A Monster Who Levels Up
Creator - A_Passing Wanderer
Editor - akshaythedon
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Stuck between Kim Yu-Rin busy demanding answers, and the Vampire Lord who was gazing on expectantly, Sae-Jin fell into a dilemma of sorts.
One second, then one minute, valuable time was being wasted away in anxiety.
During this time, the Vampire Lord was ‘kind’ enough not to attack first and he instead waited for them. It seemed that he didn’t think too highly of the current situation’s seriousness at all.
Sae-Jin closed his eyes and sighed out grandly. The nervous swallowing from Kim Yu-Rin sounded really loud at that moment.
“I am……..” (Sae-Jin)
….However, Sae-Jin didn’t continue.
Rather, the chilling sound effect of a blade piercing flesh cried out, instead.
The wide-eyed Kim Yu-Rin hurriedly turned her head towards the Lord. A silver knife was buried deeply in his solar plexus.
“Kkeuh-euh…. You dirty scoundrel!” (The Vampire Lord)
The Lord spat out his rage and blood at the same time.
“I was aiming for the heart, though. You somehow dodged.” (Sae-Jin)
The knife’s flight time was probably less than 0.1 seconds, no more than a blink. But still, fitting for the one holding the title of the Vampire Lord, he twisted his body just in time to avoid getting struck in his heart.
And with this first strike done and dusted now, there was no more room left to hold a conversation. Kim Yu-Rin gritted her teeth and held her Gungnir tightly.
Sae-Jin spoke to her in the meantime.
“Don’t forget our real purpose from here onwards, please. I’ll tell you everything once this is over.” (Sae-Jin)
“That promise, I’ll hold you to it.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
At the same time, the ground below changed. No, the space itself seemed to warp. The floor they stood on became dyed in blood-red colour, and the Lord, once close enough for them to touch by reaching out, was pulled back to a far off distance, glaring at their direction.
Almost right away, the reddened ground began to literally boil, and giant Monsters rose up one by one.
Even among those, there was one particular creature that caught their attention.
A giant snake-like existence seemingly painted in ash, that was both real and at the same time, not.
The Twilight Spirit.
A demonic creature commonly thought of as the apex of all Undead type Monsters.
That wasn’t the only Monster to come out, though. A Two-Headed Ogre, a Crimson Wyvern, Death Knights, etc, etc… Fifteen Monsters that could individually bring an entire city to a standstill appeared and filled up the room.
“Well, this looks like it might get tricky for only the two of us.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin muttered out with a frustrated voice. Sae-Jin shook his head at her declaration, however.
“We just need to endure for a while. There’s a parasitic Mana and a powerful poison applied to the blade of that knife. If the Lord is maintaining this space with his Mana, he’s not going to last long.” (Sae-Jin)
“….In that case, I should help out with the process, then.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin grasped her sword in reverse grip. She was planning to fire off a beam of light in the blink of an eye to kill the Lord. (TL: the raw stated “inverse grip” but Google search returned nothing on that front. So I changed to reverse. Seems a bit wrong, though, so I’m leaving this TL note here.)
On the other hand, Sae-Jin transformed back into the Leviathan and summoned the Kraken to divert the danger away from her.
Just as the Kraken’s suction pads stretched out on the ground, with a loud Kwahahaha, Kim Yu-Rin’s beam of energy shot forward like a bolt of lightning. The Monsters summoned by the Lord got in the path of the beam to block it with their bodies, but the energy beam simply blasted past all flesh and bones to successfully blow away the Vampire Lord’s arm.
Her Trait was set to ‘pierce through everything’, that was why.
The Lord’s pained scream was the signal; the fifteen summoned Monsters lunged forward. Sae-Jin exhausted over half of his Mana reserve and fired off the Mana cannon, and almost half of the Monsters were killed off on the spot. However, the super-annoying Twilight Spirit and the fleet-footed Death Knights were still fine. They bared fangs and swords instead, thick killing intent fully on display.
“I’ll take on that snake-like creature!! The Death Knights are yours!” (Sae-Jin)
“Got it!!” (Kim Yu-Rin)
The Twilight Spirit was a Monster existing on the boundaries of ambiguity, and was both a physical being and not at the same time. In other words, it could freely alter its ‘nature’ and the characteristics of itself at will. So it could become immaterial to evade an attack, then become a physical being again to counter.
Such as now.
The snake’s tail materialised out of thin air and struck Sae-Jin’s stomach.
As he was forced back by some considerable distance, he tried to come up with ways to kill that thing. From what he learned from the Monster bestiary, this Monster couldn’t be killed with regular attacks. And the Mana cannon with its limited range wouldn’t work on that nimble creature, either.
However, as the Lycanthrope, he could prise out a weakness in it. So, he had to aim for that…
He quickly changed into the Lycanthrope Form. At the same time, a big shadow loomed over his head. A Death Knight’s massive sword came down to split his head in half, but Kim Yu-Rin’s golden beam of energy deflected it away.
“A Werewolf?! That’s, crazy! So, the, plan?!” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin asked him while deploying the acrobatic swordsmanship to ward off the Death Knights’ attacks.
“Let’s kill other Monsters first! We can then go one on one with the Boss Monste….Euhurck!!” (Sae-Jin)
As he was in the middle of his answer, Sae-Jin got hit on the belly by that dang tail again.
Even while he was flung away, countless attacks rained down on him. He felt like his entire body was turning into a meat paste. He got hit, so that hurt like hell, and the pain caused him to get angry.
He activated the Eyes of the Wolf.
The body of the Twilight Spirit as seen through his Eye was as expected, jet-black, no weaknesses whatsoever. But when he focused his glare where the Monster’s heart should be, a faint red spot gradually developed. And so, one single weakness had emerged.
Sae-Jin confidently pounced on the Monster.
“Time to die… Euh-huh-urk!!!” (Sae-Jin)
Too bad, he had forgotten that, although there was a weakness now, he still lacked strength to fight it one on one. Kim Sae-Jin was flung away to a far off distance with a single flick of the Monster’s tail.
At the same time, Kim Yu-Rin’s groan could be heard as well. Surprisingly enough, although she was still being buffed with support magic, she used her own strength to defeat three of the five Death Knights surrounding her.
But as a human, it was asking far too much of her martial prowess to contend with five near-Boss level Monsters like the Death Knights. The Kraken was helping out on the side, but ever since Sae-Jin stopped using the Leviathan Form, its might had decreased significantly…
In that moment, the Death Knight’s massive sword drew towards the exhausted Kim Yu-Rin’s direction.
Sae-Jin hurriedly ran over there and tried to block that swinging sword.
But, it was right then.
The space contracted suddenly, and all the summoned Monsters disappeared.
Just in the nick of time, the Vampire Lord’s strength had been exhausted. Two people sighed out in relief and controlled their rough breathing.
However, the Twilight Spirit remained for some reason. The Monster maintained the physical form and as if to protect the Lord, stood in front of him.
“No matter what petty tricks you come up with, you’ll still die, so why don’t you quietly give up now?” (Sae-Jin)
The Lord continued to laugh even after hearing Sae-Jin’s taunts. The Twilight Spirit moved to the side of the Lord at the same time. Then, the Lord shoved his hand into the heart of the Monster; the heart was ripped out while spewing out blood everywhere like a fountain.
“This is an existence that shares my blood. I’ve made it by sacrificing my own soul.” (The Vampire Lord)
While muttering the words they couldn’t quite comprehend, the Lord began biting into the heart, consuming it bit by bit. It was indeed a grotesque sight to behold, but it wasn’t all that difficult to figure out the meaning behind his actions – well, his complexion improved greatly, and his body size ballooned up to a huge size, after all.
Continuously growing larger and larger until he was as big as an Ogre, the Lord viciously laughed out and pounced on Sae-Jin and Kim Yu-Rin’s direction.
For a something that big, he moved seriously fast. The Lord arrived in the blink of an eye and his fist flew toward their way. The moment they blocked that hit, it felt like every single bone in their bodies were twisting apart and exploding out from their bodies – the Lord’s strike was that terrifyingly powerful. Even though the two of them shared the burden, the pressure was so immense that their eyeballs were about to pop out from the sockets.
One seconds, two, then three… the incredible pressure gradually grew greater along with the Lord’s ballooning muscles as the seconds ticked by.
If this continued, they would surely be squashed to death.
Sae-Jin glared at the Lord with his bloodshot eyes.
The darn b*stard was smiling.
That evil grin was so disgusting, Sae-Jin oh-so wanted to wipe it away really badly. He desperately rolled his brain that was on the brink of being squashed flat, until one possible method popped up in his head.
The Orc, and that ‘most pure body’ thingy.
That Skill allowed him to increase his physical strength by 1000%. If he added the Warrior of Reversal on top of that, then there should be nothing in this world that rivalled him for physical might.
Kim Yu-Rin was next to him but, since he had resigned himself to tell her the truth, it was now only the matter of time, instead…
His thoughts were quick, but his actions were even quicker. The thick fur covering his body disappeared, while his muscles quivered and quaked as his skin started to change.
Changing into the Orc Form, Sae-Jin opened his eyes wide, and at the same time as activating the Warrior of Reversal, he explosively forced his strength well past his limit.
*SFX for the Orc’s roar*
The violently surging strength he could not control exploded out of his mouth. This marvelous power, this sense of overbearing boost bursting out from his insides – with that, he shoved the Lord’s fist away with only one hand.
Freed from the Lord’s pressure, Kim Yu-Rin crumbled to the ground. And she dazedly turned her gaze sideways.
An Orc, instead of Kim Sae-Jin, was standing there.
“…….Hah. Seriously, I can’t even…”
Utterly stunned, she broke out in a bitter chuckle.
The person she harboured warm emotions for the first time in her life turned out to be not an Orc at all. She didn’t know whether to feel relieved, or be very p*ssed off at the man who had seemingly made fun of her until now.
But she couldn’t think too deeply about this.
Her entire being felt fatigued. And an unavoidable sense of weakness washed over. She fainted in exhaustion where she sat.
“Oh, child. You have lost your humanity.” (The Vampire Lord)
The Lord dazedly murmured as he stared at Sae-Jin and his brightly burning body.
“Why don’t you take a moment to compose yourself…” (The Vampire Lord)
“Stop barking like a dog!!” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin the Orc jumped up towards the midriff where the silver knife still remained stuck, and went to town there. The Vampire Lord spat out a mouthful of blood. Then, he muttered strange words.
“What was that?” (Sae-Jin)
“Huhuh…” (The Vampire Lord)
His grin was rather ominous. Soon after, the Lord’s body began to shrink back like a deflating balloon. He staggered around before falling on his back, then gazed at the darkened ceiling with sorrowful eyes.
“I can not see anything anymore.” (The Vampire Lord)
“Ever since losing my sight… I didn’t expect my end to be like this… Oh child, come closer. Now that I’ve welcomed my fate, there is something I must tell you. Are you not curious, just what research I have been performing in here?” (The Vampire Lord)
The Lord gestured him to come closer. The Orc tilted his head and approached the dying Vampire.
And the Lord whispered several strange words to the Orc’s ear.
Sae-Jin the Orc’s brows narrowed. He just couldn’t really understand what he was saying, centred around the words ‘Monster’, ‘future’, and ‘past’.
Unfortunately, before explaining further, the Lord’s breathing came to a gradual stop.
And so, the Vampire Lord was dead. And just like the decrepit king he was, his end was wretched and hollow.
Meanwhile, Kim Yu-Rin woke up largely unscathed after drinking a potion.
The two of them – Sae-Jin and Kim Yu-Rin – set out to locate the rest of the team. But they didn’t talk. Trapped within this stubborn silence, they found the missing team members one by one.
Yi Hye-Rin and Joo Ji-Hyuk were this close from being frozen to death; Hazeline and Yu Baek-Song must’ve had a huge catfight as their faces were crimson red, their breathing rough and heavy; while both the conditions of Rhosrahdel and Kim Sun-Ho were quite critical. Having lost an arm each, if they were found even a minute later, they might have died.
In any case, everyone was alive, much to their relief.
Sae-Jin used the sorcery to teleport everyone back to the underground conference room.
While Yi Hye-Rin and Joo Ji-Hyuk warmed their bodies up, Sae-Jin begun his treatment on Rhosrahdel and Kim Sun-Ho – but, during that time, Yu Baek-Song and Hazeline broke out in yet another fight. And no, it wasn’t some cute war of words either – it was more apt to describe it as fierce brawl, instead.
“Please, calm down, calm down I say!! Just what happened back there?” (Yi Hye-Rin)
“Will you two just stop already?! Stop!!” (Joo Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Hye-Rin grabbed Hazeline’s arms, while Joo Ji-Hyuk held Yu Baek-Song back.
“But, she keeps teasing me and calls me a little kitty!!” (Yu Baek-Song)
“Hah, just when did I do that?! You started first by saying that I like Sae….” (Hazeline)
Yu Baek-Song’s angry shout resounded to everywhere, but too bad, Hazeline’s retort couldn’t continue and had to come to a complete stop. Hazeline could only shrink away while checking out Sae-Jin’s reactions.
It was then.
Kim Yu-Rin remained deep in thought, before she suddenly stood up from the couch.
“I’m going ahead first.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
She spoke while staring at Sae-Jin pointedly.
“Ah, sure. T, take care.” (Sae-Jin)
“You’re not coming?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Sae-Jin panicked at that moment. But, with a great timing, Jo Hahn-Sung’s phone call arrived at the same time.
“Please wait for a sec. Let me get this first… Hello? What’s the matter?” (Sae-Jin)
– “Hello, Guild Master. Sir, we’ve got too many artifact orders piled up as we speak. So, I have set down dates for interviews, but…”
The contents were about the artifacts. The Monster lowered the pricing of the artifacts after taking into consideration the current climate of the world, and well, the number of orders coming from around the globe literally exploded. So, perhaps inevitably, they had to hold face to face interviews, in order to pick the right sort of people to own these artifacts.
“Oh, that. I’ll take care of that later on, so don’t worry. For now, give priority to the compiled list and sell accordingly, please.” (Sae-Jin)
– “Yes, sir. I understand.”
Sae-Jin quickly ended the call. But Kim Yu-Rin had long disappeared to elsewhere.
“She went upstairs. Follow her. Dunno what’s going on, but still.” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin answered for him. So, he hurriedly chased after Kim Yu-Rin.
< 45. The Entry (4) > Fin.