Montra’s thrusts were so quick that it was like the speartip had split into twelve . His spearmanship was neat, continuous, and perfect like a beautiful drawing . It became one with nature with no wasted energy .
Sila had to pause his feet before he entered the range where the spear could reach . His twelve afterimages returned to one body . He pulled his left foot back while spinning his power around his wrists . He slowly brandished his hands as if he was trying to encircle the entire sky, driving the moon into his palms .
“Isn’t that Elder Sanon’s Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws?” One of the association members blurted out .
“But his footwork is that of Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps . I have seen Elder Vichien display it before . ”
Paiyuan nodded . “His offensive take-off is definitely a martial move belonging to Nine Sun-Melting-Fists though . ”
Celestial-Traveling, Moon-Grabbing, Sun-Melting . Each art was the exclusive profound art belonging to the Three Elders, widely well-known by the martial world . Sila deliberately displayed them right in front of people of the association . His intention was clear: to weaken the level of confidence they had regarding Montra as the successor, showing them that the Three Elders favored him more .
It was such a simple plan . There was no way Montra couldn’t see through Sila’s intentions . However, it was always a simple plan that had no flaws . Sila relied on simplicity to subdue complexity, gently sowing seeds of doubt in the minds of association’s people . Once the seeds sprouted and grew, Montra would then be surrounded by people who were ready to stab him in the back .
Montra immediately fixed the growing issue . He stretched his arm to extend his reach while speaking casually, though everyone could hear his words .
“Just mimicking moves from Kawin and Sangdao doesn’t mean you can use them as well as the rightful owners, Sila . ”
God’s Realm Spear Art — Spear Thrusting Shemao .
Both the spear and the words were sharp and difficult to cope with . Sila was reminded of the situation in Grea City when Cross countered the false rumor . In this kind of situation, trying to be rational will not only be ineffective, it also sounds like an excuse . Montra used the same method as Cross, adding more rumors into the flood of unconfirmed information .
It was a hard, cold fact among people in the association that there was supposed to only be one successor of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws, and that person was Kawin . The same could be said for Twelve Celestial-Traveling-Steps with Sangdao as the legitimate successor . There was no way to prove that Sanon or Vichien had personally imparted their arts to Sila .
In fact, it was especially easy for anyone, not just Sila, to learn from Sanon . With the exception of Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws which he imparted only to Kawin, Sanon—unlike other dojo masters—didn’t mind teaching the profound arts he knew . The library in the Sky Dragon Dojo always welcomed visitors . Sanon even went as far as suggesting suitable arts to whoever asked for guidance without hiding anything . As a matter of fact, this was the reason why people in the martial world looked at him negatively . They deemed him as someone who wasn’t worthy to be a master-class profound practitioner .
Attribute of Water — Sea Star Wheel .
Five-Attributed Cloud Qi was Sila’s personal profound art, so he was extremely proficient at using it . After he had mastered the Cloud Part and the Flame Part of Flaming Cloud Qi, both his imagination and his power were elevated, resulting in an increase in strength and number of applications .
His power spiraled clockwise around his right wrist while spinning counterclockwise around his left . They split into two currents . Each of them supported, attracted, and led each other with Six Moon-Grabbing-Claws’ Parry technique . Montra’s spear was soon guided away by the torrent of power, missing Sila’s side .
Sila’s hand movements might have been slow, but his kick was instant .
Dual Overwhelming Attributes — Metal splits Wood, Surging Strike .
Sila’s speedy kick struck the spear’s handle, sending destructive force through it to the hand holding the spear . The skin folds between Montra’s fingers split and started bleeding . However, the wounds were soon migrated to his back by Reversed Holy Scale . They were hidden beneath his clothing, so only Sila could sense that Montra had still been injured by his attack . To everyone else though, his attack just now seemed completely ineffective .
God’s Realm Spear Art — Spear Pulling Gáe Bulg .
Montra pulled his magical spear back . The great power accompanying the move dragged Sila forward . As the distance between them was shortened, Montra slightly rotated his body and brandished the bottom of the spear sideways .
God’s Realm Spear Art Combo — Spear Brandishing Sattaloha & Spear Shaking Gungnir .
The spear sliced three of Sila’s fingers from his left hand, severing them . Even the spear’s handle possessed violent strength and momentum . Sila lifted Illuminus up to block it, and the destructive power vanished in an instant .
Sila finally understood why both Joshua and the Slime King had told him that he needed a potent weapon before he could fight on par against Montra . Without a good weapon with high attack power, Montra could always migrate the damage he had taken to non-vital spots using Reversed Holy Scale and continue attacking with ease . For example, if the cuts between Montra’s fingers hadn’t been migrated, his grip on the spear would have weakened and he would have eventually been unable to perform such an aggressive strike .
During practice, we can pour all of our focus and efforts into showing the best of our abilities . However, in real battles, we have to be adaptive to unpredictable situations . Quick wit and flexibility are required for us to display our full potential .
God’s Realm Spear Art was an offensive art that abandoned defense . Montra cycled through its martial moves continuously according to the core teaching of Sky Dragon Dojo while using Heavenly Dragon’s Magic to maintain his peak form . He focused on aggressiveness while letting the magic be responsible for negating his opponent’s attacks . As long as Sila couldn’t drag Montra away from this perfect circle, Montra would essentially be invincible .
Fortunately Sila had Illuminus, so he could invalidate Montra’s powerful attacks as well . The Sky-Splitting Dragon Magical Spear was yet another fraudulent factor that made Montra invincible . Any attack from this magical spear was deadly . Failing to cope with it even once was equivalent to complete defeat . For Sila to have a shot at winning against Montra, he had to possess a way to handle both Montra’s spear and shield .
The spear meant the Sky-Splitting Dragon Magical Spear while the shield meant Infernee’s Heavenly Dragon’s Magic .
Their powers were oppressing each other, so they couldn’t move so freely . Montra looked at Illuminus and declared the name of the skill which Sila didn’t expect at all .
“Dragon Soul . ”
A smooth, white arm protruded from Montra’s chest, along with the identical glass-like longsword that had once left a wound on Sila’s body . It instantly flew toward Sila’s chest .
Gritting his teeth, Sila was agitated . He couldn’t utilize Formless Soldier right now, so he would easily be heavily injured by an attack of this strength .
Dual Generating Attributes — Fire creates Earth, Supernova .
Sila’s body unleashed a circular explosion with him as the center . This move always worked in a time of crisis . However, Sila wasn’t sure about its effectiveness against Montra, who possessed Heavenly Dragon’s Magic . Hence, he decided to add more layers to his attack .
He compressed a mass of earth element into black balls of gravity . In the past, he could only manage to materialize one, but now he was capable of creating ten of them simultaneously .
Attribute of Earth — Crushing Gravity & Formless Martial God — Subduing Saber .
His right arm was Illuminus, so he didn’t have to be afraid of the recoil . He extended the blade aura from his fingers as he sent the gravity balls toward Montra before stabbing them, causing a series of explosions .
The rooftop was covered in smoke and dust . Due to Montra possessing Grand Deity’s Breathing, Sila couldn’t detect the flow of energy at all . He was unable to determine Montra’s condition after the attack, so he took several steps back . He focused his qi circulation on his left hand and slowly regrew the severed fingers .
The battle was intense while the rooftop was up pretty high, so the wind was strong . It blew the smoke away in a matter of seconds as if nature itself didn’t want to miss the next scene . Montra stood silently in the same spot . Next to him was Infernee in human form, casting healing spells and buffs on Montra .
Just Montra alone was already bad news . However, he also possessed Dragon Soul that could summon Infernee’s clone to assist him .
Sila quit being stubborn . He was no longer the inexperienced and naive fighter from before . While Montra had always been able to come up with countermeasures for his techniques, Sila was now capable of the same .
Nevertheless, unlike the other times where he had Lone Wolf, Zero, or others to help him escape, Sila had to rely on himself .
On the other hand, Montra was deep in his thought . He opened his system window and input several words through a virtual keyboard . His finger stopped above the send button when he stared at Sila .
“Illuminus is indeed troublesome . As long as you have it, you can always nullify my attacks and our fight will never end . For the sake of victory, I’ll have to dismantle it first . ”
“Dismantle? You mean Illuminus?” Sila was doubtful . He had heard that Montra was aware of Illuminus’ weakness . However, he couldn’t think of one even after studying it for a long while .
“You think it is invincible, don’t you? You must be thinking that it’s indestructible . However, Illuminus’ weakness is actually so clear that you’re overlooking it . ”
Sila looked at Illuminus . He pondered about it, but he failed to notice its weakness as usual . Well, since it didn’t seem like he could do anything about it, he calmly waited for Montra to reveal the answer to him .
“Well, you are about to tell me, right?”
Montra flipped his screen for Sila to see it . Despite the distance, Sila could strengthen his vision with qi and see what was written clearly . Apparently, it was the main page of one of the forums for the game . It seemed Montra was about to create a new discussion . Its title was ‘Parts of the Sealed One’ while its content was ‘The method to acquire S-grade special items is to set pain level at max while creating your avatar . ’
“What about it?” asked Sila . He didn’t understand how the method to obtain it had anything to do with Illuminus’ weakness .
“Illuminus’ weakness is not about Illuminus itself, Sila . Its fault lies in the system . It’s the reason why gamers tend to keep secrets to themselves . The weakness is none other than the fact that it is a secret item . ”
Montra pushed the send button . Given his reputation, it took literally no time for someone to read the discussion he had made in the forum . As soon as the first visitor entered the discussion, the system’s sound immediately rang out in Sila’s head .
One of the holders, who acquired Parts of the Sealed One in the same manner you did, has leaked the secret method of how to acquire them to other players . As a result, all Parts of the Sealed One obtained with this method are confiscated .
You have lost the item skill: Shield of Illuminus .
You have lost the item skill: Armor of Illuminus .
You have lost the item skill: Light of Illuminus .
Domain of Light is a skill you obtained through a different quest, so it won’t be confiscated .
All skills generated by Illuminus are deleted . . . Processing . . . Since all eight skills generated by Illuminus have already been infused into your body, the system gives you the benefit of keeping them . They won’t be confiscated .
At the end of the system’s notification, Sila’s right arm transformed back to an ordinary arm, as did Montra’s left arm .
Sila recalled the time when he got the card of the Seven Sin Series along with Lone Wolf . If memory served him right, that was another instance of the shared secret . If one of them tells anybody about how to obtain the quest or how to complete it, their cards would be confiscated together .
Players usually cherished such a secret, afraid of losing important high-grade items . However, Montra could reveal it as he could totally ignore the loss of Nixroth . He had already made the most of it . In fact, it had already broken due to one of the Gems of Catastrophe . It was easy for him to abandon it in order to strip Illuminus from Sila .
Montra had planned to abandon Nixroth for a while . That was why he didn’t care that it was broken, especially when Nixroth was different than Illuminus . Upon reaching the final stage, Nixroth would grant the holder the right to learn Ancient Magic, but it didn’t grant the magic . Thus, what the system confiscated from Montra was his ‘right to learn magic’ and not the magic he had already learnt .
That meant Montra chose to throw away Nixroth at the moment where he lost nothing from this action . On the other hand, Sila had to suffer the loss of his only item that was a perfect counter for the Sky-Splitting Dragon Magical Spear .
It is said that there are two ways to gain victory over an opponent . One is powering up oneself while the other is weakening the opponent .
Montra chose to do both .
Sila was shocked and surprised at the loss of the item that had been with him since the very first day he played the game . In any case, mourning it wouldn’t make it return to him .
His right arm felt lighter that it was a bit uncomfortable . He rarely paid Illuminus his attention . It was after he had lost it that he was aware of how special it was .
The time was ticking . Montra didn’t wait for Sila to feel regretful about the loss . He readied his spear . He inhaled a second time, and his presence disappeared again . “I want to know . Without Illuminus and helpers . . . how will you escape?”
As Montra said this, Sila thought about how he was lucky that he wasn’t alone this time . He smirked as he replied casually, “Boldly exit through the front entrance, I guess . ”
He snapped his fingers . “Deactivate Domain of Light,” Sila muttered .
A split second later, people felt another source of power surging from the crater that Sila came out of previously . Sebastian jumped through it as he spun his scythe . Hovering around him were several blood red magic circles . Seeing them, Montra frowned . He could discern that they must be the result of a high-level spell that had a long cast time .
“Great timing, Mister Sila . This is the first time I’ve been able to use this spell . It’s all thanks to you, sir,” Sebastian said smilingly . What he was about to unleash was one of the ritual spells that required an extremely long time to cast . He wouldn’t be able to use it under normal circumstances .
As it turned out, Sila had used Domain of Light on Sebastian under the crater . Thanks to the power of the domain, which blocked attacks from going in and stopped power from leaking out, no one noticed Sebastian’s presence . If anyone had approached the crater and looked down, they would’ve immediately noticed Sebastian leisurely standing around casting a spell .
“I just got my genuine form back and all of my spells have finally returned to me . Allow me to make a magnificent debut . ”
Sebastian pointed his scythe to the sky, and the magic circles surrounding him compressed into a single drop of blood . It flew into the sky and eventually became a blinking red dot . The sky turned red, dyeing all the natural light in Lafesta City the same color .
“The Curse of Nightfall — Purging Rain — Bloody Memory . ”
Red rain poured down despite there being no clouds . Sebastian approached Sila . Not a single drop of rain reached them as if they were under some kind of protection .
“Whaa! Monsters are raiding!!” Several shouts echoed . People began to unsheathe their weapons and attack their comrades standing next to them . Montra frowned at such a sight .
“You’re seeing illusions . Everybody, calm down . ”
The ones holding their weapons stopped attacking, yet they were blown away as if they were hit by something invisible . Sebastian looked at the situation with a smile .
“Are you sure they’re illusions? My curse is not that simple, I’d say . ”
“The Curse of Nightfall . . . Purging Rain . . . Bloody Memory . . . ” Montra repeated the name of the spell Sebastian just used . In this place, aside from Sebastian, the one who was the most proficient at magic was none other than Montra himself . He recalled a certain spell in the Death Magic category .
It was a spell with the combined traits of summoning, curse, and ritual . Every time a drop of bloody rain came into contact with the spellcaster’s enemy, the spell would summon the souls of monsters who had died under their hands . The souls came straight from Hell and possessed the same power they had when they were still alive, though they lacked corporeal forms . Only their killers could see or touch them . The scariest part of this spell was that the monsters would be summoned again even if they were defeated . The process would repeat until the curse was lifted up .
Sebastian placed his hand on Sila’s shoulder . “Today’s menu consists of a special dish prepared by Chef Sila and Chef Sebastian . Please enjoy it to your hearts’ content . ”
Sila nodded . He revealed the symbol of his Lordship on his palm and projected it onto the red sky .
“Under my influence as the Monster Emperor Sila, those who die in my domain shall have their respawn time shortened to one second!”
As he didn’t personally kill the target himself, Sila couldn’t extend their respawn time to a week like he wished . Instead, he shortened it to the best of his ability, hoping for them to die continuously and lose a lot of levels . These people got their levels easily by using Cloudy Baby Dragon Ring anyway, so it should be okay for them to have their levels reduced just as easily .
The sound of battles echoed throughout Lafesta City, the peaceful town that had never encountered a crisis . Montra seemed to be under the protection provided by Infernee’s clone, so he was unaffected by the curse . Nevertheless, he was preoccupied with fixing the problem . Undoing someone else’s curse normally took thrice the effort and resources that went into placing it, be it offerings, time, or magic power . Other than blood, Sebastian didn’t seem to use many items when casting the curse . The problem was the amount of magic power and time . Theoretically, it would take around an hour for Montra to lift the curse if he did it correctly . That period of time was enough to cause significant damage to the city .
Montra and Infernee’s clone were busy casting spells while the others were fighting unseen enemies . They were standing next to their comrades, yet they were forced to fight individually . Just surviving was hard enough, so no one was able to stop Sila as he, just as he said he would, boldly exited through the front entrance with Sebastian .