Monster Soul Online

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  • I think there is something wrong with posting an image in this forum :/
    I tried to upload the smaller one but it didn't allow me to. How weird.
  • Chapter 130: Lost Grea - Intruders


    Sila’s eyebrows twitched as he studied the contents of the quests. He categorized all the quests into three categories: Doable, Somehow Doable, and Not Doable.

    He found that most doable quests required him to travel to various places. No resources were needed aside from time. As for the somehow doable quests, many of them required bravery to accomplish, which was a big problem for him.

    If someone asked him if he dared to fight a dragon one-on-one, he would reply instantly that he dared. But, if he was asked if he dared to only wear underwear and walk around for seven days, he would instantly reply that he did not dare.

    More importantly, he only had three days left before he had to log out. His plan to obstruct Montra had yet to initialize, his debt to the bank was nowhere near being dealt with, and the major quest of the Slime Kingdom was still far from finished. To sum up, the number of tasks he had to complete was too many. He didn’t want to waste his precious time by doing these absurd, trivial quests.

    ‘Maybe there is another way for me to enter. I believe I once heard Blue tell me that some quests in Monster Soul have an alternative method for completion.’

    “We can’t enter, yes?” Bow asked.

    “Eh? Bow?” Sila was deep in thought so he had totally forgotten about Bow. The fact that her body was quite small also played some role.

    “Bow what? Ah! Big Brother Sila has forgotten about me again, right?!” Bow started to sulk.

    Sila stopped giving the gate any of his attention and lifted Bow up. “That’s not it, Bow. I’m thinking about what kind of food I’ll ask Julia to make for you when we go back.”

    Bow gave him a big smile, “Really!?”

    Sila nodded, then Bow recited the kind of food that she would like to eat (most of them were desserts) non-stop. As he believed that there was no point in staying in this place, he planned to go back to the mansion and ask Bluebird about how to enter Lost Grea City. He hoped that Bluebird could give him a useful hint like he had before with the Underwater Palace.

    Sila was enveloped in flashing light being teleported away. Strangely enough, the players nearby had heard “Shortcake”  as the last word before Sila’s body vanished. Thus, there was a weird rumor about a special dimension that resembled a certain house made of sweets.

    ***

    After Sila left Bow in Julia’s care and a mountain of desserts, he opened his system window to contact Bluebird.

    The conversation hadn’t even started but Bluebird cut the line and immediately teleported himself to the Mansion of Secrets.

    “Eh? Actually, you didn’t have to come in person. I just have something I want to ask,” Sila greeted Bluebird as soon as his friend entered the living room.

    Without asking for permission, Bluebird allowed himself to sit on the sofa while reaching his hand to a teapot as he wanted to alleviate his thirst for beverages. A voice saying, “Ah. That’s mine!”could be heard, but he ignored it as he poured the liquid inside the teapot into his mouth.

    “Cough!! So sweet! What kind of drink is this?” Bluebird placed the teapot on the table while hurriedly searching for water.

    Julia handed him a crystal glass filled with cool, still water and explained, “That’s syrup for Lady Bow’s desserts, sir. She likes sweet food so I made it especially sugary.”

    Bluebird drank the water to wash away the sweet taste lingering in his mouth and turned his head to lecture Bow. “Bow, you shouldn’t always eat sweet things. They’re not good for your teeth.”

    Bow licked the honey around her lips and replied, “No problem~ Bow is a slime. We slimes don’t have teeth.”

    Bluebird thought to himself that it was true but still expressed his concern. “Anyway, always eating desserts and snacks isn’t good for your health. Hey, Sila, aren’t you spoiling Bow too much?” The last line was aimed at Sila.

    Sila scratched his head. Now that Bluebird mentioned it, he recalled that he always saw Bow eating sweets.

    “Julia. Usually, what kind of food does Bow tend to eat?”

    “Tiramisu, shortcakes, daifuku, chocolate bar, thong yip...” The list went on as Julia recited the food names. All of them were desserts.

    Sila gestured for Julia to stop reciting and asked again. “Excuse me. Does she eat anything other than desserts?”

    Julia fell into silence as if she was looking far into her memory. It was at that time that Bow interrupted. “Muu~ Bow doesn’t eat only desserts! Bow also eats rice!!”

    “Really?”

    “Yep~”

    “With what?”

    “Mango!!”

    “Mango?” Sila frowned at the menu name.

    “Yep, mango! Very delicious~” Bow looked left and right before lifting the food on a certain plate up to show Sila. “This one!”

    Sila stared blankly at the dish in front of him. “This is... Mango Sticky Rice, right? It’s a dessert, not rice, Bow.”

    “It’s called Mango Sticky Rice, isn’t it? If it’s really a dessert, the name should be Mango Sticky Dessert, no~?”

    “Being cunning, aren’t you? Bow, you won’t grow up properly if you only eat desserts. Good kids need to eat a lot of vegetables.”

    “Big Brother Sila talks like my dad.” Bow pulled a wry face. “Eat plenty of vegetables so that you can grow up stronger.” She mimicked the voice of the Slime King.

    Sila sighed, “If you misbehave, I will tell Master Viola and His Majesty.”

    “Uwah~ Big Brother Sila is mean. Those two will surely scold me.”

    “In that case, listen to this Big Bro. I won’t stop you from eating desserts. I just want you to eat less of them and eat more proper meals, especially ones with vegetables.”

    “But Bow doesn’t like to eat vegetables. They taste bad.”

    Julai interrupted, “I can prepare vegetables that taste different, sir.”

    Immediately, Bluebird replied to her as if he was the owner of the mansion, “Cool. Let’s do that. As for you, Sila, can we stop talking about sweets? Just looking at all the dishes on the table makes me feel like my sugar level is rising.”

    Sila told Julia to clear the table. She began taking away all the desserts, which Bow reacted to by quickly snatching the Mango Sticky Rice dish without letting it go. He sighed at such a sight.

    “That’s the last one for today. Alright, Bow?”

    Bow nodded with her entire body, then started eating her last dessert slowly to savor the taste since it would be her last one for now.

    Sila turned his attention to Bluebird who was opening his system window.

    “I can’t contact Burapha at all. What about you?” asked Bluebird.

    “I also haven’t been able to for several days. Do you know if something’s wrong?”

    “I don’t know where have you been, but, after we left, Burapha went to Zhongsuyuan City and dueled against Revin, the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s Flame Monarch.”

    Sila was startled and asked with a concerned expression. “What happened to Burapha?”

    “He was safe for a little while. He lost the duel, but before Revin could finish him off, he was rescued by Beluga, the guild leader of the Mountain Thieves League. Then, I heard he was sent to the Victorious Wolves Sect to rest. Well, the problem is, the Heavenly Dragon Guild has spread the news about Burapha owning the Dragon Killer Sword. This sword is very problematic. I suspect that he will be attacked by various groups as soon as he leaves the Victorious Wolves Sect. You know what? Burapha’s current bounty is even higher than yours.”

    Bluebird then explained the ability of the Dragon Killer Sword. Nevertheless, Sila was still worried about Burapha.

    “Why can’t we contact him?”

    “I don’t know. If I were to guess, he must be training somewhere since he went missing as soon as he recovered. Maybe he wants to have a rematch against Revin.”

    Bluebird belonged to an information guild so he knew many things, including the fact that Ginny had joined the Heavenly Dragon Guild.

    “What should we do, then? Should we go to Zhongsuyuan City and wait for Burapha to return so we can assist him?” said Sila.

    “In my personal opinion, I think it’s better for us to do nothing,” said Bluebird as he sipped a cup of tea that Julia had served him.

    “Do nothing? But, Burapha is facing a problem, isn’t he?”

    “But he didn’t request for our help, right? That guy is smart so I guess he has already come up with some kind of a plan. Another thing, Sila. Take you for example... Nah, you don’t even need to imagine it as you yourself are being pursued by various groups. Even with that, you have never asked for someone to help you, right? Can you tell me why?”

    Sila fell into silence for a moment. “It’s something I need to solve by myself.”

    “You see? That’s what we called putting yourself in other people's shoes. I know that you were raised uncommonly and don’t have much experience interacting with people, but you need to know at least this much. Try to imagine yourself as others and guess how they are feeling about a certain situation. Only then will you know why they act the way they act.”

    Sila showed a dry smile. “I know the phrase ‘Put yourself in other people's shoes.’ I grew up in a dojo, not a cave.”

    “Whatever. You may know of it, but do you truly understand it?”

    Julia who had been listening silently suddenly expressed her opinion, “I think I understand, sir. It’s similar to how Mister Bluebird often comes to the mansion and asks me to prepare meals for him while resting comfortably. All of these with Master’s wealth, am I correct?”

    “Cough!!” Bluebird choked on the tea. “Um... That’s... One way of putting myself in someone else’s shoes... I guess?”

    A short silence filled the room. Bluebird coughed a few times to cover up the topic. “Hey~ Everybody has some flaws and I have some as well. Anyway, you should stop worrying about Burapha. There is someone from the Blue Pigeon Guild keeping an eye on him with care already. If Burapha wants our help, he will contact us himself.”

    Sila didn’t understand the whole story, but he felt relieved as he discovered that someone was looking after Burapha.

    “What about you? Why did you contact me?”

    “Ah. The thing is...” Sila told Bluebird that he wanted to visit Lost Grea City and about the problem he found.

    Bluebird finished listening by taking another sip from the cup of tea. “And here I was wondering what you wanted. If it’s just this, anyone from the Blue Pigeon Guild can tell you. It’s a fairly common question. I have personally sold information regarding this seven or eight times already.”

    “A common question?”

    “Yeah. Everyone is like you. Who would be willing to do those stupid quests? How to access Lost Grea City without doing the quests is information that sells very well.”

    There was no way Varee wouldn’t know about this. Now, Sila was confident that she had played a prank on him.

    “How can I?”

    “The method is the same as the one we used for the Underwater Palace. The easiest way is to directly invade it.”

    Sila frowned. “But, Lost Grea City is underground. Don’t tell me that I have to dig?”

    “You won’t find it even if you dig all day. No joke. Someone has already tried that. The practical method is even easier than the one for the Underwater Palace; at least you won’t drown. You just have to buy some dimension crossing device and use it, just a small one that allows a single player is enough. This kind of item can be purchased from the black market. Unfortunately for you, they become rarer and more expensive as the war event draws closer. Most of them should have already been bought by large guilds. Well, if you wait for Burapha, that guy might be able to help you find one.”

    “Master has one as well, it’s in the treasure room,” informed Julia.

    “Oh! I remember. You really have one. It’s even the type that can bring many players with you. Tag me in. I have wanted to visit Lost Grea City for a long time.”

    “But, its name is Dimension-Invading Device, isn’t it? The word ‘invading’ sounds quite aggressive. Will it be fine?”

    “Ah. it’s not that easy, but it wouldn’t be a problem too. All you need to do is kill the Android Soldiers and defeat their commander.”

    “But, I don’t have any problems with them. We are the ones at fault by intruding their territory. Is there another method besides killing them?”

    “There is. You need to stamp your seal on the throne of their king. Let me tell you that this method is slightly harder.”

    “Let’s do that. By the way, how hard is it to pass through them to the throne?”

    “Not quite. It’s very safe. They are just Knight Rank monsters. No one has ever failed to invade the city. With your speed, if you don’t intend to fight them and instead focus on the throne, it shouldn't be any problem. Easy peasy~.”

    Julia opened her palm and the Dimension-Invading Device appeared on it. “I recommend Mister Head Butler goes with you, sir.”

    Afterward, everyone followed Julia to the lawn in front of the mansion. The neatly trimmed grass indicated that Julia performed a splendid job even as a gardener. She seemed to not have any flaws as a maid. As for Sebastian, the Head Butler, even though he rarely stayed at the mansion, Julia informed Sila that he always came back with souvenirs.

    “Um... Lost Grea City is supposed to have few players...” Sila looked at Bow and asked, “Bow, do you want to go with us?”

    “I’ll go! I’ll go! Bow still wants to shop~”

    “Please wait for me to reach Mister Sebastian...” Sila halted his sentence midway as Sebastian suddenly appeared behind him.

    “Miss Head Maid has already informed me, Mister Sila.”

    “I see. Um... Mister Sebastian, is that a bloodstain, on your shirt?” Sila pointed at the dry stain on the black butler uniform.

    “You have very good eyes. No need for concern, sir. I just took care of something unimportant. Please rest assured that I didn’t pick a quarrel with anyone.”

    “I’m relieved to hear that.”

    ‘I just pretended to be a weakling and wandered around in areas with shady backgrounds, then those thieves attacked me first. It was self-defense. Fufufu. Oh, right. Me raiding their camps is also counted as self-defense too... Self-defense in advance, that’s is.’ Sebastian thought to himself, using the word ‘self-defense’ very loosely.

    Julia placed the device on the ground and said, “Can I have permission to accompany you, Master?”

    Sila frowned. “Eh? I didn’t know that you are able to leave the Mansion of Secrets.”

    “I can if the dimensional portal is opened here. However, I can’t fight as I only have a spiritual body.”

    “It’s better if you bring Julia with us, Sila. You are planning to repair your arm, right? Julia is connected to your treasury, so in the case that the need for some items arises, you can just tell her to summon them.”

    Sila was considering whether he should bring Julia with him. Although Bluebird kept telling him that it was quite safe and easy, he thought that he better be prepared.

    “Release Lookhin.”

    A small dark brown sparrowhawk flew out from the ring. It hovered around the sky once before perching on Sila’s left arm.

    “Lookhin, please take care of Bow and Julia, okay?”

    Lookhin’s green eyes fell on Sila for a second before it nodded. Then, it began playing with its own feathers without paying attention to its surroundings.

    Sila walked closer to the device and asked, “How do I use it?”

    “Press the green button and state your destination, sir. In this case, it’s Lost Grea City,” explained Julia.

    Sila nodded and pressed the button. He quickly said, “Lost Grea City.”

    The air in front of them distorted and started to become a portal. There was a system sound informing Sila that there was one minute before the portal would be opened.

    “Sixty seconds.” He turned back to look behind and found that everyone was standing calmly.

    The portal widened. Its width was more than fifty meters. However, there seemed to be some kind of a semi-invisible wall that prevented them from entering. The scenery behind the wall was blurred so they couldn’t tell what awaited them. However, the psychic power being emitted from behind the wall that they could sense caused them to feel tense.

    “Please be careful. This amount of psychic power means there are more than ten, or even a hundred, enemies waiting for us,” said Sebastian.

    Sila nodded. The number counting down in his ears was telling him that there were only five seconds left. He began to circulate Tiger Dragon Qi while feeling regretful that he had yet to study partial circulation.

    In the meantime, both Sebastian and Bluebird could sense the difference in Sila’s qi. Sebastian’s lips curled into a smile while Bluebird showed a confused expression.

    “Let’s go in.” Sila was the first to hop in, followed by the rest. For the record, Bow and Julia were the last to enter with Lookhin flying around them closely.

    The first thing Sila saw was a giant wall. However, looking closely, it wasn’t a wall but rather an army of five-meter tall Android Soldiers. There were thousands of them standing on many layers of the plaza.

    Looking upward, he saw a ceiling giving off light and illuminating the room. It seemed they really were underground, and the reason why they could sense the immense psychic power before was due to the combined psychic power from all of the Android Soldiers.

    Sebastian smiled and whistled. His hand was holding his scythe tightly and it seemed he had already prepared a spell without anyone having to remind him. As for Bluebird, he was looking at the army and muttered something to himself.

    “I really need to have a serious talk with the one who gave me the information when I go back.” 

  • Chapter 131: Lost Grea - Killing Machines


    The best doesn’t always mean the most appropriate.

    The type of dimension crossing device plays a role in deciding the level of defense. Usually, players used a small device that allowed only a single user to cross dimensions, hence, the level of defense was set up for defending the kingdom against a single player. A small unit of the army would be sent to defend the territory.

    However, not only was Sila’s device the highest grade available on the market, but it was also an invasion type that allowed a large number of players to forcefully enter another dimension. Factoring this ability in, the level of defense of Lost Grea City was set at the highest, preparing the kingdom for a large scale invasion. Every Android Soldier had to abandon their current activity and prepare themselves for intercepting intruders. Even the quest that Sila heard about from Bluebird which tasked the player with killing the general was updated. It now told him to kill the Android King, which was clearly impossible with his current forces.

    Sila was aware of this as soon as he entered Lost Grea City. The system informed him that he had to kill Orpheus, the Android King, Emperor Rank, Level 1,000. Otherwise, he would have to stamp his seal on the throne within an hour.

    Based on his training experience under the Slime King, Sila was fully aware that the latter choice was much wiser. Even though Orpheus might be weaker than the Slime King, he was still the king of a kingdom. The chances of Sila defeating him would undoubtedly be non-existent.

    Sila focused his attention on the Android Soldiers to observe their characteristics.

    The color of each Android Soldier seemed to be slightly different. Their outstanding traits were their five-meter tall humanoid appearances and the three bright red dots on their faces, which he believed were their eyes. Each of the Androids possessed four arms. The infantry units used them to hold three short metal clubs and a shield, while the archer-like units would use one of their hands to ready their stringless bows and prepare the laser-like arrows with the rest of their hands. Some of the Androids had the symbol of a red hammer crossed with a sword imprinted on their chest and they all had unique weapons in their hands, indicating that their military positions were higher than the rest.

    The sound of the drum went off and the frontline of the Android Soldiers marched forward. Their clubs were hitting against their shield, producing a loud noise as they approached. Meanwhile, the archers aimed arrows at Sila’s party through the gap between the approaching Androids.

    Sila did a quick survey of the terrain. He and his team were in an open space with no cover, so they were in a very disadvantageous position. The reason why the archers hadn’t shot them yet must be because either the army had yet to finish getting into formation or his team had yet to enter their effective firing range.

    The sound of footsteps stopped and the frontmost soldiers held their weapons forward as laser blades began to extend from the tips. It turned out that the clubs were actually laser spears.

    Sila looked at them in awe. “Hm? Is there any weapon like that available?”

    Bluebird quickly informed him, “Haven’t you done some research? This is Lost Grea City and the android race is hailed to be the race that is the most technologically advanced in Monster Soul. I wouldn’t be surprised even if they took out a laser gun. The reason why you haven’t seen this kind of weapon before is they are rarely used by players.”

    “Are they dangerous?”

    “I don’t know, and I don’t want to try being hit to find out.” Bluebird frowned.

    “You can consider the same as any other weapon, sirs. All weapons are the same if they miss their targets,” said Sebastian.

    “Mister Sebastian? Do you know about them?” asked Sila.

    “Kind of, sir. The android race used to be one of the allies of my previous master, so I have come across them before. This race is not quite strong individually but they have the ability to upgrade their stats and skills with their gear. All of them have an energy generator as their weak point, but the location of it in their body varies for each Android.”

    “It’s fortunate that they have weak point. Do you have a way to pinpoint the location of the energy generator?”

    “I don’t know, sir. However, we can guess that it’s located inside the part of their body that they guard the most. Just observe them closely and you will see.”

    “Don’t talk so nonchalantly. They have finished getting into formation and we are in an open space. What should we do?” Bluebird was restless.

    Sebastian showed a gentle smile as he spoke, “We change the terrain, obviously.”

    The hollowed eyes on his scythe flashed as Sebastian slashed its blade on his palm. He pressed his bleeding palm against the ground and the blood seeped into it. A blood red character appeared and glowed on the ground before quickly duplicating itself and spreading outward along the ground, reaching as far as they could see.

    Bloody Graveyard.”

    The ground shook and numerous red skeletons rose from the ground. Sebastian instantly stabbed his scythe down and continued casting his next spell.

    Bloody Maze.”

    The red skeletons screamed. Their bodies glowed and transformed into walls made of bones. The height of the walls reached the ceiling and some of the light of Lost Grea City was blocked, dimming the atmosphere. The walls had formed in a haphazard manner, meaning the area around Sila’s group had turned into a giant maze.

    “Fortunately, we are underground and the height is limited.”

    Sila watched the walls made of red skeletons and marveled. “You have a lot of spells, don’t you, Mister Sebastian? You seem to be able to do everything.”

    Sebastian shook his head, “That’s incorrect, sir. There are many things that I can’t do. I possess a total of six hundred and sixty-six spells, but only thirteen of them can be used unconditionally. The rest have restrictions for use and some of the conditions are almost impossible to fulfill. For magic types, the key factor is timing. Use the most suitable spell in the right time and place. This is the most basic teaching for every magic-type creature.”

    Bluebird was clueless about that, but he still nodded and made a solemn expression like he had known about it from the start. He approached the skeleton walls and knocked them. “How sturdy are they?”

    “Red skeletons have low attack power but they are quite hard to kill. Even if they are destroyed, they will regenerate completely within three seconds. Well, if they are constantly attacked, they will collapse. Based on the number of enemies, I think they can resist less than ten minutes. The walls aren’t mainly for defense but for obstructing their vision while we invade the inner part of the kingdom, sir.”

    Sebastian placed his blood-soaked hand on Sila and Bluebird’s hands, then tapped it on Lookhin and Bow.

    “This will let you pass through the walls, everyone. The walls are currently everywhere in the kingdom for now. This terrain should provide us with a major advantage.”

    Bluebird tried to touch the walls again and found that his hand passed through them. The sensation he felt was similar to how it felt moving through water, but the density of the walls was lower so he could move more freely.

    He transformed himself into a blue tailorbird and found that he could still fly through the walls. Then, he transformed back and activated Psychic Bird Dance to summon a bird and commanded it to try flying through, which ended in success.

    “This is really convenient.”

    “The walls sense your power, not your body. If you clad a weapon with your power and throw it out, it will still pass through them. With this, our team can attack the enemies freely while the opposing side has their movement limited.”

    Boom--!!

    The sound of the walls crashing echoed all around them. It seemed the opposing side had started to act.

    Sila explained the plan. “We need to find where the throne is. Once we do, I’ll head toward it. We’re the ones at fault for intruding on their territory, so please refrain from killing them if possible.”

    “I object. If we hesitate to kill them, we will be the first to die. Look at how many there are!” argued Bluebird.

    “I agree with Mister Blue on this, sir. Being kind to an opponent is like being harsh on yourself. We can talk about who is right or wrong later, but if we decide to act, we have to be serious,” added Sebastian.

    Sila pondered for a moment. The sound of the walls crashing could still be heard. He sighed.

    “Fine. We will act seriously. But, keep it to the extent of self-defense, okay?”

    “Fufu. Self-defense? Roger, sir.” Sebastian's lips curled into a smile as he heard this word.

    “We should scatter around and search separately,” suggested Sila.

    “Again, I don’t agree with you, sir. I think it will be better for us to do what we are best at. Lookhin and I will stay here and fend off the main army. This way, we will also act as a decoy and their troops will be more focused on us. As for Mister Blue, I see that you can transform into and summon a small creature. May I ask if you can summon many of them?”

    “Around two thousand for the time being. I just got back from a job, so I can summon only this many.”

    “In that case, use them to help find the throne, if you may. As for Mister Sila, you will have to invade the inner part of the kingdom while searching for the throne. Please avoid confronting any Androids who seem to be strong. If Mister Blue spots the throne first, please relay its location to Mister Sila and then hold some of the Androids back to give Mister Sila some time. Lastly, Miss Head Maid and Lady Bow, please keep yourself out of harm’s way. If possible, please just stay still. If Lookhin or I need to spare our focus to protect you, we might fail.”

    Everyone agreed with this plan. Sila also agreed that this plan was more decent than his previous desperate suggestion so he didn’t object.

    The sound of walls crashing down continued, urging them to start moving. Sila used qinggong and flew past the walls, heading out.

    Bluebird was aware that time was short and precious. He immediately summoned all the tailorbirds at his disposal and ordered them to fly close to the ceiling. With the visibility of the android army being limited, they would have a difficult time spotting even a single bird.

    Thousands of tailorbirds fanned out and headed toward the inner part of Lost Grea City. Bluebird also transformed himself into one of them and headed out.

    Sebastian stayed where he was as his role in this was different. He told Lookhin to save its strength for when the walls were completely shattered. Before that happened, it was his duty to decrease the number of enemies as much as possible.

    He lifted his fingers up and then stopped when he glanced at Bow and Julia.

    ‘It shouldn’t be proper of me to let a woman or a kid see it.’

    “I will go face the opponents. Miss Head Maid, please take care of Lady Bow. Lookhin, you have never engaged in a large scale war, right? Listen to me, then. When the walls collapse, be fully offensive. Focus on killing many enemies in one move and don’t waste time on the strong ones. Kill when there is a chance to kill. In addition, please be mindful of your surroundings. Do you understand?”

    Lookhin nodded. Its sharp, green eyes looked back into Sebastian’s eyes. Its magic power began to gradually accumulate inside its small body.

    Lookhin didn’t use a normal casting method like other spellcasters. Its unique casting method was to unleash the power of spells directly. The more time it spent accumulating magic power, the more powerful the spell became. This was something it had learned by instinct.

    Sebastian walked through one wall and hid inside another. He stabbed two of his fingers into his eyeballs as he was about to unleash one of the spells that he didn’t like to use in his human form.

    Sebastian was able to control his power completely in his human form, but the downside was him being able to use only half of his maximum power. As for his genuine form, every single death that happened around him would slowly drive him into a berserk state, so he tended to not show his genuine form when his comrades were around.

    “Eyes of the Grim Reaper.”

    Sebastian shut his eyes close, but there was a profound red glow shining through his eyelids. The vision that he could see completely changed. Currently, what was projected in his vision was neither objects nor creatures, but rather souls and life sources.

    If he were in his genuine form, he would be able to cast this spell and let the grim reaper’s eyes overlap his normal eyes. Using it in his human form, however, caused him to lose sight of all non-living objects. Only life essences of all living creatures were projected as blurry, shining smoke within darkness.

    The smoke shared the same form as the body of the creature. Bow still looked like Bow and Lookhin still looked like Lookhin, but he couldn’t see Julia as she had no real form. As for all the androids, he could spot a tiny frame of light that was slightly brighter than usual in each of their bodies. It was the energy generator that he had mentioned.

    Sebastian held his scythe in his right hand and ran forward like a hunting hound who had found its prey. He took a detour, choosing to head toward the archers.

    As he ran, he could spot thousands of tiny life essences scattered in the sky. He suspected that they were Bluebird’s summoned tailorbirds.

    One of the Android Soldiers blocked his way so Sebastian stabbed the hilt of his scythe into its abdominal area, where its energy generator was hidden. The scythe was clad in magic power without holding back.

    Biri--!!

    The sound of the energy generator exploding attracted the attention of nearby Android Soldiers, drawing them toward him. Sebastian sneakily moved from the spot and assassinated the approaching Androids one by one when the chance arose.

    After he had slain the twenty-third Android, Sebastian noticed that his opponents started to become smarter. They no longer blindly followed the sound of explosions and instead moved in groups.

    “There seems to be a decent commander among them. In this case, how about this?”

    He dashed toward an Android and powerfully knocked the hilt of his scythe into the ground. His magic power surged up.

    Soul Snatcher Scythe.”

    Sebastian’s scythe traveled in a beautiful crescent arc. Around a hundred archers instantly exploded and scattered as several pieces of scrap. The archers usually didn’t possess exceptional defense to begin with, so they were relatively easy to defeat compared to the other soldiers whom he needed to focus all of his power into a single point to destroy each one.

    Nevertheless, with him showing off the spell, Sebastian’s location was no longer a secret. Many units from afar were rushing to come his way.

    “Um... I’m not certain this spell will work on these scraps, but whatever.”

    He commanded his magic power to pull all the scraps to join together and flicked his hand to spray blood onto them. Then, he fled from the location.

    His opponents broke the walls and finally arrived at the pile of scraps. Sebastian waited until his opponents had gathered and showed a reaper-like smirk.

    “Deathly Army Bomb.”

    Both the blood stain on his palm and the blood on the pile of scraps glowed at the same time.

    Boom--!!!

    The sound of the explosion shook the area. More than three hundred androids were destroyed in a single move and the nearby buildings crumbled down, falling down onto each other.

    “Unfortunately, this spell has a long cooldown time and I’m afraid the above Grea City will tumble down, so I can’t display its full power.”

    His opponents began to form a new formation to go against him. And when he was about to attack once more, he noticed something from afar and halted at such a sight.

    What he saw was Sila rushing toward the biggest life essence in the kingdom. The size of the light that emitted from that essence was large enough that it could be called a second sun.

    “Oi, oi. That’s the Emperor Rank monster. Why are you going that way, Master?”
  • Chapter 132: Lost Grea - One False Move and the Game is Over


    As soon as Sila separated himself from the team, he realised that there was a problem. Although he could freely go through the walls, he couldn’t see through them. He didn’t even know where he was, so how in the world would he find the throne?

    Pa--!

    Sila was running when he suddenly slammed into a wall. He rubbed his nose and reached out with his arm, realising that it was part of the fortress, not one of Sebastian’s walls.

    Since he didn’t want to attract attention, Sila moved silently by using both Qi Concealment and Universe Reversal to climb up the wall. Slowly, but surely.

    Irregular sounds could be heard from a distance. It seemed that Sebastian had started to move. Sila hurriedly and tracelessly extended the power of Galaxy Eclipse. However, Sebastian’s wall affected his ability to sense, so he was struggling to identify his surroundings. He didn’t know the appearance of the throne and all he could sense was his opponents’ positions.

    “Those tiny powers all over the place must belong to Bluebird.”

    The scope of Bluebird’s search was vast and almost covered the entire kingdom, especially when the entire Android army was focusing on keeping the intruders out and let their residential area of the kingdom become desolate.

    Sila relied on qinggong and his limited sensing ability to arrive at the inner part of the city. He searched aimlessly for five minutes before feeling restless. His unproductive five minutes felt like an hour when he imagined that he had left his comrades fighting behind. He was nervous as the negative thoughts overwhelmed him. What was happening to his friends? Did their plan go wrong?

    Boom--!!!

    A tremor came from the location where his team first arrived. Sila was no longer able to suppress his worries.

    He quickly expanded the size of his sensing sphere as much as he could. Although he still couldn’t pinpoint the throne, he was able to pinpoint his strongest foe in the kingdom:

    Orpheus, the Emperor Rank monster.

    “The King of the kingdom is supposed to stay near the throne, right? Even if I can’t fight him, I at least ought to get as close as I can.”

    The source of the great power could be sensed in the northeast. Sila immediately ran in that direction.

    The closer he got to the power, the stronger the pressure he was feeling from it became. Sila tried to slow down and change his approach to gradually moving forward.

    “You better not think that you can really come to this place without being detected by me, right? Intrusive kid.”

    An overbearing voice could be heard. He was startled and put up his Tiger Dragon Qi subconsciously.

    “You are too easy to find. You really are too young.” The same voice could be heard. Even though he was surrounded by red skeleton walls from all directions, Sila felt like he was being watched.

    Sila didn’t even dare to make the quietest noise. He didn’t know whether his opponent was telling the truth or bluffing, but he tried his best to stay vigilant nonetheless.

    “I won’t kill you yet. I’m just curious and have some questions to ask you.”

    “...”

    “Mn. It’s good that you are cautious, but you also need to know your place. If you don’t show yourself, I will just force you to do it.”

    Overwhelmingly strong psychic power was exerted and pressured Sila greatly. He had to clench his teeth to endure it. The current feeling that filled his body reminded him of when Wu Ming warned him before going to Colossia City.

    Fear.

    His breathing began to be unstable but he didn’t want to let his opponent know his location so he didn’t put up any resistance. He received the pressure directly with his unstrengthened body. He was gnashing his teeth as blood gushed out. His body felt heavy and his mind was tense like he was put into a cage with a ferocious, hungry tiger.

    “Wow. What a strange youngster you are, taking damage instead of revealing your position.”

    Sila’s body was extremely weakened and he believed he could pass out any second. The difference between their abilities was too great, so much that result of the battle had already been revealed even without a direct confrontation.

    “If I want us to talk, I need to make these walls disappear first, right?”

    Crack--!!

    All of the walls were destroyed before vanishing with a single move. It wasn’t just the ones in the throne room, but all of the red skeleton walls that had appeared in the Lost Android Kingdom had disappeared.

    There was a man with curly golden hair, wearing a white Greek-style robe, sitting on the white throne that Sila had been searching for. In his hand was a stringless golden lyre.

    “Greetings. I’m Orpheus, an independent NPC whose role is the king of the Lost Android Kingdom. I’m just surprised by how you guys invaded my kingdom with only five people. Well, there are three pets in your group but only two of them can fight. So, it wouldn’t be wrong if I said that your team only has four members capable of combat.”

    Since his location had been revealed, Sila no longer had a reason to conceal his power. He circulated Tiger Dragon Qi to heal his internal wounds while thinking about two matters.

    The first was the fact that the man in front of him wasn’t just a system-generated monster but an independent NPC that taking on the role of a monster.

    This was a fact that could be considered as either favorable or unfavorable.

    What made it potentially favorable was that Independent NPCs were bound to their role, but they had a certain level of freedom to do whatever they pleased so long as their actions didn’t contradict their role. It was thanks to this that Orpheus could choose not to attack him yet.

    As for the unfavorable part, it was the impossible-to-compare difference in strength between Independent NPCs and system-generated monsters. Sila had heard that all of the Slime Guardians, who were at Lord Rank, could even compete against Emperor Rank monsters on equal ground. For him to battle against an Emperor Rank Independent NPC, his door to victory had already been tightly sealed.

    Even if he completely abandoned the battle and focused solely on stamping his seal on the throne, it was still a close-to-impossible task.

    For him to complete that task, his strength no longer played any role in this confrontation. Only his intelligence and quick wit mattered.

    As he was in the midst of a crisis, Sila’s mind became calmer. With his qi activating to resist the psychic power, his head was now clear and his brain focused on the other matter, one which confused him.

    Orpheus had told him that his team had five members, but that was incorrect. With the tactical ability to destroy all of the red skeleton walls without damaging the other buildings nor harming any living creatures, the Android King didn’t seem to be someone who would make an error regarding something so simple like this.

    ‘Why did he think that only five people have invaded into his kingdom?’ Sila tried to figure out why he said that. He sensed that the answer to this question would play a major role in helping him survive this place.

    “Mn. Your ability is not half bad. Unfortunately, you lack too much experience. Actually, you should chosen to not step foot into my kingdom as soon as you realized that there was no way for you to win. Even if you realized late, you still should have decided to flee from this place.”

    “I’m not a coward.”

    “Mn. Being cowardly or not doesn’t really matter here. I guess you have never participated in a war before. Listen. In wartime, fleeing doesn’t mean losing or that you’re a coward. It can be a part of a strategy. Why bother fighting in a battle that you know you will surely lose? Don’t you know that fleeing is one of the ultimate strategies?”

    Sila’s experience in group battles was indeed lacking. He fought alone most of the time and had never studied military strategies or the Art of War.

    Orpheus continued, “You must be very confident in your ability to some degree, don’t you? But you know what? War is like a game of chess. One strong piece can’t win against a well-coordinated opposition by itself, no matter how strong it is.”

    “Will we talk? Or fight?”

    “Fufu. No need to rush things, kid. We will eventually fight. But, I want us to talk first since you won’t be able to pass me anyway.”

    Sila’s eyes were fixated on the man.

    “Frankly, you’re quite skilled, but you are still a gem in the rough. If you had polished your line of thought and accumulated experience, you would have been a force to be reckoned with.”

    Orpheus left the throne and approached a nearby table to pour some tea for himself. Amidst the silence, Sila took a side glance at the currently empty throne which Orpheus had turned his back toward.

    No matter how small the chance was, Sila needed to seize it. With the Hidden Weapon Firing skill, he could summon any item from his system window without having to open it. This trivial gimmick had helped him many times. Now, what he summoned was the Lost Grea City’s seal.

    His target was a small groove with the emblem of Lost Grea City engraved on the backrest of the throne that Orpheus’s body had been blocking it previously.

    To shoot an object the size of a stamp into an equally small groove might be an impossible task for many, but not Sila. For him, the distance of fifteen meters was even less than the one he always practiced on.

    “My, my. Seizing the chance as soon as you see it. You’re very inexperienced, indeed.”

    Orpheus plucked the stringless lyre once, and the seal’s trajectory was slightly shifted. It slammed into the backrest of the throne and silently dropped on the seat.

    “When an opponent intentionally shows you an opening, you need to think twice before you act as it might be a trap. Now, the seal is no longer in your hand. I will let you guess for fun which one of us can arrive at the throne faster.”

    Sila inwardly scolded himself. This wasn’t the first time that he had been lured into an enemy’s trap. The time when he fought against Kawin had been the same; he instinctively acted as soon as he saw a chance and it resulted in his loss.

    “Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘One false move and the game is over’, kid?”

    In actual combat, just a single mistake can cost you victory. Thus, if the opponents don’t make any mistakes, you might need to force them into making one.

    What Orpheus just did was forcing Sila to uselessly waste his trump card. Stamping the seal on the throne was the only way for him to win without having to fight. And now he had lost it.

    ‘Think, me, think. What should I do in a situation like this? Which method do I need to use?’

    Orpheus didn’t interrupt, instead letting him continue trying to come up with a solution.

    Sila slowly headed toward Orpheus rather than the throne. Orpheus didn’t know what Sila’s plan was, but he still showed a fearless smile. He personally wanted to know what trick the youngster in front of him was going to pull.

    “Could you please give me a cup of tea as well, sir?” Sila asked politely.

    Orpheus smiled, “Sure, why not? We need to fight soon. It’s better that we learn a thing or two about each other. By the way, what is your name?”

    “Sila, sir.” He quietly watched Orpheus pour the tea into a cup and hand it to him, which he obediently accepted.

    “Well, that’s a good name. Sila. Strong and firm.”

    “Thank you, sir,” replied Sila.

    ‘Fufu. Do you think I didn’t realize that you sneakily contacted your friend when I poured the tea? My, my. Calling reinforcements won’t pose a threat to me. What a bad move, kid.’ Orpheus thought to himself while sipping the tea.

    Sila was stalling for time by having a conservation with Orpheus. That was until Orpheus had detected that there was someone else sneaking around at the front of the room.

    “Why don’t you invite your friend in?”

    Bluebird scratched his head as he made an awkward appearance. “Hehe. Hello, everyone. Are you busy?”

    Orpheus didn’t say a word as he plucked the lyre in his hand once and a clear sound resounded. This time, Sila was close to him so he had witnessed that a string made from psychic power appeared in the instant that Orpheus played the lyre. A line of psychic power that was invisible to the eyes flew to the throne and scattered into hundreds of tiny lines. Only several flashes of light could be seen.

    “There are birds wandering into the room,” nonchalantly said Orpheus.

    The energy lines precisely struck all one hundred and fifty tailorbirds that had stealthily entered the room. Sila had never witnessed such a delicate and ingenious display of power before.

    “Too bad for you, kid.”

    Sila didn’t reply and just stared into the tea in his cup.

    “The tea has turned cold. Hurry up and drink it. Then, you can come at me two against one. I won’t mind.”

    A smile emerged on Sila’s face. “Well, yes. I had better drink it to celebrate my victory.”

    “Victory? Are you insane? Your plan has failed.”

    “You are the one who taught me not to fall for the opponent’s trick. I wouldn’t win if you hadn’t taught me at least that much.”

    A system announcement went off in Sila and Orpheus’ ears.

    Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Conquering the Lost Android Kingdomquest. As a reward, the android race is now allied with the slime race and Lost Grea City has become a territory under your management.

    Orpheus was shocked and turned his head toward the throne only to witness that the seal had been stamped into the groove. Beside the throne, there was a woman in a maid outfit standing. She was an existence that he couldn’t detect even when he was looking right at her.

    Julia bowed her head and said, “I have put the seal inside the groove as you ordered, Master.”

    Sila circulated qi around himself to make the tea warmer and poured it into his mouth. He was looking at Orpheus’ confused expression as the man tried to figure out how he lost.

    “One false move and the game is over, sir,” Sila said with a smile.

  • Chapter 133: Lost Grea - Julia


    “Hahahaha.” The sound of laughter resounded throughout the palace.

    The king of the Lost Android Kingdom sat on the white throne and was surrounded by several android generals. In front of him were Sila and his teammates.

    “Unexpectedly, it was my miscalculation by not thinking of an AI. You found fault in my words and realised that I couldn’t detect AI, so you brought your friend as a bait and ordered the AI to secretly stamp the seal on the throne, right?”

    The system had set the AI’s presence to be undetectable by Independent NPCs and players. It was for the privacy of the AI’s owner. The NPCs that can detect AI’s presence are only System NPCs who manage the facility services used by players. They are bound to keep a player’s personal secret and have no way to interfere with a player.

    “If Mister Orpheus got serious, I would lose from the start.”

    “Don’t be too modest. The important factor in the war is strategy. I misjudged you so I also misjudged your strategy. It seems I still have a lot to learn.”

    Orpheus had detected Sila and his friends’ presences from the moment they entered the kingdom. He noticed that only a few players had come but their plan was quite decent, so he planned to play with them for a while.

    The fact that Sila headed his way indicated that he wasn’t the one who came up with the plan as his action was reckless and suicidal. Thus, Orpheus became careless and decided to lecture this promising youngster on the Art of War.

    As a result, he lost strategically.

    “Well, it’s beyond my expectations that someone risked bringing an AI outside. This was the main reason why I miscalculated.”

    “Eh? Is there a risk?” Sila wondered.

    “Don’t you know? Really?” Orpheus looked into Sila’s eyes and discerned that Sila was really clueless. “Wahahaha. I see... I see.”

    Everybody fell silent, waiting for Orpheus to reveal what he knew.

    “There is a certain risk when you bring a facility AI to outside dimensions. It is a risk that no one would take; if the owner of the AI dies when the AI is outside, that player will lose the AI. Since an AI is not a pet nor a monster, it will be permanently deleted from the system and there would be no way to bring it back.”

    “What did you just say?!” Sila exclaimed.

    “Hahaha. It’s satisfying to see your shocked expression... Well, that’s strange. It is usually written in an AI manual. Moreover, your AI should have warned you when you were about to let it exit the facility it maintains.”

    Sila turned his head to face Julia, asking, “Is that true?”

    She nodded, “Certainly, sir, but I believe in Master.”

    Sila shook his head as he said, “This time is a given, but next time, if there is a matter similar to this, please inform me first, okay?”

    “As you wish, Master.” Julia bowed her head.

    The Android King interrupted, “Back to the main topic. I’m starting to get annoyed by the constant nagging of the system that keeps telling me to give you the rewards. Now, let me show you what they are.”

    He tapped his hand on the armrest of the throne and the system window popped in front of him. At the same time, Sila’s system window also automatically opened.

    “First, free upgrade to your system window. Oh? Your system window is already at A-grade, which is the maximum.”

    “You can pass that privilege to me, my dear friend. Mine is just B-grade,” meddled in Bluebird as he didn’t want his friend to lose a benefit.

    The king waved his hand, “No can do. This privilege only belongs to the quest holder. Don’t worry, though, there are rewards for you, the companion, as well. However, there will be no reward for the pets, as the system interprets that the pet owner has received it in their stead.”

    Bluebird grinned. The reward for completing this kind of major quest shouldn’t be underestimated.

    “In that case, you can skip this one, sir. Actually, I only planned to finish my business; getting rewards is not my intention. I don’t think in-game materials are all that important anyway,” said Sila.

    “Hahaha, you talk like Independent NPCs. However, that won’t do. This reward is yours to take. I will try to upgrade it nonetheless. Just leave your system window with me and I will come up with something.”

    “Leave my system window?” Sila wondered if he had heard wrong. System window wasn’t clothing. How could he leave it with someone else?

    “Yeah. Wait a sec.” Orpheus took a hand-sized metal plate out and handed it to Sila. “Place your hand on it and all of your data will be transferred into it.”

    Sila hesitantly looked at the silver plate but he still placed his hand on it. His body glowed for a while and he felt his body become slightly lighter. He tried opening his system window, but there was no response.

    “Don’t worry. All of your items have been transferred to my storage. You won’t be able to check your status though. You should take a walk around the city for the time being and I will send the system back to you when it’s done upgrading. I guarantee that it won’t take longer than a week.”

    Sila felt strange but he didn’t complain. Limiting the player’s rights once in a while might give him a new gaming experience. As for Orpheus, he opened Sila’s system to check the contents and was surprised for a second, but no one caught the slight change in expression.

    “Secondly, about the alliance. Now that the android race is allied with the slime race, the dragon race has become our nemesis as a result.”

    “Am I causing trouble for you, sir?” Sila asked with concern.

    “Nah. It’s just that, long ago, there was someone who completed a quest similar to the one you did. That one belonged to the dragon race so we became allies. However, since you have completed a quest with a higher difficulty, his alliance with me has been overwritten by yours.”

    “Who was it that completed the quest?” As expected of a newshawk. Bluebird quickly threw a question despite already having a feeling he knew who that player might be.

    The Android King waved his hand. “It’s a secret. I can’t tell you that.”

    “Let me guess. It’s a player with the name Montra,” said flatly Sila.

    Orpheus didn’t answer. “I can neither confirm nor deny that.”

    Bluebird wrote something down in his notebook while Sebastian’s eyes flashed a mysterious light. As for Sila, he was starting to get used to the fact that he was always one step behind Montra no matter what he did.

    “Another reward. Do you know the meaning of conquering a kingdom?”

    “I don’t know, sir,” honestly replied Sila. He turned his head to Bluebird who was more knowledgeable, only to be surprised when Bluebird also shook his head to express that he didn’t know about it either.

    “It isn’t weird for you to not know about that. In Monster Soul, only a handful of races have their own kingdom. Most of them only have small territories.

    “The relationship between the races in Monster Soul is either nemesis, neutral, friendly, or dependency. The fact that you conquered the Lost Android Kingdom means it has become your dependency. It is still me who is managing the kingdom, but you will have some rights depending on our agreement.”

    “It sounds... so great.” Listening to it, Sila felt like it was a farfetched matter.

    “It is. No player has ever gained this right before. You are the first one.”

    “What are the benefits for Sila?” Bluebird quickly asked.

    “For Lost Grea City, I will grant you four rights. First, within this kingdom, everyone who is your enemy will be classified as our enemy. Second, the right to access this kingdom whenever you wish; I have already placed the Invitation Card within your system window. Third, five percent of the net profit that Lost Grea City makes. You will receive a tribute every week. Lastly, the right to use our forces for war.”

    Sila just blankly listened. Aside from five percent of the profit, he couldn’t see how he could make use of the other three rights.

    “Aren’t you glad? A normal player would have already jumped in joy... Are you still unsatisfied?”

    “That’s not it, sir. I’m honored. But, I just can’t see how special they are.”

    “You can’t see how special they are?! Are you nuts?! They are very special! Listen. You now have an entire android army under your belt. It’s like a dream come true for every world-class villain. Aren’t you interested in conquering the world? Conquering Monster Soul?”

    “Why would I take over Monster Soul, sir?” replied Sila with an uninterested tone. However, Sebastian’s eyes were sparkling.

    “There is no specific reason for obtaining power, you know? You can think about it when you have already conquered the world. I believe every villain must think so too.”

    “I think we should stop talking about this, sir. I have my own goals and ‘conquering Monster Soul’ surely isn’t included in my list. Is that all for the rewards, sir?”

    “Ah. You are no fun. No, not yet. There is still the last one: the right to learn three of any skills that our android race possesses. It’s also your reward, kid,” Orpheus pointed at Bluebird.

    Bluebird grinned, “What kind of skills are they, sir?”

    “Too many to count, I’d say. Each unit of the android race has different sets of skills depending on its manufactured version. Try to ask them yourself,” Orpheus shrugged. “Now, let’s talk about your business with us. Let me guess. A weapon, right? Nine out of ten people ask for a weapon when they come to Lost Grea City.”

    Sila shook his head and unwrapped the bandages around his right arm. “I’m here to fix this, the Right Arm of the Sealed One, sir. And if it’s possible, I would like to ask you about the whereabouts of the Sealed One as well.”

    The Android King looked at the arm. “Ah, I guessed incorrectly again. And here I thought you must be intending to acquire a weapon as I have noticed that you possess two Gems of Catastrophe and two pieces of Orichalcum.”

    “In the end, can you repair it, sir?”

    Sila didn’t bother caring about Orpheus’ mumbling, but Julia who was responsible for Sila’s items didn’t let what the Android King just said pass by.

    “Your Majesty, why did you say that Master has two Gems of Catastrophe and two pieces of Orichalcum? Based on my information, Master has only one of each.”

    “Mn. An AI can only think like an AI, it seems. You can only look at the obvious information.” The Android King pointed at the ring on Sila’s finger. “That’s the Dark Age Sealing Ring. I’m the one who forged it from the Eternal Onyx, one of the Gems of Catastrophe, several years ago. I don’t know how it ended up in Sila’s possession though.”

    Sila lifted his left hand up for everyone in the room to have a clear look at his black, mysterious ring.

    “The reason why you can’t inspect its detailed information is because it was sealed by someone with Transcendent Ranked Seal. As for the Orichalcum, this is the kingdom hailed as the Kingdom of Creation. Don’t you think I should have some myself?”

    “Eh? But, doesn’t it belong to Mister Orpheus?”

    “It’s useless for me. I even had two more in the past, but I have already given them to people I took a liking to. This one is the last. I plan to give it to you.”

    “I guess that you gave one of them to Varee. What about the other one? Who did you give it to, sir?” asked Bluebird.

    It was a fact that Montra had gotten Orichalcum as a reward for being the victor of last year’s war event. If what the Android King said was the truth, that meant that, aside from Varee who had inspired many rumors about the source of hers, there was someone else with Orichalcum who had yet to reveal it to the world.

    “Um... Varee is Sila’s lover so it’s not weird for you to deduce that. As for the other, I can’t tell you since it’s their personal secret.”

    “At the very least, can you tell us what weapon they use?” Bluebird asked again.

    “I don’t know. The only weapon that I produced from Orichalcum is the Shadow Moon Sword. As for the others, the one who produced them must be Zeref, the legendary weaponsmith in Zhongsuyuan City.”

    “Well, Sila, what kind of weapon do you intend to use?” Bluebird asked.

    “Eh? I don’t plan to use any. No one has ever taught me how to use one so I’m more comfortable with using my hands.”

    “Before your expectations grow, let me inform you first that your right arm is very broken, so I need to use one Orichalcum for fixing it. Since this right arm is classified as a weapon and your flesh at the same time, I think you will gain some minor ability from this. However, it won’t be able to accumulate experience points like other weapons made from Orichalcum.”

    “I always thought that it could be repaired as soon as I arrived at Lost Grea City, no?”

    “It should be the case. But, your right arm is dysfunctional. Qi and psychic power are clogging it up, so I need to use a material that can endure your power to fix it. If you subtract one then add one, you get zero. Your broken arm plus the power of Orichalcum will net you a normal, useable arm.”

    “Will it take long?” Sila asked with concern as he only had two days left to stay online.

    “It’s already done.”

    Sila’s right arm shone a faint glow for a moment.

    “Is that it?” Sila had expected it to be a grander scene.

    “That’s it. It’s not like I have to create something new. I just sent the power of the mineral into your right arm, then it resonated and fixed itself. You haven’t heard anything because you don’t have a system window. Actually, the system informed you that your right arm has reached the third stage and you can unlock it after a week has passed.” said the Android King, to which Sila wasn’t surprised since the content was all the same.

    “Each part of the Sealed One has five stages and starts at the first level. Searching for the lost kingdom of its corresponding energy-type can level it up and there are hidden quests to upgrade it more if you complete them, which you have already done one of (taking magical damage of every element). As for the last stage, only the Sealed One can upgrade it for you.”

    “Where is he though?”

    “I can’t tell you about that. He is a unique existence from the other Independent NPCs. Plus, you already have a clue about him with you even though you haven’t realised. This is the most I can tell you. More than this and I will break the NPC’s codes of conduct.”

    Sila didn’t want to put a burden on Orpheus so he dropped the question. It seemed he had to use his free time to think about the clue the Android King was mentioned.

    “Now, it’s my turn to ask for a favor from you. Honestly speaking, I’m very interested in your maid. Can you lend her to me?” The Android King pointed his finger at Julia.

    A deadly silence filled the room. No one had ever expected the Android King to ask for something like this.

    Julia was the first to respond. She bowed her head, “My deepest apologies, sir. I’m not interested in you.”

    “Huh? What do you mean?” The Android King examined the various expressions on the faces of everyone in the room, especially the ones on Bluebird, who was showing sympathy and pity, yet also looked like he was looking at someone pathetic while shaking his head.

    The Android King gritted his teeth and snapped his fingers. Suddenly, all the legs of the chair that Bluebird was sitting on it cracked and he fell to the floor.

    That’s not my intention!! What I am trying to say is, this maid is an AI and you coincidentally own the Ocean Heart Aquamarine, which has the property of granting life. Let me finetune both of them for a while and I can create a physical body for her. There is no other meaning!!”

    “Is that so, sir? Please accept my apologies for misunderstanding your intention,” said Julia while bowing her head.

    “No problem. How about it, Sila? Let me tell you firsthand that it will be the first time genuine life is granted to an AI, so I’m not sure about the result.”

    “Will it be dangerous, sir?”

    The Android King shook his head. “In the worst case, she will just have a weak body that can’t participate in battles. That’s all. However, the Ocean Heart Aquamarine is one of the Gems of Catastrophe. I’m sure we can avoid the worst possible result.”

    “I don’t know what to do with the Gem anyway. I will let Julia make her decision. How about it, Julia?”

    It was a bizarre experience for Julia, being given the right to choose. After a brief pause, she asked,

    “What benefits will having a physical body grant me, sir?”

    “Um... At the very least, you will have the ability to travel outside. You will no longer be stuck in the dimension.”

    After being silent for a long time, Bow expressed her opinion, “That’s good! Bow will take Big Sister Julia sightseeing. Bow used to be stuck in the Slime Kingdom, so I know that being locked at home is very boring~”

    “In that case, I will humbly comply with your suggestion, sir,” said Julia with a gentle smile on her face.

    The Android King complimented how wise that decision was and was glad that he had a chance to compete against Zeref. Prior to this, one hundred out of one hundred people would choose to visit Zhongsuyuan City if they want their ultimate weapon. Now that he had good materials in his hands, he was confident that he could produce the most dangerous weapon in Monster Soul.

    If he could do just that, everyone would rush to Lost Grea City for weapons, regardless of how absurd the quests they had to complete were.

  • We finally reach the end of Volume#4: "A Storm in Grea City"
    As per usual, at the end of each volume, there is a special chapter.
    For Volume#4, the name of the special chapter is "To the Vast Ocean"
    It's a story of a certain character who, metaphorically, used to live in a small pond but ultimately set off a journey to the vast ocean.

    If you are interested in the special chapter and would like to support the translation team, please join the Patreon and enjoy our exclusive contents!
  • edited April 2019
    Announcement.

    Unfortunately, my editor has his busy circumstances and will stop working for the foreseeable future. The release of chapters will be suspended, or slow down, temporary.

    I'm looking for editor to help the translation. Please contact me if you are interested. (You can reach me by either posting here, sending me a message, or adding me in Discord Sinless#8534.)

    Thank you all for the support.
  • [Volume#5 The Eternal Darkness]

    Chapter 134: Eastern Sea Evil God



    Today marked the last day that Sila could stay online in Monster Soul. He was watching a giant test tube filled with clear liquid and a sky-blue gem which shone brilliantly like the rays of the sun being reflected off of water.

    The Android King had told him that all of Julia's data had been transferred into the tube and more time was needed for the process to be finished.

    Sebastian suddenly left as soon as he perceived that there was nothing for him to do, and he didn’t tell anyone where he was going.

    Meanwhile, Bow went outside to go sightseeing around the city after the Android King guaranteed that she would be completely safe. Not only was the slime race now allied with the android race and the city patrolled by Android Guards who would do their best to protect her, the current Lost Grea City also had no other players present. Almost all players had left when Sila and his team invaded the city, and the ones who stayed behind got hit by stray attacks from Sebastian and the androids before they also decided to leave.

    Based on the requirements for entering Lost Grea City, it would take some time before the city received visitors again. Even so, Sila was still cautious and asked Lookhin to look after Bow.

    “Are you sure it won’t be dangerous?” Sila asked Orpheus, who just entered the room.

    “I’m sure it won’t. It will be more dangerous if you’re too hurried.” The Android King also watched the gem attentively.

    “I’m going to log out today, sir. It should be three to four days in the game. Can I ask whether this will be finished by the time I return?”

    The Android King shook his head. “I’m not sure. It may be finished as soon as today or it could take several days. I'm just positive that it won't take longer than two weeks. As for logging out, you can use the hotel in the residential area.”

    “I’m curious about something, sir. Why did you set that weird condition for accessing the city? I think it is the main reason this city is rarely visited by players. Isn't it bad for business?”

    “Hahaha. Are you afraid your share of the profits will be too low?”

    Sila quickly denied, “That’s not it, sir. That’s not the problem. I’m just curious.”

    “Well, to answer your question, our business isn’t bad at all. Although not many players come, our products are high quality so the price and profit are not insignificant. However, our annual profit isn’t that high.”

    Sila thought about how the Slime King had changed the drop rate of the Slime Card. Since changing the drop rate was possible, changing the method to access the Lost Android Kingdom should be possible as well. Thus, he asked, “Why don't you change the rule, sir?”

    The Android King shook his head again. “It’s not that I don’t want to do it, but that I can’t. It’s the agreement I have with the game creator.”

    “The agreement that we need to complete those senseless missions in order to enter the city? What is the game creator thinking?”

    “Hahaha. That’s not it. Actually, I’m the one who came up with the condition. The game creator only asked me to come up with a way to prevent players from easily entering the city. However, my city heavily relies on trading, so setting a harsh condition would prevent merchants from entering. So, this is the answer I came up with. You can enter the city if you are very persistent.”

    “Um... I believe your definition of the term ‘persistent’ is a bit off...”

    “Ah. There are some peculiar missions that I included as a joke. Well, it’s unexpected that there were some players who dared to complete them. I should say that they have my profound respect. Even I don’t think I could do those missions myself.”

    “Can I ask why there must be a condition for entering the city? Other cities don't seem to have any.”

    “Um... About this question, it’s not a secret or anything, but not many players are interested in hearing the answer. Do you know who the Independent NPCs are?”

    “I know, sir. They are the first generation players who were invited to play Monster Soul when it was still in the closed beta stage, and decided to continue playing after the game launched.”

    “That's correct. Most of them didn’t select a race and there wasn’t a problem with that. However, for those who had selected a race before the end of the closed beta, with the great ability of Independent NPCs, it wouldn’t be strange for them to ascend to the upper or even top position of the race.

    “The problem is the balance of the game. The stronger the king of the race, the stronger the race as a whole becomes. To limit the strength of the races with Independent NPCs, those races were bound with some limitation or constraints; for example, having low quantity, weak in a certain situation, hard to find, or sealed in a certain area.

    “The android race has me as its king so the race is bound to Lost Grea City which has a difficult method of accessing. Well, there is a hidden quest for each race to break this kind of restriction, but no player has ever completed any of them as of now. If just one of the races is freed from the constraint, I’m sure that the situation in Monster Soul will be overturned.”

    “Are four Independent NPCs considered a lot?” Sila tried to act casual when asking this question.

    “Four?! Are you nuts? Two is already too many. The balance of the game would be ruined if they aren’t being restrained.”

    Finally, Sila discovered the hidden reason why the slime race was sealed. With the race having four Independent NPCs, it is restrained by being sealed in a limited territory, having low quantity, and being very weak in a sealed state. The quest to slay eight dragons wasn’t too unreasonable considering what would happen as soon as all the seals were broken.

    In the worst case, Sila negatively thought that this quest might have been designed to be impossible to complete, even.

    As he was still thinking about this matter, Bluebird grinned and approached the two as if he was a kid who just found a new toy. For the record, Sila and the Android King had long since detected his presence. However, they were curious how Bluebird could arrive at this room despite the maze-like structure of the castle.

    “You’re really here. Hahaha, this skill is very excellent.”

    “Did you use a new skill?” asked Sila.

    “Correct. On the third sub-floor of the castle, there was a Spying Android who just gave me a skill. This skill is really neat. It seems I need to think very hard before choosing the other two skills.”

    “Oh. You even went to the android storage zone? I guess the skill you chose is Tracking.”

    Bluebird smiled and nodded. “Yes, sir. I questioned the android for three hours before I was certain that this skill is very useful. It can analyze even the tiniest clue to track down the target. As its level goes up, the information that I get will be more detailed.”

    “Wow. It suits your job as a newshawk.”

    “Right? I’m thinking about searching for two other skills that will cover my weaknesses. How about you? Why don’t you try searching for the skills in the city? This city is like a treasure. There are hundreds of skills to choose from. Regrettably, we can choose only three so we need to think it through carefully before choosing.”

    “Mn. If you plan to search for the information of all the skills, you better be prepared to spend a month or more. Getting three is already a lot. You got this reward because you completed the quest with a team of only two players. The reward of the quest depends on the number of participants. The fewer players in the group, the greater the reward.”

    “What about Montra... I mean, the dragon race player who came before us? How many people were in their group when they raided this city?” Sila couldn’t help but be curious.

    “Three players. They didn’t use a high grade dimension-invading device like you though. They didn’t choose to stamp the seal either, instead choosing to confront one of my guardians, who was Lord Rank. Although it was a four-against-one battle, they were quite skilled, so I formed an alliance with them. Their reward wasn’t the right to obtain any skill but a certain item...” as he said this, the Android King showed a worried expression.

    “Who was the fourth member? / What item?” Bluebird and Sila asked at the same time.

    “Not so fast. One question at a time, okay? There may have only been three players, but one of them had a partner. And, like with your case, I didn’t view the pet nor partner as one of the participators.”

    As soon as Orpheus finished speaking, Bluebird immediately wrote something down in his notebook. No one had ever obtained information about Montra, Kawin, or Revin having a partner. Regardless, Bluebird didn’t think that it was too weird for them to have one. The Heavenly Dragon Guild was a large and influential guild and those three were strong. It was entirely possible that one of them found out how to obtain a partner. Still, Bluebird believed that he had to research this some more.

    “As for the reward, I can’t tell you about it. I can only tell you that it’s a very dangerous item. If you are the foe of this group of players, you have to be on guard.”

    Silence filled the room. Bluebird noticed that Sila was stressed about Montra again.

    “Well, Sila, do you have any ideas what skills you will choose? Do you want me to guide you around the castle?”

    “The number of skills seems to be a lot. I don’t think I want to tour around the castle. Can you prepare the skills that might be suitable for me later?”

    “Fine by me. Don’t worry. By the way, if you come back and don’t see me, I will leave a note about the skills in your mansion, okay?”

    “Okay. Mister Orpheus, I think I will have to take my leave.”

    “You’re welcome to. The hotel is located at the front of the residential area. It’s easy to find.”

    Sila left the two. Afterward, become Bluebird found searching and making discoveries regarding the Lost Grea City enjoyable, he quickly went outside to continue his work.

    As for Orpheus, he remained in the room and looked intently at the giant tube. Ordinary people wouldn’t notice any chance but his expert eyes could tell him that the light reflected on the gem was gradually getting weaker. This meant the energy within the gem was constantly being drawn to something.

    “It has begun,” murmured the Android King, before striding to his working desk and beginning to upgrade Sila’s system window.

    ***

    Meanwhile, in Zhongsuyuan City, in the Victorious Wolves Sect...

    A sky-blue flash of light filled the resting room and a certain man appeared suddenly.

    He wore a red Hawaiian shirt with a white floral pattern, showing off his lean muscles through the buttonless shirt, and deep blue pants similar to what Thai fishermen wear. His left eye was covered by a pirate eyepatch while his right eye gleamed with the color of the ocean. In his hand was a wooden stick that was one and a half meters long.

    He looked to the left and to the right. As he didn’t see anyone inside the room, he left.

    While he was exiting the sect, dozens of eyes fell on him, but he didn’t stop and instead sped up so he could leave sooner.

    ‘Oh, my. My dad ruined all my clothes and this was all he had for me. Sigh, talk about how eye-catching I am,’ Burapha inwardly complained as he was heading to the most famous weapon shop in Zhongsuyuan City.

    “You... Burapha, right?” A familiar voice could be heard next to him.

    Burapha turned his head and found that the voice’s owner was someone he knew. “Hello, Miss White Swan. I heard that you helped me after I fell unconscious. I’m truly grateful for that.”

    “Are you crazy? Why are you wearing such eye-catching clothing in the middle of Zhongsuyuan City? Don’t you know that you are being hunted? Even I have heard that you are out in the open with a red Hawaiian shirt. I didn’t believe it at first, but... look at you! I can spot you even if the distance between us is a kilometer!”

    “Ah. About this... I have no spare clothing. Zhongsuyuan City is the Qi Kingdom so most sets of clothing being sold are qi-type. That’s why I plan to quickly go and get my item at the weapon shop and leave the city as soon...”

    White Swan stopped listening to Burapha and grabbed his wrist before pulling him down an alley. She told him to keep his voice down. “Be quiet. Someone is coming.”

    Dozens of people came to the area and spread around. “The hell? Where has he gone?”

    “Don’t know. I’m sure he was here a moment ago. Is he crazy, though? Wearing that eye-catching outfit.”

    “In this case, let’s split up and find him. Whoever spots him first, please tell the rest of us.”

    “Are you insane? We are not friends. Kill one merchant and I can get an S-grade weapon. I would be a fool to let you know if I find him.”

    “Damn. Just don’t cry if I’m the one who finds him first, then.”

    People scattered around to search for Burapha. As they left, White Swan let out a sigh of relief.

    “They have left. Please take this.” She took the Crystal of Connecting out. “This crystal will teleport you to Snow City in the north. Not many players live there so it should be safer for you to be there. You should stay low at that place until the situation improves.”

    Burapha looked at the crystal and didn’t take it. “I can’t. I still have something to do in Zhongsuyuan City. And once I’m done, I can find a safe place on my own.”

    “The weapon shop that you said you are going to go has been closed for many days. It will be a waste of a trip if you go there.” White Swan tried to convince Burapha to take the crystal.

    Burapha scratched his head. “Honestly, Miss White Swan, when do you think the situation will be better for me? I personally think that most players would still try to hunt me down for the sword a year from now.”

    Listening to Burapha’s reasonable argument, White Swan couldn’t think of a response. “But... If we don’t do something...”

    “Well, let’s go to the weapon shop first.” Burapha jumped and landed on the roof of a building, followed by White Swan.

    Although she wasn’t a combat-type player, her ability regarding healing and qinggong was by no means lacking. Afterward, the red and white shadows could be seen jumping from one roof to another, heading in the direction of the weapon shop.

    ‘He is quite fast... It’s unexpected. His speed seemed to be much slower than this the last time I saw him.’ White Swan thought while following Burapha.

    Finally, the two arrived at the front door of the weapon shop. Burapha swooped down and knocked on the door, despite seeing the sign saying ‘Closed’ hanging on it. “Uncle, I’m here to get my item, sir.”

    There was no response. Burapha scratched his head, thinking, ‘Could it be that he hasn’t finished it yet?’

    “I told you. The shop is closed. Let’s get out of here. People have begun to notice us,” pressed White Swan.

    Burapha looked around and noticed that people really began to shift their attention to both of them. It seemed that him possessing the sword had become a bigger deal than he had anticipated.

    “20 gold for the clue,” said White Swan, “20 gold will be paid to anyone who shares the whereabouts of Player Burapha. Everyone wants money. You will have a hard time escaping from all the players.”

    News was something that could travel with exceptional speed. It had been less than a minute since Burapha arrived in front of the weapon shop but dozens of players had already surrounded him.

    “You are Burapha, right? Just give me the sword. My aim is only the sword, not your life,” said one of the men.

    “That’s his deal, not mine. Your bounty is 10,000 gold. Killing you will be worth it. Well, don’t worry. I’m a kind man and will let you die peacefully.” Another one of them stepped forward.

    White Swan stood in front of Burapha and whispered to him, “You, go! I will hold them off.”

    Burapha furrowed his brows and asked, “Excuse me. I’ve been wanting to ask you this question for a while. Why are you being so nice to me?”

    White Swan gritted her teeth. “This isn’t the right time to ask, you know?”

    “I’m terribly sorry, but I really want to know the reason. Could you please tell me?”

    She sighed. “Ah. I will you, but don’t become angry, okay?”

    Burapha nodded while wondering why he would be angry.

    “...I’m a dog person. I like them very much. When you left my guild’s building, you were making an expression like a puppy being abandoned by its owner. So... how can I abandon you...” She replied while shooting a side glance at Burapha to see whether he was angry at her words.

    Burapha was stunned for a second before suddenly laughing. “Hahaha! A puppy? That’s unexpected!”

    “You... Aren’t you mad?”

    “Why would I be? Miss White Swan said that you ‘like’ dogs very much, right? I’m touched by that.”

    White Swan’s face was reddened. “I... Not that kind of like. I meant...”

    Pa--!!

    The sound of a metal stick being slammed on the ground echoed. The man with a savage face took several steps forward. “Oi! Do you plan to continue flirting forever? We are still here, you know?”

    White Swan was quick to deny, “No, we aren’t flirting... We are just acquaintances.”

    Another man drew a sword. “You don’t need to hurry to be single, lady. Let me finish off your boyfriend first and we can have a nice, long chat. I’m single too and you are just my type.”

    “We are not in a relationship or anything! You guys are misunderstanding! We’re really just acquaintances!” She denied it again, but no one seemed to bother listening to her.

    “In that case, please hurry up and come at me, so that both of us can quickly leave this place and have a nice talk later.” Even Burapha seemed to ignore her denial.

    In the end, White Swan realized that it was no use denying it. She should just shut up and the news about this would die down in no time.

    “Oh, you are too damn brave, aren’t you? I won’t hold back, then. Hah!!” Another man drew out the silver saber and rushed at him while the previous man with savage face lifted up his heavy, metal stick and aimed at Burapha from a different angle.

    White Swan’s face was pale while Burapha gently pushed her out of the way. His wooden stick rotated in his hand.

    No one noticed what happened. The moment that they came to their senses was the moment when Burapha’s stick connected with both incoming weapons; the metal stick and silver saber. Both his opponents were pushed back by the impact.

    Burapha’s wooden stick twisted and finally broke into pieces. He murmured, “I’m indeed lacking. I’m not yet at the level where I can use anything as a weapon like my dad.”

    Both opponents looked at Burapha while feeling uneasy. “What did he just do? How could a wooden stick parry a qi-strengthened weapon?”

    “It doesn’t matter. He no longer has a weapon.”

    Burapha looked blankly at the remains of the wooden stick in his hand and wondered how long it would take before he could become as strong as his dad. The ability of these opponents in front of him paled in comparison to Revin’s.

    “Prepare yourself, merchant. You won’t survive our next move.”

    Burapha looked at the two players who had attacked him and said, “You have already lost. One strike of the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art consists of eight waves. The power in the next wave will be stronger than the previous ones.”

    Blood dripped down from the corners of their mouths. They inclined their heads and spotted wooden-stick-sized dents on their chests, two inches deep. Then, their bodies were blown away like they were pushed by a violent sea wave.

    The swordsman took four steps backward before his body turned into light and disappeared. As for the man with a savage face, his endurance was higher so it took him six steps before he died.

    The area in front of the weapon shop suddenly fell silent.

    “E-Everyone, charge at him! He is just a merchant without any weapon!” One of the men yelled.

    As they were about to rush at him, a black lance with golden trims fell down in front of Burapha. There was a blue glow emanating from it.

    “Nice timing, isn’t it, son? You can test it out right away,” said Zeref, who was standing on the roof of the weapon shop.

    Burapha bowed his head to Zeref to show his respect and tightened the lance.

    Not too light and not too heavy. The length was ideal and he even felt the power sleeping within it. This lance was truly the perfect lance to use with his Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art.

    Burapha rotated the lance in his hand thrice and the power residing within the lance was emitted, pushing all the players several meters away.

    “What is the name of this lance, Uncle?”

    “Eastern Sea Evil Lance.”

  • Chapter 135: Inner Force


    It took Burapha less than a day for him to become renowned across Monster Soul, going from an ordinary merchant to someone called the Eastern Sea Evil God.

    Burapha was currently in the weapon shop. No one dared to cause a problem while inside, since the legendary weaponsmith lived here. Most guild leaders, including Montra, had their main weapons produced by his hand, so no one dared to become his enemy in the open.

    Burapha closed his system window after checking all the messages that were left during his absence. He tried to contact Sila but it was to no avail. It seemed Sila had already logged out.

    White Swan entered the shop and threw a costume that she had bought from a boutique toward Burapha. “Here you go. As you asked.”

    He picked up the clothing and inspected it with satisfaction before clicking the equip button. Then, his red Hawaiian shirt and Thai fisherman pants were replaced by a blue coat and black jeans.

    “Why do you want to wear a costume? Usually, no one wears this kind of clothing aside from during certain events or festivals.”

    Zeref, who was sitting nearby, replied in Burapha’s stead. “It’s because of the lance. That lance was forged by combining the Dragon Killer Sword and the Godly Oceanic Armor. Because of this, it developed an unexpected property; it’s classified as both a weapon and the main armor. So, when equipping it, you won’t be able to wear normal clothing. Costumes are okay, though, as they’re merely masks.”

    “Don’t worry, Miss White Swan. This lance is awesome. Although it’s a weapon, it has both offensive and defensive options. I think it’s even better than wearing a conventional armor. By the way, this costume is not that bad. Even though it doesn’t have any options or provide even a single point of defense, it can’t break.”

    White Swan listened to the explanation with an expression that was showing disbelief. She had been in an information guild for a very long time but she had never heard of any weapon that possessed the power of the armor.

    Burapha was fully aware that she would like to know about the lance so he showed her its information.

    (S) Eastern Sea Evil Lance (Zeref)

    + Increase both physical attack and defense points by 10,000.
    + When fighting against a being of the dragon race, your stats will increase by 20%.
    + A dragon dies due to the Eastern Sea Evil Lance cannot be revived with special abilities and their Rank will be demoted by three.

    - You cannot equip armor or clothing.
    - Cannot be sold or transferred.
    + When equipped, you will get Item Skill: Oceanic Armor (Passive).

    “Great, right? Since it grants me the power of the armor without me having to wear one, I no longer need to wear any armor anymore. With it, I think I can move a lot better compared to before when I used to wear heavy or light armor,” said Burapha with a smile on his face.

    “What about the eyepatch? Won’t you take it off? It’s eye-catching too,” asked White Swan.

    “Ah, this? This is a part of my training. I plan to continue wearing it for the time being. Um... Let me just...” Burapha crudely combed his hair and let it cover his left eye. “It should be enough with this.”

    “What are you planning to do next, son? Are you going to the base of the Heavenly Dragon Guild?”

    Burapha shook his hand. “That would be too soon, Uncle. I plan to polish my ability in actual combat first before I have my rematch. I’m thinking about going north to visit Belacia City in the Snow Realm. I want to fight against monsters and players along the way to gradually improve my ability and fight Revin when the war event comes.”

    “North? Going there alone? Isn’t it too dangerous?”

    Belacia City was located in the north of the Main Continent in an area people called the Snow Realm.

    The Snow Realm was one of the most dangerous regions in Monster Soul. Monsters living there were at least Knight Rank and the terrain was freezing cold all year around. During the two week journey to Belacia City from the closest city, the only thing in sight the whole time was snow; there was no water or food. What awaited travelers was only monsters trying to ambush.

    Nevertheless, Belacia City was like an oasis in Monster Soul. With the journey there being very difficult, there were many strong people who disliked politics and the influence of guilds. They formed a small society and drove out people who affiliated with a guild.

    As a result, ever since the game launched, Belacia City was the only open city that had never been conquered by a guild.

    “It’s better if it’s dangerous. I have been avoiding danger my whole life. That will end. As the successor of the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art, I will pave my way through any obstacles I have to face.”

    “Um... If you go from here, it will take you around a month to get there.” White Swan roughly calculated the time.

    “No. Big Brother Blue is in Grea City right now so I will go and meet him first. Traveling from Grea City will be less time-consuming. I will take around two weeks to arrive there.”

    “Blue? What is he doing in Grea City? Isn’t he supposed to be working on collecting intel from Mountain Thieves League members?”

    “I don’t know the reason. He just left me a message to go and meet him as soon as possible; it seems he has something to show off to me.”

    “Something to show off? If it’s a valuable item, please seize it for me, so that I can donate it to the guild to cover the losses we suffer because of him.” White Swan said with her eyebrows twitching. The reason why she, a vice-leader figure, had to be stationed at Zhongsuyuan City and had to do general duties like selling information, which was supposed to be the job of a lower-ranked member, was due to the financial crisis that her guild was currently facing. Her guild had to lay off many members and general jobs were distributed to higher-ranked members. By the way, more than 60% of the guild’s resources were spent by a certain newshawk:

    Blue-Colored Catastrophe. This title wasn’t, in the slightest, exaggerated.

    She had asked the guild leader several times why Bluebird hadn’t been fired yet. Doing so would be the quickest and most sensible solution for solving the guild’s financial crisis. However, her boss only laughed and remarked that Bluebird was the most skilled newshawk of the guild. If he was fired and was recruited by another guild, it would lead to a big problem. Boss also told her that the value of the information that Bluebird had been providing to the guild was, most of the time, priceless.

    Nonetheless, personally, White Swan still thought that it didn't matter how priceless the information that Bluebird obtained if their guild can’t sell it. Moreover, if another guild recruited Bluebird, it might even be better for their guild. She dared to say that even the richest guild in Monster Soul would likely go bankrupt with Bluebird joining.

    “Haha, I’ll try. Don’t expect too much though,” said Burapha with a smile. It seemed to him that Bluebird had always been a troublemaker no matter where he went or who he was with.

    “If you need anything, you can pay me a visit. I think I will be staying in Zhongsuyuan City for quite a while,” said White Swan.

    Burapha nodded and both of them added each other into their contact lists. Then, Burapha sent a message to Bluebird asking to be picked up at the Mansion of Secrets.

    ***

    Sila was sitting alone in the dojo next to Varee’s house when he sensed that his body had somehow changed. His physical condition was at his best despite not working out as much as he used to.

    He could feel the fragments of qi flowing throughout his body. Realizing this feeling, Sila quickly recalled the circulation method of Tiger Dragon Qi and followed the instructions.

    It was different from last time when he had tried using Genesis Punch in the real world. Genesis Punch was a qi art that required inner force to unleash its power, so he couldn’t do it since his body lacked genuine qi. He was told that it would take him several years for his body to build up inner force and be able to use it.

    Thus, this moment marked the first time he truly discovered that what he was told about Monster Soul was the real deal. The brain collected experiences and the body practiced. Now, he was able to fully comprehend the reason why Monster Soul was like a heaven for profound practitioners, why many Independent NPCs got addicted to the game and chose to stay, and why Montra could become very skilled in a short amount of time. It turned out that Monster Soul acted like a profound art learning program.

    Sila sat cross-legged in the dojo for a long time while the qi that had been flowing freely started to move according to his will. Several droplets of qi were like small ponds that were combining together to become a lake before flowing from his stomach to his heart, hands, and feet. His mind was exhausted from the constant concentration, but his body was particularly refreshed.

    ‘It would be best if I didn’t have to log out, but two in-game weeks are the limit for how long I can stay online.’

    Sila didn’t know if he should call himself a game addict. What he did know was the fact that he wanted to enter the game very badly.

    The power in his body was surging so he stood up and tried to perform some of the martial moves that he had studied, starting from Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. He took step after step to circle around within the dojo about a hundred times and found out that his movement had obviously become faster. One lap around the dojo took him only about ten or so seconds.

    Afterward, he tried Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. Even though he didn’t know the exact martial moves, he was fully aware that all of the techniques were connected to a single word: circle. Sila drew his hands in circles many times, aiming to lessen the impact of the air touching his hands.

    As for Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, it was the most compatible art for Sila, so he could follow all of its martial moves without any error.

    ‘It is not enough. I couldn’t use Genesis Punch last time because I lacked inner force. But now I have it, though not much and the power is weak. At the very least, there should be some result if I try.’

    His shirt was drenched in sweat, so Sila took it off. He held out his right arm and focused all the inner force that he could sense on it, sending it all flowing that way.

    The qi started to move, though very slowly. It took twenty minutes, which felt like an entire day for him, for the qi to finally reach his right palm.

    Sila could feel a warm sensation on his right palm. Warm, yet powerful.

    He clutched his hand in joy. Suddenly, the power dispersed and his stamina instantly drained. His body fell to the floor.

    “I can’t move...?!” Sila panicked. His brain was fine and he was conscious of his body, but he couldn’t move at all.

    His body stayed still in that manner for five full minutes before Sila could sense his inner force again. The tiny amount of qi started to accumulate in his bloodstream. It wasn’t until the qi circulated throughout his entire body that Sila could move once more. He sat up cross-legged and began to circulate qi according to Tiger Dragon Qi’s circulation method so he could regain his strength.

    He sighed in relief as he realized that he had been too hasty. He didn’t know a thing about genuine qi in real life but he had forced it to accumulate into a single point, which had proved to be a dangerous idea.

    Inner force is something humans naturally possess from the start and qi arts are all about bringing out the latent power sleeping within the human body.

    It was dangerous to forcefully bring out inner force without knowledge of how it works. The symptom that Sila had just experienced was one kind of qi deviation; using more qi than the body can generate. It was fortunate that Sila was just a beginner and the amount of his inner force was low, thus the deviation wasn’t severe.

    “Fu... That was close. Calm down, me. Being able to use qi at my age is considered very fast already.”

    Sila sat and meditated while the qi in his body built up. He no longer dared to unleash its power but let it build up naturally.

    “Kiryu once noted that his qi guided his martial moves. The simplest movement that allows qi to unleash its full potential is the most correct martial move. On the other hand, Teacher Mora started by practicing martial arts until his body naturally built up the most suitable qi for his movement. What about me? If I practice both qi art and martial arts at the same time, will the progress be faster?” wondered Sila. But he had never been the type to solve puzzles using his brain, thus, he decided to investigate with actions.

    With that in mind, Sila started to perform the martial moves of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps, Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, and Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, respectively. The more he practiced, the slower his movements became, as he wanted to observe the changes to the qi within his body.

    Frankly, Sila’s idea wasn’t impossible, but it would take time. Practicing both qi arts and martial arts at the same time is similar to a musician playing a guitar and singing simultaneously. This kind of thing requires experience and constant training, unlike in-game qi that can automatically flow with the system’s support.

    Martial moves adapted themselves to qi while qi also adapted itself to martial moves. Both things gradually merged together and would become one eventually. Sila was no longer in a hurry and let the process proceed naturally.

    Finally, evening had come, and Sila had entered the house with no one to greet him. Although he was a loner, Rashane’s family was too quiet. Rashane worked almost every day and only came back home at night while Varee had been spending all of her free time in the game after her mother passed away. Moreover, after Vata ran away from the house, the distance between the members of this family seemed to have widened.

    Sila recalled the time when he had lived with his teacher. Although there were only two of them under the dojo’s roof, their dojo was even livelier than this house. There were no high-tech appliances. Sometimes he and his teacher had to prepare homemade meals for all the other disciples to celebrate events. And sometimes some disciples had slept over at their dojo. Sure, it was a bit difficult without appliances, but his time back then had been very fun, at least more enjoyable than his stay in this lifeless house.

    The technology that was supposed to bring humans closer to each other instead widened the distance between them. It was very sad, thinking like this.

    Sila took a bath to clean his body and entered the world of Monster Soul once again.

  • Chapter 136: Return to Beginning Town


    While it was only a day for Sila, five days had passed in Monster Soul. Even with that, Lost Grea City was still a deserted city without any outsiders. Sila perceived that five days weren’t enough for people to complete those absurd missions so they could reenter the city.

    On the way from the hotel to the palace, every android saluted him with respect, and that caused Sila to feel on edge. So, he greeted all of them back. It was the reason why he spent an hour traveling a distance that should’ve taken twenty minutes. It seemed he had to consult the Android King regarding this problem.

    After he greeted the last android guarding the inner room, Sila finally arrived before the throne room. He walked past the mechanical door and entered the room, where the Android King, Bluebird, and Burapha were having a conversation.

    Somehow, the Android King seemed to be annoyed by the thing in his hand which Sila had thought was a black stick with golden trims. It wasn’t until he got closer that he realized it was actually a short lance.

    “Hello, everyone. It’s good to see you all together,” greeted Sila.

    “Stop talking! Wait a sec.” Bluebird suddenly yelled. Sila didn’t know what this was about but he obediently shut his mouth.

    Bluebird opened his system window and looked at it with a frown before shifting his gaze to Sila.

    “Player Sila, Grey Slime, Marquis Rank, Level 50... Am I right?”

    “I don’t know. I don't have a system window and I haven’t inspected my status for quite some time. What is this about?”

    Burapha waved his hand. “Nothing in particular, Big Brother. It’s just someone wanting to show off his new skill. Big Brother Sila won’t be able to guess how many times I have been inspected.”

    Bluebird shook his head in a hurry. “Inspect? Fufu. This is not the normal Inspect skill or even the inspection done via the system window. It’s the Information Analysis skill that I have obtained from the Data Analyzing Unit who is stationed on the fifth basement floor under the palace, fourteenth room on the right. Actually, it also allows me to see your remaining health, qi, magic, and psychic points, along with the skill that you use the most and the skill that you are weakest against.”

    “Interesting. What skills do I use the most and what skill am I weak against, then?” Sila was eager to know the answers.

    Burapha interrupted, “Let me guess. Big Brother Sila’s most used skill is Qi Reinforcement and you are weak against powerful magic spells that have a wide-area of effect.”

    Bluebird showed a dissatisfied expression but didn’t say anything to argue. It seemed Burapha’s guess was on the spot.

    Burapha added, “Sure enough, Energy Reinforcement will be the most used skill for many, if not all, players. It’s very obvious. And it’s common for most people to be weak against powerful wide-area magic spells. They are the same answers I got when Big Brother Blue analyzed me.”

    “True... But, the Android King told me that the skill can access more useful information when its level reaches 100. Isn’t that right, sir?”

    The Android King didn’t reply. His eyes were still fixated on the black short lance in his hand and there were dozens of system windows floating around him. It seemed all of his focus was on the lance and not on their conversation at all.

    “What is that?” Sila asked about the identity of the black lance.

    “Oh. That’s my weapon, Big Brother.” Burapha smiled with a prideful expression. “It was especially made for me by Uncle Zeref, the most skilled weaponsmith in Monster Soul.”

    Killing intent could suddenly be felt from the Android King and the atmosphere in the room took a turn for the worse. All three players present had to put up their energy reinforcement to resist while the Android King spoke with a chilly tone. “Beware of your words, kid. You might be Sila and Bluebird’s friend, but you didn’t complete the quest with them. The only reason you are allowed to sit in this place is because I’m kind enough. The most skilled weaponsmith in Monster Soul is me.”

    Burapha swallowed his saliva. “...I take back my words. I meant, Uncle Zeref, the most skilled weaponsmith in the Qi Kingdom.”

    The killing intent suddenly vanished. “Better... Anyway, this is interesting. Truly interesting. A weapon with the power of armor. It’s a challenge letter to me, that's for sure.”

    Sila couldn’t help but be curious. “I don’t know who Mister Zeref is, but it seems Mister Orpheus doesn’t like him… yes?”

    “Well, it’s not like that. We had the same teacher but our ideas about weapon creation are different. You can say that we’re both friends and rivals. Zeref believed in maintaining the traditional weapon forms, while I think that weapons always need to develop. Staying still is not different from going backward. Otherwise, we would still be using stones and wooden clubs to this very day. Don’t you agree?”

    Sila frowned as he couldn’t tell which one was better between maintaining the traditional concept and developing something new. Well, there was no obvious right or wrong answer to this kind of question. Each idea has its own charm and good points.

    “The funny thing is, my weapons are often purchased by military forces while Zeref’s are purchased by dojos and weapon collectors. So, while I’m richer and more people use my weapons, Zeref is more famous.”

    “And both of you continue your rivalry in Monster Soul, right?” asked Burapha.

    “Well, yes. When I discovered that Zeref decided to stay as an Independent NPC, I decided to become one too. Both of us are quite free anyway. Zeref can just produce one or two weapons each year to make plenty of money while I have more than I could spend in my life. As a bonus, making weapons in Monster Soul is more enjoyable and free. I can make as many lethal weapons as I want without violating any of the contracts I signed with countries.”

    All of the system windows were closed by the Android King. “Anyway, I have to admit that this weapon is very well-made. It’s delicate, strong, and easy to wield. It definitely can be called a masterpiece.”

    Burapha started to feel restless. “Your Majesty wouldn’t want to keep it... right?”

    “Hmph. Why would I want to keep Zeref’s weapon when I can just make a better one?”

    The Android King handed the lance back, and Burapha received it with a sigh of relief.

    “This might be troublesome for you, Sila, but can I request something from you?”

    Sila was surprised that the flow of the conversation came back to him. “That should be fine, sir. What is it?”

    “I have heard your story from your talkative friend.” Sila and Burapha locked their eyes on Bluebird simultaneously. “I had my suspicions from the beginning, but why you are wearing that kind of trash equipment? Honestly speaking, regarding your clothing, I am certain that I can make a better one even with the worst fabric, a needle, and thread. Well, I found out later that your favorite set of clothing was torn apart recently, so I kind of pity you.”

    Many people had critiqued Sila’s clothing sense but the Android King was the first to be so direct about it. At the same time, Sila wasn’t so sure about Unjust Wuxia Clothing being his favorite one as he hadn’t used it that much before it was destroyed.

    “Therefore, I would like you to hand me your Orichalcum and Eternal Onyx and I will make armor for you in return.”

    “Eh? It’s my first time hearing that Orichalcum can be used to produce armor,” said Burapha who considered himself an expert regarding items.

    “No one has ever done it, including Zeref. Orichalcum can only be used to forge a weapon. Zeref could produce a weapon with the power of armor, so I will make armor with the power of a weapon. That’s the reason why I need your Eternal Onyx. The power of the Eternal Onyx is ‘evolve’, so I can surely make the impossible possible.”

    Hearing that, many problems arose in Sila’s mind. “I have no problem with giving Orichalcum to you, sir. You can think of it as me returning it to you. However, I have some problems.”

    “Don’t hold back and tell me. What are the problems?”

    “Um... I have never worn metal armor, be it in real life or in the game. I think that it will be heavy and limit my movement, so...”

    Sila hadn’t finished his sentence yet when the Android King interrupted, “And here I was wondering the issue was. Don’t worry. I’m an expert when it comes to equipment creation and won’t produce something that the user doesn’t like. I have never received a complaint regarding my equipment. Now, state your next problem.”

    “...Um. Then, about the Eternal Onyx. It’s stuck in the ring and I can’t remove it. I don’t know the whereabouts of the Transcendent Rank Unsealer.”

    “Is that so? Um... First things first, take this.” The Android King handed Sila a brown envelope.

    Sila took it and saw that there was a letter inside the envelope, but the address and the name of the recipient couldn’t be seen. “What is it, sir?”

    “I heard that you’re planning to go to Beginning Town from that tiny, talkative slime girl. I have a small favor to ask. Give that envelop to Bronze, the owner of the weapon shop there, for me, please.”

    Sila recalled the clue that he had obtained regarding the Transcendent Rank Unsealer living in the weapon shop of a certain city that is the farthest away from others. It turned out to be Beginning Town’s Mister Bronze.

    “Is Mister Bronze the Unsealer?”

    “Obviously, I don’t know. I just want you to send a letter to my old friend, that’s all,” whistled the Android King.

    All three people could understand the hidden meaning behind Orpheus’ words so they didn’t continue asking.

    “When will you go, then? I would like to get my hands on the Eternal Onyx soon.”

    “I think I will waste no more time and go now.” Sila stood up.

    “Big Brother Sila, are you planning to run to the harbor?”

    Sila nodded in response to Burapha’s question. He didn’t understand why Burapha had to ask him this question. For him, excluding using Invitation Cards, running was the fastest transportation method in Monster Soul.

    Burapha sighed, “If you are really in a hurry, I suggest you stay in this city for a little while, Big Brother. I noticed that traveling to Beginning Town is easier than it used to be because there are many merchants selling Crystals of Connecting that are linked to people in Beginning Town. It may be expensive but you will save a lot of time.”

    Surely, Sila had heard about this, but he had no friend who was in Beginning Town.

    “You don’t have to personally know the person on the opposing end. Many merchants utilize the Crystals by connecting them to a single person and let them wait in Beginning Town. When you purchase a Crystal connected to that person and use it, you will be teleported to the waiting person, that’s all. By the way, is the reason you are going to Beginning Town related to the slime rock event?”

    Sila nodded again, “You can say that. How did you know, though?”

    “My, Big Brother Sila. It’s slime rock and that obviously refers to you. Anybody who knows you would be able to notice. I recommend that you keep yourself hidden as much as possible. There are many groups of players currently investigating the mystery of the slime rock and trying to raid the Lord Rank monster.”

    Sila didn’t worry about himself as much as he worried about the ones who were going to raid the Lord Rank monster. Among the three Slime Guardians, he believed that Master Viola was the one people should avoid bothering the most. She also rarely held back.

    “In that case, I will just wait in this city for the time being. Thank you, Burapha,” said Sila before he turned his head to the Android King. “Let me go and get you Orichalcum first, then.”

    “No need. Your system window is with me so I only need your permission to retrieve it. I am going to produce your armor soon. Just leave a message with the Secretary Android in front of my personal room if you need anything or have a request for your armor.”

    “Eh? Are you going to produce it soon? But I still haven’t gotten you the Eternal Onyx yet.”

    “The Eternal Onyx will be required at the end of the entire process. I will be forging and shaping the Orichalcum for the time being. Just return to this place immediately when you get the gem. Take this, by the way.” The Android King gave Sila an Invitation Card with the symbol of Lost Grea City, but what was engraved on the card was a different name.

    “Siaferia?”

    “Grea City and Lost Grea City used to be the same city before being divided into two. The original name of both cities was Siaferia. Anyway, don’t forget what I just said! Return to this place immediately after you get Eternal Onyx. By ‘immediately’, I mean ‘immediately’, you hear me?”

    Sila didn’t understand why Orpheus needed to emphasize the word to him, though he nodded nevertheless. Afterward, everyone separated to do their own thing.

    Burapha went to Grea City to search for a Crystal of Connecting and would visit Sila in the mansion when he got one. He also told Sila that he would go to the Snow Realm in the north after that.

    Bluebird was still roaming around Lost Grea City, searching for a skill to take his third slot while summarizing any he found. He would leave notes on the skills he found in the mansion so Sila could review them and pick his skills.

    Meanwhile, Sila returned to his mansion and found Bow and Lookhin sleeping in the garden. He didn’t want to disturb their rest so he entered the treasure room alone.

    Without Julia, searching for any item turned out to be a difficult task. Sila spent an hour inside the treasure room just to find the Tiger Dragon Qi book. For the record, it was an important item so Julia had kept it in the innermost room, but it was the last place Sila had visited, so he had wasted his time.

    Then, he went to the clothing section and picked a dark green set of wuxia clothing to wear. He took a liking to it since it had special compartments near the sleeves which were suitable for keeping hidden weapons.

    Without the system window, Sila had to keep items on himself unlike before. So, he only took six kunais and shurikens with him while completely disregarding potions as he hadn’t used them for a very long time, though he still took a bottle containing the last two Emperor Qi Pellets with him.

    He tucked his hidden weapons inside both sleeves and decided that he would only use them in an emergency.

    Finally, he went to the dojo outside the mansion and sat cross-legged before opening the Tiger Dragon Qi book in front of him. He planned to practice partial qi circulation.

    Practicing partial qi circulation wasn’t as difficult as he had anticipated it to be. It only took him an hour and a half to remember how to do it. Still, it was still questionable whether he could properly use it during combat. Sila believed he still had to familiarize himself with using partial qi circulation when his focus was split.

    Power started focusing inside his right hand and flew to his left hand, right foot, left foot, and his torso respectively. The process continued to loop with a gradual increase in speed. Slowly, he began to shift his power into more delicate parts such as his elbows, knees, shoulders, hip, back, and arms.

    This kind of practice required concentration rather than strength. The more Sila practiced, the less he had to remember about the circulation. In the end, his mind entered the meditation state and lost track of his surroundings.

    “Big Brother Sila.” A familiar voice woke him up.

    “Oh, Bow? How are you?”

    “That should be Bow’s question. Are you okay, Big Brother Sila? I have called you many times but you haven't answered until now.”

    “Ah. I was practicing my skills. Don’t worry about it.” Sila gently rubbed Bow’s head.

    “Big Brother Burapha visited us and left an item for you, Big Brother Sila.” Bow pushed the Crystal of Connecting, which had the exact same appearance as the one that Varee had shown him, to Sila.

    “Where is he, then?”

    “He left a while ago as he didn’t want to disturb you. Bow didn’t plan to disturb Big Brother Sila as well but many hours have passed so Bow thought that Big Brother Sila was sleeping.”

    “I wasn't sleeping. I was practicing.”

    “Anyway, Bow has come here to call you to eat breakfast. It’s almost morning. Big Brother Sila has been sitting here for an entire day.”

    “An entire day?” Sila remembered that he started practicing yesterday afternoon and didn’t expect himself to meditate overnight.

    ‘Teacher Wu Ming has told me that qi circulating for a long time means there is an imbalance between my body and my qi, so they need time to adapt to each other. It seems I have focused too much on Tiger Dragon Qi and have neglected training my body lately.’

    What Sila thought was quite correct, but not entirely true. There was another reason, which was that his right arm was undergoing changes, causing his qi to have to familiarize itself with a new body, which led to Sila circulating qi for a long time.

    Sila followed Bow and Lookhin to the living room. There were many types of food, no, desserts on the dining table. Bow hopped onto the table and started eating.

    “Bow made all of these yourself?”

    “No~ Big Sister Julia left them in the refrigerator. Bow and Lookhin just took them out.”

    Sila sighed and went to place the desserts onto a tray before keeping them in the refrigerator. He took out a simple meal for himself to eat and tried to ignore the strawberry cheesecake that Bow hid behind her semi-transparent body.

    “You are only allowed to eat that much, Bow. You need to eat proper food as well if you want to eat more desserts.”

    Bow’s cheeks puffed up and swallowed the strawberry cheesecake in a single gulp, afraid of Sila taking it from her like the rest.

    Sila slowly ate his meal. Instead of paying attention to his food, he was trying to circulate qi to each part of his body.

    ‘This should be enough. It seems circulating qi all night wasn’t a waste of time.’

    After he finished eating, Sila, Bow, and Lookhin entered the kitchen to wash the dishes (though the latter two didn’t help at all). Although there was an automatic dishwasher, Sila didn’t know how to use it so he washed the dishes manually.

    The three of them gathered in the front yard and checked themselves again to make sure they didn’t forget anything. Sila sealed Lookhin inside the ring and widened the gap between his shirt and his chest so that he could put Bow inside. He also didn’t forget to poke a hole to so Bow could see outside.

    The Crystal of Connecting in Sila’s hand emitted a faint glow before his body was engulfed in light and disappeared.


  • Chapter 137: Slime Rock


    Sila appeared in a restaurant that brought back memories. It was the place where he made a bet with Varee on the second floor and lost.

    There was a man in cotton clothing with his face down on the table, sleeping. The Crystal in Sila’s hand turned into dust, so he believed that this man must be the one who held the receiving end of the Crystal. There must be some condition regarding Crystal of Connecting usage for this man to have to rest in the restaurant rather than in a hotel.

    “Being a merchant is not so easy, isn’t it?” muttered Sila. The time was early in the morning so there were only a few people in the restaurant. He exited and decided to visit the nearby weapon shop.

    However, it turned out to be futile because there was a sign on the weapon shop indicating that it was temporarily out of service.

    “Temporary? How long?” murmured Sila. Well, since there was nothing he could do, his mind returned to the original reason he came back to Beginning Island:

    The problematic slime rock.

    “Mister Shueria told me that the slime rock is located at the west gate of the town, if memory serves me right.” Sila wasn’t in a hurry as he didn’t want to be the center of attention. Although there were not many people present, most of them were very skilled and they were looking out for a newcomer. Thus, Sila concealed his qi and walked with normal speed to the west gate.

    Arriving at the west gate, he didn’t even need to search for the slime rock. Its size was ten times bigger than his body and there were white magic particles being emitted from it.

    “Little Brother, have you come here for the hidden quest as well?” A man who was sitting nearby greeted Sila. He was the only person present in this place this early. In front of him was a mat with many kinds of potions on it.

    “What hidden quest?”

    “No one knows. One day, all the slimes around Beginning Town disappeared and instead there is this giant slime rock, so many people have guessed that this situation must lead to some hidden quest.”

    “Why do you think that I’m here to participate though?” wondered Sila.

    “Little Brother, you’re wearing C-grade Wind Jade Wuxia Clothing which isn’t available in Beginning Town. It’s obvious that you came from the Main Continent, and one hundred percent of the people who came from Main Continent return to this place to try this quest.”

    Sila finally realized his mistake. He planned to act like a newbie so he had picked ordinary-looking clothing but it turned out to be a C-grade item. Nevertheless, he still wasn’t aware that he had actually made a good call. There were more veteran players than new players in Beginning Town right now.

    He tried to touch the slime rock but found that there was some kind of thin aura blocking his finger from touching it. “Hm?”

    “Ah. That rock is protected by some kind of magic power. There were many players from the Main Continent trying to break it but no one has ever succeeded.”

    “Really? No one was able to break it?” Sila couldn’t bring himself to believe it. There were many skilled players in Monster Soul. It was unbelievable that no one had ever succeeded in destroying it.

    “Well, maybe the Four Emperors or leader-level players can, but none of them have shown up, so we don’t know for sure. Little Brother, you can try to attack it if you want.”

    “Eh? Can I?”

    The man waved his hand. “Sure. This rock doesn’t belong to anyone, so you are free to do whatever you want with it. If you had come here during the first few days after its appearance, you would’ve seen thousands of player trying to break it.”

    Sila nodded and inspected behind the rock. There was a message engraved on it. Every word was exactly one-inch deep; no more, no less. The message was: Come to the Stone Forest and be prepared for the actual trial – mark 2.

    “That message must be some kind of a hint,” said the man. “It’s still early so there are few players. But, if you are interested, you can join a raid party which often recruits members around midday. Help me by buying some of my potions if you plan to go though.”

    “Am I really allowed to attack it?” Sila asked once again to make sure.

    The merchant shrugged. “As you wish. It’s not mine anyway.”

    Sila looked to the left and to the right while extending the radius of Galaxy Eclipse to ensure that no one was looking at him. He moved around the rock and relied on it to obstruct the merchant’s line of sight. The full power of Genesis Punch was infused into his right fist and he threw it at the rock without hesitation.

    No sound. No impact. The power of Genesis Punch was used perfectly. However, the rock didn’t shatter into dust like he had anticipated. The white magic particles around it rippled like when the surface of water is disturbed. The ripples continued to sway for a moment before everything turned back to normal.

    The merchant seemed to notice the ripples which indicated that Sila had made his move, as he said, “Well, your attack didn’t work, right? Don’t feel down, Little Brother. Everyone is like you in that regard.”

    Sila frowned. The previous attack was his best move but it dealt practically no damage to the slime rock.

    ‘If a direct punch of Genesis Punch didn’t work, Dragon’s Fist which has a lower power output wouldn’t work too. Well, I should try using soft attribute power of Tiger's Palm. It might work.’

    Sila placed his right palm on the mystical magic particles around the rock. His qi circulated using tiger attribute and he pushed his palm forward.

    Another ripple appeared on the surface of the white magic particles. It felt as if the power he was injecting into it was wasted and vanished; like trying to fill the ocean with stones.

    Then, Sila tried using the full power of Tortured Soul; injecting both the hottest and the coldest qi into the magic barrier. Still, there was no result.

    “It won’t work, Big Brother Sila. With Miss Viola’s protective barrier, even Uncle Poluk had to use his full power to break it.”

    “If that’s the case, I’m really at a loss, Bow. If even Mister Poluk had to use his full power, I don’t think any player will have a chance of destroying it.”

    “That’s not it. If Bow helps, I think anyone can destroy it.”

    That piqued Sila’s interest. “How can you help, Bow?”

    “Bow has been practicing Miss Viola’s Divine Raiment since I was young so I can use it too. Bow will use Divine Raiment and touch the rock. Since they are the same kind of power, they will merge together. During the merging process, if Bow cancels my magic power, a gap will appear on the surface of the rock. If Big Brother Sila attacks at that time, Bow is sure you can break it.”

    “Divine Raiment?” It was the first time Sila had heard the name of Master Viola’s personal art.

    Bow jumped from Sila’s clothing and her body was engulfed in a white aura. Well, there was a difference between the barrier around Bow and the rock. The rock’s barrier was very thin like transparent silk while Bow’s was thicker like a blanket.

    “They may look different, but they are the same Divine Raiment. Bow is just not as good at it as Miss Viola. Boo~”

    Sila argued in his mind that Bow’s barrier should be called Divine Blanket rather than Divine Raiment. It was good that he could manage to shut his mouth in time.

    “When I cancel my power, there will be a gap. But, with Miss Viola’s level, the gap might show up only for a brief moment.”

    Sila circulated qi with dragon attribute and prepared to throw his Dragon’s Fist anytime. He nodded to signal Bow that he was ready.

    Bow jumped and held onto the slime rock. Just like when Sila used Genesis Punch, the merchant couldn’t see Bow, which was good. The aura covering Bow clearly moved and gradually merged with the slime rock’s thin aura. The barrier around where Bow held on was slowly becoming thicker.

    Looking at the circular area where Bow’s magic power gathered the most, she showed a worried expression.

    “This is the most Bow can do. Bow can’t extend the size of the area. My magic power is scattered all over Miss Viola’s Divine Raiment.”

    “This much is enough, Bow. Jump to the bottom left when you are ready.”

    Bow nodded and canceled her power while jumping away. The gap was shown only for an instant. Sila threw his punch a split second before the gap closed.

    Boom--!!

    An explosion resounded throughout Beginning Town. The power of Dragon’s Fist had destroyed the slime rock and broken it down into many pieces. The dust spread around the place.

    Amidst the rubble from the slime rock, Sila noticed something. There was a significantly smaller slime rock sitting where the previous one was. Bow noticed it as well.

    “Take it, Big Brother Sila.”

    Bow hopped into Sila’s clothing while he grabbed the smaller slime rock. Its size was as small as a large grape ball.

    “Cough, cough... Little Brother? Did you manage to destroy it?” The merchant looked at Sila with disbelieving eyes.

    ‘This is bad.’

    Sila didn’t want to be the center of attention but he could sense that there were a lot of players coming this way. Beginning Town wasn’t a large city so they could arrive here in less than a minute.

    His qi and feet were quicker than his thoughts. Using qinggong, Sila headed toward the forest in the west without looking back, leaving the confused merchant with his scattered potions behind.

    ***

    Thirty minutes had passed and Sila was sure that he had successfully escaped from where the massive slime rock used to be. He opened his palm and looked at the small slime rock.

    Bow slid from Sila’s belly and hopped to his shoulder, looking at the slime rock as well.

    “There is a message on its back, Big Brother Sila.”

    Sila flipped the rock and found a single sentence engraved on it: Break me.

    “Ah. This is similar to a rock that Miss Viola gave me to test my usage of Divine Raiment. When I successfully activated it, the rock broke.”

    This rock might look like an ordinary rock at first glance but, looking closely, he could spot a very thin layer of magic power covered it.

    Bow hopped to the slime rock on Sila’s right palm and started using her Divine Raiment. She maintained her skill for a moment but there was no apparent change to the slime rock.

    “Ah~ I can’t do it. It’s too thin and complicated. Bow can’t break it.” She hopped back to Sila’s shoulder.

    “It’s okay, Bow. I am probably the one who must break this rock.”

    “Eh? But, Big Brother Sila can’t use Divine Raiment, no?”

    “Yeah... I couldn’t break that giant slime rock without your help. Maybe this one is the second stage of the test that Master Viola has prepared for me.”

    “E-Eh? Haven’t we just cheated, then? Bow helped Big Brother Sila break the giant rock, so how can Big Brother Sila break this one?”

    Sila was stressed too. Most trials start from easy to difficult but he just skipped the easy one and jumped to the hard part. Not to mention that there were still more trials awaiting him in the Stone Forest.

    “No problem, Bow. It makes no difference as long as I can break this one.”

    “Let Bow help~ Bow will try my best to teach Big Brother Sila how to do it.”

    Afterward, Sila was attentively listening to Bow’s lecture on how to use Divine Raiment, while sitting on a tree for three hours and for another five hours during their journey to the Stone Forest. He decided to slow down so that he could at least get the hang of using of Divine Raiment before meeting Master Viola. Despite him not knowing what the actual trial - mark 2 would be like, as it was designed by Master Viola, he couldn’t help but be afraid of failure.

    It took Bow a long time to explain, but the principle of the art was, in fact, really short. However, Bow was too easily distracted. She always shifted the conversation to something unrelated to the art, got distracted by the sight of flowers she had never seen before, or felt bored and stopped lecturing mid-conversation.

    Sila would like to continue but he didn’t want to rush Bow. All he could do was remember that Bow was very bad at teaching and that he shouldn’t ask her to teach him anything in the future, if possible.

    “In summary, its principle is ‘changing’ and ‘holding’, right?” Sila concluded Bow’s eight hour teaching session in a short -- really, truly short -- sentence.

    Bow was eating cream puff cake that she had secretly brought with her, showing her puffed cheeks. “Nom nom. Yes~ Changing the element while still holding the first element within your body. Do this for all six elements and Divine Raiment will be formed. Easy, right~?”

    Holding and changing were polar opposites. Even though Bow made it sound easy to do, it was actually very difficult. Sila could tell that there should be a traditional training method for this skill, but he also knew that forcing Bow to tell him about it would prove to be useless.

    Right now, Sila felt like someone just told him that the method for walking on water was as such: just step with your right foot before your left foot falls underwater, then the other way around, and repeat. Despite how easy it sounds, who can actually do that?

    Sila had been practicing Orbiting Cosmos until he ran out of magic power. It was already nighttime and Bow had fallen asleep a while ago. As he was pondering whether he should return to the mansion or continue walking, he sensed that someone was running out of the forest and approaching him. He jumped up and stayed on the branch of a tree in a hurry and concealed his power, looking out for the one who was running in his direction.

    “Isn’t that...?!” Seeing the figure of the person running below, Sila no longer intended to hide his presence and descended to stop that person from going any further.

    “Kya!” A woman in a light green magician cloak exclaimed in surprise after someone suddenly appeared in front of her.

    “Nunthima!!” Sila called out her name.

    The woman was shocked and pointed a magic wand that was giving off light at Sila. “Aren’t you Sila?”

    Sila could only see her face clearly once he was closer to her. It turned out that she wasn’t Nunthima but just someone who looked similar. He immediately recognized her as he had seen her once before. He had even seen her pictures multiple times and, in fact, his real body was currently sleeping in her room.

    “Miss Vata?”

  • Chapter 138: The Actual Trial - Mark 2


    Traveling at night was dangerous, especially when the destination was the forest from which no one had ever returned alive. Even though there was a possibility that Sila, a member of the slime race, might be an exception, he still didn’t dare to be carefree. He decided to rest under a big tree surrounded by a spacious green field that enabled him to have a good look of surroundings.

    Sila placed Bow under the tree and asked Lookhin to take care of her. However, a minute later, he checked on them and saw Bow and Lookhin peacefully sleeping together.

    He broke several tree branches for a bonfire, while Vata took out a lighter to ignite it.

    Nevertheless, Sila didn’t look at her, instead activating Orbiting Cosmos to infuse fire into his palm before throwing firewood into the pile of tree branches.

    Vata looked at Sila with astonishment and put her lighter away. She leaned her body on a nearby rock and placed her shining magic wand next to her.

    Sila broke the silence by asking her a question, “Miss Vata, what are you doing here?”

    “No need to add ‘Miss.’ You’re Varee’s boyfriend, aren’t you?”

    “That’s not it. We’re just friends.”

    “Huhu. Your answer is exactly like Varee’s. It makes me feel more suspicious~”

    Sila ignored Vata’s tease and continued, “Back to the topic, what are you doing here? I have heard that this location is very dangerous. You shouldn’t be alone.”

    “Who told you I came alone? I was in a raid party with around a hundred people yesterday. However, I’m the sole survivor of that party. I survived because I was in the rear since I’m a spellcaster. My Rhythm also helped me.”

    Sila didn’t know what a Rhythm was, but he guessed that it must be some kind of special skill. He remembered that Cross had used one against him too. Since it might be a personal secret, he didn’t ask.

    However, it seemed Vata could tell that Sila might be clueless about Rhythms, so she asked, “Sila, don’t you know about Rhythms?”

    Sila shook his head. “No, but you don’t need to tell me if it’s a secret.”

    “It’s not that great of a secret nowadays. A Rhythm is the second stage of the energy reinforcement skill that is unlocked once the player has a complete understanding of their own personality and ability.”

    “I personally think that energy reinforcement is already good by itself. Why do we need Rhythms?”

    “Rhythms aren’t ordinary skills. They are more like secret moves... Well, they used to be secret but not anymore. If it is activated, the flow of the battle may even be reversed.”

    “Is that so?” nonchalantly said Sila.

    Vata frowned at such a reaction. “I will show you mine, then.”

    “Eh? You don’t need to. Since it’s a secret move, it won’t be good for you to show it to me without a proper reason.”

    However, Vata didn’t care. She just stood up and swept the dust off her body. “Rhythm of the Western Wind,” said the young woman, before some kind of semi-transparent light green mist covered her body. Her eyes glowed with a green light and her cloak fluttered even though there was no wind.

    “This is... just cladding your entire body with normal magic power reinforcement, isn’t it?”

    That’s right. Excluding her glowing eyes, what she was doing was no different than cladding her body with magic power reinforcement.

    Vata furrowed her brows. Only a handful of skilled players were able to use Rhythms, but the skill was now regarded as normal.

    “It’s not the same. While Rhythm of the Western Wind is active, my casting speed is doubled and I can move freely even when I’m casting a spell that would normally force me to stay still. I can even read the wind's current. It may seem like I’m bragging, but no one has ever bested Western Wind in a hit-and-run battle.”

    Sila was starting to become curious about Rhythms, but Vata misinterpreted Sila’s serious expression and told him something that he wasn’t particularly interested in knowing.

    “Oh, Western Wind is my title, for the record.”

    “I see. Is there a downside or a limitation to using Rhythm though?”

    “There are. First, Rhythms can only be used for a short period of time and have a cooldown, though it varies between players. Secondly, Rhythms are a secret move so their information doesn’t show up in a system window. Players need to study their Rhythm’s ability, activation period, and cooldown by themselves. Lastly, you have to say your Rhythm’s name out loud every time you activate it.”

    “How can we know our Rhythm’s name though?”

    “You can come up with anything that sounds cool and suits you. I have incorrectly pronounced my Rhythm’s name two or three times but it still activated just fine.”

    Vata sat down again. They weren’t particularly close, so there were not many conversation topics to choose from. It was mostly just Vata telling Sila stories about Varee when she was younger.

    If Varee was considered a calm and collected type, Vata would be considered her polar opposite as she was very energetic. Based on Rashane’s description, he had thought that Vata was rather quiet. It seemed his guess was wrong.

    “It’s getting very late. Why don’t you use a Returning Scroll to rest in town?” asked Sila.

    “We have already entered Stone Forest’s territory and the use of Returning Scrolls has been prohibited. The system window should have already told you though, so why aren’t you aware of that?”

    Sila just remembered that he no longer had a system window with him to give alerts like that. He had come to the Stone Forest a long time ago and was aware that he wouldn’t be able to use Returning Scrolls after a certain point. Nevertheless, he was still curious. He was sure that its territory should be deeper in the forest than their current location.

    “But, we haven’t reached the point where the use of Returning Scrolls is prohibited, have we? I recall that the territory has petrified trees and that’s one of the markers used to find the edges of it.”

    Vata didn’t know why Sila hadn’t heard the system alert. She figured it was because Sila had muted system notifications, so she didn’t think too hard about it.

    “This is another mystery of Stone Forest. Recently, its territory has been widening greatly. It has almost reached the edges of the whole forest, blocking the usage of Returning Scrolls until the outer parts. I thought you knew, as I saw you prepare a bonfire.”

    The reason Sila set up a bonfire wasn’t because he had known about this. It was just that he planned to go ahead once morning came.

    “Miss Vata, It’s very late at night so it will be quite dangerous for you to travel. I suggest that you continue your journey in the morning. Just move toward the sunrise and you will arrive in Beginning Town before midday.”

    “Eh? Won’t we return together?”

    “No. I have business within Stone Forest.”

    “Everyone said that. But, it’s really dangerous, so dangerous you can’t imagine it. There are a lot of scary slimes and they are very aggressive.”

    “I think I can handle them. You can just go back without worrying about me.”

    “No way! Sila is Varee’s friend so you are like my little brother! I can’t let you go to such a dangerous place like that alone. Please listen to me for your own good, come back with me and we will join another raid party before going there. But, if you insist on continuing without waiting for others, I will be coming with you!”

    Sila was troubled. He understood that Vata was just worrying about him, but if Master Viola was actually in the forest, those aggressive slimes that she had mentioned were only a warm-up for whatever awaited him.

    Vata was Uncle Rashane’s daughter, so he couldn’t bring himself to put her in danger.

    Sila breathed a heavy sigh. “In that case, please get some rest. We’ll be heading into the forest early in the morning.”

    Vata nodded, took her small tent out from her system window and entered it. She didn’t forget to tell Sila that if she woke up and didn’t see him, she would enter the forest and search for him.

    “Both sisters are difficult to deal with,” muttered Sila.

    Sila could depend on qi circulation to alleviate fatigue and didn’t have to sleep, so he planned to spend the entire night practicing Orbiting Cosmos. However, this only lasted for a short while before he ran out of magic power again. As magic wasn’t his main energy type, he didn’t possess any supportive skills that helped him regenerate his magic power faster.

    When his magic power ran out, all he could do was drink magic potions or just wait for it to naturally regenerate.

    It wasn’t a fruitful moment for Sila. Actually, he had planned to return to the mansion to take out magic potions, but, based on what Vata had told him, he wouldn’t be able to do that.

    Sila took the black card out of his pocket and tried activating it by saying, “Go to the Mansion of Secrets.”

    Sila’s body emitted a white light and, a moment later, he found himself on the yard in front of his mansion. “Eh? It works?”

    He shrugged and entered his treasure room to retrieve all fourteen highest-grade magic potions currently stored there. It was fortunate that Julia had put a label on them. Their appearances resembled small test tubes and each of them could be swallowed in one gulp. Then, he stopped by the card zone and took a Pink Slime Card with him.

    Training in the mansion would be more effective as his energy recovery rate would be increased. However, Sila was afraid that Vata might wake up and think that he had left her to enter Stone Forest and go ahead without him. Thus, he teleported back to his previous location.

    He placed all of the magic potions next to him and started practicing again. When his magic power ran out, he would drink a magic potion. For the record, each magic potion gave off the feeling of very fresh air flowing into his lungs.

    Sila practiced Orbiting Cosmos until sunrise. Although racial skills didn’t have skill levels, he could tell that he was getting better at using it, though it was still far from a level that would allow him to use Divine Raiment. Now, the best he could do was holding three elements within him, which was clearly better than before when he could only hold a single element.

    Vata exited her tent while yawning. She said good morning to Sila before her eyes locked onto the empty test tubes lying on the ground.

    “Aren’t they... Fountains of Life, the highest grade magic potions?! What have you done, Sila?”

    Sila was confused. “What? They are magic potions, so of course I drank them. What's wrong with that?”

    “G-Genuine... One, two, three, ... How many have you drunk, Sila?”

    “Eight. What about it? Why are you so surprised?”

    “How can I not be? The price of each of them is around 10,000 gold!”

    “10,000 gold?! How can they be that expensive? I thought they were just ordinary magic potions.”

    “Ordinary? You are dead wrong. Other than its ability to instantly refill your magic power, it can increase your maximum magic points capacity by ten percent. It’s a rare consumable item, so not many dare to use it.”

    A Fountain of Life seemed to be the magic-type version of an Emperor Qi Pellet. However, more than one person could refine it and its ability was far below the pellet, so its price was significantly cheaper (though it was still considered expensive by most players). Most skilled magic-type players tended to carry at least one with them in case of emergencies.

    “Ah, I see. No wonder I could use my skill for longer. I thought that it was a result of my training though.”

    “Are you that rich? You are not like what Varee told me.”

    “I’m not... But, they’re just in-game materials and they are meant to be used anyway, right? Um… If Miss Vata would like to have...”

    “I don’t want one or anything, really. I also have... one... for myself but I’ve been putting off in using it. I was just... shocked to know that you drank a lot of them.”

    “Anyway, you have to take this card with you if you want to enter Stone Forest.” Sila handed the card that he had retrieved from the treasure room to Vata.

    “F-grade Pink Slime Card?” Vata read the card’s description.

    “Yes. I’ve always thought that its ability to prevent the slimes to attack you first was ridiculous. It turns out to be useful in the end.”

    “Um... This card is getting expensive too, lately.”

    “Is that so?” Sila showed a gentle smile while recalling the time when ten cards would be needed just to trade for a measly 1 silver. The economy was really too hard for him to understand.

    Vata equipped the card and asked, “Sila, you already have one for yourself, right?”

    “I’m a member of the slime race so I don’t need it. Slimes won’t attack me anyway.”

    “Ah. I forgot. Varee told me about that. There were posts about it in the game forums as well.”

    Vata stored her tent in her system window while Sila put Bow back inside his clothing. As for Lookhin, although it was his pet, it was a bird. He wasn’t sure whether slimes would attack it so he decided to seal it inside the ring just to be safe.

    Both players departed together. Sila noticed that Vata’s speed wasn’t inferior to Varee’s or his. It seemed that what she had said about being the best at hit-and-run tactics was true to some extent.

    “Stop.”

    After an hour had passed, Vata told Sila to come to halt.

    “Ahead of those boulders, there will be slimes waiting to ambush us. Although, with the card, we might be able to pass without being attacked this time.”

    Sila noticed a line of slime-shaped boulders around two meters wide, long, and tall. There was a ten-meter gap between each of them; it was as if all of them were a border separating two nations.

    There were messages engraved on each of them, so Sila narrowed the distance to take a look.

    Vata quickly followed. “You don’t need to bother reading them all. The massages are the same on each of them. People used to think that they were some kind of code, but now they are no longer minding them and believe that they are just pranks.”

    Once Sila moved closer, he was certain that they were surely not pranks nor secret codes, but orders. The messages had the same handwriting as the ones engraved on the giant and tiny slimes, and Bow had told him that it was Viola’s handwriting.

    Sila instantly understood what he had to do since the messages clearly stated:

    “The Actual Trial - Mark 2: Don’t attack. Don’t dodge. Violation of these rules will result in death.”
  • Chapter 139: The Stone and the Wind - First Part


    “‘Don’t attack. Don’t dodge. Violation of these rules will result in death.’ Funny, right?” asked Vata. “If you don’t dodge the attacks, the slimes kill you anyway. How does that make a difference?”

    “Did anyone manage to pass through without attacking or dodging?”

    “Yes, too many to count. They ran past the slimes without attacking or dodging...”

    “And?”

    “...They still died. It seems that if you pass through the slimes and enter Stone Forest, there is be a boss-level monster waiting inside.”

    Sila was positive that the one inside must be Master Viola and drank a Fountain of Life.

    “Sila, what are you doing? Why did you drink the potion for no reason?”

    “I have a reason. I used up most of my magic power during the journey and want to play it safe. It’s likely that danger awaits me up ahead.”

    Sila circulated qi throughout his body. The rules banned him from attacking and dodging, but didn’t ban him from using qi. Even though Master Viola’s trial would focus on his mastery over Orbiting Cosmos, Sila intended to use qi to support his actions.

    “Let’s go. There is only a kilometer left until we reach Stone Forest.”

    “That’s not it, Sila. Don’t you remember what I said last night? The territory of Stone Forest has expanded. We only have five hundred meters left.”

    “I see. Anyway, I will take the lead. Please follow me slowly.”

    “Why do we have to go slowly? If we hurry up, we can arrive at Stone Forest within just a minute.”

    Sila sighed, “I’m afraid a certain someone might regard walking in a hurry as dodging. Trust me on this one, walking slowly will be safer for us.”

    Vata didn’t ask him who the ‘certain someone’ was and listened to what he said. She followed Sila from a short distance away because Sila had told her that he didn’t want her to be hit by stray bullets. More importantly, he said, she was banned from lending him a hand no matter what happened.

    Both people slowly took stepped forward. As his foot was about to step past the border, Sila activated Galaxy Eclipse to enhance his detection ability.

    “There are a lot of slimes in this place and a tremendous magic power waiting for us in Stone Forest, our destination,” said Sila.

    Whoosh--!

    A red slime hopped out from a bush to attack him, but he had detected it beforehand so it wasn’t surprising. Looking closely, he could tell that its red color didn’t come from its body but rather a thin layer of aura around it.

    “As I thought,” muttered Sila. He was one hundred percent certain at this moment that he was participating in a trial Viola especially designed for him. The first clue was that this slime attacked him even though he was also a slime. The other clue was that this slime was channeling fire through Orbiting Cosmos.

    Sila gently swung his right hand and used the back of his hand to push the slime away. The Parry technique of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws caused the small slime to miss its target and landed on the ground next to him. It looked at Sila with its doe eyes.

    “Parrying is one type of receiving an attack, so it’s neither attacking nor dodging,” Sila explained.

    “Huhu. Sila, are you having a conversation with it?” Vata mildly laughed.

    In fact, it actually understood Sila’s words with his Way of Slime skill that had developed from Heart of Slime. The little slime canceled its Orbiting Cosmos, nodded at Sila once to salute him, and no longer attacked.

    Vata looked at it and gaped. “Really? Are you able to converse with it?”

    “It’s more accurate to say that we can understand each other without words. We are both fighters, no words are necessary between us. Just one exchange can tell a thousand words, right, little slime?”

    And the slime nodded again.

    Sila continued walking without minding Vata’s shocked expression. Well, she was shocked at first, but when the same thing happened five times, she lost her interest. Every slime had acted the same toward Sila. They attacked him, paused, saluted him, stood still and let them go. In the end, she opened her system window and visited the game community out of boredom.

    The first phase of attacks was quite easy. At most, the slimes would just attack difficult places to defend such as his back, ankles, shoulders, or head. However, as long as they came at him one at a time, Sila wouldn’t even need to use Orbiting Cosmos. Just Tiger Dragon Qi and Formless Soldier were all he had used to receive the attacks.

    The level of difficulty rose once he had advanced two hundred meters from the border. The frequency of the attacks increased and they were fiercer. In the end, just qi was no longer enough. Sila had to resort to Orbiting Cosmos to block the attacks.

    Still, the slimes’ attacks were meant to be educational rather than dangerous. Three slimes jumped toward Sila’s head, left flank, and right ankle simultaneously. Usually, he would choose to move his head away to evade the attack, but he was currently banned from doing so.

    There were three different elements imbued in his body. He blocked the attack at his flank with his right hand while slightly moving his head, not to evade but to manipulate the timing of the attack so it happened at the same time as the one against his ankle.

    Sila exhaled to relax his body while it was rotating in midair. What he was doing was relying on the Spin and Migrate techniques to lessen the power behind both attacks without directly resisting the impact.

    His body did an aerial somersault once before landing on the same spot. He still felt a bit dizzy from the attacks though.

    ‘The power behind the attacks were still there. It seems Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws is really hard for me to learn. If it was Kawin instead, he wouldn’t have received any damage at all,’ thought Sila. Though, if Kawin really were to take his place, he wouldn’t perform such acrobatic actions like Sila, since the Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws book clearly stated that both feet must be firmly placed on the ground.

    Well, Sila didn't care. He intended to develop his own version of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws. The main teaching of his Flaming Cloud dojo was to not stick to the form. Teacher Mora always told him that arts are unchanging while humans are living.

    Vata shifted her gaze from her system window to Sila for a brief moment before shifting it back and continued surfing as she predicted that there would be a lot of instances like this.

    And she couldn’t be more correct. Afterward, the attacks continued to come at shorter intervals and they were gradually becoming more powerful. Sometimes Sila turned his body and sometimes he did a somersault. Sometimes he lifted his knee to block and sometimes he stepped forward to receive the attack. Both his hands and his feet were moving non-stop and showing different martial moves.

    Sila’s body continued flashing from the clashes of magic power upon contact with the slime and a lot of bruises could be spotted.

    Vata was very close to lending her hand to help him, but she stopped when she saw Sila’s eyes, full of determination.

    Four hundred meters was a short distance for both of them, but they had spent almost two hours to travel that far. The attacks stopped for a while, so Vata insisted Sila take a short break.

    “Based on my observation, if we don’t move forward, the slimes will not attack us. How about we rest here for the time being?”

    Sila didn’t even have the strength left to reply as he collapsed and sat on the ground, his body completely soaked in sweat. Constantly receiving attacks was a new experience for him as he usually chose to dodge and would only defend when he had no other choice.

    Sila sat cross-legged and circulated Tiger Dragon Qi to alleviate fatigue. The benefit of him taking the actual trial - mark II was him being able to have a chance to further learn and adapt Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, the art that he had used the least, in actual combat.

    Orbiting Cosmos was another skill that he had become better at using. Training it himself and using it while exchanging blows gave him a different level of mastery. Sila was the type to learn faster in a crisis than in a peaceful moment of self-training. Now, he was able to hold up to five elements simultaneously. Just one more to go and he would be able to use Divine Raiment.

    Thirty minutes had passed and while his magic power still hadn’t fully regenerated, he no longer felt fatigue. Sila drank another Fountain of Life and told Vata that he was ready to continue.

    “Hold on, Sila. What is this?” Vata pointed her finger at her system window.

    “Um... I don’t know? That’s Miss Vata’s system window.”

    Vata just realized her mistake and summarized what she had read. “There is breaking news that a man in dark green wuxia clothing broke the slime rock in Beginning Town yesterday and many players are hunting him down at the moment.”

    Sila was aware that he couldn’t keep this a secret from Vata. She had seen him in this clothing so it was a matter of time before she found about about it. Nevertheless, there was something that bothered him.

    “Why are they hunting me?”

    “Um... there was an anonymous merchant who claimed that he was a witness and saw you take something out from the giant slime rock. He said he didn’t know what it was but he believed that it ought to be something very valuable. With his statement, many players are grouping together to take back the quest reward that you stole from everyone.”

    “Stole? This thing?” Sila took the tiny slime rock out of his pocket. “This is not the quest reward. And even if it is, I’m the one who broke the giant slime rock so it should belong to me, right?”

    “Um... What you said is true. But, in the community, it was theorised that Sila just got lucky because the condition to break the slime rock was hitting it a million times. So, the reward should be shared with everyone.”

    “There was no such condition. I really destroyed it... um... by myself.” Sila decided not to tell Vata about Bow.

    “I know. I believe you. But, honestly, no one cares. This nonsense condition must be the work of someone hostile to you aiming to turn the public against you. Sila, do you have enemies?”

    Sila let out a sigh. “A lot. Well, let’s ignore it. I’ll deal with this problem later.”

    “And, since they are thinking that the reward you got is the special item that will enable you to break through Stone Forest, they formed a raid party and are heading to this place as we speak.”

    “I’ll care about them later. For now, I’m more concerned about whatever is in front of us. Let’s get going.”

    Sila decided to stop thinking about the problem Vata mentioned. Proceeding with carelessness in Viola’s trial could easily lead him to his death so he needed to concentrate.

    In the last hundred meters, Sila couldn’t detect any presences and there was no ambush during their journey. Vata let out a sigh of relief as she could finally see Stone Forest from this spot.

    However, suddenly, Sila could sense seven energy sources from up ahead.

    “Watch out,” Sila said to stop Vata from running ahead. “Please wait here until I reach that spot.” He pointed to one of the petrified trees.

    Stepping forward slowly, Sila spotted seven slimes ahead of him. Each of them was the size of a bowling ball and looked profoundly powerful.

    Sila bowed his head to show respect, which they returned. Six of them hopped and circled around him while continuously unleashing the different elements of magic power; earth, water, wind, fire, lightning, and ice. As for the last one, it just stood there without moving an inch.

    All of the six slimes seemed to excel in the element they displayed. The magic power that Sila sensed from them was incomparable to the previous slimes he had encountered. All six of them hopped around Sila back and forth to confuse him.

    Sila decreased the radius of Galaxy Eclipse to less than ten meters to focus his concentration on their movements.

    Holding magic power within his body, at long last, the number of elements in Sila’s body reached five, which was the maximum he could do.

    All six slimes simultaneously shot their bodies at him, each aiming for a different area; his head, back, chest, underbelly, knee, and ankle. With this, even if Sila was allowed to dodge, he wouldn’t know how.

    Tiger Dragon Qi was circulated to its limit and his internal organs were softened with Formless Soldier. Sila recalled the last part of the Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws book which mentioned the martial moves the user could perform when they had built up their inner force.

    Sila didn’t have inner force built up by practicing Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws over time. Instead, he used Tiger Dragon Qi as a substitute for that. The power of extreme softness silently flew within his body.

    At this crucial moment, he had no specific thoughts. His well-trained body moved by instinct. Sila’s innate talent, which was his adaptive thinking, showed its brilliance in a crisis yet again.

    The first attack came from the wind-element slime and it hit his back. Sila used his qi to block it and migrate the impact. He and his qi acted like a big boulder in a fierce river; in the midst of water currents, they were unmoving. Tiger Dragon Qi led the wind-element magic power toward his ankle, which was about to be hit by the earth-element slime.

    It was Sila’s first time utilizing the Combine technique of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws; using an opponent’s power to work against them. Even though his body was in pain from having the power of someone else flowing in his veins, once said power clashed against the earth-element attack, his pain was gone.

    The remaining earth-element magic power was strengthened by Sila’s magic power and moved according to his will, using his body as a bridge, to block against the lightning-element attack at his underbelly. Afterward, the lightning-element power was guided to block the water-element slime at his knee and the water-element power was later led to defend against the fire attack at his head. At long last, the rest of the power was guided to block the ice attack at his chest.

    All of these attacks occurred in the blink of an eye. Once the six slimes bounced off him, the last, seventh slime suddenly charged at his chest which was left defenseless by the last attack. Its body was covered in Divine Raiment.

    Nevertheless, Sila had finally comprehended Divine Raiment and came to an understanding of why his best attempt to do it only ended up with five elements at most.

    He started by infusing wind within his body and began holding it while simultaneously changing it. Rather than changing the current element forward to the element that it was strong against, he moved in reverse. With this, instead of overpowering the weaker element, the power within the previous element supported the next element.

    Wind added to ice. Ice added to fire. Fire added to water. Water added to lightning. Lightning added to earth. And earth added to wind. They all enhanced each other in the reverse cycle and ultimately his body was covered in a white, sparkling aura; as if he was wearing an elegant raiment made from heaven’s will.

    The last slime’s body hit against Sila’s and bounced off. It hopped backward and all seven slimes bowed their heads before opening a path between them.

    Sila opened his palms and looked at his own body, feeling surreal.

    “That last attack... I didn’t feel anything,” He muttered.

    “And that is the ability of Divine Raiment. Everything in the world has something that opposes and something that is enhanced by them. You are not alone in the world and stubbornly trying to become stronger by yourself is not the correct answer. Sila, congratulations for passing the actual trial mark II.”

    A feminine voice could be heard from the top of a tree and Sila and Vata simultaneously looked in that direction. Up above, there was a woman in a light pink magician robe sitting on a branch of the tree. Her eyes were as red as fire.

    “Welcome to the Slime Kingdom.”


    T/N: Like chapter 19-20, 24-25 and 99-100, this time, the name ‘Vata’ literally mean ‘Wind’ . Thus, this chapter’s name ‘The Stone and the Wind’ basically refers to the protagonist Sila (=stone) being together with Vata (=wind.) 


  • Chapter 140: The Stone and the Wind - Last Part


    “Master Viola, is that you?” asked Sila just to be sure, since he had never seen Viola’s human form before.

    “Who else would I be? Don’t waste my time. Follow me,” said Viola.

    Sila was used to being ordered around by seniors and elders, so he didn’t object and obediently followed her. So did Bow, who jumped out from his clothing and hopped next to Viola. On the other hand, Vata was looking at Viola with frightened eyes.

    Noticing that Vata didn’t follow him, Sila turned his head to call out to her. “Is there something wrong, Miss Vata?”

    “T-T-There is! She is a human-form Lord Rank monster, isn’t she? Isn’t that dangerous?”

    “No problem. I personally know Master Viola. She is an Independent NPC.”

    “Independent NPC who takes on the role of a monster?! Isn’t that more dangerous?”

    Sila was more confused. For him who had met many Independent NPCs, he was quite indifferent to their peculiar characters. However, for ordinary players, the existence of Independent NPCs was far more dangerous than normal monsters, because Independent NPCs had more freedom and they were very unpredictable compared to system-generated monsters.

    Viola didn’t like to waste her time, so she said without looking back. “Girl, if you waste any more of my time, I will send you back to the city via a quick trip.”

    Vata’s face went pale and she grabbed Sila’s sleeve, following him closely. All of them walked for a few hundred meters and arrived at the place where the peach tree used to be, but now was currently an open field.

    Bow asked for permission to play with other slimes, which Viola allowed.

    “Eh?” Sila’s head moved left and right. “Where are the Millennium Peach Tree and the Great Millennium Apes?”

    “I destroyed the tree. Without it, those apes won’t respawn as their duty is to protect the peach,” Viola said flatly. She sat down on a chair made of stone and extended her hand toward him.

    “Did you bring the slime rock with you?”

    Sila nodded and handed the slime rock to Viola. She lightly squeezed and it easily broke. Within it, there was a tinier shining green rock.

    “What is that, Master?”

    “It’s the Dragon Sealing Stone. Sila, you are a member of the slime race so these slimes won’t attack you under normal circumstances. I left the Dragon Sealing Stone for you so that the slimes would know it was you who came to take my trial. They can sense the nemesis so they can attack the right person.”

    “I heard they attacked everyone though.”

    “It’s my order. The level of these kids is still low so they can’t follow complex commands. I ordered them to grind so they have been attacking every creature invading our Slime Kingdom.”

    “That’s something I would like to ask. I thought that the Slime Kingdom was still sealed, no?”

    “This exact location is the place where our Slime Kingdom locates if there is no seal. Sila, you have destroyed half of the seals so our kingdom has regained some of its previous influence. All slimes became stronger and their levels are higher. Our territory has also expanded. Once you destroy all of the seals, our entire kingdom will replace this spot.”

    Sila finally understood why he could use the Invitation Card in Stone Forest. It was due to the fact that this territory belonged to the slime race.

    Viola fell silent for a moment. “How is Bow?”

    “She is fine. She loves to eat and play all day, but she hasn't neglected her training.” The last line was Sila’s guess based on his standard that everyone always practiced when they got free time.

    “Mn, glad to hear that. It might be about time, then.”

    “What time, Master?” asked Sila.

    “I’ll tell you later. By the way, why are 2,518 players coming this way? Are they your friends?”

    Sila was confused at first and then realized that they must be the ones who were tracking him down. He was surprised that Viola could accurately tell the number of people.

    “I think not. More like, they are trying to hunt me.”

    “Do you need me to take care of them?” said Viola casually as if the task would be as easy as lifting her hand.

    Since it was a problem that he had caused, Sila decided he should be the one who took care of it. He declined, “No, thanks, Master. I will take care of them myself.”

    “Up to you, then. I don’t want to meddle in a kid’s affair anyway.”

    Vata couldn’t help but ask. “I heard that you... um... are an Independent NPC. Usually, you won’t have the right to hurt players without proper reason. So, why...”

    “Hmph. I sure can. The duty of us Slime Guardians is to protect slimes from all harm, current and potential. If someone were to just scratch a slime, I would have the right to kill. Even if they managed to come to this place without touching any slimes, the fact that they entered the Slime Kingdom without permission is enough reason for me to justify killing them.”

    Vata gaped, as Viola’s interpretation was too extreme and covered almost all kinds of actions. “But, at the very least, you should warn them first. They might do that without being aware of what they did wrong.”

    “I already did, on the boulders. ‘Don’t attack. Don’t dodge. Violation of these rules will result in death.’ My warnings are very clear.”

    ‘They’re not clear at all!’ was what Vata wanted to argue, but she didn’t dare.

    “Sila, rest well. I will let you fight Pythia soon. Hurry up though, I don’t have all the time for you.”

    Vata interrupted, “Wait! By Pythia, do you mean the Wind Dragon? That’s crazy! No one can fight a dragon one-on-one, especially Pythia. This dragon is...”

    “That’s our problem, kid. You shouldn’t meddle in,” flatly said Viola, so Vata didn’t dare continue talking.

    Viola had already been in this place for around two weeks, so how come she had no time to wait for just a little while? Sila wanted to ask this question but he was aware that it wouldn’t change anything. He sat down on the ground and hurriedly started circulating Tiger Dragon Qi.

    Viola’s lips crooked up. “You have indeed grown stronger. Your qi is no longer an in-game matter. It’s strong, yet flexible. Similar to His Majesty’s power.”

    Sila’s interest was piqued. He had witnessed a part of Poluk’s, Viola’s, and Divine’s arts and had even heard some of their names. However, for the Slime King’s, he was clueless. All the Slime King did against him during his training was use the three slime skills. The Slime King had never shown his own art.

    “What kind of the art does His Majesty use?”

    “Similar to yours. I’m not comfortable with talking about someone else’s ability and skill, so you should ask His Majesty yourself.”

    Realizing that his question was quite improper, Sila shut his mouth. Still, hearing that His Majesty’s art was similar to his made him be more curious about the Slime King’s art.

    Poluk’s art was an extreme offensive art. Viola’s was an extreme defensive art. Divine’s was still unknown to him but Sila guessed that it would be something defensive. Then, what about the Slime King’s art? Each Slime Guardian was already so strong. What is it that made the Slime King stand above these three people?

    “Hey, Sila. Is that really okay with you? This person didn’t actually mean it, right? It’s a dragon we are talking about,” Vata whispered while lightly pulling on Sila’s sleeve.

    “It’s okay. This is not the first time I’ve had to solo a dragon,” replied Sila while circulating qi at a fast, yet steady pace. He was clearly aware that forcefully accelerating the circulation speed might bring him more harm than good.

    ‘Not the first? Is what Varee said the truth?’

    Unsurprisingly, Varee had told Vata about Sila. Most of them were about general facts, like, Sila was an unperturbed type of person who liked to sneak away to solo a dragon. To be honest, Vata had always thought that it was a metaphor. Never in her wildest dream that she expected Varee to mean it literally.

    ‘Solo a dragon? How could he do that?’

    Slaying a dragon alone was the action that contradicted common sense. Dragons were the strongest race and every single one of them possessed extraordinary stats, such that most attacks couldn’t even scratch their scales. To be able to kill one, players needed to compensate for their significantly inferior stats with sheer numbers.

    Unbeknownst to her, Sila held a favorable position in a fight against a dragon because he possessed slime skills, which were deadly for the dragon race.

    Viola didn’t care about Vata. She knew that Sila needed some time to regenerate his power, so she used this chance to have a conversation.

    “While you are circulating qi, listen to me. Once you have fully recovered your power, I will order all the slimes to come under the radius of my Divine Raiment’s protection...”

    “Eh? Can the radius of Divine Raiment extend?”

    “Hmph. Do you already want to run despite having just learned how to walk? That’s right, it can. Not only my Divine Raiment, but Poluk’s Genesis Punch and Divine’s Moon Reflecting Mirror also have unique uses that are beyond your ability. Well, I mean, for the time being.”

    Sila nodded as he understood what she said. Personal profound arts naturally required experience and insight for the learners to be able to show their full potential.

    “Once Pythia comes out of the Dragon Sealing Stone, you will have to defeat it as soon as possible. Remember that the longer time you take, the harder it is for you to slay it.”

    “May I ask why that is?”

    “Just ask that girl behind you. She seems to know the reasons.” Viola turned to look at Vata.

    “Y-Yes. Pythia, the Wind Dragon, is one of the most troublesome monsters in Monster Soul. Even though its stats aren’t exceptional, it possesses overpowered techniques that make it impossible to be hunted by a single player...”

    “Nothing is impossible,” Viola threw a short line.

    “...I-I see. It is said that there are three reasons that make Pythia almost impossible to be killed by a single player. Firstly, Pythia is faster than other dragons by a great margin. Landing an attack on it is imposs... I mean, a very difficult task to accomplish. Secondly, its Dragon Domain, Sky Castle, has a wide area of effect. If Pythia were to be released here, its domain would easily cover the entire Beginning Island. Within this domain, all enemies will be under constant attack by invisible slashes, Wind Blades, while its health points will be regenerating at high speed. The last reason is the most terrifying. Pythia has the unique spell, Dragon Shadow Clone, that allows it to create an unlimited number of copies of itself. Each clone is physically real and possesses the same stats and appearance as the original.”

    “That is all, Sila. So, you need to get rid of it as fast as possible. Your important task is to find its original body. Pythia’s body is not strong, just a single Genesis Punch from you will be enough to end its life.”

    Sila was pondering these new findings. Based on what he just heard, defeating Pythia wasn’t the main problem. The biggest problem was finding it and landing his attack.

    “What should I do, then, Master?”

    “Come up with a method yourself. Think of this as a trial. You already possess the potential to kill it. Choosing the right skills and arts to defeat the opponent is also an important aspect you need to master. Try to figure out how I captured it and you will be able to land a hit.”

    Sila stood up and drank a Fountain of Life. “I’m ready.”

    “Another warning from me, Sila. With your current ability, I think you can use Divine Raiment for less than ten minutes. You will have to take this into account.”

    Sila walked toward the open field in the middle of Stone Forest and Viola ordered all the slimes to come near her.

    “Girl, do you want to come here as well?” Viola called Vata.

    Vata hesitated for a moment before declining the offer. “No. I will help Sila. I can’t leave Varee’s friend to face danger by himself.”

    Viola frowned. “To be honest, I don’t think you can be much help. The most you can do is delay the dragon’s attack for a few seconds before dying.”

    “Even if that is the case, I will do it. Sila is Varee’s friend. If I flee when his life is at risk, how can I look Varee in the eye from now on?”

    Vata’s determination caused Viola to stop her warning. “Up to you, then.”

    Vata approached Sila from behind. The magic staff in her hand glowed with a faint light while her entire body was covered in magic power.

    Forming a spherical dome with her Divine Raiment to cover all the slimes near her, Viola tossed the green Dragon Sealing Stone toward Sila.

    The emerald-like stone shattered mid-flight.

    The clouds in the sky above Beginning Island started to unnaturally tremble. Strong winds blew and the trees shook.

    Without the system window, Sila didn’t get to hear the system’s notification like others. Meanwhile, all the players on Beginning Island got to hear it and were in a panic due to what was about to happen.

    Beginning Town, which was said to be the safest city in Monster Soul, was about to experience a major storm.

    And it was literally a great storm, not a metaphorical one. Moreover, it was only the first of many.

  • Chapter 141: Executing the Dragon in One Fist


    The system alerted all players, except Sila, about the emergence of Pythia the Wind Dragon, one of the monsters that players didn’t want to fight against the most.

    Even the petrified trees began to crack from the strong winds, so there was no need to mention the normal ones. The gusts ripped the trees out of the ground and flung them up into the sky. Looking into the distance, Sila could see numerous players and monsters floating in the fierce storm. The buildings in Beginning Town started to break and everyone there began to seek shelter.

    Pulling his body to the ground with Universe Reversal and increasing his weight with Formless Soldier, Sila firmly climbed up an invisible staircase using Cloud Stepping, step by step, advancing toward a flash of emerald light flying in the middle of the storm.

    As for Vata, she seemed to have her own way of resisting the fierce winds. Casting her wind-elemental spell, she was able to stay on the ground without being blown away.

    A pair of red eyes flashed from the emerald body suspended in the sky. In a berserk state, Pythia shot toward its nearest nemesis, Sila, with incredible speed.

    Among all of the dragons Sila had encountered, Pythia was the smallest one, though its size was still around three meters. Other than that, Sila couldn’t discern any of its features. It was exactly like Vata had said; Pythia’s speed was unimaginable. All he could see was a green comet.

    Sila was circulating Tiger Dragon Qi constantly. Even though he hadn’t been injured, he continued to feel a sharp pain like he was constantly being cut by knives; this must be the work of the Dragon Domain that Vata mentioned, Sky Castle.

    Only one punch was needed to kill Pythia, so he prepared the power of Genesis Punch in his right fist beforehand. Sila suddenly brought himself to a stop in mid-air. If the opponent uses speed, one needs to counter by being slow; this was the concept of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws.

    Although he wouldn’t dare to call himself an expert, his ability regarding reading an opponent’s attack wasn’t half bad. Fortunately for Sila, Pythia was in a berserk state so its powerful attack was too straightforward.

    Based on his experience with Dorolia, a dragon that excels in techniques is more difficult to cope with when it is not berserk. Pythia’s attack that aimed at Sila’s abdomen was obviously a bad move. He was ready to throw his fist in front of him when the dragon came.

    However, sometimes, superior stats can make up for a bad move. Although it was true that Pythia simply shot toward Sila’s abdomen, its current speed wasn’t its top speed. Once it narrowed the distance and Sila threw his fist, it suddenly accelerated.

    Realizing that he had miscalculated, Shapeless Qi was activated in an instant and enhanced the defensive power of Tiger Dragon Qi. Meanwhile, Formless Soldier exerted its maximum effect; Sila’s skin, body, and bones were as hard as steel while his internal organs and muscles were soft and elastic. His qi was separated into two layers, the inner layer being strong and firm while emitting a soft aura.

    Sila’s Genesis Punch connected with empty air while Pythia’s body slammed into his. The soft layer of qi slightly parried the dragon, but it still managed to cut Sila’s body and left three long incisions.

    Pythia then aimed at Vata who was nearby, but she moved her body in advance and managed to barely dodge it. Only her sleeve was cut apart.

    Sila had no time to ask, but he guessed that Vata must have been using Rhythm of the Western Wind. His focus was locked onto Pythia so he didn’t notice when she activated the skill. Witnessing that Vata could dodge an attack that he couldn’t, Sila started to become interested in Rhythms.

    Pythia flew up and stopped its body for a brief moment to glare at its enemies. Its body was covered in green, glittering scales. As it flapped its massive wings, it resembled a bat more than a dragon.

    It let loose a battle cry and began to multiply. One second, there were only two, the next, four. It continued to multiply, filling the sky with clones of itself. In the end, there were more than five hundred Pythias hovering in the sky.

    A large amount of the clones remained in the sky above the forest. This was due to the fact that their nemesis was nearby. Still, a hundred of them scattered and flew in the direction of Beginning Town.

    The time had come where Divine Raiment was required. Sila’s body was covered by a faint white aura, and the pressure he had felt from the wind seemed to disappear. It was as if he was standing in a void; even the tiniest bit of air resistance couldn’t be felt. All sound was cut off and his body was as light as a feather. In this state, Sila was confident that nothing could harm him.

    Surprised by the profound power of Divine Raiment, Sila had stopped moving for a moment, and three Wind Dragons attacked him from different directions. The layer of Divine Raiment rippled. There was no damage; not even an impact. But, the problem was, Sila could clearly sense that his magic power had been consumed at an incredible rate. He came to an understanding that each attack he took would wear down the power of Divine Raiment.

    The ten minutes that Viola had mentioned likely didn’t account for attacks that wore it down. However, with Pythia’s strong and speedy attacks, it was possible that Sila’s Divine Raiment might lose its effect in a mere second.

    Sila circulated qi once again to reduce the burden of Divine Raiment. His fist was reinforced with Genesis Punch in advance, which contradicted Poluk’s teaching that stated he should only unleash qi reinforcement for an instant. However, he didn’t have many choices, as he wanted to throw his punch faster, even if it was just a fraction of second faster.

    The radius of Galaxy Eclipse was extended and Sila could spot a difference between the dragons. There was only a single dragon that seemed to generate energy while the rest were just lumps of magic power.

    The dragons still continued to bombard Sila relentlessly. Luckily for him, the real Pythia chose to personally attack him as well, thanks to its berserk state. This fact helped Sila a lot as he didn’t have to approach it; it would be the one who charged at him. The only thing he needed to do was counter at the right moment.

    The dragons’ movement suddenly slowed down slightly. Still, Sila could notice the difference. He glanced at Vata and found that she was casting some kind of spell while still dodging the series of attacks. She could perfectly evade all the attacks at first, but she couldn’t keep it up forever and took damage. In the end, she had to take her Fountain of Life out to drink before throwing its empty bottle away with a regretful expression.

    The silence caused Sila to focus more. There were eight dragons simultaneously charging at him, but he could sense that the real one was flying at him from behind. Sila turned his body back and showed his claws. He violently threw his palm to counter its attack. His Tiger's Palm was reinforced with the power of Genesis Punch. Even though it wasn’t a fist, its power was on par.

    Sadly, Pythia’s speed was still too much for him. His Tiger's Palm could only strike its tail while he received attack from every direction. Pain, wind pressure, and sound suddenly came back to him. It seemed his Divine Raiment had already vanished.

    “Not even three minutes have passed though.” exclaimed Sila while quickly drinking a Fountain of Life.

    The real Pythia screamed in the sky while blood dripped from where its tail used to be. It shrunk until its body was half the size it used to be, but its latent magic power was fully unleashed, showing its true might. The power that Sila could sense from it was amplified greatly.

    “This is bad. If it hits me directly, I will surely die,” muttered Sila.

    “Don’t aim for the dragon!! Read its movement and aim where it’s going!!” shouted Vata. She had witnessed Sila’s attack and was aware that Sila had tried to aim at Pythia, while he should be aiming at its future position instead.

    Sila nodded. If someone asked him when he was the most focused, he would definitely reply that it was while he used Divine Raiment. Not only were there no sounds to disrupt him, but his mind was also at peace as if the fight in front of him wasn’t his own battle. Viola’s art truly deserved to be categorized as a magic type.

    For the second time, Sila’s body was covered by a faint white aura. The power of Genesis Punch accumulated in his right hand for the third time of the day. His eyes focused on Pythia and took its speed into consideration while analyzing its movement patterns.

    It was at that moment that he experienced something peculiar. Divine Raiment rippled even though he wasn’t being hit. Sila could sense that his magic power was being consumed while the path of Pythia’s movement was projected into his sight.

    Pythia was flying toward him. Sila had no time to think whether this bizarre sensation was the work of Divine Raiment or not; this time, he circulated dragon-attributed qi reinforced with Genesis Punch. He forwent his defense and threw his punch at empty air with Nine Sun-Melting-Fists’ martial move. Then, his right fist changed its trajectory midway and the dragon suddenly appeared in front of it.

    The small, tailless dragon was directly hit by Sila’s Dragon’s Fist. Both of its wings were torn apart and without them its body descended and slammed into the ground. Its broken bones pierced through its skin from within, leaving it to lie on the ground, waiting for its end.

    Pythia’s body emitted a green light before disappearing, leaving behind a card and a turquoise-color pearl. Since Sila didn’t possess a system window, the items dropped on the ground instead of being transferred into his inventory like usual.

    As for the clones of the Wind Dragons that were hovering all over Beginning Island, they turned into light as well. Some just simply disappeared while others dropped a card as they died. As a result, fifty Wind Dragon Cards rained down from the sky all over Beginning Island, and this would later bring the second wave of the storm to Beginning Island.

    Dozens of cards dropped in Stone Forest as this was where most of the dragons had disappeared. Vata and Sila picked up some of them to inspect.

    Sila noticed that the card the clones dropped was slightly different from the card that the real one dropped. The card that dropped from the real Pythia had a golden frame and the picture on the card seemed to shift and move, as if it was alive. He only kept the genuine card and the pearl inside his pocket while leaving the rest of the cards laying on the ground.

    Vata was shocked. “These are dragon cards, aren't they?! Why are there so many of them?!!”

    Sila was too lazy to explain that it was related to his Greed Card, so he shrugged. “If you want, you can take them with you. By the way, what is their ability?”

    Vata looked at Sila with eyes full of shock and skepticism. There were many questions in her head. Why did the items drop on the ground instead of being directly transferred to the player’s inventory? And Why did Sila seem to not care at all about these cards? She had witnessed that Sila was the one who killed Pythia, so logically these cards should belong to him.

    Nevertheless, Sila didn’t think so. First things first, he didn’t have a way to collect all of the cards scattered across Beginning Island. Moreover, he just defeated the real body of Pythia, not its clones; so he didn’t think that it was his right to claim the cards that dropped from the clones.

    “Pythia, the Wind Dragon Card... I don’t know about its ability too. We will have to identify it at the card shop to know that. Well, with its unidentified state, it can be used to change to the dragon race. There are tens of them here and becoming the dragon race only requires five cards.”

    Sila didn’t know whether there would be an Invitation Card to the Dragon Kingdom, but he handed Vata all of the clones’ cards just in case.

    Then, he put his mind on studying his previous battle. He was pondering many things that might help him improve his ability.

    “Girl, if you plan to change your race, you better do it somewhere else. This place is a part of the Slime Kingdom; if you become a dragon, the Pink Slime Card that you have equipped will be useless and all of the slimes will immediately attack you.”

    Viola’s warning put a complete stop to Vata’s action, after she had already inserted four cards into her card window.

    “Master, do you know what happened to me during my last attack? When I was using Divine Raiment, I felt like... it is hard to explain, but I felt like I had become stronger even though I knew that the level of my power stayed the same.”

    “That’s the true power of Divine Raiment. Not only can it protect you from external attacks, but it also blocks out unnecessary thoughts and emotions. In the state where your concentration reaches its peak, even if your overall power stays the same, you will obviously become stronger. Don’t forget that your state of mind affects your fighting ability as well. You should gradually and steadily practice my art, and you will eventually learn to heighten your concentration all the time without having to use Divine Raiment.”

    There was one more thing that Viola didn’t tell Sila; aside from her art being the ultimate defensive art, it is also the ultimate art of inspection. Even Sila’s Tiger Dragon Qi, which no one had ever realized was a real-life qi, Viola was able to see through it at a glance. At the higher levels of Divine Raiment, Viola could see the movements of her opponent’s inner force even before they began to circulate it.

    Even though her power didn’t show overwhelming might like Poluk’s, it could be said that Divine Raiment was the most complex art among the arts of the three Slime Guardians. It was to be expected since it was categorized as a magic-type skill.

    The reason why Viola didn’t tell Sila what Divine Raiment was capable of was because she wanted him to find out by himself.

    “Next, I have something to personally tell Sila,” said Viola while shooting a glance at Vata.

    “No problem, Master. Miss Vata is my friend, so...” Sila noticed that the atmosphere began to become awkward as Vata couldn’t use Returning Scroll even though she was told to leave.

    Viola cut his words short. “It’s about Bow.”

    Sila understood immediately. Bow’s matter was the Slime King’s secret that only Sila, the Slime King himself, and the three Slime Guardians were aware of. This secret wasn’t suppose to leak out because it was against the law to let the underage Bow enter a virtual reality game.

    Approaching Vata, Sila told her, “Miss Vata, you won’t be able to use Returning Scroll in this place. So, I think you should take a detour to avoid confronting the team that is following us...”

    “No one is following you anymore. Some of them were killed by Pythia and the rest returned to the town,” interrupted Viola.

    Sila nodded. “In that case, just go back the way we came. I will have to spend several days here so you don’t need to wait for me.”

    In fact, he didn’t know exactly what Viola wanted to tell him. Nevertheless, he told Vata that it would take several days so that she wouldn’t be waiting for him.

    “I get it. Anyway, we should add each other to our contact lists,” said Vata while opening her system window.

    “Ah. About that, my system window is malfunctioning right now, so I can’t do that. You noticed that the items dropped on the ground instead of transferring to my inventory, right? I will contact you later via Varee, then.” Sila could feel that Viola was starting to be impatient so he decided to tell Vata that his system window was malfunctioning instead of taking his time to explain.

    Vata finally understood the reason why the items dropped on the ground, though she was still confused about how the system window could malfunction.

    “I think I will be staying around Beginning Town for a while. If we are lucky, we may meet again.”

    Vata said goodbye to Sila and slowly departed. It was at that time that Sila shouted out to her. “Please come back home sometimes! Both Varee and Uncle Rashane are very worried about you!”

    Vata’s steps halted for a brief moment before a gentle smile was shown on her face. The whole time Sila was with her, he didn’t mention this topic once, and that meant he had respected her decision. So did Varee. Although she had met her sister quite often, Varee had never mentioned wanting her to come back home so she wouldn’t feel cornered.

    Unbeknownst to her, Sila had been too focused on his trial and had completely forgotten about how she had ran away from home until a moment ago. Well, it all worked out since he looked good in her eyes.

    As Vata had left, Viola turned her head to look at Sila with a stern expression. Even Bow seemed to be depressed. It seemed that this matter was truly serious as he had never seen Bow look depressed before. He suspected that Viola must have told Bow something when he was fighting against Pythia.

    Viola was direct and cut to the chase, “Sila, please release Bow from being your pet. It’s time for her to log out.”

  • Chapter 142: Eternal Onyx


    Master Viola spent ten minutes explaining what happened to Sila.

    Usually, the Slime King wouldn’t be able to contact the Slime Guardians whenever he wished, only when it was related to Bow’s condition. It was an agreement that he made with the game creator. Thus, knowing that Bow was located in Beginning Town, the Slime King had contacted Viola who was nearby.

    “In conclusion, Bow’s condition seems to have gotten better and her brain waves have stabilised. There is a chance she will wake up from her coma. But, for that to happen, we need Bow to log out. His Majesty has already contacted the system admin, and it is set that releasing her will be equivalent to her logging out.”

    “But...” Bow seemed to want to say something.

    “This is for your own good, Bow,” strictly said Viola.

    Sila was aware that this was necessary. Bow’s condition should take priority over everything else. However, it was too sudden. He felt like he still didn’t get to know Bow enough. When Poluk told him the truth about Bow, he had thought that this moment would come much later.

    “Well, there seems to be a problem. I heard your system window is malfunctioning?”

    “Actually, it is being upgraded. What really happened was...”

    Listening to Sila’s story, Viola came to understand the reason Sila didn’t have a system window with him.

    “I see. So we will have to wait until your system window is returned. In that case, just stay here until the upgrade is finished.”

    “I don’t know when it will be finished though.”

    “Please let Bow go out one last time. Please, please.”

    Viola hesitated for a while before giving permission. “Okay. Fine. But please promise me that you will log out immediately when Sila gets his system window back. We don’t know for sure that your brain waves will be steady like this forever. If we miss this chance, maybe we won’t get another one. More importantly, Sila. Don’t let Bow encounter any danger. This is a must.”

    Sila and Bow nodded simultaneously.

    “Our communication is one-way only, so I will have to go back to personally inform His Majesty. Come find me in the Slime Kingdom if you need anything else.”

    “What about these slimes?” Sila looked at the hundreds of slimes hopping around Stone Forest.

    “They will live here. No need to worry. Every time a seal is broken, they become stronger. Now that more than half of the seals have been broken, they won’t die easily.”

    Viola called the slimes over and ordered them to give Sila the dropped dragon cards and a Return Scroll. She also took the Invitation Card to the Slime Kingdom out and used it, leaving them all behind. With the restriction of the seals, she wouldn’t be able to get out again until all eight seals were broken.

    “Another three to go,” Sila recalled all the hardships he had overcome to break each seal. In the beginning, he had thought that there would be no way for him to complete this quest, but now, he had passed the halfway milestone.

    All of the slimes stood in a single row and saluted him by bowing their heads down, to which Sila bowed back in return. Then, he used the Return Scroll to return to Beginning Town.

    ***

    Once his body reappeared in Beginning Town, it was almost impossible for him to tell that this place was the Beginning Town he knew. The entire town seemed to be damaged from a big hurricane, leaving only a handful of buildings untouched. It was due to the fact that a few important buildings had been programmed to be reconstructed faster than ordinary buildings.

    The atmosphere in the town was similar to the one in the lawless Grea City. There were many battles breaking out all over the place. Some players were fighting while some were fleeing from the chaos. It was truly a sight of pandemonium.

    “What is happening?” muttered Sila.

    “A human’s greed, I’d say.” A feminine voice came from behind him, which caused Sila to immediately turn his head. Although it was true that he wasn’t keeping his guard up, the fact that this woman could approach him without him noticing clearly showed that her ability was high.

    “Hello.” Not knowing what to do, Sila politely greeted her while circulating his qi.

    In front of him was a woman. Her white, curly hair reached her back, covering part of her sky blue long-sleeved coat. Even though she was obviously standing right in front of him, Sila couldn’t feel her presence nor her power at all. It was as if she didn’t really exist.

    “Just a moment ago, there were dragon cards raining down from the sky. Dragon cards are very rare, so many players are killing each other to obtain them.”

    Sila finally realized that the problem was, in fact, his fault. He himself had once collected slime cards lying on the ground, so he was aware that there would be no way to prove that those dragon cards belonged to him. Considering this, he decided to shut his mouth.

    Though, the difference between slime cards and dragon cards were like the difference between heaven and earth. The monsters of the dragon race were powerful, hard to encounter, and hard to kill, so players were blinded by greed and wanted to obtain the cards despite having to kill their friends.

    “Thank you for the information. I just arrived so I’m very clueless about what’s happening.”

    A faint smile played across her lips. “Recently, people tend to come to this place using Crystals of Connecting. However, you appeared in the middle of the town, which means you used a Return Scroll. If I were to guess, you must have come back from Stone Forest, right?”

    “Ah... Yes... I-I died. That’s why I came back to life at this spot.” Sila decided to lie, though deception wasn’t something he excelled at.

    She slowly shook her head. “That would be too soon. The Wind Dragons appeared just twenty-three minutes ago and the ones that were killed by it wouldn’t have revived yet. Considering that you’re lying, you must know something you don’t want others to know.”

    Indeed, Sila was a complete amateur when it came to lying. He just planned to quickly meet up with Mister Bronze to unseal the ring and go back.

    “Next time, please put more thought into your lies.” As soon as she finished speaking, she turned her back to him and walked away.

    “Eh? Wait.” Sila was surprised that she suddenly departed, and started to feel that she didn’t have bad intentions.

    “What is it?”

    “Do you have business with me?”

    “No. Just think of me as a stranger who coincidentally met you.”

    Sila was clueless about this mysterious woman’s identity and real motives. “Who are you?”

    She tapped on the ground to jump up to a roof and disappeared in the blink of an eye. Still, her voice entered his ears as if she was whispering to him.

    “I hope we will meet again, Mister Sila.”

    Trying to detect his surroundings using qi, Sila still couldn’t find her. Since he didn’t know anything about her, he decided to leave her alone.

    He then headed toward the weapon shop, taking a detour to avoid the routes where players gathered, and arrived after twenty minutes.

    After confirming that there was no one around, Sila jumped down from the roof and landed at the front door of the weapon shop. Currently, the weapon shop was devoid of customers. All players were busy searching and hunting for cards in town, or roaming outside of town looking for any that were missed. As for those who didn’t dare take part in the search, they were all taking shelter within the hotel.

    Fortunately, the weapon shop was still open. Sila pushed the door open and saw a familiar man, Bronze, inside. The man still had the same appearance as before; a muscular man wearing only jeans. He was sitting in front of a furnace, staring at the melting steel in his hand. He greeted the entering customer with his hoarse voice without looking back.

    “Welcome. What do you want to buy?” Even the greeting was the same.

    “Hello, Mister Bronze,” greeted Sila, which caused Bronze to look away from the steel in his hand.

    “Ah, Sila. You finally realised, didn’t you? I thought it would take you longer.”

    Sila frowned. “Realised what?”

    “Hm? Didn’t you come to find me about the right arm?” Bronze gave Sila a puzzled expression. “Didn’t you figure it out?”

    Sila shook his head. “I’m here for another matter, sir.” As he finished the sentence, he took out the envelope he received from Orpheus and handed it to Bronze.

    Bronze tore open the envelope and read the letter inside with a frown. It took him a moment before he tossed the letter and the empty envelope into the furnace.

    He approached Sila and opened his palm. “Let me see your ring.”

    “Do I have to release Lookhin first?”

    “Do you mean your pet? No, you don’t. Just unequip it and hand it to me.”

    Sila removed the ring from his finger and handed it to Bronze, who took it and placed it on the top counter. His hand emitted a brilliant light before touching the ring. Then, the ring started to give off a faint light in response.

    “It takes some time... Well, it might be due to coincidence, but you managed to visit this place for the second time. With this, I'm obliged to upgrade your right arm.”

    Sila was still confused, so Bronze continued the explanation.

    “Um... the thing is, I’m the Unsealer who can upgrade the Right Arm of the Sealed One once. Visiting this place twice is the condition for me to do that.”

    Bronze’s hand emitted a light again and he placed it on Sila’s right hand. However, nothing happened.

    “There really is a problem. Malfunctioned, repaired, and modified. Orpheus’s doing, right? I can’t upgrade it this way. Your right arm has turned into something that isn’t registered in the game database. How weird.”

    “Is that so? That’s fine, sir. I never planned to rely on it.” As long as he could still move his right arm like normal, Sila didn’t care that much about it being unable to be upgraded.

    “Don’t worry. Even though I can’t upgrade it for you, I can tell you another method.”

    “Is that okay? Won’t it be breaking the rules?”

    Bronze waved his hand. “It won’t be. You have completed the sub-quest but your right arm isn’t upgraded, so revealing the method to upgrade is just a subpar reward compared to that. Well, I can only tell you the method to upgrade it to the fourth stage. I still can’t tell you anything regarding the Sealed One.”

    “That’s fine, sir.”

    “Let me check... Um... Killing one Emperor Rank monster. Quite a difficult task, indeed.”

    Sila gaped. Emperor Rank monster meant someone like Orpheus or the Slime King. There was no way for him to kill one of those people.

    “No need to panic. Who said you have to solo-kill it? You can bring ten thousand players with you and you might stand a chance.”

    “Yes, sir.” Sila decided to stop thinking about it. For something like this, it would be lucky if he could do it, but being unable to do it wouldn’t affect him. So, he should just let it be.

    The door opened and three players entered the shop. All of them were people Sila was familiar with.

    “Oh? Big Brother Sila? What a coincidence?” Tod, one of the twins, greeted him.

    “It’s not that strange. A lot of players have come to Beginning Town lately,” said Aek.

    “It’s been a while, Sila,” Tiger politely greeted him.

    “Oh? Aek, Tod, Tiger? Long time no see. How are you all?” Sila returned their greetings.

    Tiger pardoned himself and brought out equipment that he then asked Bronze to unseal. Meanwhile, Aek and Tod approached Sila and started talking.

    “It’s good to see you again, Big Brother. I will show you how strong we have become,” Aek bragged.

    “Based on how you walk, I’m confident that you have indeed grown stronger. By the way, are you guys still on Beginning Island?”

    Tod said, “Yes, Big Brother. We haven’t exited Beginning Island yet. I’m so bored. I want to go to the Main Continent already.”

    “It’s been a long time. Why haven’t you left yet?”

    “In our team, there are two members whose levels are lacking so we are helping them grind.” Aek lowered his voice down. “In addition, Big Brother Tiger has come up with a lot of hand signals for our team and told us that we need to practice our teamwork by using them. He said the Main Continent is not a safe place so we need to possess sufficient strength to at least protect ourselves.”

    Sila frowned as he believed that the ability of Tiger’s Team wasn’t that bad. On the Main Continent, he had even met numerous players whose abilities were inferior to their party. He didn’t think there was a need for Tiger to be so strict with his teammates.

    In fact, Tiger was farsighted and prudent. He was aware of how special Jundtrathep’s abilities were. On Beginning Island, they managed to keep her abilities a secret, but things might not be the same on the Main Continent. With how special her skills were, many guilds would want her to join their guild. As a result, if their team was too weak, they might end up becoming Jundtrathep’s weakness.

    Sila wasn’t aware of Tiger’s thought process and didn’t continue asking. It was at that time that Tiger had finished his business and approached him.

    “The matters regarding the slime rock and the Wind Dragon seem to have come to an end. If Sila is free, how about visiting Elven Village with us? That place is very pretty and the rest of the team is waiting for us there. They will surely be glad if Sila comes.”

    Sila was about to decline as he wanted to leave this place as soon as possible. However, a whispering voice could be heard from inside his clothing. “Big Brother Sila... I want to go to Elven Village...”

    Hearing Bow’s request, he decided to pamper her, as he didn’t know how much longer she could stay in Monster Soul.

    “That sounds good. Well, I still have something to do with Mister Bronze. Could you please wait for me outside?”

    The three men obediently exited the weapon shop while Sila walked back to Bronze, who handed him a familiar ring with a slight change. Its color was still black but the gem part was removed. Bronze also handed Sila the Eternal Onyx that was shining a mysterious black light with a red shade mixed in.

    “It’s done... By the way, are you really planning to go to Elven Village?” Bronze couldn’t help but be curious.

    “Yes, sir. I happened to meet some friends who I haven’t seen for a long time, so I want to talk to them. Please pardon me.” Sila expressed his thanks and made an exit.

    The door closed and Bronzed muttered to himself. “Didn’t Orpheus warn him to leave this place immediately? That’s weird. That guy shouldn’t have forgotten the ability of Eternal Onyx after it is unsealed.”

    Thinking about it for a while, Bronze concluded that it wasn’t his own problem so he no longer cared. Then, he entered the inner room, brought out a vending machine, and set it at the front of his shop. It was an automated vending machine that Orpheus had once given to him a long time ago. He didn’t have a chance to use it at all as players tended to purchase weapons from merchants or save their money for the markets on the Main Continent.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Automated Vending Machine for selling weapons and potions. Just place your hand on the silver plate, click the items you want, and the machine will automatically deduct your money.

    ***The price of all items is 40% higher than usual.
    ***Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Witnessing the sign, players began to laugh. They pitied the weapon shop’s owner’s efforts to lure in customers with a nonsensical vending machine. Not only were the items being sold ordinary, but their prices were also higher. Who would be dumb enough to use it?

    Some fights still broke out in the town. People were all busy surviving, snatching items, betraying their friends, planning, and fighting. However, it was questionable whether any one of them noticed the change in the sky above. The gentle, pale moon that was hanging in the night sky was slowly turning red. The light of the stars slowly disappeared, creating a darkness that seemed eternal.

  • Chapter 143: Tiger Team - First Part


    The sight of Elven Village at night was more beautiful than what Sila had imagined. The residents lived in hollow sections of large trees that filled the area. A lot of lamps were hanging from branches. Within the lamps, there wasn’t a candle but a few fireflies emitting light not inferior to moonlight. A gust of cold wind sent the smell of tree leaves and grass into his nose.

    “You have got a message.”

    The sound suddenly rang out inside his head, startling him. Sila waved his hand once and found that his system window had finished upgrading. The message he just got was from Orpheus telling him that the upgrade was done. Sila checked his item window and found that there was an unfamiliar book inside; it seemed to be a manual explaining the benefits of the upgraded system window.

    Sila decided not to read it for the time being. As for releasing Bow, he decided to do that after he left Beginning Island. At the very least, he wanted to let her have fun for as long as possible.

    Still following Tiger and the twins, Sila took all of the items inside his sleeves and pockets and stored them in his system window.

    “What’s wrong, Big Brother? Did someone call you?” asked Aek as he saw Sila close his system window.

    “It’s nothing. Just a message from my friend.” Sila shrugged.

    As the four of them entered Elven Village, they noticed that any elves they came across gave Sila a strange look, like he was an alien.

    “Um... Are the elves usually this... strange?” whispered Sila.

    Tiger shook his head. “No, they are not. They’re usually friendly, to be honest. I wonder if something has happened. Let’s hurry up and find the rest.”

    They accelerated their speed and soon arrived at the training ground located further in the village. There were fences to separate the boundary between the village and Illusion Forest.

    As soon as Sila arrived, five young women entered his sight. The first one was Alice who was practicing firing arrows by herself. Next to her was Jundtrathep who was talking to a young woman in a black witch robe. It was the first time Sila saw someone wearing the complete witch set; she even wore a wide-brimmed witch hat. The fourth one was a young woman in a Kung Fu uniform holding a mace in her hand. He could tell that this woman was a qi-type player since she was practicing qi reinforcement, and she was quite good at it. The last person was next to her; she was Luna, Jundtrathep’s partner who Sila had met before.

    “Jund!! Look who is with us today!” Aek was the first to shout.

    All five ladies stopped what they were doing and turned their heads toward Aek before shifting their gazes to Sila.
    “Big Brother Sila? Why are you here?” Jundtrathep approached him.

    “It’s not that weird, Jund; many people have come to Beginning Island lately. We just met Big Brother Sila in the weapon shop so we invited him to come back with us,” Tod replied in Sila’s place.

    “The thing is, I had some matters to attend to on Beginning Island, so I returned. It’s already finished though.”

    Alice quit firing arrows and came to the group. Meanwhile, Tiger gestured toward the woman Sila didn’t know to introduce themselves.

    “Sila, this is Pimchanok, but we call her Pim. And this one is Thanapond, or Pond. They were busy the last time we met, so this is the first time you get to see all of our team members.”

    It was revealed that the woman in the Kung Fu uniform was Pim and the one in the witch robe was Pond. Both of them were quite good-looking; Pim was like an athlete brimming with confidence while Pond looked cute and delicate.

    “Hello. It’s nice to meet you.” Both greeted Sila almost at the same time. Nevertheless, as they didn’t know each other, they didn’t know what to talk about.

    “You are real?” It was Pim who broke the silence. “Are you really Mister Sila?”

    Sila was surprised as he wondered why they would think he wasn’t real. “Yes. My name is Sila. Why do you ask?”

    “It’s nothing. It’s just... based on what Jund told us, Mister Sila is calm, handsome, skilled, kind, generous, ...the list goes on. Don’t let me tell you more of them; it will take me a day to list all of them. In conclusion, Pond and I have always thought that Jund just made up her dream guy.” (As Pim said all this, Jundtrathep was poking her non-stop, her face totally red.)

    It was the first time he was directly complimented, so he didn’t know what to say. “Er... I’m not that great. I still have many flaws.”

    “And you are modest,” Pim added another good trait.

    Tod coughed to interrupted the conservation. “Ahem! There is still another dream guy standing right here, you know?”

    The group fell completely silent for a moment. Aek tapped on Tod’s shoulder while Pim yelled, “The most you are is a shameless guy, Tod! How thick is your face to dare compliment yourself? More importantly, Mister Sila plays qi type, you know? He is much cooler than you.”

    Thinking about how someone’s energy type was related to how cool they were, Tod pulled a wry face. However, Pim seemed to be able to read his mind as she continued.

    “It’s surely related! All true men play qi type. Take Mister Lone Wolf, Mister Zero, or Mister Lomyok for example. They are all cool.”

    The first two names were fine, but Sila somehow disagreed with the last name that was mentioned.

    “Miss Pim yourself is very skilled. I noticed you were practicing qi reinforcement just a moment ago. There are not many players on the Main Continent who can use it as well as you do. I personally think that you are on the same level as Mister Lomyok.”

    Pim grinned. In Tiger’s group, she was the only person playing qi type; Pond and Jund chose magic type while the men and Alice chose psychic type. Thus, there was no one she could talk to about qi.

    “See?! He really is a good guy,” said Pim. “You also seem to have met Mister Lomyok. Are you two friends?”

    Sila pondered for a while to find a description for his relationship with Lomyok. Being friends seemed too intimate, but being enemies also didn’t feel right; he didn’t have a feeling of wanting to fight or compete against Lomyok even though Lomyok declared himself as Sila’s rival.

    “I have met him once or twice. It’s more correct to say that we are acquaintances.”

    “Anyway, for what purpose did Big Brother Sila come to Beginning Island? Can you tell us?” Tod hurriedly tried to change the subject before the conversation circled around Lomyok.

    Sila had already come up with a prepared answer. He had anticipated that someone would surely ask him. It was an ambiguous answer that wasn’t exactly lying.

    “About the slime rock in Beginning Town, it was a quest for a player from the slime race. I returned to complete this quest.”

    Although it wasn’t exactly the case, Sila’s answer was logical, so no one suspected him.

    “Ah. Talking about this, you are wearing green wuxia clothing, aren’t you, Big Brother? Are you the person that people in the forum said snatched their reward?”

    “There’s no way Big Brother Sila would do that,” Aek interrupted Tod before he could say anything else.

    “That’s not it. As I said, the slime rock was an exclusive quest for slime players, so I’m the only one who could break it. As for the quest reward, it was a skill, not an item. Thus, I can’t share it with others even if I want to.”

    Even though it was a distorted truth, the result was good. Later on, this information would gradually spread from the members of Tiger Team by word of mouth until everyone stopped chasing Sila over this matter (though he was still being chased for various other reasons).

    Tiger noticed that the conversation started to focus on Sila’s personal matter, so he changed the topic.

    “By the way, everyone, how about our training?”

    It was a daily task for Team Tiger to train themselves every day. After hunting monsters in the day, Tiger, Aek, and Tod would visit the town to identify items and have their weapons repaired. Afterward, they would start a meeting to discuss how they could improve.

    “Today is like every other day, Big Brother Tiger. We have encountered all kinds of monsters in Illusion Forest anyway,” said Alice who seemed to be a representative of all the girls in the team. “Pim has eaten a Serpent Heart, so Pond is the only one who is still at Squire Rank, Level 1000. As for Jund and I, we have gotten a lot better at using our skills. We’ve been wondering when we’ll go to the Main Continent.”

    Everyone agreed with what she said, including Tiger who believed that the time to depart Beginning Island had come, as they had been everywhere. Still, if possible, he would like his team to have experience fighting against human opponents before they went to the Main Continent. However, it would be too risky for them to try engaging in a fight against a player.

    As he was somehow an expert regarding training, Sila could read Tiger’s anxiety. As a result, he proposed to help.

    “If you’re still worried, how about having a mock battle against me?”

    Everyone shifted their gazes to Sila.

    “That would be too much for us to ask. Mister Sila is our guest,” said Pond.

    “No problem. I’m happy to help. Aek and Tod also told me they would like to show me how strong they have become. Since that was the case, instead of showing their progress via other means, they can show me through a mock battle.”

    Everyone showed a worried expression, but Tiger accepted Sila’s offer. He would like his team to have experience fighting against a human opponent and this was the perfect opportunity.

    “That sounds good, but we have to hold back. How about each person stops when it’s determined that they should be dead?”

    As they had agreed on the rules, each team separated to prepare themselves. For Sila, he just placed Bow on the grass and let her become very transparent. He then picked up several tree branches on the ground and kept them in his sleeves.

    “Um... Our team has eight members. Isn’t this too unfair to Mister Sila?”

    “Don’t underestimate a skilled qi-type player. In close-quarters combat, a qi-type player will have the advantage. We have to be careful, especially magic-type members who might not have enough time to cast a spell,” Pim expressed her opinion as she was a qi-type player as well.

    “What Pim said is correct. Sila isn’t weak, Pond. We have eight members and that means he can choose to attack any of us first. I witnessed Sila’s movements; although they weren’t particularly complex, they were very fast. We have to try our best. This is a rare chance for us to be able to fight against a skilled player.”

    “More importantly, Big Brother Sila was the champion of last month’s tournament in Colossia City, you know? I heard that it was very intense as ten thousand players died,” commented Tod.

    “What should we do, Big Brother?” Aek asked Tiger.

    “We will use regular formation, then. It’s our usual formation when taking on an opponent with an unknown ability anyway.”

    Sila could hear what they were talking about. He had to admit that Tiger wasn’t a bad leader. Well, he was still unaware that Sila had practiced martial arts. He wasn’t the same as the old Sila who was artless and relied heavily on qi.

    Tiger Team’s formation was slightly different than what he had witnessed before. Jundtrathep was still in the center, but Pond was standing next to her. In the rear, there was Alice who had nocked an arrow; with her position, she was able to see all of her comrades and would be able to help any of them if the need arose.

    Aek and Tod were standing in front of them. Their job must be to protect the three girls behind. In front of the twins, there was Pim who was holding a giant mace. As for the very front of the team, there were Luna and Tiger, both holding a weapon and a shield.

    ‘Um... focus on being offensive at the front, defensive in the middle, and supportive in the rear. In this case, Nine Sun-Melting-Fists will be the most suitable art for this confrontation.’

    Due to him being chased constantly, Sila’s ability to spot the weakness of the opponent’s formation was far higher than Tiger’s. It took him just a mere second to decide where he should start his attack.

    “Let’s start!” yelled Tiger as a signal of the battle.

    Pond and Jundtrathep started casting magic spells while Alice clad her arrow with psychic power reinforcement. Aek and Tod strengthened their shields with psychic power, and Pim clad her mace with qi reinforcement. Luna and Tiger also strengthened their entire bodies with energy reinforcement.

    Overall, their formation focused on defense rather than offense. As Sila was the type who excelled more at being offensive, he was the first to act.

    His sleeves flicked, shooting tree branches at Tiger and Luna in the front row. Luna lifted up her small, circular shield to guard while Tiger blocked them with his Earth Shield.

    Utilizing the step-in technique of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, Sila narrowed the distance in the blink of an eye and arrived at the first weak link of Tiger Team.

    It was a spot between Tiger and Luna.

    Tiger used a longsword while Luna used a spear. With them being next to each other, they could cover a wide area. However, Sila was too close for them to bring out the full potential of their weapons.

    Stomping the ground, Sila utilized Nine Sun-Melting-Fists to push Tiger and Luna’s shields and sent them several steps backward. Now, only Pim was left to confront him in a direct battle.

    Pim panicked because she didn’t expect Sila to approach her so fast and quickly slammed the mace down. Since she did it by reflex, she didn’t hold back at all.

    Sila didn’t mind, though. He parried the mace away with his right hand and placed his left hand on Pim’s side. Relying on the Migrate technique of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, he redirected the force behind the mace from his right hand to his left hand and blew Pim toward Tiger who was charging at him.

    Alice fired an arrow at him. However, she must have shot it in a hurry, because it wasn’t as lethal as it should be. Using the Stop technique, he grabbed the arrow in mid-air and broke the arrowhead off. Then, he fired the headless arrow backward to hit Pim’s forehead, which made a slapping sound. 

    *Pa!*

    “One down,” Sila said softly, while Aek thrusted his spear from the left.

    Using the footwork of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, Sila sidestepped and moved into a more favorable position, using Tod’s body to cover himself.

    Being in a hurry, Tod tried to strike him with his spear, which Sila ignored and continued moving forward. Once he reached a certain point, Sila lifted his shoulder to hit Tod’s side and sent him toward Aek, causing them to fall on top of each other. Finally, Sila fired two tree branches at their foreheads. 

    *Pa! Pa!*

    “Two, three.”

    At last, Luna approached Sila from a distance that allowed her to use the full power of her spear. Her white spear emitted white light as she thrusted it toward him.

    In the entire group, the ones that were the hardest to take down were Luna and Tiger; that was why these two were in the front row. Nevertheless, Sila ignored both of them and did a backflip, landing himself behind Alice.

    “Kyaa!” Alice screamed as he pushed her back, sending her to Jundtrathep and Pond. Following Alice, he flicked his finger at Jundtrathep and Pond respectively. “Four, five, six.”

    It was at that moment that Tiger swung his sword at Sila as Luna brandished her spear. Still being as calm as ever, Sila deflected the tip of both weapons to connect to each other using the Parry technique.

    The impact caused Luna’s grip on the spear to be weakened, which Sila took advantage of by firing three tree branches at her. The first two were aimed at her heart and head, while the last one was fired at a relatively slower speed.

    And it went as he had expected; Luna used her shield to block one of the branches while evading the next one. However, she was still hit on the forehead by the last branch.

    “Seven.” At the same time that he counted seven, Sila used his hand to grab Tiger’s blade.

    As he had anticipated, Tiger’s control over his weapon was far superior than Aek and Tod’s. Tiger rotated his wrist once and it was Sila who had to release the grip. It wasn’t due to Tiger being stronger than him but because of the direction of the rotation. It showed how great Tiger’s control was.

    Nevertheless, due to his choice of equipment, a longsword and a big shield, Tiger’s offensive ability was lacking. The longsword had a long reach but also a long delay between attacks. Once the sword was released from Sila’s grip, and Tiger thrust it at him for the second time, Sila parried the blade away and entered his attack range. He strongly exhaled while placing both hands on Tiger’s chest and abdomen. It was the precursor to one of the offensive moves of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists.

    Stomping his foot on the ground, the force of the stomp was sent into his hands and pushed Tiger away. Tiger’s body flew backward and slammed into a tree with a thud. He was a highly skilled opponent with precise control so Sila couldn’t afford to hold back as he had done against others.

    The mock battle was over in less than a minute. Everyone was confused over what had happened. Aek and Tod even weren’t aware yet that the battle had already ended.

    Tiger lifted himself up while Luna ran to Jundtrathep to help her master stand. Everyone was still in a daze, trying to process the result of the mock battle, and it seemed Pim was the first one who reached a conclusion. She punched her fist into the sky excitedly.

    “Qi type is superb!!!”

  • edited June 2019
    T/N: We, the translation team, have decided to change the format for Rank and Level when mentioned together. Originally it was “Squire Rank, Level 500” and now it will be“Level 500 Squire Rank”, which seems to flow better. Kindly let us know what you think. 


    Chapter 144: Tiger Team - Last Part

    The stars in the sky were gradually being extinguished, and a giant cloud was moving to block off the moon. The night was getting darker.

    Usually, players didn’t hunt monsters late at night. It was common knowledge that most monsters became stronger at night. As the reward and the experience points gained were the same, no one would want to take more risk without getting any benefits.

    Anyway, there was a certain group of players waiting outside Beginning Town. Although the series of events in Beginning Town had come to an end, the town was still very crowded, as people still expected to stumble upon dragon cards by chance. To avoid encountering hostile groups, they chose to set up a tent in the forest far from town.

    A small bush nearby shook, causing the young man who was on lookout duty to shift his gaze in that direction. Even though slimes were no longer living around there, there were wild cubs, Level 5 Squire Rank monsters, roaming around. They were somewhat aggressive, but, in front of him who was a Level 1000 Knight Rank player, taking care of them was a piece of cake.

    “Come here, little cub.” The man moved his hand to touch the sword around his belt.

    Based on the game setting, if a monster’s level is much lower than a player’s, it will try to run away. That was why the man didn’t get a chance to kill monsters ever since he arrived on Beginning Island. He had slowly built up frustration so he planned to kill this unlucky cub, who happened to appear before him, to relieve his boredom.

    The small, wild cub emerged from the bush. Its body was shaking in fear. The system window informed the man that it was only Level 5 Squire Rank. He grinned and removed his hand from the sword. For this kind of monster, just a kick clad with qi would be enough to end its life.

    The man released killing intent to pressure it, preventing it from running away. The four legs of the cub were shaking heavily as it let out a pathetic cry and looked at him to beg him for life. However, he didn’t care. The death of this cub had already been decided the moment it appeared before him.

    Suddenly, when the sky was devoid of starlight, a gust of wind blew the cloud covering the moon away, revealing its blood-red colour and covering the island in red light. Once the cub was bathed under the red light, something the man never considered happened.

    The cub’s body twitched twice before falling down on the ground. Both of its eyes were wide open. Seeing this, the man was surprised and stopped releasing his qi.

    “Oi. What’s wrong? Don’t just suddenly die on your own. I still haven’t done anything.”

    However, the body of the cub enlarged in no time. The system window also told the man something incomprehensible.

    Black Wild Cub, Level 5 Squire Rank, evolved to Fenrir, the Black Werewolf King, Level 1 Lord Rank.

    The small body grew larger and became a five-meter tall monster. It stood with two legs, showing its white, dangerous fangs in its mouth. Qi was unleashed from its body, pressuring the man greatly. It was as if all the air had vanished; no matter how many times he breathed, he would always be lacking oxygen.

    The werewolf’s red eyes glared at the man who was unable to stop shaking. His eyes were pleading for life. He wanted to beg for his life but his mouth couldn’t utter a sound.

    “This... Bottomless... Power.” Words escaped from the monster’s mouth full of sharp teeth. It paid no attention to the man and howled.

    “ARH-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

    At the end of its howl, the players in the tent immediately jumped out. Spotting Fenrir, everyone was startled and they came to an abrupt halt.

    Soon, around a hundred black cubs ran up to them and gathered in the area. All the cubs bowed down to their pack leader, Fenrir.

    The Werewolf King unleashed its power. It wasn’t qi, but a mark of territory. It was turning the area around Beginning Town into its own territory.

    All the wild cubs suddenly collapsed and their bodies shook. The players were relieved that the number of enemies had lessened, but the first man wasn’t. He knew what was about to come, and that caused his body to tremble even more. If the avatar in Monster Soul could urinate, his pants would already be soaked.

    Every wild cub had their bodies enlarged, though they were half the size of their king. The system window continued to inform the players about the evolution of a herd of cubs. A hundred cubs had become Level 500 Marquis Rank monsters in an instant.

    Fenrir’s eyes shot toward Beginning Town, which incidentally was the middle of its territory.

    “Kill them all!!!” roared Fenrir before letting out a long howl, which all the other werewolves returned.

    “Arghhh!!!” The man screamed with fear and turned into light in the next instant under the qi-strengthened claws of Fenrir.

    The fate of the other players was barely different. Being besieged by a hundred Marquis Rank qi-type monsters left them no chance to fight back. None at all.

    Fenrir slammed its claws into the ground, crouching its body. Its qi was fused into its four legs, and it leaped into Beginning Town. The rest of the werewolves did the same. They were barging into Beginning Town, which would become their habitat in the near future.


    ***

    The members of Tiger Team and Sila sat around a bonfire. There was no hotel in Elven Village, so they often set up a tent in the training ground.

    “Okay. Let’s share our opinions. What did we learn from the mock battle with Sila?” Tiger broke the silence by asking a question.

    “Qi type is superb.” Pim was the first to share, which Tiger frowned at and ignored.

    “How about others?”

    “I think Big Brother Sila is just too strong. We did our best,” said Aek.

    Tiger shook his head. “True. Sila is strong. However, we shouldn’t have lost by that much. At the very least, we should have held him off for much longer than we did.”

    It was as Tiger had analyzed; although Sila was strong, with Tiger Team’s overall ability which was quite good, they should have held Sila off for much longer. However, Tiger was unable to figure out where they went wrong.

    As Sila used to be an assistant in his dojo, he offered a solution.

    “Usually, people tend to overlook their own weaknesses. If you don’t mind, can you let me point out the flaws in your actions?”

    Everyone was surprised to hear this. Tiger looked at his teammates and himself, all of them still unsure as to how they lost that badly, and decided. “Please do, Sila. Don’t hesitate to criticize us.”

    Sila used a branch to draw a picture on the ground. It was an illustration that represented Tiger Team’s formation just a moment ago.

    “The first was the formation itself. You said that it was your regular formation, but it reflects your lack of experience with fighting against human opponents. Your team placed Mister Tiger and Luna, who are the strongest members of your team, in the front row, instead of spreading them.”

    Tiger seemed to get it, but Tod didn’t understand. “Isn’t it correct to place the strongest members in the front row, Big Brother?”

    Sila calmly replied, “With your statement, I’m more certain that you all really lack experience fighting against highly intelligent opponents. The normal monsters might try to come at you from the front, but, for high-level monsters or skilled players, they will avoid confronting your strong points and aim at your weak link. This formation will only work if you can ensure that your opponent won’t come at you from behind. Mister Tiger and Luna are the most skilled members, so they should stay where either of them can reach to help out every other member. Moreover, both of them use mid-range weapons, so with their positions being close to each other, there will be many cases where they can’t show their true power.”

    Seeing that everyone was attentively listening to him, Sila continued.

    “Mister Tiger and Luna are already quite strong so I don’t have many comments. As Luna seems to excel more at defense, you should concentrate on blocking unexpected attacks. With this, your formation will be harder to break. As for Mister Tiger, I think you excel more at offense, so you should support Aek, Tod, and Pim, who will be in the front row focusing on ending your opponent’s life.”

    Aek, Tod, and Pim were quite taken aback. Normally, their role was supporting Luna and Tiger. They had never directly confronted the opponent before. “But... we aren’t that confident in taking on the role of a tanker. We don’t think we can take much damage.”

    “That is why you three need to train your basics. Aek and Tod should practice a coordinated attack together. If you can, I suggest you two come up with hand signals separate from the team’s ones. This way, the team formation will be more complex, and the opponent will have a harder time reading what you will do next. Try to focus on defense rather than offense. Concentrate on throwing your opponent off balance so that Mister Tiger behind you can finish things up. Oh, another thing, you should practice wielding a spear without holding a shield as well. In an emergency, you can choose to discard your shield to focus more on attacking, and the opponent will have to readjust their strategy.”

    Aek and Tod quickly wrote down Sila’s suggestions into their system window, while Tiger was listening attentively. The words from the expert were worth more than gold.

    “As for Pim, I’m a qi-type player myself, so I have a lot of advice for you. Is that okay?”

    “No problem. Your advice is welcomed.” Pim nodded.

    “Your weapon is indeed very powerful, but your attack was too easy to read. I suggest you use it together with your hands and feet. The weapon should be your entire body, not just something you’re holding. Next is qi reinforcement, which I think you’re already doing a pretty good job. I only want to add that, you should practice using qi reinforcement in the instant your weapon makes contact with your opponent. This method will help you reduce your qi consumption. In addition, you should practice using qi to improve your movement. I’m certain that your movement can go a lot faster than you think.”

    “Use qi reinforcement at the moment of contact? It’s my first time hearing it. Could you please show me how to do it?”

    Sila nodded and flicked his finger at a nearby pebble. In the instant that his finger was about to hit the pebble, his fingertip emitted a red aura, and the pebble broke into tiny pieces in the blink of an eye.

    Pim was blinking her eyes as everything had happened so fast.

    “The trick is to activate qi at the last moment. Try to practice it. I don’t think it will be difficult for you. As for using qi to improve your movement, if I have a chance, I will transmit the Qi of Little Divine Beings to you.”

    “Qi of Little Divine Beings! Do you have all four of them?! Like Mister Lone Wolf?!”

    Sila nodded. “Yes. Half of mine were transmitted from Mister Lone Wolf himself. But, I don’t think I can transmit them to you in this place. I will contact you if I have a suitable place.”

    Suddenly, his mansion came to mind. He wasn’t sure that his mansion possessed the same ability as the Mansion of the Seven Deadly Sins or not. However, he remembered he had heard that Sebastian had done something to the mansion, though he hadn’t been interested at that time. Well, he would just ask Sebastian or Julia the next time he saw them.

    “Superb...” exclaimed Pim, while Sila turned his head to Jundtrathep and Pond who were speechless from all of Sila’s previous comments.

    “Next, Jund and Pond. I’m not that good regarding magic so I don’t think I can give you much advice. However, I happen to know someone who is very skilled at using magic, so I will tell you what he told me about magic.”

    The two girls looked at each other before turning their heads back to Sila and nodded. Their roles were to cast spells from a safe spot, so they were surprised that Sila still had some advice for them.

    “For magic types, the key factor is timing. Use the most suitable spell at the right time and in the right place. This is the basic of the basics for every magic-type creature,” Sila paused. “This is based on my experience, but magic spells are like martial moves; don’t always think that you need to finish your opponent in one move. Sometimes, using basic attacks can lead you to a victory. Try to use low-tier spells to disturb your opponents or support your allies. Moreover, you should train to protect yourselves. When I attacked, only Jund, Pond, and Alice weren’t protecting themselves with energy reinforcement. This is a very important basic that most players on the Main Continent can do. If you don’t know what the opponent is doing, use energy reinforcement. If you are attacked, use energy reinforcement. If you don’t know which area the opponent will attack, just use energy reinforcement on your entire body. You should train to do this to the point that it’s your basic reaction.”

    The three of them looked at each other. Alice had experienced cladding her arrow with psychic power, but Jundtrathep and Pond have never done so before.

    “The last is Alice, you...” Sila turned his head to the girl, but she interrupted him.

    “Are you good with psychic power or the bow?”

    Sila shook his head. “No, I’m not. I’m still studying psychic power while the bow isn’t a weapon that I have ever used.”

    Alice pulled a wry face, which Tiger couldn’t help but reprimand. “Alice, just listen. Don’t be too stubborn... Please continue, Sila.”

    Sila nodded. “Firstly, Alice’s weapon of choice isn’t suitable for her personality. If you don’t train to calm your mind, I suggest you change your weapon. A bow is a weapon that specializes in precision, and allows you to attack from a distance. In our mock battle, you fired an arrow in a hurry and the advantage of the bow was lost. Please try to calm your mind if you plan on using it. I once encountered someone who was very powerful with a bow. She could fire an arrow at her opponent from over a kilometer away. Her attack was silent, powerful, and precise. Her opponent couldn’t do anything against such an attack.”

    “Are you overexaggerating? Who would be able to perform such a feat, except...”

    “I haven’t met her myself, but she seemed to be Nednapha, the vice-leader of the Mountain Thieves League.”

    Alice shut her mouth. Everyone knew that there were only two players on Monster Soul who could shoot from that great of a distance.

    “Even though I’m not good with a bow, I can still use hidden weapons. It’s true that the principles behind using a bow and a hidden weapon aren’t the same; the bow can shoot from a further distance while the hidden weapon relies more on secrecy. However, their concept should be the same; use them to kill, or to create an opportunity to kill.”

    Alice started to listen more intently. The gang continued talking for a long time before they went to sleep, except for Pim who learned from Sila how to circulate qi to alleviate fatigue, causing them to spend time practicing together.

    Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws was the only art that he wasn’t told to keep to himself, so Sila tried to teach Pim about its techniques. Well, he himself wasn’t an expert at this martial art so all he could do was convey what he currently understood about it.

    On Pim’s side, she was trying to teach him how to use a mace, which Sila would rather call a hammer based on its appearance. Nevertheless, Pim insisted that it was a mace. Her system window even stated that it was a B-graded Non-Spiked Comet Mace.

    Revealing the fact that he couldn’t use a main weapon to her, she still insisted on him trying to use it. To his surprise, Sila could wield it without any problems. He followed Pim’s instructions on how to properly use a mace and his movement wasn’t restricted in any way. This discovery caused him to wonder about the Right Arm of the Sealed One’s limitation. What would be called using the main weapon?

    As he had studied more complex arts, he found that it was quite easy to use a mace. The uses of a mace were simple, yet powerful; the simplest attack could naturally exert the most powerful might. How to use it well heavily relied on how to make use of its weight.

    The two of them practiced together for a long time. While Pim needed to take a break frequently, Sila didn’t need to. So, when Pim circulated her qi to regenerate her power, he would practice using Divine Raiment.

    As ten hours had passed, Sila began to wonder the reason why the color of the sky didn’t change at all. It was as if morning would never come again.

     

  • Chapter 145: The Third Stage


    “This is strange,” Sila said to no one in particular. His system window indicated that the time was 5:25 AM, but there was nothing that suggested the sun had started to rise at all.

    Pim was still in the process of regenerating her qi, and it would take her half an hour to finish. Sila decided to stop practicing Divine Raiment and let his magic power recover naturally while he inspected various things.

    The first thing that he checked was Lookhin.

    “Release Lookhin.” The small sparrow flew out of the ring and landed on the ground next to Bow.

    “Eh? Lookhin has become smaller like the first time we met?” said Bow, which Sila was also curious about. His first guess was that it might be related to the Dark Age Sealing Ring being unsealed.


    (S) Dark Age Sealing Ring

    Can be used to seal a single pet. Increases the ability to communicate with the pet by 100%. Increases the overall ability of the pet by 50%. When the pet is inside, it will recover three times faster. Increases the development speed of the Love Degree by 20%. Can keep 1,000 units of pet food inside.

    The monster inside has received enlightenment regarding its main energy type [Fusion].

    The monster inside will evolve when its body is ready for the evolution or when it encounters a special event. Other than that, it won’t evolve by normal means.

    ***Binds to a single pet. Player won’t be able to change the pet inside.


    “Fusion? Must have to do with qi type, then.” Although Lookhin possessed a lot of magic-type skills, its main energy type ever since it was born was qi, though Sila didn’t know what ‘Fusion’ was until he read Lookhin’s status window.


    Pet Status: Lookhin
    Level: 700
    Race: Dark Brown Sparrowhawk, Marquis Rank
    Health Points: 1,500,000/1,500,000
    Special Points: 25,000,000/25,000,000
    Satiety: 100/100
    Love Degree: 75%
    *Dark Brown Sparrowhawk can’t accumulate experience points until it becomes Lord Rank.


    Fortunately, the system window provided enough information for him. The Essence of Qi, Fusion, also wasn’t too difficult for Sila to comprehend since he had gone through a similar experience. However, he just discovered that even magic points and psychic points could be fused with qi.

    In conclusion, all of Lookhin’s skills were gone, but it should still be able to use them. Moreover, the resource to use all the skills become a single entity: special points, which was the result of qi, magic, psychic power being fused together.

    Admitting to himself that he didn’t understand it fully, Sila believed that he would know more about Fusion as time passed.

    “So the reason why it became smaller must be the work of Formless Mind. Lookhin, can you return your body to normal?”

    As it was ordered to, Lookhin canceled its skill, and its body doubled in size. It was its usual size after it had become a sparrowhawk.

    “Hm? Is it because it was fused with qi and magic that the skill able to conceal the user’s stats turned into a skill that can even conceal the user’s body? How about other skills? What will become of magic-type skills that were fused with qi and psychic power?”

    Realizing what Sila wanted, Lookhin summoned a small flame blade and let it hover in front of him. Sila looked closely at the blade.

    “My guess was right. This blade no longer consists of only magic power. The power of hot-element qi and psychic power can also be felt from it... What about qi-type skills?”

    The flame blade was suddenly clad with qi reinforcement. Sila was surprised by the fact that Lookhin was able to reinforce the power onto an object made from energy.

    “Wow. You have become very awesome, Lookhin. Your control over magic and psychic power is already superior to mine.”

    Lookhin canceled its power and its body shrank. It didn’t pay attention to Sila’s compliment and flew to play with Bow by summoning an earth pillar to push her up and down.

    ‘Um... Its personality seems to be a little haughtier than before, no? I wonder why,’ Sil inwardly thought. Lookhin usually clinged to Sila, so it was rather regretful that it started to ignore him.

    For the record, once a monster’s level becomes high enough, they will develop their own personality and characteristics. When they start to become unique depends on their race. For example, members of the orc race are identical even at Marquis Rank, while members of the dragon race differ as early as at Knight Rank.

    Lookhin was currently on the cusp of developing its individuality. Now was a critical time, because everything it experienced would influence what its personality would develop into in the future.

    “Are you still able to eat cards, though?”

    Sila opened his system window and took the Wind Dragon Card that dropped from the genuine Pythia.

    When Lookhin opened its beak, the card scattered into particles and was swallowed into its mouth. Checking Lookhin’s status again, Sila found that its level had reached 1000. As the explanation provided in the Dark Age Sealing Ring’s description said that it would be promoted when it was ready, he decided not to feed it the Emperor Qi Pellet.

    “You should train your body as well as your power, Lookhin. Growing too fast can be counterproductive. Don’t worry. I don’t think it will take too long for your Rank to go up.”

    The next thing on his list, and which he was quite curious about, was the Right Arm of the Sealed One. He should be able to unseal its third stage now. If it stopped malfunctioning, perhaps he would be able to work out how he could wield a weapon.

    “Unseal.” Sila’s right arm vibrated and was replaced by a mechanical arm. Unlike before, it no longer looked bulky but looked very modern and futuristic. It was a combination of black and silver, and the entire arm gleamed.

    His arm felt strange. Although he could move it like usual, it felt like it wasn’t a part of his body.


    (S) Right Arm of the Sealed One - Third Stage

    The right arm that originally belonged to the Sealed One. It was repaired by the Android King using esoteric technology. It can block any attack without receiving damage.

    You have gained a special skill: Weapon Crush.
    You have gained a special skill: Strengthened Bones.
    The Right Arm of the Sealed One cannot be unequipped under any circumstance.
    You cannot equip a main weapon.


    Special Skill: Weapon Crush

    You can reinforce psychic power into your attack and get a boost in attack power. With this skill, your psychic power will have an easier time destroying weapons.

    Special Skill: Strengthened Bones

    Your bones are enhanced and have the same durability as the mineral you used to unlock the third stage of the Right Arm of the Sealed One.


    “This is bad!” complained Sila while immediately circulating qi throughout his body.

    Most players probably didn't understand why he complained over getting two good skills, but Sila had undergone a similar experience. Thus, he could predict what was about to happen to him.

    Once the qi completed its circulation, he sighed. The situation that he had expected really happened.

    “I can only exert half of my power. Well... it’s still better than none.”

    What Sila had been worried was the balance between qi and body. These two things are very complex and delicate. Take Tiger Dragon Qi for example; when he first got it, his body was unable to exert power at all.

    A human body consists of bones, muscles, tendons, and nerves. Everything connects to each other and also connects to qi. If one wants to unleash his maximum power, both their body and qi must be in synch.

    In fact, Sila had undergone similar experiences more than once. It was due to him rushing when trying to develop his qi and neglecting to train his body. If qi was too powerful for the body to handle, the body might be damaged; so the body will need more time to adjust itself to the qi, resulting in qi circulation taking longer for one cycle.

    Although what he was experiencing right now was new to him, it wasn’t entirely new. What happened was that his body had developed more than qi; all the bones in his body became as sturdy as Orichalcum while his right arm transformed into metal. As a result, the balance between qi and the body was broken.

    The relationship between qi and body was similar to the one between water and a pipe. If, suddenly, someone were to replace the pipe, the flow of the water would change. On the other hand, if the water current suddenly became fiercer, the pipe might be broken. Not to mention that the actual relationship between qi and body was much more complex than the one between water and a pipe.

    It had already happened, so he had no choice but to accept it and keep it as a lesson. Unable to come up with how to fix the balance between qi and his body, Sila decided to depend on a traditional mean; sitting down and performing qi circulation.

    Each lap of qi that circulated through his body was like rain washing the rough surface of a boulder, slowly smoothing it. His qi gradually adjusted to his body at a very slow pace. After more time had passed and he sensed that everyone had woken up, he stopped. Inspecting his own body, he found that he could now exert about sixty percent of his usual power.

    Opening his eyes, he noticed that everyone was discussing something, so he joined the conservation.

    “Big Brother Sila, look at the sky. It’s still completely dark,” said Tod while pointing his finger upward.

    “It might be another event,” Aek shared his opinion.

    Shifting his gaze from his system window, Tiger started speaking. “I checked the game forums. It seems this mysterious phenomenon is occurring everywhere in the game. However, the most absurd and noticeable change occurred in Beginning Town, as it was the only city that has been under siege by a herd of werewolves since last night.”

    “If the event happened last night, it should have already ended, right? Beginning Town right now has a lot of skilled players present, even if their opponents are werewolves...” Pim took a glance at her own system window, “Level 500 Marquis Rank?! A hundred of them?! How can such powerful monsters appear on Beginning Island?”

    “Even though it’s true that many skilled players are in Beginning Town, no more will be able to come easily as the merchants holding the Crystals of Connecting died in the raid. The werewolves are quite dumb so players can cope with them even with their superior rank. Even so, the amount of them is a problem and they’re all qi-type, so their stats are high. Less than twenty of them have died, but it seems as long as their pack leader is alive, they can respawn without limit.”

    “Even if it’s an event, it’s happening in Beginning Town, isn’t it? Isn’t this event too harsh?” said Jundtrathep.

    “I think this is not related to a system’s event. It should be the work of someone. Lately, many big matters have happened on Beginning Island for some reason. You still remember the slime rock and the Wind Dragon, right?”

    “Talking about the Wind Dragon, it’s very unfortunate that we couldn’t kill any of them. And when the card dropped, we could only find one of them as Illusion Forest is quite far from the storm. If we were luckier and got our hands on four more cards, Pond would be able to change her race and we all would be at Knight Rank.”

    As they said that, Sila recalled that he planned to give Pond the inferior Wind Dragon Cards he had, but he forgot to do so last night. Opening his palm, eight Wind Dragon Cards appeared, and he extended his arm to Pond. “I coincidentally found some of them. Please take them if you don’t mind.”

    Tiger Team looked at Sila with surprise. “This is too much... Sila. We can’t take them.”

    “Feel free to take them, I really mean it. I got them from someone too, and I don’t think they will be of any use to me,” Sila insisted.

    In the end, Pond thanked him and took them to change her race. Finally, she showed a big smile as her Rank was equal to other team members after the longest time.

    “Big Brother Sila, did you hunt another dragon? How many of them have you killed?” Jundtrathep was curious. She was with him when he first got the racial quest. After they had talked to each other, she was the first to know that he had a quest to break eight Slime Seals by killing eight dragons. At that time, she didn’t say anything as she thought it was an impossible quest.

    “Five. I have to do three more to complete the quest,” replied Sila, and his response shocked Jundtrathep.

    Everyone wanted to know what they were talking about, so Sila honestly told them what had happened. In the end, they came to see him in a whole new light. They didn’t know that Sila was strong to that extent.

    “Why is the slime-race quest so insanely difficult?” muttered Aek.

    “That’s not it. The racial quest is a quest designed for every player of that race to work together and accomplish it. Our races also have similar quests, remember? Sila, I don’t think you need to do all the tasks yourself. If someone of the slime race other than you does it, the quest will still proceed,” suggested Tiger.

    “Unfortunately, I’m the only player from the slime race,” replied Sila.

    ‘And that’s the reason you are fixated on killing all of the eight dragons yourself?! What kind of logic is that?’

    All members of the Tiger Team thought the same way. Regardless of how long they knew Sila for, he was still a man with strange logic in their eyes.

    “What are you planning to do, then? As for myself, I don’t have anything left to do on Beginning Island so I plan to return to the Main Continent.”

    Tiger consulted with the team. “How about we go to Beginning Town to gain experience by fighting those werewolves? It will probably be a valuable experience.”

    “Wait, Big Brother Tiger. Isn’t that too reckless? They are Marquis Rank monster,” interrupted Alice.

    “It shouldn’t be that dangerous. There are still many skilled players in town. Maybe we won’t even get a chance to do anything. In addition, we have Jund. If she uses Land of Promises, we can avoid the worst possible outcome.”

    “I vote for a fight!” shouted Pim.

    “If Big Brother decides to fight, we are in,” Aek and Tod simultaneously said.

    Looking at their enthusiasm, Sila was both glad and concerned. Regardless of the reason, this would be the first time Tiger Team encountered a Marquis Rank monster. Of course, he wanted them to gain actual combat experience, but he was slightly concerned about their safety. “In that case, I will go with you and have a look.”

    Everyone was ready to go. Nevertheless, Sila asked them to wait for three minutes before teleporting to the town. He told them he would go in advance and clear the area around the teleport zone just to be safe.

    As his body was vanishing from Elven Village, Sila couldn’t help but wonder how in the world Beginning Island became such a chaotic place.

    Right, he was still unaware that all of the chaotic events over the past two days happened because of him and him alone.

  • Chapter 146: Yardpirun


    Circulating qi throughout this body before he even arrived, Sila wasn’t affected by the qi, magic, and psychic power filling the atmosphere of the teleportation zone.

    The middle of the town was the spot where players appeared when they revived in that region or teleported in. Thus, it was a very important spot, and that was why most players gathered around this place to protect and take advantage of it.

    “Hey, you, don’t get in the way. If you are done with reviving, just move away.”

    Although players came from various groups, when some of their members died, they would have to wait around this spot to pick up their comrades. As a result, it was very crowded.

    There was another area that was very crowded with people, and that was in front of Bronze’s weapon shop, where players took advantage of the automatic vending machine to maintain their health and energy.

    True, there were some groups of players who fought on their own, but the number of groups like that was quite low. They must be very confident in their abilities to dare to fight a pack of werewolves without relying on help from other groups.

    “Hm?” Sila was curious. He had fought against Marquis Rank monsters before, so he had anticipated that they would be very threatening and that the situation would be quite chaotic. However, at first glance, these groups of player were coping very well.

    In fact, even though it was true that these werewolves gained their power from Eternal Onyx and became Marquis Rank monsters, their original Rank was Squire. Monster Soul wasn’t too harsh on players, so these werewolves who suddenly became stronger were like children with high stats. Even if their stats were Marquis-level, their movements and insight were lacking. Thus, a group of skilled players could handle them relatively easy.

    However, the instant that Sila arrived, the situation changed. Once the Eternal Onyx was nearby, its conceptual ability, Evolve, triggered and accelerated the speed of the werewolves’ learning ability.

    “Argh!!” Several cries echoed throughout the town. Many players began to lose in a fight against werewolves.

    “Everyone, be careful! They suddenly became stronger!!” One of the players yelled to inform his comrades who were dying at a quick pace under the werewolves’ claws.

    The werewolves nimbly jumped from one roof to another and hunted players under the starless dark sky. They were no longer sticking to direct confrontations and changed their tactics to depend on their higher speed and attack the players’ weak link. Whenever the player lost their focus, they would be attacked by a group of werewolves within three seconds.

    “We meet again, Mister Sila. You’re quite the troublemaker,” A familiar voice entered his ear, so Sila quickly turned his gaze to the uninvited person.

    “You again? Who are you?” Taking one step back, Sila confronted the woman in a light blue coat, whom he had met yesterday.

    The woman didn’t reply to his question but extended her delicate arm to him. “Please hand me the Eternal Onyx.”

    “Eternal Onyx?” As he frowned, Sila wondered how this woman came to know that he owned the Eternal Onyx.

    “Don’t worry. I just want to help by sealing it. Based on what’s happening, I’m sure that you don’t have the Seal skill, right?”

    “What are you talking about?”

    Hey eyes flickered with wisdom. “The ability of the Eternal Onyx is ‘Evolve’. Just so you know, each Gem of Catastrophe possesses a unique ability that can be exerted in special circumstances. Anyway, the Eternal Onyx is one of the Gems that is easily triggered. So, if you plan to collect the Gems of Catastrophe, the first skill you need to possess is the Seal skill.”

    Sila looked at his surroundings; the battles, the damages, the chaos, and the Beginning Town engulfed in fire. “You mean... all of these are...?”

    “I’m not someone who likes to console others, so, to be honest, everything that is happening here is your responsibility, Mister Sila. Now, hand me the Eternal Onyx. Otherwise, the werewolves will continue to become stronger. All of them might even be promoted to Lord Rank if you don’t hurry up.”

    No more hesitation. If all of this was his fault, then he would need to fix it. The Eternal Onyx appeared on top of his palm. It was a black gem with a reddish light in the middle, strangely similar to the color of the sky at this exact moment. He extended his hand to her and she lightly tapped the gem, causing the light being emitted from it to fade. With this, Sila took it back into his system window.

    Sila wasn’t surprised that she didn’t have to say the name of the skill. He was aware that high-level psychic-type players can activate skills without having to say the name.

    “With this, the werewolves won’t grow stronger than they currently are. Next, you will have to defeat their leader to remedy the situation.” She explained what he had to do casually, as if defeating a Lord Rank monster was a simple chore.

    “In the end, can you tell me who you really are?”

    “I won’t tell you my identity, at least for now. But you will find out once you take me to Lost Grea City after you are done clearing up this mess of yours. Well, you can call me Yardpirun, or Yard.”

    Surely, he had never met or known her before. “Yardpirun? Is that your name?”

    “Yeah, I guess?” She said with a playful smile. Sila felt that she and Sangdao were quite similar.

    “And why should I take you to Lost Grea City?”

    “Let me just say that I’m asking you to take me there. I have something to do in the city, but Lost Grea City is quite difficult to enter. So, I would like you to take me with you. You will be repaid with my identity once we arrive. Deal?”

    Thinking for a moment, Sila accepted her deal. He would like to know who she was and it wouldn’t be any loss for him to take her there.

    “That’s fine.”

    “In that case, I will wait for you in the teahouse there. Please come to pick me up when you finish defeating the Werewolf King.” She pointed to the teahouse nearby.

    “Eh? Won’t you help me defeat it?”

    “The person who caused the problem should be the one to fix it, don’t you agree? Why should I help you?” As she finished speaking, she slowly walked to the teahouse.

    Looking at her seemingly non-existent presence, Sila was very curious about who she was. Not a single werewolf came to get her even though she was full of openings and walking casually. It was as if he was the only one who could see her.

    The teahouse was relatively fine. Going to the second floor, she sat down on one of the chairs. It was at that moment the waiter seemed to just realize there was a customer, as he hurriedly went to bring her a cup of tea. With this, Sila ensured that at least she really existed.

    “Big Brother Sila, what’s wrong?” Aek’s voice came from the teleportation spot.

    Sila approached the team and listened to Tiger’s plan that he formed after analyzing the characteristics of the werewolves.

    “The werewolves are quick, nimble, and can deal a powerful blow. Be aware of its attack style that can sometimes be tricky. Our objective today is to gain battle experience, not grinding for levels or collecting items, so we will use the full defense formation, is that clear?”

    Everyone nodded as they understood. Sila didn’t doubt Tiger’s leadership. He also thought that Tiger’s plan to focus on being defensive was decent. Even though the team consisted of low-level Knight Rank players only, their teamwork would compensate for the gap in stats. They should be fine if the werewolves came one or two at a time.

    “What about you Sila? What will you do?” asked Tiger.

    “I will go around on my own, I guess. You don’t need to worry though.” Sila shrugged.

    Looking at the formation of the Tiger Team, Sila could see that Tiger had separated their members into a three-layered circle. The inner circle consisted of Jund, Pond, and Alice. The middle circle had Aek, Tod, and Pim, while the outer layer had Tiger and Luna.

    To let Tiger Team move more freely, Sila jumped away from them before shifting his gaze to the mysterious woman in the teahouse. She was still there, and even waved her hand at him as if she noticed that he was looking at her.

    ‘Another strange woman.’ Still curious about her identity, Sila was relieved to know she didn’t have evil intentions, since she would have attacked him or left the Eternal Onyx unsealed.

    Anyway, it wasn’t the time to ponder about her. He had to focus on the task at hand.

    ‘The werewolves have a similar physique to humans, just slightly bigger, so Nine Sun-Melting-Fists will be the most effective. I can only exert sixty percent of my usual power so I need to rely on martial moves rather than raw power.’

    With this thought, he jumped to one of the roofs and activated Galaxy Eclipse. However, the radius was limited and the things he sensed were mixing together so much that he couldn’t tell anything apart.

    Nevertheless, the important thing was him being alone in the open. Noticing Sila, two werewolves rushed at him.

    Their attacks were easy to read, but qi was constantly strengthening every part of their body so even Sila would be in a bad spot if he was hit directly. He shouldn’t underestimate the power of a Marquis Rank monster.

    Cladding qi reinforcement into both arms, Sila was prepared to defeat the incoming werewolves. He wanted to save his power for defeating the Werewolf King, so he didn’t plan to go all out. It would be best if he could migrate the opponent’s power to work against them.

    He stayed motionless until both werewolves entered his range, their claws coming at him at high speed.

    Using his superior speed, Sila struck one of the werewolves a dozen times in the blink of an eye. He used the martial moves of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists with the application of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws; aiming at its joints rather than vital points, to weaken its movements.

    The first werewolf experienced the symptoms of its qi being jammed. As a result, its qi dispersed.

    Sinking the tips of his fingers into its abdomen, Sila pulled its body with his qi and brandished it to block the other werewolf’s attack.

    With the tips of his fingers digging into its skin and the claws of its fellow werewolf raking its back, the unfortunate werewolf cried out in pain.

    The werewolf’s scream drew everyone’s attention to Sila. Ever since the fight started, none of the werewolves had screamed, so they wondered how Sila managed to do that.

    In fact, this wasn’t strange at all. With Blood Wolf Qi, the werewolves could maintain qi reinforcement all over their bodies for a long time. It was a trait that caused their defense and their pain tolerance to be significantly high.

    However, Sila had infused Weapon Subduing Fist into the first dozen attacks. It was enough to render the amateur fighter, a werewolf, defenseless. Thus, this combination attack of Sila and another werewolf was very lethal.

    Completely ignoring the cry of its comrade, the second werewolf scratched its friend’s back with its claws. Sila did something similar to its front, causing the misfortunate werewolf to scream in pain again. The claw marks appeared on both its front and back, and it was still unable to unleash qi.

    Another attack was aimed at Sila, wishing to sever his neck. Rotating his ankle using both his body and qi circulation, he lifted up the body of the badly injured werewolf to take another hit in his stead; its shoulder was struck rather than his neck. In the meantime, Sila relied on Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps to shift his body into the second werewolf’s blind spot and struck it with his hand.

    The attack wasn’t effective. Only a bruise was shown despite his intention to cut off its arm. This meant, if he didn’t weaken its qi first, sixty percent of his power wouldn’t be enough to deal significant damage with basic attacks.

    Tiger Dragon Qi was circulating all over his body as Sila brought out the dragon attribute and injected qi into his right fist. His punch naturally moved with the flow of qi, and Dragon’s Fist slammed into the werewolf’s side, creating a loud noise.

    Based on the impact, Sila could tell that its ribs were broken and its internal organs were damaged. He was relieved that Dragon’s Fist worked on the werewolves. This meant Tiger's Palm should work too, not to mention Genesis Punch.

    The werewolf coughed out blood from its mouth. Strengthening his grip, Sila threw both injured werewolves with his Hidden Weapon Firing skill; the severely injured one was thrown to Tiger Team while the other was thrown to the teahouse, where Yardpirun was casually sipping her tea.

    Wondering how she would act, he deliberately sent the less injured one at her.

    Yardpirun showed a gentle smile while moving her hand toward her waist as if she was about to draw an invisible sword. Then, her wrist flicked at a very high speed, though it wasn’t to the point that Sila couldn’t follow her movements. He had seen Zero perform a faster attack.

    The werewolf was beheaded, and the woman continued to enjoy her cup of tea as if nothing had happened.

    With her actions, Sila concluded that she must have materialized a sword using psychic power. However, her mastery over Mind Concealment must be very high, as he couldn’t sense her psychic sword at all.

    ‘Her concealment of both her presence and her attack are top class, the best out of everyone I have met. I will have a difficult time fighting her if I don’t know her attack range.’

    Shifting his gaze to Tiger Team, he found that the werewolf could begin to use qi again. However, with its injuries, its movements were sluggish. He was sure that Tiger Team would have no problems taking care of it.

    “I will leave it in your care.” As he finished speaking, Sila closed his eyes to heighten his concentration, attempting to find the location of the Werewolf King.

    “So badass. He just fought against two Marquis Rank werewolves like they were nothing,” said Tod.

    “You now realize how much Big Brother Sila held back in the mock battle against us, right? I told you,” added Aek, while deliberately looking at Pim and Pond who just witnessed Sila’s true battle prowess for the first time.

    “So cool... I will become as strong as him one day,” muttered Pim, while Pond was quite shocked to see Sila’s power, which was a normal reaction.

    Even Jundtrathep who had seen Sila fight before felt that Sila had become abnormally stronger than the last time they fought together. She believed that, if the current Sila were to encounter the Earth Dragon Python again, it would die before Sila even broke a sweat.

    Tiger was aware of Sila’s intentions. Sila had thrown the severely injured werewolf at them to heighten their morale by killing it. Actually, Sila could choose to kill it himself, but he instead chose to send a lump of experience points at them. Thinking this way, Tiger’s grip on his longsword tightened. He wouldn’t let Sila down. The experience they gained today would surely let them grow stronger.

    In the meantime, Sila had become the center of attention on the battlefield. Many pairs of eyes were fixed on him, not wanting to miss what could be an important moment. As a result, some made mistakes and died under the werewolves’ merciless claws.
  • Chapter 147: The Second Encounter


    Several battles occurred around the town. The atmosphere was filled with the qi, magic, and psychic power being emitted from both the werewolves and the players, which hindered Sila’s ability to sense beings.

    ‘Finding a specific person in a battlefield is unexpectedly a difficult task. In a normal situation I could probably do it, but now it’s too hard,’ thought Sila.

    “The Werewolf King is in the north, Big Brother Sila, though Bow can’t find its exact location,” Bow said. She was still inside his vest.

    Opening his eyes, Sila opened his left palm so Bow could hop out and sit on it. “Are you sure, Bow? How do you know that?”

    “Bow used Divine Raiment. Miss Viola taught me to use Divine Raiment whenever I don’t know what to do.”

    “Oh. Right. Like that time when I fought Pythia.” He placed Bow on the roof and summoned Lookhin.

    The dark brown sparrow flew out of the ring and perched on his finger.

    “Please take care of Bow,” said Sila. He hesitated for a moment before speaking once more. “Mister Sebastian.”

    This time, he didn’t need to wait. Sebastian teleported to him almost instantly.

    “Fufu. I predicted that today must be a good day and it turns out to be correct; Mister Sila finally called me. I have to admit, sir, I have been traveling a lot and I wonder if I should still call myself a butler,” Sebastian said as he emerged next to Sila.

    “Could you please look after Bow?”

    “My pleasure, sir. Oh? Aren’t they werewolves? Where are we, sir? I’m unfamiliar with the scenery. Are we on the western part of the Main Continent?” Sebastian looked around.

    Sila had always thought that Sebastian knew everywhere in Monster Soul, so he was surprised by how Sebastian didn’t recognise this place. As it turned out, the butler had never been to Beginning Town before.

    “We are on Beginning Island. Please refrain from acting offensively though. My main goal is to prevent Bow from being in danger.”

    “No need to worry, sir. Although these dogs are stupid, they are keen enough to be aware that they shouldn’t come near this spot.”

    Sebastian’s eyes were gleaming with red light. Once the werewolves made eye contact with him, they would change their target to another player.

    Closing his eyes for a second time, Sila covered his body with a white aura. Suddenly, the chaotic sounds of battle were gone. Once he extended the radius of his qi, he found that he could sense everything with significantly more clarity.

    Very pleased with Divine Raiment, Sila shifted his focus to Sebastian and could determine that most of Sebastian’s magic power was concentrated on his eyes.

    ‘Oh? If I focus on a single target, it seems I can inspect even the target’s usage of power.’

    With this idea, Sila shifted his focus to Yardpirun, who was far away. As it turned out, he could feel her presence unlike before. Her power didn’t simply come from her body, but also came from another source, which was a ring on her right ring finger. It was a colorless power that was very hard to detect and discern, flowing from a little gem on the ring.

    ‘She knows about the Gems of Catastrophe and possesses the Seal skill. It is entirely possible that she has a Gem of Catastrophe in her possession. If this is the case, most of her actions can be explained.’

    Anyway, Sila stopped paying attention to Yardpirun. With his enhanced sensing ability, he came to be aware that the player side was in a grave condition. It was only a matter of time before they would all be wiped out, unless he could defeat the Werewolf King soon. Thus, he put his focus on the werewolves. Although their powers were similar, he was certain that one of them possessed a superior power compared to the rest, and that would be the pack leader.

    Despite the Werewolf King’s effort to conceal its qi, it couldn’t hide its presence from Sila’s search. He sensed the strong source of power in the north, like Bow had told him.

    However, in the instant that Sila sensed its qi, its qi exploded and moved toward him at high speed. It seemed the Werewolf King could trace his search back to him. As expected of a Lord Rank qi-type monster.

    “We no longer need to find it,” said Sila as he opened his eyes. Surely, Sebastian understood what he meant as he could sense the great source of power rushing to them as well. The butler picked Bow up and jumped to the roof of a building five blocks away.

    ‘It’s been a while, and he seems to have become a lot stronger. He has that peculiar magic-type ability and his right arm has entered the third stage. It should only be a matter of time before I get the chance to encounter my dear lord,’ thought Sebastian while looking at Sila from a distance.

    The speed of Tiger Dragon Qi’s circulation throughout his body increased. Even if his opponent was a Lord Rank monster, he should still be able to fight it. It was baseless confidence that Sila himself couldn’t find the source for.

    Once the Werewolf King approached, it howled and its qi surged. As a result, most players were pressured by its killing intent and died under other werewolves’ claws.

    The Werewolf King’s power surge affected Sila as well, but the burden it put on his body was significantly less than the time he fought against Rex in dragon form. It must be due to the fact that Tiger Dragon Qi was superior to the Werewolf King’s qi as well as Sila’s fighting ability being stronger than when he encountered Rex.

    Fenrir, the Black Werewolf King, Level 15 Lord Rank has appeared.

    Fenrir’s fiery red eyes glared at its enemy. However, Sila was more concerned about his surroundings. It seemed the player side started losing even more when the Lord Rank Fenrir arrived.

    ‘I need to hurry.’ With such thought, Sila charged at Fenrir.

    No one had ever expected the sight of a single player daring to charge at a Lord Rank monster. However, Fenrir seemed to have already predicted Sila’s action. Its leg muscles tensed up, and it shot itself at him with a similar speed. The battle was about to break out in mid-air.

    ‘My stats are lower, so I mustn’t clash with it directly.’

    Tapping his foot on the empty air, Sila changed his direction with Cloud Stepping. Ever since he started playing Monster Soul, he found that this skill was by far the most useful in-game skill. The ability to move freely in mid-air granted him an overwhelming advantage in a fight.

    Using Twelve Celestial-Travelling-Steps, Sila’s body seemed to be split into two. Meanwhile, the actual body sneakily appeared behind Fenrir and struck a punch at its back.

    *Pa!!* With the power in the punch, Fenrir’s body flew forward and slammed into a building. Many players looked at what happened with a dumbfounded expression, but not Sila. He was the one who struck so he was aware that the result wasn’t as great as he had expected.

    Fenrir jumped from the remnants of the building. It scraped the street with its claws, creating a grating noise, and flicked its wrist, sending blades made of qi toward Sila. It was a quick and unexpected attack, so even though Sila had reacted in time by dodging, he still received an injury on his left ankle.

    A sharp pain was felt from the wound. The slash didn’t break through his bone, so his left ankle wasn’t severed. He circulated qi to the wound and felt the pain lessening. Although the injury wasn’t completely healed, he could move properly now.

    ‘Long-range attack using qi, eh? That’s unexpected... No, Rex can use Unblemished Cool Breeze as well, so I should have expected a high-level qi-type monster to possess some qi techniques. Now, the problem is, can it only use Cruise Breeze... or will there be another?’

    More qi blades flew at Sila. It seemed Fenrir didn’t like fighting against Sila in mid-air.

    Sila was more prepared this time so he could avoid all of the blades depending on Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. As there were some he couldn’t really avoid, he blocked them with his right arm instead.

    Fenrir’s Blood Wolf Qi continued to surge as if its power was inexhaustible, unlike Sila’s. Since its long-range attack was as lethal as its close-up swipes, Sila should close the distance to seize the chance to attack as well. Thinking like this, Sila evaded the qi blade for the last time before dashing toward Fenrir.

    Fenrir licked its white fangs while releasing even more qi. The qi that was previously pressuring the players was pulled back and instead focused on Fenrir’s body using Ray Assemble. This level of qi density was extremely deadly. It swung its claws eight times in an instant. Even though they were only basic attacks, with the intense qi enveloping the Werewolf King’s body, just one was life-threatening.

    Despite how he had expected Fenrir to possess another qi technique, Sila didn’t expect that it would be Ray Assemble. Even worse, Fenrir’s Ray Assemble didn’t focus its qi into a single part of its body while leaving the other parts defenseless. Rather, its entire body was enveloped with qi. It compensated for Ray Assemble’s weakness with its enormous qi reserves.

    Being at a loss as to what action he should take, Sila chose to activate Divine Raiment first.

    Time seemed to slow down. It would be best if that was really the case, but his actions became slower too. Only his mind sped up, but it was good enough. Sila read Fenrir’s series of attacks and reacted to them using his qi-strengthened hands with the application of the Parry technique. He used his wrists to push Fenrir’s wrists away.

    When the attacks ended, Fenrir’s body inevitably showed an opening. Both of Sila’s fists were pressed against its chest with one of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists’ martial moves. This time, however, Sila didn’t stomp his feet like he did with Tiger. Rather, he enhanced his fists with the Tiger Dragon Qi’s dragon attribute, resulting in Dragon’s Fist.

    *Pa--!!* Two dragon roars simultaneously exploded, sending Fenrir back five meters. Its toenails dug into the ground and blood seeped out. Two wounds had appeared on its chest while a small amount of blood trickled from its mouth.

    Nevertheless, the damage it took was still considered insignificant because its qi had negated most of the damage.

    ‘I need to weaken its qi first. Otherwise, Genesis Punch is needed if I want to deal permanent damage.’

    With him also being qi type, Sila was aware that this much damage was only temporary. One of the advantages of qi type was that it granted the user enhanced recovery speed.

    Sila charged at Fenrir. It only took an instant for the wounds on Fenrir’s chest to disappear. The Werewolf King quit using small moves and sent a wall made of qi at Sila.

    The wall was wide and moved at an incredible speed. Sila couldn’t dodge far enough to escape, so he had to reluctantly block it head-on using Divine Raiment. He didn’t forget to activate Formless Soldier as the second line of defense.

    Divine Raiment blocked most of the power behind the attack, and Sila was only pushed two meters back as a result. As he ran out of magic power, Divine Raiment vanished and he quickly drank the last Fountain of Life to refill his magic power.

    Fenrir jumped at him. This time, it swung its claws from left to right, creating walls of qi that flew toward Sila. Knowing that he couldn’t dodge them, Sila used one of the step-in techniques of Nine Sun-Melting-Fists, narrowing the distance and appearing in front of Fenrir during its moment of carelessness. His right fist unleashed the power of Genesis Punch and struck its chest.

    Blood seeped out of Fenrir’s body. Sila could tell that Genesis Punch had worked wonders. However, similar to when he had used it against Fargo, if the opponent possessed great power, some of the damage would be canceled out.

    With Sila being this close, Fenrir brandished its qi-strengthened claws at him.

    Circulating Tiger Dragon Qi’s tiger attribute, Sila struck his fists at Fenrir’s upper arms using the Weaken technique. Even better, he utilized this chance to weaken Fenrir’s qi with his Weapon Subduing Fist.

    In the next instant, Sila struck his elbow at Fenrir’s chest again, damaging wound even more.

    Fenrir’s body was about to be blown away by the impact, but Sila grabbed it and sharply pulled it back punching it in the stomach. At the same time, he stomped his left foot on its right foot and pulled it to the ground using qi.

    Afterward, he continued to hit Fenrir using Nine Sun-Melting-Fists combined with Weapon Subduing Fist. Even if he didn’t have enough time to slam it with the power of Dragon’s Fist or Genesis Punch, the barrage of qi-strengthened punches shouldn’t be inferior by much.

    The players rubbed their eyes in disbelief. They were witnessing the sight of a single player, not an Independent NPC, keeping a Lord Rank monster in check. It was even a one-on-one duel against a qi-type monster. Everyone knew how insane that task was.

    “And here I even thought fighting two Marquis Rank werewolves without breaking a sweat was badass. This is even more brutal. I’m starting to pity that Werewolf King,” said Tod.

    Currently, Tiger Team had finished two werewolves and was waiting for more to come into their range, so they had spare time to watch Sila’s battle.

    After punching Fenrir for thirty seconds, Sila had dealt over a hundred blows. Seeing that it was a suitable time to put an end to this, he used lightning-element Orbiting Cosmos to stiffen the Werewolf King, gaining a little time for him to prepare Genesis Punch.

    Genesis Punch slammed into Fenrir’s body and its blood gushed out. It screamed in great pain before falling down on its knees in a pool of blood.

    Tightening his fist, Sila threw Dragon’s Fist at Fenrir, aiming to kill it in an instant so that it wouldn’t feel more pain.

    *Pa--!!* The sound of Dragon’s Fist echoed, but it didn’t hit Fenrir. Rather, it stopped at a circular barrier that suddenly appeared and covered Fenrir’s body.

    Above the battlefield, there were four men standing on the roof. Among them, Sila only knew two of them. The first was a man with curly white hair wearing white battle-mage armour with a dragon embroidered on the chest area. He was gazing down at Sila, but his face showed no emotion. The next one was a man in brown magician clothing. The metal arm guards and ankles seemed to put a burden on his body, but Sila was aware that they were formidable weapons.

    The third man had long red hair and wore a red magician clothing with black stripes. In his hand was a heavy sword which contradicted his magic-type garment. His red eyes were looking at Sila with interest. As for the last man, his facial features were absolutely stunning like he was an angel. He possessed golden hair and eyes, wearing shining white heavy armor. Two pure white wings were folded up behind his back, emphasizing his angelic elegance.

    “Montra... Kawin.” Sila guessed that the other man must be Revin. However, he was clueless as to who the man with wings was.

    “Sila... If you don’t die here today, I won’t use the name Montra ever again.”

    Montra was staking his name, which represented his pride and reputation, on the line. And that meant he was confident that he would surely kill Sila this time.

  • Chapter 148: The Important Thing


    “How did you get there?” Even though his body wasn’t injured, Sila tried his best to regain the power he exhausted earlier by secretly circulating qi. He wanted to be fully prepared when fighting Montra.

    “I was here from the start, waiting for the right moment.” Montra snapped his fingers and the winged man nodded. His hands glowed with a white character and the circular barrier around Fenrir resonated. The Werewolf King’s eyes shone with dangerous red light.

    Fenrir, the Werewolf King has entered a berserk state. As a result, its underlings, the Black Werewolves, have entered a berserk state as well.

    The system’s announcement was like something from a nightmare. It was followed by a warning about the increased levels for the Black Werewolves all over town. Beginning Town had transformed into a death zone.

    “Mister Sila, that man is Ramiel, a Lord Rank monster of the angel race.” Sebastian floated down and landed himself next to Sila. Meanwhile, Ramiel turned to Montra.

    “Master Montra, that man is Sebastian, a monster of the undead race. His Rank is equal to mine.”

    It was unexpected information, though Montra only paused for a brief instant before speaking to Revin.

    “Revin, can you hasten our plan?”

    Revin nodded. “Although the size of Beginning Town isn’t that big, I need to stand still for the effect to show greatly.”

    Montra nodded. He said, “Ramiel, lend me your power.”

    Obeying his master’s order, Ramiel summoned another circular barrier, similar to the one surrounding Fenrir, and covered Revin with it.

    “Ramiel excels at regeneration, defense, sealing, and creating a domain, sir,” Sebastian told Sila.

    Revin’s body was engulfed in flame inside the sphere. Witnessing the scene, Sila could tell immediately that Revin was using Dragon Domain. Moreover, it was the one he encountered in Colossia City, Solaria’s Dragon Domain, which constantly damaged enemies inside its radius. Worse off, Revin’s Dragon Domain was even stronger than Solaria’s.

    One of the reasons why Montra was late to the scene was because he had been evaluating Sila’s fighting ability from afar. However, the main reason was that he was waiting for the best moment to deal a serious blow to any players who weren’t allies or part of the Heavenly Dragon Guild so they’d be worse off when the war event started.

    As many skilled players had gathered in this place, Beginning Town became a suitable stage to deal a heavy blow to his enemies. For the record, no one in the Heavenly Dragon Guild side had come to Beginning Town because he had forbade it.

    In fact, he had planned to have Revin deal continuous damage with the help of the rest of them. However, with Beginning Town mysteriously being attacked by a herd of werewolves, he chose to idly sit by and watch. If it wasn’t for Sila being one blow from killing Fenrir and turning the tables on the werewolves, they wouldn’t have interfered.

    Beginning Town’s current appearance would not look out of place if the town was located in Hell. The temperature was insanely hot, the players’ health points continued to decline, and more than eighty werewolves were in a berserk state. They unleashed their full power with no regard for their lives and their constantly declining health points.

    “I’ll take care of Ramiel myself, sir. If his concentration is disrupted, the protective barrier will naturally disappear. Fenrir is on the verge of death, so if it comes into contact with the Dragon Domain, it will undoubtedly die,” said Sebastian. The important part was that he was just informing Sila of what he planned to do, not asking for permission. He had already summoned his giant scythe and there were black magic particles floating around him. His red eyes looked into Ramiel’s golden ones.

    “Master Montra. May I...” muttered Ramiel, to which Montra nodded. With his master’s approval, the angel flew to the south of the town. He didn’t even need to look back to know that Sebastian was following him.

    Only Montra, Kawin, and Sila remained. Down in the streets, the player side was surprisingly managing, unlike what Montra had anticipated. It was thanks to Tiger Team letting Jundtrathep show her hidden abilities.

    As soon as the werewolves had entered the berserk state, Tiger realised that they couldn’t keep their trump cards a secret and quickly ordered Juntrathep to summon five Guardians of Light and activate Land of Promises. Immediately after, he asked his team members to send a party invitation to nearby players.

    Around sixty players gathered in the middle of the town, surrounding Jundtrathep. A hopeless battle turned into a stalemate. As they didn’t have to be afraid of death and their energies were completely refreshed every time they died, they could finally fight the werewolves without holding back. Though, this situation was temporary because Jundtrathep wasn’t affected by her own skill. She alone had to suffer from Revin’s Dragon Domain. Because of this, there were eight magic-type players who specialized in healing constantly casting healing spells on her after Tiger made a request to them that was partially an order and partially begging.

    Montra had noticed Jundtrathep’s overpowered ability and Tiger’s leadership early on, as he was studying his enemies. Although it’s true that one of them possessed a fraudulent skill, he was more concerned about Tiger’s exceptional leadership and keen insight. Tiger could give out clear, effective orders to various groups of players even though they hadn’t trained together even once. His quick decision-making skill was remarkable and Montra considered this kind of person more dangerous than a skilled individual like Jundtrathep or Sila.

    “Kawin, go and kill that man and the woman in the middle. I will handle Sila myself.”

    “Be careful.” As Kawin finished speaking, he jumped down to the ground.

    Sila started to feel restless, but Montra had shown no openings so far. If he was too hurried to act, he would make a mistake and die.

    As Kawin landed on the ground, the earth shook. He started approaching the group of players fending off the werewolves, taking slow but firm steps. A werewolf spotted him by chance, and charged in his direction

    Sadly, an opponent who only used powerful attacks that lacked technique was like Kawin’s favorite dish. As soon as the werewolf entered Kawin’s range, Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws was used. Kawin’s left hand grabbed the werewolf’s incoming wrist while thrusting his right hand toward its chest.

    The werewolf’s body rotated in the air twice before being slammed into the ground. As a result of its power being combined with Kawin’s technique, although it didn’t die on the spot, it could no longer move.

    The players started to be wary of Kawin. They could tell that this man wasn’t an ally based on the fact that he appeared alongside Montra’s teammate, who was the one constantly dealing damage to them with his domain.

    Stomping his foot on the ground, two giant boulders were summoned and floated into the air. Kawin thrusted his hands forward, and the boulders flew in that direction, which happened to be where Jundtrathep was. They might not be enough to kill her, but the group’s defensive formation would surely crumble if they were hit by the boulders.

    However, during their flight, both boulders fell into pieces and were driven off course.

    In front of Kawin appeared a woman with white hair wearing a light-blue coat. No one could tell which direction she came from or what she had done to the boulders.

    “Who are you? Are you on Sila’s side?” asked Kawin. He didn’t know that there was a female player of this caliber aside from Sangdao.

    “I’m simply an enemy of the Heavenly Dragon Guild.”

    Kawin thought for a moment. “Are you from the Wulin Masters Association? Did the Elders send you to help Sila? Don’t you know that this is against the rules?”

    There was no reply. She just stood there smilingly while her hands gripped thin air.

    Sensing danger approaching, Kawin clad his body with magic power reinforcement. In the next instant, a blade stabbed his back, which was his blind spot. Even though he had readied his defense beforehand, he still took damage. If he had taken a moment longer to react, the blade would have already stabbed through his back and reached his heart.

    Yardpirun’s body still remained in front of him, but Kawin was certain that it wasn’t her real body. He no longer dared to converse with her, fearing that he would be distracted, and constantly maintained magic power reinforcement on his body.

    “Won’t we continue talking? That’s regretful. We were getting to know each other.” Yardpirun’s voice came from both the left and the right, teasing Kawin.

    “If you want to talk, just show yourself. Don’t use Psychic Body,” Kawin said while keeping his concentration. He could sense that this woman was skilled at manipulating her enemy’s focus.

    “Ara~ It’s the first time we met, Mister Kawin. I’m a fine lady so I need to be reserved.” The woman continued to tease him, but Kawin wasn’t in the mood for that at all. He knew that he would be killed the moment he lowered his guard.

    Yardpirun wasn’t very aggressive with her attacks, however. Maybe she didn’t want to push him into a corner too much and risk a counterattack. Their battle ended up as a stalemate.

    Looking at their fight, Sila was somehow relieved. Yardpirun seemed to be able to hold Kawin off for the time being.

    As for Montra, he was curious as another unexpected variable had appeared on Sila’s side again.

    “Let’s end this, Sila. Oh, I should tell you that, unlike last time, you won’t be getting any help this time. Lone Wolf has long since disappeared and there is no way Zero will help you.”

    Lone Wolf was in seclusion, training under Poluk. Sila was aware of this fact. However, Montra’s sentence seemed to imply that he knew something about Zero’s situation.

    “What did you do to Mister Zero?”

    “Fufu. I’ve done nothing. I’m just positive that Zero won’t ever come to your aid because he is now a member of the Heavenly Dragon Guild.”

    Sila was shocked by Montra’s reply. “That’s not true! You’re lying. There is no way Mister Zero...”

    “I’m not obliged to tell you anything else. This is not a secret. In a few days, this news will spread and people will be more apprehensive of the might of my guild.”

    Sensing that Montra was accumulating power within his body, Sila was taken aback. The current Montra possessed power equal to Sila using all of his power even though he was a magic-type player.

    Sila didn’t want to take a risk and swallowed an Emperor Qi Pellet. Shortly after, he recovered sixty percent of his energy. It seemed the Emperor Qi Pellet could be used to help stabilize qi as well.

    Meanwhile, Montra had activated Martial Radiance Art a moment ago. Actually, half of his power was sealed due to the Dragon Ritual. It was only thanks to this unique power that allowed Montra to exert twice as much power as he usually did, though it had a strong backlash, damaging his own body after he canceled it.

    Sila might think that Montra had much more power than he did, but it was far from the truth. In fact, they were almost equal to each other in terms of inner force. It wasn’t strange considering their age and the time they spent training their body since childhood.

    Montra came up with his own qi art, while Sila practiced Tiger Dragon Qi.

    The big difference was their hand-to-hand combat ability. Montra’s Heavenly Destiny Fist wasn’t only the most suitable for him, but it was also very flexible to use thanks to Montra’s knowledge on a variety of martial arts. With his position, he had the right to access the Wulin Masters Association’s library; it was a place where the martial arts that had no successor were kept. It was the Wulin Lord’s duty to assign these arts to suitable practitioners so they weren’t abandoned and lost to time.

    As for Sila, although he inherited three great martial arts from the Elders, those arts were all too profound for him, so he was unable to master them within a short period of time.

    “Things will be easier if you just hand over the Gem of Catastrophe,” Montra said while he readied his magic staff. It was a precursor of one of the martial moves he had learned, Destroyer Lance. He wanted Sila to give him the Gem first. Otherwise, there would be no way for him to get his hands on it even if he killed Sila.

    “How do you know about the Gem of Catastrophe?”

    “That should be my question, but I think I can guess the answer,” Montra paused for a moment, before continuing, “When you killed Pythia, you surely got the Cloudy Pearl. Hand it to me and I promise you that you will be the only one to die. We will immediately withdraw.”

    ‘The Cloudy Pearl?’ Sila had guessed incorrectly. He had thought that Montra was referring to the Eternal Onyx. It seemed Montra still didn’t know that the Eternal Onyx was in Sila’s possession. It was fortunate that Sila didn’t accidentally let it slip.

    The fact that Pythia possessed one of the Gems of Catastrophe was known by Montra for a long time. Regardless, destroying the Pillars of Wind would bring him too much enmity, trouble, and attention, so he chose not to make a move.

    Thus, once he got a report that Pythia had made an appearance on Beginning Island, he and his comrades rushed here.

    “I wasn’t the one who killed Pythia.” Sila decided to lie. There shouldn’t be any way for Montra to know that Pythia died by his hand.

    “That woman named Vata already told me everything. Stop talking nonsense and quickly give me the Pearl.”

    Sila frowned. Now that he thought about it, Vata was missing. At the very least, she should have told him via Varee that she arrived safely at the town.

    “Where is Miss Vata?”

    “That woman no longer poses any benefit to me. After I tortured her to make her tell me what I wanted, I disposed of her.”

    “You bastard...!” Sila once had sympathy for Montra when he heard the story from the Three Elders, but now, all that sympathy vanished. He finally personally witnessed what the Elders had noticed in Montra and would never let this kind of person become the Wulin Lord.

    “Are you angry, Sila? Aren’t you giving a damn in the wrong place? This is merely a game. It’s no problem even if people or monsters die a hundred times. I hate people like you the most; the kind of person that pretends to be good and innocent. For me, all of my enemies must be wrecked and ruined without exception. Ambition and goals are the most important things.”

    If it was Montra’s plan to provoke Sila, it worked splendidly. Sila’s qi was surging more than usual and the roof underneath him began to violently shake as a result.

    “Only power isn’t enough to protect what you hold important, Sila. And if you don’t believe me...” As he said, Montra soared to the left. Noticing Montra’s destination, Sila immediately followed after.

    Lookhin unleashed its power and hundreds of flame blades flew at Montra. However, he spun the mage staff in his hands, avoiding the direct clash and instead parrying all of them away with a fierce movement that generated a storm.

    He dashed at Lookhin and swung his mage staff at it to send the bird flying toward Sila.

    Having to evade Lookhin, Sila’s movement was delayed by a beat. He was already too late. Montra was standing on a different roof. His right hand gripped his mage staff while his left hand was squeezing Bow, who was activating Divine Raiment to resist the crushing force.

    “To prove that you are such a two-faced bastard, I will let you choose. Give me the Cloudy Pearl, or this pet of yours dies!!”

  • edited May 2019
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  • Chapter 149: Heavenly Destiny Fist


    “Release Bow at once! Montra!! How can you be so shameless?!” Sila’s roar was filled with rage. He never anticipated Montra to be this detestable.

    “You can bark all you want. The fact is you released two pets to gang up on me, so it’s natural that I need to protect myself. Who knows when you will order these two to ambush me,” Montra said expressionlessly. His eyes stared at Lookhin as it emitted tremendous power from its body. It failed to carry out Sila’s order to protect Bow, so it hated Montra to the bone.

    “Bow can’t fight. Release her and fight me fair and square.”

    “Maybe it can or maybe it can’t, how can I tell? Take that little bird for example; I didn’t expect it to be this strong.” Montra’s eyes shifted to the burn on his left leg, which could be seen through the burnt part of his high-level pants.

    “What do you want, then?”

    “I already told you. Give me the Cloudy Pearl, or it dies.” Montra lifted Bow up for Sila to have a better look, though he was a little curious that his grip on the slime seemed less effective than he had intended. Divine Raiment was still protecting her body, and Bow needed to focus so she couldn't make a sound.

    Bow’s life was too important. Without a shred of hesitation, Sila fired the Pearl at Montra using Hidden Weapon Firing.

    “Take it.”

    Montra had to release Bow from his grip in order to catch the Pearl. Sila deliberately fired it somewhere that forced Montra to do so.

    Bow quickly hopped to Sila while Montra silently stared at the Pearl in his hand.

    ‘Why is it the genuine one?’ Montra couldn’t help but wonder.

    In fact, Montra had a plan in case Sila didn’t give him the Pearl, which was a very reasonable choice. Pets could always respawn; Sila didn’t even need to be concerned about the drop in levels if the slime really couldn’t fight. On the other hand, the Gem of Catastrophe was irreplaceable.

    If Sila chose to abandon his pet, he planned to rely on this point to prove that Sila was a two-faced person and cornered Sila with psychological warfare.

    In battles, a combatant’s state of mind is very important. If Bow died, Montra could manipulate Sila to feel angry or grieve as he pleased, using his speech. The victory would undoubtedly belong to him.

    Sila held Bow in his arms. “I should have already done this before, but I don’t like farewells. In the end, it endangered you. I’m really sorry, Bow.”

    “It’s okay. It’s Bow’s fault for being careless. I’m sorry that I became a hindrance.”

    Truly, he didn’t like saying goodbye. However, he opened his system window and immediately canceled Bow’s pet status. Soon, Bow’s body was engulfed in warm light.

    “See you again, Big Brother.” As she finished the sentence, Bow’s body disappeared. While they were separating, Montra didn’t take action as he was still deep in thought. He opened his system window and stored the Cloudy Pearl inside.

    “Lookhin, go and help Mister Tiger and his friends below. I’ll take care of this man myself,” Sila ordered.

    Still staring intensely at Montra, Lookhin hesitated for a few seconds before it chose to obey Sila’s order. As a result, the situation below got better.

    “Let’s end this, Montra.” They weren’t empty words. Sila approached Montra with firm footsteps.

    “That’s my line,” Montra replied. He lightly swung his staff to ready it while getting into a fighting stance, preparing himself for the battle that was about to start.

    Sila’s heart was filled with flames of rage, flames that were ready to burn his enemy in front of him to a crisp. His foot tapped the roof and narrowed the distance in one go. Both his fists were thrown aggressively at high speed. All sixteen strikes were aimed at Montra’s vital spots.

    Swinging the mage staff as fast as lightning, Montra blocked the barrage of punches; sometimes he blocked them with the head of the mage staff and sometimes he blocked with the tip. He didn’t use magic spells as it was a melee battle, but even if he didn’t use any, Montra was still the martial art expert. He calmly waited for the moment when Sila’s momentum came to an end and yanked Sila’s leg using his mage staff, before rotating his body.

    Focused on attacking with his punches, Sila’s legs were undefended and now his back was open. Montra thrust his palm forward in a simple yet aggressive manner.

    Sila accelerated his body’s rotation speed by tapping his foot in mid-air. With that action, Montra’s fist connected with his chest instead of his back.

    At the same time, Sila threw his fist at Montra’s wrist. The clash of power exploded and the impact sent him a few steps backward.

    An uncomfortable feeling clogged up his insides, so Sila swiftly circulated qi to break it down. As for Montra, his wrist was twisted and broken. He swung the mage staff once and light green particles flew to his wound, healing it in an instant.

    With that short exchange, Montra confirmed that he had to re-evaluate Sila yet again. Even though he thought he was already being cautious and had overestimated him, Sila still surpassed his overestimation.

    Montra no longer dared to be careless. He knew he needed to defeat Sila without allowing himself to die even once. This wasn’t stubbornness; he was aware that he would have a harder time killing Sila if he died once.

    Superficially, both of them seemed to have equal strength. However, Montra realized that he was, in fact, weaker. It was the result of half of his power being locked away. To compensate for that, he was now exerting twice of his usual strength temporarily thanks to Martial Radiance Art. However, that meant he would lose his equal standing if the art was canceled.

    Martial Radiance Art wasn’t that fantastic; it was a double-edged sword. By exerting twice the power, it put a heavy burden on the user’s body. Because of this, Montra only used the art when it was really needed and he wouldn’t maintain this state for too long.

    Thus, if he were to die and revive using Dragon’s Heart, his ability would be half of what he currently possessed. Killing Sila would become a difficult task.

    On the other hand, Sila perceived that Montra wasn’t in a rush to kill him. Despite the fact that Montra was actually restless about maintaining Martial Radiance Art, he didn’t let it show on his face. Even his demeanor was calm; as if he was casually waiting and allowing Sila to attack first without acting rashly.

    Montra unleashed more magic power, pushing the power of Martial Radiance Art to another degree. The situation pressured Sila to think that he needed to act quickly, otherwise, he would be in a disadvantageous position soon.

    Sila started to use Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps. Both of his legs were jumblingly crossing each other, and Sila’s body multiplied into twelve. In the meantime, Montra was motionless. He waited until Sila entered his attack range before he thrusted and thrashed his mage staff twelve times. Each attack was aimed at Sila’s chest.

    Relying on the Weaken and Stop techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, Sila blocked the mage staff using his left wrist and grabbed on it. He pulled Montra’s body to him and struck his right palm at his side using Tiger's Palm.

    Rotating the mage staff in his hand, Montra deliberately accelerated Sila’s attack and attacked Sila’s wrist with his knee, rendering the attack useless. Then, he kicked Sila in the underbelly.

    Sila took a direct hit and his internal organ received damage. However, he resisted the pain and used qi to pull Montra’s foot on his body. Sila clawed him and left a mortal wound on Montra’s ankle.

    Using his other foot to kick the ground, Montra lifted his body up. He pushed Sila’s chest away with his foot, worsening the injury Sila received previously. His qi circulation was disrupted, so Montra could take his foot off Sila’s body. Blood was flowing from his ankle.

    Montra received an external wound, but it was on his leg, which was quite important for a martial artist. Meanwhile, Sila received an internal injury. Blood was dripping from the corner of his mouth and his breathing was heavy. It seemed his lung was damaged.

    Totally ignoring the injured ankle, Montra flicked his leg to splash the blood to Sila’s eyes. Nevertheless, Sila slowly swiped his hand and managed to block every drop of blood.

    Montra pressed the end of his mage staff on the ground, having it act as a cane to substitute for his injured leg. Although he didn’t feel pain, the wound interfered when performing delicate movements.

    So far, Montra had probed Sila’s ability and finally got all the data he wanted to know. Sila used three different arts: one offensively, one defensively, and one for movement. Each art was a high-class martial art but they weren’t in sync. Montra noticed the weakness created when using various arts together. It was different from him, who used other martial arts only to evaluate his opponents, before defeating them with Heavenly Destiny Fist if necessary.

    Heavenly Destiny Fist was truly a ‘martial’ art. The very essence of the art was fusing all the prominent points of every weapon art he had learned. The more he learned, the more complex it got. The more he used, the more flexible it became. The more he fought, the harder it was for his opponent to read his movements.

    For the first time, Montra initiated the attack. The wound on his ankle was slowly closing but he didn’t want to waste time. He stabbed the end of his mage staff into the roof and firmly placed his left foot on it to minimize the movement. The color of his eyes gleamed with silver radiance; he was exerting Martial Radiance Art to its very limit.

    The fingers on Montra’s right hand united to form into a blade while the fingers on his left bent into a hook; one straightforward and one tricky to use. Sila had to rely on Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws to defend against Montra’s series of attack. Some attacks were slow while some were fast. He needed to use his palms, arms, and elbows to block Montra’s threatening barrage. The longer he defended, the harder it got for him to continue. Not only did Montra’s attacks get faster but they were also getting harder to read.

    Montra’s right hand acted as a blade and slashed both Sila’s hands while his right leg swept the roof and aimed at Sila’s body.

    The original Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws didn’t say anything about using legs to defend, but Sila also learned Nine Sun-Melting-Fists. He stuck out his knee to clash directly against the incoming leg.

    Both of them lost their balance and Montra was the first to act. He twisted his right hand, swinging it like a metal whip, and smacked Sila’s cheek.

    Having his face slapped, Sila could taste blood in his mouth. He lifted his leg up and backed out of Montra’s range. He was aware that he was in a disadvantageous position right now and Montra would widen this gap, resulting in his loss.

    However, Montra caught Sila’s leg with his own foot, causing Sila to trip. He clenched his fist and swung it like a hammer into Sila’s flank. After, he laid his palm flat and, combining his fingers as if they were a blade, thrusted his hand toward Sila’s heart.

    In a moment of crisis, Sila relied on his quick wit and headbutted Montra. Montra’s hand paused for a brief moment, which Sila took advantage of by quickly seizing Montra’s wrist and harshly twisting it.

    Without resisting, Montra let his body go with the centrifugal force. His body was rotated in mid-air when he used his foot as a spear to thrust at his enemy.

    Using the Parry technique, Sila deflected Montra’s kick with his hand by tapping the leg off course. He then threw Dragon’s Fist at Montra, who was still in mid-air.

    Tightening his grip on the mage staff, which had sank into the roof, Montra pulled his body away from the incoming attack. Nevertheless, Sila followed him even though the tempo was off, and successfully landed the hit.

    The fist struck Montra’s chest and a dragon roar resounded, though the sound was far quieter. Even without the sound, Sila could tell that the damage was only half of what he usually dealt. Regardless, he couldn’t allow Montra to take a break or have a chance to use a magic spell, so he took a step forward.

    Strangely, he felt like he saw Montra smiling out of the corner of his eye. Even though he was feeling conflicted, he couldn’t tell what he might miss. All he could do was to continue pushing forward while he had a chance. The power of Genesis Punch accumulated in his right fist and was about to be thrown at Montra.

    Holding the mage staff in his hand, rather than using it to block Sila’s attack, Montra chose to swing it behind his back, using his own body as a cover. The closer Sila got to Montra, the more he felt that danger was approaching him.

    Taking a u-turn behind Montra’s back, the mage staff was thrust at Sila like a spear at high speed. In the blink of an eye, Sila noticed that he was tricked. It wasn't just the motion of the weapon that was similar to a spear, in fact, Montra's weapon actually transformed into a genuine spear. Sila chose to shift his aim and smashed his fist against the tip of the spear.

    *Clang!* The sound of the spear tip striking the metal arm echoed. The bandages were torn to shreds, revealing the metallic arm underneath. It was Montra’s first time getting a clear look at Sila’s right arm, though he wasn’t shocked in the slightest. In this kind of moment, just losing the tiniest bit of focus could easily lead to death. The Heavenly Dragon Spear was retracted and thrust again at Sila’s chest.

    Sila was moving forward due to momentum, so he had a hard time changing direction in such a critical moment. Montra’s second strike was even faster than the first, so Sila couldn’t manage to evade it. His only choice was to strengthen his defense. His skin became as hard as steel while his qi gathered around his heart.

    Twisting his wrist, the tip of the spear suddenly curved as if it was a living thing. It avoided Sila’s wall of qi and aggressively stabbed into Sila’s body.

    *Clang!* This time, the tip of the spear hit another kind of mineral. As it turned out, with Strengthened Bones, all of Sila’s bones had the durability of Orichalcum. The spear couldn’t penetrate his bone.

    Sila intended to grab Montra’s spear, but his opponent was quicker. Montra moved the spear downward, slashing Sila from his chest to his abdomen. Blood gushed out, dyeing his clothing. Montra didn’t stop there and flicked the tip of the spear to send a roof tile at Sila’s face.

    Sila was hurting all over when the roof tile smacked into his face. Montra retracted and thrust for the third time. This time, though, he flipped the tip of the spear horizontally. The spear precisely penetrated through the gap between Sila’s ribs and stabbed his heart.

    Defeated.

    Montra’s power should be even lower than Sila’s. However, even with half of Montra’s power locked away, Sila still was no match for him.

    Heavenly Destiny Fist was indeed scary, but Montra’s spearmanship was even scarier. Ever since he used his spear, Sila was left with no chance to even touch it. Though, to be more accurate, the scariest thing was Montra himself; with his decision-making, flexibility, timing, and insight, Sila’s chances of victory were completely robbed.

    Montra’s spearmanship was in the realm of a true expert. He could suddenly turn the tables and turn what was almost a loss into a victory as if it was the will of the heavens.

    Sila’s vital spot was pierced through and his body collapsed on the roof. His blood slid down the roof and dripped to the ground, forming a small pool.

    Turning his back to Sila, Montra looked at the situation below; Kawin was still in a stalemate with the mysterious woman. He planned to help by casting a spell, but he needed to heal himself first.

    However, he suddenly felt strong pressure from behind and quickly turned his back to face the source of it.

    Slowly but surely, Sila got back on his feet. His health and power were both refilled, and there were no visible wounds left on his body. Only his bloody clothing indicated that the previous battle wasn’t just a mere illusion.

    “How come you didn’t die?” Staring at Sila, Montra asked with skepticism.

    “Don’t think that you’re the only one who can revive, Montra. Our fight is just getting started. And it’ll be a long one.”

    As far as Montra could see, Sila was in an uninjured state. It was like the previous battle was a lie. Even worse, the current Sila was calmer and fighting against him would prove to be harder.

    Nevertheless, Sila was fully aware that his second life was a temporary one.

    On the roof of the next building stood a grim reaper holding a scythe in one hand and an hourglass in the other, staring at Sila like it was his audience. Sila realized instinctively that he was the only one who could see this peculiar being.

    Shifting his gaze to the grim reaper, Sila felt like he saw a skull under the hood smiling at him. Its finger tapped lightly on the hourglass while its hollowed eyes gazed at Sila, as if it was trying to say something.

    ‘You only have fifteen minutes.’

  • Chapter 150: Endless


    Five hundred meters away from the battlefield stood two figures. Sebastian and Ramiel had been watching the battle between Sila and Montra for a while. Neither showed hostility toward the other.

    “Your master is quite skilled, Ramiel.” Sebastian was the first to speak.

    “This is merely a half of his ability. Master Montra is the most skilled human I have ever seen.”

    “Um... He also possesses our master’s left arm. Is this the reason you have been following him?”

    Ramiel didn’t answer. “Won’t you fight me?”

    Sebastian shrugged. “It can’t be helped. The current me is no match for you. I realized that much when I saw you use a barrier. There was no incantation nor activation; that meant you have gotten yourself a genuine form. Well, that’s unexpected. I didn’t imagine that your current master could manage to get you your genuine form.” Sebastian emphasized the words ‘The current me’.

    “Me too. I never imagined that you still hadn’t gotten yours back. It seems I was better than you at choosing a master.”

    “I’d say that Mister Sila just isn’t interested in this kind of thing. Well, nor am I. Power isn’t something I seek.”

    “Are you still searching for our original master, Sebastian? He abandoned us. Didn’t you feel betrayed?”

    “There must have been a reason for him to do that. I still won’t give up. At the very least, I need to hear the reason from his own mouth.”

    “Whatever. Anyway, do you really plan to just converse with me? It’s not that I’m against this or anything because Master Montra didn’t give me any orders, but what about you? Didn’t you tell your master that you would take care of me?” asked Ramiel.

    “Well, I’m keeping you with me by talking with you. I’m doing my best to prevent you from helping out your master.”

    “Master Montra doesn’t need my help. He can handle anything himself. Everything is still going according to his plan.”

    Sebastian looked at Ramiel. “It seems you don’t care about your master that much.”

    “I will follow his commands, but other than that I don’t care.”

    “Sounds loyal, but not that loyal. It sounds like you will be fine with letting your master die before your eyes.”

    Ramiel laughed. “Hahaha. Am I really being taught about loyalty by Sebastian? That’s funny. What about you? You plan to kill your current master once you find our original master, don’t you?”

    “I guess so. That’s my plan.”

    Ramiel nodded as if he had predicted Sebastian’s reply. “Anyway, I will inform Master Montra that I fought against you furiously.”

    “Can an angel lie?”

    “Even the grim reaper could teach me how to be loyal. How could I not teach you how to lie? Hahaha. This time, Master Montra didn’t order me to kill you. But if he does next time, I will surely kill you.”

    “That will be a matter in the future. Can we just talk this time? There are many things I would like to ask you.”

    Both Montra and Sila didn’t know that those two didn’t fight at all. Sebastian and Ramiel continued to talk until the very end.

    ***

    Sila quit giving the grim reaper on the roof his attention. With the ability of the Black Grim Reaper Card, his death was delayed for fifteen minutes. In these fifteen minutes, it was his chance to fix the mistakes he took in the previous battle. And if he couldn’t do it, the result of his death would turn grimmer. With that in mind, Sila immediately activated Divine Raiment to heighten his concentration.

    ‘I was too impatient. Provoking the opponent to make them attack used to be my method. Montra just used the situation instead of speech to make me feel like I need to end the fight as soon as possible. Now that I calmly think about it, Tiger and Lookhin seem to be fine, and Kawin is being fended off by Yardpirun. Even though I don’t know who she is, I will trust her for now. As for Mister Sebastian, I don’t need to worry about him; I have no doubt that he can take care of himself. That man named Revin also seems to be busy using Dragon Domain and I heard him say that he wouldn’t be able to move for a while. That barrier is the proof.

    ‘At first glance, Montra seemed to be in control of everything. However, he must have been impatient as well. Otherwise, he wouldn’t attack me in a hurry when his ankle was still injured.’

    He only had fifteen minutes, so there was no point in reserving energy. Sila unleashed his full power without delay. The radius of his qi sphere was greater than before as the power he unleashed was higher than usual.

    Montra’s lips were moving up and down. It seemed he was trying to say something to Sila, but it was no use; his Divine Raiment could block off everything, including sound. It made his head clearer, and he could come up with ideas. Without hesitation, Sila jumped to the right toward where Revin was standing, and Montra quickly followed him.

    ‘I finally get it. The reason Montra charged at Bow wasn’t just to use her as a hostage, he was also trying to move Revin out of my sight.’

    Sila depended on Cloud Stepping to hover next to Revin. Meanwhile, Montra was yelling something at him that he couldn’t hear. Sometimes it was good to be able to completely ignore other’s words; it made yourself calmer.

    Accumulating the power of Genesis Punch into his metal arm, Sila struck his fist at the circular barrier surrounding Revin. Just one punch resulted in an obvious crack on the barrier. Witnessing the crack, Montra became more impatient and rushed at Sila.

    ‘My level of skill regarding martial arts is far inferior to Montra’s. I need to close the gap with raw power. Although it isn’t my preferred way of fighting, I will have to mimic Mister Poluk’s style.’

    Sila descended down on the roof and infused the power of Genesis Punch into his left fist, preparing to use it with a technique from Nine Sun-Melting-Fists. At the same time, he decided to rely on the fact that the Right Arm of the Sealed One could block any attack without taking damage. He prepared his right arm for using Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws without cladding it in qi reinforcement. Lastly, his feet were strengthened and moved with the movements of Twelve Celestial-Travelling-Steps.

    Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t be able to pull this off; utilizing profound arts simultaneously was something that was currently beyond him. However, with Divine Raiment, he felt like there was nothing that he couldn’t do. The entire world was completely silent and waited for him to make a move. There was no sound nor pressure. The only thing left in the vast silence was his mind, which was as calm as an undisturbed lake with no ripples to be seen.

    The Heavenly Dragon Spear was thrusted three times in an instant, aiming at Sila’s neck, heart, and thigh. It seemed Montra had long since realized that he couldn’t penetrate Sila’s bones, so every one of his attacks aimed at vital points in areas where the bones wouldn’t help Sila survive.

    Strangely, despite the fact that the spear was moving at the same speed as before, Sila could follow its movements this time; he could even tell the sequence of the attack.

    Both his feet moved at high speed, evading the first strike at his thigh. His right hand parried the second strike while he tilted his head. As a result, the tip of the spear grazed his cheek, though there was no wound with the help of Divine Raiment. As for the last attack aimed at his heart, it was the attack that had killed him last time so he was very wary of it.

    He bumped the middle of the spear hilt using the back of his right hand before forcefully pulling it down with his maximum pulling power. He then infused Genesis Punch into his left fist and struck the hilt.

    The spear shook violently, though there was no damage done to the spear, which Sila thought might be due to the fact that the spear was made of Orichalcum.

    However, Montra’s hand wasn’t made of Orichalcum. The power of Genesis Punch ran through the spear to his hand, which started to bleed severely. Many of his fingers had broken but Montra still refused to let the spear go.

    Sila pulled the spear toward himself, but Montra resisted. Sila unleashed the might of Genesis Punch using his foot for the first time by stomping on the roof. Even though the power wasn’t as formidable as when he used it with his fist, it was enough to completely annihilate the existence of the roof below his feet.

    While Sila could stay in the air using Cloud Stepping, Montra’s body fell, and he began to lift himself up using a levitation spell. It was at this moment that Sila pulled the spear toward himself again. This time, Montra didn’t have a foothold so he was dragged by the force. Sila used Genesis Punch for the fourth time, striking Montra’s chest. Instantly, Montra’s body turned into dust while the spear was left in Sila’s hand.

    The grim reaper disappeared from the roof, along with the hourglass in its hand. Sila released a sigh of relief. Just now, he had totally depended on in-game abilities rather than his own; relying on the Black Grim Reaper Card to use Genesis Punch without reserving the number of times, utilizing Cloud Stepping to stay in the air, making use of the Right Arm of the Sealed One that can block any physical attacks, and having Strengthened Bones limit Montra’s choices of where to attack. Moreover, he even baited Montra into attacking him first by threatening Revin. With this, how was he different from Montra, who used Bow as a hostage? Sila couldn’t help but question himself.

    Montra re-emerged and stared at Sila with expressionless eyes, to which Sila stared back. His lips were moving; it seemed he was telling Sila to go down and fight fair and square. Too bad for him, Sila looked back at him with hostility.

    Jumping toward Revin, Sila threw another Genesis Punch at the barrier yet again, causing the crack to widen. It seemed Revin wasn’t aware of the situation, or the protective sphere blocked his senses from everything outside. Otherwise, he would have realized that he was going to be the cause of Montra’s demise.

    Gritting his teeth, Montra rushed at Sila while exerting the full power of Martial Radiance Art. He was able to stay in the air thanks to a levitation spell. He grabbed a hold of the Heavenly Dragon Spear and violently twisted it to release it from Sila’s hand. Then, he thrust it at Sila’s throat.

    The spear precisely stabbed the target. Montra was quite surprised as it was too easy. As it turned out, Sila didn’t try to block his attack at all.

    The blood gushed out as Montra retraced the spear. It was in that instant that he noticed the wound on Sila’s neck suddenly disappearing and Sila’s power returning to full again.

    Sila was playing with death. He had read the description of the Black Grim Reaper Card and found that its ability had no cooldown time. Thus, he didn’t hesitate to spend all his power killing Montra and allowed himself to be killed after so that his power was replenished.

    Then, Sila continued to use the same tactic; fighting in mid-air. The difference between Montra’s levitation and Sila’s firm foothold in the air was significant; Sila could use stepping techniques while Montra couldn’t. Without a firm foothold, The power of the Heavenly Dragon Spear was decreased because he could only depend on the arm muscles. Moreover, the revived Montra possessed only half of his power, so Sila had an easier time killing Montra as time passed.

    Sila no longer dragged the battle on and instead used all of his power in every move, pressuring Montra greatly. Once he killed Montra, he would allow himself to be killed again. And if Montra chose to ignore him, he would attack the sphere surrounding Revin so Montra would be forced to attack him.

    Consequently, the battle continued like this, as if it was an endless cycle.

    ***

    Meanwhile, Kawin, who was still fighting against Yardpirun below, shot a glance at the fight between Montra and Sila, and began to feel restless. The fact that Sila could revive was new to them, and the longer the fight went on, the worse Montra became. The more Montra used Martial Radiance Art, the more it strained his body.

    ‘Montra, you have maintained that state for far too long...’ Kawin thought while looking at Montra with great concern.

    In the end, when Montra died for the fourth time, Kawin decided to stop his fight against Yardpirun and jumped toward Montra, while Yardpirun chose to stay behind.

    A giant stone plate was summoned and used as a foothold. Kawin grabbed Montra’s collar and dragged him in the direction of Revin and Sila. He summoned another stone plate to block Sila’s sight, took a detour and touched the protective barrier around Revin, which caused it to vanish. Then, he grabbed Revin’s shirt and dragged both of his friends toward where Ramiel and Sebastian had gone to fight.

    Snapped out of his concentration, Revin yelled, “Oi! Kawin! What the heck are you doing?”

    Slamming Genesis Punch into the stone plate, Sila turned the stone into dust, causing the three of them to fall.

    Kawin couldn’t help but slightly fear Sila. The last time he fought against Sila, he could only put a dent into Kawin’s stone walls created from magic power. Now, however, he turned them into dust with a single punch.

    Sila’s eyes shone with malice. He charged at the three of them with superior speed. At the same time, Montra snatched the Black Dragon Sword hanging on Revin’s back and used all of his remaining strength to throw it at Sila.

    “Hey! Montra!! That’s my sword! What did you do?!”

    Utilizing Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, Sila slapped the Black Dragon Sword down to the ground. Unfortunately, the time he lost from doing that was enough to allow the three of them to reach Ramiel. Realizing it was counterproductive to follow further, as he was no match for all four of them at once, Sila descended to the Black Dragon Sword. Soon, the bodies of the four glowed with white light and disappeared from Beginning Town.

    The system informed him about the result of his match against Montra.

    You have killed Player Montra four times and gained a total of 1,200,000,000 experience points.

    Your level has risen to 230.

    You have achieved a certain condition. The skill Universe Reversal has fused and become one with your body.

    You have achieved a certain condition. The skill Unblemished Cool Breeze has fused and become one with your body.

    You have achieved a certain condition. The skill Galaxy Eclipse has fused and become one with your body.

    Your body has fused with the main eight qi techniques. As a result, you obtained a special skill: Way of the Hermit.

    You have achieved a certain condition. The level of Tiger Dragon Qi has risen to 90.

    You have achieved a certain condition. The level of Shapeless Qi has risen to 90.

    Sila didn’t pay attention to the system notifications as he was immersing himself in the previous battle. He had exerted all of his power without holding back and had continued to do so. As a result, his mastery over his skills increased exponentially. Tiger Dragon Qi was getting stronger every time he exhausted all of it and let it regenerate. He himself didn’t imagine that he could manage to break Kawin’s stone plate in a single blow. Even his understanding and mastery of martial arts seemed to be undergoing enlightenment; he started to get a clear picture of what he wanted his Weapon Subduing Fist to be.

    All in all, this result was thanks to his Black Grim Reaper Card and Montra’s Dragon’s Heart. Without any of the two, he would have needed to spend many more months to achieve this level of power.

    Sebastian landed himself next to Sila. “Ramiel is too strong, so I couldn’t break his barrier. I’m truly sorry for that, sir.”

    “I don’t blame you, Mister Sebastian. I know that you already did your best. Anyway, let’s go meet up with Mister Tiger and his friends.”

    Sebastian felt a strange feeling. He felt guilty for his lies, which had never happened before.

    ‘Well, I will just compensate him later.’ With this thought, Sebastian rushed back to the group of the remaining players ahead of Sila.

    Taking a look at the Black Dragon Sword on the ground, Sila took it with him and kept it inside his system window, before rushing after Sebastian.

  • Chapter 151: The Evil Plan


    You have achieved a certain condition: Fighting a deathmatch against someone in a possession of another part of the Sealed One. The Left Arm of the Sealed One has reached the fourth stage and has entered the sealed state. You will be able to unseal it seven days from now.

    The system informed Montra of this immediately after he and his friends arrived at the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s headquarters using the instant teleportation spell he had prepared beforehand. Montra collapsed on the floor and started coughing up blood, which gathered into a small pool.

    Kawin left Revin and went to support Montra’s body. “Montra, how do you feel?”

    Montra pushed his body up and sat on the floor. “No problem. I just maintained Martial Radiance Art for too long. In addition, Sila’s qi invaded my body.”

    Revin walked over and sat down on a chair. “Martial Radiance Art again? Why don’t you teach us? We will be able to help you more than we currently can if you do.”

    Montra was incredibly exhausted, which could be seen by his deathly pale face, so he first focused on regenerating his inner force while Ramiel continued to cast healing spells on him without being prompted. It seemed this situation had happened regularly.

    As Ramiel healed Montra, he pushed the light sphere with the injured Fenrir to the center of the room, drawing the attention of everyone. He was preventing its life from ending while also pressuring it just enough so it couldn’t recover its strength. “What should we do about this monster, Master Montra?”

    “Keep it alive like that. When it runs out of strength, seal it into a pet accessory. Lord Rank monsters are rare. It is likely that we can make use of it later,” Montra said indifferently before turning his head to Revin.

    “It’s not that I’m being possessive of the art, Revin, but Martial Radiance Art doesn’t suit you two. The penalty from using it is as great as its benefits. I’m the one who invented it so I know how to properly control it, but if you two use it, it might endanger your life should something go wrong.”

    Revin couldn’t think of a reply as he remembered Montra had told him about this before, so he changed topics. “What about the fight? Why were you so injured?”

    “Everything still went according to the plan; we got our hand on the Cloudy Pearl and managed to kill a lot of players. Even though there were many unexpected factors, our plan was still successful. More importantly, I had a chance to study Sila’s current ability.”

    “Is Sila that strong? He seems like a weakling to me,” asked Revin.

    “He is strong. His speed of growth is terrifying; he is several times stronger than when I met him two or three weeks ago. The strength of his qi seems to have jumped a level in quality,” Kawin replied in Montra’s place.

    Vitality began to return to Montra’s pale face. “Yes, especially his qi. Sila’s qi is stronger than my inner force even if I can exert my full power. More importantly, his qi is a genuine one, not an in-game qi. This makes it more dangerous.”

    “A genuine qi?! There is no way that’s true, right? How can someone who hasn’t trained inner force before suddenly possess qi of that caliber after a month?”

    “It’s surely a genuine one. I possess Martial Radiance Art which is a genuine qi art as well, so I can tell. The concrete proof for that is the fact that his qi is still in my body even after I died.”

    The three of them fell into silence. There was an easy way to separate genuine qi arts from in-game arts, and that was to die. When the player revived, the system would reconstruct their avatar to its normal state. However, the system couldn’t tell that the lingering inner force was an abnormal status, so it wouldn’t interfere with this information. This was the reason why Montra was still hurt by the penalty of using Martial Radiance Art despite the fact that he had already died; it was because the system implied that the penalty of Martial Radiance Art was the part of his power, and as a result, it didn’t overwrite this information.

    “This implies that someone is helping Sila in the shadows,” concluded Montra.

    “Are they the Elders? But that’s against the rules, isn’t it?” asked Revin.

    “It’s highly likely. Based on the information we got so far, Sila possesses a part of the Sealed One, has unusually strong monsters under his control, and managed to conquer Lost Grea City with only two players. The last one was impossible if he didn’t get outside help.”

    “That’s true. Even for us, we invaded the city together but only managed to be on good terms with the king. The fact that he conquered the city means he won against the Emperor Rank monster controlled by an Independent NPC. There was no way he could do that with only two players.”

    “Isn’t there a rule stating that the Elders can’t help the successor aside from giving guidance? But they still taught Sila their martial arts, didn’t they?” asked Kawin.

    Montra shook his head. “Teaching doesn’t count. The Elders probably considered it as just a way for Sila to gain public acceptance. If I were to fail the mission and they were to suddenly select someone else as the Wulin Lord, many might question their decision. At such a time, if Sila can display their arts, the people will realize that at least his skill is decent and the opposition will lessen... By the way, Kawin, what is your opinion on Sila’s Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws?”

    Kawin thought about it for a moment. “Some characteristics are similar, but it’s not Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws.”

    Montra nodded. “That’s reasonable. Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws isn’t an art that one can master in a short period of time. However, if it’s just remembering one or two moves, anyone could do it. This means the Elders’ objective is for Sila to be able to show martial moves, not for him to master them.”

    “In conclusion, who helped Sila from the shadows?”

    “If I were to guess, that person must be Elder Mora, Sila’s teacher.”

    Kawin frowned. “But Sila didn’t come into contact with his teacher, did he? At least not until recently.”

    Montra shook his head. “Elder Mora could help Sila even if they didn’t meet in person. Moreover, he is the only one who can help Sila without breaking the rules. That was the reason why I did my best to prevent the two of them from meeting.”

    “How could he help Sila without breaking the rules? The rules explicitly state that the Elders aren’t allowed to help the successor,” argued Revin.

    “Elder Mora can claim that he is helping Sila with his teacher-disciple relationship. Furthermore, many Independent NPCs personally know each other, so it’s possible that Elder Mora asked his friends to help Sila. For example, if Orpheus is his friend, he could ask him to intentionally lose to Sila.”

    Revin slammed his hand on the table. “That’s unfair!! We have played this game without receiving any help from our teacher or using his name. How shameless are they?!”

    “It’s only my speculation, though I think the truth shouldn’t be far off. As for his qi, someone must have transmitted to him, maybe Elder Mora himself.”

    “Is Sila’s teacher that strong?” asked Kawin. He was more curious about Sila’s growth.

    “Yes, he is. Among the three Elders, Elder Mora is the strongest, followed by Elder Vichien, Sangdao’s father and teacher, and the last is our teacher.”

    This was a part of the reason why Montra wanted to become the next Wulin Lord; he wanted to show everyone that his father, no, his dojo was number one.

    “But, as far as I know, the Flaming Cloud dojo had only a dozen or so disciples, didn’t it? It’s just a small dojo. In comparison, our Sky Dragon dojo has five branches across the country and hundreds of disciples,” said Revin.

    “The reason that our dojo is bigger is simply because our teacher is excellent at managing it. To tell you the truth, all three Elders were the disciples of the previous Wulin Lord, who was the owner of the Flaming Cloud dojo. Once the owner position fell to Elder Mora, the other two Elders quit the dojo. Our teacher started his own dojo, whereas Elder Vichien didn’t. Even the previous successor who died was Elder Mora’s close friend. Furthermore, Sila is Elder Mora’s main disciple, so he can pretty much tell Sila which arts are best suited for him and which training program is the best for him to follow.”

    Revin and Kawin closed their mouths. They had no idea that Elder Mora was that strong. Even their teacher, who they deemed as very strong, was the weakest among the three Elders.

    Revin stood up. “Heh, whatever. No matter how strong his teacher is, Sila is no match for me. I will go to him right now and reclaim my sword.”

    “Don’t, Revin. I deliberately handed that sword to Sila. As for your sword, I have prepared a new one for you.”

    “What? How could you?! That’s my favorite sword. Why did you just give it to our enemy?” Revin yelled.

    “Because of my fight with him, I got to know more about Sila’s abilities. His reviving ability is too fraudulent; there was no cooldown, so its downside most likely has to do with the duration. Next time, I will prolong the fight and see whether it helps. As for his qi, I have already come up with a countermeasure, though I will need both of you to help prepare it. About his technique regarding martial arts, he is well below me. If I use a spear, he will be far from my match...”

    “Oi. What about the sword? How is it related to my sword?”

    “Firstly, the Flaming Cloud dojo only teaches bare-hand martial moves; there are no weapon arts like ours, so Sila is more proficient at fighting barehanded. However, after he fought me, he should have realized that fighting barehanded against someone who wields a weapon gives his opponent the advantage. As such, I gave him a sword so that he will be interested in giving it a try. Nevertheless, sword arts aren’t something anyone can master in a short amount of time, so he will waste his time abandoning his bare-hand techniques to learn how to use a sword. There are less than two months before the war event starts; there is no way his weapon skills can catch up to ours, which we have honed for years.”

    “Oh, such a profound plan, Sir Montra. But what if he doesn’t use it?! What if he just sells it? That’s my sword!” Revin continued to argue.

    “That’s why it needs to be your Black Dragon Sword. Next, we will declare that our guild will seriously hunt down whoever gets their hand on the Black Dragon Sword. With Sila’s personality, he won’t sell it to others. Even better, he will keep it with him with the intention of luring you to him. Of course, even if he tries to sell, no sane merchants will want to purchase it. Though he can choose to sell it to the NPC shop, the chances of that happening are slim as he won’t get enough money for it. Lastly, even if he just ignores it and keeps it in his system window, we can order one of our people who possesses a high-tier tracking skill to locate Sila’s whereabouts anytime we want.”

    Revin sighed. There was one thing about Montra that he absolutely knew about; if Montra made any decision, then that decision had already been refined and well-thought out.

    “Hopefully, my new sword won’t disappoint me.”

    Montra nodded. “Of course. I ordered one of our people to request the production from Lost Grea City. It’s personally produced by the Android King himself and its tier is equal to the Black Dragon Sword that was produced by the legendary weaponsmith.”

    Kawin didn’t care that much about Revin’s new sword. “What will be our next course of action?”

    “The Elders have already made their move, so we will start using our backup plan. We will stop collecting the Gems of Catastrophe and use only the eight of them that we have. The quest doesn’t require us to collect all the gems, just that the more we obtain the better, so seven or eight of them should be sufficient. Especially this Cloudy Pearl, it’s special among the rest in its own way. If used well, it will give us a special edge over our opponents.”

    “By backup plan, you mean that plan you said you didn’t want to use if you could choose, right? I recall you told me something about how it might cause many players to quit playing the game,” Revin said nonchalantly as he still missed his Black Dragon Sword.

    “Yeah, that one. I personally don’t want to use it, but we have no other choice. Anyway, we don’t need to fret over other people’s problems; our goal is to win the upcoming war. The fact that this kind of item exists means we can make use of them. If the game creator didn’t want us to use them, he shouldn’t have created them from the beginning. To continue playing or quit is up to the players, not us.”

    Kawin reminded Montra about Sila’s qi.

    “What about the countermeasure for Sila’s qi? You said you need our help.”

    “About that, Sila’s qi might be powerful, but he lacks experience and meridian knowledge, which we have. From now on, we will isolate ourselves from the world and practice together. I will merge my Martial Radiance Art with your inner forces, and fuse Sila’s qi with them to create our new kind of qi circulation. When I’m done, I will transmit it to you two. As it’s originated from our inner forces, there shouldn’t be any rejection. With this method, not only me but both of you will also have a powerful new qi art. Then, Revin will train to attack Kawin while Kawin will train to defend against Revin. As for me, I will do my own training while putting the plan into motion.”

    Revin frowned. “Are we using Sila’s qi as one of the bases for our new power? I thought you hate him. Will it be a good choice?”

    “My hatred for him aside, the only kind of person who is too stubborn to learn from his opponent is the foolish one. If it can make me become stronger, I don't care whether I have to use my enemy’s power as a base or have to learn from his experience.”

    ***

    The sky changed to daytime, and the blood moon was replaced by the bright sun. Once their king had disappeared, all the werewolves were noticeably weaker and respectively died to all of the players.

    Sila used the Black Dragon Sword to slash the last werewolf standing. He has never used a sword before, but his fight against Montra made him realize that fighting barehanded against someone with a weapon didn’t do him any favors. Varee had even warned him once that, if both fighters were equal in terms of base strength, the weapon user would be three times stronger than the one without a weapon.

    ‘It’s quite heavy, but I can use it just fine. Previously, I always thought that the Right Arm of the Sealed One prevented me from wielding a weapon, so I didn’t bother trying. Maybe I should ask Mister Orpheus about this.’

    The sword used to belong to Revin so Sila decided to keep it with him. He was afraid that if he gave it to someone else, that person might end up being targeted by the Heavenly Dragon Guild. In addition, by keeping it with him, he could use it as a bait to lure Revin to duel him any time he wanted.

    If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles; Montra saw through Sila’s line of thought as if Sila was a pawn on the board.

    “Big Brother Sila, do you use a sword?” Seeing Sila used the sword for the first time, Aek asked.

    “I think I will try using a weapon, and the sword is an interesting choice,” Sila replied as he stored the Black Dragon Sword inside his system window. It seemed he couldn’t use the equip and unequip command on the main weapon, so he had to manually equip it himself. Fortunately, with his Hidden Weapon Firing, he could directly pull it out from the system window without opening it.

    There were only around twenty survivors from the player side. One of them approached Sila.

    “Hello, I’m a guildless player named Frenzy Sword. I want to thank you for all you have done to help us, Mister Sila. I have talked with my friends and we agree that we will surely return the favor if the opportunity arises.”

    “About returning the favor, you really don’t need to.” Sila felt guilty. Tracing back to the source of the problem, it could be said that he was actually the one who brought the calamity to everyone in the town.

    After spending some time chatting, everyone bid farewell to each other to take a break after a long day, though they would still be hanging around in the town while they waited for their friends to revive. Meanwhile, Sila, Yardpirun, and the members of Tiger Team entered the nearby teahouse. Lookhin spent all of its power so it returned to the ring to rest, while Sebastian had left to take care of something.

    “What are you planning to do next? Everyone?” asked Sila.

    Tiger smiled. “The ship to the Main Continent will depart in three days. During these three days, we will train our formation for the last time, then we will go to the Main Continent.”

    “At long last!!” Tod clapped his hand on the table.

    “In that case, if you need anything, feel free to contact me. Or you can directly come to my house... Here, invitation cards so you can visit.”

    Sila gave out black tickets to everyone.

    “Montra might be keeping an eye on you all, so you should try to reach the Victorious Wolves Sect and tell them that you are my friends. I think that Mister Lone Wolf can give you some assistance,” Sila said even though he didn’t know if he had that kind of connection. Still, he would feel more at ease if Tiger and his teammates were under the protection of the Victorious Wolves Sect.

    “Don’t worry. We can take care of ourselves. Though, if we ever feel that we are in danger, we will immediately contact the Victorious Wolves Sect as you suggested,” replied Tiger.

    “That should be fine. I will have to take my leave now. There are many things I need to do.” Sila stood up and exited the teahouse. Suddenly, he saw Vata passing by.

    “Miss Vata!!” Sila shouted, to which Vata stopped walking and turned to look at him. “Miss Vata, how are you? Did you just revive?”

    “Revive? You made it sound like I died,” Vata said, confusion evident on her face.

    Sila was even more confused. “Eh?... Miss Vara, you didn’t die?”

    “Eh? No? I just logged out to talk with my friend. I even asked your friend to tell you about that.”

    “My friend?”

    “Yes. Isn’t your system window broken? When I got out of the forest, I came across someone. After talking with him for a while, he said that he is your friend and was about to go meet you in the forest. I asked him to tell you that I would log out for a while, and he agreed to pass the message along. What does this mean? Didn’t you meet him?”

    Sila furrowed his brows. “What’s my friend look like? What’s his name?”

    “He wore a magic robe, but he should be a fighter type. His hair is red and long, and he is very talkative. I didn’t think he was your friend in the beginning, but he got along well with me and knew a lot about you. His name should be...”

    “Revin,” Sila completed her sentence.

    “Ah. That’s right. So did you meet him?”

    Revin and Kawin’s reputations weren’t as renowned as Montra’s. Only the players who were interested in the power balance of Monster Soul knew about them, so it wasn’t weird that Vata didn’t know them.

    “I met him.” In the end, Sila realized that he was being played by Montra again. “Well, it’s good that Miss Vata is safe.”

    “Um... I’m sorry, but I’m in a hurry. I’m going to identify the remaining cards and will go back to the Main Continent right after that. Do you want anything...?”

    “Ah, no, I’m not. I won’t keep you with me longer. Good luck.” Sila waved his hand to bid Vata farewell.

    Yardpirun approached Sila from behind. “You got tricked by Montra, right?”

    Sila turned his head. “You... Yardpirun. Can you finally tell me who you are?”

    Yardpirun tapped Sila’s elbow with her hand. “Mister Sila will know that once we arrive in Lost Grea City. Shall we go now?”

    Sila was at his wit’s end with this woman. He activated the Invitation Card to Siaferia, and both of them disappeared from Beginning Town, reappearing in the royal palace of Lost Grea City.

    Sitting on the throne was the Android King. He seemed to be annoyed with Bluebird’s non-stop talking. Once he spotted Sila, he instantly stood up, walked to him, and extended his hand forward.

    “Eternal Onyx!!” The Android King’s enthusiastic attitude prevented Sila from explaining why he was late. Once Orpheus got his hands on the Eternal Onyx, he ran off. He didn’t even care about Yardpirun who was standing behind Sila.

    Bluebird soon approached him. “Ow. You were gone for a very long time. You know what? I spent time going around this place so much that it’s like my backyard now. Do you know that the deepest part of the residential area is the casino? Wanna go there to play?”

    “Casino? Do you mean a gambling place? Don’t you lose more money than you gain in that kind of place?”

    “Oh, it’s fine. There's that thing called expenses for gathering information; I can just ask for reimbursement from my guild. It’s natural that I need to spend some money to befriend the people in the casino to get my hands on the information, don’t you agree?” Bluebird gave Sila a wink before he noticed a woman’s silhouette behind him, and though he wondered why he hadn't noticed her before, he lightly poked Sila with his elbow.

    “Oho, you’re such a player, aren’t you? You were gone for a while but came back with a girl,” He lowered his voice. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me. By the way, who is she? Tell me, man.”

    Yardpirun stepped forward. Her face was smiling. “My name is Yardpirun. It’s nice to meet you, Mister Bluebird. Based on what you said, it seems you are as diligent while working as before. I should consider giving you a rise in salary.”

    Having a clear look at the woman in front of him, Bluebird’s eyes widened, and his legs were shaking.

    “B-B-B-Boss!! How did you get there...? I-I worked really hard. I didn’t slack off even the slightiest!! Please don’t kill me~”

    Bluebird’s statement revealed Yardpirun’s real identity to Sila. As it turned out, she was the guild leader of the Blue Pigeon Guild, an existence as mysterious as Zero. Only a handful of players, most of which were her vice leaders, knew her appearance.

    Bluebird had mentioned his Boss to Sila before, but he has never known that Bluebird’s guild leader was female, or that she wasn’t too inferior to the Four Emperors. 

  • edited May 2019
    Finally, the "Revisiting Beginning Island Arc" is over!
    I would like to hear words from the readers. If you don't mind, please share your opinion about the arc.
  • edited June 2019

    Chapter 152: Mechanical God's Protection


    As Yardpirun turned out to be Bluebird’s guild leader, Sila was no longer wary of her. The three of them were sitting in the palace, awaiting the return of the Android King. While they waited, Bluebird changed the subject by asking Sila to tell him about what had happened during his return to Beginning Island.

    For the record, Yardpirun sat next to Bluebird and listened carefully to Sila’s story while Bluebird was restless and couldn’t focus at all. His eyes wandered to his guild leader from time to time.

    “...And this is the Black Dragon Sword that I got from the fight against Montra. As for what happened after that, Miss Yardpirun should know.” Sila pulled out the sword for the others to see.

    “Isn’t it too easy?” Yardpirun expressed her doubt.

    “No? I died a total of four times fighting him. If it wasn’t for...” Sila tried to explain.

    “That’s not what I meant; I know that Mister Sila did your best in the fight against Montra. Rather, I’m suspicious about the fact that he left the sword behind. You might think that it’s inevitable that Montra had to abandon it, but I’m quite sure that it’s a part of his scheme. If he left the sword, that meant he wanted you to have it.”

    Sila couldn’t help but be reminded of Sanon’s warning; ‘Montra will always be planning ahead.’

    “Aren’t you thinking too deeply about it, Miss Yardpirun? It might just be that Montra was really desperate.”

    “That wouldn’t be. I’m studying Montra closely and can pretty much say that he never does anything without planning ahead.”

    Yardpirun looked at Bluebird, to which he nodded, before continuing.

    “Actually, this is my top secret. However, to show you my sincerity, I will tell you. I’m currently acting as a spy in the Heavenly Dragon Guild. My other persona is Cheris, the Star-Finishing Warlord, one of the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s Five Dragon Warlords.”

    Shocked at what he just heard, Sila was surprised that the mysterious guild leader of the Blue Pigeon Guild could sneak in and stay that close to Montra, though a lot of questions appeared in his mind.

    “And no one has ever found out about you? Surely at least one of the members of the Heavenly Dragon Guild should be able to discern your real identity.”

    Bluebird was the one to answer this question in her place. “Boss possesses the highest mastery of Mind Concealment, Disguise, and Psychic Manipulation in the game. If she wishes to mask her identity, no one can detect her.”

    Closing her eyes, Yardpirun’s body transformed into a woman with curly black hair. Her facial appearance changed completely, and even her clothing was replaced by a black kimono.

    “I can even disguise my rank. Please check if you don’t believe me,” she said with an entirely different voice.

    Looking through his system window, Sila confirmed that what she was telling him was the truth. The inspection result shown on his screen was ‘Player Cheris, Level 1000 Emperor Rank’. Emperor Rank was still uncharted territory for all players, so this information was obviously fake; that meant she could completely manipulate the information that other players saw.

    “Compared to other types, a psychic-type player has a lot of tricks up their sleeve. Besides, my main weapon is a sword, which is the most common weapon. For this reason, if I don’t slip up or show my real ability, no one will be able to tell my persona apart.” As she finished speaking, her appearance transformed back, though the information on Sila’s screen stayed the same. Witnessing this peculiar phenomenon, he started to find psychic type appealing.

    “I understand. In conclusion, you know Montra better than I do, and think that he had a hidden motive behind leaving the sword in my care.”

    “Yes. At the very least, if someone has a tracking ability, they can always locate your location.”

    Swinging the sword around, Sila found that he was, mysteriously, getting more and more familiar with using a sword. It was a unique experience for him, as he had never touched a sword even once in his life.

    “I will be careful about it, then. Do you happen to know a way to prevent him from tracking me?”

    “I know at least three methods. One, hold onto the weapon longer than the previous owner. Two, melt it down and recreate it. Three, seal it.”

    He reviewed the options in his mind and came to a conclusion. The first seemed impossible, the second sounded bothersome and he wouldn’t know when the new sword would be finished and returned to him. The war event was almost upon them, and he wanted to quickly familiarize himself with swords. Hence, Sila chose the third option.

    “Hey, Blue, among the skills we can select in Lost Grea City, is there a skill for sealing?”

    Bluebird snapped his finger. “There is! It’s even in this very palace; in the fourth research laboratory on the second floor.”

    At first, Sila barely cared about the three psychic-type skills he could obtain within Lost Grea City. However, his mind changed when he witnessed Yardpirun display her skill. It seemed he would have to quickly read the list of the skills that Bluebird had prepared.

    “The reason I came here is because I want to make a deal with you, Mister Sila. A business deal. Can we talk right now?”

    Yardpirun had told him that she had some matters to attend to in Lost Grea City, but Sila didn’t expect that her matter was related to him, and a business-related one at that.

    “Please tell me more about it.”

    Yardpirun coughed once. “The thing is, our Blue Pigeon Guild is currently dealing with serious financial issues.” She glanced at Bluebird, who avoided her gaze. “Bluebird gave me a report that Mister Sila owns two Invitation Cards to Lost Grea City. Therefore, we would like to purchase one of them.”

    Sila took the Invitation Cards out. He really owned two of them. He obtained the first when he finished the invasion and got himself another one from the Android King for the request to retrieve the Eternal Onyx.

    “I really have two. Do we have to make a trade though?”

    “Yes, we do. Mister Sila might see Bluebird as your friend, but a business is a business. We need to make things right. Of course, we can’t possibly pay you in cash as the value of an Invitation Card to any of the main cities is incalculable. Therefore, my proposal is that I will pay you with the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s detailed information, including the information about Montra himself and his important teammates. The accuracy of the information is guaranteed as I’m the one collecting it myself. Since Montra is your enemy, I personally think that this proposal will be a good deal for you.”

    Sila scratched his head; his information about Montra was indeed lacking. If he were to know more about Montra and the Heavenly Dragon Guild, he would have a better chance of winning against them.

    “What are you planning to do with the Invitation Card, Miss Yardpirun?”

    “We are going to run a new business; collecting a fee in exchange for being teleported to Lost Grea City. For your information, Lost Grea City is one of the cities that many players wish to visit. Sadly, the missions to enter the city are too troublesome, and that stops them from accessing it. As such, we can make a lot of profit by utilizing the Invitation Card.

    “As a bonus, Mister Sila will benefit from our service as well. I heard from Bluebird that you get a fair share of the profit generated in Lost Grea City, so your earnings will increase with more people entering the city. Of course, Mister Sila can choose to do this business yourself. However you seem to lack manpower, so we, the Blue Pigeon Guild, want to be your business partner.”

    “I see. Um... it’s not that I’m against your idea or anything, I’m just curious, but doesn’t Blue already have the Invitation Card as well?”

    “Yes, he does, but with two of them, we will be able to run the service in two branches. I plan to open the business in both Zhongsuyuan City and Grea City. With this, we will get more customers coming to Lost Grea City, especially since the war event is approaching; everyone wants to get their hands on a good weapon.”

    “Miss Yardpirun’s proposal sounds good to me, so I don’t see any reason to decline your offer... Anyway, my Invitation Cards are slightly different. Do you know why?”

    “The left one is fine for us. It will teleport the user to the middle of the city while the other will teleport the user directly to the palace,” answered Yardpirun.

    Sila was surprised by how much she knew. Even he, the owner of both Invitation Cards, didn’t know the difference between them. For the record, the latter Invitation Card was given to him by Orpheus; he was in a hurry to get the Eternal Onyx, so he gave Sila a card that would let him teleport straight to the palace.

    Receiving Sila’s Invitation Card in her hand, Yardpirun said, “Thank you. I have sent you all the information I have regarding the Heavenly Dragon Guild, and I will send you more if I get new information in the future. For the record, each piece of information that I sent will have a tag to indicate the certainty of the information. There are three levels: confirmed, waiting for confirmation, and uncertain.”

    Sila nodded and opened his system window to check the message. Unexpectedly, there was another unread message left in his inbox.

    From the outside world 1/1
    Immediately come to our dojo after you see this message.
    From Mora

    “Immediately?” exclaimed Sila. He wondered if something happened to the dojo as he stood up and prepared to leave. It was at that time that the Android King returned.

    “It’s completed!! My new masterpiece. Oi, kid, where are you going? Come and get your armor first.”

    Sila was restless. Teacher Mora wasn’t the type to give a lengthy explanation and the message was very short, so he couldn’t tell what had happened at the dojo.

    “Will it take a long time? I need to log out as soon as possible, sir.”

    “It won’t. Time in the game flows five times faster than reality. If we talk for five minutes, it will only be a minute in the outside world.”

    His urgency aside, Orpheus’s statement was correct; Sila still had some time. He sat down and watched as Orpheus took out the armour he was proud of creating.

    “Behold the S-grade Mechanical God's Protection; the armor with Orichalcum as the base material, enhanced by the Eternal Onyx, and produced by the world’s greatest weaponsmith.”

    The thing in front of Sila didn’t look like armor, or even clothing, at all. It looked like a simple crossbody bag made of black metal and engraved with the picture of three gears on top of a larger gear. Upon touching it, he discovered that its texture was soft and warm instead of hard and cold like metal.

    “It looks like a tiny bag,” said Bluebird, and his opinion triggered the Android King’s Mind Oppression. He quickly hid himself behind Yardpirun.

    “I said it was armor, so it’s armor. Do you take me for a fool? The ability of Eternal Onyx is ‘evolve’ so it will adjust itself to the wearer’s preference. The longer you wear it, the more it will understand what kind of person you are and thus evolve into the most ideal armor that matches you. It doesn’t have your information yet so it looks like this. All in all, I guarantee that it’s the best protection armor and you won’t ever find something better. Even if Zeref were the one who produced it, he wouldn’t be able to surpass this masterpiece.”

    It’s not that Sila didn’t trust Orpheus, but as Bluebird had said, it really looked like a bag. Regardless, he took it from Orpheus’s hand.

    “Remove your clothing first. It needs to come into direct contact with your skin. It’s also a type of clothing. Do you plan to wear clothes on top of other clothes?”

    Sila removed the upper part of his outfit and strapped the Mechanical God's Protection over his shoulder. It immediately attached to his back, and Sila soon felt like he was jolted by electricity.

    “Ouch!” Sila fell to the ground. Fortunately, the electric didn’t continue to jolt him.

    “Oh, I forgot to tell you that you would feel a bit of pain, like a mosquito biting you,” The Android King said in a carefree manner.

    Even without looking at his back, Sila could tell that the armor was functioning. All the gears engraved onto the armor were spinning; the larger gear was rotating clockwise while the three smaller gears were rotating counterclockwise.

    “Will it take a long time? It’s vibrating. My back is numb.”

    “It’s analyzing your body and evolving itself accordingly. Learn to wait. Good things always come late.”

    As he was waiting for the Mechanical God's Protection to complete its analysis, Sila got his chance to ask the Android King about something that made him curious.

    “Mister Orpheus said that this armor would have the power of a weapon, right? The Right Arm of the Sealed One also states that I can’t use a main weapon. So, what if I want to use a weapon? How can I do that?”

    “Oh? There will be no problem. You can just use anything you want to use.”

    “Eh? The system says I can’t use it though.”

    Orpheus walked over to an empty chair and lifted it up. “It depends on what you think ‘using a weapon’ means. For example, if I lift this chair up and smack Bluebird with it because that guy is so talkative that it’s annoying, will you say that the chair is a weapon?”

    Shuddering, Bluebird instantly transformed into a tailorbird and perched on Yardpirun’s shoulder, his body shaking non-stop.

    “In that case, I think the chair is considered a weapon, sir.”

    “Exactly. Monster Soul gives you a lot of freedom. By saying you can’t use a main weapon, it just means you can’t equip it. You won’t get the relevant support skill or the options attached to a weapon.”

    The advantage of being able to equip an item was the ability to summon it back and forth from the system window. Nevertheless, Sila had Hidden Weapon Firing so summoning it wasn’t a problem, though he had to manually return whatever he summoned to the system window. As for the support skill, it referred to weapon mastery skills like the one he used to possess when he used a dagger to kill slimes; it would increase his base attack power when using the relevant weapon. Lastly, the options attached to a weapon meant the weapon’s special ability, like setting the enemy on fire with a slash, increasing health recovery rate while wielding the weapon, or enhancing the death penalty for anyone who is struck down by the weapon.

    In conclusion, if Sila didn’t plan to rely on these three advantages, he was free to use a main weapon like others.

    The analysis was finally finished. All of the gears accelerated and shone a bright light that covered Sila.

    Soon, the light faded away, and the gears stopped spinning. Orpheus brought a full-length mirror out and placed it in front of Sila so he could see himself.

    Reflected in the mirror was Sila in black futuristic wuxia clothing. His short sleeves had two layers; the inner layer tightly embraced his skin from the shoulder to his elbow while the outer layer was loose and had a silver shoulder guard. The back of the armour was still engraved with the same two-layered gears. His pants transformed to jeans with a similar black color but slightly less saturated, and his shoes were deep black. Regardless of the appearance, the most important thing to Sila was being able to move comfortably. Even though Orpheus said that it was armor, it was more comfortable than any of his previous sets of clothing.

    Feeling extremely satisfied with his new gear, Sila opened his system window to read its description and asked Orpheus some questions about it, before finally proceeding to log out.

    (S) Mechanical God's Protection [Orpheus]

    A special kind of protective armor that will always adapt itself to the user’s preferences and body condition.

    *Produced from Orichalcum, but cannot collect experience points.
    + Increases both physical attack and defense points by X (determined by the user’s energy reinforcement infused in the armor, without an upper limit).
    + You are immune to all poisons and curses.
    + It will automatically promote your Rank once when you reach the maximum level of the Rank. (The exception is promoting from Lord Rank to Emperor Rank.)
    + Unbreakable.
    - Cannot be sold or transferred.

  • Just   wanna  say,  i  am  really  digging   this  novel.    I  even made  a  account   just  to  say  this.    Because  i  have  been noticing that  not  alot  of  people  say   something.    And  i  am afraid  that  u  will  stop  this,  if u  think  nobody  is  reading  it
  • dday2day said:
    Just   wanna  say,  i  am  really  digging   this  novel.    I  even made  a  account   just  to  say  this.    Because  i  have  been noticing that  not  alot  of  people  say   something.    And  i  am afraid  that  u  will  stop  this,  if u  think  nobody  is  reading  it

    Thank you! It really helps to hear that there are readers out there enjoying the translation.

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