A haze floated up and gathered to take the form of a human. Yeon-woo’s mouth was set in a line as he observed his brother’s appearance that he’d only seen through pictures. He had a bright, smiling face that was easy to like even though the blue armor gave off a serious impression. Although the simulation wasn’t sentient, Yeon-woo felt like it would call out his name any second.
『Master.』 Nemesis quietly said, as if he had read Yeon-woo’s mind. He was trying to tell Yeon-woo not to become too emotional.
“I know. Don’t worry.” Yeon-woo swallowed and nodded.
[The Cold-Blooded trait has been activated for an unspecified reason.]
He was looking at a face he hadn’t seen in years, a face that he had looked for in desperation, a face that looked just like his.
He was probably feeling this way around a shadow because of the regret he carried. He’d believed his brother had run away, and he’d hated him for it. He left Korea thinking he no longer had any ties to the country. He hated seeing traces of Jeong-woo so much that he couldn’t stay.
And he lived like there was no tomorrow after leaving. Perhaps he’d left because he wanted to go somewhere else to die. He passed the days like a crazy person without the will to live. He always ran towards danger, and he’d even been called “Crazy Dog” because he couldn’t let go of something once he had a hold of it.
When more time passed, people grew to know him as Cain, and they even tried to recruit him. Although his squad leader looked at him sadly whenever recruiters came around, he didn’t care. He could only live if he moved from one dangerous zone to another. If he got a vacation, he would just lock himself in his room.
It was ridiculous. But when he thought of his mother’s last words, he couldn’t bring himself to die just like that. Her words protected him like a lucky charm. “Save your brother’s spot until he returns.” That’s why he had left his family house intact even though no one lived there.
Yeon-woo slowly swept his hair back with his hand and took a deep breath. He took off his mask, revealing a face that looked just like the simulation’s. The two looked at each other as though they were staring into a mirror.
They were quiet for a while. The shadow couldn’t speak anyway, and Yeon-woo gazed at him, wanting to look at him for as long as possible and remember every detail. He was grateful that he had a good memory during times like this.
No one spoke, not even loud Shanon, encouraging Hanryeong, and watchful Rebecca. Nemesis, Nike, Boo, and the Guai all read Yeon-woo’s mind and helped him organize his thoughts. Shanon, Hanryeong, and Rebecca were all stunned.
Yeon-woo hadn’t told them anything about his past, but they’d seen Yeon-woo’s face a few times and felt his mind as he climbed the Tower, so they could piece the information together. However, despite all that, seeing his face opposite Cha Jeong-woo was a huge shock.
Heaven Wing had once caused a huge commotion in the Tower, and seeing the two brothers together like that made Yeon-woo’s progress seem just as surprising. Also, seeing the older brother face the simulation of the younger brother he’d followed into the Tower made them feel a stab of pity.
Rebecca’s lips were set in a grim line, and she looked at Yeon-woo worriedly.
Yeon-woo thought that the thirty minutes wasn’t long enough. He just wanted to sit and look at his younger brother. Even though he knew it was just a shadow, he couldn’t help staring at him, and he deliberately didn’t use Time Difference to speed up his thoughts, content to use the time he was given.
Time continued to pass, and the people who followed him waited for him. Yeon-woo slowly stood up, dusting the seat of his trousers lightly and pulling Vigrid from Intrenian.
『Have you collected your thoughts?』 Nemesis broke the silence.
“Yeah. A bit.”
[You have succeeded in maintaining your composure with the trait ‘Cold-blooded’.]
[The status ‘Confusion’ has been removed.]
As the trait was applied, his confused mind had grown clearer. He also felt refreshed, as though he had just woken up. “You must be shaken, too. I’m sorry.”
『Not as much as you.』 Nemesis brushed it off, but Yeon-woo knew that it wasn’t true because he and Jeong-woo had been connected. He was likely also feeling as agitated as Yeon-woo was, even if he wasn’t showing it.
『You two are really similar. Ha! The creator of the twenty-first floor is quite sadistic, no matter how I look at it.』
『It seems like they recreated him perfectly. If he could speak…』
“It would be annoying.” When thirty seconds had passed, Yeon-woo started up Time Difference, even though he knew the remaining time was too short for planning something.
Nemesis said, 『First, my former master…his specialty was adapting to situations almost instantaneously.』
Yeon-woo nodded because he already knew this. After his brother contracted with Kalatus after the eleventh floor, he had continued to grow with the Blessing of the Dragon. Unlike Yeon-woo, who had barely awakened his Dragon Body, his brother had quickly progressed through the steps, especially since he could freely control mana.
Thanks to that, his brother grew his magic power to an incomparable level. He could move the path of mana around him, and he even created a skill called ‘Impassibility’, which blocked off most magic power. Because of this, hardly anyone could approach his brother, and with the power of the Mythical Dragon on top of that—it was no wonder all magicians and even high priests avoided him. He wasn’t called Magic Exterminator for nothing.
‘The funny thing was that he wasn’t limited at all to this skill.’ He could do triple casting, which only high rankers could pull off, and his understanding of spells was deep. Alchemy, mechanical magic, spirits, summoning—and when he activated Magic Equip, his body became stronger as well.
When the Blessing of the Dragon was combined with the Blessing of Mana, it was impossible to describe how efficient mana grew. Jeong-woo also knew several fighting techniques, and the only thing he couldn’t do was Aura.
However, that didn’t mean he was unskilled in martial arts since Valdebich had nagged him until he learned the basics. And in this case, the basics were the skills of the Giant species, who were born warriors. Although they weren’t as high-level as the One-horned tribe’s Mugong, they were sufficient for most players.
He had magic, talent, martial arts, and blessings. Because he was skilled in so many areas, no one who was on the same floor as him could look down on him. Even rankers avoided him.
However, the most challenging part was the unique skill that had gained Jeong-woo the name Heaven Wing. ‘Sky Wings. They’re going to be a headache.’
Through the authorities and blessings his brother received through the Draconic species, he had made a cheat skill himself after a lot of trial and error. While the Sky Wings were active, he could not only move freely in the air, he could also use part of Kalatus’s powers. The wings also acted as both a shield and a weapon. In fact, Yeon-woo’s Fire Wings were based on them.
But unlike the limited Fire Wings, his brother’s Sky Wings had been acknowledged by the system and given a numbered rank of 002. It was why everyone called his brother a genius. He had reached an impossible level in only a few years and even posed a threat to the Nine Kings.
His power had already begun to bloom by the time he reached the twenty-first floor, even pushing down the rank of the Summer Queen.
『Also, the awakening…』
“He has already accomplished the second step.”
Yeon-woo still hadn’t passed the first step, Draconic Blood, but his brother had already passed the second step, Draconic Pressure, and was heading towards the third step, which he would later reach on the twenty-second floor. However, Jeong-woo had already perfectly mastered the second step by the time he reached the twenty-first floor.
『Are you feeling confident?』 Nemesis asked in a concerned voice, as though he were hinting to Yeon-woo that it was all right to ask for help. The Guai and the spirits were all part of Yeon-woo’s skills, after all, and there wouldn’t be a problem if he used them.
Also, Yeon-woo had reached this point without a lot of rest, and he was exhausted. However, Yeon-woo ony smirked. “I should tell you something.” He didn’t put his mask back on his face. Since there was no one else around, he wanted to fight his brother without hiding his face.
『What is it?』
“You know—” Intrenian opened, and seven layers of Aegis soared out to circle around him. Dragon scales popped up on his chest. Domain Declaration. As the power of the first step opened, his body was infused with strength. “—I’ve never lost to my little brother before.”
And with that, he stopped Time Difference. The clock quickly counted down.
[The countdown is complete. The trial of the 30th section is beginning.]
The invisible barrier disappeared, and his brother’s shadow awakened his power and spread the Sky Wings. The pure white wings flapped with explosions of magic power, as though an angel were descending. Hail began to fall from the sky.
On the other hand, the power called Draconic Murderous Intent began to approach Yeon-woo. It was similar to the constraints of the twentieth floor. Looking at the magic storm coming his way, Yeon-woo wryly murmured, “Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if I lose now?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter