Chapter 108: Steel Sword of the Gentleman
Sila slowly exited Grea City and opened the map only to find out that he had made a blunder by exiting the wrong gate. For him to travel to Madmen's Valley, it would be best to exit from the north gate or at least the west gate. However, he was in such a hurry and had exited from the gate he had entered with Sangdao, which was the south gate.Sangdao...Whenever he thought about Sangdao, an incomprehensible feeling stirred within his heart. For the matter regarding the Wulin Masters Association, it seemed Sangdao knew something but didn’t tell him. Actually, he could just simply contact her and inquire about it. However, the system window only floated in the air without him daring to touch it. Despite him being a click away from contacting Sangdao, he didn’t do so. He didn’t feel like talking with her right now.Going back into the city and then exiting through the north gate seemed to be a foolish decision as Kawin might be tracking him. Thus, Sila decided to go a roundabout route. He walked along the edge of the city’s outer walls to reach the west gate.The walls of Grea City weren’t made of brick like the ones in Colossia City; they were made of metal. The height of the walls wasn’t consistent as some walls seemed to be around ten meters while some were so high that he couldn’t see the top. Sila couldn’t see any players on the path he was using as this route wasn’t a common one.He traveled while thinking about many things. Sila had promised Bow that he would bring her out from the Slime Kingdom when he arrived at the next city, however, he decided not to do so as Grea City wasn’t a safe place for him. He thought that it would be better to let Bow out when he reached Madmen’s Valley.He wouldn’t be able to visit the Mansion of Secrets nor the Bamboo Hut since if he did so, he would appear in the center of Grea City when he exited. He had just fought against Kawin, so it was highly likely that he would encounter his enemies there. He didn’t want to visit the Bamboo Hut anyway as there was a chance he would meet Sangdao who he still wasn’t ready to see yet.He had walked for ten minutes but next to him was still the city’s walls. Grea City was one of the biggest cities in Monster Soul so walking around naturally took a long time. While he was walking, Sila tried to clad his hands with qi reinforcement while waving them back and forth. He was trying to comprehend the new way to utilize Genesis Punch.‘Umm, it would be better if I had a chance to use it in real combat,’ Sila thought. He could try what he was doing a hundred or thousand times but Sila still wasn’t sure that he could actually make use of it when the time comes.There was a saying that was quite relevant: beware of what you wish for, as it might be granted unexpectedly.Sila found that there were players standing ahead of his route, blocking his path. He wasn’t vigilant so he noticed them too late. Upon seeing them from afar, Sila immediately activated Galaxy Eclipse and discovered that there were more players following him from behind, though they were very far away.The opposing side was blocking his way. Sila walked closer until he was five steps away from them before stopping his feet.“Could you please let me pass?” Sila tried to be nice despite guessing that these players would definitely pick a fight with him.The players of the opposing side began to whisper to each other. “Are you sure? This guy doesn’t seem like him.”One of them nodded while pointing his finger at his own clothing then pointing at Sila’s. Five pairs of eyes followed the finger. They began to whisper among themselves again.Finally, they ended their discussion. Sila didn’t force his way through as he was wondering who they were and what would they were trying to do.“Who are you!?” One of them shouted at Sila.Sila was confused. “Eh? Don’t you already know that? Isn’t that why you were waiting to ambush me?”Another one of them unsheathed his sword and pointed it at Sila. “Quit quibbling! Tell us your name!”Sila scratched his head. The members of the Heavenly Dragon Guild might be searching for him inside the city at the moment so he didn’t want to give his name away.“I have some circumstances so I’m not comfortable with giving my name away. Anyway, you seem to be searching for someone else. So, I think I will take my leave.”Once he finished speaking, Sila stepped forward as he intended to pass through the five players in front of him. However, the one who had unsheathed his sword clad the sword in qi reinforcement and slashed at Sila.“Don’t move!!” The slash was aimed at Sila’s head. Sila frowned when he noticed this.He didn’t particularly mind the attack as he clad his feet with qi while making irregular movements to evade the slash without any difficulty. He simply walked past the attacker as if nothing had happened.In the blink of an eye, the remaining four scattered around him and unsheathed their swords. Just seeing their stances was enough for Sila to discern that these five weren’t ordinary. Sila might be able to overwhelm one of them, but not if they combined their power. It seemed they excelled in fighting as a team.“I’m not the person you are looking for. Can’t you just let me go?” Sila made another attempt to persuade them.All five players looked at each other. One of them pointed his sword at Sila while the remaining four took their stance accordingly. Sila could somehow guess that these five had all received the same training.“It won’t be a problem if we kill the wrong person. All suspicious people need to be killed.”Sila’s expression turned grave. “How unreasonable.”At first Sila thought that, since it was a misunderstanding, he might as well try to avoid getting into a fight. However, as he held back, the opponents instead thought that they could freely abuse him. Despite Sila knowing that these players didn’t have a personal grudge against him, he had already changed his mind to fight them for real.‘These players aren’t weak, but their abilities aren’t too high. They are suitable as practice targets for my new move.’Sila clad himself with qi reinforcement without concealing his power. Once his clothing fluttered from the aura, the swordsmen rushed at him.All five swords slashed at Sila. Each of the strikes supported each other and perfectly blocked Sila’s escape route.Sila’s guess wasn’t off the mark. These players weren’t mere thugs or common bandits. At the very least, they should belong to the same dojo and had trained martial arts together to some degree.Sila quickly moved his feet, using the footwork of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps within a limited space. It appeared to others as if Sila had split into multiple bodies.Although the five were surprised, their swordsmanship was still firm. Every one of them slightly shifted the trajectory of their sword to aim at the different bodies as if they had practiced doing so for years.Activating Universe Reversal, Sila redirected all the swords to slightly away from their original paths and pulled them together for them to collide into themselves.All five players lessened their qi reinforcement out of fear of bringing harm to their comrades. Witnessing a chance, Sila rushed at one of them. Both of his hands were clad with his self-made power and struck at the swordsman.The man defended by cladding himself with qi reinforcement. The impact caused him to take three steps back.Two of his comrades jumped in to block Sila from continuing his attack. However, Sila didn’t try to do so. He just stopped and attentively stared at the man he just hit.That man seemed to be fine. Even he was surprised at his condition himself. He had expected Sila’s strike to deal more damage to him.‘Too shallow, is it?’ Sila thought to himself. Immediately afterward, he lunged toward the opponent on his left.At the sight of Sila jumping at their comrade, the remaining four reacted. They rushed at Sila, to which Sila threw a Flash Bomb at them without looking back.Although his speed was superior to the four, he needed to slow down the four as he required concentration to attempt to use his new move again.A bright flash of light emerged behind Sila. The four players closed their eyes and clad themselves with qi reinforcement as their speed decreased.As for the one who Sila was rushing to, he lifted one of his hands up to block the light while squinting his eyes. The remaining hand thrust the sword to counterattack Sila.Once again, Sila put his self-made power into his palms. His speed didn’t change. One of his hands landed on the sword-wielding right arm of his opponent and pushed it down. As for his other hand, he heavily stamped it on the opponent’s chest.The swordsman flew five meters away. His arm bone had ruptured and was poking through the skin. His chest was noticeably flattened as he was coughing out blood and squirming in pain on the ground.Sila halted his movement and looked at the condition of the injured man. One of the man’s comrades rushed to take care of the him while the remaining three kept their eyes on Sila to ensure that he wouldn’t make another move.However, Sila didn’t pay any attention to them. His mind was focusing on the symptoms of the man he had just hit.‘This time it’s too severe. I need to control the power output to not be too low to not have an effect while not being too high to leave a visible injury on the opponent. It is indeed very difficult to come up with my own move.’This nameless move was something he came up with by adapting the skills he possessed to become his own move. The basis of his move was Poluk’s Genesis Punch. Genesis Punch was a powerful move but there was a limit to how many times he could use it per day. So, Sila planned to lower its power consumption to the point where he could continue using it without worry.Nevertheless, a problem arose. When he lowered the power consumption, the powerful might which was the prominent point of Genesis Punch would be gone. If he left it like this, it wouldn’t be much different from a normal punch.Regardless, the battle he had against Aramut gave him an idea. It was the first time he successfully used his own version of Genesis Punch.When he was meditating after the battle, he was in a trance where he was focused on coming up with his own way to utilize Genesis Punch. His plan was to separate the great power behind Genesis Punch into smaller parts and add them into his basic attacks. In conclusion, he planned to inject the reduced power of Genesis Punch into his foe’s body and attack from the inside.The power output must not be too low, otherwise, the attack would have no effect.It mustn’t be too high either or the energy consumption would be too great.It mustn’t be too shallow, because the opponent would easily block the attack.It mustn’t be too deep as well, since the opponent would notice the invading power.Currently, Sila was lacking timing, distance measurement, and insight for this new move. All of them would be acquired by accumulating experience, time, and practice. They weren’t something one would gain in a short time.The concept of this move was simple: the move to obstruct the opponent’s utilization of profound arts. Sila thought that, if he encountered profound practitioners who possessed powerful offensive arts like Poluk or a firm defensive art like Kawin, he would utilize this move to weaken the opponent’s moves. The goal was to cease the opponent’s movements for a brief moment.In a battle, just a brief moment was significant. In the instant where his opponent lost the tempo, Sila could take his time to continue his attack.Nevertheless, his idea was still far off from reality. Sila still couldn’t measure the right amount of power he should put into his strike. The amount of power he had to use would change depending on the situation and the type of opponent he faces. It seemed he still had a long way to go.“Who exactly are you?” One of the three swordsmen keeping their eyes on Sila shouted at him.Sila put his hands behind his back. He had finished testing his move and decided to spend time practicing it in seclusion before trying to test it out again. The time for him to leave this place had come.“At the very least, I’m not the one who you’re looking for. Can I go now?”Another man shouted back, “You have injured our friends. Do not expect to leave this place easily.”Sila replied indifferently, “You guys tried to harm me without a proper reason. It was natural that I defended myself. Did you really expect me to be your punching bag?”“Shut up. You will have to die here today.”Sila knew the reason why these people suddenly had more confidence. Their comrades who had been following from afar earlier had caught up.More than thirty players joined the battle and scattered around Sila, separated into several layers. Their battle formation was well-organized, as if they had been trained to do something like this many times. Every one of them unsheathed their swords and clad it with qi reinforcement.Sila was now very certain that they indeed belonged to the same school or dojo. They were by no means weak.Well, Sila still didn’t feel too pressured. Although he admitted that it would be a hard task for him to kill all the players in this place, escaping was still within his capability.Even though teacher Mora had never taught Sila the martial moves of their dojo, he had imparted unto Sila the concept ‘Attack is the best defense’. Be sure to attack the opponents in the place where they absolutely need to block.Whether he was up against a single person or a group of people, this concept always applied.
Do not show mercy and always aim your attack at the weakest part of the opponent.Sila quickly clad himself with qi reinforcement and charged at the injured person who was lying on the ground. His objective wasn’t to aggravate the person’s injury but to aim for a tiny gap which was created by the fact that the two players around this person were tending to his wounds.Two shurikens flew from Sila hands and curved around two of them, aiming at the injured person.The shurikens weren’t fired using Sila’s top speed as he intended for the two players to take notice of them. Just as he planned, the two noticed the shurikens and intercepted them to protect their injured friend. Thus, the gap widened.Sila intensified his qi and used his top speed to pass through the gap in the blink of an eye. He exited the encirclement. With his current speed, no one in this place should be able to catch up to him.However, there was an unexpected development. Once Sila was a few meters outside of the encirclement, a slash made of qi suddenly flew toward him from the front. It was too urgent and Sila was in mid-air so he couldn’t evade it. In the end, he had to clad himself with qi reinforcement and strengthened his body with Formless Soldier.The impact of the slash pushed Sila back into the encirclement. Sila took his stance and looked at the one who had just attacked him.The encirclement was parted by a certain middle-aged man. He wore white wuxia clothing and there was an ordinary-looking steel sword in his right hand. Once he stepped inside the encirclement, everyone raised their hands to greeted him.“Greeting, Honored Master.”The man who had just arrived nodded at the sight of everyone and stepped closer to Sila before coming to a stop once the distance between him and Sila was less than ten meters.“Your ability is not half bad. Who are you?” The man asked.Sila realized that this man was stronger than him. This realization came from his intuition. Sila decided not to answer the question while keeping up his guard.“Honored Master has asked you a question! Answer immediately!!” One of the men who seemed to be the leader of the team shouted.“It’s fine. You don’t need to tell me who you are. Just tell me, what is your relationship with the Shadow Emperor?”Sila was confused by the man’s words. “Shadow Emperor? You mean Mister Zero?”The man nodded, “That’s right. You seem to personally know him, don’t you? Are you Zero’s disciple?”Finally, Sila could connect the dots and realize that these people should be enemies of Zero. He was currently wearing the same outfit as Zero’s so he was misunderstood.“I know him. Mister Zero is my friend,” replied Sila indifferently.The man nodded. “That’s good. Can you tell me where Zero is?”“I don’t know,” Sila replied brusquely. “If that’s all you want to ask, I will take my leave now.”One of the disciples behind the middle-aged man shouted, “You can’t do that! Honored Master, this man has harmed one of our Junior Brothers.”Sila didn’t even glance at the man. “You guys intended to kill me without a proper reason, so I just defended myself. It was already kind of me to not kill him.”“You!!” The man who spoke just now readied his sword and was about to come at Sila. Nevertheless, the middle-aged man raised his hand to stop him before saying something.“Since it was a misunderstanding, why did you have to harm my disciple?”Sila was at a loss for words. The opposing side was actually the first to pick a fight with him, but this man’s statement was implying that he was in the wrong because he had been heavy-handed.“You people were the first to attack me. Why are you trying to imply that I’m the one in the wrong?”“Who attacked first isn’t important. The result is that one of my disciples was harmed. How do you plan to take responsibility?”The more he talked, the more he seemed to be put in the wrong. The middle-aged man’s appearance was like a kind man, but his speech had driven Sila into a corner. As Sila wasn’t good at debating, he decided to shut his mouth and started to think about how to escape from this place.“Since you stopped talking, am I correct to assume that you have accepted your mistake? That’s good. Today, I, Paiyuan, who hold the title of the Sword Gentleman, the master of the Heartless Steel Sword dojo, will be your opponent. This is not me bullying the weak nor me taking revenge for my disciple. I find that you are quite skilled so I want to teach you swordsmanship.”Sila heard the man’s illogical reason and sneered.“What if I don’t want to learn swordsmanship from you?”The steel sword of Paiyuan was pointed at Sila. His qi circled around the tip of the blade, creating a vortex.“I’m afraid you aren’t in the position to decline.”The disciples scattered around to block Sila’s escape route. The current encirclement was more complete than the previous one.Sila had no choice. Shapeless Qi circulated within his body. He readied himself for the battle against the foe in front of him.
Author: What is righteousness? If someone asked me, I would give this answer: Righteousness is the majority. Being right or being wrong doesn’t matter. And unjustness refers to when someone is trying to do something that the majority doesn’t agree with.
We are back to Sila, before Burapha stole the MC spot.
The character Paiyuan remind me of “Yuè Bùqún” in the novel “The Smiling, Proud Wanderer”. Although I disliked this character, I have to admit that this character brings liveliness to the story. The villains have to be unique for the MC to stand out.
P.S. You may think that character with this kind of personality exists only in the novel, but I can ensure you that there are people like this even in real life.
Chapter 109: No One is Allowed to Kill
Sila calmed his mind to concentrate on Paiyuan. He didn’t have time to care about the nonsensical words Paiyuan just spoke as he had been put into a very disadvantageous situation. Paiyuan had him surrounded by walls made of qi created by the disciples of the Heartless Steel Sword dojo. Sila had no way of knowing when they would try to harm him. Even if they didn’t do anything, their auras still greatly pressured Sila.Sila was in an very disadvantageous situation; he had already used Genesis Punch three times, he had exhausted some of his power in his earlier fight against Kawin, he was currently surrounded by enemies, and he was also being pressured by the fact that Paiyuan seemed to be stronger than him. However, once he had decided to fight, all of those negative thoughts faded from his mind.The past didn’t matter. The unnecessary thoughts didn’t matter. What he was facing at the present was the most important.It was the most suitable time for Sila to apply Evening Near the Misty Valley, the technique Sangdao taught him.
Paiyuan’s qi was injected into the blade. Sila didn’t dare to have the slightest bit of carelessness as he enlarged the radius of Galaxy Eclipse to cover all the people present. With it, Sila could tell that Paiyuan’s qi was actually Qi of Little Tiger.As Sila could perceive his opponent’s qi, his opponent could notice Sila’s qi as well.“God's Cathedral? Could it be that your real identity is Shuran, the Sun Extinguishing Warlord? ... No, that shouldn’t be the case. You don’t use a bow as your main weapon and also don’t have the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s emblem on your clothing. Umm... who exactly are you? Do you really not plan to tell me?”“If you kill me, the system will announce my name anyway.”“Fufu. Well, yes, that will be quite convenient.”Sila didn’t know who Shuran was, but this was the first time his qi technique could be detected by his opponent. What Sila still didn’t know was that God's Cathedral was easy to detect as the concept behind it was the opposite of qi reinforcement; it was thinning out the user’s qi and extending it as a sphere.Paiyuan didn’t wait for Sila to cancel his qi technique as he flicked his ankle and narrowed the distance while slashing his sword upward.The weakness of God's Cathedral came from its own ability. By extending qi further and giving shape to it, it was natural for the output of qi reinforcement around the user’s body to become lower than normal. It was one of the basics that qi-type players had to keep in mind.Paiyuan was jumping in joy when he saw that Sila made such a blunder. Actually, to use God's Cathedral in melee combat, one had to be very confident that one’s own ability was superior to their opponent’s. Otherwise, it was as if the user was stupidly telling his opponent: Come and attack me! I’m currently unable to maximize my qi reinforcement!Sila was expressionless as he stepped forward diagonally while activating Universe Reversal to shift the slash’s trajectory to the left. At the same time, he reinforced his right punch and threw it at Paiyuan’s ribs.Paiyuan’s expression swiftly changed. However, as expected of him being the owner of a martial arts dojo, he clad his left hand with qi reinforcement before using it to parry Sila’s fist.Unfortunately for Paiyuan, once his hand collided against Sila’s fist, he found that the force behind Sila's fist wasn’t particularly powerful but rather weak yet was able to penetrate into Paiyuan’s hand, causing him to have no choice but to strengthen his qi reinforcement on his entire arm to get rid of it.Meanwhile, the blade, which had its trajectory shifted, changed its course as Paiyuan aimed it at Sila’s neck. However, it missed its target for the second time as Sila lowered his body to evade it by a hair’s breadth. At the same time, Sila strengthened his left fist with Genesis Punch and threw it at Paiyuan’s abdomen. For the record, his right fist was still held by Paiyuan’s left hand due to Universe Reversal.Paiyuan’s swordsmanship was indeed powerful. All of his moves were very threatening and could end the enemy’s life with a single slash. However, there was a weakness in his swordsmanship. It was the fact that his moves were too heavily focused on the offensive. In the past, he always depended on his keen analysis and great precision to kill his enemies in a single strike, gaining a reputation for his renowned Heartless Sword Art. It was the sword art that focused on killing moves, not showing any mercy, but at the same time doesn’t take the user’s protection into account.While Paiyuan clad himself with qi reinforcement to raise his defense against Sila’s punch at his abdomen, he regretted that his sword art didn’t have a defensive move.Paiyuan utilized the impact upon his abdomen colliding with Sila’s fist to release himself from Sila’s pulling power. He had to take ten steps back before his body could come to a stop. Blood was dripping from the corner of his mouth as he glared intently at Sila.Sila inwardly felt regretful. Although he had gotten used to using Genesis Punch with his left fist, the force behind it was significantly lower than when he used it with his right fist despite him infusing the same amount of power into it. He was very confident that, if he had attacked with his right hand, Paiyuan would definitely be severely injured.In spite of Paiyuan’s ability being superior to Sila’s, he had ended up in this dire state because of his miscalculations.Firstly, the qi technique that Sila had activated wasn’t God's Cathedral but Galaxy Eclipse. The difference between them was that Galaxy Eclipse was the combination of both the extending power of God's Cathedral and its polar opposite, the focusing power of Ray Assemble. Thus, Sila could swiftly shift between extending and focusing his qi reinforcement at will. He could even maintain both powers at the same time, though the energy consumption would be great.Secondly, with that miscalculation, Paiyuan had thought that a chance had come and planned to end Sila’s life in a single move. However, it had ended in failure, resulting in him having to spend his qi not only in the sword but also on defending against Sila’s fist. He once again had to spend more of his qi to recover from Sila’s penetrating qi. Then, he had consumed more of his qi in his second slash before spending more qi energy to block Sila’s fist at his abdomen.Because his qi reinforcement was always powerful, his power consumption was equally large. During the short exchange of moves, he had wasted his qi time and time again. As a result, he experienced shortness of qi.On the contrary, Poluk had taught Sila to put up his qi reinforcement only when his body connected with the opponent’s. Even though Sila couldn’t do so all the time, he did his best to stick to Poluk’s teaching as much as he could. As a result, Sila’s consumption of qi was minimized.One should strike while the iron is hot. If he waited for Paiyuan to regenerate qi or regain his composure, Sila would have a harder time. With this thought, Sila circulated qi into his feet and dashed at his opponent without a hint of hesitation.Witnessing their respected master losing in the previous confrontation, all the disciples were startled. There was a moment of delay before they noticed that Sila was coming at their master. They were too late in stepping forward to lend their hands to help their master as Sila had already thrown both of his fists at Paiyuan. One aimed at the head while the other aimed at the lower abdomen. It was a move Sila didn’t know the name of as he had mimicked it from one of his past opponents.Paiyuan was calm, staring at Sila’s incoming fists. He instantly drew his sword and slashed at Sila’s arm.*Clang* It was as if he had struck a metal pipe. Paiyuan panicked as he had made another error on his part. Thus, he frighteningly stepped back in a hurry to evade Sila’s fists.Sila inwardly smiled. As he was the type who excelled in offense over defense, he could tell that his opponent was the same. Despite that, Paiyuan had abandoned his prominent point and resorted to performing a defensive action. If it were Sila in his place, instead of slashing at the arm, he would stab the sword at the opponent’s chest as a counter.Both of Sila’s palms were opened, revealing a kunai in each of them. The kunais immediately flew out of his palms. One aimed at Paiyuan’s forehead while the other aimed at his heart.Both of the hidden weapons were strengthened by Sila’s qi. They flew at Paiyuan like comets.Paiyuan had no room to think. He thrust his sword to sweep the hidden weapon targeting his head while shifting his center of gravity and putting his qi reinforcement into his abdomen. Consequently, one of the kunais grazed his head while the other one scattered upon contact with his body. Despite it not stabbing into his body, the impact from the collision was as if he had taken a direct punch.Blood was dripping from his wounds. His left hand was lifted up to clutch his chest.Listening to the irregular breathing, Sila guessed that at least one of Paiyuan’s lungs was damaged.The disciples had finally narrowed the distance and Sila was within their attack range. However, Sila didn’t care as he knew he only needed another push to take Paiyuan down.Paiyuan had repeatedly made errors whenn using his moves. Sila noticed that those mistakes were similar to what he had done when he just started out playing Monster Soul.Sila’s guess wasn’t off the mark. Paiyuan was the owner of a dojo so his innate ability was high. He and many of his disciples entered the game due to certain reasons. As they were skilled martial artists in real life, it didn’t take long for them to hunt monsters and grind their levels. They even had an easier time than they had thought as there were in-game skills to utilize.The mistake that Paiyuan had made came from his arrogance. It was his lack of utilizing his in-game skills.If this battle were to take place in real life, Sila was fully aware that he wouldn’t be a match for Paiyuan. However, in Monster Soul, he still had a chance.For all of these mistakes, Sila had his teachers giving him pointers for correcting them. However, Paiyuan was the owner of a martial art dojo. Who would dare to correct him?Genesis Punch was thrown at the opponent’s defenseless body.Paiyuan’s expression turned grave and his face was pale. He was about to be killed.Suddenly, once the fist was about to hit Paiyuan’s body, a gigantic stone wall emerged from the ground, between the fist and Paiyuan.Sila’s fist struck the wall and broke it into tiny pieces. However, as the punch was interrupted, some of the power within the punch returned to harm him.Due to the impact, Sila’s body flew back to the disciples of the Heartless Steel Sword dojo. He immediately made use of Galaxy Eclipse to grasp the distance and fired tens of daggers behind him without looking back.The daggers weren’t fused with that much of qi energy, but since the enemies from the opposing side didn’t prepare themselves for a sudden change, they were too late to defend against them.Heatless Steel Sword Art focused on killing moves, not defensive moves. As a result, almost all of the daggers pierced the disciples’ necks.More than ten bodies fell to the ground. It was the best chance for Sila to make an escape via the gap that had just opened. Sadly, once he dashed that way, another stone wall emerged and blocked his path, substituting for the dying disciples who turned into lights.Sila turned his back to the stone wall while circulating Immortal Qi to tend his wound from the backlash of his power. He looked straight and focused on the person who just butted in.Shapeless Qi immediately circulated within Sila’s body as it perceived that its owner was in danger.“Kawin...” Sila muttered. There was only one player who could summon a wall this large.“You’re very brave. Instead of shaking your tail out of this place, you’re causing a ruckus here,” said Kawin.Sila felt pressured. If there was only the Heartless Steel Sword disciples’ encirclement, with their demoralized state, it would be relatively easy for him to flee. However, things changed once Kawin entered the picture.Kawin didn’t have Paiyuan’s shortcomings. Although he could be provoked, his mind would become calm once the battle started.“Long time no see, Senior Pai,” greeted Kawin.Paiyuan took a pellet to eat while circulating qi. “Oh, Kawin? It has been too long since we last met. How is Montra?”“He is as busy as always, sir.”Paiyuan nodded. “Where is he, then? I will pay him a visit later.”“Montra has many things he has to take care of so I’m afraid he won’t have time to meet with Senior at the moment. I apologize for that and will personally tell him that Senior Pai has given him your best regards.”“I understand. By the way, Kawin, do you know this young man?”“Senior Pai should know him as well. He is Sila, the person that Montra has talked about.”Two of them had a leisurely conversation without giving Sila, who was standing in front of them, any regard.Paiyuan looked at Sila from his head to his toe. “So, it’s you.”“This man is the enemy of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. If Senior Pai doesn’t mind, could you please let me handle him?” Kawin said to Paiyuan.Kawin didn’t mention the fact that Paiyuan almost lost his life and even volunteered to take up the fight. Since there was such an easy way out, Paiyuan wouldn’t hesitate to comply.“I don’t want to bully a youngster as well. In that case, I will step out. Let me see how much stronger you have grown, Kawin.”Paiyuan’s statement was as if he had already completely forgotten his losing battle just now. If someone heard what he said without witnessing what had happened just moments beforehand, they would think that Sila was the loser of the previous battle.Kawin stepped forward to confront Sila. “Previously, I had underestimated you. But, this time for sure, I won’t let you escape.” Kawin waved his hands in slow motion.Sila didn’t even have the will to fight Kawin. Even if he had, it would be a tough fight as he had used up all of his Genesis Punches. No, even if he was still able to throw more Genesis Punch, he wouldn’t have much confidence that he could win anyway.Kawin’s defense was too solid. Even Genesis Punch, which was Sila’s strongest move, couldn’t penetrate it. To be honest, Sila had no idea how he could win against such an opponent.This time, Kawin didn’t only stand still and wait for Sila to attack as his body gradually came closer to Sila.Looking at Kawin’s feet, Sila found that Kawin didn’t lift them up but rather slower dragged them forward. Kawin’s movement was as if his body could approach Sila without him having to step forward.Without many cards for him to play, Sila depended on the previous method of firing the Flash Bomb at Kawin, followed by other hidden weapons.However, Kawin wasn’t the kind of opponent who would fall for the same trick as he squinted his eyes while using his right hand to parry the bomb away.The flash of light exploded slightly behind him, losing its effectiveness.He also used his left hand to parry the remaining hidden weapons away. Catching a hidden weapon in mid-air was something that he was able to do, so parrying them away was child’s play. Just one hand was enough for that.Since Genesis Punch wasn’t an option, Sila brought out the power of Shapeless Qi to strengthen his qi without showing it to Kawin. Tortured Soul was used together with Galaxy Eclipse while he was hardening his body and softening his internal organs using Formless Soldier. Moreover, Orbiting Cosmos was activated. The power of the wind element, which was favorable against the earth element, was infused into his body.It could be said that Sila had pulled out all of his trump cards. Each of them required a high level of concentration so using all of them together required great focus.The intense battle began once Sila stepped into Kawin’s reach.Tens of Sila’s punches were thrown at Kawin, to which Kawin didn’t panic at all. Just waving his hands was enough for him to defend against Sila’s series of attack.The good news was, Sila’s barrage of attacks was quick and continuous so Kawin didn’t have a chance to counter. For the record, Kawin didn’t allow any of Sila’s punches to hit him as he was calmly parrying them.This fact gave Sila some peace of mind. It meant that Kawin didn’t have that much of confidence that he himself could take a direct punch from Sila.Finally, Sila’s chance had come the moment Kawin made a mistake when using his left hand to parry Sila’s left fist. Kawin’s left shoulder showed an opening, which Sila didn’t miss and immediately followed up by throwing his right fist at Kawin’s shoulder.The usual calm expression still lingered on Kawin’s face. Once the fist landed on Kawin’s shoulder, Sila realized that he was tricked.Kawin had deliberately shown an opening for Sila to act.Kawin flawlessly took a step backward with his left foot while migrating the force behind Sila’s right fist into his right hand by using his own body as the bridge. The punch was thrown at Sila’s chest at full power.It was as if Sila himself had combined his power with Kawin’s and made a move against himself. The impact sent Sila flying backward.Receiving Kawin’s command and magic power, the stone wall behind Sila changed its shape from a flat surface to a spiky one around where Sila’s chest would hit into the wall, intending to pierce his heart.
Sila had to force his body to change direction mid-flight with Universe Reversal.“Argh!!” The stone spike punctured Sila’s chest. It missed his heart but it was still a fatal wound.
His qi dispersed. Sila tried to circulate Immortal Qi to heal his body but the damage he took was too lethal. He couldn’t move nor put up his qi reinforcement at all. It seemed that the only option for him now was to wait for his death.“It was a small opening but you still noticed it. Sila, I admit that you are quite skilled.”This compliment sincerely came from the bottom of Kawin’s heart. Sadly, listening to it, Sila couldn’t bring himself to be happy at all.Actually, there was no move that required the use of shoulder in the techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. However, Kawin had practiced this martial art for more than ten years so he could adapt it to each situation he faced.“Don’t worry. I don’t have a habit of torturing my enemy,” said Kawin while waving his right hand. A big Earth Spear was summoned and flew toward Sila who was currently stuck on the stone wall.Too much of Sila’s blood was lost and his power was depleted. The only thing holding his consciousness from shutting down was the pain from the hole in his chest. He didn’t have even the tiniest bit of energy left to resist the incoming spear nor to talk back.However, at the moment when the spear was about to pierce through Sila, it was split into two and fell next to him.Sila’s body collapsed on the ground while he was trying to see what happened.All he could see was a man in silver light armor wearing metal boots. Strangely, there was no weapon in his hands despite him seeming to be a warrior or a knight. There was a blindfold covering both of his eyes. It seemed to be made of metal, matching his silver hair which was flickering from the blowing wind.Sila felt like he had met this man before somewhere.“Aside from me, no one is allowed to kill this guy.”That was the last sentence that Sila was able to hear before his consciousness collapsed.
Chapter 110: A Knight’s Code
If you planned to play as a psychic-type, you should invest in your gear. This was common sense in Monster Soul as psychic power was more effective when strengthening objects.
Reinforcing psychic power in a weapon showed a superior performance compared to qi reinforcement and magic power reinforcement.However, the man currently in front of Kawin didn’t seem to have any weapons even though he was wearing psychic-type armor. There were only two types of people who did something like this. The first were the skilled ones who had reached the realm where a weapon wasn’t necessary for them anymore, while the second were the idiotic ones who didn’t know what was the best for them. Sure enough, Kawin was positive that this man belonged to the first category. His Earth Spear that was severed into two told him that much.Kawin took a good look at the man in front of him. Given the ability this man had, he wouldn’t be a nobody. Although Kawin didn’t make an appearance in the open, he had information regarding all the famous players.“Silver armor and silver hair... Although you don’t wield a sword, am I right to assume that you’re the Silver Knight Shueria of the Royal Armament Guild?”“Yes, I’m Shueria. But no, I’m no longer a member of the Royal Armament Guild. I’m now a guildless player.”Kawin seemed to understand something. “So, you’re seeking revenge, aren’t you? You’re a friend of Cross so Sila is your enemy.”“Something like that.”“Do you want to kill him with your own hands?”Without saying anything more, Shueria walked over to the unconscious Sila and placed his hand onto Sila’s forehand.Kawin could tell that he missed something important but he didn’t know what it was. He wasn’t aware that Shueria had quit the guild even before the guild collapsed since Cross had kept this information a secret from the public. He thought that Shueria was angry with Sila who was the cause of his guild’s predicament.A tremendous amount of Recovering Qi enveloped Sila’s body and tended to all his wounds. The hole in Sila’s chest was closed, the bleeding was stopped, and his body began to regain its vitality.Afterward, Shueria removed his hand away. Sila’s stable breathing told him that Sila was already free of danger. Meanwhile, Shueria’s heart beat slightly while Sila’s right hand did the same.‘Hmm... So he has the Right Arm of the Seal One,’ thought Shueria.“Recovering Qi? You can use qi despite being a psychic-type? How come?” Kawin was doubtful.“The same method Zero used,” curtly replied Shueria as he turned to face off against Kawin, Paiyuan, and the disciples of the Heartless Steel Sword dojo.Kawin felt relieved. Although he still didn’t know the reason why Shueria tended to Sila’s wounds, he guessed that Shueria must want to defeat Sila with his own hands. Since Shueria was the enemy of Sila, it could be said that he was an ally of Kawin.A skilled player who could use dual energy types was someone the Heavenly Dragon Guild would gladly welcome with opened arms.The method for wielding two types of energy was known only by Zero. As long as Zero kept his mouth shut, no one would know how he could do it. It was for this exact reason that the Heavenly Dragon Guild and its allies were trying to find Zero. However, Zero was nowhere to be found, and instead the person they found was Sila, who was wearing the same outfit.If Shueria knew the method, then there was no longer any reason for them to look for Zero. Kawin was glad that the opportunity to recruit Shueria to the guild had come.“Mister Shueria, are you interested in joining our guild?”Ever since Shueria had trained under Crow, he had became a quiet person. He stood there without replying so Paiyuan perceived that Shueria was currently considering the proposal.“Young man, there isn’t anything that you need to worry about. Be it influence, wealth, or reputation, the Heavenly Dragon Guild can give you three times what the Royal Armament Guild used to give you.”A smile formed at the corner of Shueria’s mouth. Witnessing that smile, everyone was glad that Shueria would join their guild. However, the next sentence of Shueria shattered their delighted expressions.“Do you really think I will serve the person who destroyed the guild I founded?”Paiyuan hurriedly explained, “It was natural that the Royal Armament Guild came to an end as Cross was weak. However, if you trace the cause, you will know that Sila is the start of it.”“That’s weird. In the forums, there are many threads claiming that the collapse of the Royal Armament Guild was the work of the Heavenly Dragon Guild while Sila was merely a trickster who claimed it to be his work. With or without Sila, the evil Royal Armament Guild would end up being destroyed by the Heavenly Dragon Guild anyway. Sounds like propaganda, don’t you agree?”Paiyuan lost in an argument so he kept his mouth shut.Kawin was vigilant. “So, what exactly are you planning to do? Are you Sila’s enemy? Or ours?”Shueria slowly declared, “Both the Heavenly Dragon Guild and Sila are my enemies.”This statement brought confusion to all the people present. In the time where the war event was approaching, was Shueria really planning to become an enemy of both sides?Pointing his finger at the unconscious Sila, Kawin said, “Didn’t you just help Sila a moment ago? Why did you help your so-called enemy?”“I just protected what’s precious to me,” indifferently said Shueria.Only by experiencing the situation yourself could you understand someone’s feelings toward that situation. Kawin had heard Montra talking about Sila for a while but never did he understand Montra’s feelings until this exact moment. Finally, he could comprehend why Montra hated Sila.People always chose to stand at Sila’s side despite Sila doing nothing to deserve it. For the person who was trying his best to achieve his goal like Montra, Sila’s existence was something he couldn’t accept. Otherwise, everything that he had done would account for nothing.He felt resentful in Montra’s place.“You protected him despite him being your enemy?”Shueria slowly shook his head. “You misunderstand. I didn’t protect Sila. What I did was protecting my way of life - protecting the thing I believe in.”“What is it?”“My pride. Even though Sila is my enemy, I will not act against a defeated opponent. There will surely be the day where I clash with him. But, I will only accept it if he is the most prepared and ready to fight against me. It’s the only way to confirm that I can gain victory over him.”Pride. This word was a double-edged sword for Shueria as he held this word dearer than anyone else.When he first entered Monster Soul, he had received help from Cross so he had promised Cross that he would help Cross in founding and joining the guild.Even if the guild they created turned to be far worse than what Shueria had imagined, he turned a blind eye to it as he thought he was obligated to the promise he had given to Cross.However, after he had lost to Sila and had time to rethink about it during his training days, he came to the answer.Wasn’t stubbornly and blindly following Cross’s orders because he didn’t want to break the promise what truly damaged his pride?The thing that he should hold in highest regard wasn’t the guild, wasn’t Cross, wasn’t the promise, but he himself.That was Shueria’s meaning of the word ‘pride’: To stick to what he believes in.Naturally, what you believe greatly affects your growth. After Shueria cut the unnecessary ties that had shackled him, his ability had leaped to a new realm. He wasn’t in need of weapons anymore as he possessed strength that far surpassed them.Kawin clad himself with magic power. He was confident that he could win in any battle regardless of who his opponent was.“You’re too dangerous. If you plan to become the enemy of the Heavenly Dragon Guild, I will have to defeat you right here.”Shueria transmuted an energy blade from the tips of all five of his fingers combined, one on each hand. “It’s naturally fine to stand up for what you believe in. Do you all intend to come at me together?”Kawin felt like he was being humiliated. However, he regained his composure once he adjusted his breathing.As for Paiyuan, he had completely healed after taking a pellet. He was the owner of a martial art dojo but now he was being looked down by people of the younger generation. Thus, he waved his finger as a signal, ordering his disciples to charge at Shueria in unison. As for himself, he took half a step back, concentrated his power into his sword, and waited for a slight gap to kill his opponent in one move.Shueria was expressionless. Many people couldn’t understand the reason why Shueria chose to cover his eyes with a blindfold. However, if psychic experts like Divine or the One-Eyed Evil God were presented, they wouldn’t rashly charge at such person with a blindfold, as they knew fully well that Shueria was likely to possess Psychic Eyes, the high-tier psychic skill, which only a handful of people have.Psychic Eyes was birthed from training one’s mind to the utmost limit where one could use psychic power in place of the eyes.The psychic power that was polished to the point where it could replace one or more of the five senses was undoubtedly terrifying and allowed the user to know the opponents’ movement like they were dancing in their palm.For someone who could reach this level, aside from independent NPCs like the One-Eyed Evil God and Divine, there were only Shueria, Nednapha, and the present Burapha. To master this skill, they had to close off their eyes to familiarize themselves with sense their surroundings using psychic power.Even Nednapha was training this skill by closing only one of her eyes. As for Burapha, although he closed both of his eyes, he only did that in training sessions. Meanwhile, Shueria chose to close them off all the time to accelerate the speed of the skill’s growth. It was evident that Shueria planned to overcome his limit and enter the realm of those independent NPCs as soon as possible. This kind of determination wasn’t something that ordinary players possessed.The energy blade on his left hand was infused with qi while the one on the right was infused with psychic power. Both of them must display the exact same level of strength. It was something that Shueria had spent a month to put into practice.“Rhythm of the Dignified Blades.” At the end of Shueria’s statement, power surged from within his body. The energy power reinforcement covering his body was both mighty and sharp. Tree leaves fluttering from the wind and even nearby pebbles were cut into pieces.Shueria lifted his arms up and quickly did a double slash downward.In the blink of an eye, all the disciples of the Heartless Sword dojo were cut down and died without realizing they had died. Blood rained down before disappearing once three seconds passed.“Ouch.” As for Paiyuan, he was in the rear so he could resist Shueria’s move in time. However, even with that, his left wrist was severed and the sword in his right hand was neatly cut into half.Several small injuries appeared on both arms of Shueria, dyeing his white arms red with blood. Nevertheless, in the next moment, they were all healed at tremendous speed with the help of Recovering Qi.‘I still don’t have complete control over Rhythm of the Dignified Blades so the backlash of the attack also affects me. It seems I won’t be able to use it in succession until I master it.’ Shueria thought that his training was still lacking.The only survivors belonging to the Heavenly Dragon Guild and its allies were the gravely injured Paiyuan and Kawin who was out of Shueria’s attack range.Kawin stared at Shueria in disbelief. Rhythms were the upgraded versions of cladding one’s entire body with energy power. In Monster Soul, except for the independent NPCs, Kawin always thought that only him, Montra, and Revin were able to obtain this level of skill. It was the reason that Kawin had firmly believed that his Heavenly Dragon Guild was superior to everyone.
Rhythms vary in name and ability for each user. It was a skill that clad the user's body in their specific energy type. What makes it different from the usual energy power reinforcement is that a particular aspect of a user’s combat style is enhanced. The aspect chosen was decided by the kind of person they were and the ability they possessed. You could say that Rhythm was the level of skill attained when the user had a complete understanding of their own personality and ability.An ordinary level of power wouldn’t be able to keep up with Shueria’s Rhythm of the Dignified Blades. Although Kawin didn’t know what ability it granted to Shueria in detail, based on what happened, he could guess that it was a Rhythm to strengthen Shueria’s attack power.“Rhythm of the Metal Fortress.” The color of Kawin’s body turned the color of metal. All of his magic power was concentrated in his body without dispersing.Narrowing the distance by charging at Kawin, Shueria swung the blades covering his hands from above to the opponent.Kawin calmly blocked each swing Shueria threw at him. The sound of metal grating against metal resonated even though both people didn’t wield any weapons.Every time the blade was blocked, Kawin would perform a counterattack against Shueria. However, Shueria was equally calm and managed to block every fist he threw.It had become a battle of attrition and concentration. The one who made the first mistake would fall into a disadvantageous position.Fully aware that he could only maintain Rhythm of the Metal Fortress for at most twenty minutes, Kawin realized that he was in a race against the clock. On the other hand, Shueria seemed to be able to keep displaying this level of strength as if his energy capacity was bottomless despite the consumption being, without a doubt, very high.It was all thanks to the Heart of the Sealed One that Shueria owned. Although it didn’t possess a fraudulent ability like the left arm or versatility like the right arm, the heart stayed true to the principle of qi, which was simple, yet powerful.At first, the Heart of the Sealed One had increased Shueria’s qi, magic power, and psychic power by two times. After that, once Shueria finished the Search for the Lost Qi Kingdom quest, which he could accomplish with the help of information he obtained from Crow, his energy recovery rate had become five times that of normal players.Despite the heart’s shortcomings of preventing him from changing his race and forbidding him from equipping cards, he was glad.Thus, he had sought Cloudy Tiger Qi which was the combination of Qi of Little Tiger and Qi of Little Bird. Its prominent point was the powerful might it can display with the downside of its consumption being very high. Nevertheless, with the heart, the current Shueria could display his maximum power for two hours straight without taking a break.Regardless of how many times Kawin had countered Shueria with a powerful blow, instead of evading, Shueria would directly counter it back using the same level of power. It was a wasteful, yet effective strategy for exhausting Kawin.Gritting his teeth, Kawin started to activate a spell he hadn’t thought he would have to resort to. He was always confident in his Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws so he tended to not use in-game skills if it was a one-on-one battle.“Earth Splitting.” His foot stomped heavily on the ground, cleaving the land into two. His goal was to bury Shueria into the ground.Unfortunately, Shueria fell down into the pit only for a brief moment before he utilizing Psychic Impact to push himself up in the air. Then, he leaped toward Sila before Sila’s body fell into the pit and quickly made his way out without looking back.Once Shueria’s body disappeared from his sight, Kawin’s metal arm guards broke as he deactivated Rhythm of the Metal Fortress. He felt pain all over his body, especially his arms which he used to defend against Shueria’s blades.‘Such frightening attacks. It’s unexpected that they could penetrate through my strongest defense.’ Kawin tapped his foot on the ground to close the pitfall.
Looking at the direction where Shueria headed off, Kawin felt concerned for Montra that such a formidable enemy had appeared. Based on his estimation, the current Shueria was even stronger than Lone Wolf.
Chapter 111: Shueria’s Tales
Upon regaining his consciousness after being asleep for three hours, Sila found himself lying on a boulder. In front of him was a small bonfire and the time seemed to be around evening.Opening his eyes, Sila was shocked to see a five-meter tall white tiger lying on the ground, intently staring at him. He immediately started his qi circulation.“Don’t be afraid. It’s my pet.”Facing the direction the sound came from, Sila witnessed a man in silver armor wearing a blindfold. His right arm slightly shook.“I didn’t expect you to have a part of the Sealed One. No wonder you were that strong despite having just started playing.”The man walked to the white tiger and leaned on it. The light from the bonfire caused Sila to have a clear look of this man’s face.“Mister Shueria?” Sila let out a sound of surprise. Shueria was an opponent who Sila had a hard time fighting against so he remembered him well.“Long time no see, Sila.”It seemed Shueria didn’t harbor evil intent toward him so Sila had lowered his guard. Nevertheless, some suspicion still lingered in his heart. The Shueria today seemed like a completely different person compared to the Shueria he had fought against.“Did you just help me escape?” Sila vaguely recalled that he saw Shueria before he lost consciousness.“I didn’t help you. I just brought you out because I have a request for you.”“Request? What is it?”Shueria said without a hint of hesitation, “Could you please have a match with me one more time?”Sila frowned as he didn’t expect Shueria to ask for this kind of favor. “Why?”“I won’t make an excuse that I lost to you without showing the best of my ability; a loss is a loss. I just want to have a rematch. There is no ulterior motive. I want to have a fair, official match with you being the competitor.”An official match. This word reminded Sila of Montra, since his last official match was the match he lost against Montra.Sila was deep in his thoughts. There were many things that concerned him at the moment; about Montra, about his teacher, and about the Wulin Masters Association which he was clueless about.Shueria could tell that Sila was hesitating so he asked, “Is it a problem?”Snapping out of his concern, Sila hurriedly explained, “No, that’s not it. It just that... it was too long since the last time someone asked me for an official match.”Shueria nodded. “Monster Soul is like that. Not many people tend to challenge others for an official match. Anyway, what is your answer?”Sila thought about it for some time. “I don’t have any reason to decline, but, now is not the best time for me. I still have many problems I need to take care of and I have to go to Madmen's Valley as soon as possible.”“If you still have something on your mind, you won’t be able to fight me at your fullest. Let’s do it later when you’re ready then.”That was Shueria’s reply as he didn’t want to force Sila to have a match. What he desired was to prove that he could win in a fair match against Sila without having to depend on any external factors.Since Shueria had played Monster Soul for a long time, Sila thought that it was his chance to ask Shueria about what concerned him.Kawin and Sangdao seemed to be related to the Wulin Masters Association as they decided to keep it a secret from Sila. Thus, Shueria became the most suitable person that Sila could ask about it.“Mister Shueria, have you heard about the Wulin Masters Association?” Sila asked, trying his best to not show too much of his curiosity.Shueria shook his head. “I haven’t. Why do you ask? The name sounds majestic and... what should I say? Arrogant?... Wulin Masters, isn’t it? Is it the name of a new guild?”Even Shueria didn’t know about it so it was highly likely that it was a matter of the real world. At the very least, Sila was able to narrow down his doubts.“I don’t personally know anything about it as well. I just heard it from others.”Shueria was thinking about something for a while before opening his mouth. “Could it be that... it is related to the recent strange movements of the Heavenly Dragon Guild?”“What movements?” Sila asked with great interest. The Wulin Masters Association should be related to Montra so it might also be related to the Heavenly Dragon Guild.“There are three strange rumors that are becoming hot topics in the game forums right now. One of them might relate to the Wulin Masters Association you mentioned.”Shueria could tell that Sila was very interested in what he was saying so he continued.“The first one is, during these past months, there were many groups of players entering Monster Soul. The time they started shouldn’t be that different from you, Sila. The notable thing was, these players were strong and seemed to have practiced martial arts in real life. The reason why this topic became big news was because these groups of people seem to have joined the Heavenly Dragon Guild as the guild was nurturing them to become stronger. It is rumored that they are special units that the Heavenly Dragon Guild had prepared for the upcoming war event. By the way, the sword user who you just fought against is likely to be one of them.”This conversation reminded Sila of Paiyuan. Paiyuan had said that he was the owner of the Heartless Steel Sword dojo. If this dojo existed in real life, it must mean that Montra had done something to successfully invite the people of that caliber to play Monster Soul.More importantly, based on what Shueria said, Paiyuan was only one of the many mysterious players. That meant there were still more people like him.“So, if I were to guess, the Wulin Masters Association you mentioned might be referring to these groups of players.”Sila decided to think about it later. “What about the other two rumors?”“The other two shouldn’t be related. They are more like mysteries of Monster Soul. About this, there is a rumor that there is a powerful, peculiar boss monster making an appearance around Skull Mountain Pass located north of Colossia City. It’s the place where the bandits always gather, so many players don’t care about them. Instead, they are glad that these bandits will be punished and are thankful that the boss monster appeared there. So, it will take some time before players begin to act and gather a team to raid it. Based on the testimony of those who have died, they said that they had met with a grim reaper.”“A grim reaper?”Honestly, Sila didn’t care, and neither did Shueria. Thus, they didn’t dig too deeply into this topic.“It must mean that the monster appeared there has a soul attribute or something like that, I guess. Well, the last bit of hot news is centered around Beginning Town. It seems another powerful monster has made an appearance there. It is speculated that it is a monster of the slime race.”“Slime race?”“Oh, you belong to the slime race as well, don’t you? Now that I think about it, you might be the cause of this rumor yourself, Sila.”“Me?”“Yes. After the Colossia City’s battle tournament ended, players began to hunt for the Slime Cards. Strangely enough, the drop rate of the Slime Card suddenly became lower than before. Nevertheless, slimes are still weak so they were quickly being hunted down by the flock of players gathered in Beginning Town. However, three days ago, all the slimes suddenly went missing.”“The slimes have gone missing?”“That’s right. In a single night, all slimes around Beginning Town disappeared, without leaving even a single one behind. At the same time, a giant rock with a sentence engraved on it appeared at the west gate of the town. The sentence engraved on it was: Come to the Stone Forest and be prepared for the actual trial – mark 2.”Sila furrowed his brows. Why did this sentence sound so familiar? “And? Is there someone going to the Stone Forest as it stated?”“There is. Every single day, there will be at least someone going there. But, no one has ever returned alive. Everyone that revived in Beginning Town did one of two things: muttering a curse and declaring that they won’t be engaging in the matter about the slime race anymore, or gathering their comrades to prepare for raiding something. So, Beginning Town is currently lively. There are many smart merchants selling the Crystal of Connections that links players residing in Beginning Town to others throughout the Main Continent. We still don’t know if this is some kind of a special event or not but it seems many players are trying to engage in this mystery.”“A rock engraved with the mysterious sentence and the missing slime. These two topics might not be related, aren’t they?”Shueria shook his head. “That shouldn't be the case. Because that rock is... Ah! Now that I think about it... It is possible that the rock means...”“What about the rock?”Shueria made a smile at the corner of his mouth. “Fufu. I get it. What a cunning pun. I think the sentence on that rock is a message for you, Sila.”“For me? Why do you think so?”“That rock has an appearance of a slime. Think about it, the rock and the slime...”Sila gave it a thought before a light bulb lightened in his brain. “The rock and the slime! Rock means Sila. My name is Sila and I am a member of the slime race. So, that message is likely directed at me.”
T/N: In case you have forgotten, ‘Sila’ means ‘Stone’ or ‘Rock’ in Thai.
“It is likely so. In this case, this matter might be related to another one.”“Is there another topic?”“The news about this matter has already subsided but it might pose you a problem one day. The thing is, two months ago, there was a successful attempt at summoning Pythia and it caused tremendous damage to many groups of people.”Sila interrupted, “Please wait. What is Pythia?”“Ah, Pythia is the Wind Dragon. It is one of the elemental dragons that have a relatively easy condition to summon. All you have to do is destroy all fourteen Pillars of Wind scattered throughout the Main Continent.“The problem is, Pythia’s Dragon Domain has a very wide area of effect, covering almost half of the entire Main Continent. Players had an agreement to not summon it.“As for those fourteen Pillars of Wind, some were located in deserted areas while some were located in cities. There were some that even had a group of players taking turns protecting them.“Nevertheless, two months ago, the Pillars of Wind were being destroyed one by one at a steady pace. It is believed that there was only one perpetrator. The witnesses at the site testified that they could only catch a glimpse of the perpetrator before dying. It is worth noting that every time a Pillar of Wind was destroyed, the perpetrator would leave behind a small rock shaped like a slime. Those rocks seemed ordinary at first glance but there appears to be a special kind of magic power imbued in them so people couldn’t break them.”“How will it pose me a problem?” Listening to Shueria’s narrative, Sila could guess who the perpetrator was.“The thing is, at that time, people still weren’t aware that you are a member of the slime race, so they didn’t know the meaning behind those rocks. However, if someone were to link them to you, it is possible that they might try to hunt you down.”Sila scratched his head. “I already have so many enemies anyway. It shouldn’t matter if there are more.”Shueria shook his head. “It’s much more complicated than you think. Those who have died belong to many factions; the large guilds, the small guilds, the guildless players. One of the Pillars of Wind was located in the middle of the base of the Merchant Association. You should take note that once a Pillar of Wind is taken down, the area around it is also destroyed. In conclusion, the destruction of that Pillar has caused a severely negative change in Monster Soul’s economic. The prices of many items inflated and people are condemning the perpetrator. Imagine what would happen if someone suddenly told them you were the culprit.”Sila was agape. “But, I’m not the one who destroyed it.”“In a situation where the perpetrator can’t be determined, just being a suspect is enough for the mass to direct their hatred at you.”Old issues were still unfinished yet new ones kept coming. Sila was having a headache. It would be too much for him to end up becoming the recipient of the hatred of all players in Monster Soul.Shueria’s system window started blinking. Shueria removed his blindfold and took a look at the message before closing the screen.“I have to go now. Let me add you to my contact list.”Finding no point in pressuring himself over a matter that had already happened, Sila dismissed what he had heard from Shueria. It should be more fruitful for him to focus on one task at a time, starting by going to Madmen's Valley. Then, he would return to Grea City and afterward revisit Beginning Town.Once they had added each other name’s into their contacts lists, Shueria tossed a card for Sila to catch.Looking at the card, Sila found that it was a card with the picture of a white tiger standing on the clouds printed on it.(A) Cloudy Tiger Card“Sila, you plan to go to Madmen's Valley, don’t you? In that case, that card will be helpful for you. Think of it as my thanks for accepting my challenge for an official match.”Sila hurriedly handed the card back. “You don’t have to. I can’t take it.”“Even if I keep it to myself, I won’t be able to use it. The Heart of the Sealed One prevents me from equipping cards. It is just a useless item in my possession so you better take it. I guarantee that you will find it helpful when you arrive at the Single-Horned Dragon Forest.”Hearing that from Shueria, Sila just realized that Shueria had the Heart of the Sealed One. Thinking about it, his Right Arm prevented him from equipping a main weapon as well. It seemed each of the parts of the Sealed One had different restrictions attached.Without waiting for Sila to reply, Shueria sealed the Cloudy Tiger into his bracelet before soaring away at high speed.Sila was confused, looking in the direction Shueria had flown in. “Qi? That’s strange. I remember Mister Shueria being a psychic type.”Silence filled the forest. Before going to Madmen's Valley, Sila decided to take a rest to regenerate his power. While resting, he took out the Clouding Tiger Card to read its description and equipped it into his system window once he was satisfied with the description.Since Sila had spent all of his power and had engaged in an intense battle, his body needed to adjust itself to balance it with his qi. As a result, when Sila opened his eyes again, it was already four in the morning of the next day.
Chapter 112: Single-Horned Dragon Forest - First Part
Presently, Sila was leaping through the air over a green, tropical forest full of primordial trees and vines. He finally understood why Shueria had given him the Cloudy Tiger Card. Otherwise, Sila would have lost his way in the forest by now.Having an overnight rest rejuvenated Sila. After he had circulated qi for an entire night, Sila felt like his qi had undergone a qualitative change. The evidence was him not feeling tired at all despite using Cloud Stepping for half a day.At first, Sila planned to feed the Cloudy Tiger Card to Lookhin as usual. However, after he had read its ability, he couldn’t help but change his mind and instead equipped it.(A) Cloudy Tiger CardIncreases qi’s recovery rate by 1.5 times.Grants the user the item skill ‘Cloud Stepping’ (this skill will be lost if the card is no longer equipped).Item Skill: Cloud SteppingConsumes 1,000 qi points and creates an area of 30 square centimeters under the user’s foot. The area will disappear the moment the user lifts the foot.And this was the reason why Sila could run in the air, five meters above the forest. Luckily for him, Cloud Stepping was classified as a qi type skill so it was affected by the ability of Soundless. Otherwise, Sila would have to say the skill name out loud every time he took a step, which would be very lame and too funny for him to bear.While running, Sila pondered the problems he had at hand. The matter about the Wulin Masters Association seemed very complicated so he decided that he would have to gradually investigate it bit by bit. The urgent matters at hand were going to Madmen's Valley and visiting Viola in Beginning Town.It didn’t take long for Sila to come to the realization that the culprit who left the slime-shaped rocks across the Main Continent was none other than Viola. Who else could fit the bill more than her?Poluk had waited for Sila at Colossia City as he was certain that Sila would eventually visit that place sooner or later while Divine had waited for him at Wu Ming’s place as he was aware that Sila was Wu Ming’s disciple.On the other hand, Viola used an entirely different approach.Instead of seeking for Sila, she caused an uproar to make sure that Sila would have no choice but to come to her.The problem was, there were many people who she had made enemies of during the task of capturing the Wind Dragon Pythia. Sila was at his wit’s end regarding whether he should take responsibility for what she did or not.
‘Anyway, the point is that Master Viola tried to capture a dragon for me. Even if she didn’t do it, I would eventually have to do it myself for finishing the Decolonizing the Slime Kingdom quest. Since that is the case, if someone were to ask who the culprit is, I will take responsibility.’It was the answer he came up by interpreting that Viola had done her part for his sake. Well, Sila still didn’t realize the fact that, with Viola’s ability, it wouldn’t be too much for her to prevent casualties. However, Viola was too lazy to beat around the bush. If she were to keep the casualties to a minimum, she would have to explain the situation to many players and that would waste too much of her time.With many thoughts in his head, Sila tried to put his new move into practice during his journey. Based on what he had experienced with it so far, he was starting to get the hang of controlling his power.Sila tried infusing his right fist with his new move, then hitting his left arm. The amount of force was increased with each strike. The attack seemed to be ineffective at first, but, after the eighth strike, his left arm began to feel numb.Immediately, Sila tried to circulate his power into his left arm and found that the power was clogged up in it. The arm was stiffened. He had to forcefully add more power before his left arm could return to its normal state.This was the main difference between in-game skills and self-made skills. For in-game skills, just activating them was enough to show their effects. However, for self-made skills, the system wouldn’t give the user a helping hand.For example, for Sila to use Genesis Punch, he had to control the amount of power being reinforced by himself. It was the same for Orbiting Cosmos, the degraded version of Viola’s personal skill, that required him to constantly maintain his focus, and Divine’s Moon Reflecting Mirror that relied on his tranquility to be successful in utilizing it.With that in his mind, Sila felt a strong sense of respect toward those first generation players who excelled at using their personal skills.With Sila being too busy focusing on trying his new move and having a misperception that running through the air was safe, his vigilance for the surroundings was at its lowest. Little did he know that the Single-Horned Dragon Forest was one of the most dangerous places in Monster Soul. It was rare for people to be careless while being in this place.Several pairs of red eyes stared at him who was running over their heads before quickly following after him.“Grr--” A mysterious sound could be heard and immediately followed by several echoes of the same type of sound from all directions.Sila was too immersed in his training so he didn’t hear the sounds at all. His body still moving forward at a steady pace as he had looked at the map beforehand and had come to the conclusion that all he had to do was going in a straight line to arrive at Madmen's Valley.A brown silhouette jumped at Sila from the top of a tree, aiming at Sila’s back.Upon being targeted, Sila finally noticed that he was being followed and was currently on the receiving end of an attack. Unfortunately, the timing was really bad; his right arm was numb and couldn’t move to block the attack. Thus, Sila had to resort to cladding his entire body with qi reinforcement and shifted his shoulder to receive the incoming attack.*Pa!* Sila was pushed to the ground due to the impact. The right sleeve on his clothing was torn and a long wound could be spotted. Sila circulated Immortal Qi to close his wound and looked at the torn sleeve with regret.“Oh, no. My new clothing. I hope it won’t tear apart more than this,” Sila muttered to himself prior to take a look at the enemy who just attacked him.Since Sila had muted the notification, unless there was a boss monster or a special situation, the system wouldn’t give a warning to him, though the small, blue notification screen could still be spotted in the corner of Sila’s eyes.Looking at the monster in front of him, Sila took the chance to click the blue notification screen for it to show the details of the monster he was facing.As expected of the A-grade system window, in addition to telling Sila about the monster’s name, it also provided Sila with some of the monster’s information.You have encountered two hundred and thirty nine Single-Horned Dragons, Knight Rank, Level 500. For your information, they are also called Tiger Dragons. They are a mutated, small dragon that uses qi instead of the usual magic. The variety of magic spells are replaced by the powerful qi called Tiger Dragon Qi. With it, the Single-Horned Dragons possess lethal attack power, sturdy defense, high speed and agility, and notable recovery rate. They normally hunt in groups and can only be found within the Single-Horned Dragon Forest.The melodious sound that calmly explained the general information of these dragons like he was in an animal documentary program couldn’t help soothe Sila’s mood at all. While he was staring at the Single-Horned Dragon, the sounds of leaves being shaken by the footsteps of many creatures could be heard.If Sila were to be told to describe the identity of the monster currently in front of him, he would call it a dinosaur instead of a dragon. Its height was comparable to Sila but the length of its body from its head to its tail should be around three meters. Its appearance was similar to one of the dinosaurs that Sila had read about when he was a child. It was a carnivorous dinosaur with an appearance similar to a lizard. Its firm-looking skin was dark brown, green, and black, closely resembling the colors of the trees around it, helping it be harder to spot.There was a horn on its forehead and it had sharp teeth, distinctive feet bearing toes with one oversized hooking claw, and a long tail providing a counterbalance. On one of its claws, there was a sleeve of Sila’s clothing hanging on it together with his blood.Sila clad himself with qi reinforcement to return the state of his right arm to normal and immediately used Galaxy Eclipse to extend his sphere of awareness. He quickly found that he had been surrounded in all directions.The Single-Horned Dragon was an aggressive monster by nature. With Sila being a nemesis of the dragon race and invading their territory, their aggressiveness became fiercer than ever. Their red eyes fixated on Sila and they kept letting out a threatening sound from their throat to overwhelm Sila.Thinking that they were just a Knight Rank, Level 500 monster, Sila believed that it shouldn’t pose him too much of a problem. He took several steps forward eccentrically and narrowed the distance between him and the dragon in front of him while striking his right hand at it without delay.Nevertheless, in the blink of an eye, before the attack connected, the dragon strengthened its tail with qi reinforcement and spun its body to evade Sila’s attack and simultaneously perform a counterattack.Sila’s back showed an opening so Sila jumped to dodge the attack.The tail missed its target but the dragon relied on the centrifugal force to spin its body another time before jumping following Sila. Both of its sharp-looking claws were flashing with qi.Sila was surprised at how smart this dragon seemed to be but he was still calm. Before it could reach where he was, Sila fired qi-strengthened kunai aimed at its head and expected it to penetrate the dragon’s defense since it was putting its qi into its claws rather than its body.The kunai stabbed into the dragon’s head near its horn and the dragon fell to the ground. However, it could stand back up while using its qi to eject the kunai out of its head and heal the wound.“Is that still not lethal enough?” Sila let out a small exclamation. He had expected it to die with his last attack but it seemed that it was just wishful thinking.The reason why the Single-Horned Dragon Forest was a very dangerous place was because its main inhabitants, the Single-Horned Dragons, had the strong physique of a dragon and were supported by their powerful qi. Even though they didn’t possess active skills, they were a formidable monster to be reckoned.Sila didn’t wait for the dragon to regain its momentum. He dashed at it as if he was an arrow that had been fired and activated Universe Reversal in his left hand to pull the dragon to him while infusing qi into his right fist.The dragon tried to evade but to no avail as the pulling power of Universe Reversal was restricting its movement. In the end, it was forced to confront Sila’s fist directly.Blood was gushing out from the dragon’s mouth as its internal organs were damaged. Sila had learned his lesson from all his fights against opponents who excelled at defense so his fist was focused on damaging the opponent from the inside.The dragon fell to the ground. Although it could no longer move, it still didn’t die.As Sila was pondering why it was so hard to kill, the remaining dragons had arrived at the scene. Not waiting for Sila to make another attempt to harm their comrade, two of the dragons ferociously jumped at him, forcing Sila to step back using Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps.In the blink of an eye, Sila was heavily surrounded. The Single-Horned Dragon Forest was a thick forest so the foothold area was narrow. At the moment, there were only five or six Single-Horned Dragons surrounding him but Sila could tell from Galaxy Eclipse that more than a hundred of them were waiting for him not too far away.He didn’t manage to kill a single one of them up to this moment so it was obvious that there would be no way for him to defeat all of the dragons present. Sila planned to flee from this spot as fast as possible as he added the cold attribute of Tortured Soul into Galaxy Eclipse. The temperature began to drop at a terrifying speed and the leaves began to freeze. Surprisingly, the Single-Horned Dragons didn’t become frozen as Sila had hoped they would.Every single one of them unleashed their qi to protect themselves from the cold. Soft orange auras illuminated around them and their claws dug into the frozen ground to stand firmly. Some of them even dug their claws into the trunk to hang themselves from the tree and stared at Sila from above.“Ah. How troublesome,” Sila muttered to himself. Well, his objective had changed to fleeing so he wasn’t too worried about it.Several Flash Bombs were tossed to all directions together with him throwing Genesis Punch at the ground to turn it into dust. The ground in a fifty-meter radius turned into sand. Aside from the light from the Flash Bombs, their impact caused a wind to blow and it dispersed the sand to cover the area.Sila jumped into the air without delay and activated Cloud Stepping to go over the heads of the confused dragons. The Smoke Bombs in his hands were thrown in the direction he was moving toward and caused a smokescreen which he later leaped into and disappeared.With the thought that monsters must be similar to beasts in a sense that they rely on the sight or the smell to track down their prey, Sila depended on the Flash Bomb to blind them and followed up by the scattering dust and smokescreen to let them have a hard time tracking him with their nose.However, Sila had made a mistake. Aside from those normal means, the Single-Horned Dragons possessed another method to hunt down their prey; which was qi sensing. Even though Sila had attained a very high degree of Qi Concealment, with him using Galaxy Eclipse, putting qi into his legs to move faster, and utilizing Cloud Stepping, the trace was naturally left to be spotted. Actually, it would be a better move for him if he stopped using qi and ran across the forest.Well, to be fair, if he actually ran around that way, he would undoubtedly get lost. Moreover, the Single-Horned Dragon Forest was the home of dragons, so he would be spotted in no time.The sound of the beasts resonated and followed the direction which Sila was moving to. The dragons scattered and ran to follow him. Their speed while jumping from one tree to another was even faster than Sila’s running speed in mid-air. The distance between them was narrowed down quickly.In fact, Sila wanted to go higher in the sky to reach an altitude where the Single-Horned Dragons wouldn’t be able to bother him. However, ever since he had run into the forest, there was some kind of force that prevented him from running too high into the sky. As a result, he could only reach five meters above the tree.Since Sila was too fixated on reaching Madmen's Valley, he didn’t notice that the further he went into the forest, the fiercer the dragons became. The horns on their foreheads began to flash an intense orange light, causing the forest to illuminate with hundreds of torch-like lights.The sky was darkened despite being midday at the moment. Sila was curious so he looked up into the sky, only to find out why he couldn’t reach a higher altitude.The system sound rang out, to which Sila inwardly complained why it didn’t inform him sooner.You have assaulted a Single-Horned Dragon and entered the inner part of the Single-Horned Dragon Forest. As a result, Rex, the Single-Horned Dragon King, Marquis Rank, Level 1000, has appeared to get rid of the invader.
Any slime race players that are killed by the Single-Horned Dragon King will lose all the items in their possession and their rank will be demoted by three.Even though he had an A-grade system window, Sila neglected to seek information regarding the Single-Horned Dragon Forest. The shortest path didn’t always mean the safest path. For someone to pass through the Single-Horned Dragon Forest, ten out of ten players would choose to keep themselves away from the inner part of the forest to avoid encountering Rex. Even Zero and Shueria were not exceptions.Rex was a high-class dragon and its ability far surpassed all the middle-class dragons that Sila had encountered.The shadow of a giant figure was projected onto the ground. Not to mention fighting against it, just the qi that Rex released was pressuring Sila to the point that he could barely move. His movements became sluggish as if he was underwater until Shapeless Qi helped him by focusing its power into Sila’s feet. Nevertheless, the pressure he felt wasn't weakened in the slightest.
Chapter 113: Single-Horned Dragon Forest - Last Part
The gigantic body was floating into the sky and its shadow was cast over half of the forest, turning daytime to night.With its enormous size, Sila couldn’t understand how it was able to stay up in the sky. Well, this wasn’t the appropriate time for him to be overly curious.If someone told Sila that Solaria was the largest dragon he had ever met, that position had been taken by the dragon in front of him. Rex’s body was so gigantic that Sila didn’t know what he could use as a comparison. From his estimate, it should be at least four or five times larger than Solaria. Sila’s fist wouldn’t be different than a toothpick trying to damage a battleship in its eyes. He figured that it wasn’t a monster designed for players to raid alone. Not to mention that there were still hundreds of its underlings waiting for Sila down below.The notification screen continued flashing. Sila took a glance at it and found that it was informing him about the increasing number of Single-Horned Dragons hunting him. The current number was six hundred and seventy-three and there were no signs of it slowing down. The dark green forest below had many orange glows mixed in.Rex was a brown-colored dragon with tiger stripes on its skin. There was a spiral horn on its forehead which was flashing an orange light at the moment. Its massive wings covering the sky allowed it to miraculously stay in the air even without moving back and forth. Its red eyes were shining like big rubies. They would be far more fascinating if only they weren’t fiercely staring at him.This wasn’t the time for Sila to be conceited. In front of this dragon, Sila couldn’t picture himself winning at all. Just being near it caused him to feel crushed by it’s pressure.For him to encounter this grade of a monster, Sila had no choice but to rely on the expert he knew of. He focused his thoughts as Sebastian had told him. Well, he hadn’t done this before so he didn’t know whether it was working.“Just focus your thoughts and imagine that I’m there with you, sir. It’s one of the brooch’s abilities.”This was something Sebastian had once told Sila.Nothing happened.Sila evaded an incoming attack from one of the Single-Horned Dragons while striking the other one away. With that short exchange, Sila realized that his body couldn’t move properly according to his will. It seemed that after Shapeless Qi resisted the previous pressure he felt, Rex had increased its qi to pressure Sila even more to the point that he could hardly resist.“Mister Sebastian! Please come!!” Imagination might not be enough so Sila decided to shout it out loud.A flash of a black shadow appeared next to Sila prior to transforming into a man in a black butler uniform with the signature scythe in his hand. He was smiling with a handsome face with a trail of blood on his cheek.“Oh, my. Based on your personality, I didn’t think there would be a day when Mister Sila called me to your aid.”While talking, Sebastian could feel the qi pressure from the above so he looked up to the sky and checked his surrounding.“Is this place the Single-Horned Dragon Forest? No wonder you have called me. Well, running across the inner part of the forest is very reckless, even for you, sir.”Sila didn’t mind what Sebastian said as he was more concerned about the trail of blood on Sebastian’s cheek.“Mister Sebastian, are you injured?”Sebastian took out a handkerchief to wipe the blood from his cheek as he said, “Ah. It’s not mine, sir. It’s just that I was quite busy when you called me.”Witnessing their uncaring attitudes, the horde of Single-Horned Dragons charged at the two people. Sila used both of his hands to strike down two of them while Sebastian spun his scythe and gave a long wound to three of the dragons.“Even though I love fighting against a formidable foe, fighting against multiple dragons in succession is too much even for me, sir. Fortunately, it isn’t alone like last time.”Sebastian spun his scythe in a circle and a black symbol appeared in the air. The magic power was fused into it and the black symbol floated toward Rex.“Symbol of the Betrayed King.”With Rex’s massive size, it was unable to dodge the symbol that stamped into its body.“Mister Sila, do not mind Rex and try to kill as many Single-Horned Dragons as you can, sir. It would be even better if you can kill each of them within five seconds.”“Soul Snatcher Scythe.” The scythe in Sebastian’s hand shook. It was a skill Sila had once witnessed in the Mansion of the Seven Deadly Sins. Once the scythe was swung forward, the Single-Horned Dragons in front of Sebastian turned into minced meat. Their corpses transformed into black orbs and slowly floated up into the sky.Sila began to take action as well. However, he couldn’t kill them as fast as Sebastian did so he spent more than five seconds to kill one of them. Looking at Sebastian’s side, he found that Sebastian’s killing speed was astonishing, sending several black orbs into the sky without stopping.“Symbol of the Betrayed King is a spell for boss monsters, sir. Every time an underling dies, twenty percent of the damage from the final blow will be stored in an orb and the orbs will keep accumulating until I activate the spell or ten minutes have passed. If we can kill each of its underlings within five seconds, there will be bonus damage. Unfortunately, when this skill is used, we will not gain anything from the ones we killed, be it experience points, money, or items.”Sila nodded in understanding as this was indeed not the time to nitpick about items. It was a blessing in disguise that Rex could summon close to an unlimited number of Single-Horned Dragons. This ability would be an overwhelming advantage in normal situations, but it was like suicide when Sebastian’s skill was active.Once a great number of its underlings had died, Rex began to act by blowing its qi at both people. It was an intense yet invisible qi attack that brought Sila and Sebastian down to the ground despite them doing their best to resist.Blood seeped out at the corners of the mouth of the two. Sebastian lost his chance to accumulate bonus damage further and had to start anew.“Ahh... Mister Sila, I believe that continuing as we are would yield an ineffective result. Could you please act as a decoy? I will be responsible for accumulating the damage.”Sila nodded in agreement. He was aware that he was unable to kill the dragons within five seconds interval so he wasn’t as useful for building up the damage.“But, its qi is too strong for me to come near it,” Sila presented a problem to Sebastian.Opening the palm of his left hand, Sebastian revealed a small hourglass. He sighed with regret as he said, “I will just have to collect it again, then... With this amount, Mister Sila, you should be able to resist its qi for at least eight minutes.”Black magic power was unleashed from Sebastian’s hand and the hourglass was broken. The golden sand piled on his palm as he chanted a spell.“Thou brave heroes who have died in battle and now reside within the sacred sanctum, my body shall be yours, my sword shall be yours, and my enemies shall be yours. Due to a contract from the ancient era, please grant my dear comrade your victorious songs. Marching Songs of the Deceased Heroes.”The pile of sand in Sebastian’s palm flew to Sila and the golden particles of sand started flying around him like an aura. His ears could lightly hear the marching sounds of drums and the power within his body was surging. It was a phenomenon that Sila had never experienced. He could feel that his body became stronger and lighter.“The time is precious and limited, so please be careful sir.”Sila didn’t waste his time responding and instead shot himself into the air, approaching Rex. The pressure that had limited his movement was no longer there. Well, to be exact, the pressure was still there but Sila couldn’t feel it at all.The louder the drums, the braver Sila became.The power of Genesis Punch was focused into his right fist and the golden particles flew and gathered there.Sebastian who was looking at Sila furrowed his brows.“I told you to act as a decoy, not telling you to fight it head-on, sir. If you act offensively, the Marching Songs will not last for five minutes... Ahh, truly, my new master is too impetuous. It seems I have to speed up.”Black magic power gathered around Sebastian and took the shape of a grim reaper. Sebastian’s eyes turned red and the length of the scythe’s blade extended by a meter. The skull on the scythe moved by itself as if it was a living thing.The scythe could fly autonomously while all Sebastian had to do was wave his hand. In the blink of an eye, the area there became a sea of blood and black orbs were constantly flying up into the sky.Soaring toward Rex, Sila could feel nothing but his power surging within himself. Aside from resisting the external force that affected him, the ability of the golden sand aura also boosted his strength.Genesis Punch hit the gigantic torso of Rex, causing its skin and muscle fibers to tear apart and become a large wound.The powerful force of qi instantly flew to Sila to counterattack. Nevertheless, the golden sand could resist the force just in time.The large wound slowly healed by itself. As the situation was looking bad for him, Sila threw another Genesis Punch at the same spot to tear apart the previous wound further. However, the number of particles of sand around his body noticeably decreased and Sila was starting to feel the invisible pressure affecting him.Well, actually, being this close to Rex, any players would already be crushed by the pressure.‘Could it be that... the more I depend on it, the sooner the effect of the sand wears off? ...This is bad.’Three minutes had yet to pass but Sila had realized he was too hasty in acting. As the wound on Rex began to heal again, Sila changed his approach by throwing Fire Bombs at its wound. Although it wasn’t as effective as before, the result was fine as they could keep the wound from healing.Rex circulated qi and migrated the damage from one point of its body to another. The wound on its torso instantly disappeared while its tail was cut off as a substitute and fell down. Compared to the grave injury at its torso, severing its own tail was undoubtedly a smart choice.It quit relying only on its qi and started to act. For the record, Rex possessed the mighty Tiger Dragon Qi which was as strong as the Qi of Little Beings. Its opponents, be humans or monsters, would be crushed to death with just the force from its qi.Even so, as Sila had successfully approached and thrown a powerful blow at it, the power within it was unleashed to response to the danger by instinct.The scales on its skin pointed away from the body as if they were spikes and its claws moved toward Sila. Luckily for him, Sila possessed Cloud Stepping so he had quite an easy time evading its attack.From that point onward, Sila focused on dodging its attacks as he was aware that the advantageous position he was in was only temporary. The more time passed, the more Rex’s qi affected him. The amount of golden sand circulating around him decreased as time passed.Strangely enough, black clouds appeared and scattered around in the sky. Looking more closely, Sila noticed that they weren’t clouds but ridiculously large amounts of black orbs floating in the sky.“Mister Sila, if you see the chance, please attack it with your best move!”Sebastian shouted from down below while commanding the scythe to slash many Single-Horned Dragons without stopping. The scenery before Sila’s eyes was as if it was snowing, but the spectacular thing was that the orbs resembled black snow were floating upward instead of raining down.The scythe spun in a circle once more and the same symbol that had been stamped on Rex appeared again. Sebastian commanded it to fly toward the previous mark.Although Rex could sense danger and tried its best to dodge it, the symbol could move like it was a living thing and finally successfully stamped on the previous spot, not a millimeter off.Once the symbols overlapped with each other, they vanished. At the same time, all the black orbs in the air transformed into numerous tiny blades and flew toward Rex simultaneously.“Gahhh---!!” That was the first time Rex cried out in pain. It didn’t even flinch when Sila dealt tremendous damage to its torso.It was due to Sebastian’s unique ability, Grand Magic of Death, which granted recipients of his attack spells the Bleeding, Intensified Pain, and Undying Corpse debuffs.Rex’s body was covered with several wounds. Its qi dispersed and its chest was split apart, allowing Sila to see its beating heart.Sila was fully aware that this was a rare chance that wouldn’t come a second time and threw Genesis Punch at its heart with his full power.The heart ruptured and Rex’s vitality fell to the bottom. Its massive body fell by the law of gravity and heavily slammed to the ground, causing a mini earthquake.Out of nowhere, Sebastian had appeared next to Sila. There was the severed tail of Rex in his hand.“Good grief, it is still alive even with all that damage. But, you don’t need to worry, sir. I’m certain that it’s already at death’s door. Mister Sila only needs to attack it with ten or so of your normal punches and it will undoubtedly die. Anyway, please allow me to leave and keep this tail in the refrigerator first, sir. Otherwise, if it dies at this moment, we won’t have a decent ingredient for tonight’s dinner.” Sebastian turned into a black light and teleported to the Mansion of Secrets once he finished speaking.Sila looked at Rex lying on the ground. Its eyes were clouded and blurred while its breathing was harsh, indicating that it was suffering.With Sila approaching, it closed its eyes, waiting for its end.Nevertheless, Sila had never dealt a final blow to an enemy who couldn’t fight back. So, he sighed.“Well, it isn’t my own victory so I don’t have the right to kill you. Just let me pass through the forest. Is that okay?” Sila placed his hand on its head and transmitted his qi to heal its injuries.Sila was aware that high-level monsters possessed great intelligence. Some of them could even converse with humans.Rex seemed to understand Sila’s intention. It calmly and slowly opened its eyes to look at Sila and hesitated for a moment.The Single-Horned Dragons were mutated dragons so they weren’t recognized by the rest of the dragon race from the start. So, it believed it wouldn't have regrets even if it made this kind of decision.A system sound rang out, informing Sila of Rex’s decision.Rex, the King of the Single-Horned Dragon Forest, has respect for you and has decided to form a friendship with you and your race. From now on, the dragons in the Single-Horned Dragon Forest will be allies of the slime race.***This promise is exclusively from Rex. It doesn’t mean the slime race is allied with other species of the dragon race.You have obtained the Secret Scroll of Tiger Dragon Qi from Rex as the token of friendship.A dark brown scroll with tiger stripes appeared in front of Sila and the Single-Horned Dragons nearby seemed to be less fierce than usual. No, they even seemed to be docile, not as aggressive as they were when he first encountered them.The scroll landed in Sila’s palm and the Single-Horned Dragons made a pathway for him to move. Some of them were running around, catching each other like a family fooling around happily.Looking at the sight, Sila felt a bit regretful that he had killed many of them.Regardless of the race nor the species they were, they were just living their own life. Instead, it was his fault for invading into their home, forcing them to act to protect their precious place.With that line of thought, Sila walked along with four Single-Horned Dragons that seemed to be trying to guide him to Madmen's Valley in a friendly manner. This time, he wasn’t as hurried as before and instead took his time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Single-Horned Dragon Forest that no players before him had ever had a chance to admire.
Chapter 114: A Bad Habit
One week ago.Skull Mountain Pass was an enclosed gap between the cliffs that had only one entrance. There wasn’t a single monster living there so it was a perfect location for defense as any attackers will have a disadvantageous position when raiding the place. If only this spot was closer to the main part of the Main Continent, it would be a very good place for building a guild base.Presently, this spot was taken by groups of bandits. They were the first ones to discover the pass so they could depend on its favorable terrain when defending against raids from other players trying to take this place from them. Furthermore, it was quite well known among veteran players that these groups of bandits were secretly supported by two of the most influential guilds in the game. Although the number of their backers seemed to have been reduced to one lately, they were still feared.Today, a man in a butler uniform walked slowly and entered the mountain pass. His head moved left and right, looking for any changes to the place since the last time he visited.“This place has changed a lot. How weird. How come there isn’t a single one of the skeletons appearing? Where is Asura? For that guy, even if he was killed, us undead don’t take long to revive, isn’t that right?”The man spotted many small characters engraved in areas that were hard to notice. Well, his keen eyes could spot them in no time. He lightly touched one of them and his white glove was burnt. The same character could be seen on his finger.“Oh? The Holy Seal? No wonder the undead couldn’t revive. It seems that these seals are engraved all over the mountain pass.”This man’s identity was none other than Sebastian. The Mansion of Secrets was a large mansion so there was a high maintenance cost. Noticing that Sila’s wealth decreased, Sebastian decided to travel to Skull Mountain Pass to visit his treasure-collecting old friend who should be living there to borrow money.It seemed that Sila didn’t like the idea of him snatching items from humans. Sebastian couldn’t understand why but he still complied. Why could humans hunt monsters but not vice versa? Sebastian really couldn’t understand the logic. For him, every life was of the same value regardless of race. There was no difference in hunting monsters or humans in his eyes.For example, even if his old friend didn’t plan to let him borrow the treasures, Sebastian would kill him and take the treasures for himself. This was a normal occurrence for them, the undead.The same applied in reverse. Although they were friends, if Asura ever wanted something from Sebastian, he would not hesitate to take it by force.Well, instead of meeting with his old friend, Sebastian came across tons of players camping in the area.The mountain pass had a terrain advantage and the bandits had a large guild backing them up. So, they didn’t think there was a need to be on guard during the day like this.Sebastian walked past several tents and halted his feet in the middle of the camping zone without anyone stopping him. He bent down, blew away some dust on the ground, and found another identical seal engraved on it.“Hmmm. The seal is very delicate. The person that did this must be quite talented. Unfortunately, it was me who stumbled upon them. I would have had a difficult time if they were a different type of seal, but for these holy seals, I know an easy method for undoing it. Fufu.”Many players began to spot Sebastian. Actually, for there to be a butler acting suspiciously in the bandit’s den, they should have sensed him a lot sooner.“Oi! Who are you?” One of them shouted loudly and came to Sebastian with four of his friends by his side. The shout focused everyone’s attention on Sebastian.“Me? You don’t have to mind me, sirs. I just have some matters to attend to.” Sebastian ignored the incoming bandits and continued sweeping the ground to search for more seals. He wanted to know how they were made.“How can I not mind you, you bastard? Do you know where you are? This place isn’t someplace where the likes of you can leisurely walk around. Tell me honestly who you are!!”“I’m a butler, sir. Anyway, could you please do me a favor and move your foot from that spot? I would like to take a look at that area.” Sebastian pointed at the concealed, large seal on the ground where the man was standing.“I don’t give a damn and I won’t move. What now, pretty boy? You wanna poke me? Wahaha. Your face is like a woman and you don’t have a weapon with you. It seems you are lost. How about this? Obediently crawl under my crotch and I will let you go. Today I’m in a good mood so I will spare your life and feel content with just fooling around with you.”Laughter clamored from his friends in the campsite.Sebastian’s shoulders started to shake. His face was cast downward so noone could see his current expression.“Stop it~ Don’t bully this young man. Look at him~ He is trembling in fear.” A friend of the bandit who spoke first tapped on his shoulder.However, a frown appeared on all of their faces once Sebastian raised his head and his smile was revealed. Rather, it should be said that he was holding back his laughter.“Fufufu. People in this world are the same no matter what era they are in. Death is standing before them but they are still so clueless.”“What’s wrong with you? Are you so afraid that you went crazy?”Sebastian completely ignored the opposing insults.
Insults, taunts, and disdain only worked on humans. For him, those words contained no value.“I’m being kind enough. Could you please let me through?” Once the words left Sebastian’s mouth, he was surprised at them himself. Usually, he wouldn’t give a warning before he acted.All the players near Sebastian drew their weapons. “No!! What can you do to us?”Sebastian let out a sigh. “Ah, I expected as much. Well, I can call this self-defense, I think.”Sebastian waved his right hand once, then everyone fell silent. The players near him fell to the ground. Their knees were cut off neatly like paper.“Arghhh!!” The cries echoed. Immediately, all of the other bandits present stood up.Sebastian kicked the severed lower legs of the bandits away. The blood sprayed and some of them spilled on the rune.A white light glowed from the rune once before disappearing. Alongside the faded light, the rune also vanished.
Sebastian smirked. “Although the Holy Runes are powerful, they are tainted easily. Sure enough, dirtying something is always easier than cleaning.”He looked around and found that the bandits were ready to fight him. Some were chanting spells while some were calling for reinforcements by opening their system windows.“A lot of blood seems to be needed for me to break all the seals. Luckily for me, there are many people present.”Sebastian opened both his palms and the black magic power emitted from them. He quickly cast a spell.“O, thou poor souls who are lost in the depths of darkness in Tartarus, be sure to cross the river of death and come to this place, be sure to float around aimlessly in the maze with no exit, be sure to lead the lost souls to follow thou, be sure to act as guiding lights for those blinded souls. Soul Labyrinth of Tartarus.”Nothing happened. However, if someone were to look closely, they would notice that all of the Holy Seals within Skull Mountain Pass were giving off a faint light as if they were resisting this certain magic.
“What did that guy just do?!” One man shouted.
“We don’t need to care. He is alone but dared to invade us. Ambush him!”
“Oh!!” An instant response echoed and hundreds of arrows were fired at Sebastian. The sword users followed up and prepared to strike. Magic arrows flew. The target of all the attacks was the man in a black butler uniform.
Black magic power was released from Sebastian and materialized into hundreds of scythes, scattering in all directions. Blood splashed all over the place.Upon coming into contact with blood, the runes gave off a white light which was slightly more faded than before, though they didn’t vanish.
One third of all the bandits had died. Although the dead bodies had long disappeared, the dying persons still existed in tiny soul forms, floating in the air like fireflies. As for the blood, it remained on the ground.
The man who seemed to have a higher position than the rest quickly came up with a solution. “Use Returning Scrolls! We will prepare our forces then come back later.”
Instantly, all of them took out Returning Scrolls. It was an obvious choice. Almost half of their comrades had died within the blink of an eye. They weren’t foolish enough to wait for a death that would be in vain.
Sebastian looked at the seals on the ground and muttered without caring how these players seemed to be ready to leave, “As expected, this much blood is nowhere near enough. Preventing them from escaping was a smart choice.”
Every player using a Returning Scroll emitted a white light. However, nothing else happened.
“What is this?” They exclaimed and looked among themselves in dismay.
Sebastian controlled the scythes to rotate around and kill more players.
The same man shouted, giving the order to the remaining bandits, “We will make a run for Colossia City! Follow my lead!” Then, he led the way to the mountain pass’ exit.
Sebastian stared at one of the seals while killing people, muttering to himself how much blood would be needed for the seals to become completely broken.
*Pa* The body of the man came to an abrupt stop after colliding with something. The following people couldn’t stop their march in time so they slammed into him and fell over in a disorderly manner. One of them touched the air in front of the exit and found that there was an invisible barrier blocking their path.
“Call your friends for help,” said Sebastian, who was standing behind them, with a gentle smile on his face.Actually, even without Sebastian telling them to, they were already busy doing just that.
Soul Labyrinth of Tartarus was a magic domain that created a special domain with a radius of one kilometer that prevented all living beings from exiting, though they could enter it without any problems. The use of Returning Scroll was prevented and even if someone died, their resurrection point would temporarily be the center of the domain. The price that Sebastian had to pay in exchange for this ability was the constant consumption of his magic power. Moreover, he wouldn’t gain any experience points nor items from the ones he killed. Furthermore, all the beings who died in this domain wouldn’t lose anything. It could be said that it was a domain designed for torturing people.
A week full of joy in Skull Mountain Pass went by with blood and screams. Many people came to help their friends and rumors about a mysterious monster appearing in Skull Mountain Pass started to circulate. Everyone was free to enter but no one was allowed to exit. The messages asking for help were increasing as the days went on.Today marked the seventh day since Sebastian had entered this place. Now, the scenery in Skull Mountain Pass was too mesmerising. All of the passages and corners were stained with dried blood, and there were ten thousand blueish fireflies floating in the air.It was finally the day that Sebastian had been waiting for. The last Holy Seal gave off a faint white light for the last time before permanently vanishing.
All of the red blood flew and merged into a large blob floating in the air.Sebastian wasn’t a player so he didn’t get to listen to the system alerts but all the players who had died a hundred times without escaping could hear the alerts clearly.Divine Vehicle’s Seals have been broken. Monster Asura, the Red Skull King, Lord Rank, Level 350, has been released from its slumber.They had no hope to survive against just a single black butler here, and now another Lord Rank monster was going to appear? The remaining survivors retreated until their backs were against a stone cliff, while Sebastian was the only one approaching the massive blob.
The blood compressed before transforming into a red skeleton knight who possessed six arms. It rotated its head around and stopped at the sight of its old friend.
“Sebastian... did you... release me?” A hoarse voice could be heard.
“Asura, long time no see.”
Asura nodded. “Um, very long. I don’t even know how much time has passed. This damn seal... made me unable to know the date and time... Thanks.”
“No problem, but what happened? How could you be sealed?” asked Sebastian.
Two monsters were having a conversation. The players, whose demise was extended, didn’t dare to interrupt.
“Ah... three humans of the dragon race... they wanted my Ruby.”
“Only three? Were they that strong?”
The red skull nodded. “One of them wielded a heavy sword, taking the role of the attacker. Another one wore metal arm guards, tanking. And the last one... bombarded me with magic spells. Furthermore, they brought Ramiel, your mortal enemy, with them. He was… the one who sealed me... My entire power was sealed... Even the ability to revive...”
Sebastian pondered the reason why someone would want Asura’s Crown Ruby. That thing was too powerful to be left in the hands of humans. It seemed he had to investigate this group. Furthermore, it was troubling that the group had Ramiel, the Lord Rank monster, by their side. It wasn’t normal for a monster of such a high rank to serve humans.
“I don’t have the Ruby... I’m weak... my underlings are weak as well...”
Sebastian nodded and decided to help. They were old friends, anyway.
All of the souls from the deceased players flew into a stone nearby and dyed it blood red. Sebastian handed it to Asura.
“It won’t be as good as the Ruby, but it should suffice. Try to keep collecting souls.”
Asura received the stone and placed it on its forehead. Then, the red magic power engulfed him. Although all of its former power had yet to return, as it was now, the normal player wouldn’t be its match.
“Thank you... You have changed. If it was you from before, you wouldn’t help me... I wonder why?”
Sebastian gently smiled. “Fufu, I have my new master. It seems I have picked up on a bad habit from him.”
“Bad but good... It is the first time we can have a proper conversation... We were always busy killing each other.”
“Fufufu. It seems so. Anyway, I will visit you again. Hopefully, you can talk properly when your power returns.”
Asura nodded. “Good... Bring your new master with you next time... By the way, where is the previous one?”
Sebastian’s eyes showed sadness for a brief moment without anyone noticed. “He left the mansion to search for the madam. The reason I follow my new master is to search for him myself.”
“What will you do if you find... him?”
“I will stay with my original master. He raised me up from piles of corpses. I will serve him forever.”
“What about... your current master? Will you... kill him?”
“That’s a good question. Mister Sila is very useful to me and he trusts me very much. I’m certain that, by serving him, I will surely get to meet my original master one day.”
“Why...?” asked Asura.
“It is fun serving him. There are many strong opponents for me to fight against. That’s not important though. The important part is, he has the master’s right arm, though it is not in its completed form. So, until I meet my master, I won’t kill him.”
Their conversation was replaced with silence. That was it until the silence was broken by the shout of a particular man.
“Where is the mysterious monster?! The White Dragon Thief Gang of Sir Thief555 has come!! Who dares to invade our secret hideout?!” It was a declaration of a man accompanied by a group of players who received an SOS call from the bandits in this place.
There was Thief555, who didn’t want to be here but had to come without consent because he didn’t want to lose face, standing among the group.
Asura and Sebastian turned their heads to look at the group who recently came but Sebastian didn't seem to care because a brooch on his uniform flashed once. It meant Sila was calling him.
“My new master is calling me... By the way, Asura, do you have some treasure for me to borrow?”
Asura shook his head. “I’m sealed... Nothing left...”
Sebastian nodded. “Thought so. I just hoped that you had hidden some.”
“Those three took them all... But I will start collecting them again. Visit me next time.”
They were only two monsters in front of the group of player, but Thief555’s instincts kicked in and told him that they were dangerous. So, he took two steps back. On the contrary, his underling stepped forward.
“Do you know who this man is? He is Thief555 who has robbed people all over the Main Continent. Scram if you don’t want to be killed!”
Thief555 was startled. To even threaten monsters, who did his underling think he was? It was his first time witnessing someone bluffing a monster. Little did he know that this underling of his was getting used to threatening so he developed a habit of throwing a threatening remark in this kind of situation.
“Sebastian... Do you really plan to kill him...?” Asura asked after seeing a glimpse of hesitation in Sebastian’s eyes.
Sebastian’s eyes became fiercer. A large scythe appeared on his hand and he waved it back without looking. A pool of blood splashed and some of it landed on his cheek.As for the one who shouted just now, his headless body collapsed to the ground.
“For me, humans are equal. I can kill any of them.” As he finished this sentence, the second call from Sila arrived. Sebastian put a smile on his face before darkness engulfed him and teleported him away.
The bandits that had just arrived trembled in fear.Asura looked at the spot where his old friend had been standing before summoning six swords in its hands. The bloodstone on its forehead flashed an intense light and hundreds of skeletons raised up from the ground, killing players in the area.
“Be careful to not pick up on more bad habits from humans... Sebastian...” Asura muttered.
Author: The story will be shifted to Sila’s again. And it will stay that way for a looooooong~ time.
Chapter 115: Bad Timing
The Single-Horned Dragon Forest at night was usually covered in complete darkness as all the tall trees would obstruct the rays of moonlight. Nevertheless, Sila could travel leisurely without relying on Galaxy Eclipse because the Single-Horned Dragons who traveled with him were using their horns as sources of light. Four living torches walked alongside Sila until he reached the border of the forest.In front of Sila was a high valley with a path in the middle. On a stone wall, there were two characters that Sila couldn’t read engraved upon it. The appearance of the characters was similar to the ones on the sign of his dojo so Sila guessed that they were Chinese characters.It might sound weird, but Sila didn’t know the name of his own dojo. For him, his dojo was his dojo. It didn’t matter what its name was. Even the name on the sign was written in a language that he couldn’t read.He had once asked his teacher about the name, but his teacher told him that it wasn’t important and he should be focusing on practicing instead of wondering about the dojo’s name.Later, Sila heard from senior and junior disciples that the name of the dojo was written in Chinese. However, no matter how much he insisted, no one told him the meaning or how to pronounce it.Sila guessed that his teacher had told the others not to tell him about the name, so he didn’t dig further as he knew that if it was a teacher’s order, no one would tell him.Actually, if he tried harder, he knew he would find an answer. However, since his teacher seemed to not want Sila to know, he believed that it wasn’t the right time for him to know. So, Sila quit trying.Sila waved his hand and said goodbye to the Single-Horned Dragons. He entered the mountain pass. Both sides of the path were trimmed and there were lamps placed on the walls, five meters apart from each other.The corridor was a straight line, stretching into the depth of the valley. Sila kept his guard up along the way and it only took him five minutes to reach the inside part of the valley.Based on what he discovered, Madmen's Valley seemed to be an enclosed valley with a single entrance. The layout of the valley was similar to a bottle. The area inside was lit up by lamps. There were several wooden villas scattered around, which made this place look more like a village in the countryside. The name Madmen's Valley was nothing close to its atmosphere.An old man with a long white beard and a scar on his left cheek appeared and came to Sila.Once he saw the old man, Sila smiled. “Hello, Mister Crow.” He put his palms together to greet the old man.“Eh? Young lad. Have you come to pay me a visit? You’re here early. I thought it would take you at least a year before you could visit this place.”“I have a personal matter to do here, sir, so I came sooner than I planned.”“Um... Oho? Unexpectedly, you can pass through the Single-Horned Dragon Forest without a single wound. Normally, people who arrive at this place are covered in blood. Which path did you use to take a detour?”“Eh... I didn’t take a detour, sir. I passed through the center of the forest. Well, I almost died. I didn’t imagine that it was a habitat of the Single-Horned Dragons.”“Oho. No one would do that. So, you have met Rex, I assume? You are crazier than I thought.”“Luckily, we became friends, so I was able to travel the rest of the way comfortably, sir.”“Is that dragon capable of befriending others? You have a lot of surprises in store, haven’t you, kid?”The conversation seemed like it wouldn’t go anywhere if he left it as it was, so Sila cut to the chase.“The thing is, Mister Crow, I’m here to meet with someone. He said he would wait for me in this place.”Crow scratched his head. “Um... are you Sila?”
Ever since they met, Crow had never once asked for Sila’s name and Sila had guessed that Crow would naturally know from the time when he was inspected.“Eh? I thought Mister Crow already know about that.”“I wasn’t interested that time. So, are you Sila?”“Yes, sir. I’m Sila.”“Um, um, so it’s you. Sanon has told me a lot about you. He is the one who you have an appointment with. Anyway, you just missed him.”“Missed? He said he would wait for me for another four days though?”“I think he has an urgent matter to attend to. Do not worry. He said he would come back within a week so you should just wait here. If you are bored, I have a hidden quest for you.”Sila was confused by the words ‘hidden quest’ since Crow explicitly stated it.“In that case, I have another matter, sir. The thing is, I came here by Mister Zero’s suggestion... I am infected with Bomb Lurking Psychic, sir.”Crow frowned as he couldn’t tell at all that Sila was suffering from Bomb Lurking Psychic. “Give me your hand.”Sila reached his hand out, to which Crow grabbed it and transmitted his qi to inspect.“It’s truly Bomb Lurking Psychic. But, it has scattered and almost completely fused with your body. In addition, it was suppressed by qi. By the way, are you Shueria’s enemy?”“Why do you think so, sir?” Sila scratched his head, curious.
“Back when Shueria arrived, he had your Tortured Soul within his body. Meanwhile, you have Shueria’s Bomb Lurking Psychic in your body. It also isn’t at the level used in sparring but in death matches. I’m that kid’s teacher so I’m curious.”“Mister Crow is Shueria’s teacher?”“Yeah, if you are his opponent then be careful. My Dignified Palm Blade is second to none. Anyway, you don’t need to worry about me. I won’t meddle in a kid’s affair.”Sila felt awkward after finding out that Crow was Shueria’s teacher. It was fortunate that Crow made things clear.“He challenged me to an official match. There is no longer any enmity between us.”Crow smiled. “That’s good to hear.”“By the way, what do I need to do about the quest?”Crow smacked his forehead. “Ah, again, you have arrived at such bad timing. The hidden quest, Monster’s Soul, is only available to do during a full moon. You will have to wait another five days.”The name ‘Monster’s Soul’ didn’t sound like a good quest. Anyway, Sila felt regretful that he didn’t get to do anything upon arriving at Madmen's Valley.Crow could tell that Sila was disappointed by the fact that he had arrived at bad timing. “Why don’t you just keep practicing to prepare yourself for the quest? That quest is quite difficult, you know? ...Ah, but you possess Shapeless Qi, right? That’s unfortunate.”Hearing the word ‘unfortunate’ used to describe ‘Shapeless Qi’ caused Sila to frown. “How is it unfortunate, sir?”“Do you know about the Ten Supreme Qi?”Sila nodded as he had heard about them from his teacher, Wu Ming.“Then, do you know why Shapeless Qi isn’t counted as one of the Ten Supreme Qi even though it is originated from Qi of Little Divine Beings like the rest?” Crow continued.Sila shook his head as he didn’t know and the nameless elder didn’t tell him why. He just thought that ‘Ten Supreme Qi’ sounded nicer than ‘Eleven Supreme Qi’.“Why is it, sir?”“Shapeless Qi is a supportive qi. Its main ability is to support another qi or enhance the user’s physical ability when the user is in danger. That’s the reason why it is hard to detect. The problem is, no matter how hard you train, its level won’t increase unless you can find another powerful qi that qualifies for it to support. However, although many of such qi actually exist, the method to obtain any of them is very confidential and hard to come by. It isn’t like Qi of Little Divine Beings where the methods to obtain them are well known.”Sila was agape. No wonder its level had never increased and stayed at Level 1.Crow tapped Sila’s shoulder. “Well, it’s still a very useful qi. Using it only in an emergency should be enough, no?”However, Sila was in deep thought. He took the Secret Scroll of Tiger Dragon Qi out.“Would Tiger Dragon Qi acceptable?”Surprised by the fact that Sila owned a qi secret scroll, Crow replied, “Umm, to be honest, I don’t know. Maybe or maybe not. The qi possessed by the Single-Horned Dragon is indeed powerful but I have never seen any player practice it, so I won’t be able to give you any advice. You should try it for yourself, but...”Sila nodded and unfolded the secret scroll. Crow was about to stop him but couldn’t act in time.The scroll shone a bright light and pushed Crow two meters away. The characters in the scroll floated off the page and into the air. They began to circulate in the shapes of a tiger and a dragon, before entering Sila’s skin. Sila had experienced this occurrence from the Secret Scroll of Qi of Little Turtle so he wasn’t surprised.After being used, the secret scroll scattered into dust.Crow slowly walked to Sila.“You are quite impatient, aren’t you? You didn’t stop to listen to my warning. Are you the type who doesn’t like to listen to others?”“Eh? What warning, sir?”“It’s already too late. Just listen to the system’s explanation.”Suddenly, Sila felt very uncomfortable. His body was stiffened and pain could be sensed all over his chest, arms, and legs. He immediately tried to circulate Immortal Qi but was unable to do so.Meanwhile, Crow placed his hand on Sila’s shoulder and transmitted Recovery Qi into Sila’s body.“What’s happening to me, sir...?”The system sound interrupted.You have gained a skill: Tiger Dragon Qi, Level 0.
Shapeless Qi has entered a parasitic state. Its level returns to 0, which is the same level as Tiger Dragon Qi. You won’t be able to use qi or qi techniques until your body is compatible with Tiger Dragon Qi.“What?”As he removed his hand from Sila’s shoulder, Crow said, “Shapeless Qi in a parasitic state has caused all of your qi-type skills to be in a state of hibernation. Usually, you will have to wait for your body to adapt to the new qi and you will be fine. But, you have erosive psychic power within your body so it won’t be easy. The qi that I transmitted to you will be able to suppress it for seven days but the psychic power in your body is growing stronger over time. You will need to hurry.”The psychic power within Sila’s body was like a virus. In the beginning, normal qi was able to suppress it. However, as time passed and Sila continued to suppress it with qi, it would grow stronger to counter. Currently, even Lone Wolf’s qi wouldn’t be able to suppress it anymore. Even, Crow, who was an Independent NPC, said that his transmitted qi wouldn’t last more than seven days.This result occurred because, so far, Sila had suppressed it with high-tier qi at the level of Qi of Little Divine Beings. As a result, it grew stronger at a ridiculous rate.Now, Sila had no other choice but to put his hopes in his Tiger Dragon Qi that was enhanced by Shapeless Qi.“But, isn’t this contradicting, sir? I have to circulate qi to adapt my body to Tiger Dragon Qi and get it to Level 1, but Shapeless Qi prevents me from performing qi circulation. Or, if I let the body naturally adapt to the qi without qi circulation, this level of psychic power will kill me long before I can achieve that. I also don’t have that much time.”“In that case, you will need to accelerate the process with qi transmission. However, for awakening Tiger Dragon Qi, you will need another Tiger Dragon Qi to transmit to you.”There seemed to be a way out, but another problem arose.
“I got this Tiger Dragon Qi from Rex. But, will a monster be able to transmit qi to me?”Crow shook his head. “I don’t know, young lad. No one has ever been on the receiving end of the qi transmission from a monster.”“I think I need to try. I don’t want to die and waste time traveling here again.”“I will send you off at the entrance, then.”Crow grabbed Sila’s collar and flicked his ankle to lightly fly and land at the entrance of the valley within a few seconds.“This is as far as I can send you off. You are friends with these Single-Horned Dragons but I’m not. They will feel upset if they see me.”Knowing that this was all he could do, Crow soared back into Madmen's Valley while thinking to himself that Sila was a lad with poor timing who happened to do everything wrong. Actually, he should have unfolded that secret scroll after he has passed the hidden quest.In the end, Sila couldn’t even spend ten minutes in Madmen's Valley before leaving.He started to walk and felt that his body was stiffed. It wasn’t that he had become weaker but rather he had regressed to the state where he didn’t have qi. For someone who had always possessed high-tier qi, losing the ability to use qi caused him to feel a bit empty inside.Sila continued to run into the forest. The darkness still remained. Because he had no special powers with him, he tripped many times and eventually stopped running after a while, choosing to fumble his way back to the inner part of the forest.The sound of something moving in the bush could be heard. Sila turned around with his intuition and saw several red eyes staring back at him. Soon, the horns lit up, acting as torches. Some Single-Horned Dragons had come to their limping friend.“Could you please bring me to Rex?” Sila gently asked, hoping that they could understand him.One of the Single-Horned Dragons lifted Sila’s body onto its back and started running. Sila felt at ease because they understood what he said.Because Sila had no qi, a lot of fatigue had accumulated from running there. Thus, he could do nothing but accept the wave of drowsiness overcoming him. The Tiger Dragon Qi being gently emitted from the Single-Horned Dragon was so soft that Sila felt like he was laying on a bed rather than a dragon’s back.His eyes slowly closed and he soon fell into a deep slumber despite being on a running Single-Horned Dragon.
Chapter 116: Tiger Dragon Qi
Sila was forcefully woken up after being thrown on the ground. He felt like he was sleeping on a comfortable bed but was abruptly kicked to the hard floor. His body no longer had qi to support him so he easily felt pain.Holding his head with his hand, Sila looked around and found that this place was a small field that was surrounded by lights from the horns of Single-Horned Dragons. There was a very large wall in front of him.“Ouuu...” The wall opened and Sila was pushed back by an unseen force of qi. Many dragons came to Sila’s aid and pushed Sila’s back to stop him from falling over.Sila stood up properly and looked again. Finally, he found that the real identity of what he thought was a wall was, in fact, Rex’s head. It had tried to greet Sila but its suppressed qi still blew Sila away.“Ah, Rex... I have a favor to ask. The scroll that you gave me has made me incapable of using qi. If you don’t mind, can you teach me how to use your qi?”Sila had no way of knowing if it could understand him. Maybe it could understand simple words but couldn’t make head or tail out of difficult matters.The horn on Rex’s forehead flashed once and one of the Single-Horned Dragons came to Sila with a roll of paper in its mouth. Based on the state of the paper, it was very old.Sila unfolded it and looked inside. On the paper was a handwritten letter.I have practiced Tiger Dragon Qi for ninety years without any successors. Then, the game creator reached out to me. I imprinted how to use this qi into the world of Monster Soul and hoped that a suitable person would discover it. Rex Dragon is created using my past personality. It will choose a suitable person to practice this qi. Whoever you might be, if you read this message, it means you have been chosen. I won’t demand anything from you but my only hope is that this qi art of mine doesn’t go extinct. Please use and inherit it.I came up with Tiger Dragon Qi at age 25 and improved it for 50 years for it to reach perfection. I don’t quite understand what Monster Soul is, but the game creator told me that, by practicing it in this game, you will be able to practice it faster in real life. He said that we can use our brain and mind in the game to gain experience and train with our bodies outside. It was regretful that I only found a wonderful place like Monster Soul at the end of my life. If the profound arts that we profound practitioners have trained in for almost a hundred years could be mastered within ten years, what kind of future would await our descendants? What kind of profound arts would our descendants be using? I want to witness that future with my own eyes but I no longer have a chance... Kiryu.The paper crumbled into dust. Then, the Single-Horned Dragon placed a certain book in front of Sila.
‘Tiger Dragon Qi Art’ was written on the cover.Sila opened it and found that the the book contents were hand-written. Within it, there were pictures explaining how to properly circulate qi with descriptions. The method of qi circulation that was explained in the book was different than the qi circulation he normally used.In Monster Soul, for in-game qi, just thinking of circulation will cause qi to circulate by itself. Not much concentration is needed. However, for personal profound arts, especially qi arts which were related to inner force, the method for circulation was usually very detailed, with a proper explanation for the dantian and each meridian. The revered practitioners had trained these arts through many hardships so being able to use qi just by unfolding the scroll would devalue their effort. As a result, the game creator put as many details as possible into these arts and the learners would have to manually do it themselves. It also counts as a profound arts training program for the learners.Sila flipped through the book with amazement. Coming up with this kind of profound art is very astonishing. He believed he could empathize with Kiryu’s feeling of regret when he realized that his hard-earned results would fade away without a successor. For Kiryu who had dedicated a hundred years to profound arts but was left with nothing in the end, it was just too sad.Sila promised to himself that he would do his best to master this qi art no matter how many years it would take him. He also planned to pass it on to the future generations.The light from the horns of the Single-Horned Dragons allowed Sila to be able to read the contents of the book. He read through the book and did his best to remember the contents.Actually, he would like to circulate his inner force based on the method described in the book. Sadly, he was unable to do it at the moment. It would be great if he had someone to transmit qi to him.Sila looked at Rex who was still staring back at him.Although the contents in the book were well-written, he wasn’t a genius in reading. Rather, he was the type who would learn faster if he got to do it for real.At the very least, he would be happy if Rex could demonstrate how to do the things mentioned in the book.The problem was that the book had detailed explanations of how inner force should flow within one’s body, but Rex was a dragon. Sila didn’t know how a dragon’s meridian system was structured, but he bet that it wouldn’t be the same as a human’s. So, even if it showed him how to circulate qi, Sila wouldn’t be able to learn from it.If only it had a human form like Sebastian...“Ah! Lord Rank monster!!” Sila clapped his hands and took the bottle contained four Emperor Qi Pellets out. He placed one of them on his palm and handed it to Rex.Rex looked at the pellet and sniffed it. It was hesitating when Sila got closer to it with a pellet on his palm.“You gave me the secret scroll as a token of our friendship. Since it is a token of friendship, I believe that it won’t be fair if I am the only one to receive something. So, I would like to give you this Emperor Qi Pellet. Think of it as a token of friendship from me.”Not only was Sila’s action unnecessary, it also something he shouldn’t do. The symbol of friendship was just the name of the reward that he got from befriending another race. There was no deep meaning like what Sila interpreted.For a monster to be promoted from Marquis Rank to Lord Rank, it will become much more powerful. Its ability would skyrocket as it can train supportive skills like players. It could be said that there was a distinct gap between the strength of a Marquis Rank monster and a Lord Rank monster.And now, Sila was about to make Rex cross that gap. From now on, the Single-Horned Dragon Forest, which was a terrifying place to begin with, would be ruled over by Rex at Lord Rank, who would hold the same mighty power within its human-size body. Its weakness that came from its gigantic size would disappear and would be replaced by a human’s great agility.Rex opened its massive mouth and Sila threw the Emperor Qi Pellet into it. Soon, Rex’s body shone an orange light, mixing with all of the lights from the horns of all Single-Horned Dragons in the forest and creating a mesmerising image. At that moment, the Single-Horned Dragon Forest was illuminated as if it was a daytime to the point that Sila needed to cover his eyes.It was his first time witnessing the evolution of a monster from Marquis Rank to Lord Rank.The light died down and Sila reopened his eyes. In front of him, there was a three-meter tall, lean and muscular man standing. He wore pants made of Single-Horned Dragon’s skin. Aside from the green pants with black stripes that he was wearing, a pair of red eyes that were inspecting his own body gave him the overbearing vibe of a dragon. The length of his hair reached his back and there was a small, almost imperceptible horn on his forehead.“Umm... Hello. Do you understand me?” Sila tried to talk with the man in front of him.“Rex... call me Rex.” A deep, overbearing voice could be heard from the man.“Oh, you can talk? That was fast.”“I can talk in a human form. My dragon form doesn’t have a larynx like a human,” replied Rex.Rex came to Sila and put his palm onto Sila’s back. Then, Tiger Dragon Qi was transmitted into Sila’s body.Sila was confused at first but he immediately calmed his mind and took the qi, though he was still unable to circulate it.“I know your situation. Your flow of qi is gone. Just do your best with the qi I gave you.”Rex took his hand off Sila’s back and went to sit on a nearby rock. All Single-Horned Dragons in that place were confused because their king’s appearance had changed, though they could still recognize him using their sense of qi.Sila tried to let his inner force flow but there was no movement. He flipped to one of the pages in the book which explained basic qi circulation and followed its instructions. He tried to force the stoic qi within him to flow from each meridian to another according to the book. Although each of the meridians had a name, Sila was better at letting his body remember rather than his brain, so he slowly followed the sequence described in the pictures.Soon, he could sense that his qi started to move, though he needed to put all of his focus into letting it flow. Sila wondered whether he would be able to do this when he fought in battles.Manually controlling the flow of qi for three hours, Sila finally completed a single set of qi circulation all over his body. He felt so glad that he was on the verge of crying. He had never expected that it would take him this long to circulate qi once.Rex came closer to Sila and said, “Come, fight me.”Sila frowned. “I’m unable to fight...”Nevertheless, Rex didn’t wait for Sila to end his sentence as he charged right at Sila.Sila circulated his qi out of habit in order to defend, but he couldn’t make it in time so he had to barely evade using the footwork of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps.Rex stopped his attack as he said, “You will train it faster in actual combat.”Although Sila understood what Rex meant, he was currently unable to use any qi in a fight. Sila tried to recall the skills that he could use at the present and gave Moon Reflecting Mirror a try. Afterward, he found that upon skill activation, pain would run through his body, making him stop using the skill. It seemed that using psychic type skills would stimulate the harmful psychic power within his body.In the end, the only combat skill that he could use was the skill he was least proficient with, Orbiting Cosmos. Sila tried changing and holding elements many times and found that he could still properly use it. Thus, he relied on this skill for sparring with Rex who was clearly holding back in the matches.Three days had passed. Sila’s daily routine was sleeping, waking up, having a meal, circulating Tiger Dragon Qi, sparring with Rex, debating profound arts with Rex, playing with Single-Horned Dragons, and then practicing qi again before going off to sleep.For the record, Rex had come to transmit qi into Sila every morning.
As a result, on the fourth morning, his Tiger Dragon Qi finally reached Level 1 and let him use qi again, though that was just a bonus. The true benefit was the experience of fighting without relying on qi, which was something the nameless elder had suggested him to do but he had never done so. His muscles and bones were developed in a way that was suitable for practicing profound arts. His attainment over Orbiting Cosmos also increased. It was this moment that Sila discovered a hidden feature of Orbiting Cosmos.If he changed his body to become one with fire, his attack power would increase. It would be his defense for earth, his speed for wind, his reflexes for lightning, his recovery rate for water, and there would be a thin layer of aura protecting him if he changed to ice. Sila wouldn’t have discovered all of these if he didn’t seriously use Orbiting Cosmos in a battle.In addition, Sila had finally come up with a name for his martial move. After thinking about it for a long time, Sila ended up using ‘Weapon Subduing Fist’ as its name, the same as his title. He used this name because this move of his focused more on subduing opponents than killing them. Although he still couldn’t say with confidence that he had mastered this move, using it against Rex allowed him to have some faith in it.Currently, Sila had memorised basic qi circulation. However, he would need more time for more complicated circulation methods that could bring out more of Tiger Dragon Qi’s power.Sila closed his eyes and manually circulated qi according to what he remembered. The unseen force of qi pushed Rex to take three steps back.Tiger Dragon Qi was a qi that was both as hard as steel and as soft as silk, reflecting its name: one dragon and one tiger. Since it shared some characteristics with Formless Soldier, Sila could understand its concept relatively easy.Formless Soldier was a way to use inner force to manipulate user’s body to become harder, lighter, softer, and heavier. Meanwhile, Tiger Dragon Qi was a way to directly change the property of qi to become hard or soft.For the record, Rex was proficient at using the hard property of Tiger Dragon Qi. It could exert its qi to tangibly hurt the opponents.Lastly, Rex had imparted onto Sila the Single-Horned Dragon’s qi technique. At first, Rex anticipated that Sila would need several months to be able to develop it, but it turned out that Sila already had all the basics for fusing the technique, Unblemished Cool Breeze, which was the combination of Cruise Breeze and Unblemished Aqua.
It was this qi technique that allowed Rex to be able to migrate the damage on its torso to its tail in its fight against Sila. Unblemished Cool Breeze was a qi technique that every Single-Horned Dragon could use. In addition to its recovery ability, each dragon could lend its power to others in distance via a connection of its horn to heal or strengthen its comrades.Thus, fighting against a single Single-Horned Dragon was comparable to fighting against every Single-Horned Dragon simultaneously. This was the reason why the Single-Horned Dragon Forest was a very dangerous place.Sila decided to spend one more day there so he could have a serious sparring match with Rex. He read the contents in the book for the last time before closing the book and keeping it in his system window.Both his hands were slowly clad with qi reinforcement. Rex stared at Sila’s placement of feet and unleashed a surge of powerful qi that caused the nearby dragons to take several steps back.Based on what the book instructed, Sila reversed his qi circulation and the dragon attribute of his qi changed into a tiger. The solidity of his qi changed into softness that dispersed the pressure from Rex.Both his feet performed irregular movements as he charged at Rex.Rex had been coping with Sila’s Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps for three days and he had got guidance about it from Sila so his understanding toward this art was higher than before. Although he couldn’t perform this art like Sila, he could at least read some of Sila’s movements and predict where Sila would go.His right fist was thrown where he believed Sila would appear.The corner of Sila’s lip curled up. It wasn’t derision but rather admiration that Rex could read his movements.Nevertheless, the arts are unchanging while humans are living. Sila halted his last step halfway through the motion and stomped it on the ground. Then, he rotated his ankle together with his torso and struck his left palm at Rex’s side.Rex felt a little shocked that things didn’t go according to his prediction, but he didn’t panic as he put his qi into his left hand and used it to parry Sila’s incoming strike.The attacks of both parties connected. The impact pushed both of them off balance and they needed to take three steps back. Sila changed his qi circulation from tiger to dragon. His body was also clad with lightning as he rushed back at Rex, stiffening Rex’s body.Meanwhile, Rex had larger qi capacity than Sila so it could rely on its higher amount of qi to forcefully move his arm. His body seemed to enlarge for a brief moment as he used his left hand to block Sila’s next attack while strengthening the power in his right fist.It was a clash of powerful qi. Rex’s left hand blocked Sila attack and ended up in a limping state.Sila was about to throw another attack but was surprised by Rex’s qi-strengthened right fist that suddenly flew at him. It was because Rex had covered this fist with his tall body to prevent Sila to notice it.Putting up his guard in a hurry, Sila crossed his arms over his chest and clad himself with qi reinforcement. The element in his body was changed from lightning to earth. It was the concept of changing element in reverse that he was able to do with ease after the second day of sparring.Upon being hit, Sila activated Formless Soldier to lessen the damage he took. As he was blown away by the force of the punch, Sila’s body flew toward a big tree behind him.In mid-flight, he rotated his body and softly landed his feet on the trunk before standing perpendicularly on it with pulling power. His eyes shot back at Rex.Rex put the power of Unblemished Cool Breeze into his limping arm, which was the result of Sila’s Weapon Subduing Fist, to heal it. Rex was an expert in healing and strengthening his body using qi and Sila had yet to excel at using his own move, so the limping state could be cured in no time.“Is this enough?” Sila proposed.“The result of our first fight is a draw. Let’s fight again next time.”Sila nodded then shot himself into the air and activated Cloud Stepping to dash back in the direction of Madmen's Valley.Rex knew that Sila had to go back to Madmen's Valley so he had used a serious sparring match as a way to say goodbye. He realized that Sila was holding back so Rex was holding back in the previous match as well.For martial artists, no words nor a banquet are needed. Just a single match is enough to say many things.
Chapter 117: Sanon
Stepping on the air and having wind flow past his face, Sila’s body freely shot forward and the qi within his body was continuously circulating. He believed he could finally tell what the difference was between real-life qi and in-game qi.For in-game qi, you can activate or deactivate the circulation with just a thought. The qi would circulate on its own without needing your control. As for Tiger Dragon Qi, Sila needed to always be aware of it and control the circulation constantly. Although it was harder and more troublesome, Sila believed that it was worthwhile.Thinking about this caused Sila to wonder about the intentions of Monster Soul’s creator.Usually, online games tend to be designed to keep consumers playing as long as possible to make a profit. However, Sila believed that the reason why Monster Soul was created should be something deeper than simple profit. The game only ranked among the top ten without reaching the top three and the money from ads also seemed negligible. Moreover, there were many methods for them to earn money, like the cash shop, but they weren’t implemented.Stepping on the air for the last time, Sila landed himself on the ground in front of Madmen's Valley and looked at the Chinese characters which he still couldn’t read.“They are read as ‘Xian Shan’, meaning ‘Valley of Immortals’.” The voice of a middle-aged man could be heard from behind. Sila was startled and turned his back.He couldn’t detect the presence of this man at all.The man standing behind Sila was probably in his early-to-mid 40s. His neat black hair was peppered with greyish white specks. His facial expression seemed kind under a pair of plain-looking glasses.“It seems you use the same appearance as your real body, right, Sila?”Sila was surprised that the man knew about him. Normally, people who knew him in the game always turned out to be enemies but this man didn’t seem to harbor evil intention. Thus, Sila politely asked:“Excuse me, sir, who are you?”“I’m Sanon.” This reply of the man caused Sila to realize that the man was the person who he needed to meet.“Hello, Mister Sanon. I’m Sila. It’s nice to see you.”Sanon nodded. “We should continue talking inside. Please come in. Crow should be waiting for us.”Sila agreed and walked alongside Sanon through the entrance of the valley. During their short journey, Sanon started a conversation.“It seems you were able to arrive at this Valley of Immortals without many difficulties.”“I got lucky, sir. By the way, why is this place called the Valley of Immortals?”“Have you heard about Independent NPCs?”As Sila nodded, Sanon continued:“This place is the location where most of Independent NPCs used to live. The name of this place was given by the game creator. Each NPC had hidden quests for players to do but they were too hard, so in the end, they came to call this place Madmen's Valley instead.”Sila had a hard time swallowing his saliva. The reason why it was called that way was surely because those NPCs gave close-to-impossible quests. He started to worry about the difficulty of the hidden quest that he would attempt soon.“I don’t see any other NPCs in Mad... Ahem, the Valley of Immortals except for Mister Crow, though.”“During these years, no one had arrived to take the quests so most NPCs were allowed to leave. Crow has to stay here because he lost when we drew lots. Fufu.”At last, the two men arrived at the inner part of Madmen's Valley. Upon seeing the two, Crow welcomed them.“Sanon. Oh? Have you already met Sila?”“We happened to meet each other at the entrance.”“Have you finished your attending to that matter?” asked Crow.Sanon nodded. “Done. He will be here in a few days.”Crow didn’t particularly care as he turned his attention to Sila. “You’re able to practice it within three days? That’s impressive.”“I got a lot of help, sir. I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off if I was alone.”Sanon secretly evaluated Sila’s personality and could tell that Sila was modest and wasn’t arrogant.Inviting everyone to enter his wooden home, Crow led the way and prepared a seat for them.“Sila, the hidden quest for you will be available at midnight tomorrow. For now, you can take a look around the valley, or practice in a faraway backyard. Just follow the route and you will see it.”“Thank you, Mister Crow.”Listening to the conversation, Sanon politely cut in. “Why don’t you use this time to practice Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws?”Sila was troubled. “About that, I think two days won’t be enough for it. Can I practice it once I am done with the quest, sir?”“For Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, if you’re good at remembering, two days are enough for performing its martial moves. But if you plan to master it, even a year wouldn’t be enough.”Sila immediately understood what Sanon was trying to tell him. Even for Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps that Sila had learned from Wu Ming, witnessing the difference of skill between himself and Sangdao, not to mention compared to Wu Ming’s level of skill, he wouldn’t dare say that he had mastered it.“Among the three arts, this art seems to have the lowest compatibility with you so I suggest you learn about its foundation first and study the rest later by yourself.”“Learn by myself?” Sila frowned.He had to spend weeks practicing Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps under Wu Ming’s personal guidance for him to be able to use it in actual combats. However, Sanon suggested that he learn Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, which seemed to be equally complex, by himself?Sanon nodded. “My teaching method is letting my disciples learn by themselves and giving pointers after that. Just ask me if you stumble on anything.”Giving it a thought, Sila indeed wanted to know more about Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. Based off of what he heard from Wu Ming, Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps, Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, and Nine Sun-Melting-Fists are all about martial moves that require experience for using them well, unlike Tiger Dragon Qi which was a pure qi art without any martial moves.A profound art that is built around martial moves is easy to practice but is not enough to become truly powerful. The profound practitioners will have to master martial moves and then the inner force will naturally build up as they grow older. Most profound practitioners start with this method, including Independent NPCs. Aside from having a visible result as soon as they have attained some mastery over the martial arts, they can develop martial moves further using their own experience.On the contrary, some profound practitioners start by building up their inner force first. Kiryu’s Tiger Dragon Qi and Poluk’s Genesis Punch fall in this category. For these profound arts, they are hard to practice but you will easily become powerful once you master it. For profound practitioners to practice this way, they will have to become aware of the existence of their inner force and build it up by letting it flow throughout their body. Once a sufficient amount of inner force was built up, just a straight punch strengthened with qi would be enough to compensate for the lack of martial moves.
[T/N: Think of them as practicing real-life traditional martial arts (Judo, Karate, Boxing, etc.) versus building up real-life inner force. The former gives a visible result (at least your ability in self-defense gets stronger) while the latter isn’t guaranteed to succeed (but if you were to succeed, you will have a physique similar to that of a character from a wuxia novel).]
In fact, the number should be lower than this since all Sila had learned was qi circulation. For Tiger Dragon Qi, the art is detailed to the point where each movement requires a slightly different qi circulation in each organ. Nevertheless, Sila had understood Formless Soldier quite well, enabling him to use both hardening and softening attributes from the beginning, so the system evaluated that his mastery was around this level.Sila exited the house and followed a narrow road which led him to the inner part of the valley. Sanon was waiting for him at the end of the road.“Are you ready?” Sanon said to Sila.“Yes, sir. I’m ready. You can start anytime.”Sanon fell silent for a moment. “Before that, there is something I need to tell you. It’s something that you need to know prior to studying under my guidance.”Since Sanon might try to tell him some tips regarding martial arts, Sila kept quiet and attentively waited for Sanon to continue.Sanon remained silent for another short while before steeling himself and speaking.“I’m Montra's teacher.”
Chapter 118: Six Moon-Grabbing-ClawsThe backyard in Madmen's Valley, a.k.a. the Valley of Immortals, fell into complete silence. Hearing Sanon’s statement, many inexplicable emotions surged within Sila, threatening to burst out. His mind wanted to scream something, but his body was stiff and unmoving.A gust of wind sent a tree leaf drifting through the space between them, level with their faces.“What did you just say, sir?” Sila asked to ensure that he didn’t hear it wrong.“I’m Montra’s teacher.” Sanon repeated himself and waited for Sila’s reaction.“What do you mean?” There was a slight change in Sila’s expression, which Sanon could notice.“It means I’m the one who taught Montra martial arts. Can you tell me which part you didn’t understand?”“That’s not what I meant. What is going on? How come you are Montra’s teacher?”“Sila’s question can be interpreted in many ways. I won’t be able to answer it if you don’t ask clearly.”“Then, since you are Montra’s teacher, why do you want to teach me?”“I can’t tell you that.” Sanon’s reply caused Sila to frown.“Do you know what Montra has done to me?” Sila tried to probe Sanon.“I know.”“Do you know Teacher Mora?”“I know.”“Do you know where he is?”“I know.”“In that case, where is he?”“I can’t tell you that.”“Why can’t you tell me?”“I can’t tell you that.”“...What is this about?”“Sila will come to know that when the time has come.”
It was this phrase again. The phrase that everyone always used to tell him when they knew something while Sila knew nothing.“When?”“Soon.”Enough with these answers. Sila knew nothing more from the conversation with Sanon as almost all of his answers were ‘I can’t tell you’.Sila could tell that this man didn’t have any malice. Sanon might even be a friend of his teacher, Mora. However, this man was like Sangdao, knowing something but choosing not to tell him.He didn’t understand why everyone had to keep him in the dark.Sila wanted to confirm whether all these things were connected to what he had suspected it to be. Thus, his next question was:“What is the Wulin Masters Association?”It worked. Sanon didn’t respond immediately like per usual but instead fell into silence as if he was pondering how Sila came to know of it.With this, Sila knew that his guess was right on the mark and planned to leave this place. Despite him wanting to learn Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws as the nameless elder had recommended, Sanon kept something a secret from him and that meant both of them had yet to trust each other. Because of this, Sila wouldn’t be able to completely focus on learning a martial art from Sanon.Anyway, Sila still had Tiger Dragon Qi left for practice. If he mastered it, he believed that he wouldn’t be inferior to anyone.“Where did you learn about the Wulin Masters Association?” Sanon asked after keeping quiet for some time.“I can’t tell you that,” Sila replied with the same answer he had gotten from Sanon.Sanon sighed as he didn’t know how much Sila knew. He called out to Sila once he noticed that Sila was about to leave.“Where are you going?”“I’m going to practice my own skill. I have a quest to do in two days.” Sila stopped his feet but refused to turn his head back to Sanon.“Is it because I’m Montra’s teacher?”“That’s not it. Personally, I think that you’re not a bad person. A disciple is a disciple, a teacher is a teacher. The enmity between me and Montra isn’t related to you. It’s just that, not knowing the reason you want to impart your martial art to me causes me to feel doubtful. I think I’m being used so I decided not to learn from you.”Sanon thought about it for a while. “Umm. That's logical. How about this? I will not teach you anything, but I will give you a book about this martial art so you can learn it by yourself for two days. How much you can learn will depend on you. If we do it this way, it will not count as you learning under me since you will be learning the art on your own.”Hearing Sanon’s proposal, Sila frowned. “Why do you want me to learn the art this badly?”“You will come to know that... soon.”“Why do I have to accept your offer?”“If you accept to learn it, I will let you meet Mora. Deal?”“Where is my teacher?”“He is in the game at the moment. How about it? Please choose wisely.”From Bluebird’s prediction and all those clues Sila had gotten, he could guess by himself that his teacher should be in the game as well. However, listening to it clearly like this made Sila feel that his goal had come closer.For Sila, nothing was more important than his teacher.“I accept your offer.” That was Sila’s reply.Sanon nodded and took a book out of his pocket. It wasn’t an in-game secret scroll but a normal notebook that is usually used to write information down, like the Tiger Dragon Qi book that Sila owned. He tossed it to Sila, which Sila caught without looking back.Written on the cover of the book was ‘Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’.“Then, please excuse me.” Sanon teleported away from the backyard and left Sila alone.Holding the book in his hand, Sila’s brain started to process many things that were likely to link to the Wulin Masters Association.
Something unbeknownst to him was surely happening in the background.Now, Sila was beginning to question if his fateful encounter with the nameless elder was actually a coincidence.
Also, considering the possibility that Sangdao was a part of this matter brought sadness to Sila’s heart.Recalling the time he spent with Sangdao, Sila couldn’t tell anymore whether what he had experienced was true or false. Was it possible that the Sangdao who soothed his mind didn’t really exist? The truth might be that she was just a complete stranger telling him lies coated in sweet words.He wasn’t sure whether Sangdao had approached him because she wanted to get to know him or if she just wanted to observe him closely.Sometimes, Sila wished that the world was less complicated. It would be better if he could just keep living in that moment near Misty Valley.“Evening Near Misty Valley? Fufu. In that case, The me right now is ‘Alone in the Valley of Immortals’, huh?” Sila ridiculed himself with sarcasm.Well, recalling this art enabled Sila’s mind to calm down. He decided to leave unnecessary thoughts for later. The important thing for him right now was moving forward, step by step. With time he would eventually be able to discern Sangdao’s true personality.Sila opened the Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws book and slowly read through it, page by page, without practicing it yet.The art consisted of many moves, starting with six but extending to thousands. Most of the book was about explaining how to choose the most suitable martial move for each situation.Sila could divide the contents into three parts. The first part explained the six main techniques of the martial art. The middle part explained the thousands of martial moves. Lastly, the final part explained how to polish the art after you have built up your inner force.All in all, this book was very thick, comparable to a telephone directory. Sila closed it and took a look at the spine of the book only to see that the thickness of the book was strangely thin. Still confused about this, Sila finally dismissed it as a setting in the game.Sila ultimately grasped the main differences between martial arts and qi arts. For martial arts, they tend to be complex and detailed, but easy to follow. On the other hand, for qi arts, they are simple, yet complex when initializing. They are hard to practice but the practitioners wouldn’t need to think about how to properly move their body since the flow of qi itself will naturally guide them.He suspected that the contents of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps would be very detailed like this book as well.This kind of art wasn’t something people could practice within two days.The nameless elder had once speculated that Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws would be the least compatible art for Sila, and Sila had to admit that. Because, after he was done reading for five hours, Sila thought his understanding toward this art was even less than a tenth of what it was about, especially in the middle part which explained complex martial moves depending on situations.Sila held his head with his hands. The words ‘How much you can learn will depend on you’ of Sanon sounded like contempt to Sila now.“For this kind of art, you will need many years in order to master it. Two days are obviously not enough.” Sila muttered to himself.The parts that Sila could make some sense of were the first part that was about six main techniques and the last part that was about practically using the art.The reason why the first part was easy was because it covered the basics of the art. The reason why the last part was easy was because it was about real actions.“‘The arts are unchanging while humans are living.’ Teacher Mora always told me this.”Since Mora had never taught Sila any martial moves, this phrase was like Sila’s catchphrase.After another hour had passed, Sila could finally decide how he would practice this martial art. It was a method that would make Sanon vomit blood if he heard it.The method was for him to completely skip over the precious middle part of the art and put his mind into the first part while remembering the last part for future reference to use with Tiger Dragon Qi.If he could at least understand the first and last parts of the art, later, he would be able to connect the dots and create his own version of the middle part of the art.Once he had decided to do it like this, Sila reentered the bedroom and began to put his focus into reading. Despite how Sila wasn’t a reading expert, he could somewhat summarize the basics of the art. This first part was more about understanding rather than memorising, so he was somehow able to do it well.Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws is the perfect art for defense. Just two of our hands are enough to grasp even the things which people consider impossible to grab. The concept of this art is: soft subdues hard and slow beats fast.Being fast means acting speedily while being slow means constantly changing. The slower you move, the more subtle changes you can make to your strike. The important thing is that we are slow, yet always a step ahead of our opponents. The important thing is that we are slow, yet always a step ahead of our opponents. Once the opponent’s action changes, we change ours accordingly. Read the opponent’s moves and predict them.The important features of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws are two feet, two hands, and cleverness.Choosing the martial move that is the most suitable for the situation takes priority. /Read all of the hand movements on pages 18 - 1,236./Your two feet need to stand firmly on the ground. /Read Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ placements of feet on pages 1,237 - 1,238./As for cleverness, it means the ability to predict and read the situation ahead of what is currently happening. /Read how to use each martial move in different situations on pages 1,239 - 2,536./Just looking at the number of pages made Sila feel tired. It was fortunate that he had decided to abandon it. Well, the placement of feet was covered over only two pages, so he decided to read there.After he had read those two pages, Sila was confused over the peculiar choice of words, like waxing and waning moon, that appeared there. The only thing that Sila could understand was that the practitioner needs to stand firmly on the ground to prepare themselves for any upcoming changes.As for those waxing and waning moons, Sila closed his eyes and recalled Kawin’s movements when they fought against each other, then summarized that they were about dragging and rotating the feet.“Why don’t they write in a way that is easier to understand?” Sila scratched his head as he was skeptical. He would have a headache if it wasn’t for the fact that he had the match with Kawin as a reference.Sila stood up and tried to imitate Kawin’s movements. Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ footwork wasn’t hard compared to Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps’. The important thing was to move at the right time.Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps’ footwork was used to move from place to place while Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ was only used when an attack arrived.Sila followed the instructions in the illustration for two hours until he gave himself a passing grade, though he was still unfamiliar with dragging his feet.The main techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws consisted of: stop, weaken, parry, spin, migrate, and combine, totaling six techniques. Each technique branches off and becomes hundreds of martial moves. Luckily, there were explanations for each technique before the book mentioned the martial moves.Sila read their summarized explanations before flipping through the pages where all martial moves were explained. Well, he just skimmed through the illustrations without reading any of their detailed descriptions. Hundreds of pages of descriptions were shortened to just a few by Sila.Many hours passed and the morning of the next day arrived. At long last, Sila could lay down his own version of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws based on his understanding of the book. It could be said that it was the work of Sila’s talent; since his teacher didn’t impart any martial arts to Sila, self-learning through actual combat and comprehending his opponents’ movements were things that Sila always did.For Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, all he did was relating the knowledge in the book to Kawin’s movements and coming up with his own idea of the art. Unexpectedly, fighting against Kawin ended up benefiting him.The Stop technique means directly stopping the opponent’s movements. It is often used when the opponent’s attack is easily predicted or not too powerful. This technique can put a complete stop to the opponent’s actions. For instance, how Kawin grabbed his hidden weapons.The Weaken technique means debilitating the opponent’s attacks by aiming at the source of the opponent’s action. For example, instead of blocking a fist head-on, we can counterattack at the opponent’s shoulder to weaken the fist. This technique can be followed by the stop technique.The Parry technique means causing the opponent’s attack to miss its target by using a little amount of force. This technique heavily relates to Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ footwork. The principle is redirecting the opponent’s attacks.The Spin technique means imagining yourself as the center of a sphere and forcing the opponents to circle around you. Philosophically speaking, the circle is the perfect shape. It is also the shape that is the most balanced and suitable for defense.The Migrate technique means moving with opponent’s flow. If the attack is too strong, do not forcefully block it but rather rely on spinning, parrying, and weakening to let yourself flow with the opponent’s attack. Act like you are a willow tree fluttering in the wind. This technique was another one that Sila needed to recall Kawin’s movements in order to understand. When they traded blows, Kawin migrated Sila’s power to work against him. Kawin himself only acted as a medium. That was why Kawin didn’t seem as tired as he should be.The last technique of the art is the Combine technique. It is the only technique that is about using the user’s own power to attack the opponent. The concept is reinforcing your strike with the opponent’s to attack him. Sila could picture this technique clearly as it was what Kawin used to gain victory over him.As he had already summarized all six techniques in his own way, Sila stood still and closed his eyes. His brain imagined Kawin’s movements and his hands moved slowly in a circle. He was flicking his wrists clockwise together, anti-clockwise together, then flicking them in different directions. Sila did this to familiarize his body with spinning in a circle as he could tell that the core principle of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws was circular movement.Sila practiced the basic techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws all day and all night. He spent all his time practicing. When he had to take a break, he would read the last part of the book while circulating Tiger Dragon Qi to release his fatigue. For the record, he was currently focusing on the tiger attribute as he believed it was compatible with Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws.A big, full moon was hanging in the sky, out of the window.Sila gently flicked his wrist, drawing a circle. Although the moon seemed to be in a faraway place, it now appeared to him that it was very close and he might be able to grab it with his claw.
Response to Feedback
There are both positive and negative reviews on NovelUpdate.Honestly, I am very thankful for all of the reviews; at least they are telling me there are people out there interested in the translation.
With that in mind, I would like to respond to some of the negative points.At the very least, I think it will let you know what you can expect from MSO in the future.
Please allow me to explain in a bullet point manner.
1. Some NPCs are controlled by a human, instead of an in-game AI.
- I won’t tell you that it's wrong for anyone to assume that this trope is an indicator that the VRMMO novel is ‘badly written’, because I myself tend to think so. True enough, I would get irritated if the GM joined the game and broke the balance, messed with the MC, or favored the MC. Anyway, I think it’s not fair to say that it’s an ‘absolutely bad’ move of the author if he knows what he’s doing.
2. Too much Deus Ex Machina.
- I admit that there are such instances in MSO, though I also think it’s quite a common trope in fantasy novels that is hard to avoid. No, I don’t want to dismiss it as ‘it’s unavoidable’. In fact, I even agree with some reviews that pointed out the excessiveness of the luck factor. I must say that even I think some of the author’s decisions were poorly handled due to his inexperience as a writer at the beginning of the novel. I personally believe that he could reduce the amount of it by several times if he were to rewrite it. Well, it’s all in the past, so it’s up to you if you accept that he was inexperienced at the time as a valid reason or not.
3. MC is very dumb and too naive.
- Everyone agrees with that. Lol. But, believe me, he will grow both physically and mentally. I really hope you wait for that moment.
4. Characters are quite shallow with no depth.
- Well, I can only say that, as the story progresses, not only the MC but all of the important characters also grow and show more depth.
5. It’s just a typical VRMMO novel. The story is very linear.
- It might be true that the story is quite linear, but trust me. There are a lot of unexpected developments that have yet to happen. Even though many parts of the story are linear, there will be a lot of epic sidetracks waiting for you to read.
All in all, I would like to motivate you to continue reading to see all the good parts that I believe you will enjoy, though I understand if you choose to stop if you think it’s not worth your time (*sob*). Anyway, thank you for reading all of this! Hope you enjoy the translation!
Sinless and the team
Chapter 120: A Monster in a Full Moon Night - Last PartThere are many legends regarding rebirth and gaining immortality. Monster’s Soul is a quest that replicates one of those tales.There is a certain legend explaining that, for a mortal to step into the realm of immortality, one’s body and mind will be split into two. One is the god, representing the purity, and the other is the demon, representing the malignancy. Both existences cannot coexist so each part of the mortal will have to fight each other. If the purity wins, there will be another god joining the realm of gods. Otherwise, if the malignancy wins, there will be another demon joining the demon realm.In the instant when Sila’s fist was about to connect with Moon Reflecting Mirror, Sila was aware that he had been lured into a trap. The plan to provoke the opponent to attack so he could counterattack was always his plan, but now the monster used it against him.This fist was reinforced with his maximum power so he was aware that he couldn’t retract the power in time. Thus, instead of retracting the power back, he chose to accelerate his speed to narrow the distance. This fist belonged to him so he was well aware at what point it would be able to unleash its full potential.Narrowing the distance could be considered an application of the Weaken technique of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws; advancing to the source of the power instead of facing it directly.The only qi-type power that Sila didn’t include in this attack was Formless Soldier. Ever since he was able to use Tiger Dragon Qi, he had been using it as his base power as its performance was better.Thus, he activated Formless Soldier at this moment to harden his body and soften his internal organs. He also made his body lighter to flow with the wind, lessening the impact. This, again, counted as the Migrate technique.Sila’s body intensely clashed against the power of the fist and was blown away. Although he was severely injured, he was glad. The fact that there was an impact meant Genesis Punch hadn’t successfully launched its full potential. The distance that was off caused him to be blown backward from the impact instead of being turned into dust on the spot.Unexpectedly, the seemingly useless Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws had saved Sila’s life in a moment of crisis.He sighed and activated the softness attribute of Tiger Dragon Qi to create a soft cushion behind his back, preventing himself from being slammed into the cave’s wall.Upset that its plan to kill Sila had failed, the monster furiously glared at him.Sila circulated Immortal Qi and activated his new fusion skill, Unblemished Cool Breeze, to heal his body. His eyes shot back at his inner self.As it wasn’t clothing designed to directly receive attacks, his Unjust Wuxia Clothing was torn apart since it couldn’t take all of the damage. Sila’s upper body was laid bare and there was a big, bleeding wound on his chest, though the wound was quickly healed.Sila controlled his breathing to calm his mind.
‘Do not let yourself be drawn into the opponent’s flow’. In this case, his opponent was his own soul. He could regain his composure in no time since no one would know him better than himself.“You can’t take the truth, huh, Sila? Nunthima is like Sangdao. She approached us only to observe. Once she was done, she left!”“Nunthima came to speak to me honestly. She herself didn’t want to do that,” replied Sila.“Only one day before the day of the match?! What did she expect? Did she expect us to understand her, accept what she said, and go fight Montra without shackles around our heart?! That’s clearly a strategy! Are you a fool to not notice that?!!”“I can tell that she was sincere. That much is enough for me to feel content.”“You can tell? You are content? Hahaha! What a joke, Sila. I’m you. Don’t tell me you didn’t fret over this at all when you fought against Montra. Don’t tell me you fought without the matters regarding Teacher Mora and Nunthima in your head. Don’t tell me you fought sincerely without the flames of vengeance in your heart.”Sila shut his mouth. His inner self was right. Humans weren’t saints, and that included him. Although Sila felt content that Nunthima came clean, deep down he couldn’t help but feel betrayed.Sila had been raised in the dojo. His life was all about practicing. Practicing for what purpose? He didn’t know.One day, he met her, Nunthima. She came to join the dojo and became his Junior Sister. This woman made a slight change to his life. The two of them were secretly in a relationship. From that point on, Sila felt like his life finally had some meaning.Even when his teacher went missing and the disciples stopped coming to the dojo, she was still with him.Until that day came, a day before his match against Montra. She confessed something to him. It was the truth that extremely affected Sila’s state of mind.She said that she could no longer keep it a secret from him, that it was Montra who had sent her to befriend Sila and spy on him. She said that she couldn’t bring herself to stay with Sila who was sincere to her while she was deceiving him.The moment when she turned her back to Sila and left was still vivid in his memory. There was no goodbye. There was no holding her back. Sila returned to being lonely once again.So, it would be a lie if he said he only resented Montra for what happened to his teacher. He resented Montra for what happened with Nunthima as well.Sila adjusted his breathing again. He wasn’t as stupid about love as Bluebird constantly claimed he was, but that event caused him to build a wall to protect his heart. Sila was not ready to have someone again until he could put an end to this matter. His naivety was something he relied on to prevent himself from falling in love.“Pretending to not know. Pretending to not care. It was easier that way, right, Sila?” His inner self continued.“I’m not pretending or anything. That naivety is also a part of me.”“You could change yourself, but you decide not to. You didn’t dare to change. You’re afraid. You fear to experience the same feeling back then.”Listening to it talking in a circle, Sila felt that something was off. Something was surely wrong but he couldn’t tell what it was.Sila took a deep breath and think about it calmly. If it was him and he was it, what was it that was unnatural?‘Why didn’t it attack me?’ This was the answer Sila came up with.His inner self was cursing and swearing at him nonstop as if it intended to stall for time. It was unnatural. He was currently in the middle of the quest and he only had to wait for the time to be up. The one who should be stalling for time should be him, not it.Sila looked at the sky above. An hour should have passed but the positions of the stars had not changed at all. He had been forced to study the stars when he was being taught Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. Thus, even if he wasn’t an expert at astronomy, he could somehow tell that.He took several, eccentric steps forward and approached the black monster. His body was circulating Tiger Dragon Qi while his right fist, reinforced with qi, was thrown at the monster’s blind spot.His inner self’s left arm drew an arc with the power of Moon Reflecting Mirror while reinforcing psychic power into its right hand. It shaped its hand like a claw and pounced on Sila.This time, however, Sila was prepared. His fist had yet to connect as he had slight enlightenment about ‘being slow means an act of unending changes’. His fist suddenly changed its course halfway.Sila opened his hand and used his palm to deflect the incoming claw. Then, he depended on the impact to rotate his body and strike his left arm at his opponent.His inner self took the attack and had to retreat. Meanwhile, the eroding psychic power damaged Sila’s right hand and corroded his muscles. Sila quickly circulated qi to heal his wound.“As expected. You are the other half of me who was born from psychic power. It was different than when I took the Way of Slime’s ordeal. While I can’t use psychic power, you can’t use qi. My aptitude over qi is better than psychic energy, so of course, I’m stronger than you.”His inner self glared back at Sila with its gleaming red eyes. The psychic power was being emitted from its body like water steam.“Despite the fact that you are me, you didn’t take the action that I would take. You didn’t attack me and were even kind enough to wait for me to recover. That means there is some restriction on you. Maybe your power is conditional or you’re waiting for something. No matter what it was, I think I can no longer wait.”“You are too late. I have already swallowed enough of your negative feelings.”His inner self jumped at him. Although it was a simple movement, Sila had to admit that the power he felt from it was overwhelming. However, instead of resisting the attack, Sila chose to disperse all of his power and leave himself defenseless.“This is not real.”The claw penetrated Sila but brought him no harm. His inner self panicked and tried to attack Sila several more times but they were all useless. All attacks flew right through Sila’s body.“Although we are the same person, you are only a part of me, not all of me.”“It’s not true!! I’m stronger than you. My psychic power is the strongest!! I will swallow. I will grow. I will destroy!!”“A calm mind is the strongest psychic... Someone has taught me that, and it is the core principle of Moon Reflecting Mirror. A calm mind that is as clear as a pond without any ripples. A psychic power that will reflect everything back without lies.”The body of the monster shrinked drastically. Its color was also fading.“This was never a trial to test my battle prowess. It is a trial to test my mind. The weaker my mind becomes, the stronger you will become. On the other hand, if my mind is calm and clear, you will weaken.”Sila stopped for a second while looking at the body of a monster that was about to vanish.“The monster’s soul is a part of me.”As he accepted this fact, its body disappeared and Sila’s body suddenly became heavily. His eyelids closed. And when he came to his senses again, he found that he was sleeping on the ground. His clothing was still intact.That just now was a battle within his mind.He stood up and looked into the pond. The pond was full of water, reflecting a moon in the sky, though the moon was no longer full.The system sound went off.You have completed the hidden quest, Monster’s Soul, and gotten a psychic-type skill: Dark Psychic Corrosion, Level 89.For the record, the skill you obtained from this hidden quest is counted as a secondary energy type. You will not be able to obtain some psychic-type skills. Please refer to your system window for more information.You have spent 51 hours, 32 minutes, and 25 seconds to accomplish the hidden quest.He had spent more than two days to finish the quest even though his perception of time told him that it shouldn't have been more than a few hours. He checked the current time with his system window and found that it was exactly like the system told him.Sila walked around and found that there was no exit from this place. It seemed he would have to wait until sunrise before he could leave, like the system had said. So, he decided to sit on the rock and study his newly acquired psychic-type skill.First things first, Sila tried to circulate qi throughout his body to reaffirm that the psychic power that had clogged in his body was indeed gone. It had now completely become a part of Sila. As his power was no longer clogged up, Sila hoped that he would be able to polish his qi further in the future.Dark Psychic Corrosion, Level 89.It is the nature of your psychic power which has the ability to corrode and consume. The more it swallows, the stronger its corrosive ability will become. It is a dangerous psychic power to have. Please use with caution.Sila decided to give it a try and materialized his psychic power on his right palm. The black steam appeared on it and, suddenly, Sila felt great pain. The psychic power was eating away his flesh.“Ouch!” Sila gritted his teeth and endured the pain. He resisted it by cladding his hand with qi but it was futile. The psychic power swallowed his qi and absorbed it to strengthen its corrosive power. Sila’s hand eroded at a faster pace and the pain run through his arm.He didn’t know what to do so he slammed his hand against the ground.The impact didn’t seem to be excessive but the black psychic power moved to the nearby ground and wore into the soil.Sila’s arm was covered in blood and the wound on his right arm was so deep that his bone was visible. He took a deep, long breath to bear the pain while circulating Immortal Qi with Unblemished Cool Breeze to heal the wound.“I can’t even use it normally. Will it always harm the user every time?”The wound was slowly closing. Sila decided to postpone thinking about his psychic power for later. His understanding of psychic skills was lacking so he planned to ask for advice.Sila moved his arm back and forth to ensure that it was completely healed. It would take several more hours until morning came so he decided to kill his time by studying Tiger Dragon Qi.The previous battle inspired Sila to adapt the six main techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws with Tiger Dragon Qi.“Although it happened in my mind, I was able to use the soft attribute splendidly and could change my action in the middle of the attack. It is similar to the concept of Tiger’s Palm that I’m still unable to put into use.”Sila flicked his wrists slowly while circulating the tiger attribute of Tiger Dragon Qi and reading the pages about how to specifically circulate qi to perform Tiger's Palm in the book.“The tiger hides in the wild, moves in secrecy, slowly approaches its prey, then successfully hunts them down in a single attempt.”He practiced it for a long time. Despite believing that he was a step closer to success, he was still unable to unleash its power.It was also worth mentioning that, during his fight against his inner self, his coincidental successful use of Tiger's Palm couldn’t be said to be perfect. Although it was indeed in line with the ‘changing’ concept mentioned in the book, the power that he unleashed was nowhere near as powerful as the book described.“Or should I practice Dragon’s Fist first? Well... I don’t know whether practicing them simultaneously will be the good call. These sub-arts also require different methods of qi circulation.”Tiger Dragon Qi consists of three offensive sub-arts that require different ways of qi circulation. They are Dragon’s Fist and Tiger's Palm while the last one is the result of the two aforementioned sub-arts combined together. It is called Tiger-Dragon Fusion.Dragon’s Fist has a hard attribute, aiming to deal external damage to the opponent, while Tiger's Palm has a soft attribute, aiming to deal damage internally. These two sub-arts share some aspects with Genesis Punch, though Poluk didn’t break his art down that much until he was asked to downgrade his art to Formless Soldier.Lastly, Tiger-Dragon Fusion can only be practiced when the user has mastered both Dragon’s Fist and Tiger's Palm. Thus, Sila saved his interest in it for later.“Well, Tiger's Palm is more compatible with my Weapon Subduing Fist and I also have the knowledge of the six techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws to support it. Let’s just stick with the tiger attribute for a little while longer.”Sila committed the part about Tiger's Palm to his memory.
He reviewed the knowledge about Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws in his head while simultaneously imagining the slow movements of Kawin.He followed the slow movements in his imagination as he wanted to correctly use the art first before gradually increasing the speed later.The sweat was dripping on the ground. Sila had fully immersed himself in practice. Soon, the images of Kawin in his mind faded away as he started to develop his own version of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. Even though it wasn’t a perfect version, it was unique to him and was still practical.Sometimes Sila’s fingers pointed forward, and sometimes his fingers bent like tiger’s claws. These gestures came to him naturally as his qi was the one that guided him through the motions to bring out the most power from his body.Sila was once again in awe and had a profound respect for Kiryu.He approached the stone wall and placed his palm on it. His fingers easily sank into it.He then tried to drag his hand along the wall. Once he flicked his wrist, the claw marks clearly appeared on it.“It might not work well against experts, but at least it can be used in actual combat.” Sila was confident that the current him could hold his ground if he were to face off against Kawin again.There was a subtle sound behind his back. Sila looked at the sky and found that morning had come.The sunlight pointed toward the exit. Sila calmly walked along the route while circulating qi. The level of his Tiger Dragon Qi had reached 40.When Sila got out of the cave, he saw a certain man standing in the distance.Currently, his mind was calm and reveling in himself for the growth of his ability. This Cave of Immortals changed Sila more than he had anticipated.He always imagined what he would do when the time came. However, once the time really came, he just approached the man and greeted him like usual.
“Hello, Teacher Mora. It's been quite a while.”
Chapter 122: Nine Sun-Melting-FistsSila sat down on the stone floor of the backyard that was deep within Madmen's Valley, located between the village zone and the Cave of Immortals. In his hand was the Nine Sun-Melting-Fists book. He divided its contents into two parts; the first was basic understanding and the latter was full of illustrations without any explanations.Nine Sun-Melting-Fists is an offensive art. Every part of the user can be used as a weapon. Every movement needs to be able to grant victory or at least open up a chance for the user to continue attacking. The concept of this art is ‘fast beats slow’. The most simple attack can bring out the most effective result. Every action needs to be decisive, powerful, fast, and able to snatch every chance of victory from the opponents. What awaits them is only defeat.After reading the introduction of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists in detail, Sila found that he could understand it better than Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. His teacher always told him that chances are something we need to create ourselves, so the art that aims to wait for an opportunity to counterattack like Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws was hard for him. In the end, he adapted Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws to use semi-offensively instead of completely defensively like it should be.‘Sun-Melting’ means your attacks are more powerful than the sun itself. Every action is intense, violent, and aggressive like you can melt even the sun with your moves. Number nine means nine significant changes. The martial move starts at nine basic moves, then every move can be changed in nine possible ways, totaling ninety moves.Sila flipped through the book and found that it had exactly one hundred pages. After he had read through them, he noticed that the martial move shown in the first page of every ten pages would be the basic, followed by similar movements for the next nine pages, then continued with the same pattern.
As for the last page, it contained only a single sentence of his teacher’s handwriting.
“Understand the box to think outside the box. The arts are unchanging while humans are living.”Sila’s lips curled into a smile. As expected from his teacher. From the start, the person who taught him not to heavily rely on specific movements was none other than Mora.Based on his experience with Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, Sila discovered the placements of feet was as important as the martial moves themselves since they say a lot about the art. Be it the attack range, the flow of inner force, or how to correctly pose.Thus, if he could properly know where to place his feet and what footwork to perform according to the art, the rest of the art’s movements will come easily.In the illustrations, there were only the images of footprints scattered around on many pages without numbers indicating where to start.It even seemed that some movements required lifting up the foot so some footprints almost didn’t make sense to him. Luckily, the movements of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps were far more complex, otherwise, he wouldn’t understand a thing.“For Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps, although there are numerous possibilities for how to move, the beginning and the end always connect to each other. In that case, I need to hypothesize that each footstep of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists connects to each other. It doesn’t matter where I start, but I have to end my movement where I start.”Sila started from the seemingly most simple footprint and tried guessing which footprint seemed reasonable to take next. However, after he had tried for almost three hours, he realized that it was much harder than he had anticipated.Sila was tired so he took a rest by circulating qi. He chose to go with the dragon attribute as it was more compatible with Nine Sun-Melting-Fists.“Well, I better increase my understanding of the principle of the art first. I will postpone studying the footwork for later.”Sila flipped the pages back, planning to use his learning method that worked when studying Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. Nevertheless, the important factor that had enabled him to understand Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws was the fact that he had faced off against Kawin. As for Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, he had no example to follow at all.Disappointingly, he couldn’t find anything useful in the rest of the book. There were only repeating remarks explaining the grandness of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists which was of no use to Sila.He leaned on a rock while keeping his eyes on the contents of the book. Six hours had passed but Sila’s understanding toward Nine Sun-Melting-Fists still had no progress.“Didn’t Teacher Wu Ming say that Nine Sun-Melting-Fists is the most suitable to me? The progress is even less than Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws when that was supposed to be the most difficult.”As he was at his wits’ end, Sila’s thoughts wandered to this morning when he could utilize Tiger Dragon Qi with Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws.He bent his fingers as claws according to Kiryu’s principle of using the flow of qi to lead the movements.He was doing this for a while until the spark of an idea came to his mind. He immediately jumped up.“I see! I was so stupid. It is the same principle.”Sila flipped the pages between the contents about martial moves and about placements of feet. He discovered that his idea was spot on as he could understand almost all of the footwork.“Even though it’s true that the placement of the feet indicates attack range, the flow of inner force, and how to move, at the same time, the martial moves also reflect how the user should move their feet. So, if I compare them to each other, I can see which placements are suitable for which martial moves,” Sila said delightfully.As there was progress, his motivation to learn the art intensified. Sila still didn’t focus on martial moves but used them as references to increase his understanding of the footwork.He had practiced all of the footwork for three hours straight. Now, Sila could replicate all of the footwork in the book, though the speed was still lacking as he had yet to memorize the contents. Being slow is fatal for a user of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, so he decided to close the book and began to practice the footwork again without relying on it.Finally, after another three hours had passed, his body could remember all of the ways the user’s feet should move. Although he wouldn’t call it perfect, he believed that he had mastered about seventy percent of it.The torches around the area automatically lit up. Sila looked at his system window and found that he had already spent more than half of his time yet he was still hadn’t started any of the martial moves.Thus, he sat down on the ground and started circulating qi using the basic method. Although circulating qi using Tiger Dragon Qi’s specific circulation was better, it was more complex. He needed more time to practice so he decided to lessen the time spent circulating qi.As he wasn’t injured anywhere or running low on qi, Sila only needed five minutes to feel refreshed again. It seemed that Shapeless Qi could increase the effectiveness of basic qi circulation as well.Sila started learning the nine basic moves of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists. As they were simply meant for the user to follow the motions, he could learn them relatively easily.The art became harder when each basic move branched out to nine more moves. Aside from the difference in the motions of each move, Sila couldn’t tell what they were supposed to be used for.There were only the illustrations of a practitioner in the book; there were no illustrations of an opponent.The more he practiced, the more Sila felt that the art became easier.Once he practiced the footwork together with the martial moves, the progress went smoothly. There were even some moves that Sila could successfully perform on the first go.Nine more hours passed as Sila had been switching between practicing and resting. Finally, he believed he had mastered about seventy percent of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists.It was different from Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws which he only understood the technique of. For Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, he could understand most of its martial moves.Sila reviewed the art in his head and finally understood why Nine Sun-Melting-Fists didn’t have pages about its practical use.He was curious because he was aware that the martial moves during practice and during actual combat can have different uses.It came to him that the phrase ‘Understand the box to think outside the box. The arts are unchanging while humans are living’ was, in fact, the entirety of the practical content for Nine Sun-Melting-Fists.Since it was a martial art that focused on speed, Sila only needed fifteen minutes to repeat what he had learned once. He continued to repeat all of the movements, significantly lowering the time that he had to take.Now, the flow of Tiger Dragon Qi in Sila’s body circulated on its own.The martial move was strong, while the qi strengthened it further. As a result, his fist slammed into the air, but this time there was an impact.Pa--!!
The sound of an explosion in the air caused Sila to feel surprised. He stopped what he was doing and looked blankly at his own fist.“Dragon’s Fist?”Sila could barely believe his own eyes. He dismissed any thoughts about Nine Sun-Melting-Fists for a while and hurriedly opened the part about Dragon’s Fist in the Tiger Dragon Qi book to read thoroughly.“The dragon shows its head without showing its tail, its roar rumbles the heaven, and its majestic power can completely annihilate its enemies.”As he read the explanation, he was sure that the fist he threw just now was really Dragon’s Fist of Tiger Dragon Qi. The fist that could roar like a dragon and its power was mighty.What made him curious was that he had never practiced Dragon’s Fist, so how could he unleash its power?Sila tried throwing his punch again, hoping to see the air in front of him explode. However, there was only silence and the flicker of flames on torches.“Eh? Why was I able to do it the first time, then?” Sila was skeptical as he tried again many more times, though the result was always failure.While the flow of qi can lead the body’s movement, the movement of the body itself can bring forth the power of inner force. Despite being different methods, different paths, both methods aim for the same destination.Sila was simultaneously studying two methods altogether. Once the day where these paths crossed and became one arrived, he would surpass his old self and join the ranks of top-tier experts.At first, Sila planned to continued studying Dragon’s Fist for a bit longer. However, as he realized that the appointed time with his teacher had come near, he turned his attention back to studying Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, though he still had some hope up for witnessing Dragon’s Fist again.Sadly, it seemed he was too conscious of it so he was unable to show the power of Dragon’s Fist again that night.The sun was rising. Sila started to completely get a hang of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, especially its footwork which he had already mastered.He could tell the differences in footwork techniques between the three arts.Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps’ footwork focused on agility, enabling the user to move freely on a battlefield. Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ focused on redirecting the incoming attack using the user as the core of the sphere. As for Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, as expected from an offensive art, each of its footwork techniques focused on putting the user into a more favorable position for attacking. There were more techniques regarding stepping forward than stepping backward.Sila stood up and circulated qi for the last time before the appointed time arrived.The nameless elder was correct to guess that Nine Sun-Melting-Fists was the most suitable for Sila. Just studying allowed Sila to come up with many more ideas and movements not being described in the book.If he had more time, he would’ve liked to adapt those ideas he had into the art.As he finished practicing, he believed he had come to understand more about his teacher, Mora.Everything Mora had taught Sila, it was laying down the basics so that he could improve when the time came for him to learn the art.Quick wit, body balance, adaptive thinking, outside the box ideas, the ability to gauge distances, and a suitable physique for learning martial arts. All of them were basics for practicing Nine Sun-Melting-Fists.His teacher, Mora, arrived at the appointed time.Sila put his palms together to greet his teacher.“Hello, teacher.” Sila was smiling. Although he hadn’t completely mastered the art, he believed that his current mastery of it could let his teacher feel proud of him.“No need to waste time. Follow me,” said Mora as he led the way.Sila was confused while following his teacher. He was feeling both sad and slighted as he asked,“Could it be that it was like what you told me, Teacher? Being good at the art or not doesn’t matter and Teacher only wants me to be able to use it?”Mora stopped walking and turned his head to Sila. His eyes were gentle, which was a rare sight for Sila.“In addition of being your teacher, I’m more like your father. I’m aware of what you are capable of. The reason why you have come to show me the art means you’re confident in your success. I gave you only one night because I knew you could do it.”Sila was listening intently. Despite the fact that his teacher had raised him as if he was his own son, with his main disciple status, there was not even once that his teacher had called himself father or called Sila his son.“Listen well. The other Elders only want you to obstruct Montra’s plan, but I know you can do more than that. I don’t need to expect anything from you because I know you can surely do it.”“Teacher...”“You also don’t need to make me feel proud of you. Remember this. I am and always will be proud of you.”As he finished his sentence, Mora started walking again. “Now, follow me.”Sila smiled and quickly followed. It was a well-known fact that his teacher was the type of person who wasn’t good at expressing his feelings. All the things his teacher said just now caused Sila’s heart to feel warm.The teacher and disciple pair walked along the stone floor and arrived at the wooden table where Crow had sat and enjoyed sake last night.Now, there were three more people around the table, which were Sanon, Wu Ming, and Sangdao.Both of them approached the table and took their seats. Mora came to sit near Sanon and Wu Ming at one side of the table. As for the other side, there were Crow and Sangdao, so Sila chose to sit next to Crow, who was situated between him and Sangdao.Sangdao showed a dry smile as she knew the meaning behind Sila’s action. She nodded to greet Sila, to which Sila greeted her back expressionlessly.“Crow, this conversation is about the association. Could you please step out?” Mora asked honestly.“Oho. You guys come to talk in my house and you still want to chase the owner of the house away?” Crow grumbled.“Sorry, Crow. Please,” said Sanon.“Fine, fine. I will go shopping outside for an hour before coming back.” Crow pulled out a ticket and teleported away.“Now, Sila. The three of us are the Elders of the Wulin Masters Association. You are currently chosen as the reserve successor. In the case that the current successor fails to carry out his mission, you will get the position of successor immediately.” Sanon suddenly cut to the chase.Sila knew this from Mora so he wasn’t that surprised. However, he felt sorry for Montra who was suddenly dismissed from his position.No matter what, today, he would stop at nothing to acquire the reason for that. Although it was an order from the three Elders, including his teacher, he still needed to know all about this. He wouldn’t be able to fight if he was still uncertain of who was in the wrong.Sanon continued, “Your mission is to do whatever it takes to prevent Montra from obtaining victory in the upcoming war event.”Sila frowned. “Do you mean... all I have to do is prevent Montra from being the victor of the war event?”“That’s right,” curtly replied Sanon.Sila had a feeling that these people didn’t think he had any chance of winning against Montra. Does the phrase ‘do whatever it takes’ imply that he is allowed to use any dirty tricks as long as they make Montra fall?Hearing this, he wasn’t pleased with the Elders at all.“There is something I have to ask first,” said Sila.Everyone stopped. Wu Ming didn’t show any particular reactions. He hadn’t even greeted Sila. As for Mora, he just sat there without saying a word.Thus, Sanon seemed to act like a representative of all the Elders present.He nodded at Sila as he said, “Say it.”“What was the reason for Montra’s dismissal from the successor position?”
This was a key question that Sila wanted the answer for the most. Despite how Montra was his enemy, if the answer he heard implied that Montra was being mistreated, he would do his best to object and not accept the Elders’ order.
Chapter 123: Magic“What was the reason for Montra’s dismissal from the successor position?”As soon as the question came out of Sila’s mouth, Sanon was surprised, while the others didn’t react at all as if they had long anticipated that Sila would ask this question.“Why do you ask, Sila?” Sanon asked back.“Because I want to know whether Montra is being judged fairly by you seniors, or if he is just a mere pawn for the Wulin Masters Association.” Sila almost said ‘a mere pawn like me’ but he stopped as he was considerate of Mora's dignity.Sanon stayed quiet for a while. He had dealt with Sila the least out of the people present, so he still didn’t know Sila’s personality.“Isn’t Montra your enemy? Why do you care about him?”“Even though there is enmity between us, there are still some things that shouldn’t be done even to the enemy.”No one was surprised to hear his reply. Meanwhile, Sanon stayed silent again to reevaluate Sila.Since Sila had been biased and decided not to learn a martial art from him or accept the Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws book, Sanon had been viewing Sila in a slightly negative light. Now, his attitude toward Sila changed for the better.“I don’t see any reason not to tell him. Instead, it will be better for the association as the successor wouldn’t make the same mistake,” said Wu Ming.Sanon argued, “But, the laws clearly state that we are not allowed to inform the successor about this.”“The laws are written by humans. If they do not suit the situation, we can choose to rewrite them, especially for the laws that were written hundreds of years ago,” commented Mora.“Haha, two out of three. Majority rules. You have to admit it, Sanon.” Wu Ming laughed.After thinking about it for a moment, Sanon nodded. “Fine.”He turned his head to Sila and looked into Sila’s eyes as if he wanted to discern Sila’s true character.“The reason is that Montra is going to make the Wulin Masters Association flourish, which clearly conflicts with the objective of the association. The aim of our association is only to pass on the profound arts, preventing them from being lost in history. It shouldn’t be more and shouldn’t be less.”Sila was agape. “What do you mean by making the Wulin Masters Association flourish? Montra still hasn’t done anything, right? How can you tell what will happen in the future?”Sanon shook his head. “We can’t take the risk. The Wulin Masters Association is too important. It will be too late if we fix the problem when Montra has already succeeded the position.”Sila stood up from his seat. “You are accusing Montra of actions that he has not done yet!! Montra still hasn’t done anything wrong!”Sanon sat still and continued. “Sit down. Please trust us that we have made a thorough decision. In addition to being Montra’s teacher, I’m Montra’s father. You can be certain that this decision of us isn’t biased.”“Sit down, Sila,” lightly said Mora, to which Sila obediently complied.Sanon continued, “The mission that we assigned to the successor has a hidden rule known only by a handful of people; we are to evaluate both him and his actions, and, if we decide he is not appropriate for the position of Wulin Lord, we can revoke his right to it. Ironically, because so few people know about it, Montra can easily refute the dismissal order and no one will question it.”Sila was starting to get it. It made sense that there would be an evaluation done in secret.“In that case, I’m to be evaluated as well, right?”“Correct. We have already initially evaluated you though.”
Sila couldn’t help but believe that the initial evaluation was related to Sangdao.During the time that they traveled together, Sangdao had asked him many questions. At that time, he was delighted that Sangdao was interested in what he had been experiencing. However, it turned out to be that way.He felt sad. That’s why he deliberately didn’t look her way. Meanwhile, Sangdao lowered her head without anyone noticing.The conversation returned to what Sila had asked.“In the end, what's your problem with Montra?”Sanon said indifferently, “Monster Soul is a virtual world that replicates our world. The thing that Montra is doing naturally connects to what he plans to do in the future. Sila, what do you think about the Heavenly Dragon Guild?”Sila didn’t reply and continued to listen quietly.“The Heavenly Dragon Guild is the reflection of the future Wulin Masters Association that has Montra as the head.”Sila began to understand what the Elders were trying to imply. The structure of the Heavenly Dragon Guild was grand. Its influence and power was at the top of Monster Soul. Montra was both the strength and weakness of the guild. If one day Montra fell, the entire guild would collapse with him.“But, Monster Soul is a world without rules, isn’t it? It doesn’t guarantee that Montra would do the same in the real world, sirs. This is just a game.”“Precisely because it is a world without rules that we are able to see the true nature of the person. Let me ask you, Sila. If it was you who founded the Heavenly Dragon Guild, do you think the guild that you founded would share the same characteristics with the current Heavenly Dragon Guild?”Sila gave it a thought then replied, “No, sir. Even though it is in a game, I wouldn’t manage my guild that way.”“If we are done with it, let’s depart. I’m so bored with this meeting,” said Wu Ming.“My business in Monster Soul is all finished as well. This should be my last time connecting to it,” said Mora.Sila quickly asked, “Teacher, where are you connecting to the game from?”“All of us NPCs have to log in at the headquarters of the Monster Soul developers. There are special brain scanners that allow us to stay connected to the game for the longest time and there are also medical teams supporting our bodies all the time. Anyway, you should continue staying with Rashane for the time being. I will reclaim our dojo later. For now, just focus on doing your mission.”“In that case, teacher, you can return to our dojo anytime you want. I have already purchased it from the bank.”Mora and Sanon were surprised to hear that Sila could accumulate that much wealth in such a short amount of time. Based on his personality, they thought Sila shouldn’t be good at making money, especially Mora who knew that Sila was quite bad at socialization.The corners of Mora’s lips curled into a smile. “It's been quite a while since we last met. It seems I need to view you in a new light.”“I’m just a little bit luckier than others, sir.” Sila replied humbly. It was true. There was no way he could collect that wealth by himself.“If we have the dojo, things will become easier. Well, no one has visited for a long time so maintenance is needed. I will take care of it. Do not worry, Sila.”“Yes, teacher.”Hearing Sila’s reply, Mora stood up. As his body was being enveloped in the light from teleportation, he didn’t forget to say something to Sila.“Sila, remember this well. As shapeless as the cloud and as intense as the flame. These are the two essences of our Flaming Cloud dojo.”Sila nodded and engraved this teaching into his mind.Meanwhile, Wu Ming also stood up.“I should go as well. You should visit me if you have time, oh, but don’t come too often.” As he finished his sentence, Wu Ming disappeared.Sangdao stood up as well and bowed her head to Sanon to give her respect, before walking away.In the end, only Sila and Sanon remained.“Then, Sila, where do you plan to go next?” asked Sanon.“I will wait for Mister Crow to come back and bid my farewell to him, sir. Then, I will revisit the Single-Horned Dragon Forest and go to Grea City later. I still have something to do there.”Sanon nodded. “The Single-Horned Dragon Forest is a dangerous place so don’t hang out for too long. As for Grea City, it’s currently ownerless and has become like a lawless area. Please be careful.”“Yes, Mister Sanon.”Sanon stood there without going anywhere, causing Sila to feel a bit at loss of what to do, so he kept quiet.Finally, Sanon spoke his mind.“In the future, your fight against Montra is inevitable. So, I want to warn you about something.”“Thank you, Mister Sanon.”“I have many disciples, but the most outstanding ones are Montra, Kawin, and Revin. Sila, you have met Kawin already, right?”Among the three, there was only Revin that Sila still hadn’t had met. And since he didn’t come into contact with anyone, he was unaware that Burapha had already met Revin in Zhongsuyuan City.“Yes, I have met him.” Sila didn’t know whether Sanon was aware that Kawin had aimed for his life, but he decided not to tell Sanon about this.“Among three of them, I would say that Montra is the strongest. As for Kawin and Revin, they have their unique fighting styles so I would say that their ability is on par.”Sila memorized the name Revin. It seemed to him that there was one more formidable enemy on his opponent’s team.“The three of them have been friends since childhood. The trust between them is exceptional. Kawin and Revin are like Montra’s left and right arms. If you plan to shatter Montra’s plan, you will have to first get rid of them.”Sila was restless. If he had to fight against Kawin and someone who was just as strong, how would he have the energy left to fight Montra?“The next thing is, Montra is relying on his successor position to assemble many groups of martial artists to fight for him. That means Montra has a lot of secret forces. Please be wary.”Sila scratched his head as he was skeptical. “I thought he shouldn’t be able to issue any command since he hasn’t become the Wulin Lord yet, yes?”“Some people choose to go with the flow, Sila. Some groups believe that Montra will eventually become the Wulin Lord so they are eager to lend Montra their help in order to curry favor for the future. Of course, they are many groups who don’t care about Montra’s order.”Sanon stopped speaking for a while, letting Sila absorb what he had said, before continuing.“These groups should’ve joined the game around about the same time as you. They tend to lack the ability to utilize in-game skills but they are still a force to be reckoned with as they have practiced martial arts in real life and are getting financial support from the Heavenly Dragon Guild. All in all, it should be correct for me to say that their abilities surpass those of ordinary players.”Sanon’s words reminded Sila of Paiyuan. Indeed, that man seemed to be lacking when it came to utilizing in-game skills. However, his swordsmanship was terrifying. If there were many people like this working with Montra, Sila believed that his chances for winning were too slim.“Lastly, be wary of three of Montra’s magic abilities.”“Magic?” Sila frowned.Obviously, Montra was a magic-type player. Why would Sanon want to warn him to be wary of Montra’s spells?“I know that you’re wondering why I have to warn you. Listen well. I’m not referring to the magic spells in this game. What I mean is Montra's real magic. The magic that enabled him to be called a genius.”“Real magic?” Sila was more confused. Real magic was supposed to exist only in fantasy, wasn’t it?“Most independent NPCs are qi type and psychic type users. Almost none of us are magic types. Do you know why?”Sila shook his head. it came to him that what Sanon said was quite true. Aside from Master Viola, he had never encountered any magic-type NPCs.“In the beginning, the concepts of skills and types didn’t exist in Monster Soul. Be it qi, psychic, or magic, all of them originated from the same thing. The difference between them was only how they were used. Once the beta test came to an end, the concepts of skills and types were implemented based on the profound arts that people used. Do you understand?”“Yeah, I kind of understand, sir. But... magic..?”“Magic type means the art that can’t be categorized as qi or psychic. It could be said that the arts of this type are very unique. When Montra entered this game, he used his personal profound arts and they were categorized as magic type skills. It was the reason Montra selected magic as his energy type.”“Montra’s personal profound arts?” Sila never knew that Montra had his own personal arts.“His first magical ability is his two arts, Heavenly Destiny Fist and Martial Radiance Art. Heavenly Destiny Fist is an art of martial moves that Montra came up on his own by combining his knowledge about several profound arts that could be found in the Wulin Masters Association’s library. He used Sky-Rending Dragon Fist, a martial art from my dojo, as the base and developed it further.“As for Martial Radiance Art, it is an art about inner force. Even I don’t understand this power myself. Montra most certainly deserves to be called a genius. He was only nineteen when he came up with two profound arts on his own. He has spent a year in Monster Soul so I believe that his attainment over these arts should already be perfect.”Just his first magical ability caused Sila to feel so shocked. At the same time, it made him mad. If what Sanon said was the truth, that meant Montra wasn’t on par with him in that match. Montra was holding back in a fight.You have to show you all when you’re in a match. It was a basic courtesy in any official match that every participant needs to respect.It could be said that Montra had looked down on their fight.“If Montra uses in-game magic spells, that means he is still playing the game. But, if he starts to rely on these arts, that will mean he has quit playing and will come at you seriously. Please be wary of this.”Sanon’s words were barely entering Sila’s ears.“The second magical ability of Montra is that he will always be planning ahead. It will be the same during the war event. I’m sure that, even now, Montra is planning something that we can’t possibly imagine. The only ones who know about his plan would be Revin and Kawin. When we start counting one, Montra will already be counting three. You should be wary of this as well.”“Is there another? Ah, the last magical ability, right?” said Sila indifferently as he no longer felt surprised. From the start, Montra had always been superior to him, so it shouldn’t make a difference if there were three more aspects in which he was superior.“His last magical ability is something that only Montra and I know about. Even Kawin and Revin shouldn’t know about it.”Now that piqued Sila’s interest. What was it that was so secret that even Kawin and Revin, Montra’s best friends, were unaware of?Sanon fell into silence for a long time as if he was debating in his mind whether he should tell Sila about this. Nevertheless, he said it in the end.“There was an accident twelve years ago. From that time on, Montra has been incapable of feeling pain.”
Chapter 124: Montra’s Pain
A strong wind was blowing on top of a certain steep cliff that was covered by traces of an intense battle. There were many marks left on the cliff, and much of the cliff was destroyed. There was so much damage that the current state was nothing like its original appearance.Red blood was dripping onto the rocks. Montra looked expressionlessly at the wound on his right arm. Even Monster Soul couldn’t replicate the feeling of pain for him.Twelve years ago, this unusual phenomenon was like a heavenly blessing for him. However, during the past few years, he started to think that it was, in fact, a curse.He was curious. If he left it unattended like this, would his other feelings be robbed away from him as well?The Golden-Eyed Great Eagle, Marquis Rank, Level 1,000, glared at its opponent who was deep in thought despite currently in the middle of a battle. Its eyes were always flashing with qi, searching for its opponent’s weak points or an opening.However, it mostly stayed in the sky, keeping its distance. The reason for that was simple: it couldn’t see any opening from Montra.“Hand over your item, bird. My level has reached its cap at 1,000. I won’t gain anything from killing you.”The Great Eagle declined Montra’s offer with action. It clad its body with qi reinforcement, flapping its wings with Cruise Breeze.Blades made of qi quickly flew toward Montra’s side, followed by its qi-strengthening claws aiming at the opposite side.“Sky Snowflakes.” Montra waved his Dragon Head Mage Staff and white flashes surrounded his body. The cold affected the Great Eagle and caused its speed to slightly slow down while its wind blades made of qi were significantly slowed down.Montra moved his body, evading all the attacks without any difficulties. His right hand spun his mage staff while the dragon’s eyes on it gleaming.His magic power was poured into the mage staff, reinforcing it. Then, he threw it at the Great Eagle.“Gwa--!!” The Great Eagle cried in pain once the Dragon Head Mage Staff pierced through its stomach. Its body was crucified on the cliff while the eyes on the mage staff stared at it as if the mage staff itself was a living thing.The snowflakes landed on Montra’s right arm and their color changed from white to red. Even when direct touching the snowflakes, Montra still couldn’t feel cold.He was aware that using the brain scanner affected the user body. So, if he were to take considerable damage in Monster Soul, maybe his sense of pain might return to him.Although almost two years had passed, Montra still hadn’t given up hope. Montra had never given up. No matter what it was about.As Montra was still deep in thought, the Golden-Eyed Great Eagle used its beak to rip its own chest. Blood sprayed from its wound as its beak was holding onto a blood-soaked gem.It immediately swallowed the gem into its stomach. Then, its body began to emit a bright, golden aura.The Golden-Eyed Great Eagle was relying on the power of the gem to awaken its power and promote itself to Lord Rank. This was its only hope of survival.“I have no time to play with you, bird.” Montra shot his eyes at the Great Eagle again once his system window was informing him that it was about to evolve into Lord Rank.“Rhythm of Martial Radiance.” Montra’s body unleashed a tremendous amount of magic power, enveloping his body and causing him to look like a warlord on a battlefield.Slamming his feet on the ground, creating a loud noise, Montra narrowed the distance between him and the Great Eagle in the blink of an eye.Montra grabbed his mage staff and pulled it out of the wound on the Great Eagle, further tearing apart its body.As if it was aware of its wielder’s intentions, the Dragon Head Mage Staff transformed back into its original form. A glow of light engulfed it for a brief moment before it transformed into a spear.Heavenly Dragon Spear, Montra’s actual weapon.A weapon made of Orichalcum is several times better than a normal weapon, especially in the sense that it shares its soul with the owner.Varee could adjust the length of her Shadow Moon Sword at will. Meanwhile, Montra could conceal its true appearance with the mage staff form whenever he wanted. The only people who were aware that Montra used a spear as his main weapon were Kawin and Revin.Actually, Montra was a pro at using many kinds of weapons. However, the weapon that most suited his style and personality was the spear. Thus, when he had made a request to the legendary weaponsmith NPC to create his weapon, he demanded that it would be a weapon with two forms. One was a spear to increase physical attack, and the other was a mage staff to increase his magical attack.There was no one nearby, so Montra could exert his full strength. Even though he had yet to finish his Dragon Ritual and a part of his power was locked away, the power he gained from activating Rhythm of Martial Radiance compensated for that.As there was a limit to how long he could use his Rhythm, he intended to finish the battle in a flash. The system continued to inform him of the Great Eagle’s evolution while his body was full of the power of Martial Radiance Art.Both his hands spun the spear in a small circle. The key factor of using a spear is to strike the target in the blink of an eye and the strike should be powerful enough to decide who wins.When you thrust a spear it should be fast, but when you retract the spear it should be even faster.His hand that was holding the spear moved. The spear thrust forward at lightning speed with the help of a technique of Heavenly Destiny Fist.For Montra, a weapon is only an extension of the body. Regardless of whether he was wielding a weapon in his hand or not, he could still utilize his personal art, Heavenly Destiny Fist.This art was very powerful. Once he unleashed it, it would be as if his opponent was already destined to lose by the will of heaven.Montra canceled his power and his spear transformed back into a mage staff.The Great Eagle didn’t know what was happening. Why did its opponent suddenly stop attacking?However, in the next moment, its question was answered. Tens of wounds instantly appeared on its body. Every wound was on its vital spot.Apparently, Montra’s attacks hadn’t stopped, rather, they had already ended.It was defeated. Its body didn’t suddenly turn into light. Rather, the turquoise gemstone floated from its body and landed on Montra’s palm as if it was a spoil of war. It was after that that the Great Eagle could die peacefully.Montra looked at the gem in his hand and took out a certain ticket.“Heavenly Dragon Guild.” He teleported from the spot, showing not even the tiniest bit of interest in the opponent that was just defeated by his hand.
***As he was the leader of the guild, Montra had a spacious private room for himself. In this room, except for himself, only Kawin and Revin were allowed to enter. Even the Five Warlords didn’t have permission to access this place.Montra gently put the jewel into a black box.“Have you gotten Sky Emerald, Montra? In that case, only five of them remain, right?” A voice could be heard from a corner of the room.“It would be four, Revin, if you just properly did your part,” Montra said without paying much attention to Revin.He walked back to his desk and placed his hand on it. Then, hundreds of documents were sent to him.“Oho, I’m tired just looking at them. When will you have time to practice when you have to read all of these?”“Our guild is large. It’s natural that there are a large number of documents, especially when the war event is coming closer and I have to allocate budget to the sects who have joined our guild,” Montra replied as he attentively read every document, page by page.“Why don’t you hire someone to do it for you?”“I already did. What I’m doing is just reviewing and monitoring. As I said, our guild is large, it wouldn’t be weird if someone wanted to defraud us. I need to thoroughly read these.”Revin scratched his head as he said, “It is fortunate that my position doesn’t require me to do paperwork, otherwise my brain would explode.”A stern voice came from behind Revin, “You should at least try. Don’t act spoiled.”Kawin entered the room. Montra and Revin noticed that his metal arm guards were missing.“The list of players we should be wary of has a new name. The Silver Knight Shueria.”“Friend or Foe?” Montra stopped reading and looked at Kawin.“Most likely a foe. At the very least, he helped Sila escape from me,” Kawin said while observing Montra’s reaction.“Aren’t they supposed to be enemies?” Revin asked.Kawin shook his head. “Not anymore. The current Shueria is even stronger than Lone Wolf.”Montra turned his attention to a pile of documents. “It’s alright. If we can collect all of the Gems of Catastrophe, it won’t matter who our opponent is.”“In that case, you should get out of this paperwork, Montra. Let’s go look for the gems. It’s been a while since the last time we hunted together,” proposed Revin.“I can’t do that. I still need to prepare for a situation where we aren’t able to collect all of them. It won’t hurt us to have a backup plan,” replied Montra.Kawin finally found a chance to ask Montra about the thing that kept nagging him. “Montra, about the match between you and Sila, did you...”Montra put a document down again. He stared intently at Kawin. “...play dirty? No need to fret. You have gone and met Sila. It’s natural that he would say something like this.”Revin turned to look at Kawin with anger. “Oi! Kawin. Are you suspecting Montra? There is no way Montra would do that.”“Well, I did play dirty,” Montra said nonchalantly.Revin stopped what he was doing. Both his eyes looked at Montra with disbelief.“I sent a person to spy on Sila. I wanted to know what kind of person my dad... no, the Elders, chose over me. I wanted to know his ability so I challenged him to a match.“Well, from the reports I got, it seemed that man hadn’t learned any martial arts. I was curious but maybe it was something like a secret rule of the Flaming Cloud dojo. Based on the historic records, this dojo always had only one outstanding disciple. So, I guessed that it was possible that Sila had been ordered not to show his true ability.“When I knew that the Elders were having a meeting in Monster Soul, I tricked him into thinking that I had kidnapped his teacher so he would show the full extent of his skill. Regretfully, except for his quick wit, that man had nothing. It was as if he simply mimicked the moves of others. I was very angry that this kind of person was chosen over me, so I was heavy-handed when I beat him.“That’s all. If you ask me whether I played dirty, it could be said that I really did.”“Why didn’t you tell us?” Kawin asked while Revin shrugged his shoulders implying that he had guessed what had happened.“It was a personal matter between Sila and I.”“That’s not playing dirty. They’re just investigating and using strategy. Someone who is unable to focus in a match only has himself to blame.”“I quit being conscious of something like this a long time ago. Loser’s excuses are something I got to hear for nearly a lifetime.”Kawin stayed silent for a while before continuing, “Sila should have met our teacher already...”Montra didn’t say anything back, but he mistakenly skipped a page of the document and had to reread it again.The pain didn’t come from his body. Rather, his mind was hurt and he felt like he was betrayed.For each generation, Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws was supposed to only be taught to a single person. Montra had planned to come up with his own arts and he valued his friendship with Kawin, so he gave the right to learn it to Kawin.However, in the end, his father was the one who went against the dojo’s customs and imparted the art to Sila.Although he told Kawin that he didn’t care about Sila, it was a lie. In fact, Montra hated every part of Sila, down to his very bones, even though he had never cared about weaklings like that guy before.Sila wasn’t superior than him in any way, yet he was selected to replace his position.Ever since Montra has been chosen to inherit the position of the Wulin Lord, he had trained intensely and sought out every piece of knowledge that would help him manage the association in the future.He put his soul, his body, his everything into this position. What about Sila? What had he ever done?Kawin didn’t want to disturb Montra any more than this. He knew that the quicker Montra finished his paperwork, the more time he had to rest. So, he dragged Revin out of the room and planned to do their errands to take some of the burden off of Montra’s shoulders.Although Montra was called a genius, some work still required time. For example, this paperwork. Two hours passed and Montra finally decided to take a break. His eyes were looking at the pile of documents he wasn’t even half of the way through.Montra thought deeply about the obstacles that awaited him.Part of his power was currently locked away so he always had to rely on Dragon Heart to help him survive. However, once his Dragon Ritual was completed, this skill would no longer be important to him.Montra was confident that no one would be his match if he could exert his full power.About Sila, that guy wasn’t supposed to be a threat to his plan. However, now that the Elders decided to take Sila’s side, Montra’s concerns started to grow. The Elders might pull off some tricks to obstruct his victory.Thinking that one of the three Elders was his own father, Montra’s mind felt pain even though his body didn’t feel a thing.***Sila waited for a while until Crow came back. They bid farewell to each other. For the record, Crow didn’t invite him to drink, unlike what Sila had expected.Once he arrived at the entrance to the Valley of Immortals, he found Sangdao waiting for him.“Are you mad at me?” Sangdao said.“I’m not mad. Rather, I’m just sad. I thought we were friends.”“Even now, we are still friends. All those things that Dao asked Sila were what Dao really wanted to know.”Sila could feel the sincerity in her voice. It was the same sincerity he had found in Nunthima’s voice.Sila sighed as he replied, “Let it be.”“No, I can’t. I will try to make up for making Sila feel sad next time.”“You don’t need to do that.”Sangdao smiled and took a certain crystal out. He looked at it and felt like he had seen one before.“Crystal of Connecting, Sila. If you need some help from me, just call me and I will come to you. It doesn’t need to be related to the association.”Sila finally remembered that he had seen one in Varee’s hand.He didn’t know how to reject Sangdao’s offer so he took it with him and kept it in his system window.“Next time, let’s go on a trip together. Please bring Lookhin with us as well. There are many beautiful places in Monster Soul. Dao will be your guide.”Sila nodded at her proposal. “Lookhin should already feel content with being able to fly around in a vast sky. It should be Bow who will be excited at the sight of beautiful places.”“Bow? Is she Sila’s friend?”“More like my little sister, I’d say. I will introduce her to you later if...”Thinking about Bow, his body suddenly froze.“What’s wrong, Sila?” Sangdao called out to him as she saw that Sila was making a strange expression.“Ah. This is bad. I’ve completely forgotten about Bow!”
Author Note: Let’s take a look from Montra’s perspective. While Sila is biased against Montra, Montra is biased against Sila as well.
Chapter 127: Too LateIn the brief moment when all of the swords were flashing red, Sila only had two seconds to think. Luckily for him, two seconds in a moment of crisis felt like an entire minute in his mind.The only defensive art that Sila possessed was Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. Nevertheless, Sila didn’t think it would work in the midst of the minefield.The common weak point of the three profound arts he inherited from the Elders of the Wulin Masters Association was the fact that they were real-life arts designed to work on human opponents.Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps was a footwork art so it was still effective even in the game. The main techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws could be adapted as a concept of movement so it was somehow beneficial. As for Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, it was the art that mostly only useful against humans.He suspected that even Mora, his teacher, wouldn’t have considered a situation like this when he imparted the art to Sila.‘It’s an in-game skill, so I will have to counter it with my in-game skills!’His Tiger Dragon Qi could resist two or three exploding swords at most, not a hundred.
As for Moon Reflecting Mirror, he wasn’t confident in it enough that it could reflect this level of damage.Well, in the end, Sila’s last choice was still his qi.The ultimate art of defense was none other than Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. If only he could apply its techniques correctly and combine them with his qi-type skills, he was positive that he could easily defend against this attack.Sila quickly circulated the softness attribute of Tiger Dragon Qi and strengthened it with the full power of Shapeless Qi.
The perfect shape for defense is the circle, so, instead of maintaining qi to surround his body, Sila chose to spin his qi with Unblemished Cool Breeze. With this qi technique, not only could he defend, Sila could even heal himself in one go.His qi was rotating with Sila as its center. This usage of qi was enlightened thanks to the Parry, Migrate, Spin, and Combine techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws.In addition, he activated Universe Reversal to hasten the speed of the spin.Finally, the sound of the explosion went off and the ground heavily shook. The blast and the debris of the swords flew around the area.Sila maintained the radius of the storm to be around two meters. The blasts of the explosions and the scraps of the weapons rode with the wind current and rotated around Sila’s tornado made of qi. Some of the blasts even collided with each other.Still, the blast and the debris flew past Sila’s face, almost cutting him. Sila didn’t even dare to feel elated that he didn’t die on the spot as the air pressure accumulated and pressed on him. It was like his body was being squeezed by invisible walls.Some of the swords’ shards continuously slashed his body as time passed. Even though he was protecting his body using Formless Soldier to prevent them from giving him deep wounds, he still suffered as the number of his wounds kept increasing no matter how many times his qi tended to them.Qi type skills heavily relied on the user’s quick wit. It was exactly like Wu Ming said: if your thinking is flexible enough, there are no situations that you won’t survive.Cross watched his skill at work with great pride. His Rhythm of the Imperial Graveyard was about to come to an end. Based on his experiment using Sila, he was confident that he could defeat Revin or Kawin the next time they met. Then, he would kill his last prey, Montra.He was too immersed in his victory to not notice why the system had yet to inform him about Sila being defeated.Once his psychic power relaxed slightly, Sila, who was in the midst of the smoke, detected that and seized that tiny chance to attack.Hundreds of different kinds of hidden weapons flew out from the smoke. Their target was none other than Cross. who was about to land on the ground.The hidden weapons stabbed Cross and turned him into a giant hedgehog. Even though he didn’t die yet, the pain from having his flesh stabbed by numerous weapons was too much for him to bear.Cross was no longer able to move his body even slightly, but his mind was currently surpassing his body. Sometimes, the dying, cornered dog is more terrifying than a tiger. He depended on his psychic power alone to pull out all the hidden weapons stabbed into his body and sent them back at Sila.Cross was more than certain that, with this amount, there would be no way for Sila to fire all of them back at him. At most, Sila would be able to return two, which Cross was confident wouldn’t kill him.Sila’s clothing was in a tattered state and his body had wounds all over. Even with that, he focused his recovery on his arms and legs rather than his torso. He stood firmly without planning to evade the incoming hidden weapons.The hidden weapons came closer and turned red. It was the moment that Sila had been waiting for. He lifted his hand up and activated Universe Reversal strengthened by Shapeless Qi to pull Cross toward him sharply.Cross had spent a lot of power and his body was heavily wounded so he couldn’t resist the pulling power. The speed of his body being pulled to Sila was far greater than the speed of the hidden weapons flying.Sila tapped his left hand on Cross’ body and transmitted the pulling attribute of Universe Reversal into his opponent, turning Cross into a human-sized magnet. All the hidden weapons stabbed Cross once again.The hidden weapons in Cross’ body gave off a bright red sparkle. Sila didn’t hesitate to use his right hand to strike at Cross’ chest. His right hand was clad with the dragon attribute of Tiger Dragon Qi to enhance the physical strength of the impact, pushing Cross away.As for himself, once his right hand struck the target, he instantly kicked the ground and used qinggong to jump in the opposite direction of Cross’.--Boom!!Cross’ body exploded only ten meters away from Sila. The blast affected Sila but he let himself go with the impact and be blown away for another fifty meters.You have defeated Player Cross, Marquis Rank, Level 850, and received 300,000,000 experience points. The defeated player was a Wanted Player, so you can claim your reward at the Bounty Hunter Association later.You have achieved a certain condition. Your Level has risen to 1,000.Grea City shook once again with the power of the explosion. Meanwhile, Sila was sprawled on the ground. Blood gushed out of his body and his vision blurred. He had spent all of his power to kill Cross and now his qi was completely depleted.The flow of qi, magic, and psychic power emitted from all the directions surrounding him.Sila could see that many groups of players were coming his way.The distance between the players and him continued to shorten. Their chance to easily obtain the bounty reward and fame from killing Weapon Subduing Fist had come, so who in their right mind would abandon such a chance?Grea City right now was no different than an outlaw territory. An ownerless city that all kinds of players live in. Some sought an opportunity to gain fame, some sought fortune, while some were bounty hunters trying to hunt down Wanted Players who escaped from various places and came to live in this city.Sila’s vision gradually blurred even more. If he didn’t do anything, he would surely lose consciousness and die in the ambush.“Re...lease... Lookhin.”
A black flash of light shone from the ring.Many players surrounding Sila noticed that he was trying to do something so they immediately took action.Arrows, magic spells, and even spears flew toward the defenseless Sila.Instantly, Stone Walls were built up surrounding him. They were enough to block against the first wave of attacks that hastily performed.Then, several Earth Spears appeared around Sila and enclosed him as if they were a fortress. Lookhin didn’t dare to act rashly as it was afraid that Sila would be in danger and chose to stay with him inside the enclosed dome made of the earth element.The layers of the Stone Walls and Earth Spears were very thick as Lookhin spent a lot of magic power to create them.Sila opened his system window and took the bottle that contained the Emperor Qi Pellets out. He needed to regenerate his qi as soon as possible.However, his hand had no strength left. The bottle fell from his hand and hit the ground. Several pellets rolled out of the bottle.Sila focuses his mind and told Lookhin to bring him the pellet. In the meantime, the dome that enclosed him was shaking non-stop as players kept attacking it. Even though Lookhin had increased its defense with Qi of Little Turtle, it wasn’t that helpful.With their combined attacks, it was only a matter of time until the dome was destroyed.Lookhin flew and held the pellet in its beak. It jumped onto Sila’s chest, waiting for Sila to open his mouth, before dropping the Emperor Qi Pellet between his lips.Once the pellet touched his tongue, Sila felt hot. The pellet was instantly absorbed into Sila’s system and he felt like his body had become a burning furnace, which was a sensation he had never experienced.Sila suffered and wanted to scream, though no sound could come out of his mouth. His body was twitching in pain. He felt like he was being enveloped by an intense flame.Shapeless Qi automatically acted up to protect his life. However, as Sila could feel that the temperature of his body began to cool down, he then felt like he was pushed into a freezing hell. His body was hurting all over and the temperature rose once again.This bizarre experience continued to loop, without him knowing why it was happening or when it would end.Frankly, what was happening to Sila right now was that his entire body, be it organs, bones, or tendons, was being reborn.Emperor Qi Pellet was a medicine categorised under the hot element. Actually, one shouldn’t consume it when one’s body was at death’s door. This kind of medicinal pellet is best consumed when the consumer is healthy.The thing was, Sila’s body had a lot of both external and internal wounds, so the Emperor Qi Pellet quickly repaired his bones and muscles for him. Nevertheless, as the repairing speed was too excessive, the temperature of Sila’s body rose like he was being melted in a furnace.Then, Shapeless Qi considered the Emperor Qi Pellet an irregular object that was trying to harm its owner’s body, so it tried to decrease the temperature in Sila’s body to support his life. However, as it acted on its own without being properly controlled, the coldness that it generated was too much for Sila to bear.In addition, his Dark Psychic Corrosion discovered that there were two powers competing against each other and left it unchecked. Thus, it began to invade Sila’s body.Sila’s psychic power was semi-sentient and its only objective was to destroy. It didn’t care if what it was destroying happened to be its own body or not. ‘Destroy’ was the only word that it cared about as the word gave it meaning. It was the reason Sila was in immense pain from the corrosion that happened within his body.As his psychic power corroded his body and caused the damage, the Emperor Qi Pellet flared up and unleashed its full potential to heal that part.The main feature of this priceless pellet was to return the consumer’s body to a healthy state. So, even if it realized that its medicinal power wasn’t enough to repair Sila’s body, it didn’t give up and instead decided to draw on the hot power of Tortured Soul to support its effectiveness.As a result, Sila was tortured again from the excessive healing process. And Shapeless Qi once again tried to help him by pulling the cold power of Tortured Soul to enhance its ability.Due to the fact that both the Emperor Qi Pellet and Shapeless Qi channeled power from the same source, which was Tortured Soul, even though both powers exerted their mightiest power, neither was inferior to the other.In the end, the decisive factor was Sila’s Dark Psychic Corrosion that didn’t care for its host. Its only objective was to destroy.
As both powers were busy canceling out each other, the gap that it used to unleash its madness grew bigger.Consequently, instead of getting healed, Sila suffered more as if he fell into the abyss.Three powers displayed their powers in a rotation manner. The interval between each loop was becoming shorter and shorter. In the end, Sila could no longer tell whether he was feeling hot, cold, or being corroded, as the three sensations almost happened at the same time.All of the powers gradually canceled each other out as Sila’s body slowly became more accustomed to the corrosive effect of his psychic power.Both the hot and cold elements within his body also started to become stable. Sila’s entire body was drenched in sweat and blood.Slowly opening his eyes, Sila felt that his body was almost weightless, his ears picked up on more sounds, and his vision could see things more vividly. It was a phenomenon similar to when he had succeeded in circulating Tiger Dragon Qi for the first time.The system sound went off.You have achieved a certain condition. Your status and rank have been promoted to Grey Slime of Marquis Rank, Level 1.You have achieved a certain condition. The skill Full Body Restructuring Qi has fused and become one with your body.You have achieved a certain condition. The skill Immortal Qi has fused and become one with your body.You have achieved a certain condition. The skill Primary Qi has fused and become one with your body.You have achieved a certain condition. The special skill Tortured Soul has fused and become one with your body.You have achieved a certain condition. The level of Dark Psychic Corrosion has risen to 100 (Maximum).Sila pushed himself up and sat down on the ground, rubbing Lookhin’s head while inspecting his body that had greatly changed.His body felt quite different compared to before. As he tried to move, he could feel that his muscles had become more elastic. He had no issues moving his body.As he opened his system window to look for information regarding the fact that four of his skills had fused and become one with his body, only to discover that the four mentioned skills were gone.Sila scratched his head in confusion. Even Primary Qi and Immortal Qi were gone, so how would he alleviate fatigue in the future? Not to mention the absence of his elemental qi, Tortured Soul.Well, those problems weren’t urgent matters right now.Sila picked up the bottle containing the last two Emperor Qi Pellets and kept it in his system window while promising to himself that he wouldn’t eat one again if possible. That torturous experience wasn’t something he wished to feel ever again.He didn’t know how much time had passed, but he found that Lookhin’s magic power was about to run out. With Mind Link, Sila could tell that Lookhin was feeling dead tired at the moment.Thinking back, Sila realized that he was very lucky that Cross found him today. If Cross had found him the first time he came to Grea City, he would’ve been the one to die.It was Cross’ bad luck that he had engaged in the battle against Sila too late.Sila’s body was warm even without him putting any clothes on. It caused him to not notice that his power had changed from before.Now, there were many groups of players waiting for him outside.“Please rest well, Lookhin. I will let you fly around freely when I finish them off.” Sila talked to Lookhin, who was clinging to his arm.Its sharp claws gripped his arm tightly, but he felt no pain even without using Formless Soldier. Yet again, Sila was still unaware of this little detail.“Seal, Lookhin.” The black light shone from the ring and absorbed Lookhin into it.Lookshin’s Earth Spears crumbled down with the absence of the spell caster.Outside of the dome, there were a lot of players looking at Sila with the eyes of predators.If Cross was considered too late, these players were even later.Sometimes, the roles of predator and prey could be swapped in just the blink of an eye.
Chapter 128: Predator and PreyThe dome made of stone and earth slowly crumbled down. The sunlight that penetrated through it caused Sila to squint his eyes. It seemed his eyesight got a lot better so he needed some time to readjust.Once he had a clear look of what was waiting for him, he discovered that he was surrounded by more than one hundred players. Some seemed to come alone while some came in groups.The common thing that all the players present shared was the fact that they all had their weapons ready.“He’s finally come out!” one man yelled.“His bounty belongs to me!” another one shouted.“It’s mine, you fools!”Sila scratched his head in a daze. When he had been within the dome, these players had coordinated their attacks on the dome. But once he was out, they bared their fangs against everyone else.He looked at himself and found that the upper half of his clothing was gone. So, he opened his system window to search for another one to replace it.“Equip.” Sila entered the command to equip his old Beginner Clothing. As for the Unjust Wuxia Clothing, it had been torn into many rags.Well, Sila noticed that the bandage on his right arm had gone missing, so he used one of the rags as a temporary bandage.No one interrupted or even cared about Sila’s actions. These players had seen with their own eyes that Sila was on the brink of death after his fight against Cross. The few minutes he had obtained from hiding in the stone dome surely wouldn’t be enough for him to regain his power.They didn’t need to mind the prey that was on the verge of death. What they needed to do was be on guard against the other predators who were trying to snatch away their prey.Sila listened to them having an argument instead of attacking him while circulating Tiger Dragon Qi with perfect Qi Concealment. He found that his qi was in top condition and seemed to possess more power.For the record, Sila’s current sensation was temporary. When profound practitioners experience a breakthrough, it was normal for their inner force to significantly improve, making them feel as if they’ve become much stronger.As time passes and their body accustoms to the new strength of the inner force, this sensation will naturally fade.For a profound practitioner, there are times when they are not ready to fight and times when they are.As Sila circulated his qi, he found that his body was in perfect shape. Never before had he felt more ready to fight than in this moment.Well, Sila perceived that his business in this place had ended so he planned to leave.The argument suddenly stopped and many players quickly came to hold Sila off.“Oi! Where do you think you can run away to?”“Run away? No. I’m just going to meet my friends. Let me leave. I won’t blame you guys for trying to attack me just now.”“You won’t blame us? Kukuku.”The loud waves of laughter came from them.“You’re having a hard time walking, aren’t you? Don’t act so high and mighty. You were just lucky to win against Cross. Anyone can easily kill that fallen Sword Emperor.”“Why didn’t you take action, then?”“No one was foolish enough to take action in broad daylight, fool. Otherwise, the prey would be snatched easily from them. Even worse, they would become an easy target for the remaining players... just like you.”Sila was about to open his mouth to reply, but his system window went off in his ears as a notification window appeared, informing him that Player Varee would like to invite him to join her party.He looked around and found that Varee was standing behind those groups of players surrounding him. He also spotted Bow sitting on the roof of the building. She was looking at Sila with concerned eyes.“Accept,” Sila muttered.“His friends have come to help. Kill him quickly!!”The shout acted like the starting signal of a competition. Tens of weapons aimed at where Sila was standing. These players had stopped arguing as they feared that someone would help Sila get away from them.Now, who could kill him only depended on luck.Sila didn’t possess a skill that could attack multiple enemies except Hidden Weapon Firing. Sadly, he had spent all his hidden weapons in the previous battle against Cross.Nevertheless, Nine Sun-Melting-Fists was a martial art suitable for a chaotic battle. This art was offensive, quick, and easy to use.Instead of defending or evading, Sila chose to step forward to face the weapons coming at him.In the Nine Sun-Melting-Fists book, there was a part that taught him to ‘advance before the enemies take their first step’ and ‘advance to the position the enemies need to defend’.Sila’s previous position was both where all of the weapons were aimed at and also where they would reach their full power. So, by stepping forward, the distance was off and those weapons couldn’t exert their maximum strength, so any that didn’t miss wouldn’t be as strong as they would’ve.
It was a frightening sight to see the sharp edges miss Sila by a hair’s breadth.Nine Sun-Melting-Fists’ step-in technique was even quicker than the one that was part of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. In addition, the stepping itself was connected to the next offensive action. Sila used his right hand as a blade, slashing sharply at the shoulder of one of the attackers.The player Sila had attacked collapsed to the ground. He was still alive as Sila hadn’t aimed at his vital spot.Sila stopped using his right hand as a blade and instead used his palm to push his opponent’s body away, resulting in them flying backward and causing everyone in front of him to fall like a bowling pin.As he finished pushing, Sila took a sidestep and bent his elbow to strike one of the opponents to his right. Then, he shifted his center of gravity and used the same hand to push the same opponent into the ones behind him.Sila’s left hand grabbed the collar of the man closest to him and threw him away toward the group of magic-type players, standing quite a distance from everyone else, to interrupt whatever they were doing.At that moment, an arrow infused with qi flew at his side.Sila stood firmly and used the back of his right hand to tap the arrow lightly; shifting its trajectory and sending it into the shoulder of another opponent.Sila didn’t use Genesis Punch on these players as he had learned from his battle with Cross that a move that hit the target was more useful than a powerful move that didn’t hit.Although Nine Sun-Melting-Fists wasn’t as powerful as Genesis Punch, it was very suitable for this situation. All of the moves connected to each other like he was dancing in the battlefield. He only needed to clad his body with qi reinforcement for his attack to become fatal.“Arghhh!!” Painful cries came from the ones hit directly by Sila. One of them had a palm-shaped scorch mark on his chest while another had a similar wound on his shoulder. As for the one who was hit by the arrow, the wound caused by the arrow had frozen over and brought him pain from the ice burn.Sila was slightly confused. He noticed a small injury on the back of his hand so he tried to circulate Tiger Dragon Qi throughout his body. Once Tiger Dragon Qi flew to the back of his right hand, it was healed as if he had used Recovering Qi on it.Currently, his body counted Tiger Dragon Qi as his base qi. As for Primary Qi, Immortal Qi, Full Body Restructuring Qi, and Tortured Soul, they had fused together and become one with his body, meaning all of their abilities had been fused with Tiger Dragon Qi.Everything that these qi or qi techniques could do, Tiger Dragon Qi could show the effect in their stead.The obvious advantage of this fusion was that Sila's qi had evolved and become a versatile qi.Prior to this, if Sila wanted to use Recovering Qi to lessen his pain, he needed to stop using any other qi to do so. But now, Sila could even attack while tending to his wounds simultaneously.Even his attack and defense could be freely infused with the hot or cold elements of Tortured Soul. Well, if he didn’t control it, it would display the effect depending on his actions.Just a moment ago, when Sila performed a martial move of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists which was an offensive art, the hot element showed its power. On the other hand, when he displayed the move of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws which was a defensive art, the cold element’s power was added.As for the disadvantage, logically, there shouldn’t be one. However, there was one that existed at the moment.Due to the fact that the fusion had taken place with Tiger Dragon Qi as the base, as long as Sila still wasn’t proficient in using Tiger Dragon Qi, he would have a hard time displaying his full power.Take the wound on the back of his hand as an example; if it was Sila prior to the fusion of qi, he could just circulate Recovery Qi into his hand and the wound would be healed.However, for Tiger Dragon Qi, he needed to circulate it throughout his entire body and wait for the inner force to reach the back of his hand so it to be healed.
It was the disadvantage that came from lack of proficiency in circulating Tiger Dragon Qi; if he had more experience with it, he would be able to circulate qi to a specific part of his body..What Sila needed to practice right now was how to freely send Tiger Dragon Qi to each part of his body without having to circulate qi throughout his body. If he could do just that, his ability would go a step higher.Sila began to understand what the system meant when it said ‘become one with your body’.He jumped at one of his opponents. His feet stepped where his opponents planned to move to, stealing the more favorable position to attack, and threw his right fist into the opponent’s abdomen.His opponent’s body flew several meters backward with a burn mark on his abdomen. Blood gushed out from his mouth, forcing him to drink a potion quickly.Sila frowned at what had happened as he noticed that he was no longer able to clad a specific part of himself with qi reinforcement.Although it was true that he had become stronger as a whole, his attack had become noticeably weaker.
Each of his attacks right now were similar to what he had depended on before he had met Poluk. It was an attack without the concentration of power.Let’s say the previous Sila had 100 qi points in each part of his body. When he clad his fist with qi reinforcement to attack, the qi covering his fist could rise to 500 points while the qi protecting the rest of his body would be reduced to 10 points.Now, however, it could be said that Sila had 300 qi points in each part of his body, three times more than he had before, but he was unable to increase the power in any specific part of his body.Sila began to feel pressured. If he were to encounter skilled opponents, being able or unable to use qi reinforcement on a specific part of the body would prove to be a key factor. Qi reinforcement wasn’t only beneficial for attacking, there would be many times when he needed to rely on qi reinforcement to increase his defense as well.Sila took a glance at Varee and found that she could kill her opponents neatly without them making any noise, be it screaming or cries of pain.He had never witnessed Varee’s fighting style for real so this day was the first time.Varee’s overall ability was not too outstanding. Her battle style wasn’t flashy but Sila had learned from his fights that flashiness wasn’t a key factor in battles.Some players had their own unique fighting style, and Varee was one of them.Varee was fighting by herself against three other players. Her Shadow Moon Sword could parry all the attacks without much difficulty.Sila would define Varee’s combat style as that of an ‘opportunity seizer’. The moment her opponents let their guard down or showed an opening even for a split second, she would clad her katana with psychic power reinforcement and perform a quick slash at a speed that even Sila’s eyes couldn’t follow.‘Her speed of energy reinforcement is too fast. With that, she could instantly turn the tables in a fight, escaping from a disadvantageous position and becoming the victor as soon as she sees a chance.’It was, by no means, an exaggeration. Varee’s psychic power reinforcement was both speedy and powerful. Every time she moved, someone died. The same could be said about her footwork. With her terrifying speed of energy reinforcement, she could move from one spot to another in the blink of an eye, leaving behind an afterimage.When he looked at Bow, Sila saw that she stayed in the same spot, though there was some kind of white aura covering her. She was looking at the fights with her innocent eyes while eating snacks as if she was watching a show on the television.Since he couldn’t rely on partial qi reinforcement, Sila tried to use Formless Soldier to enhance his attack power instead. Luckily for him, Formless Soldier still worked just fine.Those players who claimed to be predators could tell that fighting Varee was very dangerous, so they focused their attention on Sila, their original prey, instead.Tens of players pointed their weapons at Sila. These players weren’t as weak as the ones in Beginning Town. All of the weapons were strengthened by qi, magic, or psychic power. If Sila were to take them head on without the ability to reinforce part of his body with qi, he would end up dead or at least heavily wounded.Sila hardened his foot and stomped it on the ground, shaking the plaza. Some players lost their balance and, thanks to the fact that they were close to each other, began to fall on other players.He imbued his body with the wind elemental power from Orbiting Cosmos and moved like a ghost using Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. Both his hands were strengthened to be as hard as steel before striking the two enemies closest to him, shattering their armors and sending them flying.Fortunately, the skills that didn’t fuse with Tiger Dragon Qi still functioned as usual. Sila used Universe Reversal to pull some of his opponents closer to him and let his hammer-like fists strike them again.The plaza became like Hell as several players were beheaded and their heads sprung into the sky on Varee’s side, which caused Bow to close her eyes. She shifted her interest to witness Sila’s side which was like a battle in a wuxia movie. Bow would clap her hands if she had any.Seeing this as a perfect chance for him to practice his martial arts, Sila immersed himself into trying out a lot of the martial moves he had learned.He had to depend on his quick wit to select the most suitable martial move for each situation, so he learned a lot during this fight. Most of the time he used Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, though sometimes he used Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws to defend and give himself more time to think.As he heard Bow’s delighted laughter when seeing him showing off martial moves, Sila continued to display move after move to impress her.Sila and Varee stopped moving when not a single opponent remained. The ones who fought against Varee were considered lucky as they had died in one hit. As for those who fought against Sila... they were forced to become his sparring partners involuntarily and suffered from several blows until they died from either internal injuries due to being gravely damaged, burns from qi, or being frozen.
Chapter 129: Lost Grea - The EasiestSila, Varee, and Bow were strolling around the shopping plaza where many jewelry stalls had been set up. There were many gazes that fell on them, but no one dared to disturb their time after they had just performed a ‘big cleaning’ in the central plaza.“I understand that they attacked us first, but did we really need to kill all of them?”“Is that something the one who kept beating up those guys should say? Your method was even more brutal than mine.”Sila was about to explain to Varee that he was unable to use specific-part qi reinforcement before he changed his mind. Despite how Varee seemed to be trustworthy, he wasn’t that certain. Even Sangdao who he used to trust had secretly observed him behind his back.“Anyway, I still think that we just unnecessarily made more enemies for us.”Varee turned her head and stared at Sila. “Do you actually believe that if we had spared their lives, they would obediently stop bothering us?”Sila scratched his head. Even if he let them live, they would attack him again or even bring their friends to help. “Well, I guess not.”“See? It’s better to nip them in the bud. At the very least, their level will be lower the next time they try.”“Just 10 Levels, right? It’s not going to make that much of a difference,” said Sila.“It leaves a psychological effect. Their defeats will be imprinted into their memory. By the way, the ones who were killed by you might lose 10 levels, but the ones who died by my hand would experience the decrease of 200 Levels without considering the Rank.”“What does that mean?”“Um... To put it simply, their Levels will definitely be decreased by 200, ignoring the Rank. For example, if you die at Knight Rank, Level 100, usually, your Level will not be decreased further than Knight Rank, Level 1. However, if you die by my Shadow Moon Sword, your Rank and Level will be decreased to Squire Rank, Level 900. With that, you will have to search for a way to promote your Rank again.”Sila did a quick calculation in his head. His current Level was Marquis Rank, Level 50. If he were to get killed by Varee and have his Rank drop to Knight, that would be no joke. He wouldn’t want to experience the previous suffering sensation by all means.Frankly, this was exactly the reason why Varee had become famous. Usually, only high-tier boss monsters were supposed to be able to demote players’ Rank. Being killed by a player, on the other hand, shouldn’t affect their Rank.This peculiar ability allowed her bounty to rise to the point where she was one of the top ten Most Wanted Players. She was also ranked as one of the most dangerous players to encounter.Bow enjoyed shopping to her heart’s content. Most of the items she begged Sila to buy were different kinds and colors of ribbons.Suddenly, it came to Sila that he still had the quest to repair his right arm at the Lost Android Kingdom. As Varee was a psychic type and Grea City was the Android Kingdom, the metropolis of psychic type, she might know something about it.“Hey, Varee. Do you know about the Lost Android Kingdom?”Varee didn’t look back at him. She continued to look at Bow as she replied flatly, “Lost Grea City.”“Lost Grea City?”“That’s the name of the Lost Android Kingdom. Legend has it that it used to be one with Grea City, but that part of the city was buried underground. Thus, players call it Lost Grea City. Why do you ask?”“Do you know the method to enter that city?”“I know. My Orichalcum was smelted there. In this game, if you want to produce a weapon made of Orichalcum, there are only two ways to do that. The first is depending on Lost Grea City’s technology, and the second way is requesting the legendary weaponsmith who lives in Zhongsuyuan, the Qi Kingdom.”“Zhongsuyuan, the Qi Kingdom?” Sila was imagining how good it would be if he had a chance to visit the Qi Kingdom. Maybe he could find something that would help him improve his qi.“If you want to produce a weapon from your Orichalcum, I suggest you try your luck at Zhongsuyuan City.”“Eh? Why? We’re in Grea City. Wouldn’t it be easier for me to go to Lost Grea City?”“Well, yes, it will be easier. Among the three quests for locating the lost kingdom of each energy type, the quest to access Lost Grea City is by far the easiest. At the same time, it’s the most annoying one. That’s the reason I recommend you try your luck at Zhongsuyuan City.”Sila opened his system window as he wanted to ask this information from others, like Burapha or Lucy.“Even if you ask others, you will end up getting the same suggestion,” said Varee without looking at him.Sila didn’t care about what Varee said as he still tried to contact Burapha and Lucy anyway. It turned out that he still couldn’t contact Burapha, while Lucy said the same thing as Varee.He asked Lucy why, but she said that she was an NPC so there was a limit to how much information she could give him. Thus, she suggested that Sila ask other players instead.Varee took the fact that Sila had ignored her suggestion and, not changing her flat tone, asked, “Why do you insist on going to Lost Grea City rather than Zhongsuyuan City? Is it because I’m the one who suggested Zhongsuyuan City?”The problem was that Sila didn’t plan to produce a weapon as Varee had thought. He planned to repair his arm, and the description on the item clearly stated that the only place he could depend on was the Lost Android Kingdom.As he remembered that Varee had been with him when he received the quest, he unwrapped the black bandages and showed his right arm to her.“I’m going to repair my arm. Do you remember? It used to be bigger than this though.”“Oh, I totally forgot about it. So, Lost Grea City is your only choice, right?”“Yeah. Since I’m here anyway, I think I better repair it now.”“By the way, I think you should buy another set of clothing.”
“Nah, my clothing always gets tattered no matter how many times I change it, and I don’t need it that much. I don’t plan on relying on items.”“I understand what you are trying to say. As for me, I always wear this middle-grade kimono myself. But, I still think you should choose something better than the Beginner Clothing for yourself. Your clothing wouldn’t be tattered if you took better care of it. How about depending on some weapons?”“I’m more used to fighting barehanded.”“One against three.”“What? One against three?” Sila asked with confusion.“If someone fights barehanded, those are the odds of winning against someone with a weapon. If you fight barehanded, you have to be three times stronger than your weapon-wielding opponent to attain victory. It’s just a rough ratio though.”“So, I need to be three times stronger than you for me to win against you, don’t I?”“That’s not certain. I’m better at fighting against players than against monsters and my experience in this regard should be higher than you. So, even if you are three times stronger than me, your victory still won’t be guaranteed. Also, being strong doesn’t mean you will always win.”Being strong doesn’t mean you will always win?Sila thought he had heard this line before but he couldn’t remember when. Well, he was more interested in the method to go to Lost Grea City. He planned to go there, repair his arm, visit Master Viola, then come up with a way to obstruct Montra later.In other words, that meant Sila was currently clueless about how to stop Montra from winning the war event. If the Elders were told this, they might vomit blood (especially Sanon). Well, Sila had never been the type to plan ahead from the start. Most of the time, he would just depend on his quick wit to survive. Anyone could see that when considering that he always fought against dragons without sufficient preparation.It could be said that Sila was the polar opposite of Montra. He was too carefree. Someone who tended to let whatever happen. Meanwhile, Montra was too calculative. He always prepared himself for every possible situation. If his plan failed, there would be a backup plan. If his backup plan failed as well, there would be yet another backup.“I can’t equip a weapon.” Sila honestly told Varee the actual reason he couldn’t use weapons.“In that case, your only choice is to become stronger. Well, pardon me for saying this, but it does seem impossible for you to be three times stronger than Montra.”“Nothing is impossible. I’m just a human, and so is Montra...”Sila shut his mouth briefly as he recalled Sanon’s warnings about Montra’s magic.“Um... Montra is still counted as a human anyway. Since he is a human, he won’t be perfect. He must have some flaws.”“So do you, Sila. You are and always will be imperfect. Please don’t forget this fact. While you are searching for Montra’s flaws, Montra could look for yours.”Sila nodded. “In the end, what about Lost Grea City? Is it easy or difficult to access? I can't tell from the way you speak about it.”“Very easy. You just buy the seal, stamp it to the gate, then you can enter.”“Eh? Isn’t that very easy?”“You’re right. Compared to the other two lost kingdoms, Lost Grea City is the easiest. To enter the Lost Qi Kingdom which no one except Zero has entered, I heard that it is purely up to luck. On the other hand, the Lost Magic Kingdom requires you answer numerous questions, the answers of which are written within a hundred thousand books in the Magic Library.”Sila considered whether he could finish the other quests. His luck was good as he had Greed Card. However, luck was something uncertain, so it wasn’t guaranteed that he could enter the Lost Qi Kingdom. As for answering the questions that could be anything written in a hundred thousand books, it was a flat-out impossible. No human would be able to do that.“Yeah, it sounds easier compared to the rest. Why don’t we just go, then?”“No problem. It’s hard to explain so you have to see for yourself. I will bring you to the gate.”After Bow had finished purchasing around a hundred ribbons and stored them in Sila’s system window, Varee led him to the area around the north gate.There was a giant iron gate buried underground. If Sila wasn’t observant enough, he would think that it was just a normal road surface.“This is it. The gate to Lost Grea City. Through this, you can visit the city.”“Just like that?”“Yeah, just like that. Easy, right?”Sila was skeptical due to how easy it was. He had believed that the Lost Android Kingdom was a difficult place to visit as it was connected to the quest for the Right Arm of the Sealed One.By the way, there were no guards blocking the gate, and no one seemed to interest in this gate at all.“Fine. How can we enter, then? What do we need to do to enter the city?”“Just stamp the seal into that place. See? And the gate will be opened.” Varee pointed to the groove on the gate.“Where can I find the seal?”Varee tossed an iron seal to Sila. “You can have mine. I don’t think I will use it anymore.”Sila took it and felt like he had seen the corner of Varee’s lips curl up. “Just telling me the method is enough. I can find one for myself.”“Take mine. I really don’t need it. For more information, just stamp it on the groove and you will know. By the way, I have other things I need to do so I will take my leave. See you again, Bow~”“Byebye~” As soon as they finished their goodbyes, Varee took out a crystal that Sila realised was a Crystal of Connecting. She then used it and disappeared.Sila looked at the seal in his hand and decided to use it. “Well, Varee said she would like to give it to me herself.”He didn’t want to waste time as he needed to log out in the next three days. It would be best if he could finish repairing his right arm before then.Sila stamped the seal into the groove, and noticed that the size of the stamp matched the groove perfectly. Light flashed from the groove.He still thought the way to enter was too simple, so he circulated qi throughout his body just in case. There shouldn’t be something that was too easy or free in this world. Varee’s smile when she threw the seal at him also seemed fishy. He wouldn’t be surprised if Varee was pranking him by leaving him to be attacked by a monster behind the door.Soon, a metallic sound gently went off near Sila’s ears, together with the appearance of a black LCD screen in front of him. The line [Voice Only] appeared on it.[Greetings, Visitor. Welcome to the gate to Lost Grea City.]
An electronic voice suddenly spoke, startling Sila.“...Hello.” Sila politely greeted it back. His eyes were still fixated on the LCD screen.[Your seal has been used. Please accumulate Points again.][Press the red button if you need an explanation.][Press the green button otherwise.]Two new buttons appeared on the LCD screen, and Sila immediately pressed the red button.[The seal to Lost Grea City uses a points system.][For entering the city, at least 500 Points are needed.][You have spent 10 Points on the explanation. You currently have 4 Points.]Sila scratched his head. He was sure that he had been pranked by Varee since she didn’t mention any of this to him. He didn’t even know how to collect these points.“How do I collect Points?”[Press the red button if you need an explanation.][Press the green button otherwise.]Sila began to understand that he needed to spend 10 more Points for the explanation. Well, he only had 4 Points remaining and they belonged to Varee from the start.[Points will be awarded when you finish Lost Grea’s exclusive quests. The details will be sent to your system window.][You have spent 10 Points for the explanation. You currently have -6 Points.]The list of quests was added to Sila’s system window. He took a look at them and discovered why Varee had said that it was easy to enter the city. It was because all the quests in the list were trivial; something like delivering goods, conversing with somebody, or performing peculiar activities. For example, there was a quest for a player to perform a gymnastic dance in the middle of Zhongsuyuan City for fifteen minutes or wear the item set “Single Underwear” and travel around the Snow Realm located in the north for seven days. (Sila wondered how a single item was counted as an item set. Unbeknownst to him, this item was an S-grade item.)For the record, most of the quests gave around 5 Points, which was very little considering the quest’s contents.“...It’s really easy. No need to depend on luck like the Lost Qi Kingdom or have an exceptional memory like the Lost Magic Kingdom. Only patience and bravery (which Sila labeled as ‘shamelessness’) are enough to enter the city.”The way to enter Lost Grea City was ranked as the most annoying task of all the quests in Monster Soul. It had stayed at the very top since the game first launched and its rank had never gone down since.