Chapter 426 - Mask Off (1)

Boom! The Gluttony Emperor’s hand and Vigrid collided as Yeon-woo descended. Black Aura exploded as Wave of Fire whirled violently around the Gluttony Emperor to tear him apart.

“Teach me? What can a scumbag like you teach me?!” The Gluttony Emperor ripped the whirlwind apart and ran towards Yeon-woo, his bulging stomach growing even bigger and shooting forward like a battering ram trying to burst through a door.

Yeon-woo wrapped his wings around himself to block the Gluttony Emperor. The impact of their collision made black fire soar up to the sky once more.

“Hoarder! You’re finally showing your face!”

“You dare massacre the precious citizens of our country? You will not be forgiven!” Duke Tuan Tien and Duke Tarbing appeared at each side of the Gluttony Emperor, aiming their attacks at Yeon-woo.

They had rushed over after realizing that the Gluttony Emperor was in danger from their connection with the Stone of Gula. However, their attacks couldn’t even get through as Yeon-woo’s shadow lengthened, and Shanon and Hanryeong blocked their swords.

Hey, hey. We’ll be sad if you forget about us.

I’ve wanted to see the sword techniques of Blood Land’s dukes for a long time.

Hm? You haven't seen them, yet? I thought you used to be a battle maniac?

They were too difficult to approach…before I became famous!

Clang! Shanon let out Volcano to push against Duke Tarbing. Every stroke of his sword created a storm of fire that forced the duke to retreat.

Hanryeong tossed his nine swords in the air and began his sword dance. He had already recovered his previous power, and after swallowing the souls of several rankers, his movements were light but full of danger.

“The…Saber God?”

You recognize me?

“How is a dead Martial God from Cheonghwado with such riffraff…!”

Because I was once riffraff myself.

Hanryeong began to slash at the shocked Duke Tuan Tien. Realizing that he was in danger of losing, the duke also pulled out his swords and returned the attack. As the fight between the subordinates began, the battle between their masters grew fiercer.

[The hidden true name of ‘Vigrid-???’ Durendal is released.]

[Folklore: Cutting in two with one strike of the sword]

Once its true name changed, the heavy sword for killing dragons became lighter and split the air. Since Black Aura was a condensed form of Wave of Fire, it created a greater destructive force when it was released, and Yeon-woo used this to his advantage.  

Wave of Fire exploded with each stroke of his blade, alternating with the Eight Extreme Swords that slashed and pierced the Gluttony Emperor.

“You!” The Gluttony Emperor grew more enraged. After ingesting the flesh and blood of Kalatus, he now had better control over the challenging Stone of Gula, but even with that, he was at a disadvantage.

He grew even more furious that even though his skin had easily withstood the Head Bishop’s fire, it couldn’t avoid getting scorched by the black Aura. The purple energy quickly healed his injuries, but he couldn’t see a way to escape Yeon-woo’s attacks.

“I bet you’re going crazy because things aren’t going your way, huh?”

The Gluttony Emperor felt shivers down his back as the golden eyes behind the mask seemed to read his mind. “It’s because you’re using the stone so badly. Using Draconic Factors to control the stone is a good idea, but your methods are all wrong.”

“You?” The Gluttony Emperor realized that the Soulstone he had kept a secret from everyone had been discovered.

“That’s not how you use it.” Yeon-woo smirked at the shocked Gluttony Emperor and brought Vigrid down. The Philosopher’s Stone and Dragon Heart resonated, and flaming lightning bolts hurtled to the ground, blasting off the Gluttony Emperor’s arms as he tried to stop them.

“Aaaaack!”

“But you did do something right. The Guai Ruk Nan Shin? Pretty useful. Although the way you used it was incorrect.” Not caring whether the Gluttony Emperor was listening, Yeon-woo sent the Nan—chaos—he’d been keeping inside the Philosopher’s Stone to Boo. Nan was the power that twisted laws and put the truth in disorder. It was the perfect ability for Boo.

The Elder Lich’s Inferno Sight brightened like will-o’-wisps in the sky. Come…death… At Boo’s command, the shadows darkening the battlefield ground grew thicker, like a marsh. The fire plundering the land turned black and blazed higher.

The eyes of the Spirit Guai began to radiate a purple light. They bared their teeth and tore their prey to death. A gigantic hole appeared in the sky and spewed out the undead from the dungeon. The Gluttony Emperor couldn’t tell whether he was in a hellfire-filled Netherworld or the fiftieth stage of the Dragon Temple.

Still, it was out of the question for him to request the help of the other Nine Kings. Boom! The infuriated Kalatus entered the third phase after his imperfections had been divided, and the other Nine Kings were tied up, apart from being heavily injured.

“Damn it!” The Gluttony Emperor felt frustrated. His arm had already healed, only to be cut off again. Equal amounts of purple energy and blood poured out of his body, and in addition to that, the power he’d given to his subordinates had been stolen and was being used right in front of him. His mind was on the verge of exploding. Because of the Dragon’s Curse, his powers were restricted, and there wasn’t anything he could do.

No, there was one thing: a power he’d kept sealed up after using it once during his youth because its aftereffects were too destructive. It was the reason he had been able to eat all of his brothers and relatives to sit on the throne.

“Arghhhh!” He unleashed the Stone of Gula sleeping in his stomach. As though it were an inflating balloon, the Gluttony Emperor’s body expanded ten times its original size. “Kraaaaaa!” His body grew to over a meter wide and was as great as a giant’s. Purple energy gushed out of the tone of Gula and manifested the emperor’s instincts and desires.

Eat. Eat everything. Eat all those below you and don’t let anyone who looks down on you live. The Gluttony Emperor never forgot that he was an emperor, and he believed that everyone ought to kneel in front of him. The situation now seemed little more than a bunch of lowly creatures trying to rebel against him. He needed to show his might as emperor and carve the difference between him and the rest onto their hearts. “I’ll…kill…you…!”

The first person the Gluttony Emperor believed ought to kneel was, of course, Yeon-woo. With each step, the emperor made the ground shake. The madness that accompanied the purple energy filled his head with only one thought: kill Yeon-woo. His eyes reddened.

[Time Difference]

Yeoo-woo faced the emperor and carefully analyzed his movements in a slowed time. He wanted to see if there were any methods of using the Soulstone that he could study, like the Guai Ruk Nan Shin. ‘There’s none.’

The emperor was just using the stone as it came to him. He wasn’t even using it properly. He was just an addict drunk on his own greed. Yeon-woo had only allowed him to get close in order to study him, but it seemed like there hadn’t been any need to do so. ‘From the beginning, he wasn’t fit to be one of the Nine Kings, anyway.’ Letting him keep the Soulstone was like casting pearls before swine.

Yeon-woo returned time back to normal and sprang forward. Boom!

The Gluttony Emperor’s fist landed at the spot Yeon-woo had just vacated. Cracks that were meters wide appeared on the earth, and rocks bounced up.

Yeon-woo activated Blink and appeared behind the Gluttony Emperor’s legs, swinging Vigrid.

“Aaack!”

Thud! The emperor fell to the ground as his Achilles tendon was cut. Yeon-woo didn’t have to worry about the purple energy strengthening the emperor’s body. From what he could see with Draconic Eyes, he could just slash the flow of magic power from the Stone of Gula and burn the cut to worsen the injury. Blood Flowers bloomed around the Gluttony Emperor’s ankle.

[Wicked Devil]

[Black Gubitara]

Yeon-woo didn’t miss the opportunity, and he quickly used Vigrid to unleash the secret skills of the Eight Extreme Swords one by one. He released the Eight Trigrams, from Qian to Xun, with each swing. He cut off all the Gluttony Emperor’s limbs, creating a sea of blood around them.

“Aaaack!”

The Blood Flowers greedily absorbed the emperor’s health and magic power, delivering all the energy to Yeon-woo along with the purple energy of the Stone of Gula. The Philosopher's Stone didn’t lose a single bit of the energy and took it all in, improving the quality of the Soulstone.

[The effect of ‘Black Gubitara’ allows you to absorb a part of your opponent’s magic power.]

[The Soulstone (Stone of Superbia) has discovered the energy of the Soulstone (Stone of Gula) and is attempting to absorb it.]

[The Soulstone (Stone of Superbia) has discovered the energy of the Soulstone (Stone of Gula) and is attempting to absorb it.]

[The Soulstone (Stone of Gula) has rejected the Soulstone (Stone of Superbia). The Soulstone (Stone of Superbia) is attempting to force a unification.]

[The Soulstone (Stone of Superbia) has succeeded in absorbing magic power.]

[The Soulstone (Stone of Superbia) is becoming a ‘Stone of Sin’. Please absorb more magic power.]

“Y-you…!” The Gluttony Emperor was shocked that his secret weapon had not only failed, but had also been taken. He finally realized what Yeon-woo was attempting to do. He was also a Soulstone owner too—except he could use it more skillfully! “Aaaaah!”

The Gluttony Emperor shot out magic power and threw punches from the fear of losing the Stone of Gula, but it was too difficult to match Yeon-woo’s speed. Because he’d grown so much larger, he’d also slowed down, making himself more vulnerable. “Move! I said, move!” He became frightened at the possibility of being defeated. He’d always been the one to create fear in others, and now he was on the receiving end. “Aaaah…!” He was filled with terror at his impending death.

[Nergal laughs.]

[Izanami laughs.]

[The King of Seven Hells laughs.]

[Aesma-daeva laughs.]

[Halphas laughs.]

[Hel laughs.]

The Gluttony Emperor realized that multiple gods and demons behind Yeon-woo were looking at him mockingly. Death was already climbing past his chin to drown him. With Vigrid, Yeon-woo cut off the Gluttony Emperor’s arm and stabbed his chest.

Yeon-woo didn’t stop there. He pulled out Carshina’s Dagger and the Magic Bayonet from his waist and stabbed the emperor’s stomach and ripped it open. Through the gushing blood, he could see squirming organs and Blood Flowers. The Stone of Gula nestled among them, glowing with a purple light.   

The Stone of Gula exuded more magic power, fearing it might be absorbed by the Stone of Superbia, but the Blood Flowers only absorbed the energy and filled the Philosopher’s Stone. Yeon-woo sank his left hand inside the emperor’s stomach without any hesitation. Blacks bumps opened on his palm, and sharp canines crunched the Stone of Gula.

[Bathory’s Vampiric Sword is absorbing the Soulstone (Stone of Gula).]

[It is an artifact that is beyond the range of the skill. The skill has failed to activate.]

[The skill is being attempted again.]

[It has failed.]

[The skill is being attempted again.]

[It has failed.]

[Through the Dragon Root, the Soulstone (Stone of Superbia) has automatically connected to the skill.]

[The skill has been attempted again.]

[The attempt has been successful.]

[Energy Drain is starting.]

The Stone of Gula couldn’t resist the greedy Stone of Superbia, which began to chew it up. The Gluttony Emperor’s body began to split apart as his soul and stone were taken, twisting at strange angles as Blood Flowers grew on his face. “Save…me…!” He shouted desperately in fear.

Yeon-woo moved close to his face and smiled coldly. “You said that you’d give me anything I wanted after we finished searching for the labyrinth, right? Your life should be sufficient.”

“Just…why?! Why are you doing this to me…?! I…I was good to you…!”

“Don’t worry. You’ll find out soon enough.”

Yeon-woo dug Bathory’s Vampiric Sword deeper as he looked at the Gluttony Emperor’s face crease like paper, increasing the speed of Energy Drain.

“N-no…!” The Gluttony Emperor’s words vanished into the air.

[‘Bathory’s Vampiric Sword’ has successfully absorbed the Soulstone (Stone of Gula). Final result: 89.2%]

[Congratulations! ‘Bathory’s Vampiric Sword’ skill proficiency has reached the maximum level.]

[All stats related to the skill increase.]

[Your health has increased by 30 points.]

[Your magic power has increased by 35 points.]

……

[New skills are being sought in consideration of your stats.]

As he felt the vicious Stone of Superbia and the Stone of Gula avoiding conflict in the Philosopher’s Stone, he slowly stood and looked around. The players were all frozen in shock. They had already found it difficult to deal with the Spirit Guai and the undead, but they never imagined that a king would die.

When the Summer Queen had died, it had been at the hands of another king, the Martial King. It was a huge event for a rookie to bring down a king. Magnus and the other kings felt the same. “Who…are you?”

At Magnus’ shaking eyes, Yeon-woo raised his hand to his mask instead of replying. Clack. Magnus and the other players seemed even more appalled at the face that Yeon-woo revealed. It was a familiar face that they’d believed was long dead!

“I’m sure you know who I am, right?”

The dead player had shining silver armor and pure white wings, while the Hoarder had a black coat with black wings. They were total opposites, and the black fire around Yeon-woo seemed even more ominous and menacing.

At that moment, Yeon-woo took on his brother’s identity and smiled, baring his teeth. “I’ll take you down to hell, just like you did to me.”

It was a declaration of war; the first time in Jeong-woo’s and Arthia’s names.

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