Red energy spread through the wide space, and red raindrops started to fall in the air.
‘Eh?’ Hyeonu’s eyes widened. The vampires that were struck by the red raindrops started to rise from the ground. The dead couldn’t stand up, but the severely injured vampires quickly healed their wounds and ran toward the Pioneer Guild again.
[You are under the influence of South Rock’s Blood Field.]
[All stats are reduced.]
[The magic power required to use a skill will increase.]
[Blood Field has been ignored due to the influence of fighting energy.]
South Rock gazed triumphantly at Hyeonu, hoping for Hyeonu to feel frustrated.
“You want to have a staring contest?” Hyeonu spoke confidently.
He wasn’t frustrated at all because he was unaffected by South Rock’s Blood Field ability. It was a bit of a problem that the vampires regained their health, but Hyeonu believed in the Pioneer Guild and in Tang-E.
“Use that!” Asu’s voice rang out in the distance.
Shortly after Asu’s voice faded, a white light started to erase the red energy.
[You are under the influence of Blessed Earth.]
[All stats have increased.]
[Health and magic power recovery speed will increase.]
This was Maha’s skill. It was a skill that affected a certain range, just like Area Proclamation and Blood Field. Blood Field became completely invalidated due to the skill ‘Blessed Earth’. To be precise, it was crippled. The buff function for South Rock and the vampires was working properly, but the debuffs had completely disappeared.
“Hey, what is this? It was completely invalidated?” Hyeonu laughed.
His laugh was filled with such ridicule that it was like his expression could be seen through the mask. In the end, South Rock couldn’t overcome his anger and rushed at Hyeonu with a scream: “Uwaaah!”
Blood-red wings emerged from the incoming South Rock’s back. South Rock accelerated as the distance to Hyeonu narrowed. His speed was almost at the maximum when he arrived near Hyeonu. Bloody pure energy rose like nails from South Rock’s hands, and he swung it roughly.
Hyeonu didn’t lose to that either. Rather, he used one more move. Black claws made of pure energy were formed from both of Hyeonu’s hands. The blood nails and black claws collided, causing powerful vibrations and explosions to occur. The aftermath of the collision was very intense. In the distance, the vampires and Pioneer Guild members stopped fighting momentarily.
Then they clashed again and again. They fought like crazy people.
‘Isn’t this interesting?’
Hyeonu was enjoying the battle. To him, a fierce battle was fun.
‘It’s good practice.’
South Rock was a humanoid monster. Naturally, that meant fighting him was similar to fighting with players. While battling South Rock, Hyeonu gave himself a voluntary penalty as practice for the Pro League’s PVP.
‘What the hell is this guy?’ South Rock was nervous.
The first person he met after a long break was stronger than expected. Before regaining his sense of battle, he encountered a wall that was too high.
‘I have to either drag it out longer or finish it now.’
South Rock’s only options were to either drag out the battle and restore his sense of combat or finish it now with overwhelming force. His decision was the latter: ‘Look for gaps and finish it right away.’ He never thought of dragging the battle out. After all, his sense of combat could be found later, and that would be fine.
However, the longer the battle, the more variables there would be. South Rock made a decision and raised his magic power. The color of the blood-like pure energy became darker. Now it was no longer bright red but dark red like that of dried blood. South Rock made a satisfied smile and reached out to Hyeonu, feeling certain this attack would work.
Then South Rock’s eyes widened. He doubted his eyes. He couldn’t believe it.
He was neither ahead nor behind. His attack was stopped right in the middle. South Rock’s bloody nails were blocked by the black claws and couldn’t move forward.
“Why is your expression like that? Did you think you were going to win?” Hyeonu kept scratching at South Rock’s heart with his words.
He was relieving his stress. Perhaps it was because the other person was an artificial intelligence, but it felt good to get a response like this.
‘Why is his expression so honest?’
It was the first time Hyeonu had met someone whose emotions were displayed even more openly on their face than Yeongchan. Hyeonu just had to look at South Rock's expression to know how he would move and what he was thinking.
‘If you increase your magic power so obviously, then anyone would block it.’
Hyeonu hadn't been fighting with all his strength and had room to match the strength that South Rock raised. His increased stats, that had risen due to Maha’s buffs, put Hyeonu even more at ease with the situation.
“Do it a bit harder. Don’t you want to see some wounds?” Hyeonu quickly thrust out his fist.
The black claws momentarily lengthened, creating three claws marks on South Rock’s cheeks. South Rock raised a hand and touched his cheek. Red blood smeared his white hands, and he gritted his teeth silently. His pride was cracked.
South Rock stepped back and took a deep breath. He cleared his mind, and his rising anger cooled. This time, Hyeonu rushed over. The battle on the Pioneer side was reaching its peak. Hyeonu had to speed up as well.
‘I have to use a skill.’
Hyeonu worried about this as he exchanged quick attacks with South Rock. What skill should he use?
Ultimately, this was the skill that Hyeonu chose as he deemed it the most appropriate skill at this point. He would steal South Rock’s stats and bet on the abnormal status. Of course, the condition was that he needed to make eye contact. It was much easier to make eye contact with South Rock than it was to make eye contact with a massive drake. With eyes that were dyed a dark red, Hyeonu made eye contact with South Rock.
[15% of South Rock’s stats have been stolen.]
[All stats have increased by 15%.]
[South Rock has received the abnormal condition ‘bleeding’.]
Blood flowed from South Rock’s recovering wound. The wound wasn’t severe, but it was enough to bother him.
‘I’m satisfied with the bleeding,’ Hyeonu thought.
Although it wasn’t a direct CC, the condition of ‘bleeding’ wasn’t bad. It was advantageous simply to disperse the opponent’s concentration. Hyeonu raised the level of his attack, starting with an increase in tempo. It wasn’t just his fists; he used his entire body as a weapon.
His shoulders, elbows, knees, shins, and insteps—all of them were going to be utilised. Then Hyeonu’s fist struck South Rock’s shoulder. The impact produced a sound so loud that it was hard to believe it was the result of a flesh to flesh collision.
“Keook!” A groan flowed out unconsciously from South Rock. Nevertheless, Hyeonu didn’t care about him and continued to attack. Actively taking advantage of the collapse in South Rock’s posture, Hyeonu took a step closer and reached out his opposite hand.
South Rock’s side was quickly torn apart.
‘Recovery...’ South Rock murmured inwardly. His wound wasn’t recovering. To be exact, it was recovering at a very slow pace. In fact, it was okay to say it had pretty much stopped when compared to the usual speed. This was another effect of bleeding. In order for blood to keep flowing, the wound had to remain.
Just then, Hyeonu’s fist that was covered in black flames approached South Rock’s heart.
‘Avoid it!’ South Rock was frightened and used Blood Mist, which was a skill that turned his body into fog and allowed him to avoid physical attacks. Consequently, South Rock became a red mist and moved backward, only lifting Blood Mist once a certain distance was secured.
This was a natural choice as it was impossible for him to attack in that state. The moment South Rock regained his handsome appearance, ten rays of light shot through the air. South Rock lowered his gaze and stared at his abdomen. In his chest were ten holes the size of a finger.
“Uh…” He barely let out a sound.
This became South Rock’s last will. It was the shabby and futile end of the vampire marquis who had lived for hundreds of years.
[Marquis South Rock de Lafayette, descendant of the noble night, has been defeated.]
[Experience has been acquired.]
[You have leveled up.]
[All health and magic power have been restored.]
[Your title will be changed.]
[The title ‘Vampire Marquis Killer’ has been created.]
[Vampire Marquis Killer]
[A title given to adventurers who killed a vampire marquis, a descendent of the noble night. The title will grow when hunting high-class vampires.
Effect: All stats +10, attack power against vampires will increase by 10%.]
The rewards were indisputably great. Hyeonu picked up two books that had fallen to the ground and moved over to where the Pioneer Guild was. It wouldn’t be long until the entire dungeon was cleared.
[Methylion, the steel drake, has been defeated.]
[Experience has been acquired.]
The drake with silver scales collapsed to the ground with its entire body split open. Its scales were protruding in a 3D manner, probably as a result of being stabbed. When Ket saw the message that appeared in front of him, he approached Hyeonu and said, “I’ve gained a lot of experience today thanks to Alley Leader. Thank you very much.”
Ket felt he had been through too much in just one day. They cleared the instance dungeon and even killed the drake, the most difficult raid boss available right now.
“No, I liked the dungeon. It isn’t easy to find such a decent instance dungeon.” Hyeonu also thought that today’s meeting was very beneficial.
‘South Rock Castle is the best,’ he remarked inwardly.
The environment inside the dungeon was bad, but as a result, it gave them a lot of experience and the boss monster dropped two skill books. Even assuming that Hyeonu had been lucky, a dungeon with such potential was certainly high in value. At this time, the NPC that Hyeonu and the Pioneer Guild was waiting for appeared and asked, “Do you remember that this is the last time?”
“Of course, I know. Johannes reduced the number. I also remember that,” Hyeonu answered.
Johannes laughed with anger and replied, “I haven’t forgotten, yes.”
Then he looked at the Pioneer Guild with surprise before commenting, “You really didn’t bring a lot of people. I commend you for that.”
“I’m not that much of a meddler. I know how to show restraint.”
‘But you have already meddled...’ Johannes tried to hold back these words.
Then Johannes whispered to Hyeonu with a meaningful expression, “Right, this is the last one. The last one.”
“I already know this. Now I won’t kill it anymore. I won’t hunt the drake.” Hyeonu was annoyed. He couldn’t stand it even if the other person was a dragon. After all, Hyeonu wasn’t stupid. Such a thing didn’t need to be repeatedly stressed a few times.
“It’s the last one. If you add these five people, that makes two more than 750.”
“Huh? 752...” Hyeonu’s eyes trembled when he reflected on Johannes’ words and realized what they meant.
‘The East Continent has opened up!’
Hyeonu quickly rubbed his hands together and said, “Then I would be grateful if you got rid of the barrier.”