Chapter 48. Two Hearts (6)
He who was once his brother’s most trusted friend had turned his back on his brother and stabbed a sword into his heart. In return, he was invited to Cheonghwado as an executive.
However, Leonte had always been dissatisfied with his position. What he wanted was the position of Wushen, the very head of Cheonghwado.
What if he still harbored such ambition? And what if Arangdan was the cover used to hide his plans?
Everything seemed to make sense.
Yeon-woo burst out laughing with his hands placed over his mask. He couldn't hold back his laughter at all. He laughed so hard even tears started to well up in his eyes. After all, he happened to find a lead to his target in such an unexpected place.
Who would have thought that Arangdan was Leonte’s creation? It was like finding a hidden treasure.
Without knowing the reason behind his laughter, Bild’s face was distorted with anger. He couldn’t understand how could Yeon-woo laugh instead of being scared in front of him.
"You must have a death wish!"
The air began to stir as Bild emitted his aura. The whole area shook violently.
Arangdan’s players collapsed onto the floor as they coughed up blood. Some looked up at Bild with imploring eyes that begged him to stop.
All of a sudden, Yeon-woo stopped laughing and lowered his hands as if it never happened. Then he slashed in front of him with Carshina’s Dagger.
At that moment, the aura that was pressuring the whole area vanished. Yeon-woo had cut through the flaws.
When Bild saw this, the expression on his face quickly froze.
Underneath the white mask, Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed like a couple of Will-o-wisps.
"Stop acting so affected. If you want a fight just come at me now."
Never in his wildest dreams did he think he would unexpectedly catch onto Leonte’s tail.
Bild was one of the many sidekicks that Leonte had. If Yeon-woo could subdue him now, he could put the screws on him to find out what had transcurred following the memories from the diary up till now.
‘Jeong-woo, I think this will be the first gift I can give you.'
The look that Yeon-woo showed towards Bild changed. It was like that of a predator, hungry for food.
Bild’s face burned with shame and rage. No one had ever looked at him like this. That attitude was supposed to be his.
One of the nine players behind Bild bowed his head.
"Send a signal to the Isle right now. Tell them that we have a weird guy that came to fight Arangdan."
But the moment the player turned around to carry out his order, an explosion occurred right beside his head, smashing it into pieces like a watermelon.
It was an unexpected attack.
Bild and the remaining eight players looked at Yeon-woo with their eyes wide open.
Yeon-woo gave a cold smirk as he lowered the left hand he had stretched towards the dead player.
"I already told you. Stop being so snobbish and come fight me. And don’t even think about running away.”
Bild's face stiffened even more.
An enemy capable of various attacks including both close and long ranged ones. It was the most difficult type of enemy.
In the end, Bild admitted that he had to raise his awareness in view of how dangerous he was. He wasn't at the same level as Kahn and Doyle.
"...Indeed, you didn’t come attacking us without a trick or two up your sleeve."
Phante and Edora, the siblings from the One-Horned tribe. The best players there were in this round of the tutorial.
His level was equal to those two who were even feared by players already in The Tower. This meant that even he had to go full out against him.
Bild drew the two swords that were hanging on his back crossed.
An austere ambiance permeated the air.
"Then I'll show you how useless those petty skills you’ve got are."
Bild gathered as much mana as he could as he propelled himself from the top of the building with unbelievable power.
The building he was standing on collapsed from the impact.
Bild came down at an intense speed and wielded his swords at Yeon-woo. The wind surrounded his swords, making the blades sharper. It was his favorite skill, ‘Wind Blade'.
Yeon-woo slanted Carshina’s Dagger upwards and parried the two swords. At the same time, he spun and dug underneath Bild, taking his left hand to his waist and pulling out another dagger.
The dagger held in reverse drew a horizontal line and darted upwards aiming for Bild's throat.
Bild narrowly dodged the dagger by bending his body backwards. Then made a wide swing with his two swords and swept at Yeon-woo’s lower body.
The longer Wind Blade was used, the more layers of wind would stack over each other, making the skill increasingly more powerful.
His attack left deep furrows on the ground, as if a large animal had clawed at the ground.
But Yeon-woo dodged the attack by just lightly jumping off the ground. Then again, Yeon-woo twisted his body and aimed Carshina's Dagger towards the top of Bild’s head.
Bild also lifted his swords vertically. The dagger and the two swords clashed once again.
An immense shockwave created by the clash shook the two of them. The ground caved down, and clouds of dust spread from side to side. The surrounding area except for where the two were standing was filled with clouds of dust.
It was a tense battle in which neither of the two were being pushed back.
The players watching their fight took a big gulp. Cold sweat broke out from their tightly clenched fists.
Yeon-woo also felt like he was really ‘fighting’, unlike when he was facing the other players who were hardly worth dealing with.
A fight where their head could fall the moment they made a single slip. A fight where a minor mistake could result in a great defeat.
His breath came in short gasps. His muscles heated up. His back was tightly strained from the tension.
A rush of adrenaline made him feel like he was floating in the air. The feeling he got on his first mission in Africa. It felt like he was living that moment all over again.
And it came to Yeon-woo with a sense of indescribable thrill. The thrill of a savage beast being freed from the depths of the abyss and rushing over the mountains showing off its teeth and claws.
So Yeon-woo approached closer to Bild.
Closer and closer. As if he didn’t care about getting wounded.
Therefore, Bild's movements, which looked like flamboyant dance moves at the beginning, started to look hectic from some point on.
All he could do was to match the speed of Yeon-woo’s incessant attacks.
And such truth,
‘What is happening with...!’
Came as a great shock to Bild.
He was a merely a player who had just joined the tutorial. He was supposed to be a small fry who had acquired his abilities just now!
‘How can you be this strong? How!'
Bild knew that this guy wouldn’t be at the level of an ordinary player. He had assumed that he'd be at least at Phante and Edora's level. But he didn’t expect him to be this overwhelming.
Bild was a player who had already started to climb The Tower. Although he had stopped climbing because he had become aware of his limit, he had climbed up to fairly high floors before quitting.
But Yeon-woo was overpowering such a player.
No, to be exact, it wasn't ‘overpowering’.
When seen from an objective angle, there were still things Yeon-woo lacked. His skills hadn’t reached their full potential due to the lack of proficiency. But what he had was the experience. He knew how to ‘fight’.
Yeon-woo took a step closer ignoring the risks. In order to unleash fiercer attacks, he chose to discard all defenses to constantly press against Bild, bearing with the wounds on his arms and sides.
Despite his whole body being covered in wounds, he didn’t slow down his attacks. Rather, he was laughing as if he found the fight to be very amusing.
"I see. You don't know how to fight at all."
"Although, you seemed like a good fighter before. I guess you've gotten duller during your time with those newbies."
The way he spoke sounded like he had known Bild for a long time. Bild just wanted to ask who the hell was he. But the moment he tried to speak, the words got stuck right inside his mouth.
He saw the two eyes under the white mask, and the reflection of himself against those eyes. There, he found himself overcome with fear and dread.
Bild lifted his sword to the side like holding a shield and barely managed to fend off Yeon-woo’s attack.
The sword rang from the impact of the blow.
The blade seemed to have received serious damage, and cracks appeared on the side of the sword. His hand holding the hilt trembled as if it were going to fall off.
Or, maybe his hands were trembling not because of the attack, but because of fear.
"That's ridiculous! I, Bild, feel fear against a player in the tutorial?'
But Bild couldn't explain the reason why he was feeling this dark emotion squeezing his heart.
Each swing of the dagger wielded by Yeon-woo felt like the explosion of a cannonball. It held power that could easily shatter a thick rock and speed that could hardly be caught with the naked eye.
Now in Bild's eyes, Yeon-woo was starting to appear like savage beast. A beast that had been pushing him towards the edge of a cliff.
Yeon-woo moved once again. He gathered as much mana as possible.
Mana Circuit started to spin like crazy. A mixture of the mana that once existed within the Snow Ginseng and the Neidan of Akasha’s Snake was now being infused in Carshina’s Dagger.
Bild's body kept being pushed back by Yeon-woo’s attacks,
His body bounced off one last time as he failed to block a blow.
His left sword exploded into pieces splattering the splinters all over the place. Among them, there were also bits of Bild's severed left arm.
Bild fell off far away after rolling several times on the ground.
Blood was gushing out from his left shoulder. As he tried to get up, he bent down several times to vomit out blood. His broken ribs left him short of breath. Red veins were visible in his eyes.
The whole world looked like it was spinning in circles. The pain in his left shoulder spread across his whole body, making his remaining right arm shudder.
Bild heard Yeon-woo’s footsteps approaching him. To him, it sounded louder than thunder.
Just then, the eight players who had been standing back rushed in to save Bild.
Yeon-woo consumed several souls to create a Black Blade, and slashed his dagger in a diagonal line.
A black energy traversed through the air across the field. Soon, the bodies of the eight players dropped onto the floor with their upper and lower bodies separated. Flesh and blood splattered all over the place.
Everyone around was left with a huge shock. No one dared to approach Yeon-woo anymore.
No, their fear was far beyond that point.
Overtaken by fear and dread, nobody on site could think of running away. And such a scene came as a greater fear for Bild.
Now in his eyes, Yeon-woo was no longer a beast. He was a demon. A demon approaching him with a sneer on his eyes.
“Fuck! J, just stop him! Don’t let him approach me, goddammit!"
Bild desperately screamed at the other players ordering them to stop Yeon-woo from approaching.
Then, there was a change in the players who had been shaking in fear. Their eyes rolled back as they revealed only the whites in their eyes. Their minds went blank leaving behind what felt like an aura of madness.
It was a skill that allowed him to take control of other players that had been previously planted with a medium item specially created with the skill.
Puppet Mastery was originally Leonte’s innate skill. However, Bild had formed a submission contract with Leonte, so he was able to borrow part of Leonte’s skills.
For a long time, Bild had been secretly planting the medium items into the players who joined Arangdan in order to batten down the hatches.
And this was the first time Bild had used this skill.
Unlike his master Leonte, Bild’s incomplete skill made it impossible to restore the players back to their normal state once he triggered it. But right now, he was in no condition to take things into consideration. He had to hold Yeon-woo back as much as possible.
Dozens of players rushed towards Yeon-woo all together. Without their sentience, they only followed Bild’s order.
In the meantime, Bild managed to get up and started running the other way in order to get the weapon that could turn the tables.
‘Stone! I need the stone right now! That will be enough to kill him!'
According to their plan, its power should’ve been offered to his master, who had been wanting to become the Wushen. But that didn’t matter to Bild right now. He needed that power right away. What to say to the owner was something he could think later once he had defeated the demon.
Yeon-woo slaughtered the players jumping at him like a swarm of zombies as he followed Bild with his eyes.
Wherever he went,
That’s where the ‘secret’ that Leonte wanted to hide must be.
‘And the place where Khan and Doyle are being imprisoned.’