Sungjin ran towards her. She began to mutter something when she noticed him, but he immediately called out
“Shout of Changban!”
Then from behind him,
“Come and battle me to the death!”
An earsplitting yell filled the air. It was just for a moment, but she paused during her incantation. Sungjin used this chance to get within melee range of her.
When he prepared to strike her with Artemio and Moon Specter, she took out a thin and short stick. The stick was only as long as Sungjin’s forearm. But once she grabbed the center of the stick,
The short stick became a slender staff. Having taken out her staff could only mean that she has decided to face Sungjin with physical attacks. It meant Shout of Changban was effective.
‘It all depends on swordsmanship now’
Sungjin thought to himself as he swung with both swords, with Artemio from the left and Moon Specter from the right; A difficult attack to stop for a normal person.
But she leapt back a little as she rotated her staff.
She managed to deflect both swords. And whatever material the ‘summoned’ staff she held was made of, withstood the blade of Moon Specter which could even cut through obsidian, without a scratch.
In a split second, Sungjin was frozen in place after getting both of his swords deflected. She fixed her posture and stabbed with her staff.
A tremendous speed, she had aimed for his heart, but Sungjin dodged to the right and out of harm’s way. But her staff paused midair and readjusted its course for his left side.
It was as if she had been baiting him to make this move. But Sungjin was able to shift his direction at the last second and dodge it. It was probably thanks to Romance of the Three Kingdom’s ‘Swift(III)’.
‘I am slightly faster’
Getting confident, Sungjin looked to the Dragon to counter attack. But, the staff that should have been next to him was nowhere to be seen.
The staff was already raised above her head. Feeling an instinctive fear, Sungjin immediately held his two swords above his head.
Right above Moon Specter and Artemio was her staff. If he had been even a little bit slower, her staff would have taken the place his skull would have been. Sungjin felt a chill crawl up his spine. On the other hand,
“Ooh, you can block this?”
She said to Sungjin. This was when he realized
‘Those earlier attacks… she was going easy on me’
The first two thrusts against him were done slowly on purpose. She had used the slow left and right attack to limit his range of movement and had planned to land a swift strike against his head down the middle.
She was still toying with him. She lifted the staff slightly and brought it back down. Despite being such a short distance tap, it contained an enormous amount of power.
‘And this is after her physical strength became weakened in human form…’
Sungjin glanced at Yanhurat with the corner of his eyes. He wanted to test her strength first, but he had seen enough in just 3 hits.
Sungjin pushed with every ounce of his strength to knock her staff away and get out from under her weapon. But after he backed off
Artemio broke in half.
[Warning, Weapon destroyed.]
This was the first time he had ever seen a legendary tier weapon break. Luckily, broken equipment were automatically fixed when hunters were sent back to the Ninety Nine Nights. So Sungjin quickly pulled out the Blood Vengeance.
And using the same hand, he picked up Yanhurat and said
“Let’s kill, Yanhurat.”
It replied in a pace much faster than ever before. Sungjin’s entire being began to glow red. Khal Gal’s mother Ariane immediately held her staff properly when she saw it.
She must have realized what the red aura meant.
‘Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!’
Listening to its whisper, Sungjin charged towards her like a bullet. This was Sungjin’s fastest possible state, boosted even further by the Romance of the Three Kingdom’s buffs.
Sungjin swung his blade faster than his own eyes could see. She wielded her staff with graceful motions to block Sungjin’s attacks. Sungjin attacked as if he went mad.
The air was filled with nothing but continuous strikes of swords upon the staff. She was busy defending herself from his attacks.
‘Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!’
Sungjin was in a state where he couldn’t think properly due to Yanhurat’s crazed shouts, but he still thought to himself
‘One of these should hit’
But no matter how much time passed, she had not allowed Sungjin’s two swords to even come close to the sleeve of her shirt.
If those under the Zealot state are unable to kill their opponents, they will end up getting killed instead. More importantly, Romance of the Three Kingdom’s Seance was ending sooner than the Yanhurat’s ‘Zealot’.
Once Zheng Fei’s Seance ends, his speed would drop. At the same time, she would regain the ability to cast spells again. Then Sungjin was as good as dead.
Sungjin squeezed every drop of strength in his body to try and swing harder and faster. Thanks to Kamram which allowed Sungjin to swing his swords independently of each other, he used more and more intricate attack patterns.
But amazingly, she rotated her staff with elegant movements, blocking his irregular attacks. She no longer smiled, indicating that she was being pushed to her limits, but she still managed to hold on.
[10 seconds until the end of Seance. 10]
The Operator began a countdown. He only had 10 seconds remaining. But this was when Besgoro shouted
‘Sungjin, use Frenzy’
Frenzy. An active skill which increases speed by 10% for each hit landed. But there was no point in using it. If he couldn’t reach his enemy, what was the point?
The first time he touches her, he’d win. There was no point to using Frenzy. Sungjin continued to swing his sword while ignoring Besgoro’s advice. But
[9, 8 …]
The time continued to pass. But then Besgoro said one more thing.
‘Activate Frenzy and cut yourself.’
Sungjin, despite Zealot, heard him.
He had doubts but
There was no time for hesitation. He would die in 6 seconds.
Sungjin activated Frenzy, and flipped his sword around and cut his side. He cut twice using both swords. Four strikes within 1 second.
It hurt. There was no time to cut himself carefully with his swords.
Ariane paused and gave Sungjin a look.
“What? Giving up?”
She had thought perhaps Sungjin had fallen into despair and was trying to suicide. And it made her sorely disappointed.
‘The toy broke.’
She thought. And it created an opening against her. Sungjin attacked her with the swords drenched in his own blood. With a speed incomparable with before.
[2, 1, 0]
In the last remaining 3 seconds, Sungjin launched dozens of attacks. And then
[Seance has ended]
Finally, the effect of Romance of the Three Kingdoms had come to an end. And as soon as it came to an end, Ariane who had been blocking Sungjin’s attacks suddenly said
Sungjin who had been swinging his sword with the intent to kill suddenly froze in place. He couldn’t move.
‘Is this Dragon’s Voice?’
It required no incantation. Her words were simply obeyed. An ability reaching the realm of godhood. No matter how Sungjin looked at it, she was taking it easy on him.
Once his master was in danger, Soldamyr who was reduced to watching the fight while sweating (since his magic was also sealed) quickly flew over and tried to protect his master.
“You stop too.”
Soldamyr was stopped by her command as well. She addressed them while they were both stuck in place
“Ha… you were amazing. Really.”
Sungjin examined her hooded outfit while he was stuck. He was checking for any rip since the hood had been the primary target of his final rush. But not a single thread had been harmed of her clothes.
But the Operator gave a congratulatory message.
[Congratulations. Hidden Boss]
[Khal Gal’s Mother Ariane’s bet is a success]
Sungjin was shocked.
‘But she doesn’t look hurt anywhere!’
Just then from her left cheek, a line of blood had appeared. One of his strikes had landed. Ariane used a finger to wipe her cheek.
The cut disappeared without a trace. Ariane licked her finger. Then with a complicated look, she said to Sungjin.
“Haa… it was fun after all… but I didn’t think you could actually hurt… I was going to kill you after having my fill of the fun.”
Seeing her say that, Sungjin couldn’t help but feel that she may have had a cruel heart akin to that of her son.
“But a promise is a promise.”
She relaxed her expressions and said
“Move. You did well.”
Sungjin was able to move again.
‘Kill kill kill!!!!’
Yanhurat was still shouting despite the fight being over. But she said
“Ah, calm down first.”
And immediately the voice was cut off. Sungjin returned to normal. And shortly after, extreme fatigue hit him. It was for only a few seconds, but he had fought past his physical limit.
Sungjin planted Moon Specter and Blood Vengeance into the ground to support himself as he leaned on them. She spoke to him meanwhile.
“How extraordinary. Even if you had help from this and that… the fact that a human can pull that off… it was incredible.”
She was truly congratulating him from the bottom of her heart. Now that the fight was over, it would be in his best interest to befriend her. Sungjin said to her
“I have learned much from you. Speed is one thing… I have never seen anyone so skilled with a staff.”
She responded without any expression on her face
“Well, I have lived over a hundred times longer than you. But you were different… It was unbelievable”
Sungjin bowed at her compliment. And replied
“You said earlier, that we were in a ‘pitiable fate’. I don’t know how much you know about our circumstance… but I want to end it. This fate of ours. And I want to stop fighting. Please help me.”
She grinned at Sungjin’s word and said
“Such old cliche lines. Hero is victorious, and the Dragon rewards him with treasures.”
Sungjin became nervous at her words. But she soon added
“Okay, well the Hidden Boss lost. I’ll have to spit out a reward. Something really good, right?”
Sungjin couldn’t help but nod.
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