Chapter 231. Life Vessel

Finally!

"We've made it to the top!" Bart pushed the double doors open.

"Mm."

"It's not here."

Rohan and Viper said.

There was a transfer magic circle in the middle of the room, but no life vessel anywhere. What's worse, there was no guardian here either. 

"The life vessel is in the Sun Tower. We'll have to trust in Mr. Kang Oh," Rohan said.

"Tch. Do you really think he'll be able to do it by himself?" Viper said, furrowing his brow. 'This hunt's over,' he thought. 

"He will," Bart said. He'd fought Kang Oh twice before, so he knew that he was the real deal. 

"Then let's trust in Mr. Kang Oh and regroup with the main force," Rohan said.

"Alright."

Bart's party headed for the magic circle. This magic circle would transport them to Andura Temple, where the main force was fighting Eclipse. 

Swoosh.

They instantly disappeared.

* * *

Kang Oh reached the top of the tower before Bart's party did. However, he hadn't been able to destroy the life vessel yet. The reason was simple. It was because of the life vessel's guardian. 

The Ruin Knight, Ulzad!

Like any other Death Knight, Ulzad was covered in black armor. Unlike a normal Death Knight, however, Ulzad's eyes were red instead of blue. 

Plus…!

There was a huge difference in combat ability. A Ruin Knight was at least three times stronger than a Death Knight. In exchange, its ability to command troops was subpar.

So long as he was here, destroying the life vessel would be an impossibility. 

'Alright, it's time.' 

Even though he was on the clock, Kang Oh didn't rush and waited patiently for his opportunity. More specifically, he was waiting for Everlasting Darkness, Lightning Breath, and Tempest Tiger to go off cooldown. 

Kang Oh pulled out some armor from his inventory. He'd spent a pretty penny to buy Todo's Armor for this expedition.

"Eat!"

Gluttony!

Ubist's darkness instantly consumed the armor.


[Demon Sword Ubist has consumed Todo's Armor.]

[It is an AA-rank item.]

[Entering Gluttony mode.]

[For 20 minutes, the demon sword and your character's abilities are tripled.]

[You may use one of the consumed item's abilities.]

['Showtime' has been chosen.]


Showtime.

For 10 seconds, all of his skills, magic, and item effects would be doubled in power. However, it had a cooldown of 10 minutes. 

'For 10 seconds, it really is showtime.'

Kang Oh dashed towards Ulzad. He was currently assuming the guise of the Jet-Black Demon, so his tail swished through the air. 

Ulzad likewise charged at him.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

Kang Oh and Ulzad crossed blades several times. Even though Kang Oh was empowered by both Gluttony and Devil Trigger, Ulzad wasn't being overwhelmed. That's just how powerful he was.

Of course, over the course of time, Kang Oh would eventually win. However, he couldn't afford to take it slow; he was on a time crunch after all.

'I have to finish him off ASAP! If that's the case, then...'

"Uhaaahp!" Kang Oh attacked him with even greater ferocity. Slash was the only skill he used. 

On the other hand, Ulzad used every skill in his arsenal. 

Aura of Ruin!

Terrorizing Strike!

Heras Family's Swordsmanship!

Thrust of Death!

In an instant, Ulzad had taken over the momentum. Kang Oh gritted his teeth. He managed to withstand Ulzad's assault through his Hyper Intuition and his high evasion. 

However... he quickly came to his limit.

"Ugh."

He'd shown a clear weak spot, and Ulzad punished him by attacking the area with a Terrorizing Strike!

Then...

'I'm going!' Kang Oh reacted belatedly. From an outside view, it seemed clear that Ulzad's blade had struck first. However, Kang Oh had a trick up his sleeve. 

Transcendent Blade!

Swish!

Ubist cleaved through Ulzad's body with transcendent speed. Ulzad didn't dare utter a cry of pain. However, the flames in his eyes flickered unsteadily.

'Now!'

Ulzad had unknowingly driven himself into a corner, giving Kang Oh a golden opportunity to finish him off! He couldn't afford to let this go.

"Showtime!"


[It's showtime!]

[For 10 seconds, all skills, magic, and item effects are doubled in power.]


He'd start slow… with an Abyss Claw! However, Ubist's darkness was by no means 'weak'.

Bam!

His attack dented Ulzad's armor. 

Tempest Tiger!

Demon Sword Ubist glowed with golden light, and a roaring tiger dashed towards Ulzad. 

Boom!

Ulzad's body soared into the air. Kang Oh then pointed the tip of his sword at him.

Lightning Breath!

Crackle!

The lightning blast hit Ulzad dead on, and pushed him into the wall. 

'Please die already!' Kang Oh swung Ubist downwards.

Everlasting Darkness!

A system message reminded him that he'd lost a few of his stolen stats, and a violently swirling darkness consumed the Ruin Knight whole. 

"Haa, haa." Kang Oh breathed haggardly, and plopped onto the floor. He'd just used everything he had!


[Stamina is depleted.]

[MP is depleted.]

[You cannot move.]

[If you rest, then your Stamina and MP will slowly recover.]


[You have defeated the Ruin Knight, Ulzad.]

[You have leveled up.]


'I did it!'

Once he could feel his body again, Kang Oh drank an MP potion. Then, he approached Ulzad's body, which had pretty much been pounded into dough, and picked up the key.

'Hurry, hurry!' He stuck the key into a safe situated in the center of the room.

Clatter.

He opened the safe, revealing the Lich's life vessel within. Kang Oh grabbed Ubist in a two-handed grip and raised his sword into the air. Then, he thrust as hard as he could.

Crack!

The sound of broken glass resounded throughout the room. The black soul within popped out, and returned to its original resting place, Lich Eclipse's undead body. 

With this, Eclipse was no longer immortal, and wouldn't have infinite MP to use against Helena and her team. It was now just a high-rank undead that could cast magic.

'We're almost there!'

He could almost taste victory, but he wasn't out of the woods just yet. Destroying the life vessel had taken him 25 minutes. If his team couldn't take Eclipse down in 10 minutes, then they'd have to face two Bone Dragons too. They had to kill Eclipse before then.

'No matter what!'

Kang Oh immediately sent Bart and Helena a message.

- The life vessel has been destroyed!

* * *

Eclipse and Helena countered each other's magic. Unfortunately, Helena wasn't able to completely stop Eclipse. As a result, a lump of bone exploded at the center of their ranks. 

"Guaahk!"

"Ugh!"

The power was beyond their wildest imaginations. One healer and one DPSer, both of which possessed low defense, were killed instantly. Two others, who had also been caught in the explosion, were on the brink of death.

"Healing spells! Hurry!" Plum desperately yelled.

The druid, Yericka, forcefully swung her staff.

Rapid Growth!

Light of Life!

Mother Nature's Warmth!

She continuously cast healing spell after healing spell. Due to her efforts, the two dying members managed to survive. 

After that, Helena focused entirely on Eclipse, and another misstep like that didn't happen again. However, it's said that the smallest of cracks can cause a dam to collapse. The death of two of their teammates was, in essence, that crack. The hunting team began losing against the undead army. 

Then...

Bart's party, who'd gone through the Moon Tower's magic circle, joined the battlefield. 

"We're here!" Rohan yelled, and then launched two consecutive Chi Torpedos.

Boom, boom!

His attack created two explosions, which sent a skeleton and a Dullhan flying. 

The Assassin, Viper, used Shadow Transfer and hid within the shadows. He reappeared behind a Death Knight and landed critical strikes one after another.  

"What about the life vessel?" Plum asked Bart.

After using Skill Fusion and unleashing a destructive attack, Bart said, "It wasn't in the Moon Tower. We have to rely on Mr. Kang Oh now.

"Mm, understood. Anyhow, I'm glad you're here. We'll be able to hold out a little longer with you here."

"Yes." Bart stepped forward.

Their presence (one of the Numbers and two high rankers) was a godsend. They plugged the holes that resulted from the death of two of their teammates, allowing the team to somewhat recoup their strength. 

Of course, this was only possible because Helena was keeping Eclipse busy.

Time went on...

The more time passed, the more anxious they got. Though time was ticking down, they hadn't heard from Kang Oh, and the situation was getting progressively worse.

Viper approached Plum. "Should we retreat? Mr. Kang Oh might've died," he said.

"No. He hasn't died, so let's keep going a little longer," Plum firmly said.

"How do you know that?"

"Mr. Kang Oh is part of the Numbers. I know since I've seen Ms. Helena in action. They're a special breed."

"Mm." 

Plum was so sure of his success that Viper didn't even try to convince her anymore. 

"Tch, I guess it can't be helped." Viper clicked his tongue and joined the battle once more. He didn't trust Kang Oh; he trusted Bart and Plum, who both had faith in him. 

They say that good things happen to those who believe.

"Kuaaaaaaaaaaah!"

A horrific cry resounded throughout the room. From Eclipse's mouth no less! It grasped at its chest with both hands. At the same time, two-thirds of the undead army collapsed.

"This is..." Plum looked shocked.

"The life vessel has been destroyed!" Bart yelled.

That was the only possible explanation. Then, Kang Oh sent a message.

- The life vessel has been destroyed! 

The situation had changed immediately. The undead army staggered, and Eclipse couldn't regain its composure.

"Plum, now!" Helena yelled. 

Helena's voice snapped her out of it, and she began to command her team once more. 

"Everyone focus on Eclipse! We have to kill it before the Bone Dragons arrive!"

Honorable One's Command!

"Ooooh!"

"Alright!"

"Ok, Unni!"

"Let's go!"

The team raised their voices. They felt a small sliver of hope form in their hearts. 

"Mm, to think he'd actually succeed." Viper scratched his cheek.

'The Numbers truly are special.'

Anyhow, he moved quickly. As Plum had said, their main priority was killing Eclipse.

"Hoo, let's focus on recovering our MP," Helena said.

"Yes, Guildmaster!"

The five mages providing her with MP nodded simultaneously. 

* * *

'We can do this!' Plum clenched her fist.

She watched as her team wailed on Eclipse, and became sure of their success. The others thought the same.

However...

"Ugh, I, I don't want to die!" Eclipse yelled desperately. Then, he threw his scythe away and stretched out both of his arms.

"W-What is he doing?"

The team panicked at Eclipse's sudden action.

"Keep attacking him! We can't let him do whatever he's trying to do!" Plum yelled.

Helena, who'd been focused on replenishing her MP, had a bad feeling about this and cast a spell immediately.

Flame Pillar!

Exploding Lightning!

Ice Fang!

With Overload in effect, she cast several powerful spells. They made contact with Eclipse's body and exploded. However, Eclipse didn't cower away.

"Come. Come to me!" The undead bodies scattered about began gathering around Eclipse.

"Attack!"

"Keep attacking!"

The hunting team kept up their assault. However, they couldn't finish Eclipse in time. In the end, Eclipse transformed into a completely new form.

Its giant body consisted of chunks of flesh and bone, and emanated a frightening, gloomy energy that rose from its body like a haze.


[Eclipse has equipped itself with a Giant Bone Golem.]

[Destroy the Bone Golem and kill Eclipse.]

[Please hurry. The Bone Dragons are coming.]

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