‘I need to save Priest Luther!’
Over the past year, Hwang Bo-sung overcame half of the induced poison with the treatment he got from Priest Luther and his divine power and constant effort to improve, and it wasn’t just that, he gained a significant level of skills.
Honestly, Hwang Bo-sung could knock down 10 expert class mercenaries at any time of the day.
However, there was a strong opponent before him, and he couldn’t measure the limits of his strength.
If he couldn’t assess an opponent’s level, that meant that those particular opponents weren’t that strong.
Therefore, he hadn’t shown off his martial arts.
He listened to the words Priest Luther had said to him.
But in the meantime, the situation had changed.
Out of the mercenaries who joined in, a strong man appeared.
‘Although I can’t give my 100% now, this might turn into a mess.’
Even in the clan and the fifth generation, there weren’t masters who could take on the highest level.
Even those who had reached the highest level wouldn’t be able to fight over a hundred men.
But the man in front of him was told to be a mercenary leader. What kind of mercenary group did he belong to?
‘If something happens, it won’t be easy to escape.’
Hwang Bo-sung, who was deep in his thoughts for a while, frowned and spoke to Philip,
“Stop. I challenge you to a Gigantic Duel.”
Philip’s eyes narrowed as he was about to pull out his sword.
All of a sudden, the warrior from the southern continent asked for a Gigantic Duel.
“You are strong. I know how to honor the strong. That is why I challenge you to a Gigantic Duel since Gigantic Duels are meant for the honored.”
“I know what you are trying to say, but do you have a Gigant with you?” Asked Philip.
“I have something similar to it. If I win, have your mercenaries go back, and if you win, we will move.”
Philip glanced over at Luke to ask him if he could accept the challenge.
Honestly, it seemed unlikely that there would be remnants of the rebels there, but he was really curious about the abilities of the southern warrior.
Once Luke gave his permission, Philip, brought his Gigant.
When the trailer holding Marina approached, he opened the breastplate and entered the cockpit.
Hwang Bo-sung wasn’t just standing still in the meantime either.
He put small flags and wrote a few characters on the ground. He sat down in the middle and began to cast a spell. His hands kept moving, and it created a strange form.
“… Warrior, move forward!”
“What is he doing?”
Luke kept his eyes on Hwang Bo-sung from the very beginning. He looked at everything that he was doing. It was because he could sense unusual energy flowing from his body.
‘What? This energy… is like the Aether…’ Thought Luke.
Light and dark, chaos and order, existence and absence.
The conflicting energies were moving in harmony.
It was almost like whirlpools and tornadoes moving in the same direction.
While thinking, as if something had stricken him, Luke jumped up.
“Yes! That is what it is!”
Hwang Bo-sung, who had finished moving his hands, hit his fists on the ground.
The land shook a little, and something red came out of the ground.
Hwang Bo-sung, who moved away, touched the head that was coming from the ground.
All the mercenaries were surprised at the sudden appearance of a Gigant.
Luke just shook his head.
“No, it looks very similar to it, but it is completely different.”
Rising from the ground was a humanoid weapon that was about seven meters tall.
Its head had two horns like a bull, and it had large fists at the end of its long arms.
The material it was made of was wood and not steal. However, due to its dark color, it seemed like it was hard.
All the Rakan Knights turned to Luke upon hearing what he said.
“You know what that is?”
“I heard it from Sir Mute. He heard it from the merchants of the southern continent, but he never actually saw any.”
Mute, who was currently the Meister of Katarina Magic Tower, wandered around a lot before settling in the Rakan territory.
It was then that he had met a merchant from the southern continent who had come to trade, and according to the traders’ words, the land he came from had a weapon very similar to the Gigants.
“The Puppet was said to be weapons used by the Han Dynasty, which went to war with its neighbors in the southern continent.”
Its inventor was a man called Zegal, and he was considered to be one of the best inventors and geniuses in the history of the southern continent.
The Puppet was originally developed for the purpose of transporting military weapons in harsh terrains and not for combat purposes.
After the death of Zegal, the craft of Puppet making was halted, and it was never used for a long time. However, 200 years ago, it came back when merchants from the southern continent were already able to trade with Rhodesia Continent.
“At that time, the merchants of Rhodesia, who saw the Puppets, and the emperor, who saw it as well, were shocked. They were worried about the men who were entering their continent with such weapons.”
The emperor, therefore, proclaimed to the wizards that he would reward handsomely anyone who could make such a giant weapon.
They were able to create their own version of the Puppet by studying the records left by Zegal.
“Well, then, is that wooden puppet a weapon that is used in the southern continent like a Gigant?”
“No, it wasn’t.”
The Puppet wasn’t as sensational or popular in the southern continent.
It was because it took considerable time and cost to make the Puppet, and they couldn’t be mass-produced like the Gigants.
“There is a great deal of bureaucracy in the Song Empire, and it was a strange power… That was why they had rejected the idea of using magic or anything similar to magic.”
In addition, the warriors of the southern continent didn’t care much about Puppets. They emphasized on physical training rather than developing weapons.
However, not all of the Moorim (Martial Artists) ignored it.
Some of the Moorim’s valued the use of Puppet. They were big, strong, resistant to the enemy force and were a useful source of power.
Thus, the Puppets had been used several times to clear the disputes between the warriors and the apostates.
In the case of Hwang Bo-sung, the three Puppets were given to him at a huge cost.
One was handed over to him as a gift from the clan elder.
When Hwang Bo-sung was attacked by Hwang Bo-kwang, he didn’t have the time to use the Puppet as it consumed a lot of time and movement.
“You pulled out something very interesting, but are you ready to fight?” Philip asked, seeing that the Puppet’s entire body had already come out.
Right then, Hwang Bo-sung nodded and bumped the two fists of his Puppet.
And for the first time in the history of Middle-Earth, the confrontation between a Gigant and Puppet began.
A fight between a Gigant and a Puppet.
In both of the continent’s trade sphere, there had been constant controversy as to who might be stronger if the two sides collided.
Naturally, the traders of the Rhodesia insisted that a Gigant was stronger, and the merchants from the southern continent didn’t doubt that the Puppet would be victorious.
But in reality, no Gigant had ever gone against a Puppet.
200 years ago, the emperor of the southern continent wanted to test the power of the Puppet with two Gigants, but the emperor died from an illness before having the two weapons battle it out.
The one who succeeded was a scholar who believed in the traditional ideas of the southern continent.
The Puppet was the legacy of the first emperor, and yet it was thoroughly ignored, and after taking down a Gigant, they were made into farm equipment and was distributed to the people.
And the next successors and emperors ruled the empire very smoothly with its surrounding nations, so the southern continent was peaceful, not needing to go out into any great wars.
That meant that the Puppets had no role to play, so the two weapons didn’t have the chance to face each other.
Moreover, as the Puppet wasn’t a common weapon unlike the Gigant, the wizards of Rhodesia weren’t able to find them to test their ability.
No, even when found, they weren’t able to do proper research about them.
The Puppet was made with the knowledge of a system that was too difficult for the wizards to comprehend.
“We might be watching the first-ever confrontation of a Gigant and a Puppet for the first time in history.”
At the end of Luke’s words, all the Rakan Knights looked ahead with curious eyes.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
The two Gigants’ weapons clashed.
The two Gigants, who both had the most skillful riders, began to battle fiercely right from the very beginning.
However, unlike the mercenaries and the Rakan Knights, Luke’s interest wasn’t in who would fall. As a wizard of the old times with unresolved curiosity, he stared at the Puppet’s movement.
‘The function itself is like a Gigant, but the mechanical structure and the power source are completely different.’
Even though they both could fly, no one ever considered that dragonflies and birds were the same.
Basically, Gigants used the core engine as energy to amplify the rider’s mana or aura.
But the Puppets were different.
It was as if a very rare energy was flowing all over its body, and the energy wasn’t mana nor aura, but it couldn’t be said that it was divine or spirit power either.
“Even though it was summoned not long ago, his ‘Zen Skill’ is amazing”
It was a power used by the wizards of the southern continent, which had been developed as primitive magic or technique used by the ancient shamans.
The shamans’ power or shamanism was a power that existed in the Rhodesia Continent.
However, its teachings vanished after being rejected and classified as a heretic act along with dark magic when the religious craze had begun in the early days. As shamanism meant communication with areas such as darkness, chaos, and vanity, religion denied it.
Now, not the humans, but the orcs and goblins were some of the intelligent monsters who used it.
But the southern continent was different.
Contrary to the idea of the Rhodesia Continent, which divided the world into good and bad, white and black, the southern continent saw everything as yin and yang.
If there was light, there was a shadow, and if there was day, then there was night.
Under such an ideological basis and foundation, those called heretics and warriors systematically refined and developed shamanism into a new system of power and energy. They called it the ‘Zen Skill’.
Of course, it didn’t flourish as much because theologians constantly shunned its methods.
However, the southern continent still had people who specialized in Zen Skill and researched about it. Among them, the Zegal Clan was the most famous for it.
‘The reason why the Puppet is made out of wood was maybe because wood accepts Zen Skills rather easily compared to iron.’
But that didn’t mean that any wood could be used to make a Puppet.
In the plateaus of the southern continent, Iron Core Wood could be found, and it could only be found at that place. The material was difficult to obtain that was why it was impossible to mass-produce Puppets.
‘How do you control it? Mute said that he didn’t know anything about it…’
Luke was constantly staring at the Puppet with curious eyes.
The sound of a huge bang could be heard in all four directions. Philip’s Marina got pushed back.
There were a lot of curse words coming out of Philip’s mouth.
Dozens of attacks and tons of defenses, yet none of them worked.
Just when Philip thought that he had a chance, a fist came right at him.
‘Are all the warriors of the southern continent this strong?’
No, he was particularly very strong.
Philip shook his head and began to pull out his mana.
‘It is just a stiff wooden doll anyway. If I try to mix up my attacks…’
Philip judged the attack from his experience.
But unfortunately, the Puppet wasn’t just a stiff wooden doll. Despite the lack of elaborate joints that Gigants had, the Puppet struck back, avoiding all the anomalous attacks with smooth movements.
Pung! Pung! Pop!
When its fist which was much bigger than the Puppet’s head burst right at Marina, Philip didn’t even have the chance to attack.
The gloves of the Gigant were fine.
However, the joints and the internal parts creaked as if they were cracked, and Philip felt shocked and disgusted from getting hit.
He couldn’t defend against all of the Puppet’s attacks and fell to the ground.
‘Dammit, how the hell did this happen?’
Philip’s Gigant got up, but it was wobbling.
As a result, he realized that his opponent was strong.
What was considered as a simple counter-attack managed to break the balance of Philip’s Gigant and caused serious internal damage.
‘This guy is surely a Fist Master of intermediate level. Dammit, at most, he seemed just a few years older than me, but to be this strong?!’
The world was wide and there seemed to be many geniuses.
But that didn’t mean things ended there!
Philip, gathering all of his power, began to create a Gold Sword.
As a golden aura sprang out from Philip’s huge sword, the members of the Rakan Knights were all shocked.
However, Luke, who should be angry, wasn’t shocked at all.
Honestly, there were probably very few people in the village who could recognize the Gold Sword.
The golden aura didn’t stop there; it increased further in size and each of its swings seemed like it would explode.
The Rakan Knights were surprised to see such a powerful aura.
“This… Impact Aura!”
“I was thinking he was making something, but to create this!?”
Philip smiled proudly while listening to the men who were startled with his act.
‘Huhuhu, even if you are an exceptional intermediate, you won’t be able to stop an Impact Aura.’
Philip sought after techniques to break a Sword Master after his last Gigantic Duel.
He caught a clue and implemented it right away, and he somehow succeeded in implementing an Impact Aura.
Impact Aura was a symbol of a Sword Master.
Creating it was evidence that Philip had stepped into the end of the Sword Master.
“Maybe Sir Philip was the one who benefited the most from this expedition.”
Unlike Luke, Hwang Bo-sung frowned.
‘Isn’t that a step close to the end, and he wants to go to the end with a wobbling body?’
Like the Impact Aura, he had a powerful attack as well. No, his attack might even be more powerful.
All that stumbled before it would break into pieces, but the problem was it couldn’t be done.
‘Dammit, if it wasn’t for those damned men…!’
He cursed the men who poisoned him. He could still only use half of his total abilities.
Philip’s attack had already begun while Hwang Bo-sung was cursing to himself.
When the Impact Aura came his way, Hwang Bo-sung pushed ahead.
“Hahaha! Right, that is right!”
Philip, determined to turn this battle into a win, was eager to attack. He was going to follow the flow and take his opponent down.
But hasty conclusions were always counterproductive.
During Philip’s attack, his flow of mana was twisted a little bit for a moment.
‘This is it!’
Without missing the timing, Hwang Bo-sung’s eyes found it.
Hwang Bo-sung patiently waited for the right moment. Right then, as Marina rushed in with its sword pointed at him, he bounced to the right and gave Marina a devastating punch.
At that very moment, a bright aura flashed from both of the Puppet’s fist, and Marina flew to the sky and hit the ground with a roar. Soon, it fell to the ground.
“Dammit, I lost!”
Philip frustratedly hit the cockpit with his fist.
The historic confrontation ended with the victory of Hwang Bo-sung and his Puppet.