(Volume 2, Chapter 17)
Chapter 42. Akasha's Snake (10)
Akasha's Snake had a venom gland attached next to its Neidan. A gland that oozed out poison that could melt any monsters that came in contact with it. It was a kind of self-defense mechanism that Akasha's Snake developed in order to protect its Neidan. Therefore, it would have required a specialized skill to remove the gland from the Neidan.
‘It's not a problem if I can absorb it.'
Bathory's Vampiric Sword devoured anything that contained energy, even if there was a venom gland right next to it.
Thanks to this skill, it was a piece of cake for Yeon-woo to absorb the Neidan. He separated the venom gland and stored in the bag with Undine's Goblet.
"It would be of great help if I absorbed the venom from the gland... But it's also the main ingredient for crafting Gyges' Eyes.'
[‘Bathory's Vampiric Sword' skill proficiency has increased. 6.2%]
[A huge amount of spiritual energy (Akasha) is pouring into your body. It will be converted into Magic Power.]
[A huge amount of poison is flaring up inside your body. It will be converted into Magic Power.]
[Your status ‘Half Dragon Body' is influencing the absorption process.]
[Your Magic Power has increased by 8 points.]
[Your Magic Power has increased by 6 points.]
[‘Mana Circuit' skill proficiency has increased. 2.1%]
[Due to the large energy inflow, the conversion process will require a considerable amount of time and health.]
[Your status ‘Half Dragon Body' has been determined to be unable to contain all the potential mana. Your body will continue its growth.]
[Trait conversion in progress.]
[The halted succession process will resume. 44%… 46%… 48%....]
[You are advised to stay in a safe place during the conversion process. Outer impact will cause a slowdown or deviation.]
[Estimated time: 15 hours]
The amount of energy contained inside the Neidan was too much for Yeon-woo to handle all at once. A mixture of monsters' spirits that were yet to be purified, and the resentful spirit of Akasha's Snake, they were all jumbled up inside the Neidan.
Thanks to Bathory's Vampiric Sword, barely no energy was lost during the absorption. The intake of such enormous amount of energy caused drastic changes in Yeon-woo's body. A change presumably far bigger than those that had taken place with Reinforced Physique.
The system warned him to stay isolated from the outside world until his body stabilized. But despite the warning, Yeon-woo slowly rose from his seated position and turned his head to see the Goblin King and the Orc King.
A vortex of mana was swirling along his Mana Circuit. It was causing the circuit to break down and burst open, and his muscles and bones to shatter and reassemble.
Terrible pain followed after the changes. However, Yeon-woo stood high, paying it no heed. He could control his senses and shut down a few nerves to suppress some of the pain. His Physical Resistance skill also helped him alleviate it.
Looking at Yeon-woo's bloodshot eyes, the two kings flinched. It was due to a massive energy storm wound around Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo's aura coupled with the excess energy emitted during the absorption process created an indescribable atmosphere. Moreover, the two monster kings felt something in Yeon-woo that stimulated their instincts. Something akin to a predator.
Just then, they figured it out. It was his eyes. Those were the eyes of a predator. Right in front of them stood a predator even more insatiable and more frightening than Akasha's Snake.
"I will kill you, chwik!"
Ignoring the mortal fear, the Orc King leaped to attack Yeon-woo. It was clear that the human in front of him was the cause of this whole tragedy.
But this was the situation that Yeon-woo wanted.
The two monster kings were also boss monsters just like Hargan. And boss monsters like them,
‘Will give me a lot of Karma and Tokens.'
These two monsters had received serious injuries from fighting Akasha's Snake. On the other hand, Yeon-woo's body was in perfect condition excluding the conversion process.
Yeon-woo held Carshina's Dagger backward and made a wide swing.
The Orc King's head flew off into the air.
[You have slain the boss monster, Farak (Orc King). Additional Karma will be provided.]
Without giving a second look to the messages, Yeon-woo dashed straight towards the Goblin King.
The Goblin King held out his helbard with a stern look on his face. Unlike the Orc King, his two eyes were calm, knowing his death was nigh. But the Goblin King struggled with all his might, as if he would not forfeit his life that easily.
* * *
Yeon-woo's body was still going through changes. Now, even if he tried suppressing it, the terrible pain was still transmitted to him.
The good news were, the proficiency of Physical Resistance was increasing very quickly, now reaching almost 17%.
But he couldn't help feeling physically exhausted.
Yeon-woo gritted his teeth and cut off the head of the last remaining Orc.
With his face covered in bitterness and anger, the Orc's head dropped and rolled on the floor.
Yeon-woo let out a long deep breath.
After the death of the two kings, there were two paths the remaining monsters took. One was to run away, and the other was to resist till the end.
He did not bother chasing down the runners, because they were all weak and worthless. But he made sure to get rid of the resisting ones. Then he shoved the serrated teeth into them and absorbed their energy.
Yeon-woo didn't stop after acquiring the Neidan and venom gland of Akasha's Snake. He wanted to speed up his succession progress and improve his body as fast as he could. He desired more and swallowed more. He would do anything to become stronger, and nothing else mattered.
However, consuming hundreds of monsters had made him too exhausted. He could really use some rest in a quiet place.
Yeon-woo thought of going back into the snake's den for a little rest, but he clenched on Carshina's Dagger instead. There was one more thing left to bother him.
"Just come out already."
Yeon-woo cast an indifferent glance to one side.
There was no one in sight, but soon the space seemed to distort, then a player appeared.
With a stiff look on his face. Holding onto his shoulder with his one remaining arm. It was Bain.
"How did you know?"
Yeon-woo snorted lightly.
"You didn't think you could stay hidden with your aura leaking all over the place, did you?"
"... You really are a monster."
Bain stared at Yeon-woo with a look of fear.
He had been watching the whole process. From the time when Akasha's Snake had gone on a rampage, to when Yeon-woo absorbed the Neidan and swept out the remaining monsters. And Bain had only one emotion towards Yeon-woo.
It was fear.
Running around like a ghost with a white mask, Yeon-woo took away the lives of others with just a swing of his knife. Such scenery reminded him of a grim reaper.
But soon, greed started to peek through his eyes.
If only he could have that power for himself. If only he could take the hidden piece waiting to be taken.
In Bain's eyes,Yeon-woo was the hoarding hidden pieces all to himself. If so, he had to take them. They belonged to him.
So he waited and waited until Yeon-woo was exhausted. And at last, the time was here.
Bain slowly drew his sword from the scabbard. It was his treasured artifact granted by ‘The Isle' when he had first joined Team 1.
The cold sound of the sword being drawn spread across the air. The green thread tied on the pommel of his sword trembled as well.
"But that monstrous power you have, I'll have to take it away from you."
Yeon-woo twisted the corner of his lips.
"You? By what means?"
"Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. ‘Cause I know that right now you don't even have the strength to lift a finger."
Bain slowly walked towards Yeon-woo, thinking he was bluffing. Even if he could fight back, it didn't matter. He had been conserving his energy the whole time just for this moment. Even if he had lost an arm, one arm should be enough to take him out.
But Yeon-woo didn't stop sneering at Bain even when he got closer.
"Didn't I ask you already? How are you going to take it away when I'm not alone?"
"What are you...!"
When Bain was about to shout back at his nonsense,
A sudden piercing sound rended the air.
And before Bain could even react, an arrow stuck deep into his temple.
The arrow was so powerful that Bain's head snapped to the side as his body flew off.
Dying a painful death, Bain's eye spotted Galliard with his bow pointed at him on top of a rocky mountain.
Galliard lightly leapt down from the cliff and landed next to Yeon-woo. He clicked his tongue as he looked around the completely devastated area.
"What's all this mess? Was this all you?"
Even with his experience of countless tutorials, he had never seen anything like this before.
But Yeon-woo suddenly burst out laughing.
"Hmm? Why are you laughing?"
Yeon-woo didn't know how to answer his question. Just as Bain had said, he was feeling so wrecked he couldn't even lift a finger because of the on-going conversion process.
And Galliard showed up right on time.
He didn't know whether to call it a coincidence or fate. But it didn't matter, because with him on his side, he could finally take a rest.
"I brought you a gift."
"What? Wait, you...!"
Yeon-woo took out the pendant from his pocket and threw it at Galliard.
The sudden throw took Galliard by surprise, but he managed to grab it. And as he realized what it was, he looked back to Yeon-woo with strained eyes.
So many questions flashed through his mind, but he couldn't get them out because Yeon-woo was already falling unconscious before he could continue speaking.
Galliard quickly came forward and held Yeon-woo from falling. Looking at Yeon-woo, his eyes were shaking. He didn't know what to make of this mysterious man.
But one thing was certain. He was asking for help in return for the present.
Galliard noticed his body was unnaturally hot. It didn't seem like he was sick. He could only guess there was something happening inside his body.
"You're leaving me no choice."
Galliard shook his head.
With Yeon-woo on his back, he headed back to his cottage.
* * *
It was a long time before Yeon-woo woke up.
The first thing that came to his sight was the ceiling of a familiar cottage.
The messages crammed in his retina.
[Trait conversion has been successfully achieved. Your trait ‘Reinforced Physique' has been changed into ‘Diamond Physique'.'
[92% of the energy has been converted to Magic Power and absorbed into the body.]
[Body improvement has been confirmed. The vessel is strong enough. The halted succession process had resumed its progress.]
[Current progress: 92.5%]
[Your current status will be changed from ‘Half Dragon Body' to ‘Near-complete Dragon Body']
Yeon-woo checked his now almost complete succession process and clenched his fist tightly.
At that moment, it seemed that all of his painstaking effort had finally paid off. But on a second thought, he was surprised at the fact that the succession process was still incomplete despite the massive amount of energy he had absorbed.
It seemed his understanding of ‘Dragon Body' was still lacking. He was getting very curious about how strong he would be when the succession process was completed.
Yeon-woo then went ahead and checked his status window.
[Player: Yeon-woo Cha]
Traits: Cold-blooded, Diamond Physique
Strength: 121 Dexterity: 133 Health: 129 Magic Power: 208
Skills: Draconic Eyes(11.2%), Sense Strengthening(32.5%), Foresight(0.0%), Physical Resistance(20.3%), Combat Will(10.5%), Bathory's Vampiric Sword(9.5%), Shunpo(19.5%), Magic Circuit(10.9%)
Several parts of the status window had changed a lot since he last checked. All of the attribute points were over 120, and Magic Power, the stat that was lacking the most before, was now the highest of all four.
His skills had grown a lot too. This was accomplished through continuous battles and growth.
Most surprising was that Mana Circuit, a skill he had acquired the day before, had grown by far the fastest in a single day.
Yeon-woo quickly focused his senses on his Mana Circuit and tried to control mana. And then,
Mana began to move at his will. Very softly and smoothly. It was a somewhat novel sensation. A very strange, but at the same time, very familiar feeling. It felt like he had grown a new body part he could control at will.
Yeon-woo slowly gathered mana onto his hand.
When he swung his hand, he noticed that movement was now much easier than before. Mana had also hardened his hand, making it rock solid.
‘Mana is said to have a variety of uses depending on the user.'
Yeon-woo kept in mind he should do some experiments on the uses of mana. Now that he could control mana at will, he wanted to find a way to use it in combat.
‘But what is this?'
While returning mana back to its original position, Yeon-woo realized his body seemed to have experienced a lot more changes than he expected. Not just the mana flowing through his body, but his body itself had gone through some changes too.
‘My senses… they've gotten keener.'
Despite only making a slight movement, a huge amount of information poured into his head. The light was blinding, and the smells were paralyzing. Pain reverberated throughout his entire body. It was a similar sensation to when he first used Sense Strengthening.
He tried to figure out what might have caused this change. It was unlikely to be a change due to simple physical strengthening.
He considered the possibility of some of the energy from the Neidan having seeped into his body.
But what was interesting was that the feeling wasn't strange to him. Somehow, it was very familiar.
‘Like Undine's Goblet....'
While Yeon-woo was lost in a series of thoughts,
The sound of the opening door brought him back to his senses.
When Yeon-woo lifted his head, Galliard entered the room with a basket full of fruits.
"Are you up?"
edit: lol, hope nobody saw my fuck up.