Team: HH, thursdays, Yahiko (1/10)
Anastasia stretched her hand out in the air. The smoke around her scattered, and a new Fox Fire was created wrapped around her.
The Wave of Fire exploded before it could reach Anastasia. The building she had been on couldn’t endure the impact and completely crumbled.
Sparks flew, and the heat became a storm, covering the area they were in.
“S, S***! Run away!”
“Ms. Anastasia and the Hoarder are fighting!”
The locals on the streets quickly began to flee. To normal people, a fight between high rankers was equivalent to a natural disaster. It was because no one knew how much damage the battle would cause.
Some people lost their businesses and stores because of the fight, but Yeon-woo and Anastasia weren’t the types to care.
Just then, the farthest right tail of Anastasia flamed green. The monstrous energy around Anastasia strengthened.
She lightly blew on her fingers, and the energy flowing around her spewed air bombs that were as big as a person’s head.
The Fox Fire flared again. In the areas where Fox Fire touched, strange phenomena occurred. The space would shake or suddenly become cold.
Yeon-woo pulled the Wave of Fire back to him and combined it with a black aura. He swung it at Anastasia.
Chwa chwa chwa—
The air bombs were countered each time Vigrid was swung. The monstrous energy that leaked out became Fox Fire again, but it couldn’t pierce through the wall of souls protecting Yeon-woo.
[The 2nd Soul]
The mass of souls that was nearly a single entity at that point shifted from inside and outside Yeon-woo, energizing him and protecting him at the same time.
It was a new interpretation of the martial arts taught by the One-horned tribe.
Soon, he split through the smoke and reached Anastasia.
He raised Vigrid. His target was an arm or one of her tails. He thought it would be enough to scare her off.
However, she didn’t avoid it and just snorted in amusement. At the same time, her second tail lit up, and she swung the pipe in her hand.
Vigrid and the pipe clanged against each other. It wasn’t the sound of metal striking metal. It was the sound of an explosion. The buildings around them were swept away as heat waves covered them, but the two didn’t stop there.
Strange letters shined on Anastasia’s pipe.
Yeon-woo immediately realized it was a special artifact that Victoria made for her teacher.
However, he couldn’t understand what the runic letters on the pipe meant.
They looked like runes, but they weren’t. Were they letters from another world?
Yeon-woo realized the letters facilitated Anastasia’s use of her unique power.
The brighter the pipe shined, the brighter the green fire on Anastasia’s tail became.
Anastasia threw down her pipe on the floor with a huff.
Just then, the Gumiho that was faintly standing behind Anastasia moved.
‘What is that?’
The Gumiho pounced exactly where the pipe was thrown on the ground.
Yeon-woo felt an aura from Anastasia that was different from what he had felt so far.
The space around him began to shake.
Yeon-woo quickly spread his wings of fire apart and activated Blink simultaneously.
Like how the pipe shined brilliantly, he was nearly able to use the magic he learned from Victoria to transform his wings of fire into an artifact or a skill.
Pat, pat, pat!
Yeon-woo landed relatively far away from where Anastasia had been. And when he saw what happened where he had just been, his eyes widened.
“You have good instincts, kiddo.”
Anastasia snorted upon seeing him. Everything around her was destroyed.
Everything around her was leveled. Only Anastasia was left.
The monstrous energy emitted from the broken space showed what she had just done.
『That….. is a monster that’s been dormant for at least a thousand years.』
Nemesis’s voice rang inside his head.
『A being that became one with a player and turned into a Legendary Beast after a thousand years. But since it had monstrous energy, I think it’s most appropriate to call it a Great Monster.』
It was a warning not to fight with Anastasia.
『At the very least, it’s on the level of the Nine Kings. Even if my previous master were to come back, it would be hard to guarantee victory. Unless it’s the Martial King or the Summer Queen….. I think it’ll be difficult.』
The monstrous energy around Anastasia was growing darker, and the illusion behind her even was clearing up. It was like the Gumiho was standing right on top of Anastasia.
The more the number of lit Fox Fires on her tails increased, the clearer her monstrous energy was.
『We barked up the wrong tree. I think we should step back.』
Even though Yeon-woo was becoming stronger at a quick rate, he definitely wasn’t on the level of the Nine Kings yet.
And if she was comparable to the Martial King and Summer Queen in terms of strength, he had no chance of winning.
‘No. There is a way.’
Under the mask, Yeon-woo grinned.
“What are you mumbling about?”
Anastasia must’ve read Nemesis’s presence inside the Philosopher’s Stone because she frowned and flicked her finger again. Her fifth tail caught on fire.
Countless air bombs came from above. When the Gumiho shook its tail, strong winds blew over like tornados.
The Fox Fire turned the ground black.
Space was crumbling in front of him like a clear layer of ice that had been someone hammered.
Tentacles pierced the ground and wiggled around. Monstrous energy was a power that one borrowed from a greater being. The inexplicable phenomenon precisely spread around Yeon-woo.
He would have to be crazy to fight her head-on.
Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed coldly.
‘Little by little. Like how your clothes end up getting drenched in a light drizzle.’
Along with his Consciousness, two skills combined as one and began to stack their flaws in between them.
[Wind Path – Gust of Wind]
Yeon-woo forced himself into it. Once again, he ran towards where Anastasia was inside of the Fox Fire.
He avoided the flaws that looked difficult to deal with. He was confident no other player could match his speed.
『What are you trying to do?』
However, to Nemesis, Yeon-woo looked like he was taking on something he couldn’t handle.
Also, only four tails were on fire. It meant that she still had more hidden power.
‘When the tails light up, do you see?’
Nemesis realized what Yeon-woo was saying and glanced around. He had been focusing on just Anastasia, so he didn’t look around him.
『The amount of souls has increased.』
Just then, the sixth Fox Fire tail was ignited. The monster Shanon was taking care of melted and was absorbed by Anastasia.
『She has so much monstrous energy.』
‘She doesn’t have holiness or divine power, so it was hard for her to coexist with all of it inside her body. That’s why her appearance isn’t her actual body but one of a player’s.’
The monstrous energy Anastasia gathered in a thousand years was amazing.
However, because there was so much, it wasn’t easy for her to handle it, so she usually left a part of her monstrous energy sealed outside of her body.
Yeon-woo was going to take advantage of that.
If they fought based on endurance, Yeon-woo was more at an advantage. It was because the Philosopher’s Stone endlessly supplied him with magic.
On the other hand, for Anastasia, the longer she used her monstrous energy, the harder it was on her body.
‘What you sensed is her true power when all her tails are lit. Right now, she’s in a weak state.”
『But she still seems stronger than you.』
‘So that’s why we’ll use this method.’
Nemesis nodded in acceptance. He couldn’t help but remain worried.
『Even with that, you won’t be able to drain all her energy. Are you gonna go for a blind spot?』
If he faced her head-on, he would die.
He quickly reached Anastasia and attacked her with Blink and the 72 Bian.
“Keack! You dare!”
There was a deep injury on Anastasia’s right leg. Blood spattered into the air and disappeared. Instead, a long mass of flesh extended from her right wrist.
She was hurt by a human who hadn’t even lived a hundred years. She couldn’t let herself be humiliated like this.
However, Yeon-woo had already anticipated her movements and escaped far away, only to come back and cut her thigh.
The Gumiho cried at the sky. It was only a small injury compared to its large body.
Anastasia tried to catch Yeon-woo, but Yeon-woo escaped like a rat every time.
She was furious seeing Yeon-woo escape again and again.
It seemed like she would have to light up her sixth tail.
Yeon-woo didn’t miss the timing and activated Blink. He landed right in front of Anastasia.
It all happened so fast that Anastasia didn’t see that Yeon-woo had come near her.
It was because she didn’t know about Time Difference.
The black aura exploded once more. Anastasia’s left arm was cut off.
He wasn’t able to do as much damage as he hoped, but one tail of the Gumiho was almost completely cut.
Yeon-woo activated Blink again. Hit and run. He was going to escape. At that moment, the seventh tail lit up.
He froze at the feeling.
He couldn’t move. The air around him was stopping him.
Blood poured from his mouth, and he landed on the ground. The impact must’ve been so great that all the bones in his Demonic Dragon Body were broken.
He tried to heal himself with Regeneration, but Anastasia was already standing on top of him.
“You dare to put me in this state?”
『You dare to put me in this state?』
In the space where two faces overlapped, Yeon-woo was the receiver of a growingly angrier face.
〈Monster Eyes〉. The red eyes were holding Yeon-woo in place.
“I can’t take this anymore. No more going easy just because you’re my disciple’s friend.”
『I can’t take this anymore. No more going easy just because you’re my disciple’s friend.』
There was something Yeon-woo had missed. Anastasia was Victoria’s teacher. She would know Victoria’s secrets.
Her naked body could be seen through her loose robe, but it looked fierce with all the veins popping out.
With her declaration of death, Anastasia brought her hand down towards Yeon-woo’s mask.
「A mere. Fox. Dares!」
Just when Boo was about to open his eyes.
“That’s enough, isn’t it? Stop it now.”
A large wolf head appeared next to the Gumiho. At the same time, someone grabbed Anastasia’s hand.
Anastasia saw Freesia wearing her usual wooden mask.
She narrowed her eyes.
“Wolf, don’t get in the way. Stay there. I’ll take care of you next.”
『Wolf, don’t get in the way. Stay there. I’ll take care of you next.』
“That’s why I came. Because I’m sorry. Don’t you feel like you’re looking at your younger self?”
Anastasia shut her mouth. Then, she turned her eyes to look at Yeon-woo, who was under her left arm.
His eyes seemed both intense and desperate at the same time. She had the same eyes in a time she couldn’t remember too well anymore.
She cursed and let him go.
“Foxes are also dogs.”