Book 2: Chapter 44
The Hwarang Leader shot towards Lukas like a cannonball, the force of his charge so strong that it caused the floor of the Duel Room to shake heavily. Ki oozed from his body.
He was the most domineering hunter.
People often referred to the Hwarang Leader as a human tank. This was because he wielded a hwandudaedo the size of his body and left nothing but blood and meat paste in the places he passed through.
His Hwandudaedo was engraved with special symbols that nullified magic, demonic energy, and other supernatural forces and converted them into his own ki.
If a large amount of energy was converted, it was impossible to estimate just how powerful he could become.
The Hwarang Leader’s expression hardened.
His hwandudaedo stopped a short distance away from Lukas, unable to move further. It was as though an invisible wall was blocking his hwandudaedo. His wrist also throbbed as though he’d struck a large piece of iron.
With his power, even a lump of steel would be split in half. In other words, the invisible wall in front of Lukas was harder than steel.
His eyes met Lukas’ indifferent gaze.
The Hwarang Leader had never felt so humiliated in his life.
His muscles swelled explosively.
Then he swung his hwandudaedo again.
This time, he unleashed consecutive attacks.
Even if he couldn’t see it, he was sure that it would crack if he focused on the same spot.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
How many times had he hit it?
The Hwarang leader couldn’t help but ask himself this question. He’d probably hit the wall more than a dozen times, but it was still blocking him.
There didn’t seem to be any change at all. So he couldn’t tell if it was working or not.
“Stand back, Hwarang Leader.”
Army Nun, Geum Ryeo-hwa*, murmured as she stepped forward. White light shone from her eyes. (TL: I’ve never encountered a name like this before, so apologies if it sounds strange. Also if you have any suggestions on what it might be, please do tell me in the comments.)
God’s Eye. It was for this reason that she was called a Nun. She observed Lukas with this innate, magical power.
Was this man really a Demon?
She wasn’t just judging by his appearance. She could also not find any traces of demonic energy in his body.
What she did find was an immense amount of mana… and…
‘He’s the same as Nodiesop…’
Her instincts caused Geum Ryeo-hwa to stop that line of thought.
Then, she bit her lip and said.
“He’s not using sorcery.”
“Then what is it?”
Geum Ryeo-hwa continued.
“It’s just a magic barrier.”
The Hwarang Leader shouted in disbelief. Barrier was a 4 star spell at best.
He refused to believe that he and his hwandudaedo could not break through a simple 4 star spell.
“No, Geum Ryeo-hwa is right.”
Jong Ho muttered as he forced himself to sit up.
He didn’t know how, but he was certain that this man was a Wizard.
Kim Go-hyuk had a very cynical view towards Wizards, and while Jong Ho wasn’t that extreme, he also didn’t think much of Wizards.
The stronger a warrior was, the more likely they would have his thought.
Wizards were rare talents whose power was indispensable for humanity. This was a fact that couldn’t be denied.
However, they were extremely vulnerable to direct combat and could not play a decisive role in battle against high-ranking nobles.
In the first place, the powers the Demons used were very similar to magic. But they were able to use power much stronger than magic without much of a cost.
Statistics, history, and Jong Ho’s own experience told him that.
But Lukas’ appearance had shattered every concept he’d formed in his mind.
They weren’t fit for close combat? There was a limit to the things they could do? Their power was worse than the power used by the Demons?
Was there anyone who dared to say those words while looking at Lukas?
Jong Ho couldn’t even begin to guess how powerful Lukas was. But he knew that the threat of death he was sensing was heavy.
Even if a Duke was standing in front of him, he wouldn’t feel so helpless.
Jong Ho bit down on his tongue. He forcefully restrained his will, which was about to be broken.
“D-, don’t move!”
One of the Sword Saint’s disciples shouted in a frightened voice. He was also a member of Mount Hua and had displayed tremendous talent from a young age.
However, Jong Ho’s expression became harder than stone when he turned to look at his disciple.
The frightened disciple was holding an unconscious European hunter in his hand.
“If you move, I’ll kill him!”
Jong Ho clenched his fist so hard that blood seeped past his fingers.
He’d been restraining himself ever since they came to the European hunters.
When fighting Nina, when killing their own kind, and even when Kim Go-hyuk wantonly slaughtered everyone he saw for pleasure.
But he could not hold himself back anymore.
This was simply the act of throwing away the last morals he had and truly becoming trash.
“What the hell are you doing-?!”
Jong Ho’s voice cracked as he roared.
He stumbled towards his disciple, who stared at him in surprise, and hit him on the back of his head with the hilt of his sword, knocking him out. The disciple fainted to the ground immediately, never expecting that his Master would strike him.
He felt Lukas’ gaze turn to him.
Catching his breath, Jong Ho spoke desperately.
“…we can’t defeat you. But we also had our own circumstances. I hope you can understand we didn’t have a choice.
As he said this, Jong Ho smiled defeatedly.
‘If you go… you’ll die…’
Jong Ho remembered the words of one of his old friends, Bow God Na Jong-cheol. Even when his mind and body had been severely weakened by continuous torture, he said those words with sincerity.
At first, he hadn’t believed a word he’d said. He thought that Na Jong-cheol had simply been tricked by the Demon.
So he decided to come and see for himself.
And now that he could see him face to face, he realised. Lukas wasn’t a Demon.
But he wasn’t a human either.
“Senior, it’s too early to give up. If we all work together, we still have a chance of winning.”
Hearing the despair in Jong Ho’s voice, the Hwarang Leader hefted his sword and spoke with determination. His attitude wasn’t wrong, but it simply made Jong Ho’s mind feel heavier.
There were some opponents who could have been overcome by youthful vigor, and there were some who couldn’t be overcome at all.
Lukas was the latter. And the reason for that was simple. The difference in power was too severe.
That’s why he was confused.
‘Why is he still keeping us alive?’
If he wanted to, he could kill all of them within a heartbeat.
“I have no intention of killing you.”
Jong Ho flinched.
Although he knew it was unlikely, he couldn’t help but feel that Lukas had read his thoughts.
“…what did you say?”
“Lay down swords and go back to where you came from.”
“Why are you letting us go?”
“Because I made a deal.”
Jong Ho’s expression suddenly distorted.
“…you mean with our President?”
Jong Ho’s head felt light at that moment. Only then did he realise what their role was.
They were simply bugs in a battle between unbelievably powerful existences. Simply chess pieces on a board whose life and death depended on the movement of their fingers.
That was all that they were.
He felt miserable.
Lukas looked at Jong Ho, who had lowered his head slowly in realisation.
“The reason I’m not killing you isn’t because of the deal.”
“…what are you talking about?”
Then, Jong Ho heard a voice in his head.
[I’m sparing you because you spared Nina. That is all.]