Chapter 478 - The Tortoise and The Hare (3)

“I wonder what expression the Snapping Turtle will have after it reads the letter.” When he saw Yeon-woo and the Vampiric Lord tumble into the Rabbit Tunnel as though the tunnel were swallowing them, Laplace raised his head upward. The smile on his face grew wider and did not seem like it would disappear any time soon. Had it been that long since he had made a satisfyingly spiteful joke?

Bam! Bam! Bam! At that moment, the barrier of the Illusory World shattered into pieces. The blue sky disappeared, replaced by a red one.  

“Really, such rude guests. Is it really OK to be this rude? That’s why you’ll probably never get married.” Laplace laughed lightly as he watched Maxwell—Tarneck’s persona as the Demon King—standing in the air. Tarneck’s enormous body covered a large part of the red sky. Suddenly, Laplace turned back into the bald, middle-aged man with rabbit ears. As soon as Tarneck saw Laplace’s cute rabbit ears fold and unfold, he frowned. The atmosphere around him trembled as if it were expressing his displeasure.

You’re doing weird things again, Laplace.

“Isn’t it cute and stylish?”

Tarneck had already experienced Laplace’s true personality and mannerisms several times in the past, so he knew there was no point in responding to Laplace. His target was not Laplace, anyway.

There! Tarneck burst through the air as he quickly identified Yeon-woo’s location. A Rabbit Tunnel was quickly closing in the back of Laplace’s world.

“If you are a guest with a request, you should take a number and wait your turn!” Laplace lightly clapped his oversized rabbit paws. At the sound, the rabbits and other animals who had been playing around in his paradise world suddenly stopped what they were doing. They all turned their heads to Tarneck.

Boom! Their bodies trembled before they burst with intense magic power. Each one turned into a Demonic Sea monster and rushed towards Tarneck. Like Nessie’s subordinates, Laplace’s subordinates received his powers and Factors in his Illusory World, and they were many times stronger than the monsters living in the Demonic Sea. Each one was a huge threat.

I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but your opponent is not me, Laplace. As soon as Tarneck finished speaking, the Chase Team behind him rushed forward. Additional Guardians had joined the Special Police Force, many of whom had previously served under Tarneck. They immediately clashed against the monsters.

Boom! Boom! Boom! In an instant, an intense wave of energy spread through the sky. At the same time, Lupi fell in front of Laplace. “Th-this time, I’ll m-make s-s-sure to eat you up!” Crying and shivering, Lupi pounced on Laplace without any hesitation. Tears pooled around his eyes, but a large smile spread across his face.

“Hmm, I’m starting to feel a headache coming on. You’re really annoying.” Laplace had already clashed and struggled against the monster of greed, Lupi, so he knew he was in for a tough battle. Laplace clucked his tongue lightly before extending his hands forward. As the former and current top-level Guardians collided, more than half of Laplace’s paradise island disappeared from the single blow. Bam! Bang!

Meanwhile, Tarneck stretched his huge hand through the clouds, grabbed the empty air, and started twisting. Crack! The space around the Rabbit Tunnel twisted violently, forcibly reopening the Rabbit Tunnel, which had been almost closed.

Tarneck stuck his hand inside the opening, grasped once more, and pulled. The Rabbit Tunnel elongated and stretched out like a funnel. He had pulled the edge of the Rabbit Tunnel to where he was standing. Rumble! It was a tremendous show of power.

Flash! The Blood Kings, Vlad Tepes and Gille de Rais, who had been waiting for this moment, jumped into the Rabbit Tunnel. Tarneck also sent his will into the tunnel.

Sss. Like tentacles, his will and magic power spread within the Rabbit Tunnel.

***

[You have entered the unexplored land, ‘Sea of Time and Space’.]

[Warning! You are a trespasser without permission from the Bureau. From this point on, the Central Bureau will mark you for further monitoring.]

[Warning! The Tower system’s influence is relatively weak in this area. Be prepared for confusion and chaos.]

[Warning! You are urged to withdraw from this place…]

As many warning messages popped up, Yeon-woo tried to get his bearings. “They’re coming.” His mind was chaotic and fuzzy, as if he had put himself through a spin cycle. There was no difference between front, back, left, right, top, or bottom in the Sea or Storm of Time and Space, nor was there any way to tell.

Yeon-woo had difficulty finding his balance. His senses were jumbled, and in this place, he could easily lose his mind for a split second and become lost in the storm of space and time forever, to spend eternity as a lost soul.

Luckily, his mental power was as strong as those of the top-ranked players. Yeon-woo held on to his consciousness and started to slowly regain his senses. There seemed to be a sea in this location, but the various twists and turns he encountered made it difficult to tell if he was even standing. On the other hand, the Vampiric Lord came to her senses much quicker than Yeon-woo. She focused her gaze at a point behind herself and muttered to herself—or rather, Yeon-woo thought he was looking behind her, but he wasn’t sure.

“Right now, I have a mind to just subdue you and find out where Count Ferenc is, but…” The Vampiric Lord paused for a moment, her voice conveying that she had a mountain of things she wanted to say. She peeked at Lana before continuing, “If I just did as I wished, I would not be the wise Lord that I am. We will defend you, so deliver the item and finish your quest.”

Although Yeon-woo did not fully understand what the Vampiric Lord meant by her words, he understood enough not to refuse her offer of help. However, he still had some concerns.

The Sea of Time and Space was a place where all divine providences mixed together. Roads and paths possessed no meaning nor did they even exist in this place. One misstep meant that one would probably never find one’s way back.

“After you’ve completed your task, I’ll find you. We will find you wherever you may be,” the Vampiric Lord shouted as if she understood Yeon-woo’s concerns. She then fixed her gaze on a spot where their pursuers were, cutting through the dizzying waves of time and space.

Yeon-woo nodded, grabbed his book, and moved ahead—or at least, in the direction he thought was ahead. Fortunately, the book that Laplace had handed him possessed a form of magic that acted like a guide, so he could tell where he was supposed to go.

As Yeon-woo disappeared into the flow of time and space that swirled and crashed like water in a storm, the Vampiric Lord looked behind her and narrowed her eyes. Her slightly parted lips revealed a pair of sharp fangs. “I was wondering who would come. Aren’t you a pair of familiar faces?”

Through the violent torrents of time and space, Vlad Tepes and Gilles De Rais appeared, their faces tense and their bodies revealing nervousness. The hero who defeated them to become a Lord and led their race to their glory was standing right in front of them. Many years had passed since that time, and the two did not neglect to train while carrying out their responsibilities as Guardians. Their level of power surpassed what it had been, yet…the memory of their defeat hundreds of years ago did not disappear easily. They had rushed to take revenge on the Vampiric Lord and return the humiliation and sense of defeat that she had given them in the past. However, standing in front of her right now, they momentarily froze, as though they were having second thoughts. The momentum of power flowing around the Vampiric Lord was harsh and violent.

Ch! Ch! Ch! Click! Click!

Vampiric Spirit, the skill that was born from her transcendence, wandered freely between the flow of time and space.

“What are you both doing? Why aren’t you attacking? Since we haven’t seen each other in so long, we are prepared to play with you as much as you want.”

While Vlad Tepes and Gilles De Rais stood still and only exchanged glances with the Vampiric Lord.

Stupid fools. The Vampiric Spirit circled the two menacingly, only to be pushed away by another power. Sss! Particles of black magic power gathered in front of them and turned into the incarnation of Tarneck’s will. As a Demon King who had achieved transcendence, he could extend his will as far as it could reach. Although his physical body was still outside this space, opening the Rabbit Tunnel, his consciousness and will had formed this incarnation.

You both have recognized the ‘Signs of the Demon’ and reached an awakened state of being, yet this is all you’re able to do? It seems neither of you will ever escape that girl’s shadow until the day you die. Tarneck had accepted these two as his followers long ago, but he rebuked them for exhibiting their weakness in front of the Vampiric Lord. He had considered them possible candidates to become his Apostle, and this was an insult to his authority and prestige.

Vlad Tepes and Gilles de Rais lowered their heads in embarrassment and shame.

“Give us another chance, Demon King. We will overcome her somehow and even if just for a moment, we will alleviate the displeasure in the Demon King’s heart…!”

Don’t do anything useless. What I want is the criminal ###, not a ghost that is neither dead nor alive. Go and capture the criminal! Tarneck was now deeply obsessed with Yeon-woo, who had made him lose face once already. His sense of pride made it impossible to let someone like that go. Moreover, if he did not take action against the disciple of the Martial King now, he did not know what accidents would result in the future. Apparently, Yeon-woo had already been in contact with Laplace, so he seemed to be trying to do something, and Tarneck wanted to stop him. ‘In the first place, Laplace should have no business with the Three God Mountains. I can’t let these two run wild anymore!’

The Three God Mountains was a detour that allowed one to go straight from the lower to the upper floors, where the laws and rules of the lower floors met those of the upper, heavenly floors.

The Tower’s system did not work well here, so the Central Bureau had always been reluctant to step into this space but two of the worst blacklisted people, Yeon-woo and Laplace, were planning something here, and Tarneck instinctively knew that he had to stop them.

He had a strong feeling that a greater disaster would happen, a disaster many times worse than the collapse of the Cave of Yaanek. Even if Yeon-woo was the Shadow King, he would be up against two Blood Kings who have already begun to bloom as demons. Tarneck was sure that the two would be able to catch Yeon-woo.

Vlad Tepes and Gilles de Rais wanted to help their master defeat the Vampiric Lord, but they had to follow his orders, and so they continued pursuing Yeon-woo. As they sped towards Yeon-woo, they left two red beams in their wake.

“Do you not see that we are present? How dare you leave without seeking permission?” As the Vampiric Lord shouted loudly, her Vampiric Spirit spread out like black thorny vines in all directions, forming a black net that almost encircled the two red beams. However, before the net could completely enclose them, dense magic power in the form of a blade fell and tore her net.

Rip! Boom!

Ghost! Do you dare stand next to me so indifferently? I don’t know what you’re aiming for, but you will ultimately fail. Tarneck growled, as his seven horns stood upright. When Tarneck heard that Yeon-woo had kidnapped his right-hand guard, Ohn, he was angered that one of his subordinates had been endangered. However, his anger when he learned that Ohn was actually the Vampiric Lord couldn’t be described. Even just thinking about it made his blood boil and flow in reverse.

“Tarneck, you know what?” The Vampiric Lord laughed coldly as she easily blocked Tarneck’s fist as it closed in on her face. “Your breath stinks. We don’t know if you’re carrying around a sewer inside you, but you really made it difficult for us to stay beside you without smacking you at least once.”

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