Chapter 49 – Count Dimitri’s Castle Ruins (5)

Count Dimitri waited for them, dressed up in a fancy suit. And like before, he greeted them in an overly polite manner.

“Congratulations for making it to the top. Did you enjoy the recreation I had prepared for you?”

Sungjin didn’t have time for idle chat.

“Pa!”

He threw the Blood Vengeance towards the Count. It was thrown right on target, but once it almost reached the Count, he burst into a cloud of bats and dodged the sword.

He could hear the Count’s annoying laughter from the swarm of bats.

“Hahahahaha~”

“Haa!”

Sungjin recalled the Blood Vengeance. The bats flew towards the podium and reformed into a human shape. The Count grinned mischievously as he commented,

“My my how eager… It seems as though my servants weren’t able to provide a satisfactory entertainment for you all.”

The Count drew his Rapier.

“Then as the Master, I will be personally entertaining you all.”

Count Dimitri was a difficult boss to defeat. The annoying bat transformation, his immense speed, ability to cast magic, highly intelligent and the blood sucking ability.

If he manages to grab one of the teammates even once, he becomes fully healed and empowered.

Sungjin had to kill him before he had a chance to bite one of his teammates.

So he charged towards the Count brandishing his two legendary swords. Count Dimitri waited for Sungjin to approach with his Rapier.

The Count must have thought he could contest Sungjin with his Rapier. But for the first time, the Count’s confident smile crumbled.

‘Clang clang!’

In just two strikes, the Rapier was knocked out of his hands. He took a step back with eyes wide open.

‘I won’t let you escape’

Sungjin prepared his sword and slashed at the Count. But the feedback on the sword felt strange.

‘Bang’

Along with the sound, the Count turned into bats and flew away. Meanwhile, the Count shouted an incantation.

“What is real is fake and what is fake is real! Illusion!”

Suddenly the swarm of bats multiplied. They flew higher into the air, before splitting into four parts and landing on four corners of the room. The four swarms assumed human forms once more. There were four Counts now.

The others fell into a panic. Sungjin first returned to the group of hunters; it would be annoying if one of them were bit. Sungjin addressed the team.

“Damage dealers, it’s nice if you can attack, but it is more important to avoid being bitten. Especially Giovani, please stick close to the team and protect them.”

“Got it.”

“Soldamyr, do you have magic that can be used to differentiate the real from the illusions?”

“You can always set it on fire to see if it turns to ash.”

“Ah… right…”

Sungjin’s reply was thick with disappointment. Soldamyr bowed his head to apologize.

“I apologize, for not being able to use White Magic…”

“No, it’s fine. Just pick one of them on the right side and fire a spell at it.”

“It will be done, Master.”

Sungjin looked down next and spoke.

“Cain, you take the one on the left. I’ll ring the bell.”

“Woof.”

“Finally… everyone else, please cooperate against that one back there.”

“Ok.”

The four hunters answered together.

Once Sungjin was done giving out instructions, he counted down.

“3, 2, 1, let’s go!”

Sungjin took out the ‘Manyata’ from his pocket and rang it as he charged towards the Count. He didn’t know if this was an illusion

“Incinerate everything in your path! Fireball!”

Soldamyr shouted an incantation.

“Grrr!”

Cain snarled as he flung himself at the Count.

“Taho!”

Mahadas charged in with a shout. Sungjin slashed at the Count. The Count seemed to shrivel, then fell apart in half before disappearing.

‘Illusion! Which one is real?’

Sungjin looked around. Soldamyr shook his head. Cain was also left alone in his corner. The only one remaining was the one behind the others. The four of them were all looking up towards the ceiling.

Sungjin followed their gaze and found the Count hovering over them; He was reciting an incantation.

“Steel-cutting Blades of Wind! Wind Cutter!”

Several green blades appeared at the end of his fingers and flew towards the hunters.

“Get behind me!”

Giovani raised his shield and tried to protect the hunters behind him, but he wasn’t fast enough.

‘Pi pi pit!’

Several blades were blocked by the shield, but others found their mark on Peng Long.

“Ugh…”

The magical blades cut through his armor and left an injury. Sungjin ran towards the last remaining Count, but he rose back in the air and

“What is real is fake and what is fake is real! Illusion!”

Cast his spell and split apart again.

“Grrr…”

Sungjin grounded his teeth. The Count was an irritating enemy to fight. The other hunters gathered up without having to be told by Sungjin. Even one victim could restore and empower the Count.

The Count finished splitting into four again.

“Master, the time has run out.”

“Woof! Woof woof!”

His two summons announced their time was over.

‘Ah…’

10 minutes must had elapsed since their summon. Cain returned to his wooden form, and Soldamyr returned to his lamp. The options have shrunk now.

‘Mahadas, take the left, Dominic take the right, Giovani and Peng Long take the one in the back’

Would have been great to be able to say, but if even one person gets bitten, the situation could only grow worse. Sungjin decided to change his mind.

He was feeling rushed due to Dominic’s condition, but he decided to take it cautiously and take this situation calmly.

‘I feel sorry for Dominic, but I’ll have to take my time and handle all four on my own.’

Trying to rush this one though could cause an unintended casualty. Sungjin made up his mind and was about to jump into action when he noticed blood.

He saw drops of blood in the room. It wasn’t splattered all over the room, only in certain locations.

‘Where did it come from?’

Sungjin searched his memories. The first time he faced the Count, he had thought that his sword brushed up against something. The Count could have been injured at that time. No, he must have been injured by that strike.

All the illusions had a cut on their left arm. And there was only one which still had blood dripping from it.

‘That must be the real body.’

Sungjin whispered to Peng Long who stood next to him.

“Peng, blood.”

Peng Long understood him with just those two words. Sungjin charged at him right away. Unlike last time, it seemed to have been taken aback.

The Count recited an incantation.

“Stiff muscles and cramped legs, Slow!”

Sungjin’s movements slowed down slightly, and the Count immediately retreated into the air and turned into bats..

“Illusion”

He didn’t seem to understand how Sungjin was able to tell the fake. Even after the bats split into four, one of the swarm was still dripping blood.

“Peng!”

Sungjin shouted despite being slowed down.

Peng drew his arrows and yelled.

“Split Arrows!”

His arrow flew straight and true. It landed on one of the bats of the swarm, and many magical arrows appeared nearby piercing all the bats around it. His skill landed dead on.

Sungjin ran through the dead bats falling out of the air and returned the Moon Specter back into the sheath. The moment he saw the bats resume human form he yelled

“Deathly Wail!”

“KYAAAAAA”

For a moment, the Vampire let out a cry of agony matching the tune of the screech of Sungjin’s skill.

*

Giovani just barely regained his sanity after a few moments of trembling in fear. He was slightly embarrassed, but the feeling went away quickly.

“D…Die!” Dominic was stabbing his spear in the air while hallucinating.

“Eeek!”

Peng Long was running amok in the distance. Mahadas had his eyes closed in meditation. Giovani scanned his surroundings to search for the Vampire and Kei.

But the Operator gave an announcement.

[Boss ‘Count Dimitri’ Cleared!]
[Returning to the Black Market in 1 hour 2 minutes and 45 seconds.]

He saw in the distance Kei swinging his swords to shake the blood off of the blades before returning them to his sheath. Giovani saw the Count’s beheaded corpse lying at Kei’s feet. He breathed a sigh of relief.

But Kei came up to him and said

“Let’s go. 15 minutes have passed until now… so we should have close to 15 minutes remaining. There isn’t much time to waste.”

Giovani was surprised at his words. Dominic’s complexion continued to grow paler, so something had to be done. But he still had a question.

“But… where are we going?”

To that Kei replied

“Ah, that’s right.”

Kei clapped once when he realized something and turned to speak to the Operator.

“Operator, I’ll use the Treasure Hunter active once. Please give me a hint about a secret place or a hidden boss.”

[I will first inform you about the secret place in the map.]

“What is…?”

Giovani began to ask, but Sungjin cut him off and put his finger on his lips.

“Shh…”

The Operator began to speak in a similar manner to how she gives warnings.

[A wandering merchant from lands afar,]
[Climbed the mountain carrying his treasure.]
[Finding a castle, he celebrated in joy;]
[‘Master of that castle will pay for my treasures’.]
[But the only thing awaiting him at the old castle]
[Were grotesque monsters and beasts, so he ran.]
[But he was soon caught and turned into a cocoon.]

The Operator’s explanation ended, and Giovani turned to look at Kei with more questions than before. But then Kei suddenly began to talk to himself.

“Wandering Merchant from afar… Turned into a cocoon…”

He muttered. Then he opened his eyes wide and began to walk towards the door.

“Let’s go!”

Everyone was completely out of it. But they didn’t have a choice but to listen to him. The hunters all took their spot in the elevator, and it began to move again.

“Clang Clang Clang Clang”

The elevator noisily made its way down. Meanwhile, Mahadas who had been quiet until now respectfully raised a question.

“Excuse me, but… what is it that you are trying to accomplish?”

Kei answered his question.

“Ah… This is a type of side quest which gives you a treasure as a reward.”

“Treasure?”

Peng Long showed heightened interest at his words.

“Yes. You’ll see when you get there. I think you all are very lucky. That guy… his personality is a bit… well, it should prove to be helpful.”

Giovani then turned to ask a question.

“What do you mean by helpful?”

Instead of answering the question, Kei said something else while drumming his fingers over his lips.

“You were all worried about getting low contribution points this round, right?”

Giovani, Peng Long, and Dominic all flinched. It was a sore topic to all of them. Kei continued to speak.

“The guy we’re about to meet will make you all a great deal. All of you should be able to get something good out of this.”

Kei continued to speak around the topic.

“Treasure is treasure, and a deal is a deal… but what’s going to happen to me?”

Dominic asked. Kei glanced at him.

“Ah… Now that you mention it… it might get solved rather easily…”

Dominic tilted his head in confusion.

“What do you…?”

At that moment

‘Ding!’

The elevator Rang and they returned to the 4th floor at the Frankenstein’s Monster’s room. In order to go down, they had to cross the room to the other Elevator on the other side. Kei quickly made his way across the room as he spoke.

“Please quickly follow me. And trust me, you won’t regret it.”

Giovani remained curious about what he meant.

“Where are we going anyway?”

Kei answered.

“She said Cocoon earlier right? We’re going to the Spider’s room on the 2nd Floor”


Note: A short update on Main Character Hides His Strength. We are trying to do a mass release so that you have a good sum of chapters to read. But, we do not want to provide a serviceable read, we want to provide you the best read possible. We are hard at work on it and are sadly unable to make the mass release today. We will try our best to release it by Tuesday.

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