Sila and Bluebird stared at the massive white dragon sitting in Grea City from afar . Bluebird put down his binoculars as Sila stopped enhancing his vision using qi .
Bluebird turned to Sila and asked, “Are you sure you want to do this? I’m the one who has to get close to her . ”
“No need to worry . With all the damage it has absorbed, Light of Illuminus should be able to protect your life for five to six seconds depending on how powerful Infernee’s spell is,” replied Sila .
“If this Infernee is really a clone created from Montra’s skill, my Psychic Nest-Returning Bird will work . But if it isn’t and she turns out to be his pet . . . we will both die . ”
“The probability of a monster this powerful being someone’s pet should be incredibly low . What we need to be more aware of is physical attacks from the city’s debris clad with magic power reinforcement and spells which have a wide area of effect . Forcing you to touch a skill directly is the Psychic Nest-Returning Bird’s biggest weakness,” Sila analyzed .
“Yes, that’s why I will be flying around, using the city’s debris as my hiding spots . When I see a chance, I will transform back into human form and jump at her . ”
“Leave the decoy duty to me . The slime race is the dragon race’s nemesis, so she should prioritize attacking me . ”
“That’s the most fatal flaw in this plan . Are you sure you can handle Infernee? Even if Cross won’t help, it’s still not too late to ask others to help . ”
“More people will make the plan more confusing . Also, I am not used to group battles . No need to waste time . Let’s do it . ”
Bluebird transformed himself into a blue tailorbird . Sila pointed his right palm at the bird and activated Illuminus’ last skill .
“Light of Illuminus . ”
A faint white aura enveloped Bluebird, acting like armor . Bluebird departed and took a detour . The plan was for him to sneak into Grea City from the opposite direction to Sila .
Sila waited until Bluebird had been gone for five minutes before making his move .
“Psychic power is favorable against magic power . I will need to rely on Dark Psychic Corrosion or Five-Attributed Cloud Qi’s negative power . ”
Five-Attributed Cloud Qi was formed from the fusion of psychic power and qi, so it possessed strength that was categorized as psychic power . The psychic power part could display more power than ordinary, but it wasn’t stable and was very taxing on his energy reserves .
Black psychic power emitted from both gloves . When Sila switched from using qi to psychic power, his health points continued to decline as a result of the Crystal Demonic Sword’s effect . Normally his body could always regenerate his health points with qi circulation . The rate at which his health points were restored surpassed the amount that the Crystal Demonic Sword consumed, so if he takes it easy there isn’t a problem . However, once he focused more on psychic power, his health points gradually declined, though the rate wasn’t threatening .
The Great Flow — Sky Step .
His black body cut through the sky and headed into Grea City . Soon, Infernee sensed his intrusion thanks to the magic power emitting from her body . Seeing her nemesis, she reflexively sent a mass of magic power at him .
Sila calmly observed the attack . Upon using psychic power, he couldn’t lose his cool . Emotions directly affected psychic power and imagination affected its power and utility .
‘Although it’s game-based, Infernee’s power is composed of the fire and wood elements . Her power is similar to my Shapeless Flame . However, it’s more inclined to wood’s restorative ability than fire’s burning power . ’
Sila dodged the lump of magic power before punching it, causing it to disperse . He tried to come up with strategies . If he used the attribute of metal, he would be able to overpower the wood element, but in turn be weak to the fire . If he used the attribute of water, then it would just reverse that with him having the advantage against fire and disadvantage against wood . However, if he used the same element as her, he would lose in the contest of raw power .
The more he pondered over his choices, the more Sila was clueless about what kind of action he should take .
Most high-level monsters in Monster Soul were created without sticking to real-life logic so they often possessed strength surpassing imagination . It was a way to stimulate players’ enjoyment . It was the main reason why most testers in the closed beta decided to stay as Independent NPCs . They could enjoy what they couldn’t find in reality .
‘Am I thinking too hard? Montra showed me that being disadvantageous when it came to elements didn’t mean he couldn’t fight me . ’
Attribute of Metal — Wind God’s Body .
Sila quit thinking and decided to simply increase his movement speed . He dashed forward while evading the attacks throwing at him . The closer he got to Infernee, the denser her mist of magic power became . He felt like he was swimming in a deep sea .
It wasn’t until Sila unleashed Dark Psychic Corrosion to shroud his body that he could move normally . His body was currently being protected by fine dots of psychic power constantly devouring the magic power around him .
Attribute of Water — Conjuring Yizichan .
Sila waved his hands multiple times while firing finger bullets to clash against the balls of magic power Infernee sent at him . However, the result wasn’t as effective as he had expected . Infernee was in defensive mode, so it rarely attacked . There weren’t any gaps between her movements . As she was the Immortal Dragon, if she put her mind into defending, it would be close to impossible for Sila to approach her .
‘It can’t be helped . I won’t be able to beat her if I don’t use it . ’
“Crystal Divine Sword . ” Sila summoned the sword into his hand for the first time after he exited the Desert of Death . It was a sword which normally looked ordinary like it was made of stone, but shone beautifully like a precious gem when it absorbed the power of nature .
Sila borrowed power from the great flow and imbued it in the blade . If his opponent excelled at defending, all he needed to do was to force her to take offensive actions . Sila’s action of drawing his sword from there to there might seem aimless . However, the fact was he had already exerted the power of the peerless sword art .
Heaven’s Decree — First Sword Style, Inverted Ground .
Infernee’s absolute defense started to show an opening as she felt like the ground and the sky swapped places . The magic power enveloping Infernee seemed to be thinner, so Sila continued to step forward while brandishing his sword .
Finding Sila’s attacks annoying, Infernee opened her mouth, and the mist of magic power around her flew into it . Sila felt danger but there was nowhere he could flee to as Infernee shot a giant light beam at him .
Heavenly Dragon Beam was a skill that damaged any opponents as soon as it was activated . Its power and speed were top class . The light bathed Sila’s entire body the instant it flew out of Infernee’s mouth . It was a speed that no human was capable of avoiding .
The beam wiped out half of what remained of Grea City and several kilometers beyond . Even though attacking wasn’t her prominent point, the power of the Emperor-Rank monster was by no means something one could look down upon .
Nevertheless, Sila was still standing in the same place with his right hand, Illuminus, successfully blocking the light beam . Still, his body was covered in wounds . Infernee’s attack was too fast for him to activate Illuminus’ skills in time .
Infernee was surprised to see Sila didn’t perish under one of her most powerful spells . She moved her body for the first time by stomping her foot on the ground, shaking the entire city .
Wreckages in the city floated up and stayed in the air . Each of them was clad with Infernee’s magic power reinforcement before being transformed into numerous white spears and fired at Sila . All of the spears together looked like a meteor shower, and each spear possessed enough power to end Sila’s life in one or two hits .
Against this level of power, if Sila didn’t use the second stage of his Five-Attributed Cloud Qi, there would be no way for him to survive . As Sila had intended, Infernee had quit defending and started attacking him . The Crystal Divine Sword became a burden for his movement, so he quickly stored it away . Sila unleashed the full power of Five-Attributed Cloud Qi, his hair color changing from dark brown to black .
Dual Generating Attributes — Fire Creates Earth, Supernova .
Waves of energy exploded with Sila as the center, creating shockwaves . Supernova relied on the fire element’s dynamic boost to strengthen the earth element’s abrupt explosive power, creating an explosion that annihilated everything around him .
More importantly, he deliberately exerted more psychic power than qi . Along with the shockwaves, the Dark Psychic Corrosion that emitted from his body was crazily devouring the magic power in the air, opening a gap leading to Infernee . Sila didn’t hesitate as he closed the distance before throwing Genesis Punch at her .
A crack appeared on Infernee’s perfect body . Fully aware that the wound would close soon, Sila threw another Genesis Punch in the same spot . Still, the wound slowly healed . It seemed the power in Sila’s Genesis Punch was lacking compared to Infernee’s healing ability .
Dual Generating Attributes — Metal Enriches Water, Hundred Victories .
A barrage of Dragon’s Fists was thrown at Infernee . The sounds of explosions continued to echo like bombs raining down .
Several cracks gradually appeared on Infernee’s body but the damage he dealt was still much lower than he had expected . If Infernee was any other monster, she would have died already . However, she still stood firmly as one would expect from her title—the Immortal Dragon .
The pressure pushed Sila to exert Dual Attributes for the third time against the same opponent . If his next punch didn’t work, he would be at wit’s end .
Dual Generating Attributes — Earth Bears Metal, Genesis Beam Punch .
Sila’s fist was wrapped with both the power from the great flow and Divine Raiment . He threw a right fist while pulling his left hand backward; it was the standard posture for throwing a straight punch . From his punch, the power erupted and shot forward like a laser . It was the evolved version of Poluk’s Genesis Punch in Sila’s style which enabled it to become a long-range offensive move .
The destructive force penetrated Infernee’s body and created a hole that Sila could see the sky through . The number of cracks doubled on her body as Infernee collapsed onto the ground .
The fight lasted only a few minutes and Sila had only dealt a few attacks, however, he had already exhausted his power . Noticing a chance, Bluebird transformed back to human form and dashed toward Infernee, planning to send her back to Montra .
A flash of light shone from Infernee’s eyes, and her body flared up with a tremendous amount of magic power . Noticing the abrupt change, Sila immediately activated Armor of Illuminus to cover himself with a barrier . The sound of an explosion echoed as Grea City was bathed in the brightest white light . When the light dispersed, there was nothing left .
A slow-moving fog expanded and covered the entire area which used to be Grea City a few seconds ago . Seeing the fog, Sila instantly realized that it was Infernee’s Dragon Domain–Abode of the Angels . That meant Infernee was still alive and well . Sweeping his gaze, Sila noticed Bluebird falling unconscious on the ground covered in fog . It seemed Light of Illuminus could offset the damage and prevent him from dying .
Amidst the white light stood a mature woman shrouded by an elegant aura . She possessed exquisite lustrous skin befitting a goddess and silky white hair . Her face was smiling gently, totally devoid of menace .
Obviously, she was Infernee in human form . As expected of the Dragon Empress, she was the embodiment of transcendent beauty and demeanor . Although her long, white hair covered some of her facial features, it still couldn’t hide her majestic charm, in particular her polite smile which naturally bewitched those who saw it . Every part of her appearance emitted her queenly esthetic . Her beauty was immortal and comparable to her lethality .
Since she was a clone, Infernee didn’t possess her signature weapon and couldn’t communicate . Her magic power materialized into a glass-like longsword . She brandished it slowly toward Sila like she was simply dancing .
Although the sword’s movements were calm and slow, Sila could tell that each was hiding hundreds or thousands of subtle changes . Sila quickly summoned the Crystal Divine Sword and brandished the sword to block her strike .
Both of the swords lightly connected but the power running through the blade to his hand almost caused Sila to vomit blood . The impact he felt was no less than being hit cleanly by Genesis Punch . The skin between his fingers was split and went numb . His internal organs became frantic, forcing him to take several steps back .
Sila hurriedly fired the last Emperor Qi Pellet into his mouth without an ounce of hesitation . His power quickly regenerated while his organs were healed . The power of his qi was elevated by yet another small degree .
Heaven’s Decree — Fifth Sword Style, Triple Lightning Bolts .
Sila leaped forward like a meteor . His Crystal Divine Sword emitted a sky-blue light while cleaving the sky . He tried to trick Infernee to hasten her attack speed and make her think that she wouldn’t be able to keep up with his sword .
His quick slash flew at Infernee . However, contrary to what Sila had anticipated, Infernee didn’t hasten her attack as he had intended .
The sound of a blade striking a metal object rang out . However, the sight in front of Sila was his sword stopped on her seemingly fragile body with no signs of damage . As he felt something was wrong, Sila noticed a reserved smile on her lips, expressing her sadness . Before he knew it, her glass-like longsword made from magic power had stabbed through his abdomen .
Infernee had perfectly concealed this exquisite swordplay within the flow of her slow movements . Sila couldn’t sense the attack at all even when it went through his stomach . He quickly retreated, and the sword returned to a mass of pure magic power and damaged him from the inside . It interrupted his qi circulation and prevented him from recovering his health points, and was incredibly effective since qi was weak against magic power . This was without mentioning the fact that the magic power from Infernee possessed greater raw power .
He had lost . He lost in a single move . Infernee’s swordsmanship was slow yet undetectable . In battles, it wasn’t important who spent more time cornering whom, or who could stay aggressive and attack for longer . The most important thing was who remained on their feet at the end of the fight .
Infernee efficiently relied on her first and only opportunity to attack, dealing a fatal blow and defeating Sila in a single strike .
Sila’s body collapsed . Even though his body had lost, his mind still refused to give up . When using psychic power, the mind was a driving force . It didn’t matter how grave the user’s injuries were, as long as the mind still persisted, they could keep using psychic power .
Dark Psychic Corrosion started to devour his insides, purging the magic power . Sila’s wound turned black and constantly ejected fine dust the color of onyx . His psychic power acted like white blood cells, devouring foreign objects in his body system . As it continued to corrode the magic power in Sila’s veins, his eyes briefly flickered ruby red .
“It seemed I really underestimated you too much,” Sila said as he was panting . He stopped to catch a few breaths before continuing . “Even though you do not excel at being offensive, you can still be this scary . It seems I have a lot to learn from you . ”
Sila stored the Crystal Divine Sword and summoned the Crystal Demonic Sword . The slime race’s prominent point was to adapt oneself according to the opponent . Against Infernee, Sila judged that the Crystal Demonic Sword would be more suitable for coping against her .
The jagged blade made of black crystal absorbed the light nearby . Sila’s remaining strength was less than half, so he had to be more discreet . He couldn’t afford to waste even a little of his power . His next actions needed to be concise and careful, with efficiency in mind .
Infernee created yet another glass-like longsword . She slowly took a step toward him, yet she cut across the distance in an instant . Meanwhile, Sila slowly took a deep breath and exhaled, dismissing all unnecessary thoughts . He regained his calmness and brandished his sword with the same slow speed .
Heaven’s Decree — Fourth Sword Style, Sword Storm .
The fourth sword style was supposed to be a fast-paced sword style . However, Sila had finally gotten a glimpse of the concept of ‘True is False . False is True . ’ His sword moved leisurely like a cool breeze .
Sila was more careful than before . He kept his cool and only exerted a miniscule amount of psychic power to devour any magic power flowing toward his hand from each exchange .
Slow against slow . Both of the swords connected, separated, and reconnected in different points of contact . The exchanges continued and no one had yet to make a mistake . Sila didn’t give up . He dragged on the fight, trying to recover his strength bit by bit and waiting for a chance to kill .
If someone were to see this, rather than thinking it was a fight to the death, they might think that Sila and Infernee were lovers performing some kind of gentle sword dancing .
Nevertheless, only Sila was aware that each strike of Infernee’s glass-like longsword was clad with deadly magic power reinforcement . If he made even a single mistake at defending, Infernee would send him to the rebirth zone with a single swing of her sword .