for Sebastian to alleviate his fatigue.
“The desert is a special dimension, sir. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to enter if we don’t travel together. Better to be safe than sorry, sir. It is best we go in together.”
Sila nodded before feeding Lookhin, who didn’t show any sign of fatigue, completely different from Sebastian who was breathing heavily and drinking a stamina potion.
“Are we near? Where is the desert?” Sila tried to look for some sign or landmark that could help them figure out where they were.
The scenery was a wasteland with patches of sand and few trees to be seen. It seemed they had reached the point where a wasteland and a desert met, though Sila couldn’t tell whether he was already inside the Desert of Death or not.
“I have been here three times, sir, but the furthest I could reach was at this spot. I couldn’t go any further no matter how I tried. I suspect the dimension prevents monsters from entering without a human companion.” Sebastian pointed his finger at a big boulder. “Ahead of that boulder will be the Desert of Death’s territory, sir.”
Sila approached the boulder and found that there were characters engraved on it. The characters were partially covered in sand, so he took a few moments to clear it away before reading the message.
“One must abandon all hope when pressing forth. Your wish will come true only offering up something of equivalent price.”
Sebastian walked up to him. “When I stepped past this boulder, the dimension would always reject me. Based on the information I acquired in Zhongsuyuan City, only humans can enter the desert, sir. However, everyone who has entered died and forgot everything they experienced in the desert, except a lingering fear that prevented them from returning. It is the second most mysterious place in this world.”
“And where is number one?” Sila couldn’t help but be curious.
“It must be the Monster Realm, sir. There are several myths and local legends about that place, though nobody knows where it is or how to get there.”
“Don’t worry, Sebastian. I will surely bring you back to meet Joshua,” said Sila.
“I’m forever grateful, sir.”
After Sila summoned Illuminus, Sebastian came to know that he must have met Joshua. They talked for an hour and Sila learned that Joshua was once Ramiel and Sebastian’s master. Based on Sebastian’s expression, Sila could tell that Sebastian regretted missing the chance to meet his old master, even though it was an encounter that only lasted a few seconds.
Sila’s interest returned to the boulder. “How can we be sure that when we step past the boulder, it won’t be just me that enters the dimension while the two of you are left here?”
“In order to make sure that we can enter together, I think you should seal Lookhin and I within your armor, sir. We are your pets anyway. You can release us after you are within the dimension.”
Sila nodded. He was aware that Sebastian didn’t like being sealed, and as such had never sealed him before. Since he was willing to be sealed this time, Sila could tell that the butler desperately wanted to enter the desert.
“Seal Lookhin in the first slot and Sebastian in the third slot.”
Sila invoked the command, and both of them turned into balls of light that got absorbed into the armor. The three smaller circles now showed illustrations of a great sparrowhawk, an android arm, and a grim reaper respectively. The middle circle was empty since he and Mamon were too far apart. Most of the armor’s abilities were inactive, except for the matter storage and automatic cleaning.
Sila stepped forward firmly, moving past the boulder. He didn’t abandon all hope like it told him though. Instead, his heart was filled with hope. He expected a lot from the special training place that would grant him more time to catch up to Montra. Furthermore, Mora’s gift must be somewhere in the vast desert. Aimlessly walking seemed like a waste of time, but Sila firmly believed that Mora must have planned something for him.
After he had walked three steps past the boulder, Sila couldn’t spot any difference except for the fact that the area was especially sandy. In the end, once the number of steps he had taken reached ten and he looked back, he couldn’t see the boulder anymore. He was now in the middle of a desert where all he saw was sand.
It was a cold and lifeless desert with the sound of the wind as his only companion.
“Release Sebastian. Release Lookhin.”
Both balls of light shot out. Lookhin perched on Sila’s shoulder while Sebastian was looking around with excitement.
“We have already entered, right?” asked Sila.
“Probably, sir, since the boulder disappeared.”
“Now, the problem is finding the sword and the God of Death.”
Sebastian continued to look around for clues, but nothing could be seen except sand. He brought out a compass that he had prepared and found that the needle was spinning non-stop.
“As expected,” said Sebastian. He hadn’t expected it to work in the first place, but figured it was worth a shot.
“Anything?” Sila asked while taking out an astronomy book he bought from a scroll shop. He used it as a reference to find a direction using the positioning of the stars.
“No, sir. If it was me from before, I would be able to use a spell to sense the God of Death’s presence. However, as we are now, I think we will have to use our backup plan. May I ask if Lookhin is full?”
Sila lifted up Lookhin, which slapped its belly using its wing. In order to proceed with the backup plan that Sebastian had thought of, Sila had to feed Lookhin a tremendous amount of food, comparable to what Bluebird could eat in an entire week.
“Let me summarize our situation, sir. We are now unaware of our current location, and the compass doesn’t work. We know what we are looking for, but don’t know which way we need to go to find them.”
Sila finally found the north star. It was on his left, which was bizarre because he had entered the desert from the east. The north star was supposed to be on his right.
He said, “Since we came from the east, we should go further to the west and go deeper into the Desert of Death.”
Sebastian shook his head in disagreement. “I don’t think that will be the best course of action, sir. Directions in the desert seem to be confusing. I suggest we set up a tent near this spot and find the whereabouts of what we are looking for first before going any further.”
The three of them went to the tallest sandhill nearby and found that they were completely surrounded by an ocean of sand, that stretched out toward the horizon with no end in sight.
Sila set up the two tents he had bought from the item shop in Zhongsuyuan City. They were designed for use in sandy areas. Once he set them up, the canvas spread and their legs shot down and dug deeply into the sand before connecting underground. As a result, the tents became sturdy and firm.
Sila and Sebastian stretched the canvas and finished setting up the tents. At the very least, they had shelter from cold wind and strong sunlight now, though they weren’t sure the tents would stand up against a sandstorm.
Meanwhile, Lookhin was accumulating its power, following Sebastian’s instructions.
“You can start now, Lookhin. It should be enough,” said Sebastian.
Lookhin flapped its wings and its magic power materialized into a big glowing green ball hanging in the night sky, the moon as its backdrop.
Lookhin collapsed on the sand, and Sila hurriedly helped support it by transmitting his power to alleviate its fatigue.
“Lookhin, eat this.” Sila handed Lookhin special pet food, which could recover stamina, that he had purchased from a pet shop.
Lookhin let Sila feed it two or three pieces of pet food until its eating speed accelerated, which Sila couldn’t keep up with anymore. In the end, Sila had to take out all the bags of pet food he had purchased and piled them on the sand, letting Lookhin feast without restraint.
Then, Sila walked to Sebastian, who was looking at the green, glowing ball floating in the sky.
“Is it a success?” asked Sila.
“I’m not sure, sir. Usually, it’s impossible to alter the result of a magic spell. Only the dragon race has that kind of ability. Thankfully, Entomomageia is a unique spell in that the result can be altered, though its downside is that the spell always has to start from a small unit before becoming larger. We don’t want to waste time so we let Lookhin forcefully create a large unit, which was a contradiction. It seems we will have to wait longer before it will yield a result.”
Sila took a side glance at Lookhin. “Sebastian, I believe you said that, during this period, Lookhin can’t use magic at all?”
Sebastian nodded. “Yes, sir. Although Lookhin can move freely, the laws of magic still apply. Now, Lookhin is in the process of incantation. This is the weakness of magic-type beings. While we are casting a spell, we can’t cast another spell unless we cancel the previous spell first. Therefore, it is crucial for magic-type beings to master the art of magic delay. By the way, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, the fairy race possesses the ability to cast two spells simultaneously, sir.”
Lookhin still hadn’t stopped eating. It seemed it was really tired from using such a spell.
“You don’t have to be worried, Mister Sila. Even though we magic-type beings can’t cast spells while incanting, we can still use support skills like magic power reinforcement. In Lookhin’s case, it can even use qi or psychic power during this period of time.”
“But Lookhin doesn’t have other skills like magic power reinforcement, does it?”
“Since it has become Lord Rank, it can develop such skills, sir. It has to be in a human form to do so though. Why don’t you order it to transform, sir? I will help Lookhin develop skills.”
Sila turned his head to Lookhin. “Lookhin, use Transformation.”
Lookhin stopped eating for a brief moment. It shot its eyes at Sila before continued eating. Sila inspected its status and found that Lookhin’s Affection Level was currently 45%, which proved to be not enough for it to follow Sila’s command.
“It probably takes some time.” Sila sighed. “Well, we just got there. Better take it slow.”
“Sounds good, sir. I will use this time to practice my magic power reinforcement. I really don’t like the feeling of being weak.”
“Oh, right. Sebastian, please take these.” Sila handed Sebastian two scrolls, which the butler took with curiosity.
“What are these scrolls, sir?” Sebastian opened one of them to read the contents.
“I went to a scroll shop today. Actually, Sebastian, you have always had a weakness in close-quarter combat. As you have to start over, I think it is better if you fix your weakness in the process. I wrote one of them personally, and the other scroll is what I selected and purchased for you.”
Sebastian read one of the scrolls with a delighted expression. It was a scroll about a weapon art named Subjugating Halberd. As Sila couldn’t find a scroll that taught how to use a scythe, he decided to pick one which most resembled it.
Subjugating Halberd was a halberd art focusing on aggressiveness and speed more than complexity. It would be suitable for Sebastian, who preferred being on the offensive. The price of the scroll was as high as 100 gold.
The second scroll was an empty scroll which Sila bought for 5 gold. He used it to write down one of the styles of Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art, Bone Claws. Not only was this style vicious and quick, but Sila also remembered Sebastian always tended to use claws in melee combat. Thus, he thought it would suit Sebastian’s fighting style. If Sebastian mastered this art, when his opponents chose to close the distance to avoid his spells, they would die foolishly under Sebastian’s claws.
“This... I don’t know how to return your favor...” muttered Sebastian.
“No need to return any favors. Just become stronger and we can spar together.”
Sebastian entered one of the tents, leaving Sila with Lookhin, who seemed to already be full, curling on the sand.
Sila carried the sparrowhawk to sleep inside the other tent. Then, he left the tent as he didn’t want to disturb Lookhin’s sleeping time.
Sila hung a lamp on a pole, creating a light, and took out several scrolls to place on the sand. These scrolls represented his own arts.
As he had expected, the system didn’t consider Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art a single art. As a result, he had to divide the art into nine scrolls. He wanted to look at them from an outsider's perspective.
“Although Montra’s Heavenly Destiny Fist is complex and contains several moves, it is still considered a single art because it has a clear, single concept. As for my art, each style doesn’t share a core concept and instead stands alone. If I want to fix it, this is where I have to start.”
Sila took out a sheet of paper, which he purchased from a scroll shop. Thinking about it, it was funny when he decided to buy it and the shop owner dissuaded him. The shop owner’s attempt was like he was trying to stop Sila from ending his life. Nevertheless, in the end, he couldn’t stop Sila from following his firm beliefs.
“Just like what Teacher Mora told me. It’s really easier to do anything in Monster Soul. Even canceling my core power is as easy as tearing a sheet of paper.”
Sila tore the paper in his hand. Immediately, the system notification warned him.
You have used Erasing Talisman. By using it, your base power will be permanently deleted. In your case, Yin Yang Energy - Transcendent rank will be deleted. The process is irreversible. Please think carefully before you proceed. Do you confirm your action?
Sila replied without hesitation. He was confident that the price he paid today would turn into a strong foundation for him in the future.
The system informed him that his skill, Yin Yang Energy, had been deleted. Sila tried to circulate qi and found that he had to start building up inner force from scratch.
He smiled before unrolling two of the scrolls in front of him. One of them was Five Elements Scroll and the other one was Heaven’s Decree Book, opened to the page regarding Profound Qi Circulation Art.
“I will have to start with these two.” Sila inhaled deeply and began to build up his qi slowly but firmly.
thanks for the chapter bro
super excited to see more new skills that Sila will be creating. I think Sila is a genius, in his late 20s(?) and already able to create his own profound art and further trying to master it as well.Thanks for the chapter, Sinless
Chapter 195: Unconventional Martial Art and Eccentric Qi
Seven days had passed... To be more accurate, Sila thought that seven days had passed.
The flow of time in the Desert of Death was distorted and confusing. Sometimes the day continued for more than forty hours and other times the sun was only out for an hour.
The time displayed in his system window seemed to be malfunctioning as the numbers were jumping around non-stop. He has stopped relying on that and instead drew a streak on a canvas each time he thought it had been twenty-four hours.
“Is today the seventh day? Or is it the eighth?”
Sila talked to himself while taking a look at the blazing sun hanging exactly above his head, though the moon had been in its place just an hour ago.
“Let it be. It’s no use counting anymore.” Sila eventually decided to toss away the brush. He approached Lookhin, who was using its talon to play with sand like a hen.
“You have to transform today, okay, Lookhin? The Affection Level is at sixty-five percent now.”
Sebastian exited his tent and joined Sila. In his hand was a wooden pole the same length as his old scythe. He raised his head to look at the sun, similar to what Sila had done a moment before.
“If memory serves me right, I believe it was night time an hour ago, wasn’t it, sir?”
“I quit trying to track the days. How goes practice, Sebastian?” asked Sila.
“I have memorised all of the contents, sir, but I will need to try them out to know how much I have mastered.”
“We can start our sparring session a bit earlier, then. I have accumulated enough inner force, so this may be our last. From tomorrow onward, I will be busy training my qi, which will take time. I will have to bother you with taking care of Lookhin in my place.”
Sebastian looked at Lookhin. All it had done recently was eating and boringly playing with sand. The food he and Sila prepared for three months had been reduced by one third even though he didn’t eat any and Sila only ate a meal per day.
“I’m more worried about the food, sir. If Lookhin continues to eat at this speed, we will have a difficult time staying here.”
“That’s why I want Lookhin to transform as soon as possible. At the very least, if it learns Qi Circulation, it will require less food.”
Sebastian raised his head to look at the green ball made of Lookhin’s magic power. The more time passed, the bigger it became. Its current radius was now a whopping hundred meters. Other than providing a way to block the sunlight, the spell didn’t show any notable results, making Sebastian worry that it might have failed. Thankfully, its size continued to increase, indicating that the spell was working.
“It is taking a while. Hopefully, it won’t take a month. We will have to find another solution otherwise,” said Sebastian.
Sila walked to the area where he and Sebastian sparred every other day (or at least Sila thought it was every other day). He recalled his martial art’s concept and relaxed his muscles.
“It’s pointless to feel worried. Let’s spar. Rather than only using martial moves like we did previously, you can use magic power reinforcement today, Sebastian. Oh, and don’t hold back.”
Sebastian stood in his place, three meters away from Sila. He firmly held the wooden pole in his hand, pointing its tip at Sila. It was Subjugating Halberd’s pre-battle stance.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea, sir? Your qi is only at the level of Basic Qi. I’m afraid that our spar will mess up your cultivation plan if things go wrong.”
“I have my way of doing things. You don’t need to hold back, Sebastian. I can’t practice my martial art otherwise.”
“Then, let’s start, sir.”
Sila nodded. Lookhin stopped playing with sand and watched the fight.
Black magic particles intensely covered Sebastian. Although he had lost the spells, Sebastian’s magic power capacity stayed the same. By using it directly through magic power reinforcement, his stats increased greatly, albeit temporarily.
Sila was calm like he was a pebble within a fierce storm. He was utilizing qi internally. His eyes showed no emotion, and his breathing was stable.
Both Profound Qi Circulation Art and Heaven’s Decree Sword Art were created with the concept of ‘use less to win more.’ As Sila started anew with them in his mind, he was confident that he could still win even if his stats were lower than Sebastian’s.
Sebastian kicked a pile of sand toward Sila’s face. Subjugating Halberd was an art designed to be used in a chaotic battlefield, so it wasn’t above using dirty tricks in order to win. Each grain of sand was imbued with magic power reinforcement, and thousands of them flew at Sila as if they were needles.
Sila’s eyes glowed and flashed golden. Sebastian immediately knew what action Sila would take. He enveloped himself with black magic particles and leaped forward to get out of Sila’s line of sight.
Evil God’s Essence — Transcendent Hidden Weapon Mastery.
Sila waved his hand once, and all of the sand was collected on his palm miraculously. This was the result of the Hidden Weapon Mastery skill at the transcendent rank, enabling him to marvelously collect small objects.
Even though Sila couldn’t see Sebastian, he was confident that the butler was in his blind spot. Although Sebastian’s action was a decent one, it wasn’t different than blatantly giving away his position.
Sila fired the hidden weapons in his hand. The grains of sand were clad with his qi reinforcement and flew behind him as if they were alive, aiming at Sebastian. Each of the grains moved extremely delicately, as if Sila fired them one by one.
Sebastian was well aware that he couldn’t dodge the hidden weapons, so he abandoned his defense. He spun the pole in his hand and counterattacked by smashing it on the back of Sila’s head.
The grains of sand flew past the pole and consecutively struck Sebastian’s body while the pole’s tip was about to hit Sila’s head.
Sila ducked. His head was pointing downward while his feet shot toward the sky. He used his feet to parry Sebastian’s pole and used his qi to form a knife of sand. He flung it at Sebastian, and it pierced the butler’s head.
Sila rolled once and stood like usual, calmly watching Sebastian who retreated a few steps away.
“Sir, you just used Evil God’s Essence. How could I cope with that? Didn’t you tell me you would rely only on your martial art?” Sebastian asked while pulling the sand knife out of his head. The knife ran out of power and lost its form, slipping through Sebastian’s fingers.
“I’m really sorry. I admit that I wasn’t confident in blocking your previous move, so I accidentally activated Evil God’s Essence. That means you have become stronger, Sebastian. I wouldn’t fear if I had to fight the past you in a close-range battle.”
“You overpraise me, sir. Evil God’s Essence has a duration of five seconds per day. Now that you have used it, I’m more at ease going on the offensive.”
“You are right. I will have to come up with another way to cope with your attack, then.”
Sebastian dashed at Sila, quickly narrowing the gap between them. He brandished the pole in his hand violently. It was a fighting style that no one would have witnessed from the past Sebastian, who focused on using spells while keeping his distance.
Sila raised his hands slowly, tranquilly parrying the constant attacks. The reason he wasn’t injured despite his qi capacity being low was mainly thanks to Lookhin’s involuntarily help.
In the beginning, Sila often activated Formless Soldier when he defended against big attacks. However, Lookhin could tactfully conceal its power and always perch on a part of his body, digging its talons into his skin. As a result, Sila learned to use Formless Soldier subconsciously. Soon, Sila came to a certain realization.
Poluk had taught him to use qi reinforcement at the moment of contact. It seemed the same teaching also applied to Formless Soldier. Both qi reinforcement and Formless Soldier were Genesis Punch’s foundations. Poluk had long since given Sila the answer and taught him how to utilize them to the best of their abilities.
The answer was always right in front of him, yet it took Sila a long time before he comprehended it and applied it in actual battles.
Sila’s body was as strong as weapons and armor. In the instant when Sebastian’s pole hit him, Sila would activate Formless Soldier almost subconsciously. By repetitively using it numerous times against Lookhin’s talons, using Formless Soldier had become a part of his usual behavior, like breathing, and as such his body always performed it automatically when it connected with anything.
Sebastian tried to strike Sila’s face, but Sila easily blocked it by raising his elbow up. Honestly speaking, the main reason why Sebastian’s pole couldn’t easily harm Sila was that it was just a common wooden pole designed for sparring. If it was a real weapon, it was highly likely that Sila wouldn’t be able to block it with his current power.
Sila noticed that the pressure from the pole became lighter. It turned out that Sebastian quit using the pole. The way he shifted his hand was ominous. Here came the moment when Bone Claws would bear its fang against its original master.
Nevertheless, Bone Claws was Sila’s art, so he knew all about it. Sebastian had only been practicing the art for a short time, so he had yet to fully adapt to it. From the butler’s standing position, Sila could limit where Sebastian could strike him.
Sila waved his hands. It would be a pointless action in bystanders’ eyes, but it greatly obstructed how Sebastian could perform Bone Claws. His hand’s movement froze for a brief moment as he didn’t know what to do, and an instant was lethal in a heated battle.
Sila promptly raised his foot. He stabbed Sebastian’s shoulder using his finger to numb the butler’s movement. Then, the kick arrived at Sebastian’s chest, stomping like a metal hammer, sending him away. Blood dripped from the corner of his mouth.
“What was that just now, sir? Why couldn’t I sense your kick at all?” Sebastian asked while drinking a health potion.
“I still haven’t come up with the name of the move, but that just now was a part of my martial move. Actually, if Sebastian successfully landed even a single hit on me, I would definitely die.”
“Did you mean you didn’t use qi at all in the previous fight?” Sebastian asked with a shocked expression.
“That’s not it. I depended on my movements to guide the flow of qi, which is the heart of learning a martial art. You can say I used qi, though without forcefully circulating it but letting it flowed naturally.”
“You are really skilled, sir. Do you even need to practice your martial art further?”
“Mn. This is not yet the level I hope my martial art will reach. Kiryu stated that using the flow of qi to guide the martial move is the zenith while Sanon stated that using martial moves to guide the flow of qi is the pinnacle. Both of them had their own points, though some people think differently.”
Sila smiled. “That would be my teacher, Mora, and my father. They developed both qi arts and martial arts simultaneously. They said that using martial moves to guide the flow of qi is the Earth Way: firm, sturdy, and certain. Meanwhile, using the flow of qi to guide the martial move is the Heaven Way: sublime, mystic, and complex. However, the profound art’s ultimate way is neither the Heaven nor the Earth. The profound practitioner is a human, so the ultimate way is naturally the Human Way. Once both Heaven and Earth coexist in the human body, the martial moves guiding the flow of qi and the flow of qi guiding the martial move, supporting each other, the profound practitioner will reach the state of infinite duality, which is the ultimate realm of the profound way.
“It sounds quite obvious, sir. In conclusion, you need to practice both the qi art and martial art to their limits, right?”
Sila shook his head. “That’s not it. Each qi art and each martial art has its unique characteristics. Only by the two of them establishing a sense of harmony can I draw out their maximized potential. Otherwise, they will conflict with each other and their strengths will decline.”
Sebastian asked with concern. “And? Can you accomplish that, Mister Sila?”
“I may be an idiot when it comes to most topics, but I’m confident in my ability regarding practising arts. I’m positive I have the way to achieve that. My new martial art is half complete. As for my new qi art, since I still need to accumulate a bit more inner force, I will start practicing it after Lookhin succeeds in human transformation.”
“May I ask what the arts you are coming up with are like? If you don’t mind, I would like to hear about them so that I will have a shot at winning against you in the future.”
“Haha, sure. Help me find their weaknesses. I think they are peerless, but maybe that’s only my wishful thinking. It’s better if I can get an outsider’s opinion. Where should I start? Which do you want to hear about first? Qi art or a martial art?”
“The martial art, I suppose, sir, since I just lost against it.”
Sila nodded. “Formerly, I had a lot of martial arts, though I hadn’t mastered any of them. Then, I came up with Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art, but I realized later that the art severely has no concept; it’s just an art that shallowly combined other people’s arts together. In the end, I started concentrating and thinking hard on where my strength really lies and what kind of concept I want my martial art to be. Finally, I got it. It is ‘Formless,’ the concept of my solely unique style, Martial Formless. Therefore, I am pressing on this concept and creating martial moves with it as the core.”
“What do you mean by ‘Formless’, sir?”
“Formless is the tenet of my Flaming Cloud dojo. I was also raised this way so I can easily comprehend it. To put it simply, it means an unconventional martial art. The most natural movement used without being chained to any customary thinking, that’s ‘Formless’. The more my opponent is skilled at reading people’s movements, the harder it becomes for them to cope with my martial art.”
“That sounds great and all, sir. However, what’s the difference about it from untrained boxing if it is unconventional?”
“It’s quite hard to explain. Let’s...”
Suddenly, Sila’s fist was in front of Sebastian’s face, without giving the butler any time to react.
“How about this? What is the difference between this punch and a normal punch?” Sila asked as he put his hand down.
“Well... in the previous punch, you didn’t show any signs of movement indicating that you were about to throw a fist, sir. Normally, for someone to throw a fist, there will be some sign like a muscle contraction, allowing me to predict the punch. However, just now, it was as if Mister Sila’s fist suddenly appeared in front of me.”
“Actually, there was still a muscle contraction, though I did my best to conceal it. Sometimes I will use a different set of muscles to perform the same task, and sometimes I will contract unrelated muscles to confuse opponents. This is what I have learned throughout my ten years of actual fighting. The only way for me, the one without any martial arts, to win against practitioners from other dojo was to rely on little gimmicks like these.”
“They’re terrifying little gimmicks, sir. I guess that no one could stand a chance against you.”
“That’s not it. In the past, I relied on these techniques but my attack was too weak to do any real damage. From other people’s perspectives, my successful attack would only look like an untrained lucky punch. As a result, even though I was the dojo’s main disciple, I wasn’t given much respect from other disciples. Only Teacher Mora praised me and told me to continue practicing this way of fighting.” Sila showed a dejected expression.
Sebastian didn’t know about the problems in Sila’s past. He quickly changed the topic. “What about your qi art, sir?”
Recalling the time when he was looked down upon by other disciples from the same dojo, Sila was melancholic. Everybody had talked behind his back, saying that he wasn’t worthy of the main disciple position, and the only reason he was selected was because he was his teacher’s adopted child.
Thus, his desire to stop Montra was Sila’s small opposition. He wanted to declare to everyone that he was suitable and worthy to be the Flaming Cloud dojo’s main disciple.
“What did you just say?” Sila just noticed that Sebastian had asked him something.
“Your new qi art, sir. What kind of qi art do you intend to practice?”
“Ah, about qi, I was inspired by the Five Elements Book. It said that five elements of qi flow through all beings, and all beings usually have an affinity with a single element. To be honest, I have yet to comprehend it. However, ultimately, I hope to create a qi art that can bring out the power of all five elements.”
Sila’s explanation regarding his qi art was noticeably shorter than his martial art. Sebastian thought he had tapped into Sila’s past, causing Sila to feel down, so he didn’t insist on asking. Instead, he looked at Lookhin and changed the subject.
“How about trying to order Lookhin to transform again, sir? I think it has become obedient enough.”
Sila approached Lookhin, who got bored again and was drawing a doodle in the sand with its talons. None of the grandeur belonging to the great hawk, lord of the sky, could be seen at all.
“Lookhin, can you please transform?” Sila asked it without having much hope since this was already his thirtieth or so attempt.
“...” Lookhin took a glance at its master’s dispirited face. It lightly nodded and its body was soon enveloped with a green glow.