Vol 2. Chapter 29: Dragon Devouring Ghost Blade, and His Brother II (4)

“Kuwang…”

Boom!

A shadow wolf with a horn on its head fell to the ground. Even though it was similar to the other shadow wolves in size and temperament, it possessed the power of black lightning, giving me a hard time.

Level Up!

You have obtained 10 stat points!

Current level: 1, 1, 5

Current experience: 25%

“What the hell.”

I shook my head in disbelief as I observed the level-up message.

“Ah, what’s with the required experience? Isn’t this ridiculous?”

I had been running around the outskirts of Seoul for over 10 hours, slaughtering countless shadow wolves. But I had only reached level 5, which was absurd. I had killed hundreds of shadow wolves so far, which meant that the required experience to level-up was increased by more than 5 times every level.

You will need a lot more time to get to level 10.

“I’m basically a cheater, but it’s still this difficult. How did other people level up?”

For months, years, decades, or over their entire lifetime.

“Is that so?”

I nodded while sitting down on a nearby bench. I could see the statues of King Sejong and Yi Sunshin in the distance, and Gwanghwamun Gate beyond them. I had already arrived at my destination, but I could not enter right now. The situation was not very good.

Shii—

Steam was constantly rising from my body. My skin was dry and cracking, and my muscles were fully revealed. My current body did not even have 0.1% body fat. It was a pretty nice sight, but not a good condition for a Life Energy Practitioner. My body had far surpassed those of normal human beings, and it consumed an enormous number of calories by maintaining its state. If I left my body in its current state without taking any action, my body would start breaking down my muscles to turn them into an energy source. A loss of that caliber wasn’t the type of thing that could be recovered in a day or two.

There was a famous saying among the Life Energy Practitioners of the Leonhardt Empire.

The most important thing for Life Energy was nutrients. The second most important thing was food. The third most important thing was nutritious food.

It was a joke, but it clearly revealed one of the defining advantages of Life Energy. Even though Life Energy was the strongest ability of them all, possessing both strong offense and defense, its drawbacks were as clear as its advantages.

Life Energy was dependent on one’s physical state. It lacked spiritual attacking powers, and if the supplies to the body were cut off, its combat prowess plunged pathetically. Obviously, controlling the direction of evolution would allow one to establish a style of combat in a way to increase sustainability, but it would come at a cost of giving up the unique, explosive strength of Life Energy.

Wiing!

A drone with a white box was descending next to the bench where I was sitting. I had the ability to see the essence of things anyways, so its shape was clear to me. However, it was a transport drone with optical camouflage that could not be detected by humans as well as monsters or beasts with sharp senses.

Click! Chiii!

The box opened up while letting off steam. I took out the familiar energy bar from the box and started munching on it.

“Ugh, sweet.”

Would you like me to change the taste composition of the energy bar? Until now, we have been sending you the most preferred flavor of the imperial army.

“What? Why would they prefer this flavor the most? Are they high school girls? Why would they like something so sweet?”

The energy bar was much sweeter than a regular cake or a parfait. As I stuck out my tongue with a frown, Genie replied.

Then I will change it to the second most popular flavor. BBQ.

“Good, that sounds a lot better.”

I continued to chew on the energy bars as I nodded my head. Although it was only half the size of a palm, each bar contained as much as 10,000 calories. It was roughly equivalent to about 20 hamburgers each, but I ate as many as 30 of these energy bars in one sitting.

300,000 calories.

It was not something that humans could consume. In terms of hamburgers, it was like consuming 600 of them. The amount of food with 300,000 calories would easily exceed my weight!

In fact, even Life Energy Practitioners did not maintain a diet this extreme. It was rather easy to increase the amount of food a practitioner consumed, but much more difficult to reduce it afterwards. No one in their right minds would continuously take in such large amounts of calories.

What would they do if there was an emergency, and they didn’t have access to this amount of food?

Perhaps it would be different once someone reached the level of a completer and reached the first completion of their body, but for a Life Energy Practitioner below that level, it would be the best to maintain a diet consisting of similar calories.

Wiiing! Click. Chiek!

Gulp! Gulp! Gulp!

I took out all the canned drinks from the newly arrived box and drank them all.

It’s Pure Spirit Water.

“It’s something so precious. Am I allowed to drink it like this?”

There are over 100 tons stored as supplies for the imperial army, so you do not have to worry. Even though it is a potion, its ingredients are quite common. It can be mass-produced.

I gulped down the potions while listening to Genie’s explanation. As the meal progressed, the steam rising from my body gradually disappeared and my dry skin began to regain its glossiness and tension.

“Phew.”

I finally finished my meal.

Crack Craaack!

I could feel that my body was gradually changing as it greedily sucked in the newly introduced nutrients. It was evolving to produce and withstand stronger vibrations.

“Good.”

This was the growth of a Life Energy Practitioner – to consume all the energy before refilling the empty body with food and drinks. The same process may be important for other ability users as well, but it was especially true for Life Energy Practitioners. In fact, my body had made great progress while fighting against the shadow elves.

That was not all.

After fighting for more than 10 hours, I was getting more accustomed to Brilliant Heaven Seven Lights. Although Brilliant Heaven Seven Lights was a technique I had been training in my Unique Field, nothing could beat training in real battles.

Even so, you can’t even beat a single Gigas, right? Ha, I can’t believe I have to come all this way to watch over battles of this caliber.

“Oh, come on.”

I became annoyed by Ares’ words. He continued.

But why do you avoid getting hit?

“What do you mean by that? I block and dodge promptly.”

Other Life Energy Practitioners that piloted me purposefully fought while getting hit by attacks they could avoid.

“No, that’s just stupid.”

I stopped there. Come to think of it, Ares’ words made sense. Life Energy was a power of evolution. Practitioners became stronger as they used more power. Your endurance increased the longer you moved, and your regeneration and durability increased as you got hurt more and recovered more frequently. Considering that the body of a Life Energy Practitioner evolved in the direction of the body’s needs, it was also important to receive many blows. Anything that would not end my life would only end up serving as material for growth.

“Hmm…”

I sank into thought for a moment as my body underwent evolution. Then I shook my head.

“I would rather not get hit.”

Well, if you say so.

He backed off quite easily. Even though Ares had a boatload of experience, he was not a creature but a gigas. He respected my judgment as a practitioner.

‘There is no need to increase my defenses.’

Normally, the typical position of a Life Energy Practitioner in a battle was a tanker, semi-tanker, or dealer/tanker – a being with a strong body capable of both offense and defense. But I had no intentions to dedicate myself to such roles. I wasn’t going to be having any party play. Was that all? I had the title Disaster of Mankind with the attached ability of resurrection. I had never died before, but a title wouldn’t lie to me. Moreover, even if I was not able to resurrect,

‘Hawa.’

I had the promise of Hawa, an Untouchable, one of the heads of the Legion. A High-rank God would not be able to break their promise, so this was much more reassuring than my ability to resurrect.

“All right.”

After my body finished evolving, I stood up from the bench. I could feel that my physical capabilities had reached another level. With their job done, the transport drones flew back towards the Albatross in the sky.

By the way, are you all right?

Genie asked me as I started to walk towards Gwanghwamun Gate.

“About what?”

That the golden knight was revealed to Kwan Yeong-min-nim. I thought you were reluctant to reveal the extraterrestrial civilization.

It was definitely a reasonable concern, but wasn’t it just a little bit late? But come to think of it, Genie must be assuming that I would be leaving the Lee Family at any time. To her, the Lee Family was nothing more than a small force in the periphery of the universe. I nodded while responding.

“There’s no need to hide it from my brother or my father. Besides, there are magical golems on Earth already, right? In terms of rating, the Golden Knight is similar to the golems made by the Great Wizard.”

Obviously, even if that were the case, the Golden Knight would achieve an overwhelming victory if pitted against the magical golems of Earth. It wouldn’t matter even if their durability, power output, and features were similar. The critical difference between the Golden Knight and the Sejong and Sunshin Statues was that the golden knight possessed an Iron Heart.

It is a difference in civilization.

“Yeah, it sure is.”

It was said that all kinds of weapons were used in space battles until five hundred years ago: Quantum artillery, charge particle cannons, nuclear warheads, anti-matter missiles, beam weapons, etc. But… about 300 years ago, during the midst of the Great War, the weaponry of the Great Universe underwent another revolution. The Kendler Saints had succeeded in creating the heart of steel, the Iron Heart, which produced magical power. The exact terminology for the Iron Heart was Magical Energy Mechanical Organ.

Its function was simple. When the Iron Heart started to beat, an enormous amount of energy was generated from inside of the heart. If scientists from Earth saw the Iron Heart, they would be shocked. However, the Great Universe was filled with all kinds of authority and grand magics. Its function wasn’t particularly unique. There were countless objects in the Great Universe that could produce their own energy. Even without such objects, ability users trained in mana could be considered living generators that could produce enormous amounts of energy with nothing but three meals a day (except for the Life Energy Practitioners).

In the end, it all boiled down to this – the type and scale of energy produced. Magical energy wasn’t a unique force like faith. It wasn’t rare, nor was it special or particularly great. Moreover, its shortcomings were great (difficult to control and slow growth), so it could not be considered a mainstream energy. It was a maniacal method of training.

However… the Iron Heart was able to produce such energy in bulk. The situation escalated to an entirely new level.

When the Iron Heart was first unveiled by the Kendler tribe, it was said that the entire universe was shocked speechless. Strong, renowned beings belonging to the emperor class and even Untouchables weren’t able to hide their shock. They possessed high knowledge and insight, and they were quickly able to realize what changes the Iron Heart’s invention would bring to the Great Universe.

The Iron Heart was a great invention that might have been buried by powerful beings if not for the presence of chaos due to the Great War.

The problem was attribute superiority.

It was an almost-absolute characteristic of magical energy. Magical energy was like water faced with fire. When faced with water, it behaved like tree roots sucking up the moisture, and faced with wood, it became a scorching fire.

Was that all?

When magical energy came in contact with mana, it took on the attribute of magic resistance. Confronted with qi, it adapted properties of dispersing energy. Faced with divine power, it oppressed the opponent with godly powers. Magical energy possessed an edge over all types of energy with the exception of godly powers and its strength was amplified the higher its class was compared to the other energies.

In cases of simple subenergies without any attributes, magical energy wasn’t simply superior in terms of attribute. It came close to outright ignoring or having immunity to such energies. It wasn’t complete immunity, but very close to it. As such, barriers created with magical energy would be able to block the detonation of dozens of nuclear bombs.

Therefore, existing spacecraft and weapons could only be brutally defeated when they encountered battleships of gigas equipped with Iron Hearts. How could they pray for victory when their shields were easily pierced by the enemy’s basic attacks and when their missiles could not put a dent in the enemy’s basic shields?

Magic golems utilized mana, so they would fare better than physical weapons. But even so, they could not escape the attribute suppression by the Iron Heart. They would need to use nearly five times more mana to bring the battle to a stalemate, but it wasn’t as if Iron Hearts produced only a small amount of magical energy. Rather, in terms of output, an Iron Heart was much more efficient. It would be producing much more energy compared to mana cores. The terra-class battleships would not have been able to use an Iron Heart as their source of energy otherwise.

“Stop!”

As I passed the two golems, Sejong and Sunshin, a group of around a dozen people blocked my way.

“What?”

It was a sudden appearance. It would have made more sense to me if they had been waiting inside Gyeongbokgung Palace, but they had been standing by in front of the gate.

“The Lee Family is currently at a historical crossroad. Unless you are a part of the Lee Family, you are forbidden from entering!”

“…..?”

I wasn’t angry or anything. Just dumbfounded.

What were these idiots talking about?

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