Chapter 135

“You should try fighting it.”

“What?”

Sungyoon's mouth reacted before he could even think. It showed how surprised he was. However, Hyunwoo had already taken a seat nearby.

“Hmm? What’s wrong? There is no way you want this old man to fight, right?”

He spoke in a nonchalant manner.

“… I’ve been wondering since our last meeting. How old are you?”

“Me? I’m 59 years old. I’ll be celebrating my 60th birthday next year.”

If he considered that this man was a friend of Jimin’s father, Sungyoon should have expected this. Still, he felt baffled at the sight of a Connector with the face of a 20-year-old man stating that he would turn 60 soon.

As if Hyunwoo was making a show of it, he started to tap at his back like an old man. Sungyoon's sense of dismay deepened.

“Aigo. The only thing left for an old man like me is to die.”

“….”

“Don’t look back at me like that. Hurry up and fight it. If you get in trouble, I’ll save you. A high rank Connector is looking out for you in your battle. I know you can’t experience this in your company.”

“You have a point.”

He remembered the time he had seen a beginner Connector being trained by a high rank Connector within the Beginner’s Labyrinth. He remembered being envious of them.

As the training montage from his memory played in his mind, he realized one of the strongest Connectors would do the same thing for him.

“Moreover, I know about your previous experiences. I’ve also assessed your Devices and Gems. You can take down an Ogre.”

Did Hyunwoo’s words buoy his confidence? Sungyoon took a firmer grip on his ax and shield.

He slowly approached the monster walking at a brisk pace toward them. Unlike his nonchalant manner from before, Hyunwoo became dead serious as he looked at Sungyoon’s back.

‘I wonder what his battle sense is like.’

Sungyoon had progressed so far that it was almost unbelievable that he was a 1st Gen. Of course, the standards varied. But, Sungyoon was around the level of a high rank 2nd or 3rd Gen Connector.

Even if one’s quality of power was high, it didn’t mean all of that power could translate into the ability to fight.

‘If I’m basing it off his words, he shouldn’t be too bad.’

Not too bad was an understatement. He was probably very good. Therefore, Hyunwoo’s eyes turned sharp since he didn’t want to miss any of Sungyoon’s movements.

Tuhk!

Sungyoon came to a stop after closing the distance to the Ogre. As always, he pushed his shield forward and gripped his ax.

Unlike the man who had come to a stop, the Ogre raised its speed. It turned its brisk walk into a full sprint.

Boom! Boom!

The enormous monster let out loud noises.

Ooh-uhhhhhhhh!

It once again let out a loud roar. However, this roar was a bit different than the earlier one, and this time it contained a massive amount of murderous intent. It was the roar the monster used when hunting its prey.

In a flash, it reached Sungyoon and swung its fist. Sungyoon’s eyes remained wide open as he kept them trained on the incoming fist.

‘Let’s focus on redirecting the blow for now.’

He had to get an estimate on how strong the Ogre was. He even unsummoned his ax, so as to only focus on blocking with his shield.

Boom!

A heavy blow landed on the shield.

However, the fist couldn’t damage the shield. And as he had intended, the man deflected the fist upwards.

‘Huh?’

He became surprised. The force that had impacted his shield was powerful, but it was much lighter than he had expected.

The Ogre’s second fist was already on the way.

‘Let’s try this.’

This time, he placed his shield squarely in front of him.

Boooom!

‘Koohk!’

Sungyoon didn’t redirect the fist like before, so the impact he absorbed was much larger. However, it wasn’t unbearable.

Hyunwoo's words replayed in his mind.

[Moreover, I know about your previous experiences. I’ve also assessed your Devices and Gems. You can take down an Ogre.]

Sungyoon was starting to see the truth to his words.

‘At this level….’

Sungyoon resummoned his ax.

Ooh-uhhhhhhh!

The Ogre became really mad when two of its attacks failed. It clasped its hands as it swung downwards. It was using its height to its advantage.

Sungyoon quickly dodged to the side.

Hoo-oong!

A violent sound rang out. The power in that attack was enough to cause chills to run down one’s spine. As expected, the power generated using two hands couldn’t be compared to a one-handed attack.

Bul-duhk!

Sungyoon immediately got up. A bead of cold sweat ran down his cheek, but it wasn’t an unpleasant feeling.

‘Should I open up some distance?’

Sssssk!

He unsummoned his ax and shield. Then, the halberd made its appearance. 

Hyunwoo had been watching the battle, and Sungyoon’s action caught his eyes.

‘Is that it?’

He had heard it from Sungyoon, but seeing it with his own eyes was something else. His Gem activation speed was shockingly fast.

‘It is within 0.1 seconds. No. It is almost useless to talk about time.’

It really was instantaneous. This special attribute would become Sungyoon’s greatest advantage as a Connector.

“Hoohp!”

Using the long reach to his advantage, Sungyoon stabbed the Ogre with his spear blade.

Puh-uhk!

The monster's arm struck the halberd from the side. Sungyoon couldn’t overcome its strength, so his halberd was flung away. 

A normal Connector would be in trouble at this point, but Sungyoon reacted to the crisis in a simple manner.

Hoohk!

He didn’t slow down as he unsummoned the halberd, and charged forward while raising his shield.

Boom!

The shock was transferred through the shield. The Ogre quickly tried to block Sungyoon from getting close, and it swung its arm.

Sungyoon’s progress stalled, and he slid back a little bit. But his shield disappeared, and the halberd reappeared. Sungyoon swung the weapon.

Because the ogre had swung its arm in desperation, it couldn’t react to this attack.

Kwah-jeek!

The ax blade of the halberd pierced the Ogre’s arm.

Ggoo-uhhhhhhhhhhh!

The monster screamed in pain.

Sungyoon was taken aback by the result.

‘It is this easy?’

Although he had met resistance, it didn’t feel like trying to cut through tough leather with a blunt blade.

After being injured, the Ogre started moving in a more violent manner.

Koo-uhhhhhhh!

The monster indiscriminately attacked Sungyoon.

It swung its fist and kicked out.

Using its massive body, it also tried to slam him. But Sungyoon remained calm as he blocked all the attacks.

In truth, he was feeling a bit overwhelmed. His nerves were frayed, and it felt as if his throat was burning. 

However, he was starting to corner the Ogre.

Many wounds had appeared on the monster's body.

Most of them were small, but a couple of them were critical.

Still, the Ogre was tough. It used the pain from its wound to boost its rage, but its body was starting to slow down.

This deterioration gave Sungyoon some room to breathe. He was able to go more on the offensive.

Kwah-jeek!

The ax struck the Ogre’s thigh.

The edge of the weapon got caught in something hard. It seemed Sungyoon had sliced through leather, skin, and muscle to reach the bone.

Koo-ahhhhhh!

The Ogre attacked once again.

Sungyoon slid past its attack. He had unsummoned his ax and shield so that he could move in a more agile manner.

As soon as he dodged the attack, he summoned his halberd. He placed the hook behind the monster's leg as he pulled.

Hwee-chung!

He couldn’t make the Ogre fall, but he was able to make it lose its balance.

Puh-uh-uhk!

He once again summoned and brought down his ax, aiming for the forearm this time.

Then he let go of the weapon and immediately retreated.

Hoo-ook!

The ax, which had been embedded in the wound, disappeared. It reappeared in Sungyoon’s hand.

Sungyoon was clearly at an advantage, but this didn’t mean he could kill the Ogre in short order. Even as it bled all over the place, the monster was putting up a desperate fight. 

‘Should I try it?’

There was a move that he wanted to try out. It was something that had always been on his mind 

Sungyoon unsummoned his ax, and pushed his shield forward.

Hoo-oong!

A fist flew toward him once again, but Sungyoon deflected it again.

He did his best not to be pushed backward. Then he summoned his halberd and raised his shield.

The Ogre knew an attack would be coming, so it quickly extended its hand.

However, this attack was different compared to his past attacks.

The man brought down the ax blade of the halberd with all his might. And when the blade was about to land on the Ogre’s hand, something happened.

Boom!

Sungyoon let his magical energy flow into his Gravity-magic Gem. 

In a flash, the gravity increased eight-fold.

Surprisingly, the spell wasn't directed toward the Ogre. He had placed it on himself.

‘Koo-ooooooook!’

As he felt the increase of gravity on his whole body, he continued to bring down the halberd with all his might. The increase in gravity meant an increase in acceleration. The speed at which the halberd was coming down had increased.

Speed meant power, and weight also meant power.

The halberd clashed against the Ogre’s fist.

Until now, although he could inflict critical wounds, the wounds were only deep enough to cut a little bit into the Ogre’s bones. However, this strike was different.

Kwah-doo-doohk!

The sound generated was different. The halberd split apart the Ogre’s fist, and the ax blade kept traveling forward until it came to a stop at the middle of its forearm.

Ggoo-uhhhhhhhh!

The Ogre screamed. This pain was on a different level compared to the pain from before.

It desperately swung its other arm.

Boom!

Sungyoon summoned his shield, and it clashed against the Ogre’s arm once again. 

However, Sungyoon wasn’t pushed backward this time. The increased gravity on his body hadn’t dissipated.

He stood tall like a large boulder. After he released his spell, he once again summoned his ax.

The man immediately brought it down. 

Kwah-jeek!

The ax pierced the Ogre’s chest, and the monster let out another cry.

It tried to attack Sungyoon, but the connector had already raised his shield.

Puh-uhk!

Since he had released his spell, he was pushed back a couple of steps this time. But that was all. He didn’t suffer any significant damage.

In comparison, one of the Ogre’s arms was rendered useless, and there were wounds all over its body.

The result of the fight was obvious.

Boom!

After a small amount of time, the Ogre finally fell. The lifeless monster bled out on the floor. After Sungyoon made sure it was dead, he stared at the corpse.

‘I did this...’

The Ogre had easily won against the Bigfoot. And his fight with the Ogre had been arduous, but he was able to solo it.

“Didn’t I tell you it’d turn out like this?”

Hyunwoo walked in a cocky manner.

“I told you that you'd be able to kill it at your skill level.”

“Yes, you did.”

Still, it wasn’t an easy fight. Sungyoon unnecessarily wiped at his brow.

“You have an interesting fighting style.”

“What do you mean?”

“You fight as you switch between weapons.”

Hyunwoo had been deeply moved by the sight of Sungyoon fighting.

“I’m assuming this fighting style is possible because your Gem activation speed is fast?”

“Yes. I found that it is advantageous for me to switch to a weapon best suited for the moment.”

“You also instantaneously activated a spell too.”

The Gravity magic wasn’t visible, so he couldn’t pick up on everything. However, Hyunwoo guessed that Sungyoon had placed a spell on himself instead of the Ogre.

“Yes. I increased the weight of my weapon to increase its destructive capability.”

“You are quite creative. Are you sure this is your first time fighting against an Ogre?”

“Yes.”

Hyunwoo thought about Sungyoon’s battle.

Since it was the man's first time fighting the Ogre, he had taken it slow to get a gauge of the Ogre’s power. Then he started attacking the monster with very well-timed attacks.

‘Then there is the Gem activation speed...’

Sungyoon was able to take great advantage of his Gem activation speed. If a Connector failed to use one’s awesome ability to great effect in battle, it was like placing a pearl necklace on a pig.

From what he had observed, Hyunwoo would give Sungyoon’s battle sense a passing grade. No, he would give a higher grade.

It seemed Sungyoon wanted to observe the Ogre before it disappeared. He kept poking it with his halberd. Hyunwoo inwardly laughed when he saw this.

Hwahk!

Suddenly a light appeared with the labyrinth. Hyunwoo and Sungyoon naturally turned to look at the source.

The ball of light in the air signaled the imminent appearance of a monster.

“It seems another one is about to appear.”

Unlike the tense Sungyoon, Hyunwoo’s voice held no emotion as he scratched his chin. The light started getting larger and larger as it got ready to spit out a monster.

Hoo-ook!

Then, the light disappeared as fast as it had appeared. 

But a monster was left behind in its place.

Sungyoon’s face stiffened. After defeating the Ogre, confidence was starting to sprout a little bit from between his beaten down self-esteem. However, his confidence went back into the cave when he saw the monster that had appeared from the light.

The newly arrived monster was that intimidating. Hyunwoo revealed its identity.

“It is a Cyclops.”

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