Chapter 427 - Mask Off (2)

Many in the Tower were curious about the face behind the Hoarder’s mask. Some said he wore a mask to hide a scarred face, others believed that he was hiding his identity because he was a member of a species that was hard to find in the Tower. There were various guesses, but most of the Tower believed he covered his face because he was at odds with some people.

None of the players who entered the Tower had lived normal lives, and so a lot of people wore hoods or masks to hide their faces like the Hoarder.

Only those who were part of a large clan that placed importance on being a part of a group revealed their hidden identities, and since most players in the Tower were individualistic, they didn’t pry into other players’ identities.

However, many were stunned when they saw the Hoarder without his mask. It was a face that everyone knew—and knew to be dead.

The long silence was broken by a scream.

“H-Heaven Wing!”

“How is Heaven Wing…?”

“H-h-he’s not d-dead?”

“R-r-run…!”

Confusion spread like a disease among the players.

“Run!”

As someone shouted, only one thought filled the panicked players’ heads: they needed to escape somehow!

“Protect the dictator!”

“We must take the dictator to safety!”

“Escort Master!”

“Stop him!”

Unaffiliated rankers began to run away without looking back, and players of large clans dashed forward to try to stop Yeon-woo and create a blockade of people to prevent him from moving forward. Since he was the resurrected Heaven Wing, it was obvious who his targets were!

Swish. As if responding to their thoughts, Yeon-woo flapped his wings once more and rushed towards them. Boom! Magic and skills exploded in the sky, aiming for Yeon-woo.

“Move.” However, he just swung Vigrid in annoyance.  

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

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

Yeon-woo sent black Aura into the blade and brandished it around him. The black Aura exploded, eliminating the magic and skills in the air, as he pushed his way through the fire and reached the players.

“Aaaaaack!”

“Aaack!”

As Yeon-woo passed, players grabbed their chests or fell to the ground with pale faces, mouths frothing. The power of death that rose from the wide shadow on the ground trapped them. Yeon-woo headed for the place nearest to him, where the Elohim and Magnus were.  

“Aaaack!”

“Block…!”

The players protecting Magnus were flung aside by black fire, and the Seven Member Squad took their positions, raising their swords. Their dictator, Magnus, was disconnected from his Channels and had used a significant amount of his strength to fight Kalatus. It was too dangerous for him to fight Yeon-woo in his condition.

Kashing! They had already suffered many losses, including Uros, their leader, but as a group of high-rankers, they were a powerful force even within the Elohim. Although Vigrid had spilled the blood of players as though they were pigs and cows at a slaughterhouse, it was blocked for the first time.

‘I blocked…!’ Graecia was happy for a brief moment as he blocked the sword, thinking Yeon-woo could now be stopped.

Pewk! Suddenly a blade came from somewhere and cut his head off. The blade began to attack the others as well. Rebecca had joined the battle. The remaining members of the Seven Member Squad were caught up dealing with Rebecca as Yeon-woo faced Magnus. No words were necessary. All Yeon-woo needed to do was kill him.

Flutter. Click! The pieces of the Ruyi Bang whirled out of Yeon-woo’s chest and formed a shaft that connected to Vigrid.

[Eight Extreme Swords - Secret Skill Connection]

[Heaven Bracket - Lightning Strike]

When the Ruyi Bang and Vigrid moved, thunder boomed and sharp winds with black lightning cut Magnus’ arms and legs. Magnus pushed his hands forward with Giant’s Pendulum, creating a tremendous pressure.

Vigrid’s momentum paused, and Magnus shot consecutive gusts of wind, as if he wasn’t done yet. Yeon-woo used his black Aura to move them aside and activated Blink to arrive behind Magnus. However, Magnus turned around as though he’d been expecting it and stretched his palms forward again.

Boom! An unbelievable explosion burst out as they collided with the sword. Lightning flashed out, and a deep crater formed in the ground.  

“Long…time no see, Heaven Wing. Have you been well?” Magnus’ eyelids twitched as he looked at Yeon-woo. He was still looking to see if the one in front of him was really the Heaven Wing he knew.

Heaven Wing and Yeon-woo were so different that he doubted they were the same person. Their attitude, quality, skill, powers…unlike Heaven Wing, who always shone with justice, nearly everything Yeon-woo had was related to death and darkness.

“Do you think I’ve been well?” Yeon-woo smiled sardonically.

Magnus pushed Vigrid back with the strength of giants and somehow managed to smile generously. “I heard you’ve been through a lot. But we shouldn’t be fighting like this. I…”

“Shut up.” Yeon-woo pushed Vigrid and flung Magnus back, as if he had no intention of listening to what he had to say. It was obvious that he would say it had been a misunderstanding, and that the Elohim never had any intention of hurting him. It just ended up that way.

Magnus was skilled at wrapping himself up in the appearance of justice, and his brother had fallen for it at the beginning. He realized too late that Magnus didn’t even think of him as human.

Magnus was a moral and honest person. He was so upright that even though he was the first to have absolute authority within a balanced system of power like Elohim, he didn’t ask for more and retired when it was time. However, that righteousness only applied to those with divine blood like him.

In Magnus’ eyes, aside from the Elohim, Draconic species, and One-horned tribe, everyone else was uncivilized and had to be ruled. He considered Jeong-woo as a lucky guy who happened to inherit the power of the dragons. He thought Jeong-woo didn’t know his place, which was why he’d betrayed Jeong-woo and tried to steal his power. While he’d never fought Jeong-woo directly, it didn’t change the fact that he’d been behind the betrayal.

‘All that aside, it’s unpardonable that he tried to take Sesha.’ From the moment he discovered that the Elohim were planning a ridiculous attempt to restore the Draconic species and tried to lay their hands on Sesha, Yeon-woo planned on getting rid of them. That included Magnus, who was behind all their schemes.

At the moment, the Channels that protected Magnus were all shut, and it was time to deal with him while he was vulnerable. Otherwise, he would find a way to return in the future and get in Yeon-woo’s way.

[The remaining time left to ‘Sky Wings’ is 27 seconds.]

Most likely because he’d overused his powers at the beginning, Yeon-woo didn’t have as much time as he normally did, and he was using a lot of magic power to maintain Binah. He had less than thirty seconds left. ‘That’s enough.’ Yeon-woo burned his powers even more fiercely and pushed Magnus back.

“Kuk!” Magnus was forced to watch his skills and magic being crushed by Yeon-woo’s overwhelming strength. Giant’s Pendulum and Giant Intent weren’t enough to stop the power of Demonic Divine Draconic Body.

There was a slight pause after Vigrid reached Magnus’ neck.

[The familiar, Death Noble (Shanon), has successfully eliminated the player ‘Tarbing’.]

[‘Monster’ has been successfully absorbed.]

[The familiar, Death Noble (Hanryeong), has successfully eliminated the player ‘Tuan Tien’.]

[‘Ghost’ has been successfully absorbed.]

[The Soulstone (Stone of Superbia) and Soulstone (Stone of Gula) have successfully stolen all functions.]

[Final result: 96.8%.]

[Harmonization is being attempted.]

[Combination is being attempted.]

[A significant amount of time may be required to finish the ‘Stone of Sin’.]

He already had the Ruk, or power, of Guai Ruk Nan Shin through the Gluttony Emperor. After Duke Tarbing’s and Duke Tuan Tien’s deaths, the remaining Guai Ruk Nan Shin went to Yeon-woo and were successfully absorbed by the Stone of Superbia and Stone of Gula.

This was another growth for Yeon-woo that was enough to break the skill that allowed Magnus to endure against Vigrid. The blade sliced through Magnus’ neck.

Magnus opened and closed his mouth as though he wanted to say something, but Yeon-woo had already cut through his neck. It was an anticlimactic death for the king supported by so many of his clan members and known for reconstructing the Elohim.

“S-Sir Magnus…!”

“Even the dictator is…!”

The forces of the Elohim were dumbfounded when Magnus was defeated.

[The activation time of ‘Sky Wings’ has expired.]

[The next window for activation will occur after 24 hours.]

The huge Sky Wings shrank into Fire Wings, and when the movement of the thousands of powers stopped, Yeon-woo felt his body stiffen from the aftereffects. He tried to hide it as much as possible and spoke coldly as he looked at the remaining Blood Land and Elohim players. “Take care of them all.”

Kikikik.  The Spirit Guai and the black shadow expanded over the players, and Yeon-woo moved again, leaving them behind. There was still a lot of prey left.

* * *

Honor to master!

Give the king his enemies’ death, our king who sits upon the throne of death!

On the battlefield of shadows and Spirit Guai, an army of death in black armor had appeared with their spears raised high. They got into formation and pushed back the enemies with cheers. It was Dis Pluto, Hades’ subordinates who now answered to Yeon-woo.

They couldn’t demonstrate their true strength because Yeon-woo hadn’t yet gained transcendence, but they marched forward, as if to prove the war in Tartarus hadn’t been won by luck. White Dragon, Black Dragon, and the Devil Army found themselves in a desperate situation. Blood Land and the Elohim were nearly decimated, and they were next in line.

Dis Pluto pressured them from the front, and the Fantasy Regiment appeared at their flanks. Behind them, Demon Beauty Castle didn’t budge and prevented them from escaping. Most importantly, Kalatus had entered the fourth phase and was in a frenzy.

Although he couldn’t use much magic and no longer had the dignity of the last dragon king, Kalatus still had remnants of holy power to heal his body and crush the players. A swish of his tail blew players away, and when his Breath descended, some didn’t even leave a corpse behind.

Waltz, Tom, and the Head Bishop were already in a terrible state when they saw Yeon-woo flying towards them after taking care of Magnus and the rest of Blood Land.

“At this rate, we can’t avoid total annihilation.” The Head Bishop smiled bitterly as he watched Yeon-woo. The time he’d spent separated from his Channels was so long that he was aging once more. He could feel his joints creaking. “What about releasing it now?” The Head Bishop turned to Waltz.

Waltz pulled back the fist that was punching Kalatus and turned to him. Her dispassionate gaze met the Head Bishop’s, as if asking what he meant.

“I’ve lived long enough, so if I die, I can just think it was the Heavenly Demon’s will. But you—you’re still young. You have more days ahead of you than those you’ve already lived. Are you going to give up your life here?”

Waltz looked at the Head Bishop wordlessly.

“And really, I can’t take my life lightly either because of the believers who are still alive. I have a proposal.”

Waltz’s mouth opened for the first time. “What is it?”

“Block that troublemaker for a short while.” The Head Bishop nodded at Yeon-woo. “This geezer has a couple of tricks up his sleeve. I’ll make it so we can leave this frustrating stage. Give me some time to focus.” 

“This place is his territory. We’re trapped in it, so it won’t be easy.”

“Stop acting. Do you think I don’t know you’ve already overcome the curse, and have a few more tricks up your sleeve? If you had stepped up, the emperor and the dictator wouldn’t have disappeared like that.”

Waltz didn’t say anything.

“You were probably thinking of weeding out the competition. But this is enough. No more.”

Waltz retreated. “What do I have to do?”

“Like I said, buy me some time.”

‘Tsk. Sly geezer.’ Waltz clucked her tongue at how easily the Head Bishop read her thoughts and stepped forward. Just as Yeon-woo had tried to get rid of them during the confusion, Waltz was waiting to attack Yeon-woo when he was powerless since he was her mother’s enemy and someone she had to kill. But now, it seemed she couldn’t wait any longer. “I can’t last that long, either. My broken Nascent Soul Bodies took a toll on me.”

“Stop exaggerating. I only need a moment.”

Waltz released her fists and stepped forward. Yeon-woo had awakened his Dragon Body, but she also had something equal—and even greater than his.

“Domain Declaration.”

A blue wind spread around Waltz and began to push back the shadow territory.

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