Chapter 267: Knowledge is Power
Half a day before Revin’s duel with Kraizer, when Sila was preparing to enter the Dragon Kingdom, it marked a moment of major change in Monster Soul’s history . In the future, people would analyze and speculate that this day was the D-Day of Monster Soul, as much of the upheaval that would come could be traced back to now .
It was exactly seven days before the second war event was set to start .
A flash of teleportation emitted in the middle of a city . It wouldn’t be a weird sight if this place wasn’t Lost Grea City . Only a few people had an invitation card for this place in their possession .
The moment Montra stepped foot in the city, two infantry android units had sent an alert about his arrival throughout the city . For the record, after Sila had become the city’s conqueror, the dragon race had been set as an enemy of the android race living in Lost Grea City . The two units entered combat mode, immediately taking out laser-based weapons .
However, they came to an abrupt halt once Montra revealed a certain item in his hand . They even opened a path for him to pass through .
All of the android units, which were previously in a combat state, stopped showing offensive actions and immediately kneeled down . They didn’t fear this man but they didn’t dare to disrespect the item in his hand . This respect had been programmed into them when they were first created thousands of years ago .
The item in Montra’s hand looked like a futuristic battery . It emitted a red blinking light like a beating heart . This item was the one that all ancient androids worshipped as their god .
The Heart of Siaferia .
Montra could reach the throne room within the palace without any problems . Inside the room was the Android King, Orpheus, sitting on his favorite throne . His eyes showed a flash of excitement and doubt .
“You seem quite surprised,” Montra commented .
“I predicted Sila would hand me this item one day . Unexpectedly, it’s you, Montra . ”
“The Heart of Siaferia . This item can be used to unseal and awaken the great kingdom of the androids, Siaferia City, from its slumber . It’s a small power generator, yet it can provide enough power for an entire city, including every single android unit . ”
Montra described the item to prove his knowledge as he tossed the item to Orpheus, who caught it . The Android King inspected it and realized that it was the real deal .
Orpheus was surprised to see Montra coming here alone to deliver the item . It was impossible for a genius like Montra to be unaware of the fact that completing the city-unsealing quest didn’t mean he would become its new conqueror . Furthermore, without the Heart of Siaferia in his possession, Montra would have nothing to prevent android units from attacking him .
“Can I ask how?”
Montra nodded . “There is one thing that people always neglect—studying Monster Soul’s history . Entering a brand new world yet not caring about what has happened to it in the past is foolish . There is a library in the Magic Kingdom where you can read however much you want for free, but no one is ever interested in paying that place a visit . Unbeknownst to them, that knowledge is the most powerful skill they can possibly acquire . Recorded in the library’s books are myths, legends, and the history of Monster Soul . After spending two years worth of in-game time reading all of the books in there with the help of the Fast Reading skill, I finally obtained a Gem of Catastrophe—Universe’s Eyes Amber . The condition to obtain it was reading every single book in the library . ”
That was the very first Gem of Catastrophe which Montra acquired . Witnessing its overpowered ability, he quickly recalled Monster Soul’s myths regarding the gems and desired to collect all of them .
Regardless, with the help of the Universe’s Eyes Amber, Montra’s next fateful encounter wasn’t another gem but Ramiel, the Angel of Truth .
“The gem is merely a byproduct . Knowledge is the true reward I got from reading the books . Everything I need is recorded in those books; some are stated explicitly while some are just clues . The Impossible Quest From the Goddess? That’s ridiculous . Nothing is impossible as long as humans possess enough knowledge and persistence . That’s why I tried to obtain all of the gems .
“As for that power generator, it was in Zhongsuyuan City . I took it from there myself . The items for unsealing each main city are openly shown in another main city . Other players think they are just decorations though . ”
The item for unsealing Zhongsuyuan City could be found in Alkedia City . It was a jade plate hanging above the entrance of the city .
The one for unsealing Alkedia City used to be in Lost Grea City . If someone had looked up at the ceiling above them before Montra’s first visit, they would have noticed a small magical crest mixed among stones on the ceiling .
Lastly, the Heart of Siaferia could be found in Zhongsuyuan City . It was inside a stone pillar engraved with the city’s name, located next to the biggest pine tree in front of the city .
Orpheus couldn’t help but find Montra—the promising future leader of the Wulin Masters Association—amusing . He stood up from his throne . Soon, an altar with an empty hole the same size as the Heart of Siaferia rose from the floor .
Orpheus looked at Montra once, then inserted the item into the hole once he had seen the other didn’t show any particular expression .
Red lines of light flashed from the altar then spread throughout the city like blood flowing through the body’s veins . The entire city shook and the ceiling slowly slid apart . At long last, this underground city would soon experience sunlight .
The altar, with the power generator inside it, slid back into the ground . The system then announced that the Android Kingdom was finally unsealed, though the notification only rang out inside Lost Grea City . Even so, the merging of the two cities—Grea City and Lost Grea City—would soon be notified to all players by the system .
“Well . ” Orpheus strode forward . “I’m not sure whether you are actually smart or stupid . You are not the city’s conqueror, so all of the benefits will fall into Sila’s hands . More importantly, you are now surrounded by one Emperor Rank monster, hundreds of Lord Ranks, and thousands of Marquis Ranks . This is yet to mention the Knight Ranks . ”
Montra’s expression didn’t change . “Whether I’m smart or stupid, it’s not for me to decide . There are two ways to become the city’s conqueror . The first is to kill the previous conqueror while they are inside said city . The second method is to complete the conquering quest at a higher difficulty level than the current conqueror did . That is the reason why I’m here . I would like to initiate Siaferia City’s invasion quest . ”
Orpheus couldn’t bring himself to believe what he just heard . “Are you crazy? I’m an Independent NPC . There is no way a single player can take me down . ”
“Nothing is impossible,” Montra repeated the words . These words signified him the best .
Orpheus burst into laughter . “Show me, then . I would like to see how you do it . Sila inserted the city’s seal into the groove in my throne with the help of a player and three pets . You will have to achieve more than that . ”
“I alone will kill every single android unit in the city . This is the most difficult condition,” Montra continued, “That includes you, by the way . I also need to kill an Emperor Rank Independent NPC in order to reach Emperor Rank, So I’ll be killing two birds with one stone . ”
Rather than feeling enraged, Orpheus was simply surprised . Montra was brimming with overconfidence . It was unreal . He quickly expanded his psychic sense to search for Montra’s possible hidden army, yet he found nothing .
“What is the basis behind your confidence? Did you just eat something strange? With the city being unsealed, our race’s laser-based weapons will grow stronger and our psychic barriers will be sturdier . There is absolutely no way for you to win . What tricks do you have?”
“Many . One of them is this . ” Montra took his mage staff out .
Observing the weapon made by Zeref, Orpheus raised his brows with an expression of disdain . Still, he couldn’t help but secretly admire the other’s beautiful craftsmanship .
“Hmph . Just a Lord Rank weapon . It will be a little different if its rank is Emperor . Well, that can’t be done without—”
“—the blood of an extinct Minotaur, right?” Montra completed the sentence . “I know whose blood is needed for evolving my weapon . Just tapping the Fairy Queen’s blood on a weapon is a simple task that I can easily do . The fairy race and the dragon race are on good terms, so I only needed to ask . As for Minotaurs, they used to be servants of the Devil Prince Mammon . Unfortunately, according to the legend, the devil race went extinct after the Demon of Greed was sealed . Even if I want to find them, I will have to try my luck in the Monster Realm, so this condition is quite harsh . ”
Montra took five blood tubes out . “Do you know that this game provides players with a high level of freedom? Most quests have an alternative completion method . For example, in the case that I fail to find the blood of the nemesis of my weapon, I can opt to—”
“—use the blood of any five Emperor Rank monsters instead,” Orpheus continued . As a top weaponsmith, it was natural that he knew the alternative way to evolve a weapon made of Orichalcum . Still, this so-called alternative was no different than a way to torment players .
“True, I was in a bit of a dilemma at first and planned to use the creation from your blueprint, the Realm-Crossing Gate, to test my luck in the Monster Realm . However, I got lucky . Thanks to Sila and Lone Wolf, everything became easier for me . ”
Montra poured all the blood in the vials onto his weapon, which soon radiated white and began to change shape, evolving to Emperor Rank .
“These vials held the blood of Leviathan, Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Belphegor, and Satan . In this game, ingredients from monsters usually disappear after they die . However, there are players who possess a skill that can extract a monster’s ingredients from their card . Finding such a player in a large guild like the Heavenly Dragon Guild is not difficult at all . ”
Sky-Splitting Dragon Magical Spear . That was the new name of Montra’s weapon . Unlike Lomyok’s weapon that was balanced between offense and defense, Montra’s was purely offensive . The spear form increased his physical attack while the mage staff form increased a spell’s attack power . With the two of them combined, this magical spear had its attack power doubled . The spear would also inflict magical damage while the spell Montra cast while holding this spear would also deal physical damage . Its attack power couldn’t be weakened by any means . It was the ultimate weapon of aggression .
An Emperor Rank weapon . This could be a problem but it still posed no real threat to Orpheus . Just possessing a good weapon didn’t mean Montra could defeat him . Even other Emperor Rank monsters would have a difficult time winning against him .
With Montra alone, Orpheus couldn’t see a future in which he lost this fight . He summoned a stringless golden lyre—his signature weapon—into his hand, ready to battle .
Before the fight started, Montra interrupted by asking, “Do you know why Lost Grea City was sealed in the past?”
“Do you want to fight or talk?”
Montra tightened his grip on the magical spear . “One of us will surely die today . Don’t be impatient . The longer this takes, the more advantageous for you, right?”
Orpheus wondered . It was exactly as he said; the longer this went on, the more the scales would tip in Orpheus’ favor . His android army was undergoing a reboot to upgrade themselves from the Heart of Siaferia . Their latent abilities were gradually being unlocked as time passed .
“I don’t know . It was always in a sealed state, even before I became its ruler . ”
“That’s a shame . You’re the Android King, yet you’re unaware of this fact . Well, I guess this topic was a part of the game’s history that had been set up even before the game started functioning . You entered this world and obtained the ruler position of the already sealed city while the rest of the androids had artificial memories implanted in their cores . ”
Montra’s speculation made sense . Most virtual reality online games implemented this approach . The history of a game’s setting was often only programmed and didn’t actually happen .
Montra continued, “I have been wondering . Can we reproduce the same result using the method recorded in history? Can I defeat the android race with the same trick? It’s an easy question . I knew my theory was right as soon as I discovered the android race’s weakness . ”
Orpheus had been a member of the android race for a very long time . Aside from the energy core, the android race was flawless . “What weakness?”
“The android race can upgrade their rank, power, and abilities through equipment . Given enough wealth, one can reach Lord Rank within a day . ”
“Heh . I was wondering what you were going to say, but it was for nothing . That’s our race’s strength . We don’t have a weakness . ”
“That’s your shallow perspective . Upgradeable means it is also possible to be downgraded . What will happen if their items become unusable?”
Montra knocked the end of his spear’s handle against the ground . Its crystal red spear tip shone bright as a giant magic formula appeared in the sky . Immediately, every engine in the city lost its light as it ceased to function . The same applied to the lights in the energy cores possessed by all of the android units, including Orpheus .
“Forbidden Trap: Ammunition Blockage, a spell from Mystical Mechanic Magic . I cast it a couple weeks ago . This spell holds tremendous power but requires a long preparation time . I laid the trap in Grea City, preventing you from detecting it . Once the city-unsealing quest came to a finish and the two cities merged together, the trap would cover this city as well . ”
“Impossible! Mystical Mechanic Magic? Only the Sealed One is able to use this type of Ancient Magic! Except—”
“Unseal Nixroth . ” Montra unsealed his left arm, the ultimate weapon of destruction . Upon reaching the final stage, the Left Arm of the Sealed One would bestow the holder the right to learn one type of Ancient Magic . He used that right to learn Mystical Mechanic Magic—the strongest trap magic with several spells that seal or snare .
“I used ‘Awakening,’ the conceptual ability of the Sky Emerald, to forcefully upgrade the Left Arm of the Sealed One to its final stage . The downside is that I can’t use the three item skills attached to Nixroth, though just the right to learn Ancient Magic was more than enough . ”
Orpheus tried to exert his power, but he couldn’t do it . His whole body was essentially made of items . As soon as all of the items stopped functioning, his overall stats had fallen to the degree of a Level 1 Squire Rank creature .
“Independent NPCs often overlook in-game stats and skills as they don’t need to rely on them . However, this world is ultimately a game . Your physical strength and inner force capacity largely depend on stats . No matter how great your profound art is, you can’t use it if you lack psychic points . ”
Orpheus showed a serious expression . He inspected his status window .
Title: Android King
Health Points: 1,000/1,000
Psychic Points: 1,000/1,000
As an Emperor Rank monster, the skills Orpheus possessed were high-grade skills . Each of them required more than 1,000 psychic points . That meant he couldn’t utilize any skill except Psychic Power Reinforcement . Nevertheless, considering how few points he had, it would be pointless against Montra’s spear .
Still, Orpheus possessed martial arts that didn’t require much inner force . His remaining hope to win was killing Montra by attacking a vital spot . He flicked his finger and fired a thread of psychic power, stabbing Montra’s heart .
Montra stared at the wound on his chest and activated a skill, “Reversed Holy Scale . ”
The position of the wound transferred from his heart to his left shoulder . His health decreased by about 30 points as it wasn’t a vital spot .
“You may be a great martial artist in the outside world, possibly even ranking in the top hundred, but this is a game . I may not even catch up to you out there after ten years, but in here you’re nothing but a stepping stone for me to achieve my goals . ”
Montra raised his spear, pointing it toward the sky . “You could normally block my spell by forming a shield with your psychic power . However, in your current state, I don’t believe that’s possible for you . ”
Orpheus showed a detesting expression for the first time . He was losing against a kid from a younger generation . It wasn’t a contest of strength, but strategy . Montra had planned and laid a trap ahead of time . The kid exploited the system and his race’s characteristics, driving him into a corner .
During his last moments, two thoughts popped up in Orpheus’ head . One was his concern for Sila, who had this kind of person as his enemy . The other was the words a lot of underground people used to describe Montra .
“Cruel and heartless, exactly as I heard . The Demon Child . No wonder you could leave your mother to die . ”
Montra frowned with displeasure . He knew people always talked this way behind his back, and he no longer cared . Regardless, being called by that name still put him in a bad mood .
“Ten Directions Solar Flare . ”
A fire started from the tip of Montra’s spear . He shot it into the sky, then it exploded like fireworks, emanating throughout the entire city .
Montra’s attack was merely a mid-tier spell, one that could be easily blocked by even Knight Rank players . The spell made up for its low attack power by covering a large area and being unavoidable .
All of the android units only had a few health points, so they died one after another . There were too many dropped items for Montra’s system window, so a large amount of the drops were scattered throughout the city . It was during that instant that the Android Kingdom temporarily became known as the Kingdom of Treasure . Players could find dropped items in every corner of the city .
The system notified Montra that he had killed Orpheus and his rank had been promoted to Level 1 Emperor Rank . More importantly, he had officially become the conqueror of Siaferia City .
The dimension in front of Montra distorted and widened, which he didn’t find surprising at all . A middle-aged man with a short beard soon stepped out from the appearing golden door . He wore a pair of round glasses and a clean, white butler uniform .
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mister Montra . I take it that you already know who I am . ”
Montra nodded . “You’re the Supreme Sage, Altia, and the guide to the Hall of Omniscience . ”