Chapter 156 - Five Elements Mountains (6)

Argh! This doesn’t make sense! How is this possible? Victoria grabbed her hair and screamed out of annoyance, rage, curiosity, frustration, and anxiety. She was practically hysterical because twenty days had gone by, and she hadn’t even gotten started on interpreting Yeon-woo’s thought pattern. She had promised Yeon-woo it would only take one month, and time had already flown by.

You didn’t set up any mental shields, right? Victoria glared at Yeon-woo with suspicion. 

You would’ve noticed by now if I had. You even told me to take my clothes off and tested defense magic circles. You didn’t sense anything, right?

Victoria bit her nails—a bad habit of hers that came out whenever she was feeling anxious. What Yeon-woo said was true. He’d been a willing participant the entire time, and she’d been the one who’d pushed him just a little too far. She really had tried everything—from making him drink potions to using magic circles and artifacts to analyze his mind—and each time, the result that came back was “error”. She felt like she was going to go crazy.

At first, she thought it might be because of the complexity of his mind, since martial artists’ minds grew more profound as they trained. She’d experimented on martial artists with their permission, unlocking their mental defenses and observing them. Then, she tried the same method on Yeon-woo, planning to identify everything down to his neurons. She even anesthetized him so he couldn’t resist.

But it was all the same: she couldn’t read him. Or rather, she could, but his mind seemed so vast that she could only read an impossibly tiny fraction. ‘I’ve never heard of anyone having a mind so deep before!’

Victoria had prided herself on her own vast mind, which was how she’d managed to gain knowledge in the first place. But she was like a lake in front of Yeon-woo’s ocean. She thought a mind like that would make people go crazy, but Yeon-woo didn’t seem to understand what the matter was when she brought it up. ‘Is this child a Superior species or something like that? It doesn’t make sense otherwise!’

But Victoria knew that it was an absurd thought. No entity like that would let her do this since they hated it when others laid even a finger on their bodies. Eventually, Victoria wasted twenty days as her precious runes were taken away.  

Even though Yeon-woo was a martial artist, he was such a good student that he always came up with the right answers whenever she quizzed him during their tutoring sessions. He learned so fast that he’d already learned her basic magic runes.

She clenched her teeth. There were only ten days left. She had to find a way soon. 

***

Heehee! You scammer, did you land a big one today?

‘What do you mean by that? We’re only keeping up our ends of the bargain.’

Bargain? You’re talking about your scam, right? Damn, you seem so rigid on the outside, I never thought you’d be able to use your head like this.

Yeon-woo ignored Shanon’s words as soon as he entered the hut. He knew that the bargain he’d made with Victoria was ridiculous as well, but it had already been set with mana. Whoever failed to keep their word would see their magic power cut off or completely disappear. Yeon-woo had welcomed this with open arms.

The rune magic Victoria taught him had awakened something in his Dragon’s Knowledge, as though he were recalling forgotten memories. He was beginning to organize all the information he knew, and his traits Mana-friendly and Blessed by Mana were helping a lot.

However, Yeon-woo didn’t try to learn rune magic itself. He only built up the knowledge for it because he was already busy trying to understand the Yin Sword. 

‘Boo.’

Did you…call for me? Boo bowed, his bones cracking.

Yeon-woo passed on the magic knowledge that he’d just gained.

[Boo (Lich) is receiving information about rune magic from your thoughts. Rune magic knowledge is being applied and turning into a skill.]

[‘Rune Magic’ skill proficiency has increased. 12.1%]

[‘Rune Magic’ skill proficiency has increased. 14. 8%]

....

Yeon-woo regularly passed on what he learned from Victoria to Boo like this, and it hadn’t only helped Boo, it had even become a skill. Yeon-woo was confident in Boo’s abilities during a fight now, and his other skills had improved as well, thanks to the influence of rune magic.

‘This much should be enough for Blink now, right?’

Boo had been quiet for some time with his head bent. Then, he slowly lifted his head. Blue flames appeared in his eye sockets, which was a sign that he’d understood all the information that Yeon-woo had given him.

Yeon-woo took his shirt off without any hesitation and offered Boo his back. There were countless rune letters carved into his skin. Boo had left them on Yeon-woo’s body each time he learned magic.

Victoria would be startled to see what he’d done. In a way, he was mimicking how she made her rune artifact. However, by carving the letters on his back, he wouldn’t have to write the runes down somewhere, and he could activate magic simply by shifting it to the runes on his back. It was perfect for Yeon-woo. With the Draconic Factors, his body was more efficient in handling magic.

At first, Yeon-woo had considered making an artifact according to the techniques that Henova taught him. But a beginner like him wouldn’t be able to draw letters on it, and it would just be a piece of junk. Also, although Victoria’s artifact was efficient, it could only be used once.

However, Yeon-woo’s body wasn’t going to disappear any time soon, and he had outstanding endurance. This meant that it would be possible to reuse the runes on his back. The weapon that Victoria had been hoping to make for herself had been created by Yeon-woo, although to be fair, he was the only one who could manage it.

Mas…ter.

‘What?’

Blink…is deeper…than…other…magic I’ve…done. Boo hesitated, worried about Yeon-woo’s safety. He’d already learned Magic Strengthening, Heist, and Strength, which were quite basic, but even Yeon-woo, who didn’t blink at pain, had had a hard time with them.

It was obvious to him that Blink would be even worse. It was magic that teleported its user, so the combination to create it was immense. It was at least double the size of the three other runes Boo had learned combined. If Yeon-woo fainted while the runes were being carved on his back, everything would be ruined.

Yeon-woo didn’t even blink. ‘Just do it.’

Under…stood. As…fast…as possible…!

‘Slow and precisely.’

I’ll…be mindful. Boo nodded quietly. 

So stubborn!

Let’s get started as well.

Shanon and Hanryeong grabbed Yeon-woo’s arms and legs to stop him from moving and messing up the runes.

I’ll…begin.

Boo lifted a black bead with his left hand and put his right hand on Yeon-woo’s back. Black sparks exploded, and runes started to appear slowly on Yeon-woo’s back. His skin burned as the black light moved slowly. A single wrong stroke would mean that the magic wouldn’t work.

‘Ugh!’ Yeon-woo’s back stiffened in pain. Shanon and Hanryeong did their best to hold onto Yeon-woo.

This was the part that Boo and Yeon-woo were concerned about the most, so they spent a lot of time doing this. Every time a letter was finished, it would burst into a blue fire to dig deeper into the flesh, melting his muscles, and even clearing a path all the way to his bones. This was the method that Yeon-woo had thought of.

Runes disappeared once you used them, so the problem was to find a way to reuse them again quickly. The Draconic species had bones that were almost indestructible, and Yeon-woo’s Magic Circuit could provide ample magic power. If he continued to circulate it around his bones to prevent the runes from disappearing, he could keep them in his body forever. He tested it with Heist first, and after a few attempts, it ended up working.

Right now, it felt like his body was being ripped apart. However, Yeon-woo just clenched his teeth and endured it. Whenever his body shook from the pain, the Guai left the shadows and helped to hold him in place. 

And after some time, Boo slowly lifted his hands. It’s…finished. You’ve…endured well.

Shanon and Hanryeong released their grip as well. Yeon-woo was drenched in sweat, and he looked like he would faint at any moment. However, his eyes shone. He was euphoric that the runes were in his body.

When the melted skin on his back healed and left the black letters, they looked like burn scars from far away. He was exhausted now and needed to regain his strength.  

***

‘Magic Equip.’ A blue light flashed over Yeon-woo, and his Magic Circuit opened, Fire Wings spreading out. He decreased his magic circulation as much as possible and only moved with his body. With his tighter muscles and increased dexterity, he almost couldn’t control himself. If he added Shunpo on top of that, no one would be able to catch him, even with sixth sense.

Yeon-woo pulled Vigrid out of Intrenian while he was at it. Vigrid had been purified by up to ninety percent with Urd’s holy power, and it had grown almost as long as a regular sword. Blue letters shone on the blade. 

Then, Yeon-woo released his Magic Circuit. With his strengthened magic power, he swung Vigrid with red Aura that was so vibrant that it didn’t even seem like the same color as his first Aura blade.

As the sword made a swishing sound, he unleashed Blink repeatedly. His vision blurred, and he found himself at the edge of a cliff. From there, he brought his sword down. It had been exactly six months since he entered the mountains. He wanted to see how much he had improved. 

Although he didn’t use any skill other than Aura, Vigrid cut through everything in its path. An indentation appeared on the cliff across from him, then an entire section slid down and crushed the forest below it. Dust flew into the sky.

Whoa! What’s this?

Hey, you crazy bastard! Do you think you’re alone?

I’d like some peace and quiet.

Hm, did you do that with just Aura?

The Sadhu sent surprised warnings to him. They knew that Yeon-woo hadn’t used any skills. If he combined magic power or used all of his senses, they couldn’t even imagine what he was capable of doing. Everyone was surprised he’d grown so much in just half a year.

Yeon-woo was the most surprised of them all. He hadn’t even revealed his Dragon’s Power. If he released that…‘No one would be able to beat me up.’

Yeon-woo thought of Phante and Edora making bewildered expressions and put Vigrid back into Intrenian. ‘This is enough.’ He’d already spent more time on the fifth mountain than he’d expected. Although he still didn’t understand the basics of the Yin Sword, he had achieved things that weren’t any less impressive. 

It was time to leave. 

‘It’s a shame I never found out what Kindred is looking for, but oh well.’ He’d thought of secretly following Kindred when he left at night. However, he thought that the consequences of getting caught might be too severe, so he didn’t even try.

Besides, Kindred had been searching for so long, it was possible that the item he was looking for didn’t even exist. Yeon-woo pushed away his thoughts about Kindred. He was going to see him anyway when the war with the Devil Army started. He didn’t need to rush. 

Right now, he just needed to finish what he had been postponing. ‘And they said the Legendary Beast is about to hatch.’

When Yeon-woo turned around, Kahn suddenly said, You’re leaving?

Yeon-woo nodded. 

Wait a bit. Kahn seemed like he had something to say, and he quickly flew over to the cliff where Yeon-woo stood. He only touched the ground a few times as he rose up the cliff, and Yeon-woo could see that Kahn had improved greatly, as well. However, there was something strange about his behavior, as though he wanted to say something but couldn’t find the words. Yeon-woo thought it might have something to do with Doyle. 

Even though Kahn and Yeon-woo had grown closer, they hadn’t hung out with each other that much. It had a bit to do with Yeon-woo’s personality, but he also felt like Kahn had been avoiding him. Yeon-woo assumed that he didn’t want to be asked about Doyle.

Kahn had said that they’d parted from each other because of differing opinions, but Yeon-woo remembered that they’d had a bond that couldn’t have been broken by something so simple.

However, he didn’t bring anything up and pretended that he hadn’t noticed anything. Now, it seemed like Kahn was ready to talk about it since he didn’t know when he would meet Yeon-woo again. 

Actually, D—』 Just as Kahn was about to speak, a loud Open Speaking voice echoed around the fifth mountain.  

Everyone, be quiet. Something terrible has happened! Victoria took a deep breath, then in a voice that trembled with shock, she said, Kindred has died.

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