An enormous gale raged once the Dragon finished speaking. A gust where it would be difficult for a normal person to remain standing. Cain, Rajenta, and even Soldamyr could not move properly in that gale. However, Sungjin regained his footing and was able to precisely hit away the ice spears that came flying towards him.
Soon, an incoming ice spear was absorbed by Sungjin’s Artemio. Artemio briefly shivered on its own before giving off a violet light more fiercely than it had ever before.
It was as if the spell it had absorbed was too much for it to handle. The power of the spells that the Dragon had shot out was simply that much stronger. The problem was that these abnormally strong spells were sent flying one after the other. Even the chants that he used to cast were completely different as well.
“Be cut to death, Wind Cutter.”
Even though the Dragon was speaking nonchalantly, the many emerald colored blades flying towards Sungjin were enormous. Sungjin ducked his head, jumped, and bent his waist as he avoided them acrobatically. However, his shin was lightly cut by the last blade.
He thought that he had avoided it but hadn’t been able to because his body had become slightly stiff from the violently raging blizzard. Sungjin slightly bent his knee. He couldn’t afford to be attacked one-sidedly any longer.
For now, he activated ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ as he simultaneously rang ‘Manyata – Master’s Bell’.
Once it rang, Cain and Rajenta who were cowering before, now began to move quickly. At the same time, Gourmet’s Monocle started reading the book.
“At that time, when Sima Yi reached Xicheng like a storm on his horse, Zhuge Liang was sitting on top of the gates by himself as he played the zither.”
The Dragon’s gaze turned to the two beasts briefly. The Dragon held out his hand and drew a small circle in the air as he said,
Cain and Rajenta froze in place when the Dragon finished. Sungjin was taken aback, but even still, he did not miss the slight gap that was created by their sacrifice.
Sungjin swung Artemio. Soon, the ice spear that he had absorbed previously shot out. The Dragon seemed to be slightly surprised when the spell that he had cast before began to return towards him.
However, the ice spear that Sungjin shot out was sucked into the Dragon’s hand with a single word.
It was just like Artemio’s ‘Absorb Magic’. While Sungjin was surprised, Soldamyr spoke up from behind him.
“Master, Blue Magic does not work on that Blue Dragon.”
Sungjin bit his lower lip. His own specialty was naturally Blue Magic spells, but since he could not use Blue Magic, Sungjin decided to run towards the Dragon with his two swords in place of magic. However, at that moment, Rajenta, who had been frozen next to the Dragon, broke free of the ice and charged at it as well.
Seeing that Cain was still frozen, it was likely that Rajenta was able to regain mobility because of the Royal Griffin’s inherent magic resistance.
Under the influence of the Master’s Bell, Rajenta charged at the Dragon with incredible speed. However, in that instant, the Dragon disappeared from that spot.
While Rajenta was puzzled, the Dragon appeared above Rajenta’s back. Rajenta was unable to see, but Sungjin was able to barely perceive the Dragon’s movement. The moment Rajenta was about to swoop down on the Dragon, the Dragon had quickly jumped and landed on Rajenta’s back.
“Royal Griffin… Is it the bloodline of the Imperial Family…”
At that time, the crimson energy that surrounded Rajenta dissipated. The period of invincibility from Manyata had come to an end. Sungjin urgently ran towards the Dragon, but by that time the Dragon had already used his staff to strongly strike downwards at Rajenta’s head. Rajenta collapsed on the spot with his wings and legs spread apart.
Sungjin ground his molars as he ran at the Dragon.
“In rush current.”
Soldamyr held lightning in his hands as he ran towards the Dragon together with Sungjin performing a simultaneous attack from both sides. The Dragon stabbed his long staff towards Sungjin as he held out a hand to Soldamyr and said,
Sungjin barely avoided the staff that abruptly came flying towards him by ducking his head. At the same time, Soldamyr suddenly became transparent and passed through the Dragon.
The lightning that Soldamyr held still continued to crackle, but it looked as if it was no longer a part of this world. Only Sungjin was left. He could not let the sacrifices of his allies be in vain.
Sungjin elaborately swung his two swords at the Dragon. Even this dragon, who had blindly shot out spells with short chants could not use magic once Sungjin’s swords were flying at him. He could only swing his staff to defend himself.
‘Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!’
Sungjin swung his swords more intensely than he had ever before. However, just like with Ariane, the Dragon blocked his every strike. Sungjin waited for the substitute reading of ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ to finish. If he received the buff from that, then the battle would turn in his favor. Soon, the sound of completion of the substitute reading could be heard.
“Whereupon, fearing Zhuge Liang’s schemes, Sima Yi retreated.”
[Seance of Zhuge Liang activated!]
‘If it’s Zhuge Liang, then it’ll be a civil servant.’
However, civil servant typically increased stats related to magic.
[Passive Skill – Rapid Cast (III), Increased Mana (III) applied.]
[Active Skill – Desperate Maneuver(I) available for use]
As expected, skills related to magic were applied to Sungjin.
‘Why couldn’t it give me Zhang Fei… Like it did against Ariane.’
When Sungjin briefly complained in his mind, the Dragon, who had been only defending, attacked Sungjin with the end of the staff. Sungjin avoided it and launched an attack at the same time.
He attacked simultaneously with both Moon Specter and Artemio, but the Dragon avoided the trajectories of the two swords with a strange movement. Sungjin chased after the Dragon. However, the Dragon then grinned. Sungjin continued to swing his swords as he thought,
‘What’s with this guy?’
He continued to swing his swords even as he wondered. However, the Dragon, which had originally been using both hands to hold the staff to block Sungjin’s attacks, now held it with just one hand and blocked all of Sungjin’s attacks. While Sungjin was surprised, the Dragon said,
“Your sword skills are rather impressive.”
Sungjin was angered when the Dragon appraised him. However, no matter how he attempted to create a gap, the Dragon did not allow a single attack to land on itself.
‘Cla~clang! Clang! Clang!’
The Dragon continued to speak even as the staff and swords clashed countless times.
“But, I have already fought against many swordsmen that had reached the pinnacle.”
Incredibly incensed, Sungjin thought,
‘Let’s see if you can block this.’
He swung Moon Specter from top to bottom and Artemio from left to right simultaneously. An attack that was difficult to perform without the ring of the Siamese twins. However, the Dragon inserted his staff directly into the intersection point of the cross slash.
Sungjin’s two swords and the Dragon’s staff interlocked in one spot. The Dragon grinned as it said,
“You’re just one of many.”
When Sungjin attempted to pull free by force, the Dragon pointed his empty left hand at Sungjin.
The moment Moon Specter gave a warning, a wave of incredible strength could be felt from the Dragon’s hand.
“Explode. Energy Bolt”
With a thundering noise, Sungjin was sent flying far away once he took a direct hit from the spell at close range. He was dazed by the incredible impact, but he was able to recover mid-air and land on his feet.
His abdomen agonized him as if it had been pierced. He looked down and saw that the armor made from Dragon’s scales had been ripped apart. If he did not have that, then it was possible that he might have simply died on the spot.
However, he did not have the time to think about that because the Dragon was now slowly walking towards him. Sungjin quickly considered his options.
‘Should I use Yanhurat now?’
However, if he used that, then ‘rational thinking’ became impossible. If it did not work, then he would die immediately. He would have to consider it after first using the ‘Ring of the Great Sage’. Sungjin decided to find a way out using magic instead of physical force especially since the man most famous for his intellect in the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, Zhuge Liang, had been chosen.
‘The passive skills were Rapid Cast and Increased Mana… And the active skill was Desperate Maneuver.’
For now, Sungjin shot out a spell towards the approaching Dragon.
And quickly followed it up with a second shot.
Two spheres of fire were shot out one after another. The Dragon that had been walking towards Sungjin briefly stopped and created a wall of ice.
“Arise, Ice Wall”
The first flame that Sungjin had shot out popped once it hit the wall.
It stopped after melting a circular shape in the center of the ice wall.
The flame that came afterward did break the ice wall, but it did not hurt the Dragon at all. It was possible that the Dragon had used his spell to match the size of the approaching fire balls.
While Sungjin clenched his jaw, the Dragon asked,
“Hrm? A human with rapid cast. Weren’t you a Swordsman?”
This time, Sungjin shot out a stronger spell together with Besgoro.
He cast two more spells right behind the first spell.
Four gigantic flames over 5 meters tall burned the land as they flew towards the Dragon. This time, the Dragon just pointed below his feet and said again,
“Arise, Ice Wall!”
A wall of ice nearly as big as a building was created below his feet. The Dragon watched the approaching fire balls from on top of the wall. The four flames that Sungjin fired hit the ice wall one by one.
The ice wall melted quickly once hit by the fire, but the Dragon that was on top of it smoothly rode down the melting ice with frustrating casualness.
‘As expected… With magic it’s…’
He could not inflict damage on the Dragon even after borrowing the strength of ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. Actually, it might have been his hubris to have attacked the Dragon with magic in the first place. Once he reached the ground, the Dragon tilted his head.
“How are you able to use magic like that?”
As the Dragon asked, he saw ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ floating next to Sungjin, and turned towards it.
“H’oh, this is… The power of a legendary omnibus, interesting.”
For the Dragon to look somewhere else even though Sungjin was standing right in front of him, was a spectacle that was an immense blow to Sungjin’s pride. However, Sungjin had to take advantage of even opportunities like this.
“After killing you, I will take this as well, human. I will have to use it as a research material. I came searching because I heard that there was a Sky Gem in the human army, but… There is more loot here than I expected.”
During this time, Sungjin began to think quickly.
‘In accordance with the situation, ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ recommends the most appropriate hero… Even if the passive skill doesn’t do much… The active skill should do something. After using it, I should use all of my means right afterwards. That’s the best I can do.’
After organizing his thoughts, Sungjin put Artemio away and took out Ariane. Then, he used the Active Skill that he had received from ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’.
Note on Romance of the Three Kingdoms reference:
It’s quite interesting that author for MHK and MCHHS just happened to write the same scene (Empty Fort Strategy) between Sima Yi and Zhuge Liang. The strategy itself was discussed in a chapter note of MCHHS here (link)
About the scene itself.
Shu (country of Liu Bei) was many years into war against Wei (Country of Cao Cao), and Zhuge Liang was in disadvantage. He only had a thousand or so troops in the middle of carrying away supplies, and were stuck at a small supply depot. But luckily, he had two things at his disposal.
One, was that the depot itself was surrounded by mountainous regions, suitable for ambush, and two, Zhuge Liang had never ever made a risky strategy (never gambled). He was famous for always being careful.
So pushed into the corner about to lose a great deal of supplies, he decided to gamble for the first and last time.
Zhuge Liang opened the gates, had peasants sweep the path in and out of the gatehouse as he sat alone above the gates, drinking tea, playing music on an ancient chinese instrument.
Sima Yi, grand strategist of Wei rode his horse up to the gate with tens of thousands of men, and simply listened to Zhuge Liang play music calmly on top of the gates. He declared that this was a trap because Zhuge Liang was not a man to gamble, and taking the castle would result in disaster.
Sima Yi retreated, sending out many scouts into the mountains to root out the ambush and carefully approach the castle.
As Sima Ya retreated, the string snaps on the instrument and Zhuge Liang comments
“This was the most dangerous gamble I have ever taken. It only worked because I have never gambled before, and it is not a strategy I can ever repeat again. Had I missed a note, Sima Yi would have immediately ordered the attack and broken the ruse.”