Chapter 238 - The Summer Queen (3)

“Heh…” Yeon-woo snorted unintentionally at the sight of the Martial King waving his middle finger in front of a large, threatening dragon. It was just like him to do this. He was a real enigma who embodied both strength and relaxation. The arrogance of the strongest came so naturally to him.

On the other hand, he also had a thought that even though the Martial King was acting this way, his back was wide open.

 * * *

Nayu! Although the Summer Queen wasn’t in her right mind, she could still tell when she was being mocked. She grew even more furious at the Martial King’s shameless teasing. For a long time, the Summer Queen’s greatest obstacle had been Allforone. She was frantic to reach the top of the Tower, more so than anyone else, but she had never been able to go past the seventy-sixth floor because he always blocked her.

After she established Red Dragon, she spent most of her time fighting him. However, she always lost to him. The best she could hope for was second place, and she couldn’t surpass him at all. Her sense of inferiority when it came to Allforone became a curse that chained her soul.

And then, all of a sudden, someone from the One-horned tribe arrived. When she’d first heard of Nayu, she’d dismissed him as a rookie. She only heard of his name because of a report from a subordinate. The One-horned tribe as a Superior species that had once been equal to the Giant species and the Draconic species.

However, they discarded the holiness given to them as though it were no big deal and moved outside of the Tower on their own. They didn’t want to depend on their ancestors and were determined to forge their own destinies. Even though they’d thrown away all their responsibilities, they successfully built a territory of their own.

That was why the Summer Queen admired the One-horned tribe, and she always advised her subordinates not to get into fights with them. She wasn’t telling them to avoid fights or surrender but simply advising them not to go out of their way to fight the One-horned tribe. It was her way of showing respect, and the One-horned tribe knew this, as well.

As time passed, the Summer Queen heard about Nayu once more when he defeated her simulation. She thought it was a fairly impressive achievement, but that was all. He still needed 1,000 years to catch up to her.

Then, she heard that he’d defeated the ranker, Ice King. Then, he made it up to the thirtieth floor in record time. She began receiving reports about him more frequently. Sometimes, she had reports about him every day.

She began to grow anxious. Had anyone grown as fast as him in the history of the Tower? The Vampiric Lord Bathory, the Demon Hunter De Roy, and the Dark Philosopher Faust were players who had ruled during their eras but they’d never managed to defeat the Summer Queen. Although they attempted to pass the seventy-sixth floor, they were all forced to kneel at the end.

Bathory used his drain energy, and De Roy and Faust used their demonic powers, but none of that brought them success. Although they’d claimed to have the ability to defeat the Summer Queen and Allforone, she’d never felt threatened by them at all. That was how strong and powerful she was. Nobody could threaten her except for Allforone. But for the first time, she could sense danger—all because of a newbie she didn’t even know.

Then, Nayu became the youngest king of the One-horned tribe, and he coincidentally met the Summer Queen in battle. 

”Are you that dragon creature, old lady?”

“O-old lady…?”

“Eh? Did I say something wrong?

“Dragon creature” was enough to make her mad, but “old lady”? However, Nayu didn’t seem to know what he’d done wrong. He was exactly as the reports made him out to be. That was when the hostilities between the Summer Queen and the Martial King began. 

It was a tense battle that was rough enough to mess up a few floors. People cheered, saying that the Martial King was the new hope that could help the Summer Queen defeat Allforone. 

However, this was embarrassing to the Summer Queen. A newbie that hadn’t even lived 100 years was seen as her equal? It was nonsense. However, the Summer Queen’s attempts to defeat the Martial King failed each time. 

Then, she realized that her focus was no longer directed above, where Allforone was, but below, at the Martial King. Her motivation had changed after thousands of years. This realization made her turn away from her rivalry with the Martial King, and her focus returned to the being above.

However, the sense of having lost to him always bothered her. As one of the Draconic species, she had to make him pay, and she threatened to rip him apart with her own teeth. And now...』 She thought she’d found the perfect opportunity.

She could also see the masked man standing behind the Martial King. He was the one who’d killed Vieira Dune, and the one who’d had the most success in the quest that she’d given. That meant he was also closest to the Philosopher’s Stone. He emanated an aura that was similar to hers, and her Draconic Eyes told her that he was hiding something.

It was only then that the Summer Queen realized that the masked man was behind everything. The Martial King was defending a person like that, which meant that she had to step on him too. Bring it to me!

Boom! She kicked off from the ground emanating Dragon Fear, her long body rushing towards the Martial King. From far away, it looked like a great mountain was moving. 

“Disciple, look carefully at the amazingness of your teacher.”

“Just don’t cry when you get beaten up.”

“That mouth of yours!” The Martial King joked with Yeon-woo even as the fearsome aura rushed towards him. Then, he spread his arms wide, flashing his canines. Boom!

Aura collided with aura. The world quaked as a loud explosion that sounded like another crashing meteor blasted around them. 

Yeon-woo spread his Fire Wings and used Blink to move to the back in case he was swept away by the magic power storm. ‘You have to win. No matter what.’ While he wished for the Martial King’s victory, the tension between the Martial King and the Summer Queen grew. ‘Seseung-nim.’

The Martial King pushed his arms, which were tiny compared to her size, against her mouth.

“Graah!” The Summer Queen cried out. She growled, trying to swallow the Martial King, but he did not budge. They pushed against each other with brute strength, their auras now allowing anyone else to interfere.  

“Ugh, seriously. Lady, don’t you diet? You’re freaking heavy!” The Summer Queen didn’t move a single inch, and the Martial King grimaced. He had stepped up to save his disciple but now he was in an embarrassing situation. He was the teacher, what was he doing?

If his disciple, that guy in the suspicious mask, weren’t here, he wouldn’t have stepped into such a chaotic battle. Disciple. The word had never felt comfortable to the Martial King, and he’d never been able to get used to it.

There were two other fellows he’d called disciples, but they disappointed him in the end. One left after saying he wanted to do his own thing, and the other left after saying the path of the Martial King didn’t align with his own. Technically, they were his failures.

And so, when he accepted his third disciple, the Martial King tried not to become too attached. In just a glance, he could tell that his new disciple seemed more stubborn than the other two, and the Martial King was sure he wouldn’t stick around. But now, a guy like that needed him, and sometimes, he even seemed to look at him with eyes full of respect…like now.

Respect: it was a word that opened the Martial King’s heart. ‘When he looks at me with those bright eyes…’ He clenched his teeth. He had to regain his dignity as a teacher and shine a light on his disciple’s path, even just a little. “Fuck. I can’t just sit back! Right?” The Martial King laughed, his canines flashing. The veins bulged from under his skin. “Arghh!”

The Martial King began to gain the slightest advantage. As he walked forward, step by step, the Summer Queen was pushed back. Shock appeared on the faces of the Nine Dragon Sons and Red Dragon members accompanying her. 

“Mother!”

“Your Majesty!”

They knew that the Martial King was strong, but they had never imagined that he was strong enough to push their ruler back. It was something that never even occurred to them, that was how impossible it was. To them, the Summer Queen was their god.

Tom pulled himself together first. ‘This is it!’ As expected of the greedy youngest son, Tom had been waiting for the right opportunity to take the eldest’s spot. He thought that this was his final chance to prove himself, and if he was going to be removed from the Nine Dragon Sons anyway, he might as well try to save the Summer Queen. 

Boom! Tom kicked off from the ground and ran into the fight between the Summer Queen and the Martial King. Their aura could rip the atmosphere apart, but he didn’t care about. The other Nine Dragon Sons realized what Tom was thinking and followed after him. 

“That bastard!” The eldest of the Nine Dragon Sons, Bihee, Waltz, ground her teeth at Tom’s blatant and underhanded attempt to take her position as the first Apostle of the Summer Queen.

With Tom in the lead, the other Nine Dragon Sons used their signature skills, and elaborate Effects split the sky. They proved their strength by how quickly they recovered and attacked in the midst of the fight.

Eighty-One Oculus joined in from behind, Troy and the other high rankers aiming for the Martial King. They didn’t like fighting together, but they had to help the Summer Queen. However, a sharp voice suddenly rang from the sky. “Who dares bother our king?”

Red lightning descended on the Nine Dragon Sons and the Eighty-One Oculus. The Nine Dragon Sons and Eighty-One Oculus halted their onslaught and tried to retreat, knowing that they had no chance of survival if they were hit by the blood-red lightning.

As it crashed to the ground, it left a giant crater as though the Meteor Strike had appeared again. However, the lightning’s attack didn’t end there. Thousands of sparks connected on the ground, and everything around them turned blood red. Fizz!

By the time they regained their sight, the faces of the Nine Dragons Sons and the Eighty-One Oculus were grim. An old man with one horn landed where the lightning had struck. He looked like a scholar, but the vibrant red sparks around him made them shiver. Fizz!

“The Blood-Red…Philosopher.” The one who had once ruled the Tower with the Devil Army’s Black Dawn. When the Martial King had appeared, he stepped back to become the Head Elder of the One-horned tribe, but of course, the Nine Dragon Sons recognized him, and they were immediately on guard.

“I didn’t know people still recognized an oldie like me. I’m honored.” To be fair, it was impossible not to hear about him if one was a ranker. Even though he had retired, he was once as powerful as the Martial King. Now that this monster had also appeared, Red Dragon grew nervous. “I guess you understand then. Even though he acts like a thug, he’s our king. If you bother him any more—”

 <Lightning Control>

It was the heirloom of the Cheongram family and the power that represented Phante. However, the Head Elder had turned the Lightning Control into a force as destructive as the Eight Extreme Fists. It was called Blood Mine, and the blood-red lightning thundered like it was going to swallow them up at any second. 

“You’ll die.” Boom! Boom! Boom! The lightning around the Head Elder thundered around him again, sweeping everything around him away. 

The Nine Dragon Sons and the Eighty-One Oculus couldn’t muster up the courage to face Blood Mine directly and fell back. Although they were the elites of Red Dragon and the Tower’s current rulers, they were weaklings in front of this dominating force. However, one person didn’t back down, a woman with black hair that reached her feet. Bihee, Waltz turned and reached for the Blood Mine that fell from the sky.

As a magic power storm whirled around her, dragon scales grew on her skin up to her eyes. The wings and tail on her back demonstrated the birth of a new Dragon Human after Heaven Wing Cha Jeong-woo’s death. 

Bang! Waltz struck the Blood Mine in her hand to the ground and ripped it apart with her hands. The broken lightning dug into the ground. Dust clouds floated up, and a burnt smell spread all around them. She hadn’t yet used her full power, but she could already deal with the Head Elder’s power. 

Very few knew that as the eldest of the Nine Dragon Sons, she had already surpassed the limits of a Dragon Human, and she had already reached the fifth step of the awakening. Aside from the Summer Queen, there was no one who could defeat her. 

“Did you just say threaten us?” She exposed her violent aura and growled with a Dragon Fear that didn’t fall short of the Summer Queen’s. “I’ll return those words to you. I’ll teach you what it means to resist Red Dragon.”

She spread her dragon wings and rushed towards the Head Elder in a single leap. The Head Elder blasted out the Blood Mine that he gathered in his hands.

<Ultimate Blood Mine Power>

Blood red lighting poured down on her. Boom! Boom! Boom!

At that moment, the Eighty-One Oculus gathered again and ran forward.

“Cover Waltz!”

“We have to save the Summer Queen!”

The warriors and elders of the One-horned tribe rushed to meet them head on. 

“We’re going to have some fun, hey?”

The battle between Red Dragon and the One-horned tribe was on a completely different scale from the war with the Cheonghwado. 

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