Even when Seol-Hwi leaped out, Cheok-Ho didn’t look back. He only responded when Seol-Hwi almost struck him.
“Who—kuak!” And those were his last words. Seol-Hwi’s sword stabbed neatly into his back, cutting his last breath short. He never even got a chance to see who killed him.
“Haa, hahhh… I… I finally…” Seol-Hwi was ecstatic. The rush from killing an enemy without taking a single hit filled him from head to toe.
Internal Energy: 1,220/2,2450
“Ah! I don’t have time for this.” Seol-Hwi ducked down to search the dead man’s body.
“Five…!” He had a grand total of five bamboo sheets, but that wasn’t all.
[Acquired Heavenly Silver Breastplate x1]
[Acquired Moon-Scented Dagger x1]
[Acquired Black Iron Sword x1]
[Acquired Golden Spear Potion x3]
[Acquired Iron-Blooded Poison x1]
“Amazing.” Equipment and medicine fell like rain.
“This must be the Iron-Blooded Poison.” He’d heard of it a few times: it was said to instantly fatal.
“And the Black Iron Sword must have been the one Cheok-Ho was using.”
[Do you want to open the Toolbox?]
Seol-Hwi stuffed his loot inside without hesitation, except the Black Iron Sword.
Confectionary Bar x1, Golden Spear Potion x4 (↑3), Iron-Blooded Poison x1 (New)
[Armor] Heavenly Silver Breastplate x1 (New)
[Weapons] Short Sword x1, Moon-Scented Dagger x1 (New)
[Items have been placed in the Toolbox.]
How convenient. Seol-Hwi wondered just how many things he could fit in the Toolbox.
He mulled over the idea of taking out a potion for a while.
Maybe this one?
[Would you like to use the Golden Spear Potion?]
[Applying Golden Spear Potion.]
Like the herb he’d used earlier, its effects were applied directly to his body.
Health: 205 (↑107)/205
“Ahhh!” Immediately, his health jumped, and the pain vanished. The cut on his back was almost completely healed.
[Do you want to wear the Heavenly Silver Breastplate? Accept/Reject]
“Shall I wear it right away?”
The silver armor was wrapped around his body in the blink of an eye. No need to put it on himself!
“So amazing. Just what is this Toolbox?” It was hard to believe even after seeing it with his own eyes. Seol-Hwi resolved that he wouldn’t curse it anymore. After all, who else got benefits like this?
“The short sword is still in the box. Should I use the Black Iron Sword?” From the details the system showed him, it seemed like Cheok-Ho’s sword was better than the one Seol-Hwi had.
“Right. Let’s try it—”
[Warning! An unidentified energy source has discovered Seol-Hwi. How will you respond?]
▷ Run away
What the—! The situation had been reversed this time. Seol-Hwi was so caught up with looking through his loot that he’d lost track of his surroundings.
▷ Run away
Can’t I use the Toolbox? Seol-Hwi blinked at the Toolbox icon, but nothing happened. Seems like it didn’t work in this situation.
Counterattack, defend, or run?
▷ Run away
Let’s defend. No matter how he thought about it, the other options were too reckless. Even if he could get away, he might end up injured again. If his opponent was strong, it was all meaningless—but he wanted to know what would happen.
[You have chosen to Defend. Enemy’s location will be displayed. Pay attention.]
It’s going to tell me?
Seol-Hwi immediately regretted wasting time on his thoughts. As soon as he noticed a flickering, the enemy was upon him.
“Kuak!” His opponent’s sword slammed into his armor, smashing him back hard enough to shatter the wall.
“Did I go too easy? My sword didn’t even cut.” Seol-Hwi’s assailant squatted where Seol-Hwi had just been thrown from, tilting his head quizzically. “Ah. I see what you’re wearing.”
His health had dropped by a lot. Good thing he’d put the armor on right away.
Defending would be problematic, and the enemy was now too close for him to run away. Really, his attacks were too fast for Seol-Hwi to do anything; there was a massive difference between the man who’d attacked him earlier and this one. The only difference between running and defending now was that he’d gotten an idea of the enemy’s position.
Oh Ma [Scarlet Demon Palace’s Heavenly Abyss Group Leader]
Internal Energy 6,020/6,020
Damn it! He’s way more advanced than the ones I dealt with earlier. Unlike the Supreme Pavilion, the Scarlet Demon Palace was one of the Sect’s core palaces. Jeok Myung, or even Cheok Ho, would struggle to beat this man.
This kind of person only had one life?
“What? What’s with your eyes? You’re going to die, so don’t bother with whatever you’re thinking.” Oh Ma tapped his sword against Seol-Hwi’s neck.
Seol-Hwi was ashamed by the continual cycle of life in death. At least in this life he’d spent every moment trying to survive.
“What are you thinking?” Oh Ma seemed displeased by Seol-Hwi’s reaction.
“This is all so fucked up.” Seol-Hwi smiled. “Even if I get the chance, I can’t help but wonder if I’d ever be able to cross the huge gap between us. It’s just so fucking unfair.”
“...Are you going crazy?”
“Yeah. I’ve gone crazy.” Seol-Hwi rolled his eyes. “I’ve completely lost it, you golden spoon1-fed bastard!”
Seol-Hwi danced towards Oh Ma and unleashed the White Light Demonic Arts.
“Bastard.” Oh Ma raised his sword to defend. Their blades collided, and the two men were pushed away.
No, Oh Ma was pushed away.
Uh? Huh? Seol-Hwi’s eyes darted about.
Internal Energy 5,380(↓640)/6,220
Unbelievably, that was all it took.
“What the hell did…!?” Even Oh Ma was stunned.
Seol-Hwi was ecstatic. This was it—he might just win this.
There was something known as the “White Light Demonic Arts.” It was a type of martial arts that utilized the cold and was reserved for the strongest people in the Sect. Its rhythmic movements were more suited for women than men, but it was so strong that men wanted it anyway.
All Seol-Hwi knew was that the White Light Demonic Arts had to be great; otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to hold back such a strong opponent.
“Huaaaaa…” Oh Ma’s face twisted. He’d blocked the attack, but he was no less shocked.
Seol-Hwi wasn’t in good condition, even if his attack was successful. His internal energy was also quite low.
Internal Energy: 910(↓310)/2,250
But that was fine—he knew his hard work wasn’t in vain.
“Huh!” This time, Oh Ma attacked. Seol-Hwi didn’t know what footwork he was using, but the movements were unique.
I see. As he gained confidence, Seol-Hwi could read the enemy’s movements better. Of course, it still wasn’t easy to handle his opponent’s speed. He kept moving, looking for opportunities.
Let’s fight—Now! His opponent was strong, so he bet everything.
Oh Ma rushed forward, as if frustrated by Seol-Hwi’s continual dodging. It seemed like he wanted to take Seol-Hwi down with one big hit. However, Oh Ma’s attempts to drive Seol-Hwi into a corner allowed him to use his martial arts again.
“Gah!” The unique properties of the White Light Demonic Arts bogged down Oh Ma’s movements, but it wasn’t enough to drive Oh Ma back. Seol-Hwi was being pushed back.
His health was almost gone, and his breathing was ragged. In fact, he didn’t even have the strength to stand up.
“Your tricks have kept you alive long enough.” Oh Ma was also keeping a close eye on Seol-Hwi’s condition; still, he maintained a safe distance from Seol-Hwi. It seemed like this was the end.
<White Light Demonic Arts proficiency has increased.>
-Imitation ▶ Beginner
Huh? What is this?
<White Light Demonic Arts> Swordsmanship & Footwork & Fist (Beginner)
<Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Arts> Red-Hot Palm (Imitation)
<Peak Flourishing Demonic Arts> Explosive Flaming Force (Imitation)
Seol-Hwi jumped up and ran towards Oh Ma. It seemed like a reckless move, but Oh Ma took a defensive stance anyway.
“Ugh!” For the first time in a while, Oh Ma was on the back foot.
Stab, dodge, stab, swing, again and again. Several times. A flashy new technique strong enough to shred their clothes.
Both men gathered their strength for one big strike.
But Oh Ma’s mind was reeling.
“How did you do it? Just how! …uh. Huh…?” Oh Ma trailed off.
With a shriek of tortured metal, his sword split right down the middle.
[A great opportunity! Found a weakness in the Leader of the Heavenly Abyss Group, Oh Ma. How will you respond?]
▷ Use Martial Arts
▷ Use tools
Seol-Hwi moved straight to take down the enemy. Even if he was close enough to attack, he wasn’t confident he could kill Oh Ma.
▶ Use Martial Arts
▷ Use Tools
[You have chosen “Use Martial Arts”. Displaying list.]
▶ White Light Demonic Arts (Unavailable)
▷ Fiery Bare-handed Demonic Arts (Available)
▷ Peak Flourishing Demonic Arts (Unavailable)
Then his only chance was the Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Arts.
Use Martial Arts ▶ Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Arts ▶ Red-Hot Palm (Imitation)
Seol-Hwi’s hand slammed into Oh Ma’s chest.
By the time Seol-Hwi realized that time had returned to normal, Oh Ma’s head had already hit the ground.
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