The system alerted all players, except Sila, about the emergence of Pythia the Wind Dragon, one of the monsters that players didn’t want to fight against the most.
Even the petrified trees began to crack from the strong winds, so there was no need to mention the normal ones. The gusts ripped the trees out of the ground and flung them up into the sky. Looking into the distance, Sila could see numerous players and monsters floating in the fierce storm. The buildings in Beginning Town started to break and everyone there began to seek shelter.
Pulling his body to the ground with Universe Reversal and increasing his weight with Formless Soldier, Sila firmly climbed up an invisible staircase using Cloud Stepping, step by step, advancing toward a flash of emerald light flying in the middle of the storm.
As for Vata, she seemed to have her own way of resisting the fierce winds. Casting her wind-elemental spell, she was able to stay on the ground without being blown away.
A pair of red eyes flashed from the emerald body suspended in the sky. In a berserk state, Pythia shot toward its nearest nemesis, Sila, with incredible speed.
Among all of the dragons Sila had encountered, Pythia was the smallest one, though its size was still around three meters. Other than that, Sila couldn’t discern any of its features. It was exactly like Vata had said; Pythia’s speed was unimaginable. All he could see was a green comet.
Sila was circulating Tiger Dragon Qi constantly. Even though he hadn’t been injured, he continued to feel a sharp pain like he was constantly being cut by knives; this must be the work of the Dragon Domain that Vata mentioned, Sky Castle.
Only one punch was needed to kill Pythia, so he prepared the power of Genesis Punch in his right fist beforehand. Sila suddenly brought himself to a stop in mid-air. If the opponent uses speed, one needs to counter by being slow; this was the concept of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws.
Although he wouldn’t dare to call himself an expert, his ability regarding reading an opponent’s attack wasn’t half bad. Fortunately for Sila, Pythia was in a berserk state so its powerful attack was too straightforward.
Based on his experience with Dorolia, a dragon that excels in techniques is more difficult to cope with when it is not berserk. Pythia’s attack that aimed at Sila’s abdomen was obviously a bad move. He was ready to throw his fist in front of him when the dragon came.
However, sometimes, superior stats can make up for a bad move. Although it was true that Pythia simply shot toward Sila’s abdomen, its current speed wasn’t its top speed. Once it narrowed the distance and Sila threw his fist, it suddenly accelerated.
Realizing that he had miscalculated, Shapeless Qi was activated in an instant and enhanced the defensive power of Tiger Dragon Qi. Meanwhile, Formless Soldier exerted its maximum effect; Sila’s skin, body, and bones were as hard as steel while his internal organs and muscles were soft and elastic. His qi was separated into two layers, the inner layer being strong and firm while emitting a soft aura.
Sila’s Genesis Punch connected with empty air while Pythia’s body slammed into his. The soft layer of qi slightly parried the dragon, but it still managed to cut Sila’s body and left three long incisions.
Pythia then aimed at Vata who was nearby, but she moved her body in advance and managed to barely dodge it. Only her sleeve was cut apart.
Sila had no time to ask, but he guessed that Vata must have been using Rhythm of the Western Wind. His focus was locked onto Pythia so he didn’t notice when she activated the skill. Witnessing that Vata could dodge an attack that he couldn’t, Sila started to become interested in Rhythms.
Pythia flew up and stopped its body for a brief moment to glare at its enemies. Its body was covered in green, glittering scales. As it flapped its massive wings, it resembled a bat more than a dragon.
It let loose a battle cry and began to multiply. One second, there were only two, the next, four. It continued to multiply, filling the sky with clones of itself. In the end, there were more than five hundred Pythias hovering in the sky.
A large amount of the clones remained in the sky above the forest. This was due to the fact that their nemesis was nearby. Still, a hundred of them scattered and flew in the direction of Beginning Town.
The time had come where Divine Raiment was required. Sila’s body was covered by a faint white aura, and the pressure he had felt from the wind seemed to disappear. It was as if he was standing in a void; even the tiniest bit of air resistance couldn’t be felt. All sound was cut off and his body was as light as a feather. In this state, Sila was confident that nothing could harm him.
Surprised by the profound power of Divine Raiment, Sila had stopped moving for a moment, and three Wind Dragons attacked him from different directions. The layer of Divine Raiment rippled. There was no damage; not even an impact. But, the problem was, Sila could clearly sense that his magic power had been consumed at an incredible rate. He came to an understanding that each attack he took would wear down the power of Divine Raiment.
The ten minutes that Viola had mentioned likely didn’t account for attacks that wore it down. However, with Pythia’s strong and speedy attacks, it was possible that Sila’s Divine Raiment might lose its effect in a mere second.
Sila circulated qi once again to reduce the burden of Divine Raiment. His fist was reinforced with Genesis Punch in advance, which contradicted Poluk’s teaching that stated he should only unleash qi reinforcement for an instant. However, he didn’t have many choices, as he wanted to throw his punch faster, even if it was just a fraction of second faster.
The radius of Galaxy Eclipse was extended and Sila could spot a difference between the dragons. There was only a single dragon that seemed to generate energy while the rest were just lumps of magic power.
The dragons still continued to bombard Sila relentlessly. Luckily for him, the real Pythia chose to personally attack him as well, thanks to its berserk state. This fact helped Sila a lot as he didn’t have to approach it; it would be the one who charged at him. The only thing he needed to do was counter at the right moment.
The dragons’ movement suddenly slowed down slightly. Still, Sila could notice the difference. He glanced at Vata and found that she was casting some kind of spell while still dodging the series of attacks. She could perfectly evade all the attacks at first, but she couldn’t keep it up forever and took damage. In the end, she had to take her Fountain of Life out to drink before throwing its empty bottle away with a regretful expression.
The silence caused Sila to focus more. There were eight dragons simultaneously charging at him, but he could sense that the real one was flying at him from behind. Sila turned his body back and showed his claws. He violently threw his palm to counter its attack. His Tiger's Palm was reinforced with the power of Genesis Punch. Even though it wasn’t a fist, its power was on par.
Sadly, Pythia’s speed was still too much for him. His Tiger's Palm could only strike its tail while he received attack from every direction. Pain, wind pressure, and sound suddenly came back to him. It seemed his Divine Raiment had already vanished.
“Not even three minutes have passed though.” exclaimed Sila while quickly drinking a Fountain of Life.
The real Pythia screamed in the sky while blood dripped from where its tail used to be. It shrunk until its body was half the size it used to be, but its latent magic power was fully unleashed, showing its true might. The power that Sila could sense from it was amplified greatly.
“This is bad. If it hits me directly, I will surely die,” muttered Sila.
“Don’t aim for the dragon!! Read its movement and aim where it’s going!!” shouted Vata. She had witnessed Sila’s attack and was aware that Sila had tried to aim at Pythia, while he should be aiming at its future position instead.
Sila nodded. If someone asked him when he was the most focused, he would definitely reply that it was while he used Divine Raiment. Not only were there no sounds to disrupt him, but his mind was also at peace as if the fight in front of him wasn’t his own battle. Viola’s art truly deserved to be categorized as a magic type.
For the second time, Sila’s body was covered by a faint white aura. The power of Genesis Punch accumulated in his right hand for the third time of the day. His eyes focused on Pythia and took its speed into consideration while analyzing its movement patterns.
It was at that moment that he experienced something peculiar. Divine Raiment rippled even though he wasn’t being hit. Sila could sense that his magic power was being consumed while the path of Pythia’s movement was projected into his sight.
Pythia was flying toward him. Sila had no time to think whether this bizarre sensation was the work of Divine Raiment or not; this time, he circulated dragon-attributed qi reinforced with Genesis Punch. He forwent his defense and threw his punch at empty air with Nine Sun-Melting-Fists’ martial move. Then, his right fist changed its trajectory midway and the dragon suddenly appeared in front of it.
The small, tailless dragon was directly hit by Sila’s Dragon’s Fist. Both of its wings were torn apart and without them its body descended and slammed into the ground. Its broken bones pierced through its skin from within, leaving it to lie on the ground, waiting for its end.
Pythia’s body emitted a green light before disappearing, leaving behind a card and a turquoise-color pearl. Since Sila didn’t possess a system window, the items dropped on the ground instead of being transferred into his inventory like usual.
As for the clones of the Wind Dragons that were hovering all over Beginning Island, they turned into light as well. Some just simply disappeared while others dropped a card as they died. As a result, fifty Wind Dragon Cards rained down from the sky all over Beginning Island, and this would later bring the second wave of the storm to Beginning Island.
Dozens of cards dropped in Stone Forest as this was where most of the dragons had disappeared. Vata and Sila picked up some of them to inspect.
Sila noticed that the card the clones dropped was slightly different from the card that the real one dropped. The card that dropped from the real Pythia had a golden frame and the picture on the card seemed to shift and move, as if it was alive. He only kept the genuine card and the pearl inside his pocket while leaving the rest of the cards laying on the ground.
Vata was shocked. “These are dragon cards, aren't they?! Why are there so many of them?!!”
Sila was too lazy to explain that it was related to his Greed Card, so he shrugged. “If you want, you can take them with you. By the way, what is their ability?”
Vata looked at Sila with eyes full of shock and skepticism. There were many questions in her head. Why did the items drop on the ground instead of being directly transferred to the player’s inventory? And Why did Sila seem to not care at all about these cards? She had witnessed that Sila was the one who killed Pythia, so logically these cards should belong to him.
Nevertheless, Sila didn’t think so. First things first, he didn’t have a way to collect all of the cards scattered across Beginning Island. Moreover, he just defeated the real body of Pythia, not its clones; so he didn’t think that it was his right to claim the cards that dropped from the clones.
“Pythia, the Wind Dragon Card... I don’t know about its ability too. We will have to identify it at the card shop to know that. Well, with its unidentified state, it can be used to change to the dragon race. There are tens of them here and becoming the dragon race only requires five cards.”
Sila didn’t know whether there would be an Invitation Card to the Dragon Kingdom, but he handed Vata all of the clones’ cards just in case.
Then, he put his mind on studying his previous battle. He was pondering many things that might help him improve his ability.
“Girl, if you plan to change your race, you better do it somewhere else. This place is a part of the Slime Kingdom; if you become a dragon, the Pink Slime Card that you have equipped will be useless and all of the slimes will immediately attack you.”
Viola’s warning put a complete stop to Vata’s action, after she had already inserted four cards into her card window.
“Master, do you know what happened to me during my last attack? When I was using Divine Raiment, I felt like... it is hard to explain, but I felt like I had become stronger even though I knew that the level of my power stayed the same.”
“That’s the true power of Divine Raiment. Not only can it protect you from external attacks, but it also blocks out unnecessary thoughts and emotions. In the state where your concentration reaches its peak, even if your overall power stays the same, you will obviously become stronger. Don’t forget that your state of mind affects your fighting ability as well. You should gradually and steadily practice my art, and you will eventually learn to heighten your concentration all the time without having to use Divine Raiment.”
There was one more thing that Viola didn’t tell Sila; aside from her art being the ultimate defensive art, it is also the ultimate art of inspection. Even Sila’s Tiger Dragon Qi, which no one had ever realized was a real-life qi, Viola was able to see through it at a glance. At the higher levels of Divine Raiment, Viola could see the movements of her opponent’s inner force even before they began to circulate it.
Even though her power didn’t show overwhelming might like Poluk’s, it could be said that Divine Raiment was the most complex art among the arts of the three Slime Guardians. It was to be expected since it was categorized as a magic-type skill.
The reason why Viola didn’t tell Sila what Divine Raiment was capable of was because she wanted him to find out by himself.
“Next, I have something to personally tell Sila,” said Viola while shooting a glance at Vata.
“No problem, Master. Miss Vata is my friend, so...” Sila noticed that the atmosphere began to become awkward as Vata couldn’t use Returning Scroll even though she was told to leave.
Viola cut his words short. “It’s about Bow.”
Sila understood immediately. Bow’s matter was the Slime King’s secret that only Sila, the Slime King himself, and the three Slime Guardians were aware of. This secret wasn’t suppose to leak out because it was against the law to let the underage Bow enter a virtual reality game.
Approaching Vata, Sila told her, “Miss Vata, you won’t be able to use Returning Scroll in this place. So, I think you should take a detour to avoid confronting the team that is following us...”
“No one is following you anymore. Some of them were killed by Pythia and the rest returned to the town,” interrupted Viola.
Sila nodded. “In that case, just go back the way we came. I will have to spend several days here so you don’t need to wait for me.”
In fact, he didn’t know exactly what Viola wanted to tell him. Nevertheless, he told Vata that it would take several days so that she wouldn’t be waiting for him.
“I get it. Anyway, we should add each other to our contact lists,” said Vata while opening her system window.
“Ah. About that, my system window is malfunctioning right now, so I can’t do that. You noticed that the items dropped on the ground instead of transferring to my inventory, right? I will contact you later via Varee, then.” Sila could feel that Viola was starting to be impatient so he decided to tell Vata that his system window was malfunctioning instead of taking his time to explain.
Vata finally understood the reason why the items dropped on the ground, though she was still confused about how the system window could malfunction.
“I think I will be staying around Beginning Town for a while. If we are lucky, we may meet again.”
Vata said goodbye to Sila and slowly departed. It was at that time that Sila shouted out to her. “Please come back home sometimes! Both Varee and Uncle Rashane are very worried about you!”
Vata’s steps halted for a brief moment before a gentle smile was shown on her face. The whole time Sila was with her, he didn’t mention this topic once, and that meant he had respected her decision. So did Varee. Although she had met her sister quite often, Varee had never mentioned wanting her to come back home so she wouldn’t feel cornered.
Unbeknownst to her, Sila had been too focused on his trial and had completely forgotten about how she had ran away from home until a moment ago. Well, it all worked out since he looked good in her eyes.
As Vata had left, Viola turned her head to look at Sila with a stern expression. Even Bow seemed to be depressed. It seemed that this matter was truly serious as he had never seen Bow look depressed before. He suspected that Viola must have told Bow something when he was fighting against Pythia.
Viola was direct and cut to the chase, “Sila, please release Bow from being your pet. It’s time for her to log out.”
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