Chapter 242 - The Summer Queen (7)

It didn’t matter how much money you were willing to pay, high-class mercenaries only took jobs that they were interested in. Yeon-woo didn’t know for sure, but he guessed that the other dead mercenaries had been quite expensive as well.

Atran was definitely skilled to have created such a ruckus with a few pieces of the tablet, and the attention he had ignited in the Tower had exceeded Yeon-woo’s expectations. ‘I definitely found the right person.’ Yeon-woo stared at Atran, who stepped back, wary that he would be tricked again. 

“What? What is it this time?”

“You still have the authority to open the Merchant Window, right? I want to make a deal.”

The Merchant Window was a system that only mysterious merchants had access to. The higher a merchant’s rank was, the more types of items they could access. Even though Atran was teetering on the edge of a cliff, he was still a director of the West Wind Union, and he could handle most items. “Deal, my ass! Think of what you’ve done to me so far! Nothing good comes from…!”

“This might change your mind.” Yeon-woo pushed a Yaltabao Safe towards him. 

Atran flinched and trembled. The Yaltabao Safe was one of the items that mysterious merchants loved. Its value never decreased, and in fact, as people hoarded them, the prices only rose. Merchants could also collect fees from using it. The calculator in Atran’s head quickly heated up. He lowered his guard a bit and coughed. “But still, that’s…!”

Yeon-woo pulled out four more safes. 

“Anything you want! We love our customers!” Atran bowed so deeply that his forehead almost touched the ground. With five Yaltabao Safes, he could stage a comeback. “Hehehe. So, my lovable customer, do you have anything in particular that you’re looking for? We at the West Wind Union have a 2,000-year history, and we have all kinds of rare items that you can’t find at such good prices. Would you like to look at our selection?”

He was rubbing his hands like a fly, looking as though he were ready to sell his soul. The Ice King, Twice, and Nocturn shook their heads and laughed in disbelief, knowing how Yeon-woo got the safes. What was he trying to do with the rewards he’d gotten from the Red Dragon quest?

It was widely known that the Hoarder was the Martial King’s disciple. They thought it was unbelievable that he would try to attempt something against Red Dragon with an item that he’d gotten from them as a reward. The same thought circled through their heads. ‘The disciple truly takes after the teacher.’

Yeon-woo didn’t care about the looks he was getting and said to Atran, “I want your entire stock of Dragon Killers.”

“Hahaha! So that’s it!”

Twice and Nocturn looked surprised, and the Ice King clapped as he chuckled. The Dragon Killer was a lance that also went by the name Dragon Spear. It was over six meters in length and weighed hundreds of kilograms but it was as thin as a woman’s arm.

As its name implied, it was a weapon to be used against dragons. A long time ago, people who had grudges against the Summer Queen had gathered to create it. However, the Summer Queen had found out, and the weapon’s creation process vanished from history. Only a few Dragon Killers had made it onto the black market or in the hands of the unions.

‘If I can take advantage of this…’ Atran’s mind quickly began working. The West Wind Union had more Dragon Killers than the rest of the unions combined, almost eighty percent. They had bought them in bulk, thinking that the value would later rise astronomically but ended up regretting their decision.

The Dragon Killer was definitely outstanding, but was too heavy and broke easily. It also could only be used once. Who would want to buy something like that at such a price? The Dragon Killers were just gathering dust in their storage room, and he could get a hefty commission for getting rid of those horrible items.

‘I’m blessed by fortune!’ Atran bit his lips to stop himself from cheering. He couldn’t show his feelings openly; it would make it more difficult to scam his customer. He cleared his throat and met Yeon-woo’s eyes with a sigh.

Yeon-woo’s eyes curved as though he knew what Atran was thinking. It was clear that he already knew that the Dragon Killers were treated like ugly ducklings, and he wouldn’t have brought them up otherwise. Atran suspected that Yeon-woo probably understood the market more than the merchants. The scam victim was going to be Atran again.

“Hehehe. Of course! As expected from you! Your insight is incredible. You’ve considered well, sir. The Dragon Killers that we have at the West Wind Union are in better condition than the other ones on the market, and they all work great. However…” Atran didn’t think it would hurt to try. “What you’re offering is only equivalent to thirty percent of our current stock…” His voice faded as Yeon-woo said, “I’ll look for another merchant, then.”

As Yeon-woo turned away, Atran grabbed onto his arm.“Aigoo! Hehehe. Why are you being like this, sir? You’ve done business with me before. Doesn’t our relationship amount to more? Why are you in such a hurry? You have to finish listening to what I’m saying. Of course, that would be under normal circumstances, but I’ll give you a special discount!”

Yeon-woo smirked as Atran began to speak faster. “Then how much can you give me?”

“A little more than half…”

Yeon-woo turned away again. 

“Aigoo! Of course we have to give you more than that!”

“Seventy percent.”

“Eek! N-no, we can’t do that! We still need to handle the storage and upkeep fees, and we won’t have much left after that…!”

“Eighty percent.”

“Yes, sir! The deal is done!” Atran closed the deal after Yeon-woo ripped him off once again.

[You have paid ‘Yaltabao Safes’ x5 to purchase ‘Dragon Killers’ x31.]

All the Yaltabao Safes in Yeon-woo’s hand disappeared and thirty-one six-meter-long spears appeared at his feet. However, Yeon-woo wasn’t satisfied with the number. “You still have some left in stock, right?”

“Sir, even if they’re in stock right now it’s too diff—.”

“I’ll buy up everything you have left, and also everything you can help me find in the black market or other unions. You can charge me the fees.”

“You want all of the Dragon Killers?”

“Is that a no?”

“Not at all! We can definitely handle this! We’ll bring everything that’s in the Tower, and even any that are outside, as well!”

“There are other things I want to buy, too.” Yeon-woo told Atran the items he was looking for, and Atran’s expression changed as he listened. They were all horrible products in their storerooms like the Dragon Killer that were ridiculously expensive, making them a huge headache for the union.  

He didn’t know why Yeon-woo needed them, but Yeon-woo said the more he could lay his hands on, the better. It was a colossal amount for a single purchase, and Atran’s smile grew wider with each passing minute. If he successfully negotiated this with Yeon-woo, he’d be able to stay in the union. He would have a chance to make a comeback.

Yeon-woo no longer looked like a demon to him but a heaven-sent angel. 

“And that’s all. Is it possible?”

“Of course. Even if it’s not, we’ll do whatever we can to get it.” Atran was ready to give his kidneys and liver to Yeon-woo. 

“As fast as possible.”

“Understood. Um, but…”

“Is there a problem?”

“How are you planning on paying…”

Yeon-woo grinned. “Why? Do you think I’ll run away with the items?”

Atran jumped up and down. “Aigoo! I wouldn’t even dare think of that! Of course I trust you! Hehehe. However, as you know, there isn’t much compassion in this world and everyone’s struggling financially…Hehehe.”

“Of course, I’ll pay you.” Yeon-woo nodded.

Atran’s eyes were filled with anticipation as he put his hands out. What would Yeon-woo give him in exchange? More Yaltabao Safes? Karma? Or books from the One-horned tribe? Anything was fine. They were all things that had a stable value in the market. However, Yeon-woo crushed Atran’s hopes. 

“On credit.”

“Sorry?”

“Put it on my credit.”

For a moment, Yeon-woo seemed like a demon that would swallow Atran up. Atran’s face turned red. “Are you telling me to trust you?!”

“Why can’t you?”

“You must be joking!”

“Do you really think I’ll steal them?” Yeon-woo scoffed. Atran was about to say something but he quickly realized something.

“The Bureau’s quest.”

“What are you going to do now that you know? Are you going to jump on it?”

There was still one more incomplete quest that called for Red Dragon’s destruction. The more of Red Dragon’s buildings were destroyed and the more members were killed, the greater the rewards. And of course, Yeon-woo planned to take the first place. 

“But shouldn’t we at least do the pledge of mana?”

“I don’t think this is the time to be doing that. Well, if you don’t want to, I’ll go to another merchant.”

“Shit!” Atran kicked the ground. “Scamming a merchant! You’ll definitely go to hell when you die!”

“I already know that, so make up your mind.”

“Argh!” Atran glared at Yeon-woo with a wronged face and quickly adjusted the system. The quest was likely to end in a day, and so he quickly bought the items, promising that he would pay the sellers one day from now. Since he had a good reputation among the unions, Atran got his way.

[You have purchased an additional ‘Dragon Killers’ x14.]

[You have purchased ‘Fabio Forest’s Hunter’s Bow Trick x21.]

[You have purchased  ‘Great Monkey’s Tail Thorn’ x 6.]

……

Yeon-woo’s eyes glittered as he looked at the items pile up. He hadn’t realized how many he would have even after telling Atra. Atran handed over the ‘Life Blood of Albino Trolls’ after making the last of his purchases, grinding his teeth. He wondered how much would be left over for him. 

“Here you are…sir.”

“I’ll use them to their fullest. Thanks, investor.”

Atran felt like crying, having been demoted from a merchant to a kind investor. This guy really frustrated people every time he spoke. Something suddenly occurred to him. ‘Where’s he planning on using them? Can he even use them properly?’

Dragon Killers were so heavy that rankers couldn’t even lift them. It was tricky to use them the right way, and the Hoarder was a lower-floor player. The other items were even more difficult to use. Atran didn’t know what Yeon-woo was thinking, and his anxiety grew. He had bought the rest of the items because of the flow of their conversation, but if anything went wrong, it would be the end of him.

Yeon-woo calmly tossed the items in his shadow and hid himself using Blink again, looking for a place where he could prepare for his hunt.

* * *

“Stay on guard so no one can approach me.”

「Yes, sir.」

「Got it. Be careful. 」

“I will.” After Yeon-woo settled himself, he called out Shanon and the others. Hanryeong and Rebecca took the left and right flanks, while Brahm and Boo began to set up a temporary barrier.

However, Shanon was quiet, and his footsteps sounded heavier than usual. Yeon-woo called him over. “Shanon.”

「Do you have any more orders, Master?」

Although there wasn’t a face under his helm, Shanon’s Inferno Sight looked duller than before. Yeon-woo looked into them and said, “I’m your master now. Be aware of that.”

「I showed a side of myself that I shouldn’t have. I apologize.」 Shanon knelt on one knee and bowed his head. He’d been feeling a little uncomfortable fighting his old master since he’d been part of Red Dragon once.

Yeon-woo had noticed his confusion, and Shanon acknowledged his mistake. Even though they didn’t put a label on their relationship to each other, it was clear who led the way.  “This is the only time I’ll forgive this. Remember that.”

「Thank you, Master.」 Shanon’s Inferno Sight flamed up again. His mind was at ease now. After all, war was just war. He had to be loyal to his current life. 

After Shanon returned to his position, Brahm carefully asked Yeon-woo a question. “Will it be OK to leave him alone like that?”

“It’ll be fine. That guy isn’t weak.”

“I suppose. If he were, he wouldn’t have become a Death Noble.” Brahm nodded. He turned towards the messy pile of items. “What are those? It’s been a while since I’ve seen that ridiculous spear.”

“Have you heard of something called Mercuri?”

“Mercuri? Are you talking about the martial arts of the Giant species?”

“Yes.”

Mercuri was an old martial arts that disappeared when the Giant species went extinct. It was specially created for them since they were over seven meters tall, which meant that anyone who wasn’t from the same species would find it difficult to learn. This was the martial arts that allowed Valdebich to rule supreme in battles and the one most appropriate for the Dragon Killer.  

Valdebich was also called the Black Sword because he used a sword as his preferred weapon. However, since he had the blood of the warrior Giant species, he was equally adept at using other types of weapons. The Dragon Killer was a perfect weapon for him since he preferred spears over bows and arrows. However, it was so expensive that he couldn’t use it as often as he liked on the lower floors, and by the time he reached the upper ones, he no longer needed them.

Yeon-woo’s brother hadn’t forgotten the shock he’d felt when Valdebich used the Dragon Killer for the first time, and he described it in detail in the diary. 

The best way to describe it is that it moved mountains. The atmosphere around Valdebich when he lifted the Dragon Killer was so destructive that when the Dragon Killer targeted a Draconian, it would sweep away not only the Draconian but also everything around it.

When Valdebich was doing the Tutorial, he had adjusted Mercuri so that Yeon-woo’s weaker brother could use it. After that, Valdebich continued to teach him all kinds of skills, which Jeong-woo had noted down in the diary. 

“Domain Declaration.” Shrak! As soon as he released his power, the Philosopher’s Stone and hundreds of Cores all circulated. His dragon scales began growing along his skin, and power sparked throughout his body. Dragon wings popped out from his back, combining with the Fire Wings.  

He was using this power for the first time ever since he entered the Endless World of Night. The Philosopher’s Stone had been assimilating with Yeon-woo’s body, making him stronger, and Yeon-woo added a few more powers on top.

[Stigmata of the Goddess]

[The 3rd Soul – Strengthening]

[Wicked Devil]

With the blessing of Athena, the muscles in his body tightened. He sent the magic power flowing throughout his body using the souls.  Kyaaaaa!

He had recently come up with this new method and attempted it, thinking that the energy emanated by the souls being consumed and his magic power would strengthen him. And his hunch was right.

Crunch! First 100, then 200, 300, 400—the souls began to fill his body until he used up 1,000 of them. They melted into magic power and screeched as they circulated along the Magic Circuit. For a moment, he became dizzy, and the power of the Philosopher’s Stone circulated even more to bear the magic load. 

With the use of Wicked Devil, the Demonism came out to control his entire body. His Draconic Eyes turned red, and his scales turned black. Sharp teeth poked out between his lips. 

The different energies gushed around Yeon-woo—ghostly energy, demonic energy, black energy, and even a murderous energy. They all connected like a spider web, and his body began to show the characteristics of a Demonic Draconic Body as the Draconic Factors and Demonic Factors combined. Brahm and Boo stepped out from where they had been waiting, and Brahm lifted the Book of Mars while Boo lifted his Lawless Book. 

“Then, let’s begin.” Brahm looked at Yeon-woo, a bit concerned, but Yeon-woo had reassured him over and over about his decision. Brahm couldn’t say no. The spell of the alchemist and the Lich began, and magic circles overlapped beneath Yeon-woo’s feet. He received more buffs through his Effects. Muscle Strengthening, Magic Power Strengthening, Aura Increase, Explosion Creations—magic more advanced than Magic Equip flowed into Yeon-woo’s body. 

As though he were struggling under a great weight, he collapsed to the ground, his muscles and bones slowly being crushed. Crunch! His shoulder was dislocated. He could hear his rib cage breaking. His veins exploded and blood poured out of his eyes. Although he looked like his body might explode at any moment, Yeon-woo didn’t even groan. 

The One-horned tribe and Red Dragon both turned their heads, feeling something ominous spreading through the air. However, because they had to focus on their fighting, they couldn’t confirm where it was coming. 

[Your body is beginning to cave in because of the enormous pressure.]

[Warning! Your body is already at its limits. It may be irreparably damaged if you continue.]

[The skill ‘Regeneration’ is activating.]

[The restoration of data stored in your cells is beginning.]

[‘Regeneration’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 12.1%]

…..

Yeon-woo quickly recovered with the Regeneration he’d stolen from Vieira Dune. Despite the buffs, as his skill proficiency increased, his healing also grew faster.

[Your body has been strengthened.]

[You have reached the limits of your body. It has overcome the limits of the Draconic Factors. It has been strengthened to the limit of the Demonic Factors.]

‘Is it done?’ Unfortunately, even though Yeon-woo managed to advance to the limits of the third step of the awakening, it still fell short of the power he’d had fighting Agares. His situation was different now. Back then, he’d had Athena’s direct blessing, so he’d grown powerful enough to defeat most high rankers. This time, he was squeezing power out of himself.

However, at least Yeon-woo could easily use his newfound strength. He extended a hand to a Dragon Killer on the ground. The Dragon Killer floated into his grasp, and all the other items, which had been crushed, settled over the spear.

Despite the expenses that he incurred, Valdebich experimented with different ways of using the Dragon Killer. This was one of them. Ching! The Dragon Killer trembled as if it liked it. 

Yeon-woo lifted it onto his shoulder. It was pretty heavy, but his newfound power was equivalent to that of the Giant species, so it wasn’t much trouble. His Draconic Eyes and Extrasensory Perception overlapped. Far away, he could see his target. He focused all his consciousness and energy on the edge of the spear and added more skills to it. 

[Demonic Magic – Devil King Poison]

It was an even more toxic poison for the Draconic Species than Devil Poison, and he applied it to the lance before throwing it with all his might. The lance pierced through the air like light, creating a sonic boom that split clouds. ‘First, those extras.’

* * *

The second of the Nine Dragon Sons, Chimmy, was annoyed by the One-horned tribe members following him.

How dare these mayflies follow me! No matter how much he tried to shake them off, they continued to stick to him and attack his blind spots. It was true that they were a species talented at fighting. He finally understood why his mother had told him to be careful when dealing with them.

However, Chimmy resented them. He was someone with Dragon’s Blood. He shouldn’t have to suffer these low-level species. The only way to deal with them was to destroy them completely, and he puffed his cheeks, a toxic Breath filling his mouth.

“It’s Extended Breath! Everyone fall back!”

“Prepare for the toxins!”

The One-horned tribe warriors quickly put some distance between them. Chimmy had been spewing his Breath the entire time, but he looked like he was preparing a particularly dangerous blast. The Red Dragon players around Chimmy also ran away since his Breath didn’t differentiate between friend and foe. A lot of his comrades had already suffered from it. 

<Acidic Poison Breath>

Not only was it toxic, it was acidic. It was his power, and he wasn’t supposed to use it without his mother’s permission, but it wasn’t the time to consider those things. He was about to spit out his Breath when there was a sonic boom that ripped his eardrums and something landed under his chin.

The force was so great that it destroyed half of his head in an instant. Despite the agonizing pain, he managed to heal himself with the amazing regenerative ability of the Draconic species. However, he was faced with a different problem: the Acidic Poison Breath landed on his long body. 

White smoke gushed out as his flesh melted, and the Devil King Poison began to spread inside his body. Chimmy shrieked and trembled from the extreme pain. The Devil King Poison was too much for him to handle. He lashed around, trying to heal himself. 『Devil King Poison? H-how?』 His body refused to regenerate, and his condition grew worse.

The attack didn’t end there. The next Dragon Killer arrived, piercing through his body. The Dragon Killer shattered as soon as it hit its target, and shards of it were embedded throughout Chimmy’s body, speeding up the poison’s flow. He struggled, unable to get hold of himself, and then something arrived from the sky.

[Wave of Fire]

[72 Bian – Nye, Byuk]

The Wave of Fire with the Seventy-Two Bian lashed Chimmy in the form of lightning. As the lightning exploded in his body, Chimmy’s insides were just as scorched as his flesh. 『N-no!』

Most of Chimmy’s body was little more than ashes, but he had an intense will to live. If given enough time, he might have survived. However, the One-horned tribe warriors ran to him with happy laughter.

“I don’t know what’s happening!”

“Catch him! He’s already roasted so nicely! Our dinner today is dragon meat!”

“Hahaha! What a feast!”

They hacked away at Chimmy’s flesh with their swords, and Chimmy lost the strength to resist. His large head fell to the ground.

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