Team: HH, thursdays, Yahiko (☆/12)
Vigrid stopped right before Benteke’s neck. His transparent right arm blocked Vigrid.
Benteke had a hard face.
“Are you trying to catch me with just this much?”
“Of course not.”
At that moment, wings of fire grew from his back. The fire that soared up into the sky whirled heat waves around him. The Philosopher’s Stone began to work furiously.
Yeon-woo pushed against Benteke using Vigrid without rest. Each time, black Aura exploded and covered him in heat. The temple with holy paintings burned, and fissures began to appear on the walls.
Yeon-woo and Benteke jumped above the ceiling that came crumbling down.
Benteke chuckled. Even in that exhausted state, the sound of his laughter was loud.
“Kehalhalhal! This is it! Yeah. This!”
He was overjoyed at that moment.
He already knew his fate. After fighting to keep control over his body, there was no way he could defeat Yeon-woo.
He could already tell that Yeon-woo was stronger than before. It had only been a few days, and not only had Yeon-woo recovered, but he had also found a new path for himself.
Only a dragon could have this damned potential and crazy talent.
Benteke became more sure as he clashed with Yeon-woo. Even if he had his former strength, it would be hard to defeat Yeon-woo.
No, even if he did, there was nothing he could do since he was bound to the temple.
He was a warrior who considered dying in battle more honorable than being a watchdog that guarded the temple.
‘But that doesn’t mean I’ll die easily.’
Benteke bared his teeth. Even if he knew he would lose, he wanted to play as much as he could before he was gone. He wanted to let the beast inside of him run freely for the last time.
“That’s only fitting of the Ruler King!”
Fighting was the driveof his existence.
Benteke also released the holy power he had barely been holding back. Thanks to that, the synchronization with the spiritual power now took over half of his body, but he didn’t care.
Right now, he was planning on giving everything he had.
That was also what Yeon-woo wanted. The reason he had come all this way was to finish their fight.
Yeon-woo clashed with Benteke again. Heat and water collided, and steam fogged up the air. The impact of the collision made the rest of the castle crumble.
And above the ruins, Yeon-woo and Benteke were standing opposite of each other.
Benteke looked at the sky as if he felt relieved. In a way, it looked like he was laughing at Poseidon.
“Kehalhalhal! People have to fight like this to feel like they’re alive. Moments like these make me feel so happy. Being pent up in a room? Where’s the fun in that?!”
Just then, Triton’s players who had been fighting Creutz and the Illusion Knightage brightened.
“Captain! Are you finally out…..?!”
However, the players trailed off as their eyes widened.
Benteke was about to greet them heartily then laughed at his appearance. His spiritual body synchronization had reached his lower body.
If he had been wearing something, it would have been mostly covered, but from the explosion, the clothes that he was wearing were ripped.
He would now die if he left the temple. However, for the short while that he was releasing his holy power, he could live as ‘Benteke.’
During that time, he couldn’t show a weak side of himself to his subordinates.
“Why are you surprised, amateurs?!”
Triton’s players burst to attention at Benteke’s shout.
“Is this the first time that we’ve been done over by those damned gods? But every time this happened, I stood up, fought, won, and took everything. Isn’t that right?”
Triton’s players shouted out in unison. The fighting spirit that had died along with Jinrang and the others was revived. The faces of Creutz and the Ilusion Knightage hardened.
“Who am I?!”
“Who am I?!”
“The Ruler King!”
“Who am I?!”
Benteke thumped his chest with his fist. It didn’t make a clear sound because of the synchronization, but he still had a fiery heart.
“Then I’ll ask again. Do kings lose or win?”
“That’s correct. I am your king. I won’t lose, so keep on watching. You will all be victorious after me!”
Triton’s players roared again. The Illusion Knightage gripped their swords harder. The atmosphere was different. Now, they would have to expect that Triton would fight back with all they had.
Benteke’s eyes blazed.
“Run away. Until I find you, hide and grow stronger.”
That was the start.
The players of Triton all whipped around and frantically began to run away.
It was a sudden change of events. The Illusion Knightage couldn’t believe their eyes.
Triton was known among the new emerging clans for being the strictest and having warriors who always fought to death.
That was why the Illusion Knightage had been tense during Benteke’s speech. They thought Triton was going to fight back, but they were now running away?
Did they have to chase after them? Or was it a trap? The Illusion Knightage hesitated and looked back at Creutz.
Creutz turned to look at Benteke with wide eyes, as if asking what he was thinking.
However, Benteke’s gaze on his fleeing subordinates was still intense. He stood as still as a statue, as if wanting to see all of his subordinates safely getting away.
“Chase after them.”
The Illusion Knightage all whistled, putting their thumb and middle fingers inside their mouths to call for the Flying Dragons. Soon, wyverns came from the sky, and they got on top of them to chase after the escaping Triton.
Yeon-woo clicked his tongue.
“Are you trying to save your subordinates?”
“Of course not. Do you think I would have those kinds of honorable thoughts? If I cherished my subordinates, I would’ve stepped up when they were being defeated by you on the River of Souls.”
“I don’t want to show them I’m losing.”
“I don’t lose. No, I can’t lose. In the minds of my subordinates, I’m always the Ruler King, and I must be the victor. Only then can Triton and I remain that way in their hearts and heads as a mighty group.”
“Lana died because she couldn’t do that, and I did that so I would be immortal in their hearts. That’s all I want. I don’t have any plans to leave any regrets behind.”
Benteke was speaking about why Lana died. What they were after was different. He was saying that it was better to die by Yeon-woo’s hand than to live pathetically as a loser.
‘So he knows.’
Yeon-woo’s eyes narrowed. It seemed that Benteke had seen when half of his mask was crushed at the River of Souls.
Did he think that he was Jeong-woo? Or that they were identical brothers?
Whatever he was thinking, Yeon-woo was ironically grateful that he hadn’t told anyone.
Or, maybe, as his brother had thought, Benteke might’ve thought of his brother as a “friend.” Then those words he was saying right now were atonement for back then.
‘It doesn’t matter.’
Yeon-woo spread his wings of fire apart again. There wasn’t much time left for Benteke. He was going to see the end of this somehow.
* * *
Creutz paused while chasing after Triton on the Flying Dragons and looked back at the sudden sound.
‘What is that?’
His eyes widened.
Far away, columns of fire and water clashed against each other as they soared up into the sky. He could feel the heat all the way here.
* * *
The column of water that soared up high into the sky crumbled, fizzing. The water evaporated into steam, and only bare land was revealed.
It was already after the castle and cliffs of Triton had crashed into the oceans.
Only the blue energy from above showed that this was Poseidon’s holy territory. Yeon-woo and Benteke’s fight below was brutal.
It was a continuation of the battle at the River of Souls. Injuries appeared and disappeared on their bodies over and over again. There were burn scars faintly left behind.
But just like in their previous battle, neither of them cared about being injured.
The longer the fight went on, the faster Benteke’s spiritual body synchronization progressed. It was because as he released the holy power he had been holding in, it expanded faster.
Benteke didn’t look human as he fought with holy power.
There was a new arm where his arm had been cut off, and even when he was injured critically, he recovered quickly and attacked.
Benteke actually had the upper hand in terms of firepowerYeon-woo was actually falling behind on the firepower.
Vigrid diligently slid across Benteke’s neck.
Normally, it would’ve been a serious injury that led to his jugular vein being cut, but the synchronized body quickly healed.
Still, this was enough to shock Benteke.
While Benteke was forced back, Yeon-woo quickly closed the distance between them and attacked him repetitively. Black Aura shot out from him.
Every time he counted, deep injuries appeared on Benteke’s vital points and were healed again.
If Benteke’s body was a real one, the number that Yeon-woo was counting would’ve meant death.
Benteke was definitely strong. And powerful. The vortex that he shot out with his spear was so destructive that you would probably be shredded if you came close to it.
Yeon-woo also looked like he would be swept away, but he continued to avoid the vortexes and created a huge hole in Benteke’s body.
He had begun to see and understand more things after absorbing Poseidon’s Divine Blessings.
However, the problem was…..
‘It’s not…..the same as before.’
It was the fact that Benteke’s condition wasn’t the greatest. What did it matter if his body was outstanding? His mind was exhausted. Benteke swung around his spear like he was releasing a beast, but it fell short of what he could do before.
Especially his fighting spirit and tenacity.
The fighting spirit that used to grip the battlefield couldn’t be felt anymore. It was faint.
Yeon-woo thought it was a shame.
Benteke’s speed had increased, but it seemed slow to Yeon-woo. He could see through it with Draconic Eyes.
It was plain to see.
The spear separated again to create six vortexes. The sharply spun water came at him from all directions in whirlwinds.
〈Six Combat〉. It was a skill earned by martial artists who had reached the pinnacle of spearmanship.
Yeon-woo wrapped his wings of fire around him and circulated Vigrid.
Black Aura slid along the flaws and cut the whirlwinds. As fire and water collided, explosions rang out.
The tip of Vigrid landed in Benteke’s chest, piercing through a heavy fog.
Benteke laughed. A laugh of disbelief escaped his mouth after seeing Vigrid cut through his heart.
He was flabbergasted seeing his body trying to recover even after his heart was pierced. His body was no longer his.
But now, even this kind of healing didn’t seem easy. From some time, something from the black Aura was slowing his regeneration speed.
〈Residual Poison Blood〉. A heavy, toxic air was spreading in the atmosphere.
At first, when Poseidon said he could never win, he wanted to prove him wrong, but he felt like he knew why he had said that.
He had almost died nineteen times.
Even if he was in his normal body, there was almost no chance he could’ve won.
However, he didn’t feel wronged. It was natural for the weak to be swallowed by the strong. Like he had swallowed Lana, he was going to be swallowed by a new strong opponent.
Still, there was one thing he had that others didn’t have.
‘I didn’t lose.’
Somewhere, his subordinates would be waiting for him, unbeknownst to his loss.
There was only one thing that was a shame.
‘I couldn’t fight properly because of this damned…..god…..’
Benteke’s mind crumbled with that thought. His spiritual body instantly turned black. It was a sign that the Residual Poison Blood had begun to take effect.
Yeon-woo gripped Vigrid again to end the fight.
Just when he was about to take Benteke’s head, the air suddenly changed.
The air that had been filled with fighting spirit and heat cooled down. A cold wind that felt like it was going to freeze Yeon-woo’s skin spread around him. It was hard to breathe, like he was underwater.
Benteke’s eyes turned into a clear blue.
The original owner of the body disappeared, and Poseidon, who was connected through channeling, swallowed Benteke’s soul, and he was even trying to take over his body now. The body was now completely synchronized.
Moreover, another ingredient for the descent was added on.
Martyrdom. The blood of Jinrang and the others who died for Poseidon had become a kind of a sacrifice and pushed his descent forward.
As long as he could achieve his end goal, he didn’t care about using the deaths of his followers.
He thought that the life of a mere mortal could be sacrificed anytime for a god’s will.
『We. Finally. Meet.』
Although he hadn’t completed his descent yet, the environment shook with just his presence. It was a heavy holy power, equivalent to when Agares had been trying to manifest.
“Yeah. Nice to meet you. And thanks for the present.”
Yeon-woo laughed with a relaxed attitude even in front of such a fierce holy power.
『What. Are. You……!』
Poseidon was about to finish his descent when Yeon-woo suddenly opened his left palm and moved it to where Vigrid was, in his heart.
Bathory’s Vampiric Sword dug into the spiritual body.
[‘Bathory’s Vampiric Sword’ has been released. You are taking in more Divine Blessings.]
[A new awakening is attempted.]
[‘Demonic Divine Dragon Body’ is being awakened. 1, 3, 5……7%……]
[TN: We know that releases haven’t been consistent in the past few days! We were getting ready for our 300 chapters event:) Thanks for being patient, and the event is a surprise, so we won’t answer any DM’s regarding it!]
[Group Announcement: WoopRead is recruiting Korean translators! We have a selection of novels that are ready to be picked up:) Please join the discord at https://discord.com/invite/Q3dStgu and contact our staff member @ HH for the application form and payment details. Thank you!]