Chapter 177: The Executioner
Despite his bulky physique, Lost Ghost could move extremely fast . His use of psychic power was also exceptional . He could jump from one place to another in mid-air with Psychic Impact at the same level of proficiency as Cross, making this fight difficult for Sila .
Out of all the moves in the Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art, the Middle Styles were most efficient in one-on-one fights against an opponent with similar strength . Among them, the style that Sila was best at was Stellar Wheel, the style which involved circulating the power inside his body, making it the eye of a storm while enveloping his skin with fierce winds . It could be used either offensively or defensively, and even got enhanced by Divine Raiment .
Nevertheless, this style originated from Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws . Thus, the foundation of this style was to defend using the body . Consequently, Sila couldn’t exert its full power against Lost Ghost who was under the effect of Gluttony, since all damage that Lost Ghost dealt would be swallowed and enhance Lost Ghost’s stats instead .
One of the key factors in battles was the flow . Sometimes, Sila would notice a chance to parry the attack, which would leave the opponent undefended and allow him to counterattack . However, he regrettably had to abandon such an opportunity thanks to Gluttony’s ability .
As a result, the battle became an extended one, since one person focused on attacking while the other focused on evading .
Sila wasn’t sure how long the duration of Gluttony was, but he thought it would take quite a while since Lost Ghost didn’t show any signs of being in a hurry . On the contrary, Lost Ghost even seemed to be studying his maneuvering .
In fact, deep down, Lost Ghost was anxious but he just didn’t let it show in his actions . Even when he deliberately threw an attack that was easier to block than evade, Sila still chose to dodge it . This implied that Sila was aware of the card’s ability .
“This game of cat and mouse ends here . I won’t hold back anymore . . . Rhythm of Subduing Earth!!”
Lost Ghost had finished testing Sila . The javelins hovering around him transformed into harpoons, then flew at Sila again .
Sila couldn’t tell how this attack was different from the previous ones . However, no matter what kind of attack they were, as long as he could avoid them, it wouldn’t matter .
Sila moved to the left with Armament Trampling and looked back at the harpoons that missed their target . Instead of disappearing like the previous attacks, they stayed pierced into the floor without showing any signs that they would disappear soon . Seeing this, Sila decided to be more cautious .
The floor around the harpoons started to turn into pools of darkness that kept expanding outward, like drops of black ink that landed on paper .
Sila didn’t dare to touch the black areas, so he stepped away . However, Lost Ghost continued to throw the harpoons to every corner of the room . Soon, the entire room was dyed black .
‘What kind of ability is this? Anyway, I shouldn’t touch them . ’
While Sila was staying in the air with Cloud Stepping, he tried to probe the mysterious black ability by throwing a suntetsu at the floor . The suntetsu sank one inch into the ground, which was far weaker than what Sila had intended .
“Sticking ability, huh?” exclaimed Sila .
Although his ability was exposed, Lost Ghost’s expression didn’t change . It didn’t matter whether Sila was aware of his ability or not . Sila would eventually run out of power and have to descend to the floor . At that point, he would be affected by Lost Ghost’s Psychic Earth Attrition .
Psychic Earth Attrition was the nature of Lost Ghost’s psychic power . Upon coming into contact with it, they wouldn’t take damage, but instead they’ll be stuck to the power until they die or Lost Ghost cancels it .
During the previous war event, Lost Ghost could only apply this psychic power to his weapon, and that made his weapon stick to his opponent without letting them escape . Now, while his Rhythm was active, Psychic Earth Attrition would gain the ability to spread around his weapons .
When the opponent was glued to his psychic power, they would simply become a fixed target, waiting for Lost Ghost to enjoy giving them a beating .
Montra had given the Deadly Sin cards to each of the Five Dragon Warlords personally, unlike Lone Wolf and Sila who got the cards randomly . This meant that they had the cards most suitable for them due to Montra’s knowledge of their fighting styles .
For example, by obtaining Gluttony, Lost Ghost was like a tiger growing a pair of wings . Once his opponent was incapable of moving, they would helplessly fall victim to Gluttony’s energy-absorbing ability .
Each of the Seven Deadly Sins had their own unique power .
Sila’s Greed Card was the sole card among the seven that wasn’t combat-oriented . Its only purpose was to collect more rare items than others, representing Mammon’s hoarding nature, as well as his cheating .
As for Lone Wolf’s Pride Card, it was the most straightforward card out of the whole series . All it did was elevate the user’s raw power to the transcendent level, representing Lucifer’s pride in his pure strength and disdain for tricky techniques .
Psychic Earth Attrition didn’t stop at gluing Sila’s suntetsu but also spread to dye it with its ability .
Regardless, Sila was relieved to know that this ability only affected the things it touched .
“In that case, I will stop playing too . Defending is not my forte . ”
Sila stopped using only Armament Trampling . He tapped the air with Cloud Stepping and dashed at Lost Ghost in a straight line . This marked the first moment in this battle where Sila become offensive .
Lost Ghost recalled Montra’s warnings about Sila having some skill or item that allowed him to move freely in the air, along with the ability to let him revive when facing death .
Actually, their plan centered around letting at least two of the Five Dragon Warlords besiege Sila just to be sure of his death . This was planned after taking the fact that all the opponents should have been poisoned into account . Therefore, the victory was supposed to belong to them, the warlords, without any problems .
Nevertheless, there were miscalculations . The first was that not everyone got poisoned, while the second was Sebastian splitting them all up .
The harpoons transformed into shields, surrounding Lost Ghost . Similar to Sila, Lost Ghost charged back at him . He was confident that his shields would block Sila’s incoming assault and put a stop to Sila’s future movement .
Sila powerfully struck his heel downward . The sound of his heel cleaving through the sky was like thunder .
Seeing the attack, Lost Ghost didn’t think the thin-layered shields could take on Sila’s kick . Thus, he combined all the shields into a thicker one and hovered it above his head .
When he did that, something bizarre happened . The frightening force behind Sila’s kick suddenly disappeared while Sila changed his direction in mid-air . His index fingers dipped into Lost Ghost’s ribs on both sides of his body .
Moon Perishing Yizichan showed its power . Lost Ghost’s body halted for a brief moment as his breathing became frantic .
For profound practitioners, it was common sense that the flow of breathing can directly affect the body’s movement .
As Lost Ghost lost his balance, Sila exhibited the power of Bone Claws once, before making yet another move; kicking Lost Ghost’s face with Armament Trampling to send him flying .
Since Lost Ghost’s control over his psychic power was interrupted, the black color on the floor faded away and the floor returned to the usual stone one like it was before .
Sila did a black flip in mid-air and landed gracefully .
The metal helmet covering Lost Ghost’s face shattered, showing his bleeding face . His black eyes stared at Sila in disbelief . It was simply beyond him to comprehend how Sila, who had played this game for less than a year, could become this strong . Sila truly deserved to be put in the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s blacklist . As expected of the man who the Magic Emperor was wary of and told them to kill as quickly as possible .
Lost Ghost stood up with a furious expression . However, he soon noticed something wrong with his body; he couldn’t breathe . Thinking that it was due to the damage he just received, he took out a high-grade health potion to drink .
Sila didn’t continue his attack as he wanted to observe Lost Ghost’s reaction as well as review his attacks .
Firstly, he had started his attack by using the third style of his personal art, Martial Formless . His seemingly almighty kick was, in fact, a feigned one . As a result, he could suddenly change his direction halfway . After that, he used his fingers to perform one of the martial moves of Moon Perishing Yizichan to disturb the opponent’s breathing . His fingers stabbed at the acupuncture points related to the lungs . If the recipient of the attack used a qi art that heavily relied on a breathing technique, such an attack could even be life-threatening .
Then Sila drew on his experiences of several deaths under the Cliff of Heroes and the creativity he learned from that . Bone Claws was derived from Divine’s Death Bridge . Even with Sila’s Strengthened Bones, Divine could easily manage to remove his bones like child's play . After being killed by Divine countless times, Sila made some useful observations regarding Death Bridge .
One of which was that the dislocation of joints or bones couldn’t be cured by taking potions . He suspected that it was due to the fact that no damage was done to the body, so the potion didn’t know what to heal .
What Sila did was dislocate Lost Ghost’s bone to obstruct the flow of air entering the lungs, which Divine had done to him once . The dislocated bones hindered the lungs . Because of this, Lone Ghost was having a difficult time breathing and became tired much easier .
Sila mercilessly performed the move right after disturbing the opponent’s breathing with Moon Perishing Yizichan . As a result, Lost Ghost became unable to breathe . He was about to die from suffocation even though he still had a lot of health points remaining .
One couldn’t simply blame Lost Ghost for falling victim to Sila’s actions . If something had to be blamed, it would be the dreadfulness of Sila’s art .
His actions consisted of both the art directly inherited from Mora, the strongest Elder of the Wulin Masters Association, and the art which belonged to Divine, who was once renowned as the Gentlemanly Satan, the name that, when heard, silenced children in an instant and caused grown men to shake like trees in a storm .
‘Earlier, I believed that Nine-Styles Weapon Subduing Art was more like the nine different arts rather than a single art consisting of nine parts that were harmonious . However, it seems I was wrong . If I try harder, all the styles might work well together one day . . . I have to continue practicing, and continue to come up with ways to use them . ’
Even Sila himself didn’t know how to survive if he was put into Lost Ghost’s current predicament, so he calmly and silently looked at his opponent .
Nevertheless, as expected of one of the Five Dragon Warlords, Lost Ghost smashed his elbow against his ribs, causing a cracking sound as he broke them, before gasping for air .
“I see . Breaking your own bones in order to free yourself from the obstruction . Violent, but effective . I didn’t foresee that . ”
Sila gave a compliment while thinking to himself that, when Divine did this to him, he couldn’t use the same method to break free since his bones were as sturdy as Orichalcum . It seemed the seemingly useful Strengthened Bones could be a double-edged sword in some situations .
Lost Ghost took another high-grade health potion out, but the bottle was broken before he could drink thanks to Sila’s suntetsu . Furthermore, five more suntetsu pierced his chest . Sila exploited the opening created when Lost Ghost was trying to heal himself to attack .
“You bastard . . . ” Lost Ghost said with a hoarse voice .
“Do I look like a kind person who would allow the enemy to take their sweet time healing during combat? I didn’t attack you previously only because I was curious about what you would do . Why make something difficult when I can set it at easy? Moreover, if I were in your shoes, you wouldn’t let me recover either . ”
By saying he was setting it at easy, Sila was mimicking Beluga .
Lost Ghost’s health bar hadn’t even dropped to three quarters, so it wasn’t a problem for him . The more troubling factor was his broken ribs . It brought him pain every time he moved . If he was a qi type player, he would have a way to lessen his pain . Sadly, he was a psychic one .
“Psychic Earth Attrition . ”
Lost Ghost’s body suddenly dyed black, like the body of a devil . He utilized his psychic power to fixate his bones and internal organs in their usual spots . As such, he could move with reduced pain .
The harpoons were forming in the sky above him again . This time, a giant axe appeared in Lost Ghost’s hand as well . He gave off the vibe of a demonic executioner who was ready to decapitate people .
Blood continued to drip from the corner of Lost Ghost mouth, and his power was surging with no sign of stopping . Lost Ghost wondered why . He looked at Sila who must be the reason behind the weird changes in his body .
“If they were ordinary hidden weapons, I wouldn’t be able to do it . However, suntetsu can pierce deeply into acupoints . ” Strangely enough, Sila took his time to explain .
Lost Ghost looked at the five black sticks in his chest and shouted at Sila with doubt .
“Why did you grant me more power?!”
“Those five acupoints are life-perishing points . I used my hidden weapons to break the walls obstructing the flow of the five elements in your body . Your power will continue to surge as it can flow better . I looked into this but didn’t dare to try it on myself since I’m not sure how long people can maintain this state . ”
Even though his power was increased, the name sounded like bad news . Lost Ghost wondered what they meant .
“Your power will continue to rise, reaching around two times the usual, I think . But, there is a time limit . When your power is depleted, you will die . ”
Sila nonchalantly declared that, but Lost Ghost was extremely shocked . He immediately pulled all the suntetsu out of his body, but his power still continued to shoot up, to the point where his skin was beginning to tear apart from within . It seemed those suntetsu had already served their purpose from the moment they pierced his chest .
The first time Sila read about the life-perishing points in Mora’s book, he thought it was fanciful . Mora had written in the book that the human body possessed more power than we can normally display . What limited a human from spending all of the power was their natural defense mechanisms, such as feeling tired, pain, falling unconscious, and so on .
There were certain acupuncture points that, when all were pushed, served as a double-edged sword . Although one could access the reserved life energy and unleash it, once it ran out, the user would undoubtedly die . This was especially the case for those who didn’t have proper control over their power . The increase of power was like the engine of an old car being replaced by one from a Formula 1 racing car; one mistake when tapping the accelerator and you could be sent slamming into a pole .
Sila dashed at Lost Ghost like an arrow . He was pressuring Lost Ghost to use his unruly power instead of taking his time to take control of it .
Lost Ghost decided to make sure of his rampant power and summoned numerous black axes to fill the air above them .
Using One Above All through his two feet, Sila accelerated his speed, leaving behind an afterimage .
Once he got close to Lost Ghost, his feet miraculously stopped thanks to him using another part of his power to pull them to the floor .
Although Lost Ghost was shocked at Sila’s extreme speed, he was still confident in his body that was enveloped by Psychic Earth Attrition, especially when his power was currently rising like mad .
Even if Sila punched him, the speed would be reduced and the fist would be glued to the surface of his psychic power . In the worst case scenario, even if the fist put him on the verge of death, Lost Ghost would still be able to take advantage of Gluttony’s ability to recover his health points by hitting Sila who would be glued to him .
Since that was the case, Lost Ghost gladly welcomed Sila’s attack . He even wished for the fist to come at him faster .
And that would soon prove to be his biggest mistake . Even Lone Wolf or Montra wouldn’t dare to take Sila’s full-power attack head-on without trying to dodge .
“Unseal . ”
Sila just muttered a word, but to Lost Ghost, it sounded like a whisper from the grim reaper . Sila’s right arm transformed into metal, and it wasn’t an ordinary mineral but the strongest one, Orichalcum .
One Above All, Sila’s killing move, was used again . Unlike before when he used it on a weaker opponent, this time, Sila exerted its full power .
The fist was thrown at Lost Ghost at a ridiculously slow speed, causing him to feel dumbfounded .
Sila was trying to combine Stellar Wheel with One Above All by throwing the power of One Above All with the rotation of Stellar Wheel . Although his fist was slow, each rotation of power within his arm increased the strength of the fist at an astonishingly fast rate .
Once the fist touched Lost Ghost, he didn’t feel like he was punched at all . Rather, Sila’s fist felt like a drill to him . His skin was penetrated as if his body was merely a clay doll . This was even after his Psychic Earth Attrition had already reduced the significant portion of power in Sila’s fist .
Lost Ghost’s body flew away and crashed into the wall behind him . There was a giant hole in the center of his chest . Lost Ghost coughed out blood and looked at Sila with vacant eyes .
Completely lost . . . He lost even though he had already done his best .
Although he had a lot of techniques at his disposal, he died before he had a chance to utilize most of them . He lost despite it being a one-on-one match . At this moment, Lost Ghost felt both resentment and fear toward the executioner in front of him .
Looking at his sleeve, Sila found that it had torn slightly . He focused his mind on the Mechanical God's Protection for a moment and the sleeve was restored .
‘Was the punch so severe that it could damage armor made from Orichalcum and the Eternal Onyx? Was it because I used the power through the Right Arm of the Sealed One? Will it still be this lethal if I use my normal arm? But, if I really do that, won’t my arm get crushed instead?’
The quality of Sila’s power was now significantly higher than other players . As a result, when he exerted his full power, the power he could unleash was so strong that even his flesh couldn’t take the burden .
Sila slowly walked to Lost Ghost’s corpse, but it soon dispersed as light along with a system notification ringing in his head .
You have achieved a certain condition: Defeating the user of the Gluttony Card when the Gluttony ability is active . You have obtained (S) Gluttony Card - Level 1 .
You have achieved a certain condition . Your level has risen to 325 .
Sila looked at the card that had an illustration of a black-haired man with his lower body made of countless flies .
He wanted to know what it could do, but he was more concerned about the others . Sila threw the card into his system window after giving it a quick glance, then went through the exit that appeared when Lost Ghost died .