Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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The jet-black Mana oozing out of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body whirled around and enveloped the surroundings like rising, billowing flames.
“Euh!” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young inadvertently took a couple of steps back from the sheer pressure emanating from him. She had never felt this kind of power from Yi Ji-Hyuk before, regardless of what he was doing.
Up until now, all she felt was the sensation of his ‘aura’ being ominous and overbearing. But, never once had she been physically affected by his power like this.
She couldn’t help but feel that her entire being was being pushed down on simply by being near him.
It was as if the magical power was physically frightening her and twisting her body.
Although, she couldn’t tell whether this was happening because she got to learn the fearsome power the magical energy possessed when it was injected into her before, or because she had grown strong enough to actually recognise Yi Ji-Hyuk’s true power now.
‘What a freak.’ (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young shuddered uncontrollably.
She had challenged him several times already, but he beat her down oh-so easily every time. Whenever that happened, she was reminded of how much stronger Yi Ji-Hyuk was compared to her.
But, it was different this time.
The stuff like Seo Ah-Young trying to fight him, it was only on the level of listening to the complaints of a three-year old child to Yi Ji-Hyuk.
When he finally got serious, he…. He had become the god of war, burning with so much raw power and unyielding spirit that just looking at him made others terrified.
“Is that….” (Beltreche)
Beltreche spoke as if it was dumbfounded.
“….Is that all you’ve got??” (Beltreche)
Yi Ji-Hyuk sheepishly scratched his head.
“Yeah, for now.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Beltreche couldn’t help but let out a bitter chuckle, as its state of mind shot from dumbfoundedness and straight into rage.
Back when the 99th demon king invaded Beltreche’s territory, the reptilian demon king suffered the ignominy of licking Yi Ji-Hyuk’s feet while all of its limbs had been severed clean.
Only after swearing eternal servitude, as well as getting its intestines yanked out of its cut-up stomach, did Yi Ji-Hyuk forgive Beltreche for going against him.
Even though many demon kings had died, Beltreche managed to survive by throwing away his pride and grovelling like a slave.
Just look at the current sight of Yi Ji-Hyuk, the one that scarred Beltreche with shame and humiliation for the rest of its life.
Wasn’t this way too pathetic?!
“Yi Ji-Hyyyyyuuuukkkk!!” (Beltreche)
Beltreche’s throughly-enraged roar shook the earth, hard.
It was only displaying its anger, yet the ground quaked all on its own; soil, sand and pebbles freely flew up in the air. This was the power of a demon king that descended to the world of humans!
Yi Ji-Hyuk clicked his tongue.
“What the heck. You’re also not really normal in the head, are you? Aren’t we similar like that?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Beltreche cackled out in a voice that seemed to constrict all who listened to it.
“I thought I’d feel truly liberated after ripping you apart, but I realise that’s not true. Just die, Yi Ji-Hyuk. You should just simply die by my hands. That will be the greatest courtesy I can extend to the 99th demon king who used to shake up the very foundation of the demon world.” (Beltreche)
“Stop writing a bullsh*t epic, you crazy motherf*cker.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat on the ground, and rolled his sleeves up.
The Bringer of Apocalypse?
The 99th demon king?
Stop f*cking making me laugh.
It’s you lot that stuck all those labels on me to regulate me somehow, but I’ve always remained the same, you see. (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
What made Yi Ji-Hyuk who he was? It was certainly not the incredible power he used to wield.
No, it was his tenacious will that didn’t bend once driving him from the pit of despair all the way to the top.
“For a d*mn lizard, you got a bloody slick tongue, don’t you. Is it because it’s so long?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
That’s why, stop licking that place below your eyes, you godd*mn reptilian b*stard!!
It’s way too gross, man!! Too gross! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
Yi Ji-Hyuk extended his right hand out.
“We’ve gone on for long enough.” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Indeed, it was almost enough to exhaust him even before the proceedings got underway.
Mana leaving from his right hand formed a magic circle in the air. This should be sufficient to signal the beginning of the battle.
“Open up!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Along with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s loud shout, the magic circle promptly created a giant Gate. Almost at the same time, pitch-black light shot out from the Gate, before the black surface swirled crazily and opened up wide.
“Come out!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Violent roars of frenzied beasts resounded out, and the endless stream of monsters emerged from the Gate to pounce on Beltreche.
Any observer could easily tell how much of a berserk frenzy and madness these monsters were swimming in from their bloodshot eyes, as well as all the foams of blood bubbling in their maws.
Monsters tumbled and combined in all sorts of chaotic ways as they arrived at Beltreche’s location.
“These low-class creatures….” (Beltreche)
Beltreche frowned and pulled its hand back.
And when that slightly pulled-back hand was gently pushed forward, the air exploded and visible ripples spread out quickly.
The air shockwaves created in an instant easily disintegrated the monsters trapped within their arcs.
Solid physical bodies became murky liquids, then liquids evaporated into steam, and crimson-coloured fog scattered to everywhere.
Every single one of those monsters possessed a body tougher than reinforced steel, yet they all were vaporised down to nothing like cotton candies, simply from getting struck by air waves.
“Oh, my god…..” (Seo Ah-Young)
Seo Ah-Young watched that scene unfold and could only shudder in pure shock.
What did she witness just now?
A spectacle that could not be explained by science or logic was playing out right in front of her eyes.
So, that was a demon king?!
Even then, the frenzied monsters continued to attack, regardless of whether their friends were getting pulverised or not.
“Open up wider!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Simultaneously, Yi Ji-Hyuk opened the Gate even wider.
Oh-Sik and his original hulking frame jumped out and rushed at Beltreche. Both Hydra and Dae-Mang jumped out too, threw caution to the wind, and pounced on the reptilian demon king.
Beltreche watched on, an expression of interest now forming on its face.
No matter how much you brainwashed lower-class monsters, they would still instinctively fear higher existences.
However, these monsters with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s Seal of Obedience branded into them must have forgotten even that, because they were unhesitatingly attacking a demon king.
Beltreche found this rather mystifying, but at the same, not enjoyable at all.
Before long, Hydra was close enough to thrust out all of its nine heads at the reptilian demon king. Beltreche narrowed its eyes in displeasure.
A measly monster like this dares to?!
Beltreche’s right arm lightly flicked once.
It was a really small impact noise.
But, the result of that small noise could not be described as small at all.
From the front, one could only see a fist-sized hole in the Hydra’s body. But, as Yi Ji-Hyuk could see from behind, there was a hole the size of a house gouged out on the back of the creature as if a twister rampaged around there.
That was only a single hit…
Not only that, a single attack not containing any of its real power, too! (Yi Ji-Hyuk’s inner monologue)
That was the display of power belonging to a physical-type demonic being.
When facing the power of a demon king capable of ripping Dragons apart with its bare hands, these monsters proved to be far too weak. It was perhaps more correct to assume that Beltreche was pretty much immune to all types of physical attacks.
“Tirieh!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When he shouted out loudly, a blurry shape of a beauty with a seductive smile emerged from Yi Ji-Hyuk’s back.
An aria that no one could tell whether it was real or an illusion reverberated out, and rays of black light burst forth from the body of the spirit of darkness, Tirieh.
“A Seti?” (Beltreche)
Is that a corrupted Seti?
He seems to possess all sorts of pets, doesn’t he? Is this the case of an old eagle is better than a young crow? (Beltreche’s inner monologue)
A spirit of darkness was, without a doubt, a rare existence that even Beltreche hadn’t seen that many of. And he had lived for tens of thousands of years already.
But, that was all, really.
The lumps of black light shooting out from Tirieh slammed into Beltreche’s body and caused a chain of massive explosions.
Getting swept up in the fierce explosions, Oh-Sik cried out in pain.
A black tentacle extended out from Yi Ji-Hyuk and stabbed into Oh-Sik. Dark Mana was instantly injected into the Ogre, and the wounds on his body rapidly healed up.
“Buy me some time!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk never expected the attacks of his pets to actually damage even a single strand of hair on Beltreche’s body. No, he only needed them to buy him some time.
Indeed, he only needed time!
Yi Ji-Hyuk began chanting his next magic. Dark Mana escaping from his body rose up to draw a massive magic circle in the air.
“Aaaaaarrgh!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Blood vessels bulged up on his neck and forehead as if they would burst open at any second. At the same time, Mana uncontrollably rushed out of his body like a thick cloud and got sucked into the magic circle in the air.
“K-keuheuk….” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
After all that Mana left him, he was beset with immense pain that felt like every single cell in body was being stabbed with an ice pick or some such.
However, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t stop.
This kind of pain was temporary. If he failed to stop that creature here and now, then he’d get to experience something far worse than pain.
Because, that’s how demon kings rolled, after all.
Yi Ji-Hyuk’s magic circle began emitting glowing light of its own.
Beltreche emerged from that incredible explosions with nary a scratch, all the while tilting its head.
“You should already know that attacks of this level won’t…..” (Beltreche)
It was at that precise moment when Beltreche’s eyes spotted the giant magic circle floating high up in the air.
Isn’t this my first time seeing Yi Ji-Hyuk use magic like that?
The past Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t need to convert Mana.
Back then, he simply gathered and gathered more Mana than any demon king would dare to, and then, he condensed and compacted the gathered mass until the Mana metamorphosized all by itself, creating a gigantic whirlpool of destruction that proceeded to blow everything away.
That was Yi Ji-Hyuk’s own magic, and only he could perform it.
Even those demon kings well-versed in all things magic couldn’t approach the realm that Yi Ji-Hyuk had reached; he had reached the true pinnacle of understanding and utilisation of magic that others nearly started calling him the god of magic, too.
And that Yi Ji-Hyuk was forcibly converting Mana as of this moment.
So, what would it be like?
Would the attack become even stronger, now that the actual efficiency of the spell had risen? Or, was this simply him coming up with a back-up plan because he could no longer produce the might of the past?
Regardless of which one the answer was….
“….I shall take it on.” (Beltreche)
Beltreche arrogantly puffed its chest out.
Dragon Hearts hanging on the arms of Yi Ji-Hyuk were quickly dyed in black and began resonating together.
Reddish black blood flooded out of his mouth.
Mana that exceeded his physical limit flowed backwards and began tearing his body apart, before mending it again; Mana broke his bones before rejoining them, over and over again.
Seeing that even his consciousness was fading in and out every now and then, his brain must be under assault from the rampaging Mana, as if to scramble everything inside his head.
However, Yi Ji-Hyuk didn’t stop.
“Keuhaaaaahhh!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Just like how a candle would burn the brightest before dying, more Mana poured out of Yi Ji-Hyuk’s body than ever before.
All the blood vessels in his eyes burst open; he raised his head and glared with his reddened eyes.
“I hear you’ve got a pretty tough body?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk grinned sinisterly at Beltreche.
“In that case, why don’t you take this one head on?” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Along with Yi Ji-Hyuk’s hand sign, the magic circle emitted blinding light and a massive black storm cloud suddenly enveloped the sky.
The black cloud flew straight towards Beltreche.
The reptilian demon king didn’t even budge an inch from the spot, even when that black cloud completely filled up the sky above its head.
“Eat this!!” (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
When Yi Ji-Hyuk yelled out, the clouds cackled and buzzed angrily. All of a sudden, a jet-black light crashed down to the ground.
The black lightning struck Beltreche’s head.
The sounds of thunderclaps continued to explode out, and jet-black thunderbolts crashed on the ground over and over again.
One thousand thunderbolt strike!
Lightning bolts, each possessing incomparably greater destructive power than a regular lightning, ran through Beltreche’s body one thousand times.
Each lightning bolt that was powerful enough to fry an Ancient-grade Dragon into smouldering cinders crashed into Beltreche one after the other.
Not one of them missed their target.
It was the proverbial rain of lightning, a storm cloud.
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at that sight as he heaved and panted breathlessly.
As the side effect of pulling out way too much Mana, not one spot on his body was okay, and blood leaked out from almost all of his pores.
Yi Ji-Hyuk felt a pair of hands gently grasping his head from behind.
“….Affeldrichae.” (YI Ji-Hyuk)
She didn’t say anything and simply injected pure, clean Mana into his head.
The dark Mana invading his brain was slowly repelled away, and all the rage and frenzy clouding his mind cleared up. However, having a clearer mind wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
“Was that all?” (Beltreche)
Well, he had to hear that stupid d*mn voice far clearer than strictly necessary because of that.
< 166. Count on it, lizard -1 > Fin.