Chapter 261 - The Hoarder (1)

The feeling of fire flowing through his body was strange to Yeon-woo. ‘Yeah. This is it.’ This was the peak of all three parts of the self—mind, energy, and body—becoming one. As the Head Elder had seen right away, Yeon-woo hadn’t been able to grow much after reaching the expert level, as though all of his potential had evaporated.

All of his attempts to circumvent this—improving his magic, Consciousness, Wave of Fire—didn’t go very far. He’d pushed himself to his limits so perfectly that he’d lost the ability to grow. Of course, he still had some alternatives.

‘I can awaken the fourth step or absorb more Draconic Factors and Demonic Factors…but that might ruin the balance.’ He was sure that there were even more ways. ‘But it’s not like they’ll happen right away as I want them to.’

However, one ace up his sleeve was an external method that no one would have ever been able to use: ‘The Summer Queen.’ All he had to do was absorb the captive in his dungeon. He didn’t know what would happen when a mere Dragon Human swallowed up a great dragon, but he was sure that his potential would increase and his growth would continue.

As he absorbed the Summer Queen, Yeon-woo could already feel something exploding inside him as a warm energy flowed into his body. All Draconic species could deal with the different elements, but each breed specialized in one specific element.  

The Summer Queen was a Red Dragon, a breed so proficient in fire that they were called the rulers of fire, and her soul consisted of fire. The warmth felt like a blanket on a cold winter day, and the Magic Circuit and the Philosopher’s Stone slowly allowed it to spread within his muscles, veins, Cores, and marrow. It melted into his cells and mixed with his powers. The Draconic Factors pulled it especially close as though it had met a close friend. The fire energy would probably  pass through his consciousness, soul power, and his subconscious to enter his soul.

However, Yeon-woo felt a bit anxious. ‘I have to control this through any means possible.’

The Summer Queen could control the power because she had been born a dragon, but it had already taken Yeon-woo a lot of work to get used to his Demonic Dragon Body. He’d have to so much more to get used to her power and control it before it completely settled in his body. ‘What?’ Yeon-woo discovered that he couldn’t control the energy he’d taken from the Summer Queen’s soul.

He tried to dominate it with Consciousness, but the energy of the fire moved like a separate entity. Although the Philosopher’s Stone helped to restrain it a bit, the energy continued to move on its own, flowing into his soul power past different organs, using a path that should have belonged to his Consciousness.

Yeon-woo stiffened, feeling anxious for a moment. Souls were mysteries that no player had been able to properly use yet. His brother had only come up with a theory, but he hadn’t been able to create anything stable. He was concerned that his soul might be shaken up from the fire’s energy.  

You’ve brought something fun. The Demonism that always observed Yeon-woo from the abyss laughed. Yeon-woo grew even more worried at that. The fire’s energy continued to whirl around his body, merging with his soul power before synchronizing with his soul pressure.

Yeon-woo began to have an inkling of what a soul truly was as the fire’s energy moved around it. It was a large bundle of energy that couldn’t move, as though it were trapped inside a heavy iron cage like the Summer Queen’s soul had been. His soul tried to expel its energy out as it expanded from the fire’s energy, but his body had become a prison, and it seemed like his soul was on the verge of exploding. His level was growing. 

[You have succeeded in absorbing Ismenios’s soul. Your Draconic Factors accept the soul of the dragon.]

[Your soul level has increased.]

[All traits, skills, and powers connected to the Draconic species have increased by 1 level.]

[You have earned a piece of a Red Dragon.]

[You have gained absolute control over the fire property.]

[You have gained the title ‘Controller of Fire’.]

Yeon-woo as though he were floating from the rapid increase in his level, as though he were about to fly up to the sky. He pulled himself together as he heard a slicing sound. The fire’s energy that flowed along his skin settled down.

[Congratu…lations.] Boo, who was standing next to him, bowed. 

Yeon-woo nodded and looked down at his hand. His forehead wrinkled. ‘It doesn’t seem like much has changed.’ He couldn’t feel any physical changes. He spun his Magic Circuit around, but neither its quality nor its quantity had changed at all. He entered the world of his consciousness, wondering what had happened, only to gasp.

The small and frustrating world of his mind had expanded endlessly. His head felt bright, like all the fog had been swept away, and the range of his thoughts and the amount of information that he could absorb had been amplified. He immediately comprehended the laws of the world around him. 

When he activated his Draconic Eyes, he could see more imperfections swirling around, and after projecting his Extrasensory Perception, he sensed countless things. All kinds of laws of physics were bound tightly together, and these things were all bound to him in turn. Was this the law of causality that he had always heard about?

Yeon-woo could feel the different gazes on him from the other side of the world, past the sky, earth, and rocks. He had felt them vaguely before, but now they were incomparably clear. Some gazes were warm, some cold. Others were filled with curiosity, playfulness, or rage. ‘That’s unpleasant.’

Yeon-woo wondered how he could get rid of the gazes, but there didn’t seem to be a way at the moment. He couldn’t even escape the laws of physics that bound him, how would he shake off the watchful eyes of gods and demons? He didn’t know how the Martial King and the other high rankers lived with this sensation. 

Yeon-woo focused his senses elsewhere to escape the gazes for a little while. He could see tiny sparks in the air, and when he lightly touched them with his fingers, they burst into flames and disappeared. There were so many things he didn’t understand, and he remembered that Galliard had told him to control his body during times like these.

‘Consciousness.’ He needed to read his body while expanding the world of his mind. As he did, Yeon-woo realized that although his body hadn’t changed noticeably since he’d absorbed the Summer Queen’s soul, he’d gained something else: latent potential.  

The limits of his body and soul had expanded to unimaginable heights. The obstacles in his path had changed. Maybe…just maybe…he might even surpass his brother. He would need to work harder to digest this latent potential, but so what? Yeon-woo had accomplished a great deal just by shaking off his constraints. 

* * *

“Well, I’ll be off, then. I’ll make some nice items for you by tomorrow, so don’t act crazy like you did with Walpurgisnacht.”

“Thank you for your help.”

“I didn’t do it to help you! I just did it for the money! How will I get the money if you’re hurt?” Henova complained with a red face. Behind him were items left behind by the Summer Queen that he planned on turning into different weapons at Yeon-woo’s request. They would be useful both to Yeon-woo and the future clan.

Brahm smiled faintly as he watched Henova leave through the portal. “Even before, I could feel that you and Henova have a strange relationship.”  

“Yes, I’m a victim of his scolding.”

“Haha.” Brahm snorted. He could hear respect for Henova in Yeon-woo’s voice. Although Henova complained a lot, there was warmth in his eyes when he talked to Yeon-woo, as though he were his father.  

Brahm didn’t ask why Yeon-woo didn’t reveal his identity to Henova. He didn’t want to get in between them, and he felt like Yeon-woo had something planned. He felt a pang of envy and pain as he thought of Ananta, who was still unable to come to her senses. What was making his daughter suffer so much?

“Then I’ll leave the rest to you.”

“I understand, so just focus on subjugating floors now. If there are good items or specimens, bring them here.”

“Yes, sir. Understood.”

Brahm talked like he was telling Yeon-woo to bring home stray cats. Yeon-woo smirked and exited the dungeon, leaving the rest of the tasks involved in creating the clan to Brahm and Galliard. 

Although Brahm was busy taking care of Ananta, he had managed to restore the Outer Space, and he was now planning on completing his lab to create a cure for Ananta. Galliard would take care of the rest, so he didn’t need to worry. With this, everything was complete. All Yeon-woo needed was people.  

He planned to focus on climbing again, but this time, with a difference. He would keep an eye out for anyone worth recruiting. He already had a couple in mind. ‘It would be nice if we could have Kahn and Doyle.’

However, he couldn’t find a trace of them, which was frustrating. Fortunately, he had a few other candidates in mind, many from his brother’s diary. He couldn’t just pick anyone, so he had to be careful. Even though he had opened up somewhat, Yeon-woo was still wary and suspicious.

[Would you like to enter the Tower?]

Yeon-woo entered the Tower after he read the message. As he looked at the bright light that glowed around it, he wondered what the sky looked like from the top of the Tower.

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