Chapter 475 - Vampiric Lord (7)
Yeon-woo didn’t use himself as bait just to persuade Nessie to let down his guard. He’d used Sword Thunder as part of a calculated plan. He’d noticed that Nessie would take a big breath before he activated each Illusory Change. He secretly condensed hundreds of sword energy cl.u.s.ters into a sphere of light before opening emptiness to bind Nessie.
Although it was possible for time to turn back, all he had to do was tie up Nessie for one short moment. The sphere rotated almost at the speed of light, which meant that Sword Thunder also fell at the same speed.
No matter how quickly Nessie could produce Illusory Change, he wouldn’t be able to outpace it. Sword Thunder and Random Shooting decapitated him.
‘Did it work?’ Yeon-woo made a small chuckle of disbelief as he watched the creature thrash in pain. His eyelids were heavy, and his consciousness was fading away. His stamina and magic power were completely exhausted from the endless battle and from creating the sphere of light.
Nessie might try to heal himself with Illusory Change and counterattack, but Yeon-woo was certain of his victory. There was no way Nessie could withstand Random Shooting, which split through the basis of existence, especially with Sword Thunder running through it. His only concern was that he might plunge into the Demonic Sea.
‘It’ll work out somehow…’ The familiars in his shadow and a surprised Lana were watching him, so he figured he would be fine. He was also a bit worried about the other kings of the Demonic Sea, but he believed that if the Vampiric Lord had any humanity left, she would intervene. And so, he fell powerlessly without his Sky Wings.
* * *
“That d.a.m.ned b.a.s.t.a.r.d.” The Vampiric Lord scowled as she watched Lana retrieve Yeon-woo. He could’ve just asked her for help. She would have willingly a.s.sisted him if he only told her where Count Ferenc was. Why was he so stubborn? Of course, she knew that Yeon-woo was worried she might betray him after he gave up his most important chess piece. However, the Vampiric Lord had never planned on doing anything like that. A Lord never broke promises.
Besides, her daughter had requested this, and she had good memories of Cha Jeong-woo, so she was prepared to help Yeon-woo with anything he needed. But Yeon-woo never showed any intention of giving in. He’d just gone off to fight as if he were challenging her to think about who would lose more if he died.
When she watched him stick a sword down Nessie’s throat, she was astounded. This was Nessie, the master of this stomach, and the greatest monster king among the otherworld G.o.d’s remains. Yes, it was true that there were seven other creatures who were at least as strong—or even stronger—but Nessie could change the laws of nature as he wished. He was an elite among transcendents, and it was impossible for a mortal to defeat him.
But Yeon-woo had given him a critical blow. Boom! Nessie continued to struggle in agony, making the Demonic Sea rise turbulently with enormous waves. The dead monsters came back to life with strange shapes as s.p.a.ce was crushed and restored again and again. The Illusory World had become unstable.
‘And it doesn’t even seem like he’s reached exuviation.’ How was it possible that a player who could stick a sword down a transcendent’s throat didn’t have divinity? It was impossible. He should have gained it already. In her eyes, Yeon-woo already satisfied all the qualifications: the size of his soul, the quality of his level, his accomplishments, and his owners.h.i.+p of pieces of holiness.
In fact, he had more than enough qualifications. She could see that a part of exuviation had already begun, too. When it was complete, he’d probably become transcendent soon after. But the fact that he hadn’t completed exuviation yet… ‘It’s got to be an external interference.’ She thought she knew who was responsible. ‘Allforone…it’s his bulls.h.i.+t.’
As long as Allforone limited the system and accomplishments, no one in the lower world would successfully exuviate and gain transcendence. She was also one of his victims. Thanks to his machinations, she had failed to become the Black King’s successor, a goal she was desperate for. She had fallen and was forced to separate from her husband. The system was a tool that helped players grow, but it could also be the chains that bound them.
This was the reason she had tried to remove herself from the system. Even if she had to abandon everything she achieved, she wanted to escape its limits and search for a new path, and so she had ended up in the Cave of Yaanek.
She had broken free from the system’s constraints and from Allforone’s meddling, and she finished excavation and gained transcendence. But it wasn’t easy to return to the Tower. Allforone would instantly notice the presence of a mutation and try to interfere. And now, she saw someone who reminded her of her past self; a player who should have been searching for a path to the heavenly world on the ninety-eight floor was also stuck here. She laughed in disbelief. How many people were struggling, tied to the lower world without being able to grow like Yeon-woo?
There was one reason behind the extinction of the Draconic species and the downfall of the Giants and vampire: Allforone. Everything he’d done in the past thousands of years had led to this. ‘And if this guy can exuviate and become a transcendent… No, if he can just find the path to exuviation…’ Although it had never been her intention, Yeon-woo was technically her successor. ‘It looks like he’s the person who took the Vampiric Sword I left behind…’
She had left the Vampiric Sword in the Tutorial to consume all the players looking for it and use it as a blood bank. But not only had he taken it, he’d increased its level. She actually liked what he’d done with it. ‘I shouldn’t watch on as my successor falls.’
What was more, her daughter was here too. Although Lana was already dead, the Vampiric Lord couldn’t bear to see her precious daughter be hurt again. She also risked losing the chance to learn her husband’s whereabouts. “s.h.i.+t.”
She had to acknowledge that she lost the bet this time. It appeared the string of her fate was being pulled by someone else this time, but she didn’t feel all that displeased despite her cursing.
Whoos.h.!.+ Nessie suddenly straightened his neck. The injury he’d received from Sword Thunder was almost healed. Sword Thunder had snipped Nessie’s thread of life, but contrary to Yeon-woo’s expectations, it wasn’t enough.
Transcendents were also called immortals. That meant unless a being’s foundation was pulled out by the roots, they could come back alive because they existed as conceptual beings without any physical forms. This was also Nessie’s holy territory, and it wasn’t unusual that he’d be able to resurrect.
However, Sword Thunder had left an effect. Nessie’s aura had changed completely because Random Shooting had struck the basis of its existence. He seemed to find it difficult to maintain his presence. Even if he returned to the Demonic Sea, it seemed unlikely that he would remain a king. He would have to defend himself against challengers and other kings. Nessie ought to have focused on healing himself, but his pride was hurt from being injured by a mortal. He exuded a deadly aura, clearly ready to kill Yeon-woo.
Lana protected Yeon-woo and confidently stood in front of Nessie. 「I’ll protect you any way I can.」 She muttered to herself that she’d be successful this time as she gripped her spear. She’d been forced to witness her disciple’s death and fallen to ruin as a result. She promised herself that she wouldn’t repeat any of the mistakes of the past. Yeon-woo was the brother of her only disciple. Helping him was like helping Jeong-woo.
Even though she was a weak spirit, and her original strength wasn’t a match for Yeon-woo’s, her determination was stronger than ever. Her blazing eyes looked straight at Nessie.
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Next to her, Shanon, Hanryeong, and Rebecca appeared.
Rumble. The aura from the Vampiric Lord crushed Nessie’s Illusory Change, rejecting the existence of the resurrected monsters. They plummeted to the ground as the falling sky was restored and turned into the vibrant red that represented her. Lightning crashed down.
The vaporized Demonic Sea was filled once again, and a large whirlpool appeared, threatening Nessie. The world trembled. It looked as if the entire world was trying to swallow Nessie whole.
Bathory’s Vampiric Spirit! The simple energy drain skill that evolved from the Vampiric Sword and represented the Vampiric Lord herself filled the world.
A king of the Demonic Sea—the Vampiric Lord had also been one of the rulers of the Demonic Sea, and her strength far outstripped Nessie’s. Nessie resided in the upper sections of the deep sea while the Vampiric Lord resided on the sea floor.
Nessie stiffened at her strength. A colossal monster stood behind the small Vampiric Lord, covering the sky. It was trying to eat Nessie, and there was no way that Nessie could currently withstand a being that he had no chance of resisting even at his peak strength. For the first time ever, he truly felt endangered by another being.
f.u.c.k. Off. The Vampiric Lord enunciated each syllable clearly as she spoke her thoughts. It was enough.
Nessie bowed with grat.i.tude and sank back into the Demonic Sea. He understood the meaning behind her thoughts. Thankfully, he wouldn’t die today. However, before disappearing, he didn’t neglect to shoot a glare at Yeon-woo, who was in Lana’s arms. He would pay back this humiliation next time.
Swish. After he disappeared, Bathory’s Vampiric Spirit also vanished. Lana and the familiars were shocked speechless at the sight of the Vampiric Lord chasing Nessie away with a single sentence. But the Vampiric Lord just smirked like it was nothing and turned to a different direction. “Haven’t you seen enough by now? Stop sneaking around like a rat and come out.”
“Ahem! A rat? As a rabbit, that really offends me, hm?”
A pitch-black hole appeared in the middle of the turbulent Demonic Sea. Someone jumped out of what looked like a rabbit hole. As soon as Lana and the familiars saw him, they grew speechless, but for a different reason than before.
A middle-aged man over 190 centimeters tall, with s.h.i.+ny, muscular, copper-toned skin, tough features, and a bald head appeared. He had a rough voice and gave off the impression of strength—except he was wearing white rabbit ears and spoke in a cute tone.
“You wore something creepy again?”
Another king of the Demonic Sea and former High Guardian Laplace smiled brightly.
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