A Monster Who Levels Up
A destructive shock wave shook the earth, and the Titan’s massive fist squashed the head of the Flesh Golem.
*SFX for a low growl*
As if it got stunned by the sudden attack from what it thought was a fellow Monster, the Flesh Golem let out a strange low-frequency groan and retreated a little.
Too bad, the blue Titan didn’t give a rat’s ass and threw yet another massive punch, this time aimed at the Golem’s chest. Quite unlike the huge bulk that blocked out the sky, its movement was rather stylish to behold.
The Flesh Golem crossed its arm to block the incoming attack, but still suffered a grievous injury, one of its arms separating from the body. Angered by the immense pain, the Golem let out a roar half filled with rage and the other half with agony, and dashed towards the blue Titan.
Now that it lost pretty much all its reasoning, it no longer displayed that deft application of magic and clones anymore. It just went for the midriff of the Titan and tackled it to the ground.
Falling into the East Sea, the Flesh Golem struggled in the water, but still swung its fist at the Titan. But well, the shift into a new battle ground presented a big problem for the Monster.
The ‘fuel’ for the Leviathan’s Titan was water of the ocean. In other words, it would never be defeated as long as it was in a body of water.
*SFX for expansive swings of a large fist*
The Flesh Golem’s violent punches constantly landed on the body of its target, but the blue Titan didn’t even try to defend itself. No, it simply counterattacked while letting the hits in.
From the apocalyptic throwdown of two giant Monsters, sparks of Mana flew away like shooting stars.
The battle slowly tilted towards the blue Titan’s favour as time passed. The flesh of the Flesh Golem continuously fell off, yet the Titan’s wounds were recovering constantly by all that sea water surrounding it.
‘I’m getting dizzy here.’
However, there was that thing about Mana of the summoner who brought forth the Titan, Kim Sae-Jin, constantly decreasing at an alarming rate. Thankfully, though – the Leviathan Form possessed a Mana reserve tens of times larger than his regular ‘human’ appearance, so he wasn’t too worried about that for now.
Following a large and disturbing sound of explosion coming from the punches of two Giants landing successfully, a piece of flesh stripped off the Flesh Golem and caused large ripples of water to splash all around.
None of the Knights witnessing this by the beach dared to intrude upon this battle; meanwhile, drones belonging to Knights Orders and media corporations buzzed away in the air, redirecting their camera lenses towards the giants.
Kkhuong! Kkhwang! Kkhuong! Kkwang!
Although most of the drones had their wings and lenses damaged by the massive shock waves generated by the relentless and chaotic battle for supremacy happening right before them, a few still managed to endure and capture the resulting footage.
“What the hell is going on here…?”
“Damn… Am I dreaming or something?”
Knights stared dazedly at this unexplainable situation for the next three minutes, before finally realising why they were there in the first place, which helped them regain their focus. Regardless of what was happening, that blue Titan was their ally.
So, it made sense to work together and destroy that grotesque Golem…
Kim Hyun-Seok cried out and dashed forward.
*SFX for energy-something-something shooting out*
From his sword Gram, a powerful fireball shot out and inflicted a deep wound on the Flesh Golem’s arm. The Golem roared at the top of its lungs in unbridled rage, but the Titan didn’t miss its chance and thrust forward its massive blue fist into the Golem’s open mouth.
The fist connected so splendidly, the Golem’s mouth almost came loose.
Towards the tottering Flesh Golem, countless Knights rushed in and swung their weapons. Sharp, focused Mana encased each and every one of those weapons, creating different silhouettes of weapon auras as the Golem’s body gradually became the proverbial Swiss cheese….
*SFX for a painful moan of a Monster*
Thanks to the unexpected alliance of the blue Titan and the Knights, the Flesh Golem issued a sorrowful wail as it crumbled into a heap of disgusting pieces. However, although this battle had come to an end, Knights couldn’t really relax at all. Would this Titan now turn its unwelcome attention towards them and attack?
Well, such a worry proved to be a needless worry. The blue Titan dissolved into several streams of water and disappeared into the sea altogether.
And when the Titan suddenly vanished, Knights quickly followed the strands of Mana leaving from the ‘remains’ of the Titan.
And sure enough, on the surface of the undulating sea over yonder, there was a single creature.
Its entire body was covered in pale azure scales, and its eyes were unfathomably deep as if to demonstrate its intelligence.
Unlike its adorable countenance, the aura this mysterious creature exuded was undeniably noble – so much so, it proved impossible to stick whatever careless adjective one could think of to this being.
“What is that?”
Knights murmured to themselves and carefully studied its appearance. But, as if it was feeling shy from all the attention pouring on it, it immediately dived under the water’s surface and disappeared from the view.
“…The battle has ended. Mop up the remains of the Golem.”
It was then, Kim Hyun-Seok’s energetic voice resounded. Pretty much every Knight here was pooped out from fatigue, but still had to move their weary bodies since the superior officer issued an order.
The subjugation of the Flesh Golem unexpectedly ended with very low casualties.
And the footage containing the very reason for that – the handiwork of the Leviathan – spread out like wildfire the following day. However, since no one really knew about how the baby version of Leviathan looked like, the world took to calling it the ‘Unidentified Lifeform’ and emphasized the fact that it played the crucial role in defeating the Flesh Golem.
“Judging from those shiny scales and deep, clear eyes, it could very well be a Leviathan.”
…There were a few experts who posited as so.
Unfortunately, these experts were actually scholars focusing on the field of history and folklore, so ‘real’ experts related to all things Monsters summarily laughed them out of the room, berating them for their baseless assumptions.
The Leviathan was the world’s laziest – and because of that, relatively safe – beast of legends. Plus, its normal territory was located in deep oceans, so it was argued that there was no way it would roam around the coastline of the East Sea.
“Could it be a Divine Beast?” (Yu Sae-Jung)
And currently, the armchair expert operating out of Kim Sae-Jin’s home, Yu Sae-Jung, took a look at this and that on the Dawn’s official forum using her phone before spinning out her own interesting theory.
“I’m saying, a Divine Beast. Remember that Black Turtle living near China not too long ago? And people keep saying that the Azure Dragon and the Leviathan have broadly similar set of abilities, the only difference being their names, you know.”
“…So you’re saying this creature is THE Azure Dragon of the East?”
Dumbfounded, Sae-Jin pointed towards the face of the baby Leviathan, which kind of resembled a puppy no matter how one cut it. Right up until then, even he was impressed by how cute it looked in the photo.
“Yep. But I’m not the only one with that opinion right now. A few Dawn Order Knights are thinking like this already.”
“…Gimme that. Let me see.” (Sae-Jin)
Yu Sae-Jung was telling the truth. The Dawn’s official forum was filled with ‘Azure Dragon’ this and ‘Azure Dragon’ that. He thought that the Dawn was filled with best of the best, but now… Now, he realised they too possessed capacity to spout unfounded rubbish.
“See? What did I tell you? But still, it feels like all these huge things happen only in Korea lately. There are the Hero Orcs on land, and in the sea, we got a bona fide Azure Dragon now… Ah!! Right, right!! Look, the Azure Dragon supposedly guards the eastern direction, right? The East Sea is to the east…” (Yu Sae-Jung)
“It’s not like that, so you can tell them to stop with this nonsense.”
“…What the?! How does Oppa know that for sure?” (Yu Sae-Jung)
Since he couldn’t say “It’s me, so I’m pretty sure about it”, Sae-Jin just let out a fake cough and gave the phone back to her.
But when Yu Sae-Jung got her phone back, she quickly studied his mood for a bit, before asking him in an obviously manufactured leisure.
“…Op, Oppa should give me your phone too.”
“Ju, just give it to me. Oppa also took mine just now, so this is fair.”
Although her logic didn’t quite sound right, Sae-Jin didn’t argue and gave her his phone. She quickly snatched it off his hands, and as if afraid of having her activity seen, she brought the phone right in front of her eyes and hurriedly moved her fingers.
And about three minutes passed like that. After confirming that he hadn’t made any suspicious contact with Hazeline, she let out a relieved sigh, chucked the phone on top of the dining room table and dived into his arms.
“Oppa always grumbles like an old man, but still ends up doing everything I ask of you~.”
“…What are you talking about?”
“No, well… It’s nothing, really.”
She spoke hard to understand words while unbuttoning Sae-Jin’s shirt.
Exactly one week passed since the subjugation. And the situation became exactly as Yu Sae-Jung had predicted.
The baby Leviathan had morphed into the baby Azure Dragon of the East instead, and the ‘world’ raised a huge fuss, saying that the Azure Dragon would become the guardian of the East Sea.
Hell, even the government got suckered into this popular opinion and believed it. They were currently in the middle of combing the entirety of the East Sea for the evidence of this baby Dragon that would no doubt become a huge asset to the national security in the future.
“How are you handling Rahaimde so far?”
Ignoring all these chaos, Kim Sae-Jin went to visit Kim Yu-Sohn. The veteran mercenary’s complexion had become a lot worse than before.
“We’re taking a good care of him… Kehuem. The ploy of using special pharmaceuticals to control him is also progressing favourably as well… It won’t be long before we are able to extract all the information we need. But besides all that…”
Kim Yu-Sohn tapped the top of his desk, and a hologram projection rose up. And in this projection, a web page of a Cafe named ‘The Deity of Four Directions, Azure Dragon’.
“…What will you do about this, sir?” (Kim Yu-Sohn)
“Ah, this, well… uh…” (Sae-Jin)
“In my opinion, I think this is a good development, sir.”
Before Sae-Jin could finish, Kim Yu-Sohn stepped in the middle.
“This is good?” (Sae-Jin)
“Yes, sir. Without a doubt, the frequency of Boss Monsters appearing will only increase from now on – but if there is a being that can give rise to hope to our allies and instill despair in the hearts of the enemies, then that’s all for the better, I believe. More importantly, as a Leviathan, you can easily fight against any Boss-level Monsters alone, so you will become a great pillar of strength for this world.”
Kim Sae-Jin wordlessly scratched the back of his neck after seeing how ardent and fervent Kim Yu-Sohn seemed to appear. After all, wasn’t this… like a formation of a Suicide Squad to keep the end of the world at bay or something?
“Ah, well, that…” (Sae-Jin)
“Also, truth be told, it was my idea to create this Cafe. Of course, if you, the Guild Master, wishes it, I will reveal to the world that it’s not an Azure Dragon but a Leviathan, instead.”
“Huh?! No, wait, but why…” (Sae-Jin)
At this sudden confession, Sae-Jin’s eyes went extra round.
“Your abilities are indeed truly an incredible thing, Guild Master. The Leviathan is a Monster that possesses divinity, and so, if you can continue to appear as one and learn to utilise its powers in full, then this old man will not have any more wishes left.”
The eyes of the strangely urgent Kim Yu-Sohn were not only filled with his desperation, but streams of blood as well. Kim Sae-Jin couldn’t say I can’t do it to the face of a man who looked like he might vomit blood any time now.
“…Yes. Well, uh… My parents seemed to have been fighting them, so… I should do the same, too. But forget about that for a second, and please drink this. There is blood pooling in your eyes.”
Sae-Jin reluctantly replied and handed a potion over to Kim Yu-Sohn. It was a high grade potion that one couldn’t even buy in the market even if one wanted to.
“Huhuhuh… Thank you.”
Kim Yu-Sohn made a somewhat relieved and leisurely smile as he received the potion.
After finishing up the meeting with Kim Yu-Sohn, Sae-Jin headed to the Guild’s training facility as usual to train, only to find an unexpected guest waiting for him there.
“Ah, you finally came, Mister Kim Sae-Jin.”
It was Kim Yu-Rin. She was smiling at him while carrying various items on both of her hands.
“What are all those?” (Sae-Jin)
“It felt wrong to come with empty hands so I brought along some stuff.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“….You mean, all of them?”
“Yes. It’s nothing much. It’s just some electronic items, a wrist watch, and a wallet, and…” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Sae-Jin tilted his head slightly, but he still took the gift packages and placed them down on the table in the lounge.
“But, why did you go to all this trouble, Miss Yu-Rin? Is there a favour you’d like to ask me for?”
“Ah? Oh, uh… a favour, you say… I don’t particularly have one, but… the thing is…” (Kim Yu-Rin)
She began contorting her face to form an unnatural smile while slightly shaking her hips.
….Why is she trying to dance provocatively all of a sudden?!
Sae-Jin’s face reddened slightly, before belatedly spotting a sword tied to her hips. She didn’t have a scabbard to hide it, and even with a single glance, he could tell that it was chipped pretty noticeably and didn’t look all that threatening anymore.
“Looks like your weapon’s durability has fallen greatly?” (Sae-Jin)
“Ah… You think so? Ah!! But what happened to my scabbard?!”
Although her acting needed a lot of work, Sae-Jin did find her attempt quite funny, so he grinned slightly and opened his mouth.
“There’s no need to beat around the bush, Miss Yu-Rin. I’ll help you. I’ll even give you a discount as well.”
“R, really? In that case, I…”
“4.5 million dollars. Of course, you don’t have to worry about its resulting quality. I’ll definitely craft a weapon that’ll rank in the top 3 of the Branded Goods rankings.” (Sae-Jin)
“…Fou, four point five…”
Watching Kim Yu-Rin’s face gradually lose colour, Sae-Jin couldn’t hold it and began chuckling out loudly.
“Yes. I can’t go any lower than that, I’m afraid.” (Sae-Jin)
“Ah, yes. I, I also am p, p, prepared, as well.”
Kim Yu-Rin swallowed her saliva noisily and nodded her head.
Actually, though, her real reason for this visit wasn’t just about her weapon. There was something else far more important. Something she just had to find out. She even spent one whole night staying up, researching and worrying about this thing….
“By the way… Mister Sae-Jin, besides all that…”
At her voice suddenly becoming razor-sharp, Sae-Jin’s shoulders trembled slightly.
“Would you… like to spar with me for a little bit?”
< 32. King of the Infinite Ocean, Leviathan (2) > Fin.