『Graahh!』 The Summer Queen screamed from the pain of being disconnected from the fourth-eldest of her children. The Eighty-One Oculus was spiritually connected to her, but the Nine Dragon Sons were her children that shared her power. The side effects of the severed connection were intense. If her power had returned to her, they would have been alleviated somehow, but because her child was being eaten by a different one, the pain was doubled.
“What a load of bullshit.” The Martial King cursed and brought his hands down on the Summer Queen. From the outside, it didn’t look like he’d affected her much, but energy whirled inside the Summer Queen, tearing apart her muscles, veins, Magic Circuit, and internal organs. Crunch.
The Summer Queen’s legs grew weak and she collapsed to the ground, squirming as a burning smell gushed out of her mouth. She didn’t seem to have the will to fight anymore. The Devil Poison had already entered her marrow, and the holiness that she had forced out was almost depleted. She had tried to attack the Martial King using her magic, but the Martial King always managed to break it apart or to avoid it entirely.
Once he broke her spine, the advantage shifted to him. The Martial King spit out phlegm mixed with blood. His blood was still boiling, and the exhilaration of the fight continued to make him antsy. He wanted to relieve the tension somehow, but the Summer Queen couldn’t handle him. In fact, she was never in the condition to fight him in the first place.
He was a bit annoyed by that. Other than Allforone, the only person who could stand against him in the entire Tower was the Summer Queen. The Nine Kings? Although he didn’t make it public, the Martial King wasn’t pleased to be associated with that trash. They weren’t even worthy of looking at him in the eye.
The only person who was powerful enough to stand toe to toe with him was now dying. It might have been fine if she were dying after a fierce battle, but she’d already been weakened before it started. He hadn’t done much aside from punching her a few times, and those were almost pointless.
“I don’t like it.” The Martial King narrowed his eyes. It had been a while since he felt this competitive. He was happy at the feeling of returning to the good old days, but now he felt uncomfortable, as though he hadn’t wiped his bottom after doing his business. He thought about healing the Summer Queen to fight her again, but she was too far gone.
『Give it…to me! Heaven Wing!』
“Heaven Wing? The last person you’re seeing before you die is that kid, not me? That’s also annoying.” He knew that Heaven Wing Cha Jeong-woo had done something when he’d battled the Summer Queen long ago. He didn’t know what it was, but he guessed that it had something to do with the Summer Queen’s messed-up body right now.
As the shadow of death loomed over the Summer Queen, she only thought of Cha Jeong-woo, not the Martial King. Her eyes weren’t even focused on him anymore. It basically meant that, for all intents and purposes, Cha Jeong-woo was her killer, not the Martial King.
The Martial King laughed in disbelief. He couldn’t be angry at a dead person. Even though he hadn’t met Cha Jeong-woo, he thought Cha Jeong-woo seemed like a pretty nice guy. Although he felt like something tasty was being taken from right under his nose, nothing would change even if he threw a tantrum. All he could do was end the Summer Queen’s pain. It would be the last show of respect the Martial King could give his former rival.
『Your Majesty! Be careful!』
The Eighty-One Oculus and the Nine Dragon Eyes called out desperately to the Summer Queen while dashing to the Martial King. However, they were too far away, and the Martial King’s hand was closer. He created a small energy bead about the size of a fingernail. It didn’t look intimidating, but it was a condensed form of the Eight Writings of Divination.
It was the knowledge he gained from studying the Eight Writings of Divination taken to a higher level. He’d been planning to show it to Allforone, but he could also send her on her way with it out of respect and pity. Just as he was about to plant the Martial Extreme into the Summer Queen, his disciple’s voice spoke through Open Speaking.
『Seseung-nim, I apologize, but I have to take her.』
The Martial King lifted his head. Dragon Killers fell from the skies, followed by Wave of Fire. Boom! Boom! Boom! The Dragon Killers landed on the Summer Queen, then the Wave of Fire spread all over her body. Wave after wave fell, almost draining Yeon-woo’s Magic Circuit. The Summer Queen’s body shattered.
Boom! Boom! Boom! When the apocalyptic attack finally ended, the Summer Queen had been destroyed beyond recognition. 『Heaven…Wing…!』 With her last breath, she whispered those words.
A cold silence fell. Everyone was speechless at the sight, and those still on the battlefield swallowed nervously, not entirely understanding what was going on. They saw what had happened with their own eyes, but for some reason, the events didn’t seem to penetrate into their brains.
Obviously Red Dragon wouldn’t have anything to say, but even the One-horned tribe, who had run so happily to kill the Summer Queen, were slightly incredulous. They hadn’t entirely believed she would really die. That was how significant she had been.
She was the last dragon, the entity who dominated the Tower, the Lord who had ruled for thousands of years. And now, she was dead.
When they realized that the badly charred Summer Queen wasn’t breathing anymore, Waltz came running first. “Mother!” She pushed the Head Elder far away and flew over with her dragon wings. Her eyes were bloodshot as her mind was filled with memories.
“You…you must live happily. Don’t be like us.” Her father and mother, who had died as they held her hand tightly in theirs repeatedly told her not to be bound to the tribe or her family. She had to live freely.
However, an orphan didn’t have many options in the violent world of the Tower. Waltz’s childhood memories were full of moments of digging through trash and fighting with ravenous beasts.
Then, one day, she met her mother on a rainy day. She had been sobbing because her friend had died after being hit with a rock trying to protect her. It was the kind of day that made her want to jump into a lake if freedom only meant the suffering she’d endured so far.
“Come with me.”
At the time, she didn’t know why the woman had held her hand out. She didn’t even care. She was planning on dying anyway, so it didn’t matter. However, one day with that woman became two days, then one year, then ten years. She became her daughter.
She knew why her mother had taken her in. There was no such thing as a free lunch, and kindness came with conditions. Her mother needed her genes and potential, but Waltz was still grateful. It was the first time someone needed her. Her birth parents had told her to live freely, but it was an irresponsible thing to say.
Waltz needed a place to call home, and the Summer Queen provided that to her. She worked hard and learned Mugong and magic. She even told her mother with a smile that she would fight next to her. Other people said the Summer Queen was a monster who wanted to consume the tower and then climb up to consume the gods and demons. No one could escape her shadow. However, to Waltz, she would always be the person who had held out her hand and brought her out of the cold.
Waltz reached out towards the Summer Queen’s corpse. Her mother shouldn’t be lying there. Even if she was in that condition, Waltz wanted to send her on her way comfortably. However, the Summer Queen’s shadow suddenly stretched out, soaring up in the air to wrap around the corpse like a cast.
“No!” Waltz anxiously tried to hold onto the Summer Queen’s corpse, but the large corpse melted completely into the shadow. “Arghh!” Waltz shouted, pulling her hair as the Summer Queen disappeared right under her nose. She whipped her head around and saw the Martial King was standing there, completely unharmed.
He had a complex expression on his face, and a bewildered laugh escaped from his mouth as he cursed his disciple silently. Then, he saw Waltz glowering at him and narrowed his eyes.
A Dragon Fear similar to the Summer Queen’s rippled around Waltz, but she exuded a familiar power that carried the deep scent of plums—a unique phenomenon of the Plum family’s Plum Divine Martial Art. How did that child get it?
“You.” Waltz ground her teeth, releasing the strength she’d been hiding. Three hundred sixty energy veins opened next to her Magic Circuit, vital energy escaping from her arteries. A horn popped out of her left temple, accompanied by the horrifying sounds of cracking bones.
Her eyes slowly became stained with purple as she revealed the features of the One-horned tribe along with her Dragon Human scales, wings, and tail. The Summer Queen had warned her not to loosen the seal until her vital energy and magic power had combined, but Waltz had no choice. “You’ve taken everything from me.” Waltz growled with her Dragon Fear. “I’m going to kill you. Die!”
Waltz clenched her fist as though she would run towards the Martial King at any second. However, something made her turn to look at the sky. The Martial King also lifted his face with an expression of annoyance. “What now?”
Countless portals were opening in the sky, releasing players who all wore the same red armor and carried long spears. They carried three swords at their waists and a giant Tower shield on their backs.
They were more accurately described as soldiers, and they all moved as one and quickly stood in formation.
“Why are those damned things bloody here?” The Martial King knew them well. It was the Blood Army, the army of the Blood Land, who considered themselves a moving country for some silly reason.
Other people appeared: the marquises, the four dukes, and the royal guard. The greatest forces of the Blood Land were appearing.
“Ahem! What a shame. We thought there would be a buffet waiting for us.” Someone who looked like a ball fell in front of the Blood Army. He was fat and short, with chubby cheeks, and wore a crown on his head. He stumbled upon landing, and Duke Ardbad had to help him get to his feet.
“You pig, what are you doing here?”
“Who dares to call me by such a lowly name…oh! Who’s this? My dear friend, Nayu! It’s been a while!” He smiled as soon as he saw the Martial King, looking ridiculous as he tried to act elegant with his clumsy appearance.
However, the Martial King knew about the danger behind the silly surface. This was a person who was obsessed with getting his hands on anything he wanted and had no qualms about killing those he couldn’t have. He was a lunatic who wouldn’t even blink an eye at massacre. He also had an army who was ready to die for him. It was the Gluttony Emperor.
The commander of the Blood Army chuckled, but the Martial King was disgusted by the oil dripping down his forehead. He curled his top lip. “Why are you here? Is it payback for being beaten up last time? I remember your eardrums burst that time. Is your right ear okay?” He was being openly hostile, and Duke Ardbad moved his hand to his sword with a scowl, but the Gluttony Emperor jumped up and down with a wave of his hand.
“No, no! What do you see me as? How can you make such a horrifying joke like that?! Why would I fight you? So improper!” A long time had already passed, but the Gluttony Emperor still remembered everything clearly. He had touched a member of the One-horned tribe just to taste them, and the Martial King had burst into his castle and destroyed half of it on his own. Sweat dripped down the Gluttony Emperor’s back just thinking about it. If he had killed the tribe member, he wouldn’t be alive today.
Still, the Martial King had beaten him up so terribly that the Gluttony Emperor almost wet himself at the memories. The Nine Kings? Fuck them. The Martial King had surpassed that insignificant group. With the Summer Queen gone, the Gluttony Emperor had no intention of making the Martial King his enemy. Allforone only occasionally looked down from the seventy-seventh floor and almost never interfered in anything, which meant that the strongest entity in the Tower was the Martial King.
Being tough to the weak and soft to the strong was the Gluttony Emperor’s secret to success. “I only came here to help one of my dear friends.”
“There he is.”
The Martial King turned his head to look at the person the Gluttony Emperor was focused on. His forehead wrinkled when he saw Yeon-woo staring back at them from afar. Finally, the Martial King understood what had happened. His disciple had manipulated all the powerful clans in the Tower, from the Walpurgisnacht to the Blood Land.
“You must feel quite at ease to have such a wise disciple! How did you ever manage to have such great disciples? Could you tell me the secret? Hahaha. It’s a joke. A joke!” The Gluttony Emperor inched away from the Martial King, who was glaring at him. Then, he carefully broached a subject with the Martial King. “But...”
“What is it this time?”
“What are you going to do after this?”
The Martial King snorted as he looked at the Gluttony Emperor. It was obvious what the guy wanted. The Martial King was now the strongest in the Tower, but he only cared about his honor and the safety of his tribe; he didn’t have any desire to control or rule. That meant only one thing: without the Summer Queen, the throne of the Tower was empty.
‘And the person who sits on it first will keep it.’ Just like his obsession with eating, the Gluttony Empire’s desire for power was great, which was why he wanted to re-establish a vanished land. ‘Is it that child?’ The Gluttony Empire licked his lips as he looked at Waltz, who still emanated her Dragon Fear. He seemed uncomfortable with the horn on Waltz’s head.
However, the Martial King shook his head disinterestedly. Even though he’d discovered that Waltz was from the One-horned tribe, his curiosity ended there. He’d already cut ties with his own brother, he had no need to protect a child whose name he didn’t even know and who had left the tribe.
“Hehehe. I guess. Since interfering with the situation doesn’t interest you, I’ll take care of the rest.”
“No other vulture can compare to you.”
“Can’t you compare me to a wolf or an eagle instead?” Although wolves and eagles were scavengers too, at least they represented courage and glory. The Gluttony Emperor didn’t feel embarrassed at all by this since the true winner was the one who took it all.
At the Gluttony Emperor’s orders, the Blood Army lifted their spears as one. Clack! Clack! Clack! They started singing a military song: the Song of Victory. The minds of the soldiers connected and increased their combat power, and their auras started to whirl around them.
The Gluttony Emperor’s slowly began to change as he absorbed the aura. His chubby skin tightened and stretched over muscles, and his bones lengthened until he was two meters tall. He was now thin, with a hollow gaze. An ominous aura rose from him. “Everyone, enjoy yourselves! Today is a feast! Everyone must eat and drink to their hearts’ content!” As the Gluttony Emperor shouted with slavering jaws, the Blood Army ran forward with a shout, still singing their song. .
Waltz’s subordinates quickly surrounded her. “Bihee! You have to move!” They all clenched their teeth. With the Summer Queen dead and the Blood Land here, Red Dragon was in no state to fight. For the first time since they’d been founded, they felt the humiliation of loss against someone other than Allforone.
Waltz bit her lower lip. She wanted to stay until the end and avenge her mother, but she had to take care of the rest of her siblings and her subordinates. Clenching her fists, Waltz lifted her head and said, “Everyone, retreat.” Although she spoke in a quiet voice, everyone connected to Red Dragon heard her words using the dragon language, the power to control the laws of the world as she spoke.
She was the only one of the Summer Queen’s children who could use Draconic easily. The rest of the Nine Dragon Sons, the Eighty-One Oculus, and Red Dragon players all ripped their scrolls to open the large portal.
“The prey is escaping! Hurry, eat them up! Don’t lose a single one!” The Gluttony Emperor’s bloodshot eyes hardened, anxious not to lose the chance to eat delicious dragon meat.Previous Chapter Next Chapter