While every corner of Monster Soul was undergoing the changes brought about by the new episode of the game, Belacia City was experiencing changes as well, though the difference was that these impactful changes were caused by only a single player .
Sila, the Monster Emperor, a player whose total play time was less than a year .
White witnessed the battle from afar with a mind-blown expression . The city, normally completely white due to the snow, was constantly being dyed red by blood spilling out of wounds . No, this place could hardly be called a city anymore as one building after another was collapsing .
The dazzling lights from magic spells, qi aura, and psychic power continued to flash all over the place like a great war was being fought .
A massive qi-type dragon dominated the sky, next to the symbol representing a certain someone’s Lordship and below the darkened sun . No one was unaware of the dragon’s identity . It was undoubtedly the infamous Rex, the king and the guardian of the Single-Horned Dragon Forest, who blocked the path leading to Madmen’s Valley . It seemed that, aside from Sila, not a single player had any idea how Sila had brought the dragon here .
The battle of eight against hundreds was indeed unfair, though it was questionable which side had the advantage .
Rex’s Tiger Dragon Qi was so strong that it was tangible . Every single player below could clearly feel that they were being crushed by qi . Fortunately for them, Rex only acted as a crowd controller in this battle as Sila had requested . Otherwise, considering the small size of the city, if Rex were to unleash his full power, the entire town would be annihilated under the qi pressure .
Still, Rex was only a small part of the nightmare compared to the three humanoid monsters brought by Sila .
Lookhin was flying freely in the sky . Given her flight speed, people had a difficult time following her, especially when Rex’s qi was pressing down on them . Instead, Lookhin could comfortably fly anywhere and use her Great Sparrowhawk Qi, which was light yet sharp, to slice anyone . Her main duty was to prevent magic users from casting high-tier magic spells, which proved to be easy as she could also rely on Oceanic Mind to knock anyone down like they were bowling pins .
Moreover, she had long since activated Entomomageia . The flies were buzzing around the players, scattered throughout the battlefield . Their health points were low and their attack could only deal 1 damage, yet they could multiply at incredible speed . Currently, hundreds of thousands of flies were all over the place, nibbling at the players and creating an overall extremely annoying experience .
For the record, Clute once had a chance to witness Beelzebub’s Entomomageia when he lived in the Monster Realm . One of the insect hordes created by the Lord of the Flies managed to reach the habitat of the ancient golems, so they had an opportunity to observe and study this new kind of magic .
With time they noticed Entomomageia’s characteristics, and those were what Clute had been imparting to Lookhin over the last two days .
Entomomageia was a semi-automatic spell . The user could choose to control the insects they summoned or let them follow set instructions . The insects possessed low intelligence though, so they could only follow simple commands such as attack or flee . Therefore, controlling them would greatly improve their performance . However, there was no way a single user could control such a large number of insects .
The ancient golems theorized that Beelzebub’s army of insects was unusually smart, as there was no way them only following simple commands could be enough to threaten the entire Monster Realm .
In the end, one of the ancient golems discovered the secret behind Beelzebub’s Entomomageia: ‘chains of command . ’
Instead of controlling a hundred thousand flies, Lookhin only controlled a few by assigning them different tasks . Those few would control a few more under them, and the chains of command would continue in the same manner not unlike those found multi-level organizations . Thus, despite their appearances being exactly the same, some flies attacked while some selected targets . Even though the patterns of their attacks seemed simple at first glance, they were actually well-executed and complex .
Out of the eight members of Sila’s group, there were only two main damage dealers: Mamon and Clute .
Mamon was in his male adult form, wearing a brown turtleneck sweater . He bravely stood amidst flashes of magic spells and blades of weapons . The attacks coming at him head on would be blocked by the stronger version of his psychic power barriers shaped like octagons . Meanwhile, the attacks coming from behind would inexplicably lose effect due to Belphegor’s Hidden Gift, Secluded Space, which perfectly protected Mamon from any kind of danger he didn’t sense coming .
There was no weapon in his hands, as his fingers themselves were weapons . His fingernails were replaced by purple crystals . They would generate energy waves whenever he swung his hands in order to perform a melee attack and would fire laser beams if he pointed them at his enemies .
Laser-based weapons were exclusive to the android race . They possessed the ability to ignore the target’s defense, so the opponents would suffer grave injuries from Mamon’s simple attacks even when they were properly protecting themselves with energy reinforcement .
Mamon grinned as he was satisfied with the results from his on-field experiments . After the last fight he had against Clute in which he suffered heavy injuries, Mamon came up with a new way to strengthen his body . He removed many weapons from his body and equipped himself with new gear that would enhance his physical specs . Most of the energy generated from his energy core would be channelled through his body prior to reaching the attached weapons . This way, although he had less weapons to choose from, he compensated for this with a sturdier physique .
On Clute’s side, he was the opponent that the players tended to avoid the most due to his reputation as the White Giant . Nevertheless, some of the players found this moment the best chance to take down the White Giant as it was rare for almost all citizens in Belacia City to gather in one place . If the White Giant was slain, tons of experience points and excellent items would be acquired .
Clute temporarily aged and became a golden-haired mature man with the help of Rune Magic . The rune shining brightly on his forehead was “Thurisaz (Giants),” one of the most powerful runes in his possession . The rune of aggression had the power to strengthen his magic output .
Clenching his fist, the back of Clute’s right hand shone with the rune of vigor, “Uruz (Aurochs) . ” Through his fist, it sent forward a giant shadow of his punch, breaking through space and sending the players flying . Just this punch alone collapsed five buildings in succession .
Clute raised his left hand to the sky . On the back of it was the rune of coldness, “Isa (Ice),” which was also one of the strongest runes . His magic power shot up into the sky and turned into magic particles, changing the falling snow into sharp blades made of ice . The blades rained down, covering the entire battlefield . What splashed, as a result, was not water but blood .
Actually, Clute didn’t want to hurt the players to this degree . However, Sila’s sound transmission told him that this was the only way to end the conflicts in the city . Sila also begged him to kill as many as he could . Otherwise, the players that died under Mamon’s hands would suffer a greater penalty of losing 150 Levels, all of their money, and one of their items . The dropped items wouldn’t even be randomized but hand-picked by Mamon through his Hidden Gift . On the other hand, dying under Clute’s hands would result in losing 100 Levels and having their reviving time extended to one day, the latter of which had already been taken care of by Sila’s Lordship .
Sila’s words gave Clute a reason to fight without holding anything back . He had to kill people faster than Mamon in order to save them from experiencing a misfortune at the hands of the Demon of Greed, who would steal anything important to them . Kill, in order to help .
Meanwhile, Burapha and Bluebird were leisurely standing around . Even though some players managed to avoid the other monsters and reach the roof, their attacks ended up futile due to Asura’s protection . The six red short swords alternated between vanishing and reappearing, blocking anything that came their way .
Bluebird cast Soundless Lightning from time to time to shoot those who came at him . Although the damage was far from coming close to kill them, the bolts of lightning caused some paralysis, and merely a second of numbness was lethal on a battlefield .
Seeing that he was under reliable protection, Bluebird felt elated . He continued to fire magic arrows as if he was playing a shooting game . Once his magic power was depleted, he would take a magic-recovering potion out to drink nonchalantly, before continuing his attacks . Such a casual attitude greatly irritated those who witnessed his actions .
On the other hand, Burapha seized this rare opportunity to practice his martial art . He stepped across the edge of Asura’s protection range .
Regarding how to use a lance, it is normally a weapon to be used when the user is riding on a horse, so most lance arts specialize in offensive capability . Despite this, aside from the common thrust, most of Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art’s martial moves were about parrying and deflecting incoming attacks . Apparently the art resembled how to use a pole rather than a lance, and even the positions of the hands were near the center rather than the end .
Seeing that some attacks were manageable, Asura let some players pass by in order for Burapha to handle them himself .
The sound of weapons connecting with Burapha’s lance rang out continuously . Burapha relied on the techniques of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws that he had learned from Sila to cope with attacks . He slowed his breathing and firmly parried his opponents’ weapons .
Burapha’s psychic power was stimulated by several aspects of the battlefield, such as the scent of blood, the sounds of explosions and screams, and the killing intent that his opponents let off as they attacked . It gradually accelerated his growth and also dominated Revin’s Triple Sky Energy in his veins, converting it into his own power .
Burapha felt more vigorous the longer the battle dragged on . His martial moves were continuous like endless sea waves . They naturally guided the flow of his inner force . As the number of exchanges increased, the power that Burapha had been secretly transmitting into his opponents finally reached the point where it was ready to detonate .
The art which increased the user’s attack power the longer they spent time defending—it was such an odd martial art that Kirishima Kai had developed by learning from nature .
Finally, the Eastern Sea Evil Lance’s tip struck the sword held by one of his opponents . The impact of the strike imbued with psychic power entered the man’s body with no way for him to resist .
Burapha’s psychic power exploded inside the man and caused great turbulence within his body . It was like his blood had become a tsunami and violently surged, harming every fiber of his muscles .
The man coughed up a giant pool of blood as the explosion sent him flying and he crashed against the wreckage of the building behind him . He was no longer in a state where he could fight .
Sila deliberately created this situation due to many reasons . One among them was to push him into a situation where his body and mind were in crisis . It was a requisite for practicing Flaming Cloud Qi’s Flame Part .
One couldn’t start practicing the Flame Part in a safe environment . A suitable environment was required to learn this dark art . That referred to a losing and desperate situation that turned the practitioner’s mind and emotions into an imaginary purgatory flame .
‘This won’t do . The battle is not serious enough to make me feel despair . The condition is unexpectedly more difficult than I thought . ’
Sila intended to seize this chance to practice the Flame Part, so he had tried his best to balance his odds of winning and losing . He couldn’t win too fast since the condition would be unmet and he wouldn’t have enough time to master the Flame Part . Still, the union’s business must be put before his needs, so he couldn’t afford to lose the battle either . That was why he borrowed the monsters’ strength to increase his odds of winning . Apparently, he had far underestimated their power under the influence of the Eternal Onyx . The battle became unexpectedly one-sided .
‘I will have to come up with a new plan, then,’ thought Sila . He felt slightly disappointed that it didn’t go according to his plan .
To this moment, Sila had yet to make a move . He looked straight at the horizon as if implying that this battlefield didn’t deserve his attention .
He was waiting—waiting for a moment when hidden powerhouses would show up as soon as he showed any opening .
‘I can sense two presences in the restaurant . They must be Revin and Kawin . I guess they want to use this chance to kill me, though they are not scary now that I have spotted them .
‘The one I should be more wary of is Kimon . These people are professional assassins, so I guess they don’t like showing themselves in public . In that case, I think I can ignore the possibility that the Earthbound Reaper’s disciple will take action since he seems to be a strength-type . I should be more careful around the Eminent Immortal’s and Heaven’s Heiress’ . These two seem to be stealth-types . ’
He had been waiting for a long time, yet there was no sign of their movements . A longer night creates more dreams . The longer one stayed in a disadvantageous position, the more risks they take . Before his opponents made any unexpected moves, it would be better if he lured them into making the moves he expected .
Sila summoned a black sword into his right hand . He slowly brandished it, drawing a big curve, while exerting the Great Flow .
Heaven’s Decree — Seventh Sword Style, Unforeseen Sword .
Two silhouettes immediately darted out of the windows as soon as they spotted Sila’s opening .
Heaven’s Decree Sword Art was an art that manipulated the opponent’s intuition . In battles, a fighter’s intuition was of the utmost importance, especially in a battle between experts where openings were usually extremely rare . Thus, Revin and Kawin couldn’t stop themselves from coming out of their hiding spots and rushing at Sila . It was already too late when they had realized that their intuition was talking nonsense .
Experts oftentimes moved according to their intuition, or rather an instant decision-making ability that they honed through countless battles and a vast amount of experiences . In fact, it was their most reliable asset which they could always depend on .
Pumin’s Heaven’s Decree was an art that sent a fake yet seemingly trustworthy signal to trick the opponent’s intuition into making a move that the user desired . It was indeed a peerless profound art that greatly hindered the opponent’s strength .
Kawin’s punch came from Sila’s left while Revin’s sword came from his right . By no means could Sila look down on their attacks even though he was the one luring them, especially when he was guessing a certain third party was still hiding in the shadows .
The last time Kimon made a move, just the simple thrust of a saber had almost killed him . If he wasn’t careful, there wouldn’t be a second chance .
Sila didn’t hold back at all . His body was engulfed in magical black flames as his eyes gleamed ruby red .
Element-Changing Nightmare — Demonic Raiment & Heaven’s Decree — Flaming Fireflies .
The blade covered in black flames sliced through the air, burning fiercely . Suddenly, Revin and Kawin were struck with urges to withdraw, causing their attacks to lose half of their original power . At the moment when Sila’s Crystal Demonic Sword connected with the Explosia Sword, his fist similarly blocked Kawin’s punch .
Dual Generating Attributes — Fire Creates Earth, Supernova .
The consecutive uses of profound arts could be done without any difficulty due to the help of the Cloud Part . Sila’s power surged as it was about to create a big explosion . Realizing it, Revin and Kawin immediately clad their bodies with magic power reinforcement to increase their defensive power .
However, the same situation was replayed . Sila’s power instantly vanished out of nowhere, leaving his body defenseless against the Two Monarchs who wouldn’t miss this perfect chance .
Yet Sila was calm . He had been anticipating this moment . He couldn’t find Asava the last time because it was a surprise attack . However, he deliberately baited it this time . No profound art was perfectly traceless, even more so when he was waiting for it . Sila could feel the faint presence of a power infiltrating his body and causing a disturbance in his inner force .
Formless Martial God — Reflecting Star .
Sage of the Six Disasters was an art which interrupted the target’s flow of inner force . In order to cope with this kind of art, Sila had to rely on power from another source .
Sila invented Reflecting Star after analyzing Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ Migrate and Combine techniques . His hands moved slowly yet his feet accelerated in speed . Seeing his action, Kawin was shocked as he hurriedly pulled back his punch . However, it was too late for Revin . Sila took in the power in Revin’s sword and rode its current, borrowing his power through his movements .
Formless Martial God — Nameless Spirit .
Sila kicked both of their chests, sending them flying in different directions . Unfortunately, his counterattack wasn’t strong enough to injure them .
Using Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, Kawin could nullify most of the power in Sila’s kick and neatly landed himself on the edge of the roof . Meanwhile, Revin let his body go along with the kick and flew further away .
In any case, those two weren’t Sila’s main target . He had conserved most of the borrowed power to take care of a certain someone who always butted in the battles of others yet refused to make an appearance .
Formless Martial God — Subduing Spear .
Sila channeled the borrowed power into his thumb before firing it using Yizichan . The power flew forward like a spear . For the record, the muscular strength in his thumb acted like a gun’s muzzle . The stronger it was, the more power it could contain . Sila’s finger muscular strength was exceptional since Mora’s training had placed emphasis on his fingers . His spear bullet destructively flew toward an empty space .
“Urgh!” Blood spilled as Asava’s body appeared out of thin air . Apparently, his abdomen was shot and bleeding . He looked askance at Sila .
“A wound for a wound . If you want to talk, just stop hiding and show yourself!” said Sila .
Asava didn’t reply . His lips simply curled up into a mild smile as he vanished . Seeing Kimon’s member, Revin and Kawin quickly made a retreat .
‘Exactly as Teacher Mora told me . Sage of the Six Disasters grants the user terrifying techniques, but balances it out with a physically weak body . Asava can’t handle powerful attacks if he can’t borrow their power . Well, he didn’t expect me to counter, so my surprise attack ended up successful . It will be another story if we fight for real . I wonder if my improved martial art can handle his killing techniques . ’
The exchanges of moves ended too soon, so Sila didn’t get a chance to practice the Flame Part . It seemed the condition to learn the part was indeed difficult . He wasn’t really bothered by it though, since he had already come up with a new idea .
As prolonging this battle was no longer important, Sila sped up its end by helping Mamon and Clute defeat the citizens . In the end, the ‘negotiation’ ended in twenty minutes, resulting in an upheaval of the Monster Emperor’s reputation . Presently, not a single player in Monster Soul could look down on him anymore .