A single sword.
The snow-white blade emanated red light.
It was mysterious, so much so that just looking upon it would dim one's consciousness, but at the same time, it also felt ominous for some reason!
Although the hilt was plain, the leopard ornament that hung at the end of it was quite striking.
It was thinner and shorter than Ubist. He supposed it was the perfect one-handed sword.
This sword was none other than...
Demon Sword Blood!
Eder and Sephiro marveled at the sight of Blood. After all, it was quite the beauty!
"Don't touch it! You may be forced to take the Trial of the Demon Sword," Kang Oh warned.
Right after pulling Ubist from the adamantium, he’d been forced to undertake the demon sword’s trial.
Unbeknownst to him, Eder had been reaching out for the sword. Luckily, Kang Oh's voice broke his trance.
"Hehe, I didn't even know I was reaching for it," Eder quickly withdrew his hand.
Kang Oh appraised Demon Sword Blood while examining it.
[Demon Sword Blood]
Blood, the demon that made all beings within the Great Forest tremble in fear, is sealed within this sword. Energy as red and thick as blood emanates from the blade.
Minimum Requirements: Unknown
There wasn't much he could find out about it.
Kang Oh thought back to what he knew.
A mixed-blood, born from a demon and a human, that possesses the ability to absorb others' HP. It becomes more powerful the more blood it absorbs, and was once powerful enough to spread terror throughout the entire Great Forest.
Blood's trial must have something to do with its ability to strengthen itself by absorbing blood. That was its speciality after all.
'Whatever the case, I'm pretty sure all I have to do is beat it in a fight... Why did Grande Loxia call it a tortured soul? And what did he mean by 'be merciful'?'
He felt like Grande Loxia's message was really important.
But as of now, he had no way of knowing what the meaning behind it was.
"I'll know when I get in there."
Ultimately, Kang Oh decided to undergo the Trial of the Demon Sword.
In a way, overcoming a demon's sword trial was the destiny of a Demonic Swordsman.
"Eder, Mr. Sephiro."
"I'm going to undertake the demon sword's trial in order to take ownership of it. The trial will begin when I take hold of the sword."
"I see," Sephiro nodded his head.
"Keep your weapons at the ready. If, and I mean if... I change in some strange way, then please kill me."
"What?" Sephiro widened his eyes.
‘What the hell is he talking about?’ Sephiro thought.
"If I fail the trial, then the demon within will take over my body. I'm telling you to be ready just in case."
There was no guarantee that everything would go as planned. Thus, he needed to have some sort of insurance.
Dying to his teammates would prevent him from losing the demon sword.
Eder placed his mace over Kang Oh's head, ready to smash it if necessary, and Sephiro notched an arrow and aimed it at Kang Oh.
Kang Oh extended his hand and tightly grabbed Blood's hilt. Then, he forcefully raised the sword.
[The Trial of the Demon Sword will now begin!]
Red energy instantly exploded outward, filling the entire room.
Then, the world seemed to spin.
* * *
By the time the world stopped turning, Kang Oh had arrived in a familiar, yet unfamiliar location.
He was within an enclosed space; the walls were white, there was a forked road, and crystals lined the ceiling, illuminating the area.
'The Parmarl Underground Labyrinth!'
He was definitely somewhere within the labyrinth, not Grande Loxia's grave.
At that moment, he received a system message.
[This is both a trial using Blood's memories, as well as the Parmarl Underground Labyrinth of old, where Blood and Grande Loxia did battle.]
[To pass this trial, you must defeat Blood when it was at its strongest, at the time when it terrorized the Great Forest.]
The trial was simple.
Fight and defeat Blood.
The problem was... he wasn't sure how strong Blood was in the past, back when it had terrorized the Great Forest.
Kang Oh moved himself around and examined his body.
No problems here!
There weren’t any issues with his demon sword, his armor, Kunta's Ring, Gladion's Dagger, or the belt that carried his daggers either.
He could open his inventory, and his potions and return scroll were there too.
'It's different from Ubist's trial. It doesn't limit your abilities.'
Which meant that Blood was powerful enough that there was no need to limit the challenger's abilities.
Kang Oh swung his sword through the air.
'Skills still work, and the MP cost and cooldown are still the same.'
After that, Kang Oh took out the Maronibe Black Horn Bow that he'd bought from Sephiro and hung it on his belt.
He was getting it ready so that he could use Gluttony at a moment’s notice if necessary.
"Alright, let's go."
Kang Oh, who'd finished checking everything over, began exploring the labyrinth in search of Blood.
He heard the shriek of a Lizardman, and instinctively knew that that was where Blood was located.
Kang Oh dashed towards the noise.
'Is that it!?'
Kang Oh saw Blood's back as it grabbed the Lizardman by its throat.
It tightened its grip and broke the Lizardman's neck, causing it to shriek!
Blood absorbed the shards of light that fell from the Lizardman’s body.
Blood threw the Lizardman's dead body away and turned around, staring at Kang Oh.
It was a humanoid monster with a lithe body; its build was definitely smaller than Kang Oh's.
However, its entire body was made up of red blood!
Its appearance made him wonder if that was what a person's shadow would look like if it was colored red.
The red, sloshing oval-shaped face reminded him of an alien's face, as it only possessed eyes and nothing else.
Blood's form was both frightening and bizarre, and it reeked of danger as well.
It stretched out its hand towards him. Then, its arm rapidly extended, coming right at him!
Kang Oh felt a chill at his chest.
He gritted his teeth and quickly protected his chest with his sword.
Its extended arm struck his demon sword.
Although he'd mounted a defense, Kang Oh was completely overwhelmed by its might. It not only forced him back ,but caused him to smash into the wall as well.
Shards of light exploded out of his body, which were absorbed by Blood’s outstretched arm.
Kang Oh had only been hit once, but he could already tell how powerful Blood was.
So he used Gluttony immediately.
Darkness erupted from his body, devouring the Black Horn Bow that hung on his belt.
[Demon Sword Ubist has consumed the Maronibe Black Horn Bow.]
[It is an A-rank item.]
[Entering Gluttony mode.]
[For the next 13 minutes, the demon sword and your character's abilities are tripled.]
By the time Kang Oh's body began emanating jet-black energy, Blood had attacked him once more.
In the blink of an eye, it had approached Kang Oh and swiped with its five fingers like a tiger clawing at its prey.
It wasn't just a simple swipe. Red beams of light were emitted from its fingertips.
His Hyper Intuition gave him a fierce warning.
Kang Oh's abilities were tripled by Gluttony, so he could move as quickly as lightning.
Where he'd once been, as well as the wall that had been behind him, had been sliced through. This was a result of the red beams of light at its fingertips.
Kang Oh got behind Blood and swung downwards.
He swung as fast as lightning!
Then, spikes protruded out of Blood's back.
Nevertheless, Kang Oh followed all the way through and cleaved through its back.
Red shards of light burst from its body.
At the same time, Kang Oh couldn't help but be stabbed by the protruding spikes.
Red spikes pierced his abdomen! It stung as if someone had slapped his stomach with the palm of their hand, and shards of light spilled from the wound.
Blood absorbed the shards of light, replenishing its HP.
In order to get back into position, Kang Oh retreated.
'It's crazy strong.'
As if it wasn’t strong enough with its strength, speed, transformative abilities, and blood body, it could even absorb its enemy's HP to become stronger!
Blood was indeed powerful enough to terrorize the Great Forest.
'But I can't lose.'
Blood may be overpowered, but he was even worse.
"Hoo," Kang Oh caught his breath and looked for any opportunity he could exploit.
Perhaps it was because Kang Oh had managed to land a hit, but Blood didn't rush in as recklessly as before.
There was a brief lull in the battle.
'Dragging this out is only disadvantageous for me. But I don't think I can overpower it as I am. In the end... even though I don't want to, I have to use it. I have no choice,' Kang Oh made his decision.
He'd used Devil Trigger often as of late, so his assimilation rate was approaching 70%.
Using it for 1 minute equated to a 1 percentage increase, so if he used it for more than 30 minutes, then he'd be forced to take the Trial of the Demon Sword again.
'I have to end it before my 12 minutes of Gluttony are up.'
Darkness erupted from Demon Sword Ubist, engulfing Kang Oh's body.
A short while later...
Shadow Ubist roared. Demon Kang Oh had descended upon the world once more.
His face was covered in a beast-shaped mask, and a jet-black tail protruded from behind. In this form, Kang Oh's entire body was covered in black!
'Let's end things quickly.'
Kang Oh immediately rushed at Blood.
Then, it punched him.
Kang Oh swung Ubist at the incoming fist.
A jet-black line followed the path of his sword.
His sword cleaved through the back of its hand, causing it to burst with shards of red light.
'I have to push it back!'
Kang Oh attacked even more aggressively than before.
However, Blood retreated far back, widening the distance between it and Kang Oh.
After that, drops of blood the size of a fist fell, and joined together to form blood spears.
The blood spears flew towards Kang Oh's vital areas, starting with his heart!
Kang Oh drew Gladion's Dagger. He avoided the first blood spear and then threw a dagger.
He dodged the second blood spear as well, and drew his second dagger.
However, Blood easily dodged the daggers.
'As I thought. Distractions won't work. I have to completely overpower it!'
Kang Oh dodged the third and fourth spears, and dashed towards Blood.
Ultimately, Kang Oh and Shadow Ubist simultaneously attacked it.
Splurt, splurt, splurt!
Spikes came out of its entire body. It reminded him of a red sea urchin.
Moreover, a tail shaped like a snake came out of its tail region, protecting it from Ubist.
'I can do this!'
Despite the blood spikes, Kang Oh didn't retreat. Instead, he used Abyss Shield to protect himself.
Kang Oh surrounded himself with a thin layer of Abyss Shield, preventing the spikes from perforating his body.
Kang Oh forcefully swung his sword downwards.
A golden tiger arose from his jet-black sword like the sun rising in a dark night sky.
Tempest Tiger’s power was tremendous when using both Gluttony and Devil Trigger.
Not only did it push back the protruding spikes, but it had struck the center of Blood’s body head-on.
Shards of light the size of watermelons burst from its body and soared through the sky.
Next came the raging whirlwind.
However, the blood that comprised its body seemed to gather into a spherical shape, and then instantly turned into a gigantic bat.
'What is that?'
He was wary of Blood's new form.
Blood forcefully flapped its wings!
Once it got through the whirlwind, it flew deeper into the labyrinth.
It was obviously running away.
"Damn it! Hey, stay right there!" Kang Oh quickly followed it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter