Chapter 6

Alan crossed the monument, and instantly, the ground beneath him changed into a shallow marsh, sinking his feet up to his ankles. Murky water covered his feet, while thick fog obscured his vision.

“This is the poisonous marsh,” he murmured, unable to believe such a place existed inside a tomb. “The water here must be undrinkable. I wonder what kind of monster resides here.”

The sound of water churning came from within the fog, and Alan tried to look around despite his vision being obstructed by the mist.

A dark shadow glided from within the water towards Alan. He attempted to parry with his sword, but the shadow was too heavy.

Alan was thrown backward and fell into the muddy water.

“Damn, that’s powerful,” he grumbled.

From the fog emerged a large monster resembling a salamander. Its head looked like a hammer with three glowing red eyes in the middle, thick scales, and four legs with fin-like layers on its fingers. The tip of its tail also resembled the monster’s head.

The salamander emitted a greenish gas from its scales.

Alan stood up and stared at the monster resolutely.

“Actually, there’s something I’ve been wanting to try, maybe this is a good opportunity,” he thought.

He unsheathed his short sword and coated it with a black aura, causing black smoke to emanate from the blade.

The monster attacked with its hammer-like tail, and Alan had to block the attack with difficulty.

Black fire began to form from the slashes of his sword, but the monster withdrew its tail and began preparing a lightning attack.

Alan managed to dodge the attack, realizing his sword was quite effective.

He lunged forward and ran towards the monster, while it blindly shot lightning bolts.

Reaching the underside of the Salamander, Alan thrust his sword into the monster’s leg. Each slash of his sword created sparks of black fire that burned.

The Salamander screamed loudly, causing Alan to pause momentarily, but he quickly refocused as the monster’s tail struck him.

He was thrown several meters and nearly hit by a dangerous lightning strike, but Alan managed to dodge.

Lightning bolts continued to be fired, creating an artificial rain effect in the marsh, but Alan pressed on, attacking the monster with the black fire on his sword.

The Salamander screamed again, ringing Alan’s ears, but he stayed focused and successfully stabbed the monster’s eye.

The black fire burned the pierced eye, and the Salamander screamed even louder.

Yet, Alan kept attacking, inflicting new wounds with his sword’s slashes.

The Salamander tried to use its tail, but Alan dodged and plunged his sword into the monster’s head.

The black fire blazed, but Alan felt something strange, his body began to tremble, and he felt weak from poison.

Alan realized he had to finish this fight quickly, or he would die from poisoning right there.

He gripped his sword tightly, and the black fire on his sword grew larger. Meanwhile, the Salamander prepared for its final attack.

The monster leaped, and Alan jumped towards it with his black fire-enveloped sword.

A black fire ring formed as his sword split the monster’s head into two before being hit by a lightning strike, and Alan’s body shattered into pieces.

A faint light emerged from the burned and divided body, merging back with the black fibers forming Alan’s destroyed organs.

Alan slowly opened his eyes and saw his hands and body intact.

“That almost killed me,” he muttered, relieved that he had survived.

He rose from his place and saw the burning carcass of the Salamander.

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“It seems I’ve become stronger by killing monsters in this tomb,” Alan said to himself, observing the result of his victory.

Alan raised his hand forward, creating a black fireball that transformed into a black crystal enveloped by white lightning.

“And now I understand the consequences if I run out of dark mana. I better find a way to conserve dark mana if I don’t want my body to explode again,” he thought, reflecting on the experience he just had.

A stone monument appeared before him, signaling that the next challenge would be tougher. Alan sighed and prepared to continue his adventure.

“The Flower Garden, only the chosen ones can cross the border. Those who do not qualify will return to their origin,” Alan read from the inscription on the stone monument.

Alan shook his head, trying to understand the meaning of the last sentence. However, he didn’t have time to ponder it further as his adventure was far from over.

“Alright, I’ve passed monuments like this a few times. I’m starting to wonder what skills I can acquire after defeating monsters there,” Alan said to himself, stepping past the monument.

As he continued his journey, he arrived at a forest where some people appeared panicked and were carrying weapons. An armored girl sat on the ground, staring at him with a frightened expression.

“What’s going on here?” Alan wondered.

A man wielding a sword approached him in a hurry, but his attack wasn’t aimed at Alan. Instead, the man charged towards a bear.

Alan turned and saw a large bear standing behind him. The man attempted to fend off the bear with his sword, and soon, a woman with a staff shouted.

“Get down!” the woman yelled as she threw a fireball at the bear, while Alan dodged and positioned himself atop the bear.

The man was startled to see Alan on top of the bear, and soon, the bear collapsed with its head severed.

A figure emerged from behind the smoke, along with the disfigured body of the bear.

The man sat down, overwhelmed by the sight he witnessed. Meanwhile, Alan remained standing atop the bear, looking at them coldly.

“Who are you?” the man pressed with urgency in his voice.

Alan stared at the man without saying anything, while the people around them remained in confusion.

“Where is this?” Alan asked firmly, trying to find answers to his questions.

“What?” the man replied, confused.

“Tell me where this is?!” Alan insisted, trying to get the information he needed.

Suddenly, the armored girl began to stand up, trembling, and pointed her sword at Alan. Even the tip of her sword trembled because her body was shaking.

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“Are you a demon?” the girl asked in fear.

Everyone readied their weapons, preparing for battle, while Alan remained silent, trying to digest the situation unfolding before him.

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