Chapter 428 - Mask Off (3)

Crunch. Waltz’s calm eyes grew frightening, and dragon scales began to grow all over her torso. Wings shot out of her shoulders, and when her tail thumped on the ground it was as though an earthquake had shaken the ground.

Waltz’s Dragon Human body was one step above Yeon-woo’s since she was at the sixth step of the awakening. She could already send her mind to affect the natural laws—an ability called the Heart Sword by the One-horned tribe—and different types of magic passed down by the Summer Queen activated over her. Multiple buffs amplified her aura, and a storm of qi rose from her in a blue wave to meet the black shadow around Yeon-woo.

The atmosphere grew tense as neither blue wave nor black shadow seemed ready to back down. Then, a new pressure poured from the sky to bear down on Yeon-woo’s shoulders.  

[An intense pressure is restricting your body. You have been afflicted with ‘Stun’.]

[Your trait, Cold-blooded, has helped you maintain composure.]

[The status 'Stun' has been removed.]  

As always, Yeon-woo’s Cold-blooded trait overcame Stun, but when he paused, Waltz took a step forward and suddenly appeared behind him, aiming for his neck, using Blink with martial arts. This martial art was familiar to Yeon-woo as well; it was from the One-horned tribe and called the Seventy-Two Waves Sword.

It was a sword technique, but Waltz was adept enough to use her hand like a blade covered in Aura. Clang! Calculating the distance between them, Yeon-woo turned halfway and pulled the Magic Bayonet out instead of Vigrid. He deflected Waltz’s hand. ‘As strong as expected.’

It was only a single strike, but Yeon-woo had to acknowledge that Waltz was strong, as expected of the player who had managed to hold her own against the Head Elder of the One-horned tribe. She lived up to the name of the Summer Queen’s descendant. ‘I want to get through her somehow, but…’ Yeon-woo quickly scanned the players behind her.

Tom was still battling Kalatus, and the Head Bishop was sitting down, muttering a spell. It was obvious that they were trying to buy some time. He needed to attack the Head Bishop first in order to ruin their plans, but Waltz stood in front of him like an insurmountable wall. She had just released her presence and clapped her hands together, and he couldn’t see a way past at all. All imperfections were cut off around her, and he’d have trouble dealing with her even if he opened Sky Wings.  

A memory of Waltz’s Nascent Body from the battle with Triton’s Benteke flashed through his mind. He still remembered that she’d managed to chase after him even though she had been critically injured. If Heidi and the others hadn’t helped him, he would have been in real trouble. He could feel the same emotions from that moment return. However, he only raised a corner of his mouth. “I can get even this time.”

“Go ahead, let’s see if you can.” Waltz said impassively to Yeon-woo. “You’ll probably die first.” There were no limitations to her movement, as though she weren’t bound by the Dragon’s Curse at all.

Swish. Yeon-woo avoided her hand and slashed her waist with Vigrid. Although Waltz was at a higher level than he was and he couldn’t activate his Sky Wings, she was also at a disadvantage because of the injuries she’d sustained from battling Kalatus.

The victor could be anyone. The black Aura surrounding Vigrid’s white blade exploded.

“I’ve seen this before.” Waltz just scoffed as she watched. “Boring.” It was the first stage of Wave of Fire, which caused consecutive explosions with Aura, but Waltz just smirked as if she already predicted how he would attack. She stamped her foot hard. Boom!

The impact of her foot not only pushed the black Aura away, it also blew Yeon-woo back. He trailed smoke as he flew off into the distance. Waltz buffed herself more and quickly closed the distance between then.

“I guess you haven’t improved at all.” The strike she prepared was infused with Rotating Energy. “You should be careful. Your head will be blown off today.” It was a powerful strike that was followed by movements that made the ground quiver and space tear.  

Yeon-woo was pushed back by her pure martial arts skills. Clang! His hands moved faster as they blocked Waltz’s hands. Each attack she made was so dangerous, as though she were hammering away at him relentlessly, that he found it hard to counterattack. Also, because her Dragon Body was at a level higher than his, Yeon-woo was at a disadvantage. However, he still didn’t fall behind.

He compensated for the gap between their physiques with his special trait, Demonic Draconic Divine Body, and he made up for his insufficient martial arts skills with magic power.

His Fire Wings grew larger, and black Aura fell on Waltz’s head like lightning. She raised her hand and the energy around her took the form of a dragon with Bodhi Jade Dragon Human. As though it were a dragon were twisting to ascend to the sky, it clashed into his Aura. Boom!

The broken pieces of Aura ripped through the air and floated up on the wind before turning into floral shapes.

Falling Plum Petals

As she watched the falling plum petals, Waltz danced the martial art she created through enlightenment. The red petals floating through the air were a beautiful sight, but anyone who discovered it was actually a form of condensed Aura would turn cold. The petals whirled around Waltz, and there was another burst of Thunder Feet and Rotating Energy. As she released her Hundred Step Fist, the dancing petals spread out and shot towards Yeon-woo. Boom.

[Time Difference]

In the shower of petals, Yeon-woo’s thoughts sped up and comprehended the attack of the Hundred Step Fist. ‘Shoulder Well.’ Then, he guessed the locations of the flowers that surrounded him. ‘Highest Spring, Little Sea, Heart Gate, Leaking Valley…’ They were all important meridians of the body. It meant Waltz was well-versed in the internal cultivation system as well.

After quickly deciding how to cut their flow, he raised Vigrid. The particles of black Aura dispersed through the air. Thousands of sharp winds sliced through the flowers, and Vigrid slid through the attack of Hundred Step Fist into Waltz’s stomach.

Everything happened quickly, and those watching the fight were so dazzled by the beautiful sight that they forgot for a moment what the stakes were. However, the result was a gruesome reminder.

The flowers and winds exploded, sweeping the ground with fire once again. Just as Vigrid was about to penetrate Waltz’s heart, she quickly turned around, and Vigrid passed through her armpit. She clamped down on it with her arm. Crunch!

Although Yeon-woo tried to pull Vigrid out, it didn’t budge. That was how powerful Waltz was. Vigrid began to produce a cracking sound. Waltz’s body was like a fortress after all the external cultivation that had hardened her body into iron combined with the dragon scales and defensive magic.

She managed to crush Vigrid into pieces which spread between them, and then, curving her fingers, she clawed Yeon-woo’s torso

Black Tiger Claw

The martial art that called to mind a tiger tearing its prey apart with its claws was so intense, it seemed to split the world. The torn petals gathered again and turned into five claws, ripping the black coat that had protected Yeon-woo so well. They tore through his dragon scales and as blood spurted out, the wound revealed his internal organs.

“I’m going to kill you.” Waltz pushed her Dragon Heart further and struck the last blow. The petals scattered then condensed at the end of her attack.

Yeon-woo quickly flapped his Fire Wings and tried to activate Blink.

“That’s useless.” Before he could do anything, Waltz’s dispelling magic activated and he failed to escape. “I told you I’m going to kill you here.”

Boom. Rotating Energy exploded from Waltz’s fist again along with condensed energy. The Hundred Step Fist was a technique meant for long-range attacks, and so the closer it was, the greater its power.

A hole the size of a head appeared in Yeon-woo’s chest. However, as though she weren’t finished, Waltz closed the distance between them and grabbed Yeon-woo’s neck.

“Oraboni!” Startled, Edora tried to run over, but Waltz was faster.

Yeon-woo’s reflection loomed in her blazing eyes. It was time to resolve her mother’s grudge. “Die.” Crunch. She tightened her fist and twisted Yeon-woo’s neck. It was an anticlimactic end for the player who had just killed two kings, the Gluttony Emperor and Dictator Magnus.

Waltz was overjoyed that she’d finally avenged her mother. It was the moment she had longed for. For the first time, her furious eyes were full of happiness—at least until she heard a ticking sound. Tick-tock!  

[Precognition]

The quiet ticking of the clock seemed to echo in Waltz’s head. Yeon-woo’s corpse disappeared from her hands, and everything grew blurry, as though it were a dream. With her dragon’s mind, she immediately realized what had happened. She had only seen a possibility that had almost occurred but didn’t. The person who had caused this illusion appeared at her blind spot with his right wing unfurled.

[Sky Wings - Wing of Fight]

He could only open Sky Wings after a rest period of twenty-four hours because of the wing of death, but there was no prohibition like that for the wing of fight. It was still incomplete, and Yeon-woo’s future accomplishments had yet to be recorded by it. He’d paused his left wing’s recovery and focused on his right one successfully.

With Precognition, he could now see fifteen seconds into the future. He couldn’t evade everything that he saw, and so his coat and flesh was still ripped open. However, he had accomplished an incredible feat—he attacked Waltz’s weakness, her neck.

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

[Folklore: Decapitation of dragons]

Blood spurted out as Vigrid split the dragon scales on Waltz’s neck.

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