Leonte. He was once his brother’s most trusted friend, but Leonte had betrayed him and stabbed a dagger into his heart. In exchange for this betrayal, he was invited to be an executive in the Cheonghwado.
However, Leonte had been dissatisfied with his position; he wanted to be a Martial God, one of the heads of the Cheonghwado. What if he still harbored such ambitions? And what if Arangdan was the cover he was using to hide his plans? It made sense.
"Hahaha!" Yeon-woo burst out laughing, putting his hand over his mask. He couldn’t hold back, and tears or mirth began to well up in his eyes. In the end, he found an important lead in such an unexpected place. Who would have thought that Arangdan was Leonte’s creation? It was like finding a hidden treasure.
Bild’s face was distorted with anger. He couldn’t understand why Yeon-woo was laughing instead of being filled with fear. "You must have a death wish!" The air began to stir as Bild emitted his aura, making the whole area shake violently.
Arangdan’s players collapsed to the ground as they coughed up blood. Some looked up at Bild with imploring eyes that begged him to stop. Suddenly, Yeon-woo stopped laughing and lowered his hand as if nothing had happened. Then, he slashed out with Carshina’s Dagger, and the aura pressuring the whole area vanished. Yeon-woo had cut through the imperfections.
The expression on Bild’s face froze, and behind the white mask, Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed like a couple of will-o’-wisps. "Stop acting so melodramatic. If you want a fight, just come at me now."
Yeon-woo had never in his wildest dreams expected that he would manage to grasp Leonte’s tail. Bild was one of Leonte’s many sidekicks, and if Yeon-woo subdued him, he could force him to reveal what happened after the diary entries. 'Jeong-woo, this will be the first gift I can give you.'
Yeon-woo’s expression as he looked at Bild changed, turning into one of a predator hungry for food. Bild’s face burned with humiliation and rage. No one had ever looked at him like this before; it was supposed to be his attitude to Yeon-woo, not the other way around.
"Yes, sir." One of the nine players behind Bild bowed his head.
"Send a signal to the Isle right now. Tell them a weird guy has come to fight Arangdan."
But as soon as the player turned around to carry out his order, there was an explosion right beside his head, smashing it into pieces like a watermelon. It was an unexpected attack that left Bild and the remaining eight players staring at Yeon-woo with wide eyes.
Yeon-woo gave a cold smirk as he lowered his left hand. "I already told you. Stop being so melodramatic and come fight me. And don’t even think about running away.”
Bild's expression stiffened even more. An enemy capable of various attacks, including both close-range and long-range ones was the most difficult type of enemy. Bild had to admit to himself that Yeon-woo was more dangerous than he’d believed, far more than Kahn and Doyle. "I see you didn’t attack us without a trick or two up your sleeve."
Yeon-woo was at the same level as Phante and Edora, the siblings from the One-Horned tribe who were the best players in this round of the Tutorial. This meant that Bild had to go all out. He drew his swords, and a grim atmosphere descended. "I'll show you how useless your petty skills are." Gathering as much mana as he could, Bild propelled himself from the top of the building with unbelievable power. Boom! The building he was standing on collapsed from the force of his propulsion. Bild descended at an incredible speed and brandished his swords at Yeon-woo as wind swirled around the blades, making them sharper. It was his favorite skill, Wind Blade.
Clang! Yeon-woo slanted Carshina’s Dagger upwards and parried the two swords. At the same time, he spun and ducked underneath Bild, pulling out another dagger from his waist with his other hand. Swish! Holding the dagger in a reverse grip, he slashed upwards, aiming for Bild's throat.
Bild dodged the dagger by bending his body backwards. Then, he swung his swords in a wide arc at Yeon-woo’s lower body. The longer he used Wind Blade, the more layers of wind would stack on top of each other, increasing its power. His attack left deep furrows on the ground, as if a large animal had raked its claws over it. Slash!
But Yeon-woo dodged the attack by lightly jumping off the ground. He twisted his body and aimed Carshina's Dagger at the top of Bild’s head. Bild raised his swords vertically and the three blades clashed once again. Clang!
The collision created an immense shockwave that shook the two. The ground around them caved in, and clouds of dust billowed over the area except for the spot where they stood, neither one pushed back a single inch. The players watching the fight gulped, and cold sweat broke out on their tightly clenched fists.
Yeon-woo finally felt like he was truly battling, unlike the times he’d faced players who were hardly worth dealing with. This was a fight where a single slip would mean a head would fly in the air and a minor mistake could result in a great defeat. His breath came in short gasps, and his muscles heated up. His back was strained from the tension, and a rush of adrenaline made him feel like he was floating in the air.
It felt as though he were reliving the same feeling he had on his first mission in Africa, and it sent jolts of excitement through him. He felt the thrill of a savage beast freed from a pit, rushing over the mountains to show off its teeth and claws. Yeon-woo inched closer to Bild as if he didn’t care about being injured.
Swish! Swish! Clang! Clang! Bild's movements had looked like flamboyant dance moves at the beginning, but now they seemed hectic as he tried to match the speed of Yeon-woo’s incessant attacks. The realization came as a great shock to him. ‘What is happening?’
Yeon-woo was a player who had just joined the Tutorial, a small fry who had only recently acquired his abilities! ‘How can you be this strong? How?’ Bild had already expected that Yeon-woo would be better than an ordinary player and at least at Phante and Edora's level, but he never thought Yeon-woo would be this overwhelming.
Bild was a player who had already started to climb the Tower. Although he stopped climbing because he had grown aware of his limit, he had managed to reach the higher floors. And yet Yeon-woo was overpowering a player like him. Although perhaps “overpowering” was an exaggeration, since Yeon-woo’s skills still hadn’t reached their full potential due to his lack of proficiency, it couldn’t be denied that Yeon-woo had experience in fighting.
Yeon-woo took a step closer, ignoring the risks to unleash attacks that grew fiercer as he ignored Bild’s defenses in order to press further. He endured the injuries Bild lashed onto him without slowing down his attacks. Instead, he laughed as though he found the entire thing amusing. "I see. You don't know how to fight at all."
"Although, you seemed like a good fighter before. I guess your skills have grown duller after spending all your time with newbies." Yeon-woo sounded like he had known Bild for a long time. Bild wanted to ask who the hell he was, but as soon as he tried to speak, the words were stuck in his throat.
He saw his reflection in the eyes behind the white mask and found himself overcome with fear and dread. Clang! Bild lifted a sword to the side as though it were a shield, barely managing to fend off Yeon-woo’s attack. The sword rang from the impact of the blow and cracks began to appear on the blade. The hand that gripped the hilt trembled as though it would fall off—or perhaps out of fear. ‘That's ridiculous! How could I be afraid of a player in the Tutorial?'
But Bild couldn't explain why he was feeling a dark emotion squeezing his heart. Each swing of Yeon-woo’s dagger felt like an explosion from a cannonball that contained the power to shatter thick rocks, rocketing forward with a speed that made it practically invisible. Bild was beginning to see Yeon-woo as a savage beast that was pushing him towards the edge of a cliff.
Swish! Yeon-woo moved once again, gathering as much mana as possible. Ching! Magic Circuit began to spin like crazy, and a mixture of the mana from the Snow Ginseng and Akasha’s Snake’s Neidan entered Carshina’s Dagger.
Clang! Clang! Yeon-woo’s attacks continued to push Bild back. Bang! Bild failed to block a blow, and he bounced off, his left sword and left arm exploding into pieces that scattered all over the ground. "Urk!"
Bild collapsed and rolled on the ground, blood gushing from the wound on his left shoulder. As he tried to get up, he vomited out blood several times, barely able to breathe with his broken ribs. His eyes were bloodshot, and the world spun in circles. The pain in his left shoulder spread over his whole body, making his remaining arm twitch. Bild heard Yeon-woo’s footsteps nearing, and each step sounded louder than thunder.
The eight players who had stood back rushed in to save Bild. However, Yeon-woo consumed several souls to create Black Blade, and slashed his dagger diagonally. Black energy traversed through the air across the field. The eight players dropped to the ground as their torsos separated from the rest of their bodies. Flesh and blood splattered everywhere.
Everyone watching was shocked, and no one dared to approach Yeon-woo. Their fear had grown so much that they couldn’t even think of running away. The sight made Bild feel even more afraid. Yeon-woo wasn’t just a beast, he was a demon who approached with a sneer in his eyes.
“Fuck! J-just stop him! Don’t let him approach me, goddammit!" Bild desperately screamed at the other players. The eyes of the players who had been shaking in fear suddenly rolled back, revealing only the whites of their eyes. Their minds went blank, only to be filled with an aura of madness. Whoosh!
Puppet Mastery was a skill that allowed Bild to take control of other players that had been implanted with a medium item specially created for the skill. Puppet Mastery was Leonte’s innate skill but since Bild had formed a submission contract with Leonte, he could borrow some of Leonte’s skills.
Bild had been secretly implanting the medium items into the players who joined Arangdan as a failsafe method, but it was the first time he was using the skill. Unlike his master Leonte, Bild’s incomplete skill made it impossible to return the players back to their regular states once he triggered it. However, at the moment, he was in no condition to consider that. He had to hold Yeon-woo back as much as possible.
Dozens of players rushed towards Yeon-woo at the same time, following Bild’s command. In the meantime, Bild managed to get up and started running the other way to get the weapon that would turn the tables. ‘Stone! I need the stone right now! That ought to kill him!'
He was supposed to offer the power to his master first, but that didn’t matter to Bild anymore. He needed the power right away, and he could figure out what to say to his master once he had defeated the demon.
Slash! Slash! Yeon-woo slaughtered the players jumping at him like a swarm of zombies as his eyes tracked Bild. Bild’s destination had to be the secret that Leonte was hiding. ‘And that’s got to be where Kahn and Doyle are imprisoned.’Previous Chapter Next Chapter