Chapter 52 – Count Dimitri’s Castle Ruins (8)

As soon as the Hidden boss Dullahan appeared, Sungjin deployed the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. There was no need to drag on the fight. The content of the book revealed itself.

Sungjin wasted no time reading it out loud.

“When the Minister of the State, Dong Zhuo, decided to take her to the Mei Citadel,”

It was then

“Let us go, my steed! Shadow Run!”

The Knight shouted

“Hee!~”

The horse stood up on its hind legs and let out a mighty cry that reverberated in the surrounding.

“She intentionally…”

Sungjin was forced to pause while reciting the verses from the book. When he was interrupted, the book automatically closed itself.

‘Damn!’

‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ returned to the front covers, and Sungjin looked back towards the Dullahan. The Dullahan was rapidly riding into the distance at an unbelievable speed. Sungjin quickly shouted

“Swift Paw!”

The claws emerged from his boots and he sprinted. But, although he was running at 10 times his normal speed, Sungjin was unable to close the distance.

Swift Paw’s active period lasted just 10 seconds, but the Dullahan continued to speed away.

‘What the… how the hell am I supposed to catch up to this guy?’

Sungjin checked ahead and saw that the path was curved slightly to the left.

‘Wait…’

Sungjin stopped running and pulled out the Magic Carpet.

“Flight.”

He soared into the sky and checked where the Dullahan was running off to. As he thought; the knight was running in a huge circle, with the castle as the center.

Count Dimitri’s castle was quite large, but due to the Dullahan’s speed, the Knight was finishing up the first lap around the castle in a very short time.

The Hunters were standing around at the entrance with their weapons in hand, lost as to what they should be doing.

“Where did that thing go, Kei?”

Sungjin explained as he returned to the hunters.

“He’s coming back. He’s running a lap around the castle.”

And just like he said, the Dullahan came into view from the other side of the castle. Sungjin took out the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ again.

But the book stubbornly refused to open; as if secured by chains and locks. The Operator gave an announcement.

[5 seconds remaining until ‘Declamation’ is available off cool down]

‘What?’

The Dullahan’s head shouted, interrupting his thoughts.

“Soldiers! To me!”

At his command, dozens of ghost cavalrymen appeared behind him. Each of the ghost soldiers held a weapon while riding a horse. One of the hunters muttered.

“My god…”

Sungjin put the book away and returned to the inside of the castle gates. Standing directly in the way of the galloping cavalry could only result in death.

“Ahahaha! Cowards! Attack! Go bring me their heads!”

The Dullahan Knight issued orders to his soldiers. Soon, the ghost horsemen entered the castle walls. The Hunters, waiting inside, met them head on.

“Come at me, monsters!”

Giovani shouted raising his shield.

“Yaa!”

Dominic braced his spear with courage.

“Taho!”

Mahadas punched the head of the oncoming horse.

“Pew~”

Peng Long wordlessly let loose bolts at the oncoming cavalry. Sungjin also faced off against a horseman. It came charging straight at Sungjin with a lance.

But it was no match for Sungjin.

‘Woosh’

In one strike, both the horseman and the horse’s head were severed. The horse continued forward, and ran into the wall, scattering into dust.

Sungjin scanned the surroundings for the Dullahan, but he could not find him. Only a small portion of the cavalry had entered the castle gates.

While the other four hunters were fighting against the cavalry army, Sungjin used the Magic Carpet to fly into the air. He saw the Dullahan Knight running in the distance, drawing the same circle around the castle.

Sungjin concluded that the main body of the army does not enter the gates. Returning to the gates once more, he prepared the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ again.

‘I will do it this time.’

Sungjin began reading the words. It was different from last time. But he didn’t have time to ponder the reason; the ghost cavalry army was almost upon him.

“As Cao Cao asked, those from Heibei are not used to Naval combat; riding ships gave them sea sickness. Is there anything we can do to solve this problem? To this, he answered, if you tie the boats together, it will reduce the shaking and be just like walking on land.”

As Sungjin calmly read out the verses, the cavalry grew ever closer; He was moments away from becoming a pancake.

But Sungjin decided to trust the book and continued to read the verses until the end.

“Cao Cao slapped his knees and shouted, You are the answer to my prayers, Pang Tong!”

Once Sungjin was done with the declamation, the book automatically closed itself and returned to his embrace. The Operator gave an announcement.

[Seance of Pang Tong Activated!]
[Passive Skill Rapid Cast (IV) and Increase Mana (II) enabled]
[Active ability Link Trap (I) is available for instant cast]

Sungjin lost no time immediately casting the active skill. There was no doubt this hero was chosen for this very reason.

“Link Trap!”

Chains appeared before the cavalry army, and their speed visibly fell; from the speed of a runaway train to that of a crawling baby.

Sungjin rode the Magic Carpet and rose into the air. There were lots of enemies and the point of a ‘Strategist’ was to cast magic.

Once he climbed high enough, Sungjin recited an incantation.

“Incinerate every…”

But a ball of fire already gathered in his hands. It was the effect of ‘Rapid Cast’. Sungjin immediately understood and acted accordingly; He began rapid firing spells alternating his hands.

“Fire ball!”

“Fire ball!!”

“Fire ball!!!”

“Fire ball!!!!”

“Fire ball!!!!!”

“Fire ball!!!!!!”

Once he fired six fireballs, the Operator gave a warning message.

[Low Mana]

Sungjin finally stayed his hands from firing another shot. The ghost cavalry was nearly stuck in place, moving at a snail crawl speed.

‘Boom Booom Booom BOOOM Rumble RUMBLE’

Six balls of fire landed on the ground, and the Ghost army was reduced to ashes. The only thing standing after the fires had subsided was the Dullahan Knight.

[10 seconds until the end of Seance. 9,]

The Operator began a countdown, but it didn’t matter. Sungjin pulled out his two swords and hopped out of the Magic Carpet.

The Dullahan moved the hand holding his head to look back and forth. The head emitted green flames as he cried out loud

“How can this be! My cavalry! You Knave!”

The Dullahan Knight swung his sword towards the approaching Sungjin, but the Link Trap dulled his movement.

Sungjin easily dodged the blow and used Moon Specter to sever the hand holding the head and Blood Vengeance to sever the head of the horse ‘Shadowrun’.

“Ahh…”

Shadowrun was beheaded and turned into dust. Only the one-armed Dullahan remained. He had no weapons nor a horse remaining.

Sungjin walked up to the knight to deliver the final blow. But green lights began to emit from the head, and he heard the head recite an incantation.

“Awaken and become my slave!”

From the first words, Sungjin knew what the knight was trying to do; He also had this spell memorized. The knight must have wanted to use the spell to resurrect his fallen soldiers.

Sungjin had no reason to allow him to finish his magic. Sungjin pointed at the knight with both of his hands

“Pa!”

His two swords flew out of his hands and cut away at the remaining arm, and also his neck.

“Haa!”

Once the swords passed him, Sungjin cast the return spell. The swords sliced apart the head on its return trip and flew straight into his hands.

The Operator gave out an announcement.

[Hidden boss The Dullahan Knight]
[Besgoro cleared!]

Sungjin looked down at his swords. He was planning on swinging his swords in the air to remove the blood, but there was not a single blood stain on the blade.

‘I guess he was a ghost of sorts.’

Sungjin grinned as he sheathed his swords again. Every enemy had been killed. Sungjin was planning on returning to the other hunters’ side, but then he saw the others staring at him with mouths hanging open.

“Pang Tong… so you’re the Master Hunter? Kei?”

He couldn’t deny it. ‘Treasure Hunter’ Sungjin raised his arms and answered

“I wasn’t trying to hide it per se.”

The hunters were unable to look away from Sungjin.

‘How did he get so strong?’

‘Magic… how did he rapid fire so many at once?’

‘That book… how is ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ obtained?’

Sungjin was considering how to respond to the others when he was interrupted by the Operator’s announcement.

[All enemies slain.]
[Beginning reward distribution.]

Once reward was mentioned, the Hunters were finally distracted.

[Monsters Slain. Zombie Watchdogs: 2. Vampire Nobles: 20. Giant Spiders: 30. Living Armor: 15. Frankenstein’s Monster: 1. Total 6000 points.]
[Boss Monster Slain: ‘Thousand Year Count’ Dimitri: 750 points.]
[Hidden Boss: ‘The Dullahan Knight’ Besgoro: 750 points.]
[Final Point count: 7500. Distributing points.]

First up was Dominic Spencer’s reward. Due to being bitten by a Vampire from early on, he wasn’t able to rack up many points.

[Your contribution is 3.0%. 225 Stat points, 225 Black Coins awarded. Raid Clear Bonus 2000 Stat points and 2000 Black Coins awarded. Distributing 2250 Stat points and 2250 Black Coins.]

It was a low amount, but he didn’t look upset. He just considered himself lucky to be alive. Next up was Giovani. Due to Sungjin and Mahadas’s strength, he didn’t get many opportunities to fight as a tank.

[Your contribution is 5.7%]

Next was Peng Long. Thanks to his long ranged attacks he received a similar contribution level as Mahadas.

[Your contribution is 8.2%.]

Mahadas excelled in attacks, but by using magic and items to support his team, he racked up lots of contribution points from this round.

[Your contribution is 12.2%.]

Last up was Sungjin.

[Your contribution is 70.9%. 5318 Stat points, 5318 Black Coins awarded. Raid Clear Bonus 2000 Stat points and 2000 Black Coins awarded. Item effect ‘Additional 10% gained’ activated. Distributing 7318 Stat points and 8050 Black Coins.]

‘8050 Coins…’

Sungjin calculated quickly in his head. Even though he had allowed the other hunters to take a few contribution points away from him, he had enough money left to buy the item from ‘Darker than Black.’

‘That’s good.’

While Sungjin was breathing a sigh of relief, the Operator continued to speak.

[And now we will distribute the items.]


TL note: Romance of the Three Kingdoms references-

There are two very different but linked scenes mentioned in the text. First one is about Dong Zhuo and Diao Chan. Specifically, the scene where Diao Chan is taken to the Mei citadel (미오성).

Diao Chan is one of the most famous fictional characters that appeared in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. To end the tyrannical rule of Dong Zhuo, which was destroying the Han Dynasty, Wang Yun asked his adopted daughter to create strife between Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu (Legendary warrior).

She is first betrothed to Lu Bu, who becomes entranced by her beauty, and then is introduced to Dong Zhuo, who immediately takes her away to Mei citadel; site of untold savagery and debauchery where Dong Zhuo kept his large harem. Lu Bu is outraged and later kills Dong Zhuo. This plan is called linked trap 연환계.

The text Sungjin actually finished reading out loud is the scene where Pang Tong tricks Cao Cao to use a flawed strategy.

Pang Tong, by this point, was already a world renowned strategist and tactician. Pang Tong was working with Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang to bring down Cao Cao. Pretending to join Cao Cao as a strategist, Pang Tong gave Cao Cao the idea to tie boats together with steel chains so that the ships will stop rocking, and place the planks above the chains where the boat meets so that the men could freely run from one ship to another as if walking on land.

The idea worked. Soldiers no longer had sea sickness. However, it greatly slowed down the progress of the ships to a crawl, especially at bends.

Emboldened by the apparent success of chaining ships together, Cao Cao attacked deep into the Sun Quan territory where he was without cavalry support.

At night when winds were favorable, Zhuge Liang launched an attack with unmanned boats filled with oils and torches which lit the chained ships on fire upon impact. Unable to pull away due to chains and planks linking the ships together, the whole of Cao Cao’s great fleet went up in flames, burning a large portion of his army alive, and drowning most of the survivors. Stranded in the marsh and river-filled Sun Territory without a proper navy nor seamen, Cao Cao was forced to retreat. This is the famous battle of Red Cliff.

Pang Tong’s great strategy which led to Cao Cao’s defeat at the battle of Red Cliff was called… Linked Trap 연환계.

The Author is doing 2 things. One, he’s showing us that heroes may have overlapping special abilities. Two, he’s showing off his incredible depth of knowledge and understanding of the text in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. I knew of both of these events, but I did not realize they were called the same thing until I read this chapter.

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35 thoughts on “Chapter 52 – Count Dimitri’s Castle Ruins (8)”

  1. Allow me to submit a supplement to that! The “Chain Stratagem”, as it’s usually referred to, is specifically named after the Pang Tong scene here, though as mentioned before, the “Chain Stratagem” was used to cause the death of Lu Bu. That being said, the two use very different interpretations of the chain stratagem, both of which come up.

    The “Chain Stratagem”, coming from the phrase “Chain Together the Enemy’s Warships”, is built upon the idea of turning an enemy’s advantages into weaknesses, by forcing them into situations where their strengths are useless or severely hampered. The relevance to this fight in particular is fairly obvious: Eliminating the enemy’s speed advantage.

    there’s also a completely different way to interpret the Chain Stratagem, and that is as “chain stratagems together”. Naturally, this ends up having a completely different meaning, even with the same name. I believe this is the variant used against Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu, though I believe modern interpretation interprets it closer to saying that the Chain Stratagem in this case meant something along the lines of “turn your enemies against each other to drag each other down”, which is a different stratagem.

    …It’s probably best not to think too hard about it.

    1. I personally won’t be able to comment since I have read romance of the three kingdoms (the notes are added by gamja, he knows a lot about the novel)
      But that was a nice interpretation u presented 🙂

  2. There is a problem with the math as from clearing the main boss he was awarded 750 points and from the hidden boss was an additional 750 points which is a total of 1500 points. How did that turn into 2000 points?

    1. no you see the 750 points are added points to the total distribution points. the extra 2000 points are separate points every one receives for killing all the enemies.

  3. Thanks for the chapter~

    That explanation at the end was really good. I’m glad it was there to provide some background.

  4. That was seriously interesting. Again loving the romance of the three kingdoms references and inferences by the author. I can’t wait till the other books appear.

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