Chapter 194

The two of them had been fighting for more than an hour. Their movements were as neat and dazzling as a choreographed show.

However, this didn’t mean their attacks weren’t extremely dangerous.

Each move contained the will to kill, and the strikes were dealt in the most effective manner and with the optimal momentum towards each other’s vital points. It was a battle between master combatants who didn’t waste any energy or conducted any superfluous movements.

The two didn’t forget the purpose of this battle. The sages were to bring out the limits of the human body and understand the maximum output of abilities that San and Biyeon had achieved as Awakened human beings. This was what everyone was curious about.

San had constantly broken through his physical limits while training with Biyeon, but it was the first time he faced such a powerful enemy.

Dam also liked San’s fighting style, as San was only attacking with his physical body. Dam’s specialty was melee combat. His whole body was a lethal weapon, and even among the sages, Dam exhibited the strongest defenses. Dam was initially confused when he saw San stand in front of him with only his bare hands stretched out in front of him. However, once they clashed their hands and feet, Dam became very satisfied. Dam had fought countless battles over the past two hundred years, but he had never had a chance to utilize his body so close to its limits.

In addition, this simple physical fighting, with San using his entire body, was what the Magic Dragon Siluone wanted the most. This was because the data for measuring the true value of San and Biyeon’s combat ability and physical development could be obtained.

Siluone would probably be satisfied with the abundance of high-quality data that had been obtained through their combat. The physical abilities that San exhibited had started off from the 3rd Stage of Acceleration but had soon reached the 6th Stage of Acceleration.

From the destructive momentum and pressure of their clashes, the surrounding area had already become so devastated that it was difficult to recognize its original topography.

Though they were locked in a fierce fight with the will to kill each other with a single blow, they were not yet able to inflict a decisive blow on their opponent.

As the fighting dragged on, Dam’s face became darker. San’s speeds were approaching a level higher than the 6th Stage of Acceleration, so it was starting to become difficult to avoid his opponent’s attacks.

Instead of avoiding or parrying all of San’s attacks, Dam started focusing on defending against as many of San’s attacks as possible. Dam had to let some of San’s attack through, so he was focusing on controlling his body’s sensitivity to pain.

Dam repelled or absorbed the incoming shocks by repeatedly strengthening and softening parts of his body. However, the shocks were starting to take a cumulative toll.

If the cumulative toll exceeded his body’s limit, his body would soon collapse from the inside. At this point, Dam couldn’t even consider counterattacking his opponent. For Dam, to have come this far in itself was truly amazing.

Dam licked his lips. He was skeptical at first. Could he really trust Siluone’s data? Dam had already felt that it was impossible to recognize San’s skills after San displayed four skills.

The amount of internal shock and damage that had accumulated in his body had almost reached his body’s limit. Dam’s body was begging for rest.

Dam grew curious about the human’s condition. Wasn’t he at least as tired? Dam would never know.

At this time, Dam heard Siluone’s order ring in his mind.

‘7th Stage of Acceleration granted. Permission to kill.’

Dam felt nervous for the first time.

7th Stage of Acceleration, wielding five skills… Increasing his acceleration wasn’t a problem. The problem was the duration.

Once he reached the fifth skill level, his limit was five minutes… five minutes was as long as an eternity in melee combat. But what if San was able to match him?

Tuk was biting her lips. Her fighting power was comparable to Dam’s. She had come here with a relatively light heart.

How should she dispense of them? What should she do to make them cough up all their secrets? How should she enjoy this playtime? However, her eyes were starting to lose the confident luster she had when she first arrived in this place. Tuk glanced at Biyeon.

She still showed no expression on her face. However, she kept changing her spectating location during the battle. Even now, Tuk saw Biyeon moving towards another location.

From a certain point, Biyeon had put on some darkened lens glasses. Thus, Tuk couldn’t read Biyeon’s eyes. Tuk was starting to get a little anxious.

The corners of Biyeon’s lips rose.

San also started smiling.

Dam’s power level started elevating. A pale light began to be emitted from Dam’s body, and the bordering lines of his face began to blur.

The boundaries between Dam’s body and his surroundings were harmonizing. The border region became transparent, as if his skin and body were becoming translucent like glass. This was a common effect when one entered the 7th Stage of Acceleration, wielder of five skills.

San’s body also changed in a similar way. Dam’s face, after seeing San also follow lockstep into the 7th Stage of Acceleration, became horribly distorted.

‘Even five skills…’

Tuk covered her mouth as she tried to stifle the moan that had already unconsciously escaped.

Biyeon glanced at her watch.

Whoosh!

Dam’s body disappeared. San’s body also became hazy as if it was melting into his surroundings.

Their battle, which had been conducted within an area of 200 meters in radius, suddenly expanded to one that was more than one kilometer in radius.

A tremendous roar erupted continuously within the enlarged battlefield as white plumes of dust rose all over the battlefield.

The battlefield was quickly changing. Huge craters appeared as the ground was dug up by more than a hundred meters every time a roar erupted. It was like a bomb was exploding and changing the physical topography of the area with each roar.

Pieces of dust and rocks were rising into the air, forming a black tornado.

Dam attacked San non-stop. In a short time, Dam poured out all his five abilities at once. Everything under the sky above earth excitedly vibrated.

Dam was clenching his teeth. He couldn’t go against Siluone’s command. Siluone was his mother, as she gave birth to his existence. Time was passing, but his opponent was still fine!

After defending against Dam’s successive attacks, San came rushing in to attack Dam. Dam felt like crying.

Dam had blood-stained eyes, dry and cracked skin like a tortoise, and streams of blood running down between his lips. A small man’s fists burst into his face like a cannonball.

Additionally, San’s knife-like toes were rushing up to meet his midsection. At first glance, Dam knew the foot strike possessed tremendous destructive force. However, he couldn’t avoid it. Then, his body trembled. Dam stumbled for the first time.

“Ugh…”

A moan escaped from the Dam’s throat. He felt exhausted for the first time in his life as the exhaustion from staying in the fifth skill level seeped into every part of his being.

His strong sense that couldn’t be regulated, a powerful shock that reverberated throughout his whole body, and, above all, an excruciatingly painful collapse was encroaching upon his mind and body.

Dam never had an edge over his opponent during the entire battle. His time was coming to an end.

Five minutes had passed. Dam’s deceleration was starting.

Dam’s eyes were still following his opponent’s movements. San was approaching him from a distant place through the air.

He’s still so relaxed? San was getting closer at an increasing speed. 

‘No, my own body is decelerating. It just looks like he’s accelerating.’ 

Dam watched San’s silhouette fade away.

Dam felt that his opponent was a decent guy. San had fought him seriously. He never evaded, and he never played any tricks. San had beaten Dam fair and square. Dam couldn’t help but acknowledge that San was above him…!

Dam felt the wind rushing in from the side of his head. He thought it was refreshing. In his mind, he could hear Siluone rambling about something. He saw Tuk rushing into the fray from afar. 

Two women were suddenly moving.

Bam! Bam!

Gunshots rang out. Biyeon was moving rapidly while firing the handguns in both of her hands. Her bullets flew precisely to where Tuk was moving to, blocking the trajectory of Tuk’s movement, and lowering her acceleration speed. As Tuk was moving, she couldn't understand what was happening.

‘Was there ever a human being that was strong enough to challenge Dam…?’ Tuk thought as she moved closer to Dam.

At the same time…

‘You’re going to try and save your partner? That’s your choice?’ Biyeon thought as she observed Tuk’s movement.

Biyeon’s bullet swerved in the air and flew towards Tuk. Tuk looked at the bullet that she couldn’t avoid. No, she didn’t avoid it. Tuk misread Biyeon’s intent as she was fully focused on following Siluone’s urgent order: save Dam. 

A lump of metal the size of a pea was flying towards her. Tuk chuckled.

‘A piece of metal, what could…’

Pop!

Something exploded above Tuk. A strange powder plume was created. The exploding bullet that released the strange powder was from a bullet that Biyeon had shot in the beginning. Tuk held her breath and leapt forward.

The scattered powder stung her face as she passed through the plume.

‘Metal dust…’

Tuk continued to smile. There was still a fleeting possibility that she could save Dam. If she could just accelerate…

Tuk grit her teeth. The timing was tight. The human man’s fist was already touching Dam’s head. Dam’s head was starting to tilt back as if it was hit by a sledgehammer.

Tuk couldn’t help her jaw from dropping open. One side of Dam’s face was collapsing. A scream erupted afterward. The skin of Dam’s face cracked and crumbled like a brittle cookie.

As she was running towards them, Tuk took out and swung her sword. A gust of wind squealed violently as Tuk’s strike approached San.

Tuk had already reached the 7th Stage of Acceleration. She was almost at her destination.

‘It’s still possible…’ 

San’s foot was crushing into Dam’s neck while his other foot was cutting into Dam’s side near his heart. 

Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!

A second set of Biyeon’s bullets successively landed on Tuk’s body.

However, Tuk didn’t stop… Tuk didn’t believe she stopped. However, in reality, her body did not go any further.

“?”

One of the bullets that had penetrated her body exploded.

‘Hydrochloric acid (HCl)?’

Once she recognized the substance, her body reacted immediately and switched to a defense mode. A base neutralizer was secreted from her glands. However, before she could even move, another bullet went off.

‘Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)?’

Her body’s defense system was in chaos; it was confused about what to use as a neutralizer.

Another bullet went off. The third bullet released fine needles made of Archon bones and exploded in all directions like sparks from a firecracker.

The Archon bones ravaged her internal system and pathways that were used to release Awakened energy. Another bullet containing an anesthetic exploded. A sodium bomb bullet followed soon after.

Tuk’s body twisted bizarrely in midair like a broken doll. An expression of despair was frozen on Tuk’s face.

Dam’s large body had been pulverized into fine dust. The scene seemed unrealistic, like seeing an abstract image of oneself reflected in a twisted carnival mirror.

“How… Dam…”

Tuk dropped her head.

They had hesitated for a split second. Their mother, Siluone, had misjudged the situation. Tuk made the fatal mistake of intervening in Dam and San’s battle. Her body, a sage’s body which was supposed to be the pinnacle existence of a human body that can counter virtually anything thrown its way, succumbed to internal explosions of foreign substances. 

It was Tuk’s decisive mistake in allowing Biyeon to shoot her bullets and land them. Tuk had already figured out that they were both at least five skill wielders, but she allowed Biyeon’s bullets to land.

With more explosions and chemical reactions still churning all over her body, Tuk found a safe place to land.

After settling in a place where she could at least protect her back, Tuk watched her opponent’s movements.

“Why?”

Instead of attacking, the man named San was backing away.

Seeing this, Tuk thought, ‘Is he planning to leave? Why? Did he run out of time too? What about the woman?’ 

The woman in the glasses, Biyeon, also stepped back as she fiddled with something in her hands.

“I’m sorry, but…”

Biyeon’s calm voice echoed in Tuk’s ear. Tuk frowned. Her stomach churned as the chemicals and things in her body seemed to be reacting all together.

Concentrated Nectar? She suddenly felt better. However, Tuk grit her teeth. Beyond the 6th Stage of Acceleration, nectar acted like poison.

It interfered with the clarity of one’s senses and cut off the route within one’s body to accelerate further. An unfocused body could not sustain the power of acceleration.

Therefore… Tuk’s utter despair was wrapped in a bodily sense of pleasure. She straightened her staggering body.

Biyeon was still manipulating something in her hands. Tuk heard the last few lines conveyed to her by the gods.

“It was all a trap…?”

“Don’t try to know too much. You’ll get hurt.”

Flash!

A flash of light went off. It was an EMP flashbang. Tuk’s eyes were dazzled and blinded by the burst of light. The metallic dust that had covered her body earlier was sizzling and boiling over her skin. The heated metal dust penetrated through her skin.

Tuk, who momentarily lost her senses from the sudden explosion of electromagnetic waves, instinctively leaped upwards. 

‘I need to get out of here…’

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