Befitting its title as the Temple of Deep Darkness, the entire place was obscured in darkness.
Kang Oh pulled out a Light Sphere that he'd bought from the Tower. To put it simply, a Light Sphere was a flashlight. A magic flashlight to be more precise.
"Light," Kang Oh uttered, causing the apple-sized sphere to glow.
The Light Sphere cast away a portion of the darkness, slightly revealing what was inside. There were large, rectangular pillars here that were equidistant from each other.
'Where's the demon?'
Kang Oh began walking around.
He had his Hyper Intuition, so he didn't have to worry about being caught by surprise. If he felt even the slightest chill, then his body would instinctively react.
However, he explored the temple for quite some time, but he hadn't encountered the demon, let alone a trace of it.
He expected to find a temple coated in blood, or skulls rolling around, but he saw neither blood nor skulls anywhere.
Kang Oh continued to look around.
He eventually found something new. It was a bell and mirror.
The large, blue bell was more than 3 meters tall, and the mirror was 2 meters wide. It was almost as if the bell was meant to be struck. After all, there was a mallet with a round head off to the side.
"Hoo." Kang Oh took a deep breath, and then forcefully swung the mallet.
A bright, resonant chime rang out. It was the deepest, grandest peal he'd ever heard.
Kang Oh immediately drew Ubist and Sarahoff. He needed to prepare himself in case Vladi appeared.
But something interesting happened. The surface of the mirror rippled like water.
At that moment...
It was the same roar he'd heard in Talastrum.
'That's where you are.' Kang Oh placed his hand atop the rippling surface of the mirror. His hand went straight through.
It wasn't all that surprising. After all, the God of Life, Luhan, had imprisoned one of the Mayanes in a mirror world! He'd experienced it once before.
Kang Oh pushed through the mirror, causing his surrounding environment to change completely.
He found himself in a vast wasteland. Kang Oh could see sparse patches of dried yellow grass, but he didn't see any trees or giant rocks; there wasn't anything here that he could use to hide himself.
That must be why he found Vladi so quickly.
[You have discovered Talastrum's Demon, Vladi.]
[He is an ominous being.]
[Your strong willpower keeps you from flinching at the sight of him.]
A demon. A truly apt term for him.
He was a demon made of blood! To be more specific... His face was round like a lizard, his eyes were covered in a dark red membrane, and it as though the sides of his lips were torn. The demon's arms and legs were long, yet his stomach was flat.
Vladi also possessed a tail that was as large and thick as a dinosaur's.
His stomach grumbled loudly.
The flatness of his stomach and the grumble that was as loud as a clap of thunder…! These were clear indications that Vladi had starved for several years now.
He opened his mouth, and his thick, long tongue came shooting at him.
Kang Oh's right thigh felt cold, so he immediately moved to the side.
The red tongue struck where he'd once been. The tongue, long like a whip, squirmed around. At the same time, Vladi retracted his tongue and rushed forward.
Several hooks protruded from his long right arm.
'Those look like they'd hurt. But that's only if they hit!'
Kang Oh swung Ubist upward in a vertical line.
His jet-black blade sliced off the arm. No, it only looked like it sliced it off.
However, he didn't feel anything. This held true when he 'cut' off Vladi's arm too. Plus, there were no shards of light accompanying it.
'It didn't work.'
He didn't cut through anything. If he did, then Demon Sword Ubist's special ability, Abyss Blade, would have activated.
Whatever the case, he was certain that his attack had missed. Plus, Vladi's attack hadn't ended yet.
Vladi followed through with his right arm.
Kang Oh quickly shielded himself with Sarahoff, so he didn't take much damage. However, he could feel how powerful Vladi was.
Sarahoff's purple blade shook from the force of impact. Still, Kang Oh couldn't afford to lose the momentum.
"Haahp!" Kang Oh counterattacked.
Ubist cut diagonally, leaving behind a clear white line in the air.
This time too, Vladi's body was cut apart. However, he didn't feel anything. There were no shards of light either.
Kang Oh swung his sword a few more times while Vladi bombarded him with attacks. Since red spikes could pop out from anywhere on his body, and sharp red fragments shot out of his hands, it was quite hard to deal with him.
His entire body was a deadly weapon!
'Blood was like this.'
Kang Oh had faced Blood, a demon that bore several similarities, during the demon sword's trial. Because of that experience, Kang Oh was calmly able to respond to Vladi's erratic attacks.
The problem was... his attacks weren't working.
'His liquid body isn't impossible to cut. My attacks are actually missing altogether.'
To put it into perspective, it was like Vladi's blood body would move out of the way right before his sword made contact. Kang Oh was cutting nothing but air.
Of course, to the untrained eye, it would appear like Kang Oh was hitting him. That's how quick Vladi's body shifted and changed.
'His evasion is incredible.'
Kuharap had relayed incorrect information to him. It wasn't that Vladi's liquid body prevented him from taking any damage from physical attacks; it's that he avoided all of them!
Since he'd figured out Vladi's special ability, he now had a lot of options to try out.
A roaring golden tiger shot out of Demon Sword Ubist. However, this too missed, as Vladi hollowed out his body.
After that, similar events repeated.
Kang Oh would attempt various AoE attacks, all of which would miss.
Because Vladi could transform his body at will, Kang Oh hadn't managed to hit him even once. Vladi was even able to dodge the Fire Bomb with ease!
'I've never seen someone with such high evasion. If that's the case, then...' Kang Oh's eyes gleamed.
Vladi transformed his long leg into a crescent moon and swung it at Kang Oh's neck. Kang Oh ducked, but sharp spikes protruded from the leg.
The blood spike stabbed Kang Oh, as he'd reacted a bit too late this time. However, Kang Oh wasn't worried about that and just swung Sarahoff.
Only his purple longsword moved at a normal pace in this slowed world.
He definitely felt that.
Vladi's body writhed, and shards of light burst from it.
'You just need to attack him faster than he can transform.'
He'd finally landed his first attack! In the process, he'd discovered the proper way of fighting him!
"Now then, let's go at it for real."
It was Kang Oh's turn to go wild.
* * *
Mad Wind's Sword!
His twin demon swords danced through the air.
The wind blew. It started out as a gentle breeze.
Vladi didn't feel threatened by Kang Oh's attacks at all. That's why he focused entirely on offense, rather than defense.
At first, Vladi overwhelmed him. However, Kang Oh kept swinging his swords, regardless of how much damage he was taking in the process.
The tides had turned.
Mad Wind's Sword increased one's speed the more they swung their swords!
Kang Oh's twin demon swords had definitely started as a gentle breeze. However, that gentle breeze had, at some point, transformed into a gust of wind, and had even become a typhoon.
He overwhelmed Vladi with his quick, fierce assault.
Sensing danger, spikes popped out all over Vladi's body. It was like he was a red sea urchin.
However, that wasn't enough to stop Kang Oh. Though his body was pierced in the process, Kang Oh swung Ubist downwards and Sarahoff horizontally.
He definitely felt something in both of his hands. Since he'd attacked faster than Vladi could transform, his attacks had landed.
Vladi let out a low cry.
'Let's go!' Kang Oh tightened his grip and intensified his assault.
"Haahk, haahk." Kang Oh breathed haggardly.
His Stamina was dropping quickly. Plus, Vladi's sea urchin-like body pierced and scratched his body, dropping his HP just as quickly.
However, Vladi took much more damage than he did. Especially from Ubist, as Abyss Blade was effective against him.
Darkness Strike activated at times too. His swords were swung at such speed, only to be amplified by a powerful wave behind them. They too had struck Vladi's body.
In the end, Vladi backed off first.
Of course, Kang Oh had no intention of letting him go.
"Where do you think you're going!?" Kang Oh stepped forward and continuously swung his swords.
At that moment...
Vladi folded his hands together and struck the floor.
The ground shook, but that wasn't all. The blood fragments that Vladi had shot...! The drops of blood rose from the ground and hovered in the air.
Vladi crossed his arms. Then, the drops of blood shot right at Kang Oh.
There were dozens, no, hundreds of them.
His body felt cold.
Kang Oh briefly weighed his options. He could either stop attacking and block the drops of blood, or press his offensive and allow himself to get hit.
It'd be difficult to finish off Vladi as is. Thus, he decided to pick the former.
His necklace glowed with light.
The barrier protected him from the hundreds of projectiles.
Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!
The sound of fireworks exploding kept going and going.
Kang Oh quickly drank a health potion. By the time he was finished drinking it, the barrier had disappeared.
Now, he was forced to either block the drops of blood with his swords or dodge them.
Indeed, the drops of blood were quite hard.
'Now that I think about it, whenever Vladi attacks with his blood spikes or his arms, they're solid, not liquid.'
Not only was he capable of transforming his body at will, but he was also able to solidify, or harden, his body as well.
Vladi snarled from afar. Then, his body changed.
'The 2nd phase, huh.'
Kang Oh kept his eyes fixed on Vladi.
* * *
When the community saw the Empire Guild's string of defeats, they hoped that they'd fall to ruin. Just like the Hercules Guild!
However, the battle of Grendal Desert had turned the tides of the war.
Like a fire that was sparked on a dried field, the Arabas Kingdom conquered more and more of the Baiyan Kingdom's territory.
By now, half of Baiyan had gone to Arabas.
- Phew. I guess Empire's not #1 for nothing.
- Is there any way to beat Arabas... No, is there any way to beat Empire?
- Mm, nope. After all, Dellas's reinforcements have already been beaten.
- What about Storm and Breaker?
- The war would've been over ages ago if not for them.
- There's no turning things around. Arabas, no, the Empire Guild has already won.
- Man, I really wanted the Empire Guild to fall. I guess that ain't happening now.
- Damn it!
The community lamented over Empire's success. After all, the rich were only getting richer!
They were jealous of their success.
Normally, people who hated the Empire Guild hated the world itself. After all, that was how the world worked.
Anyhow, there was no way to stop the Arabas Kingdom anymore. After all, Baiyan's military was completely broken at this point.
The Baiyan Kingdom mustered up what forces they could and had their last stand at Tamor Fortress.
It was futile. But there was one thing noteworthy about this battle; Black Lion, Raon, and Spear King, Hernandez, fought Dukeram two on one.
Although he knew the war was lost, Hernandez was determined to kill Dukeram. Raon, deciding that it was worth a shot, joined in and requested a duel.
The result was shocking.
Numbers rank 3. The Black Lion, Raon!
Numbers rank 8. Spear King, Hernandez!
Although they fought him together, they were completely destroyed by Dukeram. It was a complete massacre.
People couldn't help but shudder at Dukeram's strength. He was the real deal.
After that, Dukeram was given a new title.
The One and Only God, Dukeram!
'There exists two realms in the Numbers. The realm of the gods and the human realm. The One and Only God, Dukeram, lives within the realm of the gods. No one can approach him!'
The title came from this anonymous post.Previous Chapter Next Chapter