Chapter 188 - Demons' Forest (3)

Yeon-woo had met the Dark Elf Galliard in the Tutorial, where he had been chasing after Akasha’s Snake for a long time. He’d given Yeon-woo Shunpo as a reward for a quest, and was also his brother’s first teacher.

After he recovered the picture of his family, he didn’t seem to know what to do next, but now it appeared that he’d climbed the Tower and was staying with his friend, Brahm. However, Yeon-woo never expected to see Galliard and Aether in the same place, and he was confused.  

‘People like Aether are chasing after Brahm, and if Galliard is stopping that…’ Yeon-woo quickly followed Galliard. Galliard was famous for being a resident of the Tutorial, but he was as strong as a ranker. Now that he’d received rewards from climbing the Tower, it seemed like he had gotten stronger. He moved so quickly with his Shunpo that he left afterimages behind, and it was impossible to even track the arrows he shot.

His arrows were also not just regular ones but iron ones that had been specially crafted. Perhaps Brahm had made them just for him. Boom! As though magic had been cast on them, the arrows exploded as they landed. The nine Elohim players quickly scattered. 

When dealing with a bow user, it was best to spread out instead of gathering together in a group in order to avoid greater damage. The Elohim players seemed to be thinking the same thing as they separated into a wide circle around Galliard.

However, they still had the task of catching him, and with Shunpo, it was almost impossible for them to catch up to him. Also, Demons’ Forest not only dulled their abilities, but the greenery made it difficult to find Galliard.

Puck! Puck! Puck! Galliard fell back and continued to shoot arrows so rapidly that the rankers felt chills down their backs. When they realized that they couldn’t avoid the arrows, they got their swords out to deflect them instead. However, as soon as the arrows hit the swords, they sent out a shock wave and a burst of flame.

“Aack!”

“Shit!”

Two of the Elohim Galliard spit out curses and fell back. One was completely burned and the other sustained bloody injuries as his sword shattered into pieces.  

Just as Galliard was about to nock another arrow, the High Elf with blond hair appeared behind him. He was the only one who had managed to catch up. “Got you!” The High Elf laughed confidently and lunged with his sword. However, his expression hardened when he saw Galliard fade away like an illusion. 

<Shunpo – Transposition>

An extreme speed left afterimages hanging in the air, and after mastering his Shunpo, Galliard had learned a skill that could use his afterimages to trick his opponents. Once his opponents were fooled, a trap was activated. An arrow shot towards the back of the High Elf.

Clang! He managed to circulate his Wind Spirit in time to create a barrier. However, the impact of the explosion was so huge that he was pushed back. The black smoke that rose up blocked his vision and he lost Galliard.

<Shunpo – Archer>

Galliard suddenly bent and leaped towards the High Elf. He had been using a hit-and-run strategy, but this time, he was aiming for direct combat.

“You child of darkness, how dare you!” The High Elf glowered as Galliard appeared through the smoke. To a High Elf, who had the blood of the precious god of beauty, Freya, a Dark Elf was a disgusting and lowly species. Galliard was nothing more than a quick-footed beast to him, and he considered Galliard’s attacks an insult. He wanted to show the Dark Elf just who he was messing with.

However, the High Elf didn’t realize that Galliard considered a bow and arrow just one of his tools, and he was a master in other martial arts and weapons. As Galliard’s skill increased, the High Elf’s martial arts couldn’t follow him. 

Galliard pulled out an arrow and slashed the High Elf’s wrists and his Achilles tendon. 

“Runt!” Other people arrived to stop Galliard, but he had already moved back and was shooting arrows at them once more. He’d injured the High Elf to draw his companions out and ambush them. The Elohim were all in the palm of his hand, and they couldn’t even do anything to him. Eventually, Aether stepped up. “He’s like a rat.” Aether wrinkled his forehead and created arrows of light using his holy power. 

Each arrow contained an immense amount of holy power, and when he brought his hand down, they fell on Galliard like rain.

<Shunpo –  Thousand Golden Wave>

Galliard used his Shunpo to escape, but the arrows of light kept on following him. A few turned to surround him, and before he could do anything, he was surrounded on all sides. The arrows glowed.

“Explode.” Using a command that only those with holy power could say, Aether made the arrows explode at the same time. As the white light expanded, it began to destroy the surroundings.

Although the sound of the explosion wasn’t loud, the white light pushed away the darkness and the black smoke. Devil Trees, different Demonic species, and even the ghosts disappeared without a trace. Just when the Elohim thought Galliard would be swept away as well, he gathered magic power on his feet and leapt to the sky.

<Shunpo – Inverted Energy>

The other players of Elohim moved as well. The atmosphere had grown dizzying from the explosions, and they followed Galliard thinking that he wouldn’t be able to hide in mid-air. Different artifacts bursted with light and created a storm. Aether also began to use his signature skill, Holy Punishment of Light. Spears made of light shot towards Galliard. 

There was no escape. Galliard knew this, too, and so he twisted his body and tossed out a discus hanging from his belt, a shield that his friend Brahm had given him some time ago. In an instant, the discus expanded into a sturdy shield that looked like a beehive. However, the attacks that bombarded it were so powerful that it shook when it was hit, as though it would break at any moment.

The players got their skills ready again, but at that moment, lightning bolts made of fire suddenly fell from the sky. Crack, boom! Yeon-woo had activated his skill, Fire Rain.

The Wave of Fire had absorbed Fire Rain, but the skill had not disappeared completely. Instead, after his experiences on the twenty-first and twenty-second floors, Yeon-woo had learned to adjust the intensity of the skill so that it was even more destructive now. 

It was literally a bolt from the blue for the players who were only focused on Galliard and hadn’t expected an attack from someone else. The players whom Galliard had already injured experienced even more pain. 

Three of them were burnt, the smell of their charred skin filling the air. The others had managed to use their skills and artifacts to save themselves in the nick of time, but they were still injured. The one who had the least damage was still severely burned, and everyone was having trouble breathing.

As a sharp breeze blew over them, Yeon-woo appeared. Using Blink, he brought Vigrid down. ‘Jeol.’ With his improved sword techniques and Bian, he decapitated three of the players in one swing.  

It happened so quickly that the rest of the Elohim were too stunned to react. Black mask, black clothing, red wings, and white sword—this was the Hoarder. Even Galliard, who hadn’t seen Yeon-woo’s new armor, recognized him right away. “You…?”

I’ll explain when we get out of here.

After hearing Yeon-woo’s Open Speaking, Galliard looked slightly surprised since awakening one’s Consciousness meant that one was at least the level of a ranker. Since Galliard only remembered Yeon-woo from the Tutorial, it was a huge surprise to him. However, he only nodded, and Yeon-woo spread the Fire Wings open.

“You!” Aether screamed in fury, his face twisted savagely. He’d lost five of his subordinates, and the rest didn’t look too good. Seeing that his target was about to escape, he felt like he was about to lose it.

Aether was someone who cared about his reputation over anything else, and his expression made Yeon-woo feel like he’d just washed away a bad taste from his mouth. However, he couldn’t dally. Aether used his Holy Punishment of Light again.

Yeon-woo gripped Vigrid. The Holy Punishment of Light was a skill that brought down dozens of lightning bolts. It was buffed by Aether’s light element, and even players among the Elohim avoided fighting with him. Yeon-woo swung Vigrid to the right and blasted out his skills to their maximum.

[72 Bian – Pok, Yeol]

[Wave of Fire]

The new Bian that he’d learned created a fire that was even more destructive that the arrows of light. When the Holy Punishment of Light met it, red and white energy clashed, forming a huge mushroom cloud that rose high up in the sky. 

The heat burned everything in its path, turning the forest into ashes. Just as everyone was trying to recover, he used Blink with Galliard and quickly left. He could see Aether screaming in rage from the corner of his eye, but Aether was too busy blocking the fire to do anything else. The other survivors had to struggle a bit if they wanted to live as well. 

Seriously, this is crazy every time I see it. Are you using fireworks or something?

The problem is that the flames might spread to the rest of the stage. I don’t know what will happen if it does.

Shanon and Hanryeong exclaimed compliments that didn’t sound very flattering as they checked the souls of the five dead rankers. As Yeon-woo left, he glanced at the struggling Aether once more. They would meet again, and at that time, he would get him.  

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