Yeon-woo thought he was hallucinating. It was impossible for Kahn to show up here since he was going to wait for the next round of the Tutorial with Doyle, and it hadn’t even started yet. At first, he thought this person was only strikingly similar, but then, a voice began shouting his name happily.
『Cain! Cain, it’s you, isn’t it?』 It was definitely Kahn.
『Mm? What’s this? The youngest one knows him?』
『Hehehe, isn’t that good? We can take advantage of him more.』
The other voices chuckled. Yeon-woo didn’t know what they were talking about, but it didn’t matter. His attention was focused on Kahn.
『It’s really you, Cain! How did you get here? Damn, what’s going on? You look even better now!』
Kahn spun around Yeon-woo, laughing. Yeon-woo’s eyes narrowed slightly at his frivolous attitude. It was definitely Kahn, still driving people crazy. He wondered how he could communicate with Kahn. It probably wouldn’t be too hard to use Open Speaking if he learned how to do it. Releasing the sixth sense wasn’t that much different from releasing one’s consciousness to use Open Speaking.
Yeon-woo focused his senses on Kahn, trying to make his thoughts tangible so they could be sent. Kahn sensed what Yeon-woo was doing and told him to take it easy. 『Hey, it looks like you’ve only just learned about the base of your consciousness. Don’t worry if you can’t do Open Speaking right away, it’s really hard…』
『Is this how you do it?』
『To do it, but I guess you just did. Nothing’s changed, I see.』 Kahn was dumbfounded.
[You have learned to deliver your thoughts by focusing your consciousness. The skill ‘Open Speaking’ is being created.]
[Description: Focusing your consciousness can help you deliver your thoughts to people. Depending on the proficiency, there are various methods of using this.]
Yeon-woo slid the message down and looked at Kahn. His hair was still as messy as his shoes, and his clothes drooped around him. His sword was dull. He was filthy from all the time he’d spent on the mountain, but there was a sharpness to him that he hadn’t possessed in the Tutorial. Back then, he’d been too wild, but now, he knew how to restrain himself.
『It’s been a while.』
Kahn hugged Yeon-woo with a welcoming expression. 『I know, right? Whew! I thought we’d never see each other again. I never thought it would happen so quick, bro!』 Bro. If there were any lingering doubts in Yeon-woo’s mind, they were quickly dispelled by Kahn’s favorite term of address. 『You’ve gotten pretty famous. Remember how you used to make a lot of mess in the Tutorial? Looks like you’re still up to your old tricks here, hehehe.』
Chatter, chatter, chatter. Something else hadn’t changed either. Yeon-woo aimed his senses again in case he lost his focus. He still needed time to get used to Open Speaking. 『What are you doing here? Where’s Doyle?』
『That’s…』 A strange expression appeared on Kahn’s face, and he was about to explain when they were interrupted.
『Mmm, youngest one, aren’t you going to introduce him to us?』 The voice was teasing and seductive, and it seemed to come from a cute woman. However, Kahn grimaced as though he’d heard something disgusting and raised his head.
『Granny, if you’re going to try something on this kid, I advise—ack!』 Kahn screamed as a bolt of lightning shot at him from the sky. More bolts continued to fall. Crack! Boom!
『S-stop! Stop! I said, stop!』
『Hohoho! If you continue with your nonsense, I’ll rip your mouth off. Understood?』
『Yes, ma’am!』 Kahn straightened his back and shouted.
Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. Even with his Extrasensory Perception, the lightning attack seemed to have come out of nowhere. It wasn’t something to be taken lightly. ‘Rune magic.’
Rune was the language of the gods, and rune magic was tricky to handle. There weren’t a lot of people in the Tower who could use it this well.
『Anyway, bring him here.』
Kahn looked at Yeon-woo as if he were begging Yeon-woo to follow him. Yeon-woo couldn’t help grinning. Nothing had changed at all.
Since Yeon-woo’s Extrasensory Perception had opened, he didn’t have any trouble following Kahn. Normally, he wouldn’t have just agreed to go, but he was curious about the Sadhu who lived in the fifth mountain.
‘This guy got a lot stronger.’ As he looked at Kahn’s back, Yeon-woo wondered, ‘How?’ From his perspective, Kahn had accomplished the unbelievable. His deep strength was also sharp, and although it was sheathed right now, it would cause a storm when it was pulled out. It truly suited his nickname Blood Sword.
Kahn’s strength in the Tutorial couldn’t be compared to what he had now. Yeon-woo thought it was a good thing since Kahn was as ambitious as he was. And unlike him, Kahn didn’t have the advantage of a Dragon Body.
To have come so far meant that he’d worked extremely hard. Although he wasn’t stronger than Yeon-woo, Kahn would be a great sparring partner. Yeon-woo even thought that Kahn might pose a small threat to him.
In the Tutorial, Kahn had wanted to beat Phante and Edora badly, and he’d not only managed to pass the next round of the Tutorial without Yeon-woo knowing, he’d clearly continued to train in the Tower. He’d managed to arrive at the twentieth floor faster because Yeon-woo had been tied up with the matters of the eleventh floor.
However, it didn’t seem like he’d isolated himself since he knew about Yeon-woo’s accomplishments.
『Hey, wait a minute, how did you get so strong? I can’t read anything. Did you eat a dragon or something?』 Just as Yeon-woo was looking Kahn over with interest, Kahn was looking Yeon-woo up and down as though he’d just found a fascinating animal. However, there was a look in his eyes that made it seem as though he were sick of something about Yeon-woo.
「Hehe, I know that feeling too well.」 Shanon snickered. He had exited the Black Bracelet and was hidden in a shadow. He was curious about the Sadhu. Yeon-woo told Shanon to be quiet and said to Kahn. 『I just became half a dragon』
『That’s really not funny. Sheesh, you really don’t know how to tell jokes.』 Kahn shook his head, thinking that Yeon-woo had deliberately misquoted an idiom about becoming a dragon, which meant going from rags to riches. He didn’t realize that Yeon-woo was actually being serious.
When they reached the peak, they found people waiting for Yeon-woo. Two of them stepped out to greet him. Together with Kahn, they were half of the total number of people Yeon-woo had sensed earlier.
『Hm, a mask?』
『Hoho, but you’re wearing such a normal outfit. Are you here to train?』
A woman with white hair all the way down to her feet spoke. She was curvy, and her large chest made her seem even more seductive. Yeon-woo could sense her sexiness even with his senses closed. Rune magic flowed around her, and it was clear that she’d been the one to strike Kahn with lightning bolts. Next to her was a small child with a cute, smiling face.
However Yeon-woo paused as he approached. The child was one of the two high rankers that Yeon-woo had sensed when he opened his Extrasensory Perception. There was a fierce beast inside him. If the Martial King were the king of the jungle, the boy was a beast who roamed the forest alone, looking for prey, although perhaps he would more accurately be described as a demon. His aura was filled with demonic energy, and it was clear that as soon as the smile faded from his face, the demonic energy would burst out.
‘Sacred Red Tree Victoria and Pestilence Ghost Kindred.’ Yeon-woo realized who they were from the information in the diary.
Victoria is a magician skilled in rune magic, which is the language of the gods. It’s a huge feat, considering how tricky rune magic is. A single wrong word or pronunciation of a spell can have deadly consequences. However, rune magic can be used in many ways, and most artifacts and buffs use runes.
What would happen if you could control runes without any limits? You’d be able to pull off more things than an ordinary magician can. That’s how it is with Victoria.
Although his brother had never met Victoria, she was well-known, and he was intrigued to see her here. As for Kindred, his brother had this to say:
The Devil Army serves a nameless demon, and they’re organized under nine bishops who serve their demon god in different ways.
Kindred is the Second Bishop, and he’s not very well-known. It’s said that he’s been looking for something on the twentieth floor for a long time. My friend from the Devil Army says that it’s some kind of holy artifact, but that’s just his own assumption. No one really knows what it is.
However, one thing is for sure, Kindred has no plans to leave the twentieth floor until he finds it. Even when we passed through the floor and fought a war with the Devil Army, he never showed himself. I was only able to discover more information about him by coincidence.
‘It’s probably been over ten years, and he’s still here. What’s so important about the object of his search that he won’t give up?’ Yeon-woo’s mind was discreetly focused on Kindred. It was a secret that he was a bishop of the Devil Army, and if he discovered anything amiss about Yeon-woo, his plans would go awry. Therefore, Yeon-woo tried as much as possible not to look at Kindred.
『Nice to meet you, handsome oppa.』 Fortunately, Victoria was ready to take up all of his attention. She winked at Yeon-woo even though she couldn’t see him with her eyes. A faint minty scent that would make most men’s hearts skip a beat wafted in the wind.
Kahn grimaced as though he didn’t like it. 『What do you mean he’s good looking? He’s wearing a mask! Do you even know what your age difference is—ow!』 Kahn rolled down the hill after being hit with a ball of fire.
『Hoho, I like everything about you except your mouth. Understood?』 Victoria smiled, revealing her canines. The remnants of the rune around her dissipated after it attacked Kahn. Yeon-woo’s eyes glimmered. He hadn’t felt the magic activate at all this time as well.
‘Does she prepare her rune in advance and use it when she needs it?’ Yeon-woo looked at the bracelet wrapped around Victoria’s right arm. There were tiny rune characters on it. She’d touched the bracelet with a finger when she summoned the ball of fire. A letter on the bracelet had disappeared and activated magic. The bracelet seemed to be an artifact used for preparing magic in advance.
‘Yes. Victoria’s known to be as skilled in making artifacts as she is in rune magic.’ Yeon-woo had heard that Victoria was one of the top five blacksmiths along with Henova. ‘She uses Memorize to store them, and uses one whenever she needs it. Sounds like something I can use, as well.’
He felt that fighting didn’t have to be focused on skills and physical strength alone, and he often felt the need for magic. It was a waste to use his Magic Circuit just for Mugong, as well. However, during battles, he was usually so busy focusing on his Mugong that he didn’t even think about touching magic.
But if he had a way of storing it beforehand, it might be a big help to Mugong, too.
‘I needed to study mechanical magic, too. I need more knowledge to fix the pocket watch and the Philosopher’s Stone.’ He thought he might learn something useful if he kept a close eye on Victoria. However, he quickly stepped back in shock.
『Mm, handsome oppa. I like that you’re so curious, but I’m embarrassed by the way you’re looking at me.』 Victoria’s cutesy voice tickled his senses as she suddenly appeared right in front of him. She smiled seductively at him from the place he’d just vacated and winked again.
Yeon-woo felt shivers down his back. ‘She read me.’ He had focused his consciousness to look at the rune magic, and she’d noticed it. Of course, it would have been strange if she hadn’t, considering her level, but what truly made him shiver was that she’d managed to approach him without his knowledge.
Another rune was disappearing next to her: Blink. It was a kind of magic that allowed you to teleport short distances, and she’d managed to avoid his Extrasensory Perception. Magic was scary like this; it was completely unpredictable.
There was only one way to deal with it and it was to get rid of the magician right away. However, it wouldn’t be easy to do that with Victoria; the energy around her probably came from her defenses.
Other than Kahn, Yeon-woo was the weakest person out of the five Sadhu. He’d entered a cave of beasts, and there was only one good thing about it: it was a great place to train. Yeon-woo decided to train his Yin Sword here.
However, before that, he had to make a good impression on the others. After all, a word or two of advice might end up being a big help. 『I’m sorry. It was my first time to see rune magic.』
Victoria laughed easily. 『Mmm, if that’s the case, then it’s fine. But still, you should be more careful. Everyone here is really private, and none of us like being observed. So, you’re interested in rune magic?』
『Yes, a little.』
『Would you like me to teach you?』
His eyes widened. He hadn’t expected her to offer it so easily. What was she planning? Yeon-woo knew that nothing was free, and he was suspicious of her motivations.
As though she’d read his thoughts, Victoria grinned at him reassuringly. 『Of course, I won’t do it for free. I do have one condition.』
『What is it?』
『I can’t really say it here.』 Victoria’s eyes sparkled as though she were a snake looking at its prey. In a tone heavy with innuendo, she said,『Do you want to eat some ramen at my house and talk about some things?』 It was a bold invitation to share her bed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter