Episode 225. The War Dragon’s Form (2)

Once he confirmed that it was Kim Seon-Hyeok he was seeing from far away, the warrior dashed towards him. 

“Hyuuung-niiim!”

He had believed Seon-Hyeok was alive, but a corner of his heart had still been anxious. 

“Hyung-nim! Hyung-nim!”

Even though Seon-Hyeok looked emaciated, he seemed to have grown even more than before and now that Park Joon-Min had seen his brother’s return, it finally felt like everything was back in its place.

But the mood was ruined before he could even rejoice in the meeting.

[Stop. There's a fighting spirit.]

A sudden burst of energy blocked his path. 

It was like a hungry predator was staring at him from nearby.  Without realizing it, his entire body tensed.

I smell a beast?

The odor of a fierce beast was too penetrating for him to just pass it off as a feeling.

“Apostle?”

The temple knights looked confused when Joon-Min suddenly stopped.

“Hm.”

The warrior didn’t answer. No, he couldn’t answer. As the seconds passed, the increasing energy enveloped his entire body like glue.

Where is it?

It wasn’t hard to find the epicenter of the energy since from the start, the enemy didn’t plan on hiding.

Smirk. 

A fierce-looking man covered in dust bared his yellow teeth as he smiled at them. It was the terrifying grin of a snarling wolf. 

Park Joon-Min’s face hardened at the unidentifiable energy. The young man who had been delighted to see his brother became appropriately stern as the Apostle of God. 

“Darun.”

At that moment, Kim Seon-Hyeok stepped in, and as if it never happened, the energy that was unpleasantly covering his body disappeared.

“Don’t overdo it.”

“I was just about to stop.”

The man shrugged before suddenly extending his hand.

“Pleasure to meet you, I’m Darun.”

A smile appeared on his face again. It was a cheerful smile that was completely different from the bloody smile earlier. 

“Darun is the leader of one of the largest tribes in the North.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok stepped in to fill the gaps when Park Joon-Min frowned at the ridiculously short greeting that served as a self-introduction.

“Park Joon-Min, a warrior.”

The self-introduction was equally short.

Grip.

The two men grabbed each others’ hands, hard, as they stared at each other.”

“Haa.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok sighed shortly when he saw Park Joon-Min and Darum trying to pressure each other.

“It’s been a while, Joon-Min.”

When he said that short phrase to get rid of the odd atmosphere, Park Joon-Min suddenly shouted. 

“Hyuuung-niiim!”

All thoughts of Darun were gone from his head. 

***

“That’s what happened.”

After exchanging belated greetings with the archbishop, Kim Seon-Hyeok moved locations and told Park Joon-Min everything that had happened. 

“Anyway, Joon-Min, you be careful too. Your enemy is a real monster.”

“Hyung-nim, I wasn’t just playing here, either.”

Park Joon-Min didn’t pay much attention to what he was saying.

“Stop messing around.”

“I’m not messing around. I really did get strong.”

It was useless to warn him again. Park Joon-Min was confident in his own achievements.

“At the very least, I’m confident I won’t lose.”

And even Kim Seon-Hyeok could see that the warrior had grown a lot.

“No, that’s not enough.”

Nevertheless, he had no choice but to be skeptical of the warrior’s words.

It’s not enough. He’s really not strong enough.

He could clearly envision the warrior being defeated horribly after facing the devil.

“You’ll die if you face the devil in that state.”

Park Joon-Min’s pride must’ve been bruised at those words because his expression wasn’t great. But, Seon-Hyeok didn’t take back his words.

Seon-Hyeok couldn’t let the warrior, who believed in his strength, die at the hands of the devil.

“Even if you’re my Hyung-nim, you’re wrong this time.”

Joon-Min still didn’t seem convinced by Seon-Hyeok because his face expressed that his pride had been hurt.

“Haa, guess it can’t be helped.

There was only one way to narrow the difference in opinion.

“Let’s see if you’re right.”

***

In the plains, somewhat away from Panthea, Kim Seon-Hyeok and Park Joon-Min stood facing each other.

“Hyung-nim, I really don’t think this is right.”

Joon-Min looked troubled as he urged him to reconsider several times, but Seon-Hyeok remained firm.

“We’ll see if your confidence is recklessness or not after this.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok seemed to be thinking of checking whether the warrior was strong enough with his own body.

“You don’t have your dragons, why don’t we do this after they’re back?”

But Joon-Min seemed to have a different idea. He seemed confident of his victory as he instead worried about Kim Seon-Hyeok.

“If not that, then at least the spear. I heard that it was from the Earth Spirit King.”

Kim Seok-Hyeok shook his head and responded nonchalantly.

“It’s not like we’re going to fight to kill, is there really a need to use it?”

“Oh, I really don’t think this is right.”

When Kim Seon-Hyeok didn’t look like he was going to change his mind, Park Joon-Min grabbed his Holy Sword and took a stance. But, the stance looked careless and had no spirit to it. 

“Hyung-nim, I’m saying this again, but don’t get upset if you lose. You don’t have your dragons yet while I have Balmung.”

The fight hadn’t even started yet, but Park Joon-Min was acting like he had already won.

“Alright. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Kim Seon-Hyeok grinned as he crooked his fingers. It was a clear provocation. And that provocation worked. 

“I’m telling you, I’m different from before.”

With his bruised pride, Park Joon-Min’s eyes became fierce.

[Since it’s become like this, finish it quickly. He knows that he’s not complete, so it won’t be too frustrating.]

“I was going to do that.”

The Holy Sword riled him up further and the warrior agreed with it.

Ooooh.

Light gathered around the Holy Sword and that light surrounded his body. It became the sacred armor and shield of God. It was the Divine Armour, a unique skill of a fully awakened warrior. 

That wasn’t the only change. 

The Holy Sword covered by light slowly became clear until it became a sacred flame.

The Holy Flame that could burn mana. The true appearance of the Holy Sword was finally revealed. 

This right here was the true image of the warrior that was praised by the soldiers.

“I’m being serious right now, so Hyung-nim, you’re going to do everything you can to…”

Before Joon-Min’s warning was finished, a golden light exploded around Kim Seon-Hyeok as if he had been waiting. 

In an auspicious light that was no less than a holy splendor, the Dragon Knight shed his human form and became a draconian

“Huh?”

But the draconian’s shape was completely different from what Park Joon-Min remembered. 

His back was aggressively bent forward while his head was that of a drake’s, but it was so perfectly compatible that there was no feeling of awkwardness. 

Flare.

Red flames poured out between the rough jaws resembling that of a drake. There were no signs of a human being anywhere in that appearance.

[A War Dragon’s form…]

The Holy Sword, Balmung, murmured to itself as it felt the dragon’s spirit overwhelming its surroundings. 

“A War Dragon’s form?”

[It is the most powerful strength that a dragon could give to his companion.]

The Holy Sword had never lost its composure before, but now, it was very stiff. 

[It is the symbol of a draconian coming close to completely awakening.]

Joon-Min gulped at the Holy Sword’s words. He no longer had the confidence to look down upon the dragon knight who didn’t have his dragons. 

[Get ready!]

The Holy Sword cried out.

[The fighting spirit of a dragon doesn’t disappear until it bites into its opponent’s neck, so this fight is no longer a relaxing sparring session!]

“What bullshit is this?!”

Their positions had changed. The warrior who had been trying to end the fight as soon as possible was now in a situation where he had to worry about his own neck.

“You said it was just a test!”

[There’s no time to talk!]

Kim Seon-Hyeok’s test was much more violent and dangerous than Joon-Min thought.

“Kaaahhh!”

The draconian howled fiercely and pounded forward.

[He’s coming! Get ready…]

Before the Holy Sword even finished his warning, the draconian was at his nose.

“What the hell! Why’re you so fast!”

The draconian’s speed in appearing in the blink of an eye wasn’t normal.

"Wings! The War Dragon shouldn’t have wings?!”

Park Joon-Min found out the cause of the abnormally fast speed. There was a pair of blue wings of the draconian’s hunched back. He hadn’t run forward, but flew skimming the ground.

“Hup!”

When the draconian charged forward without worrying about defense, Park Joon-Min quickly widened his stance and breathed in. It was the perfect defense posture with a shield covering his entire body standing tall between himself and the draconian.

Bang!

His feet left the ground with an impact that seemed to shake him to his very core. With the combination of speed and heavy mass, Park Joon-Min couldn’t withstand the draconian’s charge and flew into the air. 

[Here he comes again!]

But the draconian was just starting. With his wings spread wide, he followed close and raised his fist.

[You can’t stop it!]

Joon-Min was at a disadvantage in both posture and fighting spirit. The destructive power behind the draconian’s fist was impossible to stop when he couldn’t even fix his stance as he flew through the air.

“I know that!”

The Holy Sword covered with the Holy Flame stretched out towards the draconian. Considering the draconian’s strength, it wasn’t enough as a counterattack, but would be enough if he used the draconian’s own power as he rushed towards him.

If the draconian didn’t pull back his fist, then it would be no different from throwing himself on the end of the sword.

It was a bold and timely combination that came from hardwon experience, but the draconian’s response was beyond the warrior’s experience.

“Ack!”

The world turned upside down. It wasn’t really the world that turned upside down, but Joon-Min had been flipped over by someone else.

The draconian had reached out and grabbed his foot. 

Joon-Min managed to come back to his senses and covered his upper body with the shield in preparation for the impact.

Bang!

The warrior was struck again. 

This time, he couldn’t even fly backwards to absorb the shock. The draconian’s grip on his ankle wouldn’t let him move backwards.

“Keok!”

His head was ringing and it felt like his entire body was breaking apart. It was like a bomb had gone off inside his body.

[Focus!]

Warm energy rose from inside his body with Balmung’s voice. The pain in his organs that had become a mess from the pummeling instantly eased and his vision that had been fading returned. 

It was thanks to the healing powers of the Holy Sword Balmung. 

Keok.

Having come to his senses, Park Joon-Min pointed the Holy Sword at the draconian from an unstable posture.

“Holy Cannon!”

The Holy Flame gathered at the end of his sword and like a cannonball, shot towards the draconian.

Bang!

Absurdly, the draconian blocked it with his fist. 

“Cough.”

The cannonball made out of holy force shattered. However, for the first time since the battle started, the draconian took a step back. 

He couldn’t completely shake off the impact of the concentrated holy force. 

Tap. 

From the ground, Park Joon-Min shook his throbbing ankle. The divine power that instantly rose healed his swollen ankle before gathering at the end of the Holy Sword again.

“Holy Can…”

Before the skill was fully activated, the draconian, who had stepped back, disappeared leaving only an afterimage.

Whoosh.

The sulfuric breath puffed out from the draconian and onto Park Joon-Min's back. He turned and raised his shield.

“Hap!”

The draconian’s fist hit the shield. But this time, the attack only pushed him back a couple of steps.

The divine power had permeated his muscles and became his support.

Bang! Bang!

Fists pummeled his shield. 

“Keok.”

Joon-Min stepped back as he prepared to counterattack. He was waiting for the draconian tearing at his shield to catch his breath. 

He had to wait a long time as he retreated backwards while frantically blocking the draconian pounding on his shield with brute force. 

[Now!]

Joon-Min threw aside his shield at Balmung’s signal. Then, he grabbed the Holy Sword with both hands and turned his body sideways. 

God’s Attack that had torn apart countless demons headed towards the draconian. 

Grab.

The draconian met the attack with his bare hands again. But the difference was, this time, the Holy Sword, and the draconian’s hands, were covered with a golden light that was similar to the Holy Flame. 

“Balmung!”

[As God wills it, there is no one who can stop it!]

As if reciting a poem, the pleasant sound of the Holy Sword’s voice heralded the Holy Flame’s blast. 

“If you don’t let go, you’ll get cu… Huh?”

A question arose in the eyes of the warrior who had been sure of his victory. 

Two hands were holding onto the Holy Sword, so what were those giant hands coming towards him?

“Why do you have four hands….?”

Before he could get an answer, the draconian’s hands grabbed both of his shoulders.

“If not that, then at least the spear. I heard that it was from the Earth Spirit King.”

“It’s not like we’re going to fight to kill, is there really a need to use it?”

Red flames began spouting out from between the draconian’s wide snout.

“I thought you weren’t going to kill meeeeeee!”

[Divine Shield!]

The Holy Sword Balmung activated its strongest defense skills to protect its master just as the draconian’s burning breath poured out. 

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