Team: HH, thursdays, Yahiko
The Summer Queen shouted at the pain of being disconnected from the fourth.
The 81 Eyes may be spiritually connected to her, but the Nine Dragon Sons were shadows that shared her power.
With the connection forcefully cut, the aftereffects were tremendous.
It might’ve been better if the power returned to her, but the pain doubled because it didn’t. Her child had been eaten by another one of her children.
“What a load of bullshit.”
The Martial King cursed and brought his hands down the Summer Queen.
It didn’t look like much happened from the outside, but the energy whirled inside of the Summer Queen.
Her muscles, veins, and Magic Circuit, and even the deep internal organs were split.
The Summer Queen’s hind legs collapsed. Her colossal body landed on the ground. She squirmed up and down, and a burning smell came from her mouth.
She didn’t seem to have the will to fight anymore. The Devil Poison had already entered her marrow, and the holiness that she barely pulled out was at its bottom.
She tried to catch the Martial King using her magic through any means possible, but the Martial King quickly moved to break the magic apart or to avoid it.
After her spine and back were broken, the fight shifted to favor the Martial King.
The Martial King spit out phlegm mixed with blood.
His boiling blood still hadn’t calmed down. The exhilaration from the fight made his body uncomfortable.
He wanted to let it out somehow, but the Summer Queen couldn’t handle him. The Summer Queen wasn’t in the condition to fight him in the first place.
He was a bit annoyed at that. Other than Allforone, the only person to stand against him in the entire tower was the Summer Queen.
The Nine Kings? He didn’t show it, but the Martial King was dissatisfied at being tied up in the same bunch as those trash. They couldn’t even ride on his coattails.
And now, the only person among them who could fight him was dying.
It might’ve been alright if she died after a fierce battle, but she had been weak from the beginning. He didn’t do much, other than punch her a few times.
His punches were turning out to be useless.
“I don’t like it.”
The Martial King narrowed his eyes. It had been a while since he felt this competitive. He was happy after feeling like he returned to his old days, but now he felt uncomfortable, like he hadn’t wiped his bottom after taking care of his business.
He wanted to heal the Summer Queen to fight her again.
But her health was clearly far gone.
『Give…… it! Heaven Wing……!』
“Heaven Wing? The last person to see before you die isn’t me but that kid? That’s also annoying.”
He knew that Heaven Wing Cha Jeong-woo had done something while battling the Summer Queen.
However, he didn’t know what it was. All he guessed was that it was something to do with the Summer Queen’s messed-up body right now.
When the shadow of death was gripping the Summer Queen, she thought of not the Martial King but of Cha Jeong-woo.
Her eyes weren’t on the Martial King anymore.
That meant that in the end, it wasn’t the Martial King who killed her, but Cha Jeong-woo.
The Martial King laughed in disbelief.
What would change if he got mad here? He couldn’t be angry at a dead person. Even if he hadn’t met Cha Jeong-woo, he thought Cha Jeong-woo was a pretty nice guy.
Although he felt like something tasty was taken from right in front of him, nothing would change just because he threw a fit.
All he could do now was probably end the Summer Queen’s pain faster.
It was the last show of respect the Martial King could show the Summer Queen, who was once his rival.
『Your Majesty! Be careful!』
The 81 Eyes and the Nine Dragon Eyes called out desperately to the Summer Queen while dashing to the Martial King.
But they were too far, and the Martial King’s hand was closer. A small energy bead was made on his hands. It was about the size of a fingernail.
It looked weak, but it was a condensed form of the Eight Writings of Divination.
<Martial Extreme>. It was the knowledge he learned from studying the Eight Writings of Divination to take it to a higher level. It was something he originally planned to show Allforone, but it was also nice to send her away with this. It was out of respect and pity.
Just when he was planning on planting the Martial Extreme onto the Summer Queen—
『Seseungnim, I apologize, but I have to take her.』
The Martial King lifted his head at his youngest disciple’s sudden Open Speaking.
And there, tens of split Dragon Killers fell like a downpour with a tremendously condensed Wave of Fire behind them.
The Dragon Killers landed on the Summer Queen. The Wave of Fire followed right after and didn’t let the Summer Queen catch a break.
Yeon-woo brought down 8 Dragon Killers.
The Wave of Fire continued to fall down on the Summer Queen, almost draining Yeon-woo’s Magic Circuit, and hit her over and over again.
She broke and broke.
When the attack that seemed like it would end the world finally stopped, in the dust that settled after it, the Summer Queen was destroyed beyond recognition.
And with those last words, she breathed out her tenacious final breath.
A cold silence descended upon them.
Everyone was speechless.
People on the battlefield didn’t understand what was happening and just swallowed nervously.
No, they did understand. They understood it in their heads…..but they didn’t want to.
It was because they didn’t believe the sight before their eyes.
Of course, there was nothing to say for the Red Dragon, and even the One-horned tribe just blankly stared. They had run to kill the Summer Queen, but no one believed that she would really die.
That was how heavy the weight of the Summer Queen was.
The last dragon.
The dominator of the Tower.
The Lord that had legendarily and historically ruled over the Tower for thousands of years closed her eyes.
When they realized that the blackly burnt Summer Queen wasn’t breathing anymore,
Waltz came running first. She pushed the Head Elder far away and came flying with her dragon wings. Her eyes were bloodshot.
Everything that happened until now flashed by her head.
-You…..you must live happily, not like us.
Her father and mother, who had closed their eyes with her hand tightly held in theirs. They repeatedly told her not to be bound to her tribe or her family and to live freely.
But there weren’t many ways for an orphan to live in the violent world of the Tower alone.
Because of that, Waltz’s only childhood memories were of her digging through trash cans or fighting with beasts that wanted a piece of her.
Then, she met her mother. It was a rainy day. She was sobbing because her friend had died after being hit by a rock, trying to protect her. It was the kind of day when she wanted to go jump in a lake if that was what being free meant.
-Come with me.
At the time, she didn’t know why she held her hand out to her. She didn’t even care. She was planning on dying anyway, so it didn’t matter.
And that day because two, one year, and then 10 years. She had become the daughter of the person that held her hand and was able to stand in front of her.
She knew why her mother took her in. From a long time ago, she learned that there was no such thing as kindness without strings attached. Blood. Her mother needed her genes and potential.
But Waltz was still grateful. It was the first time someone needed her. Her birth parents had told her to live freely, but that was an irresponsible thing to say.
Waltz needed a place to call home. A house and blankets. The Summer Queen was that very thing.
So she had worked hard. She learned Mugong and magic. She even told her mother with a smile that even she would struggle in a fight with her.
Other people said the Summer Queen was a monster.
A monster that was trying to swallow the Tower. A monster who was trying to climb up higher to even swallow the gods and demons. No one could escape her touch nor her shadow.
But to Waltz, the Summer Queen was a mother she was grateful towards for giving her a house and blankets and the only person to hold her hand in that cold place.
Waltz extended her hand. Her mother shouldn’t be lying there. Even if she was in that condition, Waltz wanted to send her on her way comfortably.
However, the Summer Queen’s shadow suddenly stretched out, soaring up in the air to wrap around the corpse like a cast.
Waltz anxiously tried to hold onto the Summer Queen’s corpse, but the large corpse melted completely into the shadow.
Waltz shouted, pulling her hair seeing the Summer Queen disappear right under her nose.
Then, she whipped her head to somewhere else.
The Martial King was standing there, completely fine from the attack of the Dragon Killers.
He had a complicated face. It was a face like he felt unpleasant and uncomfortable at the same time. A flabbergasted laugh escaped from his mouth. He was cursing at his youngest disciple inwardly.
Then, he saw Waltz glowering at him and narrowed his eyes.
A Dragon Fear similar to the Summer Queen’s waved around Waltz. But the problem was the familiar strength she exuded.
It was the deep scent of plums. This was the unique phenomenon that came from the Plum Family’s skill, Plum Divine Martial Art.
How did that child have it?
Waltz ground her teeth. That moment, the strength that Waltz had been hiding was released.
360 energy veins opened next to her Magic Circuit. Vital Energy escaped from her arteries. And with the horrifying sound of bones being split, a horn popped out from her left temple.
Her two eyes stained to purple. They were the horn and purple eyes that symbolized the One-horned tribe, and she also had dragon scales, wings, and a tail, which symbolized a Dragon Human.
The Summer Queen constantly warned her not to unbind the seal until her Vital Energy and magic power were completely combined, but Waltz couldn’t heed her words anymore.
“You took everything from me.”
Waltz growled with her Dragon Fear.
“I’ll kill you. Die…..!”
Waltz clenched her fist like she was going to run at the Martial King any second.
Just then, Waltz whipped her head to look above her. The Martial King also turned his gaze in the same direction. His face slightly crumpled in annoyance.
Countless portals were opening in the sky.
And the players, who were pouring down.
They all had the same appearance.
Red armor and long spears. They had what looked like 3 swords at their hips and a giant Tower shield on their backs.
Rather than players, it was more fitting to call them soldiers.
They all moved as one and quickly stood in order.
“Why are those damned things bloody here?”
The Martial King knew them well.
The Blood Army(血軍).
It was an army that the Blood Land, who ridiculously called themselves a “moving country,” commanded .
And the people who appeared were the marquises, the four dukes, and the Royal Guard.
It could only mean one thing now that the greatest forces of the Blood Land had appeared.
“Ahem! What a shame. We thought there would be a buffet waiting for us if we came now.”
Something like a heavy ball fell in front of the Blood Army. He had a fat and short body. With explosive cheeks and a crown, he looked ridiculous-like a thimble.
He was so large, that he stumbled after landing on the ground and was only able to get up with the help of Duke Ardbad.
“You pig, what are you doing here?”
“Who dares to call me by such a lowly name…..oh! Who’s this? My dear friend, Nayu! It’s been a while!”
He smiled as soon as he saw the Martial King.
He looked ridiculous trying to act proper and elegant with an appearance that was clearly not.
But the Martial King knew the hidden violence under the silly appearance.
The obsession to get everything he wanted and to kill it if he couldn’t have it.
A lunatic who wouldn’t blink an eye to massacre people if it was for his greed.
He also had an ‘army’ who was ready to die for him.
The Gluttony Emperor.
The commander of the Blood Army chuckled, but the Martial King hated to see the oil that was dripping down his forehead. He frowned, and lifted his top lip up in disgust.
“Why are you here? Is it payback for being beat up last time? I remember your eardrums went out that time. Is your right ear okay?”
It was a clear aggression.
Duke Ardbad moved his hand to his sword with a scowl, but the Gluttony Emperor jumped up and down with a wave of his hand.
“No no! What do you see me as? How can you make such a horrifying joke like that?! Why would I fight you? So improper!”
It was a long time ago, but the Gluttony Emperor still remembered clearly. He had touched a member of the One-horned tribe just to taste them, and the Martial King had burst into his castle alone and destroyed half of it.
Sweat dripped down his back just thinking about it.
If he had killed the tribe member, he wouldn’t be alive today.
But he had still been beaten up horribly, so he almost wet himself when he recalled those memories.
The Nine Kings? Fuck them. The Martial King had escaped from that range a long time ago.
And with the Summer Queen gone now, the Gluttony Emperor had no intentions of making the Martial King his enemy. Allforone merely occasionally looked down from the 77th floor; he almost never interfered in anything that happened.
That meant that the absolute strongest in the Tower was the Martial King.
There was no need to get on his bad side.
Being strong to the weak and weak to the strong. That was the secret to how the Gluttony Emperor led the Blood Land this far.
“The reason why I came here was to help another one of my dear friends.”
“There he is.”
The Martial King turned his head to where the Gluttony Emperor was looking at and slightly wrinkled his forehead.
Far away on the will, Yeon-woo was looking at them. Just then, the Martial King understood everything that had happened. From the Walpurgisnacht to the Blood Land, all the powerful clans in the Tower had been played by his disciple.
“You must feel quite at ease. You have such a wise disciple! How are you able to have three disciples like him? Could you tell me the secret…..hahaha. It’s a joke. A joke!”
The Gluttony Emperor inched away from the Martial King, who was glaring at him. Then, he carefully brought a subject up.
“But, you know.”
“What is it this time?”
“What are you going to do after this?”
The Martial King snorted looking at the Gluttony Emperor. It was obvious what the guy wanted.
He was now the strongest in the Tower, but he only cared about his honor and the safety of his tribe; he didn’t have any desire to control or rule.
That meant one thing.
Without the Summer Queen, the throne of the Tower’s ruler was empty.
‘And the person who sits on it first will keep it.’
Obviously, just like his obsession for eating, the Gluttony Empire’s desire for power was great. That was his motive for wanting to reestablish a disappeared land.
And the first receiver of that.
‘Is it that child?’
The Gluttony Empire licked his lips looking at Waltz with her Dragon Fear. He seemed to be uncomfortable about the horn on Waltz’s head.
The Martial King shook his head with disinterest.
He found out that Waltz was from the One-horned tribe, but that was it. He had already thrown away his sibling. He had no need to take care of a child, whose name he didn’t even know, who left the tribe.
“Hehehe. I guess. Since interfering with the situation further doesn’t suit you, I’ll take care of the rest.”
“There’s no better scavenger than you.”
“Can’t you compare me to a wolf or an eagle instead?”
Wolves and eagles tore into meat that beasts left behind. And at the same time, they symbolized courage and combat.
The Gluttony Emperor didn’t feel any embarrassment comparing himself to them. The true winner was the one who took it all.
On the Gluttony Emperor’s orders, the Blood Army lifted their spears as one. Clack, clack, clack. They started singing a military song.
Song of Victory. All the minds of the soldiers connected and increased their combative power, and their aura started to whirl around them.
The Gluttony Emperor’s slowly began to change after receiving their aura.
His chubby skin turned into tight muscles, and his bones grew longer, leaving him at a tall height of 2 meters.
He was thin, and his gaze was hollow. An ominous atmosphere wrapped around him.
“Everyone enjoy! Today is a feast! Everyone eat and drink to their hearts’ content!”
As the Gluttony Emperor shouted with a drool, the Blood Army ran forward with a shout. Even then, the military song didn’t stop.
Koong, koong, koong, koong—
And Waltz, who had been watching the scene, was surrounded by her subordinates who came over.
“Bihee! You have to move!”
They all clenched their teeth. With the Summer Queen dead and the Blood Land here, the Red Dragon was in no state to fight anymore.
For the first time since the Red Dragon was established, they felt the humiliation that no one else had been able to give them other than Allforone.
Waltz bit her lower lip. She wanted to stay until the end and avenge her mother, but she had to take care of the rest of her siblings and her subordinates.
Clenching her fist, Waltz opened her mouth to the sky.
It was quietly spoken, but it was delivered to everyone connected to the Red Dragon.
Dragon Language. The power to control the laws of the world as she spoke.
She was the only one of the Summer Queen’s children who could freely use Dragon Language.
And with that as the beginning, the rest of the Nine Dragon Sons, the 81 Eyes, and the Red Dragon players all ripped their scrolls to open the large portal.
“The prey is escaping! Quickly eat them without losing a single one!”
The Gluttony Emperor’s bloodshot eyes turned firm. It was to not lose the chance to taste the delicious dragon meat.