Chapter 354. The Legend
Chapter 354. The Legend
Jin-Cheon raised both of his fists, and Yunael twirled her spear in a circle. Everyone gathered around Evelyn and Eshnunna with their backs pressed together.
“Come!” Yunael shouted. Fierce winds whirled in, and what appeared to be aerial creatures came flying from all sides. Their enemy’s plan seemed to be to overwhelm the expedition team with sheer numbers and collide against them. At that moment, a faint light poured out of Evelyn’s body and created several semi-transparent barriers. The creature flying toward them bounced off the sparkling barriers and splattered into pieces.
The expedition team’s celebration was short-lived. The first wave of aerial creatures was nothing more than the tip of an iceberg, and soon countless footsteps echoed throughout the cavity as more creatures rushed in.
“There are too many…!” Evelyn continued to maintain her barrier, but she appeared to be struggling.
“Everyone, duck down!” Chi-Woo yelled, and simultaneously, a stream of light shot across the space, covering a great distance. The expedition team didn’t have the time to check what it was. They simply bent down hurriedly and felt something sharp sweep by their backs. When they straightened up, they saw that the stream of light had shot far enough to cover the entire cavity.
Chi-Woo was wielding the stream of light inside the enclosed space. Wherever the light hit, their enemies’ head, torso, legs, and more body parts burst open. They crumbled in rows and collapsed to the floor; even the body that tried to communicate with Chi-Woo wasn’t an exception. The expedition team couldn’t help but cheer this time. Their bleak situation had been overturned in an instant, and they were overjoyed.
“What about the toharis…!” Chi-Woo turned around and looked conflicted. They might have to go empty-handed after coming all the way to this place. No, perhaps there was a way, but he needed more time to come up with a solution. And not knowing how long that would take, they didn’t have time to leisurely contemplate.
‘There’s no way this is all the Sernitas have got.’ The Sernitas was one of the four main factions on Liber. The ones he had just dealt with were unlikely to be the main force. They were probably just experiments or resources used as fuels. It seemed best to escape this place before the Sernitas’ main forces arrived. It was unfortunate, but if they had to choose between their lives and a tohari, the choice was obvious.
“We will give up the toharis!” Chi-Woo commanded them to escape and was about to move when he heard a low voice.
—Confirmed energy that displays powerful advantages over affiliations with evil and chaos…
—Researching the most effective countermeasure among existing information…
—…Search result: 0.
—Accepting requests to enlarge research scope. Rerunning common search exempting special conditions…
While the robotic voice rambled on, Chi-Woo instinctively activated his abilities.
[La Bella’s Sanctuary]
[La Bella’s Bible]
It was because he suddenly felt a foreboding feeling swell from inside him.
—Confirmed new energy. Rerunning search with extra conditions…
In the meantime, the voice continued nonstop.
—Among existing information, concluding it is difficult to gain upper hand using whatever method.
—Judging that the best option is to reach a tie if gaining the upper hand is close to impossible.
—Requesting the acquisition of samples and prioritizing the destruction of the enemy's barrier while considering its current danger level…
The body that had snapped in half began to wiggle roughly on the ground; then the others began to writhe as if they were connected to that body by a thread. Flaaaaaaash! Blinding lights flooded out from all sides, and those that had collapsed regenerated their injured or missing parts and raised themselves up again.
“…I can’t believe it,” Yunael murmured in shock. As someone who had experienced Chi-Woo’s powers in person, this came as a great shock. Chi-Woo looked taken aback too. He had wanted to quickly resolve the situation and escape, but he had simply supplied his enemy with more information instead. At this point, he couldn’t even insult Ismile anymore.
Chi-Woo thought he should swing his Armed with the Sixth Element again, but restrained himself. Doing that consumed a significant amount of exorcism mana, and there was no guarantee that something similar wouldn’t happen again. To experiment, he changed his weapon to bow and arrow and made a shot. The arrow of light flew across the air and pierced one of the enemy’s foreheads. Yet that body simply wavered, and its head didn’t burst into pieces like before. Instead, it glared and ran straight at him while screaming with increased fighting spirit.
“…Damn it,” Chi-Woo cursed under his breath. He didn’t know how exactly, but the advantage he had over his enemy had disappeared completely. This time, he couldn’t overpower his enemies like he had with the Demon Empire. Now there was no other choice but to meet them head-on. Enemies rushed forward fiercely and clashed against the barrier surrounding the expedition team.
Kuaaaaah! They let out fearsome cries and began to smash and push against the barrier.
“Kuh…!” Evelyn groaned. She curled her shoulders inward to hold onto her trembling body. The shockwaves she felt as a gigantic number of enemies collided simultaneously against her barrier were massive. And she didn’t even manage to block them all. As the saintess of the White Horse General, Evelyn’s power was similar to Chi-Woo’s in a way. Now that their enemy had changed the nature of their powers to match Chi-Woo’s energy, her power had also become less effective.
Their enemies bounced off the barrier with less force than before, and they recovered much faster. Furthermore, some even managed to crawl between the gaps and crept inside completely unscathed. Because of how many there were, they continued to enter without stopping. In the end, Yunael, Jin-Cheon, and of course Chi-Woo had to hurriedly block their advance.
Chi-Woo changed his weapon to the ghost-busting club and swung it toward several enemies running their way. With exorcism mana empowering his swing, he was able to crack his enemies’ skulls in one hit, but the headless bodies continued to rush forward with their arms stretched. It appeared that their bodies had changed as well. Chi-Woo kicked away those approaching him and clenched his teeth hard. He could deal with the current enemies, but even if they managed to overcome this situation somehow, it seemed they would be at a disadvantage as time went by.
‘What should I do?’ Chi-Woo thought and unconsciously put more focus on his eyes. Among the countless enemies, he suddenly sensed a being on a whole other level making its way toward him.
‘That one.’ It was the body that tried to initiate a conversation with him. Chi-Woo realized this instinctively, and after dealing with the enemies pouring over him with his club, he quickly raised his head. As he thought, the Sernitas’ body had jumped high into the air and was staring at the scene from above. It then changed their arms into pick-like shapes and dropped to the ground. Their movements weren’t fierce and rough, but elegant like a panther.
Chi-Woo gritted his teeth and was about to react immediately before the Sernitas’ body landed. Yet before he did that, one woman kicked off the floor and fiercely attacked the figure midair. It was like seeing a tiger pounce on its target. After being hit by the sudden attack, the Sernitas’ body rolled to the floor.
“Don’t you dare!” Yunael landed near her target and raised her hand. She seemed intent on not letting the body approach the team’s leader without going through her.
“Leave this to me and adjust!” Yunael shouted. Chi-Woo looked a bit dazed for a moment, but he understood what she meant. Chi-Woo backed away while looking around him, and Yunael raised her spear. She thought she had landed a good hit, but the Sernitas’ body had already healed themselves and was getting up. Though there were screams and wailings coming from everywhere, the body was completely calm.
Yunael gulped. She had instinctively sensed that this enemy was different from the others, but there was no other option but to fight. Normally, Chi-Woo should’ve been the one to fight this one, but there were Mamiya’s conditions to think about. For them to enter the door again, all seven had to be completely safe. Not even one of them could be missing even if they somehow managed to reach the door.
This meant no one could fall behind. Unfortunately, Yunael didn’t have the ability to look after everyone, but Chi-Woo was different. He had abilities of both a warrior and a priest and would be able to deal with the current situation as best as one possibly could. Accordingly, Chi-Woo needed to take the central role while Yunael did the next most important task of opening the path for them to escape. And while looking at the enemy before her, Yunael felt a strange feeling of nervousness and familiarity. Perhaps she was imagining it, but her opponent seemed similar to Ru Amuh, in both appearance and movements.
The next moment, her opponent disappeared. Yunael’s breath hitched momentarily, and she quickly raised her head. Pip. A sharp line was drawn on her cheeks. Yunael instinctively extended her spear. Yet instead of feeling something collide against the tip of her spear, she felt a sharp wind on the other side.
‘It’s quick…!’ Yunael whirled around, sensing something swirling and changing direction. A heavy impact collided with her spear, and she realized that she had been pushed back. Yunael frowned in dismay. Not only was her opponent so quick that they seemed to disappear at every blink of her eyes, they were also strong.
‘Going back and forth, so annoying…!’ Yunael was already too occupied with blocking and parrying all the senseless attacks flying her away to think of doing anything else. She endured for a while, but soon she found it difficult to keep up with the attacks. She was still avoiding getting seriously hurt, but surface-level injuries continued to accumulate one by one.
Rather than opening a path for her team, she was simply prolonging their stay. Something needed to be done to finish this fight. After having only been backing away until now, Yunael stretched out her arm.
“Haaaaaaaaa!” After she parried her opponent’s attack, the number of spears that she swung increased at an exponential rate. Dozens of spears simultaneously struck her opponent, yet Yunael continued to feel that she was only hitting air.
“Ah, damn it!” As even the attack that she had poured all her efforts into ended up in vain, Yunael flew into a rage. Yet she didn’t even have the luxury to get angry. She needed to pay the price of the offensive she had forcefully taken just now and was pushed back again. ‘Shit, shit, shit,’ Yunael cursed inside her mind as a relentless series of hits rained on her.
‘Ah, seriously…!’ Yunael couldn’t read her opponent’s movements at all. Her opponent was always a beat faster than her. They were already in her space before she could respond.
‘What the hell…!’ If this were a game, it was as if her opponent was the only one given turns to take actions and had been continuously attacking. She should also get her turn now and then, but the fight was completely one-sided. It felt as if all the battle logic she had built up until now was crumbling. Like now, something sharp sliced past her thigh the moment she lost focus. She thought she had barely evaded the attack, but her opponent’s sharp talons had taken a bit of her flesh. The consequence of overexerting herself to make an attack and losing her balance seemed to be death.
“Ah…!” She gasped, but it was too late then. Her opponent’s blades were at her throat, and Yunael’s eyes widened. But then her opponent’s momentum suddenly broke, and they brought their talons back down. Yunael barely managed to regain her balance, dazed. Her opponent moved away like a broken machine, and there was an arrow made out of light stuck in their throat. Yunael turned around and saw Chi-Woo aiming another brilliant shining arrow at her opponent. It appeared he had been keeping an eye on her in addition to his immediate surroundings.
‘How?’ Yunael’s eyes filled with surprise. Rather than the fact that she almost died, Yunael was more shocked that Chi-Woo’s attack had hit her opponent. It wasn’t as if her opponent had failed to notice Chi-Woo’s attack; they noticed it midway and tried to evade, but still got struck in the end. Chi-Woo easily accomplished something she couldn’t do no matter how hard she tried. As if he was telling her how this happened, Chi-Wo shot another arrow. Then another one after that, making two shots in total. The first arrow flew straight, while the second arrow surprisingly drew a curve and flew toward her opponent’s back. Her opponent easily dodged the first shot and immediately turned around to strike away the second arrow aiming for their back. But at that moment, as the side of their twisted torso came into view, an arrow of light struck them. Yunael gaped slightly seeing her opponent totter backward again.
There were three arrows? No. As soon as he shot the two arrows, Chi-Woo had immediately changed his weapon to a club to support other teammates. Thus, there were only ever two arrows. The reason her opponent got hit after blocking those two arrows was simple—ricochet.
The first arrow that was deflected bounced off the ground and hit her opponent again. It wasn’t some genius technique or a high-level martial art skill honed with experience, but simply thinking outside the box.
[Now that I’ve trained you myself, I get why your parents have sent you into the world after teaching you only the fundamentals.]
[If I had to classify you, you are close to the instinctual type. Even if you don’t like it, your body and mind are ruled by your instincts]
[That’s how people like you operate. Whether you are in a battle or have a one-sided love for someone, you move your body first and think of what happened afterward.]
[Your sudden transformation into your current sex probably happened in the same way.]
Yunael blabbed on and on that there was no way that was possible, but Byeok simply gave her a faint smile.
[You have a very strong foundation. I like that since the ground you stand on is hard and firm.]
[But you don’t run as well as I expect you to once you begin. You’re too focused on the basics. And it’s as if your feet are buried deep into the ground.]
The basics were important, but in the end, they were nothing more than what they were: the basics.
[So, you’re wondering how you can pull your feet out? Of course I can tell you. Listen to your heart and body instead of just your mind.]
[For your information, Ru Amuh accomplished this before I even taught him, and Chi-Woo also mastered it faster than I expected him to. But I wonder…will you be able to do it?]
In the end, Yunael failed. Byeok told her that she must have complete control over not just her muscles, but also the entirety of her nervous system in her body. Yunael had no idea what that meant. Yet Byeok simply told her:
[Just don’t think. Clear your head completely and pay full allegiance to your instincts.]
Soon, the pain in Yunael’s thigh subsided. Steam Bun had attached itself to her injured leg without her noticing and was spitting medicinal liquid onto her. Thanks to it, Yunael secured her life and gained another opportunity to fight. She reaffirmed the resolution she had set when first entering Liber. Yunael had no intention of dying in this place without achieving anything and making a name for herself. She would become famous. She would gain more and more fame until everyone took a second look at her. And to make this happen, she would do it her way—the Yunael Tania way. Yunael clutched her spear and recalled Byeok’s words again.
Although she didn’t understand it then, Yunael thought she could understand a bit now.
[That fits you better.]