Chapter 247: Accidental Encounter
Sila brought his wounded body to an isolated path, near Belacia City’s wall. His qi was still in disorder due to Kawin’s new profound art, so he would have to suppress it soon.
‘Kawin and Revin’s profound arts resemble Montra’s Martial Radiance Art. Strangely, the softness in their powers resembled Tiger Dragon Qi instead. I had to study several profound arts and use them as foundations before being able to come up with my own arts, yet Montra and his friends could rely on themselves to come up with ones. The world is truly a big place.’
Sila didn’t know that Montra had invented Triple Sky Energy after studying Sila’s Tiger Dragon Qi by combining it with Martial Radiance Art and using them to temper his body. He depended on his indomitable willpower and endurance to bear the severe pain, forcefully and randomly circulating the combined power through his veins until he discovered a new circulation path that led to the new qi art.
Sila leaned against the wall and sat down. Taking out a health potion, he drank it to heal his external wounds and regained some strength. He closed his eyes and slowed down his breathing. Using Profound Qi Circulation Art, he inspected the qi running through his veins.
‘Kawin’s art is of the wood element. It is quite similar to the original version of my Weapon Subduing Fist. Mine focused on transmitting qi into an opponent to damage their muscles and obstruct their flow of inner force. On the other hand, Kawin’s seems to focus on permeating his power into his opponent’s body to make their power become chaotic. His method works faster, but the opponent will still be able to use their power. Still, the control over their power significantly drops. For qi-types like me, I may even experience qi deviation.’
Just normally circulating qi as he had always done proved to be several times more difficult for Sila in his current state. If he didn’t concentrate enough, his qi would go left when he wanted it to go right, or go up instead of going down. Sila had no choice but to fully concentrate. He borrowed power from nature to stimulate the qi circulation in his body, slowly and steadily restoring his qi to its normal state.
Snow soon fell on Sila and completely buried him underneath, yet he continued to use the Great Flow to assimilate himself with nature. His body became no different from a mass of snow next to the city wall in the span of a few minutes.
The sound of footsteps belonging to three different people came from the town’s exit. Nevertheless, Sila was currently in the middle of a critical procedure. If he stopped now, he would have to start over. Thus, instead of changing his location, he decided to risk it by sitting still and hoped for the three to simply walk past without noticing him.
Similar to his father, Sila was an internal-utilizing type. Theoretically, as long as he didn’t move and did nothing but circulate qi, people shouldn’t be able to discover his presence. In addition, to be on the safe side, Sila stopped circulating Five-Attributed Cloud Qi and circulated Shapeless Qi instead. Although the recovery speed would be reduced, it would be harder to detect him.
The sounds stopped less than ten steps from where Sila was sitting. Startled, Sila groaned in his mind, asking why they didn’t just walk away.
“He should have been around here. Not too far from this spot.”
A man’s voice rang out. Sila was quite sure that he had never heard someone with this voice before, so he judged this person might be someone in Belacia City who he hadn’t met yet.
In any case, Sila didn’t dare expand his senses to inspect the three.
“Are you sure? I see no one.” Another voice rang out. It sounded somewhat strange. Sila guessed it belonged to a young teenager.
“Haha. Please don’t underestimate me, Vlad. There is no way my art failed. I have already familiarized myself with Sila’s power. He arrived here then suddenly disappeared. Well, he might have used a Return Scroll or an Invitation Card. Travelling is too convenient in this game.”
The male teenager referred to as Vlad scoffed. “I doubt it. Who told you to test his strength? What if he died? Don’t forget that we still have to make him win the war event.”
“Nothing would have changed even if he died. With our capabilities, we can support even a stray cat to become a king of tigers. I was just curious to know the current strength of the potential Wulin Lord. What a disappointment, he was nothing. Montra was far more formidable. Even when facing against my dark art, he didn’t even furrow his brows.”
Sila was surprised by their conversation since it was about him. Feeling curious, he slowly opened his eyes and carefully gazed through the snow to see the three before him.
Once the appearances of the three entered his view, Sila was stunned. He had seen them before with his own—no, with Asura’s eyes. These three were the ones known as Kimon who had challenged Montra in the Magic Kingdom.
The man who always spoke politely was a man with light brown hair wearing faint golden clothing. On the other hand, the boy-ish sound came from a large man carrying a coffin on his back. Aside from them, there was still a young woman with red hair. She was showing her back to Sila, so he couldn’t see her face, yet he felt her back was strangely familiar.
“What about you, Himeko? Do you hear anything?”
The woman stood there motionlessly. She didn’t turn her head as if she intentionally didn’t want Sila to see her face. Regardless, Sila was in the state of deep qi circulation. No matter how much he wanted to discover her identity, he decided not to move.
“No... He is not around here,” she replied, “By the way, Revin and Kawin are over there. Moreover, one giant-sized monster is coming this way.”
Sila secretly felt relieved that she indeed couldn’t sense him.
“If even you can’t hear him, that means he is really not around here. Well, I think we should go and pay those two a visit. Kawin and Revin are like Montra’s right and left hands, maybe we will be able to shake Montra’s resolve if we torture them. Even better, if we are lucky, we may get to know Montra’s whereabouts in real life. If Montra dies, Sila will be guaranteed to be selected as the next Wulin Lord.”
The conversation involved murder, yet the one saying didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all as if he was long used to it. This fact made Sila even more panicked.
The system notification suddenly rang out. A monster had come to this place exactly as Himeko had predicted.
Monster Behemoth, Level 1000 Marquis Rank, has appeared.
Amidst the snowstorm, a monster that looked like a cross between an elephant and a hippopotamus smashed through the snowfield. Its body was so large that the sunlight shining from behind it projected a shadow massive enough to cover the three.
Seeing a chance, Sila decided to flee when the three were busy fighting the monster.
“Who will take care of it? Please make it quick though. We will lose track of those two otherwise,” asked the man with light brown hair, who seemed to be their leader.
“Let me.” Vlad strode forward. Meanwhile, Sila held his breath, trying to witness how the mysterious Kimon fought.
Spotting humans, Behemoth made a grunt as it clad its body with a ridiculously insane amount of qi reinforcement. Its body became larger and it launched its massive punch downward to crush Vlad, who was standing below.
Vlad didn’t even move a millimeter from where he stood. The sight was like an elephant about to crush an ant. Sila secretly swallowed his saliva.
“ROARRR!!” Behemoth let out a painful cry as it raised its palm with a bloody hole in it, feeling dumbfounded. Apparently, not only did Vlad not dodge, he also didn’t even prepare for the incoming attack. Despite this, the Behemoth’s palm, which struck his head, came out severely injured while there was no scratch on Vlad. It was like his entire body had become a metal wedge. Attacking him was equal to self-harming.
“Vlad, please don’t play around. I told you we have to hurry,” the man urged, “Or do you need my help?”
“No need. I will kill it now.” Vlad’s body became as light as a feather. He leaped through the sky and reappeared behind the back of the neck of the misfortunate monster. After that, its gigantic size heavily collapsed on the ground before the two remaining members of Kimon group. In plain sight, a hole appeared on the back of its head, showing its skull full of cracks.
Behemoth didn’t even know how it had lost. Everything happened way too fast. Nevertheless, it still held on to its life, though very barely. Seeing the two humans before its eyes, it became enraged. It then bared its claws at the two tiny humans. These claws were clad with every ounce of its remaining life force. At this level, the attack could even threaten the top players.
“Sigh. You chose the wrong opponent, monster.”
The light-brown-haired man stared at the giant Behemoth without any intention of dodging its claws. His eyes suddenly flashed a mysterious gleam. Seeing the man’s eyes, Behemoth’s movement came to a halt. Its gigantic body seemed to shrink and tremble in fear. After it stayed in that unexplainable state for a few seconds, it started to spit out its internal organs, one by one. Soon, the white snowfield had turned bloody red as Behemoth ceased its movements. Its vicious eyes became vacant as if it was dragged into the bottom of an abyss during its last moments of life.
“Vlad, aren’t you a little rusty? It didn’t die on the spot,” said the man.
“I just held back, Asava. I was concerned that its blood would stain my clothes if I hit it too hard,” replied Vlad.
Asava didn’t show any particular interest in his response. He looked at the corpse of the monster, which was about to disappear, with a frown. “Strange.” He let out a single word.
“What do you mean?”
“Normally, I should get some items, especially from a Marquis Rank monster like this one. It should drop at least one or two items, but I didn’t get anything. Why?”
Indeed, a system notification rang out in Sila’s head, listing the items he acquired from the defeated monster. With King’s Treasury, all dropped items within a twenty-meter radius would belong to him. The skill that didn’t seem to have any downsides turned out to be harmful in a moment of crisis. If someone became curious and unleashed their energy to inspect, the pile of snow that was covering him would surely be wiped away.
“Revin and Kawin are taking a detour to the west. It seems they don’t want to enter the city from this side,” Himeko informed the other two when things were about to go bad for Sila. With her statement, Asava quit paying attention to the items that he never wanted to begin with.
“In that case, let’s go and pay them a visit. Whose turn is it this time?” asked Asava.
“Himeko,” replied Vlad.
“I’m fine. You two can take care of them,” said Himeko.
“Those two are merely small fry. Let’s say you can have them both, Vlad. I will just be a bystander. Well, let me handle the torture. I am confident I can make them spill the beans.” Asava’s tone of voice expressed his pleasant mood.
Vlad asked, “You have met both Sila and Montra. What do you think about them in comparison?”
“Mn. Montra is quite scary. I don’t want to fight him if possible. Well, if it’s bare-handed combat, I’m sure I can kill him within three hundred moves. Still, I won’t say the same if he wields a spear. One of us will die as soon as I or he makes the first mistake. About Sila? With such a sloppy martial art, he won’t even survive more than five of my moves.”
‘Just five moves?’ Sila was worried. His disturbed state of mind affected his power and a part of his power leaked out of the snow covering him.
“Anyway, Sila is still growing stronger. He may surpass Montra in the near future,” Himeko said. Her voice was strangely loud.
“True, but in the martial world, the future is not that reliable. If you aren’t strong enough, you will simply die. No second chances,” Vlad replied. “By the way, why did you have to speak so loudly?”
“Sorry. I’m excited. Those two are getting further away. We may lose them if we don’t hurry.”
“Mn. Let’s go.” Asava jumped ahead, followed closely by Vlad. On the other hand, Himeko remained there for a few moments. She tossed a certain item on the ground.
“See you later, Sila.” She briefly took a side glance at the pile of snow before following the two who went before her.
Hearing her voice and seeing her face, Sila abruptly darted out from the snow. He blankly stared at the woman who didn’t even leave footprints behind on the snowfield. He picked up the item she left on the ground.
“Crystal of Connecting...” Sila gently muttered to himself.
Sila was oblivious of Kimon’s identity and objective. He could only sense the feeling of danger from them. In any case, he was positive that Asava was the one who had caused him to be stabbed in the abdomen. Even though Sila didn’t know what kind of profound art Asava was using, he was certain that the man was a psychic-type player. Asava’s abilities were frightening and inexplicable. His power was like an iceberg with only the tip visible above surface. Sila couldn’t gauge the bottom of Asava’s strength at all.
This man, Asava, was confident that he could kill Sila within five moves.
As for the man named Vlad, even though his voice sounded childish, his strength was the opposite. Undoubtedly, the man must be a qi-type player. He used some kind of qi art which focused on heavy and hard attributes similar to Formless Soldier, yet felt far more ominous and sinister. Based on what Sila had seen, this man’s strength rivaled Independent NPCs. He might even be on the same level as Poluk. Just his basic moves possessed a might that could shake the sky.
What made Sila panic more was that Vlad exerted his inner force both externally and internally—which should be impossible in theory. Sila guessed that it was only possible due to some special dark art. He doubted he could take even a single punch from Vlad if they were to fight.
The last one, Himeko, greatly confused Sila. Her last sentence was said with a different voice, yet it was the voice that Sila was most familiar with. Her face also belonged to someone he knew in the past. Even though her hair had changed to red and was shortened to only reach her neck, Sila wouldn’t ever forget her face.
“Why...? Nunthima? Why are you related to Kimon?”
Sila stared at the Crystal of Connecting in his right hand. Unable to toss it away, Sila decided to keep it in his system window. At the very least, he still wanted information from her.
“Didn’t she return to Montra’s side after that day? Why has she appeared in Monster Soul?”
The day before the match against Montra, Nunthima came to him and confessed that she was a spy and could no longer lie to him. She also couldn’t bear staying with him because of her guilt. In the end, she decided to return to the Sky Dragon Dojo where she belonged. At that time, Sila neither stopped nor held her back—he only stood there, silently.
Yet, if she was originally with Montra, why was Montra surprised when he saw her in Monster Soul?
Sila was unable to solve the puzzle. He had no choice but to add to the list of questions he prepared for his meeting with Mora. So far, his teacher had been able to provide an answer for any kind of question. Sila hoped that it wouldn’t be too much if the number of questions was a bit excessive this time.
Smuggling himself into the city was easier than Sila had thought. It was done by him altering the Mechanical Evil God’s Protection to become a big coat then leisurely walking through the city. Once he arrived at a hotel, Sila entered and could finally log out without any obstacles.
Still, he couldn’t help but worry that the real obstacle was simply waiting for him to return so that it might jump out and cut him down.
Chapter 248: (Title will be revealed at the end)
No plan is perfect. No matter how flawless a plan seemed to be, there are always potential complications that can happen. It was inevitable. Still, those who are skilled enough can turn a crisis into an opportunity. One such capable person was sitting on a chair right now communicating with his allies.
“...I understand. It’s fortunate that no one is injured. Don’t engage in combat against Kimon. They are different from us. They are not the kind of opponent we can win against.”
Montra closed his system window after exchanging intel with Kawin. Apparently, Revin and Kawin had accidentally met Kimon. It was fortunate that Montra had warned the two before to flee at once if they spotted Kimon. Thanks to his warning, the two suddenly used Crystals of Connecting to teleport themselves to Red River, a certain player in Belacia City who had agreed to join forces with them.
“Nunthima...” Montra muttered to himself. He showed a slightly gloomy expression once this name left his mouth.
‘At that time... I just wanted someone to investigate Sila’s general background information, yet she volunteered herself to become a spy. Then, before the day of the match, she suddenly came back and said she couldn’t lie anymore. She also quit the dojo, saying she would stay with Sila. Unexpectedly... she belongs to Kimon.’
Montra had always believed that Nunthima had been staying with Sila. That made him surprised to see her as Kimon’s member. Although he knew that Sila moved to live with Varee for some period of time, he just thought that Nunthima was with Elder Mora, who had disappeared back then.
Using his system window, Montra sent a message to the outside world to have his people investigate Nunthima’s background and personal information. Despite this, deep in his mind he was sure that the investigation would end up pointless if she truly was a member of Kimon. Still, he hoped he would find some useful intel.
“Kimon and the Flaming Cloud Dojo had a relationship in the past. Could it be that this is Elder Mora’s doing? Or are both sides unrelated? Two of these answers will lead to totally different results... Too different for me to overlook them.”
Each answer was too important to ignore. They also required different solutions. Montra couldn’t afford to make a rash move. Thus, he decided to use the method that he tended to rely on in situations like this.
“In that case, I will have to force both sides to show their standpoints. I will extend the result of my main plan to include Kimon.”
Montra stood from the chair while issuing orders to call two certain players to the guild’s hall. He strode to his personal safe and pressed his hand on a hidden button.
The sound of an engine silently roared. Then, Montra walked in front of the mirror on the other side of the room before placing his hand onto its surface. He transmitted his power imprint into it. Ripples appeared on the mirror surface like water.
Montra headed inside, going through a small corridor leading to the hidden room of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. Inside, there was a giant golden gate with numerous magic formulae that could only be found in the legendary floating Magic Kingdom engraved on the door panels. The base of the gate was made using an esoteric technology from the Lost Android Kingdom while the gate itself was emitting the enigmatic aura of the mysterious and profound hidden Qi Kingdom.
In front of the gate was something similar to a control panel, yet the buttons were replaced by six gems.
This gate was the invention that Montra had created using the blueprint obtained from Orpheus.
Montra placed his palm on the panel, and a futuristic screen soon popped up. On the screen was more than a thousand different button combinations. Out of all of them, more than 99% would lead to failure. Only three of them were currently useable.
Montra pressed his hands on the gems in the sequence he desired. “Illusion Sapphire, Crown Ruby, Universe’s Eyes Amber.”
The door panels of the gate temporarily become a large screen displaying information. Montra continued, “Star Tear Topaz,” and a certain sentence appeared on the screen.
[Currently Owned. Location: Heavenly Dragon’s Central Hall.]
Montra didn’t show any noteworthy reaction despite the sentence meeting his expectations. He plucked out one of the gems and said, “Seal.”
The magnificent jewel lost its profound luster and became a worthless rock. Montra threw it in his system window before taking an invitation card out and teleporting himself to the door leading to the guild’s central hall.
Montra took his Dragon Head Mage Staff out and used its handle to write a magic formula on the door panel while muttering some chants. Three minutes later, the edge of the door emitted a faint white light as Montra stored his mage staff. He walked through the door, which instantly slammed close as soon as he entered the room.
The hall was wider than it appeared when looking from the outside. The inside was wide enough to hold a thousand people and the wall was durable against attacks, both from the inside and the outside. Usually this room was used for announcing important matters to guildmates. This time, however, there were only two people other than Montra, obediently waiting for his orders.
Montra walked past the two of them, who slightly bowed at him, and finally sat on a throne located at the back of the hall. His gaze, showing no emotion, fell on the two.
“Calling us two here, do you have any orders for us, Leader?” asked the Star-Finishing Warlord Cheris.
“I wouldn’t dare to order you around. Rather, the reason I called you here today is to ask for your help eliminating a certain rat.” Montra didn’t beat around the bush.
“A rat?” The two of them exclaimed simultaneously, though with different feelings. One of them felt surprised while the other felt startled.
Montra continued, “Yes... this rat has been staying in the Heavenly Dragon Guild for so long and has been biting us from the inside. It probably thinks that no one will ever know its secret. Little does it know that it had unknowingly made two grave mistakes.”
Cheris, or rather Yardpirun, immediately realized that Montra had come to know that she was a spy. Still, she wondered why Montra acted so calm. Why did he only call a mere new guild member here instead of surrounding her with more people? She was instantly on guard and looked for a chance to escape.
“What mistakes, Leader? Could you please explain?” asked Yardpirun. She secretly took a Crystal of Connecting out. It was the only transporting item that could be used during combat.
“Do you remember the paper notes I gave away during the invasion of Grea City?”
Holding the Crystal of Connecting in her hand, Yardpirun was no longer scared. “I did everything according to the note.”
“I deliberately wrote one trivial, nonsensical order on each note, and you were the only one to practically stick to it, down to every letter. When unexpected situations occurred, you always waited for Lost Ghost to move first, then followed. Your mistake was you didn’t make any mistakes. You were too worried that your secret might be revealed.”
The disguise was undone. Reverting to her usual self, Yardpirun stared at Montra.
Montra added, “I take it that you must have told Sila your real identity. That was your other mistake. Your acting might be flawless, but Sila held back slightly when he made a move against you. That’s what made me focus on you more than others.”
With how the conversation flowed, the third person in the room decided to unsheathe the weapons she carried on her back.
“Calm down, Ginny. I still have something to do,” Montra instructed, which prompted Ginny to lower her dual swords.
Apparently, the other person aside from Cheris who Montra had called over was Ginny—the new guild member Revin had invited. For the past few days, she had been practicing swordsmanship under Revin’s guidance and learning magic tricks from Trick Master. Together with S-class unique dual magic swords in her possession, she had made enough progress to be selected as one of the Vice-Warlords.
“I won’t stay here long enough for you to do something else, Mister Montra.” Yardpirun activated the Crystal of Connecting in her hand, yet nothing happened.
Montra laid against the back of his throne. “I cast the magic domain beforehand. If you want to use items, you will have to use them outside this hall.”
Yardpirun quickly estimated the distance between where she stood and the door. It was less than a hundred steps, which shouldn’t be a problem for her. She was confident that, even if Montra and Ginny ganged up on her, she would still be able to break through if she just relied on the Gem of Catastrophe’s ability.
Montra took a rounded rock out. He looked through it at Yardpirun, as if it was a camera lens. “Unseal,” he commanded.
The rock transformed and became a shining yellow gem similar to a cat’s eye. The black pupil part of the iris gave off a profound glow like it was presenting an entire universe. Montra only looked through it for a brief moment before returning it to his system window, having already obtained the information he wanted.
“A ring attached with the sixth Gem of Catastrophe, Star Tear Topaz. Its conceptual ability is ‘Presence.’ I take it that you have been using it to help your disguise,” Montra mentioned casually.
Seeing what Montra had done, Yardpirun said in return, “The eighth Gem of Catastrophe, Universe’s Eyes Amber. The conceptual ability is ‘Truth.’ I take it that you just used it to perform a high-level inspection.”
“You are very well-informed, Yardpirun, as expected of the leader of the Blue Pigeon Guild.”
Yardpirun didn’t seem too surprised to hear that Montra could accurately guess her true position. She guessed that he must have discovered all of her information using the Universe’s Eyes Amber. Still, she couldn’t deny that she was feeling worried because he explicitly mentioned her guild.
“You must want the Gem of Catastrophe in my possession, correct?” asked Yardpirun.
“I’ve already gotten what I want,” Montra replied, “Ginny, you have practised long enough. It’s time for you to have a real battle. Please take care of her in my place.”
“Me?” Ginny was surprised. Given her current strength, she didn’t think she could rival Yardpirun, who was technically still one of the Five Dragon Warlords.
“Yes. If you win, her position as the Dragon Warlord will be transferred by you.” Montra shifted his gaze to Yardpirun. “As for you, if you win against Ginny, I will let you go.”
Yardpirun didn’t understand. Even though Ginny possessed S-grade dual swords, which were a rare set, they were still far inferior items compared to the Gem of Catastrophe. Montra’s proposal was too good for her. Not to mention the gem. It was a fraudulent item that—even though he didn’t want it—he should still seek to obtain rather than let his enemy keep. She questioned his true motives.
“I won’t hold back, you know?” Yardpirun warned.
“Rather, I don’t think you should. Even though Ginny is weaker, I will be disappointed if you are the type to look down on your opponent.”
Yardpirun materialized two long swords in her hands. They were as transparent as glass, seemingly visible yet invisible. Ginny wasn’t afraid of them. Both the Solaria Sword and the Dorolia Sword in her hands emitted light as she started casting spells. She took three steps forward while brandishing her dual swords. The magical might that the swords unleashed overwhelmed Yardpirun, prompting her to raise her long swords and block the attack.
“Winter Flash! / Summer Flash!”
Two voices simultaneously rang out from Ginny’s mouth. She relied on the fairy race’s trait that allowed her to cast two spells at once.
As the timing was right, the spells could unleash their maximum destructive power. The hot and the cold sword waves didn’t clash against each other, but instead worked together with no loss of power.
Yardpirun felt terrifying hot and cold feelings at the same time. Ice and flame sensations transmitted through her long swords, which prompted her to unequip her weapons before the magic fully reached her.
Meanwhile, Montra calmly observed the fight. He could predict the result of the battle even before it had started. He had intentionally placed several traps to lower Yardpirun’s odds of winning. The first one was giving her false hope. In fact, if Yardpirun focused her mind on fleeing, she would have a relatively high chance of success. However, he declared that he would let her go if she won against Ginny. With Ginny’s strength being below her level, she became hesitant and decided to try fighting before fleeing. Her inability to make a resolute judgment would bring demise to herself.
The second trap was their previous conversation. He revealed he knew her true affiliations, and that put great pressure on her mind regarding what he planned to do against her guild. He also made her question why he didn’t attempt to snatch the Gem of Catastrophe in her possession even though he had a chance to do it. His questionable action cut some part of her concentration from the fight.
The next trap was him explicitly saying Ginny was weaker than her. His words taunted Ginny to do her best to show the result of her training, in order to become a step closer to Revin—the person she admired.
On the other hand, Yardpirun was missing some key information. The magic in Ginny’s possession wasn’t simple elemental magic, but Season Magic—the exclusive magic belonging to certain species in the fairy race. Her real strength was more formidable than how it seemed as she had been taught how to properly take advantage of her special magic by Montra.
The last trap was his presence. Even though he did nothing but observe the fight, Yardpirun couldn’t help but be wary of him and attempt to preserve strength in case he ambushed her.
With this many restrictions, Yardpirun couldn’t show even half of her full strength. She struggled against Ginny and ultimately had to rely on the Gem of Catastrophe.
Her presence vanished, along with her body fading away. Montra looked her way without blinking, his expression unchanged as if he was absent-minded.
He had been waiting for a long time to test his new art. The Gem of Catastrophe—Star Tear Topaz—was worthy of being the test subject of Grand Deity’s Breathing’s profound might.
Grand Deity’s Breathing — Second Stage, Hold Breathing and Borrow the Heavenly Eyes.
Montra’s eyes became vacant like a mirror. What was reflected in his eyes was the sight of Ginny trying to use a spell to pinpoint Yardpirun’s location. Meanwhile, Yardpirun was walking around Ginny. She kept attacking Ginny using her invisible swords.
“Three steps, on your left,” Montra nonchalantly said.
Ginny, who was troubled by Yardpirun’s attacks, didn’t think twice. She brandished her sword in the direction Montra gave her. Then, her sword clashed against the incoming blow of the ex-Star-Finishing Warlord, whose attacks were rumored as ones which couldn’t be blocked.
“This is...?” exclaimed Yardpirun.
“Five steps behind you, and one step to your right,” Montra instructed, which Ginny responded to by obediently following his guidance. Her swords then damaged two appearing Yardpiruns.
Ginny was confused as to why there was more than one Yardpirun, though Montra revealed the answer in no time. “You must be using the Star Tear Topaz to replicate your presence and make more of it. Is this the current extent of your understanding of the Star Tear Topaz’s ability?”
“So you are helping her by revealing my position? Doesn’t this count as two against one?”
“I spoke in a way that both of you could hear. If you don’t like it, just don’t move into the location that I mention,” Montra replied indifferently.
Yardpirun felt shivers down her spine. She didn’t know how Montra had done it, but his eyes seemed to see through time. He didn’t speak of her present location, but where she would be by the time Ginny finished following his instructions. With this alone, she was aware that she would die in no time if Montra decided to act. She judged that fleeing was her best course of action.
“Ice Flame Dual Slashes.”
However, Yardpirun was too late. As Ginny knew that she was indeed weaker, she activated the item skill she obtained by equipping the two swords together. One of her eyes became orange while the other became light blue as she swung both swords.
As her swords cut through the air, waves of heat and piles of ice started to appear. With the item skill, Ginny could simultaneously activate a high-tier fire-element magic spell, Borderless Sea of Flame, and a high-tier ice-element magic spell, Seismic Avalanche, with no casting times. It could be said that she was yet another rare talent who could utilize high-tier spells during close combat, though it was due to the item’s ability.
The flame waves burned and the avalanche raged through space, leaving no way for Yardpirun to evade. Even though she finally managed to reach the room’s exit, she discovered that Montra had also cast a light-element sealing spell on the door. In order to break it, a few seconds would be required for her.
Sadly, she had no time left.
The fight was no longer a battle but an execution. Trapped in a closed space with no exit, Yardpirun had no hopes of surviving against two high-tier magic spells. Her body disappeared in a flash of flames and ice. The system informed her of her rank being demoted due to dying to the special dual swords set.
“I haven’t fired Yardpirun from the guild yet. She will respawn here in two hours. It’s your duty to take care of her until you are satisfied. However, in the next round, you will have to rely only on yourself.”
Montra said this to Ginny before he left the hall. He had calculated that the weakened Yardpirun wouldn’t be Ginny’s match. She would have no hopes of exiting the hall. Thus, there was no reason for him to stay.
With her rank being demoted, Yardpirun would have fewer health points and that would be detrimental for surviving against the might of the dual swords.
That evening, the title Star-Finishing Warlord was forever removed from the Five Dragon Warlords. It was replaced by a new warlord going by the name “Ginny, the Ice Flame Warlord.”
The chapter name: The Ice Flame Warlord
***This article was written by the author himself.
(Special) Regarding Five-Attributed Cloud Qi - Last Part
The sequel of Five-Attributed Cloud Qi’s explanation based on the concept of five elements. In order to make things easier, allow me to show you the previous diagram.
The doctrine of five elements describes two cycles, a generating or creation cycle and an overcoming or destruction cycle of interactions between the elements.
The idea behind the generating connections is that each element strengthens and is strengthened by another element
Fire creates Earth (flames create ashes, returning things to the soil).
Earth bears Metal (metal minerals are within the soil).
Metal enriches Water (minerals enrich water).
Water nourishes Wood (water is essential for photosynthesis in plants).
Wood feeds Fire (wood will make the fire stronger).
The idea behind the overwhelming connections is that each element weakens and is weakened by another element
Fire melts Metal (metal will be melted down in fire).
Metal splits Wood (metal blades split wood).
Wood drains Earth (plants absorb nutrients from the soil).
Earth absorbs Water (the soil will absorb or drain water).
Water extinguishes Fire (literally, water extinguishes fire).
Second Stage—Dual Attributes
About the second stage, Sila relied on these relationships between elements to generate stronger moves. He called those moves “Dual Generating Attributes.” Later, he encountered Dark Self and realized that this second stage could be developed further depending on the destructive relationships between elements. He called those moves “Dual Overwhelming Attributes.”
[Dual Generating Attributes]
Regarding Dual Generating Attributes, Sila would support one element with another, activating a more powerful move. Each move can be considered a finishing move. The prominent point of the generating cycle is its assisting nature, so Sila can exert the moves for a long period of time.
Fire creates Earth: Supernova
Earth bears Metal: Genesis Beam Punch
Metal enriches Water: Hundred Victories
Water nourishes Wood: Rippling Moon Block
Wood feeds Fire: Shapeless Flame
[Dual Overwhelming Attributes]
Sila developed Dual Overwhelming Attributes after his meeting with Dark Self, or rather it was Dark Self who invented them as he observed Sila’s Dual Generating Attributes. He comprehended the concept of the five elements in the sense that since the generating cycle exists, the same should be true for the overwhelming cycle. Regarding the overwhelming cycle, it’s using the clash of power between elements to ignite and stimulate a greater power. The overwhelming moves are more deadly than the generating moves by nature, though their downside is that they consume more energy. As a matter of fact, psychic power is the core of Dual Overwhelming Attributes, so they are more difficult to analyze.
Fire melts Metal: Crushing Sky
Metal splits Wood: Surging Strike
Wood drains Earth: Phantom Barrage
Earth absorbs Water: Steel Sage
Water extinguishes Fire: Flame-Ice Dual Strike
That’s all for the second stage. As for the third stage, it still hasn’t gotten any screen time yet, so let’s postpone it for later.
Chapter 249: Hell’s Gate
Sila woke up inside a brain-scanning capsule that was filled with a strange liquid. Once the equipment recognized that the user inside was awake, the glass cover opened and the liquid was drained away. Sila stood up from the capsule and removed the helmet from his head. He looked around the room he was in, feeling confused.
“Where am I?”
Sila clearly remembered that he had logged into the game in Joshua’s room with two other advanced brain-scanning capsules next to him. However, he was now alone in a white room he didn’t recognize. The other two capsules were nowhere to be seen.
Mora opened the door and came inside. Sila raised his hands to salute his teacher. The two of them sat down on two chairs in the room.
Mora handed Sila a certain pellet and a glass of water. “This is a medicine to help your body adjust after using the special capsule. Swallow it.”
Sila nodded without saying anything. He took the pellet and swallowed it before drinking water.
“Don’t circulate inner force yet,” said Mora. “Tell me what happened. You sent me a message saying that there was something urgent you wished to discuss.”
“Yes, sir... I wanted to ask about Kimon.”
Mora’s expression instantly changed when he heard that name. “Did you meet them, Sila? Could it be that you were killed by them?”
“I met them by chance, sir. They... didn’t know I was there.” Sila decided to keep Nunthima’s matter for later.
“Were you killed by them, Sila? This is very important,” Mora asked again with a serious expression.
“No, I wasn’t. But, even if I die, isn’t it just in the game? I doubt it’s that serious.”
Mora released a sigh of relief. “That’s good... Sila, you are still not fully aware of how grave being killed in Monster Soul can be, especially for us.”
“Eh? I have died once, sir. All I had to do was wait in an empty room.”
Mora shook his head. “The personal information of players is normally hidden behind a high level of protection by the game and monitored by a security company. However, there is a gap that can be exploited, and that’s when you are killed by someone. Part of your personal data will be sent to the killer. You get it, right? When you kill someone, the system will tell you their name, rank, and whether they are a wanted player.”
Sila recalled the time when he killed players. “You’re right, Teacher. The system really informed me. But... isn’t it rather useless?”
“The important part isn’t how useful the information is but the fact that your information is leaked. It means a fraction of your data is transferred to others without the system’s protection. A skilled hacker can use such a gap to track you down, and they can even find the location where you logged in.”
“Ah, but...” Sila muttered, “...What is the point, Teacher? They will just know where I am.”
“It’s fine for others, but not for you, Sila. Have you forgotten what kind of machine you are using to log in? If someone tracks you to this place, the secret about this special capsule may be exposed. In the worst-case scenario, you may even be assassinated while you are online.”
“Understand? That’s what I mean when I told you it’s important. You used a normal machine in the past, so that’s fine. However, from now on, you should flee if you can’t fight. In the case that you die, you must immediately log out. We will have to move somewhere else.”
In any case, Sila didn’t have any intention to die since the beginning. “Talk about moving... Teacher, where is this place?”
“It’s another secret base. Actually, this is related to Kimon. I heard the rumors that they were on the move, so I moved you out in preparation. I didn’t think you would want to talk to me about them though.”
“What about the other two capsules, sir?”
“Joshua moved them someplace only he knows about.”
Sila felt a bit regretful. He missed a chance to find out who else was using the same special capsule as him.
“Then... what exactly is Kimon, sir?” asked Sila.
“First of all, tell me how you learned the name Kimon.”
Sila recounted what had happened to Mora. When he heard that Kimon expressed their intentions to help Sila become the next Wulin Lord, Mora fell silent then released a sigh.
“I didn’t expect all the Kimon’s Heirs to show up. This shows how strongly determined they are.”
Sila silently waited for his teacher to continue.
“You already know that the Wulin Masters Association was established hundreds of years ago with the goal of preserving and passing down profound arts. However, to achieve that goal... To record all the profound arts in the same place, a tremendous amount of wealth, manpower, and influence was required. In a certain era, the association faced a great financial crisis. Thus, the Wulin Lord of that generation came up with an idea to build a certain organization to fix the problem. And that organization is precisely Kimon, or rather Hell’s Gate.
“Kimon is the dark side of the Wulin Masters Association. It’s a small organization that can make enough profit to cover all of the costs and support the entire association. In fact, Kimon played a major role in developing the association into what it is today.”
Mora fell silent again. This time, Sila couldn’t help but ask. “What kind of service does Kimon provide, Teacher?”
“...Assassination ...the most profitable job in the world.”
“Correct. Even in this modern age with high-tech weapons, the most lethal weapon of them all is still the profound practitioner. Even the safest place equipped with metal or synthetics detectors still can’t hope to stop an assassin with a killing art from sneaking in. Therefore, assassination remains a booming business. There is always someone wanting to kill someone in any day and age.
“Kimon’s base is located on a small phantom archipelago near the southern part of Japan. They are ruled by Four Island Masters—the strongest assassins who each inherited the ultimate profound dark arts from the past generations. The four of them have titles they also inherited from the founders: the Eminent Immortal, the Earthbound Reaper, Heaven’s Heiress, and the Flaming Cloud Demon God.”
“Wait, Teacher. Did you just say the… Flaming Cloud… Demon God?” Sila repeated what he heard.
“You heard correctly. Our Flaming Cloud Dojo used to be a part of Kimon. However, that changed in my teacher’s generation. He was both the Wulin Lord and Kimon’s Island Master, so he had to make his standpoint clear. In the end, he decided to withdraw from Kimon and turned his back on the assassination business. He also worked to reduce Kimon’s influence, making them close off their islands and have to temporarily close their business.
“Unfortunately, his decision also badly affected the Flaming Cloud Dojo. Because we were a part of Kimon, people tend to avoid associating with us. As such, our dojo’s business declined and we were left with just a few disciples like you have seen in the past.”
“This means... Kimon chose this time to return after being inactive for a while?”
“It seems so. The association has weakened because the Wulin Lord position has been left vacant for a long period of time. This must be the main reason they chose this time to come back. Be especially careful, each Heir is the Island Master’s main disciple. You mustn’t engage in battle with any of them. They have all been trained in separate dark arts that are designed to kill, making it insanely difficult to survive against them. Be sure to run away as soon as you spot them.”
“But, with the way they talked, I think they want to help me win the war, Teacher.”
“I guess they must think they will have an easier time controlling you. Montra has learned much about the association, while your knowledge barely scratches the surface. They probably plan to influence and advise you to regain Kimon’s past glory.”
“Is there really no way I can win against them?”
“There is... but like I said, it will be insanely difficult. Their profound arts are all dark arts, designed with the intent to kill, so your overall strength will have to be above them for you to have some chance.”
“What exactly are dark arts, Teacher?” Sila decided to ask since his teacher mentioned them frequently.
“By normal understanding, they mean sinister arts used by vile people. However, that’s just one side of dark arts.”
“Is there another side?” Sila wondered.
“There is. There is always another way to look at anything, Sila. Did you know that the martial world in the past was filled with narrow-minded people? In the earliest generations of studying profound arts, the practitioners only considered the action of cultivating inner force through their veins as studying a martial art. Aside from this, any attempt to learn profound arts would be labelled as a demonic path, or learning a dark art.”
“Eh? Why was that?”
“They just wanted an excuse to eliminate the opposing side, I’d say. When someone else came up with a different way to become stronger, they would frame the others as practitioners of the demonic path, using a dark art. With that excuse, they would be able to claim justice and get rid of potential rivals, calling themselves heroes who eliminated villains of the martial world.”
“So... dark arts just mean the arts with learning processes different from the standard method, right, Teacher?”
“That’s not always the case. Some arts are indeed sinister, Sila. I want you to know that not all dark arts are evil though. Only, the people of the martial world were afraid of the dark arts' power and potential, thus they tried to eliminate those who learned them. Ironically, at the same time, most of them also sought to obtain those powerful dark arts in order to study them secretly.”
The world is full of irony. Apparently, the martial world is the same. Even though people claimed to be just and pronounced those who learned dark arts evil, it was none other than the so-called “heroes” who sought to acquire such arts.
“I’m thinking that an encounter with Kimon may be inevitable for you, so listen to me carefully. I will tell you how terrifying the dart arts inherited from the Island Masters can be. Knowing this will let you handle them correctly, or at least increase your odds of successfully fleeing from them.”
Sila had his fair share of interest in dark arts for quite a while, so he listened attentively. The Flaming Cloud Dojo used to be a part of Kimon, so Mora was knowledgeable regarding the arts.
“The young man named Asava must have inherited the art from the Eminent Immortal. His dark art is an accumulation of forbidden techniques, called Sage of the Six Disasters. Usually, a human’s body is like a vessel containing inner force, and the size of this vessel will gradually increase depending on their age and how they practice. However, Sage of the Six Disasters is an art that requires the user to permanently damage their own veins, making their body incapable of containing inner force. As a result, the users of this art will only have negligible amounts of inner force.”
“Eh? What is the point?” Listening to Mora’s explanation, Sila was confused that such a bizarre art reliant on damaging the user’s body existed in the world.
“This profound art is the ultimate art of borrowing the opponent’s strength. No, rather than calling it borrowing, maybe snatching is the more correct word. The user exchanges the ability to hold inner force for supreme control over it. Sage of the Six Disasters can perfectly borrow, snatch, negate, or even control the opponent’s inner force to work against them—similar to how you were tested.”
“An art that can perfectly control the opponent’s inner force...” Sila swallowed his saliva. He recalled the time in Belacia City when his power vanished in an instant.
“If you rely on your qi arts, he will counter you with your own inner force. However, if you disregard inner force and depend on martial arts... I have to warn you that the Eminent Immortal of every generation is the master of martial arts focused on killing moves. His ability to kill is top class.”
Without support from inner force, Sila’s Formless Martial God would be nothing but a set of difficult-to-read moves. It lacked the raw power needed to take down an opponent, so it would have no hopes against Asava, who inherited killing arts, or Montra, who still had the highly versatile Heavenly Destiny Fist. Exactly as Asava had said, Sila would have lost in five blows.
“The man carrying a large coffin that you mentioned must be the Earthbound Reaper’s main disciple. The art he relied on was the ultimate qi art of body strengthening, which grants the user herculean strength and an indestructible body. Through the use of this qi art, the user will also have an inexhaustible amount of inner force and they can use it both internally and externally. The name of this dark art is Vajra Qi.”
Sila scratched his head. “It sounds incredible. How can such a useful art be labelled as a dark art, Teacher? Is it because its learning method is different from a traditional one?”
Mora shook his head. “Don’t misunderstand. Vajra Qi is indeed a dark art. Its cultivation method represents the gruesome part of the art. Personally, I don’t think it’s an art that should exist.
“Those who can learn this art have to possess a specially prepared body. Even before they are born, once their mothers become pregnant and learn that the babies in their wombs are male, they will have to drink a special tonic once every week. For your information, this tonic has a side-effect of causing ninety percent abortion rate. Even when this step is passed successfully, due to the accumulated poison from the tonic in their bloodstream, the mothers will die as soon as they deliver the babies. Then, the baby will have to undergo a long session of qi transmission under the hands of martial experts who are skilled enough to support the babies’ lives. As a result, the babies will possess abnormal constitutions and veins, which are necessary for training Vajra Qi.
“What makes Vajra Qi a dark art is not only its inhumane cultivation method but also the fact that the infants won’t even have the right to refuse to practice. It’s a violation of a human’s basic rights.”
For the sake of strengthening their clan, humans were willing to go this far. Listening to it, the feeling of disgust filled Sila’s heart.
“As for the main disciple of Heaven’s Heiress, Himeko,” Mora continued without noticing the change in Sila’s expression, “Her dark art, Goddess’ Resonance, is a sound-controlling art that grants the user the ultimate hearing. She should even be able to hear a tree leaf flickering in the wind. There was no way she couldn’t hear your heartbeat. It’s questionable why she didn’t inform the others of your location.”
Sila had yet to tell Mora that Himeko and Nunthima were the same person. “I also don’t know why, sir.”
“Well, whatever. This art is a kind of emotion-manipulating art. It was said to be the most mysterious art even by Kimon’s standards. Rumors had it that, at the highest level, Heaven’s Heiress can mass-control people using only her voice. It was classified as a dark art due to its arcane and enigmatic nature.”
With that, only one Island Master remained. Sila wasn’t that foolish. He knew that all of Kimon’s Island Masters used dark arts. He continued his questions with a muffled voice, “...What about the dark art belonging to the last Island Master, Teacher? Could it be that...?”
Mora sighed. “It is exactly as you are thinking, Sila. Kimon’s last dark art is the one in our dojo’s possession... Flaming Cloud Qi.”
Naturally, Sila had come into contact with the mentioned art, Flaming Cloud Qi, when Mora had sent him a copy of it. Honestly speaking, he was rather disappointed when he had read it. Flaming Cloud Qi was even weaker compared to Tiger Dragon Qi. He could practice and use it with relative ease. In the end, he fused it with some of the other energies he possessed and eventually created Yin Yang Energy.
“But... Flaming Cloud Qi seems rather normal. Its qi circulation method is quite traditional, and both its training method and the power it possesses are also not that dangerous.”
Mora took a book out of his bag. It was a book with the same cover that Sila had seen in Monster Soul. “Open it.”
Feeling curious, Sila took and skimmed through it. He frowned as he discovered that the book contained many more pages than the one he received in the game. It seemed Mora had held back some of the pages.
“There are a total of four parts in Flaming Cloud Qi. The pages that I scanned and sent you only cover the Foundation Part. That part contains a standard cultivation method that is safe to practice, suitable for helping the user develop a solid foundation in preparation for learning the next two parts—the Cloud Part, and the Flame Part. These two are necessary for learning the last and most dangerous part, the Nirvana Part.”
Just skimming through it, the book strangely eluded a mysterious charm that enthralled Sila. He could hardly remove his gaze from the texts. “Why is Flaming Cloud Qi considered a dark art, Teacher?”
Seeing how Sila was interested in the book, Mora heaved a big sigh of worry. He personally didn’t want Sila to learn it. However, for Sila to come out alive against Kimon who possessed fearsome dark arts, what was required might be none other than a dark art of his own.
“That’s because it’s a dangerous qi art that can be harmful even to the user. If you can’t properly control it, your entire body will be engulfed in flames made of qi and be reduced to nothing... My teacher also died in this exact manner.”
T/N: So Kimon is a group of wuxia assassins! Has anyone seen it coming?
I think we kinda did see it coming but just not too clearly since the hint was not very clear.Does this mean that the five-attribute cloud qi will be gone from Sila and he is going to remake a new one using all that he knew alongside the new part of flaming cloud qi?
I think we kinda did see it coming but just not too clearly since the hint was not very clear.Does this mean that the five-attribute cloud qi will be gone from Sila and he is going to remake a new one using all that he knew alongside the new part of flaming cloud qi?
At least let me assure you that Sila won't remake his whole set of arts. But sure, with the help of this dark art, it will polish and improve his already existing arts further.
Chapter 250: Flaming Cloud Qi
Sila almost dropped the book once he heard the risk associated with the art. What Mora mentioned was another form of qi deviation, an event that happens when something has gone wrong in cultivation. For standard arts, the users would end up with some form of internal injury. However, Flaming Cloud Qi was like a purgatory flame. If the user couldn’t reign over it, it would ignite and burn them to ashes.
“Actually, an art is just a tool. How to use it—in a good or a bad way—all depends on the user. Still, since it is an art that can harm the user, I don’t want you to learn it if possible.”
“What do you mean by harming the user, Teacher?”
“Inner force is a part of every martial artist, similar to their flesh and blood. Therefore, the art that burns your life essence to obtain a greater power is similar to drinking your own blood to alleviate your thirst. Both the Cloud Part and the Flame Part have learning methods that require only a short period of time to show visible results. Nevertheless, if something goes wrong, you will face lethal consequences.”
Mora pointed his finger at a picture on the page Sila had left the book open at. It was an illustration of a giant snake coiling its body, making itself into an infinity symbol. Its head, with its mouth wide open, reached its own tail—implying that it was about to devour a part of its body.
“This picture represents the Nirvana Part, which is the most dangerous one.”
Sila stared at the picture and tried to flip to the next page, yet he found that it was already the last. He was confused. The last part of the dark art turned out to be explained using a single illustration.
Mora understood Sila’s bafflement. “For learning the Nirvana Part, you will have to master the Cloud Part and the Flame Part first, or you won’t be able to comprehend it otherwise. ‘Thinking outside the box’ is our Flaming Cloud Dojo’s core teaching. Even the art is open to different interpretations. Thus, even though it’s a single art, the main disciples in each generation have had different styles of comprehension and achievements.”
Sila flipped back to the first page regarding the Cloud Part, which was next to the Foundation Part that Mora had originally sent him. The contents of this part only contained a few illustrations and explanations, yet hidden in them was a teaching that was as profound and vast as the sky.
“The Cloud Part is about organizing the arts you have and adapting them to suit your own style without showing any conflict. It improves your comprehensive ability rather than your strength. For example, I had learned several martial arts in the past—Eight Trigrams Palms, Muay Thai, Metal Fist, Three Fingers Yizhichan, and more. Only after I was selected as the main disciple and got to cultivate Flaming Cloud Qi could I finally merge the arts into Nine Sun-Melting-Fists and become stronger than the other disciples.”
Sila was listening to Mora but his eyes were fixed on the illustrations and texts as if he was charmed by them. As his brain recognized the contents, his body automatically tried to circulate inner force accordingly. Suddenly, Mora extended his hand and shut the book, which prompted Sila to raise his head and look at his teacher.
Mora was staring at his wristwatch. “Wait a few more minutes. Your body is not yet ready.”
Sila was about to argue that he was perfectly fine, but he suddenly felt dizzy and nauseated. He eventually vomited a mouthful of blood. “W-What happened?”
“As you have already successfully completed the Foundation Part, practicing Flaming Cloud Qi will not be difficult. Actually, you can even start practicing it today. However, by no means should you act rashly. To cultivate the Cloud Part, you will have to empty your mind before attempting it. If your mind is full of thoughts, how will you be able to accept new ideas? If you can’t empty your mind, you will experience qi deviation. If you make a mistake during this process, in the worst-case scenario, you will end up becoming a lunatic or a disabled person.”
Hearing the risk that came with it, Sila no longer attempted to practice it. He had a hard time swallowing his saliva. Indeed, a dark art was a shortcut to becoming stronger in a short period of time, yet it came with great risk.
For Flaming Cloud Qi, if the user practiced and mastered it, they would become a martial expert no matter their age. However, if something went wrong, they would become a cripple, or worse... a dead person.
“In fact, between the Cloud Part and the Flame Part, you are free to choose which one you want to start with. However, I recommend you start with the Cloud Part before the Flame Part. When you have mastered it, the art will enhance your mental capabilities and bestow you with the ability to fully control your body and mind. You must be able to control yourself first before attempting to control fire. For the Flame Part, the degree of danger is much greater. If something goes wrong during this step, your skin will burn, or worse... the flame of qi will burn you to death.”
Mora rolled up his sleeve and showed Sila his arm, which was covered in burn scars. “By the way, how are you progressing with your own arts?”
Sila could finally show his smile. “Everything is going well, Teacher. My martial art is called Formless Martial God while my qi art is Five-Attributed Cloud Qi. Would you like a demonstration?”
“Certainly. I want to see how much you have grown. You still shouldn’t circulate inner force, so let’s start with the martial art.”
The two of them stood up from their chairs. Sila later found that the white outfit he was wearing was strangely comfortable and allowed him to perform any kind of movement. He slowly demonstrated each martial move of Formless Martial God without the help of inner force and only stopped when he had shown them all.
Mora clapped before commenting. “The name is Formless Martial God? It seems the concept is ‘Formless,’ correct? You have concealed both true and false within each of your moves, making your opponent confused as to whether your attack is real or fake. I take it that you plan to be a balanced fighter. It’s a decent idea. This type relies on technique more than power. You can become stronger faster this way.”
“The idea is a set of moves that are difficult to read, Teacher, by relying on several martial arts I have learned thus far, but keeping with the concept of ‘True is False, False is True.’”
“Still, it seems to lack flexibility. Even though the concept of every move is the same, they lack harmony. They are like a ball of yarn. True, yarn can make many different formless shapes, but it’s easy to snap. Another note, if you truly aim to be the balanced type, you should possess a similar number of defensive moves too. From what I have seen, most of your moves are offensive with few defensive ones.”
“Really? I have never noticed that.” Sila went over his available martial moves once more.
“Honestly speaking, your achievement is already above my expectations. Martial arts are the accumulation of fighting experiences. No art can be perfect from birth. You will have to keep using your art and constantly making changes. I believe it will be a great art that shakes the martial world in ten years.”
“Ten years? Will it really take that long?” Sila was shocked at the long period of time.
“It will happen sooner if you master the Cloud Part—which will help you understand and comprehend the true essence of the arts you possess. Well, my advice, for now, is that you are currently not relying on your strongest point. I have trained your fingers’ muscular strength since you were just a child but you don’t seem to use them that much.”
Mora’s words instantly inspired Sila, and his mind was filling with ideas. Sila smirked as he saluted his teacher. “I see. Thank you very much for your guidance, Teacher.”
“It’s naturally a teacher’s duty to guide their disciple, As it is the disciple’s duty to keep on developing their own skills. Don’t be afraid to make some mistakes. As your teacher, I will always push you back onto the right path.”
Mora checked the time once more, and decided that it had been long enough. “Try circulating your inner force.”
Sila sat down on the floor in the position that was the most comfortable for him. He then performed inner force circulation according to the knowledge of Profound Qi Circulation Art. The result was visibly different from the last time he did it in real life. He could clearly feel his growing inner force in his body. He suspected this was the result of using the special brain-scanning capsule.
Sila was extremely elated as his body was full of vigor. He circulated Five-Attributed Cloud Qi for one lap before standing up.
“I see. You are using the circulation technique of the Profound Qi Circulation Art yet with the knowledge found in the Five Elements Book. Contrary to my Nine Sun-Melting-Fists which focuses on harming and weakening the opponent’s attributes of the five elements, you instead rely on the same knowledge to strengthen your own attributes.”
“Yes, Teacher. Each human has an affinity for a certain element, so we can exploit the opponent’s elemental affinity if we can always change our own element to be the advantageous one. I got this idea from Heaven’s Decree Sword Art.”
“But, that will be...” Mora became immersed in thought before continuing, “Umm... Firstly, try demonstrating them.”
Sila nodded and began to show each of the twenty-five moves of the Single Attribute. As for the Dual Attributes, he had to take a break after demonstrating each move. He didn’t even try displaying the Triple Attribute move, as his amount of inner force wasn’t enough. He stopped his movements once he had finished them all and waited for his teacher’s comments.
“Excellent. This is such a bizarre yet magnificent qi art.” Mora complimented the art, yet his expression suggested that he was contemplating something. In the end, he opened his mouth to say, “...Still, this art has lethal weaknesses. Your art will show its profound, shocking might when you use it for the first time. However, against someone you have fought previously or those who are skilled, they will probably see these weaknesses and drive you into a corner.”
Listening to Mora, Sila recalled his last kick against Kawin. It felt rather ineffective despite having correctly utilized the right element.
“You will get it easier with a demonstration... Prepare yourself!”
The air felt hotter than usual. Mora exerted the power of Yizichan by thrusting his finger toward Sila. Witnessing the fire element imbued in Mora’s fingertip, Sila unleashed the power of the water element.
Attribute of Water — Drizzle Stomp.
Sila didn’t hold back in his kick as he was confident that his teacher was competent enough to handle it. The inner force in his kick spread over and rained down like raindrops. If Mora didn’t dodge this kick, he would surely be injured.
Yet Mora didn’t stop moving. He simply changed the course of his right hand, showing the other one that he had hidden behind the first.
Mora used Yizichan through his left hand. His index finger stabbed at Sila’s ankle, negating the inner force within the kick. At the same time, his right hand pointed at Sila’s forehead. The hot power inside it had already vanished, though it clearly expressed that he had won this sparring match.
As the fight had ended, Mora pulled back his hands and explained what had happened to the dumbfounded Sila.
“Your move seemed stronger at first glance because you put your all into it. True, your qi circulation speed and your qi control are marvelous. However, if your opponent is skilled, they will be able to trick you into making the wrong move. Don’t forget that when you are heightening your affinity with a certain element, the other elements in your body will become weaker according to the concept of duality. Another weakness is that your inner force capacity is still low. You have been focusing on polishing your control over your inner force so far, but you haven’t pushed yourself to exceed your limits. This way, if you encounter an opponent possessing strength far greater than yours, you will have a hard time even if you exploit the right element against them.”
Sila recalled the time when he fought Montra. They were evenly matched at first, yet he could no longer take Montra’s attacks head-on as soon as Montra unleashed more power through his spear. Dark Self came out in the latter part of the battle and mostly relied on psychic power, so he missed the chance to be aware of this weakness.
“There is still another weakness... Let’s try again.”
Mora circulated Flaming Cloud Qi and his body became as hot as fire. He slowly swung his right palm at Sila’s face while aiming Yizichan through his left hand at Sila’s waist, both hands moving at the same speed.
Nevertheless, Sila could discern that the left index finger would arrive first. It was of the wood element, so Sila counterattacked it with the metal attribute. This time, though, he didn’t forget to be mindful of Mora’s other hand.
Attribute of Metal — Unhindered Fist.
Sila clenched his fist, ready to punch Mora’s finger. However, Mora changed his approach. He pulled back his left hand while accelerating his right palm. Seeing that, Sila also had to change his approach. He quickly recirculated his qi to use another move.
Attribute of Fire — God-Slaying Spear.
Sila aimed his elbow to clash against Mora’s strengthened palm. However, like pressing replay when a film ended, Mora suddenly stopped his right hand again and raised his knee to strike his disciple.
Sila had to change his move again, this time with very little space.
Attribute of Earth — Instant Stomp.
Finally, Sila’s attack connected. His kick hit Mora’s knee, though the latter skillfully stepped back at the moment of impact.
The two of them kept their distance from each other and didn’t make any further movements. Sila felt greatly uncomfortable. In the end, he couldn’t maintain his stance and coughed up blood due to qi deviation.
“The final and most serious weakness of your art is the fact that you can’t abruptly change your moves during their course. For you to change your move, you have to start anew from the beginning. You have to adjust your breathing every time you make a move. All I did was force you to keep inhaling without leaving you time to exhale, and your Five-Attributed Cloud Qi itself would harm you.
“Usually, for a martial artist to change their move, they would lose only an insignificant portion of their inner force. On the other hand, the prominent point of your moves is the attribute within it. As such, you can’t simply adjust your move but have to adjust from the root—your qi circulation—to exert a different attribute. Actually, this is the exact reason you can’t use Triple Attributes yet. It’s like your lungs simply don’t have enough capacity for you to inhale so much air.”
While circulating inner force to heal his internal injury, Sila asked, “Is there a way to fix these weaknesses, Teacher?”
“Every problem naturally has a solution, Sila. Just don’t overly rely on the attribute-changing part. Try using Formless Martial God to create an opening and only using Five-Attributed Cloud Qi when you have spotted it. You will eventually overcome these problems once your inner force capacity has been increased. On that note, your inner force will certainly increase if you can master the Flame Part of Flaming Cloud Qi.”
Mora tapped his finger on Sila’s chest to transmit inner force and help his disciple recover. Sila soon felt his body grow warm as his vitality returned to him. He bowed at his teacher to express his gratitude for all the advice.
“There is another thing I must warn you about, Sila. When you meet Kimon, just flee if you still haven’t mastered the Flame Part. Even if you have mastered it, you still can’t fight the disciple of Heaven’s Heiress using Flaming Cloud Qi.”
“Hm? Why is that, Teacher?” asked Sila.
For the record, the Cloud Part would sublimate the user’s comprehensive ability, making them understand the arts they have learned and adapt them further. However, the amount of inner force the user holds would be unaffected, meaning the Cloud Part doesn’t benefit prolonged battles.
The Flame Part would increase the user’s inner force and sublimate its quality.
Lastly, the last Nirvana Part was the part about breaking the limits of humanity. Flaming Cloud Qi portrayed this part based on the Buddhism’s cycle of Samsara—the endless cycle of birth, a mundane existence, and dying—meaning the user would die and then be reborn into a stronger version of themselves.
Theoretically, the Cloud Part would bestow wisdom and the Flame Part would bestow power. Together, they should be enough to overcome any adversity. Sila didn’t understand why Mora explicitly warned him about using it against Himeko.
“It’s due to the nature of the four dark arts. Flaming Cloud Qi is weak against Goddess’ Resonance. There exists a counterbalance between Kimon’s Four Island Masters. The four dark arts represent the four core elements: Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire. Each one is strong against one another in a reverse manner.
“Vajra Qi represents the strongest Earth, but it is helpless against Sage of the Six Disasters which represents the shapeless Water. The mightiness of Vajra Qi can’t be used and the user will have to rely only on their martial moves. At the same time, Sage of the Six Disasters is ineffective against Flaming Cloud Qi, which represents the wild Fire. If they try to control the flame, and they will only burn themselves. As for Goddess’ Resonance, it’s like the blowing Wind. A mere gust can fuel the flame and make it go out of control, burning the user of Flaming Cloud Qi without touching. The same power can’t be used on the user of Vajra Qi, though, as their body and veins are abnormal.”
Listening to the explanation, Sila nodded. It seemed he would need to rely on in-game skills against Himeko if they were to fight.
“You should start the Cloud Part now. I will give you my support. I guess you will master it in three hours. As for the Flame Part and the Nirvana Part, they are too dangerous. You should just remember it and try practicing them later in Monster Soul.”
“E-Eh? Only three hours is required?”
“Yes. That’s why it is called a dark art. Well, it’s not normally this fast. It’s all thanks to you having already learned the Foundation Part of Flaming Cloud Qi and possessing the strong defensive power of Tiger Dragon Qi. Moreover, when I transmitted my inner force to you just now, I discovered that you have another kind of pure energy core protecting your dantian. It’s a power that even I don’t know the origin of. Even though it’s strong, it doesn’t seem to be harmful to your body. On the contrary, it is gradually and steadily helping you by washing your marrows and purifying your arteries.”
Sila frowned. He tried circulating inner force throughout his body to detect said energy core, but his search yielded no results. No matter what it was, it meant even Profound Qi Circulation Art, which had helped Sila gain full control over his inner force, still couldn’t detect it. It was an energy that masterfully concealed itself within his body to the degree where even the host couldn’t detect it.
Seeing his disciple’s worried expression, Mora calmed Sila down. “Since it’s not causing any harm, just leave it alone. No matter what kind of energy it is, once you have mastered the Flame Part, it will have no choice but to surface.”
Sila nodded at his teacher’s words and started to completely focus on Flaming Cloud Qi. In any case, he was glad and relieved that his teacher was right beside him, prepared to help him learn the next stage.
After he had read the contents a dozen times and recited the words three times to ensure that he remembered every word in the book, he returned it to Mora. He closed his eyes to cultivate the Cloud Part according to his understanding.
Once Sila entered Monster Soul again, the world would have already changed in a way that he didn’t expect. However, Sila himself would also have changed so much in a way that the world of Monster Soul didn’t expect.
Tomorrow is my birthday, so I will take a short break from the translation. The next chapter will be out on December 15th. Thank you for your understanding.
Tomorrow is my birthday, so please release two chapters. Thank you
Mora: "Time to make you the leader of an association I just told you about five minutes ago, and haven't told you anything important about. There'll be time for that later."
Chapter 251: Manifesting Soul Lantern
A man in a black butler uniform was standing alone in a snowfield located to the north of Belacia City. He was tapping a small hourglass in his left hand. Within the hourglass, instead of the sand regularly trickling down, the sand slowly floated up and entered the upper glass bulb.
It seemed the sand would soon fill the upper bulb. Sebastian was waiting for that exact moment. If things went as Sila had told him, his prey would soon emerge in the next few minutes.
Sebastian stood while humming amidst a cold snowstorm. The cold from the curse didn’t affect him though. The troublesome part was the waiting. He didn’t like waiting without having anything to do. Well, he was willing to wait this time since it was his master’s order.
“The time has come,” Sebastian muttered to himself. The hourglass was placed in his pocket and replaced by a long pale scythe with a blade that curved beautifully like a crescent moon.
Both his hands gripped the scythe tightly as he raised it up. A tremendous amount of magic power reinforcement continued to surge within his weapon.
Sebastian didn’t want to miss the timing even by a second.
“Five... Four... Three... Two...”
Killing intent flashed through Sebastian’s eyes. He exerted all his strength into slashing the scythe downward. The attack seemed to be a meaningless one as he was alone.
Something glowed in front of Sebastian just as the scythe was reaching the intended destination. The body of his prey, who Sebastian had been waiting for, suddenly appeared out of thin air. Before the prey could realize what was happening, the grim reaper’s scythe had already cleaved a wing and an arm. It continued to dig into the prey’s flesh.
“ARGHHH!!!” The prey let out a pained cry. He immediately raised his defense through magic power reinforcement, blocking the scythe from damaging his heart. Still, he was dumbfounded as he was clueless about what was going on.
“Ah? Unfortunately, you didn’t die,” Sebastian muttered a complaint as he clad his foot with magic power reinforcement and kicked his prey. As the Vampire Earl was sent flying, Sebastian removed his scythe from his body with a second slash.
Ballock, the Vampire Earl, received another wound on his chest. His blood spilled out and dyed the snowfield below. He was greatly confused. “Who the hell are you?! Why am I...?”
Sebastian replied with a smile on his face, “Honestly speaking, I would like to have a fair match. Sadly, you seem to be a combat type. I, who can’t use magic spells, won’t stand a chance against you, so I had to rely on a little gimmick.”
Since Sebastian had lost all 666 spells of Death Magic, what he had left was only his gigantic pool of magic power and some supporting skills which he had been re-learning. He would be at a total disadvantage if he had to fight Ballock, a monster of the same rank as him, who seemed to specialize in melee combat. Thus, Sebastian decided to rely on one of his special abilities to severely injure Ballock.
It was the ability to sense lingering death. Normally he could only feel a faint presence. However, with Sila explicitly telling him the time and place that Ballock was killed, Sebastian could easily observe the traces left behind to figure out where and when the Vampire Earl would respawn. He relied on the best timing to hit Ballock at the very first moment of the battle.
Even though his body was severely injured, Ballock showed no signs of concern once he had calmed down. He muttered a chant and his blood on the snowfield transformed into red particles which floated back up and entered his body. The wounds on him were recovering at a rapid pace.
“Mending Blood Infusion.”
“Mending Blood Infusion, I take it? In that case...” Sebastian muttered even before Ballock’s chant was completed.
Sebastian dug his nail into his left palm before flicking his finger. A few drops of his blood flew into Ballock’s pool of blood. Soon, the red particles turned black and spread over Ballock’s body like a plague.
“Arghhh!!” Ballock screamed as he quickly canceled his recovering spell. He glared at Sebastian, his eyes filled with bloodlust. On the other hand, Sebastian was looking at him with compassionate eyes, like he was looking at a helpless child.
“W-Who... e-exactly... are you...?” The Vampire Earl choked on his own black blood.
“I’m just a mere butler, sir. I’m doing my job according to my master’s command. Could you please just be obedient and die? It will be easier for both of us that way.”
Ballock couldn’t bring himself to laugh at Sebastian’s bad joke. How could someone just casually ask the other to die obediently? Still, he was now aware that his opponent had knowledge of the weakness of the previous spell he cast, Mending Blood Infusion. It was possible that this butler had investigated him beforehand.
Sebastian proceeded to give a short lecture. “Blood Magic is a subset of Death Magic. Most of the spells in this type of magic are powerful and versatile, yet possess some restrictions aside from requiring an incantation. Failure to overcome the restrictions causes the spells to be ineffective or even harm the user. The spell you previously cast was Mending Blood Infusion, which transforms blood into a remedy that exerts a powerful healing ability, but with the condition that the blood has to come from physical wounds on the user’s own body. Else, the blood will simply turn into poison instead. My recommendation is that you should keep a safe distance from your opponent before using this spell, though it seems I’m too late.”
Ballock gritted his teeth. He exerted his magic power to temporarily stop the blood loss from his severed left arm and wing.
‘Blood Magic breaks down into 70 spells. I don’t believe that you will know the weaknesses of every single one of them!’
As he had lost one of his wings, Ballock couldn’t take off and fly in the sky like he usually did. He had to resort to fiercely flapping his remaining wing while using magic power to help levitate his body. He flapped his wing so hard that the blood-stained mass of snow flew toward Sebastian.
Sebastian showed a mild smile as he used his scythe to sweep the snow below him, blowing it up and into the way of the incoming attack. At the same time, the scythe was strengthened with magic power reinforcement and swung forward, sending an energy wave to sever Ballock’s left ankle and a portion of his remaining wing.
From the beginning, Sebastian was decent at seizing the right timing to cast spells. Death Magic was extremely difficult to use, the timing like a puzzle he had to solve each time he wanted to cast a spell, so he had been having an enjoyable moment utilizing them at any particular place and time. Even when he had lost every spell in his possession and ultimately had to heavily rely on a weapon art and magic power reinforcement, his sharp senses still remained.
Better yet, with the weapon art—Subjugating Halberd—his physical ability far surpassed the old him as he now could unleash powerful strikes.
Losing his balance, Ballock fell and crashed against the snowfield.
Sebastian slowly approached his prey. His scythe was casually hung on his shoulder.
“Bone-Biting Blood changes blood into a lethal acid that can severely burn flesh and equipment. Regardless, it’s useless if it strikes something belonging to nature.”
Ballock used his one remaining hand to crawl, dragging his body away from the approaching grim reaper. His magic power helped to tend to his wounds, but his missing limbs couldn’t grow back in such a short period of time.
That was unfortunate from him, because the grim reaper had already stepped closer. The distance between them was just three meters—the distance at which a long weapon could show its full potential.
With no hesitation, the scythe mercilessly descended and struck Ballock. His blood sprayed up like a fountain and fell down like rain. His body twitched. The outcome of the battle seemed clear.
At that instant, something bizarre happened. A mysterious power surged within Ballock’s body and his missing organs miraculously grew. He got back up on his feet and inspected his body, feeling confused. Even he didn’t understand what had happened.
“What’s going on? Why did I suddenly become stronger?” The question left the Vampire Earl’s mouth, though the same question emerged in Sebastian’s head.
‘No spell classified as Blood Magic can create this result. Is this some trait of the vampire race? No... even he is confused.’
Ballock wasn’t the type to deeply ponder over things that had already happened. As his strength returned, he now had a chance to get revenge. He shot up into the sky and silently whistled. Seeing his action, Sebastian was aware that Ballock’s minions—vampires and bats—were being called forth to this place.
If it was the Sebastian from before, he would love for there to be more prey for him to kill. However, now that he had no Death Magic, the increase of creatures simply meant more blood, which would result in Blood Magic becoming stronger. Only defeat awaited him.
‘It seems I really have no choice but to use it,’ thought Sebastian.
After confirming that there was no one else in this place, his mind was finally at ease.
“Manifesting Soul Lantern.”
At the end of the sentence that invoked the Demonic Armament, a small lantern glowing faintly like a firefly flew out from his suit. Its light glowed and dimmed in sync with Sebastian’s heartbeat.
Along with the butler’s heartbeat, the rate at which the lantern gave off light gradually increased and became brighter. The light projected past Sebastian down to his shadow. Standing on his shadow was another Sebastian who had a transparent body, his soul. The soul soon enlarged and distorted, before being replaced by a totally different being who spread the massive-sized shadow. The being was a floating giant skull with a crown on his head. There was no other body part aside from floating arms, which held the scales of justice in his right hand and an hourglass in his left. The light-blue light emitting from the skull’s hollowed eyes briefly stared at Ballock, which suddenly made him shiver.
A second later, the lantern lost its light and everything it had projected disappeared, leaving only Sebastian who was standing weakly as if he had lost a significant portion of magic power.
Although Ballock didn’t know what had happened, the only word imprinted across his mind was ‘Death.’ Feeling that this place was no longer safe for him, Ballock believed in his instincts, which were screaming at him to run away.
With his strength fully returned, Ballock poured every ounce of his magic power into his wings and started flying. He instantly regrouped with his minions. Despite this, he didn’t stop and continued to fly further.
“No one can escape from death, child.” Sebastian’s mouth moved but the voice that came out from it didn’t belong to him. Instead, it was a voice that was imposing and emotionless.
Ballock’s heart sunk. His eyes almost flew out of their sockets as he spotted Sebastian levitating in front of him.
‘How is this possible?! I’m using the shortest route. How can he block me? Did he use a teleportation spell? I saw no sign of him using one though...’
Sebastian shot a side glance at Ballock. His eyes seemed vacant yet were illuminated by a faint blue light as if they held tiny souls within.
In that moment, for Ballock, nothing made sense anymore. The only idea in his mind was to go back to the castle, which was less than five hundred meters away. Inside the castle, there were five more Vampire Earls like him as well as the Vampire Queen, who was a Level 1,000 Lord Rank monster. No matter how strong Sebastian was, he didn’t believe he alone could take them all down.
The common vampires and bats were all afraid of Sebastian and avoided him. As one group they took a detour and flew back to the castle, which Sebastian didn’t do anything to prevent. He didn’t even stop Ballock, who relied on the commotion to flee into the castle.
In the moment of crisis, Ballock no longer cared about manners and etiquette. He stormed into the throne room while ignoring the complaints coming from the other Earls.
Entering the hall, Ballock spotted his ruler on her throne, joyfully sucking blood from some prey.
“Your Majesty! We are under attack!”
The Vampire Queen removed her beautiful lips from the prey’s neck. She slightly furrowed her brows with a feeling of displeasure as her blissful moment was interrupted. She tossed her prey away while stepping down from her throne.
“The first was that annoying human, then that golem. Why are we getting so many guests lately? Ballock... how many are there and what kind of enemies await us?”
“He is... a human’s pet, My Queen. He is alone.”
“Alone?” the Vampire Queen’s eyes gave off a dangerous light. “He is alone?! Yet you ran away?! What is he?! Why didn’t you just kill him?!”
“So you dare to kill me, little bat?” A stranger’s voice rang out from behind the Vampire Queen. Everyone in the room panicked as someone had infiltrated without they noticing.
Turning their heads to where the voice came from, they spotted Sebastian, sitting on the throne with his chin rested on his palm. His glowing light-blue eyes swept past everyone.
The Vampire Queen lost strength in her knees. Even though she didn’t recognize this person’s appearance, there was no way she would ever forget the fearsome aura that was lingering around him—the aura belonging to the Lord of the Gods of Death.
She quickly went down on her knees and bowed her head deeply, refusing to make eye contact. Her action stunned the Six Vampire Earls.
“Your Majesty!! What are you doing?”
“Ballock, you fool! What have you done to make this great one step into this place?” The Vampire Queen asked with a shivering voice.
“I have done nothing. I have really done nothing!!”
“He indeed did nothing. This kid, Sebastian, just summoned me. He apparently summoned me through Anubis’ Manifesting Soul Lantern. Even though this kid is unconscious, his will and desires still remain. Through the lantern, they also becomes mine. I get to choose how to make them a reality though. His first desire seems to be acquiring the 70 spells of Blood Magic in your possession. Can you obediently give them to him?”
Ballock’s mouth processed faster than his brain. He made a slip of tongue that he would regret for the rest of his life. “I don’t know all 70 spells of Blood Magic. We, the Earls, divided and learned them separately.”
The five other Vampire Earls were startled. Sadly, words are like water. Once spilled, they can’t be taken back. If Ballock could be killed with a glance alone, he would have already died a hundred times as the five Earls were staring daggers at him.
“Mn... So you all need to die, it seems.” Once the words left Sebastian’s mouth, the six Earls immediately ran to different corners of the room, each hoping they would be the one to be left alive.
“You fools... No one can ever escape from Lord Yama’s magic,” the Vampire Queen muttered to herself.
Sebastian casually lowered his hand.
Abysmal Punishment Magic — Judgement Bolt.
The six bodies were instantly crushed by an invisible force and became puddles of blood. The mass of magic power containing the 70 spells of Blood Magic flew into Sebastian’s body. He then stood up from the throne and stopped his feet in front of the Vampire Queen.
Sebastian extended his hand to her. On his hand was the butler’s brooch. “Drop your blood on this.”
The Vampire Queen didn’t dare to question the great being’s intention. She bit her fingertip and let several droplets of blood fall onto the brooch.
Sebastian stored the brooch back in his uniform.
“Sebastian also desires to help his master by getting help from monsters. I’m not him so I can’t form a Monster Follower’s pact in his or his master’s place. Anyway, you must accept the call when he summons you. Is that clear?”
“Yes, my Lord.”
“Mn. There is still some time left before the lantern runs out of power. I will use this time to visit the other monsters in this region. As for you, just stay in your territory for the time being. Don’t cause a problem.”
Then, Sebastian instantly vanished like a disappearing shadow. Seeing that he had left, the Vampire Queen slowly stood back up, her legs still shaking. Her body was drenched in sweat despite the cold temperature of the room.
With the system unlocking many features of the game, the world of Monster Soul was undergoing impactful changes. In any case, when Sila came back into the game, he would soon discover that the place that was affected the most was this exact northern region. Furthermore, if he tracked down the origin of the changes, he would come to know that they were started by none other than himself.
Chapter 252: The Proper Way to Negotiate
Sila woke up inside one of the rooms in a hotel. He had spent several hours with Mora and it had already been two days in the game since he logged out. He was still unaware of the changes brought about by Lomyok entering the Hall of Omniscience.
His avatar in the game was still in an injured state after the fight against Zero and the Two Monarchs. He could only exert sixty percent of his full power in his current condition. In order to prepare himself, Sila took advantage of the high recovery rate in the hotel’s room and sat down to circulate qi. He also wanted to use some time to practice Flaming Cloud Qi inside the game.
The Cloud Part was about the harmony between profound arts and the user. It helped the user evaluate what they had learned, strip away the unnecessary elements, then refine and merge what was left.
Mora explained that the qi circulation method of the Cloud Part was to transmit qi into the brain. For the record, the brain is a complex organ consisting of neurons, electric signals, and synapses. Flaming Cloud Qi would accelerate the brain by strengthening those components with inner force. This didn’t mean the user would become smarter though. Rather, it enhanced the user’s reaction speed and thought processes.
Failing at this part meant the risk of being struck with dementia or permanent paralysis. Fortunately, Sila had overcome and mastered it with the support of his teacher and his strong foundation.
Several ideas were booming in his mind. It was a surreal sensation that he had never experienced before. It was as if obstacles which had been blocking his innovative ideas were broken apart and a flood of information entered his brain. Parts of the arts which he couldn’t comprehend in the past suddenly made sense.
Now he knew why Mora had suggested he practice the Cloud Part before the Flame Part. His quickened thought process would be a great asset when handling the intense purgatory flame which was hard to control. Being able to think and react quickly were two important requirements for Sila to succeed.
As every art in his possession had been organized and further understood, he could finally elevate his original martial art—Formless Martial God, which was the accumulation of everything he had learned—to a whole new level and would be able to show its never-before-seen profound might. The art was now worthy of the name ‘Martial God’.
Formless Martial God — Serene Circulation.
In his mind, he could see himself with transparent skin. He could clearly witness his veins, acupoints, and how his qi flowed through them. The abnormalities in his body were also shown.
Mora’s knowledge about life-perishing points that were dangerous when pressed carelessly was adapted by Sila, and became an art of inspection and recovery. Sila gradually pressed his thumb on five different acupoints while exerting the power of the fire and wood elements to stimulate and heal his body.
Sila stood up and took a deep breath. He regained some of his strength back from that short procedure, restoring another ten percent of his power. By tomorrow his internal injuries would be completely healed and his strength would be completely restored.
His next task was to start practicing the Flame Part. He was neither hesitant nor indecisive. He was confident that, given his current ability, he would surely master it.
Sila exited the room and paid 15 gold to the hotel clerk. It seemed Belacia City’s cost of living was rather high. Ever since Sila had stepped into this town, never once had he used silver coins.
Sila bravely walked on the main road. He sent messages to Bluebird and Burapha to come and meet him in the restaurant at the center of the city, saying that he had come up with a way to solve every problem they had. Moreover, if everything worked well, most of the citizens of Belacia City would choose to join their union.
Sila couldn’t contact Sebastian, but that was fine. The very first problem that had to be fixed right now was the animosity of the players in Belacia City, which had been fueled by Revin’s words. These players were needed in the Wicked Union in order for them to have a strength rivaling the Heavenly Dragon Guild.
The second floor of the restaurant was not as lively as it had been. yet it was hardly a problem. In fact, in a few minutes, Sila would make this place become more crowded than ever.
Once Sila had entered, he found that everyone was already waiting for him at a table. Bluebird was hiding under a cloak. It was the same for Clute who had accompanied Lookhin. Spotting Sila, Burapha stood up and greeted him. However, Sila simply strode past the table as he spoke a few words to the group.
Sila exited through the balcony and soared to the roof, standing on the spot where he had a view of the entire city.
A purple ball of light shot out from his armor, becoming Mamon with a kid’s appearance. He frowned as he was displeased that Sila had suddenly pulled him out of the armor when he wanted to remain inside.
By no means did Sila mind Mamon’s reaction. What he wanted was manpower, so he conversed with Asura—who was hiding his presence in a corner of the city—through a sound transmission.
“Mister Asura, I need to borrow your strength. Could you please come here?”
As he was quite confident in his Mind Concealment, Asura frowned as Sila could somehow pinpoint his location. He scratched his bald head prior to moving toward Sila’s position.
Meanwhile, Sila opened his system window and contacted someone else. A dimensional door soon emerged when Burapha, Bluebird, Clute, and Lookhin finally arrived on the roof.
Rex came from the other side of the dimensional door and stood next to Sila.
“Rex, how long you can stay here?”
“Three hours,” Rex curtly replied.
Sila nodded. “That’s plenty. I called you here because I want your help.” He then sent sound transmissions to Rex, Lookhin, and Asura, explaining his real intentions for gathering everyone. Out of the three, Rex showed a surprised reaction to what Sila had requested of him.
Seeing Clute, Mamon emitted purple psychic power as he glared at his enemy. “You were just lucky last time. Let me erase the ancient golem race from the world of Monster Soul today.”
Clute clad his body with white magic power reinforcement. “I won’t let my guard down again.”
Sila pressed his left hand on Mamon’s head and used qi to suppress the boy’s psychic power. At the same time, his left hand pressed on Clute’s shoulder and transmitted the same amount of qi to the latter. “No in-fighting today. If you want to go on a rampage, just wait a few moments.”
The two realized that Sila had sent some kind of power into their bodies. Although the power wasn’t especially powerful, it was flowing through their veins in a strange way. Sila’s qi became as hard as a solid object and blocked some acupoints within their bodies, making them have a slightly more difficult time channeling their powers.
For the record, Sila was relying on the blockade technique he learned from Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, using less to win more. It worked just fine thanks to the fact that both Mamon and Clute had human forms.
Bluebird looked around, feeling restless. “Sila, what are you planning to do? Why did you call me here? Have you forgotten that—”
Sila didn’t reply but flicked his ankle to remove three tiles from the roof. “If memory serves me right, three times mean a calamity that may bring the fall of the city, right? A lot of people will show up, then.”
Sila kicked all the three tiles at a bell tower next to the restaurant. Seeing what he had done, Burapha and Bluebird became startled. This signal indicated that the city was in a crisis, so the citizens would dash to this spot in a matter of a few seconds.
“What have you done?! These people don’t like a bad joke, you know?” Bluebird nervously warned Sila.
“I did this in order to negotiate. Stay put. I will handle the situation myself.”
As they had expected, the signal of a bell ringing three times was of the utmost importance. It took less than a minute for several players to show up below the restaurant, and the number continued to rise as time passed. Apparently, everyone dropped whatever they were doing and rushed to this place. Seeing that the destination only had a small group of people, the citizens felt greatly displeased, especially when they saw that one among the group was Sila.
White seemed to be a temporary representative for the townspeople. She could still keep her cool even in this heated situation. Jumping onto the same roof where Sila was standing, she asked politely.
“Mister Sila, you haven’t been here long, so you probably don’t know our regulations. However, knocking the bell three times means—”
“—a calamity capable of ruining the city. I am well aware,” Sila interrupted without waiting for her to end her sentence.
White slightly furrowed her brows. “I see. Then... what is the said calamity? Can you please inform us?”
“I will tell you about the calamity later. Now that everyone in Belacia City is here, I want to negotiate with all of you.”
“Negotiate?” White repeated the word with a feeling of confusion.
Many let out scornful remarks or curses at Sila’s arrogance for summoning everyone just for the sake of negotiation. Rather than a negotiation, what he ought to do was beg for them to spare his life.
White nodded. “I think I understand now. Could this be about the Blue-Colored Catastrophe? You have made the right decision, then. Still, you didn’t have to call everyone. Just telling us his whereabouts would already be enough.”
“That’s unnecessary. Bluebird is already here.” Sila flicked his wrist and removed the cloak covering Bluebird’s body. The latter was immediately startled.
“Sila!! What the hell are you doing?!!” Bluebird groaned.
“The problem related to you is chronic and greatly affects our main objective. On this day, this problem will have to be solved,” Sila declared resolutely.
Some players took out their weapons and some unleashed their power. Most of their eyes, filled with resentment, stared at Bluebird. Someone took steps forward, though White raised her hand to stop them. She wanted to hear Sila’s reason first.
“What is your goal?”
“I have already told you that I want to negotiate.”
“What do you want to trade the Blue-Colored Catastrophe’s life for? Items, money, fame, or your life?” White asked, her eyes showed a feeling of disapproval. It seemed she was disappointed in Sila’s character for selling his friend out.
“None of the above. I don’t have any intention of trading Bluebird for anything. I also don’t care what he has done in the past. No matter what it was, your resentment must be let go of today. From now on, don’t ever use that reason to trouble my friend again.”
Everyone looked at each other, wondering whether Sila was out of his mind. Considering what Bluebird had done in the past, which had caused the entire town to fall apart, just dismissing it like that was far from acceptable.
“So, you want us to nod at your words, say ‘okay,’ and leave. Just like that? No way things will easily go like that.”
“Sure. For a negotiation to be successful, an equivalent exchange is needed. No matter what Bluebird has done in the past, just state the price.”
Bluebird lightly tapped Sila back. “Erm... you don’t have enough money to compensate them, Sila. Really, what are you thinking?”
“What if what he has done can’t be fixed with money?” asked White.
“In that case... I will give you something that equally can’t be purchased with money. Actually, it was because of Bluebird that I came up with this idea.”
“What exactly do you mean? What is on your side of this negotiation.”
“A priceless experience. Calamity, thrills, and dangers. The main reason that you all have gathered in this northern region is that you want to polish your skills and become stronger without minding the shifts of power in Monster Soul, yet each of you is like a grain of sand. You don’t join forces and don’t extend your hands to help others unless your weapons are aimed at a public enemy. Take Bluebird’s case for example. You can drop your personal matters and cooperate to hunt Bluebird. Likewise, I am here today to offer you the thrill of facing a great danger with your comrades. My goal is for the future of Belacia City to not only be the city of guildless players, but the strongest city that is even mightier than the three main cities.”
“Hahaha! I see. This is indeed interesting. Though I doubt most people here will buy your intangible idea. If I have to guess, I will say only around eight people will accept your proposal but the rest won’t. Well, actually, we don’t exactly buy your idea of beautiful comradeship. We just want to break our shells and try something new.” With the use of qi, the volume of the voice was increased. The speaker of those words was a brawny man carrying a giant katana on his back.
“You said ‘we.’ Does that mean you also agree with me?” asked Sila.
“I, Kraizer, have had the same idea as you ever since that time when Bluebird brought a catastrophe upon us. That event made us unite and had a chance to fight together. Still, as I have said, I am a mere minority. Most people here only seek revenge.”
“I have a way to handle them. Just having some of you support my decision is already reassuring.”
“Good! I will just sit here and witness how this situation will unfold. If you come out of this place alive, I will consider you my friend. Even when everyone has malice against you, I will still be by your side.”
Sila looked at the man and nodded. He also saw Fallun walking to Kraizer and stood next to him. “I, too, choose to do the same.”
Skyless stepped down from his flying Chinese sword and stood with Fallun and Kraizer. He said nothing but his intention was clear. At the same time, Ryou jumped onto the roof and loudly declared, “I agree with you! But I won’t just sit around doing nothing.”
Sila felt everything was going according to plan. He had successfully lowered the number of experts on the opposing side.
Seizing the chance, Sila accepted Kraizer’s condition and declared loudly. “That’s fine! If anyone on my side dies, you can take everything I just said as invalid! However, if your side accepts defeat first, you will have to accept my deal. Abandon your resentment toward Bluebird and join forces with us! With me, you will face new challenges greater than before!”
“Is this what you call a negotiation? Sounds like an intimidating kind of gamble to my ears. It’s desperate gambling, even,” argued White.
“I naturally am confident in my words and my abilities. I have heard that people in Belacia City talk through strength. Or, could it be that you are not confident that all of you here can take down the eight people on my team?” Sila’s remarks were simply insults to the citizens of the city.
Infuriated, everyone took their weapons out. The combined killing intent shrouding the area was more than Sila had even sensed before.
Still, Sila was not alone today. He would still be firm in his confidence even if the situation turned grimmer.
Sila opened his palm as he raised his hand. The tattoo on his palm emitted a bright light and projected a symbol of two swords crossing in front of a crown into the sky as a spectacular background. It was a manifestation of his Lordship. Sila activated it in a form of a domain to prevent the system from asking him every time he had killed someone. With this domain activated, the death penalty regarding respawn time would be defined by him, though he would only get half the normal amount of experience points for the kills.
“As would be expected of this negotiation, someone will die. But worry not. I have already reduced everyone’s respawn time to just half an hour with my Lordship. Still, I won’t take responsibility for your drop in levels. Since you have decided to battle, it’s natural that you must be prepared for the consequences.”
Again, Sila’s words were like taunts that enraged everyone. A massacre was about to begin.
Yet who exactly would carry out the massacre, and who exactly would be massacred?
White jumped back as she retreated. “I still don’t know the source of your confidence. What I’m sure of is that even I can’t possibly suppress everyone’s anger the way they are now. I’m not the type to trample on someone when they’re down, so I’m going to withdraw from this fight as well.”
“Miss White, do you know my title?”
“Weapon Subduing Fist? But will you be able to subdue this many weapons, I wonder?”
Sila’s lips curled into a smile, showing his bottomless confidence. “I meant my other title. Well, you will soon discover why I have no fear.”
In order to make the negotiation successful, a deal with an equivalent exchange was not the only thing required. In the book holding records of Pumin’s experiences, the most important factor that would make the negotiation successful was also discussed.
That factor was ‘Power.’ The stronger you were compared to your opponent, the greater your chances of success in negotiating were.
White’s withdrawal from the scene was like a signal for the start of the battle that would affect the history of Monster Soul.
The first to take action was none other than Sila. The Mechanical Evil God’s Protection glowed with an ominous red aura in the same manner that the Gem of Catastrophe in his possession had once shown its power. The sun lost its light as if a demon had swallowed the sunlight. The power of monsters within five kilometers around him surged as they had been bequeathed with power. The five monsters next to Sila’s side immediately scattered to different directions and unleashed their true terror. Asura and Rex were transforming back into their original forms, inducing the most fear out of all five monsters.
Rex soared high into the sky and transformed into an ancient dragon with a gigantic body. He exerted the hard attribute of Tiger Dragon Qi, pressing down on the world below him. The force of gravity immediately intensified and became ten times stronger. Just this action alone was enough to inflict some injuries on those who weren’t careful.
Meanwhile, Asura was assigned the duty of protecting Bluebird and Burapha. His body—the red skeleton with six arms—enlarged, and in each hand was a short beautiful sword seemingly made of garnets. His hollow eye sockets seemed to see through any actions made by the people below. His mere presence made the witnesses of his true form feel unsafe, despite the power he emitted feeling rather weak.
Lookhin levitated above Sila. Her majestic brown wings spread from her back. Her powers—be it qi, psychic, or magic power—were constantly being elevated by the Eternal Onyx.
Mamon and Clute were standing on opposite edges of the roof. The citizens of Belacia City had a hard time swallowing their saliva as they realized that one of them was the White Giant. The reason why they didn’t notice at the start was that the boy wore a different set of clothing and was covered by a cloak. As for the other boy, he was currently looking down on all of them with a pair of the creepiest eyes they had ever seen. His psychic power was extremely disgusting and nauseated anyone who came into contact with it. Just the boy’s menacing presence alone reduced their strength.
The one who found this event remarkably delightful was none other than Mamon. He swept his gaze over every single opponent as he planned to use them to test out his newly-adjusted body. His eyes curled up into half-moons as he showed his exceptionally evil grin. He let out a burst of his favorite, devilish laughter.
“Kiekkiekkiek. My hands have been itching for so long. Let’s fight fair and square, you damn humans.”
love this novel, do u know any other novels what are kinda similar to this? And is mamon being honest about fighting fair and square? that doesnt seem like his thing at all haha
love this novel, do u know any other novels what are kinda similar to this?
Chapter 253: Bloodbath Festival
While every corner of Monster Soul was undergoing the changes brought about by the new episode of the game, Belacia City was experiencing changes as well, though the difference was that these impactful changes were caused by only a single player.
Sila, the Monster Emperor, a player whose total play time was less than a year.
White witnessed the battle from afar with a mind-blown expression. The city, normally completely white due to the snow, was constantly being dyed red by blood spilling out of wounds. No, this place could hardly be called a city anymore as one building after another was collapsing.
The dazzling lights from magic spells, qi aura, and psychic power continued to flash all over the place like a great war was being fought.
A massive qi-type dragon dominated the sky, next to the symbol representing a certain someone’s Lordship and below the darkened sun. No one was unaware of the dragon’s identity. It was undoubtedly the infamous Rex, the king and the guardian of the Single-Horned Dragon Forest, who blocked the path leading to Madmen’s Valley. It seemed that, aside from Sila, not a single player had any idea how Sila had brought the dragon here.
The battle of eight against hundreds was indeed unfair, though it was questionable which side had the advantage.
Rex’s Tiger Dragon Qi was so strong that it was tangible. Every single player below could clearly feel that they were being crushed by qi. Fortunately for them, Rex only acted as a crowd controller in this battle as Sila had requested. Otherwise, considering the small size of the city, if Rex were to unleash his full power, the entire town would be annihilated under the qi pressure.
Still, Rex was only a small part of the nightmare compared to the three humanoid monsters brought by Sila.
Lookhin was flying freely in the sky. Given her flight speed, people had a difficult time following her, especially when Rex’s qi was pressing down on them. Instead, Lookhin could comfortably fly anywhere and use her Great Sparrowhawk Qi, which was light yet sharp, to slice anyone. Her main duty was to prevent magic users from casting high-tier magic spells, which proved to be easy as she could also rely on Oceanic Mind to knock anyone down like they were bowling pins.
Moreover, she had long since activated Entomomageia. The flies were buzzing around the players, scattered throughout the battlefield. Their health points were low and their attack could only deal 1 damage, yet they could multiply at incredible speed. Currently, hundreds of thousands of flies were all over the place, nibbling at the players and creating an overall extremely annoying experience.
For the record, Clute once had a chance to witness Beelzebub’s Entomomageia when he lived in the Monster Realm. One of the insect hordes created by the Lord of the Flies managed to reach the habitat of the ancient golems, so they had an opportunity to observe and study this new kind of magic.
With time they noticed Entomomageia’s characteristics, and those were what Clute had been imparting to Lookhin over the last two days.
Entomomageia was a semi-automatic spell. The user could choose to control the insects they summoned or let them follow set instructions. The insects possessed low intelligence though, so they could only follow simple commands such as attack or flee. Therefore, controlling them would greatly improve their performance. However, there was no way a single user could control such a large number of insects.
The ancient golems theorized that Beelzebub’s army of insects was unusually smart, as there was no way them only following simple commands could be enough to threaten the entire Monster Realm.
In the end, one of the ancient golems discovered the secret behind Beelzebub’s Entomomageia: ‘chains of command.’
Instead of controlling a hundred thousand flies, Lookhin only controlled a few by assigning them different tasks. Those few would control a few more under them, and the chains of command would continue in the same manner not unlike those found multi-level organizations. Thus, despite their appearances being exactly the same, some flies attacked while some selected targets. Even though the patterns of their attacks seemed simple at first glance, they were actually well-executed and complex.
Out of the eight members of Sila’s group, there were only two main damage dealers: Mamon and Clute.
Mamon was in his male adult form, wearing a brown turtleneck sweater. He bravely stood amidst flashes of magic spells and blades of weapons. The attacks coming at him head on would be blocked by the stronger version of his psychic power barriers shaped like octagons. Meanwhile, the attacks coming from behind would inexplicably lose effect due to Belphegor’s Hidden Gift, Secluded Space, which perfectly protected Mamon from any kind of danger he didn’t sense coming.
There was no weapon in his hands, as his fingers themselves were weapons. His fingernails were replaced by purple crystals. They would generate energy waves whenever he swung his hands in order to perform a melee attack and would fire laser beams if he pointed them at his enemies.
Laser-based weapons were exclusive to the android race. They possessed the ability to ignore the target’s defense, so the opponents would suffer grave injuries from Mamon’s simple attacks even when they were properly protecting themselves with energy reinforcement.
Mamon grinned as he was satisfied with the results from his on-field experiments. After the last fight he had against Clute in which he suffered heavy injuries, Mamon came up with a new way to strengthen his body. He removed many weapons from his body and equipped himself with new gear that would enhance his physical specs. Most of the energy generated from his energy core would be channelled through his body prior to reaching the attached weapons. This way, although he had less weapons to choose from, he compensated for this with a sturdier physique.
On Clute’s side, he was the opponent that the players tended to avoid the most due to his reputation as the White Giant. Nevertheless, some of the players found this moment the best chance to take down the White Giant as it was rare for almost all citizens in Belacia City to gather in one place. If the White Giant was slain, tons of experience points and excellent items would be acquired.
Clute temporarily aged and became a golden-haired mature man with the help of Rune Magic. The rune shining brightly on his forehead was “Thurisaz (Giants),” one of the most powerful runes in his possession. The rune of aggression had the power to strengthen his magic output.
Clenching his fist, the back of Clute’s right hand shone with the rune of vigor, “Uruz (Aurochs).” Through his fist, it sent forward a giant shadow of his punch, breaking through space and sending the players flying. Just this punch alone collapsed five buildings in succession.
Clute raised his left hand to the sky. On the back of it was the rune of coldness, “Isa (Ice),” which was also one of the strongest runes. His magic power shot up into the sky and turned into magic particles, changing the falling snow into sharp blades made of ice. The blades rained down, covering the entire battlefield. What splashed, as a result, was not water but blood.
Actually, Clute didn’t want to hurt the players to this degree. However, Sila’s sound transmission told him that this was the only way to end the conflicts in the city. Sila also begged him to kill as many as he could. Otherwise, the players that died under Mamon’s hands would suffer a greater penalty of losing 150 Levels, all of their money, and one of their items. The dropped items wouldn’t even be randomized but hand-picked by Mamon through his Hidden Gift. On the other hand, dying under Clute’s hands would result in losing 100 Levels and having their reviving time extended to one day, the latter of which had already been taken care of by Sila’s Lordship.
Sila’s words gave Clute a reason to fight without holding anything back. He had to kill people faster than Mamon in order to save them from experiencing a misfortune at the hands of the Demon of Greed, who would steal anything important to them. Kill, in order to help.
Meanwhile, Burapha and Bluebird were leisurely standing around. Even though some players managed to avoid the other monsters and reach the roof, their attacks ended up futile due to Asura’s protection. The six red short swords alternated between vanishing and reappearing, blocking anything that came their way.
Bluebird cast Soundless Lightning from time to time to shoot those who came at him. Although the damage was far from coming close to kill them, the bolts of lightning caused some paralysis, and merely a second of numbness was lethal on a battlefield.
Seeing that he was under reliable protection, Bluebird felt elated. He continued to fire magic arrows as if he was playing a shooting game. Once his magic power was depleted, he would take a magic-recovering potion out to drink nonchalantly, before continuing his attacks. Such a casual attitude greatly irritated those who witnessed his actions.
On the other hand, Burapha seized this rare opportunity to practice his martial art. He stepped across the edge of Asura’s protection range.
Regarding how to use a lance, it is normally a weapon to be used when the user is riding on a horse, so most lance arts specialize in offensive capability. Despite this, aside from the common thrust, most of Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art’s martial moves were about parrying and deflecting incoming attacks. Apparently the art resembled how to use a pole rather than a lance, and even the positions of the hands were near the center rather than the end.
Seeing that some attacks were manageable, Asura let some players pass by in order for Burapha to handle them himself.
The sound of weapons connecting with Burapha’s lance rang out continuously. Burapha relied on the techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws that he had learned from Sila to cope with attacks. He slowed his breathing and firmly parried his opponents’ weapons.
Burapha’s psychic power was stimulated by several aspects of the battlefield, such as the scent of blood, the sounds of explosions and screams, and the killing intent that his opponents let off as they attacked. It gradually accelerated his growth and also dominated Revin’s Triple Sky Energy in his veins, converting it into his own power.
Burapha felt more vigorous the longer the battle dragged on. His martial moves were continuous like endless sea waves. They naturally guided the flow of his inner force. As the number of exchanges increased, the power that Burapha had been secretly transmitting into his opponents finally reached the point where it was ready to detonate.
The art which increased the user’s attack power the longer they spent time defending—it was such an odd martial art that Kirishima Kai had developed by learning from nature.
Finally, the Eastern Sea Evil Lance’s tip struck the sword held by one of his opponents. The impact of the strike imbued with psychic power entered the man’s body with no way for him to resist.
Burapha’s psychic power exploded inside the man and caused great turbulence within his body. It was like his blood had become a tsunami and violently surged, harming every fiber of his muscles.
The man coughed up a giant pool of blood as the explosion sent him flying and he crashed against the wreckage of the building behind him. He was no longer in a state where he could fight.
Sila deliberately created this situation due to many reasons. One among them was to push him into a situation where his body and mind were in crisis. It was a requisite for practicing Flaming Cloud Qi’s Flame Part.
One couldn’t start practicing the Flame Part in a safe environment. A suitable environment was required to learn this dark art. That referred to a losing and desperate situation that turned the practitioner’s mind and emotions into an imaginary purgatory flame.
‘This won’t do. The battle is not serious enough to make me feel despair. The condition is unexpectedly more difficult than I thought.’
Sila intended to seize this chance to practice the Flame Part, so he had tried his best to balance his odds of winning and losing. He couldn’t win too fast since the condition would be unmet and he wouldn’t have enough time to master the Flame Part. Still, the union’s business must be put before his needs, so he couldn’t afford to lose the battle either. That was why he borrowed the monsters’ strength to increase his odds of winning. Apparently, he had far underestimated their power under the influence of the Eternal Onyx. The battle became unexpectedly one-sided.
‘I will have to come up with a new plan, then,’ thought Sila. He felt slightly disappointed that it didn’t go according to his plan.
To this moment, Sila had yet to make a move. He looked straight at the horizon as if implying that this battlefield didn’t deserve his attention.
He was waiting—waiting for a moment when hidden powerhouses would show up as soon as he showed any opening.
‘I can sense two presences in the restaurant. They must be Revin and Kawin. I guess they want to use this chance to kill me, though they are not scary now that I have spotted them.
‘The one I should be more wary of is Kimon. These people are professional assassins, so I guess they don’t like showing themselves in public. In that case, I think I can ignore the possibility that the Earthbound Reaper’s disciple will take action since he seems to be a strength-type. I should be more careful around the Eminent Immortal’s and Heaven’s Heiress’. These two seem to be stealth-types.’
He had been waiting for a long time, yet there was no sign of their movements. A longer night creates more dreams. The longer one stayed in a disadvantageous position, the more risks they take. Before his opponents made any unexpected moves, it would be better if he lured them into making the moves he expected.
Sila summoned a black sword into his right hand. He slowly brandished it, drawing a big curve, while exerting the Great Flow.
Heaven’s Decree — Seventh Sword Style, Unforeseen Sword.
Two silhouettes immediately darted out of the windows as soon as they spotted Sila’s opening.
Heaven’s Decree Sword Art was an art that manipulated the opponent’s intuition. In battles, a fighter’s intuition was of the utmost importance, especially in a battle between experts where openings were usually extremely rare. Thus, Revin and Kawin couldn’t stop themselves from coming out of their hiding spots and rushing at Sila. It was already too late when they had realized that their intuition was talking nonsense.
Experts oftentimes moved according to their intuition, or rather an instant decision-making ability that they honed through countless battles and a vast amount of experiences. In fact, it was their most reliable asset which they could always depend on.
Pumin’s Heaven’s Decree was an art that sent a fake yet seemingly trustworthy signal to trick the opponent’s intuition into making a move that the user desired. It was indeed a peerless profound art that greatly hindered the opponent’s strength.
Kawin’s punch came from Sila’s left while Revin’s sword came from his right. By no means could Sila look down on their attacks even though he was the one luring them, especially when he was guessing a certain third party was still hiding in the shadows.
The last time Kimon made a move, just the simple thrust of a saber had almost killed him. If he wasn’t careful, there wouldn’t be a second chance.
Sila didn’t hold back at all. His body was engulfed in magical black flames as his eyes gleamed ruby red.
Element-Changing Nightmare — Demonic Raiment & Heaven’s Decree — Flaming Fireflies.
The blade covered in black flames sliced through the air, burning fiercely. Suddenly, Revin and Kawin were struck with urges to withdraw, causing their attacks to lose half of their original power. At the moment when Sila’s Crystal Demonic Sword connected with the Explosia Sword, his fist similarly blocked Kawin’s punch.
Dual Generating Attributes — Fire Creates Earth, Supernova.
The consecutive uses of profound arts could be done without any difficulty due to the help of the Cloud Part. Sila’s power surged as it was about to create a big explosion. Realizing it, Revin and Kawin immediately clad their bodies with magic power reinforcement to increase their defensive power.
However, the same situation was replayed. Sila’s power instantly vanished out of nowhere, leaving his body defenseless against the Two Monarchs who wouldn’t miss this perfect chance.
Yet Sila was calm. He had been anticipating this moment. He couldn’t find Asava the last time because it was a surprise attack. However, he deliberately baited it this time. No profound art was perfectly traceless, even more so when he was waiting for it. Sila could feel the faint presence of a power infiltrating his body and causing a disturbance in his inner force.
Formless Martial God — Reflecting Star.
Sage of the Six Disasters was an art which interrupted the target’s flow of inner force. In order to cope with this kind of art, Sila had to rely on power from another source.
Sila invented Reflecting Star after analyzing Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ Migrate and Combine techniques. His hands moved slowly yet his feet accelerated in speed. Seeing his action, Kawin was shocked as he hurriedly pulled back his punch. However, it was too late for Revin. Sila took in the power in Revin’s sword and rode its current, borrowing his power through his movements.
Formless Martial God — Nameless Spirit.
Sila kicked both of their chests, sending them flying in different directions. Unfortunately, his counterattack wasn’t strong enough to injure them.
Using Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, Kawin could nullify most of the power in Sila’s kick and neatly landed himself on the edge of the roof. Meanwhile, Revin let his body go along with the kick and flew further away.
In any case, those two weren’t Sila’s main target. He had conserved most of the borrowed power to take care of a certain someone who always butted in the battles of others yet refused to make an appearance.
Formless Martial God — Subduing Spear.
Sila channeled the borrowed power into his thumb before firing it using Yizichan. The power flew forward like a spear. For the record, the muscular strength in his thumb acted like a gun’s muzzle. The stronger it was, the more power it could contain. Sila’s finger muscular strength was exceptional since Mora’s training had placed emphasis on his fingers. His spear bullet destructively flew toward an empty space.
“Urgh!” Blood spilled as Asava’s body appeared out of thin air. Apparently, his abdomen was shot and bleeding. He looked askance at Sila.
“A wound for a wound. If you want to talk, just stop hiding and show yourself!” said Sila.
Asava didn’t reply. His lips simply curled up into a mild smile as he vanished. Seeing Kimon’s member, Revin and Kawin quickly made a retreat.
‘Exactly as Teacher Mora told me. Sage of the Six Disasters grants the user terrifying techniques, but balances it out with a physically weak body. Asava can’t handle powerful attacks if he can’t borrow their power. Well, he didn’t expect me to counter, so my surprise attack ended up successful. It will be another story if we fight for real. I wonder if my improved martial art can handle his killing techniques.’
The exchanges of moves ended too soon, so Sila didn’t get a chance to practice the Flame Part. It seemed the condition to learn the part was indeed difficult. He wasn’t really bothered by it though, since he had already come up with a new idea.
As prolonging this battle was no longer important, Sila sped up its end by helping Mamon and Clute defeat the citizens. In the end, the ‘negotiation’ ended in twenty minutes, resulting in an upheaval of the Monster Emperor’s reputation. Presently, not a single player in Monster Soul could look down on him anymore.