A Monster Who Levels Up
“She fainted as soon as she heard the explanations?” (Yu Baek-Song)
Yu Baek-Song asked as she took a look at Yu Sae-Jung, currently lying on a bed and totally unconscious.
“Yes. I think the shock must have been too heavy… but none of us expected her to collapse like this, at all.” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin replied while touching Yu Sae-Jung’s forehead. As if she was suffering from a nightmare, her forehead was soaked with cold sweat.
“What should we do now…?” (Yi Hye-Rin)
The very person who should have played the role of the host for the party in the missing Kim Sae-Jin’s stead had now fainted. That was why they wanted to keep his kidnapping as a secret in the first place…
Thankfully, there was still a hour or so left until the start of the party, but then, would she wake up in time? And, even if she did wake up, could she be able to maintain a lucid state of mind…?
“There’s nothing we can do, but to get Mister Sae-Jin back as soon as possible. …..Oi, Mister Vampire.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin’s eyes gleamed sharply as she looked at Rhosrahdel.
“Y, yes?!” (Rhosrahdel)
“You sure your plan is going to work?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“O, of course! Judging by the fact that the Vampires under the Bathory’s influence haven’t yet issued a kill-on-sight order towards the Nosferatus, she must’ve not informed her subordinates yet, and thus I suspect that she is still stuck together with Mister Sae-Jin at this point in time. The plan will work 100%.” (Rhosrahdel)
“….Wait. Isn’t that strange? If she hasn’t informed her lackeys yet, then how can an Elder know Bathory’s location?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“When someone gets to the level of an Elder, he must sign an oath of blood with Bathory, which means they can track her aura quite accurately. The reason why they aren’t doing anything at the moment is because she gave them a strict order to stay put until she returns on her own volition.” (Rhosrahdel)
Kim Yu-Rin rubbed her chin and fell into a train of thought.
“In that case, you can definitely tell the face of the Elder, right?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“Of course. I’ve had plenty of experience, and also…” (Rhosrahdel)
Suddenly, Rhosrahdel rolled up his sleeve and pushed forward his arm. His skin was the typical Vampire-pale, seemingly bloodless one but when he concentrated, a rather pretty blue emblem rose up from it. It was the ‘Magic Tattoo’, the trademark belonging only to Kim Sae-Jin and what the world referred to as truly ‘revolutionary’.
“Thanks to this, my senses have been greatly enhanced. No matter how well that Elder disguises his aura, I’ll be able to detect him.” (Rhosrahdel)
“….Good.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
It sure didn’t feel right to have a Vampire as a comrade, but it couldn’t be helped under the current circumstances.
Kim Yu-Rin sent Rhosrahdel back up to the deck and approached Yu Sae-Jung. When she sat near the head of the bed, Hazeline who was sitting nearby trembled hard and, pababaht!! hurriedly retreated far away. Sighing out grandly, Kim Yu-Rin glared at her and spat out a couple of hostile words.
“Are you truly worried about her?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“…Wha, what are you talking about?” (Hazeline)
“Can’t you figure out what I’m talking about?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin gritted her teeth. Hazeline returned the sharp glare for a bit of time, but then, backed off and powerlessly replied.
“It’s true… I am worried for her…” (Hazeline)
That was indeed a sad but desperate attempt to regrow hair back on the two spots on the crown of her head where it had been ripped out.
Yi Hye-Rin sent out gazes of pity towards Hazeline’s direction, while Kim Yu-Rin didn’t even spare a second of her time.
Another hour went by in this stifling silence.
Yu Sae-Jung didn’t wake up. And the deck was getting noisier and noisier now.
“We need to go upstairs now. But to leave her alone here, is just…” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin worriedly spoke.
“Then Hazeline, you guard her. After all, you can’t go outside with your hair all falling out and stuff.” (Yu Baek-Song)
Yu Baek-Song spoke innocently enough, but Kim Yu-Rin shook her head while forming a grave expression.
“We can’t do that. That’ll be like letting a cat guard fish.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“…And what’s wrong with letting a cat do that?” (Yu Baek-Song)
Yu Baek-Song quickly glanced over at Kaiser the 2nd, lying inside a paper box. Seeing it yawn out in comfort, it seemed that the careless remarks didn’t hurt the feline’s feelings after all.
Kim Yu-Rin looked at Yu Baek-Song with a somewhat flustered expression.
“No, well, it’s not…” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“I won’t do something like that again.” (Hazeline)
Hazeline, her back still turned towards them, spoke in a stiff but resolute voice as if to cut into the conversation.
“I’ve been regretting that for a long time.” (Hazeline)
“What…?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“….I’m sorry. This Unni did something terribly wrong back then.” (Hazeline)
Although it was a sudden apology, one could still sense her true feelings contained within. And so, Kim Yu-Rin found herself unable to say anything.
As she kept her mouth shut and fell into a deep dilemma on how to respond…
Tahng, tahng, tahng, tahng!
The fireworks indicating the start of the party could be heard.
Using that as the suitable excuse, Kim Yu-Rin and Yu Baek-Song as well as the others hurriedly went upstairs.
Only the most outstanding individuals came to attend this grand party. Korean superstars that transcended past the Korean-Chinese-Japanese borders, career politicians who have stepped into the centres of governing circles, many Order Masters and Vice Masters from overseas Knights Orders, and even several Tower Lords from those Wizard Towers famed for their snobbishness were here.
The ‘main character’ of this party hadn’t arrived yet, but still, decked out in expensive and sophisticated party dresses, these people were already participating neck-deep in this unmissable networking opportunity.
Joo Ji-Hyuk was the first to enter the party. As if the emblem of ‘The Monster’ mounted on his chest possessed the power to capture all the attention of the partygoers, people began gravitating towards him.
“Uh-huh-huh. Isn’t this the representative of the Dawn Knights Order?”
A middle-aged politician named Yun Young-Ho, who was able to climb up to a position of importance within the 50-something age of his, engaged Joo Ji-Hyuk in conversation.
Now normally, this Yun Young-Ho character wouldn’t even spare a second of his time with the likes of a Knight, unless he was facing a Master or a Vice Master of an Order. But, that golden badge on Joo Ji-Hyuk’s chest was not something that could be seen commonly. As a matter of fact, if he could swap his ID card for the National Assembly with that golden emblem, he’d kowtow hundreds of times in a heartbeat.
“Ah, how have you been, Mister Assemblyman?” (Joo Ji-Hyuk)
“Hahaha. I’ve been very well, all thanks to your Guild.”
“…Pardon?” (Joo Ji-Hyuk)
Joo Ji-Hyuk tilted his head. Did The Monster even enter the world of politics lately as well?
“Huhuh. Actually, it was I who actively pursued for the export of TM’s potions worldwide, see. Thanks to that, even the local potion market has revived for good, and many flattering remarks from our international counterparts landed on our doorsteps as well. Which allowed me to get re-elected quite successfully…”
Now that Joo Ji-Hyuk heard the man’s words, he seemed to be yet another one filled with self-praise. Joo Ji-Hyuk let the politician’s words flow through one ear and leave through the other one while he carefully surveyed the faces of the crowd.
“By the way, there is something I’m curious about. Does The Monster only pick its new members from the ranks of Knights and Wizards?”
“Ah….. Well, I don’t think so. After all, isn’t Instructor Yi Yu-Jin seeing a tremendous growth after becoming the Guild’s member?” (Joo Ji-Hyuk)
“Oho, that is true! Hahaha, I’ve completely forgotten about that. I’ve heard that she has built ten-odd dojos for Jin Seh-Hahn’s martial arts in the States already… Well, that is something, alright. Hahaha…”
Yun Young-Ho’s eyes were shining brightly. They were the eyes of avarice, belonging to a person who had uncovered a possibility.
Whatever the case may have been, as the conversation continued, more and more people began crowding around Joo Ji-Hyuk.
“Ah, I’ve heard that the Guild Master, Mister Kim Sae-Jin, isn’t going to attend this party… Is that true?”
“Eh? Oh, yes. I said he won’t be able to come due to feeling a bit under the weather. Instead, we’ve arranged so you can enjoy the party stil…” (Joo Ji-Hyuk)
It was then, the voice of a bodyguard manning the entrance to the party venue entered Joo Ji-Hyuk’s ear.
“Mister Kim Jong-Hyuk from the Great Wisdom Investments and his acquaintance, confirmed.”
Joo Ji-Hyuk hurriedly shifted the direction of his gaze. Thankfully, both Kim Yu-Rin and Rhosrahdel were moving towards the entrance already.
By seeing the various changes to his surroundings, Sae-Jin could estimate that he didn’t have much time left.
First of all, the interior of this isolated space had definitely increased in size compared to two days ago. Initially, it was nothing more than a pitch-black empty space, it soon grew into a size of a hotel room and now, the entire area grew to a size of about half the floor of the said hotel.
Secondly, the frequency of Bathory using magic spells which she hadn’t been using before, increased by a huge deal. Magic that cast restraints on targets, magic that cast shields on the caster, magic that even cast ‘mirrors’ within the space itself, etc, etc…
Of course, he could break them apart using the claws of the Wolf, but he couldn’t help but get worried by the gradual increase in the sophistication of the spells being used here.
“Hng~ Hng~ Hng~~.”
He could hear the humming of Bathory as she lay on a bed. Feeling annoyed all of a sudden, Sae-Jin slashed out with his claws. Bathory quickly performed a shield magic, but the incoming claws easily shattered the shield and poked a hole in her stomach.
“Eek!! That hurts!”
Unfortunately, Bathory issued a short cry only. As if she was controlling her emotions well, she didn’t even lash out, either.
And that was the most glaring evidence of them all that said her body had recovered to a certain degree.
“Hey you. So, like, how come your attacks can slice through magic? It’s so mystifying, you know?” (Bathory)
Hell, she was even throwing him a question. While pulling his claws out in the most relaxed manner he could muster, Sae-Jin replied.
“My claws are special.” (Sae-Jin)
The claws of the Lycanthrope had almost reached the A level, so they were not constrained by the form or nature of the target, and could cut into pretty much anything in this world. Although it wouldn’t be easy, if Bathory wasn’t here, Sae-Jin could break open this isolation barrier as well.
Bathory formed a grin filled with meanings as she nodded her head.
“Well, that’s nice. It’s a nice little ability… By the way, isn’t it smart to give up ’round about now? If you do, I’ll even spare your life and let you become my eternal slave.” (Bathory)
Appearing right before Sae-Jin’s eyes before he could even react, Bathory pompously asked him. The flawless beauty of Bathory didn’t even have a single speck of embarrassment at this sudden close-up.
“I’m really interested in you, you know? Besides, keeping a being that was called our natural enemy around like a pet dog might be fun, too… And also, you agreed before, right? That our plans will succeed.” (Bathory)
Bathory was in the midst of recovering all her powers. And, if no relief pitcher showed up within the next couple of innings, then this game was as good as over. So, under that kind of situation, her suggestion of not killing the Wolf that repeatedly injured her, could be seen as rather benevolent of her.
Too bad, the Wolf’s instincts much preferred freedom over servitude, and ‘self-indulgence’ way over even freedom itself.
“Yeah, that’s right. I think you’ll succeed in your plans. I got this hazy feeling about that… However, isn’t that going to be an even bigger problem for you?” (Sae-Jin)
“…And what the hell are you talking about?” (Bathory)
Bathory’s brows furrowed. Kim Sae-Jin smirked and continued with his words.
“You are trying to twist the fabric of space and time to return to the ‘past’ version of your ‘homeworld’, am I right?” (Sae-Jin)
“However, by any chance, what happens if only one of that succeeds? To be more precise, what if there is no change in the timeline, but you still jump between the dimensions?” (Sae-Jin)
Almost immediately, Bathory’s face became terrifying. However, since she had such a needlessly beautiful face to begin with, her expression wasn’t that scary no matter how angry she appeared so.
“And your original world, the situation there is so bad that every living thing in that place just had to move to another world, am I right?” (Sae-Jin)
Reddish Mana filled with hostility oozed out from her, and veins in her forehead bulged and wiggled.
“So, what happens when you fail to return to the past and end up in the original world of present? Just what would be waiting for you back there? I don’t know much, but I’m sure you know the answer very well already.” (Sae-Jin)
Most likely, a being countless times more dangerous than the most dangerous beings found on this planet would be waiting for the Vampires’ arrival.
“If that happens, then it’s mutual destruction, isn’t it. When the Fissure completely opens up, the earth will be destroyed, and you who went back home will all die too, you morons.” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin sneered at the scene that brushed past his consciousness back then – before sensing a pressure around his neck that was on another level altogether. When he looked down, both hands of Bathory were busy clasping his throat tightly in anger.
“Fuhut. Stop with your unlucky ramblings, okay? You’re making me rescind my final bit of benevolence, you know… You sh*tty piece of mongrel.” (Bathory)
Bathory smiled as she spoke. Sae-Jin followed her and also formed a thick smile. Fangs of these two people glistened under the light.
Sae-Jin then savagely grabbed the back of her neck, and viciously bit into that smooth and fine neck with vengeance.
Meanwhile, Bathory shoved her hand to his side and began destroying his bones.
And so, while blood overflowed everywhere, the bodies of two people piled up on top of the bed together. (TL: WTF? That is…. uh, weirdly romantic?! Don’t tell me…)
[Bathory’s blood has been absorbed! Both the Degrees of Progression and Advancement increases.] [Bathory’s blood has been absorbed! Both the Degrees of Progression and Advancement increases.] [Bathory’s blood has been absorbed! Both the Degrees of Progression and Advancement increases….
The pain was indescribable, but he was still feeling rather good regardless. His provocation was a success, which meant her recovery would be delayed by a few more days, while several satisfactory alert windows continued to pop up as well.
But he had to be careful here.
After all, Vampires would be the most sensitive beings in this world when it came to sucking on another’s blood. Carefully, carefully; slowly, slowly – he should cautiously suck on this juicy pile of experience points…
< 42. Rescue (2) > Fin.