Chapter 141 - Hatch (7)

The calm eyes started to fill with turmoil.My son is still alive? His voice was full of disbelief. The Saber God had been looking out occasionally after regaining his awareness, and since he’d managed to keep track of what was happening, he’d given up any hope that his son would survive.

With the Cheonghwado destroyed and Red Dragon not able to freely operate because of the Summer Queen’s condition, no one would protect his son. But the cause of all the trouble was telling him that his son was alive. At first, he couldn’t believe it, but Yeon-woo’s sincerity was palpable. Yeon-woo uncrossed his arms, and said, “If you don’t believe me, follow me.” He didn’t wait for a response and began walking away. The Saber God stared at him and followed after him quietly.

***

Yeon-woo arrived at a medical facility in the village. Hanbin was in a deep sleep after being treated and his haggard face was wrapped in bandages.

Bin. The Saber God was lost in sorrow at seeing his son in that condition. He understood what had happened without needing to be told. His son had spent his life drowning in drugs because of his pain, and being cut off from that and getting tortured in addition would clearly leave him in that state. Although the One-horned tribe was treating him, they didn’t put up with his mulishness, and he lived in constant anxiety. His father, whom he’d used as a trump card, was gone, and without anyone to rely on, he would collapse.

However, the Saber God was still utterly grateful his son was alive. His son had walked a twisted path and hurt others, and the Saber God had turned a blind eye to it. However, he was still his beloved son. When...?

“When did I take him here?”

The Saber God nodded silently.

“I secretly snuck him out even before the war began when Bahal told me to deal with him because he didn’t feel like it.”

I knew it. Red Dragon had no plans to keep my son alive.The Saber God gritted his teeth as he turned to glare at Yeon-woo. He knew precisely who had put them in their current situation. However, after a short while, he lowered his gaze. Yeon-woo had his son and therefore the upper hand. Yeon-woo also acted like it was obvious.

“You should be thankful to Chirpy.”

Chirpy?

“The offspring of the Phoenix that you killed.”

The Saber God’s face was filled with questions. The child of the Phoenix?

“He was the one who asked to keep your son alive.”

The Saber God was dumbstruck.

“He said there wasn’t any need to put others in his situation. He didn’t want any unnecessary killing.”

The Saber God couldn’t say anything, and cold as ever, Yeon-woo said, “Since he saved your son, you should bow or something when you see him.”

I…will. The Saber God couldn’t speak further. In the world of the Tower, players did unspeakable things to others to get what they wanted, and it was common to return any injury with greater damage. However, Chirpy had limited his revenge to the Saber God alone. The Saber God knew how difficult it was to hold back, and he was utterly grateful to the Phoenix’s offspring. He bowed even more deeply. Once upon a time, he had been the most prideful ranker in the Tower. Now, he discarded all grudges and surrendered.

Greetings, Master.

It was enough. Along with healing materials, Yeon-woo gave the remainder of the dark energy to the Saber God.

[The Spirit Familiar has successfully evolved. The second Death Knight has been born.]

[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. Additional karma will be provided.]

[You have acquired 3,000 karma.]

[You have acquired an additional 2,000 karma.]

....

[Death Knight has pledged allegiance to you. From now on, he will be bound to the Despair of the Black King and become your knight and sword.]

[Will you choose a name?]

“Hanryeong.” It was the Saber God’s real name.

[The Death Knight’s name has been set to ‘Hanryeong’.]

[Loyalty has increased by 15 points.]

[Control has increased by 5 points.]

[Hanryeong’s (Death Knight) physical body cannot handle his rank. The attributes are being reassigned.]

[All attributes have decreased by 21.]

[All attributes have decreased by 17.]

....

[Hanryeong’s (Death Knight) attributes have been reassigned, but his soul’s rank is the same, as his potential. With evolution, his previous rank can be regained. Rapid growth is advised.]

My body feels a bit heavy. The Saber God, or Hanryeong, muttered, uncomfortable with the black armor he was wearing. Even with dark energy, his body was less powerful than when he had been a high ranker.

However, Yeon-woo wasn’t concerned. As long as his rank didn’t disappear, he would regain his former prowess, and it was clear that he would grow even more quickly than Shanon. Also, it was better that the attributes had been reassigned. If Hanryeong’s attributes were too high for him to deal with, he might become uncontrollable at a crucial moment. Yeon-woo didn’t want to risk being stabbed in the back by his own Spirit Familiar.

Shanon sighed gently as he looked at Hanryeong. Not only was it a shame that he hadn’t been given a chance to absorb Hanryeong, now he would need to work even harder to stay ahead of him.

Hanryeong moved around to get used to his new body and looked at Yeon-woo. I have something to request of Master. Since Hanryeong was a martial artist to the bone, he was more formal with Yeon-woo than Shanon was.

“Speak.”

I would like to ask you to recover my nine swords.

“Is it because of your skill?”

Yes. Hanryeong nodded.

The two signature skills of the Saber God, Tomb of the Nine Swords and Sword Whirlwind, had to meet strict conditions before they could be used, and they required very sturdy swords. Sword Whirlwind created a huge tornado whenever the swords were swung around. Without proper weapons, it was impossible to pull it off. The same went for the Grave of the Nine Swords.

In the past, Hanryeong had challenged players known for possessing strong swords, and he’d taken their swords after defeating them. After he reached a certain level, he no longer had to do it, but he was now starting from zero. The Sword God broke all of my swords. I need nine swords to activate the skill, and the stronger the sword, the more threatening the skill.

“There should be several good swords in Intrenian, so use those for now. I’ll collect more swords for you when I come across them in the future."

Thank you. Hanryeong nodded and entered the subspace Yeon-woo opened for him, slowly pulling out his iron box. Clink. Clink.

Yeon-woo silently watched him, then focused his consciousness on Chirpy, who was watching through his eyes. ‘Thanks.’

Chirpy only nodded. His eyes were no longer those of a weak baby that longed for its mother. He was becoming a young adult that would soar higher.

***

Starting the next day, Yeon-woo pushed himself with his own training. Clang! Boom! He split the air every time he swung Vigrid. Fire Lightning boosted with Holy Fire turned over the ground several times and even completely crumbled a wall, making dust fly. It was a sight that would terrify anyone.

But Yeon-woo, Draconic Eyes open, didn’t give it a second glance and continued to move. He searched for something along the imperfections and lifted his head at a sudden chill. He awakened the Dragon’s Power, and his skin flipped over, dark blue scales covering his upper body. The scales reached up to his chin and clattered as they bumped against each other. He sought his target with his strengthened senses. In ordinary circumstances, he would hide from this opponent because it was someone he couldn’t even dream of beating at his full strength.

However, he had to release everything he had to become stronger, and so he opened up all 360 Cores, his Magic Circuit spinning around as his Fire Wings bloomed. He pulled out the flame-covered Vigrid and ground his teeth as he used his best skills all at the same time.

[Blessing of the Blue Spirit]

[Holy Fire]

[Fire Lightning]

Rumble! He focused all his magic power on a single location, and with the Blessing of the Blue Spirit, he used Fire Lightning, whose proficiency was now at seven percent. Fire Lightning poured down as though it would destroy the world, but his opponent pushed it aside as though it were a spring drizzle. He waved his hand easily in the air with a sigh.

The Martial King laughed, thinking that Yeon-woo had grown stronger, and punched with the same force that he’d used to destroy Kuram: Pagong, one of the Eight Extreme Fists.

Yeon-woo realized that he would be annihilated if he faced it directly. He spun his body like a top. Whoosh! The Fire Wings twirled to wrap around his body and then rushed to Vigrid’s tip, flying past the blade towards the center of the Pagong. Yeon-woo activated his Shunpo and lunged with Vigrid at the Martial King.

“Nice!” The Martial King exclaimed as he spun, pushing Vigrid aside as he counterattacked.

Yeon-woo quickly flapped his Fire Wings and stepped back, but the Martial King was at his heels. Aegis popped out of Intrenian to block the Martial King. No matter how strong the Martial King was, he couldn’t break Aegis, and with six layers spinning around him, he had to slow down. Yeon-woo didn’t miss his chance and attacked the Martial King’s blind spot. However, the Martial King realized what he was doing and reacted quickly, unfolding the Eight Extreme Fists one after the other.

Rumble! Boom! The Eight Extreme Fists collided with each other as a fist smashed into Vigrid. Yeon-woo did his best to swing Vigrid around, blood dripping from his bitten lips. His eyes were bloodshot, and the Magic Circuit had grown hot from being overused.

However, the Martial King didn’t let him off the hook. He responded to Yeon-woo’s attacks one by one without even batting an eyelash, pushing him in a corner. He tested Yeon-woo’s limits, almost taking his life. Yeon-woo barely managed to pull his Dragon Body together and avoided danger. He focused on looking for an opportunity to strike back.

From far away, Phante and Edora shook their heads as they watched. Those two might be training, but they were also reducing their surroundings into a wasteland. Walls collapsed, and hills were becoming plains. A nearby river had already dried out from the heat. If they hadn’t set up Jinbup around them, they would have created a huge mess outside the Tower.  

“He’s become an even bigger monster.” Phante sighed deeply.

***

“I lost.” Yeon-woo plopped down with an extremely tired expression. His exhaustion and lack of power weighed him down, and the overheated Magic Circuit was emptied out, as though it had never even had a drop of magic power before.

A week had already passed since the Martial King offered himself as a sparring partner for training. Yeon-woo had been planning on climbing the Tower after recovering, but right when he was about to leave, the Martial King had accosted him. “Disciple, before you go, you should get checked by your teacher first, right?

Yeon-woo had nodded. It was hard to deny his teacher, who wanted to see how much he learned, and he also wanted to see how much stronger he had become with the Dragon Body. He’d begun training with a light heart. ‘But I didn’t know it would end up like this.’

The Martial King required everything of Yeon-woo. He didn’t even say a word and only pushed him down with immense strength, leaving him defenseless. Yeon-woo truly felt that his life would be in danger if he didn’t give it his all. The Martial King seemed like he was going to kill him.

In the end, Yeon-woo had revealed all his cards, but he’d managed to understand his limits and how to respond when he met them. He’d managed to show even more greater strength. He’d wondered whether it was fine to reveal himself so much. He still hadn’t shown the power of the Black Bracelet, which was his last ace, but it was already a lot for him to show the power of the Draconic species.

However, Yeon-woo shrugged those thoughts aside, remembering what the Martial King had told him when he said he’d leave the One-horned tribe: never forget the relationship between a teacher and a disciple. Although it was comforting, he still felt a little uneasy. Fortunately, the Martial King didn’t really press him about his powers, nor did he let it slip to anyone else. In fact, it was almost as though they didn’t even interest him aside from his focus on breaking them during sparring.

Even though only a week had passed, Yeon-woo was already more experienced, and a new expression appeared in the Martial King’s eyes when he looked at Yeon-woo: wariness. He no longer saw Yeon-woo as a mere disciple but as a player and a peer. He couldn’t help feeling a desire to break him with his skills.

The Martial King smirked when he noticed that Yeon-woo had read his mind. He was satisfied every time he saw his clever disciple understand something beyond what he’d been taught. However, he also felt a little bitterness that he had nothing else to teach him. He crossed his arms and a corner of his mouth lifted. “Cain.”

“Yes.”

“Now, you can leave.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened and he bowed, saying thanks with a short goodbye.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter